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Why There Are So Few Female Directors

April 9, 2024

You may have heard a lot about the works of directors like Alfred Hitchcock, Stanley Kubrick, Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese. But how much have you heard about directors like Dorothy Arzner, Alice Guy-Blaché, Charlotte Wells, Chloé Zhao, Ava Duvernay, or Jane Campion? 

Male directors have done incredible things for the film industry—there is no denying that. We have been blessed with some of the most beautiful films ever made because of these incredibly talented visionaries. 

However, the film industry does not look so kindly on women who desire to go into larger filmmaking roles like directors or producers because of the lack of them already in the business. Many studios will look at examples from the past to judge current potential, the majority of which is male. It is much harder for women to find funding to promote their work because of the minimal proof out there that they are capable of success. Simply, Hollywood is a business. What is the goal of a business? To generate a profit. History shows the greatest amount of profit has come through male directors because that is what people are used to. 

Despite the lack of representation of women in film, women have much to offer the industry. Both male and female directors are invaluable because each has a different way of looking at the world and a different approach to storytelling It has been proven that women are capable of telling a compelling story, yet they are continually treated unfairly when it comes to opportunities for growth. 

San Diego State University’s The Celluloid Ceiling has published yearly records regarding women in Hollywood since 1998. Their 2023 report stated that only 16% of the top 250 grossing films were directed by women and only 14% of the top 100. The percentage of women who hold key behind-the-scenes positions has gone down by 1-2% over the past year, but with more and more women stepping up in the industry, I predict the number will steadily rise again. 

Out of the few female directors, Greta Gerwig stood out with the release of her blockbuster movie Barbie. The film was a great accomplishment for females in the movie industry. Gerwig has an incredible talent for storytelling, as seen not only in Barbie (2023) but also in Gerwig’s other films, like Little Women (2019). Gerwig’s work has not received as much recognition as many think it deserves but is absolutely part of the foundation for future female directors to stand on. 

Fans and onlookers were especially unhappy with the results of the Oscars this year. Barbie was nominated for eight awards, and the one award it did win was for best original song, “I’m Just Ken” sung by Ryan Gosling. How Greta Gerwig and Margot Robbie were not even nominated for their major roles in the film was shocking to the movie’s fanbase. However, according to an article covering the event, the Academy has been known for its more masculine taste and has not typically based its judgments on cultural popularity. A similar situation happened the year prior when Top Gun: Maverick, the biggest movie of 2022, seemingly got brushed aside by the Academy. 

Inclusion in The Director Chair addressed several possible solutions to the lack of women in film. “While the pipeline continues to fill with talented new voices,” the analysis stated, “it seems the film industry is content to ignore those who have already proven themselves capable.” Bringing on a female director for multiple bigger films would be a great step for improvement. Many of the most famous directors are so well-known today because of their list of films done in their particular style. They were given a chance to grow and become what they are now. Women would be able to achieve that same respect if they were given the opportunity and invested in. 

Judging based on experience and work is also an important area that needs improvement. The quality of a film has never been impacted by gender. Women have proven that they are capable of making incredibly moving, culturally impactful films that defy standards and hold a captive audience. 

It is not an easy thing to do in the Hollywood sphere. Change is not seen as a priority when executives can see a history of success in how things have always been done. However, the culture around us is slowly but surely becoming more aware that many have been without a voice. Because of this shift, I think the number of female filmmakers will escalate in the years to come. 

Both men and women have a place in the industry and can contribute differently in beautiful ways that allow a fuller harmony of voices to be heard. As a female myself whose dream is to become a film director one day, I hope to help contribute to the growth of female filmmakers and pave the way for future generations after me. It inspires me to see the need for these roles and gives me more passion to pursue this career. 

No matter who you are, if you are looking to pursue filmmaking, start with what you have. Experiment with different styles, try new creative techniques and get involved with as many projects as you can. 

If you’re looking for some inspiration for your work or just really like movies, come check out our 5-Minute Film Festival at the LaHaye Event Space featuring student-produced films! The festival runs April 8-11 from 6-9 p.m. with the awards on April 12 at 7 p.m. So come check out this spectacular event, come dressed to the nines, and enjoy the show!

