Music Stand: Inspiration from unlikely source supplies hope

It’s human nature to want to win. It doesn’t matter what you win, or who your competition was, as long as you’re the victor; the last man standing in the end.

But how many people really do the footwork to get to the winner’s circle? How many endless hours does it take to get there, to be crowned victor?

I met a man this week who reminded me that it doesn’t matter where you come from, who you are or what you do. The only thing that matters is you work, and you work hard.

I was out for my usual late night romp at Wal-Mart, needing to pick up supplies for all of those end-of-the-semester projects that should have been started – and finished – prior to my self-made deadline.

While sitting in my car, enjoying the last sweet puffs of a cigarette I knew I shouldn’t be smoking, a man walked up to my car, in the rain, and knocked on my window.

He was a young black man, no older than 21 years old. He wore a hoodie that looked like it had seen better days, and he was wet from the mist covering the city that night.

Hesitantly, I rolled down my window, waiting for him to give me a sob story explained how his car broke and he needed to borrow money, just like so many people before him had asked me.

“What’s up man?” I asked, knowing all to well what was coming. “Hey, I just wanted to give you a CD to listen to,” he said, sounding upbeat even through the dark, wet cold he had obviously been standing in for hours prior to my arrival.

“I’m a rapper and I’m just trying to get people to listen to my stuff.”

I must have looked shocked, or scared, because he just stood there, handing me a CD, smiling at me. “Sure man, but I have to ask, what do you rap about,” I said.

He took a second, and I could see him think about his past, and what to say to this suburban white girl who looks like she would know nothing about hard times. “It’s just me. It’s me not wanting to end up like my family, locked in jail, slingin’ dope to kids, or shootin’ my neighbors cause bitch stole from my kids.”

“I know I live in OKC and it’s not the ‘hood or anything, but it’s hard, and I’m going to make it, no matter if you take this CD or not.”

And I just sat there, in my warm, dry car, my mouth agape. This kid, the same age as myself, didn’t complain, didn’t blame others. He just did.

He was determined to become something that was good, no matter how hard it was or how long it took to get there.

“I’ll take that CD man,” I said. “How much do they go for?”

“Ah, nah, it’s free.”

“No man, that was the most inspiring thing I’ve ever heard. And I know how much those CD’s cost to burn.”

I gave him $10, and he gave me a smile and a thank you that could create peace in the Iraq.

And that night, I listened to that CD, and I remembered that kid, standing in a parking lot, trying to hock his God-given talents, not to make a buck, but to become a man, to change the world.

I can’t stop thinking about this artists, who rhymes flow like liquid throw your ears, speaking about how he will become something, do something to make people remember not his name, but how to live a life of happiness and fullness.

This is what we should all aspire to be my dearest readers. We constantly sit in comfortable classrooms and complain about having a pop quiz or how many notes we had to take because our fingers hurt.

This man should be reason enough for all of us to strive harder, work more passionately to become everything we want to be. Because, I promise you, we will be hearing about him. Not as a number on the news, some sad story we forget after the next commercial break.

We will hear about how this man, who stood in parking lots and gave his story, will change the world. And he will change it through melodies we never imagined possible.

Campus premieres Festival of Modern Music

By: Miranda Liming, Editor in Chief

The first Festival of Modern Music, showcasing RSC music students, faculty and alumni, was held Sat., April 23, in the newly renovated amphitheater.

Attendees gained free admission and were able to see the five RSC born and bred bands Jess & Johnny, the RSC Jazz Ensemble, The Denuo Project, Angelical Tears and the RSC Top 40 Band.

Although working against the elements and Oklahoma unique wind – many using clothespins to hold down their music sheets – each group was able to play a 45-minute set showcasing their aptitude, playing everything from modern jazz to the Foo Fighters.

Dr. Jeremy Clifton, professor of music engineering and industry, and percussion, began this endeavor to “raise awareness on what the music department has to offer.”

“We want to bring the community to the college and build relationships, give our performers a chance to show what they can do,” Clifton said.

Not only were the musician’s talents showcased at the event, but also working were the sound and engineering students learning their trade first hand. Hoping to expose his students to the experience of live venues, Clifton added, “This also gives [students] a chance to work with performers.”

Although the first of its kind here on campus, the festival aspires to continue annually, eventually creating a festival that would last the course of a few days instead of a concentrated, one-day event.

