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It is our pleasure to welcome you to the new student website, The Crow’s Nest. This is where we will be posting articles, photos and videos on topics that students actually want see.

Of course, we can’t read your minds, so if there is something that you want us to write about, do let us know!

We’re aiming to entertain and accommodate everyone and we as writers hope that we achieve this. However, that being said, if you do have an issue with anything that we’ve written, please don’t hesitate to contact us and we can get it sorted as quickly as possible!

We hope that you enjoy our website and keep your eyes peeled for new content being uploaded all the time!

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Your Resident Student Lookouts

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

Living alone? 8 tips to get you through

Image by pexels

It’s a funny thing to live alone. I have recently moved back to London due to the opportunity to work practically on my course, and this means I am now back to living on my own. I’ve had this experience at the beginning of this academic year and again, now. Both times, I was going from two extremes; constantly being surrounded by family (especially in the lockdown environment) to then being by myself. Whilst I have always enjoyed my own company and carved out time for myself, there are definitely times I struggle. There have been many people forced to live by themselves during this time, and because of the up and down nature of living by yourself I thought I would compile a list of ways I deal with this that may help someone in a similar situation.

  1. Make plans. When I look at my week I make sure I have made plans to see people. Whether that’s catching up with a friend for a walk and a coffee, or organising a study date at the library. I make sure the social interactions that are available to me, sticking to Covid regulations, are built into my week. I can then be excited to spend time with my friends and not leave it to chance.
  2. Bubble up. Remember, if you live on your own, you’re officially allowed to join with another household, so speak to your friends and make sure you set yourself up with a support network you can see in close proximity. If you have friends that you can’t meet, call or FaceTime them, play an online game or have a Netflix watch party. I often get in a rut of not reaching out to people for fear of seeming needy, or just being too wound up in my own head, but I guarantee you that people will be grateful for the contact and to do something a bit different, too!
  3. Listen to music, podcasts, YouTube videos. Sometimes I like the peace and quiet but other times it gets too much. When this happens I simply play a favourite song through my speakers, or choose a podcast to listen to, filling my room with background noise and entertaining myself. I particularly like chatty, relaxed podcasts where it’s in an interesting conversation with two people and I can especially recommend Grounded with Louis Theroux, Table Manners with Jessie Ware and IWEIGH with Jameela Jamil. Or a study YouTube vlog that seems relatable and like catching up with a friend, also great for gaining ideas for things to do, ways to study and other life tips. For this, I recommend Unjaded Jade, Moya Mawhinney, Nanya Florence and Vee Kativhu. They are often inspirational and motivational to get work done too!
  4. Treat yourself. Find ways in your day to do things for you and you alone. Order that takeaway you’ve been craving or binge that Netflix show you’ve always wanted to watch and don’t feel guilty about it! Do what makes you happy. One of the benefits of living alone is you don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone else so I recommend just making the most of that!
  5. Establish some sort of routine. Though my days generally look quite different due to various commitments, I try to keep a morning routine of journaling, mediating and yoga. This means I have time to focus on me and my mindset, to start the day the best way possible and to structure my time so I’m not wondering what to do with myself.
  6. Read! As an English Literature student I have to make the time to settle down into a book but for anyone interested or wanting to get into reading I think now is as good a time as any. Fill those quieter moments that are getting you down with a good book and you’ll feel you’re living your life alongside the characters, investing in their worlds and the unfolding narrative. It’s another way to find connection throughout this time.
  7. Try to get out of the house every day. Any space by yourself can quickly feel very small when you spend too much time there. I try to get out, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, every day. Getting that fresh air and enjoying the sights around me really does wonders and I feel much more appreciative and grateful for everything around me when I get back and I’ve had that headspace.
  8. Create a nice space. If you have to be on your own, create a nice environment around you. Decorate your space, this can be done easily and cheaply with maybe a colourful pillow, a cosy blanket, a nice rug, or some pretty fairy lights. Print out pictures of friends and family and stick them on your wall to remind yourself you are surrounded by loved ones. Further surround yourself with your favourite things, things that spark joy in you and take the time to appreciate them. Light a delicious-smelling candle or drink tea from your favourite mug. Create a space you want to spend time in.

I guess my final tip (you get a bonus one here!) is to remember: this too shall pass. It’s not forever. You may always want to live on your own but it won’t always be in a lockdown scenario. There will be a time where you can once again invite friends over, hug, drink and eat together. Go out, explore the city, travel to new places. As summer arrives and things seem to be slowly but surely opening up again, hope is in the air. Hang in there because better times are on the way!

By Maya Nardoni

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

Netflix, Amazon or Disney +? Which streaming service is the best?

