Category Archives: Issue 64.7

What we’re listening to

 

Editor’s edition

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Girl Talk, All DayZack Penzien, 23, Marysville
Artist: Girl Talk
Album: All Day
Songs: Oh No, Triple Double
Genre: Mash up/Hip-Hop
“The best way to describe Girl Talk is that it’s like the hazy memory of the best party you have ever been to.”

 

Need to BreatheGreg Garofalo, 18, Lexington
Artist: NEEDTOBREATHE
Album: Rivers in the Wasteland
Songs: Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now, Difference Maker, Where the Money Is
Genre: Alternative rock
“A talented group of fun inspirational folk and rock artists. Rivers in the Wasteland stands superior to their other works. Their talent and range not just pours, but bleeds out of every song.”

Red Hot Chile Peppers, Stadium ArcadiumBrendan Buffa, 19, St. Clair
Artist: Red Hot Chili Peppers
Album: Stadium Arcadium
Songs: Turn It Again, Slow Cheetah, Wet Sand
Genre: Punk/ Psychedelic rock
“RHCP has become a staple in my music library, as well as saved my life with their careless, funky attitudes and jam band ballads that could last on repeat for days.”

 

Phoenix, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix

Erick Fredendall, 22, Port Huron
Artist: Phoenix
Album: Wolfgang Amadeus
Songs: Litzomania, Everything is Everything
Genre: Indie rock
“Phoenix is probably the most upbeat music I listen to. Their music bears semblance to good scotch: makes you feels classy, has a smooth finish, and carries enough of a bite to transcend the typical “pop rock” genre.”

O. D.‘s Rant

Hoop and Racism

Donald Lierman
Staff Writer

Reality bites. The truth is hard to take. Yet we must admit that racism will probably be with humans until we can turn off the DNA strand that governs flight or fight which in either case generates fear. Fear leads to judgment; judgment easily can descend to bigotry.
Yeah. Yeah. What does this have to do with the Sacramento owner, his mistress, and his own rant?
Donald Sterling lives in a different world than most of us. He does not have to fear being out on the street or even hunger. What do the ultra rich fear most? It appears loss of power or image or what they already possess. His alleged girlfriend, V. Stiviano, released tapes that shocked many in the country.
Why? The mega rich are a class apart. They want. They get. They get what they want the way they want it or they cry, cry, baby, as Janis Joplin used to sing. It appears Ms. Stiviano cannot by controlled like Sterling’s other yes folks.
The result? Another story for the nightly news. Like most scandals, this one will be forgotten in six or seven months. However, the response of the world is still justified.
SC4 Athletic Director and Men’s Basketball Coach Dale Vos finds Sterling’s comments point to a reality that delves much deeper into the national psyche.
“The comments made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling were not about sports,” said Vos. “They are about how human beings treat other human beings. I don’t believe it makes any difference that he owns an NBA team where a high percentage of the players are African American.
“This is a societal issue not a sports issue. I am always shocked to find out people with these feelings and beliefs still exist in America. The civil war was 150 years ago and the major civil rights movement was about 50 years ago.
“I guess it just shows that humans are human and therefore flawed. I was glad that the NBA commissioner took swift action, but I also think Torii Hunter had it right when he said ‘I will not forget this, but I will forgive him’,” Vos said.
O.D. remembers an old pop song that asks, “why can’t we be friends?” Of course, O.D. also remembers the JFK, MLK, and RFK assassinations and the reactions against change that span the history of our great nation.
Maybe we have such turmoil because we are bucking the odds of the human nature. Democracies and republics are not static but dynamic. This causes friction and friction will always breed a negative response from those who feel they have something to lose.
That resulting current of reaction gets passed down through generations. Whether it’s Ukraine or the Middle East, ignorance and greed always drag mankind down.
What does this have to do with sports? Everything. The playing fields of competitive gusto breed a unity and a team esprit which can be translated into actions off the field where we realize we are all in it together.
Perhaps we don’t need compulsory military service but compulsory sports participation, by which I mean learning to work together as a team.
Or maybe we should just remind ourselves each day what the Big Guy said all those years ago: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” And all things shall follow from this.
Go Skips!

