The Truth About Odyssey

The Truth About Odyssey

It isn't what you think it is.

Odyssey isn't what you think it is. It is either so much more (or so much less, depending on your opinion), and it is one of the most incredible, rewarding, challenging, and frustrating experiences I have been blessed to experience.

Let me begin with some classic criticism of Odyssey, so I can put you into the level of criticism writers, editors, and our incredible editor-in-chief get on a daily basis:

"Sometimes when I scroll through Facebook and see one of the articles from The Odyssey, I consider snapping my laptop in half, or finding the tallest building and jumping off. I mean, the site is really bad. I don't know who decided that it would be a good idea to take a bunch of privileged white #MakeAmericaGreatAgain people and allow them to write about how much it sucks being white."

-Steve Benko

Well, I'm not even really sure where to start with that quote. First of all, not everyone who writes for the Odyssey is a privileged white Trump-humper (if you like that phrase, you're welcome, I use it nearly constantly). The Ohio State community is diverse; people of all backgrounds, religions, upbringings, and views all come together to collaborate on ... well, basically everything. And our community is not alone or a unique situation. Most Odyssey communities are similar to ours. I like to think ours is special (and we sure as hell are), but in this sense, we aren't. Second, those articles you see that make you want to snap your laptop in half and jump off a building? They infuriate us too. The articles that get shared by the ~Odyssey Facebook~ are the most controversial, the ones which will cause tons of traction and shares, both positive and negative. So yeah, when I see a post titled "Reverse Racism Is A Thing" or whatever, it boils my blood.

But that's the incredible thing about the Odyssey. I can write about whatever the hell I want. I can write about rainbows and butterflies (I don't, but I totally could), or I can write about politics (which I do ... a lot. And get a loooot of hate). Our contributors write about a wide range of topics, from "X Things to Do In Ohio This Summer" to "X Things I'm Tired of Hearing From Conservatives" to movie reviews, responses to other articles, and commentary on current events.

And get ready for the kicker, haters of the Odyssey, I'm about to destroy your main complaint: No one is claiming that Odyssey is a news site. No one is claiming that Odyssey contributors are right or justified in their opinions. No one is claiming that we know what the hell we are talking about. But if I do, I cite my sources. I try, when I write, to explain WHY I feel that way, and to clarify always that these are my feelings, my opinions, my thoughts. I expect the same from my contributors, and EICs expect the same from our community. You're right in complaining about the lack of source citing - that's a problem that Odyssey is actively working to fix. But frankly, for a lot of articles, it isn't necessary. For any article on this platform, it isn't necessary. As much as I love Odyssey, NO ONE should be getting their news from Odyssey articles only. Supplement your news diet? Sure. Confirm your world view? Probably. Challenge your world view? I would hope so.

Finally, I understand. I understand that Odyssey has its problems, and you might not agree with the articles written and shared on your timeline. But here's the thing: those articles say more about the contributor than the community. Understand what the Odyssey is intending to be, rather than whatever evil, horrible and life-altering thing you have made it out to be in your head.

And if you really hate the Odyssey - join us. Write about it, and share your thoughts on the world stage. See how you feel about us then.

Cover Image Credit: Stokpic

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The Top 5 Most Adorable TV Characters

They Have Ruled Our Hearts, Gave us Tears of Joy, as well as Hysterical Fits of Laughter with their Charming Screen Presence

Well, they have ruled our hearts, gave us tears of joy and hysterical laughter with their wit and charm, so let's take a look at some of the most lovable TV characters.

1.) Stewie Griffin ("Family Guy"):

He's a baby, everybody loves babies, you might think that but it's not that simple. He's got the IQ of a rocket scientist, devilish designs, and his heartiest wish is to kill his mother, so he's nothing like a baby. He shares a beautiful bond with his dog which is heartwarming to watch. There are so many interesting angles to his personality which makes it worth it to root for him despite his primal instinct - kill his mother and world domination.

2.) Jake Harper ("Two and a Half Men"):

We have another kid, but he's completely from another dimension. This one can win a contest for the dumbest yet cutest kid. He was the half man from the title but had an equal share in making this show what it was - watchable. He was the butt of many jokes in the show due to his general lack of smarts, understanding of words, and self-confidence, as well as being oblivious to the fact he was being made fun of.

3.) Sheldon Cooper ("The Big Bang Theory"):

You have to give it to the 22-year-old theoretical physicist who played this character to perfection. He is freakishly genius and he knows it, but most importantly he doesn't mind letting others know even if its a cop, a judge, or his friends who suffer the most by his quirky mannerisms including his love for "his spot", details, and trains. His devotion to science is so deep that he is oblivious to social cues, women, and even sarcasm. Although these traits make him intolerable for his friends, strangers or even anyone who crosses paths with him, the same faults make him the reason to watch this show.

