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Watch This: “Auto Correct”

People are going to get tired of seeing me share about this, but I don’t care. As long as there are people who say they don’t understand this, then I will never be able to let this issue go, or be quiet about it. It’s important that we keep these conversations going. Apparently in a time when there is still so much “grey area”  and victim shaming of sexual assault – it’s necessary. Maybe claiming “not knowing what they’re doing is wrong,” is some people’s way of trying to get out of consequences for their actions. Anytime you have to “convince” someone, situations of coercion, or force them into something they don’t want to do, or just ignore their attempts at refusal, or violate an unconscious person – that isn’t right. There’s no grey about that. As long as there are Brock Turner’s in the world, and judges who refuse to accept that they should hold them accountable for their actions (at the very least) – then the conversations must continue. Sexual assault doesn’t always  involve violence – ripping of clothes, or walking away black and blue (though the psychological and emotional scars are there.) It’s not always a stranger pulling someone into a dark alley, just as often the attacker is someone the victim knows, sometimes even someone they trusted.  There continues to be talk about how women have to come forward in these situations, but have you looked at how they are treated so many times, when they do? Why don’t we talk about respect and boundaries before we get there? Furthermore, no means no. Sex without consent is rape. Period.

I woke up last weekend, and honestly thought it was an April Fool’s Joke that our current president spoke of April as “National Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month.” On the WhiteHouse.gov website, the opening paragraph of the proclamation reads: “At the heart of our country is the emphatic belief that every person has unique and infinite value. We dedicate each April to raising awareness about sexual abuse and recommitting ourselves to fighting it. Women, children, and men have inherent dignity that should never be violated.” Nice sentiment and all, but this is coming from a man who has proudly bragged about assaulting women, degrading them, and is completely void of respect. How is that for awareness? It disgusts me what we deal with as a society, the standards that have been set, that people try and find ways to blame victims for what happened to them. (IT IS NOT YOUR FAULT.)

If I sound angry, it’s because I am. Why are conversations continuously steered towards what someone is wearing when they are assaulted? Or if they were drinking? Or if they flirted with someone? Agreeing to go on a date with someone, does not mean you “owe them” sexual favors. None of these are an invitation to have your space and body violated.

It takes a brave person to share their personal experiences, and sometimes through this we realize that more people than you might’ve originally thought, can relate. In an effort to continue educating people, watch this video put together by the It’s On Us campaign that highlights even just how we need to change our conversations about this.

It’s important for victims to know this is never their fault, and they are not alone. If you or a friend needs to talk to someone about this, the National Sexual Assault Hotline # is 1-800-656-HOPE or visit notalone.gov

meg says watch this

Meg Says Watch This: Aziz Ansari

I don’t know about my readers, but personally – I am profoundly disturbed by current events over here in America. On so many levels. Every day feels like I wake up with baited breath to see what new disgusting news report there is to read about what happened while a lot of us were sleeping. Unfortunately, some of the time I’m awake in the middle of the night and I see it. (I decided to do something (that felt) productive with those insomniac hours and signed petitions, and called survey lines, and sent my words of displeasure to our senators. Stay informed.) Anyway, I think we have an obligation and duty as citizens to pay attention to what’s happening right now, to speak out when something is wrong (there’s a difference in disagreeing with someone about something, and lies, hate, and an attempt to silence people and stop the spread of fact-based information.) Who knew that in 2017 we would be waking up to “alternative facts” – we cannot let this become the “new normal” in this strange, bizarre alternate reality we’ve found ourselves in – which is unfortunately the only reality we have. Let’s call alternative facts what they really are by the way: LIES.

Okay, enough of my rant – my point of today’s post is that while we need to stay informed, and not turn our heads because the absurdity is overwhelming, I wholeheartedly believe we also need to give ourselves breaks from this as well. (Would we not lose our minds if we didn’t?) For me the main outlets that comes from, other than conversation, and getting together with friends when I can? Reading, music, movies, and finding material that makes me laugh. I fell asleep listening to the Arctic Monkeys the other night, after I watched a few episodes of re-runs of The Office and Parks and Rec. Both of these shows make me laugh until my eyes tear up. They’re witty, they’re well-written, the acting is fantastic, and they’re real. The laughter is a temporary escape, but a healthy one.

You know who else makes me laugh? Aziz Ansari. Whether it’s in his own show, Master of None or on Parks and Rec, or watching his standup comedy, or reading Modern Romance, or listening to a podcast he’s featured on he always makes me laugh. Not only is Ansari hilarious, but he’s brilliant. I think some people underestimate him, but read a chapter of his book and tell me otherwise.

