Breaking News

I am a paper snob.
I work at two newspapers, I do not own an e-reader, and I journal in a notebook. However, even I must admit that when it comes to breaking news, despite all my pretentious, old-fashioned instincts, I have become dependent on Twitter.

I marvel at the speed that international news is delivered to the palm of my hand. When legendary sci-fi author Terry Pratchett passed away, I knew within six minutes of the announcement leaking out to the world by, of course, his Twitter account. I was amazed. Just 20 years ago when you died, it would probably take until several hours later or possibly the next day for the public to know, and now, billions of people can know in mere minutes. There are countless online news websites that are updated every minute of the day, and social media can spread news faster than I could even write it down.

As a journalist (and snob), I admit that this radical change of how news is delivered and absorbed is daunting. I am stuck between my love of the smell of newsprint and the thrill of seeing my own words on a page, and the fact that I run three blogs and that my work portfolio for my first job outside of college will be a website, and not a folder of clippings.
I know that online news is not just the way of the future—it’s already the way of the present. The thing is, I still love reading papers, but simply for different reasons than online news appeals to me. Papers are fantastic for profiles, features, and in-depth information on stories you can get in brief articles or 140-character blurbs. Papers have character, unique thought, and a design completely different than a web page. And frankly, there is something very satisfyingly permanent about seeing your name in print, whether in a story or a byline.

I will continue to read and work for print publications until either they or I cease to exist, whichever comes first. But I now accept the internet as my primary breaking news source with open arms. My mind can be at peace knowing that print newspapers and online news sources are not in competition, they are simply two different animals. And I am both a dog and a cat person.

Girl-on-girl Love

Today, I spotted Why It’s So Important That Women Empower Other Women, and I thought I’d address the subject, because the idea of women supporting each other has become so important to me.

It has taken a really, really long time (much of it spent on Tumblr) for me to realize that one woman’s beauty is not a lack of your own. The same goes for accomplishments.

Girls and women will succeed by lifting each other up, not cutting each other down. Life is not a competition, and you can gain so much from admiring and supporting someone else without using their best features to bring yourself or others down. I mean it. 

Cynthia Kane puts this in words in her article Seeing Other Women as Allies Rather Than Enemies: a How-to better than can:

“I’ve definitely been the type to see a beautiful woman walk into a room and feel less-than, have a friend receive a better grade and feel stupid, or, honestly, see any woman doing anything spectacular at all and feel not only jealous, but also the nagging feeling that I could never accomplish the same things.

When I looked at other women’s accomplishments, I felt worse about myself.

I would first note the gaps and weaknesses in my own life, and then start picking and finding ways to break down the women who were – as far as I could tell – responsible for making me feel this way.

Criticizing was my defense mechanism.

And even though I thought it would make me feel good, all it really did was make me feel depleted and disappointed in myself.

I think that this – girl-on-girl hate – is a phenomenon that many of us can relate to. We get so many messages telling us that only some women are successful, that only certain women are beautiful, that we need to fight to get to the top where there are limited spots that we turn on one another.

Even just by looking at many television shows, movies, and magazines – especially ones aimed at women, we can see how women are pitted against one another. And we act that out in reality, too.

It’s the best joke the patriarchy ever played on us.

It’s easy to cut each other down, to make comparisons, and to criticize. It’s what we’ve been taught to do.

But think for a minute about what our lives would look and feel like if instead, we were supportive – if we celebrated instead of lamented.

Maybe we could learn to see other women’s ways of being or accomplishments as models for what we could achieve – or as examples of our glorious diversity as opposed to reflections of what we lack.”

If we built more confidence up in girls from an early age, the “I’m only friends with guys because girls cause drama” mentality can go right into the trash can where it belongs.

Instead of competing with other women at work or in the classroom, playground, or wherever you are, collaborate with them. Compliment them. Instead of either feeling inadequate or setting someone else back, you’ll both get further (and feel better).

R&R

Left school for the weekend despite being invited to things, events happening, and having work to do, I needed to get away from it all for a little bit. I was doing fine, even considering telling my parents “sorry, I’ll have to come home another time” because of everything that was going on, but then on Thursday I just started feeling…ill.  

I hate that since my life has gotten to the ideal place that I’ve wanted it to be in for awhile, yet I can’t seem to handle it. I have a lot of different friends, I’m an editor on the school paper, and literally just landed my ideal part time job working on an actual, real newspaper. My weight could be better, but I’ve been getting a lot of positive attention for my looks lately, which is definitely weird. I am not at all used to getting compliments based solely on my appearance from strangers. In fact, it pretty much never happened until I got back to college three weeks ago.

