Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Everyone, chill out: Lorde is not in jail

Photo: Xavi Torrent (Getty Images)

Lorde is not in jail. We feel it’s important to make this clear up front before you, like so many others, begin to sob quietly into your hands wondering what happened to the New Zealand pop star in the time since she was last in the public eye. No, as often as you may see #FreeLORDE on social media today and in the days to come, Lorde is, for now at the very least, neither in jail or in any immediate danger of being arrested.

That’s the good news. The bad news, however, is that people are talking about Lorde being in jail because New Zealand’s opposition party has considered a policy that would fine the parents of those who, like Lorde, stopped attending school before the age of 16 without lining up a job or other form of education. As reported by The Guardian’s Eleanor Ainge Roy, this hasn’t happened and is generally an idea that’s been heavily criticized. Of course, it would probably work out just fine for Lorde anyway, seeing as she’s a wealthy celebrity.

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Just the same, look on social media and you can see for yourself how a bad policy proposal not even officially put forth by a country’s opposition party has led...to this sort of thing...

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Lorde fans, mixing their own knowledge that this is a joke with the general public not understanding what’s going on, have created the #FreeLORDE hashtag to make Twitter, not for the first time, a place where fantasy and reality have become indistinguishable. As always, Lorde’s diehard fans are extremely committed to her life and music and the rest of us can only look on in wonderment.

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Still, as completely ridiculous as this whole thing is, it actually sets a fine precedent for anyone wanting to use celebrities to raise awareness about policies that might affect everyday people. Lorde, having left school early, has done just fine and, even if fined, would be okay. Other New Zealanders, though, could end up in a bad spot due to the proposed policy. In other words, yeah, keep #FreeLORDE trending we guess.

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About the author

Reid McCarter

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Reid's a writer and editor who has appeared at GQ, Playboy, and Paste. He also co-created and writes for videogame sites Bullet Points Monthly and Digital Love Child.