February 2020 • Volume 8, Edition 4 Dear Readers, This past school year has been a period of significant growth for C Magazine and we are proud to present our fourth issue, in which we have continued to push ourselves content-wise in writing and design. We are ecstatic to share our latest work with you all as we continue to grow together in the new year. Living in the racially and culturally diverse Bay Area, our staff members are no strangers to stereotypes. Staff writer Sukhman Sahota took this issue as an opportunity to reflect on her childhood and the assumptions her peers made about her. In “Not so Stereotypical,” Sahota shares her journey of coming to accept the fact that she does not fit in the box she was told she should be in. The story features art by Ellen Chung, depicting Sahota in an abstract way to symbolize her breaking out of the mold that was imposed upon her at a young age. Homelessness continues to be a complex issue that affects a large amount of the world’s population and often is the target of many stereotypes and misconceptions. Our cover story, “Love Your Neighbor,” strives to contradict these assumptions by exploring the roots of homelessness in the Bay Area. Writers Leslie Aboytes, Ashley Guo, Sophie Jacob, Kimi Lillios and Fiza Usman examined homelessness through personal interviews with various community members who are currently or have been homeless. Eddie Washington, pictured on the cover, tells his story along with others who used their similar experiences to help change the narrative of homelessness. Like many others, Washington has experienced the Bay Area’s lack of compassion towards those in need and shows the truthful, human side behind homelessness. We hope that this story sheds light on the human side of the homeless and dissolves some of the stigmas and preconceived notions commonly made. In the music world, there has been a long-standing conversation on misrepresenting artists—specifically through releasing unpublished music after an artist has passed away. Staff writers Theo L.J. and Sam Mutz dive into the controversy around posthumous music in “From Beyond.” Through this story, the memory of artists lost too soon is brought back to life in an intriguing and fascinating way. Our Featured Artist this issue is the extremely gifted poet and Paly sophomore Eva Salvatierra. In the article written by staff writers Faith Chow and Isabella Moussavi, Salvatierra opens up about how her poetry has aided her through difficult periods of her life and has allowed her to explore a love for emotive literature. We feel lucky to have the opportunity to share her talent with you all by featuring two pieces written by Salvatierra in our magazine. We continue to be grateful to have the resources and support as student journalists that give us the freedom to explore the topics and issues that we are moved to write. This was our first issue with six new staff writers, and we appreciate the dedication and drive they have brought to our team. Happy reading! Ellie Fitton, Ashley Guo, Chloe Laursen and Hazel Shah Editors-in-Chief
thanks to our
sponsors Alexandra & Jonas Olsen Anne & Billy Spier Annie Funkhouser Anoosh & Maryam Mostaghimi Barbara Cottrell Bridget Cottrell Brin Jisra Charlotte Amsbaugh Chris Lillios & Jinny Rhee Clara Fox Craig Dumas & Ranne Rhee Daivd Scherer Dan Zigmond Danielle Laursen David & Shantel Ferdman Deni-Kay Freier Emil Stefanutti Faith Chow Gadi & Henriette Ponte Gigi Tierney Grace Rowell Holly Lim Illuminate Plastic Surgery Inder Sodhi Jack Callaghan Jack Stefanski Jaime Furlong Jan & Monte Klein Jasleen Sahota Jennifer Mutz Jenny Robison Jody Domingos Jody Domingos Jonas & Alexandra Olsen Karen Gould Loving Mia Bella Photography Kathy Mach Katina Lillios Leela Vakil Lisa Borland Liz & Don Darby Liza Baskind Lois & Dave Darby Maria Aboytes Maria Afzal Mary Lynn Fitton Mea Rhee Meredith Ackley Michael Romano Michelle Vonderhaar Mike & Juliet Helft Mimi Veyna Moon & Hwa Rhee PA Libraries Phyllis Mutz Pietro Stefanutti Rita Baginskis Robert Wilson Rochelle & Stan Ferdman Rosa Schaefer Bastian Ryan & Andrea Helft Ryan Gwyn Stanley Chow Stella Laursen Sue Kim & Won Rhee Susan & Warren Gelman Sylvia Chavez Teresa Chen Terri Brown Theresa McCann Tony Lillios Trudi & Jeff Zelikson Victor & Teresa Chung Virginia Fitton Wendy & Gary Hromada Xavier Shah
staff Editors-in-Chief Ellie Fitton, Ashley Guo, Chloe Laursen and Hazel Shah Creative Director Natalie Schilling
Creative Adviser Tyler Varner
Managing Editors Katherine Buecheler, Sophie Jacob, Kimi Lillios, Isabella Moussavi
Copy Editors Kailee Correll, Theo L.J., Mahati Subramaniam
Online Editor-in-Chief Ellen Chung
Digital Design Editor Claire Li
Online Creative Director Tamar Ponte
Web Design Editor Raj Sodhi
Business Managers Karina Kadakia, Fiza Usman
Social Media Manager Sukhman Sahota
Staff Writers Leslie Aboytes, Sophia Baginskis, Eunice Cho, Faith Chow, Zander Darby, Samantha Feldmeier, Alexa Gwyn, Lindsey McCormick, Sam Mutz, Dunya Mostaghimi, Callum Olsen, Bridget Packer, Ellie Rowell, Atticus Scherer, Libby Spier, Emma Stefanutti and Rachael Vonderhaar Illustrators Ellen Chung, Natalie Schilling, Tyler Varner
Cover Katherine Buecheler, Ellie Fitton, Natalie Schilling
Adviser Brian Wilson
Publication Policy C Magazine, an arts and culture magazine published by the students in Palo Alto High Schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Magazine Journalism class, is a designated open forum for student expression and discussion of issues of concern to its readership. C Magazine is distributed to its readers and the student body at no cost.
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contents Featured Artist: Eva Salvatierra pg. 11
Pins and Needles
Featured Artist: Eva Salvatierra
An Escape From Reality
A Studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Friend
Love Your Neighbor
Not So Stereotypical
Knock On Wood
The Original Punk Rock
Enough is Enough.
Thrifting has become a hot commodity in the past few years, not only for the funky vintage pieces you may find, but thrifting is cheaper and more sustainable. Jewelry found at second hand stores is often rare and unique. The Alameda Flea Market is one of the largest thrifting events in the area, held on the first Sunday of every month.
Text, design and styling by TYLER VARNER â&#x20AC;¢ Photo by NATALIE SCHILLING
Out with the NEW in with the OLD
Pins and Needles The rise in popularity of tattoos and piercings has spurred a new age of social acceptance which changes the way people express themselves.
attoos and piercings were once seen as inappropriate and a sign of violence. People would have to conceal their tattoos and piercings in the workplace in fear of getting fired or ridiculed. For years, society has shunned individuals with tattoos and unique piercings, leaving a negative connotation surrounding body art. Despite this rocky history, body adornments have recently become more socially acceptable with the uprise of this trend.
f BRANDON GOMES
randon Gomes, a tattoo artist at Redwood Tattoo Company in Redwood City, has been tattooing for 13 years. After becoming an assistant at a friend’s tattoo and piercing shop, he was offered a tattoo apprenticeship. His favorite types of tattoos to ink are either black and gray American traditional tattoos, or one involving a multitude of colors. As an artist, he has had to refuse service when a client has asked for a controversial or hate-group-related tattoo. Many people in Gomes’ life have not been supportive of his career choice, and they have attempted to persuade him to pursue a new line of work. “My old man used to get so frustrated with me because I could be doing plumbing, HVAC, etc.,” Gomes said. “Those are all things people need. Nobody needs tattoos.” Gomes, however, has not let people’s opinions persuade him to leave the tattoo business as he thinks there is great value in his job. “Symbols are powerful,” Gomes said. “So putting one on your body lets people know ‘I’ve earned
this. I deserve to wear this.’” In recent years, tattoos have become more socially accepted, resulting in an influx of consumers in the tattoo industry. Now, Gomes has noticed a new level of intrigue from people towards his profession. “When people find out you’re the local tattooer, everyone wants to be your friend,” Gomes said. While the new reputation of this industry is good for business, Gomes believes that the significance behind tattoos is lost. “Tattooing is over-saturated,” Gomes said. “It doesn’t mean anything anymore. There was a romance to being the type of person who would cover themselves in tattoos… It’s lost its mystery and appeal.” Tattooing not only helps individuals express themselves, but it also builds connections between people of diverse backgrounds and cultures. “[A tattoo shop is] the one place a cop, a drug dealer, a Christian and a Muslim can all sit in the same room, get tattooed, share a laugh and some stories in a neutral environment,” Gomes said.
u HEAVEN LEE VERGARA
ost employees have to hide their tattoos at work. While this can seem limiting, it does not necessarily discourage individuals from expressing themselves through this art. Heaven-Lee Vergara, an aspiring nursing student, currently has five tattoos. Vergara always wanted a tattoo, but prior to getting her first one, she had trouble committing to a design permanently. After accompanying her cousin to a tattoo parlor, she suddenly had the urge to finally commit, getting her first tattoo: a smiley face on her wrist. “It was a super impulsive decision,” she said. “I made it during a time when I was going through some really hard mental stuff and I felt like I just needed a change. [The tattoo] is a symbol that’s just a reminder of the hard times I went through.” Since then, Vergara continues to express herself through her tattoos. On her more visible tattoos, she has received mostly positive comments, her friends being supportive of her decision. Her family, however, was not as initially as accepting. “I have more Filipino parents, and the majority of my family is Catholic,” she said. “They have that idea in their head that getting a tattoo is ruining your body and so they look down on people that have them.” Similarly, she has received some criticism at her job regarding her tattoos. Vergara currently works as a nursing assistant at a residential home, caring for elderly residents. Because she was hired prior to getting her tattoos, Vergara did not experience any negative consequences professionally. “I didn’t
get treated differently at work because I hid my tattoos,” Vergara said. “My coworkers have seen them and don’t care that much. They’re just like ‘Oh, that’s cute.’” Some of the residents she cares for have made comments judging her choices. “The old residents who have seen or know about my tattoos ask me stuff like, ‘Why did you do that to your body?,’” Vergara said. Despite the mixed responses she has received from those around her, Vergara does not regret her tattoos and is happy with her decision.“[Getting a tattoo] was something I’ve always wanted.”
