Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The Most RACES Show On Earth! is the Show to End All Racism

Popular comedic showcase promoting diversity returns to Charleston, SC for one night only  – Tickets on sale now!

CHARLESTON, SC – August 15, 2016 - North America’s most defining, multicultural stand-up comedy showcase is set to return to the Charleston Music Hall for a third year in a row!

Ending racism is a monumental task, but one that creator/producer Neil Bansil has been working toward for over 10 years. “In 2004, I created “The Most RACES Show on Earth!” to not only showcase some of the funniest stand-up comics, but I also wanted to use it as a platform to create dialogue about race and culture,” says Bansil, creator and producer of MRSOE!  “It’s important to me to be able to give audiences access to comedians from many different cultural backgrounds in an effort to show that no matter who is on stage, their perspectives on life are not that different.”

If there is one goal that MRSOE! would like to accomplish, it is as simple as getting people from as many different backgrounds to hang out together.  Racism stems from the fear of the unknown, including different cultures and customs.  

On Thursday, September 8thThe Most RACES Show on Earth! will unabashedly put the topic of race front and center.  Comedians will be uncensored and free to speak their truths about race, culture and everything in between.  The truth may shock some, but Bansil says, “There is shock value in the truth, but it’s that initial shock that helps us to better understand one another.” Comedy has the ability to tackle relationships between different cultures head on.  

America is a melting pot of different cultures, and its beauty is deeply rooted in diversity. With many of the racially fuelled conflicts that have recently occurred, and racial discourse continuing to be an issue in the current Presidential campaigns, the issue of race and racism seems increasingly relevant. And with Charleston enduring recent tragedies like the Mother Emanuel Church and Walter Scott shootings,  The Most RACES Show on Earth! may be needed now more than ever.  We may not end racism completely, but we are going to do our part to make a difference and hopefully make people laugh along the way. 

MRSOE! will be hosted by:
Cory ‘Zooman’ Miller – Atlanta, GA (Comedy Central, NBC’s Tonight Show) (African-American)

The hilarious line-up also includes:
• KT Tatara – Los Angeles, CA (NBC’s Last Comic Standing, Comedy Central) (Japanese-American)
• Dave Merheje – Los Angeles, CA (Just for Laughs, NBC’s Stand-Up for Diversity) (Lebanese-Canadian)
• Dino Archie – Vancouver, BC (Jimmy Kimmel Live, Comedy Central) (African-American)
• Amir K – Los Angeles, CA (MADtv, Comedy Central, CBS’s Comics Unleashed) (Iranian-American)
• Rob HaZe – Brooklyn, NY (Comedy Central, Laughing Skull Festival) (African-American)

Music by: DJ Sparkbox

Also...Beatboxer Chance Rine and Breakdancer Delma Rahming performing LIVE!

The Most RACES Show on Earth! takes place on Thursday, September 8, 2016 at 8:00pm at the Charleston Music Hall.  Tickets are $15.00 adults; $10 Military & students (with ID – at box office only).  For tickets, call (843) 853-2252; online at or visit the Charleston Music Hall box office at 37 John St. Charleston, SC 29403. 

About MRSOE!

Founded in 2004, The Most RACES Show on Earth! is North America’s premier stand-up comedy show that aims to create dialogue about race and culture through laughter.  

For more information, please visit;


Media contact:

Neil Bansil
(843) 714-3855


Monday, August 15, 2016

Decadent Dessert

By: Mary Kiser
Night shrouds his winding sheet over day,
And stars ogle at his dissolute display.
Intemperate invitations from cities clothes
Offer licentious lights like beacons that bellow from below.
His omnipresence entices prurient purpose,
And derides the sun's intrusive housewife circus.
Night forbids churches, parishioners, nuns, and the like.
He desires debauchees who spit in the style of debutante polite.
There can be forgiveness in the honest fright from Night.
Day is just another lie in crowned right.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Legend of Tarzan

By: Cheyenne Abrams

The Cinematic Universe has really gotten their lives together by remaking or adding on to the story lines of movies from the 90s. This brings a sense of nostalgia to viewers as they wander into the theater to relive earlier memories with friends, family, and even their children.

