TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S
Letter from the Editor 3 WORD ON THE STREET
COVID-19 and Freshman Year
Copy Infringement, Taylor Swift's 'evermore'
9 FILM & TV
"Inglorious Basterds' and Antisemitism
hen I was younger, I read every issue of Seventeen magazine exactly three times: the first with my mom, where we’d flip through the fashion sections and dissect every shoe choice and pattern on the page. The second was by myself, where I’d devour every word, storing knowledge of toxic shock syndrome and turns of phrase for times when they’d matter. The third was with my father, where we’d reenact the interviews. He’d always play the celebrity and I’d always be the journalist. Magazines used to be my chief source of comfort. I think that was because, despite their tangibility, they had a fictitious feel. After all, they contained keys to the cosmopolitan world I wanted to exist in when I grew up: What shoes to wear to a job interview, how to do winged eyeliner, tips for getting boys to text you back, explainers of the Obama administration and all it signified. They were stories of my future. And now that I’m in my future, living it differently than seven–year–old me imagined, magazines no longer feel like a fuzzy blanket. When I open a page of Cosmopolitan or scroll through the homepage of The Cut, their product isn’t designed for the full version of me. Sure, their headlines may appeal to the part of my personality that is halfway to a college graduate or the part of me that really cares about whether or not Armie Hammer is a cannibal. But the editors of these legacy news organizations often ignore the most central part of me — that I am a Puerto Rican–American woman looking to build generational wealth in a time plagued by bullshit. 15 days ago, a makeshift army of white nationalists stormed the Capitol in a display of privilege that feels like a fever dream. These insurrectionists were smoking weed in the Rotunda, stealing documents from Nancy Pelosi, and walking around maskless while the National Guard stood idle.
Meanwhile, I remember how in tenth grade, a school resource officer used to ask only me for ID every time I walked through the halls. Yesterday, the first female, Black, and South Asian vice president was inaugurated, and I wonder if she feels the same burden of being the first that I feel in this role. Where are the magazines asking those questions? Where are the magazines integrating those identities into their coverage? Where do I look for comfort? I can’t promise that Street holds all the answers. But I can promise that we’re going to be a place of comfort for people of color on this campus — and that means interrogating our surroundings with honesty and accountability while also highlighting the work we’re all doing to make Penn better.
The Invisible Burden
Beatrice Forman, Editor–in–Chief Chelsey Zhu, Campus Editor Mehek Boparai, Culture Editor Karin Hananel, Assignments Editor Lily Stein, Features Editor Denali Sagner, Features Editor Julia Esposito, Word on the Street Editor Hannah Lonser, Special Issues Editor Kyle Whiting, Music Editor Peyton Toups, Deputy Music Editor Kaliyah Dorsey, Focus Editor Emily White, Style Editor Eva Ingber, Ego Editor Aakruti Ganeshan, Arts Editor Harshita Gupta, Film & TV Editor
The Rotunda and the Coup
18 UNDER THE BUTTON
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Isabel Liang, Design Editor Alice Heyeh, Street Design Editor Mia Kim, Deputy Design Editor Jesse Zhang, Street Multimedia Editor Caylen David, Street Audience Engagement Editor
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Music Beats: Emily Moon, Allison Stillman, Nora Youn Features Staff: Sejal Sangani, Angela Shen, Lindsey Perlman, Mira Sydow, Amy Xiang Film & TV Beat: Arielle Stanger Arts Beat: Jessa Glassman Style Beats: Tara O'Brien, Naomi Kim Staff Writers: Meg Gladieux, Aidah Qureshi, Jillian Lombardi, Kathryn Xu Multimedia Associates: Dhivya Arasappan, Sage Levine, Sophie Dai, Sophie Huang, Samantha Turner, Sudeep Bhargava Audience Engagement Associates: Kira Wang, Samara Kleiman, Shana Ahemode, Stephanie Nam, Yamila Frej Copy Editor: Brittany Darrow Cover Design by Mia Kim
Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Bea Forman, Editor-In-Chief, at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. www.34st.com
©2020 34th Street Magazine, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. No part may be reproduced in whole or in part without the express, written consent of the editors (but I bet we will give you the a–okay.) All rights reserved. 34th Street Magazine is published by The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc., 4015 Walnut St., Philadelphia, Pa., 19104, every Wednesday. "hot girl strexec"
WORD ON THE STREET
On Becoming a Penn Student During
h e first year of college is supposed to be unforgettable, liberating, and most importantly, in person. My first semester of college was certainly unforgettable. I never imagined my college experience to include pinching myself to stay awake during online lectures and sitting through a New Student Orientation (NSO) that left me feeling less than impressed. After an abrupt end to my senior year, my friends and I tried to make the best out of our quarantine summer with plenty of dinners, movie nights, and picnics. We panicked every time one of our phones lit up with an email notification, anxiously waiting for decisions from our schools. Would we finally be able to escape Long Island? After going on a crazy shopping spree and buying everything from shower shoes to notebooks, the disappointment came on Aug. 11 at 1:27 PM. Penn’s administration announced that we would not be allowed to reside on campus for the upcoming semester. Heartbroken and utterly shocked, my friends comforted me with coffee–flavored ice cream and PopCorners. No amount of snacks could make the sinking feeling go away. Still, I wouldn't allow myself to mope around for the next three months. Throughout the semester, I’ve been repeatedly asked, "How did you manage to meet people?" It wasn’t easy, but it was doable. NSO was not helpful in this endeavor. I passed out halfway through the seminars and would wake up to a finished Zoom call. What was supposed to be a week of socializing turned into a week of mandatory tasks and boring informational sessions. Then came convocation, which was simply a 35–minute video that left me confused by its abrupt ending. Even with our failed NSO, Penn students truly live up to the title of "the social Ivy”—even in a pandemic. I can't count the number of GroupMe group chats on my phone. Surveys, city meetups, Zoom calls, and game nights were formed to meet people and make the connections I craved. Even with all of these efforts, it was hard not to feel the FOMO (fear of missing out) as first years flocked to off–camng Zha s i pus apartments while I was at u Lo by n tio
How I found my Penn family amid a pandemic | TAHANA AHMED
home. To me, it seemed like everyone already had their friend groups, career plans, and research or internship opportunities solidified. Meanwhile, I was busy trying to pass CHEM 101. Imposter syndrome took over. I complained about how I was simply not smart enough for Penn. I seemed to be the only one in my classes who had no idea what she was doing. Transferring became more attractive by the minute, even though I knew I wouldn’t go through with it. After countless conversations with my mom, she finally got annoyed by my complaints. One day, tired of my melodrama, she simply said, "So, do it. Transfer." Needless to say, I shut up pretty quickly. Since meeting people through classes was difficult, I found my community through other outlets. The Penn Masti introductory calls acquainted me with Athul and Nehaar. Athul reached out to me, and we started texting non-stop. The week after we met, Athul and Nehaar bullied me into joining their “study session,” when in reality we just watched a basketball game. Even though I was rejected from Masti, the process helped me make connections with people that I may never have talked to. A mutual friend introduced me to Rithu. Within an hour of us talking, I was telling her about my craziest stories. Through her, I got the chance to meet people like Emma and Ady as well. All three of these girls only amplified my interest in Greek life. The South Asian Society (SAS) helped me find my Penn family. For most of my life, I struggled to find people who had similar experiences to mine regarding culture. For some, I wasn’t brown enough. I was shamed for not growing up living and breathing my Bengali culture. For others, I was too brown. SAS, my LIN (lineage) specifically, helped tremendously. From asking them for basic college advice to FaceTiming while crying in my bathroom as I chopped off all my hair, they’ve supported me so much. In such a short amount of time, their love and guidance have made a not–so–great semester worthwhile. Even in the midst of a pandemic, making meaningful connections is still possible. Despite all of the negatives, I can't imagine myself at any other school. The true selling point for Penn is our community’s strength in the face of adversity. While online school has made connecting with others more difficult, it’s not impossible. It’s been an unforgettable semester—in more ways than one. Campus or not, it’s the people at Penn that make it what it is.
