Category Archives: Editorials

Prom 2018: Benz There, Done That!

OliviaErickson, Noodlehead-in-Chief and GraceSassaman, Future Dawg

Prom is always a nice coming-of-age event for upperclassmen and a last hurrah for seniors to conclude their high school lives. Chattahoochee High School students were incredibly lucky this year that the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, a sophisticated yet sporty venue that appealed to students and teachers alike was the venue this year. As groups of students filed off of their party buses and Ubers, a brilliant sunset greeted our eyes just to the right of the entrance.

While some parts of this year’s prom were predictable, such as the long lines for photos and the whole dance floor participating in the Cha-Cha Slide, Prom 2018 otherwise pleasantly surprised everyone who attended because of the incredible atmosphere.

The scintillating dance floor and enthusiastic DJ gratified partiers and dancers, and the lounge area with couches was an excellent place to take a break from censored 2008 pop hits. If attendees grew tired of the loud music and indoor setting, they also had the option to step out and peer onto the beautiful new stadium field. The ceiling of the stadium was lit with lights every color of the rainbow, and it proved to be the most extravagant and beautiful decoration at the dance.

Our personal favorite hallmark of the night was the Sublime Doughnuts catering. Tables of desserts were stocked and restocked with mouthwatering banana- cream-filled donuts and chocolate cupcakes. The doughnuts donned the name of our beloved city, ATL, so they were equally as aesthetically pleasing as they were palate pleasing.

After much snacking and posing for pictures, this year’s Prom King and Queen were announced. Henry Green and Erin Pitt, despite being each other’s exes, were crowned Prom King and Queen. It was only a little bit awkward because Caroline Saleb was one of the contestants, who is actually currently in a relationship with Green.

It’s easy to have a love-hate relationship with prom because of the overhype, but Prom 2018 was hyped just enough, and everyone had an enjoyable time.

Advertisements

Barbie Savior Complex??

YunaLee, Staff Reporter

The satirical “Barbie Savior” Instagram account uses a Barbie doll to illustrate an intricate concept — the White Savior complex, a trope in which Caucasian people “save” people of color. The White Savior complex usually doesn’t happen with malice in mind, but it ends up hurting everyone. On the Barbie Savior account, Barbie works for a NGO that provides drinking water to those in Africa. Barbie Savior’s exploits are maddening and exemplify why all help isn’t good help.

 

You’re scrolling down your Instagram feed, and you see a post from one of your friends. You realize to yourself, “Oh, he went to Africa! That’s cool!” You scroll down and see another post, this time of him and a group of African children. “I taught these children how to walk today!” the caption says. “I’m so glad I was able to change their lives forever. They certainly have changed mine!”

These tourists have been struck by the White Savior complex. It’s the trope in which Caucasian people “save” people of color.

This can be seen in movies like “The Help” and in other mediums of pop culture. Here’s why it’s fairly problematic, especially in relation to Africa.

There are lots of reasons why people go to Africa: for mission trips, to contribute to a charity or maybe just to go to someplace new. But what common theme unites them all?

Soul searching.

Apparently, Africa is home to some incredible therapeutic power where anyone can go to “find themselves”– whatever that might mean. No matter what part of Africa they visit, they always come back reborn.

Well, what did they learn about themselves on their soul searching adventure?

Did they learn that not everyone has clean water? Yes, but anyone could’ve told them this. Did they learn that not everyone has the same access to education? Yes, but anyone could’ve told them this. Did they learn that people have different lifestyles and cultures? Yes, but anyone could’ve told them this.

So, what exactly was learned in Africa that couldn’t be learned anywhere else with a little bit of time and research?

Does the poverty rate and lack of internet in the United States not call enough attention? Is it not the “wow” factor they need for their instagram posts?

I understand that going to Africa or the Dominican Republic changed your life for the better, even humbled you. But what if we stop making the conversation about us and our deeds and focus on their stories and their voices?  

