THE MESA PRESS Volume 65, Issue 9
The independent student publication of San Diego Mesa College
December 10, 2020
Olympic gold medalist and former Mesa college coach, Arnie Robinson, dies at 72
Candace Owens questions Harry Styles' masculinity over 'Vogue' cover Photo Credit: Moses Robinson/ Revolt
OPINION Page 2
Miley Cyrus saves rock 'n' roll with 'Plastic Hearts' album Photo Credit: MCT Campus
FEATURES Page 3
Arnie Robinson, Olympic gold medalist and former Mesa coach, in front of his plaque at Breitbard Hall of Fame. Photo Credit: Mesa Office of Communications By Walker Armstrong STAFF WRITER
A Men's water polo prepares for a potential spring season Photo Credit: Mesa Office of Communications
SPORTS Page 8
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rnie Paul Robinson Jr., the Olympic gold medalist and Mesa College alumni, died on the morning of Dec. 1 at the age of 72 due to COVID-related complications with cancer, according to sources close to the family. Robinson had been fighting a long, arduous battle with Glioblastoma — an aggressive, cancerous brian tumor — since a 2005 diagnosis, according to The San Diego Union-Tribune. However, sources say, that is not what ultimately led to his death. According to Wes Williams, an assistant Track and Field coach at Mesa College and one of Robinson’s life-long friends, Robinson contracted COVID-19 from one of his caregivers in midNovember, exacerbating pre-existing health complications and leading to his death. “When I received the news that my friend had passed it was heartbreaking because of the fight he put against the medical issues in his life over the past 20 years,” Williams said. “The sad part for me is he, in essence, beat his cancer, but it was COVID-19 that actually took his life.” Robinson began his road to a long and decorated career as a track and field athlete in 1967 when he enrolled at Mesa College, according to The Mesa Office of Communications. “He came to Mesa from Morse High School,” Williams said. Here, he went on to set track and
field records in the high jump, the triple jump, and, of course, the long jump, a discipline which Robinson would carry on to the professional level. At the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Robinson took home the bronze medal in the long jump, only to return in 1976 to take gold in Montreal, soaring a record-breaking 27 feet, 4 ¾ inches, as previously reported by the Mesa Press.
"The best in the world, that's what I was," Robinson replied. Though typically a distinctively humble and reserved man by all accounts, when Robinson was asked by The Union-Tribune in 2018 about his Olympic gold medal jump, a measured and justified amount of pride underscored his response. “The best in the world, that’s what I was,” Robinson replied. After his retirement from professional competitions in 1979, Robinson began coaching at Mesa College where he held the position of Head Track and Field Coach for 23 years, according to The Mesa Office of Communications.
“Arnie, being a San Diegan, was able to bridge the gap with the local athletes because of his accomplishments as a Gold Medalist,” Williams said, “the students knew he was…a local product who used his athletic skills as a vehicle to achieve…academic success in the classroom.” Robinson then retired from coaching and teaching in 2010, leaving behind a legacy of Hall of Fame inductions, gold medals, and athletic achievement in his wake. The Mesa Press extends our sincerest condolences to Arnie Robinson’s family, friends, student-athletes, and all other loved ones whose lives have been touched or altered by his presence. He will be forever missed, both at Mesa College, as well as in the greater San Diego area.
