Pierce Pioneer

Things to Do This Summer

Generational Gap between Asian-Americans

Before and after America: A second generation Asian American’s perspective on the generational gap, a history of silence

When it comes to what my parents’ life was like in Vietnam, I sadly know next to nothing. There are photos, homemade videos and letters, but my parents rarely sit down and tell me stories of growing up in a communist regime.

The sudden media popularity of attacks on AAPI has spawned a wave of support across the country. This outpour of love and solidarity comes in the form of empathy, spreading awareness, resources and motivation. I figured hard conversations are better to have sooner rather than later.

I’ve been meaning to ask my parents about what Vietnam was like when they were children. I assume it has shaped their political beliefs and our relationship; I honestly think it will make communication between us much clearer.

My parents were born in the middle of the Vietnam War. It’s something I don’t think about too often, and they seem content with not telling me more than ‘it was hard working in the fields.’

My mom tells me that she doesn’t like cats or dogs because they were clingy in Vietnam, that she had to take three buses to get to work in America and that she’d only eat one meal a day to pay off the mortgage faster. My dad tells me he knows he had to go up to the mountains to pick leaves, had polio twice when he was a child and is lucky to be alive.

My parents and I are on opposite ends of the political spectrum, and they like to retell what they heard on the news to me. Inevitably, we’ll disagree on something, but I either don’t know how to word my argument in “Vietglish”, or I let my emotions run the debate. Then, we just forget about it.

I think they’re trying to shield me from horrible things they’ve gone through. While I can understand that, I think having open communication is much more important. Perhaps that’s selfish—asking them to relive something that’s probably traumatic—but I don’t want to regret not asking.

Many second generation Asian Americans can attest to having communication problems with their parents. It’s another issue that’s always swept under the rug—one that only we can deal with.

There is no call to action here if you’re not a part of this group. Rather, just know that this cognitive dissonance is something we’re dealing with, and continue to be understanding and educating yourself.

API Heritage Month is over, but there’s a long way to go in dismantling the myth of the model minority among other things. I have faith we’ll tackle that issue someday if #STOPAPIHATE doesn’t die down.

If other people can be brave and rally against AAPI hate, then I can be brave too and start a long overdue conversation. To fellow Asian Americans who can relate, I believe in us.

“Con muốn biết Việt Nam giống gì chừng nào Mẹ với Ba là nít. Nói con được không?”
“Mom, Dad, I want to know what Vietnam was like when you were children. Could you tell me?”

Godzilla vs. King Kong Review: An Appreciative Look

Slight Spoilers Ahead

We have had “The Thrilla in Manila,” “The Rumble in the Jungle,” “The Brawl in Montreal” and now we have what I’m calling “King of Titans” in “Godzilla vs Kong”!

The fourth installment in the MonsterVerse franchise directed by Adam Wingard packs a titanically large punch (pun intended) when these two giant monsters collide to see who bows to who. Whether you are a fan of Godzilla or Kong entering this film for the first time does not matter. The film will leave you wanting more of each respected titan and will bring a new level of appreciation for them.

From the opening credits of the film the viewer can see the breakdown of the monsterverse, and each fight leading up to Godzilla and Kong facing off for the first time in the franchise. Godzilla is not new to brawling with various other monsters with unique abilities and strengths, but he soon finds out Kong is in a different class all his own.

The experience of such a monumental fight was very nostalgic for me. I can remember being 10-12 years old and loving to see monsters clash with one another. I remember not being able to decide which was my favorite of all the creatures ever imagined, but my top two were definitely Godzilla and Kong.

Before viewing the film, I admit to not having any expectations for it being more than another monster film. That quickly turned once Godzilla was on the screen. 

Even if you have seen the previous movies from the monsterverse, there is something about Godzilla that draws the kid out of you. Seeing him makes you remember his classic roar and his dragon breath and gives you the feeling that Kong will have no chance in this fight since he is known more for defeating titans.

Our favorite titans have to share screen time in this one and could not hog all the glory from the film even though they are the main event. The cast was well rounded but did not give enough of a lift to the film to make it a perfect monster movie.

The classic conspiracy theorists join together to provide some comical relief between what everyone tuned into watch. The film did have a classic villain plotting some secret scheme for the world. Although considering monsters were destroying cities with their earth-shattering fights, I cannot say I blame him for trying to find a way to overpower them and put humanity on top again.

Sadly, this is one thing in the movie I could have done without. I caught myself thinking many times through the film that I could do without the people in it. Unfortunately, that would only make it a 40-minute movie and not a full-length feature.

