The Fine Line

Harry Styles. He grew up in the eye of the public, constantly changing with age. From the time he was an immature sixteen year old singing pop songs in a boy band, to where he has ended up as a mature music artist who has broken so many social boundaries, the evolution he has had as an artist and as a person is undeniable. After huge success in beginning a career as a solo artist with his self titled debut album in 2017, Harry Styles, Styles has recently announced the upcoming release of his new album, Fine Line. In announcing this news, the image of the album cover was also released. The cover has many different potential interpretations and has been heavily investigated by different media outlets in order to try and make sense of this album cover’s meaning. 

The main idea that Styles wants to convey in his album cover is all about challenging traditional norms of gender and culture. On the cover, Styles’ outfit was very different compared to something that a typical male would wear. He wants to let people know that you do not have to wear what people want you to wear in order to be happy or find success because look at him, he is thriving and he is just wearing whatever he wants. The album title “Fine Line,” is really what captures the idea as a whole. Styles is making it known that the line that differentiates femininity and masculinity is beginning to thin, so why care what the difference is? Also, his facial expression is something to notice also. The shocked look he has almost comes across as a sarcastic tone to all of the people that critique his style, saying “Oh I’m not supposed to wear this? Oh well!”

Going back to the idea of the “Fine Line,” the colors on the cover are blue, which typically represents males and masculinity, and pink, which typically represents females and femininity. He is getting at the idea that those genders are simply represented as colors and they can be in close proximity with each other and still be great. The two colors are beginning to mesh together and sure from the surface there is a difference between them, but when you look deeper, it is just a color, and it does not matter which one you choose to identify with more. Everybody has the capability to be represented by both colors.

 Harry Styles over time has developed to be an icon for the sole reason he has broken so many boundaries in the industry. With his latest album cover release, he truly wants audiences to get a sense that it is a good thing to challenge tradition and expectations and not do things just because societal norms tell you to do so. The line is diminishing as we continue forward, let us embrace that fine line.

So, What’s the Deal with Millennials?

Gen Y, Gen Next, or the most popular term to refer to this generation: “Millennial.” That title to older generations stirs up some level of either anger, frustration or confusion and it is widely accepted that this constant hate that millennials receive in society is normal. However, what is it that millennials have done to be forced to withstand this constant backlash, and is the hate from older generations justified for any reason? There is no shortage of news and articles circulating around highlighting all of the things that millennials have apparently ruined or done incorrectly and in turn, these young adults are constantly having to defend their generation. Though millennials have done their fair share of negative things for society, the hate they receive is not justified. The hatred just follows the pattern in history of older generations disapproving of modern ones because in reality, millenials have actually contributed a lot of positive elements to society. 

Millennials are the largest generation history has seen and are often seen as a generation of technology. From an economic standpoint, that is where millennials are receiving a lot of their hate. According to Goldman Sachs, more millenials live at home with their parents, have a lower average marriage age and are putting off having children to later ages as well. However, all of this isn’t exactly something that they can be in control of. In the past ten years, the years where millennials were moving into their prime economic time, employment rates have lowered and the amount of student debt has risen. The average student loan debt for a post-grad millennial is $20,296 and has only bee climbing as the years continue. 

Millennials are always being labeled as “entitled” by older generations. And though this is slightly true, as studies have found that millennials responded that they feel they deserve more in the workforce, entitlement isn’t always a bad thing. It can lead to stronger drive for success and inspire more creative ideas and thoughts. Millennials are transforming the workforce as a whole, past the entitlement. According to Forbes magazine, what they are changing is the typical workplace where a boss is so highly above everyone and is cramming tasks down their throats. They are changing it to where if something isn’t right, they will speak up and they aren’t afraid to challenge the status quo. They are also making companies be more open to the idea of flexible schedules, realizing that as long as work is getting done well, it doesn’t matter what time in the day it’s done.  

The pattern of millennials constantly receiving hate had been seen since the earliest of times, even in the days of Aristotle, where they observed the younger people not being as wise as the elders. The reason behind this is that older generations consistently view younger generations as immature. It is just something that is widely accepted, even though it shouldn’t always be. 

P3: My Plan and Anxieties

My plan for this paper is to question the idea of why millennials are hated in society, why the hate they receive is not justified, what good things they have provided society with, and also recognize the pattern in history of generations of the past constantly hating on the modern ones. I have facts and statistics on all of the points that I am delving into that will assist me in making my argument valid.

