The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Author: Tricia Crimmins, managing Arts & Leisure editor Page 1 of 14

On Getting Through Your Final Semester…

Primarily and above all else: keep calm. Don’t get caught up in how many days you have left to get a job, find an apartment, and emotionally process the enormous change you’re about to experience. Unless having a countdown app on your phone will motivate you in a strictly positive and rewarding way, don’t grant yourself that sort of information on a constant basis.

If (and when) time feels like it’s slipping through your fingers by the second and you convince yourself that you’ve already failed, remember nothing bad, disastrous, unfixable has actually happened. You haven’t wasted time or missed any deadlines yet. And I use “yet” to signal the reality that life is both unpredictable and ever-changing. Of course you’ll hit bumps in the road, you’ll be forced to re-route, you’ll make sharp left turns and be brought to places and situations you would’ve never considered before– you might exclusively utilize driving metaphors when discussing the future. And amidst all the spontaneity, you’ll adapt. You’ll accrue experiences that will equip you to to become comfortable with, and maybe even expect, a moderate amount of change. You’ll see new challenges as opportunities to grow and your personal evolution will be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

That being the case, become comfortable with the unknown. Securing your first post-grad position is tough! I should know, I’m currently trying to do so. Unless you’re already a successful expert in the industry in which you’re applying, you’ll have to learn to trust the process. Sure, it would be easier if we all received a magical letter offering us a full-time position and housing immediately upon graduation. But the beauty in maturing and entering this new stage of our lives is that we, for the first time, don’t know what comes next. Don’t expect the worst and don’t expect it to all be perfect. Expect that you’ll learn, change, and grow, allowing you to flourish into a tougher, more worldly version of yourself.

For some of us, the knowledge that our future plans are so certainly uncertain is both a deterrent for motivation and a catalyst for hopelessness; a fast-track to “why even apply to this fellowship if they probably won’t even look at my resume?” Questions like that will drop you headfirst into a vat of darkness and unproductivity. So, keep busy. Job boards and LinkedIn searches will provide you with a vast amount of potential applications and you might feel overwhelmed. That’s par for the course! Make a list of the positions that interest you, and then create a schedule to help plan when you’ll apply for them.

Become an active participant in your own job search; strategize. Do the extra work for applications that will feel like an accomplishment in and of themselves, throw your resume in the hat for the internship that you think you have a shot at getting. Don’t wait on the sidelines of your own life because you don’t know how things will turn out. Find a balance, and get to work.

But… don’t lose your sanity. Don’t spend every waking minute looking for jobs, checking your email, and feeling discouraged. Know when it’s time to shut your computer or talk to a friend about how mind-boggling this whole process can be. Productivity comes in multiplicitous forms: doing work for classes in which you’re currently enrolled is productive, giving your all to extracurriculars and enjoying yourself is productive, and making lasting friendships and relationships is productive. Relate to each other; time won’t speed up or slow down once we’ve graduated. Be here, now.

Appreciate the life you’ve shaped for yourself. Bask in the glory of knowing that a few years ago, you had no idea how you’d make it through 8 semesters, countless essays and tests, finals weeks, and a least one thesis all while navigating the trials and tribulations of making friends and finding your people. You’ve done it all once. You’ll be able to find your place again.

Meditating on and writing about transitioning into post-grad life assuages the fears and anxieties that reside in the nooks and crannies of my psyche. Check in on your friends, ask professors for guidance, and don’t lose faith that everything will turn out just fine. Treat this semester as a victory lap, not as a disastrous and frazzled ending.

Motivation with Maru

Hullo hullo my feisty friends! How goes it? I hope this fresh installment of MWM finds you well and warm whenever and wherever you’re reading this, and that the new semester is being good to you thus far! In this shpeel I’m going to dish out some tips for starting the new year on a high note here at Bates:

Want to start going to the gym Monday, Wednesday, and Friday but haven’t worked it into your schedule yet? Want to get a jumpstart on your fieldwork for your Education class but haven’t gotten in touch with your host teacher yet? THE TIME IS NOW. Stop dreaming and start DOING!

