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Commentary: Jay-Z, Beyoncé travel into controversy, Margaret Thatcher dies

Courtesy of MCT

This is part of a weekly series called “Pop Opinions” where The Lantern offers its take on the week’s pop culture news.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé Travel to Cuba

Two weeks ago, hip-hop mogul Jay-Z and his wife Beyoncé celebrated their fifth anniversary by taking a trip to Havana. Although the trip was sanctioned by the United States Treasury Department, various public figures have come out and condemned the trip. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) called the trip “hypocritical” because Jay-Z and his wife did not visit Cuba to help troubled citizens. Jay-Z responded satirically with a song titled “Open Letter” in which he says, “Boy from the hood but got White House clearance,” referencing the trip. During a White House press conference, a reporter referenced these lyrics, asking White House Press Secretary Jay Carney about the approval. “I guess nothing rhymes with treasury,” Carney replied.

This really should be a non-issue, as many American celebrities have visited countries which the U.S. is not friendly with. Former Chicago Bull Dennis Rodman recently visited North Korea, while television host Anthony Bourdain traveled to Myanmar, a country with a recent history of human rights issues, to film an episode for his new TV show. 

Former British PM Dies

Former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher died last week at age 87. Thatcher was appointed prime minister in 1979 and became known as the “Iron Lady” for her strong-willed leadership and uncompromising stances on various political issues, both domestic and international.

Thatcher’s tenure as prime minister lasted 11 years, highlighted by her anti-Communist stance and close relationship with United States former President Ronald Reagan during the Cold War. Thatcher’s legacy within Great Britain remains mixed due to many of her domestic policies and her behavior toward the British soccer culture. As Great Britain’s most popular sport, many soccer fans detest Thatcher for her condescending attitude toward it, particularly her approach toward eradicating hooliganism and violence surrounding matches. 

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