What Milk is Thankful for in 2015

Every year, on the third Thursday of November, Americans sit down to gorge down tons of food, watch football, and suppress the memory that Thanksgiving is a day built around the Pilgrims’ betrayal of the Native Americans. But even though the history of the holiday is a little irksome, there is something very peaceful about being surrounded by people you love (or at least tolerate) while unbuttoning your pants and reminiscing about the things we are thankful for. 2015 has been a whirlwind of a year, and although we have a little over a month until we countdown the best of the year, here are seven things we’re thankful for.

We Can Smoke Weed Just Like Snoop Dogg Smokes Weed

Before you roll your eyes so far back into your head that they get stuck there, please read on. While we don’t want to sound like the typical Middle School fuckboi who calls himself a stoner after taking not one, but TWO drags off of a marijuana cigarette, we have to recognize that this has been a big year for weed, and we’re with it. Not only have three of the ganja gods, Snoop Dogg and Willie Nelson, come out with their own strains of the green, but in January the world’s biggest weed museum opened in Barcelona.  Earlier in the year, news also surfaced that William Shakespeare might actually have been a big smoker himself, which puts him in great company with other weed advocates like Bernie Sanders. With more and better delivery services (and blinged out vapes) than ever before, and news that a joint at day keeps the doctor away, we’re thankful that we’ll be able to crush a bit, little bit, roll it up, and take a hit before attacking that Thanksgiving feast.

Us right before going ham on the Thanksgiving buffet

Our Favorites are Creating New Reasons to Keep Living

Everyone loves a good story of the underdog triumphing, but 2015 was all about the popular kids making triumphant comebacks (sorry, there’s always 2016). While we could just bore you with a list of 20 or so things that came back this year (including an O.C. Musical, a Mean Girls spinoff, and a Kids cast reunion), we’re gonna give you the ones that actually made us stand up from our chairs and jump up and down while crying. Annie Leibovitz brought back her incredible series ‘Women’ with some new and empowering female faces, while legendary fashion house Poiret is resurrecting for another chance on the runway. But let’s be honest, the most exciting comebacks were in the music world, with Missy Elliot giving us the best new song to teach your little cousins how to dance, and David Bowie giving us the best new song with which to have pagan rituals with your hippie uncle.

We'd missy-ed you <3
We’d missy-ed you <3

Space is Doing Some Crazy Beautiful Shit

Sometimes it’s hard to remember that space isn’t out there, away from us, but that we’re actually a part of it. So whenever incredible things happen beyond our human understanding, that feeling of humility is incomparable. Take for example the asteroid that missed hitting the Earth by a hair…on Halloween no less. Or the fact that earlier this month UFO sightings were recorded in Los Angeles, only to be ‘covered up’ by the government as missile tests (our eyebrow is raised so far into our hairlines with this one). But aside from the stuff that has happened on our planet, so much other cool shit happened elsewhere as well. The striking first images ever of Pluto and breathtakingly electric photographs of Black Holes spewing all of its contents into and space immediately became wallpapers for every computer. But perhaps no news was as exciting to space aficionados (or Earth haters) as the fact water was found on Mars. Time to propose a family trip to the red planet, or at the very least to explore the black void in search for all those unpaired socks that have disappeared throughout time. The truth is out there, and your grandmother needs to hear about it.

Just like your Thanksgiving meal, what goes into a Black Hole must come back out
Just like your Thanksgiving meal, what goes into a Black Hole must come back out

Zola Gave us the Modern Day Epic

“Y’all wanna hear a story about why me & this bitch here fell out??????” was the shot heard around the cyber world. On October 27th, the Internet blessed the world with an Epic the likes of which have not been seen since the days of Homer. With a similarly prosaic name, Zola, a stripper from Detroit, became a beacon of hope for modern day story telling as she recanted – through Twitter, no less – her incredible journey of prostitution, drugs, murder, and attempted suicide…all during a weekend getaway in Florida. There are two reasons we’re thankful for Zola’s story this year:

1. If you haven’t read it yet, it’s something to do while waiting for the Turkey to come out of the oven.

2. If you have read it, then it’s the perfect story to share with your family members. This tale not only beats every other story this year, but it’s also the perfect way to avoid getting the third degree about your relationships, job, and general meaning of life. ‘No Aunt Linda I’m not married yet, but let me tell you about when Jarret ran out the balcony…’

