It’s the divorce heard around the world. Two of the biggest movie stars in the world, who’ve spent the last eleven years charming everyone with their enormous family and good looks, have announced the end of their marriage. By celebrity standards, eleven years is a pretty good stretch for a relationship, but we all hoped that the King and Queen of Hollywood would make it last. Forever.
Ever since Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie met on the set of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, igniting an unprecedented media whirlwind, tabloids and audiences everywhere have been enamoured by their romance. And it’s not like Pitt was a stranger to extremely public relationships. Very few subjects have been as hotly debated as Jennifer versus Angelina in the wake of Brad leaving his wife at the time, Jennifer Aniston, for Jolie.
It’s kind of baffling to be honest. They might be two of the hottest actors in film history. It might have been one of the highest-profile marriages in recent memory. But there are a lot of other things happening on planet Earth that are a bit more important, all things considered. Don’t get us wrong, we love some good ol’ fashioned celebrity gossip, but the Brangelina hype is a little over the top. And with news of their divorce hitting the wire, it’s only going to get worse.
So in order to put some perspective back into the internet, we’ve put together a list of fifteen things going on in the world that are more important than Brangelina’s breakup.
15. The Yadizi Genocide
The only reason a lot of people have even heard about one of the worst ongoing war crimes is because hotshot lawyer Amal Clooney (she’s married to some actor) has been working hard at raising awareness.
The Yadizi people are a relatively small ethno-religious group in the Middle East who have been targeted by ISIS for full-on extermination. If you want a bunch of eye-opening, stomach-turning reading material, just do some research on this genocide that is happening right now. It’s not hard to find dozens of stories of gang rape and mass murder at the hands of ISIS soldiers.
14. The Attawapiskat Suicide Crisis
How about we look at some news north of the border. A small native reserve in Northern Ontario declared a state of emergency earlier this year because an alarming number of people in their community were attempting suicide. Even worse, many of them were teenagers and plenty of them were successful.
In just one day, seven children were taken to the hospital for suspected drug overdose suicide attempts. In a town of about two thousand people, that’s a staggering statistic. Not to mention the fact that the reserve’s health care units were completely overwhelmed and forced to turn to the Canadian government for assistance. In such a small town, there is not permanent mental health practitioners, and medical practitioners fly in every few days. Now imagine the panic as you discover there’s 7 attempted suicides and are responsible for making sure that this isn’t some sort of trend or a case of mass hysteria of some kind.
13. World’s First Head Transplant
Yeah, head transplant. As in taking the head off of one body and attaching it to an entirely different body. It sounds like something out of a freaky science-fiction movie, but Professor Sergio Canavero, a UK surgeon, is planning on performing this surgery for real in 2017.
He’s even got a patient lined up. The lucky young man is 31-year-old Valery Spiridonov. He suffers from a kind of muscle-wasting disease that’s left him wheelchair-bound. He believes that having Canavero basically chop his head off and Frankenstein it onto another, healthier body is worth the risk. This isn’t just a joke, either. This doctor has actually compared himself to Frankenstein. Guess he kind of is a real life Frankenstein, if it actually works. This is science at its most innovative and terrifying. We’ll cross our fingers for both of them.
Another current event that sounds like something from a Stephen King novel. In fact, it’s kind of the basis for The Stand.
As we continue to pump ourselves full of antibiotics, the germs we’re trying to kill off are evolving and mutating in ways that make them resistant to our drugs. In other words, the bad bugs are finding ways to kill us no matter how much medicine we use.
There are plenty of scientists who legitimately believe that is how humanity will go extinct; a massive outbreak of an incurable and infectious superbug that will probably turn us all into zombies or something. That sounds like a problem worth worrying about.
11. North Korea’s Nuclear Program
We all know about Kim Jong-un and his tyrannical reign over North Korea. It would be comical if it wasn’t so damn scary. James Franco and Seth Rogen tried to go the comedy route with him in The Interview, and that resulted in international terrorist threats.
One of the scariest things about North Korea’s dictator is his nuclear program. In the past seven years, North Korea has managed to detonate five nuclear bombs, with the most recent allegedly using a device small enough to fit on a warhead. That means that Earth’s most psychotic and delusional world leader now has the ability to shoot atomic rockets at other countries.
10. Trump Vs. Clinton
This 2016 presidential race has been super freakin’ weird. You throw Trump into any situation and it’s bound to get pretty messy, so it makes sense that this election has been a total gong show. All these late-night talk show hosts have probably never had as much comedy fodder to choose from as they have this year thanks to The Donald. It’s low-hanging fruit, to be honest.
You might feel like this is getting tiresome, but the race for the presidency of the world’s foremost superpower is something worth taking note of. Seriously. The world is going to change regardless of which candidate ends up in the White House. It’s worth paying attention to.
