Daily Archives: November 22, 2013

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JEFF’S CORNER Bullying isn’t just for kids

Staff Writer

When the topic of bullying, hazing, and harassment in sports comes up, a six foot five, 312 pound professional football player is not the typical victim that comes to mind. However, these are the exactly the characteristics of Jonathan Martin, a National Football League player whose story of abuse has been dominating the headlines in recent weeks.
For those not familiar with the story, Martin, a second year offensive lineman with the Miami Dolphins, left the team to seek professional treatment on Oct. 28, after making allegations of bullying and harassment by teammates. In the following days, the team conducted an investigation and indefinitely suspended veteran lineman Richie Incognito, the supposed ringleader of the harassment. A number of disturbing text messages and voice mails have been released in which Incognito makes threatening comments, and directs racial and sexual slurs toward Martin and his family. Incognito has a checkered past to say the least. In 2009, he was voted the NFL’s dirtiest player, and he has been suspended or fined for conduct related issues a number of times throughout his collegiate and professional career.
However, the story took a somewhat surprising turn when Dolphin players have almost unanimously come to the defense of Incognito. They say that the older Incognito was like a big brother to Martin, and the heckling and pranks were nothing but harmless locker room antics. A report by Omar Kelly of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel even stated that Dolphins coaches knew about the abuse and wanted Incognito to “toughen Martin up.”
While the Martin case is very disturbing, it is rare that a professional athlete is bullied to the point of having an emotional breakdown. There are certainly plenty of questionable forms of “initiation” and “time honored rituals” that take place. Rookies are often forced to do things like pick up expensive tabs or carry the veteran players’ equipment. However, professional athletes are grown men and women who are more mature and well equipped to handle situations when things go a little too far.
It is at the collegiate level where a culture of hazing in team sports often takes its roots. In a national survey of college athletes conducted by Alfred University, 65 percent of respondents reported having to participate in at least one form of “questionable” initiation, while 24 percent reported taking part in activities that were deemed “unacceptable.” Questionable acts included things such as acting as a personal servant to players off the field, being forced to wear embarrassing clothing, and being forced to deprive oneself of food, sleep or hygiene. The most common unacceptable acts reported were being forced to consume alcohol, destroying or stealing property, and engaging in or simulating sexual acts. In addition, the study showed that while hazing is certainly more common in some sports than others, it is something that takes places to some extent in all sports and at every level of college athletics.
As in the Martin case, where teammates don’t seem to see the harm in the actions that took place, hazing and bullying in college sports often takes place under the disguise of “initiation” and “team bonding.” While the abuse may not leave any physical scars, the long term damage that it can cause is undeniable. There are plenty of healthy ways to build team chemistry without humiliating, degrading, or endangering individuals. In fact, these forms of initiation will usually just breed anger and divisiveness in the long run, as we are seeing play out right now in the Dolphins locker room.
Athletics is a major part of campus life. Most would agree that the small, tight knit community breeds a culture of teamwork, rather than hazing, bullying, and harassment. This is an accomplishment that all Marlins should feel proud of, as we are the ones responsible for creating and maintaining a healthy campus environment. However, athletes, coaches, and administrators must remain vigilant in order to protect the open and honest culture that has been established throughout the Virginia Wesleyan Athletic Department. It only takes one seemingly harmless action falling through the cracks to totally change the precedent that has been set. As the Jonathan Martin case goes to show, abuse can take place anywhere if the surrounding environment supports it. Hopefully, it will also serve as a reminder to everyone that these actions have no place in sports.

