The Guardians of the Galaxy’s final adventure surpasses high expectation: The IMAX 3D Review


Following director James Gunn’s appointment to the position of president to the newly formed DC Studios, fans everywhere had wondered if he would put in less effort for the final film in the Guardians of the Galaxy trilogy. Thankfully for all concerned, Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 not only matches, but even exceeds the previous efforts. 

The IMAX 3D poster for “Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” (Spencer Moore/ ETHIC NEWS)

The movie was designed and shot with IMAX certified cameras, meaning that the aspect ratio is expanded from 2.39:1 to 1.90:1. This means that on capable screens, the film has more visuals to see in IMAX, and as the director personally worked on the conversion, the most true way to watch the film is in the IMAX 3D format.

While Redlands does not have one, the nearest full-size IMAX screen in southern California can be found in Ontario, at the Regal Ontario Palace theater. It is the largest IMAX in SoCal, making it the ultimate way to experience the guardians’ swan song.

The entrance to the IMAX theater at Regal Edwards Ontario Palace. The crate is full of film prints of the upcoming Christopher Nolan film, Oppenheimer. (Spencer Moore/ ETHIC NEWS)

The movie itself is a modern marvel of mending layered storytelling with genuine earnestness from each of its many characters. Being a Marvel film, it is bound to be of at least passable quality, but what James Gunn achieved with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 is unprecedented in terms of quality found in the Marvel Cinematic Universe

Redlands East Valley Junior, Parker Smith stated, “The film was very good, and nearly made me cry.”

Fellow wildcat, Jameson Record, shared that, “It was really good, really sad, but nonetheless highly enjoyable for all those who are inclined against animal testing.”

“The Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 3” poster as it appears at Harkins Mountain Grove 16 in Redlands. (Spencer Moore/ ETHIC NEWS)

In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 3, the Guardians of the Galaxy once again find themselves thrust in the middle of an Intergalactic adventure, full of heartwarming moments, along with the unveiling of rocket’s tragic upbringing. It is in its backstory that the true heart of the film is revealed. His friends, including Lylla, Floor, and Teefs, are all fellow animals, who were experimented on by the film’s villain, the High Evolutionary.

While at some points highly dark, the douer tone is quickly offset by some of the MCU’s most effective comedy. In this film, Dave Bautista’s portrayal of Drax the Destroyer is certainly the comedic standout, and he should be considered for many more roles after this film.

No matter who you are, Guardians of the Galaxy, volume three has something in it for you. While featuring the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s single, greatest action scene, it also includes lessons and morals about the nature of what it truly means to be a family. The genuine care that James Gunn put into the Guardians’ final outing is so good, that it makes one wonder if Marvel can ever again reach the heights that this film blew past. Everybody should see this film. 

Poetry: “Ni de aquí, ni de allá” inspired by teacher and experiences as Mexican American


I wrote this poem because I have a wonderful teacher who’s named Duan Kellum, who students call Mr. Kellum. Mr. Kellum assigned a final for his class and gave the option to write a poem based off anything I’ve learned from his class. That being said, throughout his class I learned about discrimination and how it can be demonstrated, how people discriminate others based off their color or race. So I decided to write a poem based on how it felt to be a Mexican American who is judged by the people of not only his birth country but by the people of his family’s birth country, as my parents were born in Mexico and I was born here in the United States. The poem talks about how people shouldn’t discriminate and hate others because at the end of the day we all are human.

Ni De Aqui Ni De Aya

Lo que no saben is that while growing up I was seen as lesser

Felt like lesser, talked to lesser, freedom was lesser

Lesser than the average americano porque soy mexicano 

Pero soy americano porque nací aquí o no?

Entonces qué soy…..o americano…o mexicano..

No. yo soy los dos.

Those who say que no, están mal.

Mal de lo cual les han enseñado hacer y pensar el mal

Envés de estar united like a country , estamos separados por paredes de hierro

Iron walls that stand tall and proud each making people forget que

Sangramos lo mismo

Pero yo estoy aquí so tengo que ser americano? O pero no, porque estoy prieto

So….soy mexicano? 

No, Mexico-americano . 

Se confunden cuando saben que puedo hablar inglés 

Porque tengo la finta de un paisano que no sabe lo que es 

And that’s the issue porque piensan los dos lados que no ay pedo

Pero al querernos todos together we would create a libretto 

With beautiful synchronization not only found in people 

But in the venal of all men who’ve created the odio that has spread


Humano que también ha sufrido from the hate thats spread 

Spread like a virus which reaps for your death

Which is inevitable since that’s all our final destination 

We have to be a nation united to fight the common problem 

Which is the ego of those who judge based on one’s color or origin 

We share this planet and we should as amigos 

Porque se nos olvida que al ultimo la parca no perdona

Y ni porque sea mexicano o americano me voy a librar 

Al fin del dia 

Yo soy yo.

Poetry: “Las Fresas” honors sacrifice of mother who worked in strawberry fields


This poem talks about nostalgia from when I was a kid and how my mother worked in the strawberry fields. Working in the fields left my mother with a lot of body pain as it was very hard physical job that required you to be bent on your back for more than six hours with little to no break. I love my mom as she was a single mother having to put food on the table and a roof over her three kids at the time, all on her own.  After work she would come back with the smell of rotten strawberries as her work boots were full of them.

Las Fresas

I remember the smell of rotten strawberries

A bit to heavy for the nose her boots full of dirt, sometimes muddy

Sometimes making my home look and smell cruddy

I remember the dirty clothes

Little did I know how badly her bones were hurt

Too young and naive to fully understand

That everything she did was purely out of love

A mothers love is one that’s unmatched

A pure craft that blinds he who is receiving Infinitely grateful for the best women in this universe

My mother who smelled like strawberries coming out of work

Who worked in the strawberry fields to keep us afloat

Who I love the most for everything she’s done.

Is season 3 of “Demon Slayer” worth the watch?


Note: This article contains spoilers for the Demon Slayer series and descriptions of fantasy gore.

Season 3 of “Demon Slayer” was released on April 9, 2023. (Public Domain Pictures)

“Demon Slayer” was originally released on April 6, 2019, and since then there have been two full seasons and two movies. The show won Anime of The Year for the Crunchyroll Awards in 2020 alongside two other awards that same year and four more awards in 2022. The 2023 Crunchyroll award winners were released on March 3, and the show took home six awards tied with Attack on Titan and Spy X Family. Overall the series holds the record for most awards won at the Crunchyroll Awards with well over a dozen awards. 

The Crunchyroll awards deliberately take place every March to make way for new anime seasons or shows that debuted in April. On April 9, 2023, the third season of “Demon Slayer” was released and naturally had extreme expectations due to its many awards. 

The story follows Tanjiro and his younger sister Nezuko who lived peacefully in the mountains with their large family. In the first episode of season one, Tanjiro goes to sell coal for his family business and ends up staying at a neighboring house so he doesn’t have to climb back up the icy mountain at night.

In the morning when he returns, he sees that his entire family has been killed and that Nezuko was turned into a demon. They get into a battle and Nezuko ends up retaining her memories and humanity, something uncommon for demons. Because of this, they are offered to go train with the Demon Slayer Corps and discover a cure for Nezuko. 

The Twelve Kizuki are the twelve strongest demons under their leader Muzan, similar to this the nine Hashira are the nine strongest members of the Demon Slayer Corps. The third season leaves off of the Entertainment District arc, with the deaths of two members of the Twelve Kizuki, at the hands of Taniro’s team and Hashira Tengen. Due to this Muzan calls a meeting for the first time in 113 years with the Twelve Kizuki. 

Among the attendees of the meeting is Akaza, the demon who recently killed Hashira Rengoku, the flame Hashira. He ranks third in the Twelve Kizuki and is one of the most mysterious demons because of what little we know about his backstory. Kokushibo is the highest-ranking demon under Muzan and just below him is Doma. The first scene of season three ends with Azaka threatening to take their positions, which alludes to there being potentially more scenes with Akaza in the future.

After the meeting, the attention switches to Tanjiro who is waking up from his coma after his last battle with an upper rank. Tanjiro recovers only a week after waking up and sets off to the hidden swordsmith’s village to reclaim a sword after he broke his last one. While there he encounters the Love Hashira Mitsuri Kanroji, and the Mist Hashira Muichiro Tokito, as well as Genya, a demon slayer that Tanjiro met during his training. 

Things remain calm until the village is attacked by Gyokko, who ranks five in the Twelve Kizuki, and Hantengu who ranks fourth. During this attack, there are many casualties throughout the village as the Hashiras, alongside Genya, Tanjiro and Nezuko attempt to defeat the demons. 

Gyokko’s Blood Demon Art is the ability to summon pots which aquatic and deformed creatures emerge from and attack. Hashira Muichiro focuses on this battle while defending two civilians of the Swordsmiths Village. Hashira Mitsuri focuses on the minor demons attacking the civilians and searching for survivors. While Nezuko, Genya and Tanjiro take on Hantengu whose Blood Demon Art allows him to split his emotions into multiple demons. 

During this battle, we learn about Genya’s backstory and his brother Sanemi Shinazugawa, the wind Hashira. The ninth episode takes us to their childhood where they lived in poverty with a single mother and their younger siblings. During this flashback, they are attacked by a demon who they realize is their mother, and Sanemi is forced to kill her. Genya and Sanemi are the only two survivors of their bloodline, similar to Tanjiro and Nezuko, but the two do not keep in contact since Genya denounced Sanemi as “a murderer.”

The first time Tanjiro met Genya, Tanjiro broke Genya’s wrist for being cruel to a young woman. Due to their relationship having a rocky start, Tanjiro struggled at befriending Genya at the beginning of season three when they reunited. But during their battle, Tanjiro expresses his complete support of Genya on his journey to becoming a Hashira, strengthening their bond. 

Season three so far has eluded to potentially showcasing more lore concerning mysterious characters. Genya has had some backstory revealed but there is still much we do not know about him, Akaza’s backstory in the show has also not been revealed at all. But both characters have expressed the goals that they intend on completing, and their progress towards their goals will likely be shown this season.

Demon Slayer has always been rated TV-MA due to its inclusion of, “fantasy violence, including bloody injuries and corpses, including those of young children”, according to Common Sense Media. However, the third season kicks up the graphic violence a notch especially because of Gyokko’s Blood Demon Art.

When Gyokko attacks the village he collects several villagers and magically combines their bodies so they fit in his pot, the disfigured creature made from the villagers is shown to be sentient. Although the show has always included fantasy violence with gore, this scene is one of the show’s most graphic moments. 

According to Corporation News, every single episode of Demon Slayer costs 80,000 dollars USD, and thus a 12-episode season costs about USD 960,000. This fact combined with the increased levels of gore leads to highly intense fight scenes with an extreme amount of detail. So far the third season has aired nine episodes with more episodes packed with well-animated fantasy violence coming soon.

The third season of “Demon Slayer” debuted on April 9 and is expected to air an episode weekly every Sunday morning on Crunchyroll with a premium subscription. The first season can be found on Crunchyroll and Funimation for free. Thus fans have the opportunity to try out the first season and see if it is worth the 8 dollars a month for the second and third seasons. 

There have been nine episodes in the third season of “Demon Slayer” so far, each with a budget of USD 80k. The newest season is packed with an increased level of gore, lore to rarely seen characters, and tragic backstories. The show has won over a dozen awards and is one of the most expensive animes in the world. 

The third season requires some knowledge of the previous two seasons, but the first season is free allowing new fans to try out the show. The Crunchyroll Awards are determined by judges and fan voting, thus the thousands of longtime fans who have voted for “Demon Slayer” would likely deem the show worth the watch. 

Categories A&E

Citrus Valley Winter Guard hosts 2023 District Showcase


CV hosted the showcase in their own gym, showing off their tarp used in previous winter seasons. (Destiny Ramos/ Ethic News Photo)

The Citrus Valley Winter Guard hosted the 2023 District Showcase on May 5, as a way to give the Redlands School’s Winter Guards a final performance. The performers included the Redlands Unified School District, Redlands High School, Redlands East Valley, and Citrus Valley High School winter guards.

The RUSD Winter Guard was first up, performing their show “Golden Hour” to artist JVKE’s popular song of the same name. The RUSD team is the only competing winter guard team in the district for their age group and is composed of middle school students from the four RUSD middle schools. The middle school students wore a yellow tunic with orange flowers and birds to represent the sunsets of Redlands.

Next up was the RHS Winter Guard, performing their show “100 years” to Five for Fighting’s song about the stages of life. RHS competed in the Scholastic Regional A (SRA) division for West Coast Winter Guard (WCWG), where they scored a 68 at Colony High School and a 67 at Championships. Their costumes consisted of black and maroon dresses and suits. 

Next was the CVHS Winter Guard, performing their show “As it Was” to Harry Style’s most popular song. The show represented the stages of life, from childhood to adolescence to graduation/adulthood.

CV competed in three of WCWG competitions in SRA along with RHS. They scored a 63 at Colony High School, a 65 at Murrieta Mesa High School, and a 68 at Championships.  The CVHS winter guard wore a galaxy-like tunic with pink leggings underneath to represent the colorful childhood world. 

CV’s saber line shows off their pink sabers with grace and performance as they present their show for the last time. (Destiny Ramos/ Ethic News Photo)

CV presented a dance around the varying age pictures of the soloist as the show came to an end. (Destiny Ramos/ Ethic News Photo)

Lastly, REV presented their show “A Lovely Night” from the soundtrack of the movie “La La Land.” The show was a nod to the popular movie, with street light props and benches to match the movie scene. Their costumes consisted of a variety of dress colors such as red, yellow and green, similar to the colorful movie. REV competed in the Winter Guard Association of Southern California (WGASC) in the Scholastic AAA (SAAA) division. They competed in five competitions, with their final score at championships being 78 and winning third place. 

The showcase brought together many people from different schools to all look at how hard the winter guard has been working throughout the year. It was able to shout out their success, recognize the dedicated seniors and even inspire other students to join winter guard. 

Blackhawk Theater Company presents 2023 musical “Mamma Mia”


“Mamma Mia” flyer posted around campus, promoting showings and ticket prices (Jasmine Rosales/ Ethic News Photo)

Citrus Valley’s Blackhawk Theatre Company presents their spring musical, “Mamma Mia”. The long awaited play will be showing two weeks back to back on Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm. The play will include melodies from the movie with songs such as “Voulez-Vous”, “Mamma Mia”, “Honey, Honey” and more from ABBA.

CV’s cast goes all out to provide an unforgettable experience to the audience. Starting from the top, following the movie beginning, portraying the role of Sophie, Chloe Cousineau recreates the opening scene by mailing out the three letters to her three potential dads. Following the opener, the cast breaks out into song singing “Honey, Honey” by ABBA. Working hand in hand, the actors and the band work together to recreate the melodies of ABBA to bring the full “Mamma Mia” experience to the stage, led by Austin Meiners, the band director.

Providing much laughter to the crowd, Junior at CV, Noormariam Essa said “the set was beautiful and everyone played their characters very well. I loved everything about it”. All scenes had their own twist but still following the storyline from the movie. Various scenes made specifically to tell the story including other characters’ perspectives. 

Sophomore Amber Sibbett, who portrayed the role of Sophie’s best friend, Ali, shares “Mamma Mia was an amazing experience. The cast and crew felt like family and it’s hard to see the seniors leave. I remember going to the very first rehearsal in the choir room, and then seeing everyone right before our closing performance in the choir room and realizing how much time had slipped through our fingers. In parting, all I can say is ‘Thank you for the music!’”

With the play coming to an end, all cast members working hard and enjoying themselves at the same time close out the story. Followed by a big round of applause, the stage lights slowly dim until the theater is dark. Welcoming the cast back onto the stage in groups, each group takes a bow and gives out recognition to the staff in the box, the band beside the stage, and to the audience, the cast gives a bow before performing their final song “Dancing Queen” by ABBA.  

Cast of “Mamma Mia” pointed out to the staff in the lighting room to give recognition, concluding the play. (Jasmine Rosales/ Ethic News Photo)

The Blackhawks take a creative take on the beloved movie “Mamma Mia”, bringing an enjoyable performance right in the comfort of citrus valley’s blackhawk theater welcoming all ages.

Tyler, The Creator releases “Call Me If You Get Lost: The Estate Sale” 


“CALL ME IF YOU GET LOST” (CMIYGL) is a hip hop/rap album released on June 25, 2021, by Tyler Gregory Okonma, famously known as Tyler, The Creator, a 32-year-old American artist and songwriter. He is known for his sense of style and has his own independent record label, Odd Future Records. The CMIYGL album is a Grammy-winning album for the best hip hop/rap album of 2021 and the sixth studio album in Tyler’s discography. The album has 16 songs and is 53 minutes long. On Mar. 31, 2023, he released his deluxe album, “The Estate Sale”

The “Estate Sale” includes eight additional tracks which include:


STUNTMAN (feat. Vince Staples)




BOYFRIEND, GIRLFRIEND (2020 Demo) [feat. TG]


The new length of the album is one hour and 17 minutes long. “The Estate Sale”. The deluxe features artists Vince Staples, A$AP Rocky, and TG. It also features the narrator for this album, DJ Drama. The song “HEAVEN TO ME” was produced by Kayne West showing a sample from John Legends, “Heaven Only Knows” and “WHAT A DAY”, sampled from Madlib.

Image of all Tyler’s alter egos from his past albums including an unfiltered version of Tyler. (“SORRY NOT SORRY” music video/Tyler, The Creator)

“The Estate Sale” was released two years after the original album was released and after his tour. The new release was a shock to fans, but he is known for releasing music every two years on an odd year since the beginning of his career in 2009. Not missing a year, the deluxe was created to show the unreleased songs that Tyler wrote, but never made it to the album. Tyler posted on his Twitter on Mar. 27, 2023, saying, “Call Me If You Get Lost was the first album I made with alot of songs that didn’t make the final cut.” He also says, “Some of those songs I really love, and knew they would never see the light of day, so I’ve decided to put a few of them out.”

