What better way to end off this three part series than with royalty. We all know of the British Royal Family, after all Queen Elizabeth II is technically our Head of State. The Crown is an interesting addition to the list of Netflix Originals and follows the public and private life of Elizabeth II, from her younger years to her present reign. The series is set to have six seasons and two seasons so far have aired. The award-winning drama contains an impressive amount of historical accuracy as well as a mix of well-grounded political affairs and intense private moments. It's safe to say that if you weren't interested in the history of royalty before, you certainly will be after watching The Crown.
Due to the fact that The Crown is to cover Queen Elizabeth's entire reign, new castings will take place for the third and fourth seasons as well as the fifth and six seasons. The first two seasons star Claire Foy as Her Majesty the Queen and Matt Smith as Prince Philip. The series also showcases Vanessa Kirby as Princess Margaret, Eileen Atkins as Queen Mary, John Lithgow as Winston Churchill and Jeremy Northam as Anthony Eden among others. So far, The Crown has been met with positive responses. Rotten Tomatoes gave the first season a whopping 89% approval rating. Metacritic also gave the series favorable reviews, calling it universally astounding. The Crown has also won a number of awards. The series won the 2017 Golden Globe for Best Television Series in Drama as well as The Top Ten TV Programs of the Year award in 2018 from the American Film Institute. Given the tremendous success of the first two seasons, The Crown is expected to last the full six seasons with the third season coming out later in 2019.
The Crown opens with the final months of the reign of King George VI, Elizabeth's father. The series showcases the wedding of Elizabeth and Philip in 1947, which was held at Westminster Abbey in London. While the young couple are on tour in Kenya, news came of King George's death. Shortly afterward, Elizabeth is proclaimed Queen of England and is hastily drafted into public life. The season then deals with a number of historical events and situations such as The Queen's meetings with Prime Minister Winston Churchill and the Great Smog of London. The series also delves into The Queen's personal life with her husband, Prince Philip, and her sister, Princess Margaret. In season two Elizabeth is once again drawn to the world stage, this time because of the Suez Crisis. On one hand The Queen has British imperialists who are in favor of an invasion in Egypt, while on the other hand she has countries across the world, as well as the United Nations, who are closely watching her every move in the crisis. Season two also features the birth of Prince Edward in 1964 and the retirement of British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan. The season concludes in the mid 1960's with the third season expected to pick things up shortly thereafter.
Overall The Crown is sure to impress both history buff's and drama seekers. The series presents the life of Queen Elizabeth both dramatically yet accurately. Each episode contains a well-blended mixture of public life and private affairs. Even though the series is only a third complete, it still manages to capture a large audience.
Ah yes, Netflix, the supposed immortal streaming service that will shut down cable companies in a month, we have dismissed that claim. This is exactly what many major cable companies are thinking nowadays, since Netflix isn't always as great as everyone thought. It's true that Netflix is still extremely popular, especially among younger generations. However, the online streaming service has a habit of taking off decent, classic shows and replacing them with "Netflix Originals." These new shows come in a wide array of genres from documentaries to soap operas and are only available on Netflix, which, by the way isn't exactly a bad thing in some cases. While it's true that many of us dread Netflix putting on more of their own shows, some of them aren't half bad. In fact, there are three Netflix Originals that are downright impressive. Throughout the next three articles I'll be touching on the television shows of Narcos, House of Cards and The Crown. I find that these Netflix Originals are actually better than some long running TV shows found on cable. For example, the first show I'll be delving into, Narcos, immerses the viewer in an award-winning historical drama based on the rise and fall of Pablo Escobar.
While those of us who are history buffs are no doubt aware of famous drug lord Pablo Escobar, many others have not even heard of him. If you had the pleasure of being alive during the 1980's and were old enough to spell Pablo Escobar, you probably remember the news coverage focused on the Columbian drug cartels. Regardless whether or not you were alive or have a keen interest in Latin American history, Narcos is not a show to be missed. Even if historical dramas aren't your cup of tea, you will no doubt find at least a little solace in the action gripping scenes and story throughout the show.
