Category: Entertainment

How Captain Marvel won me over (the second time around)

Caution: spoilers below!

Buckle up boys, the girls are taking over! That’s right: on International Women’s Day, Marvel released the one, the only Captain Marvel. This will not be a review, but rather a reflection on what I took from the film and how it affected me personally. That being said, for all you who haven’t somehow seen it, buckle up and go see it now! For those who have already seen it, go see it again!

What I have discovered from my own viewing experience is that Captain Marvel is a movie that you need to rewatch to truly appreciate. When I first saw it in theaters, I sat there, not quit able to determine how I felt about Vers, aka Captain Marvel. The movie was set up as a prequel, so the audience, if they were up to date on the Marvel franchise, already recognized certain details and elements that in a lot of ways took the suspense out of the plot. The design of the movie was meant to highlight how Vers got her powers. We see her struggling to control her emotions as the Kree, the primary race of the planet Hala, keep reminding her that she needs to keep her emotions in check if she wants to see any action.

Due to the subdued nature of Vers’s character, I was left feeling unsatisfied in my first watch. Usually after watching Marvel films, I sit down with my own personal Marvel expert, being my father, who has raised me on these films. When we both saw it for the first time, we both were unsure about Vers and how she developed throughout the narrative. There seem to be something lacking about her, but after round two of viewing, I was really able find the depth in her story. I was able to, finally, really enjoy her character.

On watch two, I started picking up the beautiful nuances of Vers’s, or Captain Marvel’s, characterization. Vers had this sort of carefree attitude about her, even in the heat of battle– cracking a smile or making a witty remark. She would walk into a situation with confidence, knowing she was a power house, but she didn’t use her title or power to get her way.

She was a leader, like Captain America. And that, in itself, is where I think people get turned off by the character. People have this expectation that she will be a carbon copy of Steve Rogers: the man, the myth, the supersoldier.

The primary difference that I’ve identified is that Steve Rogers wanted to become a hero. He got dirty and fought side by side with his fellow soldiers in World War II. When superior officers tried to hold him back, he ignored them and stormed into battle to save his best friend. My dad kept pointing out that Vers wasn’t like Steve in this regard. She listened to the people who held her back and didn’t rebel like Captain America.

What I was quick to tell my father is that Vers was conditioned to hold back. In order to see the action she wanted, she was forced to listen to the Kree. There was no bending or breaking the rules. They had manipulated her into thinking that her powers where a gift from the Kree and that they could be taken away, so she remained obedient. Even Vers’s mentor and only friend told her to remain under the thumb of her superiors.

So let me ask you, What would you do if, in order to be like everyone else, you had to hold yourself back?

I asked my dad this question and he said he wasn’t sure, and that’s ok. I’m not 100 percent sure myself. But if I was being honest, I suspect that I would hold myself back just like her, because she truly believed in the Kree and in what they were doing.

The thing is, all Vers ever wanted was to help others. Despite having little knowledge of her past, she followed orders to a T, hoping that she could make some kind of positive change in the universe. Once she learned of the Kree’s true evil nature, she didn’t hesitate in switching sides– in turning around and fighting back against those who stole her life and manipulated her memories. It didn’t matter that they had ben her only friends, her only family, for years on end. She fought for what was right.

Vers was no more. Captain Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, had arrived.

As I was watching the film for the second time, I found myself crying at a number of scenes that had originally left me with dry eyes. Whenever bits of Carol’s past were shown on-screen, my eyes would water. She was always shown being told to slow down– as a child and in the Air Force. The men that surrounded her doubted her ability even after she had, for all intents and purposes, proven herself. One guy in the film was even bold enough to ask her, “You know why they call it a cockpit, right?” But those comments didn’t stop her from getting back up, from pushing past the challenges in her life.

It was the scene where the Supreme Intelligence tells her she is only human, however, that really struck me. Because Carol Danvers, Captain Marvel, is human. But the thing is, she was a hero way before she could  shoot photon blasts from her fists. Even when pushed to the ground again and again, she got back up again and brushed the dirt from her knees.

“I’ve been fighting with one arm tied behind my back, but what happens when I’m finally set free?”

That was the moment she became not just a hero, but a superhero. The realization that she wasn’t Kree, but rather human, was just another moment of falling and standing up once more. She allowed herself to be wild, to be messy, to be emotional and outrageous, and that’s what ended up winning the battle for the good guys.

Carol Danvers is not Steve Rogers. They are two different types of heroes, and two different types of people. Yet they are both human, and they both made difficult choices. They wanted to serve for the greater good, but they both got a bit lost along the way.

