Category: Commentary

“You Can’t Take It With You” a Success – by Mathilda Burton

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Opening night of “You Can’t Take it With You,” The Master’s University theater team were able to express the fruits of their labor.

“You Can’t Take it With You” is a classic comedy about a dysfunctional family. One of the leads, Alice, is engaged to be married to a young man from a wealthy and altogether ordinary family—at least he is ordinary compared to her family. This engagement brings her joy and trepidation, as she considers the impact her family will make upon her fiance’s family. A disastrous family meeting ends with both sides of the family spending the night in jail, and a broken engagement. Alice packs her things to leave, but is stopped by an interesting exchange between her grandfather and the father of her ex-fiancé. These two men discuss what is really important in life. Not money or success, but life, family and fun. The families reunite, the engagement is reinstated, and the curtain falls.

This play differs from the theater department’s’ previous production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” which was completely sold out for all showings. While “Fiddler on the Roof” may be considered a tough act to follow, this play was definitely a hit. Continue reading ““You Can’t Take It With You” a Success – by Mathilda Burton”

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Chasing the best season – a commentary by Elijah Paniagua

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In a competitive game like soccer, every season can be the best season. For The Master’s College men’s soccer team, the mustangs, my team, the fall of 2015 saw a group full of potential looking forward to their own best season. With an 8-1-1 record in preseason and a fierce desire to win, we entered into the Golden State Athletic Conference, or GSAC, with an almost crazed hunger. This season was ours.

September 23, 2015

Kicking off the GSAC with an away game at defending champions Vanguard (who beat us in the final last year to secure the GSAC trophy) was an invitation to come onto the scene in earnest. If we wanted everyone to fear us we had to win this game. Unfortunately, we didn’t. Defensive lapses and a lack of fire in the front led to a 2-0 defeat. 0-1-0 in GSAC

October 1, 2015 Continue reading “Chasing the best season – a commentary by Elijah Paniagua”

Senioritis: Curable or Terminal? – a commentary by Jonathan Wais

calendarI’ve seen the symptoms. The virus starts by striking its victim with a sensation of restlessness, ambitiousness and discontentment. The feeling begins in the heart, where the plague multiplies and then circulates to the rest of the body.

Next, the virus travels up the spinal column to the brain. Once it reaches it, the virus settles in, making its home between the cerebrum and the cerebellum. From there, the virus begins to fester, altering the thought processes of the victim as they succumb to its power.

One of the main symptoms is tiredness. Tiredness of being tested to the limit, of writing papers until the fingers threaten to drop off and reading until the eyes long to detach from their sockets.

Doctors and professors at institutions of higher learning created a treatment for the virus. They called it “summer.” However, it’s a temporary solution that leaves the patient more susceptible to the virus.

One of the advanced stage symptoms of senioritis is spending an exorbitant amount of time searching for future jobs online. A second is executing pranks on fellow students, such as covering someone’s room in tinfoil or painting the nails of slumbering men After all, if you are leaving school in a few weeks there won’t be an opportunity for them to retaliate! Or will there?

If you are suffering from senioritis, you may be asking what authorizes me, a junior, to talk to you about forces of which I should know nothing.

First, as I said earlier, I’ve seen the symptoms first hand and heard the stories. One of my closest friends has been experiencing chronic, late stage symptoms. They include spurning the school cafeteria by driving to a local BBQ restaurant to eat, a reluctance to go to class and a desire to move on with his life.

Secondly, I’m concerned about my personal health entering my last year of college. Although I experience typical symptoms of weariness and a desire to be done with homework, I, like Frodo, am still in love with the Shire. I still enjoy learning from books, going to lecture and walking the peaceful paths of The Master’s College. A day may come when I carry my metaphoric ring, into the wild in search of my mountain of doom, but it is not this day.

Yet, a foreboding broods in my soul that the disease is already coursing through my veins, threatening to manifest itself when I am weakest.

After careful analysis, I’ve seen that senioritis is but the chronic stage of sloth that threatens the first three years of college life. It takes the form of a monster, which threatens to engulf his existence in sleep, hanging out with friends, video games and Netflix.

If you are suffering from senioritis, or are a student with the early symptoms, I challenge you to enjoy the simple and memorable moments of college—today. You will never have another opportunity to spend so much time with so many friends, learn so many things at once and have so few responsibilities. Be patient. Finish well. Ask God for help. Enjoy your last days in college— you won’t get them back.