The single released to promote the deluxe album was, “DOGTOOTH” on Mar. 27, 2023. Following the single, a small visual for the music video “SORRY NOT SORRY” was released. After the deluxe was released, he also released more music videos for five songs from the deluxe that were made and recorded in 2021.

In the music video for, “SORRY NOT SORRY” Tyler is surrounded by his other personas from his past albums. The personas from his past albums include, “Flower Boy”, “IGOR”, “Wolf”, “Cherry Bomb”, and “Goblin”. It also includes the CMIYGL persona as well, leaving an unknown persona that is set to be an unfiltered version of Tyler the Creator. The video symbolizes the ending of this era of the album and the unknown beginning for his future project.

Photos: Citrus Valley holds last rally of school year


Nearing the end of the school year, Citrus Valley High School holds their Prom Rally on April 14. Showcasing the spring sports, captains from each sport all share their favorite memory from this season. 

Students show support for the Inspire Choir by waving flashlights. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

An array of multicolored lights lit the CV gymnasium and upbeat music performed through large speakers, upkeeping the rally’s lively festivities. Students participated in lighting the rally by turning on and waving their flashlights during CV’s Inspire Choir’s performance of “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman.” Other festivities of the rally included performances, dancing, graduating class games, and cheering.

Citrus Valley winter guard performs to “As It Was” by Harry Styles. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

The Citrus Valley wInter guard got the chance to perform their 2023 show “As It Was” before closing out their winter season. The show presents the stages of life, from childhood, to adolescents, to adulthood, using the song “As It Was” by Harry Styles. After three competitions and three other performances, the winter guard was happy to present their skills to CVHS students after not having a team for nearly six years. 

Winter guard member, Destiny Ramos, performs as a soloist in their show. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

Citrus Valley Inspire Choir performs “This Is Me” from The Greatest Showman soundtrack. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

Spring sports captains participate in a competitive game to see who can get the most balls in their basket. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

Hyping up the students in the stands, ASB brings out the spring sport captains for a competitive game. The game consisted of one captain standing in the inner circle reaching to throw balls into their teammates’ bin on their head. The goal was who could catch the most balls in a limited time. 

Upperclassmen and lowerclassmen go head to head to see who can pass the ball from side to side fastest. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

Carrying on the games throughout the rally, Kira Bruich, a junior, announces the next game versus upperclassmen and lower classmen. The goal of the game was to have the opposing teams work with their side to pass a big beach ball across the bleachers the fastest. Pumping up all the students on both sides of the gym, the lowerclassmen scrape by with a win over the juniors and seniors.

Sophomore Addison Rusk shares, “It felt shocking on how fast the year is going by.”

The Blackhawk Theatre Company performs a routine to “Voulez-Vous” by ABBA to advertise their Mamma Mia! play showing this April and May. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

Citrus Valley senior Illir Burns performs to “Billie Jean” by Micheal Jackson while doing some of Jackson’s most famous dance moves. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

During an intense “two-what” game, seniors try to be the loudest. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

Rylee Thornton, a senior at Citrus Valley, shares “When someone tells you high school goes by fast, it’s true. Although it was sad leaving those bleachers for the last time, I am excited for what’s next!”

Juniors show school spirit by wearing their class color, blue, for the spirit day. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News Photo)

“I was really emotional to be honest, it felt so weird to move to the other side but i thought it was really cool, can’t wait for next year!” Charlee Witham, a junior at CV, shares her thoughts after the rally.

Closing out the year, students were able to show their Blackhawk pride by gathering together to sing the alma mater one last time for the 2022-2023 school year.

Review: A portal into Melanie Martinez’s new album


Melanie Martinez has been creating music since her initial appearance on the American televised competitive singing program, The Voice, in 2012. Although she didn’t win the third season, Martinez began her musical career. In this, Melanie’s signature split-dye hairstyle was born. Many of her fans associate Martinez with her colorful hair as a vital part of their appearance and creativity intertwined in her songs and visuals of their music videos.

Soon after becoming signed to Atlantic Records in 2014, her fame arose with the release of her songs, “Dollhouse” and “Carousel.” The young artist’s music can be classified into multiple genres such as Alternative pop, Electropop, and Indie pop. 

Martinez’s first studio album debuted in 2015. Among its release, Crybaby, Melanie Martinez’s fanbase began referring to themselves as, “Crybabies.” 

K-12, released in 2019, serves as Melanie Martinez’s second studio album. The artist’s vision for this album was to create a cinematic experience by developing a plot throughout each music video and constructing them all together to create a film of a little over an hour and a half.  The artist has referred to her albums as a trilogy, with her recent one fulfilling it. According to Spotify’s statistics, Martinez receives an influx of 20.1 million listeners monthly on the streaming platform alone. 

The newest addition to her discography is Portals. The 13 songs on the tracklist in order are:


totaling up to fifty-one minutes and 43 seconds. 

Portals was released on March 31, 2023, with “Death” debuting first on March 17 and its music video released on YouTube on March 24. On March 29, Void followed and released just days before the entire tracklist. 

On April 5, the deluxe version of Portals was announced to the public including the tracks:




By deleting her past Instagram posts and teasing with the statement, “RIP Cry Baby,” carved into a mushroom from the DEATH music video, the creative artist ushers in a new era of change by experimenting with her sound and appearance. In the same music video, Crybaby is seen being buried in her grave which is symbolic of the change they are experiencing as an artist and as an individual. As her persona of Crybaby apparently passed away, a new character emerged. This character carries the features of a four-eyed, fairy-like mythical creature with pink skin and green hair and leaves fans wondering what this new age will bring. This recent album carries with it a majestic and heavily spiritual theme with notes of cheeriness as well as dark and grim elements.

The 27-year-old artist did a deep dive on her Instagram account that further elaborates on the meaning, inspiration, and writing process behind each song. Martinez relates many heartfelt experiences in her lyrics as shown throughout her songs, however, she continues by bringing in elements inspired by her recent relationship with Oliver Tree, and personal growth as a person in the public eye.

Online, Martinez has expressed that the album’s name originates from a room in her old home in which she felt spiritual connections that inspired her to write six of the 13 total songs. In this, she elaborates further on her spirituality and practices.

Originally, the purpose of Portals was to emphasize the importance of accepting life after death through the mortality of Crybaby. Martinez wants to lessen the stigma surrounding heavy topics such as death and provide a sense of hopefulness in the afterlife which frightens many people.

Pearl Solis, a REV junior, shares her thoughts, “I have been a fan of Melanie for many years so I was very excited when she announced her release of Portals. I think this may be my favorite album of theirs, it is such a different and new sound and style to her previous albums. I love that we can see her transformation through the death of Crybaby and the “rebirth” of her as an artist. I think my favorite tracks so far are either Evil, Light Shower, or Spider Web, specifically Light Shower because it is so abnormal for Melanie to sing about relationships without pain and hurt. She paints this track in such a beautiful and positive light, although I genuinely love every single song. Again, I think it’s so special that we can see Melanie’s growth as an artist and person and the ways her outlook and perspective on life and relationships have changed.” 

“I really like this album because, like her other albums, it speaks a lot about social and personal issues. I like that they’re exploring a new theme and aesthetic with their music,” said REVjJunior Emma McMillan.

Down the center column in the second row, Melanie Martinez’s merchandise with her signature split-dyed hair can be seen. Directly under that is the new, Portals, official album cover, taken on April 17, 2023, in a Hot Topic in Redlands, California.
(ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News Photo)

“The Super Mario Bros Movie” breaks box office records


Note: This article contains spoilers for “The Super Mario Bros. Movie.” 

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” broke box office records by receiving $377 million on its opening weekend. Frozen 2 was the previous record holder by receiving $127 million on its opening weekend. It is the third Mario movie to exist and there have been several animated tv shows, with well over a hundred video games in the franchise. The newest movie was released on April 5 and continues to rise in revenue and popularity. 

Box office records are shattered by the new Mario movie (Trusted Reviews). 

The movie featured several famous actors and actresses as the starring characters. Jack Black voiced the villain, Bowser, Seth Rogan voiced Donkey Kong, Charlie Day voiced Luigi, Chris Pratt as Mario, and Anya Taylor-Joy as Princess Peach. Many fans on social media were especially impressed by Jack Black’s performance due to his enthusiasm regarding the role. 

 Black in particular was excited to take the role of Bowser, as he expressed in nearly all of his interviews regarding the film. In the movie itself, Bowser sings a song about his love for Princess Peach called “Peaches.” Black went above and beyond to sing the full song dressed in a Bowser costume, in a music video directed by Cole Bennett that was released on Youtube. Due to his enthusiasm and the fact that he did more work than what was asked of him, many fans believe that is why Jack Black is perfect for voicing Bowser. 

Chris Pratt, who voiced Mario in the newest movie, had an extremely different response compared to Jack Black. Possibly the movie’s greatest criticism over social media is the casting of Pratt as Mario. Many fans felt the actor didn’t fit or fully encapsulate the character Mario, and several clips when Pratt delivered a famous Mario catchphrase were cut out of the final film. 

Several of his lines were cut early into the movie when Mario finds Toad and stumbles upon the mushroom kingdom. Pratt is supposed to say, “Mushroom kingdom here we come”, but the line was cut out of the film. Another line, possibly his most criticized line, was cut out of the final film as well. In the trailer, Pratt says, “Let’s go”, as a reference to Mario’s most famous catchline but it didn’t make it to the theaters. Many fans think this is in response to the criticism about Chris Pratt’s Mario voice itself. 

Throughout the franchise, the Mario franchise repeats the theme of saving a damsel in distress character, which has usually been Pauline, Rosalina, or Princess Peach. However, the movie completely ditched this theme by making Princess Peach a very capable character. 

In the newest movie when Peach meets Mario, she asks him to prove himself by completing an obstacle course that is meant to serve as a reference to the Mario games. Peach easily completes the obstacle course while Mario struggles. Another example of her strength is how she alongside Donkey Kong, Mario, and Toad leads an army against Bowser’s army while wielding a battle ax. Throughout the movie, she is portrayed as a leader who doesn’t need to be rescued by Mario. Many fans online expressed how this was a breath of fresh air compared to having Peach as a damsel in distress character. 

The obstacle course that Peach shows Mario has many references to the Super Mario Bros. games. The course has piranha plants, lucky blocks, bullet bills, the iconic Mario finish line, and more. The movie has many other subtle references to the game, such as when Mario and Donkey Kong found themselves in an underwater cave which references the underwater Mario game levels. There is also a sequence in which Mario and the gang are driving around in karts on a rainbow road which references the Mario Kart franchise. Donkey Kong appearing as a character when Mario visits Donkey Kong Island itself is a reference as well. 

Fans online have expressed thoughts that the movie hinted at the possibility of there being a part two to the movie. Their biggest piece of evidence is the final after-credit scene that briefly shows a Yoshi egg cracking. Several other popular aspects of Mario were not referenced in the movie. Several times throughout the movie Princess Peach mentions how there is an “entire galaxy worth exploring.” Many fans took this as evidence that because the newest movie did not reference Super Mario Galaxy or Yoshi’s Island, there will be a part two. Fans also consider that the record-breaking revenues of the newest movie will lead to a second movie being released. 

“The Super Mario Bros. Movie” has had extreme success with the first movie earning $377 million on its opening weekend. It has several themes that could be a positive influence on children, such as Princess Peach being displayed as a strong leader. The movie created excitement and rumors about the possibility of part two. It has averaged a 4.7-star rating on Google reviews and the revenue for the movie continues to climb. The movie provides many references that longtime Mario fans will understand. But for new fans, the movie provides a way for people to get into the franchise should they choose to see the movie.

Flowers in full bloom in Carlsbad


Flowers are in full bloom this spring over at The Flowers Field located in Carlsbad. Open daily from 9am to 6pm, the 55 acre flower fields attract guests from all over with its variety of attractions for guests of all ages. Open year round, flowers, fruits are grown seasonally to accommodate weather conditions.

Beginning the walk along the flowers from the right side, the tecolote ranunculus flowers stand out in their bright shade of orange (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

The giant Tecolote Ranunculus flowers that make up The Flower Fields at Carlsbad Ranch are in bloom for approximately six to eight weeks each year. From early March through early May, guests visit to see the famous flower fields in its annual burst of color.

Upon entering the ranch, guests are handed a map to help locate everything from left to right. 

Picture of map, ranging from concession stands, entrance and exit points, attractions, and the flower fields themselves. (The flower fields)

Concession stands operating to feed hungry guests throughout the day. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

Throughout the Ranch, the Flower Fields offer activities like the sweet pea maze for the younger children located toward the left of the entrance. The artist garden, located to the right of the entrance offers guests with more photo ops and a chance to see some live birds around the area. Near the sweet pea maze you may find Santa’s Playground, a chance for the little kids to roam and play around. The Flower Fields also offer guests a chance to sift sand like old miners and find polished gemstones. 

One of the many picturesque locations at the ranch, the butterfly garden features a variety of photoshoot locations for a lively photo. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

View of the fields from the walkway at the bottom. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

Allowing guests to ride around the flowers, Carlsbad Ranch offers a wagon ride to take you around and see the fields on a nice walk free ride. Payment needed before entering the wagon. 

In full bloom, the pink aisle attracts many guests for an awesome photo opportunity.  (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News Photo)

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Rihanna makes a comeback at Super Bowl LVII Halftime Show


On Feb. 12, 2023, Singer-songwriter Rihanna performed at the 57th Super Bowl Halftime show after seven years of not performing. Rihanna is a 34-year-old Barbadian pop and R&B singer. She is known for her famous songs like, “Pon Del Rey”, “Love On The Brain”, “Woo” and many more.

After Rihanna released her last album “Anti” on Jan. 12, 2016, she took a step back from the music industry to focus on other things like her cosmetics brand, “Fenty Beauty” in September 2017.  In 2022, she released “Lift Me Up” which was a part of the Black Panther Wakanda Forever soundtrack. Her last tour was her Anti Tour from March 2016 to November 2016. Since her album and tour, Rihanna did not perform or make music for seven years. During the seven-year time period, she started dating A$AP Rocky, a 34-year American rapper. Rihanna and A$AP Rocky started dating in May 2021 and have been together since. On May 13, 2022, she gave birth to her first child. 

Rihanna standing on the platform at the Superbowl before performing (FentyBeauty/Instagram)

Rihanna performed her most popular songs Sunday night at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, sponsored by Apple Music.  Her setlist included

-B—- Better Have My Money

-Where Have You Been

-Only Girl

-We Found Love

-Rude Boy


-Wild Thoughts

-Pour It Up

-All of the Lights

-Run This Town



Rihanna also announced her pregnancy with her second child. She opened her performance by showing her stomach and announcing to everyone that she is pregnant after the show. Rihanna performed in an all red outfit while her dancers took the stage in all white. She was on a platform 15 to 60 feet off the ground during certain parts of the performance. There was speculation since she announced she was performing at the Superbowl of who her special guest would be, however, she performed alone with her dancers. The choreography was created by Parris Goebel, a choreographer and founder of The Palace Dance Studio”.  During the performance, she took the opportunity to promote her beauty brand “Fenty Beauty” by touching up her makeup in the middle of the show. 

The performance was 13 minutes long and needed over 800 people to make the show possible. Aaron Siebert, the project leader for the making of the platforms had said that it was “The most technically advanced Super Bowl halftime show that’s ever been done because of the amount of tech used to move the platforms.” Her halftime show performance will go down in pop cultural history. 

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Is ‘The Last of Us’ HBO series worth the watch?


Note: This article contains spoilers for ‘The Last of Us’ video game series and show.

HBO releases its adaptation of Naughty Dog’s The Last of Us video game series. (Flickr)

The first episode of ‘The Last of Us’ (TLOU) series premiered on Jan. 15, 2023 on HBO Max. The show is set to air weekly on Sundays at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time (PST). TLOU is set in a present-day post-apocalyptic world in America after a deadly fungal virus outbreak 20 years prior. It is based on a popular video game series that was originally released on June 14, 2013. The sequel was released seven years later on June 19, 2020, and won eight awards, including Game of The Year for the 2020 Game Awards. The original creator of the video game series, Neil Druckman, has worked as both a writer and an executive producer on the show. 

The series follows Joel Miller, a middle-aged man attempting to survive in a post-apocalyptic world after the loss of his daughter Sarah on outbreak day, 20 years earlier. He then comes across Ellie Williams, a 14-year-old girl who was recently bitten by a zombie but has not yet turned. It becomes his responsibility to transport her to the Fireflies, an organization whose mission is to restore government control and find a cure for the Cordyceps (zombie) virus. As Joel grows attached to Ellie, he is forced to choose between her or a cure that could potentially save the world. 

The creators of the game, Andy Gavin and Jason Rubin, originally branded their name as “JAM Software INC.” They changed their brand name to “Naughty Dog” in 1989 and were picked up by Sony in 2001. They left Naughty Dog in 2004 but the company continued to develop games. Other than TLOU, their most famous games are ‘Crash Bandicoot’ and the ‘Uncharted’ series, which was recently adapted into a movie released in 2022. 

Pedro Pascal plays Joel Miller and Bella Ramsey plays Ellie Williams in TLOU tv series. There are a variety of other famous actors, such as Nick Offerman, Ashley Johnson, Anna Torv, and more. Pascal and Ramsey had also previously played roles on the HBO series ‘Game of Thrones’. The two played very separate roles in different years but now get to star together in TLOU.

TLOU, in both the game and the series, has representation and deals with many imposing social issues. The show, so far, features more representation than the game, with Sam, a recently introduced supporting character, being deaf, when in the game he has his full hearing. Many of the main characters in the series and game are also African American, Hispanic, Asian, Jewish, etc. 

