No such thing as bad press?


To be talked about in the news media is something many people actively seek.

Coverage in any form of media means that you’re relevant and people care enough to publish a story about you in hopes that people will be equally as intrigued. It has become a trend in Hollywood to strive for media coverage.

Celebrities will often stage paparazzi pictures when they’re looking good or want to be seen so they can land themselves in a tabloid, and some even sell stories about themselves to the gossip magazines. You’d think that celebrities would want the stories about themselves to be image-boosting and positive, but that is not always the case.

Recently, an image of a Scattergories paper filled with the names of Lindsey Lohan’s supposed sexual partners, her “little black book” of sorts, has leaked with InTouch Weekly owning exclusive rights to it. Many questions have swirled around the leaking of this list, as  its leak coincidentally ties to the premiere of Lohan’s new reality show on the OWN network.

The list is certainly juicy, and it has Twitter, Facebook, and all the news sources, including more “serious” publications such as Fox News and the New York Daily News, abuzz. But is the list real? Or is it just an attempt to bring Lohan back into the spotlight?

It is unethical in media law to publish false information, and doing so can contribute to the crime of defamation. In the case of the Lohan List situation, no comments have come from either Lohan or her representatives, so either she is keeping mum on the situation because she is enjoying this burst of media attention or because she is behind the “leak” of the list after all.

The story behind the retrieval of the list should also be considered in regards to legitimacy. The actress supposedly crafted the list during an alcohol-infused night out with friends at the Beverly Hills Hotel on Jan. 30. She then, according to sources, “tossed the list aside.” Something as intimate as a “conquest list” is not something you just toss aside, as the names on it include a lot of powerful, rich and, for some, married men.

Lindsey's "Conquest List." Note the misspelled "Zack Effron." (Source- InTouch Weekly).

Lindsey’s “Conquest List.” Note the misspelled “Zack Effron.” (Source- InTouch Weekly).

Also, InTouch first released the list with a majority of the names blurred out.

Just recently did they uncover some of the blurred names, and still a few remain hidden. This will insure that the story has staying power, as people will want to wait and see who the still-uncovered names are.

Among the names on the list are recently engaged Ashton Kutcher, deceased Heath Ledger, New York Rangers hockey player Aaron Voros and Oscar-nominated James Franco.

While it’s possible the acquisition and legitimacy of the list is true, it seems to me as a classic case of “There’s no such thing as bad publicity” on part of Lohan. Either way, it worked and everyone’s back to talking about Lindsay. She wouldn’t have it any other way.

The obsession with Flight 370


After Malaysia Air flight 370 went missing on March 8, the news media have been obsessed with finding it. Every TV station, network, and website offers viewers new developments, clues, and even theories at any opportunity.

The story even has celebrities captivated — Courtney Love chimed in tweeting a picture of the ocean with what appears to be oil on the surface that she thought might indicate where the plane landed. (Her theory was later rejected by crowdsourcing site,

Screen Shot 2014-03-18 at 4.57.17 PMAirline issues are often in the news, from excessive airport delays to mechanical difficulties and, unfortunately, sometimes a plane crashes. However, none of these stories make the top story of news websites for 11 consecutive days.

What makes this story so interesting is the mystery of it all. Audience attention has raised many questions: Why did the plane veer off course? Who was responsible? Was it an act of terrorism or simply a freak accident? And more importantly, why is this plane so hard to find it?

So far, many of these questions have been unanswered. The flight appeared to be on the correct course from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing until all contact was lost at 1:22 a.m. The Royal Thai Air Force radar and the Malaysian military radar were able to track the plane turning west over the Indian Ocean toward the Strait of Malacca.

Investigators theorize that the plane was intentionally steered off-course, but still have no working knowledge of the plane’s final fate.