The story that was built around the fight was a sci-fi adventure which had holes with no explanations. I do want to be fair and say that perfect science was not the main focus and dealing with sci-fi is not always the easiest thing. Still the ideas for the origins of the titans was given a good effort.

Overall the film is worth watching due to its epic battle scenes. The movie moves from fight to fight like a boxing event. Each fight is a round on its own and you can never really tell who will win in the end. You could say you have ringside seats to one of the most action-packed fights of all time. You will find yourself cheering for both combatants and not wanting either to lose because of the heart they both show. 

Late Nite Take Out – CPTSD Symptoms + Treatment Story

Episode Description:

This episode covers how the symptoms of CPTSD have affected me over the years. For much of my life, I have gone un-diagnosed, many of the symptoms of CPTSD can fly by under your radar. I hope to share my journey in a way that can helpfully inform or relate to the struggles many of us go through with our emotions and anxieties. Many of the symptoms of CPTSD align with the everyday struggles of life. After much deliberation, I found a therapist and began analyzing and making sense of some of my traumas throughout my life. It can be surprising to learn how interconnected our memories, experiences and emotions are. The process of healing can be a daunting one, but worthwhile in its returns. I share my steps through therapy to help destigmatize the help we need sometimes. Therapy can be a powerful tool to self-discovery and healing, with the will to use it. Peace, and much love to everyone out there, especially now. Each other and the feelings we share is all we can hold onto sometimes.

Is Cancel Culture Striking Fairly?

On March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday, Dr. Seuss Enterprises announced on their website that they would stop the printing of 6 of their books. The statement listed: And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street (1937), If I Ran the Zoo (1950), McElligot’s Pool (1947), On Beyond Zebra! (1955), Scrambled Eggs Super! (1953), and The Cat’s Quizzer (1976) as the titles being discontinued.

“We are committed to action,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises stated. “These books portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.” 

The decision to stop publication and licensing for the 6 books was made last year after Dr. Seuss Enterprises worked with advisors who evaluated the titles. Much of the public has opinions either for or against the decision, and it seems Dr. Seuss Enterprises is not making any further comments about their statement or actions. This leaves the rest of us to wonder if the right decision was made.

The 6 books that have ceased publication and licensing.

The idea of “Cancel Culture”, as it has come to be known, is slowly sifting through many established franchises and either removing them or slapping a disclaimer on them. The timing seems to be appropriate for some and not for others. The looming question is if cancel culture is being fair about its judgment as well as its motivations.

Protecting the minds of children seems to be the priority, but what can be gained by hiding the history of the culture from them in literary form or in any other form for that matter? 

There are many books which are considered classics such as Huckleberry Finn written by American Author Mark Twain in 1884, in which the n-word is used multiple times portraying a historically accurate picture of the cultural behavior at the time.

If the goal is looking seriously into books branded as offensive and removing them, then school curriculums could begin shifting in a different direction where the history on those pages could be lost for good. Touching the surface of social issues could be a temporary solution and good conversation starter by cancel culture. Yet there is still real evidence of racism in the world which seems to have no answer.

Ravi Zacharias the late christian apologist and author said to a question posed by an anonymous news reporter about moral ethics at an open forum, “The reason we are against racism is because a person’s race is sacred. A person’s ethnicity is sacred. You cannot violate it. My race is sacred; your race is sacred; I dare not violate it.”

To take a stand against violations such as racism would be a continuous effort by all in society, and using examples of such would have a beneficial effect. What the public considers before giving an opinion about any social issue is of great importance to the structure of society. Merely picking what to be upset about is the answer for continued discord.

All of the books discontinued by Dr. Seuss Enterprises have various cultures being represented in an unflattering way.

Some of the illustrations are clearly evidence of the cultural norm at the time, while others are disturbing, such as the depiction of black people resembling monkeys in If I Ran the Zoo.

A collage including examples of Seuss’ racist imagery.

Any and all races have a right to feel some offense, and yet there is something about certain minorities not being considered people at certain historical times that keeps alluding the present social mentality. The heart of the issue seems to be based on doing the right thing and the focus is lost when people are told what to be angry about.

Co-Authors of On the Perpetuation of Ignorance Dr. Steven Shepherd and Dr. Aaron C. Kay published in Journal of Personality and Social Psychology wrote, “Individuals are often confronted with information that they do not know how to comprehend or evaluate, even though this information can be of critical importance to the self (or society as a whole).” 

Believing in the feelings of the culture seems to be an easy sell for all sides of the issues, but then arises a more prominent issue of missing the point. There are those frustrated with the facts not being taken into consideration before making a decision that can steer the culture down into the mire.

