Archive for December 3, 2009

Paranormal Activity: less blood, more money

December 3, 2009

By Isacc Feldman

Throughout the history of horror films and any movie that makes a college kid squirm, many tactics have been tried to send goose bumps up ones spine. In the early years of horror flicks there weren’t many effects or blood, which you can almost guarantee in every movie in today’s society. It’s almost like movies of today need the blood and gore to get people in the seats. It’s when a film comes along that just plays on your tension, not on your appetite, that suceeds critically and finacially.

When Saw first hit the silver screen in 2004 it was new for its genre. It was a movie that was a thriller with just little showings of blood. To many Saw fans the first movie was the best of the series. This was most likely because there weren’t as many moving parts as there were in the sequels, if you know what I mean. After the great debut of the series it seemed as though the director wanted more. The movies that followed got gorier and gorier. Some fans may have got grossed out, and the results lead to the film company taking a hit in the pocket. Some of the ways the people in the newer Saw films are dying seem to be a little farfetched. People will have pen caps attached to their eyeballs, which is attached to an F-150. This was were a fresh look film like Paranormal Activity came along and sweeped up new fans and big bucks.

 What Paranormal Activity does best is take a step back from the limps and guts and does an excellent job at selling the viewer an hour and a half of slow tension. Even though there are scenes that involve barely anything going on the silence drives the viewers insane. Paranormal Activity which cost a meager $11,000 to make, compared to Saws $11 million, won the grossing battle. 

What’s the fuss about? If you think that Paranormal Activity looks like a simple movie, you probaly guessed right. It’s just that, this simple movie has scared in over $100,000,000. Much credit should go to writer/director Orin Peli, who used every day objects and a little creativeness to surprise movie goers. Also what Paranormal Activity did very well was incorporate the times we’re in. they made a movie in a you tube style that is attracting in teens and college students alike.  

People are trigger happy when it comes to the horror genre they try to always compare films now to films made by pioneer directors such as, John Carpenter and George A. Romero.  Their freight films are considered classics in the horror world, because they just used smoke and mirrors, not CGI, which is seen in almost every movie these days. Its amazing how there was once a time when a hacksaw wasn’t used to get a key out of someone’s lung.  

Even though this past fall Saw released their sixth movie of the series, Paranormal Activity’s sleek approach won the overall grossing war. That alone should tell movie producers that sometimes less is more

AIDS Quilt on Display for a Day In Babylon Student Center

December 3, 2009

By Lisa Behnke

For one day, students experienced a part of history on campus, when a piece of the AIDS quilt was displayed in the Babylon Student Center.

Members of the Campus Activities Board arranged the event and honored the millions of people who died from AIDS  by hosting a display of a piece of the AIDS Memorial Quilt.

Two panels of the quilt hung from the upstairs railing and extended down the length of the first floor; larger than most students had imagined, in fact only a piece of the Quilt. In its entirety, the Quilt is composed of more than 47,000 individual 3×6 foot panels, each one commemorating the life of someone who has died from the disease. Loved ones of the victims memorialized in the quilt have poured their emotions into every stitch that holds the handmade tapestry together. They come from every state in the nation, and every corner of the world.

Names displayed were names of those who were from Long Island and throughout the Northeast. Bobby, 5/5/46 – 11/28/91, Steve 1964-1991, Peter 1956-1993, Ted 1940-1993, Gerry 1961-1988, Carl 1954-1993, Brian 2/14/55 – 6/3/88, Jo-Ann 10/18/51 – 7/18/92, Eric 5/19/68 – 11/1/93, Ed 1949-1993, Tommy 11/24/60 – 5/11/88, Ronnie, Laura, and dozens of patients from Massachusetts General Hospital 1994.

“Even though they are about the same thing, they are all different, with different emotions in every one,” said Vanessa Rugen, a student in the AIDS in American Literature class. One of 12 students from class who visited the Quilt, Rugen expressed her own emotions about seeing it. Comparing one piece to another made her feel ashamed and conflicted. “If it were my mother, I don’t know that I could make something so beautiful out of something so tragic. It might just be as simple as a name.”

Students gathered in silence, admiring the work put into the Quilt and looking as if they were at a memorial service. These students, from the Honors AIDS in American Literature, had a better understanding than others who might have happened upon the display. Professor Tamara Slankard offered for the first time, an Honors class specifically to explore literature written about AIDS.

“Sometimes you have to have distance from tragedy to write about it,” said Slankard. Although some of the material is dark and dismal, other work is especially poignant. Such is the case with Tony Kushner’s ‘Angels in America,’ written in the late nineties.

The Quilt, established by the NAMES Project Foundation in 1987, began with a single panel created in San Francisco. Gay Rights Activist Cleve Jones, inspired by the sight of placards taped to the walls of the San Francisco Federal Building, created the idea for the Quilt. Today it represents over 91,000 lives lost to AIDS.

Another admirer of the quilt stood fixated in front of the display. Charles Campbell, a former student and employee of the college, spoke about his friend who is living with AIDS. “She became an advocate for AIDS to help others to better understand the disease. The nation needs to be better informed about AIDS. Once you know how to prevent it, lives will be saved.” said Campbell.

Every year on Dec.1, World AIDS day is observed. First started in 1988 by the World Health Organization, it provides governments, national AIDS programs, community and faith organizations, and individuals with the opportunity to raise awareness and not forget the global AIDS epidemic.

In a Presidential Proclamation about World AIDS Day, dated November 25, 2009, the President stated, “Though we have been witness to incredible progress, our struggle against HIV/AIDS is far from over.”

The Selling of This Illegal War Begins

December 3, 2009

(Photo, compliments of blogs.myspace.com/alex_infowarrior)

By Krystal Diaz

President Obama faces a choice that really is a no-win situation. Thanks to Bush’s fumbling of the war in Afghanistan and using it as nothing more then a launching point to invade and try to conquer Iraq for profit, our military has missed it’s narrow opportunity, the chance they had to take out the Taliban, take out Al-Qaeda, and take out Bin Laden.

The fundamental question at a time of heated debate over the long-term goals of the war in Afghanistan: should we be in a counterinsurgency war at all?

According to UPI.com, Germany has indicated it will deploy more forces to southern Afghanistan. Britain, too, is likely to deploy more later this year, to join its 8,000 troops already there, after it pulls out most of the 4,000 forces it has in Basra, Iraq.

But Canada, a key member of the U.S.-led coalition, has said it wants all its troops out of combat by 2011.

President Obama has approved deploying 17,000 more troops to Afghanistan. A reawakening Taliban, the rapidly increasing opium trade and a tense border with Pakistan have made the future of Afghanistan a crucial test for the new administration.

“This is our downfall as a country; we can not afford to do this anymore. Obama is raising the deficit by billions to levels unheard of, it’s time to cut our losses and bring the troops home. Fighting terrorism has and always will be a police action,” Jeffe Denny, a senior of the college, said.

The new president is sending 4,000 military trainers to Afghanistan, on top of the 17,000 additional combat troops headed there. With the 38,000 U.S. troops already in the country, that will be the highest number since the war began; plus new billions for Pakistan.

We are now left with a sickening choice of staying behind to try to clean up Bush’s Vietnam, including an inevitable invasion of Pakistan and sinking deeper into a losing quagmire or getting out now before any more American lives are wasted.

All to “disrupt, dismantle and defeat Al Qaeda,” he says. Will it work? The pressure is on.


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