 

Written by Faith Catanzaro

Faith
is a sophomore studying Digital Media & Journalism concentrating in Video Production, and she is also a videographer for Student Activities. She loves watching movies, cooking, blogging on Instagram, graphic design, health, and fitness!

The Relentless Romance of Pop Culture and Sports

February 9, 2024

The worlds of sports and pop culture have collided many times, but one of our favorite collisions is undoubtedly Taylor and Travis. This celebrity couple of the year has captured everyone’s attention with their charming presence and heartwarming affection. Their budding romance has influenced both fandoms to a wild degree. Taylor’s presence at football games and Travis’s appearance at her concerts have made fans far more likely to attend these events, support both the NFL and Taylor Swift, and root for their favorite couple. According to media sources, ticket prices shot up after Taylor announced her appearance at the Chiefs’ games. Kelce’s jersey sales climbed 400%. His podcast even hit #1 on Apple’s charts.

But this isn’t the first time we’ve seen something like this happen. For years, pop culture queens and athlete duos have appeared as some of the most well-known couples on social media.

Just last year our beloved High School Musical queen Vanessa Hudgens married Cole Tucker, the baseball shortstop. The delightful couple surprisingly met on Zoom, according to Hudgens, in a meditation group.

And of course, we can’t forget the Beckhams. The soccer celebrity met the Spice Girls popstar at one of his games in 1997, and two years later got married. The two are still together today and have four beautiful kids.

Country star Carrie Underwood met her NHL prince Mike Fisher back in 2008 and have been married since 2010.

Quarterback Russell Wilson put a ring on Ciara back in 2016.

Even JLo and Alex Rodriguez, another baseball shortstop, were a thing for a few years, but sadly broke off their engagement in 2021.

Columbian icon Shakira was with Gerard Piqué, the former centre-back football player, for 10 years before splitting up in 2022.

Regardless of whether or not the couple works out, it’s a fact that music plays a big part in sports as a whole. The two often go hand and hand. Not only does it pump up the audience, but music also plays a huge role in energizing the players. Just think about football games. The half-time show always spotlights a popular artist because they know their audience will embrace the performers. The show creates more of a connection for the audience. During our games at Liberty, we have music playing every moment the timer stops, blasting songs we all know and love. It’s a core memory for any college sports game.

Pop culture plays a big part in the marketing side of sports too. When we see the biggest names in sports promoting things we use or like, it piques our interest, and we are more likely to purchase those products as a result. This allows them to reach a new audience with their products. It’s similar when musicians and athletes get together. Taylor and Travis may be the greatest couple like this that we have ever seen. Taylor’s fans are fierce and supportive, as are NFL fans. The combination of these two fandoms is an exciting development in sports and pop culture.

Seeing the passion and enthusiasm these fans bring together is something you don’t want to miss! To get a taste of this for yourself, head on down to Trivia is the Guy on the Chiefs happening on Feb. 10 at 9 p.m. in the LaHaye Event Space. Remember, each trivia round will include questions about the NFL and Taylor Swift, so don’t forget to have fans of both on your team.

 

Written by Faith Catanzaro

Faith is a sophomore studying Digital Media & Journalism concentrating in Video Production, and she is also a videographer for Student Activities. She loves watching movies, cooking, blogging on Instagram, graphic design, health, and fitness!

Wii love Nintendo

February 2, 2024

Picture this:

It’s early in the morning. The sun has just barely risen. You’re at the perfect age where you don’t care about sleeping in, and only have one desire for how to spend your morning. You shake your brother or sister awake, who you promised you’d wake up when you woke up the night before, and the two (or more) of you head to the living room. When you get there, you participate in the Saturday morning routine. Grab remotes, choose a disc, and pop it into whatever gaming console your family owned. Have a quick argument over who will be player one, but promptly forget about the argument when the game starts.

It is my sincere hope that a story like this rings a bell for you. Though all of it seems inconsequential today, this experience is something I treasure- not because it was a fun time of video games in the morning, but because this was the defining event of my childhood. (And for the record, my gaming console was the Nintendo Wii.)

