Fall 2018 News Magazine

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M&C FALL 2018






Mace & Crown is a student-run news magazine written and published for the students of ODU. Originally founded in 1930 as The High Hat, the paper became The Mace and Crown in 1961. Mace & Crown is primarily a self-supporting magazine, maintaining journalistic independence from the university. All views expressed in this collegiate magazine are those of the author, not of the university, Mace & Crown or the editors.







































As I prepare for graduation in December, I reflect mostly on my time spent at Mace and Crown. Working at Mace and Crown has always given me the greatest opportunities, including networking, traveling, and my first ever band interview. I could not be more thankful for all the great people I have met and worked with these past few years, and how excited I am to see what’s coming next. Looking at this issue, I realize passion is what drives the content. The editors, writers, designers, and photographers following their passion. The sisters who wanted to start a band, the man who knew Norfolk needed a hero and the football team who had a 1.8% chance of winning that game. All of these people are following their dreams, and their dedication is admirable. So, I encourage you all to find what drives you and to follow it. Go join that club or take that class. And if ODU doesn’t have a club for that, start it. Take the time to experience college and try new things, go to games, see plays on campus, and find your group of people.


We can’t wait to see what you all are capable of.


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What’s the Hops?


Fox and the Bear


Vik Muniz

M&C e st . 1 9 3 0 FALL 2018



Screamin’ Greens


Norfolk’s Hero


ODU Gardening




Twitch Money Makers


Student Travel Apps


‘Doki Doki Literature Club’




Wasteland Inspiration

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Blake LaRussa


ODU Makes History




The One-Way Ticket

Lindsey Lanham


My Problem With Drinking


99 Problems


Deceptive Kiss


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Remembering Mac

Dear Readers, About a year ago Mace and Crown decided to make the historic change from a weekly newspaper to a magazine. Over this past year, Mace and Crown has gone through some serious trial and error, but we have never been more proud of our publication.



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REMEMBERING MAC Brooke Nicholson

On Sept. 7, 2018, shocking news about one of music’s most well-known rappers, Mac Miller (Malcolm James McCormick), had passed away from an apparent overdose at just 26 years old. The music industry and fans alike could not begin to understand how this could have happened, and why it continues to plague artists everywhere. Born on Jan. 19, 1992 in Pittsburgh, PA., Miller was raised in Point Breeze by parents of a Jewish background. He began taking piano lessons at the age of six and eventually wanted to become a singer. But once he hit the age of 15, decided to start a career in rapping. He labeled himself as the “coolest Jewish rapper” in response to Drake’s claim of being the “best Jew in the rap game.” Miller released his first mixtape after he joined the rap group The Ill Spoken, “But My Mackin’ Ain’t Easy” under the name EZ Mac in 2007 at the age of 15. The group released his next mixtape in 2008, “How High,” which lead to two more in 2009: “The Jukebox: Prelude to Class Clown” and “The High Life.” After releasing four mixtapes, Miller signed to Rostrum Records in 2009 and made it to the final four in the Rhyme Calisthenics, an MC competition at a lounge. Millers’ huge breakthrough came when he embarked on his first tour, selling out at almost ev-

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Courtesy Audience Network

ery single location, and earning a spot amongst other top rappers. Miller’s fifth mixtape, “Best Day Ever” also came with one of his most well-known singles to date, “Donald Trump,” and others such as “All Around the World.” In November 2010, Miller’s first music video for “Knock Knock” premiered on YouTube, which has gained over 30 million views in eight years. Soon, Miller would be featured on songs like Maroon 5’s “Move Like Jagger” after releasing his first album, “Blue Slide Park.” The album debuted at no. 1 on Billboards 200 chart and sold more than 144,000 copies. October 2013, Miller announced that his next album, “Watching Movies with the Sound Off” would feature artists and other rappers such as SchoolBoy Q, Tyler the Creator and Jay Electronica. By this time, Miller would begin to pop up on TV shows and later star in his own show “Mac Miller and the Most Dope Family” on MTV2. Miller announced in January 2014 that he would no longer be signed to Rostrum Records, and released his next album “Faces” independently. Later that year, Miller signed with Warner Bros. Records, and released his third studio album in 2015, “GO:OD AM.” Miller would go on to drop two more studio albums in the next cou-

ple of years, “The Divine Feminine” and “Swimming,” both receiving positive reviews. Throughout the time Miller was making music, he began using codeine and promethazine (or ‘lean’) heavily. He later admitted that he became addicted to a mixture of codeine and lean. Miller quit promethazine in November 2012. In January 2013, Miller told Complex magazine that he “Was not happy. I was so fucked up all the time, it was bad.” Things began to descend for Miller in May 2018 when he was arrested for driving under the influence, committing a hit and run and after driving into a power pole. Miller eventually confessed to the crash and was later released on $15,000 bail. But on the day that he was scheduled for a video shoot on Sept. 7, someone called for an “immediate dispatch” to Miller’s studio city home, claiming he was in cardiac arrest from an overdose. Authorities pronounced Miller dead upon arrival and he was later buried in Homewood Cemetery in his hometown of Pittsburgh, PA. Mac Miller will always be remembered as a guy who worked hard to pursue his dream of working in the music industry and will continue to live on through the music he had made.

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Courtesy Pexels


TWITCH MONEY MAKERS D’ONNA COLEMAN Twitch is a ubiquitous online streaming site that allows you to stream games, shows, movies etc. Games like “Fortnite,” “Dota 2,” “League of Legends,” “FIFA 19” and many more popular games are streamed. Twitch streamer Lillianadee, known as Lilli by her fans, enjoys streaming video games such as “Fallout 4” (she says she “...Caught the Fallout 4 bug…”), “We Happy Few” and first person shooter games. Like many other gamers on Twitch, Lilli enjoys the lax interaction between her and her fans. The relationship between the streamer and their viewers is a relationship that is like no other. It can be described as a strong, inseparable bond. “I like Twitch because of the community aspect - it's so nice to hang out with my viewers and stream and chill. I feel like I have friends all over the map now and I can be myself on there. Everyone is kind and supportive,” Lilli said. Lilli was kind enough to share many things about Twitch, like how Twitch streamers make money, the frustrating features of the site. Including the benefits and advice for those who want to become streamers themselves. “Twitch is an online platform for streamers. So you can be a gamer, an artist, an ASMRtist or even a talk show host (plus whatever you like minus nudity) and stream to an audience. It thrives on community interaction and engagement. It began as a streaming platform solely for video games and then added additional categories like IRL (In Real Life) and Talk Shows, Creative, etc,” said Lilli. “This is something I do for fun to connect with my audience beyond YouTube...” Lilli commented, referring to Twitch. Twitch streamers make their money streaming for audiences who may give

