Mount Hood

Trisha Paytas births the Royal Family

Written by: Libby Thoma | Staff Writer

As the British royal family passes, they are reincarnated into Trisha Paytas’ womb to be birthed as one of her children — or so the internet would lead one to believe. This conspiracy, making its rounds around the internet, is certainly interesting, and here are its origins.

Trisha Paytas, a long-time infamous internet celebrity turned loving mother with a popular podcast, TikTok account and YouTube advertisement, is said to be parenting the royal family. The outlandish rumor began when Paytas birthed her first child, Malibu Barbie Paytas-Hacmon, on Sep. 14, 2022, just six days after the queen’s death. Trisha Paytas stated on her podcast, “… [Malibu Barbie] does give me Queen Elizabeth vibes.”

This conspiracy only escalated further when Paytas announced she was pregnant via her podcast on Nov. 21, 2023 and found out about the pregnancy on Oct. 3, according to her. On Feb. 5, 2024, it was released in the press that King Charles was diagnosed with an undisclosed form of cancer and is currently receiving treatment. The internet is now conspiring that King Charles’ presumed upcoming death will lead to Trisha Paytas birthing her new baby, Elvis Paytas-Hacmon, the reincarnation of King Charles.

There was a third uproar when Trisha Paytas announced she would be trying for a third child almost immediately after the birth of her second child. This was stated on April 6, 2024, less than a month after Kate Middleton announced her cancer diagnosis and treatment plan on March 22. At an earlier date on her podcast, Paytas stated, “I just don’t love that it’s King Charles or Queen Elizabeth … I feel like if it was … I’m not wishing this but Kate Middleton … I’d take a Kate Middleton reincarnation.” It may be possible that Trisha was just playing along with the joke.

Paytas shared her opinions in a voice-over on TikTok while making a baked potato: “I get the meme of it all … I was able to lean into Queen Elizabeth one a little bit, but it also terrifies me that … people believe in it enough.” Since Paytas believes in manifestation, she fears that the meme will manifest the royal family’s deaths considering she also believes in reincarnation, as stated on her podcast. On the same TikTok, she announced, “I get the timing is crazy … but I hope he makes a speedy recovery.” 

Trisha Paytas stated that she simply wants her baby to be her baby and not be connected to anyone but Elvis, whom the baby will be named after.

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Games coming 2024

Written by: Taylor Duff | Staff Writer

2024 has officially sprung, and many games have already been released, such as “Tekken 8”, “Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth” and “Alone in The Dark” — but do not fear, as there are eight more months of anticipation to endure as these releases arrive. Headphones on and feet up, let’s start gaming. 

Coming April 2024, “Eiyuden Chronicle: Hundred Heroes” will be released on PC, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. “Eiyuden Chronicles: Hundred Heroes” is intended to give gamers a new spin on the classic. 

In May, the world will be given a remake of “Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door”, which was originally released in 2004 on the GameCube — with a polished version also being released on the Nintendo Switch. “The Thousand-Year Door” takes place in the town of Rogueport, and the plot is separated into eight chapters and a prologue, with each taking place largely in one of the various locations. Mario travels to Rogueport to visit Princess Peach after learning that she has discovered a map that leads to an old treasure. He quickly discovers that Peach has been kidnapped and a journey is in order. 

In June, a new “Elden Ring” will drop: “Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree” is being released to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. “Elden Ring: Shadow of the Erdtree” transports players beyond the Lands Between to the Land of Shadow, a brand-new realm.  

Come July 25, “Frostpunk 2” will be released on PC. Thirty years have gone by since the devastating storm that ended the first chapter of humanity’s survival saga in “Frostpunk”. The city, built around the generator and its life-giving warmth, expanded and progressed over the years. The player takes on the position as Steward, who, as leader of a resource-hungry metropolis, must cope with an ever-changing political atmosphere as the goal shifts from survival to reconstructing civilization.