The Legend of Tarzan is no different. Directed by Harry Potter’s David Yates, the movie dives into the afterlife of Tarzan’s now diplomatic lifestyle in 1860s England. However, with new terror, Leon Rom (Christopher Waltz) rising in his homeland, Tarzan, now John Clayton (Alexander Skarsgard, True Blood) and his debutante wife, Jane (Margot Robbie, Suicide Squad), are convinced by Investigator George Washington Williams (Samuel L. Jackson, Pulp Fiction), to journey into the deep forest to take back a land once theirs.

The movie has very tense moments, from family scruffs to kidnappings and dangerous animal encounters. However, the directors and script writers tied it together with heartfelt flashbacks of Jane and Tarzan’s first encounter, Tarzan’s adoption by his Gorilla family, along with the couple’s struggle to start a family of their own.

The Legend of Tarzan is an international tale, and it is showcased throughout the film with Tarzan’s main conflict being Chief Mbonga (Djimon Hounsou, Guardians of the Galaxy), who wants to punish Tarzan for crimes he made before he discovered life outside of Africa. His support system is the tribe that Jane’s father worked with when Tarzan was found; they spread the legend from tribe to tribe through song.

The movie does, however, dive into the 1860s mentality in the treatment of women, as well as the harsh slavery aspect of the time period. There are no stones left unturned when looking into the period of the late 1800s. This movie, like many other tall tales of our childhood, leave people walking out during the credits thinking about how they treat others, greed, and the struggle that other countries face. The movie also focused on minor details about the time period like the creation of Ping Pong, and how Tarzan frequently plays the game in his home. 

I give the movie a 4 out of 5 star rating. While making me nostalgic, and leaving the theater with life lessons, I wish that Tarzan’s animal families played a bigger part in the film, rather than just Jane and her childhood tribe.

A Monster-Drug

By: Mary Kiser

Forget what you think you know about heroin. It's not the rumpled wrapper at the bottom of a McDonald's trash can; it's not apoplectic abscesses that speckle a junkie's arms; it's not the mugshots of men and women who are mothers, fathers, husbands, and wives. It's a drug. It inveigles the mind through seraphic seduction.

Gia Marie Carangi, the model of the 70’s and 80’s, was known for glamour shots, catwalks, and fittings; her legacy was the yellow-brick road every aspirant model desired. However, her life outside magazine covers and travel painted a more opaque picture. Heroin wasn't just her hobby; it was the passion that extinguished any flame, any problem, and any future.

It was never a "dirty" drug only obtained and used by vagabonds, the poor, or the homeless. This narcotic still thrives where people live, and it feeds off the souls of the living. Addicts can't receive assistance from broken prison systems or absent families and friends. In order to defeat heroin, you can't lock him away or ignore him. You have to understand his beginning.

The pain reliever travelled from China to America in the late 1800's. Chinese immigrants would work on the railroads, and instead of drink, they would smoke the substance during their rest periods. This monster was even presented as a cure for alcoholism! And even though liquor was more problematic than opium, heroin is now the big fish in our small pond of our planet.

Heroin presents an inviting appearance, but the high is ephemeral, and the damage to both the brain and body can be significant. Before you enjoy the play, know the price of the performance.
If you or someone you love is in the claws of heroin or other opioid addiction, you can privately call 888-986-7196 or visit the American Addiction Centers website for free.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A Lesson from Australia

By: Callie Ball

A total of 8,305 people as of August 5 have been killed from gun violence in the United States, in 2016 alone. With more mass shootings occurring every year, the conversation over gun control continues to grow louder. I am not going to give you a list of all those different viewpoints and what they mean; I haven’t the time and I’m certain you have already heard them. Instead, I would like to give you a history lesson.

