Last updateWed, 12 Jul 2017 2am


Is Donald Trump Making America a Joke?

These days, if you turn the TV to any news station and wait about 15 minutes, you’re guaranteed to hear the name Donald Trump. The current presidential candidate has captivated the world of politics, but I think it’s an area that he should stay far, far away from.

The upcoming 2016 election is anything but a sleeper. America is full of great political figures, however, almost none of them are actually running. Is it a joke? Not really. A satirical reflection of American culture reflected by both the Democratic and Republican parties? Maybe. Let’s take a look at our current candidates:


- Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, NY

- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, VT

- Rocky De La Fuente, CA


- Dr. Ben Carson, FL

- U.S. Senator Ted Cruz, TX

- Gov. John Kasich, OH

- U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, FL

- Businessman Donald Trump, NY

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The Challenges of Being a Starbucks Barista

Starbucks BaristaWhether you work for Dunkin’ Donuts, Starbucks, or Rook, baristas know what it’s like to handle people who want “their” coffee. If you took a look behind the counter, you’d realize it’s not as easy as one might think to work in a coffee shop. It’s not simply pouring coffee from a pot and handing it off—that’s a really insulting assumption. Everything is complicated, whether you’re cleaning, making drinks, calling the line or working the register. Baristas are excellent multi-taskers, and I pity the person who thinks it’s a brainless activity to work in a coffee shop.

It will be two years in June that I’ve been a barista at my local Starbucks. In that time, I’ve learned the ins and outs of the job. For example, let’s talk about steaming milk. You probably think that one could just stick the milk under the steamer and walk away, but this is a misconception. Depending on what drink you are serving, there is an individual countdown of how long you need to hold that pitcher while keeping the steam wand just so, before you can place the pitcher down to steam until it’s the appropriate temperature. There is a huge difference between making a latte and a cappuccino, but most people do not know the distinction. Often, customers don’t even know what they want to order, and rely on their baristas for a recommendation.

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Is ‘Dating’ Still A Thing?

Online DatingHookup culture, love it or hate it, it seems as though it is here to stay. I rarely hear of anyone actually asking someone on a date anymore, but I have faith that there are some people out there that still have date nights and actual conversations about life. So many of us ~romantics~ find it hard to catch up with this hookup culture.

It seems a lot like people aren’t “asked out” anymore, but instead they are DMed, direct messaged, or swiped right on Tinder for an implied hook up. There is something so impersonal about the way that boys and girls today get together. It isn’t the cheesy romantic comedy pickup line or the simple “hi” in person. Instead it’s the creeping around social media and dating apps.

Honestly, I think that DMs and dating apps are just excuses to avoid person-to-person conversations. Sometimes, yes, it is easier to DM someone because you can really think about what your responses will be, but isn’t that the best part of getting to know someone? Seeing whom they really are when they have no time to plan out what to say.

Furthermore, it seems like our generation doesn’t like to label things anymore. If you’re hooking up, it’s nothing to anyone. If you’re hooking up and hanging out it seems like you’re just “talking.” But, what does that even mean? What it means is that you’re not labeling anything because you’re keeping your options open. Again, with hookup culture, we aren’t limiting ourselves to just one person to spend time with. Therefore, we donned the potential partners in our lives as someone we are just “talking” with.

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Lives of Reason Review

Former MU Professors Collaborate To Write An Enjoyable Play

Kenneth Stunkel and Robert Rechnitz, both retired Monmouth University history and literature professors, respectively, have lent their refined sensibilities to spoofing the intellectual scene in a witty and humorous play.

The play, which is titled Lives of Reason, is set at a party thrown by the English Department of the fictional Livingston College (though several of the fictitious professors eerily mirror Monmouth scholars) amid a power struggle between professors to be dean of the school. The intellectuals are all too representative. The old scholar, the Marxist poet, and the post-modern deconstructionist all serve as the targets of the play’s acerb witticisms. The real heart of the show is the tempestuous Ilona who is unhappily married to one of the English teachers yet in love with an old flame, Matthew Livingston, whose father happened to have founded the college. Ilona represents riotous affairs and all the enflamed sexual power and insatiable lusts (“I’m on fire,” Ilona says, “It feels like there’s fire under my skin”) the English professors cannot fathom.

The only character to appreciate David Hume’s “Reason is a slave of the passions” maxim, Ilona punctures Ivory Tower pompousness with ease. The post-modern English professor is quickly dismissed: “it takes a semester or two to explain what he does.” Unfortunately, not all of her lines are so barbed. Self-pity and indulgence mixed with men, liquor, and firearms hasten Ilona’s downfall, but the most unpardonable sin is her stilted dialogue. The Ilona character is also overwrought, swiftly lapsing into maudlin speech where profound insights were probably intended. The difference between brazen hussy and alluring femme fatale is perhaps a matter of degree if not sensibility, (male sensibility that is) but this writer was leaning toward the former by the end of the show.

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MU Bookstore: Y U Expensive?

