The Lode The Student News Site of Michigan Technological University Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:48:57 +0000 en-US hourly 1 National and international news headlines of the week Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:48:57 +0000 Fire collapses Notre Dame Cathedral spire

In a disaster that has many across the world reeling, Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire Monday during renovations, causing its spire to collapse. The fire was deemed an accident by Parisian authorities, with no foul play currently suspected. The building caught fire Monday evening and burned through the night before firefighters put out the blaze early Tuesday morning. A section of the roof collapsed in addition to the narrow spire being claimed by the blaze. The two rectangular towers were damaged but remain intact.

Efforts to restore the structure have already been announced. A handful of French billionaires have made monetary contributions, including Bernard Arnault, one of the world’s richest men with a net worth of over 91 billion dollars. His organization pledged 200 million euros, equivalent to 226 million U.S. dollars, calling the Notre Dame Cathedral “an integral part of the history of France.”

Though the immediate focus is on the structural integrity of what remains of the building, French President Emmanuel Macron has announced that efforts are being organized to rebuild the structure with a goal of completing the repairs in five years. However, conservation and history experts have estimated that the project could take decades due to the unavailability of materials such as wood and stone and the intricacy of the stained glass.

An early look at the 2020 presidential election

Though the presidential election of 2020 is still a long way off, plans are already being laid for the campaign that has become an arduous, drawn-out process in America.

A number of Democratic candidates have announced that they will be running in 2020 as the party seeks to oust President Donald Trump. Prominent figures include Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Kamala Harris and Elizabeth Warren.

Sanders competed with Hillary Clinton for the Democratic nomination in the last presidential election but failed to secure it. He will continue on his platform of taking back power from the billionaire class. Sanders recently released 10 years of his tax returns in an act of transparency that Democrats have long been seeking from Donald Trump. The results reveal him to be a part of the one percent he often decries, due to his income from book sales and his job as a U.S. senator.

In response to this, Sanders said “These tax returns show that our family has been fortunate. I am very grateful for that, as I grew up in a family that lived paycheck to paycheck and I know the stress of economic insecurity. That is why I strive every day to ensure every American has the basic necessities of life, including a livable wage, decent housing, health care and retirement security.”

He continues, “I consider paying more in taxes as my income rose to be both an obligation and an investment in our country. I will continue to fight to make our tax system more progressive so that our country has the resources to guarantee the American Dream to all people.”

Beto O’Rourke is a Texan congressman who also emphasizes the “grassroots” nature of his campaign, with many small donors. His platform is still coalescing but its focuses include environmentalism and healthcare.

Elizabeth Warren has a history in politics, being Massachusetts’ senior U.S. Senator since 2013. She is economically left-wing, supporting unions and antitrust laws.

Another popular candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination is Kamala Harris, who is campaigning on a platform of criminal justice reform and defending the middle class. She currently serves as a senator representing California.

On the Republican side, Donald Trump will be attempting to keep his position for a second term. The only Republican to declare a campaign against him so far is Bill Weld, former governor of Massachusetts. He has supported gay marriage, is pro-choice and has described himself as fiscally conservative. For a time period he was a member of the Libertarian Party.

Severe weather patterns expected across much of U.S.

Continuing storms and tornadoes will threaten an estimation of approximately 100 millions of Americans across a swath of land stretching from Illinois to Texas and Oklahoma. Dangerous precipitation, high winds, and possible tornadoes are expected. The threat will extend from late Wednesday, April 17 to Saturday, April 20.

Last weekend saw similar weather patterns; over three dozen tornadoes occurred. Such storms can be highly destructive and even deadly; nine deaths and more injuries were reported due to last weekend’s weather.

Michigan is out of the predicted path of dangerous weather. For the rest of the week mild wind and showers as well as moderate temperatures can be expected.

