Katy Barnes

Are superheroes encouraging fascism?

In a world of ultra-nationalism and intense political divisiveness, is there still room for the standard American superhero? According to Eric Kripke, showrunner of Amazon’s “The Boys,” there may not be.  In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Kripke discussed his understanding of superheroes, and the way that he believes they are responsible for the rise in alt-right politics. In fact, Kripke outright tells The Hollywood Reporter that when it comes to classic superhero stories that, “there’s these undeniable fascist underpinnings to it. They’re there to protect white, patriotic America.” But is this true?  Though their creation stories are filled with the pro-American rhetoric of the 1930s and 1940s, they still were created to protect people, not ideals.  After all, superheroes were created by marginalized people, to defend the marginalized.  Iconic creators such as Stan Lee, Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster created characters to tear down rising Anti-Semitic notions. When they wrote characters to “uphold American Ideals,” they didn’t mean the ideals the nation has, but rather the ideals the nation was built upon and the ideals the nation should follow. As other issues began to become more prevalent in America, such as racism and misogyny, superheroes began to take on these issues as well.  An iconic image of Superman created in 1949 states, “If YOU hear anybody talk against a schoolmate or anyone else because of his religion, race or national origin—don’t...

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New “Phineas and Ferb” movie

When Disney + originally launched in 2019, one of the bigger titles the streaming service promised was another “Phineas and Ferb” movie. Ending in 2015, “Phineas and Ferb” has been one of the more successful Disney Cartoons of the 2000’s, and a return to the silver screen was something to be excited about. Aside from an hour-long crossover between “Milo Murphy’s Law,” there had been a lack of “Phineas and Ferb” content. But was it worth bringing it back?  “Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against the Universe” is a strange addition to the Phineas and Ferb canon. For one, it’s about Candace – the boys and their friends are rarely the focus of the film.   Instead we follow Candace and her discovery as to why she is the way she is. It sets up the plot to be a buddy comedy between Vanessa and Candace, but quickly Vanessa is sidelined and Candace has been declared the “Chosen One” – leading Candace on the road to discovering why she feels the need to be special in the first place.  It’s supposed to serve as a look into Candace’s mentality, but it makes me think about the other times the show explored these exact themes. Episodes such as “Phineas and Ferb’s Quantum Boogaloo,” “Phineas and Ferb Get Busted!” and even “Phineas and Ferb Across the Second Dimension” all explore variations of this theme, even...

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“Animal Crossing” and political promotion

Writer Katy Barnes’s digital persona poses next to her Biden yard sign in “Animal Crossing: New Horizons.” As the year has progressed, more and more events have had to be held online due to the threat of COVID-19. Virtual meeting websites such as Zoom and Skype have been used to hold classes and workshops; conventions have been utilizing Twitch and YouTube to create experiences like Comic-Con@Home.  Political campaigns have also been forced to move online, and while some are using YouTube and Zoom, others are using video games to target a younger demographic.  According to a YouGov poll, 40% of millennials say they’ve...

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The new age of thrifting

Photo by Anna Grace Askelson I love thrift shopping. Ever since I can remember, the majority of my clothes have come to me second-hand. I grew up learning the tricks of the trade at America’s Thrift, and I enjoy the process of hunting until I find a truly unique piece.  Recently thrifting has become a huge trend in America, because, as they say, “what’s old is new again”. Many members of Gen Z have found thrift shopping not only to be an effective answer to fast fashion but also an alternative to the “clean-cut” American image that many Gen...

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The Names You Know and the Stories You Don’t

Photo by Zoe Hall As many colleges have begun deliberations on whether to change the names of their buildings, Montevallo is right in the middle of their own discussion on the history of many of the buildings on campus. It initially came to the University’s attention through a petition started by UM alumna Samantha Pullen. The petition’s initial intent was to get the name of Bibb Graves, a gymnasium and dance studio on campus, changed to something that better fits the University’s current beliefs.   This petition led to a renewed interest by both the University and the community to...

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