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I’m sure most people have had a friend or an acquaintance ask them what kind of music they like, only to turn around and tell them that the music they listen to is better.  It’s a phenomenon that I like to call “Musical Elitism,” and it fucking sucks.  Now, unfortunately, I have to come clean.  I’ve been guilty of doing this kind of thing myself.  When I was just entering high school, I remember asking a guy that I had known pretty well for a few years what kind of music he liked.  He told me that he liked rap and, being the obnoxious elitist that I was when I was 14 years old, I told him how much I hated it and how he was wrong for liking it.  Now, seven years later, I realize my mistake.  I’m still not the biggest rap fan in the world, but let’s…

Reading is still one of those rare activities that retains the power to keep a man in check with reality. I do not recall exactly when I started reading classics, but I do remember how reading the unabridged version of “Little Women” made me feel. It was a domino effect from then on. I would finish reading a 300-page novel within four days and then borrow another classic from the school library so I could read it over the weekend and start a new cycle Monday. Within a very short time, I had read almost all major 19th century literary works, from Daphne Du Maurier to renowned writers like Jane Austen and Charles Dickens– most of them British, with few of them male. Classics have always succeeded in making the average reader revisit a concept or a personality trait through the characters that they construct. Reading “Pride and Prejudice” when…

I love musicals. Some of my earliest memories include my mother tap-dancing around the kitchen singing songs to me from Bye Bye Birdie, Grease, or her own version of Singin’ in the Rain. My mom used to call me into the room anytime The Sound of Music  was playing on TV, because that musical was my favorite. As I got older and began to discover other musicals, I became lost in the amazing range of talent within musical theater. From Newsies, to Fun Home all the way to (of course) Hamilton, musicals have been a truly integral part of my life. So when I heard about the new musical movie, La La Land, I was more than excited to let another musical into my heart. I’m going to just come out and say it – I hated La La Land. With all of the hype building around this movie…

As the Oscars drew to a close on Sunday night, viewers witnessed something that has never occurred at an Academy Awards ceremony. When actor Warren Beatty and actress Faye Dunaway came on stage to announce the much-anticipated Academy Award for Best Picture, Beatty hesitated after looking inside the envelope. Thinking that he was joking, Dunaway announced that the winner was “La La Land” and the hugs and emotion began for the entire company of the film. However, in the midst of the producers’ speeches, Oscar crew members interrupted them to inform them that they did not, in fact, win Best Picture.“We lost, by the way,” said “La La Land” producer Fred Berger as the confusion grew within the crowd of actors and actresses. It was “Moonlight” that was supposed to win the battle for the gold. At first, the producers and director Barry Jenkins (“Moonlight”) did not believe them. That…

We’re reaching the point now in our current election season where everything is on the table. All the problems in the process itself are visible and tangible. This is the chance to fix our broken system, or there might not be another opportunity to fix it. It’s not doom and gloom, but a necessary observation understanding just how bad things have gotten. The same politicians who gerrymander their districts to make sure they remain in power for the next six years are in charge of determining whether or not they even pass a budget to keep the government running. Nobody likes our leaders anymore. Nobody trusts them, and frankly, nobody should. This current and previous congress has passed the least legislation of any other time period, according to the Pew Research Center. Gallup polls show them having a bare 14-percent approval rating in September. It was never really high. And…

Your eyes skim through the text as fast as humanly possible, and you are hoping the words on the page will make sense if you read them fast enough. You read it again, a little slower now because you lost the part where the daughter was actually a son and some creature in the woods drank a magical potion with a fairy and a floating donkey head. There’s someone named Puck in there somewhere (“great name for a cat,” your brain exclaims) and you’ve lost the page where the two lovers finally die, holding hands…? You wake up the next morning, drooling all over your copious notes and books and bolt through the door to class.  You bomb that test. Shakespeare is the stuff of nightmares to many a student the long dialogues stretching a page (or sometimes two) with characters who have way too large of an emotional range, large…

Throughout this past awards season, press and people alike have seen exceptional praise  given to two specific movies: Boyhood and Birdman. Both films have been recognized as the best movie of 2014 by multiple award shows. Boyhood earned the top prize at the Golden Globes, the BAFTAs and the AFI. Birdman earned Best Film praise from the Independent Spirit Awards, the Gotham Awards and the Screen Actors Guild. When it came to the Oscars, guesses were 50/50 between the two critical darlings as to who would take home the shiny golden man in what The Huffington Post called, “one of the haziest Best Picture races in recent memory.” On Feb. 22, the haze was cleared as Birdman took home the Best Picture trophy at the Oscars. While some might be ecstatic about that choice, others feel that it was the wrong move. Richard Brody of The New Yorker claimed that…

The entire video game industry still considers itself young. After more than 30 years the industry still has few concrete ideas of what is considered professional critique from the industry’s journalists. It should not be that hard for them. There are plenty of examples to draw from in other media. There is also the obvious, such as how they should refuse to accept anti-consumer policies. In any market, journalists are supposed to be there as a watchdog to say whether a product or a company is trying to screw the consumer over, yet if the media surrounding video games had been more apt to relate information to the consumer, we would not have had the botched release and embargo problems that we had with Assassin’s Creed Unity. Assassin’s Creed Unity, the latest in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, was released on November 11, 2014. As the game, hyped to oblivion with…

How could fake politics be more interesting than real politics? If you take away the stakes (your representation in Washington, chances that your votes and opinions might mean something, etc.) then all you have left in front of you is a couple of old guys babbling on and on and on about things that they might have very strong opinions on, but won’t or can’t do anything about. This fake debate staged by our local journalism department might have just been babbling old people, but I actually got into what those babbling folks were saying; I could get behind some of Dean Miller’s statements, while Jonathon Sanders made me double-take a few times even while arguing against something I think I stand pretty strongly for. But as entertaining as these two were, their words don’t have any impact regarding decision-making in our country. Maybe I just can’t get into the…