Friday, October 14, 2016

Portman, Kunis, and Aronofsky: A Ménage à trois

By: Mary Kiser

Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis star in the 2010 Black Swan. Their performances both solo and together are the resonance to this movie's symphony with Darren Aronofsky as their orchestrator. The two actresses and director create a psychologically-thrilling masterpiece that leaves their audience in nail-biting trepidation. In true Aronofsky style, the final performance curtains with the spotlight on the aftershocks of mental illness.

Portman plays Nina, a fragile and frigid woman who embodies the stereotypical ballerina look and lifestyle. She has a petite stature, gaunt build, and pristine features. However, her mental state is in complete disarray. Anorexic and bulimic tendencies appear like pivotal drops of rain before a thunderstorm, but the stress of her new role, mother, and competition transform Nina's manageable issues into a train wreck of schizophrenic delusions.

Kunis plays Lilly, an edgy young woman who is less like a ballerina and more like a dancer. She is the Black Swan to Nina's White Swan, but Lilly is not Nina’s latent enemy. The two meet, and Nina spirals faster. Instead of sweaty palms or a faster pulse, she experiences extreme paranoia, heightened affliction, and rebarbative visions. Despite their transcendent ecstasy, Nina and Lilly are two rivals that come to a deadly crossroads. Aronofsky has his eye on their affair the entire time, and his direction leads them to their final act.

On IMDb, close to 600,000 people rate Black Swan with an 8/10. Portman and Kunis enamor onscreen and Aronofsky conducts his talents off screen. This trio produces, in my opinion, one of the best films about the gravity of mental illness. Put on your best suit or prepossessing dress because Swan Lake is a gripping tale no longer exclusive to the stage.


The War on Addicts

By: Mary Kiser
I write about addiction because it is my story, and so many young men and women can relate to this disease. Lives are in ruin because the aftermath is always prison or death. Even if an addict lives, his or her soul no longer breathes. In the United States, there are hotlines, clinical care, rehab facilities, and communities like AA and NA to assist any alcoholic or abuser. I cannot speak for other countries, though. With narcotics as king, the Philippine president is under pressure to perform. His sweat is showing.

The New York Times reports on President Rodrigo Duterte and his callous remarks towards addicts and the Jewish. After he returns from his Vietnam trip, he states “Hitler massacred three million Jews. Now there is three million, there’s three million drug addicts. There are. I’d be happy to slaughter them.” The Holocaust did not kill three million people. The Holocaust is responsible for six million deaths. Before Duterte slices courtesy with his thoughts, he needs to sharpen his knife first.

He believes that no more addicts means no more addiction. He can entertain that sick fantasy from sun to moon, but the eradication of a generation will not solve the problem. Drugs will always lurk behind the shadows of normality, but drugs are not the main culprit. Environment, genetic predisposition, and life experiences are the three factors in question. Genocide is not the answer to that question. Forget Vietnam. Duterte should visit Germany.


Keith Lamont Scott

By: Mary Kiser
 His life, now a grave, at the arms of an officer.
Hinterland Gazette
Rakeyia Scott is not some random witness to a black man shot. She is the wife behind the lens, and the witness to her husband's death. Racial tension lurks in between the crevices of everyday life, and police brutality is a pressing concern throughout the United States. This article is not a rant about guns, the NRA, or even the men and women in blue. This article is about a father and a husband who should be at home with his family. Instead, his body resides in a morgue.

"Don't shoot him. Don't shoot him!"
 You can hear the pleas in Mrs. Scott's voice. She can feel the energy, and she can sense the ineluctable. She knows that her husband is in danger. She knows that her love faces an unjustifiable death penalty. Credible evidence is viewable evidence, and Mrs. Scott records for the jury that is the American public. From my perspective, I did not see Scott in arms. Instead, I see Scott on the ground as an invasion of officers swarm his corpse.
Skin color should not determine whether someone lives or dies. Scott should still be alive. He should still have breath in his lungs and movement through his veins. His children should still have their daddy. His wife should still have her best friend. Barrels of lead are bullets for the dangerous, but some people do not carry the moral capacity of the badge. The African American community has to overcome yet again the incapable and/or racist men and women who wear the uniform but not the valor.
Humans are not gods. We do not decide who dies and who flies. This will always be a problem if accountability is never at court. Policemen are here to protect America. They are here to serve justice, not violate it. The Scott family deserves equity, and I know that most of America would vote in agreement. Black lives deserve an answer for this 21st century blunder. Unfortunately, these cops cannot testify with a reasonable one.
If anyone would like to view the video, or read more about this shooting, please visit the source below.
"Police Say Video Shows Keith Lamont Scott Had Gun in Hand" by Winsor:

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Mike Pence versus Tim Kaine

By: Mary Kiser

A brief on their pros.

