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Michael O'Neill

is a graduate of Murray State University and a Freelance Writer residing in Chicago. He is a lover of politics and history, hater of radio and misspelled words. He dreams of living in a cabin and writing famous novels. Cliché much?

North Korea forcing men to wear the exact same haircut as Kim Jong-un

All male students forced into mimicking North Korean dictator

In a true display of absurdity, North Korea’s dictator Kim Jong-un has mandated that all men wear the same hairstyle as the leader himself. The rest of the world collectively responds with “What?”

Kim Jong-un’s hairstyle, a styled mop on the top with skin on the sides, is hardly the height of fashion. Some in North Korea are speaking out against the decision.

North Korea is now requiring all university students to cut their hair in the same style as Kim Jong-un, while the government pushes a campaign to force all men of all ages to do the same. The new campaign is politicized as a national movement to “trim our hair in accordance with the Socialist lifestyle.”

Radio Free Asia has reported on the story with sources remarking, “Our leader’s haircut is very particular, if you will.” The source goes on to say “It doesn’t always go with everyone since everyone has different face and head shapes.”

In the past, the North Korean government has mandated similar requirements for men and women alike. There are only 18 hairstyles that women can choose from; only 10 for men. Everyone must cut their hair in one of these pre-chosen fashions. The Korea Times states that Kim Jong-un’s haircut is colloquially called the “Chinese smuggler’s cut.”

Due to the extreme secrecy of North Korean citizens, it isn’t apparent what the consequences are for not abiding by the new mandate.

What if you’re already bald?

What a world we live in. 

Nick Cannon in whiteface, racist or not?

Is wearing whiteface the same as blackface?

Nick Cannon has broken the internet by posting a photo of himself in whiteface to support his new album. The album is titled “White People Party Music” and is due out April 1.

The photo was posted on Nick Cannon’s Instagram account and immediately caused quite the uproar. Cannon appears with white makeup, blond hair and goes by the name Connor Smallnut.

Portrayals in blackface are usually met with harsh criticism, as are white actors portraying Native Americans. Is Nick Cannon’s whiteface picture the same thing? Some seem to think so.

The internet has surged with comments on the insensitivity and un-funniness of Cannon’s whiteface. Nick Cannon defended himself on Twitter by saying, “It’s funny how people take themselves so seriously. People love drama! We feed off of it. Just relax and have fun!!”

Some critics have called Cannon’s move as “racist”, “ignorant” and “hypocritical.” Cannon might not be helping his case by naming his album “White People Party Music” and by hashtagging his photo with clichés of white culture including; #goodcredit #dogkissing #beerpong #farmersmarket #creamcheeseeating and #racialdraft.

What’s your opinion? Racist or just for laughs?

Lollapalooza sells out in minutes, official lineup coming tomorrow

Eminem? Skrillex? Kings of Leon?

For those festival-loving, super fans looking to score three-day passes for Lollapalooza 2014, you’re time has already passed. Three-day Early Bird and General Admission tickets sold out completely in less than an hour.

The Lollapalooza website crashed for a few minutes as millions of fans swamped the servers. Fans were forced to wait on a standby page in order to get tickets; tickets that never came for some. Three-day passes were sold for $225 and $250.

The good news is that $100 single day passes will go on sale tomorrow at 10am CT. The official Lollapalooza lineup will be released tomorrow as well.

There are millions of rumors circulating as to who might be headlining the Grant Park, Chicago festival. Here are a few bands that are likely to perform according to Rolling Stone:

Eminem

Skrillex

Kings of Leon

Arctic Monkeys

 

And other likely possibilities:

 

Justin Timberlake

Outkast

Kanye West

Alabama Shakes

Childish Gambino

Modest Mouse

Avett Brothers

 

Lollapalooza will be held August 1-3 in Chicago.

Tyler Glenn, frontman of Neon Trees, comes out as gay

“I’ve always felt like an open book, and yet obviously I haven’t been completely”

Tyler Glenn of the pop group Neon Trees publicly came out as gay during an interview with Rolling Stone.

Glenn is the energetic lead singer of one of pop’s best current rock bands. Neon Trees hails from Utah, and have released two albums to date, “Habits”, and “Picture Show.” The band’s upcoming album “Pop Psychology” is scheduled for release next month.

Glenn revealed that he has known he was gay since he was a young boy, admitting he had crushes on male friends and classmates while growing up. He always kept his sexuality a secret largely because of his Mormon faith.

