Strong Reactions / Happy holidays, Charlie Brown

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor Follow her at  @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Among all of the chaos of the holiday season, one thing our culture depends on to save us is cheesy TV specials. One of the hallmark cartoons to watch is a “Charlie Brown Christmas”. However, 1965 was so long ago that Millennials cannot relate anymore. Our generation has changed drastically since then, and Charlie Brown needs to face a millennial makeover to keep up.

The special starts with Charlie Brown going on about how Christmas is too depressing. He does not have any friends to send him a Christmas card, though he sent out many. This is the equivalent to being left on “read” or someone opening your snapchat without responding in our hip generation. It is rude not to respond and quite embarrassing to be ignored.

Yet, Charlie Brown goes completely savage. He says, “Thanks for the Christmas card you sent me, Violet.” She responds, “I didn’t send you a Christmas card, Charlie Brown!” If you are going to call someone out, you need to have a good comeback ready, CB.

Continuing through the film, Charlie Brown bitches about the commercialization of Christmas ruining his family. His dog Snoopy decorates his doghouse for a neighborhood contest, which makes Charlie Brown sick. If CB was really PC, he would applaud Snoopy for his creativity, and even give him a participation award. While trying to help his sister Sally, she asks Santa to “Just send money. How about 10s and 20s.” She does not understand the value of money. She cannot even write yet. Charlie does not care and makes fun of her. Fast-forward to our upbringing, where we are taught to educate one another, not bring each other down for things we cannot comprehend. Insensitivity is not cool. As Linus and Charlie Brown go out to get a tree for the Christmas play, Charlie decides to get a weak little twig of a tree instead of a nice, conventional one. He has good intentions, but seriously, a tree that can barely hold an ornament should not be your first pick.

I am starting to feel like Charlie Brown would fit the stereotype of a hipster douche in our generation. He is likely to be seen thumbing through crate after crate of vintage vinyl records, scoffing at anyone who enjoys anything mainstream, including some holiday cheer.

By the end, the children steal decorations from Snoopy’s doghouse to spruce up the tree for Charlie Brown. They never even ask the dog, which is one of the first rules we learn as a toddler: do not steal. The children make the tree shine like the ones sold in the farm. But the tree was bought because “it needed a home,” not to make it conform. If we are all seen as “special snowflakes” then why did the children need to make it like all of the others? We are all unique, unless you are a sickly-looking tree, then you need to change according to the Peanuts.

This outdated mess makes sure to seal the deal on the misunderstood youth of today as the characters scream, “Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!” After ripping on this whole cartoon special, I finally feel for the cynical Charlie Brown. Millennials know better than to say “Merry Christmas!” So this one is for you: Happy Holidays, Charlie Brown.

Strong Reactions: Stop the slacktivism

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Logging on to Facebook has become a very problematic situation. Your friend from high school changes her profile picture to show respect for a recent tragedy, another friend shares a shocking photo of racist graffiti sprawled across a brick wall connected to the recent election, another posts Joe Biden and Barack Obama memes in efforts to “lighten the mood”. Nothing will change as a result of these posts, just something new to laugh at or something else to comment on.

With the rise of social media comes the creation of the term slacktivism to go with it. It can be defined as a way of using the internet to show support without direct participation. Though it has been an ongoing issue, this election result is proving its ineffectiveness to provide solutions to our grieving country.

After the election results, many Americans expressed their fear of harassment, dehumanization and even deportation. Those who need the help of free health clinics and support groups feel the shift of the republican party getting ready to pull the tablecloth out from under them. The fear is real, and their voices are strong.

Some put their soul into their reactions online, but are only greeted with retweets and replies. Unfortunately, telling someone “how brave they are” and “that they will pull through” these next four years will not erase the target on their back. It is not going to be just a step back for America, but so many people are about to get stepped on too.

We all feel the impact of this election in some way, so it is time we do something to promote positive change. Instead of worrying about the future, being proactive in our communities can lead to a domino effect of positive solutions. Rebuilding from this will not be easy, but hard work will pay o in ways that words cannot.

Though it may seem faster to click “share” on your phone, working together through peaceful protests, donating to trustworthy organizations and just being available to those who need it right now can have long lasting effects on our country.

For example, this year provided the biggest population of registered voters this country has ever seen. That includes the largest amount of young people, going to the polls to do their civic duty. Yet, a part of our civic duty is also to volunteer and help one another. We cannot pick and choose what parts we want to participate in, as paying taxes is another civic duty that most of us have to do unwillingly.

All jabs aside, it is okay to be upset and fearful right now. For the first time ever, all of my professors encouraged us to speak out about how we felt after the election. An overwhelming amount of support for one another surfaced on this campus. There is a change in the air that needs to continue. If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere, we just have to get out there and act on our positive convictions.

