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Volume 19: Issue I: October 2012

True LBelieve ove it or not?

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FRESHMEN Tips to succeed at KSU Plus so much more

2012 Election Students experience party O 2012 | 1 politics at national conventions ctober


Letter from the Editor

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elcome back to another semester at KSU! Here at Talon we pride ourselves on being politically

Editorial Board Editor in Chief Meghan de St. Aubin

Creative Director Steven Welch Managing Editor Ashley Frew Photo Editor Travis Clark Copy Editor Ellen Eldridge Associate Editor Daniel Lumpkin

aware. Steven Welch, our Creative

Director, and I were given a unique opportunity to visit the political conventions. He went to the Republican National Convention and I went to the Democratic National Convention. It has been a dream of mine to do this since I realized I wanted to be a journalist. It was at the convention that I realized I had truly found my niche as a political reporter. I’m grateful to the Communication Department that we were allowed to meet such wonderful people and experience such a unique event. I will forever remember the moment I realized that this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. And I am also very happy that we can share our stories with all of you. Inside you will find Steven’s story about Georgia Governor Nathan Deal and my story about an inspiring delegate fighting for LGBT rights. You will also find

Contributors Design Assistant Rachel Burell Staff Writers Blake Bottomley Hadassah Chase John DeFoor Ashlee Holmes Tyler Prail Photo Contributors Delle Beganie

Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald

A.J. Williams Democratic Party of Georgia Paramount Pictures SXC.hu

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stories from KSU writers and the rest of the Talon staff. At Talon we strive to bring you the most truthful and interesting stories that we can find. As writers it is our job to offer perspective and to perhaps cause you to look at things at KSU and in the world a little differently. I hope you enjoy every last word.

- Meghan de St. Aubin


TABLE OF CONTENTS Our State’s Future (23)

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal outlines his goals for the state throughout his first term.

How to get the job (24) This monthly column will focus on what it takes to find the job you’ve always wanted.

Inside the CDC (25) Most people think diseases like Polio are a thing of the past. The truth is, it’s still an issue on a global scale.

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Good Movies? (29)

Welcome Freshmen

A BBC Adventure (11)

The college experience is something to be cherished and enjoyed. Here’s our tips to succeed throughout your time here at KSU.

Kennesaw State professor Dr. Jake McNeill reflects on his time spent working for the BBC in Great Britain.

LGBT at the DNC (05)

Spirit of the Radio (17)

One G e org ia delegate to t he Democratic National Convention uses his faith as the basis for his fight for civil rights.

As the Internet becomes more prominent, Atlanta’s radio indistry is slowly being taken over by Top 40 and Talk Radio. Now is the time for the industry to adapt to technological advances, or face an uncertain future. Can it be done?

Talent: Larkin Poe These sisters are taking on the music world while staying true to their independent roots.

Who doesn’t love a good movie? But has Hollywood gone too far with the special effects, causing the storylines and characters to suffer?

Is there True Love? As Shakespeare once wrote, ‘To believe or not to believe, that is the question.’

No Woo-Girl here (19) Our editor in chief shares her opion on what a woo-girl is, and why she dislikes them. She promises to never become one, but will she succumb to the pressure?

Time to Get Weird (21)

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Our writer wants everyone to have a ‘movie script ending’ in their lives. Listen to the soundtrack of life and make the most of everything that comes your way.

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October 2012 | 2


Welcome to College A bit of advice for all the incoming freshmen to ensure success at KSU.

By Steven Welch Photos by Travis Clark

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ello freshmen. It seems like I’ve written a lot of these columns over the years. I guess that’s a good thing, but who knows? Anyway, by now you’ve all had time to get used to how college life works, and you have hopefully adjusted well to your new lives. These next few years are the cornerstone to a productive life, so it’s kind of important to get off to a good

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start. As someone who is about to finally graduate, after taking longer than the normal four year plan, I feel I need to share with you some advice on how to best spend your time here. Don’t worry though, it won’t be all preachy or anything; you just moved out of your parents’ houses, and I have never desired to be anyone’s father, so these are just some lessons I wish someone had taught me when I first started college. >>>>


First and foremost, get involved. Clubs, Greek life, sports, pick something. College is a new environment, and a lot of you might not know a ton of people here yet. What better way to make new friends than to either try something completely new, or stick with something you’re passionate about and find others who are also interested. Some of my closest friends are people I’ve met through student media, and I’ll remember the shenanigans we’ve gotten into for years to come. There have been free trips to New York, and countless prank wars throughout the student media office because of how close we are to one another. Add to that the bar tabs we’ve accumulated after a long day’s work and that equals one hell of a dynamic friendship. Second, after you do get involved, make sure to balance your life. School is important, as is a social life. But don’t ever get too deep into either one, as it will affect the other. Trust me. The skipped classes turn into failing test grades, and before you know it you have to get a 100 on your next two tests in order to catch back up. On the other end of the spectrum, studying all night, every night, leads to resentment and burnout. Our education is the main reason why we come to college, but it’s not the only one. We’re here to find ourselves, to learn who we are as people, and that’s something that can’t come from a textbook or from GeorgiaView. Go hang out with your friends, just make sure you finished your essay that’s due at 8am tomorrow. I remember two years ago some friends and I decided philosophy would be more fun if we went to Los Reyes before class each week, because everyone loves $1 margaritas. We all got good grades in the class because we weren’t stressed out, and we also conditioned our livers for long term collegiate festivities. Most of you guys are probably not old enough to legally drink yet though, so I feel this is where I should take

a break and halfheartedly advise you to try other activities that don’t break any rules if you aren’t 21 yet. Or break them anyways, life is about living. Just don’t slack off in class because you have a hangover; that makes you a lightweight and that’s no way to earn your friends’ respect, and can also lead to a low GPA. That makes you a dumbass. No one likes a dumbass here. So be sure to balance everything out. Adults all around you will expect you to finish this whole ride in four years. So my third piece of advice to you is to take whatever amount of time you need to finish. Not everyone knows why they’re here yet, and you don’t want to rush into a major just to change it anyways. Take some time to look around and get a feel for some of the programs KSU offers, there’s so many to choose from. If you can’t decide right away take some of the intro classes. You’ll learn more about what subjects you enjoy, and at the same time you can get some of those related study requirements out of the way. Don’t let anyone get you down if it takes you five years either. Or six. Or seven. Just be sure to finish. Our economy isn’t the best at the moment anyways, so it’s been my belief for a while that we might as well use the resources this university offers to learn as much as possible anyways. I know so many recent graduates who are still working the jobs they had in college, so there’s no need to rush if you feel you aren’t ready to finish. It might seem like a long road ahead of you as you begin your journey here, but trust me when I say it can be a fun one. You’ll meet tons of people, learn a lot about the world and yourself, and hopefully come out of this institution with a quality education, ready to take on life with a better understanding of who you are and what you want out of it. There are many times this whole thing will seem like a rollercoaster, and that’s fine; enjoy the ride, and don’t get off until it’s finished.

