For this last week, I wanted to skip out on the Anime and save some good ones for the spring, so instead, I am going to talk about a show I binged Sunday night. A Million Little Things is a drama on ABC that explores the facets of adulthood friendship after the suicide of a close friend. It tackles issues like suicide, depression, relationship troubles, passion for work, and self-sacrifice. And while this show did make my eyes water and my heart hurt at times, it was also very inspiring and comedic due to how the characters handle their issues.
The show currently has two seasons out, with the third season airing its first episode on Nov. 19. The show is available to stream on Hulu and on ABC’s own website abc.com/a-million-little-things.
I think something this show does well without even getting to the plot is how it tackles diversity. It has representation that is not forced or used to progress the plot; it just is the characters. However, the show does not throw these facts by the wayside either. One example is Rome, a black man struggling with clinical depression, being at odds with his family because, in his culture, they just do not talk about that stuff. The character explains in a handful of scenes that in his house, being sad is just part of life and you get over it.
With finals around the corner, it is a more-than-stressful time in every student’s life. No matter how much we are looking forward to the end of the semester, we have to get through a little more before it is over.
In my witchy opinion, there are a few things you can do in order to get through this time with your mind intact.
Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor
Alex Trebek was the game show host’s game show host. Since 1984, the Jeopardy! host has been welcome in living rooms across the country five nights a week. When Trebek passed away due to pancreatic cancer this weekend, we lost a familiar friend.
Even before Jeopardy!, Trebek’s career as a quiz master was remarkable. He hosted his first game show in 1966, the Canadian high school academic competition Reach for the Top. For every year after that, Trebek hosted at least one game show, an impressive accomplishment in the notoriously fickle business of television. Overall, he worked every year for 54 years.
Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor
To understand the power of the late Sean Connery’s star persona, consider two roles. One made Connery a household name. The other was a role Connery never played.
The first role is, of course, James Bond. Basically, Sean Connery made James Bond into Sean Connery. The character of James Bond had existed before the movies. Ian Fleming’s spy novels were best sellers for about a decade before anyone saw Bond on film.
The story goes that before the movies came out, Fleming had imagined Bond as a very different person, more like actor David Niven. If you are unfamiliar with David Niven, look him up online. I will wait here while you do.
David Niven does not look like James Bond, does he? That is no slight. Niven was an outstanding actor, but we all have trouble picturing him as Bond. In fact, Niven did later play James Bond, in a somewhat strained parodic movie called Casino Royale that was released in 1967. The idea of Niven in that role was meant to be funny.
La Día de Los Muertos is often forgotten or confused with Halloween. This year, the holiday was celebrated from Sunday, Nov. 1st, 2020 through Nov. 2nd, 2020.
What is La Día de Los Muertos?
The Day of the Dead is celebrated in many Latinx cultures, but predominantly in Mexican culture. The purpose of the holiday is to celebrate and demonstrate love and respect for deceased family members and ancestors and is considered Mexico’s most colorful annual event.
The holiday is celebrated through cultural activities including the painting of faces to represent skeletons and making of offerings to their descendants.
With the spooky season having made its pass this semester, I wanted to turn to a more comical show for this week. “Kono Subarashii Sekai ni Shukufuku wo!” or “God’s Blessing on This Wonderful World!” (typically, just called KonoSuba) is a parody show that takes a number of anime cliches, such as reviving in a fantasy world, and twisted them into a comical situation.
At the start of the show the main character, Kazuma Satou, dies after having a heart attack thinking he is going to be hit by a truck, which turned out to be a scooter. From there, he is offered a chance to reincarnate as the hero of a fantasy world and was allowed to bring one thing with him. He asks to bring the goddess (Aqua) speaking with him, assuming her to be all-powerful and a cheat to the end, but once they arrive, he learns how horribly weak she is. From there, Kazuma collects more people into his party and tries to save towns and the world from threats in his new life.
Recently I have been asked about reality shifting. About three months ago, there was a rash of attacks against popular Witchtokers for denouncing so-called “reality shifting,” where people would go to their favorite anime, or Hogwarts, or some other fictional place.
Initially I, and the popular Witchtokers, took it to be some sort of imaginative exercise. These people were disassociating from reality and going into someplace else, for whatever reason, and I thought it was more like lucid dreaming than astral projection.
As of Monday, Oct. 26, a new supreme court justice has been appointed to the highest council of the land. With a split decision of 52 to 48 to confirm Justice Barrett 8 days before the presidential election, it leads Americans to wonder at the workings of the supreme court for years to come. With conservative justices leading the majority by 6-3, rulings are bound to lean more towards the right than previously. With the appointment of J. Barrett following in the footsteps of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was known for a more liberal approach in her rulings, it shows just how different the court she ruled on for 27 years will become in the decades to come. J. Barrett, who is claimed to favor beliefs held by her mentor Justice Scalia, is bound to push the conservative agenda now that she is sworn into such an influential position.
Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor
Lately I have been wondering: is it really possible to “hunt” a ghost?
I am not thinking about the actual existence of ghosts. Personally, I am highly skeptical about the veracity of that particular paranormal phenomenon. But if ghosts do exist, can they be hunted?
Oh sure, it is possible to imagine all sorts of fantastic technology that could be deployed to do this. I mean, we all saw Ghostbusters. Just wave a P.K.E. meter* or something like it around and a certain undetermined number of beeps later, ghosts are located.
This year has been crazy with all the restrictions due to Covid-19. It is very understandable that the school wants to take precautions. With this being said, it may be hard for students to have a social life here on campus.
Last week was a great opportunity for girls to come out and meet the sisters of all different Greek organizations here on campus. The four Panhellenic sororities that we have on campus are Alpha Sigma Alpha (ASA), Alpha Chi Omega (AXO), Kappa Delta (KD) and Sigma Sigma Sigma (Sigma).
On Tuesday, Oct. 22, AXO had a pumpkin painting event which allowed for potential new members to come out and get to meet new people. Zara Collison, the President of AXO, said, “With Halloween right around the corner, our pumpkin painting party was a success! Alpha Chis and other members of the Lynchburg community painted, laughed and enjoyed the weather and the good vibes.”
To wrap up the Halloween anime, I want to talk about “Owari No Seraph,” which means “Seraph of the End” in English. This show is a post-apocalypse anime about vampires, humans, demons, angels, and the wars and dependencies between the four of them.
In this work, a disease broke out that wiped out everyone above the age of 13, and the vampires offered humans protection from the virus and the monsters of the outside world the “Horsemen of John.” Over time, the humans have become unhappy with this arrangement, and wish to break free from vampire rule.
In comes a group of kids of the Hyakuya Orphanage, spearheaded by the main character Hyakuya Yuichiro and Hyakuya Mikaela (called Yu and Mika for short). These children decide they no longer want to be cattle for the vampires and Yu and Mika attempt to escape. They make it a fair bit, only to learn that Ferid Bathory, a vampire progenitor, was waiting for them to think they made it to confront and slaughter them. The only two survivors are Yu, who runs away and makes it to the outside world, and Mika, who sacrifices himself and is assumed dead until it is revealed that another vampire, named Krul Tepes, turned him and saved his life.
Halloween is quickly approaching! For Wiccans, witches, and neo-pagans, Saturday and Sunday mark Samhain, and the last full moon of October.
Samhain, pronounced sow-en, dates back to pagan Celtic traditions and practices. It is believed that the barriers between this world and the next break down, if only for a little while, allowing us to interact with the dead and the creatures of the beyond. Folks celebrated by building a big fire in their village, and leaving out offerings to the creatures that crossed over so they would not be taken.
Nowadays, celebrations are a little less community based, probably because paganism is frowned upon, for the most part. You are still encouraged to participate with your fellows, but there are solitary practices you can take up as well.
“Kimetsu no Yaiba,” also called “Demon Slayer” or “Blade of Demon Destruction” took the anime community by storm in 2019. Produced by studio Ufotable, Kimetsu no Yaiba is an exciting action-fantasy with man-eating demons in human form. The show features stunning 2D and 3D animation and visual effects, a beautiful soundtrack, sympathetic villains, and interesting, fleshed out characters.
“Demon Slayer” begins with Kamado Tanjiro, a teenage boy who takes care of his mother and younger siblings after the passing of his father. One day, he travels into town to sell charcoal for his family and has to stop for the night at the request of a friendly mountain dweller. When he returns home the next morning, he finds that his family had been slaughtered by demons that night before. Soon, he finds his sister, alive by a hair’s breadth, and carries her down the mountain in search of help.
With Halloween on the horizon, what better way to spend this quarantined holiday than to watch some scary movies?
Now, I am generally a very strong advocate for gorey, B-rated slasher films, but considering this is an occult themed opinion section, I will leave those to Nerd Factor or Watch With Me. No, this week I have some witch movie recommendations.
Halloweentown and Halloweentown II: Kalabar’s Revenge might seem like kid’s movies, and they are. However, they were our kid’s movies, the ones we grew up with. Marnie Piper is the granddaughter of Aggie Cromwell, a weird woman to say the least. One night, Marnie and her brother follow their grandmother onto a mysterious bus and end up in a spooky place called Halloweentown. Chaos ensues. This is a good watch for something light and nostalgic, and a quick movie at that.