Strong Reactions: Rap gone wrong

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Drama between musical artists is nothing new: Kanye West versus Taylor Swift, Tupac versus Biggie Smalls and Eminem versus almost anybody. They are an excuse to fight with your friends about silly pop culture, and to choose a side on something less political than the election.

The most recent celebrity beef between rappers Drake and Kid Cudi probably will not see the same memorable fate, but with good reason — Drake took it too far this time.

Recently Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab for mental health issues, sparking an out- pour of support online by fans and other musicians. In a statement made on his social media, he said, “It’s been difficult for me to find the words to what I’m about to share with you be- cause I feel ashamed.”

Mental health comes with a stigma that not everyone is willing to be open about, especially in the rap scene, where just about anything is fair game.

However, Drake’s latest move in their ongoing fight was over the top.

His latest diss track “Two Birds, One Stone” goes after Cudi directly a few times, but the line that stands out most is: “You stay xanned and perked up / So when reality set in you don’t gotta face it.”

I find it hard to decide if this is his own pure ignorance on the subject or he is just awful.

With mental illness so common in our society, why would anyone think it is a good idea to use it to “roast” someone?

Though we have made large strides to try to understand and start a discussion on topics like depression and anxiety, there are moments of weakness that we must criticize. As Cudi stated, it is extremely hard to ask for mental help as it is seen as giving in or being cowardly. It is much easier to keep our thoughts to ourselves about our mental states than to share them with people we care about.

This poorly written lyric doesn’t just offend Kid Cudi, but anyone who has to live with mental illness feels the smack in the face Drake just served. Depression is the biggest disability worldwide. It is not just a temporary sadness that popping pills will fix. It is something that hits when one least expects it, making day-to-day tasks almost unbearable. It is not a punchline or an imaginary issue. It is life, and unfortunately a harsh reality, even with the prescriptions and therapy.

I applaud Kid Cudi’s courage to make his condition known, which without a doubt inspired many of his fans to think about mental health and its importance to how to treat one another. As far as celebrity feuds go, it is important to have a level playing field, but it does not work when someone takes cheap shots.

I am sorry Drake, but those listening to your music suffer from these problems too, not just your enemies. You’re going to have to take an L on this one.

Strong Reactions: Spooky can be sexy

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

My favorite thing about this time of year has to be the feel- ing of slipping into a skirt a little too short, sporting knee high fishnets, a white button-up shirt, unbuttoned a little too low. I wear my boots to complete the sexually appalling genderbend, along with teased hair and bright red lips. Besides special events and the occasional “makeover” I let my friends give me, this is about the only time you will see me in a skirt or makeup. I twirl down water-pistoled slick aisles in the theater back at home every year. For one weekend, toast gets thrown, expletives are necessary and virgins are celebrated.

I’m talking about “Rocky Horror Picture Show”, and the wondrous feeling of sexual freedom it brings without judgment. The cult classic has led a phenomenon for the past 40 years, cramming the “freaks” of communities worldwide together for one viewing of the movie, full of prop-throwing and noise-making. This is usually done around October, with good reason. Even the remake premiered this month on FOX. This event and Halloween share something special — the idea that we are allowed to become something we are not. And as a person who follows the societal dress code the other days of the year, I think I deserve a few nights to get a little skimpy.

The stigma behind “sexy” Halloween costumes has haunted women for ages. Some welcome the idea of tight dresses designed like superhero uniforms, as others look on in disgust with their elaborate witch costume in full green face paint. Possibly the most quoted movie of our generation, “Mean Girls”, even makes note of the trend: “In Girl World, Halloween is the one day a year when a girl can dress up like a total slut and no other girls can say anything else about it.”

I don’t believe the last part is true. Girls are already plotting against one another in a “creative costumes” vs. “sexual costumes” brigade, like every year. Why is this necessary? The point of this holiday is to have fun and express ourselves freely, not critique each other because one person wants to show some skin, while others may want to stay covered.

Quite understandably, there is a spectrum here. Not everyone wants to be a sexy Robin or slink around in a skin-tight Catwoman suit while they are shoveling sugar into their mouths. But the point I am trying to make is, those who do are not bad people and vice versa. I will appreciate your Mary Poppins if you can appreciate my Gold Bikini Leia.

I challenge those who have chosen a more conservative outfit for Halloween to try getting yourself out of your comfort zone this year. Even if that means popping in the original “Rocky Horror” or catching the remake, and dancing in your underwear to the “Time Warp” on your own time. It is important to embrace our bodies and others choices to show (or not show) them this spooky season.

Strong Reactions : Treat Yo’ Self

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor Follow her at  @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

This semester is almost half-way over. It seems like last week I moved into a hollow apartment, but papers and textbooks scatter the floor, laundry piles up and leftovers from weeks ago reek in the fridge. Coming home after class feels like going to hell, but it is way more cluttered.

