Angelina’s Vanity Cover And A Message To Take Away

Angelina Jolie is the vocal point of the September 2017 issue of Vanity Fair. She graces the cover and gives a telling interview for the first time post Brad. The actress discussed the past year and the many ups and downs that it brought, including: her divorce from Brad Pitt, her latest directing venture, and perhaps the biggest admission, Jolie opened up about her Bell’s Palsy diagnosis.

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When you think about Angelina Jolie, what do you think about? She’s a strong, talented, and independent woman and mother who processes a heart of gold. She also happens to live with Bell’s Palsy. That caught your attention, didn’t it? But does it change how you look at and describe Angie?

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This is me (from a couple of years ago). I’m a sarcastic and witty teenage girl who is intelligent, determined, and spunky. I’m passionate about what I love and have aspirations that are bigger than the state live in (Wisconsin). I also have Cerebral Palsy. Out of all my wonderful qualities, that always seems to be the defining feature. Why is that? When all of social media read this article, the same thing happened more often than not. We weren’t really talking about how great it is that Angelina is bringing awareness to the Cambodian genocide through her movie or how she continued to be a great mother to her children through what was probably her biggest heartbreak ever…we were talking about how she has Bell’s Palsy. That became her defining feature.

Whenever I meet people, 99% of the time the question “What happened to you?” comes up. Now, I don’t mind answering this question. I actually prefer that it gets asked instead of making assumptions. It’s what comes after that confuses me. “Oh, I’m so sorry,” somebody says, regretting that they asked. I smile and nod my head, but think to myself…Why are you sorry?

I asked the same question while reading through the many “Oh, I’m so sorry to hear this,” comments under Angelina’s diagnosis headlines. Why are they apologizing? Angelina Jolie is still the same beautiful, talented, strong, and amazing woman she was before she revealed her diagnosis. Just like I’m the same witty and sarcastic girl you thought I was before you knew I had Cerebral Palsy. So, why apologize? I probably enjoy my life more than a good chunk of able bodied people, and Angie probably still is the poised A-lister she always was. There’s really no need to say sorry.

By human nature a disability, illness, or medical condition is considered to be “bad”, so by human nature people who don’t deal with one feel some amount of pity for those who do. In all actuality however, people who deal a disability, condition etc. don’t need to be felt sorry for because they have as many blessings as “normal” do. They are not their disability. They are not their illness. They are not their condition. They’re just who they are.

I am not my Cerebral Palsy. I’m just the witty, sarcastic, and spunky me I’ve always been. Angelina Jolie is not her Bell’s Palsy. She’s just the beautiful, talented, and fierce woman that she always was. The point is, a physical difference doesn’t change anything, and I think Angelina Jolie is the perfect example.

 

Photos Courtesy of: Vanity Fair Magazine

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MLK: 88 Years of Impact

Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

 

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was arguably one of the most influential men of the 2oth century and continues to impact the world today as a historical figure and as a pop culture icon. January 15, 2017 would’ve marked MLK’s 88th birthday. The nation took time to recognize that yesterday; January 16, 2017 as President Ronald Reagan assigned the third Monday of the year as a national holiday in 1983. But why? Who is this man?

Born in 1929 MLK grew up in a time where racism ruled the majority of America, especially in Georgia where he lived. His father was a Reverend who taught his kids the ways of the church. Specifically, the fact that God gave each and every one of his children the same rights without discrimination. This is something MLK kept with him well into his adulthood when he became a spokesman during the Civil Rights Movement and preached equal rights for every man, woman, and child no matter what color their skin was.

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King quickly became the face of the Civil Rights movement as he led many peaceful protests, spoke to blacks and whites alike about the issues of segregation and discrimination that defined America in the 1960s, and worked hard to bring change to the country. Some of his most notable doing of the era include: the Montgomery Bus Boycott, the march on Washington, and of course the “I Have a Dream” speech. He continued to fight for civil rights all the way up to his assassination in 1968 which was carried out by James Earl Ray.

Even after his death MLK still impacted the world. Especially now that we’re just for days away from the Inauguration of Donald Trump, I think it is extremely important to remember what MLK fought for all those years ago… A united nation. A nation where we love, accept, and tolerate each other. A nation where we all can live in peace. A nation where every single American life no matter what their race, religion, gender, etc. receives the rights God gave them, because that’s how America is suppose to be. One nation, under GOD, indivisible with liberty and justice for ALL! MLK understood that like no other. That’s why we celebrate him every year. That’s why you got the day off yesterday. Martin Luther King Jr. Impacted the world then, and still impacts the world now. We as Americans can only hope that he will be remembered as the years go by, because if not I’m afraid society will go from bad to worse. Happy 88th birthday MLK!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”

 

Kaepernick Sparks a Movement Within the NFL.

