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The 22 West Magazine Team


Issue 87.03

April 22, 2021 www.22WestMedia.com

Letter from an Editor

Hi everyone! I’m happy to present our Creativity Issue, a topic that many of us have contemplated within the past year (at least, I know I have).

Magazine Staff

Kaleen Luu, Editor-in-Chief editorinchief@22westmedia.com Jireh Deng, Managing Editor managingeditor@22westmedia.com Joey Abe, Art Director artdirector@22westmedia.com Avery Keller, Lead Copy Editor copyeditor@22westmedia.com Reina Esparza, 22 West Media Intern

With quarantine and social distancing, I’ve had more time to explore this side of myself; whether that be journaling, drawing, taking pictures, or messing around with Photoshop. If there’s any positive outcome of this pandemic, it’s that it has allowed us to sit still and look a little deeper at ourselves.


At 22 West Magazine, I feel fortunate to work with a talented team of artists / writers, and get a peek into their creative minds.

Perry Continente, Writer

Right now, it can be difficult to find the motivation to be creative but luckily, all of our staff members, interns, and volunteers are so thoughtful and open-minded. I get excited to collaborate, and bounce off ideas back and forth. Every week when we have our meetings, it’s so cool hearing everyone pitch interesting ideas. From stories about a local rock band exploring their ‘quarter-life crises’ to recipes for a ‘quarantine cuisine’ and an interview with the founder of Grieving is Good For You, a poetry workshop where one can process trauma... All of the work is all so different, but that’s what makes us each and every one of us unique. So to everyone involved… Thank you! This issue would not be possible without you.

Joey Abe, Art Director Disclaimer and Publication Information: 22 West Magazine is published using ad money and partial funding provided by the Associated Students, Inc. All Editorials are the opinions of their individual authors, not the magazine, ASI nor LBSU. All students are welcome and encouraged to be a part of the staff. All letters to the editor will be considered for publication. However, LBSU students will have precedence. Please include name and major for all submissions. They are subject to editing and will not be returned. Letters may or may not be edited for grammar, spelling, punctuation, and length. 22 West Magazine will publish anonymous letters, articles, editorials, and illustration, but must have your name and information attached for our records. Letters to the editor should be no longer than 500 words. 22 West Magazine assumes no responsibility, nor is it liable, for claims of its advertisers. Grievance procedures are available in the Associated Students business office.

Gustavo Buenrostro, Writer Rigby Celeste, Writer & Artist

Thalia Garcia, Artist Andres Leon, Writer Abigail Rollins, Writer Caroline Smith, Writer Nina Walker, Artist

Cover Design Joey Abe, Art Director Rigby Celeste, Artist

Volunteer Meetings Join us on Mondays at 5 p.m. Zoom ID: 859 8109 4986 Passcode: 22westmag

Contact Us

Phone: (562) 985-4867 Mail: 1212 Bellflower Blvd. Suite 112 Long Beach, CA 90815


Table of Contents Culture 6

Grief is Not a Luxury

Poetry is necessary and helps us process trauma and loss.


Teaching Film in a Pandemic


Economics Student Association


Finding the Missing Page


Happy National Poetry Month

An interview with LBSU film professor Kevin O’Brien. Challenges arise in promoting and recruiting for the club. Rediscovering my childhood love for creative writing. Honoring the community of poets that have raised me.

Arts 16

How to: Poetry


Perfect Peeps



Featuring advice from resident poet Jireh Deng, an infographic on how to craft a poem. An ode to the ubiquitous candy synonymous with Easter and other holiday celebrations. A poem.

Music 20 Chase Petra, Literature, and Quarter-Life Crises

A conversation with Hunter Allen of the Long Beach band.


Entertainment 22

Recommendations for a Novel, Play and Comic

From the depths of space to a humble convenience store, here are some must-read works of fiction.

Grunion 24

The Financial Master’s Guide to Retiring at 30

A highly skilled financial prodigy shares their tips to get rich quickly in today’s world!