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Introducing NEST: Penn's Only Club Taking Action Through Nutrition Sofia Cataliotti and Julia Halas describe how they founded a nutrition club to positively impact the Philadelphia community during the pandemic. | Fernanda Brizuela
t seems like Penn has a club for everything. Performing arts groups, business fraternities, and debate simply scratch the surface of everything there is to offer. Despite over 650 clubs and organizations being available to students, it’s still possible to find that there isn’t a club for a specific interest. What do you do then? Like Sofia Cataliotti (C’ 22) and Julia Halas (C ‘22), you create your own. As a biology and nutrition double major, Julia has always been interested in nutrition and the way it impacts the Philadelphia community. Similarly, Sofia—a biology major and nutrition minor on the pre–med track—became interested in nutrition when she participated in research surrounding the Starting Early Obesity Prevention Program. “We have experience that led us to realize how important nutrition is in terms of future health and present health. We were surprised to see that Penn didn't have a student–run organization that was doing something that we wanted to do—which is to raise awareness of and take action in a nutrition–related setting,” Julia says. Once they recognized this gap, they decided to develop NEST: Nutrition Education Service Team. Sofia explains that NEST is an “educational, service–based club.” Ultimately, their goal is to impact both the Penn community and the Philadelphia community at
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Illustration | Alice Heyeh
large. One of their main objectives is to educate the Penn community on nutrition. Nonetheless, they aim to positively impact West Philadelphia by carrying out activities that “improve awareness of and access to nutritious choices,” Sofia says. Even though they just started recruiting members, the co– founders have been working hard on building the club since the beginning of the fall 2020 semester. Sofia and Julia had to work together to figure out the structure of their club, as well as their mission and the activities they want to carry out. “I have to say, Penn actually makes it really easy. And one of
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the things that I've always just loved about Penn in general is, if you have an idea to do some crazy thing, you probably can find a person or an organization that will help you,” Julia says. The past semester consisted of frequent meetings to build the skeleton of the club. This winter break, Sofia and Julia had the opportunity to choose their first executive board, which will begin in a completely remote setting. They have also faced logistical challenges, such as figuring out how to properly use Slack channels. Additionally, they have to go through a formal process with the Student Activities Council to receive funding. Ultimately, Sofia and Julia are excited about
beginning NEST programming this semester and building their community (you can fill out NEST’s interest form to join the team). “Given the fact that many families are experiencing greater financial strain during the pandemic, and many students are missing their school– provided meals, we really want to emphasize that the club's mission is needed now more than ever. We're excited to get to work this semester,” Sofia says. Even though their programming will have to remain virtual this semester, Sofia and Julia have plans for what regular programming will look like in the future. Some ideas in the works include
having weekly meetings with students to educate them on specific nutrition–related topics, bringing in keynote speakers, collaborating with the Netter Center for Community Partnerships, volunteering at food banks, and attending cooking lessons together. Julia talks about the experience with enthusiasm: “It can be really daunting to start a club from the ground up, but it's very motivating to think about the impact that we will hopefully have. You know, not only educating college students, but also making them aware of and helping the surrounding West Philly community in this kind of setting. So it's really exciting.”
BY EVA INGBER
HOMETOWN: MAJOR: ACTIVITES:
You’re a triple major in English, linguistics, and modern Middle Eastern studies. What inspired you to pursue these seemingly unrelated disciplines? LEAH BAXTER: I’ve been interested in linguistics for a long time. I think that language is really cool, and [I] always want to know a lot more about it. I enjoy learning about it from a technical perspective, but also reading books and literature. So I decided in sophomore year, just, why not do both? They kind of complement one another anyway. A few years ago, I applied to a scholarship for a study in Arabic. That required me to take some area studies courses about the Middle East. Last spring, I went to Jordan for a study abroad program for language immersion. Because of those things, I kind of ended up [fulfilling] a lot of requirements for a modern Middle Eastern studies major. I talked to the head of the department, and he [told me I was] only four courses away [from the major], so I just picked up a third one. STREET: You’ve been known to voice a rather poignant observation from your studies: analyses within literature and linguistics often focus solely on Western works. What made you come to this conclusion, and how has this influenced your academic pursuits? LB: Well, it’s kind of impossible to study anything in the Middle East without coming across Orientalism by Edward Said. It's just kind of like a red flag to all people who are studying things related to the Middle East [and] just other cultures in general that’s like, "Hello, these things have been historically represented in really
biased, inaccurate, and harmful ways, and y’all need to not do that." That’s kind of a basic thing for studying other cultures, in my opinion. Don’t exoticize it. Don’t be racist about it. STREET: Was there anything in particular that inspired you to take Arabic? Would you say that you’re fluent? LB: Well, I really like studying languages. I studied Spanish and Latin in high school. I got to Penn, and I was like, "Wow there are so many, I want to take something I don’t know anything about!" I was oscillating between a few, but I ended up picking Arabic just because I was feeling it. It's one of the languages that I was thinking of that [has] the most speakers, [so] I was like, "Why not?" Several years passed, and now I speak Arabic. Because of the immersion program I was in last spring, I am conversational in Arabic fluently. STREET: How did you become involved with the Kelly Writers House, and what do you do for them? LB: After I had seen it for the first time, I was like, "This is amazing, what a great place to do homework and hangout because it’s just so cozy and nice!" I slowly went there on a daily basis my freshman year—also because they had a constant supply of tea. My freshman year was also marked by the beginning of an obsession with tea, which I retain. Then I applied for a summer job the summer after freshman year, working as part of their recording studio, helping archive their older recordings and such, [and] working on their website of recorded poetry. [I] have worked there for work study ever since, recording things and just gen-
erally helping out around their events and activities. STREET: How did you become involved in the theater scene at Penn? And what was your favorite production that you worked on? LB: I did a lot of theater in high school, and I decided that once I got to Penn I would continue to do it—that it would be fun, it would help me to make friends, and I would enjoy it. Those things have, by and large, been true, so that’s nice. Penn Singers' The Addams Family in the fall of 2018, I think. It was great. STREET: What drew you to doing specifically sound and design/theater tech? LB: My mom’s a music teacher, so I played a lot of musical instruments in high school. I somehow ended up in the pit orchestra for [its] production of Les Mis. I was like, "This is incredible— I love it." I got into theater. My first production, nobody really wanted to work as assistant to the professional sound guy they hired—who was super cool and nice—because they wanted to be able to hangout with their friends backstage while doing work. The professional sound guy became a very close friend of mine, and a mentor, and taught me a lot about sound. I became really good at it and I enjoyed it a lot. I like doing musicals the best because I just really like music. I think that even though I am not a great singer and not a great actor, to be able to do sound for a show is kind of my own part of contributing to that music—to be a conduit for the music itself, even though I’m not singing. STREET: You were studying abroad in Jordan before the pan-
Chattanooga, Tenn. English, Linguistics, Modern Middle Eastern Studies Kelly Writers House, Theater Arts Council (TAC-e), Penn Singers, Penn Glee Club
demic started. What was your favorite part of your travels? LB: One event that I really loved was when my study abroad program took a trip to Madaba, which is a city in Jordan. It wasn’t actually spring, but it was like that weather that’s after springtime. It was just so beautiful, and I loved being there. I love to travel, and to see things that I have not seen before. It was just really lovely. STREET: What has been your most memorable experience at Penn? What has been the favorite part of your Penn experience? LB: The thing that I will probably remember and cherish the most about the University of Pennsylvania is probably the time that I was able to spend in the Kelly Writers House, and among [its] community because it's just such a lovely space. It’s just a really positive experience, and a warm and comforting place for me—and I
know for a lot of other people. When I was a sophomore, I lived in Harnwell. Every morning I would walk out of Harnwell, and I’d pass the Writers House and I’d [think], “Ah, there’s my home!" Despite having recently departed from the place I actually lived. STREET: If you could impart one lesson on the Penn student body, what would it be? LB: The best and least awkward way to get to know new people is by inviting them to eat with you. STREET:What’s next for you after Penn? LB: I would love to travel in the future, but I don’t think now is the time. I really don’t know what I want to do. What I always used to tell people was "When I am old, I want to be able to tell stories about my life to people who upon leaving the conversation say, 'Wow, she had a really interesting life.'"
