If you’re anything like me, you probably speak fluently in Vine quotes and know just about every new meme that pops up on Twitter or Instagram. In other words, social media is deeply imbedded into your vernacular, time, and maybe even your personality. My generation, Gen Z (1997-2012), has never known a world without online access. One report said that we spent a little over four hours on our phones every day in 2017, constituting for 52% of our daily online usage. Various reports and studies have investigated the possible negative effects of excessive online usage, as well, especially in regards to social media. In 2017, a report from the Royal Society for Public Health (UK) found that Instagram was the worst social media platform for young people’s mental health, referencing how it can drive feelings of inadequacy and anxiety. I, too, have felt these negative effects in my life, and they have caused me to question how important social media really is.
Entertainment Weekly just released never-before-seen stills from Disney’s upcoming film Aladdin, a live-action remake of the 1992 animated film. Fans were quick to react, with the un-released musical trending number 1 on Twitter the same day. Not to mention, Will Smith, the actor playing Genie, garnered lots of earned media for his non-blue appearance in the pictures. This heavy social media buzz is of no surprise, as Disney’s live-action remakes continue to entice audiences over and over again.
In the past five years, Disney has released seven remakes/reboots of their own animated films. Some such as Maleficent (2014) took new twists on familiar stories, while others like The Jungle Book (2016) aimed to prim and polish old stories with all the glam, glitz, and CGI of modern cinema. Overall, the films have been widely successful, raking in millions of dollars of box office profit. The Oscar-nominated remake Beauty and the Beast (2017) brought in over $1.2 billion worldwide, and currently stands as Disney’s eighth highest grossing film.
Disney has five more remakes scheduled between now and 2020, and at least twelve others are also in the works. Despite the high profit, not everyone seems to be happy about the influx of these Hollywood remakes.
The idea of an arranged marriage may seem a bit strange to some singles in America. Many television networks have even invested in their ‘strange’ nature, broadcasting wildly dramatic reality shows like Married at First Sight and Married By Mom and Dad that follow couples who voluntarily agree to be matched with their fiancé by someone else, some possibly just doing it for the experience and not for an actual commitment.
However, arranged marriages certainly aren’t foreign to all Americans. In this New York Times article, reporter Tammy La Gorce documents the story of Jaspreet Kaur, a young American-Indian woman who was very open to an arranged marriage, but instead found love on a dating app.
Nearly one fourth of Americans are Evangelical Christians–a Protestant group of believers who trust in God’s word as found in the Bible, and believe in rebirth through Jesus Christ. In America, these Christians are often looked down upon, as many find their political beliefs to be hypocritical to their own Christian values.
As the midterm elections draw near, strong rhetoric never ceases to paint this group a negative light. In New York City, posters even appeared on the streets depicting southern Trump-supporting Christians as trash. While Trump did receive 81% of the evangelical vote during the 2016 election, marking them as a key support group for his role in office, research shows that young evangelicals are slightly less conservative than their elder counterparts. Yet even then, many still hold true to conservative beliefs, whether out of actual support or unwillingness to stray from what they are familiar with.
The midterm elections are coming around the corner at full speed, and the candidates for Georgia Governor are at each other’s throats. Republican candidate Brian Kemp and Democratic candidate Stacey Abrams are on complete opposite ends of the spectrum policy-wise, and they have been quick to claw at each other’s throats.
Disney has been under the microscope for how they have been portraying their beloved princesses. Several weeks ago, the voice of Princess Tiana, Anika Noni Rose, released a statement on instagram that Disney had been working on reanimating Tiana in the Wreck-it Ralph sequel after receiving backlash for drawing her with whitewashed features.
I’ve been taught not to watch cable news, but I couldn’t avoid it on Friday when I noticed that the food court TV broadcasting CNN was showing aerial footage of Mexico Beach, Florida. I diverted my attention from eating Chick-fil-A and typing a midterm to reading subtitles and watching a camera pan over the utterly destroyed beach town.
Hurricane Michael made landfall right off of Mexico Beach, carrying 155 mph winds over the small Forgotten Coast town. With no traffic lights, two gas stations, and a population under 1,200, the town was virtually unnoticed by the masses until now.
This past week, the #MeToo movement has been center stage amidst Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court hearings. Multiple countries have weighed in on the drama unfolding on Capital Hill, expressing distaste for our state of democracy. However, problems like sexual assault are not exclusive to the United States. Men and women face sexual abuse every day, all around the world.
In this New York Times article, author Sui-Lee Wee writes on China’s women-only subway cars, a space designed for women to avoid close contact with men and possible harassment. According to a 2015 survey in a Chinese newspaper, more than half of the women surveyed said they experienced “inappropriate touching” during transit.
However, Wee reports that men are actually riding in these women-designated cars, and no one is stopping them.