America Under the Reich Looks Disturbingly Normal in Amazon’s Gripping Original Series ‘The Man in the High Castle’

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Adapted from Philip K. Dick’s novel of the same name, Amazon’s original series The Man in the High Castle has essentially become known as “that Nazi America show.” Set in an alternate 1960s, the Allies have lost World War II so the East Coast has become part of the Greater Nazi Reich while the Japanese have gained control of what they call the Japanese Pacific States of America. What struck me most was how casual the immersion into Axis America could be.With a different victor, come the spoils. Swastikas have replaced the stars on Old Glory and now they gleam from Time Square’s billboards. Hitler’s face is on our dollar bills. Elementary artworks depicting Nazi honor and duty decorate school hallways. There’s even a Nazi Veterans Day when patriotic families can gather around their televisions and watch Hitler address the nation with that vigorous passion of his.Yet nothing about the strangeness feels abnormal. In fact, a lot feels familiar. An awkward teenage boy asks a girl out to tea. Factory workers run business as usual. In East Hampton, which looks exactly like the one we know, neighbors wave to each other from their freshly mowed front lawns. Families with giggling children barbecue in their backyards or pitch a baseball back and forth.Sure, there’s a coat of Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan over this painting, but how different is this place from the America we know today? The characters of this world don’t even think twice about it, in the same way most of us barely glance at an American flag unless it’s Memorial Day. There’s no dramatic pause in the story to emphasize society’s flaws. Axis America simply exists.Not that (hopefully) anyone agrees with Nazi ideology, but The Man in the High Castle humanizes a society that has been actively dehumanized for so long in our minds. This series creates an impressive sense of eerie realism. Everyone, even the most insignificant characters, lead believable, normal and oddly relatable lives.This mundane quality gives more context to Amazon’s recent controversial promotional campaign: extravagant ads with Nazi and Imperial Japan signs decorating NYC subway cars. As a sort of transmedia project, the ads were designed to immerse us in this alternate nation. The experience has turned out to be too immersive, as subway-riding Americans, as well as the Anti-Defamation League, condemned the promotional ads for displaying the insignias without any critical distance. Amazon still got what they wanted out of it, though. Negative press attention is still attention, right?While everything seems quite normal in Axis America on one level, by the time the final episode’s credits have rolled, the layers of perfection have started to peel away, exposing the dark underbelly of this sick society.In one scene, a police officer observes a sudden showering of gray flakes from the sky.“Oh, that’s the hospital,” he says. “Yeah, Tuesdays. They burn cripples, the mentally ill. Drag on the state.”Oh, right…Nazis.Not everyone accepts this Reich life, of course.The series’ main characters are Resistance soldier Juliana Crain (Alexa Davalos) and her companion Joe Blake (Luke Kleintank), but the story follows an ensemble cast. Juliana’s Jewish boyfriend, an S.S. Obergruppenführer, and the Japanese Trade Minister shine a light on political pressures – a sort of cold war – between the two Axis governments as well as the tensions affecting their own citizens. Some of these storylines are more interesting than others, and not all of the characters are equally engaging.Even so, you realize that some characters serve contentious ideologies, you know what they represent, but like meth-dealing Walter White from Breaking Bad, you feel for them. It’s yet another strange immersion. Ultimately, like any smash hit, TMITHC evolves into a story about the people and their humanity, a quality historically antonymous with the Axis Powers.The frosting on top of this Nazi-themed cake: the ending. Granted, if you read the book, you know how it “ends,” but it’s definitely not a common or predictable conclusion, and Amazon has stayed true to the source material.If nothing else, The Man in the High Castle is much more than “that Nazi America show” and certainly worth checking out on Amazon Prime.(photo credit: Amazon)last_img read more

