The Register Forum

Protests Must Continue: A Look at Hong Kong During a Pandemic

Alexander Deng, Opinion Editor

June 17, 2020

The dangers that an organized protest carries during this time are clear. Aside from the vast number of people in attendance, common activities at protests include chanting and yelling, or coughing and sneezing when in contact with pepper spray. All of these aspects threaten to spread COVID-19, which is why a ban on assembly, more so large gatherings, seems justifiable at first. However, current relations between China and Hong Kong paint a different picture. Under the guise of public health concern, the Chinese government has positioned itself to further erode Hong Kong’s democratic freedoms with frightening swiftness and conviction. Now, restrictions on gatherings that are intended to slow the spread of the coronavirus are weapons used to silence and downplay Hong Kong’s democracy movement. Actions such as the arrest of 15 prominent pro-democracy leaders on May 11th would have prompted massive protests, but with gatherings prohibited and organizers quickly detained, Hong Kong’s freedom movement has all but come to a halt. In the United States, recent nationwide demonstrations over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police Department show that protests occur when immediate justice is required in a system that hasn’t delivered. Both America’s racial justice movements and Hong Kong’s fall show why freedom of demonstration will not and must not stop during a pandemic. 

The Dangers of Social Media News: Why Fact-Checking Is Important

The Dangers of Social Media News: Why Fact-Checking Is Important

June 16, 2020

The word “news” has seemingly evolved over just the short span of our lifetime. What was once the near-sole purview of institutions such as the New...

“ACAB” and the History of Policing in America

June 16, 2020

ACAB. This effectively polarizing statement meaning “all cops are bast*rds,” or 1312, the alphabetical order of the acronym, originates from the 1970s....

The Cons of Cancel Culture in Quarantine

The Cons of Cancel Culture in Quarantine

June 16, 2020

Once upon a time, people would cancel things: their Netflix subscription, a doctor’s appointment, plans on a Tuesday. However, as the world modernized, ...

The Register Forum Stands with Black Lives Matter

The Register Forum Stands with Black Lives Matter

June 16, 2020

George Floyd. A father, a community member, a black man, a human being, was brutally suffocated to death by the very people meant to save lives. As caught ...

White Woman Calls the Police on Black Man in Central Park

White Woman Calls the Police on Black Man in Central Park

June 16, 2020

First came the video of Ahmaud Arbery, a 25-year-old black man, murdered by a white police officer. After that, there was the video of another black man,...

The Separation of Streaming Services Leads to Quality Over Quantity

The Separation of Streaming Services Leads to Quality Over Quantity

June 16, 2020

It wasn’t until just the other night that I realized how monolithic streaming has become in all facets of entertainment. As I sat in my chair reflecting on the long gone days of movie theaters, I had the urge to watch the first movie that caught my eye. Starting with Netflix, I spent a good ten minutes scrolling through their selection of films, half of which were cheap ‘originals’, the other half seemingly picked from the Walmart bargain bin. Moving onto Hulu, renowned for their market cornering of great TV,  just not for movies, I was unsurprisingly disappointed with their selection in much the same way. Finally, after scouring the new face in town; HBO Max, I resigned to another evening of watching two guys building pools in the ground. There’s two possible conclusions to be drawn from this daily ritual: that I might be the pickiest customer on these sites, or that despite the numerous services and their individual libraries of content, their business is in quantity over quality, and harbor the bare minimum of tried and tested classics for the purpose of drawing in subscriptions. Seeing as I can be entertained by a pair of mute men with spades beating up the ground, I believe in the latter.

How TikTok is Ruining the Music Industry

How TikTok is Ruining the Music Industry

June 16, 2020

A couple days ago, I sat outside my house while shuffling through songs in the Spotify playlists I had made and felt generally uninspired by them. Realizing that most of my current music bored me, I decided to play the Today’s Top Hits playlist, featuring America’s newest and most popular songs. As I continued listening, however, I had a horrifying realization that I recognized every single song, but not for a good reason. All of the tunes that I listened to had been played repeatedly on the popular social media platform TikTok. Many of the songs are catchy, and it is obvious that numerous people listen to them on a regular basis. However, the fact that I had heard almost every song so many times ruined them for me. Gone are the days when I could listen to Myron by Lil Uzi Vert without picturing a TikTok “influencer” thrusting their hips towards my screen in a vulgar manner. Gone are the days when I could hear a perfectly good song by The Weeknd without visualizing another amateur indie-coming-of-age-I’m-not-like-other-kids movie. TikTok’s ability to make a song viral overnight has overrun the music industry and significantly detracted from its integrity. Some might argue that if a song is popular on TikTok in the first place, it must be widely recognized. Although this is true in some cases, the vast majority of songs found on TikTok start out relatively unknown.