“Future festivals will be days long and feature bands of all types: classical, jazz, rap,” Clifton said. “I also plan on holding monthly small shows in the fall semesters, but the Festival of Modern Music will always be the big one.”

Through all the work, weather and blown fuses, Clifton believed the festival was a success. “All of the bands played well, the people who attended were very pleased with the entire production – as were the performing students – and my engineers were able to synthesize and apply what I had taught them on industry equipment,” Clifton said.

Senate welcomes newest executives

By: Miranda Liming, editor-in-chief

Senate inducted the newest batch of executive officers and presented two pieces of legislations Tues., April 19, during their regularly scheduled meeting.

Senator Jaeton Cary, liberal arts major, accepted the position of Student Senate President. Senator Tori Atkinson, nursing science major, became the Vice President of senate. Student Mitch Wynn, business major, received the senate Treasurer position.

Elections for Executive Officer positions was held during Springfest, April 13 and 14, where hopefuls campaigned the campus talking with students on their abilities to be first-rate in their intended positions.

Senate voted during the Tues. meeting in Resolutions 015 and 016.

Resolution 015 reads “A resolution pertaining to the formation of an events calendar to be added to the Student Senate section on D2L and updated on a regular basis by an events committee.” Authored by Senator Pickard, this resolution passed by a majority vote.

Resolution 016 reads “A resolution pertaining to the implementation of an online D2L senate suggestion box.” Authored by Senator E. Neary, this piece also passed by a majority vote.

After the deduction of Spring Fest costs, Senate reported it’s budget resting at $7,778.14.

Dream Machine allows for easy recycling, going green

By: Bryan Trude, Assistant Editor

The campus’ Green Team, in conjunction with the Waste Management Corporation and PepsiCo, cut the ribbon on the first official RSC Dream Machine Tues., April 12.

The Dream Machine, located inside the Student Center’s east entrance, is a recycling kiosk allowing users to obtain points redeemable for coupons, discounts and a variety of other articles.

Users can pick up their scan cards at the kiosk when making their first deposit. Participants are then asked to log-on to greenopolis.com to register their card, create an online profile, keep track of points and redeem accumulated points.

The machine only accepts plastic bottles and aluminum cans for recycling where each object is worth five points. Users do not start receiving awards until they accumulate 100 points.

The Dream Machine was started as an initiative with Greenopolis, sponsored by Waste Management. According to greenopolis.com, machines are receiving warm welcomes and quick installations across the country. In North Carolina alone, over 160 machines were installed in Rite Aid stores in a span of six weeks.

“Our overriding desire is to actually make the world a better place rather than just pointing out problems,” greenopolis.com reads.

According to the company’s online counter, 41,166,185 pounds of materials have been recycled since Jan. 2009.

“[The program] brings the dream of a cleaner planet… and for disabled veterans alive,” Jeremy Cage, senior vice president of innovation and insights at PepsiCo and head of the Dream Machine recycling initiative, said.

The Dream Machine initiative partnered with the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities (EBV), a national program that offers free training to post 9/11 veterans with disabilities in the business and entrepreneurial management style.

Including the new device on campus, there are 25 Dream Machines in the OKC metro area, including all local Homeland stores.

For questions, information and to activate new Greenopolis cards, visit www.greenopolis.com.

Music Stand: Record label hypocrisy stoke LimeWire desire

By: Miranda Liming, Editor-in-Chief

I am a music addict. It’s true, and the first step is admitting you have a problem. This is my admission.

Every once in a great while I have the feeling that I’ve become stale in my music tastes, or I’ve listened to my collection to the point where, even when on random, I know what song will come up next.

These are the times when I log onto my LimeWire account and download more music to sooth the savage beast inside.

I recently went to go through this bi-annual process this week, only to find out that LimeWire has been shut down, supposedly temporarily, by a court order while charges and a case are pending. The Plaintiffs? Every major record label in America, including Atlantic, Elektra, Sony BMG and Warner Bros.

As surprised as I am not that LimeWire is shut down – again – I am surprised that the record labels were able to come together and actually get something done in the court system.

Mind you, these are the labels that have dictated what Americans have listened to for the past 60 years. These people are in charge of who’s hot and whose not are any given time in any given genre.

These are also the men who fight each other tooth and nail for 10-year contracts that destroy real artists by pushing them to create crap instead of stewing for a few years and releasing the best album since the Beatles dropped acid.