Source: https://netbasequid.com/blog/whos-winning-the-streaming-services-war/

You’re turning your TV on, but nothing interesting is on. You’re turning to Netflix and there is nothing you like or not the movie you want to see. You see the recommended titles and it irritates you that they don’t have it. You turn to other platforms and suddenly see a whole range of services. Which one to choose?

Of course, it depends on what you like, but lately it has been hard to choose. All streaming services have something good to offer. Probably everyone owns or at least knows about Netflix. A couple years back it had an abundance of movies and TV shows but lately more and more are disappearing. This is because other companies saw what Netflix did. They saw an opportunity and made a streaming service as well. instead of people watching TV shows and movies illegally online, they would now pay.

Netflix owns a lot of award winning shows. Both The Queen’s Gambit and The Crown have won Golden Globes. The streaming service also offers a lot of genres, and there are new shows and movies added every month. However, if you want to watch classic movies such as Harry Potter then you’re out of luck. For the classics, I would recommend Amazon Prime.

Why Amazon Prime you ask? Amazon Prime not only offers Harry Potter but many other classic movies and TV shows. If your favourite movie or TV show was taken off of Netflix, there is a good chance you will find it on Amazon Prime. Another great benefit is that when you have Amazon Prime you can enjoy the benefits of ordering off of the Amazon website. Amazon Prime means fast delivery, in addition to great movies and TV shows. It also has original series that are doing really well such as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. If you want fast delivery, good classics and fresh ideas go for Amazon Prime.

A fast growing streaming service is Disney+, and do not get mistaken, it is not only for children. If you use the streaming platform Hulu, it is from Disney as well. Sadly, it is not the case that when you get Disney+ you get Hulu, or the other way around. Disney owns a lot and gets bigger day by day. When Disney was finally able to get the rights to Star Wars, they immediately started making movies and TV shows using the franchise. The same goes for Marvel. All the Disney movies and TV shows were on Netflix until Disney decided to make Disney+. It was hard in the beginning because Disney did not have any exciting series or movies every week like Netflix. They had their own classics but after a while there is nothing new to see. But they changed that quickly, they showcased a plan with many sequels, new movies and TV show introduced new hit series like Wandavision, The Mandalorian, The Falcon and The Winter Soldier. They own other shows from the ABC like Grey’s Anatomy as well. If you’re a Disney fan, enjoy science fiction, and superheroes; choose Disney+. Choose Hulu if you like more adult reality shows.

Next, we have YouTube Premium. We all know the moment when we’re opening youtube and it immediately offers you to try YouTube Premium. Or when we watch a video and there are 4 ads interrupting randomly throughout the video. People are releasing documentaries, series and movies on YouTube Premium. You can also listen to music when you click the app away and download videos to watch them offline. YouTube has been and still is free, but if you want no ads and exclusive content from your favourite creators: Get YouTube Premium.

And then there is Apple TV. Apple TV in on the rise with good TV shows and movies which include a lot of big stars like Jennifer Aniston and Steve Carell. Like other streaming services, they also release documentaries such as the recent Billie Eilish documentary and allow you to download their content to watch offline. If you like good or underrated TV shows and movies, get Apple TV.

In conclusion, all streaming platforms have something good to offer and it ultimately depends on your interests which service you will choose. Hopefully this article has brought you a step closer to making the right choice for you.

By Guzel Celik

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

Award Shows- A Diversity Problem

Image from pexels

They are some of the most glamourous events of the year. Actors, actresses, directors, cinematographers, costume designers and creators gather in a fancy setting, wearing beautiful dresses, sipping on champagne and celebrating each other’s work in film and TV over the last year. This time last year the same thing was happening, something we look back on now as some of the last days we were able to be in big groups, sit in theatres and hug each other. This year, with the evident delays and the obvious changes taking place, the award ceremonies are looking very different. The Golden Globes have been the first to adapt to an online ceremony, with the actual in- person audience made up of key -workers on socially distanced tables. The stars sat at home, logged into a Zoom call; he best part about it for us watching from home definitely being able to judge their homes and interior design. Some surrounded by family members, some sat on their own (I felt sorry for those! A little anticlimactic perhaps?) But whilst all these adaptations were being made to make it possible for an award ceremony to go ahead during a pandemic, a much more insidious sickness was evident, and has been evident since the beginning of this tradition. The lack of diversity and the racism in the industry which is highlighted every year at these glitzy events.

The nominees being made up of predominately white actresses, actors and directors, with some categories being entirely white. This is nothing new, each year with each ceremony it is a recurring theme with outcries of how lacking in diversity the categories are. Disappointed but not surprised is the general feel each time the nominees are released and all white categories have been able to pass. This is obviously the result of a systematic racism that seeps into all industries, workplaces and careers. Who is and isn’t getting a seat at the table? With not one single black person in the HFPA, the answer to that question is clear. And so in lies the root of the problem. But how do they keep on getting away with this? It’s the same every year and as soon as we see a little glimpse of hope for progress, we then seem to take huge steps backwards in the opposite direction.

