Back to my regularly scheduled opinions, this week I wanted to talk about the Freemasons. I think everyone and their mother has heard of the freemasons, or at least seen their symbol around: stickers, carved into headstones, put on buildings.
But what are the freemasons? What do they do? And why does a secret society feel the need to put their symbol all over the world?
According to Britannica, Freemasonry is a “secret fraternal order of Free and Accepted Masons,” and is considered the “largest worldwide secret society.” That seems a bit ironic, being the largest secret society that has articles all over the place, but I digress. It is a Eurocentric society, started within the British Empire and then spread to all the different countries they conquered. There are also about six million members worldwide.
Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor
Thirty years ago this week, three college friends and I moved into an off-campus rental in a suburb. That house was an odd place and we would have many adventures and misadventures there. One of the earliest indicators that the house on Tuckerman Street would never be normal was our early encounter with the roaches.
Looking back, I am not exactly sure when we found that we had so many unexpected roommates. Obviously, it happened very early and I suspect that it was all part of the horrible first night at the house. Eric, a friend I had pretty much known forever, and I had arrived earlier in the day to start moving in. We had already discovered that the air conditioning at the home was not working properly. This was in Maryland in the late summer, so we had high temperatures and higher humidity; not exactly the ideal moving day. By the time Bruce got there, a friend whom I met in my freshman year when he sort of excavated a hole into my dorm room wall (a story for another time), those weather conditions had produced a raging thunderstorm.
I have a list of things that I want to write an opinion piece about. Is this one of them? No, but I thought I would get back to that list next week, so stay tuned.
Instead, today, I wanted to talk about superstitions.
Recently, I adopted a black cat from the Lynchburg Humane Society. He is two months old, and I have named him Cosmic Creepers (or Cozzy for short) after the black cat from Bedknobs and Broomsticks. It was one of my favorite movies when I was growing up and VHS was still a thing.
Manhwa, Korean webcomics, also called webtoons by some, are exactly as the name suggests: comics found, and read, online. This week I caught up on the anime adaption of the God of Highschool webcomic. The anime version of God of Highschool brings the third of major name webcomics to the animated screen. Produced by Crunchyroll, this is the second adaption of 2020 and brings one of the longest and biggest titles of webtoon to anime. The other was Tower of God, released earlier in the Spring of 2020.
Dr. Mike Robinson ~ UL Communication Studies Professor
In terms of methodology, Spider-Man is now the ideal coronavirus era superhero. Yes, the radioactively spider-bitten young man from Queens who mixes it up with both street level threats and cosmic menaces is now uniquely positioned to fight crime in this new COVID-19 age. Consider how easily most of his crime fighting activities can be adapted to the commonsense practices of personal safety we have adjusted to in our lives.
Yesterday, I caught up on all the anime I had been behind on due to moving in, classes, and life in general. One of the ones that stood out to me, unique in story and characters, was a show called Appare-Ranman! or “Appare in Full Bloom” in English. The show is created by Studio P.A. Works and is licensed by Funimation.
The story follows the eccentric character of Appare Sorano and his blender samurai friend Kosame Isshiki. After running away from home, the two of them end up stranded on the west coast of America during the late 19th century. Appare is an interesting character that could be assumed to have Savant Syndrome (but this is never explicitly said) and has incredible skill in working with cars and mechanics. After a handful of antics between a native American child, a Chinese immigrant woman, and a rich Frenchman; Appare and Kosame end up being involved in the Trans American Wild Race.
I know I am not alone when I say I feel heavy. Not in the physical sense, but emotionally and spiritually, I just feel…too much.
I believe it is a sign of the times. There is so much happening in the world right now, so much to despair over. And it can be very difficult to process these emotions, to try to find a way to lessen the load.
Our First Day of Sophomore Year… Didn’t know we were in for such a wild ride! Photo from Anna-Catherine Keung
By Anna-Catherine Kueng
Where do I begin with my perspective as a student, specifically, a Lynchburg Hornet, in the midst of a pandemic?
First, I want to acknowledge that I could never say what virus I am referring to in this article, and you would still know. Turn on the news, get on Facebook, look at the toilet paper aisle at the grocery store, or basically talk to another human being, and you will hear about the Coronavirus. It has sparked conversation around the world, put masses into panic, and most impacting for me, it has moved my college classes online.
Recently, I saw a meme on Facebook announcing a girl was starting college at “Da Crib University.” I chuckled, yet at the same time, it is alarming to think about how seriously the virus is affecting everyone and that it has closed UL’s campus.
Perhaps one of my pet peeves is hearing the words, “I am too busy!” In my opinion, the word “busy” means that you do not have time to give to something. This idea implies that you are giving your time to something else, not related to the thing that you are “too busy” for. And, hearing this as a student-athlete was always something that aggravated me to no end.
Now, I want to make note that I understand that, sometimes, student-athletes genuinely are busy in their lives. However, I refuse to believe that an individual literally has no time whatsoever to give to the sport that they say that they love. For me, being “busy” is simply a matter of perspective. For example, if I tell myself, “Wow, I am really busy today,” then I am essentially given myself an excuse to not do something else that I could have done to make myself better that very day.
Globally, the world is scary. It would be foolish to deny that fact. There are terrorists, the coronavirus is spreading, children die from the flu, sober people get killed by drunk drivers, and the list continues. Individually, the world can also be scary. Maybe you received a medical diagnosis you did not want, maybe your home life is falling apart, or maybe you just do not know how you are going to make it one more day in this chaotic world.
It is natural to recognize that the world is not what you grow up dreaming it is. When I was a child, I knew there were bad things, but I did not know the extent of what was happening around me. Gradually, as I got older, I began to learn more about the awful things not only in Virginia and the U.S., but around the world. Last August, I was really shaken when a grandmother, mother, and baby were all murdered by their family member right near my rural hometown. The tragedy was overwhelming to think about at times. I did not even know the family, and yet sometimes I cry when I think about the grief the surviving husbands must feel every day.
This week has been such a hectic and crazy week with everyone in my program and the world worrying about the Coronavirus that has been affecting so many people. The most affected country in Europe last week was Italy. As a result, everyone was on high alert. A lot of my friends who went to Milan for fashion week were actually scared that they might have been infected.
My friends who went to Milan for the weekend said that not only did they have to go through security to get on the plane, but when they got off the plane, they had to get a body scan in order to see if they were sick or had a fever. Some of my friends indicated that it was surreal, like something out of a movie.
I know it has been a week since diving into Aleister Crowley, but this week I wanted to talk about an organization he was in for a brief time, and an organization that influenced the creator of Wicca, Gerald Brosseau Gardner. That organization is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
First off, what in the world is the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn? The answer to that question is an odd one, for sure. According to the New World Encyclopedia, the Hermetic Order was a “magical order of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which practiced various forms of theurgy and spiritual occultism.” Basically, it was a group of people who met up in a religious context and did spooky stuff.