Port Arthur, Australia, 1996, a single gunman armed with a high powered rifle opens fire at a café, killing 35 people. Then-prime minister John Howard, just 6 weeks into his term and only 12 days after that mass shooting, launched major gun control laws into effect. The new laws made it illegal to import or sell automatic or semi-automatic rifles and shotguns, required citizens to wait 28 days before buying a firearm and only after presenting a legitimate reason as to why one is being purchased. It also called for a government gun buyback, firearms to be stored and locked up separately from its ammunition and have surprise police checks.

In the 15 years before Port Arthur, there were 13 previous mass shootings in Australia. In the 20 years since there has not been a single one.

In an interview with CBS News Sunday Morning, Carolyn Laughton, a survivor of the Port Arthur shooting in which she lost her daughter stated after being asked if there was a lesson for the U.S. in what Australia has done, “I am loath to comment. But my question is, ‘How is it going over there?’ But I can’t answer that for you. My heart goes out to all of you over there in America. Life is so short. And every one of us is somebody’s child. And when we see what’s happening, your hearts bleed.”

“People used to say to me, ‘You’ve violated my human rights by taking away my gun.’ And I’d respond, ‘I understand that. Will you please understand the argument; the greatest human right of all is to live a safe life without fear of random murder.” – John Howard

Letter to the Editor

Camps in America
By: Mary Kiser

Most people try not to repeat their mistakes. If someone lies, then that person will apologize, and make a mental note to try and entertain the truth. History is what the future depends on, and what Americans can reflect on when making a decision. Unfortunately, major events in history are liable to be repeated.

Some Americans don't know that the United States built internment camps after Pearl Harbor. Japanese-Americans were prisoners in these camps for no reason other than fear and sore entitlement. In Colorado, Camp Amache comprised of 7,300 internees, and this is parallel to the concentration camps that were constructed across Europe; the detained were gypsies, the Polish, Russians, and Jewish persons. These displaced persons experienced unfathomable horror; everything from malnourishment to excruciating labor to death were everyday occurrences.

Americans forget the torture, the pain, and the suffering from home and abroad. And now, Donald Trump is resurrecting the same ancient, failed, and inhumane practices with his idiotic and beyond outdated ideas. He believes that the U.S. needs to create a database of Syrian refugees and incessant surveillance on mosques. For him to even suggest these outlandish ideas should rift him from possible presidency. But he's seen as this hipster politician that defies the rules and regulations set for candidates. His buzz isn't loud; it's obnoxious and dangerous. Conservative Republicans need to quit viewing him as a pesky mosquito that sometimes draws bad blood; he's a Wasp with a Waspy facade.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The News of the World for Today

By: Mary Kiser

His blank silhouette outlined assertion and authority as Queen's We Are The Champions shattered in waves across the audience. People begged with their cheers and screams for the Chosen One who denied political correctness and welcomed brutal honesty. And as sound barriers broke, Mr. Donald J. Trump emerged from the darkness and into the artificial light. His toupee glittered and his tan glowed. And even though his smile was forced, his voice resounded through the stadium with reassurance: "We're gonna win so big," and the stadium brimmed with ecstasy. Who could even match this man's fire?

And then his wife, Melania Trump, appeared in a dress so white even angel wings couldn't compare. And We Are The Champions boomed throughout the stadium as she took her husband's place and assessed their kingdom. The queen had arrived.

Her immovable speech consisted of her values, her family, her ironic immigration from Slovenia, and portions of the current First Lady's own words. While Melania voiced her husband's positives, the outcry from the public can't be dissuaded. Her speech, like a high school senior's thesis paper, was plagiarized. And if she's going to be in the White House, she needs to show the United States that she can be more than arm candy. She said, there's "no room for small thinking" if her husband were to become POTUS. She should heed her own advice, and at least hire a new speech writer. Let Meredith McIver leave the castle before it crumbles.


