Mark Wahlberg joins ‘Uncharted’ movie

Mark Wahlberg will join leading star Tom Holland in the first live-action film based on the acclaimed gaming franchise.

After what seemed to be a dead-end for the project, the Travis Knight directed film based on the video game franchise of the same name is finally adding more names to its cast list in the form of Mark Wahlberg who will be playing Victor “Sully” Sullivan – a mentor to Nathan Drake.

Wahlberg will join Tom Holland who will portray a younger version of Nathan Drake, the titular character of the Uncharted franchise. Holland’s involvement with the project was somewhat unclear during the period of time where Sony and Disney had parted ways over their shared rights of Spider-Man. Following their reunion in September, Sony continued forward with their adaptation of Uncharted.

The video game series began in 2007 with the first instalment Uncharted: Drake’s Fortune which was developed by Naughty Dog and has sold 41 million copies to date.

The film is directed by Travis Knight (Bumblebee) with a script by Rafe Judkins, Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. The story is set to act as a prequel to the first game but no other details surrounding the film have been released. Sony is expected to take the film to camera in the next couple of months and meet its release date of December 18, 2020.

Ambulance on campus for the 3rd time in 7 days

An ambulance and three Toronto Police vehicles were on campus on Wednesday afternoon for around one hour, marking at least the third time within seven days that emergency services have been spotted on campus.

It did not appear the ambulance was used during the hour or longer that it was parked in front of the Learning Resource Commons at the front of North Campus.

Two cruisers were parked in front, a police SUV and multiple campus security vehicles were in and out of the area.

The ambulance and police SUV departed campus at 3:40 p.m. while the first cruiser departed soon after. The final cruiser departed after 4 p.m. and no details were immediately available.

An ambulance was in front of the Learning Resource Commons a week ago as a male patient was carried out on a stretcher. On Sunday night, an ambulance was spotted in front of Residence T Building.

The Avro Post has reached out for details from Humber College.

IGNITE Board to meet again in a hidden location

IGNITE’s Board of Directors, made up of elected student representatives, will be meeting on Wednesday evening at the University of Guelph-Humber, according to a schedule posted earlier this year by the student union, but no exact location or time has been made public.

The Board meeting locations were removed by the student union in September after paid staff blocked a reporter from The Avro Post from entering that month’s gathering of directors, a meeting that later turned out to be of major significance.

The Avro Post attempted to find the meeting in October but was unsuccessful. According to the IGNITE bylaws, the directors have to hold a majority vote to kick a student from the meeting, including student journalists. They are also required to post the meetings publicly.

However, IGNITE has rules currently on its Governance webpage that instruct students, who are classified as members of the union, to reach out to the executive director to obtain access to the meetings, bending the rules of their own bylaws.

If the meeting is indeed held in the University of Guelph-Humber, the typical location for the Board to gather is the conference room found by the entrance doors to the university in the Atrium.

Movie corner: ‘Shin Godzilla’

This is a very special month for a very special Giant Movie Monster. This month is the 65th anniversary of the worlds biggest movie star (literally) and King of the monsters, Godzilla.

At 65 years, his is the longest running movie franchise ever, with 35 movies (counting the American productions) under the titanic creature’s belt, spanning all the way back to 1954. And that number will only continue to grow in the coming years, with Godzilla vs Kong set to debut next year in March and Toho Studios, Godzillas owner, set to take its own steps into the cinematic universe ring with their own kaiju (the word for giant monster in Japanese).

In the (late) spirit of celebration, we could perhaps look back on his homeward bound endeavours and talk about one of the reasons why he’s so beloved. In particular, let’s talk about one of his movies. And what better than one where the titular monster is a symbol of ruin, death and destruction brought forth from atomic energy, where, as the song goes, “History shows again and again how nature points out the folly of man.”

By that description, it would appear I’m talking about Godzilla’s first cinematic opus from 1954. In actuality, I’m referring to the more recent live action film that just so happens to take “The big G” back to his traditionally villainous roots from the first film. Lets talk about… Shin Godzilla.

Shin Godzilla is a 2016 Japanese giant monster movie that, as previously stated, goes back to it’s grim roots created by the 1954 original classic “Godzilla.” It elects to once again make the mutated prehistoric reptile of unknown origin an unstoppable force of destruction and terror.

The design of the creature even borrows the “keloid scars” from the original look with a more gruesome update. But thats not the only thing that has updated with this version of the king of the monsters. Not only is it an allegory for a particular disaster (the Tohoku tsunami, earthquake and nuclear meltdown in this case) but it is also a political satire!

The film wastes no time in starting, as a massive steam geyser erupts from Tokyo bay and a weird blood like liquid begins to flood the tunnels after a boat of a Japanese scientist is discovered without him on board. From there, the Japanese government holds various meetings on how to handle the situation while pandemonium continues to unfold. When one of the politicians, our protagonist Rando Yaguchi, played by Hiroki Hasegawa, states during a meeting that the eruption might be caused by a large creature, based on the videos posted by onlookers and survivors, he’s lambasted for the idea and told not make a mockery of the political system… before a news report reveals a massive creature in the bay that’s headed for the city. 

