GBA – Yours News, From 2015 to Bill Cosby
The Good: We’ll go ahead and start with the good news. Here are this week’s highlights.
2015!: The new year has begun! We may be a couple weeks into the new year, but the news must continue. The Good, The Bad, and The Awkward finally enters into a new year, and January marks the series’ 6th month in circulation. Each week (for the most part) we bring you the best and most interesting headlines from the good, to the bad, to the questionable. This year we hope to dive a little deeper into the true issues, rather than simply spitting what other people are spitting. Headlines change frequently, but social and economic issues often stay constant. We hope to continue to bring you the most interesting blips we can find, the most unique news on the market.
Festival Lineups: This month, several festivals are releasing the first waves of their lineups. While it seems extremely early for festival talk, these festivals are often expensive and take a lot of planning. Tickets for many of these festivals are already on sale and are sure to sell out, so the planning and coverage begins as soon as possible. As usual, the music lovers at Sensible Reason will be at several festivals to give you the inside scoop, exclusive interviews, and amazing photos. Festival culture grows exponentially each year, and while some veterans fear for what the culture may bring, the overall feeling of togetherness and love that festivals cultivate should surely blend as rookies become vets.
NFL Championship: This Sunday, football fans will dedicate an entire day to watching the last four teams in the NFL duke it out to decide who will be in the Super Bowl. At 3PM EST the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks start their game with the Indianapolis Colts and the New England Patriots immediately after. While not everyone in the country can agree with these four teams, the feeling of “maybe next year” will soon settle in, and we can all pick someone to root for, regardless of where you’re from. Football will continue to be a favorite past time for many Americans, and while not everyone likes watching it, the feeling of competition and togetherness that the fall season brings should be appreciated by most. It’s a great excuse to not shower, throw on a jersey, pop some popcorn, open a beer, invite some friends over, and scream at the TV. What else are Sundays for?
The Bad: Sometimes we forget how fragile our everyday lives can be. Here is the not-so-good news.
Je Suis Charlie: The new slogan around Europe (and elsewhere) is “Je Suis Charlie.” The phrase means I Am Charlie and it refers to the satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo which was attacked by gunmen last week, killing 12. The publication had been circulating cartoons of the Muslim prophet Mohammed, which is highly provocative. The attack made an example of publications exercising their rights to free speech, and “Je Suis Charlie” is another stand to keep the free speech alive. Immediately after the shooting, Charlie Hebdo posted another image of Mohammed on their front page, a huge statement for the publication. While 12 lives were lost, it’s pretty cool that the newspaper refuses to lie down after the attack. One downside to the whole fiasco is that the whole country of France had a moment of silence for the lives lost that day, however there are still many war torn and chaotic nations out there where lives are lost on a much greater scale. We need to start recognizing that tragedy hits every day, and we shouldn’t pick and choose our moments of silence. All gripes aside, free speech shall prevail!
House Votes on Immigration: The House of Representatives recently voted to overturn most of President Obama’s moves on immigration made in November. The bill centered around a Homeland Security Budget, but “added provisions to gut the president’s immigration directives.” Another vote centered around overturning a 2012 directive to give work permits and deportation protection to hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who entered the country as children. In this vote, it was incredibly close and even some Republicans sided with Democrats to keep these people in the country. As these bills hit the Senate, Democrats are already talking of filibusters and the Republicans who side with them are also planning on opposing the bills’ passing. While filibusters are probably the dumbest form of “government decision making” anyone has ever heard of, in this moment sending a million people back to a country they left (probably not by their own choice) as children when they’ve lived in the U.S. for years just seems cruel and unusual. Yet the Republicans say that allowing these people to stay is unconstitutional. What happened to our “melting pot” of a country?
Rape Study: In a recent study by professor Sarah Edwards, published in Violence and Gender, 86 straight male college students were asked various questions regarding violence, “manliness’, and various types of sexual behavior. Mind you the sample size for this study is extremely small with only 86 participants, but the results were statistically significant. The numbers shown that “One-third of participants (31.7%) said they would force a woman to have sexual intercourse in a “consequence-free situation” – and many wouldn’t label or recognise their actions as “rape”. Moreover, 13.6% of participants said they would rape a woman.” The study also reflected that universities’ way of dealing with and preventing sexual assault may not be the best way of going about it. On the bright side, it seems that rape on college campuses is getting to be more of a collective issue rather than a personal one. As a whole, it seems people are understanding that something needs to be done. Hopefully now we can do more than talk about it and spit numbers.
And The Awkward: Take it as good news, take it as bad news, but uh… here ya go.
Convicted & Serving in Legislature: Believe it or not, there is actually a politician out there who serves during the day, and sleeps in a jail cell at night. You heard me right, 57-year-old Joseph Morrissey of Richmond, Virginia recently plead guilty to having a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old. Following his sentence, Morrissey won a vote for re-election to the state’s House of Delegates. Umm…about that…he’s got an ankle bracelet and is allowed to leave jail to serve his duties but has a curfew and must return to his cell at night. Even weirder, he received news of his re-election from jail! The House of Delegates is attempting to make sure he has no say in anything after his recent conviction, but for now there’s a known sexual offender in Virginia’s political system. Kinda leaves a bad taste in your mouth, doesn’t it?
Bill Cosby: In light of many recent allegations against comedian and all around family guy Bill Cosby for sexual assault and harassment, the group Cosby Sweater has actually gone as far as changing their name. As if that wasn’t enough, recent Bill Cosby comedy shows have been cancelled. The comedian is under a magnifying glass and his fans are starting to turn on him. While nothing has been proven, the allegations are coming from the woodwork and the moment sexual assault is on the table, the world stops laughing. Sure we can giggle when R.Kelly wants to pee on someone, but when a beloved family figure is portrayed in such a fashion, a somber feeling hits (think Pee Wee Herman).
New Year’s Resolutions: New Year means New Year’s Resolutions. While it is awesome for people to reflect on 2014 and decide that they need to make changes, the idea of waiting until the new year to do that is a little silly. Plus, half the time people make resolutions that are vastly unrealistic. “I’m going to give up feeling bad about myself,”…well, we all feel unhappy sometimes, the moment we lose that battle the resolution has failed. The trick is to be mindful and create something that will help solve a problem, not create it the moment we have any shortcomings. Check out today’s Bear and Bread, maybe it’ll give you some inspiration. Good luck with your resolutions!