This week we welcome back Heather Shotke from The gramMarch Challenge. For those who aren't familiar with Heather, she is a middle school teacher that started this initiative a few years ago to help make her students more aware of the words we use in writing for proper communication. The initiative started out just with her students and now has expanded to a campaign that has been adopted by many throughout the nation.
Technology continues to advance quite quickly. Particularly in the past few years it has greatly impacted how we communicate with each other via the Internet and mobile technology, as well as how we purchase and consume music, navigate with directions and access all kinds information about the world.
How has all of these changes affected our lives from a social perspective? Many seem to think that while we are able to access virtually any amount of information easily at our fingertips, it has also made us less communicative with each other, less interested in enjoying the outdoors and raising future generations without proper interpersonal and social skills.
Quite the controversy has ensued after Jada Pinkett Smith called for people to boycott the Oscars this year due to the lack of diversity in nominees. The lack of diversity has been called into question various times in the past, but this year it seems to have come to a boiling point. The hashtag #OscarsSoWhite resurfaced from last year directly after Jada's video statement with a surge of social media conversations criticizing the Academy.
Ultimately, this caused Academy president Cheryl Boone Isaacs to make a statement vowing to take steps to make changes. In addition, many stars have weighed in on the issue, but none as fiery and emotional as Whoopi Goldberg's, who insists that the problem does not stem from the Academy, but rather a lack of movie parts available for actors who are not white. We'll see what happens at this year's show, but with this much attention a change is bound to happen within the Academy.
Additionally #OnBigDaddysRadar is Sarah Palin's announcement that she is endorsing Donald Trump. From listening to to past shows, it's clear that we are all not very fond of "The Donald" and even less fond of Sarah Palin, but in any case, we will be keeping a watchful eye to find out how this endorsement affects his campaign.
It's January, which of course means that it's the beginning of a new year, but it also means that it's kickoff to a new award season starting with the Golden Globes. This year's show has been particularly criticized for being way too long and overall not very eventful. Despite that opinion by many critics, there were still some very widely-discussed moments, wins and jabs throughout the evening. Most notable has to be Leonardo DiCaprio's reaction to being bumped by Lady Gaga as she approached the stage to accept her win for American Horror Story Hotel.
The other main topic #OnBigDaddysRadar that we all had a lot to say about was the death of music legend David Bowie. He made such an impact in this world, not only from a musical perspective, but in fashion, pop culture and challenging our minds to expand our own ideas of what encompasses each of those. He was a man way ahead of his time that has influenced artists from all around the world from various generations and he will be greatly missed.
Sadly, this is the last episode that Amanda will be on the show as a regular panelist. We hope to have her on the show as a guest from time to time and whenever she is able. She will always be a big part of the Big Daddy Radio family and we wish her well, especially in her role as a new mom!
Aside from that bitter-sweet news, there were many stories #OnBigDaddysRadar this week. We talk a lot about social media, so we couldn't help but weigh in on Twitter's announcement that is fundamentally changing the entire social network with the notion that they will soon move from 140 character limit to a character limit of 10,000. We don't know what that exactly means for the future of Twitter, but us along with many of its die-hard users have very strong opinions about it.
Lastly, it is the new year after all, so as we welcome 2016, it would be crazy not to discuss the importance of New Year's Resolutions in our culture, what ours are (if any), why the majority of them never come to fruition, and how we can make them a part of our everyday lives as new habits.
There have been some extremely memorable moments in 2015; some tragic, some positive and inspiring, and others that brought much needed change. Overall it was a standout year, so for our last show of 2015 and as the year was about to come to a close, we decided to look back discuss best the moments -- and our favorite -- in pop culture in 2015.
Additionally #OnBigDaddysRadar this week was Bill Cosby's arraignment in Pennsylvania for criminal sex charges. He may have posted bond and left the police station a few hours after being booked, but there is a lot more facing Cosby once the hearing begins. If he's eventually convicted, he could face up to 10 years in prison.
Lastly, as we've discussed multiple times on the show, we are all very much advocates for anti-bulling and anti-violence campaigns, so we were extremely pleased to see Twitter this week announce its new policy against abusive behavior and hateful conduct. We all know how prevalent bullying and "trolling" have become on social media, so it's fantastic to see the social network take a stand. Our only question is how does Twitter plan to monitor and enforce the new policy with so many millions of users interacting with each other across the globe?
