Hollywood is one of the most scandalous places in the universe, no doubt. But, it is also a place of legends. One particular legend is that of a forty two year rivalry between two Hollywood dames. Both ladies worked in the times where Hollywood was sexist and ageist. Both ended up as two of the many great female stars of all time.
In this corner, we have Joan Crawford. Joan Crawford was born on March 23, 1904 in Texas. Her real name was Lucille Fay LeSueur. She was born with a single but neglectful mother. She desired to become a dancer. In the 1920s, women’s jobs in entertainment were only about being flappers, dancers and actors. Joan Crawford worked as a chorus girl in musicals. MGM, a movie studio, noticed Crawford in one of the musicals. Crawford ended up acting in silent era films. After The Jazz Singer came out in 1927, Crawford could have lost her job as an actress because ‘talkies,’ or sound film, became more popular. But luckily, Crawford worked for more than ten years at MGM and in “talkies.”
Her breakthrough role came in 1928’s Dancing Daughters. Crawford’s fame increased to stardom in the 1930s. She was working with other top stars, like Norma Shearer, Greta Garbo and Clark Gable. Joan Crawford was like Julia Roberts of her time because like Julia Roberts, Crawford’s films are always about shopgirls and women ended up making money and finding romance. Crawford’s star life was never perfect, however. She was notorious for having rivalries with Mercedes McCambridge and Norma Shearer while seducing and sleeping with many male stars. Her diva behavior made Crawford one of the most difficult actresses to work with of all time.
In the other corner, we have Bette Davis. Ruth Elizabeth Davis, otherwise known as Bette, was born on April 5, 1908. She was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. She started out on Broadway in theater. She moved to Hollywood at the age of 22. She worked for Universal for a while then moved to Warner Bros. 1934’s Of Human Bondage gave her an Academy Award nomination. She won two more Academy Awards for 1935’s Dangerous and 1938’s Jezebel. Her career in movies and television lasted for over fifty years.
Joan Crawford and Bette Davis came face to face when Crawford moved to Warner Bros. in 1942. While they worked together at Warner Bros. a feud began between them. Bette Davis turned down the role of Mildred Pierce in 1945, which lead to Joan Crawford accepting the role and winning an Oscar. Both women were in love with the same star, Franchot Tone, but Tone married Crawford from 1935 to 1939. In 1962, Crawford and Davis starred together in the film: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? This would be the only time they worked together. Davis was nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in Baby Jane (her final nomination) but Crawford stole the show when she accepted the award on behalf of Anne Bancroft for her role in the Miracle Worker. Davis and Crawford continued to be rivals even after Crawford’s death in 1977.
-- Staff Writer
Is Valentine's Day really a romantic holiday? Or is it a money grabbing holiday filled with chocolates and hearts? This particular issue has only one conclusion: Like Christmas Day, Valentine's Day is about kindness. Many people are not aware that love is actually not about romance. The romantic part of Valentine's Day is just to glorify the fact that a person has a significant other, while single people may cry over the fact that they do not have a significant other.
In fact, Valentine's Day is about focusing on the people you love, no matter if they are your significant other or not. Valentine's Day is about giving kindness and love to the people who need it the most. It’s about reminding friends how they have impacted your life. This particular holiday should be a time where you can learn to love yourself, your friends and to be thankful for their kindness.
Don’t believe the myth that Valentine's Day is just about romance. Don’t believe that Valentine's Day is a time for couples to glorify themselves, because it’s not. Don’t believe that love is only about romance because of that holiday. Don’t believe that single people may rant negatively about Valentine's Day. But, do believe that this holiday is about spreading love. You see, love may not grow on trees, but it is a great gift of the human spirit.
-- Meaghan McCabe
MHS students herald in the new year with flare! Ms. Jing and students decorated the school with bright red paper lanterns and pictures of roosters. The rooster is the tenth in the twelve year cycle of the Chinese zodiac sign. According to TravelChinaGuide.com, the "rooster is almost the epitome of fidelity and punctuality. For ancestors who had no alarm clocks, the crowing was significant, as it could awaken people to get up and start to work."