October 2012 | 4


Faith Strengthens Delegate’s Fight for Civil Rights Story and Photos by Meghan de St. Aubin

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hen Robert (Bob) W. Gibeling Jr. was young he struggled with reconciling his faith and his sexual orientation. He says when he overcame that struggle and came to realize that God “wanted him to be gay,” he decided to live life as an example to others. One way Gibeling chose to lead by example has been by becoming an alternate delegate for the state of Georgia. “It really has been a remarkable journey especially considering that exactly 40 years ago I was a member of a youth group that attended the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach,” says Gibeling, a native of Atlanta. Richard M. Nixon was the Republican nominee in 1972 at the convention Gibeling attended. As a very active member in the Lutheran church, Gibeling worked to help change the policies of the largest Lutheran denomination in the United States so that it came to accept same sex relationships. Gibeling’s journey began about two and a half years ago when his good friend Sally Rosser, Vice Chair at the Democratic Party of Georgia, invited him at church to be a part of a newly forming caucus of the Democratic Party of Georgia. While Gibeling moved through an incredibly fast track, he became an alternate delegate.

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In order to become a delegate in the first place, Gibeling decided to run for election at the congressional district level. “I knew it was going to be an uphill battle for a variety of reasons anyway and it was a very positive experience although I wasn’t elected,” says Gibeling. Gibeling spoke in front of a group of about one thousand people about his platform and he pledged that if elected he would bring the language of faith to the campaign. Still encouraged even though he lost, the next way he tried to become a delegate was to run as a delegate at large from Georgia. Already with visibility, Gibeling advocated for his election in front of the state committee, which he was already a member of. He was elected as an alternate delegate. “For me that was an incredibly fast track to go from a position where 99 percent of the people didn’t know who I was to being an alternate to the Democratic National Convention. It was really remarkable,” says Gibeling. Gibeling was able to vote in the place of his friend Sally Rosser who graciously stepped aside because he says she knew how important the full marriage equality issue was for him. The approved platform language recommended that the federal government grant the same rights and benefits to same


Photo courtesy of the Democratic Party of Georgia

gender couples as married opposite sex couples. Gibeling insists the entire issue is really about civil rights. “It is so necessary that this platform be passed because The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was passed a number of years ago under President Clinton and that prohibits granting any of those rights, privileges and benefits to same gender couples,” says Gibeling. DOMA is a United States federal law, which states marriage between a man and a woman is the only legal union between two people. As it stands, every single state in the union could pass a full marriage equality law and yet the vast majority of those rights, benefits and privileges do not come to same gender couples because of this law, says Gibeling. This platform is important because it sets the stage for overturning that law and granting rights to people in same sex relationships. On the first day of the convention in Charlotte, the platform of marriage equality passed unanimously, the platform will be sent to Congress, where Gibeling hopes there will be a Democratic majority to vote and approve it after the November election. “I am moved to tears and very proud of my party and the Georgia Delegation,” Gibeling noted from the convention floor

in Charlotte. Gibeling was in attendance at a Lutheran convention called Churchwide Assembly when they approved the blessing of same gender relationships in the church. “I will have been at the national convention where my church has approved same gender blessings and my party has approved granting the civil rights to same gender couples so that’s pretty remarkable to be at both of those in the space of three years,” says Gibeling. The platform of marriage equality in the party has energized the LGBT community to support the president and to be more active. When President Obama announced he supported gay marriage, Gibeling says he was thrilled because he could tell President Obama was genuinely struggling with the issue. “I believe he said it was his children who helped him with that decision and that’s so fascinating. I’ve heard that from other people, notably a pastor at my church whose children talked with her and said this is just something we have to do, to give full rights to these people,” says Gibeling. Gibeling describes an evolution of a new generation with President Obama, because gay marriage rights is a sign of genuine consideration, not political expediency.

October 2012 | 6


larkin poe true Independence

By Daniel Lumpkin Photos courtesty of Delle Beganie

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emember when describing a band as “independent” actually meant something important? It used to be a statement. Now it’s a sound, a genre, owned by record companies to capitalize on a certain market. Indie bands today look the same and sound the same. They usually cloak themselves in flannel and thick-framed glasses and run back home to Portland in their beat-up Chuck Taylors when they finish their world tour. Whatever happened to the music heroes that refused to sign away their creative freedoms for a huge recording contract? They would say things like “I don’t make music for the money, I make music because I love it…” and mock any studio suit that came a-calling. At this point it would be easy to blame our struggling economy for turning our favorite musicians into certifiable sell-outs. Who cares, though? Everybody needs to eat. If an unsigned band is offered a contract today (especially a contract with a big record label) they kind of have to take it, don’t they?

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October 2012 | 8


Don’t let Rebecca or Megan Lovell, co-leaders and songwriters of Larkin Poe hear you say that. They turned their backs on becoming the self-described “Pop Princess of Bubblegum” and refused to let a board room full of country music executives map out their entire career. “If you look at [music], especially in the country scene, when you see female artists it is about being adorable and being sweet,” Rebecca Lovell said. “If it’s not being adorable and sweet then it’s the opposite extreme and you have the ‘Gretchen Wilsons’ of the country world where it’s ‘we’re hard party girls’ and we definitely didn’t connect with either of those types of worlds. “We have a very unique idea of what it means to be artists and I think that when you try to fit yourself into the mainstream box- if you try to fit in with the other artists that are out there, then you end up sacrificing a lot of that uniqueness that exists. I think that it’s very comfortable and comforting, sometimes, to become more like everyone else. S ome could argue that ever y unsigned band refuses to be ‘put in a box’ when really they just lack the skills required to be successful. This is not the case for Larkin Poe. This band knows how to play a great show. Seeing them play in front of a sold-out crowd at Dahlonega’s Crimson Moon Café was an unbelievable display of Larkin Poe’s talent as musicians and performers. hat makes Larkin Poe worth listening to or seeing live? Both Lovells somehow manage to pack the confidence and experience of veteran soul, roots and classic-countrymusicians into their angelic harmonies and fluid instrumentations all while appearing young. Either this is a modernday Dorian Gray situation or Larkin Poe possess the truly rare tools that will have lasting impact in music. One key example of this exists in Megan Lovell’s mastery of the Dobro and lap steel guitar. These two instruments are usually seen in the hands of wrinkled Delta Blues musicians or silver-haired country legends, so watching the 21-year-old play so effortlessly might initially strike an unprepared audience like an optical illusion, but this girl is no joke. Lovell plays each instrument with a natural grace much like the musicians who influenced her. “I do enjoy listening to the old blues guys play the slide,” Megan Lovell said. “It’s just so soulful. I love that. For me that’s what playing the slide is all about. I don’t sing lead most of the time so I think that’s kind of my way of singing lead.”

