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Author Archive

The Bottom Line: Facing Down Budget Cuts

What would you do without The Torch?

by Published: Nov 7, 2012

We’re the only college newspaper in a 60 mile radius and represent a student voice for the thousands of students at Ferris.

Without us, you’d never know about all the fun things going on at Ferris or the less than savory actions of fellow students in the “On the Record” section.

Without The Torch, you might not have known about Representative Phil Potvin’s illegal dumping, the hike in tuitions, a non-biased voting guide that featured both major and third parties or my many opinions on various subjects from FSUS to slavery. (more…)

 
 

Coming Out of the Broom Closet

A real-life witch tells all

by Published: Oct 31, 2012

I’m a Pagan.

There, I said it. But that’s not the end of the story. I’m also a witch and I have been practicing witchcraft for over a decade. I don’t wear a pointy hat. I do have a broom, but its chief uses are sweeping the kitchen floor and sometimes the front porch–unfortunately, I cannot use it to fly.

For me, this is easy to say now because I’ve lived as a Pagan and a witch for a long time, and I’ve come to terms with the uneasiness it can sometimes cause people. I’m prepared to defend my beliefs and my faith with an open mind and the knowledge that whatever the reaction, I can still go home to a loving environment and spiritual community. (more…)

 
 

Bottom of the Barrel

No taxation without representation

by Published: Oct 24, 2012

It may surprise you to know I am one of those “swing voters.” I don’t swear allegiance to any one certain party, but it’s no surprise if you’ve read my previous editorials which way I tend to fall.

When it comes to voting, politics and the whole elected governmental establishment, part of me would rather just throw the lot of the candidates into a ring and have them go fisticuffs to see who would win. One big, primal, hell in a cell cage match would be much simpler and surely the revenue would compensate for a big chunk of the deficit—or would it?

In the 2008 election, Americans had the highest percentage of voter turnout since 1972, yet that still represents only 57 percent of the population. Compared to the 1860 election’s turnout of 80 percent (when Lincoln was elected), it’s a fair statement to say we’ve become complacent in our democratic process. (more…)

 
 

Chivalrous Chauvinist

Living in a world of prejudice

by Published: Oct 17, 2012

One of the hardest things I’ve constantly dealt with on a nearly daily basis is sexism.

Now, don’t get me wrong; I’m not one of those bra-burning femi-nazis—when someone opens a door for me I thank them. What I’m talking about is the constant belittlement of my intelligence by people who lob me into the same category as every other 20-something dingbat who knows how to tie their shoes but thinks tying a slipknot is something to do with a heavy metal band.

The brunt of this happened to me when I worked at a retail store as an electrical department manager. Daily, people would come in and ask me if I could find someone to help them with their electrical questions. They were sadly disappointed when I stood there in front of them and proudly declared “right here.”

On several occasions, and it was mostly men who did this, the person would say, “I don’t think you’ll know what I’m doing,” and walk away, find another associate, who in turn would call me. Then the associate would bring the person back to me so I could answer his question. This usually led to a lot of tension. I’ve found men don’t like it when a woman knows more about a “man’s work” than they do.

One of the bigger insults I hear (still) is “Wow, you’re really smart for a woman!” It makes me want to say back “Astute observation; you must be an excellent judge of character.”

Still more, once when I was changing a 600-pound roll of 00 gauge copper wire, I had a man try to help me because I was “doing it wrong.” Mind you, I’d done this several times without fail. It’s a very lucky thing I’m never long separated from a pair of good boots because this man’s “help” lead to me nearly having a broken foot.

As the fork truck driver maneuvered the roll of wire into place on the racking, I began to feed the rung from which it hung into the slots, and as the wire roll was being dropped, the man decided I hadn’t properly positioned the rung, removed it and the entire roll scraped down my right shin and landed on my foot. The man promptly turned and blamed me for the whole accident. After the fork truck driver lifted the roll of wire off my foot, I went inside, pulled the splinters out of my shin and found someone else to cut his damned wire.

This is an example of something I like to call “chivalrous chauvinism,” which is basically a polite way of saying “I’m a sexist prick, but it’s okay because I’m just trying to be nice to you or help you.” I’m not a feminist, I’m an equalist.

