Why MKTO was hard to watch live

By Chris Krauss

@Reigningpandas

MKTO performed at Gullfest, kicking off the event as the show-runner and they were absolutely amazing. Everything from their kick-ass vocals and stunning stage presence made the concert an incredibly fun and breathtaking event. Malcolm Kelley and Tony Oller, the two main vocalists for MKTO rapped and sang their way into a wave of fans’ hearts who previously thought the band was only a “Classic” one hit wonder, all while building anticipation for the other two (technically three) artists to come.

However, there was something eerily off about the show’s event. It wasn’t the oddly perfect synchronicity that the two vocalists shared as they beat the drums together. It wasn’t the weird fact the band was on stage announcing they were coming out with new songs two years after everyone thought they had disappeared. It wasn’t even the fact that the two core members had met on the set of the Nickelodeon TV show “Gigantic.” What really threw the show off was something much deeper than that and had an email not gone out to the student body about the subject the previous day, it would have gone completely unnoticed: the identity of Malcolm Kelley, or known to the fans of “Lost” simply as Walt.

Going into the show it was difficult to imagine how a character from arguably one of television’s best series went on to rap in a pop band. What’s even harder to imagine is how he went from being, again arguably, one of the most annoying characters on the show to being the sensation he is today. Walt was the only child on the island in the show and was notoriously known for getting in the way or causing trouble. Also, he lost his dog, Vincent, a lot and two seasons later you think he would have learned how to use a leash better.

Watching this misfit turned rapper was hard, simply because I couldn’t see him as a rapper, only a kid dancing on stage, wondering where all this entertainment was on the island. Did he not develop his rapping skills until he (spoiler alert) got off the island, or was it always there and just not seen while the cameras were looking? Also, when did he go from looking like a toothpick to looking like a buff toothpick? Were the dance moves something that came with the trade? Everyone of these questions raced through my head as Walt rapped his way through a verse, leaving me wondering more about his back story than anything they could possibly sing.

Overheard: If money weren’t an issue, what would you do for spring break? What are you actually doing?

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Review: The Album About Nothing

Wale’s album tops Kendrick’s, thanks to Jerry Seinfeld

MITCHELL NORTHAM
Sports Editor
@primetimeMitch

The buzz around the hip-hop world in the past few weeks or so has been what’s up with Kendrick Lamar’s new album.

Is it good? Is it bad? Is it better than his last album? Is it better than J. Cole’s newest project, 2014 Forest Hills Drive?

Kendrick’s new album – To Pimp A Butterfly – has drawn much acclaim, criticism and comparison. But it’s overshadowed one of the best works of hip-hop and artistry this year. Once again, a work of D.C. rapper Wale has flown under the radar.

Wale’s newest album is ironically titled The Album About Nothing. It’s ironic because the album is about many things and is far from being simply about nothing. He covers so many topics, ideas and art on this album that it makes the title misleading. Which is fine, but just know that the listener is certainly getting into more than just something when they hit play on The Album About Nothing.

The album kicks off with Wale and Jerry Seinfeld having a conversation on the first track. Yup – Jerry Seinfeld. What other hip-hop artist is going out on that limb to plug in skits from a 90’s sitcom star on their album in 2015?

And the rapper from D.C. does this throughout the entire album, and it’s especially awesome during a pair of tracks pegged back to back early on in The Helium Balloon and White Shoes.

On The Helium Balloon, Wale addresses his battles with fans. Some love him, some hate him, some troll him and some say he sold out – but ultimately, they need him. While Wale raps “Some love to see you blow, they don’t want see you pop,” Seinfeld chimes in with a witty metaphor. Wale is the balloon, his fans are the little boy holding the string – letting it go, only to try and catch it.

“So you’re the balloon, you’ve got that helium, and we travel with you through the string. So we’re going up there with you even though we’re on the ground. We can’t fly, I can’t sing, I can’t make music, but I can get a– I can buy it. So I can get a balloon. I can’t fly, but I can get a helium balloon,” Seinfeld says in the intro.

