Tag: opinion

Hot Take: Where is the JSU football program headed?

Garrett Sanders, Correspondent

Coming into the 2019 FCS College Football season, the Jacksonville State Gamecocks had very high expectations for the year. The Gamecocks were ranked in the Top 10 in the AP Preseason FCS Poll and were heavy favorites to win the OVC. With 15 combined returning starters on both sides of the ball, the potential was limitless for JSU.

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‘Abominable’ movie – abominable or amazing?

James King, Arts & Entertainment Correspondent

Abominable is about as fuzzy as the marketing would lead you to believe. I am a big fan of animation, though the pickins have been a bit slim for animated movies I have wanted to see this year and admittedly, this one wasn’t on the top of my list. 

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Hot Take: “JSU officials misunderstand what is genuinely valuable…”

James Waller, News Correspondent

As knowledge of Jacksonville State University’s contract renewal with Sodexo’s food service has become public, I have noticed a worrying trend in the attitude cultivated by JSU’s officials. As of this fall semester, JSU’s undergraduate student enrollment is the highest it’s been since 2012, and JSU officials are motivated to appeal to this expanding student body by creating an environment in which the students feel content. But, I believe JSU officials misunderstand what is genuinely valuable to a collegiate.

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The many types of fanfiction writers

Miranda PrescottArts & Entertainment Correspondent

You would be lying to yourself if you said that you have never heard of a small concept known as fanfiction. Or, rather, you would be a human being who does not geek out over book characters or television shows. So, rather, you would be a normal person with a normal life.

For those who love the previously mentioned activity, fanfiction is a wonderous world where people who call themselves “aspiring authors” write the same plot line that at least 500 other authors have done before, using someone else’s characters from major works. They do this because, normally, they can’t create more than five characters for their given plotline on their own. I should know. I was a fanfiction writer.

The keyword there is “was.”. I finally quit around 2015, after spending four years of my life doing such activities. However, I’ll check in from time to time to see how everything is going in the communities I once wrote under. In my illustrious career as a fanfiction writer, I noticed three main types of writers that I feel sum up the idea of fan fiction quite nicely.

“The Almost Novelist”

This is the type of writer that writes so well that their story could possibly, in some cases, be better than the story they have modeled theirs after. This archetype, surprisingly, has allowed many major authors today to have a platform to create their own works, mostly. Some authors today use their fanfiction to create original works. I’m pointing at you, E.L. James. You are the perfect example of this type of fan fiction writer.

“The ‘Insert Self Here’ writer”

This writer is found mostly in fanfiction written about real-life celebrities. One Direction, BTS, you name it. The reason they are found here is because they like to insert themselves into their own stories. These writers use their work to live the dream of being with Harry Styles. They are also probably the most common type of writer you will see. Mainly because if you ever read fanfiction, you are probably reading stories like these. Some writers will even let you fill in the blank. Like Mad Libs, but slightly more awkward because these scenarios are with real people in fictional settings.

“The… what?”

This is the writer that absolutely makes no sense. Their storyline is all over the place, and their descriptions of things are incoherent and they improperly use the right words in them.  Characters jump in and get killed off at random. When they speak, the characters often cannot even say words properly. And do not get me started on the plotline of these stories. More than likely, this writer is of ages 14 or less and have no idea how the world really works. For laughs, I often investigate these types of stories, and I immediately add at least 10 years to my lifespan while doing so.

Sure, there are more types of fanfiction writers out there, but these three are the ones everyone has probably ran into more than once or twice while scrolling through websites dedicated to this valuable art form. Now, is all fanfiction bad? Not really, but it is slightly illegal in some context. Thankfully, fair use does indeed exist.

Hot Take: Has Kidz Bop ruined popular songs?

Miranda Prescott, Arts & Entertainment Correspondent

Popular music in today’s times play one of the most influential roles in creating the culture and society our generation grows up in. 

This role has gone on for as long as the music in this sense has existed. From Mozart’s classical pieces to modern-day hit songs from artists such as Taylor Swift and many others, music has held power for centuries. 

This week, however, we are only going to focus on the last five years, as I listen and give my opinion on each of the top songs from the past half-decade. Fair note: these songs come from Billboard’s Year-End Top 100 list from each year. Also, this is strictly my opinion, and it is not here for anyone trying to defend these songs, because, let’s be honest, there is no defending them. 

2014: “Happy” by Pharrell Williams 

Oh boy, where do I begin? I honestly believe that not many people are truly happy while listening to this song. Mainly because they hear it during one of two scenarios. The first one is when a five-year old has it on repeat on an iPad. And it’s a six-hour car ride. And it’s not even this version. It’s the one from Kidz Bop. The second one is the same five-year old watching Despicable Me 2 on repeat on the same six-hour car ride. The only upside to this scenario is at least it’s not Kidz Bop. 

2015: “Uptown Funk!” by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars 

While looking this one up, I was praying that this list would get better. As a result, it did get slightly better. Don’t get me wrong, I love Bruno Mars. He is one of my favorites. This song, however, is not one of my favorites. Yes, this is a very catchy song, and yes, the music video for it is very well produced. However, after a while, this song gets old very quickly. Overall, a better song than the year prior, but it is still not one of my favorites. 

2016: “Love Yourself” by Justin Bieber 

I am going to get a lot of heat from saying this, but it needs to be said: I’m not a fan of Justin Bieber. I admit it. I never had “Bieber Fever” or whatever it’s called. Just thinking about this guy makes me cringe most of the time. However, this song is rather good. Is it better than the other two on the list? Probably not. As I’m writing this, it stands in second place amongst the three we have listed. So, hey, good for you Justin. You made me like one of your songs. That’s the biggest achievement you’ll ever have. 

2017: “Shape of You” by Ed Sheeran 

And the light at the end of the tunnel has been swiftly put out by this song. For me, it’s a combination of 2014 and 2015: I like Ed, but this song is also in the same boat as the first scenario as “Happy.” I firmly believe Kidz Bop has a strong power of ruining everything it touches. Especially this song. Honestly, this review is a bit shorter than the others because I didn’t expect it to be this song. I thought I was going to review “Despacito.” There’s a whole other article on that one. 

2018: “God’s Plan” by Drake 

Thank you, Drake. Thank you. This song has re-lit the light that Ed Sheeran took out last year. It’s an iconic song overall. The best thing is, Kidz Bop can’t ruin it. Yes, they made it worse, but that’s just their branding. Also, if Kidz Bop has magical powers to ruin music, Drake has the power to keep music from being ruined like this. It’s a song you can never get tired of and earns high marks from me. 

There you have it. Was this a review of songs from the last five years or Kidz Bop? I’ll let you decide. However, the only question we have left to answer is who will join the list this year? More importantly, will it get ruined by other people? Will it be a song that future generations look back upon while doing research similar to this and like it? The only judge for this is time, and time we shall give it.