  • “The secret of getting ahead is getting started.” – Mark Twain… a fan-freaking-tabulous quote to help motivate you! If you have a looming deadline or responsibility, jump in head first to get it under your belt ASAP!
  • Have a fitness/nutrition/wellness New Year’s resolution that you haven’t started tackling yet? The time IS now! Think of this goal or resolution as if it were a mountain: you have to start the climb sometime soon in order to reach the top!
  • Think BIG in order to hype yourself up! When you sit down to grind out some textbook reading or to cross-train instead of practicing with your team, think of mood-boosting quotes that are on the sillier side of things, such as “LET’S GET THIS BREAD” or “FULL SEND, BOIIIII” to make the situation more positive and fun! The “grind” is as difficult and/or negative as you make it. If you put out groovy and glowing energy thou shall receive the same in return!

Wishing y’all the best of luck with the new semester, take care of yourself and GO FOR IT! It’s 2019, the world is our oyster!

            All my love,

                Maru

A Skin Care Routine To Find Balance

Have you ever had a flare up of hand, foot, and mouth disease? Have you ever gotten a fever that manifests in a full body rash? Have you ever gotten impetigo on your left butt cheek? Have you ever gotten a rash on your inner thighs from drastic temperature changes, or gotten sunburn so severe that your stomach turned purple? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, then we should totally be friends. Because let me tell you, I can relate…to all of it.

My skin is a total anomaly. While I am someone who is severely prone to rashes of all sorts and quite allergic to the sun, I have also been blessed with incredibly clear skin. Pimples on my face are few and far between, and I am not someone who has had to expend much energy on skincare maintenance. I am one of those crazy people who fall asleep with makeup on my face. Ridiculous, I know.

For the longest time my skin care routine consisted of using drug store face wash in the shower followed by drug store moisturizer. It was plain, easy, and efficient. Since I have always had pretty good skin, I never saw a reason to change the simplicity of my routine. However, at the beginning of this year when school work started to pile up and my thesis felt like it was drowning me, I decided I needed to find another type of self care, in addition to exercise, that I could do on my own which would provide me with the type of TLC I needed. Skin care was a type of self-care I had never really explored. I was curious to see the how the benefits a solid skincare routine would affect not only my skin, but also the way I felt about myself. Lets get to it, shall we?

The first thing I do when I wake up in the morning is use a Neutrogena makeup remover toilette to wipe off any remaining mascara that I may have missed — or just neglected to take off — the night before. I use the ones specifically made for sensitive skin because they cause the least amount of irritation after each use.

After, I have recently started using Thayer’s Natural Remedies Witch Hazel Toner. I have really grown to like it. I simply pour some of the toner onto a cotton pad and then gently rub it all over my face to remove any excess dirt. I have found that the toner makes my skin insanely soft and leaves me feeling super refreshed and awake.

After the toner, I use Olehenriksen Truth Serum, which came highly recommended to me by one of my closest friends. The serum uses vitamin C to brighten and hydrate your skin; if I’m being honest, it just feels so good when you put it on. As a next step, I use either the Olehenriksen Sheer Transformation Perfecting Moisturizer or Ponds Dry Skin Cream to make sure my skin is as hydrated as possible, because, as you can imagine, living in the tundra that is Maine can make anyone’s skin brutally dry. I finish it all up by putting Aquaphor on my lips and continue to do so about every hour of the day. Some might even say I’m obsessed.

Overall, I have found that when I really make time to take care of my skin, I feel a lot cleaner, healthier, and just more put together in general. I highly recommend finding a self-care routine that is affordable and works for you because, in my experience, I have found that self-care is a critical component for feeling both good and ready to take on all of life’s challenges.