The 2000s era of Nintendo had a way of doing that for many of our generation. Marked by ambitious innovations in gaming hardware, Nintendo sought to release both a handheld gaming system with a touch screen and a home console that centered around motion controls. Both of these ideas sounded candidly ridiculous at the time, but when the gaming empire launched the DS and Wii, respectively, skeptics were promptly put in their place. The Wii, most notably, became an absolute must-have for every gaming family. If you weren’t racing around on Mario Kart or accidentally launching the Wii remote across the room during Wii Sports because you forgot to put the strap on, you were missing out. And with that, you have to wonder what Nintendo—the company that didn’t even give your avatar arms in baseball games—did that made the experience so euphoric.

Ultimately, I attribute it to two factors: personality, and knowing your audience.

Nothing would be further from the truth to say that Nintendo games from the 2000s lacked personality. The titles from this time—think Super Mario Galaxy, The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, or Animal Crossing: City Folk—all had a uniquely designed style to them. Running around your town in Animal Crossing is a completely different feeling from traversing the expansive seas of Wind Waker, which is completely different from soaring through the cosmic skies of Mario Galaxy. Nintendo knew what they wanted to achieve and how they wanted the player to feel for each experience- and that’s something the gaming giant continuously excels in, even with their numerous franchises that gain new entries in more recent years.

But what about the more generic Wii games, like Wii Sports, Wii Fit, and Wii Party? Those are the ones that sold so many copies. Don’t count these games out just because they don’t belong to a franchise. These games were built to be played by anyone and everyone, which is what made them such a massive hit. It was the express purpose of the Wii to make gaming fun for even the non-gamer. These motion-controlled games are how Nintendo executed that. They knew their audience and developed these titles as easy-to-swallow player experiences centered around friendly competition. As a result, Wii Sports became an absolute icon. You could play with your grandparents and younger siblings alike, and everyone knew what to do because it was simple, and so much fun. The only downside is that you’ll be forever afraid of sending the ball backward next time you go to the bowling alley. (Iykyk.)

At the end of the day, the love many of us (certainly I, at least) have for this company stems from the endless happy memories they enabled us to make. There was no other game developer in our lives at the time that put such energy into the little things- like goofy menu music, or the quirky facial expressions your Mii makes. So, if you had the privilege of growing up on Nintendo, don’t let that time of your life be forgotten. Go earn that 5-star town rating, keep Catching ‘Em All, and get that Wii Sports Pro bowling ball. My personal advice? Nintendo gave us a lot of stellar game soundtracks for every mood- you may as well use them as study music. Before you know it, you’ll be able to name all the Mario Kart Wii race themes like me.

Oh, and did I mention we have a bit of a competition night coming up? From video games to board games and the like, you can join us for Versus: A Night of Games on February 2nd at 6 PM in the LaHaye Event Space. Whether it’s in Chess, Checkers, or Super Smash Bros., there’s something here for you to be victorious in.

 

Luke is a sophomore studying Digital Media: Video Production. He is a Videographer with Student Activities, and has a passion for Nintendo franchises, movie soundtracks, and the digital arts.

Why do we like escape rooms?

January 19, 2024

What’s so fun about being locked in a room? If you’ve never taken on the challenge of completing an escape room yourself, you might be asking this question. It’s no doubt that escape rooms and other mind-toggling games have recently increased in popularity. But what makes this strange endeavor so enticing?

According to the Oxford Dictionary, an escape room is, “A room in which people are locked in order to play a game requiring them to solve a series of puzzles within a certain amount of time to accomplish a goal, typically finding the key to unlock the room.” Those who agree to be locked in race against the clock and try to find a way out as soon as possible.

In the U.S. escape rooms started to rise in popularity in the 2010s, however, mind-puzzling games have been around for decades. Video game-style escape and mind challenges have roots as early as the 1970s. According to The Escape Game, the first real-life escape game was created in Japan in 2007. Takao Kato created the game after seeing the success of video escape games. The U.S. saw an explosion in escape room popularity in 2014, and today they are found across the country and the globe.

There are several theories as to why escape rooms are so popular. The challenge alone draws many people in, wanting to test their cognitive and deductive reasoning skills. Another reason may be due to the rise in experiential entertainment. This new type of entertainment is becoming more and more popular as people want to “do” rather than just “sit and watch”. Instead of just watching or reading about characters, customers get to be the characters and create their own adventures. Since these rooms are often completed in teams, they can also create a great environment for fostering team building and bonding. When people are locked in a room together, they are often forced to work out any disagreements and help each other escape.

