Author: Sharece Willcoxon

Guy Fawkes

Guy Fawkes’ has claimed international fame as a symbol of anarchy. The renowned “Anony- mous,” a powerful group of internet hackers, post their videos wearing the famous Guy Fawkes’ mask, popularized by the dystopian film, “V for Vendetta.” Most recently and disturbingly, a series of attacks throughout the Middle East, spe- cifically anti-American in nature, were perpetrat- ed by groups of people wearing the same mask. Traditionally, Americans tend to see rejection of authority and anti-establishment in a positive light; ideas like “rebel without a cause” are romanticized and youth are drawn to anarchy’s promise of no rules, no restrictions. As the dystopian film brought the mask into popular- ity, it raised some questions for Americans. We began to associate Guy Fawkes’ once again with this heroic sense of rebellion, perhaps forgetting that the act that made him famous was an attempt to blow up the whole of parliament, inspired by Catholic pride. The time period was wrought with religious turmoil, as Protestants and Catholics struggled to establish power. As an act of murder and an act of symbolic destruction of the British political system, no self-respecting Brit, Catholic or otherwise, would admire that. That is the common refrain one might receive if they spoke to someone over the age of say, 50. Speak to any young adult, however, and the responses are far more varied. Quite a few...

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Pioneer daze

Unilike the rest of the states in the union, Utahns have two excuses every July to makes things explode. There’s Independence Day, and twenty days later, on July 24 for Pioneer Day. While national pride is prevalent around here, the sense of state pride is a strong rivals. Annual parades, rodeos, fairs and the like are dotted on community event calendars celebrating the entry of the Mormon pioneers into the Salt Lake Valley in 1847. For those who have attended such celebrations, there chance of encountering the immortal phrase, “this is the right place,” spoken by the leader of the pioneering clan, Brigham Young, are high. American culture applauds the valiant, the bold, the trendsetters: the pioneers. Modern-day pioneers abound, but the focus on the rugged, rough and tumble pioneers of the romanticized West still molds modern culture. The emphasis on individuality and the lone ranger has a tie to those sometimes unintentional trailblazers. Pioneer day is commemorated on a day centering around a significant event in Mormon history, but it’s not limited to a religious celebration. These Mormons epitomized the American dream, ragged and suffering, they stumbled into a valley unknown to them, hoping to escape religious persecution. Holding to that concept of individuality, every city celebrates it differently. Spanish Fork has aptly named it “Fiesta Days” while Salt Lake City holds to the more traditional “Days of...

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Genealogy does more than find one’s past

With a name shrouded in history like “Anastasia”, it seems natural that you’d be interested in genealogy. Anastasia Harman, the lead family historian for Ancestry.com, has made a living out of it. She’s uncovered such high-profile connections as the familial link between Jane Austen and the newly-wed Princess Catherine Middleton and however distantly, Edward-the-heartthrob from the adolescent vampire series “Twilight” has some links to the real Dracula: Vlad the Impaler. But the most heartwarming of her discoveries revolves around her involvement with the show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition”. Jonah Gomez, 7, has been diagnosed with sickle-cell anemia. Finding a donor that can provide him with the bone marrow he needs proved to be tricky business until Anastasia stepped onto the scene. Utilizing the website’s resources which includes about 6 billion official historical records, she rustled up an additional 100 or so living relatives that could potentially be donors. Jonah’s story isn’t over. Contacting these individuals could prove just as difficult, but finding so many potential donors will prove to be invaluable. It’s increased his chances of survival significantly. Typically, though, finding organ or transplant donors isn’t the average use for the website. Usually it’s used to connect people to the instinctive draw to their backgrounds. Anastasia thinks that Alex Haley, author of “Roots”, had it figured out. “In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our...

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