LIGHTNING ROUND STREET: Last song that you listened to? LB: "Big Town Banky Blaine's Rockabilly BBQ" by Bear Ghost. STREET: What's something that people wouldn't guess about you? LB: I feel like I’m kind of an open book. I’ve recently gotten into supernatural bestiaries. STREET: If you were a building on campus, which would you be and why? LB: I would aspire to be the Kelly Writers House—oh, to be so warm and caring. STREET: Favorite book you've ever read? LB: If on a winter's night a traveler, by Italo Calvino. STREET: If you could adopt any animal, what would it be? LB: I just want a cat. I know that’s really simple, but our landlord doesn’t allow pets. STREET: If we weren't in a pandemic right now and you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you first want to go? LB: I would probably want to go back to Jordan because I don’t deal with lack of closure very well. J A N UA RY 2 1 , 2 0 2 1 3 4 T H S T R E E T MAG A Z I N E
Copyright Infringement in the Music Industry
Nicki Minaj is paying Tracy Chapman $450,000 for an uncleared sample. So what? | EMILY MOON
fter two years of legal battles, Nicki Minaj agreed to a $450,000 offer of judgment to Tracy Chapman for sampling her 1988 hit “Baby Can I Hold You" in Minaj's leaked song “Sorry.” Following their mutual agreement, Chapman released a statement explaining that “as a songwriter and an independent publisher, I have been known to be protective of my work. I have never authorized the use of my songs for samples or requested a sample.” Chapman’s suit against Minaj is hardly the first time two artists have sought legal action over copyright infringement or similarities in music, but the lawsuit over “Sorry” raised eyebrows for one reason: Minaj never officially included it on her album, Queen (2018). While Minaj didn't formally release the song, it leaked to a popular radio station DJ, Funkmaster Flex, who then played it on his station. While Minaj and Chapman avoided a trial, the $450,000 settlement and the case itself serve as a pointed warning to all musicians. Minaj never officially released "Sorry" but still faced legal consequences following its leak to the public, which Judge Virginia A. Phillips, who presided over the issue of fair use, worried could serve as a deterrent for artists to experiment in the studio. Beyond experimentation, coincidence and the sheer volume of different artists creating music could explain similarities between certain songs, making it extremely difficult to resolve legal disputes if the likeness isn’t as simple as the inclusion of a sample. In 2018, the internet dubbed Lana Del Rey “Lana Del Radiohead” when Radiohead fans noticed how much her song “Get Free” sounded like the band’s enduring hit “Creep.” Del Rey confirmed rumors of a potential lawsuit in a tweet, explaining that Radiohead turned down an offer of 40% of royalties from "Get Free," and instead demanded all of the money generated from her track. However, Radiohead's music publisher then retorted with a statement claiming "no lawsuit has been issued" and Del Rey told fans she might remove the song from "future physical releases" of her album Lust for Life. Later that year, Del Rey confirmed the end of the copyright infringement accusations at her Lollapalooza set, performing "Get Free" and asking fans, "Now that my lawsuit's over, I guess I can sing that song any time I want, right?" Radiohead reportedly asked for songwriting credit, but "Get Free" still only lists the original three writers. Del Rey and Radiohead's contention further reflects the complex nature of copyright infringement cases in music, especially considering that "Creep" itself faced a successful legal suit from The Hollies for
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Illustration by Alice Heyeh
Stolen Samples or Artistic Originality:
similarities to their 1974 song "The Air That I Breathe." With a slew of other high–profile disputes involving popular songs like "Blurred Lines" and "Shape of You," it's clear that the boundaries of borrowing in music are shaky at best. Using only a finite number of chords, overlap is bound to happen—especially in pop music. Even with thousands of comparable songs and potentially repetitive chord progressions, some artists are inadvertently avoiding copyright infringement suits through their creative use of original samples. Maggie Rogers made waves in 2016 with her unique electronic–folk track "Alaska," which garnered praise from Pharrell Williams during his appearance in an NYU Tisch School of the Arts masterclass. "Alaska" plays like a breath of fresh air, taking sounds from nature and perfectly encapsulating it at the same time. With samples from her travels and hikes in Alaska during a music hiatus, her breakout hit features samples from chirping birds, a chattering Moroccan marketplace, and the pattering of fingers on jeans. Rogers details her inspiration from dance music, naturalizing the synthetic with samples unique to her personal journey. Like other electronic artists employing found sound into their music, Rogers' samples in "Alaska" and later tracks like "Dog Years" steep her music in authenticity and originality. With similar artists relying on unique, personal sources for samples and inspiration, concerns of excessive "borrowing" take a back seat to creation. Pharrell Williams' comments on "Alaska" emphasize the value of Rogers' work, calling it unique: "It's like when the Wu–Tang Clan came out ... you either liked it or you didn't. But you couldn't compare it to anything else." In December of 2020, Rogers released 16 tracks from her musical career prior to the viral success of "Alaska" in Notes from The Archive 2011-2016. The tracks range from soft indie rock in "Celadon & Gold" to declarative acoustic in "Blood Ballet" and contrast the potently whimsical tone of her more recent work like "Love You For A Long Time" (2019). Still, her characteristic folk–pop fusion finds places to shine, with "Resonant Body" and its instrumental nods to her roots. Rogers' growth into a sound of singularity is undoubtedly influenced by her use of natural samples and return to the most authentic source of music. As musicians continue to create, the landscape of copyright infringement will likely become more convoluted in the future. Still, artists and technology aren't finished growing and certainly aren't confined in creative potential: Unique sample–use could be a good place to start.
Taylor Swift’s ‘evermore’ is the Superior Sister On the deluxe version of her latest surprise release, Swift improves Album to ‘folklore’ her intimate new sound. | ALLISON STILLMAN
by Jul ia n aY u
“right where you left me” on repeat for days, I felt trapped in the same emotion I was drowned in in “All Too Well”: “time won’t fly / it's like I’m paralyzed by it." The country feel, the sensitivity, and the heartbreak all made this late release one of my favorite Swift songs of all time. evermore is a poetic masterpiece. Despite my complete fulfillment with the surprise album, I have learned to never be settled as a Swiftie. The question that remains: What’s next? Swift, the master of ambiguity, has dropped Easter eggs regarding the potential for a third album, woodvale, as the conclusion to the folklore trilogy. While she has denied such rumors, I am hopeful that Swift will continue to shepherd us through the woodsy tales she fantasizes about in both folklore and evermore.
ing "ivy" and "no body, no crime," all of which discuss the demise of a marriage. This consists of the mere toleration of a woman unloved by her husband, the complexity of infidelity, and, well, murder. In “ivy,” Swift captures the sentimental fragility of a woman having an affair: “my pain fits in the palm of your freezing hand / taking mine but it’s been promised to another.” To conclude the “unhappily ever after” trilogy, Swift explodes in an intricate murder mystery. The scope of emotion Swift intertwines throughout the rest of the album is simply fantastic. She commemorates her grandmother, Marjorie Finlay, in "marjorie," whose voice echoes like a beautiful ghost behind Swift’s elegant portrait of grief. Finlay’s feature is emblematic of “what died didn’t stay dead,” a line that continues to make me cry—over and over again. Swift also features Bon Iver, for a second time since folklore's "exile" on the titular track of the album, "evermore." Written in the same key, the two tracks are quite similar and are emblematic of heartache and grief. While “exile” ended brutally, “evermore” comes with a bit of solace as Swift reassures “this pain wouldn’t be forevermore.” On the same key of sadness, “happiness” is, well, heartbreaking. This song feels like a poetic reappraisal of Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby and a yearning for “the green light of forgiveness.” Swift yearns to mend the “great divide” between star– crossed lovers, as Gatsby does with Daisy. Ultimately, the fate of both relationships ends in both heartache and happiness, as Swift and Gatsby can look back on the beauty of their respective situations. Swift has proven time and time again that she is a lyrical mastermind. Each song can be dissected in myriad ways. She drags us through both the despair of love and loss in “coney island" (feat. the National), with an incredibly powerful bridge that interconnects her past relationships. Then, in the blink of an eye, she enlivens us in the autobiographical track “long story short," relates to us with "'tis the damn season," tells us a story with "cowboy like me," and finally offers therapy with "closure." Some have interpreted "tis the damn season" and “dorothea” as one story about high school sweethearts. In the recent release of the deluxe album, "it's time to go" and "right where you left me" drown the listener in raw emotion. After listening to
aylor Swift immersed us in a fairytale that felt truly isolated from the reality of lockdown during the pandemic with the intricate and passionate tales of folklore. The love, defeat, and beauty she conveyed through the album’s forested trail settled a new front for Swift’s music: woodsy, poetic, and mournful. evermore, the sister album to folklore, came as a sigh of relief as it enveloped you in the sylvan picks of guitar strings and flute spells underlining Swift’s raw vocals in the album’s first track, "willow." She has created yet another masterpiece. evermore walks us deeper into the poetic enigmas of Swift’s chambered mind. In her Apple Music "Songwriter of the Year" interview, Swift discusses the catharsis of releasing this album and its presence as folklore’s descendent. While folklore took a first–person perspective of fictitious protagonists, evermore has a more retrospective thesis. Each track feels like a fable that unloads a lifetime of love, heartbreak, and strength. Oh, and murder? Let's dive in. A clear standout from the album, and perhaps a highlight from Swift's entire discography, is "champagne problems." This sentimental ballad is an overwhelming, emotional storm of nostalgia. With the same chords as "All Too Well," Swift spills a gut–wrenching tragedy of a broken engagement. The recurring themes of tragedy, love, escapism, and romanticization of reality bubble throughout this track as Swift once again employs her incredible ability to unfold an entire story in the bridge. As Swift flutters across piano keys, the slow daydream of "gold rush" pours over the listener in a cascade of emotion. She perfectly encapsulates the “red–flush” and “slow–motion double vision in rose blush” feelings of envy through an inner fantasy about an unreachable crush. Bringing together the comprehensive meaning of both albums, Swift professes, “My mind turns your life into folklore.” The genius of it all is palpable through such lyrical prose, uniting reality with reverie. These golden undertones are shattered in meaningful spells throughout the predominantly somber album. Each track embellishes the stories introduced to us in folklore. The torture of infidelity and its repercussions on all parties involved, which began in folklore’s "illicit affairs," is continued in "tolerate it." “tolerate it” is part of an "unhappily ever after" trilogy of seemingly interconnected songs, includ-
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Most Anticipated New Releases
These are the albums we can't wait to hear over the next month. | KYLE WHITING
s the holiday season wraps up and 2021 barrels on, a new slate of albums are set to be released. While several of our favorite artists—like Lorde, Adele, and St. Vincent—have yet to announce specific release plans, there's still plenty of great music to be excited for over the next month. Currently, Street's got our eyes on Arlo Parks' highly anticipated debut record, the follow–up to slowthai's Mercury Prize-nominated Nothing Great About Britain (2019), and Julien Baker's first solo project since 2017.
