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Innis College Courses
Roger Riendeau

1 Let them fight Fighting in hockey is an age old tradition embraced by executives, players and fans alike. Its outspoken opponents, like Damien Cox, prey on its misfortunes hoping to see it banned. Their emotional appeals to the public in the name of player safety fall flat by virtue of unsubstantiated argument. Medical experts are divided on the effects of fighting. Meanwhile, fists continue to fly. Its merits suggest that fighting belongs in the game. It is a strategic weapon, a policing tool and it’s entertaining. Fighting is safe for the time being, but culture change or culture shock can deliver the knockout punch. Leave Miley Alone: A Critical Review of Sinead O’Connor’s Open Letter to Miley Cyrus Miley Cyrus, of Hannah Montana fame, has been in the process of completing a transition from all-American Disney dream girl to serious, sexual, adult artist for quite some time. Over the last five years, she has infamously pulled stunts like posing naked for photo- shoots, quasi-pole dancing on live TV, drinking underage, and smoking what she insists was salvia, a legal drug, out of a bong. Until recently, she has been apologetic to her fans and the general public for these indiscretions; but with the introduction of her new hip-hop-pop star persona and an edgy haircut, Miley has shed not only her Disney-princess persona but also her willingness to apologize for being herself. Evolving Attitudes towards Mental Illness In a time of rapid innovations in the understanding of mental health, and a world where many people strive more than ever to understand each other, perceptions and attitudes toward mental illnesses are gradually changing for the better. In the recent editorial “Mind how you go,” presented in the latest issue of the journal Nature, the authors discuss the landmark reopening of 2 Swiss drug manufacturing giant Novartis’s revamped neuroscience division1. Utilizing the new focus of Norvatis’s research division as a starting point, the piece showcases the shift in the perceptions of industry, society, and the medical-research profession to show that despite the persistence of stigmas, there is a strong ongoing move towards acceptance and appreciation for the struggles and realities of those afflicted with psychiatric illnesses. Salinger: The Documentary Shane Salerno directed a documentary called Salinger which was released in Canada on September 30, 2013. J.D Salinger was an American acclaimed writer, who is famous for the critically acclaimed novel The Catcher in the Rye which was published in1951. (Wikipedia) The objective of the documentary was to answer the following question, which was why J.D Salinger was a private person? In his documentary, Salerno chooses to focus on Salinger’s involvement in World War IIas a crucial turning point in his life. Salinger reclusive personality is attributed to his traumatic experiences during the Battle of Normandy in 1944 which had an effect in his personal relationships. Salinger made a decision to not be part of Hollywood’s celebrity lifestyle after reaching great success with The Catcher in the Rye. The Distinction between Cats and Humans "Cat Crazed," a documentary on Doc Zone that aired in 2011, illustrates the dominant positions cats have within North America. The documentary focuses on the owner's obsessions with cats, which leads to the overpopulation of felines (Cat Craze). This develops into a backlash from bird lovers who claim cats cause the decline of the bird population due to a lack of human intervention and agreement. An interesting point that this documentary explores partially is the comedic relationship between owners and their cats, which consists of the projection of human 3 qualities on to felines (Cat Craze). "Cat Craze" touches upon the personifying of cats by their owners through social interactions, but this develops the question if a boundary between cats and humans should be more distinctive. The Negative Implications of Profitable Drugs The Conservatives' proposal of free marijuana market leads to furious debates in Canada. Marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a cannabis plant with psychological and physiological affect: pain reduction, appetite increase, and mood elevation. As a medicine, it is used to treat chronic diseases but it is more famous for its recreational use of providing a pleasure sensation when smoked. Marijuana is classified as an illegal drug by most countries in the world due to its severe side effects: addition, motor impairment, and memory loss ("Research Plan for Marijuana"). The news article, $1.3B medical marijuana free market coming to Canada, reported by the Canadian Press, states the changes in marijuana regulation of promoting of a free marijuana market in Canada for a large economic gain. However, profit driven drug regulation negatively impacts the heath care system. The focus on profit interferes with the determination of drug consumption responsibility, drug effectiveness, and drug side effects. Undisguised Brutality and Conservative Censorship Django Unchained (2012), Quentin Tarantino’s intriguing and highly controversial film based on black history follows a white bounty hunter Dr. King Schultz, and a black slave named Django in the 1800s. The story opens in Texas, where Dr. King recruits Django as an aid to his endeavors. From then on, Django is named a ‘free man’, a notion unheard of at the time. The film follows the two, as they capture felons and begin a very atypical friendship. When the two resolve to rescue Broomhilda, Django’s wife who was taken to Candyland, a notorious slave 4 plantation, they come across challenges that take them on a gripping journey. This film raised a storm of debate and controversy about the level of brutality used to depict the life of Django and the slave trade at that time. Many people responded to the film in a negative manner, claiming that the use of violence and cruel language in the film was ruthless, and unwarranted. Not only did disgruntled audiences lash at it, but it was also scrutinized by reputable magazines such as The Huffington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, and The Guardian. Despite the rising controversy, others found this film to be right on point in portraying the ferocity in the era of slavery it was created in. When speaking about the Django controversy, Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. was quoted saying, "Well, you know, if you're going to make a movie about slavery and are taking a 21st-century viewer and putting them in that time period, you're going to hear some things that are going to be ugly, and you're going to see some things that are going to be ugly." (Gates Jr.) This begs the question of whether or not Django Unchained should have been more conservatively censored, or whether it was completely appropriate for undisguised brutality to be used in accurately representing these realities. Moreover, were the inhuman realities in this film truly realities at all? Let the Games Begin: A Critical Analysis on George W. Bush’s War in Iraq Speech On March 18, 2003 when the American population was under attack and in a state of panic, President George W. Bush delivered a speech on going to war with Iraq that would gain the approval of his fellow American citizens. . Though the speech mentions few reasons why war was the only option left, it is obvious that the then recent terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 provoked these decisions. While President Bush presents some valid reasons as to why going to war would be beneficial, his speech draws mainly on the pathos of his audience in order to gain 5 their support in his decisions. The emotions felt by the general American public at the time made it easy for Bush to persuade the audience in his favour. Critical Analysis of The Devil’s Advocate The Devil’s Advocate is a fictional movie based on how the institution of law correlates with the nature of sin and the presence of evil. Ethics, morals, values, and distinguishing right from wrong are all questioned throughout the movie in scenarios that some of us go through on a regular basis without even realizing. The topic of sin and evil are usually not discussed or applied to other realms of human life outside of the church and Christian community, but this movie goes beyond and shows how deep sin and evil are rooted in
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