Many have taken to buying the remaining prints of the books canceled by Dr. Seuss Enterprises and have started selling them online. Some prices start at around $200 while others are going for up to around $1900.

Does the action of profiting from a social issue such as racism speak louder as a cultural norm than cancel culture? Again, the motivation of discontinuing any trace of history is key to understanding and learning to grow from past errors.

“Ceasing sales of these books is only part of our commitment,” Dr. Seuss Enterprises stated. The statement by Dr. Seuss Enterprises went on to say they will ensure their product will represent and support all communities and families.

2020: A Year in Music



To say that this year was difficult for the average college student would be the understatement of a century. Whether you were attempting to start your life at a new university, preparing to complete a graduate course digitally or perhaps you were sequestered in your dorm for too many hours to count, new music helped us battle our way through the quarantine depression. 


With many artists bunkered in as well, we saw many ordinary homes turned into creative spaces that were used to generate some of the best music we’ve been presented in years. Here are 20 albums that made my year as a fledgling college student easier.

20.BUBBA by Kaytranda 

Genre: Dance/Electronic & R&B

Release date: December 13, 2019

A swan song to life prior to quarantine, BUBBA is a euphoric collaborative dance album. It’s lowkey afrobeats are fit for any blood pumping experience, but within it’s dance worthy beats lies a political and social subtext that feels poignant now as it did a year prior. Rounding out at around an hour in length, the album progresses both easily and smoothly, never missing a beat as Kaytranada opens the floor to a bevy of collaborators, including Kali Uchis and Pharell Williams. The result is one of the best dance records in recent memory, and is a worthwhile listen to anybody interested in Boiler Room sets and easygoing beats.

Buy here

19. Good News by Megan Thee Stallion

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Release date: November 20, 2020

Operating within a male dominated genre that seeks to objectify and sexualize black women at any moment of success, few have truly refound their agency in the same way Megan Thee Stallion has on Good News. Her debut record is jam packed with filthy sex jams and earworm hooks that are sure to populate your TikTok for months to come. Megan feels more like a larger-than-life character than ever before, performing tracks that represent her southern and black pride in joyful ways that enable necessary conversations. It is the essential rap album of the year, and is sure to please anybody looking for an introduction to her sound.

Buy here

18. Róisín Machine by Róisín Murphy

Genre: Disco

Release date: October 2, 2020

After quarantine mandates closed down the clubs, several of pop music and electronic’s biggest heads ensured that the party continued in our homes. On Róisín Machine, Róisín Murphy provides some of her best tracks that have been in the works for over a decade. An incredibly fun nu-disco album, Murphy takes the traditional disco sounds we expect and expands onto them in ways that are danceable and entrancing, but also incredibly smart and deliberate. A perfect record for anybody yearning to get their groove on, my personal recommendation is to replace the standard tracks with their extended counterparts.

Buy here

17. Future Nostalgia by Dua Lipa

Genre: Disco & Pop

Release date: March 27, 2020

When we first met Dua Lipa, she seemed like a young pop star in search of a larger identity and star power. She has always had the production power and songwriting chops, evidenced by hit “New Rules”, but prior to this year the general populace couldn’t quite make her out. Now, she welcomes us into club Future Nostalgia, where disco is new once again. Revitalizing the genre within modern pop music, Lipa crafts an album that feels timeless and quick-pact. Its short runtime allows for each track to feel substantial, and the result presents the young artist as a pop star worthy of the crown.

Buy here


Lianne La Havas by Lianne La Havas

Genre: Neo-Soul & Folk

Release date: July 17, 2020

Inspired by cycles of love and the birth and rebirth of nature surrounding her, Lianne La Havas’ self-titled and self-produced third LP feels like a serene waterfall hike. Fluttered throughout with pleasant acoustic guitars, soulful jams, and emotional ballads that feel made for television’s most dramatic moments, La Havas directly opposes those same neo-soul stylings by clashing them with rock sounds. The heavier moments on this record, such as its Radiohead cover, “Weird Fishes” feel like beautiful storms within a gorgeous forest. This album is certain to please those searching for an R&B record with edge, or perhaps a folk music fan looking for something to dance to.

Buy here


KiCk i by Arca

Genre: Dance/Electronic & Pop

Release date: June 26, 2020

Beyond the incredibly harsh tones and glitchy surface of KiCk i, any listener will hear the sound of self realization. An artist coming into her form, Arca feels more realized than ever before, finetuning her sound into a place that is both listenable to longterm fans seeking the bizarre sounds of her early work and new fans seeking conventional but off-the-wall electro-pop. The result is an album that features some of the singers best performances and production, and promises an even brighter future for what could become of the pioneering electronic artists sound.