“Dustborn” is coming August 2024 to PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X. This single-player action-adventure game explores themes such as hope, love, friendship, robotics and the power of discourse. 

Hitting September, it is expected that players will get “STALKER 2: Heart of Chernobyl” on PC and Xbox Series X. “S.T.A.L.K.E.R. 2: Heart of Chernobyl”, the next installment in the iconic franchise is a first-person shooter survival horror game with a large-scale, branching plot set in the terrifying Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. 

Now, it is not certain what comes of Fall 2024 and if more releases will come sooner as many games are still awaiting release dates. These games include “Little Nightmares 3”, “Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater”, “Star Wars Outlaws” and more. Overall, the selection of games on every platform will keep gamers coming back for more. Happy gaming!

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Losing music subculture

Written by: Lili Minato | Freelancer

Throughout the late 20th and the early 21st century, subcultures that existed around music genres were very prevalent and impactful to many, especially young adults. Those who were considered different or outcasted could easily find a community of like-minded individuals. These groups all involved fan culture and listening to a particular genre of music.

Punk subculture, which originated from punk rock, is the first and one of the most notable of its kind. Punks share common political views — such as anti-government and anti-corporation ideologies, as well as a similar fashion sense and music taste. 

Akin to all music-related cultures, punk has hundreds of branches of subcultures for a multitude of people to identify with. They may have different styles or worldviews, but they all share the same history and origin. 

Other music subcultures include, but are not limited to the following: goth, hip hop, punk, emo or heavy metal. 

While many people still participate and exist in these subcultures, there is a huge decline in engagement compared to the late 20th century. The culprit of the loss is none other than music streaming services such as Spotify. 

Thousands of new songs are uploaded to Spotify every day, with many of these falling under niche subgenres and categories that Spotify creates to keep said music organized. Spotify then pushes these subgenres onto users to make an individualized listening experience. 

Alex Michaels, a senior at Western and habitual Spotify user, expressed his distaste for Spotify subgenres and their classification system.“(Spotify’s classification system) is a mess,” Michaels stated. 

“A major difference between the Spotify subgenres and just the idea of subgenres in general is often subgenres are created by people in that community, who listen to that type of music or create that type of music and the subgenre is a reflection of that,” Michaels said.

Corporate-created subgenres lack the authenticity, community and history that real musical movements had. Spotify subgenres don’t have any real-life impact. 

“Genre is functional, it tells you what to expect from this type of music. Sometimes it can tell you how it was created or specific trademarks of that genre of music. There are characteristics of that genre and then that allows artists to play with those trademarks and characteristics and create something genre-defining or genre-defying,” said Michaels. 

In a final comparison between the new genres and the old, Michaels shared, “Spotify genres don’t have any functionality, their definitions are mostly vibe associations or specific artist examples, and there is no hard criteria.”

As Spotify and other streaming platforms continue to grow in popularity and users, as well as the daily increase of new genres, the survival rate of classic music subcultures comes into question. 

Will genre subcultures continue to survive or will they become lost to time? 

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A new version of “The Talented Mr. Ripley” comes to Netflix

Written by: Claire Phillips | Entertainment Editor

Content warning: this article contains spoilers and mentions of murder.

Film fanatics may be familiar with the title “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” a thriller that stars Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow and Jude Law in an unconventional love triangle. Netflix has taken on a noir remake of the story with the leading man played by Andrew Scott, who is well known for his roles in “Sherlock,” “Fleabag” and more recently, “All of Us Strangers.” The director’s choice to make the show in black and white was due to the original book cover by Patricia Highsmith. Set in the 1960s between New York and Italy, “Ripley” is a captivating story that is hard to look away from.

In addition to Scott, the new Netflix series also stars Dakota Fanning and Johnny Flynn. Each actor delivered a unique perspective to the remake of the classic story within their individual roles. The chemistry between the trio was undeniable.

