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Teen Culture Update: January 2019

WHAT’S NEW

 

Music

Future, 21 Savage, Switchfoot, James Blake, and others have released new albums. New singles have also taken the music world by storm the most notable ones include Ariana Grande’s latest single “7 Rings,” “The Catchy Song” by Dillon Francis and T. Pain, which is featured in the upcoming movie Lego Movie 2, “Wow” by Post Malone, and “i’m so tired…” by Lauv and Troye Sivan.

In music news, a few musicians – most notably including Cardi B – have refused to perform during the Super Bowl halftime show because of the way the NFL Network handled players’ National Anthem protests. However, Maroon 5, Travis Scott, and Big Boi will perform – their participation hasn’t been without criticism from some, who take issue with the conflict between the NFL and players’ protests.

Video Games

Epic Games, the company responsible for Fortnite, has introduced a creative mode feature to the game. This creative mode allows users to build and submit whatever they want to be featured in the game. In other Fortnite news, rapper Block Boy JB is suing the game for using and selling a dance move that he made famous, without delivering any royalties.

Marvel announced a new Nintendo game, Marvel Ultimate Alliance 3, which is a fighting game that Nintendo has exclusive rights to and can be played on the Nintendo Switch.

Movies

There will be no official host of this year’s Oscars due to the drama surrounding the Oscar’s first pick host, Kevin Hart, who refused a second time to apologize for homophobic jokes made in the past, but we can be expecting big things from the evening on February 24. Black Panther, a beloved 2018 Marvel movie, has been nominated for best picture, making it the first superhero movie to ever receive such an honor. Additionally, music from Black Panther and A Star Is Born, starring Lady Gaga, are up for awards.

Bumblebee, The Lego Movie 2, and Happy Death Day 2U are some of the biggest titles hitting theaters over the next few weeks, which target teens. Additionally, for any Star Wars lovers out there, the trailer for Episode IV is expected to be revealed during the Super Bowl.

Finally, you should note that pop star extraordinaire Taylor Swift will be playing a significant role in the cinematic adaptation of the musical Cats along with Jennifer Hudson.

On Their Feed

Ariana Grande delighted followers on Twitter recently by releasing the tracklist for her upcoming album and answering fans’ questions about what specific songs are about. Based on her responses, we’re expecting a lot of songs about lost love, jealousy, moving on, and (what she won’t call) some of the sad symptoms experienced in today’s hookup culture even.

Musician Cardi B has been speaking out passionately about politics on her social media drawing attention to issues like the government shutdown and is demanding change. People have used some of her outrageous phrases as chants and slogans at various protests, including the (largely pro-abortion) Women’s March on January 19.

Target recently announced a new digital magazine taking the form of an Instagram account called @TargetTag. Its purpose is to include and share user-curated content from other Instagram users to promote their brand and their other subbrands. The main message they’re pushing is that anyone can be an influencer by having influential ideas not necessarily a large following. And, of course, it’s all wrapped up nicely in the looks of the clothes they sell.

The new Netflix series, You, starring Penn Badgley, tells the story of what it’s like when love and stalking become confused. Many Twitter users, including Stranger Things star Millie Bobby Brown, have expressed an attraction to the stalker-love represented in the show to which Penn Badgley has personally responded and tried to illustrate the unhealthy nature of obsession and relationships based on stalking habits.

Red Flags

If you haven’t heard yet, there was an intense digital reaction to the MAGA-hat wearing students from Covington Catholic High School, who were involved in a confrontation during their time at the March for Life with Nathan Phillips and other participants from the Indigenous Peoples March. Social media blew up with assumptions, accusations, and fiery debate on who was in the right and who was in the wrong. The event is drawing further attention to the intensity of outrage culture and the problems that come with assumptions based on partial truths of social media.

In further political news, New York’s new pro-abortion law has increased access to abortion, even late-term abortions, causing not only the devastation of more innocent lives taken but also a reaction to the way the Church should engage or intervene with politics and politicians like Andrew Cuomo who champion anti-life causes like this. The law was celebrated by many celebrities across social media but was spoken out against by pro-life movements and voices.

Sex Education is a new series on Netflix about teenagers navigating all the questions of sexuality together. It’s problematic for a number of reasons, but it’s been celebrated by some for its positive portrayal of an abortion experience. If it’s something your teen is watching, it’s worth talking about with them.

The video game Mortal Kombat 11 has been announced and will release in April. This is an especially gory and violent game, which should be approached with caution.

About the Author

Leah Murphy

I love Kanye West and Jesus Christ... not in that order. I like sunflowers, adventures, dancing, and good music that matters. I'm constantly looking for what is true, good, and beautiful in everything around me. I have a deep desire for authenticity in all things and I'm pursuing heaven on a messy little journey that Jesus is making beautiful with new mercies every day.