Melvin Carter

Melvin Carter profile by Riley Lumpkin and Gabe Mattick.

Thirty-eight year old Melvin Carter, was elected mayor of St. Paul on November 7, 2017. Carter is the first African-American mayor of St. Paul, Minnesota. He will be succeeding Chris Coleman, who has been mayor since 2006. Melvin Carter has been endorsed by various notable Minnesota politicians like Governor Mark Dayton and Minnesota Senator Al Franken. Mark Dayton, endorsed Carter, according to Twin Cities Pioneer Press by saying, “As the Director of my Children’s Cabinet, Melvin Carter has been a thoughtful, passionate, and effective leader, who has worked hard to give kids strong starts and better chances of success in school and life,” Dayton is quoted as saying. “As a resident of St. Paul, I know Melvin Carter will bring that same leadership to his work to make St. Paul a city that works for everyone,” the DFL governor said. “I look forward to calling him St. Paul’s next mayor.”

He was a member of the Saint Paul City Council from 2008 to 2013. Before he was elected mayor he accomplished many things as a city councilmember. He cofounded the Saint Paul Promise Neighborhood, he also helped pass the Ban the Box legislation; to eliminate employment discrimination according to Melvin Carter.org.

He currently serves as an Executive Director of the Minnesota Children’s Cabinet, where he advocates for all children to have an education regardless of their background, race, gender, or income. According to Jessie Van Berkel, Melvin Carter said, “his goal is to address not just pain, but lingering injustice.”

As the new mayor, he would like to raise wages to ensure the economy is improving for everyone. He also would like to make sure community services are doing more to help families, and he wants to work on community-first policing.

For more information, please go to: http://www.startribune.com/st-paul-mayoral-candidate-melvin-carter-focuses-on-the-city-s-future/449084463/http://www.melvincarter.org/bio/

Film review: Blade Runner 2049

★★☆☆

***Article Contains Spoilers***

Before watching Blade Runner 2049, I had never seen the original Blade Runner. To many who had, Blade Runner 2049 is the sequel to a science-fiction classic and defining movie of a generation. To me, it is just another Hollywood film.

Blade Runner 2049 has received mostly excellent reviews from Blade Runner fans old and new, and it’s not hard to see why. The new film does what the original did and more, and to fans, that’s a miracle. But to me, it’s a disappointment.

To be certain, Blade Runner 2049 is a stylish, smart film, but it’s neither beautiful nor profound. It has been called “visually stunning” by a multitude of critics and “deep” by most. But glossy, realistic graphics are not beautiful by that virtue, and simply bringing-up philosophical concepts is not profound.

Fritz Lang’s Metropolis, now over 90 years-old, with its grand Futurist city and equally-grand capitalism, is the obvious predecessor to the original Blade Runner. The new film proffers the same apparently imminent, bleak vision of the future we have been fed for the past century. The city is updated, shinier now, but it is still the same city. Suffice it to say, the vision is no longer fresh, compelling, or believable.

The original Blade Runner score, composed by ambient-electronic music pioneer Vangelis, has been replaced in the new Blade Runner by a bombastic and overwrought orchestral score composed by Hans Zimmer. Vangelis’s score was forward-thinking and remains fresh; Zimmer’s is another score by Zimmer. How is it that, as time draws on, sci-fi becomes less inspired in all aspects?

At 163 minutes, for a film with an absurdly sociopathic comic-book villain, action-movie violence, a holographic girlfriend, and a secret that could “break the world,” Blade Runner 2049 is also a remarkably boring and drab drama. K (Ryan Gosling), the film’s protagonist, is not unsympathetic because he’s (spoiler alert) a replicant (robot), but because he has zero charisma. Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is now old and bitter, no longer the romantic hero he was in the original, and plays a smaller role in the film than one wished or expected. Our villain, arch-capitalist Niander Wallace, played by the ever-intimidating Jared Leto (I kid), is more of a parody than a genuine terror, with his casual gratuitous cruelty and incessant Biblical allegory. There is also Mariette, possibly the film’s most intriguing character, a street-urchin prostitute and, as we later find out, a replicant revolutionary. Her role in the film is minimal, but I would gladly watch Blade Runner 2049 again if it were written from her perspective.

Every other character is forgettable, except Joi, the aforementioned hologram. She (it?) is cute, bubbly, and completely devoted to K (she was programmed, after all). But she is, as the film ceaselessly emphasizes, just a hologram. It’s hard to care very much about a character who can be “played” and “paused” at any time by her master, err, boyfriend. It’s not hard to see why some critics have pegged this Blade Runner as misogynist.

Despite its flaws, it would not be fair to dismiss Blade Runner 2049 entirely. As previously stated, it is undeniably stylish and smart. There are a few particularly exhilarating moments, such as when K and Deckard duel in front of a holographic Elvis. They trade witticisms and the action is entertaining in the most authentic way. It is a pastiche, but a worthy one. If Blade Runner 2049 worried less about being seen as so serious and embraced this side of its personality more, maybe it wouldn’t be so frustratingly middlebrow. The film’s big twist near the end also felt remarkably genuine and affecting. However, it killed all the momentum the film had, leaving it to end with an awkward 40-minute epilogue.