The Quidditch World Cup

By: Callie Ball
On the weekend of July 23 and 24, in Frankfurt, Germany, 24 teams from six continents will compete for the title of Quidditch world champion.

The game is played the same as in J.K. Rowling’s books which made it famous – except these brooms don’t fly. Each team has a total of seven players, consisting of one keeper, three chasers, two beaters and one seeker. Chasers attempt to throw the Quaffle (volleyball) through the opposing teams’ hoops which are guarded by the keeper. The beaters throw bludgers (dodgeballs) to disrupt the opposing players. Seekers attempt to catch the snitch which is a tennis ball, inside a sock, attached to the waistband of a neutral player. This neutral player is referred to as the snitch runner, they can leave the field and or play pranks on any player to avoid getting caught; once caught the game is over. All players, excluding the snitch runner, have a broom which is kept between their legs during the game.

The International Quidditch Association has been hosting the games biennially since 2012. This year’s competing countries are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Catalonia, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Pakistan, Peru, Poland, Slovenia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, Uganda, United Kingdom and the United States.

Team USA will be attempting to keep the title of Quidditch World Champion this year after defeating Australia in the 2014 World Cup held in Canada.

English 265, Register Now!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

An American Idea

By: Callie Ball

If you are looking for a vacation idea, here’s one: visit a National Park. With 390 parks to choose from there is no shortage of diversity. Take in the views from atop a volcano in Hawaii, witness climate change for yourself at Glacier National Park or traverse the labyrinth of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or just looking to reconnect with nature for a weekend, there is something for everyone.
Considered to be America’s best idea, it’s hard to imagine the United States without its National Parks. The idea to protect the best of nature dates back long before 1916 and the government declared vast amounts of land to be under federal protection before then. Yet, the idea was not welcomed by all. Many people had commercial, and therefore, political interests in the resources the Parks offer. But the idea really took off when Theodore Roosevelt became President. He and John Muir were the two main driving forces behind the protection of American land and by the time Roosevelt left office, over 100 million acres had come under federal protection.
Even though there was now a system in place to care for the nation’s natural treasures there was no order to it. If you wanted to visit the parks you had to blaze your own trail. There were no walking trails, information centers or guides; it was true wilderness. That changed in 1933 when President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into effect the Civilian Conservation Core or CCC. At the height of the Great Depression the CCC was a saving grace for the some 3 million Americans it employed. In its 9 years the CCC planted around 3 billion trees, constructed bridges and built over 13 thousand miles of trails.
So if you need to take a break from the modern, fast paced, technologically obsessed world we live in, visit a National Park. What you will see is the work of past generations and of present generations who believe that parts of this earth should be kept safe in all their magnificent beauty. With how fast the world is changing, it’s comforting to know that there will be a few things in this world that future generations will be able to see as we saw it.
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” – Lyndon B. Johnson

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

First Natural Queen to be crowned in Charleston

By: Andrea Davis     

        Since April 2012, I embarked on what I call my “natural hair journey”-- by this I mean taking the scissors to my relaxed hair until all that was left was a teeny weenie afro that sat atop the crown of my head. Up until that date, I had been attached to the notion that I was only beautiful if I had long, bone straight hair streaming down my back. Since the age of twelve, I perched myself into the salon chair and endured the pain and nauseating smell of the “creamy crack” [relaxer] that was destroying every strand of my hair.  I would exit the chair with freshly relaxed hair, feeling like my hair was growing and thriving, when in reality my strands were being burned from my scalp and causing immense damage to otherwise healthy hair. I left the salons each time feeling beautiful and confident, but after a few weeks that feeling would fade when I reached to touch the back of my hair and felt my curls furiously tangling. The longer I went without a relaxer, the more unattractive I felt. Was this cycle going to be my life? Would I have to rely on a relaxer to straighten my kinky coils to fit into the societal standard of beauty? This cycle drained me until I had enough. As those scissors glided across the strands of my hair, ridding me of all the damage and unhealthy habits and products I’d put on my scalp, I felt liberated. The damaged hair that lay on the kitchen floor were symbolic of the pain and low self-esteem I had for myself in the name of beauty. Just like that hair, that ideology was getting thrown away. For the first time, I looked in the mirror and felt something I never truly felt before – beautiful. I saw in myself a confident person, with a passion for serving others and building success on my own merit. I didn’t need a relaxer to feel any more beautiful than I already was in my truest, natural form.