However, I cannot speak to this problem without highlighting some of the incredible performances and wins of black actors and actresses this year, who will have worked a hundred times harder than their white peers to have the recognition they deserve. This year at the Golden Globes, Andrea Day won Best Actress in a Motion Picture Drama for her role in  “The United States Vs. Billie Holiday,”. With this win she became the first black woman to win the award in 35 years, and the second black woman to win at all after Whoopi Goldberg in 1986. This highlights the deeply rooted racism held within the structures of the awards that are given. The winner of the Best Actor in a Motion Picture Drama was Chadwick Boseman for his role, and wonderful performance, in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. This win had an extra tragedy to it as his widow collected the award on her dearly departed husband’s behalf, making his win and this moment even more poignant and moving.

Two black performers winning Best Actress and Actor seems the progress needed is being made. And their victories should be celebrated. Daniel Kaluuya also celebrates his win of Best Supporting Actor. John Boyega won Best Supporting Actor – Television. And unlike many previous years, Chloe Zhao won Best Director of a Motion Picture, with three women nominated in the category, for the first time since Ava DuVernay’s nomination in 2015.

But the problem pertains as the categories continue; Best Supporting Actress nominees, Best Actor and Best Actress for Television Motion Picture, Best Television Actor and Actress for Drama Series and Best Supporting Actress Television were all white.

In their opening speech, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler poked fun at the fact that the HFPA is so white and male, and at a lot of the films and series that were nominated, with Poehler calling them ‘a lot of flashy garbage’, before they highlighted the black actors and black-led projects that were being overlooked. Jane Fonda similarly called for a change, questioning which stories we respect and elevate and which we tune out, pointing out who gets to decide not only who is awarded, but what gets made and who gets hired in the first place. This emphasises the award seasons as the tip of the iceberg that reflects the inner workings of the industry. Though Black, Asian and minority-led work is getting made, it’s not getting recognised to the same level. For example, it was extremely disappointing and frustrating to see the powerful and complex work of Michaela Coel, who wrote, directed and starred in ‘I May Destroy You’, an original series depicting her own trauma and offering a nuanced conversation surrounding sexual assault, go unnoticed.

Sterling K. Brown, whilst presenting an award with This Is Us co-star Susan Kelechi Watson, also noted the imbedded racism, purposely stating ‘It is great to be black at the Golden Globes,’ before correcting himself ‘back at the Golden Globes.’

This is nothing we haven’t seen before. On the 15th January 2015, the Oscars announced their all white nominees, leading April Reign to start #oscarssowhite. Two consecutive years of Oscars nominees being all white led Reign to state, ‘one time you could call a fluke, two times feels like a pattern.’ (The New York Times) With the hashtag trending and gaining notable traction, Cheryl Boone Isaacs, President of the academy 2013- 2017, criticised and questioned the Academy; ‘The statistics showed that our membership was 94 percent white and 77 percent male. People would say to me that it wasn’t on purpose, and I would ask them: Are you sure?’ (The New York Times).

By 2019, a change felt palpable. It was obvious there was a want in audiences for diversity in the movie-going experience. ‘Get Out’, ‘Black Panther’, ‘Coco’ and ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ were films that became box office hits, and that year this was actually represented in the Oscars with a record of 13 winner’s of colour. This proved there is a desire for a multitude of a diverse range of different stories, experiences and perspectives. The data is there. And for once, so was the recognition of that.

That year Spike Lee recognised the change thanks to the work made by two black women: ‘If it were not for April Reign’s hashtag and Cheryl Boone Isaacs being president — the work of two sisters — I would not have an Oscar.’ (The New York Times)

So by 2020 there was hope in the air. But it didn’t look like much progress had truly been made. Just as having Obama as President didn’t solve the deep-rooted racism in the US, and the world, one year of success for black artists didn’t solve the issue present for some many years before. Only one performer of colour, Cynthia Erivo of “Harriet”, was nominated and prominent films of the year with female directors were ignored such as Greta Gerwig of “Little Women,” Lorene Scafaria of “Hustlers” and Lulu Wang of “The Farewell,”. And we saw this pattern again with the Golden Globes this year.

The Oscars will be announcing their nomination on 15th March so it remains to be seen if they have committed to any progress, especially after the rallying call of #BlackLivesMatter this summer and a demand for more representation and diversity on our screens. We will see if the demand for change is met with any significant progress made. But there is a certain sense that if these award ceremonies don’t get it right, if they continue the way they have, disappointing and frustrating audiences, they will be left behind in a culture that must move forward and recognise the work, creativity and talent of all.