Why we can’t have off-campus lunch

KimaraSmith, Staff Reporter

Many high school campuses around the nation have the luxury of off-campus lunch. Closer to home, Alpharetta High School offers their students off-campus lunch during their hour-long lunch period. My sophomore year, I wrote an essay which challenged the strict no off-campus lunch rule for Chattahoochee students.  I was given the opportunity to read my essay to our school’s administration. After reading my essay, I was told that Chattahoochee students were not able to have off campus lunch because it was a liability and safety issue. Even though I felt these issues could be easily resolved with a simple parent permission form, I held my tongue .

Recently, I interviewed administration again and asked them if they had reconsidered the idea. Assistant Principal Debra Bryant said, “I do not see Chattahoochee students ever having off campus lunch because we can not guarantee that the students will return to school safe, if at all. ”  Although, that is a sensible argument, off-campus lunch will help solve the problem of overcrowding during the two lunch periods. Chattahoochee announced that next year there will be three lunch periods to combat this problem. I feel that students that possess both a parking pass and fewer than five absences should be allowed off-campus lunch . Despite the fact that administration feels so strongly about not having off campus lunch, I believe that if local schools can conduct off campus lunch without trouble then our school can too. It is my hope that administration sees the good that changing the rules can do not only to benefit the students, but to help solve the problem that is overcrowding at lunch as well.

Influenced by “Fake News”

ChrisRonzoni, Editorials Editor

In today’s world, the news is our only way to learn and connect to the rest of society. It is our source of knowledge about what’s going on in other countries and our own. Yet the self-righteousness and selfishness of human politics has corrupted this very knowledge we rely on and trust to learn about our world. Big brand companies such as Fox News or Facebook are run by heavily biased bodies, reporting their views on world issues rather than what actually happened. Whether it’s big world news, such as the election, or small little rumors, such as the myth that you swallow eight spiders in your lifetime, the bots, corrupt politicians or simple internet trolls have more of a hold on what we believe than most even realize. Let’s further examine the twisted web a single person can weave.  

Abraham Lincoln famously said: “If you’ve read it on the internet, it must be true,” a quote that most fun-fact YouTube channels seem to have taken to heart. But it is often difficult to know if the things that you read and view online are true or not. For example, some may have heard that “the average person annually swallows eight spiders in their sleep.” There are some variations of this claim many times before and it’s quite easily dismissible. One reason being that most household spiders are not exactly fond of wet and windy regions which is a perfect description of the human mouth. Furthermore, spiders are very sensitive to vibrations and while asleep we tend to move around, breath, snore, causing the spider to feel the equivalent of being in an earthquake. A humanquake?

Nevertheless, experts in both human and spider biology can attest to why spider munching in our sleep is highly improbable. But it did make me wonder: If the claim is so easily dismissible, how did it begin? And holy community guidelines did I discover a rabbit hole deeper than your favorite inspirational quote. Like most “fake news” claims, they can be easily dismissed but hard to ignore. So while digging for the origin of this claim, I started with a quick search. Google led me to an article on a website known as Snopes.com. Snopes is a website specializing in debunking urban legends and most people seem to agree that it is a quite reputable source. In the article they claim that the myth gained popularity in 1993 when a columnist by the name of Lisa Birgit Holst wrote an article titled “Reading is Believing” in a magazine known as “PC Professional”. She supposedly wrote the article, which included the eight-spiders myth, to demonstrate how people will believe anything they read online. They further claim that she took this myth from a book released in 1954 titled “Insect Fact and Folklore.” So, if Snopes is to be believed, the myth began with a book released in 1954. And to solidify this claim even further, you can find hundreds of articles and books telling the exact same story. Simple enough. Quite an interesting piece of trivia. Case closed. If it weren’t for the fact that I went to the library to check out the very book and found that it does not include any mention of swallowing spiders in your sleep. In fact, it would be a bit strange if it did as spiders are not insects, they are arthropods. Which is, a bit ironically, the only thing you will learn about spiders while reading this book.

This brought me back to Snopes’ article and went through the rest of their citations. Two are unrelated to the origins of the myth. Then they cite an article in a 1997 issue of the newspaper Chicago Sun-Times. After reading this article, it unfortunately doesn’t shed any light on the origins of the myth as the article only consists of a reader asking if this urban legend is true or not followed by an entomologist claiming that it is unlikely.

