Celebrate sacrifice, not dishonesty


Staff Writer


Veteran’s Day: A day where the people of the United States celebrate the men and women of the armed services. Civilians, young and old, are willing to set aside their differences for a time in order to honor those that made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of their nation.

Salisbury University was no exception, opting to host a viewing of the movie American Sniper: the semi-biographical film that turned Chris Kyle from a celebrity into an idol almost overnight.

While the showing of the movie was done with good intentions and Kyle’s contributions to the military are not to be taken lightly, this might not have been the best film to show for the occasion.

Director Clint Eastwood has said that he intended the film to be a representation of the struggles veterans face when returning home from war.

“The biggest antiwar statement any film (can make is to show) the fact of what (war) does to the family and the people who have to go back into civilian life like Chris Kyle did,” Eastwood said at a pre-award banquet.

While this is no doubt a noble intention, using Chris Kyle as a real world example paints a slanted portrayal of the titular “American Sniper.”

In reality, Kyle had a notorious habit of weaving elaborate tales that were often more fiction than fact.

In his memoir on which the film was based, Kyle makes bold claims about a bar-brawl with former Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura that never occurred (Ventura later won a defamation lawsuit against Kyle), his assertion that he killed two men for attempting to steal his truck (also proven false) and his claims that he used his sniping prowess to kill looters in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina (again, no evidence supports this claim).

Despite this habit of dishonesty, Kyle is still regarded as an American hero due in no small part to the film American Sniper.

With no intention of tarnishing Chris Kyle’s military record nor judgment against him for the kills that he made during his service, it is simply his track record of almost pathological dishonesty that makes him stand out as less than stellar.

So while Salisbury University’s use of the film American Sniper was certainly an admirable effort to showcase the horrors of war and the dedication of veterans, it was not the best movie that they could have picked.

Alternatively, either the film “Saving Private Ryan” or “The Hurt Locker” would have been a much better replacement. Both films showcase the turbulence of the battlefield as well as the physical and mental anguish suffered by soldiers. Even better, they do so without glorifying a divisive figure.

I have nothing but respect for our nation’s veterans and certainly feel that the art of film can give us who have never served a small glimpse at the suffering they endured for our benefit. In addition, I commend the University for taking advantage of Veteran’s Day to host such an event, in the future I just feel that they can use a more worthwhile film.



First impressions: “Street Fighter V”


Staff Writer

Very few genres can bring the hype and excitement as much as fighting games can, one of the most competitive genres out there. There are genre staples such as “Guilty Gear,” “Mortal Kombat” and “Tekken,” but even those series cannot dream to match the legacy that is “Street Fighter.”

Considered by most to be the franchise to really set the standard for what is expected from a fighting game, “Street Fighter” is what most people think of when someone says “fighting game.” Anyone that likes this genre also knows that Capcom is about to release the next in the “Street Fighter” series, “Street Fighter V.”
[Read more…]

The mystery of “Where They Found Her”

 Staff Writer

  “Where They Found Her” by author Kimberly McCreight is an enticing mystery novel about the death of a newborn. It explores the wild world of motherhood by focusing on the mother child relationship.

  The main character, Molly Sanderson, is a local freelance journalist that mainly handles the news about her small town’s community festivities until she gets assigned to write about the recent death that took place in the woods fringing the campus of the town’s university.

  When she went to the crime scene she learned the horrific news that the body was that of an infant, made even harder for her to handle as she had lost her own child and still has not recovered from that loss. In order to gain closure for herself, her family and the concerned town’s people, she investigates the grueling crime and uncovers past and present secrets.

  The story interweaves the lives of six women that are all connected by the death of the newborn child and they all have the same thing in common: difficult mother-child relationships.

  McCreight explores the hardships of motherhood, touching upon topics of miscarriage, teenage pregnancy, single motherhood, absent mothers, overprotective mothers, uncontrollable children and mothers who act like children. Such topics are serious and hard to write about, but McCreight effortlessly describes this vast world of motherhood through different characters in different situations.

  She also uses many diverse formats in order to tell the story, utilizing things such as newspaper articles, diary entries, interviews, flashbacks and three distinctive character perspectives. The diverse formats make the novel interesting to read and keep readers on the edge of their seats.

  The story being told from different perspectives may deter some from reading this novel, as some novels that attempt this format typically fail. This novel does not fall into that category though, being very well and cleverly written by introducing early in the story that the three characters are related to each other in some shape or form. Because the author gracefully intertwines the character’s lives together it makes the story seamlessly flow and easy to read.

  With the use of vivid description and imagery, readers are able to imagine each character with clarity, which helps create emotional involvement. This style of writing allows readers to fully understand the situation in every character’s point of view, even the characters that are not telling the story from their perspective.

  The concept of a reporter or detective digging up past secrets to solve a current case is very overdone. It is one disappointment many might have about this novel. Even though secrets that are uncovered are interesting, the storyline is similar to other books that have excessively used it, making it come off as pretty generic.

  The story in the beginning moves a little slow as it sets up the characters and the plot. But further in, it unfolds and progressively gets better. The novel has plenty of plot twists, which made certain aspects of this generic story more thrilling.

