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Volume LV


Table of Contents 3

Health Care by Daniel Duane

and Kyle O’Donnell

4 Sailing: An Introduction to a

5

Great Sport by Ross Glasser

Click Here, Not There

by Emily Leidy

6 Corporate Comedy: A Review

for Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris by Lauren Childress

7 Sarah’s Staples: Essential

Albums for Your Music Library by Sarah Eure

7 Blink 182 Concert Review

by Bess Preddy

8 Winter Fashion

by Molly McCrory

11 “Legally Blonde” the

Musical visits Chrysler Hall by Nina Singhapakdi

2


National Health Care

For more satire, go to theblotch.blogspot.com

by Daniel Duane I’m a firm believer in more government intervention in whatever problem you might happen to be dealing with. Socialized programs as a whole are nothing short of wonderful. One second, you’re looking around and everyone’s sick and poor and dying and then *poof*, next thing you know it’s raining money and they’re all singing and smiling and doing cartwheels and backflips down the street. (Sometimes, when I’m feeling particularly speculative, I contemplate the origin of all that money. But honestly, I don’t really think I want to know where it comes from. Truth be told, it would probably ruin the magic of it all.) That being said, it really is a wonder we haven’t applied this universal problem-solver to the health care dilemma. I mean, it seems like such a no-brainer. Government programs have always assisted us with an unrivaled capability and efficiency. Look at the post office. Look at public schools. Look at FEMA. Actually, scratch that; don’t look at any of those things. Change in plans: Let’s look at Canada. At least in regards to health care, Canada currently towers above us like a shining beacon on a hill, setting an example for those of us who still cling to our childish affinity for heartless competition and Machiavellianism. The smiling Canadians lean back in their chairs and fold their arms, wordlessly anticipating our inevitable acceptance of the Utopia that is Socialized Medicine. They view us a clan of primitive apes desperately squabbling over a banana. It is only a matter of time before the great, shiny, government-funded monolith breaks through the heavens and bestows upon us our much-needed civility. continued on page 4

by Kyle O’Donnell Health Care. It certainly has made its way into the fears of Americans, and even more certainly, it has made its way to the top of Obama’s socialistic, take-over-the-world agenda. So many are asking: who should I believe? Once again, the right-wing is the right thing. There is a popular adage that defines the health-care problem very clearly: If it’s not broken, don’t fix it. This is probably a Ronald Reagan quote, because it’s simply genius and awesome. Now, for a quick Q & A. Q: Is our health care system really broken? A: No. Q: So then why are the liberals trying to change something that everybody is totally happy about? A: Obama wants to force health care companies to capitulate to his administration, so when he leaves office he can deny us all coverage and wipe out America. Since liberals are blind to the truth, we have to rely on other means to convince people not to support Obama’s plan. WE must follow the brave hero of South Carolina, Representative Joe Wilson, who interrupted Obama’s speech when Obama stated that the Health Care plan would not cover illegal immigrants shouting, “You lie!” Perfectly reasonable, this comment raised $2.7 million dollars in campaign support. Here’s a hypothetical: José is an illegal immigrant who injures himself at the plant. He is bleeding profusely and needs immediate treatment or he could die. Under Obama’s plan, José could walk into the emergency room and his life would be saved; if everyone has health care, why bother checking before administering treatment? Of course, we all want to save lives no matter the price, but an important variable remains: the price. With a deficit like ours, we can’t afford to 3 continued on page 5