Taco Bell’s “breakfast”

Student newspaper sacrifices digestive security to understand “why?”

Bowel-shaking earthquakes of doubt and remorse

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

Several staff members sacrificed their Tuesday morning, and mustered up the bravery to try the “illustrious” Taco Bell breakfast, which has set social networking sites abuzz in the past weeks.
Taco Bell has released a profound misunderstanding of what America calls “breakfast,” containing a mind-numbing amount of carbohydrates and calories that amount to a massive food-induced sleep, as well as a bad case of the rumbly-in-the-tumbly’s.
Basically a laxative made of syrup, tortillas, and ‘eggs’ (I think), Taco Bell has come far from hitting the mark as their ability to make a satisfying morning munch is disappointing to say the least.
For the sake of journalism, the staff tried one of every item, regretting each bite as they dove into creations such as the clotted ‘egg’ burrito and the chewy waffle taco.

Crunch Wrap and Sausage Burrito

Emily Mainguy
Assistant Production Editor

Breakfast is a hard meal to screw up, but Taco Bell seemed to manage.

Sausage burrito. Photo credit: Liz Whittemore
Sausage burrito. Photo credit: Liz Whittemore

The sausage burrito is very disappointing.
This breakfast burrito is made with sausage, eggs, and cheese wrapped up in a tortilla shell.
When taking a bite out of this burrito, I noticed that it had a very small amount of sausage and a lot of egg and cheese. It was very bland and somehow the entire burrito (shell, egg, and all) tasted like sausage.
I do not recommend this to even the most avid sausage fan.
On the other hand, Taco Bell knocked it out of the park with their A.M. Crunchwrap.
Taco Bell’s A.M. Crunchwrap is stuffed with hash browns, eggs, cheese, sausage, and jalapeno sauce in a tortilla shell.
When biting into the wrap, you get a crunch from the hash browns and the grilled tortilla shell. It has just enough spice to wake you up in the morning and is well balanced enough for an okay breakfast option.
This is exactly what I expected Taco Bell to create for breakfast. It has everything you want in the morning, eggs, protein and spice. Its taste fits in with the regular Taco Bell menu.
I strongly recommend that if you dare to try Taco Bell in the morning, the A.M. Crunchwrap is the best choice.

The Cinnabon Delights

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

IMG_7205
Cinnabon Delights. Photo credit: Liz Whittemore

The regret-filled breakfast does not completely miss the representation of edible food, as the Cinnabon Delights are as satisfying as rolling cream cheese in sugar, and then going Paula Deen on them puppies and deep frying the hell out of them.
Coming in at 310 calories and 18 grams of total fat per 4-pack, the Cinnabon Delights are a dream for any anarchist looking to eat desert at 7 a.m.
The 12-piece that was ordered for the staff was the first thing to go into our gullets, as a unanimous decision came about, and the Cinnabon Delights won the crown of ‘best breakfast item’ on the Taco Bell menu.
The balls of dough covered in sugar, secreting a sweet cream cheese, won the hearts of the staff in a whirlwind of applause, and a hasty rush to the restroom.

Waffle Tacos and coffee

Erick Fredendall
Editor-in-Chief

Waffle Taco. Photo credit: Liz Whittemore
Waffle Taco. Photo credit: Liz Whittemore

