You've just woken up in a haze of confusion and seasonal alcohol abuse after having dreamt of a packed end of year celebration and having received something more resembling a relapsing AA meeting. You get up from your bed (with more difficulty than a person your age should) after the mandatory 2-hour transition phase in which you've learned a lot about the different directions your phone lets you swipe in. To then finally make your way into the kitchen where you chug a glass of water to avoid dying by thirst, something that has been a common occurrence for you this year. But then it hits you "No more 2020" the thought races through your mind like all the energy drinks you've had to binge to make it through exam season. Suddenly you lose your headache and start to be overtaken by a wave of ecstasy, you're finally finished with this godforsaken year. Emboldened by the belief that an arbitrary cutoff-point is going to change anything about the avalanche of shit everyone has been going through, you go back to browsing Tik-Tok or watch a Netflix show (for the more sophisticated of us).
So let's remember 2020's greatest hits (very much like your Spotify Wrapped) all more depressing than the next (very much like your Spotify Wrapped).
First off massive WILDFIRES, yes you've heard me right this is not your usual one massive wildfire year. No 2020 in its all-consuming glory gifted us two magnificent backdrops for NatGeo picture of the year contenders. The first one occurred right at the start of the year (foreshadowing of sorts), affecting huge portions of the Australian wilderness and impacting its biodiversity in an alarming way. Global warming being its main cause, a very serious problem we humans are facing. The other much like all American remakes lacked the reach of the first one and was mostly produced in L.A. A gender-reveal party being its main cause, an even more serious problem we humans are facing.
Since 2020 was such a mess this midsection will be dedicated to a bullet point list of a few of its worst achievements (the essay style being again too tedious) :
- Murder hornets in the U.S.
- Explosion in Beirut
- Locust swarms in East Africa
- Rampant police brutality
- Escalation of multiple military conflicts
- The wealth gap growing at an alarming rate
And many, many more.
Last but not least, 2020's magnum opus, its Citizen Kane: "COVID-19". Now some may argue that 2020 merely inherited the virus from its predecessor. But much like another cause of frustration and anger, 2020 really turned that metaphorical "small loan of a million dollars" into something (worse). Through 2020 we saw COVID undergo a worldwide expansion and achieve numbers that competitors like Ebola and the swine flu could only dream of. Even achieving such feats as not only fucking the economy, specifically the hospitality industry but also every single person unfortunate enough to have lived this year. From gaining weight to losing loved ones, this year had it all.
So let's say goodbye to 2020 and welcome 2021. May you be 2016 bad but never 2020 bad.
2020: Year in Review
Start 2021 the right way!
Follow us on the road away from 2020
by Aaron Eller
Interesting New Year's Traditions
by Shina Pieber
Since you can’t travel anywhere at the moment, we thought we would bring some interesting New Year’s traditions from around the world to you!
Did you know that in many South American countries it is common to wear coloured underwear on New Year’s Eve. The different colours decide your fortunes for the new year. Meaning you should wear red underpants if you want to find love, yellow for wealth and luck or white for peace in the New Year.
Similarly in Italy people buy a new pair of red underpants every year to wear on New Year’s Eve. So shortly after Christmas stores are stocked with red underwear exclusively all over the country. The red underwear is associated with fertility and love for the upcoming year.
In Spain, eating 12 grapes exactly when the clock strikes midnight, in time with each chime, is supposed to bring good luck for the New Year. A lot of people even practice beforehand because it is not as easy as you might think and if you don’t manage to eat the right amount of grapes in time you face the threat of bad luck for the next year.
In the Philippines people try to surround themselves with as many round things as possible. They keep coins in their pockets which they constantly jangle, eat grapes and wear clothes with polka-dots. These round things represent coins and stand for prosperity and wealth for the following year. It’s all about keeping the money flowing.
People in Denmark save up unused plates all year, just to break them on New Year’s Eve. Throwing plates at the front doors of your friends and family is a strangely vandalistic display of affection and everlasting friendship in Denmark. The broken plates are also supposed to bring good luck. So take comfort in all the bits of broken plates in front of your door, because the bigger the pile, the more people love you and the more luck you will have in the New Year.