4.) Barney Stinson ("How I Met Your Mother"):

We have the man himself - Barney Stinson, the guy who eases "awesomeness" and "legendary" into his character and the show like butter onto bread. He's not just a man- he's a religion, he has his own set of rules, codes, costumes, and theories... about getting laid. He's a God to every loser who sees himself dominating/ pretending to be an Alpha male of society- the man that every girl desires to be with. He is immune to disease, fashion disasters, and even a bad photograph. He has crazy theories that he backs up with fake history tales lied to perfection. His concept of lie is something which defines how awesome he is- "A lie is just a great story ruined by truth."

5.) Joey Tribbiani ("F.R.I.E.N.D.S"):

It wouldn't serve justice to this listicle or to the word adorable if I didn't include Joey Tribbiani- the man who made " How you doin'?" what it is. He is the only person who can be dumb, cute, and funny all at the same time. He was the only character out of the six who had a smile on his face no matter what the situation was. He also senses the emotional needs of his friends and does everything possible to fulfill that need. He is the best character to be with when the chips are down, he can cheer up even Droopie. Joey is funny and he doesn't have to put in any effort to be just that. Maybe the fact that he owns an array of expressions which spill out humor and pour directly into our hearts, is the reason he doesn't have to try to be our favorite.

Cover Image Credit: Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

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Everything To Love About "Love, Simon"

"Everyone deserves a great love story."

Love, Simon, a film based on the book, “Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda” by Becky Albertalli came out on March 16th. Since then, it has received an overwhelming amount of positive reviews from movie goers. I went to see the movie last week and was extremely impressed. This movie is exactly what our society needs.

Years ago, the concept of being gay was a taboo and anything involving homosexuality carried a strong stigma. Many creative closeted individuals did not have the freedom to write stories or screenplays with queer characters. After members of the LGBT community became more normalized in society, we started to see the slow rise of films with characters reflecting different sexualities. I have watched multiple movies with queer characters, and ALL of the other ones I’ve seen have been tragedies.

While it is true that the process of coming out and living an authentic life can be difficult for queer people, it is not always tragic. Watching these movies makes people feel like non-heterosexual people cannot have happy endings. Imagine being a 14 year old kid in the closet and watching all these films that end with suicide, depression, or murder. It is easy to see why someone would not want to come out after being exposed to such horrific things. LGBT movies have also always been highly sexualized. Most of them center around the sexual relationships and lack substance. I feel like the writers think that the only appeal LGBT movies can have has to be sex.

The beauty in Love, Simon comes from the fact that none of the things I mentioned above were in the movie. Instead, it was hilarious, emotional and real. The story was raw and relatable for so many people. Simon was a normal high schooler, with best friends, a loving family, and homework to do. He did not fit the “gay” stereotype at all. His clothes were masculine, his voice was deep, and he didn’t love shopping. Simon was not the “Gay best friend” he was just the best friend. Simon was fortunate enough to have all these positive things in his life, which not everyone has. I think that this presentation of his life shows people that their coming out does not have to be tragic.

Simon’s coming out could not have been more realistic. He was outed to his school on an online platform, something that can happen easily in our technological age. He was very affected by this and knew he had to come clean to his family. His sister asked him if he wanted to deny it and he said he was tired of hiding.

His announcement shifted his family for a bit, something completely normal. Some movies have kids come out and show the parents instantly start a pride parade. This is usually not the case, especially when loved ones do not suspect anything. Love, Simon showed his parents trying to adjust to the news. They did not love him any less, but they needed some time to process the information, so that they could do their best for their son. There were days of silence in the family, but the silence was broken in memorable ways.

Simon’s talk with his mom had me in tears. His mom told him that for the past few years, she had felt like he was holding his breath, and tells him, “You can exhale now, Simon.” He could finally breathe and she was letting him know that she wants him to be happy and himself. His father apologized to him for making a lot of gay jokes before his coming out. He did not realize that his words may have been hurting his son, and he tears himself down for not realizing his son was gay. Simon tells him that he has nothing to be sorry about, because his coming out was something that could not be assumed.

Simon’s friends did not treat him any differently after his coming out, meaning that they did not give him any special treatment. They were upset with him for things, and worked it out later. His sexuality was not the issue.

At school, he was bullied by idiots, but he stood up for himself. I think that is something so important for the youth to see. Movies typically show gay kids cowering in a corner while being made fun of. Simon and the other out gay kid (a black character) in his school both stood up for themselves repeatedly, throwing out witty remarks and comments on occasion.

Simon’s online relationship with the other closeted kid in his school exemplified many relationships today. Kids will go online to search for people who they can relate to. With the touch of a button, they can connect with millions going through the same things they are. When Simon meets the person behind the screen, everyone is overjoyed.

The entire film was a masterpiece. Two LGBT characters were people of color. The rest of the cast was diverse as well. The movie did not feature an array of white people, like most movies do. Although there were many serious scenes that had me in tears, there was plenty of levity. The humor was current and made the entire theater laugh.

The representation for queer people in this movie is superb. Multiple members actually came out during the filming of this movie. If that doesn’t show you how positive and powerful this movie is, I don’t know what will. This movie is exactly what LGBT kids needed and I applaud the talented cast, the writers, and everyone else who had anything to do with the creation of this life changing movie.

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