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Navigating life and school after an attempt
Navigating life and school after an attempt
Ell Franklin and Anthony Vasek November 3, 2023
“I’ve been focusing more on myself and what I need because I used to be a really bad people pleaser. I’ve always put everyone else first before me.”
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The CCLL Leadership team 

(top row, left to right: Erika Homan, Carolyn van Mantgem, Melanie Zapper, Taylor Nada, Tim Clewell.
bottom row, left to right: Johanna Mauro, Fionn Conroy, Kayla Gaskill)
Hello CCLL!
Taylor Nada, Online Editor • December 7, 2023
This year, the Arcata Arts Institute joined a new program known as the Creative Careers Leadership Lab (CCLL), an organization aimed at helping art students gain skills to succeed in future careers in the arts.  
Pepperbox Broadcast
Pepperbox Broadcast
Rey Barber, Art Director • November 17, 2023
“It’s the first time we’ve ever had a broadcast,” Kloe Bryant said, “so it’s really just testing everything out,”
Difference Between America and Other Countries
Shu Yamashita November 14, 2023
“In Italy, we have just one class and the same classmates, we don’t change classes. We have been in the same class for four years. We have twelve subjects,”
Is study hall really for studying?
Kyndle Eisner, Production Manager • November 14, 2023
“I feel like it’s less strict than last year, but the pass system is stupid and doesn’t work.”

2014 film a fault in our stars

It may be a comment on the finality of life and infinity love inspires within limited time.

There is a scene in the 2014 film “The Fault in Our Stars” where the romantic leads kiss in the Ann Frank house. After following the exceedingly poorly written characters shamble through an uninteresting and deeply cliched plot line for over half the movie, they kiss in the attic that was once the hiding place of Ann Frank during the largest tragedy in the entirety of human history. The lead-up to the scene is equally as odd. We see Hazel, the female lead, slowly struggle up the stairs; lugging behind her is an oxygen tank she carries always as an after-effect of her failing lungs. The voice of a young woman reads out an English translation of Frank’s diary. More and more stairs and ladders appear as the fictional dying girl struggles up the place where the real girl hid. 

I struggle to imagine what any of the three men who took part in the writing of this scene were thinking in its inclusion. It may be a comment on the finality of life and infinity that love inspires within a limited time. The movie is very much dedicated to the theme of how love can be unending, even despite the inevitable end. The young lovers the film follows, both with their own forms of cancer, regularly vomit up these themes in the form of some of the most ineptly written dialogue I have ever had the misfortune of hearing. If this is the point of Ann Frank’s house, an attempt to create a dichotomy between these fictional upper-middle-class teens dying within the comfort of modernity and the suffering of a real girl during, I repeat, the largest tragedy in human history, I can’t help but feel disgusted. If it’s not the intent, if, god forbid, this scene simply happens in Ann Frank’s because it’s a location in Amsterdam that is famous and is difficult to move through, I am left feeling even more disgusted. This is what the entirety of the movie is like, though more often to a much lesser degree. Entirely illogical choices leave the viewer unable to identify the intent or meaning behind any character or scene. 

Willem Dafoe’s character, Peter van Houten, exemplifies the film’s utter lack of artistic intent or meaning somehow even more. He exists as John Green’s idea of a great artist: a deeply broken and cruel man lost within a 14-year-old’s understanding of nihilism and despair. The entity of his character makes me genuinely question Green’s understanding of art as a whole. It seems as if Green recognizes that he himself is a painfully sophomoric writer so he writes in a truly great writer but at once makes him broken. The film seems to say “I recognize my own ineptitude but at least I’m not like that,” pointing at the jittering mass of childish cliches about great artists that created van Houten. Like the entirety of the cast van Houten isn’t a character but rather an amalgamation of tropes tied together in an attempt to create the illusion of the profound where in reality is only poor writing. Though the film gives van Houten the closest thing to an interesting thing to say as Green can write, it’s still so thoroughly packaged within a deeply cliched and poorly written character that it distracts from the poor writing of the greater message the character is attempting to communicate.

How this deeply immature and cliche film became a beloved classic or how John Green is still able to walk the earth is entirely beyond me, and I can only pray that both of these questions are quickly answered by both becoming no longer true.

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About the Contributor
Roland Brockmeyer, Web Team
Roland Brockmeyer is a young, incredibly inexperienced writer lacking in literally any credentials. They have a passion for a myriad of random topics that they have deemed as “art” along with a near unending and constantly shifting list of problems with and opinions on random things, ranging from big trucks to skinny little dogs to mediocre comedians. To get in contact with Roland, message them with the new Pinterest message.
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