Captian America is one of my favorite heroes because I got to watch a boy become a man and a man become a soldier for his country. He was the leader the Avengers needed before Infinity War– someone who was willing to stand with his friends and sacrifice himself for the world, but now, the Avengers need Captain Marvel. They failed in Infinity War. They lost– they fell down. It’s Captain Marvel’s job to help them stand up again.

By Maggie Christianson

Musical Menus is in in full swing

On April 4th and 5th at 6:30pm, Clarke students will be taking part in Musical Menus, a fundraiser that celebrates the work of the drama, music, and theatrical departments. Throughout the two nights, many students, as well as Clarke ensembles, will be performing a variety of songs coming from the jazz era.

Kylie Gougler, a visiting professor and head of the vocal performance program, described Musical Menu’s as a way to not only fundraise as a program, but to give back to the community.

“In general, Musical Menu’s is really just a way for us to showcase Clarke University’s musical department and the talent that we have on campus,” says Gougler.

“This year, I’ve decided to change the program a little bit because it’s Clarke’s 175th year, and my first year here, so I wanted to put a fresh little spin on it. In the past this performance has been a lot of solo performances, and I wanted to include a lot of group performances with an overarching theme. I was watching Urinetown last semester and then it came to me— 1920’s jazz.”

Influenced by Gershwin and Cole Porter, Gougler searched through a number of popular composer’s repertoires. Finding pieces for bands, choruses, and solo performers alike, students have begun rehearsing, running musical numbers and blocking their performances. The show itself has an overarching narrative theme, according to Gougler, and the set itself will follow the pace of dinner.

“Every single course in the meal has its own theme. The first is getting around New York City, the second is the trials and tribulations of Love, the third is an illustration of how great love can be, and the fourth is a hodgepodge of fun and witty songs that are reflective of the era.”

Despite being new at Clarke University, Gougler has invested plenty of effort into this fundraiser. “I’ve chosen all the music, I made all the cuts, I assigned all the singers their repertoire, I’m going to be doing some very minimal staging for the show, and I’m also spearheading a silent auction and working with marketing and advertising to get our show out to the community so we have as many patrons here as we can.”

To fill the seats at Musical Menus, and to experience a show the likes of which you haven’t seen before, pre-order tickets right now. If you are looking to come to this event, please email Dora Serna at Dora_Serna@clarke.edu.

 

 

by Dane Shaull

Don’t wait to see Waiting for Godot

From March 7th to the 10th, the Clarke University Drama and Musical Theater Department will be performing Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett at Terence Donaghoe Hall. The show features a five person cast, including students Jamese Kane, Kayla Winandy, Riley Beckett, Alannah Walker, and alumnus Colin Muenster (‘08).

Waiting for Godot is, according to director Joe Klinebriel, a piece of work that belongs to the “Theatre of the Absurd.” According to the notes included in the shows program, the term was coined by Martin Esslin in his 1962 book of the same title. Essentially, absurdist theatre is a form of drama that is meant to call attention to the absurdity of human existence.

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“It’s essentially two men waiting for this fictional character named Godot who never comes,” says Klinebriel of the production. “But what it’s really about is what we do to validate our existence in the meantime. The games we play, the things we do, the relationships that we have and that we form to help us figure out what it is that we’re doing while we’re passing our time.”

The subject and plot of the play may seem abstract and difficult to understand– but that, according to Klinebriel, was Beckett’s point. “He was very particular about silence and timing and the use of language, but he won’t answer too many questions. People always want answers to this play, and I think they’re going to bring their own meaning to it.”

Riley Beckett, a senior at Clarke University who is currently pursuing a degree in drama, says that the particulars of the play were gratifying, though difficult.

“The experience for me was challenging because, during the time my character is onstage, he doesn’t speak very much, so my performance was mostly physical,” says Beckett of his rehearsal experience. “For the lines that the character does have, I had to do a lot of reading and research to figure out what exactly the character was saying and why. The language was difficult to grasp at first because it’s very different from what I’m used to and Samuel Beckett’s use of language is very creative and unique.”

Thankfully, the cast itself is very small, giving Klinebriel a lot of time to work intimately with the actors and crew on the construction of the show.

“Whenever I get an opportunity to work with a smaller group of actors or people it’s a much more intimate experience,” says Klinebriel. “In an educational setting, it’s even that much more fulfilling for me and the actors because there’s just more devoted time between me and them.”