The focus is always on Clinton or Trump. Health scares, winded speeches, and shock create this soap opera of a presidential election. Where are Pence and Kaine in the midst of all this slipshod drama? Both seem to be like placid bats in some soundproof cave off the Coast of Kardashian-kin Island. Some people might not even know who these two men are, and why they are so important. Don’t worry, though. This is the article to read.

Trump chooses Pence to be his vice president if he wins this election, and Clinton chooses Kaine as her vice president if she beats Trump to those 270 votes. Both are white males, but other than race and gender, these two hopefuls have little in common. Kaine is a Virginian Senator who, according to Clinton, has “devoted his life to fighting for others.” What does that mean? It means that Kaine is a man of many titles. He is a missionary, civil rights lawyer, teacher, and elected official. Plus, he is only one of thirty people to serve as Mayor, Governor, and Senator in the United States. His resume seems impressive enough, but what about his policies? Policies are the real skin and bones to his allure. On his website, anyone can read that he helps veterans with employment, wants diplomatic unity with foreign countries, advocates for newbie graduates and their careers, stresses the issue of sexual violence, increases research for children with cancer, and promotes the use of vital overdose medications. These are only a few of his passions on legislative paper, and even though he is not in the media often, that is probably an asset for the Clinton campaign.

Pence is the other vice-president-in-campaigning. Like Trump, he has an affair with the spotlight albeit a very narrow and dimly lit one. He is the star of “The Mike Pence Show,” but the broadcast is now a part of 20th century history. However, he wins a Congressional seat in the year 2000, and he did display bipartisan views. He opposes Bush’s No Child Left Behind, and he is praised for his unwavering stances. One of his best accomplishments came alive in 2013 with a “$1.1 billion give-back” that proves to be the “largest tax cut in state history.” Even though Pence is very conservative, he does possess some shiny trophies that the Republican Party can polish and shine.

Whether a vote is cast for Trump or Clinton, remember that the vote will also be cast for their respective V.P. picks. If death, disease, or impeachment is to happen to either one, then either Pence or Kaine will assume the Commander-in-Chief position. Know their background, policies, and viewpoints. Think about not what they do for themselves, but what they do for the American people. The president is only as powerful as her running mate.


Hillary Clinton selects Tim Kaine as her running mate:


Journal Entry 111

By: Lori Zeth

September 1, 2016

My English professor's latest assignment was to write an essay that explains my thoughts about reading other essays about writing. We read several articles and passages about how to write, writing in college vs. high school, how to ramble on for five hundred words without ever saying much, taking different approaches than the mainstream would take, and much more. So, I am to write an essay about reading essays that discuss writing essays? I have to chuckle; and why wouldn't I? The irony is hilarious.

 Although I did learn a lot of new (to me) information, my favorite is that people do not write the way they speak. Inexperienced writers will write all chaotic and hardly make any sense at all. I would rather use language that every person in the universe would understand, and sound "dumb" than use language that doesn't support my personal voice. I enjoy words, speaking, writing, reading, and even listening. I wouldn't enjoy hearing or reading something I couldn't understand. I prefer to understand and relate to the text I am reading. If I am writing something, obviously, I want my readers to understand what they are reading.

I truly enjoyed Ken Macrorie's article, "The Poisoned Fish" from his book Telling Writing. I can relate to his opinions and views. I find myself judging people for several reasons, but mainly because they just look like idiots when they do not put any effort into their projects – work or play. People are lazy and either do not have a passion for writing (or speaking), or they are just uneducated. I feel sympathy for those that do not have the proper education and training to read, write – hell, people can't stop texting long enough to walk a straight line – or speak grammatically correct. I am not a know-it-all but I cringe when people just ramble, not making any sense at all. I wouldn't want to talk like I didn't know my ass from a hole in the ground. I wouldn't want someone else looking at me like I am an idiot. I know what I think when I'm judging someone. My own personal judgment toward others has motivated me not to be a cookie-cutter, in a dough-filled world.



Tuesday, September 27, 2016


By: Mary Kiser

The product of a student's sweat, blood, and tears.