My anxieties are that I feel like the argument might be viewed as slightly not scholarly because it isn’t something you would typically see in a paper. Also, I have anxieties about which way of organizing this paper will be the most effective so I still have to decide that

P2 Final Proposal

For my final idea, I have decided to go into the idea of millennials as a generation and question why they receive so much hate in society. I will go into what positives they have contributed to society, but also what they have done different in society in a negative sense. I will talk about how older generations tend to hate on millennials and go into the idea how history tends to repeat itself with older generations disapproving of modern ones.

P2 Research Paper Ideas

My first idea I want to potentially explore is 

  • Who are millennials?
  • Why are they hated in society?
  • What have they done in society?
  • Are they really all that bad?

Another idea I’m interested in is exploring music festival culture and going back in time to events like Woodstock to see where all of this stuff started, answering questions like

  • Where did this idea come to be?
  • What are some of the big events that have come out of music festivals?
  • What are some issues within them today/how have they evolved?

Lastly, this idea is a bit more unclear with what path I want to take with it, but I want to explore the world of social media influencers/youtubers/digitally created career people. Maybe go into

  • How did this trend start?
  • Why are they often frowned upon?
  • What does it take to become this status since technically everyone can become it?
  • Are they even considered real celebrities?

The Fermi Paradox: “But where is everybody?”

Ever since the idea of extraterrestrials has been presented to humans on earth, the debate of whether or not aliens are real has been one that has baffled society forever. Italian American physicist, Enrico Fermi, developed the Fermi Paradox however, which explores the idea that if aliens do exist, our human race should have come into contact with them by this point in time. 

The paradox brings up many questions and points involving our lack of knowledge and exposure to extraterrestrial life; beginning with the size of our universe. Fermi explains that since our Milky Way is so vast and there are billions of stars and planets within it that we don’t even know exist, that the chance of there being other societies out there is very likely, however we just have not developed the technological capabilities to discover them. 

Another question asked is “Why are no aliens or their artifacts found here on Earth, or in the Solar System?” And the answer again is the lack of technological advancements we have made on planet earth. Our space travelling abilities are considered rather slow, as it would take us from 5 million to 50 million years to even attempt to colonize the rest of the galaxy. We also have a lack of knowledge of these life forms as a whole. We have no idea as humans what these other beings could look like or how they live their lives. For all we know, there could be another planet exactly like earth with beings living on it just like we are now. That relates to another point made in the paradox: with the size of our galaxy, there is a very high chance that there is another planet out there that has the ability to be a home to life forms. 

Through all of these ideas, I think they allude to the fact that maybe we aren’t set out to discover aliens or extraterrestrial life forms. If we have not contacted them by now and there are so many questions and contradicting ideas as to why we have not reached them yet, maybe that is a sign that they are meant to be left alone and undiscovered. Also, on the planet we live in, we tend to use things and take them for granted (cough, cough, our own damn planet) so I feel if aliens did come into contact with us, we would exploit them and make them hate the world that we live in – there is no way we could let them remain peaceful.

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Photojournalism


Thesis: 

The thesis is included in the end of her opening paragraph by saying, “While photojournalism may be exploitive, this exploitation is not always unethical and sometimes even necessary in creating an image that is both beautiful and impactful” (Smolen).

Put more simply, Smolen is setting up her main point of the article which focuses on the fine line between photojournalism and photographic art and to what extent photojournalism can be considered unethical.

Audience: 

This audience is any people of the public who are exposed to the news since photojournalism and elements of it are constantly circulating around modern news. 

Ethos: 

Smolen provides several appeals to ethos. She sites information from the National Press Photographers Association and more specifically their code of ethics which is the foundation of rules for photojournalism as a whole. 

  • “the primary goal of visual journalism is to provide ’faithful and comprehensive depiction of the subject at hand,’ and to report on significant events and varied viewpoints (Code of Ethics)”

She also sites a New York Times article that discusses famous photojournalist Sebastio Salgado who has been known for pushing the envelope when it comes to photojournalism.

  • “Michael Kimmelman of the New York Times reveals, ‘Of course his photographs are exploitative. Most good photojournalism is.’”

Logos:

Smolen also develops different appeals to logos throughout her piece. She develops the point that back in the day when people and events all over the world were not connected so easily, photojournalism did not have to be as harsh or gruesome in order to get its point across since these photos were from such far away places that people were never exposed to. 

  • “Kimmelman writes, ‘but it is another thing to try to do so now, when the number of images that flash across television and computer screens diminishes the value of any single image you may see.’ Therefore, since the number of media that we see every day has increased greatly over the years, photographers now struggle to make a picture have a lasting effect.”

She also discusses the ideas of Paolo Pellegrin who wanted to challenge the public’s way of viewing images by not providing captions and he simply wanted the photographs to tell their own story. Since he wanted the photos to tell a story, he took a revolutionary approach by making the photos artistic.

