Soup Protests 

On Oct. 14, Two Just Stop Oil activists entered the U.K.’s National Gallery and vandalized “Sunflowers”, an original painting by Vincent Van Gogh, by defacing the painting with tomato soup. They then proceeded to glue their hands to the wall beneath the painting. On Oct. 23, protesters from the German group Letzte Generation (Last Generation) vandalized another piece of art at the Barberini Museum in Potsdam, Germany. They threw mashed potatoes on “Grainstacks” by Claude Monet and also stuck their hands to the wall. Just Stop Oil and Letzte Generation are both climate change groups focused on stopping fossil fuel exploration, development and production. While the trend of throwing food on valuable artwork is relatively new, Climate protesters in the UK, Germany and Italy have been gluing themselves to famous works of art. Just this summer, the “Primavera” by Sandro Botticelli and “Thunderscape With Pyramus” and “Thisbe” by Nicolas Poussin were used as part of a political statement. Read more about this on page 

Rihanna Is Back To Music

On Oct. 18, Rihanna announced that she wrote and recorded two songs for the upcoming film “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” soundtrack: “Lift Me Up” and “Born Again.” On Oct. 28, the first of the two ballads and the soundtrack’s lead single, “Lift Me Up,” was released. “Lift Me Up” serves as Rihanna’s return to music, as this single is her first solo material released in six years. The writers of the R&B ballad were Tems, Ludwig Göransson, Rihanna and “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler. Ludwig Göransson, the renowned Swedish composer who scored for both “Black Panther” movies, also served as the producer. In the press release announcing the release, the writers said the ballad was “a tribute to the extraordinary life and legacy of Chadwick Boseman.” Boseman was the multiple award-winning actor who played the role of T’Challa/ Black Panther in the 2018 “Black Panther” film, and unfortunately died in 2020 at the young age of 43.

Elon Musk Twitter Acquisition 

On Oct. 27, Elon Musk officially finalized his $44 billion deal to purchase Twitter and with its completion, Musk immediately fired multiple top Twitter executives, including CEO Parag Agrawal. These layoffs are just the beginning of layoffs for the newly acquired company. This acquisition has had its chain of ups and downs as Musk has spent the last couple of months trying to get out of the deal; Twitter sued him, forcing him to honor the deal and ultimately continue with the purchase. Some of the expected rejiggering Musk will make include unbanning Donald Trump ( this was due to the Jan. 6th, 2021, insurrection in the U.S. Capitol), loosening content moderation, aka undoing Twitter’s safeguards (such as the current guidelines on removing violence, hate speech and other offensive content) and making Twitter’s stock private (Twitter’s stock will likely stop trading on the New York Stock Exchange and Shareholders will receive $54.20 per share of stock). 

Nancy Pelosi House Break In

On Oct. 28, David Wayne DePape broke into the home of Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the United States House of Representatives, and her husband Paul Pelosi’s home in San Francisco. DePape violently attacked 82-year-old Paul Pelosi with a hammer while shouting, “Where is Nancy? Where is Nancy?” According to law enforcement on the scene, the suspect intended to keep Paul Pelosi tied up until Nancy came home. On the day of the attack, Congress was in session, so Nancy was in Washington, D.C. Many raised the question of why DePape would choose to attack on Oct. 28 when Session dates are public record and available on the Congress Website, as it would have been evident that Nancy would not have been in her San Francisco home. As a result of the attack, Paul underwent surgery for a skull fracture. This attack has underscored fears of violence directed toward political figures and lawmakers who spoke against the Jan. 6 insurrection.

Supreme Court Copyright Usage Case

The ongoing Supreme Court case “Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. v. Goldsmith” has the ability to metamorph art and copyright law as it is. A 1981 photo of Prince by award-winning photographer Lynn Goldsmith served as the basis of a famous set of images by Andy Warhol. This art collection has undercovered the question that if a piece of art is “transformative” when it conveys a different meaning or message from its source material …, or whether a court is forbidden from considering the meaning of the accused work where it “recognizably deriv[es] from. ” The main objective of the case is to see if Warhol’s successors can continue to license the Prince collection for commercial use without the permission of or compensation to Goldsmith. However, the ruling of this case goes beyond Warhol and Goldsmith. It will alter how original creators are able to define ownership when other creators craft  work based on existing work, possibly affecting everything from music to AI creations.

Ernest Gaines To Appear On U.S. Stamp

It was announced that Novelist Ernest J. Gaines will be depicted on a U.S. postage stamp come January. The stamp is the 46th in the U.S. Postal Service’s Black Heritage series. This series was started by the Postal Service in 1978 to recognize the achievements of individual African Americans. Today the Black Heritage series is the longest-running U.S. stamp series. The stamp itself will be an oil paint depiction of Gaines wearing his trademark beret. Gaines’ works include “A Lesson Before Dying”, “The Autobiography of Miss Jane Pittman” and “A Gathering of Old Men”. Many of his works have been converted to television movies and have been published in at least 17 languages. His collection of literature awarded him illustrious awards such as the National Book Critics Circle Award, Ordre des Arts et des Lettres and MacArthur Fellowship.