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. 

Categories A&E

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.

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. 

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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.

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.

Categories A&E

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.

Retro Review: Mobb Deep proves they are the most “infamous”


New York’s legendary Queensbridge duo “Mobb Deep,” consisting of members Prodigy and Havoc, deliver their monstrous second album “The Infamous” released on April 25, 1995, through Loud Records. The album “The Infamous” consists of 16 tracks with a total length of 1 hour and 6 minutes, primarily produced by Havoc, with outside producer and rapper Q-Tip, from the Queens hip hop group “A Tribe Called Quest” contributing as a producer and mixing engineer.

The album has guest appearances ranging from Nas, Raekwon, Ghostface Killah, Q-Tip, Big Noyd and Crystal Johnson. The album is accessible on all streaming platforms and has been labeled with the Parental Advisory sticker by the Recording Industry Association of America because of the explicit content throughout the album.

The album consists of the tracks and preludes:

1. The Start of Your Ending (41st Side)

2. (Infamous Prelude)

3. Survival of The Fittest

4. Eye for a Eye (Your Beef Is Mines) (Feat. Nas & Raekwon)

5. (Just Step Prelude)

6. Give Up The Goods (Just Step) (Feat. Big Noyd)

7. Temperature’s Rising (Feat. Crystal Johnson)

8. Up North Trip

9. Trife Life

10. Q.U. – Hectic

11. Right Back At You (Feat. Ghostface Killah, Raekwon & Big Noyd)

12. (The Grave Prelude)

13. Cradle To The Grave

14. Drink Away The Pain (Situations) (Feat. Q-Tip)

15. Shook Ones Pt. II

16. Party Over (Feat. Big Noyd)

The album’s lead single “Shook Ones Pt. II” was released on February 3, 1995 and an official music video was released on YouTube on Oct. 20, 2013. On “Shook Ones Pt. II,” both rapper’s Prodigy and Havoc define somebody who’s shook or fearful when confronted with a dangerous situation. Following the album’s lead single, “Survival Of The Fittest” was released on May 29, 1995, “Temperature’s Rising” was released Sept. 18, 1995 and “Give Up The Goods (Just Step)” was released on Jan. 22, 1996. The consecutive singles have an official music video released onto YouTube.

Havoc was interviewed by HipHopDX on April 25, 2020, for the 25th anniversary of The

Infamous, reflecting on how impactful the album was on their lives, the influence the album had on hip-hop culture and their life experiences shaping and molding the creative process during the creation of the album.

Havoc says, “Yeah, I have to say that. I don’t know if that sounds cliche as to whatever it is, but if it wasn’t for that album, I wouldn’t be talking 25 years later about it. So I would have to say that that is definitely my favorite album for more reasons than one.”  

“Go Ask Alice” remedies reading rush


“Based on a true story” is often used to describe events to add dramatic effect to a story or moral.  However, the term itself is not always genuine, as the definition of the term can be very loose and leading. 

The story of the book “Go Ask Alice ” uses this term for its advantages.  The story entirely takes place through journal entries of an unnamed female character, and her descent into the world of drug use and abuse.  The story has dark themes of drug use, sexual assault and death.

This story starts with an unnamed teenage woman who receives a diary as a gift, which she uses regularly to write about how she feels about herself and the world around her.  One day, when she decides to go to a party the woman was invited to, the people of the party decide to give the young woman psychedelic drugs without her knowing.  This was a major turning point for the woman, as she turned to a life of drugs and the effects they bring to a person’s life.  

Beatrice Sparks published “Go Ask Alice” in 1971 and has since been frequently challenged as a banned book. (CYRUS ENGELSMAN/ Ethic News photo)

The remainder of this article will contain spoilers for the book. 

The book itself has had a lot of controversy because of readers questioning the legitimacy of the story and how it is portrayed.  In the middle of the book, the woman loses her diary, and gives journal entries with any paper material she could find, napkins, paper bags, and other items of that regard.  

This itself has raised many questions, who recovered the notes? When did the notes take place?  These questions have made readers question how real the book itself is. 

Another reason readers question the legitimacy of the book is because the book’s genre is considered a Young Adult Fiction, despite the book claiming being “A Real Diary.”  

Despite the rumors and theories of the legitimacy of the story, the moral and themes of substance abuse and sexual assault are still relevant to this day for many despite the book being over 50 years old.

At the end of the book, immediately after another journal entry, the reader is left to discover that the young woman has died, presumably, from a drug overdose.  Though the cause of death is not explicitly said, this death is sudden and emotional.  

After hearing the young women’s struggles with abuse, sexual assaut, and the life of an adolescent away from home, all stemming from an addiction to drugs, it sets a fear into the readers mind. A fear that is still real and many have to this day.

This book is a hard read from start to finish, but has an important message about drugs and their effect on someone’s life.  The reason the book is hard to read is because it felt very real, like a real person one could know and understand.  This book is recommended if the reader can handle uncomfortable topics.  Despite the difficult topics and themes, the story has an important message on the world and the people on it.  

As the main character of the story would say, “Why is life so difficult? Why can’t we be just ourselves and have everyone accept us the way we are?”  

Coachella doesn’t disappoint after 2 year hiatus


On Friday, April 15, the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival kicked off its first weekend. This is the first weekend since 2019 the festival has commenced because of COVID-19 restrictions. Some of the biggest names performing this year include Billie Eilish, Phoebe Bridgers, Harry Styles, Doja Cat, Megan Thee Stallion and Swedish House Mafia returning.

 The Spectra building returns with beautiful colors alongside the Coachella Ferris Wheel at night.  (Courtesy of Vivienne Igbinosun)

One of the headliners of the festival, Kanye West, publicly pulled out of Coachella just over a week before he was set to perform. The Weeknd joined the artists as a last-minute fill-in for West. Swedish House Mafia performed alongside the Weeknd, exactly ten years after the group first performed at Coachella.

Harry Styles headlined the festival for the first time, just two months before his third album release. During his set, he brought out singer Shania Twain to perform and sang two brand new songs of his own. Just last month, Doja Cat announced she will be retiring from music after eight years. The singer did honor her commitment to the festival as she had been set to perform for quite some time. This is the tip of the iceberg of all the memorable moments the festival has held this year.

With a diverse lineup and new big names, this festival has been a memorable one. Another detail to note is the rise in popularity some artists have experienced since 2019. For example, Doja Cat was one of the biggest names this year while in 2019 the singer was just on the rise. Italian band Maneskin also made their Coachella debut this year and performed a song that was made in support of Ukraine. Some familiar faces who did not make a return to the festival include Tame Impala, Childish Gambino and Ariana Grande. Likewise, the festival provided new faces and new debuts.

Another event returning this year was the Revolve Festival. This is a festival that happens at the same time as Coachella held by the online retailer Revolve. At the festival, influencers can shop and enjoy music and art. This event is invite-only, meaning that only influencers the brand personally invites can attend this event. Some of the most prominent people in attendance include the Kardashian-Jenner family, Leonardo DiCaprio, Timothee Chalamet and more household names.

This year, the festival also provided many critics. Many attendees of the Revolve event have commented on long lines, shuttle timing and even comparison to “Fyre Festival.” Fyre Festival was a 2017 festival that gained a negative reputation and met an ill fate. On a lighter note, the festival was a great start to returning to “normal” life. After two years of COVID-19 restrictions, the festival was a turning point in returning to normality.

‘The Batman’ raises the bar of comic book movies


Warning: This review has spoilers.

When it comes to comic book movies, no character has had a better track record than Bruce Wayne, better known as Batman. From Tim Burton’s 1989 adaptation simply titled Batman, a film that shot the defender of Gotham into worldwide popularity, to Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, which revolutionized the comic book genre and gave one of if not the greatest comic book film of all time in The Dark Knight.

Matt Reeves’s The Batman can be added to the caped crusader’s repertoire of great comic book films, giving a gritty detective film featuring the world’s greatest detective that is beautifully shot, well acted, and genuinely refreshing in a genre that is slowly being filled by more and more mediocre films.