Yemen in Crisis

The conflict in Yemen is the largest humanitarian crisis in the world, and it is being funded by the United States. In March 2015, an international coalition of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates intervened against the Houthi rebels in accordance with the Yemeni President. In the years since the coalition began, air strikes, blockades, and funneled weapons from global superpowers has led to 22.2 million out of 29 million Yemenis in need of medical assistance. This crisis is not only leaving millions of civilians vulnerable to violence, but it is violating international humanitarian law. Yemen is the poorest country in the Middle East, and now it is a battleground for competing countries to exact military and global dominance. Naval operations blockades have been set up on all ports in the Houthi-controlled northern area, which is where 80% of Yemen’s imports are delivered. The Saudi-coalition’s defense for this blockade is that they are attempting to block the funneling of arms from Iran to the rebels and that this depreciation in resources will cause the rebels to retreat and order to be restored. The reality is much more complicated. From May to August of last year, commercial imports fell 30%, leading to depreciation in national currency and putting millions out of a job. Most Yemenis people have not worked for full pay in two years. Every 99 minutes, an air strike occurs, and every 10 minutes a child dies from war-related causes. These airstrikes have hit residential areas, marketplaces, civilian boats, as well as medical, educational, cultural, and religious sites. The dismembering of the country has left 2 million people internally displaced, 2 million children without education, and 16 million with a lack of access to basic health care. With so many fallouts of the blockades, one must question the legality of this blockade and how it is tolerated by the world powers. Until recently, many world powers supported the Saudi-coalition in Yemen. The rebels are members of a Shiite Muslim tribe, and with the support of Iran, they are creating political distress in the Middle East. With the presence of terrorist groups in Yemen, as well as the Houthi rebels, superpowers like the US and UK have sided with the perceived antagonists of the free world: Saudi Arabia. However, on December 18th, 2018 the US symbolically withdrew from the coalition in response to the killing of the dissident columnist, Jamal Khashoggi, in a Senate vote of 56 to 41. Their plan is to formally address the possibility of sanctions and the cutting off of arms sales in the new year. When international laws are violated, civilians suffer. In such a poor and geographically compromised area, Yemen’s civilians have faced their biggest enemy: starvation. With the naval blockades and the government of Yemen’s disregard for civilian life, millions are left to rely on international relief organizations. An estimated 8.4 million people are severely food insecure with 12-13 million at risk of starvation. According to the UN, “over 150 relief organizations, including eight UN agencies, are working around the clock to provide food, shelter, nutritional assistance, protection services and much more to millions of Yemenis whose lives have been uprooted by the conflict.” However, these organizations are faced with dozens of impediments, including collapsing health facilities, access to water, and sanitation services. They are even being prohibited from shipping medicine to the country by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The countries of the world cannot tolerate this violence any longer. To do so would not only break international humanitarian laws but would enable such egregious crimes to take place in the future. The Senate needs to make a formal decision about our nation’s relationship with Saudi Arabia. The murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi sparked something in the US government, and the spark must lead to a flame of change if there is any hope of ending the crisis in Yemen.

“Into The Spider-verse Swings To Success”

*Massive spoilers for the Spider-Man continuity in general and specifically Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse.*

If you’re anything like me, you asked yourself “Really, Spider-Ham?” when you first saw announcements for Spider-Man: Into The Spider-verse. We’ve had six Spider-Man centric films in the past fifteen years featuring three different Spider-Men, not to mention the Spider-Man ensemble role in other Marvel Cinematic Universe movies. We know the story of friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man, we know that “with great power comes great responsibility.” Uncle Ben’s dead, that’s sad. Gwen Stacy’s dead, that’s sadder. We don’t need another Peter Parker, or Peter Porker for that matter. So, why is Sony Animation giving us one?

Maybe you’re not that into superhero movies, or maybe you just dismissed it as a children’s movie. My point is: you should see this film. It knows you are well aware of the Spider-Man story. In fact, that’s half the fun of it!

The film never misses a chance to poke fun at the amount of Spider-Men you’ve seen, but trust me, you haven’t seen them quite like this. It features characters from multiple universes that have inherited the classic spidey powers: Peter Parker, Miles Morales, Gwen Stacy, Peter B. Parker, the other Peter Parker, Peter Porker, and Peni Parker. The Spider-verse was first introduced as a long-running comic storyline in 2015 and a lot of the characters are drawn from its run. Even characters I was convinced had never existed before (like Spider-Noir and Spider-Ham) have actually been around for a while!

