Posted in 2015-2016, News

Hatred and History — The Confederate Battle Flag

By Loka Pitcher

It is a little comical the first time you hear a horn play the tune of ‘The Land of Dixie’ — it’s kind of a upbeat tune. It is curious, where it came from and what it means to some. Is it rude to have a horn like that, offensive even? Or is it just harmless, maybe the owner just likes the song and doesn’t mean much by it. When you talk about things like that you may ask yourself, when does it stop being harmless and fun or for a decent reason and start getting serious?

It starts getting serious when local schools are banning the display of the Confederate battle flag on clothing because it provokes fights. Why does it start fights? Because it is associated with hate and racism and has become a symbol used to represent a hateful agenda. Some people say that it’s irrelevant what the flag is associated with in the public eye; the historical significance of the flag should allow people to proudly display their heritage in whatever way they want. We live in an area that has deep roots stretching into the civil war era so I figured that people around Hagerstown would definitely have something to say about it.

I interviewed the executive director of the Hagerstown Historical Society, Linda Irvin-Craig, to help get an idea of where members of the community might stand on the issue. Linda stated that racism is an issue all over and that the flag is definitely associated with racism in the public eye. When referencing its historical significance, Linda said, “It wasn’t the actual flag of the Confederate Nation; it was primarily used in battle and after the war it went away for a while until integration in the south started happening and integration was an issue. What’s troubling is that at one point the flag was adopted by the Ku Klux Klan as their symbol.” This is where we get into the controversial issues.

From that it is clear that at one point the flag was a definite symbol of racial hate, but does that mean that historically the flag has always been racist? I browsed local news publishings and found scattered opinions on the matter. One person wrote, “the flag isn’t a racist symbol and doesn’t have any relevance to racism. Issues today that involve racism are collateral damage from Barack Obama’s PC (politically correct) war. Because of him cracking down on people for rather minor misdemeanors he has brought attention and tension to the issue. Things like the South Carolina shooting wouldn’t have happened if people weren’t so focused on matters irrelevant to today.”

By bringing awareness to an issue you have the potential to increase the activity of it. On the other hand if you let it go ignored the issue is never resolved. So what do we do when were forced into a position where we must make a choice? Do we ban the offensive use of the confederate flag in Hagerstown? In response, Linda had this to say, “No, we have freedom of speech in this country I wouldn’t deny any one the right to display that — that’s what they choose. But for me, it would not leave a good first impression.” It’s essential that we recognize that freedom of speech is a huge factor in this. In our country it’s unconstitutional to say no you can’t say that to someone when they are sending a message.

Things aren’t going to change any time soon, and this issue will come up again and again until something is done about it. In the meantime, it is nice to know where Hagerstown stands. The influence of your opinions may help shape the result of this country’s debate and have a more ideal future. There isn’t anything wrong with encouraging opinions every now and then, and in this interview I learned a lot about what that can mean for the real world. Maybe when opinions are confused with facts things become a little too serious.

William Pitcher is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts

Posted in 2015-2016, Entertainment

Five Nights at Freddy’s

By Becky Snyder

These past few months have definitely been a time for Five Nights at Freddy’s fans to celebrate. In case you don’t know, Five Nights at Freddy’s is a horror videogame created by Scott Cawthon. The basis of the first game is that you play as the new nightguard at Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza, a children’s pizzeria that vaguely resembles Chuck E. Cheese. Trick is, there are multiple animatronics that come to find you and attempt to kill you on sight. Survive from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. for five nights, and you win.

Trailer for the newest version.

The franchise has grown to four separate games, each keeping the relative plot the same, but each with its own additions and tweaks. The second game includes more animatronics and abandons the old system, instead using a system involving disguises. The third game only has one animatronic that can kill you (the others can only scare you), the only thing keeping it out is a complicated ventilation system. The fourth game abandons the nightguard concept entirely, and instead favors the player being a child hiding in his room from the animatronics, holding doors closed to keep them out.

If you’ve searched “Five Nights at Freddy’s” on Tumblr lately, you’ll know about the picture that every fan of the game has been raving about for the past month.

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Did you see it? No? Look a little closer at the small metal endoskeleton head on the left of the golden bear towards the top right on both photos. ¬†As you can tell, the endoskeleton is a more cartoonish version of itself in the bottom photo. Now, the fans of FNAF being who they are, jumped on this immediately. In the overall history of the game, small details changing were normally clues to something on the way, such as another game, or a new clue to the extensive lore behind the game. Everyone wanted to know what this change meant, and though some people tried, everyone knew Cawthon wouldn’t explain, as he has a history of leaving these cryptic clues just about everywhere he goes.

Fans of the franchise now have even more things to be excited about. Recently, this post was made on Cawthon’s official Tumblr page:

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Yes, the Five Nights at Freddy’s franchise is finally going to be receiving the long-rumored and anticipated FNAF movie, as Cawthon has agreed to join with the project and finish the movie by, at the earliest, some time in 2016. This movie will, as stated above, be the last addition to the franchise as a whole, and seeing how Cawthon has dedicated so much time into the franchise, fans are sure to know that the movie will end the franchise with a bang.

Or, at least, a good jump scare.

Becky Snyder is a Freshman at Barbara Ingram School for the Arts