It’s time for a new semester and you have almost everything you need. You’ve pushed it off for as long as you can, but you can’t avoid them: textbooks.

Semester after semester, students are required to buy their own textbooks with little or no help from the University. Furthermore, these aren’t your cheap textbooks: students are encouraged to purchase books from the bookstore, where prices are so high that students would rather wait and order their books to be shipped almost a week after classes begin.

Why is it that the University requires us to not only pay for classes, which as we all know are extremely expensive to begin with, but we have to pay for textbooks and supplies, too? I do not think that it is at all fair that we have to pay for textbooks, especially since we don’t even receive a discount when we buy them from the University bookstore. Furthermore, some classes require that the students pays for supplies as well.

When the semester ends and we finally go to sell our books back, the bookstore won’t even take it for half the price. For example, last year I bought a $200 textbook and the University bookstore only gave me $50 for it, while some of my books weren’t even accepted.

As much as students would like, the bookstore will not budge its prices (if that were the case, I don’t think I would be writing this article.) So, here are some great places to get textbooks if you don’t want to deal with the skyrocketing prices of the bookstore.

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Mattel Introduces New Figure for Barbie Doll

New BarbiesSince 1959 Barbie has been known her as the doll who was tall, blonde, skinny, and essentially the definition of perfect. Barbie literally has it all. There is not one package of accessories I can think of that doesn’t exist. There is everything from Malibu Barbie to President Barbie; is there anything she can’t do? This figure is someone that most young girls have wanted to be because she has always had the freedom to be whatever she wanted to be.

Barbie has obviously played a role in the way young girls view their bodies. No matter the age, girls are concerned with their weight, and having a Barbie doll with an unrealistic body doesn’t help. Barbie’s image isn’t the only thing that would influence girls to think their bodies aren’t “normal.”

When you look back to Slumber Party Barbie, she came with a scale set to 110 pounds. She also came with a book about how to lose weight and the only thing written in it was “DON’T EAT!” It’s very true that a Barbie doll acts as a role model to many young girls. This was sending the wrong message to girls, telling encouraging them not to eat and providing them the “perfect” weight. There have even been lawsuits against Mattel, the company that makes Barbie, because of the image they are presenting to girls to be a standard.

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Here Comes Valentine’s Day!

0203 page 05Keep an eye out for Cupid’s arrow because Valentine’s Day is just around the corner! Love it or hate it, the Valentine’s Day season has begun. The debate continues every year that questions that validity of the holiday. Is it purely a “Hallmark holiday” or is it a legitimate holiday?

My personal take on this question is that Valentine’s Day technically is the feast day of St. Valentine, that doesn’t make it a legitimate “holiday.” Christian churches celebrate many saints’ feast days, but we do not consider any of them legitimate holidays. For example, even one of Catholicism’s most beloved saints, St. Francis of Assisi, doesn’t have his own widely celebrated holiday. The average person doesn’t even know who St. Valentine was and why he is affiliated with Valentine’s Day (including myself!), besides the obvious affiliation of his name.

So, a brief history: St. Valentine was a priest when the emperor, Claudius, was persecuting the church and preventing marriages. St. Valentine married couples in secret because of his strong belief in love and marriage. Valentine’s last written note before his execution was supposedly signed “from Your Valentine.” This is where we get the tradition of love and notes/valentines associated with the holiday.

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Is Steven Avery Innocent or Not?

Making a Murderer is a documentary series that has been getting a lot of attention recently. This 10-episode series focuses on the conviction of a Wisconsin man, Steven Avery. The Netflix original series became available this December, and since then it has had a lot of people talking.

The series begins with Avery being released from prison after a wrongful conviction of 18 years. After this, Avery began a $36 million civil suit filed against Manitowoc County. While in the middle of this, news came out about the death of Teresa Halbach, a local woman. Avery instantly become a suspect in the case and later police found signs that pointed to Avery committing the crime. The show goes in depth analyzing the court case surrounding the death of Halbach.

The show consists of actual court footage and interviews with almost everyone involved in the case. As the viewer you are presented with both sides of the story, allowing you to form your own opinion on whether you think Avery is innocent or not. The most important evidence is that the body of Halbach was found on Avery’s property. Opposed to this, there are many instances where it looks like some blood evidence could have been planted on the scene.

There are a lot of loose ends in this case, which gives the viewer so much room to form his or her own opinion. While the police evidence looks like it could prove Avery guilty, the opposing side shows there is a possibility some of the evidence could have been tampered with. Avery is also not able to provide a good alibi. Besides the evidence making Avery look guilty, there are some people saying they saw him do it. His nephew Brandon also made a confession to the police saying that he was there when Avery killed Halbach.

