Bleats

Brazil Mayor's Attempt To Ban Marvel Comic For Same-Sex Kiss Backfired In The Best Way

Another perfect example of the Streisand effect.

Over the weekend, we learned that when you attack someone’s freedom of expression, they’ll fight back even harder. Case in point: this Brazilian mayor being blocked from banning a Marvel comic book because of a same-sex kiss.

Credit: Marvel Comics

Marcelo Crivella, who is a former bishop and the current mayor of Rio de Janeiro, recently demanded that the comic book Avengers: The Children’s Crusade be withdrawn from a book fair because it featured content “unsuitable for children.”

The content Crivella is referring to is an illustration of two male characters, Wiccan and Hulkling, kissing in a loving embrace. In a tweet explaining his attempt to wrap copies of the graphic novel in black plastic and have it confiscated, Crivella wrote, “We need to protect our children. As a result, we have determined that Biennial organisers collect books with content that is unsuitable for minors.”

“It is not correct for them to have early access to subjects that do not agree with their ages.”

Credit: Twitter

It’s safe to say, Crivella’s call to action didn’t go down well. According to the Guardian, the president of Brazil’s supreme court overruled a court decision that had endorsed his move and the country’s biggest newspaper, Folha de S.Paulo, published the illustration on its front page. 

Credit: Folha de S.Paulo

“It is an attack on freedom of expression,” said Mariana Zahar, the VP of the National Union of Book Publishers told the Guardian. “We will fight this to the end.”

Crivella’s move continued to backfire when YouTuber Felipe Neto bought 14,000 copies of LGBT-themed comic books and gave them out for free. The vlogger, who has 34 million followers, wrapped them in black plastic with the warning: “Book inappropriate for backward…and prejudiced people.” 

The best part of this whole story is the fact that by the time Crivella asked for the comic book to be confiscated, it had already sold out. 

This is the perfect example of the Streisand Effect: if you attempt to hide, remove or censor information, it’s only going to attract attention.

“Although we [are] going through the most frightening government in terms of repression since the dictatorship, this time we have a united and engaged people who will not permit that censorship, the imposition of others’ moral values,” Neto told The Guardian.

Bella Thorne Could Breathe And People Would Be Annoyed

The trolling is getting boring.

Serious question: when is Bella Thorne going to catch a break?

The 21-year-old spends the majority of her life in the spotlight and the headlines, but more often than not she’s getting dragged by both the media and trolls. It’s starting to feel like she could breathe and the Internet would have something to say about it.

The trolls are relentless. Credit: Giphy

Most recently, Thorne copped major backlash when she showed fans her skincare regime in a YouTube video for Harper’s Bazaar. In the video, Thorne uses a homemade mixture of lemon, olive oil and sugar to scrub her face because a makeup artist once told her it would “activate the skin to become alive again.”

Fans flocked to Reddit and social media to rip the actress to shreds over her “damaging” routine. “This is literally the worst ‘skincare’ routine that I’ve ever seen, and the fact that she says she’s releasing a skincare line is horrifying because so many little kids will be damaging their skin if the products are anything like what she uses,” one fan wrote.

There’s no denying that Bella Thorne has a young fan base – she got her start on Disney after all – but she’s never claimed to be an expert in skincare, either. 

Bella’s Disney days. Credit: Giphy

It’s not the first time Thorne has been slammed for not being a cookie cutter role model for her teen fans. Just this year, the actress had nude photos hacked from her phone and was threatened with extortion by the hackers. Instead of giving in to the threat, Thorne released the photographs to the public herself.

Credit: Twitter

One month later, Thorne ruffled feathers once again when Pornhub announced that she would be making her directorial debut on its network with the film Her & Him. For many, porn + Disney star = the devil, but to Bella, it’s just another storytelling medium. “If you think that porn is uncomfortably, I’m sorry that you are uncomfortable. But don’t make other people feel uncomfortable for being okay with it.”

Thorne’s honesty is not only refreshing but empowering for people who can relate to her person struggles. In her book The Life of a Wannabe Mogul: Mental Disarray, Thorne opened up about being sexually abused from the ages of 6 to 14, and said she felt “ashamed” and “disgusting” because of the abuse. 

Thorne has always been an open book. Her Twitter is a constant feed of self-promotion and comments about her sexuality and the messy breakdown of her relationship with YouTuber Tana Mongeau and musician ModSun. Her Instagram echoes the same sentiment, including a recent post about self-love and the trauma she experienced as a child. 

Are people addicted to dragging Thorne because she’s not the perfect former Disney star? Or is it because she’s unabashedly herself – vulnerable, messy, and imperfect?

The way I see it is Thorne is doing the best she can considering the immense pressure she finds herself under at every turn. No one is perfect – and it doesn’t sound like she claims to be, so perhaps it’s time we all give her a break.

U.S. Schools Designed To Minimise Shooting Deaths Is A Depressing State Of Affairs

An all new low.

We’ve reached a rather depressing state of affairs with the news that U.S. schools are now being designed to minimise mass shooting deaths.

According to Futurism, a town in Michigan is spending $48M on updating Fruitport High School – not with a football pitch or swimming pool, but with features to help students survive.

Some of the features include curved hallways, to shorten a shooter’s line of sight, and designated “shadow zones” where students can take cover. The updates will also feature impact-resistant window coverings and a “special lockdown system” which can isolate threats with the push of a button.

Credit: Twitter

Speaking to As It Happens, school superintendent Bob Szymoniak said “given the nature of our country these days, the number of school shootings that we have, and they just don’t seem to stop, it seemed responsible and appropriate for us to factor in as many security elements into the design of the building as we could.”

Later, Szymoniak said helping to build a school designed to protect students from mass shooters is “one of the saddest aspects of my career, having to come to terms with that.”

Credit: Twitter

The Washington Post reports that more than 228,000 students have been exposed to gun violence since the tragic Columbine High School Shooting which claimed the lives of 12 students and one teacher in 1999.

Students at a gun control rally on the anniversary of the Columbine shooting, 2018.
Credit: Andrew Lichtenstein/Corbis via Getty Images

Another report from ABC News, states that there have been at least 19 deadly mass shootings in the U.S. so far in 2019. 

The most recent mass shooting occurred in Texas last Saturday. The gunman killed seven people and left 25 others injured, and somehow, the state has since loosened firearm laws. 

Odessa, Texas, 2018. Credit: Photo by Cengiz Yar/Getty Images

Some of the new laws allow weapons and armed marshals on school grounds, guns in foster homes, and firearms in places of worship. It’s hard to fathom how this kind of legislation could pass just hours after so many lives had been lost to someone wielding a gun. 

It’s also difficult to shrug off the fact that schools are now having to cough up for a redesign because it’s one of the only ways they can keep students safe. The solution seems pretty straightforward – so why has it gotten to this point?

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