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Baltimore Ravens Zoom backgrounds: Which players, coaches had the best home interview setups? – PennLive

Posted: July 2, 2020 at 7:52 pm

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Like the rest of the world, Baltimore Ravens players and coaches have adjusted to new realities in the face of the coronavirus crisis. Theyve worked out at home, undergone meetings over video chat and considered the challenging safety guidelines that would shroud any return to work later this summer.

Theyve held different kinds of news conferences with reporters, too. During this funky offseason, the Ravens have replaced in-person media sessions with virtual calls using Zoom, in which media members can ask questions over video chat.

Instead of standing behind a podium and in front of a photographic backdrop wall emblazoned with a Ravens logo, players and coaches have needed to find space in their own homes for the interviews.

And because were somewhat of a dead period for NFL news, why not rank some of the best Ravens Zoom backgrounds from the past few weeks?

8) Running back Gus Edwards

Theres no need to knock the large group of Ravens who set up in front of a blank white wall for their video calls with the media. Many players rent homes in short spurts, and the pandemic hasnt left much time to shop for decorations. I will, though, give props to Edwards for trying something to spruce up the shot in this case, a print of a photo that shows him running in front of quarterback Lamar Jackson.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

7) Coach John Harbaugh

Harbaugh fielded questions from reporters in several different locations this season, but his post-draft background at his home was the best. The 13th-year head coach has said hes a family man and a reader, and his bookshelf full of harbacks and photos reflects that.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

6) Quarterback Lamar Jackson

The NFLs reigning MVP said he was staying in an AirBnB in Florida when he hopped onto Zoom in April to talk with local reporters for the only time this offseason. It seemed like a nice place, too, with sleek chairs and bright white walls and a plant that drew the eye (when Jackson wasnt positioned directly in front of it).

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

5) Running back Mark Ingram

There wasnt anything super special about Ingrams background except that he left the door to the room open, which allowed his young daughter to peek in on his media session. You can catch a glimpse of her over Ingrams left shoulder in the screenshot below.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

4) Offensive coordinator Greg Roman

What I admire about Romans background is the self-awareness it exudes. While the Ravens play caller deserves credit for designing a record-breaking offense last season, he owes much of his reinvigorated career to Jackson, a signal-caller with a unique skill set that lends itself to creative schemes. Romans large photo of Jackson doesnt make for the flashiest backdrop, but it was an appropriate ode to the QB.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

3) Defensive end Derek Wolfe

The top three names on this list separated themselves. These are the guys who appeared to put legitimate forethought into their backgrounds. Wolfes is fun, not just because hes hanging out it in what looks like a sweet basement or because its interesting to see which jerseys he mounted on his wall, but also because the presence of Von Millers name hints at Wolfes value. For seven seasons with the Broncos, Wolfe provided interior push and attracted the attention of blockers, which helped Miller become one of his generations most productive edge rushers. Ravens fans can use their imagination to think about how Wolfe might complement Calais Campbell and Matthew Judon in Baltimore.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

2) Defensive coordinator Don Wink Martindale

Martindales backdrop was pleasant to look at, and from the photo of Ray Lewis to various game balls, it gave a sense of the pride he takes in his coaching career. A former truck driver and a favorite of his players with a knack for cracking one-liners, Martindale doesnt present himself as a reader the way Harbaugh does. But the defensive coordinator comes off in interviews, pretty simply, as cool and confident. Like Harbaugh, his background mirrors his public personality.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

1) Outside linebacker Matthew Judon

Talk about flexing. In his first interview after signing a franchise tag that will pay him north of $16.8 million in 2020 (after making less than $1 million per year over his first four NFL seasons), Judon appeared on camera during a sunny day with a pool and a multi-story house behind him. He sealed the top spot on this ranking when a reporter asked where he was staying. Judon replied, My own zone, U.S.A.

(Screenshot from video provided by the Ravens)

Thanks for visiting PennLive. Quality local journalism has never been more important. We need your support. Not a subscriber yet? Please consider supporting our work.

Aaron Kasinitz covers the Baltimore Ravens for PennLive and can be reached at or on Twitter @AaronKazreports. Follow PennLives Ravens coverage on Facebook and Youtube.

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Baltimore Ravens Zoom backgrounds: Which players, coaches had the best home interview setups? - PennLive

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:52 pm

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Book engages the mind into progressive thought while stimulating it with various styles of artistic creation – GlobeNewswire

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July 02, 2020 00:00 ET | Source: Trafford Publishing


CONWAY, S.C., July 02, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As a therapist and instructor, it is clear that Page Currys younger self was in search of answers. She believes that everyone goes through a process of self-realization that lifts a veil and Life as a Lobster (published by Trafford Publishing in September 2006) became an inspiration for her to unearth creative treasure and think outside of her shell.

Set for a new marketing campaign, this book caters to children of all ages, allowing them to consider what that may be like. Twenty-two artists from nine states and six countries illustrate each of the 24 pages offering their own unique interpretation of Life as a Lobster. Readers are encouraged to draw their own version of what they imagine life as a lobster would be like. Using advanced vocabulary and life lessons, the book engages the mind into progressive thought while stimulating it with various styles of artistic creation.

The quest for knowledge, for self-awareness and the existential angst inherent in the books themes are surely timeless issues in society, as well are resolution of isolation and loneliness. The book addresses an absolute truth in society, that most are willing to accept the norm, while a certain few will sacrifice having a normal existence in order to reach for greatness, Curry says.

Life as a Lobster aims to encourage readers to search for lifes deeper meaning and find their greater purpose. Curry hopes the book will inspire children and artists of all ages to think outside of their shell just as she guides her students and clients to do so in her HypnoYoga teachings. For more details about the book, please visit

Life as a Lobster

By Page Curry; Ronit Berkovitz

Softcover | 8.5 x 11in | 26 pages | ISBN 9781412093682

Available at Amazon and Barnes & Noble

About the Author

As a writer, Page Curry has founded a multi-lingual literary magazine, Polyphony, at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She has published hundreds of online articles on fitness and environmentalism, including As a thinker, she is a certified hypnotherapist, yoga and meditation instructor and communication studies and Spanish language scholar. She is the founder of multiple companies in virtual reality therapeutic content and As an environmentalist, she grew up in South Carolina surfing, sailing and later volunteering around the world with Burners Without Borders and the Coral Reef Alliance.