He continues between Wale verses: “Now when a kid gets a helium balloon, he’s holding that string and he’s keeping this balloon from going anywhere. But he also wants to let it go.

“So he wants to let it go and he wants to catch it. Eventually he loses it – he doesn’t want to lose it.”

Next up on White Shoes, Seinfeld sets a scene talking about a woman seeing his white shoes, citing her saying that she likes them because they make her feel good. Wale dives into the verses, rapping about how white shoes can make a poor black kid feel good too, but he complicates the scene that Seinfeld sets by illustrating a criticism of poor people making rich decisions. But the song has an overall feel over positivity aside from the criticism. The hook from Wale goes, “Take this good advice, if they’re gonna judge you for life, ay we can’t always be fly, but we gon’ be good long as them sneakers white.”

After addressing consumer culture and kids getting held up and shot for Jordans, Wale then wraps the song up saying, “No matter how good or lavish us (expletives) got it, we just a bunch of ravenous addicts living for fancy haberdashery.”

Feel free to Google a few of those words in spare time.

The biggest takeaway from this album is that Wale wasn’t overshadowed in any way on any song or on any verse – not even by Seinfeld. Cole, Usher, SZA and Jerimih are featured, but not for verses – those are all Wale. None of his MMG label dudes even made it on this album and really the only shout out or mention they got was on a track titled The Middle Finger in which the rapper gives a big F-U to anyone who opposes or doubts him. So there’s that.

The tracks with Jerimih and Usher give a nice R&B ending to this album and slow it down so Wale can address the females that have been in and out of his life throughout the years, and the future ladies to come his way.

Seinfeld helps with the ladies and sex-game rapping on the track The Need To Know. The skit during the intro and between the verses of this song is actually from a Seinfeld episode in which Jerry and Elaine try to establish a “friends with benefits” deal – alluding to the theme of the song which Wale raps and SZA sings out.

While some of the tracks show that Wale is still pissed at critics and that he’ll never stop putting on for his home – The DMV – it shows he has matured and he’s truly finally happy where he is with fans and music. While the album is a return to his roots and his early mixtape days, its far better than something he could have done in 2008 – all he needed was time and reps.

So back to Kendrick’s album:

The biggest difference between these two albums is the people that were in the studio while they were being recorded. To Pimp A Butterfly is good, but Kendrick’s sophomore album could have been so much better if he had someone in the studio to tell him that a track – or two, or three – sounded lazy, weird, bad or just whack.

During the production of The Album About Nothing it sounds like Wale had that, or at least something similar to it.

Or maybe it was just the guidance of one man: Seinfeld. Perhaps the guidance of legendary entertainer, artist and comedian was what Wale needed on this album. It is certainly what has set the rapper apart from the others in 2015.

Overheard: Do you think student-athletes should be able to register for classes early?

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Opposing Views on Livestreaming

Chris Krauss, Editorial Editor

 

 

Livestreaming and why it’s the way of the future

BY CHRIS KRAUSS

Editorial Editor

@reiningpandas

Imagine a world where you could sit and watch anything and everything going on in the world, all from the comforts of your home. No expensive plane tickets, no life threatening danger and no agonizing stress. That is the aim of mobile live streaming, currently being introduced by apps like Twitter’s Periscope and Meerkat.

Watch a random band playing on the corner of Bourbon Street or the riot wrecking the streets of New York while sitting in your room procrastinating. There are no limits to what mobile live streaming could siphon from the world into your phone throughout the day.

Now, live streaming has been around for years now in many different forms. Twitch.tv mainstreamed live streaming video games, ESPN doing the same with sports and countless news organizations have utilized this method too.

However, mobile live streaming from a smartphone takes this to the next level. Anybody in the world could live stream at any time using something as simple as their smartphone. Youtube videos now become something interactive versus something static, creating an entirely new level of immersion.

Obviously there are some inevitable problems that come from allowing anyone to live stream and begs the question as to what should and shouldn’t be allowed to be published on the internet.

