Ray Stevens: Not Ready To Give Up Control

How far would you go in order to prevent someone from gaining control? Ray Stevens is a man who will literally stop at nothing- and proves himself in his latest music video.

We the people is no longer just the opening words of the United States Constitution, but is now starring as the title of a new Youtube hit, claiming 1.5 million views in less than a month. Two-time Grammy and nine-time Music City News Comedian of the Year winner, Ray Stevens has unleashed a political music video that has some sparking controversy.

The music video is 3:48 minutes, and includes backdrops of both the White House and Congress. And now that he is receiving backlash by the media, he is not one bit shy of expressing his views:

“To me, it’s pretty obvious that the government is doing a bunch of crap that we don’t need and we don’t want, and they don’t care what we want- they’re going to do it anyway. I think I’ve heard it called ‘progressive.’ I don’t know what’s progressive about it- it seems like to me it’s stupid.”

Stevens has written many comical/political songs, though he claims that he has never gotten a response similar to the one he is getting from this song.

The lyrics include:

“You vote Obamacare, we’ll vote you outta there. We the people have awaken to your tricks. You vote to let this pass, you’ll be out on you (sounded foghorn).”

“If you had the common sense that God gave a billy goat.”

“And to put it mildly, we’re harboring feelings of extreme alienation, due to copious amounts of house manure that have been shoveled out of the White House and the Capitol Building.”

“Please tell Nancy Pelosi, we’re gonna do the Hokey Pokey, put the “right” ones in, pull the “left” ones out.”

However, as CSN reports, Stevens is not simply making this video to poke fun at anyone or any party. He is not racist, and is not against patriotism.

“It’s not about climate change. It’s not about health-care. It’s all about control. They want control, and I don’t want to give it to them.”

By Tyler Barnett

Farmville a New Craze That Has Students Toiling Online

There are millions of students who should be studying, they should be doing chores around the house, they should be running errands for mom and dad but, they can’t.  They have to milk cows, plant beets and harvest their crops.

The culprit… Farmville.

Farmville is an online game created by Zynga and hosted by Facebook. The game allows members to manage a virtual farm by planting, growing, and harvesting virtual crops, trees, and livestock.


Though the game has been out no longer than six months, Farmville has become the most popular game application on Facebook, having a total of 70,476,996 members as of December 7, 2008.

Farmville has become worldwide, and many Penn Manor students have found themselves swept in by its power.

“It’s alright, I didn’t like it at first but it’s addicting,” said Justin Herr a junior at Penn Manor, “I still don’t like it that much but I have nothing better to do.”

Started only months ago, in June of this year, by November 9th it had claimed more than 63 million members.

Although the game is meant for just fun, once you begin a farm, the game requires certain things of you. Crops must be harvested at certain times or they are worth nothing.

“It depends on my crops; but normally I play every two days,” stated Herr, “the crops dictate my life.”

Kirsten Bechtold agreed, “I play every other day, no… make that everyday.”

There are times you actually have to play the game, if not, you might lose everything.  For instance, once strawberries are planted, it takes four hours until they can be harvested.

That’s four hours of real time.   That’s four hours when lots of other things could be getting done, like chores, homework, those kind of things.

“If my crops died I would get really pissed off,” stated Herr, “I tried to earn that money and it would just be going down the toilet.”

In Farmville you have a plot of ground where you grow your crops and raise your animals; however there are farm plots around you where you can have neighbors.pink_cows

“All my friends are my neighbors,” said Bechtold, “my neighbor is my neighbor on Farmville.”

One of Herr’s neighbors is Jeremiah Mazzur.

Mazzur commented that the music on Farmville is amazing, and his favorite part is the cows.

“The strawberry cows to be exact,” added Mazzur.

Who said Penn Manor isn’t a farm school anymore?

“It’s addicting,” said Bechtold, “once you start; you can’t stop.”

By Lyta Ringo

New Moon: Nothing but Romance

When you can live forever, what do you live for? New Moon, of course. At least some fans felt this way before seeing the second installment of the Twilight saga.

Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan) returns for The Twilight Saga: New Moon. This time, she is faced with the emotional distress of Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) leaving her to promote her safety after an incident with his family put Bella in danger. After they leave, Stewart dives into a role of playing a depressed character facing the difficulty of letting go, while being attached to her best friend, Taylor Lautner (Jacob Black) who ends up being as much of a danger to her as vampires. She can never seem to find a normal person to gain a relationship with.

The three characters above were what made up the movie, more particularly Bella and Jacob. Any character other than those didn’t get much screen time. There were many other figures used in the novel who seemed to dwindle away from existence for the majority of the movie. Even Edward’s time on screen was rare. Team Jacob fans must have been happy.

You can certainly tell that the movie was heavily condensed. After all, it was taken from a 550 plus page book and had to be compacted into an approximately two hour film. They didn’t use their restricted time wisely, however. The movie was rushed in any spot that didn’t involve dramatic effects. For people who enjoy romance, these scenes may appeal to you, to me, however, they cut down on the overall quality. It made the movie a little slow in spots, when I know they left out many other scenes that could have been included.

Twilight fanatics also may be annoyed by the subtle changes in plot throughout the movie. While the movie keeps the basic idea of the novel, a lot of elements were missing, and a lot were thrown in and even more were switched around and put in the wrong order.