Like any great comic book films, The Batman took influence from many great Batman comics and it shows. The film prominently took from Batman: Year One, a four issue series detailing the beginning of Bruce Wayne’s escapades as the dark night, and Batman: The Long Halloween, which takes place in Batman’s second year of crime fighting, like the film, and follows him trying to hunt down the allusive Holiday Killer.

Year One’s influence in The Batman is noticeable from the start, as the film depicts Bruce early on as Batman showing how he’s still learning the ropes when it comes to being Batman and how he’s not quite as competent as Bale or Keaton’s rendition just yet. This take on Batman is incredibly interesting as it shows him making mistakes, like how he crashed into a bridge while fleeing the cops. Mistakes like that give Batman a sense of relatability and are a good way to show that Batman is still human and still makes mistakes.

The Long Halloween’s influence on the film is far more prevalent to the point where the first issue of the book was handed out in some theaters across the country. Both the book and the film dive into the relationship Bruce Wayne’s parents had with the mob boss Carmine Falcone, called “The Roman” in the book. This dynamic proposes the idea that the Wayne family weren’t always good people and explores how Bruce would react to that which is handled very well in both the film and the book. There are also some scenes from this film that are one-to-one recreations of comic panels like Catwoman and Batman’s first meeting, where in both the film and book Batman discovers Catwoman stealing information about Falcone. The Long Halloween is one of Batman’s greatest books and if you have any interest in the comics, it is a must read.

Outside of the previously mentioned comics, the love for the world of Batman and him as a character is seen very clearly in Matt Reeve’s direction. His impressive attention to detail can be seen in his interpretation of Gotham, depicting it as a cesspool of crime and corruption where it feels like Batman is the only solution to this problem. The love for the Batman mythos is also clearly on display in the screenplay, written by Peter Craig and Matt Reeves, due to how well each character is fleshed out and written. The Penguin is a good example of this, as he is generally seen as the comic relief character but still works very well in the world and doesn’t stick out too much.

Speaking of the characters, every single performance in the film was steller and perfectly encapsulated each of the character’s comic counterparts. The lead role in the film is of course Robert Pattinson as Bruce Wayne/Batman. Pattinson’s portrayal of Batman is fantastic, delivering a genuinely terrifying and intimidating version of the character using mostly subtle facial expressions, mainly with his eyes. His Bruce Wayne is also very interesting, because of how broody and simply edgy he is as opposed to the cocky, playboy persona that is put on in most interpretations.

Another standout performance in the film is Paul Dano as the Riddler, which is pretty surprising because the character is usually portrayed as a pretty goofy character in most media. This is completely changed with Reeve’s writing and Dano’s acting, giving an incredibly terrifying and very unique take on the character. Dano’s riddler is a perfect villain for this film, a shut-in orphan who believes he is helping Gotham by being its “vengeance” by brutally and publicly executing corrupt officials and causing overall mass terror becuase he looks up to Batman. This pushes Batman to realize he must not only be the city’s sword, but also its shield. Dano is usually a standout actor in any film he’s in and that is no different here, where he perfectly plays this psychopathic character with his eerie and creepy performance making him feel like a genuinely good horror villain as opposed to a standard, basic supervillain.

The only issue with the movie for some are its pacing which is very similar to Blade Runner 2049, meaning that movements by the character’s are made intentionally slow to build suspense. While this kind of pacing does put some members of the audience on the edge of their seats, some could be taken out of the movie due to the runtime.

Overall, The Batman is an amazing comic book film and one of the best adaptations of Batman to date, giving an excellent early years story for the dark knight with amazing writing, cinematography, and performances to boot. Hopefully The Batman will push comic book films to create enthralling stories like this in the future.

Revealing the truth about fairy tales


For a very long time, authors and screenwriters have rewritten the original fairy tales that taught lessons and didn’t have the happiest ending for the characters. Though these fairy tales might be gruesome compared to the cushiness that people are used to, they teach precepts and it’s important to know where some of the most famous fairy tales come from.

The book “Snow White” was originally written by the Grimm brothers, Jacob and Wilhelm, in 1812. This story was retold for a more PG revision by Disney in 1952. (KENDRA BURDICK/ Ethic News photo)


The story of Pocahontas is already embedded in United States history, but many people don’t know the truth behind the animated Disney glamour. John Smith made his way to America, he was in his 30’s. 

Pocahontas, 10-year-old or 12-year-old, and Smith actually never had a romantic relationship. She was kidnapped and then forced to marry John Rolfe, an Englishman. Then, she was forced to convert her name to Rebecca and her religion to Christianity. Unlike the Disney’s version, an unknown cause led her to her death in her 20s.

“She lives on through her own people, who are still here today, and through the descendents of her two sons,” says the article “Pocahontas: Her Life and Legend” of the National Park Service.


Named after the goddess of old, the sea witch Ursula gets visited by the little mermaid. She makes the mermaid a deal to exchange her voice and tongue for legs. The only way to get them back is to win over the prince’s affection. 

In the real version, the mermaid doesn’t get a happy ending with her prince and he marries someone else. Heartbroken, the mermaid gets an ultimatum, she must kill the prince in order to live. Even after agreeing, it’s too hard of a deed for her and she ends up not going through with it. 

The e-paper “Sunday Chronicle,” written by Deccan Chronicle, states, “She eventually dissolves into foam. But as her spirit floats in the sky, she gains a soul by having to carry out good deeds for 300 years.”

Snow White

Snow White’s tale begins with her mother, the original queen, sewing in the winter. Disney decided to not add-in this scene. According to Grunge, a news site that reveals the truth about misunderstood stories, the main reason for Disney not adding the fact that the new queen (the Evil Queen) is a witch is because they didn’t want to scare children and they also had a fear of upsetting religious people.

Grunge says, “It’s a bit surprising Disney didn’t mention this, since nowadays they’re notorious for hitting you in the face with dead parents in many of their films.” 

As the story goes, Snow White meets the seven dwarves and lives with them. The huntsman is sent after her and she meets him while picking apples.

The huntsman puts his knife over Snow White’s heart but then she begins to beg and plead for her life. Similar to the animated story, the huntsman spears her life because of her beauty. Also, in the original tale, he thinks to himself that an animal will eat her soon and do his job for him. 

He takes the queen a pig’s lung and liver to provide evidence that he had done his deed. But the queen finds out that the organs are fakes and non-human so she decides to take matters into her own hands.

In the movie, the queen tries only once, but in the original tale, she tries three times. First, she makes her alias as an elderly woman and convinces Snow White that she’s selling bodices. Snow White allows the disguised queen to help her try them on, and the queen tightens the laces so Snow White cannot breathe. The queen flees, the dwarfs save her and she lives.

The queen makes her second attempt by dressing as an old woman who is selling combs. Snow White tests the comb, which turns out to be poisoned, and it paralyzes her. Snow White gets saved again by the dwarfs, removing the poisoned comb just before it would have killed her. Then, the queen tries to kill her with the poisoned apple which Disney did add into the movie, which the dwarfs had not saved her from.

At this time, the prince and Snow White have had no contact with each other, but the prince randomly had met the seven dwarfs. They tell him the story of what they had been through. 

Sometime after Snow White fell under the death of the apple, he requested to see her because “he can’t live without looking upon her beauty.” Once he sees her, he makes his servants pick up her coffin and then carry it to the castle.

One of the servants that were tasked with carrying Snow White’s coffin, tips and drops the corpse dislodging the chunk of the poisoned apple that was stuck in her throat the entire time. There was no magic kiss like in the Disney version. But, she gains life, meets the prince for the first time and agrees to marry him.

As for the happy ending, the prince accidentally invites the queen to the wedding. When he realizes his mistake, he gives his guards orders to make her dance with iron shoes that were heated until they’re red hot. 

Another twist from the original tale is that Snow White is seven-years-old for the entire story, thus she meets the prince when she is a child.

Grunge says, “He [the prince] basically wants to wander off with a seven-year-old’s corpse. And then when she wakes up, he marries her!”