In the film, Miles Morales is bit by a radioactive spider and develops insane abilities like sticking to walls (and Gwen’s hair). He goes back to the site where he was bitten and stumbles across his universe’s Peter Parker battling the Green Goblin. Peter attempts to stop Kingpin from opening a dimension portal to bring back his wife and son, who left after learning about his criminal empire and died. The portal is successfully opened and closed, and plans are made for a grand reopening. Peter promises to teach Miles the ropes and gives him a flash drive capable of destroying the portal. He sends Miles out of harm’s way before being killed by Kingpin. Miles goes to visit Peter’s grave to tell him he is taking on the mantle where he runs into Peter B. Parker, another universe’s Spider-Man. Miles and Peter B. Parker are forced to team up and stop Kingpin and get the original Peter– and everyone else– home.

To those of you who view this as a more childish/family flick, you’re not entirely wrong. It definitely earns the title of acceptable for younger audiences. Miles and Gwen are teenagers, after all. Miles is shown struggling with cliché teenager problems– new schools, fitting in, parental relationships, and identity. Because he’s the protagonist, these issues are hit hardest; however, Peter B. Parker’s more “adult” problems are addressed just as frequently. This Peter is recently divorced (and handling it great) because he wasn’t sure he wanted kids, though his ex-wife Mary Jane did. But in my view, the real heart of the film rests at the core of each spider-powered hero: no matter how hard or how often they are hit, they always get back up. The film sends a great message to younger kids, but it’s also an important message adults need to hear from time to time.

Into The Spider-Verse is also an animated film, but it’s unlike anything I’ve seen before, making it a well-deserved winner of last week’s Golden Globe. The film is computer-animated, but it is meant to look like comic book art brought to life. Sony describes the animation techniques as “revolutionary,” combining computer and 2D animation with comic book drawing techniques. They strongly encourage viewers to see it in 3D in order for the experience to really feel like you’ve slipped into your favorite Marvel comic. I felt immersed in a comic after seeing it in 2D, too. Everyone has their own special animation style: Spider-Ham is traditional cartoon, Spider-Noir is completely black and white, Peni is straight out of an anime, and Gwen’s look is pulled directly from her comic line. The film shoawcases a beautiful mesh of styles and designs that work seamlessly to show the divisions between the worlds and create distinctive characters.

Long-story short, this film is worth seeing at least once for its beautiful animation, witty script, and relatable characters for those of all ages. Plus, come on, John Mulaney as a talking pig? Nicholas Cage as a black-and-white Nazi crime fighter? What more do you need?

Chilling Adventures Mixes Horror with High School Camp

Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is the newest Netflix show from Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, writer and executive producer of Glee and Riverdale. Fans of his work will be thrilled: Chilling Adventures is arguably his best series yet. The show is centered on Sabrina Spellman, a “half human-half witch” teenager who lives in the fictional town of Greendale, which is supposedly across the river from Riverdale, with her two aunts Hilda and Zelda and her cousin Ambrose.

Led by the spellbinding Kiernan Shipka, the show is a darker retelling of the Archie comic character made famous by Melissa Joan Hart. Gone is the quirky 90s Sabrina who uses magic to change her clothes or pull pranks at school. Instead, Shipka’s Sabrina, as a half-witch, must deal with the consequences of belonging to two distinct worlds at once. While that sounds like a coming-of-age story done over and over again, Aguirre-Sacasa presents a genuinely fresh take on it.

The show opens on Sabrina’s birthday, on Halloween no less. We discover that it is tradition on a witch’s 16th birthday that they must undertake a “Dark Baptism”… meaning the witch must give over their soul to “Lord Satan.” The problem for Sabrina, though, is that she doesn’t really find that concept entirely appealing: she is afraid not only of the moral implications of losing her humanity, but also the tangible ones. By selling her soul, she would lose access to most of the mortal world, her friends, and, more importantly, her boyfriend Harvey Kinkle (played by former Disney star, Ross Lynch). On the other hand, by clinging on to her humanity, Sabrina puts her friends and family in danger from the shadowy, patriarchal Church of Satan.

The character of Sabrina is fierce and rebellious, and the story wonderfully incorporates themes of female empowerment, misogyny, and sexism better that most other young adult shows I’ve seen. The ensemble cast is diverse and includes wonderful queer and POC representation and develops its social justice message without ever making it feel forced. The world of Greendale, both mythical and mortal, is captivating. The series really shines in its ability to build and entire world. This strong suit can be attributed to Aguirre-Sacasa’s background in horror and the supernatural; Chilling Adventures takes a lot of inspiration from classic satanic horror movies like Rosemary’s Baby and The Exorcist.