By: Ashlie Fanetti

Photo Courtesy of: nymag.com    

San Francisco quarterback Colin Kaepernick has made headlines recently due to his decision to protest by taking a knee or sitting during the playing of the National Anthem before he takes the field. Although he has done this since the NFL pre-season started, it did not capture attention until the third week. Since then the Milwaukee born athlete has faced harsh criticism and has stirred up a multitude of controversy. After the story blew up on social media Kaepernick released a statement via NFL.com defending his actions:

    I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me this is bigger than football and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.”

Controversy still swirling, fellow NFL players started joining him in his silent cry to end police brutality and violence against colored people. The most notable include: Eric Ried, also of the 49ers, Jeremy Lane of the Seahawks, Brandon Marshall of the Broncos, several players of the Miami Dolphins, and Martellus Bennet along with Devin McCourty both of the Patriots. It doesn’t stop at just individual players however. The whole Seattle, as well as Kansas City teams opted to link arms during the playing in support of Kaepernick in the regular season opener games.

In Kaepernick’s first verbal statement since he captured national attention the veteran starting QB continued to justify his stance in a lengthy speech:

It’s something that can unify this country. If we have these real conversations that are uncomfortable for a lot people. If we have these conversations there’s a better understanding of where both sides are coming from.”

Many of Kaepernick’s  critics are questioning whether this type of protest that could be taken as “disrespectful”is even allowed. To address that that the NFL released their own statement:

    Players are encouraged, but not required to stand during the playing of the National Anthem.”

Amid this fact, Kaepernick has said he will continue to take a knee until changes are made in America.

How and Why to Vote in the 2016 Election

     It’s 2016. That means it’s election year. It has pretty much been the definition of pop culture since it started and I haven’t written about it since the primaries. So, heres my thoughts on the general election:

How should you vote?

     This election should be a fair and honest one. This means that everybody’s vote should be an educated and honest representation of what they believe as a person. I don’t care is you vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or Green. The important thing is that your decision isn’t based purely on media bias and just what here from other people, but facts and your beliefs on the issues facing the country today. With that said, we are the United States of America. That means that we need to stand together and accept other people’s opinions. I’m pro-gun, pro-life, and pro-God. This doesn’t mean that I disrespect anybody that thinks otherwise. It means that I have other ideas than someone else, and that is absolutely OK. We need to close the divide between the people of this country and work towards change because arguing doesn’t change anything. It won’t change a Republican’s mind, it won’t change a Democrat’s mind, the only thing it will do is make the divide larger. The point is, vote with your head, but also with your heart.

Why should you vote:

      Why go to the polls? Voting is the responsibility of an adult American citizen. If you don’t do so you have no right to complain about the outcome of the election. It is also one of the big ways to spark a change in the country. One we so desperately need. Change starts with a vote. The reason for your vote should be for a better America no matter what you believe in. So go to the poles in November. Every vote counts.

15 Years of Grief.

September 11, 2001. America changed that day, and nobody will ever forget.

To the unsuspecting man who went to work that day.

To the woman on the top floor who jumped to the end of her life.

To the family en route to a California vacation.

To the police, first responders, and firefighters, who sacrificed everything.

To the citizens of New York, running  from a cloud of black.

To the families of the victims.

To America.

May God be with you on this 15th anniversary. May he guide you to peace. May you find comfort in him. May you be reminded to love today, because there might not be a tomorrow. May you never forget.

Amen.

School Survival.

Well, it’s here. Summer is over and school is back in session. I don’t know if I’ll survive, but I have essential items/things to push me through these oh so agonizing months until June. I thought I’d share because Lord knows school is a struggle for everyone in one way or another. So, I present my survival kit:

  1. Drawstring bags– I don’t know about you,but I hate lugging around big and bulky bags, especially in a busy hallway. In solution, I utilize drawstring gym bags to carry extra things as well as my main backpack.
  2. Mechanical Pencils– I’m not wasting my time sharpening, let’s be real here.
  3. Red velvet pop tarts-  Thank you Shane Dawson for making me love these.
  4. Spotify playlist- hard rock, pop, all the way to the best Jesus praisers, playlists are essential.
  5. Black leggings- they’re not just for winter anymore.
  6. Mascara- Maybelline lash sensational is the bomb diggity.
  7. Converse- All year long, high and low. A closet staple.
  8. Highlighters- The only thing that keeps me organized.
  9. Netflix- Grey’s Anatomy, Friends, Private Practice, Fuller House… Literally everything.
  10. Power Sticks- AKA the phone defibrillator.
  11. Coffee- Creamer, sugar, black, either way I have to have it.

    I’ve got so much more that I use and do everyday to make the day go smoothly, but these stand out the most.

    How do/did you survive 9 whole months of school?

