Category: Reviews

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

Fall Into Art 2018!

On Friday, October 5th, a wide variety of art students from nearly every department showcased their work at the Smokestack in downtown Dubuque. The event, entitled Fall Into Art, is an annual art show that strives to present the newest or most coveted work done by those pursuing art majors and minors. From graphic design to abstract sculpture, the pieces being shown illustrate a number of ideas and concepts. 

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Clarke President Joanne Burrows and Professor Jessie Rebik observe student work displayed at the Smokestack.

Hannah Ingles, a junior graphic design major at Clarke, displayed a redesign of a vintage matchbox cover. The project was originally assigned as a means of challenging students to re-conceptualize and modernize old outdated advertisements. Hannah’s work, which depicted the brand Scissor Safety Matches, featured a number of textures and detailed, Victorian era ornamentation. 

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Piece by Hannah Ingles

In addition to a number of printed graphic design pieces, a series of full body drawings were displayed, having been completed in a life drawing class from the 2018 spring semester. Charlotte Rodewald, a junior graphic design major, presented a depiction of a skeleton, showing her ability to accurately portray different perspectives of the human body. 

“The assignment really helped me understand how the body moved,” said Rodewald of her piece. “It’s so important to understand where certain bones and muscles are [as an artist].” 

If you want to see new student work, keep an eye out for art department events around campus. From December 5th to February 28th, sophomore and junior art students will be having their review, exhibiting their pieces in the Quigley Gallery at Clarke University. 

To keep up to date on any events hosted by the Clarke Art Department, click here

 

 

Why We Need Love, Simon.

When I first realized I liked girls, I was only ten years old. I had been watching Teen Titans, a show on the Cartoon Network one Saturday morning when the character Starfire came on screen. She had bright red hair and an outrageously animated body, but the way her character spoke had made my chest feel warm.

Being a child, I shoved the feeling away to analyze at a later date, unable to recognize how much that moment would shape my young life. The time for analysis never came. Instead, I worked my way through middle school, developing crushes on girls in my grade, but all the same shoving the infatuation away because of course, it was wrong. Unnatural. After all, it was Rose that fell in love with Jack, and it was Edward that fell in love with Bella, and that was just the way things were.

The way everything was.

download.jpegRecently, however, the film Love, Simon has challenged this heterosexual status quo, the movie hitting theaters internationally, acting as a shock to the largely straight system of cinema. The film has earned mixed reviews from people both within and outside of the LGBT+ community. A majority of the reactions have been positive, celebrating the success of one of the first, widely released young adult films that features a gay protagonist.

However, some critics have picked the film apart, discrediting every cliche and dismissing every cheesy one liner, all the while posing the question of whether Love, Simon was necessary.

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In a society completely saturated with films based around teen stereotypes, it surprises me that only now is the necessity of high school rom coms called into question. Films such as Fault in Our Stars, Twilight, and Ten Things I Hate About You, which all feature heterosexual, high school couples, have had the honor of becoming classics among the millennial generation.

Yet, now that a film of the same formula has taken the box office by storm with a gay main character, Hollywood has suddenly “run out of ideas,” repeating the same narrative and pandering to “PC culture.”

I understand the frustration with Hollywood’s monotony. Love, Simon is by no means a cinematic masterpiece. At times, the writing heavily relies on stereotypes audiences may be tired of, and the use of clichés sometimes pushes the narrative right over the line of cheesy. But that’s what makes Love, Simon so crucial in the fight for representation. Finally, the LGBT+ community has gotten their own Twilight, just… with less vampires and more rainbow motifs.

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Image from Trailer Addict: https://www.traileraddict.com/blue-warmest-color/poster/1

To give context to why a film like Love, Simon is so important, it’s necessary to understand the current state of LGBT+ cinema. One of the most popular movies ever to feature a gay couple is the French film Blue is the Warmest Color. The movie illustrates a relationship between a nervous 18-year-old named Adèle and an older, free spirited woman named Emma, who is implied to be in her 30’s. Their relationship is taboo and secretive, which eventually causes a rift between them. Eventually, Adèle is left behind by Emma, and, with the love of her life gone, Adèle spirals into depression while her ex moves on to a more mature, stable relationship. To make matters, and the film as a whole, even worse, spliced between scenes of emotional manipulation and angst are vulgar, bordering on pornographic sex scenes between Adèle and Emma.