The whistle blows on fall sports


Staff Writer

The conference championship season has come to a close. The fall sports teams produced various results; some teams are satisfied with their final results, and others are left feeling disappointed.
The Women’s Volleyball team’s season ended in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament quarterfinals. Virginia Wesleyan faced off against the Maroons of Roanoke College who they beat in a 3-2 decision earlier in the season. The team had a hard time catching momentum and Roanoke took advantage of Virginia Wesleyan’s mistakes and won the quarterfinal match 3-0.
Looking forward to next season, the volleyball team is only losing three seniors and they have a lot of young talent. Freshman Tiffany Barret led both teams in kills with a total of nine. The Women’s Volleyball team is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the next couple of years.
The Men’s and Women’s cross country teams both competed at the ODAC championship meet on Nov. 2 in Farmville, Virginia. The women’s team finished sixth and the men’s team finished seventh. The hilly course proved to be a struggle for both teams. Many of the runners struggled through the grueling conditions.
The Marlins were looking to place higher in the team scoring, but just like the Women’s Volleyball team, they also have a breadth of young talent. The women’s team is losing three seniors and the men’s team is only losing one. Both cross country teams look to produce great results within the next couple years.
Freshman Trevor Maloney finished 28th overall in the meet and was the sixth freshman to cross the finish line, and Freshman Emily Latimer finished in 39th place in the women’s race. Once the cross country teams rein in their talents will be a threat for an ODAC title in the near future.
The Women’s Soccer team season ended in a quarterfinal loss to Bridgewater College at home. The women’s team showed great potential the entire season and were a much better team than the game against Bridgewater showed. This team has great potential and is already looking forward to next season. The Marlin Women’s Soccer team has always been highly competitive in the ODAC and they are looking forward to showing off their talents and bringing home a championship trophy next year.
The men’s soccer team had an exciting post-season. The ODAC tournament started with an overtime win against Bridgewater in the quarterfinals.
They then progressed to the semi-finals, where they beat their rivals Lynchburg College with a score of 4-2. Three of the Marlins goals were scored in the second half of that game.
The men’s team then traveled to Randolph College for the ODAC championship game to play Randolph who only had one loss the entire season. Randolph had beaten the Marlins 4-1 earlier in the season, but the Marlins did not back down. They went into the championship game with a winning mentality, and the game ultimately resulted in a 2-1 win in overtime.
The Men’s Soccer team redeemed themselves from last year’s heartbreaking loss in double overtime, and brought their well-deserved silverware back to Virginia Wesleyan.
The fall sports teams have lots to be excited about in their upcoming seasons. Every team has a significant pool of young talent waiting to be developed, and as the athletes mature they will be sure to prove themselves on the pitch, court and the courses.
Within the next few years, it will be exciting to see how many championship trophies Virginia Wesleyan brings home.

Blackheart bombshells

new girl

Staff Writer

The Blackheart Burlesque ‘Suicide Girls’ take the stage at the NorVa.

Pop culture, comedy, catchy songs and stripteases come together in a show like no other. This November at the NorVa, some of the most beautiful bombshells to walk this earth will be center stage for a night that promises unforgettable erotica in the most refined sense. One thing is for sure, this is a far cry from the next Victoria’s Secret Fashion show.
After a six year hiatus, the SuicideGirls Blackheart Burlesque Tour is back and will be arriving at The NorVa on Nov. 14. The performance features seven of the spiciest, most sensuous, incredibly talented “SuicideGirls” with choreography by Manwe Sauls-Addison, well-known for his work with renowned artists like Lady Gaga and Beyoncé. This show will push the boundaries of burlesque to a new level. Blackheart Burlesque is by far the apex of all live performances in tribute to pop culture. These shows are packed with incredible music, dance numbers and performances parodying cinematic phenomena such as “Kill Bill,” “The Big Lebowski,” and shows such as “Game of Thrones” and “Doctor Who,” to name a few. Of course, the content of their shows is far from the only thing that makes SuicideGirls unique.
SuicideGirls is an online community founded in 2001 by “Missy Suicide” that strives to celebrate beauty by providing an “alternative to the mainstream media’s obsession with the silicone enhanced Barbie dolls,” said Missy Suicide. Each SuicideGirl is unique—some sport vibrant multi-colored hair, others elaborate tattoo pieces or unusual piercings, all are strikingly beautiful in their own way.
Aside from their looks, each SuicideGirl also has her own enticing personality. SuicideGirls are intelligent, confident women with a myriad of interests, hobbies and talents.
SuicideGirls come from all areas of the globe, each a rare gem and proud to be outside of the mainstream, and they have landed in Norfolk for one night.
For those curious individuals, or just those looking to embrace their wild side, the Blackheart Burlesque hits the NorVa’s stage tonight. Doors open at 7 p.m. and general admission is $20. Approach with caution, boys and girls. This show is age restricted, 18 and up only.