Narcos spans three regular seasons, each containing ten episodes. The series stars Wagner Moura as Pablo Escobar, Boyd Holbrook as Steve Murphy and Pedro Pascal as Javier Pena. Narcos also features Maurice Compte as Haracio Carrillo, Bruno Bichir as Fernando Duque and Raul Mendez as Cesar Gaviria. The series started off with fair ratings from critics in season one. However, by the second season Rotten Tomatoes gave the series a 92% approval rating, one of the highest ever given for a Netflix original series. Other reviewers such as Metacritic and IGN also praised the series for its historical accuracy and its action-packed stand-off scenes.
Narcos begins with the story of Pablo Escobar, who was already a renowned Columbian black marketer in the 1970's, finding his way into the cocaine smuggling business. The series also follows the journey of two Drug Enforcement Agents, Steve Murphy and Javier Pena as they work with the Columbian government to bring Escobar to justice. Throughout the first season, Pablo Escobar builds up the famed drug cartel known as The Medellin Cartel. When DEA agents, with the assistance of Columbian authorities, finally get Escobar to surrender, the infamous drug lord builds his prison as a paradise. Dissatisfied with the end result of the negotiations for Escobar's surrender, the President of Columbia attempts to take Escobar into federal custody. The first season ends with Escobar once again escaping the clutches of authorities. In the second season of the series, Escobar's organization starts to take a hit. Numerous betrayals and acts of violence eventually topple the famed drug cartel and Escobar is put on the run. As more and more of his supporters turn up dead or betray him, Escobar loses his grand fortune, worth billions of U.S. dollars. The season ends with the execution of Pablo Escobar.
With the execution of Pablo Escobar at the end of the second season, the third season of Narcos takes a different turn and focuses more on the DEA's effort to bring the Cali Cartel to justice. Although some characters do reappear, such as Javier Pena, many others left the series following the conclusion of Escobar's story. Throughout the third season the leaders of the Cali Cartel attempt to leave the cocaine business for good, most likely frightened of what happened to Pablo Escobar. Being an immensely profitable business, many others in the organization are in disagreement with the decision and disputes erupt across the cartel. Javier Pena and the Columbian government use this to their advantage to take down one of the last remaining Columbian drug cartels. The series ends following the dissolution of the Cali Cartel and the acknowledgement that the drug trade has moved north, to Mexico. Following in on this fact, Netflix proceeded to release a new Netflix Original Series on the Mexican Drug Wars, titled Narcos: Mexico.
Yes, this is the week I will be delving into the fragile and unpredictable House of Cards. It's safe to say that this Netflix Original is often associated with the image of Netflix itself. Often called Netflix's first success, House of Cards follows the slippery and slimy political journey of Congressman Frank Underwood. The show features a variety of dark themes, often associated with today's political climate, such as ruthlessness, manipulation and betrayal. After viewing the first few episodes you'll be hard pressed not to binge watch this dark and dramatic tale.
House of Cards stars Kevin Spacey as Frank Underwood, Robin Wright as Claire Underwood, Michel Gill as Garrett Walker and Gerald McRaney as Raymond Tusk. The series also features Molly Parker as Jackie Sharp, Kate Mara as Zoe Barnes and Jayne Atkinson as Catherine Durant among others. Overall House of Cards has received favorable reviews. Season one scored an 85% rating with Rotten Tomatoes for its strong performances and gripping drama. Other reviewers such as Metacritic also gave the series a generous review, citing astonishing performances from both Robin Wright and Kevin Spacey. Although the series maintains positive reviews throughout, general affection for the show begins to decline dramatically following season four.
House of Cards begins with Frank Underwood, the House Majority Whip, being denied the position of Secretary of State by incoming President Garrett Walker. Absolutely enraged Frank and his wife Clare begin to see how things are done in D.C. and vow to take revenge on those who grounded them. Throughout the first season Frank openly supports the President and his administration while secretly looking to gain a cabinet position by any means necessary. Frank begins to use ruthless tactics and takes advantage of local media reporter Zoe Barnes to damage his rivals. He also looks towards manipulating the current Vice President. After Frank's dirty deeds and manipulative games convince the Vice President to resign, Frank eventually gets the position himself at the end of the first season. Still disgusted with being betrayed by President Walker and armed with enough ambition to sink a ship, Frank makes it his mission to take the top job in the country. However, throughout the second season many of his former allies turn on him and begin investigating his activities. In response to these investigations Frank eliminates his competitors one by one with his ruthless precision. To cover his tracks, he also kills the reporter, Zoe Barnes.
