The Circle brings social media and online interactions to the big screen. Netflix brings the popularity contest to the next level with a $100,000 grand prize.
By Isabelle Delostrinos
Calling all drama TV and reality show lovers: The Circle is back and is thrilling as ever! This social experiment turned game show has become a hit and is quickly climbing Netflix’s Top 10 list. Group chats, catfishes, and challenges, what’s not to love about The Circle? This game tests the group’s abilities in establishing their online presence, and the most favored player at the end receives $100,000. That’s a huge prize for just trying to make new friends! The name of the game is pretty simple: make sure everyone likes you so they don’t vote you out, but the strategic side of the game brings the show’s drama to life.
The format of the game is fresh and unique. To enter The Circle, players are free to be whoever they want to be. They can play as themselves or catfish as a strategic move. Their profiles include information such as their hometown, relationship status, biography, and photo album. It is all up to the contestants on how they want to present themselves and what characteristics they think will be the most favored. The only way players can interact with one another is through the chat. They can create private or group chats to form alliances and snoop around for information about what is happening in “the circle,” but they have to be on high alert at all times. One slip-up can cost them the game. At the end of an episode, players are asked to rate each other. The top two players become influencers and get to choose who to “block,” or vote out from the show.
Throughout the show, players are cut off from civilization and have to isolate themselves in their very well-furnished apartments. Players do not have access to their phones or the internet during their stay in “the circle.” Activities like puzzles and coloring books are distributed, but their form of entertainment is mostly just chatting. But never being able to see or hear your opponents makes the drama that much more suspenseful. Important factors like voice tone and facial expression are lost. A message can be sent with good intentions but be received negatively because of miscommunication. Commentary from the players during chats and challenges also make the show entertaining. Although they are constantly alone, each player narrates their every move and thought for viewers to hear. These moments keep viewers invested as they watch their favorite players finesse or fool their opponents.
Although this show is just for fun, the premise of the game sums up the reality of social media. The players cater their profiles and chats to their peers to become the most liked in the group. Many of these same habits are evident in real life like choosing the perfect profile picture and the way we chat with others. Some even go the extra mile by catfishing and creating a disguise for themselves online. It's ironic to watch a game show based on online communication and self-isolation while being in a global pandemic. Online chats and direct messages have become an essential way of meeting and interacting with new people within the last year. Seeing how players navigate the game can influence viewers to reflect on their own approach to social media.
Season 2 of The Circle is now completely updated with thirteen episodes up for viewing. This season features the quirky and comedic Michelle Buteau and a guest appearance from Jonathan Van Ness of Queer Eye. The personalities in this group range from celebrity assistants to coffee shop baristas, and even an experienced game show player, Chloe Veitch from Too Hot to Handle. If you need a show to pass the time, give this one a shot. It's light-hearted with amusing drama and a sprinkle of funny, cringey moments.
Celebrating Mother’s Day
By Remy Zerber
Mother’s Day is a day to celebrate all mothers. Mother’s Day is a chance for children to appreciate all the hard work their moms do, but it is going to be a little different this year because of the pandemic. Fathers can help their children plan a special day for their mom. Before COVID, multiple families could get together and have brunch together. Now that everyone has to be careful of the virus, it is not possible to celebrate in the normal way. Luckily, it is still possible to celebrate in a Covid-friendly way by giving gifts and protecting yourself so you can do it properly.
Even though we are in a pandemic, we can still celebrate Mother’s Day in a Covid-friendly way. One activity that kids can do for their mom is to serve her breakfast in bed. Breakfast in bed is always appreciated because then moms can sleep in while the kids make breakfast with their father’s help. This is a good activity for Mother’s Day in 2021 because it does not require leaving the house. Another good activity is having a Mother’s Day picnic outside. This is a good idea because Mother’s Day is in May, which means it is usually warm out, and the CDC recommends that people sit outside and eat so there is proper ventilation. Masks will still need to be worn. People can still go out to brunch for Mother’s Day but they will have to wear a mask. There are many safe ways to celebrate during the pandemic.
One of the other best parts of Mother’s Day is giving gifts to show your appreciation for your mom. Flowers are a classic gift to give on Mother’s Day. Mothers love flowers so this is a great gift idea. Another great gift idea is new clothes. This is a great idea for moms who love fashion. If you don’t have a lot of money, a free gift idea could be having everyone in the family write out a card and make coupons for chores. That way, the mother can redeem a coupon every time she wants someone to do a chore. Gift giving is still possible during the pandemic because it does not require going to a store or mall. People can just buy the gifts they want online and they will be delivered to your doorstep.