By Maya Nardoni

References

https://www.vogue.co.uk/article/oscars

https://www.goldenglobes.com/winners-nominees/2021

https://www.ibtimes.com/andra-day-first-black-woman-win-golden-globes-best-actress-award-35-years-3153978

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/06/movies/oscarssowhite-history.html?ref=oembed

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vBYEUSvDzac&ab_channel=Access

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

97%

Image by Julie Sanford

As a daughter and a mother to sons, this article is difficult to write. I do not wish to label all men as threats to women. However, it goes without saying that the freedom afforded to my sons is not extended to my daughters. At fourteen and sixteen, they have both already been exposed to inappropriate sexualised behaviour, as I had before them and my mother before me. Recent research suggests as many as 97% of women have experienced inappropriate sexual interaction. This can happen anytime anywhere. Pubs and clubs come with their pitfalls. As women, there is an unwritten code that if we feel a man is zoning in on a friend, we work together as a collective to keep that person out of their reach. Like a carefully orchestrated dance routine where the intended victim becomes encased inside our circle.  Unfortunately, this is not restricted to 18+ venues, the threat stretches far and wide. It can occur on buses, in parks, classrooms, and homes. This problem is not a problem for women but females, regardless of age. Often a younger girl is a more desired victim. Hence why I will not allow my daughters to walk home alone after dark. A school uniform is almost like a red flag to some men. I use the term men loosely. These are not men but sex pests and perverts disguised as men. People who feel that young girls are there to be intimidated for their pleasure. This is not a new problem, it is age-old and I do not know how to fix it. Perhaps talking about it is the answer. Making every son, father, nephew, or husband aware that their female relatives are intimidated and scared in certain situations, this is not a fear built on fairy tales but one brought on by experience. Their mother, sister, daughter, and wife have been exposed and subjected to disturbing behaviour. If these women are lucky it may have just been an inappropriate comment, the lesser of the potential evils. But others are not so lucky those such as Sarah Everard. A woman like many before her who took the journey home with fingers crossed hoping today was not the day. As females, we have a different set of rules which are dictated to us by the monsters and the perverts. Even the most headstrong and competent woman will feel fear when their personal space is intruded upon. This does not make her any less competent. It means that she has most likely learned from a previous experience. Women are not inherently afraid of men; it is a learned behaviour developed from exposure to abuse. As a society, it’s time to talk, to discuss the problem. Let the world know that we are survivors. Teach our children that the best way to stop a problem is to break the cycle. It’s not okay to intimidate anyone. It is not okay to touch anyone without their permission. It is not okay to hurt or harm anyone.  From the building sites to the classrooms, the wolf whistles to the revenge porn. The indecent exposer or groping, the rape and the murder. What if that was your daughter, mother or wife? The chances are it has been. 97% is a huge number, a true pandemic. The time for change is now.

By Julie Sanford

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

Why Animated Representation Matters

Source: https://henchman4hire.com/2019/01/09/6-thoughts-on-the-first-season-of-she-ra-and-the-princesses-of-power/ (accessed 28 Feb 2021)

With the multitude of live action movies that Hollywood has been giving us as of late, it almost feels refreshing, in a sense, for anyone to just sit down and enjoy the art that lies behind the work of animation. Animation, in itself, is beautiful. Due to the creative freedom that this sort of medium offers, artists can explore its potential to its extremes with the ‘simple’ touch of a pencil. For instance, take a look at Spiderman into the Spiderverse. The colours, the backgrounds, the action scenes and everything that makes up this movie is simply astounding and, most likely, impossible to replicate in a live action movie. And still, while both forms of art deserve their due credit, animation should also be appreciated as its own kind of media. Given the extensive labor that goes into every possible movie or series that we have collectively watched on TV as children, or even as young adults today, animation keeps on engaging people in the way that it narrates stories through its astounding visuals and overall composition. From the script writing to the storyboards, characters and world design, animation has been giving us incredible stories for us to tell today and for years to come, oftentimes creating something so beautiful out of a blank piece of paper. 

Animation, as a form of art, has always been able to give us a story to tell, stories that we keep on narrating to this day. You don’t even need to be an avid animation-watcher to know of the many movies that have shaped us to this day. For instance, if you were to ask of Disney’s remarkable 1994 animated movie The Lion King, almost anyone would be able to talk about the impact it has had on its audiences to this very day. The history and reputation that precedes this form of art is truly remarkable to even look at.

And yet, among all of these romances, adventures and even tragedies that the world of animation has given us, as viewers, there’s also been a recent and sudden spike of representation awareness within its medium. Amid these, LGBTQ+ representation has started to bloom in some of these stories.