Some common complaints are that there is not a way to filter what gets livestreamed, no way to predict what will happen during a live stream and no way to stop people from watching these possibly inappropriate videos.

In regard to being able to filter what gets live streamed, it’s impossible. There is no way to stop something from getting live streamed before it gets actually gets live streamed. However, this is no different from any other video that is put up on the internet. Numerous videos are uploaded onto different websites everyday, only to be taken down a half hour later due to copyright infringement, mature content or terms and agreements violations. The major difference is once something is live streamed, it can’t be viewed again because it’s over, unlike every other video on the internet.

Not being able to predict what will happen in a live stream worries some people, but even most larger companies do not actually live stream, rather they have roughly a five-second delay where the editors do their best to cut profanity and other inappropriate material. Though this is not always a sure fire way of stopping things from slipping through, as in Fox’s “live” coverage of a JoDon Romero shooting himself.

Nothing can be predicted, so everything live streamed should be approached with a not safe for work (NSFW) warning beforehand. People worry that by using this they may accidently see nudity or someone shoot themselves, but if a person is worried then they should not watch live streams. It needs to be understood that anything could happen at anytime.

Lastly, stopping people from watching inappropriate streams works just like any other video on the internet. Videos uploaded, if not indicated as mature by the uploader, are not marked as NSFW until someone flags it and the video then gets an age confirmation requirement. This means that anyone could watch them, regardless of age, before it gets flagged and they have to put their age in. The same things apply with live streams. People would watch them and when something inappropriate happens, they would need to flag the channel. Whether it is a live stream or delayed, like most larger networks, accidents happen and sometimes NSFW material gets shown.

Plenty of positives apply to live streams, including allowing people to immerse themselves in a world they might not be able to experience normally. Even being able to experience news firsthand, away from the bias and censoring nature of larger news corporations. People could watch news for what it’s supposed to be, truthful and honest while also watching something as lighthearted as the grand opening of a local restaurant.

Accidents happen and people live stream damaging things sometimes, but that’s how life works. Things are constantly happening around us and no one is there to censor it, so letting an app allow the world to express this is exactly what the world needs: a way to experience everything raw and first hand. Letting everyone have a voice and a way to express it only helps the rest of the world connect and experience each other.


Shannon Wiley, News Editor

Shannon Wiley, News Editor

Citizen Livestreaming is a lawsuit waiting to happen

BY SHANNON WILEY

News Editor

@TheShannonWiley

The news, especially television but also online, is driven by visual coverage. We could never understand the craziness of Ferguson or even the excitement and happiness of the Macy’s Day Parade without live video coverage.

This coverage, however, is not actually “live” because professional outlets have a delay that allows for them to quickly edit feed they are sending out, protecting more vulnerable or impressionable audiences from inappropriate language or footage.

As a citizen journalist before now, their only option was to film something on their phone or camera, and then post it, once they already know what is on the footage.

Although this videographer may not have the immediacy of the professionals, they have the added benefit of being able to provide context to what their audience will be watching.

For example, if something awful or tragic happened in plain view  of the camera, the videographer can post along with the video “*Caution, graphic footage*” or “Man shot in midst of riot.”

This benefit is especially important if the videographer was filming something that should be family-friendly, such as the Macy’s Day Parade, and something tragic were to happen there.

Now, however, everyone has the opportunity to live stream, and the opportunity to project horrors on the screens of masses.

This opportunity comes in the form of apps Meerkat and Periscope, available to anyone connected to iTunes or GooglePlay.

Through the app, the streamer can start videoing and immediately a link to the stream will appear on his or her twitter feed to which audiences can watch what the videographer sees.

However, this opportunity comes with an obscenely large risk. Despite what the citizen journalist thinks they will be projecting, the potential for someone to see something that deeply disturbs them is too much of a threat.

Yes, these apps do have a few seconds delay, but citizens using this are still not professionals equipped to edit something seen in a second before it is out there for everyone.

