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Pop­u­lar Cul­ture, His­to­ry, and Cur­rent Events

Hate Country Music … Why?

By Hannah Quinque

Pho­to Cred­it: Car­ol M Highsmith

Con­fes­sion time: I like coun­try music. And no, I’m not being face­tious. And no, not just the alter­na­tive kind. Gimme a steel gui­tar, a ban­jo, and a slow south­ern drawl, and I’m jam­min’. When I put on the New Boots playlist, how­ev­er, I do get looks rang­ing from dis­be­lief to slight­ly annoyed to amused. Not that the reac­tion sur­pris­es me. As is the nature of stereo­types, there is some truth to them, but they also don’t cov­er all of the vast corn­field called coun­try music. And hon­est­ly, you don’t have to strain your ears (pun intend­ed) to pick up on all there is to hear.

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Divided Country, Divided Family

By Levin Schüren

“Divi­sion” by Nick Youngson

Let’s just stop for a minute and reflect on a polit­i­cal, philo­soph­i­cal, or moral issue you’re wrong about. It ain’t that easy, right? But why not? The chance that you’re right on every top­ic you think and argue about is basi­cal­ly zero. Of course, if you knew you were wrong about some­thing you wouldn’t hold that belief or even preach it. When­ev­er some­body utters an opin­ion we don’t agree with, our minds go: How dare you believe that? Of course, you can shield your­self from such thoughts by avoid­ing opin­ions that dif­fer from yours. How­ev­er, that’s a bad idea. It’s impor­tant to talk to peo­ple, so let me give you some prac­ti­cal advice on how to do it. Espe­cial­ly since the hol­i­days are upon us, you’ll like­ly meet fam­i­ly mem­bers you haven’t seen in a while. So here comes an instruc­tion man­u­al on how to deal with that crazy aunt of yours who wor­ships con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries.  

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Santa vs. God – The Final Round

By Agata Mazurek

Pho­to Cred­it: Aga­ta Mazurek

Have you ever won­dered, between dec­o­rat­ing your Christ­mas tree and look­ing for presents, what for God’s sake you’re doing? The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, you’re sup­posed to be prepar­ing for Jesus’s birth­day, but do you actu­al­ly do it? Maybe you’re not even a Chris­t­ian. 

I don’t know why, but I have this strong feel­ing that most Chris­tians have for­got­ten ‘the rea­son for the sea­son’. Of course, we still cel­e­brate the birth of Christ, maybe even loud­er than before. Def­i­nite­ly ear­li­er than before. Shop own­ers so much love to cel­e­brate Jesus’s birth­day that they start their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns and pro­mote Christ­mas prod­ucts at the begin­ning of Sep­tem­ber already. I think God would be proud. There are, how­ev­er, more incon­sis­ten­cies.  

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Conifer Wood Makes You Feel Good — Christmas Trees in Germany and the U.S.

By Veronika Heinrich

Pho­to Cred­it: “Christ­mas Pyra­mid Nativ­i­ty Scene” by Kitsuta

 

O Christ­mas Tree, O Christ­mas Tree,

Your boughs can teach a lesson

That con­stant faith and hope sublime

Lend strength and com­fort through all time.

O Christ­mas Tree, O Christ­mas Tree,

Your boughs can teach a lesson.

 

 

When I was a child, Christ­mas meant presents. It also meant going to our small town Christ­mas mar­ket. There, we board­ed a tiny train to take us for rides around the church. San­ta then showed up and gave us choco­late San­tas, deep-fried pas­tries, and gin­ger­bread – any­thing sweet a child’s heart could wish for. Of course, there was also a beau­ti­ful Christ­mas tree. How­ev­er, we had some­thing that made my Christ­mas expe­ri­ence tru­ly dif­fer­ent from that of most chil­dren in the Unit­ed States – a Christ­mas pyramid.

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How to Survive Christmas If You’re a Grinch

By Sara Cepollina

Pho­to Cred­it: “The Grinch (right) with his dog Max”

Every­one has a friend who hates Christ­mas. Guess what? I’m that friend. The first time I told a friend of mine that I dis­like Christ­mas, I could see pure con­fu­sion in her eyes. She start­ed ask­ing me why, what hap­pened, and if I had any trau­ma. At first, I thought that not lik­ing it was wrong. I mean, how can some­one not like the most won­der­ful time of the year? Then, I came to a con­clu­sion: it’s because of soci­ety. Have you ever noticed what hap­pens after Thanks­giv­ing?  

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If You Hate Christmas, It’s Because You’re Green … or maybe Blue!

By Charlotte Filippone

Cred­it: kmisal

We’ve all watched the movie, and we’ve all agreed on the same sto­ry: he’s the buz­zkill, the bad guy try­ing to ruin Christ­mas. But what if the Grinch was actu­al­ly just depressed?

I know you might think it’s a bit far-fetched, so let me give you some facts that’ll prove my point. First, he’s cooped up in a bleak cave. Also, self-loathing and hate­ful speech are the only lan­guages he knows, and social inter­ac­tion makes his skin crawl. Add a grain of trau­mat­ic expe­ri­ences to the mix, and there you have a per­fect recipe for depression.

It must be dif­fi­cult to see the mean, grumpy vil­lain in a dif­fer­ent light and sym­pa­thize with him, so let’s try to find out where it all comes from.

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