September 12, 2018 | 34st.com
september 12, 2018 3 WORD ON THE STREET Tale of a Summer Fling
EOTW: Reeham Sedky, House of Our Own
Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief Remi Lederman, Managing Editor Angela Huang, Audience Engagement Director Annabelle Williams, Assignments Editor Autumn Powell, Media Director Cat Dragoi, Word on the Street Editor Caroline Riise, Ego Editor Jamie Gobreski, Music Editor Colin Lodewick, Senior Features Editor Sabrina Qiao, Special Features Editor Andreas Pavlou, Long–Term Features Editor Naomi Elegant, Developing Features Editor Liz Kim, Style Editor Ana West, Film & TV Editor Sherry Tseng, Arts Editor Eliana Doft, Lastpage Editor Ethan Wu, Photo Editor Morgan Potts, Copy Director Christopher Muracca, Print Director
5 Best Songs, 88Rising, Astroworld, Mitski
Ego Beats: Sophie Xi Music Beats: Arjun Swaminathan, Sammy Gordon, Sophie Burkholder
Features Staff: Angie Lin, Julia Bell, Paige Fishman, Hailey Noh
Copy Editors: Kate Poole, Kira Horowitz, Sarah Poss, Serena Miniter
Style Beats: Emma Moore, Jen Cullen, Molly Hessel, Valentina Escudero Film & TV Beats: Zovinar Khrimian, Maryanne Koussa
Sofia Price, Analytics Editor Marketing Associates: Brittany Levy, Carly Shoulberg, Daniel Bulpitt, Ha Tran, Lauren Donato , McKay Norton, Merry Gu
Arts Beat: Michelle Wan
Cover shot by Autumn Powell
Design Editors: Lucy Ferry, Gillian Diebold, Ben Zhao, Christine Lam, Alana Shukovsky, Joy Lee
Contacting 34th Street Magazine: If you have questions, comments, complaints or letters to the editor, email Nick Joyner, Editor–in–Chief, at joyner@34st. com. You can also call us at (215) 422–4640. www.34st.com
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR 11 STYLE
Branding Penn, Lauren Lareau
LOL 17 FILM & TV
Film in Philly 101, Zach Fox
Village Voice, Juliet Lubwama, Chuck Schultz
LOL 23 LASTPAGE
Overheards, A Guide to Late Night Munchies 2
n September 8, 2008, a trifecta of catastrophes struck the United States. The financial crisis hit, Distrito opened its doors, and 34th Street launched Under the Button dot com. “Welcome to UnderTheButton.com, 34th Street's new blog. For our inagural post, we shall attempt to say something meaningful about our generation vis–a–vis a recap of the MTV Video Music Awards.” With that editor’s note, UTB’s first post was published, laying bare the sorry state of Street’s copyediting department in the late 2000s. Street EIC Kerry Jones had an idea, and Heather Schwadel was the chosen one to execute it. Her VMA commentary was the thinkpiece that launched a thousand clicks. And with this morsel of cultural criticism, 34th Street birthed UTB unto the world. A long and winding road of questionable content brought us to where we are today. UTB was a place for gossip, greek–life musings, and betchy non–news, a reflection of what 34th Street and its interests were a decade ago. But nonetheless, she persisted. Along came September 2016, and with it us, two writers, alike in lack of dignity, in the Pepto Bismol Palace of 4015 Walnut Street. Nick, a lowly 34th Street Film & TV writer, and Alessandro, an equally lowly UTB staff writer, were engaged with their weekly assignments in the heat of the Street/UTB rivalry that gripped their publications. On the eve of UTB’s 8th birthday, Alessandro published UTB’s first fake news story, documenting his freshman friend losing his virginity. Meanwhile, Nick was composing some bullshit about Stranger Things. Alessandro’s article marked UTB’s gradual shift from reality to fantasy,
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establishing it as the satire publication we know today and killing Lowbrow. Stranger Things was also pretty good. In this moment, we were strangers traveling parallel paths through the ranks of our respective publications, remaining un–introduced until rising to the high altars of our parent company, The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. Today, we realize our true purpose. For too long our publications have served as the vestigial arms of the news department, looked down upon by our highbrow peers. But we are now grown. UTB is turning ten years old and becoming firmly pre–adolescent. 34th Street will be fifty next month, and we have sat idle like a withered old crone for far too long. Now, the time has come for UTB and 34th Street to unite against the tyranny of The Daily Pennsylvanian. We must organize, rise up, and overthrow the system that continues to discredit and oppress our beloved publications. For years we have warred over the rights to comedic writing within the DP, Inc., but now we have set our grievances aside, embracing each other in comradeship. We wish a happy 10th birthday unto Under the Button and we thank all our readers for joining us on this journey.
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WORD ON THE STREET
word on the
ON LEAVING AND LOVING Learning how to belong in unfamiliar places. Rachel Kulik
Signing up for my first poetry class last spring, I thought I'd spend the semester making conceptual pieces: deleting words to leave teeming silences, or cutting out halves of sentences. I expected geometries like gridded streets, motions like linear migrations. What I got were the numbered and alphabetized streets of my own neighborhood, and an infinite stretching outwards. I wrote about woven fire escapes and puttering engines. All of this came, unexpectedly but unsurprisingly, from a refusal to let go. I still felt the pull of curbs and skids and rushes of air, and they became mine even though I fought them. In my poems were places I hadn't put into writing before, and a new love that took the form of distance. Arriving in NYC after months away at Penn, I’d often forget the largeness of my city and the reach of its skyline. The main shopping street of my neighborhood— where grocery stores spill over to the edge of the sidewalk and light pulses from the slits of the subway platform overhead—seemed too loud and hectic. Storefronts had made way for new storefronts, but my business there had changed, too. Freshman year, bits of interactions made skyscrapers of molehills. There was the surprise of my professors at the fact that I speak Russian. There was the frequency with which I met classmates who had multiple family connections to Penn. And, there was my inability to align with the Jewish geography of most Hillel–goers. There came a point when I stopped saying I was from New York and started saying I was from Brooklyn—and not Williamsburg–Brooklyn, as I often
Catherine Liang | Illustrator
had to explain to Manhattan natives, but immigrant Brooklyn. I still had a sense of ownership of my particular piece of NY. I was used to being tripped up by cracked concrete where the roots were strongest. I missed the awnings with flaking paint like shedding skin, and people hauling carts full of things I couldn't pronounce. Home consisted of throngs of people who like their corner–store bargains, people who know what it is to have nothing. In a sense, that’s what brought them together. I'd left behind the ceremonies of mixing sour cream into borscht to make it less bitter, and of translating CVS coupons to my grandma. Home was something that needed me as much as I needed it. It could be frustrating, dissatisfying, and unrefined, lined with languishing oak limbs and backed–up street drains, but it was mine.
After a year of back and forth from New York to Philly, I had the packing and travel down to a science. Then, in May, I brought out boots and sweaters for what would be my first solo international experience—two months of interning in Buenos Aires. With a limited time in a country 11 hours away, I was determined to make it purposeful. Famous cafes, neighborhood strolls, and weekend trips were all planned for. Between jutting tiles and too– small subway cars, Argentinians pack in passion and pride. And in this much–too–close environment, I accepted a new openness to the inevitability of bumping into people and to crossing long avenues at strange points. I'd peeled myself off the only continent I'd known, left my Star of David necklace in NY per my mom's request, and stuck myself to the unfamiliar.
After most walks had been taken and milanesas devoured, a sighting from the top of a staircase and an unsolicited set–up by a mutual friend led to the most foreign of my experiences away from home. What transpired felt too smooth to be reality, but too honest to be a dreamy rom–com. He was a man of the real world, of rampant inflation and the ambition to move beyond Argentinian instability—but it was a different world. There we were, drawn to perfectly ordinary things that appeared exotic, each one speaking in a language that hadn't always been our own. When we brought up where we came from, it was like starting from scratch. We talked about how leaving made it easier to continue to leave. We didn't know how we'd ended up sharing the same space on a couch with too little room for two, but it was just the start.