After countless hours of research, doctors have discovered the only one known cure for senioritis—the termination of your life as a college student.

For those whose time has come–when you walk the plank—I mean stage, I will clap for you. You’ve come a long way, and I’m glad we can all watch your senioritis be cured by that square thing they give you.

Now let the college nostalgia begin.

By Jonathan Wais

Will the Real Hipster Please Stand Up? — a commentary by Caleb Chandler

CoffeeHipsters. You’ve heard of them, you may have been called one, but what are they? To be truly hipster may be far more difficult a feat than one might think. Thankfully (or regrettably), it is unnecessary to know the answer to this question. Some seek hipsterdom, some are born hipsters, and some have it thrust upon them. At least I assume so. If you think you have met a hipster recently, you probably haven’t. The contrarian nature of hipsters negates the possibility of telltale signs helping in their identification.

For a time, the definition of what many call hipsters revolved around music. I would give you suggestions of what bands a hipster might listen to, but that would give up the game – if I told you, you would have heard of them. I don’t need to tell you how disastrous that would be. The poor fools would have to discard their interest in the band posthaste, burn all the memorabilia, and be set back to square one.

A few years ago, to be a hipster might have been specifically to be interested in Americana music. Now, Mumford and all his sons with their pet Fleet Foxes are commonplace and dull (that is not to say they weren’t dull before, but that’s neither here nor there). But this is what a hipster once was, this does not answer what one is now.

Though the very act of trying to make oneself a hipster is to become a poseur, this has not stopped many from trying. Perhaps the would-be hipster will start small, vowing to forever pay a higher price for his coffee and insisting others follow him. Do not be fooled, while it is possible that this is the first step on the path to enlightenment, there is no way to be sure. Even if there was, coffee snobbery does not a hipster make. Before you ask, neither does being an Apple devotee.

The stages following coffee snobbery are deceptively benign, the fashion laws for the novice do not hinge on price. “Things are looking up!” he may say. He is painfully wrong. Not only has he not become a hipster, he has now sacrificed his fashion sense. His ordinary clothes will be replaced by a lumberjack costume at best and at worst, capris, a V-neck shirt, and a satchel. For those who may be confused, satchel is a euphemism for the less politically correct term, “man-purse.”

If all this were not bad enough, the latest trend among “hipster” men is to wear their hair in a miniature bun. What will these saps not do to be accepted into the club? I might have said deciding that a fermented substance described as a “symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast” should be consumed by humans. But alas, kombucha is popular amongst those seeking hipsterdom.

This is madness of the highest order.

But even the “man-bun” is a recognizable trend. By default, it cannot be what it is to be a true hipster. It is one of the shadows on the wall of Plato’s cave, wrongly interpreted as a hairstyle suggestion. At this point, the enlightened man – the true hipster – is supposed to return to convince and free those still in the cave. It is hard to blame him for skipping this step. The alternative has proved far more amusing.

by Caleb Chandler

Living with a dumb phone in a smartphone world — a commentary by Jen Gibb

Coffeehouses in Europe were traditionally places that people could meet and discuss politics and other matters. It may have even been the place where the first Encyclopedia was born. But when I was at a coffee shop in LA last weekend, I didn’t feel like there was very much discussion going on.

Two of my friends were with me, and sometimes we can have really good discussions, but here we were, sipping our drinks together, me watching them on their phones—scrolling. Maybe it was Facebook. Maybe Instagram. I wouldn’t know because it’s a little awkward to lean across the table, peer at their screen, and ask, “What are you looking at?”

One of the girls asked me which filter I preferred for a picture she had taken of us at the coffee shop. I gave her my opinion, but I knew that even then it would be a long process to the actual posting of the picture. It’s a very complicated process choosing which edited picture to post, what caption to write, and what hashtags to use.

I took out my own phone, not really knowing what else to do. It’s a very old kind of flip phone, but having to wait every few words I write for the screen to catch up with my typing isn’t too annoying. I opened my messages and scrolled through a few that I had read already. Nothing had changed since the last time I read it. There wasn’t anything else for me to do on my phone so I just took out a book and started reading, which is what I would do if I was alone anyway.

In a world where the Internet connects people no matter where they are, there is a new kind of loneliness. It’s a feeling that’s coupled with the desire to be noticed and appreciated and affirmed. If a person is going on an adventure or having a good time on their own, it should be enough to be alone, but for some reason, it’s not nearly as fun if you can’t tell people about it. When you post a picture on Instagram or update your Facebook status, you can find the affirmation you so desire with the “likes” that people give you. This helps counteract the loneliness but doesn’t prevent it.