There is also plenty of LGBTQ+ representation within the show and the game. The HBO series has been facing much criticism for this inclusion. In the game, Ellie is queer which is shown in the extra downloadable content (DLC) and the second game, HBO has made no indication of changing this for the tv series. There are also two queer characters named Bill and Frank, while fans believe that the characters are only subtly hinted to be queer in the game, the show takes a more direct approach when portraying their story.

In the game, the pair eventually separates and Bill and Joel come across Frank’s dead body where he left a very hateful note to Bill. This sequence is meant to show the hardships of life outside the designated safe zones. However, the show takes a more delicate and romantic approach by displaying the two characters living peacefully outside the walls while they grow old together. 

When Frank eventually becomes ill, he requests for Bill to make his last day happy by getting married. Frank also requests that they have a candlelit dinner where Bill puts painkillers in his drink so that he may die peacefully. Bill completes this request and also drinks the wine against Frank’s wishes, so they can peacefully die together in bed. In both the game and the show, their love is very tragic, but in the show, it is handled very delicately. Many fans found this factor to be very romantic while others posted their criticism online. 

In the second game of TLOU, there is also a 13-year-old transgender male character named Lev, who is taken care of by a main character named Abby. Lev, alongside his sister Yara, was originally in a cult called the Seraphites until they fled and were eventually rescued by Abby. Due to the beliefs of the cult, Lev experiences extreme discrimination and even threats to his life from others in the cult, including his mother. The game further touches on Lev’s hardships in a way that mirrors the treatment of trans children in both reality and the series. 

Ramsey recently opened up about being genderfluid as stated in an interview conducted by the New York Times this past January, where they said, “in terms of pronouns, I really couldn’t care less.” As written by Jack King of the Gentlemen’s Quarterly, in response to the backlash of the third episode of the series featuring Bill and Frank, Ramsey stated that fans are “gonna have to get used to it.” 

Pascal and Ramsey have gotten to bond and have discussions concerning gender, as Pascal has a sister, Lux Pascal, who is transgender. Ramsey told the New York Times that Pascal was “super supportive” and that their conversations “weren’t always deep; they could be funny and humorous, the whole spectrum. We were just very honest and open with each other.” 

Ramsey further continues into her relationship with Pascal and her relationship with the executive producer Craig Mazin. When asked what her thoughts are on being a part of TLOU she responded, “I love it so much. And the people: Craig, Pedro. I want to spend all of my time with them.” She then goes on to say that she sees them as a “safety blanket” and that she’s “gained two fathers in a way.” Many fans agree that Pascal and Ramsey’s relationships with the crew will positively influence how well they work together starring in TLOU. 

It has been a little over a month since ‘The Last of Us’ came out and the show has already averaged over 20 million views. It is also the second adaptation of a Naughty Dog video game in less than a year. TLOU has two experienced stars with a close relationship portraying the main characters Ellie and Joel. The show and game both provide representation for people with disabilities, minorities, and the LGBTQ+ community.

The series manages to make small changes while keeping the original premise of the game by starting from the beginning of the storyline. This way new fans aren’t confused when watching the show and can still play the game afterward and longtime fans are also able to enjoy the different interpretations from the same creators. Since the creator of the game will be working on the show, fans are certain that it will do the game justice. 

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Disney announces new series based on “Princess and the Frog”


In November of 2021 during the Walt Disney companies investor day event, Walt Disney Animation Studios announced the release of a new series titled “Tiana” which will be a sequel series of the 2009 animated Disney film “The Princess and the Frog”.  

“Tiana” is set to release in 2023 and will premiere on Disney Plus. The series will be a musical comedy series written and directed by Stella Meghie and produced by Jennifer Lee. Meghie stated that “writing at disney animation was a dream before I even knew it was possible.”

The only concept art released for the new series which shows Tiana traveling on a boat while running and holding a suitcase. (Walt Disney Studios)

Because the series is a sequel of “The Princess and the Frog”, it will pick up where the movie ended, meaning there is a very low chance of a content shortage for this series. So far, Disney has given fans a short synopsis for the upcoming series, stating “This series follows newly crowned princess of Maldonia on a new adventure, but her New Orleans past isn’t far behind.”

The new series will be the princess’s first adventure since 2009 and will offer fans a chance to see how she is managing her new royal title as princess of Maldonia as well as running her restaurant and navigating marriage. When asked what being the voice of the first black princess meant to her, Anika Noni Rose, voice actor of Tiana in the new series, has said that “it says a lot to little brown children definitely, that they can be princesses, and that they have no doubt about it anymore.” 

One of the most important aspects of this series is the representation of a black princess outside of just a one hour and thirty minute movie. Although the movie did offer representation, Disney fans are hoping to see more of Tiana as a human rather than the animal form she portrayed during the majority of the movie. The return of princess Tiana allows black Disney fans and young black children to have the representation that hasn’t been widely offered by Disney.

Since the announcement of “Tiana”, the upcoming series has received strong support and excitement from fans. Fans have not been given an exact release date for the series, however, “Tiana” offers a large fan base and a plot that many fans can’t wait to watch.

RuPaul’s Drag Race releases a new season


After a year of absence, season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered on Jan. 6, 2023. (Wikimedia Commons). 

Season 15 of RuPaul’s Drag Race premiered on Jan. 6 in the form of a special two-part episode a year after the premiere of season 14. This season is set to air hour-long episodes on Music Television (MTV) every Friday at 8 pm. The newest cast features a record of 16 contestants competing for a cash prize of $200,000, the highest prize to date. Ariana Grande made a special appearance in the two-part premiere episode eight years after her first appearance in season seven. Viewers are excited to see what else the new season has to offer for its long-time fans. 

Ariana Grande appears as a guest judge for the two-part premiere of RuPaul’s Drag Race season 15. (Wikimedia Commons)

The premise of RuPaul’s Drag Race is for drag queens from all over the world to compete in a series of challenges related to drag, most often including acting, singing, dancing, cat-walking, and talent shows. Each season takes about a month to record and a winner is crowned after a final challenge, typically a lip sync, with the prize being thousands of dollars. 

The first mini-challenge was a photoshoot and a drag-themed car wash as a throwback to the first-ever mini challenge, the prize was $2,500. The main challenge in part two of the premiere was a talent show with a cash prize of $5,000. For the newest episode, the main challenge was to write and perform an infomercial with a cash prize of $5,000. 

Unlike in other seasons, a queen was eliminated in the premiere episode, and another later on in episode three. Beginning episode four on Jan. 20, there will only be 14 queens left to compete in the competition. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race is followed by its transphobic past as it enters season 15. (Picryl) 

RuPaul’s Drag Race has experienced much controversy and hardship since its first debut on Feb. 2, 2009. The most recent and shocking is RuPaul’s transphobic commentary during an interview with the Guardian. He stated that he would most likely not let trans women compete on the show because “Drag loses its sense of danger and its sense of irony once it’s not men doing it.”

Since then he has apologized for his commentary and stated that he “understands and regrets the hurt I have caused. The trans community is the hero of our shared LGBTQ+ movement. You are my teachers”. Although five full seasons have aired since his transphobic comments, the show still faces criticism for it today. 

In terms of general hardship during the pandemic, the show had to go through many changes to combat the lockdown. The finale of season 12 was almost completely derailed due to strict lockdown regulations. The reunion episode for the cast that season was also online which in many ways took away the purpose of a reunion. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race and its members serve as a beacon of inspiration to the LGBTQ+ community. (Metro Weekly)

The show itself in many ways is a beacon of hope for the LGBTQ+ community, especially in times of hardship, making the crew and cast under extra pressure to perform through the struggles of the pandemic. They succeeded in making season 13 a success even after the hardships of season 12. Season 13 was one of their longest seasons and it came with multiple spin-offs and international versions. 

RuPaul’s Drag Race shocks its viewers every new season, from bringing world-renowned celebrities as guest judges to making a tremendous comeback. Through controversy, drama, and worldwide pandemics the show has continued to thrive. Although the show has been around for nearly 14 years the crew still manages to come up with new ideas to keep things interesting. This provides an easy way for new viewers to jump into the show as every season is unique. The show’s multiple Emmy awards prove that it is worth the watch. 

Review: Overwatch 2 season, Lunar New Year, Year of the Rabbit


Overwatch has come back for a newest game sequel, Overwatch 2 in October of 2022.

This time it’s free on Switch, PlayStation, XBox and PC in a first person shooter game that has exploded in popularity since Overwatch’s downfall in the years before. Thad had game lost its popularity but they are back and better than ever.

Their newest characters are Junker Queen. A seven foot tall woman with the power of an army and a tank. She is the queen of junker town in the Australian outback. She earned her title as queen after winning the reckoning against two other junkers and the junker king of 14 years ago. They had kicked her family out to the wastelands where she was a wastelander until she was 17.

She wields a powerful shotgun that can kill omnics in one shot. The junkers being omnic dislikers is a big part of junkers but she also has a jagged blade she throws at enemies to pull them closer for the final blow. Next is her axe named carnage that can deal a lot of damage if hit properly and can damage enemies even after the hit and last but not least her ultimate, commanding shout. She yells “Time for the reckoning” and if it’s in her new Zeus skin from battle of Olympus she would say, “Time for a thunderstorm”.

Next is Kirko, a Japanese girl from Japan who follows the way of the fox spirit of her family called the Kitsune. She was childhood friends with the Shimada brothers, Genji Shimada and Hanzo Shimada, and sword trained with them when she was younger. But her role is a support, she heals with her suzu and ofuda to keep her team alive. She can do a swift step to her teammates who are losing health fast.

Next is Sojourn who is a Canadian whose body is almost all prosthetics because she has a body mutation where her body couldn’t keep up with her so she replaced her body with mesh to keep her going. She uses a rail gun and it’s pretty powerful and with a laser to one shot enemies and even rocket legs to help her slide across the ground and super jump.

And last is Ramattra, an omnic from the omnic war robots that was used in the old omnic war. He had seen his brothers die and be beaten by the humans so he turned on the humans to start another war against the humans and he is now a war machine. He is pretty powerful in game. He is a tank and is from Nepal and used to be a monk. He uses his weapon called void accelerator, he has a void barrier and his nemesis form called pummel where he grows a pair of big arms and can beat enemies to pieces.

Now for the lunar new years event that is going on now includes a skin, which is echos kkachi skin, the year of the rabbit icon and banner and spray, a hongbao souvenir and a lucky pouch as a weapon charm as the cosmetics for the event. There are game modes for this event as well, bounty hunter where it’s a deathmatch and whoever gets the most points and kills wins and gets the bounty which people will target you to get that bounty.

Next is capture the flag, where there are two teams of five and both have to capture the other team’s flag four times to win the game. Rules are no running with the flag or you will drop it. To capture the flag competitively you have to get the flag six times to win which is a little harder. There are the old lunar new year skins in the shop like dvas, pharahs, cassidys and mercys all for 1900 credits. Also meis new lunar new year skin which is her normal skin with a now hat added with bunny ears and some charms for the year of the rabbit.

In all the Year of the Rabbit for Lunar New Year event, Overwatch 2 is a great event and the challenges for the cosmetics are fun and a great way to get your skills up. This event was a fun one and hopefully the next is just as fun and with new skins and more cosmetics and tons of new stuff for new and old Overwatch fans and players. 

Review: Consider free games a viable alternative, just keep the task manager open


Sometimes, the best things in life are free, and games are usually no exception. 

While paid games dominate the market for good reason – after all, most people make games to make a profit – there’s a whole world of demos, free games, and all sorts of interesting things out there. 

After playing quite a number of free games, some good and some bad, I feel that free games are better than some may expect, and in fact are often goldmines for new perspectives, small ideas, and inspiration. While they have their drawbacks, free games are generally one of the most interesting parts of the genre  and are great for beginners to video games overall. 

Free games have many advantages over paid ones, and should be considered a viable alternative.

Before proceeding, a word on vocabulary: “free” here doesn’t mean “free to play,” as in games that are free, but have optional or occasionally “optional,” in-game purchases. Some of these can be extremely fun or interesting to talk about, and will be here hopefully, but these aren’t the subject of the article. So, for sake of clarity, “free” means anything that doesn’t expect any payment from you: “free” games are free, be they demos, full games, or just little side-projects pushed onto Steam.

While scouring Steam at night for free games to play (I had, and still have, little money to buy games) I saw this obscure little game about something that sounded silly, a game called Dark Egg. After seeing it was a text adventure game “with a map,” the author thought to put it in a list with all the other free games and demos they found interesting, and thought not much of it. A few games later, I decided to give it a go. The moment the in-game character – which had not even been given a name, face or description outside a few lines of text – stepped into a rain-soaked town, it was obvious it was something special. 

A few hours later, over the course of a night and morning, I had found a game that not only mastered surrealist writing, but gave an entirely new perspective, a new well of ideas and moods to draw from and create. It only used text and a clear map of where to go, along with a barely present combat system, to immerse oneself in a world permanently wreathed by fog and snow, of monolithic ruins, and of genuine humanity in places least expected. 

Is it perfect? No, hardly. Some puzzles take forever to solve, the combat is little utilized and some of the characters feel repetitive (through the course of the game, there are TWO old men who miss their families, with much the same reaction if you discover said families’ ultimate fate), and just generally obtuse logic at times. However, it made me realize the value of free games.

Of course, not all free games or demos are Dark Egg – most are as one would expect. Some are like Kach. It’s easy to see Kach’s heavily stylized, extremely pixelated 3D environments, and get intrigued. An hour or so later, everything was extremely confused: what had just happened? The plot, as it could be understood, is that there is an older brother to a younger sister, who has a habit of hiding in haunted houses. After plodding along one, and finding out something about “morphosis,” the apparent method of transforming things into other things to heal them, at the cost of making them extremely aggressive, the player stumbled into a room to discover sister was dead, except she wasn’t, and the thing ended on a cliffhanger. Inspiring? Not exactly, even if there’s always appreciation of the work that this takes.  

However, be them great or bad, like the examples before, the point to be made here is that both of them are worth talking about. Even a bad game has something to say, something to repeat to friends, even if its just because of how stupid that something was. They’re both free, too. All it takes is storage space.

So what do good free games have to offer over paid games? Well, free games tend to offer an unique experience over a short period of time. These are typically used to explore smaller, more experimental stories, novel gameplay ideas, or generally new things. Some may explore the creator(s)’ life story, some may be developed over a day as a challenge (a practice known as “game jams”), some may be just to test a concept and some may be demos, but all of them offer something interesting.

Along with that, some of them are electrifying. Free games can be a major source of inspiration and new ideas, beyond what playing a paid game might have. Being able to play a lot of them over the course of a single afternoon due to their short playtime means one can blend together ideas and get a wide range of concepts. Often, the best approach to creation is to draw from a wide, wide variety of sources: free games can provide just that. 

However, there are some noticeable shortcomings. Free games rarely provide week-long epics that leave one stunned and overcome with emotion, or constantly rewarding multiplayer experiences. Their free nature means that they’re more amateurish, so optimization of space and performance is no guarantee: many of these games are perfectly fine to play, but some may be surprisingly taxing on the system. Always have the task manager open, just in case. 

FEATURE IMAGE: Keyboard and controller (NADIA CENICEROS/ Ethic News photo)

Review: Is Netflix’s new show ‘Wednesday’ worth the watch?


Note: This review contains some spoilers.

Tim Burton’s newest show “Wednesday” was released on Netflix on Nov. 23 and longtime fans are eager to see whether it is worth the watch. Tim Burton has not directed anything since the live-action remake of Dumbo in 2019. Not only has he come to direct Wednesday” but he has brought his long-time partner Danny Elfman to help him produce the music for the show.

Together Burton and Elfman have done 17 films in 37 years. Some of their greatest hits include “The Nightmare Before Christmas,” “Edward Scissorhands,” “Alice in Wonderland, Beetlejuice,” “Planet of the Apes,” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” The two talented artists have had bumps in the road regarding their relationship, with their disagreements affecting their projects in the past. However as they create more films together the more they strengthen their relationships and skills in filmmaking.

“Wednesday” gives a unique spin on the classic character Wednesday Addams from the original show “The Addams Family” created in 1964. Wednesday was expelled from her previous school and transferred to Nevermore Academy after assaulting a student who bullied her brother Pugsley. While she is at Nevermore, Wednesday struggles with making friends at her new school due to her detached personality and trust issues. She also struggles with the relationship she has with her family members, her mother Morticia Addams in particular.

When Wednesday first moves in she is welcomed by her new roommate Enid who is a werewolf without full control of her powers. The two have a striking contrast in their personalities, with Enid’s side of the room being bright and whimsical while Wednesday’s is dark and creepy. Originally, the two do not get along but they begin to bond during a school tournament where they must team up against a school bully. This jumpstarts a heavily one-sided friendship between the two, in which Wednesday cares for Enid but won’t admit it. Together they navigate through hardships and difficulties in their relationship and at Nevermore.

Unfortunately, Wednesday must navigate through much more than relationships and school bullies during her time at Nevermore. Wednesday is in her mother’s shadow as she struggles to meet up to Morticia’s legacy of excellence she left behind at the academy. Wednesday soon discovers that Morticia left behind a darker shadow with even darker secrets than Wednesday imagined. Secrets about her parent’s time at the academy and the dark history of the small town that she lives in. As she investigates these dark secrets she learns which of her friends she should trust, and which she should not.

“Wednesday” has queer representation and metaphors sprinkled throughout the show. Enid comes from a family of werewolves however she has yet to transform or “wolf out.” Her mother comes up with the plan to send her to conversion therapy for werewolves, which Enid heavily detested. Many fans saw this as a strong metaphor for repressed sexuality especially since the students at Nevermore are referred to as outcasts.

