Written by Julianna Bonnett
Everybody knows that the saying "sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me" is a complete and utter lie. WORDS do hurt, or at least they can, but on the flip side, sometimes people's words can help you or even save your life.
As crazy as it sounds, everyone has their own opinions, and with having an opinion, things can become challenging. Sometimes your beliefs and opinions can hurt someone you care about. People may look at you as an uneducated fool or have some people fearful of expressing their opinion in front of you simply because they are scared of being shut down. So, where do you draw the line on having such an open and honest opinion around others?
Let's start with an outline; there is a difference between having an "opinion" and being "overly opinionated."
For example, having an opinion means you have a strong conviction, but you know you may be wrong. You challenge someone, but you are open to being challenged. You are critical, but it's not personal. You want to change someone's mind, but you are ready to have your mind changed.
Where being overly opinionated means you are convinced because you are right. You challenge someone because you know better. You are critical because that person is wrong. You want to change their mind because they are wrong. You attack them because they are wrong and because your opinion is the only opinion.
Having an opinion on something is natural, and it's not a bad thing; it means you're using your voice and expressing something you believe in, but sometimes words can hurt others. With that, your opinions can affect people negatively. Sometimes though, your voice can guide others and give them the confidence and strength to be open and honest about their truth.
With every conversation comes different opinions and approaches; being open with one another creates more discussion, and when conversations happen, more change can begin. Learning to respect others for their views and thoughts is the first step to having a real conversation and being open to learning more.
Once you're able to implement that, you will be confident with your opinions while also learning and listening to others. This can lead to a free discussion, whether you agree or disagree respectfully.
Written by a F.A.B.U Contributor
Back in early 2001, a group in a town in New Mexico started a bonfire. This bonfire wasn’t to roast marshmallows, it was to burn Harry Potter books. The boy wizard was accused of promoting satanism.
In 2005, a case in Georgia was taken to the supreme court to ban Harry Potter books from schools for this exact same reason.
Numerous fans laughed it off, calling these book burnings ridiculous. Do they really think that a book about a boy going to school to learn magic will really make kids worship satan and practice witchcraft?
It’s preposterous, yes.
But in 2021, people are now asking themselves “does Grease promote sexism?”
Now, in the age of cancel culture, we’re seeing more and more timely classics being censored or removed over problematic content.
Celebrities are being canceled, historical figures are being canceled, food mascots are being canceled. The list can go on and on.
But for today's portion of the blog, we’re talking about books, tv, and film.
Censorship is nothing new, especially when it comes to adults making decisions as to what may or may not be appropriate for young people.
In English class, you might have even been assigned to pick a book off of a “banned book list”, or at least a book that has been challenged due to its content. Some of these books include Catcher and the Rye, To Kill A Mockingbird, Animal Farm and many others that were challenged due to their adult themes and deemed too extreme for high school students.
To quote Oscar Wilde:
"There is no such thing as a moral or an
immoral book. Books are well written,
or badly written. That is all."
To move away from those old books, some recent “cancellations” from companies trying to get “ahead” of cancel culture include six Dr. Seuss books (note, none of the popular ones), Mr. Potato Head becoming gender neutral, and Pepe le Pew getting removed from the second Space Jam movie.
Are these books/toys/movies worth getting removed by their companies because they deserve it, or is it simply out of fear of being called out? Did anybody even give a second thought to an animated skunk or a plastic potato that you stick plastic noses and lips to? Is this what people really want?
Today, because of the ongoing discussions of race, sexuality and gender, many people are watching old pieces of media and reading books with a new perspective.
Some more of the recently accused include the 1974 musical, Grease, for lacking diversity and being called out for the way the female characters are treated.
Grease is a product of the time. Is there a lack of diversity and are there scenes that exhibit sexist behaviour? Sure.
But we cannot look at older pieces of media with today’s values.
We need to remember that people’s attitudes and social views have changed significantly, even within the past five years.
Due to social media, people are more vocal about having better representation in film, and Hollywood is striving to do better, especially with all the ways we consume media.
Media is powerful, and more representation is always welcomed, but going after old pieces of mainstream media is not going to solve any problems.
They were a product of their time and should be used as a tool to learn. It’s like history. We learn about history - the good parts and the bad parts - to learn about what happened so it doesn’t happen again.
When it comes to old pieces of mainstream media with problematic content that doesn’t align with today’s views, here are some things to consider:
1.What year does this take place or when was this filmed? What were the values of the time?
For a movie like Grease, for example, takes place in the 1950’s. Unfortunately, during that time, they were not having the same conversations about gender roles or diversity as we do now.
2. What were the intentions of this film/book/show?
When it comes down to it, Grease is a harmless musical. The producers did not have malicious intent or ulterior motives when making it.
