Oh my gosh, look at her video
Sep17

Oh my gosh, look at her video

Any music video featuring a parental advisory disclaimer begs for attention on all forms of media. But Nicki Minaj’s new music video “Anaconda” makes viewers question where our generation is headed in terms of entertainment.   The almost-five minute, grueling production needs a parental advisory warning to limit the ages of viewers — that’s how raunchy Nicki gets for an otherwise catchy song.  So what is all the buzz about that’s making celebrities and YouTube stars jump to make a parody?   The content of the video is nothing short of horrendous and disrespectful to women. The introduction shows scantily-clad dancers in their underwear, while Nicki is in chain links, leaving nothing to the imagination.   To make matters worse, the short shorts are followed by a meaningless workout portion where again, Minaj wears close to nothing.  As a whole, there is no central theme, adding to the pointless and provocative chaos.   If videos like this become so popular, with over a hundred million views, what have our values as a society come to?   Famous funny woman Ellen Degeneres capitalized on the video’s success, making her own hilarious version of the song while mocking its raciness. Ellen appears in short jean shorts and tights, trying her best to twerk without laughing. This is probably the only version worth watching, though.   Minaj herself viewed the spoof while the audience on the live talk show laughed and enjoyed the lighthearted video, which provides a stark contrast with the actual VEVO version.   This questionable behavior turned viral video isn’t a first for Minaj. She has released numerous videos that advertise sex, drug usage and superficial values. Whether she admits it or not, her videos are degrading to women as well as men.   “Anaconda” implies that it is okay for men to value women based on the size of their butts, something that our culture has begun accepting and promoting. Women with insecurities and interest for attention create these “music” videos, showcasing their assets. The sad thing is, Minaj has grown in popularity over the years.   Maybe it’s time for our culture to re-evaluate our standards of beauty, and the dynamic between male and female interactions. Why are we accepting such crude, explicit behavior as normal and desired?   Save yourself the time and “oh my gosh, look at” something other than her butt and music...

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New union excites students, faculty
Aug27

New union excites students, faculty

Students let out a collective gasp of awe as they arrived on campus for the semester. The spacious long-awaited Bawcom Student Union, which forms the visitors’ side of Crusader stadium is finally open and functional for use by the campus population.   The light, airy concept is accentuated by wall comprised almost entirely of windows offering three stories of sweeping panoramas of the football field below. Headquartered in the new facility are the Campus Activities Board, the Student Organizations Office, the Farris Band Hall and administrative offices.   The first floor is dedicated to the Campus Store, residential dining, the 1845 Grill and The Depot, a coffee shop proudly brewing Starbucks Coffee.   “I really like the space,” junior marketing major Jessica Pitcathly said. “It’s really going to change life on campus especially because all the organizations and activities are located here.”   Not only is she impressed with the convenience of the building, but she enjoys the new dining options.   “This is so much better than Hardy (Hall). I really like all the different choices there are of food. The good food and the new space make this a place students want to be,” Pitcathly said.   UMHB alumnus and Assistant Director of Campus Activities is excited to see ‘The Union,’ as it’s popularly called, come to fruition.   “This building is amazing and students are going to love it,” he said. “There are so many little details that really make it a building for students. From a CAB stand point this building really opens up endless opportunities for us to program, and the location of our office puts us right in the flow of students.”   The building brings him joy as a Crusader and ignites his pride for his alma mater.   “As an alumnus, I am super excited about this building. We had nothing like this when I was a student…. But the best part of this building is that it keeps with the core of what UMHB is about and opens the doors for endless opportunities to build community in any setting,” Sutton said.   Another group of people thankful for the new building is the band department now housed in the Farris Band Hall. Assistant Professor of Music, Associate Director of Instrumental Studies and Conductor of the Blackshirt Spirit Cru, Nils Landsberg said is thrilled to have a new state-of-the-art facility for his students to practice in.   Landsberg said, “The students are ecstatic…. Now we have one of the best band facilities in the state.”   Not only is he pleased that current students get to enjoy the benefits, but he...