LGBTQ+ representation has always been a rather sensitive subject within the entertainment business, for animators and filmmakers alike, to delve themselves into. As a child, I don’t remember seeing any of it on tv, and whichever character I felt could be a member of it sparked out of a personal interpretation rather than being something that was confirmed by the end of the series. In the last decade or so, however, it’s been interesting to witness the slow rise of gay representation within our media, to a point where now it almost feels like a trend to have the ‘gay best friend’ character witness what happens throughout the course of the protagonist’s story. As a matter of fact, while it is rewarding to see LGBTQ+ characters on our screens, it is also important to portray them in a way that feels true to someone who is a member of the community, as to make them a genuine and heartfelt character. Nonetheless, as stated before, it’s also been interesting to see how the rise of gay representation in animation came to be. As a matter of fact, we have had quite a number of shows, particularly during this past decade, that featured a series of gay characters varying from shows like Sailor Moon, Steven Universe and The Legend of Korra, to name a few. Netflix’s Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts made quite the steps for the LGBTQ+ community, as it is the first animated series to have a gay man state his homosexuality on the main screen. And while it may seem odd to mention something that would feel mundane to some, a moment like this really works wonders for a world that still seems to be skeptical for a character to use the word “gay” in a child’s animated TV show. Nonetheless, all of these series have worked, in one way or the other, in the making of space for LGBTQ+ people to find themselves within this form of medium. 

However, while all of these shows made significant steps in promoting LGBTQ+ representation to be more present within the field of animation, there’s been a series, in particular, that recently stood out the most amongst many, when it comes to the representation of gay individuals within an animated show. And that series is Netflix’s 2018 reboot of She-Ra and the Princesses of Power. 

She-Ra and the Princesses of Power follows the story of Adora, a young girl who is able to turn into the legendary hero, She-Ra. The story follows her many adventures, alongside her friends, Glimmer and Bow, in the insidious fight against the Horde, led by Hordak, a man who wished to control Adora and her friends’ planet for himself. The series goes through this rebellion, while focusing on the two protagonists that ultimately shape the story and ending of this show. These two characters, being Adora and Catra – Adora’s childhood best friend – now turned into her rival for most of the series. It’s important to emphasize how this show not only includes representation from all points of view, as it features LGBTQ+ people, people of colour, etc, but it is also important to underline how the story is physically shaped around the dynamic between Adora and Catra who, as confirmed by the creator, Noelle Stevenson, are both lesbians. While this may seem like something minor to some, it is remarkable for a series to feature two gay protagonists who, as main characters, are also the catalysts of the show, shaping the story around not only their dynamic, but also their sexualities. This is something that has never been seen on a mainstream platform like Netflix, or within the world of animation itself.

In a way, it is nearly groundbreaking to see two lesbian characters being protagonists of their own animated show, bringing into perspective the way that this kind of representation can be deeply impacting for people across all ages, who may have gotten the chance to watch this show. Whether they’re children, young adults, or even older audiences that did not have the chance to watch something like this as a child, this show delves into topics that can be explored for people of all ages. Seeing a gay couple shaping the progress of a story was something that, personally, felt so unreal that it nearly brought me to tears. Not only are the protagonists and many, if not all, characters in this show members of the LGBTQ+ community, but their stories and portrayals are also done in a way that stays true to whoever is a member to this same community. In a sense, it feels real. It’s not for a comedic purpose, or used as the end of a joke, otherwise, it’s something that grows and shapes them into the characters that they become by the end of the series. Stevenson even commented on this, saying that “the characters all began with a deep personal flaw, and the process of making the show was kind of giving them the room to process those flaws. But we wanted it to feel organic. We wanted the characters to feel like real people that we knew.” To see these characters develop over the course of a whole series, truly felt magical in a way, as if, for once, the spotlight’s been brought on to these LGBT characters that can shape the outcome of the final story. And, to avoid spoilers, I will limit myself in saying that the story was carried out beautifully, making the watch really worthwhile.

Alas, while it is emotional to see these kinds of stories pop up in our everyday media, it is also important to underline how it is still difficult for this type of representation to make it on to the big screen. As stated by Stevenson in an interview with the Rolling Stone, it was quite a challenge for them to get this story done the way they wanted it to be done. “I really wanted it to be so central to the plot that if at any point they were like, ‘Oh, we changed our minds, we want to take it out again,’ they wouldn’t be able to, because it would be so baked in […] The temperature is not always right, and depending on what’s happening in the world, not everyone wants to be the studio that sticks their neck out and makes a statement like this. You will get a flat ‘no’ sometimes. But if you bide your time, or you come at it from another angle, that can change. You just have to keep pushing.”

You have to keep pushing.

She-Ra and The Princesses of Power has pushed boundaries that no other series has ever done before. Not only did it work on plenty of LGBTQ+ characters and storylines, making them feel real and substantial, but it also featured two lesbian protagonists, centering the story around their dynamic and romance, while ultimately leaving us with an ending and a reputation that will be narrated for the years to come. And while the industry still has a long way to go in terms of representing minorities within its media, it truly feels rewarding to see something of this nature on our very own tv screens.

