Category: OpEd

Why Must the Human Race Be Destroyed?

By Oğuzhan Özkan

We, the human race, are the defilers of the earth. I have strongly believed this fact throughout my entire life, even when I was a little kid. What we do has been reprehensible to me from the beginning. Everything our species has done is a guarantee of our future deeds. The factual evaluation of the causes of our greed, lust, consumption, savagery, bloodthirstiness and so on must be done by someone who dares to say that his own kind is scum and expendable when it comes to the greater good of the universe. Our acts here, on Earth, do not only affect us, but also inhabitants of our warm blue planet, and maybe someday, they will affect other life forms in space. We must become extinct if we have the slightest dignity left.

Our earth is approximately 4.5 billion years old. Human life began only 6 million years ago, and the oldest signs of civilization go back no more than only 8,000 years. So to be specific, we have been destroying this planet only throughout 0.178% years of its age and we already made a huge progress toward total annihilation. That takes a special effort and a special gift of barbarism. The impact we cause on the extinction rate of species is 10,000 times higher than the natural extinction rate, and, 0.1% of species are becoming extinct each year. There are nearly two million different species are out there, and it is painful to estimate the numbers and impending doom. We are hunting, we are killing, we are bombing and we mow down other species.

Animals are not the only example. We are also sharing our planet with trees. We have been cutting down the trees since the beginning of agriculture. We need to eat and satisfy our endless desire of consuming. We are obese, we are fat, we are insatiable and we eat more than we need. We need fat for our junk food, we need oil for our vehicles, we need wood for our furniture and our sense of aesthetics, we need plants to die in a few days for our girlfriends or for our ceremonies, we need cotton and silk for our clothing, we have to kill alligators for our purses or we need to kill furry animals just for our vanity and showing off. We need everything that nature does and does not offer. But we need to consume more than anything to maintain ourselves and pursue our goal of self-destruction.

We built palaces, houses, stone walls, fortresses, mansions, skyscrapers, farmhouses, statues, roads, highways, pavements, sewer systems, subways, churches, cathedrals, mosques, wells and even the world’s seven wonders while we were searching the meaning of life. And what we need on our road to destruction is more space. Space for ourselves and our descendants. Space for our tools, machines and facilities. Cutting down trees is not the only problem when it comes to creating spaces; biodiversity is what we’re also ruining. Deforestation causes the extinction of a vast number of species. Even reforesting is not ever enough: Once the biodiversity is gone, it is gone for good. Plant and animal species will go extinct or lose a great deal of their genetic diversity and variation. Rare animals or many potential medicines are lost because of deforestation.

In nature, everything is linked to one another. As a result of our consumption, we lose species and forests. Losing forests cost us our atmosphere, the very atmosphere we share with animals and plants. Losing the atmosphere impacts the water cycle. Species die because of lacking water. We try to ease our conscience by donating money or donating food for African kids, but as long as we keep consuming the way we consume now, it is nothing but just an endless circle of poverty.

The human race has a lot of disgusting qualities, but hypocrisy is the worst. World peace is what we seek, but on the other hand, we preserve nuclear weapons that have the capability to easily wipe off every single living creature from the face of the earth. Science, sociology, philosophy, folklore and cultural learning has brought us to a point where now we have our own self-made weapons for our doom. Everything we aggrandize, such as scientific research, is only an instrument to satisfy our endless greed. Our religions preach us good behaviours, but only again, in our own human terms. We still kill our own kind for some gods that have probably never existed in the first place. A phenomenon such as religion that is widely accepted and feared by people is still not enough intervene against our instincts.

Our instincts drive us to lunacy and we are desperate, helpless about it. It is the essence of our souls: We are unique killing machines. When we become a society, we are unstoppable. When we were kids, we were killing bugs just for fun. I have a recollection that I killed a hedgehog that was no threat to me when I was 10. It was fun, and I still recall that specific memory in shame. I rolled it down from the top our neighbourhood’s slope to the main road and it gave me a great pleasure to see it killed by the car tires again and again. I watched the dead hedgehog or what was left of it about an hour as the cars were running it over continually. Then I went home and watched cartoons like it never happened. That was only the effect of a 10-year-old boy on nature.

If time has taught me one or two things, one of them is definitely that I am, too, a unique killing machine myself deep down inside. I am not excluding myself while I am sticking the knife in my race — I must be destroyed for innocent species’ good. We will become extinct someday, happily, and recent studies show that it won’t be long. You may say, “What about the good people?” Exceptions make no rule; if you can’t stop it, you are a partner in crime. Every breath you take is blood on your hands.