The South Leads the Push to Reopen the Economy

Azusa Lippit, Around School Editor

May 30, 2020

On April 24th, 2020, after five weeks of statewide lockdown, tattoo parlors, nail salons, and other select businesses in Georgia were permitted to reopen by Governor Brian Kemp (R). Governor Bill Lee (R) of Tennessee allowed restaurants to open at 50% capacity on April 27th, and retailers to open on the 29th. Certain beaches in Florida were opened as early as May 17th by Governor Ron DeSantis (R). DeSantis has boasted low numbers of infection comparative to the state’s overall population, a convenient statistic after an utter lack of adequate testing, on which it would be irrational to base further decisions. Reopening a state without a clear procedure for testing and contact tracing is irresponsible, and could easily lead to many worse repercussions than the current decline of the economy. Health officials are under extreme pressure even in states where the economy has come to a complete halt, and restarting commerce would only add to that pressure. Additionally, one state must go through careful conference with its surrounding states before making any decisions- without the prohibition of domestic travel in the United States, even partially opening one state would endanger those at its borders. Furthermore, opening counties in shifts or with a small number of businesses at a time is difficult to enforce; the more people who feel the need to reopen their stores and services, the more customers will be leaving their houses, allowing for the spread of the virus. 

How Massachusetts Can Reopen

Eliza Sutton, Contributing Writer

May 30, 2020

COVID-19, discovered in the winter of 2019 in Wuhan, China, has been noticeably upsetting the normalcy of people’s everyday lives since the beginning of 2020, when it emerged as a viral health problem. Five months later and the virus has spread to all corners of the globe, bringing mass disruption with it.  In Massachusetts, “normal” life essentially ended the week of March 8th. Just two days later, on March 10th, Governor Baker declared Massachusetts to be in a state of emergency. On Friday of that week, March 13th, Cambridge Public schools announced closure, and now all Massachusetts schools are closed for the remainder of the school year. Beginning on March 24th, all non-essential businesses have also been required to close. The official reopening date for these businesses is May 18th, but given how many times this date has already been pushed back, it’s probable that these closures will extend further. As a further precaution, as of May 6th, the entirety of Massachusetts has been mandated to wear facemasks in any public location indefinitely.

Editor-in-Chief Introduces New Motto, Bids Farewell to Register Forum

Editor-in-Chief Introduces New Motto, Bids Farewell to Register Forum

May 28, 2020

After four years of late nights writing articles, taking part in boisterous and inspiring NewsStorms, and getting to know a group of amazingly talented p...

No, Trump is not to Blame for the Effects of the Pandemic on America

No, Trump is not to Blame for the Effects of the Pandemic on America

May 28, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on American society. At the time of writing this article, nearly 90,000 US citizens have died from the virus and over a million have been infected. The United States has found itself unprepared for this pandemic, and our lackluster response has been clearly illustrated in the nation’s shortage of masks, drugs, and ventilators. Many people are understandably angry that the US did not take more effective steps to curtail the impacts of this pandemic, and most of the blame was put on President Trump. Despite this anger, and even despite some critical and continued missteps in his response, Trump has acted reasonably overall. The true culprit in this scenario is not an uninformed and error-prone president, but a woeful lack of preparation at the national level that stems back decades.[pullquote speaker="" photo="" align="left" background="off" border="none" shadow="off"]The true culprit in this scenario is not an uninformed and error-prone president, but a woeful lack of preparation at the national level that stems back decades.[/pullquote] Even though Trump isn’t to blame for putting the US in the situation it is in now, it is clear that his actions in office have undermined the effectiveness of our response to the virus. First, Trump's initial effort to downplay the virulence of the coronavirus, perhaps to assuage public fears and maintain forward momentum in the stock market, was dangerous and made people less afraid than perhaps they should have been about the threat of the coronavirus. Additionally, Trump seems compelled to comment about medical issues far beyond his field of expertise—such as the benefit of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 and his suggestion that disinfections could be used as a medicine—undermine Trump’s position of authority.

The Student Newspaper of Cambridge Rindge and Latin
Opinion