The story of Cinderella is not what it seems. For starters, Cinderella’s father doesn’t die but he does help embarrass Cinderella with the stepsisters and stepmother. Cinderella goes to her mother’s grave and says a prayer to the headstone. Instead of a fairy godmother, the gown and slippers just appear on her, making it seem like a gift from her exanimate mother. Her family doesn’t recognize her when she attends the festival, not a ball. 

This is where the prince falls in love, but like the Disney film, she does lose her slipper. When the prince looks for her, the stepsisters cut their feet to fit into the slipper. Due to finding blood in the slipper, he figures out that they know who the mystery girl is. 

Cinderella and the prince have their happy ending, but the stepsisters don’t. They ask Cinderella for a favor and birds peck out their eyes.

Fairy tales have been around for centuries and are still being told to children. They teach lessons about life and give warnings about bad behavior. The original versions of these stories have been censored from children’s books, TV shows and movies which deprives people from learning the original tale and its lessons.

Wildcat artists place at San Bernardino County art show


Several Redlands East Valley High School students received recognition for their art on March 15.

The Young Artists Gallery Reception is an annual event hosted by the San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools and Riverside Inyo Mono San Bernardino

California Arts Project in association with The Arts Education Network.  

A total of 27 schools entered the competition and 177 pieces of art were judged for the event.  The categories of the show were drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, digital art, comic art, ceramics, mixed media and film/animation.  

Out of the 177 pieces of art juried at the show, there were four winners from REV. 

“Living in life, that’s probably the best inspiration that I get,” says second place winner REV sophomore Mia Altenbac said. “Things that just come naturally I find inspiration from that.” 

The following art pieces are the winners from REV.  The winners were also recognized at REV’s spring rally on April 8.

Redlands East Valley High School student Jay Gutierrez, third place winner, sends in this piece for the art category. (Courtesy of Tracy Massimiano)

Redlands East Valley High School senior Luke Loomis wins second place with a ceramic cup for the competition. (Courtesy of Tracy Massimiano)

Second place winner Mia Altenbach has her digital art piece sent in for the competition. (Courtesy of Tracy Massimiano)

First place winner and Redlands East Valley sophomore, Matthew Thorig, displays their drawing piece.  (Courtesy of Tracy Massimiano)

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness official trailer


The official trailer for the movie “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” was released on Feb. 13, 2022, after a commercial was released during the 56th Annual Superbowl. The official trailer is two minutes and 17 seconds long and was originally in “Spider-Man No Way Home” second post credit scene. Marvel Studios later released the teaser trailer on Dec. 22, 2021 that spanned for two minutes and 11 seconds. It will be directed by Sam Rami who has also directed all the Tobey Migure Spiderman movies.

The official poster for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (Credit to Marvel Studios)

“Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness” will be released on May 6, 2022 and will focus on the multiverse that has been mentioned in some Marvel movies and shows, such as “Loki, Spider-Man: No Way Home” and “What If.” The multiverse is described as alternative universities which share a universal hierarchy.

Actor Benedict Cumberbatch will be playing Doctor Strange (Stephen Strange). In the trailer, it has been confirmed that Supreme Strange will be in the movie. Supreme Strange is an evil, more powerful version of Doctor Strange. Supreme Strange was introduced in the Marvel Show, “What If.”  

Actress Elizabeth Olson, who plays The Scarlet Witch (Wanda Maxmioff), will also be in Multiverse of Madness. The Marvel Cinematic Universe will also be introducing comic character America Chavez played by actress Xochitl Gomez.

Categories A&E

Citrus Valley hosts 2022 prom fashion show


Lights, Camera, Wonderland. 

On March 18 2022, Citrus Valley High School’s Associative Student Body put on their annual prom fashion show; however this year there was a twist. At the show, all information including the prom theme, date, ticket prices, and location were released.  

Citrus Valley’s prom theme was released by ASB senior secretary,  Miyah Lopez and social member, Bella Moreno, opening a banner that displayed “Ace: a Night of Wonder.” 

The theme is based off of the fictional story of Alice in Wonderland, specifically the characters the King and Queen of Hearts. 

Prom is scheduled to take place at Desert Willow Golf Course from 7-11 p.m. 

The fashion show itself contained seven groups, three couples and, a new addition to the show this year, four groups of three. 

The show began at the beginning of lunch in front of the E-building with the masters of ceremonies Senior Pep commissioner  Elise Kollar and Junior President Sydney Hageali gathering students around the runway. From there the first couple, senior model Ariana Nelson and senior model Landon Campos, were announced. 

After each couple or group made their way down the runway, they split at the end of the risers and each hit three poses. They then came back together and performed a handshake. Each handshake was unique, from twirls to dips to even money flying into the crowd. 

Trio senior model Sierra Alexi, senior model Wendy Gonzalez, and senior model Luchiano Swidan utilized real money during their handshake as the three of them threw a combined total of $100 in fives into the crowd. 

Students where able to grab and keep the money that was thrown into the crowd (BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic News)

Alexi stated that, “I remember when we first threw money, it was unexpected because the whole crowd was just standing there stunned but then the realization and excitement kicked in and they started running to get the money.” 

The stage itself was ornately decorated in the theme “Deck of Cards,” as all four styles of playing cards were used. The runway was lined with cards as well as a black carpet to match the color theme of black, white, red, and gold. Cards were scattered over the windows that provided the backdrop to the runway, as well as on the poles that hung over and next to the stage. 

Balloons played a key factor in the show as three were placed on each side of the runway as well as a massive balloon arch in the theme colors that flew above the stage. 

During the reveal of the theme, single bouquets of balloons were brought out to be given to the audience. Hand decorated crowns were also brought out with the balloons. On the crowns the theme name was front and center, and students were able to wear them for the remainder of the school day. 

Clothing for the show was provided both by the sponsor Men’s Wearhouse, as well as personal items each model had at home. Men’s Wearhouse provided the show with six suits. Each boy that was provided a suit was able to choose from any of the selections that the store provided them. 

This year was the first year ASB utilized fully volunteered models. (BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic News)

Steve Guiterrez, a senior that walked in the first ever boy trio, “They [Mens Wearhouse employees] treated us kindly even though it was completely sponsored by them, they treated us with respect and they made sure we were fitted and knew how to get dresses without their help.” 

Model include: Ariana Nelson, Landon Campos, Brody Moss, Madisen Habchi, Jakob Ibarra Garcia, Maddie Hernandez, Ryan Hill, Andrew Castillo, Jacob Weber, Emily Reyes, Chloe Cousineau,  Eddie Barajas, Aaron Roque, Peter Rodriguez, Steve Gutierrez Flores, Abby Gonzalez, Sierra Alexi, Luchiano Swidan, Emily Walos, Paige King, Miyah Lopez, Bella Moreno (BELLA ESPINOZA/Ethic News)

Rewind review: Top 21 flicks for teens to stream from 2021


With the 2022 Oscars that went live March 27, some teenagers are rewatching some films from 2021.

 “My favorite movie from last year was Spiderman because it was a marvel action movie,” stated by Ryan Bhatti, freshman from Redlands East Valley High School. 

“Encanto is my favorite movie of 2021 because of its good quality, the music, and the culture,” said REV junior, Abigail Key. 

Below is a list of the best movies for the teenage demographic to rewatch.

Numbers shown for each movie indicate worldwide gross amount according to Box Office Mojo.  

#1 Spiderman: No Way Home 

Box office: $1.776 billion

Peter Parker faces new threats with his identity as spiderman now out in the public. Going to Doctor Strange for help creates a bigger problem when the multiverse breaks and villains from different universes start affecting his life. 

Where to watch: Currently still in many movie theaters; will be available on Starz in upcoming months 

#2 No Time to Die 

Box office: $774.2 million

The newest James Bond film is a continuation of the specter movie in 2015. James bond comes back to 007 to find a bio weapon that is threatening to create a mass genocide.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu

#3 Venom: Let There be Carnage 

Box office: $502.1 million

When Eddie Brock interviews a death row inmate, a piece of venom gets attached to the insane criminal which creates carnage. Carnage creates chaos while seeking revenge for a past lover. 

