A Penny for Your Consent

BuzzFeed is known for its clickbait and quirky news updates. But, occasionally they use their large following for good use. A video titled “Would You Steal $5?” is a perfect example of that good-doing. A simple message is put across as it begins: “What is considered stealing?” The narrator lists different scenarios in which someone has $5, and each scenario shows another situation classified as stealing. But at the end, it’s revealed that the $5 is a symbol for consent. In simpler terms, without consent you are stealing from someone.

What is consent? Most claim to know the answer, but in reality, not many do. Consent is defined as permission for something to happen or agreement to do something. Mostly, consent refers to situations involving any romantic or sexual interactions. It seems simple enough, if one or both members aren’t up to doing something, then both have to accept that they shouldn’t be doing whatever that is. Yet somehow, rape and sexual violence is still all too common.

No one knows the severity of rape culture. On average, 288,820 people are raped annually in the U.S. alone. That is one person every 2 minutes. That number surely disgusts many, yet rape is still a taboo subject. Why is it that consent isn’t taught at all schools? Sex Ed is only mandatory in 24 states, and not all of those have to teach consent. No wonder the headlines are filled with reports of rape and violence against women and men.

Consent is honestly so simple. If you or your partner is uncomfortable, drunk, unready, or unwilling, don’t have sex! If someone says no to any activity, don’t do it! It’s simple, really.

Watch the BuzzFeed video below:

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Queen Bey Stings Again

On November 2, the 2016 Country Music Awards were held. Usually filled with the many familiar faces of country music, this awards show’s 50th year was different. In a surprise performance, Beyoncé, accompanied by the Dixie Chicks, shocked fans with a performance of her song “Daddy Lessons.”

Photo Credit: http://www.billboard.com

This performance didn’t come without controversy, however. It surprised many that Beyoncé, usually an R&B artist, would even release a song like “Daddy Lessons.” The song itself has been hotly debated on whether or not it should even be considered as country. This debate intensified when the song wasn’t nominated for the CMA’s song of the year, causing an uproar from the Beyhive, Beyoncé’s fan base. Whatever your opinion may be on the song, one thing is certain: Beyoncé knows how to change things up.

Her career started when she was in Destiny’s Child. She left her Texan girl group behind and started her affluent solo career 20 years ago. Throughout her time in the music industry, her voice and style have changed immensely. She’s shifted between R&B, pop, and now, is dabbling in country. Her song “Daddy Lessons” is rich with new instruments and its lively tempo is something the Beyhive has never heard from their favorite artist. She continues to shake up Hollywood with her cryptic songs and surprise albums.

On Wednesday night, Beyoncé’s performance just reinforced her skills. She transgressed through genres, something that not many artists know how to do. Her first country song was performed at a country awards show. With many different options, the show’s curators chose her, as unlikely she may be for the position. She didn’t disappoint, as shown by the audience’s loud cheering at this unique performance. So, whether or not you like Beyoncé or her work, there is no denying she knows how to shift between genres of music.

Sunday Nights

What’s worse than Sunday?

The impending doom of Monday morning lurking around the corner, homework piling up by the minute.

How about waking up on Sunday and thinking it’s Saturday? The stomach drop when your phone blinks with “Sunday” is the equivalent of reading the saddest book ever, twice.

And, even though Sunday mornings are bad, nothing is worse than Sunday night.

Sweet Dreams Please!
Photo Credit: EduinReview.com

And don’t even get me started on Monday mornings.

Seeing Her

The first time he saw her was in an airport. A Petri dish of festering emotion and sickening crowds. He’d caught a wisp of her trailing at the corner of his vision, it was only a glimpse, but as he straightened himself back to forward, he knew she wasn’t just a figment of his travel addled mind. As he took a breath and grabbed his bag, a woman in a tight pencil skirt and a ponytail that seemed to pull at even her toes, came and rammed into him, sending him rocking back onto his heels, his brain rattling around like a drunk entering a dark apartment.

He continued toward his connection flight. Through the stifling heat and the crying couples, the chauffeurs with the fancy polysyllabic names spewed across expensive card stock, the pilots walking around with more purpose in their gaze than the entirety of the travelers bulging around them. The click of heels, the swish of slippers and everything fuzzy. He hated flying. He hated the people rushing around like plague bacteria happy to infect the next and the next. He wished he had a storm of anesthetic to clear away the sappy couples, the reuniting, the departing, the people too important to even breathe.

The people with screaming kids were especially bad this time. He flew all the time. He flew in winter. He flew in summer. He flew in spring and sometimes he even flew in autumn. He found his terminal, it was crowded, with lines already formed and spilling out into the walkways. Making irritable people even more irate.

“No Todd I told you it was 6:30. How long has my mom been stuck in JFK?” A pause. “No Todd it’s not okay, it’s not okay at all. She’s eighty! And she’s been stuck in JFK for five hours!”

Now there. There is a relationship that is moving fast, slipping down a slippery slope. It’ll be done in three months tops. He put an earbud in and turned his attention to another airport conversation. His own.

“No, mom, it was delayed. I’m still in Dallas.” He pinched the bridge of his nose. “Yes I’ll make it back in time.” It was getting dark. His head was rattling with every breath he took. “Thanks, bye mom, I love you.” He was going to hang up before she said anything else. He did.

He could psychoanalyze himself, he was cynical, very much stuck, but he wasn’t going to do that. There was no fun in that.

Photo Credit: The Telegraph – Rex Features

There was a blip. It seemed as if someone had set the world back a half-minute or badly spliced an old movie together. He blinked. Pursed his lips to one side. That was definitely sleep deprivation and yet, there, there was that baby’s cry again. He inclined his head toward the sound but it was gone, lost in the cacophony of other airport noises. He turned back to forward, only to move six inches forward and hit another abrupt stop. He really hated airports. He ran a hand through his hair making a bad situation worse.

“Oh for God’s sake, how long can this take?” A stranger breathes out. He was a small wiry man with the barrel chest of a Doberman pincer. A contradiction in every sense of the word. The man was innately untrustworthy in his eyes, yet somehow he couldn’t help but agree with the man, a vaguely troubling notion. He shoved the other earbud in, content to cease in his airport judging.

By the time he reached the back of the plane he had exhausted all of his music, which wasn’t saying much. He had very little music, and even less photos. He didn’t have much of anything on his phone, in fact.

He was in the farthest row back, cramped by the window, stuck between life-preserving plastic and the man with the dog’s chest. He could feel it, this flight was going to be obscenely long.

Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease

Have you heard of hand, foot, and mouth disease? I’m from Japan, and there it’s called 手足口病, meaning exactly “hand, foot, and mouth disease.”  手=hand, 足=foot, 口=mouth, and 病=disease.

This disease was very famous in Japan, because we learned in history class that it was a dangerous disease that killed a lot of people in the past. My Chinese friend told me that it was famous in China too, and that it killed a lot of people there.

This virus is currently going around Ojai, but it’s mild and no one has died from it. In our school, since it’s a boarding school, it has spread very quickly. I googled this disease and found out that it’s more common among young children, not teenagers. It’s very odd that it is going around OVS and Ojai.

When it was spreading around the most, we had parents here for family weekend, meaning that parents came to our campus. Our school has students from all over the world, so parents from China, Japan, Germany, and many more places came. In the near future, if we hear that these countries are getting the disease, sadly it might have come from Ojai.

Photo Credit: http://www.zdnet.com