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“We have a very unique idea of what it means to be ar tists and I think that when you try to fit yourself into the mainstream box- if you try to fit in with the other artists that are out there, then you end up sacrificing a lot of that uniqueness that exists. -Rebecca Lowell

It is easy to assume that these two talented young women might let the confidence they have onstage spillover into their personalities offstage. No one would be that surprised if both Lovells were a tad bit cocky. It’s the typical side effect when incredible skill and youth are combined together as they have done. Somehow Megan and Rebecca Lovell have maintained their humble attitudes despite the fact that they opened for Elvis Costello (yes, that Elvis Costello) before they were old enough to legallybuy alcohol. This is partially due to their southern upbringing in Calhoun, Ga. but also because they continue to work incredibly hard at their craft.Larkin Poe committed to releasing four seasonal EPs in a year their first year as a band, writing and recording each album between packed touring schedules. The sisters credit this early period as a great experience that helped them define Larkin Poe as a band and who they were as songwriters. “It was very difficult to get all of those out,” Megan Lovell said.“By the last one we were like ‘Are we going to be able to do this?’ but it put so much pressure on us to really move forward very quickly. Especially for our first year as a band, that was great for us.” Larkin Poe aren’tplanning to slow down any time soon, either. Last April they released their fifth EPThick As Thieves (2 DefPig Records) and they plan on recording their first full-length album after they finish a summer tour in Europe. How do they do it? Megan and Rebecca write one song each, every day. “We do a lot of songwriting together,” Megan Lovell said.“We try and write a song everyday which is a big challenge but it’s good for us.” “For me,” Rebecca Lovell added. “I know Megan agrees with this, songwriting is like a muscle. If you don’t use it you lose it. When I first started songwriting I thought of it as this mystical, holy experience that you can’t really explain. “I do believe that [those moments are] the best moments of songwriting… but more often than not, like ninety-nine percent of the time, songwriting is hard work. Just sitting down and doing it every day. You have to slog through a lot of sweat and blood and tears before you have some pristine, beautiful moments in the songwriting experience. You definitely have to work at it.” Be sure to check out Thick As Thieves on iTunes and check Larkin Poe’s show schedule on their website or Facebook page so you won’t miss them the next time they come to town.


October 2012 | 10


JOURNALISM

A Professor’s Pros for BBC Radio 11 | Talon Magazine


M IN BRITAIN

spective Working Story and Photos by John DeFoor October 2012 | 12


“YOU FELT LIKE AN OUTSIDER

but I think that would be the case with any kind of job when you worked in a foreign country. By the time I left I didn’t feel that way and I don’t feel like they viewed me any differently. It was just kind of a ‘getting to know you’ kind of scenario.” -Dr. Jake McNeill

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KSU’s own Dr. Jake McNeill experienced journalism at one of the most widely recognized media organizations in the world, the BBC.

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cNeill began working with BBC Radio in Canterbury, Kent, England on Sept. 2001 while working to complete his Master of Arts at Christ Church University. “This was a very small studio,” he said. “We did a lot with very little.” McNeill produced a variety of stories – setting up the interviews, prompting questions, and conducting post production editing. “It was a lot of meeting people, greeting people, and putting mics on them.” Every once in a while the station would cover outside events as well. In the facility McNeill worked, everyone was British besides himself and occasionally a French guest. According to McNeill, his accent often acted as a conversation starter especially in studio. “British people are very interested in accents,” he said. “That’s just because whenever you travel through the U.K., even county to county the accents are ever so slightly different and that’s just due to hundreds and hundreds of years of cultivation of these particular accents so they’re very, very interested. They can read each other’s accents and know almost down to a few square miles where you’re from. It took me a long time to pick it up. “So, they were obsessed with American accents, and ‘where is your accent from?’ ‘What part of the states are you from’ is always the question I was asked. Sometimes I was even asked ‘what colony you are from,’” he laughed. “I don’t know if that was sarcasm or if they weren’t aware there was a war a few hundred years ago.” Watching 9/11 and the Invasion of Iraq from Abroad After the events of September 11, 2011 McNeill received a lot of emails from his British co-workers. “I got emails saying, ‘Oh, I hope everyone in your family is okay.’ Initially it was a lot of sympathy and was really, really shocking to everybody. They thought that every American they knew somehow was right next to it or living a block away.” McNeill continued his work as the War in Afghanistan began. Then he watched the invasion of Iraq unfold through the British side of things. “So, I was out of the American fishbowl and watching it through their media. It was so strange.”


“I avoided all conversations of this at work. I didn’t want to even talk about it because they assumed I felt a certain way and I didn’t want to even engage in that type of conversation. That’s not a workplace thing even if it is a news organization like this one.” “[It] made me realize there are two sides to every story.” One Heated Protest “Probably starting in 2002 and 2003 it got to be very heated,” McNeill said. “We were covering things that were unpleasant regarding American and British forces invading Iraq.” In late February 2003 McNeill was doing some documentary filming at Canterbury Cathedral during the enthronement of Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams when, for the first and only time, he pretended not to be American. “All walks of life there, megaphones, this was the Archbishop of Canterbury’s enthronement. There were members of Parliament, the House of Commons, the members of the royal family were there. [The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time]Tony Blair was there – and that was the major reason why the protest was happening because they knew Tony Blare would attend.” Among various groups of protesters were individuals protesting the upcoming war in Iraq and the protest became heated. “It got to the point where it was probably for the best that I just say I was from Canada or something else just because I was nervous about it,” McNeill said. “But at the same time in hindsight I don’t know if my fear was necessary justified because it was a British and American co-operative. “That was the only time where I did actually make a conscious effort to not even answer the question and say I was from Canada. I said I was Canadian and moved on.” Ironically the U.K. Prime Minister went through the back of the cathedral. “No one went in through the front,” McNeill said. The Iraq Invasion began in March of 2003. American vs. English Journalism “British Journalism – I respect it highly,” McNeill said. “They do have a habit of having sensational headlines. Now suffice to say, sensational headlines appear in their newspapers that are called red tops. Their versions of red tops are the equivalent to our tabloid magazines except they are more news based. They ask pointed questions and they are very, very thorough in their journalism.” For example: “One high ranking U.S. official came for a press conference and he left because the journalists that were interviewing him were not allowing him to get away with ‘soft responses.’ They weren’t throwing him soft ball questions. They were asking him very direction questions … He left early. “[The official] was a really seasoned person when it comes to dealing with journalists,” McNeill said. “He was very good at evading questions and I guess [with] the American press if he rebuffs they

would press him a bit but then move on. British people never moved on like Americans would” Saying Goodbye McNeill returned to America in the fall of 2003, and returned to England briefly in spring 2004 before returning to America for good. “The simple fact of the matter was my time was up,” he said. “I have positive memories; I would have loved to have stayed. By the time I left I felt like I made some good friends.” McNeill began teaching Media Studies at Kennesaw State University in fall 2005. Today he serves as chair of the Owl Radio Executive Board and teaches a variety of courses. According to McNeill the best part of his experience in England was “working for one of the most prestigious news organizations in the world, even if it was a very, very small affiliate station. I was the most minor of minor people working there… I thought it was really cool to cover some of these world events as they were unfolding.”