1. What/who is your inspiration?
My inspiration is a woman who is not afraid to take risks with what she wears. She is confident, outgoing, and secure with her choices of fashion. She enjoys standing out in a crowd and is always on the hunt for that next statement piece to add to her closet. Some fashion icons I draw inspiration from are Rihanna, Grace Jones, David Bowie, Taylor Momsen, and Edie Sedgwick.
2. What drew you to leather as a material?
I was first drawn to leather because it was such a masculine material used for jackets and chaps for men who ride motorcycles and I wanted to bring it to womenswear in a more feminine way. The texture and feeling of leather inspired me to create garments that accentuated a woman’s body shape in a flattering way while giving her confidence in what she was wearing. Leather can feel like a second skin and is almost like armor, empowering a woman to feel fearless and sexy in what she is wearing.
3. Do you work with other fabrics or do you specialize in leather?
Leather has been the primary material I work with but I have used light weight fabrics for overlays or cut outs like chiffon. My newest fabric choice that I am experimenting with is neoprene. It was only used for scuba suits but now it has hit the fashion world with lots of excitement. It is sturdy and durable and great for form fitting garments.
4. What design are you most proud of?
I am really proud of my latest collection that I showed in New York City Fashion Week last September. I used to only design with black leather and this time I challenged myself and used blue leather! The contrast between the black and blue is beautiful. I really pushed myself as a designer with this collection, using new style lines and cut outs to express my inspiration of architecture and negative space. If I looked at this collection five years ago, I would not be able to recognize my own work.
5. When did you graduate from MHS?
I graduated in spring of 2008.
6. Did you go to college, and if so, where?
I attended Lasell College in Newton, Massachusetts and graduated in 2012 with a Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design and Production. Here I had the chance to study abroad to London and attend the London College of Fashion for a semester where I found myself as a designer and started to work on my aesthetics.
7. What would be your advice for an aspiring designer?
Always be true to yourself when designing. Seek happiness in inspiration and work on what gratifies you to become creative and design garments that show who you are as an artist. Art is subjective to every person who sees it and their perspective varies on their ideals of fashion. Some people will love your work and some will hate it but being true to yourself when designing is key. You can't please everyone but you can find your niche market for your ideas and make a lot of people comfortable in and excited for your work.
8. What do you enjoy the most about being a fashion designer?
Always challenging and pushing myself to think in new, different, and creative ways. My favorite feeling is when I am at a fashion show and a model has one of my garments on and she can not stop talking about how confident she feels wearing it. That is when I know that I have a purpose for the fashion I am making. Not only models but everyday women who love to wear my garments brings me joy and wants me to create more for them to wear. I love discovering new fabrics or a new sewing technique that enhances my design process and brings my creative thinking in a new direction that produces exciting garments or style lines. Fashion is always evolving and that excites me, fashion is never boring. Being able to do something you love and being creative at the same time keeps me going as a fashion designer.
Have you ever picked up a history book and gone: Wow, this would make a great rap album? No? Me neither.
For Lin Manuel Miranda, on the other hand, it seemed like a no-brainer. To him, the life of our first treasury secretary Alexander Hamilton was modern music just waiting to happen. With songs like Guns and Ships, Right Hand Man, and My Shot, Miranda gave us a way to connect to our American roots in an unconventional and frankly genius way. By bringing it to the stage, he pulled the characters from the pages of dusty old volumes and made them new and exciting once again. His masterpiece? Hamilton: An American Musical.
Before listening to Hamilton, I knew what everyone else knew about the Revolutionary War. I knew about “no taxation without representation” and General George Washington. I knew about The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, The Boston Tea Party, the redcoats. However, I never really thought much about it. The founding of our country never interested me because I could never connect to it. Hamilton changes all of this. Through 46 songs, the story of our country is illustrated in a way that appeals to a larger audience while still remaining true to the majority of the facts. This is highlighted by the fact that Hamilton is, as of January 6th, number 8 on iTunes list of most sold albums of 2016, over a year after the album was released. The new Hamilton mixtape, a collection of Hamilton themed songs and covers by famous hip hop artists, is number 25 on the same list. As more proof of its popularity, the musical won 11 different Tony Awards, which is just short of a record amount. One record it did break, however, was the amount of Tony nominations the musical had, which was a mind blowing 16! The tale of America’s early years is accessible and relatable in the retelling that is Hamilton.
