Me, on A and E

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By Pete Barell
Editor at large18 - Petes column

Yes, the summer is over. Am I happy about it? No. What I am happy about is the start of this column. After two years as the Arts and Entertainment editor, I have passed the torch over to the very capable hands of Mr. Bendik Sorensen, but it isn’t the last you’ll hear from me.

This column is the start of roughly a year’s worth (we all gradu- ate eventually… hopefully) of cultural musings and analysis — I can only hope some of you will stick around to read it. Each week I will discuss a new topic from the Arts and Entertainment world (and I consider Donald Trump entertainment, so he may have a mention or two). But first, it may be a good idea to give you all a low-down of some of the big happenings over the last few months and entering these dwindling days of summer.

The political 2016 race is on, with one G.O.P. debate and a few Twitter wars already in the past. What we may not have anticipated, however, is the announcement by Kanye West that he will be running for president in 2020.

If you haven’t heard, the hip-hop artist, in an allegedly under- the-influence awards speech at the MTV Video Music Awards on Aug. 30, declared his rou for presidency while on stage. Is this a joke? Will an album called “Yeezuz for President” be hitting the shelves soon? I don’t know. Imagine Kim Kardashian as First Lady (neither can I).

Other VMA notables: Miley Cyrus/Nicki Minaj beef continued, as the latter called out the former regarding questionable comments said during an interview, with a few curse words thrown into the mix.

There were quite a few smash hits this summer at the box office, but a significant number of flops as well. “Jurassic World” raked in over $200 million in its June opening weekend, ranking the top domestic hit for the season. Other notable mentions are “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Straight Outta Compton” — two films that were on the lips of nearly everyone during the summer, receiving mostly positive reviews.

“Fantastic Four” flopped with an underwhelming $25 million on its opening weekend and scorching reviews, clocking in under 10 out of one hundred on Rotten Tomatoes. Director Josh Trank, known for his prodigal debut feature “Chronicle” in 2012, publicly denounced his new film on Twitter, before taking down his post. This fall marks the start

of the Oscar season, with highly anticipated films like “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” “The Revenent,” and “The Martian” slated to pack theaters and redeem the scandals of the summer.

If you have any suggestions for this column, such as a topic you would like discussed, feel free to contact me at peter.barell@my.liu.edu. Until next week, adios.

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