It is not “just a prank, bro.”

BY LUKE WATHEN

Staff Writer

There has been recent controversy over the YouTube channel “DaddyOFive” and its video content. The channel contains several videos of two parents loudly berating their children, physically attacking them and destroying their property all for what they deem to be “pranks.” This kind of behavior on and off the Internet is simply unacceptable.

Thankfully, many YouTubers have vocally criticized both the parents and the nature of the channel itself, among them “Philip DeFranco”, Ethan Klein of “h3h3Productions” and even Steve-O of “Jackass” fame. Their biggest concern with these videos is that they are nothing more than thinly veiled child abuse, with the parents using the children’s emotional and physical turmoil as a means of gaining publicity as well as monetary gain.

A petition has been circulating requesting the Child Protective Services investigate the household and the parents themselves have insisted that the videos themselves are nothing more than harmless fun, though their children’s’ reactions would say otherwise.

The channel has since gone into full defensive mode; the videos have all been removed and the only video that remains now is a half-hearted apology from the callous parents that operate the channel. In their “apology,” they are more interested in demonizing Philip DeFranco than offering remorse for what is obviously child abuse.

With that said, the saga of “DaddyOFive” raises an important point as to what has been passing as a “prank” on YouTube for far too long. When one hears the word prank, images of harmless gags such as whoopee cushions, joy buzzers and ink-filled gum usually come to mind.

However in modern parlance, pranking has come to define actions that are much more lazy and, frankly, more excessive. A YouTube that is labelled as a “prank video” contains what used to be considered assault and abuse.

These pranks can include things as juvenile as screaming in people’s faces as they walk innocently down the street, hurling racial slurs at minorities or simply running up to individuals and punching them for no apparent reason. Upon meeting with a (justifiably) violent reaction, the instigators immediately try to deescalate the situation by shouting the classic catchphrase “It’s just a prank, bro!”

Now that these pranks are being pulled on children for the sake of arbitrary internet attention, there is finally some backlash against the sorry state of what internet pranks have become. The couple that make up “DaddyOFive” will hopefully see some major consequences for their actions following what could best be described as a collective epiphany from web users.

When it comes to senseless abuse, be it verbal or physical, it is never “just a prank, bro,” it is a major offense that carries with it major penalties.

If you would like to sign the petition to have Child Protective Services investigate the makers of the channel “DaddyOFive”, you can do so here: https://www.change.org/p/get-child-protective-services-to-re-investigate-youtube-channel-daddyofive

Spring: The worst of the seasons

By LILLY METCALFE

Staff Writer

It is that time of year again. We are  in the midst of the season that many people dread despite its beauty. Spring has sprung and the human race is paying for it. However, there are ways to make this predicament more bearable.

The accumulation of pollen from plants cover everything in a horrible snot green color. Not only that, it is a human’s immune system’s worst nightmare. Allergies target people of all ages, race and gender. They ensure that there will be repercussions when going outside during the spring season, including but not limited to: coughing, sneezing, watery eyes, runny nose and dry or itchy throat.

The weather is horrible because of its unpredictability. It is often cold in the mornings, yet extremely hot during the afternoon. Buildings are either blasting the air conditioner or still using heat because people are unsure what is needed.

When it begins to consistently be nice outside, the average student becomes very unproductive. The classic dilemma that they face during this season is whether thumbnail_IMG_9434they should go to class/study or take a trip to the beach to enjoy the weather.

Once it begins to get warm out, the bugs come out of hibernation. Mosquitoes are naturally everyone’s least favorite, and the millions of ants that invade their homes in search of food are so hard to get rid of.

The largest problem the Eastern Shore faces is gnats, fruit flies and drain flies, which can all seen around the Salisbury campus. They are frustrating as they land on belongings and are impossible to kill.

However, there is hope! There are ways to survive this spring season.

The student wellness center located at Holloway Hall has free allergy medicine available. It comes in a little brown bag and includes salt to gargle, cough drops and some allergy medication. Medication will help with symptoms, but also make sure to clean air condition filters and dust. This will help reduce the amount of pollen that can further impact allergies.