Trafford Publishing, an Author Solutions, LLC, author services imprint, was the first publisher in the world to offer an on-demand publishing service, and has led the independent publishing revolution since its establishment in 1995. Trafford was also one of the earliest publishers to utilize the Internet for selling books. More than 10,000 authors from over 120 countries have utilized Traffords experience for self publishing their books. For more information about Trafford Publishing, or to publish your book today, call 1-888-232-4444 or visit

Bloomington, Indiana, UNITED STATES

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Book engages the mind into progressive thought while stimulating it with various styles of artistic creation - GlobeNewswire

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:52 pm

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Commentary: Why Americans are having an emotional reaction to masks – The Daily World

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David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

By Tyler Cowen

Bloomberg Opinion

While Americans still have not adopted mask-wearing as a general norm, were wearing masks more than ever before. Mask-wearing is mandated in California and Washington state, and in many counties masks are near-universal in public spaces. So I have started wondering: Does wearing a mask change our social behavior and our emotional inclinations? And if mask-wearing does indeed change the fabric of our interactions, is that one reason why the masks are not more popular in the U.S.?

When no one can see our countenances, we may behave differently. One study found that children wearing Halloween masks were more likely to break the rules and take more candy. The anonymity conferred by masks may be making it easier for protestors to knock down so many statues.

And indeed, people have long used masks to achieve a kind of plausible deniability. At Carnival festivities around the world people wear masks, and this seems to encourage greater revelry, drunkenness, and lewd behavior, traits also associated with masked balls. The mask creates another persona. You can act a little more outrageously, knowing that your town or village, a few days later, will regard that as a different you.

If we look to popular culture, mask-wearing is again associated with a kind of transgression. Batman, Robin and the Lone Ranger wear masks, not just to keep their true identities a secret, but to enable their ordinary selves to step into these larger-than-life roles.

But if we examine mask-wearing in the context of Covid-19, a different picture emerges. The mask is now a symbol of a particular kind of conformity, and a ritual of collective responsibility and discipline against the virus. The masks themselves might encourage this norm adherence by boosting the sense of group membership among the wearers.

The public health benefits of mask-wearing far exceed the social costs, but still if we want mask-wearing to be a stable norm we may need to protect against or at least recognize some of its secondary consequences, including the disorientations that masks can produce. Because mask-wearing norms seem weakest in many of the most open societies, such as the United States and United Kingdom, perhaps it is time to come to terms how masks rewrite how we react and respond to each other.

If nothing else, our smiles cannot be seen under our masks, and that makes social interactions feel more hostile and alienating, and it may lower immediate levels of trust in casual interactions. There are plenty of negative, hostile claims about masks circulating, to the point of seeming crazy, but rather than just mocking them perhaps we need to recognize what has long been called the paranoid style in American politics. If we admit that mask-wearing has a psychologically strange side, we might do better than simply to lecture the miscreants about their failings.

Just ask yourself a simple question: If someone tells you there is a new movie or TV show out, and everyone in the drama is wearing masks, do you tend to think thats a feel-good romantic comedy, or a scary movie? In essence, we are asking Americans to live in that scenario, but not quite giving them the psychological armor to do so successfully.

On the brighter side, I wonder if mask-wearing might diminish some expressions of intolerance. People who might feel that others are looking at them funny might find themselves with less to be offended by as masks obscure those micro-reactions. Common mask-wearing is already reportedly easing the public judgment experienced by Muslim women who wear face coverings in Western society; some Muslim women who wear the niqab report that they are no longer being given dirty looks, if only because they no longer stick out so much.

Women who cover their faces for religious reasons may now be ahead of the rest of us when it comes to effective communication because they cannot rely as much their faces to convey emotion in public conversations, they report relying on more visible body language like waving and gesturing.

The tension of current mask policy is that it reflects a desire for a more obedient, ordered society, for public health purposes above all, but at the same time it creates incentives and inclinations for non-conformity. That is true at least within the context of American culture, admittedly an outlier, both for its paranoia and for its infatuation with popular culture. As a society, our public mask-wearing is thus at war with its own emotional leanings, because it is packaging together a message based on both discipline and deviance.

What can we do to convince people that a mask-laden society, while it will feel weird and indeed be weird, can be made stable and beneficial through our own self-awareness? While there is no simple answer to that question, mask advocates should recognize that they have been treading into unusual cultural territory, and should not be surprised by unusual public responses.

Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero.

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Commentary: Why Americans are having an emotional reaction to masks - The Daily World

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:51 pm

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Yung Miami Reveals A Secret In The Premiere Of City Girls’ Docuseries – UPROXX

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City Girls had more than an eventful 2019. Their breakout hit Act Up went Platinum, one half of the duo, JT, was released from federal prison after a two-year stint, and the other half, Yung Miami, revealed she was pregnant with her second child. Fans are now awarded the opportunity to get a first-hand look at the duos eventful year through their new docuseries, City Girls: The Series.

The premiere of City Girls: The Series debuted Thursday and it gave viewers a behind-the-scenes look at a day in the life of Yung Miami. Titled Yung Miamis Secret, the series first episode follows Yung Miami as she details all the work she put into City Girls while JT was in prison. Soon as she went away, I did the first tour in all these cities and all these states, making sure JTs name stayed alive, Yung Miami said in the episodes opening. For all the haters who thought JT being away was going to slow us down, yall was wrong. When JT gets home, shes going to be bigger than ever. And theyre going to see that, the superstars that we really is.

The episode also highlights the moment Yung Miami told her record label, Quality Control, that she was five months pregnant, a detail she had been keeping under wraps until then. The episode films the emotional moment the rapper as she phones Quality Control executive Pierre P Thomas and preps him for the news. Ive got something to tell you, she says on the phone. I know that JTs in jail and Im supposed to be out here holding down the crew and you and Coach been going so hard making sure we get everything done. Im pregnant.

Watch the first episode of City Girls: The Series above.

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Yung Miami Reveals A Secret In The Premiere Of City Girls' Docuseries - UPROXX

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:51 pm

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A conversation with Akua Boateng about Black trauma, and how to start healing. – Slate

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Our bodies keep score.

Thats what I had on my mind as I entered into my June 22 conversation about the trauma experienced by Black folks with Akua Boateng, a licensed psychotherapist. In the email exchange we had setting up the conversation, Boateng had brought up this idea of the physical ways our lived experiences manifest, and it stuck with me. It was indicative of something Ive always felt and wondered about: How has my body been affected by trauma? How does it follow me? How do I carry it? Is this why I have migraines? (Yes.) Is it the cause of other health issues I experience? (Possibly.)

I went into Conversations, a limited live series for Slate, with this in mind. Boateng had so many answers and invaluable insight. Mostly we went over curatives and how folks can take care of themselves. The trauma Black people experience is frequently discussed, but media outlets dont dedicate as much energy to covering healing and self-care. Above you can watch our chatproduced by Britt Pullie and Faith Smithand below is a transcript of the discussion.

I hope you walk away with something valuable.

