Unrestricted. Uncensored. A place of freedom to express and communicate your innermost thoughts. Sounds pretty good, right? This seems to be the biggest draw for the app Yik Yak. Launched in 2013, Yik Yak has risen to be one of the most popular apps for young adults. With 1.8 million users, over 95% of them are college aged. This app claims to be an “anonymous messaging application”, where in 200 characters “college students [can] connect with their community”.
Is economics really all that different from our current view of religion? Think about the rhetoric we use when discussing economics and religion.
“Capitalism is the saving grace to the world.” “All salvation comes through the Catholic Church.”
“The USSR was a corrupt form of communism and shouldn’t be how we judge it.” “ISIS is Islam gone wrong and we can’t consider them truly Muslim.”
“How about distributism?!” “Oh yeah, we forgot Jediism was a thing.”
The conflicts in economy are just as pronounced as in the religious world. People are willing to stand and die by their preferred system.
Yesterday afternoon, a swarm of protestors marched to the steps of the United States capitol to protest the undue influence of money in politics and corporate lobbying. The group peacefully approached the capitol building, and many were quickly arrested, including a journalist for the popular show “The Young Turks”. There were many reactions on social media, some considering that this could be the beginning of the next “Occupy Wall Street” movement. The revolution that Bernie Sanders has encouraged during his campaign seemed to be percolating. No matter what your politics are, in the United States, it was the most interesting story of the day.
In their most recent April edition, Elle magazine published a rare gem: a full interview with Beyoncé. While she is never far from sight, some have noted that Beyoncé has retreated from the public eye in the past few years, declining interviews in favor of more carefully cultivated portrait’s of the artist’s interior life. When she released the video single for ‘Formation’ earlier this year–proudly parading her personal roots and featuring her baby daughter–many fans were jazzed with what appeared to be a peek into the privatized, “authentic” blackness of Beyoncé. But if the song seems to revolve around embracing authentic individual identity, why, then, do many Americans find Beyoncé’s pro-black anthem a political and public threat? What is it about this new iteration of Beyoncé that the public finds so jarring, when this is far from the first time she has called for critical engagement with the way our nation talks about gender, race, and police brutality?