The day of the Doctor


Staff Writer

Do you know who Davros is? What you should not do around a Weeping Angel? What the Law 57 of the Shadow Proclamation prohibits? The answers to these questions can be found in Britain’s longest running and most popular science fiction series, “Doctor Who.”
The first episode of “Doctor Who” premiered on Nov. 23, 1963. This year the beloved show is celebrating its 50th anniversary with what is anticipated to be one of the biggest television events of all time, and will cross boundaries that the show has never crossed before.
“The 50th anniversary is going to be huge,” said freshman Zach Drake. “But I do hope they bring back some classic elements and pay tribute to the classic doctors.
Since its premiere in 1963, “Doctor Who” has generated an enormous fan following, called Whovians, and the Doctor has become a cultural icon to such an extent that some think he should be named a patron saint.
The show centers around a time-travelling alien called a Time Lord who travels throughout time and space in a spaceship called the TARDIS, which happens to look like a vintage Police Phone Box. Along with his companions, the Doctor continually saves the world.
The interesting thing about the Doctor, and what has kept the show on the air for so long, is the fact that when he is fatally injured, he regenerates into a new body with a new personality, though he keeps his memories.
“The characters definitely make the show,” said Drake. “We’ve had 11 doctors now, and though each doctor is essentially the same being, each one is completely different. And all of the people he meets and connects with are good in their own way. They introduce new characters and show the human condition, and they have them all come together to combat evil.”
Following the Doctor through space and time, the show has constructed an expansive universe and a rich history of time that is unlike any other science fiction series. Sometimes, the Doctor Who universe—nicknamed the ‘Whoniverse’—can seem a bit silly.
“It’s a pretty good show,” said junior Craig Lesher. “It wasn’t like typical science fiction because all [of the show] seemed a bit goofy.”
To outsiders, the show’s passionate fan base and many, many episodes can seem overwhelming.
“It seems like the type of show where if you’re a relatively nerdy person, you’ll just have nerdgasms all the time,” said freshman Erik Estrada.
For the past 50 years, nerds around the globe have kept the show alive. Their passion for the runaway Time Lord and his companions has fueled a spin-off series, comic books and science fiction conventions dedicated to the show.
“I think the show has lasted so long because of the way the story is written,” said Drake. “It doesn’t really have an ending because of the Doctor’s ability to regenerate. So there’s always going to be a new story and new companions, and there’s always going to be a new problem to solve.”
On Nov. 23, the 50th anniversary episode, named “The Day of the Doctor,” will premiere on BBC America. For longtime fans, and those newly interested, now is the time to celebrate 50 years of the Doctor. On Nov. 25, “The Day of the Doctor” will be played in movie theaters around the globe, including three that are located near VWC.