Buy here


SAWAYAMA by Rina Sawayama

Genre: Pop & Nu-Metal

Release date: April 17, 2020

Any longtime fan of Rina Sawayama will tell you that a major label debut has been a promising idea for years. It’s arrival feels like a blessing to pop fans around the world, a fun album inspired heavily by Y2K pop and nu-metal. Despite its clearly dated inspiration points, SAWAYAMA feels incredibly modern, relying heavily on modern pop stylings and fusing them with the characteristic production of collaborator, Clarence Clarity. It’s an album that’ll transport any listener into a nostalgic buzz, one that will feel especially poignant within the record’s political subtext. It’s a necessary album for anybody interested in sophisticated pop music that pushes the boundaries of its genre.

Buy here


how i’m feeling now by Charli XCX

Genre: Dance/Electronic & Pop

Release date: May 15, 2020

One of the earliest popular musicians to declare publicly that she would be releasing a “quarantine album”, how i’m feeling now manages to arguably be Charli XCX’s best album to date. Fusing modern hyperpop sounds with her knack for writing impactful pop hooks and the nostalgic clubby experimentation presented in her debut, the album manages to strengthen many of the elements at play in her previous full-length. Abandoning her frequent reliance on collaborators to create a personal pop album with old and new producers, the album highlights Charli’s attention to detail and refrain, stripping her larger than life sound into a more intimate and approachable affair. A digestible album for any person in search of exuberant pop sounds.

Buy here


5EPs by Dirty Projectors

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Release date: November 20, 2020

Releasing five EPs throughout the course of the year alongside his newly introduced lineup of performers, David Longstreth latest Dirty Projectors piece is an inviting and incredibly ranged piece of indie pop. Drifting by as though a breeze in a park, the album flows masterfully within each respected EP, and its result is a compilation piece that shows a band coming into full unity. There are several moments on the album about love and the power that it has over others. But its best moments are its most intelligent, subtly telling political stories in an accessible and creative manner. It is an essential indie album that jumps from genre inspiration, but is sure to please all listeners at some point.


Buy here

11. What’s Your Pleasure by Jessie Ware

Genre: Disco & Pop

Release date: June 26, 2020

Disco definitely found new footing this year within the pop landscape, but this was no more clear and effective than Jessie Ware’s latest effort. What’s Your Pleasure feels like an effortless display of good pop and dance music. With an emotional opener that is certain to grasp listeners, and grooves that are fluent and evocative throughout, Ware set out to do what the best escapist music does, “Will this make people want to have sex? And will this make people want to dance?”. That idea is prevalent in fun and sweat-soaked anthems throughout, an album certain to please any listener hoping to get their groove on.

Buy here

10. Shamir by Shamir

Genre: Alternative/Indie & Rock

Release date: October 2, 2020

Upon the release of his critically acclaimed debut record, Ratchet, it seemed Shamir was primed for indie fame with an already viral classic under his belt. In the years following that, he left XL Recordings and self-released four records that took inspiration from “outsider music, country & punk”. These ideas come to full fruition on the singer’s latest self-titled album, which contains the finest moments of the young artist’s career in a brief, engaging record. Featuring memorable lyrics and earworm hooks that are accompanied by a DIY-rock sound, you’ve got an essential lofi-indie rock that is certain to please any fan of the genre.

Buy here

9. WHAT WE DREW 우리가 그려왔던 by Yaeji

Genre: Dance/Electronic & K-Pop

Release date: April 2, 2020

Signing with XL Recordings, Yaeji was inspired by the support systems within her life to create her most playful and collaborative music yet. Whilst still clubby and fun throughout, WHAT WE DREW largely contrasts the moodier sounds of her previous EPs, with moments on this record coming across as bubbly and bouncy. The record, which was entirely self-produced by Yaeji, is at its best when it manages to fuse these unlikely elements into dance tracks that feel substantial and are easily danceable. Above all, WHAT WE DREW is the artist’s most diverse body of music to date and promises an exceptional full-length debut.

Buy here

8.The Angel You Don’t Know by Amaarae

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap & Afro-Pop

Release date: November 12, 2020

Amaarae is an up-and-coming Ghanian-American artist whose steadily subverting expectations with her progressive and stylish brand of afro-pop. Inspired by a multitude of stylistic genres, including southern trap and mall rock, The Angel You Don’t Know is wildly experimental and written exceptionally well also. The best tracks feel layered and sultry, combined by Amaarae distinctive whispery vocals. The end result is an incredibly enjoyable pop record that is fueled by its fun collaborations and genre-bouncing tracklist.