Galloway at home on water

first_imgWith every stroke slicing the stillness of the Lake Monona water, junior Maggie Galloway is reminded of what she enjoys most — the outdoors. As a member of the UW women’s rowing team, Galloway has a chance to stay connected to her interest each and every day during the season, even if it was by random chance.“I like endurance sports, and I love being out on the water,” Galloway said.In addition to rowing, the Varsity Eight member finds great pleasure camping and canoeing. Not to beat it over the head, but Galloway gets so much out of immersing herself in nature that she has plans to make a career out of it. She is majoring in biological aspects of conservation. However, rowing isn’t only about being outdoors for Galloway; it’s an opportunity to let her competitive edge come to the fore, and it pushes her mind in ways that other activities can’t. “I’m super-competitive; I don’t like to lose,” Galloway said. “The thought of being able to beat teams that are better, or girls that are faster than me or bigger than me, makes me want to go faster.”Not only does Galloway, a three-time high school MVP rower, push herself, but she also acts as a driving force for her teammates. “Maggie is a great teammate,” senior captain Shayla Dvorak said. “She always does everything and does her best to help her [teammates]. She pushes everyone physically and mentally in all aspects.”Galloway’s competitive spirit wasn’t always as forthright as it is now. In fact, it wasn’t until this past year that her determination really became apparent to her coaches and teammates. “She seemed quiet, and she didn’t have all the confidence in the world,” coach Bebe Bryans said. “But she just decided that she really, really, really wanted to do this and be successful.” This attitude makes Galloway one of the key players on the team — most girls involved are competitive but not many can take it to the next level like Galloway does, according to Bryans. “[Galloway’s] in the room among the fiercest people on the team,” she said. Hailing from Louisville, Ky., it was somewhat of a happenstance that Galloway even had Wisconsin on the radar. But after a campus visit, there was nothing accidental about her attending UW.“I knew immediately that I was going to come here; how could you not fall in love with Madison?” Galloway said.Last year, the junior was named 2007 Academic All-Big Ten for her dedication in the classroom. With renewed focus on the water, not at the expense of her schoolwork, Galloway can only benefit the Badgers. “We work for each other,” Galloway said. All the effort she puts into rowing is not for personal gain, but to give the team a fighting chance of winning every competition the team enters. Galloway said she knows the other girls feel the same and believes this is why they will have such a successful season.According to Galloway, there is much to look forward to this season, including prospects of making it to the NCAA Women’s Rowing Championships — which they were not invited to last year. –Kevin Hagstrom contributed to this reportlast_img read more