October 2012 | 14


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October 2012 | 16


Spirit of Radio? Atlanta’s Airwaves in the Internet Age

By Blake Bottomley

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n August 29, radio station Project 96.1 bid farewell to its listeners with little more than “Free Bird’s” fading guitar solo and a message on their Facebook account. Days later, 98.9, better known as 99X, changed to the new 98.9 the Bone to fill 96.1’s rock music gap, but it has a poor signal outside the Atlanta perimeter and is a meager substitute. At the time this article is being written, pop rock station 92.9 Dave FM is scheduled to switch over to a sports-talk format, following a similar move by 106.7 from a classic rock and pop broadcast to all-news. Even before that, Atlanta lost 95.5 the Beat in a surprising conversion to talk-radio two years ago. The city’s airwaves have drastically changed within the past couple years, but there are two common traits in this change. The first is that four of the five stations played rock, whether it was classic, pop, alternative or hard rock. Second, three of the five mentioned stations are talk--instead of music--based. The trend of reformatting seems to be a drastic last resort option to acquire and retain listeners, especially when broadcasting companies are competing with the media juggernaut that is the Internet. Historically, Atlanta has never been much of a hub for rock or its related genres. The few popular rock-oriented bands that call the city home include the Black Crowes, Christian rockers Casting Crowns, and metal bands Sevendust and Mastodon. Of the four, the Black Crowes are the only local rock musicians to regularly grace the airwaves. Despite the fact that major rock tours like the Rockstar Energy Drink Mayhem and Uproar Festivals and Van’s Warped Tour still make their way to Atlanta, the city’s pop, rap and hip-hop scenes overshadow its rock scene. The metro-area still has scores of loyal fans, and the genre doesn’t appear to be dying out. It just happens to be the least popular genre in an extremely competitive music scene. When broadcasting companies need to acquire or retain listeners, it only makes sense that the least popular genre is the first on the chopping block.

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Photos courtesy of sxc.hu


Traditional radio stations are struggling to compete with the Internet’s seemingly infinite options. In an effort to gain more listeners, broadcasting companies are seeing reformatting as a viable option. In Atlanta, this seems to be a regular phase of the radio circle of life. Some channels like 106.7 and 92.9 give fair warning of their conversion, while others such as 96.1, 98.9 and 95.5 seem to turn over without notice, leaving behind masses of disappointed fans. It’s also interesting that over half of these stations have shifted to streaming news and talk shows. Perhaps broadcasting companies feel that playing shows catered to the needs and interests of Atlantans will give them the most competitive advantage. For example, 106.7 relays traffic report updates once every ten minutes. There are websites and apps that can do the same, but the station allows drivers to keep their eyes on the road and off of their phones. However, reformatting is only the most drastic form of listener retention. Most channels are at least somewhat tech-savvy, streaming online through their homepages and iHeartRadio, which allows fans to tune in wherever online access is available. Social media sites like Facebook and Twitter allow channels and their fans to connect with more than just a phone line. Radio personalities can give updates, run promotions, organize contests, write blog posts, take requests and share content easier than ever before, a crucial element in building a strong fan base. The disadvantage of online streaming is that listeners are still able to browse hundreds of other stations during commercial breaks or even create custom channels, so it can be a challenge to capture and hold their attention. In the case of Project 96.1, widespread protest from fans helped to resuscitate the station, albeit only on iHeartRadio and HD radio. This is far from what fans wanted, but its replacement, the new Power 96.1, has an extensive advertising campaign of billboards and television ads that show that it won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.

So it would appear that Power 96.1 is here to stay for a little while. While the Internet adds more dimension and listening opportunities than broadcast radio, it’s also causing the traditional stations to flounder. At the turn of the century, MP3 players like the iPod allowed users to take their entire music libraries with them in their pockets, and satellite radio gave its listeners a few hundred channels from which to choose. Why listen to the morning radio show whenyou have a dozen podcasts that can be downloaded at any time and accessed whenever convenient? The progression of technology to smart phones, tablets and Wi-Fi-capable MP3 players only increases the gap between listeners and traditional broadcast radio. Online radio stations like Last.fm, Spotify and Pandora allow users to create their own stations and playlists, and they have selections from around the globe. Feel like making a playlist with a little bit of Brazilian samba, modal jazz, Gregorian chants, death metal, ‘90s pop and Mongolian throat singing? Go for it. If you know what you’re looking for, it will take about five minutes. If Pandora and Spotify don’t satisfy your needs, some benevolent soul has probably uploaded the song you want to YouTube (complete with lyrics). Record companies are embracing this trend and have started releasing “lyric videos” to accompany the releases of new singles. In a world of instant access and infinite variety, traditional radio will have a hard time keeping up. Atlanta’s FM frequencies have undergone drastic changes to compete with the myriad of new streaming methods. Many fans mourn the recent loss of the city’s most prominent rock station, just as hip-hop fans lamented over 95.5’s conversion two years ago. As information technology becomes more prevalent, radio will need to adapt to remain relevant. Only time will tell if Atlanta’s format juggling experiment is a step in the right direction for broadcast radio.

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. . . l r i G o o W a t o N m ’ I But nd photos bin a u A y . r sto han de St g e M By:

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hen I go out to a bar, the last person I want to run into (besides an ex) is a woo girl. If you have no idea the type of girl I am talking about and are already insisting I’ve made up this insidious monster creature… I wish I had. I wish I were kidding. However, if you are a How I Met Your Mother fan, chances are you know exactly whom Barney and I are referring to.

