We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.
The Las Vegas Massacre Was a Profound Moment Amid a Troubling Season of Devastation
Many of us woke up Monday morning to the devastating news of the mass shooting that occurred in Las Vegas on Sunday night at the Route 91 Harvest festival. As country megastar Jason Aldean entertained unsuspecting fans, a barrage of bullets aimed at the crowd was mistaken by many to be fireworks. Instead it was 64-year-old Stephen Paddock unleashing rounds of ammunition from a window at the nearby Mandalay Bay hotel. The horrifying act resulted in fifty-nine deaths, one of which was Paddock, who shot himself as police encroached on him, as well as hundreds of injuries.
For many, Vegas felt like the final straw for our emotions after a long summer of troubling events. From terror attacks to natural disasters, we’ve all been quietly suffering even if we haven’t fully realized it. Clinical psychologist Josh Klapow shared with Verily that it’s really important to acknowledge our pain even when events don’t directly impact us. “The distress you feel means you are human,” he says. “Use the distress to do good in your life....The alternative approach—anger, blame, trying to put a rational response together for something that may have no explanation is likely to cause more distress and more frustration.” —Megan Madden
Tom Petty Dies at Age 66
American rock icon Tom Petty died of cardiac arrest in his Malibu home this Monday at age 66. In a tribute to Petty, the New York Times reported, “Mr. Petty sold millions of albums and headlined arenas and festivals well into 2017. He played the Super Bowl halftime show in 2008 and entered the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2002. But his songs stayed down-to-earth, with sturdy guitar riffs carrying lyrics that spoke for underdogs and ornery outcasts.” One of Petty’s daughters, AnnaKim Violette, shared frequent updates about her father, taking to Instagram to post pictures of Petty on and off stage. On the day of his death, she wrote, “My father loves music more than anything and always put music first. It’s going to be healing to know I will never go a day without hearing his music. I love his class honesty [sic] and how strange and funny he is. Tom Petty is an American icon because his heart has always put human rights first. We are one. I love you dad. Your songs are dreams manifested.” —Victoria Rabuse
Gabrielle Union Discloses ‘8 or 9 Miscarriages’ but Says Her Marriage Is Stronger Than Ever
Actress Gabrielle Union, featured in nineties and 2000s hits such as 10 Things I Hate About You and Bring It On and most recently BET’s Mary Jane, revealed her struggles with infertility earlier this week. Union discusses her multiple miscarriages in her new book We’re Going to Need More Wine. Union married NBA player Dwyane Wade in 2014, becoming a stepmother for Wade’s children. Union told People, “I never wanted kids. Then I became a stepmom, and there was no place I’d rather be than with them.” In a public show of support, Wade tweeted on Wednesday: “My wife is one strong individual!!!” In her book, Union talks about how, despite the emotional and physical toll of the past three years, she and Wade “remain bursting with love and ready to do anything to meet the child we’ve both dreamed of.” —VR
The Times Offers No Niceties to Hugh Hefner Posthumously
Last week the world reacted to the death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner. While many applauded him posthumously as a successful business man and molder of the American image, the New York Times’ Ross Douthat took another more honest route. Douthat wrote: “The things that were distinctively Hefnerian, that made him influential and important, were all rotten . . .” It went on to outline his legacy of female objectification and his gross lifestyle, and it obliterated any concept that the idolized man was a purveyor of progressive freedoms. Douthat also wrote of Hefner: “His success as a businessman showed the rotten side of capitalism—the side that exploits appetites for money, that feeds leech-like on our vices, that dissolves family and religion while promising that consumption will fill the void they leave behind.” Death is never easy; then again, neither is living among the misogynistic culture that Hugh Hefner reveled in. —MM
Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ Breast Cancer Announcement Was Sad but Touching
Veep star and Saturday Night Live—not to mention Seinfeld—staple Julia Louis-Dreyfus announced September 28 that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Taking to Twitter to share the news, she wrote, “One in eight women get breast cancer. Today, I’m the one.” The diagnosis came one day after winning the Emmy for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Comedy Series. Since going public with the news, Louis-Dreyfus has received an outpouring of support from fans, fellow actors, and politicians. Louis-Dreyfus’ friend Kevin Spacey tweeted, “From one Pres to another, you inspire our nation both on TV & in life.” At this time, Louis-Dreyfus has not disclosed the severity of the diagnosis. —VR
U.S. Women’s Hockey Team Advances Equal Rights
The American Women’s Hockey team has finally obtained some fair play—in March, it began talks with USA Hockey that has resulted in the team members getting benefits almost equal to USA Men’s Hockey. While previously USA Men’s and Women’s Hockey had no pay difference, Women’s Hockey had been bereft of several significant perks; for example, USA Men’s players are allowed a hotel room to themselves plus a guest. Meanwhile, USA Women’s players are obliged to share rooms with one another. Similarly, women received less travel compensation and insurance coverage. Now the women's team will have the same offerings as the men in these regards. Reagan Carey, USA Women’s Hockey manger, says that this controversy has brought the team together and spurred them toward the 2018 Winter Olympics. “We’ve gone through a lot of challenging times together,” Carey said. “It’s just made us stronger. With the support of USA hockey and everything that elevated since that time frame, we’re focused on getting the gold medal.” —MMO
O. J. Simpson Is No Longer in Prison
O. J. Simpson—focus of the 2016 ESPN documentary O. J.: Made in America about the highly publicized criminal case of 1995 where Simpson was accused of murdering Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman—was released from prison this past Saturday. He left the Lovelock Correctional Institute in Nevada nine years after being sentenced for a botched Las Vegas robbery attempt in 2007. Vanity Fair reported, “Simpson was granted parole at a hearing this July. He was convicted following an arrest in 2007 for breaking into and entering a Las Vegas hotel and casino at gunpoint to steal sports memorabilia that Simpson claimed belonged to him. ‘All I want is my property. . . . I wasn’t there to steal from anybody. I would never, ever pull a weapon,’ he said.” In a statement published after Simpson’s release, the Goldmans stated that they would “continue pursuing the now $60 million judgment awarded to our family after the [civil trial] jury found that Simpson willfully and wrongfully caused the deaths of Ron and Nicole, as well as remain dedicated in our commitment to domestic violence awareness, victim advocacy, and judicial reform.” Friends of Simpson report that he will be spending time with family and friends in Florida now that he has been released. —VR