While serious and even scary at times, the show has a dark humor and a fantastic ensemble of memorable characters that makes it incredibly fun to watch. The deeper the series begins to explore the more fantastical and dark-sided qualities of Greendale, the deeper the audience wants to go as well.

While the contrasting stories are both well executed, I found the duality of the series– it being both a teenage drama and an all-out horror romp– is also where the show is at its weakest. The horror isn’t as well done as other Netflix shows like Stranger Things and Black Mirror and the special effects used are surprisingly subpar for a high-billed show such as this. The horror scenes are fun but are often short-lived and are dispersed with high-school B stories ranging from Sabrina and her friends trying to start a club at her school or reporting a set of bullies to the principal. The show’s pacing is awkward especially in the middle of episodes; I found myself becoming increasingly bored by Sabrina’s mortal friends and their high school drama as the intrigue was escalating in the witching world. It’s hard to empathize with Sabrina’s initial disgust with the witches and the Church of Satan when the scenes involving the witching world are the high points of each episode. Luckily, this low point is partially alleviated near the end of the series when the two worlds begin to collide. Overall, I found that I still really enjoyed the series even with its minor pitfalls. “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” is worth a watch, or marathon, especially if you’re a fan of Aguirre-Sacasa’s other works (and even if you’re not). The story is well written and doesn’t suffer from the need for excessive drama or twists that plagued the later seasons of Glee and even Riverdale.  I recommend keeping an eye of Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, the quality and caliber of the show can only going to improve with coming seasons.

Sandglass’s Babylon Holds a Mirror to Refugee Crisis

On Friday and Saturday evening, Bates welcomed the Sandglass Theater Company from Putney, Vermont to campus. The theater group performed their piece Babylon, Journeys of Refugees in the Gannett Theater in Pettigrew Hall. The piece was incredibly moving: it gave the audience an intimate understanding of the actors and actresses of the company as well as what it is like to be a refugee coming to America. Among the cast was Bates alum Kela K. Ching ‘18.

The artistic rendition began with a game of trivia to introduce the audience to the cast members. Through the game, we learned intimate facts ranging from who in the cast has a masters degree to whose family had at one point been on food stamps. Opening with such a personal and intimate look at the cast allowed the audience to create a strong connection between themselves and the theater group members. From that connection, the cast transitioned into creating a relationship between themselves and the characters shown in the play.

    The performance of Babylon itself focused on the stories of four separate refugee stories: a single man, man with his young daughter, a single woman, and a young man, all of whom were attempting to leave their homeland to seek asylum in America. Through the use of puppets and the hand painted machines called crankies, we saw heartbreak as a young boy from El Salvador and the single man from Saudi Arabia with a masters degree in computer science are denied access into the United States. We also saw relief as the man and his young daughter, as well as the single woman, are accepted into the country.

    The use of multiple mediums of performance allowed the audience to form a stronger relationship with the characters in the play. Handmade puppets allowed the audience to see the journeys many of them faced and the wear and tear that their bodies, just like those of the puppets, experienced. Crankies are long, illustrated scrolls, wound onto two spools that are loaded into a box with a viewing screen. They are hand-cranked while the story is told and as a result, the audience better understands the landscape of the places many refugees are attempting to escape from and the environments in which many refugees live when attempting to seek asylum in America. Alongside the hand created mediums, the actors and actresses featured kept the audience captivated for the entirety of the play. After the show, the theater group sat down with the audience and answered questions about why they chose to create the piece and what inspirationed its inception. The group worked with the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program, where they were able to meet with refugees and hear their stories. One of the actresses recalled sitting in a resettled woman refugee’s home and hearing about how she escaped her country after state sponsored violence allowed for a situation in which a man came into her home and shot at her and her family. The actress expressed her surprise at how easily the woman was able to accept new people into her home, and even call the actress ‘daughter’, after experiencing such a horrific event.     Although the stories told in the play were fictional, each was created through intense research by the group in order to ensure they portrayed an experience not uncommon for most refugees. The piece was incredibly moving to watch and allowed for a greater understanding of a topic so passionately debated in our current political climate