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tips, donations, bits or subscribe. For the more popular streamers, their income comes from sponsors. She expresses a frustration of hers with Twitch is discovering new streamers to watch without making the page lag. “The benefit is always to keep growing, keep improving and providing a better experience for your community,” she said. Lastly, her advice for newcomers is to have a consistent stream schedule. It may be a difficult start, considering it’s a new platform for social media, but with work (hard work of course) and consistency, it will pay off. No pun intended. Donations can be given to the streamers starting at $1. There is no maximum payable amount, unless Paypal is used, then the largest amount that can be sent is $10,000, but only in increments. Bits can also be gifted. These “bits” are bitcoins. The tips are at a fixed amount starting at $1.99 and go up to an unlimited amount. Twitch streamers gather profits through their viewers. This however is no easy feat. Streamers must keep the audience engaged and interact with their viewers, while staying true to heart. Then the audience, in turn, gives rewards to the streamers for creating a great experience. There are many layers and elements to making money on the platform. It is easy to see why the effort may not be worth it to some. For Lilli however, it undoubtedly is. There are many rewards to being a streamer, such as a platform, money of course and a following. Making your community happy is a top priority. That being said, it is not for those who do not want to work hard and take time to learn their audience.

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Photo by Ellison Smith

LARUSSA MICAH ROSE In September, ODU celebrated what will go down as one of the greatest moments in our history. For fans, students and players alike, as the timer hit zero, Foreman Field and the campus erupted into pure bliss. With only a 1.8 percent predicted win by ESPN, ODU went the distance and defeated Virginia Tech 49-35. Students stormed the field as players and coaches celebrated the greatest college football underdog story in recent years. Virginia Tech players and fans were left stunned. This was not the outcome anyone could have foreseen. Before the game, ODU was 0-3 and ranked much lower than Tech. The night that followed was filled with celebrations, some burned couches and most of all, lots of ODU pride. Blake LaRussa spoke about the historic win against Virginia Tech, who was ranked 13th nationally, that left the college football world stun. Little was known about LaRussa before the Tech game, he was put into the game after the second drive and had not seen much field time before then. The rest is history as he led the team with 495-yards passing, four TD performance to a victory fans, players and students will hold dear for a lifetime. After the Tech game, he was named National Player of the Week, as well as Conference USA’s Offensive Player of the Week. Since the big win, LaRussa has gained attention from the media. I was lucky enough to get some time after a Wednesday practice to get to know our quarterback who has worked his way up to becoming an NCAA player.

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Growing up, LaRussa was frequently told he was too short for his position. At 5’10,” 185 pounds, this quarterback was written off by many coaches. The journey he said was long but with his strong faith, love for the game and his support system, he continued to put in the work and ignore the noise. LaRussa is a Hampton Roads native. As far as how it feels to go from being a fan of the program to calling the shots in the biggest game of his career, LaRussa said “It’s just awesome, I love it here. I attended games from the beginning. I remember the days with Thomas DeMarco (ODU’s first quarterback from 2009-2011).” During his high school career, LaRussa threw for over 8,000 yards while attending Grassfield High and Bishop Sullivan. “It was my dream to play for a Division One team,” he said. Once LaRussa graduated he decided to try out for ODU’s program. His dream came true in 2015 after a walk-on where ODU’s quarterback’s coach, Ron Whitcomb, saw potential in the young quarterback. LaRussa redshirted the same year and eventually earned a scholarship after playing sporadically throughout the next few seasons.

Celebrations did not stop after the game. The streets on 42nd and Monarch Way were flooded. Whether you were a student, alumni or simply a Monarch fan, this victory was felt by many.

This game was a constant battle from both teams but It was evident from the beginning who truly wanted this game more. Wearing their hearts on their sleeves and with a passionate crowd in the stands, this night turned out to be a great one for an underdog story.

Johnson, who lives on 42nd St., said the streets were in chaos after the game was over. Hundreds of people lined the streets through the early hours of the morning. ODU was ready to celebrate the night away. The scene that unfolded after the game resembled a scene out of the movie “Project X,” with couches being burned, fire trucks, police, lots of sirens and hundreds of proud fans.

As the night grew darker and the time clock winded down to the last final minutes, it became clear ODU was going to be victorious. The defining moment for LaRussa was the touchdown catch by Jonathan Duhart which brought the score to 35-48. The stands were wild. The local bars were flowing with students glued to the TVs shouting and cheering. “All the students were getting ready to rush the field. Security was trying to keep it under control but once the game was over, we all started to jump the fence and football players ran to the student section. It was wild, ” Carter Johnson, an ODU senior, said. Once the score was final, the field was illuminated by all of the cameras, from the media and fans trying to capture this moment. LaRussa, who had taken some hard physical hits and even got a black eye during the game was swarmed by reporters trying to get his reaction. LaRussa said the moments after the game felt like a whirlwind. Once the players made it back into the locker room it was filled with high emotions. Some were celebrating while others were still processing the experience. President Broderick drove to the game after having to deal with some personal family matters and spoke to the players after the game. His speech was emotionally charged as he spoke about his appreciation for this team and what they had just accomplished. LaRussa said, “It was all crazy but afterward it eventually sunk it. This team will always remember this.”

When asking fans about the lasting impact and legacy this game will have on them, Keyan Gant, a senior at ODU said it was a night he will never forget. He will definitely tell his children about this game and will cherish this for the rest of his life. With family and friends in the crowd, LaRussa who was physically and mentally worn after the game celebrated at his house in Chesapeake with some buddies. While reflecting on his favorite memories from the many years of playing football, LaRussa agreed with a spread of 29 points and odds at only 1.8 percent, beating Tech has been one of the greatest moments of his life. This is LaRussa’s last season at ODU, as he is graduating in May. He spoke about a wide range of options for his future endeavors which range from ministry work to coaching football. Though the past few weeks have been a whirlwind for LaRussa with this new found fame, he remains humble. He is thankful for his experience here at ODU and excited for the rest of the season. ODU sports is not defined by our record, we are defined by the resilience strength and passion we show when it really matters. Beating Virginia Tech has cemented its place in ODU’s history of sports.

Photo by Lindsey Lanham


The plan was simple he said, “Take shots when we can and let our athletes Jonathan Duhart, Travis Fulgham, Jeremy Cox and among other guys go play football. They all did an amazing job.”