Andrew Scott’s stoic performance as Tom Ripley gave the series its unsettling tone. In contrast to Matt Damon’s portrayal of the character, Scott plays Ripley as a calculated, apathetic man with little remorse for his actions. In the 1999 film, Ripley is more frantic after his murders and genuinely seems to be upset about his wrongdoings. Both interpretations are incredible portrayals of the multi-dimensional character, but the passiveness of Scott’s performance is almost terrifying to watch.

The most uncomfortable scene in the series was the practically silent 20-minute murder sequence of Greenleaf, as Ripley tediously and clumsily carries out his plan. The blood on Ripley’s fingers looks black, but the audience can see its unmistakable deep red color as they experience the brutal death of Dickie Greenleaf. Ripley goes on to steal Greenleaf’s identity for his wealth and status. 

Every few minutes there is a shot of religious art, whether it is Greek, Roman or Catholic, a statue or a painting on a church ceiling. Tom Ripley walks in the shadows of these works of art, and at some points, he silently ponders them. This could be interpreted as a higher power looking down at him as he continues to commit acts of sin, whether he chooses to acknowledge it or not. He views himself as the puppetmaster of everything around him, but truly knows he is on the verge of spiraling out of control. Characters such as Marge Sherwood, Dickie Greenleaf’s girlfriend, can see right through Ripley’s actions but have no way to prove his wrongdoings. Something is not quite right with him, which all the people he interacts with take notice of.

The juxtaposition of Tom Ripley’s character is what made the 1955 novel and the 1999 film unique. Though he is a con-man and murderer, the character is also described as a sensitive man. The 90s movie depicts Ripley as a queer man, in his odd relationship with Dickie Greenleaf, and even gives him a lover at the end of the movie. His acute awareness of the people around him is what makes him the enticing villain he is. 

With an all-star cast, unique filming style and an incredible setting, “Ripley” is a must-watch for any fans of the original film or audiences interested in the noir genre. The eight-episode show goes into more depth than the movie was able to, and it did not disappoint.


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Bats and blood

Written by: Lili Minato | Freelancer

“Cold” — The Cure

“A Forest” — The Cure

“Marian” — Sisters of Mercy

“Bela Lugosi’s Dead” — Bauhaus

“In the Night” — Bauhaus

“Spider and The Fly” — London After Midnight

“I Don’t Want To Fall In Love” — She Wants Revenge

“The Suffering of Spiders” — Traitrs

“Nine While Nine” — Sisters of Mercy

“Walking on Both Sides” — Pink Turns Blue

“Bloodsucker” — Paralysed Age

“Human Fly” — The Cramps

“Each Other” — This Cold Night

“There’s a Girl in the Corner” — Robert Smith

“Fantasmas” — Twin Tribes

“Slowdive” — Siouxsie and the Banshees

“Lust” — Boy Harsher

“Appealing Skies” — Corpus Delicti

“True Romantics” — Lebanon Hanover

“My Favorite Black Cat” — Lebanon Hanover

“Jasmine And Rose” — Clan of Xymox

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Godzilla X Kong: The New Empire

Written by: Michael Hager | Freelancer

Content warning: This article contains spoilers

“Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire” is the latest movie and second-best box office opening to come from the MonsterVerse. As the sequel to the popular 2021 movie “Godzilla vs. Kong,” it is the fifth movie in the MonsterVerse, the 38th Godzilla movie and the 13th movie in the King Kong series. 

The MonsterVerse originated when Legendary Pictures and WarnerBros Pictures purchased the rights to the franchises related to Godzilla, King Kong and other Toho monsters, now known as “Titans,” back in March 2010, with plans to unite the two titans in future films.

