Posted at 11:46 PM ET, 04/15/2007
Two Daring Dressers, One Unique Style
By Cerstin Johnson
Chyna Allen and Candace Coley are known as two of the more daring dressers to walk the halls of Duke Ellington. Allen, a junior, and Coley, a sophomore, have built a reputation for having a unique dressing style that sets them apart from other Ellington students.
When asked about what goes into their different fashion style, Allen and Coley sometimes come off as finishing each other's sentences, sharing smiles and a similar sense of style. Wearing multiple bracelets, long earrings and fashionable belts, the two Ellington students were eager to share what goes into the fashion thought process.
"To be honest, I just throw things together," Coley said, waving her hand. "I take anything that no one else would wear, and just make it look cute."
When deciding on her own outfits, Allen takes a different approach.
"I don't want to look like a clown," she said.
Despite these differences in approach, the two students have developed styles that mirror each other in many ways. When questioned about certain styles, such as pencil skirts, heels, and mismatched jewelry, both girls said they liked them. Allen even went so far as to mention good stores to buy these items, such as Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, and just your average thrift store.
"Something in my outfit has to be normal to balance it out."
"Thrift stores are great because they have everything for cheap," Coley said.
Both girls expressed some doubt about how original their styles actually are.
"I'll never get to the point where I'm the only one wearing a shirt. Until then I'm just part of a trend," Allen said, without shame.
Coley nodded in agreement and added, "We can only buy what's in the stores for everyone."
Even in the face of fashion trends, both girls seem fearless of trying new styles of dress--a nerve they attribute to being Ellington students. "There's no such thing as fitting out at Duke," Allen said.
Coley, who came to Ellington for the first time this school year, said her style changed completely after her arrival.
In fact she felt prompted to do so after only a few hours of walking Ellington halls. "Here you're free to be you--wacky--artsy--whatever," she said, with a smile.
Posted at 09:26 PM ET, 04/15/2007
The U.S. Senate Defies the President
By Cerstin Johnson
Last month, the U.S. Senate barely approved a $122 billion war spending bill, which mandated that troops begin a withdrawal from Iraq as early as this summer. The bill called for a complete withdrawal from Iraq by March 31, 2008, with the exception of some soldiers remaining to instruct Iraqi forces on counterterrorism moves. President Bush threatened to veto the bill before its approval yet the Senate resisted with a 51-47 vote, with two Republicans supporting the cause.
Bush responded with one of his most belligerent speeches yet. He violently accused the Senate saying that "the American people will know who to hold responsible", a bold assumption for any one individual to make yet alone George W. Bush. We all know the facts. President Bush's approval ratings have been below 50% in AP-Ipsos polls since December 2004. Doesn't it seem slightly ridiculous for a man so disliked by the American public to claim to know what they will think?
Since the prolonged occupation of Iraq, our President has made the same speeches, each another idealistic rant to add to the pile. In his January 23rd State of the Union Address, he spoke of "hope" and "unity" and the need to spread democracy as reasons to maintain our operations in Iraq. He insisted that the Iraq war was at the forefront of our efforts to exterminate radical Islamic regimes across the world. Yet with the passing of this new bill, it is evident that Americans aren't falling for his tricks (as if the overturning of the House wasn't enough).
Though it is still unlikely that the bill will survive a presidential veto, it is definite that a narrow majority of the Congressional sentiment is to push forward with Iraq removal policies. This sentiment was increasingly evident when House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi said, "This war without end has gone on for far too long, and we are here to end it." What, I ask, does Mr. Bush have to say to that?
Posted at 09:18 PM ET, 04/15/2007
Imus Was Wrong; But...
By Michelle Wheatley
Yes, Don Imus was wrong. But that's the purpose of his radio show. He IS a shock jock. Everyone is talking, right? So that means more publicity, more buzz. Sure advertisers are dropping his show, but they'll be back.
