Category Archives: OPINIONS


What’s the first thing you’re going to do when school gets out for the quarter?

April Hinkel-Johnson Whatcom Voices


April Hinkel-Johnson –

“I’m gonna get my wisdom teeth pulled out.”



Jimmy Wilder Whatcom Voices


Jimmy Wilder –

“Spend Christmas break making music and buying presents.”


Jessica Perry Whatcom Voices


Jessica Perry –

“I’m going to continue taking high school courses and decorate my house for Christmas.”


Jason Simon Whatcom Voices


Jason Simon – 

“Enjoy my weekends, and hope that next quarter is easier.”


Jackson Brandt Whatcom Voices


Jackson Brandt –

“Get money and have fun.”



Armando Gomez Whatcom Voices


Armando Gomez –

“Spend money, like every day, as if it’s going out of fashion.”

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“Tragedy” is no tragedy


By Matt Benoit
Horizon Editor

Whatcom drama instructor Gerry Large says, in his director’s notes for the performances of Will Eno’s two one-act plays, that he considers Eno to be “the Eugene Ionesco of the Will Ferrell generation.” The New York Times called Eno “A Samuel Beckett for the John Stewart generation.”Play Review (2)
I don’t know what to call him, but I do know that after seeing a performance of two of his plays Nov. 19 in Whatcom’s Syre Black Box Theatre, that Whatcom’s drama department is an incredible bunch of actors.

The two one-act plays, “Intermission” and “Tragedy: A Tragedy,” ran from Nov. 18 to Nov. 21, and was their first big production of the quarter.
The first play, “Intermission,” is just what it sounds like—a short, 10 to 15 minute play that features two couples—one older, one younger—watching a play and then arguing and discussing it during the intermission.
It was well-acted by Erika Almskar, Colleen Ames, Rodney Dejager, and Garent Gerrity, who seems to have more dialogue than anyone else in the play. The wardrobes were also sharp, including Gerrity’s hair and beard, which was dusted with a gray powder to make him appear middle-aged.
The second performance, “Tragedy: A Tragedy,” is a satire of sorts on television news people, starting off with some really dramatic music and overall giving a great example of how fake and overly dramatized television news has all too often become.Play Review (1)
The stage is dark except for four spotlights, which shine on a studio anchor at his desk (played by Riley Penaluna) and three various field reporters (played by Emily Lester, Tim Greger, and faculty member John Gonzales.
In this case, the story the four people are covering is the seemingly permanent invasion of night, and the chaos this has created. As the play progresses, the four characters become increasingly loopy and struggle to keep from losing their minds as the “continuing coverage” simply continues and continues and continues…
The play, only a one-act, is actually quite long at around an hour in length.
Gonzales and Greger had, I thought, some of the funniest lines, including, “It’s the worst world in the world out here!” and “I’m at the First Congregational Church, where, incidentally, no one has gathered.” They also got to utter a few choice words of profanity the dialogue provides.
The humor incorporates both the physical (Gonzales does an excellent job at providing this, including one scene where he pretends to practice some kind of martial arts only to trip and fall over; he then returns to the scene drinking a beer) as well as the non-physical, with a lot of hyberbole, overexaggeraton, and dialogue that states the obvious.
Greger’s hair gets progressively messier and messier as the play goes on, and he gets to use the art of spin, commenting that the public should not focus on the fact that it’s dark, but rather, that it used to be light.
The anchors primp and fuss during their supposed “breaks,” and put on their fake confidence each time they go back “on-air.” It was very entertaining.Play Review
Overall, from the costumes to the lighting, both of these plays were well-worth the cost of admission. To borrow some lines from “Intermission,” the people were experienced and the cast was good.
“Do you get to the theatre often?”
Well, after seeing these performances, I think maybe you should.

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To the women of Whatcom


By Jessica Daniel

To the women of Whatcom, some words to remember. You are beautiful and strong just as you are, not the way others perceive you. Some will try to make you think that you’re not good enough, that you have to fit inside a box of what they deem appropriate or socially correct, but they’re wrong. If you know this, then you will always be a force to be reckoned with, a strong woman that many will try to break down. Don’t worry… it is only because they are threatened by your strength.

Stay true to yourself, because no one else will. Trust your instincts and you will go far. Know that only you have the power to change what you don’t like and let your voice be heard loud and clear. Keep your cup full and put everything you’ve got into whatever it is that you do.  

If someone says you’re not good enough, they’re voicing their own insecurities onto you. They may not realize they’re even doing it, but you will, and you can walk away, having the knowledge of the game that’s played.

Don’t be scared to speak up, more likely than not, it’s what everyone wants to say but are afraid to have others judge them. Be the model! Know yourself and know that you can make it. Many will not understand you, but it’s because they are not ready.        

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Never give that power away.  

So just remember that we are awesome and we kick ass! And if someone calls you a bitch for being who you are, say thank you, because a bitch is a strong woman, a woman that people will follow and look up to, an intelligent woman that can make change happen. You are the change of our future and the future of potential bitches around the world. Set your inhibitions free, embrace the unknown and hold on. It will not be easy, but worth every moment of the insults and setbacks to know that you have stayed true to your heart.    