One of the characters named Eugene is overall a side character and the school’s beekeeper, however, he has more relevance later on in the show. Eugene has two moms who are mentioned and shown a couple of times throughout the series. They do not have much plot relevance but provide queer representation to the show overall.

Wednesday on Netflix credited with having an extremely diverse cast for the production of the show. (Just Jared Jr.)

Aside from queer representation “Wednesday” also provides representation for minorities. The show offers a very diverse cast with many of the main characters being minorities. The Addams themselves are a Hispanic family as depicted in the original 1964 series. The show does a great job of subtly showing Wednesday’s culture through her character. In the series, the Addams speak Spanish in short phrases to each other. They also bring up aspects of their culture such as how they celebrate Día de Los Muertos.

There are also metaphors for discrimination and the struggles of immigration sprinkled throughout “Wednesday.” Wednesday’s parents Morticia and Gomez Addams suffer discrimination at the hands of the town’s police chief and mayor often. The students at Nevermore all have some kind of power or are mythical creatures. The rest of the town looks down upon them and they are referred to as “outcasts.” It is a popular fan analysis that this is not just a metaphor for the repression of sexuality but a metaphor for discrimination that minorities face.

Wednesday honors the original Addams Family show through easter eggs and callbacks. (screenshot from PickPik)

During the entire duration of the first season of “Wednesday” , the series has many callbacks to the original Addams Family show and the movies. Possibly their biggest reference is the code to get into the secret society at Nevermore is to snap twice. Wednesday also hates pilgrims in the show and does not hide her feelings during a school field trip to the town’s history museum. This is a reference to the movie “Addams Family Values.” In this movie, there is a scene where Wednesday crashes her camp play with the true story of Thanksgiving dressed as Pocahontas in an act of defiance.

Many classic Addams family characters appear as a callback to the original, such as Thing, Lurch, and Fester Addams, who has been the most anticipated character to appear on “Wednesday.”  These are just a few examples of the many clever callbacks Tim Burton and his team have devised to make sure the fans never forget the original Addams Family.

Netflix hosts Wednesday Addams-themed drag show and faces accusations of queer baiting its viewers. (photo of Netflix screen)

“Wednesday” is a well-thought-out show that has hundreds of hands continuing to work on it. But as many tv shows do, Tim Burton’s newest project is currently facing some criticism and accusations. The biggest accusation that Wednesday is facing is that the show queerbaits its viewers into watching the show.

 This accusation stems from the fact that in many ways Wednesday is advertised to be a very queer show. In the show there are metaphors of sexuality regarding feeling outcast and forced to change yourself, Eugene has two moms, and Enid and Wednesday become exceptionally close.

Many fans anticipated Wednesday to be a queer character, especially a character with conflicted feelings concerning attraction. Jenna Ortega, the actress of Wednesday, insinuates in interviews and tweets that Enid and Wednesday are a fitting pair. But then Wednesday does not get together with Enid but ends up in a triangle between two boys.

Regardless of whether or not Wednesday is queer many fans thought that her being in a love triangle is very out of character and does not do the original Wednesday justice. Jenna Ortega stated that Wednesday is not a “boy crazy” character and that she didn’t want her to be in a love triangle.

Netflix hides replies to their tweets that suggest that Wednesday Addams is queer. (screenshot from Pop Crave)

Netflix especially is facing criticism for hosting a Wednesday-themed drag show in celebration of the show’s release when the only queer characters in the show are Eugene’s moms. Netflix also hid replies to their tweets when fans suggested that Wednesday may be queer. Many fans feel silenced by Netflix for having their replies hidden and that the show gives the illusion of being queer to get viewers and then silences fans when they say it’s not.

Another big criticism of the “Wednesday” show is the computed generated imagery, especially with the monsters that appear in the show. Many fans felt that the CGI was far from perfect, especially for a show that Tim Burton directed. The CGI is said to have been so poor that it makes it hard to be scared when watching the show. A big element of Wednesday” is the horror so many fans were left heavily disappointed in this aspect of the show.

Tim Burton’s newest series “Wednesday” has been a heavily anticipated series since he and Danny Elfman have come back to create a show after three years of absence. “Wednesday” features many classic Addams Family characters and has many callbacks to the original series. It does a great job of representing minorities and other communities however there is debate on how well it represents the queer community.

 “Wednesday” is meant to encapsulate the original Wednesday Addams and in many ways, the show succeeds without a second doubt. But the debates on the romantic aspect of her character and whether it does her character justice have been left unsolved. With the fanbase being divided over whether or not the show does Wednesday Addams justice, fans of the classic should watch it so they can decide the truth for themselves.

Featured image: Netflix releases the new show Wednesday which tells the story of the classic character Wednesday Addams(screenshot from Trusted Reviews)

Review: Mitski, behind the lyrics


Mitsuki Laycock is a 32-year-old indie alternative artist. All of Mitskis’s songs have stories of the beautiful but tragic realities of life described in such a poetic way. 

She is Japanese and white and due to her father’s job, she moved around quite a bit. She grew up in Japan, Malaysia, China, Turkey, and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Mitski was originally going to study film at Hunter College but decided to transfer to The State University of New York Purchase College’s Conservatory of Music, where she studied studio composition. This is also when she made two of her albums Lush (2012) and Retired from Sad, New Career in Business (2013). 

All of Mitski’s songs have deep meanings. A personal favorite is “A Burning Hill” from the Puberty 2 album. This song describes realizing how she is finally taking responsibility for her self-destruction. She uses a forest fire as an analogy, “I am a forest fire, And I am the fire and I am the forest and I am the witness watching it, I stand in the village watching it.” Where the song is placed places a significant role, it is the last song in the album. 

Core themes in this album are emptiness, filling the void, and bringing yourself back up. Being full of the emptiness and not knowing where it is precisely from, but that that you are being consumed by it. To fill the emptiness, abusing substances or seeking validation from other people fills the void but makes you angry and even more empty because you find your happiness depending on your partner or the substance. It shows stepping back and seeing the damage that has been done, how you were the one hurting yourself all along. You finally realize that you are the only one that brings yourself back up, and the only way to do that is to be with yourself.

Another favorite in Puberty 2 is, “I bet on losing dogs.” The title itself has a big meaning on its own. Envision you are watching a dog fight, and your dog or the one that you are betting on is losing miserably. As you are seeing it slowly lose its life people ask if you are still betting on it. You and everyone around you know that the dog is going to lose but you will continue to bet on it.

One of the first lyrics in the song “ I know they’re losing and I pay for my place by the ring, where I’ll be looking in their eyes when they’re down, I’ll be there by their side, I’m losing by their side.” This makes the point of you trying to hold on to but you are slowly but surely losing grip. This message is repeated throughout the song in different words.

Review: Stand-out manga author Tatsuki Fujimoto never misses


Tatsuki Fujimoto is a manga author with a great rise in recent years. He started his career making one-shots and has a series ongoing currently. His works stand out so much, as he takes things with simple concepts and plots, to then twist and turn, subverting the expectations of readers both new and experienced within the medium. 

After recently reading a majority of his works, being his many one-shots and two manga series, he never misses. Easily the most versatile author out there. I completely believe he can make any kind of story in any genre and come out with a masterpiece, or at the very least be something incredibly enjoyable.

I find the plots in each of his manga to be not only interesting, but also carry some themes I can jive with. “Just Listen to The Song,” has the premise of a teenage boy confessing his feelings to a girl through a song he uploaded on the internet, but catching some unwanted attention. As an indirect summary, I’d relate it to the phrase, “It’s not that deep.” Or another one of his one-shots, “Sasaki Catches the Bullet,” dedicated to hyperbolically telling you the power of belief.  

It doesn’t stop within his storytelling, the art he creates is phenomenal. In his series, “Fire Punch,” the action sequences feel daunting, crisp, clear, and delightfully fun. Some are also extremely creative as well. I also feel that the premise of why his art is so amazing isn’t about having precise and clean linework, or putting meticulous details within each page, it’s the innate ability to have an idea formed and executing it beautifully. 

When it comes to his most popular series, both in terms of the manga and anime community, “Chainsawman.” A dark shounen that really catches your attention. Due to the series having been done by weekly release, the rougher edges of the art adds a gritty aesthetic, and in a way enhances your immersion, not being your typical everyday manga. 

More in regards to “Fire Punch,” I feel that this manga has waved itself over the threshold, between normality and complete pedal to the metal absurdity. It truly is nothing like anything I’ve ever read before. Interesting environment and story forming this conglomerate that calls itself a manga. 

What you also see a lot out of Fujimoto’s works is how he writes his characters. They’re defined within their stories, and despite their comical nature, do feel very human. Examples being his one-shots like “Look Back” depicting a story of two artists, “Love is Blind,” a man that won’t let even God stop him from confessing his love, and his most recent, “Goodbye, Eri,” a truly captivating experience, a manga I resonate with deeply. 

“Goodbye, Eri”  captures the premise of a boy using his phone to record his mother’s remain time before she inevitably passes from her illness, and after her death meets a girl on a rooftop for which he was going to commit suicide on. Being one of the many people confused on their first read of the story, it was a little jarring, but after many re-reads, it has become my favorite of Fujimoto’s works. How he is able to flesh out his characters so well in such a short amount of time truly astonishes me. 

Tatsuki Fujimoto is a staple within the manga community, not ever really knowing what he’d do next. The praises and compliments about his unmatched creativity you hear about is not something you should overlook. And within the recent years of massive popularity, I wouldn’t blame him if he ever showed massive amounts of hubris. 

Retro Review: Amy Winehouse revolutionized jazz with ‘Back to Black’ album


When an album is inspired by heartbreak and battling an addiction, what is the outcome? Amy Winehouse’s album”Back to Black” sold an estimated 50 million records and is one of the best selling records in music history. 

Winehouse had her listeners in a chokehold when she released her #1 album, “Back to Black” on Oct. 27, 2006. Amy Winehouse is a jazz singer that combines her bluesy voice with an upbeat pop R&B sound. 

This album sheds light on the challenging struggles Winehouse faced early on in her career. Unfortunately, this album would later act as a foreshadow for her tragic fate.

The album starts with her #1 hit, Rehab and songs about heartbreak and perseverance follow after.

Winehouse released the most revolutionary and creative piece of art during her time. Winehouse speaks on all things that make us human, happiness, appreciation, empathy, anger and sorrow. All the emotions embedded into our lives as they go on are represented in these 11 songs. 

This album was much more modern than Winehouse’s previous releases. When Winehouse released her first album, “Frank” (an album named after her ex boyfriend) it was much jazzier and had more of a coffee house sound. “Frank” was an amazing album, but not as diverse as “Back to Black.”

This album collected a 4.9 star rating, according to google reviews. The Guardian even wrote an article calling the album the best of the 21st century.  There were lots of words in reviews used to describe the album including “incredible,” “amazing,” and “perfect.” 

Who could deny that Amy is a one of a kind artist? “Back to Black” collected 18.9 million streams and held the highest position on the charts for a whopping seven weeks. Winehouse went on to win five awards for this album.  We can all appreciate the genius it took to create such a masterpiece.

There was not much negative said about this album. Although the review done by was rather back handed, it wasn’t very critical on the quality of the album. This review was much more about how Winehouse chose to live her private life.

The review stated, ”She’ll be scheduled to perform, but there’s no guarantee what she’ll do, or even if she’ll make it through the show. And she’ll sing about her problems…” but not care what you think about them.

This really shows that their opinions were much more personal and less about the music.


Rehab touches on the struggle and unwillingness to get professional help. When Winehouse had written this song she was battling with her label, arguing that she didn’t need professional help for her alcoholism and drug addiction. This song is really a cry for help. Being in denial didn’t shield Winehouse from the consequences of her actions. 

“They tried to make me go to Rehab But I said no, no, no

Yes I’ve been black, but when I come back

You’ll know, know, know l ain’t got the time

And if my daddy thinks I’m fine

They tried to make me go to Rehab But I won’t go, go, go

I don’t ever want to drink again I just, ooh, I just need a friend I’m not gonna spend ten weeks And have everyone think I’m on the mend

And it’s not just my pride

It’s just ’til these tears have dried”

You Know I’m No Good

Self depreciation and how critical Winehouse is of her own actions is clear as day in this song, almost giving reasons as to why her boyfriend should just stay away. She is her own worst enemy and this is her warning label. She makes it clear that self sabotage is one of many escapes. 

“There’ll be none of him no more”

I cried for you on the kitchen floor

I cheated myself

Like I knew I would

I told you I was trouble

You know that I’m no good”-

“Who truly stuck the knife in first

I cheated myself

Like I knew I would

Itold you I was trouble

You know that I’m no good

I cheated myself

Like I knew I would

I told you I was troubled

Yeah, you know that I’m no good”

Me & Mr. Jones

Winehouse has an almost intoxicating voice in this song. Slurred and strong, she effortlessly sings this anthem without holding back. This song is about the bond between her and the rapper Nas. They were both cheating on their partners at the time and the lyrics and beat add a sleazy jazz sound onto the justification of their infidelity. Winehouse spins the the song ‘Me and Mrs. Jones” by Billy Paul, an oldies classic which is just produced beautifully.  Winehouse’s genius really peaks in this song, taking a jazz classic and making it a modern day classic. Using real instruments and not artificial saxophones, pianos, and other jazz instruments isolated her from all of the newer artists and allowed her to create her own genre.

“Nobody stands in between me and my man

It’s me and Mr. Jones (me and Mr.

Jones)What kind of fuckery is this?”-

“You made me miss the Slick Rick gig (oh, Slick Rick)

And thought that I didn’t love you when I did (when I did)

Can’t believe you played me out like that

No, you ain’t worth guest list

Plus one of all them girls you kiss (all them girls)

You can’t keep lying to yourself like this (to yourself)”-

 “I still wonder ’bout the things you do

Mr Destiny, nine and 14

Nobody stands in between me and my man

‘Cause it’s me and Mr. Jones

Mr. Jones (me and Mr. Jones)

Me and oh”

Just Friends

As complicated as Winehouse’s life was, adding relationships to the mix was a way of coping for her. This upbeat and doowop sound is followed by feelings of confliction. She doesn’t want or need a relationship at the moment but she wants companionship. She can feel the distraction of this person wearing off. She mentions how bad her addiction is getting and their schedules keeping them apart as a reason to just keep it friendly rather than hurting themselves. She is emotionally detached and her feelings for this person are purely passionate. We can only assume that the person she is talking about is in a relationship because as she states, “And no, I’m not ashamed, but the guilt will kill you If she don’t first, I’ll never love you like her.”

When will we get the time to be just friends?

It’s never safe for us, not even in the evening

‘Cause I’ve been drinking

Not in the morning where your shit works

It’s always dangerous when everybody’s sleeping

And I’ve been thinking

Can we be alone?

Can we be alone?

When will we get the time to be just friends?

When will we get the time to be just friends?

And no, I’m not ashamed, but the guilt will kill you If she don’t first

I’ll never love you like her

Though we need to find the time To just do this shit together

Back To Black

Seperating from Blake Fielder Civil was one of Amy’s most agonizing eras. Publicly recognizing her husband’s infidelity and how devoted she was to him was not only brave but incredibly raw. In the Back to Black music video Amy is burying someone representing that Blake is in fact dead to her. After all of the devastation and gut wrenching pain she felt he had moved onto someone else and she was angry. This is a revenge song, shouting from the rooftops that he is dead to her.

”We only said goodbye with words, I died a hundred times,

You go back to her And I go back to I go back to us”

“Me and my head high ,

And my tears dry, 

Get on without my guy,

You went back to what you knew, 

So far removed, 

From all that we went through And I tread a troubled track, 

My odds are stacked,

I’ll go back to black.”

Love is Losing Game

This song highlights the rise and fall of Amy’s romance to Blake Fielder Civil. The melancholy song is a roller coaster of emotions represented throughout the whole album. Amy shows us her admiration and feelings of betrayal for her ex husband. The feelings of confusion and devastation are not discovered but pronounced in this song. 

“For you, I was a flame Love is a losing game,

 Five story fire as you came

 Love is a losing game 

One I wished I never played 

Oh, what a mess we made 

And now, the final frame

 Love is a losing game” 

“Played out by the band, 

Love is a losing hand, 

More than I could stand, 

Love is a losing hand, 

Self-professed, profound

‘Til the chips were down, 

Know you’re a gambling man, Love is a losing hand, 

Though I battle blind, Love is a fate resigned, 

Memories mar my mind, 

Love is a fate resigned, 

Over futile odds, 

And laughed at by the gods 

And now, the final frame Love is a losing game”

Tears Dry On Their Own

This song creates a sense of triumph, regret and reflection. Amy goes over how she went wrong trusting and getting attached to someone so unstable and abusive. Standing up on her own with a sense of relief when she discovers she doesn’t need him says a lot about her character. Her creativity shines throughout the album  when she goes back and forth with herself throughout these songs.. Deciding she doesn’t need him and realizing her worth back to reliving the past and craving what she once had with her husband. 

“My tears dry on their own,

 I don’t understand ,Why do I stress the man?

When there’s so many bigger things at hand, 

We coulda never had it all, 

We had to hit a wall, 

So this is inevitable withdrawal,

 Even if I stop wanting you, 

A perspective pushes through, 

 I’ll be some next man’s other woman Soon, 

I cannot play myself again, I should just be my own best friend.”- 

 “All l can ever be to you, 

Is a darkness that we know, 

And this regret I got accustomed to, 

Once it was so right, When we were at our high”

Wake Up Alone

The emotional dependency Amy has with her husband is no secret, especially in this song. She only feels okay during the day when she’s distracted, almost like the night brings about all of the emotions she’s been avoiding throughout the day and hits her like a wave being held back. He even haunts her while she’s sleeping and she expresses the sorrow she feels after waking up to reality and discovering his absence day after day. 