Abby Newman is a Liberty University student who has a history with escape rooms herself. One of Abby’s favorite pastimes is completing escape rooms with her friends and family. When asked why her family enjoys this seemingly odd and difficult game she stated, “It’s fun to work together as a team to discover clues and puzzles all while trying to get out in a certain amount of time. Plus, you feel super accomplished when you make it out!”

Are you interested in taking on a challenge for yourself? Register for Student Activities Labyrinth: Scavenger Hunt. The games begin on Saturday, January 20th at the LaHaye Event Space.

Sources:

https://theescapegame.com/blog/the-history-of-escape-rooms/

 

Written by Mary Richey

Mary is a sophomore studying Hospitality Management. She enjoys spending time outdoors, going to coffee shops, and is always up for a road trip. Creative writing has always been one of her favorite hobbies!

Art that’s good for the heart

October 13, 2023

Imagine seeing a blank canvas turned into something beautiful right before your eyes. It is rewarding knowing you created it – seeing the beginning through the end of the process. Creativity and art can be for everybody, no matter your skill set. Hobbies do not always need to be something you are good at, just something you enjoy. You can enjoy playing an instrument, a sport, or creating art, even if you are not the best at it.

As we enjoy Fall Break, we can view this time as a reset or, for some, a time to catch our breath. Why not create something with your time off? Not only can it be fun but there are several benefits of creating art!

1) Exercises creativity

When creating art for yourself, you can make something without the pressure of someone else’s approval. You can create something that doesn’t have restrictions or guidelines. This type of freedom allows you to create something unique. You can express yourself with the style, colors, and concept behind the art piece. Your brain is a muscle, and like any muscle in your body, you need to exercise it to keep it strong and healthy.

2) Reduces stress

College can be a stressful time (can I get an Amen?) needing to manage academics, and personal and social life. It can be challenging to find time to just be and not worry about the next thing on your calendar. Art can be a great outlet to focus on something else.

3) Increases dopamine

Dopamine is the “reward center” of the brain. Having a healthy amount can make you feel happy, motivated, alert, and focused. This can help your mood throughout the day and can even benefit your education.

4) Processes emotions

A lot of people like to journal to process their thoughts and emotions. Some people though, find it difficult to process through words. Art can be a great way for those people to express their thoughts and feelings in a healthy way.

5) Gives a break from the screens

Art can be created in many mediums. A great way to give your eyes and mind a break from our daily screens is to create studio art. People enjoy painting, drawing, pottery, and more. This allows you to be tactile and rest your eyes.

Seeing something beautiful can bring joy. We love to watch sunsets and go on a hike for a great view. Inspiration can be found everywhere – you can take a walk in nature, take a drive through a city, or visit local shops. Sometimes it’s nice to get out of your little bubble of daily life to spark some new ideas. Creating art can be the next great step after gathering inspiration.

Come out to LeMonet on Oct. 20 at 6 p.m. on the Academic Lawn. Enjoy a relaxing evening with friends, create a masterpiece watercolor painting, and enjoy a glass of lemonade.

Resources:

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/22581-dopamine

https://artfromthestreets.org/blogs/news/positive-benefits-of-creating-art#:~:text=Practicing%20and%20learning%20an%20art,directly%20related%20to%20creating%20art.

 

Written by Makena Joseph

Makena is the Coordinator of Marketing for Student Activities.

Mini Golf Facts That Will Putt a Smile on Your Face

September 8, 2023

Mini Golf Facts That Will Putt a Smile on Your Face!

Hello, mini golf enthusiasts and fellow adventurers of the putting green! Today, we’re diving headfirst into the interesting world of random mini golf facts. Forget the formalities of golf’s grand courses; mini golf is where the real action (and laughter) happens! So, grab your putters, your most outrageous golf attire, and let’s take a hilarious swing at mini golf!

  • Mini Golf and Pop Culture Crossover?

I don’t know about you but I don’t usually associate mini golf and pop culture together. Believe it or not, mini golf has made its mark in movies, TV shows, and video games. Who could forget the iconic mini golf scene in the movie “Happy Gilmore”? The next time you pick up that putter, remember that you’re not just playing a game; you’re part of a world filled with hilarious history and unbreakable records.