Grief is Not a Luxury Poetry is necessary and helps us process trauma and loss.

by Abigail Rollins


n a year of prolonged isolation and trauma, poet Jessi Jarrin saw that she and her peers were struggling. While there’s been ample time for self-reflection, there’s also been a lull in motivation and space to express ourselves meaningfully. Jarrin is creating that space for herself with the launch of her poetry workshop, “Grieving is Good for You.” In this interview, she shares about the project, tragic women of the art world, liberating art, and the many facets of grief and poetry.


What was your reasoning for titling your workshop “Grieving is Good for You?” I wanted people to know right off the bat that I write as a means to grieve. I never encountered a space within an institution where I could grieve properly. Thinking on this, I realized that everyone grieves from the beginning of our time on Earth. There’s always some sense of loss throughout our lives. But I’ve learned that while there’s a promise of grief in life, there’s not a promise of healing.

And I don’t like that. There is such disconnect between how we acknowledge grief and how we digest it. As writers and southern Californians, we’ve destigmatized mental health, but there’s a lot more to be done institutionally, systemically, and socially to facilitate healing. That’s how I see this workshop. It was never just a space to practice poetry and get feedback. I recognized that this community is grieving, and I wanted to create a space where all feel welcome, open, and comfortable to express what they feel, even if it’s sad.

“... while there’s a promise of grief in life, there’s not a promise of healing.” Some artists might say that theme is restrictive. How would you respond to that? I have to be careful when I am advocating for expressing grief. I want to encourage vulnerability, but I don’t demand we express ourselves in the same way. Grief does not look the same for everyone, and it looks like a lot of things for even one person. My advocacy stems from poets like Audre Lorde, who said, “Poetry is not a luxury.” PHOTO COURTESY OF JESSI JARRIN

I think of grief in the same way. Grief is a human right, and it is always your own experience. I just want you to share it.

“Grief does not look the same for everyone, and it looks like a lot of things for even one person.” It’s a popular trope that women writers are doomed tragic figures in poor mental health that only write about their grief and trauma. How do you respond to this in your life and work? I will not be your tragic woman poet. Artists like Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf have been marred so much by their states of mental health, and whether or not people realize it, they’re being condescending when they say, “Well, their pain made their art.” I’m not in the camp of people who think trauma made me stronger. I also don’t think that trauma, grief, and melancholy are the only interesting things to talk about in poetry. Grief is pertinent to my work because I know so many of us have not been able to express

and process it. That’s why I feel the onus is on me to express it and help others to do the same. If people walk away from my work feeling sorry for me, then I haven’t done my job.

rience the world. I tell new poets all the time, “Don’t be scared of the thing. Do the thing!” It’s easier said than done, and it’s ongoing, but it works. That’s how I started this workshop. My As a poet with a degree in goal is to normalize vulnerability creative writing, how do you and access to poetry for all. This feel about art in academia? is the space I’ve created for artists How might we liberate our to grieve and create. art and ourselves from institutions that don’t hold space for grief? I don’t deny that I am a traditionally trained poet. Academia is a great space for poets to practice and learn from other poets. But I love the idea of freeing our art from institutions. I used to repeat the mantra, “Education is important,” without giving it too much thought. I eventually realized the limits of that statement. You can’t just Jessi Jarrin is an LBSU alumunus shout that at the world without with a BA in English, Creative facilitating access to education. Writing. Her poetry concerns being People need to empower a young woman navigating a students within academic institu- world that often marginalizes them tions. [Education] moves at the — particularly women of color. pace of capitalism, which makes Jarrin’s work has been published no time for grief in the way that in ¡Pa’lante! Literary Journal, art and poetry can. PSPoets, Dig Magazine, AntiPoetry is for me. It’s for all fragile Magazine, and Prometheus of us. That’s what liberated me. Dreaming Magazine. Writing in free verse meant that I could work with broken up sentences in interesting ways about For more about Jarrin, her workthings that I normally wouldn’t shop and her other creative projects, talk about. It started as simply as find her on Instagram @jessijarrin that, and then it evolved into a and @grievingisgoodforyou, and much bigger part of how I expe- www.grievingisgoodforyou.org.