People attend Trident Tech for a variety of reasons. Some classes are available to high school students, it is more affordable than state university, and there is a melting pot of resources. Any student here knows that grades are the key to graduation, even if said grades are difficult to manage in between work, kids, and/or daily activities. However, teachers, guidance counselors, and staff can assuage the burden.

The Learning Center is one of the best outlets a student can utilize. Tutors and workshops can assist any person that struggles with several subjects like Spanish, Math, and/or English. The volunteers and employees are there to guide anyone through difficult classes or unmanageable assignments. If this is of interest to any of Trident Times readers, then head to Bldg. 920/ Rm. 211 or call 843-574-6409 to schedule an appointment. Go to “Student Resources” on Trident’s website for more information about other locations for other campuses other than Main.

The Library is another viable option. It’s located at the Main Campus in Bldg. 510, and it is open between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 9:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and it is also open Friday and Saturday. Novels and magazines are not the only valuables there. Librarians can guide a student to important books that pertain to his or her field of study, and they can answer questions about the website, how to navigate it, and cardinal links through the Databases/Articles section of Trident's website.

School can act as a second job, but it does not have to be the onerous one of the two. The work can be a meandering road to dullsville, but that A on a finished paper or essay will be worth the travel.

“There are strategies to score or to be ahead but there is one strategy to learn which is curiosity.”
― Ronald Tudu

Creative Writing

By: Lori Zeth

"I'm looking at his chips in my palm and I can't do it, can't even take the chance. Not here, not out in the open. I avoid looking at Riot."

Choices. As humans, we all have the right to make choices according to how we prefer to live.

I am all too experienced in domestic abuse. I have been on the receiving end more than I care to admit. The words she thought about Bruise before leaving the casino are still stinging me, in an uncomfortable yet familiar place. She can't even make a mistake, or fail at a casino game, without being afraid of what Bruise is going to do to her, against her, about her. What is she afraid he will do? As I read her story, I can feel the fear she has of Bruise, and the disgust she carries deep down inside for herself. I don't think she can leave Bruise, although she is having an affair with his brother.

She says they can see the scars on their walls, but it's easier to drink. Their drinking cannot be helpful to their marriage or their communication. Bruise seems to want to work all day and drink and party all night. I don't see this as a healthy life or relationship. I can feel that she wants more out of life than just empty whiskey bottles on the table and more scars on the walls.

If Bruise loved her, he never would have let her subjectify herself by becoming an exotic dancer. Why would you want your wife to be dancing erotically and within reach of other men? All the "Hallelujah money" in the world wouldn't be enough to have me parading myself in front of men. The first time my husband would have called my employer to double check that I had arrived for work, would be the last time I went home to said husband. I know what it is like not to be trusted, with information or men. I know how it feels to have someone tell me they care about me, then act as if they do not.

Riot shows an interest in her, a real interest. She imagines what it would be like to be with him. Riot respects her, listens when she speaks, offers her a ride to her car when it is cold; and he follows her to her special spot, on the bleachers of the baseball field.  Riot doesn't judge her, isn't rude to her, and doesn’t press her for information. Riot sits with her in silence.

Though she seems not to love Bruise and is falling in love with Riot, she is paralyzed in her marriage. Paralyzed by the right to choose. Even with the right to make our own choices, we sometimes cannot decide for ourselves which is best.




1,782 Miles Closer

By: Terry Beyer

A short 1,782 miles across the country from our main campus is Cannon Ball, North Dakota, the latest front in an ongoing protest between the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Dakota Access Pipeline, an underground crude oil transport pipe. The Native Americans protest is grounded in the argument that the pipeline infringes on their rights granted by the US Government and will desecrate both burial sites and historical mounds. The Tribe also states the oil pipeline puts water and land resources at risk as it runs through the Missouri River, less than a mile outside the reservation’s boundary and water source. There have been hundreds to thousands of individuals on site at the building location in protest, despite it being off Indian Reservation property. Faceoff’s with private security has led to media reports of mace and K-9 dogs being utilized against protesters for trespassing. Do the legal rights of the oil company preside over what the Native American tribe believes is both right and their rights?