To see the Clarke Drama Department in action, come attend Waiting for Godot on either Thursday, Friday, or Saturday at 7:30 p.m. or Sunday, March 10th at 2:00 p.m. Tickets prices are $10 for general admission, $7 for seniors, and $5 for non-Clarke students. Students of Clarke University can attend for free. All tickets will be available at the door.

 

 

by Charlotte Rodewald

Dirty Computer: The biggest snub of the 2019 Grammys

From the get go, I will admit that I am biased. I have been a fan of Janelle Monáe since she released the song “Tightrope” in 2010. From the moment I saw her dancing across an asylum in a tuxedo, I was in love.  Through the releases of her more eclectic ArchAndroid and ElectricLady albums, I retained a deep seated respect for her and her work.

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via Rolling Stone

The 2018 release of her fifth studio album, Dirty Computer, only strengthened my love and respect for Ms. Monáe. A fusion of Afro-funk, rap, ‘90’s R&B, bubblegum pop and Prince-esque guitar riffs, Dirty Computer is a futuristic celebration of diversity. Paired with a gorgeous 48 minute visual or, as Monáe calls it, “Emotion Picture,Dirty Computer is a concept album which follows the life and rebirth of Jane 57821. Featuring hits like “Pynk”, “Make Me Feel,” and “Django Jane,” it was no surprise that Monáe earned Grammy nominations for Album of the Year and Best Music Video.

It was a surprise that she lost.

I hold nothing against Kacey Musgraves, the winner of this year’s award. However, I do have to question the criteria the Recording Academy are using to decide their winners. Are they looking for originality? Musicality? Creative lyricism? Because Janelle Monáe, in my book, checks every one of those boxes.

If you give Dirty Computer a listen yourself, which I highly recommend, you’ll see exactly why I’m so outraged. Not only is the album full of empowering hits that cross nearly every genre line— each and every song is filled with unmistakable heart. As a queer woman myself, songs like “Don’t Judge Me” and “Screwed” sound like anthems. The lyrics range from heartbreaking to funny, flirty, and outrageously relatable.

Past the wit, though, there is an underlying tone of seriousness and sincerity. In Monáe’s Emotion Picture, the character Zen (played by Tessa Thompson) admits at a pivotal part in the story that “People used to work so hard to be free. But we’re lucky here. All we have to do is forget.”

This single quote holds boatloads of cultural significance, especially in our current political climate when topics such as freedom and expression are highly debated.

At the end of the day, I believe that the Recording Academy avoided granting Dirty Computer Album of the Year for one reason and one reason alone: fear. The album itself is practically a love letter to progress, individuality, and independence. If I were to compare this years snub to a another famous Grammy brush-off, I’d say it was similar to the 2016 Adele vs Beyoncé debacle. People were outraged when Queen-Bey didn’t win Album of the Year for Lemonade, a stunning audio-visual masterpiece that celebrated and illustrated her experiences as a black woman in a strained relationship. Even Adele herself dedicated her acceptance speech to Beyoncé.

Not every detail fits, but the parallel is clear.

Regardless of the Recording Academy’s decision, I know in my heart that I will never find a more well-thought out, creative, and joyful album than Dirty Computer. It’s not only a collection of songs, it’s an experience— one filled with joy, hope, and above all, love. In years to come, I hope to see Janelle Monáe get the kind of recognition she deserves. After all, she’s Jane Bond, never Jane Doe.

 

 

by Mimi Ottavi

The Super Bowl was super boring

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via CNN International 

I think a lot of us can agree that Super Bowl LIII wasn’t the spectacle that people were hoping for. To a lot of people in the United States, the Super Bowl signifies the biggest sporting event of the year. However, with recent details about the viewings of this year’s night of football coming to light, it’s been revealed that this year’s Super Bowl has garnered the lowest ratings in history, only pulling 98.2 million views. To put this into perspective, Super Bowl LII received 103.4 million views. That is a loss of 5.2 million views, making it one of least viewed Super Bowls since 2008.

So, why such a huge loss? Well, there are a number of factors to be taken into account, one of which being the controversy of the Rams placement in the game. On February 3rd, the night of the Super Bowl, a protest broke out in the French Quarter. It appeared that a number of New Orleans locals had felt the Saints were cheated from a spot in the game after a blown call in their match against the Rams that caused the Los Angeles team to win. To show their distaste of their team being cheated, many Saints fans flooded Decatur Street to protest the Super Bowl, leading to a massive drop of views from that area of the U.S.

