By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
Arizona governor Jan Brewer vetoed SB 1062, a bill commonly known as “that Arizona anti-gay bill,” last week against the desires of conservative Christian activists, her main supporters. The bill would have allowed businesses to deny services to the LGBT community based on religious beliefs.
Amid all the hype, have people bothered to look at the actual bill to see what makes it anti-gay? Compared to most legislation, which spends hundreds of pages explaining itself, SB 1062 was a whopping two pages with not one mention of the LGBT community. The bill uses the term “person,” defining it as “any individual, association, partnership, corporation, church, religious assembly or institution, estate, trust, foundation or other legal entity.”
Whether heterosexual or homosexual, black or white, Christian or atheist, the vague wording of this bill implies that anyone can be legally denied a service using the scapegoat of religious beliefs.
This also means the bill would’ve made it okay for conservative Christians, the main proponents of the bill, to discriminate against other Christians, i.e. Catholics against Protestants, Baptists against Latter Day Saints. This wasn’t the original goal of the bill, but it’s the kind of turmoil that could happen if it did.
Besides, religion should not be used as an excuse to discriminate. Religious texts, however they phrase it, emphasize tolerance and loving others. No matter what your beliefs are, in the end we are all human beings struggling and striving for the same basic goals, and as human beings we know some things — no matter our skin color, sexuality, or beliefs — are fundamentally wrong.
They say history repeats itself. Looking back, Americans used religion to support slavery and segregation. As a nation we grew out of that, and maybe we can grow out of this too. Religion is supposed to not only be a belief base, but a source to teach moralistic values, so why should such a thing be used to back such an ugly entity that is discrimination?
One of the founding ideals that America and democracy are built upon is the freedom to worship. But this freedom works both ways, and worship shouldn’t infringe upon the rights and freedoms of others. One of the most beautiful parts of this nation is the ability to think and do what you want; but there is a limit to this. You can do what you want, until it negatively affects others. The proponents of SB 1062 did not take careful enough consideration of their prose and their intentions, which led to the demise of this discriminatory bill.
By Shivani Patel, Staff Writer
Accomplished actor Alec Baldwin, 55, addresses his decision to keep out of the public eye and the reasons behind it in an essay published by Vulture last week.
The Long Island actor has starred in many productions on film, television and Broadway. He is most famous for his role as Jack Donaghy on “30 Rock”, which ended with its seventh season in Jan. 2013
His unfortunate run-ins with paparazzi, however have also garnered more attention than his television role, particularly when he’s dropped gay slurs. His most recent use incident, which occurred in Nov. 2013, put him in hot water with prominent members of the LGBT community such as Anderson Cooper and Andrew Sullivan.
In his essay, Baldwin acknowledges these events as misconstrued by the media. In fact, he goes on to mention that he contacted different LGBT organizations and talked with them in order to gain a better perspective about the plight that those who fall under LGBT often face. He goes on to lament about the state of public life, in which there is no privacy due to the ease of snapping pictures on smart phones and the fast paced social media world.
Of course, it all comes back to the slur that set off all his recent hardships. That slur lost him his show on MSNBC as well as respect and credibility among various established personalities.
I think being a celebrity of Baldwin’s status in this day and age is a sacrifice. At the expense of privacy and personal space, you achieve fame and glory. While it may not be fair by any means, it is the choice Baldwin made a long time ago.
Society’s appetite for outrageous and controversial stories is at an all time high. People like Alec Baldwin give audiences around the country opportunities to observe and judge him, almost like a zoo animal, often without realizing one key fact: celebrities are humans too.
As shameful as Baldwin’s comments were, it does bring to light the fact that these slurs are accepted by some places. As someone who currently lives in a city full of college students, I’ve heard equally as hurtful – if not worse – comments from students to their friends in passing. While Baldwin is much older, and therefore perceived as wiser, in the heat of the moment anything can slip out.
At least Baldwin had the courage to address his critics and put out his thoughts and feelings. While these thoughts may have burned bridges and incited negativity, he created a way to address the dialogue that’s been leveled against him.
And let’s not forget that he did end the essay with a concession: “And, admittedly, this is how I feel in February of 2014.”
Rather than charging Baldwin with a list of grievances he has committed, perhaps we as a society should take a closer examination at what we find acceptable in public. If anything, Baldwin’s blunders serve as a reminder to the rest of us that there is still a ways to go in fully accepting the LGBT community, and that we are all accountable for the actions we take and the words we say.