By the third season Frank and Clare Underwood have taken over the White House and begin to set their plans in motion. However, many disagreements and disputes erupt between them on how to carry out said plans. On top of this Frank is also pushing his America Works job program, which is met with fierce backlash. Season four opens with Clare Underwood wanting to kickstart her own political career. She attempts to run for a seat in Congress but ultimately loses. Meanwhile Frank has his attention turned to the upcoming election and his opponent Governor Will Conway. As the election approaches, the season ends with Frank putting Clare as his Vice President, the first time in history a couple is on the presidential ticket. Season five, the final season with Kevin Spacey, sees fierce electoral campaigning on both sides. However, under the guise of a terrorist attack, Frank stops the election and the official results are delayed. After more dirty and devilish deals, Frank secures his spot as President and Clare's as VP. Unfortunately, this is short lived as Frank is forced to resign his position to Clare, as investigations into Zoe Barnes's death begin take place. The season ends with Clare telling viewers it is now her turn in the spotlight.
Overall House of Cards never fails to impress and grasp the attention of viewers. Although the shows quality started to decline following the fourth season, it still possessed award winning performances and ground-breaking plot twists. Following the conclusion of the sixth season, in which Clare Underwood serves as the first female President of the United States following Frank's death, the series ends after running for a total of six years.
The leader of the Green Party will be giving a public talk entitled “1.5 to Stay Alive: Finding Hope in Dangerous Times” coming this Friday. On the 15th of March at 2:00p.m. in Brodie 4-47 the leader will be making it known to all students the challenges we all face in this economy and political climate.
Elizabeth May is an American born Canadian politician who has been in the political arena for quite some time. She is an environmental advocate first though and has spent a lot of her time since 1970 trying to defend the environment. She had graduated from Dalhousie Law School in 1983 and also studied theology at Saint Paul University.
May has a long record for social justice of the environment and humans and is adamant about finding pragmatic economic solutions. In her earlier days she worked on getting rid of aerial insecticdes and other harmful gases. The Green Party leader spent a large portion of her life in Nova Scotia and much of her volunteer work and roots can be found there.
Elizabeth May has been a Senior Policy Advisor to the federal Environment Minister of 1986 and was instrumental in the creation of several national parks. She has been involved in the negotiating of many environmental deals across Canada, working to protect the ozone layer and limit pollution.
Elizabeth May has been the leader of the Green Party since 2006, was named one of the world’s most influential women in 2010 and in 2011 made history by winning the first Green Party seat in the House of Commons. She is now a MP representative of Saanich-Gulf Islands. This speech coming up on Friday is sure to be one of interest to anyone intrigued with politics or the environment!
What is so special about St. Patrick’s Day? It just seems like a day of debauchery and green stuff everywhere.
Sincerely, Waiting For Easter
Dear Leprechaun Over Bunny,
You know why people like to drink and commit debauchery? Because people live in the now. They want to forget the real world they live in and all the BS they regularly face. They drink and do stupid things to get that same rush they would if they worked at a job they liked or played a game they enjoyed.
People long to achieve the same feelings they did when they were young. The only difference is now they have freedom and money to do what they want. When you were a kid you wanted to dance on the table, wanted to hangout with your friends and feel socially accpeted. You wanted to wear ridiculous colours for no other reason than they looked super cool and you wanted to eat whatever food or snacks you so desired at the time.
St Patty’s Day is signifcant to the general public because it is another excuse to drink and commit the debaucherous acts they normally would on a weekend. Good ol’ Patty was not about that life though. What he wanted was for people to confess their sins and work towards being closer with God. Especially the bloody Irish who stole him as a wee lad.
You know what else St. Patrick was famous for? Ridding Ireland of snakes. Ya, so maybe instead of having people getting drunk and doing Irish yoga the next morning (off a toilet), we should get together to hunt down druids and snakes alike.
Just saying that would be far more in line with what the man was all about aside from the other actions and accidental pregnancies which are committed in his name. My point here is this... Sometimes you just got to get drunk and start hunting pagans.