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu

#4 Godzilla v. Kong

Box office: $468.2 million – In this film, two of the most iconic monsters in cinema history face off for the first time on screen. The film takes place on a fictional island called Farou Island where King Kong has been living since his last bout with civilization in New York City. When Godzilla emerges from hibernation, he heads straight for King Kong’s home on Faroe Island to fight him again.

Where to watch: Hulu, YouTube, Vudu

#5 Dune 

Box office: $399 million – “Dune is a science fiction movie based on the book series “Dune,” were a young man with a gift must travel to different planets in order to save his family and people. And while trying to survive with his mother, he realizes that his dreams are his future reality.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu

#6  Shang-Chi 

Box office: $360 million – Shang-Chi is a Marvel superhero, who first appeared in Special Marvel Edition #15 (1974). This film, released on September 3, 2021, follows Shang-Chi as he trains with his father to take revenge on the man who killed his mother and father. Shang-Chi is a martial artist who has superhuman abilities like super strength, speed, agility and reflexes.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney+

#7 Black Widow 

Box office: $379.6 million

Natasha Romanoff or Blck Widow fights alongside her family to take down the leader of the black widow program which brain washes women into killing machines. 

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney+

#8 Eternals 

Box office: $300 million – The film follows the story of a group of people who are born with special abilities and are known as “The Eternals”. When there is a threat to humanity, they must work together to save their race.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney+

#9 Free Guy 

Box office: $331.5 million – Normal bank teller realizes that his normal life was actually a video game. When he realizes that no one’s going to save the day, he steps up into the role. Decides to be the hero in his own story.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu and will be available on Disney+ this month

#10 Sing 2 

Box office: $293.1 million – Sing 2 is a sequel to the 2016 film Sing. It follows the adventures of Buster Moon (a koala), Rosita (a pig) and Johnny (a mouse) as they try to save their theater from being bought by an evil corporation. They sing and work together to save the theater.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu

#11 Encanto 

Box office: $233.9 million – A family that was given a gift when they were going through their worst. Every member has their own special ability that’s connected to the magical house,  except Mirabel. When their house begins to die, she’s the one to break it and rebuild it into something better.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney+

#12 Cruella 

Box office: $233.2 million – The film stars Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil and explains how fashion can cause blood to spill. A revengous woman, working for the woman who killed her mother, takes on the task of outshining her boss while under cover.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney+

#13 Jungle Cruise 

Box office: $220.9 million – In the film, a group of scientists is on a mission to find the source of a new and deadly virus. They are looking for answers in an area where there have been no human settlements for decades. The only thing that they know about this area is from satellite images and old maps. The film has all the elements of a classic adventure movie with twists and turns around every corner.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney+

#14 Ghostbuster: Afterlife 

Box office: $196.7 million – Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2021 is a sequel to Ghostbusters 2020. The film follows the members of the original Ghostbusters squad as they work to stop a new team of ghosts from destroying New York City in 2025. In Ghostbusters: Afterlife 2021, there’s a new generation of ghosts who are out for revenge and want to destroy New York City. The film follows the original Ghostbusters squad as they work to stop this new team of ghosts from destroying New York City in 2025.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu


The Matrix Resurrection 

Box office: $153 millionIn this sequel to The Matrix (1999), Neo (Keanu Reeves) discovers that his role as The One implies greater responsibility than he ever imagined in a computer-generated virtual reality known as “the Matrix.” In order to save Zion–the last human city–Neo must defeat a powerful artificial intelligence program called Agent Smith (Jonathan Groff). Neo wakes up, but he doesn’t remember anything about his life or who he really is.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, Apple TV, Amazon prime video, Vudu

#16 Space Jam 

Box office: $162.8 million – Professional basketball player, Lebron James, and his son get stuck in a digital world. In order to get home safely, he must team up with the Looney Tunes to defeat the rogue AI in a basketball game.

Where to watch:  Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Youtube tv, HBO max, Google play movies and tv

#17 Halloween kills

Box office: $131.6 million – Halloween Kills 2021 is a horror film that was released in 2020. The movie is about a group of friends who are all invited to a Halloween party by their friend, but when they get there, they find out that the night has been planned by the murderer who killed their friend.

Where to watch: Youtube, appleTV, Amazon Prime video, and Vudu

#18 Old 

Box office: $90.1 million – A tropical family trip turns into a thriller that has them running out of time. They find out that the beach that they’re staying at is causing them to age drastically. The entire family only has one day to live.

Where to watch:Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu

#19 Luca $49.8 million – A little boy that’s bound to the sea, meets a boy that has no fear and helps him go on land. With the two of them ending up in a competition with a creative girl teammate, staying away from water to keep their secret gets difficult.

Where to watch: Apple TV, Amazon prime video, YouTube, Google play movie and TV, Vudu, Disney plus

#20 Don’t Look Up $784,681

Don’t Look Up is a sci-fi thriller, starring Leonardo DiCaprio. The film follows the story of an engineer who has created a device that can predict the future. The story is set in 2021 and focuses on the dangers of predictive analytics and how it can be used to manipulate people’s lives.

Where to watch: Netflix

#21 Red Notice $178,143

The world’s second best jewelry thief clashes against an FBI agent and the world’s number one thief to try and find egypts lost Cleopatra’s eggs. Facing many obstacles they must work together and trust each other to get the treasure.

Where to watch: Netflix  

Daniel craig in 2021’s newest bond film, came out in october 8th 2021

Staring Timothee chalamet, Dune came out on october 22, 2021

The new Venom movie starring Tom Hardy, came out on October 1, 2021

Lights, camera, action: what Wildcat & eAcademy performers have to say about Spring Showcase


The Redlands East Valley High School theater department presented its Spring Showcase on Friday, March 11. While the department traditionally performs a musical in the spring, this year they decided on a showcase in which students were allowed to perform and collaborate on acts of their choosing. 

The show consisted of many scenes from popular movies and tv shows including “Mean Girls” and “Victorious” as well as acts from acclaimed musicals such as “Hamilton” and “In the Heights.” 

“My favorite part has been working with my friends, and seeing how talented everyone is. Getting to act is amazing, but my favorite part [is] having fun with other actors,” said Connor Bromberger, a senior at REV. 

REV senior ​​Leilani Baldwin said, “The people are so supportive and loving. Needless to say, they are some of the most fun people I know.”

Many of these acts required students to work together creatively for weeks. 

Grace Castell, a senior at REV, said her favorite part about the showcase “has to be working with my friends. There’s never a dull moment with them.”

Bella Mia Fraley, a freshman at Redlands E-Academy said, “Being on stage, the lights, the sounds, it’s all so fun, and I hope I can do more productions with this school in the future.”

While preparing for the showcase was full of excitement, performers admit that the process was stressful at times. 

Nina Brown, a freshman at E-academy said, “The preparation process has been really stressful, but also really fun. It’s always fun to go to rehearsal and practice.”

Ella Fletcher, a senior at REV, said the showcase was “definitely a little stressful, but that is always a part of performing onstage because performers care so much that what you see onstage is as perfect as possible.”

(From left down to right down) Evie O’Brien, Lizeth Lopez, Rose Blatchley, Ella Fletcher, Dana Hatar and Megan Rimmer starred in Ex Wives from “Six” the musical. Their performance was the closing act of the night. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Junior Evie O’Brien (left) and senior Connor Bromberger (right) stand next to each other with weaponry during their portrayal of Henry vs his Demons. (ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News photo)

The actors and actresses of the showcase had their own unique individual experiences. Behind the scenes, the tech and stage crew had their own experiences as well.

eAcademy freshman Dakarai Marshall said “I have learned a lot more than I expected, such as using power tools. I have had fun learning these life lessons and skill sets that I will benefit from forever.”

Moments before the show, the cast sits around the set patiently waiting to be called by the tech crew for their last mic check. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ Ethic News photo)

Liliana Arroyo (left) and Lelanie Baldwin (right), two of the soloists of the night, pose for a picture outside of the theater room.  Arroyo performed “Hopelessly Devoted To You” from Grease while Baldwin performed “Breathe” from In the Heights. (ALISSON BERMUDEZ/ Ethic News photo)

(ISAAC MEJIA/ Ethic News video)

For some students, the Spring Showcase marked the beginning of their theatrical career at REV. However, for seniors, the showcase was the last time that they would set foot on the Blackstone Theater Stage and perform in front of a live audience.

