8 John Oliver Segments On Hot-Button Issues For Your Political Education

8 John Oliver Segments On Hot-Button Issues For Your Political Education

Welcome, welcome, welcome to Last Week Tonight!
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John Oliver is the most recent Emmy winner for "Outstanding Writing for a Variety Series" for Last Week Tonight. You could argue that perhaps Stephen Colbert's "The Late Show" was more deserving, or even "The Daily Show" with Trevor Noah, but what you can't argue is that John Oliver lays out complicated political issues with humor and grace (sometimes).

I've been a fiercely loyal Last Week Tonight fan for years because even when I was bawling my eyes out at the election of Donald Trump, John Oliver found a way to make me laugh and give me hope. However, some of his segments boil my blood and make me shake with fury, because why the heck haven't we done anything about these things when we know about them?

1. The NRA

In this segment, John Oliver tackles the hold that the NRA has on policy in this country, and specifically how an organization with fewer members than Planet Fitness are able to control the House, the Senate AND the Oval Office into doing exactly what they want: passing laws which routinely put people's lives in danger.

Favorite quote: "If you want to see serious changes, you actually have to show up, every fucking day."

2. Gerrymandering

This segment is especially prudent now that the gerrymandering case has gone to the Supreme Court. Gerrymandering is the practice of redrawing district lines to favor ... well, whoever's drawing the lines. This is how Republicans have gotten an advantage in the House, and it is goddamn infuriating. However, John Oliver calls out Democrats for gerrymandering as well, so hell yeah for bipartisan call-outs.

Favorite quote: "Gerrymandering has become a very precise science, and interestingly, it's one of the few remaining types of science in which the Republican party currently believes."

3. Opioids

In this segment, John Oliver discusses how the opioid epidemic in this country began, where it's going, and who is responsible. Hint: It's Big Pharma and Congress/the House who have been preventing the DEA from running their opioid investigations. Oh yeah, you read that right. Going to school in Ohio has opened my eyes to this problem, and the fact that there are at least six people from my high school who have overdosed on opioids. There are enough opioid prescriptions written each year to give every adult in America a bottle of pills and then some. That's horrifying.

Favorite quote: "First of all, of course, babies feel pain, how the fuck did we ever think otherwise?"

4. Sex Education

Another relevant segment from today's news, John Oliver covers what sex education looks like around the country and the impacts that education (or lack thereof) has on people. Ever wonder why teen pregnancy is higher in the South? It's because of the lack of sex education. Shocking, right?

Favorite quote: Just all the old school sex ed videos. So awkward. So awful.

5. Death Penalty

This segment talks about the botched executions from 2014, and whether or not the death penalty can even be done humanely and whether it should be done at all. This segment helped me begin to form my opinion on the death penalty because it provides information rather than opinions.

Favorite quote: "Bold idea. We shouldn't execute innocent people [...] You sir, are a regular Atticus Finch."

6. LGBT Discrimination

This segment focuses on how despite gay marriage being legalized, there are still a large number of very legal ways to discriminate against LGBT people. It'll boil your blood and make you wanna pull your hair out for damn sure!

Favorite quote: "People believe it because it feels like it should be true. It's optimistic but wrong. Like people thinking vertical stripes are flattering or making your first condom purchase Magnums. Optimistic, but statistically wrong."

7. Abortion Laws

This kind of explains itself. This segment goes into how difficult it is to get an abortion, even if it is legal in your state. I bawled my eyes out watching this segment, because goddammit, why are old white men deciding what I can do with my uterus?

Favorite quote: "Meaning women can be asked a few hoops, just not too many. Which might sound a little less insulting if those weren't also the rules for a dog agility course."

8. Mental Illness

In this segment, John Oliver talks about how the treatment of mental illness works in this country. Or, more accurately, how we have royally screwed up our treatment of mental illness in this country. This one is particularly hard to watch as someone who has experienced the hopes I had to jump through just to get SSRIs to treat my obviously crippling mental illness.

Favorite quote: "Mental illness or the thing actors pretend to have to win Oscars."


If these haven't convinced you, that's fair. However, I hope you'll listen to the Youtube suggestions on these videos and fall down a rabbit hole of John Oliver like I have many, many times before and find out you don't really know shit about our country.