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Portage Health Foundation scholarships awarded Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:47:32 +0000 Fourteen students have been awarded the Portage Health Foundation Making a Difference Scholarship. The scholarships are part of a Michigan Tech-Portage Health Foundation partnership established in 2015 to support health education. This year’s recipients have an average GPA of 3.8 and represent the breadth of health-related research happening on Michigan Tech’s campus.

The $8,000 scholarships went to the following students: Lana Alaraje of Houghton, a biomedical engineering student, Gavin McBride of Hancock, a mechanical engineering student, Leah Riutta of Calumet, a biochemistry and molecular biology student and Mariah Willmer of Lake Linden, a biomedical engineering student.

Receiving $4,000 scholarships were Kaitlyn Brady of Ewen-Trout Creek, an exercise science student and Meg Keranen of Dollar Bay, an electrical engineering student.

The students that recieved $1,000 scholarships were: Cassidy Becia of Houghton, an exercise science student, Andrew Eskola of Calumet, an exercise science student, Kellen Klein of Lake Linden, a biological sciences student, Rory LaBine of Ontanogan, a computer engineering student, Kaisa Nagel of Calumet, a humanities student, Madison Palosaari of Lake Linden, a medical laboratory sciences student, Elisabeth Svoke of Houghton, a biological sciences student and Kyle Usimaki of L’anse, a biological sciences student.

“I am so impressed by the caliber of our Make a Difference Scholar candidates! With the investment from the Portage Health Foundation in the form of scholarships, the seed is planted. With nurturing from Michigan Tech University, these students have every opportunity for their education to blossom into their dream careers in health care,” says Bernadette Yeoman-Ouellette, Chairperson of the Portage Health Foundation board. “It is the synergy between the Portage Health Foundation and Michigan Tech University that allows this fruition to occur.”

During the dinner, scholarship recipients and faculty members had the opportunity to hear from current students, Allie Waara and Elisha Earley, both PHF Undergraduate Research Interns; and Alexa Destrampe, a Portage Health Foundation and Randy Owsley Memorial Athletic trainer scholar.

“We are especially grateful to the Portage Health Foundation for their support of our students through the Making a Difference scholarship program,” said Rick Koubek, President of Michigan Tech. “Each recipient is truly deserving of the award and we are eager to see the impact these students will have on our community in the years to come.”

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The Nice List Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:46:19 +0000 A tribute to warm Yooper culture

I wanted to thank you guys for being there for me while I went through a variety of personal troubles that could have really derailed my life.

You guys have inspired me every day with your positive outlooks for life even when things are going horribly wrong. You help me to see past the present situation and towards brighter horizons.

Thank you for reminding me who I am and what I love in life. Thank you for playing silly online games with me so that we have something lighthearted to talk about when exams and projects are bogging us down.

Thank you for encouraging me to polish my skills and lifting me up when I don’t think too much of myself. Thank you for caring for me and driving out to the middle of nowhere just to spend time with me. I’ve looked a long time to have friends like you two.

Thank you for being such good friends.



Introducing The Nice List, a place for the editors, copy editors, students or denizens of Houghton-Hancock to thank or acknowledge someone or an organization who made their day, week, or experience in life a little bit better or a little easier. We want to give the community a chance to put something kind in the paper as a thank you to all those people who make life nicer. If you would like to participate in this column, please send your submission to

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The history of Easter, abridged Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:45:09 +0000 Easter as we know it is a pastel, colorful wonderland of plastic eggs or decorated hard-boiled eggs and chocolate candy delivered by bunnies. It has roots in Christianity, representing the rebirth of Christ and takes place 40 days after Lent begins on Ash Wednesday. Easter is considered a movable holiday and takes place on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox.

For Christians, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ and is a religious event with the 40 days preceding focusing on self-reflection and time of preparation for the resurrection. During this time, many Christians will fast either by giving up something that they love dearly, a favorite food or hobby for example, or by committing to the betterment of themselves, taking up a new exercise regimen or a more rigorous study habit. Many families will also refuse to eat meat either throughout the entirety of Lent or only refusing meat on Fridays which lends itself well to the Fish Frys which are popular gatherings for Christians during Lent as well as specials that go on in restaurants which cater to those who give up meat during Lent.

