“Kingdom Hearts 3”: I didn’t hate it

Latest installment of beloved game offers more new questions than it answers (Spoiler warning)

HOLLACE VILLARREAL

Villa068@rangers.uwp.edu

The game

“Kingdom Hearts 3” is the ninth game in the Kingdom Hearts series, though it is the first real made-for-console game released since “Kingdom Hearts 2”. The game follows Sora, the protagonist of the series, as he looks for the Power of Waking throughout different Disney themed worlds.

In this game, Sora and his friends are trying to find the seven guardians of light. Ultimately, Sora’s goal is to defeat his enemy, Xehanort, and Xehanort’s “Organization XIII”.

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Sora, Donald, and Goofy face off against Organization XIII     COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS

The overall plotline

The Kingdom Hearts series has a notoriously complex plotline, so complex that “Kingdom Hearts 3” comes with over a half hour of recap videos available on the title screen before the game even starts. The backstory that stretched out over the last nine games is repeated many times over the course of the game’s cutscenes. I found this annoyingly repetitive. As someone familiar with the franchise, nothing in the first half of the game was new information.

The worlds

As Kingdom Hearts is a blend of Final Fantasy and Disney, there was a fair amount of Disney worlds. Personally, I was a fan. I felt like each of the worlds were fleshed out, had interesting storylines, and had fun new game mechanics to work with. While the musical cutscenes in Arendelle (the world based on the movie “Frozen”) were frankly awkward, and the plot and length of San Fransokyo (based on the movie “Big Hero 6”) left much to be desired, the worlds were overall pretty good.

I was disappointed that no Final Fantasy characters made an appearance in the entire game. Though they have not made big appearances since “Kingdom Hearts 2” and “Birth by Sleep”, the characters added a lot to the games. By removing them, the game seemed to be missing something.

Kairi: Princess of heart, guardian of light

In the original “Kingdom Hearts” game Kairi was a main character. She went missing early in the game and Sora and Riku were both separately trying to find her. In the game, she was shown to be a “Princess of Heart”, a vague term that referred to characters with exceptional “light”. Because of her status as a “Princess of Heart”, Kairi was able to return Sora’s heart to him, when he gave up his life to save her.

In “Kingdom Hearts 2” Kairi also played a key role, showing how the outside world had forgotten the events of the original game. Though she did not have a whole lot of personality in this sequel, she still had self-sufficient qualities and even fought off a kidnapper and escaped a cell.

In “Kingdom Hearts 3”, Kairi has been training to become a keyblade wielder. Her aptitude for the keyblade was hinted at in “Birth by Sleep” where Aqua bequeathed her a keyblade. The game also mentions how there are new “Princesses of Heart”, but that Kairi is still one of them, along with a guardian of light.

It’s unforgivable that, in her first fight–after all this training–she is immediately defeated. She’s kidnapped by the villain and he shatters her in front of Sora.

Before this fight, Kairi only talked to Sora twice, and both times were stilted and awkward. The writing was strange, and her previously lively character was flat and uninteresting. She offered Sora a paopu fruit–a symbol of intertwining their destinies–without any lead up, creating an awkward atmosphere. This romance subplot fell flat.

After she was shattered, Sora vowed to get her back, even if it destroyed him. The game ends with everyone back and safe on Destiny Islands, except Sora–who seemingly gave up his life for her.

The game wasn’t awful

Overall the game was a fun time, I enjoyed playing it. After so long, I expected a better plotline that actually made all of the aspects of the overly complex storyline fall together. I was disappointed with how the game handled previously strong female characters. They appeared watered down and less powerful than they were in their original games. Again, it was fun–but it could have been so much better.

Trans support around the globe

Gabrielle Tucker

tucke026@rangers.uwp.edu

LGBTQ community rises to take a stand for their rights and their voices to be heard.

To be heard and treated with respect

The transgender community takes a stand and speaks out about the ongoing hate and discrimination that the LGBTQ community is faced with. With the many judgmental people of society, it is hard for this community to be able to be themselves when there are so many dangers that they have to face. Trans people may face harassment, assault, and homophobic slurs just because of who they are. With it being 2019, everyone should be able to be who they are without having to look over their shoulder or be afraid to be the real version of themselves. That is why in order to fight against such prejudiced people, and address the struggles of human rights there will be trans marches to get people to become more aware of the struggles of the LGBTQ+ community.

