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“The Fifth Third Bank Jingle Rails: The Great Western Adventure” is back for it’s 12th year at The Eiteljorg Museum of American Indians and Western Art. The display showcases landmarks throughout the American West while also paying homage to the city of Indianapolis.
The massive and whimsical exhibit takes all natural materials to create these displays for families of all generations to enjoy. Applied Imagination, a company that creates all natural botanical train displays, continues to work with the Eiteljorg to create the g-scale model. The company sculpts and utilizes materials like bark, twine and pine cones to make the immersive exhibit. The botanical architecture creates scenes of national parks throughout the American West and Indy, with new additions each year. This year, the exhibit welcomes a whimsical representation of San Francisco.
“There is a core group of scenes that have remained the central consistent year after year. Each year we have tried to add a new addition to Jingle Rails, Applied Imagination has designed and created new additions that are rotated in and out,”Bryan Corbin, the Public Relations Manager at the Eiteljorg Museum, said.
The addition of San Francisco includes Alcatraz, Pier 39, San Francisco Hills, along with other known landmarks.
The exhibit was first introduced in 2010 in hopes to bring in families during the holiday season. In what used to be a slower time for the museum, Eiteljorg now welcomes an average of 35,000 during the 8 ½ week period of its display. Last year the attendance had dropped due to timed slots and capacity limits, while they encourage buying tickets online the museum expects the numbers to return this year as pandemic guidelines have lessened.
The week before its opening, the Jingle Rails scenes are taken out of storage and the tracks are laid to assemble the structure. Applied Imagination, volunteers and some Eiteljorg staff work throughout the week to ensure the stability and function of the trains.
“Shoutout to the team of volunteers who assist during the 8 ½ week run. We have train enthusiasts and hobbyists to do any repairs to the trains, since they are running 7 days a week. Volunteers are very important, instrumental to making it a successful experience,” Corbin stated.
Tom Brumstrup, a volunteer of the exhibit, listens for squeaks or noises that could warrant repairs needed as it runs throughout the holiday schedule.
In addition to the opening of Jingle Rails, the Eiteljorg is having a grand reopening of the children’s discovery center named the Nina Mason Pulliam Education Center, a feature in the R.B. Annis Western Family. The museum also welcomed Shifting Boundaries last weekend that displays Native American contemporary art.
IUPUI students can visit the exhibit and the rest of the museum for free, with a student ID card present. For advance ticketing, students can call the museum front desk and request for the day of a visit. Admission is $15 for adults, $12 for seniors, $8 for children 5-17, free for those 4 and under.
The exhibit will be open from November 20th through January 17th, but closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day.
As schools opened their doors in August many parents grew with concern as their children weren’t able to get vaccinated and some school districts weren’t requiring masks. Besides schooling or daycare, parents have restricted the activities that their children are involved in to ensure their health, even though their social growth may be harmed.
In prevention strategies provided by the CDC it is recommended that all teachers, staff and eligible students be vaccinated once they are eligible. Even though the nationwide prevention guidelines have lessened, the CDC is requiring K-12 administrators to implement the use of COVID-19 prevention strategies in their schools regardless of vaccination status.
When the vaccine was distributed to adults early spring, some parents didn’t think twice about getting the vaccination but considered the safety of their children when it came to public spaces. Katy Cummins, a mom of two who had a baby during the pandemic, wants all kids to be vaccinated and believes that they will become a part of the shots that are necessary for school enrollment.
As vaccines become available to those of early school age, schools have to consider the placement of children who are not and who have received the vaccine. Cummins believes that the placement of children will be affected, “an uproar will happen, but if we want our kids in public schools… it has to happen.”
Since vaccines have recently become available to younger school age children, the CDC is still advocating prevention strategies when interacting with those who are unvaccinated. As the CDC finds that the “vaccination is the leading public health prevention strategy to end the COVID-19 pandemic.” In order for schools to resume in full operation, the CDC asks that they promote the vaccine.
Many schools throughout the Indianapolis area have implemented policies to combat the virus from spreading throughout the district. Policies that implement mask wearing on all adults and children, staying home with a fever, constant hand washing and sanitation of the classroom using disinfectants on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency COVID-19 list. Due to the foregoing allowance of vaccines for children, schools will need to update these guidelines with consideration for those kids that get the vaccine, possibly changing classroom setup or roster.