“[Education] moves at the pace of capitalism, which makes no time for grief ...”


Teaching Film in a Pandemic An interview with LBSU film professor Kevin O’Brien.

How would you describe your online teaching style? Not too much different than teaching in class. I try to be friendly, open and encourage students to share their thoughts and reactions to the screenings and discussions. However, it is much more difficult to do so via Zoom.

by Avery Keller


OVID-19 has made it more difficult for students to access hands-on learning experiences and the film and electronic arts department at LBSU was particularly struck by the pandemic. With no chances to shoot projects together with peers or collaborate in the same room, students are limited in what they can produce. They are restricted to filming with members of their


How did you handle activities differently? (film shoots, equipment training, etc.) Group film shoots on set [are] prohibited by the university. Equipment training [comes] through curating videos, but it is no substitute for actually touching the equipment. However, the videos are valuable for creating awareness and I am confident it will help students when they transition to actually being in the studio or on set. As for group work, I was able to continue that by redesigning projects. Students each tackled a portion of the assignment remotely then collaborated on the household and many large-scale amalgamated project. For examjunior and senior projects were ple, in my media aesthetics class canceled. we will be watching projects that Along with these difficulties explore filmic visual components for students, online instruction through still photography. Each has also posed a new challenge student in groups of six shot a for instructors. Here, film profes- portion of the project then they sor Kevin O’Brien shares insight collaborated on the final Poweron how he has adapted in the Point presentation. past year. O’Brien teaches mostly lower division courses and intro- What other challenges did you face with teaching duces new film students to the different elements of production. through Zoom? PHOTOS COURTESY OF KEVIN O’BRIEN

“... It is truly up to the student to take ownership of their learning ...” For me personally, it was to set up a consistent work schedule, which started with online office hours at 9 a.m. My other challenges were the sheer amount of preparation time needed to present classes since the Zoom classes have to be backed up with a lot of online material normally distributed in class. How do you feel online learning changed the experience for your students? I learned last semester after the abrupt transition to online that you cannot replicate the experience of being in class. The challenge is not just about delivering curriculum, but to create an experience that will keep them engaged and excited about studying film.

I hope that being flexible and adaptive in the online world are skills that will serve [students] well when we get back to in-class learning or when they begin their careers. The experience was different but still positive one, based on the quality of the projects students [have] produced. How do you get students to participate in class? It’s tough because you can’t make them turn on their cameras. Regardless of all the strategies on how to engage students via Zoom, it is truly up to the student to take ownership of their learning, and this goes for in-person teaching and learning as well. I believe the group assignments and projects I

adapted for the online version of my classes created participation behind the scenes.

What would you like to change about your classes next semester? Other than to be back in the classroom? Not too much to be honest. Along with the students, I feel I am creating better content and delivering it with the detail needed for the online environment. I think there is this urban rumor that online teaching is less work than in-person and nothing could be further from the truth. I am happy to still be teaching and the feedback from students has been quite positive, given the circumstances. I’ll just keep doing what I do.


Economics Student Association Challenges arise in promoting and recruiting for the club.

by Gustavo Buenrostro


ince the beginning of the pandemic many things had to change, and for the Economics Student Association, those changes provided some benefits and new challenges. “We are better off now than we were before and that’s weird


to say,” club president Timothy Nguyen said. “Back in the spring semester [of 2020], we maxed at about 10 club members. That included those who had to show up, like the board members.” He went on to say that they have almost double the num-

ber of attendees now. Nguyen wasn’t sure why the attendance increased since the ESA’s content hasn’t really changed. The club president believes it may be that the meetings are more accessible now, since moving online due to the pandemic.