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A woo girl, by UrbanDictionar y.com’s

Your name does not have a dollar bill sign in it, so

definition is essentially “the female version of a

therefore you cannot crawl on top of the table. Not

dude bro”. By my definition, this girl is insanely

to mention how unsanitary that is… You will only

loud and unusually excited about either a) taking

be attracting the most fratty fratastic males in the

a shot b) seeing someone she saw last Tuesday (an

Kennesaw area. You will be bought many drinks,

insanely long time by woo girl standards) or c) her

yes. I will admit that is the one thing about woo

favorite ‘guilty pleasure’ song begins to play. Let’s

girls I envy. However, while the woo girl accepts

face it though; any of these things and then some

that first drink, she has theoretically already taken

cause a massive “Woooooo!” from their lips at any

off her underpants.

time. It makes me cringe to hear it.

If you are a freshman, or have never seen How

I’m not going to tell you that all woo girl’s belong to a sorority because that is simply not the case. I have met plenty of girls in ‘Kappa Gamma Phi Alpha I Don’t Care’ who are the most laid back girls on the planet, and in turn, I have met a number of non-sorority girls that are louder

I Met Your Mother, prepare yourselves for when

“Contrary to popular belief, just because I do not consider myself a woo girl does not mean I hate the world and everyone in it.”

than animals mating at the zoo.

you enter the bar scene. Woo girls are a species of women you probably didn’t see very often in high school. These girls can fit into any social group; there is no stigma. The only thing they all have in common besides the fact that they are all on liquid diets is the fact that some

Contrary to popular belief, just because I do

guy has pissed them off. Some guy has cheated, or

not consider myself a woo girl does not mean I hate

wronged them. They will be more than happy to

the world and everyone in it. I just cannot physically

tell you all about it. So will explain they are single,

be that loud. I cannot drunkenly stumble over to a

ready to mingle, and ready to take their tube top out

stranger with the intention to go home with them in

for a night on the town.

good conscience. In no way, shape or form will you

I don’t hate these girls. I have may woo girl

catch me with my shirt down to my belly button

friends. I am just at a bar for different reasons.

dancing on a 50-year-old man who is desperately

I go to a bar to hang out with my friends. If I

searching for his very own woo girl.

meet someone, fantastic, but I’m not betting my

In fact, if I have to watch another woo girl

HigherOne money on it. I do not go to establish

guzzle down a Jager Bomb or neon colored drink,

my presence so that everyone in the 30144 area

I think I might personally injure her with one of

code can hear and see me. That’s why God invented

her pink stiletto heals. Why? You are not Ke$ha.

karaoke night.

October 2012 | 20


A Movie Script Ending

By Ashlee Holmes 21 | Talon Magazine


“Get Weird” I

f there’s one thing that I want you to get out of this, it’s this: listen to the music. For my fourth birthday, my mom bought me a karaoke machine that I sung to its sweet death. I’m pretty sure it died because of an achy breaky heart caused by too much Meatloafmostly because the only songs I would sing on it was Billy Ray Cyrus’s “Achy Breaky Heart” and “Do anything for love” by Meatloaf. I was a bit of a maverick as a child who would get into trouble for singing too loudly, at the “most random” of times. Just between you and me (and the rest of the world), they weren’t just an accumulation of random times but scenes in my “movie life.” I was convinced that everyone was just cast in this undisclosed, highly-anticipated film about a weird little girl who wasn’t weird but insanely awesome instead. A girl can dream, yeah? I was a bit of a late bloomer compared to the girls I went to high school with. I had my first kiss at age sixteen to a half-Japanese guy with a weird mustache whom I had only met six hours earlier on Xanga (don’t meet people off Xanga). Needless to say, I am now a 22-year-old lesbian who has zero use for weird mustaches. I will say that he played me a pretty lovely cover of the B-52’s song “She Brakes For Rainbows.” Have you ever been to a happy funeral? I mean absolutely no disrespect when I say this, but I cannot think of a single thing sadder than a funeral (note: the Sarah Mclachlan puppy commercials are almost equally as sad, but, again, music is the driving force at work). They always say how we should be so happy for the deceased, but “High On That Mountain” is nowhere near a Snoop Dogg party favorite (despite its highly deceptive title). If you want your audience to be happy at a funeral, I recommend some lighter tunes ala ‘90s R. Kelly (circa Space Jam), a little *NSYNC to get the party jumpin’ (“Bye, Bye, Bye” anyone?), or you could even bust out some Salt n Peppa (“Push it,” preferably) so that the tears are kept to a respectable minimum. Funerals in the South, though, they are just like a really bad breakup song that lasts for at least four hours. The music in the waiting room of the funeral home combined with the music in the chapel kind of just feels like people kicking you while you’re down. This really traumatic

thing happened; comedic relief is deathly necessary. I always romanticized the idea of high school dances. You know, standing so far apart from another person that we realistically aren’t actually dancing together at all, the stale cheapo Ruffles potato chips, the punchbowl that I always wanted to be spiked (but never really was) and the exceptional playlist that I had always seen in the movies (but never actually witnessed). For years, I was actually convinced that an Usher could-be (She’s All That) would be the DJ for my high school dances. The reality: a middle-aged man who loved ‘90s country and modern rap (and who thought that high school teenagers did, too). I’m sure it goes without saying, but high school stole that whole dreamscoming-true idealism from me, replacing it with the sad reality that is the soundtrack of modern school dances. I have this idea that if people weren’t so lazy, they would be just as weird (awesome) as I am. You have the power to assign your own soundtrack to your favorite movie, which just so happens to also be your life. I’m sorry if it sucks so far, and I can’t guarantee that it’ll get better (unless you buy me something nice), but, maybe, instead of trying to change the scenes, try changing the genre. You have your entire life to define who you are. Don’t waste your time trying to change the sequences: change the ending. Add a prequel. Add a sequel. Get a better soundtrack (I know a guy). Throw in some glitter. Re-cast your friends. Ultimately, what I’m challenging you to do is to “get weird.” If going to the gym is your thing, then you’d like a good playlist for motivation, yeah? I strongly recommend Passion Pit’s new album, Gossamer. This is the same concept. GET MOTIVATED. Are you going for a job interview? Why don’t you start off your morning with a couple of looped “Eye of the Tiger” tracks? Did your boyfriend do something shady? Listen to “Rootless Tree” by Damien Rice (the chorus is just perfect, I swear). Are you pissed off and don’t know why? Listen to anything country (then, we can have something to pin your anger on). Don’t let your life boil down to just a few dumb songs. Even if you’re convinced that your life blows, the “Twilight” saga is proof that even suckish movies can have awesome soundtracks.