Fletcher said, “I am happy to be a part of this production, but it is a little bittersweet. I do wish it was a full show though, but I’m happy to be involved!”

“It’s a surreal feeling to know this is the last time I will walk on and off of the Blackstone Theater stage as an attending REV student, ” said Baldwin. “I had grown so much in my craft in this very building.”

 “I do wish we could have done an actual play, but having the freedom to create a scene on our own is still just as great,” Catell said. “As long as I have fun and get to be with my friends, then I don’t mind! I will miss all the people I got to work with once I graduate though.”

What’s up with Marvel? Moon Knight enters the Marvel Cinematic Universe


An image of advertising for Moon Knight. Moon Knight premieres March 30 only on Disney+ (Credit to Disney+ and Marvel)

Marvel Studios published the first trailer for the show “Moon Knight,” the next installment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe on Jan. 17. The show will follow Steven Grant, played by Oscar Issac, as he battles with dissociative identity disorder, also known as DID, and eventually becomes the fist of Khonshu, Moon Knight.

Moon Knight first appeared in issue #32 of Doug Moench’s “Werewolf by Night” in 1975 and it wouldn’t be until 1980 where he would get his first solo series, which laid out the groundwork for his character in the comics. Moon Knight started as the mercenary Marc Spector who was fatally wounded by his employer, Raul Bushman, and then revived by the spirit of the egyptian moon god Khonshu. 

After he was resurrected and beat down Bushman, Spector developed DID which led to the development of his three alter egos—the taxi driver Jake Lockley, the billionaire Steven Grant and the vigilante Moon Knight. 

Steven’s DID is a major point of contention for fans, considering the fact that its portrayal could make or break a story. With the show reportedly taking inspiration from Jeff Lemire’s 2016 run on Moon Knight, which had explored Marc’s mental state and made the reader question what was real or not. 

The exact details about the characters alter egos in the show is unknown but it is known that Steven Grant will not be a billionaire in the adaptation. Instead, he will be a mild-mannered gift shop employee who wants nothing of what’s happening to him. It’s unknown if his origin from the comics will be adapted into the show, but it’s an extremely safe assumption that the show will follow a similar story, at least with Khonshu.

For the antagonists of the show, Marvel had decided to dig for some rather obscure villains from their comic book history, starting with the main antagonist Arthur Harrow played by Ethan Hawke.

In the comics, Arthur Harrow was a Nobel Prize candidate due to his work in medicine and was set to win the prize if he wasn’t caught with secret Auschwitz-Birkenau documents that he stole to cure his trigeminal neuralgia, which paralyzed the whole left side of his face. He then decided to kidnap subjects to experiment on and someday cure his paralysis before he was eventually stopped by Moon Knight.

The strangest thing about Marvel’s choice to pick Harrow is the fact that the character appeared in only one issue from volume #2 of “Moon Knight” and was never seen again. Judging by the trailer, the character seems extremely different from his comic counterpart where he seems to be a leader of a cult-like group, not a Nobel Prize winning scientist.

The other known antagonist for the series is the Midnight Man played by the late Gaspard Ulliel. Midnight Man, or Anton Mogart, first appeared in “Moon Knight #3” is Moon Knight’s direct counterpart, a thief who’s shtick is that they only appear at midnight. The character’s role in the show is currently unknown so there is no telling how much about the character will be lifted from the comics.

Moon Knight premieres March 30 on Disney+. It is described to be one of the more brutal entries to the MCU and is “the first legitimate Marvel character-study since ‘Iron Man’” according to Oscar Issac.

Review: Disney’s ‘Encanto’ showcases Colombian culture through music and appearances


Disney’s “Encanto” is a fantasy film taking place in Colombia that was released on Nov. 21, 2021. “Encanto” tells the story of the Madrigals, an extraordinary family with magical gifts, and one Madrigal who wasn’t given a gift. The movie revolves around Mirabel, and what happens when she notices that the miracle, the reason that the family has gifts, is slowly beginning to die.

The showcase of Colombian culture was extremely successful through matters of appearances of not only the characters but their Encanto, their refuge, as well. Colombian culture is also showcased through other things such as the movie’s cast, music and colors. 

The family’s Casita, their home, is set in an “Encanto” as the family called it, located in the Colombian mountains. Their home’s location ensures that the family will never be faced with the danger of an invasion that sent Abuela Alma and Abuelo Pedro fleeing from their home 50 years earlier. This invasion caused Pedro’s death and the birth of the family’s miracle.

Disney’s “Encanto,” meaning enchantment, presents the Madrigals, an extraordinary family of 12 with magical powers. (Credit to Walt Disney Pictures)

Present-day, the family has grown with six children between Alma and Pedro’s triplets Julieta, Pepa and Bruno. The family was introduced during the first song of the movie, “The Family Madrigal” sung by Abuela’s fifth grandchild, Mirabel (Stephanie Beatriz).

In the song, she maps out their family of 12 and their powers. She explains the triplets Pepa (Carolina Guitan) whose moods affect the weather, Bruno (John Leguizamo) who can tell the future but who also disappeared and Julieta (Angie Cepeda) who can heal with food. 

Pepa is married to Felix (Mauro Castillo) and has three children, Dolores (Adassa) who has super hearing, Camilo (Rhenzy Feliz) who can shapeshift, and Antonio (Ravi Cabot-Conyers) who is yet to get a gift later that night. 

Julieta is married to Agustin (Wilmer Valderrma) and also have three children, Isabella (Diane Guerrero) who can grow flowers, Luisa (Jessica Darow) who has super-strength and Mirabel who is the only Madrigal child without a gift. 

Much color and structure are showcased in the four-minute song. The colorful embroidery on the family’s clothing and within their hometown embodies the color used in cultural clothing in Colombia. Not only this, but the structural aspect of the town replicates actual towns within Colombian cities, big and small. Strong and bold colors that are used in the movie’s town are used within real Colombian cities such as Bogota.

The characters’ appearances are the most important aspect to the movie’s cultural background. The character’s skin tones, eye colors and hair textures vary. They show how different Colombians can look and prove that the idea of Hispanic alike is not only brown skin and brown eyes. Pepa is light-skinned and has green eyes, Julieta has brown-skin and dark brown eyes, and Bruno has darker skin and light brown eyes showing the varying looks, genetically, of Colombians and other Hispanics.  

Along with the character appearances, the entire cast of the movie is one of the most diverse casts in a Disney movie. The casting was specific to each character, following a different cultural background than a typical Disney movie. Typically, Disney movies have characters of European descent, rather than those of Hispanic, black or native descent.

During Antonio’s gift ceremony, the whole town celebrates with the Madrigals and is not limited to just the relatives. The ceremony is an important aspect of Colombian culture. In every region of Colombia, any and all achievements are celebrated with big parties where it’s common for the family, big or small, to invite the entire village to celebrate with them. 

After some time spent within the family’s Casita and at Antonio’s gift ceremony, the next song of the movie, “Waiting on a Miracle,” is presented by Mirabel. Though the song does not have any cultural aspect, it shows Mirabel in a vulnerable state which is important to the plot. She tells herself to not “feel regret or [sadness] at all” and explains that she is still “a part of the family Madrigal.” The song evokes pity among the audience for Mirabel, knowing now how she truly feels about not being “special” like the rest of her family.  

The rest of the movie goes into more depth of the miracle and Bruno, but never gives a reason why Mirabel never received a gift. Fans of the movie have their theories, such as the thought that Mirabel would be the next candle holder after Abuela’s passing. Perhaps the answer will be given in future projects featuring the Madrigals.

The songs from the movie, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, were huge successes on their part. Songs such as “We Don’t Talk About Bruno,” ”Surface Pressure,” and “The Family Madrigal” had hit and stayed on the Billboard Top 100 for almost a month, with “We Don’t Talk About Bruno” being number one for three weeks. Other songs in the movie included, “Dos Orugitas,” “What Else Can I Do?,” “All Of You,” and “Colombia, Mi Encanto.” 

