An Open letter to the President of Miami University and to the Miami Board of Trustees

An open letter to President Hodge, the Board of Trustees, Director of University Advancement,

Please remove my name from the alumni directory. I do not wish to be called or receive your requests for money. I had given to the university in the past, but no longer. First, you dismantle the program (The School of Interdisciplinary Studies) that meant so much to my education and inspired me to become an educator as well. Now, against wishes of current students, alumni, faculty, and city of Oxford ordinance, you have voted to raze Patterson Place. There will be no more money coming from me to the university.

In fact, I hope other alumni and future alumni make this pledge: No Patterson, No Money. I have been in academia long enough to know it is money that does the most talking.The silence of bank accounts speaks loudest of all.

Sincerely,

P. Andrew Miller

Professor of English

Northern Kentucky University

Avengers: Age of Ultron

First, I will say I did enjoy the movie. However, I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped I would. Let me explain.

I enjoyed the new characters, especially the Scarlet Witch and Vision. Though the Scarlet Witch’s powers were different than her comic universe version, I think it worked better. It would be pretty hard to visually show probabilities being altered. The “red energy” she used worked well on screen.

I liked the character development of the Avengers who don’t have their own movies: The Hulk, Black Widow, and especially Hawkeye. Hawkeye got the best development of the three. I especially liked his “pep” talk to the Scarlet Witch. The rest of the characters, including the new ones, were hardly developed at all. One hopes that will be something they will do in future movies.

The action sequences were visually well done, except the opening sequence. Watching it in traditional format, it was easy to see that it was made for 3D. As traditional, it looked too CGI. The final battle scene is what one would expect, and I thought that was the problem. It seemed like complete deja vu to the first movie. Hordes of homicidal aliens have been replaced with hordes of homicidal robots, but it still gives the Avengers and excuse to go all out and not worry that they are actually killing people. The lesser powered save civilians and fight the fodder, while the heavy hitters go after the big threat. I would have liked to have seen something a little different than that. In fact, the first movie did it better when Black Widow shut down the portal.

While I have read reviews that lauded the humor, I didn’t find that it worked that well. I heard no laugh out loud from the audience like I did in the first movie. It all just felt, well, familiar.

However, I’m sure it will do well and I will probably watch it again. But then again, I own Disney stock, so I have an (in)vested interest. 🙂