October 2012 | 22


Governor Deal: More jobs in State’s future By: Steven Welch

O

nly a year and a half into his first term, Gov. Nathan Deal, of Georgia, already has big plans for the future of the state he’s spent his life serving. As a child growing up in Sandersville, a small town in middle Georgia, Deal spent his time doing activities most boys his age did, with basketball being his favorite sport to play. The son of two teachers, Deal’s education became an important focus early on in his life. “They inspired me in a lot of different ways; I was active in things like debate in high school, and carried that on into college,” he said. “Those were the kinds of things I think at least prepared me for public service.” As he grew into adulthood, Deal earned his law degree from Mercer University and began practicing law in Gainesville, Ga. His career included stints as an assistant district attorney as well as juvenile court judge, when he was encouraged to run for an open state Senate seat. “I was fortunate enough to be elected, and have been in elected public office ever since,” he said. After working his way up through various political offices, Deal was fortunate enough to be elected Georgia’s 82nd governor in 2010. Since then he has used his knowledge and experience from both his law and political careers to try and better the state he was chosen to run, by passing legislation such as criminal justice reform. “Having been involved as a prosecutor and also a juvenile court judge, it gives you a chance to see how the system works and become familiar with some of the areas you think you might need to make

“We can’t come out of this down-turned economy unless we have better job opportunities for our people.” -Governor Deal some changes in to make the whole system better,” he said. “I think those kind of experiences carry over into public life.” Along with criminal justice reform, there are a couple other issues Deal feels strongly about when it comes to the state of Georgia. As with the rest of the country, fixing the economy is a priority for him, and something he wants to work hard to accomplish. “The plan is to create more jobs for our citizens, that’s certainly the thing that’s first on my mind for Georgia,” he said. “We can’t come out of this down turned economy unless we have better job opportunities for our people.” Ginger Howard, a Republican delegate to the 2012 Republican National Convention from Georgia’s 5th District, is a small business owner in Atlanta. She echoes Deal’s belief that Georgia needs to create more jobs, and is satisfied with what has happened so far. “From what I’ve heard from the Legislature, he’s doing a lot to help with small businesses, with passing bills to make sure that we are still doing our great job of bringing businesses to Georgia,” she said. “We have a lot of big companies coming to Georgia, and I think that’s going

23 | Talon Magazine

LP E H TED N A W to help bring an influx of people into Georgia.” Deal plans on continuing to implement more of his reforms he has brought into the state, things such as the elimination of the sales tax on energy for manufacturing, something he feels will continue to bring more businesses into Georgia. “We’ve been successful with two big ones so far, the Caterpillar facility is going in the Athens area and the Baxter Pharmaceutical is going to be going into the Newton and Walton County area,” he said. Education is one important issue that Deal refuses to compromise on. His wife Sandra has begun a grassroots campaign to encourage reading throughout the state, as he wants every student to be able to read at or above their grade level at the end of each school year. Sandra Deal was inspired by her husband’s love of public service, and how he sees it as a way to give back to his state. “He wants to serve. He’s a family man, he’s a religious man and his heart is in serving his people and his country,” she said. As he moves forward in his first term, Nathan Deal is optimistic in his plans for Georgia, and is eager to continue to bring success to the state he has devoted his life to.


Getting the Dream Job As Kennesaw State University welcomes its new students to campus and refreshes the minds of its previ-

ously enrolled students, all students from freshman to senior should take time to think critically about what their career goals are and how they can turn their academic work into a strong foundation for obtaining their dream job. Whether your major is public relations or interpretive dance, you need to understand how to translate your degree, which in effect is just a piece of paper, into your dream career—no one wants to lay the groundwork for a mid-life crisis; we are in school to create our own futures. As a communication major with a minor in marketing, I am making the most of my education by taking advantage of every opportunity KSU offers, including copy-editing Talon. My dream job exists deep within the managing, marketing and editing departments of mass media outlets and possibly public relations firms. I would love to work as the publicist for a band that I helped develop from its inception to its first awards show. But, is a communication degree going to afford me that opportunity? Will the next Justin Beiber pay me top dollar to get him a local gig or interview because I graduated with honors from KSU’s communication department? Probably not. What will make a difference is the experience I incorporate into my academic career. Not only can I spell the artist’s name but also I can show proof that I know what it takes to get him or her that interview or gig. One of the things I did to further my own career was to interview a publicist who has worked in the business for more than three decades representing bands as diverse as The Beach Boys, Van Halen, Slayer and Anthrax. When I asked Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald of HERFitz PR (www.herfitzpr.com) about when an artist should consider hiring a publicist, she explained that some publicists specialize in breaking bands from the ground up while others work on local and regional levels—great information for me to consider as I decide where I want to start working and where I’d like to end up working. Before recommending that an artist signs to any label, Robinson-Fitzgerald said she would recommend a band hire a publicist when the questions of budget, promotion and goals for the artist’s career can be answered. “Three things I’d want to know before signing to any label or distribution company: “what kind of a budget will I have,” “what exactly will you do to promote my release” and “what are your short-and long-term goals for my project?” Robinson-Fitzgerald said. Using the information from the interview to write an article about how bands can decide what publicist is worth his or her salt helped me to further understand the business and pave the path toward my own dream job. Those students pursuing business degrees as well as liberal arts degrees should find the best methods of wetting their feet in the industry to learn what aspects of the career excite them and where they need to start to end up at their dream job.

Story By: Ellen Eldridge

Heidi Ellen Robinson-Fitzgerald

October 2012 | 24


The truth about the CDC

Story by Daniel Lumpkin

Photos courtesy of A.J. Williams 25 | Talon Magazine


W

hat do you really know about Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in downtown Atlanta? You’ve probably seen it in a movie or a television show. You’ve probably heard that they keep the most deadly viruses there. You’ve probably even been told that the place has more security than Fort Knox. The question still remains, though. What do you really know about CDC? What information about CDC is left if you take away all of the junk you learned from killer virus movies? Talon met with microbiologist A.J. Williams to talk about some of the work he is doing in Atlanta and around the world. He talks about Ebola in the same conversational tone people use when they talk about the weather. For Williams and other scientists at CDC, their nine-to-five jobs involve studying the world’s most lethal viruses known to man and they understand why that might make other people uncomfortable. Williams even casually talks about how some people would take a step back after he told them he worked with Ebola and other types of hemorrhagic fevers. This is what scares people about CDC. They envision mad scientists playing hot potato with a vial of smallpox or trying to create some kind of hybrid super virus. This notion is laughably false. Williams explained that CDC is simply a resource for the people. “Public health is what CDC is all about,” Williams said. “The history of CDC is a good history. I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else.” This seems hard to believe. Sure, the measures taken at CDC when working with deadly viruses ensure that safety is a priority but working that close to something so dangerous would have an effect on most people. Williams said that the work at CDC isn’t for everyone. “Psychologically, some people can’t do it,” Williams said.“Some of these things are very deadly and they are right there