By Francesca Adamo

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

Meme-ingful events so far in 2021

Source: https://www.today.com/news/bernie-sanders-talks-about-mitten-memes-inauguration-day-t206581) (Accessed 26 February 2021)

The past few years brought us some eventful memes. From people storming area 51 to the cake trend where every normal object (such as crocs or an amazon package) are cakes. Nothing could be trusted in that time. We started this year strong with the Capitol invasion in the United States. This resulted in many people taking note of the people invading the Capitol such as an old lady. Many questions were asked how the old lady came into the building; If she could, who couldn’t? Was the security of the white house really that bad? Other people were interested in this man stealing property, smiling and waving as if he were on a school trip. Due to all these pictures and videos they were luckily traced and held responsible for their actions.

Source: https://i.kym-cdn.com/entries/icons/original/000/036/224/skynews-capitol-protesters_5229833.jpg (accessed 26 February 2021)

A day after that theories and speculations came forward that Jeffree Star hooked up with Kanye West, people were analysing Jeffree Star’s old songs and made the link to Kanye West. They also did this with Kanye West songs. Even though this is just a conspiracy, a lot of information adds up. However, Jeffree Star posted a Youtube video debunking the theories. It was fun as long as it lasted, and a weird start to the new year as well.

Then we of course have the iconic moment of the Inauguration Day with Bernie Sanders. Bernie was dressed very casually with his mittens. People got the impression that it seemed as if he quickly came by for a second to watch and then leave. A picture spread around on the internet and quickly memes were made. From album covers to music videos: Social media was covered with edits of Bernie.

In February there was an incident that happened. A woman named Tessica Brown had accidentally used industrial gorilla glue spray instead of hair spray. Because of this mistake her hair was glued to her scalp. She made a video about it on social media which quickly blew up. She is now known as the “gorilla glue girl”. After 15 tries to wash it out of her hair she asked for help online. Quickly money was donated and she could go to the doctor whom helped her out. But, of course, social media was quickly flooded with memes about it.

Another major event that happened was the cold weather in Texas. For many people there was no electricity or water. Everything was frozen and inaccessible. During this, the senator for Texas, Ted Cruz, fled to Cancun with his family while many people suffered. Someone posted this tweet of Ted Cruz.

This is one of many tweets sharing the fake screenshot.
Source: https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/16/55/46/20633996/3/rawImage.jpg (Accessed 26 February 2021)

Hopefully he’ll now believe in climate change.  Even though this was a hard period many people were able to make memes and jokes out of it as well. Luckily the weather is getting better.

People are now discussing if gorilla glue girl or Texas should be the next meme in February. What do you think? What else is there to expect in 2021? We’re only two months in.

By Guzel Celik

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

True Crime During Lockdown

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My very first memory from the beginning of the pandemic is walking along the seafront in Brighton while bingeing a true crime podcast for the first time before going to three different stores to see if they had pasta and rice that I could bring back to my flatmates in London. As my cabin fever grew over the months that followed, so did my true crime fascination. According to data from an article in the Daily Beast, it isn’t just me. True crime podcasts, shows, and TV channels have soared in popularity since March 2020. When so many of us are miserable, why would we turn to something even darker than what is going on around us?

One Greenwich student, Melissa, was surprised when she found herself sucked into true crime podcasts and documentaries this year. “It’s a (sick) way to forget about the things that i have to go through and also I think people have a fascination with evil and people being evil,” she said, noting that she especially enjoyed the storytelling aspect of it. The explosion of true crime content and its popularity wasn’t just limited to her. Anyone with an internet presence heard about Tiger King in March, even if they didn’t watch it, and similar (if, perhaps, darker) series like Don’t F*** With Cats and The Vanishing at the Cecil Hotel also became some of the most streamed Netflix shows. In a bizarre turn of events, we have turned to even darker realities as a form of escapism during the pandemic. Even pre-COVID, many people, particularly women, found true crime content to be a form of escape. Some experts say that the ability to enjoy frightening and exciting content at a distance draws in many who might be afraid of something similar happening in their own life. Now, while we’re stuck inside, we may not be afraid of going on a date with a serial killer, we find the same form of escapism in being able to hear the story and say “things might be awful now, but at least that isn’t me.”

In terms of podcasts, Like many, Melissa cites the podcast Serial as one that drew her into the genre. In some ways, the weekly installments (now bingeable on any podcast streaming service) was reminiscent of 19th century serial publications by authors such as Dickens and it drew the same kind of engrossed audience, becoming the most downloaded podcast ever. Six of the top ten podcasts in the US are crime-related and they make up a significant portion of the top 100 in the UK as well. Some podcasts, like Serial, give us the same sense of satisfaction that we got as children being read a story. Others, like the popular podcast My Favorite Murder, have chatty hosts that add in a social element in times when socialising is nearly impossible. We can either be reassured by the loose ends of an intense case being tied up or given a puzzle to work out when it’s a case that remains unsolved. They can even be soothing—as morbid as it is, I’ve fallen asleep to stories of murderers more than once, even though any horror movie has forced me to sleep with the light on for months. 