Toho Company LTD were the original creators of Godzilla in 1954, alongside Ghidorah, Mothra and Rodan. All four titans were featured in the 2019 movie “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” 

In “Godzilla x Kong,” Monarch — a secret organization formed in the 1940s to hunt and study massive unidentified terrestrial organisms, MUTOs or titans — has hundreds of different locations around the world to study each titan associated with a region. At the end of “Godzilla vs Kong,” the audience learns about Hollow Earth, a whole different world underneath Earth where Kong rules over in the end. 

Kong begins exploring Hollow Earth and expanding his territory until he runs into Suko, or Baby Kong, as fans have dubbed him. Suko eventually leads Kong to a new place, where he finds hundreds of great ape titans like him working like slaves and an ice titan named Shimo — also known as Blizzard Lizard —  ruled by an ancient orangutan titan called Skar King. Skar King’s goal is to rule over Earth, which forces Kong to rise up and ask for Godzilla’s help. At the same time, Godzilla has killed multiple titans, building up his radiation to prepare for the big fight. When Kong first shows up, Godzilla fights him on sight. The last surviving Iwi from Skull Island awakens Mothra, who is able to convince Godzilla to help Kong. 

Godzilla and Kong are able to break the crystal that controlled Shimo, and no longer under Skar King’s power, she is able to help. After defeating Skar King, Kong, Suko and Shimo return to Hollow Earth, and Kong rules over all the other great ape titans. Godzilla goes to the Coliseum and sleeps.

My theater experience was very enjoyable. The movie theater had limited edition cups, with the  choice of Godzilla or Kong toppers and popcorn tins to promote the movie. In my opinion, this movie was the best to come from the MonsterVerse. 


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The truth behind children’s television

Written by: Taylor Duff | Staff Writer

Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault, child abuse, racism and toxic workplace environments.   

Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” is a new 5-episode docuseries released to the streaming service Max, that discusses the trauma and horrors inflicted behind the scenes of some of the most beloved 90s and early 2000s Nickelodeon shows. These shows include  “All That,” “The Amanda Show,” “Zoey 101,” “Drake and Josh” and “iCarly.” 

What all of these familiar titles have in common is the showrunner, Dan Schneider. Schneider is responsible for making many children laugh, but also for causing trauma to multiple young cast members. The series talks about Schneider’s verbal abuse on the sets of his shows and his use of many inappropriate euphemisms during production. In “Quiet on Set,” many child actors recount their trauma and abuse while working for Schneider and Nickelodeon. 

Leon Frierson, a cast member of “All That,” talks about his trauma of portraying a character named Nose Boy who had a skin-tight costume with suggestive male body parts as design. Frierson remarks about his treatment being one of the few African Americans on the set as well as Bryan Christopher Hearne who played various characters during his time on “All That”. Hearne had a similar experience and was mocked for his skin color and appearance while doing costume designs and makeup. 

Schneider ignored labor laws and urged the child actors to work rigorous hours. Those who have worked alongside Schneider have expressed how harsh and demanding he was — especially from the women he hired. Two female writers, Christy Stratton and Jenny Kilgen, recount Schneider illegally making the women split a salary, as well as pressuring the women into performing acts including screaming profanities, giving Schneider massages and performing sexual reenactments in front of him and others.       

Most shocking within the docuseries were the three different child predators hired by Schneider and Nickelodeon. These men were hired to help coach or even mentor the children on set. Most notable is the case of actor, producer and dialogue coach Brian Peck during his time working on “All That.” Peck was charged with many accounts of sexual abuse towards Drake Bell, a child actor who was well known for his starring role in “Drake and Josh,” but also made appearances on “All That” and “The Amanda Show.” Bell was 15 when these events occurred, and in August 2003, Peck was arrested. Peck was charged with 11 counts of lewd acts towards a minor. Peck served just 16 months in prison and was ordered to register as a sex offender. This is the first time Bell has spoken about his abuse and trauma — as a result of Peck’s identity and charges were made public. A new episode of “Quiet on Set” was released on April 7, 2024, and continues to unveil the story behind the scenes of Nickelodeon and Schneider.   

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