Hopefully now you know some new ways on how to get good luck, prosperity or whatever else you aspire for the New Year.
07 Thesis Event #1
12 Book Club Meeting
20 Movie Night #3
The Sinister Side of Pornhub
Coming Up: January
by Merel Clerckx
I know you don’t want me to walk to your laptop right now and type the letters P - O - R into your search bar - we all know what could come up there. Pornhub has been the biggest site of its kind in the porn industry, offering millions of free adult entertainment clips and attracting over 3.5 billion visits from around the world each month, but recently it’s been in the news for sinister things…
Perhaps you’ve heard about Pornhub being a ‘wholesome’ company, like when they planted a tree for every 100 video streams in a certain category, or donated to organisations fighting for race equality. And there’s no shame in owning your sexuality, watching porn and all that good stuff. The problem comes in when we see all the articles about Pornhub harboring thousands upon thousands of videos of child abuse, rape and revenge porn, traumatising countless young people for the rest of their lives.
Pornhub has usually functioned a bit like YouTube, where users of the site can upload videos basically unmonitored, with content moderators looking over stuff at high speed and not necessarily paying much attention to whether a girl on their screen is 14 or 18. Moreover, anyone can download videos directly off the platform. This means that videos of people that were filmed non-consensually or in a trusting situation can be found all over the website, and when they get deleted, they can resurface just as easily as they first appeared.
The fact that one of the most searched terms on Pornhub each year is “teen” already says a lot about the consequences of the way the site handles this issue…
More recently, companies like PayPal, Mastercard and Visa stopped offering payment services to Pornhub in protest of the scandals around the company lately. This ended up being one of the only ways to get them to change their ways - money talks after all.
In the end, there isn’t much we as individuals can do to fight what’s been going on. We could switch the sites we use, avoid seeing Pornhub’s advertisements and so on. The money processing companies ended up being the ones making real change, and now has made the decision to Pornhub only allow verified users to upload videos onto their site. Hundreds of thousands of videos have been deleted, but the pain they may have caused in some people’s lives lasts.
The 2020 Collective Delirium
by Leticia Zanini
2020… twenty twenty… two zero two zero… what a year…. Jesus F. Kennedy Christ.. we are all (please read the following word singing in your head) soooo glad we are past that collective delirium, like seriously, what was that year??? If last year were a fiction story, I would definitely think that the author is trying way too hard, like for real dude, take a chill pill and relax and mannnnn I hope it’s not too soon to crack some jokes about that sh*t cause goddam we went through a lot, and I need some humor to process my trauma, mkay?
I don’t know how you feel about the world after that year, but for me now, our reality is just a video game where we all are the prostitutes we are so used to running over in Grand Theft Auto, like we legit didn’t do sh*t about a whole month being 4/20… like whaaaat ??????? What ?????? In what reality would that happen in real life???? I guess the same one where everything is cake and Carole Baskin dances with the stars dressed as a lion - HHAHHAHAHAHAH even writing this sounds mad dumb - and don’t even get me started on we all focusing on toilet paper when facing a global pandemic, like dude, schools really don’t do sh*t to our education, huh?
We also almost had a WW3, and then Kim Jong-un legit just faked his death for the lolz, real mean girl kinda stuff hahahah yassss petty queen *finger snaps*, and the thing is, we barely paid attention to it because SO MUCH SHIT (pardon my French) WAS ALREADY GOING DOWN. Another thing we just ignored was that the Pentagon released some UFO videos (you didn’t even remember that, huh?) like yesss… aliens… alienssss… why are we not talking about that???? I feel like it might be because it’s more important to protest about the corona regulations by giving haircuts - by the way, I have so many questions about that… like why haircuts and not waxing or spray tanning????? Is it because a whole as* star went missing????? I know it sounds out of context but hey, what context? Pure randomness 2020 context.
But not all was bad news… at least Parasite won a bunch of Oscars, 6 to be more specific, being a pioneer in some aspects of the academy - yep, that was about it for the good things in 2020 bit, notice how much smaller this paragraph is lmao.