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Entertainment not too Grande over summer
Aug27

Entertainment not too Grande over summer

Hits and misses have been in the workings this summer in the entertainment industry.   Power couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z ruled the world with their On The Run tour that went all the way around the country and will be finishing up in Paris, France. Their ticket sales topped $100 million as it wrapped up in North America in early August.   The tour’s success hasn’t really stopped the rumors floating around about the duo’s rocky marriage. At this rate, they have plenty of reasons to stay together since they are grossing about $5 million a night.   The first six months of 2014 left movie-goers excited for the summer movie season, but generally, people were disappointed with the turnout for most of the highly touted about films.   Another Transformers movie was released, and we can only hope it’s the last one. Things just aren’t the same since Shia Labouf isn’t in the picture anymore. We should give Mark Wahlberg a pat on the shoulder for trying, though.   Michael Bay frustrated action film viewers once again with the no-plot story line of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.   Shailene Woodley took over the box office for the second time after Divergent to bring us The Fault in Our Stars, which was one of few films this summer that was actually worth seeing.   When the love story that captured the hearts of bookworms everywhere came out in theaters earlier this summer, it had everyone falling in love with the characters all over again on-screen.   The film made about $50 million in the opening weekend and won multiple awards at the Teen Choice Awards.   The music industry gave us plenty of new music to enjoy, including songs from new artist Iggy Azalea. The Australian-born rapper had two songs in the top places of the Billboard Hot 100, becoming only the fourth female solo rapper to top the charts with her song “Fancy.”   In the same week, her featured song with Ariana Grande “Problem,” rose to number two and joined The Beatles as the only entertainers to rank at number one and two simultaneously with their first two hits.   She has also passed Lil’ Kim as the female rapper with the longest-leading number one single on the Billboard Hot 100, proving that she is someone we all need to be looking out for in the future.   This summer might not have been the best in entertainment, but we can almost guarantee the rest of this year will make up for it with Mockingjay Part One being released in November and The Walking Dead starting back...

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Cru Culture: social media
May06

Cru Culture: social media

THE BELLS — In today’s culture, the lives of celebrities are plastered on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, giving fans a glimpse into their favorite singer or actor’s life. But when James Franco texted a fan about meeting up at her hotel, many people criticized the openness social media today allows.   The 17-year-old girl and fan of Franco’s had attended Of Mice and Men, where she took a video of herself with the famous star in the background.   Franco asked her to tag him on Instagram, which started a direct conversation between him and the teenager.   The girl doubted the messages were coming from the Spring Breakers lead man, but he sent her several pictures of himself as well as his phone number.   Franco appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael, where he admitted the scandal happened, but didn’t apologize to the girl or the public. He also tweeted that he hopes parents keep their teens away from him with an image he deleted directly after.   For socially-savvy college students, this scandal should raise some eyebrows. The world has come to accept the idea of 30-something adults pursuing young people around the age of 18.   Though the girl made the decision not to meet up with Franco, she was vague about her relationship status and age. Can we blame her? Should we blame her?   A lot of girls her age don’t have the maturity to think clearly in such a strange situation or understand the repercussions of sex. But sex with a Hollywood star? It just doesn’t seem like something that would ever happen in the real world.   But for anyone who uses social media, it could happen. If your favorite actor gave you his number, would you want to meet up with him?   Because most Crusaders are just a few years older than the fan involved, students need to be wary of what they say via social media. They also need to think about society’s view on age, sex and morality.   After the initial buzz of the scandal, the pop culture world realized Franco’s new movie, Palo Alto, features a relationship like the one he encouraged with the girl, and the messages the two exchanged were sent on April Fool’s. So could the stunt be promotion for a film, and should we as the general public be OK with this type of “advertising?”   Though everyone jokes about stalking their crushes or enemies on social media, it’s easy to forget how simple it is to scroll through someone’s Facebook wall or Twitter feed—thank you, James Franco, for reminding us...