Hi everyone. Im Julia Craven. Today, I have with me Dr. Akua Boateng, a licensed psychotherapist in Philadelphia, and were going to discuss trauma and were going to talk about the physiological impacts of it. Were going to start talking about how Black people in particular experience it a lot and how we can heal from it. So thank you. Im so happy that you were able to join me for the first installment of Conversations with Julia Craven, a limited series that Slate is doing. How are you today?

Akua Boateng: I am great. Thank you so much for having me. Im really excited to talk about trauma as well. Given the times that were in, I think its important to be able to talk about the need for resources that people need right now. So Im excited to talk about this.

All right. Well, lets get to it. The first thing I wanted to ask you was, give us a definition of trauma. What are the symptoms of it and how does it impact you?

Trauma is really an experience that we have that overwhelms our ability to cope. Its unique. Its out of the scope of normal. Its an experience that you go through that really impacts every part of your brain. And when youre going through an experience that you have limited resources for, limited supply for, and theres a great demand on you; your system, your brain, your body starts to try to navigate and integrate this information, and it has trouble doing that. And so, during this time the person might feel total helplessness. They may feel a total lack of resources. And during this time the brain gets frozen in either hyperawareness or paralysis. That is the devastation of trauma.

Wow. So your brain gets frozen. Tell me, what does that mean? Is that why whenever yeah, just explain to the audience what you mean by that.

Yeah. Typically what the appropriate type of coping is is when a person goes through an experience, we take it in through our five senses, right? And via our five senses, were able to smell it, were able to see it, were being able to taste it, and we can make sense of it, put files in our brains that help us to make sense of it, put it away in long-term memory and short-term memory, right? And so thats how information goes in. Its integrated into our sense of self, who we believe we are, how we see the world, our outlook.

But the challenge with trauma is when youre going through something that exhausts that coping strategy and exhausts the ability for you to integrate that information, your brain gets frozen, right? It kind of gets jammed up and it is not able to make those files. Its not able to now see the resources that you have to tap into to take care of that challenge or to make sure that you integrate it into who you sense you are, how you view the world, your relationships and all of that. And so, the devastation of trauma really is a persons inability to take in this really significant event and make sense of it.

Wow. And so, how does that apply to our world currently? Because theres so many different things going on, right? Were still in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, we are in the middle of a, lets call it a new spark has been lit under the Black Lives Matter movement. And so, were taking all of this in and it feels constant. How does that affect us, just the onslaught of pretty bad news?

Yeah. I mean, again, were taking it a lot nowadays, right? Sometimes whats happening with a lot of people is were taking in too much information, were taking in too much media, were taking in too many new things and our brain and our body doesnt have the time to catch up, right? Were getting this kind of big log of information, not being able to process it regularly day to day, or not even having the resources to be able to process it. And so a lot of people are experiencing secondary trauma, even to the level of post-traumatic stress disorder because the symptoms that theyre having are really debilitating, right? Loss of ability to concentrate, insomnia, lack of emotional balance, you cant think clearly. I have so many people that are coming to me right now saying, Im having so many nightmares in dreams about the things that are going on in the world and I cant cope with it.

But really we were not meant to take in such high levels of information and data at one time. We get it on our phone, we get it on television, we talk to our partners and our friends about it, we get it on our watches, right? Every moment these challenges are right in front of us. Do we have a moment to just breathe? Have we had a moment to actually sit down and process this information, to journal, to have self-reflection? Oftentimes we may not have that. And so were not processing, were not filtering this information down and our systems are being exhausted.

So, how does being a Black person make that worse?

Yeah. So many different things, right? So many different things. The legacy of trauma has been within the Black community for so long, right? We have the secondary trauma thats happening. Were watching these images, were witnessing these images. It has to really go down into an arsenal of history and information that is already within us given our intergenerational trauma, right? And so, why that is specific to the Black community is because we have heard the stories of our pain growing up generation after generation after generation. That is paired with lack of resources in order to deal with some of the pain that were dealing with, feeling helpless in systems that dont support our growth in our ability to deal with these challenges. And also, being in a situation where we are constantly retraumatized, right?

You may even be able to deal with one trauma, which is hearing the experiences of your parents or your caregivers or your family members. But then you experience it too. You go out into the world and you experience profiling or you experience an incident with the cops or you experience microaggressions at work. Its a retraumatization after retraumatization after retraumatization. And again, all of that may not necessarily register as trauma to a person, but it has to be paired with the lack of resources and the ability to process the information and do something about it. That place of total helplessness is really the significance that we experience systemically, interpersonally, so many different dimensions.

Yeah. I often think about and tell people about how when I was 7 or 8 years old, that was the first time I got followed in the store. I didnt realize what was happening because I was a kid, so I didnt know what was going on. This was during the height of Americas Most Wanted. When my grandmother pulls me out of the store and tells me that someone was following me, Im just like, Oh. I was about to be on this TV show like something really bad was about to happen, and it could have but not necessarily in that sense, right?

That moment in her explaining to me that being Black meant that I had to conduct myself differently everywhere, no matter where I was, it completely changed the way I operated in public and how I operate in stores to this day. When I walk out of a grocery store or any store, I dont put my hands in my pocket. I dont rustle or move around too fast. I stay as stoic as I can and I get away from the store and then I start shifting in my bags and then I start digging for something that I just bought that I want to snack on on my way home.

Yeah. And so really whats happening to you, Julia, in that situation is that youre experiencing that hyperawareness because youve heard the stories about and the messages and narratives that the world may not be a safe place for you. You have to be aware, you have to be on guard. And what happens in those situations is that we are living in an operation and an internal mechanism of survival, right? And so, biologically and physically were experiencing a lot of stress internally in order to be ready for what could potentially be a threat or be ready for the world that is not safe to us. And so, living in and normalizing this really high stress internal environment and external environment causes wear and tear on us, right?

Many research studies talk about that its linked to inflammatory diseases, right? Were not meant to have all of this cortisol, which is a stress hormone, were not meant to have high levels of this hormone in our body for extended amounts of time. And so, when youre in this space of hypervigilance, hyperawareness, defensiveness in order to protect yourself, your body is in a mode that is only meant to be in temporarily.

Right. I mean, it does. That sounds like PTSD. We walk around just traumatized as a culture, as a people. Just to kind of go on the physiological effects of that; how else do our bodies, as you put it earlier when we were talking before we got on camera, how do our bodies keep score? Because I think about how I had this bizarre lower back pain for a year and no physician could figure out what was wrong with me. And then I started going to therapy and it went away in like a week or two.