Robinson wears medals he won during the 1972 and 1976 Olympics. Photo Credit: Howard Lipin/San Diego UnionTribune
OPINION DECEMBER 10, 2020
The Mesa Press
Staff pick of the week
“As we’re coming to the end of this year, and will be starting a new one soon, I’ve started to reﬂect on everything that’s happened this year, in our country as well as in our own lives. The song I choose for this Staff Pick of the Week is “This is America” by Childish Gambino as I feel it reﬂects a lot of what’s been projected onto us this year. The thing that makes this song stick out to me as of today is that even though it was released in 2018, it reﬂects a lot of what has happened in 2020 as with racism we’re locked in a vicious cycle. In this song, the signiﬁcant meaning is to express the issue of police brutality in America. Which is something we saw a lot of this year, but we also saw a lot of protests and riots across the globe in order to ﬁght for justice. Sadly, we are stuck in an America where racism is a reality and this year was a fresh reminder of that. I think it’s signiﬁcant that we continue to advocate for justice even when it’s not an issue that’s right in front of our face.” - Kalin May, Photo Editor “When thinking about the fathomless burden of having to pick something for a “Pick of the Week,” quite literally nothing came to mind — save one venerable name. David Lynch. That’s it. There is no single ﬁlm in his immense library of work that I would feel justiﬁed in recommending on a one-term basis. Lynch is of the ilk of those auteurs long forgotten in today’s pop culture ecology of blockbusters, gripping plot-twists, and polished storylines. Some might say esoteric, cerebral, or simply confusing and ridiculous; I say, make up your own mind. From his cult classic meta-soap of “Twin Peaks,” to the perennially bafﬂing “Eraserhead,” to his devastating and weighty “Blue Velvet” and “Mulholland Drive,” Lynch’s oeuvre stands as a testament to cinema’s ability to delineate even the most grotesque, base, dazzling, and beautiful aspects of the human experience.” - Walker Armstrong, Staff Writer
‘Bring back manly men’
Candace Owens’ tweet raises controversy over Harry Styles’ Vogue cover By Zenyase Gonzalez STAFF WRITER
The Mesa Press
arry Styles appeared on the Vogue December issue and cover wearing dresses and skirts throughout his photoshoot. The Vogue issue sparked controversy on Twitter due to Candace Owens, a conservative author, tweeting her concerns on the “feminization of our men” over the photos. The right-wing author tweeted the photos on Nov. 14 saying that “There is no society that can survive without strong men. The East knows this. In the West, the steady feminization of our men at the same time that Marxism is being taught to our children is not a coincidence. It is an outright attack. Bring back manly men.” The tweet received a lot of attention from the public, so Owens followed it up by saying “Since I’m trending I’d like to clarify what I meant when I said ‘bring back manly men’. I meant: Bring back manly men. Terms like ‘toxic masculinity’, were created by toxic females. Real women don’t do fake feminism. Sorry I’m not sorry.” To onlookers, the tweet that Owens wrote is seemingly implying that she thinks a man wearing a skirt, which is nothing more than a piece of fabric, dictates whether or not it makes them less of a man. However, historically men have worn skirts and they were used as a symbol of masculinity. Togas were used to indicate class and status for the Greeks and Romans, wraps and loincloths were worn by Egyptians, and ancient military costumes for the Aztecs and others all included a skirt. Kilts were known to be worn in battle in Scotland and soldiers who wore them were seen as heroic. Throughout history togas, kilts, loincloths, and anything that resembled a skirt were worn by men and women. In this day and age, there is no doubt that in the U.S. skirts and dresses are seen as something a woman wears. Although they were once historically a symbol of masculinity, they are now traditionally seen as a feminine garment. Looking past the history of skirts and men, Owens is talking about what makes a man manly and how they should comply with gender norms. However, she is deﬁnitely not the only one and true dictator of what makes a man. Social media has pointed out countless times that clothes don’t determine one’s gender identity, nevertheless, does it determine what makes a person a man? Regardless of what social media says, there are of course people that agree with Owens and also think that gender is something that is already deﬁned. They follow this deﬁnition that says that a man should be many
Founded in 1966
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Rosanne Bangalan Ava Moslehi
FEATURES EDITOR Justin Choi
Conservative author and commentator, Candace Owens. Photo Credit: Moses Robinson/ Revolt things like aggressive, independent, dominant, strong, etc. They also say that a man should act or dress a certain way, along with that they should be heterosexual. Sure, some men do follow these rules but they’re only human, so there are men who are ﬂamboyant, aren’t outspoken, gay, or many other things that go against the traditional view of men. Many celebrities and fans of Styles such as Jameela Jamil, Zach Braff, and Olivia Wilde came to his defense in response to the negative tweet. “Lord of the Rings” star Elijah Wood tweeted that “Masculinity alone does not make a man” he adds that “ in fact, it’s got nothing to do with it.” Jamil responded by saying that “Harry Styles is plenty manly, because manly is whatever you want it to be”. Braff also responded with a picture of Styles in a dress saying that “Our whole lives boys and men are told we need to be manly. Life is short. Be whatever the fuck you want to be.” Wearing a skirt shouldn’t determine a man’s level of masculinity. A manly man is someone that is doing whatever makes them happy, is a good person to others, and respects themself. A clothing item is not going to take away from their individuality or make them less of a man.