Trans marches and protests

The Trans Marches were created to empower those who feel like they have no voice and give trans people a space to be themselves. There are also protests where the community fights for their equal rights and to be treated fairly. The vision that the  LGBTQ +community wants to achieve with these marches and protests is a more safe and stable environment, support of other communities, representation in social justice services, an end to abuse, and more. Last year’s Trans March was the fifteenth annual trans march in San Francisco, California which also has the distinction of being the largest trans pride event in the United States. Celebrities also take part in raising awareness for these marches and protests, like Laverne Cox from “ Orange is the New Black”. She is transgender and a LGBTQ+ activist that takes pride in encouraging people to be themselves.

Upcoming Trans March

The latest upcoming trans march will be called “National Trans Visibility Marchand was set to to be on Mar. 31, and Apr. 1 but the date was later changed due to the fact that April 1 is April Fools Day. The event is planned for Sept. in Washington D.C.

The Proletarian | Wisconsin is no democracy for the people

Conservative officials’ lame-duck bills are the evidence

ETHAN COSTELLO | coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

The debacle that occurred last week Wednesday in the State Congress is evidence to the fact the Wisconsin is no democracy, at least not the democracy that we think it is. The Wis. legislation just passed a series of bills which aim to protect exiting Gov. Scott Walker’s achievements as well as cripple the incoming state executives governor-elect Tony Evers and lieutenant-elect Mandela Barnes.

Here is a very brief summation of passed bills: 1) Shortening the early voting period to two weeks before elections; 2) Greatly weakening the attorney general’s position; 3) enact greater stipulations on government funded healthcare for WI citizens; 4) restrict the governor’s ability to perform.

With a conservative majority in place—and with another conservative majority swearing-in in January—these newly passed bills render Ever’s campaign promises inert.

Perhaps more relevant to the University of Wisconsin, the State Senate has just approved Walker’s appointment for the Board of Regents seat. The Assembly is said to be following suit and we will know before this publication if that is true, as they voted on it this Tuesday. Scott Beightol could replace Bryan Steil. Beightol is an attorney from a close law firm to the Wis. Republicans. Beightol assisted in gerrymandering—an undemocratic process—districts in 2011. The Assembly is said to be following suit and we will know before this publication if that is true.

What does Beightol know about the needs of students, faculty and campus staff, being a lawyer who primarily focused on labor arbitrations and trade secret? How does his appointment serve the people within our campus communities? In previous columns, I have argued that the Board of Regents does not serve campus communities, but rather corporate interests within the state. I assert that Beightol will fill the same role as the other regents, save the sole seat reserved for the State Superintendent who oversees Wisconsin’s education.

The appointment of Beightol is accompanied by more than 30 other appointments by Walker for other official positions, all approved by the senate, and all without proper vetting within public forums. Should not the people have a say in who is elected to our highest positions of office? The students, teachers and campus staff the state should be made informed of and have influential say in the appointing of policy makers of our University, and the same should apply to the whole state.

The senate bills backed by Walker that were voted on under the cover of darkness did not go unnoticed. The public was aware of the proceedings. Demonstrators occupied the Capitol building en masse during the session last Wednesday to show opposition to the lame-duck bills which are an affront to choice of the people of Wisconsin in electing progressives to office. Shortly after the session began, cries of “Shame!” echoed through the halls as protestors were forced out of the gallery by police.

The lame-duck bills passing at the highest levels of our state government and the heavy support of Board of Regent appointee Scott Beightol among legislatures is evidence that Wisconsin and the UW System is no democracy for the people, rather it is a democracy for the ruling class of our great state. In solidarity. #DemocratizeTheBoR

Ethan Costello is a senior majoring in communication, VP of No Victims Self Defense and Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society.

The Proletarian | The struggle does not end after state elections

Workers and students have won a victory by ousting Walker, but his legacy still remains

ETHAN COSTELLO | coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

Scott Walker is defeated in Wisconsin, and that should be celebrated. Wisconsin has a better platform for pushing back against backwards policies with newly elected Governor Tony Evers and Lt. Governor Mandela Barne,  respectively. It is a good thing for Wisconsin workers and students that Walker is out, but the struggle continues. Walker’s legacy of destroying unions and workers’ power was unmatched. His slashing of education has its ramifications. The consequences of Walker’s governance will persist until his work can be undone. As it is looking, due to national right-to-work laws and a majority right-wing State Assembly, Wisconsin is looking at a stagnant future.

