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The representation of racism and slavery is questionable in modern film

Posted by on Feb 22, 2017 in Arts/Entertainment | 0 comments

It is a cruel joke noticeable in Hollywood productions that the only roles for black actors seem to be that of the slave. Period pieces like “12 Years A Slave” AND “Django Unchained” present a reimagining of history in which cinema harbors a continual fascination with re-enslaving black bodies. It is not that movies exploring slavery are not important and necessary, but the fact that their ubiquity within a Hollywood landscape is still overwhelmingly white sets an unsavory precedent. Though many of these movies may stem from a progressive mindset and a desire for social change, slavery biopics are, in many ways, the “safe choice” in regards to examinations of racism. Few would attempt to argue that slavery did not exist or was not among the most exceedingly cruel and evil events in American history. Slavery is a known...

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I Dream in Pixels: The Lost Magic of Couch Co-Op

Posted by on Jan 25, 2017 in Arts/Entertainment | 0 comments

When I was 12, my brother came home from a garbage dump with my father after they discovered a Nintendo Entertainment System and a box full of games sitting neatly inside the dumpster. Already prone to dumpster diving, my brother hadn’t hesitated to take the lot. Together we went out to our addition, a boat-shaped building in our backyard that served as our playhouse of sorts, to try to set up the system. What followed were weeks spent discovering some of gaming’s earliest treasures, from the original “Super Mario Bros.” to “Double Dragon” and “Super Contra.” It didn’t matter that these games were decades old by the time we got to them. To this day, I have an intense nostalgia for games I don’t think I even liked at the time that are now wrapped up in warm memories...

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I Dream In Pixels: I’m tired of killing

Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Arts/Entertainment, Feature Slider | 0 comments

It was a few days before leaving for Thanksgiving break that I found myself lying in bed with my heartbeat thumping in my ear. Nothing was happening. I was alone, staring blankly at my roommate’s bed. But as has begun to happen with increased frequency, my anxiety had taken over my body, and it was all I could do to refrain from hyperventilating and potentially passing out. I wouldn’t pretend that the 2016 presidential election is solely responsible for the recent collapse of my mental health, but it has certainly done me no favors. Prior to Nov. 8, my anxieties were precariously stacked like some sort of cerebral “Jenga” game. I was in no way “fine,” but I was coping to the best of my ability. In some ways, I had begun to crawl out of the abyss, but...

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LGBTQ+ Students Find Sanctuary at Maryville College

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Feature Slider, Features | 0 comments

  June 26, 2015 was a historic day for human rights. After years of advocating for the equal right to marriage, the LGBTQ+ community finally achieved a tremendous victory when the Supreme Court ruled that all states must allow same-sex marriage. Across the nation celebrations could be seen. People gathered in streets and buildings as diverse as The White House and the One World Trade Center which were lit with the colors of the pride flag. It would seem we had arrived at a point of unmatched progress and equality, but, like the civil rights movement post-desegregation, day-to-day discrimination doesn’t simply end with a court ruling. On Oct. 6, just months after the Supreme Court’s ruling, a meeting was held at the Blount County Courthouse to vote on a law “condemning judicial tyranny and petitioning God’s mercy.” Proposed by...

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I Dream In Pixels: Falling out of love with the modern blockbuster

Posted by on Nov 16, 2016 in Arts/Entertainment | 0 comments

In a 2013 interview with Kotaku, lead creative director on the “Bioshock” series Ken Levine said that the reason games so often rely on shooting as their main mechanic is “a limitation of the medium.” From his perspective, there is a narrow range of possibilities for what games can center around, and chief among these is violence. Look at any of the most popular games currently being released and you can see Levine’s words echoed back at you. “Battlefield,” “Assassin’s Creed,” “Call of Duty,” “Halo;” aside from Nintendo’s “Mario” franchise, you would be hard pressed to find a blockbuster game that is not predominately about violence. To Levine and seemingly many developers, this is simply a fact of game design— the result of having, as Levine calls it, “fewer forms in the game-space.” I find this bothersome. For the...

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