ESA by sharing the Zoom meeting links to their classes. ESA member Jocelyn Sanchez joined during the pandemic and is now part of the board as the head of market research. She joined the club to get out of her comfort zone. Sanchez was not active in school activities until her third year, when she studied abroad, joined a lot of clubs and had fun. When she returned, she decided she wanted to be involved on campus and found ESA through Beachboard, and their Instagram and Discord. “It was about networking although not really. It was literally to talk to people and no longer be sitting at my desk isolated and alone every single day,” Sanchez said. “I can’t go out. I go out once Although ESA’s focus for recruitment and advertisement is a week for groceries and that’s it.” Sanchez said joining clubs, on economics students, all majors especially during the pandemic, are welcome to join. has been great for meeting difNguyen said that it’s more ferent kinds of people. difficult to get people to join because they don’t have the same access as they did in-person. Before the pandemic, they could easily meet someone and talk to them and see if they were interested. Now, it’s harder because people don’t want to join a club with people they haven’t met. He said ESA was fortunate to have the economics department help them out with recruitment. Professors helped promote Another possibility could be that people just didn’t have time in their schedules before. While the club has grown in that aspect, it has had to change a bit because of the pandemic. For instance, each officer has evolved to more of an advertising role to get students to join the club. “No one will know who you are unless you advertise,” Nguyen said. “Anyone can join, but we are not going to bombard every class with an advertisement,” he said.

“No one will know who you are unless you advertise.”

Nguyen said that Sanchez is a product of what ESA tries to accomplish with everyone who joins the club. “Our mission statement is that we want to create a sense of community for students interested in economics. [We have] events to talk about what [students] can do with their major and to network,” Nguyen said. “[ESA is] a club where [students] don’t feel like they are alone. Knowing other people like you can make you feel like a better student overall,” he said.

The Economics Student Association will have their final meeting of the semester on April 29. Interested students can get in contact and keep up with ESA for future events by following them on Instagram @csulb_economics.


Finding the Missing Page Rediscovering my childhood love for creative writing.

by Reina Esparza


he booklet is still in good condition, despite being made of printer paper and staples. The date on the back is June 8, 2004. I was six years old. The age is evident in my crooked crayon


scrawl and stick figure drawing. I smile paging through these pages now; it was clear that I spent a lot of time watching the typical Disney movies. It was Mary’s note on one of these booklets that never left me.

Mary was my mom’s coworker and she would read my childish booklets often. “Dear Reina, your stories are wonderful. Don’t ever stop writing them!” I’m sure my six-year-old self ILLUSTRATION BY NINA WALKER

didn’t give much thought to it, but as I read her note now at 23, I realize just how much of a subconscious impact it had on me. I was a quiet kid that grew up in an environment where my voice didn’t matter. Writing stories and poems became my only outlet and I came to find they were therapeutic in a way. I could release my thoughts and lose myself in the poetry and prose; on those pages I wasn’t scared to be myself. I’d get so consumed in writing that I’d get a callus on my right ring finger that would never go away and even though it looked like a bruise, I saw it as a weird badge of honor. It reminded me that writing was something that nurtured me and gave me a sense of freedom. My writing hit its peak in middle and high school as I found solace and release when some prose or poetry flowed from my pen. Since it was something I loved to do, I started to seriously consider making it my profession. But as the college conversation grew, so did the fear that I wouldn’t make a living being a novelist or poet, which was a painful realization. I turned away from creative writing in my senior year of high school, when I joined my school newspaper and I filled out college applications with the intention to major in journalism.

Over the past five years, my passion for prose and poetry dwindled. The callus on my right finger was long gone. My current writing centers more on structure and following a particular style rather than what’s on my mind. It became more about writing for others than for myself.