Yes, that happens. Some people talk to me about that all the time. When were having undiagnosed physical pain, that typically manifests, especially for women, in our lower back or in our shoulders. Our muscle fibers are actually holding that pain. It is literally a physiological experience that were going through. We are holding the pain. And not only that, we have compromised immune systems because of the high levels of cortisol, the stress response thats happening. Our immune systems are inflamed and compromised as a result of that. Sometimes people even get migraines or cluster headaches. Youd get that? Yes, people have that. They get cluster headaches or migraines. Insomnia is a very big symptom that people talk about having, not being able to sleep.

We have to be able to relax to sleep. And so if were not relaxed, our body has the tendency to not want to go into that REM sleep. Of course the mental health affects our physical effects as well. So depression, having fatigue, low energy, low mood, lots of sadness, and then anxiety, right? Anxiety is the hyperawareness part of that trauma, which is hyperfixation, rehearsing things, avoiding potential threats, needing to have control over a lot of things that are in your life. Sometimes people even talk about that being associated with sometimes how Black mothers raise us to be really mindful of everything, right? Mindful of your surroundings, mindful of the people that you have contact with. All of that can be a hypervigilance thats happening within the body.

Thats every Black woman who played a role in raising me, just right there. Its each one of them. And of course as a kid, you dont see them as being anxious and you dont necessarily understand or realize that that anxiety is likely going to get passed down to you because that also describes me.

And so it goes into these familial narratives that we get, right? So its in our body, its the way that we cope, its also now the way that we live, the way that we speak, the way that we parent, our outlook on the world, even how we make sense of our future. There is a study that talked about people that experience trauma having a shortened view of their life. That I dont know if Im going to live past 25, I dont know if Im going to live past 14. And so, thats how I begin to set up my day to day as it pertains to goals, as it pertains to relationships. And so, its pretty pervasive.

And so now I want to switch gears and talk about the healing side of things. What can we do to start the healing process in our community?

Yeah. Well, the first part I think is education, right? Many people have experienced trauma. They dont realize its trauma, right? They might call it culture, they might call it just how our family is. And so, education around how this is impacting you, what trauma looks like, have you been through it is really the first step because if a person doesnt know theyre traumatized or have experienced trauma, how would they even know they need healing? And so, education I think is really, really valuable. Healing comes on two levels, right? The first level is a systemic one, I believe, as well as an interpersonal and individual healing. The systemic part of healing is really we need high level recovery, being able to regain those resources that weve lost.

If a person is traumatized and does not feel that they have resources in their environment, in their community, in their world that will help them to grow and thrive, they remain traumatized. And so we need systems that allow people to have safety, we need systems that allow people to not have to live in survival tendencies and hypervigilance. Thats why Ive been really excited about people talking about, what does it look like to decrease and eradicate oppression in our community? That is really pivotal when it comes to trauma, right? If were oppressed, again, that has to do with our outlet. So it aligns with our outlet, it aligns with what we think about the world, what our potential is, our future. And so being able to do the things that social justice allows us to do to minimize oppression, create systems that are better for us, create policy that really works in our favor to help us grow is really, really valuable.

So thats the systemic healing, I think, and recovery thats important. And then there is an interpersonal and individual healing thats important. Integration is the curative for trauma. Where things have been misaligned, integration brings them back together. Oftentimes when people are traumatized, we want to zone out, dont we? I dont want to feel the pain. There are so many people that I hear, I just need a drink. I need to zone out. Theres too much going on. I cant really think about these things. Youve heard that before.

And I think that I cant speak for all, I can only speak to my experiences and my family and the people I know. And that in many different ways sounds like everyone I know, right? In my family, its just like, Im going to detach in these various different ways. And as we know, most people dont separate themselves in a healthy way, which also kind of links back to, well not kind of, it links back to these broader systemic issues that we see in our communities, the high rates of alcoholism, the high rates of drug use, etc.

Right. If I dont have the resources, if I dont have the potential of being able to grow in an adaptive and healthy way, Im going to have to cope anyway I can cope. And so being able to have this integration looks like instead of zoning out, I really need to sit within. Mindfulness is really helpful for that, self-care practices are really important for that. Empathy is important for that, interpersonal support. All of these things are literally changing the molecules of your brain. When you have these resources that are available to you, it now rewrites the damage of trauma. And so, being able to have a change in perspective, right? Having access to new ways of thinking about your family, about having a relationship, about being in a partnership. Therapy can really be helpful in being able to change some of these things for people as well.

Anytime anybody comes to me and theyre going through something, I love to say: A, you need a therapist, and Im not saying that to be condescending or mean, but Im saying it because its helpful. Its very helpful to have someone who is trained to help you help you. But as you and I both know, that isnt necessarily accessible to everyone. And so, what are some resources? How can people access therapy if they dont have insurance or if there arent any, frankly, well, culturally trained therapists in their area?

Yeah. And that can be a problem, that can be a challenge to do that. There are so many resources out there for people to link up with a therapist. I tell people to go on, which also they include Black male therapists at this time. Therapy for Black Girls, I think, has been a great resource for so many people. The prices that people have are typically on the website, or if you call some practitioners, they have sliding scales, they have discounted prices for people. And then there are environments that you can go into that work with individuals that are not able to pay for therapy at all. And so some behavioral health centers that might be in your community might be able to help you. If you work for a company, sometimes companies have employee assistance programs, and those programs allow you to have three to 10 sessions for free sometimes.

Many people have that within the framework of their job and they dont realize it. And so making sure that you ask your job, do I have any resources for behavioral health care, and tapping into looking for a therapist that might suit you would be important. There are two initiatives that Im a part of that are really helpful. First one is Dark Beauty Healing. Its a campaign that is seeking to do 10,000 hours of free virtual therapy for women of color. I think its very important. And so if you go onto their website, you can find and link up with a therapist for free and be able to work with one of the practitioners there. Also the Boris Henson Foundation, which is Taraji P. Hensons nonprofit, is also doing free therapy for individuals of color. And theyve expanded to those that have experienced traumatic experience for the past two months.

So why, because we were talking a little bit earlier about how a lot of this starts in childhood. And so how can parents or caretakers, teachers, whoever is working with the child, how can they talk to children about the trauma associated with being Black without burdening them?

Thats important. You want to talk to your child on the level of their understanding, right? We dont want to inject trauma where trauma has not been experienced. And so being able to, first of all, allow your children to have self-care practices that are normalized. Being able to talk about their emotions, having spaces where you literally just start to process things as theyre going through it. If a child comes to you and theyve experienced something that is at school or on the playground or something that theyre going through, you want to put that information into context, right?

And so, lets say that someone is on the playground and they say something thats racist to your child and your child comes back and talks to you about it. Having a healthy conversation around the differences that people have, having healthy conversations around what we want to do as a family and how we treat people as a family, as opposed to how other people may treat us in certain circumstances is going to be important. So having that conversation, putting it into context as it comes up, not injecting it before it comes up because sometimes it can be really traumatizing and stressful to a child if they dont have that experience yet and we now put them into that hyper awareness and hypervigilance before they really need it. So, those conversations are really valuable early on and as they come up.