This is such an in-between place in life, even more so than high school, I think. In high school you’re still a kid, for the most part you kind of know what your next step will be, and you still live under someone else’s control. In college/around college age (at least for myself and many other people I know), you’re caught in a strange place. You still identify with teenagers and teen culture, you’re not totally financially independent but you’re almost…transitioning into it. You’re in a learning environment, yet many professors will treat you more like an equal than a kid they’re babysitting. You start looking for real jobs, wondering about your career, wondering about if casual dating could become a serious relationship, or maybe not.

It is kind of overwhelming. I’m an adult. I can vote, I do not live with my parents, I have a real job in a real office. Yet I still go to school. I still only can work part-time because of school, so I’m still dependent on my parents financially, yet I no longer have to follow their rules or constantly try to meet their expectations. 

I wonder where I’m going.

The Curious Garden

I had to write about this place because it seemed to be a restaurant specifically tailored for me. When I saw their spot in the Havasu Dining Guide brochure I picked up while waiting around in the hotel office for … Continue reading

This Week’s Self-Portrait in Music

It’s rare to see me walking around campus, at the gym, at the library, or even doing dishes, without headphones on or earbuds in. I love having a soundtrack to my life, even for the most menial of tasks. This … Continue reading

Documentaries of the Week

So I’ve decided to do one of these posts every week (or two weeks, depending on how busy I am) because I love documentaries, and want to share what I’m watching and what I think of them here for all the world to see. I even gave them little grades! c:

This week’s documentaries were:

(A)sexual
Bronies
Hungry for Change
It’s a Girl!
Whore’s Glory

Obviously I’ve bit on a bit of a binge this week. Here’s what I thought.

(A)sexual (A-) It was really good. It (like Bronies) was something I watched because it was a topic I was really curious about. I know very few people who are asexual, and it was something I really wanted to know more about, so I’m glad I watched it. It included a lot of really great information from a variety of asexual people who were interviewed about their lives. I think anyone who is wondering about asexuality should definitely watch this, it’s a great way to become more educated on it.

Bronies (B+) This movie explains what bronies are, and documents various bronies from around the globe, and shows a lot of what happens at “BronyCons” in America and in the UK. It also included interviews with the creator and writers of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic, and two of the principle voice actors (including the lovely and talented Tara Strong, who is amazing in every way), which was great because you got not only the perspectives of the bronies and their friends and families, but also what the people who work on the show think of the community. The one issue I had with this documentary is that it does not include the cons and the dysfunction of the fandom. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against bronies in particular; every fandom has its dark side, and the MLP fandom is not exempt. I like things. And I think it’s great when people like things. “To each his/her own” is my mantra for fandoms in general.

Hungry for Change (C) This was a well-done piece about the issues within the food and diet industries. However, I gave it a C because it took me a few days to finish; I kept stopping because of some personal issues I had with it. It’s main purpose was to ingrain the evils of the food industries using lots of scare tactics, and all the interviews were with people who used to be very unhealthy, but had turned their lives around. I’m not sure what it was, but something about it kind of grated my nerves. I’m not sure if it was because I feel insecure about my own body, or what. It kind of just took a lot of negative things I already knew and shoved them in my face. However, if your family isn’t addicted to Dr. Oz like my mom is, you could probably learn a lot from it.

It’s a Girl! (A) I loved this one. I think everyone should watch this once. It focuses on the gendercide of girls in India and China as a result of son-based cultures. Many people in each countries see daughters as a burden, and millions of baby girls are killed/female fetuses are aborted, often by force, especially in China where the one-child policy enforced on a very extreme level. Honestly, I had no idea about how bad this was. It’s pretty grim subject matter, but also highlights some of the families who refused to give up their daughters even under threat from the law, and even some who adopted abandoned girls. It includes interviews with many women for both countries, great narration, and illustrations for the retold accounts rather than actors doing an interpretation, which was really unique and made the movie even more interesting.

Whore’s Glory (B-) A fascinating look at the everyday lives of prostitutes in Thailand, India, and Mexico. It was definitely interesting subject matter, and I learned a lot about the sex trade that I didn’t know. Definitely a piece you have to pay a lot of attention to, because there is no narration and very few of the people in the film speak English, so it’s entirely subtitled. Instead of the interviews mixed with experience footage most documentaries have, this one is just like the cameramen weren’t there. They simply recorded the interactions and events and are really rarely referenced to by the subjects. Overall interesting, but a little slow.