Tag Archives: Isaac Mathewson

Columnist supports marijuana legalization

By Isaac Mathewson

When I was on vacation in New York City last year, I saw a man walking around Times Square with a bucket of money and a sign strapped on to him saying “Legalize Weed.” I couldn’t help but notice that the bucket was about 2/3 full and counting and there were dollar bills as high as $10 and I might have even seen a $20. That had me thinking, “There must be a lot of people who support the legalization of marijuana.”

It turns out, I was totally right. Ever since the countercultural movement of the 1960s, efforts to legalize marijuana have increased every year thanks to the amount of support it has been getting. The question is why are there so many efforts to support marijuana and not stronger drugs such as cocaine and heroin?

To answer that question, we have to look into the science of marijuana as a drug and the history behind why it was made illegal in the first place.

The first aspect to consider when supporting marijuana legalization is to look at its effects. Marijuana has been known to cause highs which give a user a psychoactive reaction to the drug. There can be many different effects, such as short term memory loss, feelings of euphoria or anxiety, increased appetite, relief from pain or discomfort, reduction of nausea or the urge to vomit, enhanced memory, and increased appreciation in surroundings. All of these effects are relatively short lived and it has been proven that the drug is not anywhere nearly as addictive as nicotine, heroin, or cocaine. Also, it rarely causes long term effects, depending on how often the user uses it or its manner of consumption.

Another aspect to consider is the history behind its legalization. In the 1850s, laws were passed to pharmacists that required them to label any narcotics as “poison,” without much explanation, including marijuana. In the 1930s, Harry J. Anslinger, head of the then recently created Federal Bureau of Narcotics, led a massive political campaign to make marijuana illegal, as he believed that it caused insanity and crime, much more than alcohol. His campaign included advertisements and other forms of propaganda, including the 1936 film Reefer Madness. His efforts led to the passing of the Marijuana Tax Act of 1937, which put a tax on marijuana sales and eventually led to the full illegalization of the drug.

Some may consider Anslinger’s actions to be beneficial to our country’s health, but let’s think about the problems it has caused. The most obvious problem is his interference in free speech. It should not be up to the government to decide how we live our lives and what we put in our body, however harmful it may be.

There is also controversy that Anslinger had racist reasons for why he made marijuana illegal. He is reported to have said in a newspaper, “Marijuana influences Negroes to look at white people in the eye, step on white men’s shadows and look at a white woman twice.” If he did it out of racism, then that would make the law he drafted abominable. It also does not help that he had fabricated many studies on the effects of the drug.

As more people are becoming aware of these problems and the controversy surrounding them, marijuana support has increased significantly. Since 1970, there have been attempts to make it legal in many states. There have been many laws that have decriminalized marijuana possession and use for medicinal purposes, while maintaining the prohibition of selling or consuming without a prescription. In addition, two states, Colorado and Washington, have completely decriminalized marijuana.

There are many reasons to why these changes have occurred and why people support marijuana in the first place. Many believe, and I share these viewpoints, that marijuana legalization will reduce crime in the United States, boost the economy, and help put an end to the futile War on Drugs. The War on Drugs is one of the most pointless wars ever declared in this country. Not only is it a war that the U.S. can never win, but it has actually cost more lives than saved. Thousands are dying in the Mexican Drug War every year, not from the drugs themselves, but by the violence that is ensuing over them. Meanwhile, the Drug Cartel continues to thrive on the profits it has made and it continues to find ways to ship their cargo overseas to other countries. If the war ends, lives will be saved, economic activity will increase in Mexico, and democracy will spread.

There will obviously be negative effects on the public if marijuana is made legal. There will be people who abuse it, as there are for all drugs, and it can cause users to lose focus or interest in school or work. Also, it can cause slow reaction time in a user, which can impair driving and operating machinery. However, there is no proof that marijuana itself causes any health problems. The only way it does is if a user smokes it, but there are many other ways to consume it, such as through pills or vapor.

I am glad to see that the country has doubled its efforts to legalize marijuana. There are 28 states that have reduced criminalization in some form or another, including two of which, as I said before, that have completely decriminalized it. Even major political leaders have shown support in its legalization, such as Arnold Schwarzenegger and Barack Obama. I’d say that now is the time for us to get up and show support for marijuana legalization. Even if we decide not to use it, we should at least show our support for the sake of free speech. I’m sure that’s what the Founding Fathers would have wanted. After all, virtually all of them had  smoked it at one point.

