Category Archives: Opinions

Kirksville Best Of’s

Best Free Date Place- Truman Observatory

A few days every month you can take your date down to the Truman farm, zoom that big telescope into the starry sky, and contemplate the universe. Look at the moon’s mysterious surface and learn how the big telescope works. The farm is set amidst the wide and open Midwest landscape, behind which sits Rainbow Basin (the abandoned and dilapidated ski-resort). The observatory building can be easily seen from the larger parking lot on the farm. Consulthttp://observatory.truman.edu/

for the open-house dates and directions.

Best Date Place (where you spend money)-Bonzai

Bonzai takes the cake for the “Best Date Place (where you spend money)” because you have to make a reservation and that’ll impress your date by showing that you probably pay your bills, and can get into exclusive places. The dark atmosphere and the swanky Japanese food presentation will make you think in the wisdom of haiku. Bonzai is located on the North side of the town square.

BestScavenger Hunt- Hidden Treasures

Last time I visited Hidden Treasures I found many interesting things: lace wedding dresses, Thelma and Louise on VHS, leather pants, over-priced pottery sets, a cage full of live birds, fur coats, oversized wall clocks, walls of romance novels and church cookbooks, gothic jewelry, dart board, pipes, cat food, etc. Go have a looksee, but beware of becoming a hoarder. Hidden Treasures is located on the North side of the square.

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Impressionism: Genius or Nearsighted?

I sometimes marvel at the multitudes of people who flock to museums every year to see what they call “art.” Museums are supposed to display artifacts of cultural value, but I can never find any.  All I do find are a bunch of blurry, misdirected paintings by old Frenchmen who called themselves impressionists.  I got the impression that 4-year-olds painted these with scrawny, post-infant fingers.  It reminds me of my own childhood.

I’ve had glasses since before I could talk. In fact, I recall coming out the womb with specs and a five-piece Italian calf-suede suit.  Whenever my parents would get drunk and forget about me I would wander into the woods behind our Indiana single-level ranch-style home pretending I was negotiating legal contracts or trading stocks with the trees. (It was a bull market if I’ve ever seen one)

One late-autumn afternoon I came across an old hippie camping in the woods.  He told me that the Vietnam War was a plot by Satan to destroy the world and that Nixon was sending kids like me out to the jungles.  Now he was dirty and probably high on the grass but I disagreed with him, saying that Nixon was a God among mortals and if he did start sending kids to Vietnam it was the best for America, freedom and capitalism.  That’s when that stoned old bastard grabbed my brand new lead-framed glasses and threw them against a sycamore tree.  I said “Fuck you old man, I hope the bears find you before the cops,” and started the long walk back home.

It was then, while wading through the knee-high piles of recent-fallen leaves, that the evasive beauty of the forest struck me. Blurry.  Without my glasses, all I could see were splotches of red and brown, and an occasional orange, propped against a fleeing shadow.  Nothing more than a terrible-fucking finger painting.  This is what I see in “impressionism.” Continue reading

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9th District Democrats left out to dry; Write-in candidate steps in

Story by Olivia Sandbothe

One of Missouri’s nine congressional seats is rumored to be on the chopping block following this year’s census. If that’s true, the district lines will be redrawn sometime before the 2012 general elections. That gives us one more sure round of campaigning here in the ninth– but it looks like the state Democratic party has already decided we’re obsolete. Local voters will see just two U.S. Congressional candidates on the ballot this November: a Republican and a Libertarian.

The fact that the party hasn’t even bothered to name a candidate for the district that encompasses Kirksville and Columbia is surprising, particularly in light of the fact that the party is funding campaigns in the state’s much more conservative southern districts. In recent electoral years Democrats have gained ground here. In 2008, candidate Judy Baker trailed Republican Blaine Luetkemeyer by just 8,000 votes for 47% of the total results, according to sos.mo.gov. A party spokesperson, quoted by the Columbia Missourian in August, indicated that the campaign would have been too expensive to run and that there was little interest from potential candidates. All right, so maybe the party doesn’t have the resources to win the seat. But to simply get somebody on the ballot– to allow voters in this district, in whatever number, to check a box for ‘Democrat’– would have cost $200 in filing fees, unless I’m missing something big on the Secretary of State’s website. And isn’t there some value in making an appearance of any kind, in showing that we, as liberals, exist in this part of the world, even if we aren’t the majority?

