Where there’s smoke, there’s fire

Smoke from Canyon Fire 2, as seen from Garden Grove, California (2017)

To Dream, Perchance to Sleep


Erised“Don’t you have a dream? Something you’ve always wanted very badly? You can have whatever dream you want…you can have anything you want in the whole universe.” -Vina, “The Cage”, Star Trek: The Original Series

I’ve been clocking in a lot of screen time lately.

Either something has been nagging at my mind or I’ve just been unusually observant lately, but there’s been a recurring theme within the media I’ve been consuming. As Bill Nye would say, let’s consider the following:  Continue reading “To Dream, Perchance to Sleep”

Not Yo Culture

Kylie Jenner poses for a selfie in cornrows. Shortly thereafter, she will be called out on this by Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg.

Hated YouTuber of the moment Nicole Arbour (see recent rage-bait video ‘Dear Fat People’-or rather, don’t) has been generous enough to bring us another highly controversial video addressed to another group of marginalized individuals: black people.

This time, Arbour attacks the concept of cultural appropriation, misdefining and trivializing it and advocating cultural ‘sharing’ because she sees nothing wrong with trying out bits and pieces of other people’s cultures that she thinks are cool.

The video features jump shots of the barely-speaking token black friend she brought in to ‘qualify’ her opinions, mockery of her own white girl-ness and a somewhat heartfelt speech about how black people are still discriminated against to this day.

There’s no sense in inviting anyone to watch the video and rack up views for her perhaps-well-intended-but-poorly-executed word vomit, but the video serves as a good example of the misunderstandings that exist about cultural appropriation.  Continue reading “Not Yo Culture”

Dear Nicole Arbour

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“If we offend you so much that you lose weight, I’m okay with that.”

These are words spoken by Nicole Arbour, a Youtuber with over 220,000 subscribers, on her six-minute rant entitled “Dear Fat People”, which includes the claims that fat shaming doesn’t exist and jokes that Crisco comes out of obese people’s pores.

The once-popular, non-infamous comedian received an avalanche of criticism for the video, and rightly so.

However, amidst her mocking tirade, Nicole Arbour did make one relevant point, something that we’re all aware of yet still discuss very nervously: obesity is an issue.  Continue reading “Dear Nicole Arbour”

Still Not Asking For It: Sexual Harassment & Rape Culture


When I was in middle school, a female student was told that she should stop wearing low cut tank tops because “it drove the boys crazy and distracted them from their homework.”

This casual comment was met by laughter and effectively made the pre-pubescent breasts of a 13-year-old girl responsible for the lust and poor performance of the school’s male population.

In school or out, girls are taught that that their clothing choices cause them to be harassed and assaulted, one of the most twisted lessons in present society. Tight leggings, mini skirts, and even visible bra straps are prohibited in school’s female dress codes. Instead of teaching boys to respect girls, they teach girls their bodies are inappropriate.  Continue reading “Still Not Asking For It: Sexual Harassment & Rape Culture”

In Defense of Body Modification

tumblr_inline_nmixdmwxZH1ql3ax6_500A furious debate churns constantly in tabloids and Instagram comments: is Nicki Minaj’s magnificent rear end actually real? Are Kylie Jenner’s pillowy lips the result of dermal fillers?

For whatever reason-jealousy? boredom?-people feel entitled to judge other people’s cosmetic decisions, often denouncing them as “shallow” and “fake”.

According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, 15.6 million cosmetic procedures were performed last year, and yes, some of them could have been influenced by society’s crushingly high beauty standards-definitely a negative reason.

But for the average person, going under the knife is a big deal and a very personal decision. Most people don’t change their appearance to please other people, they do it to please themselves, and in these cases, cosmetic surgery is entirely positive.  Continue reading “In Defense of Body Modification”

Negative Relationship Constructs in 50 Shades of Grey

Just when you think there can’t be a worse love story than Twilight, someone decides to give Edward a whip and handcuffs.

For those who have somehow managed to avoid the steamy trailers for this book-turned-movie, “Fifty Shades of Grey” is author E L James’ Twilight-BDSM fanfiction. The so-called “erotic romance” replaces Edward and Bella with another equally frustrating couple, that of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele. The two fall in love, their relationship complicating as Ana tries to comes to terms with Christian’s unusual sexual habits.

Besides being dull and poorly-written (sappy dialogue and awkward sex galore), the book is also jam-packed with negative gender stereotypes that lead to casual relationship abuse.  Continue reading “Negative Relationship Constructs in 50 Shades of Grey”