I think it is rare and particularly interesting that a story is picked up while it has more questions than answers. It doesn’t even lend itself to news coverage well, as there is no footage of the actual plane. Newscasters can only offer the new developments and interview aviation experts, occasionally throwing in some b-roll of the Indian Ocean or the aircraft tracking system. The story has become slightly more conducive to television with the background checks on the pilots and interviews of family members. In this particular case, the lack of answers is actually what causes the story to not to be newsworthy, but to stay newsworthy for so long.

However, though Flight 370 still remains a mystery, what is not a mystery is how much the families of the missing must be suffering. The story is both a mystery and a tragedy, and as the story develops, I truly hope that the media gives due respect to those who are personally affected by it. At times it is easy to become enveloped in the conspiracy and suspense, but the media must also remember that the 227 passengers lost is more than just a number.

Prankvertising market strategy spreads


Prankvertising is the name of the latest marketing fad sweeping the web.

Hidden cameras are strategically placed around the world, aiming to record people’s reactions to completely unexpected situations and spooky encounters.

A new company, Thinkmodo, has attempted to take over the market for young viewers that are most involved with viral videos.

Their most recent ad for the movie, “Devil’s Due,” garnered more than 35 million views on YouTube within the first seven days of being uploaded. The video spread like wildfire on social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.

Another popular ad from this company was their successful marketing ploy for the horror film titled, “Carrie.” Cameras were hidden inside a coffee shop in New York City and an actress appeared to be using telekinetic powers to throw objects and people (other actors) against a wall in rage.

The customers, unaware of the setup, were seen fleeing and swearing, seeking cover from this deranged woman who appeared to possess magical powers. Visual effects were also used to further enhance the mayhem.

This bizarre and unique marketing tactic achieved wonders as it increased awareness and promoted the movie greatly.

Another interesting part of this is that the company includes the behind-the-scenes footage where production crew members are seen setting up the prank. This pulls the viewer in from the start and grabs their attention for the duration of the video to see the results.

This novel marketing tactic is clearly serving its intended purpose, which is to use creativity to attract viewers and promote products and ideas. This emerges at a perfect time, as social media has compromised the average person’s attention span.

Additionally, the influx of advertisements seen everywhere — on buses, pop-up ads online, YouTube ads, for example — are flustering many consumers. People are beginning to ignore advertisements since they are too rampant and ubiquitous, diverting people’s attention elsewhere.

Prankvertising is a refreshing way to market as people are drawn in without reservations or restrictions since it’s spontaneous. People are demanding alternatives to traditional branding, and it’s an excellent way to utilize the power of the World Wide Web.

Thinkmodo founders James Percelay and Michael Krivicka, for content to go viral, the idea within it has to be really new. It has to be engaging and easy to search for. Since it’s new, you will find it when you search for it as there’s no other video like it.

I think this is an excellent strategy and it comes at a time where it will be most well received. We share videos through various social media outlets on a daily basis across countries. People love to see how others react to humorous or frightful situations, and our curiosities are piqued when the circumstances are as unique and unprecedented as this new marketing strategy.

Syrian war turns three — and worsens


The crisis in Syrian, now approaching its third anniversary, is not getting any better, as a village in the central Homs Province was seized by government forces on Saturday.

The village, Zara, is located near the Lebanese border and was previously held by the rebels. After weeks of gruesome fighting, the government has finally gained control.

Control of Zara is important to the Syrian government for the town’s large Sunni Muslim population-as the majority of Sunnis have supported the revolution-and because the town is another gain for the government’s quest to secure the Syria-Lebanon border.

This border is practically nonexistent, however, as Lebanon continues to be pulled into Syria’s war. Lebanese Sunnis and Shiites alike continue to pour into Syria- each fighting for different sides.

The civil war has taken more than 140,000 lives and more continue to be taken every day in battles themselves as well as other terrorist attacks. 2.5 million Syrians have already fled the country.

About 60 miles south of Zara, a town called Yabroud is now being targeted by the government forces. Another town on the edge of the Lebanese border, Yabroud is rebel held and has reported heavy aerial attacks.

