Omnium Gatherum


Courtesy/LA Times

The Olympics have finally ended, opening the games to some political scrutiny

Jacob Akey, Crier Staff

Netflix has released a new Texas Chainsaw Massacre. Like the modern Halloween films it apes, the movie is a direct sequel to the beloved original. The film forges ahead at a steady clip with suitably insufferable twenty-somethings visiting the ghost town of Harlan, Texas. Their sin is arrogance. They soon reawaken the elderly Leatherface, who has refrained from killing for decades (the original movie was released in 1974). Just as in Halloween, the final girl from the first film returns to track down the killer. But, in one of the few interesting parts of the movie, her hatred of Leatherface has transformed her into a monster, not unlike her nemesis. Otherwise, the film is a bog-standard slasher flick. Mostly humorless, bloody, and filled with stupid characters who made me shout at the screen (“Don’t go in there!”). Should you be on the fence about watching the massacre, it does have some interesting things to say about trauma and overcoming it. Otherwise, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Many commentators have suggested that the spectacle of 70 thousand mask-less faces in SoFi stadium would mark a return to normalcy post-Covid. More than 100 million Americans watched Super Bowl LVI, and over the past weeks, previously imperious politicians have run from mask mandates. It seems like the slow-burn nightmare of pandemic living is finally winding to a close. Even in San Francisco (not a place famous for its normalcy in the best of times), voters have recalled school board members over their lack of commitment to reopening schools. There is no longer a campus-wide mask mandate at Saint Anselm College. Cases are cratering nationally. I certainly hope this is the end of Covid-19 and the restrictions it brings.

The 2022 Winter Olympics have ended, good riddance. Not since the 1980 Moscow games have the Olympics taken place in a country so vile. And not since 1936 have the Olympics been held in a genocidal state. As more than a million Uyghurs have been detained, sterilized, tortured, or killed, Americans played games in the killers’ capital. The next time you buy Nike (a corporate sponsor of the US Olympic Committee who produces a plurality of its products in China) ask yourself, “Was this made by children, political prisoners, or slaves in a concentration camp?”

In the last issue of the Crier, there was an investigation into a staffing shortage within the college’s RA program led by News Editor Anna Raley. That shortage was the crux of the article and is a well-known situation on campus. Due to a combination of factors, a majority of RAs have either quit during the year or will not be returning in the Fall. Some of this is normal as seniors graduate, but it does not take a genius to see that something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

In the process of her reporting, Raley interviewed the Associated Director of Residence Life. He claimed that he does not have “the perception” of a shortage. This is a rather unique point of view in that it is far removed from that of the student body and many current RAs (the female wing of my floor lost their RA, as have several of my friends elsewhere on campus). The common perception that there is a shortage and the Associate Director’s perception that there is not are irreconcilable. There is undoubtedly cause for such a shortage: sexual assault scandal(s), scandals over the handling of said incidents, increased shifts, Covid-demoralization, and reports of stricter behavioral standards for RAs. It would be shocking if the program wasn’t struggling to retain staff. In my mind, these realities outweigh any “perception” when trying to determine the truth.

What a halftime show! Snoop Dog, 50 Cent, Eminem, Dr. Dre, Kendrick Lamar, and Mary J. Blige all performed together; it was a sight to see. Almost as entertaining as the show itself was my grandfather complaining that he couldn’t understand a word in the family group text. It’s an interesting reminder that hip hop music was a fringe genre just a few decades ago. Hip hop was once a nonentity in the greater musical culture, but today the style effectively is “American” music and has spread to dominate globally. Thus, this halftime show celebrated a genre’s rise and exemplified American culture on a global stage.