North Carolina Is Going To Get Better

Okay, it would be super awesome if my state would stop making the national news.

Like, if it’s for a hurricane, that’s one thing. That happens. North Carolina gets hurricanes, sometimes just along the coast, and sometimes fairly inland. That’s part of life.

Most of the time, no one gets hurt for that. The same cannot be said for the recent absolutely out of their mind actions of our state’s legislature.

Not only are so many people hurt by their legislation—teachers and students and women and families, in particular (I am not going to go into too many specifics but feel free to look them up and be horrified), but it fills hundreds of thousands of North Carolinians with a kind of dread and shame.

I don’t actually want to move out of this state. Okay, I’d love to live in or near Seattle, Washington, because my understanding is that Seattle has perfect weather and seems like a wonderful place to live for many reasons. But I really just want to live in NC (Asheville, specifically, though I’m not there just yet). I want to stay here and fight to make things better.

Have you heard of Moral Mondays? They’re protests against the ridiculous and, yes, immoral actions of our legislature during their most recent session (which finally came to an end). Protests held by people who don’t think that teachers should be stripped of their tenure. People who don’t think that anti-Sharia laws make that much sense. People who believe that women have the right to reproductive autonomy. People who believe in fair and open access to voting.

After a huge influx of ultra-conservative campaign funding here in NC from, basically, a sort of Koch Brother Junior, we have a Republican Governor for the first time in . . . well, in my memory, certainly. Pat McCrory included, as a campaign promise, that he was not going to sign any anti-choice legislation into law.

He broke that promise. I know—shocking to everyone.

We had an anti-Sharia bill that had anti-abortion measures added to it. There was a motorcycle safety bill that also had anti-abortion measures added to it. Both are ridiculous to the point of being farcical. But it’s not funny.

Remember the Stand With Wendy story? Well, that bill still ended up being passed in Texas. And, here in NC, we’ve been stuck with similar anti-choice restrictions. It’s so ridiculous that The Daily Show talked about it. There’s nothing quite like watching John Oliver talk about your state to make you really incredibly uncomfortable.

Here’s the thing—NC went back to “red” on the national map during the 2012 election (we were blue in 2008). We’re divided about a number of things. But the majority of North Carolinians are opposed to a lot of what’s going on. I don’t just mean almost everyone whom I know, or almost everyone who lives near me. I mean more than half of people who live in my state.

That means that there are Republicans who are unhappy with the extremes to which their representatives are going. And Republicans who are unhappy Governor McCrory for going along with it. They don’t like the bills and, consequently, they do not like the politicians who are putting them forward.

Governor McCrory’s approval rating has dropped this summer as a result.

I’m kind of glad about this. That sounds weird, and pretty heartless, because so many people are being hurt by this legislation. But you know how sometimes, people think that they want something until it actually happens? I think that that’s what’s happening, right now, to parts of my state. I think that there are hundreds of thousands of voters who wanted conservatives in office who are realizing that this is not really what they wanted.

And I think that we’re going to see some different election results in the future. And that things are going to get better.



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Her

Spike Jonzes’ new film “Her” stars Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore, a lonely write who falls in love with a voice. The voice is called Samantha (voiced by Scarlett Johansson), and lives in his computer. Basically, they fall in love with each other. It’s the kind of co-dependency we all have with our phones, laptops, iPads etc.

I find it really interesting that every write up I’ve read about this movie calls it “creepy” and talks about it being our future. I think the only futuristic part of this film are the questions Samantha asks. She’s just further advanced then Siri but I bet my dependency on Siri is the same as Theodore’s dependence on Samantha.

 

Watch the trailer and tell me how you feel about this film and about your dependence on technology in the comments or on our Facebook page—I’m really interested to hear your thoughts.



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I Don’t Care About Beyonce’s Hair

I love Beyonce. I get it, she’s Queen Bey. I am as obsessed with her as the next girl—but I found it really excessive that the Internet blew up over her haircut. Guys, it’s a pixie cut—she’s a new mom, new mom’s cut their hair.

 

It’s not the first time we’ve seen her in a pixie cut either—she rocked a wig that looked just like the new haircut. This is not new and it’s certainly not news. I get that we live in a celeb obsessed culture but what is the point? Why do we care that she doesn’t have a weave anymore?

 

I work in entertainment and we covered a haircut. I read comments of people saying they were crying and going to kill themselves over a haircut. It’s not even their hair. It’s not even their friend’s hair. Is our identity really that lost?

 

I’m guilty of it too, I obsess that my hair isn’t shiny and smooth enough, I’m not fashionable enough. Then I have these moments of clarity when I think “enough for what?” What am I trying to do? Of course I’m not on par with Beyonce—I don’t have the money to have my done by professionals every single day.

 

Are we obsessed because we’ll never measure up and we like feeling like less?



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My Not-so-Internal Debate

I’m Catholic, and yet whenever a random stranger handing out mini-Bibles asks me “When were you saved?” or “Have you found the Lord Jesus?” I have to suppress feelings of disgust. They are spreading God’s word and trying to make the world a better place. Why is that so unappealing to me? I’m sorry, but at a street corner or in my doorway is not the place to bring me to Jesus. At emotional rock bottom, perhaps, but probably not on a Wednesday at 3 PM.

I digress. You can have your religion, whatever it may be, and that is great with me. Keep your religion- and your genitals- out of my face, and we don’t have a problem. Even if that religion happens to already be mine as well.

My real issue is with equal rights. I am a firm believer in equal rights for all, no matter their subset of humanity. The way I see it, what variable that a person is born with could possibly define them in entirety or makes them less of a person than others?

Suppose you feel differently than I do. Suppose you announce this opinion in front of me. Am I obliged to tell you my thoughts and feelings? I certainly want to. I probably am kind of disgusted that you are against a large group of people that you have judged on this one characteristic. That you feel they are condemned to hell and should rightfully have less rights than you. That they are lesser than you.

Still, unless you are being particularly inflammatory, I will say nothing. Everyone gets to have an opinion. If I am against others people pressing their religion on me without my inquiry, then others probably don’t want to hear me pour my heart out about my personal values. I’ll grant you two comments, but at three strikes I will calmly and logically explain why you are wrong. Fair deal. You started it.



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