1. I’m still in awe that something so awful took place in and around Paris yesterday. Almost a year and a half ago, I was fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend a concert at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, the stadium outside of which multiple explosions took place. For one part of the multi-faceted attack to have taken place there yesterday is hard to believe, you know? While having a certain level of precaution will always be important, I believe that it’s also important that we continue to choose not to live in fear. May we pray for peace, not only in Paris, but for peace in the hearts of all global citizens that empathize with the victims of tragic events such as these.
2. After reading “If It Happened There … America’s Annual Festival Pilgrimage Begins”, it got me thinking about how different American society differs so greatly from that of other countries. For example, Americans in general are stupidly idealistic regarding the power that the United States holds over the rest of the world. Instead of understanding that the U.S. is lacking in many valuable areas, like quality of education, and that it is one of the highest in other areas, like incarceration rates, plenty of Americans are still quick to say, “America is the best country in the world!”
Similarly, it is clear through this article that even American media can regard countries besides the U.S. as inferior. This is a major problem, especially as other economies continue to surpass America’s. Ultimately, it highlights that all Americans have a responsibility to be aware of international events.
3. “The World Is As Big Or As Small As You Make It”, a short film published by the Sundance Film Institute, highlights the fact that technology can bring the world together. By using electronic devices, students from all over the world can connect with kids close to their age that live in another country. Despite the boundaries that one might think would keep hese kids from relating to each other, they are able to relate culturally, socially, and through mutual curiosity. By sharing each other’s cultures and surroundings, programs such as these help make the world seem quite small after all.
4. The European migrant crisis is dire. Surely that has been drilled into our brains following the barrage of graphic images in the media and the broad coverage of the crisis overall, but it is so interesting that, after such sympathy was shown for those who died trying to make a better life for themselves, Americans are drawn to look away. After the rise in Islamic State-related attacks internationally, it has become nearly impossible for any refugee to enter the United States without scrutiny or controversy. I believe that, although the possibility of a terrorist emerging from a group of refugees is high, the likelihood of a terrorist emerging from the roots of America is higher. If not before, the denial of refugees plays into the hands of the enemy, and against the odds of triumph over terrorism.
5. At the “Night the Buzz Stole Christmas” show in Kansas City, Missouri, I saw multiple acts, all of which originated in the United Kingdom. The first of the bands to perform was a four-piece that goes by the name of Swim Deep, the second, Grammy-nominated indie-rock outfit Wolf Alice, and lastly, an ‘80s-inspired band called The 1975. After their performances, I was able to talk to a few of the band members a bit about the differences between touring in America and in the UK. Ellie Rowsell of Wolf Alice commented that the hotel swimming pools here look kind of like car parks while Theo Ellis (of the same band) remarked that the seafood is a bit subpar in the Midwest compared to back home. Additionally, many of the members agreed that American crowds are more verbal and interactive than European audiences in general.