Why you should care
Because over the past six months, these stories were the most popular on OZY. And we thought you might like to see them again.
A good story delivers a good message. Sometimes that message can be about love, sometimes about war – and yes, sometimes even about Twitter. These stories were the most read on OZY during our first six months. From a former president with something important to say about health care, to a former spy with something important to say about Ukraine. From using the Web as an unconventional way to grieve, to using it as a way to rebrand a tyrant. And from a missive to the first lady, to a misty-eyed memory of a celebrity couple.
This week, OZY is celebrating its six-month anniversary with six roundups of our best stories. Here are our six most read stories from the past six months.
Few people have spent more time thinking about how to make national health care a reality than former President Clinton. Watch as he sums up some of the thorniest aspects of Obamacare, and hear the comments that kicked off a national debate over whether President Obama should modify the Affordable Care Act to allow people to keep their current health insurance plan.
What’s going on in Ukraine is as much about Russia as it is about Ukraine. And it’s plenty about history, too. John McLaughlin, one of the nation’s former top spies, reminds us that what we are now seeing in Kiev has happened once before. What’s next for Ukraine is truly up for grabs. But even amid the maelstrom, what is happening in Kiev recalls a triumph of hope and vision over paralysis and stagnation. Would that the Ukrainian road ahead were smooth and straight. But regrettably, it is steeply uphill — and may have been paved with Russian bricks.
Michelle Obama has been one of the most transformative first ladies ever, so imagine what would happen if she put herself front and center over the next few years. As we head into the last 1,000 days of her reign as first lady, OZY says: Let it rip, Michelle! Bring on the smile and the style, double down on the military families initiatives and make some noise about education.
This profile of Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov juxtaposes his bloody reputation with his adorable Instagram feed. On the one hand, there’s the gold-plated gun, his pledge to “keep killing as long as I live” and suspicion that he was involved in the murders of journalist Anna Politkovskaya and human rights activist Natalia Estemirova. And on the other, there are pictures of him playing with his kids and snuggling with baby chickens, deer and tigers. Can an Instagram feed soften a tyrant’s image? Nope. In fact, we’re pretty sure that a “lo-fi filter on a torture chamber” makes it even more chilling.
What’s the worst thing you can do at a funeral? Dress inappropriately? Bring a snack or a date? Forget to silence your phone? OK, how about snapping a photo of yourself — a selfie — and posting it online? [Cue audible gasp.] If you are unfamiliar with the concept of the #funeralselfie, this may come as a shock. But it’s becoming a common practice among the younger generation, and some professionals think it’s simply putting a 21st-century face on grief.
Is there anything as sweetly nostalgic as J-Simps, Nick Lachey and their dimples singing together alongside images of one of the best Disney films ever? Could you imagine another reality TV couple — say Kim Kardashian and Kanye West — recording a music video like this? OZY gives you the opportunity to briefly return to a world where the newlyweds loved each other so much, and we loved them.