The Gas of them All

Can something that every human being does be embarrassing? At first you might think “of course not because we all do it”, but if you step back and re-think, farting is something that majority of people are very embarrassed about. We all cough, sneeze, and even bleed and those things are all seen as okay. According to Kirsten Bell different cultures do not connect farting with a negative connotation. In fact the way society views a person directly connects to the way they view that person farting. “Certainly, in a North American context, some farts appear to be judge less harshly than others, with the farts of an infant, the elderly, and small children invoking relatively less responses.” Woman on the other hand in are looked down upon when they fart and that’s because women are viewed to be pure and clean individuals. We are taught that we should only fart in our homes or in privacy. The negativity that comes from farting is equivalent to the smell that the fart gives off. There’s no escaping the gas that inflames the room when someone farts and sometimes there’s no way of even telling who did it. But is that the reason why someone should feel so embarrassed? We need to get over ourselves and understand that we all do it. Whether we do it privately or publicly it still happens. Farting is no reason we should put someone down simplify because something they have no control over.



History Truly Repeats

Police brutality in general has been happening for decades; police brutality against minorities has been something that has caught the attention of millions this past year. Michael Brown, Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, Freddy Gray, and multiple other defenseless African American males have been killed by people in uniform. This has been the catalyst to #BlackLivesMatter and multiple protests and riots going on in our communities today. People are fighting for justice and are confused about how this all could be happening one after another. The only thing that is clear is how corrupt the policing system in the United States is. This is not a problem of blaming one individual. This is a problem rooted in the way the system was created. In the article “The Violence of The Status Quo” Davidson Buck states that “violence created by inequality itself–structural violence…is hidden violence. Hidden, that is, from those with a bit of privilege.” In this specific scenario the people with a bit of privilege would be the black man being killed without really understanding why. But now the truth has been brought to life and everyone understands weather privilege or not privileged that the system itself is the main problem. We as a nation are participating and violence against humanity based on the color of our skin. This might seem familiar, as familiar as slavery. We are not progressing in anyway but only going back to the way things used to be.


More Then Just a Train Ride

One ride on the New York City train can change your perspective on many things. One thing that is not seen to be so important is language. You get on a train in NYC you will definitely hear multiple languages being spoken by multiple people. One train ride will satisfy your hunger for different languages whether you stay on for 10 minutes or a whole hour. In the article “The World’s Most Linguistically Diverse Location? New York City” Mark Turin states “New York is not just a city where many languages live, it is also a place where languages go to die, the final destination for the last languages of some of the planet’s most critically endangered speech forms.” The issue that many people fail to realize is that the harder it is to maintain the number of languages spoken in NYC the more difficult it will be to connect with other people not from our own cultural backgrounds. Many younger generations of immigrants not from the United States are being pressured to keep these languages thriving, but with fewer and fewer people speaking these languages is a very hard task to complete. The main way to overcome this issue is to embrace and continue teaching others languages that are endangered. Simply by using Google translator or picking up a Spanish English dictionary can help the future of these important languages.


Who They Truly Care For

The ice bucket challenge is a social media phenomenon that has spread all over the world.  People have posted millions of video of them dumping a bucket of ice water over there head after nominating three other people to do the same thing in the next 24 hours. If you did not complete the challenge within 24 hours of being nominated the consequence was for you to have to donate 100 dollars to ALS organization. The challenge was fun and made a huge difference in the ALS community, it gave millions of people more awareness of the disease which lead to 200% increase in donations to do more studies to try and find a cure.

If you take a step back and look at the whole picture you realize something bigger about the Western society as a whole. This disease itself affects mostly white men, it was not commonly known before the challenge but it brings light to the question of how health care and wellbeing are reflections of structural inequality. Take the Ebola virus for example; this disease that did not achieve the same amount of positive publicity, but yet has killed millions of poor African individuals. Ebola did not become a trend where people in the United States donated millions of dollars to. But what if we had? Would Ebola still exist today? Would it still be as big of a problem and health risk in parts of Africa? Western society shows who they care for and what they are willing to pay to save it. It’s just more to show that the publicity of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was not an accident but a demonstration our society’s creation of hierarchy and importance.


A Man’s Best Friend

Growing up we have all heard that common phrase “a dog is a man’s best friend”. In the United States, dogs are welcomed by many and thought of as an important parts of one’s family. Often we would see dogs in family photos, dressed up for big events like Christmas or Halloween and even given a funeral, when the time comes. In Canada, the dog- owner relationship has developed over time. This devotion to dogs has spread over many establishments such as supermarkets, clothing stores and medical offices now allowing dogs inside. Certain establishments that need to maintain a sanitary standard post “cutesy” signs outside asking kindly for dog owners to keep their dogs from coming inside. Western society has incorporated the dog so deep into our values that dogs are now included in daily life activities and can be taken almost anywhere.

Fortunately not every society has incorporated dogs into their everyday activities. In Islam, a dog’s saliva is considered impure and even though the Quran states that it isn’t necessarily haram to own a pet dog, most Muslims refrain from having owning a dog. For the insignificant amount of Muslims who do own a dog, the life style of the dog is very different from Western society. Muslim dogs tend to have their own living space and are used for security and protection for a family.

This contrast in views towards dogs shows not only the impact of Religion on a society, but also how far different societies extended their kinship.

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You are Not Really Alone

Most people may believe that the city has way too many people and that’s it’s too hectic to live in. But most fail to realize that living in a city can surprisingly be the loneliest place to live. Individuals can easily become lost within the large morning crowds of school children, business personal, construction workers, and early morning shoppers. To escape it all, it is easy to duck your head down and avoid the eye contact on the subway as stated by Erin B Taylor in her analysis, “Alone in the city: How we create personal space in the madding crowd”.

Living in a big city all my life, I have tried to duck the casual conversations from tourists and natives of the New York City area. I have failed. I am not antisocial but the city environment gives me the opportunity to be alone, but still enjoy the sense of safety being surrounded by people gives me. Yes city people move fast and usually seem too busy to be stopped, but many fail to realize how much a city can be seen as a large family. Take the Boston Marathon for example; stranglers bonded together to support victims, and their families. People that would usually just pass by each other formed a bond that lead to a state wide family feel.

For anyone who comes to live in the city or just visit it can be a very overwhelming experience. But the excitement that comes when people realize how much energy city life has is very rewarding.