SOAP: Clean up Gullfest

BY TIMOTHY YOUNG

Web Editor

@TheTimothyYoung

Every spring semester, the Student Organization for Activity Planning (SOAP) hosts arguably one of Salisbury University’s biggest events of the year: Gullfest.

The massively hyped spring concert has seen the likes of artists spanning from the Plain White T’s, Calvin Harris, and even Taylor Swift. Usually the concert has three well-known artists take the stage, but this year was a bit different.

Facing budget cuts, SOAP was given access to less than half the concert funds they had last year which featured MKTO, Jessie J and Mac Miller as the headliner. This year featured Jason Derulo as the headliner with local Salisbury bands breakfast. and The Jesters as opening acts. Neither breakfast. or The Jesters were paid for performing.

By polling the students last semester, mentioning names like Chance the Rapper and Childish Gambino, students got their hopes up. Jason Derulo was not on the list so when he was announced, it felt like students had no power over who would be performing on their campus.

SOAP’s troubles didn’t just end with a disappointing concert lineup.

SOAP was unable to secure the intramural fields as a venue, which ended up being relocated to the lawn between Henson and Perdue. This was soon changed to Maggs Gymnasium, due to inclement weather concerns.

During Gullfest, which started in the mid-afternoon with Derulo scheduled to perform at 6:30 p.m., it was reported that his tour bus was experiencing trouble which resulted in him arriving over two hours late. Near the end of his set, the power to the audio systems went dead, resulting in a delay and Derulo had to kill time with one working microphone.

However, this all doesn’t get to be chalked up to just bad luck. SOAP had its own problems with the situation that in hindsight, could have been handled better.

The decision to bring in Derulo was ultimately made by SOAP with no outside input. This obviously upset members of the student body, leading one student to even start a petition against having Derulo come to Gullfest.

There is no use in sitting around and complaining about Gullfest because that won’t make a difference. Students spoke out by not coming. No one wants to see Gullfest fail, but SOAP needs to figure out that the current method of operating isn’t working as well as they might think.

SU students shouldn’t burn SOAP at the stake and move on because Gullfest has the opportunity to be one of the coolest things students can say about their school, and there is an opportunity to change that.

During the week of Gullfest, an open letter to the student body was posted on SOAP’s social media sites highlighting the main issues that went into the Gullfest decisions – everything from the approval of University Police and the reasoning behind choosing Derulo.

This is the kind of transparency that SOAP needed earlier. By keeping the student body in the loop, there would be much less backlash when/if matters go awry.

One of the biggest aspects to consider is that one of the main coordinators of Gullfest is SOAP’s concert chair: a college student. Putting the fate of one of SU’s biggest events in the hands of a student isn’t fair to her or to any other college kid. If the event goes wrong, even with no fault attributed to the student, they still have to help shoulder the blame of the student body being disappointed in their spring concert.

Giving students responsibility is what college is all about, but there are much better ways of giving them opportunities than having them handle the fiasco that is Gullfest. Perhaps it might be better to leave that job to more qualified staff that can better organize the event.

 

 

Why haven’t you seen this Arnold Schwarzenegger movie?

Luke WathenBY LUKE WATHEN
Staff Writer

Arnold Schwarzenegger is a name that near-every American is familiar with. Emerging in the 1980s with his roles in The Terminator and Predator, Schwarzenegger has made a name for himself as the quintessential action hero: stealing every scene with a combination of one-liners and blazing guns.
Nowhere is this truer than in the 1987 film The Running Man, a movie that was recently added to Netflix’s digital library and one that is criminally underrated. In fact, compared to Schwarzenegger’s other cinematic ventures, it is all too often overlooked entirely.
The film takes place in the distant future of 2017 where the world economy has collapsed and the United States has been reduced to a totalitarian police state, where all dissent is brutally crushed. (With the way the election is looking now, the movie may be a bit prophetic.)
The most popular television show of the era is The Running Man: a televised manhunt where convicted criminals must escape from heavily armed “stalkers,” men with flamboyant personas that are armed to the teeth. Among the hunters are Dynamo, an opera singer with a suit that shoots bolts electricity (No, I am not making this up), a chainsaw wielding sociopath named Buzzsaw and Captain Freedom, a Hulk Hogan-esque wrestler played by Jesse Ventura, who later went on to become governor of Minnesota (Again, not making this up.)
Schwarzenegger portrays Ben Richards, a former helicopter pilot who is wrongly convicted by the corrupt government. Given a choice of prison and having his friends killed or competing on The Running Man, he reluctantly chooses the latter.
As he competes in the sadistic game hosted by the popular Damon Killian (played by original Family Feud host Richard Dawson), Richards begins to unravel the secrets of the totalitarian government and his own conviction, hoping to use his knowledge to help spur a revolution.
From the outset, there does not seem to be much to enjoy about this movie. The plot seems ridiculous and predictable, the characters two-dimensional and the effects quite dated.
What is interesting, however, is how well the movie works. It’s previously mentioned weaknesses are what makes the film work so well.
The movie is the very definition of excess; the dialogue is hammy, the violence is overly gory and the soundtrack feels like it contains every synthesizer ever produced during the 80s. But that is exactly what makes the movie so entertaining, its over-the-top camp.
The best part of the movie is Richard Dawson’s portrayal of a sadistic gameshow host Damon Killian. Throughout the film, he works the audience, schmoozes woman of all ages and exudes a larger-than-life persona. Essentially, Richard Dawson plays evil Richard Dawson.
If you are in the mood for something that you can enjoy without much thought, I highly recommend The Running Man. The movie has everything that we have come to expect from a Schwarzenegger film: over-the-top action, corny dialogue and characters that are so melodramatic that you cannot help but laugh at them.
It is certainly no Citizen Kane or The Godfather, but it’s the perfect movie to enjoy with a group of friends. So kick back, have a good laugh and enjoy one of the lesser known 80s action flicks while it is still on Netflix.