Moberly resident Jeff Reed thinks so. As an active member of the Randolph County Democratic Party, he was outraged to learn that he would not see a (D) option on his ballot this fall. So he, a building-supply salesman with no experience in politics, decided to take matters into his own hands and launch a write-in campaign for the ninth district seat. When I spoke to Mr. Reed on the phone this Friday, he told me that the symbolic act of casting a vote is central to his mission. “When people don’t even have a choice, when there isn’t one candidate who works for them, who believes in their issues, that’s when they don’t have any representation. We want to put up a good enough showing to let people know that there are people in this district who do not support [Luetkemeyer’s] policies.” He’s talking specifically about the incumbent congressman’s opposition to health care reform, an issue at the core of Reed’s campaign. “I wasn’t totally pleased with the health care bill, but it was a step in the right direction. College students should be excited about it– most of you don’t have full time jobs, and this allows you to keep your parents’ insurance for a few more years. It’s a bill that benefits a lot of people in this district, and it’s something Blaine Luetkemeyer voted against.” Continue reading

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Twilight of the Compact Disc

Opinion by | Harry Burson

A few weeks ago on Gawker Media’s “Idolator”, one of their intrepid bloggers briefly took a respite from following their RSS feed to take a trip to his local Borders as it liquidated its CD department. A follow-up to a visit to Circuit City’s liquidation back in December (This American Life coincidentally covered the same story the same week with “Scenes from a Recession“).

I found both of the posts very entertaining, maybe because I work at a , albeit one with more reasonable prices. Perhaps because much of our rural clientele does not have an Internet connection, we have yet to make considerable cuts to our CD department. Although, I’m certain I sell two or three times as many books, DVDs, and video games as I do CDs every shift. The only problem is few of those sales are going to the youngsters we are aggressively targeting. Mostly I sell country, metal, and some top 40 hip hop, very little rock beyond Nickelback. Continue reading

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Why I Hate the Words ‘Emo’ and ‘Angst’

Opinion by| James Ginns

I know I’m a few years older than most Truman students. I went to high school when “emo” had a completely different meaning than it does now. It referred to a much different type of music, and liking what was called emo pretty much demonstrated your indie rock credentials and not much else. Then somewhere, I think 2004 or 2005, the words “emo” were in everyone’s mouths and it meant something decidedly different an for the worse. How did this happen?. In the words of the late George Carlin, “I was not consulted; I didn’t get an email; I didn’t get a fax.” Now being emo meant being a white middle class teenager, perpetually in despair over your lost significant other. And angst was what the emo kid was supposed to feel.

I guess it all would have been fine if it were only applied to such that specific type of person. But no, people started using emo to describe any overt expression of sadness. And that word angst seemed to now apply to the feelings of all teenagers, not just the emotionally struggling. I am aghast at the idea that some pretty bad ass bands (Candlemass, Solitude Aeternus, Christian Death) could now be described as emo-ey because their music is about sorrow. I am even more aghast regarding how ‘emo’ and ‘angst’ completely demean teenagers, as if they more constitutionally incapable of feeling any genuine despair. Continue reading

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OBAMA do not be a crushed MIDDLETON<in the center overmuch!

Opinion by | Larry Iles

Presenting at TSU Womens Gender Studies annual conference on herstorical,political studies as I do is always slautary and reminding for the soul.In order to make it interesting as my topics are dead and European parliamentarian women to a US audience,usually abstract history and nationalist media only trained,if at all,you are forced to think of analogies with the ever-obsessional present otherwise the snores become all too audible,epecially as the evening,s beforehand Born again versus the Porn cures all brigade debate will likely have exhausted all pretensions of Kirksville campus intellect in revelries of bad virility,sexist so-called humor,won,t you all dissipated be! Continue reading

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The Vagina Monologues: Waxed, Trimmed, and Ready for Reproduction

Opinion by | Teresa Kerbawy

Every Valentines Day Weekend, women on Truman’s campus perform the Vagina Monologues.  Every year I leave disgruntled.  At best, the Monologues create a venue or a topic in dire need. It allows an honest inspection and subsequent amazement at the female gender, the female body in its loving, hairy, powerful, wet, sensitive, generative, beautiful possibility. Ensler’s Monologues take an equally important look at subjugation, devaluation, and physical confinement of the female body and gender through verbal violence, oppressive cultural standards, war, and the reality of rape—(usually) men, taking, controlling, appropriating bodies, lives, and choices, that are not theirs.

My favorite monologues include Hair (“He made me shave my vagina”), and My Angry Vagina (“an army of people out there thinking up ways to torture my poor ass, loving vagina”), the monologue that mourns tampons, thongs, and specula.  Continue reading

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