Now a quick and easy solution people have given is to simply put “Possibly NSFW” (or Not Suitable For Work—the universal tag for inappropriate material) as a tag for all of the tweeted links.

Here’s the problem with that: after watching 10, 20 maybe 100 streams tagged “NSFW” with nothing bad happening, people will become desensitized to that warning so when they do open that one link with something traumatizing, they will be completely unprepared.

We cannot assume that everyone watching will be an adult, or even a well-stabilized adult at that. It could be a 12-year-old scrolling through Twitter, a mentally vulnerable 30-year-old, or a six-year-old looking over the shoulder of his or her unsuspecting father.

Others say that people should regard live streaming as an inappropriate genre, just like pornography is and one should not watch something under the category of “porn” if they are around young children, at work or in an otherwise unsuitable situation.

That is an unrealistic request for two reasons. The first is that live streaming is far too broad of a “genre” to require that it be listed as entirely inappropriate like porn is.

Surely, professional news outlets have made mistakes with their lag, but they still have the training and tools to do everything to fix a mistake or to avoid it in the first place.

My opposition to the left will bring up a 2012 case of FOX accidentally shooting and streaming a suicide.

In this case, though, the outlet did everything they could to make the video unavailable and apologized, but someone recorded their stream and uploaded it, leading to his children seeing the video before they even knew their father was dead.

News outlets have a duty and responsibility to their viewers and the victims of an event they are covering that they do not take likely. Citizens do not have that same pull.

Is immediate unprofessional coverage really so important that it has to be up the moment it happens that you are willing to subject your unsuspecting audience members to something graphic or disturbing?

No, it is not. If you want to be a citizen journalist, take a video and upload it the second that it ends when you know, for a fact, whether you need to warn your audience, or chose to not upload it at all.

Live streaming is a powerful weapon that should not be in the hands of the masses, but left to the professionals.

“iZombie” review

flyer_tuned inBY CHRIS KRAUSS

Editorial Editor

It’s hard to tell which one is more of infectious, the zombie plague or the need to make more zombie related media.

Sifting through the amount of TV shows, movies and video games that have injected their way into society’s bloodstreams can be a daunting task, as many of them are either trash or simply a rehash of something that was done before. However, the CW’s attempt at episodic zombie television show, “iZombie,” actually manages to avoid being either of these things.

The show starts like most others, though, of the sort with a simple zombie outbreak. But even in starting this way, the show detours from the typical path and addresses the reason for the outbreak as the effect of a new synthetic drug called “Utopia” ironically.

“iZombie” loosely follows the DC comic book of the same name, featuring the main character, Olivia Moore, as a revenant, or a zombie per se. But instead of making the main character a grave digger, the show takes her to the role of a coroner’s assistant allowing for her to have a pretty much unlimited supply of brains to snack on.

What makes “iZombie” so much different from other shows though is how they portray zombies. Moore is not rotting or constantly trying to feed on the living, but instead rather pale and only eats brains enough to keep satiated. The show gets interesting when Moore finds out that after eating a brain, she takes on some of the person’s character traits and qualities and even starts to have “flashbacks” to the person’s life.

This comes in handy when the newly recruited detective needs help solving a crime of the John Doe’s brain she just ate, turning the recently deceased coroner’s assistant into a recently deceased coroner’s assistant with a minor in being a detective.

In terms of hitting genre, an undead comedy, the show hits the former more than the latter, with most of the jokes receiving nothing more than a chuckle at most. However, I found myself caring more about Moore and how she was learning to live in this new world than the actual crimes and solving them.

Seeing how a zombie would react to having a roommate, having an ex-fiancé and engaging with the living is interesting and provides an fictional insight only the movie “Warm Bodies” has ever given me.

Acting wise, the show casts some friendly faces, with Rose McIver as the show runner, who is most notable for her time as Tinker Bell in “Once Upon A Time” and a minor role in “The Lovely Bones.” She plays the awkward zombie spot on all while making zombies look prettier than ever before.