Donald Trump’s Solo Endeavor Into Madness

Oops. He’s done it again. Donald Trump’s ever-resounding presence in front of our national televisions was at its finest last week. During his national address to the American people this past Tuesday, January 8th, President Trump tried to convince the country about the benefits of the creation of his border wall. As we all well know, Trump has been adamant about border security since the early beginning of his campaign back in 2015. Offensively describing Mexicans as “drug dealers,” “criminals,” and “rapists” has distinguished Trump as by far one of the most protectionist world leaders in recent memory. President Trump continued to live up to his less than sterling reputation by clumsily addressing to the United States about the importance of building a wall. While watching this speech, like most of Trump’s speeches, I was less than thrilled when hearing what he had to say. With all his smugness, insecurity, and aggressiveness, I find his rhetoric less than pleasing. However, it is with this speech where I discovered something rather unique: he was clear. Trump’s delivery was succinct and well-organized. It was almost as if Trump was confident in what he had to say and, for a change, believed that his policy was actually going to work. Maybe I’m wrong and I’m giving our President more credit than he deserves, but I feel as though Trump truly believes that the border wall might give him the notoriety and the respect that he has longed for. At any rate, it is interesting to see this new dynamic in Trump. It’s almost as if he knows something is going to happen and that we don’t. Or maybe, on the contrary, he is happy that he is finally creating some sort of legislation to be debated on. Now, more importantly, what Donald Trump actually wants out of this border wall is completely unreasonable. In his speech, President Trump claims that the wall is going to cost $5.7 billion to build. Trump said that building a wall would cost less than the 500 billion dollars worth of illegal drugs that he claims flow between Mexico and the U.S., and that it would protect American lives. While both of these goals are for sure admirable, I feel there are other, more plausible ways, to deal with the issue of border security. $5.7 billion can be used in many different ways rather than just a wall. Despite this, I almost forgot the most important part of Trump’s border security plan, the one in which he claims that Mexico is going to inevitably pay for the wall. As he has said this since the beginning of his campaign, Trump wants Mexico to pay for the border wall based on new trade deals and international relationships. Not only has this part of Trump’s border security plan produced major controversy, it has unsettled several members of U.S. Congress including Democratic leaders such as Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi. Senate minority leader Schumer and current Speaker of the House Pelosi, in their national address rebuttal, kept the headlines concerning the ongoing debate about border security rolling. Not only for economic reasons but for moral reasons, both Schumer and Pelosi have criticized Trump for neglecting many more important ways of dealing with border security. But like Schumer and Pelosi, we can only wait and see in the coming weeks the fate of Donald Trump’s national agenda for border security.

Wildfires and Marginalized Groups

Wildfires have been devastating California for years. But the Camp Fire that is currently spreading in northern California has marked the largest death tally from a single fire in the state’s history with 86 people dead. These monstrous calamities have left thousands of people displaced from their homes and countless others missing in the rubble. Over 18,000 structures have been destroyed, 400 square miles burned to nothing, and smoke advisories have been issued for all affected regions. California’s response in these situations are Shelter-in-Place (SIP) practices. These include designating shelters, recommending safety strategies for homes, and other methods to address protecting land, evacuation, rebuilding, and safety. However, there is a toll that comes with the practices of SIP that targets marginalized groups and impoverished communities. Private sectors are prioritized for economic and availability reasons. The allocation of resources has become tainted with prejudice and, as a result, has left thousands at the mercy of the fires.

In the article, “The Façade of Safety in California’s Shelter-In-Place Homes: History, Wildfire, and Social Consequence,” author Albert S. Fu argues that “in so-called rational policies concerning firefighting, the inequality between the powerful and the marginalized is clearly visible in the allocation of attention as well as resources.” This article written in 2012 clearly outlines the inherent issues in the response to natural disasters. The reality is that class, race, and income are all reasons for who is brought to safety and who is left behind. Black, Indigenous, and Hispanic communities are 50% more vulnerable to wildfires due to their lack of resources. These disasters have become less “natural” and more of an example of the consequences of social differences between people.

