The Bigger Picture
Oddly specific. Universally applicable.

How we got here and where we go now

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(Photo/Life of Wu from Pexels)

I think a lot, especially more recently. If there’s any silver lining during a global pandemic — besides the fact that I no longer need to come up with excuses not to do things — it’s that most of us have a little more time to think.

To think about what? You name it. We have time to think about our creative projects, our futures, our mortality, our bank accounts, our first post-COVID vacations, why our last relationships didn’t work, whether the Jets will go 0–16, what type of booze we want to drink tonight.

Yet, with all those possibilities, it’s gotten increasingly difficult not to think about the world, our country, and how we got here. …

A ‘Build Back Better’ blueprint

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(Photo by Daniel Bendig from Pexels)

Fast Company recently asked the best ad agency in the world to rebrand America. It was a purely speculative assignment with no budgets or practicality attached to it. Ideas were as simple as putting immigrants on dollar bills to as grand as literally sending the Statue of Liberty to the state that accepts the most refugees.


I love this idea. I love this assignment. I love this as a thought experiment. It’s a no-holds-barred, no-kids-in-cages, dream-big, sky’s-the-limit assignment to bring America back, baby!

So, I’m giving it a go. I’m going to pitch my less well thought out ideas — in a different format — to a much easier publication — with a much smaller audience — a week after the original article posted — near a major national holiday. That oughta show that ad agency for refusing to hire me three (maybe four) times now. …

How investing in NASA and space exploration provides answers to questions we don’t even know to ask

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(Photo: Greg Rakozy/Unsplash/CC BY-SA 4.0)

On Sunday, November 15, 2020, the four-man crew of the Space X Crew Dragon Capsule was launched into orbit and docked at the International Space Station. The successful launch and docking of the Space X vehicle promises to usher in a new era of space exploration after the retirement of NASA’s shuttle program in 2011.

As the world is battling another spike of COVID-19 cases, with cities once more shutting down, space exploration may seem like a fever dream. …

How my great-grandfather’s shenanigans inspired the London Traffic Act

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Vintage Double Decker (Image/Delpixel)

“Below the smooth surface of official accounts of history, lie those stories that have been silenced and erased, leaving only their ghostly traces, and therefore bound to return and haunt the present.” — José Colmeiro, “A Nation of Ghosts”

There comes a time in a person’s life, usually around 38 I think, that all the old photos on the wall of straight-faced ancestors whose names you’ve been told a million times but have somehow forgotten, suddenly seem quite relevant and even rather interesting. …

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Upon moving to L.A., my first order of business was to get a SAG card. SAG jobs (those are the good jobs, as opposed to non-union jobs) tended to go to people already in SAG, so it seemed essential to join the union. I had heard from many other aspiring actors that it was possible to get a SAG card by becoming an extra and receiving three waivers. So, I signed up for every website, mailing list, and what have you, for even the remote possibility of a SAG job.

A week later, I received an email regarding a production company casting for short people (I’m 5'1). Apparently, it was a movie about dwarves, and they were having a majorly tough time finding enough dwarves to fill the scene. Technically they were looking for people 5'0 and under, but I figured an inch or two wouldn’t kill anyone. So, I lied about the extra inch and emailed the casting director, telling them I would be perfect as an extra as I am 5'0 and Indian. I was positive they didn’t have any Indian dwarves in the scene, so I figured I would add an exotic flavor. The casting director obviously thought so, too, because he called a week later to tell me I was in. And after a little weaseling and negotiating, I even got him to agree to give me three SAG waivers so I could get a SAG card. …

American presidential elections resemble a display of theatrics meant to keep constituents entertained while their pockets are looted by Wall Street.

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(Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash)

In these unprecedented times, we should take the opportunity to celebrate the defeat of Donald Trump — the first American President who was hesitant to condemn neo-nazis, who doubled the rate of drone strikes in Yemen, and brought the country to the brink of war with Iran. For four years, he demonized minorities, separated immigrant parents from their children, and used the White House as a megaphone to bully our collective mental health on a daily basis.

However, although it is relieving to have a bit of human decency back in the White House, we’re back at the same starting point we had before Trump, or possibly worse. For the country to achieve significant change, there is a long and hard way to go. …

How topics become more or less acceptable to discuss

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(Photo by Jordan Madrid on Unsplash)

If you follow politics, you’ve probably heard of the Overton window. If not, you’re probably familiar with the concept, and it’s useful to have it laid out clearly and classified with a term you can refer to.

The Overton window, put as simply as possible, is the range of acceptable ideas. It’s a political term, named after the man credited with articulating it, but it’s actually created and controlled by society at large. …

Dangerous conspiracy theories, disinformation, and aggressive political bias

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While the internet can be a resource to educate, it can also deceive innocent users with disinformation. Websites can easily disguise themselves as unbiased when in reality, they cater to a specific political agenda.

How can you spot disinformation out in the wild? How can you learn to verify the accuracy of what you read online?

The first time I heard of Evie Magazine was through an ad on Twitter, spotted through the corner of my eye. …

Why we need to stop labeling right now

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(Photo by Josh Hild from Pexels)

My Instagram feed over the last couple of days has been filled with jubilant celebrations reminiscent of some of my favorite late 90s hip hop videos: Champagne bottles popped over crowds, booty-shaking on the streets, and joints passed in cars.

Taglines read:

Democracy beat fascism.

Love beat hate.

Kamala broke the glass ceiling.

Biden broke the age ceiling.

How much change will come when Biden officially takes office is yet to be determined but, if history is any indication we will soon return to our regular programming of COVID blues, retail therapy, selfies, and disparaging the other side.

The truth is, the real tragedy of the U.S. was never Trump.

It’s that we’ve convinced ourselves to believe that if something is deemed wrong, calling it out as such will make its opposite true. …

Because the goal is to be informed, not overwhelmed

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(Photo by Nijwam Swargiary on Unsplash)

I’ve been obsessed with the news for the last 15 years. It started when I was 15, spurred by a savvy English teacher who convinced my mother at a parent-teacher conference that I should acquaint myself with independent journalism. It’d be a sure-fire way to broaden her vocabulary, she said. Only good could come of it, she said.

I think I felt indifferent at the time, preoccupied with a plethora of teenage dramas that consumed much of my mental capacity. But I started watching the BBC breakfast show while I scoffed my porridge in the mornings before school. …

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