Meet today's Clover, @ghostgirlly. Remi's the editor-in-chief of the awesomely named Crybaby Zine—and, when she's not penning the mag's inspiring pieces and being a teenage #girlboss, a normal New Jersey high schooler.
San Francisco Mayor Places Travel Ban on North Carolina
Teenage ISIS Recruit Is Responsible for Iraqi Terrorist Attack
In other incredibly awful news, a teenage suicide bomber blew himself up on Friday, and killed more than 41 others in the process. The attack took place at a soccer stadium in the Iraqi city of Iskanderiyah (just 30 miles from Baghdad), where both Sunni and Shi’ite locals were watching the game. According to reports, 17 of those killed were boys between the ages of 10 and 16. Iskanderiyah's mayor was also among those who died. ISIS eventually claimed responsibility for the attacks on social media, marking yet another occurrence in which the terrorists struck where people are most vulnerable: at sporting events, movies, concerts, and other leisure activities that suddenly turn tragic. Speaking of...
Suicide Bomber Targeting Christians Kills 65 People on Easter
Yesterday, yet another suicide bomber killed almost 70 people and injured an additional 300 in a Pakistan park. The victims were mostly women and children. The fact that this tragedy happened on Easter Sunday was no coincidence either. The Pakistani Taliban, which claimed credit for the violence, said the attack was targeting Christians. "We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore,” added the spokesman. “He can do what he wants but he won't be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks." This chilling statement comes three days after the terrorist organization threatened to increase attacks on Afghanistan, and two days after ISIS attacked innocent Iraqis.
The Presidential Election Slips Into "Embarrassing" Territory
When Bernie Sanders wasn’t befriending birds and inspiring viral hashtags this weekend, he was making some major political strides. The Democratic candidate won by a landslide in the Alaska, Hawaii, and Washington primaries, showing Hillary that her nomination isn’t in the bag quite yet. On the Republican front, Donald Trump and Ted Cruz spent their Easter Sunday slinging insults about each other's wives (real mature, guys). Meanwhile, a Change.org petition to allow guns at the upcoming Republican National Convention has more than 36,000 signatures. Considering how volatile the 2016 presidential election has been thus far—both in terms of irresponsible language and physical violence—is it really any surprise that Secretary of State John Kerry said the campaign is “embarrassing” for the U.S.? Cringe.
The Average Kid Gets Less Fresh Air Than a Prison Inmate
File under: Kids these days. Research finds that students in the U.K. spend less time outdoors than prison inmates. Three quarters of 5-to 12-years-olds are outside for less than a half hour a day, while prisoners are typically granted at least an hour of fresh air per day. We all know we should be spending more time with Mother Nature’s inventions instead of Mark Zuckerberg’s, but this serves as an important reminder that being outside is good for your brain and your body, regardless of your age. You're probably too old to have mom tell you to go play outside. So we're doing it instead.
When I was seven—two years into guitar lessons and months deep into my Emmylou Harris phase—I wrote my first song. It was a joyful tale about a girl and her best friend, obviously self-reflective, through a simple 4-chord progression with that occasional 7th that I was just slightly too proud of. I learned a valuable lesson that day after I scribbled in my Hello Kitty notebook for an hour, then rushed into my father’s room to show him (a songwriter as well) what I had made: Songs were the only way I could really explain what was going on in my head.
After several years, I felt I was serious enough about my music to book a show. Before, I would perform my songs for friends in secret; or send a rough demo to my crush (which did not end well); or most of the time, strum to the audience of my pale blue walls, tapestried with Beatles posters. The idea of a gig was something exciting, but I was naïve to think it was going to be easy.
That humid springtime night a couple years ago, I stepped onstage in front of a packed room of friends, and friends of friends, and even faces I had never seen before. And as it always had in the past, my self-consciousness colored how I saw the crowd in front of me. “They don’t like it," “They’re bored,” and “You’re not good enough tonight” ran through my mind. I’d give myself pep talks on these anxious Saturday nights, staring into the mirror, wearing the outfit that took me ages to pick out. I told myself that I needed to try to have fun. But, as you've probably heard, everything is easier said than done, and my anxiety onstage became a cycle.
Self-image is a terrifyingly fragile concept. One person’s mixed gaze or another’s misunderstood comment can greatly impact how you see yourself. I drove myself crazy those first few shows, believing that every bored glance towards an illuminated phone screen or whispered comment reflected upon me. I was up there, singing my own words. It was all pieces of me, making the experience incredibly vulnerable. I had turned songwriting—a hobby I was so passionate about, and essentially my only way to communicate—into something that would be fun in the moment, but would drive me insane once I got home. Post-show, post-milkshake run, I would sit late-night/early morning (however you classify 2am) and pick apart every video captured from those 45 minutes. I’d pick apart my own memories of what went down in front of those glaring lights. Distorted memories, marred by my own self image.
Dozens of shows have taught me something invaluable about performing. Though it’s hard to shut out others’ opinions, it is vital. Lately I’ve learned to enjoy stage time, because when it comes down to it, it’s the songs themselves that I need to share. It’s the songs that send me running home from school so I can pick out the chords from something I jotted down during second period. It’s the songs that connect me to my friends and offer them a sense that there's someone who understands. And it’s the songs that have taught me to love playing on that stage. Because in the end, music is my way of communication, and that’s all that matters.
After reading that, you really want to hear Sofia's music, don't you? Great news: You can! And you should also follow her on Instagram, because she's really cool.
Tell five friends about Clover and we'll give you a shout-out in an upcoming letter. P.S. The girl who spreads the word to the most friends gets free merch (!!). Click here to pass it on!
@lauraenever: This Aussie pro surfer likes bell bottoms and sunflowers nearly as much as she likes winning championships. Almost. @hairuh: Even our very best hair days have nothing on this girl's incredible locks. @chaseswagar: The free-spirited teen's offbeat pics (think raccoons and ridiculous face swaps) are exactly what your daily Insta roundup needs. @deanieec: She's a senior in high school in Kansas. And her feed is so good, you'll wish you were a senior in high school in Kansas, too. @_georgecostanza_: This NYC student looks like more of an Elaine Benes, if you ask us, but we love her just the same.