Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment: H.O.P.E. on Campus... The Students of Creighton Hear the Call!




H.O.P.E. on Campus... The Students of Creighton Hear the Call!

H.O.P.E. is very proud to welcome an official on-campus chapter at Creighton University as the charge has been taken up by chapter president Josh Potter (pictured left) and vice president Andrew Bowles. These outstanding leaders of men have big plans for their chapter and will spearhead the upcoming H.O.P.E. Lip Synch Disclosure Law campaign.

An article from the Creighton paper by Matt VanEpps:

As much as Ashlee Simpson would like to forget the Saturday Night Live lip-sync debacle from 2004, the American public won’t let her.

In fact, it is the mission of the organization H.O.P.E. (Horrified Observers of Pedestrian Entertainment) to ensure that the average citizen will never be subjected to such a catastrophe ever again.

According to the organization’s website, “H.O.P.E.'s goal is to bring quality to the world of entertainment while working outside of the traditional network, record label, and studio structure.” Bands which are trying to make a name for themselves have a lot of trouble entering the oversaturated market, whereas celebrities such as Hilary Duff and Paris Hilton have released albums without any discernable musical talent.

“We really support artists who write their own music,” vice president Andrew Bowles said. “A lot of the nation is put up to having to listen to [Ashlee Simpson].”

To broaden the average listener’s horizons, H.O.P.E. offers a CD exchange, offering “higher entertainment quality” music, such as Elvis Costello, Aretha Franklin or Ray Charles, in exchange for the current “hits” from the Simpson sisters, Nick Lachey and Britney Spears.
At the local level, Josh Potter, president and founder of the Creighton chapter, wants to increase awareness about what is art and what is not. Since the Omaha entertainment scene is highly regarded nationally, it serves as a breeding ground for artistic integrity, according to Potter, who intends to keep it that way.

Potter wanted to establish a chapter in Omaha after his aunt saw the national president, Chris Jackson, talk about it on television about a year ago. Potter’s aunt thought it would be “right up his alley.”

So after several months of bargaining with the Student Activities Office, H.O.P.E. is now an official Creighton student organization. “Program Board doesn’t need a monopoly. Our role is to augment that programming,” Potter said.

In addition to educating the general consumer, H.O.P.E. also protests large media conglomerates such as Viacom and Clear Channel, which have been allowed by the Telecommunications Act of 1995. These media monopolies have such a stronghold on the market that they can release music and movies of low quality because it will not make a negative impact on their profits if no one buys them.

Potter suggests writing letters to local government officials, urging them to take a closer look at this legislation. He said that breaking up these conglomerates will instill competition in the media and, in essence, make everyone try harder. “People are starting to question the media,” Potter said.

Holding the media accountable is something that people have started to pick up on, thanks to Ashlee Simpson and Fox News, but there is a lot of progress to be made. In China, a Lip Sync Disclosure Law is being considered, which would make lip-syncing illegal. That would not be likely to pass in America, but a more realistic option would be a warning on concert tickets, letting consumers know that the possibility of lip-syncing exists.

As far as plans at Creighton, Potter already has a few ideas, even though the group is still in its fledgling stages. “We’re kind of hibernating first semester,” Potter said. “We have a lot of masters to please.”

The main event H.O.P.E. has planned is a benefit concert which would give the “gift of music” to local high school music programs, Potter said. Other proposed programs include an “Ethics in Media Forum,” in which selected Creighton philosophy and journalism professors, along with Omaha musicians, would dialogue with Creighton students about the state of the media in the 21st century; and a Musicians Festival, which would let singers and songwriters showcase their talents on a Friday afternoon on the mall. “It’s going to give a different perspective,” Bowles said.

Two informational meetings later in the semester will give students to get a closer look at what H.O.P.E. is, while also letting them give their opinions of what Omaha needs. “H.O.P.E.’s goal is to facilitate movement once the seeds of discontent are planted,” Potter said. “H.O.P.E. is all about alternatives.”