Dare I Say “Let It Go”? By Gregory Jacobs-Roseman (Composer-Lyricist)
Welcome to the last weekend of February! Are you ready for this God-forsaken month to be over yet? I sure am! People are getting punchy towards the end of this shortest month of the year. I don’t know if it’s the record low temperatures or the fact that we had to say goodbye to Parks And Recreation that has everyone mad at the world, but we all seem to be suffering from some degree of cabin fever, seasonal affective disorder, or whatever other psychological malady attacks during the doldrums that is mid-winter.
You can see it everywhere – from the unhappy eyes peering out from scarf-wrapped faces you pass on the street, to the Internet meme that swept your newsfeed last night which sparked heated arguments about the color of a dress – is it white and gold? Is it black and blue?!? (full disclosure: I saw white and gold, then I didn’t look at it for a while and when I looked back it was blue and black, then I didn’t look again and it flipped back, and back again, and back again, and so on… I even took a screenshot of the white/gold dress on my phone, thinking the image itself was shifting color. When on my desktop the dress appeared blue/black again, I grabbed my phone and looked at the screenshot...which was now also blue and black – I’m sure it’s some sort of optical illusion, but I don’t know what is real anymore. It's all very Alice in Wonderland. Why did I pick this time of year to give up drinking again?) – even Congress seems to have lost it, with Speaker John Boehner blowing kisses at a reporter yesterday:
He blows you a kiss! I had to reactivate my Vine account to make this video loop.
Yes, basically everyone needs a vacation right about now.
But with all the anxiety this winter has caused I am here to give you, my dear Crazytowners, a little good news. First: Daylight Savings Time begins at 2am on March 8th (the night of March 7th for my fellow night-owls), which means we’re nearly out of the dark abyss that has been this awful winter. It may still be freezing out, but at least we’ll be letting the sunshine in a little earlier, so remember to set your analog watch/microwave/stove/coffee maker ahead an hour, because everything else does that for you these days.
The destructive power of bad information. by Alan Winner (Performer, Writer, Producer)
Do your research. Your tweets are being watched by Big Brother… your actual big brother... and your even your grand mother.
Don’t circulate bad information. If you hear something and pass it on without confirming its truth, you are circulating questionable information. We all think we know a lot of facts that are actually complete balderdash. Watch Stephen Fry’s quiz show “Q.I.” on BBC America or Hulu. It’s a quiz show basically proving, we all know a lot of facts based on questionable information.
The reason it’s forgivable, however, for you and I to circulate questionable information and apologize after we figure out the truth, is because that questionable information is only falling on the ears of the people in your immediate vicinity. That information then becomes the responsibility of the next person who hears it. We are all responsible for doing our own fact-checking.
For Brian Williams, however, it is a different story. I hate droning on about it, but now Bill O’Reilly is under the bus, too (Thank GOD!!!), I figured it a good time to bring it up again. When you are a house-hold name in a position of public influence, you have an understood responsibility to tell the truth… always.
Any person tuning in at any point in the broadcast should be able to trust what our network newsreaders are telling us. As a human, Brian Williams can make as many mistakes as he wants and I can personally forgive him, but I’ll still expect him to leave his job as he no longer fits the requirements. His word is now in question. He’s disqualified.
The Bill O'Reilly accusations stem from his time as an actual news anchor which calls into question every opinion he’s touted on his FOX show, The O'Reilly Factor. If we didn’t have enough reason to dislike the guy before, surely now we’re convinced.
I’m positive that Brian Williams and Bill O’Reilly will have a satisfactory quality of life (monetarily speaking) until the day they croak.
Will there be a knock to their pride? I hope so. But the last thing I’ll ever be caught dead doing is feeling bad for people who abuse the trust of their audience. How else will we hear the truth without demanding it?
The people with the power are happy holding on to it. If you want to be heard, open your mouth and be heard. But please, for the love of god, do some research first and give me the facts. I’m a grown-ass man and can make up my own damn mind.
A plea for the people of the world to begin addressing other people's food without ignorant derision. Also, heads up - things get personal. By Annissa Omran (Writer/College Student)
The other day I had 90 pages of primary source conquest history reading to do and a related analytical essay to complete, so naturally I found myself on youtube watching Buzzfeed videos.
Amidst the satirical dribble and the numerous videos proving that one-size-fits-all is a blatant lie apparel companies tell in order to mess with the female psyche, I came upon a series of videos that I found utterly hilarious. Each one showed (presumably) the Buzzfeed staff tasting food from different cultures. There was one where they tried desserts from India, one where they tried Filipino street food, one with Mexican snacks, and one with Australian food.
Their reactions are so outrageous, honest, and filled with their trademark brand of humor. There even was one that had an adorable group of children trying breakfast foods from around the world. You couldn't reach higher levels of cute even if you figured out a way to make it rain puppies.