When it came time to try to process my experience abroad before I left, it was difficult to separate the city from the people who'd given it its accents. Navigating shifting detours, I tried to speak a Spanish that lacked the inflections of English or Russian, though both inevitably peeked out at times. I grew attached to a collection, at the city's museum of Latin American art, that represented cities in the Americas as lived experiences. Rooms were clustered with art that suggested cities as dreamed, as abstract, and as marginalizing. They were all murky, intangible bodies. They spun together well– established citizens and hopeful immigrants and temporary visitors, and they were always growing new limbs. I realized that when I left home, I did it too soon—before my family could reach agreements about movie nights, before I could let my grandparents feed me the soups I've always known. And I realized that too soon is the best way to leave a place—while you’re still enthralled, while you still feel the pull of things done and undone. Home is anywhere you can come to love the same things over and over again. “You’re not really leaving, because you’ve left a part of yourself in Buenos Aires,” he said. “The wind never blows from the same direction.” In our exchange, there was respect for boundaries and disregard of borders. And discovering new feelings through new encounters was its own kind of tourism; “this is just the beginning,” he said. “It’ll be okay.” And it was. Rachel is a sophomore in Wharton, studying Actuarial Science and Finance. She plans to minor in Creative Writing.
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EGO OF THE WEEK To say that Reeham Sedky handles a busy schedule would be an understatement. After returning from a squash tournament in Seattle, and right before her afternoon training, Reeham Sedky sat down to talk about her passion for squash, her computer science major, and her experiences at Penn. By Sophie Xi
34th Street Magazine: What does playing squash mean to you? Reeham Sedky: Growing up, I was really active. I loved experimenting with all sports, like swimming, squash, and tennis. In the end, I had to choose one because maintaining all these different sports was going to be hard. I chose squash because I found more passion in it. I also knew, for my body type, that squash was a better option because for swimming, you have to be super tall and super long. Now squash gives me a break from life. It’s my favorite two to four hours every day. Street: How’s a day like in your life? RS: It’s pretty packed. I wake up around six or seven and condition in the morning for one or two hours. I tend to have all morning classes because I work better in the morning. In the afternoon, I go to squash training, but now I have to go to Drexel because they closed Penn’s squash courts for renovation. I go to study when I come back from squash and try to get everything done before midnight. Street: Do you always go to sleep by midnight? RS: I try to. For squash, recovery is as important as actual game. Street: What has squash taught you? RS: Time management for sure. And perseverance. It’s really easy for us to just 4
put the racket on the wall and give up. There’s obviously those times when you are not happy with your performance. And squash has taught me that, despite those times, you learn a lot from them. Street: Have you ever faced a bottleneck in playing squash? RS: During my freshman year of college, it was really hard to transition from my high school schedule. I got to know how to do everything on my own, but it was also hard to find friends and make sure that, as a freshman, I was okay to the team. So my squash of that year was not the best. During the summer of my freshman year, my dad reminded me that squash is what I was good at and it’s my passion. I also traveled a lot during the summer, which gave me a new clean start. Street: What made you choose computer science as a major? RS: I knew I was going into something maths and science–related because I always loved them in high school. My dad is in the computer science field and I always saw what he did with Amazon and Microsoft, which was really cool. I wasn’t sure if I would gonna be in computer science my first year, so I was trying out everything to see what I liked. Later, I really liked CIS–110. I enjoyed the satisfaction of code, what you
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can get out of it and the logic of problem solving behind it. Street: What’s your plan after Penn? RS: My plan is to put aside work and do professional squash for a couple of years until work takes me. I’m really into sports analysis and will try to find something with computer science that analyzes sports performance, whether that’s through Nike or Fitbit. Street: Can you name a few countries that you have been to for squash tournaments? RS: Canada (both coasts!), Brazil, Peru, Namibia, South Africa, Egypt, France, Poland, England, Netherlands, Qatar, and I’m going to China on Friday for the World Championships. It’s been all over the place. Street: How do you balance school work while traveling abroad? RS: There are lots of emails sent to professors, letting them know the classes I’m missing. If that’s not okay with them, then I have to drop the class. I’m lucky because my major is computer science, which you can do everything for on your laptop. Street: How does squash play a role in your Egyptian heritage?
Chase Sutton | Photographer
MAJOR | Computer Science ACTIVITIES | Squash, FemmeHacks, Friars Senior Society HOMETOWN | Seattle, Washington
RS: The biggest sport in Egypt is squash. It’s cool to be connected back to my roots, knowing that the sport I play is really big in my country. I made a lot of friends from Egypt at my squash tournaments, so interacting with them is like my connection to back home.
Street: What’s your favorite moment at Penn? RS: Every year in Philadelphia, there’s a tournament called the US Open. It’s a huge deal on the Drexel courts. I was able to play in it my junior year in front of my friends and my parents. It was very memorable, even though I lost that match.
LIGHTNING ROUND There are two types of people at Penn… The egocentric and the laid–back. If you didn’t play squash, what would you play? Track & Field. What’s your guilty snack? White chocolate. What do you want to say to your freshman self? No matter what, it gets better. What are some misconceptions people have about squash? Squash isn’t a big thing in the US. So whenever I say squash, people would say, “The vegetable?” We don’t use squash in squash. Another thing: it’s not “tennis against a wall.” I don’t want to be compared to tennis. Squash is its own sport.
House of our own
Why This Eclectic Bookshop Deserves a Visit From the outside it looks like any of the other houses on Spruce Street. Wedged in between several fraternity houses, it’s easy to walk right by the shop without truly noticing it. Perhaps you’ve seen it in passing a million times, but never have taken the time to actually go inside. Next time you walk by, pop in. You’ll immediately regret all the times you didn't stop by before. The first thing you’ll notice is the sheer quantity of books. From the ground to the top of the ceilings there are thousands of books organized into detailed sections. If you make it through the ground floor, you can venture upstairs to browse through even more titles. There are endless nooks to explore. It looks like what you imagine a traditional bookstore to look like, but wouldn’t expect in today’s reality. It’s a far cry from the world of Barnes & Noble and Amazon's online bookstore. When you enter House of Our Own, you’re entering an experience. Instead of multitudes of employees and databases to guide you, all you have is your own imagination, and of course the
The bookshop on 39th and Spruce has been a much needed escape for generations of students. By Jen Cullen
guidance of owners Debbie Sanford (C ’71) and her husband Greg Schirm. Almost as incredible as the space itself is the story behind it. Debbie beamed with pride as she explained the roots of the store, which opened in 1971. The Penn she knew as an undergraduate student during the Vietnam War was by no means a typical college experience. The campus was filled with constant protests, demonstrations, and debates on the war. Tensions ran high, and there were few places to escape the political climate. That’s when the idea for the store arose. When it first opened, the store focused on history books, intending to give students context behind their current world. Over time, the selections expanded to include pretty much any genre you can think of. In many ways, the shop in 1971 was the same as it is now. The goal behind it has always been to be a place for people. The “Our” in the shop’s
title refers to a collective group of people who need a space away from their hectic lives. Debbie in part credits the comfortable feel of the atmosphere to its success, saying, “I think the space causes people to find themselves able to relax. When they come in, they’re able to scale down the pressure.” Over the years, Debbie and Greg have seen many small businesses in the area disappear and be replaced by large corporations. In fact, after the Penn Bookstore was taken over by Barnes & Noble, the DP posted a satire article that House of Our Own was also sold to the chain for one million dollars. The couple laughs when recalling the countless phone calls they received scolding them for “selling out.” Preserving a traditional store has been a struggle for the couple at times, but they have remained committed over the last 47 years because of their sheer love of what they do.