“It’s okay in the day, I’m staying busy 

Tied up enough so I don’t have to wonder where is he”- 

“Just disappears soon as the sun sets,

 This face in my dreams seizes my guts, 

He floods me with dread, Soaked in soul,

 he swims in my eyes by the bed”

Some Unholy War- This song goes on about the loyalty Amy feels towards her husband. She goes on to say that she refuses to let him go and she will be by his side through war. This says a lot about where her priorities lie and who she’s willing to put first, herself or her husband?

“If my man was fighting some unholy, War, 

I would be behind him, 

Straight, shook up beside him With strength he didn’t know, 

 It’s you I’m fighting for, He can’t lose with me in tow”

He Can Only Hold Her- Lingering feelings are no secret in this song. Amy touches on the never ending feelings she has for her ex, Blake. In a way she is defending the emotional infidelity she is commiting by being in love with her ex while being in an entirely new relationship. She still loves her ex no matter who she pursues.

“Even if she’s content in his warmth

She is played with urgency

Searching kisses, the man she misses

The man that he longs to be Now how can he have her heart

When it got stole?

So he tries to pacify her

‘Cause what’s inside her never dies

So he tries to pacify her

For what’s inside her, it never dies”

Addicted- Amy makes it very clear that she doesn’t see pettiness as a taboo topic . When something needs to be said she has no issue saying it. This song is about Amy’s best friend’s boyfriend pinching her supply. Taking what isn’t his and irritating Amy along the way. This song acts as a lighthearted joke to end a very depressing and emotional string of songs. 

“Once is enough, To make me attack, 

So bring me a bag and your man can come back. 

I’ll check him at the door make sure he got green, 

I’m tighter than airport security teams”

REV’s Art Gallery presents student art at the big opening


Redlands East Valley High School is finally reopening their art gallery after three years and is doing so with an art show that has East Valley Singers, Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band Concert, Band Chamber Orchestra, Pacific Culture Club, and CSUSB Wind Ensemble.

The art show took place at REV’s art gallery and the Blackstone Theatre. Students with ASB (Associated Student Body) cards will be going into the theater for free and everyone else must pay $8 to enter the music side of the art show, though the gallery is completely free to all on Nov. 9 to help celebrate the opening of the gallery and also as recognition for all the types of art REV encourages. 

The theme for this Art show is “Around the World” and various types of art will show different cultures and experiences around the world. The show also went as far as to present some of the art that connected to the culture or place the music or performance was inhabiting.

Corbin Bakker, a REV junior that has some pieces of art in the gallery, says that “the gallery is that building that people pass by and now it’s filled with things students have made with emotions and time, which I think is pretty cool.”

The art gallery was made specifically for showcasing art and it was the only one built in one of the high schools in Redlands and in November it was filled with pieces done by REV students from all classes and all categories of art. Some of the categories are sculpture, art CP, ceramics, drawing, and digital art and will all be displayed for anyone who comes to the art show.

According to Carolyn Raleigh, one of the art teachers at REV, the art gallery was closed due to COVID in 2019 “and after that it basically became a storage room.” She explains that the reason for the gallery being open for the Evening of the Arts is to showcase the students’ art and presenting the different creations and cultures that they’ve been making throughout the semester.

Raleigh got her codental over 20 years ago and she ended up in the nonprofit world until four years ago, going back into a classroom to teach. She started teaching at high school but switched to teaching at an elementary school. When a position opened up at REV she realized that she missed teaching at a high school and now has helped to reopen the art gallery.

Below are some art pieces that were done by students that were featured in the art gallery.

Name: Jade Blackwell

Grade: 10

Project: Paper Mache Mask


Name: Rhyan Delgado

Grade: 9

Project: Transform a Book Sculpture

Name: Alex Vasquez

Grade: 11

Project: Transform a Book Sculpture

Name: Savannah Calvillo

Grade: 9

Project: Transform a Book Sculpture

Name:Ayden Tiplon

Grade: 11

Project: Transform a Book Sculpture


Name: Jackson Crane

Grade: 10 

Project: Paper Mache Masks


Name: Mary Louise Gabuya

Grade: 12

Project: Greco-Roman Vessel

Name: Xavier Guardado

Grade: 12

Project: Greco-Roman Vessel

Name: Evelyn Reyes

Grade: 12 

Project: Greco-Roman Vessel

Name: Hailee Macias

Grade: 11

Project: Greco-Roman Vessel


Name: Finn Stewart

Grade: 12

Project: Digital 

Name: Karrianne Francis Bavghmen

Grade: 10

Project: Digital

Name: Lilly Reusch

Grade: 12

Project: Digital

Name: Alora Rios

Grade: 9

Project: Digital


Review: Splatoon 3 improves greatly from Splatoon 2


A&E: Splatoon 3 Improves Greatly from Splatoon 2

Nintendo released its third game in the Splatoon series on Sept. 9, 2022. (Wikimedia Commons)

Splatoon is a Nintendo third-person shooter video game trilogy and the third game in the trilogy, released on Sept. 9, 2022. The goal in all three games is to cover the gameplay map with as much ink as possible. The side with the most paint covering the turf after three minutes wins.

Nintendo Direct announces a variety of post-launch updates to keep players occupied. (Trusted Reviews)

Splatoon 3 is very consistent with its updates, as Nintendo has promised at least two years of consistent post-launch support. With that comes a set schedule of updating its fashion catalog and adding new weapons every three months. This is a stark contrast to Nintendo’s handling of Splatoon 2, where they updated inconsistently and hardly announced their updates ahead of time. 

Splatoon has always had more game modes than regular Turf War, such as Salmon Run and ranked, which Splatoon 3 renamed “Anarchy Mode.”Alongside the aforementioned game mode, they have also added “Recon Mode” which is meant for entering maps on your own to get a feel of the layout. Nintendo will add both X battles and League battles with the promise of working on large-scale single-player downloadable content (DLC). 

Aside from the large-scale addition of full game modes, Nintendo has added a never before seen mini-game known as “Table Turf Battles.” It’s a tabletop card game in which players place cards that represent ink being placed on the battlefield. As the name goes, it’s similar to Turf Battles since the aim of the game is to cover the turf with the most ink before the timer runs out. 

Splatoon 3 ditches the gender-specific character creation of the two previous Splatoon games. (Flickr)

Upon starting the game, players create their characters, without any restrictions from having to pick an assigned gender. In the two previous Splatoon games, you had to pick either a male or female character and had a set selection of choices based on this character’s gender. For example if you chose male, most longer hair types would be locked. Splatoon has always had diverse character customizations for players, but now they have improved upon gender equality in their games as well.

Two other forms of customization have been added to Splatoon 3. Lockers have been created and placed in your lobby to show off your equipment including weapons, clothing, stickers, accessories, etc. Splashtags have also been created to display player usernames with a banner and a customizable title. 

Splatoon 3 adds two new squid form mechanics: the Squid Surge and Squid Roll. (Flickr)

One of the biggest complaints about Splatoon 3 is that players feel that there is a lack of change in the actual gameplay. However, besides weapons, specials, maps, and game modes, Nintendo has added the Squid Surge and the Squid Roll. Both actions are self-explanatory, when swimming in one direction if a player flicks their analog stick in the opposite direction your kid will quickly dash in the other direction to perform a Squid Roll. When players hold the B button while on a wall in squid mode they will quickly dash up the wall and perform a Squid Surge.

Splatoon 3 collaborates with Pokémon Scarlet and Violet in their latest Splatfest. (Trusted Reviews)

The most significant and most exciting change in gameplay however is the addition of Three Way Splatfests. An extremely popular part of the Splatoon series is the highest community-based Splatfests, where players from all over the world compete against each other; sometimes the winner determines changes to the story. 

Splatfests base their teams on specific fun questions, such as “Cats or Dogs?” or “Mayo or Ketchup?” Players will then choose the answer they think is correct and fight to defend their opinion in Splatfests. The previous Splatfest was made to celebrate and test the launch of Splatoon 3, where players had a choice between teams “Rock”, “Paper”, or “Scissors.” Team rock won which could potentially change the course of the rest of the story.

The Splatfest World Premiere launched three months ago and Nintendo already finished their second Splatfest for Splatoon 3 this Veteran’s Day weekend. The theme was Pokémon and players chose between teams “Grass”, “Fire”, or “Water.” Team water took the overall victory with team grass taking second and team fire taking third. The Pokemon collaboration was extremely well received as fans anticipate further updates to come.

Splatoon 2 was very popular and expanded off of the original Splatoon and the third game continues to expand on the franchise. Splatoon 3 expands on the fighting mechanics tremendously with the release of new maps, game modes, weapons, mechanics, and more. For visual appearance, they have created new forms of customization that other players can interact with. Splatoon 3 has also fixed some of its greatest complaints such as the lack of consistent updates.

For long-time fans, features unique to Splatoon 3 give a different experience than the two previous games. As for new fans, Splatoon 3 provides easy ways to learn the ropes of the game, especially through story mode. The newest Splatoon is accessible to all players and anyone can get into the franchise.

Inland Dance Theatre celebrates 46 years of the Nutcracker


The marquee outside of the California Theatre of Performing Arts in San Bernardino. (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News)

Watching ballets can be a popular tradition among families, especially around the holidays. One of the most popular ballets, the Nutcracker, has been showcased locally in numerous theaters for many to enjoy. The Inland Dance Theatre, or IDT, has been performing Pyotr Illyich Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker at the California Theatre since 1976. The studio brings together many dancers to perform the ballet, from the age of four to a professional level. The theatre performs four shows in total over a weekend, with the initial show being a school performance. 

The ballet was choreographed by Marius Petipa and composed by Tchaikovsky in 1892. The premiere of the ballet was performed at the Mariinsky Theatre in Saint Petersburg, Russia, and was not performed in a western country until 1934, performed in England. The first performance in the United States was in 1944 by the San Francisco Ballet. 

The “party scene” featuring the Staulbaum family and friends enjoying eachothers’ company before the story really begins (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News)

The ballet is centered around the Stahlbaum family’s Christmas Eve celebration, focusing on their daughter Clara or sometimes, Marie. Act One starts as the Stahlbaums welcome friends and family into the home. Clara’s uncle, Herr Drosselmeyer, joins the celebration. Drosselmeyer is a magician and toymaker, arriving and bearing gifts for all the children. He brings two mechanical dolls who leave their wrapping and dance around to entertain children and adults alike. Drosselmeyer gifts Clara a toy nutcracker and out of jealousy her brother, Fritz, breaks the toy. The doll is magically repaired by Drosselmeyer and placed underneath the tree by Clara. After the celebration comes to an end and the Stahlbaums are asleep, Clara sneaks into the living room and falls asleep holding the nutcracker. The rest of the ballet is based on the young girl’s dream.

Uncle Drosselmeyer brings out his mechanical dolls to entertain the children, including Clara and Fritz. (Elizabeth Molloy/ Ethic News)

At the start of her dream, the family Christmas tree grows as Clara seems to shrink. Clara is “awakened” by an army of mice led by an evil Mouse King. As she attempts to escape the mice, her nutcracker comes to life and defends Clara with an army of toys. The Nutcracker defeats the Mouse King and all the mice run away after their loss. Magically, the Nutcracker turns into a prince and invites Clara to journey to the Land of Sweets. 

The Nutcracker and Mouse King battle to the Mouse King’s demise (Elizabeth Molloy/ Ethic News)

In order to reach the Land of Sweets, they must first pass the Land of Snow. As Clara and her Prince enter the Land of Snow, they are welcomed by dancing Snowflakes. The Snow Queen and Snow Prince suddenly appear and join Snowflakes in dancing for Clara and her prince, further welcoming them on their journey. Act One ends with the Snow Scene and snow falls upon the dancers and audience. 

The audience feels as they are apart of the show as faux snow falls upon viewers (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News)

After a short intermission, the ballet resumes with a whimsical Act Two. Clara arrives at Candy Castle in the Land of Sweets and is greeted by the Sugar Plum Fairy. In Clara’s honor, the fairy throws a festival with many sweets from around the world. The individual scenes and groups of dancers are representative of different indulgences. After Clara and her Prince are seated the dancing begins. 

The polichinelle children parade around Mother Ginger (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News)

The first sweet introduced to the children is chocolate from Spain, which is sometimes depicted as hot cocoa. Chocolate dancers perform an adaptation of a Spanish fandango. The children are then presented with Arabian Coffee, two dancers perform in a way that mimics the movement of steam rising. After the slow-paced Coffee, the vibrant and playful Chinese Tea is performed when dancers leap around. Next, the galvanized Russian Trepak is performed, and the dancers are meant to mimic candy canes. Following Trepak, the French Marzipans perform. Mother Gignone, or Ginger, then enters the scene with her Polichinelle children. Polichinelle refers to the little clowns that emerge from Mother Ginger’s oversized skirt. In other versions of the Nutcracker, Mother Ginger is a gingerbread house and the Polichinelle are gingerbread men. The clowns prance about and then disappear under the skirt again, the same way in which they arrived. 

The finale of the sweets from around the world, including the flowers (Elizabeth Molloy/ Ethic News)

At the sound of a harp, three flowers arrive. This scene is known as the Waltz of the Flowers and is one of the most well-known scenes of the ballet. These flowers beautifully sway about to the orchestral music and are joined by the Dew Drop Fairy. The Dew Drop Fairy is referred to as a single dewdrop floating above the flowers as they perform. After a period of comfortable silence, the Sugar Plum Fairy and her Cavalier perform a pas de deux for Clara and her Prince. 

A pas de deux is a dance duet in a ballet, usually performed by a man and woman. Many well known ballets besides the Nutcracker feature a pas de deux as well. The phrase translates to “step of two”. The main part of a pas de deux is typically a partnered adagio. An adagio is a slow paced dance consisting of high extensions of the ballerina’s leg. The next component of the pas de deux is a variation, or solo, from both the Cavalier and Sugar Plum Fairy. The Cavalier starts his variation and Sugar Plum subsequently performs hers. This is called the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, the most famous variation in the ballet. The finale of the pas de deux highlights both dancers, individually and together. At the end, all the dancers, including the sweets, perform a grande finale for Clara and her Prince. 

The pas de deux performed at the end of the ballet with the Sugar Plum Fairy and Cavalier (Elizabeth Molloy/Ethic News)

That is how the ballet ends. In other adaptations, Clara wakes up still holding her toy nutcracker. Each ballet company performs The Nutcracker differently from the next company. The Nutcracker is originally based off the 1816 story, “The Nutcracker and the Mouse King”, written by E. T. A. Hoffman. The Nutcracker is a whimsical Christmas story and even those who are unfamiliar with ballet enjoy it. This is one of the significant ways the art of ballet is celebrated and regarded. 

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Review: Joji’s ‘Smithereens’ album takes listeners on emotional ride


 Joji, known for his songs “Slow dancing in the dark” and “Sanctuary” released his third studio album “Smithereens” on Nov. 4.

The album is part of the label 88Rising, two years after his last album “Nectar.” His new album consists of nine songs with two previously being released before the album. 

Joji brings you a ride of emotions on each one of his albums. “Smithereens” puts the listener on an adventure through Joji’s mind and emotions.

Glimpse of Us

Originally released on June 10, “Glimpse of Us” was Joji’s first song to release since his album “Nectar” which was released back in the year 2020. 

This song takes the listener on a flow of emotions.

The opening line, “She’d take the world off my shoulders if it was ever hard to move,” suggests that Joji is talking about a girl that means a lot to him. 

In another line part of the opening verse, “Why then if she’s so perfect, do I still wish that it was you?” A follow-up from the previous line, Joji is talking about his ex and wishing she was his current girlfriend. 

In the chorus, Joji explains why he feels the way he does, “‘Cause sometimes I look in her eyes And that’s where I find a glimpse of us.” 

This is where he shows why he misses her and feels that his current relationship will never be as good as his ex.

Over this past summer on TikTok, “Glimpse of Us” blew up and currently has over 1 million videos that have been made to it on top with millions of views. On Spotify, the song has over 669 million streams being the most streamed on the album.

Feeling Like The End

The first new song on the album, “Feeling Like The End” lyrics express the heartbreak of false promises of a broken relationship.

From a personal view, “Feeling Like The End” has a type of staring at your ceiling at 2 am vibe. 

The heartbreaking song starts off with the chorus, “Too many, too many things we did together You used to promise me it would be forever. Feeling like the end, don’t think it will get better, baby.”

In this Joji speaks about  false promises from his ex and things they did together. 

“Feeling Like The End” currently has over 21 million streams on Spotify.

Die For You

Debuting with the album “Die For You” has hits deep in your emotions and in my opinion is better than The Weekend’s song “Die For You.”

Joji is still thinking about an ex from the past, the first two lines in the pre-chorus, Burning photos Had to learn to let go Joji is trying to get over his ex. 

In the chorus, Joji then expresses that even though its hard for him to let go of what they had he would still die for her, I heard that you’re happy without me And I hope it’s true It kills me a little, that’s okay ‘cause I’d die for you.

Like “Glimpse of Us,” “Die For You” has gathered a trend on TikTok with there being over 58 thousand videos made to the song and millions of views on those videos. Currently, “Die For You” has 75 million streams on Spotify.

Before The Day Is Over

The new song by Joji “Before The Day Is Over” starts off with background vocals and a slow-paced piano. 

The chorus, I know it won’t be long I know you’re almost gone Hold on, let me in before the day is over Just let me in before the day is over,” expresses that Joji is having a hard time getting over his ex and doesn’t want to lose her. 

My view on “Before The Day Is Over” is that it has a reverse feel to one of his previous songs “Run”.

“Before The Day Is Over” is currently sitting on over 16 million streams on Spotify.


“Dissolve” gives us a breakdown into Joji wanting to leave his body and leave everything behind.