5 MADDIE ROSE
fter seeing an actress on television adorn a double-helix piercing, senior Maddie Rose became fascinated with the concept. Rose currently has eight piercings, but has plans to get three more. Prior to getting her ear piercings, Rose spends time planning them out and making sure the configuration looks good on her ears. “I’m really worried that without a lot of consideration the piercing combinations will look really clunky,” Rose said. “I look up a lot of piercing combinations that are similar to mine to make sure I’m getting the right piercing.” Rose’s parents have been very supportive of her piercing desires. Her mother in particular, who also has many piercings, has helped Rose greatly in deciding which piercings to get. “It’s really funny because she’s usually encouraging me to get more and helps me plan out which piercings I should get for which ear,” she said. While piercings started as an aesthetic means of expressing herself, the significance of her piercings has changed. “I usually get pierced after doing something worth celebrating, like taking my first SAT, submitting my college apps or telling my crush that I like her,” Rose said. “It’s really funny when you think about it because I’m celebrating by painfully putting holes into my skin and then having to wake up early to clean them every morning and night for up to nine months,” Rose said. Rose’s piercings are not only visually impressive to look at, but they also serve as a physical road map of significant milestones and accomplishments in her life.
rAKIRA HILL PARKER
enior Akira Hill-Parker’s love for jewelry is what inspired her to get her first piercing. Hill-Parker currently has five piercings: her lower lobes, cartilages and nose. Her piercings are a big conversation starter, as people are fascinated by their intricacy and unique look. “People comment on my piercings all the time asking if they hurt and where I got the jewelry piece that I have in,” Hill-Parker said. When she decided to finally get her piercings, her mother was not very supportive of her decision, but she eventually became more open to the idea. “My mom was against it for a while, but then out of nowhere she asked me if I wanted to get another piercing,” Hill-Parker said. Her piercings were done at both Claire’s and a piercing shop in Redwood City. She is happy with her decision, and the results have turned out exactly the way she wanted. In the future, Hill-Parker hopes and plans to have both her ears filled with a variety of different piercings and jewelry. “I’ve always wanted to have both of my ears filled with different types of piercings since I was in middle school,” she said. “I want to [get more piercings] when I graduate high school.”
Text and design by TAMAR PONTE and MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM Photos by CLAIRE LI
arah O’Riordan was intrigued by the opportunity to express her personality through different kinds of jewelry and decided to get multiple ear piercings. She currently has nine piercings on her ears. “I put a lot of thought into the first piercing I got,” O’Riordan said. “After that it was just kind of like ‘I want more holes.’” O’Riordan has had many different reactions to her piercings, mostly being positive. “An occasional person will be like ‘Oh, I like your piercings’ or ‘That one’s really cool’ or ‘Didn’t it hurt?’” O’Riordan said. “It’s fun to answer those questions because it’s like ‘oh someone noticed!” While many may struggle with their parents’ acceptance of unique and atypical piercings, O’Riordan had a different experience. As O’Riordan is underage, she needs her parents to sign for every one of her piercings. “As long as I pay for them myself, they are very supportive,” O’Riordan said. Many who pierce on their own or receive unprofessional piercings may be in jeopardy of infection, tearing and scarring. This comes from the struggle with the high price of professional and good quality piercing shops. As a minor, O’Riordan has considered giving herself her own piercings to save money, but she realized the risks can cause her more harm than good. “[Piercing yourself] is very dangerous, and I was worried that I would bail halfway through and be stuck with a needle in my ear,” O’Riordan said.
ith our increasingly modern society, the perception of tattoos and piercings is reflecting a new sense of acceptance. Instead of scrutinizing one’s choices, it is clear that people are taking the time to hear about the choices made behind various piercings or tattoos, leading to an increased appreciation for the craft.
Text and design by FAITH CHOW and ISABELLA MOUSSAVI Photos by NATALIE SCHILLING
Meet Eva Salvatierra, a Palo Alto High School sophomore ready to take on the world with her poetry.
iving in such a fast-paced era, we can often lose ourselves amidst the chaos of our everyday lives. Poetry, however, can help slow down the frenetic tempo of life; it serves as a creative outlet, allowing people to express themselves and share their experiences with an appreciative audience. For Paly sophomore Eva Salvatierra, poetry encourages her to process her thoughts and emotions. “I was nine when I first wrote what I felt was my authentic poem, one that didn’t stem from any school assignment,” Salvatierra said. “It dove deeper into the processing of my grief and anxiety from the loss of my father.” It wasn’t until the summer before Salvatierra’s eighth-grade year that poetry became a true calling for her. “A huge turning point not only in my life but for my writing was sexual harassment I encountered at my summer camp,” Salvatierra said. “Poetry was an anchor for me to cope with that occurrence.” During times of hardship, poetry became a coping mechanism and a safety boat where she could encapsulate and organize all of her thoughts and anxieties. From there, Salvatierra began using poetry as a creative outlet and turned her emotions into lilted text on pages upon pages. The main purpose of her poems is to bring awareness to certain subjects that are sometimes neglected. By shedding light on these
topics and writing her raw emotions, Salvatierra helps not only herself but also others who are going through similar situations. “The urge to write a poem can be overwhelming,” Salvatierra said. “It usually stems from a buildup of emotions and stimulation from my environment.” Her love for writing lyrical pieces spurred from activities that she enjoyed during her childhood, drew her to this art form. “Growing up, I would fill notebooks with sketches and stories that turned into chapter books,” Salvatierra said. “You also never saw me without a book, and honestly to this day I feel naked if I’m not carrying one around somewhere.” Due to her synesthesia, which allows her to attribute objects such as numbers or words with certain colors or textures, she believes it contributes to the sensitivity perceived through her poetry. “There was this definitive sense of relief, pride and rhythm to the writing that I immediately fell in love with,” Salvatierra said. Poetry serves as a reflection of self-growth for Salvatierra. When she initially started writing poetry, she wrote in the perspective of fictional characters she dreamt of or created in her imagination. As the years passed, however, she began writing from her own perspective. Just like a time capsule, poetry enables Salvatierra to look back on the trials and tribulations that she has overcome. Although Salvatierra’s poems provide a moment for her to consolidate her thoughts and emotions, she wants to share her experiences with others who can relate to her pieces. “My poetry always begins within myself,” Salvatierra said. “My only goal is for the reader, whoever that is, to feel moved, under-
Growing up, I would f ill notebooks with sketches and stories books” - Eva Salvatierra
stood and feel as though their mind has been exercised to empathize and view the world with more depth than before.” Inspired by the everyday human interactions that she experiences or observes, Salvatierra’s poetry evokes feelings of con-
nection. A few poets that Salvatierra looks up to include Neil Hilborn, Leonard Cohen and Rupi Kaur; each of them bring a new awareness into society, which Salvatierra often reflects on in her poems.
“Activism and awareness for many causes is something I hold close to my heart,” Salvatierra said. “I want to use my story to create bridges and create art that moves people and motivates them and opens their eyes.”
The Mountains Were Red the mountains were red but I digress in the pale upper universe the moon hangs like a glowing sandstone I am still breathing there are sunsets that look like summer even if I want to lie I still see things through a running picture f ilm everything is real but I give it all too much thought some things should just exist
without being analyzed
a sea of brewing goddesses you tell a sea of brewing goddesses we are nothing if not legs to be opened. bodies to be trespassed. you shove a white sweaty palm over the voice of one woman til bile bites the back of her throat; cause silence burns from the inside out.
Design by ELLEN CHUNG, KARINA KADAKIA and CLAIRE LI
you have contaminated her kingdom. spineless guilt and desire, yet she remains radiant, an unshakeable force of nature, a survivor of even the darkest rampages. she blooms beneath the shadow of your misconduct. minerals thick within her soil among the iron roots of her magnolias she must forever carry the blemish of your wasteland.
EVa mom’s played U2 so many times, at this point i forget to think about you i’m sorry. maybe guilt is grief. apparently healing takes time but it’s been seven years by now so it’s possible With or Without You shouldn’t make me cry anymore i’m sorry. i still think the funeral goers were wrong; or at least failed to inform
a bit of crucial information to the numb, reeling eight year old & that is to say; time and grief, both intangible & complex, simply are variables in a seemingly uncontrolled universe. time will never be wrapped around anyone’s finger because regardless it will exist, constant yet uncontrollable, spellbinding yet excruciating, all of this simultaneously while grief finds its independence.
that is to say, i will stop crying in places like funeral pews (not that i cried at your funeral anyways, i guess i was supposed to) and maybe even at your own grave. instead grief will choose its appearance as sweaty hands as heart palpatations the word suicide in spanish class the train’s eerie roar ghosting through the morning cracked coffee mugs blue button downs when the creases of my eyes look like you.