Enjoy the weather when you can! Study outside or take a break during the day. To deal with cold mornings, wear a sweater that you can take off.  It also will be helpful in cold, air conditioned rooms.

There are many ways to treat a bug problem, such as sprays, traps and bug bombs. There are natural remedies for flies that could be cheaper. Get a bottle (like a Gatorade bottle or water bottle) and fill it up with either apple vinegar or alcohol. Cover the opening with clear plastic and seal with a rubber band or hair tie. Poke small holes in the plastic and then wait. The flies like the sweet smells from the vinegar and alcohol and once they get into the bottle they won’t be able to find their way out and will die.

Spring is a storm that we all must endure before the great season of summer liberates us from its evil. This is why it is important to know how to weather this storm in the best way possible.

Space movies: Where do we go from here?

BY JACKIE BONOLA

Staff Writer 

Movies that explore the stars beyond Earth are becoming increasingly more popular each decade and the bar is constantly being raised for what these film should be in terms of scope and quality. There are many factors that have heightened these expectations and caused film makers to be so drawn to creating these bold adventures.

As technology is improving, there are more and more space related films being released by different studios. For the past five years, there has been one huge space movie that towers above many other films. These films do well at the box office and receive critical acclaim more often than not. Infamous directors like Christopher Nolan, Ridley Scott and Alfonso Cuarón are all known for their major contributions to this small but impactful type of film.

There are several plausible reasons why these directors are interested in setting their film in the dark reaches of space. It may be because everyone is a space fanatic now. The space fanatics from the 1970s grew up watching films like “Stars Wars” and “2001: A Space Odyssey,” which were produced with limited technology in comparison to the technology we have now.  Filmmakers desire to create even more realistic, more captivating and more mind-bending space films. Who would not want to make their own “Star Wars” movie?

Another cause for the increase in space films is money, a powerful tool in Hollywood that has benefitted science fiction movies as of late. Space films can and often do garner millions of dollars at the box office. However, as the number and quality of these films increases, so do the critics’ and fans’ expectations of those films. The audience will not be fooled by producers intending to make a box office hit out of a space film. They have to work harder than that with new stories, new scientific possibilities and great special effects.

Box office hits like 2013’s Gravity with a budget of $100 million grossed 723.2 million dollars and from there people will constantly want more.

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Space movie box office gross, courtesy boxofficemojo.com

 

A challenge that directors face is the difficult task of impressing the generation of space nerds from the 1970s and the ten-year-old kids that are just learning about space. It is hard to balance that sense of awe along with maintaining a compelling narrative. Space films are only impressive if executed properly, for the story has to be a 10/10, the actors have to make it all seem believable and the aliens cannot look cliché.

Over the last decade, we have been introduced to the many possibilities that space can bring us as well as the fears that come from being away from earth. In the years to come, the audience will only become more skilled at differentiating amazing space films from mediocre space movies. Also, our knowledge and understanding about space will broaden and these movies must keep up with these discoveries. It will be interesting to see if directors and studios run out of ideas, if audiences will grow tired or if space movies will fall off altogether.

The truth about safe-spaces

By LUKE WATHEN

Staff Writer

The concept of safe-spaces on college campuses have been the topic of polarizing discussion in American media and everyday life, with much of the coverage being negative then postive. What started off as a means of fostering a more supportive environment on college campuses for LBGTQ students has, in some places, been bastardized into justifying the infantilization of college students and stifling free speech.

At Salisbury University, however, the concept of safe-spaces has retained its original and admirable mission of providing a voice to LGBTQ students who feel disregarded or marginalized.

Dr. Diane Illig, a sociology professor at SU and advocate for safe-spaces, said that these spaces exist to make LGBTQ feel safer and more welcome. At SU, the program is still largely a workshop where student and faculty participation is purely voluntary.

“We try to create a campus climate where LGBTQ students feel safe and welcome,” Illig said.

The workshop addresses small, yet meaningful ways that students can better understand their LGBTQ colleagues. These can be as simple as knowing what pronouns to use or being more careful with word choice, according to Illig.

safe spaces

The infamous Safe Space logo that can be found on professors’ doors and other locations on campus

 

While traditional media may push a narrative that the very idea of a safe-space is infantilizing to impressionable college students, this is not the case at SU. Through the safe-space program, students and faculty alike are simply taught how to be more socially conscious in their day-to-day lives and how they are capable of being inclusive or ostracizing by things as seemingly trivial as word choice.