My problem isn’t the fact that I’m taking money from greedy record producers. In fact, by illegally downloading music, I think I’m doing a service to this world. People make music because they feel the music; it’s what they are meant to do. To them, the real artists, it’s their calling, their life, regardless of pay or fame.

Then you have the douche bags reminiscent of the Metallica versus Napster era. To them, they want to get famous, get drunk and eventually get laid.

But the problem with the Metallica scandal and the current LimeWire scandal is that everyone but the record executives understands that we have evolved from the age of CDs to the age of download.

MC Lars, a well-known pseudo-rapper, reminded everyone in 2006 about the new age of music with “Download This Song,” a perfect explanation of how artist, not just consumers, are looking toward the internet and downloading sites to get their music heard, not just sold.

“You’ve overcharged us for music for years, and now we’re just trying to find a fair balance,” writes Lars, sticking it to the personification of the “Music Man.”

NOFX, quite possibly one of the most influential, outspoken and enduring punk rock bands of our generation, hopped on the “screw the record companies” bandwagon before many of us knew it existed.

In their song “Dinosaurs Will Die” from their 2000 album release “Pump Up the Valuum,” NOFX made their feelings abundantly clear. “For all the piss broke bands on VH1, where did all, their money go?”

Where did it go? I think we can agree that a majority of their take-home went to hookers, liquor and drugs. But what percent did they receive for their works?

Many contracts – that of which I have been able to find – artists get 10 percent of album sales. So, if your band sells a million albums for $15 each, you just cashed out at $15 million. Not a bad chunk of change right?

Wrong. Don’t forget about adding in that fine print take-a-ways for free albums, promotional deals, merchandise manufacturing costs, etc. Now you and your four buddies get to share $250,000, roughly $50,000 a piece.

Still sound great? What happened to the other 90 percent of the album sales, roughly equaling $135 million?

Now, please remember dear readers, that I’m in no way associated with the music industry, nor have I worked in a professional music industry setting. I’m just a consumer with questions and wanting answers that I know will never come.

And I really just want my LimeWire back because, honestly, there is no way in hell that I will pay for music; not now, not ever.

Or at least until the government or Hollywood sends me a bill for all of my unpaid tunes, but I bet $130 million that’s never going to happen.


Editorial: National awareness hopes to stir campus body

April is national poetry, organ donation, irritable bowel syndrome, STD awareness, child abuse awareness, stress awareness and mathematics awareness month. These are not all, but are the most celebrated throughout the country.

With all the noble causes that rest upon April’s weary shoulders, we have picked organ donation for a reason: to reaffirm the fact that, although we may be separated by social class, race, religion, sex or miles of distance, as human beings, we are all one, and should care for each other as such.

There is no gift more precious than the gift of life; a gift that is taken advantage of so easily, and can be taken away in a split second. Life really constitutes the game of chance, leaving us all wondering which section of the game board we will land on during our roll, hoping it’s Community Chest and waiting for our next $200 when we pass go.

And if this gift is so cherished by mankind, why are we forced to bare witness to beatings, homicides, suicides, nuclear disaster and war in far off lands?

Why do we continue to support efforts to Americanize a country to continually kills our military and its own civilians?

These are the questions that go unanswered throughout the generations of our society.

Our publication has been extremely fortunate this week to hear stories of survivors beating the odds, and of families who lost a loved one, but gained another through the act of donation.

There are over 110,000 candidates on the national donation waiting list as of 4 p.m. Tues., April 5. 860 of those waitlisted are in Oklahoma. One cadaver donor can give life to eight recipients. One life donor can donate a kidney, and parts of the lung, liver and pancreas, and still carry on a completely normal life, while saving a life in the process.

While reading the themed spread this week, we are hoping that you may become inspired, educated, and ready to ask yourself, “Am I ready to become a donor?”

With so many people in need, and that pesky extra kidney just hanging around, you may be the missing puzzle, the complete match that is the answer to saving someone’ child, husband, or parent.

By 15th Street News Posted in Editorial

Music Stand: Tax season turns into evasions season in Hollywood

Miranda Liming, Editor-in-Chief

In Oklahoma we call this season spring, or tornado season. The movie industry calls it the low season, and the government calls it tax time.

That’s right, it’s tax season, and if you haven’t gathered those forms and fake receipts, now is the time, for you only have 7 days left.