6god plays it safe on fourth album

cover

BY DREW LACOUTURE
Staff Writer

Coming off the most successful year of his career, Drake manages to maintain the attention of everybody while not impressing anybody on “Views.” Meant to be a homage to his home city of Toranto, Drake decides to indulge in the moody yet seductive subject matter and instrumentals that made him successful including singing… lots of it. This and a lack of fantastic tracks (despite there being 20 tracks) might make this album polarizing for many people.
Drake over the past year has been dropping music back-to-back and just about all of it has landed a bullseye. While this album is without a doubt satisfactory, the Drake camp might be suffering from artist fatigue. All of his music has been so great on a pop and hip-hop level (“If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late”, “Back to Back” and “Hotline Bling”) so because this album is just good, it makes the album worse than it is. This is mainly due to View’s lack of distinction with several questionable decisions.
What people will remember most about “Views” is his inclusion of dance-hall inspired pop songs with “Controlla, the single “One Dance” and “Too Good” all coming off the success of Rhianna’s “Work.” Speaking of Rhianna, her feature on “Too Good” is spectacular plus the hypnotic instrumental make it a highlight. While these tracks might settle well with all of Drake’s fans, “Too Good” alone makes this experiment worth but “One Dance and “Controlla” will likely be inescapable this summer.
Unfortunately the overhyped “Grammys” with Future sounds like a B-side from “What a Time to Be Alive, with both artists talking about their success behind a lackluster instrumental. The real banger on here is ironically “Hype” that has one of his most braggadocios lyrics “I don’t run out of material/ you shouldn’t speak on me, period, you try to give ’em your side of the story/ they heard it, but they wasn’t hearin’ it.”
The opening tracks on “Views” actually start the album off strong with the emotional and cloudy “Keep the Family Close” which sets the tone of the album incredibly well. “9” has an incredible beat and is the only track strictly about his city. However, he never really explains why “I turn the six upside down, it’s a nine now.”
The album alone suffers because of “With You” where Drake uses PARTYNEXTDOOR and Jeremih both entirely outshine him and sounds more like an interlude then a full track. However, the situation is flipped on the next track “Faithful” where Plies and dvsn are underused. Plies only says a few lines while dvsn sounds fantastic on this track and his outro should have been re-written as the hook of the song.
There are just so many tracks that are just good, and nothing more that. Drake is most ear grabbing on the Fetty Wap inspired “Still Here” with his second verse (“I gotta talk to God even though he isn’t near me, Based on what I got it’s hard to think he don’t hear me”). The beginning of “Childs Play” gives so much promise but falls off half way through. Drake spits some nice bars on “Weston Road Flows” but the sample used is too loud and is quite distracting.
Love him or hate him, Drake is one of the only artists in history that makes sexy, lush songs but are really break-up songs or him struggling with love. This is especially true with “Feel No Ways” and ethereal “Redemption” that are both harken back to “Take Care.” What other artist can do that while still crushing Meek Mill?
The real question of the century though is why he put “Hotline Bling” on the album and not “Summer Sixteen.” The reasons why this move does not make sense is almost endless. “Views” should have been the actual closer because of its grand instrumental and great reminiscent lines ( “Running through the 6, thumbing through the contracts/ I’m possessed, you can see it under the contacts/ They think I had the silver spoon but they’ll get it soon/ I still got something left to prove since you left me room”)
To the credit of Drake and his producers (and possibly ghostwriters), the record does not feel like an hour and thirty minutes. The songs for the most part at least decent enough to vibe with. This is not to say that some tracks should have been cut for “U With Me,” and “With You” mentioned earlier. “Fire and Desire” is barely redeemed by the genius use of a sample from Brandy.
Drake as an entertainer did not disappoint on “Views” but his work ethic recently work against him here for outside of his dance hall tracks, Drake does not do anything incredibly noteworthy. If Drake waited a bit longer to release this to give listeners a break, and focused more on quality over quantity, then this album might have been more successful on a musical level. Despite this Drake still deserves credit where it is deserved and this album will not be seen as a misstep in the future.