By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
Disney’s Magic Kingdom, the most expensive Disney theme park, raised their one-day ticket prices up to $99 — a $4 increase — on February 23. Prices for Epcot, Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios also increased by $4, now $94 for a day of entertainment.
With such a price hike coupled with the economic instability many people have been facing, one of America’s favorite vacation destinations seems to be in a precarious position.
However, according to the Walt Disney Company’s reported earnings, there was a 9 percent increase in revenue in the last quarter of 2013 compared to the equivalent in 2012. Every year Disney raises ticket prices, and every year revenue continues to increase. It’s basic business: as long as people are willing to pay, Disney will continue to increase its prices.
So what makes this specific vacation destination so special, enough to spend absurd amounts of money on, especially for young children? Is it even worth the time and money?
The myriad of families that make the annual trek to Disney can agree that the trip isn’t about how much money it costs, or even if their three-year-old will remember anything; it is about being able to enjoy the present moment as a fun bonding experience. For most, Disney is the classic American family vacation.
While this “carpe diem” attitude can be admirable, there are other factors to consider when it comes down to the choice of to Disney or not.
Of course the most obvious consideration is money. Even though Disney does offer multi-day passes that decrease the cost of daily visits, factor in costs like food and a place to stay, and the bill treacherously adds up.
Also, as much as the whole enjoy-the-moment argument is an idealization, when it comes down to the economic reality I would want to remember what I did. So when considering taking little kids to Disney on a regular basis, it may not be the most fiscally-responsible idea. Besides, the more rarely the opportunity presents itself, the more special it is when it happens.
Another consideration is that there is a whole world to explore, much of it family-friendly without being a Disney park. By making a trip to Disney a routine vacation, it deprives children of being exposed to all the other possible vacations available, ranging from camping to road trips to exploring attractions in an unfamiliar city.
Growing up I never got to go to Disney regularly (or even at all), and I remember sulking about it every time a classmate came back with a tan and tales of rides and hugging a life-sized Mickey Mouse. But looking back I am glad that I had other opportunities to go to so many other places for vacations, and eventually when I did get to go to Disney, I was old enough to really enjoy it, and that made the trip that much more exciting.
By Negin Taleb, Video Staff
Music Enthusiast? Battle of the Bands could be your calling.
BU Central welcomed eight bands to play original music and compete for a $500 prize. If you’ve been at BU for a few years now, you may recognize some of these names:
Honey Bee Dance Language, Houseguests, The Orphic Blues, Caleb and the Carlton St. Blues Band, Paul Cappola, Palm Springs Life, Snarknado, and Titans of Industry were all on the set list. Ring any bells?
Among these bands, a few really stuck out to me. Not only does Honey Bee Dance Language have an epic name, they also have an instrument you don’t see very often with younger bands: the cello. I have been to my fair share of concerts, and no instrument has been quite so pleasing to hear live. Though there were two singers, three guitarists and a drummer playing along, nothing could overpower the heavenly chords of the cello.
What else does a band need, besides an awesome cello, to really make its mark on someone? Some would say impeccable style, flawless riffs and killer vocals. While those are important, there’s one thing that makes it all come together: passion.
The lead singer and guitarist in Houseguests represented exactly that. During my interview with the talented musician, Noah Yastrow, he was eager to talk about his band as much as he could. His passion and commitment to his band triggered some anticipation in me for his set. Once Houseguests played their set I knew it was worth it to hear what their band had to play.
While watching their set, I couldn’t help but wonder what bands Houseguests is most influenced by, and when I asked Yastrow about it afterwards, his vague answer fit really well.
“I don’t really know,” Yastrow said. “We sound like everything. Nothing and everything.”
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
The ideals and values of traditional marriage are being destroyed and redefined all around America today. And honestly, it’s about time.
On Thursday, Carina Kolodny of the Huffington Post published a piece speaking out against traditional marriages. In it, Kolodny expresses her support of creating more equality between men and women in traditional marriages for issues like career advancement and child care.
With an increasing number of states supporting gay marriage, it’s hard for Americans to avoid talking about how traditional gender roles no longer apply to 21st century marriages.
According to the United States Department of Labor, women make up 47 percent of the total U.S. labor force. This means that fewer women are staying home, and more women are helping to bring home paychecks.
This will affect how traditional marriage couples will handle child care, and whether kids will even be a part of the picture. These questions will have to be answered because marriage equality is no longer a thing of the past. It’s here and we must be prepared for change.
Same-sex couples will be making choices such as which parent stays home with the kids, who will be working more hours at the office, and what last name their future child will take on.