If you’re thinking of what loopholes you can find to evade paying taxes, or maybe getting a little more money back then you should, take Lil Wayne’s latest debacle as a lesson in tax season etiquette.

Wayne was recently handed a federal tax lien for $5.6 million for unpaid income tax in 2008 and 2009. The address on the tax letter just happened to be Wayne’s Miami mansion, currently listed for sale around $13 million.

This isn’t the first IRS upset with Wayne. In 2010 he was sited for unpaid income tax in years 2004, 2005 and 2007, totaling $1.1 million.

Now, if you haven’t been living under a rock, you can guess how much Wayne, and other artists of his caliper, makes in one year. Between album, concert, merchandising and other miscellaneous sales, lets estimate his paycheck reads $58 million a year, for good measure, and also, because I looked it up.

You may be asking yourself, “Well, if he makes so much money, why is he evading his taxes?” That’s a good question readers, and my only answer is that he’s too busy bangin’ hoes and poppin’ crazy fools to balance his checkbook, or keep up with all those pesky tax documents.

Or, maybe it’s just a celebrity thing. Wayne isn’t the only multi-million dollar recording artist to stick it to the IRS.

Ja Rule pled guilty to tax evasion after being notified of a $4 million lapse of income tax payment from 2004 to 2006. I’m sure Ja walked out of court thinking, “Man, these damn taxes are murda.”

Willie Nelson, quite possibly the most “gansta,” hardcore marijuana smoker of all time, was given a kick in the pants by the IRS when he failed to pay a bill in the amount of $16.7 million in back taxes. I’m guessing he just forgot, no thanks to his best friend THC.

Method Man , formerly of the Wu Tang Clan, turned himself in when he had a sudden epiphany, releasing he owed $33,000 in state income tax in 2005. Method Man dished out around $106,000 to avoid jail time.

Nas was hit with an IRS lien over $2.5 million for unpaid taxes in 2006 and 2007. The judge should have given him a little leeway considering his ex-wife, singer Kelis, pulls $55,000 a month out of his wallet for alimony payments.

New rose.edu step-by-step

By: Miranda Liming, Editor-in-Chief

 

After months of trying to navigate through the new maze of rose.edu, many students and faculty are still asking, “How do you check email?”

For your convenience, we have perfected the “how-to” on the new online face of RSC.

The Home Page:

After typing in rose.edu, the newest, most colorful update of the RSC website is shown in full. Here, visitors can read the latest RSC news (Rose State News), see what is coming up on the calendar (Calendar of Events), and learning about the college’s impact on Midwest City (Rose in Our Community).

For RSC veterans, scrolling down to the bottom of the page is the Student Login and Faculty Resources options.

Future Students:

Students interested in attending RSC can find all their necessary information here. Videos from College President, Dr. Terry Britton, as well as recruiters, degree programs, and an online tour are all exclusive to this page.

Student Services:

Clicking on the Student Services tab on the homepage will take you to the student homepage, showing links for logging onto D2L, Oasis, finding student services and even the campus life calendar.

Also in this section are academic calendars, financial aid and scholarship links, and class enrollment.

Oasis and D2L can be accessed under the Student Services tab, or by typing oasis.rose.edu or d2l.rose.edu into the address bar.

Academics:

The Academics tab will take you to the page where links to Academic Advisement, the course catalog and course of studies information can be found.

Look on the right margin of the web page and find a contact list for the various academic departments, and a drop down menu for each section of study.

RSC Foundation:

This tab will take users to the main page for the RSC Foundation, showing upcoming events, recent photos and their mission statement. The right side margin presents a drop down menu featuring information about the foundation, how to become a part of it, and other useful information.

Business and Community:

This section of the new website is strictly for the business and community homepage, giving information on Career and Staffing services, environment training and community learning.

Student and faculty email login:

Students can still access their email from the main page of the website, or by typing stuwebmail.rose.edu in their address bar. Faculty email can also be accessed on the website, or by typing webmail.rose.edu into the address bar.

Organ donation in Oklahoma

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Interesting fact: humans are born with two eyes, two kidneys, and two lungs, only one of each is absolutely necessary for survival. We are also equipped with a regenerative liver that can grow back the donated portion in about two months.

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By: Miranda Liming, Editor-in-Chief

As of April 1, 2011, over 110,000 people are awaiting organ or tissue transplants, 860 of which are from Oklahoma, according to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network (OPTN).