The Constant + Independent Interconnected Variables of Grief and Time If you or someone you know is in need of help, contact the 24/7 Teen Crisis Hotline: 1-888-247-7717
An Escape From Reality The science fiction genre rapidly increases in popularity every year. With more and more franchises being put into that category, we wonder why these imaginative worlds have been attractive to audiences for years.
cience fiction has been a top-grossing genre in the entertain- permanent, and soon it is faced with corruption and is revealed as a ment and pop culture industries for years. When people think dystopian society. of science fiction, they most often picture “Star Wars” or Sometimes in science fiction, there is a blurry line between familaliens, but it is so much more than that. It draws people in through iar elements of a modern society and a corrupted dystopian society, an element of fear and prays on the ‘what if ’ factor. It shows both lending a level of ambiguity that leaves the mind free to imagine. the positive and negative aspects of progression within a society This freedom acts as one of the main points for science fiction’s popand offers an alternate form of how our world could exist. Science ularity among contemporary audiences, it serves as a bridge between fiction considers fundamental the familiar and the unexplored. philosophical questions about “Dystopian societies can be speculative fiction, “It gives people the ability to the features of the mind and re- so [they’re] very closely tied to the possible, the disconnect without totally leavality. It can also inspire people to ing the known,” Angell said. “In plausible and the probable.” question the unknown and seek that way [science fiction] is exprogression through connecting citing. It’s adventuresome, and Erin Angell scientific elements with fantasies [audiences are able] to imagine and theories about the future or different societal circumstances. something that’s not what they experience on the daily.” By having Erin Angell, a Paly Escape Literature teacher, explains a basic elements connected to the real world, people are less apprehensive definition of the overall genre of science fiction. “Essentially what when approaching the realm of science fiction because they can find makes science fiction and speculative fiction [is the exploration of] something familiar to hold on and relate with. “It explores the posthe theme of change and speculation,” Angell said. “[It’s] the ‘what sible [by] using rationally internally consistent logic to explain the if ’ factor and an internally consistent and rational explanation for features of the universe,” Angell said. that.” While its contents may be puzzling and mystifying, science ficSome elements connect to a realistic society that the audience is tion gains the highest attention from audiences across the nation. familiar with, such as in the book “The Giver” by Lois Lowry. This Following a character through the hero’s journey filled with action utopian society was built to be perfect and has removed emotions and adventure helps contribute to the exciting storylines that tug like hunger, pain, hatred, fear, conflict and illness. In a world filled at the audience’s interest. Not only do these stories and characters with uniformity, community members live with no memories of the serve as an escape from reality, but they also stay tied to the conpast in order to keep them safe and prevent negative factors such cerns and matters that are relevant in the contemporary world. It as war and inequality. Taking away the freedom of choice ensures dives into the possible outcomes of our worst fears, regarding isthat the community will be safe and happy, free of the obstructive sues like stratification, global warming and corruption. “I think why and detrimental elements of the world. it’s [an] interesting genre is because as we look around and see in However, the tranquility of this our environment and world, there are conflicts happening and we controlled society is far from have worries and anxieties about that,” Angell said. To convert these
Text by KAILEE CORRELL and LINDSEY MCCORMICK Design by KAILEE CORRELL • Art by NATALIE SCHILLING topics into attention grabbing stories for an audience, factors such analyze short stories and books that can be compared to the film as extreme corruption and human limits are exaggerated, helping version which allows the class to look at the differences between the to fuel the idea for a dystopian society. “Dystopian societies can be two portrayals of the story. speculative fiction, so very closely tied to the possible, the plausible With many science fiction books and films being set in the future, and the probable,” Angell said. “Or, it could be classic sci-fi where writers can freely explore the realm of the unknown and the prothere is [a] technology that is really testing the boundaries of the spective dangers that may one day appear. While there is no clear laws of physics.” Although there are times when it seems like science sight into what the coming years will provide, an individual’s crefiction is too ambiguous, there are small connections to our day to ativity can shine and explore theories for the way societies are run. day reality that serves as a stepping stone between our known world Commonly these invented civilizations are developed after an unand that of the unfamiliar. usual world disaster that forced groups to come together in order to The rise of science fiction’s popularity does not start with the 21st create a new, improved and seemingly perfect society. As seen in the century, but traces back to the 1920s with authors like Aldous Hux- popularized dystopian science fiction series, “Divergent,” the whole ley, George Orwell and Yevgplot stems from the aftereny Zamyatin. These writers math of a war that destroyed “[Science fiction] gives people the ability to found their inspiration from the world. A war that ruined disconnect without totally leaving the known. events such as the Russian the way society functioned Revolution and both World It’s adventuresome, and [audiences are able] and forced people to rebuild Wars. In contrast, the modtheir lives from scratch. Yet, to imagine something that’s not what they ern-day writer Suzanne Colno matter how pronounced lins, author of “The Hunger these futuristic worlds are, experience on the daily.” Games” series, came across there is still an eerie characErin Angell the idea for the post-apocalypteristic to them. Whether it is tic survival competition while a villain that the protagonist she was scrolling through channels. With stories covering the Iraq has to defeat or a stronger force that society faces, the plot uncovers War and reality shows on TV, the idea of the fictional world of Pa- an instilled threat in the potential future if the current world continnem started to form. Many other successful sci-fi novelists sought ues to function as it does. “[Dystopian societies are] like the canary inspiration of stories read in school. Author of “The Maze Run- in the mind,” Angell said. “It’s this advance warning of ‘if you do ner,” James Dashner, found inspiration in books like “Lord of The could happen’ so be careful.” Flies,” “Ender’s Game,” the television show “Lost” and the movie All in all, science fiction has paved a path for the imagination to “The Shining.” The introduction of a dystopian society set in the roam and explore the possibilities the future may hold, as well as future allows authors, and readers, to imagine the possibilities that implement a caution for years to come. It investigates an alternative the human race would experience in the years to come. world that handles technology, society and the survival of humanity Aside from the entertaining and stimulating stories for personal in a way that is different than our own. In the past, science fiction reading, science fiction is studied in an academic setting for many writers focused closely on the establishment of a dystopian world as students in order to find a sense of balance and understanding. “You a result of a revolution or significant warfare. However, recently don’t have to suspend your disbelief so significantly, and for a lot of writers are starting to draw inspiration from the rapid advancepeople they want to be able to recognize something about the book ment of technologies, simulated life and artificial realities, in they are reading,” Angell said. “They want a sort of recognition addition to gaining creativity from current events. The genre to extend their empathy to that, and imagine themselves there and of science fiction is able to examine the abilities of mankind even to understand it.” Books such as Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” and by representing the rebuilding of society after chaos strikes. George Orwell’s “1984” are some of the science fiction books that Through the challenges and struggles of restoring and reconare studied in school. In Angell’s Escape Literature class, they also structing life, the limits of human ability is tested.
The attributes of the Dadaist art movement were inspired by the chaos of the post-WWI world and are reflected in the seemingly nonsensical art of the late 20th and early 21st century. 19
ORIGINS OF DADAISM W
orld War I brought death and destruction like no war prior. Modern warfare decimated Europe and threw a once civilized society into chaos. In reaction to the worldwide atrocities, a new art movement, Dadaism, emerged from the rubble. Dadaism, or Dada for short, was a European art movement in the 1910s that reflected the insanity left in the aftermath of WWI. Through experimenting with mediums typically unassociated with art, Dadaists were able to rebel against the society that had brought this war upon them. After WWI, people lost faith in their government, the establishment that allowed this tragedy to happen. Paly Art History teacher Sue La Fetra, commented on the mindset of the original Dadaists. “In a way, [Dadaism] was anti-art, it was anti-establishment,” La Fetra said. “It [was] like the establishment had lost their minds.” Dada allowed artists to explore new, unconventional types of art for that time period. “You saw a lot more openness to using different mediums that
hadn’t been used before,” La Fetra said. “They were integrating words into art and there was also some performance art going on, which was just unheard of before.” Artists questioned the criteria used to define art and began creating pieces critiqued by the public for being irrational, random and lacking components of typified beauty. One of the most popular forms of Dada was the Readymade. Pioneered by French artist Marcel Duchamp, Readymades were repurposed everyday items turned into art installations. An iconic Readymade was Duchamp’s “Fountain,” a signed porcelain urinal exhibited on its side. “Fountain” lacked traditional requirements that society would use to define art. But by taking something as mundane as a urinal and defining it as “art,” Duchamp was rejecting the 20th-century artistic norms and helping to legitimize Dada as a real form of expression.
he chaos of postwar Europe that triggered the Dada movement is arguably no different than the current state of the world. The impending problems of global warming, political crisis and the unveiling corruption in religion have become the driving force for the creation of art, often lacking structure and clear meaning. One way we are seeing a revival of Dadaist principles in art is through pop art collages that tell stories of chaos and confusion plaguing the inner mind of an artist. Rael Brian, a Brazilian Instagram artist under the handle @raelbrian, identifies his art as Dada. “Deconstructing the image and concepts is my main goal as an artist,” Brian said. “I get a lot of inspiration from the punk and skate scene. All the aesthetics of my work come from these two worlds.”
Like Dada, the punk rock movement that inspired Brian’s art had its origins in non-conformity and the rejection of government actions—specifically the two world wars and the Vietnam War. Beginning in the 1970s, the punk movement used music and visual arts as mediums to disturb and shock its audience and challenge the norms of the art form that came before it: traditional rock and roll. Bands such as Ramones and The Clash wrote songs that were characterized by their loud, controversial lyrics and the rejection of anything considered mainstream or beautiful. Songs like “I’m So Bored With the U.S.A.,” by The Clash, took sounds that were considered unlistenable to society at the time and used the attention it gave them to spread political and anti-establishment messages.
Text and design by DUNYA MOSTAGHIMI, ATTICUS SCHERER and EMMA STEFANUTTI Art courtesy of RAEL BRIAN and EVGENIY SHVETS
“The communicative competence” by Evgeniy Shvets
“Weightlessness of gravity” by Evgeniy Shvets
“In a way, [Dadaism] was antiart. It was anti-establishment. It was like the establishment had lost their minds.”
