Un-fancy-ness Over Break

So, I’m sure we all know that Christmas break is finally here. So what exactly does that mean? Well, for the usual person, Christmas break means cookies, sweets, presents, bright lights, Christmas trees, family, love, and all that wonderful stuff. But for high school students, Christmas break often means mountain-loads of homework, piled on by the thoughtless and careless teachers these students have. It may seem like I’m attacking the character and spirit of school teachers; yes, this is indeed a logical fallacy, but it is also one I cannot repress any further. First of all, this time is called Christmas BREAK. Break, in this case, means a repose from school and all things school-like. And all things school-like definitely involves homework. Assuming that these teachers have loving families to return home to, it is rather safe to say that the majority of school teachers get to go home, relax, hang out with their families, and do next to nothing scholarly over Christmas break, while poor unfortunate students are stuck slaving away on study guides and reading chapters.

Not to sound diary-ish, but when I got home from school today, what was the first thing I did? Answer: I did my advanced pre-calculus homework. I’m not saying I’m a dedicated student or that I have no life. The thing is, I have relatives coming over tomorrow, I don’t want to miss out on family and love because I have to do homework. I guess this all sounds a bit rambling, but what I’m trying to express is that the homework teachers give to students over break robs them of family togetherness. I’m sorry, but when it comes to reading about U.S history, versus enjoying quality time with my relatives, I’m prone to choose the latter, as is every average high school student on the planet. In short, homework over Christmas break is an unfair thing to do to students, and it should not be considered acceptable.

Now, assuming we’ve come to terms that homework over Christmas break is unacceptable, I can also argue that it is unproductive. Who’s going to do a good job on a study guide when all he or she can think about is playing that new Halo game on a shiny Xbox 360? Who is going to retain information after gorging themselves on cookies and turkey and other delicious foods? Note that I’m not arguing of the positive versus negative impacts of students; I’m simply saying that, if students are on break, then these students should not accept the legitimacy of homework their teachers pile upon them.

The Most Classless of Classless Pranks

This story is surely old news in today’s media standards, but the issue is so astounding me I must report on it anyways. As many of us know, Princess Kate Middleton of England is pregnant. One day after she was admitted into King Edward VII Hospital in London, two Australian radio hosts from 2Day FM, an Australian radio section, phoned in a nasty prank call to the hospital, according to the Huffington Post. Supposedly pretending to be Queen Elizabeth and Prince Charles, the Australian radio hosts inquired about information regarding Princess Kate’s condition. Quoting from the Huffington Post, the radio hosts actually managed to get a hold of Kate’s personal nurse, and the conversation went “something like this”:

Fake Queen: “Kate my darling, are you there?”

Real Nurse: “Good morning ma’am, this is a nurse speaking. How may I help you?”

Fake Queen: “Hello, I’m just after my granddaughter Kate, I wanted to see how her little tummy bug is going.”

And I’m sure we all know how it all went from there. If for some reason you don’t happen to know, the personal nurse revealed information about Kate, and, when she later found out the call was a prank, the nurse committed suicide. This post was not meant to be a synopsis of the events, but rather more of a sort of comment on the Australian radio hosts. Mel Greig and Michael Christain (those are their names), first of all, are not evil people. Let’s just assume from the start they are average human beings who regularly make mistakes. On the other hand, the mistake was rather huge, and childish. Radio hosts aren’t exactly known for class to begin with, but this particular prank really sets the bar to a whole new level. I know this really sounds like I’m attacking the character of the radio hosts right now, but I promise you, I’m really not trying to do so. All I urge is that radio hosts need to be more aware of the possible consequences of their calls and conversations beyond the present moment. I’m sure we all know that words can hurt, and when those words are displayed for millions to hear, well, then, that means those words can hurt millions. To be cliche, I have heard the saying somewhere or other that “With great power comes great responsibility”. In this instance, power overtook responsibility, and a life was lost as consequence. May this apply to all blog readers and writers as well. Known your own strength.

