author: sarah q, current events, news, opinion, pop culture, Topical

Serial Killers Are Not Hot

I can’t believe I’m having to type this with my own two hands in the year two thousand and nineteen but, well:

Serial killers aren’t hot!

January has clearly been a weird month. It’s felt like it’s lasted about ten thousand years, the government was shut down for a record-breaking 35 days, the Brexit is Brexiting (or not? I’ve lost track), and in a low-key sense, we all just want to die. Maybe that’s why January has been the month of the serial killer thirst.

[Spoilers for You and the 1970’s below]

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guest writer, mental health, opinion

Men Must Stop Using Male Suicide as a Trump Card

Regular contributor Liam Atterbury discusses the frequent mis-placing of important discussions around male suicide and mental health. You can see more of Liam’s work in Issues 02 and 04 of Boshemia Magazine, available from our online store.

Six months on from the death of Anthony Bourdain and the topic of male suicide still lingers on the tip of our collective tongue. Horizon has since produced an incredibly articulate and sensitive documentary on the subject of male suicide, and institutions such as Samaritans and Verywell continue to raise much-needed awareness through prolific research and writing. As I lay in my bed, trawling through my Facebook or Twitter feed, I can see that the issue of male suicide is still very much at the forefront of conversation, yet I cannot remember the last time I saw an article on male suicide that did not refer to it as a gender-based issue. This is, of course, because male suicide is a gender-based issue, and has a rightful place in discussions of such. However, the topic seems to be surfacing in the strangest of places, and as a weapon. Continue reading

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Author: Sarah L, opinion, pop culture, satire

In Defence of Emojis

This article originally appeared in Boshemia Magazine Issue 02: The Sublime, authored by L. Buy your copy at our online shop!

According to Oxford Dictionaries, an emoji is “a small digital image or icon used to express an idea or emotion in electronic communication”; the term ‘emoji’ is a loanword from Japanese, and comes from e (picture) + moji (letter, character).”

People seem to hate emojis. They sniff at them and look down on them as a marker of millennial disregard for all things sacred. They claim they are “ruining the English language”. Apparently, emojis are immature. Emojis signify laziness. Emojis are probably the reason we can’t afford to buy property (or was that avo toast? 👀). Continue reading

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art, Creative, feminist art, opinion, pop culture, Topical, voices of resistance

Art + Feminism // Wikipedia, Representation & Art

Can you name five women artists? Off the top of your head, no Googling or asking a friend. Put that smartphone away, please. No cheating. Take a minute. It is okay if their names do not fly to the forefront of your mind immediately. I’ll wait. If you can name five women artists, go ahead and do something for me. Bring that phone back out and tweet, Instagram, or post to Facebook (or whatever social media platform you dig right now) their names using the hashtag #5womenartists. Challenge others to do the same. Toss the question into conversations. Surprise attack people with it. Try, “the service at this restaurant was great, but I wish the food had been better. By the way, can you name five women artists?” or “I love you, too, but can you name five women artists?” Continue reading

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author: A, current events, opinion, politics

A Brief History of Fake News

by A. She joins Boshemia as our US political correspondent in Washington, DC. Photo by Anders Norde.

This year’s midterm elections hold the possibility of shifting the power balance in Congress, and will be a key factor in how our congressional voting districts are shaped in favor of the ruling party until 2030. Many Americans are preparing to make their election decisions by following the news closely, and even the most disengaged voter will most likely be familiar with the president’s well-known denunciation of negative press as “fake news.” Donald Trump isn’t the first president to have had an adversarial relationship with the press, however, and the United States has a long history of biased reporting and news media manipulation. Even Thomas Jefferson contended that a newspaper which published only factual and true information would have few subscribers and lamented “Nothing can now be believed which is seen in a newspaper. Truth itself becomes suspicious by being put into that polluted vehicle.”

It’s hard to say if American news media has ever been truly unbiased, but in the early years of American democracy, its scope was rather limited. Prior to the advent of the telegraph in the 1840’s, news was very localized and “national” news moved a lot more slowly. At this point, congressmen had a lot more power in shaping their version of the news, and there were far fewer news outlets in Washington to schmooze and deal with.