If this third lockdown is getting you down or you’re just looking for something new to binge on your study breaks, have a look at some of the most popular true crime content because, like Melissa, you might be surprised by how riveting it is. Other favourites like Serial include Hunting Ghislaine, about Jeffrey Epstein and Ghislaine Maxwell, Dirty John, and Undisclosed, which picks up where Serial left off. If you’re looking for more witty and and morbid banter, podcasts like Redhanded and Morbid handle cases with aplomb while being both thoughtful and lighthearted. 

By Madeleine Richardson Graham

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

What Has Made Students Smile During Lockdown?

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We’ve all heard that laughter is the best medicine, but in such a situation as we are, the world has made it a little hard for any of us to have a good chuckle with friends at a pub or even share a warm hug. By interviewing students, I wondered what had made them break a small smile during this lockdown and what they had to say was deeply heart-warming. 

Zara Kelly, 19

I guess it has to be watching shows all together at once online and giving our opinions all at once – what I mean by that is there are a lot of new shows coming out and, with my friends, we all watch it together while texting our reactions in real time and it’s made me smile because we find our reactions either really funny or out of the blue, and then after we share memes and jokes and it’s just a fun time and temporarily makes you forget about what’s going on in the world.

Anonymous, 19

Watching things that make me laugh, like either watching my baby cousins doing stupid things or other things like animals or people or whatever. What also makes me smile is cooking and trying new dishes and learning about the story and where it has come from, like, for example, I am going to try to make Japanese cabbage rolls and see how it goes and last of all, what makes me smile, is that not just me but a lot of people have come this far despite [the struggles] this situation has thrown us in.

Georgia Grant, 19

A few things have made me smile, I guess. Upon reflection I started to see the change in myself and my mindset, so I guess that change in myself where I have grown has made me smile, as well as my friends and my family for sure. My friends and my family always seem to cause a distraction and just make all the bad stuff go away for a little while and let me just have fun and relax instead.

Farideh Armstrong, 18

Honestly, what’s made me smile is going online with my friends everyday like I’ve had some bad days during this pandemic, but my friends never fail to make me happy.

Andrea Mendez, 19

I guess staying in touch with my friends and like memes and stuff. Going out for walks in nature and being reminded that life is beautiful and waking up to see the memes my friends have sent me. 

It’s safe to say that we have all struggled during this Pandemic, some more than others. But perhaps reminding one another of the small things we have achieved, or that have made us smile is one small step to be a little closer together, even if it is virtually. 

By Maria Benseler-Reid

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

The Fight For Independent Media

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Recently, an event occurred in Poland which saw the Polish government attempting to control the flow of independent media in the entire country. Due to the fact that this was a pivotal moment that was mostly ignored by international media even though it carries extremely heavy complications to the rights of Polish citizens, I decided to write this article as a way to summarise the situation and offer my own opinion on it. So without further ado, here’s my take. 

On Wednesday, 10th February, a nationwide protest occurred where almost every major independent media company operating in Poland ceased their operations for the whole day. Instead of news articles, reviews and gossip columns, black screens were displayed with the simple tagline: “Media Bez Wyboru” translated as “Media Without A Choice”. The same was found when turning on the television. TV shows, news broadcasts and other programmes were replaced with quotes such as “Here should have been your favourite programme”. With the use of such shocking and drastic imagery, many people simply wishing to read the morning online paper or to tune in to watch their favourite soap opera, begun to question the case of this strike that seemed to have taken over every channel. The only channels still working seamlessly and according to the normal schedule was the public-funded Polish BBC equivalent TVP and all of its sister channels. Similarly, the case was the same when surveying the social media and websites of other media companies that have become synonymous with being labelled the “state media”. So what really happened? And why is this whole situation so important that it warrants such a response?

A week before the strike took place, the governing Prime Minister announced that a new tax is being considered which would force independent media companies to pay a tax on their advertising revenues. The issuing of the tax was backed up by the claims that the money collected from the tax would be used to support the national health care system. While the tax is yet to be officially implemented, the majority of independent media outlets have already signed a petition to stop the change taking place arguing that the government is using the pandemic to justify the need for the tax. It can be argued that if the tax money would be going to a good cause in fighting Covid-19 which should be every country’s priority at the moment, nonetheless, it is imperative to also consider the fact that this may not be their main focus. In fact, implementing such a high tax on advertisements which are the sole source of income for independent media companies could over time lead to financial troubles potentially resulting in closures of many of these media sources. Although TVP (the state media company) would also have to pay the tax, due to the fact that it receives government funds, the company would consequently not suffer. 