According to Tyler Glenn, the new album will touch on some of the emotions surrounding his coming out. Glenn told some of his close friends and family late last year while he was writing songs for the new record.

Glenn admits that his conservative background was large factor in his timing, stating that his opinion of the Mormon church began changing around 2008 regarding its stance on gay marriage in California.

Tyler Glenn revealed in his interview with Rolling Stone “I’ve always felt like an open book, and yet obviously I haven’t been completely.” 

Star Wars VII to start filming this May

Release date set for December 2015

Star Wars fans everywhere rejoiced today with the news that the Star Wars franchise is on track for its seventh installment. Star Wars VII will start filming this May in London.

Under the direction of JJ Abrams, Star Wars VII will be quite the leap for the Star Wars faithful as new details of the movie emerge weekly. The cast of the movie is yet to be finalized, yet that doesn’t stop the rumor mill from producing some pretty big names.

It is still uncertain what angle the movie will take or who the lead character will be, but John Boyega from “Attack the Block”, Jesse Plemons from “Breaking Bad”, and Ed Speleers from “Downton Abbey” have all been mentioned.

Also, in a move sure to please viewers everywhere, Star Wars VII is likely to contain former stars from the previous Star Wars movies. Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill have all been rumored to appear in the sequel as Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker.

The new film will be set 30 years in the future after Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi. This would give the Ford, Fisher and Hamill the perfect opportunity to reprise their roles and still fit within the Star Wars timeline and not feel forced into something that isn’t believable.

The rights to the Star Wars franchise were bought by Disney, which has previously announced the possibility of making three more Star Wars movies. The release date of Star Wars VII is set for late 2015, but will likely be pushed back to 2016. 

Review: 311 come back strong with “Stereolithic”

311 crafts an excellent album of rock-rap fusion

Nebraska band 311 has been making music for over 25 years, mixing a blend of rock, rap and reggae. 311 broke into the mainstream in the mid 1990’s with their own innovative combination of metal guitars, vocal harmonies and funky rapping. The band is back with their 11th studio release “Stereolithic,” due out on (you guessed it) 3/11.

College News has been given inside access to preview “Stereolithic” before its full release in the next coming weeks. The new album will be well received by fans old and new alike. The band sticks to their predominantly rock sound but also ventures into newer territory with songs like “Tranquility” and “Friday Afternoon.” These tracks show the band’s more laid back, mellow side.

First time listeners will immediately notice the mix of many different musical influences and styles. Each song changes pace and rhythm, sometimes mid-song. Fans will immediately take to songs like “Sand Dollars”, “Make it Rough”, and “First Dimension.” Relying mostly on thrash guitar riffs and a combo of singing and rapping, these songs stand out amongst others.

Lead singer and guitarist Nick Hexum states “I don’t think we really have anything to prove. We had the experience in the 90’s of making our own musical revolution, combining rock, rap, and reggae and kind of starting a whole genre of music. Being such an underground phenomenon, there was so much excitement at our early shows, that eventually it came a time that people were vibrating when we came on stage.”

The band relies on s simple method of working together from scratch, even bringing back their old producer, Scotch Ralston. The band started with just demos and ideas from each member, slowly bringing together a number of songs that sounded like an album. Asked how his band has stayed together for so long and made such consistently good music, Hexum contends, “You have to be ready not to get your way, and you have to listen and be flexible. That’s one good thing about having an odd number of band members: At the very worst it’s going to come down to a 3-to-2 vote, where two people will just have to suck it up and accept it.”

The band experiments with new recording techniques, sampling and overdubbing. This really makes the songs jump off of the album. The guitars are tighter, the vocals are cleaner and the tracks flow together, even in their uniqueness. Hard rock fans will be pleased with the innovative guitar harmonies, while reggae fans will enjoy the delivery and content of the lyrics. Overall, the sound on ‘Stereolithic” is bombastic enough for radio and arenas, while still remaining chill and tasteful enough for casual listeners.

Be on the lookout for 311’s new 15-song release and its upcoming concert tour.

Batman prequel “Gotham” adds Jada Pinkett Smith to cast

“Gotham” set to premiere this fall on Fox

The Batman franchise keeps expanding with the addition of a prequel that will focus on the city of crime before Bruce Wayne became Batman himself. The new show will be entitled “Gotham.”

The show is expected to air this fall on Fox with a cast of well known actors including Jada Pinkett Smith and Ben McKenzie.

Smith is best known for her work in the “Matrix” and will portray Fish Mooney in the upcoming “Gotham” premiere. Fish Mooney is a nightclub owner/villain in the city of Gotham.