According to, the movie‒running at one hour and 39 minutes, has received a rotten tomato score of 91% and an audience score of 93%. It has made over 95.4 million dollars at the box office. 

Overall, the movie succeeds in every cultural aspect that can fit into a 100-minute movie. If there are any future “Encanto” projects, fans are hoping to see an exploration of Colombian culture as well as other members of the family.

What is “Elden Ring”?


At the Electronic Entertainment Expo 2019, FromSoftware, creators of the “Dark Souls” series, “Bloodborne” and “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice,” announced their collaboration with novelist George R. R. Martin in a new action role-playing game titled “Elden Ring.” 

The character shown above is Malenia Blade of Miquella, who is one of the games 50+ bosses and was heavily featured in the game’s marketing and even has a statue in the games collector’s edition (“Elden-Ring-100619-005” by instacodez is licensed under CC PDM 1.0)

“Elden Ring” is the largest game FromSoft has produced and will follow a similar formula to the “Dark Souls” series with a hard yet fair difficulty, a heavy reliance on dodging and parrying, bonfire-like checkpoints, and many challenging and intrucit bosses.

The player will control a blank-slate created character known as a “Tarnished,” similar to FromSoft’s previous titles. The Tarnished’s goal will be to collect the shards of the shattered Elden Ring and become the “Elden Lord.”

The game will most likely take a more non-linear approach to storytelling by allowing the player to slowly unravel the world of “Elden Ring” through item descriptions and character interactions. The game has also been confirmed to not take place in the “Dark Souls” world.

As a Tarnished, the player will explore the open world of the “Lands Between.” Bandai Namco Entertainment, the publishers of the game, says the Land Between have “vast fanatical landscapes and shadowy, complex dungeons that are connected seamlessly.” 

FromSoft’s previous titles always carried more linear paths in their games, but “Elden Ring” will be completely open world with nearly limitless amounts of exploration for the player. 

The Lands Between is substantially more colorful and vibrant than any previous FromSoft title. The “Elden Rings” Director Hidetaka Miyazaki said that this was intentional and the team “wanted to give a sense that a Golden Age has passed through this world and that players can still see traces of it.”

Alongside the typical Souls-like mechanics, “Elden Ring” will introduce new additions to the gameplay loop, such as a proper jump and crouch button or even traversal options like summonable mounts. Mounts were included to accompany the large open world and help in it’s exploration while crouching was added to implement stealth into the game, with players being able to sneak past enemies and try to avoid confrontation.

While a jump button was always present in “Bloodborne” and the “Dark Souls” trilogy, it always felt rather lackluster and was only used a handful of times in the games. In “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice,” a traditional video game jump button was finally implemented into a FromSoft game. 

The jump in “Elden Ring” won’t be at the same caliber as “Sekiro,” but it will be better than anything in the “Dark Souls” series to complement the open world.

After the release of “Elden Ring,” it is predicted that the game will receive downloadable content like all of FromSoft’s previous titles. After the post-launch content, it is relatively unknown what FromSoft will do. 

The safest prediction is a “Armored Core” reboot. 

In a 2016 interview with the Japanese site 4Gamers, Miyazaki said that three big projects were in the works at FromSoft. 
With two of the three projects being “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” and “Elden RIng,” it’s assumed another “Armored Core” game will be next as it was heavily hinted at by Miyazaki.

Part 3 of 3: Marvel takes first step into multiverse with “Spider-Man: No Way Home”


Warning: The following article contains spoilers.

Read Part 1 and Part 2 first

Out of the many Spider-man: No Way Home movie posters circulating, this appeared to be one of the more popular ones based on fan feedback and sharing on social media sites. (Credit to Marvel Studios)

Distraught from May’s death, Peter flees from the building without contacting any of his friends, who are obviously worried after the fight. In a desperate wish to see his friend, Ned accidentally uses Strange’s sling ring to open a portal to Parker.

But the portal they open is not to the Peter they expected, but to Peter Parker of “The Amazing Spider-Man” films played by Andrew Garfield. 

During Garfield’s interviews for the 2021 movie “Tick..Tick.. Boom,” he was constantly asked if he was in the movie, but denied it until the release.

“I wasn’t expecting to ever have a conversation again about potentially playing Peter Parker. I felt very excited just to be a fan again. But I got this call from Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige and Jon Watts with this idea. It was immediately undeniable. It sounded incredibly fun, incredibly spiritual — trippy and thematically interesting. On a base level, as a Spider-Man fan, just the idea of seeing three Spider-Men in the same frame was enough,” Garfield told Variety.

Mj and Ned are shocked that he had opened a portal that took Strange weeks to first open. Not only that, but now a Peter from a different universe was in the dining room. Confused and untrusting, MJ throws bread at Peter until he agrees to prove he is truly Spider-man by hanging and crawling on the ceiling, which he does. 

The two are still confused, but figure they will try again to reach the correct Peter. In an attempt to do so, Ned opens a portal to Peter Parker from Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” films played by Tobey Maguire.

In the Deadline interview with the three Spider-Man actors, Maguire had stated, “I was intrigued immediately, like, in that conversation, the kind of love and celebration of these movies and what it meant, I think, to Amy [Pascal] and Kevin [Feige] was apparent. And to me, when artists or, you know, people who are steering the creative process have a kind of authentic, genuine intent of celebration and love, it just was so apparent in both of them, that, I don’t know, I just wanted to join that.” 

When they first meet, the two Peter’s are slightly confused with Raimi-Verse Parker saying “wait that’s not your friend” when referring to Webb-Verse Parker. The two Parkers then start a very brief fight where Webb-Verse Parker realizes that Raimi-Verse Parker is Spider-Man as well. The two then decide they need to find the MCU Peter Parker, and ask Ned and MJ if there would be any place he would go to “get away from everything.” MJ knew where to find their Peter from this comment and, with Ned, found their Peter on the roof of Midtown High. 

After embracing their friend and giving their condolences, MJ tells Peter that “there’s some people here” to see him, introducing the other Peters to their Peter. At first, MCU Peter was frightened by seeing the two Peters, and was angered when they first spoke to him saying that they ‘understood’ what Parker was going through when he thought they didn’t. Parker said they did not understand “what [he’s] going through” before Raimi-Verse Peter responded with the death of Uncle Ben and Webb-Verse Peter responded with the death of Gwen Stacy. 

After they share their understanding of “with great power comes great responsibility,” they decide to get to work on cures for the villains. The following scene develops the chemistry between the Spider-Men with a shocking reveal of Raimi-Verse’s webbing or even the Spider-Men pointing at each other with the script saying, “All three point at each other: Him? Memes!” 

After developing the cures and Ned’s reassurement that he will not turn into a villian and kill MCU Peter, the Spider-Men set up at the Statue of Liberty and MCU Peter uses J. Jonah. Jameson and the Daily Bugle to broadcast his location to the villains. Before the final battle, the Spider-Men indulge in small talk, like how exactly the Raimi-Verse Peter’s webs work or the most dangerous villains the Spider-Men have ever fought.

Their dialogue is interrupted by their spider-senses going off followed by the strike of Electro’s lighting and the reappearance of Sandman and the Lizard. MCU Peter quickly throws the Machina de Kadavus to MJ and Ned who are still at Midtown High. 

In the pursuing battle, the Peters attempt to take the villains on together but quickly find out that they are really bad at working as a team. The Spider-Men meet in the scaffolding of the Statue of Liberty and discuss how to properly work as a team. It’s at this moment where MCU Peter brags about being on the Avengers in which the other Peters respond with a confusion on who the Avengers are.

Ready to take their threat head on, the Spider-Men leap back into action and start taking out the villains one by one, starting with Sandman. The plan was to lure Sandman into the head of the statue and activate the collider to cure him.

The next target was Electro and to cure him by sapping the energy from his body to get rid of his electricity. The plan goes awry when Electro gets ahold of Webb-Verse and Raimi-Verse Peter, but luckily they are saved by the recently cured Otto Octavious. And he is then able to cure Electro and take away his powers. 