The protection of our natural resources has been a hot topic the past couple years as we come out of the Flint, Michigan water crisis and the Silverton, Colorado mine leak. There is no guarantee that can be given that our grasslands would be 100% protected. On the other hand, in light of these two recent events and others such as the gulf oil spill of 2010, environmental protection is now at the forefront of policy considered by the companies that mine, dig, and drain. What’s more, the company behind the pipeline states it had given the Indian Nation notice and time to raise objections and none were received. This has been backed up by no less than one of the Senators of North Dakota.

Since the protest began, thousands of other individuals, both Native Americans and otherwise have voiced their support or gone in person to stand in protest themselves. Their goal is to stop construction of the pipeline while the federal judge presiding over the case decides on a course of action. How much chance does a tribe with a population less than the 2015 attendance of Trident Tech have of being heard? Thanks to the First Amendment and the slow but sure support over social media, pretty good. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe may be a small percent of the Native American population and a smaller percent of the US Population but the constant fight for recognition of Native American history, values, and society has been continuous. For example, despite the birth of our nation in 1776, the indigenous peoples were not recognized as citizens until the Indian Citizenship Act of 1924, an astounding 148 years. The cause they are fighting for has finally reached the greater public, despite a slow start and a lot of initial name calling. It isn’t often Native Americans make headlines as a modern day sovereign peoples.

While 1,782 miles may seem like a long way from North Charleston, the results of this single case in North Dakota sets a precedent and a standard. While we all drive our cars and fill our tanks at the cheapest depot on Labor Day weekend, we mark the 139th anniversary of Ogala Sioux Chief Crazy Horse, famed and eventually killed for his own protest and refusal to be removed from his lands and subjugated. Native American rights are American rights and while we have one American protesting in the NFL by sitting in solemnity, we have a Native American nation standing and marching for their rights.  Is 1,782 miles a long way when we think of the Wassamaw Native American Tribe that lives right here in Berkeley County? Another 400 miles and it’s as long as the Trail of Tears. Thousands of Native Americans already walked that length. In a country built on personal rights and riveted these past few years by civil rights, this case is important in our effort to maintain the sovereignty of the people over the government and its policies, and our ability to enact change when grievance is found.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Why Voting Third Party Isn’t a Wasted Vote

By: Cheyenne Abrams

There are things every person looks forward to doing as they become an adult: buying a car, turning 18, moving away from their parents, college, and….registering to vote. I was blessed with the best government teacher (Thanks for everything, Weibling!) who made it an actual homework assignment for us to register to vote by the end of our senior year. Mr. Weibling made it a point to us that we all have our own beliefs, and that it is okay to have different stances on things; however if we didn’t go out and use our voice to push our beliefs, then having them would be a waste. Having a teacher who made our vote seem so important made me not want to let him down.

Fast forward a year and we are closing in on the 2016 presidential election. Given three nominees (Yes, there are three!) I want my voice to be heard, and my vote to mean something. This is why my vote is not a “waste”.

Let’s start off with who I’m voting for: Gary Johnson, previous governor of New Mexico, Entrepreneur and Businessman. He cut his taxes 14 times while in office, and gave his state a balanced budget before leaving office – just as a little background! This isn’t an article about the third party candidate, but if you want to know more read about him here: 

The only vote wasted is a vote that wasn’t made. Making a third party vote is my chance to tell the world that this is what I want the government/country looking like, and this is who I want representing it.

Unfortunately, we live in a “two party society” where we vote for “who won’t be as bad.” Newsflash – A lesser of two evils is still evil. Voting for something that you don’t believe in only continues to let that thing happen; how much sense does that make?

Look at it this way: If you had to choose between Jack Nicholson and Heath Ledger as the Joker, we would all choose Heath Ledger; but in the end, they are still disenfranchised clowns.

Now, for those who don’t know, we’re not actually choosing who wins. When we vote, it tells everyone else who to elect as president, who we think the best choice for our country is, and that is who is elected. When we just vote for the one that ‘is not as bad’ when we can be voting for someone who stands by a party that has been proven successful before, it leaves our country is a spinning mess.

Now, if you’re voting for Hillary, and you think that is the best choice for you morally, then I say go for it, and I will see you at the polls! (Then politely, yet firmly, ask you to leave.)

Now don’t get me wrong, I understand standing by your party, but when your party strays away from your moral compass, why can’t you change your path?

Our country has been blessed with God Given Rights, no matter how we choose to use those rights. Using them is what matters -- we should be grateful that we have them, and not let them go to waste! Let’s make a difference, let’s vote for who we need, let’s make America sane again.