Joji slowly breaks down giving the name for the song “Dissolve.” 

Joji depicts this in his lines, “It’s so hard just being me sometimes I wish I could escape out my mind.”

Currently on Spotify “Dissolve” is over 13 million streams.


“NIGHT RIDER” starts to show us the mentality of Joji and falling victim to his mind.

Joji goes in dept with being lost in his mind with the lines “Burning forever and ever, fully blazing I don’t remember no better days You know I’m waiting, just whenever.”

“NIGHT RIDER” is currently over 15 million streams on Spotify.


Joji slowly spirals into his mind and it perfectly shows this as the beats go into a slower pace towards the end of “BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO”.

The song starts over with the chorus, but the beat changes tempo when Joji says the first line of the chorus a second time, “I can make you feel it closer, baby, one more time.”

“BLAHBLAHBLAH DEMO” currently has over 12 million streams and is the least streamed on the album.


Originally released on August 26th, “YUKON (INTERLUDE)” created anticipation and hype for the SMITHEREENS album.

YUKON expresses Joji’s wild mind and a little bit of the reckless lifestyle he used to have before fame. 

With lyrics like, Speeding up on that all-black Demon Going west, I don’t got no reasons I was throwing stones at Hercules Throwing them so perfectly Circles at the Chevron I can’t be forever youn,” Joji jumps into his former self a little bit and can’t accept he won’t be young forever.

“YUKON (INTERLUDE)” has currently over 45 million streams on Spotify.


Joji reminisces about the past on “1AM FREESTYLE”.

Joji’s lyrics show us he’s afraid of being alone in this life. 

The chorus “You know you can make it But you can’t make it alone.” 

On the verse “I’ve been playing memories in my mind Wishing you were there like all the time” shows Joji misses his past and what he had then.

“1AM FREESTYLE” currently has over 16 million streams on Spotify.

Feature image: Album collage created by JUSTEN NGUYEN

Album review: Taylor Swift begins a new chapter with the release of ‘Midnights’


Taylor Swift released her latest album, Midnights, on Oct. 21 at 12 midnight. The idea for the album was for it to be released exactly at midnight, however, due to the different time zones, Midnights was released at 9 PM pst, 10 PM mst, and 11 PM cst. 

The album has 13 songs in total with one song, “Snow on the Beach,” which features Lana Del Ray. 

According to, “Midnights has also broken several streaming records, including being the most streamed album in 24 hours (184.6 million streams) and the most streamed act on Spotify in 24 hours (228 million streams).” 

Swift fans thought that Midnights had a different vibe than her previous albums, as she has a tendency to make her albums about past failed relationships, so the change is something fans thoroughly enjoyed. 

You’re On Your Own, Kid

You’re On Your Own, Kid was the fifth track on the “Midnights” album. The song is about Swift’s own personal journey navigating gaining fame, love, and the people she has lost and gained throughout her journey through fame.

Though the song lyrics seem to be more closely related to Swift’s romantic side and wanting a boy’s attention. Throughout the song she continues gaining fame but yet still feeling alone even around so many people who love her.

She also seems to briefly address her past eating disorder in the song with the lyrics “I hosted parties and starved my body.”

The song strongly suggested that this song is about growing up and learning to release negative things from your past. Learn to keep the positives about life instead of the negatives.

Lavender Haze

Many fans speculated that “Lavender Haze” was Swift coming out as bisexual due to the color association. 

Christobal Hastings CNN article “How lavender became a symbol of LGBTQ resistance” states,  “In 1969, the color came to symbolize empowerment. Lavender sashes and armbands were distributed to a crowd of hundreds in a ‘gay power’ march from Washington Square Park to Stonewall Inn in New York, to commemorate the Stonewall riots that had just taken place a month before.” 

However, the song is actually about Swift’s relationship with her partner of six years, Joe Alwyn. People speculated that Swift and Alwyn were allegedly engaged which was neither confirmed nor denied. 

The lyric “All they keep asking me is if I’m gonna be your bride” makes it seem like Swift is tired of people asking whether Alwyn and Swift are going to get married.

Swift has spoken on social media about her relationship before as well as talking about the song. 

On an instagram post, she talked about the meaning of the song stating, “My relationship for six years, we’ve had to dodge weird rumors, tabloid stuff, and we just ignore it. This song is sort of about ignoring that stuff to protect the real stuff.” 

Swift also mentions in the instagram post how she decided on the name of the song, Swift looked up the meaning of the term “Lavender Haze” which was a common phrase used in the 50’s that meant being in love. 


Maroon was the second track on the Midnights album and is suspected to have a lot to do with past flings with lovers. Maroon is assumed by fans to be her backtrack to Swift’s “Red” album ex Jake Gyllenhal and her romance with Harry Styles. 

In the album Swift uses many colors to describe her emotions throughout the songs, one example would be the color maroon. With the song fans get to see deep into Swift’s thoughts and what keeps her up at night. 

In the song she talks about a lover she once had and remembers the first night they spent together.  Swift recalls the days and nights she spent with the lover which she felt she could really be herself around them.

The color maroon resembles what it used to be which was a bright red but it slowly burned out and turned to maroon, the color suggests it was similar to how the relationship between this lover went. Swift and her lover didn’t understand how to fix the drift and silence that came between them and all she has left are the memories that keep her up at night.


Within the Midnights album, Anti-hero was the third song. This song was very relatable for some of  fans and for Swift, as the song is about Swift’s insecurities and her anxiety in both her public and private life. 

On one of Swift’s Instagram posts she states that the song is one of her favorites on the album, “This song really is a real guided tour throughout all the things I tend to hate about myself,  We all hate things about ourselves” Swift says. 

In addition she says “So yeah, I like ‘Anti-Hero’ a lot because I think it’s really honest.” There are many deep lyrics in the song which can be interpreted in different ways. 

Some of the lyrics such as, “I should not be left alone to my own devices” and “I end up in crisis” can be seen as relatable to her fan as some people believe they shouldn’t be alone because they’re afraid of what could happen. 

In her music video she shows thoughts on her weight and appearance which caused controversy against some of her plus-sized fans. During the music video, Swift stands on a scale and it read “Fat” which is what Swift felt because of her eating disorder. 


Mastermind was actually the last song of her “Midnights” album.  This song was revealed by Swift to be about Joe Alwyn and her relationship origin story.

This is not the first time Swift has referenced Alwyn in her music but this song recaps the beginning of their love. Swift and Alwyn were considered to fall in love at first sight at the 2016 Met Gala. In the song it constantly describes how she felt meeting Alwyn and how she immediately felt something special about him.

The chorus shares her dedication and stubbornness to making things work out between herself and Alwyn naming herself the “Mastermind” behind their relationship. The song shows a lot of dedication between their relationship and has a nice twist from her music about all her past relationships that didn’t work out well.

Snow On the Beach (feat.Lana Del Ray)

Snow On the Beach is the fourth song on the Midnights album. Swift’s idea for Snow on the beach is the wonderful feeling of someone falling in love with a person as they’re falling for you too. 

It’s almost the feeling of a dream and realization of love. Like other songs on the album, this song is also assumed to be about her relationship with Alwyn. Lyrics that support this claim are “You wanting me tonight, feels impossible.” 

Midnight Rain

“Midnight Rain” was the sixth track on Midnights. The song’s meaning isn’t exactly known, however, guesses can be made by paying attention to the lyrics being sung. 

The possible meaning towards the song could be that Swift did not want to be the small-town girl she wanted to be well-known but her partner at the time could not have wanted that for Swift and wanted to lead a “normal” life. 

The lyrics “He wanted a bride, I was making my own name.” could have represented this idea.


“Question…?” was the seventh track in the Midnights album. The true meaning of the song is unknown but queer fans of Swift believe the song might have something to do with Swifts former best friend and rumored kissing partner, Karlie Kloss. 

Queer fans believe this to true because the context in the song. The song uses mainly she/her pronouns. 

In the lyrics “Did you ever have someone kiss you in a crowded room?” could be linked to Swift’s song “dress” in her album with the lyrics, “Our secret moments in a crowded room” and “I don’t want you like a best friend, I only bought so you could take it off.” 

Vigilante S— 

The eighth track in Midnights is Vigilante S—. Vigilante S— is said to be about a wife finding out about her cheating ex-husband who has also done some white-collared crimes. 

This song is also Swift’s second song to ruin a man’s reputation to avenge one of her friends. Swift helps the ex-wife take revenge on the ex-husband, while they are said to look hot doing it. 

The song allegedly references Scott “Scooter” Braun, who Big Machine sold six of Swift’s songs to. As well as the feud between Kim Kardasian and Kanye West with the rumored album “Karma” that was then reworked into “Reputation.” Swift’s fan base is excited for the alleged official music video to drop. 

Taylor Swift’s ’Midnights’ album CD in the target music section which includes the 13 songs as well as three bonus tracks. (MARSHALL SCOTT/Ethic News photo)


The song Bejeweled was the seventh track on Swift’s new album. This song is a feel good song and reminds the listener to not settle for less and to those who feel or have felt taken advantage of. 

The song discusses dating someone who doesn’t treat Taylor how she wants to be treated, she starts to feel under appreciated and loses her shine. As the song progresses Swift realizes she is better without him and with or without him she can still “make the whole place shimmer.” 

One thing about the song that really caught people’s attention when one of the lyrics described Swift dancing with another man while talking to her lover about this new man. People suspect this may be a reference to Tom Hiddlestone they met at the 2016 Met Gala  and famously danced with him while she was still dating Calvin Harris. The dance quickly hit headlines in May 2016 and in early June 2016.


Labyrinth was number ten in the Midnights album. The song Labyrinth is another song about her current long-term boyfriend, Joe Alwyn. The song represents how Swift was afraid to fall in love with Alwyn because of her failed past relationship. 

The lyrics “Oh no, I’m falling in love again” shows how Swift really panicked when she found herself falling for Alwyn. 

Another lyric, “I thought the plane was falling down how’d you turn it right around” shows how she originally thought that the relationship could’ve turned out badly because of past experiences but in fact, it’s going the complete opposite. 


Karma was placed 11th in the tracking list.The song is based off an album that was not released, also called “Karma.” 

When the song title was announced fans believed the song would be a diss track to rapper, Kanye West, only for fans to find out that was not the case. 

The meaning behind the song is “a perspective of feeling really happy, really proud of the way your life is.” 

Swift says, “Feeling like this must be a reward for doing stuff right, and it’s a song I really love because I think we all need some of those moments. We can’t just be beating ourselves up all the time.” 

The song also represents Swift’s long-term determination to have a life-long career, the lyrics “Ask me what I learned from all those years, ask me what I learned from all those tears.” show that determination Swift has.

Sweet Nothings

Sweet Nothings was Swift’s 12th  track on her album. In Midnights Swift did not shy away from getting personal in her lyrics about her life and love life. This song discusses her highs and lows that come with being in the public eye and figuring out her peace and comfort with her partner of six years, Alwyn. The song discusses herself seeking comfort and shelter from the outside world with Alwyn. Going in deeper she feels safe with her partner and is comfortable enough with Alwyn to show her deepest thoughts and insecurities without feeling judgment. Swift feels safe with him and doesn’t have to ask him for compliments to receive them.

Midnights was the first album to be released after her two year hiatus, this album quickly began to be a fan favorite for the relatable topics in many of her songs on the album. 

The album talks a lot about her struggles in life and also her feelings and love towards her six-year long relationship with Joe Alwyn. 

Additionally, to the Midnights Album, Swift also made an extended version with seven more songs giving Midnights 3AM 20 songs. 

These albums can be found on Spotify, Apple music as well as Youtube music.

Correction: The original publishing of this article did not include analysis of the songs Anti-hero or Mastermind. It was corrected on Dec. 2 at 2:55 pm.

Review: ‘Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story’ shows the limitlessness of media


Netflix released a show titled “Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story,” on Sept. 21 and there are differing opinions on this show and how the cases of Dahmer and his victims were depicted. 


One glaring issue people have with this show is the inaccuracy throughout the show. 

For example, Glenda Cleveland, played by Niecy Nash, lived in a different apartment building than Dahmer’s and wasn’t his next-door neighbor as depicted in the show. To some, this may not seem like something significant, let alone something to think is wrong. 

Still, when depicting real-life instances like the Jefferey Dahmer case, details must be accurate, out of respect to the people that were involved in that case, especially those who lost family members and friends to that man; they deserve to have stories shared truthfully. 

The police on the case were already making the case even harder to solve due to their own inaccuracies about Dahmer.  Even the most minor details that may seem minuscule and irrelevant need to be depicted properly because this isn’t just an instance of disturbing fiction. 

This isn’t something that can be rewritten or have a spin-off, and that’s what some viewers of the show forgot.


This leads to another concern regarding the show, the directors, Ryan Murphy and Dan Brennan, did not get permission from the victim’s family to make this show and include their deceased loved ones. 

Eric Perry, the cousin of victim Errol Lindsey, shared on Twitter on Sept.  22, “No, they don’t notify the victims’ families when they do this. It’s all public record, so they don’t have to notify (or pay!)”

It was disrespectful and unnecessary for the directors not to do the bare minimum by seeking out the victims’ families and asking them how they feel about the show idea before they go along with any final decisions for the show. 

No matter which way you look at the dilemma of asking for permission and risk not being able to go along with the main plan for the show or  getting permission from the victims’ loved ones and possibly having to alter the whole show itself,  the most reasonable option seems clear. 

There’s a possibility that co-directors couldn’t find any link of family or friends to some of the victims, or maybe their loved ones simply shut the idea down right away; either way, straightforward communication is necessary when handling such cases.


Another complaint is the casting choice, especially for one person in particular. 

It was a poor casting choice in the long run to cast Evan Peters, a notoriously known and loved horror actor,  to play Jeffrey Dahmer, a genuinely vile human being. 

While Peters has played immoral roles in the past (i.e. Kai Anderson from “American Horror Story,” a raging sexist, alt-right, Trump supporter), the issue is, Jeffery Dahmer isn’t just some creepy spooky slasher from a horror movie like Jason Vorhees or Micheal Myers. He was a real person, who impacted other very real people, but some viewers from the show have made some kind of disconnect between this show and the real events that the show is based upon. 

It just seems as if some fans of his long life work, the viewers that will watch whatever piece of media he’s a part of as long as he’s in it, forget the fact that this isn’t just a typical casting role for Peters to play, it’s based on real life, real stories, real people that had the misfortune of coming across that man.

A question to those (specifically non-black cisgender heterosexual people) that have watched the ¨Monster¨ series and make jokes about what the victims had to live through before passing away for shock factor, or to the people who decided to dress up as Dahmer after getting inspiration from the show:

 How does fiction affect perceived reality; how do  real-life events affect fiction? 

And truly, is someone able  to decipher the fact that just because something is on television  it does not mean it can’t, doesn’t, or hasn’t already been carried out into reality.

In this case, unfortunately, it already has.

So there truly is no excuse.

Featured image photo collage designed by JUSTEN NGUYEN

What’s up with Marvel? Deadpool 3 could drastically change the MCU for the better


On Sep. 12, Ryan Reynolds announced the third installment of the Deadpool franchise, which will also be the character’s first appearance in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). To everyone’s surprise, it was also announced that Hugh Jackman will reprise his role as Wolverine from the X-Men franchise, starting the introduction of the team into the MCU. 

Deadpool’s involvement in the MCU has been a very open secret for a while now, as it was expected that Deadpool would cross over after Disney had purchased 21st Century Fox. Wolverine’s, or at least Hugh Jackman’s, return is very unexpected, as Logan (2017) was thought to be the end of the character’s cinematic story and Jackman’s portrayal of him.

The first and currently only official promotional photo for the film, showing Deadpool’s logo slashed by Wolverine’s claws (From IMDb)

The film’s story is still unknown, but other information has been revealed by Reynolds himself. The first piece of info is in regards to the events of Logan and how Wolverine is still alive, stating that “Logan takes place in 2029” and that it is a “totally separate thing” from the current film.  Reynolds has also claimed that the movie was always going to involve Wolverine and was originally going to be a road trip movie before Disney acquired Fox.

One of the most anticipated aspects of these characters’ involvement in the MCU is the potential stories with other prominent characters. With Deadpool now involved, there is potential for his relationship with Spider-Man to be adapted on-screen. In the comics, Deadpool and Spidey have a sort of love-hate relationship, where Deadpool idealizes Peter as the perfect superhero while Parker wants nothing to do with him.

With Wolverine, it could be expected that he eventually battles with the Hulk as he made his first ever appearance in issue #181 of The Incredible Hulk where Wolverine clashed with the titular character. Another popular idea is that Logan doesn’t become the MCU’s main Wolverine but is instead a mentor to Laura Kinny, a clone of Logan and the second Wolverine.

Easily the most important aspect of this movie is the potential lead up to the X-Men. Marvel has slowly been introducing mutants into the MCU, with Namor in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever and Kamala Khan in Ms. Marvel, who was retconned into a mutant during the show. With Deadpool 3, the first official X-Men will be introduced into the MCU with Wolverine and would start the implementation of the X-Men into the MCU. 

As of now, the only official information about the film is Reynolds and Jackman’s involvement and it’s release date, which is set for Nov. 8, 2024. However, if Deadpool 3 should be as good, if not better, than the previous installments in the Deadpool franchise and will only be amplified with it’s involvement in the MCU.

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Creeping into Halloween at Universal


The month of horror has arrived early at Universal Studios Hollywood. Halloween Horror Nights debuted on Sept. 8 and is ongoing until Oct. 31. With two months of horror, people look forward to getting jump scared with all the new attractions this Halloween. 

Known for their movie productions and CGI effects, horror nights at Universal have been claimed by customers to be scary and really spot on. Separated from the daily park hours, horror night is held exclusively from seven at night till two in the morning. Across the entire park, there are a total seven haunted houses/mazes, a total of three scare zones located throughout the park, and a spooky take on the tour tram on the lower lot, now vamped up for halloween called the “terror tram”. 

