The 2019 Grammy Awards: A Well-Executed Spectacle With Strong Celebrity Performances

By: Aidan Clarke, Staff Writer

The 2019 Grammy Awards were one of the most tumultuous in recent memory filled with all the drama one would expect when gathering some of the biggest names in music under one roof. At over four hours long, only a hard core music fan would have the resilience to watch the entire thing, but those who did were certainly rewarded with strong performances and a well executed show.

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“Everything That Rises” Illustrates the Continued Consequences of Colonialism

By: Catherine McLaughlin, Diversions Editor

Friday, Feb. 22, Laura Tanner Graham’s exhibition, “Everything That Rises” concluded in the Thompson Gallery of the Roe Art Building. Tanner Graham’s exhibition began Tuesday, Jan. 22 and was celebrated with a reception and artist talk on Feb. 4.

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Maddie De Pree is a Junior, Vol. 9: Oh, God, Television

By: Maddie De Pree, Columnist

Growing up, I didn’t watch much television. For a brief time, my family didn’t own a TV. (This was not so much based in necessity as it was in choice. Seriously, my dad had a shirt that said “KILL YOUR TV.” The other dads probably thought he was kind of weird.) The anti-TV agenda didn’t last, though, and my sister and I ultimately grew up watching the same kids’ shows as everyone else. I didn’t watch much TV in high school, though, and when I started Furman, I didn’t make much time for television either. TV just wasn’t a big part of my life.

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An Outlook on 2019’s Most Anticipated Films and Series

By: Aidan Clarke, Staff Writer

The new year is a time for all of us to reflect on who we are and who we want to be. It is a time for resolutions, self-improvement, and goals. However, with January’s midway point behind us, and most of our resolutions resigned to the ever growing scrap-heap labelled “next year,” it is worth considering what TV shows and movies we can look forward to binge watching over the next 12 months.

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Q&A With Heller’s Holiday Giving Tree Coordinator

By: Catherine McLaughlin, Diversions Editor

The Holiday Giving Tree has been an annual event coordinated through Heller Service Corps for nearly the past 50 years. In 2016, the Holiday Giving Tree was named in honor of staff member RaeNae Nay, whose spirit and passion for others during her 32 years of service inspired many to support the Heller Service Corps’ annual giving tree. Because of RaeNae’s support over the years, the Holiday Giving Tree is now an endowed event through Heller Service Corps. As Giving Tree Coordinator, Morgan Cooper sits down to talk about the drive and how to get involved.

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Papi’s Taco Truck: Shaking Up the Traditional Taco Experience

By: Caroline Scudder, Staff Writer

Papi’s Taco Truck is an authentic Mexican style restaurant nestled along the Reedy River in downtown Greenville. I had never visited its “stationary” location and had only seen “Papi’s Tacos” tents at local Greenville events. I also remember seeing them at last year’s LDOC celebration. I decided to give it a try one evening and experience something different.

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Action Film “Hunter Killer” Exceeds Expectations

By: Aidan Clarke, Staff Writer

When I went to see “Hunter Killer” I expected to be disappointed. There was the potential for a good movie here, but everything pointed to it being a failure. This movie had languished in production for years, and it did not have a large budget.

My friend, with uncharacteristic optimism, insisted we leave early when headed to the opening. “It might sell out,” he warned. It did not. Walking in to the silence of a nearly empty theater, I was filled with the fear of being disappointed that my 10 dollars would be wasted, but more importantly, that the undeniably intriguing premise of “Hunter Killer” would be squandered on a bad film.However, I have to admit that when I left I was pleasantly surprised.

“Hunter Killer” is not subtle, refined or elegant in any way. If “The Godfather” is the movie equivalent of a master painters brush, “Hunter Killer” is nothing more than a hammer; but hammers certainly have their uses. What “Hunter Killer” lacks in plot complexity, it more than makes up for in entertainment value.

South African director Donovan Marsh does an excellent job of mixing thrilling action sequences with extended moments of suspense and intrigue. It is clear that he has done his research, as the film features multiple scenes that make the most of the unique dangers and fears that all submariners must face. While perhaps lacking the exhilaration of a dogfight between dueling jets, submarines — with their cramped quarters, need for absolute silence and the constant threat of hundreds of tons of water on all sides —create a primordial suspense that Marsh exploits brilliantly.