One reason for it being such a popular phenomenon is the fact that the cast is made up of people of all different races. In Lin’s words, it’s “America then played by America now.” This allows us to see the founders of our country in a different way because instead of white men in wigs, we see people that we could pass on the street.
The musical also addresses themes that are important in today’s world as well as in Alexander Hamilton’s. For one thing, mortality is a heavier theme that takes its place in the musical, as evidenced by the repetition of the line “I imagine death so much it feels more like a memory.” This theme will always be relevant, because it is an unavoidable truth that all things eventually die, and we as a species will always view the subject with some sort of foreboding. Whether we wonder about it as often as Hamilton did or never really think about it, it is an inevitable fact of life. Another related topic, and perhaps one explored more in depth, is the idea of legacy. Alexander Hamilton was obsessed with what he would leave behind in the world once he had departed from it. To him, it was important above almost all else. A line from the song The Room Where it Happens evidences this. “God help and forgive me, I want to build something that’s gonna outlive me.” Hamilton was an ambitious man. What people thought of him, especially when he was gone, mattered greatly to him. Throughout the show, he proved this over and over. He also proved that anyone can make their way in the world. Hamilton did this by being “non-stop.” He was completely relentless in his pursuit to “rise up” in the world. He did this through writing, fighting, and often a combination of both. They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but for Hamilton, having one wasn’t enough. He fought under George Washington during the war, took his part in quite a few duels, and wrote about practically everything all the time. This was very true to historical facts. The real Alexander Hamilton left us novels and novels worth of essays, letters, and other documents.
Hamilton: an American Musical showcases our country’s story, spanning the years and creating a bridge between then and now. It gives us insight into the lives of our forefathers in a creative and inventive way that is enjoyable for all listeners.
By: Sarah Hayward
-- Staff Writer
As a part of Marlborough High School’s Early College Pathways program, students enrolled in Quinsigamond Community College’s English Composition & Literature I course went on a field trip to QCC. On Thursday, Nov. 17, over 60 students in Mrs. Bento’s, Mr. Henry’s, and Mrs. Johnson’s classes filed into Hebert Auditorium to listen to a keynote address by award-winning Haitian-American author, Edwidge Danticat. Danticat’s memoir, Brother, I’m Dying, was this year’s One Book Project for all QCC students. The memoir poignantly touched upon themes of family, perseverance, and love.
During her address, Danticat spoke eloquently about the events that moved her to write her memoir, specifically about her uncle’s tragic death at the hands of U.S. immigration authorities. She also incorporated Haitian proverbs, such as “words have wings,” to emphasize the impact words have on individuals to promote change in our world.
After her address, students Tatiana Gaudet and Keven Melo each had the opportunity to ask Danticat questions. Gaudet asked Danticat how she was able to recall, with vivid detail, events that took place when her uncle was ailing. Melo asked Danticat if she was ever able to go back to Haiti to fulfill her uncle’s dream of building up his community. Danticat graciously responded to over 25 student questions before the afternoon was over.
Text and photos: Karen Bento, Newspaper Club Advisor
MHS students pose in front of QCC's Supranent Hall after keynote address.
Award winning author, Edwidge Danticat, speaks with the audience.
Students Tatiana Gaudet (left photo) and Keven Melo (right photo, center) ask Danticat questions after the keynote address.