The other main character, Clive Babineaux, played by Malcolm Goodwin, famous for his roles in “American Gangster” and “Breakout Kings,” plays the newbie detective and shines when the script doesn’t seem to try so hard and leaves him to breathe a little.

Like most other CW shows, the music hits home and provides plenty of feels at the perfect moment, whether it is provide an overwhelming sense of sadness as an ex-fiancé moves on or the joy that is shown when a zombie realizes how to truly feel alive again.

Overall the show has its own distinct feel and the viewer is able to experience a relatively new take on the zombie genre, much different from other famous shows like “The Walking Dead” or “Z-Nation.”

If you love zombies and want a show that takes it a little lighter hearted than other more intense and gory apocalypse shows, then this show is a perfect middle ground.

The Flyer gives the pilot episode of “iZombie” a 7/10.

Trash TV doesn’t make you trashy

flyer_Shannon WileyBY SHANNON WILEY

News Editor

@theShannonWiley

The top item on the list of things my dear father loves to make fun of me for is my taste in television, which he describes as some of the worst he has ever heard of.

Now I watch the classics- “Gilmore Girls,” “The Following,” “Law and Order: SVU,” and others; then my taste leaks into the more “make-fun-of-me-able” with “Pretty Little Liars” and “Vampire Diaries.”

At this edge, my taste in television takes the plunge off the edge into my most common watches, many of which are found on TLC.

Some of best include “19 Kids and Counting” (despite their questionable political movements, I couldn’t really give less of a damn about their religious beliefs), “My Five Wives” (good for them on their political movements), “Say Yes to the Dress” and “Gypsy Sisters.” Hit the channel a couple times and one can find another of my favorites, the infamous “Keeping up with the Kardashians.”

Liking these shows and many others similar is highly controversial, though, to many, and as a result I’ve been asked insulting and ridiculous questions about mine and others’ viewing habits.

Do people watch them before the viewer is stupid and cannot comprehend any real television?

Do people who watch that believe in the same stuff?

Do people who watch these shows look up to the stars?

If viewers don’t agree with what the people on the show do or believe, are viewers just watching to make fun of them?

The answer to all of these questions is a hard no.

In response to the first: I, just like many other viewers, are by no means stupid. Many viewers do not only watch these reality shows and spend a good amount of time following more “high-quality” television when they are not in the mood for something a little less-than.

Likewise, just because someone watches a show that does not require much thought does not mean that their lives do not require much thought and that the rest of their day is not spent doing something far out of reach for many viewers of other, more difficult-to-follow shows.

To the second question, one of the most drawing things to these reality shows is to see some whose life is drastically different from my own, especially in their beliefs. It is entertaining. It is educational. It is enthralling.

Along the same lines, viewers do not necessarily look up to the people that we are watching on television, and only want to take a peek into the way other people live. Or, viewers may look up to those people seen in some ways but not others.

Michelle Dugger, the mother on “19 Kids and Counting,” is incredibly admirable in her love for her children—at least as we can see on screen—but I absolutely do not look up to how she encourages a narrow view in her children.

Kendall and Kylie Jenner, the youngest daughters in the Kardashian family, are easy to look up for as they are paving their own path much differently than their older sisters did, but I do not look up to how much emphasis they continue to put on physical beauty.

Finally, although some viewers will make fun of the ridiculousness in the lives of those on television, this is not the case with many viewers. Yes, seeing the outrageous happenings and decisions in “Gypsy Sisters” is entertaining, but being entertained is different than making judgements.

All of these people grew up differently than I did so I, just like many of the other viewers, have absolutely no room to place judgement on reality stars’ actions or decisions. Despite this, it is still entertaining to see.

Watching “trash” television does not make one a worse person, nor does it make them comparable to the people they are watching necessarily.

Try a show or two, you may find your favorite new one.

Beware of taking AI too far

flyer_Kobi AzoulayBY KOBI AZOULAY

Staff Writer

Technology has improved at a rapid pace in the past few centuries.

