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Belfast Twelfth of July: Part 1

Posted by on Jul 15, 2014 in Current Events, Europe, Ireland, Journalism Today, Places to Trek | 0 comments

Background: The annual July 12th parades occur every year in Belfast and across Northern Ireland. The event celebrates the victory of Protestant King William of Orange over Catholic King James II at the Battle of the Boyne in 1690, which marked the beginning of Protestant Loyalist rule in Northern Ireland. Since this date there has been almost constant violence between the Protestant communities, that view themselves as loyal to the British government, and the Catholic communities, that want a united Ireland free of British rule. Northern Ireland, currently, is almost split 50/50 between the percentage of Protestant and Catholics living in the region. In Belfast, many of these neighbourhoods are split by barriers or “peace walls.” Even though Protestant and Catholic residences may live a few yards from one another, they rarely or never interact. Violence and separation has always been a constant reality in these...

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Violent Ignorance-The obsession with fake violence in the first-world

Posted by on Mar 1, 2013 in Current Events, Journalism Today | 0 comments

I believe a large problem, with our culture in the U.S. and others in the western world, is we are obsessed with violence and war. It isn’t  real violence or war, but rather a fake interpretation of war that we pretend to be real. Our video games, movies, etc. give us a fake interpretation of what “violence” is. In the movies, we see Bruce Willis firing the machine gun, things exploding, and people falling down. In video games, we get shot and are allowed start over again. There is no finality to it. Let me first point out that these movies and video games don’t bother me and I am as entertained, as anybody, to watch or play them, but this turns into a problem when, as a whole culture, we make unified and conscious decision to go to...

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The War Photographer

Posted by on Nov 25, 2012 in Current Events, Journalism Today | 0 comments

War is the lowest or at least one of the lowest attributes of the human species. In the 21st century we claim to be more evolved, more intelligent, and more civilized than our early ancestors. But, we are still animals. Every animal in nature has a defense mechanism, that defends them against danger, and humans are no different. We see danger from other human beings and we react with violence. At the same time, our consciousness has evolved and most of us agree that killing another human is taboo or wrong. Religions around the world preach against killing another human and governments punish their citizens for committing it, while at the same time we support an acceptable form of killing in the form of war. It is almost as if humans are so vulnerable to their instincts that we...

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Pepper Spray, Puking, and Occupy D.C.

Posted by on Nov 18, 2012 in Current Events, Journalism Today | 0 comments

One thing I’ve learned from my first protest is to always bring a face-mask or, even more, a gas mask, because frankly pepper spray sucks. I found this out first-hand last year during the peak of the Occupy movement.  College life at West Virginia University began to feel repetitive,  so to break up the monotony I jumped in the car and drove for 3 hours to a subway station outside of Washington D.C. Repping army boots and my canvas camera backpack I use for hiking, I became an anomaly in the middle of the business crowd rushing like cattle towards their box cubicles where they would spend the rest of their day staring at computer screens until they turned into money and could buy them a new television screen that they could go home  and stare at until they fell asleep. Manufactured...

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Missing Joe Paterno Statue On Day of Sanctions

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Current Events, Journalism Today | 0 comments

[slideshow] News crews and reporters flocked around the entrance to Pennstate’s Beaver Stadium. A fence lined with a blue tarp circled the empty space where the Joe Paterno statue once stood. People from all over the country peeked through the holes in the tarp to see if it was actually true. One individual had even traveled 4 hours to see  what she had only watched on the news. “My whole family are Pennstater’s, I had to drive here and see it for myself.” All around campus the attitude was somewhat somber as they let the NCAA “death penalty” soak in. They began to realize that the loss of money by the University could mean the loss of jobs in their community, which relies strongly on the school . In the normal Pennstate spirit, many in State College wore their...

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The Impact of MMA Legalization in West Virginia

Posted by on Jul 24, 2012 in Current Events, Journalism Today | 0 comments

On March 24, 2011, West Virginia became the 45th state to pass legislation for the sport of Mixed Martial Arts. Passing the law came about after strong opposition by some of the state’s House of Delegates members, who thought the sport was too violent. Mixed Martial Arts is an organized fighting event that takes place in a ring surrounded by a cage. Fighters use a mixture of martial arts fighting styles such as Jiu Jitzu and Kickboxing, giving the sport the its name, Mixed Martial Arts. Since MMA fights were legalized, the sport has grown quite quickly in the region. Gyms that teach martial arts across the state have begun to train fighters and have seen the number of members steadily rise. One Morgantown gym, Anu Academy, trains people in many different types of fighting, including MMA. Gym owner, Neale...

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