Are We Ready for Change? The Death of Brian Griffin

PHOTO COURTESY of FOX

Change? Change? Is change really a good thing? When I see someone homeless in the street begging for change, I seem burdened. I understand that it may be in good faith to help someone in his or her time of need, but I’m more interested in how they got there. What series of bad decisions did they make to resort to asking other people for money? So yeah, I’m scared of change. Change also has another meaning: the alteration or modification of something we’ve grown accustomed to. When I woke up this morning and found out about the death of one of America’s most beloved cartoon dogs, I almost lost it. So yeah, I’m afraid of change.

Brian Griffin, the canine star of Quahog, was fatally hit by a car and ultimately killed off of the animated hit series Family Guy. More often than not, when characters are killed off or leave shows, it causes a bit of a stir, but the death of Brain caused an uproar. I was bombarded with links on social media and classroom discussions about the death of Brain and I wonder, “why are we so surprised?”

Family Guy is one of the most absurd shows I’ve ever watched and it seems to play a tremendous role in its success after 11 seasons. So with that said, why is anyone shocked about the demise of Brain Griffin? According to E-Online’s interview with Steve Callaghan, executive producer of Family Guy, Brian’s death seemed “more in the realm of reality that a dog would get hit by a car, than if one of the kids died.” To me, when we start talking about “realm of realities,” I don’t necessarily buy that argument. Family Guy as a series, is outside the realm of reality. Did we forget that the first episode of Family Guy was of Stewie Griffin trying to kill his mother? Or that Brian was a dog, a talking dog, who was arguably one of the most intellectual characters on the show? I just don’t buy it.

For the most part, cartoons generally don’t seem to abide by realms of realities; which makes me wonder, why after 11 seasons did the producers start to care about the absurdity of a dog dying rather than another main character? I also have a problem with the way Brian died. In an episode where Brain owed Stewie money, Stewie torched Brain with a flamethrower, which didn’t kill him, but a car does? Maybe I’m being too cynical, but the chances of surviving a flamethrower attack seem lower than being hit by a car.

The decision to kill off Brian was a bold move though. As a society consuming media, everything seems so predictable. How often do we watch a movie or a show on television and know what’s going to happen next? It’s about time that something happens that shakes up the series; but as for seeing how effective the decision was, as far as ratings go, remains to be seen. Maybe it was Brian’s time to die. The average lifespan of a dog could range anywhere from 6-12 years, so in a practical world Brain’s time to live was coming to an end anyway. If that was the case however, why did Brain have to die violently?

Overall, I don’t know too many people who were happy with Brian’s fate. With people saying: “The dynamic of Brian and Stewie, or even Peter and Stewie are irreplaceable.” Even things like, “It should have been Meg,” makes me wonder how the future of Family Guy will play out. Callaghan stated that he’s not concerned about a backlash from the audience, …our fans are smart enough and have been loyal to our show for long enough, to know that they can trust us. We always make choices that always work to the greatest benefit of the series.” I do hope the creators of the show know what they’re doing, but I do agree with many others when I say, “It should have been Meg.”

Pointless Series: Life Without a Cellphone – The Inconvenience to Others

At this point in my experiment, I realize that living without a phone isn’t as hard as I anticipated. I am still able to communicate with the “important” people in my life, keep an active presence on social media as well as effectively managing my time. Although I seem extremely content with how I’m able to maintain my pseudo-connected lifestyle, it seems to be an inconvenience to others. Oh, the irony.

Wednesday, I attended a career fair, which was a networking event sponsored by my University. Needless to say, I shut the place down. I had on a fresh blue blazer, plenty of resumes and of course my beautiful smile, but I digress…

Sidebar: These career fair events can be a great opportunity for upcoming graduates to shop for potential employers while getting their name out, but without making a lasting impression could be totally useless.  

While talking to several potential employers at the fair, I received a mixed response about not having a cellphone. I explained myself by saying that most people can’t function in society without that piece of technology. I then asked thought-provoking questions like:

As a perspective employer, are you more willing to hire someone who is too deeply consumed in technology to be able to handle simple daily tasks, or someone who is able to disconnect from technology and be effective in the workplace?”

Furthermore, I pointed out how we’re supposed to be at a networking event, networking, but employers and students were still too busy on their phones most of the time. Decent impression I believe.

Communication representatives from companies like Comcast and Gannett found my new approach to life, “interesting” and “insightful,” while most representatives from financial companies considered it “impractical”. One representative even went on to say that most companies wouldn’t consider me for a job without a cellphone because it’s the primary way to contact perspective employers. Good to know, bummer.

I guess since employers can’t contact someone via cellphone, that deems them totally useless to the company. I also assume that any extra legwork is too difficult for these big companies; which makes me wonder if they actually check our social media profiles then… Gee I hope not.

Overall, I’m having fun without a phone. I think I’m not having too much trouble adjusting to this is because everyone else has a phone; so if I desperately needed a phone for any reason they’re easily accessible. I do recommend going a day without your phone, it’s surprisingly relaxing. Having a phone only causes stress, take a day and enjoy the freedom that you once used to have.