Fact is, Imus' show is one of the most listened-to shows on the air outside the Beltway. Advertisers know prime real estate when they hear it and the numbers add up. Imus' show is second to Oprah in book promotion. He has been a fixture on the radio for a number of years.
An appropriate punishment for Imus would be an unpaid leave, a public apology to both listeners and the Rutger's women's basketball team, and a reconciliation and understanding meeting, also with the team.
Imus' remarks and its backfire are simply a result of racial sensitivity. Often those of the older generation are more closely related to the civil rights struggle. With this closeness, African-Americans may feel the need to create an uproar over every slight and Caucasian-Americans can be less appreciative of the beauty of all people.
However, the younger generation, to which I belong, doesn't necessarily see everything colored in black or white. Racial jokes are common, as we view the world in a haze unassociated with color. It's just too bad, but money wins out. Black comedians and radio personalities make fun of white people all the time. It's a fact of life.
And one silly little comment isn't worth that much news, not when people are dying every day in Iraq and oil prices continue to rise. Our foreign policy sucks. We're embroiled in an illegal war. There are questionable practices at the highest levels of government. And we're worried about one "nappy-headed hos" comment.
Maybe ignoring it signals a shift in the public consciousness, one that may be detrimental. But, American society is already desensitized to violence; why not racial slurs?
Posted at 02:48 PM ET, 03/28/2007
Seniors Await The Biggest Day of Their Lives
By Jolie Carr
Okay, so you would think that the seniors of Duke Ellington School of the Arts would have graduation on their minds.
In American society, becoming a senior is the best thing that could happen for any teenager. The dream starts with a big stage, cool cap and gown colors, an audience full of family and friends and then, names of the graduates are called to receive the ticket that holds the future.
But in the Ellington hallways, there is a mysterious excitement about prom-- not graduation. Senior girls are looking for the perfect dress, while the guys are already planning the night excitement after prom.
"I can't wait," said Rachelle Wheatley, a senior in the Visual Arts Department.
Sure, everyone is working hard now to ensure they will walk across the stage, but one must remember that prom is the true last night of fun with the whole class of 2007. This year, Ellington has 66 seniors, the smallest class the school has ever had in recent memory.
One senior said, "It's easy to get distracted. I'm anxious but it's weird because I know I should be focusing on my work."
Prom will be held at the Ritz Carlton this year, thanks to senior dancer Dijon Kirkland. An after party is currently being planned.
Websites for prom dresses and ideas:
Posted at 02:32 PM ET, 03/28/2007
Is Hip Hop Dead?
By Michael Newby
Hip-Hop is dead? No. I honestly think it's one of the most absurd things I've ever heard. Hip-Hop was just fine and dandy for everyone until Nas's latest album dropped. Now all of a sudden everybody holds a huge funeral for her.
No disrespect to the god Nas, but his album only extends on how emcees aren't real anymore. The last time I checked Hip-Hop was more than emceeing. It was a culture that consists of the other three elements of dee-jaying, b-boying, and graffiti. Though these elements aren't at the peak of where they could possibly be, they still exist.
As far as the state of emceeing is concerned, there are a large number of rappers that are rapping just because and are heavily saturated in watered down party lyrics and drug tales. But, instead of putting on a black armband for Hip-Hop, as a "real" fan you would question the longevity of the current subject matter in the music.
Hip-Hop is like a real living breathing human being--"it is subject to change". If you observe the art of rhyme, it's clear to see that it moves in cycles. In the genesis, emceeing wasn't too much about lyrical content anyway. It was loud party music just like it is now. If Chuck D never came with the politics, we would probably still be doing the wop or something like that. If Ice Cube never kicked in the door with gangster rap, we would probably still be uptight all the time talking about how corrupt the government is.
Hip-Hop is far from dead. She just got a lot of surgery and doesn't look as cute as she used to be. It's hard for me and many other people to swallow that, but it has to go down or you'll choke. I don't necessarily like where Hip-Hop is right now, but just because I don't like her as much doesn't mean she's dead. I still love her.