The Flyer gives “Views” by Drake a 6/10.

Vegan fads and celeb culture

FinnBY RILEY FANNING
Staff Writer

Much like Coachella, juice cleanses and nose jobs, veganism has become a popular new obsession among celebrities. Fads come and go in the intricate network of A through Z lister’s, but at what cost?
The problem with celebs such as DJ Khaled and Beyoncé promoting their brief 20 days worth of veganism goes deeper than the seemingly innocent surface. While anyone making changes regarding the reduction of animal products in their diet is a step in the right direction, it is misleading to tout veganism as a quick 20-day jumpstart to health.
Veganism first and foremost is not a diet, it is a chosen lifestyle. To be vegan means to not consume any animal products- no meat or dairy. While you can certainly eat a vegan diet purely for the health benefits alone, the majority of people go vegan as a push back against the mistreatment of animals that occurs throughout the system of factory farming. [Read more…]

The Good, Bad and Optimistic Sides of a Trump Rally

By: Kobi Azoulay

@Elements11997


  When many people think of a Donald Trump rally, the first thing that comes to mind is violence.

  The numerous comments on my Facebook telling me to be safe during his rally at Stephen Decatur High School serve as testament to that belief.

  Those fears are not unfounded.

  In Fayetteville, N.C. a Trump supporter sucker-punched a protestor in the face. In Birmingham, AL another protestor was beaten and allegedly choked.

  Trump himself has even gone as far as saying he would pay the legal fees of anybody who knocks the crap out of a protestor (he later walked back on that statement).

  Curious to experience the atmosphere of a Trump rally myself, I ventured into the belly of the beast to discover the truth.

  A lot of what I encountered was to be expected, but some of it opened my eyes to a possibility I ignorantly never considered: we have more in common than we all believe.

  Before getting into that, it is important to highlight the toxicity that was on display.

  The rough underbelly of the Trump rally was not always apparent, but once it appeared you could not miss it. It began as soon as I entered the enormous line.

  About 5 minutes in I noticed a black truck with paint on it reading, “Send them all back.” Many Trump supporters clapped and took pictures of it in one of the few signs of racism I noticed on the night.

  Peddlers lined the streets selling pro-Trump merchandise. Most of it was the typical “Trump for President” stickers and shirts you would expect at any candidate’s rally, but there was also a sticker that read, “Cruz back to Canada.”

  One shirt in particular stood out to me.

  It said, “Hillary sucks but not like Monica.” This elicited laughter from many fans around me. One man even referred to her as a gypsy.

  As the line moved up, we approached the protestors holding signs reading “No racism” and “No facism” among many others. The Trump fans responded by chanting “Trump” and “Go home,” but besides snide comments about socialism and Democrats, the insults were kept to a minimum and lacked racial charge.

  Once we got into the high school, everyone was disappointed to find out the gym where Trump was going to speak was filled to capacity so we were directed to the cafeteria to watch his speech on a projector screen.

  That did not stop the crowd from getting fired up.

  Chants of “Build that wall!” began before Trump even arrived. They continued during his speech, with one college student yelling “F*** yeah,” after.

  When Trump talked about how Mexico and China are ripping us off on trade, one man bellowed out, “Those bastards!”

  To my surprise, this was the only statement from a fan I heard during Trump’s speech that could be perceived as racially charged (and that is debatable).

  Leaving the rally, I witnessed one last bout of poisonous politics.

  Jacob Mast, a University of Maryland student wearing a Bernie Sanders shirt, was calmly telling people about Trump’s past donations to Hillary Clinton. A few Trump supporters responded by fiercely yelling, “You’re a socialist!” and “Get a job!”

  All of these negatives might make it seem like there was an ominous atmosphere surrounding the event, but it was all to be expected. I actually left the rally thinking about Trump fans in a more positive light.

  The large majority of people I encountered at the rally were extremely polite, personable and if they were racist, they were not obvious about it.

