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Spenser Willden


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News

OPINION: Now’s the time; let’s lose Twitter

Losers, rejoice — in a move sure to be celebrated by the worst men you know, Elon Musk completed his long-threatened acquisition of social media platform Twitter on Oct. 27, bringing with it changes that have prompted many users and staff members to finally call it quits. Verification overhaul, content moderation changes and more are all on the table and have already altered user experience nearly beyond repair. With Twitter going through rapid change, now is the time to leave it behind for good and move on to greener, less awful pastures. 

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Culture

UNM swing dancing club celebrates first dance

A crowd of over 50 students gathered in the Student Union Building for the first meeting of the University of New Mexico Swing Dancing Club on Sunday, Nov. 20. Starting with an introductory West coast-style swing lesson from the SouthWesties dance troupe, the night brought dancing to campus for students of all skill levels. By meeting on campus, the Swing Dancing Club gives students the opportunity to engage in dance in a safe and welcoming space for those under 21 and without the transportation to go off campus, according to attendee and dance enthusiast Brianna Knox Hubbard. “I’ve been looking for an under-21 space to social dance since I’m 19, and this provides that,” Hubbard said.

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Culture

UNM alum given notable mention in ‘The Best American Essays 2022’

On Nov. 1, Harper Collins released the most recent edition of their annual “Best American Essays” series, which honors the years’ best works in the field of creative nonfiction. This year, University of New Mexico alumnus Michelle Gurule received a notable mention in the book’s appendix for her essay “Exit Route,” initially written as part of her dissertation at UNM and published in issue 53 of literary magazine StoryQuarterly.

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Culture

‘What does ASUNM do?’

On Thursday, Nov. 3, The Associated Students at the University of New Mexico’s Election Commission announced the results of the fall 2022 senatorial election, in which ten undergraduates were elected to serve as full-term senators for the spring 2023 semester. Though ASUNM represents the entire undergraduate population, only 425 students voted in the election, a small percentage of the entire student body.

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Culture

Go in blind to Zach Cregger’s 'Barbarian'

On top of the classic spooky films, Halloween is the perfect season to catch up on this year’s horror innovators; Jordan Peele, Ti West and now, with the release of his sleeper horror hit “Barbarian,” Zach Cregger. “Barbarian,” which became available on HBO Max on Oct. 25, is a film that knows what its audience is thinking and plays with these expectations to make a truly unpredictable, if somewhat unstable, ride. The film starts with an aspiring documentary filmmaker Tess (Georgina Campbell) checking into an AirBNB double booked with a mysterious stranger (Bill Skarsgård). The film reinvents itself (even within genre) from scene to scene; it is best seen with as few expectations as possible.

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Culture

Local artist flirts with youth, violence and life in the Southwest through cartoon

The violence of local artist Beedallo’s work is often offset by her charming illustrative style. In her art, adolescents and animals bleed from wounds both seen and unseen: knives, whips, fire and worms. Her work, with its clean primary colors and sharp geometric style, adorns the walls of the Lapis Room art gallery in Old Town, establishing it as part of the contemporary Southwestern movement, yet bold and original of its own. Beedallo grew up surrounded by art with numerous Southwestern-style artisans on her mother’s side. She inherited a love for illustration from her mother, an illustrator herself, who taught her about art from a young age. Her primary interest, though, was cartoons.

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Culture

OPINION: Films need to put more effort into cinematography

The principal concern of the filmmaker is image. Story, character, even sound are all secondary to the creation of compelling images. Think of the shower scene in “Psycho,” Gene Kelly and the lamppost in “Singing in the Rain.” With their composition, these iconic images, both within and outside their original contexts, provide sensations beyond sight to the audience — touch, smell, taste, even intrigue; a sixth sense of danger and imbalance or joy and virility. Now, think of an iconic shot from the past few years in film, particularly blockbusters: those we’re leaving behind to later generations. Our cultural footprint. Think of a shot as divorced from the context of plot as well, just what’s in the frame. Finding anything interesting? Likely not.

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Culture

UNM memoirist imitates life through art

University of New Mexico student Meg Vlaun is no stranger to hard work; a writer and mother of two with a job tutoring at Central New Mexico Community College and two master's degrees and aspirations for a third in tow, she possesses that rare quality which separates a good writer from the greats — drive and determination. Vlaun splits her time between her numerous commitments, including a new volunteer position as an editor on “Limina: UNM Nonfiction Review.” Through determination, she’s thrived across the board in her work.

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Culture

REVIEW: 'Avatar' rereleased: good or bad?

Listen, I get it: Blue cat-people, Unobtanium, Sam Worthington and hair sex, if you watch the extended edition. James Cameron’s “Avatar,” released in 2009, is inherently a little bit bad. But watching the re-release in IMAX 3D this week, I can’t help but find myself completely bought in anyway — visually stunning, emotionally compelling and technologically impressive, I hate to say that “Avatar” is kind of good. It’s December 2009. “I Gotta Feeling” by the Black Eyed Peas is dominating the radio. The economy is in shambles. People still can’t get enough of the most recent “Twilight” movie that just came out the month before. But you — all you are thinking about as you take your seat in a surprisingly crowded moviehouse with your 3D glasses is the film you are about to watch, a film that is about to become the highest-grossing movie of all time. Wait, sorry, I’m having trouble recalling the title … Oh! James Cameron’s “Avatar.”

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