Debbie reflected on the store’s longevity, saying, “Years ago when Barnes & Noble took over the university bookstore, we never thought we’d survive. When Amazon started, we never thought we’d survive. But we just kept at it.” When asked what has made them stick around when other businesses couldn’t, they say that they have remained focused on their original goal, and have avoided outside pressures to overextend themselves. Recently, they stopped selling course books because they felt it was too much of an added stressor. Their main focus has always been on stocking quality books—and not just best–sellers found at other bookstores. Surprisingly, when the store opened, the range of titles available in mainstream retailers was very narrow. Debbie emphasizes that one of the unique attributes to her shop is the variety of subjects. She explains that even without knowing exactly what you want, you can find
Ethan Wu | Photographer
the perfect fit. The shop offers books on subjects from falconry to Iceland to gardening. Perhaps even stronger than their love of the books they stock is the couple’s love of people. Some of the store’s customers have been coming in since the '70s. She has seen children grow into adults and students become professionals. Debbie, who says she has a strong memory for faces, relishes in reconnecting with old friends and meeting new people who come into the shop. “For me, it’s all about making connections. People come in and walk around and they look at books and they think,” Debbie says. “There’s a certain interplay of imagination for that sort of thing. And that’s what we’re trying to preserve.” Perched in front of the store is a sign that says “‘I’ve been walking by this place for years, but I’ve never gone in…’ How about today!” So the next time you’re overwhelmed with stress, or just need a quick escape, stop into House of Our Own and find yourself getting lost in a world you never knew existed.
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The Five Best Songs by Former Penn Students
Street takes a look at the top tracks from past students. BY Arjun Swaminathan Icons are everywhere, but they all started somewhere. From Noam Chomsky to Elon Musk, to Elizabeth Banks and Tory Burch, Penn has famous alumni in every field— business, politics, athletics, you name it. That includes famous artists who have made their mark in the music industry, topping Billboard charts for years with lasting hits. While non–exhaustive by any means, here's a ranking of the fourmost iconic songs by Penn alums:
4. "AND WE DANCED" BY THE HOOTERS After meeting at Penn in the early 1970s, Rob Hyman and Eric Bazilian formed The Hooters in the '80s and achieved mainstream success in the booming rock industry. Incorporating folk instrumentation, “And We Danced” is an archetypal dance ballad, subconsciously pulling one to the floor with a partner to tango the night away.
me, you could be me but I end up on the A–list” and an infectious hook, Allen’s first single off his debut EP was a sign that he was destined for stardom. After nearly a decade, the track still sounds as if it came out yesterday.
2. "ain't no mountain high enough" by tammi terrell and marvin gaye Although Terrell never graduated, she enrolled at Penn for a few years back in the 1960s, so we’ll count her for that with this famous collaboration with soul legend Marvin Gaye. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” exudes buoyant, infectious love that has you belting the chorus along with the artists within the first listen. A Motown classic, the record continues to be pop culture mainstay after over fifty years, being featured in films such as Remember the Titans and Guardians of the Galaxy.
Saranya Sampath | Illustrator unconditional love. The singer has a magical aura as
From the start, there was no question that this would be number one. “All of Me” is more than just an ode to Legend’s wife, Chrissy Teigen—it’s an anthem for couples everywhere, a personal tale of reciprocating
a mesmerizing piano melody. It’s a sonic masterpiece.
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3. "NO INTERRUPTION" 1. "ALL OF ME" BY BY HOODIE ALLEN JOHN LEGEND A Wharton 2010 graduate that quit a job at Google to pursue music, Hoodie Allen dominated the underground rap scene during the early 2010s with tracks like “No Interruption.” With slick wordplay in lines like “See
he displays the octaves of his vocal range, accompanied by
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88Rising Label Aims to Further Asian Representation in Hip-Hop, Faces Questions of Appropriation BY MARGARET ZHANG The label's tour, '88 Degrees and Rising,' will be in Philadelphia at the end of September. “There’s some fly Asian shit out there, but no one can tangibly give you an example,” says Sean Miyashiro, the founder of 88rising, a management and media production company that intends to fix just that. In fact, on September 28th, this rapidly expanding label is coming to Philadelphia with artists like Rich Brian, Joji, Higher Brothers, Keith Ape, and more. In 2015, Sean Miyashiro, after
leaving San Jose State University, started a music management company under the name of CXSHXNLY with the purpose of trying to represent not only Asian immigrants, but all immigrants. CXSHXNLY featured artists Okasion, Brian Puspos, Dumbfounded, and Josh Pan. A year later, the company uploaded its first YouTube video under a different name—88rising—and started working with artists such
as Joji, Rich Brian (formerly known as Rich Ch*gga), and Higher Brothers. In their words, 88rising is "dedicated to celebrating global Asian culture." With the viral (and controversial) release of Rich Brian’s “Dat $tick,” 88rising blew up. During the subsequent years, they toured both Asia and North America and, just a month ago, released Head in the Clouds, a compila-
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Brad Hong | Illustrator
tion album with 17 tracks. Their "88 Degrees and Rising" tour will be in Philadelphia at the Filmore on September 28. 88rising is currently based in New York City, with additional offices in Los Angeles and Shanghai. Miyashiro describes it as “hybrid management, record label, video production and marketing company.” It’s more than just a record label, he asserts; it's a “media and video content focused company at heart.” In just a few years, 88rising has mastered the art of selling Asian artists to an American audience. Though there are other similar companies like Zhong.tv, a media company targeted toward Chinese urban millennials, 88rising closely follows Internet–driven trends, making them especially appealing to a younger audience. For Asians in America, 88rising is a group that “creates an atmosphere for assimilation without marginalization,” in the words of Grant Wei (C ’20), an 88rising ambassador. “Through the lens of using hip hop to challenge inherent structural issues, it is a solid means to challenge the narrative that Asians somehow do not belong in the American entertainment industry.” Angie Lin (C '21), an 88rising ambassador and 34th Street writer, points out that “Asians in hip hop can be a bit of a gray area in terms of appropriation and
appreciation.” Grant agrees that “88rising borrows from black culture in a way that makes it detached from its origins,” but argues that “hip hop has evolved quite a bit from its roots in the Bronx into a more global sensation.” The question, then, is whether or not 88rising gives due respect to those origins. After the controversy, Miyashiro released a video called “Rappers React to Rich Ch*gga.” Despite conflicting public opinion, many of the rappers seemed immediately receptive. “This shit is fire,” said Meechy Darko. “I see the comedic side,” Cam’ron said, “but what he was spittin’ was dope. His flow was tough.” “That’s dope. That’s dope,” Coles said, even volunteering to do a remix with him. Which is to say that, despite controversy, 88rising has influenced the music industry tremendously, bringing Asian artists into the music spotlight. Whether that is being done properly is up for debate. Regardless, 88rising's management “judiciously understands their place within the music industry and constantly rectifies their missteps,” according to Grant. Sean Miyashiro adds, “There’s a universe of people and a universe of shit that we just love and want to showcase. That’s where it starts and begins for us and that’s why it works.”
Brad Hong | Illustrator
HOW ASTROWORLD BROKE HIP HOP'S WEAK STREAK
Travis Scott’s album was a breath of fresh air for the rap game.
BY Arjun Swaminathan For much of 2018, it seemed as if hip hop was in a funk— artist after artist dropped hotly expected album that ended up falling short. From the sonic travesty that was Migos’ Culture II in January, to another snooze–fest courtesy of J. Cole with K.O.D., to Drake’s mediocre Scorpion, there has been little to celebrate in the rap sphere. Outside of Kendrick Lamar’s Black Panther: The Album and Kids See Ghosts’ self–titled debut, there was minimal critical acclaim for emcees. That changed August 3, when Travis Scott dropped the much–anticipated Astroworld. The rapper’s third studio album was an immediate winner, receiving critical acclaim and massive sales success. With hits such as “Butterfly Effect,” “Sicko Mode,” and “Stargazing,” it’s been on repeat for over a month and featured everywhere on campus. However, that begs the questions: what set it apart from other recent records? What did Scott do differently to meet the hype and expectations from critics and fans alike?
the last two weeks before its release. On the other hand, Scott clearly took his time with Astroworld. “Butterfly Effect” was put on SoundCloud as the first single all the way back in May 2017, nearly a year and a half in advance. Given the length between the release of the song and the album, it’s evident that Scott was continuing to work on an incomplete project. The result ended up being worth the wait—it was a smart decision.