Pictured above are co-founders
of the Miss Naturally Crowned pageant
 (left) Jessica E. Boyd and (right) Maureen Ochola

    On December 2013, Jessica E. Boyd and Maureen Ochola, two entrepreneur and natural hair enthusiasts, founded a platform to give women such as myself the ability to not only embrace our natural kinks, curls, coils and dreadlocks, but to fund their own educations and businesses. They established the Miss Naturally Crowned pageant, which features all women ages 19-30 at different points in their natural hair journeys and in different stages of life. This unique, budget friendly pageant has been held exclusively in Columbia, SC since its conception . . . until now. The founders of the Miss Naturally Crowned pageant will be crowning the very first Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston on June 24, 2016 at The American Theater in Charleston. As the date looms closer, I can’t help but get more and more excited because out of many applicants who applied, I will be one of 9 ladies competing for the chance to fund my business and take home the crown!

       This is the first pageant I have ever done.  I am not experienced with walking a runway or strutting in heels. I’m a young mother, so flats and flip flops are amongst the top choices in my shoe arsenal these days. I also don’t own an elaborate ball gown to grace formal wear. So, why did I apply?

TTC Student and contestant in inaugural
Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston pageant, Andrea Davis

Because the title of Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston embodies who I am. I am a devoted wife of a veteran, a nurturing mother, an entrepreneur looking to take my bath and body business [Motherland Essentials] to the next level, and most importantly I am unapologetically and unconditionally me. This pageant is about making connections, creating opportunities, and embracing who you are and where you are. I am excited to be the example of where simply being yourself can take you. I encourage everyone to come out and show your support on this prestigious night. The first ever Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston will be a night of entertainment, inspiration, and excitement. Be there when history is made as the first Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston takes the throne!
The first Miss Naturally Crowned Charleston will be held on
June 24, 2016 at The American Theater in Charleston, SC.
Tickets are now on sale for the event.

Disney's Movie Remakes

By: Callie Ball

Even if you’re not an avid Disney fan you have probably still noticed that a majority of their new releases have been remakes. Remakes of some of the most iconic films that became instant classics and still have us humming their tunes.

Tunes like “The Bare Necessities” which was re-featured in Disney’s The Jungle Book live-action-remake, which debuted last month. And according to Forbes, had a domestic weekend opening of $103 million. Last year Disney gave us a Cinderella movie that had fans ecstatic months before it was to be released. They accomplished this by showing a sixty-six second trailer that showed nothing but the glass slipper. And this August the remake of Pete’s Dragon will hit theaters.

So far, every Disney remake has been considerably different from its original version, but what do these remakes have the originals don’t? Take 2014’s Maleficent, starring Angelina Jolie, which took the classic fairy tale of Sleeping Beauty and told it from the perspective of the character Maleficent. The 2015 Cinderella version is much darker than the original 1950's version, with no singing mice or animals helping her get dressed, the step sisters end up cutting of their feet and having their eyes pecked out.

Have you figured it out yet? What the remakes have that the originals do not?

Better plots, and stronger characters.

The prince is no longer the one to always jump in, kiss the girl and save the day. Characters don’t put their lives in the hands (or paws) of others all the time.

