To boldly go where no one has been in a while

(Today we will feature a guest post from East Tennessean staff writer Nate Bradley. Nate is a writer for the viewpoint section. He covers a myriad of topics, but I chose to pick his most recent article, which I believe also happens to be the most appropriate for the Interwebs:

Star Trek

Hope you enjoy

-Todd)

If I die tomorrow, let it never be said that I did not appreciate “StarTrek.” I grew up watching episodes of “The Next Generation” and Netflix allowed me to watch the every episode in order.

I did not stop with “TNG.” I moved on to watch the other “Star Trek” series, as well. I’ve even watched a few of the movie adaptations of the TV series, which — as some will tell you — fail to live up to the standards of the TV series.

However, I am very excited about J. J. Abrams’ movie adaptations. The first movie reboot was an exciting action movie with just enough nostalgia to overlook the fact that was, well, an action movie. The second movie is shaping up to be the same sort of thing, which is fine, but it isn’t quite “Star Trek.”

 

You may be wondering why I am excited about these movies that I consider to be “not quite” befitting of something bearing the “Star Trek” name. The answer is quite simple: These movies have made “Star Trek” relevant again. And if “Star Trek” continues to be cool and relevant we may just get another TV series, which is where it belongs.
Simply put, “Star Trek” tells compelling stories about very complex issues. The TV show was able to accomplish this because, like any long running TV show, it doesn’t need to introduce the characters every episode.

 

One of my favorite episodes is called “The Measure of Man.” Widely considered to be “The Next Generation’s” first great episode, it explores the question of what is required for personhood.

In this episode, the future of a cybernetic life form by the name of Data hangs in the balance. Some believed that Data, despite seeming to have consciousness, was not truly “alive” and thus did not have any rights. Others argued that just because Data was a “synthetic” life form, this difference was not enough to declare him property.

This debate goes on today, and I’m not talking about rabid fans debating about characters on a screen. This issue is alive and well in the form of cloning and artificial intelligence. The many episodes of “Star Trek” constantly dealt with complex ethical, cultural and philosophical issues.

The show wasn’t about giant space ships; it was about how cultures interact and how we come to deal with complex issues and the art form of diplomacy. The fact that it is a science-fiction show is merely a driving force for some of the most in-depth story arcs that modern entertainment has ever seen.

Trekkie

“Captain, there’s a giant being… it’s staring right at us!”

 

-Nate
Staff Writer

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Learning from Depression

I’ve struggled with depression for about nine years now. When it first began, I thought that I was getting sick. Suddenly I wasn’t interested in anything. All I wanted to do was lay on the ground and think. My mind wouldn’t let my body move. Going outside suddenly seemed impossible, and I couldn’t make myself do it.

That was difficult thing for a kid in middle school to deal with. Most girls my age were thinking about boys and clothes; I was thinking about death and whether I wanted to be cremated or buried. I never considered getting help. It seemed like something that I had brought upon myself. I wasn’t going to bother anyone else with it, and I didn’t want anyone else bothering me about it.

When I heard people talking about depression, they acted as if the depressed person could just make his or herself happy — like depression was something you could switch on and off. I didn’t want people to try to help me, because I didn’t think that they could.

Middle school turned into high school, and high school came and went. I never got help. I never really told anyone what was going on. By that point, I didn’t know how to talk about it. Explaining why it was there was like trying to explain to someone why my body forced me to breathe. It just did.

Nine years have come and gone, and it is only after those years have passed that I have finally gotten some help with my depression. I’m happier now, but in some ways I feel like I’ve been cheated out of a part of my life. In other ways, I feel like it helped to mold who I am.

Life is less about dealing with things and more about embracing who you are. Depression isn’t always something that just goes away. I’ve discovered that in some ways it’s a part of who I am, but only a part. I think that was something that I had to learn.

For a long time I thought that my objective was to get rid of the depression, but now I think that it’s more about focusing on how it related to other aspects of my life. Put into perspective, I figured out a lot more about myself than I ever would have if I had simply “dealt” with the problem.

Depression may always be a part of my life, but it is not my life. I will be sad, but I will also be happy. I’ve spent the past nine years learning what it’s like to be depressed. Now I’m learning what it’s like to be happy. I’m not dealing with depression by overcoming it; I’m learning from it. I think that because of that, I am finally beginning to heal.

-Kasey
Scene Editor

Taking back Monday

“Prepare thyself Monday, for at dawn, we go to war.”

Yesterday when I posted this Facebook status, I didn’t really think much of it. I was trying to be quirky and a bit funny. After a week of spring break, the idea of getting back in the habits necessary for school really did seem like going to some sort of battle.

I’m not crazy about Mondays.

It’s hard to bounce back from a weekend (or in this case an entire week) of living life the way I want to.

After going through the paces this morning though, I realized something about the first day of the week. It’s not doomsday. It’s not the ‘end’ of anything, really.

It is a chance to start fresh.