but if you do the right things you never have to worry. “We’re trained how to work with it and how to protect ourselves. There’s training all the time. You can work with anything and protect yourself. Basically, if you’re trained on good laboratory practice and you follow good laboratory practice you don’t have to worry about what you’re working with. You aren’t going to hurt yourself; you aren’t going to infect anybody else. Just follow the rules and your fine.” After working with Ebola in the lab for three years, Williams moved on to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and has been there for the last 14 years. This project is headed by CDC and World Health Organization to eliminate Polio from the entire planet like what was done with Smallpox in 1979. “When I say I work on Polio,” Williams said, “the reaction is ‘There’s still Polio out there?’ Most people think it’s all gone. It’s not.” The Polio vaccine was created in 1955 and virtually eliminated the virus in the United States but it still exists in some parts of Africa and India. Williams travels to the poorest regions in the world to teach local physicians how to administer the vaccine and walk around to administer vaccinations to children in villages. The gun-wielding gangs in these areas immediately see Williams as an easy target. In those areas where unrest and revolt are commonplace, gangs drag foreigners out of their taxis at gunpoint, sometimes loaded, sometimes with the ammunition magazine dangling from the barrel by a strip of duct tape. Fortunately the microbiologist has been able to avoid these types of dangers. Locals have trouble trusting him too. In one instance a chief forbid Williams from giving out the Polio vaccine to any child in his village. He thought Williams was trying to poison his grandchildren and destroy the tribe. Williams could have walked away at that point. How do you reason with a man that believes

h llagers with muc iams provides vi ill W t: C gh CD Ri e d Above an His work with th s and medication. needed nutrient ld. l around the wor has taken him al

October 2012 | 26


“When I say I work on Polio,” Williams said, “the reaction is ‘There’s still Polio out there?’ Most people think it’s all gone. It’s not.” you are threatening his family? Instead, Williams pulled out the vaccine, a clear liquid in a tiny glass bottle, and administered it to himself by placing one drop on his tongue. Williams asked the village chief if he still thought he was trying to poison the tribe. The chief called all the children in the village and within a couple of hours they were all vaccinated for Polio. This is why CDC was created. The men and women that work there are dedicated to making people healthier. “The most important thing for me is I like helping people,” Williams said. “So when I travel and go to labs I know I’m helping and they appreciate me being there and they tell me that. I had a woman in Africa tell me I was the first white man that ever came there that treated them like I was an equal. We were all equal. I do the same thing they do. We’re just on a different continent. “Am I more cautious about washing my hands and doorknobs and things like that? You bet I am but just knowing that you are part of a big, positive cause…that’s what CDC is all about.” Interested in learning more about Center for Disease Control and Prevention? The museum is free and open to the public Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Also be sure to check out their website to learn more about the Global Polio Eradication Initiative and all the other free public health information they provide.

Top Right:

27 | Talon Magazine


October 2012 | 28


MOVIE? WHO DOESN’T LOVE A GOOD

Photos courtesy of Paramount Pictures

N

By Tyler Prail

ot long after Edison’s inventing of the Kinetograph, the first motion-picture camera, the Lumière brothers invented their Cinématographe, which enabled the French duo to film 40-second scenes of everyday life and show them to large audiences. The world has been entranced by film ever since. As technology advanced, films became longer and the limits on filmmakers all but vanished, allowing cinema to become the respected art form that it is today. But, in recent years, many moviegoers have begun to see the quality of popular film cheapen and diminish. So what gives? Take notice of the top 10 box office successes of this year so far and you’ll find a fairly diverse collection of films. The one unifying quality, however, is that every single film shows a heavy reliance on digital technology and special effects. Considering the history of cinema, this trend would be expected. Since theorigin of movies, filmmakers have been pushing the technological envelope; now that technology has progressed to the astonishing point it has, it should be presumed that today’s filmmakers would use it to its fullest potential. And that’s all fine and dandy; there havebeen numerous great movies chock-full of crazy explosions and insane car chases. The sadness, however, comes when the filmmakers in charge of

29 | Talon Magazine

a very large chunk of the business realized that audiences could be distracted by such flashy effects. Exploiting this distraction, a rushed, terribly written story of flimsy, one-dimensional characters could be soaked in CGI and produce ridiculous profits. Throw a high-profile actor in the lead role and you’ve got a sure thing. Suddenly, the market has become flooded with movies like The Expendables, stuffed full of over-used action stars playing the same character they always have, and with more explosionsthan words spoken that can open at number one and gross $103,068,524 million. I’m sorry but, seriously? It is important to point out, however, that special effects are not the cause of the cheapening of popular film. “While it is true that we can think of a number of special effects-laden films that aren’t very good, I don’t think that this means that special effects are solely to blame. After all, without special effects we wouldn’t have classics such as Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, The Birds,” explains Dr. Ashley Shelden, one of the professors of Film History and Theory here at Kennesaw State University. These devices are simply a symptom of the real disease. The problem comes with the ease of life in modern society. Today, everything is much easier than it was in the “glory days” of cinema. Only decades ago most extremely wide-angle shots and scenes had to be filmed on small models because they lacked the capability,or the budget, to film at any realistic scale.


“I think with older movies typically the people involved in making movies, the actors and the production crew, had to try harder, and I think it shows in the performance.” KSU student Spencer Bobo suggested. The filmmakers of old had very little to work with by today’s standards. With all these limitations, writers and directors had to captivate their audiences with the story and cinematography. And what effects they did employwere far more difficult to execute than they are today. “It’s so easy now,” Evan, another Kennesaw student, pointed out to me. “You can just download any program off the internet and create a special effect.” Before the computer age, filmmakers had to create ways to make each shot, putting forth far more effort for the effect, thus building more pride in it. When someone works that hard for

results. Now don’t get me wrong, there are some excellent films on this list, but there are also three sequels, two of which are the third installments to their respective series, and the third is, believe it or not, the fourth Ice Age. This wouldn’t be so bad if any of these series were stories in which multiple movies are necessary (Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, those three crummy vampire chick flicks, etc.) but that isn’t at all the case. Watch the first Men in Black, Madagascar, or Ice Age movies, all three of which I honestly enjoy, and you’ll notice that their stories make total sense standing alone. The thing is, those who are at the head of the studios responsible for such films know that if a movie like that hits once, it’ll hit at least three more times. Maybe even four. So is cinema doomed? Well, it may look a bit shaky, but I have

the advancement of cinema: technology. As cameras progressed, they became more and more available to the public. Today anyone can go out, buy a video camera (for fairly cheap), and film a motion picture. And thanks to computers and the ease of video editing software, the many quietly talented artists that would otherwise never have had the ability to truly make something to represent their skill can now createvery well made, high quality films. This has opened the doors for thousands of young, ambitious, and wildly creative directors and screenwriters to produce simply phenomenal movies. I guess the point I’m ultimately trying to make here is that there is now and always will be fantastic pieces of cinematic art being produced all over the world. You just might have to start looking a little harder.