Disney has given us the old stories and made them new. With The Jungle Book they told us how it is better to be yourself and not always follow the pack. In Alice in Wonderland they proved a girl can be the hero. In Maleficent we saw that there is more than one kind of true love. And Cinderella showed us that having courage and being kind is always the best policy.
I doubt Disney will stop remaking the beloved classics since there is little risk for them. There is already a fan base and not a single of the recent live action remakes has flopped at the box office. Disney has already confirmed several more live action remakes and most aren’t expecting them to be anything less than phenomenal. Bryan Cogman from the Game of Thrones is said to have been signed on for the remake of The Sword in The Stone. This makes me wonder, how dark is Disney willing to go? Tim Burton is set to direct a live action Dumbo and Peter Hedges is signed to write the script for Pinocchio, and Alex Ross Perry is slated to direct the live action version of Winnie the Pooh. I hope they can continue on the high they have been riding, as well as not butchering any of our beloved childhood movies.

Friday, April 8, 2016

With an Excruciating Rotten Tomatoes Rating of 29

By: Terry Beyer

With an excruciating Rotten Tomatoes rating of 29, many began reading Batman vs. Superman its last rites before the doors even opened. I think these same critics would walk out on a Cary Grant classic because it had too many one liners or call Clint Eastwood a cliché tough guy. Walking into this movie a week after it came out, I was too busy hiding from spoilers on Facebook to build too much anticipation. Sitting mid theater with a large bucket of popcorn and collectible Bats Vs Sup's cup (I sprung for the extra 70 cents), I wanted only 3 things:

One: Batman and Superman to square off, see who can take and give a hit.

Two: No long drawn out origin story.

Three: Wonder Woman to join the party and not need the boys to fight her fights

Walking out, and keeping spoilers to a minimum, I was not disappointed. No one goes to see Batman Vs. Superman expecting a deep plot, relatable characters and emotional attachment (apart from special effects induced adrenaline, but hey I don't do roller coasters, gotta get it somewhere). I didn't want clean cut superheroes, fighting for justice and mankind. No! I wanted to see personal vendettas, human nature, and our heroes get a bit flustered. What's more, this movie opened the door to the DC universe that promised a darker superhero conglomeration, with a little grit and no small amount of awesome. As I sign off to go watch Arsenic and Old Lace (seriously, great movie, Cary Grant and Theodore Roosevelt make a great team), I tell you to go watch Batman Vs Superman and expect to see a superpowered face-off. You won't be disappointed. Take a skeptic with you. The extra 70 cents for the collector’s cup is worth it.


As We Saw During The Great Pollen Dusting of March

By: Terry Beyer
As we saw during the great pollen dusting of March, spring has sprung in the low-country. The days are warmer, the rain is more regular, and nature is giving us a green thumbs up to break out our pots and seeds. For the novice planter (me), there are a lot of unknowns.

For example, 96% of a plants nutrients are Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen. Any plant not planted on the moon can find these in abundance. Among the 4% remaining, the larger part is Nitrogen (N), Phosphorous (P), and Potassium (K). This is not as abundant in nature, but can be supplemented with fertilized dirt (potting soil). On the bag the NPK ratio will tell you the quantities of each element that is in the fertilizer.
Nitrogen, for green growth, is great for leafy vegetables. Phosphorous is for our fruits and flowering plants. It encourages healthy growth of the stems, buds, leaves and so on. Potassium is for the well-being of your plant. It encourages the plant’s immune system (they get bugs too), and plant metabolism. Think of it as a digestive aid for the daily meal of sun, water, and air. With this in mind (and hopefully armed with a better knowledge than I) try finding an NPK ratio that best fits what you are planting this spring.
The NPK ratio is only one of many factors to consider when doing spring potting and planting, but demystified, it at least makes sense. Take a look at what you're buying next time and hopefully this will see your green thumb do better than my grey one. Good luck and Happy Spring!


Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Requiem for a Dream

By: Mary Kiser


This movie reminds me of The Weeknd's Trilogy. It reflects the short Heaven and bitter Hell of drug use; it's the diesel in the needle that shoots you to the moon and back, and it's why Darren Aronofsky is one of my favorite directors. He's like a baker making a cake, combining all the necessary ingredients in order to make it both delicious and addicting. The movie is made with brilliant acting credited to Ellen Burstyn, Jared Leto, Jennifer Connelly, and Marlon Wayans. They, along with powerful music that envelops the characters throughout the highs and lows of their usage, portray the "deviled" experience that junkies and tweakers can relate to all too well and ill.

If the "Just Say No" program doesn't work for you, I highly recommend this movie. It doesn't glamorize drugs and the users; instead, what seems like a promising painting, is smeared with the hard and harrowing facts of what continued pill-popping, dope-snorting, and needle-injecting can do to a person, and how it transforms them into a person they don't even recognize.


Fifty Shades of Crazy

By: Mary Kiser

I've written about presidential candidate Donald J. Trump before, half-heartedly joking that I'd love for him to be the GOP nominee, so I could drink beer and watch what I think is more of a reality TV circus than pressing political debates. But now that he's still in the race, with a whopping 736 delegates won, he is the front-runner for the nomination. And that's such a scary fact because facts don't lie, and that fact is the truth. The truth that Trump could secure the nomination; the truth that he could debate with either Clinton or Sanders; the truth that he could become the next POTUS, no matter how big or small his chances are against the Democrat nominee.

But, and that's a big "but," hence the italics, he has to start making some sense. Yes, I said it. He has to start using coherence and strong ideals mashed with fact. Otherwise, the only people that would vote for him would be his family, the affluent, and a portion of the easily influenced.

There are so many examples I could write about concerning Trump and his antics to aid my bully pulpit, but I'll refer to his comments on abortion, since those are his most recent spectacle. Later retracted, he believes that women should be punished if they choose to abort versus adoption or raising the child. Because of this outlandish comment, critics went wild with even more ammo to fire at Trump. So, he then said that the doctor should be punished and not the woman.

Now, both Cruz and Kasich say women shouldn't be punished, but their policies portray a different story. Cruz favored the shut down of the federal government in order to "block Planned Parenthood Funding," which hurts women who want basic healthcare for themselves and their sex lives. Kasich, on the other hand, has signed seventeen anti-abortion tactics into law since 2011.

So, these are your three. Donald J. Trump might be a little more bold and brash about his political stance, but he truly does reflect what the GOP wants for America. And if this isn't what you want for our country, then go out and vote. It's so crucial and vital, especially now when racism, sexism, and xenophobia have skyrocketed at an all-time high within the Republican Party.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Exciting Things Happening in the English Department

By: Dr. Roger West

While South Carolina’s state bird, the mosquito, thrives in stagnant, smelly water, we in the halls of the English department have been working hard to offer free-flowing, continuously changing waters. We strive to provide students with new and exciting courses that keep pace with the ever changing academic tide.  The 2016-2017 academic year will bring several courses never offered before, which are structured to elevate you, our students, to meet the writing demands of the digital-age professional world.
In Summer 2016, you can sign up for ENG 299.001, a Special Topics in English course, “Film and the American Novel,” taught by Ed Macy.  This course will examine some significant 20th century American novels and the films that these novels inspired. Among the novels and films that will be assigned are Cormac McCarthy’s No Country for Old Men and Stephen King’s The Shining. Don’t miss out on a great learning experience and an entertaining way to earn college credits.