Give Zola the Nobel Prize in literature
Give Zola the Nobel Prize in literature

Prince Makes Everyone Else’s Instagram Selfies Look Weak

Prince – the artist formerly known as ’the artist formerly known as Prince’ – is infamously specific, having denied any streaming devices his music, and removing all of his videos from Youtube . So it came as a surprise to everyone when a month ago Prince opened a public Instagram profile. The account, named Princestagram (duh, what else?) is exactly what you would expect from the purple god, with almost every post being selfies of both yesteryear, and modern day, and an occasional meme (which still revolve around Prince) strewn here and there. And while the Insta might just look like what you would get when Googling “Prince images,” the true beauty – and the real reason we’re grateful for his account – are the captions. Photos featuring the rockstar wearing sunglasses are titled “THE SHADE,” while another photo of him playing guitar reads “MY BEST FRIEND IN MY HANDS 😏.” He refers to his “PURPLE ESSENCE” and asks for his fans’ opinions. However his crowning moment was just last week, when he threw it back to a a photo of himself with a brick-sized cellphone and a caption that read “HELLO…IT’S ME,” bringing the Adele fandom to a whole new level. Project his account on the wall after dessert and let the whole family sing along to ‘Purple Rain.’ Ultimate bliss.

Help, the Internet might crash from perfection.
Help, the Internet might crash from perfection

Fashion is Finally Catching Up with Diversity

While there’s still a long, loooooong way to go, we’re thankful for the steps taken by the fashion industry to embrace a slightly less pale point of view. Just a few days ago, supermodel and excellent chef Jourdan Dunn took home her third British Fashion Award for model of the year, and the category was also two thirds non-white (shouts to Malaika Firth!). Lineisy Montero walked so many runways that we’re amazed she can still stand. Brands like Pyer Moss focused their collections around the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and designers including Hood By Air and Gypsy Sport delivered on casting diverse models (hopefully cast through this groundbreaking modeling agency). Tokyo Fashion Week even featured a show centered on models with disabilities. The Fashion Week diversity numbers are still pretty dismal, but every year, a little bit more progress gets made.

Hooray for a more accurate representation in fashion!
Hooray for a more accurate representation in fashion!

Through the Horrors of Violence, Solidarity and Love Prevails

Even though this year was grappled with horrible violence, from racial-driven police brutality, worldwide ISIS attacks, LGBTQ targeted attacks, and the Syrian refugee crisis, it has been incredibly heart-warming to see humans sticking up for other humans. Even though some protests have been met with disorder, the Black Lives Matter movement is stronger than ever, and fight every day to bring justice to those killed because of racism – from marching the streets to successfully taking down the confederate flag and even staging walkouts from universities. 

The trans community has more visibility than it has before and has finally gotten a platform where the likes of Laverne Cox, Caitlyn Jenner, and Andreja Pejic, amongst others, have shed light to the ongoing brutality that their community is met with. Furthermore, the LGBTQ community has made incredible strides worldwide, with the U.S., Mexico, and Ireland legalizing same-sex marriage, and Cuba, China, Israel, become louder and prouder. But inclusion wasn’t just limited to those of age, as both the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts refused to take part in any discriminatory practices over who can join their troops!

Feminism has been one of the most talked about issues this year, and campaigns like Free The Nipple have met another powerful ally with period pride advocates. Female artists like Petra Collins, Guerrilla Girls, Chloe Wise, Arvida Bystrom, and Mayan Toledano (amongst maaaany others) are deservedly taking over the art world and empowering slews of people through their work.

And even though the world has been met with unbearable terror, from narco violence in Mexico, to ISIS attacks in Beirut, Mali, Syria, and Paris, to name a few, people are taking to the streets to show that no amount of fear will keep the people down. In a time where it can be easy to focus on the bad and evil in the world, we are – more than anything else on this list – thankful to see that love cannot be killed. Spread love, spread peace, and enjoy time with your family and friends!

Because the only thing stronger than hate is love
Because the only thing stronger than hate is love

From the Milk family to you – happy holidays!

Photos via NPR, the Huffington Post, Instagram, Weeklypique, and Twitter

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