passion for these things never truly left me, it was just a matter of reigniting them. I’m a writer in every sense of the word, and I don’t have to confine myself to just one type of writing. Starting my life with creative writing gave me a base and the molding of my voice and journalism gave me the guidance and confidence to put my words out there. I can allow both to exist in my life. I’ve come to see that calling myself a writer shouldn’t automatically mean that it’s a job description but rather a state of being. It’s a state that has not ceased since I was young, rather, its simply transformed and Although I don’t regret grown up with me. choosing journalism, I started to That love never left me and grieve for the little girl who was it will continue to be with me as so happy when she got to write a I get older. Whenever I would poem or a story. think back on Mary’s note and But as I look at my inconsis- her encouragement of me content journal pages from the past tinuing to write stories, I mistook couple of years and a short story it as motivation that I had to be I wrote for a recent class assign- a best-selling author or poet in ment, I realized that I didn’t have order for it to matter. to abandon it in the first place. But reading the note now, I Creative writing made me see it more as a reminder to keep feel most like myself and I can doing something I clearly had a still do it now, even if it isn’t for a strong love for even back then. professional feat. While I don’t plan on writing The actual act of writing princess stories anytime soon, I may be a series of choices, but will no longer hold myself and continuing to identify myself my inner child back from writing as a writer of stories and poetry simply for the love of it. at this point in my life doesn’t have to be a choice. My love and

“... calling myself a writer shouldn’t automatically mean that it’s a job description ...”


Happy National Poetry Month Honoring the community of poets that have raised me.

by Jireh Deng


oets, of course, still squabble between what meets the literary standards of “what is poetry,” much less what constitutes “good poetry.” Poetry critics might look at Rupi Kaur’s pithy lines and humble sketches as half-baked Instagram optics, but they can’t scoff at her 4.3 million followers on Instagram or her ascent to become a household name. Kaur’s poetry would not have been possible in the same fashion without a visual social media platform or in an age where women of color were not allowed to be published or not worthy of consideration in serious literature. It is undeniable that for a good portion of European history, our literature studies in the classroom have centered scholarship of white cisgender men. (Think Walt Whitman, Edgar Allan Poe, Shakespeare, William Wordsworth). The diversity of the poetry community has fostered my growth and nurturing as a writer.


I remember first seeing Sarah Kay’s TED Talk that every English teacher at the time loved to share with their students. There she was, a woman with big curls, with a steady voice, inviting me to sit with her words.

“Between My Body and the Air” Anthology online book release party, where Sarah Kay was also one of our featured performers. I was then reminded of how far I have come throughout my writing career to be an officially published poet. I was given my first chance to learn poetry through a scholarship opportunity with Spoken Literature Art Movement taught by Matthew Cuban and Alyesha Wise back in the fall of 2019. I reference their work in my creative journey a lot because it was a turning point in my writI’ve seen Kay perform live at ing career. It was the first time I multiple serendipitous moments found myself in a diverse group in my own life. The first time was of LA writers who affirmed my at a reading in 2018 at The Last ability to write and perform. I Bookstore in Los Angeles, where learned how to take the stage I cried in the meet-and-greet and allow space for others to line before hugging her. Later speak their truth. that fall, she performed for my Cuban and Wise also help to freshman class at Long Beach host the Da Poetry Lounge, the State. It was my confirmation I nation’s largest open mic poetry was meant to be at this school. slams. Pre-pandemic, the space Most recently, last fall I was on Tuesday nights featured poets performing at Youth Speaks’ from all over the country and was

“Poetry at its best is anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anticolonialist and anti-imperialist.”


centered on writers and storytellers of color. Poetry matters because I see the work that it is doing in our communities with our youth. Organizations like Get Lit, Words Ignite, Street Poets Inc., and Youth Speaks have free programs that teach poetry to communities of color and low-income youth and work to make programming free and accessible to attendees. I have found that poetry thrives in the diversity of slam poets who transitioned from stage to page and continue to bring equal punchiness and verve to their verses. Individuals like George Abraham, Safia Elhillo, Tonya Ingram, and Franny Choi are all award-winning poets who built a foundation of poetry in the slam scene. These individuals, along with accessible open mics, create the chance for everyday people to share a story. We see the creative energy there supplanted into the oftentimes dry and esoteric realm of literature. Poetry is no longer a means for a few to express their emotions, but is a political vehicle. It is a means of survival. Individuals like Amanda Gorman are doing the work of healing even in a time of tumultuous transition. Poets are collaborating across mediums. I collaborated with a filmmaker to bring my poem to screen in a small project,

“Blooming in the Whirlwind” with Level Ground. The poets of Get Lit, Words Ignite performed in the soon-to-be-released film “Summertime” which featured at Sundance. Even during a pandemic, poetry blossoms through online gatherings and classes that are made accessible beyond geographic limits as writers from all over the world gather to write and celebrate their work together. The future power of poetry is more than hopeful, it’s already here with us and we are witnessing it. Poetry hasn’t been cheapened by the fact it has expanded its audience, but has been made better because of it.