N.A. NA Sailing: An Introduction to a Great Sport

by Ross Glasser Most students here at Norfolk Academy know that we have a school sailing team, but are unfamiliar with the sport of sailing in general. Norfolk Academy has both J.V. and varsity sailing teams in the fall as well as an expanding spring program. Coached by Mr. O’Keefe, the sailing team races against Norfolk Collegiate, Christchurch School, Maury High School, and other schools in the Virginia Interscholastic Sailing Association (V.I.S.A.). The sailing team races FJs and 420s on Thursdays and fleet races on Saturdays; team races use teams of three boats to beat other teams by achieving the best overall placement, while fleet races are more for the individual boat's success. There is more communication and cooperation between boats in team races, and the object is not always to sail fastest but sometimes to slow other teams down. The sport of sailing may not require the most athletic ability, however, it is very much a sport of strategy. In sailing races, the object is the same as any other race: finish before the other boats cross the line. The course is made of buoys in a certain shape. The boats must correctly round the buoys without fouling the other boats. Fouling is based on numerous factors of right-ofway, such as the sail's position to the wind and a boat's position in relation to another boat. If a collision occurs or another type of foul, the boat without right-of-way must complete a specific number of spins. Since fouls are called out by the boats being fouled, there are often arguments as to the accuracy of the call. If this occurs, the boats may call a protest, in which they enter an argument after the race with the race committee and witnesses to determine who had the rightof-way (similar to a court case). This also affects the boat's placement in the race. One must know the rules and have a strategy to come out on top. 4

Sailing takes skill, strategy, and a willingness to improve. This is what makes sailing such a unique, challenging, and fun sport.

Health Care continued from page 3 Admittedly, I have never been to Canada, but I’ve heard stories of the wondrous fantasyland. It is said that the original Canadians long ago shed their physical bodies along with the greed and selfishness and capitalistic inclinations that came with them, and that their souls continue to populate the country in the form of fiery blue spheres that hover above the ground. No longer are they plagued by mortal ailments and self-interest. At last, they have reached the ultimate apex of civilization. At last, they have cured the fundamental disease of humanity. In conclusion, anyone with the gall to question the competency of our government is obviously an alarmist pig-dog that can stuff it up their private sector. Affordable health care is a basic human right, and should naturally be treated as such. There is simply too much at stake here for us to let the free market run its course. This is clearly a system best run by the experts. And here by “experts,” I of course mean “bureaucrats.” -Yes we can, Daniel Duane


Technology Click Here, Not There

by Emily Leidy The use of personal electronic devices such as cell phones and ipods during school hours is hotly debated. Teachers, students, and parents are far from agreement on the extent of their use. Parents like being able to contact a child during the school day. With today’s busy schedules, cell phones can increase family efficiency and communication. Cell phones also increase personal safety, although most students feel safe at Norfolk Academy. Ipods can provide stress relief between periods of intense study. Some students here even use an iTouch to take notes. But there are also negative aspects to using electronic devices, including disruption of the classroom, inappropriate communication between students, and use of technology for unfair advantage during examination. At Norfolk Academy, the use of ipods in the upper school is limited to a student’s free time, and they can only be used when seated. The use of cell phones is prohibited during regular classroom hours. Do we need more restrictions? Do we need fewer? Some students handle the technology responsibly and would never let their phone disrupt the classroom or use their Ipod to cheat. But other students may not have the discipline to set sensible limits and seem to need the NA restrictions. As a society, we must set standards for all, which are clearly inappropriate for some. There are persons who would be perfectly safe, responsible drivers at age fourteen, and some who should never drive, regardless of their age. The same is true of alcohol consumption, using a credit card, and many other behaviors. Technology is no different.

Health Care continued from page 3 help everybody. Here’s another inconvenient truth about Obama’s health care plan: DEATH PANELS. Again, a hypothetical. Tiny Tim is ten years old. He is suffering from an infection and needs treatment or he could die. Unfortunately for Tim, he has a preexisting condition, sickly-itis, and doesn’t have coverage. In the current system, the Heath Insurance executives would hear of this, and, from the goodness of their hearts, sell their private jets and finance Tiny Tim’s treatment out of their own wallets. Then they would probably buy the whole family the biggest cooked goose from the marketplace and have a wonderful dinner. Obama, however, wants to do away with this program and create his own. Under Obama’s plan, Tiny Tim would be placed under the pressing scrutiny of a death panel, in which big-government bureaucrats would kick out his little crutch from under him and deny him coverage a thousand times over while laughing at his sickly-itis-ridden, sobbing face. If you have a sudden qualm after reading the last sentence, good! You have something liberals lack: moral principle. There are millions of reasons as to why Obama’s health care plan is evil. He even wants to cut down on the time it takes for a basic, general care visit. I for one enjoy sitting in the lobby and reading about John Elway’s super bowl victory in the special 1999 issue of Sports Illustrated. And John Elway is about the best darn American I can think of. - God Bless the USA, Kyle O’Donnell