From the Final Desk of the Managing Editor

 

By Alex Serrano

This is my last paper here at the Beacon as managing editor. Let’s just say I’ve learned quite a bit. I learned about effective communications. I learned to take criticism, especially when I deserve it, and dish it out, in a school-friendly manner. I learned all about that mythic quality, “journalistic objectivity.” I have really enjoyed going out and covering events I normally wouldn’t have gone to, and meeting people I wouldn’t have met.

I must admit that I never truly grasped a creative vision or aim for the paper. Maybe the paper has stumbled for it. Last year, the front page was a place to take a stand, rile some feathers, made a fuss. This year, usually I’d put it off, not think about the front page for a week, and then scramble to find an unsuspecting on-campus event to fluff up.

As William Randolph Hearst once said, “News is something somebody doesn’t want printed; all else is advertising.” I certainly feel that without a positive direction to work towards, we haven’t been doing the kind of riveting journalism that would ruffle some feathers. Our controversial topics of the year? The dissemination of Gaming Club into three separate factions. Insulting the entire Midcoast Campus. Petty things. We haven’t exactly been making waves here, folks.

So while the thrill of seeing one’s writing in an official printed source will probably never fade, I must pass the baton into the capable hands of Ben Riggleman, currently our copy editor. I hope you all pay him the same sort of obliging respect you paid me. So here goes nothing. Get ready for another great semester of The Beacon.

Why Design?

By Troy Hudson

We live in a wondrous age, when the marks of human design can be seen on everything from our phones and computers to our office chairs and toothbrush handles. Designers have sculpted the objects and experiences of our modern existence, striving to make life more beautiful, more efficient, more human. But this is also an age of extreme social and political division, ethnic and religious violence, and widespread ecological anxiety. In times like these, it is fair to question the role of art and design. Aren’t there more vital concerns demanding our attention?

I think it is brave to struggle with the question of why we design, especially when it gets uncomfortable to consider that it may not truly be necessary. I must begrudgingly admit that in history’s darker moments, beautiful design is not necessarily an essential pursuit.

John Adams once wrote in a letter to his wife, “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce, and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.” Adams knew that in the throes of the American Revolution, his energies were best applied to political matters if our young country was to survive long enough to produce Hemingways, Warhols, and Beyoncés.

We embrace design to elevate the experience of brushing our teeth, using apps on our phone or beautifying our homes, while people in other parts of the world struggle to find enough food to survive another day. It can seem that design is a frivolous occupation. But as human beings, we cannot help but strive for improvement. We are an ambitious species. Even though we have not yet solved the problems of today, such as how to feed the world’s 7.5 billion people, we are designing the world of tomorrow.

Design may be a luxury today, but it reflects our longing for an idealized world in which our major problems have been solved and the experience of being a human is better than it was for our ancestors. We may have a long way still to go, but designers have the potential to help create a better world for everyone. Design, at its best, is about serving mankind. That attitude can help ground us and bring perspective to our love for beautiful objects even, and especially, when the world is at its darkest.

Speak_Out

Freedom From Fear

Life is a battle that we all have to face. You can’t just turn away and give up. (Well, you can, but that won’t be very productive.) Life is so full of opportunities that with every second that goes by, those opportunities will disappear if you don’t take ahold of them now.

Take life with all your force: Charge forward and face your fears. Fears do not define you, because everyone has the power and the choice to face them. Many people hold back and don’t even try new things because that fear is holding them back.

Going for that dream job but fearing you will fail at it. Going to the gym but fearing that everyone will judge you. Answering a question in class but fearing you will answer it incorrectly. We all fear, but very few will conquer their fears. You don’t need to be an expert on something, you just have to try. Practice makes progress. If you try and fail, it’s okay — you learned, grew and conquered your fears.

You may have struggles along the way trying to surpass your fears, but this is for everyone, so don’t feel alone. Every tick-tock on the clock counts down to your deathbed. Don’t let fear strangle you and hold you back. You only have one life, so live it in freedom.

Dear Maniac Driver

You are not better than anyone else. So don’t think you have the right to speed, cut people off and not let people into another lane. You don’t have the right to honk at other drivers for no reason. You have no right to get angry when someone is driving the way that you don’t like.

You have no reason to go 50 miles over the speed limit on the highway. It’s doubtful you have a place that important to be.

You have no right to text and drive. You have no right to put someone in danger because you feel the need to text someone at that moment.