  • The Creative Industry of Mini Golf Course Designers

Mini golf courses are the Picasso paintings of the golf world. They’re designed with creativity gone wild! There are courses that resemble jungles, underwater worlds, and even haunted houses. Imagine telling your friends, “I’m going to play golf in a haunted house today,” and they think you’ve lost your marbles.

  • Are You Intrested in Becoming a Golf Ball Lifeguard?

I think we have all had those thoughts about wondering where our golf balls go when we accidentally hit them into the water. Some very golf ball passionate men dive into these waters to retrieve the balls. They are brave enough to save the lives of some of our favorite golf balls! It is truly incredible!

  • A Hole Lot of Love

Golf has become a boys’ getaway, but mini golf has become a romantic date spot. Here are a few reasons mini golf makes an amazing date spot:

  • Casual and Fun Atmosphere: Mini golf provides a relaxed and lighthearted environment, making it easier for couples to interact and get to know each other without the pressure of a formal dinner or movie date.
  • Friendly Competition: The competitive aspect of mini golf can be a fun way for couples to bond. It gives them something to playfully compete over and can break the ice.
  • Affordability: Mini golf is generally an affordable date option, which can be appealing to couples looking to have a good time without breaking the bank.

I am going to leave this fact off with something inspirational… When your ball takes an unexpected turn, just laugh it off and keep going, because love is all about flexibility and adapting to the unexpected, right?

5) Lets Go Play Golf on the Moon!

Mini golf courses are pretty cool, but I think it would be even cooler if we played on the moon. Well, astronaut Alan Shepard had the same idea. During the Apollo 14 mission in 1971, he became the first (and only) person to play golf on the moon! Personally, I feel like that might be one of the most “out of this world” golf stories.

As we conclude our journey, let’s remember that mini golf isn’t just about sinking putts; it’s about embracing the unexpected, unleashing our inner artist on the course, and reveling in the joy of laughter with friends and family.

So, the next time you step onto the mini golf course (hopefully at Neon Mini Golf on September 15th), keep these facts in mind and putt your heart out. After all, mini golf is more than just a game; it’s a hilarious, heartwarming adventure filled with laughter and memories that will last a lifetime. Thanks for joining me for this time of laughter. I will be praying for you and your future putts!

 

Written by Riley McAllister

Riley is a Senior Strategic Communications major with a concentration in Social Media Management. She loves keeping up with what is trending throughout media, and being able to write about it. Writing has always been a way for Riley to get creatively inspired. She is excited for her Student Activities blog journey!

So many fade, but Taylor Swift is still here

September 1, 2023

“Taylor Swift is…The Music Industry.” No, that is not just the personal opinion of her fans. Journalist icon Barbara Walters was the first person to have made such a statement in her 10 Most Fascinating People of 2014, and Taylor Swift’s success in the decade that followed has done nothing but prove that further. Before you click away because you disagree, don’t like her, or just aren’t a fan, I ask that you stay, stay, stay, and hear me out.

When someone mentions Taylor Swift, typically one of two reactions occurs. The vast majority would range somewhere from mild interest to fanatic exclamations; but there is the secondary response of disgust or complete disinterest. Roughly 7 years ago the mass reaction would have been flipped, especially on the Internet. If you remember the 2016 number one worldwide Twitter trend #TaylorSwiftIsOverParty… those were the dark days. So how did Taylor Swift go from arguably one of the most hated celebrities to the most streamed female artist in Spotify history? The shortest answer is authenticity and raw talent.

Though she has spanned 3 major genres throughout her career, not everyone can get on board with enjoying her music. This is understandable: there isn’t an artist out there that can appeal to every human on earth. Her voice is not for everyone, her production styles, her tour dramatics, her public image is not for everyone. What does seem to be for everyone (who’s actually looked into it) is her songwriting. You’d be hard pressed to find someone who didn’t think she was a great lyricist even if they don’t care for her or her music. Music legends like Paul McCartney, Dolly Parton, and Billy Joel have all praised Taylor for her songwriting capabilities. At this point, most of the general public can all agree: she is an incredibly talented writer.