But surely one town couldn’t make such a difference in views, right? Well, New Orleans wasn’t the only town to avoid the big game like the plague. Kansas City, home of the Chiefs who had lost to the Patriots, were also turned away from watching the game. Their numbers, while not as extreme, showed an 11% drop in viewership.

Finally, to put it bluntly– no one wants to see the Patriots in the Super Bowl anymore! Of course, there are a couple diehard fans that will be happy to see Tom Brady and the gang coming up the ranks annually. However, this is their third consecutive year, and this win gives them their sixth Super Bowl win overall. While many people rode the Patriots hype train around 2014, many can now reach the consensus that they have become a nuisance. No one wants to see the same team every year, let alone the same win. Viewers want to see more underdog teams, those who aren’t talked about enough. They want to see their own athletes have a chance. Hopefully, this next season will give those fans a chance to be surprised.

Overall, this Super Bowl was considered uneventful by many. With a low scoring game in a sport known for its fast-paced action and amazing plays, Super Bowl LIII just felt like a high school game. Even the half-time show and commercials were lackluster. Hopefully, the NFL will  take into account their low viewership and try to make next year’s game the spectacle fans are aching for.

 

 

Dane Shaull

How to stay sane in subzero weather

“Baby, it’s cold outside.”

No truer words have ever been spoken. Following two days of subzero temperatures, Clarke has delayed and canceled classes within the second week of school. Due to the fact that there’s no way to go outside without turning into human ice sculpture, we thought we’d give you some ideas of what to do while holed up in your dorm, apartment, or (hopefully) warm home.  Stock up on those canned goods, bundle up in your parkas, and steel yourselves for the cold snap!

  • Movie Marathon: Pop some popcorn, kick back, and relax! Invite friends and roommates, vote on a series, and begin your epic movie marathon.  There are tons of franchises to choose from– from Harry Potter to Marvel, DC to Hunger Games, or, if you’re desperate, Twilight.

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via yonki

  • Read: Yes, people still do that for fun. A good book can teleport you away for hours. Its quick entertainment, and you don’t even need to plug it in to charge! Unless, of course, you read on a tablet or computer. This could be the time to reread books you’d forgotten you loved. Or, if you’re feeling adventurous, take a dive into a new genre! Grab a blanket and a warm drink, curl up in your bed, and get lost in your story.

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via odyssey

  • Game Night: Plug in that Xbox, pull out that game board, and shuffle that deck. Enjoy having a fun night of gaming, whether it’s taking your friends’ cash in a game of poker or battling it out on Fortnite. Unleash your competitive side and play to win!

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via giphy

  • Homework: You laugh now, but getting ahead on your studies will allow you to actually relax in your short time off. Despite the fact that classes were canceled, teachers have been asked to provide work to students that could serve as replacement for class time. Clear up your schedule so you aren’t rushing at the last minute!

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via wheninmanila

  • Art: Dance, sing, paint, draw, knit, or do something else creative! Stop using the left side of your brain for a moment and explore a new way to express yourself. Sometimes, you need to stop thinking so literally in order to allow yourself to see things in a new light. Find friends to be inspired with and see what you can create!

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via giphy

These two days off might not have seemed like much in comparison to the month long vacation of Christmas break, but they’re still a treat! Make sure your time spent indoors isn’t wasted. Stay safe, stay entertained, and above all, stay warm!

 

 

By Maggie Christianson

How long does it take to cook a turkey in the microwave? The answer is: you don’t

Thanksgiving—an entire holiday dedicated to turkey, football, and Macy’s. Since we’re just on the verge of taking a break from school to head back home for the holidays, we thought it’d be appropriate to address the internet’s most recent trend. About a week ago, a new meme emerged on Twitter, highlighting the exasperated nature of mothers nationwide. An enormous number of young adults sent loving messages to their moms asking how they might cook a 25lb Butterball turkey in the microwave. Seems like a fantastic idea, right?

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Via @Cassidy_OMealia

Of course, no young adult is actually attempting to nuke an entire bird till it’s cooked through. This meme is more about the frighteningly similar responses of each of these college student’s mothers. The reactions range from concerned to deeply disappointed.

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Via @russelldpowell

One of our own editors attempted this harmless prank and sent a message to her mom. Only minutes later, our editor was FaceTiming with her mother, receiving a firm reprimand. While there is nothing more powerful than a mother’s love, it seems that a Butterball turkey in the microwave might be the breaking point of a mother’s patience.

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Via @TheClarkeCrux

Have you attempted this viral turkey prank? If so, send us the screenshots of your parent’s responses on Twitter @TheClarkeCrux!

by Staff