The Horrifying Abomination that is Honey Boo Boo

Honey Boo Boo. Even the name sends waves of anger flashing through my brain. First of all, even the title of this popular TV Show gives me chills – in a bad way. Has America really arrived at the point where we allow childish language to permeate into television titles? Thinking about it a little more, ABC stands for “American Broadcasting Corporation” (acronyms.thefreedictionary.com). NBC stands for something of a similar sort. Honey Boo Boo stands for “Holy Dear Jesus God, Get This Crap Off My Television Screen Before I Vomit All Over It!” This show is a grievance to all humanity. As the great American political leader Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Indepedence,

“[W]henever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. “

Although it may not seem an obvious connection at first sight, Honey Boo Boo can insert itself into this equation as well: Firstly, Honey Boo Boo is destructive, certainly for the mind; therefore, it should be the right of the people to abolish it and eradicate it from existence. In its place, we shall institute television programs that do not turn our brains into malleable mush.

And so I declare the grievances of which Honey Boo Boo stands culprit:

I.) Honey Boo has taken over the minds of millions of Americans. It is of no secret the usurping and controlling nature of this television show. The entire success of Honey Boo Boo rests on the ability of America to laugh at its own failures – a critical mistake that we cannot make.

II.) Honey Boo Boo does not serve any sort of educational purpose whatsoever. What does one learn from watching Honey Boo Boo? How to mispronounce words? How to dress like a sack of potatoes? How to become the scummy monsters of the Earth?

III.) TLC has recently approved more episodes of Honey Boo Boo. TLC stands for “The Learning Channel.” I believe this connection is blatant enough.

IV.) Honey Boo Boo is turning an innocent child, Alana Thompson, into an object of American social media. She, essentially, is devoting her life to making herself and her family look like a gaggle of fools. Therefore, not only is Honey Boo Boo melting American minds, it is melting that of Alana. Essentially, by watching Honey Boo Boo, America is encouraging its children to act with stupidity and ignorance.

To keep this at reasonable length, I shall stop at that point. But I shall say this: America. Stop Watching Honeey Boo Boo. For our country’s sake. Please!

More Celebrity Failures: Rihanna

She fell in love with him.  He said he loved her.  Then, he beat her.  They separated – and now, they’re back together.  This seems like he plot to a horrible Lifetime movie, doesn’t it?  I wish it were so.  Unfortunately, this story is all too true – specfically, these are outlines of the celebrity relationship between Chris Brown and Rihanna.

The two met and started dating sometime in 2008.  They were known as a very romantic couple, often seeing publicly kissing and hugging.  It seemed like a fairytale relationship: A successful rapper pairs up with a successful singer.  What could go wrong?  Well, obviously something did on Sunday, February 8th, 2009, when Chris Brown was arrested on assault charges, suspected of beating Rihanna (specifically in the face).  Long story short, Rihanna and Chris Brown obviously separated from each other.  Over the next several years, Rihanna and Chris Brown continued to work separately, each releasing their own profitable albums and singles.  It appeared as though the water had calmed and the fish were swimming in separate schools.  However, this past Monday night (in the present time), Rihanna and Chris Brown were seen together, leaving a hotel and sitting together at a nightclub.  It marked the first time the press had concrete evidence of their pair’s reunion – although there had been some suspicions of this over the last few months or so, the press this time managed to take photos of Rihanna and Chris Brown, once again, snuggling and kissing.

Rihanna reunited with the evil in her life.  She even felt as though the public and the press criticized Brown too harshly.   In an interview with Oprah Winfrey on August 19,2012, “She went on to explain to Oprah that at first she was angry, frustrated that Chris would hit her, but after seeing the devastating backlash that Chris Brown had to endure she actually felt bad for him. “I felt like the only person that people hated at that time was him,” Rihanna said. “It was a weird and confusing space to be in because as angry, hurt and betrayed as I was I just felt like he made that mistake because he needed help,”.” (Z6Mag.com, 2012).  I simply don’t understand Rihanna’s recent actions.  I suppose it is natural to feel some lingering sympathy for the one you once loved.  But why would one reunite with one of the greatest evils in their life?  Does Rihanna not recognize the rampant possibility of another beating?  The answer is: obviously not, because she continues to play Chris Brown’s game.  In addition to all this, at least of Monday night, Chris Brown already has a girlfriend – who isn’t Rihanna.  So not only is Rihanna denying herself freedom from the tyranny that is Chris Brown, she is also encouraging his immoral deeds.  In one way, Rihanna does have some merit in her words: yes, Chris Brown does need help.  But it also appears to me Rihanna believes she can provide that help.  Well, to be frank, no Rihanna, you can’t.  Let Chris Brown solve his own issues before you hurt yourself.  Again.

