Taylor Swift takes a stand against online fan wars over female artists

first_imgThis isn’t a plea from Swift to her fans specifically (she is known for her extremely close and mutually supportive relationship with her fanbase), but to all fans of female artists generally to celebrate and support women succeeding in the genre, rather than relentlessly dragging one another and creating drama where there is none.You Need To Calm Down is here to serve as your official reminder that pop queendom, like so many other things in life, is not a zero-sum game. By all means worship and support your fave, but don’t forget: They ALL got crowns, don’t step on their gowns. The 2018 year in tech, movies and Taylor Swift (CNET… null Share your voice Global superstar Taylor Swift has deftly been showing haters the door since around 2010 when she released Mean, an iconic banjo-powered critique of her detractors. In her latest song, You Need to Calm Down (the video went up Monday morning), she’s turned her attention to highlighting the hate being thrown around the internet between fans of female pop artists.It’s nothing new to see brilliant women being compared as though they’re inadvertent players in some kind of anti-feminist Top Trumps game. But frequenters of Stan Twitter, where the most ardent music fans hang out, can sometimes take things to a whole new level.”Enjoy your problematic fave,” is a popular refrain. “Sis can’t even sing,” an average retort. Then there are the “retweet for Ariana Grande, like for Beyoncé,” popularity contests and their many variants. And just like that, appreciation for female musicians and their vast bodies of work is reduced to an arbitrary, inexact and petty form of one-upmanship.These examples are on the vanilla end of the spectrum, but hint at the specific brand of aggression between fans that perpetuates the myth that there’s only so much room at the top for women and a fight to the death is required to decide the winner. But as Swift, one of pop’s true superstars, points out in You Need To Calm Down, this kind of thinking is just a myth.Most people’s biggest takeaway from Swift’s song (released Friday) is the overt stand she takes against homophobia. But she’s also inserted another important lesson into the lyrics that shouldn’t be overlooked, and that’s to stop pitting successful female artists against one another online.”And we see you over there on the internet/Comparing all the girls who are killing it/But we figured you out/We all know now we all got crowns/You need to calm down,” she chants in the bridge. There are no losers when women succeed, Swift seems to suggest. Except perhaps those who are getting caught up in dragging each other’s faves online.In the music video, Swift takes this message one step further. On a stage decorated with a “Pop Queen Pageant” banner stands a lineup of the world’s biggest female pop artists (represented by drag artists): Nicki Minaj, Adele, Cardi B, Katy Perry, Beyoncé, Adele, Lady Gaga and of course Taylor Swift herself. RuPaul in his role as judge proceeds onto the stage with a crown on a velvet cushion, but rather than presenting to one star or another, he instead flings it into the air with glee. Taylor Swift/YouTube The video ends with former adversaries Perry and Swift (the actual pop stars, not their doppelgangers) — dressed as a burger and fries respectively — hugging it out with peace-at-last energy. This is more than a public reconciliation — it’s two role models setting an example for the rest of us. It also reiterates that while fans might be out there trying to pit females stars against one another, most of them are actually pretty good friends, rendering stan wars pointless and unnecessary. Taylor Swift 0 0:39 Music Online Now playing: Watch this: Tagslast_img read more