Monday gives us the opportunity to lay out everything we have to do, whether necessary or personal, and tackle them one item at a time. Monday can, if we let it, provide an opportunity for us to forget the failures of last week and move forward, conquering only the things ahead.

I know this is a bit counter-intuitive, especially if you’re not the morning sort. But even if you don’t beat the sun up, even if you aren’t ready to face the morning without three cups of coffee, an hour of Facebook and a few YouTube videos, Monday can still be successful. Monday can still be an opportunity to wrestle our week away from the fear or laziness that comes from a relaxing vacation.

I’m not one to provide a list of things that will make your days successful. I really don’t have a widely established credibility or track record in that arena, but what I do have is this video, and it works for me. I hope it helps you.

Todd Brison
-Executive Editor

State of the Union thoughts

Let’s start off with this fact: I am not a political person.

I don’t religiously keep up with what is going on in Congress, nor do I think either party in there is completely without fault.

I am, however, making an effort to keep up with things like the State of the Union address, if for no other reason than knowing what other people are talking about, so I listened to President Obama’s speech last night (okay fine, it was this morning online). There were quite a few things that stuck with me. One was the fact that everyone claps too much. Am I the only person annoyed by that?

But the other was this line:

“It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country – the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love.”

Now, this may have been intending as a simple statement for the loosening of immigration laws, or a statement for gay marriage, but I heard something different. I heard this part:

“OUR unfinished task”

I heard that as a call to action. I heard that it’s not the government’s task. It’s mine. It’s yours.

It’s up to each individual person to restore the idea that hard work and personal responsibility will change the world. If nothing else, it will change your world.

Although it is a rapidly changing and scary world that we are now living in, that’s not up to us. Although things are difficult and intimidating, that part is not for us to decide. “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

That may be an idealistic point of view.

But it’s still one worth believing in.

-Todd

Executive Editor

ETSU football comes to the table

Once again the question of bring football back has been brought before ETSU’s body.

Once again the vote to support it will be brought before the SGA (tomorrow night).

And once again, I believe it will be voted down.

Well, by the SGA that is.

Let me clarify a little bit. While I believe student government has some power, they will be very hard-pressed to stop this train that seems to be charging toward bringing back a Saturday afternoon tradition to blue and gold nation. If this bill does not get passed, I can’t help but think there will be another come up.

It’s almost like the stars are aligning. First there were rumors of ETSU moving conferences, and then Dave Mullins got pushed to the side in the athletic department. At the same time those things were happening, former Buccaneer Mike Smith coached the Atlanta Falcons all the way to an NFC title game, proving the words “ETSU” and “football” can, in fact, exist in the same sentence without a negative there.

But wait! There’s more!

Now there’s an article with Phillip Fulmer saying he’d be “willing to help ETSU.”

Talk about media buzz.

The reason this surprises me is that ETSU president Brian Noland came into office saying that football was not the biggest concern. I thought I remembered several advocates of the sport getting a little peeved about that.

Now he seems to be at the helm of a steamroller looking to pave the way for the Bucs to put on pads once more.

As many people that I hear screaming for the return of football, I hear just as many complaints that the university will be doing nothing more than resurrecting a money pit, and that moving conferences would only detract from an established basketball program in the Atlantic Sun.

Although moving to a different conference would be a decision mostly based on if football returns or not, I am encouraged to hear new athletic director saying basketball is the top concern right now, saying “nothing will be done that could damage basketball. Every decision must provide [them] the best opportunity to succeed.” (from our sit down interview with Richard Sander)

Basketball is, and will be for quite a while, the biggest cash cow that ETSU has to offer.

“But football is what we came here to read about!” you say. “When are you going to get back to that? Nobody cares about the hard court! ”

Fair enough. I only bring up basketball because it’s something the students are comfortable with, and being spoiled by that will make the difference in the vote.

They’ve been living in the perfect setup for them now: there is an entertaining sport to watch whenever there is nothing left to do, and there aren’t any extra fees, which keeps tuition at a reasonable price (relatively).

I believe that the incentive for paying the 125-dollar fee (per semester) is just not there for students right now. They’d be looking at an extra $1000 over four years and that would most likely be just to get the program started.  Even though this university is filled with local students, I feel that most of them (or us, as I’m still one of them for a few months) are unwilling to part with that much money for a team that won’t be here for a few years, even thought it could benefit their community. Although Noland’s 125 committee wants to have a competitive team playing within five years, it seems like the majority of the students here won’t go out of their way to fund a team from scratch.

So in the end, I think, this particular legislation will not be supported in SGA congress tomorrow.

But frankly, I don’t know if that will be enough to stop the return of football.

-Todd

Executive Editor

Crappy Graph Thursday

Welcome back everyone! So I should have checked back to realize that the last graph I did was a pie graph. Oh well. At least this one looks like Pacman.

CrappyGraph3

 

Actually this was the first semester EVER I didn’t have to wait in line for forever long. The only thing I had to turn in went through last week. Maybe I’m becoming an adult. Or maybe I’ve been here too darn long. Either way, here’s hoping you didn’t spend much time in the line either!

-Todd