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How to make a temporary tattoo as distasteful as possible.

People find the lawsuit between Warner bros. and tattoo artist S. Victor Whitmill over the movie The Hangover 2 frivolous and pointless. Here is the gist: In the movie, one of the actors wakes up with a face tattoo exactly like the one seen on former boxer Mike Tyson. The creator of the original tattoo S. Victor Whitmill claims this work is stolen. But the tattoo isn’t even real right? This controversy is a symptom of a much bigger problem.

People these days far too often get less than what they worked for. Back when I was job hunting, I saw a few ads asking for people who would want to work from home, eager for an opportunity to avoid Dallas traffic I started looking into one of the companies that emphasized “social media enthusiasts”. While researching I discovered the company wanted me to give them access to all my social media accounts and give my reactions, opinions and surveys about ads from other brands and services on each account. It was an immediate red flag to me but I went ahead and looked through the reviews only to find out that people were doing this for FIVE DOLLARS AN HOUR. Not only is five dollars not worth the time but five dollars is no where near worth the data collection that is presumably being sold to company giants. That is an absolute scam considering marketing research is a 45.8-billion-dollar industry. This scheme of scamming people for their productivity is even worse for artists.    

 The incredible photos on Instagram are rarely ever credited to the photographer who took them and the occasions they are usually means they weren’t paid. Most of the time Instagram photographers are coerced into giving free shoots to people with a larger social media following in exchange for exposure. American writer, Wil Wheaton, openly talks about the problems with offering exposure for work in the world of writers. He writes, “Huffington Post is valued at well over fifty million dollars, and the company can absolutely afford to pay contributors. The fact that it doesn’t, and can get away with it, is distressing to me.”. Newspapers and press are now only offering blogger and writers’ “exposure” for work that was once paid. The focus of these scams is on new fledgling artists because they aren’t accustomed to the rates they should be offered. Reasonable practices are thrown out the window to take advantage of the unaware workers who don’t know they can and should demand better deals.  With this perspective on the treatment of artists, of course people don’t think that S. Victor Whitmill deserves payment and recognition for the unauthorized use of his copyrighted art.

Consider this, Weird Al Yankovic always asks for consent before parodying a song and if they say no, he complies. This is just being a decent person. Its horrible how much disdain people have for the working people. An automotive CEO publicly saying how, “no one should be credited with anything ever”.  Is this really what our common decency has been reduced to? Bending the knee to corporate while calling unpaid workers ungrateful? S. Victor Whitmill deserves his money and his credit and that’s why his case wasn’t dismissed. S. Victor Whitmill’s attorney said, “Warner Bros. and Mr. Whitmill have amicably resolved their dispute. No other information will be provided.”. You can bet that the reason why no other information is given is because Warner doesn’t want you to know just how much your art could be worth to them.

Social Impact Project

What you need to know about US healthcare.

I am a public health major at UNT Dallas so naturally I wanted my social impact project to revolve around my related course work considering I have good amount of research done already. In particular, this book The Sociology of Health, Illness, and Health Care: A Critical Approach, changed my perspective of my world view of an especially controversial topic, health care. Knowing what I know now, I can say that I had known next to nothing of our health care system previously. Yet, back then, I was adamant about what I thought I knew and I was sure of what our health care should be. And I am sure we can guess why.

Politics interfere with our knowledge and perception of health care. Instead of learning about our health care system and what it does we are often told political narratives framed as news to promote some moralistic, idealist agenda. Whether this narrative is right or wrong is irrelevant to the injustice done to the American people because regardless, the people will remain ignorant on the current health care system. This is why I feel it is imperative to inform people in a critical way of our health care. Below is some information in an easy to read format to translate direct sources.

First here is a pdf version of the timeline of how our healthcare became what it is today. It is important to understand how we came to the place we are now. History tells us when and what birthed the perceptions of health care we have today. For instance, how many people will believe that a republican once pushed for national health care? Or for how long has government funded health care been opposed and by who? What was the precedent for all the health programs that we have today? These are things we should be aware of before developing our opinions on health care.

In my closing of my timeline I mentioned some of the major issues that Americans face today and coming into the year 2020. The people affected by the health programs we have today are also put into perspective of what is more than a social benefit and is a necessity for many Americans.

My twitter is where you can statistics and data: https://twitter.com/casillas_haley

EgoMedia

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Social media makes people more bold online but makes them more insecure in person

Online everyone has a strong personality. Every picture posted and every comment made is so intentional that it projects a caricature of oneself rather than the real thing. Our image is manicured and perfected to what we want the world to see. We do this because we don’t want to be criticized for our imperfections or rather, we do this so we can have the authority to criticize others. Yet, however distinguished we are online we are not physically accomplished, and we know this. How often do you see an online friend for the first time and notice how they are not only are they physically different, but their personality is never nearly as profound or as special as one might expect. Even from a personal standpoint the image we project online does not satisfy our own self-esteem because we know the image is not what we are in real life. All of this to say that we, in every instance, objectify the people we see online and it’s a serious problem.

Personal experience

Firsthand, I have experienced what it feels like to be objectified, dehumanized and criticized online by people who would have never expressed this in person. Twitter is super fun, in fact, I love being subtweeted. I especially love being subtweeted by people who I have spoken to only hours before, amicably, under no assumption that there was any bad blood about what transpired when we talked. It’s the best. In the end, I never got a direct response about the problems I had possibly caused but its clear that it was their intention for me to see their negative tweet about me and we are not friends anymore. This issue was so petty that a conversation would have resolved the conflict but social media pacifies us so much that conversation that uncomfortable is not worth it.