Theatre director sets goals for next year

By Isaac Mathewson

As the lights of this year dim down, theatre director Robbie Steiner reflects on his fourth year at FC and his second year as director.

Steiner said that he has improved greatly since last year.

“I have a much better idea how to plan things out than I did last year.”

The one aspect Steiner will miss the most about this year is the departing seniors.

“Many of these seniors have been in this program since my first year here. I’ve seen them grow throughout their years of high school. It will be hard for me to see them go.”

As the year ends, Steiner has begun making plans for next year.

First, he has seen a great increase on people joining the program since last year, especially in his tech class, which only had a mere eight joining this year.

Steiner said that not a whole lot will change in next year’s curriculum, apart from developing practical hands-on experience for techs and giving more emphasis on musical theatre.

There is no news yet on what plays will be performed next year, but Steiner said that there will be many family favorites, which might possibly include Annie.

Steiner has several goals that he wishes to set next year. For one, he hopes to improve himself by balancing his own life with his work on the program.

“This is a really stressful, albeit fun, job. I want to be able to serve this program well while still trying to support my own needs.”

Another goal he wishes to set is to provide more opportunities for actors and techs.

“I want to cultivate student leadership, not just for the seniors, but for lowerclassmen also.”

Although there are many aspects that Steiner will miss about this year, he still has a positive outlook for next year and for the years that will follow.


Seniors cope with senioritis

By Isaac Mathewson

The school year is drawing to a close. As the seniors prepare for the real world, many of them are currently going through a phase known as “senioritis.”

Senioritis is a colloquial term that describes decreased motivation in school work by high school or college seniors as their graduation draws near. It is very common among high school seniors and it is at its peak during the last month of the year.

As he prepares for college, senior Greg Micco gives his views on his senioritis.

“It’s really bad. I just want to graduate and get everything over with already.”

Micco plans on going to Ivy Tech for college, to be a major in mechanical engineering. He has already been accepted and wishes that he can get started now.

“High school is only your introduction to the real world. It isn’t until college that you actually enter it.”

Senioritis can affect people in many different ways. For one, it leads to lack of interest in school work and can cause failing grades. Although it is rare for senioritis to lead to failure to be accepted into college, it can happen.

Graduate Devon Carlisle said that she almost did not get into IUS because of her declining grades during her senior year two years ago.

“I just completely lost interest in everything; I thought that since I was already accepted, I didn’t really need to work hard anymore.”

Senioritis has also led many to consider dropping out. Senior Clay Byrd said that he had considered dropping out to go to a community college that does not require a high school diploma.

“I just don’t see a point on continuing something that will mean little or nothing to me 10 years from now.”

Several teachers have been willing to help people with senioritis in any way they can. Special education counselor Larry Schellenberg and math teacher Angela Klingsmith allow online courses for students who are on the verge of failing or even help them finish classes early.

“I have people with senioritis come up to me all the time expressing their concerns,” said Klingsmith, “I am willing to help in any way I can.”

Both Schellenberg and Klingsmith understand the plight of students with senioritis and know how common it is among teens, especially near the end of the year. They know that these students are not lazy, they are just too willing to leave. They both are available for anyone who is going through senioritis and will do anything to help that person finish high school successfully.

Critic gains influence from much overlooked web series

By Isaac Mathewson

I have sought a career in Hollywood as a screenwriter and director since childhood. However, seeing that I cannot go there for several more years until I finish college, I mostly stick to writing movie reviews or film related topics. I also spend time reading and watching reviews from other critics as a means of teaching myself how to write a good movie and to avoid previous mistakes of others. One of my favorite film critics is Doug Walker, creator and star of the hit web series The Nostalgia Critic.

The show is a comedy/review series about an angry film critic who reviews movies and T.V. shows from his childhood, the 1980s and 90s, and sulks over the ones whom he feels had not held up well. He often goes into great detail about problems he has with the movies and shows that he reviews and he sometimes goes into over-the-top tantrums whenever one of them proves to be too horrendous. Apart from reviews, he also has Top 11’s (because he likes to go one step beyond) on film and T.V. related topics and he also does “Old vs. New” in which he compares a “nostalgic classic” with a remake (i.e. The Ten Commandments vs. The Prince of Egypt). In almost every episode, he opens with his catchphrase: “Hello, I’m the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don’t have to.”