Melissa Staley, a mother of three, said, “On one hand I see the goal of physical safety for the unvaccinated children, but on the other I think there would be serious physiological implications if that were the case. I can’t think of any historical situations where separation of people had a positive outcome.”
The ongoing pandemic is forcing children to grow with the lack of raw social connection that existed before. Parents want to keep their children healthy so they have refrained from participating in after-school activities or extracurriculars. Few places in Indy like The Children’s Museum and Conner Prairie still have mandates and prevention strategies in place for children to gain those hands-on experiences.
“We only go places that still have mask mandates. It’s exhausting but necessary,” Cummins stated.
Meredith England, a mom of two, has kept her children from these activities because she has felt that their health and safety would be in risk.
“It was necessary to keep our out of house family safe but hopefully since the vaccine is available they can get back to those activities for more social interaction,” England said.
The vaccine became available to children ages 5-11 at the beginning of November.
Every fall season, there is another horror movie released that gets promoted as being the eerie film of the year; this year it was Malignant. The promotion of the movie revealed it as a psychological thriller that would leave the audience in a Halloween frenzy. James Wan, the director, has been known to bring chills to his viewer with certain thrills based on the “Conjuring” and “Insidious” movies, but Malignant is in a category of its own. The movie opens in an intense environment that should excite viewers, but the graphics and lack of care toward each frame reveal mediocrity. The scene reveals doctors who are being attacked by a person named Gabriel and the main doctor starts a video journal stating that it was, “time to cut out the cancer.” Then it transitions to a woman, Madison, who is in an abusive relationship that has had a series of miscarriages and continues with her husband, Derek, pushing her head against the wall. As the movie was promoted to be a horror-based around sleep paralysis, that night Madison experiences her first haunting by a killer. These dreams turn to reality as each morning she awakes to the news of the murder that she witnessed in her sleep. The series of murders, starting with her husband, reveal a long silhouette figure slashing each of its victims. The potential of the plot was abandoned by the lack of suspense, calling on the viewer to question how the killer is her imaginary friend but also conjoined twin, Gabriel.The overproduction of what can only be related to a 2003 video game focuses on each scene's graphics rather than developing characters or solid dialogue. Throughout the movie, the viewer is expected to have these connections to these baseless characters, but the acting, matched with the bad script, does not leave room for interest. The dialogue is unnatural. Instead of showing the viewer through movement or empathy, characters reiterate all of what could be interpreted through dialogue. The writers don’t trust the audience to make sense of each scene. As the characters lack any personal connections to the audience and the plot is a series of questioning intentions, the graphics stay on the same level as the rest of the film. James Wan has abandoned all his past horror techniques by making a cheesy film that would be played while standing in line for a roller coaster with a storyline. Each scene had potential, but the unrealistic aspects of digital coloring became distracting and dopey. The underdevelopment of the film drags the movie for what seems longer than its unnecessary 111-minute runtime. All the movie’s potential was shown through the trailer that created over-promotion of the film. Wan has been known to be a director that creates horror but is doomed this season with Malignant. The number of trailers and posters for the film revealed it to be the “thriller of the year.” Instead, audiences were deprived of suspense, development, and horror but delivered a mindless cringy film. The scatter of every aspect of the film makes it forgettable.
“I’m sick and tired that after almost 50 years we are back here in the rain marching to protect women’s reproductive rights,” shouted Indiana’s own Dana Black into the crowd at Indy’s Women’s March.
On Saturday, October 2, women across the state of Indiana appeared in front of the city-county building to march against the abortion law that passed in Texas.
The law prohibits abortion as soon as six weeks, when cardiac activity is detected. Since it has been passed, shockwaves were sent throughout the nation as the law allows citizens to sue abortion providers or anyone who provides assistance for one seeking an abortion. Detection of a heart beat occurs before most women even know that they are pregnant. This law rids the ability to have a choice or even make that choice safely.
The march in Indianapolis gathered people of all genders and ages to rally against the law. Dana Black, a Hoosier activist, spoke at the rally to encourage women to continue to show up to fundraisers and the voting polls to change the seats in the statehouse. As Black continued to speak, she broke down how the law can be perceived.
“It’s not about whether it’s a religious thing or a non-religious thing, it's about power. It’s about power. Because everyone knows there is no more powerful vessel on the planet than a woman,” Black said.