All Salute The Eternal City,
Quinitilius of Rome
Not many political parties can catch my attention. I am a pretty simple human being, I see things which I consider cool, productive, for the betterment of mankind and I go “Wow those ideas sure are efficient.” Then when I see things are which I consider dumb, unproductive or down right disrespectful I say “Wow those ideas sure could be more inclusive.” As far as political parties I am usually left shaking my head both ways as I walk in to the traffic which is the political arena.
There are many things I do not think need to be politicized but when it comes to satire? Well that may be my favourite type of politics. One group who I think are brilliant Canadian leaders in this field include the members of the Rhino Party. Parti Rhinoceros is a satirical political party which I think holds up its beliefs about as well as any other party. Oh, you’re curious what some of their platform promises are? Here let me inform you and help you get woke.
The Rhino Party would like to take Canada off of the gold standard, instead opting for a currency that better benefits Canada. We would instead use the snow standard to boost the economy. Next the Party has a law it would like to see repealed which weighs people down. With the law of gravity repealed everyone everywhere would be more free and the only thing that would hold them down would be what they could tie to the earth.
However if you thought the Rhino Party was just all puns and wordplay you would be sorely mistaken, they have serious goals too! For example, they would like to provide a higher education for students and also want to end crime. To achieve their education goals schools must simply need to be built taller and all laws need to be abolished.
The Rhino Party would really change up the political and geographical landscape if they had their way. They would the Rockies torn down so that Alberta can see the Pacific sun set and pave the Bay of Fundy to make parking more available for the maritimes. In Quebec they would abolish lawn mowing in Outremont and change rue Ste-Catherine into the worlds longest bowling alley.
Finally the Rhino Party also has plans for the democratic government and changes to make so that it would be more efficient. These include reforming Loto-Canada so they replace cash prizes with Senate appointments and have the Queen seated in Buckingham Quebec instead of that old dusty town of London.
With goals and plans like these its incredible that this party is not still around in a much greater force. The Rhinoceros are definitely the way to go when it comes to reshaping the Canadian dream. Please all help make Canada Great Again, one bad joke at a time.
Why do Manitoban’s call the public holiday “Louis Riel Day” opposed from Ontarian’s who call it “Family Day”?
Sincerely, Traitor’s Over Family?
Louis Riel Day is an established day in Manitoba that represents the interdependent relationship that Manitoba has with the rest of Canada. Manitoba is a crucial piece of the diverse puzzle of Canada and an entity capable of making its own crucial developments on grand scales. Manitoba was the first province of the west and it seems proper that it is defined in subtle differences across language and traditions.
Ontarian’s, synonymous with fools, have this funny way of making everything about them. “Why would anyone change the name of Family Day? Do those backwards Manitobans not understand the value of family?” The province of Manitoba understands the need for diversity in challenging times, the idea that everything need not conform perfectly and that some ideals are worth fighting for.
The holiday did not even originate in Ontario! Alberta was the first to introduce the holiday and all the other provinces just jumped aboard with their own versions. Some kept the name, some found something more significant. You know what else Manitoba has that is different from Ontario? Socials for partying, Churchill for exploring the great north, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights and a legendary bear named after its provincial capital!
Manitoba chose the name Louis Riel Day over the others because it was created by people who had a right to choose, to be pushed around or to defend its inhabitants cultures and ways of life. Louis Riel continues providing a meaningful vision and creating a historically respectful path for the future.
All Salute The Eternal City,
Quinitilius of Rome
The Brandon University Student Union election is quickly approaching. On March 1st and 2nd, students across campus will cast their ballot for who they want to represent them in BUSU executive and council positions. But what does BUSU actually do? Why should students take time out of their busy schedule to vote in the student union elections? Throughout the majority of your high school journey, and perhaps even before, you were most likely told how important voting is and how you should cherish the right to vote as many others across the world do not get that opportunity. Indeed, as not too long ago even various groups of people in Canada did not have the right to vote. Voting in the BUSU election is no different, and given the amount of services and programs BUSU has for students, it’s well worth your while to analyze and decide who you think should run and oversee those programs.