He Took His Time This appears to be an obvious logic—the longer you spend working on a project, the higher the quality of the finished product. Despite being a decent record, it was apparent that Kanye West’s Ye was put together pretty quickly; the album sounded too short and raw. It was unsurprising when the news was released that West redid the album in
He Did What He Does Best Since the release of early mixtapes such as Days Before Rodeo and his first album Rodeo, Scott has stuck to a central style where he combines aspects of trap and psychedelic rap. He’s brought it to life with trippy images for music videos such as “Antidote” and “Goosebumps,” which is why the “Butterfly Effect” visuals almost feel like a conclu-
He Kept It Coherent At 25 tracks, Drake’s Scorpion was a double album of gargantuan proportions. Frankly, it was far too lengthy, lasting over 88 minutes. With no singular, unifying theme, the tracks are jarringly disjointed. In contrast, Astroworld is balanced. Clocking in at just under an hour, various songs transition into one another seamlessly on the beat, providing continuity and structure. The premises of songs such as “R.I.P. Screw” and “Stop Trying to Be God” are similar, preaching messages of tranquility and metaphysical balance.
sion to a trilogy. In general, Scott didn’t necessarily innovate with his gloomy lyricism and dark production—he mastered it. The beat changes on “Stargazing”
and “Sicko Mode” are impeccably timed; the chorus on “No Bystanders” nails the banger vibe; and the content of “Stop Trying to Be God” is full of depth and
learning. Scott pleased both old and new fans by maintaining his flair and expanding his subject material. Taking that all together, it’s clear as to why Astroworld lived up to the hype that has been building since the success of his previous release, Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. While experimenting with different styles and approaches might occasionally result in success for some artists, Scott stuck to elements that have worked for him in the past and perfected his craft. Ultimately, it culminated in the hip–hop album of the year.
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Mitski Masters the SAd Song
We could all learn from Mitski’s ability to force her worries through a sieve. BY sammy gordon I first heard Mitski when she opened for Lorde at the Wells Fargo Center last April, but that’s not when I fell in love her. I remember thinking, as the Lorde cult member that I am, that if the composer of my young adult life chose this artist, she must be pretty good. So that’s what I thought as I waited for Mitski to come out two hours before the headliner. I heard the set, but didn’t think much of it. Unfortunately, between the noise of people crowding into the stadium, my excitement for Lorde herself, and my unfamiliarity with Mitski, I ended up going home and forgetting about her. Until, that is, she released Be the Cowboy, and everyone around me and on my Twitter timeline threw it in my face. My first listen took place while driving to Penn a couple weeks ago, and that is
when I fell in love. Mitski’s music requires attention—at least the first five or so times you listen to a song—and that’s exactly what I gave it on that car ride. Mitski’s writing is emotional first and blunt second. These balance each other out. Although her songs are about her tragic love stories, she seems to relish them and is so upfront about how they make her feel. It’s as if, while we’re listening, we’re hearing her go through catharsis and become a stronger person. So, in spite of the vulnerability she shares—or maybe because of it—it’s hard not to think she’s killing it. Take “Geyser,” my personal favorite from her latest album. It begins with a striking, funeral– organ minor chord and equally striking lyrics of desperation: You're my number one You're the one I want
Jake Lem | Illustrator
And you've turned down Every hand that has beckoned me to come A sadness permeates the whole song, but a sense of resolve and empowerment joins it and builds up as the song progresses. The lines change from longing to realization, and a tonal shift to preppier drums and guitar matches that change on the melody, as if she begins as a distant, hopeless
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admirer and ends up with something much more real and close: But I will be the one you need The way I can't be without you I will be the one you need I just can't be without you “Nobody” is a jazzier, upbeat track with lyrics about loneliness that sound like they should have the same funeral track that Geyser gave us. Its lyrics all point in the direction of pity, as she sings, “Give me one good honest kiss// and I’ll be alright,” before a chorus of “Nobody” repeated eight times. But she doesn’t want our pity, and she’s pretty clear about that: And I don't want your pity I just want somebody near me Guess I'm a coward I just want to feel alright Mitski’s Be the Cowboy would be a sob story of an album if not for its creator’s resilience and bluntness in the face of sadness. It ends up making the listener more envious of her ability to deal with, accept, cope with, and move on from the tragedies we all face than pity her. She ends the album with “Two Slow Dancers,” which rivals
“Landslide” as the most tragic coming–of–age song about growing up. She sings, It would be a hundred times easier If we were young again But as it is And it is Unlike other sad songs, this one faces the sadness. Mitski likes to drift into fantasy, pull herself back into reality, then move on. And that’s a good lesson for us all. She ends the song with something she does well throughout the album: a vivid, relatable scene undermined by tragedy: To think that we could stay the same But we're two slow dancers, last ones out We're two slow dancers, last ones out Two slow dancers, last ones out We could all learn from Mitski’s ability to force her worries through a sieve, processing them into something that is somehow both depressive and joyous. Putting Be the Cowboy on repeat and crying uncontrollably is a good place to start.
It's The Most Wonderful Time of the Year:
Philly Restaurant Week
Enjoy deals from some of Philly's best restaurants from September 23–October 5. It’s about to be the most wonderful time of the year — Philly restaurant week. After a month of going to the same dining halls and campus eateries too many times to count, this is your chance to escape the Penn bubble and hit Center City for amazing deals at some of Philly’s best restaurants. Center City Restaurant Week happens twice a year: in late September and mid–January. This fall, the event runs from September 23 to October 5, but I would recommend making your reservations now. As many as 110 restaurants of all types of cuisine are participating in the prix fixe deal this year. Dinner is $35 per person and, at all participating restaurants offering a lunch menu, lunch is $20 per person. The restaurants give you your choice on multiple courses, often their most popular items, so you get the most bang for your buck. In case you’re overwhelmed by the number of options, here are some Street–recommended picks:
A chic mediterranean spot that is just as delicious as it is photogenic. The menu for the event is three courses of your choice, including an appetizer, main course, and
dessert. A highlight is the truffled mushroom pizza which boasts wood roasted mushrooms and a special sauce. Save room for dessert as Barbuzzo is best known for the salted caramel budino, a custard dessert with a dark chocolate crust and vanilla bean caramel.
creme or the classic American with the peach and berry crisp.
One of the few BYO’s on the list is Melograno, which offers delicious Italian food in addition
BY Jennifer Cullen to a good time. This isn’t your average BYO—it’s extremely classy, but you still won’t be judged for bringing Barefoot wine. The best thing on the menu is the silva pizza, which is my ultimate favorite pizza in Philly. It’s a white pie with goat cheese,
Photo by Corey Fader
wild mushrooms, and truffle oil. To make sure you get to eat all that Philly has to offer, I recommend you make reservations in advance, grab some friends, and enjoy some amazing food at a student– friendly price.
1225 Raw Sushi and Sake Lounge
Get your sushi fix at this trendy spot with hanging lanterns and walls covered in Japanese art. While sushi is their specialty, they also offer other choices for those who aren’t a fan of raw fish, like ramen. And vegetarians need not be scared away either, as you can get all of your courses meat–free. For sushi lovers, my suggestion is the Sweetheart Roll, a salmon and avocado cut roll topped with spicy tuna and spicy mayo.