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Cru Culture: UMH “Baylor”
Apr15

Cru Culture: UMH “Baylor”

All Crusaders eventually come to a crossroad in their lives when they are given a choice: lie or tell the truth. The inevitable moment can determine a student’s future at the university and could even be an indication of how happy he or she will be over the next four years. Or five. Or six. The situation is unavoidable. It could occur at any time or place, with no warning. The pivotal moment in the life of a UMHB student is when a person with good intentions asks, “Oh, you go to Baylor?” The easy answer to this question is “Yes, yes I do. Sic ‘em.” While this answer avoids all awkwardness, it is, indeed, a lie. When Grandma innocently and sweetly asks you how you’re doing at Baylor, you don’t want to break it to her that she has her information wrong. Lying seems necessary, advisable even. Our green and gold neighbors in Waco don’t understand the grief we purple Baylor people go through. Don’t let this possible identity crisis scare you, though. You were dubbed a Crusader forever. You can’t let your school down, right? So instead, summon some bravery and give the true answer. All you have to say is, “Actually, I go to Mary Hardin-Baylor.” But, be warned. Something offensive will probably follow, though the person has no clue how much they are insulting everything you care about. He or she might naively ask you, “Oh, is that part of Baylor?” Everything inside of you will want to yell at this interrogator. You might even want to scream the school song in their face and throw up a “C” with dramatic pride. I won’t stop you from doing this, but remember, if they don’t know what UMHB is about, you could be jeopardizing everyone else’s reputation in your outburst. So, rein in the burning school pride and put on your best poker face. “No, actually, Mary Hardin-Baylor has its own history completely.” Then, educate this person. Let them have it. I suggest leading with, “Did you know Judge Baylor is actually buried on our campus?” Hopefully one day, people will ask Baylor students “Oh, so you go to Mary...

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The Fault in Our Stars outshines recent books
Apr15

The Fault in Our Stars outshines recent books

THE BELLS – By Jessica Pitcaithly Soon to be released in theaters as a major motion picture, The Fault in Our Stars is not only a phrase from Shakespeare’s play Julius Caesar, but also an eye-opening and touching novel written by John Green. People might expect the book to have been written in medieval times. Instead, it takes place in modern day and deals with a difficult topic that readers all over the country have appreciated. The plot focuses on Hazel Grace, a 16 year-old girl living with terminal cancer. She narrates the novel from a first-person point of view, showing the everyday struggle of the terrible disease. Forced by her mother to join a support group for her illness, Hazel reluctantly partakes in tedious sessions held in “the literal heart of Jesus,” (inside-joke book humor).  This ends up changing- her life forever. At first, Hazel dreads going until she meets Augustus Waters. Soon, the book speeds up as an unconventional love story unfolds. Augustus, or Gus for short, is a handsome boy. Initially, he is over-determined to get to know Hazel, and readers might be unsure of how they feel about the character. But as the book continues, readers intently follow the path of this couple’s relationship as they suffer from illness and a huge hunt for answers about Hazel’s favorite book: An Imperial Affliction, which plays a big role in the story. Green delivers a shocking ending that readers will not see coming. This unexpected turn furthers his message of the book about dealing with cancer. As a whole, The Fault in Our Stars is a fun and unique novel. Avid readers should carve out the time to delve into its honest truth about a difficult, real life topic. This book made me look closer at my life and count my blessings. On the other hand, it made me realize that I should enjoy the small things because of how short life is and take advantage of the moment. The popular novel is being adapted into a film and will star Shailene Woodley as Hazel and Ansel Elgort as Gus. With Woodley making a name for herself, the film has already gained a large following. It comes out in theaters June 6. But before sitting down to watch the film, get comfortable, open the book and read. Regret will not even cross your...

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