Buy here

7. Every Bad by Porridge Radio

Genre: Alternative/Indie & Rock

Release date: March 13, 2020

It’s always a dream when a band grows with their second record, and Every Bad is an example of this. An incredibly enrapturing rock album, Porridge Radio presents a series of truths, dreams and realities, and incredibly emotional themes that are later propelled by the band’s brash sound. At its heaviest, lead singer Dana Margolin vocals highlight a harshness to the bands songwriting, which is sometimes counteracted by the bands brighter, pop rock production pieces. While its tougher moments are cathartic and encasing, the album’s strongest elements are its dramatic builds throughout, with each song feeling large and climatic. It is an enjoyable rock record and is certain to please any fan of the genre.

Buy here

6. St. Cloud by Waxahatchee

Genre: Alternative/Indie & Folk

Release date: March 27, 2020

Amassing a decent cult following and building a reputation for herself with the indie music scene as a promising songwriter, St. Cloud feels like an exuberant highlight within the young artists building discography. Where her previous records were somber and sparse, an intimacy that highlighted her prowess as a songwriter, the ‘90s rock sound exhilarating. The result is an American folk record that fits as well into indie circuit radios as it might on a big country festival stage. Featuring some of the most stylistically bright music in the young artists career, it is a transformative album that is certain to leave any willing listener impacted by the end of its concise runtime.

Buy here

5.All the Time by Jessy Lanza

Genre: Dance/Electronic & R&B

Release date: July 24, 2020

Completely uprooting her life in her hometown of Hamilton, Ontario, Jessy Lanza prepared for a new journey as a budding popstar. Now, her most energetic record must live within the walls of a quarantined New York apartment; however that doesn’t deprive the record of its deeply effective grooves and sensations. Writing some of the smartest dance tracks in her career, Lanza pitches and plays with her vocals in fresh ways that create variance throughout the album. However, that is already easily done by the immaculately understated production that is on display by Lanza and club-pop musician, Jeremy Greenspan. Several tracks on this record depict Lanza’s resentment and emotionality towards the duo’s relationship, and when paired with glossy pop and R&B-adjacent productions, the result is sickeningly sweet and fun.

Buy here

4. Ungodly Hour by Chloe x Halle

Genre: Pop & R&B

Release date: June 12, 2020

With a Disney acting role inbound, and an incredibly underrated debut record in the foreground, the sister duo expands on almost every element on their debut record with an instant-classic R&B record. With religious imagery that is utilized effectively throughout the record, Ungodly Hour is consistent in quality and sound throughout. Having found a bouncy, club-pop lane within the modern R&B landscape, they greatly avoid the failures of their contemporaries with a non-excessive runtime and varied emotionality. Ungodly Hour promises sultry and romantic, if not downright sexy, jams and empowering anthems that are bouncy and relatable, yet subtle. Its pop hooks are catchy, and its production quality is airtight, which is further highlighted by the duo’s resiliency in live performances and shows. If anything, the greatest takeaway is that Chloe x Halle seemed primed for R&B royalty, with a backing system that is determined to see success.

Buy here

3. Fetch the Bolt Cutters by Fiona Apple

Genre: Alternative/Indie

Release date: April 17, 2020

What will probably go down as the critical quintessential quarantine record, Fiona Apple’s magnum opus record is incredibly expansive and nuanced. Incorporating the best elements of her phenomenal discography, Fetch the Bolt Cutters began as a conceptual album about her Venice home and grew into a political record for the times. While the sentiment “fetch the bolt cutters” is certain to feel relatable in a time of quarantining with financial insecurity and political unrest, Apple’s themes of freedom from oppression will be deeply relatable to anybody who’s felt cast aside by society. With songs written over the course of a decade and inspired by several relationships and lived experiences, the result is an almost confoundingly infectious record, with its best tracks making philosophical assertions seem effortless.

Buy here

2. Women in Music Pt. III by HAIM

Genre: Alternative/Indie & Rock

Release date: June 26, 2020

HAIM has quietly been a force within the indie-pop genre, with their debut album Days Are Gone being a deliberate take on the blown-out pop productions of the early-2010s. While this momentum may have been stifled by their second record, which leaned heavier into country and pop genre-stylings than their previous had, it was evident that the band’s inspiration points, including Joni Mitchell, Destiny’s Child, and Blondie, were resulting in groovy nostalgic pop that was occasionally overcrowded. This is a critique that is nearly totally resolved by the bands euphoric and genre-fluid third record. Mastering their production with Rostam, formerly of Vampire Weekend, the result is incredibly explorative and fully realized. No melody on this record sounds like another present here, and that is quantified by Danielle Haim’s songwriting, which is stronger than ever at effectively telling stories with simple words. Women in Music Pt. III is by far the most fun album of the year, occasionally campy, entirely sentimental, and briefly political at times throughout.