Some of the best moments of the movie were delivered from a group of Navy SEALs sent behind enemy lines. The SEALs are played extremely well, and often deliver timely humor and action during lulls as the film progresses. In fact, most of their scenes prove to be far more memorable than some of the major plot points.

“Hunter Killer” checks all the action movie boxes, with stunning action sequences, (and gratuitous explosions) as well as clearly thought out moments of intrigue on the political and individual level. If it does have a broader message, “Hunter Killer” seems to implore trust from its audience. In that way, it is a movie for the past, far better suited for the moments of “trust but verify” as the Cold War came to its quiet end.

A downfall, however, was that Gerard Butler puts on a rather disappointing performance. Commander Joe Glass should be an unorthodox and relatable character, but Butler’s wooden, detached acting makes Glass seem more machine than man. Very few characters in the movie stood out giving the sense that they were well written, but poorly executed. Linda Cardellini, Gary Oldman and Common, could perhaps stood to have gained from increased screen time, but they too did not impress in any significant way.

So why did I like “Hunter Killer?” After all, this has hardly been a glowing review, and most film critics have absolutely despised this movie. However, there is something simple and enjoyable

about “Hunter Killer.” My enjoyment of it reminded me of an episode of the British show “Top Gear,” when host Jeremy Clarkson had to explain his preference for an inferior car. Clarkson said “This is brilliant” as he pointed to the superior car, “but I like this.” Clarkson’s point was that no matter how much worse his car was, it was fun, it made him happy. “Hunter Killer” is a movie that is riven with problems, but it is seriously enjoyable, and it makes you happy. Sometimes entertainment is all you need from a movie, and in that regard, “Hunter Killer” is a success.

Maddie De Pree is a Junior, Vol. 6: The Strange Zen of Bad Customer Service

By: Maddie De Pree, Columnist

I am a simple woman. I have simple needs. All I want is a life completely free of minor inconveniences, a life where my whims are met swiftly and unconditionally! Is that so much to ask?

I jest, of course. After all, I grew up with three siblings, so I had to do a lot of bargaining and compromising in order to get my way. I recognize that life is full of irritations, and I like to think that I accept these annoyances as they come. For the most part, I am generally a patient gal.

The one area that I have no patience for, however, is online shopping. This is why I love Amazon Prime — it’s fast, it’s vast and the review-writing community is pretty strong. I do most of my shopping (clothes and otherwise) online for that exact reason: product reviews. I like to know what I’m getting into, and the reviews section offers a chance to see what other people are saying about the product in question. Say what you will about online shopping killing brick-andmortar storefronts — I live for the thrill of a well-researched online purchase.

Hence why I was excited to place my fourth order of the semester with Uniqlo, a little-known but fabulous clothing company that specializes in affordable, wellmade basics. (Before you ask, yes, its customer base is mostly middle-aged and up. I like a good mock-neck. Leave me alone.) I bought two shirts and a pair of jeans, selected the three to five day free shipping, and waited for my confirmation email.

I waited for an hour. Then I waited for a day. A week went by, and my order still had not been processed. Menial as this was, it got under my skin. All of my previous Uniqlo orders had arrived on time! I wanted my pants! What was going on?

After another full week and several lengthy phone calls with customer service, my order was shipped and on its way. Instead of arriving in its three to five-day range, however, it was going to arrive about three weeks after my initial order. Needless to say, I was annoyed.

Customer service never actually explained what the hold-up had been, nor did they answer my emails requesting a discount. Eventually, though, I realized that I didn’t care. There comes a point where one must realize that, despite all the glorious trappings of modern life, not everything — not even online shopping — can go as planned. Ultimately, my stalled Uniqlo order became a exercise in acceptance.

Despite all this, I’ll probably order from there again. How else could I supplement my middle-aged looking wardrobe?

To that end: let me know if you ever need a decent turtleneck. I’ve got some good recommendations.