This leaves us with citation number 3. And this, this slice of heaven, is where we go off the deep end. A quick search reveals that I am not the first to investigate this source as most of the top results are that of other people looking for the exact same thing. As it turns out, no one has been able to find a columnist by the name of Lisa Brigit Holst nor has anyone been able to locate a computer magazine by the title of PC Professional. At least not in the United States. So perhaps the magazine was published in another country. Sure enough, the given, middle and surname is of European origins. Using various online archives, catalogs and indexes I was able to locate five different magazines with either a similar title or with the exact same title published in a language other than English. There’s a magazine from the UK with the title PC Pro. But the first issue was published in November of 1994. I also found a magazine with the exact title of PC Professional but it was unfortunately written in an unsophisticated and unintelligible language known as Danish. The first issue was also published in 1997. A Swedish magazine, also with the exact same title of PC Professional published a grand total of what  appears to be two issues- one in 1992 and one in 1993. The last two publications, one from Italy and one from Germany, seem to be the most likely candidates. Both are titled PC Professional in their respective languages, had a readership in the hundreds of thousands and have released monthly issues since 1991.

At this point, there was no doubt in my mind that the German magazine must contain the article for two main reasons. First, the surname Holst is Danish and German in origin and thus a really common surname in Germany to this very day. Second, the magazine is the official German version of PC Magazine which is of the most popular PC-oriented magazines in the United States. In fact PC Mag has mentioned its German sister publication on numerous occasions. Upon reading the page in question (page 71 of the January issue in 1993), no Lisa Holst, no spidery misconception, no nothing. And if this is not it, I highly doubt this article exists. I began to wonder if Snopes had, for whatever reason, intentionally provided incorrect information.

I then quickly found a Reddit post demonstrating how the name “Lisa Brigit Holst” is an anagram for “This Is A Big Troll.” Unless we are to believe that this perfect anagram is just a random coincidence, it would mean that Snopes has written a meta article about a made-up columnist who once wrote a made-up article about people’s willingness to accept false claims as the truth in order to expose people’s willingness to accept false claims as the truth. A bit convoluted? Sure. But oh did they succeed. Almost every mention of this urban legend since has been accompanied by this supposed origin story which is of course presented as the truth. When it actuality it may be as mythical as the myth it is attempting to dispel.

Come on Reddit

ChrisRonzoni, Editorials Editor

In April 2005, two American University students, named Alexis Ohanian (nickname kn0thing) and Steve Huffman (nickname spez), had an idea for a mobile food ordering service called ‘My Mobile Menu.” The app would allow one to order food on their phone and thus bypass the need for lines. But this was in 2005, before the iPhone and the subsequent smartphone revolution, so convincing the public to use their massive home phones for something more practical would be next to impossible. This idea was simply too far ahead of its time. So, while brainstorming for new ideas, they eventually decided on abandoning the mobile market in favor of a news aggregation website which an investor defined as “the front page of the internet.”

When deciding a slogan for the website, they, at first chose “snew,”’ a portmanteau of “what’s new.” The original intention was for people to ask “what’s snew?” and, as such, they would essentially answer their own question. Unfortunately, the domain name had already been taken. Some of the other names the two considered included Oobaloo, 360Scope, HotSnoo, RipeFresh, DoseDose and numerous others. Eventually the name ‘Reddit’ was suggested by Ohanian and, much like Snew, Reddit is a portmanteau of “read it” as in “I read it on Reddit.” The term snew, with an alternate spelling of snoo, was used for the mascot of Reddit.

          Following their personal success of choosing a name, on June 23, 2005, Reddit – along with it’s fantastic misuse of whitespace – made its debut. The first ever post, submitted by Ohanian himself, was titled “The Downing Street Memo” and remains online to this day. Over the following months, both Ohanian and Huffman created numerous fake accounts in order to populate the desolate website with interesting links to give any unsuspecting visitors the illusion of a thriving online community. A commenting system would not be implemented until December, and with typical Reddit enthusiasm, the very first comment on the submission announcing Reddit’s commenting system was someone complaining about the fact that comments were now a thing.