SUE LA FETRA
Punk rockers also used forms of visual art such as album covers and concert posters to promote their music. Characterized by nonsensical text and images, crowded designs and collages, drawing a concrete meaning from these Dada-inspired artworks is unlikely. “The message behind the art is more subjective than direct most of the time,” Brian said. “It has more to do with the release of suffocating feelings.” Another way in which artists are reviving Dadaism today is through the creation of digital art. More specifically, that which lacks explicit meaning such as memes—humorously captioned images or videos. More recently, the very essence of the humor typically found in memes is derived less from the punch lines themselves, but in their absurdity. The current disillusioned generation uses memes just as original Dada artists used art
to reflect the nonsensical world around them. To some, connecting punk rock and memes to 20th century Readymades may seem far-fetched. Yet according to Maggie Dethloff, Assistant Curator of Photography and New Media at the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford, anything can be Dada as long as it stands for the movement’s original principle. “The idea of Dada is to push the boundaries of what is considered art and question who defines art, and that’s possible in any artistic or cultural medium,” Dethloff said. “Any Instagram post that elevates the mundane every day, any nihilistic or satirical meme, any protest or act of social disobedience can be thought of as Dada for our time.”
A Studentâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Best Friend Within Palyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s high-pressure environment, students have found that service and therapy dogs help reduce stress and improve their overall mental health.
Text and design by ZANDER DARBY and CALLUM OLSEN • Art by KIMI LILLIOS and NATALIE SCHILLING
s the bell rings to signal lunchtime at Paly, students flood the quad where volunteers and therapy dogs are ready to offer comfort to all. Service and therapy dogs provide essential help to people all over the world and have made a significant impact on the Paly campus specifically. “Therapy dogs at Paly allow me to take a break from my day and just take a breather,” junior Corrine Burns said. “One of my favorite moments this year was when the puppy Caramel came to Paly. No matter what is going on in my day, Caramel always brings a smile to my face.” After extensive training and tests, dogs are equipped with the necessary skills to provide emotional support therapy, relieve stress and serve people with disabilities. Paly is lucky enough to have therapy dogs on campus every Wednesday that provide an outlet for relaxation in the school’s high-pressure environment, a service that students take advantage of weekly. For a dog to become a therapy dog, they must have good behavior, manners and handling skills. Unlike service and emotional support dogs, therapy dogs are not trained to have a specific owner and instead volunteer in clinical settings to provide comfort, affection and love. Most importantly, they are trained to be comfortable in unfamiliar environments and acclimated to interacting with strangers. When Beth Martin, coordinator for all volunteering at Paly, adopted her new black lab, Annabelle, she immediately noticed her especially calm demeanor. “I got Annabelle when she was just a puppy, and she had such a great disposition that it seemed like it would be nice to share with other people,” Martin said. “I’ve had two other dogs and they were not appropriate to be therapy dogs.” With the help of an experienced therapy dog owner, Martin recognized that Annabelle’s behaviors would be a great fit for a therapy dog and was recommended to get Annabelle certified. “I had to go through a whole day reviewing the philosophy that there are clear distinctions between therapy and service dogs and we can’t take therapy dogs everywhere,” Martin said. “Annabelle had basic obedience testing like responding to sit, stay, come and had to be familiar and comfortable around people with wheelchairs, getting pet hard and being around loud noises.” After Annabelle received her certification, Martin began taking her to Paly for students to enjoy her calm presence and has now spent seven years coming to Paly’s
weekly lunchtime therapy dog sessions. Annabelle also frequently visits Sand Hill School, a grade school for students with language-based learning differences. During the visits, third graders read to Annabelle which helps them gain confidence and lower their anxiety levels while reading or speaking out to their peers and teachers. While therapy dogs provide emotional support at places such as hospitals, schools and mental health institutions, service dogs are necessary to the daily lives of people with disabilities. Service dogs are specific to their owners and trained specially to aid with whatever disability may be affecting them. Typical roles of service dogs include guide dogs to help the blind, hearing dogs to help the deaf and psychiatric dogs who can detect an oncoming psychiatric episode from their owner. For service dog owner and Paly junior Veronica Brinkley, service dogs have been a part of her whole life. Brinkley’s first service dog, Hunter, was a Siberian Husky. “Hunter did tasks for my disability like picking up and bringing items, turning on and off lights, closing doors and cabinets, medication retrieval, guiding and deep or light pressure therapy, which means laying on parts of the body and applying deliberate pressure,” Brinkley said. Hunter was recently retired for issues with anxiety in public. However, Brinkley now trains service dogs and has many other experiences with dogs. “Service dogs are incredibly beneficial medical equipment that helps a wide range of disabilities in many different ways,” Brinkley said. Training a service dog is an extensive process, and unfortunately, not all dogs are able to complete the process successfully. However, Brinkley works hard to prepare her dogs to pass the service dog training dog tests. “I now have a yellow lab puppy that I’m training for ‘Guide Dogs for the Blind,’ an organization that gives fully trained dogs to visually impaired people,” Brinkley said. “I’m also getting another lab in June to train as my second service dog.” Brinkley is by no means alone in her found companionship and love towards dogs; throughout history, humans have consistently formed unique relationships with canines. This partnership has been ever-evolving and, today, some people like Martin even devote substantial parts of their lives to spreading the value and benefits that dogs can offer.
“Service dogs are incredibly beneficial medical equipment that help a wide range of disabilities in many different ways.” -Veronica Brinkley
As housing costs continue to soar, homelessness is a reality that a growing group of people in the Bay Area face. To properly address the issue, we must ask the right questions: who are the homeless, what is currently being done and most importantly, what is next? 24
Text and design by LESLIE ABOYTES, ASHLEY GUO, SOPHIE JACOB, KIMI LILLIOS and FIZA USMAN Illustrations by SAMANTHA FELDMEIER, KIMI LILLIOS and FIZA USMAN
’m just like you guys. I was born upper-class, went to school. We just look different, that’s all. We had dinner every Sunday, my mother would cook.” Eddie Washington has lived in Palo Alto for over 20 years and lived in his van for the past four. Born and raised in Detroit, he moved to California when he was 16 years old after losing his mother to breast cancer. “It affected everything,” Washington said. “I mean, I tried to be normal. I did whatever most people were doing. I tried to do it, but eventually I fell off the wagon. I started looking at things a little differently.” Washington joined the military when he was 22 years old, serving for three years before working as a chef when he returned to the Bay Area. Living in Palo Alto, Washington has noticed that community members do not treat the homeless population with respect. “It doesn’t feel like a compassionate city. It’s all about me, me, me,” Washington said. The city of Palo Alto does not support Washington or others in similar situations. In fact, the city has recently removed resources for the homeless population. “Last year they took away a place near Cubberly where you could go and take a hot shower,” Washington said. Without any help from the city, Washington has to find his own ways to support himself. “The real resources I get are from jobs I do,” Washington said. “I do a little cooking for people. I don’t make that much money, but I stay busy. I meet people, talk to them, make them smile.” Homelessness is not a label that can define all of those who experience it. Yet, as the Bay Area homeless population grows, many people become invisible, and neighbors forget to see the life stories behind each person. “People don’t say hello,” Washington said. “They don’t make eye contact. Everybody looks just by what they see on the
outside. It doesn’t hurt me. I think it hurts them more when they are shallow.” For Washington, the dominant aspect of his identity lies within human connections and his benign role in the community. “I got a van so that’s my home, right?” Washington said. “I identify myself as just a caring person and a loving man.” The Cold, Hard Facts A large factor in the increasing homeless population of the Bay Area is the limited and unaffordable housing supply—Washington being just one of many to fall victim to this demanding economic scene. According to a report by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, homelessness in the Bay Area has reached crisis levels. According to point-in-time estimations, the Bay Area had the third largest homeless population in the U.S. with an estimated homeless population of 28,200 in 2017. “Until very recently, homelessness was considered the problem of individual cities and counties,” the report said. “For a metropolitan region like the Bay Area, which is divided into nine counties and 101 cities, this approach fails to meet the needs of an intra-regionally mobile homeless population. Problems in one community spill into another.” The Bay Area’s homeless population is disproportionately composed of unaccompanied youth, people of color and homeless men, with a relatively high percentage of those who identify as LGBTQ+. Additionally, the Bay Area shelters only 33 percent of its homeless population; despite the Bay Area having a warmer climate, this is low compared to the 74 percent sheltered in Chicago, 85 percent in Washington, D.C. and 95 percent in New York City. The Bay Area’s high rates of unsheltered homelessness only mean severe health and safety risks that have led to epidemic levels of dis
ease and multiple fires in homeless encampments. The report acknowledges that there are many difficulties in estimating the total resources dedicated towards homelessness due to a lack of consistency and transparency between local, state and federal jurisdictions. However, its estimates show that San Francisco and Alameda counties spend more than 50 percent of dedicated homelessness funding on housing and subsidies. Further analysis found that across the region there is a large range of spending on services for those at risk of or experiencing homelessness, primarily because the costs to build affordable housing widely varies across the Bay Area.
A Personal Story Despite the allocation of funding for housing, not all people living on the streets decide to utilize these resources. The circumstances surrounding homelessness vary drastically from case to case. Kim Lohse, an English and creative writing teacher at JLS Middle School, understands this all too well. While she has never been homeless herself, Lohse has felt the impacts of homelessness through the experiences of her immediate family members. Growing up, Lohse’s husband participated in various violin and piano competitions. His Catholic mother placed a significant amount of pressure on him, criticizing his musicianship even after
he won a competition. Along with other family issues, this caused him to develop anxiety to the point where he would black out on stage. As an adolescent trying to find his own identity, he was pushed to a breaking point; he told his mother that he would quit playing his instruments and that he did not want to follow the Catholic religion anymore. His mother told him that he could no longer live under her roof. As he couch-hopped between friends’ homes and refused to go to class, he often turned to drugs and alcohol to cope with the weight of his living situation. He first started with pot, but then escalated to using harder drugs once a friend introduced him to LSD. After liv-
Eddie Washington holding up a peace sign. Photo by Natalie Schilling.