  • “His impression of vagueness is enforced by his decision to keep the captions separate from the images. This careful and directed execution of his work causes it to be considered more so art rather than documentary photojournalism, since documentary photographs are not meant to be edited or manipulated in any way so as to not detract from the “truth” of the image.”

Pathos:

Smolen captures appeals to pathos by almost targeting the readers. She discusses how in today’s world the public is so unaffected by images because they are constantly circulating around us and it makes readers actually think about that idea. 

  • “This is where photojournalism and photographic art overlap, and it is important that they do so, since, like Kimmelman said, images are starting to have less and less effect on people, and therefore, elements of beauty are essential to hold our attention.”

She also mentions how we view the suffering of others in photos with pathos, making us realize the way we feel when seeing these photos.“If we cannot help them, should we not at least acknowledge, and maybe even reflect and show compassion? Having their struggles recorded in photographs helps people to remember them and their experiences.”

Turning Points

Philosophers say that similar to the sails of a boat, which harness energy that brings the boat on a journey, the propellers of a windmill do the same. They grab onto the wind, transfer it into energy, and carry the windmill on its’ “journey.” The difference is, the boat craves risk; it was designed to travel. It captures the air and with that, the boat is off, completing its’ destiny by roaming wherever it pleases. The windmill too has its tasks to complete, except it is completely satisfied with remaining immobile, not being presented with the opportunity of adventure. But as much as that windmill believes that remaining in place is what it was meant to do, do you ever think it questions what the other options out there are like?

Sitting in the back seat of a 1997 Ford Explorer, I remember as a child relentlessly begging my mom to drive past windmills. I was absolutely captivated by every aspect of them for some odd reason and I could not explain the motive for this admiration. Whether it was the hypnotic motion they spun in or the intricate designs and colors they were plastered with, during every car ride, my mom went out of her way to see my face light up when we simply passed by a windmill, my eyes glued to one for each passing moment there was.

I grew up then not truly understanding who I was in the world. Sure, part of that was because I was young, but the people I was surrounded by were all leading the same lifestyle, even my own mother. She went to high school and college, got her degree, got married, had kids and moved to the same town she grew up in. And every day either at the grocery store or the sports fields, she would run into people and catch up with them, then turn around to me and tell me how she went to high school with them. And I assumed that since my mom and all those other people had found satisfaction and happiness with what they had, that it would be perfect for me too. The image of that almost cookie-cutter life was engraved in my mind. I not only adored windmills, but without even realizing, I was infatuated with the idea of becoming one: unable to move, taking in success and utilizing it, all the while being fulfilled with my feet stuck on the same spot of the ground. 

Years later, now looking out the back window of a 2004 Mercury Mountaineer, the windmill on the corner of Godwin and Franklin was approaching, one that I was most familiar with. My mom looked at me in the rearview mirror and smiled, knowing that I recognized where we were and what was coming at the turn ahead. Turning onto the street, I was face to face with what usually brought me so much joy. But instead of a giggle escaping my lips, something unforgettable happened, I let out a scream.

(You would expect me to be frightened by a large windmill, right? No, it was the small lawn ones that gave me a fright. Something like the one pictured below).

My mother panicked and pulled over the car, fearful that something had happened to me. She turned to me concerned, “What’s wrong? Are you okay?” she questioned. I replied to her with no hesitation, “I don’t like the windmills anymore mommy, they’re scary.”

Prior to that moment, I loved everything about windmills. Then, suddenly, my whole mindset of them changed. That idea of living life like a windmill, staying put in one spot forever, was what I dreamt about, until I came to realize in an instant that deep down, being a windmill frightened me. I knew at that moment that I did not want to be tied down to the same place permanently. I wanted the opportunity to travel and experience life in an adventurous manner. My thoughts of becoming a windmill shifted to that of a boat, using the success I harness to fill my sails but being able to see things in new places and perspectives, not being tied down to any specific place. And now I think about that boat and not only dream of being one, but dream of all the places that it can take me. 

WHAT’S GOOD EVERYONE?

Hey everyone, what’s up? Don’t actually answer that question, that’d be weird. Anyway, I’m Meg Roessler and I’m from North Jersey, but more specifically, Oakland. And to any of my fellow New Jerseyans, Central Jersey does not exist and it is TAYLOR HAM not PORK ROLL. I’m a Communication Interest major and I’m living in Harrington this year so that basically means I’m dying of heat 95% of the time. I love impromptu adventures and being outside as much as possible. I have been doing quite a lot of ice breakers in this first week of college so right now seems a good time for a fun fact! Fun Fact: the Jonas Brothers grew up in the town next to me! I hope you all enjoyed and everyone enjoy your evening 🙂