Even though COVID-19 is still a major problem in the world, there are things people can do to protect themselves against the virus so they can be more active on Mother’s Day. Every state has different COVID restrictions. People should listen to the restrictions in the state or county that they live in when making their plans for Mother’s Day. For example, in Shasta county, the risk of the virus is still pretty substantial, so only some non-essential indoor businesses like restaurants are open. In San Mateo county the virus is moderately severe so some businesses are open with modifications like wearing a mask and outdoor seating only.
It is still possible to celebrate Mother’s Day under the circumstances. Mother’s Day celebrates all the hard work mothers do for their families; however, this year will be celebrated differently because of the coronavirus pandemic. Although it is sad that families can’t celebrate like they always do, they should be happy that they can still celebrate in a Covid-friendly way. Celebrating Mother’s Day is about the spirit of appreciating and honoring the work that mothers do. It is not about superficial things like gifts and spending money. The spirit of Mother’s Day is possible to achieve no matter what is happening in the world. As long as families are together that is all that matters.
History Department creates virtual webpage for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month showcasing the journey of this community through United States’ history and celebrating their culture.
By Victoria Vidales
Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) is a time to celebrate and honor the beautiful cultures of Asian and Pacific American communities. Throughout this month Saint Mary’s will be hosting several informative and educational events to alert the college community to issues that directly affect Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. During the past year AAPI communities have been severely racially attacked mainly due to ignorance regarding the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic. Although these attacks are startling to the modern public, from a historical perspective the recent spike in racism directed towards AAPI communities is not a new occurrence. Instead, these acts are a part of a repeated sequence in a larger history of discrimination that directly targeted AAPI communities.
Asian and Pacific Islander Americans have been the victims of racial discrimination since at least the 18th century. The earliest documented racial legislation was in 1790 when the U.S. government imposed a statute that prevented immigrants who were not white from becoming U.S. citizens. This direct attack against AAPI and other people of color set a pattern for continued racially motivated legislation.
The passage of the Page Act in 1875 specifically targeted Chinese immigrants by prohibiting immigration of individuals that the government believed were entering for “immoral purposes.” This law was joined by the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act, which prevented immigration and citizenship for Chinese people, and the 1907 Gentleman’s Agreement, which excluded Japanese workers from immigrating to the U.S. Over time, the federal rulings only become more extreme, with the government passing the 1924 Immigration Act, which banned Japanese immigrants, and the infamous 1942 Executive Order 9066, which gave the order to intern Japanese Americans. These legislations are only a few examples of the many federal mandates that the U.S. government created in order to oppress AAPI people.
Although not confined to California, the recent spike in anti-Asian violence in California adds to a long history of state-wide discriminatory legislation and violence directed towards AAPI communities. Throughout the 19th century the California state government passed many forms of legislation that discriminated against AAPI and allowed for anti-Asian violence to occur without penalties.
In 1877 the anti-Asian San Francisco riots caused the destruction of numerous businesses and the death of four Chinese Americans. That same year several Chinese workers were murdered in Chico at Lemm Ranch by six white men. In 1906 Santa Ana’s Chinatown was burned to the ground by firefighters when it was deemed to be a “health hazard.” These are just a few examples of the horrific treatment that AAPI communities faced at the hands of their fellow Californians.
Saint Mary’s History Department has composed a timeline of legislation and known violence and hate crimes inflicted onto the AAPI community over the course of U.S. history to show how severely impacted the AAPI community has been by violence and racism. The History Department encourages all members of the Saint Mary’s community to attend events held throughout APAHM to learn and show support for the AAPI community and to contribute to the timeline to expand its usefulness as a resource for our community.
To explore the History Department’s page honoring Asian Pacific American Heritage Month please follow the link below.
Watch out Newsom, Caitlyn Jenner announces her candidacy for governor, stating that “California is worth fighting for.”
By Isabelle Delostrinos
After overcoming one of the most controversial presidential terms in history, a smaller pot of politics is being stirred up again. Former Olympian and reality TV show star, Caitlyn Jenner, announced her run for governor of California. Over a year since the pandemic was announced, a large number of Californians are looking to push Newsom out of office. The celebrity is grasping the opportunity that many other prospects have with Gavin Newsom’s recall, in hopes to get California back on the right track as the pandemic alleviates later this year.