While Electro was being cured, MCU Peter was dealing with the Lizard who had tried to attack Ned and MJ due to Ned’s inability to close the portal. After chasing him out of Midtown High, MJ throws the Lizard’s cure to Peter and he manages to bring Curt Conners back to his human form.

With the villains cured, Ned and MJ try hiding the Machina de Kadavus but end up opening a portal to Doctor Strange who had been “dangling over the Grand Canyon for twelve hours” and is about to send the villains back to their universes until he sees that MCU Peter’s plan is working.

With Octavius now at the scene, he is finally reunited with Raimi-Verse Peter who share a very heartwarming few minutes that reference the first scene the two had together in the 2004 film. Meanwhile, Electro, now powerless, has a conversation with Webb-Verse Peter and praising him for everything he does and mentioning that he thought Peter would be black, to which he apologizes for.

Electro’s hope is referencing Miles Morales of the 2018 film “Spider-Man Into The Spider-Verse.”

The peace was broken by the return of the Green Goblin, who implanted a pumpkin bomb inside the Machina de Kadavus. Green Goblin’s return to the scene had ensured one of them would be hurt or almost killed, this being MJ. 

Goblin’s pumpkin bomb had blown MJ off the structure into harm’s way and MCU’s Peter immediately jumps after her but is unsuccessful in catching her as Goblin’s glider pushes him away before he could reach her. Webb-verse Peter watches as all these events occur, then jumps and catches MJ without a second thought. 

Fans went crazy in theaters realizing he completed the task he once failed with his girlfriend, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) who tragically died by his hand in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Peter begins to cry after landing and making sure MJ was okay, remembering the same incident that caused Stacy’s death in the 2014 film. 

“We were shooting for two weeks, Tobey and I, but I think we managed to achieve something that is not just showing up and going, ‘Hi! Bye!’ My Spider-Man got to save his younger brother’s romantic relationship, potentially,” Garfield told Variety. “And to heal the most traumatic moment of his own life through doing it for his younger brother. Making sure that he didn’t have the same fate, there’s something cosmically beautiful about that. It meant getting a second chance at saving Gwen.”

Gobin is now the last villain that needs to be cured. When MCU Peter is able to confront him and tells him he’s going to kill him himself, he throws constant punches while Goblin laughs through every hit.

 As soon as Peter gets Goblin down for the final time, he grabs the same glider that killed May, in hope of killing him with it. Before he gets the chance, Raimi’s Peter steps in as a way of telling Peter not to. Right at that moment, Goblin unexpectedly stabs Raimi’s Peter. Webb’s Peter then throws Goblin’s cure to MCU’s Peter who immediately gets the satisfaction of doing the same thing to Osborn.

Fans who were afraid for Raimi’s Peter were relieved when he said he’s “been stabbed before.”

While the villains had all been cured, there was still the issue of the multiverse collapsing onto the MCU, which was caused by the Goblin’s previous pumpkin bomb. The cracks in the multiverse are seemingly irreversible until MCU Peter offers a solution, making everyone forget Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one and the same. Strange hesitates but eventually agrees and tells Peter it would be best to tell his friends goodbye for the last time. 

Peter first stops by the other Spider-Men and together have the biggest brotherly hug between any superheroes. He then stops to finally say goodbye to Ned, his best friend since his first movie, and MJ his girlfriend for the remainder of their time in the MCU. With one last promise to MJ telling her that he will find her after they forget him, the spell is cast and the multiverse is saved.


With everyone now forgetting who Peter Parker is, Parker heads to the coffee shop MJ works at with a speech to hopefully refresh her memory. When actually meeting MJ, Peter opts out of telling her and decides to keep her out of his life as Spider-Man. 

It is still possible that MJ has a slight recollection of Peter with the script saying, “HOLD ON MJ, watching Peter go with a lingering sense of… recognition”.

With his former life behind him, Peter moves into his new apartment after graduating from high school via a GED. He then suits up in a brand new blue and red Spider-Man costume that is “new for him, but reminiscent of suits he’s seen before” according to the script. He then flies over the RockefellerRockefeller Christmas tree with the last line in the script saying “Peter Parker is no more, but Spider-Man lives on…”

Part 2 of 3: Marvel takes first step into multiverse with “Spider-Man: No Way Home”


Warning: The following article contains spoilers.

Be sure to read Part 1 first:

A second marketing poster before the movie was released. (Credit to Marvel Studios)

A second  marketing poster before the movie was released. (Credit to marvel studios)

This is not the first time MCU fans have seen the multiverse. In earlier projects, the multiverse was hinted at in films such as “Spider-Man: Far From Home” and “Doctor Strange” but only proved to be real when the short series “Loki” and “What If…” were released in mid 2021.

Kevin Feige, the President of Marvel Studios, said, “The Ancient One mentions it in Doctor Strange, when she’s taking Stephen Strange through that sort of mind warping journey. It was always one of the most powerful storytelling tools in the comics. One you have to wield carefully, because it can get overwhelming. One that now with, obviously the 60 to 80 year history of the comics, now we have a 20 plus history of the movies and there are enough characters that we can start playing with it that way.”

Having 20+ films in the MCU provided enough material for the multiverse to finally come alive in “Spider-man: No Way Home” and future MCU projects, such as “Doctor Strange In The Multiverse of Madness” which is said to feature the Scarlet Witch, Spider-man, and many other characters.

Parker leaves without knowing the multiverse has been opened. Now feeling completely hopeless, he attempts to make things better for his friends, who have endured the same amount of trouble Parker has, by meeting with someone from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). But during that time, Parker has an unexpected visit from none other than Otto Octavius, better known as Doc Ock (Alfred Molina) from the original Spider-Man films from 2002. Molina’s return as Doc Ock had been leaked long before the confirmation in the trailer that was released Aug. 30, 2021, but it was constantly denied. 

“When we were shooting it, we were all under orders not to talk about it, because it was supposed to be some great big secret,” Molina told Variety. “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”

“It was wonderful,” Molina stated. “It was very interesting going back after 17 years to play the same role, given that in the intervening years, I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet and a slightly dodgy lower back.” 

Because of these concerns, CGI was used to disguise him to look the same as he did 17 years ago. This was all it took for Doc Ock to come alive once again, even though Molina had other concerns regarding fight scenes, but remembered the robotic arms did all the fighting and all he had to do was have “a kind of mean look on [his] face.”

Parker is confronted by Octavius. Minutes pass and the two are fighting because of a big misunderstanding. Octavius is not aware he is in a new universe, and believes he is fighting a different Peter Parker. When he finally realizes that Holland’s Peter isn’t the one he knows, Parker takes control of Octavius’s mechanical arms.

After Parker takes control of Octavious and safely saves MIT’s Vice Assistant Chancellor, he and his friends are accepted into the school with the Assistant Chancellor’s blessing. The short moment of peace is interrupted by the Green Goblin’s (Willem Dafoe) pumpkin bombs. As Parker is ready to head back into battle, he and Octavious are transported back to the crypt of Doctor Strange.

Dafoe’s reprisal of Norman Osborn was welcomed with open arms by fans and was received as well as his first time as the Goblin nearly 20 years ago in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. 

Dafoe was very willing to return as the Goblin for the film on one condition, he wanted to do his own stunts. 

“To do this physical stuff was important to me,” the 66-year-old actor Dafoe stated. “In fact, one of the first things I said to Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal], basically, when they pitched it to me before there was even a script, was, ‘Listen. I don’t want to just pop in there as a cameo, or just fill in in closeups. I want to do the action because that’s fun for me. And also, because it’s really impossible to add any integrity or any fun to the character if you don’t participate in these things.”

Now, in captivity along with Octavius and Lizard (Curt Connors), Strange explains to Parker what is happening and that he needs to capture the last two villians and where to find them.

Parker heads to a forest in an all black suit, which seemed vaguely familiar, reminding fans of the black suit used in San Rami’s “Spider-Man 3” in 2007. Coming to a clearing in the forest, Parker finds Electro (Jamie Foxx) using the energy from power lines running through the forest. 

Foxx stated, “You know what I was excited, knowing Amy [Pascal] for years man, and knowing what she’s done with this franchise, and she was explaining to me it was gonna be hot you know.” 