This results in postponing the meeting for… another meeting, as they discuss what the creature is and its abilities, resulting in more havoc. As more details and abilities are revealed about the creature revealed and international interests for said creature, dubbed Godzilla by the missing scientists papers, the race is on for Yaguchi and his team of “misfits and weirdos” to come up with a breakthrough before Godzilla causes more chaos.

What is truly noteworthy about Shin Godzilla is just how bold and daring it is compared to other Godzilla movies, despite clearly taking notes from the original movie. This film was penned and co-directed by Hideki Anno, and if you know the name, you might be familiar with the anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, of which Anno created, wrote and directed.

The series is known for its wildly gorgeous visuals, symbolism, allegorical messages, and just how bizarre the show and the concept actually is. Shin Godzilla is no different. Instead of appearing as his normal reptilian self when he shows up surprisingly early for one of his own movies, he is instead this bizarre cross of terrifying and adorable, looking more akin to an eel with dinosaur legs with massive unblinking eyes and bleeding gills.

Despite being barely able to walk, he still causes much destruction and death before seemingly and randomly stopping to reveal Anno’s next radical idea regarding Godzilla: he instantly “evolves” into something slightly closer to his traditional appearance to better walk on land. In other words, when Godzilla is faced with a difficult challenge, his body radically transforms to deal with it. It’s even brought up that, if need be, he can sprout wings and fly. 

This leads to the point where he finally becomes something that looks like a “traditional” Godzilla design and later the scene where he finally uses his atomic breath for the first time. The scene itself is both beautiful and very haunting. It is probably Godzilla’s most frightening use of his atomic breath to date, and it is the first time on film that Godzilla breaths actual fire for a bit (That idea was a concept invented by the Americans while importing the movies, he actually breaths an “emission of radiation” or just a straight up laser).

This is the first time in a Japanese Godzilla movie that Godzilla would be fully portrayed by CGI for all scenes (a few films had a few shots where the monster was entirely computer generated). Harkening back to the original design, Godzilla’s 4th and final “look” (his first is unseen) brings back the ugly and horrific keloid radiation scarring that the first version of the monster evoked. Using some impressive CGI the monster is shown in incredible detail, exposed glowing red tissue and a horrific mangled jaw that has teeth protruding outside of his lips being just the tip of the dorsal plate.

To emphasize his presence is a beautiful score. Most of it composed by regular Hideki Anno collaborator Shiro Sagisu, the score he creates offers a unique mix of tracks,  with some deliberately using a more action movie vibe when actual work and progress is being made on how to stop Godzilla. Some are more appropriately haunting, such as “Who Will Know,” a tragic and somber piece used for Godzilla’s first thermonuclear breath. The song itself can be seen from Godzilla’s perspective, as it elements about its survival.

The film has more the just the monster, surprisingly. As previously stated, Hideki Anno is known for his less than subtle allegorical messages and symbolism and Shin Godzilla has this in spades. Throughout the picture, the Japanese government goes to meeting after meeting after meeting before arriving at anything helpful to help people or try to halt Godzilla’s progress. Indeed when the film opens, adherence to protocol is strict, to the point where it actually hinders and slows the effort to stop Godzilla.

During a military effort to crush the creature, the prime minister is relaid information by his superiors about the attack. In order to get to him, it has to travel down the line of command before reaching a member of the cabinet who only can respond to his superior, despite the sitting at the same table as the prime minister, and then said superior, can talk to the prime minister. Now some of this is already natural for many governments with similar structures, but Anno directs the scene in such a way as to highlight how utterly absurd this process is. 

No movie is perfect, including Shin Godzilla, which does have noticeable faults. Despite being a Japan centric picture, there are some scenes with english dialogue. When some Japanese characters speak english dialogue, it’s fine. They give it a good effort and it comes off convincingly. However, sometimes it comes off as awkward and stilted, as some actors struggle speak the language. Unusually, the ones who come off as the most awkward are the few english speaking actors. Some of the lines they perform are oddly worded, with the occasional awkward performance to back it up.

Thankfully, the fault is not entirely distracting, as the film knows where its main focus is, and it payed off. With high praise across the board in its home country and an estimated US$15 million budget, it made back US$77 million, making it the most financially successful Japanese Godzilla movie. At the Japanese academy awards, it was able to acquire many wins for itself, including best picture, a first for a Godzilla movie.

In the end, your taste in monster movies may vary, but if this spikes anyone’s interest, the film is available on dvd, Blu-ray and digital, though there are 2 versions of the digital version, one english dubbed and one in Japanese (The Japanese dub is superior). It may not be the goofy monster destroying action you may heard about, but it is still very enjoyable and serves as a reminder as to why Godzilla was made in the first place.

