Roasting Myself

Roasting Myself

Of my very few talents, offending myself is one of them.
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It’s hard to remember a time when my hair wasn’t dyed some offbeat, quirky color (aside from now). Pink, blue, purple, green, or some ugly combination of these. This is a way to showcase my extreme individuality. It makes me special. It’s just as hard to remember a time when I wore something relatively normal looking. Whether it be an atrocious thrifted Alfred Dunner blazer, color blocked 80’s windbreakers, wedgie-giving mom jeans, or bright yellow clown-like Dr. Martens. I describe my personal style as “ugly pretty.” Others would say the same, sans “pretty.” At this point I’m used to being called a hipster, and used to enthusiastically denying it in an attempt to hide the fact that this makes me ecstatic. People say my appearance screams “offended millennial.” And I’m not even an offended millennial. I just like, can’t even believe you think that. Like I’m offended that you think I’m offended.

Shortly after my (very late) 18th birthday this year, I Uber-ed with some friends to a Tattoo and Piercing parlor not far from campus. I know what you’re thinking – that we got regrettable matching tattoos across our chests or un-matching but just as regrettable lower back stamps. Thankfully, you are mistaken. Instead I opted for a septum piercing, something few other liberal teenage girls have. My dad thinks I look like a bull, which is just so narrow-minded. Beauty standards are changing, old man. And besides – it makes me look absolutely unique.

I listen to a lot of alternative, indie music. Anyone with a real record label is a guilty pleasure. I tell people that I liked Neutral Milk Hotel before Will Grayson, Will Grayson came out, even though it isn’t true. My guitar pick from the Violent Femmes concert is my most valued possession. Similar to many Youtube comments on old music videos, I claim I was born in the wrong generation. Deep in my soul, I feel that I was also born in the wrong city. I belong in Portland, not Pittsburgh. I saw Jack White in concert and pretended that I understood why he chose not to play Seven Nation Army. He’s an artist, after all, and shouldn’t be defined by one incredible, amazing, astounding, iconic, awesome, hype song. He shouldn’t feel obliged to play the song that made him famous, for the people who pay his bills.

As you may have guessed, I am a vegetarian. I enjoy twelve dollar avocado toast topped with the weeds that grow in between cracks in the sidewalk from a hole-in-the-wall shop whose menu is written on a chalkboard wall. Kale and quinoa salads are a staple. I threatened to release the family dog back into the wild (where he belongs, even though he would die within six minutes) if they didn’t go vegetarian as well. My hippie mother has taken to this change well. I told her that her spirit guides are smiling upon her. My macho father really has no choice not to. I told him that muscle milk is vegetarian safe, even though I do not know this for sure. Everything else we buy is locally sourced, of course. Not only is it better for our bodies and the environment, but it supports small businesses! Corporations are evil, greedy, sinful, and essentially run by Sith lords.

When I signed the metaphorical offended millennial contract, I agreed to be “woke af," which, of course I am. Rachel Maddow is my queen and king and my sole source of news. Everyone else is wrong. I only trust Rachel. No news is valid until she tells me so. A man I once knew told me he called her “Rachel Mad-cow.” I pulled a few strings and he hasn’t been seen since. I also am a strong advocate for safe spaces, though I am actually quite unsure about what they are. I’m also Bernie or bust – obviously. This was a hard decision, not to support a woman. She was just too corporate. When someone says something I do not agree with, my best option is to retreat to an established bubble of liberalness. I fall asleep to Elizabeth Warren speeches to recover from the ideological attacks. Protesting is my favorite hobby. For DACA, for PETA, against circuses and zoos, for women’s rights, at bra burning rallies, against all beauty companies, against every celebrity who didn’t vote for Bernie, against the patriarchy in general. If I do not remain woke, I will most likely be sacrificed by my peers to Fox News.

To the liberals reading this – do not worry. I’m very liberal, honestly. But I’m also able to make fun of myself and my ideology, and take a roast at the expense of the left. And this is something I think we all need to work on.

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The Trump Presidency Is Over

Say hello to President Mike Pence.

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Remember this date: August 21, 2018.