Buy here

1. Song for Our Daughter by Laura Marling

Genre: Alternative/Indie & Folk

Release date: April 10, 2020

Inspired by global chaos and political turmoil, as well as the 2009 novel Letter to My Daughter by Maya Angelou, British songwriter Laura Marling welcomes audiences into her northeast London home with a beautifully simplistic folk record. Written to a theoretical daughter, and more generally mothers and women as a unity, Marling writes ten straightforward, endearing and coyly political tracks that continue to demonstrate her unmatched talents as songwriter. Occasionally joined by sparse percussion, Song for Our Daughter mostly features Marling alongside her guitar, orchestrating heart wrenching ballads and serenades that pull on the strings of any romantic listener. Marling demonstrates a knowledge beyond her years, always skeptical of those around her and the love that she both must give and receive. While most of the themes on this record can be directly tied to Marlings visions and expectations of motherhood, Marling continues to touch on themes related to her livelihood as a woman operating love and romance in a world that allows men to control every aspect of their lives and fails to allow said security to women. One of the best tracks on the album, “Strange Girl” feels jubilant, intelligent, and above all fun on a folk album that is otherwise emotionally charged and generally weary. Even at the record’s most somber moments, Marlings vocals feel hopeful and enticing, and when the record ends on a joyfully aware note of appreciation and understanding, listeners feel as though they’ve come to understand Marling in a new way. It is the best folk album of the year, and album of the year because it manages to display emotionally fragility, strength and growth over a stunning and deliberate 37-minute runtime, a feat worth praising. It is the serene and insightful record that we all needed during our clamorous year, and is sure to be enjoyed by romantics and those with an appreciation for delicate lyricism.

Buy here

Students turning to online piracy to afford textbooks

Textbooks are overpriced. This sentence is not an opinion, even as much as it sounds like one. It is a measurable fact that the price of textbooks has been artificially inflated to a degree that puts actual inflation to shame.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Consumer Price Index has risen 250% in the last 45 years, and while this is a fairly large amount to most people, it pales in comparison to the astounding 812% increase in textbook cost in the same amount of time.

The source of this increase is multifaceted, but a large part of it is a lack of consumer control. The students who buy the books are not the ones deciding which ones are printed, as would be the case with most other printed media. Professors and faculty decide the curriculum and textbooks necessary, which can allow publishers to jack up their prices and force students to pay for it to keep up their grades.

There is a simple solution to this issue, which gives the students the power to reduce the price of their textbooks and hopefully stop publishers from reprinting the same material every year in a different format.

Pirating textbooks.

Most students would recoil at such a suggestion, and as I cannot legally encourage anyone to commit a crime, I must say that piracy is still illegal.

But in addition to that, I will also tell you that there are numerous locations online where students have uploaded their old e-textbooks without any Digital Rights Management (DRM), completely free of charge. While not all textbooks can be found online in this way, and publishers can still include online subscriptions to homework access locations, many textbooks are presently available, and many more will be added as you read this.

Anyone who feels bad for the authors of these textbooks know that the authors listed at the front of textbooks are almost never the ones who write them. Basic textbooks are written by hired writers who may have absolutely no knowledge of what they are writing about. In addition, people in the field the textbook refers to rarely, if ever, review these textbooks.

While college bookstores may seem at risk with textbook piracy, in reality they often make very little from textbooks sales. Publishers tend to take upwards of 75% of all profits made from textbooks, while college bookstores rely more on apparel and merchandise.

My first semester of college at Washington State University I paid over $500 dollars for textbooks; this quarter I didn’t purchase a single one, and elected instead to borrow from friends and try to get by without.

I have never pirated a textbook. I cannot encourage anyone to pirate a textbook. On an unrelated note, $0 is definitely less than $500.

School in Pittsburgh hosts Anti-Gay Day

The Day of Silence is an annual day of action to spread awareness about the effects about bullying and harassment of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students and their supporters. It is a known fact that harassment upon LGBT individuals increases their chances of inflicting self-harm and committing suicide.