The real resources I get are from jobs I do. I do a little cooking for people. I don’t make that much money, but I stay busy. I meet people, talk to them, make them smile.” —Eddie Washington 26
Lava Mae embodying their mantra of “Radical Hospitality” with local San Francisco residents. Photo courtesy of Lava Mae.
ing out of a car around San Francisco with a friend, he lived in and around the Panhandle in Golden Gate Park for about nine months, often begging for money and living off of scraps from nearby bakeries. Without his family, he found support within the LGBTQ+ community, specifically the transgender community. Many of the men he met were kicked out of their homes while trying to find their own identities and places in society. To this day, he stays in contact with the people he met during this period and remains involved within the community of the Castro District in San Francisco. Despite living almost a year without a place to call home, Lohse’s husband was able to find his way out of homelessness. Building a life for himself, he stopped consuming the drugs and alcohol he once used to numb the outside world and began to repair relations with his parents. When he and Lohse connected, he was finishing a graphic arts degree at the University of Pittsburgh. With his circumstances, he
was lucky enough to regain control of his life and begin making choices for himself rather than his mother. Not all, however, are fortunate enough to have had the same resources as Lohse’s husband. Many who want to help the homeless are unsure about how to properly provide support. Should they give them money or food? Is donating to an organization that focuses on assisting those experiencing homelessness more effective? Lohse and her daughter make packages filled with essentials and keep them in their car in case they see anyone who might benefit from their small act of kindness. “It turns out, it’s really hard to get clean, fresh socks, so always having brand new socks [in the packages is important],” Lohse said. “A lot of people have dental issues when they’re homeless, so having soft foods, bottles of water, and just these little baggies, like a gallon baggie with some stuff in it like toothpaste, toothbrush, some stuff, usually $5 or whatever, and just having them in the car.”
The Next Generation As a teacher, Lohse is focused on teaching the younger generation to have a true understanding of the topic of homelessness, as they will soon become responsible for creating laws and implementing regulations surrounding this issue. “I know that so many of my students who come through are going to be decision-makers about who’s on the street, so to speak, without ever having their feet touch the street, so they’re going to be put in places of power without having a real basic understanding of what they’re presiding over,” Lohse said. “For me, trying to help my students realize and have empathy with the different situations they’re going to be in as policymakers is paramount.” Not only does Lohse believe that future generations should become educated on this topic, but she also believes that everyone today should take an interest as well. With hectic schedules and busy lives, many people forget to look beyond the parameters of their own lifestyles.
“Opportunity unfolds when people are treated with dignity and people everywhere will rise to the level of respect they are offered.” —Doniece Sandoval
“There’s this idea that [the homeless] are dirty and filthy, and the encampments are an eyesore, and people should clean them up and say okay, but how and with what funds,” Lohse said. “I don’t think people understand how complicated it is on families.” Washington agrees that people should learn to view this issue beyond its face value. “With homelessness, I think people are missing the point,” Washington said. “Whether they are homeless or not, if you like somebody, help them out. Give them some cash, let them get a shower or do their laundry. I mean, everybody needs help, so step up to the plate and get involved.” As the cost of living around the Bay Area increases, those who work in the Silicon Valley are forced to live farther and farther away from their jobs. Simply because of the lack of affordability, many struggle to maintain a comfortable lifestyle in affluent cities such as Palo Alto. “There used to be families in those apartment complexes, and now, they house 20-year-olds working over at Google,” Lohse said. “Where do those families
go? Those people had jobs; those jobs didn’t disappear. It’s that they couldn’t afford the housing.” Radical Hospitality As gentrification overtakes San Francisco, longtime residents uproot their lives from permanent homes to ones that move on four wheels because of skyrocketing rents. Local resident Doniece Sandoval recalls returning home to a neighborhood filled with unfamiliar faces after only three years of living on the East Coast, shocked to find her friends living unhoused. She discovered that one of the most overlooked aspects of homelessness is personal hygiene. “Every unhoused person I saw was struggling with hygiene and it made me curious what people’s options were,” Sandoval said. “When I did the research, I was appalled at the lack of showers and toilets available.” People take their cleanliness for granted, unaware of the 10,000 homeless people living in San Francisco with insufficient hygiene facilities. “I knew what being able to get and stay clean and use a bathroom in privacy and safe-
ty meant to me so I thought that perhaps I could help,” Sandoval said. “And I believed that if it was possible to put gourmet food on wheels and take it anywhere, why not showers and toilets?” Sandoval founded Lava Mae, a nonprofit organization dedicated to fulfilling the mantra of Radical Hospitality through providing mobile hygiene services to the homeless population of San Francisco. “Radical Hospitality is at the core of everything we do, based on the belief that opportunity unfolds when people are treated with dignity and that people everywhere will rise to the level of respect they are offered,” Sandoval said. Lava Mae serves thousands of members in the Bay Area community, providing showers, toilets and hygiene kits. But the Bay Area is not the exception—combating homelessness is a global issue. In response to rising interest in replicating the company’s model, they relaunched as Lava Maex. “Recognizing that the most sustainable solutions come from the communities where the challenges exist, Lava Maex accelerates local responses to homelessness with
open-source toolkits, in-depth training and strategic partnerships,” Sandoval said. Since its launch, the organization has fielded over 4,000 inquiries in almost 40 countries, training and inspiring communities to start local mobile hygiene services based on programs designed by Lava Maex. With this expansion of influence, the principle of Lava Maex is able to reach more people than ever before. “Lava Maex is changing the way the world sees and serves our unhoused neighbors, and helps restore dignity, rekindle optimism and fuel a sense of opportunity for people experiencing homelessness,” Sandoval said. Local Organizations Local food banks and shelters have taken up missions similar to that of Lava Mae’s, supplying unattainable resources to those in need.
The Ecumenical Hunger Program, located in East Palo Alto, is one of many nonprofit social service organizations in the Bay Area. Apart from their primary focus of supplying food to those who are unable to afford it or include it into their monthly budgets, the program aims to support their community in additional ways. “We are able to help and assist [low-income families] pay their rent once a month,” Sulma Burgos-Arce, EHP’s Family Service Case Manager, said. “We help them with household items and clothes and help our community in all types of ways.” By partnering up with grocery store brands and working with people, EHP is successfully saving families’ lives without having to decline aid to anybody. Burgos-Arce finds that the only way for change to happen is if more people help build shelters and give resources instead
of shutting these people out. “Homelessness isn’t just what we see out on the streets. Homelessness is not just someone who is dirty and has nowhere to go. Homelessness is very much real,” Burgos-Arce said. “If we just had more resources and made it easier for people to be employed, that would definitely help.” Homelessness is a reality that many people in the Bay Area, including Eddie Washington, live with every day. With a more caring and informed community, the resources and support to help the homeless can make their situations at least a little bit easier. “It’s a journey and everybody’s journey is different,” Washington said. “It’s an amazing journey because you can be going straight in life. I had a loving mother, loving father, loving brothers, sisters and all that as a kid. But then life threw a curve.”
In addition to their mobile hygiene vehicles, Lava Mae partners with local organizations to provide free services such as hair cuts and vaccinations. Photo courtesy of Lava Mae.
SO N stereotypical
Text and design by SUKHMAN SAHOTA Art by ELLEN CHUNG
U I T U I Y H O IO UP
J P O L PO P JZE IU OH
Growing up in a world full of expectations, stereotypes and assumptions, I often found myself confused as to why I could not fit the mold so many people expected. 30
Y G C K U D H H I F C G N O D V T H P F H G U I G C T Z T A H H U I Y C B G T U H T Q I Y I G U O I U T I P UIUPYOTS HI jolted from the back of the car and started my descent down the hill. My eyes and mouth ached from the colossal smile growing on my face. The soles of my feet throbbed from the constant slamming of my feet down the pathway. I quickly caught the eyes of the friends I made in first grade and started waving obnoxiously. Right before I entered my class, I figured I would greet them. “Hey guys, how was your summer?” I asked. I was eager to know how they spent their summer vacation and whether or not anything changed about their life. “My parents said that your dad drove them to the airport this summer,” one of my friends replied. My mouth dropped wide open and my eyes tilted with confusion. I thought to myself, “What is she talking about?” “I mean you’re Punjabi right? Doesn’t that mean your dad is a taxi driver?” she uttered with a snarky tone. I whipped my head around the room and watched as my peers began collectively mocking me over the assumption that because I was a part of a Punjabi family, my father had to be the turban-wearing taxi driver that her parents met. Seconds after hearing this, my thoughts were filled with hatred towards my father. How dare he be Indian? How could he do that to me? Why do I have to be Indian? I was so focused on the demeaning commentary that I neglected the fact that my dad did not wear a turban and worked as a software engineer, not a taxi driver. It was at this moment I realized that I was defined by the color of my skin and my religion, not the person I actually am. I went through elementary school suffering through the loss of multiple friends. People left me because I did not fit the ideals of an average second-grader. How was I supposed to fit into a category that I simply did not align with?