Caitlyn Jenner has become an advocate and voice for the LGBTQ+ community. As an Olympian and well established celebrity, first known as Bruce Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner is applauded for the courage and bravery it took to reveal her true self in the spotlight. Jenner first announced her gender identity to the world in April of 2015. Since then, she has been recognized for her strength by receiving awards such as the Arthur Ashe courage award at the ESPYs and Transgender Champion at Glamour’s Women of the Year ceremony. Jenner became an important figure, sharing her story to represent LGBTQ+ individuals in an industry that rarely shines their light on this community.
It is surprising to see Jenner interested in replacing Gavin Newsom, but let's look back on Newsom’s career and how he has served the state of California. Newsom won the general election for governor in 2006. Prior to this position, he was elected as mayor of San Francisco in 2003. Newsom is part of the Democratic party and has played a role in many state advances through the years. For example, he signed off a bill that extended family leave from six to eight weeks, allowing more time for a family to take care of newborn children without compromising their jobs. He also signed a bill on rent control, capping the percentage that landlords can increase their rent by. Newsom’s efforts throughout his career are in respect to his state and the people who populate it.
But the COVID-19 pandemic has put Newsom in a sticky situation. Many Californians have disagreed with the way Newsom has handled the pandemic and stay-at-home orders. California was the first state to enforce these orders and shut down many businesses during the first few months of the pandemic. Small businesses received the short end of the stick with little to no financial support to cover their losses. Unemployment rates skyrocketed due to the phased reopening that was created by Newsom and his team. In November of 2020, he was caught unmasked while indoor dining at a restaurant with more than 10 people, the kind of scenario he discouraged during his weekly COVID-19 updates.
Newsom was looking forward to continuing his career as governor throughout 2022, but many have been pushed over the edge by his actions this past year. A petition of over 1.6 million signatures was submitted for the recall of Newsom. The state has not yet approved of the re-election. If they do, an election would be held this fall asking voters if Newsom should continue his position as governor. If a voter chooses no, a list of candidates would be provided for the voter to choose who the new governor should be.
Caitlyn Jenner is taking hold of this opportunity alongside many other established politicians, but it is surprising to see her interest in a political industry. It was found that Jenner has only voted a handful of times in her life, not even casting her vote for the controversial 2016 election that started Trump’s career as president. Her experience with politics and decision making for a population is questionable, and it would be interesting to see her efforts progress as we approach the fall.
By Maia Pagán
Why a list of the Top Ten presidents? Why not? Presidents come and go every four, maybe every eight years. The rating of Presidents is a reflection of the current societal perceptions, positive or negative. This rating is a snapshot of people surveyed randomly and their thoughts. Read on for some interesting, surprising, and intriguing insights.
The top 10 most popular Presidents of the United States rated from least to most favorite.
10. James Buchanan- James Buchanan is number ten on our list because he is known as one of the worst Presidents. Many believe he was overly sympathetic to Southern interests, such as being “ok” with slavery. He was the President right before Abraham Lincoln, so he seemed incompetent to do his job as President.
9. Andrew Johnson- Andrew Johnson is number nine on our list because he is best known for assuming the Presidency after Abraham Lincoln was assassinated.
8. Franklin Pierce- Franklin Pierce is number eight on our list because he believed in enslavement. Why? Some of his policies may have helped push the United States into Civil War.
7. Barack Obama- Barack Obama is number seven on our list because he is most notably known for being the first Black President of the United States. He set a precedent for more people of color to work in higher-level positions in the USA Government.
6. Jimmy Carter-Jimmy Carter is number six on our list because he had no scandals, stood up to the KKK, and his historic peace agreement between Israel and Egypt called “The Camp David Accords.”
5. John F. Kennedy- John F. Kennedy is number five on our list because he is most known for being the youngest elected President of the United States. He is also the only President to receive a purple heart for his service in the Pacific during World War II and create new Civil Rights Legislation, which included banning segregation. John F. Kennedy is also known for his assassination, where he was shot in the back of his head during a motorcade at Dealey Plaza in Texas.
4. Franklin D. Roosevelt- Franklin D. Roosevelt is number four on our list because he is known for help creating favorable policies, like Social Security and Medicare.
3. Theodore Roosevelt- Theodore Roosevelt or Teddy Roosevelt is number three on our list because many people know him for helping create the National Parks.
2. George Washington-George Washington is number two because he is the first President of the United States and a Founding Father.
1. Abraham Lincoln-Abraham Lincoln is number one on our list because he is the most talked-about President. In the United States schools, he has helped free the slaves and be assassinated at Ford’s theatre by being shot in the head.
That’s it! Agree or disagree, it is the democratic thing to do!
Ryan Ford '23,