The Oscars: Celebrities And Politics

The Oscars: Celebrities And Politics

What controversy can we expect this year?

The Oscars are almost guaranteed to attract some controversy each year. Usually, there's some disagreement over which film deserved best picture, or what movie is overrated. Given the current political climate, this year will likely prove more divisive than most.

Of course, politics have never been completely separate from entertainment and award shows. Most notably, there was Marlon Brando's boycott of the 1973 Oscars. Brando sent activist Sacheen Littlefeather in his place to deny his Best Actor Award, as protest for the film industry's treatment of Native Americans. More recently, the #OscarsSoWhite campaign of the last two years has inspired boycotts in reaction to the lack of diversity in the nominees. Whether this year's more diverse slate of nominees puts an end to the controversy remains to be seen, but the Academy must be hoping so.

If the Golden Globes are any indication, this year's Oscars are more likely to be primarily dominated by political, rather than racial, controversy (though the two can never be entirely separated). There's nothing new in artists and entertainers criticizing politicians, but few political figures have managed to unite the entertainment industry in opposition as Donald Trump has. After the Golden Globes, reactions were largely split into two camps: praising entertainers for taking a bold public stance, or arguing that celebrities should stay out of politics. This raises the question, can they really stay out of politics? Even if they can, should they?

We're living in a world in which an American Idol runner-up has been nominated for Congress by North Carolina Democrats. A world in which Michigan Republicans have suggested Kid Rock for Senate, and Ted Nugent has indicated he may run in the same state. A world in which the star of the Celebrity Apprentice is now the President of the United States. Surely, actors delivering politically-charged speeches at award shows pale in comparison.

For all their wealth and privilege, artists and entertainers are still people, not public property. They are not obligated to tailor their political views to those of their fans. They have every right to express their views, just as the public has the right to respond. Boycotting or criticizing people after they speak is a far better response than seeking to prevent them from speaking in the first place. That should go without saying, but this is apparently the present state of political discourse in America.

You may not want to tune into the Oscars just to hear four hours of political speeches (the alternative, however, is listening to celebrities thanking half the people they've ever met). Perhaps it's best to remember that they have the right to free speech, just as we all have the right to turn the channel. Besides, in the time it'll take to watch the Oscars, you could catch up on half a season of your favorite show.

The 89th Academy Awards ceremony, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, will air this Sunday, February 26th.

Cover Image Credit: Getty Images

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30 Things I'd Rather Be Than 'Pretty'

Because "pretty" is so overrated.

Nowadays, we put so much emphasis on our looks. We focus so much on the outside that we forget to really focus on what matters. I was inspired by a list that I found online of "Things I Would Rather Be Called Instead Of Pretty," so I made my own version. Here is a list of things that I would rather be than "pretty."

1. Captivating

I want one glance at me to completely steal your breath away.

2. Magnetic

I want people to feel drawn to me. I want something to be different about me that people recognize at first glance.

3. Raw

I want to be real. Vulnerable. Completely, genuinely myself.

4. Intoxicating

..and I want you addicted.

5. Humble

I want to recognize my abilities, but not be boastful or proud.

6. Exemplary

I want to stand out.

7. Loyal

I want to pride myself on sticking out the storm.

8. Fascinating

I want you to be hanging on every word I say.

9. Empathetic

I want to be able to feel your pain, so that I can help you heal.

10. Vivacious

I want to be the life of the party.

11. Reckless

I want to be crazy. Thrilling. Unpredictable. I want to keep you guessing, keep your heart pounding, and your blood rushing.

12. Philanthropic

I want to give.

13. Philosophical

I want to ask the tough questions that get you thinking about the purpose of our beating hearts.

14. Loving

When my name is spoken, I want my tenderness to come to mind.

15. Quaintrelle

I want my passion to ooze out of me.

16. Belesprit

I want to be quick. Witty. Always on my toes.

17. Conscientious

I want to always be thinking of others.

18. Passionate

...and I want people to know what my passions are.

19. Alluring

I want to be a woman who draws people in.

20. Kind

Simply put, I want to be pleasant and kind.

21. Selcouth

Even if you've known me your whole life, I want strange, yet marvelous. Rare and wondrous.

22. Pierian

From the way I move to the way I speak, I want to be poetic.

23. Esoteric

Do not mistake this. I do not want to be misunderstood. But rather I'd like to keep my circle small and close. I don't want to be an average, everyday person.

24. Authentic

I don't want anyone to ever question whether I am being genuine or telling the truth.

25. Novaturient

..about my own life. I never want to settle for good enough. Instead I always want to seek to make a positive change.

26. Observant

I want to take all of life in.

27. Peart

I want to be honestly in good spirits at all times.

28. Romantic

Sure, I want to be a little old school in this sense.

29. Elysian

I want to give you the same feeling that you get in paradise.

30. Curious

And I never want to stop searching for answers.
Cover Image Credit: Favim

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To The Generation That Might Not Care, A Green New Deal Is Crucial

Take care of our planet and our future.


The reality of climate change and method to address the issue has been a source of contention in the United States for far too long. While Republicans trail behind Democrats a great deal in the percentage who believe long-term, irreversible climate change is a real problem, an equally if not more important gap to acknowledge is that between generations.

A universally taught science concept in elementary school is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is the day-to-day condition of the atmosphere — rainy, sunny, etc. Climate is the weather of a particular geographic location over a long period of time. The weather in an area may be snowy on a particular January day but might overall have a warm climate (Trump has yet to learn this concept).

The gap between generational support for not only believing in the reality of climate change but if the government should take steps to prevent further harm on our planet is apparent. A few reasons that older generations may not support aggressive climate change policies are that many are not going to see the lasting impact of their harmful actions, may not want to acknowledge that their way of life for a majority of their life was detrimental to the environment, or that they simply do not think it is the government's role to further regulate current practices and lifestyles in the name of the environment (an argument supported by many conservatives).

Data For Progress

The "Green New Deal," proposed earlier this month by Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and Sen. Edward Markey is mainly a list of ideas and goals rather than a carefully laid-out plan, though aims to eliminate greenhouse emissions through the creation of millions of jobs in the renewable energy industry, moving toward public ownership (a major source of disagreement among Republicans and Democrats), and much more. This plan is a comprehensive overview of many sources of environmental degradation that our nation has not addressed, despite the majority of the nation believing the climate change is a real issue.

There will undoubtedly be a major shift in the operations of many companies due to aggressive climate change policies, which could have been avoided at a drastic level if our nation had chosen to make climate change prevention a priority. Unfortunately, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, global temperatures will rise to an irreversible level in 12 years if the United States and other countries that greatly contribute to rising temperatures do not take action. A sense of urgency has been lacking for far too long is crucial.

Written into the recently proposed Green New Deal is a section detailing how it will attempt to remedy the inequality of those most directly impacted by climate change. Vulnerable communities, particularly communities of color, are not seeing an equitable distribution in disaster funding to prevent damage inflicted by the increasing frequency and intensity of natural disasters that have resulted as an increase in rising global temperatures — Which, regardless of your age, should be a glaring flaw in our current system.

I personally doubt that the entirety of the recently proposed Green New Deal will be enacted, however, I believe that anyone who values the quality of human life, clean air, clean water, food sources, for not just those in the United States, but around the world, should be supportive of a Green New Deal.

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