This is a malady that affects everyone. If you feel the need to share your good times with other people for affirmation, that’s a sign of loneliness in and of itself. But if you are one of the 20% of 18-34-year-olds that, according to Forbes, doesn’t own a smart phone, then your loneliness comes on a different level. You want to be where you are when you are there. You want to make the most of the moment. But none of the people you are with want to do that with you. They want to share the moment with the world. The world without smartphones has many benefits: fewer distractions, coffeehouses where people actually talk to each other, and the lack of a need to please people that aren’t with you. But we’re not living in that world any more. It’s a nice dream, but an unrealistic one.

Although it’s possible to live without a smartphone now, it leaves you very disconnected. Instagram just isn’t practical for people with dumb phones. And while everyone else is sharing games and apps with each other, you with the dumb phone are playing the demo version of Tetris alone. And when a moment gets awkward or quiet, everyone else escapes to their phones and pretends to be doing something important on it. There’s no way to pretend that you’re doing anything important on a dumb phone because there’s nothing to do on a dumb phone. But what smartphone activities are actually important enough to justify the amount of time spent using one? They are fewer than you would think; because any time spent with anyone is better than the time taken away from that moment posting about it on Instagram.

By Jen Gibb

Saving Face: The Rules of Social Media – a commentary By Caleb Chandler

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There is a set of rules that govern the digital social lives of the generation dubbed “millennial.” Attempts were made to codify these guidelines, but sadly the original manuscripts were lost. Fragments have been discovered scattered across the internet, but many experts believe them to be faked, noting that the vocabulary used was too expansive and there was a disconcerting lack of misspelled words. Councils are being held to establish orthodoxy.

In the absence of clear guidance, the social media novice is left with a trial by fire. He will learn the laws as he breaks them. At best, he may only find himself guilty of writing insufferably long posts. Such transgressions are considered venial. His punishment will be no greater than that of the girl who shared an old photo on a Tuesday.

He may, however, do something worse. He could like his own post. It is easy to see how one could fall into this error. He does not know the finer points of self-affirmation. To brag in a Facebook status is one thing. When this happens it is then the job of his friends to tell him that they are pleased as punch that he did not skip leg day. The same applies to pictures. One may know perfectly well that he or she is the most beautiful creature to walk the earth and that this fact is yet unrecognized by peers. This must be remedied. The key lies in how this is done. As the old poem goes:

The world deserves to see

The beauty that is me

So they can all agree

A beauty’s what I be

Note that there is no mention of the one who posts the photo being included in the people who agree. All the best translations render the word after “so” as “they.” The penance required of those who violate this standard scarcely bears thinking about.

For many, the story is still more tragic. In one case, a fellow read one of his online acquaintances’ “about me” pages. Needless to say, it did not end well. He argued that things on Facebook were written to be read – a bold, if foolish statement. The judge was not amused. The man is now being detained with other such creeps.

Though there is general consensus regarding “about me” cases, the council has been divided over secondary matters, such as grammar. More progressive members of the council have dismissed capitalization as archaic and discriminatory. Either every letter should be capitalized, or none. Capitalizing one word and not another or separating ideas with punctuation is looked upon as cruel – the vestiges of patriarchal oppression.

One must admire their persistence. They have continued to attend the council in spite of being declared anathema. Upon receiving a notice of excommunication, they answered with a defiant “tl;dr,” but I digress.

As stated earlier, there is as of yet no official stance on many of the most important issues. What matters most is what the courts are doing in the interim. What is to be told to the poor soul who has confessed to attempting an online conversation with one of his female friends? Can we turn a blind eye to such travesties? The man is clearly obsessed. Will the council stand for this? I, for one, cannot. One day, we allow the messaging reprobate to walk free, the next he’s sending game requests, liking eight year old photos, and setting fire to schools. We will reap the whirlwind.

While the lost millennial sheep wander without a lamp, the risk becomes greater that they will give up altogether. Such a thought brings to mind images of quotes not retweeted, selfies not liked, memes not shared. No one will know where her friend had coffee in the morning or what shoes she was wearing. Friendships will die – society will collapse. We will have to live with the knowledge that this was our doing. This was completely preventable. All we had to do was repost to prove we didn’t hate each other. How will we know that without rules? A social media guidebook is needed now more than ever.

By Caleb Chandler