The Vinyl Resurgence: Finding Connection, Ritual, and Meaning Through Music
If you’re over the age of 24, you probably had a Walkman as a kid. And if you’re a bit older than that, you may also have had a VCR or tape player. Or maybe you had records, or you remember your parents having a record player on display or, more likely, tucked into the back of the basement closet. But no matter what media you consumed, we all have the common ground of knowing physical relics that no longer exist — or, that are no longer in regular societal use.
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
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”
(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.