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News Flashes 07.19.22: A Class on Harry Styles, The Chainsmokers in Space, and Rage Against the Machine Speaks Out

Today we talk about a new college course on Harry Styles, The Chainsmokers going to space, and Rage Against the Machine’s latest message on social injustices.

Harry Styles 101

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Who’s ready to go back to school? You might be more inclined to start studying if you go to Texas State University. Professor Louie Dean Valencia is introducing a new class titled “Harry Styles and the Cult of Celebrity: Identity, the Internet and European Pop Culture.” The course will follow Styles’ career and will study how he grew into the phenomenon he is now and how topics like gender, sexuality, race, and art are involved in his journey. The back to school shopping list will include One Direction albums, some of Harry’s favorite books, and pieces of art. Professor Valencia went to TikTok to explain, “[The class] is not about anything that is not publicly made about him. Really, the idea of the class is that we’re going to learn about the things he puts out there, and through that lens, learn about his music, his artistry and also hopefully a little bit about ourselves.” Anyway, it looks like we’ll be dusting off our backpacks and hitting the books!

The Chainsmokers are Going to Space

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Remember when The Chainsmokers released “#SELFIE”? Who would have thought they would be the same artists to perform in space. Drew Taggart and Alex Pall will be put into a pressurized capsule and sent about 20 miles above earth. They will be put on a flight via World View in 2024. This will be the space tourism company’s inaugural flight. The Chainsmokers released a statement saying, “We have always dreamed of going to space and are stoked to collaborate with World View to have this adventure and experience. We know the views of both Earth and space are going to be incredible and inspiring and we hope to leverage this flight for creativity on future projects.” We’re sure many more details are to come over the next couple of years. This is starting to feel more like the futuristic world Back to the Future told us we would live in. With that said, if you thought Coachella tickets were expensive, you might want to start saving for this show now.

Rage Against the Machine’s Bold Messages

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Rage Against the Machine continues to use their shows as a platform to bring awareness to social injustices. While performing in Ottawa, Canada the band spoke out against the country’s racism toward Indigenous people. Text on a screen behind them read, “An Indigenous person in Canada is over 10 times more likely to be shot and killed by a police officer than a white person is,” and, “In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 16 times more likely to be murdered or to disappear than white women are.” 

This comes after the band used the same method to speak out against the United States’ new abortion laws while in Wisconsin. In the past, artists have canceled shows in certain cities to boycott those states’ injustices. While that is admirable and a stance in its own, Rage Against the Machine is perhaps taking a more effective approach. Just because a state or country’s government creates a law or ignores a heavy problem, it doesn’t mean the people living there agree. In fact, they are often the ones hurting. They deserve a space to feel validated and heard. Music serves as an escape and an expression of what is happening in the world around us. We would love to see more artists speaking out this way in specific areas. Rage Against the Machine is clearly paying attention to the world around them and they are setting the bar high for all of us.

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