Hail to the king.

‘The Mandalorian’: Chapter 1 review

Debuting as a launch title for Disney+, the new Star Wars series follows a Mandalorian bounty hunter following the collapse of the Empire.

Spoiler free

Dave Filoni and Jon Favreau have teamed up to bring us the first live-action Star Wars series in the form of The Mandalorian, starring Pedro Pascal as the titular bounty hunter.

What this pilot episode does incredibly well is capture the tone of the galaxy that was established in the original trilogy. The planets and creatures are a mix of CG and practical effects save for a few specific characters, but when CG characters are on screen, like Taika Waititi’s IG-11, a bounty droid, they are very well designed and incredibly smooth.

The story presents an interesting concept in the sense that this bounty hunter does not possess the same morals that we’ve come to know from previous characters like Boba Fett or his father, Jango. This character is not as cold-blooded as the others which opens up the possibilities for new character interactions.

The cinematography is absolutely beautiful for the premiere episode and truly shows off the budget of a Disney-funded show. There are times that you’ll forget this is not a feature length film as opposed to a mini series on a streaming service.

Pedro Pascal plays the lead bounty hunter who is not yet named, and brings about an air of mystery to him. His voice sounds good under the helmet and does bring a familiar calm and cool attitude that Boba and Jango possessed.

All in all – an incredibly strong start to Star Wars’ live action series on Disney+. Episode 2 of The Mandalorian will be available on Friday, November 15.

‘This is Garbage’ exhibit launches Thursday

Garbage will be at the centre of the “This is Garbage” exhibit reveal at Humber College Lakeshore Campus on Thursday.

Sanda Van Ruymbeke will speak on critical analysis and explore the perception and constructs related to discarding material the way society does.

Ruymbeke will look at what contribution can one’s artistic practice make to challenge cultural perceptions and re-imagine the possibilities and value of garbage.

Sandra and Constant Van Ruymeke collaborated for the exhibit, which will take place from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Lakeshore Grounds Interpretive Centre.

Don Cherry dropped by Sportsnet

Don Cherry, who recently was under a lot of criticism following his poppy statement on Saturday night, was forced to step down from his long-running position on Hockey Night In Canada Monday afternoon.

Cherry, who was under fire since Saturday, was fired after his comments in which he talked about immigrants of Canada to support the troops and wear a poppy this Remembrance Day.

Cherry has had an illustrious career with Hockey Night in Canada spending 37 years a part of the business. Ron Maclean, who was Cherry’s co-host of Coaches Corner, issued his own apology during his Hometown Hockey segment yesterday evening during the Leafs-Blackhawks game.

Later Monday evening, Cherry had shared his thoughts on his firing, saying “I mean’t everything I said.”

Sportsnet had then released a lengthy statement Monday evening.

Cherry, who has been welcomed into Canadian homes for the last 37 years will not longer appear Saturday night for the first time.

What will come of Hockey Night in Canada following Cherry’s firing? Change is certainly coming and Saturday’s will no longer be the same with Ron and Don during the first intermission.

Tune in Saturday evening when the Pittsburgh Penguins host the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m.

Don Cherry Receives Backlash Following Prejudiced Statement

Don Cherry, host of Coaches Corner on Saturday night hockey, which takes place during first intermission, had choice words for the certain people who do not take part in wearing a poppy for Remembrance Day during the November 10th Toronto Maple Leafs and Philadelphia Flyers game.

Cherry, 85 years old, over the years has been a huge supporter of our military forces past and present. On Saturday night, during his segment, Cherry had spoken about how very few people wear poppies and had singled out cities including Toronto and Mississauga in which then hinted that he was talking about the many immigrants who had come to Canada.

Cherry stated “You people come here, you love our way of life, you can at least pay a couple of bucks for poppies.”

Following his statement, Cherry and Sportsnet had received backlash from many angry viewers after hearing his comments. It had sparked controversy in the hockey world in which forced Sportsnet President, Bart Yabsley, to issue an apology.

Ron Maclean who co-hosts Coaches Corner with Don Cherry, also issued a lengthy apology statement on twitter.

He tweeted out “I want to sincerely apologize to our viewers and Canadians. During last night’s broadcast, Don made comments that were hurtful and prejudiced and I wish I had handled myself differently. It was a divisive moment and I am truly upset with myself for allowing it. I have worked with Don for 30 years, and we both love hockey. But last night, I know we failed you. I see hockey as part of what unites us. I have the honour of travelling across our country to celebrate Canada’s game, and our diversity is one of our country’s greatest strengths.

Cherry has yet to issue an apology since Saturdays incident. Don will not receive any disciplinary action as of now. He will take his spot next Saturday night on Coaches Corner in anticipation on if he himself will issue his own apology.