UNICEF, Armani provide water to world


UNICEF and Giorgio Armani have joined forces to help those who do not have water by challenging those who cannot put their cell phones down.

The challenge is to not touch your phone for 10 minutes and, by doing so, donating one day’s worth of water for a person in need.

To take the challenge, visit on your phone, then follow the instructions on screen. I took the challenge and have a record of one hour and two minutes. Enough time and water to give to six people who do not have enough to get by.

I also have a couple of 10 minute attempts, but when I saw that day’s record of 254 hours, 27 minutes and 42 seconds, the competitive side in me was inspired to leave my phone for just a bit longer each time to boost my record.

While the page is active it flashes facts to keep you entertained such as how much water you have currently supplied, how much water you will supply in the next 10 minutes and even how many smiley face text-messages have been sent in the time you have not used your phone.

It’s good to see a big name company like Armani involved in a project like this, not only is it good marketing for Armani, but it also benefits children and others in developing countries. The Web page gave me a good feeling.  Get away from your phone, you don’t really need it.

Not all riots are merciless


Members of Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist art collective based in Moscow, were attacked this week while eating at a McDonald’s in Russia.

Six men wearing political paraphernalia came after two of the group’s primary members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, with paint from syringes and threw garbage at them as they were eating breakfast.

This is neither the first nor the last time the dissident members of Pussy Riot will be in the headlines for being targeted by government officials and radicals.

However, with the power of social media and video documentation, Pussy Riot has been able to make a positive, yet controversial, mark in Russia and across the Western hemisphere. It has done so by promoting an equal rights agenda through provocative musical performances.

These performances and “riots” are videotaped and spread around the Internet until government officials demand for them to stop. Only issue is, they never stop.

After this week’s attack, the women took to YouTube immediately to affirm the obscene behavior they had unfortunately encountered from sexist and prejudiced individuals. Even in 2014, the art collective continues to strike a nerve in Russia.

“It hurts! Why are you doing this?” Tolokonnikova said in the video, with green stains on her face and hands. “You don’t have the right to hurt me. Please don’t do that to anyone anymore.”

After the band members posted the video of the attack online, the global response was proliferating — and in retrospect, all publicity is good publicity for such activists. This assault is another example of the corrupt mentality plaguing Russia.

Pussy Riot is distinguished in the West as a group of courageous activists who continue to fight for the most basic human right — the freedom of speech. However, as illustrated in this post, the group’s provocative and, at times, disruptive approaches to art activism are still unappealing to the ultra conservative, “Putinistic,” eye.

The Blade Runner’s fall from grace


In the 2012 London Olympics, one man touched the hearts and inspired the minds of millions around the globe, no matter the country.

That man was Oscar Pistorius of South Africa. The Blade Runner. He was the man who became an Olympic athlete despite losing both of his legs and was able to run with the help of prosthetics. His story seemed too perfect even for Hollywood, but one night last summer, everything came crashing down.

Today, Pistorius sits in a South African court, on trial for the cold-blooded murder of his girlfriend. Although he pleaded not guilty, the evidence seems to be piling up for  conviction.

Pistorius has admitted to shooting his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, but he claims that he thought that she was an intruder. Personally, that seems like a thin excuse, at best, and a ridiculous one at worst.

Seriously, how do you not recognize your own girlfriend? Why would you blindly shoot at someone without clarifying who it is? If his story were true, all that Reeva would have had to do to prevent tragedy is say, “Hey Oscar, it’s me.” Hopefully, the judge will use reason to lock Pistorius up and throw away the proverbial key.

It’s sad to see that a man that people all over the world once respected and admired is actually a monster. This situation reminds me of once-beloved Lance Armstrong’s fall from grace, except that Armstrong never killed anyone.