After watching the series, most viewers have expressed that they do not think Avery is guilty, and some have even gone as far as making petitions to get him a retrial and possibly out of jail. I just do not think there is enough evidence that proves Avery did not do it. Yes, I agree that there is some evidence presented by the police that doesn’t add up. I do not think Avery has enough evidence to support that he is innocent, especially with inconsistent confessions from his family. I think the documentary focuses a lot on the police and that they could have planted evidence in this case in order to prove Steven to be guilty. Although there is nothing right about the police planting evidence, there is nothing that can prove Avery had nothing to do with the murder.

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The Family You Love to Hate

Kardashian GirlsThere’s nothing better than spending a lazy Sunday binge-watching your favorite shows. Netflix slyly asks if you’re still watching and without any shame you click continue and move to season six of your favorite show, because you’re a champion.

There’s a lot of guilty pleasures that come with binge- watching, especially in particular genres. Reality television stole my heart from a young age as I was horribly influenced by crappy shows on MTV like The Real World or The Challenge, and now I just can’t get enough of indulging myself in other people’s lives. Cue Keeping Up With The Kardashians.

Whether you love them or you hate them, the Kardashians are a household name. America as a whole can probably agree they are a family famous for absolutely nothing of true value and somehow found a way to turn that into a net worth of close to 100 million dollars. That’s pretty impressive and all of us cynical people are jealous of their luxorious lifestyles. I know I am.

I started out like one of you, hating the Kardashians for their fame and fortune. One day I stumbled upon E! Network and found myself laughing harder at a show than I had in a long time. First of all, Scott Disick is actually hilarious and always calls the family out for acting spoiled. Second of all, if you can’t find a way to laugh at all the first world problems encountered in an episode of Keeping Up With The Kardashians, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. From Kim losing her $60,000 earrings in the ocean in Bora Bora, to not being able to agree where the family should vacation next, to the group of women trying to figure out if they have enough money to afford their own private jet, it’s sure to give you a nice laugh. Here I am, a broke college student, struggling to afford anything that would be remotely fun and this family potentially has the money to finance a private jet. Kourtney deserves at least some credit considering she’s the only sister with a college degree, which came from University of Arizona, while Kendall and Kylie graduating high school actually made breaking news.

While the family is most famous for their sarcastic attitudes and nude photo shoots, the sisters have accomplished a decent amount of success outside of the show. Kourtney, Kim, and Khloe are all business owners of their clothing store DASH, which expanded to two other locations after the show’s launch. The women also had a child-clothing store called Smooch, which was closed to expand DASH to Miami and New York.

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The 2016 Oscars Cause Controversy

The Oscars 2016What’s with the lack of diversity amongst the 2016 Oscar Nominees? This has been a question that many people have been asking since the list of the 2016 Oscar nominees was announced two weeks ago. All 20 nominations in the Best Acting categories went to white actors or actresses. The recent news has some black actors like Will Smith and his wife Jada Pinkett Smith boycotting the ceremony because of the lack of diversity. Others like director Spike Lee have also refused to go to the ceremony due to the way the Academy has voted. I’m sure this will also put Chris Rock, who is the host of this year’s Oscars in an awkward situation, but he is a comedian, so he will laugh it off and most likely make a joke out of this controversial debate.

I do understand why the Oscars is such a big deal for artists in Hollywood. It is the crowning achievement an actor, director or screen writer can get. This stamp of recognition that once you are at least nominated, you’ve made it amongst the elite in show business. You will be mentioned in the likes of all the great actors, directors etc. past and present. It seems like a validation, but when you look at the history of the Oscars, the odds have not been in favor of people of color. For all the white actors that have won Oscars, only a small margin of people of color have won the award: Hattie McDaniel, Sidney Poitier, Rita Moreno, Louis Gossett Jr., Denzel Washington, and Morgan Freeman to name a few. Halle Berry was the first black actress to win Best Actress in 2002.

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New Year, New Me?

Year 2016Let’s have some real talk about new years resolutions. People make new years resolutions every single new year. There are some common ones such as losing weight, saving money, eating healthier, etc. The great thing about these new years resolutions is that they are always very positive.

At first, most people start out strong with their new years resolutions—*new year, new me*— but, after some time, people lose motivation. It is around this time in the new year that this starts to happen. But, it doesn’t have to happen to you! While you really can’t be a “new you,” there is a definite possibility for you to better the old you. It is important not to forget in your “new you” who you really are.

Don’t make ridiculous new years resolutions that you can’t follow through on. You should be realistic in your resolutions. Just because it is a new year, doesn’t mean that the “old you” who couldn’t run a mile in four minutes, can run a marathon the next day as the “new you.”

I think that is the biggest mistake when it comes to new years resolutions. Instead of trying to alter your appearance all at once, I might suggest that you work on strengthening your mind also. For example, I am terrified of the dentist, so, every year I make it my new years resolution to schedule my dentist cleanings for the year.

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Contact Information

The Outlook
Jules L. Plangere Jr. Center for Communication 
and Instructional Technology (CCIT) Room 260, 2nd floor

The Outlook
Monmouth University
400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, New Jersey 07764

Phone:(732) 571-3481 | Fax: (732) 263-5151