          The announcement to allow users to create their own subreddit (a user-made page dedicated to any chosen topic by the user), in March of 2008 provoked an equally enthusiastic response but now over a decade later, it is difficult to imagine the website without comments and specialized communities.

          Throughout the mid-to-late 2000s, Reddit was in fierce competition with another very similar website known as “Digg.” Reddit was launched a few months after Digg, but the main features were more or less the same. You could post links, discuss those links and vote them up or down. For many years, Digg was far more popular than Reddit, but this would all change in August of 2010 when Digg essentially committed suicide by launching a highly controversial redesign simply known as Version 4. The overhaul came after years of scandals and poor decisions and served as the final catalyst for the site’s eventual downfall. The redesign removed or stifled many popular features, disproportionately favored advertisers and alienated its core user-base.

          Now, Reddit seems to be moving toward a similar fate. As they move slowly to favor advertisers over  their own community, they seem to be almost doomed to repeat the past. Reddit needs to revert back to their roots, back to where they all began – back to a simple community where everyone is free to be themselves.

Training for Change

TaisFerreira, Staff Reporter

Discrimination still prominently exists in today’s world and we can see it happen in our everyday lives. One of the most recent happenings was the Starbucks scandal. On the 16th of April,  two African American men, Rashon Nelson and Donte Robinson, walked into a Philadelphia Starbucks wanting to have a business meeting with one other colleague. Upon sitting down, Nelson asked one of the Starbucks employee to use the bathroom and the worker responded that the bathroom was for paying customers only. Therefore, he sat back down with Robinson and they both waited for their colleague to arrive. Before they could even attempt to understand the situation happening, they were both being arrested. A white Starbucks employee had called 911 on both of the men for “trespassing”. The arrest was recorded and went viral on all media platforms. They were both taken into a cell and were confined for hours on end with no outside contact and were let out later in the night, and no charges were officially filed.

Because of this incident, Starbucks has decided to close 8,000 stores for a day in which employees will be trained on how to deal with racial bias. It is only right that Starbucks provides training for their employees, arresting any non white person for “trespassing” when they are simply sitting and not bothering the restaurant like all of the other customers is unacceptable. Because of this, all restaurants should be required to give racial bias training to all of their employees.

I believe that even before a person is hired, they should be required to fill out several questionnaires that ask about what they would do if they were faced with a racial issue. Employees are being paid to serve all of their customers with respect and the same kind of treatment despite race, religion or disabilities. If a company desires to be a successful one, it should be more than willing to dedicate money to the proper training of its employees. With training, employees will be less likely to commit discriminatory actions that will damage their own employment and the company’s reputation. Overall, this is why companies should keep a tighter grasp on their customers training and the people they hire to represent their company. Discriminatory actions is not okay and will be ended if people work together to do so.

 

Social? Media

GraceSassaman, Staff Reporter

 

Awkwardness is inevitable. There will always be people who are simply bad at conversing, and that is just a part of life. Despite the recent emergence of social media and few studies conducted on its long-term impacts, scientists have already noted a considerable decline of frequent social media users’ social skills and perceptions. Simply, people are becoming more awkward.

Digital communication is revolutionary for people who want to stay in contact over long distances. But its convenience has supplanted face-to-face communication. When online daters apply deep significance and connection to the message that pops up from someone they “matched” with, they begin to think their online relationship is enriching. In reality, a simple miscommunication can wildly affect how the romantic connection is perceived, leaving the relationship one-sided.

The long-term implications of the disconnect created by technology is even more substantial. Research has shown time and time again that social media can have devastating impacts on mental health. It leaves users more susceptible to anxiety and depression. Frequent internet users may even suffer from reduced empathy. The increased anxiety and depression and lowered empathy that social media causes would only further people’s inclinations to stay indoors and refrain from socializing. It’s almost a self-sustaining positive feedback loop whose only end in sight is immediate intervention. The simple fact that some of my friends have texted me while we were sitting in the same room shows how comfortable we’ve become with the idea of replacing social interaction with technology. It’s only a matter of time before the effects of this transition are far-reaching.