By Boni Garber – Horizon Opinion Editor
There are no lights. There is no camera. There is only music, entertainment and action. Radio podcast, 128 The Spot hosted by Marcus (Marco) Barbosa, Marcus Ruiz and Josh Lightsey began as a podcast on February 23, and has quickly become a topic of conversation at Hesston College. Airing every Thursday night at 10:30 p.m. 128 The Spot has generated over 60 likes on Facebook and averages 20-50 regular listeners each week. The idea for the podcast originated from Barbosa, who grew up in a family where creating music and homemade radio dramas on cassettes was the norm. “I went home over Christmas break and met up with a friend who hosts on a radio show, and I got inspired,” said Barbosa. “It reminded me of the radio shows I would do with my cousins and uncles when I was little.” After meeting with Ruiz, who quickly agreed to the idea of helping to show host a podcast, Barbosa began to look for someone with recording equipment. “Marcus and Marco kept bugging me for weeks about the podcast,” said Lightsey “You know how some people present an idea and then never act on it? Well, Marco and Marcus just weren’t like that.” Inspired to start a podcast, Barbosa, Ruiz and Lightsey’s goal for the podcast is to provide a place for entertainment on campus that is different than other radio stations. “Everybody gets bored on campus sometimes and this provides a variety of different of music and topics available for discussion,” said Barbosa. 128 The Spot offers music from Adele to David Crowder Band, and anything in between. As a way of reaching to the students, 128 The Spot also covers a variety of topics from relationships to spring break, and counts on its listeners to spread the word. “We are all about our listeners,” said Lightsey. “We love to see how many listeners we can touch because we’re more than music and entertainment.” 128 The Spot will continue broadcasting for the rest of the school year, but future plans for the podcast is still unclear. Because of Ruiz’ graduation in May, the podcast may have to close only after a few short months of air-time. But, Lightsey is still optimistic about the future. “I would love to keep this podcast going next year. I think we can reach a lot of people,” said Lightsey, “But even if we can’t, its [doing a podcast] a whole lot of fun.”Read More
By Marion Bontrager – Instructor of Bible and Religion/Horizon Guest Writer
Samira Ibrihim walked out of court on March 11 a tearful but undefeated woman. One year after she and six other Egyptian change activists had been subjected to acts of torture, including a highly invasive “virginity test,” a military court acquitted the army doctor accused of performing the test on the women. While the current military government in Egypt will not be held accountable for these heinous acts, Ibrihim was unfazed. The New York Times reported her online response: “Nobody violated my honor, it’s Egypt whose honor was violated. And I will go on till the end to get her rights.”
Ibrihim could have merely set up an organization to provide therapy for the women who were personally invaded with the exams. Instead she sued the military to change the “powers” so other women would not be so invaded sexually in the future. She addressed the powers (causes) rather than only the victims.
Real mission, like Ibrihim’s, is a far cry from what our churches today are calling service. First, it goes beyond the “Band-Aid” approach. It works prophetically at changing systems and powers. Short-term, so-called “mission trips” by churches and colleges are really more about learning than about doing real good for those we’re supposed to be serving. Those so-called mission and service trips are often feel-good, narcissistic activities that further blind us to the underlying systems and causes of poverty and suffering. The “short-term service” activity may actually get us off the hook from giving any long term, authentic sacrifice.
But the short-term service experience is a popular church activity today. Food packaging, clothing drives, month-long relief fundraisers have all been done at Hesston, as well as area churches. Some so-called mission trips even involve wealthy Christians spending large travel funds to go to far away countries to build houses for the unemployed poor. These projects not only fail to create a lasting solution, they often fail to empower. Why not furnish the money and a supervisor so the poor could be employed and have the dignity of having built their own homes!
Second, they also require little commitment or sacrifice. Let’s be clear: Providing relief by giving food and clothing is a kind of service that is certainly needed. But if followers of Jesus stop there, they fall far short of what Jesus calls us to be: “Wise as serpents and harmless as doves” peacemakers. Shouldn’t educated Christians be a bit smarter snakes?
Mennonite Central Committee got the message. MCC used to be only a “relief in the name of Christ” organization. Thank God after WWII, some wise MCC leaders moved from being a “relief only” organization to the type of organization focusing on “development in the name of Christ.” They’ve also become the kind of organization that addresses the political sources of crisis, “testifying in the name of Christ to Washington powers” that often support governments and multi-national corporations (powers) causing the need for relief.
Real service can be unpopular and even dangerous. Dom Helder Camara, a Roman Catholic archbishop said, “When I give food to the poor they call me a saint; when I ask why they are poor they call me a communist.” Mennonites have experienced this firsthand. When Mennonite Christians have picked up the pieces after wars, they are applauded. When they protest or seek to stop a war they are condemned by many. Providing services to veterans with post-traumatic stress is applauded. Challenging the militarism powers and mythologies that cause the illness is instantly condemned as unpatriotic.
