Five Things You Had to See Online This Week

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Bryan Cranston and Aaron Paul reunited to promote the Emmy Awards this week

This week in “Thanks, Internet” — The best song of the decade (so far), the Smithsonian makes GIFs, Nick Offerman recites reddit, Breaking Bad meets Seinfeld, and Lauryn Hill sings about Ferguson.

1. Grimes Wrote The Best Song Of The Decade (So Far)

What to do when your staff goes on vacation? Make lists! Pitchfork spent the week recapping the best albums, videos, and songs of the decade (so far) in obsessive detail. There's a lot to read, but Amanda Petrusich's short essay on the #1 song, Grimes' "Oblivion," is a standout. Grimes (Claire Elise Boucher) sings about the lasting impact of being sexually assaulted. Yet she manages to disguise her lyrics with wobbling synths and orchestra hits made for the dance floor. Petrusich calls this feat a triumph: 

The subversion of expectation is a part of Grimes’s founding aesthetic, and she frequently marries more defiant genres like noise and punk with propulsive pop production, outfitting her dissent in studio glimmer. The melody can be so sweet as to feel bubblegum, and when Boucher sings a bit like “I will wait forever”– a line that always jumps out –“Oblivion” starts to seem like a very different kind of lament. 

But what “Oblivion” ultimately offers is victory. It’s the sound of one woman turning personal devastation into not just a career-making single, but a lasting anthem of transformation. 

2. The Smithsonian's Tumblr Is Better Than Yours

The Smithsonian's Whale GIF

Much like your 12-year-old niece, the Smithsonian has been busy on tumblr. Unlike your 12-year-old niece, the Smithsonian has been bringing history to life by animating images from its archives. Four staff members contribute to the blog, "mostly on lunch breaks." They confess, "We <3 tumblr because it’s the sassiest of all the social media platforms." 

We <3 the Smithsonian.

3. Nick Offerman Reads The Best Of Reddit

One of the internet's finest outlets for quotidian observations is the Showerthoughts subreddit. Scrolling through will elicit tiny chortles, but when Nick Offerman recites them, you can't help but lol. 

4. Walter and Jessie Make Peace (and Pawn)

The Primetime Emmy Awards are this Monday. Knowing how much of the TV audience has migrated to the web, the folks promoting the broadcast attempted to make a viral video. They succeeded thanks to Bryan Cranston, Aaron Paul, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus. It's so good to see Walt and Jessie back together sans the double-crossing, chemicals, and automatic weapons. 

5. Lauryn Hill Sings For Ferguson

In the wake of more disheartening news out of Ferguson this week, Lauryn Hill tweeted out "an old sketch of Black Rage" set to the tune of "My Favorite Things." It was recorded in her living room and dedicated to peace in Missouri. Hill has been performing the song live for a few years, but hearing her sing about "suffering that worsens" after the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown is all too apt.  

'Black Rage' by Lauryn Hill