Marlin Artist Spotlight: Victoria Macoul

Kelly Marvel
Staff Writer

Creative opportunities abound at VWC, and junior Victoria Macoul is ready to create something entirely her own while doing an independent film study over the upcoming spring semester. Macoul, a Communications major and English minor, is combining her passion for film and her talent for connecting with others to produce a film entirely guided by her vision.
This task, while exciting, comes with a lot of hard work and preparation.
One of the scariest and most exciting aspects of the project for Macoul is the fact that she has complete control over the movie.
Macoul is undertaking the task to make a documentary and is currently in the process of picking the right topic. One of the ideas she is considering is to create a film documenting the activities of an anarchist group in Richmond. Her biggest reservation about the topic is whether or not members of the group will be willing to participate.
Her vision for the film may be unclear right now, but she does know that she wants it to have a purpose. “[I want to] use the opportunity to help someone or raise awareness of an issue,” said Macoul.
The film has to range from 15 to 20 minutes and when it is completed will be presented to a panel of professors for evaluation.
Although Macoul adores the filmmaking process and would love to be immersed in it as much as possible, she is not sure if she will pursue it as a career. “It depends how poor I’m willing to be,” said Macoul. “I would like to [have a career in film], but I have realistic expectations.”
Macoul has already been a part of the production of two films while here at VWC. Her first was in the avant-garde winter session course.
Macoul was originally an English major, but after only one day in the avant-garde class, she knew that she had to change her major to Communications and decided to keep English as a minor.
Her film “Junkpoetry” actually emerged from her English major roots. “F*** this film class, I’m going to do poetry,” said Macoul on her original reaction to an experimental film assignment.
Macoul tricked people into talking to her for the film and edited pieces of dialogue together to create a poem. None of the participants’ voices are heard at the same time as their faces appear to keep a degree of anonymity.
Her second film was for Digital Filmmaking I and entitled “Aurora.” In the short film, a girl is given a map and shovel, with which she unburies her own body. Macoul was not only the screenwriter and director of photography for the film, but also served as a stunt double in the film.
In order to achieve the shot she envisioned, they had to get an over the shoulder shot of the character discovering her own body. This meant two actresses were needed and the two switched so that the lead actress’s face was always the one on camera. Both girls had to be buried in the ground, covered in dirt with insects crawling over them.
Macoul was dedicated to the production of “Aurora;” her film group wanted to have scenes in the woods of Wesleyan, but could not achieve good sound quality with the noise of nearby traffic.
Macoul ventured out into the woods at 3 a.m., recording the sound of footsteps and the shovel dragging in order to recreate the sound they needed for the scene.
Both films can be viewed on the Blue Marlin Productions YouTube channel.
Macoul hopes to study abroad for the fall of 2014 semester in either Prague or Cannes, France. Cannes strikes her interest because it is home to the prestigious Cannes International Film Festival that is held every year.
At this point, there is no predicting what Macoul’s documentary could develop into, and seeing how a small idea can become a complex film, the boundaries are nonexistent.
Marlins like Victoria Macoul are prime examples of how the creativity of a liberal arts student can take the studies offered by the school and turn the knowledge into passion. There is no stopping a Marlin with drive.

Bo Burnham’s ‘Egghead’


Glenn Rose
Staff Writer

Bo Burnham is a 23-year old comedian who has gained a lot of success despite his young age. His first comedy special aired on Comedy Central when he was 18, making him the youngest comedian ever featured on that station. He started with YouTube videos to gain popularity until he was popular enough to do stand-up.
Burnham’s stand-up style is far from normal; he does musical comedy. This is another thing that sets him apart from other comedians and makes him even more of a fun act to watch.
This has been a big year for Burnham. He has been touring, gaining popularity on the social media site Vine and finishing recording his new stand-up special, “What.” Burnham previously had a TV show on MTV for a season called “Zach Stone is Going to be Famous,” which was about a teenage boy (Burnham) who spent all of his money on a film crew to follow him around and make him famous. Most recently, Burnham was hard at work writing his book of poetry called “Egghead: Or, You Can’t Survive on Ideas Alone.
You are probably thinking, “Why would this comedian write poetry?” The truth is, Burnham is no stranger to using different mediums to make jokes. Burnham’s 2010 special “Words, Words, Words,” where he takes a very George Carlin-esque look at words and how people use them, involves a bit using haikus that is actually very funny.
Egghead has a certain feel to it. Like if Shel Silverstein wrote one of his poetry books, but not for kids. Burnham made a big jump from YouTube videos, singing songs about girls not liking him and being the best rapper alive, to poetry, but the jump was successful.
These poems are funny and sometimes sad. A lot the poems are subtle with a hint of dry humor, and many make statements about how people act and what people do. Burnham is no stranger to absurd humor, and he does not take a break in this book.
There are poems about an elephant wanting to be a rabbit and bugs wanting to play on a human playground. All these jokes and satire work because they are true to Burnham’s unique style, but different enough that if you are an old fan of his they will all be new to you.
The jokes in the book never seem to land flat, and when read aloud to a crowd result in some huge, hearty laughs. However, this book has more than jokes on its pages.
Every now and then, there are poems about love, loss, regret and pure anger intermingled with the toilet jokes and clever word play.
These specific poems hit hard and fast, and often aim directly at life situations that affect everybody. Right when it seems like the rest of the book will be about serious, sad things, the next page offers another raunchy laugh.
The book is dynamic and incredibly enjoyable, and the art by Chance Bone interacts with the stories in a palpable way that adds a joviality and lightheartedness to the selections.
The book is out now, and is sold at any local book store, as well as on Amazon, iTunes and anywhere else where ebooks are sold.