Celebrities And Their Astounding Lack of Driving Ability

Justin Bieber gets a speeding ticket.  Amanda Bynes involves herself in multiple car accidents and the police impound her car.  Lindsay Lohan suspected of DUIs.  Throughout the years, celebrity figures in popular culture have been infamous for their vehicular issues.  What is the deal with celebrities and their inability to drive  a car?  Let us get down to the details and facts of this rather puzzling concept.

First and foremost, I personally belive the main reason why celebrities have several troubles concerning cars and driving is simply because many celebrities believe they are invincible.  They have immense personal wealth and large mansions that have the ability to hold tens of cars.  For example, Justin Bieber was driving a chrome Fisker Karma when he got a speeding ticket – a rather expensive car if I do say so myself.  Interestingly to note, in this case, Justin Bieber and the Dennis Zine, Los Angeles city councilman, cited the paparazzi as an excuse for Bieber driving at one hundred miles per hour.  Perhaps the paparazzi did truly threaten Bieber and were the main cause of his reckless driving.  This, however, still does not vindicate Justin Bieber for his actions.  To keep it short, driving at one hundred miles per hour is reckless and dangerous to those drivers around you – no matter how much your personal wealth.

There also was the case of Amanda Bynes.  A child star on Nickelodeon, Amanda Bynes has come into the spotlight recently for her shoddy driving technique.  Over the last year, according to various articles from People.com and TMZ.com, Amanda Bynes has involved herself in multiple car accidents – ranging from simple little bumps to a DUI.  She even drove on a suspended license:  “The actress, 26, who has been charged with a DUI and two counts of hit-and-run, has been spotted acting increasingly erratically over the last several months, including “bizarre” behavior at her gym, according to a source, and being involved in a string of car accidents.” (People.com, 9/20/2012).  Like Bieber, Amanda must think she is invincible – she obviously thought that she could drive a car on a suspended license and not encounter ramifications.  Distorted perceptions of reality often cloud and taint the minds celebrities.  It’s not necessarily that they have no sense of reason or logic, as one would likely think.  Rather, the more likely scenario is that celebrities lack a sense of responsibility.  Celebrities accustom themselves to limitless money, limitless resources, limitless power.  It’s time that celebrities learn to own up to their actions, pay for their misdeeds, and consider the legal and social consequences of their idiocies.   So, to Justin Bieber, to Amanda Bynes, and to other celebrities such as Lindsay Lohan: be better drivers!  Stop embarrassing yourselves in front of the world!  Stop drinking!  For the love of mankind, Please!

The Wrongness of Yoga Pants

You see them in the halls.  You see them in class.  You see them on the street.  You see them in the malls.  They’re conspicuous, they’re obvious, they’re revealing.  The identity of this presence belongs to no other than the article of clothing known as yoga pants.  I declare that the question of whether or not yoga pants should be allowed in school should be considered mainly on the basis of their distracting qualities, especially towards the male species, and also on their contributions to social stereotypes.

First of all, an important point that needs to be is that  yoga pants are very revealing – they stick tightly to the skin and often show underwear lines.  This is distracting for both male and female students.  The typical heterosexual male is, simply put, glued to this kind of revealing clothing.  Yoga pants arouse the natural male sex drive and increase dopamine levels – unfortunately, yoga pants also decrease the amount of male attention spent on learning and studying in class.  I concur that yoga pants contribute to America’s falling behind in the “education race” (Collegiate Times, 2o11).  Yoga pants are also distracting for females – they encourage oftentimes unwanted attention and strengthen the view of females as sex objects – yoga pants practically showcase the buttocks.  The real question, though, is why the distraction of yoga pants in schools is an important consideration when debating whether or not to ban yoga pants in American schools.  The simple answer is: the fact that yoga pants distract is critical to consider because yoga pants have an indirect, yet significant, impact on test scores that determine the success of American schools.