 

These distressing themes are commonplace within LGBT+ films. Characters tend to either be hypersexualized or broken apart, a happy ending out of the question. For a young member of the LGBT+ community, it can be frightening to look towards media for reassurance, only to be told that the kinds of relationships you may be looking for can only end in tragedy. Love, Simon takes these thematic elements, these pornographic scenes, and flips them on their head, instead creating a sweet but inspiring tale that seeks to empower teenagers who are just starting to explore their identities and sexualities.

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In fact, even members of the cast of Love, Simon themselves have been inspired by the film, the lead actor Keiynan Lonsdale (pictured right) coming out as queer just after shooting for the movie was wrapped. Reflecting on what it was like to play a closeted gay character, Lonsdale said to the Hollywood Reporter on March 16th, “Representation matters, and it’s just the truth. You watch something, and depending on how the story is told and how these characters feel to you, it influences your life, it influences how you feel about yourself and people that you meet.”*

Stories like Lonsdale’s unfold every day– kids coming out to their families and friends all the while never knowing exactly what kind of reaction they’ll get. Lonsdale acknowledges that he was lucky to come out in an environment that was so immediately accepting, though he admits that, regardless of knowing he’d be met with nothing but support, it was still a terrifying experience. Love, Simon was created with the purpose of quelling some of that inherent fear. By giving an honest, yet lighthearted look into the life of a gay teenager, Love, Simon has become an invaluable resource for queer kids who are terrified of making themselves known. Seeing the main character find peace in his own skin gives kids within the LGBT+ community an example to look towards, letting them hope for their own happy ending.

By Mimi Ottavi

https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/love-simon-keiynan-lonsdale-talks-coming-set-1092851

 

A Delicious and Melodious Night in Japan

By Maggie Christianson

On October 25th, 2017 the Edward and Cathy Gallagher Arts at Clarke series hosted A Night In Japan in Jansen Music Hall. The event, starting at 7:00pm,  began with music ensembles from Clarke under the direction of Andrew Alegria and David Resnick and concluded Tsukasa Taiko’s Japanese drumming performance.  Alongside these acts, the series provided food options ranging from sushi to matcha white chocolate mousse before the event at 6:30 in the Atrium.

My adventure to A Night In Japan started when I arrived at the Atrium with an empty belly, ready to enjoy some sushi, only to discover the long line almost headed down the hall. It felt like forever, but once I received my plate, I grabbed as much food as I could. I tried everything they had, from veggie and tuna sushi to their dumplings filled with delicious pork.

For dessert, the staff had prepared a creme cheesecake puffball and white mousse. I wasn’t a huge fan of the cheesecake, which was perfect for my friend, Mariah, who attended the concert with me because she fell in love with the flavor. I really enjoyed the mousse. It had the texture much like frosting and a sweet flavor that wasn’t too rich, making it easy to enjoy.

After finishing our dish, some friends and I headed into the Jansen Music Hall and found ourselves right in front. The wind ensemble started off the 1st act by beautifully performing Japanese folk songs. My personal favorite was Fantasy on a Japanese Folk Song by Samuel Hazo.

The 1st act continued with Sharon Jensen playing Hanawa- Saku (Flower will Bloom) by Yoko Kanno, on the piano. Following her was Cantabile, singing two songs, Nanatsu No Ko, a Japanese Children’s Song, and Sakura Sakura- arranged by Douglas E. Wagner. All the students and professors did an amazing job performing all these beautiful Japanese songs and created a great beginning to this wonderful night.

The 2nd Act was performed by Tsukasa Tako. Here is where they performed on the taiko drums and showed the different festival performances the drums were used for. Part of the show was demonstrating the movements of the beating of the drums which I found very memorizing. The speaker was very engaged with the audience, telling us stories about the music and how he started this group.I was amazed by the classical dance, getting to listen to live music as well as watching a dancer perform to said music.

 

I honestly enjoyed my evening. It was overall a great experience, from the delicious food to the wonderful music. I feel that whether someone went only for the food or the music, everyone found something to enjoy, as I heard nothing but good things about the night.

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