J P O L JZE
At first glance, I seemed to embody a stereotypical Indian person: smart, strict parents and smelly due to my mother’s authentic Indian food. But I was not that; my parents were calm and supported me and my mom made tacos and grilled cheese more then she made daal, a traditional Indian dish. Most importantly, I grew up having a reading disability. This particular diversion from the stereotype labeled me as an anomaly to my peers—“the dumb Indian”—and they did not fear to tell me everyday. The following years at Carolyn Clark Elementary School I started believing everything my “friends” said to me. These stereotypes didn’t fit me—how could they? I was born into an unusual Indian family where being yourself is more important than the masks people put on their kids every day. In a matter of weeks, my growing insecurities overpowered any confidence I thought I had. I changed from this talkative student who loved coming to school to one who sat by herself and cried every time a teacher called on her. I entered a dangerous place where the only things that mattered were the dark thoughts that put me down. It was no longer my peers or friends but it was myself. I became a monster in my life. It seemed difficult to face my fear, especially when my fear was myself. Gaining my confidence back began with the realization that I will never fit anyone’s stereotype; I cannot be anyone’s perfect person. I had to lose the stereotypes I put myself in. I freed myself from stereotypes and became a human being. I stopped living in my dream world and started living in the moment. The regaining of my confidence was a journey. I discovered that what you can lose in the blink of an eye can take years to get back. I started finding beauty in my imperfections, and allowed myself to become the person I was destined to be. I burned that monstrous shadow that lucked over me every day and started building up from the remains. Of course, reminders of the burning come back at times and can wreck my day, but more importantly, the industrial borders I’ve built to shield these continued outbursts hold strong and constant in my life.
UPYOS TPGTIOHIUUIYTQ UCHTYGIHUB TGFICATUHGZ DTPHGOFCHDIHVUN CGHYKFT GDFIU W O
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An ongoing struggle for many teenagers is maintaining a healthy, balanced sleep cycle. But the factors essential in achieving high quality sleep are often dismissed. Common substances—such as marijuana, alcohol, and melatonin—can affect our vital sleep cycles.
n 1964, high school student, Randy Gardener, participated in a sleep study at age 17 and stayed awake for 11 days and 25 minutes in one sitting period, according to a study written in Science Alert. Researchers documented him displaying extreme sleep deprivation and cognitive and behavioral changes. Among his symptoms were moodiness, concentration issues, short term memory, hallucinations and paranoia. On the 11th day of the study, he was asked to subtract seven from one hundred repeatedly. When he stopped at 65, the researchers asked why he stopped and he said that he had forgotten what he was doing. The night after the study, he slept for about 15 hours and eventually recovered from his sleep deprivation. Doctor Michelle Primeau, a sleep specialist, has been working with children over the age of five at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) since 2014. Primeau has spoken at numerous high schools about the importance of sleep for teenagers. “Sleep deprivation can weaken a teenager’s attention, concentration, athletic performance and their ability to learn,” Primeau said. There are various ways to accelerate the process of falling asleep, some of which are avoiding bright lights and electronics, and getting out of bed if you are wide awake. Jane Varner, a family doctor at PAMF, believes that the quality of one’s sleep routine is reflected in the quality of their sleep. “There are really compelling studies looking at people’s brain activity while they’re asleep after they have looked at their laptop right before bed,” Varner said. “After they have gone to sleep looking at their iPhone or their computer, and they find that their brains are very active.” Having this active brain during the night increases the likeliness of waking up during the night. “We always say no blue light screens within two or three hours of going to sleep,” Varner said.
David Snyder, another junior at Paly, has a pre- the quality of sleep,” Primeau said. Caffeine often sleep routine that—unlike many his age—does not prevents the brain from entering the stage of deepest include blue light. “I don’t put my phone in my room sleep, which can greatly affect the consciousness of the which helps me not look at it when my friends spam brain the following day. Even if you are able to fall me,” Snyder said. asleep after drinking coffee, studies have shown that afAmayah Chang, a sophomore at Paly, has tried a ter consumption, deep sleep decreased by 20 percent. variety of strategies to help herself fall asleep earlier in While the detrimental effects of caffeine on sleep the night, including eliminating blue light, but has not are more easily identified, other substances have efbeen successful. “I’ve tried lights off an hour before I fects on sleep that are less apparent but have the same sleep, I’ve tried to not go on electronics before I sleep, level of negative impacts. While many believe that I’ve tried music, and a lot of other calming habits but consumption of substances, specifically alcohol and none have worked,” Chang said. “The only thing I marijuana, increases relaxation and the release of have ever found a little beneficial is a drowsy medica- sleep-inducing chemicals, many dismiss the countertion like melatonin to help me sleep quicker.” productive effects these substances can have in one’s Primeau finds that melatonin is best used to alter long term sleep cycle. the time one sleeps rather than to help them fall asleep. Consistent usage of marijuana before sleep can “Melatonin can actually be cause marijuana withdrawvery beneficial for teenagers,” al syndrome. “This can Primeau said. The main purcause bloody noses and crazy pose of melatonin is to allow dreams,” Primeau said. The people to fall asleep at the debody is ultimately disrupted sired earlier time so they get after consistent use that is brodrowsy at an earlier time the ken. following days, and eventually Along with the effects of be able to fall asleep without withdrawal, drinking alcohol the aid. Along with this, melcan restrict the brain from atonin can be used to achieve entering the deep sleep that -Dr. Jane Varner, M.D. a more consistent sleeping allows for memory formation time—which is imperative and learning. Alcohol is also for teenagers. “The most imknown to block REM sleep, portant thing is really that you need to keep the same which can result in groggy and unfocused feelings the wake-up time, every day, even on weekends, and even following day. on break,” Primeau said. According to Chris Farina, an AP Psychology teachCaffeine is the most commonly used drug in the er at PALY, drinking alcohol before going to bed does world. Whether it’s for the taste or the energy boost, not actually allow for quality sleep. “The biggest thing drinking coffee is a part of many everyday routines. about alcohol is that it does slow your body’s functionFor some, primarily teenagers, caffeine is often used as ing down, so you may think that that would be like a a substitute for sleep. Along with blocking sleep-induc- good thing to have as a nightcap, but it blunts your ing chemicals and increasing adrenaline levels, con- central nervous system,” Farina said. Consumption of sumption of caffeine can be highly destructive to one’s alcohol, in order to sleep, can seem like a solution to sleep cycles and general health. not being able to sleep, but just like caffeine, it prevents Doctor Michelle Primeau finds that many under- deep sleep as well as REM sleep. estimate the length of time caffeine is present in one’s Adapting to a consistently healthy sleep persists to system. “The half-life of caffeine is around six hours,” be a major challenge—especially for high school stuPrimeau said. This is the amount of time it takes for dents. As we grow older and gain more responsibility, half of the caffeine consumed to be eliminated from it is imperative for us to take a step back and make our the system. In addition to this, the effects of caffeine sleep a priority. “The one final thing that I will say is on the brain become more drastic the closer it is con- that we know that people die faster from lack of sleep sumed prior to bedtime. “Consumption of caffeine not than lack of food and water,” Varner said. “So there only makes it difficult to fall asleep, but it also affects you have it, sleep is vitally important.”
“ People die faster from lack of sleep than lack of food and water.”
Z Z Z Z Z Z
Text and Design by LESLIE ABOYTES and LIBBY SPIER • Art by NATALIE SCHILLING • Infographic by SAMANTHA FELDMEIER
D O O W
From lucky clothing to holding your breath in tunnels, many students have superstitions that may go undetected, but can dictate major parts of their lives. 36
s the car crosses the train tracks, Rachel Renolds holds her breath before making a quick pit stop on the side of the road shortly after crossing. She hops out and knocks on the sidewalk and then on her head three times and returns to the car, continuing on with her day. No one is born believing in superstitions; there’s no internal instinct that prevents you from opening an umbrella inside or walking under a ladder. These superstitions are based more on cultural habits than conscience beliefs. Places all over the world have their own cultural pressures that turn into beliefs and superstitions. While the number 13 is bad luck in America and in European countries, it’s completely insignificant in Asia. Superstitions old and new have made their way into the lives of many people, dictating their everyday routines. For Paly junior Conor Padmanabhan, it came in the form of a blue tie. Padmanabhan has been playing guitar since he was six years old and has experienced his fair share of auditions and performances. In order to put his best foot forward, he dresses professionally every time. “I perform guitar a lot and I usually wear a tie and all black. If I don’t wear a specific Michael Kors blue tie, then I don’t play as well,” Padmanabhan said. He has created an unofficial uniform for himself which he wears to all guitar-related performances and auditions. “One time, I had an audition and you don’t usually wear ties [to them] so I absolutely bombed that audition,” Padmanabhan said. “But then, I wore that tie the performance after and
it was one of my best performances I’ve ever had.” From then on, he always wears his blue tie if he wants to perform well. Like many others, Padmanabhan uses a “lucky” article of clothing to boost his confidence and improve his performance. Most superstitions are driven by the desire for good luck. For instance, people hold their breath while driving through tunnels, which is said to make a wish come true if held for the entire duration of the tunnel. For sophomore Nicki Loewy, holding her breath has become an entire family extravaganza. “For as long as I can remember, my parents and I have been [holding our breath in tunnels],” Loewy said. “I never really knew why we did it, but we just did.” Although most superstitions are habitual actions, many rely on items for a similar reassurance. Some items may include lucky clothing or jewelry, but junior Anna Mickelsen counted on a pencil for future success. “My superstition is using my AJ tutoring pencil to study for tests,” Mick- elsen said. “I used the pencil while preparing for my ACT, and afterwards I felt like it helped and brought me the same sense of concentration and commitment to the other things I study for.” She also uses it for tests w h e r e mechanical pencils were allowed, but she mainly uses it while reviewing for quizzes or tests. Despite Mickelsen’s pencil once being a source of reassurance, it does not have the same effect as it once did. “I wouldn’t say it’s any kind of lucky charm [anymore], and I put just as much effort into studying with and without it,” Mickelsen said. “But especially in the beginning
"One time, I had an audition and you don't usually wear ties to them so I absolutely bombed that audition." - Conor Padmanabhan
of the school year, putting in the same effort as I did with my ACT and using the AJ pencil made me feel like I was studying effectively.” With a stronger belief in herself rather than her AJ tutoring pencil, Mickelsen has been able to break her habit. “I no longer have this superstition because I’ve just started using random pencils and have created a stronger work ethic and don’t really think about the superstition anymore,” Mickelsen said. “However, I’ve come to realize more about superstitions and how they can be such random things that actually mean a lot to people.” Superstitions come in all forms with different adaptations, however, some are more widespread than others—one of the most common being knocking on wood. People revert to this action to avoid jinxing themselves in any situation, but most do not know where the act originated from. Many believe trees are the homes of many spirits and
touching or “knocking” on the tree would invoke protection. This action just shows how ancient beliefs have made their way into the lives of billions of people. As people and society continue to evolve, it is only expected that more superstitions will come about.
