Culture

LGBTQ+ History Without Liveliness is Like a Bernice Bing Painting Without Emotion

LGBTQ+ History Month was started in 1994 by Rodney Wilson, a Missouri teacher who wished to celebrate and spread awareness of LGBTQ+ history and accomplishments. It is distinct from June’s Pride Month, which celebrates LGBTQIA2S+ people past and present, as well as LGBTQIA2S+ activism. LGBTQ+ History month typically engages with LGBTQ+ history and teaching through its annual list of 31 LGBTQ+ leaders, or “Icons,” from various points in history. Reading the biographies of these “icons” made me think about the ways in which LGBTQIA2S+ history is simultaneously comprised of communal and personal histories.

A (Surgical) Cut Above the Rest: A Retrospective on the Castrato

For any cool, modern champion of informed consent and bodily autonomy, there is perhaps no obsolete Western musical practice quite so untenable as the making of a castrato. The castrati (castrato in singular form) were singers surgically castrated prior to puberty and commonly associated with opera. The castration served to maintain the high vocal register present prior to some sexual maturation processes contingent on increased testosterone levels. One instinctive response to the past existence of castrati is revulsion. After all, many of us are understandably very sensitive about our genitals. But, despite the testicular anxieties the castrato figure evokes, castrati remain a fascinating case study for the cultural and sonic nuances of their era of European music.

Euphoria: Uncommon, but not Unreal

HBO’s Euphoria is one of the most highly discussed and popular TV shows currently airing. The cinematography, editing, music, screenwriting, and acting have all been praised to no end—and often for good reason. At the same time, the show has received its fair share of backlash due to the ages of its characters depicted (anywhere from sixteen to eighteen years old—high schoolers) in connection with the glorification of drug use, the oversexualization of underage women characters, and its sensationalized violence.

Living in a Material World: The Vanishing of Print Journalism and Its Effects on Culture

Living in a Material World: The Vanishing of Print Journalism and Its Effects on Culture

The newspaper is a fascinating cultural object. The newspaper, in the exceedingly recent past, epitomized the dynamism of modern life. From the time of its invention, mechanized produc-tion was thought to enable the stripping of the senses and the speeding-up of time. The newspaper was an emblem of fast-paced modern life. That the newspaper is now a symbol of the past proves just how fast time has moved. To think of the newspaper now is to think of nostalgia.

The Phenomenon of “That Girl”

The Phenomenon of “That Girl”

(TW: Discussion of eating disorders and restrictive eating)

This morning, I woke up at noon. Really, it was an accident; I hadn’t even gone to bed that late. I rolled over to grab my phone off the charger, and for some reason opened TikTok. I would not recommend this to be your first visual interaction in the morning. Immediately, I was served with your typical, bright-pastel, cheery music “Morning in the Life.” A beautiful woman, probably younger than I, waking up at 6am to immediately begin her beachside yoga routine, followed by an extensive skin care routine, lots of lemon water, and a five mile run.

Interview with The Scribe

Interview with The Scribe

As I made my way over to The Scribe one autumnal morning, I was struck by the serenity of the scene before me. Even in November, I could still wear my favorite wool coat and sneakers—a rarity for all Torontonians. A few struggling leaves still clung to their branches, while the Danforth was littered with specks of orange and red. A morning without class worked its usual cure on my psyche, leaving me feeling uncharacteristically smug, smiling to myself on the street—like someone who has never heard the word “midterm” or “exam” in their life.

Disney’s Encanto: A tale of accurate representation and political criticism

Disney’s Encanto: A tale of accurate representation and political criticism

I’m happy to say that Disney’s Encanto positively surprised me. As a Colombian, I am used to bad representation. From Narcos to the foreign obsession with Pablo Escobar, I don’t expect media accuracy when it comes to my country. As a result, when Disney first announced their production of Encanto, I was skeptical at best. After the Mexican critiques surrounding Coco, and the lack of Colombian writers in the movie, this skepticism morphed into dread over what I thought would be an attempt at taking the fantastic things my country had to offer and fall short in the delivery; I feared that Encanto would become a representation of something I couldn’t recognize. Needless to say, I didn’t have high expectations when I walked in, but on leaving the theater my critiques about representation were almost minimal.

Feeling for the Final Girl: Empathy and the Spectacle of Suffering in Horror Films

Feeling for the Final Girl: Empathy and the Spectacle of Suffering in Horror Films

How do we distinguish between horror and tragedy? Both feature often graphic depictions of intense human suffering, from gore to rock-bottom misery. Yet, for some reason or another, tragedy elicits our pity while horror elicits our excitement. Our natural, human response to suffering is empathy, but somehow this switch is temporarily turned off as we encounter the horror genre. Perhaps this phenomenon is unexplainable, a mere mystery of human nature; perhaps it is not.

Squid Game: Sensationalized Violence or Social Commentary?

Squid Game: Sensationalized Violence or Social Commentary?

Squid Game follows Seong Gi-Hun, a South Korean gambling addict who, strapped for cash, falls prey to a mysterious man in a subway station who offers him an opportunity to make thousands of dollars—all Seong has to do is call the number on his card. When he calls, a mysterious voice tells him to wait outside his apartment at midnight, and when he does, he is picked up in a van and knocked unconscious by a sedative gas. Gi-Hun and a few hundred others meet the same fate and are gathered on a remote island to play a series of children’s games with high stakes—if you lose, you get shot and killed. If you win, you stay alive until the next game and keep playing in hopes of winning a multi-million-dollar prize.

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