Got you. So another, how do we eradicate the stigma within communities surrounding mental health services? And obviously this is not just a Black community thing as I feel its often painted to me, but how do we convince people that they should even go to therapy?

I think education is really important. There is a lot of misinformation and stigma around mental health and that is really because of history, right? Because psychology has had a schism with the Black community because of practices that have been harmful to us historically. And so, education looks like being able to have Black therapists do programs and have resources in the community to meet people, right? People talking about their experiences in therapy openly is really important. Recognizing that, Oh, I know someone that has a therapist. And oh, they actually enjoy it. It wasnt harmful to them. Oh, theres nothing wrong with them. Oh, theyre not crazy. And so, having that close contact with someone that goes to therapy can be really helpful as well as getting to know a therapist in your community that normalizes the idea of it.

And then also other practitioners like doctors, primary care physicians, suggesting that is really important. Referring people to therapists is really important, from their medical doctor. I know that a lot of people have had a change of heart when they have been in their spiritual communities and their pastor has told them that they have gone to therapy or has referred them to a therapist. And so, again, making sure that the people that have understanding and new ways of thinking of therapy and mental health are open and often speaking to people about their experiences. And then us as professionals providing education in the community can be really, really helpful.

And so how do mental health professionals meet communities where they are, especially if youre working with people who are resistant to the idea for whatever reason?

Yes. Well, again, through speaking through platforms like this, through going to community events, which I often try to do, and having moments where you speak about what you do. Sometimes even mentoring people in community and programs nonprofits, being able to be a resource to nonprofits that are doing work in the community with young people or with mothers or with families. Having that close proximity is what it is that you need to have. As well as being able to have that in the media I think is really important too. People consume a lot of media. So they see it on Insecure and they say, OK, or they see it in a program like this, or they see the stories of Black people get included in normalized therapy and mental health services, and it helps them see it.

Yeah. This reminds me, theres this great meme. Its Miguel talking to, I think, Drake. The meme basically has Miguel saying like, OK, but were still going to need a therapist though. I love that thing because its like, yeah, I dont know what youre saying, I dont know what this fictional conversation is about but whatever, thats great. Im glad you came to that realization. You still need a therapist though. Like you still have to work through things, and we constantly One of the best things my mama has ever told me is that everything is a process, and that includes healing. Youre always working at it.

That is so true. Your mom is right. It is a process. Its a journey. Its a lifelong process sometimes for people as well. And so, being able to normalize that in therapy is something that I find myself doing a lot to counteract the intergenerational narrative that therapy is not for us, right?

Or the narrative that something is wrong with you if you go to a therapist. And so, being able to have this in context and make sense of it in the process is something that really is healing to people.

Absolutely. Before we get into the questions that we got from folks who are watching, what are some self-care tips, some examples of self-care practices that people can feasibly work into their daily lives?

Great. Im glad you got to that. I think its important because in order to know when you need self-care, you have to know yourself, right? And so, self-awareness becomes the gateway to being able to have self-care practices. What you see on someone elses Instagram may not be useful for you. And so anticipate right? Knowing yourself is very important, and anticipating your needs before they come up is going to be valuable to you. There are physical self-care strategies that you can employ. Some of those physical things are really just having a safe housing experience, eating healthy, regular medical care, taking a bath, sleeping. And when I say these things, people look at me and say, what do you mean, Akua? Thats pretty typical and normal. It may not be for everyone.

You might be a mom that has an infant and sleeping is not happening right now, right? And so being able to ask for help in order to sleep is a physical self-care practice that you can implement right now. I think that everyone right now can turn off their phone for some portion of the day. Turn off your notifications, take a break from Instagram or social media and/or getting the news, being able to take a walk, asking for help, right? Or even sexual support from your partner, being able to connect with human beings, right? So thats a physical way of doing it.

Psychologically: self-reflection, therapy can help, journaling, sensory engagement. Doing things like listening to music, being in a support group is really helpful, or even going to a concert, maybe not at this time but as the pandemic lifts, right? Being able to be in experiences that are life-giving to you. Emotionally: self-affirmations. Tell yourself you love yourself today, right? Being in spaces where people care for you, laughing, watching movies, flirting. All of these things help us to decompress, to relieve stress and change some of the narratives that trauma has inputted within our experiences.

Spiritually: having a spiritual community can be important. Meditating can be important. Having time for just praying is also really important part of that. Social justice is a part of self-care. Some people dont know that. It helps us to have agency and autonomy to engage in social justice, but its important to know what is best for you and what does not trigger your own trauma and the things that have been historically challenging for you. Professionally: taking some time off, making sure that you take your lunch break, asking for help, and then personally making sure that you have goals, short term and longterm, in knowing who you are. So many ways to take care of yourself.

And thats all fantastic. Thats great. Thank you for giving us insight that is very feasible and not just something quick packaged for Instagram. So yeah, lets get into the questions that we have. John asked, do people on average have the same internal amounts of coping resources?

No. And by amount, Im not sure if he means the type. It could be a person grows up with several resources, right? We can even categorize that as privilege, right? And so each person doesnt have the same amount of resources, but access to resources that you do have, maybe agency in order to get those things, is something that we could have in common. And so again, being able to have people that support you, having finances to take care of yourself, having future orientation is going to be important if youre not in survival mode. And so, some of those things can be really different for people. Thats not to say that they may not have resources, it might look different for every person.

And so what is future orientation? What does that mean?

Being able to have a positive outlook for the future, right? I know how to make goals for myself, I can see myself in the future, I feel positive about it, but then also I feel like I can handle what comes up in the future.

Got you. And just to ask you another take on that question because they may have meant, do people have the same capacity for coping resources? Like do people have the same, I guess, capability to handle certain coping mechanisms? Just a different spin on it so that way in case thats what they meant, we can also get that information to them too.

Sure. Our capacity looks very different and its based on how we grew up, its based on if we have preexisting mental health illnesses, it looks very different based on our socioeconomic status. And so, our capacity really is impacted by our environment and its impacted by what has happened to us psychologically as well. And so, our capacity can look quite different. And so, being able to get into therapy, talking about the implications of the things that youve been through does help you to have a greater self awareness of your capacities, what it looks like. And even if your capacities are limited, there is hope for expanding them with healing, with integration and many of the things that weve talked about.

Another question that we got is, so what do normal levels of information intake, sorry, what does that look like? What is considered normal, especially now?