We went from Morse code to smart phones, horse-drawn carriages to mini-vans, fire places to indoor-heating systems.

The list of technological advancements is so long that someone wouldn’t even be able to write them all down because there would already be a new invention by the time they do.

There is one advancement that mankind has been curious about since John McCarthy coined the term in 1956. Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to a computer or machine that has intelligence that is similar to the kind of intelligence that humans have.

There is no absolute consensus as to how intelligent a machine has to be in order to be considered intelligent, however many people believe that a machine that truly contains AI would be able to trick a person into believing that they are human and not a machine. That’s exactly the purpose of the Turing Test.

The Turing Test was created by Alan Turing, who is commonly referred to as one of the pioneers of computer science. It involves one person (the judge) asking questions through a computer that connects to two other computers.

One computer is operated by a person; the other operates on its own. The judge has to decide which answer came from the human, and which came from the computer. If he guesses wrong more than he guesses right, the computer would technically be considered intelligent.

Most people that create a prototype AI to take this test simply make it in such a way where it answers questions with a question or talks about a keyword from the question in order to fool the judge. If any of those prototypes were to beat the test, I don’t think you’d be able to consider them truly intelligent because they’re programmed to act a certain way.

A truly intelligent computer would be able to logically reason and respond directly to questions without any misdirection. While a computer like this could be beneficial to society in a lot of way, it’s a high-risk, high-reward scenario.

AI optimists might tout possibilities such as robots working dangerous jobs or self-driving cars, and while those ideas are sound, the potential negative consequences of AI far outweigh the benefits.

While AI machines working dangerous jobs could potentially save lives, it would take many jobs away that people rely on to make a living. It could also be a slippery slope to AI machines taking other jobs from people, exacerbating an already weak job market.

That’s the least of humanity’s worries.

If a robot was created that was truly as intelligent as a human, it would be able to rationalize information and react to it. While most people would program these intelligent robots to be friendly and caring, if this technology gets into the wrong hands, the consequences could be apocalyptic.

Even the robots programmed to be friendly and caring could end up becoming corrupt. Just like normal people surrounded by negativity can lose track of their moral compass, an AI robot that can rationalize information and react to it could realize that it is stronger than humans and react by trying to overthrow the human race.

It might sound like science fiction, but some of the most intelligent people in the world like Stephen Hawking and Bill Gates believe that there is some danger involved with artificial intelligence.

Hawking has been quoted saying he thinks that artificial intelligence “could spell the human race.” Gates agrees, saying, “If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that.”

Despite all of the potential consequences, we should continue to develop artificial intelligence. As long as we never allow these machines to become more intelligent than humans, there is definitely some benefit with advancing this kind of technology.

It is important to understand the potential consequences of AI in order to safely advance into the future.

Opposing Views on Batman

flyer_Shannon WileyBatman Ain’t No Superhero

BY SHANNON WILEY
News Editor
@TheShannonWiley

There is a severe difference between being a hero as well as being “super”—as in cool or awesome—and being a superhero.

In order to be the latter, there has to be something extraordinary about the person, and that is meant in the most literal way: to be much more than an ordinary human.

Being rich and super good at karate just doesn’t cut it.

In this way, neither Iron Man nor The Green Arrow suffice, either.

For Iron Man—sorry, but having a super cool pacemaker just gives you an edge when you want to break the ice at parties. If you want to use your massive amounts of money to make your pacemaker into a super suit and save people’s lives, I love you and that is awesome, but you are still not a superhero.

Arrow was trained by insanely impressive people, just like Batman was with the League of Shadows, and I would totally trust either with my life especially because they have cool gizmos and gadgets to help them out, but my friend is really good at Tai Kwon Do, too, and I’d feel just as safe walking around with him at night.

Also, if these two are superheroes, is James Bond a superhero, too? Because they essentially do the same thing the same way.

If we change the meaning of superhero to mean someone impressive who saves people’s lives, then Batgirl (a.k.a. Oracle) should be on that list, as well, because she is super good with computers. Many of the lives saved by Batman can 100 percent be attributed to her figuring out some big problem. Without her intel, Batman’s “super skills” would have been worthless.