These couples will not be making their decisions based on gender, tradition, or stereotypes. This is something that traditional married couples should take into account. They shouldn’t let stereotypes and tradition control the choices being made in their marriage, rather they should do what is right for them.
We tend to value tradition in an age where equality needs to be more prevalent for men, women, same-sex couples, and Americans everywhere.
Same-sex marriages are changing the face of traditional marriages and I, for one, support it.
By Kyra Louie, Staff Writer
A 13-year-old Girl Scout from San Francisco thought outside the proverbial box of cookies and sold over 117 boxes of cookies in two hours last monday. Her genius plan?
Set up in front of a marijuana dispensary.
That is probably the cleverest thing I’ve heard in the past month. It’s pure genius. The Girl Scouts of Northern California must have gotten a pretty penny from those 117 boxes.
Danielle Lei’s mother, who helped execute this plan, said that told the Los Angeles Times that she doesn’t condone consuming marijuana,and had to sensitively explain their setup outside of the dispensary to her daughter. But the cannabis-inspired cookie consumption has stirred up many questions as to where it’s acceptable to sell Girl Scout cookies. Can they be sold on any public property, including adult-oriented establishments, like liquor stores? Or should they only be allowed to sell in front of family-friendly businesses?
Colorado, another state with legalized marijuana, has taken this act of wit and turned it into a lesson. In fact, for years, their girls aren’t allowed to sell cookies outside any adult-oriented business.
Lei’s mother is right in letting her daughter sell in front of the dispensary. If I remember correctly, in each troop, the Girl Scout who sells the most boxes of cookies gets a prize, so why wouldn’t she put her daughter in the best position to do so? It was practical, and there were no laws or rules prohibiting it, so there is no problem with what she did.
In fact, I’m surprised no one jumped on this opportunity before. Sure, things like this might be strange, but in no way are they taboo.
Do you think that this is an acceptable place to sell Girl Scout cookies?
By Jacob Carter, Staff Writer
Google has recently released a list of etiquette tips in regards to their new device, Glass. Although the product is still in its infancy stages on the consumer market, the document comes in response to its public criticism as well as the numerous bans that have been imposed on it.
Among its many functions, the futuristic eye-wear allows the operator to engage in discrete, hands-free photography and video shooting. So it comes to little surprise that cinemas and strip clubs have gone on the defensive. Potential piracy and amateur pornography aside, though, most of the backlash against the device is focused on user-creepiness.
As far as I can tell, a Glass-wearer would look potentially insane to an outside observer. The awkward headgear looks like frame-less eyeglasses, and they are operated through voice command.
Now imagine you’re at a party. You’re having a great time hanging out with friends, and then you notice an apparent psychopath talking to himself in the corner. To add to your discomfort, you learn that he is also taking pictures of you without your knowledge.
Creepy right? Luckily Google’s list of do’s and don’ts is there to prevent you any further uneasiness.
The first thing for Glass-users (or as Google puts it, Glass explorers) to know is that other people can see them. As the organization notes, it is fine to use the device for short activities such as looking up information or taking photos, but don’t seize the opportunity to complete a long-winded endeavor like reading Tolstoy’s “War and Peace.” This will only result in others perceiving you to be staring off into space for hours on end.
And, if a user does decide to take photos at a party, it would be polite for him or her to ask for each person’s permission beforehand. It’s important to remember that voyeurism is still an act that is frowned upon in our society.
Google is not attempting to embody an authoritarian presence by releasing this list. They want their explorers to examine the world around them and take part in an interactive experience. They just want them to do so within reason.
As the organization so perfectly expressed: “enjoy Glass, just don’t be a ‘Glasshole’.”
By Ann Singer, Staff Writer
Remember the days when patience was a virtue, or at least we were told so? Patience, as in having to wait two years for the last Harry Potter book? As tormenting as the wait is, it is one of the most gratifying feelings when the time finally comes to indulge yourself in that next book or show you’ve been waiting for.
But is patience soon to join the ranks of VHS tapes and fruit-shaped Trix as a thing of the past?
Today, with the emergence of outlets like Twitter, it is encouraged to immediately update and be updated of the world moment-by-moment. We are now a culture of immediacy.
This need for instant gratification has seeped into much of our lives, including entertainment. Television and books have always been a game of plot, cliffhanger, wait, then repeat and recycle.
With the inception of sites like Netflix, people can now immediately watch what they want, however much they want. Referred to as “binge watching,” it has now become common practice to post many episodes, even many seasons, all at once for the audience to enjoy in their own way.
According to a study done by Harris Interactive on behalf of Netflix last year, 61 percent of people take advantage of what’s provided and binge-watches regularly, while 73 percent actually like binge-watching.