Prevention and the cleanup of fires is directly linked to money. Discussing the current Camp Fire, an article on az.central says, “Communities in the fire zone included those populated by lower-income residents seeking affordable housing.” These people’s priorities are not on a good firefighting department or brush removal, but basic necessities like housing. Stocking up on water and food becomes much harder for certain families, leaving thousands of communities underprepared for turmoil. In the current fire and even those past, people of color have been shown to be much more vulnerable to harm than primarily white communities.

Aside from prevention, the government’s methods of distributing emergency services are flawed. Those who cannot provide identity documents can be barred from shelters and services, which endangers undocumented immigrants and Indigenous people. There is also a lack of financial support for local fire safety, meaning people must take matters into their own hands. However, the wealthy have the opportunity to have secure homes in secure locations, while marginalized groups are left with structures that are less than ideal for disasters. This private implementation of safety has created dangerous differences between all people affected by fires. It takes thousands of dollars to secure a house and keep it up to date in terms of structural integrity and fire safety––dollars that many do not have.

Natural disasters affect everyone, yet some can come out less charred in the long run than others. The factors that create the divide are due to marginalized groups’ inability to receive the same resources and safety implications than others. They are trapped in a burning state where their class, race, and income determine their likelihood of survival.

 

Brexit Busts Britain!!!

God Save the Queen! Yes, it is a symbolic phrase, no doubt. But I think the phrase should be this instead: God save the United Kingdom! As the country prepares to leave the European Union, the United Kingdom is faced with perpetual turmoil as it is on the cusp of major internal implosion. When I think of the UK, I am reminded of a nation emboldened by tradition, formality, and, of course, some delicious tea and biscuits. Even more so, the United Kingdom for generations has exuded a spirit of professionalism, enlightened thought, and iconic leadership. However, with the current precarious Brexit crisis, all of these exemplary characteristics may disappear.

From a United States standpoint, many might believe that we should be indifferent about what happens in the United Kingdom and that we should categorize Brexit as just another foreign dispute. Personally, I vehemently, but respectfully, protest that belief as the current Brexit crisis will have catastrophic consequences for us in the future. The United States and the United Kingdom are two of the greatest superpowers in the world since their economies are overwhelmingly comprised of capital. However, just because these two countries are superpowers doesn’t mean their economies are free from economic collapse and stagnation. Brexit, or more properly deemed “British exit from the European Union,” will be the action of the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. For those who do not remember, the Brexit crisis actually began two years when there was a national referendum vote held on June 23rd, 2016. During that referendum, the majority of Britain voted to leave the European Union by a slight margin of 51.9% to 48.1%. It was this monumental vote that has caused a decline in not only the British economy, but the functionality of the United Kingdom itself.

The successful vote of Britain leaving the United Kingdom has resulted in several detrimental effects that have left the country vulnerable and destabilized. One of the main effects of Brexit has been the decline of the UK’s currency, the pound. Specifically, the British pound declined 15% after the Brexit vote and suffered another major 2% percent decline just recently on November 15th. The pound is now under threat for continued decline for next year as the United Kingdom officially leaves the European Union. Another effect of Brexit has been the presence of internal political conflicts within the British government. With Prime Minister Theresa May at the helm of supporting Brexit, one of the many controversies of the deal is the harsh reality that British citizens will lose the right to free movement within the European Union. Despite Mrs. May’s claims that she has worked unanimously with the British government to create an effective Brexit deal, news shows that a third of her senior cabinet did not agree with her. Now, not only does a significant portion of Mrs. May’s cabinet not agree with her Brexit policies, but there has also been major support for a second national referendum for the United Kingdom. Labour Party representatives and members, both within the British government and regular citizens, have protested against May and her vision for the United Kingdom.

What is most shocking about Brexit is its deviation from interdependence and multilateral cooperation. The United Kingdom has for many years been a prominent international member of the European Union and has been recognized as a reliable ally. However, Brexit has caused a chasm for British politics and for the future of the United Kingdom’s economic independence. From a United States perspective, Brexit will cause a decline of several alliances as well as a decline to global markets around the world, including in our country. While Theresa May is now trying to garner voter support with public speeches and radio conferences, the chances for a second referendum in Britain might be inevitable. I think it is going to be crucial over the next couple of weeks to see how the situation unfolds in the United Kingdom. But all we can ask now is this: can God save the United Kingdom?

 

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