I love waffles. I love eggs. Naturally, as soon as I heard our selection for the Taco Bell included a Waffle Taco, I staked claim on the review.
Let’s begin at the ingredients: waffle, egg, and either cheese, sausage, or bacon as additional options. Light syrup is included. From the list, the Waffle Taco sounds like a breakfast cocktail consisting of the typical morning fare.
Unfortunately, the sanctity of the breakfast fare was blemished by being from… well, Taco Bell. The eggs themselves were fairly unremarkable and bland clumps of protein. Word of warning with the waffle- eat it as soon as possible. The texture of a lukewarm waffle taco is akin to munching on wet cardboard.
My major beef was the cheese, a seemingly innocuous part of the mix that left a lingering taste in your mouth and negated from the waffle vibes I was hoping to draw out from the meal.
I don’t have very much to say about the coffee other than it’s about what you can expect from a fast food restaurant. Seattle’s Best strikes again. But if you’re not picky about your morning brew, you could do worse than Taco Bell coffee. It’s cheap and full of caffeine.
All I ask is that the reader keeps in mind that we live in Port Huron, a city boasting a downtown with three local cafes within two blocks of each other.

Is religion becoming obsolete?

The evolution of morals in modern society

Erick Fredendall
Editor-in-Chief

You don’t have to be religious to see the signs: association with religious institutions is declining at a rapid rate in the United States. Religiously unaffiliated Americans are on a huge rise, surging from 8 percent in 2003 to over 19.8 percent based on a Pew poll from Oct., 2012.
According to a study done by the Public Religion Research Institute in Feb. 2014, nearly one third of this attrition can be attributed to the Millennials disconnecting with church teachings over perceived discrimination towards the LBGT community.
The statistic sends a profound message and raises an important question: Is our culture slowly graduating from moral absolutism?
Moral absolutism is a belief that certain actions are right and wrong, regardless of circumstance. Oftentimes this is associated with religion, wherein a deity imposes an unchanging system of morality, e.g., the Ten Commandments.
This disconnect over discrimination within the faith raises a question: is it moral to condemn or believe innocent people are sinners, not for actually committing a socially foul act, (such as murder, rape, theft, or adultery), but for being sexually predisposed to another gender?
If it is not moral to accuse those people of sin, which most non-theists agree that it is not, then Biblical view accepted by the vast majority of Judeo-Christian religions is now aligned against a new perception of morality, one that does not discriminate against sexual, social, or racial groups.
An example of this moral rift: a recent study conducted by William D’Antonio at the Catholic University of America concluded a whopping 86 percent of 1,442 Catholic survey respondents could disagree with the Church’s stance on homosexuality and still remain loyal to the faith.
The majority of Christian religions, including the Roman Catholic Church, believe the Bible is the authoritative, inerrant word of God; scripture was written by divine inspiration and contains absolutely no flaws.
If that is the accepted dogma of the faith, why is this 86 percent of surveyed respondents saying that it’s fine to disagree with the Church’s stance on homosexuality? Did God have a temporary lapse of judgment when writing Leviticus (81:22, 20:13), Romans (1:18-32), 1 Corithians (6:9-11), and Timothy (1:8-10)?
This example alludes to people’s sense of morality transcending their God’s divine moral commands. I hypothesize that this conclusion is one of the prominent reasons why the younger generation is so detached from faith: morality is evolving to include those who used to be discriminated against, and due to constraints against changing their dogma, religions cannot change with it.
What choices do religious moralists have if they disagree with their religion’s message? Either throw in the spiritual towel, concede with the standing belief and follow the current model, adopt allegorical translation of Scripture over belief in an inerrant, perfect text (isolating them from most contemporary faiths), or try “not thinking about it.”
I am very excited to see how the new culture of “Nones,” those who are unaffiliated with religion, choose to respond to these moral choices. I believe this advent of dissociated thinkers is moral evolution, wherein mankind realizes morality is much more than a directive imposed by a supernatural being, but a natural sequence of how we live and thrive together as a species, promoting cooperation and peace.