5


Books Corporate Comedy: A Review on Then We Came to the End by Joshua Ferris

by Lauren Childress We came. We saw. We coalesced. Bravo, Mr. Ferris, bravo, and dare we say, encore! Joshua Ferris’s premier novel, Then We Came to the End, is a brilliant comedy in the unlikeliest place one would expect to find it- a cluster of ad agency cubicles. As the Washington Post critic James P. Othmer attests, if “we conclude that categorizing Then We Came to the End as anything other than an original and inspired work of fiction, [we] would be doing it a great disservice.” We, as not only observers, but actual characters in the book (Ferris uses neither “I” nor “He” but “We”), are led through the mice maze of a failing corporation, meeting our coworkers, individuals we know, individuals who are battling cancer, cheating on their wives, writing plays no one but their friends will endure, slowly going insane, photocopying their butt cheeks and, of course, “walking Spanish down the hall,” a euphemism for being fired that one of the co-workers snatched out of this or that book he was reading on company time. Joshua Ferris achieves a world in which the boss is king, but the prince is rumor, whom we all obey; a world in which an office can transform itself into a jungle of hearsay and tiny rebellions against The Man. We know more about you than your kids who moved out in ’87. Maybe we even know more about you than your wife (Larry! Ahem…). But somehow, amidst all the tragedy and drudgery that is everyday life in The Office, we discover comedy in our coffee cups, stumble upon it emblazoned on our cheap company collared shirts, in Benny’s incessant chatter, even Tom Mota’s absurd obsession with which chair belongs to him- even though they are all the same. Othmer again says it best: “The people with whom we spend the most time are those we know the least. And yet, somehow, they're the 6

ones we know better than anyone else.” A heartwarming novel that speaks to something deep within all of us, the Belfry’s amateur critic, awards Mr. Ferris four stars out of five.


Sarah's Staples: Music Essential Albums for Your Music Library

by Sarah Eure Brand New: The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me

I love music in a way words can simply not describe, and Brand New's album The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me is no exception. I am passionate about this band, and this album is my favorite release of theirs to date. Even though the Long Island quintet released this album in November 2006, it continues to be one of my most played. Brand New formed in 2000 and is a fairly big name in the alternative rock world. However, this may be a name you've never heard before if you don’t usually listen to this kind of music. The Devil and God is Brand New's third full length out of four, preceded by Your Favorite Weapon and Deja Entendu, with Daisy, their most recent album, released on September 22nd, 2009. Style changes between each release are evident, but always in a good and fresh way. Bands with a similar sound to The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me include Radiohead, Modest Mouse, Manchester Orchestra, the list goes on and on. continued on page 11