Bud & Marilyn's
American classics are served at this kitschy spot full of funky art pieces and comfy couches. A safe choice would be the fried chicken, which is complimented with warm buttermilk biscuits and salted honey butter. For dessert, you can't go wrong with the malted chocolate pot de S E P T E M B E R 1 2 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 1
F E AT U R E
Selling the University to a Global Market In an article entitled “Here’s How Higher Education Dies,” education reporter for The Atlantic Adam Harris describes the decline of higher education. As Harris notes, the schools that will be safe from the eventual bursting of the academic bubble will be “the major players and media darlings such as Ivy League institutions and major public institutions like the University of Texas at Austin”—schools like Penn. With vicious marketing strategies and airtight branding techniques, these institutions transform themselves into “media darlings," corporate megaliths insured against the whims of the higher education landscape. With a $12.2 billion endowment as of 2017, the University of Pennsylvania functions more and more like a business with a mission to stay on top. Its enormous economic power means that it can actively shape the region around it. With around 39,000 local employees, Penn is now the largest employer in the Philadelphia region. It's come a long way from the days of Benjamin Franklin. Now, with competitive rankings to obsess over and pressing need to attract global talent, the university needs a unified brand presence. But this wasn’t always the case. “Ben Franklin named Penn at a time when there was no search engine optimization,” says Kathryn Bezella, Director of Marketing and Communications at Undergraduate Admissions. Until the Quad was built in 1895, Penn was a commuter school, and most of its students came from the Philadelphia area. It provided scholarships to Philadelphia public schools and its library was free to the public. Its urban location was also core to the university’s identity—historian Francis Newton Thorpe, in the July 1895 issue of Harper’s Magazine, wrote that “Pennsylvania was the ﬁrst American University planted in a large city. Its relations to Philadelphia, scientiﬁcally, socially, and as a power for culture, constitute perhaps its highest immediate inﬂuence.” Perhaps because of this, Penn sought to be innovative and modern from the beginning. With that commitment to a modern image also came an 1 2 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E S E P T E M B E R 1 2 , 2 01 8
By Shinyoung Hailey Noh
adherence to vocational education—a focus on the new and practical. In a 1749 pamphlet about the education of youth in Pennsylvania, Benjamin Franklin advocated for modern languages like French, Italian, and Spanish because they were the “tongues of commerce” and wanted to exclude more traditional languages in academia such as Greek and Latin. According to Thorpe, scientiﬁc courses were “undoubtedly valued as avenues to gainful occupation” at Penn as opposed to at Yale, where there was more of a focus on classical studies. Thorpe attributed Penn’s focus on pre–professionalism to its geographic location, as many people in the Pennsylvania region worked in manufacturing, business, mining, transportation, building, and engineering. Although Penn certainly started to develop its identity in its early years, it was almost two centuries away from even resembling Penn's brand today. Penn didn’t have any sort of logo until as late as 1933, when a design combining the dolphin from Benjamin Franklin’s shield and the chevron and plates from the Penn family’s shield was adopted by the university. The shield gives the university a face and makes the Penn brand instantly recognizable. The university’s Logo Style Guide states that the shield “is a way to identify the University as part of the ‘Ivy League.’” Use of the Penn logo and brand is now regulated by University Communications, which determines which typefaces and colors should be used with the university shield. Communications also provides templates of Penn–branded stationery including business cards, letterheads, and envelopes. The red and the blue don’t date back to Penn’s founding either, but to a track meet in Saratoga, NY in 1874. According to a 1965 booklet from the Ofﬁce of the Secretary, the captain of the track team was asked which col-
ors Penn would be wearing, and replied, “We’re going to be wearing the colors of the teams we beat,” referring to the Harvard crimson and the Yale blue. Even after Penn settled on its shield and colors, their use went unregulated for a long time. This led to haphazard representations of the University, with its 12 schools all using slightly different typefaces, colors, and versions of the shield. Proof of these outdated logos and brands aren’t accessible online and exists only in the form of printouts on computer paper. As he hands them over, Associate Vice President of Business Services Christopher Bradie says lightheartedly, “The University Archives might not have copies of the old school logos because we might’ve tried to burn all of them.” At one point, Wharton used yellow while the Dental School used purple. Engineering used a version of the shield with the two books and the dolphin shorn off. Unlicensed retailers sold Penn merchandise with different shields on them. An Ofﬁce of the Secretary booklet published in October 1965 declared, “Embellishments such as stylized leaves may surround the shield, dignity and good taste being the best tests of appropriateness.” But then came the digital era. “With the emergence of the modern web and the rise of digital advertising, the Business Services Division decided it was time for a standardized look,” says Bradie. “We had a lot of conversations about the brand identity of the university [...] We wanted to make a logo that will allow different representations of individual schools but still have some cohesiveness.”
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Admissions felt the need to standardize the Penn brand as well. As universities eventually grew into merchants of higher education, colleges began competitively marketing themselves to prospective students. “It really became necessary for us to have a cohesive look, feel, and message, because how else would you ever cut through the noise?” says Bezella. The Business Services Division set out to standardize the Penn brand in the fall of 2002. The university website now has a page dedicated to outlining its branding standards, explaining that the ofﬁcial Penn logo consists of three elements: the shield, the stylized word “Penn,” and the “University of Pennsylvania” logotype. It was also around 2002 that Business Services added a white wedge to the “split P” Penn Athletics logo to make it look more modern, a quality Penn has identiﬁed with from the beginning. With the redesigning of the central Penn website in 2015, the University also released web style guidelines to standardize its online presence. The university licenses the use of its name and logo to various companies like Champion, Nike, and Tervis. Bradie says that after the university laid down its rules for use of the Penn brand, many unlicensed retailers stopped selling Penn brand merchandise. The University has also cultivated other economic ties to its brand. Shop Penn, a project by Penn to publicize the retail offerings on campus, is essentially an advertisement for University City. With powerful visual tools under its belt, the Penn brand now reinforces its centuries–old identity through more modern approaches. The admissions ofﬁce doesn’t lead with the word “liberal arts” when pitching Penn to prospective students anymore. Bezella says that her team stopped using the term because it doesn’t resonate with their Generation Z audience. Her team is charged with identifying ways to adapt Penn’s reputation to entice prospective students, and currently the word her team focuses on is “interdisciplinary.” Not
Illustrations by Sammie Seo Jung Yoon
only does Penn have to cater to a younger audience, but it also has to look to a global one. “I’m leaving for Kathmandu next Wednesday. When I stand in front of a Nepalese audience and say “Benjamin Franklin,” what will that mean to them? We needed to reframe Ben Franklin from a founding father to an intellectually curious polymath who wanted to solve the problems in his world,” Bezella explains. She feels that practical approaches to tangible problems is something that resonates around the world while also being a core part of Penn’s identity. Thorpe saw Penn’s decision to move from Old City to West Philadelphia after the Civil War as a sign of constructive energy. Today, Penn’s relationship with Philadelphia and more speciﬁcally, the communities surrounding the school are fostered with the school’s image in mind. “We’re proud of being in West Philadelphia. The university does a lot to engage with the city,” says Stephen MacCarthy, Vice President of University Communications. Although the Penn brand may now use modern tools to help deﬁne its identity, its core values hail from the old days of highballs and rowbottoms. “That’s how you know you have a strong brand that’s real,” Bradie says, “when you can look at today’s implementations and connect them historically.”
Shinyoung Hailey Noh is a sophomore in the College from Seoul, South Korea. She is a Features Writer for Street. S E P T E M B E R 1 2 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 1 3
F E AT U R E
LAUREN LAREAU IS RUNNING FOR OFFICE The Penn alum and single mother challenges a Republican incumbent in Bucks County. By Julia Bell
Autumn Powell | Media Director “The deck is really stacked against you when you’re not running as an incumbent,” Lauren Lareau said. Her opponent has a tenure as entrenched in suburban Pennsylvania as a Girl Scout’s cookie– selling route. Lareau, a Penn graduate, is running as a Democrat for the PA House of Representatives in her home district, Bucks County. She’s running against fellow Penn graduate Frank Farry, who has held the seat since 2008. A Wharton degree–holding, Pennsylvania–bred, law-
yer–slash–fire chief, Farry has a glib, orthodontic smile and a popular reputation in Langhorne, PA. Bucks County defies the blue city/red Pennsyltucky dichotomy that boils down Pennsylvania politics—it supported President Obama’s first term, but not his second, and voted for the current president by an uneasily thin margin. “People are pissed,” Lareau said of her neighborhood. "People are angry that Trump is doing what he's doing. He's definitely inspiring the blue wave with
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every tweet he sends out." The seat she’s running for, in District 142, has been occupied by a Republican man almost every year since 1969, when the current election system began. From 1969 to 2006, the seat was held back–to– back by a father–son duo. After their 37 dynastic years (before the son paid a ten– thousand–dollar sum to settle a claim that he had violated the Pennsylvania Ethics Act) a new challenger—a Democrat—held the seat for one year in 2007, before he was replaced by Farry.