Now as a senior, LaRussa has found himself to be ODU’s knight in shining honor, a hero for the ODU community. He will forever be engraved in a part of ODU’s football history. When asked whether the 1.8 percent predictions affected the team before going into this game, LaRussa spoke about the motivation the team feels for being the underdogs. “We like seeing that, we chuckle at it because we just see the game differently. We believed we could do it,” he said. maceandcrown.com | 9




The supplement industry is a confusing and largely unregulated process. Nine times out of 10, what you buy online will either do exactly what it says on the label, or seemingly nothing at all. Big supplement companies feed off the uneducated masses, constantly producing products that promise everything from huge muscles to quick weight loss. For the average person looking to get into better shape, it can all be a lot to consume, especially when most reviews online are skewed in favor of the business selling the products. In fact, most review websites are based off the results of people who not only fail to understand what they are taking, but how it is interacting with their body in the first place. You can’t really write about something you don’t know, right? As a life long fitness enthusiast, I was sick of spending hours researching a new health fad, only to purchase it and find out it was garbage. Wether you are just starting your fitness journey or you’ve spent years building yourself into pristine shape, nothing will cloud that motivation like wasting hundreds of dollars on false advertising. I became jaded to the newest innovations, the newest weight loss tea or wrap, the ever changing diet trends that promised outstanding results without the hard work. Anything you do in life that yields positive results is generally hard, and fitness is absolutely no different.

Photo by Josh Castro

So, when a few local fighters at my gym showed me the newest fad, the journalist in me kicked in and decided to see if it really did live up to its potential.

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“Smashin’ Greens Superfood Blend” was the brainchild of Pro MMA fighter and former Navy SEAL Mitch Aguiar. He patented the “Smashin Greens Juice Fast,” and the supplement was born out of a mixture he concocted while doing the fast. The supplement works by mixing the powder with water and consuming up to four times per day, eating nothing else.

Small allowances are made for black coffee, zero calorie water enhancer such as Mio or StrikeForce Energy and as much water as you’d like. It’s a pretty clean cut juice fast, which Aguiar says should ideally be done for five days for maximum results. The blend itself is a mixture of superfoods such as acai, spirulia, matcha green tea powder and many other vitamins and minerals essential to preserving muscle growth while simultaneously burning fat. On a whim, I reached out to Mitch through Instagram and was shocked how quickly he agreed to meet and drop off the Superfood blend, which came out to about $79.99 (before shipping). The one thing I was told beforehand was to expect good customer service, although it is always a cerebral experience when the service is actually good. I had toyed with intermittent fasting for years prior to trying this, so I really didn’t think I would be too hungry as long as my body was getting the nutrients it needed from the shake. Intermittent fasting is a method of fasting popularized by famous athletes and actors such as Terry Crews. It’s where a person eats all their meals during an eight hour window, and fasts for the next16 hours in between. This is thought to be a much more natural way to eat as humans developed eating this way for centuries. I woke up on the first day and mixed my first drink around 7 a.m., adding a packet of StrikeForce energy for taste. The taste is overwhelmingly strong, so it is best masked with some type of sweetener such as Mio or something similar. Breaking the rules a bit, I started to mix it with 10 calorie lemonade from Walmart, which I found greatly improved the taste while still keeping the calories as low as possible. (It should be noted here that each serving packs about 250 mg of caffeine, comparable to about three 8 oz cups of coffee. Keep this in mind when you take your shake in the evening or with other caffeine.)

I cruised through my day, with really only a slight loss in energy and the nagging desire to eat some carbs. I powered through the lunch time rush and made it back home for dinner a little more tired than usual, but overall not feeling sick or hungry. I woke up the next morning and weighed myself on my bathroom scale, and was surprised to see that I was down close to three pounds and 0.6 percent body fat. I was feeling refreshed, and a little taken by surprise by how well it had worked in only one day. Over the next few days I would whittle my way down to about 8.5 percent body fat, an almost 2.5 percent decrease. As someone who generally walks around at 11 percent, the results were immediate and noticeable. I decided to fast for one more day, losing an additional two pounds before breaking my fast with some light food. I personally walk around fairly lean, so losing too much more on my frame would have likely resulted in a bit of muscle loss as well. However, the proof was in the scale, and I couldn’t deny that the numbers matched up with exactly what Aguiar said they would. Although it seems a bit pricey for the average college athlete, when I compared the ingredients from his initial juice fast to the ingredients in the supplement, the price point was actually a lot cheaper. With “Smashin’ Greens,” you at least get a refined blend that lessens the texture, with the added bonus of caffeine to combat the lethargy you will likely feel from fasting. My final thoughts on “Smashin’ Greens” are overall positive. It lives up to the hype and does exactly what it intends to. Whether you are looking to lose a few pounds of body fat for a photoshoot or you just want to fit into your bathing suit when the summer rolls around, it’s worth toughing out a few days of bad taste for the overwhelmingly positive results. For more information and to purchase your own, check out smashinfrog.com

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WODU Studios provides training for students interested in entering the field of commercial / non-commercial broadcasting, video production, audio production, broadcast engineering, broadcast journalism, broadcasting entertainment, studio production, media promotions, public relations, broadcast management, accounting, human resources, live event broadcasting and production. 1045 Webb University Center Norfolk, VA 23529 www.wodustudios.com wodulive@gmail.com P: 757-683-6391 F: 757-683-6088


HOPS? All Photos by Maggie Giordano


Back in a small corner of Norfolk, Va. sits a tiny brewery. Only a short drive from ODU’s campus, Smartmouth Brewing may lack in size but makes up for it in taste. With only 12 beers on tap, Smartmouth has established itself as a tasty and formidable force to be reckoned with in the craft brewery industry.

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All Photos by Maggie Giordano

SAFETY DANCE This super drinkable pilsner is perfect for anyone trying to break into beer drinking. It’s fruity and wheaty, the perfect balance for optimal tastefulness. Its straw color makes it not only tasty but also an attractive looking beer. Topped off with a citrus-sweet scent makes this yearrounder a great go-to.

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MURPHY’S LAW This super drinkable pilsner is perfect for anyone This amber ale starts off with a sweet taste, and leaves with a smooth, tangy, floral finish. The pour is a beautiful, amber red color, making it not only easy to drink but also easy to look at. This beer is better for people who aren’t looking for something hoppy like an IPA but need something with more of a kick than a pilsner.



This super drinkable pilsner is perfect for anyone A citrus IPA, countered by the bitterness of the hops, this drink is the perfect IPA for IPA drinkers. For those who want something tamer, Game On is not the drink for you. It pours as a golden wheat color and smells like citrus. Exploding with flavor and good looks, there’s a reason this drink is a mainstay.