It is also disappointing in many ways that because of Pistorius’ celebrity, all of the media coverage surrounding this trial is focused on him, rather than Steenkamp. While it is because of who Pistorius is that this trial is such big international news, the memory of his victim should certainly not be forgotten.

How will the marijuana world adapt?


The first license to legally sell marijuana in Washington state was given to Sean Green this week. Green, chief executive of Kouchlock Productions, is already an established businessman, operating a medical marijuana dispensary.

This is a big step for the state and will set precedence for the nation. Although marijuana has been legalized, it’s still technically not legal yet since the marijuana shops haven’t been built.

Green isn’t shy about his plans either. He’s made it very clear that he’s a supporter of getting, “stoned,” and will even create a “super-joint.” This involves creating a candle out of cannabis and flowers.

Other than being beneficial to marijuana users in Washington, Green also believes his company will be successful because he will be providing (legal) jobs.

For those of you who might be worried about Green’s ability to properly run his recreational marijuana business, he had to pass certain tests before obtaining his license. This includes passing a criminal and financial background check, making a business plan, and choosing a location not too close to schools or daycare centers.

I think that this will be a great milestone for those who enjoy recreational use of marijuana, but I can’t help but think of all of the potential problems that its legalization will bring.

For example, marijuana use will be legal for those 21 and older and, like alcohol, those underage will still find a way to get it by any means they find necessary.

But maybe not. What will happen to the underground marijuana dealers? Will some of them remain illegitimate to sell to underage customers? Will some of them clean up a little bit, apply for a license, and become legitimate businessmen?

I think that it’s going to be interesting to see how the whole underground marijuana market fares through this, if most of it will remain underground or come into the real world and do things like start paying taxes. It’s been running pretty well for over 75 years so it will definitely take some time for it to adapt.

Green’s shop is set to open in this summer. Like the other pioneers of the recreational marijuana business, he will  be closely watched and heavily reported on. Their success could be what other states need to be propelled into approving marijuana recreationally.

It will be interesting to see how this all turns out when summer finally comes. Will there be strikes from drug-free advocates? Will users be lined up down the street? It has become an on-going national news story.

Most importantly, which state will be the next to approve it?

The need for a college degree


College is, to put it lightly, expensive.

According to the College Board, the average cost of tuition and fees for the 2013–14 school year was $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents attending public universities; and this is not including the loss of salary from four plus years out of the work force.

Looking at these prices, it’s no wonder we’ve all heard the horror stories of the debt some students rack up while going to school. It is even worse for those who pay to graduate with a degree in one field, but choose a career in another, making their college degree somewhat insignificant.

Because of the risk we take in paying for a college education, deciding whether or not to attend college can be daunting. However, seeing as I am one of the students taking an economic leap of faith by investing in my college education, I am determined to prove I am not wasting my time and money.

Although the horror stories of wasted money do exist, for the most part college will help you economically. Huffington Post reports college graduates earn approximately 84 percent more than those whom only graduate high school. NPR reports that people who graduate from college are more likely to stay in the work force longer, due to their jobs typically being less physically demanding.

Being able to stay in the work force longer means a better and more stable retirement plan. NPR says, “If you have a postgraduate degree, you will make — just in your retirement years – three to five times what a worker with only a high school education or less will earn at age 65 going forward”.

While college may seem like a lot, you are only paying and sacrificing your time for four years and the economic benefits you reap from a degree last a lifetime.

Still for students majoring in journalism, using to ‘find a better job’ as a reason to attend college may fall flat. A career in journalism without a degree — while hard to attain — is possible. So why pay for college to land a job where it isn’t necessary?

Well, in addition to helping you get a job, a college degree can give you what is needed to advance within the workforce. While you may start out with the same career, as someone with a lesser education, when employers are looking at their workers a college degree may be the extra push you need to land the promotion.

Looking beyond economics, college also gives many students the opportunity to explore fields of study they otherwise wouldn’t, it expands our horizons and can either help you find a passion for a study you didn’t think you had or confirm that you’re in the field you are meant to be in.