Suddenly, the market has become flooded with movies like The Expendables, stuffed full of overused action stars playing the same character they always have... something, they make sure it’s exactly as it should be. And this attitude shows through all other aspects of their films as well. Filmmakers would slave over their work, creating some of the most classic, wellplanned, original stories to ever be shown on the silver screen. This brings us to a point that, frankly, is depressing to consider: after over a century of development, many stories have already been told. Many see this as an unavoidable conqueror of the original story, but all this really does is construct a demand for screenwriters to push their creative boundaries and create unique stories while immersed in a sea of unoriginality. But when every other aspect of film production is so easy, it’s almost automatic to take the shortcut and simply repackage the same idea again and again. Let’s revisit this year’s top 10 box office

to say no, it’s not. Now, when I say this keep in mind I refer to cinema as a whole, box office smashes to little-known indie flicks. I can’t speak so optimistically about the state of high-budget, popular studio films. Movies have become a driving force in the entertainment industry and is thus one of the toughest, most cut-throat businesses one can go into. Hollywood has become a machine and it has no longer a question of if the movie is a good enough script to make, but instead simply “will this make me money.” It is this attitude that makes the future of Hollywood and high-budget studio films one of great uncertainty and doubt. One thing can be certain, however, and that is the fact that there will always be great filmmakers making great films, maybe now more than ever. This brings us again to the backbone to

A couple pieces of advice: First off, make yourself question movies. When you go see some hyped up blockbuster, ask yourself if the movie really lives up to the hype. Look through the flash and dazzle and really pay attention to the film. You’ll be surprised to find just how terribly written many hugely popular movies are (Titanic for example). And second, stop paying attention to movies because of who’s in it. I mean sure, if an actor is known for good movies, there’s a good chance their new one will be good, but every good actor has a handful of bad movies. Instead, pay attention to who makes it; the director and writers truly decide a good movie. Check out filmmakers like Wes Anderson, Charlie Kaufman, Duncan Jones and Nicolas Winding Refn. And when you find something good, tell people. Spread the word and maybe we can bring the box office back to its original esteem.

October 2012 | 30


True Love 31 | Talon Magazine

Photo by Meghan de St. Aubin


Believe or Not to Believe?

By: Hadassah Chase

O

nce upon a time in a not so magical world there lived an average young woman. She grew up under the decent care of two parents and found herself to be content. One day her mother took her to the movies, where her destiny would be changed forever. The small girl sat in an enchanted theater mesmerized by Cinderella dancing with the handsome prince, a prince who seemed to appear almost out of sheer luck. Instantly, a knot formed in the pit of her stomach. Her hand fell over her chest as she realized the movie made her feel nothing but a gaping hole. She became blatantly aware that this muscle called her heart longed--no better yet--ached for a love story that would stand the test of time and be thought of as a story for the ages. As she grew older, she found herself sitting in front of her laptop scouring the Internet for tales of love and romance. The men in these beautifully illustrated anecdotes were always handsome, charming, funny, and knew exactly the right thing to do. Her only question was why couldn’t she meet a man like that, especially when they appeared to be in everything that she watched. So she spent the rest of her life searching, only to find that none could compare to the one man she had built up in her mind. Therefore, in the end, her happily ever after did not come to fruition. No man could ever meet the expectations she had set. Okay, so that story might be a bit exaggerated, but there is a truth to it: everyone has the friend, or perhaps you’re secretly that friend, who sits by herself on a Friday night wiping bittersweet tears from her cheek (or sighing at the elusive yet oh so delicious Mr. Darcy) because the Notebook was terribly heartwarming. We live in a culture saturated with idealized romance. From the once upon a time stories we’re told as little girls to the romantic comedies to the numerous TV shows aimed at and nailed in our heads, we expect the idea of true love. Consequently, it’s not too surprising that we fall victim to its message. The only real question we have to ask ourselves is “Should we continue believing in it?” Let’s imagine for a second that we do believe in the idea of a soul mate and fate. Admit it, simply allowing these lovely little thoughts to enter your head is already making you feel hopeful about your love life. However, beware this feeling. Studies show that watching romantic comedies can, in fact, harm your love life. Psychologist and expert on media romanticism Bjarne M. Holmes says, “The notion that one can find a romantic partner that fits perfectly with preconceived standards is an unrealistic view that fails to take into account the work required to develop and maintain a healthy and loving relationship.” Further study showed that even those who had become wiser by real life relationships were still just as likely to be blinded by the concept of fate and the perfect man. Romantic comedies make it easy to expect a guy to be a mind

reader, knowing your every desire. Wishing for a perfect man who knows exactly when he should chase you down in an airport sets both you and your guy up for failure. A study done by Heriot-Watt University showed those who watch too many romantic comedies arelikely to think that infatuation is love as well as believe that overly romantic gestures outweigh quality factors like communication and trust. Their satisfaction and commitment to their current partner also declined the more they watched media portray impossible romantic expectations for men. Sadly, we do have to be critical of romantic comedies and what they try to feed us. They’re like a big bowl of seductive chocolate fudge ice cream. At first, you talk yourself into thinking it’s not that bad and you feel quite happy eating it, even when you get a brain freeze. The problem comes from its emotional effect on you afterwards. You feel a bit nostalgic, perhaps attain a mediocre level of contentment from the sugar overload, but it tends to bring on a level of sadness because the enjoyment of the sweet treat was fleeting. What you’re left with is the depressing realization that all you have sitting in your refrigerator is a big bag of carrots. If you happen to meet someone who isn’t your whole world within five minutes, don’t shoot the guy down; rather, get to know him first. If you are, by any chance, dating a human, he will undoubtedly have faults. He will say the wrong thing at the wrong time and will have habits that will drive you up the wall some days. What matters most is that you find someone who has the same values, morals and is, of course, a person you connect with on a deep level. Go on and let your heart be free to believe in true love. Who’s to say it’s not real? However, with that belief it’s vital to know that each day won’t be written down as happily ever after and it won’t play out like you expect. Relationships that are worth it take actual work. Let’s be honest: perfect is boring. So leave the formulaic romantic comedies at home and live your own life because reality can be so much sweeter.

October 2012 | 32 Photo courtesy of sxc.hu


GO

VOTE

Don’t know where to go? Scan the QRC or visit www.vote411.org to find your polling place 33 | Talon Magazine


THIS NOVEMBER Don’t let your voice be silenced.

Voting is a fundamental right given to every American citizen. LET YOUR VOICE BE HEARD October 2012 | 34



Talon Magazine October 2012