In addition, throughout Lent, Roman Catholic churches do not sing the ‘alleluia’ which is a praise and exclamation of joy. Because Lent symbolizes the 40 days that Jesus spent suffering in the desert, it is a time of reflection and sacrifice rather than one of joy and this is reflected in the songs that are sung in Mass. On Easter, the alleluia returns to Mass and everyone celebrates its return as it means that the sorrowful period of Lent has ended and the joyful season of Easter is begun.

This holiday is not only a religious holiday, however. It also has roots in pagan rituals which we see in both the placement of the date as well as the traditional forms of celebration within.

Some of the traditions that follow Easter include easter eggs that are either part of a hunt, usually for children, or given to children in an Easter basket by the Easter bunny. The eggs may have money, candy, or small toys within them. For Christians, some traditions include Palm Sunday which commemorates Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem and palm leaves were laid on the ground to greet him when he arrived.

The date of Easter traces its roots back to the pagan celebration of the spring equinox which occurs when the amount of time that is day or night is equal. This is a celebration of the goddess of Spring, known as Ostara among other names. Hers is a spirit of renewal. The goddess was often depicted with the hare which represents the arrival of spring as well as fertility. Thus, bringing along the idea of the Easter bunny.

The egg represents fertility and renewal as well as Spring. The egg finds its place in our tradition alongside the rabbit because the Germanic mythology states that Ostara healed a wounded bird in the woods by turning it into a hare and the bird-hare showed its gratitude to the goddess by laying eggs for her as gifts.

Coloring eggs is associated far back as it had been used as a symbol of fertility when the ancient Egyptians and Persians would color and eat eggs during their Spring festival. In ancient Egypt, it was a symbol for the sun, and the Babylonians saw the egg as hatching a goddess of theirs, Venus Ishtar. Christians color and share eggs at Easter to celebrate new life because an empty shell represents the empty tomb after Jesus was resurrected.

Easter also shares its holiday with the Jewish festival of Passover which commemorates the liberation of Jewish people from slavery in Egypt when the plagues came through, the final one being a passing over of a dark angel-like figure who slaughtered the firstborn sons unless the blood of a lamb marked the doorway of the home.

These markings protected the Jewish families and the death of the firstborn sons convinced the Pharaoh to send away all the Jews out of Egypt with Moses. Passover maintained its significance as Jewish people repeatedly found themselves oppressed by foreign powers and turned to this day as hope for liberation.

It is from Passover that the tradition of eating lamb for Easter dinner comes from. In some cases, cakes are decorated with lambs or in the shape of a lamb. Lambs were often the choice of sacrifice in the Old Testament and were used to mark that the Jewish people were not to be harmed by the angel of death when it passed over Egypt. In Christian sects, lamb is the symbol for Jesus in the “lamb of God” and is used in this way to celebrate Easter.

While Easter is celebrated by people all over the world, it is also a marketable holiday with greeting card sales, chocolate sells, and the manufacturing of bunnies and colorful plastic eggs rising. A market has arisen for Easter themed toys as well as kits for dyeing eggs. As a result, it is increasingly easier to celebrate Spring.

It is good to look back on the roots of these holidays as we prepare to welcome warmer weather and the rebirth of nature once again so that we can better understand where these traditions and holidays come from, and maybe even pick up some new traditions along the way.

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KSO to perform Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:43:37 +0000 The Copper Country is blessed to have such great musical exposure, thanks to all the talented individuals that live in the area. This Saturday, April 20 at 7:30 p.m. in the Rozsa Center for the Performing Arts, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra will be presenting their concert, “Rhapsody in Blue,” where they will perform the titular piece, composed by George Gershwin, along with a few other selections.

Gershwin wrote “Rhapsody in Blue” in 1924. The orchestra-jazz style rhapsody premiered at New York City’s Aeolian Hall, with an audience made up of other famous composers, like Igor Stravinsky, John Philip Sousa, and Leopold Stokowski. Three years after its successful debut, Gershwin’s piece had sold over a million copies and had been performed over 80 times.