Yelling about comics: Atomic Robo

Atomic Robo and other strangeness. volume four
Atomic Robo and other strangeness. volume four

Zack Penzien
Production Editor

 

Not all comic books are based around super-powered white dudes in capes and tights. While that is a larger piece of the pie chart than it should be, it’s not the only slice.
“Atomic Robo” is a comic that embraces the fun and pulpy side of comics that it seems the superhero comics are just remembering its ok to have.
The basics of the story are that Nikola Tesla invented an artificially intelligent robot to fight Nazis in World War 2. The comic chronicles his adventures throughout his life protecting the world from mechs, mutants, and giant ants with the help of his action scientists.
“Atomic Robo” has embraced and took up the mantle of the pulp sci-fi adventure and it is incredible. The pages of “Atomic Robo” are filled with jetpacks, dinosaurs with machine guns, robots, and Steven Hawking being a dick.
Every 5 issue arch is pretty self-contained and you don’t need a whole lot of knowledge from the last story to find out what’s going on. Robo shows up at a place or is called to it, has an adventure, punches a giant monster or robot, then science happens, and were out. It’s a great and versatile formula and it’s just the best.
But what makes this comic different from the main stream stuff is what the creators call “The Promise.” What the promise means is no angst, no cheese cake (sexy for the sake of sexy), no reboots, and no filler. Even the best Marvel and DC offerings are guilty of at least one of those sins.
The book is creator owned, so the same writer and artists who created Robo have been working on the title since its inception. So the quality of the comic has been pretty solid throughout the run.
If you are interested in a sample of what “Atomic Robo” has to offer, they have every free comic book day sample issue at www.Atomic-robo.com/free-comics.

Listen bud, this movie’s got radioactive blood

Amazing Spider-Man 2 swings into theaters

Gregory Garofalo
Managing Editor

Amazing Spiderman 2 poster
Amazing Spiderman 2 poster

Peter Parker’s life is as crazy as ever, and in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Parker faces off three villains while trying to manage his personal life.
Spider-Man 2 swung into theaters May 2, with a great cast, breath taking CGI and a $92M opening weekend box office.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was a sensational opener to summer block buster, and here’s why.
According to MSNentertainment.com Amazing Spider-Man 2 had a 92M box office opening weekend
Those who had any doubts about Andrew Garfield in the last ASM need to fear no longer, this time around ol’ web seems to be taken straight out of his wise-cracking-jokester self. The screenwriters, the director, and Andrew Garfield have done their homework in order to bring audiences the Spider-Man we all know and love.
Of Course Emma Stone is just as brilliant as the last time around, her chemistry with Garfield is something that can’t be beat. She never gives Peter the “you choose Spider-Man, or me,” ultimatum. Instead she insists on being the Bonnie to his Clyde in a way that is believable and adorable at the same time.
Harry Osborn, on the other hand… unfortunately there isn’t a lot to differentiate James Dehan’s portrayal from James Franco other than the fact that the spoiled rich kid angle is highlighted. The motive for his Spider-Man obsession is changed, but it’s still there. However it’s excusable because Harry’s Spidey obsession is a core tenant in his character arch.
Sony is taking mainstream Marvel head on, competing with The Avengers by introducing a larger world. How this spider-verse differs from the mainstream Marvel Universe as Spidey doesn’t have a plethora of heroes that Sony draws from, but rather a plethora of villains.
The wall crawler faces not one, not two, but three villains in this new chapter in Peter’s life: Electro, The Rhino, and an old favorite, The Green Goblin.
Learning from past mistakes (cough, cough, Spider-Man 3) Sony uses Paul Giomatti’s Rhino and The Goblin, whose identity shall remain a secret, in the movie to establish a larger world, however, the characters are strong enough on their own to influence his world in drastic ways.
The narrative becomes a little cluttered at times because it draws from three different stories almost:

1) Peter’s relationship with Gwen and the ghosts of his past
2) Spider-Man protecting the city and balancing peter’s life
3) Peter’s friendship with Harry Osborn

This many plotlines does force the film to stray away from a strict linear format, while this may come to a distaste to some people as it takes away from Jamie Foxx’s Electro a bit, it is done in a skilled manner which doesn’t take away from the larger story.
It is a refresher to see a film that isn’t afraid to take a risk with its narrative.
The movie is a great installment to this new spider-man franchise that is filled with moments that will have you biting your nails and running for the tissue box.