Right. When we talk about what normal is, its important to know that who you are matters, right? That it really depends on the person and what it means to them. So if a person has been through or is in a family where several people have been harmed or they have been shot or something has happened to their family, what might be traumatizing to them may not be traumatizing to another person, right? And so, really knowing who this person is and what meaning they make of the things that theyre taking in is going to be important. And so, I always advise people to listen to their body, listen to the symptoms that might be coming up.

If youre having trouble sleeping, if youre kind of fixating on information, if you are having feelings of hopelessness or sadness, heart palpitations, having hard time breathing after youre taking in the media that you typically do, you know its too much, right? And so, minimizing that to the degree that you feel like you can thrive, attend to tasks on your day-to-day basis and have a good level of functioning is going to be important. I tell people on average it might be helpful for them to tap into media and social media maybe once or twice a day. And so having an hour here, an hour there on a daily basis may not be too much for most people, but listening to your body is really going to be important. Several hours, probably not a good idea.

Thats now achievable. And then I think about how often Im on the internet and Im just like, Oh yeah, this is my job. And its just like, I could probably log off though. But then I dont know.

Yeah. And the thing is you can take that media, take that information and go offline to do something with it. Lets say you go online, you need to get information, you get the information, you log off and you either write down whats going on, you start typing about your thoughts and feelings about this issue. And so it doesnt necessarily mean that you have to have all this input. We have to pair it with output, and you being able to have self-reflection and have thoughts that youre generating, making sure youre still creative and not being given information on how to think about things. All of this is something thats helpful and adaptive.

Absolutely. Because after this Im going on a long walk. I hope my editor is not watching because Im really about to disappear on him for like an hour.

Yeah, its needed. Its needed, right?

Yeah, it is. But thank you so, so much for your time today. This conversation was great. I feel like it was informative and I think that our viewers will too. Thank you everyone at home for watching. Next week Ill be back to talk to somebody else. Tell us, do you have a website plug? Is there a way that people in Philadelphia can reach you?

Yes. You can reach me at my website, Thats the same on Instagram and Facebook as well as Twitter. And hopefully Ill connect with many people.

I hope so too. All right. Thanks everyone. I hope that you all have a good day and go for a walk. Get off Twitter.

Yes, please do.

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A conversation with Akua Boateng about Black trauma, and how to start healing. - Slate

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:51 pm

Posted in Self-Awareness

How you experience the SHEER JOY of traveling without going anywhere – Times of India

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If you've been a traveller, you must know how travel can transform you. One day you are sitting at home with your family eating the food you are accustomed to and then the next day you find yourself in an entirely different culture and landscape when you take a trip. Travelling to a new place leaves you feeling happier, inspired and refreshed. Although, it even has the potential to give you a deeper mental shift which leads to long-term fulfillment and self-awareness. And that exactly is what you all might be missing this year ever since the lockdown has been imposed. This pandemic has led us all to stay indoors and with bare minimum possibilities of stepping out. Hence, we thought of coming up with ways how to get the mental health benefits of traveling while being in the comfort of your home.

Yes, go ahead and plan a trip. Planning your next travel destination is half the fun! Of course, you can't book your flight tickets yet, but you can very much put your finger on where you want to go once you feel safe and legally accepted to travel. Painting a mental picture of your dream destination and looking out for those particular pictures will automatically make you feel nicer. There are actual studies that say, people's travel-related happiness actually comes in anticipation of a trip and not during it. This is because of reward processing where your brain processes pleasurable or rewarding stimuli in your surrounding. So basically, rewards are defined as stimuli because they evoke an optimistic emotion in you. Hence, planning a trip can be an exciting experience.

Look through your old travel pictures and all the places you went to since nostalgia can help boost your mood. Just like the happiness of anticipating your travel plans, walking down the memory lane and past adventures can increase happiness. It decreases stress and increases positivity in the moment. You can even go ahead and get some of your old travel pictures printed and framed so that you can always look at them in your house. Revisit old travel albums or recollect the fun you had at a particular place while you meditate. You can even try journaling about your past travel memories and cherish them. Reminiscing about past social memories can lead to the reduction of stress hormones, specifically when you might feel socially isolated in this pandemic. Recalling memories with close friends can also give you joy.

Whether you are using your imaginations to plan your future travel or going back in your past travel memories, you can deepen this process by bringing in some real-time culture experience that is inspired by a particular destination. If a specific place is on your mind for your trip in 2021, try to master the cuisines of that place or grow some plants that are popular in that region. You can even learn a new language as it has a positive impact on mental health and even improves the brain's functions including your memory. Likewise, you can keep thinking of more travel plans one at a time and keep learning how to make their cuisines while you have all this time at home.

You must have noticed that when you take a trip, you are less stressed and more present. Both of these can put you in a better mood and positive personal changes can occur. Many of you are lucky to have local places around where you can take a short trip for less than four days and come back home feeling refreshed. It's about getting the same satisfaction from a local adventure as you otherwise would have from a long journey. It really depends on how you approach the trip than where you actually end up going. You must approach your mini-adventure with a sense of intention. Wear your travel clothes, play your favourite playlist, splurge on food and explore the local destination. Creating a threshold will make your mini-adventure feel important.

Of course, it feels amazing to be somewhere exotic. But learn how to acknowledge the beauty that your everyday environment has to offer. It can very much cultivate mindfulness. When you're on a local adventure, you can perk up your senses and notice what you see, hear or smell. You can also choose to speak little and hear more for a bit of your local adventure. This kind of awareness is referred to as active concentration which ultimately takes you into meditation. By cultivating mindful awareness around nature, you are removing the stressors of city life. You are giving your nervous system some time to regulate. These small curious moments around your everyday environment can lead to bigger wellness changes physically, emotionally and mentally.

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How you experience the SHEER JOY of traveling without going anywhere - Times of India

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:51 pm

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Nevada librarians navigate a cautious reopening, eye budget cuts on the horizon – Northern Nevada Business Weekly

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When Rebecca Colbert had the choice to attend law school or pursue a career as a librarian, a mentor told her that she could succeed in either field, but would have a more significant effect on others lives as a librarian.

At that time, Colbert was working at the UNLV law library and said her mentors observation made her choice simple.

Im so glad I listened to it. Because its part intellectual, its part social work, quite honestly, working in a library these days, said Colbert, who now manages the Las Vegas-Clark County Library Systems department of collections and bibliographic services. Were so anchored in public service in our library district that everything you do feels like a deliberate [act] to help somebody that comes into the library.

Whether someone arrives at the library looking for entertainment, help writing a resume or food through the librarys meal program, Colbert said librarians are used to navigating complex situations and wearing many hats as they help patrons.

The pandemic forced libraries across the state to temporarily close in-person services and Colbert, along with other librarians across Nevada and the country, had to adjust to remote work environments, digital-only services, and now a phased reopening without clear guidelines.