You have no right to turn on your brights when it’s dark to make people in front of you drive faster. No one likes it when you get on their tail and drive really close to them, just so you could drive a little more over the speed limit. And why can’t you use your turn signals? Why do you constantly, with an ignorant attitude, put other people in danger?

You are a jerk, and no, you are not better than anyone else on the road. So stop your inconsiderate thinking and drive the way considerate people drive.

Sincerely,

Every driver everywhere

Ways to Save Money

You may be in a situation where you are stuck in a financial situation, but don’t fret; there are many ways to save money! There are four simple ways you can start saving money as soon as possible!

The first way is to budget. Now, this seems obvious, but many people neglect this. They get their paycheck and instantly go out and buy something they want. They do not focus on what they need first. One way to budget is to write down your necessities first, then your wants second. Pay off the necessities first, and then whatever you have left over, you can spend on wanted items.

The second way is write down everything that you buy. Writing down what you purchase brings attention to where all your money is going. If you notice that most of your money is going to dinners out, then you may need to cut that out in order to help your bank account. Just simply writing purchases down can absolutely help you manage your money better.

The third way is to look at what you have already. Let your home speak to you, rather than the store shelves. Let’s say you need new clothing; before going to the store, look in your closet and see what you need. Listening to your home will help you cut your spending on unnecessary items.

The fourth and final way to save your money is to write lists of what you need when you go shopping. Writing lists is not just limited to the grocery store. Write lists when you go clothes shopping, toiletry shopping, etc., etc.

Hopefully you now have the tips and tricks you need to start saving your money.

Freedom From Fear

Life is a battle that we all have to face. You can’t just turn away and give up. (Well, you can, but that won’t be very productive.) Life is so full of opportunities that with every second that goes by, those opportunities will disappear if you don’t take ahold of them now.

Take life with all your force: Charge forward and face your fears. Fears do not define you, because everyone has the power and the choice to face them. Many people hold back and don’t even try new things because that fear is holding them back.

Going for that dream job but fearing you will fail at it. Going to the gym but fearing that everyone will judge you. Answering a question in class but fearing you will answer it incorrectly. We all fear, but very few will conquer their fears. You don’t need to be an expert on something, you just have to try. Practice makes progress. If you try and fail, it’s okay — you learned, grew and conquered your fears.

You may have struggles along the way trying to surpass your fears, but this is for everyone, so don’t feel alone. Every tick-tock on the clock counts down to your deathbed. Don’t let fear strangle you and hold you back. You only have one life, so live it in freedom.

Dear Maniac Driver

You are not better than anyone else. So don’t think you have the right to speed, cut people off and not let people into another lane. You don’t have the right to honk at other drivers for no reason. You have no right to get angry when someone is driving the way that you don’t like.

You have no reason to go 50 miles over the speed limit on the highway. It’s doubtful you have a place that important to be.

You have no right to text and drive. You have no right to put someone in danger because you feel the need to text someone at that moment.

You have no right to turn on your brights when it’s dark to make people in front of you drive faster. No one likes it when you get on their tail and drive really close to them, just so you could drive a little more over the speed limit. And why can’t you use your turn signals? Why do you constantly, with an ignorant attitude, put other people in danger?

You are a jerk, and no, you are not better than anyone else on the road. So stop your inconsiderate thinking and drive the way considerate people drive.

Sincerely,

Every driver everywhere

Ways to Save Money

You may be in a situation where you are stuck in a financial situation, but don’t fret; there are many ways to save money! There are four simple ways you can start saving money as soon as possible!

The first way is to budget. Now, this seems obvious, but many people neglect this. They get their paycheck and instantly go out and buy something they want. They do not focus on what they need first. One way to budget is to write down your necessities first, then your wants second. Pay off the necessities first, and then whatever you have left over, you can spend on wanted items.

The second way is write down everything that you buy. Writing down what you purchase brings attention to where all your money is going. If you notice that most of your money is going to dinners out, then you may need to cut that out in order to help your bank account. Just simply writing purchases down can absolutely help you manage your money better.

The third way is to look at what you have already. Let your home speak to you, rather than the store shelves. Let’s say you need new clothing; before going to the store, look in your closet and see what you need. Listening to your home will help you cut your spending on unnecessary items.

The fourth and final way to save your money is to write lists of what you need when you go shopping. Writing lists is not just limited to the grocery store. Write lists when you go clothes shopping, toiletry shopping, etc., etc.

Hopefully you now have the tips and tricks you need to start saving your money.

“Speak Out” is a new regular column by the Beacon’s Arts & Features editor and inspitational writer, Jessica Spoto, Communications & New Media major

How Do I Find the Perfect Career for Me?

By Zach Drew

Ultimately, that is what we are all here for, right? Each of us is making that personal investment in skill and knowledge building so that we too can join the Great American Workforce. The prize at the end of line after selling back your books is to secure employment doing something for which you have prepared yourself and carry a passion around.

If you are anything like me, you have been thinking about this since high school. I spend a lot of time considering what it is I am going to do with my degree once I graduate. I also spend a lot of time worrying about the “how” of finding the right career.

I recently started research on this topic, and what I found was surprising. In a March 9 press release by the Maine Department of Labor, Governor LePage said that he was “pleased to announce that the state has reached its pre-recessionary levels of private-sector employment.” He went on to say, “We must continue the reforms that have put us on a path to prosperity and not make poor policy choices that will drive workers and job creators from our state. Maine must compete with other states and countries for the people, investments, jobs and industries that will increase the earnings of our people and attract new residents to grow our workforce and meet the needs of these employers.”

What does this mean for SMCC students? It means career opportunities right here in Maine. The Maine Department of Labor website currently has a “Maine-at-Work Initiative” posted. The website contains information designed to connect job seekers with employers. There is a wide variety of information available on the site, and I recommend checking it out.

The workforce in Maine is getting older, and people are retiring at record numbers. This is not a phenomenon unique to Maine; it is happening across the country. What is good for us is the fact that those running the state recognize the need to keep young workers right here in Maine. There are free resources available through the Maine Department of Labor for tuition assistance as well as job connection services.

On a final note, I noticed the information provided by the Department of Labor indicated the average income in Maine rose in 2015 to just over $40,000. There is not anything available for 2016; however, I was hopeful given the trend and availability of work. So, my advice to each of you is to relax and enjoy the remainder of your education.

Check out the Maine-at-Work website, maine.gov/maineatwork/jobseeker, and use it to prepare for your future.

Letters to the Editor

letter

Dear Editor,

I’ll admit, until my teacher told the class to spend a few minutes reading The Beacon, I had never picked one up before. First impressions were good, however there are a few things I think could be improved on.

One of the big things for me was that some of the articles didn’t have much of a point to them. For instance, “How To: Grandma Chic,” or “The Mystery Machine” or the one “LEGO Batman: Better Together.” All three of these articles are featured in the Arts and Features part of The Beacon, and while I do understand why they are put there it doesn’t seem as though they have much weight to them. They seem like short little articles that were written to fill a page. “Grandma Chic” and “The Mystery Machine” don’t have much to them; there doesn’t seem like there is a reason for them to be there. They feel out of place. Maybe there could have been some pictures of students who do rock the grandma-chic look. I can understand the Batman article a little better; it is talking about how for people who grew up on the Batman comics, the movie Batmans don’t feel like Batman, and how the new “LEGO Batman” fixes that. But it still feels out of place; there wasn’t anything about that article that made an impact on me or left any real impression.

In this same section there is a movie review of “Get Out” — it was below an article about a director, so it works with this part of the paper. These two articles go together because they are both about movies; the other articles that I mentioned before don’t relate to anything else in this section except for the fact that they are kind of related to the arts. The “Tech Talk” section is well put together. It only had three articles, but they had a reason to be on that page. People would like, and need, to know “How to (Properly) Backup Your iPhone in iTunes”; and the majority of people always seem to be looking for more storage on their phones and computers, so the article “Is OneDrive the Best Cloud Based Storage?” works. There is a rhyme and reason for these articles to be there; they have a point to them.

Respectfully submitted by,

Katherine Ferland

Letters to the Editor

letter

Dear Editor,

I would like to tell you that your work on the newspaper The Beacon is well done. The articles are well placed, well organized, and have fairly decent headlines. The photos are sometimes a bit too small, as they don’t always catch my eye. Grammatical errors could not be found, and that tends to be something I get nitpicky about. I hope to see an article that talks about the issues regarding SMCC to balance the whole paper out. I found the advertisements to be well placed. I do indeed feel that some articles should talk about things outside of SMCC, just to make it a bit new and fresh. The front page should always be about SMCC for sure, with some other stuff near the back that talks about things not as relevant to the college.

There isn’t too much I can say that I don’t like, as I don’t usually read the news. Nevertheless, I did find myself reading more than I expected I’d let myself, as I got curious on some of the topics. I like the title “Truth in Photographs.” That truly intrigued me and left me wanting to know exactly what it was about.

Respectfully submitted by,

Ian Roderick