Although they are undeveloped, and at this point tired staples of smart sci-fi, the philosophical concepts Blade Runner 2049 brings up are certainly worth discussing. They are “What are the socioeconomic implications of modernization?” and, “What makes us human, with respect to AI?” Blade Runner 2049 makes three claims; modernization will further the social divide between men and women concurrently with the rise of AI, and this will inevitably lead to the oppression of the lower classes (the former, which is apparent in the modern world, is more intriguing than the latter, which thus far history has proven to be false). Also, the defining characteristic of humanity is that it is self-sacrificial, not necessarily that human women can give birth. The last claim would be more interesting if it didn’t result in the protagonist sacrificing himself for what is the most contrived, sappy ending I have seen in a film in years.

At first glance, Blade Runner 2049 appears to me to be a film unsure of what it wants to be; an unabashedly lowbrow sci-fi flick, or a lofty philosophical drama. But, I know that’s false; Blade Runner 2049 set out specifically to fill a certain niche (The Matrix, The Shawshank Redemption, The Dark Knight, etc.) of thoroughly entertaining movies that keep you thinking throughout. It’s a shame it couldn’t live up to those standards.

The evolution to modern day Thanksgiving

The history of Holidays has always been interesting to me, especially the evolution to the way a Holiday is celebrated currently. So, I decided to research the evolution from harvest festival to Thanksgiving.

Many Americans gather every year to have a nice meal with their family and give thanks to what is most important in their life, or something like that. My family doesn’t really do “thanks.” Either way, Thanksgiving is a long celebrated Holiday in America and I was curious where it all started.

image source: “Freedom of Want” by Norman Rockwell

Most of us probably know about the Pilgrim-Indian meal after Squanto showed sickly Pilgrims how to farm. However, many historians point out that this is more legend than fact. Truth is that historians aren’t really sure what happened on the “First Thanksgiving” and many Native Americans take offense to the widely taught version of the first Thanksgiving saying that it paints an all to sunny picture of relations between the Pilgrims and Wampanoag people, in turn masking a long history between Europeans and Native Americans that caused the death of millions of people. So, because of the doubts of the history I’ll be focusing on how Thanksgiving evolved from when it was first declared a National Holiday.

Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a National Holiday in 1863 at the height of the Civil War. Previously, many people had already celebrated Thanksgiving. Lincoln established Thanksgiving as a Holiday so Americans could ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” Lincoln scheduled Thanksgiving to be on the fourth Thursday of November. In 1939, Franklin D. Roosevelt had moved Thanksgiving up a week to the third Thursday, to try and boost retail sales during the Great Depression. However, this was met with great opposition and it was then moved, reluctantly, back to the fourth Thursday of November, in 1941.

The food traditionally served at Thanksgiving has changed from venison (deer) during the Pilgrim times, to turkey currently. This may have happened because of the abundance of deer during the 1600s. The change most notably happened in the 1800s. A book written by Sarah Josehpa Hale titled Northwood; A Tale of New England highlights the ideal Thanksgiving feast, including: turkey, beef, pork, mutton (sheep), pickles and preserves, vegetables, custards, cheese, cake and pies.

Some things have been added to the Thanksgiving tradition more recently, such as cranberry sauce, which appeared in 1912 after Cape Cod Cranberry Co. started to sell canned cranberry sauce. Green bean casserole has been added as well.

For more information about Thanksgiving, visit the following sites:

http://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving

https://www.nbcnews.com/science/lot-digest-how-thanksgiving-feast-has-evolved-over-150-years-2d11656681

 

Sports schedule for: Nov 20-25

For  a full calendar of events please refer to: http://www.sports.spps.org

Winter Sports: Co-ed Nordic Ski, Adapted Floor Hockey, Gymnastics, Girls Basketball, Boys Basketball, Wrestling, Girls Hockey, Boys Hockey, Boys Swimming, Danceline, Cheerleading, Alpine Ski

Activities the Week of November 20-25

Monday Nov. 20:

Boys Basketball begins

Wrestling begins

Tuesday Nov. 21:

Varsity Girls ‘Blades’ Hockey Tournament vs. Henry Sibley @ Baldwin United Civic Center 7:30pm


Wednesday Nov. 22:

Varsity Girls ‘Blades ‘ Hockey Tournament vs. River Falls @ Baldwin United Civic Center 7pm

Thursday Nov. 23:

Friday Nov. 24:

Varsity Girls ‘Blades ‘ Hockey Tournament vs. River Falls @ Baldwin United Civic Center 11:45am

Boys Hockey Tournament vs. Amery @ Amery Wi. Ice Arena  JV @ 12pm   Varsity @ 2pm

Saturday Nov. 25:

Varsity Boys Hockey @ Amery Ice Arena 2pm

Boys JV Hockey Tournament vs. Amery @ Amery Wi. Ice Arena 4:30pm

Varsity Girls ‘Blades’ Hockey vs. River Falls @ Baldwin United Civic Center 3pm

Go Scots!