Collapsed in Sunbeams, Arlo Parks, January 29th Arlo Parks has spent the past few years releasing a steady trickle of singles, each showcasing her ability to weave poignant scenes of melancholy and heartbreak. After the release of two EPs in 2019, Super Sad Generation and Sophie, the 20 year–old British singer/songwriter will finally be releasing her long–awaited debut LP, Collapsed in Sunbeams, on January 29. Collapsed in Sunbeams comes hot on the heels of a pretty great year for Arlo Parks' career, considering the current state of the music industry. She was featured on the cover of NME last summer, received a shoutout from Billie Eilish earlier this winter, played an NPR Tiny Desk (Home) Concert, and even covered Radiohead with fellow indie darling Phoebe Bridgers. Perhaps the melancholic mood that the coronavirus pandemic thrust upon the world allowed for Parks' similarly pitched music to flourish. The new album will feature some of her most exciting work to date, including "Black Dog," "Caroline," and "Green Eyes."
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Tyron, slowthai, February 5th Tyron Frampton—aka slowthai—thrust himself into the public eye with the release of his debut album in 2019. Nothing Great About Britain was a hard–hitting tour de force, with slowthai emerging as a new titan of UK hip–hop. His debut album was largely a political affair, combining punk's sense of unrestrained, youthful rebellion with innovative beats and sharp verses aimed at Boris Johnson's jugular. "Doorman" was crafted perfectly for a dank, sweaty mosh pit and features a sinister, incessant beat, courtesy of Mura Masa. With lyrics that largely discuss apathy and drug addiction, the track perfectly encapsulates the disaffected-yet-impassioned ire that runs through slowthai's music. Since the release of Nothing Great About Britain, slowthai's music has only improved. "My High," featured on UK house duo Disclosure's latest album, Energy, displayed slowthai riding a high–octane club beat. Conversely, "feel away," the lead single for his upcoming album—TYRON, out February 5—is pointed and intimate, a tribute to the anniversary of the death of his brother. "nhs" adopts a similarly weary tone, and also contains some of the political commentary espoused in the rapper's debut. Beyond the diverse run of singles that slowthai has released in anticipation of the new album, TYRON is also set to feature a gamut of highly anticipated collaborations. "Feel Away" was made with James Blake and Mount Kimbie, and another single, "MAZZA," features A$AP Rocky. In addition, Skepta, Dominic Fike, Denzel Curry, and Deb Never are expected to pop up throughout TYRON. Little Oblivions, Julien Baker, February 26th Julien Baker's bandmate, Phoebe Bridgers, essentially dominated 2020. With multiple Grammy nominations and a cavalcade of critical acclaim, Bridgers' latest album, Punisher, was a clear highlight from last year. Although it's been a few years since Baker and Bridgers have released music with their indie rock threepiece boygenius, both artists have forged new paths for their solo careers. Indeed, Baker is poised to dominate 2021 with the same Sapphic energy carried by Bridgers last year. Baker's upcoming album, Little Oblivions, is her first since 2017's Turn Out the Lights. Her previous albums were decidedly small–scale: most of Baker's prior work has featured little more than straightforward guitar and her clear, unrestrained voice. However, the currently released singles for Little Oblivions—"Faith Healer" and "Hardline"—are much more expansive than the majority of Baker's work so far. Both tracks incorporate deeper, more thoughtful instrumentation, but Baker's vocals remain a powerful centrifuge, with swooping guitars, drums, and synths spiraling around her evocative cries. "Faith Healer," though remarkably thoughtful, is criminally short—a blissfully explosive three minutes. In a way, my thoughts on the single are indicative of my excitement toward Little Oblivions: Julien Baker, I want more.
FILM & TV
'Inglourious Basterds' Rewrites History to Reshape Our Future Though the film came out over a decade ago, its messages on Nazism and justice unfortunately remain relevant today.
u entin Tarantino's films exemplify quintessential revenge fantasies. His 2009 film Inglourious Basterds is no exception, blending "fantasy and fact" and following several intertwining storylines to rewrite history—in this case, by following two plots to destroy the Third Reich in 1944. The film begins with the Basterds, a unit of Jewish– American soldiers who hunt down and frighten Nazis by interrogating them and carving swastikas in their foreheads. Controversially, the Basterds also scalp Nazis who don't comply. The audience is also introduced to Shosanna Dreyfus, a young woman who is the sole survivor from her Jewish family. Both the Basterds and Dreyfus separately conspire to kill a group of important Nazi figures, including Adolf Hitler, at a movie premiere. They both succeed: Dreyfus’ theater goes up in flames, and the Basterds go on a shooting spree. Inglourious Basterds sparked controversy among all audiences. On one hand, producer Lawrence Bender found it grotesquely satisfying to act out the Nazi–murdering fantasy. However, writer Daniel Mendelsohn argued that it is problematic for Jews
Illustration | Alice Choi to fight back against Nazism by using their violent tactics. Also, in reimagining history, do we erase the significance of the events that truly took place? A common phrase in Holocaust discussion is “never again,” yet we are currently seeing history repeat itself with neo–Nazis gaining power under the Trump administration. I’ve learned about the Holocaust throughout my entire life, through books, films, visits of concentration camps, and stories of survivors like my great–grandparents. The most terrifying feeling in
the world is seeing the horrors of history slowly come back to life. Whether you find the killing of German Nazis by Jewish soldiers empowering or silly, the central message of Inglourious Basterds is one that should motivate all of us to prevent hate from taking over. By reimagining the past, we can learn from historical mistakes. In the context of the world right now, Inglourious Basterds serves as an emblem of Jewish justice and a reminder of our resilience. Antisemitism existed long before and continues to exist long after the Holocaust. Recently, the rioters who broke into the Capitol on Jan. 6th proudly showed off Nazi and antisemitic imagery. Justice and vengeance are not one and the same, but Inglourious Basterds demonstrates how they can intersect. The ultimate Jewish triumph is being able to live freely—to reclaim exactly what Hitler tried to eliminate. Defying him by passing down our traditions, learning about our past, and thriving in the world is both our vengeance and our justice. Inglourious Basterds uses the past to illustrate this concept—a message we can and must use to dictate our present and our future.