Ebola: Curse Or Trial? An Introductory

first_imgIN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST COMPASSIONATE, THE MOST MERCIFUL. All praise belongs to Allah; and may His peace and blessings be upon His Prophet, his household, his companions and all those who rightly follow their foot-steps. Ameen!Since the emergence of the pandemic disease-Ebola on the Liberian soil some months ago, individuals as well as groups continue to give a name, appellation or description to the virus of this killer disease. Its virus has sadly engulfed not only Liberia and its people with, but also some other countries, African and non-African countries. Its germs continue to adversely affect the lives of the peoples in those countries. What is more worrisome in the premises is that up to now, there is no definite cerement for it. In consequence of this, some called it as a “curse” and others termed it as “trial”.In as much as the emergence of such deadly disease is sadden; nonetheless, discourse of this kind is indeed fascinating and more impressive. In that, when done intellectually in good-faith, it would prayerfully have the tendency of encouraging intellectual discourse in other areas of our social life as people belonging to a nation. Moreover, it would also hopefully become something that will, by Allah’s grace, help instill in our in people, particularly the youth-who are the hope and future actors of our Nation, a sense of spiritual pausing, reflection and mature judgment!In other words, if Liberians could find logic in discussing the issue of ebola intellectually, there is reason to believe that it could serve as opening of a page of the finest chapter in the history of Liberia in matters appertaining to decision making process of our Nation problems. The fact is that, the gravity of the ebola and its adverse affects is as serious as pandemically contagious as it is. It may interest readers to know that so are the cases of “curse” and “trial”. For “curse”, in general terminology, can be classified, as a kind of expression that is used to condemn, execrate, imprecate and/or maledict a person or group of people, including a community or nation. Of course, reason for pouring such denouncement varied, but it usually centers on the commission of an act that the curser regards to be wrongful or evil. While trial is a method of testing one’s true character, nature and/or quality. This trial can be done for spiritual or material purpose and either be good or bad. However, all in all, it end objective is to test an individual or group; so as to serve as an opportunity for correction and rehabilitation. Al-Qur’an-the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam is replete with the description of the various kinds of “curse” and “trial”.So, as students of theology, we think it behooves us that we partake in their discussion; so as to share our view in the premises. Our aim and objective is that our participation will prayerfully be contributive and meaningful in arriving at a conclusion that will be impressive and fascinating in matters of national debate. Our desire in the premise is to do so within the context of Al-Islamic jurisprudence. With this in mind, we would like to first make crystal and clear that, generally, humans are imperfect beings imbued with limited knowledge; and as students, we entertain no objection or hesitation in humbly and profoundly recognizing, appreciating and admitting with unmitigated conviction that this fact is undisputable and hence, we can in no way be an exception to such limitation.It is therefore our earnest supplication that Allah will guide us in our endeavor to appreciate the true meaning of both “curse” and “trial”. For it is held that human life is like a restless sea, full of see-saw and wonders; something that is always in a state of perpetual turmoil that is usually caused by the waves of events. It goes without saying therefore, unless humans adapt themselves to the process of brief pausing and sober reflection, they will not be able to make a mature judgment. Within this, Al-Qur’an maintains that human as sociable beings; and as such, “There is nothing useful nor reliable for a purpose or efficient in a function in much of their secret counsel and in the thoughts they convey reciprocally in talk uttered below their breath unless it be in accord with wisdom and piety to the end that it enjoins benevolence, equity and the inducement to peace among people and to principle of justice. And he whose lines of character are broad and clear as to feature willingness to comply with divine principles for the sake of piety shall be a recipient of Allah’s grace; We (Allah) will requite him with a great reward”(4:114).In another Scriptural assertion, the Holy Book of Al-Islam echoes that the felicity of human depends on the availability of personalities who are dedicated and committed to enjoining people to: “conformity of life and conduct to the requirements of divine and moral law and forbid all that is wrongful and obscene; such-like person shall reap the fruits of victory here and Hereafter” (3:104).Interestingly, no one in Liberia or the world for that matter, that do want to “be a recipient of Allah’s grace”; a grace that is an embodiment of all that is good, prosperous, wealthy and felicitous. By the same trend there is no one who does not want to “reap the fruits of victory”. Of course, there would be a variance in the end desire, inclination and purpose. Perhaps it is against this background that the Holy Scripture of Al-Islam avers thus: “That you endeavour (you people) to attain your goals is diverse, to some, righteousness be but a goal to their will, other in vanity they waste their days, others compromise between opposite motives and exercise adjustment of rival courses of action, and others attain it through benefaction. So that he who gives gratuitously and fears Allah indeed, and solemnly believes in deeds imprinted with wisdom and piety and that the end crowns the deed, will We (Allah) facilitate his task and lead him to the facile and ready course. But he who is niggardly and thinks he is self-sufficient and exercises greed, and denies the Day of Judgment and the requital that is commensurate with one’s deed, will We (Allah) allow his course to what is miserable, unfavourable and bad; nor will his material advantages save him from the internal abode which is dark, troublesome and sad,”  (92:4-11).Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Man City on best home run in nearly 100 years