The Rhapsody, which was initially too long to fit on a record the way it was played in concert, had to be sped up in order to fit. The piece has been referred to as a musical representation of New York City, and that reference has been shown throughout popular culture after the song’s premiere.

Though the piece has been well-known in the music world since its debut, it has quickly risen to fame in more popular culture following its inclusion in Disney’s 1999 musical and cartoon movie masterpiece, Fantasia 2000.

Other companies have also used the piece for projects of their own. United Airlines has used it for background music in their safety videos and advertisements, while Baz Luhrmann’s 2013 screen adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” featured it to announce the appearance of Jay Gatsby himself.

Also to be featured by the KSO Saturday night will be Igor Stravinsky’s ballet “Firebird Suite”, which premiered at the Paris Opera in 1910. Initially written as part of a ballet performance, “Firebird Suite” is based on Russian folk tales and follows the story of Prince Ivan, who falls into the realm of the mysterious immortal Koschei.

In popular culture, the piece has been featured at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games as part of the opening ceremony, and, like Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue”, was also used by Disney in Fantasia 2000.

Austrian composer Arnold Schoenberg’s Chamber Symphony will also be performed by the KSO. The Chamber Symphony No. 1 premiered in Vienna, Austria in 1907, while No. 2 wasn’t completed until 1939. Schoenberg is described as being part of the German expressionist movement in the early 1900s.

His works were labeled as degenerate music during the rise of the Nazi Party in Germany due to his modernist approaches. He eventually immigrated to the US in 1934. Schoenberg was said to be extremely superstitious, and interestingly had triskaidekaphobia (fear of the number 13) and believed he would die during a year that was a multiple of the number.

On his 76th birthday, the composer was warned by an astrologer that the year would be dangerous, as 7+6=13. Anxious and sick, Schoenberg eventually did die at age 76th, on the 13th day of July.

The Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra has a long history of making beautiful music at Michigan Tech. Made up of students, faculty, staff, and community members alike, the KSO has been bringing a true symphonic experience to the Copper Country since its founding in 1971. They perform around 5 concerts a year, covering anything from orchestral masterworks to musical theatre, and even do tours around the Midwest every few years.

The orchestra is conducted under the talent and expertise of MTU’s Assistant Professor of Music and Director of Orchestral Studies, Joel Neves. Neves is the 7th director the KSO has seen and brings much to offer to the talented group.

Once again, the Keweenaw Symphony Orchestra will be presenting Rhapsody in Blue, along with some other fantastic pieces, at 7:30 p.m. on April 20 in the Rozsa. Tickets for the event will be $19 for adults and $6 for youth. MTU students will be covered by the Experience Tech Fee.

With the spring semester winding down, this will be the last chance for some of us to take in a good symphony concert for a while.

The concert will also be a great opportunity to get out and relax before beginning the dreaded final exam preparations while also supporting your fellow Huskies and community members.

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UnLODEing Zone Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:42:01 +0000 A place for the editors to unload

Not to sound like a Luddite, but sometimes I think my unrestricted access to technology and the Internet has dulled my intellect. I’m far from the first person to have this thought or to write about it but it’s my turn to expel my thoughts to the world so that’s what I’m going to do.

When I compare my brain now to a younger version I realize that I used to be more inquisitive, more creative and somehow had a better attention span. I used to spend hours on end reading- it was how I spent the vast majority of my spare time. I completely abandoned my last book and haven’t touched it in what might be weeks. I used to draw as a hobby, too, and my saxophone doesn’t see nearly as much play as it should. So what happened?

Obviously getting a phone isn’t the only thing that’s changed since my childhood. I’m older, I live in a different environment and I know different people. I have reasons to think that technology is the culprit, though, the foremost of those being that I almost instinctively reach for my phone to entertain myself during a brief lull.