But if the intent was meant to harm, damage, or promote hate towards certain groups, then, yes, the reason for cancellation is valid.
3. Artistic Merit - A movie or book can be problematic, but still have artistic merit (remember the Oscar Wilde quote above?) For example, Gone With The Wind contains problematic representations of how black people are portrayed at a southern plantation. This is 100 percent true, but the film does feature artistic merit that do classify it as a cinematic achievement, such as costumes, cinematography, acting and having the most iconic lines in film history: “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.”
There needs to be some autonomy. Instead of calling for the removal or cancellation of books and mainstream media, people should educate themselves, especially by focusing on the younger demographic who might not understand how the social views/behaviour of the time affected how certain people were treated and represented over fifty years ago. If a movie is in black and white, you’re guaranteed to find something problematic.
People are more aware now then they were before.
Some things should be given a pass as long as it doesn’t create harmful, dangerous, or aim to do damage to a certain community.
These movies, shows and books should remain available, but feature some type of warning beforehand, like what Disney is doing with Dumbo and Lady and the Tramp, which portray certain racial groups in a stereotypical way.
Let things be how they are, learn from it, and strive for a better content.
What is your opinion on cancel culture? Leave a comment below.
Written by A FABU Contributor
As Demi Lovato said, “What’s wrong with being confident?”
Confidence makes you feel good about yourself, your talents, and your abilities. It allows you to walk into a room knowing what your uniqueness brings to the table.
Self-confidence gives you the power to feel comfortable with who you are as a person, and having confidence in other people will give that assurance to someone else.
With that said, there is such a thing as having too much confidence, to the point where it becomes toxic. This is the point where confidence turns into cockiness.
Confidence and arrogance can be confused, especially when it comes to people who work in high positions.
When a woman is bossy, they can sometimes be labelled a “bitch”.
When a man is bossy, they can sometimes be labelled a “douchebag”.
Someone should not be labelled in this way just because they expect a high level of work, but there is a point where over confidence can turn into demeaning behavior towards others.
To break it down, people who are confident in themselves have a clear understanding of what they want out of themselves and other people. Whereas, someone who's arrogant might boss around others in order to satisfy their ego.
Take a second to think about the people in your own life. You can probably think of someone who comes to mind who is confident. Now, compare them to someone who you deem as arrogant. You can probably identify the difference just by the shift in the energy they give off and how they talk about themselves.
Usually, someone who’s cocky tends to have an inflated sense of confidence and a heightened view of themselves and what they've achieved, creating a sense that they are better than everybody else. This, in turn makes the people around them feeling annoyed and undervalued.
Confident people know what they want and still expect a certain level of hard work out of others, but they will lift up those around them in order for everyone to achieve and succeed.
Arrogant people usually tend to brag about their achievements and might even belittle those around them by talking down to them in a condescending way.
They might even make everything about them, instead of getting input from others or taking other people into consideration.
It’s like how the old saying goes “you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.” When someone is arrogant, it can be difficult to work with them. And if you try to confront them on their behavior and how it impacts morale, there may be some push back as it is hard for them to understand what they're doing wrong, and will shrug it off.
But, when you lift people up and work together, it reflects well not only on the team you are working with, but it reflects well on yourself, so you can confidently present your best work.
Written by Julianna Bonnett
WIt causes you to feel a certain way. Whether it be to celebrate a new job or to help you pick yourself up after a bad breakup.
When you hear a song for the first time, it can give you that adrenaline rush, the motivation to be the best, or it could make you relive that one painful time in your life.
Have you ever heard that one song that can evoke the same memory every single time?
Music is a sensory gift that allows listeners to be taken back to a moment so minuscule, that they forgot it was even a memory in the first place. Songs trigger memories and those memories are often complete.
They include not only the song and the performer but also how we felt the first time we heard it, where we were when we heard it and the events that were happening in our live to shape that song into what it has become in our minds.
Music can be used as background noise to lighten an awkward conversation, to helping patients with dementia bring back momentary colour to a darkened mind but the most critical part about music is that it can bring an element of calmness to our bodies and allow us to travel back to a moment long passed.
Music isn’t simply a mixture of beats, tones, keys and beautiful lyrics. It’s a gateway for individuals to escape.
According to a few Canada wide studies, listening to music can help reactivate areas of the brain that are associated with memory, reasoning, speech and some motor functions. It can also reduce anxiety, blood pressure, pain and help with sleep patterns.
Music enriches our souls daily and can make us relive that one joyous time we wish we could get back. Whether it's at a big concert, in the car or in the shower, music has the eliminate to bring us all together, no matter the situation.
Today, tomorrow and every other day, it's something we should be thankful for. After all, it is the little things that are able to bring serenity to us.
What music brings back compelling memories for you? Comment below