The Nostalgia Critic is a satire and parody series. Apart from obvious parodies of other movies, there are many episodes which shows the Critic getting into bizarre situations that have something to do with the movie he is currently watching/reviewing. These situations include battles with famous film characters and even Hollywood’s “attempts” on world domination.

Walker’s philosophy of the show is that everyone needs a nostalgia critic, because we all are in some way. We all have seen movies and shows from our childhood that we either were excited about seeing and were disappointed by, or that we have liked as kids, but looking back, we wonder what we even saw in them. This philosophy is how he got his name.

Walker has reviewed many movies and shows and while not all of his reviews are negative, he always points out what upsets him the most and sometimes he goes on huge rants about the elements that are just too ridiculous to accept. Some of his most famous reviews are: Garbage Pail KidsBatman and RobinThe Room, and Moulin Rouge. He is famous for his detailed descriptions, as well as bringing up points that haven’t been brought up before. Most importantly, he has come up with some of the most famous inside jokes on the Internet, among the most notable “Bat Credit Card” from his Batman and Robin review and “Bunny Boobies” from his Space Jam review.

The show has been on the web for about seven years, although at one point it was cancelled by Walker, but brought back. He posts a new video almost every week, which is quite impressive considering the short amount of time he comes up with these ideas. It can be found on YouTube, as well as on his website: That Guy with the Glasses. On the website, there are also other shows, hosted by his friends and partners, that deal with similar topics, including Nostalgia ChickCinema Snob, and Bum Reviews. While I enjoy most of them, I still believe that the Nostalgia Critic is the best. He has many fans inside the entertainment industry such as Christopher Lloyd, the creators of Animaniacs and Gargoyles, the late Roger Ebert, who called his tribute to Siskel and Ebert video the funniest review of the show he had ever seen, and former child actress Mara Wilson, who has made several guest appearances on his show and its sister shows.

While I do not agree with everything he says, I still believe that he writes great reviews that are both funny and informative. It is not a show for everyone, as some may be aggravated from his foul language and his tendency to raise his voice and get angry. However, if you were a kid who grew up during his time period who watched these shows and movies, or if you are a film buff and/or intend to go into the entertainment industry, this is a show that I highly recommend you to watch. It is simply one of the best web series in history.

This weekend’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ ends theatre year

By Isaac Mathewson

FC theatre director Robbie Steiner’s second year has reached its conclusion. To end the year right, he has brought the school an adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Pride and Prejudice.

Pride and Prejudice tells the story of Elizabeth Bennet, a young middle class woman who falls in love with Mr. Darcy, a handsome rich man who does not return her love because she is of a lower class. Both of them must overcome their pride and prejudice if they are to finally express their love for each other.

Junior Alyson Jones, who plays Elizabeth, is very excited to be a part of this show.

“I know that there is going to be at least one beautiful performance, a few mistakes, and many tears will be shed.”

Jones has spent the past few months preparing for her role. She says that her greatest strength is facial expression and her greatest weakness is memorization. She likes to spend Monday rehearsals studying her role and getting into her character, which she describes as spunky and opinionated.

Senior Collin Jackson, who plays Mr. Darcy, is also excited to be a part of this production, which will be his final performance here at FC.

“It’s a great learning experience. It greatly contrasts from my role in The Scarlet Pimpernel.”

Jackson says that this role really allows him to focus on his acting and improve on his strength of feeling emotion and his weakness for displaying that emotion.

Behind the scenes, there is a crew of only four techs:  senior John McGehee as stage manager, junior Madeline Kemp as lighting designer, freshman Jerran Kowalski on lighting board and sophomore Sam Simms on sound board.

Kemp’s job is to give lighting queues to Kowalski. It is her first job in this position.

“Lighting is what moves the show in the right direction; it is great to have this new position.”

Although the tech crew is small, all of them act professionally and they believe that the show will be good.

Pride and Prejudice will premiere on April 25, 26, and 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 26 and 27 at 2 p.m.