A Statement That Has Nothing to Do With Fashion: France and the Burkini

By: Mary Kiser

I always thought France was more socially advanced than the U.S. During the 60's, Women would go topless to support newfound liberation, and that movement became a fashion trend that only started to decline in 2009. Even though America has nude beaches, France did it first.
A few days ago, France was again the topic of every news station. Unfortunately, it wasn’t because of their innovation and determination as a nation tenacious. A picture on MSNBC displayed three police officers forcing a woman to shed her burkini. The image is a much different canvas than the one portrayed in the 20th century. This photo sent cold shivers down my back, and my mind flashed to a much different time in a not-so-different country: the 60’s. Racism, police brutality, and another type of movement were the children of hardship that protested America’s change for an equal nation.

Photo Credit: Vantage News/CNN

Photo Credit: Howard Greenberg Gallery, New York

Burkini bathing suits are the opposite fashion wear of bikini-buyers. The suit literally covers a woman's entire body, and it's to protect their modesty derived from Islam. This shouldn't be a problem, but because of several ISIS attacks, concocted by radical Muslims, France is now governing out of fear. It's understandable, but that doesn’t make it credible.

America has done this too, and because of her fear, she decided to create internment camps for Japanese-Americans, bred and nurtured racism and sexism, and let George W. Bush lead American soldiers to die in pointless wars. The U.S. learned from those mistakes, and those three did create positive change, but upward mobility doesn’t always have to be at the graves of human lives.

Hopefully, France won’t have to suffer inevitable consequences like the U.S. Maybe positive change, too, can come from unnecessary, targeted persecution. However, there’s a reason why FDR believed that fear was the only fear, because if it does drive the bus, then all passengers are at high risk for injury or death. Franklin would know; The Great Depression took thousands of lives, starved women and children, and devoured American wealth. If anybody had advice on how to deal with the perils of fear, he did.

The Infamous Ex of Texas: Planned Parenthood

By: Mary Kiser

The real reason Texas doesn't like health clinics, and it has nothing to do with abortion.

Texas is a very conservative state, so conservative values are not but two steps beside it. Church and the Dallas Cowboys seem to be more important than hot topics like basic health coverage for low-income residents. Since Planned Parenthood provides safe and aseptic abortions, which only account for three percent of their services, Texan law officials decided that the small percentage was a little too much hoedown for their Lone Star State. At least, that's how it appeared on television.

If Hillary and Donald have only proven one idea true, then it's the idea that all politicians are shady to some degree.  Some Texas politicians, in this case, can serve Texan-size shade that can almost overshadow Twitter-size shade. The ugly truth behind the reason to defund Planned Parenthood is not even abortion; it's race.

Even though birth rates have spiked due to an absence of   inexpensive birth control, and morbidity rates of pregnant women have spiked after the absence of Planned Parenthood, these facts aren't because Texas law officials hate pro-choice and extra alternatives. In Krugman's "States of Cruelty," he poses a provoking question for his readers: "If Washington is willing to provide health insurance to many of your state's residents and in doing so pump dollars into your state's economy — why wouldn't you say yes?"

Unfortunately, a main reason is because nonwhite citizens heavily outweigh white citizens for Medicaid assistance. Greed is a visible monster that plagues the selfish, and there are white Americans who only want to help white Americans. Everyone who reads this article should be thankful for what they have, even if it's not much. Remember that there's some woman who can't receive proper medical treatment for herself or her child because of voters who have a disregard for nonwhite Americans and/or people in poverty.

If anyone wants to learn more about Texas, Planned Parenthood, and their estrangement, then below are some beneficial websites to visit.


"After Texas stopped funding Planned Parenthood, low-income women had more babies" by Netburn:

"Maternal mortality rates in Texas doubled after state cut funding to Planned Parenthood" by WITW Staff:





Monday, August 29, 2016

22 Till None

By: Terry Beyer

Starting in 2014, the ice bucket challenge took the internet by storm; a fad with a purpose. According to the ALS Association nearly 17 million people took part in the challenge. Over 100 million dollars has been donated towards understanding ALS and, what’s more, there has been a breakthrough in research into ALS. The point is, fads work. Just as important as the donations received for the cause, ALS was the 6th most Googled term during 2014. That is millions and millions of people who are learning about ALS, what it is, and how it affects the lives of those diagnosed with it.