Cover Image Credit: HBO

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I'm The Girl Who'd Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

You raise your protest picket signs and I’ll raise my white picket fence.
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Social Media feeds are constantly filled with quotes on women's rights, protests with mobs of women, and an array of cleverly worded picket signs.

Good for them, standing up for their beliefs and opinions. Will I be joining my tight-knit family of the same gender?

Nope, no thank you.

Don't get me wrong, I am not going to be oblivious to my history and the advancements that women have fought to achieve. I am aware that the strides made by many women before me have provided us with voting rights, a voice, equality, and equal pay in the workforce.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Who Would Rather Raise A Family Than A Feminist Protest Sign

For that, I am deeply thankful. But at this day in age, I know more female managers in the workforce than male. I know more women in business than men. I know more female students in STEM programs than male students. So what’s with all the hype? We are girl bosses, we can run the world, we don’t need to fight the system anymore.

Please stop.

Because it is insulting to the rest of us girls who are okay with being homemakers, wives, or stay-at-home moms. It's dividing our sisterhood, and it needs to stop.

All these protests and strong statements make us feel like now we HAVE to obtain a power position in our career. It's our rightful duty to our sisters. And if we do not, we are a disappointment to the gender and it makes us look weak.

Weak to the point where I feel ashamed to say to a friend “I want to be a stay at home mom someday.” Then have them look at me like I must have been brain-washed by a man because that can be the only explanation. I'm tired of feeling belittled for being a traditionalist.

Why?

Because why should I feel bad for wanting to create a comfortable home for my future family, cooking for my husband, being a soccer mom, keeping my house tidy? Because honestly, I cannot wait.

I will have no problem taking my future husband’s last name, and following his lead.

The Bible appoints men to be the head of a family, and for wives to submit to their husbands. (This can be interpreted in so many ways, so don't get your panties in a bunch at the word “submit”). God specifically made women to be gentle and caring, and we should not be afraid to embrace that. God created men to be leaders with the strength to carry the weight of a family.

However, in no way does this mean that the roles cannot be flipped. If you want to take on the responsibility, by all means, you go girl. But for me personally? I'm sensitive, I cry during horror movies, I'm afraid of basements and dark rooms. I, in no way, am strong enough to take on the tasks that men have been appointed to. And I'm okay with that.

So please, let me look forward to baking cookies for bake sales and driving a mom car.

And I'll support you in your endeavors and climb to the top of the corporate ladder. It doesn't matter what side you are on as long as we support each other, because we all need some girl power.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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10 Pieces Of Advice From Kid President That Got Us Through Our Toughest Days

He might be young, but he's so wise.

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The Kid President made his debut in 2012 and has impacted many lives with his positivity and kind words. He provides insight into negative situations and gives us all words to live by. Here are 10 times his words helped us get through the day.

1. When we didn't want to follow through with plans.

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We've all been in the position where we had a bad day and wanted to cancel our plans. People want you there, so it's true: just you being there does make it awesome.

2. When you felt like you were struggling as a parent.

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Your kids love you as a parent. They look up to you and value everything you do! Realistically, you're doing a great job and your kids see it, too.

3. When you felt like quitting.

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You might be an adult, but there's still a force within you to keep you going.

4. When you felt overwhelmed.

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Kid President gives great advice when it comes to being stressed: pause, breathe, love. It only takes a few minutes to pause and breathe in order to get back on track.

5. When you felt like you didn't matter.

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You're here for a reason and have a spot on this planet, you matter.

6. When you saw your cousin post something political on Facebook.

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Post-election Facebook was a battleground full of insults and disagreements. It's okay to disagree, but there's no reason for us to go out of our way to make someone else feel bad about their position.

7. When you someone cut you off driving and you want to hawk them down.

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... then don't do it. Plain and simple. It won't do anyone any good to go after someone for something that really isn't a big deal.

8. When you felt like no one was listening.

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You have so much to say and share, people will listen, especially if you have good things to say.

9. When you felt like you didn't know what you're doing.

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If you're wearing pants and have toilet paper, you're doing a good job being an adult.

10. When you needed encouragement to get up.

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Straight to the point, let's do it. You don't have to do it alone, but you have to do it.

Kid President is the king of good advice. It's all put in simple terms because we don't need to complicate anything anymore.

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