Sunnier Side Of The Home Office – July 8, 2020

*|MC:SUBJECT|*
"Now it’s time. And we’re not going crazy, we’re going Yeezy, it’s a whole ‘notha level now."

- Kanye West on why he is running for president. 


*sigh*

Fortnite Hosts In-game Discussion on Systemic Racism
By: Sergio Saucedo

As of late, Fortnite has been opening up its gaming universe for more than just gaming. Fortnite’s Party Royale battle mode has featured a variety of events including concerts, co-viewing movie experience, and this past weekend they used their platform to host a  discussion about systematic racism. 

The event titled “We The People” brought together CNN political commentator Van Jones who held a series of conversations alongside former Teen Vogue editor-in-chief Elaine Welteroth and The Atlantic writer Jemele Hill, among others. Epic Games, which owns Fortnite stated that the conversations are intended to, “advance the dialogue around race in America with prominent BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Color) voices in business, sports, media, music, and entertainment.”

While Fortnite has not released the exact number of people who attended the event, with 350 million registered users, the potential reach of this 1-day event can be estimated well into the tens of millions. And also has the potential of helping to educate a younger generation (which makes up a large portion of Fortnite’s user base) on racism, in some cases for the first time. 

Read More: here

A Community Approach To Feeding Each Other
By: Brendan Robertson

Well before the pandemic, the issues of food waste and the amount of Americans that go hungry every day didn’t seem like they should coexist. They are 2 crises destined to solve each other. Due to shelter-in-place, mass layoffs, and a collective desire to support local communities, a novel solution has emerged. The introduction of community fridges.

As the name implies, community fridges are centrally located, public refrigerators that exist with the simple purpose for anyone to take or leave a meal. If you are feeding for family or yourself, what does it take to create a little extra? While free to use, the simple request is to stock the fridge if you have the means. As experienced by the public fridges reported on in Bedford-Stuyvesant Brooklyn and Harlem, the collective work of the community has been profound. Neighbors and complete strangers are coming together to feed each other in a moment of need. They are also creating a cultural fusion through the act of a shared meal. 

Community fridges are popping up across the country. Organizations like Communityfridge.org are making it easier for the public to locate fridges and coordinating menus and schedules to ensure they remain stocked with fresh meals. While community fridges won’t eliminate food waste and hunger entirely, it is a demonstration of what community is all about.  

“Hamilton”, Disney+, and the Very Fast Pivot
By: Emily Menken

On July 3rd, Disney+ debuted the most sought after Broadway ticket -- straight to television. Across the globe, movie theaters and concert venues have been closed since March. Broadway is not due to open until 2021. Viewers are eager for new, exciting content that is streamable from the couch.

It’s important to note Disney originally announced “Hamilton” would be released in theaters -- back in February 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Disney pivoted to speed up the edit and release the musical direct-to-streaming during a cultural moment that reflects the story’s narrative: Independence Day.

The combination of factors combined to form a perfectly-timed launch, leading to a 74% increase of Disney+ downloads (compared to June data). According to Variety, from Friday July 3 to Sunday July 5, the app “was downloaded 752,451 times globally, including 458,796 times in the U.S.”.

Per the Google Trends tool, Hamilton-related queries rose drastically, with questions like, “How long will Hamilton be on Disney+?” and “Did Hamilton have slaves?”. Also notable: Googles of specific historical figures or cast members, have increased. For example, Googles of Hercules Mulligan, a tailor spying on the British government, have gone up by a whopping +1250%. 

The musical’s debut continues to spark conversations around racism, which have been re-ignited during the Black Lives Matter resurgence. Critics have accused Lin Manuel Miranda of “whitewashing history”. Alexander Hamilton is depicted as a relatively moral, stand-up guy who is actively against slavery. Similarly, Washington is a much-admired “venerated Virginian veteran”. In reality, Hamilton married into a family that enslaved Africans, and although he supported the voluntary release by enslavers, he was not an abolitionist by any means. Meanwhile, Washington owned a plantation in Mount Vernon that was built off the backs of enslaved persons. Numerous publications have released round-ups of the accurate facts, like this New York Times article.

The World Health organization has a nice infographic on how to properly wear a cloth mask or you can follow New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's demonstration below.