This trend towards social consciousness comes in a time where it is more and more important to be aware of important to be aware of how our actions can influence others. In a world where messages are broadcast globally with the swipe of a finger, seemingly innocuous jokes and comments can carry unintended stigmas and insults.

It is because of this that safe-spaces are so important. Many do not even realize that they are being offensive or marginalizing with their words or actions and though the harm that these words cause is often unintentional, it is harmful nonetheless.

While SU is certainly not the first, or necessarily the best, at fostering inclusion through its commitment to equality, the steps undertaken by the safe-space program and those like it are a grand force for positive change. With the increased support and relevance of LGBTQ rights in the past few years, safe-spaces serve as a symbol for a more open and tolerant world.

Despite what the mainstream media may say about them, safe-spaces are a source of evolution for an increasingly tolerant world and SU, in addition to other campuses that stay true to the original intent of the program, are better-off for having them.

S-Town: The newest take on a southern gothic tale

BY RILEY FANNING 

Staff Writer 

A new podcast titled “S-Town” unravels the unsettling mysteries of a small town in rural Alabama and its quirky inhabitants.  Created by Brian Reed, the intriguing series investigates much- a possible murder, a corrupt county, the characters themselves.

The seven-part series all began with an email to Brian Reed from an extraordinarily eccentric man named John B. Macklemore. He believed that in his small hometown of Woodstock, located in largely unknown Bibb County, Alabama, there had been a murder that was covered up. Brian and John join up to investigate, and from there the podcast was born.

“S-town” provides narration from Brian and recordings of John.  Beneath Macklemore’s thick, rolling Alabama accent, is an astoundingly brilliant man and is the jewel of the show.  He is an antiquarian horologist (antique clock repairer) with a biting sense of humor, is the shining jewel of the series. Listening to his ramblings and learning more about him is one of the most intensely interesting parts of the podcast.

s-town-itunes

The logo from “S-Town” from Stitcher.com

 

“S-Town’s” intrigue and southern, gothic charm gives off a similar feeling of the novel “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”. Each episode is around an hour long, and the narrative twists and turns are fascinating. From murder, to family relations, to the small town and its inhabitants, depression and societal issues, this podcast touches on a broad spectrum.

This complicated area of exploration reflects the complicated inner workings of the focus of the podcast, John, and his ideas about his hometown and the world at large.

Within each episode, things get more personal as Reed digs deeper and deeper into the lives of the people, the town, and the secrets they all hold. The lush, descriptive prose and evocative music used turns real events in this small town into an intriguing tale within the podcast. Problems arise, however, within this intense scrutiny of people.

At times, the severe detail in which Reed goes into the life of those residing within Bibb County feels almost too personal. It becomes uncomfortable to hear the intimate details of their thoughts and actions, although they can be exceedingly interesting. It is as if the listener is a fly on the wall, hearing things they are not actually present for and should not know. In some ways the podcast feels biographical, and at other times feels overly invasive.

While there are some problems within “S-Town”, it allows the rare opportunity to see life from a new perspective, and examines the curious relations within a forgotten American town with mystery and humor.

The Flyer gives S-Town an 8/10.

 

Kendrick Lamar: Four for four

By DREW LACOUTURE 

Editorial Editor 

On one of the most anticipated albums of the year, rap prodigy Kendrick Lamar continues his streak of conscious yet addictive music that solidifies him as one the best artists working today. With “DAMN.,” Lamar nearly entirely ditches the jazz influenced sounds of “To Pimp A Butterfly” to create an often eerie but trendy project.

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Kendrick Lamar’s fourth studio album “DAMN.” Photo from Genius.com

 

Kendrick is an artist that is constantly evolving and is as unpredictable as the weather, with each album of his being different from the next and the tracks within those albums tackling so many topics and musical elements. No one saw the lead single “Humble” coming and the same can be said for many tracks here.

