GBA – Your News, From Oil to the Oscars
The Good: We’ll go ahead and start with the good news. Here are this week’s highlights.
Obama Vetoes Keystone XL: President Obama has vetoed the bill for the Keystone XL pipeline. This comes as no surprise as the president promised to veto the bill as soon as it was proposed by a now Republican-led Congress. Of course Mitch McConnell is attempting to fire back, saying he plans to overturn the veto by early March. This attempt seems futile however, as the there are currently not enough votes to do so. The president’s reasoning behind the veto dives into environmental concerns both on a climate change level as well as simply damaging the landscape in which the pipeline is mapped to be built. The Republicans who favor the pipeline claim that the project will create many needed jobs. Why is this good news? The short term benefits of creating work for Americans for the next 10 years is not nearly as important to this writer as creating an inhabitable environment for those working people’s families to live.
Net Neutrality Rule In a recent vote, the FCC has declared the internet to be closer to a public utility than ever before, among a few other things. This means that Internet companies can no longer adjust Internet speeds based on the amount that customers are paying. This is what is being referred to as “net neutrality.” So, larger companies who pay an arm and a leg for Internet (because they can) won’t be favored for access over the average college student (who can’t pay an arm and a leg) that needs to watch that lecture on YouTube one more time. At a time when the Internet could only be used by few, the idea made business sense. But because the internet is so important and expansive in how we operate these days, this “net neutrality” only seems fair.
Banksy’s Return: The original underground street artist, Bansky has returned, and in a slightly unlikely place, Gaza. “Slightly” is being used here because Banksy has been a hugely social and political figure in art, so it’s not really a surprise that he would appear in such a treacherous place. The artist just released a two-minute video “highlighting” the amazing “development opportunities” in Gaza. In the video, clear satire and powerful images are used to showcase what’s truly happening at the ground level. Of course the street art is there, too, with both beautiful and powerful images gorgeously displayed in true Banksy fashion. While it’s unnerving to know that these places exist, it’s necessary to show them in a raw fashion such as this video. Check it out!
The Bad: Sometimes we forget how fragile our everyday lives can be. Here is the not-so-good news.
ISIS Recruits: Recently, three men from New York have been detained under suspicion of aiding ISIS. While people are being questioned worldwide on the regular, it hits a little too close to home to think that ISIS has recruits on our own soil. Their methods of gathering soldiers via the internet and social media are becoming a focus for US Intelligence and agencies worldwide. It seems every week another recruiting operation is discovered. While it’s difficult to fully understand why someone would want to join ISIS, it is clear that young people are their main focus, with socioeconomic status and location playing smaller roles than expected.
American Horror Story Star Dies: Last week, Ben Woolf (34) was struck in the head by the rear view mirror of a bus in Southern California. He was rushed to the hospital where he would later succumb to his injuries. The actor played Meep in the TV show American Horror Story, both in the first season and the latest season: Freakshow. The show has quite the cult following and many will miss the 4’4″ actor, his colleagues spoke very highly of Woolf stating he was a very kind and caring person. He will be missed.
Leonard Nimoy Dies at 83: Trekkies around the world will take a moment of silence today for the most beloved Vulcan in all of the universe. Leonard Nimoy, the actor who played the legendary Spock in the original Star Trek series (with an appearance in the most recent movies) lost his battle with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease this morning (Feb 27th). His death was confirmed by his wife in their Los Angeles home, he was 83 years old. Spock’s legacy will continue to live in all Star Trek stories as well as the love his devoted fans will always have. His love for the arts expanded well beyond acting. Nimoy was a poet, a writer, a painter, an artist and an all around good guy. We can only leave with his famous parting words, “Live long and prosper.”
And The Awkward: Take it as good news, take it as bad news, but uh… here ya go.
The Oscars: The Oscars came and went this weekend, and it seems few people are talking about it than normal. Birdman took Best Picture, Eddie Redmayne took home Best Actor for The Theory of Everything, Julianne Moore won Best Actress for Still Alice and Alejandro González Iñárritu won Best Director for Birdman. Of course the usual outlets are still talking about the best and worst dressed, and actress Lupita Nyong’o’s $150K dress has apparently been reported stolen. Oh, the culture of American royalty. At least we know what movies might be worth our time now, right?
Young Republicans on Snapchat: The app that used to let you send dick pics to all your friends quickly becoming a highly popular media outlet. Since its release of Discover earlier this year, Snapchat is allowing companies to feasibly make commercials for people to watch on their own time. Since most people have either Netflix (or something similar) or a DVR when they watch television, commercials are something less people have to deal with. Many political campaigns are run through television, so when ads fall through what are politicians left to do? Post on Snapchat! It’s an easy way to get to the young kids these days now posting MyStory dick pics. Whether or not this will actually get the vote is an entirely new story, but it shows that someone is thinking (although maybe not very clearly).
Kellogg’s Under Fire: In a recent report by Bloomberg, the cereal tycoon Kellogg’s is slowly falling in numbers year by year. The world is changing and people don’t have time for their morning bowl of cereal. On top of the time constraints, people are slowly starting to realize that starchy, sugar-coated, Red#5-dyed food might not be the best option for their children. Kellogg’s once held 45% of all cereal sales and a monopoly was feared. 60 years later, after several failed money-saving initiatives and a handful of management changes, things are looking dismal. The company made a small comeback after buying Pringles, but processed foods themselves are losing to organics each year. Imagine a world without Frosted Flakes…Good Luck, Tony the Tiger.