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The violence we see in entertainment is desensitizing us to real violence

(10/21/15 1:20pm)

I wrote last week that I don’t think anything will stop the growing desensitization of violence in America. Like a drug, we keep having to up the dosage, up the intensity, in order to have any sort of reaction to what we consume in film and gaming culture. However, while I gave this ultimatum, there is, in my opinion, one potential scenario that would change this damaging progression. What if violence were an everyday aspect of our lives?

Religion is nonsense

(10/18/15 3:28pm)

“Nine million children die every year before the age of five,” says American author, neuroscientist and philosopher, Sam Harris. Most of which are caused by conditions that could easily be “prevented or treated with access to simple, affordable interventions,” according to the World Health Organization. This is a toll that any empathetic and compassionate human being would be saddened to hear of, yet to those who believe in the word of God, it is something we must simply accept as “His will.” As someone who considers himself to be a generally decent human being, I look at this number and feel disgusted by the thought that a supposedly all-loving God would allow this many people to suffer and die so young. It seems to me, then, that even the most basic of human morality is superior to that of religion.

Bernie Sanders won the first Democratic debate and it's because of his sincerity

(10/14/15 3:05pm)

Bernie Sanders took the victory in Tuesday night’s Democratic debate. The moment he walked out, the whole crowd roared and cheered and whistled for the independent Senator from Vermont. Although it could be said that he was preaching to the choir, considering the makeup of the audience, I think this excitement says something about his campaign—people are ready to start over, politically. The mainstream population is done with politicians with crocodile smiles, false promises and B.S. kowtowing to big money.

America's obsession with violence is an unstoppable trend

(10/14/15 3:03pm)

When it comes to violence in entertainment, American culture is lost in the depths of a rapid downward spiral. This is most notable in film and video-game culture. Their content has graphics, which—to their artistic credit—are becoming more realistic with the advancement of technology. However, it is this very realism that creates the shift between depictions of violence in the past and those of the present. As they become more “well done” and “epic” they are attracting more popular attention and are thus more ordinary than ever before.

Learn to be yourself, without outside influences

(10/14/15 3:00pm)

One of the most challenging parts of coming to college is finding friends. As a transfer student and commuter, it was challenging for me to find my place here at first. I was trapped in the same routine of not really talking to anyone in class and going straight home afterwards, all while feeling deprived of the fun that the college experience was supposed to be about. I couldn’t help but think things would never change.

Is defunding Planned Parenthood really pro-life?

(10/11/15 4:35pm)

There is a desire across the nation, by people who do not use its services, to defund Planned Parenthood. While some states are slowly pulling funding from the organization, there has been rise in the Senate and House of Representatives in Washington, DC to decrease all federal funding of the organization. The reasons why Republicans want it to be shut down is solely due to the abortion services the organization provides and absolutely nothing else. Their stance seems to be that, because they are “pro-life,” they cannot support an organization that provides women with abortions they may very much need.

Young women should get the HPV vaccine

(10/11/15 4:35pm)

HPV can be harmless in many instances, but in some women who contract it, it can develop into cervical cancer. And while only women can develop cervical cancer as a result of HPV, males can develop it and pass it on to their sexual partners and, since the disease takes years to develop and cause any problems, they might not even know that they have it. Because of this, women should get the HPV vaccine.

Lessons learned in kindergarten still apply in college

(10/07/15 3:16pm)

I think EMU orientation should include mandatory review of the basic lessons or life rules we all learned in kindergarten (if we attended kindergarten in this country). Since there are plenty of international students that did not live here when they were five years old and, since some of us haven’t been in kindergarten in more years than we care to count, review of these rules should be mandatory for all students (especially commuter students) upon entry to EMU. That will ensure everyone knows the behavior expected of them (even in the parking lots).

