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Photo Courtesy of Twitter

Jeff Turner

In a shocking upset, Gateway Senior Staff Writer Jeff Turner has been taken on to be the starting point guard for the Los Angeles Lakers. This came as a shock to those who have known Jeff for a long time.

“Jeff is not the athletic, celebrity type,” said a childhood friend who declined to provide a name. “At school, Jeff was more like the kid who sat in the corner and complained about the fact that the other kids were going and doing something.”

Turner was undeterred despite the negativity from his friends.

“It’ll be awesome, I’ll change so much about how the team works,” Turner said “First off, they work too much, I get that I’m supposed to be a famous sports celebrity and look good or whatever, but man, it is so much work.”

Coach Luke Walton loved Turner, however. He noted that he enjoys the newest Lakers’ antics.

“My favorite thing about Jeff is how he’ll always make a point to show up 45 minutes late to practice,” Walton said. “One time he claimed he got trapped in snow in the middle of summer, and we all believed him until it turned out that he wanted to get caught up on ‘Shark Tank.’”

Few on the team are angry about this arraignment, claiming there would be no point in his addition, but almost all of them are completely confused.

“One of the few times he came to practice, Jeff started screaming at me and really losing his mind, and I’m just like, ‘I tried to pass the ball” point guard D’Angelo Russell said.

“Jeff works so well with the team,” Walton continued. “His chronic incompetence and grotesque lack of qualifications really bring a fun, positive air to the team.”

Basketball season eventually started and Turner got his first shot at the action. Or, at least he would have.

The game never happened because that was the day the aliens attacked. They came with their lasers and their broadswords, and they conquered en masse. Turner went up to them to yell, but they assumed he was homeless and ignored him, going on about their quest.

This country came into a deep apocalypse.

“It is now, more than ever, this great nation needs basketball,” Walton said. “That is why I would like to announce the newest starting point guard of the Lakers, Sophie Ford!”

Former Managing Editor of the Gateway Sophie Ford was baffled that she was being offered this job, but said she needed the money to buy dead rats for her family.

“I’m probably just going to sit in the corner, do nothing, and hope no one notices,” Ford said.

The Lakers ignored the aliens and went to the NBA Finals that year. All of the team members were riddled with joy despite the recent alien attack, except for D’angelo Russell.

Russell successfully high-tailed it to New Zealand because New Zealand is supposed to be lovely right now. The sun is visible, undaunted by sand, there are happy people, and most importantly, there are no aliens.

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Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Sophie Ford

Tens of thousands of years ago, human beings began leaving their mark on the world through paintings made on the walls of caves, carved sculptures and incisions made into rock. Before we as a species had even developed any form of writing system, our history was recorded in these pieces of art. Thousands upon thousands of years later, Francis Scott Key wrote the words to perhaps the most highly regarded song in the United States: The Star Spangled Banner.

Whole generations of children who grew up in the late 20th century were educated and inspired daily by
visits to Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood. Visual art, music and public access broadcasting all have something in common: they are mediums directly threatened by Donald Trump’s proposal to slash funding for the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.

Plans to cut funding to the NEA and the NEH came to light over the past week as part of a memo featuring a proposed hit list of various programs to cut in order to reduce spending. However, the NEA’s budget last year was $148 million, a mere pittance at only .004 percent of the total federal budget for the year. It’s a drop in the bucket in terms of federal spending, but the small amount allocated to these endowments goes towards offering grants to artists and performers and funds many public television networks across the country.

It’s increasingly clear that the proposed defunding of these programs is less of a shortcut to cutting federal spending, and more of a direct attack of the existence of the arts in the United States as a whole. Proposed attacks on federal spending to the arts aren’t new, they existed back in the time of the conservative president Ronald Reagan. Attacks on arts funding have in the past reared their heads in response to controversial works of art that challenged what society viewed as “proper” or “acceptable.” In simpler terms, attacks have been made on art for being deemed too liberal.

But not all works are even so divisive in nature. PBS would be one victim of cuts to federal funding of the arts, and also has drawn fire many times in the past for holding some sort of liberal bias.

One specific PBS show that has drawn fire is Sesame Street, an educational show targeted at children. Conservative author Ben Shapiro criticized the show for being so bold as to suggest that conflict should be resolved peacefully if possible, and that children should be accepting and understanding of those with different skin colors than themselves.

Despite political affiliation, what opponents of the arts fail to realize is the arts are integral to the human experience as a whole. It is impossible to go a day without being exposed to some aspect of artistic or creative expression. The clothes we put on each morning, the music we listen to on the radio while commuting to work and the colors of paint on the walls in our offices and classrooms are all a result of artistic expression and decision making. Furthermore, the arts exist in part to tell us truths, oftentimes uncomfortable truths. The peace sign was created as a response to the very real threat of nuclear violence and popular music to this day touches on themes of inequality.

The current dominant political party, headed up by none other than Donald Trump, has frequently lambasted the media for seeking truths, ignoring facts under the defense of “fake news.” It is of no surprise that Trump now too comes after the arts, a medium which consistently tell us how things were, how things are now, and inspires us to be better.