In truth, BUSU provides a variety of services, many of them covered in your initial tuition fee payment. One of the most important services that they manage for students is the student health and dental plan. Every year students pay approximately $250.00 and in return get coverage for things like vision care, dental care and prescription drugs. Many students do not have other health insurance coverage, making this plan even more valuable for some. You never know when you could get an infection and require antibiotics or get a toothache and require dental work. Although BUSU executives and staff are the ones that oversee the opt in and opt out process for the health and dental program, the actual insurance is through StudentVIP, part of C&C Insurance. Another service that BUSU provides to students in exchange for their fees is the U-Pass program. This program is in cooperation with the City of Brandon and Brandon Transit and has been in operation since 2011. It provides students with an annual, unlimited transit pass, that allows them to get around all across the city. The best part is that the U-Pass is extremely cheap, only costing a total of $19.00. This service like the health and dental insurance plan, can prove to be invaluable to students. Even for students who possess a car, it never hurts to have a backup plan, especially if it costs less than $20.00.
Did you now that as a student of Brandon University you’re entitled to various discounts around Brandon? That is because of the Paw Pass program that BUSU manages. The Paw Pass program enables students to receive discounts between 10-50% at over 40 businesses across Brandon and neighbouring communities. Some of the major discounts include 40% off at Domino's pizza and 20% off at MedSafe Pharmacy. All that students have to do in order to cash in on these discounts is to get a Paw Pass sticker on the back of their student cars. These stickers can be picked up at the BUSU office. Another important, yet confidential service, offered by BUSU is the BUSU Food Bank. Every Friday from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the third floor of the Knowles-Douglas Building BUSU operates a food bank for all Brandon University students to use. The BUSU Food Bank distributes well-rounded, meal supplement food hampers, which has items that cover all four major food groups. The food hamper includes products like bread, milk, eggs and non-perishable food items. If students cannot pick up food hampers during the regular hours of the BUSU Food Bank, then other arrangements can be made by stopping in at the BUSU office on the first floor of the Knowles-Douglas Building.
These services are just a fraction of what BUSU provides to students in exchange for the large chunk of cash they get at the beginning of the school year. Programs like the health and dental plan and the Paw Pass provide benefits to students throughout the school year. Although some of these programs have a large up-front cost, many of them prove their value overtime. Therefore, it is instrumental that students exercise their right to vote in this BUSU election. You have the opportunity to decide who will be overseeing these programs and services. Make good on those high school promises and vote!
President - Olusola Akintola
Vice-President Internal (contested) - Whitney Hodgins
Vice-President Internal (contested) - Tyler Mackenzie Kilbride
Vice-President External - April Li
Indigenous People's Director - Valerie Sandy
Graduate Studies Director (contested) - Shumaila Qurashi
Graduate Studies Director (contested) - Natashalee Thompson
Music Director - Katherine Charles
Part-Time & Mature Students Director - Abosede Janet Akintola
Arts Director - Uzoma Duru
Health Studies Director - Ken Neufeld
Women's Director - Fatima Abdullahi
International Students Director (contested) - Tanya Fletchman
International Students Director (contested) - Dooshinee Indurjeek
Student at Large Senator* - Brittany Rigby
Student at Large Senator* - Denise Henry
Arts Senator - Rachel Shurvell
*There are two Student at Large positions in the Senate and so these are
not contested campaigns
Love is a disease
it starts with a carrier
unaffected by the pathogen
it knowingly spreads
Love is extremely contagious
so much as a single look
is often enough to infect
The carrier finds a victim
unaware of the danger
as eyes meet, hearts palpitate
spreading the venom quicker
Pheromones flood logic centres
neurotoxins inducing insanity
the jade wasp walks its prey
towards the regrettably chill flicks of net
That compel roaches to walk off cliffs
carrying flowers and chocolates
seeking a rainbow bridge of hope
finding no more than pretty-coloured moisture
Nurturing parasitic demon babies that burst out of a scooped clean chest
a dine and dash leaving their guest
to pay the unsettled romance cheque
and the hotel room? left a wreck
Befouled by graffiti on room walls written
in what smells like Odin's urine
Roses come in more hues than red
Violets are violet not blue
There's more to romance than what's said
On some card conveying love to you
Valentine’s Day. The perfect evening to spend alone. Or not! Looking for a less lonely way to spend the day, whether single or ready to awkwardly make small talk and mingle? Brandon Pride has an event going on that’s worth considering. “I Love You Queerly” is being hosted by Brandon Pride and Lady of the Lake Shop Café and Pub. The event will be taking place down at, you guessed it, Lady of the Lake. It’s a licensed event starting at 6:00p.m. and goes till 9:00p.m., it’s all ages and an accessible space with Gender Neutral washrooms on site!Overall sounds like a pretty classy way to spend Valentine’s Day, though if you’d rather plot out what store’s clearance chocolate you’re going to grab first that’s valid too.
