AMP Special Features (December)

December Horoscopes

Aries: You’re eager for a fresh start, Aries; you’ve been waiting so long. Your time will soon arrive, but first, consider whether you’ve thought it all through. Listen to the world and to that small clear voice.

Taurus: You’re not as lost as you think, Taurus, in this tangled wood — maybe you’ve stumbled here for a reason. Learn to become comfortable with the unknown; learn to appreciate the things you don’t understand.

Gemini: Your hard work has been paying off, Gemini, and it’s okay to be proud. Take some time to celebrate yourself and the ways you’ve resisted the tired narrative the world tried to force upon you.

Cancer: Though your kind heart will always care for others first, Cancer, you mustn’t forget yourself. Spend some time alone simply to breathe. Remember that old hobby you had? Pick it up again.

Leo: Your confidence has been rattled, Leo; the rich tapestry of the future you imagined is riddled with self-doubt. Remember this: Though seasons may change, and people, too, summer will arrive again regardless.

Virgo: You feel like the odds are stacked against you, Virgo, and maybe they are. But should you still try? Absolutely. You’ve scaled impossible mountains before; you’ve climbed the highest of trees.

Libra: Admit to yourself, dear Libra, that you’re unsatisfied with this current life of yours. You’ve allowed yourself to become comfortable, even content, with less than you deserve. It’s time to strive for more.

Scorpio: This year has taken its toll on your heart and soul — it has tested you so thoroughly you thought you would break. But you’re here still, and you shouldn’t be afraid to celebrate your victories.

Sagittarius: Take some responsibility for your actions, Sagittarius; you’re not being completely honest with yourself. Look into your own eyes and find the truth hidden there — you’ll feel relieved once you do.

Capricorn: Don’t linger over missed opportunities, Capricorn — remember that you’re only human. Now is a time for self-reflection: What are your weaknesses? Don’t be afraid to be honest; after all, human is not a bad thing to be.

Aquarius: This month, Aquarius, try your hardest to let go of the hurt you’ve harbored, so that you’re ready to move on. You might not forget or even forgive, but don’t let the past settle in your heart like a weight.

Pisces: You’ve felt alone lately, Pisces, as though you have no one in the world with whom to share your troubles. You’re afraid of burdening a friend; afraid they won’t listen; afraid you talk too much. Don’t be.

AMP Watches: A Christmas Prince

This holiday season, AMP watched the newest brainchild of our revered Netflix execs — A Christmas Prince — so you don’t have to. Starring Rose McIver (you may know her from CW’s iZombie), the movie tells the story of a spunky, young editor-turned-journalist sent to the fictional country of Aldovia to investigate its prince the week of his Christmas Eve coronation. After a montage of generic Christmas in New York footage set to stock carol music, we meet Amber, an editor with no writing experience, and her token minority friends (who remain nameless and irrelevant throughout the movie): sassy black girl and gay off-brand Oscar Isaac. Amber is sent to cover this huge story for her first ever written piece. So, you know, totally believable. When she gets to the castle, which is best described as an Epcot gift shop, she’s immediately mistaken for the young Aldovian princess’s American tutor. I guess only one American can be in this fictional country at a time.

In an “unexpected twist,” a stranger who stole Amber’s taxi at the airport is revealed as the infamous Prince Richard. In rapid plot progression, Amber bonds with the princess over the child’s disability, so no one questions why she gets invited to intimate family gatherings. After discussing their dead parents, Amber falls in love with the prince, as one does. During the film, everyone alludes to the prince’s playboy lifestyle, but he doesn’t seem to be anything other than a sentimental fool suffering from … compassion? Childlike wonder? A love for romantic snowball fights? He’s virtually flawless. From there, we learn about “the big secret” involving a riddle disguised as a Christmas poem, a plotting evil cousin, and the busting of a nut (quite literally). We were hoping for the satisfying kind of syrupy sweet that’s a hallmark of the classic Christmas romantic comedy. Instead, deprived of both a makeover montage and an end-of-credits wedding scene, we were left with disappointment.

All that this movie really delivered on was its unwaveringly groan-worthy dialogue. A Christmas Prince? More like a Christmas wince.

Hot Takes with Eunjee Chong

“Save a Bag, Punch a Nazi”

Punch Nazis.

On November 25, the New York Times published a profile on Tony Haveter, a 29-year-old welder from Dayton, Ohio. The author, Richard Fausset, introduces this Ohio local with the claim that “in person, his Midwestern manners would please anyone’s mother.” What surprised readers is that this piece describes a Nazi sympathizer. Formerly titled “In America’s Heartland, the Nazi Sympathizer Next Door,” the article, which was later named “A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland,” received online criticism for the journalist’s gentle, inquisitive tone as he interviewed a man who supports white supremacy and genocide.

The negative response on social media was enough to make the New York Times issue a half-hearted apology for “offending readers” as people tried to pull apart how a major national news outlet could publish a puff piece about a literal, actual Nazi.

I don’t know how much evidentiary support I have to bring to the table when I say: Nazis are evil. In the year 2017, is it so revolutionary to recognize that Nazis believe that non-Jewish white people are the superior group and that all others should be wiped out?

The willingness of news media to give Nazism a national platform just reveals an alarming apathy of intelligentsia towards white supremacy. Journalists have a duty to reflect the cold hard truth, but they also play a huge role in politics through storytelling. What kind of story does America tell when Michael Brown, an unarmed teenager fatally shot by police in Ferguson, is described by the New York Times as “no angel” while a Nazi is described as a regular guy with regular hobbies?

The idea that we must engage in civil discourse with Nazi sympathizers — as if their ideologies are opinions worthy of debate — is baffling. Present-day white supremacists are the guys who want to wipe out the descendants of survivors of atrocious events such as the Holocaust, Native American genocide, and the enslavement of Africans. These are the guys you want getting free marketing on a national platform?

Everyone, regardless of ideology, has the right to share their opinions — within reason — without being punished by the government. Freedom of speech does not protect anyone, especially those who spew hate speech, from being criticized or barred from public platforms. Or, as I have suggested, punched.

The truth is that punching Nazis is a controversial statement because people actually believe punching white supremacists is equivalent to the violence that they promote. Naturally, this leads to normalizing their existence and in turn, their beliefs.

Ticket Stubs by Emily Huffman

Lady Bird dir. Greta Gerwig

As far as directorial debuts go, this is as good as it gets. Greta Gerwig’s first film showcases heartwarmingly earnest performances by Saoirse Ronan and Laurie Metcalf, who exhibit a complicated mother-daughter relationship. Lady Bird is everything a good coming-of-age film should be — relatable, humorous, emotional, and sweet. Highly recommend this one.

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri dir. Martin McDonagh

When I walked out of the theater for this one, my head was spinning. It’s not like I was left with much of a choice either — Martin McDonagh (of In Bruges and Seven Psychopaths fame) toes the line between comedy and dark tragedy so precariously that few directors could ever pull it off. The film will have you laughing in one scene and leave you deeply disturbed in the very next. Although I came for Frances McDormand (who gave the best performance in the film), I stayed for the most compelling storyline I’ve seen all year.

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