Superman and Spiderman, on the other hand, are completely different.

On his planet, Superman would not be a superhero because he is just like everyone else. However, being on Earth and having those capabilities that comes with being a Kryptonian makes him extraordinary. Pairing these abilities with his gallant acts, Superman is absolutely a superhero.

For Spiderman, although he was not born with his super-skills, he still is still extra-human; no one I know has ever climbed up a wall like a tarantula.

This trend continues with Wonder Woman who can fly, the Thing and the Hulk who similarly turn into a massive force of rock and muscle, the Invisible Woman (enough said), the Human Torch (again, self explanatory) and the Flash who can break the sound barrier with his speed. All of these incredible characters are far more than just people who had some special technology manufactured in order to fulfill some desperate act of charity.

Just like the discrepancy between superheroes and heroes that are super, the same goes for super-villains and villains that are simply insane.

For example, the Joker is scary as hell and I would avoid him at all costs, but besides that demonically genius mind and those nasty facial modifications, he is just like you and me.

The same is true for Dead Shot who is comparable to Annie Oakley, Two-Face who belongs in a support group to work out some of his issues and Lex Luther and Kingpin who are again just rich, strong and smart.

Ra’s al Ghul, on the other hand, is a super-villain because he is not only being deadly, but also immortal. Other villains who can classify themselves as “super-villains” include Magneto who is a mutant who can control metals, Doctor Octopus who is half man-half machine and Sandman who can turn himself into a sandstorm and is almost uncatchable.

Even Death Stroke can count as a super-villain because he underwent experimental treatment that made him extraordinarily strong and fast. This is especially true if we are talking about the CW’s Arrow version of Death Stroke, who is invincible due to his injections of Mirakuru.

Here’s the meat and potatoes: super means something when in conjunction with occupations like “hero” and “villain,” and we can’t just be throwing those terms around. If a helpful lifesaver is going to be classified as a superhero, or a criminal mastermind wants to be in the ranks with super-villains, they better damn well show us something more than their wits and their bank accounts.

So you better believe, Batman ain’t no superhero.


Flyer_BJ Darden Damn it, Batman is a Superhero

BY BJ DARDEN
Staff Writer

Over this past week I heard something so offensive and inaccurate that I have decided to vent my frustrations through the power of American English.
Someone—hint, hint the author of the article to my left—had the gull and audacity to claim that Batman isn’t a superhero.
This isn’t the first time that this claim has been made, and certainly will not be the last, but, I thought it would be a good idea to address these claims.
While I am not very well versed in comic or superhero culture, I certainly do have a certain respect for the medium. I also do not allow my own ignorance to blind me, and I am sure anyone who is well versed in superhero culture will agree with me when I say that Batman is absolutely a superhero.
Some people say, “But he doesn’t have superpowers! He can’t be a superhero!”
Yes, they would be right that he does not have superpowers, he just has years upon years of intense martial arts training, as well as incredibly dense and astute detective skills. This isn’t your little brother’s karate class, it’s the League of Shadows.
You don’t just sign up and fill a waiver out to be a part of the League of Shadows. Batman had to find a rare flower, climb to a top of a mountain and then deliver said flower still intact.
After this he goes through months of intense training to master multiple forms of martial arts and heighten his senses. While this description tells how it happens in the movie “Batman Begins,” every iteration has some intense story like this.
There is easily a grocery list’s worth of things that makes Batman extraordinary, but at the end of the day, that’s not what makes him a superhero.
What makes Batman a superhero is that he is willing to save the day which is something so many people aren’t willing to do. The gadgets and hand to hand combat are cool, but they are nothing without the man inside the suit who wants to deliver justice.
Bruce Wayne is a billionaire; he doesn’t have to live in drainpipes of Gotham City if he doesn’t want to. He could just go and buy a nice loft in Austin, Texas or San Diego, California—literally anywhere but Gotham City.
However, he stays here because h is a superhero and it is his job to deliver justice and punishment in the city. Anyone in Wayne’s position would no way stay within 500 miles of that godforsaken city.
If you are a superhero, it doesn’t really matter what your powers are. What matters is that you use them for good and to help people.
Bruce Wayne uses his wealth and multiple forms of martial arts, to help others. Other superheroes like Iron Man, Robin and Black Widow just utilize their skills and abilities to do the same thing. The powers are a plus and all, but really it is the will to help people that makes you a super hero.
To go above and beyond that, Batman doesn’t kill people either, simply because he wants people to know he is a hero and not just a some vigilante.
To everyone who hates on Batman because he doesn’t have super powers. Understand, it’s not about the powers the person has, it’s about the person behind the mask.