Posted by Anthony Giordano – The Avro Post

Raptors snap Lakers win streak

The Toronto Raptors held the Los Angeles Lakers to 44 second half points on Sunday and won 113-104.

Pascal Siakam recorded a double-double as he scored 24 points and grabbed 11 rebounds. Fred VanVleet also had a double-double as he had 23 points and 10 assists. Norman Powell had 14.

Chris Boucher slotted into the bench spot where Serge Ibaka would be, and he scored 15 points and blocked three shots. Terence Davis had 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in 17 minutes of action. Rondae Hollis-Jefferson scored 10.

Anthony Davis scored 27 points for Los Angeles. Both Kyle Kuzma and Troy Daniels came off the bench and scored 15 and 11 points respectively.

LeBron James recorded a triple-double as he had 13 points, 15 assists and 13 rebounds. Former Raptor Danny Green scored zero points.

Chris Boucher has shown that he is a player who is capable of playing efficient basketball at multiple levels.

Arguably two highlights of the night came from Pascal Siakam, and coach Nick Nurse.

Nurse won his first coach’s challenge this season.

Toronto’s next game is against the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday at Staples Center.

Tip-off is set for 10:30 p.m.


Featured image from Marcio Jose Sanchez/Associated Press.

Top events on campus: Week of Nov. 11

This is our weekly round-up of what we consider the top events that are happening at the University of Guelph-Humber/Humber College North Campus. All events on campus are free unless stated otherwise. 

Monday, Nov. 11

Remembrance Day Ceremony (All campuses)

There will be remembrance day ceremonies held at all campuses; Guelph-Humber, North and Lakeshore. All services begin at 10:50 a.m. and will be held at the following locations; GH Atrium (GH), Central Concourse (North), and the K Cottage (Lakeshore). All students and staff are invited to attend.

Time: 10:50 a.m. – 11:05 p.m.
Location: GH Atrium, Central Concourse, & K Cottage
More information:
GH, Humber

Microsoft Excel Workshop – Beginner

The Guelph Humber Accounting Council and the Guelph-Humber Finance Society will be hosting a beginner and advanced Microsoft Excel workshop. Led by GH alumni Omar Faroque; this workshop will teach attendees the many uses for Excel and how to get around the software.

Time: 3:00 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
Location: GH 321
More information:
Beginner Workshop


Wednesday, Nov. 13

Family and Comunity Social Services Society: Welcome Event

The FCSS society has made its return to GH since last year and will be hosting a welcome event to showcase to student its upcoming events and learn more about the society.

Time: 1:30 p.m. – 2:20 p.m.
Location: GH 325
More information:
FCSS

IGNITE: How not to move back in with your parents

IGNITE will be hosting this financial literacy workshop led by Rob Carrick, a financial expert at The Globe & Mail. Carrick will be discussing paying off student debt, auto and home purchases, budgeting and insurance to name a few.

Time: 12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
Location: GH 202
More information:
IGNITE

Microsoft Excel Workshop – Advanced

The Guelph Humber Accounting Council and the Guelph-Humber Finance Society will be hosting a beginner and advanced Microsoft Excel workshop. Led by GH alumni Tahir Israr; this workshop will teach attendees the many uses for Excel and how to get around the software.

Time: 4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Location: GH 321
More information:
Advanced Workshop


Thursday, Nov. 14

Last Call for Fall (academic support)

Get study help and join in on stress-relieving activities at this academic support session brought by Humber’s Peer Assisted Learning Support. This session will be held all day and will include math, writing and research help; massages, nail treatments and refreshments.

Time: 2:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Location: North, LRC, 3rd floor
More information:
LCFF


Friday, Nov. 15

IGNITE: Skillscamp

Skillscamp is a full-day workshop for students looking to advance their skills for entering the workplace, how to communicate with your employers, personal branding and how to practise good personal habits.

Time: 9:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: GH 202
More information:
IGNITE

Churchill: Lest we forget 2019

OPINION

Kris Churchill
Columnist, The Avro Post

Our Opinion Policy.

During the first couple of weeks in November, something truly stoic happens. As a country, we come together to pay our respects to the brave men and women of the Canadian Army. Something that is rightfully due for the lives taking in service to our great nation.

For the past few years, we have seen many attempts to challenge what the red poppy is meant to represent. One thing to keep in mind is that the white poppy is not to be in conflict with its counter part, the red poppy, which represented the memory of those who we lost.

The white poppy first made its appearance in England, worn by the women of the Women’s Cooperative Group back in the 1930s. A new alliance named The Peace Pledge Union adopted the white poppy and used it to represent the complete abrogation of war entirely.

Upwards of 80,000 of them were distributed at an alternative memorial day service held at London’s Regent’s park in 1938.

We now start to delve into the controversy we find ourselves in today.