first_img3 – Manchester City have reached the final of the League Cup on three of the previous four occasions when winning the semi-final first leg, with the exception being against Manchester United in 2009/10. Primed.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2018 9 – Kevin De Bruyne has been directly involved in nine goals in eight appearances for Manchester City in the League Cup (six goals, three assists). Catalyst. — OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 9, 2018  And they owe a debt of gratitude to Kevin De Bruyne, who scored City’s equaliser at the Etihad Stadium.The Belgium international has been directly involved in nine goals for City in the tournament in just eight appearances.It’s been a year of records for Guardiola’s side. Back in September the club recorded their largest thrashing of Liverpool in 80 years with a 5-0 thumping , followed that up with a record winning run in the Premier League and ended 2017 with the largest New Year lead in the league’s history . City will have a chance to extend their home run against Newcastle on January 20, but must navigate a tough road fixture against Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool side at the weekend. Manchester City Man City on best home run in nearly 100 years Harry Sherlock Last updated 1 year ago 06:58 1/10/18 FacebookTwitterRedditcopy Comments(4) Sergio Aguero Manchester City Getty Images Manchester City League Cup Manchester City v Bristol City Bristol City Pep Guardiola’s side have now won 16 matches in a row in all competitions after their 2-1 victory over Bristol City on Tuesday night Manchester City beat Bristol City 2-1 in the first leg of their Carabao Cup semi-final on Tuesday and equalled a staggering record in the process.Pep Guardiola’s men have now won 16 matches in a row at home in all competitions, equalling the previous record set between 1920-21.City’s victory will also have fans dreaming of a Wembley final, with the club primed to face either Chelsea or Arsenal after their win over the Championship outfit. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Lyon treble & England heartbreak: The full story behind Lucy Bronze’s dramatic 2019 Liverpool v Man City is now the league’s biggest rivalry and the bitterness is growing Megan Rapinoe: Born & brilliant in the U.S.A. A Liverpool legend in the making: Behind Virgil van Dijk’s remarkable rise to world’s best player Indeed, City have reached three of the last four League Cup showpieces in which they have won the first leg of the semi-final.last_img read more