To sum up, I just wanted to say I am very grateful we are in 2021 now, and my kids are sooooo not missing school because of any reasons because I will definitely apply the 2020 sermon every. single. time. as I won the right to do so, we all did. With that being said, congrats, heroes!!!!! From now on, only better things will happen in all of our lives! Have a happy 2021!!!! The worst is over.
by Aaron Eller
After the last horoscope which, as was brought to our attention, lacked accuracy and was "a bummer" we have decided to give all future horoscope duties to our unpaid intern Mike. What he might lack in astrological knowledge he makes up for in us not having to pay him. With that in mind enjoy your year predictions.
Aquarius: How is something with "aqua" in the name an air sign. Also what's an air sign. But I like the song "Aquarius" from Hair so I guess you´re gonna have a good year.
Pisces: You'll keep saying "But why me?" every time you stub your toe on a door.
Aries: Really missed out by not having your birthday on 4.20. You will continue not having your birthday on 4.20 this year.
Taurus: You might have your birthday on 4.20. Depending on that fact you´ll either have an amazing year or look at the Aries one.
Gemini: Stop being so hyperactive. Just please calm down this year. There's no prediction for you, only a plea. Please stop.
Cancer: Why is a crab good at checking vibes?
Leo: With the number of people giving you attention each day dwindling, you´ll have to get a new personality this year.
Virgo: This year you will keep being an organized and functioning part of society. Admittedly a boring way to live but I'm sure you can cover that up with funny memes.
Libra: I guess you are like a scale or something, fitting if you think about the city you chose to move to. You'll balance the stress of university with as many unhealthy habits as possible this year.
Scorpio: You will continue being seen as the worst sign based on people reading funny Instagram memes about you being just that.
Sagittarius: You will continue your never ending quest for whatever in the comfort of your own home. For there is no greater mystery than why you can't stop eating junk food.
Capricorn: You either had your birthday just before, during or just after Christmas or it's perfectly placed during lockdown. Your year will continue going just as well ;) !
03 Photography Event
10 Party #2 - tbd
24 Online Pub Lecture #2
Coming Up: February
by Pierina Fiestas
These holidays have been probably the weirdest for lots of us, you’ve spent Christmas and New Year’s Eve whether with your family or friends in person or through Zoom, sadly for some of us, alone. But there is something we can count on during these times: Alcohol! Perhaps, you haven’t seen your dearest friend alcohol in a time and therefore ended up overdoing it a little :( We got you! Here we bring you some hangover cures for those mornings we’ve been missing.
After a night of drinks, DON’T SKIP BREAKFAST!! — but also choose wisely what you will eat. Some very recommended options are eggs, oatmeal and fruits to gain those nutrients you lose. The objective here is to recover your body after all the work it took detoxing.
STOCK UP IN VITAMINS! — Level up your vitamin intake by drinking some orange juice and if you can, and I can recommend it from personal experience, alternate between drinking water and OJ to receive both the benefits of hydration and vitamin C!!
Or electrolytes? Another good option are those good old energy drinks you used to have after your P.E. class even though you were not a high-performance athlete, we’ve all been there :)
TIME TO CLEANSE — Now it’s time to use that green tea you were stocking up for your detox to lose weight that you could not keep up with… am I exposing myself? Anyways, the antioxidants will be your best friend against nausea towards recovery.
And please, don’t ever, EVER, believe those telling you that the best hangover remedy is drinking even more alcohol the day after, or, weirdly, the hair of the dog; just don’t.
The UvA is looking for talent with a passion for (creating) media to support an exciting new initiative in the University Quarter: BuzzHouse, a place where students, faculty, alumni and media professionals and companies meet for collaborative projects, to hang out and geek out around all things media.
BuzzHouse focuses on developing vibrant hot spots for new media coalitions in and around our faculty and campus. They want to create spaces where students can be part of ambitious research initiatives and are also inspired and enabled to create media.
Sounds interesting? Read more about this vacancy and the application process here! Deadline is January 15.
A few weeks ago the committee pictures were presented on Off-Screen's social media. Check out the end results of our Corona-proof pictures on Facebook and Instagram.
Newsletter design by Pierina Fiestas and Nadia Heemskerk