Okay, everyone. You can stop your clamoring. Your voices have been heard; your wishes have been granted. Insane Clown Posse has finally given in to your incessant requests for a social networking site made by and for juggalos and juggalettes just like you! No longer do you have to deal with outsiders on Facebook and Twitter who just don’t get the obsession with Faygo soda, hatchets, magnets and clown face paint. Celebrate your individuality and the miracles all around you with other members of “The Family” on http://juggalobook.com/. Have so much fun with that. I don’t know if you realized this yet, but did you know that, as a juggalo, you are also classified as a criminal gang and a “concern to law enforcement” by the FBI’s 2011 National Gang Threat Assessment Report? I’m sorry about that, y’all. They clearly just don’t get it.
Nicolle Walkling, Columnist
If you spend too much time on the internet (given the state of our generation, I’m sure many of you do), you’ve by now read the review of the Olive Garden in Grand Forks, North Dakota by Marilyn Hagerty. I shared the first reaction of most readers, laughing at the small town sensibilities of this elderly woman who so loved a below average restaurant chain. My second reaction was guilt. First, this woman is 85 years old; she knows more about this world than me. Second, I’ve eaten at Olive Garden. It’s not my first choice, but it wasn’t terrible. It was like spending a Saturday afternoon watching an 80′s action movie on TNT. There are better things I could be doing, but the situation is enjoyable enough. I was debating turning this into a longer article, but Joe Posnanski (Senior Writer at Sports Illustrated) covered everything I had to say and no doubt did it better.
Nick Anderson, Co-Editor-in-Chief
First came the YouTube hits, now comes the backlash newsflash: Invisible Children’s #kony2012 “movement” is just irresponsible slacktivism on a huge scale.
The 30-minute film about Joseph Kony’s child militias in central Africa is basically pity porn, a few hazy facts slathered over with artsy editing and a heavy-handed message.
You know what it reminds me of? Those ASPCA commercials, which are certainly emotionally manipulative. But the Sarah McLachlan approach is okay because those are puppies in kennels, not human beings in a country halfway around the world.
Between the video and the media appearances by Invisible Children co-founder Jason Russell, the whole thing just screams “WHITE MAN’S BURDEN,” or at the very least “good intentions nixed by disregard for culture, context and international relations.”
I’ve seen many variations of, “At least people care now! That’s better than before! #haterz.” That’s the problem with half-assed “awareness” campaigns. The righteous retweets just spread around misleading simplifications, like, oh, the little fact that Joseph Kony was driven out of Uganda in 2006.
Lives are at stake, a nation’s identity is being manipulated in order to make non-Ugandans feel good about themselves and a horrible man who already had something of a Messiah complex is now more infamous than he was at his atrocious peak, which was more than a decade ago.
But it’s the thought that counts, right?
Jordan Gamble, Columnist
You’ve almost definitely seen at least one ad for Disney’s new sci-fi epic John Carter. And judging by the film’s current domestic gross of $37 million, you probably haven’t actually seen the film. Nothing about this meager gross is surprising, given a less-than-enthusiastic mass response to a series of convoluted and unexciting trailers and general critical disapproval. John Carter‘s major box office failure is not even remotely surprising, but it brings with it some good and some bad news for the film, for film fans and for the industry as a whole.
The Bad: John Carter should have been great. Based on the first book in Edgar Rice Burroughs’ iconic science fiction Barsoom series, this material couldn’t have more pedigree. These novels really did inspire future science fiction on page and on screen — just like those pesky ads claim — and while the material has become dated, the John Carter books are beloved and important pieces of American cultural history. What’s more, director Andrew Stanton should have undoubtedly wowed us with his first (mostly) live-action film after directing Pixar hits Finding Nemo and Wall-E. He proved to us in those that he both knows how to create worlds we can get swept away and how to tell deep, human stories when the premise seems to take us far outside the realm of humanity. The movie was a disappointment not just because it didn’t connect with audiences, but because it just wasn’t that good.
The Good: There is some good to be seen in this heap of failure. While John Carter will likely stay a flop in America, it has become a big hit overseas, earning over $70 million in international gross and setting a record for the best opening in VFX-hungry Russia. Disney may not recoup all of its costs on the film, but John Carter proves that success overseas is a viable way to make a movie. No longer should studio execs be solely eyeing the American public when crafting a movie. Entertainment is global now, and the more that content creators realize that there are a lot of people in the world from various backgrounds and cultures who want to have shared cultural experiences with film, the better. Back in America, though, the John Carter debacle is also making the major studios wary of big-budget pictures that aren’t part of proven franchises. The franchises bit isn’t the good; the fact that the studios are looking at tailoring back some of their largesse can only be good for an industry that has seen too many John Carters while low-budget films like Paranormal Activity and Project X can be intensely creative but also financially viable.
Maija Gustin, Columnist
Why do we watch President Obama make his NCAA tournament picks? First of all, despite being the leader of the free world, he knows no more about who will win March Madness than the rest of us do (which is, of course, nothing). But more than that, HE DOESN’T PICK UPSETS. Among his Sweet 16 teams, he had a No. 5 seed (New Mexico) and a No. 11 seed (NC State). But outside of those two teams, he literally picked the favorites in every single case. His Final Four is made up of two No. 1 seeds and two No. 2 seeds, which is at least going out on a limb compared to last year, when his Final Four were all the No. 1 seeds.
It’s an interesting idea and probably a ratings grabber at first, but seeing the President pretend to analyze basketball teams, when instead he is haphazardly choosing as few upsets as possible and writing teams on a white board is just hokey and clearly made for television. But then again, it’s put on by ESPN, so who can really be surprised?
Eric Prister, Co-Editor-in-Chief
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