The last benefit I want to emphasize is that college makes you happier! Pew Research Center show that 42 percent of people with a college degree said they were “very happy,” whereas only 30 percent of people without a degree said the same.

It’s not clear exactly why this is especially because each person’s experience is unique to them. But college can enrich our lives on so many levels, whether it is the validation of intelligence, a mental push and stimulation, or the friendships we make while attending school.

College for these reasons can be worth more than the price tag we assign it. Perhaps what I’m trying to say might be best summed up in the style of MasterCard’s “Priceless” campaign. Tuition: $30,094, textbook: $124, coffee: $4.50, the feeling after graduation: priceless.

The NBA’s ‘tanking’ problem


If you’re not first, you’re last. That’s how many NBA owners and general managers feel.

In the NBA, the concept of “tanking,” or purposely-losing games, is a strategy that has become popular in recent years.

Those in the management circle of franchises know the worst place to be in the NBA is stuck in the middle. Teams that consistently make the playoffs, but lose in the first round, have very few methods to get better.

Larger market teams such as the New York Knicks and Los Angeles Lakers do not deal with such problems, as their cities help them lure free agents to their teams.

Nevertheless, smaller markets do not possess the glitz and glamour lifestyle to help them lure top-tier talent.

The NBA has a procedure that essentially rewards teams for losing games. By losing the most games, you have the highest chance of obtaining the No. 1 draft pick.

This system begs teams to lose games, making the product on the court worse.

Owners care about fans for one reason and one reason only, money. They will put them through endless seasons of losing basketball as long as their profits continue to increase.

It is necessary for Commissioner Adam Silver to change the lottery system the draft is run on. Fans are being robbed by paying absurd ticket prices only to see a team not give its full effort.

If the NBA is going to continue preaching progression, it is time for them to fix the draft.

Did media cause school shooting hoax?


On Thursday, March 6, 2014, around 2:30 p.m., a call was made to 911 claiming that a student at Beverley Hills High School was being held hostage by a student gunman.

After the school — and surrounding schools — were placed on lockdown and, after much investigation, it was determined that the call was a hoax.

Is it possible that the media are to blame for this inappropriate prank?

After all of the recent school shootings, such as those at Sandy Hook, many precautions have been taken at schools around the world. In addition, media attention over such situations have thrived.

Due to the increase in media attention and the extra focus on safety in schools, students may now be seeking their own personal source of attention through these events.

Because of the hyped up nature of the crime, students see the potential for the magnitude of reporting these events.

Besides the hostage hoax at Beverley Hills High School, an anonymous bomb threat was reported through social media site, Yik Yak, at San Clemente High School. This, too, turned out to be a hoax.

With the feared epidemic of school shootings, comes a possible epidemic of reported fake shootings. With the rise in recognition of the topic, comes a bigger gain of attention for each reported crime. Students know that all threats and tips will be treated with the utmost importance and seriousness.

This developing popularity, may be increasing the amount of fake tips, which in turn, can lessen the validity of future reports.

Uproar against ‘upskirting’


The highest court of Massachusetts ruled Wednesday that it was not illegal to take photos up the skirts of women without them knowing. And the decision is getting a lot of news media attention today.

Massachusetts Supreme Court Justice Margot Bostford of the said that these “upskirt” photographs were not technically against the law because technically the women were not nude or partially nude.

The ruling was based on the court case about Michael Robinson, 32, who was arrested in 2010 after being accused of taking cell phone photographs and videos up the skirts of women while riding Boston transportation. Police arranged a decoy operation that caught Robinson in the act. Wednesday’s ruling reversed one by a lower court that denied Robinson’s motion to dismiss the case, according to CNN.

After the decision was announced, social media exploded against “upskirting.” Citizens claimed the right to privacy beneath their own clothing.