This super drinkable pilsner is perfect for anyone Typically a saison’s tartness is a major turnoff for some people, but this Belgian style saison is a great combination of sweet and spicy. The color is a great shade of yellow, and it’s scent perfectly reflects it’s taste. It’s a must for Smartmouth firsttimers, but also remains a reason why people keep coming back. maceandcrown.com | 15


Photo by Joesf Hicks


On Sept. 22, 2018 Old Dominion University experienced an event in college football history that will always be remembered by the players and fans alike. The Hokies entered Foreman Field confident that they would head back to Blacksburg with an easy win over ODU as they were only predicted a 1.8 percent chance by ESPN to win the game. When ODU visited VT last season, they never made the board as Tech beat the Monarchs 38-0. Virginia Tech was ranked No. 13 in the 2018 preseason college football rankings and they were undefeated before playing at S. B. Ballard Stadium. Prior to playing Tech, ODU was 0-3 in the season, determined to finish with a win. Then the clock ran out, and ODU defeated Tech 49-35 in one of the most shocking upsets in history. Virginia Tech’s football program was established in 1892 while Old Dominion just recently revived their program in 2009. Tech has played a total of 115 seasons within their program making appearances in eight Conference Championships and 31 Bowl games. Old Dominion has made an appearance in one bowl game during the 2016 season. As Virginia Tech traveled to Hampton Roads for the first time they are not unfamiliar with the area. Some of the biggest 16 | FALL 2018

names in Tech’s football program are actually from the 757. These are names that have not been unheard of such as Michael Vick, DeAngelo Hall and Tyrod Taylor. There was no surprise that there is talent on Old Dominion’s football team that has been heavily underestimated. Since being established in 2009 ODU’s program has had five former players progress to the professional level. The NFL holds on their roster’s from Old Dominion, Rashad Coward of the Chicago Bears, Ray Lawry (Cincinnati Bengals), Taylor Heinicke (Carolina Panthers), Zach Pascal (Indianapolis Colts) and Rick Lovato (Philadelphia Eagles). It is safe to say that Old Dominion’s Football program has become well developed in the short amount of time the program has been around. When Tech entered S. B. Ballard Stadium there was a record fan base of 20,532 people to watch them face the Monarchs. Fans stayed on their feet as the scores were repetitively close throughout the game. When approaching the fourth quarter the intensity increased as ODU outscored Tech 28-7. Jeremy Cox rushed a 40-yard touchdown with only 1:34 left to secure the win for Old Dominion with a 49-35 final score. He recorded his fifth career 100-yard rushing game. The Monarchs

had a total of 623 yards against Tech. Virginia Tech’s defense has not given up that many yards since playing Syracuse in 2002. “Going into the game I had the mentality that this is just another game and to stay focused on my job. The anticipation before playing Tech gave me the feeling that this is definitely going to be a lot of fun and one to remember. Our offensive coordinator said to just continue to hold and pound the ball. The last touchdown was amazing. I had chills running through my body and felt the stadium spinning," said Jeremy Cox, ODU senior running back. "At the end of the game, I had fans asking to take pictures with me and screaming my name. I even got lifted in the air! The atmosphere was a once in a lifetime moment that I will always cherish and never forget," said Cox. History was made as ODU defeated Tech in one of the most memorable upsets in college football the 2018 season. It will not be the last time the Hokies visit Foreman Field as Old Dominion will host Virginia Tech six more times within the next 13 games scheduled for the upcoming seasons throughout 2031.

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Superheroes seem to only exist in comic books or movies. Norfolk is certainly not Gotham City, or even New York City in the Marvel Universe. It is a city with its own problems and issues that people try hard to fix each and every day. Sometimes, however, a hero is not just a 911 call away. It could be just a person you know being kind and doing a good deed. Norfolk has its superhero, a man who calls himself, “The Widowster.” He roams the streets in an outfit similar to Deadpool because of the red and black colors, or Spiderman from the insignia on his chest, depending on how people see his suit. The one thing he has in common is that he is out there helping others, fighting crime in his own way. Berkeley was known for not being one of safest areas in Norfolk, but in the past year or two it has slowly changed into a quiet area. This of course could be the result of many different things, or, it could be the ardent work of the Widowster. He patrols the night in his Widowster uniform, being careful to check what is going on around him through Facebook. “Waking up is just like a normal day. Even when it was really hyped,” he said. He goes out around 7 p.m. and heads home around 11-12 p.m. “ When it is cold I head home earlier, unless I am prepared with hand and feet warmers.” Of course, every good superhero needs a sidekick, even if it’s just a close friend. When The Widowster is not patrolling the city alone, he has his friend Marcus with him. They have known each other since the end of their senior high school year. He is his the yin to his yang. “I am more of a hothead, he is more of a peacekeeper” Marcus said. “ I come along to make sure things don’t get too bad out here with him.” The Widowster dosen’t have much in the way of a background story, but takes pause to talk about how he got started. “At the time, after my ninja days, I was welding a batman suit 18 | FALL SUMMER 20182018

Who doesn’t like to travel and see the world? As a college student, it may be difficult to book a dream trip on a budget, but it is still possible. There are apps and websites that provide student discounts and other great deals for traveling. If you are interested in traveling but are not a big fan of airplanes, you can still find options to cater to you. Greyhound is a bus system that provides transportation throughout the entire country at a very reasonable rate. Greyhound states on their website that they provide a 10 percent discount to students with their student advantage discount card. The greyhound student advantage discount card can give access to other student discounts while traveling and also other shopping expenses.


Courtesy Unsplash

Photo by Joyce Nelson


However, this card is not for free, there are different statuses of the card that is broken down by year. A one year membership is at a cost of $22.50; a two year card costs $32.50; a three year membership costs $42.50; and a four year card costs $52.50. Airbnb is another app that allows people to plan their trips with having over five million listings worldwide. Airbnb has gained more popularity over the past few years due to their more affordable traveling prices compared to traditional hotels.

at the time. But my mentor, Tony, gave me the idea to become a potential Spiderman”.

Airbnb is not a hotel reservation app, instead it allows people to reserve spaces in a hosted building (houses, complexes, etc.). Airbnb hosts breaks down their prices by the nightly fee that is determined by the host, a cleaning fee and an extra guest fee. Airbnb itself has its own service fee. Prices fluctuate depending on the reservation, however, the rates are typically at a lower cost than other traveling outlets.

He has clearance from the Norfolk District Administration to wear his mask and carries a baton for his protection. At one time he was known as Black Widow, but soon decided to change it to The Widowster. His main mission is de-escalating situations that could be solved easily, rather than have them become a bigger problem. He is out mostly helping the homeless, doing special events like birthday parties, and sometimes stopping small fights. Nothing so far has been dangerous.

Hopper is an app that is good for students to use when planning a trip. Hopper allows people to book flights, hotels and rent homes. Hopper simplifies the process of booking a flight by determining when the flight is the most affordable and the best time to buy the tickets and later sends a notification to the customer. There are tons of options for hotel bookings offered on their app that can be found based on a person’s destination, price range and style.

“Everybody has a chance, everybody deserves a chance,” the Widowster said. There are local panhandlers that do not help the situation. “The first fight I stopped was at ODU’s Mini Con 2016, which two guys were fighting over a phone,” he said. “It was the first one that didn’t involve me defending myself.” With every superhero, there is a always a villain that tries to stop them. “Everyone has their obstacle, Man Man, is just one of those, ”the Widowster said. Man Man is the Widowster’s villain.