Walker Armstrong, Kyle Ayson, Jacob DeMille, Angela Galan Martinez, Zenyase Gonzalez, James Salome, Matthew Martinez, Liz Speiring
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The Mesa Press
DECEMBER 10, 2020
Art Gallery features drive-thru art exhibition
Art pieces line Mesa College’s parking lot during this semester’s outdoor art exhibition Photo Credit: SDCCD News Center
By Justin Choi FEATURES EDITOR
very semester, Mesa College’s Museum Studies students curate an exhibition to showcase not just art, but an ambition to share perspective and emotion with visitors who seek it. Curating is an artform, said by Yvette Roman, one of the Museum Studies students, and it has held its ground at Mesa in the midst of a cultural tempest. “Mesa Drive-In: A Drive-Thru Art Exhibition,” is exactly what the name implies. On the day of its reception, a line of cars inched their way around the edges of Parking Lot 1 heading in the direction of the art pieces that hung side by side on a fence. Before getting to see the art, visitors were met by Alessandra Moctezuma — the director of the Art Gallery and
professor of the Museum Studies class — who gave out pamphlets to each passing car. Its description prepares the guests to witness “a visual time-capsule.” Paintings, photographs, mixed media prints, and even hand-made ﬂags are all capturing ideas of what the curators describe as the “new normal” in 2020. Gallery guests get to look at the pandemic and social unrest through the lens of the 36 artists. This would be “the most historically significant exhibition,” according to Moctezuma. The professor explained that this semester’s exhibition had a unique process of development. Considering the context that surrounds this project, the curators’ choice in selecting art pieces was bound by a fundamental theme that remained consistent through each one. “Some of them deal with social is-
sues, others deal with, for example, women’s rights, others deal with the history of different groups,” said the professor. She said that these pieces should hit home with students in particular. “I do gravitate to artists that are not afraid to address current issues or issues that connect with students,” said Moctezuma. What was most unique about building the exhibition was the fact that it was done primarily online. According to Roman, the most difficult part about the entire process was “interaction and collaboration with teammates” which was obstructed by “the barrier of Zoom.” Despite the odds, every designated task — recruiting artists, writing the press release, creating a website, constructing a catalog with an audio tour, and installation — was accomplished, which highlighted the effort of the class according to Roman. Moctezuma’s passion to keep the
artistic fire ablaze fueled Roman’s motivation through her main roles in installation and constructing the audio tour. She appreciated the professor’s “great job in bringing the class together,” however, Roman said that working with her installation team in person created a “cool bonding experience” that she couldn’t make with about “70%-80%” of her class. The student curator is also an accomplished artist who contributed the piece, “Barcelona Blues,” to the exhibition. It was a piece that captured the theme of self-care, which applies to “today’s situation when it’s important to check in with yourself,” said Roman. The Museum Studies student said the art behind creating an exhibition is making “everything that is on display fit into one concept and feel like it’s one whole thing — one living thing.” “Mesa Drive-In: A Drive-Thru Art Exhibition” is open until Dec. 9.
Yvette Roman’s “Barcelona Blues” expresses a theme of self-care, one of the many relevant topics explored in this exhibition. Photo Credit: Yvette Roman
Miley Cyrus redeﬁnes rock music with ‘Plastic Hearts’ By Kaitlin Clapinski NEWS EDITOR
ans asked and she delivered — Miley Cyrus’s well anticipated rock album, “Plastic Hearts” is a homage to every version of herself. With mixed reviews, critics have deemed the album as an eager pursuit to hide the image of her past, a way for Cyrus to shamefully cover the awkward and questionable Bangerz era, but it is the opposite. The 28-year-old embraces her child rock star fame with Hannah Montana, the psychedelic strangeness that was Miley Cyrus and the Dead Petz, and even the Younger Now era of contemporary ballads. This time around, Cyrus recognizes her tabloid covered upbringing and everything in between, rebranding herself as an 80’s punk rock princess. However, this isn’t just another era of Cyrus. In her album, “Can’t Be Tamed,” she covers Poison’s 1988 song “Every Rose has Its Thorn,” but something was clearly missing. In 2012 Cyrus covered Dolly Parton’s, (Cyrus’s godmother) ballad “Jolene,” yet it still sounded like a naive attempt from the former pop star. Eight years later, Cyrus made a resurgence over the summer with her Blondie cover of “Heart of Glass,” and essentially proved to the world her growth as a vocalist and hinted at her rock star potential featured throughout the coming album. With inﬂuences of 80’s alternative