Universal staff dressed up on stilts standing taller than the crowd, runs down the entrance path to scare guests walking into the park. (JASMINE ROSALES/ETHIC NEWS)

The mazes were grouped up by two’s and three’s on the lower and upper lot. Down on the lower lot you would find the Killer Klowns From Outer Space maze located to the right of the Transformers ride. To the left of that would be The Weeknd: After Hours Nightmare maze. Located on the upper lot near the entrance and middle of the park, the entrance to The Horrors of Blumhouse maze by the Kung Fu Panda ride, Universal Horror Hotel and the long awaited La Llorona: The Weeping Woman maze. Going through Harry Potter land, guests will find the last two mezes on the map, the Halloween maze and Scare: The Reaping. 

Shown above, the map helps locate and visualize where each horror attraction and ride attraction stands in the park, including food and restroom areas. (JASMINE ROSALES/ETHIC NEWS)

The three scare zones are all located on the upper lot. The three zones all have cast members walking around to scare guests and keep everyone entertained outside of the main attractions, and keeping guests on their toes for what’s to come next. 

Apart from the halloween attractions at Universal Horror Nights, all rides were open for most of the night with some closing earlier. Located in the Fear Factor Stage, there is a live show featuring the famous dance crew, the Jabbawockeez.

Universal Horror nights includes a 30 minute performance from the well known and talented dance group, the Jabbawockeez shown in the park. (JASMINE ROSALES/ETHIC NEWS)

Universal Studios is sure to have many sold out nights because of how popular their horror nights event is, attracting all horror enthusiasts and guests who get a kick out of getting scared and halloween are sure to be impressed. 

Categories A&E

News brief: Adidas drops Ye after his antisemitic comments


Adidas has ended their partnership officially with Kanye West.

After the recent antisemitic comments said by Kanye West, Adidas and other companies such as Balenciaga and Gap also ended their partnership with him.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25 Adidas released a statement as to why they dropped Kanye West.

“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” said the statemente released by the company.

With the end of their partnership Adidas has also stated that they will stop production on all Yeezy products and stop payment to companies owned by Kanye West immediately. 

 “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies,” read the statement by Adidas.

Kanye’s remarks toward the Jewish community have brought plenty of backlash and Adidas ending their partnership is just one of the consequences Kanye is facing currently. 

Last week Kanye West was a guest on the podcast Drink Champs and stated “The thing about me and Adidas is like…I can say antisemitic things and Adidas can’t drop me. Now what?” 

According to Forbes, with the partnership loss with Adidas Kanye West will no longer be a billionaire. Kanye West is estimated to lose $1.5 billion of his net worth.

Photos: A Day in the Park car show brings out classics in support of youth


A Day in the Park car show took place at Sylvan Park in Redlands on Sept. 24. The annual car show event is organized and set up by the Youth Hope Foundation.

The organization “was established in 2009 to build confidence and promote self-sufficiency for homeless, runaway, trafficked, and at-risk youth, ages 14-24, by providing trust, hope, support, and education. YouthHope was established to provide a support system for youth in a safe and caring environment so they may grow to be healthy, self-sustaining adults.”

A 1971 Super Beetle Volkswagon with a 1600CC motor at Redlands, California on Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022 at Sylvan Park. (GEFFREY ACOSTA/ Ethic News photo)

A 1947 Mercury eight with a flathead V8 at Redlands, California on Saturday, Sept, 24 2022 in Sylvan Park. (GEFFREY ACOSTA/ Ethic News photo)

A 1972 Chevrolet Malibu with a 350 V8 engine at Redlands California on Saturday, Sept. 24 2022 in Sylvan Park. (GEFFREY ACOSTA/ Ethic News photo)

A 1965 396 turbo jet Corvette with a edelbrock/musi 555 pro-flo 4 EFI big-block Chevy crate engine at Redlands, California on Saturday, Sept. 24 2022 in Sylvan Park. (GEFFREY ACOSTA/ Ethic News)

The introductory text of the information next to the 1968 Kaiser-Jeep reads, “The M35 family of trucks is a long-lived vehicle initially deployed by the United States Army, and subsequently utilized by many nations around the world.” (GEFFREY ACOSTA/ Ethic News photo)

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Review: Chon discography evolves and grows on you


One of the most influential math rock bands, “Chon,” is a four-person group consisting of both Mario Camarena and Erick Hansel as the lead guitarists, Nathan Camarena as the drummer, and Esiah Camarena as the bassist (although there have been different bassists throughout the years of their tours). The band started small. As younger adolescents, Mario and Erick were already extremely talented guitarists with bright futures ahead of them. This was shown beautifully with their small demo EP in 2008. They decided they wanted to do live shows, so Mario had Esiah (his brother) on board, and also taught 11-year-old Nathan (little brother) how to play drums. With everything all together, the band is official. 

2008 Demo EP: 

-Across The Spectrum

-Mountains of Creation

-Temporarily Destabilized 

-Elliptical Illuminations 

This short EP shed light on Mario and Erick’s song-composing skills at a young age. Each song displays absurd and complex riffage. One could also hear how much another math rock band, “The Fall of Troy,” influenced the band’s sound in terms of guitar tone and riff ideas. As much as I enjoy each song from this sort of EP, a particular piece stands out between the four songs. Temporarily Destabilized has incredibly catchy rhythms and jazzy solos that will stay in your head for weeks. It’s also more significant in length and progresses more than any other song within the band’s whole discography. Overall an album that stands out and gets better every listen.  

Releases created before or after the 2008 EP:

-Newborn Sun



-The Perfect Pillow 

These releases were used regularly during the band’s live sets between 2009-2013. Newborn Sun would come to have a re-recording in their 2013 album, “Newborn Sun,” and The Perfect Pillow getting a re-recording in their 2015 album, “Grow.” I thought this era of Chon was their accumulation of all of their influences, mixed with finger breaking arpeggios and interesting solos. Although these songs have no right being as good as they are, this mesh isn’t quite what I’d define for the band as a whole, since I’d regard their first 8 songs as “refreshers for those that are tired of listening to metal.”

2013 Newborn Sun: 





-Bubble Dream 


-Newborn Sun 

With this next EP, Chon still keeps their metal influence but makes a more significant push for melodies and atmosphere with short and sweet songs for “Potion” and “Frosting.” It is also home to their most iconic piece, “Bubble Dream,” which put them on the map and a staple for the math and prog community as a whole.. Also, “Dew” has a beautiful ethereal solo, and I think everyone should listen to this song. It shows how fast Mario and Erick have improved over the past few years. 

2014 Woohoo! EP: 

-Super Potion






With each new release, Chon continues evolving their music and is not afraid to take risks. When I first listened to this EP, I wouldn’t say I was much of a fan then. But over the years, I became a little upset that I never listened to this small album as much as their other works. This EP is home to an interesting batch of songs, with only pure acoustic guitar on Super Potion written by Erick and Dust by Mario. Not only this, “Ecco” would be the band’s first song to have vocals sung by their bassist at the time, Drew Palisek. All and all, this EP has exciting ideas, especially with how “Knot” and “Sketch” have such groovy ending riffs and the beautiful melodies within “Suda.” 

2015 Grow(Band’s first official album):




-Book (Feat. Matt Garstka)

-Can’t wait





-Perfect Pillow

-Echo (re-recording of Ecco)

-But (Feat. Matt Garstka)

After years of growing popularity, Chon was able to sign with a record label, Sumerian Records, and debut their first official album, fully licensed. At the time of the release, there were mixed opinions regarding the album, as almost half of it was re-recorded songs. But after time, it was much more appreciated; since this was the band’s first full album, they needed to showcase some of their best stuff to reach out to people newer to the band and the genre itself. But even with the convoluted reasonings, I believe this is the band’s holy grail album. “Story” and “Splash” structure the vibe you feel while listening to this masterpiece. “Can’t Wait” would be the crowd pleaser among the community, and “Fall” is, in my opinion, a perfect song from beginning to end. This album also features guest artist, well-renowned drummer, “Matt Garstka,” from the prog-metal band, “Animals as leaders.” The two songs featuring him really do mesh well with Mario and Erick’s writing. I forgot to mention that the band’s drummer, Nathan, doesn’t yet write any of their drum tracks, as his drum mentor, Brian Evans, is the one pulling the strings. 

2017 Homey Album:

-Sleepy Tea


-Berry Streets (Feat. GoYama)

-No Signal


-Nayhoo (Feat. Lophiile, Masego)

-Here and There

-The Space

-Feel This Way (Feat. Giraffage)


-Glitch (Feat. ROM)

-Wave Bounce

For Chon’s second album, they’ve decided to take even bigger risks and experiment with not only their sound but do collaboration pieces with other artists. They’re using more post-processing, different balances and effects within their songs while still incorporating their roots as a math-rock band. I am a little on the fence with this album as a whole. I didn’t really enjoy the featured artists’ songs, as I don’t think the songs are nearly as catchy or memorable as their other tracks. This also goes for the ones they did create as only the band, with the exception of “Waterslide,” and “Sleepy Tea,” as they are the face of the album. I will say I’m never not impressed by how the band can make such complex and virtuosic riffs that flow so well within each of their songs. 

2019 CHON Self-Titled Album:






-Pitch Dark




-Dead End



With the third and, as of currently, the band’s final album, we hit a close. In retrospect, I’m happy that this album wasn’t my introduction to Chon. As a listener since “Grow,” you feel the total weight of each song, seeing how far the band’s come. “Ghost” was probably the best choice to use for the first track. It was a hopeful introduction into the rest of the album, with Mario and Erick completely shredding on their guitars. Despite the more simplistic melodies, Chon can really incorporate intense riffs and drum fills together without breaking the song’s initial flow. With regards to “Spike,” this song was definitely written as a callback to their earlier works, literally being able to hear the main theme of “Bubble Dream” at the end of the track. And the album’s final song, “Peace” completely subverts your expectations. Every track from this album has such distinctness, being able to tell one from the other. In conclusion, Chon has never made a bad song, but I just didn’t personally enjoy this album as much as I did with their other works; it all seemed just a little surreal that this would possibly be their last album they’d make.

Different moods call for different music


Three playlists for different moods

Music can make you feel different types of emotions. Music can be an essential to society nowadays wherever you see, someone has earphones on. It’s a way of escaping reality. Music has many genres such as rap, R&B,jazz, country, soul, and rock, and many many more. 

There are times where you feel like you hit rock bottom, but then you listen to your favorite artist then you feel like you can do anything that comes your way. Music can do things to you that no one else can ever make you feel. If you’re not feeling the best then listen to some Frank Ocean, Lucki, Clairo, Rex Orange County, Joji, Tyler, the Creator, Mac Miller, Drake. 

Song recommendations:

Futura Free – Frank Ocean

White Ferrari – Frank Ocean

Sunset – Lucki

Randomly – Lucki

Bubble Gum – Clairo

Pluto Projector – Rex Orange County

Its Not The Same Anymore – Rex Orange County


Worldstar Money (interlude) – Joji

911/ Mr. Lonely (feat. Frank Ocean and Steve Lacy) – Tyler, the Creator

ARE WE STILL FRIENDS? – Tyler, the Creator

Thats On Me – Mac Miller

Cicles – Mac Miller

Jungle – Drake

Marvin’s Room – Drake

If you feel like you can take over the world, here are some good artists to listen to, Kanye West, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, and Baby Keem. 

Song recommendations:

POWER – Kanye West

Cant Tell Me Nothing – Kanye West

Rockstar Made – Playboi Carti                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

New Tank – Playboi Carti

Goosebumps – Travis Scott

Piss On Your Grave – Travis Scott

Family Ties – Baby Keem

STATS – Baby Keem

There’s times where you just wanna vibe in your room, then you can just put some, Lil Uzi Vert , Kali Uchis, Mac DemMarco, JID, Steve lacy, SZA, Men I Trust, PinkPantheress, and Redveil. 

Song recommendations:

XO Tour lif3 – Lil Uzi Vert

After The Storm – Kali Uchis

Chamber Of Reflection  – Mac Demarco

Freaking Out the Neighborhood – Mac Demarco

Sandstorm – JID

Workin’ Out – JID

C U Girl – Steve Lacy

Static – Steve Lacy

Good Days – SZA

Show Me How – Men I Trust 

Where You Are – PinkPantheress

Pain – PinkPantheress

Diving Board – Redveil

Pg Baby – Redveil 

There is always gonna be a genre for you, you just have to explore and find it. Music is gonna be your best friend, it’s never gonna leave your side. You can always count on it.    

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Disney’s D23 expo brings exciting news to disney fans


From Sept. 9 to 11 of 2022, Disney held their D23 Expo in the Anaheim Convention Center where they made various announcements on upcoming movies and tv shows. In the span of three days, companies including Pixar, Marvel Studios, Lucas film, 20th Century Studios, and Disney revealed many of their upcoming movies and revealed what they had planned for the next few years.
Day one of the expo started with the Disney Legends Award Ceremony which also served as the launch for Disney 100 Wonder, which celebrates Disney’s 100th anniversary. The celebration then continued with Broadway performers reprising their roles in Aladdin, The Lion King and Frozen. Bob Chapek, The Walt Disney Company CEO, was then introduced and brought on stage where he surprised guests and fans with a first look at Disney 100 Years of Wonder. Additionally, Chapek announced that the Avengers Campus in California Adventure was going to be expanded. At the end of the awards ceremony there was a surprise performance by the cast of Disney’s Encanto where they sang “We Don’t Talk About Bruno.” 

D23 logo surrounded by sparkles emphasizes new magic that awaits (ANNETTE ALFARO/Ethic News)

Day two was so large that they had to split it up into two presentations that included various panels featuring actors, directors, and producers who discuss their upcoming projects. Alan Bergman, the chairman of The Walt Disney Studios, reflected upon the 13-year history of the D23 expo as well as the evolution of the studio. Fans and guests were also surprised with various clips and trailers from upcoming Marvel, Pixar, 20th Century and Lucasfilm movies and tv shows. In addition, it was announced that “The Story of Disney: 100 Years of Wonder” would be available next year. Along with that announcement, many actors and actresses shared their thoughts and hopes for the future. 

Day three, the final day of the expo, included the last few panels and discussions included various anniversary celebrations. The last “40 years of Tron” and the 31st season of Dancing with the Stars was celebrated among everyone who attended the D23 expo. There was also a Kim Possible Reunion between the show’s stars Christy Carlson Romano and Will Friedle. Fans were also surprised when the voice cast of “The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder” appeared on stage and did a live table read and introduced guest stars that will appear on the show. The highly anticipated Live Disney Princess Concert also occurred and featured many performers and classic, beloved songs from popular Disney films. 

Overall the expo allowed Disney, Marvel, Pixar, and Lucas film fans alike to experience a weekend of celebration, entertainment, and joy.

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A&E: Taylor Swift announces new album “Midnights”

By Mia Caliva

Singer and songwriter Taylor Swift announced her upcoming tenth studio album “Midnights” at the Video Music Awards on Aug. 28. In her announcement, Swift excitedly reports her newest album will tell “the stories of 13 sleepless nights” and comes out Oct. 21.

Swift also took to Instagram and Twitter to share the good news in a heartfelt post in which she says, “We lie awake in love and in fear, in turmoil and in tears…this is a collection of music written in the middle of the night, a journey through terrors and sweet dreams. Meet me at midnight.”

Singer-songwriter Taylor Swift pictured in her long-awaited studio album “Midnights” releasing on Oct. 21st, 2022. Swift’s album, which she captioned on Instagram will tell “the stories of 13 sleepless nights”, is her tenth studio album. (Taylor Swift/ Instagram)

Swift’s last album, “Evermore,” was released Dec. 11 of 2020, and after nearly two years, her fans are restless for the arrival of “Midnights” and its 13 brand new tracks. Ambiguously, Swift titles her tracks “Track one,” “Track Two,” “Track Three,” all the way to “Track Thirteen.” Fans theorize that these titles are not official and that Swift will eventually reveal the genuine titles of her tracks, but nothing has been confirmed. It is also uncertain if Swift’s latest transition to indie/folk-pop style music, as represented in her albums “Evermore” and “Folklore,” will continue to be a theme in “Midnights.”  

As always, a Taylor Swift album couldn’t be released without a ceaseless stream of fan speculations. This time, fans fixate on the release date, Oct. 21, of “Midnights” as it coincides with Kim Kardashian’s birthday. Some speculate this is a jab at a past feud between Swift and Kardashian in 2016, where Kardashian had supposedly called Swift a “snake” after defending her ex-husband Kanye West for writing misogynistic lyrics about Swift in his song “Famous.” Fans also speculate that Oct. 21 was chosen as the release date for the album because ten, two, and one add up to 13, Swift’s famous lucky number, which seems most realistic. 

“Midnights” is already available for preorder as a vinyl, CD, cassette, and digital album. 

Review: From shakes to singing, Austin Butler best portrays Elvis in the new movie


There have been many interpretations of Elvis Presley’s life. These interpretations have caused Elvis to gain a lot of hate because of false facts. Although, with Austin Butler and the director, Baz Luhrmann, showed  Elvis’ name and reputation justice.

Austin Butler had two  years to prepare playing Elvis and during that time, he hired a professional swim coach that had also worked with the cast of “Bohemian Rhapsody”  to really get the shakes and wiggles down just like Elvis himself. 

After watching even just a few of his interviews, Butler expresses the type of pressure he felt having to portray Elvis in an acceptable and satisfactory way. He has stated, “What made me nervous was Elvis was so loved and so iconic, you feel responsibility playing any human that has actually lived, but with him it’s like, it’s a weight like I never felt before,” he said. 