Hitlist is an app designed to organize and simplify the flight booking process for a trip. Hitlist has some of the most affordable flight prices. For example, to book a round trip from Norfolk, Va. to Tampa, Fl. on a trip in December for a week costs $66.

“He is just using the ladder system to get people to follow him,” said Marcus. “But yeah, I just play along with that he does,” the Widowster commented.

Hitlist breaks down the pricing of flights and compares their prices to what is considered the average price of that specific flight. Hitlist offers bookings internationally as well. Customers are able to book trips last minute without the worry of paying for an overpriced ticket.

We live in a world with people complaining about the help we don’t get and are divided in the tension. “People who complain are just adding to the problems. If nobody does it who will?” he said.

Kayak is another app that lists affordable traveling expenses. The app allows people to book hotels, flights and car rentals. Rates are relative to the destination.

There is no competition between him or the police. He does not want take away from what they do because he is just one man. He has been working on various projects, such as Project Persona, which is a way for people to find themselves. “I am here to help my community. Make a difference in the community,” he said.


However, Kayak has partnered with StudentUniverse.com and it gives students with a “.edu” email account a discount for rates and flight bookings. These apps also provide the convenience to book hotels/rental homes, flights and car rentals all at once. These apps provide students lower rates than the traditional flight websites and allow people to customize their trip to fit their needs. maceandcrown.com | 19



This article may contain spoilers from “Doki Doki: Literature Club”

There are so many indie games on the market that they almost get lost within each other. Some indie games, though, have been lucky enough to shine amongst the rest: “Five Night’s at Freddy’s,” “Undertale” and “Plague, Inc.”, have all been examples of games not made by a triple A company that have made it through to the top of the ranks concerning popularity. But no one could have ever imagined that something as innocent-looking, seemingly stereotypical, bright and happy could have broken through the typical algorithm of games to become one of the higher-rated indie games in the industry today. “Doki Doki: Literature Club” (DDLC) was developed and published by Team Salvato, and first appeared on the PC platform, Steam, in late Sept. 2017. The game featured four Asian girls, all striking stereotypical, anime-like poses with a colorful bright pink background illuminating behind them. Overly cutesy and innocent descriptions such as “The Literature Club is full of cute girls! Will you write the way into their heart?”were plastered all over the games' page on Steam. It screams typical playable visual anime novella, or dating simulator. It’s fairly easy to imagine the confusion people faced when they found the game under the horror section, riddled with warnings and tags labeling it as ‘psychological horror.’ Once people began playing it, they quickly understood why it was labeled that way. Swarms of overly positive reviews flooded the Steam page, telling people to play it themselves instead of judging it by the cover and dismiss it completely. The game, right off the bat, is presented 20 | FALL 2018

with the usual anime art style everyone is familiar with. You, the player, play as a typical boy attending a Japanese high school. The player gets to choose what name he’ll have, and soon after, is introduced to a petite girl named Sayori, who we find out has been the players’ best friend for a long time. After walking to high school together, the player meets a girl named Monika, who is looking to recruit people for her new club she is creating. The character is hesitant, but eventually joins when he finds out there are other cute girls in it. From there, the player will talk back and forth between the four members of the club, eventually leading down the predictable path of falling in love with one of them. After a few hours of simple mouse-clicking and filtering through dialogue options to get to know the characters on a more personal level, the game suddenly turns on its head. Players can do nothing but watch in horror and wonder what they did wrong, and end up suffering the consequences throughout the entire game. Avoid spoilers at all costs. Don’t even read the reviews on Steam. Play it yourself, and then watch others play it. Instead of watching a horror movie, play this game. It has successfully subverted people’s expectations and took them to a whole other level. This is not the typical monster or gore formula that most people expect from mainstream horror. This game has managed to separate itself entirely from other forms of horror and created something unique that one can only imagine how someone could have thought to conjure this up. Just remember to keep your game files open! "Doki Doki" is available on Steam for PC, Mac and Linux.

Courtesy Team Sarvato

Brooke Nicholson

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All Photos by Maggie Giordano

expecting much. But it was just intimate and cool and vibe-y.” “While learning the ropes, something we’ve started thinking about is connecting with the people,” said Jamie talking about pre-show rituals. “We just try to prepare our minds and hearts in a state of giving.” “Yeah, just having the mindset that it’s not just ourselves, getting out of that headspace. It’s about giving something,” said Jeena. “That and jamming out to Imagine Dragons in the car on the way to shows.” After performing in different cities along the east coast with other Hampton Roads acts, Fox and the Bear are excited to release their debut album. It’ll come out nearly two years after their debut EP. “It was the summer of 2016 when we started recording the EP at The Collector in Norfolk,” said Jamie. “And then we released it January 2017.” “That was us officially starting as a band that January,” said Jeena. Their self-titled EP has three songs, “The Chapel,” “Elmira” and “Silver Chair.” Overall, the EP is indie-folk, and each song manages to stand on its own. The three songs all mean something different to the band and to the fans. “All of the songs we play, I wouldn’t come out with if I wasn’t proud of it in some way. But ‘The Chapel’ has taken us far. It’s been on TV and has been played in a lot of places. I like playing that one, I like that energy,” said Jeena.


They met their producer and friend, Jake Hull, in a Trader Joe’s. “He was so fun to work with, so easy-going. We were so nervous, and he was just encouraging,” said Jamie. The sisters talk about the horror stories they’ve heard about producers pushing their ideas on the band, but Fox and the Bear say that Hull was nothing but supportive.

lindsey lanham Tucked away in the back of a local coffee shop sits Jeena and Jamie Anderson. The two sisters talk about the pros and cons of lavender lattes and laugh about the awkward shows they’ve performed at before. Jamie and Jeena make up local indie-folk band, Fox and the Bear. The name Fox and the Bear comes from the simple fact that those are the sisters’ favorite animals, and is also a reference to one of Aesop’s Fables. The two talk about one of the venues they recently played. At this venue, they had to carry all of their equipment up multiple flights of stairs and having to perform in essentially a hallway. Even though Fox and the Bear have already played at famous venues like The NorVa Theatre, they got their start at a church talent show when they were only 15 and 17. “We raised money for camp,” said Jeena. “All the kids in our youth group had a talent, and everyone encouraged us to do it. So, that was our debut, I guess.” 22 | FALL 2018

“When I was 12 I started playing guitar,” said Jamie, after taking a minute to think about when she really got her start playing music. “And I didn’t get into instruments until I was 15, so I was late to the game,” said Jeena. “We kind of taught ourselves. I took guitar lessons for like six months at the most. And then from there, I taught myself.” Years later, Fox and the Bear have now played a smattering of venues in Virginia, their fanbase growing and their tours spanning across state lines.