There seems to be an increase in mis-representation of what the poppy was then, and now, meant to stand for. It is meant to pay respects to those that have fallen in the line of duty and to those willing to put their foot forward to defend those that can’t defend themselves.

There has been a new trend that is circulating the web, which too is a poppy. However, it is a poppy that for one doesn’t actually seem to exist–at least in large number and in circulation – the rainbow poppy. Which from my understanding is to represent the LGBTQ members of the military.

While the sentiment was not meant to incite an uproar, it has done just that. Being a member of the LGBTQ community myself, I see what the message was intended to be. With this in mind, the red poppy never discriminated against the LGBTQ members of the military; it is simply saying if you served you will get the respect due.

The only thing left to say to all those that fought and died for us, and are fighting for us today is thank you for your sacrifice.

We will never forget.

Briefing: Everything IGNITE since September

BRIEFING

Welcome to the Briefing, a new type of article that breaks down a story into a 100 word version, a 700 full-length edition and a point form analysis.

This Briefing is on everything going on with the governance of IGNITE, the student union for Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber, since the beginning of the student year.


100 words

IGNITE is looking to make several changes to how the student union works. 

All of these changes will need majority approval from students at a January Special Meeting of the Members. They were previously approved by the Board of Directors in September.

The proposed bylaw amendments give the Board more unilateral power and end president and vice president elections.

The Board has been hiding the location of their meetings, breaking its own bylaws that specify that exact times and locations are to be posted publicly.

IGNITE recently cut off The Avro Post from press briefings, interviews and all media requests.


700 words

IGNITE has proposed several bylaw amendments to how its governance and operations function. Some of these changes have precedent elsewhere but many are uncommon for a student union.

All of these changes will need majority approval from students at a January Special Meeting of the Members, a meeting that any student can attend and have a vote on the changes as a unified package, but not individual amendments.

These amendments were previously approved by the Board of Directors in September. The meeting minutes only give the “highlights” of the amendments so it may not be all of the proposed changes, however.

The most outwardly noticeable change for students at Humber College and the University of Guelph-Humber will be the end of executive elections.

The executive team is made up of the president, who represents all IGNITE members and each vice president, each representing either North Campus, Lakeshore or Guelph-Humber.

Another change that the Board wants to bring about is the ability for their decisions to come into effect immediately after majority approval at a meeting. However, an item approved will still need later approval at a meeting of the members.

If the members — all voting students — vote against the changes at the Special Meeting of the Members, it is unclear if the decision is applied retroactively or if the Board’s decision is simply repealed from the bylaws. 

Also, if students are unable to find the Board meetings and minutes are only posted a month later after they are approved at the next Board meeting, students would be unaware for at least 30 days that a bylaw had changed.

The Board did not post the meeting minutes from the May or September meetings until long after the October Board meeting, which, despite efforts from The Avro Post to find it, was hidden.

If The Post was able to enter the Board meeting in September instead of being told to leave in a unilateral move by a staff member, then this publication would have been able to report that these bylaws were passed by the directors.

There were some new items also passed by the Board and up for consideration by students in January including, but not limited to, new classifications of IGNITE membership, document execution being under the control of the executive director and a vaguely worded amendment specifying that “president term will be used for [B]oard chairperson”.

The new classifications come about because of the Student Choice Initiative and was expected. 

The top classification is “Full-Time Enhanced Members”, which appear to be those that opt-in to IGNITE fees, though there is no specification for those that only opt-in to some. 

“Full-Time Members” and “Part-Time Members” are those who pay only the mandatory ancillary fees. All three classifications are official members of IGNITE and so it is understood they will be able to still vote in elections and at special meetings.

It is unclear exactly what “executive documents being overseen by the executive director” means as an amendment but The Avro Post has reached out for comment from IGNITE for clarification.

Another hard-to-understand change is the “president term” being used for the Board chairperson. It is not clear via the meeting minutes whether that means the president’s term in regards to time or the terminology of “president” being applied to the chairperson.

Currently, the Board directors start and end their term at the same time as the executives so it would seem unusual for new amendments to specify that just the chair would have the same term timewise as the president.

It seems more likely that the chairperson position itself could be renamed to “president” to signify the Board’s importance from the student perspective, a goal that Executive Director Ercole Perrone and other officials have said they have committed to in the coming months.

These items will be flushed out in more detail at the Special Meeting of the Member and potentially press briefings that The Post will no longer have access to due to being cut off by IGNITE on Oct. 15 from press briefings, elected student representatives and all other media requests.

President Monica Khosla explained the main reason for this was because The Post inaccurately reported that the executive director, Perrone, said that IGNITE eventually wants to cut Board of Directors meetings off entirely from students that are members.

The Avro Post stands by the reporting as accurate. However, there is no plan in place at this time in the set of bylaw amendments headed to the special meeting in January to enact such a change.


