The Pepperbox

The Student News Site of Arcata High School

The Pepperbox

The Pepperbox

Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony Vasek November 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu Yamashita November 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

Red flag (Taylor’s Version)

“I’m tired of people pretending that ‘eat the rich’ doesn’t apply to these millionaire musicians we stan,”
Nola Bachemin
Aliviana Bacca-Lastra pointing at a photo of Jake Gyllenhaal.

Taylor Swift is arguably the most popular pop artist this year with over 100 million listeners monthly on Spotify. Praised for her charity and progressive outlook, I ask, how good is she really?

Taylor ditches the old school tour bus and uses her private jet for all her touring needs, consisting of over 200 flights a year (166 during the “Eras Tour”). This makes her carbon footprint outstandingly large at 8,293 metric tons (18,282,935 pounds) of carbon from her jet alone since January according to marketing and analytics agency Yard, which made a list of the top ten celebrities with the most CO2 emissions. Swift was number one. That is 1,184 times more than the average person produces in an entire year. In response to this, her reps simply stated that her jet is borrowed on occasion, so she cannot be blamed.

Go-Green club’s Vice President Owen Peterson was interviewed and asked if he was aware of the impact on the environment Swift is having. “I am very aware. I have an interest in environmental activities, especially of those certain celebrities who people place on a pedestal that may or may not be deserved,” he said. “Celebrity culture is kind of stupid and dangerous in general,” Peterson said.

Many can agree with that statement, but there’s also backlash from fans about the subject.

“But she advocates for feminism and donates to multiple charities,” an anonymous Arcata High Taylor stan said. “She has uplifted so many people, me included.”

These topics are extremely important, especially as a woman in the music industry. But is that enough? Swift claimed that the big fuel companies should be accountable for their contribution to carbon emissions and climate change via BuzzFeed. Even her diehard fans can’t help but feel that this response lacked accountability and self-awareness, as Swift’s net worth is over 740 million dollars, making her part of the “big business” mentioned.

“She’s not just affecting us emotionally, or like saying something dumb online. She’s literally hurting us and every living thing physically by destroying the environment, by using her white, skinny, pretty privilege,” Senior and self-proclaimed hater Aliviana Bacca-Lastra said. “And I live by that.”

The climate crisis is a very serious issue that’s often ignored and dismissed. With environmental destruction only getting worse, it’s time to hold the right people accountable despite whatever good actions they may take in different social issues.

“Without a healthy earth, nothing else will matter,” science teacher Shannon Kresge said.

In regards to education about our environment, efforts have been put in place around Arcata High to recycle and compost by the Go-Green Club and other advisors. But is there enough education on a larger scale?

“We need more education to make a real impact,” Peterson said when asked about the subject of environmental education. “And I don’t see much of that online.”

Educating ourselves and advocating for environmental rights is the most important thing we can do as soon-to-be adults. The future of everyone will lie in our hands. Holding the right people accountable and recognizing bias and who statements come from is an essential tool in protecting our planet.

“I’m tired of people pretending that ‘eat the rich’ doesn’t apply to these millionaire musicians we stan,” Bacca-Lastra said. “Also, leave Jake Gyllenhall alone.”

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About the Contributor
Nola Bachemin, Photo Editor
Nola Bachemin, environmentally curious direct information fact-based reporter. Nonfiction reporter of all things Humboldt as it pertains to the world of high school and the younger generation. She’s no-nonsense addressing current issues and all things political and environmental. Nola loves to write and create art and has been creative throughout her school journey. She finds herself a senior with a lot of life experience including living on the East Coast and now the West Coast, discovering many places, and remaining curious and adventurous. The ocean never ceases to amaze her and as it remains one of our last frontiers, Nola would like to combine her love of words and discovery and express our awe, love, and devotion to our amazing coast. Phone number: (707)-616-5926
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