“When I started looking into his record, I thought, ‘he seems like a nice guy on the surface,’” Lareau said. “Initially, I thought he was a moderate Republican—and we could use moderate Republicans—but at the end of the day, he’s not a moderate Republican.” Lareau, whose central issue is education reform and funding public schools—Pennsylvania ranks 47th in the country for state funding offered to public schools—opposes Farry’s support of charter schools and vouchers. Her po-
F E AT U R E
"I'VE HAD THE REALEST STRUGGLES ANY POLITICAN HAS HAD TO DEAL WITH." Autumn Powell | Media Director
litical fervor was galvanized by the 2014 closing of her son’s small public school, Oliver Heckman Elementary, due to lack of funds to complete costly renovations. The decision to close the school left her district without an elementary school and was widely unpopular in the neighborhood. After the deciding vote, the Bucks Local News reported that the majority of Heckman supporters left the auditorium, “with one loudly shouting, ‘Evil!’” Among the spurned parents, Lareau vowed to have more influence over her local education system. “I’ve had the realest struggles any politician has had to deal with,” Lareau said. “The struggles I’ve faced as a single parent certainly help me relate to most other people in my district who are dealing with their own struggles.” Lareau earned a master’s degree in education from Penn, where she studied human development. Her status as a single parent, private tutor, and student have taught her how to be resourceful. “It informs my sense of the budget because I’m really good at squeezing things out of a really small budget,” she said. “My skills as a single parent make
me quite adept at figuring that stuff out.” No longer a baby, her almost–fifteen– year–old son canvasses with his mother and attends fundraisers with her. “He’s actually been helpful to my campaign,” she says. “We’re a good team in that way.” Lareau is part of the wave of women running for office—at all levels—for the first time in 2018. Men and women still take different paths to office. “Men show greater nascent political ambition,” political science and gender studies Professor Dawn Teele said, “and women’s decision to run is usually more relationally embedded and issue–oriented.” And it’s not just women: “There’s a blue wave of candidates in general.” Lareau is a part of this wave, even though it isn’t always popular in Bucks County. “Where I’m from, you need to be a Republican to get things done,” Lareau said. “A lot of people are registered Republican just for the sake of doing business.” Lareau said that the county office will respond to other Republicans more readily because “they’re corrupt bullies
who only help their own.” She has met card–carrying Republicans who only vote Democrat for this reason. Farry, her opponent, is a Republican, but it’s debatable if he’s gotten much done while serving as Bucks County’s representative. Since assuming office about ten years ago, Frank has passed just one bill. It was a proposed ban on plastic bag bans. “A ban on plastic bag bins?” “Plastic bag bans.” When local municipalities were debating banning plastic bags to reduce waste and litter, Frank passed a bill that would block the townships from prohibiting plastic bags. The measure was vetoed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe, scuttling Frank’s plastic utopia and keeping his number of enacted measures at zero. While he wasn’t passing legislation, he managed to find time to offer legal representation to attest to the safety of building a garbage incinerator in a nearby neighborhood, while he was in office (yes, it’s legal). Farry hasn’t faced a challenger in two terms, since 2014. Lareau is determined
to change that. “He’s somehow simultaneously intimidated by Lareau and doesn’t take her seriously,” Dan Brady, Lareau’s campaign manager, said. She has personally knocked on 2,000 doors while canvassing. Her campaigners have volleyed postcard–writing, phone– banking, and text–banking campaigns to combat the political apathy that sustains the same election winners year after year. Lareau said she “would love to debate Frank, but there isn’t enough money in the starved ecosystem of local politics to stage one. Recently, Lareau got an email from someone who wrote that in ten years, Frank Farry had never knocked on their door—until this election. Farry himself was canvassing on foot, door–knocking. “That must mean I’m doing something right,” Lareau said.
JULIA BELL IS A SENIOR STUDYING ENGLISH FROM WYNNEWOOD, PENNSYLVANIA. SHE IS A FEATURES WRITER FOR STREET.
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FILM & TV
Moviemaking Lessons from "Film in Philly 101" Future Spielbergs and Scorseses, learn how to make your movie dreams come true in Philadelphia. By Ana West
Reese Berman | Illustrator
If you’re a Penn student (or Philly resident) who harbors dreams of making your own movie masterpiece, what you might not realize is that you’re living in one of the best cities in the country to make it happen. Time and time again, that was the theme of “Film in Philly 101,” an event put on by the Philadelphia Film Society on last week that brought together a diverse group of Philly film creatives to discuss how to get started with film in the City of Brotherly Love. While we might not be known for being a film capital of the world, you don’t have to despair because you’re not in Hollywood—there are a multitude of resources for aspiring filmmakers in and around Philly. Whether you’ve been creating for years, or you’ve just decided you want to get started with pursuing a project, here are the best places to look for advice, inspiration, feedback, and mentorship—straight from the people who know the Philly film scene best. The Greater Philadelphia Film Office “Philly is always on the list of movie makers’ 'best cities to make films in',” said Temple professor and documentary filmmaker LeAnn Erickson, and what she told the audience (and other panelists nodded and echoed) was that a huge part of the reason why is the Greater Philadelphia Film Office. On their website (located at film.
org, which they snagged early on in Internet history and have nobly refused to sell since) you can find just about everything that you need to know about filming in Philadelphia: locations, permit information, funding sources, job and contest opportunities. However the most valuable aspect of the GPFO might be the people who work there. “They pay as much attention to M. Night [Shyamalan] as they do to one of my students,” Erickson said, so if you’re looking for guidance, don’t be afraid to reach out. Tattooed Mom and other local businesses A big part of the reason that the Philly film scene works is the support of the Philly community—not only among filmmakers, but among residents and local businesses. Aleksandra Svetlichnaya (director of the DINNER short film series) told the audience that her filmmaking friends in cities like New York, where shooting a bar scene in a real, privately owned bar could cost hundreds of dollars, were shocked by the fact that places like bar–and–cultural– hub Tattooed Mom on South Street let filmmakers shoot scenes in their space for free. The panel advised listeners to “always appreciate small businesses when you can—half of the time, some of your budget can be waived by just being honest, by just saying ‘We’re making a film... if you could help us out that would be
great,’” writer Jes Vasquez said. Rough Cuts and the Bryn Mawr Film Institute As hard as it might be to get started with filming, it can be even harder to begin a project and find yourself stuck, or to end up with a rough cut that you don’t know what to do with. If you’re looking for feedback and a supportive group of fellow creatives to give it, Rough Cuts might be your saving grace. Founding member Nic Justice spoke about the group, which meets every month “usually on the first Wednesday”, and why he started it. “You don’t have to make films by yourself,” he explained. “It’s actually near
impossible to do so.” If you prefer to go at it on your own and want a venue where you can be broadcasted on the big screen, the Bryn Mawr Film Institute offers Open Screen Monday. Bring your short film and not only will they run it up on the big screen at their historic venue, but you can also hear what the audience has to say after. Philadelphia Film Society While the Philly film community can be wonderful, it can also feel fragmented and hard to break into. A key refrain of the night was that one of the most important things you can do as a filmmaker is to find collaborators; for a lot of
people, these are friends and acquaintances. But if you don’t know anyone who would work with you, the Philadelphia Film Society (which sponsored Film in Philly 101) might be the perfect way to meet your future partners. PFS puts on a number of events; from panels, to the monthly Philly Film Showcase, to the Philadelphia Film Festival, to low–key screenings you can catch at the Prince Theater. Their events could be your ticket to getting acquainted with talent—in Philly, in the U.S., and around the world— and catching some great films in the process.