Consuming many bits of information in rapid succession is much more stimulating to the brain than reading something long, and my brain may have become addicted to it in a sense. I would like to do something about this rather than resignedly accepting it but I’m not sure what. I’d like to return to a different state of mind rather than putting a Band-aid on the problem.

My first course of action will likely be to search for data on the Internet. It’s not good for nothing, after all.

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Feminist agenda versus fun superheroes: What do the audiences actually want? Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:40:26 +0000 We all agree that it’s been a total superhero movie season lately. With the whole world excited to see the final saga of the Avengers franchise, the release of other movies like Shazam and Captain Marvel have kept the audience on edge. However, it’s interesting to see how despite all the hype behind the MCU and DCEU, the movies Captain Marvel and Shazam are poles apart regarding their performance in the box office. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the approval ratings of Shazam were 93 percent, while Captain Marvel earned a mere 33 percent. So the question has to be asked, why is MCU trying to politicize its movies rather than make a fun movie with an interesting story?

As a comic book enthusiast, it is important to point out that Shazam is the true Captain Marvel according to the comics. Due to the overlying similarities with Superman, DC decided to rebrand the character with the name Shazam. The movie Shazam tries to stick to the origin story according to the comics and delivers a nostalgic 80s vibe similar to that of Goonies, ET and of course the movie Big. In addition, Zachary Levi seems like a genuinely nice guy who is in love with the comics and hence embraces the character even in post-production promotions on different talk shows.

Compare this to Captain Marvel. The movie has a below average script with the disinterested actress on its lead role. Captain Marvel as a character was never so big in Marvel comics until the Civil War II comics came out. But the movie became the center of a controversy because of the strong political agenda of the movie. MCU has a habit of using its platform for political messages, like when they released Black Panther during Black History Month and at the same time being represented by faces like Chris Evans who is perhaps one of the most politically outspoken actors online, along with passionate environmental activist Mark Ruffalo.

Brie Larson, who is also a feminist activist, has been using the movie as a platform for diversity. This is one of the major reasons why comic book fans are unhappy with the movie. It is not that the majority audience consists of white male critics or are male chauvinists. But the fact that the essence of the superhero movie is lost when the movie has an agenda. Superhero movies are supposed to create this fantasy world of interesting stories and characters and clearly, Captain Marvel has failed to do that.

Films have always been a strong tool to project social themes and show political issues. Movies like Marianne and Juliane (1981) and A Question of Silence (1982), to name a few, have portrayed feminism well. However, when it comes to superhero movies, the bottom line is fans want to see the actor as someone with the same enthusiasm for the character as they have.

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Psychics, homeopathy and other gobbledygook Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:38:07 +0000 Yesterday, I was watching “Nick of Time,” an episode of the popular anthology television series, The Twilight Zone. The episode is basically about a newlywed couple who become increasingly paranoid because of the predictions made by a napkin holder/fortune telling machine at a table in a diner.

With each correct answer, the husband starts to actually believe the machine, while his rational and skeptical wife talks him out of his delusions, telling him that he’s letting it run his life, instead of letting him make his own luck. This is basically what superstition is. We think it’s so farfetched at first, but a few coincidences later, we are enslaved to it.

As an Indian, I come from a land where people believe anyone who tells them what they want to hear, especially if they wear saffron clothing and has a beard. We call them “babas,” and they’re a big deal there, much like the “psychics” here in the U.S.

Psychics, astrologers, fakirs, shamans, babas, reiki healers; all of these charlatans employ a pseudoscientific technique called Cold Reading. It’s a guessing game to obtain the client’s trust before they can start with the process. Say your beloved father passed away recently. When you walk into their room, psychics immediately see your face and “sense” that you’ve been mourning. They immediately change the tone of their voice to something soothing, to ease your pain.