Just the other day I had a gentleman tell me that “persons of the female species prefer expensive things, that’s why it’s a good thing men are stronger so they can tell them ‘no’ without fear of retaliation.” This man gave me and my other coworker a nearly 10-minute dissertation on why women weren’t equal because they weren’t strong enough to take down a man. At the end of this speech, I politely asked him, “Have you ever been hit by girl rugby player?” He was thankfully silenced. My next suggestion was to give him a swift kick in the balls. That’s science’s way of equalizing the world—girls don’t have that disability.

Here we come to the axiom of this piece: If I need your help, I will ask. Furthermore, for the rest of the women out there: Stop thinking you can’t do something because you have the wrong set of genitalia for the common social norm. If I find one more of you ladies out in the world who insists she needs a husband to do certain things, I’m going to give you a very special lesson in Jax Anger’s Women Studies Course 101.

Also, boys, don’t think you can’t do something just because it’s women’s work. Want to take a good guess where my fiance is right now? In the kitchen, doing the dishes and making me a sammich. n

 
 

Thumper

If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all

by Published: Oct 10, 2012

If you‘ve watched Bambi, then you know about the fuzzy little rabbit named Thumper whose infamous line is above. He’s unfortunately not the type of thumper I’m talking about, but his message still rings true. This past week I’ve personally ran into more Bible thumpers than I can remember.

As I walked to class one morning last week, I saw an elderly gentleman standing on the street corner by the Science Building. I don’t typically connotate people standing on corners with Godliness. He handed me a small abridged version of the King James Bible. (more…)

 
 

Potvin’s Illegal Dump

by Published: Oct 3, 2012

In 1996, under suspicious circumstances, the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) received an anonymous phone call tipping them off about an illegal dumping action.

The investigations led to Western Concrete Products Company being charged and heavily fined. The clean-up effort ranged from 1998 until its termination in 2002 and cost the company $162,500 in fines. (more…)

 
 

Willy Wonka’s Slave Use

No, not Oompa Loompas

by Published: Sep 26, 2012

Last week I brought you into the world of child slavery by showing the coffee industry in a light not usually seen by the public. This week, the saga will continue with an exposé of the chocolate industry. Sadly, it doesn’t get better.

CNN’s Project Freedom explores the world of slavery, and exposes the chocolate industry through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy who already has three years of experience working on the plantation. (more…)

 
 

Words @ War– Masticating Meltdown

Which side will you chews?

by Published: Sep 26, 2012

There’s nothing I enjoy more in this world than a thick, medium rare hamburger topped with oodles of bacon and cheddar cheese.

The fact is, meat gets a bad rap from health “professionals” who tell us in all sorts of varying degrees that meat is bad. No, it is not. Your perception of meat is what is to blame.

Back before humans kept track of such things, we didn’t have to think about what was good or bad for us. All food was good because we had to go out every day and pick it up off the ground or hit it with a rock to procure it. Beggars can’t be choosers. Humans are purebred predators. We’re also great scavengers. Our genetic and skeletal makeups tell us such things. (more…)

 
 

I Support Slavery Daily

I use small children to make my life happier, part one of two

by Published: Sep 19, 2012

Every day, I wake up around 6:30 a.m. and pour myself a cup of coffee. The warm and caffeinated goodness reverberates in my bloodstream and motivates me to face another day.

I’ve had this habit for the past 10 years. I love my coffee, much like a mass majority of Americans who have the same habit in the morning. Some people can’t go a day without drinking coffee; I am one of those people. There is, of course, one little problem that most manufacturers, stores and coffeehouses won’t tell you: it comes from slaves. (more…)

 
 

Words at War: In Vitro Fertilization

Circumventing biology is wrong

by Published: Sep 12, 2012

“John and Kate Plus Eight,” “Conception Story” and a whole slurry of TLC docu-drama reality TV glorifies the use of in vitro fertilization. I’ve watched several of these types of shows, unable to pull my face away from the television train wreck, and have come to a few conclusions. (more…)