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FILM & TV
To Hollywood and Back with Zack Fox How one of Penn’s own carved out a spot for himself in the entertainment industry.
By Zovinar Khrimian Some Penn students arrive on campus with an image of what they’d like their future to be and a plan for how to get there; others hope that the college experience will give them some direction. For alumnus Zach Fox (C ’17) it was at the tender age of 12 that he knew he wanted to be a comedian—an aspiration that took him from Philadelphia to Los Angeles and back before finishing his sophomore year. Now he has a feature film making its Penn debut this month, his own production company (Fat Camp Films) and an upcoming project in collaboration with Instagram’s @fuckjerry. Fox’s exposure to comedy began at an early age, and
was an important part of his upbringing. “My mom did a lot with comedy” he recalls fondly. “When I was younger she ended up doing these funny SAT vocabulary prep programs that incorporated sex comedy. I was always in the recording studio with her.” Fox also notes the important role of comedy in tackling the challenges he was faced with growing up. “It was messy, it’s still messy. And for me, as a kid, being able to turn something that should be sad or fucked up into a laugh or a joke, it gives you some control.” At age 12, after a illuminating experience watching Sacha Baron Cohen’s Borat, Fox decided how he wanted to make his living.
Photos Courtesy of Zack Fox
This was around the same time that YouTube was gaining momentum in the world of social
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media. Not unlike many popular acts we see today, Fox began his journey making YouTube videos alongside his work in standup. He was discovered by Disney at a talent competition and at age 17, he began juggling his senior year of high school in Philadelphia’s Main Line and a new life in Los Angeles. After working with Disney, the plan was to stay out west, take classes at UCLA, and move up in the world of comedy. The screenplay for How to Get Girls, Fox’s feature film, was also written at this time, in collaboration with Fox’s childhood friend and cofounder of Fat Camp Films, Omri Dorani. So how did Fox find his way back to Philadelphia? Life in L.A. began to pose some challenges. “It’s a very superficial place,” Fox notes, recalling the chances at a big break that narrowly escaped his grasp while living there. In an effort to “switch coasts” Fox applied to and was accepted at Penn, which he hadn’t expected but decided to run with. Upon returning to Philadelphia, though, finishing his degree was far from the only goal Fox had in mind. “The best part of this whole story is that I made this movie while I was at Penn!” Fox exclaims when explaining how a
creating a feature film fit into his collegiate life. Between working on his communications degree and performing with Mask and Wig, Fox ran his production company as a way of supporting himself and got How to Get Girls through production over the course of his education. Funding the project was yet another feat of perseverance that required convincing reality–show producer Nancy Glass, who Fox pitched to at a Wharton event, to take on a feature length comedy. Now a recent college grad, Fox continues to build his company, particularly with branded content, which has become very profitable in the social media driven world. Though Penn may seem like a mere stepping stone in Fox’s years long journey through the media landscape, he notes the importance of the connections he has made here, and mentions that frequently works with former members of Mask and Wig, among other Penn affiliates. “The thing is, they’re so smart,” he says with a chuckle. How to Get Girls will be available on Hulu October 1. A Penn SPEC and Cinema Studies cosponsored premiere event is scheduled for September 21.
Alana Shukovsky | Design Editor
R.I.P. 'The Village Voice' A eulogy from a hopeful music writer. BY Sophie Burkholder
I’ve never held a copy of The Village Voice in my hands. I’ve never lived in Greenwich Village, or New York at all. In fact, I never had much of a direct relationship with the counterculture alt–weekly at all, and the little I did know about it was secondhand information from my former– hippie father. Nonetheless, my heart felt an unexpected twisting ache when the paper announced last week that it would no longer publish new material. Its death came as no surprise, joining the growing list of culture–focused publications like Interview or Rolling Stone that have recently gone under or been sold to new ownership. The shock is really that it lasted
as long as it did, considering its frequent coverage of local music and art that appealed to niche audiences more than the mainstream—in other words, the New York underground. Dr. Anthony DeCurtis, a Penn English professor and long– time music journalist, grew up right around the corner from The Village Voice offices in Greenwich Village. “As my political consciousness grew at a teenager in the sixties, The Voice became my source for information that you couldn't get anywhere else,” he wrote in an email. “For a while in my teens, I vowed that I wouldn't make my mind up about an issue like the Vietnam War until I read what The Voice had to
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4040 Locust Street (at the end of locust walk)
Students and Faculty get 10% OFF non-sale bicycles and accessories with valid school I.D.
$299.99@KeswickCycle (215) 387-7433
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say about it.” It never had a chance against heavyweights like Rolling Stone or Vanity Fair, but standing in the shadows of these giants kept its opinions vibrant and honest. In the decades following its 1955 inception, The Voice’s columnists, cartoonists, and critics ignored the pre–determined boundaries of stuffy journalism to innovations in creative nonfiction like gonzo journalism and New Journalism. “Culturally, The
Voice took rock & roll seriously very early, and writers like Richard Goldstein had a major impact on me,” writes DeCurtis. The paper was one of the few that helped legitimize the free and unlimited expression of mid– twentieth century America by regularly covering stories on artistic movements like Fluxus or the explosion of New York punk in clubs like CBGB. But more than anything The Voice was just that—
Live music • Film • Dance • Theater Art Education • Community FREE Workshop on Crowdfunding! Sep 10 2018 @ 6:00 PM
http://www.visiondrivenartists.org/ Vision Driven Consulting has teamed up with The Rotunda to bring resources and capacity-building workshops to self-producing artists/musicians, arts organization staﬀ, and event curators in all disciplines.
Admission is FREE
(In the sanctuary) In the Forest, 9/12-9/15: circus-theater in FringeArts! Sep 12 2018 @ 8:00 PM
a voice for those that were under–represented by the mainstream media. But now that same New York culture is everywhere, with no central location. “Any storied publication going under is a loss, a loss of community, accountability and intelligence,” says Penn magazine journalism professor Dr. Avery Rome. “Losing The Village Voice is a very sad example of that trend.” That community of artistic risk and thrill is one I’ve been contemplating for years now. I am an engineering student, not an English one. I know that every path in life is full of its own breed of excitement and risk, but I often feel that the choices ahead of me are relatively safe ones. Whether I pursue consulting, industry work, or academia, I’ve never worried that hard work and an engineering degree from Penn will have me rubbing pennies together down the road (*knock on wood*). My parents would cringe
at the words I’m about to write, but sometimes I dream about what it would be like to take a chance on a career in journalism, to pursue a future full of mystery with no real plans other than to take advantage of any and all writing opportunities. In hopes to prove the possibility of this to myself, I compiled a list last June of places that still wrote bravely and unabashedly about human culture, despite a dramatically shrinking readership. The Village Voice was one that reflected all that I love in artistic rebellion, from the names that graced its many covers to those who wrote the stories behind them. After so many people beating me down with the tired mantra that there’s no future in a writing career, The Voice and others like it were a beacon of hope proving all of those nonbelievers wrong. Now its folding makes me wonder if these dreams will ever become more than that. But part of me knew
The Voice, and those like it, would probably never have been a part of my future. Long past its heyday, “the paper’s music writing became impossibly self–involved and pretty much unreadable,” says DeCurtis. In hindsight, it seemed to have been in hospice care for a while. But does that now make the basis of its founding irrelevant? I don’t think so. In fact, the accessibility the Internet created to any and all kinds of music paired with the growing presence of smart devices that have begun to make some choices for us demands a new centralization of the new underground. Predicting what this might look like in such a fast–paced world of information is difficult, but so long as there are artists out there working more for the sake of art than for that of money, a voice will be needed to help bring that work to light—that is the voice I hope to one day join in my writing.