Like the moon, poetry may wax and wane and sometimes disappear from our sight of view, but its gravitational force pulls at us constantly even when we do not see it. I see poetry at its strongest when it’s centering marginalized voices while also helping us to dream expansively in radically new ways in which we occupy futures. Poetry at its best is anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-colonialist and anti-imperialist. I’m proud to name the poets who have raised me in this school of thought and encourage me to continue writing. I’m writing to liberate myself and my communities.


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Perfect Peeps by Kaleen Luu I am your delicate baby Call me sweet and


Witness how we melt in solidarity,

Patient and Polite

Tear us apart I am pitiful and


Keep me silent and stale, Perfect.


Artifice by Abigail Rollins I want to know– does the fake plant on my desk suck out the air in the room? If the window is shut, how long until I suffocate completely? It costs to look at it each time I remember the price tag I tore off the bottom, tacky glue clinging to fingers, it resisted my pull to forget. The pot is plastic, the dirt plastic, the fern leaves I saw in childhood cover towering faces, halls of a canyon while my dad bitched, thorn in his side, my sister shoved him in surprise, he jumped out behind a redwood to scare, her shriek and pealing laughter echoed on wet walls, plastic. So tell me, please, what to feel looking at what I know never grew.

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Chase Petra, Literature, and Quarter Life Crises A conversation with Hunter Allen of the local Long Beach band.

by Caroline Smith


found Chase Petra’s music while letting my playlist called “Lady Rage” go into suggested songs. I could only describe their music as “Sk8er Boi” era Avril Lavigne meets Paramore. Enamored, I explored their Spotify profile for a bit and found that they were Long Beach locals. Formed in 2018, the band is made up of guitarist and vocalist Hunter Allen, drummer Evan Schaid, and bassist and vocalist Brooke Dickson. Their first album “Liminal” was released in 2019. I was able to discuss Chase Petra and their music with Hunter Allen. How did you three meet and start playing music together? We’ve all been playing music since we were kids and kind of fell together through circumstance and sheer dumb luck! Evan and I grew up in the same neighborhood and started playing music at 14 and 15 years old and then we met Brooke years



later through a friend at the hair salon Ev and I worked at.

No one has ever asked this, agh, that’s kind of hard! I suppose I’d have to say what I love Your band name comes from about Chase Petra’s music is the Petra, the heroine in Ender’s way that it’s made among friends. Game. Are you often inI think that that breeds a certain spired by stories, literary or kind of vulnerability and because otherwise? of that process, the music is Absolutely! I’ve loved readallowed to be whatever it is — ing since I was a kid and it has joyful and tragic and angry and absolutely affected the way that a million other things. I really I write lyrics and — more than hope that listeners can feel that that — its affected the way I coming through in the songs. perceive the world. To some extent, romanticiz- The band posts often about ing my own life as a story and activism and social justice picturing my memories within on social media. Do you the confines of chapter titles has think there’s an intersection gotten me through some pretty between activism and your rough times and it still does. music? It’s funny to me that anyone You describe yourselves as could feel that activism and mua “quarter-life crisis pop sic don’t intersect. Identity and group.” Can you elaborate perspective play a massive role in on what this means and how the kinds of art each of us is able it manifests in your music? to create. We can’t sever our perWe originally coined that son from the music we produce term as a sort of jab at the strict and so activism is inherent in rules and regulations of the the things we release. For many ever-growing list of genres and people of color, women, queer labels in the music scene. Neverpeople, and disabled people, the theless, it is ruthlessly accurate! act of creating and showing up We’re just a bunch of kids in our to play is activism in and of itself 20s having existential crises every simply for enhancing the visibiliother day and it shows. A lot of ty of those communities. our songs are about the struggles of growing up and out. I’d go so What do you love about the far as to say that the sound itself Long Beach music scene? is indicative of that evolved angst I love the people in the Long Beach music scene, namely that we’ve grown into. the adults who mentored me What do you love about throughout my life and told me your music? to take a chance and do the thing