This is especially true for the other major banger, “DNA.” Its second half and the transition to it are jarring and almost frightening to some degree—it seems like he has been influenced by the group Death Grips. Through this track, the chilling opener “BLOOD.” and “YAH.,” he addresses Fox News’ negative comments on his music and hip-hop music as a whole.

Thankfully, rather than throwing shots at people the entire album (Drake and Big Sean are safe for now), Kendrick once again decides to use his music as self-examination in his relationship with God, his desires, his struggles and his community.

Not only is Kendrick cautious of his actual music, but his content and rapping are still unmatched. His story telling, eclectic voices and flows are so complex that his projects require multiple listens to catch every nuance and detail. “LUST.” is lyrically the best track—it briefly addresses the reaction to Donald Trump’s presidential victory: “Still and sad, distraught and mad, tell the neighbor ’bout it/Bet they agree, parade the streets with your voice proudly/Time passin’, things change/Revertin’ back to our daily programs, stuck in our ways; Lust.” 

The only track that fits the stereotypical braggadocious hip-hop track is “ELEMENT.” and producer Sounwave helps bring out the life in this track and so many others here. Speaking of great production, the track “XXX.” with U2 is by far the most shocking cut with numerous beat switches, blaring sirens and Lamar breaking into a 21 Savage-like flow. The bleak track is one of many moments in which Lamar and his producers astonish on all levels.

It will be interesting to see how well “LOYALTY.” will perform on radio and streaming based on the Rihanna feature alone. While it’s a great track with a glitchy, distorted instrumental, her vocals could have been done by a female singer and even Lamar’s monotone delivery might not be pleasing for DJ’s.

Larger song titles and features does not mean a larger album was created, for “DAMN.” lacks the scope and replay value of his two previous albums. This is due to several tracks being slow paced like “YAH.,” the dazed “PRIDE.” and the fantastic “FEAR.” These tracks will challenge fans that want to hear more up-tempo tracks like “ELEMENT.” and “DNA.”

The two most emotive tracks are the insecure “FEEL.” and “LOVE.” On “FEEL.,” Lamar lays out his insecurities more bluntly than ever before: “Feel like only me and the music, though/I feel like you’re feelin’ ain’t mutual/I feel like the enemy you should know/Feel like the feelin’ of no hope.” The ballad “LOVE.” is a beautiful tribute for his fiance Whitney Alford.

Another uplifting track is “GOD.,” in which Lamar talks about his success, only to be humbled by God. This and the DJ Premier produced “DUCKWORTH.” close out the album brilliantly with the last thirty seconds of the album rewinding back to the opening track “BLOOD.” It is super surreal and will be analyzed to death by music critics.

“DAMN.” is not Kendrick Lamar’s best project, but is his fourth great album that is guaranteed to make multiple year-end lists. His versatility, awareness and craft persevere, which pleases music fans young and old around the world. With only a couple of dud tracks and too many progressions to count, Kendrick is pushing the limits of what a mainstream hip-hop album can be. If he keeps this up, he will be considered the greatest rapper of all time.

The Flyer gives “DAMN.” an 8/10.

 

“Life” is the thriller of the year.

By JACKIE  BONOLA

Staff Writer

In the past few years there has been an increase in science fiction movies that explore the mysteries of space and extraterrestrials. Thankfully “Life” takes recycled ideas and builds upon to them to create a solid space thriller.

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Movie poster  for “Life” from IMDb.com

 

The story line of the movie replicates that of other space thrillers that many associated with upon this film’s trailers. Of course there are some twists and turns that try to switch elements up, and they all work incredibly well.

Director Daniel Espinosa is treading into the territory of great sci-fi film masters like Ridley Scott, Christopher Nolan, Alfonso Cuarón, George Lucas, James Cameron, J.J Abrams and Michael Bay. Espinosa had and still has a tough audience to impress considering how weak the trailers for the film were.

This thriller features familiar actors like Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson. Despite this, the character that is expected to be the main character faces a dark fate early on in the film. It is wise to not get too comfortable with any of these characters.

The film also does not fall short when frightening the viewers with the terror of discovering new life and this is accomplished through curiosity and caution. It is clear how much the “Alien” franchise inspired the film especially with the alien itself.