Butler added, “And there’s a responsibility to his family and also putting his story into context. That’s the thing.”

He papered his walls with photos of the musician, and spent his days studying and mimicking Elvis’s movements in addition to his voice. Pouring himself into the role came with a cost for Butler. He put so much energy into resurrecting Elvis that his body revolted less than 24 hours after they finished filming.

Butler perfected the voice of Elvis since he had been working on it for 2 years with no end, so it has stuck with him. Fans and interviewers have wondered why Butler still has the voice of Elvis lingering in his own.

Butler said, “That was the voice I spoke in for two years. It was so habitual…You get done and you kinda don’t remember what your natural voice is.”

Butler singing all the songs in the Elvis movie has surprised many. 

Even personally, I believed he was just lip syncing until I got home and did my own research on it.I suggest watching the movie and interviews on your own, the effort put into the movie, not just by Austin Butler but the whole team did an outstanding job.

Years-old conspiracy theories confuse people, even in 2022


Conspiracy theories have been around for centuries and some are created every day. These theories show some beliefs that have converted into explanations for things such as an organization being responsible for a circumstance or event.

No man on the moon

The conspiracy theory of man never having walked on the moon is a theory that has been around since Apollo 11 landed on the moon in 1969. (KENDRA BURDICK/Ethic News Photo)

The moon landing conspiracy theory is a widespread belief that the American Apollo 11 astronauts did not land on the Moon on July 20, 1969, and that NASA employees filmed all Apollo missions in a studio instead. Theorists from all over the world, such as Richard Godwin, author of the novel The Spirits and the article “One giant … lie? Why so many people still think the moon landings were faked,” claim that NASA staged some or all of these events with help from other organizations to fool the public into believing that a man had walked on the moon.

Godwin claims “Kaysing had contributed to the US space programme, albeit tenuous: between 1956 and 1963, he was an employee of Rocketdyne, a company that helped to design the Saturn V rocket engines. In 1976, he self-published a pamphlet called We Never Went to the Moon: America’s Thirty Billion Dollar Swindle, which sought evidence for his conviction utilizing grainy photocopies and ludicrous theories.”

The main evidence for this belief is based on photographs from NASA’s lunar surface exploration missions which show shadows in different directions and light coming from multiple directions, suggesting two sources of light (one natural, one artificial). It also suggests they were taken inside a large studio with a small window providing Earth.

Flat Earth

The Flat Earth theory has gained a lot of traction in recent years. (KENDRA BURDICK/Ethic News Photo)

A lot of people think that the earth is flat and not round as people have always been told. The conspiracy theory is often associated with religious beliefs, such as Christianity and Islam.

The Flat Earth theory was by the ancient Greeks who began the acceptance of the idea of the Earth being ‘flat.’ It had a resurgence during the Middle Ages when Christians were convinced that the earth was flat because they believed that if it wasn’t then there was no way one could reach Heaven.

Stephanie Pappas, writer for the science news site ‘Live Science,’ wrote the article “Are flat-earthers being serious,” explaining that believers of this theory can’t see to the other side because it’s blocked by ice, or that Antarctica is a giant ice wall. Others argue that NASA never went to space and all of its footage is faked. And finally, some say that we’re just living in a simulation and this planet is just one of many in our universe.

Pappas explains further “A fringe society founded in the 1950s, dedicated to insisting that the Earth is flat, has given rise to a modern ground of flat Earth adherents. These believers claim that the Earth is a flat disc and that evidence that it is round — say, pictures taken from space — is an elaborate hoax involving multiple governments. Opinions differ on exactly how the flat Earthworks, with believers concocting elaborate versions of physics and creative interpretations of the solar system to make their theories work.”

The conspiracy that the Earth is flat has been around for centuries, it has never disappeared and it seems that it’s a conspiracy theory that’ll stay for a while.


When people see aircraft flying in the sky, creating a trail of clouds, are they seeing clouds or chemicals? According to ‘Harvard University,’ “Chemtrails refers to the theory that governments or other parties are engaged in a secret program to add toxic chemicals to the atmosphere from aircraft in a way that forms visible plumes in the sky, somewhat similar to contrails.” (KENDRA BURDICK/Ethic News Photo)

Contrails are what are produced by aircraft due to engine exhaust or changes in air pressure. It is composed mostly of water. However, some people believe that this is not the case. 

The Chemtrails conspiracy is a theory that around the mid-1990s. This theory states that the government or, some secret agency, is using aircraft to spray chemicals on the general population.

According to David Keith’s Research Group at Harvard University, some thought motives for the supposed chemtrails are “sterilization, reduction of life expectancy, mind control or weather control”. Some say they poison crops to change stock prices in the economy.

People who believe in this theory state that they can tell the difference between normal contrails and chemtrails. They think that chemtrails linger in the sky longer than contrails. This of course is false.
In a 2016 poll, it was discovered that 30-40% of the United States population believed in the theory. In another 2016 study done by the Washington Post, 76 out of 77 atmospheric scientists found no evidence to support the chemtrail conspiracy.

Area 51

Area 51 is a US Air Force military installation but is known to the media as the location where the US government experiments with and hides supernatural beings. Social media has engrossed Area 51 for years because of the way “It is not accessible to the public and under 24-hour surveillance [and that] those who work fly in and out of a restricted terminal at McCarran International Airport on one of several unmarked planes permitted to fly through the airspace above” according to Britannica.

In 1989, Robert Lazar, an American conspiracy theorist and self-proclaimed physicist, told Las Vegas television reporter George Knapp that he had worked on “extraterrestrial technology inside Area 51” and saw autopsy photographs and reports of aliens within the facility, and also claimed that the government used it not as a military base, but as a place “to examine recovered alien spacecraft.”


The Illuminati conspiracy theory, which began in the 15th century, is a supposed secret organization that is seeking to create a world totalitarian government, assumed by or adopted by various groups of persons who claimed to be unusually enlightened. This government, which would consist of Illuminati members, would have reign over the entire world.

A study done in 2016 showed that 23% of Americans believe in the Illuminati. Theories about who runs the Illuminati vary. 
The Illuminati adopted antique codenames to avoid identification. Weishaupt was ‘Brother Spartacus’, named after the gladiator who headed the insurrection of slaves and kept Rome in terror for three years. Weishaupt aimed to find young zealots – using Freemason lodges as a recruiting ground – and knit them together with secrecy. Initially, anyone over thirty wasn’t trusted.”


The mythological creature, Bigfoot, has been a story told in many ways and cultures. According to Canadians, their term for Bigfoot is Sasquatch, and in Russia, they call it Yeti. Bigfoot is considered to be an “undiscovered hairy humanoid,” according to Natalie Wolchover, a writer for ‘Live Science.’

Mark Mancini, writer and fact checker for the magazine ‘The Week,’ shares “Texas veterinarian Melba S. Ketchum claimed last November to have proved via a Sasquatch DNA sample that the legendary apes are partially human. She even went so far as to insist that the government recognize them as “‘an indigenous people and immediately protect their human and Constitutional rights.’”

Old conspiracy theories that have been around for a while and new ones are all still carried around in people’s minds, all take part in how people as animals with brains and thought show as an outlet for people’s questions and theories that get created in the hemisphere.

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Wordle captivates all ages; ‘I tried it one time and I loved it’


Acquiring all green boxes in a row represents successfully solving the Wordle for the day. (ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News visual)

The web-based word game, Wordle, has captivated both teenagers and adults to challenge themselves with their daily word game. 

The basics

The object of the game is to figure out the five-letter word within six tries in a grid. Upon attempting a word, colored boxes will surround each letter indicating the status of that letter. 

If the box is gray, it means that letter is not used in the word. If the box is yellow, that letter is in the word, but not in the spot where it was placed. If the box is green, that letter was correctly placed. Five green boxes are needed to successfully complete the challenge. 

The New York Times bought the game from creator Josh Wardle on Jan. 31. 

Its popularity 

Despite Wordle seeming to have a fairly basic concept, its accessibility, stimulation, competition and simplicity have allowed the game to garner much popularity. 

Citrus Valley High School sophomore Makenna Buhrow said, “I think Wordle is a great game to improve strategy and critical thinking.”

Wordle’s easy accessibility compared to other word-based games can be attributed to it being a web-based game which doesn’t require an app download. 

Eva Shinnerl, Redlands East Valley High School Advanced Placement Composition and English 101 teacher, plays Wordle with her class most days. She was reading The New York Times online when she first discovered Wordle. 

Shinnerl said, “I read one day that there was this word game that everyone was playing and I like certain types of word games.”

“I tried Wordle one time and I loved it,” continued Shinnerl. 

Anders Carlson, REV senior, first heard about Wordle while listening to the radio on Super Bowl Sunday.

“Usually fourth period rolls around and I play it,” says Carlson. 

He shares that he has gotten around a 94% win streak, thereby indicating that he wasn’t able to solve the Wordle 6% of the time he has played. 

REV senior Noah Snodgrass learned about Wordle from his father. Snodgrass would play everyday and even had a streak for about 40 days. 

Mia Altenbach, REV sophomore, said, “It was during quarantine. I was bored so I got a bunch of word games and that was one of them.” 

In addition to being a brain teaser, Wordle also boosts one’s mental health and can serve as an outlet to free stress. 

Carlson said, “It’s like a release.”

“It just gives me something to focus on,” said Altenbach. 


Many people have different words or strategies that they use when attempting to solve Wordle. Often times, people will begin with a word that has many vowels in order to see which vowels are in the word, if any. 

Buhrow said, “My go-to words are ‘mince’ or ‘teary.'”

Michelle Stover, who teaches AP Chemistry and regular chemistry at Citrus Valley, said, “I always start with either the word ‘route’ to eliminate vowels or ‘alter’ to eliminate consonants common in words.” 

Wordle variations 

The success of Wordle and the attraction to its daily challenge has prompted many variations of the game, especially to quench users’ thirst for more brain-teasers since Wordle only presents one word challenge per day. 

For example, some of the spinoff games amid the multitude of variations are in different languages, such as those in Spanish and French, those specific for math enthusiasts, like Nerdle and Numberle, and even more complex versions, like Absurdle and Sexaginta-quattuordle

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Review: “Heartstopper” puts LGBT representation into a more accurate light


Originally starting as a graphic novel by Alice Oseman, “Heartstoper” has gained traction as a Netflix Original Series that was released on Apr. 22, 2022. The show follows a boy by the name of Charlie Spring and the trials and tribulations of being a gay teen in the Truham Grammar School for Boys.

Consisting of only eight episodes, the story has many forms of LGBTQ+ representation, including same sex couples, closeted LBGT students, and a transgender student. Although they are the main characters, their sexuality does not take over the entirety of their personalities like some other shows trying to show LGBT representation. Each character has a complex relationship with themself and who they are, along with the friendships between them and their classmates. 

One notable character is Elle Argent, a transgender student who recently transfered to the all girls school, Harvey Greene Grammar School for Girls, also know as Higgs. The show depicts her not being accepted and continuously called by her deadname and incorrect pronouns at school, which is a sad reality for many trangender people. 

The show takes place in England and begins with Charlie being in a toxic relationship with a boy named Ben. He had been using Charlie while he was still in the closet, causing a lot of pressure on Charlie making him feel more like an object to Ben than a boyfriend.  

Nick Nelson is then introduced as the tablemate of Charlie in his new form (or homeroom). Nick fits the straight rugby player stereotype and so Charlie is told to abandon his feelings for Nick after confiding in his friends, Elle, Isaac Henderson, and Tao Xu. His relationship with Nick continues and they eventually become close friends as Nick had asked Charlie to join the rugby team for his speed. 

This angers many of the characters including Nick’s friends on the rugby team and leads to many homophobic remarks to be made. This bullying is another sad reality for being an out member of the LGBT community and is more accurately representing than having the token gay kid as a side character trope. 

In the meantime, Elle is at Higgs and she finds a small group of friends, Tara Jones and Darcy Olsson. It is later learned they are a lesbian couple and furthers the representation past just the boys relationship. 

The rugby team, unaware of Tara’s relationship, tries repeatedly to get Nick to go on a date with her, as they kissed when they were younger. But Nick was too preoccupied with questioning his sexuality and developing feelings for Charlie. After taking many “am i gay?” quizzes and researching online, he comes to terms with being bisexual because he developed a crush on Charlie. 

This leads to another common situation where Nick isn’t ready to come out and face the harsh reality of his classmates’ views but still wants to be with Charlie. They are unofficially together  in secret with only telling their close friends who fully accept and respect them. 

Nick begins to bring Charlie around his friends and they then go to see a movie, with the promise that Ben and Harry(the leader of the group that often bullies Charlie) will not be there. Consequently, Henry is there and continues to give Charlie a hard time for being gay which leads to Nick standing up for him and getting in a fight with Harry which ends with Harry being suspended. 

After these events, Nick is ready to come out and officially be Charlie’s boyfriend . There is a very heartwarming scene where Nick’s mother accepts her son and his confession and his relationship with Charlie. 

Although the show has a bit of a happy ending, this is not the end of the story. The graphic novel already goes beyond the show with Nick and Charlie’s relationship and Netflix has announced the show will have 2 more seasons to follow more on their lives.

What’s up with Marvel: What to expect from “Thor: Love and Thunder”


After months of patient waiting from fans, the first trailer for Marvel’s highly anticipated “Thor: Love and Thunder” was finally released to the public on April 18, 2022. Directed by Taika Waititi, the movie is to follow Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth, as he attempts to find peace and lay down his weapons but is forced to return to battle when the God Butcher Gorr, played by Christian Bale, threatens the extinction of the gods.

An alternate poster for the film showing Natalie Portman as the Mighty Thor (Credit to IGN)

The movie takes heavy influence from Jason Aaron and Esad Ribic’s comic run on “Thor: God of Thunder” due to the scene showing Faligar the Behemoth’s corpse being a one for one recreation of the comic book panel. Gorr also originated from this run, and since then he has been widely regarded as one of the best Thor villains to date due to his incredibly dark nature and his somewhat agreeable stance on the virtue of the gods, which Nick Fury even approved of. 

According to Waititi, this might be the same in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), stating “In my humble opinion, we have probably the best villian that Marvel’s ever had in Christian Bale.” (via The Associated Press)

The movie also takes influence off of another Jason Aaron book simply titled “Thor” which is the introduction of Jane Foster as the titular character. The short eight issue story follows Jane as she becomes worthy of the power of the legendary hammer, Mjolnir, after Thor himself becomes unworthy. Alongside fighting mythical beings, Jane is also fighting an ongoing battle against breast cancer, which is ironically prolonged by Mjolnir due to the fact that the radiation from chemotherapy is constantly wiped from her body because of the hammer’s healing properties. It’s unclear how much of the origin is being lifted from the comics, but considering Marvel’s track record, it’s safe to assume that a good chunk will be adapted from the comics.

“Thor: Love and Thunder” is lining up to be a solid entry into the MCU if its inspiration is any indicator and with Waititi at the helm, the movie is set to be fun and wild as any of his other films.

Categories A&E

Review: ‘Wake Me When I’m Free’ multimedia exhibit explores Tupac’s life beyond rap


Located in Los Angeles, California, the Tupac museum experience, “Wake Me When I’m Free,” is a tribute to the late rapper Tupac Shakur and the significance of his life. Not only is this museum filled with amazing visuals and exhibits, but it also shares many of Tupac’s poems, songs and his upbringing.

One of Tupac’s poems displayed in the entrance of the museum. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

This museum was a listening experience and required a headset to listen to Tupac’s music, his interviews, events that took place in his life, and much more. Simply aim the remote at a small sensor and listen to the audio designated with the exhibit.

An example of the remote is displayed in the image on the right. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

As visitors walk through the museum and view these stunning exhibits, they are able to listen to the meaning and background story to each section and also get to take time for photo opportunities. One of my favorite visuals is the painting of Tupac as seen in the middle image above. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

Tupac’s music, poetry and life had a very big impact on the world and has inspired millions of people to express themselves and pursue their dreams. He was a positive role model for people and was a very talented and influential artist. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

One room of the exhibit was filled with a rose scent and displayed falling petals along with with an excerpt from a poem written by Tupac. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

Tupac Shakur was widely known for being one of the best-selling music artists and sold more than 75 million records worldwide. What a majority of people don’t know about Tupac is how he began his music career as a rebel with a cause to fight for injustices endured by people of color. His music brought awareness to injustices, gun control, equality, social injustices, immoral acts and many other world issues. Due to his gangsta rap music aesthetic, a majority of people misunderstood what he stood for and saw him as a bad influence and a nusiance for society and youth.

Growing up, Tupac lived with his mother and his sister and lived a very difficult childhood. His mother, Afeni Shakur, was an American political activist and a previous member of the Black Panther party. Due to being charged with drug possession, Afeni was arrested and pregnant with Tupac while imprisoned. 

Tupac’s childhood included a lot of literature, and also him getting into trouble and involved with the company of criminals. He was exposed to violence at a very young age.

The young artist began rapping at the age of 14 and started making music to project his political view and fight against racial injustices poetically.

Tupac’s music career took off after he studied poetry, theater and music in high school and soon after became a roadie and backup dancer for the rap group Digital Underground in 1990. The growth of his music career and talent was very significant and his legacy still lives  on today even after his life was unjustly taken from him at such a young age.

The museum exhibit features information on Tupac’s mother, Afeni Shakur, and the Black Panther Party. (KAELEE CONTRERAS/ Ethic News photo)

The Decoders Podcast: Talking about the Tupac “Wake Me When I’m Free” Exhibit


7 minute listen

Twenty students from Orangewood High School took a field trip to the Tupac Shakur “Wake Me When I’m Free” Exhibit in Los Angeles on April 27. Carlie Gonzalez, junior, asks Marco Garcia Garcia, junior, and Sydney Hammons, senior, about their experience visiting the exhibit and about Tupac overall.