“We kind of write separately and then come in and collab on the song, but Jeena’s song ‘Evergreen,’ is amazing,” said Jamie. “Evergreen” wasn’t on their EP, but the band promises it will be on their full-length album. Fox and the Bear are influenced greatly by indie folk acts like The Lumineers and Mumford and Sons (“Well, the original Mumford and Sons,” Jamie laughs), and also whatever their parents happened to be playing when they were growing up. “It’s not glamorous,” said Jamie about breaking into the music scene. She talks about how playing at venues like breweries, there’s always a part of the crowd who’s not interested. Also picking the wrong venue at the wrong time of the year is something that has been an issue for the band in the past. “There are challenges. You have to be more vigilant, just as girls, playing in bars and breweries and the sketchier parts of town,” said Jeena. “Or even preconceived notions of us,” said Jamie, talking about how audiences sometimes judge what they’re wearing or how the band looks. “Some people of told us that they didn’t think we were gonna be any good, but we proved them wrong,” said Jeena. Fox and the Bear’s authentic aesthetic makes their music genuine. They find power in their simplicity, in that they don’t need anything flashy to set themselves apart. Incredibly humble and genuine, the sisters are amazed by their success. Fox and the Bear are making their rounds now, but going at the rate they are now, they’ll be nationally touring artists in no time. Until then, you can catch them doing local shows around Virginia and keep an eye out for their full-length album, set to be released in a couple of months.

All Photos by Maggie Giordano

They joke, saying that it’s kind of a competition as to who can finish the last song they want to put on the album first.

The sisters tend to keep a competitive spirit about their work but are always able to collaborate and put something together at the end of the day.

Though the band can play many instruments each, their on-stage ensemble usually only includes a couple of string instruments, like guitar and mandolin. They also bring along their great grandmother’s suitcase that was fashioned into a homemade kick drum. “We just opened up for The Hunts at the Jammin’ Java,” said Jeena when asked about their favorite venue they’ve played. “It’s in a strip mall, near a Food Lion, I think, so we weren’t maceandcrown.com | 23

Image by Jeryce Dianingana




Afrofuturism is what one takes from it. Like all art, different in the eye of the beholder, it grasps the observer and throws them into a universe that can exist anywhere beyond our own reality. It serves as the futuristic, sci-fi experience accurate to the African portrayal - free of appropriation, drowned in golden melanin, deep roots and culture. The early 2018 release of “Black Panther” is currently the most well-known expression of this otherwise indie genre. It courses through the humanities, alive and flourishing well before Ryan Coogler and a list of co-writers adapted the 1977 comic. In the arts, representation matters. The explosion of “Black Panther” was a result of the very representation that is lacking in Hollywood today. The feature film seemed to be the first of its kind - not limited to a black main character, but brandishing a primarily black cast, directors, writers and producers. It is less than common that a black director, writer, photographer, designer or artist is being fawned over for their daunting talent and contribution to the industry. On the other hand, these individuals are overlooked and lost in a sea of stereotypes sewn into a whitewashed industry, accompanied with the typical details emphasized of the black community: from impoverished neighborhoods, high crime and broken families. It’s assumed in the vast world of sci-fi that people of color are flourishing, despite lacking the acknowledgement. Accurately portraying people of color as everyday members of society, as an equal, is a development in films and television programs recent to the past 30 years. “The social environment in which an individual of African descent lives, his perception of it and how he’s perceived. Evolution or even regression of the Black experience; what ties the future still remains a product of the past,” a junior English major said when asked to define their interpretation of Afrofuturism.

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Think futurism: spaceships, otherworldly abilities, superior intellect, hierarchy societies of towering, golden utopias. The idea of advanced technology goes unchanged, but is different in the manner in which it is culturally implemented. As well stated by Ytasha Womack in the much necessary read, “Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-Fi and Fantasy Culture,” Afrofuturism is the viewing of alternate futures and realities through the lens of an African or a person of color, no matter the nationality. There are artists who visualize vehicles soaring between skyscrapers of metal African markets where robots haggle with a mother of three who glows of celestial power. Quench the growing desire to embrace tomorrow with these Afrofuturistic works of art by both celebrities and everyday people. The feature image is done by an African-French man named Jercye. The name of the piece is “Wokongo River.” “I asked myself what can the next step of African, sub-saharan civilization be in the future without forgetting the fundamental things that made Africa culture unique, with a little fantasy of course,” Jercye said. He currently works as an 3D Environment Designer for Square Enix in the Montreal division. “Children of Blood and Bone” is a New York Times bestseller that was released in March 2018, written by Tomi Adeyemi, a Nigerian Harvard graduate. This novel is a fresh fantasy that thrives off of Nigerian traditions, mythology, and culture. There are many works to be explored and the industry is hungry for more. Don’t be afraid to expose your inner talent. Draw a picture, make a film or write a story that adds to the Afrofuturistic movement. Support those who have already released art and build up future that could be.

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Courtesy Unsplash


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A one-way ticket was taped upon her wall. Ever since she could remember, Ella could lie back with her head resting on a pillow and her gaze looking up to see that bright and shining ticket, her very own North Star. “Only twelve more years now,” she thought to herself. Only twelve more years until a life of glamour and sophistication. Two years later, Ella tells her parents that she will take that ticket and become a movie star. With each passing day, the one-way ticket taunted Ella with infinite hopes, dreams, and possibilities. Ella fantasized night and day about that much-anticipated arrival to a destination unknown. Three years later, Ella decides she wants to be a doctor. Ella tells her little sister that she is practically an adult. With each passing day, the one-way ticket’s expiration date crept closer and closer. Ella, for one, could not wait. Four years later, Ella goes along to drop her brother off at his first year of college. Blue and white surrounded her. For the first time in her life, Ella could practically taste the freedom the one-way ticket ensured. A year later, Ella spends every waking moment looking at colleges and envisioning her perfect future. She wants to be a lawyer with a husband, 2.4 kids, a dog, a cat, and a white picket fence. Everything is planned. “What so ever could go wrong?” Ella thinks to herself. 17 years old. The girl hunches over her laptop at 2:48am, merely hours before the bbrrriiiinngg of school’s dreaded morning bell. College applications, essays, and homework have cast out all light the girl formerly known as Ella previously possessed. Hair-pulling and mental breakdowns seem to be perfectly built into her 25/8 schedule operating on a 24/7 system. Each night the girl sees that damn one-way ticket. She tears it down, rips it up, sets it on fire, and throws the ashes out the window. Every morning, without fail, the girl wakes up to the ghastly one-way ticket hanging in the place it was previously ripped from. 18. Finally. The one-way ticket’s expiration date has arrived. With a suitcase in one hand and a cigarette in the other, the girl stands on the edge of a cliff. A locked past behind her. An empty and uncertain future beyond her. The girl takes a final look at that damn one-way ticket. It simply reads, “JUMP.” And the girl formerly known as Ella followed her North Star.