9. The Israel-Palestine Conflict
The territorial war between Israel and Palestine has been happening on and off since 1948, making it one of the longest-running armed conflicts that is still active today, and definitely the most complex. We could probably create a whole article of Things About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict That Are Really, Really Confusing.
And the effects stretch way beyond the little piece of Middle Eastern land that the two groups are fighting over. Nations all over the world have taken sides ever since the beginning of the conflict, making it a stupidly divisive topic in international politics.
8. The Modern Space Race
We all saw Matt Damon get stuck on Mars in The Martian. And while that movie is technically in the sci-fi genre, it was much more realistic than you might think. In fact, NASA recently announced plans to have a permanent human colony on the red planet by the 2030s. Even crazier is The Mars One project’s claim that they’ll have Mars colonized by 2027.
And that’s the interesting thing about the modern space race— it isn’t the Americans and Soviets trying to land some dudes on the moon to decide which country is manlier. It’s corporations all over the globe attempting to move humanity across the solar system.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement has been a powerful civil rights force in the United States since its inception in 2013. It started off as a response to George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, but has become a nationwide protest movement since then. It’s kind of like Martin Luther King Jr.’s activism in the fifties and sixties, but with hashtags, blogs, and viral Facebook posts.
#BlackLivesMatter has been so widespread and influential that it has spawned counter-movements like #AllLivesMatter, which has widely been denounced as ignorant and racist.
6. The Mexican Drug War
You probably have a vague idea of the Mexican Drug War, probably based off Benicio del Toro movies like Traffic or Sicario, but you might not be aware of how horrifyingly big it is. Estimates put the death toll at well over 100,000 in the last ten years.
And it’s not like this is a simple ‘good guy policemen versus bad guy drug dealers’ conflict. The Mexican Drug War involves police, government, military, outside forces like the United States, and more gangs than you can shake a brick of cocaine at. Not to mention the corruption, greed, and fear that have run rampant throughout it.
The Brexit vote kind of snuck up on us. One minute we’re binge-watching season four of Orange is the New Black and the next thing we know, Britain has decided to peace out of the European Union. It was kind of a big deal. And one that’s not over just yet.
Just because the Queen’s citizens decided to ditch the union doesn’t mean they’re not technically still a part of it. There’s a long political and bureaucratic process ahead before the British can proudly wear their “I survived the EU” shirts.
And it’s hard to say exactly how Brexit is going to affect the global economy and European immigrant crisis, among other things. We can say we’re almost 100% sure it won’t affect the chances of Brangelina reuniting anytime soon.
4. The Boko Haram Insurgency
Boko Haram is undoubtedly one of the scariest, most violent terrorist groups currently active in the world. Primarily operating in Nigeria, this group of evil extremists made international news back in 2013 when they kidnapped over two hundred schoolgirls, most of whom are still missing. Reports of rape, murder, and other abuse that have leaked from the Boko Haram camps are absolutely stomach-turning.
These guys are like ISIS’s smaller, meaner, sicker cousin. They finance themselves mostly through ransom kidnappings and bank robberies, although there have been unproven accusations of political sponsorship as well. And at this point they’re not showing any signs of slowing down, which is sickening and horrifying.
3. The New Zealand Kea
Let’s talk about cute animals for a change of pace.
The kea is the world’s only alpine parrot, which means it’s the only parrot on Earth that lives in the mountains. Specifically, it lives in the mountains of New Zealand’s South Island. Unfortunately, thanks to non-native predators and douche-bag humans, the kea is nearing extinction. Conservationists are guessing that they’re might only be a thousand of these little guys left.
2. The Megathrust Earthquake
If you’re thinking that you missed some huge earthquake this year, don’t worry, it hasn’t happened… yet. The earthquake in question is a theoretical event that has the potential to demolish the entire Pacific Rim, from the west coast of the United States, down to Argentina, and all the way around to southeast Asia.
Remember that massive quake/tsunami combo that shook Japan in 2011? The one that killed eighteen thousand people? That would look like a minor, wimpy tremor compared to this bad boy. In theory, Portland would literally disappear. Whether you think that would be a tragedy or a victory isn’t really the point. The point is that the planet’s geography could be forever altered by this event and most of the world is more concerned about whether or not Brad cheated on Angelina.
1. Global Climate Change
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Some of you are thinking that it’s all a big hoax. Global warming isn’t real. Climate change is just some left-wing conspiracy designed to… to what?
Nonetheless, it doesn’t really matter if you believe in climate change or not. If it is real, then we as a species have a massive problem on our hands. Either we need to clean up our act or hope that Elon Musk can find a way to colonize Mars ASAP. If it is not real, then there is a rather large conspiracy afoot that ought to be addressed, don’t you think?
Or, you know, you could spend more time trying to figure out who is going to get what in the Brangelina divorce settlement.