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 11.06.27 AM

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 11.06.09 AM

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 11.03.44 AM

Screen Shot 2014-03-06 at 11.07.04 AM

A slew of prosecutors and lawmakers disagree with the decision and are trying to change the law, agreeing that the technicalities of the law violate the spirit of protecting privacy.

It seems like the Massachusetts court system has some explaining to do.

Right now, the state has various wiretapping laws in place. According to the Digital Media Law Project, it is illegal in Massachusetts to secretly record a conversation, whether in person or by another medium. All parties must be informed of the recording in a conversation or telephone call. If the parties do not wish to be recorded, they have a right to leave the conversation.

But, it is legal to secretly snap photos of their underwear.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’ll give my consent to be recorded on tape rather than have someone sneak a few photos up my skirt without me knowing. Of course the privacy of conversations is important, but how can the courts assume that undergarments aren’t private too?

“Upskirting” is not only a violation of privacy, but also demeaning to women. Upskirters (if that’s a word now) should be aware that if they get caught, they may not be charged with violating privacy, but will likely be slapped with a sexual harassment lawsuit.

What goes up, must come down, just like the law on “Upskirting.”

Does God live in Hollywood?


The Oscars this past Sunday had it all: a pizza party, Meryl Streep and Pharell dancing, a record breaking selfie and, of course, many memorable acceptance speeches.

There was Jared Leto, whose heart-touching speech thanked his mom, acknowledged the tragedy in Venezuela and Ukraine, and was dedicated to the millions of people around the world with AIDs. Lupita Nyong’o made her speech all about following your dreams, saying, “When I look down at this golden statue, may it remind me and every little child that no matter where you’re from, your dreams are valid.” And of course, most every actor who accepted an award thanked their directors, fellow co-stars, and producers.

But this year, a common figure to thank in Oscar acceptance speeches was missing–God. It seems as though, in years past, the first person an award winner would thank would be God or Jesus. The only individual to mention God in their speech this year was the quintessential southern christian boy, Matthew McConaughey.

He did not just briefly mention God’s name either. McConaughey stated, “I want to thank God, because that’s who I look up to. He’s graced my life with opportunities that I know are not of my end or any other human end. He has shown me that it is a scientific fact that gratitude reciprocates. When you’ve got God, you’ve got a friend.”

Many people responded negatively to McConaughey’s religious devotion in his speech. Tweets like, “Shhh McConaughey stop talking about god you’re ruining it” (@astral_cars) and “When did Matthew McConaughey turn into Joel Osteen?” (@LaineyGossip) swirled about the “Twittersphere” during and after his speech. Even the audience in attendance did not respond too warmly to the God part of McConaughey’s speech, as there was timid applause in comparison to when McConaughey mentioned his dad in heaven and even quoted Dazed and Confused, McConaughey’s first major role, with “Alright, Alright Alright.”

Hollywood has always been seen as a more liberal land, with more libertarian views rather than the conservative. Strong religious views have been mocked and practicing religion is often seen as an ultra conservative activity in Hollywood, versus atheism or not practicing or declaring a religion at all. Hollywood is becoming very secular.

McConaughey’s breakaway from secularization and the negative response he received because of it is proof of the lessening presence of faith in our modern society. We treat those who are religious as the minority now, even “jesus freaks.” It’s just not “cool” or “hip” to be religious.

Maybe McConaughey, with his southern drawl, drug past, beautiful wife and shiny new award will change Hollywood’s perception of religion and mentioning God in a speech will draw actual applause rather than backlash.

Media fuel marijuana movement


Medical marijuana is now legal in 20 states across America — with two of those allowing recreational use — and the number is continuing to rise.

With 58 percent of Americans supporting the legalization of marijuana, this statistic is miles away from what it is was decades ago. What is contributing to this rise in acceptance?