Point analysis

Various points on the incoming bylaws:

  • Unilateral Board decisions: Also not unprecedented and appears to be utilized by other student unions. However, an ex-president of another student union said that changing bylaws are typically a move ratified by an AGM.
    • To note: Amendments will still be ratified by a meeting of the members — which are all students — with this proposal.

All these changes will be passed or not passed at a Special Meeting of the Members expected for mid- to late-January. If they are passed, they will come into effect, likely immediately.

If not, it is unclear if there will be need to be urgent Board action to come up with new proposals for the Annual General Meeting usually held near the end of the winter semester.

Johnson-Figueredo: It’s time to face socialism

OPINION

Michel Johnson-Figueredo
Columnist
The Avro Post
Our Opinion Policy.

A new poll says socialism has increased in popularity in the United States, but have we forgotten what socialism truly entails?

With the increase in liberalism and further leftist ideas within global culture, socialism and ‘the fight for equality’ has taken hold of the conversation. But why is socialism considered an ideal form of government and now seen as the only solution?

I’ve known about it since I was young. Born from a Cuban mother, in a rundown military hospital known to locals as ‘Hospital Naval’, it was my introduction to socialism. When my mother tells me of that day, it’s often filled with glimpses into socialism that aren’t mentioned in the mainstream.

Socialist systems cause a strain on production of goods and services, often leaving the general populace to suffer.

No needles, expired anesthesia, and recently graduated doctors with little experience tended to my mother. It was horrible staying in that hospital, my mother tells me. That was 1996, and in 2019, it has only fallen further.

Socialist propagandists or ‘activists’ like to claim that government control of major industries and businesses is the fairest way to service and provide for those within a country’s borders.

I beg to differ.

As we move towards a more progressive societal mindset, liberal ideology has become the norm within educational institutions and social groups. The groupthink surrounding socialist platforms has taken hold of the mainstream and people have grown fond of them.

Of course, who wouldn’t grow fond of the things preached by modern day pilgrims as they journey towards a socialist utopia.

U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders in 2016 began using the term Democratic Socialist, differentiating his socialist policies from those which would be compared to my own country.

Democratic Socialism is nothing new, being represented in many governments around the world including Portugal, where it continues to be popular.

Bolivia, another democratically socialist country, is in the midst of a revolt against their president, as accusations of fraud grow after the presidential election in October.

Communism and dictatorships were often connected with socialism but now we are given a new light of socialism, re-branded, a new and improved look, Democratic Socialism.

Apart from the other issues within socialism, the form that has been imported into the U.S. is violent, un-democratic, and silences the voices of many.

I know what you’re thinking.

Michel, how could you say that? These representatives of socialism are the voice of the working people.

Well, thats the thing, they aren’t. They are representatives of ideals they strongly believe in and continuously reject evidence against. They constantly feel as though the importance of implementing socialist policies triumphs their eventual result.

Someone once told me that ANTIFA are anti-fascists because thats what ANTIFA means. Well, by that logic if a man goes by the name of ‘Tiny Tim’ that doesn’t necessarily mean Tim is tiny. Tim could be 280 lbs and 6’2.

ANTIFA, a group stating they fight fascists, have only harmed and alienated working class people with opposing political views. Silencing, threatening and often attacking average citizens who don’t agree with them politically.

I spent two years living in Cuba when I turned 20 years old, encountering a vastly different place. Nowhere to be seen is the paradise constantly spoken by those privileged enough to promote socialism here in Canada.

I saw a country which had revolutionized to become better, but became a land of anti-demonstration, police brutality, corruption, and massive wealth inequality.

Government control and subsidies of societal needs crumble under socialism.

While living in my hometown it was not strange to experience water shortages for weeks. An entire city running on tank water, to cook, bathe, and everything in between.

Government managed garbage trucks break down due to poor maintenance and few spare parts available, government stores sell limited products. Those who look for other options turn toward black markets where competition exists.

Behind the pile of trash, lies a government run daycare. Camilo Cienfuegos, La Habana. Photo by Michel Johnson-Figueredo.

Supermarkets and mini-marts not having any sort of food is also common, except for canned peas and tubes of ‘Picadillo de Soya‘, a government provided favourite that no one seems to know what it’s made of.

The issue with modern day socialists is their lack of real experience within socialism. Waking up in the morning, eating stale bread, topped with soy based oil, and a glass of water with sugar is a reality these ‘preachers’ have never seen.

The failure of socialism lives on in Cuba; forcing the government to sell off government property to outside investors, opening up private businesses to stimulate growth because ‘government’ cannot be the solution to every problem.

But as they take one step forward, they take three steps back. As soon as businesses and options are created for the typical consumer, it is taxed and regulated until businesses struggle to survive.

Receiving a university degree in Cuba, even studying medicine or engineering, is worthless. Yes, government covers tuition fees but doctors are paid a measly $25 to $50 a month.

