Mariah Carey remains an icon


On Nov. 3rd, Mariah Carey released the 25th anniversary edition of her Merry Christmas album. The original release of this music proved to be history in the making, as “All I Want for Christmas is You” became one of the most popular Christmas songs of the 21st century. Carey is a Christmas music titan, her voice flooding the airways of every radio station.

Carey has remained popular for a very long time, while maintaining a relatively positive public image. During the live New Year’s Rockin’ Eve show in 2017, she was clearly lip syncing to one of her songs, and eventually walked off stage in the middle of a song because she was off. This caused a lot of people to question her legitimacy as a musician. Much of her career since has been proving herself as a musician.

While people’s opinions of Carey as a vocalist may have been stirred during that performance, nobody can doubt her skill as a businesswoman. She has manufactured herself as more than just a person. Mariah Carey is now her own brand. Her relevance in pop culture has adapted as culture has adapted itself.

I will not argue that Mariah Carey’s Merry Christmas is anything less than iconic; however, the re-release of this album can raise some questions. In a time where all music is released digitally and is online forever, why publish an album again 25 years after its original release?

A possible explanation for the re-release of the album is a money grab by the artist. This culminates in multiple different opportunities for an artist to increase their wealth.

Carey knows the influence this Christmas album has had. Die-hard fans will buy the physical album as soon as it drops, and people who missed out on the original release of the album will want it to add to their collection. This is a tactic used by a lot of artists, but now that all music is released on Apple Music, Spotify or any other streaming service, the income for artists has changed.

Re-releasing the same music will increase an artist’s overall plays on streaming services and on YouTube. It will also save money on production, as none of the original songs are being re-recorded. Carey is a performer, but is also an entrepreneur. She knows how to make money and keep her name relevant, and that is exactly what she is doing with this album.

Carey is a businesswoman first and foremost. She has established herself as a brand, distancing the person Mariah Carey really is from the performer. This happens a lot in the entertainment industry. Sometimes it happens when artists have done something to damage their public image, but they still want people to consume their art. Carey experienced that to an extent, but her execution of the business perspective it spectacular. Not every artist that was big in the 90’s has a Tiktok account. She has made herself relevant for over 30 years, and will continue to be relevant for future generations if she continues adapting with popular culture.

Women’s soccer competes in MIAA tournament


The Alma College Women’s Soccer team concluded their season after a heartbreaking 2-1 loss to Albion on Saturday, Nov. 2. This loss came in the first round of the 2019 MIAA conference tournament.

The Scot’s started the scoring in the 30th minute with a goal from Ashley Odham (’22) to take the lead. Lily Stephan (‘23) earned an assist on the scoring play.

In the 68th minute, Albion returned the favor to tie the game at one. A second goal was scored just three minutes after by the Britons and was the last goal scored in the game.

Goalkeeper, Ally Wentworth (’21) made six saves in the game but Albion outshot the Scots 12-3 overall; allowing them to secure the victory.

 “The conference tournament was very exciting for our team. As a current junior, it was our first appearance in the tournament! The nerves were high as we were ready to get revenge on Albion. Obviously, the outcome was not what we expected and wanted, but it just gives our team more motivation to put the work in now to get the outcome we want next year!” said Makenzie Rajewski (’21).

Head coach Meghan Gorsuch spoke about the team progression throughout the year and how that prepared them to go into conference play strong.

We played a lot of tough matches early on in the season and suffered in particular two overtime losses. Later on, in the season during conference play, we had a huge overtime win against Olivet, we were able to learn from our previous experiences and apply moving forward. Winning non-conference games in the first half of season definitely gave us confidence and helped us to establish our style of play that applied in conference season,” said Gorsuch.

The team also had four women make the All-Conference team this season. Makenzie Rajewski and Lily Stephan were voted first team; Lexi Russell (’22) and Dakota Booher (’23) earned second team.

A lot of young players were playing big roles this season, including transfer sophomore Lexi Russell.

“As a transfer sophomore, I found this transition to be amazing. My individual growth and success this season came largely from the team and the positive environment they provided all season. They brought competition, excitement, energy, and encouragement every day whether it be to practices, games, lifts or team events. I am so grateful to have been given this opportunity to be a part of this team this past season and help contribute to the team’s success,” said Russell.

Though the team is young there is still a vital part that is filled by upperclassman, including junior Makenzie Rajewski.

“I am very proud of our team this year. We are a very young team and are full of potential! We were ranked last in preseason rankings and ended up in 4th place. We had many come-back wins and also defeated the number 1 ranked team. We fought hard this year and it showed. To say the least, we have grown so much in the past year and have a lot of growing to still do!” said Rajewski.

A major accomplishment for the team this season was their major strides in performance from last season, Coach Meghan Gorsuch gave some insight on that.