I loved. There are a lot of great musicians in this city, young and old, who value happiness above all and I’m grateful to have learned the value of a life well-spent from my city and the people who’ve raised me.

“...I’m grateful to have learned the value of a life wellspent from my city.” What is coming up for the band? New music? Anything you want to promote? We’re working on new music as we speak with a release date that is to be decided. We currently have our debut album, “Liminal,” up on all streaming sites as well as Bandcamp and SoundCloud. We also just put out a live acoustic video on YouTube of some songs from that album.

Follow Chase Petra on Instagram @chasepetramusic, or listen to their music on all streaming platforms.


Recommendations for a Play, Novel and Comic From the depths of space to a humble convenience store, here are some must-read works of fiction.

by Perry Continente

The play:

Also check out:

“Two Trains Running” by August Wilson

“The Lieutenant of Inishmore” by Martin McDonagh A dark, violent, and hilarious play about a psychopathic Irish terrorist with a soft-spot for felines, few playwrights can match McDonagh’s energy or sardonic wit. As delightful as any play featuring cattle mutilation can be.


“Lincoln in the Bardo” by George Saunders

Primarily a short story writer, August Wilson is slowly starting experience in every decade from Saunders’ first attempt at a novel cinched the 2017 Booker Prize to become a household name and 1900 through 1990 is a masterwith the Oscar-nominated adap- piece, but I consider the ‘60s set and for good reason: there is tations of his works “Fences’’ and “Two Trains Running” one of his nothing else like it. The novel al“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” I best. The play’s themes of gentri- ternates between the perspectives of Abraham Lincoln’s recently personally consider him one of fication, protest and restorative deceased son Willie and the othAmerica’s greatest playwrights justice resonate as strongly now er spirits inhabiting an intermein recent years. Any play from as ever. His textured characters diary plane before the afterlife. Wilson’s “Century Cycle” which and sharp social critique bring chronicles the African American this tale to life as only he could. A large portion of the book is


historical fiction, a collection of historical accounts, some real and some fabricated by Saunders. The novel handles its fantastical setting and its atypical structure with disarming ease. It is a dense novel, but never indulgently so. Experimental, virtuosic, and wholly original, “Lincoln in the Bardo” is a can’t miss.

Also check out:

“Convenience Store Woman” by Sayaka Murata

Switching gears completely, “Convenience Store Woman” is an empathetic look at someone who doesn’t fit neatly into a rigid society. Murata approaches her protagonist with a care, subtlety and empathy that the woman herself is seldom afforded.

The comic:

romance novel writing cyclops, “Saga” by Brian K. is tragically flawed, sympathetic, Vaughan, Fiona Staples compelling and brought to life by Staples’ art, which has become Fresh despite a three-year hiatus, the high-water mark in mod“Saga” is an ambitious, enterern-day American comics. The taining and thought-provoking story’s many twists and turns modern comic. Described by its are unpredictable. Alternativecreators as “Star Wars for perly heartwarming, hilarious and verts,” “Saga” takes the familiar heartbreaking, “Saga” marries the trope of two star-crossed lovers surreal and the familiar so deftly from warring factions eloping that when you fall in love with and builds something truly the gay fish journalists it feels special with it. Every character, like the most obvious thing in from a TV-headed prince to a the world.