Death has a Sequel

Dark Souls 2 is only out to kill you

Jenelle Kalaf
Staff Writer

Dark Souls 2
Dark Souls 2

Have you ever woken up and thought, “I want to die as many times as possible in a video game and still somehow love it?”
No one else did either, but that didn’t stop From Software, the creators of “Demon Souls” and “Dark Souls,” from supplying the world with another clean, beautiful and terrifyingly hard game for us to all enjoy.
“Dark Souls 2” starts off following cursed woman or man that is trying to find a cure, and that’s it. No help screens, no tutorials, no anything. Go, have fun, and good luck figuring out how to run or swing your sword before you find any enemies.
The main character develops as the game goes on, but only hints tell the story, and at that point, a hint box for the controls would be more helpful.
The game faces you off with enemies that have no “novice level,” just hard monsters that only get stronger. Save points are also impossible to find, no takie-backies.
The game itself is beautiful, though. Nothing breaks a heart more than seeing the most beautiful mountain, and then having a monster come by and commit murder.
The music only makes the death even more fitting with a fantastic soundtrack composed by Mikolai Stroinski, who worked on other projects such as HBO’s “In Treatment” and “Bez Tajemnic.”
The game is solid, fun and enjoyable if dying 30 times before you get past the first monster doesn’t make you too mad.

A young team misses the mark

Skippers slump into 11th place of MCCAA standings

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

11 out of 14 ain’t bad, right?

The SC4 Skippers fail to achieve a playoff berth, and obtain a less than pretty overall record. Photo credit: MCCAA
The SC4 Skippers fail to achieve a playoff berth, and obtain a less than pretty overall record. Photo credit: MCCAA

When talking baseball, hitting 3 out of 10 balls and batting .300 is Hall of Fame worthy, and throwing 11 strikes out of 14 pitches is god-like, but for the Skippers, 11 out of 14 isn’t so flattering.
Coach Scott Tesluck, coming to SC4 for his first full year as head coach, has a team that is ranked 11th out of the 14 MCCAA teams.
Naming the three teams that rank under the Skippers baseball team would be easier than naming the 10 semi-elite teams that are cruising past them in the rankings.
Ancilla, Lansing, and Henry Ford are all lacking in the standings, yet two of the three teams have a more appealing record compared to the Skippers.
Lansing is playing at an overall of .405 at 15-22 and Henry Ford is playing around a .382 at 13-21, yet the Skippers are moseying around .281 at 9-23.
Since April 10, the Skippers have won only 5 of their 20 matchups, coming out on top against Ancilla, Jackson, Henry Ford, and Glen Oaks.
Last year the Skippers ended the season at an overall .525 at 21-19, just missing the post-season under Tesluck’s interim supervision.
After the disappearance of Mike Greene, former coach of the Skippers, Tesluck took over the team and finished strongly in 2013, but the tables have turned in 2014.
One cannot jump the gun and blame Tesluck for all the woes of the team, but the Skippers haven’t won the eastern conference since 1981, and according to MCCAA.org, they haven’t won a championship since their self-proclaimed dynasty from 1974 to 1976.
Looking for a title of some sort, the Skippers are plagued not only by the inability to succeed in a demanding league, but by the inability to actually play in 2014.
The constant cancellations and postponements had the Skippers on the run and go, as new games were popping up every other day due to rescheduling.
Many causes of an unsuccessful season could be attributed to the Skipper slump, but the amateur and rookie coaching staff, as well as the players may be a prominent cause.
Assistant Jordan Rhody is in his second season with the team, and Larry Monsurak and Cam Ciaciuch are both in their first season with the organization.
With a young coaching staff, a young team, and young aspirations; the Skippers have plenty to work on in the offseason, as this year’s post-season seems like it will miss their grasps.