In the wake of two virtually identical bomb threats being emailed within one day of each other, first to New York and then to LA Country schools, there was of course fear and concern that brought both school districts to make very different decisions. New York decided to keep school open unless there was more concrete proof of an imminent threat, while LA decided to be more cautious and close over 900 schools across the county. There has been criticism on both sides, so which district handled the situation appropriately?
As we all know, the United States has become adapted to be a very politically correct, especially when considering other religious backgrounds, nationalities and ethnic backgrounds. However, is it going too far to rename holidays like Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas in schools and other government institutions?
Lastly, on Big Daddy's Radar this week, was Caitlyn Jenner in the news again. Not only was she apologizing to the transgender community for insensitive comments but many have criticized her as the "Donald Trump of the Transgender Community." Ouch. A little harsh?
It has been quite a week. So many topics #OnBigDaddysRadar, but the most outrageous taking center stage as well in the minds of many Americans is Donald Trump yet again. The fact that he has announced he wants to ban all Muslims from entering the country has sparked quite an uproar. Many claim he is no better than Hitler. While that may be a tad of an exaggeration to say the least, Trump saying that he would ban people from entering our country because of their religion is certainly something that raised everyone's eyebrows and should be a pretty big cause for concern.
Additionally this week, the Grammy nominations were announced and surprising to many was that Madonna's name was missing from all categories despite the fact that her album has received rave reviews since its release. Prince was another seasoned artist who released a new album this year that also didn't get any love from the Grammy's. Is that a sign that the Grammys and other award shows only nominate the newest pop artists regardless of what older artists are releasing?
Lastly, the massive eye-roll that happened in unison was caused this week when Kanye West and Kim Kardashian announced the name of their newborn baby boy--Say hello to Saint West. Did anyone actually expect anything less bizarre or ridiculous from them? Didn't think so.
Guest panelist Nicky Elliston from Smarter San Diego returned to the show this week and joined in on the conversation about the latest #OnBigDaddysRadar.
First up was about how TV seasons have become much shorter than they once were. Don't you remember when TV programs began in September, took a week off for Thanksgiving, another week off for Christmas and then had the season finale around the end of May? Now it seems most shows are much shorter, There is now what is called a "winter hiatus" that lasts for close to two months On top of that, the shows seem to end earlier than they used to. What's that all about?
Additionally, we discussed results released from a recent study indicating that most people have the best sex when they are on vacation. There are many theories behind this, but most likely it has to do with the fact that people are excited and happy to be on vacation, they are away from the kids, and they just have more free time than they would at home stressed and preoccupied with having to get ready for work
Lastly, Blake Shelton and Gwen Stefani seem to be on blast in almost every entertainment publication, both online and in print, after announcing that they are now a couple. Can a relationship like theirs last when they are constantly in the spotlight?
It has been a very sad and tough time in the past few weeks with the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, as well as in Beirut. The fight against ISIS has become that much more urgent for us as the world cried out in protest against these senseless and barbaric attacks on humanity. There also seems to be an even more heightened awareness of how people in the Western world treat and view Muslims. Many have criticized that Westerners have not shown the same kind of respect and attention to terrorist attacks like what happened in Beirut and other locations throughout the Middle East as people do when it terrorism strikes in the West. Is it that we are just so used to seeing terrorist attacks in the Middle East that it's not as impactful, or is it something deeper than that?
Also this week in much less important news, Charlie Sheen appeared on The Today Show to announce that he is HIV-positive. Many are not exactly sure why he decided to publicly announce this to the world, other than the fact that he was being blackmailed by a few seemingly "unsavory" individuals as he put it. Having a high-profile celebrity such as Sheen admit that he has HIV may perhaps change the stigma surrounding the horrible disease, but clearly has nowhere near the same impact as it did when Magic Johnson revealed his HIV-positive status to the world 24 years ago.
Lastly, as we tend to talk a lot about Caitlyn Jenner on the show, we couldn't help but discuss Rose McGowan's harsh and cutting reaction to Jenner's comments while accepting a Glamor Award for "Woman of the Year." McGowan took her comments down from her social media channels, but that doesn't mean they didn't make an impact as well as let us know what she really thinks.