Online Submission #13

COMMENTARY: Lying for sex is no laughing matter

Courier-Post

Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, has introduced Bill A3908, which would create the crime of “sexual assault by fraud.” It is defined as “an act of sexual penetration … whereby the victim submits to the act under the belief that the person committing the act is someone known to the victim other than the accused, and this belief is induced by any artifice, pretense, or concealment practiced by the accused, with the intent to induce the belief.”

Basically, this means a person could be found guilty of rape if they lied to convince someone to have sex with them. Such behavior is undeniably morally wrong (and possibly wrong in the legal sense, too). What many have questioned is whether “rape” is the right label to call this type of crime. Also, what exactly constitutes a punishable lie? Continue reading

Online Submission #12

Putting a Lid On Soda Taxes

The Tower

For many, drinking multiple cups of coffee a day is not unusual. Substitute Coca-Cola for coffee and you have my daily grind. I am a heavy soda consumer, the kind of girl who goes to Wawa every day, buys an extra-large ICEE and finishes it. I don’t like candy, am an infrequent enjoyer of cake and cookies, rarely eat chocolate, and truly lack any inclination for alcohol or smokes. Yet my love of soda—let alone the giant size cups—always earns me the most disapproving looks and lectures. Soda isn’t healthy, my teeth enamel will be doomed, think of the caffeine and sugar, etc.

If all the judgment wasn’t enough, my wallet is now at risk. Although an entire coast line away, a “soda tax” was invoked Nov. 5 in Berkeley, California that will charge an extra cent per ounce on various sugary soft drinks. This marks the first city to successfully implement a soda tax, but far from the first location to attempt such a law. Continue reading

Online Submission #11

Have Your Cumberbatch and Miller, Too? Call Me Skeptical

Loco Mag

A few days before the announcement came out that BBC’s Luther, starring Idris Elba in the daunting title role, was going to be picked up for another two-episode season, news was broadcasted that America’s FOX was going to be taking their own stab at the series. What a shocker.

TV has gotten out of hand with its attempts to measure what constitutes “good television” from “number of successful offspring shows.” This is far from a novel concept—take the current superhero trend. Television has been in the remake business for years now, to the point that it’s almost become an inevitability—like with British shows getting Americanized: basically common practice. What makes these repetitive motions more glaring lately is the turnaround time. Continue reading

Online Submission #10

Revenge: Baltimore’s Justice

wire

Every television show has its iconic role, and for HBO’s critically acclaimed darling, The Wire, that person is Omar Little. Played by actor Michael K. Williams, television critic, Alan Sepinwall, describes the character as someone who, “…fancies himself a bit of a ghetto Robin Hood, doling out free dope to the truly wretched cases.” Omar phrases it a little more bluntly: “I robs drug dealers!” (The Wire). With a charm and charisma you would not expect, Omar becomes someone we root for throughout the series, always found as the thorn in various criminal power players’ sides. His methods, though, are not always so different from theirs. We simply excuse them because of who he targets: the people who are putting addictive drugs on the street for profit, making citizens fearful to leave their homes at nights. With decisions that are as morally ambiguous as his retorts are quippy, it soon becomes clear that Omar is not as invulnerable as he would like to believe. With a lifestyle that has garnered him his fair share of enemies, it is not long before Omar finds himself out for revenge against one of them, and it is up to us, the viewer, to decide once and for all if his actions are justified.

Continue reading