After graduating, everyone must work for the government for a small wage of $5 CUC a month, for a period of up to two years. A longtime family friend, who’s wife is also a full-time doctor, works as a taxi driver on the side just to maintain his family.

If this is what socialism is about, why don’t we hear the media criticize it? Why is there no public outcry? Why don’t the likes of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren take a step out from their shell, visit Cuba, and defend their socialist policies?

Well, in a 2016 interview with ABC News, Sanders was asked about comments he made regarding Cuba in 1970, speaking on education and healthcare. He clarified his comments, saying the economy in Cuba is a disaster. But he continues with this idea that Cuba has a good education and healthcare system.

A healthcare system that is reduced everyday by doctors being sent away to foreign countries in exchange for aid. As hospitals continue to decline in quality, President Miguel Díaz-Canel can’t even supply enough hospital beds for the aging population. Doctor’s constantly told my family that a bed wasn’t available for my uncle, until it was too late, and he passed a day after he was admitted.

As many Canadians and other tourists take advantage of discounted resort deals in Cuba, they see happy faces. They see Cubans dancing and enjoying life, not in anger or despair.

So the system must be working, right? Why wouldn’t it be if we’re not constantly voicing our opinions and calling for change?

The miscommunication here is that is who we are, as a culture and a people. In the worst of circumstances, the typical Cuban takes it as just another day he or she needs to survive.

In Canada, we live in luxury, constantly taking rights for granted; free speech, the right to vote, the right to protest and other fundamentals that are critical to our livelihood. But we continue to promote and protect ideologies that have long risen, crashed, and burned.

As the entitlement among my generation grows, institutions and governments match their rhetoric. Diversity of thought has been lost as we nit-pick what we like from socialism and believe we can use the same formula while solving for a different answer.

Humber College is among one of the many educational institutions that follows this mainstream standard. Hiring politically biased professors in general elective courses that continue to maintain one set idea of liberalism.

Courses which were once made to explore the arts, has now turned into a conditioning experiment by educators.

Instead of questioning the norm, professors and other students support the mainstream. Consistently dismissing the idea of challenging these narrative ideals set by our surroundings.

Those with opposing views to how I see socialism tell me I don’t know anything or that their kind isn’t the bad one. To me, socialism is socialism, no matter how you coat it.

Maintaining an open mind and discussing ideas through civil discussion is the only way to maintain our core values. I encourage you all to take advantage, as some of my family and friends in Cuba have never had that liberty.

Michel Johnson-Figueredo is a columnist at The Avro Post and a second year Bachelor of Public Relations student at Humber Lakeshore Campus.

‘Joker’ becomes most profitable comic book movie

After five weeks at the box office here in North America, Joker has gone on to become the most profitable comic book movie of all time.

There is a distinct difference between profitable and highest-grossing, however. The latter still belongs to Disney and Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame, but most profitable now belongs to Todd Phillips’ Joker.

On a budget of $62.5 million, Joker has gone on to make $953 million globally, which means it has made back over 15 times its budget.

The film had initially received skepticism as being an unnecessary story, with people not seeing the value in a Joker origin story. When the first teaser trailer released, it had won over some fans for its darker style and variation from the other DC properties Warner Bros. was producing (Aquaman, Wonder Woman and Shazam! most recently).

Leading up to the film’s release, however, criticism grew over the potential idea that the film would inspire violence, which of course, turned out to be a false claim. If anything, the film inspired people to seek out the iconic staircase from the film and pose in similar fashion to Joker’s dance.

Joker is still playing some theatres, but is currently on its way out and will be preparing for a blu-ray release for either late December/early January.

Siakam ties career-high in Raptors costly win against Pelicans

Pascal Siakam scored 44 points as the Toronto Raptors defeated the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.

Siakam initially scored 44 points as his career-high against the Washington Wizards in mid-March of this year.

Siakam also recorded a double-double against New Orleans as he grabbed 10 rebounds.

OG Anunoby scored 21 points and had seven rebounds. Norman Powell scored 18 points off the bench. Fred VanVleet had 12.

Coach Nick Nurse had to run a deep squad rotation because Kyle Lowry and Serge Ibaka both suffered injuries in the first half.

Here are the details on their injuries:

Screen Shot 2019-11-09 at 11.26.18 PM.png

Brandon Ingram led the Pelicans with 27 points. Jrue Holiday scored 16.

Toronto native Nickeil Alexander-Walker scored 13, and Frank Jackson also scored 13.

Former G-League MVP and defensive player of the year Chris Boucher will be a player that will see more minutes with the injury to Ibaka.

The Raptors scored 75 points in the first half , the most that the franchise has scored in the first half of a game since March 2018.

The Raptors will play LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday at Staples Center.

Tip-off is set for 9:30 p.m.


Featured image from Chuck Cook/USA Today Sports.

YouTube wrongly suspends Google accounts

Fans of the gaming channel Markiplier were shocked to discover their Google accounts disabled completely.