And this is where the real sacrifice lies. When the powers are challenged and exposed, they fight back. Prophetic service like Martin Luther King Jr.’s can become unpopular, even dangerous. Prophetic protestors are often called “unpatriotic,” “naïve,” and “negative.” It’s an uphill battle, like we witness during the Occupy Wall Street movement: The banks fought back against those trying to expose the secretive banking practices that exploit the 99 percent. Even the media, often self-serving for corporate profits, get co-opted into condemning the protestors!
Is so called Christian service any different from other service? It ought to be. First, the motivation ought to be “gratitude to God.” Secondly, it needs to go beyond mere crowd-pleasing “Band-Aid” relief doesn’t fully address the problem and contributes to our own narcissism. It needs to be more insightful. It needs to include the prophetic exposing of the powers; companies, organizations and systems that cause the need.
By Alyssa Rychener – Horizon News and Features Editor
The movie opens with scenes filled with people donning multicolored hair piled atop their head, extravagant dresses and suits in vibrant pinks and blues, and grotesque white faces with lips and eyes painted garishly. These are the privileged people of the Capital.
Contrast that with the dirt roads, dilapidated wood cabins, electric fences, and haggard looking residents of District 12 and you begin to understand the injustice that guides the story, and Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), the movie’s heroine. From the beginning, director Gary Ross brings Suzanne Collin’s book “The Hunger Games” to life.
The nation of Panem is located in what used to be the United States. The Capitol is a city of prosperity while the other 12 districts, under the Capitol’s rule, are working hard for basic necessities. Every year the nation participates in the Hunger Games, a tournament used by the capitol to maintain their power and instill a dose of fear throughout the districts. In these games, one girl and one boy is picked from each district to fight to the death on live TV.
This year, Katniss steps in for her little sister Prim to play in the games. While she’s sure there is little to no chance of her survival in the games, she knows she must try. By the time the games begin, Katniss has been rated as a top contender, and she must consider what it means to be a source of entertainment for the Capitol while fighting for humanity at the same time.
The high popularity of “The Hunger Games” trilogy gave the movie the hype that it needed. Opening weekend it topped box office charts, bringing in $152.5 million. It is now ranked number three (behind “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2″ and “The Dark Knight”) in all-time biggest film debuts.
Although it received high ratings, viewers that had read the book came out a little disappointed. Readers could not complain that the movie changed too much of the book, but there was a lack of depth that the book had offered. While the book allows the reader to see into Katniss’ thoughts and debates, the movie shows little of the internal struggles she has. Much of the background was left to be inferred, making some parts, especially the beginning, confusing for those that had not read the book beforehand.
What was done right in this movie was the attention to detail in all parts of the set. The book came alive on screen, especially through setting design and costumes, as it should have considering the $80 million Lionsgate spent on the movie.
“The Hunger Games” is a well made and entertaining movie, but it can be added to the list of movies not to compare to the book.Read More
By Stefanie Ruhs – Horizon Opinion Columnist
“Hi, this is Stefanie. I am calling from Hesston College to talk to you about your college plans.”
As a student recruiter for Hesston, this is how I start phone conversations every Wednesday and Thursday night. It is my job to get people interested in coming here, but I’ve noticed that a lot of people seem less interested once they find out it is a two-year school. I can´t blame them for not knowing the advantages of a two-year school. But the real question is, do you know what advantages you have? Do you use them?
If you look at four-year schools there are many things you can do to be involved in college, things that will look great on a résumé later. The only downside: Things that look good are mostly reserved for juniors and seniors. Where else do you see freshmen and sophomores in lead roles in theater productions? Solos in the choir? Newspaper editor? Ministry Assistant and RA? Starter in a sports team?
I could go on, but I think you get my point. Hesston gives you the opportunity to be involved, especially now when most of your time is still spent on stuff that is not directly related to your major. The junior and senior year of college will be different; studies get more serious. A two- year school gives you the opportunity to live it up and gain experience in extracurricular activities before it gets serious.
This does not mean you should not take your studies seriously; by all means make sure you have the grades you need. But the point is, do something else, on top of what’s required. Think about this as you register for 2012-2013 classes. The skills learned by writing for the newspaper, broadcasting a radio show or being the costume manager for the next play will be invaluable.
It will also make you look more interesting on a résumé. You will look more social and more engaged. It will show your ability to connect with people and how much you were involved. According to University Language Services, employers will look for your skills in leadership (like captain on a team) or writing skills (newspaper). Volunteering does not make you look bad either – it makes you look engaged.
Everybody in college is expected to study. What you do besides studying is what´s going to make you stick out. So the next time you don´t really know what to do with that extra time you’ve got, look at the opportunities that Hesston gives you. Once you move on to the next college, look at the juniors and seniors who are only then getting those experiences and say, “Yeah. Been there, done that.”Read More