Preserving the internet

flyer_Reed SheltonBY REED SHELTON
@ReedAShelton
Staff Writer

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) deserves nothing less than a standing ovation for its decision to uphold the call for “Net Neutrality,” a decision that will stave off the greedy machinations of corporate Goliaths that would have favored investors over consumers and monopolies over competition.

With their decision, the FCC have hopefully ensured that the open and even playing field that has defined the internet since its inception will remain. For those of us that consider the information superhighway one of humanity’s greatest achievements – alongside agriculture, antibiotics and aerospace technology – this is a tremendous victory.

What the telecommunications giants like Comcast, Time Warner and Verizon wished to do was nothing short of the behavior of cartels. In exchange for paying premiums, websites would have prevented their data from being throttled en route to their viewers – that is, the giants were not offering new “fast lanes” at all, but instead using strong-arm tactics to turn a profit via the threat of being thrown into a slow lane.

Behavior such as that is the very antithesis of the free-market values that these corporations were claiming as the basis of their motivation. That claim is not just laughable, but utterly absurd as the end result would have been the inability of consumers to easily access smaller business startups or non-profit websites unable to afford these premiums.

The internet has become a fundamental public interest, as important as the telephone; a virtual necessity to an informed, efficient life in the twenty-first century. We communicate with it. We keep in touch with it. We bank and shop with it. We use it to better understand politics and the world around us, and for research to advance the sciences. Sometimes we even relax and goof off with it.

It is not for those that seek to increase their already-astronomical profit margin to dictate our ability to access any tiny fraction of it, and that sentiment is the basis of what has become known as Net Neutrality.

Comcast – lobbying heavily against Net Neutrality and the vast swath of public opinion in favor of regulation – has already announced its intention to sue the FCC, claiming that the agency overreached its authority. Yet while Comcast says it has no interest in throttling or blocking data transmissions, they have already done so on multiple occasions and been punished by the FCC for it.

Verizon has said exactly the same in the past, and has argued in court that they have a First Amendment right to block competitors’ websites.

No, you didn’t misread that. Verizon actually used the First Amendment to justify their profit-driven desire to prevent you from seeing information put onto the internet. Let that sink in for a moment.

Should you, a Verizon subscriber, have to suffer through unbearably slow Netflix speeds because Netflix didn’t pay extra to Verizon? Of course not. Netflix, like any other web service or site, should transmit data to you at the full speed your connection is capable of without interference. Yet that is precisely what happened last year before Netflix agreed to pay Verizon’s ransom in exchange for providing quality streaming movies to its customers.

This is precisely the sort of behavior that supporters of Net Neutrality have feared and fought against.

“Federal regulation,” has become something of a dirty thing to suggest these days. Libertarian, laissez-faire capitalists – sometimes genuine, sometimes just wearing a disguise – have argued for a hands-off approach for government, saying that the market should work these things out on their own. Sometimes, that is an agreeable notion.

Not this time.

This time, the FCC has said, in effect, “The internet will remain as it is and always has been.”

These regulations will actually prevent anyone from sculpting the internet into something that has proven nearly perfect from the beginning. The government hasn’t changed anything. It has simply said that no one else can or should, and anyone that has grown up with the internet should agree with that.

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