In Las Vegas, the library system increased digital offerings, including and Rosetta Stone subscriptions patrons could access at home, but Colbert worries about homeless youth who came to the library to take part in programming and people who relied on the library services.

Usage of the library systems homework help database went down from February to March, in line with school closures, Colbert said, but e-media usage increased. She half-jokingly added that students might be driving e-media usage now that they are no longer needing the librarys homework help database.

Colberts calculations show that digital magazine usage increased by 108 percent, e-book usage went up 20 percent, audiobook use increased to 249 percent, and movies and TV use went up 552 percent.

As for what people were checking out? Colbert said that as of the end of April, the books patrons were reading mainly fell into the self-help, gratitude, and fiction categories.

The number one title for e-books on one of our platforms is called Unfu*k Yourself. And I know this title because a therapist once recommended it to me, and I died laughing when I saw that at the top of the chart, Colbert said with a laugh. And I thought, well, this shows some self-awareness. People realize that were in a weird situation, and its a little bit stressful, and they want to get through it. And its good that theyre coming to the library to do that.

Since moving into phases one and two of reopening, the library system in Vegas put a curbside pickup and book drop-off service in place and reinstated regular library hours at 24 of the 25 branches.

Reopening guidelines for the library follow social distancing protocols but also allow patrons to come in and use WiFi and computers. To encourage patrons to check out books and stop by, the library is also offering collectible bookmarks that feature hockey players from the Vegas Golden Knights and free art gallery displays at branches around the valley.

Coronavirus closures also sped up the transition to digital services in the Washoe County Library System, including moving in-person story readings online. However, Jeff Scott, director of the system, said reopening brings a new set of challenges and frequent changes.

Its tough because, like every organization in the state, were kind of all on our own, so we have to kind of figure out, what can we do safely? Scott said.

So far, the Washoe County Library offers limited grab-and-go and drive-up services atindividual librariesand is waiting until cases decrease to open libraries further.

As part of social distancing requirements, Scott said every patron is required to wear a facial covering. If someone forgets, the library system has bandanas they can take. Whenever someone argues about the policy, the librarians request that the anti-masker leave or potentially ban the client from using library services for an extended period.

Were always on the edge of if something happens and something spikes to shut everything back down, and thats kind of why we really wanted to emphasize the virtual services, Scott said.

Scotts priority is to ensure the libraries are a safe environment for the public and his staff. The library uses the same incident reporting system as the casinos, and he wants everyone to take the library distancing guidelines seriously.

Along with navigating reopening, libraries are also facing financial uncertainties.

Were all worried about budget cuts because we know in the state of Nevada, things are going to be difficult long after weve reopened, Colbert said. A part of our budget comes from the consolidated tax money, and theres going to be less of that to go around.

The consolidated tax consists of revenue combined from six taxes, including levies on cigarettes, liquor, real estate transactions and vehicle registrations.

During economic downturns,libraries tend to see increased usage but decreased funding. Potential budget cuts might mean putting library renovation plans on hold but not cutting essential programs for teens or other library users, Colbert said, emphasizing that library systems are there to serve the community.

Part of my job is circulation, and right now, Im not concerned about circulation. Im concerned about the health and well-being of our regulars, Colbert said. Were here to help. We want two-way communication. Tell us what you need our whole goal is to get through it together.

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Nevada librarians navigate a cautious reopening, eye budget cuts on the horizon - Northern Nevada Business Weekly

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July 2nd, 2020 at 7:51 pm

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Instead of begging for government handouts, how about millionaire musicians bail out the industry themselves? – RT

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Damian Wilson

is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.

is a UK journalist, ex-Fleet Street editor, financial industry consultant and political communications special advisor in the UK and EU.

With festivals and concerts canceled, the live-music industry says it needs government assistance to survive. But shouldnt mega-rich musicians be dipping into their own pockets to help, rather than taking aid from the state?

The coronavirus pandemic has lured many millionaires and billionaires out of their hidey-holes looking to build on their fortunes, and the latest are our friends from the music industry, bemoaning their inability to spend summer in luxuriously detailed Airstream trailers while fans roll around in the mud at live-music events across the UK.

In a letter to the British Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, and showing all the self-awareness of toddlers in the dress-up box, more than 1,500 musicians are asking for government help so they can keep on fleecing us through overpriced tickets, drinks and T-shirts, while they continue to make money.

Of course, the letter, signed by Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, the Cure, Annie Lennox, Coldplay and countless others, declares, This sector doesnt want to ask for government help.

Right. Good. Got it.

But it goes on, The promoters, festival organisers and other employers want to be self-sufficient, as they were before lockdown. But, until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies, and the end of this great world-leading industry.

So Paul, Mick, Keith, Nick Cave, Dizzee Rascal and Dua Lipa dont want to ask, but theyve asked anyway.

And the reason for this incredible pivot on their sacred principles?

Well, their letter reads, The government has addressed two important British pastimes, football and pubs, and its now crucial that it focuses on a third: live music. For the good of the economy, the careers of emerging British artists, and the UKs global-music standing, we must ensure that a live-music industry remains when the pandemic has finally passed.

While I like a good tune as much as the next guy, Im not about to join truly filthy-rich musicians and knights of the realm such as McCartney (worth $1.2 billion) and Jagger ($500 million), or the members of Coldplay, ($475 million) in demanding that taxpayer money be used in this way.

And anyway, why now? Why not when the pandemic first hit and everyone formed an orderly queue to suck on the taxpayer teat? Businesses were asked to present their case, detail where they would fall short and apply for help in staying afloat until things improved. In general, that scheme has worked as advertised.

Where was the live-music industry when all this was happening? Backstage, sucking up to its stars?

Sorry, but it looks like they missed that particular soundcheck.

People employed in other sectors retail, for instance are losing their jobs by the thousands every week. Never mind blowing a couple of hundred quid this summer to sit in a field listening to music for a weekend, folk need to pay the bills and buy food first.

Sleeping in a wet tent at an overpriced gig with stinking chemical toilets is a long way down the to-do list at the moment.

The Culture Secretary should make it clear that, despite the star-name signatories and the self-determination that its a critical part of the British arts landscape, the world-beating 5.2 billion-per-year music industry (according to the Music Venue Trust) should not be looking to the public purse for financial assistance.

Simply using that terribly overused and rarely true term world-beating should ensure its excluded from even asking.

Instead, the Secretary of State should counsel the industry to use its considerable reach among artists, promoters, ticket agencies and investors to build a sustainable model that can survive a break of six months.

That firm but fair tactic worked with billionaire space enthusiast Richard Branson, who finally got the message that, no, the British government would not be bailing out his Virgin Atlantic airline. So, he cashed in some of his own significant share portfolio, got his partner Delta Airlines to dig deep, lured some venture capitalists to the table and hey, presto! Virgin steps back from the brink and lives to fly another day.