Distraction On Street And Sidewalk Helps Cause Record Pedestrian Deaths

first_img Share Bebeto Matthews/APDrivers being distracted by their devices is a well-documented, rising cause of traffic crashes, but there is a growing number of pedestrians, too, who can become oblivious to traffic around them.It’s the oldest and most basic form of transportation — walking — and more people are doing more of it to get fit or stay healthy. But there’s new evidence today that even walking across the street is getting more dangerous.A report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association shows that the number of pedestrians killed in traffic jumped 11 percent last year, to nearly 6,000. That’s the biggest single-year increase in pedestrian fatalities ever, and the highest number in more than two decades.“It is alarming,” says GHSA executive director Jonathan Adkins, “and it’s counterintuitive.”“There’s been an assumption that, because of increased safety of vehicles as we move toward semi-autonomous vehicles, that traffic deaths were going to go down,” Adkins says. “We’re seeing just the opposite, unfortunately, with a particular spike as it relates to pedestrians and cyclists.”Last month the National Safety Council reported that traffic deaths overall went up 6 percent nationwide in 2016.Maureen Vogel, spokeswoman for the council, says it stands to reason that pedestrian fatalities would rise as part of that trend, but she and other safety experts did not expect the rise in pedestrian deaths to so significantly outpace other traffic-related fatalities.“A perfect storm” of factors spurred the increase, Vogel says: A stronger economy and low gas prices have put more cars on the road and have people driving more often, “but that is really only part of the story … so something else is at play here.”One possibility can be seen during rush hour in downtown Chicago just by looking at both the drivers of the dozens of vehicles inching through traffic and the scores of pedestrians crossing the busy intersections. One thing many have in common is that their eyes are down, staring at their phones.“We are crazy distracted,” says Melody Geraci, deputy executive director of the Active Transportation Alliance, a Chicago group advocating for better walking, cycling and public transportation options. “After speeding and the failure to yield, distractions are the number three cause [of pedestrian fatalities], particularly by electronic devices.”Drivers being distracted by their devices is a well-documented, rising cause of traffic crashes, but there is a growing number of pedestrians, too, who can become oblivious to traffic around them.“We have noticed over the years increases in the number of injuries related to distracted walking — pedestrians being distracted by cell phones and then injuring themselves because of that distraction,” says Vogel, referring to National Safety Council data. “So it’s entirely possible that is at play, not just on our roadways but on our sidewalks.”But a bigger problem remains vehicle speeds.“Speed is a killer for sure,” says Geraci. “If a pedestrian is struck at 20 miles an hour, they have a 10 percent chance of dying. If they are struck at 40 miles an hour, they have an 80 percent chance of dying.”New York City lowered its speed limit on most streets to 25 mph a couple of years ago to help protect pedestrians; other cities are considering slowing speeds, too.And researchers are looking through the data to see if they can come up with other ways to make streets safer for those crossing on foot. According to the GHSA report, 74 percent of pedestrian fatalities happen at night, and 72 percent of those killed were not crossing at intersections.Another significant factor is alcohol.The GHSA report indicated that 15 percent of pedestrians killed each year are hit by a drunk driver, while 34 percent of pedestrians killed are legally drunk themselves. That’s right: one-third of pedestrians killed in traffic had blood-alcohol (BAC) levels above the .08 threshold for drunk driving.“We’ve done a good job in highway safety in telling people that when you go out to the bar and you’re drunk, don’t get behind the wheel,” says Adkins. “But you should really be careful about walking, particularly if you’re walking at night, and you’re walking a distance. You’re not gonna have good judgment, a car’s not gonna see you … [so] don’t walk home at night when you’re hammered.”He and other safety advocates say lower speed limits, better road designs, and more sidewalks can help reduce the fatalities.So can new vehicle technologies that alert drivers to the presence of pedestrians — but many drivers don’t understand it, don’t know how to use it and thus disable the technology.“It’s not as if there aren’t solutions out there,” says Adkins. “We know what needs to be done, it’s just having the will to do it.”Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

Youth stabbed to death at Baidyabati station

first_imgKolkata: A youth was stabbed to death in broad daylight by some unidentified miscreants. The incident took place on platform number 1 at Baidyabati station in Hooghly on Tuesday.The Railway police have arrested two persons in this connection so far. According to the police, the victim, Joyprakash Das, a resident of Champdani area in Hooghly, was standing at the station on Tuesday afternoon when he got engaged in an altercation with some other youth. A scuffle soon broke out between the youth and other accused. One of the group members suddenly took out a knife and stabbed him. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe miscreants fled the spot immediately after the incident. Locals rushed the victim to Srerampur Welsh Hospital where he was declared brought dead.The body has been sent for post-mortem. After starting an investigation, the railway police have arrested two youth in this connection so far.They have been identified as Raju Das and Pradhan Das. According to the preliminary investigation, police suspect that the victim had a relationship with the wife of Pradhan Das. The accused are also residents of Champdani area. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedAn eyewitnesses told the police that he heard people shouting and when came out of his stall found that the victim was lying in a pool of blood on the platform. He was immediately rushed to the hospital. Three youth were seen fleeing the spot.Police are interrogating the duo and trying to know if other persons were involved in the incident. Police are yet to confirm the exact reason behind the incident. A senior official of the railway station said a murder has taken place on the platform. Police have started a detailed probe into the incident.last_img read more