However, a group of students at McGuffey High School in Claysville, Pennsylvania had different ideas and formed an “Anti-Gay Day,” which they held on 16 April, the day after the LGBTQ advocacy held the annual Day of Silence the day before. Students that participated in the “Anti-Gay Day” wore flannels, wrote “Anti-Gay” on their bodies and posted Bible verses on student’s lockers that identified as either gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transgender.

DThere were also reports that there were physical encounters between certain students that either participated or did not. There were even reports of a “lynch list” that went around the school. Due to the events surrounding the school, they came under media scrutiny with students and parents speaking out about the incident.

16-year-old McGuffey High School student Zoe Johnson who identifies as bisexual talked to “BuzzFeed’s” David Mack saying, “We came into school on Thursday and found a lot of people wearing flannel and we could not figure out why.” She added, “People started getting pushed and notes were left on people’s lockers. I got called a dyke, faggot. They were calling us every horrible name you can think of.”

While there have not been any comments from school officials, the Superintendent of the school released a statement to local station WPXI-TV reassuring students and parents that they were looking into the claims saying, “We resolve to ensure that all children can grow and learn in a safe, supportive environment free from discrimination.”

There were also reports that the American Family Association’s Tim Wildmon, who has been known for his outspoken opposition to LGBT causes, was critical of the Day of Silence, calling it a “hijacking of the classroom for political purposes.”

To hear of this incident happening is infuriating and heart breaking especially for something like to happen on a day meant for support and peaceful protests. Hopefully, the day will come when we can stop judging others for their beliefs or sexual orientation and can live together even if that scenario seems to be out of reach at times like these.

About the Writer
Photo of Joseph Kelley
Joseph Kelley, A&E Editor

My name is Joseph Kelley and I'm and Opinions Editor at the Pioneer News. I write opinions, editorials, and movie reviews for A&E.

You can Contact...

Nonbinary Misrepresentation in the Media


laverne-cox-time-coverSera Tucker Contributing Writer

The media is known for its lack of diversity in portraying men and women in gender roles, race, and economic background. However, it is even more rare to see any representation of transgender, genderqueer, or intersex people in our media. This is because of the social stigma placed upon those who do not fit cultural “norms”.

This stigma directly derivative of gender expectations in American culture. Even for cisgender people (those whose gender fits what they were assigned at birth) it is difficult to fit stereotypical ideals of femininity and masculinity. It becomes even more challenging for gender types that are not within these expectations.

The political debates that have occurred for decades because of these challenges paint the issue as more complicated than it is. There have always been more gender options than male or female. Being intersex, transgender, or genderqueer is praised in many other cultures. Two Spirit people were respected gender variant members in Native North American cultures before years of rapid colonization all but wiped out these societies. This only became a serious issue of debate within the past few centuries, as America and its media were heavily influenced by Christian ideals.

There has been the occasional movie about transgender women, usually portrayed as a joke, or tragic figure, and it is rare to see one centered on a transgender male. It is nearly nonexistent to see an actual transgender actor take on either of these roles. Hollywood tends to be only slightly concerned, if at all, with the accuracy of their portrayals.

This only seems like a minor issue when you forget about all of it’s aspects: extreme racial misrepresentation like minstrel shows, the cookie-cutter roles that are reserved for minorities, and the overall lack of gender/sexuality diversity in America’s programming.

Type-casting does more than misrepresent already marginalized groups, it destroys an opportunity that could have been taken to rewrite the wrongs of past performances. Perhaps by allowing trans actors/actresses to take on these roles, we may be able to see the stories of non-binary genders from a truthful perspective.

During summer, cars become 200 degree deathtraps

Kaitlyn Turner Staff Writer

Everyone knows that feeling of just getting into the car on a hot summer day and thinking they can’t breathe. Well, that happens to pets too.

Many people love taking their dogs out with them, but not every store will allow them. People then think, “I’m only going to be in there for a few minutes. My pet will be fine.”

However, on a 75 degree day, a car’s internal temperature, even with the windows cracked, can get up to 100 degrees in 10 minutes. If the interior is a dark color, it could get over 200 degrees in the same short amount of time.

Dogs, as well as cats, and even children, are left in hot cars too often. This occurrence can be damaging, or even fatal. Every year, dogs die from being left in cars for “just a minute.” Even if it doesn’t happen to be fatal one time, leaving dogs in the oven that your car becomes during the summer can cause brain damage or heatstroke in 15 minutes or less.

Heatstroke symptoms that passerby may be able to spot include restlessness, excessive thirst, thick saliva, heavy panting, lethargy, lack of appetite, dark tongue, rapid heartbeat, fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and lack of coordination.