    Surprising New Twist in the”Making a Murderer” Mystery

    The Wisconsin court has ruled to overturn the conviction of Brendan Dassey on Friday August 12, 2016. This comes after the whole world saw his and Uncle Steven Avery’s whirlwind of a story unfold in the hit Netflix documentary “Making a Murderer”.

    The highly successful documentary highlighted the life of Steven Avery from 1985 to 2015. In that time span he was wrongly convicted of rape by the Manitowoc County Criminal Justice System, let out of prison after 18 years,  he sued the County for the wrongful conviction, and seemingly framed for a 2005 murder of a journalist who was on his property for work.

    After a long and sketchy investigation done by the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Dept. Both Steven Avery and the 16 year old nephew Brendan Dassey were convicted of the rape and murder of Theresa Halbach in 2007.  Flash forward 9 years and the Wisconsin court system is calling for Dassey to be released due to “false promises” investigators made him during interrogation executed in hopes of getting a confession out of him.

    According to statements made by the court today Brendan should be released within 90 days, and quite honestly, I don’t know how I feel about it. I’ve watched “Making a Murderer” in full and did so with an open mind. With that said, in my opinion Steven is innocent and Brendan and the other guy on the property that night are responsible. But I also feel that Brendan was treated horribly by investigators and was not fully stable during the whole ordeal. This case is a little to close to home for me and one thing for certain that I gathered from the documentary is that the Manitowoc County Sheriff’s Dept. during this time period was crooked and corrupt.

    (Prayers go to everyone involved, especially the Halbach family)

    America in Rio.

    The 2016 Rio Olympics have taken the world by storm. Most specifically the US athletes all around. America leads the way with 13 medals over the other countries just 4 days into the two week long competition. This stems from the effort put in by some of America’s most elite in sports including: swimming, diving, archery, shooting, and fencing.

    Both American swim teams are stand outs of the 2016 Olympic games. The most talked about races include: Katie Ladeckey beating her own world record and bringing home both gold and silver for the US, and Michael Phelps and co claiming victory in the men’s relay.

    In other sports the USA is dominating as well . The women’s volleyball team have made great strides towards the final game including a win(2-3) against a well decorated Netherlands. In similar fashion the reigning champion women’s soccer team also beat the competition and are well on their way to a championship game.In the widely popular sport of gymnastics the US teams are doing their country proud as to of the female gymnasts have advanced to the finals. Due to a rule of two athletes per country it was determined that Simone Biles and Ally Raisman would represent the red, white, and blue.

    Overall, the Americans are making a huge mark in Rio de Janeiro by already placing 3 gold, 6 silver, and 4 bronze medals under their belts. I’m only expecting that number to grow as the mega event rages on. The physical, mental, and emotional toughness all the Olympians world wide possess is tremendous. Truly extrodinary. I wish them all the best of luck, but most of all, God bless America! Go team USA!

    Congrats Jojo and Jordan!

    The bachelorette Jojo Fletcher is engaged. The Bachelor Nation enjoyed a dramatic rollercoaster of a season that led to Jordan Rodgers getting on his knee. The former NFL quarterback and brother of Green Bay Packer star Aaron Rodgers was a front runner from the beginning all the way to the end. Jordan went through a lot while competing for Jojo’s heart as his character was called into question while suspicions about a family feud swirled around. In the end though, Jordan captured Jojo with his charms and is currently happily engaged. Congratulations to the couple!

    The many fans of the popular franchise don’t have to wait long for more drama. Bachelor in Paradise kicks off tonight with a group of singles from previous seasons looking for a relationship. These singles include: Nick and Jared from Kaitlyn’s season, Haley, Emily, and Caila from Ben’s season, and Evan, Chad (Lord help us), and Daniel from Jojo’s season among others. Tune in tonight to ABC @ 8/7c. to join in on the party in Paradise.

    Melania Trump’s RNC Speech.

    The Republican National Convention kicked off on Monday and has taken over social media.Specifically Melania Trump and the speech she gave in support of her husband who is now the official Republican nominee for POTUS. Critics have been bashing her and the Trump campaign for supposedly plagiarizing the first lady (Michelle Obama)’s 2008 DNC speech. Quite frankly, I think the hype and rage is absolutely ridiculous.

    I’m not saying this because I am a Trump supporter, but because that’s exactly what it is. The media and Democrats alike have been comparing the statement made by both Michelle and Melania: “I was taught to work hard for what I want.” If we surveyed the human race I’m sure everybody has been told that once or twice. Also anybody who says Obama’s speeches throughout the past 8 years were completely original is just as much a liar as Hillary.

    I felt Melania was very calm and collected and did a wonderful job addressing America at the RNC. She certainly does not deserve to be mocked for it. So what if the wording was similar, we were all taught to work hard. It was blown way out of proportion. Although I did enjoy reading through the trend on Twitter.

    ***This is just my opinion, I’m open and will respect everyone else’s.***