They then make guesses about your father’s name among the common ones like Joe, Robert or Bob, Dan, Nick, Chris, Ben, Jesse to name a few. They say he’s in heaven and in a happy place and he’s proud of you. They make somewhat specific assumptions that his favorite color is blue or red, which are more or less general. They describe his features, which when you think about it, would suspiciously resemble yours. Therefore, some theatrical hand-waving, some lucky guesses, tapping into your emotional core and giving you closure combined with your gullibility, and voila! You’re happy, and they get their 700 bucks.

This is a huge business in all parts of the world. People believe that there is a world that runs in parallel to ours, an alternate reality, astral plane, contacting the dead, the works; Sylvia Browne, Tyler Henry, Lisa Williams, Uri Geller; all these frauds made millions by making reality shows where they hypnotize the participants and tell them what they were in their past lives.

Surprisingly, they were always a prince, an aristocrat, a philanthropist or a king but never a cobbler or a fisherman, because apparently the working class doesn’t deserve rebirth. Sex sells, but so does dramatization and grandiose deceit.

Another type of scientifically disproved garbage is Homeopathy. Homeopathic medicine is basically the same medicine used in regular tablets, diluted to one percent. It’s like dunking an aspirin pill in Lake Tahoe, mixing it with a very large stirrer and drinking a spoon of it when you have a headache.

The next day you’ll have magically lost your headache because of the placebo effect. You believe that the medicine works, so it actually did, like religion. Doctors use this technique all the time to treat hypochondriacs. Such faith-based medication works for exorcism maybe, but not cancer.

James Randi, a popular scientific skeptic gave hundreds of talks and seminars where he began them by swallowing a whole bottle of homeopathic sleeping pills to prove how ridiculously ineffective they are. He also offered a 100,000 dollar reward to anyone who can prove any paranormal activity in scientifically observed conditions. Nobody came forward, and the one who did, later backed out because he was a “godless person.” This should make it perfectly clear what they’re operating on.

I don’t say ghosts don’t exist. Well, not ghosts per se; I’ve seen Interstellar. Maybe there’s another dimension and beings, or higher forms of intelligence can move freely between them. Maybe there are things we can’t comprehend out there that exist beyond the scientific realm, at least for now. But calling them ghosts, or spirits and lying to grieving families and giving them closure by tricking them to pay huge sums of money, either from “therapy” or giving pseudo medicine is not only illegal, but also morally reprehensible.

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Art, and all that Jazz Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:36:03 +0000 Being at an engineering focused school, it is easy to get lost in all the numbers and principles I hear in class. Sometimes it seems like the only thing that matters is the hard numbers and facts that will help out in the real world. What then, is the purpose of artistry, or fiction?

I think the answer is simple. Although things like science and engineering may help us progress and reach new limits of understanding about ourselves and the world around us, art is what makes us human. Culture is based almost entirely on artistic expression.

To me, art is a sign that we have made it as a species. We aren’t constantly worrying about our next meal, or whether a predator is just around the tree ahead of us, so, to occupy ourselves, we create. The art we produce is also entirely unique to the circumstances in which we are found. It is often the product of strife, an outlet for those under oppression.

Let’s look back at classic jazz music. Jazz is a direct product of blues and also stemmed pretty much entirely from African Americans. Blues was a way to express the hardships an individual was going through, I mean, it is called the blues for a reason. Jazz took the fundamental instrumentation of blues, the prominent bass, the improvisation, the telling of a story, and punched it up.
The history of jazz is the history of modern America. It is the product of the horrific slave trade mixing the cultures of both Africa and Europe. From this crucible came what, to me, is the most influential musical movement on the planet.

Today’s bass-heavy, beat-dependent style can be traced right back to the greats like Miles Davis and John Coltrane. Don’t believe me? If you’re able to, take a look at the song “Take Five” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. That song in particular has a prominent cycle throughout it. The trumpet assues the role of vocals, center stage, while percussion and bass tones accompany the background. Now take a look at “Award Tour” by A Tribe Called Quest. Listen to the background, the cyclic style of the percussion and the piano in the background. The latter is definitely its own unique style, but the DNA of styles long past is there.