Television used to be a form of distraction from everyday life, but now with the power lying in the viewers’ hands, audiences can now actively seek out whatever they are personally interested in.
Book publishers have recently taken a keen interest in this binge culture craze.
Famously starting with the “Fifty Shades of Grey” series, publishers are now releasing books within months, instead of years, of each other to keep audiences (and admittedly their wallets) happy. For series’ like “The Hunger Games” and “Divergent” even the one year wait has raised complaints. Even though books like the “Harry Potter” series proved successful because of the build-up, the trend now seems to be impatient people wanting to read a whole series all at once, therefore the industry is accommodating.
Don’t get me wrong, my inner kid loves getting everything I want all at once, but my other half likes to point out that having options doesn’t mean life is any more balanced in terms of work and play — I still fail to get things done when there’s a great show or book waiting. Self-control is a challenge, and if anything, the opportunity to binge has only made things worse, distracting from responsibilities.
Maybe I’m an old soul, maybe I don’t have a soul at all, but I like that there is time, that there is a wait. Even though the anticipation may drive me crazy, the fact that there is a wait means there is something to look forward to, and that whatever magically intriguing entity I’m wrapped up in at that moment doesn’t end quite yet.
By Robin Ngai, Staff Writer
Since “The Lego Movie” came out two weeks ago, my Facebook news-feed has been filled with statuses raving about it, my friends have been raving about it, and even Rotten Tomatoes has been raving about it (the movie has a 96% rating, beating The Dark Knight!)
My point is everyone is raving about it, except me. No, I haven’t seen it yet and I’m not here to claim that it’s a horrible film. And I’ve heard nothing but praise. But I’m just a bit skeptical as to how brilliant this children’s movie could be (and whether it’s worth the $12 movie ticket).
My childhood was never centered on these tiny plastic blocks (“books or bust” was my parents’ motto) so it’s hard for me want to shell out some time to watch this movie. I’ve seen the trailer in theaters and wasn’t blown away by the cheesy jokes or story line.
It seems that animated movies are the thing of the moment. Last year we had “Monsters University,” “The Croods,” and “Despicable Me 2,” among others. The past few months we had “Frozen” melting hearts all around the world. And now, “The Lego Movie” has stepped up and taken its place.
Despite my skepticism, it’s been rated as a film that should be watched by all ages. Adults love it, children love it and my roommate who hasn’t even seen it yet, also loves it. She’s been trying to convince me to watch it for weeks.
I give it credit for being well animated and for taking the nation by storm. Maybe one day I’ll watch “The Lego Movie,” but I don’t think it’ll be any time soon.
By Katrina Uy, Staff Writer
Spring semester is going by in the blink of an eye (how are we halfway through February already?) and BU is racking up the events for senior semester, like a trip to Foxwoods Resort Casino this past weekend, and an upcoming on-campus Matt and Kim concert, as well as parties counting down to graduation.
It’s all fun and games until someone asks the dreaded question feared most by seniors: “So, do you have any plans for after graduation?”
This week The New York Times tackled the issue of how, in a suffering economy where jobs are few and far between, many recent college graduates are feeling trapped in an endless cycle of internships that neither pay nor lead to permanent jobs.
For college students, landing an internship is a great way to boost your resume and learn valuable skills outside of the classroom. But many graduates, especially those aspiring to break into the fashion, film, or magazine industries, are finding themselves at a point where it is becoming increasingly difficult to break free from the cycle of unpaid work.
According to The Times article, post-graduate internship opportunities are far more abundant than job openings these days, making them easy bait for those fresh out of college. But some question whether it’s worth taking the time to work as interns, thereby delaying real employment, and if there’s even a light at the end of the tunnel.
The overall job economy is a major part of the reasons why most companies cannot afford to hire their interns. The overall unemployment rate was 7.4% in 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor statistics, though it has decreased to 6.6% as of Jan. 2014.
And of course, the unemployment rates vary depending on what your major is. Those studying in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) are probably better off than those studying liberal arts. A 2013 study conducted by Georgetown University shows that there have been lower unemployment rates for recent graduates in education (5%), engineering (7%) and the health sciences (4.8%), all areas that are “tied to stable or growing industry sectors and occupations.”
The future seems bleak for students. While it never hurts to build your resume and gain experience and add to a growing network, for some there may come a time when you’ll have to settle for an office job outside your desired field.
Party hard while you still can, seniors. But don’t let your last hurrah distract you from the “real world” you’ll be entering in a few months.