 During the week of August 14, 2016 actor Chris Evans posted a video of himself completing the 22 Pushup challenge. Other well-known celebrities like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Scott Eastwood, Kevin Hart, and Ludacris have taken part. These famous names may help shed light and show a willingness to address an issue that is plaguing us as a nation. Nationally, 13 out of every 100,000 people commit suicide each year. A 2014 Veterans Administration showed an average of 35.3 out of every 100,000 veterans will commit suicide. Out of the 41,425 people to take their own lives in 2014, 7,403 were veterans. Today an estimated 22 veterans will take their lives each day.

 These numbers may not seem high compared to the 318.9 million people in the US and approximately 21.8 million veterans, until you consider that veterans are among the higher demographics committing suicide each year. The 22 Pushup Challenge was started by the Honor Courage Commitment Inc. as a method to bring awareness of the rising veteran suicide rate. With the simple action of posting a video and hashtag doing 22 pushups, the challenge has taken an issue that is not spoken about into common place. The thousands to millions of people participating in the challenge are creating a platform where a sensitive subject like suicide can now be addressed. With the platform of the 22 Pushup Challenge it is possible to highlight the causes and signs that can precede a suicide. With the public support for the campaign, it is becoming less taboo to ask for help when someone is dealing with problems.

  One of the tragedies of suicide is the stigma attached to it. It isn’t that people want to commit suicide, they are driven to it. Asking for help is often considered a sign of weakness, of not being able to cope. In a statement from 22Kill, the campaign leaders behind the 22 Pushup Challenge, they have said “In order to prevent or ‘fix’ a problem, one must first learn and understand the problem itself and its causes.” With the public support for veterans and the campaign, I hope that people are looking it up to see what it is about. I hope they are trying to find out why this campaign matters and why it should be shared. It takes a very serious problem in our society, which is not limited to just veterans, and provides the opportunity for us as a society to improve our view towards asking for help. As a veteran myself, I can say we are generally very prideful in our self-reliability. Sometimes we need help and sometimes everyone else does too. Asking for it shouldn’t be so hard.

 22 Kill Campaign can be found at :

Honor Courage Commitment INC:


Take Shelter: An Apocalyptic Thriller

By: Mary Kiser

What do you think will happen to the human race during Earth's final cataclysm?

I think about this question every time I see a storm. Something so beautiful as nature can twist into something so wicked, and who really knows why. Science can predict nature, and give reasons for rainfall, lightening, and thunder. However, nature can't be summarized by scientists. People can't be summarized by scientists, either.

Take Shelter is a psychological thriller that explores the inner beast of both mind and nature. Michael Shannon, one of my favorite actors, plays Curtis; in the beginning, friends admire him as a steady, strong, and sedulous man. He works at a construction company to take care of his wife, Samantha, and daughter, Hannah. When he starts to suffer from intense nightmares that leave him with real pain and uneasiness, his behavior changes. Is he this unstable man who suffers from mental illness, or is he a prophet with visions of the future?

The ending is just as ambiguous as his nightmares or visions, but regardless, director Jeff Nichols has interpreted his own feelings of anxiety into frightening reality onscreen. His portrayal of panic, fear, and dread create this movie's perfect storm. It was released in 2011, but his film is timeless in both human and nature emotion.

If anyone would like to read his interview, which does contain spoilers, you can visit this website:

‘Florence Foster Jenkins’

By: Callie Ball

Stephen Frears (director of successful films like “The Queen” and “Philomena”) directs Hugh Grant, Simon Helberg of “The Big Bang Theory” and Academy Award Winner Meryl Streep in his newest project. “Florence Foster Jenkins,” which is based on the real life Florence Foster Jenkins, who was a wealthy socialite in 1940’s New York City. She dreamt of becoming an Opera singer, while also being oblivious to the fact that she can’t sing.

Stephen Frears directs the film beautifully, giving it comedy, yet containing heartbreaking undertones. Frears with screenwriter Nicholas Martin will have you laughing one minute and shaking your head the next. Frears doesn’t explore the darker side of the story; he keeps it light hearted while still giving you all the information you need to understand each character and why they are the way they are.

Meryl Streep, delightfully funny as Florence Foster Jenkins, gives us a woman who has a childlike view of life and the world. You will be laughing with her, at her and crying for her. By the end she will have you wishing you were just as oblivious to the judgements of the world as she.

And keep your eye on Simon Helberg as his facial reactions are worth the ticket in themselves. 

“Some may say that I couldn’t sing, but no one can say that I didn’t sing.” – Florence Foster Jenkins.

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.