Early scientific attempts to transplant organs and tissue weren’t completely safe and adequate. However in the early 1950s, major medical breakthroughs allowed for operations never thought possible in the medical field. Today, the process has become more common and safe.

There are two types of possible donors: cadavers and the passive.

Cadavers, the most common of the donor category, must be completely lacking in brain function to be considered by medical professional. The subject must be unable to maintain normal function such as conscious thought, breathing or movement without medical apparatus. The damage must be irreversible and, contrary to popular belief, the cadavers are not dead; they are kept on life support until the required transplant can take place.

Passive, or living and willing, donors agreed to donate an organ or tissue not necessary for their own survival.

Only certain organs and tissues can be donated or recieved including kidneys, hearts, live, lungs, the pancreas and the intestines. Tissues can be heart valves, corneas, bone, skin and connective tissues.

Many stigmas still plague the transplantation process. The most popular being that if a person registers as an organ donor, the doctors will not try as hard to save them. The first priority for any doctor placed in a situation so dire is to save lives. The worst-case scenario, being the patient will never again function without life support, is when the hospital staff considers donation.

Another is the idea that a patient many accidently receive a dirty organ or perhaps the body may reject it. This is again highly unlikely. In the U.S. alone, there are over 200 transplant hospitals devoted to the process. These facilities are linked by the United Network of Organ Sharing, which has developed a website used by medical professionals to screen donors and recipients for compatibility. Only specialized transplant professionals, who are members of the OPTN are authorized to use its information.

The last concern, and most important to the relatives of a cadaver donor, is the graphic alteration or disfigurement of the deceased. The fact is that organ and tissue donation does not affect funeral arrangements. Open casket services are still possible for a deceased donor without worry of disfigurement and notice of the procedure.

Marking a driver’s license or obtaining a donor card does make anyone a complete donor. Oklahoma House Bill 1183 prohibits anyone from overruling a donor’s decision to share his or her organs/tissues if documented on a license or donor card. This bill, however, is only for those 21 years and older. Any donors of lesser age will need to make their wishes clear, for the next of kin must sign a consent form upon death.

Visit lifeshareoklahoma.org for information on becoming a donor and stories about survivors here in Oklahoma.

By 15th Street News Posted in News

New on Netflix: Soon to be “New on Hulu?”

By: Bryan Trude, assistant editor

Despite having a column that is firmly attached to a corporate teat at levels unheard of since my infancy, this level of corporate shilling gives me a unique platform to address certain items of entertainment news that reshape the entire playing field.

Recently, Netflix announced the purchase of its first completely original series, the Kevin Spacey-produced drama “House of Cards,” in a deal that online news site deadline.com estimated could be worth nearly $100 million, including marketing costs.

The show, signed for 26 episodes over two seasons, is reported to cost between $4-6 million an episode in production, and would be the first original series offered by the streaming and mail-rental movie service.

Though not everyone was enthused about the announcement. Cable movie and programming company Showtime followed the announcement by publicizing their intention to pull their own unique programming from Netflix, notably the widely popular series “Dexter.”

Netflix is taking a tremendous risk; one that I cannot say is wise in any sense of the word.

For a company that began purely as a mail order DVD rental service, it was a big-enough step to move into the world of direct Internet streaming, a facet of their operation that has since grown to dominate their business. By stepping into the world of content production, they aim to step above their competition – namely Hulu – and put themselves on the same level as companies like Showtime, HBO and Cinemax.

However, I do not know if Netflix can take on a $100 million price tag without raising their rates, one of the services’ major selling points to consumers. For $7.99 a month, poor schlubs like me can get an entire library of movies and television delivered over the Internet.

So, to keep their current pricing stable, and to cover the projected cost of “House of Cards” without lowering profit margins, Netflix will need the show to generate 12.5 million new streaming-only subscriptions.

The reason companies like Showtime can produce unique content and laugh all the way to the bank with it is that not only are they supported by loftier subscription fees, they also enjoy some level of advertising revenue, something Netflix lacks, and hopefully a feature they will never obtain.

I do not see how Netflix can put on the big boy loafers like this and still maintain the status quo when it comes to the relationship of the consumer to the service. They will either have to raise rates, add advertising, add an unrealistic number of new subscriptions without losing old ones, or find some rich idiot willing to eat the big financial bullet for an executive producer credit.

I can, however, tell you what will happen if they do raise rates or add advertising. Expect my newest column soon, “New on Hulu.”