  The novel is around three hundred pages and is not a hard read. The author uses simple grammar structure and the diction is easy to understand. This book would be perfect for someone who enjoys mysteries and has a few hours of spare time. The book is available in the Blackwell Library, so it is free for any Salisbury University student who would like to read it.

  The Flyer gives “Where They Found Her” a 7/10.

“Fallout 4” review – in progress

By Chris Krauss

Editorial Editor


 The death of everything we know and love has never been as appealing as it is in “Fallout 4.”

Recently released on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC, “Fallout 4” has received almost nothing but praise and fame.

[Read more…]

Facebook… stay out of my business


Staff Writer

Please enter your phone number for security purposes. No thank you.

Websites such as Gmail and Facebook persistently ask for the phone numbers of their users. The purpose is to add security to a person’s account, so it will be harder to hack.

But as with most things, people need to be careful about what they put online. Phone numbers do not need to be added. [Read more…]

Free games students need to play


Staff Writer


Winter is coming and that means people will be indoors and have more free time to play games, but being a college student normally means a lack of $60 to shell out on a game all the time. On top of that it’s nearly Christmas, which means finances will be strained even more.

But the free to play revolution is upon us. In fact, there are so many free to play games out there it can be hard to sift through them all, but here are three games that are very much worth your time. [Read more…]

The greatest thing to come to SU… Ever


Staff Writer


Strips of fire: three words that make many a Salisbury University student’s mouth water. Crispy and tender with the perfect amount of heat, they are one of the most popular items at the SU Commons.

These delicious strips consist of moist chicken, a fried exterior and spicy hot sauce infusion.

Whenever the station “Gold n’ Crispy” is fortunate enough to be graced by their presence, customers at The Commons can be seen patiently waiting through lines thick and thin just for their chance to partake in the deliciousness on the sporadic occasion that strips of fire are served. [Read more…]

Nero brings a darker sound with “Between II Worlds”

By Drew Lacouture

Staff Writer

  On their second full length album, Nero returns to the limelight of the Electronic Dance Music scene with a slightly darker sound that is sure to satisfy old and new fans of the genre. It has been four years since the United Kingdom’s three piece dominated the charts with their debut, and while not groundbreaking, their latest delivers for the most part.

  This time around, singer Alana Watson takes center stage rather than just being a feature and continues to give humanity to Daniel Stephen’s and Joe Ray’s electronic production. Her vocals are mixed a lot better with the rest of the music compared to “Welcome Reality.”

  Nero is a group that has always aimed for creating large, almost cinematic anthems. Unfortunately the album as a whole makes that concept hard to believe at times.

  Obviously dance music is not known for conjuring brilliant lyrics, but those found on here lack diversity and do not resemble any theme to connect the tracks to each other. However, tracks like “Between Two Worlds” with its long build up to the musical climax, and “Into the Past” with its uses of strings and elements of trance music most certainly sound like they could be part of a science-fiction soundtrack.

  For some, Nero’s corporation of dubstep might make their album sound dated (considering dubstep is not as popular today as it was in 2011), but their production on this album and Watson’s vocals make their style still fresh. The transitions, bass, synths, drums, all sound fantastic.

  This is especially true on the banger “Satisfy” which definitely feels like it is meant to be played at a rave.

  At the same time, after four years to grow, one might hope that they would take a couple more risks and experiment more, whether it be with song structure or lyrically. The group does not do a lot to separate themselves from other electronic artists.

  “Tonight” and “It Comes and Goes” both sound like generic EDM songs that could have been created by any of the group’s contemporaries.

  “Into The Night” gives off a similar impression, but its upbeat melodies make the song much more enjoyable. So what they produced sounds great, but a less safe approach would have made the album more impressive.

  While there is not a whole lot to absorb content wise, there is replay value on the album. Many tracks are also catchy and interesting enough (“Circles,” “The Thrill” and “Dark Skies”) to come back to.

  “Two Minds” is the most radio ready track and while some may see this as a bad thing, it is also the best on the album.

“Between II Worlds” is a decent follow-up. It still follows a lot of the rules of EDM music which might frustrate some listeners, but the album sonically is stellar and demands to be heard on good speakers/headphones.

  Fans of the group and fans of maximized and dramatic dance music will surely enjoy it. The album does not hit the mark on creating the cinematic experience they seemed to be hoping for. What the album does accomplish is giving its listeners some well-produced jams to vibe to.

The Flyer gives “Between II Worlds” by Nero a 6/10.

Sexism in Politics

By Riley Fanning

  Many Americans would agree with the claim that modern day America has come a long way in terms of its progressiveness pertaining to gender. Women and men are, for the most part, seemingly equal. Despite the appearance of full equality, there is still a need for efforts in trying to bridge the gender gaps that exist in different sectors of society.

  The widespread view many Americans hold about the advancement of this society is one of positivity. Many believe that we are light-years ahead compared to the rest of the world, but there are still huge social inequalities, especially relating to women and politics.