Always hold your own and keep your head up. Remember that what doesn’t break you will make you stronger. So, take it on with a smile knowing that you’ve made it through another challenge. Face your greatest fears and you can face anything. 

Good luck bitches!

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What is real music today?


By Jorge Cantu

What is real music today? It seems real music’s definition has been lost in a world of image based, catchy and money driven hit songs. With their glossy production and team of engineers behind them (not including the actual artist), it seems the perfect formula has been made for so called ‘ear candy’.
In other words these hit songs are usually undeniably catchy, and image driven. The average hip hop video on MTV consists of several different camera shots per minute, each with effects, painting a picture of the life of a ‘rapper’. With bottles of alcohol and money (along with the girls) being tossed around and used like it means nothing to them, these artist project an image as well as delivering their ‘ear candy’ song to the viewer.

So your favorite artist is Flo Rida or Britney Spears? Well here is a quick summary of what you’re actually listening to.
You’re listening to a team of engineers, a few producers, and other songwriters who get together to write these artists songs. Sure some of the songs are left up to the artist, and some artists may come up with a lot of the ideas, but these big music companies don’t tell you to sign big money locked contracts for nothing. They are signing you for the money, and if it means you (the artist) having to accept that your music will change (and may not be entirely written by you), then that’s something the artist will have to accept if wanting to make that much money.
You think Flo Rida really wrote all of his songs, including ‘Get Low’? No, his song goes along with his image, the video being shot in a club and showing specifically what the lyrical content delivers.
It is the world of business, and in business, money is the number one thing. What I feel is lost now-a-days is a person’s own, honest, and real music. Many of the bands I listen to have since become famous, and I usually always stick to their first album. In my opinion, the first indie label albums are usually the best and most raw. They aren’t plagued with the glossy production values and team of musicians (aka businessman) trying to change your music.
I am a musician myself, and have been for a number of years. Being able to appreciate the technical musicianship of some artists, it sort of frustrates me when people buy into the mainstream music scene so much. I understand that some of the top hit songs in the country are catchy, but hey, they don’t spend truckloads of money to produce a record that wouldn’t be catchy, right?
To me these hit songs are not real music, they are not the artists own, they are simply a money making machine, with the artist driving this machine with their image.
I have a band at the moment, named Farewell Austerity. We play progressive metalcore, and it is something I love and never want to give up. My dream is to be signed to some sort of label, just to get some recognition of the hard work we put into the band.
This may seem contradictory to my earlier angry sentiments about mainstream music not being real music, but hey, if Sony Music came up to my band and offered a check for a million dollars (even if it meant having to change our sound), that would be an offer too good to refuse. Don’t you think?

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Love to hate it, Hate to love it

By Jorge Cantu

I have overheard people walking out of the theater saying that this should have been on YouTube, that the quality and movie was that poor, that bad. That the simple setting of the movie was stupid, never leaving the house in the suburbs of San Diego, California. The special effects, little to none, were too simple, not being scary at all. That the unknown actors brought the movie down, versus using well known A-list actors. I can see why people would think this; I can see why people would leave the theater commenting on these things. But in my opinion, all of these things are what make the movie what it is, what makes it almost seem real.

What really makes the movie is the very last scene, and the feeling you get walking away. It makes you think about the movie once it is done.
So I agree you either get into the movie for what it is, or you look at it as a simple, cheap and stupid non-scary movie. You either love it or hate it, and I have to say I loved it.

The unknown actors make the movie even more believable; since you are not staring at say Tom Cruise freaking out on screen that you know for sure is fake.
Yes it was a cheap movie to make, but I feel it is a slap in the face for Hollywood and their big budget films. Paranormal Activity is able to do what most scary movies do not, and that is a feeling of genuine suspense and a feeling of relation to the characters.
It seems that the special effects probably cost less than a say a crappy car to make. It isn’t what you are actually seeing on screen, it is that the story draws you into believe that there is something really there, happening to this girl Katie. You can almost relate to her raw fear as she screams and turns frantic on screen, because the movie makes it seem like such a real life scenario.
Now I won’t go into detail about the storyline too much since I do not want to spoil the fun. But I will go into what this movie does so well. The building of the story is slowly building, suspenseful, and not so much scary as more so creepy. During the movie I found myself intensely following the story line, excited to see what was going to happen night after night. And when things happen, they are downright creepy.
Katie, Micah’s wife, has experienced some sort of supernatural following all of her life, commenting on seeing shadows before at night, and feeling a presence around her in the past. Micah starts messing with his camera, thus the beginning of the movie is filled with glimpses of film when he turns the camera on. He wants to record their bedroom at night to try and witness any strange events of the paranormal force that follows Katie to see if it’s real. Then the real spookiness begins.
The story involves a couple who just moved into a new house. Their names are Katie and Micah, and it is shot through a home camera. This brought me back to the Blair Witch Project, which I loved because of the realness that the shaky camera brought to life. Paranormal Activity does just that, but takes it a step further in making you believe. With the beginning and ending of the movie involving a screen saying how the San Diego police department found the tape, adding to the realness.



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