Blink 182

Concert Review by Bess Preddy When the news was announced in February of 2005 that the band blink-182 was breaking up, punk rock listeners across the globe were no less than devastated. Band members Mark Hoppus, Tom Delonge, and Travis Barker had been running the punk-rock scene since 1998, and listeners were shocked to hear of the breakup. However, excitement grew when on February 8, 2009, the band members announced that they were once again going to be recording and touring together. They would even bring along Asher Roth, Fall Out Boy, and the All-American Rejects. When the show stopped in Virginia, however, the latter of the bands did not play. The other three artists took the stage at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre on Friday October 2nd, 2009. The show opened with Asher Roth, whose summer hit “I Love College” was played non-stop on radio stations across the country. Though he was there to perform, his set came off as more of a party than a concert. There were lots of jokes and laughing, and while there was singing, he made more of an effort to have fun on stage than to actually sing his songs. Next on the bill was the young poppunk band Fall Out Boy. Bass player and most well known band member Pete Wentz wasted no time getting the crowd into the music, dancing, and clapping their hands. Their set consisted of mostly singles released from new albums including “I Don’t Care,” “Thnks Fr Th MMRS,” and “America’s Suiteheart.” While the fans were more than willing to sing along with the catchy tunes, many were disappointed as usual by the lack of playing of songs that had not been just released as singles. After their set completed, the anticipation in the crowd grew. Suddenly people who were in the lawn found their way down to their seats, or into the pit if they were willing to shell continued on page 10 7


Fashion Winter Fashion by Molly McCrory Winter fashion trends are never difficult to figure out. Just throw on a pair of skinny jeans, Uggs, and a snug winter jacket and you’re ready to walk out the door. But from season to season, fashion trends do vary slightly. The recession has influenced a large majority of the designers to make their designs more affordable for the customer; they have made the outfits in a simpler manner and used cheaper materials in the creation of four new styles that dominate the Winter runway. The four key looks this season are Boho de Luxe, Country Folk, Iron Maiden, and Modern Simplicity. Boho de Luxe consists of 70's glamour and exotic details. It usually has a color palette of brown, black, olive green, yellow, and gold and includes ethnic and folkloric prints, vintage floral prints, layered necklaces, fur, suede and leather hobo bags, sexy but refined 70's thigh high boots.

Country Folk is a mix of romantic English Country style with feminine 70's elements. Common colors usually found in this collection are orange, grey, brown, beige, off-white, and olive green. Checkers print, barnyard-looking boots, lace, loose blouses, menswear fitted slacks, old English style like medallion pendants are essential to recreate this look from the runway.

8


Iron Maiden is a mix with classy Goth, 80's, bold and diva-ish elements. Think studs, black, chain and leather (perfect for the rougher fashionista)! The colors are the simple black, grey, and silver and layers of chain, zippers, studs, skinny pants, leather, black hosiery, sparkly vests and tops, bold and fun jewelry give this look a rocker chic edge.

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Modern Simplicity is minimalism cross mixed with 40s and 50s whimsy decorations for a softer and feminine look. The colors include black, white, grey, beige, camel, red, and purple. Leather gloves, Poplis shirts, little black dress, belted coats, tweed skirts and dress pants, long blazers, red lipstick, sexy stockings and tights, ruffles, lace, drape and boyfriend cardigans makes this outfits a great choice for anyone who likes classic designs and wants to play it safe.

With this winter’s new and surprisingly affordable fashion, expect to see these looks grace the hallways of our school more and more frequently and repeat in next year’s fashion, so maybe it’s time to invest in a good pair of skinny jeans, military jacket, blousy tunic top, or some peep-hole pumps….

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Blink continued from page 7 out the extra cash. After about 15 minutes, the lights darkened again. Moms, dads, daughters, frat boys, high school students, middle school students, and everyone who knew what was going on began to chant blink-182’s name until after the long awaited band took the stage. They opened their set with the song “Dumpweed,” from the album, Enema of the State, and continued the rest of the night playing other well known songs such as “All the Small Things,” “Anthem Part Two,” and “Feeling Sorry.” Included in the set was a drum solo by Travis Barker, who was placed on a rotating platform and raised high above the stage. The crowd loved the whole night, feeding off the never ending jokes exuded by Hoppus and Delonge. The onstage chemistry between the two life long friends set the mood for a high

energy and hilarious show. When the band announced it would be their final song of the night, the crowd grew a little sad, but they were ready to rock out one last time to the cds they collected in their teenage years. Blink finished the night out with one of their best known songs “Dammit,” also off the album Enema of the State. When the band was finished, the pit became a mess of people trying to catch a water bottle, pick, or drum stick, from one of the members of the band. The lucky few were no doubt going to take their treasures home and display them in their room to remember the night of the one the best concerts ever to come through the amphitheatre. All the performers brought something to the concert, but blink-182 outshined the other acts and lived up to their fans’ high expectations.


