Microsoft recently announced their 2022-2023 acquisition deal of the mogul video game company Activision Blizzard for nearly $70 billion. This will be Microsoft’s biggest acquisition yet, making it the third-largest company by revenue in the video game industry. In addition, this deal could majorly reverse the odds in the gaming console war between Microsoft’s Xbox and Sony’s PlayStation. However, this acquisition holds an even greater purpose – the metaverse purpose.
If you have listened to music on Spotify lately, you may have noticed old Taylor Swift songs are being re-released a second time. Of course, many fans are elated by these releases, but some listeners may be asking: Why is Taylor Swift rerecording her masters?
Sally Rooney has recently come under fire for boycotting an Israeli publishing house. This boycott resulted in her new title, “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” not getting Hebrew publication. The Irish author is well known for her books “Normal People,” which was developed into a hit Hulu series, and “Conversations with Friends.”
If your life were a musical, it might look something like Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist. The NBC dramedy created by showrunner Austin Winsberg (The Sound of Music Live!) recently finished its second season and has a dedicated fan base who are hoping it will be renewed for a third one.
On March 3, Netflix started off Women’s History Month with a bang! Moxie, Amy Poehler’s female empowerment themed movie was released. In the setting of a typical American high school, the main character, Vivian (Hadley Robinson) begins to notice and pay closer attention to the issues of sexism that occur on a daily basis all around her. Inspired by her mom’s and passion for feminism and observing the new girl in school, Lucy (Alycia Pascual-Peña) standing up for herself, Vivian distributes copies of an anonymous pamphlet entitled “Moxie.” The pamphlet calls out unacceptable behaviors and actions towards young women in her school in an attempt to make female voices heard and it received a lot of traction. As a result, a group of students also called Moxie forms to protest injustices in their school, big and small, and work to empower not only each other, but everyone in their school (especially young women) who feel as though they are not being heard.
Television has become one of the most common American pastimes. Whether this means watching an episode of your favorite TV show or finding a new show to watch over the weekend, most people would agree that television is a strong part of their lives. Despite the variety of shows available, the casts tend to be similar. They lack diversity, especially characters who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. It is important for us to increase television representation to educate audiences and give representation to minority groups.
During a Difficult Year, Taylor Swift Releases Two Excellent Albums: folklore and evermore
By Ella Mordarski
In late July 2020, after a year of hardships, Taylor Swift released a surprise 8th studio album titled folklore. The album was a huge success and is nominated for numerous awards at the upcoming 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, set to air on Sunday, March 14th, 2021. These include Album of the Year, Song of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, and Best Pop Vocal Album. If Taylor Swift wins Album of the Year at the 2021 Grammys, she will become the fourth three-time winner in the category in Grammy history and the first-ever female three-time winner of Album of the Year. Swift certainly had a brighter 2020 compared to most people, including other performers. So, the question is: how could Swift end such a successful year with a bang? By releasing another album, of course!
The holiday season of 2020 is sure to be unique. With social distancing guidelines in place, many families are unable to gather for collective meals and take part in timeless traditions. Some have found creative ways to stay connected, even when apart. Thanksgiving went virtual on Zoom, where families were able to indulge in the scrumptious festivities from a safe distance. The video software even dropped its 40-minute time limit for unpaid subscribers in the spirit of the celebration. The holidays are meant to be a time of warmth and togetherness, and in a year like this, they are needed now more than ever, even if adjustments must be made. Indeed, 2020 will be the year to make brand new traditions as we all try to navigate this new world.
Every year in early November, I unearth my Christmas playlist as a guilty pleasure. My family all calls foul and tells me I can’t play it until after Thanksgiving. I’m not alone though, according to Google Trends, the week after Halloween is the first spike in Christmas music streaming, and it starts to go up even more without fail the week after Thanksgiving. Since 2004, the search “Christmas music” takes a drastic fall to zero on January first. Google search data, 2004-2020, reveal characteristic spikes every December even for quite famous artists who have other hits other than their Christmas songs. It mildly occurs with Kelly Clarkson and her recent hit “Underneath the Tree,” where bumps occurred in December 2016 and 2019 that correspond to her overall search popularity. Mining Google Trends site, I found this startling trend even affects John Lennon for his blockbuster “Happy Xmas (War is Over).” The peaks for John Lennon searches correlate with the searches for his Christmas hit.
The one Christmas hit wonder phenomenon is seen in Wham, which had the highest popularity when the lead singer, George Michaels, died on Christmas in 2016. The song,Last Christmas, continues to drive Wham’s search history, though they are not exactly the same curves. People do search for Wham outside of their Christmas music. Alone of the 20 or so Christmas hits I compared via Google’s tool, Christmas Wrapping, by The Waitresses, utterly copies the searches for the band.
The cyclical popularity of Christmas music is attributed to the season and the holiday, no doubt. The fact that there’s no other holiday with a universally adopted, commercial soundtrack offers the possibility of having revenue and wealth come in once a year without fail, only if an artist crafts that Christmas hit. Those search hits create wealth, $500,000 yearly for Mariah Carey’s All I Want for Christmas is You.
Michael Buble famously has the voice of the crooner, much like Frank Sinatra. He defrosts every holiday season to play hits like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.” His Google search hits respond evenly.
This commercial success can be turned to support causes other than commercial shopping. A good example is the fundraising Christmas song, Do They Know it’s Christmas, created by supergroup Bandaid for the famine in Ethiopia and reprised twice for famine relief and once for Ebola funds by different amalgamations of superstars led by Bob Geldorf.