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Current Governor Walker lost the election in favor of Superintendent Tony Evers.
Courtesy: Michael Vadon via Flickr

In 2011, Walker destabilized labor unions with Act 10, a policy that took away unions right to collectively bargain. This caused a sharp decrease in union benefits and membership. But Walker’s policy also has a federal twin in the Janus vs. AFSCME ruling. This Supreme Court case pitted Mark Janus, an Illinois employee against his union. Janus felt that because labor unions are inherently political, he should be allowed to refuse paying dues under the First Amendment free speech rights. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of Janus. This consequently allows union members to refuse to pay dues allowing them to “free ride” on union benefits. Now that Walker’s ideas have been upheld nationwide—even if Evers manages to repeal Act 10 in Wisconsin—unions will still be distraught in Wisconsin.

Even at the beginning, Evers will have an uphill battle. The State Senate and Assembly are both held by a conservative majority, and Republicans in the past had been planning to attack unions for a long time. Evers will likely have a better chance at restoring Wisconsin’s education budget rather than repealing Act 10.

Evers can only do so much, considering the state of the legislature. It is now up to us to continue the fight. We need to pressure our representatives to fight for progressive changes to our education and to our workplaces by calling their offices and demanding increase to education funding. We need to continue to organize within our communities, campuses and workplaces to spread awareness because, after all, we can only gain ground if we keep pushing forward. Change happens on the grassroots level when people come together en masse to stand for what they consider to be right. Any great movement of history started small and, through hard work, grew into something grander. Let’s educate and intigate to move Wisconsin forward! In Solidarity.

Ethan Costello is a senior majoring in communication, VP of No Victims Self Defense and Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society.

The Proletarian | Fight against trans erasure nationally, locally

Incorrectly defining gender as a binary will destroy purpose of Title IX

ETHAN COSTELLO | coste012@rangers.uwp.edu

On Oct. 21, the Trump administration announced that they intend to narrow the definition of gender to being solely based on genitals at birth, as reported by The New York Times. This will effectively erase the reality of trans folk from the law books, and this is unacceptable.

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Students march silently through the campus towards the Chancellor’s office. Courtesy: Ethan Costello

The memo put out by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was obtained by The New York Times. It states, “Sex means a person’s status as male or female based on immutable biological traits identifiable by or before birth.” Immutable is not how the world works. Immutable is unscientific. Immutable ignores history and material reality. The biological and medical research done on gender studies supports a complex definition of sex and gender. An article published on Business Insider reports very clearly that there are multiple layers to the development of a newborn’s gender. Genetic males with XY chromosomes may be resistant to male hormones. Genetic females with XX chromosomes may develop with male hormones. Even at the most foundational level of genetic gender, there can be a variety of chromosomal combinations which already shows the diversity of gender beyond the binary. There are many different documented conditions which affect the development of a person’s genitals. There are roughly 1.4 million folks in the United States who identify as transgender, or intersex. By attempting to legally define sex as fixed based on genitals at birth, Trump and the HHS seek to erase 1.4 million from reality.

The proposal released by the HHS will also specifically affect Title IX laws. Title IX is a civil rights law which gives protections to students against discrimination in schools and universities. Along with Betsy DeVos’ push to alter Title IX to give more protections to accused sexual assaulters on college campuses, this is another backwards, regressive measure.

This is top-down bureaucracy at its finest. The officials at the head of the state have no connection to the trans masses. Trans folk cannot and are not adequately represented. Especially in this administration, relations are starkly antagonistic towards trans folk. Of course, this country has never been kind to trans folk.

We must fight against this proposal whenever we can. We must fight against Trump whenever we can. If this proposal is passed, it will put hundreds of thousands of people—trans people—at risk legally, mentally and physically. The fight must continue on our campus. In the past few years, LGBTQ student organization Rainbow Alliance had been calling on campus administration to include more gender neutral bathrooms on campus to better fit the needs of the community. This can easily be done by cheap renovations to pre-existing restrooms. There have been two modified on campus within the past three years, but it is still inadequate accommodations. So the fight continues to install other restrooms in Greenquist and Molinaro halls.

Last week on Oct. 31, Students for a Democratic Society stood with Rainbow Alliance in protest of the Trump administrations trans-erasure proposal. After demonstrating and chanting, we silently marched through campus to the Chancellor’s office to bring Rainbow Alliance’s request to the forefront. If Chancellor Ford stands with the trans community on campus, she will act on this request personally. Not only will this show the administration’s solidarity with trans folk against Trump, but this will also create a safer campus and set an important precedent which may lead towards building trust between students and administration.

Ethan Costello is a senior majoring in communication, VP of No Victims Self Defense and Secretary of Students for a Democratic Society.