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THE INVISIBLE BURDEN By Lindsey Perlman
As the tenure clock ticks, professors with children face the added pressure of child care now that COVID-19 has merged work and home life.
a roline*, a junior professor at the School of Arts and Sciences, works two full–time jobs at once. With her daycare center closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Caroline must teach multiple Penn classes and conduct research while watching her two children, both of whom are under the
age of five. “[My children] require constant supervision. It's not that I can have them do something independently or play outside by themselves. They need a parent—or someone—watching them at all times,” she says. Caroline has to be creative to get her work done. She records a snippet of a lecture late at night while her children are asleep. She grades papers early in the morning before they wake up. She steals moments while her partner is watching her children to do research. “It’s exhausting,” she says, in tears. “For me and my partner, workdays are spent dividing up the time where we would normally have had a regular child care provider. If you take a 40-hour work week, which is the coverage that we had child care for previously, it's cut in half. The time that I have devoted to research has really been slashed.” Caroline’s story illustrates the obstacles that women at Penn, and across the country, must endure as they try to balance caregiving responsibilities with their professional lives. In addition to their day jobs, working women have often been left to shoulder the “invisible” burden of care work—bathing, clothing, feeding, cleaning up after, and supervising children—in the privacy of their own homes, out of sight from their em-
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ployers and colleagues. Estimates from the United Nations say that women dedicate, on average, 3.2 times more hours to unpaid care work than men. At Penn, this burden has taken a toll on the University's female professors, many of whom have been left behind by Penn's inadequate child care support system. For Marie*, a tenure track professor in the humanities at Penn and a single mother with full custody of a five–year–old child, the pandemic exacerbates her pre–existing child care burdens, halving her work productivity. “There is nobody else to make dinner. There is nobody else to prepare for the next day. There is nobody else to supervise or bathe a child who still requires full assistance,” she says. The exhaustion in her voice is immediately clear. “The expectation that anybody who is doing remote school alone without a co–parent or child care would be able to continue along a normal avenue of productivity is not reasonable. It’s impossible.” In academia, where women are historically underrepresented, caregiving burdens brought on by the pandemic may have lasting consequences for those on the tenure track. Junior professors vying for tenure, or an indefinite academic appointment, embark on a six–year journey where they are expected to teach and conduct groundbreaking research. When the tenure clock stops ticking, their portfolio of research enters an admissions “black box,” where it’s scrutinized by university administrators and experts in the field who will return with a lucrative job offer or harrowing rejection. In response to research and productivity obstacles brought on by the pandemic, the University created a blanket policy that allows all junior faculty to add a one–year extension to their tenure clock or opt out of doing so. Even so, many professors are still left with unanswered questions, particularly for those that work in male–dominated departments where administrators may understate the influence of caregiving duties on a candidate’s productivity and research output. “You compare somebody who, when things are remote, is managing one, two, three kids at home versus somebody who has no children. That's a significant difference in terms of what you're able to accomplish,” John*, an assistant professor in the School of Arts and Sciences and father of multiple young children, says. “Not only
that there will be a deficit on the CV for the people who have children, but there will be an unnatural flourishing of work from people who don't.” Penn does not tenure female faculty with the same frequency they tenure men, which the pandemic will intensify. Although Penn hires junior female professors at roughly equal rates to male professors, women are less likely to get tenure. Women currently comprise nearly 50% of the University’s standing faculty in the assistant professor standing ranks, but only represent 35% of the total standing faculty. That number is even lower in the Wharton School, where women represent 24% of standing faculty members as of April 2018; Penn Law School, where women comprise 31% of the standing faculty; and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where women represent a mere 18% of the standing faculty. Associate Dean for Arts and Letters Jeffrey Kallberg says that the large majority of faculty—regardless of gender—have chosen to take the tenure extension. Outside reviewers have received explicit instructions to count the extra year as if it were part of the normal clock and adjust their expectations accordingly, he added. But until they receive a tenure offer, junior professors with children say they are hesitant to voice their concerns. “There's tremendous shame. There's a sense that people will be penalized for talking about their children,” Marie says. For Associate Director of Gender, Sexuality & Women’s Studies Program Gwendolyn Beetham, who is tenured, child care is a lifeline that allows her to sustain her career while raising her 2–year–old daughter. But, Beetham acknowledges, child care is also a substantial expense, prohibitively so for other professors at Penn. “As a single parent, luckily my kid’s daycare is open for now, but if it closes again, I don't know what I'll do. I'll probably have to go live with my parents in Ohio because I don't have any other option,” Beetham says. And to those who suggest she should opt out of the workforce for a while,
Beetham responds with a sigh, “Why should I give up my career for a structural problem?” Beetham’s experience galvanized her to help craft a petition in August to the University recommending specific care work recommendations, such as creating a child care fund for faculty and staff. The petition garnered over 230 signatures from professors and graduate students at Penn. In response, Penn enacted a COVID–19 child care grant for graduate students, faculty, and postdocs that offers a reimbursement of up to $2,000 for the year. Yet experts estimate that the cost of enrolling two kids in a child care center in urban Philadelphia is $17,753 a year, making the grant money a “drop in the bucket,” says John. Access to affordable, quality child care remains a persistent problem for caregiving faculty at Penn—particularly newer junior faculty less familiar with the competitive daycare enrollment process in the city. In Philadelphia, four–
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star quality daycare centers, rated by the Keystone Stars program of the state of Pennsylvania, are expensive and have lengthy waiting lists. One such daycare is the Penn Children’s Center. Located on the University campus, the Penn rate of tuition for a five–day week of daycare starts at $444 per week for toddlers, and the waiting list starts at 12–18 months, according to Center Director Natalie Subeh Nuhn. To secure a coveted spot in a child care center, many professors must put their child’s name on waiting lists while they are still pregnant. Faced with a lack of communication from Penn regarding resources for caregiving faculty, female professors have turned to informal networks among colleagues to share information about child care options. Jerry Lee Assistant Professor of Criminology Aurélie Ouss, for example, said she feels “lucky” to have negotiated in her teaching contract that her child would be guaranteed a spot into the Penn Children’s Center, bypassing the waitlist, after other female faculty recommended she do so. For some professors, the lack of official communication surrounding child care options in the city and the mindset that female professors will simply “figure it out” is indicative of the University’s permissive and haphazard approach towards accommodating caregivers. Newly–tenured associate professor of Arabic literature Huda Fakhreddine, who has an 8–year–old daughter, felt like she was “operating in the dark” during the tenure process. In a male–dominated department where only four of the 12 tenured professors are women, she knew her research output and work would be compared to her predecessor, even though she was carrying the added weight of child care duties on her shoulders. “As I go through the process, I'm always compared to my predecessor, who was a white man [and] a brilliant scholar. But the circumstances in which I work and how much time I have and what my responsibilities are outside of work are different,” she says. While her child advanced through daycare, prekindergarten, and kindergarten, she tried to establish a line between her professional and private life. But sometimes the two worlds would collide: Her daughter would get sick and there was nobody else to take her home; her daughter’s daycare was closed and there was nobody else to watch her. When her child care responsibilities were on public display—having to leave work early or bring her daughter to the office—she felt out of place. “It feels very strange when I have to bring my daugh12 34TH STREET MAGAZINE
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ter with me to the office, and it's not something that's part of the culture of the workplace,” she says. Fakhreddine’s experience reveals the catch–22 that many caregiving professors at Penn face. They often feel compelled to conceal their child care duties for fear of being stigmatized, but those very same duties affect their job performance and work productivity, all of which are pertinent to the tenure review process. The pandemic, however, has made hiding caregiving obligations all but impossible. “I think people go to great lengths to hide the care work they do,” Beetham says. “You can hide it when you are at the workplace, but you can't hide it when your kid is running around in the back of a Zoom call.” Since the start of the pandemic, experts estimate that hundreds of thousands of women have left the workforce. Many may never return. “I don't see why that wouldn't be the case in academia,” Caroline says. But there may be a silver lining. As more people than ever before are beleaguered by caregiving duties, the pandemic has made child care responsibilities more visible, providing an opportunity to create lasting change. The University could lower the tuition rate at the Penn Children’s Center, expand it to accommodate more children, or invest in other daycare centers in the city. This year, only 26 children were welcomed back in June, according to Nuhn. Penn could also lobby the Pennsylvania legislature to enact universal, free prekindergarten for all city residents, like in New York, Beetham says. Not to mention immediate, more pragmatic solutions. Caroline, like many other junior faculty, called on the University to go beyond a blanket tenure clock extension and implement targeted teaching relief measures
that allow faculty with caregiving responsibilities to teach fewer courses during the year. Other universities, such as the University of California, Berkeley, implemented teaching relief policies that enable caregivers to apply for service and teaching modifications during spring and fall of 2021. Such measures free up more time for caregiving professors to conduct and publish research, the hallmark of the tenure process. The blanket tenure clock extension alone may exacerbate inequalities rather than solve them. Because of the pandemic, junior professors without young children have, in many cases, more free time than in years past to dedicate towards research—and now have an extra year to do so—while caregiving professors lag behind, says John. “I've heard from friends who edit journals that in particular, the outpouring of submissions from young faculty and graduate students has been through the roof, in part because they've had a bit more time to do that work. I think faculty with kids are lucky to get today’s lecture recorded.” The gravity of the situation looms over tenure track professors, particularly those with children: the six years of the tenure track can determine the rest of an academic’s life. Those who are denied tenure may drop out of the workforce entirely or restart the tenure process at another institution, awaiting an uncertain outcome. Without additional remedial efforts by the University, many faculty say they feel hopeless as they witness—in the few spare moments they have, often with the the sound of children screaming, crying, or playing in the background—projects they’re unable to get off the ground, works in progress that have been stalled, and data they cannot collect. And while an end is in sight for the pandemic, these professors may feel the effects for years to come. Until their tenure clocks stop ticking. * Indicates a name has been changed for anonymity.