  Rapper T.I. made headlines recently when asked about whether or not he would be voting for democratic candidate Hillary Clinton in the upcoming presidential election. Instead of supporting or denouncing her policies, or even discussing anything relevant to her campaign, T.I. decided to use this golden opportunity to make blatant sexist generalizations about women.

  “Not to be sexist, but I can’t vote for the leader of the free world to be a woman. Just because, every other position that exists, I think a woman could do well. But, the president? It’s kinda like, I just know that women make rash decisions emotionally – they make very permanently, cemented decisions — and then later, it’s kind of like it didn’t happen, or they didn’t mean for it to happen,” said rapper T.I.

  This statement not only puts all women in a narrowly defined box of unfair gender associations, but also denies the possibility of men having emotions themselves. Being born a male does not mean that one is incapable of being unstable or making rash decisions. Those are individual personality attributes, rather than concrete characteristics of one entire gender.

  He went so far as to claim that the fictional “Loch Ness monster” would have a better chance of getting elected president than a woman. One could dismiss this as a one off, uneducated comment by an irrelevant rapper, but it points to a larger ideology about how women in politics are viewed in America.

  In this modern era, we still have some people using the same baseless excuses about a person’s gender as way to make claims about whether or not they have the intellectual or emotional capabilities needed for successful large scale leadership.

  “I think it’s juvenile and disgusting that to this day, people are still using a woman’s gender as a justification for their sexist ideas,” said Vishva Patel, Salisbury University sophomore, in reaction to T.I.’s comments.

  “I don’t think I would vote for Hillary personally, but not because she’s a woman- I think a woman or a man could handle the office, it’s just worked out so far that it’s only been men,” said Luke Downes, SU sophomore, in a different approach.

  Turning to look outside the United States, many countries have had women leaders. Even in places in the Middle East, which is often looked down upon for its supposed universal treatment of women, has had more heads of state than the U.S. has.

  “They have had more female representatives, more female heads of state, in Turkey than we have in the United States,” religion scholar Reza Aslan said.

  As a whole, America considers itself a leader in regards to its politics and the evolution of women. Still though, sexist comments are made about what women and men are capable of. The same outdated notions are repeated year after year.

  Women had to fight to gain the right to vote in 1920, although women of color fought restrictions and hardship with voting until the 1960s. Society has definitely improved since then, but improvement does not mean we should become stagnant.

  Full equality is still elusive, and there is still a need to challenge societal norms in order to keep progressing towards a better America.




Jana Kramer’s “Thirty One” brings little new to the table

By Drew Lacouture

Staff Writer

Country singer, Jana Kramer delivers more of the same ballads and party jams on her second full length album with just as many bad tracks as there are great ones.

After her successful debut in 2012, Kramer decided to make “Thirty One” a personal album by being more involved in the song-writing process this time. What the listener gets is more charisma from Kramer with some stand out tracks, but also some of her worst, as well.

The first three tracks are all fantastic and established high hopes for the rest of the album that just could not be met afterwards.

“Boomerang” is an incredible opener with high energy lyrics and tempos.

“Don’t Touch My Radio” is a satisfying rocker where Kramer delivers some great inflections that make her performance even more convincing.

“I Got the Boy” is a smart track where Kramer sings about a man she dated in high school who is living a great life with a new woman as she draws comparisons to the relationships.

“Pop That Bottle” is where things start to go downhill. There is nothing wrong with a catchy drinking song, but knowing that Kramer is expecting a child soon and had a part in writing the song really makes the listener uncomfortable.

“Love” sounds great instrumentally, but other than that is pretty forgettable.

“Circles” and the closer “Last Song” both are decent love ballads that are structurally well put together and Kramer’s vocals on both these tracks remind the listener that she really does have a good presence on the microphone. Although the lyric, “You got me spinning like a wheel /oh how you make me feel” is lazy and cheesy.

However, there are two tracks that are both cringe worthy, it was hard not to press the skip button. “Bullet” features Areosmith’s Steven Tyler on back-up vocals and offers obnoxious electronic stutters on the chorus that are simply unbearable on an already annoying song lyrically. “Said No One Ever” sounds like an early Selena Gomez nightmare that raises the question if Kramer is 31 or 16?

“Dance In The Rain” is a mediocre track that strangely resembles Lee Ann Womack’s “I Hope You Dance” (not just because of the song title) with its slow tempo, bittersweet lyrics and dramatic vocals.

“Just Like The Movies” is a fun, bouncy track, including verses sounding as if they came straight out of a Taylor Swift country song. Whether this is bad or not is debatable because it seemingly works for Kramer.

There is no doubt that “Thirty One” has Jana Kramer coming more into herself and this might be both good and bad. There is most certainly a bit of enjoyment to be found on this album, but there are also several sour moments.

The album is stylistically just like every other pop-country album, and while Kramer’s singing has improved, some of her musical choices just drag the album down, along with the album’s predictable content that has been tackled to death by her contemporaries in the exact same way.

Returning fans of Kramer will enjoy the album if they can make it past “Bullet” and “Said No One Ever.” Although, those looking for a great country album may or may not find it here, while others might simply be indifferent to “Thirty One.”

The Flyer gives “Thirty One” by Jana Kramer a 5/10.


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