Although it is a common belief among animal lovers that anybody who does something so cruel and actually-legally criminal, deserves to have their windows smashed in, in most cases only emergency responders have that kind of jurisdiction.

If one sees a dog, cat, or any other animal left in a hot car unattended, they should go into whatever business the car is at and ask them to page the owner of the car. It is important to give a good description of the vehicle. Or, if they’d prefer, contact the local police and wait at the scene until they arrive.

If it’s a severe emergency and you know that the animal needs to get out immediately, there’s nothing stopping one from taking their own steps to remove the animal from the vehicle. However, just know that you can face charges, including having to pay for any destruction you cause if the owner of the vehicle decides to press charges.

No living thing, especially one that somebody says they “love,” should be subjected to being baked alive. Leaving your pet in a car to suffer extreme heat is no better than abusing it; both are animal cruelty.

Animals aren’t like humans. They can’t just call for help or open a door and leave if they’re in a bad situation. Pets rely on their owners to keep them safe and cared for, just like a child. If you wouldn’t leave your child in a sweltering hot car, you shouldn’t leave your pet there either.

The UCSB shooting is a symptom of a larger problem


Sean Hobbs Staff Writer

On May 23, a man killed six people at UCSB in Isla Vista, California, in a rampage fueled by his sense of entitlement. Many will claim this man was mentally ill, that all this could have been prevented if he had had treatment. However, the idea that people with mental illness are always the ones to commit violent crimes is anything but true.

Studies done in universities around the United States have shown that people with mental illnesses are much more likely to be victims of violence than perpetrators. Mass shooters, like the UCSB killer, have meticulously planned when and how they plan to attack their victims.

The UCSB killer was not mentally ill. He was an example of the culture that the United States has created around the autonomy of women.

In his 141-page manifesto, the UCSB shooter makes it clear that he believes women, as a whole, owe him attention, admiration, and sex. He blames women for the fact that he is a virgin and that he feels ignored, and specifically states that he will make them pay.

This sense of entitlement to women’s bodies is not an uncommon occurrence. Hours after the shooting, another man opened fire on three women because they refused to have sex with him. A few weeks ago, a high school girl was stabbed to death for refusing an invitation to prom. Rapists and abusers often make the claim that they only did it because they felt it was owed to them.

The UCSB killer is not an oddity. He is a common situation taken to it’s most extreme. At his base level, the UCSB killer is exactly like every self-described “nice guy” who wonders why the minor attention he pays to women doesn’t entitle him to sex. The only difference between them is whether or not he has a weapon.

Mass shootings always spark up conversations about mental health and the failing state of our country’s medicine, but that is not what causes these events. These attacks, which are all too common in the United States, are the result of the messages society teaches men about women. They can be prevented, but not unless the country is willing to take a good look at itself.

Skating allowed?


IMG_6937Brooks Albert Contributing Writer

The negative attitude towards skateboarders needs to cease. Skateboarding has become more accepted in the eyes of society through the years, but many still consider it an act of rebellion. It is time to change that.

Skateboarding has been around longer than most college students.  It originated in the 1950s as an alternative to surfing when waves were not large enough to ride. “Sidewalk Surfing” as it was called when it formed, began to take root. Since then, it has evolved rapidly throughout the years, forming its own unique subculture.

Skateboarding is actually an expression of creativity and freedom, though many skaters are often misunderstood. Much of society views skateboarding as destructive, or defiant in nature. Skaters are regarded as rebels, or even social deviants.

This has a lot to do with the fact that there is no right or wrong way to skate. No rules, and no regulations. In a society where everything is controlled, skating naturally becomes shunned upon. This is what seems to be the driving force that ultimately gives skating a bad reputation.

According to the Pierce College student handbook, it is prohibited to damage any Pierce College property, behave in a disorderly manner, or to partake in any act that breaches peace. These are the closest regulations that could be applied to any skater on campus for whatever reason. “I have no problem with skating on campus if it is to get from class to class (outdoors), property isn’t being damaged, and other students are not being harmed,” said Ben Gnomes, Sergeant-Supervisor of Campus Safety.

Basically, there are no regulations prohibiting the use of skateboards on Pierce College property. If you talk to Gomes, you will find not one ounce of discrimination towards skaters either. This policy should be the standard and replace No Skateboarding signs.

Respect skaters not for what they are, but who they are, individually, and I guarantee you will get respect back.

Discrimination is considered offensive and is discouraged throughout schools, businesses, and even the government. Yet skaters deal with this far more often than not. Skate a day in our shoes, then make your judgments. You just might see the true meaning of freedom for a change.

Leave a Comment