So now that I have presented the logistics of this new tax, what are the actual long term consequences? Why would it matter if a few companies shut down due to the inability to pay? Though the introduction of the tax was made to look harmless and to serve as a simple tool to benefit the country in this testing time when big media corporations are still earning generous paychecks, we can’t only analyse it from this angle. The weakening of independent media companies through the use of the tax opens up dangerous possibilities of less free media outlets that are not controlled by the government, making it easier for state-run organisations to have a larger outreach to the public. Through the use of government-funded media, the citizens of Poland will and already have been fed indoctrinated information. Government-run organisations are already known to spread exaggerated or even manipulated information to show the current ruling party in a better light while diminishing its competition. While this is not technically illegal, getting rid of competing media that may offer a different perspective or call out the inaccuracies would mean that it would be much more difficult for individuals to know the truth or simply find the alternative way of thinking. Essentially, the introduction of the tax is a ploy to gain more control over what is said and thought by the citizens of Poland in a way to sway them in one direction that is more favourable to the current government. Ultimately, independent media have taken it upon themselves to act quickly in order to prevent the tax from occurring. 

The ability to easily seek out different opinions on a certain argument is something that can often be taken for granted. It is not something that we think of as we absentmindedly change the TV channels from BBC to ITV in the press of a button. However, what would you think if that option was taken from us? What if we were given one channel, one newspaper and one radio station to spoon-feed us the information that one individual has decided upon? Every citizen around the world should have the ability of free speech so long as we use it wisely and do not cause anyone harm resulting from it. So why should it be any different in Poland? For now, it may seem that only small steps are being taken and if the tax is yet to be implemented we should not treat it seriously, however, if we ignore the little things, it will be much more difficult to control the situation once it escalates.

By Bogna Bućko

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.

How Bon Ton can get you out of uncomfortable situations

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Have you ever been in that situation where you didn’t know whether you should tell a person in front of you that they have something stuck between her teeth?
Have you ever been introduced to someone and you didn’t really know wether you should shake hands, or just smile or say something?
Well, bon ton, or “good manners”, are here to help you. First of all, what is it? Bon Ton is a set of rules, a protocol, that people from the bourgeoisie had to follow back in the days. Nowadays it is strictly followed only by royals or at very formal events. However, sometimes it is useful to know how to behave.

Here are some of the rules that I believe can still be considered relevant in modern times:

1. If you are hosting a party at your house, therefore you are the host, you have the responsibility to make the introductions. Remember, it’s the person with the lowest level that should be introduced to the person with the higher level. For example: Your partner should be introduced to your parents and never the opposite. When the guest arrives, you simply take him or her to the group and say “ Dad, let me introduce you my girlfriend Sarah”. Or if you have to introduce a colleague to your boss: “ Mr. Smith, this is my colleague Frances Lewis, who is in charge of the accountability”. Remember, you never use appellation such as “Doctor, Sir” etc. Unless you are introducing a member of the nobility.

2. If someone you are speaking to has something stuck between their teeth, you have two options.
If you don’t have enough confidence with that person you just don’t say anything, but also you avoid staring at the mouth hoping that they will notice and understand. You don’t want that person to be embarrassed, so just pretend you didn’t notice anything.
If that person is your close friend, take advantage of a moment alone and nicely tell them about it. But be careful, nobody else should listen otherwise your friend will feel embarrassed.

3. Do you know the difference between a proposal and an invitation? Let’s say you plan to go to the cinema with your partner, and you want your friend Mark to come too. Should you make an invitation or a proposal? If you were to invite your friend, know that you might be expected to pay for him. Otherwise, if you want everybody to pay for themselves, you need to make a proposal. Here is an example of an invitation: “ Me and Jeff would like to invite you to the cinema on Saturday to watch the latest Woody Allen movie, may I take the ticket for you too?”. If this is the case, you should be at the cinema with Mark’s ticket in your hand 5 minutes before the time of the appointment. You don’t want Mark to see you buy his ticket in front of you, it would be not…chic.
If you want to only make a proposal, you might say “ Jeff and I are going to the cinema on Saturday, if you would like to come too we can meet outside at 3, no big deal, we can also go for a drink later. My friend Lisa will probably come too…” Remember, whenever you invite someone you should ALWAYS take the time to make a call rather than sending a message on WhatsApp. If it’s an official invitation for something more formal, you might even want to send an invitation card.

By Maria Niglio

The Crow’s Nest is a Greenwich Students’ Union Student Media channel. The views expressed in this website do not necessarily reflect those of GSU, its trustees, employees, officers or the University of Greenwich.