The look of the alien is frightening and stunning to say the least.  The alien looked like a combination of several different movie monsters particularly from the 1980’s.  The alien has some pretty interesting abilities such as rapid growth  and the ability to absorb objects for food. It is quite an impressive Martian and its presence was certainly chilling.

What is most outstanding about the film were the death scenes. The close up camera, in depth visual of each slow and painful death scenes will give many viewers nightmares for weeks to come and question their dreams of becoming an astronaut.

In terms of themes, “Life” is a movie that questions what is more important: Human life or this new life discovered? One of the main characters in the film created/resurrected life. However, when things take a turn for the worse, we are faced with a question what life is more valuable.

Almost everything about this movie was spectacular.  However, one thing that fell short was the ending. The build up to the ending was great but sadly felt a bit short in terms of payoff. It was not remotely shocking at all and was almost disappointing. Nonetheless, it left the movie open for a sequel which has to count for something.

Looking at the different aspects of this alien movie like the story, the look and creativity  of the alien, along with the direction, there is a lot to love about this film.

The Flyer gives “Life” a 9/10.

15 songs to listen to before Gullfest 2017

by DREW LACOUTURE

Editorial Editor

With three artists coming to SOAP’s annual concert event, a lot of possible tracks can be performed. From D.R.A.M.’s brand of corky hip-hop, to Niykee Heaton’s sensual pop songs, to Ripe’s funky yet accessible jams, there will be a lot to absorb on May 7th. Here are five songs to listen to from each artist that they are most likely perform and that students should listen prior to Gullfest.

Ripe

  1. “Flipside”- while no studio version has been released, their session from Audiotree proves how great they sound life with this song being the best from that session.
  2. “Goon Squad”- funk guitar, blaring horns, tight rhythms, passionate vocals; it is everything a pop-funk song requires and will be a fun song to hear live.
  3. “Talk on the Moon”- their most impressive track in terms of technical musicianship and gathers influence from ska music and math rock.
  4. “On My Mind” (Ellie Goulding cover) – their new single that is quite an excellent cover of the smash song from 2015.
  5. “Ladies Night”- their most smooth track that plays more like late 60’s soul music
    GullFest

    advertisement for Gullfest 2017 from SOAP’s Instagram account.

    then 70’s funk.

Niykee Heaton

  1. “Bad Intentions”- her most well-known song with the help of a feature from Migos. There is no sense of her coming to perform if this song is not performed.
  2. “Skin Tight”- Another popular song from her that people will be looking forward to hearing live.
  3. “Nexus”- the most up-tempo track from her debut album that also a very Hip-Hop feel. It also displays how confident she is as an artist.
  4. “Rolling Stones”- comes off like many R&B and pop break-up anthems but excels thanks to her convincing vocal performance
  5. “Lullaby”- a love-making song that burrows heavily from psychedelic pop. Might be too slow for some of the audience but she will most likely make it more enjoyable.

D.R.A.M.

  1. “Cash Machine”- one of many singles from his newest album “Big Daddy D.R.A.M.” This track is just undeniably fun.
  2. “Cha Cha”- the single from his first E.P. “#1EpicEp.” This eccentric island influenced track helped establish D.R.A.M. as an artist. If performed live, hopefully he include all of the funny sound effects from the studio version.
  3. “Brocolli” – the song that made him and Lil Yahty a household name. A simple, yet effective party anthem.
  4. “Slappin”- while this song belongs to E-40, D.R.A.M.’s feature on the chorus make this song a valid option to perform. If this song does not get people dancing, then nothing will.
  5. “Misunderstood”- while Young Thug’s presence would be missed if he performed this, this track is easily one of his most griping tracks.

How race colors the way we see terror

By RILEY FANNING

Staff Writer

A few weeks ago, there was an attack on the Westminster bridge in London. A man by the name of Khalid Masood drove his car directly into pedestrians walking on the bridge. His fifth victim recently died in the hospital after she fell off the bridge. This was a very serious and horrible act, but this is not an excuse for racism or Islamaphobia.

When people think of the word “terror,” most people probably do not conjure up the image of a white person that committed the horrific act.