In a way, this style has evolved into the hip-hop hits that top the charts today. Now, I’m not about to say you’ll hear many trumpet solos and walking bass on the top 40 charts but this music is certainly descended from some classical greats. I think it might even be reasonable to say the style of modern rap, the choppy start-stop way the lyrics are sung could be traceable to the very beat-centric style of classic jazz.

Now, I am no music historian, and it is absolutely possible I that I’ve been talking out of my rear end. But I did take a music appreciation class online two years ago. Either way, I think it is an innately human activity to go back into the ways we express ourselves and look at all the ways we have changed, and how we may change in the future.

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Debate: Which is better — Marvel or DC? Wed, 17 Apr 2019 17:34:46 +0000 Round 1

Side 1: Recently there’s been a lot of hype about Marvel, but is it really all that everyone claims it to be? Not quite. Marvel’s recent popularity seems to be caused by its crazy flood of recent movies, which is going to make them seem more popular because they have more viewers in a given time frame, even if they were to get the same amount, or less, viewers per movie when compared to DC ones. Meanwhile, DC has been going crazy with TV shows for ages, and many of them are pretty popular, while Marvel seems to have only recently gotten into this area. This, of course, does not in itself make DC better, but the fact that they have had so many popular TV shows at all says something about their storytelling and animation. It also helps that DC hasn’t had to worry about copyright issues when creating their TV shows and movies, which is something that has limited Marvel quite a bit. This gives them more freedom of creativity and plot creation, thus making it easier to produce high-quality entertainment.

Side 2: Although DC has made a few great movies, usually involving Batman, they can’t hold a candle compared to the list of hits Marvel has put out. We need to remember the 2002 Sam Raimi Spiderman films were huge contributors to the current superhero movie phenomenon. I worked in a movie theater for a few years, and I asked the owners what their busiest movie was; they told me when the original Spiderman movie came out they had a line out the door and wrapping around the parking lot. Marvel has managed to make something that was once either purely children’s entertainment or the hobby for nerds into a mainstream sensation. As far as TV shows are concerned, DC may have more live action dramas than Marvel, but I’d bet way more people will recognize an animated Spiderman or Hulk than the live action Arrow stars. To put it simply, Marvel just has a way better image than DC. Even their worst movies are better than Batman vs Superman.

Round 2

Side 1: To say that Marvel has the most recognizable characters is a bit simplistic. Yes, maybe more people would recognize Spiderman before they would recognize the Green Arrow, but that same argument could be reversed. More people are likely to know who Superman is than they would know Hawkeye. Plus, it’s a common belief that Superman is the original superhero in terms of defining what a superhero is. If that’s not a point in DC’s favor, I don’t know what is. Also, in terms of villains, whose are the most well known? DC’s villains. The Joker, Harley Quinn, The Riddler, all of these are names that most kids grew up hearing, while, until recently, Marvel’s villains were not quite as infamous. Why would they be so well known if they weren’t great villains? In this area, DC has done much better for far longer than Marvel has. Marvel may be the current fad, but the question of who will remain superior is something that only time will show, and that is something DC has been pretty good at keeping up with.

Side 2: Marvel didn’t just change how modern cinema portrays comic heroes. They revolutionized modern television writing in general. Marvel was a pioneer of crafting connected worlds that impact each other, something DC is trying to catch up to. By writing their films in a way that even the most minor character in some sequel can come back in an Avengers title, Marvel is able to increase audience engagement, even if it’s in the third Thor movie. What’s more important, is that their movies generally star characters that all ages can enjoy. Recently DC has tried to make their movies way too dark. I’m sorry, but you can’t have your main character wear a red spandex and cape then try and have a serious plotline. Not to mention the fact that Marvel movies almost always have way better special effects. I think it speaks for itself that their biggest villain is a large, wrinkly chinned, purple giant with a magic glove, and I still totally believed he was actually walking around on set.

Side 1 argued by Rebecca Barkdoll and Side 2 argued by David Disney

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