Famous exchange

Tati Westbrook on the left and James Charles on the right

In a famous example in the beauty world, Tati Westbrook, beauty youtuber, is notorious for the drama seemingly stirred up by the people around her. There was a recent internet scandal where she announced to her large following on snapchat, teary- eyed and disheveled, over her fellow youtube friends not supporting her beauty products. She went on her platform to “cancel” a 19-year-old youtuber, James Charles, for revenge. It is presumed that she does not agree with people who are not giving her 100% online support and believes that that the negative press affects her mental health. However, back in 2018 she went online, teary- eyed and angry, over the criticism she received over the negative review she made of another beauty product created by a fellow youtuber, Emily Noel. In this instance, she believes that she should not be condemned for not giving her 100% online support of a fellow beauty youtuber. Also notice how in neither of these instances did people express their feelings directly.

Social media is to blame rather than people themselves

I do not believe that people are being hypocritical intentionally, but I believe that social media is impeding self-reflection by allowing people a safe avenue to speak opinions without experiencing the empathy that one would have when they are expressing certain opinions to people in person. Furthermore, it is addicting to get attention from other people, negative or positive, only further harming oneself for validation that they should be getting from themselves. Social media is a personal challenge that can be overcome but there are ways that our government can help protect the public from addiction, unrealistic expectations, cyberbullying, and misinformation.

Report on UNT Dallas talk

Music is important to each and every one of us. Think about how we as students experience music in our day to day lives. On our way to class we pass by a student org tabling with a speaker blaring the latest pop songs. While at work we hear that same, tired, upbeat playlist faintly ringing in the background at our place of employment. Then finally at home, we watch our favorite Netflix show and barely notice that the background music is meant to set the tone for a specific scene. So, what does music do for us? What is music trying to influence? The better question to ask is what can be taught from music? At UNT Dallas the student body is 83% minority and largely Latinx so by delving into the rhetoric of Latinx hip hop we can better understand the experiences of our student body and better yet, our American Latinx population as a whole. This idea is presented by Dr. Robert Tinajero in his presentation, “Why Studying Latinx Hip Hop Matters” in the UNT Dallas founders hall.

Dr. Tinajero gives a speech about rhetoric and Latinx hip hop, featuring the local cumbia influenced music group “LowBrow Collective”, all while serving his audience, composed of students and faculty staff, elotes and churros. When Dr. Tinajero began to speak the audience can be heard clicking their pens, pulling out their notebooks/ laptops to write notes reinforcing the scholastic nature of the setting. The rhetoric behind Latinx hip hop. Prof. Tinajero stated of how teaching rhetoric in schools was usually centered around the traditional ideas of rhetoric, rhetoric that would be in matters such as in legal, political, and ceremonial issues. However, Tinajero argues that it is important to study and understand rhetoric behind other mediums, like music. Tinajero speaks specifically about Latinx Hip Hop because of how it can express the artist’s own life experiences, with some songs being a narrative of the artist’s lives, and represent the connection between the listener’s experiences to the artist’s. He points out Latinx artists like Snow tha Product, Lil Rob, and Fat Joe, all of who sing about their familiarity with poverty, immigration and the hardships that can come along with being Latinx.

The biggest reason to study Latinx hip hop is to help others to connect with the Latinx community. This done through the fact which we brought up earlier, is that some songs are narratives for the artist’s own experiences, this allows listeners to relate to the artist. By studying the rhetoric behind Latinx hip hop music, we are able to relate and connect with others through our shared experiences, allows teachers to make class sessions more interesting, and enables others to understand unfamiliar aspects of their peers like their culture, language and dialect.  

So hot you just can’t even

Life can feel like a competition in which the winner means to steal the affections of a coveted partner. However, most people in the western world feel the most comfortable in a monogamous, and faithful relationship. With this being the case, why do people feel that their partner is somehow an outlier in this statistic? Why do people feel that their spouse can just mindlessly fall for the hottest person they come in contact with? This feeling is normal, but it is not valid, and the reason can be answered by a simple question. How big is the chance of an overly attractive home helper (that’s about as close as an outsider can get to a family) seducing your marital spouse? About as much as anyone else.

The root at the cause of those competitive feelings is jealousy. From that jealousy, the inevitable skepticism that people feel in their relationship can cause them to see their imperfections under a microscope. Suddenly, the problem becomes the other people outside of the marital family, instead of working on mental talk and confidence issues. People believe that extramarital affairs happen with the hot yoga instructor, Fabien, in GTA 5 when really its more like the situation with ProJared.  

Beauty is often felt as a key to self-worth, especially for women. This is misguided when you realize that most women find 80% of men unattractive according to a statistic from OkCupid as explained by writer Christine Schoenwald, yet 80% of men aren’t updateable, right? So, there is absolutely no reason for married men to feel that other hot men can steal their wives… and woman shouldn’t either. Women actually get more attention when they aren’t the most conventionally attractive.

This video by boyinaband explains how woman rated the same in attractiveness can vary in male responses depending on how “conventional” or “unconventional” they are

Jealousy and possessiveness are indicative of internal turbulence. Something as trivial as beauty shouldn’t make you feel insecure in your relationship but sometimes it happens anyway and that’s okay. Instead of worrying about the outer appearances of other people, think about the internal feelings you have and take steps towards self-improvement.

Minimalist illustration about love by Lorraine Sorlet
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