When someone that is white commits a heinous act of terror, there is no fear that white people will be profiled or discriminated against. This is not the same reality for many people of color, especially Muslims in today’s society.

Khalid Masood was a man who converted to Islam, and so this attack instantly became another example for people to cite in their hateful rhetoric about Muslims. Yet, when Dylann Roof of the Charleston church shooting committed his own heinous act, he was not profiled in the same way other races are. He was not described as an extremist thug, but rather as a mentally ill lone wolf.

No matter the person or their cause, terror and violence is horrific and wrong. But we as a society have to step back and examine why we do not see terror in the same way when it comes from someone white.

Senator Lindsey Graham described Dylann Roof as just “one of these whacked-out kids.” Because when a 21-year-old white guy shoots 9 people, its just one messed up individual. He is not representative of his entire race or religion.

The media’s word usage becomes extremely important in talking about terror. Descriptions shape the way we view people and their actions. President Trump’s use of the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism” in his constant tweets are just one example of the unbalanced rhetoric. There are 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, and from what the media promotes, it would seem all of them are extremists.

There needs to be a more objective look at terror in America. How heinous an act is should not depend on the color of the attacker’s skin. Terrible crimes committed by a person should not become representative of that person’s race or religion.

An inconvenient critique: Analyzing the trailer for Al Gore’s new film

By LUKE WATHEN

Staff Writer

This summer, politician and environmentalist Al Gore is planning to release “An Inconvenient Sequel,” a sequel to his hit documentary “An Inconvenient Truth.” The film is meant to discuss the continued issue of climate change where the first film left off, yet its trailer seems to be giving mixed signals of its true intent.

Al Gore has been a household name since the early 1990s.  He previously served as vice president under the Clinton administration from 1993 to 2001 and also became known for his bid for president in 2000, a bid which he narrowly lost to George W. Bush in what became the closest presidential election in American history.

an-inconvenient-sequel-truth-to-power-109005

Movie poster from Tribute.ca

 

In 2006, Gore became the face of the climate change community with “An Inconvenient Truth.” The documentary brought the idea of climate change and global warming into the forefront of discussion among American citizens and policymakers. Gore received equal praise and criticism for the film.

While many lauded Gore’s ability to use his political presence as a platform for a righteous cause, others felt that he was simply trying to boost his own prestige after his controversial election loss six years prior. Others also rebutted many of his arguments, arguing that the data he presented was, in some cases, inaccurate.

Despite the criticisms, the film was a major financial and cultural success and netted Gore a Nobel Peace Prize the following year. To this day, the film is used in many schools and universities to educate students on the presence and dangers of climate change and ways to fight it.

A trailer was recently released for Gore’s sequel, “An Inconvenient Sequel,” which continues to fuel the mystery of his true intentions and credibility. Based on the trailer alone, the complaints of Gore naysayers seem to have a degree of legitimacy.

While the topics of the film are meant to give an update on the ongoing issue of global climate change, the trailer itself feels more like an attack advertisement on incumbent President Donald Trump. In fact, much of the trailer consists of clips from Trump’s speeches intercut with footage and images from areas with ecological damage.

After watching this trailer, one must wonder if Gore is truly acting out of altruism rather than political gain. The 2016 election is still fresh in the minds of Americans, including Gore, who openly endorsed and campaigned on behalf of Democratic-nominee Hillary Clinton.

With that said, the fact that the trailer is so fixated on Trump makes its message a bit skewed. It is unclear whether this film is more concerned with saving the environment rather than electing a Democrat in 2020.

As a former senator, vice president and presidential nominee, Gore is no stranger to politics. Even his first film spent some time addressing his past in the public sector but the message of environmentalism still took center stage.

With this new film, it does not seem clear what Gore’s intentions are. It is impossible to tell since the film has yet to be released, but one cannot help but contemplate that this may be nothing more than a bit of petty vengeance from a man who feels that he and his colleague were cheated out of the presidency.

Hopefully Gore will set his own gripes and biases aside in this film to reach across partisan lines and unite people in an issue that affects everyone. In an era where truth and opinion are often blurred, partisanship is just as inconvenient as climate change.

“An Inconvenient Sequel” is set for release on July 28 of this year.