Advisor - Mrs. Foran

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Price of Music by Judy Capiral

I think it’s safe to say no one likes to pay money for things when we can get them for free, but when does paying money for something such as music become necessary? Nowadays, many people look for inexpensive or free sources of music, whether it be Pandora, Youtube, “legal” music downloading websites, or Spotify. Recently, I’ve been looking at some of my older playlists on Spotify and found that many of my music is no longer there. Delving further into this, I found that many musicians are removing their music from a once free music website. Why? In an article, “Taylor Swift Explains Why She’s Not On Spotify: Music Shouldn’t Be Free,” she explains why she did what she did. She says,
Music is art, and art is important and rare. Important, rare things are valuable. Valuable things should be paid for. It’s my opinion that music should not be free, and my prediction is that individual artists and their labels will someday decide what an album’s price point is. I hope they don’t underestimate themselves or undervalue their art.”
For a moment after I read this, I understood. An artist creates art, and art should be appreciated to the fullest and highest regard. However after a second, I realized I disagree. I may not be an artist, but I do believe that art can be appreciated by everyone. It’s frustrating to see a struggling artist not able to afford museum fare. Or a poor musician who doesn’t have money for a concert ticket. Art should be free to anyone who has enough respect for it. That being said, I realized how lucky we are to have free music available to us. I admit I have fallen under the spell of consumerism and spent a fair amount of money on Itunes gift cards numerous times, but I realize my mistake in all of this. Art should be free, as should music. Music is powerful, with its words and melodies embedding themselves in our heads and distracting us from our bustling, busy lifestyle. So why shouldn’t everyone be able to enjoy it? As for the artists, I understand how an album’s price point could affect their self-efficacy in music. To some, the value of a song is how much it’s actually worth. The music should speak for itself, not how much money it makes.
The article:

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Sachem Arrows Marching Band goes to Disney

The Sachem Arrows marching band is led through the Disney parade by Judy Chapiral, Joe Albano, Darrin Palermo and Clair Haussner.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

BIRDMAN or (The Unexpected Oscar Results) by Matt Mahler

             Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu, won best picture at the Oscars a few days ago surprisingly. No, surprisingly doesn’t do it justice. Miraculously. I doubted it winning as soon as I saw it. It seemed to be leaning towards “too weird for it to win” and “not mainstream enough.” But, of course, that isn’t true now.
            When I first saw Birdman, I was dumbfounded. Starting off with the thunderous drums that drove the fast-paced, nonstop, emotional thrill-ride of a film, and ending with an ambiguous, high-flying, suicidal cliffhanger. It was a glorious experience. A cinematic triumph due to the technical difficulty that comes along with creating a feature length film that appears to be a single shot. It was filled with such high profile actors and actresses of Hollywood as Michael Keaton, Emma Stone, Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, Zach Galifianakis, Amy Ryan and Lindsay Duncan, who all gave immaculately raw performances (Keaton, Stone and Norton were all nominated, in their respected categories, for Oscars). It had an impeccably original, all percussion score by master drummer Antonio Sanchez. Not only did it have all these things. It had a compelling, rhythmic, driven, importantly artsy and unbearably real story.
            This film dealt with some of the truest emotions I have ever seen on the screen, delving into the life of former big-budget, blockbusting, superhero movie star, Riggan Thomsom (Keaton) as he tries to validate his career through an “honest performance” in a play adaption of Raymond Carver’s What We Talk About, When We Talk About Love. As he wrestles with his inner demons, fresh-out-of-rehab daughter (Stone), a too method method actor (Norton) and a cold-hearted, spiteful critic (Duncan), he nearly (or, quite possibly, completely) loses his mind. Yet, this is far more than a movie about a washed-up actor. This film tackles the crippling question that every person wants to know: Am I important?
            The whole plot revolves around Riggan (who by the way in-coincidentally parallels Keaton himself, being that he was the star of the Tim Burton Batman films in the late 80’s-early 90’s) searching for some form of remedy to his stereotypical washed-up Hollywood career, only he doesn’t want fame for being some blockbuster action hero anymore. No, he wants fame for putting on an honest performance where his roots lie: on stage. Yet, it seems that he is not the only one searching for this. At one moment or another, every character seems to feel lost or looks for some sort of truth in life (not to the extremes of Riggan, but still...) and, most of the time, comes up empty-handed.
            That is why this film won best picture. Because it is a human experience. It is a real experience. Despite the odd nature of the film, which I won’t go into in great detail (it’s quite quirky, yet not at all silly), it has such a truth to it. So, yeah, not only is it a fun, exciting, star-studded, pulsing film that doesn’t know the meaning of slow or boring, it is a film that holds the world on its shoulders and shakes it, asking the audience subconsciously to examine their lives, whether it be filled with tweeting or texting or binge-watching sitcoms on Netflix. It asks you the same question Riggan tackles while hearing the voice of Birdman in his head: Are you real?

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

We are Girls, We are Women by Judy Capiral

Where does the abuse start? Does it start when their insults make you feel vulnerable? Does it start when a fresh bruise appears on your skin? Does it start when the person you love threatens your life? According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, abuse is defined as “a repetitive pattern of behaviors to maintain power and control over an intimate partner.” No matter where or how it starts, it ends here. Last Sunday night at the Grammys, the nation witnessed the incredible and moving speech of Brooke Axtell, a young woman who told her story of how she was abused by the man she loved and how she overcame it with the love and support of the people around her. She says,

"Authentic love does not devalue another human being. Authentic love does not silence, shame or abuse. If you are in a relationship with someone who does not honor and respect you, I want you to know that you are worthy of love. Please reach out for help, your voice will save you ... let it part the darkness, let it set you free to know who you truly are -- valuable, beautiful, loved."

As women, throughout our history, we have been underestimated, abused, neglected, and silenced for our gender. The men who have wronged us found themselves to be the superior gender, which to this day is still passed around as “credible knowledge.” Great women of today fight the men who decide this, because we as women can bring change. However, even the strongest of girls feel attacked and vulnerable through the emotional/physical abuse of the ones they love. I am here, writing this to you to say that you are not alone, nor have you ever been alone. These next generations will be raised in a world where domestic violence shall not exist, nor will any gender have superiority over the other. We will say no, and we shall not accept the violence that our sex has suffered in the past. Because we are strong. And we will not protect those who make us believe that their love is real, when the bruises continue to appear. We are girls and we are women.

It ends here.

If you, or anyone you know, has received physical/emotional abuse from a loved one, please call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233.