  We told jokes together, shared in the awe of how long the line was and worried about whether we would even get in to see him. A lot of people actually strayed away from political conversations and talked about their day-to-day lives.

  “If we weren’t wearing different shirts, we could all be in 7-11 together and we’d be fine” Mast said. “We’re all just people on the shore.”

  Although the protestors did rile up some people, most Trump fans just wanted them to go away so they could enjoy the rally in peace.

  Ironically the protestors actually sparked one of the most heartwarming moments of the night. As they chanted anti-Trump remarks, his supporters responded with “USA!” chants.

  To my amazement, the protestors joined in.

  This speaks volumes.

  It reveals that despite all of our vast differences, despite the poisonous politics we all fall into, we are all still held together by our common bond as Americans.

  Even though many view Donald Trump rallies as a scary place to be, it is important to remember that the bad apples are a small minority that exists within any candidate’s support.

  Most supporters are people like all of us. They worry about their financial future. They worry about violence and do not want to be anywhere near it.

  They want to make America a better place.

  We anti-Trump activists need to avoid falling into the same trap of generalization we blame his fans for. We need to keep an open-mind and truly listen to the opinions of his supporters and avoid insulting them. It is okay to disagree, but important to do so in a respectful manner.

  We all want to make America great, but instead of shouting about walls or fascism, let us start with civility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why you should not worry about Gull Fest

BY DREW LACOUTURE

Staff Writer

Two completely different artists will be taking the stage at the annual Salisbury University Gull Fest and the question everyone is asking is whether it will be a good show. Thankfully, based off the music of the artist alone, it is safe to say the concert will be quite entertaining, but only if both artists do a couple of key things.

The opening act, breakfast. are the definition of local celebrities. Formed out of SU itself in 2013, the eight-piece band indulges in a blend of alternative, atmospheric hip-hop and indie pop. Their debut project (which can be listened to on Noisetrade.com) while flawed is without a doubt unique and full of heart, something quite impressive for an unsigned band.

The electronic production sounds expensive, the song structures are diverse and the rap verses are clever but a little preachy at times. It is hard to not smile when they reference Fulton Hall during the second act of “Stay Up.”

With that said, several of these songs might not have the energy to be performed live and they might be a little bit melodramatic for some. “The Wedding” is probably one of the highlights on the album but it is a depressing track that might shy some students away if performed. The ethereal “No Peace” is a sleeper that despite its musicality needs extra drums and a faster tempo to be great.

There are many tracks, however, that could be played as they are. The political “Wake Up Call” and “Bring Life” both sound gorgeous and hopefully the subtle details in the songs will come out in their performance. If you get past the auto tune, “Shade” is a superb hard hitter that needs to be played that evening. “Got Your Back” will also sound great without the “heys” that have plagued so many rap songs lately.

What breakfast. has to do is mix their music with covers. Their debut album, while impressive, might not vibe with everybody at face value so adding some familiar songs will get some people singing.

Furthermore, they could add more energy to these songs to keep students in front of the stage and at least moving. This can be done by adding more instrumentation to make these tracks sound full and exciting. Based off their recent traction, they will intrigue people at the least.

When Jason Derulo was announced, quite a bit of controversy was sparked. Despite being a high-profile pop-star, his name was not on the ballot that SOAP presented to students, leaving many students confused. Jason Derulo, to many, is un-original and boring. In many respects they are right, but Derulo is actually a good pick for the annual show.

His career sparked in 2011 with his debut album that featured singles like “Watcha Say” and “Ridin Solo” which at this point are nostalgic for most college students. At first, Derulo seemed like another Michael Jackson wannabe, joining Chris Brown and Ne-Yo in the R&B-pop realm.

Following this, Derulo followed up with two lackluster albums that spawned some successful singles, but Derulo still felt forced in the pop world. While the man is talented and “Talk Dirty” is still a party anthem, no one ever calls Derulo to do a hook or feature unlike similar artists Chris Brown or Jeremih.

This is where his 2015 album “Everything is 4” comes in which is by far his most fluent and catchy project to date. With some great dance tracks like “Pull Up,” “Love Me Down” and the closer “X2CU,” there is so much potential for a great show on May 1.

Additionally one cannot forget “Want to Want Me” which has the best production of any Jason Derulo song. He even got the legendary Stevie Wonder on “Broke.” A lot of cringe worthy moments can still can be found on here like his past records, but even college students cannot help but get these bubble-gum songs in their heads.

Derulo also has two new singles. The first “If It Ain’t Love” is an EDM styled banger that he will most likely perform and the second is the trap flavored “Naked” which he probably should just leave alone.