Perhaps it is the media, as many Hollywood blockbuster movies show characters using marijuana. From Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character in “50/50” using pot medicinally to ease his life with cancer, to Paul Rudd and Leslie Manns’ characters in “This is 40” eating pot cookies on a weekend getaway, marijuana use is being portrayed much differently and with much more acceptance than it was when “Reefer Madness” was released in 1936, for example.

Many TV shows depict marijuana use in this same casual way. It was an integral part of the plot of “That 70’s Show,” for example, as the show documented the main characters frequent use of it and subsequent laughs and adventures experienced because of it. Shows like this continue to influence the younger generations to see the use of marijuana as harmless and socially acceptable.

The Internet is another way support for legalization is being created. With countless websites dedicated to advocating marijuana, it is easier than ever for people to share their opinions and search for statistics, research and studies done on the subject.

For better or for worse — the general consensus is better — the media and Hollywood are fueling the fire that is marijuana legalization.

Websites push us to ‘pay attention’


With the Olympic Games, world news has attracted a new sort of spotlight. Controversy over South Africa’s gold medal winner Oscar Pistorius’ murder trial has brought  Africa’s trial system into this spotlight and, subsequently, post-apartheid matters and conflict.

This is, by far, minor news compared to stories of dangerous protests and political meltdowns in Venezuela, Ukraine, Syria and Thailand. World news websites explicitly display videos and pictures of beaten protestors and tortured prisoners in an attempt to show, rather than tell, the horrors that are happening in parts of the world most people don’t ever really think about.

This takeover of news websites by world news gives me hope that the world today — all the people, consumed by day-to-day problems like bad drivers, test grades, piles of paperwork or long lines — will, in the midst of all the current international chaos, take a step back and at least acknowledge what is happening around the world.

Living in the United States, we have advantages that other countries don’t have: geographically, most countries have to cross the sea to get to us militarily; and the U.S. holds more than half of the entire world’s military power, keeping us safe and comfortable. Because of our strength and location, most of the younger generation in the United States do not even glance at the conflicts in European, Middle Eastern and Asian countries. The generation of our parents had to face the Cold War, but, as their children, we have not faced the immediate danger of an impending war and have no idea what the terrors of war could be like.

All of the sudden, though, front pages preview all kinds of internationally based stories: death, violence, and dangerous government reform protests in Ukraine, Venezuela, and Syria, Russia’s ‘declaration of war’ on Ukraine, North Korea’s missile launches, terrorist attacks in China, and radical groups dropping bombs in Nigeria. While not all of these attract the same amount of attention, the complete political meltdowns in Ukraine, Venezuela and Syria have attracted the gaze of those distracted American eyes.

Now, several writers on the Internet are calling on us to pay attention and help, saying that now there are so many conflicts that we cannot ignore them — saying that we have to take a stance on what’s happening. I believe that this is a growing trend and it has incredible potential. The younger generation is picking up on these articles and posting them on Facebook for their friends to notice. These articles call for my generation not only to take a stance but also to be passionate about it — to be passionate about it enough to at least educate others about the problem.

One article mentioned how my generation likes to liken itself to the generation of the 1960s, of Woodstock, peace and “flower power.” While we have our own form of Woodstock, while we carry the same “one love” attitude to these festivals, we are not them by any means. ‘They protested the Vietnam war, led a sexual revolution, fought for women’s rights and civil rights and changed the landscape of America for good.

We watch Netflix a lot and claim to be hipsters, but are okay with our alternative culture to be entirely superficial, free of substance or meaning. But we could be true hipsters, if we tried. There’s a lot that should be upsetting enough for us to integrate actual ideals and principles to our way of life beyond wearing boots in 80-degree weather and listening to music that sounds nothing like music.

I have one thing to say to these writers: preach on. Good luck, because in the midst of chaos, someone should be preaching about the problems that the world is facing. Maybe these articles on the Internet have more power than the writers think they do because they push for peaceful action, for standing up for what we say we do and for, at least, knowledge.

For more information, go to: