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Botox for an 8-year-old: Right, Wrong, or even Illegal?

There has been a huge public backlash against a mother who was recently put in the spotlight for giving her 8-year-old daughter botox for competing in beauty pageant.

Not only are the morals of this situation questionable but also the legality.  Botox is not approved by the FDA for being given to minors. Also, since it causes the child pain, could this be child abuse?

Botox being administered to 8-year-old Britney.

The mother’s defense was, “she asks for it.” But with no witnesses to attest to that statement, we really don’t know if that’s true. Even if it is, an 8-year-old is too young to be deciding that she wants botox. Most 8-year-olds can’t even cross the street or go out alone, much less decide that they want to alter their appearance. We don’t know what this could mean in the long term for her.

Britney receiving botox.

“She asks for it.” Really? That’s your defense? I recall cases where rapists claim “well, she asked for it.” But i suppose this woman has already shown us that she isn’t very intelligent, why am i surprised at her justification for such ridiculous behavior.

I do worry about the physical consequences the little girl could face but i’m more concerned about the mental and emotional issue she may have to deal with. If she looks in the mirror now and sees wrinkles, imagine what that’s going to be like as she continues to get older?

Britney and her mother.

When she starts hitting her pre-teen and teenage years, her body will be changing and she’ll think that the only “solution” for that is to turn to medical procedures.

I also worry about her self-esteem and her confidence. Little girls look up to their mothers to teach them how to be confident and secure in their appearances. But her mother is telling her that she needs to change her appearance to be beautiful. To me that’s wrong and goes against everything that a mother should be teaching their child.

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Nazi Death Camps: Justice?

In Germany, a man named John Demjanjuk was recently convicted for taking part in murdering thousands of Jews, specifically 28,060 that died while in the 6 month period of his employment at the death camp .  The 91-year-old was sentenced to 5 years in prison (5 years…really?). Of course, there is an appeal process that could take up to a year and the judge ordered that he not be held in custody during that period.  Though, there is no real “evidence” whether he committed  an actual crime. But technically, if he was aware of what was happening in the camps and he stood by and worked there, that seems like evidence enough. However, this is German law and i don’t know how this is similar/ different from U.S. law. I think if he is convicted, it would set a very interesting precedent as far as convicting murderers after wars are over.

Demjanjuk leaving court.

Though honestly, what’s the point of sending this guy to prison? I agree that he needs to pay somehow for his wrong-doing but jail isn’t the answer. It would be waste of money to send him to jail. Jail is supposed to act as a deterrence mechanism (which some studies suggest that it doesn’t but that’s another barrel of monkeys). So this 91-year-old man could be taking up space where other criminals, people who might actually repeat their crimes, could be.

Auschwitz survivors shortly the concentration camp was liberated in 1945.

There needs to be a different punishment worked out for him, maybe paying an amount of money that could be given to a Holocaust Memorial or some kind of community service. No, those aren’t equal to the crime committed but that’s not how a healthy justice system should function anyways. If we try to match punishments to crimes that are committed, we aren’t solving any problems.

Sobibor death camp.

Realistically, he’ll be dead before his trial is over. He’s an old man and at this point in his life, there aren’t many chances of actually “rehabilitating” him or somehow changing his ways. It’s a bit too late.

Sign at Sobibor death camp.


Cultural Event: Wind Ensemble

I went to the Wind Ensemble Concert. It’s been quite a while since i went to a music concert like this. One of the girls playing actually lives on my hall. It’s always interesting to see people outside of where i usually run into them. The music they played was beautiful and completely enjoyable to listen to. The band director was given an award at the end. Typically i’m not the kind of person who would just up and go to a Wind Ensemble but i actually really liked it. They played this one piece that involved a lot of drumming and it was so cool.

The crowd was pretty sparse. It looked like mainly parents, grand-parents, maybe some residents from Blakey Hall, and other Global students who procrastinated on their Cultural Events. Though, either way, big crowd or not, the musicians did a really good job.

Although i enjoyed it, this event isn’t really one of my favorites. It was nice but it’s not like it’s something i haven’t seen before. I should have planned ahead better so i could have been more selective about what events i attended. At least i learned something.

In the middle of the concert, i had a moral dilemma. Ironically it was dealing with my friend Emma. I had my phone sitting in my lap, on silent of course, simply so i could check the time. I should have just turned it off, but i didn’t anticipate any problems. At one point, my phone lights up: Emma’s calling. I didn’t answer it, i just let it “ring.” Then i texted her and told her i was busy and at a concert. I suppose i shouldn’t have texted her at all but i didn’t want her to think i was ignoring her. In girl-world it can be what some would call a “bitch move” to ignore a call. I was trying to avoid problems. However, in my attempt at avoidance i actually ran into trouble head-on. As i was texting, i felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around to meet my “tapper.” Frankly, i don’t enjoy unwelcomed touches, especially from people i don’t know. The woman who had tapped me whispered “can you shut that down?!”

Honestly, she needed to calm down. It’s not like i was sitting there the entire time texting obnoxiously. Ordinarily, i never would be so rude as to text during a concert or a show. I suppose in my attempt at trying to be polite towards Emma i was rude to this lady. I’m sorry that i sat down in front of the “moral police.” Even if i was, for instance, being annoying and texting the whole time, is it really her place to act like my mother and tell me to stop? I think not. Especially considering that she didn’t know the circumstances of what i was saying. No, it wasn’t a life-or-death scenario but it literally took about two seconds to text. In the future, i’ll just turn my phone off at these things so that my calls can go straight to voice mail.

But other than getting in trouble with someone-else’s mom, the concert was kind of fun and a bit relaxing.


Cultural Event: On that Note (Dance Concert)

I went to the dance concert called “On that Note.” It was a series of different dance segments. All of the sections were very different and had their own, unique themes. My favorite was the first part. It began pitch black, then soft lights appeared streaming down onto the stage and we could see a row of silver helmets. The lights flashed off again and then back on and to the right of the stage were a group of dancers. The dancers were dressed in black, spandex suits that went down to their mid-calves. The suits had two silver stripes and tight hoods to cover their hair. I thought it was interesting how it was hard to tell which were men and which were women. Obviously if you looked hard enough, you could tell but it was cool that their costumes allowed them to be almost “genderless” on stage. They did some different dance routines, all involving the silver helmets.  It was very different than any other dance routine i’d see before. It reminded me of a science fiction show like Star Trek or even the book Ender’s Game. It was kind of militaristic.

The segments after that were a bit more traditional. The next one had one lead dancer and a bunch of other dancers dressed in flesh-colored clothing.  The colors were appealing though. The back-drop was a soft blue color that faded as it got closer to the floor.This contrasted interestingly with the flesh-colored costumes. There was another segment where the stage was covered in what looked like dry leaves and the dancers were wearing lose, old-looking clothing. Occasionally, the dancers would throw the leaves. The stage had a red light shining on it and it created a sort of warm, autumn feeling. This segment seemed to go on too long. It got boring after a while and became predicable. The next segment used more traditional ballet dancers. They wore green and yellow costumes. They all reminded me of Tinker Bell. This segment had good movement though and it didn’t get very boring. It remained visually interested and changed constantly.

Ultimately, this concert was fun to attend. I enjoyed seeing the dancers and i know it must have taken quite a bit of work to accomplish those routines. It’s amazing that they have the time to put into all those hours of practice. It was a good idea to open with a segment that was so different and modern-looking. It definitely caught my attention and i was still thinking about it at the end of the show.I think nowadays traditional dance isn’t really the rage with shows like America’s Best Dance Crew and other shows like that that feature more modern, hip-hop style dancers. I enjoy watching those shows but it is cool to see the more traditional dances being done, especially when a modern twist is put on them. I plan on going to next year’s show as well. It’ll be neat to see what stays the same and what’s different. Either way, i’m sure it’ll be a fun and worthwhile experience again.


Cultural Event: Spring Concert

I recently went to the Spring Concert here at Elon. It featured three performers: Super Smash Brothers (aka two dudes with laptops), Wale (rapper guy), and Neon Trees ( a band that i’m actually a fan of).  I went to this show with my future roomie, Emma. She currently lives across the hall. She brought along a couple of her friends as well. One of which, was a complete jerk. He told me within at least 10 minutes of meeting me that i had twitchy eyes, that i was judgemental, uptight, angry and that if i argued with him that he’d “ruin” my reputation. He tried way too hard to be mean. It’s clear that he has some major insecurities with himself. I think for him it’s much easier to just be mean as nails than to make himself vulnerable, and be kind. Either way, i really couldn’t care less about his opinion of me; everyone else was very nice. Throughout the evening, inbetween dodging grinding-couples and trying not to get elbowed in the face by the 7-foot-tall dude in front of me, i was occasionally subjected to this kid’s kind and loving comments. He particularly loved making fun of my name. He asked me at least 5 times what my name was. Some people just can’t handle it.

The concert began with the Super Smash Brothers. I honestly had no idea who they were before this concert. I’m sure i’d heard of them once or twice but i really wasn’t certain. It turns out they are basically DJ’s and they remix popular songs. It turned the concert into more of a club atmosphere. There was lots of PDA everywhere, plenty of bumping and grinding and such.

Anyways, next up was Wale. He was the most popular by far. Though at first i wasn’t sure exactly which one was Wale because he had an entire posse on stage. But i figured it out.

I had heard of Wale before from Emma. He’s responsible for songs like “No Hands.”

It’s a fairly catchy song. But we shouldn’t read too much into the lyrics.

“I’ma sip Moscato, and you ‘gon lose dem pants
Then i’ma throw this money, while you do it with no hands
Girl drop it to the flo’ I love the way your booty go
All I want to do is sit back , and watch you move as I proceed to throw this cash.”

It essentially encourages alcohol, strippers, and the objectification of women. But even with that being said, the beat is catchy and it’s a fun song i suppose. Songs like “No Hands” get the most attention but he actually has songs that have more of a “deeper” meaning. Wale has songs like “Diary” and “Break Up Song” that have a much different message.

Wale

After Wale got off stage, the majority of people left the concert. I stayed because not only had i paid $20.00 dollars for this concert but also because next up was Neon Trees, a band i actually like and have heard of previously. It was a much different mood when Neon Trees came out; it was less “club-y” and more like an actual concert. The lead singer, Tyler Glenn, was a very interesting and energetic performer. I also liked that at one point he stopped and said something along the lines of “I don’t like to get serious at these things but i just want to say that i’m a face of bullying…” He went on to condemn bullying and the tragic effects it can have. I especially like that at the end of that he said: “I might have weird hair and you might wear khakis but that doesn’t mean we can’t go to the movies together.” He’s of course refering to his mohawk-ish hair-do.

Tyler Glenn

Neon Trees has a lot of catchy songs, such as  “Animal.”

I particularly like “1983”, “In the Next Room”, and “Your Surrender.”

Overall, I’m really glad i went to this concert. It was fun and definitely cool to see performers that i’ve heard on the radio.


Gummy Bears: Where are they?

I have wanted gummy bears for quite some time now. So i finally decided to go to Fountain Market and get some. Typically they either have boxes of gummy bears or a giant jar of them. But today, something very tragical happened…(i didn’t realize tragical was actually a word, this is so educational.)

There were and still are, no gummy bears to be found.

There were plenty of gummy worms, gummy fruit slices, jelly beans, peach rings, life savers, Swedish fish…but oh no, no gummy bears. And yes, i could lower my standards and just settle for the gummy worms or the peach rings, but im a purist.  I just want gummy bears.

Gummy Bear of epic proportions.

You might be thinking, but Daryl, why can’t you just go to the grocery store or Wal-Greens (which is oh-so-conveniently opened 24/7)?

I have a lengthy list of reasons, you better sit down:

1) I’m paying ( “I’m” i.e. my parents) a ridiculous amount to attend this fine institution. Therefore, there should be a multitude of gummy bears available.

2) I have roughly 90 meal dollars left and optimally, a large fraction of that would be spent on the GB’s.

3) I really don’t have a third reason, but a list of two reasons is just sad.

Gummy Bears walking on a log.

Last time i got gummy bears, i went to Wal-Greens (i originally tried to go to the grocery store but they closed early! what is this non-sense?!) Luckily though, Wal-Greens (my new best friend) was having a sale. 3 for $3! I only bought one box however (rookie mistake, i know) But in the end, im glad i only bought one because the gummy bears were weird colored…like…they were swamp colors or something. They tasted perfectly delightful but the colors were a let-down.

I’m currently in the library “studying” (aka complaining about gummy bears). I’m sitting next to this dude who smells like cigarettes and cologne. No bueno.

Gummy Bear Army


Cultural Event: Lia Purpua

I went to the ‘guest reading’ cultural event, which featured a writer named Lia Purpua. At the beginning, she announced the winners of a writing contest that she’d been the judge for. She told us a short synopsis about each of the winning essays. After that, she began reading one of her essays. At first i thought “Oh great, this is going to be so boring.” But actually, her essays were great. They were incredibly descriptive and insightful. I especially enjoyed the first essay she read. The essay began with her and her children at a carnival; her sons wanted to go see the Smallest Woman in the World. However, her daughter, didn’t want to go see the woman. It bothered her sons that the woman just sat there and was looked at. They didn’t understand why people paid to see her and they were worried about her. Then the essay went back to when Purpua was in college. She described how she hated walking past this particular area on the street because of the way the men looked at her.  She was envious of men in general because they didn’t have to deal with what she did. Eventually, this tied back to Purpua reading the Little House on the Prairie books to her son. She didn’t think he would like reading about Laura Ingalls and her sister. But in the end, he actually loved the books and wanted to be Laura.

At the beginning of the essay, i wasn’t really sure where she was going with it but she ended up making a very interesting point at the end. I loved this essay.

The next essay she read didn’t really stick in my mind as well as the first one. I think i missed the point of the second essay. In it, she described her experience of going to a morgue for a day and watching autopsies being performed. It was a little bit gross and frankly, i didn’t enjoy hearing about the layers of fat some dead guy had.  She seemed pretty fascinated with watching them remove organs and such. I wasn’t quite as fascinated hearing about it.

Overall though, i really enjoyed this event. It’s probably one of my favorite ones. I took creative writing in high school so writing is still an interest of mine. Purpua was also a good reader, so it didn’t feel like she was reading essays as much as just telling a story. At some points, her writing went off into overly descriptive rants. I thought they were a bit unnecessary and when she did i was just impatient for her to get back to the actual story. This was definitely worth my time and was actually kind of relaxing. I don’t think i would have gone if i hadn’t been required too because it really didn’t sound that appealing. But now that i’ve gone and actually really liked it, i plan on keep my eyes open for future events like this.