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Courtesy Unsplash


Somewhere, I read that scents are attached to memories.

Vodka made you sleep. Bourbon mellowed you out.

When I think of my childhood

When I saw Tequila

I think only of alcoholic breath with a hint of cigarettes, not candy flavored aromas

I knew you’d come for me Especially, if the worm disappeared. I heard you slur the words

or chocolate, not apple cinnamon flapjacks

in a whisper, “Mahal na mahal kita”

that could have melted in my mouth.

I wished my Auntie Carmelita was here to save me.

You were intoxicated, and every time you chose to touch me you scorched my skin worse than a second-degree sunburn.

I know she would have helped me bury you and then you could fertilize the soil that grows your tobacco.

I thought I was a good girl with good grades. On good days You made me play

But it was time for me to get away, because even though this part of my childhood was taken

with you. But now,

I still had a little left to live.

I realize that was never my place. I was not supposed to do a wife’s duty at a child’s age. You placed me on a pedestal picked my flower petals one by one. You would blindfold the clock thinking the tick tock would cease. Gin made you frisky.

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I’m all grown up. Have I managed to get away? People wonder why I don’t drink. They always ask. I just tell them, somewhere, I read that scents are attached to memories.

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Courtesy Unsplash


Success. The definition of success is a tough discussion for us college students and young adults. What exactly is the true meaning of success? Who exemplify these levels of success? And do we follow the traditional landscape that so many of our family did before us? Well, the only way we can understand just a small amount of these everyday questions is to break down what we do not know to better comprehend what we do. There are always many examples of what success “looks like,” and who define it constantly surrounding us. Whether you’re a 23-year-old millionaire who created a mediocre social app driving Bentleys and wearing Rollies, or simply someone who as we say today, is an “influencer” on the app. Influencers come in a wide variety, but it only seems like one type is known to be the “trendiest.” Some can be depicted as a social Instagram star looking to sell fit teas, gummy bears, and self-esteem all immersed in one enormous ass-set. In fact, more recently, a member from the Kardashian/Jenner clan may be named the first “self-made” billionaire from attributing some of these tactics. Whether you’re an influencer on the most popular media apps, or someone day-to-day struggling to make it working 40 hours a week, there are many examples of people who have defied the odds, and did the unpopular thing that many people told them not to do. You could list the common types like Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs. You can also list the uncommon people who you may deem successful just by the amount of impact they had helping you learn to find your own path. It may have been a teacher, pastor, uncle Scott, or that frenemy from high school. From the young children that we innocently were, to the young adults that we have now come to be. No matter your religion, socioeconomic class, ethnic group, or sexual orientation. In order to be successful, our family always told us to go to college, do the stuff that makes the cash (or marry someone with it), reproduce and create a family. Well, gramps, it’s not the 1960’s anymore and I’m not sitting pretty looking for a husband to come and scoop me up. In closing, no matter what you end up doing with your life make something out of it so it won’t be so pathetic. And yeah, I’m sure you’ll make mistakes now and again, but always remember that you are good enough. As corny as it may sound, money and clouds of STUFF don’t make you happy, only the impact in how you treat people do.

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Courtesy Unsplash

DECEPTIVE KISS DARIEL TAYLOR A walk through a cold foggy forest half past midnight is no man's or woman's favorite journey, A harmless night in the beginning it was, Consisting of fun and laughter camping out in the middle of the forest basking under the stars, Like fireflies the stars are, Trapped in the night sky teasing them with indistinct and intermittent flickers of light as they stretch out their hands yearning to hold the light above Suddenly, after time passes during the night things are not so luminous and mystical, The energy is different, The sky seems farther and farther away, The once beaten path back to civilization is now crowded, Full with wild shrubs, poisonous plants, and thick blades of grass hovering over their footprints, Panic is in the air, Their once adventurous journey is not so grand anymore, How to survive they wonder, Who will come to save them they ask each other, Why is this happening to them they cry, One by one each person disappears as they continue to fall victim to the lights above, Vanishing as they walk through this cold foggy forest half past midnight, Be careful, A kiss from death on the lips can dim your light...

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All Photos by Nicole Brailer

ODU Community Garden Continues to Grow Nicole Brailer Students of the newly established Community Garden gathered in October to plant their fall crops for a rich harvest this season. The garden can be found tucked away behind the Virginia House dorms, where it is made up of three, eight by four foot beds. This season’s crops include kale, lettuce, turnips, carrots, broccoli and purple cabbage. The ODU Community Garden is one of the more recent additions to the student community and was founded by Elizabeth Trahadias and Andrew Butler. What began as a two students sharing their love for gardening and knowledge about healthy eating, has quickly flourished into a small community of students that gather at the beginning of the growing season to plant fresh vegetables for a healthy yield of produce. As if eating healthy, inspiring fellow students, and sharing a passion for gardening isn’t enough: “One of the most rewarding parts of the garden is that all of the produce grown, is donated,” said Trahadias. Trahadias and Butler have donated countless bags of fresh produce to the local food bank in Norfolk. As awareness of the Community Garden continues to grow, not only will the local food banks enjoy the benefits of locally grown produce, but ODU’s IGNITE Pantry will also be accepting donations. This will directly benefit the ODU students and faculty that face daily struggles and challenges with minimal access to quality, affordable food. The students have every intention of continuing the garden year-round and hopes of beginning a Gardening Club. To learn more about volunteering or donating to IGNITE Pantry, visit

Photo by Nicole Brailer


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Artist and photographer, Vik Muniz explores the extent to which mediums can go. He manipulates the likes of chocolate, trash and diamonds to form larger pictures in exhibit “Vik Muniz: Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder.” The exhibit, being featured at The Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia, encapsulates a collection of Muniz’s different works including political figures, photography and Hollywood stars taking the viewer on a mesmerizing walkthrough. Using unconventional mediums Muniz recreates photographs and art by putting his own spin on things and challenging the viewer’s perspective. Muniz’s attention to detail is impeccable as not a coffee bean, sand grain or toy is out of place. In fact, the meticulous detail is what is most interesting about the exhibit. One might recognize Marxist revolutionary, “Che Guevara” and how Muniz depicts him with black beans or the famous “Mona Lisa” painting and how she’s depicted through a PB&J spread. Popular pieces are recreated from Muniz’s vision and capture a childlike wonder about them. “Vik Muniz: Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder” expresses the ways in which art has never black and white. Muniz’s point is that many different textures and materials can work together in a symbiotic way to project a grander image.



The “Pictures of Garbage” series uses trash to make an environmental and political statement. The series displays trash and how much humans contribute to it. While both alarmingly shocking and equally beautiful, the message behind each piece is profound and portrays humanity in a very telling light. In the “Pictures of Diamonds” series Muniz delineates the likes of old-timey movie stars such as Sophia Loren, Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. The series captivates Hollywood glamour and each individual star’s shine.