"My superstition is using my AJ tutoring pencil to study for tests." - Anna Mickelsen
The data presented here comes from a C Magazine survey of 117 high school students. Responses were obtained via social Media.
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The original punk rock Jazz musicâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s place in the modern world is one of versatility. While it is widely believed that this artform is dying off, many are unaware of the influence this symbolic genre has had on various common music styles today.
Text by ALEXA GWYN • Design by ELLIE ROWELL • Art by MEGAN ANDREWS and ELLEN CHUNG
ouis Armstrong, Duke Ellington, Bil- into smaller, dusty, lowlight clubs where songs had lie Holiday, Benny Goodman, Charlie less of a melody and improvisation was quickly Parker, Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, gaining popularity. These artists weren’t necesJohn Coltrane, Thelonious Monk and sarily playing for a popular audience anymore; Dave Brubeck. These musicians— instead, they were playing for each other, and among hundreds of others—carry a legacy as jazz evolved into more of an art form. This was some of the greatest jazz music ever recorded, but a breakaway in jazz music, and even though some also represent a period of history that changed the people hated it, that didn’t matter to the musicians. course of modern American culture. Hardbop came onto the scene in the ‘50s, but One of the earliest by then rock and roll forms of jazz was Dix“Jazz is less of a genre had taken center stage ieland, which develall the kids ran to and more of a mindset. It’s and oped in New Orleans Elvis. After that, there in the early 20th centu- about breaking the rules, weren’t many jazz mury. This was the era of exploring and going where sicians that caught the classic jazz: Louis Arm- people don’t expect you to eye of the general pubstrong moved to Chicalic. go—but beautifully.” go and Duke Ellington In the late ‘60s and began playing with his ‘70s, jazz evolved to— Matthew Caren sextet in nightclubs. wards a more experiDuring the ‘20s to the ‘30s, jazz was truly popular mental direction, becoming less about the music music in America; jazz wasn’t insider’s music like and more about the musician. These days, there is much of it is today. Everyone listened to it, and no one that comes close to musicians like Charlie more importantly, they danced to it. Parker or John Coltrane. Many, however, felt as Right through the 1940s, jazz was the epitome though the music has stopped evolving. of dance music. Big band and swing jazz came In the ‘90s, there was a slight resurgence in the onto the scene in the mid-1930s, bringing crowds form of Acid Jazz, but the music was more R&B. of people out onto the dance floor. When Charlie Other artists such as Michael Bublé pay homage Parker and Dizzy Gillespie hit the scene during to the crooners of the ‘40s and ‘50s; he is popular the Second World War, they would change the today because people can sing along to his music. course of jazz music forever. Instrumental music has always struggled regardBebop jazz gave us some of the greatest jazz less of the genre, and that’s not something that musicians of all time. By this time, jazz had moved will simply change overnight.
Where is Jazz Today? Steven Lugerner, a multiinstrumentalist, and Stanford Jazz Workshop co-director is a perfect example of what it means to be a jazz musician in the 21st century. “Musicians in this area are sort of a jack of all trades,” Lugerner said. In addition to teaching and gigging, Lugerner started his own record label, Slow and Steady Records, that looks to sign predominantly West Coast artists in the jazz and creative music scene in general. “I just didn’t really feel like there were any independent record labels that were sitting, supporting artists like me, and I had a lot of friends who were making really, really awesome music,” Lugerner said. “They would make an album and wouldn’t know what to do with it, so the idea was, ‘okay, we’re all doing really creative stuff, and nobody is putting it out for us, so let’s just start our own thing.’” Lugerner also teaches seminars and masterclasses to college students about what it means to be a musician today. He admits that many
people have a closed mindset in what they believe jazz to be, thinking it has to be a specific style. That’s not what Lugerner teaches his students: “I think a more liberal view of what jazz is, is that jazz can be anything,” Lugerner said. His favorite part of jazz is the improvisation and the rebelliousness that stems from the ability to improvise. “Improvisation is fundamental and wouldn’t be in existence if jazz hadn’t pioneered it first,” Lugerner said. “To me, the best jazz—and the best music—is improvising and using those elements, but doing it in some rebellious way that pushes the music forward.” Palo Alto High School junior Matthew Caren shares a similar love for music. When Caren listens to or plays music, he follows sounds and ideas that draw him in rather than the style of music itself; this thought process ultimately lured him into the world of jazz. “Jazz is less of a genre and more of a mindset. It’s about breaking the rules, exploring and going where people don’t expect you to go—but beautifully,” Caren said. “I think you can take that
mindset and transplant it into almost any kind of music.” Caren also shares Lugerner’s view on improvisation and the beauty that is in the imperfections of complete freedom. “Improvisation, a cornerstone of jazz, is such a fascinating and fun and beautiful thing. In some sense, it’s a more pure and direct way of expressing yourself; you convert ideas and emotions directly into music,” Caren said. “It’s like speaking: just as you don’t plan out exactly what words you’re going to say before every conversation, you don’t plan out what notes you’re going to play before you actually start playing. This combination—of freedom, creativity and self-expression—is what I love about jazz.” After discovering jazz music in middle school, Nathan Palmer, now a freshman at Sacred Heart Prep, became instantly hooked. He plays the alto and tenor saxophone. “Jazz is the most important outlet of self-expression I have in my life and will probably always be the most important,” Palmer said. “Jazz is also a community of people, who, by bringing their particular roles, experiences, and personalities into the music, build on each other to create something new. That is why I love the music and continue to practice; so that when the music speaks to me, I can speak back.” Palo Alto High School sophomore Owen Rice plays drums and bass guitar, but he also has a soft spot for the story behind jazz as well as the inspiration and sounds he can take from the music. “I feel that in terms of commonality, jazz has been heard less and less, whereas years ago, jazz was the ‘pop’ of today,” Rice said. “Over time, music is expected to change, and I feel that jazz is still present in various amounts of music whether the composer knows it or not. It’s a key backbone to all music.” While jazz musicians indisputably love the genre, outsiders view jazz as a dyingmusic that is not as popular as it once was all those years ago. Many also have a deep and profound connection to jazz, but some are unaware of the history behind it and its potential to grow and change with the modern world. Lugerner and his colleagues have made it their goal to change that. “I think that there are a lot of musicians who are ‘jazz musicians’ who on improvisation and the beauty that is in the imperfections of complete freedom. “Improvisation, a cornerstone of jazz, is such a fascinat-
ing and fun and beautiful thing. In some sense, it’s a more pure and direct way of expressing yourself; you convert ideas and emotions directly into music,” Caren said. “It’s like speaking: just as you don’t plan out exactly what words you’re going to say before every conversation, you don’t plan out what notes you’re going to play before you actually start playing. This combination—of freedom, creativity and self-expression—is what I love about jazz.” After discovering jazz music in middle school, Nathan Palmer, now a freshman at Sacred Heart Prep, became instantly hooked. He plays the alto and tenor saxophone. “Jazz is the most important outlet of self-expression I have in my life and will probably always be the most important,” Palmer said. “Jazz is also a community of people, who, by bringing their particular roles, experiences, and personalities into the music, build on each other to create something new. That is why I love the music and continue to practice; so that when the music speaks to me, I can speak back.” Palo Alto High School sophomore Owen Rice plays drums and bass guitar, but he also has a soft spot for the story behind jazz as well as the inspiration and sounds he can take from the music. “I feel that in terms of commonality, jazz has been heard less and less, whereas years ago, jazz was the ‘pop’ of today,” Rice said. “Over time, music is expected to change, and I feel that jazz is still present in various amounts of music whether the composer knows it or not. It’s a key backbone to all music.” While jazz musicians indisputably love the genre, outsiders view jazz as a dyingmusic that is not as popular as it once was all those years ago. Many also have a deep and profound connection to jazz, but some are unaware of the history behind it and its potential to grow and change with the modern world. Lugerner and his colleagues have made it their goal to change that. “I think that there are a lot of musicians who are ‘jazz musicians’ who have been trained in the conservatory, like me,” Lugerner said. “But we’re trying to breathe some youthful, young, sort of contemporary energy into the music, and I think there are a lot of people making really cool, forward-thinking, creative music that has that improvisational and rebellious feeling.” On the other hand, there are many preconceived no-
“That is why I love the music and continue to practice; so that when the music speaks to me, I can speak back.” -Nathan Palmer
tions about what jazz is and who it’s for. Today, a different community is invested in jazz music, and compared to the 1940s and ‘50s, there isn’t as much of a “hip” jazz scene. “More and more, jazz is becoming like classical music where it’s a little too institutionalized,” Lugerner said. “It’s gotten too far into academia and too far away from the streets.” Palmer does not believe that jazz is a dying genre, and is excited about its implementation into conservatories. “I think [jazz] is evolving to modern times, with technology and other genres coming out, but it’s not dying,” Palmer said. “An example of its evolution is the idea of studying jazz at a conservatory which brings a competitiveness to the music can hurt it but can also bring opportunities for people from all walks of life to learn jazz without having to necessarily grow up around it.” Like Lugerner, Caren emphasizes the need for jazz musicians to evolve and change with the modern interpretation of jazz music as well. “Jazz has always been about change and exploration and breaking the rules, and I think that mindset lives on as strong as ever,” Caren said. “You have artists like Jacob Collier, who was featured on three songs on the latest Coldplay album, and Thundercat, who more or less wrote all the songs on Kendrick Lamar’s To Pimp a Butterfly—jazz is alive and well, and in the mainstream too, even if you don’t always notice it. Just because it isn’t some guys wearing fedoras in a smoky jazz club anymore doesn’t mean it’s not still alive. It’s just changing, as it always has, and as it always should.” Looking to the future, Lugerner hopes for others to begin to share his love for jazz and believes that the first step of doing so is unrelated to the music form itself. “I don’t think there’s a way to revive jazz, and I think if anything, what needs reviving is the audience,” Lugerner said. “Why is it super young kids who are learning about jazz, and really old people, and nobody in between? Unfortunately, I think jazz music hasn’t done a good job of retaining that bigger, modern audience.” Lugerner hopes that by helping educate young people about jazz and, more specifically, the history of jazz culture, they can learn to connect to the music. “It’s important to realize that like jazz music was mostly pioneered by African American musicians, and it’s the music of its music of improvisation, rebelliousness, but most importantly, it’s the music of oppression,” Lugerner said.