In Fall 2016, ENG 214, the Fiction genre class, will be titled “Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n Roll.”  The readings will focus on novels from the 1960’s, with some lyrics from the music of that era, especially those written by Bob Dylan and Jim Morrison, added to enhance the experience.  Novels assigned for the class will include Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Richard Farina’s Been Down So Long It Looks like Up to Me.  And no course on the literature of that decade can ignore Hunter S. Thompson and Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. While there will not be a dress code for the class, bell bottoms and tie-dyed shirts are encouraged.
Some other changes that are coming in Fall 2016 involve the Professional Writing Certificate, which students may earn by taking additional courses focusing on creative and workplace writing instruction.  The certificate program still has ENG 238 (Creative Writing), ENG 260 (Advanced Technical Communication), and JOU 101 (Introduction to Journalism), there have been additional courses added to the curriculum.  ENG 242 (Advanced Creative Writing) will allow interested students to take an additional course related to some aspect of writing fiction or poetry.  The emphasis of the course will change from semester to semester and will provide a more focused study of various aspects of writing, such as narration or character development, or types of writing, such as memoir or creative non-fiction.

Another new course will be ENG 265, Advanced Professional Communication. This course will focus on various types of workplace writing outside of that covered in ENG 260.  The course will focus on writing proposals and the various types of business-related reports students will need the skills to do as they enter the job market.  Students will also learn how to make effective workplace presentations as a part of the course curriculum.
Probably the most exciting course addition to the Professional Writing Certificate curriculum is ENG 263, Writing for Social Media. Social media, whether it is Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, or any of the other platforms, provide the most pervasive method to communicate with a large audience.  The course will provide instruction in how to write for social media to achieve your desired outcomes.  Just look closely at how Facebook exposes its many users to ads for a plethora of products and services, just as many organizations and individuals get people to “like” or support them, through their posts.  It is all about written communication, and the skills to be able to do this will continue to be important in the job market.

Because we cannot regularly offer courses in all the types of writing students may be interested in learning the skills for, we will periodically offer ENG 299, Special Topics in English, courses that will provide the opportunities for students to learn how to write for other areas. In Spring 2017, ENG 299 will be Collecting and Writing About Folklore.  This course will focus on the skills for recognizing and gathering folkloric artifacts and then how to present those findings for a reading audience.  Part of the course will have students exploring the rich folkloric tradition of the Lowcountry and then reporting on it.

Because the college has four campuses, it is difficult to provide these courses on each campus.  We will be offering these courses in a Mixed-Mode format at both the Main and Palmer Campuses, but most of these courses will also be available in an online format.  Even if students don’t want to complete the Professional Writing Certificate, they can take any of these courses to enhance their educational experience and marketability in the job search.

The two most important skills any person can have, not only in searching for a career, but in living a full life, are the abilities to read and write.  The Department of English and Journalism at Trident Technical College strives to help all of our students develop those skills.


Thursday, February 18, 2016

America's Losing the War on Drugs

By: Mary Kiser

Not many people understand addiction and the science behind it. What is considered a brain disease is highly stigmatized by American society as a personal problem due to a lack of motivation and an unwillingness to change. While those two factors can be incorporated into why a person wouldn't stop using, it does not account for the entire eight slices of pie.
Wake up, America! Drug addiction is a mental illness that can create havoc on the victim's brain which can lead to, or enhance a slew of mental disorders, such as: depression, anxiety, and/or schizophrenia. Since a patient is more than likely to deal with multiple issues coinciding with cravings and withdrawal, diagnosis and treatment can be complicated due to this type of comorbidity.
Ronald Reagan declared the "War on Drugs" on October 14, 1982 as a major threat to the United States. His wife implemented her own opinion on the matter by stating, "Just say no." when a child asked her what to do if someone offered drugs. People who don't fully understand just how complicated the disease of addiction is are more than likely to agree with the 40th president and his wife. However, people who have lived with this brain disease or have seen it in the flesh know differently. Addicts don't get better by serving more prison time. They get better by recognizing that using was only a symptom of a much bigger problem that they were trying to mask.
Even though the drug policies today haven't been significantly altered, the Obama administration does not endorse the phrase "War on Drugs" because they believe it to be "counterproductive." Until America delves deeper into the root causes of addiction, she will only continue fighting a losing "war" with addicts free-falling further into the rabbit hole.