Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Trump Acquitted… Again

By: John Stracco      

 In a less intense than usual manner (let's try and not normalize this impeachment thing), the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, was acquitted (to no one’s surprise), despite high hopes of some democrats. In all fairness, the house managers were able to achieve the most bipartisan impeachment in American History (though that fault mostly lies within the actions of Mr. Trump), with 7 Republicans dissenting to the minority side. Those 7 Republicans were Pat Toomey (PA), Mitt Romney (UT), Lisa Murkowski (AK), Richard Burr (NC), Susan Collins (ME), Ben Sasse (NE), and Bill Cassidy (LA). 

Some noticeable things about these seven senators are that Romney, Sasse, Collins, and Murkowski are all moderates, meaning they were heavily expected to vote the way they did. Senators Burr and Toomey are notable because they are both retiring in the 2022 midterm elections, meaning they do not have to worry about serious in-party rebuke. Lastly, Senator Cassidy just won reelection, meaning by the time he is up again, his constituents will not be too worried or remember this vote.

With that being said, the acquittal is telling of what the republican party wishes to be in the upcoming years: the party of Trump. While minority leader McConnell said the former president should be prosecuted, he also stated his belief that the trial was unconstitutional as justification for his acquittal, despite having the opportunity to bring the articles up while Trump was still in office. In a certain sense, this trial is not only symbolic in the continuous two-party struggle in American politics, but also in the fact that there is political support in Congress for the actions that took place on January 6th. The point is that were this to be Joe Biden, the Republicans would be down his throat and the Democrats would scramble in defense, just like Trump did. Joe Biden is yet to prove he could unify America and Trump’s trial was the first test. His next- Covid relief and vaccinations.

The Unique Fashion of Inauguration Day

By: Elise Stefankiewicz

Let’s talk fashion, but with a political twist. Inauguration Day this year stood out for many reasons. The crowd was much smaller due to the pandemic, there was heightened security, and the former president was not present. All of these things made the Inauguration extremely unlike any Inauguration in the past. However, my eyes lit up when I saw what everyone was wearing. The fashion of Inauguration Day was ruled by colorful coats and was definitely next level, especially for the ladies. While the men all looked very classy, the women stood out the most.

Our Vice President Madam Kamala Harris wore Christopher John Rogers and Serigo Hudson. The purple color looked incredible on her. Even though I am not a huge fan of the shape of the dress, overall she looked amazing. Michelle Obama wore Sergio Husdon and a beautiful shade of purple. She was agrumentably the best dressed of the day, the color looked stunning on her, and the pants were amazing. I love how the belt cinches the waist perfectly and the matching gloves as well. I also love how Former President Barack Obama wore her accent color. Hilary Clinton wore Ralph Lauren and also had on purple, however her outfit was one of my least favorites. I think a white coat would have gone better with the shade of purple that she had on. These three women wore outfits that stood out to me because of the color that they wore. Purple is blue and red mixed together therefore supporting the theme of unity which was what Inauguration Day was all about. 

The First Lady Dr. Jill Biden wore Alexandra O’Neill. This was one of my favorites because of the fur collar on her coat. I absolutely love the shade of blue and the matching gloves, mask, and jacket. I have to give an honorable mention to Bernie Sanders who wore mittens by Jen Ellis who used repurposed wool and recycled plastic! His outfit was iconic to say the least and of course a photo of him was turned into a trending meme all over the internet. The Biden grandchildren were the breakout stars of Inauguration Day. Naomi, Finnegan, and Natalie Biden all wore monochromatic coats that were powerful. Natalie Biden wore an all pink outfit and a mask that matched. She looked stunning in the color. Amanda Gorman had on Prada. She is so talented and her outfit, like her poetry, had a lot of power. It involved a lot of color, as she wore a striking yellow coat and red hair band.

Shifting the spotlight to some well known celebrities who also attended, we have Jennifer Lopez who wore Chanel. I think we can all agree that she is absolutely stunning and her all white moment was beautiful. Lady Gaga wore Schiaparelli by Daniel Roseberry. I loved her outfit because she is always over the top, however, she still managed to keep it classy. 

The fashion on Inauguration Day was amazing. Symbolism played a big role with all the looks. Monochrome was definitely popular and all the outfits were an iconic moment in fashion. 

Celebrity Influence On What We Purchase

By: Elise Stefankiewicz

Popular faces can convert into excellent salespeople. The personalities we see on the internet stick in our minds. The best way for brands to develop an association in the brain of its consumers is through those who have a high follower count. Celebrities are one of the best ways to promote companies, since we see them in commercials when we turn on the TV. We all know about Micheal Jordan’s partner with Nike or Kendall Jenner’s partnership with Pepsi. Celebrity endorsement is a modern routine. Celebrities have tremendous influence on our world, especially what the money we have is spent on. 

Youtube culture has created a new name for someone who has a lot of followers but is not considered a celebrity. We call those people “influencers” who get paid to promote certain brands to their followers. These brands can be big or small but either way it sparks the consumer interest by association. If the person you follow uses a certain face wash, you are more prone to buy that facewash when at the store. Youtube brand deals are partnerships between creators and brands. A YouTuber will mention the sponsored brand in their video and include background knowledge on it, then show how much they enjoy it. By promoting the brand, sales will significantly increase. Today we view YouTubers or celebrities as role models and what they have, we want. I often find myself buying things because someone that I follow has it. I’m sure we can all relate to that statement whether it is a phone case, piece of clothing, or a water bottle. The things that are being promoted to us often find their way into our cart. We may not always realize this but it is reality. 