“There was a belief in the team’s mission and process to get there this season. There was a willingness to learn and less of an ego problem this year. Everybody was willing to put in the work and accepted their roles, which is essential for genuine team chemistry. There are always things to work on, but we connected on and off the field and that makes a difference,” said Gorsuch.

The team moves into next season with big goals and lots of confidence after their promising season.

“Moving into next season our goals are focused around our performance and commitment in the off-season. By holding ourselves accountable, lifting, and practicing in the off-season, we can work towards even greater success next season. Being ranked first in conference is a goal we have for next season and, of course, the main goal will be to win our conference tournament and be selected for the D3 NCAA tournament,” said Russell.

The Scots’ Women’s Soccer team finished with a 10-6-1 overall record and 5-3 in the conference. This was a strong finish compared to last season, when they only had two wins overall.

Impeachment update: House votes to formalize inquiry


Impeachment has been at the forefront of cable TV rotation and newspaper headlines since House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi, announced there would be a formal investigation into potential impeachable offences by the President and the Trump Administration. 

Previous to the Oct. 31 vote to formally launch into an official impeachment inquiry — which fell strongly along party lines — there had been a preliminary investigation to determine if there were questionable actions committed and sufficient evidence to require such procedure. 

Investigators within the House of Representatives have been digging deeper into the facts of the phone conversation with Mr. Trump and President Zelensky of Ukraine. The element in question regarding this call was the suggestion of a quid pro quo between information about one of Trump’s political rivals and military funding for Ukraine. 

Knowledge of this phone conversation was made public after an anonymous whistle blower reported their concern in a letter sent to Chairman Richard Burr and Chairman Adam Schiff.  In this letter it was listed that many U.S. officials had knowledge of this call, one that the author believed to present a risk to national security. 

Prior to the vote, The White House and Republican lawmakers had cited that due to a lack of an official status on the inquiry, there was not a legal mandate to comply with subpoenas and requests to testify. 

However, the vote to officialize the inquiry did not change the opinions of many GOP members, citing unfairness towards the president in the set of rules established guiding the procedure.

As new evidence has emerged and other witnesses to the phone call testified, several members of congress who had previously been publicly undecided on the matter have came out in support of an impeachment trial. 

House Speaker Pelosi has been cognizant on the historical importance, reminding us that only two U.S. Presidents have been formally impeached, Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton, Nixon was subject to an inquiry but resigned before articles were voted upon. Pelosi is quoted by NPR saying, “this is a solemn occasion,” and “the times have found every one of us in this room.”

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has remained unshaken by the formalization of the inquiry and during a floor speech questioned the legitimacy of the process. 

The confirmation vote to continue with the impeachment inquiry has done little to change course of what was already occurring, gathering information and questioning witnesses about the content of the July phone call, as well as potential other instances. It simply formalized the investigation. 

The House committees tasked with the investigation have called upon many federal officers and Trump Administration officials to testify about their knowledge of the call.  The President has allegedly asked those involved in his administration not to testify, this request however has only blocked a small number from speaking to congress. 

As there has only been three impeachment inquires in the 243 years the United States has existed, there is little precedent to guide what happens next.  Formally, the House of Representatives will need to vote to confirm Articles of Impeachment to move the process forward. 

The Senate would then take control of the situation, using evidence gathered by the House inquiry to hold a trial overseen by Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, John Roberts.  This would proceed similar to a court case, with prosecutors and defense lawyers presenting a case before the “jury” of 100 senators.

It was once speculated whether or not Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell would hold the hearing if presented with articles of impeachment.  He has since publicly confirmed that he would indeed convene a trial as designated by the constitution. 

The world will be watching what is to occur in the coming weeks, in the event that Trump is removed from office, he will be the first in American history to have such action against him.  If not, he will be simply added to the list of Presidents in question during their time in the Oval Office.  Either way, these are historic times, echoing what Speaker Pelosi said, they should be treated as such.   

Controversial costumes spark debate during celebrations


Halloween is a time for children to dress up, trick-or-treat and have a fun and safe night. It is a way for them to express themselves in a different way by impersonating something, or someone else.

On Oct. 31, in Jamestown, Tennessee, seven teenagers dressed as members of the Ku Klux Klan in the group’s white robes and hoods. There was a video fourteen second video posted to Youtube titled, “2019 Halloween in Jamestown Tennessee,” showing the high schoolers walking around a drive-in.

There has been an outcry against allowing these costumes in the local community. While there were no actual crimes committed, people have thought it was inappropriate to dress in that manner.

While Kasey Jones (’22) had not heard about the incident she said she was not surprised.

“As an education student, it worries me that students want to dress like that,” said Jones. “It makes me wonder what their home life is like and what influences they have.”

This is not the first time that Halloween costumes have become controversial. In past years, there have been issues from people dressing as members of the Ku Klux Klan. In 2013, a mother in Virginia allowed her seven-year-old son dress in the outfit claiming it was “family tradition.”