All Photos by Ellison Smith

The “Monad” series uses tiny toy soldiers to create images in that of a horse, an Indian chief and a soldier. With a few pieces from each different collection such as the “Pictures of Chocolate” and “Pictures of Ink” series Muniz is inspired by German photographer Hans Namuth, creating “Action Photo, After Hans Namuth” made of chocolate. Muniz also recreates photography pieces such as Dorothea Lange’s “Migrant Mother,” made of ink. Though each series may be different because of the varying types of material and matter, they allow the viewer to step away from traditional art and into Muniz’s limitless perspective. The creative element of Vik Muniz’s “Photography and the Rebirth of Wonder” forces you to feel nostalgic. Each art piece is designed to be looked at up close and personal to understand the art inside of art concept that Muniz displays. There’s beauty in the mundane, the ordinary, in waste and in food toppings, and there’s a deeper meaning in all. Whether you’re submerged in the memory of childhood, or you’ve traveled back in time to see movie stars shine, Muniz captures the rebirth of wonder by hitting very close to home. There’s something for everyone in this exhibit as it expands the mind, opens the heart and awakens a sense of wonder. To view this exhibit from the perspective of the artist is viewing it through the collectivity of humanity. 36 | FALL 2018

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“Yet there were further signs of the desperate measures individuals take to ensure mobility. A couple of oil strikes that hit many pumps revealed the ferocity with which Australians would defend their right to fill a tank. Long queues formed at the stations with petrol- and anyone who tried to sneak ahead in the queue met raw violence.” This quote perfectly encapsulates the tone of the series. Violence as a means to keep going. To director George Miller, producer Byron Kennedy and screenwriter Mcausland, the next step to follow the violence at the gas lines was violence in the streets. Which is perpetrated by lawless biker gangs, which was also a problem in Australia at the time. Mad Max as a series, more specifically, “The Road Warrior,” would set the bar for post-apocalyptic worlds and science-fiction in aesthetics, settings and themes. Further, the series would go on to inspire several franchises across many types of media, and even some musical performers to adopt a Mad Max-esque aesthetic for certain music videos and performances. When looking out for those who have been influenced by Mad Max, almost all types of media have some touch of the franchise in them. From “South Park” to “Waterworld,” many pieces of work have some touch of Miller’s work. Even children’s shows like “Rugrats” and “Ben 10” have had small “Mad Max” influences for certain segments. Comics have seen this influence as well. “Tank Girl,” created by Alan Martin and Jamie Hewlett have described the titular character as “Mad Max as designed by Vivienne Westwood.” On the other side of the globe ,Yoshiki Oshamura, better known as Buronson, has stated that “Mad Max” was a major influence on his manga series, “Fist of the North Star.”


Written in the wake of the 1973 gas crisis, 1979’s “Mad Max” tells of a world in which gasoline is in short supply, along with sanity. Merciless gangs patrol the streets, pillaging, raiding and being a general nuisance. All in the name of keeping their vehicles in motion, while a borderline ineffectual police force struggles to maintain any semblance of order. While lawless gangs roam the back roads of Australia, the apocalypse has yet to occur. Two years and 4.1 million dollars later, “The Road Warrior” screamed into theatres, and set the new standard for post apocalyptic science-fiction. Set in the Australian Outback desert and taking the gas crisis into it s most extreme outcome, the titular Mad Max is thrust into the unwilling hero role. He's trying to help a small camp of people escape from leather-clad marauders who will stop at nothing to get some gas for their vehicles.

Courtesy Unsplash

When examining the inspiration behind “Mad Max,” and by extension, the rest of the series, screenwriter James McCausland had this to say in a 2006 article written for Australian publication The Courier Mail.

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This is readily apparent to any who have read the manga, or have seen the anime that followed it. The setting, an arid wasteland. The hero, an unwilling loner, the villains, a band of rag-tag bikers. These are all elements seen in “Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior” and onwards. Of course, the biggest beneficiaries of Mad Max’s legacy was video games. Countless titles pay some sort of homage to the series. The franchise was even popular enough to get it’s own video game in the form of 2015’s creatively titled, “Mad Max.” Aside from that, there are several notable video game series that use elements from “Mad Max.” The “Borderlands” franchise for instance, produced by Gearbox Studios, heavily references “Mad Max,” from the setting, visual aesthetics, the use of vehicular combat and even using the name of the original Max actor, Mel Gibson, as the name of a boss, in that of “Mad Mel.” Other titles include Id software’s 2010 title “RAGE,” and it’s sequel due out in 2019. Like the “Mad Max” series, “RAGE”

takes place in a proper post-apocalyptic wasteland. Set after an asteroid strikes the earth, humanity clings to small settlements and regularly engages in vehicular combat to survive while traversing the wastes, not dissimilar to the endings of “Road Warrior” and “Beyond Thunderdome.” While “RAGE” takes several cues from “Mad Max,” it maintains a separate identity by including mutants, television broadcasts, mutants being killed for television broadcasts and a military presence that attempts to keep order. Probably one of the more famous examples of “Mad Max” influencing video games was the “Fallout” series of games. As per usual, the game takes place in the aftermath of a nuclear exchange, leaving the world in a desolate state. From the get-go, the “Mad Max” influences are readily apparent, starting with the environments. The first three games are set on the west coast, playing up the desert environments. This environment would return in “Fallout: New Vegas,” which is set in the Mojave desert. Other influences can be seen in the groups you encounter and their appearances. Most clothing items are scavenged and held together with found objects. Even some actual “Road Warrior” costume design cues can be seen in groups like Caesar’s Legion, who use football padding on their outfits, not unlike some of the marauders in “Road Warrior.” Raider groups are also present in the games, though their designs are notably grittier and edgier than anything seen in the George Miller films. By far the biggest reference to “Mad Max” comes in the form of the “Leather Armor” which is found in most of the games and takes several design cues from Gibson’s costume in “Road Warrior,” from the missing sleeve, shoulder pad and overall color of the set. Though, unlike the previously mentioned games, “Fallout” does not feature vehicular combat, as almost all vehicles found by the player are stripped down, rusted out and irreparably damaged. While video games, comics and films are ripe with “Mad Max” influences and references, there is another, more unexpected medium which also has references to Miller’s creation. This being the world of music. More specifically, live musical performances. Several bands have co-opted the visual aesthetic of “The Road Warrior,” such as Mötley Crüe, W.A.S.P. during the Eighties and Kesha during her 2011 tour. This is but a smattering of the influence George Miller’s “Mad Max” franchise has had since its inception in 1979. From small low budget beginnings to having it’s fingers in several media pies, it’s safe to say that “Mad Max” has easily become one of the most ubiquitous names in the entertainment world.

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