As signs took up the air and rain fell down, more woman approached the stage to discuss their experiences of abortion and the affect this law could have on others. These courageous women garnered conversations amongst the rally about the importance of clinics that offer the procedure. Charlie, a woman from Lafayette, took the podium to tell her experience and advocate for young women across the nation to feel safe and heard. Her voice echoed throughout the crowd as she told her story to be a resource for those in the same position.
“I was homeless and I was working three jobs, living off of potatoes,” Charlie said. “A situation happened and six weeks later I was presented with a choice and I thought I better make that decision fast because I believed that Indiana’s abortions were pretty restrictive back then. So I didn’t realize that that was privileged ignorance.”
Women of all ages were sharing their stories through speeches, conversations and their signs. Tina, a 30-year-old advocate for pro-choice, stated, “as an older woman I understand what this fight is about. Some people need to have an abortion for medical purposes. It’s no one's business what women choose to do with their bodies.”
The ripple effect of this law has sputtered and was emphasized during Saturday’s rally. Women are fighting for the right to choose as this restrictive law lacks care for safety. The inability to be safely assisted during a woman’s decision to terminate becomes an issue as those assisting would be breaking the law.
A Texan native, Taylor Adams, stated, “If we can’t make this choice, women’s safety is at risk. They might seek other ways to terminate.”
The reality of her comment was echoed as hangers were taped to signs to show the importance of being able to make a choice.
As legislators continue to pass laws, Indiana could expect more rallies that support a woman’s right to choose.
For privacy purposes, some women interviewed did not share their last name.
“Candyman” is psychologically jarring in how it exemplifies racial injustice. The sequel follows the 1992 film, where the main character in the 2021 film, is derived from the child who had a connection to the Candyman. The urban legend is retold within the new film, but speaks to the truths of myths as the endings and middles do not match what actually occurred. The film creates its existence on being a sequel, but outdid what the first film tried to racially explore.
The urban legend of Candyman is detailed in the first film where a black artist, who was the son of a slave, was hired by a wealthy landowner to capture his daughter’s virginal beauty. In a surprising turn of events, the two fall in love, and the daughter ends up pregnant. The landowner tortures the man by tearing his hand off, lathering his body in honey to feed bees, which results in him donning the name Candyman.
In the 1992 film, the story follows a white female graduate student, named Helen, who is researching the projects in Chicago, but this film loses a lot of meaning with the 2021 counterpart. Helen, a white woman, becomes the voice trying to tell these black stories which creates a “white savior” moment, especially as she is the one who saves the black baby from the Candyman in the first film. The baby, of course, being the main character in the new one.
As the movie opens, participating production company logos are mirrored to foreshadow the importance of reflection within the film. Instead of a physical being, as in the first film, Candyman returns as one that can only be seen through a reflection. It becomes even more meaningful as there are numerous scenes of symmetrical imagery that speaks to the mirroring effect, which is a stronghold for the overall film. It combats the idea of facing oneself without looking away, especially when saying Candyman five times.
Anthony McCoy, the main character played by Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, like the Candyman, is an artist who lives without knowing his connection to the supposed villain and finds inspiration for his next piece when he hears the legend. The link between Anthony and the mirrored Candyman gets lost within the remake as it seeks to show, instead, the connection between the “bad guy” and black people. The movie artistically creates the underlying issue of how black people are made out to be villains.
The original shows, heavily, the physicality of the man who was tortured that became the Candyman which created unnecessary seduction. Whereas in the new film, it demonstrates how often innocent black people are made out to be bad by keeping the villain within the mirror. Instead of just one Candyman, it shows that all of the Candymen represent the “myth” based on their innocence, focusing on racial biases and hate crimes.
As a film sequel, it is bolder in what it is trying to convey, as the first one lost most of its meaning based on the focal point of the white voice being the savior of the film. The new film mentions the troublesome areas of the first by stating, “one white woman dies, and the story lives forever,” which is more reason as to why the movie’s tagline is “dare to say my name.” The story becomes more meaningful as it exemplifies black characters being the voice of the film. As a “scary” movie, it lacks in a lot of areas, as it becomes more of a raw reality that is physically and psychologically devastating.
“I am the writing on the wall”
“Dare to say my name”
This movie confronts racial biases right from the opening scene. Even though the film will create discomfort, it is a movie worth facing based on the beautiful framing imagery, symbolism of reflection, and harsh realism of today’s world.