Each path tells a story. Tangle’s acrobats and 360-degree sculptural set surround you at IN THE FOREST, an immersive circus-theater show where threads guide travelers into new worlds. TICKETS: $14-$20 with discounts for students, artists, seniors, and groups. http://tangle-arts.com/tickets
Secret Cinema pres. TOTALLY WIRED: THE FILMS OF BELL TELEPHONE Sep 13 2018 @ 8:00 PM
http://www.thesecretcinema.com Join us for an evening of short ﬁlms from one of the major motion picture producers of the 20th century -- the phone company!
Admission is FREE
Conversations: An Evening of One Acts and Monologues
Cazuelas Restaurant www.lascazuelas.net (215) 351-9144 426 W Girard Ave
Sep 14 2018 @ 7:00 PM
Tickets can be purchased: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3587279 And Yet by Sheldon Wolf; At the End of One's Rope by Alexandria Hunter; Monolouges by Connie Martinez
Tickets: $7 in advance/$10 at door.
2018 Black Women's Arts Festival Sep 15 & 16 2018 @ 1:00pm to 9pm
Founded & directed by Cassendre Xavier, this year is produced by Amor La Luna. Artists and vendors, please email a 200 maximum word bio, website/blog link, and pic to Amor at ATUBMANMOVEMENT@gmail.com. Press and media, email Cassendre at firstname.lastname@example.org
Admission is FREE As an alcohol-free/smoke-free venue, The Rotunda provides an invaluable social alternative for all
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BYOB Authentic Mexican food Great for Private Parties $5 plate sharing fee
HAVE YOUR next Fiesta with us!
How to Write a Poem with Juliet Lubwama What goes on behind the scenes for a national student poet. BY xinyi wan William Wordsworth called poetry “the spontaneous overflow of feelings” originating from “emotion recollected in tranquility.” This is exactly what Juliet Lubwama (C ‘22) strives for: a collected space in which to reflect and encapsulate her emotions. And that space, for her, is found in poetry. And Juliet is no amateur poet. She was recognized by Scholastic Awards as one of the five 2017 Northeast National Student Poets. Google searching her name reveals a Ted talk, a poetry jam session, and countless other videos documenting her work. A freshman this year, she chose Penn over both Harvard and Yale because of the writing program at the Kelly Writer’s House where she will further hone her skills. Juliet’s poetic journey started as early as fourth grade after she read a poem by Maya Angelou. From there, she was captivated and began writing on general themes, such as love and happiness. As identity came to play a larger role in her life, her literary output expanded to encompass the experience of being a black girl. In more recent years, and with more experience under
her belt, her poems have focused on politics, social issues and black womanhood. Poetry, for Juliet, starts with the emotions. Not the blank piece of paper nor the pen filled with ink. And it’s a cathartic exercise. “The creative process of poetry writing gets [me] closer to a place of healing and understanding,” she describes. Always willing to excavate and confront her feelings, her emotions shine through in her work. It’s difficult to confront one’s own inner world; it’s even harder to fully understand one’s own state of mind. While the emotions translate to words, they’re at first not entirely coherent. But when she calms down, she returns to the poem, dissecting her feelings and playing around with the structures. “I edit my poems a lot so it’s definitely not a static thing,” Juliet says. “The most static thing would just be the emotion at its core. Everything else, from the characters to the narrative, and to the stylistic choices, could change throughout the process.” The words then become line breaks; they become white spaces; they become rhymes; they become alliteration. In
Ethan Wu | Photographer
the midst of this transformation, the emotions and ideas are then conveyed on a level words alone cannot convey. With the genuine truth of her emotion, her lines are delivered powerfully and sincerely. They’re at once direct in message, yet subtle in nature. Each poem is like an emotional time capsule, through which she is able to see where she is and who she is, and through that, so do we. “Reading a poem could be just a few moments of your time but you could entirely understand what the poet tries to tell you,” she says. All the changing components serve to communicate a certain emotion. Juliet experiments with different forms and poetic structures to become more familiar with what she likes in poetry; she then picks what parts of each structure that she wants to employ in her own writing. This is how Juliet develops her style. In one of her poems, "Onomastics," Juliet ruminates over her emotions as she explores her dual identity as both a black American and a Ugandan American. Her character, Marjani Anna, is a symbol of a character stuck between two identities and two worlds. “It’s
just like how I felt when I was younger,” Juliet says. “I created a new character because I wanted to take a variety of experiences that Ugandan Americans might face that is not inclusively limited to my own. I wanted this poem to
resonate with children of African immigrants and remind them that they’re not alone.” This is how she does it. This is how the national student poet works her magic, turning her ideas and emotions into powerful, relatable words.
Ree Morton: The Plant That Heals May Also Poison SEP 14–DEC 23, 2018
Cauleen Smith: Give It or Leave It SEP 14–DEC 23, 2018
118 S. 36th St., Philadelphia, PA 19104 icaphila.org Free. For All. Free admission is courtesy of Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman.
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Courtesy of Chuck Schultz
, z t l u h c S k c u l h a C v , i t t n s e e F ud s t t S r A n e n g e P in r F r o f BY sherry tseng s e h c t e Sk How sket chin g a show reve als mor e than just wat chin g it does .
At FringeArts festival from Sept. 6–23, artists will be exhibiting and attendees of the festival will be watching. Meanwhile, Chuck Schultz (LPS ‘19) will be live sketching the whole thing: the narrative, the lighting, and the movements. The festival is essentially a two–and–a–half week long celebration of the arts across the entire city of Philadelphia. With more than 1,000 curated
or independently produced performances, it combines film, dance, theater, comedy, music, and anything else that falls under the category of art. Having started as a volunteer usher for the festival, Chuck now draws and writes about the show. For him, the sketches are not merely imprints captured on paper for memory’s sake, but rather a convergence of the visual appearances, the moods
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of the shows, and the different themes that tie many of them together. “The show is over, but I’m still working,” Chuck says. “The show is running. The themes are all connected.” Part of his process involves the act of working for these performers and putting their name out there. In that way, Chuck is not just an artist, but an artist of an artist. And the shows he’s drawn are by no
means limited to local or indie shows, with big names such as Les Miserables and Cirque du Soleil under his belt. His choice of these particular shows are not accidental. After drawing a number of different types of shows, he’s particularly drawn towards dance. “With drawing dance, it makes me want to dance,” he described. “It tries to inspire you to become the art in it.” Given that he is able to work with a number of the artists themselves, his drawing and the performances form a cross between the arts that is otherwise difficult to come by. He said, “I relive it. When I draw, I learn about the artist and their work.” As part of the FringeArts Festival, Chuck has also recently sketched FIGMAGO, a cross between an escape room and a mural studio that runs until September 22. Because FIGMAGO pushes the respective boundaries of dance, painting, theater, circus, hidden rooms, and escape rooms, the entire journey is a blend of
different mediums. “My pen ran out of ink really quickly, but it was really exciting to be back in the mural artist studio,” he said. “It’s family– friendly and takes you on a journey of the artist process.” Chuck’s draws his formal art education from his time at Delaware College of Art and Design and later his time at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. In between documenting the big name shows, he also spends his time in the theaters of Philadelphia, sketching plays such as P Pan and Beyondland, written by Kathleen Murphey, an alumna of Penn, and Salamander by Elephant in the Room Productions. Regardless of his subject, there is one theme underlying all of Chuck’s work: that of collapsing boundaries of specific mediums into one another. Ultimately, it’s a challenge of what art is and what it constitutes, and Chuck is here to document it.
L A ST PAG E
Georgia Ray | Design Associate S E P T E M B E R 1 2 , 2 01 8 3 4 T H S T R E E T M A G A Z I N E 2 3
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