The feeling of gloom
The feeling of depression
The villains’ top favorite
The coal from mines
The night sky
The ash spread all over
The fur color of an animal
The hair of a human
The eyes of a human
The symbol of gothism
The symbol of evil
The rich and wealthy
The atmosphere of horror
Most common for funerals
The symbol for Halloween
The week before April vacation, Marlborough High School students were excited about the upcoming break. But they were also excited about something else. The week of April 11-15 was Kindness Week at MHS, hosted by the MHS Student Council. “Students were talking during one of our meetings, and they really wanted to change the culture around the school,” said Ms. Wheeler, StuCo advisor. Recently, Student Council members attended a leadership conference in Hyannis where they listened to leadership consultant Houston Kraft speak about love and kindness. StuCo members felt that Kraft’s message was one they wanted to bring back to MHS, and developed Kindness Week as a means of spreading that message. The week prior to Kindness Week, StuCo members visited homerooms and showed students a video produced by Kraft called “Perspectacles”. (To watch the video, click on the link below.) The video follows an insensitive teen as he walks throughout his high school and insults or is rude to everyone he passes. That is, until he finds the “Perspectacles”. When the student puts them on, he is able to see what others are going through and how they view themselves. As he passes one girl for example, he learns that her father passed away. With the help of the “perspectacles”, he develops an attitude of kindness and learns the importance of considering another’s point of view. After showing students this video, StuCo members explained the events and the purpose of Kindness Week. They stressed that “you never know what somebody’s going through. Giving them a compliment or helping them or saying hi can completely change their day.”
The next week was Kindness Week. On Monday, students walking in the door received lollipops from smiling Stuco members with positive sayings attached. Tuesday was “Be Kind, Be Bright” day. Everyone, even the administrators, wore neon or bright clothing. Wednesday was Random Act of Kindness Day, Thursday was Appreciation Day, and Friday was MHS Spirit Day and High-Five Friday. By the end of the week, the lockers and hallways were covered with quotes about kindness, and many students had swapped cookies and candy. Some students thought the week was cheesy, but others thought it was about time. Many students said, “we shouldn’t be dedicating one week to kindness, it should be every week.” And for Stuco, that was the point.
“Perspectacles” Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-vHSXo23TE
By: Jennie O’Leary
Photos: Courtney Wheeler, StuCo Advisor
On March 25, seven students went to the library to meet with author Ozge Samanci to discuss her memoir Dare to Disappoint: Growing up in Turkey. There was no woman wearing a visitor’s tag, however. Instead, Samanci answered the students’ questions over Skype from her home in Chicago. This opportunity was arranged by MHS School Librarian Alyson Cox, who originally discovered Samanci’s memoir while reading on a snow day. “I knew reading it that students would really identify with this book,” Cox said. She started sharing the book’s trailer with students and classes visiting the LMC. Soon, a group of about ten students was reading the book.
Samanci grew up in Turkey during the 1980s and 1990s. In her memoir, Samanci reveals how she followed her dream of becoming an artist and a writer against the wishes of her parents and the restrictive expectations of Turkish society. An artsy, creative, and outspoken girl, she did not fit into a culture where women were expected to live in subservience to men. In Turkey, teenagers took intelligence tests that determined whether or not they qualified for college and placed them on career tracks based on their scores. Samanci’s test results placed her on a science and math track, and she was expected to become a teacher or an engineer. But she knew in her heart she could never be happy doing either of those things. Samanci went to college to become an artist and now teaches art at a college in Chicago.
Samanci tells her story in the form of a graphic novel, which made it a quick read for the students in the MHS book group. Her comedic, honest style of writing adds a touch of humor to what she told MHS students was a painful topic to write about. She told the students over Skype that she was afraid of two things while writing the memoir. She painted her family as very harsh, unsupportive and overbearing, and was afraid of how they would react the book. She was also afraid of how other Turks would treat her family once the book was out, for now other Turks would know her family had a dissenting, disappointing daughter. Cox said the students strongly identified with Samanci’s experience, and asked her many questions about how she dealt with wanting something completely different than what her parents wanted for her. Samanci told students the best thing to do was to “follow your hearts”, and everything will eventually come together. She also told them they can blend their interests: “you don’t just have to pick one,” she said.
Cox was thrilled about the event. “Ozge was a great author to start out with. She was so funny, warm and friendly. She was inspiring. And the kids really want to do this again!” Cox has already confirmed a second Skype call with Lance Rubin, author of Denton Little’s Death Date. The book takes place in a world where every child knows his death date from the day he is born. Denton Little’s death date is tomorrow: the day of the prom. “It’s filled with tons of dark humor,” Cox says. Students interested in the book group can speak to Mrs. Cox in the LMC.
By: Jennie O’Leary
Photo credit of Ms. Cox