With the fourth Taylor’s Version album coming next month, there is no need to reiterate the full motive behind these re-releases. What nobody could’ve predicted about these is that she would be catapulted into interstellar stardom and success unlike anything many stars’ careers had ever seen. Not only did her die-hard fans care about this passion project, she also began a movement of artists investigating what exactly their labels were stipulating. Artists are aware now more than ever of just what they’re signing up for and how ownership comes into play for their work. This increased scrutiny and accountability of labels would likely never have been initiated without Taylor’s Versions.

In the mid-2010s, she pulled her entire catalog from Spotify to stand against the lack of royalties for streams; this resolution changed the way streaming companies compensated all artists. A true voice for the people! Now, it is easier than ever to publish music to streaming services and social media, making music more consumable than ever. On many platforms, there is an overwhelming amount of Taylor Swift covers, many of which completely strip songs of their original production and create an entirely new sound. There are covers that changed from synth-pop to indie, radio pop to country, alternative to emo punk, and anything in between. This not only shows the universality in her writing but also how many creative people recognize themselves in her. She is influencing mass amounts of people through her music, and that’s a beautiful thing about humanity.

Speaking of invisible strings that tie us all together in the human experience: live music! The Eras Tour is expected to be the highest grossing tour ever, projecting a gross of $2.2 billion (yes, with a B). She is only a third of the way through, and this tour has already caused an earthquake, launched a federal investigation, and saved the U.S. from a recession (source: ME! …but also The Federal Reserve said she definitely boosted the economy). On top of all that, the show itself is a feat of creative and engineering brilliance. There are intense dance numbers, a 200-foot-long stage, LED screens and floor, and sets that seem to appear by magic. Not to mention her nearly 50-song setlist where she is giving 100% energy for three and a half hours straight. Everyone knows the The Eras Tour had hours-long lines for tickets, but recently the AMC app crashed when she announced the tour would be coming to select theaters. She is truly doing something to a level of professionalism and entertainment that few have dared attempt, let alone pulled off successfully.

Sure, the phenomenon that is Taylor Swift’s success could be solely attributed to her many dedicated fans that love her and her discography. But why do they love her so much? In my 17 years of experience with Taylor Swift, I believe it’s because she has always been authentically herself. There’s her stage presence that can be seen in even her first parking lot shows in 2006 – some could argue theater kid energy. Interviews show her charming yet dorky personality that has never changed. Even her awkward moments are always so quintessentially Taylor. Her entire career has been filled with staying true to herself even under constant judgment from media outlets, haters, and even getting cancelled that one time #SnakeEmoji. Yet she still managed to keep doing what she loved and learned along the way to only do it for herself instead of pleasing others. Except, it didn’t just please others, it awakened an entire cultural phenomenon.

She proves herself time and time again through award-winning Shakespearean-level writing. She paved the way for many artists and songwriters to own their work and be appropriately compensated. She dominates charts and ticket sales. And she does all this while facing the intense criticism from the media on every move she makes. Whether it’s “too many breakup songs” (we can never get enough), “too many boyfriends” (let’s look at other artists who have dated), “too many love songs” (let people be happy!), and any other nitpicky thing they could think of, they’ve attacked it. Yet she still managed to come out on top.

So why do some people still “just not get the hype”? That can only be answered by the people who hold that opinion. Hopefully this blog opened your mind a little bit. No matter if you’re a veteran of the fandom, had your life changed by 1989, have just been born as a baby Swiftie because of The Eras Tour, or you think she’s insane, Trivia (Taylor’s Version) has a blank space. And we’ll write your name on September 5. Come bejeweled, walk into the LaHaye Event Space at 8:00 p.m. and make the whole place shimmer!

 

Written by Anna Pender

Anna is the Special Events Manager of Student Activities.

 

Living in a Picture Generation

March 23, 2023

We are a picture generation. Over half of Gen Z takes between 10-30 pictures every single day [1]. If you do the math, we’re looking at roughly 11,000 pictures a year. And of what? Having a photo of your morning coffee or a cool pair of sneakers a stranger is wearing can’t be that useful to your life, right? Yet our generation takes the picture anyway. It gets posted, then reposted, sent to friends, and the cycle begins again. As our camera roll grows and our phone storage fills, we’re left to wonder: What draws us to document every little moment of our lives?