Foxx also explained that “[he] didn’t have to be blue” which was a major point of contention for him and his character.

Dillons initial, and obvious, first move is to attack Spider-Man, and has the upper hand until Sand-Man, or Flint Marko from Sami Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 (Thomas Haden Church) is also revealed to be in the forest and saves Spidey. After the duo take down Electro and the newly introduced villains stop seeing Parker as a threat, Parker explains their situation. The two are then teleported to the same crypt the other three villains are being held in by Parker.

Now back at the crypt, Strange continues to explain to the three (and the villains in captivity) the concept of the multiverse and the fate of those being held, which was to be killed by Spider-Man, in their own universes. Now upset by this, Parker takes the ancient artifact from earlier in the movie and traps Strange in the mirror dimension seen in Doctor Strange. Now Parker believes it’s his duty to ‘save’ these villains so that their fate isn’t to die at the hand of Spider-Man.

Parker then takes all five villains and Aunt May to Hogan’s apartment where he uses the missing Stark tech that Hogan has possession of to accommodate each villain, with MJ, the artifact and Kaecilius’ Sling Ring safely at Ned’s home. Starting with Octavius, Parker (with the help of Norman Osborn, given he is also a skilled scientist) replicates the chip that keeps the robotic arms from controlling Ock and attaches it where it was before being destroyed. Immediately, Ock is met with relief. Every voice Ock has claimed to hear from the past is gone and he is able to control the arms on his own. Parker and Osborn are ecstatic knowing it worked.

The happiness doesn’t last long, as a moment after, Osborn’s second personality (Green Goblin) has made itself clear and begins to attack Parker because they “do not need [him] to save [them] and do not need to be fixed”. It isn’t long before all remaining villains begin to rebel and leave the building to avoid being ‘fixed’ and sent back to their universes.

Osborn and Parker fight in Hogan’s apartment for a while before smashing through multiple stories within the building. Before watchers know it, Parker and Osborn are in the main lobby of the apartment complex where the final moments of the fight take place. May, who followed Parker downstairs with the cures to the final three villains, Osborn, Lizard, and Sand-Man, tries to help Parker by injecting Osborn’s cure into him. To their surprise, it does not work, and now angered by this attempt, Osborn attacks May and Parker with the glider that killed him over 20 years ago. 

With no time to recover, Parker is caught more off guard as Osborn hops on the glider and leaves with a single pumpkin bomb left to finish the job. These attacks did not kill Parker as Osborn had wanted, but rather ended with the death of May with her uttering the famous words, ‘With great power, must also come great responsibility’ in one of her last breaths.

Read Part 3 here:

Part 1 of 3: Marvel takes first step into multiverse with “Spider-Man: No Way Home”


Warning: The following article contains spoilers.

One of the six official marketing posters for Spider-man: No Way Home that was released after the movie’s debut. (Credit to Marvel Studios)

The highly anticipated “Spider-Man: No Way Home” was released on Dec. 18, 2021, exceeding fan expectations by a landslide with all hopes, speculations and theories coming true. As of Jan. 21, 2022, “No Way Home” has made $707 million, just a little over a month of being in theaters.

The movie begins where “Spider-Man: Far From Home” left off with Spider-Man’s identity being revealed by J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) of the Daily Bugle and the chaos that followed. Spectators see what happens with the now known Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and the trouble Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) left after his passing. Not only is Parker’s identity on every news outlet in the city, but all the chaos interfered with his personal life and education as a high school student, with reporters on the outskirts of his home and school, and the students and staff watching his every move.

With the world now knowing Parker’s identity, legal trouble had found its way to Parker, his aunt May (Marisa Tomei) and friend Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau). Daredevil’s Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) had a surprise appearance as Parker’s attorney, leaving fans speechless as well as cheerful and excited for Murdock’s newfound role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).  

Marvel Studios president, Kevin Feige, confirms Cox will be returning as Daredevil in future MCU projects.

 “If you were to see Daredevil in upcoming things, Charlie Cox, yes, would be the actor playing Daredevil. Where we see that, how we see that, when we see that, remains to be seen,” Feige stated.

With Murdock’s appearance, the famous line fans adored so much came. As Parker was speaking to Murdock, a protester outside of Parker’s apartment had thrown a brick into the window which Murdock caught with his left hand having senses similar to Parker’s. With Murdock having caught the brick, Parker asked how he was able to catch it, to which Murdock replied with, “I’m a really good lawyer.” Fans absolutely adored this line and have created many jokes and memes associated with it.

Initially, Parker had trouble with his identity being revealed from paparazzi at his school to people vandalizing his suit but was ready to accept the consequences until his girlfriend MJ (Zendaya) and best friend Ned (Jacob Batalon) were prevented from getting into the Massachusetts Institute of Technology because of his actions. Parker immediately attempts to fix everything for his friends. This entire segment of the movie, and the movie as a whole, accurately depicts Peter Parker’s selflessness by showing how he would do anything for anyone he cares about other than himself.

After his revelation, Parker goes to Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) in hope of Strange’s help to have all citizens of New York forget the identity of Spider-man. Strange, having lost his title of “Sorcerer Supreme” due to the 2018 blip shown in “Avengers: Infinity War,” refuses Parker at first, thinking there wasn’t anything he could do to help without his title, and knowing that Wong (Benedict Wong) would not help him.

Before Parker is able to leave, Strange then remembers another way he can help without the title of ‘Sorcerer Supreme.’ He then leads Parker into a basement, later revealed to be Strange’s crypt, where Strange begins a spell involving an ancient mystical device known as the Machina de Kadavus. The relic would be able to perform a memory wiping spell, so that everyone, including Parker’s loved ones, would forget who Peter Parker is. This does not sit well with Parker and asks Strange to have it so that certain people could remember who he was. Strange does, rewriting the spell time after time as Peter lists all the people he would like to remember him as Spider-Man. The spell was rewritten a total of six times before backfiring and unknowingly opening the multiverse.

Read Part 2 and Part 3 here

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with sugar cookies


Baking, in general, is always proven to be a good time whether it’s solo, with friends or with your loved ones. From countless sweets, the choices are unlimited. Valentine’s day, referred to as the day of love, these heart shaped sugar cookies are the perfect treat to share with that special someone. 

Servings: 25 cookies


Ingredients used for sugar cookies. (JASMINE ROSALES/ Ethic News photo)

2 and ¼ cups of all purpose flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

¾ cup unsalted butter (room temperature)

¾ cup white sugar

1 large egg

2 tsp pure vanilla extract

Optional: ¼-½ tsp almond extract


  1. Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Mixed dry ingredients (JASMINE ROSALES /Ethic News photo)

2. In a large bowl, using a hand mixer or whisk, beat the butter on medium speed-high speed until smooth for about one minute. Add the granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until creamed, about two minutes. Add the egg, vanilla and almond extract (if used) and beat on high speed until combined, about one minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed.

Wet ingredients mixed in a separate bowl (JASMINE ROSALES/ Ethic News photo)

3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. If the dough seems too soft, you can add 1 tbsp of flour for better consistency to roll.

Combined dry ingredients in big bowl (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News photo)

4. Divide the dough into two equal portions, then roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat to about ¼ inch thickness. The rolled out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly ¼ inch thick.

One portion of rolled out dough. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News)

5. Stack the pieces, with parchment paper between the two, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least one to two hours, or even up to two days.

6. Once chilled, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line two large baking sheets with parchment papers. Remove one of the dough pieces from the fridge and using a heart shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into heart shapes. If needed, re-roll the remaining dough until all dough is used.

Using a heart shaped cookie cutter, make indents in dough. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News)

7. Bake for 10-11 minutes or until lightly browned around the edges. Recommended to rotate the baking sheet halfway through the baking time for even browning.

Laying prepared dough on baking tray (JASMINE ROSALES/ Ethic News photo)

8. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes, transfer to a cooling rack to fully cool the cookies. 

After cooling, it is ready to eat. (JASMINE ROSALES/Ethic News photo)

Once cooled, it can be decorated. Take a glass of milk and enjoy!