Dear Penn: Call Donald Trump Out By Name Penn’s statement on the Capitol riots is not just disappointing— but also dangerously validating. | Kira Wang
purred by President Donald Trump’s fear–mongering cries of “if you don’t fight like Hell, you’re not going to have a country anymore,” an alt–right mob stormed the Capitol building to stop the certification of President– elect Joe Biden’s electoral victory. This event was a break from America’s tradition of peaceful transitions of power, showing how Trump’s platform of authoritarianism and hate has turned into a direct attack on our legislative branch. This attack was a clear demonstration of white supremacy in America. Insurrectionists proudly wore antisemitic “Camp Auschwitz” T–shirts as they stormed the Capitol. Rioters waved Confederate flags through the chambers of Congress. This exhibit of hate, racism, and antiemitism showed how Trump empowered these insurrectionists to act violently — all in the name of preserving his presidency and its white supremacist baggage. They clearly communicated that in Trump’s America, there is no place for non–white people. And these attacks weren’t just displays of white supremacy. They were also displays of white privilege. Looking backwards into the very recent past, Trump called the National Guard to Philadelphia—a majority Black city—during peaceful Black Lives
Matter protests. Meanwhile, the National Guard had no presence during this violent, largely white insurrection. While peaceful protestors and journalists were tear–gassed and shot at with rubber bullets to make way for Trump’s photo–op at St. John’s Church, the Capitol police took selfies with rioters and were unable to stop this coup–attempt. The Capitol riots unveil a clear double standard. While Black protesters are killed and arrested for holding vigils and peaceful demonstrations, violent white protesters are allowed to invade the Capitol with guns, zip ties, and bombs. With Penn’s so–called commitment to civic engagement, President Amy Gutmann and Provost Wendell Pritchett felt the need to write a statement regarding this attack on the United States Capitol. Yet in this 144 word long paragraph, there was no mention of Donald Trump or any of the other political figures who caused this riot. Rather than calling Trump out by name, there were empty mentions of “threatening incitements” and “assaults on the political freedom of all citizens.” And instead of highlighting the roles that Senators Josh Hawley and Ted Cruz played in inciting these alt– right rioters, our university leadership praised "those leaders of all parties who worked through the night to carry on the constitutional mission of recognizing the peaceful transfer of presidential power.” By staying silent about the roles that Trump played in these riots, Penn is validating and encouraging the white supremacist values that Trump and his followers uphold. Despite Penn’s claimed dedication to diversity, the administration refuses to denounce Illustrations the white supremaTyler Kliem cist violence at the
Capitol that threatens so many of its students. The administration’s hypocritical emphasis on Penn’s diversity while declining to stand for its diverse population is a blatant act of violent apathy against its non–white students. On top of Penn’s hesitant, avoidant word choice that failed to address Trump’s central role in the storming of the Capitol, university leadership didn’t send this statement out to the Penn community. In this largely meaningless statement, Penn’s administration didn’t have the courage to publicize their stance on this attack on our democracy to its students. With the administration’s calculated silence and weak condemnation of the mob (instead of Trump as an individual), Penn is showing the world that Trump’s connection to Penn isn’t unwelcome. As Trump’s alma mater, Penn’s words carry power. He wields his academic experience at Wharton as a weapon to convince others of his intelligence, winning over voters with his “qualifications'' and radicalizing them with his divisive, hateful rhetoric. Because of this, the administration’s silence regarding Trump isn’t only disappointing but also dangerous. Being silent allows Trump to divide the country by giving him credibility. Simply put, Penn is telling Trump that his despicable actions will go unpunished. Words clearly can’t reverse the consequences of Trump’s presidency, but Penn at least needs to utilize its platform to condemn its most infamous alumnus. Trump is plainly encouraging hate, polarization, and misinformation, and Penn’s current lack of action completely contradicts its democratic history and founding principles while also threatening the
wellbeing of its student body and faculty. Not only does Penn need to call Trump out by name, but they also need to take it a step further by revoking Trump’s diploma. By revoking his diploma, Trump won’t be able to use his admission to Penn as a qualifier for his intelligence and credibility. Despite numerous allegations of Trump cheating on his SAT and gaining admission to Wharton fraudulently, Penn has declined to investigate the terms of his admission. While other universities such as Lehigh University and Robert Gordon University have revoked his honorary degrees due to the despicable values he promotes, Penn’s refusal to speak up has shown that it can’t be a leader in condemning Trump’s actions. Despite Penn founder Benjamin Franklin’s famous words of “Pardoning the Bad, is injuring the Good,” University leadership is complicit in pardoning Trump. Penn’s lack of action isn’t only shameful but also shows how Penn is a school that won’t and can’t act in the face of white supremacy, hate, and authoritarianism.
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Rethinking the Rotunda:
A Modern Look at the Capitol's Art What present–day America can learn from the artwork housed in the Capitol Building
By Jessa Glassman
ur nation’s famed and magnificent Capitol has the power to turn justice, law, and democracy into emotions with its striking design and rich, historic atmosphere. Architecturally, the Capitol Building has a jurisdictional grandeur, evoking oohs and ahs from international visitors, American citizens, and everyone in between. Inside, a variety of artistic mediums—including busts of the Founding Fathers, relief sculptures, and oil paintings—amplify this impressive aura. They help to glorify the history of the nation, essentially making the Capitol Building an American Acropolis. As to be expected, public interpretations of the values underpinning the Capitol Building continue to evolve. While our recent history would fill up many pages in a book recording the shifts in public consciousness, there would also be chapters detailing moments closer to our nation’s founding. One such event would be the British Burning of Washington during the War of 1812, a juncture with eerie similarities to the recent invasion of the Capitol by supporters of President Donald Trump who maintain that the 2020 election was fraudulent. As images of the march pervaded social media,
the halls, professing a commitment to democratic values. This event was nothing short of a wake–up call to consider how much the nation has really progressed since its founding days, as well as how tangible these professed values actually are. Images of these violent protesters amid the Capitol’s historical splendor have forever changed not just global and domestic perceptions of our government, but also the symbolic understanding of the Capitol’s political artwork. The messages of these decorative pieces concerning the nation’s guiding principles and cherished historical moments are now being demystified, recontextualized, and re–understood. The eight paintings in the Capitol Rotunda are a good starting point for this complete and candid discussion. Touching on their historical backgrounds, shortcomings, modern–day ironies, and inspirational takeaways will flesh out the tensions between the political goals and 21st–century meanings of these paintings, helping to consider them in a new and more relevant light. Four images commemorating the Revolutionary War, painted by John Trumbull, were mounted in the Rotunda between 1819 and 1824. They all have a realistic like-
Declaration of Independence
the disjunction between the chosen location and participants became apparent. Armed individuals sporting “6 Million Wasn’t Enough” T– shirts—while waving Confederate and Trump flags—walked through
ness, almost as if they were pictures taken at their respective moments in history. Declaration of Independence is starkly monotonous—consisting almost entirely of a barrage of somber white male faces. This
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sameness is a visual reminder of the singular identity our early nation was created to serve. Such a lack of diversity is also apparent in General George Washington Resigning His Commission, a depiction of another exclusive
Surrender of General Burgoyne
governmental process. While our current government is not as heterogeneous as it should be, Congress is growing more and more diverse each election cycle—a clear hallmark of progress that should be celebrated and supported. Surrender of General Burgoyne and Surrender of Lord Cornwallis are both scenes depicting an understanding that a battle has concluded and they demonstrate moments of peace between two warring sides. While Republicans and Democrats are not shooting cannons at one another (yet), the Revolutionary War between the British and the colonists should teach both parties important lessons. These paintings of reconciliatory moments should inspire these polarized groups to come together with bipartisan support for critical issues like human rights and climate change. Or, on the most basic level, both parties can stand to learn when it is time to sheath their swords, as well as how to respect their opponents. The British leaders in these images honorably admitted their loss, which is a skill our current president must learn as he continues to maintain the election was stolen from him, despite having great proof it was not. General George Was-
hington Resigning his Commission echoes an important message not just to Trump, but to future leaders as well. This painting exemplifies George Washington's commitment to democracy and the citizens of the United States. The role of a po-
litician should be to serve the best interests of their constituents rather than to bolster their ego. As this painting emphasizes, power and sta-
Landing of Columbus
tus should never be prioritized over the sanctity of political office, which is a fact that many modern–day politicians must be reminded of. Four more oil–on–canvas paintings were added to the Rotunda between 1840 and 1855, all of which are described as “scenes of exploration.” Each piece relies on romanticized, false assumptions about colonialism. Approaching these paintings with the understanding that Europeans justified their pilla-
ge of Indigenous territory with religion, coercion, and claims of superiority might make viewers wonder why, of all moments in our nation’s history, these are being celebrated. The violence illustrated in Landing of Columbus and the stereotypical depictions of Native Americans in Discovery of the Mississippi by De Soto should be understood as grave injustices in our nation’s past. Ultimately, they should motivate both our government and everyday viewers to fight against contemporary systems of oppression. Despite this, many Americans, including—but not limited to— those who invaded the Capitol, hold discriminatory beliefs against religious minorities, ethnic minorities, the LGBTQ community, and many more, aligning them closely with the colonists who plundered the continent. A scrupulous analysis of the art in the Capitol, especially in
light of recent events, can increase both personal and public consciousness. Questioning underlying assumptions, understanding the discrepancy between the paintings’ messages and reality, and critically recontextualizing the works with modern–day experiences are all new and crucial ways to approach artwork. This evaluative lens is one that all viewers, governmental or not, should incorporate into their repertoire and use as a guide for positive social change.