Also check out: “The Sandman” by Neil Gaiman The author’s magnum opus, this is less like a linear narrative and more like a web of interwoven myths for the pantheon he conjures up. About a dysfunctional family of deities and the poor mortals whose lives collide with theirs, psychedelic visuals from varied artists complement the story. “The Sandman” withstands the test of time and is the best.


The Financial Master’s Guide to Retiring at 30 A highly skilled financial prodigy shares their tips to get rich quickly in today’s world!

by Paperman


aking money is difficult for everyone, except for me. I am a 22-year-old financial genius here to expand your mind and help you manifest the vast amounts of wealth that await you. After all, poverty is only a mindset. With these simple tips to securing multiple sources of income, you too can become just like me and be on track to retiring with a quaint and humble sum of 40 million dollars!

Invest in the Stock Market Investing in the stock market is a great way to multiply your money tenfold. The only requirements here are your ability to research certain companies and be able to track market trends in recent years. The main talent however is being able to bandwagon on what Twitter and Reddit tell you to invest in then hope you’re lucky enough to strike it big. Make sure you take whatever measly earnings you’ve made from working a below minimum wage job in the food industry and put your faith in internet strangers! Afterall, what’s the point in even playing if you aren’t planning on winning big? Like I said, it’s all about your mindset.


Invest in Cryptocurrencies Cryptocurrencies are taking the globe by storm, might even be causing storms at this rate with Bitcoin alone using around 0.6% of global energy. A small price to pay for you shifting that poor mindset! This one is fairly simple. All you need to do is take your small capital that you may have and spend approximately $5,000 on a cryptocurrency mining rig and use it to make around $10 everyday it’s active and running up your electricity bill. After this, light your candles and pray that Elon Musk doesn’t randomly tweet something about your chosen cryptocurrency and drive down its value. After day 500, you should begin to see a profit but don’t worry, that won’t happen because you’ll surely hit it big. GRAPHIC BY JIREH DENG

“But I don’t have any capital!” That’s okay, there are plenty of ways to start investing in your future and your holistic way of thinking with cash. FAMILY This is the main one. I receive most of my capital from my father who owns multiple properties and receives thousands in passive income monthly. All it takes is reaching out and getting an easy amount of pickup money! Who knew that a minuscule loan of a million dollars could come so easily? CREDIT CARDS Plentiful in today’s climate with credit companies reeling for clientele that are reckless spenders! Unlucky for them, the difference between a reckless spender and a financial master is our will to manifest wealth. Simply apply for any credit card that is offered to you and once you get accepted, begin investing immediately and max out your credit line. Scared that you’re going to go into debt because of your 25% APR rate? That’s okay, that’s part of the excitement in the game, credit score be damned! AN HONEST JOB This one’s a no brainer, working an honest job is the key to the start of you lining your wallets off the profits after investing your hard earned money into a volatile market! Of course, I’ve never had to work a job aside from my full-time job of staring at graphs hoping my borrowed money is going up instead of down. Besides, how hard could it be to work over 40 hours a week making $11 an hour to build some capital? Put those big boy pants on and climb the ranks! As for the girls, look, don’t let these liberal news outlets tell you that you have less of a chance to make more money than us men, it’ll distract you from making the earnings you’re making already! Didn’t your father ever tell you to not take things for granted? Don’t let those pesky bills get in the way. As I said earlier, utilize credit cards to pay for your living expenses and gamble away your income. There is no point in investing in yourself if you don’t invest it all.

Ultimate Tip: Buy My Book! To become a successful financial prodigy like me, buy my self-published book on Amazon, “Building Your Financial Empire” where I detail all of the lucrative methods I’ve used to build up my small starting capital of one million dollars from my father and my $1,000 from a brief stint of trying to actually have a day job into much more! As a teaser, I’ll give you tip number 74 in my book: Never dress up to work! It’s okay if you wear the same pair of pajamas you’ve been wearing for the past three days and sit in your expensive chair that your dad bought you in a spacious home office. There’s no time to waste when you’re spending your precious time deciding where to gamble your life savings next!



Profile for 22 West Magazine

22 West Magazine - April 2021  

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