Though my grades are not slipping fast, my personal life is. No one is to blame but my own mind. This generation thrives on success in the classroom over everything and it should not be this way. As we move into the real world, we realize there is more to life than passing and failing grades.

Taking care of yourself is seen as an indulgence by college students nowadays, which isn’t fair. The farther we get into the semester, the more deadlines sneak up on us along with anxiety-inducing midterms. Pulling all-nighters on weeknights trying to get papers done, going through hampers to find your cleanest dirty shirt or realizing the milk you just poured expired last week is not a healthy way to live.

Taking care of ourselves does not require sacrificing the grades we want. Simple things like taking a break from the late night cramming to do a load of laundry or making yourself a quick meal (no ramen) will make a load of difference. Even going to bed at a decent hour is more likely to help your grades instead of staying up wired on caffeine retaining half of what you read.

Preparing for our futures needs to include some pampering as well. One of the most quoted terms from the show “Parks and Recreation” is “treat yo’ self,” and though they get very overzealous with their actions, the quote makes sense in this driven world.

This past fall break was a great example: instead of freaking out over an avalanche of work, my friend and I went to lunch. We went shopping. We came home and worked on my laundry and disastrous living room. I made myself a pot of homemade chili using my father’s recipe. I don’t feel a single bit of remorse. I knew I would feel better about working when my space was clean, and my mind was at ease with the aroma of a meal from my childhood on the stove.

Sometimes nails deserve a fresh coat of polish. Sometimes it’s okay to splurge on those sneakers you have always wanted or order a large pizza, but tell the delivery guy you are having friends over and then don’t have friends over. There isn’t a need to justify being human.

Not every action in college needs to revolve around making sure it fits into your intense all-work-no-play schedule. The rules we make can be broken in moderation.

It is not easy to put yourself first, but it certainly is not selfish. As humans, we tend to make judgment based on those who go out of their way to please others on a daily basis. But in secret, everyone takes a moment to immerse themselves in some self-love. It isn’t taboo, but shunning it definitely is. So go ahead and shut the textbook for a while. Ice cream eventually expires.

Strong reactions: I kissed a girl and I meant it

Roxanne Timan ,  Multimedia Editor Follow her at  @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Roxanne Timan, Multimedia Editor
Follow her at @Roxlobster

Last weekend, I spent some time seeing a close friend in the city. Going out with my friends is usually a great time, the music blasting loud, the laughs shared, the photos taken. Stress from the school week slides off my shoulders like the burning alcohol down my throat. After a few drinks, I started to people watch in the crowded club, when my friend entered my view with a drunken nudge.

Her slurred question, “Should I make out with this girl?” snapped my Fireball-glazed lips open in shock. I didn’t have to think too hard — my mind knew straight women who make out with one another in hopes of enchanting fellow bar goers is reckless behavior.

She said it again, more firmly, but really her words fell flat with ignorance. ”I don’t have a response to that,” is all I could say, but it was too late: they were going at it for all to see like a sideshow at a circus. I couldn’t help but take a moment to get up and move away, the pang of sheer embarrassment and anger hitting my stomach.

I came out as a lesbian to my family five years ago this September. The time leading up to the fateful moment the words “I’m gay” poured out of my sobbing, slobbery lips were confusing and exhausting. My heart felt a constant pain that I couldn’t put my finger on, until a friend suggested I might be gay. The world changed for me in that moment, and most things seemed to fit together in the most bittersweet way. When I finally mustered the courage to tell my father, his response was simple and comforting, “I love you no matter what.” It’s these moments of terror, waiting to see a loved one’s reaction that will live with me for the rest of my life.

The morning after, this bar would be empty and only left with a lingering blur of the two women, their mouths clasped together, eliciting giggles and whistles from the men around. Their lives haven’t changed, they simply got the chance to be ogled in the spotlight, but no one went home to have that painful conversation.

No one went home to tell their parents that they are gay or play that sick lottery of whether they will be accepted or not. It isn’t cute or sexy to kiss your girlfriends for attention it is a mockery of the LGBT community and everything we work so hard to build. Because of this overall acceptance of “fake lesbians,” everytime I tell an ignorant person I like women, it usually is followed with a “that’s hot” or the awful, “can I watch?” You can watch me kick you straight in the crotch, sir.

My challenge to those women who decide to adapt a “fake lesbian” persona is to take it a step further and do the hard part. Start by asking yourself, what are you going to get out of a drunken kiss with your best friend besides a man’s attention for five minutes? Is it really worth tarnishing the image of lesbians in the public eye? Would you be willing to go home to your parents and tell them about the things you have done — not out of love, but for other’s enjoyment?