After four hectic months working remotely from Austin as the weekend editor for the New York–based news and entertainment website BuzzFeed, Summer Anne Burton accepted a full-time editing position with the company in 2012. For someone who loves creating and curating things on the Internet—she has an active Tumblr, a blog featuring her drawings of major league baseball Hall of Famers, and another blog devoted to obscure music from the fifties and sixties—it was a dream job.
Kendall Jones’ Facebook page features a lot of selfies. In that way, she’s like any other 19-year-old college student. She’s a petite blonde cheerleader who poses in almost all of them with a big smile on her face. But the comments on her photos are pretty rough—usually from strangers who have harsh words for her. “She looks like an alien reptiloid not a a human…,” one declares. “Kendall there is something very cold and empty inside of you,” another starts. In most of Jones’ pictures of herself, she’s posing in camo fatigues, crouched down, to better show off the body of a dead animal she’s killed.
There are shots of Jones with dead zebras, with dead lions. There’s one with her as a young girl posing with a dead white rhino and a rifle. In another, she’s smiling next to a cape buffalo with a bright red wound still visible in the creature’s belly. She smiles next to a dead hippo, proudly displays the bow and arrows she used to bring down another lion, lounges next to a dead cheetah splayed out on a rock. There’s one in which she’s small, in the background, to better demonstrate the size of the elephant whose body she stands proudly over, rifle in the air.
It’s not exactly a mystery why so many of the people who comment on Jones’ public Facebook page (she’s set it up so that she’s declared a “public figure” by the site) have mean things to say. Those are a whole lot of majestic creatures, and Jones is proudly posing with their dead bodies and the weapon she used to bring them down.
It’s made her something of an Internet celebrity in recent days. Part of that’s the dead animals, of course—but it’s not like Jones is the only big game hunter to pose with a trophy. She might be the only 19-year-old cheerleader on Facebook to feature so many pictures, though, and it’s clear that the juxtaposition of a fresh-faced young woman and dead animal bodies can strike a visceral nerve for some people. If the person posing with the felled creature looks like, say, Ted Nugent, the outrage tends to be limited. But put a young woman in the photo and it’s a viral sensation.
Earlier this month, Dallas failed once again to be considered as a potential host city for the Summer Olympics. This decision wasn’t made by the International Olympic Committee—the city’s bid never made it that far. Instead, it was rejected by the U.S. Olympic Committee, a domestic organization that helps determine which U.S. cities that want to throw their hat in the Olympics-hosting ring have the best shot at bringing the Games back to U.S. soil. The USOC dumped Dallas, and kept Boston, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., and San Francisco.
It was a familiar tale for Olympics-watchers who’d longed to see the Games played in Big D; a similar bid for the 2012 Summer Games was rejected in 2001. The United States has hosted the Olympics Games more than any other country, with four each among the Summer Olympics and the Winter Games. Those host cities include Salt Lake City, which hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics, and Atlanta, which put on the 1996 Summer Games, as well as such locales as Lake Placid, New York; Squaw Valley, California; and Los Angeles, which has twice played host to the event.
In a report from the Dallas Morning News, staff writer Jeff Mosier lays out the reason why Dallas continues to play bridesmaid, rather than bride, when it comes to the Olympics:
Local Olympic organizers in 2001 said Dallas’ perceived lack of international stature sabotaged its pursuit of the 2012 Summer Games. A statement from the U.S. Olympic Committee — after Dallas was dropped this month from consideration for the 2024 games — hinted at the same issue.
That statement said there were no doubts about Dallas’ ability to host the Olympics, and the USOC planned to work with the officials to “enhance the international awareness of the city.” For those who worked on the Dallas 2012 bid, the new wording evokes memories of the early 2000s.
“I’m not sure much has changed in the past 14 years,” former Arlington Mayor Richard Greene said about how Olympic officials view the region.
He and Ron Kirk, Dallas’ mayor at the time, both blamed the failure of the 2012 effort on the area’s lack of international appeal.
“They did say, ‘We are really looking for a city with an international profile,’” Kirk told The Dallas Morning News at the time. “We still have work to do in terms of becoming well-known around the world.”
In other words, if the world’s Olympics-attending community is going to spend 17 days enjoying a city, it appears that the USOC lacks the confidence that Dallas is where they’d like to do it.
See that headline up there? We’re pretty sure that you clicked on this piece out of a sense of outrage. See folks, we can do what VICE, the snarktacular international media outlet, does, too.