Last weekend Aziz Ansari hosted SNL for the first time. The opening dialogue was insightful, but humorous. I think we can agree that sometimes, you have to laugh so you don’t cry. Like always, Ansari had me in stitches. See the clip below, and if not that – at least check out his book, or other work- I hope his brings you as much enjoyment as it’s brought me.

meg says listen to this, meg says watch this

Meg Says Watch This: “Hold You Back”

This song is wonderful, but the video is devastatingly beautiful. It’s all in the details. From the “We Will Miss You” balloon, that’s floated up to the corner of the room, to the stray bobby pins that were left on the night stand. The glaring emptiness of absence. How difficult it is to erase the trail someone leaves on our heart and in our lives. The essence of their presence heavy in a room, even when their body isn’t there. I mean yeah, essentially it’s a break  up song, but don’t all songs mean something different to their listeners? No matter what the subject matter, this one still strikes a chord.

And it’s right now that I start to see it
All of the weight of the way that it is
Caught between what it means to start over
And what happens over and over again

I know I mentioned Ryan Hurd in my post about my favorite musical discoveries of 2016. “Hold You Back” was the last song he released on Spotify last year, but he just debuted the video this week. I just love the way he has show cased such diversity in his songwriting with each track – some sting you with how emotional they are, some are fun the kind you turn up loud and blast, but there’s so much heart in each of them. I can’t wait for more music from him this year!

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Meg Says Watch This: The OA

THE OA. I’m sure you’ve heard about it at this point, or at least seen some buzz on your Facebook news feed. Friday December 16th Netflix decided to be like “hey, Surprise! here’s a new original series.” They know their binge-watching audience. I actually didn’t see the trailer prior to starting the series. I did hear some comparisons to Stranger Things though, which I don’t think are very fair. Sure there’s a peculiar female character at the center of the series, who experiences nosebleeds, perhaps possesses some supernatural abilities, and has a twisted past – but I think the similarities stop there. Anyway, I watched it all that weekend because I couldn’t pull myself away.

The series opens with a young woman jumping off a bridge, surviving, and her parental guardians coming to pick her up from the hospital. Upon their arrival, we discover this Prairie was once blind, but now can see. You think that’s weird? Oh, just you wait. It gets crazier.

Sure I could go through and give you a play-by-play of each of the eight episodes, (varying in length,) but I think that would take out the fun of watching the show yourself. I guess the mind warp it sends you on, you might want to take the term “fun” lightly.

Everything I want to comment on this show, depends on how you interpret it as a viewer. The details throughout the series are just mind blowing. The mounting information that builds upon itself, (which is a lot to remember while you’re watching,) and the metaphorical meaning within scenes is just such an abundance of creativity – I can’t think of anything quite like it.

It’s a little bit sci-fi, a little bit mystery, a lot a bit confusing and interesting. As much as this show has you trying to “figure it out” I think it’s also a beautiful story weaving together a group of “misfits” finding a common thread, and the ability to support each other through their differences.

I’ll admit the first episode made me a bit uncomfortable, mostly because I was watching it alone and I had no idea what I should expect. (Plus, the violence in the dog scene and fight scene made me terribly anxious.) But then as the story began to unfurl I just couldn’t stop. I might’ve watched the series twice. The second watch just gave me more questions.
Anyway though, a fantastic series. The amount of work Brit Marling and Zal Batmanglij put into creating this is just mind blowing to me. It was shot beautifully, the music is perfect, and I think the cast is incredible. They all portray their characters in such a believable way – I felt consistently sucked into the story; nothing deterred where I felt distracted from what was on the screen. The minute details from scene to scene are so enthralling, and if we get a second season I’d be curious to see if we’re reading into things or if the meaning really is all there. I don’t think anything was done by accident in this piece of work.

I almost felt guilty recommending it to friends because of the mind bender I knew I was sending them on, but at the same time it’s such an interesting art form I’d feel guilty not to share. I have so many questions, ideas, and theories but I don’t want to spoil anything. I made a Reddit account, so I could post on there instead of driving my friends crazy with my hypotheses.

If you haven’t watched it yet, and would like to see the trailer for yourself, BUT I think it’s more fun to dive in without any preconceived ideas.

 

meg says watch this

Meg Says Watch This: Aly & Simone Interview 

So, I’ve refrained from posting every day on here about The Olympics, but if you know me…well, let’s just say you know I’ve been zoned in for the past week in a half on this coverage of Rio 2016. Gymnastics and swimming are my favorite, and man have there been some awesome stories. (Especially now as track and field are under way and we see great shows of sportsmanship and kindness that just make my heart explode.) All that pressure, and high level competition intensity aside – after the final individual event for women’s gymnastics yesterday, Bob Costas had this incredible interview with Simone Biles and Aly Raisman. It honestly might be my favorite interview ever. Anytime I need to laugh I’m going to have go back and rematch it. The girls are just so deliriously happy, the candidness is amazing. The genuine friendship, laughter, and spunky attitudes – you couldn’t make that up if you tried. Happy Hump Day – watch the interview and put a smile on your face!

(I haven’t found a video that will embed in this post yet, so you can watch it directly on the NBC Olympics page here.)