However, the fun kind of stopped when I reached a particular video that hit very close to home for me - people trying vegan cheese for the first time.
That's when my days in the third grade came rushing back to me. Believe me, you never want that to happen.
This week at Hillside, it's all about the return of Ashley Frasier. Lives are destroyed, y'all. Also we usher in the era of hilariously incorrect subtitles! By Owen Panettieri (playwright, lyricist)
Last Time, on Fifteen: Dylan found Ashley hanging around in his garage. Brooke found a renewed sense of bitchery within herself. Janice found out Dylan did not have the hots for her and Courtney and Matt found out they had the hots for each other. Just wait until everyone finds out Ashley's returning to Hillside!
(Note: As I was taking the screen caps this week, I accidentally hit the closed captioning button on Youtube and words started popping up at the bottom of the frame - which I realize is how closed captioning usually works. However, most of the captions have little resemblance to what was actually being said. Apparently, the captioning can't translate Canadian! Watching the show with the volume down and the captions on creates a whole different kind of nonsensical adventure. Sometimes, however, these wrong words line up in just the right way for a kind of Dark Side of The Rainbow experience. Enjoy!)
FIFTEEN: THE MOST AMAZING SHOW EVER - SEASON 2, EPISODE 6: THE RETURN OF ASHLEY FRASIER!
Dylan’s Garage Band. Dylan is jamming away, playing a groovy tune on his guitar. Ashley wanders in, unannounced. She reports to him that she finally told her parents she wouldn’t be returning to private school. Dylan assumes they had a cow, and in fact, they did have a cow. Ashley refused to back down, so she’ll be returning to Hillside, but in the process she has wrecked her relationship with her parents. Dylan’s like, been there done that, tie-dyed the t-shirt. He asks if she’s coming to school with him this morning, but that would make too much sense. Ashley wants to start off her return to school on the right foot, by ditching class. Dylan leaves her to her crazy ways, and tells her he’ll be back to check on her at lunch. Ashley is really appreciative of his help. When are these two gonna start dating already?
Finding new music and new artists through cover songs. By Rachel James (Treasurer/Writer)
Music is a weird thing with me. I'm always open to it and to hearing new songs, but I'm starting to get to a point in my life where I can't keep up. I will recognize songs, but have no idea who sings them. Or, like the other morning, I'll put on one of my favorite Pandora stations (Kate Nash, in this instance), and discover that I had been listening to The Arctic Monkeys for years; I just thought they were The Strokes.
A bit ago, I had mentioned that was really into the Live Lounge on BBC Radio 1. It's a great opportunity to discover new songs and new artists. Many times, the new artists will sing their own songs. But most of the time, Live Lounge is the chance for new artists to cover well-known songs and show off their creativity.
I've been on a bit of bender with these videos lately. Here are some of my favorites.
Ed Sheeran - Dirrty (originally by Christina Aguilera)
Okay, so this isn't a new artist. Although, to be honest, I can't even name an Ed Sheeran song. But what I love about this video is exactly what Live Lounge is all about: hearing a song you know, twisted and performed in a different way. I love the guitar and piano keeping the beat. He even does the rap. It was hard to pick a favorite from Ed, because he also has wonderful covers of "Stay With Me" and "Take Me To Church". Maybe I should actually find some of his own songs...
Charli XCX - Shake It Off (originally by Taylor Swift)
I've actually been a fan of Charli XCX from her work with Icona Pop and (less so) Iggy Azalea. The only other song of hers I know is "Boom, Clap" which is a super catchy song, but nothing I'm rushing to get. If more of her stuff is this kind of pop-punk sound, I would buy the album immediately. However, I don't think it is. Please let me know if I'm wrong.
A look back at the Academy's favorite Disney shorts from the last twenty years, following the win of the adorable Feast. By Juliana Adame (Critic, playwright, performer, designer)
Disney are a rare breed of entertainers: no one quite pays attention to detail and creates quite like these guys. They’ve created beloved classics on every level for eight-ish years, and are still the Oscar kings and queens. In light of Disney’s double Oscar win (yay!) last night, let’s take a look back on the preservers of the Oscar-winning short films over the last twenty or so years, the ones this generation has come to know and love.
Geri’s Game (1997)
Technically, this is just Pixar, but it’s one of their first, and probably most memorable: it’s the one about the old man and his chess game in the park- the same old man who may or may not be the toy repairman in Toy Story 2… You probably saw it before Bug’s Life in theatres, if you saw Bug’s Life in theaters nearly eighteen years ago. Yikes!
For the Birds (2001)
This little short about birds on a power line, and one big happy bird trying to join them, was release with Monsters, Inc. Not sure if I was the only little kid who actually sought out these little shorts on the DVDs.