Part of reason yoga pants are distracting in American schools is because they help enforce sexual stereotypes that have been around for centuries.  Yoga pants encourage the view of females as sex objects and aid in the belief that females are of inferior status.  Simply put, yoga pants iterate the idea that the most important quality of a female is her physical appearance.  Psychalive.org provides a great point on the subject: “The media is guilty of exploiting the differences between men and women and of exaggerating the stereotypes to sell products. Sex is treated as a commodity to be exploited for profit.”.  While obviously a bit extreme compared to the argument that I am presenting in this blog post, Psychalive.org is correct.  The American media, taking advantage of the yoga pants fad for economic profit, is in the process exploiting the sexual stereotypes present for men and women – namely, that women are valued for their bodies and men only care about women because of their bodies.  If someone is considering whether or not to ban yoga pants in a school, they do need to consider the sexual stereotypes yoga pants exploit, because the allowing of yoga pants in schools has detrimental, regressive effects on the fair balance of human society.  And, of course, the display of females as sex objects, rampant in at least my own school (personal experience), is extremely distracting: to put it in layman’s terms, it is hard for the student populace to concentrate on standardized tests when there are butts hanging out everywhere.  The physical transparency of yoga pants is a dominant creator of the distraction present in American schools.

In short, the considerations that need to be weighed most heavily when deciding whether or not to allow yoga pants in American schools are the distracting nature of yoga pants and the sexual stereotypes which yoga pants exploit.  These considerations are the most important because they limit educational success (for example, the falling test scores of American schools compared to the rest of the world), and because they break down the standards for sexual stereotypes – yoga pants encourage the very same sexual ignorance and oppression that figures like Susan B. Anthony worked so hard to improve upon.

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What is this creature called “YOLO”?

#YOLO.   #LOL.  #(insert some other colloquialism here).  If you’ve never been on twitter, you might not understand these first few words.  But then again, now that more than 15 percent of Americans use twitter, you probably have some recollection of what YOLO means.

In the instance that you are not familiar with the term YOLO, it is an acronym that stands for, “You only live once.”  The term YOLO emphasizes the belief that, since each person is given only one life with which to live, why not live it up  and party and do reckless things? I understand the appeal of a term such as YOLO.  It is simple, catchy, and pairs up nicely with many dangerous events, such as bungee jumping, or driving on the Autoban.  Unfortunately, YOLO has also seeped its way into everyday speaking conversion.  “Oh, I just asked Bobby out to the dance!  YOLO!”  “Totally didn’t do my math homework last night.  YOLO!”  “I just took a dump.  YOLO!”  The extent to which YOLO is now used in everyday conversation is absolutely ridiculous.  It has replaced LOL as my personal acronym pet peeve.  LOL used to be the popular, incorrectly used acronym, often utilized on forum sites, or sites such as Facebook.  For example, one would often see a funny picture, and underneath it, a comment saying something along the lines of, “OMG THIS TOTALLY MADE ME LOL”.  In reality, this poster was probably blankly staring at their computer screen.  Unlike LOL, YOLO more commonly occurs in conversation, as stated.  And in conversation, the idiocy of the user of the term is even more apparent than online.  To me, the repeated use of YOLO in American conversation exemplifies the coercive force that corporate operations such as Facebook and Twitter have on the American populace.

For instance, whatever happened to Hakuna Matata?  The popular catchphrase from the Disney Movie “The Lion King” (1994) was around more than a decade before YOLO even came into popular use, more than a decade before Twitter even existed.  “Hakuna Matata” carries a message similar to YOLO, stating “It means no worries for the rest of your days.” (Hakuna Matata lyrics).  However, Hakuna Matata never became such a powerful word in social media as YOLO has (mainly because social media was rather underdeveloped in the 1990s).  Or even besides Hakuna Matata, there is a Latin phrase, “Carpe diem”, which translates to “Sieze the day.”      I have much more respect for this phrase compared to YOLO, as it just seems more eloquent and intelligent than YOLO.  It also is much less popular than YOLO, which also means that my ears do not have to bear it constantly every day.  After all, you don’t see millions of teenage girls shouting, “Carpe diem!” in everyday conversation.

So, to finally arrive at my final message, reader, please avoid using the word YOLO when you are talking with other people.  If you can avoid using it in social media, that would be greatly appreciated as well.  If you greatly feel the need to express your freedom and reckless, “Hakuna Matata” and “Carpe diem” are much more appropriate alternatives.