That requires a little history. We are not the first people to be called the Picture Generation, after all. Between 1974-1984, a fledgling group of artists began searching for a form of expression that would tell the story of their generation [2]. They were born into a sea of images–overrun by the media culture of television, movies, magazines and popular music. They made art that was experimental, using mixed media and montage to craft pieces that served as a cultural analysis (think a high-end version of the magazine collages you made in elementary school art class). Their movement challenged traditional art forms, calling people to look twice, and find a deeper meaning in every photograph.

I believe we have more in common with these misfits than we know. Beneath this rebellious art form and the criticism of popular culture is a deep internal desire to be known. If they felt as though their lives were flooded with content, too oversaturated to be heard in, just imagine how they would’ve felt about the culture we live in today. We’re exposed to anywhere between 4,000-10,000 ads every day [3]. Art, music, writing and photography can all be created and distributed to a mass audience in the click of a button. Often, it feels like the only way to keep up is to participate. If we didn’t document every second of spring break, did spring break even happen? How will anyone know if we don’t have a picture to show for it?

I wouldn’t be the first to say that cell phones have been a major facilitator in this process. We’re hardly ever 5 feet from the nearest camera, only a click away from a photo that could sit in our camera roll for a lifetime if we let it. Tech companies have leaned into this desire for documentation, every new phone having more cameras, better cameras, until there’s essentially a DSLR attached to every model. It’s a reflex to take a picture as much as it is to doom-scroll on Instagram or post your Spotify wrapped (like, why wouldn’t you?).

But is there anything really wrong with this reflex? Not if you ask me. Having a convenient way to capture our lives is a privilege generations before us didn’t have. If we desire to be known, to be seen, we don’t need to look further than our pockets. While our culture is oversaturated with content, only we can own the little moments of our lives. Everyone may have a camera, but only you can capture your friends playing Spikeball on the lawn on a sunny afternoon, your perfect coffee shop study setup, the sunset through your dorm room window. No one else will ever view the world the same way you do; we each have a unique lens and a story to tell. Why shouldn’t we take advantage of that?

After all, college is a whirlwind. In between classes, extracurriculars, and interviews, there is so much to be captured. Culture tells us this is the best time of our life, fantastic yet fleeting. As much as there is an impulse to be known, there is an impulse to remember: to look back on the moments of our lives that would’ve been lost to time if not for a picture. While life moves pretty fast, when we take a picture, we don’t have to miss a second. There’s nothing wrong with giving into a little romanticism if you ask me.

Plus, there is something very special in the fact that when we go to tell our children stories from our college years one day, that there will be visual evidence to go with it. That the next generation will have a clearer picture of what it was like to live in 2023 than we ever have in times before. To me, that’s the beauty of photography in the first place. To tell stories that we otherwise couldn’t and fill the gaps where words fail.

So yes, we are a picture generation. Own that! Capture every moment that is special to you, use whatever method fits you best, and let others see the world through your lens. Or keep them locked in your camera roll forever; that one is up to you.

If you want to see some of the little moments your peers have captured, be sure to check out the Photo Expo running next week in the LaHaye Rotunda Lobby! If any photo really speaks to you, you can vote for it on the Student Activities Facebook page, or just take inspiration for yourself. I know I will be.

[1] https://news.booking.com/en-in/gen-z-and-social-media/

[2] https://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/pcgn/hd_pcgn.htm

[3] https://www.zippia.com/advice/advertising-statistics/

 

Written by Emma Lane

Emma is a junior studying Strategic Communications with a minor in Business. While she loves all things photography, fashion, and indie music, creative writing has always been one of her favorite ways to express herself.

 

Why True Crime?

March 10, 2023

If you’re like me, you love anything true crime based. Whether it’s a documentary, TV series, podcast, or even a book- if there’s a crime or a mystery involved- I’m probably interested. But it’s not just me. Studies show that one in three people watch, listen to, or read true crime at least once a week, with women being more interested than men (happy late International Women’s Day!). They also revealed that 73% of consumers believe that true crime is more fascinating than fiction. We even just had a Student Activities Murder Mystery event!