The scenes that were tossed in, or overly exaggerated, left out more important ideas such as character personalities. After reading the books and then watching the movie, you can really feel the loss of personalities in the characters. I don’t understand how anyone that hasn’t read the books could fully interpret the characters and their true personalities and roles. Jacob for example, who was humorous and witty for a good majority of the book, seemed to share Bella’s angst too soon in the movie. Perhaps it’s more contagious when on the big screen.

I will give the actors credit. While I’ve heard a lot of critique on them, I liked them more in this movie than in Twilight. I especially liked Lautner’s role as Jacob. He fit the personality well, and fell right into his role with ease. He was certainly one of the best actors on the set, and perhaps his distinct perfection of playing his character is what makes the others seem less fitting. I just wish there would have been more of his character’s fun side, since he made the audience laugh when in his humorous prime.

The aspect of the wolves in the movie also made me switch from being on the vampire’s side to wanting to “run with the wolves.” The whole gang of werewolves did amazingly well in portraying their roles, and provided entertainment that the grave side of the world involving vampires couldn’t. The two forces contrast against each other nicely in this movie to provide several angles of mood.

The movie centered on dramatic romance for the majority of the time. If romance is your thing, New Moon won’t let you down. If drama is a good combination to this, I suggest you go see it. If these don’t fit your favorite categories, I suggest waiting to see it rather than spending the money to go to a theater. Even with the bits of humor, the ever soaked city of Forks left the New Moon characters in cliché romantic moments in the rain and focused on the idea that a rainy city is miserable. Overall, this movie gets 4 stars out of 5 from me, due to its rushed plotline. The characters were enjoyable, the images were excellent and the emotions, while perhaps stressed a little, were played nicely by their actors and actresses.

And no worries, if you didn’t get enough romance with this movie, there is always the release of the third installment, Eclipse in the Summer of 2010.

By: Samantha St.Clair

Failing Math and Excelling in Art

In high school most kids may be passionate about Facebook or school sports; Matt Blaisdell’s passion? Art.

Blaisdell got into art when he was in sixth grade, and he filled his class time with drawing landscapes in Mr. Walton’s class.

“I did that…when I was failing math,” Blaisdell confesses.

Blaisdell has started composing a portfolio of many different pieces of art with different mediums and definitely different styles.

Although it’s hard for him to pin point his favorite medium, Blaisdell says that he likes using a mix between paint and colored pencils. He loves to focus his art on things pertaining to nature or anything urban. Right now his favorite artist is Jackson Pollock, and some of his art models the style this artist uses.

Blaisdell is still undecided on the school that he would like to attend next year, but he’s thinking about the Pennsylvania College of Art and Design.

Within the past three years Blaisdell has really started to get into art.

“…before it was more of a hobby to me. Now it’s a passion,” Blaisdell says.

By: Abby Wilson


2012 is an apocalyptic movie directed by Roland Emmerich and played by an ensemble cast starring John Cusack, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Amanda Peet, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Danny Glover, and Woody Harrelson.

2012 is a combination of the “Titanic” meets “War of the Worlds” meets “Day After Tomorrow” all tied into one 2-hour and 38-minute action-packed movie. The movie starts off with a American scientist (Oliver Platt) traveling to India to meet his friend (Jimi Mistry), and not soon after he discoverers the startling secret that the world may be coming to an end.

The other half of the story focuses on a divorcee (John Cusack) and his family who face an uncanny chain of events similar to the events in the movies listed in the previous category.

The way this film captures the many diversities and perspectives on life is what gives it that “this could happen to me” feel, but at the same time, it loosens the mood with an array of comical moments.

The movie has so far made more than $23 million at the  box office and is seated in second out of this week’s movie premiers (Disney’s “A Christmas Carol” is #1).

This movie to me put out what it promised in the theatrical trailer, two thumbs up.

By: Robert Henry

Wild Thing -There’s One in All of us

“Inside all of us is… hope. Inside all of us is… fear. Inside all of us is… adventure. Inside all of us is… a wild thing.”

Where the Wild Things Are is a heart-warming movie for all ages.  Maurice Sendak, is the author and genius of the classic children’s book, written in 1963 and adapted by Spike Jonze into a movie.max carol wild things

Though the text of the book contains only nine sentences, the pictures and emotions  say more than a thousand words ever could.  The movie turns the adventures of Max into a 94-minute movie, blended with humor, and based on the theme of escape.

The story is focused on Max, a creative and adventurous little boy, who constantly feels that he is alone in the world.  He runs away from home and escapes to an island where the wild things are.  They make Max their king, and they become friends.  In the end, it is obvious that home really is where the heart is.

The movie unites people.  It explores feelings that everyone can relate to, the loneliness of childhood and feeling like no one understood you.  The movie returns to a time when you felt alone and just wanted to run away to your own little world with no cares.   It is a fantastic movie for teenagers, adults, children and grand-parents.

The movie theater audience  was roaring with laughter almost the whole way through the movie.  The only time they were silent was the emotional and pensive parts.

All in all, this movie may be one of the best movies of 2009.  You just have to see it to believe it.

By: Alyssa Funk