Arab’s Got Talent

Ok, it is actually a real show, but I attended an event on an OU scale.  Let me tell ya, there are a lot of gnarly aspects to the Arab culture.

The dancing.  My friend and I were watching these girls belly dance gawking at the core strength it must take.  I mean, I can dance…the occasional whip + nae nae white girl combo.  I can do a little salsa, a little merengue, a little bachata.  But I sure as heck can NOT belly dance.  I genuinely admired their act, and can confirm that belly dancers are very talented.

The singing.  I think it takes a special skill to be able to speak two languages.  Especially when one of those is Arabic.  Especially when you can sing an Arabic song after one semester of taking classes on the language.

The poetry.  This got me.  I found it incredible people could find their poetic voice in another language, and doing a good job at it too.

International events like this are really eye opening to the cultural values of different students and even families in our community.  I wouldn’t get an opportunity to eat (really good) Arabic food and listen to the (extremely confusing, but beautiful) language in the city of Norman if it weren’t for organizations providing these events for students to share cultures outside of out own.

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It’s Smelly, It’s Brown, It’s Poop.

And believe it or not, we all create it. EVERY DAY.

Rose George is what you may call a “curious journalist,” acknowledging overlooked issues, and talking about them.

She introduces poop with addressing the stigma.  We keep our defecation behind closed doors.  But what about in these third world countries where the diseases of feces roam around freely because people have to poop outside in the open?

I remember going to Eastern Europe, and being told to not flush toilet paper…and yes, you should use the bidet.  I didn’t think about the sanitary or environmental benefits of a bidet, I was just determined to stay away from it.  There was no way I was going to have the same nozzle spray me where the light don’t shine that has sprayed who knows how many people.

I think my uncomfortableness stemmed from our inability to talk about poop.

I understand privacy when you poop.  I understand sanitation, and I understand comfort.  I don’t get why there’s taboo with the issue that people used to literally dump in the streets, especially because it needs to be talked about.  People’s lives are very much at risk.

George states diarrhea being the second largest cause of child death in the world, yet still 1/3 of our population lacks proper toilet/sewage systems; that is roughly 7.5x the population of the US.  This is the biggest sanitation issue worldwide.

But I don’t see any change happening until we can talk about poop like we can talk about clean water or access to nutritional food.

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Digital Literacy is Making Me Think

TV shows are good and all, and I do enjoy the occasional article, but this whole “analyzing media” makes me dissect these almost too much, to the point where I can hardly enjoy anything I read or watch, especially online.

I analyzed Black Mirror: Fifteen-Million Merits for my JMC class.  This is a futuristic sci-fi on the effects of technology and media on society.  The people are stuck inside, pedaling for electricity, and having every move regulated.  The protagonist tries to break this cycle, resulting in the woman he loves being subjected to a porn show.

The reoccurring theme in this is the dependence of humanity on media and technology, which ultimately foreshadows the possible future of our society.

This approach works.  The message of fear gets across through the severity of the circumstances, especially fear in the monotony of the day to day life.  The audience does feel that fear and desire to change after watching this episode, and there are many online forums where these issues are discussed, stemming from the episode.  Although nothing substantial has changed on human dependency on technology since the release of this episode in 2011, the thought and conversation can be considered a success for Black Mirror.

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Fortune and Fame? No Thanks.

Josh Rushing.  Tossed his career and reputation in the marines to serve in a better way.

Now we all (or at least I do) look at Rushing as an idol; we’re intrigued by his selflessness and determination.  But could I really do the same thing?  Would I be willing to sacrifice the security of one lifestyle for the more terrifyingly risky one?  I would like to think so – especially if I’m going to pursue journalism.

Everyone knows if you’re trying to make good money you shouldn’t go into journalism.  So why is this field still corrupted by the news stations trying to get ratings up by broadcasting twisted versions of stories?

I think the world is interesting enough as it is.  I think there are enough bad people here that we don’t have to ruin one’s reputation by making them seem evil.  And there are enough good people so we don’t need to highlight every act of kindness of a celebrity.

So I think more important than anything in journalism is to broadcast with a selfless purpose, and that’s what I hope to do in my career.

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OK, So What’s *Really* Going On in the World Today?

That’s it. That question is thescreen-shot-2016-10-10-at-7-48-12-pm driving force provoking my engagement in media. I’ll watch “Trump Said What?” video compilations and read the occasional “The Truth Behind Kim K’s Robbery,” but at the end of the day, I’m searching for the truth. I want to know what’s really going on, and I want to know what’s really important. Because even though Kim K may show up on my Facebook feed about seven times per hour, her life doesn’t affect hardly anyone of her millions of followers. But the deaths caused by violence in the Middle East that are perpetually being smothered by Cosmo articles do. They deserve the attention, and those arethe articles that will keep me scrolling on my phone until my melatonin (I’ve learned that these vitamin supplements are the only things that will put me to sleep before my thumbs start cramping from scrolling through the news) kicks in.

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