& S T D R N E A C NSFORMS S N A TR Celebrity Gossip Culture
DeuxMoi tells a larger story about the changing landscape of celebrity culture and Instagram voyeurism. | MEG GLADIEUX
ollowers of the Instagram account @ deuxmoi heard that Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde were dating long before it hit the headlines of People. From pregnancy rumors to actors’ lunch orders, DeuxMoi covers it all. It’s a collection of crowdsourced tidbits stitched together in long Instagram stories that aren’t even saved to the account’s highlights: fast–paced, unapologetic, and leaving no receipts. Between Instagram DMs and an online form, DeuxMoi's stories are full of celebrity sightings and anecdotes from followers of the pseudo–tabloid. Sources aren’t credited; in fact, pseudonyms are required for contributors. The woman behind DeuxMoi is also notoriously anonymous, though the account is far from unbiased: she frequently refers to celebrities as “my favorite” and overlays her own opinions atop the screenshots of her followers’ scoops. It’s word of mouth. It’s hearsay. And it’s wholly entertaining. Gossip magazines have always been a cruel sort of muckraking journalism that prey on our mass guilty fascination with celebrity culture. But unlike its print–based predecessors, DeuxMoi doesn’t claim to be true. In fact, in the words of the account’s lone saved Instagram “FAQS” highlight, "Believe what you want, or don’t believe any of what is posted. This was started for F–U–N.” A private account that accepts nearly all requests, DeuxMoi's follower count only continues to grow, surpassing 600k. It’s a new form of celebrity gossip that’s not going away anytime soon. While publications like People and Us Weekly remain staples of the evolving media industry as they target supermarket busybodies with flashy headlines and unflattering paparazzi shots, DeuxMoi is—for the most part—respectful of the famous people
it exploits. It’s not about scoops or narratives, but pure crowdsourced information–sharing followed even by the celebrities themselves. While looking at off–guard paparazzi photos feels gross and invasive, something about slipping into anecdotal Instagram stories is a seemingly harmless escape, especially in a quarantine. And the growing world of Instagram gossip goes beyond DeuxMoi. Amanda Hirsch’s @notskinnybutnotfat similarly publicizes celebrity gossip, but with her own takes and a podcast breaking down the latest celebrity drama. Unlike Deuxmoi, Hirsch directly inserts herself into narratives, sharing her personal life and opinions and promoting content from other accounts. It’s all part of a growing culture of Instagram voyeurism that blurs fandom, fiction, and true celebrity scoops. We even see our own microcosm of the anonymous, gossipy phenomenon with the ever–popular @upenn.memes page. Infamous for its anonymous, student submitted “Penn L’s,” we’re inevitably engrossed with juicy stories of strangers—and all the drama surrounding it. But there’s a dark underside of an account that posts speculative, unverified information to such a huge and growing follower base. In addition to sweet celebrity interactions, DeuxMoi posts the more serious break–up rumors, personal details of divorces, and even accusations of assault. Just this week, DeuxMoi promoted screenshots posted by @houseofeffie full of DMs from women speaking out about alleged cannibalism, abuse, and sexual assault by Armie Hammer. In a post–#MeToo world, we want to hold celebrities accountable, but what are the implications of the story breaking through unverified and anonymous social media accounts? Even with the disclaimers of unverified information from the account, the consequences of rumors don’t
Illustration by Alice Heyeh
disappear with the 24–hour stories. Even if Gen Z is rejecting the toxicity of pure cancel culture, callout culture is still pervasive; accounts like DeuxMoi's only add fuel to that fire. Then again, maybe it’s exactly that careful balance of entertainment and accountability presented by DeuxMoi that makes it so engrossing, walking the line between too–far and not–far–enough. In a Gen Z–ruled social media landscape, it’s no wonder accounts like these are growing in popularity over the tried–and–true celebrity culture sources like Entertainment Tonight and TMZ. Young people aren’t interested in “Who Wore It Best” or unflattering paparazzi photos; we want to know who’s polite to flight attendants and who tips poorly at coffee shops. There’s something fascinating about the mundane lives of celebrities, and DeuxMoi manages to deliver juicy insight without treading into the typical tabloid snark and insensitivity that Gen Z has grown to reject. DeuxMoi is celebrity gossip for a cynical generation of people who see the ethical ambiguities of rumors and celebrity voyeurism, but can’t help but be captivated by the inner lives of celebrities; DeuxMoi has captured that nuanced intrigue in a way that simply can’t be attained by conventional gossip media. Of course, in the age of sponsorships and monetized media, content like DeuxMoi's Instagram stories can’t stay free forever. As the classic print tabloids are fading into irrelevance, DeuxMoi is in the process of monetizing with “DeuxMoi Premium” for additional and more exclusive content for pay. Will blind items from Instagram stories be revealed? Will the premium information be fact–checked? Will the content still be crowdsourced? Does it really matter? Hard to say—DeuxMoi is pretty elusive. But isn’t that part of the allure? J A N UA RY 2 1 , 2 0 2 1 3 4 T H S T R E E T MAG A Z I N E
Important Conversations To Have With Your Germ Pod Important chats for our new normal | JILLIAN LOMBARDI
fter months of social isolation and being spread across the globe, most first years are stepping onto campus for the first time and living with strangers. Like many others, I spent the first months of my college experience with my family in our home. We tried to handle (emphasis on tried) the political and health stress of this time together and got into a pandemic–friendly rhythm of household rules and habits to maximize our safety and sanity. Open communication has always been an asset to healthy cohabitation, but everyone's conversations with their roommates will need to be a bit more extensive for this upcoming semester. While we will still be chatting about shower schedules and music volume, the gab sessions will now include novel viruses and political unrest. Many have been trying to navigate these topics since last year. While writing this article, I worried that the piece would come across as preachy. We have been conditioned to think that having valid concerns about COVID-19 could give the impression of superiority or judgement. However, it is vital to talk with the people you live with about your needs in an uncertain time. It's hard to know what to discuss, and often, these conversations are not easy. But that doesn't diminish their importance. Here’s a number of necessary topics to cover while sharing 16 34TH STREET MAGAZINE
a space this upcoming semester and some strategies to come up with a clear plan. PANDEMIC BEHAVIOR Everyone has different boundaries when it comes to COVID-19. Even Penn’s website refers to the differing expectations within pods as it states pods should “have open and honest conversations about activities, behaviors, and expectations of one another.” It’s important to know where your housemates stand on COVID-19 behavior, especially if they are strangers. Healthline and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention both gave expert advice to approach this chat that can be boiled down to these six points: 1. REMAIN RELAXED AND DON'T APPROACH THIS WITH AN EDGE OF SUPERIORITY. No one knows what this semester holds, and we are all trying are best to stay safe and happy. They are living through the same experience. The topics that are bothering you are probably also on your roommate's mind. 2. SHOW AND FOSTER EMPATHY AND OPENNESS The best way to get through this semester will be with transparency. Issues will arise if people aren't upfront about their needs. Also, COVID-19 brings a lot of fear and anxiety into your living space. Handling these conversations with kindness will only strengthen
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your experience and relationships. 3. IT'S NOT YOU, IT'S ME ... Starting the discussion about your particular expectations and concerns will minimize the chances of the conversation turning uncomfortable. We can't assume others' feelings with COVID-19 and, like with point one, we don't want to begin this chat with an air of judgement or superiority. 4. CULTIVATE A SANCTUARY IN YOUR ROOM Make your room a place where you feel relaxed and safe. That is the one space you have absolute control over. Make sure to keep it clean and decorate it however you like. You don't have to compromise for anyone in your own room. 5. CAN YOU JUST SKIP THIS CHAT? (HINT: NO) We can't emphasize this enough. Just talk. This is not a optional conversation. 6. SETTING NORMS FOR CLEANLINESS During a pandemic, we have to clean more often than usual and with CDC– approved disinfectants. It may make sense to include cleaning routines as a part of your initial COVID-19 behavior chat. PENN FROM YOUR ROOM An integral part of this semester will again be the universally annoying experience of online classes. Taking class-
