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Archive for October, 2018

Every Morningside Student’s Pass Time

Shutterbabe Review

My first thoughts about the book Shutterbabe by Deborah Copaken Kogan were that this book is a great read for photographers and journalists. After further inspection though Shutterbabe is really an amazing tale of adventure, love, and self- growth.

Written over the course of the authors early 20s, Deborah Copaken Kogan writes about her adventures as a photojournalist. Throughout the book she recollects the adventures she experienced after graduating and moving to Paris to follow her strive for adventure. Each chapter tells of an adventure and of the man in her life at the time.

The stories range from shooting images of war in Afghanistan to capturing the revolution in Russia. In the beginning Deborah gets into a lot of horrible situations because of her ignorance but by the end she is a seasoned photojournalist that has become very successful through her experiences. Each story Deborah meets a new guy that impacts her in a certain way until she finally finds the guy that she falls in love with and eventually marries.

I would be lying if I said that I understood everything that was discussed in the book since a lot of the photography description left me skimming over numbers and words that I had no meaning to me. Also the chapter she spent in Russia was hard to read as well because a lot of the words were Russian words that also had no meaning to me. Having a knowledge of journalism and photography definitely would’ve advanced my understanding of the book.

Kogan’s descriptions also were pretty lengthy for my tastes. I understand that as a photojournalist, the author described her surroundings very well but I felt like a lot of the description took away from the actual story. Deborah also frustrated me early on in the book because of all of the stupid decisions she made but at least she learned from them.

I am used to reading books that have plot twists or unpredictable endings so it was a little hard getting to the end of the book but it was a very good read overall. Kogan’s experiences shocked me and her vivid writing helped me see what she saw and felt in her adventures. I still can hardly believe her visit to the orphanage in Romania.

After reading Shutterbabe, I have so much respect for Deborah Copaken Kogan and photojournalism as a whole. The book expertly depicts the self-growth that the author went through during those years. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone seeking adventure and romance.


Movie Review- Calendar Girls

Calendar Girls is a comedy that I would describe as a “feel good movie”. It’s the type of movie that makes you feel good afterwards and I found it very entertaining. Besides the fact that you see a couple different naked, old lady bodies throughout the movie, I really did like the message behind the movie. The movie encouraged women empowerment and even old age empowerment, if that’s even a thing. I feel like the movie itself is very inspiring especially since it is based on actual events.

The movie starts off at a Women’s Institute meeting where the main characters are bored as hell during one of their weekly meetings. The main character, Chris, played by actress Helen Mirran, comes up with the idea for a nude calendar after finding nude magazines in her son’s room and seeing a nude calendar at the mechanic’s shop where she’s getting her car fixed.

She ends up concluding that her and her group of friends could do the same thing to raise money. The money ends up going to their local hospital because her best friend’s husband died of leukemia there. A lot of the people in the women’s organization are appalled at the idea but a lot of them decide to do the calendar with Chris anyways.

The calendar ends up being a huge success despite their age and ends up helping them raise around $1 million. The movie goes through the different challenges the women face from  husband scandals to delinquent kids that act up because of the photoshoot.

All in all, the movie was very entertaining throughout. I thought that some of the storyline got a little repetitive since they showed Chris’s son walking into weird situations where his mom was basically nude like four times. Also I feel like the son’s role in the whole movie was very annoying and they dramatized the whole situation a little much for my tastes. I feel like they could’ve done more with a couple of the supporting roles since I found their situations a lot more entertaining than the main character’s.

Overall the movie was very uplifting and body positive. I liked the message that women are beautiful no matter what age they are. I can’t believe that it actually happened too. It’s funny to think that there were literally a group of old ladies posing for a nude calendar in the late 90s. In my opinion I would rate this movie a four out of five mostly because of the message behind the movie.


A Tradition of Neglect

In 2014, a British woman named Laura Cunliffe reportedly threw her kitten Mowgli in a microwave oven for a minute, cooking the cat’s organs from the inside. The lady was punishing the cat for eating her goldfish. After the cat was taken out of the microwave, the poor creature lived for another 90 minutes yowling in pain until it died. The woman was jailed for 14 weeks.

In 2008, two Australian men kidnapped a puppy named Peanut in the night from his owner and proceeded to torture the animal to death at a nearby park. The two men recorded the incident while they cut the puppies’ limbs, nose, and eventually it’s head off. The men laughed throughout the recording. The two men claimed that it was an act of revenge against the dog’s owner.

Even though these animal abuse cases are of an extreme nature, animal abuse happens every single day around the world. Animals are tested on, slaughtered for their meat, fur, or other organs, and forced to fight or race for people’s amusement. People forcefully inbreed animals to create the “perfect pets”, cage them for our observation, and much more.

To say that humans think that they can do whatever they please with these creatures and the Earth around them is an understatement. One of the main ways humans take advantage of their less intelligent counterparts is through breeding animals to eat. People eat animals because we have always eaten them. It has often been thought that humans can’t survive without the protein that meat supplies the body but scientists have proven that there are many ways humans can obtain protein.

What gives us the right to do these things? Peter Singer, an Australian moral philosopher, once said, “If possessing a higher degree of intelligence does not entitle one human to use another for his or her own ends, how can it entitle humans to exploit non-humans?” With that being said, there is no question that humans believe they are entitled to the Earth and all the creatures that inhabit it.

Dylan Root, a senior at Morningside College, is a vegetarian and an animal lover as he puts it. A vegetarian is a person that doesn’t eat meat and sometimes other animal products especially for moral, religious, or health reasons. Dylan decided to become a vegetarian two years ago because his sister was a vegetarian. He says that it doesn’t feel right eating other sentient beings, or beings with consciousness.

“I feel like animals are just as valuable as human beings maybe even more valuable. If you think about it, when human beings do violent, hurtful things it’s usually thought out but when animals do these things it’s based off of instinct”, says Dylan. When asked if human beings feel entitled over the earth, Dylan agreed wholeheartedly. He states that we might even be a little too intelligent if we can kill animals without any remorse or thought.

Dylan thinks that people feel like meat is needed for a healthy diet but he says that he gets by just fine with a mostly plant based diet with some seafood and protein. He says that he feels so much more healthier now and rarely gets bloated or sick.

“It’s hard to fall out of tradition and it’s easy to turn your eyes and not look at what really is going on in front of us. It’s hard to see the truth because it’s hard to take in,” says Yvette Jurado. Yvette has been a vegan for about a year and a half. A vegan is someone who does not eat or use animal products. A personal choice she made after she was introduced to the cattle industry. She claims that the industry is inhumane; she believes killing animals should be looked at for what it is, murder.

Yvette thinks that humans have other options than eating animals; she feels that the land that we use up to mass breed animals for slaughter could be used as farming ground instead. She realizes that eating animals is very normalized now but she says that, “we should go beyond ourselves and do what’s best for the Earth and the animals around us”.

Yvette thinks that animals are treated very poorly around the world. “They have no voice so there’s no way for them to fight back. Why is our life greater than their lives?” she says. When asked if she thinks that things will ever change she believes it will but very slowly. “When people see animals being treated poorly, we don’t want to see it; one by one we can change the world” says Yvette.