During a livestream on Thursday, Nov. 7, YouTuber Markiplier played his recent choose-your-own-adventure experience titled A Heist With Markiplier with viewers and fans.

Due to the nature of the video, Markiplier had asked his viewers to send coloured emojis into the chat to help him decide which on-screen option to pick when prompted: green for one option and red for the other.

What users were unaware of until the moderating team for Markiplier’s stream was notified, was that continuously spamming emojis into the chat was leading to accounts being suspended – but not just YouTube, all of Google.

In an attempt to retrieve their accounts, people took to Twitter and email to contact YouTube and appeal the suspension, to which they received the response of “there was nothing we could do”.

The response by YouTube is questionable in and of itself because the Twitter team is comprised of actual people rather than an automated service. There are people reviewing these appeals, seeing no real breach in the terms of service with the YouTube and Google accounts, but refusing to correct the issue.

YouTube has been dealing with a number of issues like this for its content creators and users for the last several years as their company grew but the team behind the scenes did not.

ASMR content creators, like FrivilousFox, were having videos demonetized due to content that was deemed inappropriate by YouTube’s automated systems, when in reality, they are only licking or scratching microphones in order to simulate a specific sound effect. YouTube claimed the videos were sexual, however any search through the videos by anyone at all will yield the result that they are far from sexual.

YouTube’s algorithm also became a problem when it was redesigned (again) in August 2019. The update was to allow users to curate their content more carefully but ended up hiding some accounts on users’ subscriber feed even if they were subscribed to that creator. Some content creators saw a spike in viewership while others saw a dramatic decline which, of course, affected income.

YouTube has not yet commented on the issue regarding Markiplier’s fans. Markiplier himself has reached out to YouTube in an attempt to rectify the situation for his community, but has not yet heard back from the service.

Doug Ford visits new Humber College building

Ontario Premier Doug Ford visited the new Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation on Friday at North Campus, a visit that was unlisted on Humber College’s event calendar.

Ford was on campus with Sault Ste. Marie MPP Ross Romano and city councillor Michael Ford, who represents the ward Humber is located in.

“We’ve invested over $20 million in pre-apprenticeship training, like the General Machinist program at Humber,” Ford said in a tweet.

Raptors team performance edges Sacramento

The Toronto Raptors defeated the Sacramento Kings 124-120 on Wednesday.

All of Toronto’s starters scored in double figures.

Kyle Lowry scored 24 points and Pascal Siakam recorded a double-double with 23 points and 13 rebounds. OG Anunoby had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists. Marc Gasol and Fred VanVleet scored 12 apiece.

Serge Ibaka provided a spark off the bench as he scored 21 points in 24 minutes.

Harrison Barnes led the Kings scorers with 26 points. Buddy Hield scored 21, and De’Aaron fox had 17 points, nine assists and seven rebounds. Bogdan Bogdanovic scored 22 points, and made six three-pointers. Canadian and former Raptor Cory Joseph had 10 points.

Raptor Matt Thomas has not seen much action yet this season, but he has made the most of his minutes when called upon.

Ibaka has always brought passion when on the floor, and this dunk capped off his night along with the rest of the team.

The Raptors start a five-game road trip which begins on Friday against the New Orleans Pelicans at Smoothie King Center.

Tip-off is set for 8 p.m.


Featured image from Cole Burston/Getty Images.

‘Loki’ series will tie into ‘Doctor Strange 2’

With Disney+ launching in North America next week, Marvel has begun to make their presence known on the platform.

During San Diego Comic Con this past July and D23 in August, Kevin Feige of Marvel Studios made one thing very clear – the original Marvel series for Disney+ would not be for those unfamiliar with the MCU and its goings-on.

While most of the movies offer a jumping-in point for casual viewers, the Disney+ series will directly follow the movies and tie into them, meaning questions you walk out with of future movies may hold answers in the shows on the streaming service.

Feige had previously confirmed that not only would Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange receive a sequel, excitingly titled Dr. Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, but the Disney+ series WandaVision, starring Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany, would tie directly into it. How exactly is yet to be seen.

Today, however, Feige also offered up the news that the Tom Hiddleston-led series Loki will be another factor in the Dr. Strange sequel which, while exciting, has many fans left wondering how and why that is.

Loki was last seen dead at Thanos’ hand in Avengers: Infinity War in the prime timeline, and when our heroes traveled back to 2012 New York in Avengers: Endgame, the Loki in that timeline was able to acquire the Tesseract and get away.

The Loki series will follow that version of the character and just where he disappeared to, but how this will tie into Multiverse of Madness is completely up in the air.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier recently began filming and will see Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan return to the roles of Sam Wilson and Bucky Barnes (respectively. The series also stars Daniel Brühl, Emily Vancamp and Wyatt Russell.

Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will release in theatres on May 7, 2021 and Loki will premiere on Disney+ the same year.

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