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Turner

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Photo Courtesy of Twitter

Jeff Turner
SENIOR STAFF WRITER
DISCLAIMER. THE TOPICS AND ISSUES COVERED IN THIS EDITION ARE NOT REAL NEWS.
… HAPPY APRIL FOOLS DAY.

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.

Photo Courtesy of HBO Canada

Jeff Turner

HBO’s latest miniseries features a murder, where several upper class-wealthy California mothers are supposedly involved. The director of the first episode is Jean Marc-Vallee of “Dallas Buyers Club” and “Wild” (likely why they got Reese Witherspoon and Laura Dern) and the showrunner is David E. Kelley (“Ally McBeal”). The cast doesn’t stop at Witherspoon and Dern, it also includes Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, Alexander Skarsgard, Adam Scott, and Zoe Kravitz. The pilot looks to be going interesting places, and there’s some good character work going on with both the writing and the performances. There are some problems, though.

Madeline Mackenzie (Witherspoon) is taking her daughter, Chloe, to elementary school. She’s tightly wound and high maintenance, so when she sees a teenager texting in her car, she needs to get out and yell at them. Through this she meets Jane Chapman (Woodley) and her son, they then hit it off. It goes from there.

The miniseries is centered around a murder at an elementary school fundraiser (presumably the play Madeline is seen preparing for throughout the pilot?) and the crux of the story is told in flashbacks.

One thing that’s noticeable is the cutback to the police interrogating people from the school and having them talk about these people. It serves as a device to establish a form of quasi-narration, but at the end of the pilot it cuts back and it shows the investigator watching those same people talk. It seems redundant, it’d be easier to either include one or the other.

The writing is often quite strong. The show sits down and takes its time to develop its characters, with a lot being told about who they are based solely on how they react to situations and go about their days. There are some on-the-nose moments however, a particularly cringe worthy line is when Laura Dern’s character, Renata Klein, takes a phone call and says that it must be her Hamilton tickets and that she’s already seen it four times.

It’s because she’s wealthy, get it?

The acting is remarkable, Witherspoon is perfectly cast in the sort of role that she perfected a lengthy time ago. A high-strung aristocrat with a strong will and a tendency towards grudges. Woodley is likely miscast. She is approaching her mid-twenties but she still looks like she’s seventeen. She’s not a bad actress but she doesn’t come across as life weary and worn down here. It’s possible she will get an opportunity to show her chops later in the series. Dern offers a reliable presence in Renata, controlled, contrasting Madeline’s mania. Kidman is also restrained.

It’s clear more is being saved for later, and Kelley is good about keeping secrets hidden. The identity of the person who was murder doesn’t get revealed in the pilot, which is phenomenal.

Hopefully that trend continues until it is appropriate to make the reveal.

“Big Little Lies” offers a scathing, meditative analysis on private school culture. It is schlock on
the surface, but there is more underneath.

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Jeff Turner
SENIOR STAFF WRITER

This past Friday, as part of a fraternity hazing, 19-year-old Creighton student Christopher Wheeler was allegedly force-fed either LSD or marijuana laced with PCP. Later, in his alleged drug-induced state, he slashed a fellow student, Teresa Spagna, grazing her throat. Spagna was treated and released, but Wheeler is now barred from campus and facing assault charges.

This was clearly due to the drugs Wheeler was on, and while they argue about how Wheeler came to take those drugs, the community at large must stop and ask, why would someone think including LSD or PCP into a hazing is a good idea?

It’s possible that these members of this fraternity are simply sociopaths, looking to prey upon anyone who will give them the time. It is also possible, and indeed plausible, that these kids included these drugs in the hazing without knowing their potency.

The fact is that there are a lot of kids that don’t listen to drug educators (DARE and the like). It’s hard to pinpoint a decent reason, certainly the curriculum is not particularly conversational, which always hurts, but one possibility is that kids go to these drugs because of their illegality. They seem dangerous, like a kid sticking their hand into the cookie jar despite the fact mom and dad said no.

Recently, as reported by the Washington Post, marijuana use in Colorado (a state that has led the charge in legalizing the drug) among teenagers from roughly 21 percent in 2013/2014 to almost 18 percent in 2016. Usage among adults has risen, but with their minds fully developed, marijuana poses only as much of a risk as alcohol does.

Decriminalizing LSD, as well as the more dangerous drugs further down the ladder, is a trickier endeavor. The drug is (usually) supposed to be taken with a strip, which is to be placed on the tongue for about 10 minutes until it dissolves. If the strip is swallowed, the person taking the drug risks frying their brain, all it would take is one mistake. There’s no room for error (which is why including it in a frat hazing is such a disgusting act).

How does a drug like that get decriminalized? James Carney, of The Conversation describes the appeal in a Business Insider piece as a “spiritual experience.” He argues that there is an innate desire for people to have transcendental experiences, and that this can be traced all throughout history.

Which is all fine and good, but making sure none of this goes awry should always be priority number one. What would be happening by decriminalizing drugs is it would be inflating the product. More ways to get a drug, means the drug has less value. On top of this, more effort should be put into rehabilitating nonviolent drug offenders as opposed to simply throwing them in jail. This is a belief that, as cited by Medical Daily as grown in popularity, to the point where two thirds of the Americans polled support it.

It doesn’t help that the war on drugs is being fought under false pretenses. President Nixon claimed he wanted to ‘stop drug use’, until an aide admitted after Nixon’s death that the ‘war’ was started with the intent of targeting black people according to CNN. The wars don’t lead anywhere, and according to The Economist, only truly benefit criminal gangs, who get to enjoy exclusive control of a three-hundred million dollar market.

Countries continue to fight ‘drug wars’ that lead nowhere, and teen-agers continue to be tempted by danger, by the prospect of rebellion. Written about in that same Economist article, China is planning a drug war of their own.

It’s time to get real.

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