It’s a free to attend event, though if you’re worried about seating calling ahead and making a reservation with Lady of the Lake is an option. Along with being free to attend there will be free nachos provided by Pride, with board and card games for entertainment. Lady of the Lake is located down across the 18th street bridge at 135 13th Street North and their café phone number is: 204-726-8785.
I am looking for routines to help with my mental health, what are your top suggestions?
Sincerely, Let’s Talk
Dear Mental Health,
To prepare for the war going on inside your head I would suggest gathering your tool kit first. Make a list of what makes you happy, what objects that you can have on hand, who you can talk to, and what are your favourite things to watch or read. You are also going to need to know what may set you off or be a trigger for the battle in your head to kick off. Is it a saying, task, person or place you could avoid or at least minimize? This first step is taking stock of the situation.
After you’ve made several considerations, it’s time to write down a plan. Plan from the moment you are going to bed tonight backwards to the very morning you are writing this. You are going to need to visualize your whole day and plan how you are going to face each struggle. For example: when you run into stressor ‘A’ early in the morning, what tools from your toolkit can you use to get away from the stress or lessen it. At stressor ‘B’ is there a better tool you can use to solve this problem.
Maybe your tool is just for waiting the stressor out. Say you have a bad class that brings you to the breaking point. You can’t skip it, these are the classes you are taking to work towards getting a job in something that you love (plus you paid like $350 to sit in this place). You may need something to get you through the class like a pen, quarter, fidget cube etc. whatever you can play with that will allow you to both semi-relax and stay engaged. Each stressor may have its own unique tool and don’t be afraid to carry different tools or techniques around with you.
In down times make your plans and prepare your tools. The more you sweat or practice in times of peace, the less you will bleed or suffer in times of war.
All Salute The Eternal City,
Quinitilius of Rome
Sometimes a comic surprises you. You pick up a series and begin to journey through the story, certain you know exactly what kind of narrative you are reading. You look at the cover, maybe you even read a review, and you convince yourself that the series you hold in your hands contains the same tropes and plot holes that you’ve sunk into so many times before.
When I picked up Coda, a comic published by rising star BOOM! Studios, I was sure I had seen the series a million times before. Touted as Lord of the Rings meets Mad Max, Coda was supposed to be a series set in a post-apocalyptic fantasy realm where the dark lord won and the world, once filled with magic, was left to pick up the pieces. The story was supposed to follow a poetic bard named Hum as he struggled to survive while searching through the rubble of his once familiar life, desperately looking for the woman he loves. Coda was supposed to be wildly over the top, deeply rooted in the history of the fantasy genre, and provide “no-holds-barred” entertainment. But I was lied to. Coda isn’t just all of those things; instead, Coda is so far beyond the expectations I built up around it that it is something else entirely.
Maybe the first sign Coda was different was when the foul-mouthed unicorn with a predilection for murder showed up; or maybe it was the face-melting art by Uruguayan artist Matías Bergara; or maybe it was the heart-wrenching story by Simon Spurrier, a story of a man trying desperately to hold on to what he loves. Either way, somewhere along the line, Coda transformed. It changed from an over-done tale of post-apocalyptic wasteland into a hulking war-beast that asks whether or not you can truly love something if you also want to change it.
Coda surprised me. Everything from the sugar-coated blood bath of a colour palette to the deeply self-reflective narrative was fresh and unexpected. Coda is one of the rare instances where a comic is exactly what it says it is and everything that you didn’t think it could be.