This was the day that two of President Donald Trump's most-important associates were convicted on eight counts each, and one directly implicated the president himself.

Paul Manafort was Trump's campaign chairman for a few months in 2016, but the charges brought against him don't necessarily implicate Trump. However, they are incredibly important considering was is one of the most influential people in the Trump campaign and picked Mike Pence to be the vice presidential candidate.

Manafort was convicted on five counts of tax fraud, two counts of bank fraud, and one count of failure to file a report of a foreign bank account. And it could have been even worse. The jury was only unanimous on eight counts while 10 counts were declared a mistrial.

Michael Cohen, Trump's personal lawyer, told a judge that Trump explicitly instructed him to break campaign-finance laws by paying two women not to publicly disclose the affairs they had with Trump. Those two women are believed to be Karen McDougal, a Playboy model, and Stormy Daniels, a pornstar. Trump had an affair with both while married to his current wife, Melania.

And then to no surprise, Fox News pundits spun this in the only way they know how. Sara Carter on Hannity said that the FBI and the Department of Justice are colluding as if it's some sort of deep-state conspiracy. Does someone want to tell her that the FBI is literally a part of the DOJ?

The Republican Party has for too long let Trump get away with criminal behavior, and it's long past time to, at the very least, remove Mr. Trump from office.

And then Trump should face the consequences for the crimes he has committed. Yes, Democrats have a role, too. But Republicans have control of both chambers of Congress, so they head every committee. They have the power to subpoena Trump's tax returns, which they have not. They have the power to subpoena key witnesses in their Russia investigations, which they have not.

For the better part of a year I have been asking myself what is the breaking point with Republicans and Trump. It does not seem like there is one, so for the time being we're stuck with a president who paid off two women he had an affair with in an attempt to influence a United States election.

Imagine for a second that any past president had done even a fraction of what Trump has.

Barack Obama got eviscerated for wearing a tan suit. If he had affairs with multiple women, then Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would be preparing to burn him at the stake. If they won't, then Trump's enthusiastic would be more than happy to do so.

For too long we've been saying that Trump is heading down a road similar to Nixon, but it's evident now that we're way past that point. Donald Trump now has incriminating evidence against him to prove he's a criminal, and Special Counsel Robert Mueller is just getting started.

Will Trump soften the blow and resign in disgrace before impeachment like Nixon did? Knowing his fragile ego, there's honestly no telling what he'll do. But it's high time Trump leaves an office he never should have entered in the first place.

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I'm Proud To Be A Liberal, Even Though It's Hard In A Small, Southern Community

"So, what do you think about *insert controversial topic here*?"

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Growing up in rural North Carolina, having a different political stance was hard, to say the least. I grew up in a conservative home with my parents and my sister. Whenever I entered high school, I began to explore politics and developed my own views, rather than rely on my parents.

Being a liberal in high school, I was often bombarded with questions from my peers and members of my community. Every time something would happen in the world that was controversial, I would always get asked, "what do you think about it?" The truth is, it made me super anxious since I didn't like discussing my political views because it made me feel so out of place.

When the 2016 Presidential Election came around, I had a teacher that surveyed us on our political views. I didn't answer the questions truthfully because I didn't want her to judge me. When the election results came out, my small rural high school was full of "Make America Great Again" propaganda. We had a class discussion the next day but I kept quiet since I didn't want to discuss my feelings because honestly, it was no one's business. I couldn't vote at the time, but I still had my own opinions.

I attended the Red4Ed rallies and I was told, it wasn't doing anything but causing a disruption. But, we made a DIFFERENCE!

People were always SO SURPRISED to find out that I am a liberal. They would instantly assume I was the worst, the stereotypical Democrat. During class discussions that were politically motivated, it was usually me against the rest of the class. But you know, I learned to deal with it.

I learned how to avoid political topics, I learned how to bite my tongue, I learned how to respectfully disagree, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, I learned to be open-minded.

If you have something that you want to talk about as adults, sure, I am open to listening, but listen to my side too. I have conservative friends and family. I have learned to not indulge in the latest political topics with them. We have respectfully agreed, to disagree.

I am proud to be a liberal, even in a small, southern community.

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