LGBTQ normalizing might cause a brutal backlash

(10/07/15 3:13pm)

Last week I was among many other people who saw the viral video of a trans teen’s mom giving her her first prescription of hormone therapy. The mother does not explicitly say in the video what she has given her daughter after asking, “Do you know what it is?” as the girl reads the box she pulls out of a black bag. But the first site I saw the video shared by on social media, Hello Giggles, staff writer Natalie Southwick said that, “Erica Maison filmed a short video of her surprising her transgender daughter Corey with her first dose of hormone therapy… 14-year-old Corey had been waiting for more than two years to start hormone therapy.” Stories like this and the emotional videos tied with them warm many of our hearts—especially those of us who live in more progressive areas, like Ann Arbor. Unfortunately, this kind of parental acceptance is not the norm and I believe, in some cases, many LGBTQ+ minors will receive backlash from society’s move towards equality.

We must demand action on gun violence

(10/04/15 4:42pm)

294. That’s the number of mass shootings, or “incidents where four or more people are killed or injured by gunfire,” that have happened this year, according to Christopher Ingraham of The Washington Post. 294 mass shootings, out of 274 days, as of October 1. When the number of shootings exceeds the number of days that have past, it is absolutely clear that there is a problem—not just with gun regulations and safety, but with the society that induces and perpetuates such violence through its lack of reasearch and education on the topic.

We need to pay more attention to our resources

(10/04/15 4:41pm)

If the entire world lived like the citizens of the United States of America, it would require nearly five earths, as cited by Patrick James of Co.EXIST. Despite this staggering number, we are trying to aid others in moving up to our style of life. Development projects span across Northern Africa, giving the false promise that they can one day live lives like Americans if we can fix the underdevelopment caused by old European customs like the slave trade, as pointed to and addressed in more detail by Walter Rodney in “How Europe Underdeveloped Africa.”

Is a college degree really worth it?

(10/04/15 4:35am)

The Huffington Post’s Lucy Sherriff comments on the fact that Ernst & Young, an international professional services firm headquartered in London, U.K., will no longer be using a college degree as a criteria for its positions. With Ernst & Young being the fifth largest recruit of graduates in the U.K. their action bring up the question of whether or not a college degree is worth it—I believe it is not.

Lady Gaga's new music video brings awareness to sexual violence

(09/30/15 2:01pm)

It was only a day or two after Lady Gaga’s music video, “Til It Happens To You,” came out that my roommate pulled me over to her side of our couch to watch it with her. My first reaction was about as positive as one could be—in regards to raising awareness about sexual violence. Gaga’s delivery of the lyrics gave the whole message a resounding effect and though the images themselves were graphic, they depicted real-life environments where attempted and completed rapes occur.

Is Bernie Sanders really such a long shot?

(09/30/15 4:25am)

I have admitted before that I don’t know much about politics. If I walked by a television that had a governor, senator or even our own president on the screen giving some sort of speech, I wouldn’t stop and listen to what they had to say. They are leaders that are concerned with issues that probably don’t affect me too much or people with money trying to appeal to those who have so much less. That has been my apathetic opinion for several years.

Why you should support local businesses

(09/30/15 4:20am)

The world today is vastly interconnected and the effects of globalization are seen virtually everywhere, but despite this, I am still a huge supporter of local businesses. Because of that support, many people ask me why I even bother. Why continue shopping local, when there are so many prevalent and big companies that I can find anywhere? I choose to support local businesses because I’m investing in my community. And when you invest in this way, it helps to build a strong and connected community.

Trivial disputes: How small issues are poisoning our politics and ruining our country and what we can do to stop it

(09/27/15 3:16pm)

More often than not, a candidate’s stances on trivial problems are what gets him elected president, because this country has a one-track mind. When it comes to thinking hard about the real underlying issues that we have, we turn the other cheek and continue bashing one another for our political affiliations. Instead of working for meaningful change, we simply bandage the wounds and hope for the best. We, as a nation, have to step up and shift course, because if we don’t, our democratic republic won’t last.