Halloween costumes have been under closer watch in recent years as people are becoming more sensitive to cultural appropriation. There have been questions about whether it is okay to dress as characters such as Moana, Pocahontas, Aladdin and many others.

“I think that people shouldn’t be dressing as geisha or indigenous women for Halloween and see why people are upset,” said Stephanie Eckstorm (’22). “It’s another level to be a Klan member because they were a hate group.”

This issue has led to the question regarding when freedom of expression is protected and when is it not. It also requires people to look for a line to be drawn about what is okay and what is not in regards to actions.

Freedom of expression is an unenumerated right. This means that it is not directly spelled out within the constitution, but it is implied. There are direct protections of freedom of speech and press which many interpret to protect other ways of self-expression that go beyond just words.

Dr. Nicholas Dixon, professor of philosophy, believes that costumes are protected under the First Amendment and points out the Supreme Court case, National Socialist Party of America v. Skokie (1977). In this ruling, they said it was legal for Nazis to march in full regalia.

“In general, I think that costumes that demean or degrade a group of people, like ones involving blackface, are morally problematic,” said Dixon. “I would also criticize costumes designed to make fun of people who have experienced tragedies like mass shootings.  To mock people who are already vulnerable seems cruel and callous.”

This is an issue that should be addressed in regards of when it is okay to express themselves and when it crosses a moral line.

“Expressions should be cut off when people are or were harmed by what you are doing,” said Eckstorm. “You have to think about the historical context and what they did and how it affected people.”

The situation is complicated when looking at how people understand certain topics and how they are addressed in society. There is a balance between the laws and morality that needs to be considered.

“There is a fine line sometimes on what is acceptable and what is not acceptable,” said Jones. “I definitely think that there needs to be some more awareness on this topic.”

Welcome to the return of the black parade


Around the world, fans of My Chemical Romance are dusting off the band t-shirts from their teenage years. On Oct. 31, the band announced that after breaking up for six years, they have come back together for a series of reunion shows.

The first show, which is sold out, takes place in Los Angeles, California, on Dec. 20. The band then takes a break for three months, resuming in Melbourne, Australia, on Mar. 20. From there, they travel to Sydney, New Zealand and Japan.

My Chemical Romance first formed as a group in 2001 in New Jersey. They released their debut album, I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love, in 2002. From there, Three Cheers for Sweet Revenge, which ended up going platinum, was released in 2004, and The Black Parade was released in 2006.

The Black Parade World Tour started on Feb. 22, 2007 and had a total of 133 shows. During this time, My Chemical Romance received mixed reviews for The Black Parade, their third studio album. While they did end up receiving numerous awards because of the album, a British tabloid known as The Sun published an article stating that the band was linked to the death of a thirteen-year-old British girl named Hannah Bond.

The coroner of the case suggested that the girl’s obsession with My Chemical Romance was linked to her suicide and that “emo” music glamorized and promoted suicide towards its audiences.

Outraged by these words, a group of British fans came together in protest of the article. They first planned a march starting in Hyde Park and ending outside the office of the Daily Mail, which openly did not support My Chemical Romance. The march was called off and instead, fans came together at Marble Arch to protest.

Soon after this, My Chemical Romance announced they would go on a tour through the United States before taking a break. They also released a live DVD collection called The Black Parade is Dead!.

On Nov. 22, 2010, the band released their fourth studio album, Danger Days: The True Lives of the Fabulous Killjoys. Just as they did with The Black Parade, the band received mixed reviews from critics. “Sing,” one of the songs off the album, was labeled as propaganda. However, the band was unphased.

The band’s final project started on Oct. 2012 and ended in Feb. 2013, featuring two unreleased songs that had been recorded in 2009 each month. The project was called Conventional Weapons.

On Mar. 22, 2013, only a month after the final two songs were released, the band announced its break-up. They released a greatest hits album, May Death Never Stop You, on Mar. 25, 2014.

Each member continued their musical careers, either solo or collaborating with other artists. In addition to releasing music, lead vocalist Gerard Way worked on comic books, one of which was later adapted for Netflix series The Umbrella Academy.

Now, six and a half years after their break-up, the band is back for a series of five shows. They will also be releasing a new merchandise line.

Since Oct. 31, when the band announced their reunion, fans have been going wild.

“I honestly got into [My Chemical Romance] right after they broke up, and I was pretty sad about it when I realized,” said Hallie Sage (’22). “I’m super excited to hear the new stuff they’re making. I hope it isn’t quite what they did before, but something that’s still them.”

The only concert in the United States is sold out, but the other four in Australia, New Zealand, and Japan still have tickets available, and in the meantime, fans are anxiously awaiting any other surprises the band might throw their way.

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