Season stopped cold

Michigan weather wreaks havoc on Skippers softball

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

The SC4 Skippers play hard in the 2014 Softball standings. Photo credit: MCCAA
The SC4 Skippers play hard in the 2014 Softball standings. Photo credit: MCCAA

When the 2014 seasonal schedule was released for Skippers softball, the team was granted a packed schedule full of MCCAA conference matchups. Little did the team know, the Michigan weather would play a bigger part in their season than they would.
The Skippers’ season was cut short by 14 cancellations, and 12 postponements due to weather, preventing the Skippers from finding time to complete a full season.
Snow still falling from the sky made an unplayable field commonplace in Skippers’ season.
MCCAA softball regulation states that a postponed game may not be played more than 10 days passed the originally scheduled game, and conference games take precedence over non-conference games.
This rule really made the Skippers’ season a difficult one to play, as games were being cancelled every other day so their conference games could be played.
“It totally killed us,” says pitcher, Katie Nietzke.
“We are rushing to get all of our games in and get our season done, and we are on the road a lot,” said Nietzke.
The Skippers have qualified for the NJCAA District H tournament, but needed to complete their inner-conference games before they could advance to the post season.
Paige Fillipowski, a first year outfielder, believes that the Michigan weather had a slight impact on their season.
“I think it had a little bit of an effect because of all the delays,” said Fillipowski, “we practiced when we could, but the field was always so bad…there’s only so much you can do.”
With a bumpy road to a now 8-19 record, the Skippers are trying to regroup after a busy end of the season, to be a refreshed team as they take on conference rival, Mott CC, on May 7th.
Playing Mott four times in the season, the Skippers have only won one game, being the most recent on May 1st, 6-3.
“We are going to go in there and give it our all,” said Fillipowski, “we can definitely beat Mott with the right mindset.”
The Skippers softball team has never won an MCCAA Championship, and the last time they won the eastern conference was in 2008 under head coach, Ron Matthews.

Bring on the talent

SC4 offering sports camps for young athletes

Brendan Buffa
Sports Editor

St. Clair County Community College is taking aim at the athletic development of young athletes around the area in their annual Skipper Summer Sports Camp.
Taking place this June and July, young athletes in grades 3 through 12 are welcome to register for camps ranging from softball, volleyball, baseball, and more.
All camps will be held at SC4’s Port Huron campus with the exception of baseball and softball, which will be held at local Port Huron fields.
The following are the camps offered by SC4 and the Athletic Department:

Girls’ Softball – Tuesday, June 24 to Thursday, June 26 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. Open to girls entering grades 4 to 12. (Located at Pine Grove Park)
Boys’ Baseball – Monday, July 21 to Thursday, July 24 from 9 a.m. to noon. Open to boys entering grades 3 to 12. (Located at Fort Gratiot Field on State Road)
Girls’ Volleyball (Beginner and Intermediate) – Monday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 9 from 9 to 11:30 a.m. Designed for girls ages 10 to 18, beginner to high school experience.
Girls’ Volleyball (Advanced) – Monday, July 7 to Wednesday, July 9 from 12:30 to 3 p.m. Designed for experienced players preparing for collegiate level.
Girls’ Volleyball Setter’s Clinic – Thursday, July 10 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to all ages and skill levels.
Girls’ Volleyball Hitter’s Clinic – Friday, July 11 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Open to all ages and skill levels.
Boys’ Basketball Camp – Monday, July 14 to Thursday, July 17. Grades 4 to 6 attend 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. and grades 7 to 12 attend 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Girls’ Basketball Camp – Monday, July 21 to Thursday, July 24. Grades 4 to 6 attend 9 to 11 a.m. and grades 7 to 12 attend noon to 2:30 p.m.

You can register for the camps at sc4.edu/sportscamps or call (810) 989-5670 for more information.