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Modern Times Magazine’s
Nation/World Prime Cuts 2015

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From The A In Aggravated Assault, To The Z in Buzz, This Year’s Nation/World Prime Cuts Run The Gamut, Including Drones, Mass Shootings, Disneyland, And Hypoallergenic Cats


By Staff Report
Modern Times Magazine

Dec. 30, 2015 — What a year it has been on the global and national scenes. From ISIS in Africa and the Middle East, to mass shootings and debates over how to integrate technology into our lives here in the U.S., interesting things thankfully continue to happen.

As usual, Modern Times Magazine engaged in these issues and many more. Including commentary, fresh reporting, and essays on contemporary life, we gave our readers what hope to always deliver: unique content not available anywhere else.

Yes, we are an Arizona-centric magazine, but we know the communities we live in extend beyond the municipal boundaries in the modern, digital age we exist within. Hopefully, the Modern Times Prime Cuts (the most read stories of the year) nation/world edition for 2015 is a proper reflection of what mattered to our world community.

Without further ado, here they are, so please enjoy.

No. 7 "Why Does The U.S. Govt. Kill Like A Crazed Gunman?"
In October, the debate over gun control in the United States cropped up yet again when students and faculty at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Ore. were attacked by an unstable gunman. While writer Wayne Schutsky agreed something needs to be done, he also wondered how President Obama can argue for gun restrictions when the U.S. government has carried out 421 drone strikes since 2004 in Pakistan alone, with 371 of those strikes occurring under his administration. In total, those strikes killed an estimated 423 to 965 civilians. — Posted Oct. 6, 2015

No. 6 "Crazy Cat Lady, Hyperreal Mix"
Stacey Graber, a former ASU English professor who is now at Youngstown State University in Ohio, often contributes her thought-provoking ideas on pop culture, pedagogy and critical theory to the pages of Modern Times Magazine. In this piece, Graber discusses her desire to purchase a cat despite suffering from a cat allergy. She uses the topic as a jumping off point to talk about the ethics of the booming hypoallergenic cat industry and an allergy-induced existential crisis. — Posted July 7, 2015

No. 5 "Daniel Craig Is A Bond To Remember"
The widely held opinion is that Daniel Craig is done as Bond, James Bond. Those who love him as the iconic British spy may be really sad about this. Writer Ryan Scott agrees, saying, “The main thing that Craig managed to do was to make Bond relevant to a generation that largely didn’t care that the character despite its rich history in cinema and pop culture in general for that matter. Sure, many younger consumers played Goldeneye for the Nintendo 64, but that didn’t leave them with the same attachment to the character experienced by earlier generations.” — Posted Nov. 11, 2015

No. 4 "Assessing The True Costs Of Animal Cruelty"
Animal cruelty is a big problem in the United States, not only in private situations in the home but also in big business, on farms and in industry as well. The FBI has noticed and is looking to make changes that will help agencies around the country be able to better classify, and therefore track, these cases. As of late last year, the FBI began classifying all animal cruelty cases as Group A felonies, along with murder and arson. Writer Ryan Scott wondered whether presupposing that one automatically leads to the other is wise. — Posted Feb. 26, 2015

No. 3 "Going DARK Over GMOs"
This past summer, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1599, also known as the Safe and Accurate Food Labelling Act of 2015. The bill passed with a 275-150 vote. While H.R. 1599 benefited from vast Republican support (230 “aye” votes), it also received support from 45 Democrats. However, opponents of the bill claimed it did not go far enough, and was a way for major food manufacturers to skirt their responsibility to consumers while maintaining the pretense of authenticity. The bill got sent to the Senate, where like most other republican bills, it went nowhere. — July 27, 2015

No. 2 "Disneyland Or Dismaland?"
When England-based graffiti artist, political activist and film director Banksy — whose real identity is “unknown” — unveiled his moribund Disneyland knockoff Dismaland in England in August, few people were surprised. Wayne Schutsky, longtime Modern Times contributor and now the associate managing editor, felt like it was deja vu all over again (sorry, Yogi). “There’s only one problem with Banksy’s apocalyptic Disneyland: it already exists. Banksy is not the first person to create a nightmare version of Disneyland, because an anti-semitic white (is right) knight by the name of Walt Disney already built the original 60 years ago in Southern California.” — Posted Sept. 7, 2015

No. 1 "The Loudness War And How It Impacts Consumers"
The digital era started with so much promise: approximately the same quality of sound that would stay that way for a very long time. But recently, as streaming services and mega-providers like YouTube have taken more of the market share, some say the dynamics of the music is being degraded. And it's hard not to argue with that sentiment. Loudness normalization might be here to stay, but it's likely not the last time you will hear about it. — Posted April 3, 2015
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MTM Exclusive: The War on Christmas

When a elementary student tackles his Christmas presentation to the class, he makes the mistake of consulting Uncle Mickey who tells him all about Ayatollah Obama.

Why Did the Peahen Cross the Road?

After Running Into A Wayward Peahen, A Writer Ponders Her Safety And The Intentions Of The Bird Before Finding Salvation From A Colorful Couple.