Opinion

2023 Films in Review

Words by Harry Moore When it comes to film, 2023 will likely be remembered as a year marred with strikes and big-budget bombs. Hollywood has begun to reckon with an existential crisis that has been brewing since Silicon Valley came to town with streaming hobbling theaters and proving to not be a financially viable alternative to good old-fashioned ticket sales. Add in a depressed box office that has struggled to return to former heights following the pandemic, a rapidly grown cultural fatigue of superhero films — once one of the few guaranteed successes on the multiplex calendar — and you …

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Bouquets and Brickbats

Brick To Specialized Towing who does vehicle repossessions for a variety of banks and lenders in Jacksonville. According to several families who contacted us, the company has been extremely delayed — sometimes up to a month — in allowing individuals to retrieve personal items from their vehicles including wallets, purses, driver licenses and even childrens’ car seats, which is a considerable problem since the vehicles can be auctioned off in as little as two weeks. The bank or lender may own the car but certainly not the contents within, and Specialized Towing should respect the individuals’ rights and return their …

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Racing Against Hate Like My Life Depends On It 

By Suzie Pollak Becker    I always have a valid passport, cash on hand and a heightened fight or flight instinct braided like challah into my DNA. Why? Because all four of my grandparents were hunted, captured, tortured and marked for extinction. Their grandparents escaped pogroms. My most curious cousin traced us getting chased out of our homes as far back as the Spanish Inquisition. My mom was raised in Israel between sirens and taking shelter during the Sinai War, Six-Day War, War of Attrition and Yom Kippur War. Until she emigrated here in 1975 and met my father. They …

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The Specktator

Words by Kerry Speckman Shout out to River City Pride and anyone and everyone who make Pride Month such a beautiful success. A personal highlight was seeing Mayor Donna Deegan serve as grand marshal of the Pride parade. It should be a requirement for all future mayors. If you thought you were in a Taylor Swift/Travis Kelce-free zone, you are mistaken as this Traylor Swelce tale involves little ol’ Jacksonville. Turns out Travis was shopping at a Kansas City boutique called Fetch looking for a vintage Kansas City Chiefs jacket for Tay-Tay and spied a prayer candle with her likeness …

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Combined Minds – The girls see a psychic 

  Carmen: Let me start by saying I was a bit skeptical of this. It is hard for me to put my blind faith into something I truly do not understand. Still, during my reading, there were just so many specificities mentioned that I had no other choice but to fully believe every single thing Ruth Elder told me.    Ambar: Let’s set the scene. I was severely hungover, and Carmen just got back from a weekend trip of over-spending and over-drinking. Nonetheless, we made our way over to the Portal, Midnight Sun’s dedicated space for psychics, tarot readings and …

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Unveiling the Woke: Navigating the Complexities of a Political Buzzword

Words by Carmen Macri    Before we get started, I find it necessary to generously bestow upon you the profound revelation that “woke” is, indeed, the past tense of “wake.” I mean, who knew, right? But now, let’s get into how this term has become a symbol of a modern culture war.   The term “woke” is an adjective originating from African-American Vernacular English (AAVE), signifying being “attentive to racial bias and discrimination.” The phrase “Stay Woke” has its roots dating back to the 1930s within the framework of heightened awareness concerning social and political matters impacting the Black community.  …

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The Specktator

Words by Kerry Speckman   One of my all-time favorite nuggets of Jax trivia is that it’s the birthplace — and final resting place — of actress Alice Nunn. Never heard of her? Well, if you missed her as Passenger with Dog in “Airport 75,” Lady With Wallet in “Petticoat Junction” or Woman Customer at Quickie Mart on “Simon & Simon,” maybe you caught her scene-stealing turn as Large Marge in “Pee Wee’s Big Adventure.” The folks at Sun-Ray Cinema obviously appreciate Ms. Nunn’s stellar performance in the latter as they have planned a unique movie experience that involves a …

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The Rise of the Awkward Interview

Words by Su Ertekin-Taner   At 13, I watched my words, spoke quietly and re-evaluated my interactions. Because awkward silences and missed social cues were a warrant for social death, I preemptively planned conversations and decisive reactions. Authenticity was vulnerability, and I attempted to adapt. What choice did I have? In the 2010s, social dexterity was king and I was subservient to norms and taboos … that is, until awkwardness became orthodox in mainstream media.   ***   In an increasingly algorithmic generation, a niche video from a quick TikTok scroll session can make for an omnipresent media trend just …

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Combined Minds 

With Carmen Macri and Ambar Ramirez   The girls discuss last year’s word of the year and their predictions for this year’s   Carmen: It has come to our attention that Webster’s word of the year in 2022 was “gaslight.” Now, I don’t know about you, but I think that is pretty incredible. I mean that word hardly existed prior to 2022 (at least to us) and with how social media took it and ran with it, I guess it shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it does.    Ambar: And if you don’t know what gaslighting means, you’re probably …

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Weird Wild Stuff 

Words by Shelton Hull   Is summer over yet? Not until Sept. 23, according to the calendar, but the difference is purely academic here in Florida, where even Santa Claus wears shorts. The craziness of our news stories has tempered a bit, maybe because it’s too hot to go outside, which means a lower likelihood of heat-induced madness. But do not fear, there is still more than enough crazy to fill this space, easily.   Let’s start in Florida with arguably the most quintessentially #Florida story we’ve ever seen. It starts pretty normally with an incident of road rage that …

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