McKenzie will play Detective James Gordon, who was portrayed by Gary Oldman in the Dark Knight series. McKenzie will play a younger version of the police chief. He is best known for his work in “OC” and “Southland.”

The new prequel will shine a light on many of the backstories of famous villains in the city. Hardcore fans might be let down because their favorite masked crusader doesn’t appear in the series at all. However, Oswald Cobblepot, also known as the Penguin, is already scheduled to appear. The Penguin will be played by Robin Lord Taylor.

“Gotham” will be a one hour drama during primetime hours, which may seem strange to many. Fans used to movie trilogies and film adaptations will be in for a surprise as “Gotham” focuses much more on the reality of the city, not the superhero aspect.

The cast isn’t very strong either, relying on McKenzie to carry the majority of the show.

More characters will be revealed over the coming months regarding the premiere.

Facebook to allow new gender options including bi, trans and 54 others

“For the few it does impact, it means the world.”

Facebook has announced that it will now allow users to identify their gender as something other than male or female. In fact, the new Facebook will allow you to choose from 56 different options.

The change has been widely praised by millions in the LGBT community. The new move will make Facebook even more diverse than it already is. This announcement comes on the heels of Mark Zuckerberg’s decision to allow users to register on Facebook anonymously, or under fake names.

Some of the new available gender presets are bi, trans, androgynous, intersex and more. The new system is essentially personalized to each and every specific person. The change will be available to Facebook’s more than 150 million users.

Facebook released a statement, saying, “When you come to connect to Facebook we want you to feel comfortable being your true, authentic self.” Users will also be able to choose their own pronoun, instead of simply him, her or they.

Facebook engineer Brielle Harrison stated, “There’s going to be a lot of people for whom this is going to mean nothing, but for the few it does impact, it means the world.” Harrison, herself, identifies as a trans.

She went on to say, “All too often transgender people like myself and other gender nonconforming people are given this binary option, do you want to be male or female? What is your gender? And it’s kind of disheartening because none of those let us tell others who we really are. This really changes that, and for the first time I get to go to the site and specify to all the people I know what my gender is.”

Ellen Page comes out as gay on Valentine’s Day

“I’m here today because I am gay.”

Ellen Page, the 26-year-old actress, revealed she was gay at an LGBT conference on Friday. Page stated, “I’m here today because I am gay.”

The actress spoke at Time to Thrive, an LGBT conference for teens. She went on to say that she spoke at the conference because “maybe I can make a difference. To help others have an easier and more hopeful time. Regardless, for me, I feel a personal obligation and social responsibility.”

The crowd gave Ellen Page a standing ovation after her announcement. The Human Rights Campaign acknowledged her “brave decision to live open and authentically.” The “Juno” star stated that she was “tired of hiding. Tired of lying by omission.”

Page revealed that Laverne Cox from “Orange is the New Black” and University of Missouri defensive end Michael Sam were two inspirations that helped her come to her decision to announce on Friday, both of whom recently came out as gay as well.

Ellen Page revealed that society’s standards have definitely affected her. Being in the public eye didn’t help either. Page said, “It’s weird because here I am, an actress, representing – at least in some sense – an industry that places crushing standards on all of us. Not just young people, but everyone. Standards of beauty. Of a good life. Of success. Standards that, I hate to admit, have affected me.”

Page’s decision to come out will hopefully serve as an inspiration to other gay teens. 

New video of Justin Bieber in jail

Bieber gets frisked by police following arrest

Justin Bieber cannot stay out of the spotlight as of late, and not in a good way. The prince of pop has been apprehended by police on multiple occasions the past month on charges ranging from resisting arrest, vandalism, drag racing and driving under the influence of drugs.

Public backlash has been especially vicious for the Canadian native as official petitions to deport Bieber have made it all the way to the White House.

In a new video released following Bieber’s arrest for drag racing, the singer is seen bent over and being searched by guards before his admittance into a Florida jail. Beiber doesn’t put up a fight at all, which is contrary to reports of his actions at the scenes of his many crimes.

Justin Bieber was reported as saying, “What the f*** did I do?” and other slanders at police while he was high on marijuana and prescription pills. He was also said to be showing erratic behavior on an airplane following the Super Bowl. Patrons on the plane said he appeared to be on drugs, again.

The Biebs appears to be coming apart at the seams. Who knows how long he can keep up the reckless streak before serious jail time happens.

But in any case, if you don’t believe that a multi-millionaire pop singer has to go to jail like the rest of us, well here’s footage on YouTube