But what makes us so interested in the darker side of humanity? Being entertained by the gruesome and intrigued by the mystery of it? I think there’s something to say about true crime being a nonfiction genre of entertainment (hence the true in true crime). There’s an aspect within it that’s educational (and a little morbid). It allows us to dive into the dark side of the human psyche and examine how humans could do such awful things while also trying to solve the mystery of who did it. We get to study the psychology behind the crime and examine what led up to it while also solving a sort of puzzle (I love a good puzzle).

While the true crime fascination seems morbid and even slightly disturbing at times, it inherently fuels our innate desire to survive. In today’s society, we don’t exactly have to fight for our lives on a daily basis (although classes make me feel like it sometimes). But humans were constantly in danger at one point, assessing where they would get their next meal and how they would survive throughout the night. While we (at least I don’t) currently live through anything like that, there are dangers in everyday life that it can benefit from being aware of. Unfortunately, the world is not made up of rainbows and butterflies (as much as I know I would like it to be). The fall of man opened all kinds of sin, and we see that on a magnified scale when we look at true crime. Everything we see in true crime was not God’s design for humanity and therefore there’s a certain level of interest in it.

With all that being said, I do think we have to be careful of what we consume and how much. It’s fun to peek into the darker side of the psyche, but when it becomes all we watch, it begins to take a stronger hold on our brains. (Almost) everything is better in moderation, which is very true for true crime (word play ha). I know, at least for me, if I let myself watch or listen to too much true crime-based entertainment and don’t balance it with something, especially with any other stressors like school, my anxiety rises, and I feel more on edge than at other times. So while I am the first to say I love a true crime doc, please remember to listen to your body and take care of yourselves with lighter things also.

 

Written by Carly West

Carly is a first semester senior studying Graphic Design at Liberty. She is passionate about creating, getting out of her comfort zone, and trying new things, which led her to join the blog team.

36 Questions to Make Someone Fall in Love With You

March 2, 2023

Well, hello my little Romeo and Juliets. If you have clicked on this blog, it is probably because you are on the search for love. Well, I have great news for you all… Psychiatrist Arthur Aron created 36 questions designed to help two strangers build intimacy and potentially fall in love. The questions are divided into three sets, with each set getting progressively deeper and more personal. Here are the questions:

Set 1

  1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest?
  2.  Would you like to be famous? In what way?
  3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why?
  4. What could constitute a “perfect” day for you?
  5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else?
  6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want?
  7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?
  8. Name three things you and your partner (the person you are dating) appear to have in common?
  9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful?
  10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be?
  11. Take 4 minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible.
  12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be?


Set 2

  1. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future, or anything else, what would you want to know?
  2. Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?
  3. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?
  4. What do you value most in a friendship?
  5. What is your most treasured memory?
  6. What is your most terrible memory?
  7. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why?
  8. What does friendship mean to you?
  9. What roles do love and affection play in your life?
  10. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner (the person you are dating). Share a total of 5 items.
  11. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people’s?
  12. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother?


Set 3

  1. Make 3 true ‘we’ statements each. For instance “We are both in this room feeling…”
  2. Complete this sentence: “I wish I had someone with whom I could share…”
  3. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know.
  4. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time saying things that you might not say to someone you’ve just met.
  5. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life.
  6. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself?
  7. Tell your partner something that you love about them already?
  8. What if anything, is too serious to be joked about?
  9. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? What haven’t you told them yet?
  10. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why?
  11. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why?
  12. Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.

I dove deep into these questions with someone and now we are married, have two kids, and drive a minivan. Okay just kidding but seriously these questions are awesome for getting to know someone and finding out if you are compatible.

Since Coffeehouse: Exes and XO’s is around the corner it is the perfect time to put these questions to the test. If you have gotten to this point of the blog, I challenge you to do these questions with your person of choice. If you fall in love, do yourself a favor and come to Coffeehouse on for a romantic date night.

Wishing thee valorous luck on thy journey to findeth loveth. I desire to seeth thee deeply in loveth on March 25th at 11:30 pm in the Vines Center! Xoxo!

 

Written by Riley McAllister

Riley is a Senior Strategic Communications major with a concentration in Social Media Management. She loves keeping up with what is trending throughout media, and being able to write about it. Writing has always been a way for Riley to get creatively inspired. She is excited for her Student Activities blog journey!