“Legally Blonde”

the Musical visits Chrysler Hall by Nina Singhapakdi

A few weeks ago, Legally Blonde, the Broadway musical, visited Chrysler Hall while on its successful, national tour. Advertisements were abundant leading up to the performances in Norfolk and many from the Tidewater area flocked to see what tricks this well-publicized musical had up its sleeve. The music was very upbeat, although the jokes were obviously pointed at a certain audience (preppy teenage girls). The running time was reasonable: not long enough that we found ourselves squirming in our seats and not short enough that we found ourselves wishing for something more. The sets were simple but still very consistent with the overall feeling of the show. I personally did not enjoy the show as much as I believe many did. I feel like the show is not necessarily good and not necessarily bad, but is really dependent on the viewer’s personal tastes and their theatergoing history. I would recommend this show to viewers who are not regular theatergoers or show fans that wouldn’t list theater as one of their top interests, but simply want the experience of seeing a Broadway production. This show is very good for a first Broadway show (so is Lion King, Wicked, Hairspray, and Grease, by the way), because the style of the writers is very simple. I would also recommend this show to a younger female audience. I would not recommend this show, however, to the regular theatergoers and show fans that have been to many shows and plan on going to many more. For that group, this show lacks depth and the “razzle-dazzle” (Chicago, anyone?) that truly does define Broadway. Although a fun show, audiences who adore shows like Phantom of the Opera, 42nd Street, Chicago, A Streetcar Named Desire, or non-Broadway shows such as Carmen and La Bohème would find this show to be lessthan-satisfying.

RATING: 6.5/10 WHY: The perfect show should seek to give enough satisfaction to all audiences, regardless of taste and personal theatergoing experience. This show fails to meet that standard. IF YOU LIKE IT YOU SHOULD SEE: Hairspray, The Lion King, Tarzan, The Little Mermaid, Wicked, Grease. IF YOU DIDN’T LIKE IT YOU SHOULD SEE: The Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, Nine, 42nd Street, Evita, Carmen, Madame Butterfly, A

Streetcar Named Desire.

Staples continued from page 7 Overall, The Devil and God is a masterpiece, and the diversity of the songs makes it that much better. I consider my experience with this album “love at first listen,” and I am positive that upon encountering it for the first time, you will too. However, it may take a few listens for those new to this genre of music to fully enjoy it. The album begins on a solemn note with “Sowing Season (Yeah)” and ends on one too, with “Handcuffs.” My favorite tracks from the album are numbers two and four, “Millstone” and “Degausser” respectively. “Millstone” is a sorrowful lament about regret and negative changes. I can relate to the lyrics so perfectly, and the eerie opening riff is enough to captivate anyone. “Degausser” probably triumphs “Millstone,” taking its place as my favorite track of the record. It captures, in musical form, my views and feelings about life itself. There is simply not a single subpar track on The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me; Brand New pulls off every sound very well. Overall, I rate this album 5/5 stars. Anyone open to trying new things music-wise should look into purchasing this record. Brand New is definitely a band to look out for in the future. 11


Contributors Editors

Kelly Luker and Katie Thoma

Co-Editor

Daniel Duane

Staff

Kyle O’Donnell, Sarah Eure, Emily Leidy, Molly McCrory, Lauren Childress, Ross Glasser, Bess Preddy Mary Reeves Daugherty, Melanie duMont, Catherine Hauser, Josh Jason, Nina Singhapakdi, and Katharina Schwarz

Sponsors

Mr. Kidd and Mr. Peccie

If you have something you want to be published in the Belfry, send it to Mr. Kidd, Mr. Peccie, Kelly or Katie. We are always looking for more writers.


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