es and assessments in the same space can be very tricky, and it may warrant a conversation about weekday expectations. I can barely keep track of my own schedule, let alone others' around me. A solution could be to have a master calendar, which can be online or on a whiteboard where everyone can write down their important exam windows or interviews. HOMEY VIBES Who isn’t tired of living through historic events? In all seriousness, this semester comes with a lot of external pressure. We're worried about vaccine distribution. We have a fraught presidential transition on our hands as a country. Meanwhile, we students are taking courses and many of us are moving to a new city for the first time. Knowing this, an important topic to cover as a pod is how to make your home a safe space. Perhaps this may mean your group will look into becoming more politically active. Maybe you'll go on weekly walks together for your wellbeing. It could even mean virtual Bachelor Monday viewing parties. Simply put, it's going to be a weird semester. There is not much we can control, but we do have a say in the type of environment we're living in. It may not solve everything, but sitting and chatting with your pod will make life a lot better.
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Stressful, Miserable Campus Now Cold and Disease Ridden Grace Ginsburg
eanut butter and chocolate. Eggs and bacon. Cookies and milk. All perfect combinations, right? Wrong. The most perfect combination of them all — the combination that makes you go, “Bro, this is the most perfect combination I have ever experienced” — is the University of Pennsylvania, in winter, plagued with the novel coronavirus disease.
Photo by Pxhere | CC0
Ever heard that two wrongs make a right? Well in this case, it is four wrongs coming together to make one really dope college campus. I mean, is there anything better than freezing temperatures, a cutthroat academic culture, mentally ill students, and a deadly virus? Sign me up, bestie! Some of you might be thinking: "Grace! What about the vaccine? Don't we have
that to be hopeful for?" Well, The New York Times recently told me that healthy people under the age of 25 are ~144 millionth in line to get that little shot, and that is really cool and goals! Ultimately, everything is bad and nothing is good, and we should all strap in and buckle up for the joint slay of horror that is coming to us in the spring of 2021. Hope this helps!
3-for-1 Deal: Senior Frat Brothers to Give First-Year Women Chlamydia, COVID-19, and Trauma James Morrison
i th the Class of 2024 being welcomed onto campus for the first time, Penn’s senior fraternity brothers are excited to resume their usual exploitation of younger women. The brothers, recognizing that this semester necessarily will be a significant departure from normal, have adopted an innovative threefor-one deal that will entice young women to venture offcampus and enjoy the sorts of pleasures only an older man can provide: chlamydia, COVID-19, and trauma. “We certainly weren’t twiddling our thumbs last semester,” explained College senior John Matthews, president of Sigma Epsilon Chi. “When
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we weren’t getting called out on social media for violating social distancing guidelines or hosting parties on crowded, poorly ventilated party buses, we were brainstorming ways to maximize our access to young female victims in the spring.” The brothers decided to play to their strengths when coming up with their marketing scheme. Recognizing that they are the principal purveyors of STDs and trauma on Penn’s campus, they decided to include both of those items in their costsaving sex bundle. “We knew we could sweeten the deal even more, however,” Matthews explained to UTB. “STDs? Trauma? Those
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Photo by Joy Lee | The Daily Pennsylvanian are things that any fraternity brother could give to you anytime. It’s not every year that there’s a global pandemic, so we decided to capitalize on this time-sensitive opportunity and throw COVID-19 into the sex bundle as well. Our hope is that we will be able to give these women an experience that they will never be
able to forget and will always regret.” Philip Anders, another senior brother of Epsilon Chi, agreed with Matthews. “I’m so glad that we were able to put together a package that includes everything a woman could possibly ask for for their first sexual experience.” Anders further noted that the
brothers briefly considered adding "orgasm" to the package, but decided they could not in good faith guarantee that they would be able to provide one. Anders nonetheless swears by his sexual prowess — and his brothers' — claiming that he’s made “multiple” women come through purely penetrative sex. When asked if his future partners could expect him to go down on them, Anders immediately responded, “absolutely not.” UTB pressed the brothers on whether or not they could guarantee that all sexual encounters that occurred at their business would be consensual. None of the brothers could offer a definitive answer, only promising that “it will be murky, at best.”
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COVID-19 Is 'Soooo Excited To Meet So Many First Years in the Quad!' Megan Striff-Cave
h e time has finally come! The Quad has opened its glorious gates to welcome hundreds of new faces, including Jeremy from New Jersey, Lydia from England, and COVID-19 from all over the world! This past weekend, UTB sat down with COVID-19 to talk about their experiences so far living on campus with the first years. “I mean, I can hardly contain myself. I’ve been literally counting down the days until I can live in the Quad. I was mainly kickin’ it off campus this semester, but it’s just not the same. I didn’t get the full college experience of spreading into dorms and causing mass quarantines, you know?” COVID-19 is reportedly already super popular
I mean, I can hardly contain myself. I’ve been literally counting down the days until I can live in the Quad. I was mainly kickin’ it off-campus this semester, but it’s just not the same. I didn’t get the full college experience of spreading into dorms and causing mass quarantines, you know?” - COVID-19, virus
amongst the first-year crowd. They've been trying to meet as many new faces as possible, which isn’t as easy as you’d think. “I saw a ton of these people in Mexico around March, I think? And there’s a group of girls somewhere from New York, and we met up over the summer at their 'socially distanced' outdoor picnic," COVID-19 said with a wink. COVID-19 made an appearance in a few Riepe halls last week, but has been spending the bulk of their
Photo by Gage Skidmore | CC Public Domain Mark 1.0
time with the first floor of Franklin in Fisher-Hassenfeld. “There’s this one hall, and we’ve all gotten so close. I mean that literally — we were all within like, three feet of each other. It was amazing. They were hosting a dorm party, so obviously I had to go. I think I got to interact with everyone there. To put it simply, I was hit. I don’t want to brag or anything, but literally none of them are immune to my charm — or my disease!”
Photo by Carson Kahoe | The Daily Pennsylvanian
Penn LGBT Center Grapples With Gay Alumnus Donald Trump’s Complicated Legacy Scott Newman
i t h only a few days left in office, the Trump administration has left historic levels of political and social dysfunction in its wake. Though many search for meaning amid the Trump administration's penultimate days of turbulence, the implications of this presidency will continue to reverberate for years to come. No group on Penn’s campus is more embroiled in this debate than its LGTBQ students. Regardless of one’s personal feelings, no one can deny
that President Donald Trump was the United States’ first queer president. An unparalleled aesthete, catty bitch, and gossip, Trump brought his gay flavor to the decidedly heterosexual logic of American politics. Trump taking time out of his day to comment on the fashion choices of female politicians was queerpolitik par excellence. As Rico Hernandez (C '23) framed it, “Trump symbolized both victory and defeat for queer Americans.”
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