and classic rock, the album has features of rock and roll greats like Joan Jett, Billy Idol, and Stevie Nicks. Yet, the features do not understate Cyrus and instead illuminate her ability to generously take on and succeed at any genre as an artist. However successful in reintroducing these sounds, what is most impactful is the personality of the album. Cyrus shows humility not seen traditionally in her work that makes the album personal, authentic, and vulnerable. She introduces these qualities quickly with the first lines of the album, “I’m not trying to have another conversation: Probably not going to want to play me on your station.” The singer embraces these insecurities of not being taken seriously as an artist. She tackles recognizing her identity in, “Never Be Me.” “If you’re looking for stable that will never be me, if you’re looking for faithful that will never be me.” She even alludes to her past, being a role model for kids and simultaneously growing up in the spotlight with every wrong move covering tabloids, “They say its bad karma when you live a double life,” she said in Bad Karma featuring Joan Jett. Even so, Cyrus is coming out of a 10-year-long relationship, and divorce of Liam Hemsworth, and her album covers that relationship with a perspective of maturity and growth. Cyrus’s once known anthem, “Wrecking Ball,” is put to shame with the chorus in “Hate Me.” “Would it
be too hard to say goodbye? I hope that it’s enough to make you cry / maybe that day you won’t hate me.” “High,” is a soft spoken ballad, somberly reﬂecting on her relationship, “Sometimes I stay up all night ‘cause you don’t ever talk to me in my dreams. And I think about eventually you’re holding me.” “Golden G String,” is the last song on the album and is the perfect bow on Miley’s present. It is the embodiment of Cyrus coming full circle, “The told me I should cover it so I went the other way, I was trying to own my power, I was trying to work it out. At least It gives the paper something to talk about,” says the artist. In the album, Cyrus takes back the power once taken from her. Reﬂecting on the judgment she received as a teenager for embracing her body and asking the question, would the same sentiment be said to me today? In a broader perspective, she questions the male gaze, “But oh, that’s just the world that we’re livin’ in, the old boys hold all the cards and they ain’t playin’ gin. And you dare to call me crazy, have you looked around this place.” The song was supposedly written in 2017 or 2018 and inspired by Donald Trump’s famed quote from 2016, “Grab em’ by the pussy.” 2020 was not the ideal year: Coronavirus, murder hornets, wildfires, and everything unthinkable plagued it. Yet, in the midst of all of it, Miley Cyrus might just have saved rock and roll.
Plastic Hearts validates Cyrus as a serious artist in 2020. Photo Credit: Amy Sussman Getty Images
DECEMBER 10, 2020
The Mesa Press
SPORTS Zuniga’s race to be the best By Kyle Ayson STAFF WRITER
student athlete on the rise that runs far and wide during the pandemic’s troubling times, Sophomore Yahaira Zuniga will be running for her team this year, while at the same time balancing work, school, family, and always striving to be her best. The best way that Zuniga put it was, “I just want to be someone responsible and complete as many achievements as I can. Including helping others.” Sean Ricketts, head coach of the cross-country team, offered his input and said, “Yahaira represents what it means to be a student athlete at San Diego Mesa College. She is committed and focused on using all of her resources and making the sacriﬁces in order to put the time and effort into her academics and athletics in order to develop as a student, athlete, and person in order to transfer to a four-year university.” However, that wasn’t all. Ricketts added, “This year, it is admirable and inspiring to see Yahaira go above and beyond during the pandemic by balancing volunteering at two different places, interpreting for patients at a Health Clinic and Physical Therapy and Nutrition Clinic, working at a restaurant, helping her mother with her personal business, and excel-
ling in school and being consistent with training and team Zoom sessions.” It’s a fact that the pandemic has affected everybody, but it didn’t stop Zuniga from moving forward and she explains why. “No one expected this to happen but we have to ﬁnd ways to continue our life and to ﬁnd new ways to do whatever we have to do,” she said. As Zuniga balances everything in her palette, this is how she felt, “I really enjoy interpreting because
besides just translating, you also learn how to take care of yourself and others.” She also added, “I’m learning how to cook more and be way more responsible. Honestly I don’t like to cook, but now that I’m learning, I’m enjoying it.” For Zuniga’s achievements, she placed seventh last year at the State Meet and earned the All-American Honors as a freshman. When it comes to her times, Ricketts noted, “Yahaira improved her
Yahaira Zuniga pushing forward at last years State track meet. Photo Credit: San Diego Mesa Cross Country
Cross Country 5000m time from 20:33 (HS) to 18:49 last year in the State Meet and her track times with the limited track meets last Spring: 1600m 5:48 (HS) to 5:24 (5:02 1500m conversion) and 3200m 12:46 (HS) to 11:22. She has been healthy and cwvvonsistent and has overcome the illness and injuries she experienced in High School.” All of Zuniga’s reasons for running comes from her inspiring dad. “I always saw him training so hard, racing, winning races, all his effort and achievements really captured my attention and I wanted to be like him, someone that never gives up, and works hard to achieve what you want no matter what,” added Zuniga. Some humble words from both of her parents unravels Zuniga’s nature. “She has a character that demonstrates that she would get to the point where she wants to go. Not the best at everything but always do the best.” Cross-Country is a sport where the only direction and path you go is forward. Zuniga strives for her best and continues to do so. “No matter what is going on, what obstacles you face... always look or ﬁnd a way to do something. Nothing can stop you like right now; the coronavirus did stop us from doing many things, such as being able to race, nor can we go to classes on campus. Everything is now limited but there is always a way to continue,” said Zuniga.