Pointless Series: Life Without a Cellphone

Totally Connected

Saturday night, or Sunday morning, however you look at it, I threw my phone out the window.

Symbolically, it represents liberation, but in reality it address addiction to a cellphone. So I decided to create my first installation the Pointless Series, after all, how pointless is this post?

A vast majority of people today have cellphones, and most people cant live without them. People walk and text, text at work or in school, and even put their lives on the line by texting and driving. When did we as a society stoop so low? Although we are constantly engaged in technology, its almost primal how we act in regards to it. We become one track minded, easily distracted and to some extent, less intelligent.

We  live in a 160 character or less generation now, and although people are able to express themselves in fewer words, there are so many other drawbacks. The death of traditional sentence structure, spelling, grammar and declined attention spans are all effects of the cellphone, and all of the apps that come along with it. I unfortunately am a victim of this, but its hard not to be, admittedly.

However, there are times when I generally need to contact people to let them know how I am, or what I am doing, more specifically my mother, since I am away at college. I also have no sense of time anymore. Although my car tells the time, and so do computers and …wait for it… analog clocks on the wall all have the same functionality, it’s much different than pulling out my iPhone every 5 minutes.

Music, one of my favorite capabilities of a phone, is something I have to live without. I can no longer just go ‘headphones in … world out …” now I’m forced to take note of the surrounding environment, I can get used to that again.

It almost feels like I’m reverting my life to middle school, the last known time in life where technology wasn’t pertinent in my life. However, I shouldn’t be so critical of technology, its allowing me to communicate with the world now isn’t it, and that’s a pretty awesome concept.

Moving forward lets see how this goes. I must admit, I am using my laptop to text, Facebook and tweet. It’s not total disconnectedness, but it isn’t a cellphone either.

Alpha Sigma Tau is Smarter Than a Fraternity Man

PHOTO COURTESY of Alpha Sigma Tau

PHOTO COURTESY of Alpha Sigma Tau

Approximately 200 students came to see if sorority sisters were smarter than fraternity brothers at Alpha Sigma Tau’s (AST) event, “Are you Smarter than a Fraternity Man?” Over $1,300 was raised for the sorority’s philanthropy, The Ashley Lauren Cancer Foundation, on Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 10 pm in Pollak Theatre.

AST President Jenna Ferraro said the event has the same concept of the popular game show, “Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?” but with a bit of a Monmouth twist. The categories for the event included Monmouth University history, Fraternity and Sorority history, Greek Life, and Music.

The game show lasted four rounds and in each subsequent round the questions increased in difficulty.

The event was suggested to the sisters of AST by another chapter at Fairleigh Dickinson University (FDU). The sisters of the AST chapter at FDU were in attendance in support of the event. The University’s chapter of AST sorority sisters were victorious in the event and proved they were “smarter than a fraternity man” in their first fall event of the semester.

Michael Migliaro, senior communication major and brother of Phi Kappa Psi, said, “I have participated in a few Greek events, but nothing crazy, like this.” When asked what he meant by “crazy,” Migliaro explained, “It was more of a team effort, not a single man out there… I felt like I was going to have to perform by myself out there, but knowing that the other fraternities were there it got a bit easier and more fun for me.”

Most Greek events are competition based and consist of individual acts or performances, whereas this event was a group effort. The groups were able to congregate after each question to come to a conclusion of an answer, which changed the dynamics of the “traditional” Greek event.

Samantha Barnwell, sophomore education and history major, was a contestant in the game. Barnwell said even though she wasn’t aware of the categories beforehand, she was able to come into the event with and open mind. She said, “I think that when I get nervous I just start talking. I guess it is a part of my outgoing personality.”

The hosts of the event were Adam Scarangella, brother of Tau Kappa Epsilon (TKE), and Cristina Rauco, sister of AST. The hosts kept the contestants on their feet by asking them to perform dances for bonus points in between rounds. Contestants were asked to do the “Stanky Leg”, “Cotton-Eyed Joe” and also tap dance throughout the night. This kept the crowd involved, and used their applause to judge the dances.

Scarangella is the AST sweetheart. According to the AST Sorority Policy and Position Statements (2008), “The Sweetheart of Alpha Sigma Tau is an honorary designation for a gentleman who exhibits behavior beyond reproach, respects the Sorority and its members, supports the ideals and purposes of the Sorority, and supports the chapter in its endeavors.”

“As the sweetheart it is nice for me to give back to the sorority. All of the girls do a lot for me, and I like to do a lot for them back, so it makes sense for be to host the event tonight,” Scarangella said.

According to Rosemary Belonis, sophomore music industry and communication major who ran the event, there were no specific qualifications for contestants to participate in the event. Belonis contacted all of the sororities and invited them to partake in the event. Sororities and fraternities nominated the sisters and brothers that participated.

Not every Greek organization was represented at the event.

Douglas Stives, Specialist Professor of Accounting and Six-Year Advisor of AST, said, “It’s great to see college students having a good time without booze or smoking.” Stives added he likes Greek events because of the nature and spirit of friendly competition.

Belonis said she was extremely pleased with the success of the event, especially since it was the first time being hosted. “Tonight’s event was about having fun, and for everyone to enjoy themselves, and I really think that happened tonight.”