Wednesday, March 27, 2013

STL-Based Kawakon Makes A Splash For Fifth Year

by Sarah Hayes
Ash Stocker and Eric Striler pose together as Jack Frost
 from the film Rise of the Guardians and Eridan from the webcomic Homestuck.


Young people in colorful costume took over the Hyatt Regency this Mardi Gras weekend, March 8-10, but it wasn’t because of any holiday. It was the fifth year for local convention Kawakon, a three-day event that celebrates Japanese animation and other geek-related interests. This year’s Kawakon featured an old school theme that influenced their usual programming, highlighted in such events as Old School Show And Tell and Saturday Morning Cartoons. 

Guests included voice actors Grey DeLisle and Quinton Flynn, local author Shane Moore, martial art instructors Samurai Dan and Jillian, Japanese tradition-based group Three Rivers Okiya and musical steampunk group The Aeronauts. The number of people who attended this year’s Kawakon is estimated to be 1500 in total.

One Kawakon attendee was artist guest of honor Musetap, who also attended Kawakon in past years. The artistic team became a part of Kawakon when con chairs Katrina and Mikhail Lynn approached them in 2010 to do artwork for their program book. At that point, Musetap was just one of many groups taking part in the ubiquitous artist’s alley; now they are certified convention guests and running their own panels on how to become better artists. 

The highlight of Musetap’s convention schedule is the now infamous “Create A Character” panel. It becomes a yearly event where convention goers create “inside jokes and insanity in character form” that continues into the following Kawakon. In fact, the “Create A Character” panel is like many panels as Kawakon 2013 - a great deal of mad fun that ends up being very memorable for all involved.

Trends and Fads: No Self Identity


by Robin Harris

So the question has been raised.  What has come of the student generation that makes them all want to look alike, wear the same clothes and have the same haircut etc.? The same styles that are seen on television, in the movies and heard from our parents past. It was a phenomenon in their generation as well, but the problem today that concerns myself, and many others is that young adults are not thinking clearly about the choices of being part of a trendy society.  

For instance, why are they choosing to leave the comforts of their home in pajamas and house shoes?  Something my mother has always told me as a child was to never leave the house without clean underwear on, but now should parents be telling their children to not leave the house without pants and proper shoes?

Why have such things become so trendy? I have asked and no one has given me any reason or logic behind this on any fad that would constantly disrupt the moral fabric of our society. But it’s not just leaving the house with sleepwear on.  When you walk through a mall on a busy Saturday afternoon filled with young adults, dare I say it? They all look alike.  

What do we have to say about a generation that has gotten so caught up in trends and fads that during their developmental years of self-identity they are trying to look like everyone else instead of searching for what makes them unique.I believe that keeping up with the fads has become too powerful in this generation. 

So my next question is how far will they go?  If they are willing to wear pajamas outside, sag their pants while showing the world their underwear, get tattoos in unbecoming places will they also be willing to make more serious bad choices that will affect their future?

Don’t be so stuck in the fad of being trendy that you lose yourself!

Campus Corner: Flo Valley Lets Its Friendly Colors Fly


by Terence Monroe

On the campus of St. Louis Community College-Florissant Valley there are a wide assortment of clubs and groups to join. They all have a different focus and that is what makes them all unique. Only one focuses on sexuality and that group is the Friendly Colors group. This is a group built on not judging others because of their sexual preference. This is a group that some would call safe and a group that is needed.

Friendly Colors have been around for the last 15 years at Florissant Valley. Jeff Papier, Sarah Blackwell-Hardin and Glenna Wentworth are the co-sponsors for this club. Not only are they involved in the group but they also have regular jobs on campus. Blackwell-Hardin and Wentworth are a constant fixture on campus sponsoring club events. Friendly colors is a group for LGBT (Lesbians, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender) which offers a safe space so students can be who they are and talk openly and discuss about their lives or anything else that they feel is important. 

The group, which meets every Wednesday from 3p.m. to 4p.m. on the lower level of the Student Center in PDR-C develops friendships with others who may be dealing with the same thing. In the group they also learn about politics relating to the laws of same sex marriages, which has become accepted in some states.