This plea from the live-music industry will surely win a lot of support, and maybe I could have been on board had it not been for one more thing. As part of its pitch, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign is asking fans to post messages about the last gig they attended.

Please, please, no. Surely, one of the most mind-numbing, soul-destroying, life-sapping experiences you can endure is some self-congratulatory twonk sharing unsolicited details of a mundane gig where they saw either a musician or band that later found fame whether through legendary notoriety, tremendous talent or epic drug abuse as if they work as a cultural talent-spotter in their own world of cool.

I would rather jam drumsticks in my ears and beat my nut with a saucepan than listen to their self-absorbed and inane twaddle. But now, their tales will be online so everyone can wow at their amaaaaaazing experience.

Its not something the taxpayer should ever be asked to encourage. Hold tight, Mr Dowden were depending on you.

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Instead of begging for government handouts, how about millionaire musicians bail out the industry themselves? - RT

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OPINION EXCHANGE | Why Americans are having an emotional reaction to masks – Minneapolis Star Tribune

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While Americans still have not adopted mask-wearing as a general norm, were wearing masks more than ever before. Mask-wearing is mandated in California, and in many counties masks are near-universal in public spaces. So I have started wondering: Does wearing a mask change our social behavior and our emotional inclinations? And if mask-wearing does indeed change the fabric of our interactions, is that one reason why the masks are not more popular in the U.S.?

When no one can see our countenances, we may behave differently. One study found that children wearing Halloween masks were more likely to break the rules and take more candy. The anonymity conferred by masks may be making it easier for protesters to knock down so many statues.

And indeed, people have long used masks to achieve a kind of plausible deniability. At carnival festivities around the world people wear masks, and this seems to encourage greater revelry, drunkenness and lewd behavior, traits also associated with masked balls. The mask creates another persona. You can act a little more outrageously, knowing that your town or village, a few days later, will regard that as a different you.

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OPINION EXCHANGE | Why Americans are having an emotional reaction to masks - Minneapolis Star Tribune

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The Unnecessary Grossness of the Jersey Ad – Chiefs Digest

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I dont watch a lot of basketball. If Im a fan of any team, its the Indiana Pacers. I watched them all the time when Reggie Miller was at his peak and I was dumb enough to believe they ever had a real shot at winning a championship. Now I just watch the playoffs and finals. I dont even know 90% of the players in the league anymore, I just like big sports spectacles with stakes and tension.

The absolute grossest thing about watching the NBAs television product right now is the jersey ads. I didnt even know it was a thing that happened until I turned on a playoff game a few years ago and all of a sudden the Cleveland Cavaliers had a Goodyear logo on their chest. The Pacers were among the very last to adopt a corporate sponsor of their jersey, but they eventually slapped on a big ugly Motorola logo.

Thereve been talks for a while now about the MLB doing something similar and turning their jersey sleeves into sellable ad-space. Despite how much baseballs cultural relevancy has declined, the idea of ancient teams like the Yankees, Cubs, or Reds sporting a fat RAGU CHUNKY SAUCE logo is just obscene.

There hasnt really been anything tangible pointing to the NFL doing jersey ads, but if basketball has already done it and baseball is planning and hoping for it, you can safely assume its on footballs mind.

The NFLs reach is so massive. Its viewership so entirely eclipses all other sports in America that selling ad-space on jerseys would be the most visible (and, for the advertiser, expensive) incarnation of the jersey ad in the country. Football teams covering uniforms in ads wouldnt feel quite as nothing is sacred as if and when baseball does it, but it would be one of the most blatant expressions of greed in sports history.

When the NBA started making their players living, breathing, dribbling commercials, it was under the guise of the companies that pay for the privilege of helping to elevate the leagues and individual teams brands. This is obviously not reality. Based on my painstaking research method of living in Indiana, Ive determined Motorolas Pacers partnership has added a grand total of zero new Pacers fans.

The ads arent even aesthetically nice. They couldnt make them blend more seamlessly because then people might not notice them. Instead, you end up with trashy messes like the Thunder with a bright yellow and red Loves Travel Stops logo.

There isnt a corporate jersey sponsorship that would significantly increase the NFLs permeation of American culture. It feels like were already at critical mass there. So making Patrick Mahomes a literal billboard would be a cynical money-move with legitimately zero benefit for fans. Yet, it feels inevitable that at some point during the Chiefs upcoming 10 consecutive championships well be watching them hold up the Lombardi with everyones last names replaced with CHEEZ-IT SNAPD.

Sports is ultimately a business, and money means more to these leagues than anything. I get that. I wont even get that annoyed if and when the NFL tarps off the lower sections of stadiums and replaces seats with advertising signage. Id rather not be inundated with even more corporate logos during football games, but it somehow feels slightly less unappealing than watching games played in front of empty seats.

But the alternative to having ads on uniforms is to just not have ads on uniforms. Which is ultimately what makes the NBA already doing it and the MLB wanting to do it so gross. These arent leagues that need those ads to survive. So theyre selling space on their players bodies for no reason other than money-worship.

Hopefully the NFL has had a rare moment of self-awareness and realizes the money-grubbing image of selling jersey ads isnt worth the extra cash theyd bring in. But its difficult to imagine the NFL ever being self-aware, so thats probably a doomed hope.

When I was a kid and played Babe Ruth League baseball, our league functioned on the company-sponsored teams model. I didnt play for the Tigers or Bears, I played for McDonalds, Lynch Construction, and Pizza King. Granted, that was Babe Ruth League and not a professional enterprise, but it is an example of when jersey ads are not only palatable but ultimately beneficial.

McDonalds was the exception in my towns Babe Ruth League. Most of the teams were sponsored by local businesses or small local chains. Any funding they provided went into the league itself and the players and their families got discounts or free food from the business that sponsored their team. A pretty even exchange that had some benefit for everyone involved.

If you expand that concept from youth leagues to the pros, the smaller semi-pro and pro leagues that dont have nearly the exposure of the NBA, MLB, NFL, etc. can actually use the money they get from selling jersey ads. It still feels a little gross to see it on TV, but the players feel a bit less like living NASCAR stock cars when theyre not playing in a multi-billion dollar league.

Ads arent fun. Thats all this really comes down to. Ads arent fun, and putting them on a human when you already basically have infinite money tiptoes on the borderline of evil. Its that particular brand of capitalistic evil that weve been so drunk on for so long we think its normal.

It wont make me stop watching, but I will feel really slimy and rotten when I see Mahomes execute his first no-look pass wearing a glowing, digital neon visor sponsored by BAR HARBOR CLAM JUICE.

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The Unnecessary Grossness of the Jersey Ad - Chiefs Digest

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