“Rebelliousness comes out of feeling disenfranchised with the world and in my opinion, African-American people have felt that more in this country than any other demographic.” By taking a new perspective on jazz music, and on the message embedded in the music, there is a lot more that can be uncovered. “[Jazz] comes from a place of darkness, but there’s a lot of beauty in that darkness,” Lugerner swaid. “The more you dig into the history of music, the more you dig into the lives of these people who actually pioneered it, you can see Miles Davis and Charlie Parker and John Coltrane: they are revered as gods, but when they were alive and making music, their life wasn’t that glamorous—they were all struggling, and we don’t really talk about that.” So while jazz music may no longer be under the popular spotlight, its influence on culture and musical genres all around us has left such a lasting mark in our history that the “death” of jazz is simply not conceivable. Jazz music is ever-changing and ever-growing within the modern world, and jazz musicians are going to continue pushing the boundaries of music. We think we know what is meant by jazz, but time and again we are astonished by jazz’s ability to go beyond our conception.
Text by THEO L.J. and SAM MUTZ â&#x20AC;˘ Design by SAM MUTZ
During an artistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lifetime, their music can impact millions of fans, and record labels profit immensely. But what happens when an artist dies, and a treasure trove of demos is left behind?
t has been said that the beauty of music lies in its immortality. The expression that embodies an artist’s interaction with the world lives on long past the artist themselves. But what happens when an artist does not live to cultivate their vision, and instead leaves behind fragments of a puzzle? An untimely death raises the question of not only how to put those puzzle pieces together, but whether to even try. With the tragic deaths of musicians Lil Peep, Mac Miller and Juice WRLD all occurring within the last three years, and the recent announcement that Juice WRLD has over 2000 unreleased songs, this query is at the center of debate for music fans everywhere. There is one word that is constantly at the forefront of this dialogue: legacy. Exploiting the work an artist leaves behind is not only disingenuous to their intentions, but many view it as a stain on the legacy which their life and professional career amounted to. After the deaths of both Lil Peep and XXXTentacion, a song titled “Falling Down” was released, presented as a collaboration between the two artists, and included audio of XXXTentacion talking about the late Lil Peep. However, fans pointed out that Lil Peep never intended to work with XXXTentacion, and friends say that he explicitly disapproved of the artist because of his domestic abuse allegations. Fans of XXXTentacion had plenty of objections of their own regarding his posthumous releases. To fulfill the $10 million recording contract he had signed just weeks before his murder in the summer of 2018, his estate has released two albums since his death. These releases, accompanied by merchandise releases and paid album listening parties, appeared to many as cash-grabs rather than genuine attempts to honor the late artist’s memory. Christian Rivera, a Paly student and fan of XXXTentacion, is not satisfied with the way that his memory is being treated. “I do appreciate that the music is here, but the way it’s being put out and being handled… I know it’s not
him,” Rivera said. Despite the controversies, many fans appreciate getting more material to remember their favorite artists by. Additionally, legal obligations can make inaction impossible. Assuming the music must be released, how should the process be approached? Mac Miller’s new album has been acknowledged by critics and fans alike as a prime example of how to honor an artist who has passed. When Mac Miller died in September 2018, he had just released the confessional album “Swimming”, detailing his fragile mental state in the aftermath of his breakup with Ariana Grande. His primary collaborator, musician Jon Brion, didn’t touch the tracks he and Miller recorded for a planned follow up album, “Circles”, for three months after Miller passed. When Brion finally listened to the demos, he decided to resume work on the album. Once he got permission from Miller’s family, Brion obtained pre-existing tracks from his archive as well as the family and started working on them. He recalled discussions about the album he had with Miller, who used words like “wider” and “deeper” to describe the sonics of these songs. It definitely helped that Miller had already come up with the album’s theme and title, and many of the vocal and musical takes were done; still it was left to Brion to complete the job. Using tracks from Brion’s collaborators, the album was released sixteen months after Miller’s death. It immediately received high praise from critics, who praised Brion’s work as a fitting conclusion to Miller’s introspective final thoughts. As much of the instrumentation is arranged live, the album is also praised for its openness and diversification of Miller’s sound. The future of posthumous music is uncertain, with backlash and major success thus far. However, fans and friends alike will continue to hold accountable those who exploit the memory of an artist and appreciate those who live to honor incredible and creative minds lost too soon.
Enough is Enough.
With rap being one of the most popular capitalized industries, teens are drawn to the fame and the culture, also exposing them to drug use at a young age. Teens closely follow their favorite rap artists and their influence is slowly changing the minds of what is considered mainstream. 46
Text by SOPHIA BAGINSKIS and BRIDGET PACKER • Illustrations and Design by TYLER VARNER
rugs in rap, the underlying dark side to a booming billion-dollar industry, has an impact on the young world that is not commonly acknowledged. Rappers make drug references frequently, symbolizing and sharing their experiences in this popular profession. Along with the rise in popularity of the rap genre, teen drug use has skyrocketed over the years. This correlation suggests that rap songs glamorizing the use of these deadly weapons is negatively impacting teenagers. Some messages are subtle, while other songs are more direct with their lyrics, such as in Wiz Khalifa’s hit song “Young, Wild & Free,” in which he sings “So what we get drunk / So what we smoke weed / We’re just having fun / We don’t care who sees.” Although drug references in music are usually not the sole cause of drug use, hearing constant praise of deadly and illegal drugs often enforces and justifies the use of drugs among a young and easily susceptible audience. “I think it creates this image for listeners that makes them want to go and do the drugs that the influencers are doing,” Paly SoundCloud rapper Liam Teare said. “It can affect people in a number of ways.” Since the formation of the rap industry, it has been difficult to find rappers who don’t use or reference drugs in their music. In the late ‘80s, the number of songs referencing drugs rose to 19 percent, and by the late ‘90s, 69 percent of lyrics in the rap genre referenced drug use. In 2005, a study at the University of Pittsburgh showed that 77 percent of the 279 most popular songs referenced drugs. The drugs mentioned in rap have changed over time, correlating with how prevalent certain narcotics are, but many popular drugs such as marijuana have always existed in rap culture. Especially recently, overdose deaths from rappers like Lil Peep, Mac Miller and Juice WRLD directly demonstrate the effects of drugs on the rap industry. Late rap artist Juice WRLD, who died in early December as a direct result of a drug overdose, had been battling with drug addiction for years leading up to his tragic death. He referred to making music as his “therapy,” and often mentioned his experiences with drugs in his songs, such as “Lucid Dreams.” With music being an outlet for many of those struggling with addiction, it is likely that references to drugs will remain
a continuous pattern in rap lyrics. Many rappers, especially those struggling with addiction, rely on their drugs for creativity and inspiration for their music. When many rappers’ lives are filled with drugs, it’s increasingly difficult to take the drugs out of rap because the songs are about their life experiences. Drugs can be harmful for more than the obvious reasons, and many rappers do not reference the possibility of fake substances along with addiction in the dangerous drug world. Producer and rap artist Mac Miller, who died in 2018, had also faced issues related to the drug scene. Miller’s death was due to a counterfeit oxycodone pill laced with fentanyl. Many of the drugs being sold are passed between managers and rappers. Song artists like Drake even allude to this with lyrics like “Rap game, crack game, ain’t that different, ya know?” Rappers that are underage are easily able to obtain illegal drugs because of their fame and money. Rapper Lil Peep, for example, died at 21 as a result of consuming drugs while on his way to his concert, which were allegedly provided by his management team. With all of this talk of drug use surrounding the minds of teenagers listening to rap, it is clear that these seemingly harmless references are taking a toll on the younger generation. “Some songs, in particular, make drugs seem less harmful to people because of the way they perceive it as being fun and cool,” Paly junior Destinee Reynolds said. There is an obvious correlation between the rise of the rap genre and the rise of drug use among teenagers. Since rap first went mainstream in the ‘80s, there has been a steady increase of advertising and glamorization of drugs that is visible to the eyes of younger generations. “I do think that the rise of drugs in music is contributing to the rise of drug use because some artists make drugs seem cool, which gives their fans and listeners thoughts on using drugs and promoting it in a way,” Reynolds said. With relatively easy access to drugs, especially legalized marijuana, artists promoting and using these drugs have a direct impact and encourage teens to use them as well. Not only do drug references in music promote their use, but normalizing them make teens struggling with addiction think it is normal, steering them away from asking for help or working towards sobriety.
“I think it creates this image for listeners that makes them want to go and do the drugs that the influencers are doing.” - Liam Teare
If you or anyone you know is struggling with drug abuse please let someone know or call 1-844-289-0879. 47