Author: Joshua R. Templin

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Riffed and Ripped: 2016’s Best Guitar Rock

by Joshua Templin

Photo of Angel Olsen by Bruce

Last year was an incredible year for guitar-based rock music, despite its minor presence on the pop charts.

With the Grammy Awards now in the past, last year might go down in history for the many ways in which pop and R&B artists became agile again, while the industry played catch-up. The nominees of Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album were mostly awful, proving that the Grammy judges were as clueless about good rock as they were good pop and R&B.

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Wasteland Records: “Woman Town”

by Josh Templin

Wasteland Records uncovers obscure records from the darkest recesses of the Internet.

A little over ten years ago, U.S. Senator Ted Stevens made an infamous gaffe when he called the Internet a “series of tubes.” It was both very funny and very horrifying that Stevens, then 86 years old, was a member of the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation, and yet seemed to have no grasp on the very Internet he was charged with regulating.

Hacking into Prose

by Joshua Templin

A RACC Writing Studio tutor offers insights into hacking writing assignments.

Even if you know all the tricks to writing essays – formulating a clear thesis, connecting your body paragraphs, and transitioning to a perfect conclusion – you won’t be able to start until you have an idea. Invention is a crucial part of writing, but many students have difficulty with this essential step in the process. To help students overcome their writing blocks, Dr. C.L. Costello presented his first Writing Hacks.

The first in the Writing Hacks series was presented in the Writing Studio at 10:30 a.m. on October 25. The presentation focused on invention: coming up with good ideas that make for substantive responses to writing assignments. Costello explained that the Writing Hacks series will provide “the simple answers for life’s writing problems.”

“I will never tell you that writing isn’t hard,” Costello, an instructor in the Communications, Arts and Humanities Division said. “It’s hard. But there are some things you can do to make it easier.”

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Left Start: Buying Virtual Reality

by Joshua Templin

Left Start is a column examining video games from a left/socialist perspective. Today’s column explores the coming virtual reality boom and why the market will leave virtual reality’s promises unfulfilled.

The term “virtual reality” is immediately evocative: it raises the question, “What is reality?,” by positing that there may be an alternative to our perceptions of the way things are. Virtual reality offers a promise that we might transcend space itself in favor of a far more Utopian realm. It’s not hard to see why the developers of VR systems like the HTC Vine and Oculus Rift want to tap into the promise of virtual reality that yet to be fulfilled. But left in the hands of capitalists, the space of virtual reality will come to resemble our neoliberal reality more and more: instead of becoming a place where humans transcend, it will become another marketplace where humans and their labor become interchangeable commodities.