A year after Danforth shooting teens who lost friend grapple with anxiety

first_imgTORONTO — They were eight care-free teenagers out celebrating a birthday when the bullets flew. The rampage that ensued on July 22, 2018, changed their lives.Days before the first anniversary of the shooting in Greektown, four of the teens who survived the tragedy sit in the living room of an east Toronto home talking about their struggles with anxiety, depression and the feeling of loss. It’s better than therapy, they say.“I feel like the people I am surrounded with is my therapy,” says Skye McLeod, as her friend Noor Samiei, whose 18th birthday they were celebrating the night of the shooting, gently holds her hand.Their best friend, 18-year-old Reese Fallon, was one of two people who were killed when a deeply troubled 29-year-old man went on a shooting spree. Thirteen people were injured, including their other friend, Samantha Price.Price has largely recovered physically, but she says she cannot stop the morbid thoughts that often race through her mind. The 18-year-old will watch cars go by and think the driver will shoot her in the head. She’ll notice a stranger on the street and fear for her life. She thinks large crowds make for a perfect place for a bomb to go off.“It’s horrible,” she says. “But I can’t help it.”All four have tried various forms of therapy. Three say it didn’t help.McLeod stopped after one session with a therapist. Samiei, 19, says she saw a therapist twice.“The therapist would look at me and if she didn’t initiate the conversation, I would just look back at her,” Samiei says. “What I really wanted was feedback.”“Tell me how to heal,” Price says. “It sucks to go outside and be this age and not have fun.”Max Smith, however, says therapy has helped his recurring anxiety.“We just talk about what I’m feeling,” he says. “(My therapist) is super helpful and gives me insight and has given me some breathing techniques.”All four say they think about the shooting a lot.The night of the celebration started with dinner at an Italian restaurant downtown. Then they moved to Greektown for gelato. They were chatting at a nearby parkette when some noticed a man across the street, staring at them.Price remembers Faisal Hussain raising a gun and firing. A bullet shattered her right hip and she collapsed. Next to her, two of her friends were on the ground bleeding.McLeod also went down, but wasn’t shot. “I remember looking at him,” she says. “Do I get up to run? Will that make me a bigger target? Do I play dead?”Smith, who was next to McLeod, says he crouched down when the bullets flew.“It was like tunnel vision,” he says. “I remember saying ‘Skye, we have to go.’”“You saved my life,” she says to Smith. He blushes.In the commotion, Samiei ran straight onto Danforth Avenue, tripped and fell, smashing her chin and knee on the road.“While on the ground, I looked behind me and saw him shooting,” she says.Samiei noticed Smith, McLeod and another friend duck into a nearby cafe so she got up and followed. The four ended up in a basement bathroom with two strangers.Price watched her friends dash into the cafe, but also noticed restaurants were closing their doors.Somehow, despite her shattered hip, Price made her way to Christina’s, a restaurant where a waitress helped her in and called for a doctor. She’d spend the next five days in hospital.Her friends, meanwhile, were trying to track down members of their group. Samiei, while still in the basement bathroom, called Fallon repeatedly but got no answer. McLeod called her father, who rushed over.Patrick McLeod, a retired police officer, found his daughter and her three friends in the cafe bathroom. After speaking with police at the scene, he ended up identifying Fallon’s body.The friends later learned that Fallon had run in one direction while they scrambled in another. Her body was found in the parkette where they had gathered.“That’s when our lives changed forever,” Samiei says.While three of them started university last September, McLeod chose to travel. She headed to Greece, but the horror of what happened soon took hold.“I immediately had a panic attack,” she says. “I had never been so depressed in my life. Crying constantly. Everything just hit me.”Her father flew over to help and McLeod eventually carried on to Italy, but delayed her trip to Australia.“I realized I needed time at home to heal,” she says.Her travels helped, but like Price, McLeod says she grapples with disturbing thoughts. At a recent concert, for instance, she found herself thinking “this is a great place for a shooting.”Smith moved to Guelph, Ont., for university and said being away from Toronto has also helped.“It’s easy to forget about the shooting because you’re just not there,” he said. “It hits you when you get home.”Samiei, now a student at the University of Toronto, says commuting to the school’s downtown campus was a challenge because crowds on the subway distressed her. So her mother commuted with her for months. Now, she’s able to make the journey on her own.“I will change cars if I see someone weird, though,” she says.Price has also struggled with parts of city life — a walk around her neighbourhood on Canada Day triggered a panic attack when she heard fireworks.“It’s become so difficult,” she says. “I’ve loved growing up here and loved living here, but I feel uncomfortable at any public event.”Despite their issues, the friends say they try to be positive as much as they can, especially when it comes to remembering Fallon.“Reese’s last meal was her favourite: raspberry and chocolate gelato,” Samiei says with a smile.Smith shows a video of the group at the restaurant that night where Fallon makes a goofy face. Everyone laughs.“As horrible as that night was, at least until then, we had such a good time,” Smith says.Samiei visits the parkette regularly to keep Fallon’s memory alive. She puts photographs of her friend on a tree. Someone takes them down, but she returns to put them back up.“It’s important,” Samiei said. “So people don’t forget.”Liam Casey, The Canadian Presslast_img read more

Government Salaries to increase up to 67 with Review

first_img Beaches puts former Premier on blast about controversial pier Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsAppProvidenciales, 12 Mar 2015 – There were no exact figures given on how many in the public sector will see their salary impacted by the Pay and Grade Review, but Premier Rufus Ewing and Deputy Governor, Anya Williams said it will be ‘many.’ As a prelude to a first set of meetings to be held here in Provo and then in Grand Turk with the employees in the Civil Service, media was given opportunity to question the duo on the changes; a process which started in 2012 and which may continue into the next couple of years as the review and revamp is fine tuned. Premier Rufus Ewing said while not everyone will see an increase in their salaries, no one will see a decrease either; both leaders adding that it is not just about raising pay but improving the physical work environment. A ‘well paid’ Civil Service is what the former head of the Civil Service Association explained is the aim. The range of increase in pay is 21% to 67% with those working in Education getting the largest leaps; fire officers are also seeing a big boost of around 60%. Government has allotted $9 million dollars to this recurrent TCIG expense; another quarter of a million dollars is pegged for education and training opportunities. Dames is first Hospitality Hero Facebook Twitter Google+LinkedInPinterestWhatsApp Recommended for you Related Items:anya williams, civil service, increase, premier rufus ewing, salary DEPUTY GOVERNOR SPEAKS OF STREAMLINING GOVERNMENT SERVICES.last_img read more