The telegraph changed everything and allowed people across the continent to find out what Congress was up to within the same day. This was revolutionary, and also deeply dividing. This democratization of information has been cited by historians as one of the factors that hastened the approach of the American Civil War. Broadening access to news media really changed Congress’ relationship to voters. Their personal demeanors and public presentation became ever more important, and their focus steadily shifted from local to national issues.

The next tectonic shift in news reporting came with the sparkling presence of radio. Radio brought the voices of politicians into the living rooms of the American people. Now one could really experience the news as it was happening! Triumphs and scandals were being exposed in real time, and one had only to wait for the next big broadcast to be entertained.

Radio broadcasts gave way to television as the new American frontier, and suddenly the public could see the faces of their trusted correspondents, and the people they had elected into office. In the 1950’s, as more American households featured television sets, there were still just a few networks, and their main focus wasn’t only news, but the delivery of compelling programming that sold advertisement time effectively. This is about the time that focus groups and scientific study of demographic information became terribly important to corporations (think Mad Men).

Cable news was the next trend to break and completely reorganize the way media reached Americans. In the 1980’s and 1990’s, entire networks sprung up that were completely dedicated to reporting the news. No longer did one have to wait until 5 pm to understand the events of the day. The underlying issue with this 24 hour scheme was that it required several hours of compelling programming, and since people were now paying for the privileged access to this programming, it must appeal to customers. Cable news networks like Fox News and CNN would obviously increase viewership and make more money if their reporting appealed to the demographics of people who purchased their programming. If there wasn’t enough newsworthy content to report, they would have to find some. Never again would the American people be without a juicy scandal or a national tragedy!

Now, instead of just a few newspaper reporters hounding Congress in Washington, there are radio reporters, television reporters, and even internet reporters watching the every move of a member of Congress. Now, more than ever, Congress is held accountable for their actions, inside and outside of the Capitol Building. It’s not a wonder that they don’t particularly fancy this reality.

On a busy day at the Capitol, reporters stand in hallways, nervously awaiting any piece of information from a member of Congress that might drive their next story. I once watched a journalist running several paces behind an unsuspecting member of Congress, in a desperate scramble to obtain a soundbite. In his hurried efforts, he clotheslined a metal stanchion, crashed onto the marble floor, and then continued running at full speed to catch up with the person he was attempting to interview.

We’re still living in the midst of a tumultuous technological revolution, and the impact of internet news reporting on politics will remain to be seen. It’s not hard to notice, however, that the mass proliferation of information media is redefining what we regard as news. It is now more important than ever that we find ways to verify what we read and watch, and that we examine what we find worthy and relevant. The Trump administration in particular is using our veracity for new information against us, and flooding the airwaves with so much unverified and partisan information that the average American is exhausted at the mere mention of the news.

What is one to believe, when facts vary based on who is reporting them? I contend that this confusion and lack of faith in fact is the intent of the president. If we don’t know what to believe, who to trust, I’m worried we’ll believe anything.

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author: sarah q, current events, opinion, politics, Topical, Uncategorized

Kavanaugh Confirmation // The Sergeant In Arms Will Not Restore Order To The Gallery

There’s a video circulating right now of human lizard Mike Pence trying to confirm human foreskin and rage ball Brett Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court after the Senate voted to back him 50-48. He repeatedly fails to get in a sentence before getting interrupted by screams from the protesters outside in the gallery of the US Capitol in Washington D.C. These aren’t normal protest chants that we’ve become used to, these are genuine screams of horror. The rage, anger and anguish are palpable.

“The sergeant at arms will restore order in the gallery,” he says three or four times, to little avail. The screams get louder, they get angrier, he continues to bang his gavel and tries to look unfazed by the screams of a few protesters echoing the screams of women throughout the nation.

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author: sarah q, current events, opinion, pop culture, Topical, Uncategorized

Fantastic Woke Points And Where To Find Them // The Faux Diversity of Harry Potter

Dear J.K Rowling,

Nobody asked for this.

Stop it.

For those of you who missed the new posters for the tepidly anticipated Fantastic Beasts follow up, Nagini is now a woman.

Nagini, Voldemort’s right-hand snake and eventual Horcrux, now has a new backstory, in that she is an Asian woman snake shapeshifter (let’s be honest, all the magic stuff sounds a bit silly when explaining, just go read the official explanation).

claudia-kim-nagini-fantastic-beasts

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