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Karen O Writes A Song To Celebrate Pioneering Journalist Nellie Bly On Google


Karen O

I should thank Karen O and Google to bring my attention on Nellie Bly! Have you seen the Google doodle on Tuesday? Karen O wrote a song to celebrate the 151th birthday of a pioneer in journalism, and the gentle acoustic tune, simply called ‘Oh Nellie’ could come straight from her ‘Crush Songs, an album she released in September 2014 via Cult Records.

So I say this is great when a simple tune makes you aware of somebody who may have been otherwise forgotten, because Nellie was a totally badass riot grrrl. a true feminist a century before it was trendy, or not!

Check this out, in 1885, she wrote an angry letter to a Pittsburgh newspaper denouncing one of their columns ‘What Girls are good for’ which was describing working women as monstrosities! She became a journalist, defending human rights, fighting for women and the poor. She faked mental illness to infiltrate an asylum on Blackwell’s island in order to report on the horrors that were going on inside (‘Ten days in a Mad-House’), and she was only in her early 20’s. She traveled to Mexico, spent 6 months working there to report on government corruption and the condition of working women, and she is the one who inspired Jules Verne for his ‘Around the world in 80 days’ novel since she traveled around the world in only 72 days, setting a world record in 1889.

After retiring from journalism, she became president of the Iron Clad Manufacturing Co at only 31, and built bowling alleys, libraries and a health clinic for her workers. Nellie was really an exceptional and extraordinary woman, I wonder why we hear about her so rarely?

‘Someone’s gotta stand up and tell ’em what a girl is good for.’ sings Karen O, ‘We gotta speak up for the ones who’ve been told to shut up,’ ‘Oh Nellie, take us all around the world and break those rules cause you’re our girl.’

Looking at her fearless attitude on stage, it’s not a surprise if Karen O took the job, teaming up with artist Katy Wu who made the original animation, and, if I am not mistaken, this is also Google doodle’s first original song… will Karen O release it?

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