Men’s Water Polo gearing up for a proposed spring season By Jared Knobloch SPORTS EDITOR
he San Diego Mesa College men’s water polo team has been able to practice and train in other ways, hopefully getting ready for a spring season. Head Coach Nathan Resch said of an ofﬁcial spring season, “It is in draft form at this point. We are still waiting to see how things proceed with our return to campus.” Even though the season is not conﬁrmed, they are hoping for the best, and still training. “The difference from what we usually do is the daunting challenge of limited pool access, and, like other Mesa classes, we do not have in person meetings. As I mentioned, we have made individual conditioning a focus keeping up with aerobic conditioning, and maintaining strength. The team has found some creative ways to stay in shape on dry land, and, even in the ocean,” said Resch. He added, “At this point we will be happy to get on campus together when it is safe to do so. The conference has asked us to play more local Paciﬁc Coast Athletic Conference games which takes up most of our schedule.” Sophomore driver Jackson Cassidy mentioned, “Coach Resch and Coach Beto have maintained a positive outlook on the season and have been very helpful to the entire team through the pandemic.” Cassidy also described how the regulations that pertained to COVID-19 have impacted the team. “The circumstances have most deﬁnitely affected team chemistry. Maintaining good chemistry has been one of the most important challenges. It’s been a lot harder to do any team bonding since gatherings are discouraged,” he said. On the positive side, Cassidy believes there were things that helped the team as
Mesa’s Men’s Water Polo together for a photo after winning the PCAC championship last year. Photo Credit: Mesa Ofﬁce of Communications well. “Even though the situation and circumstances are not ideal, the effects of the pandemic are universal for everyone and I think going through such a difﬁcult time together could create an even stronger team dynamic,” said Cassidy. Fortunately, the boys have found ways to get some reps in. Sophomore driver Jake Rose said, “I am still playing water polo right now, I’m playing with my old club team to stay in shape in hopes for a season.” Rose added to what Cassidy explained, “We’re not able to be in the pool practicing as a team, building chemistry with the incoming freshman like we need to.” Luckily, that might not be the biggest
problem. According to Rose, the difference between this season and last season is the overwhelming amount of sophomores, as well as the team’s size in general. “I think the freshmen are very eager to play with this type of competition and level of play, I believe they haven’t seen it before and they are hopeful to step up and adapt,” said Rose. Cassidy added, “I think it has been extremely hard for the freshmen. Most of them are coming into this after experiencing an incomplete senior year. I think this will really show the character and dedication of our freshmen.” Resch noted, “Our focus to this point has been individual conditioning, and, as
always, academic success. We hope things improve on the COVID-19 front where we can get together and train as the next step. We all miss being at the pool together. One thing I always expect from our team is effort. We must always challenge ourselves and each other to work at the highest level possible, regardless of circumstance. The goal is always to win a conference championship. We are the defending Pacific Coast Athletic Conference champions, so, knowing that we are the team to beat means that other teams will be training harder with a focus on beating us. We need to train and push each other like champions,” said Resch.
The Mesa Press Issue 9 Fall 2020