We live in a world of advertisement. A good advertisement strategy happens to involve celebrities promoting products or brands. In our society, those who lay under our “following” button influence what we purchase. It is a reality that we may not even realize. The impact influencer marketing has on consumers is pretty simple: we are influenced to buy and we buy. This way of advertising has changed marketing ways forever.

The History Of Valentine's Day

By: Hannah Marie Watch

Valentine's Day oh, Valentine's Day that lovely sweet day! Or is it? Have you ever wondered where Valentine's day ever originated? Well Valentine's Day originated from the 5th century. Yeah, a LONG time ago! Basically your ancestors celebrated Valentine's Day too! It was originally was a day of feast for the Western Christians who used the feast to honor numerous Christian Martyrs (a person who is killed because of their religious or other beliefs.), one being St. Valentine. And who is this man?! Well, St. Valentine, a Catholic priest who lived in Rome during the 3rd century.

Many Legends from today formed and are originated from his stories over the centuries. On February 14 269-270 A.D., St. Valentine was beheaded for MURDER! Soon after the 14th century, we take his death day and turn it into a day of love, romance, cards, candy, and a day filled with happiness. Which is kinda strange?! Why would we take someone's death day and turn it into a day of happiness and love? Well because St. Valentine was a romancer! Ant that is why we have a new and improved death day of St. Valentine, Valentines Day! 

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

Book Reviews by Ava Tanis

 Beautiful Music for Ugly Children

Beautiful Music for Ugly Children. The title says it all… sort of. Despite what it may imply, this novel by Kirstin Cronn-Mills is not about a band of really unattractive kids. It’s actually about Gabe—a trans man trying to navigate life at the end of his high school career and the beginning of his lifetime in the radio industry. The “beautiful music” in the title is accurate; Gabe hosts a community radio show—Beautiful Music for Ugly Children—and plays meticulously curated hits with the expert musical knowledge he gets from his mentor, John. The “ugly children” part of the title comes from the listeners of his show who band together to form the self-proclaimed “Ugly Children Brigade.” 

    With an endearing metaphor about the A and B sides of records reappearing throughout the story, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children, is overall a really sweet book about the reality of being a trans teenager in the 21st century. It is worth mentioning that the author is a cisgender person, or someone whose gender identity matches with the sex they were assigned at birth. Kristin Cronn-Mills actually writes in the author’s note that if she could go back, she wouldn’t write the book because it was not her place as a cis woman. According to some of the LGBTQ+ readers of the book, though, it does a surprisingly good job of capturing the highs and lows of transgender life. 

    With only 262 pages, this young adult fiction book is short and sweet, with a very happy and wholesome ending. A good choice for music lovers or anyone looking for insight into life as a queer teenager, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children provides an in-depth storyline and exposition while still feeling upbeat and nicely-paced. It reaches full speed at the climax, where it takes an unexpected turn that will surely keep you on your toes. In summary, Beautiful Music for Ugly Children is simultaneously emotional, lighthearted, and even comical at times, and it is the perfect read for lovers of love triangles, uncertainty, and good old happy endings. 

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

The Sad Reality of New Years’ Resolutions

By: Grace Pereira 

The new year does not only signify a new number. As we count down to the first second of January 1st, we breathe a sigh of relief that we made it through the last 365 days, and wish for this one to be better than the last. With the incoming new year comes a new slate, and for many of us, we celebrate this fresh start with a list of changes, a list of resolutions. These are intended to better ourselves, but some New Years’ resolutions may be more harmful than helpful.

Unrealistic Goals

Creating a list of resolutions is marketed to help us, but some can become more detrimental to ourselves. By setting unrealistic goals when you may not be capable of achieving them, you may feel even worse than last year. In addition, when you do not achieve these goals, it can take a toll on your mental health. You may not see immediate change, and all of the hype of the new year ignores the fact that self improvement is a gradual process.

Some of these unrealistic goals may damage your self image and affect your physical health as well. These include losing a set amount of weight, crazy diets, overly intense workouts, and other extreme body changes. Fitness and wanting to work on your body is great, but telling yourself from the start you are definitely going to lose a large amount of weight in a short amount of time, or trying many random diets can be harmful. It is okay to not see progress right away. You should not feel guilt, anger, or sadness that you may fail, as we often set the highest expectations for ourselves.

“New Year, New Me”

The problem with this slogan is that we are the same exact people as we were last year, although that may be disappointing to think about. Yes, we can look for some change in our lives, but we cannot expect to wake up January 1st and look the way society says is perfect, or have all of our negative emotions suddenly flee from our minds. As long as you are doing the best you can, that is all that matters. 

The new year should not be all about changing every single “bad” thing you did during the previous year. Look for the little things to be proud of. Set one goal a day that you know you can easily achieve, whether it’s getting an assignment done early, reaching out to loved ones more, or writing down a few positive affirmations, and then grow from there. Above anything else, I hope that 2021 brings you lots of happiness and love! Do not let unrealistic expectations bring you down.