As long as Derulo sticks to his newer tracks with some of his better singles from the earlier part of the decade, he is sure to put on a pleasurable show. Let us keep in mind that the man can dance too, adding another dimension to his performance.

It seems like a lot of people are worried about Gull Fest this year. Both whether it will live up to previous years and worried that Derulo is too pop and breakfast. is not big enough. This variance in styles and stardom can make for a killer show as long as breakfast. keeps the energy level up and Derulo plays his more enjoyable material.

Get your tickets at the Information Desk at the G.U.C..

Outside the Trump rally, where nothing was solved – a bystanders’ perspective

BY JACOB TROXELL

Editor-in-Chief

@trox3

edited trump

Police in riot gear lined Seahawk Road Wednesday afternoon, preventing protesters and supporters from getting too out of hand.

For those who didn’t make it inside Stephen Decatur High School Wednesday afternoon to hear Donald Trump speak, there was plenty of action outside.

Protesters lined up together on one side of Seahawk Road (ironically across the street from Friendship Road), supporters on the other, with a street full of police in riot gear separating the two.

“Build a wall” chants were shouted back at a “Mexico” chant. Some racial slurs were thrown around. One man even dared and demanded an officer to pepper spray him. It got even worse when nightfall rolled around and Trump was long gone.

The scene felt like more of a standoff on a battlefield than it did a rally, and showed that the United States of America is anything but united.

It did not matter what religion, race or views you had, you were in a shouting match whether you wanted to be or not. [Read more…]

Why It’s Always Sunny Works

Luke WathenBY LUKE WATHEN
Staff Writer

Earlier this month, FXX announced that “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” had been renewed for three more seasons, guaranteeing that the show will live to see at least 14 seasons. What started off as a low-budget endeavor from a few unknown actors has cemented itself as a comedic powerhouse sure to go down in television history as one of the greatest sitcoms of all time.
What makes this so impressive is similar sitcoms with the same level of acclaim have not lasted as long. “Seinfeld” lasted for nine seasons, “Frasier” lasted for 11 and “Friends,” often regarded as the best sitcom ever, only lasted 10 seasons.
This naturally begs the question of what makes “It’s Always Sunny” work so well. It may be the style of humor, which has been compared to “Seinfeld,” or the casting of Danny DeVito as Frank Reynolds, a character whose introduction in season two saved the show from early cancellation.
While these aspects are quite important to the show, they are not the shows greatest strength.
The shows strength lies in its ever-changing character dynamic.
The main cast of the show consists of five characters: Dennis, Dee, Mac, Charlie and Frank, a group of “friends” that own a bar together. The show focuses on the group’s conniving schemes and comical misadventures, with the source of the humor being what awful people the characters are.
Even with the familiar sort of humor, the show manages to constantly stay fresh by regularly changing the character dynamic. While one episode may focus exclusively on Frank, another may focus on Mac and Charlie, or Dennis and Dee or any other combination of the characters.
This is the show’s greatest strength. While other shows fall victim to familiarity and fail to keep an audience, “It’s Always Sunny” manages to keep viewers guessing, never knowing what will happen next.
With eleven seasons under its belt and another three on their way, “It’s Always Sunny” has managed to not only survive but also thrive in the field of sitcoms. Because of its ever changing character dynamic, the show not only stays consistently fresh, but consistently good as well.

Twitter is Dead

FinnBY RILEY FANNING
Staff Writer

The years of Twitter being a major player in the ever-expanding market of social media are over. While at one time it was a pretty good platform for awareness, social commentary, news and creativity, the years have not aged this social media outlet well.
Scrolling through the cluttered, overcrowded feeds makes browsing feel more like an annoying chore rather than a fun pastime. Constantly trying to filter between the abundance of text in order to decipher what’s meaningful in all of it proves to be exceedingly tedious.
As the amount of people you follow grows, the harder it is to keep up with anything, and the easier it becomes to miss what is relevant to you. The main problem is most definitely the lack of focus presented by Twitter. [Read more…]

Three Trapped Tigers’ Safe Third Outing

DrewBY DREW LACOUTURE
Staff Writer

London Instrumental Band Three Trapped Tigers return with a slight advancement in their tight and creative sound with “Silent Earthling.”
Combining metal guitar with the synthetic drums and heavy synthesizes of electronic music, TTT still sounds excited to make music. However, with a world of musical possibilities they could embody, they play it relatively safe on this record.
This is not to say a reinvention was required of them. After all, their debut “Route One or Die” and follow up “Numbers 1-13” were solid progressive rock albums where the listener never knew whether they were going to become darker or brighter, allowing TTT to have an off-kilter nature to them. [Read more…]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.