ISSUE NO. 6
Vol. 7 May. 2019
arts & culture
So Long, Mom and Pop Page 24
letter from the
EDITORS Dear Readers,
We are thrilled to present our newest issue along with introducing ourselves as the new editors-in-chief of C Magazine! Closing out the 2018-2019 school year and looking ahead to the 8th volume of our magazine, we are infinitely grateful for the hard work of the previous leadership team and hope to inspire growth for the future. Most importantly, we hope to advance C Magazine’s practice of bringing awareness to the arts, culture and music within the Paly community and beyond. The cover story chosen for this issue was one that hits close-to-home for many of our readers, centering around the roots of “mom and pop” businesses which once held great value in the Palo Alto community. Former editors-in-chief, Lia Salvatierra and Grace Rowell, along with staff writers Kimi Lillios and Kailee Correll, examine why these beloved small shops and restaurants have failed to remain in business with the rise of Silicon Valley. In “Under the Watchful Eye”, staff writers Sophie Jacob, Jack Callaghan and Tamar Ponte delve into the issue of public shaming and its role in our mediaoriented society. We ultimately question the justification of public shaming and invite our readers to form their own opinions on the debate. This issue also includes “Nickelback Doesn’t Suck (You Do)”, a humorous perspective from former editor-in-chief, Ryan Gwyn. In his article, Gwyn makes a strong argument on why he loves the widely-hated band, Nickelback and why readers should join him in this adoration. Lastly, this edition’s ‘Artist of the Month’ is Paly senior, Christina O’Konski. In “Getting It Just Write”, staff writers Karina Kadakia, Isabel Hadly and Sukhman Sahota take a look at O’Konski’s deep passion for creative writing, acting, and playwriting. We hope that these stories, along with the many others in this issue, carry on C Magazine’s tradition of impactful stories and unique design as we say goodbye to our beloved senior staff members and debut our 2019-2020 leadership team. Happy reading! Ellie Fitton, Ashley Guo, Chloe Laursen and Hazel Shah Editors-in-Chief
thanks to our
SPONSORS Jasleen Sahota Ackley, Harry & Molly Jeanne Giaccia Alexandra Scheve Jennifer Weiss Alyssa Haught Jinny Lillios Amanda Hmelar Joan Shah Amsbaugh, Charlotte Josh Rowell Andrew Moley Juliana Lee Ann and Rob Schilling Karen Gould Ann Stern Kathy Sinsheimer Anna Zigmond-Ramm Katie Look Audrey and Marc Finot Kenneth and Melissa Scheve Barbara Cottrell Li Li Bob and Brown Stefanski Lisa Borland Bob Rowell Lori Buecheler Bridget Cottrell Lynn Stefanski Buddy Rowell Martha Castellon Palacios Cathy Moley Melina Lillios Celeste Bates Mimi Veyna Charlee Stefanski Monte and Jan Klein Chris and Rhee Lillios Nora Bohdjelian Clara Patoff and Sid Doppelt Rajul and Alpesh Kadakia Dana Wideman Ron and Marilyn Schilling Danielle Laursen Ron Papas Denease G. Rowell Sahota Pritpal Denise Freier Sarah Correll George Putris Simon and Sarla Wright Gregg Rowell Stella and Mike Laursen Ina Satsuki Steve and Wald Weiss Jack S Callaghan Sukh, Priyanka Jacob and Julie Gerhardt Susanna Lee Jake Wellington Vicken Bojelian Jane Varner
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Ellie Fitton, Ashley Guo, Chloe Laursen, Hazel Shah CREATIVE DIRECTOR Natalie Schilling BUSINESS MANAGERS Karina Kadakia, Fiza Usuman ONLINE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Ellen Chung MANAGING EDITORS Katherine Buecheler, Sophie Jacob, STAFF WRITERS Charlotte Amsbaugh, Jack Callaghen, Angie Cummings, Emily Filter, Jaime Furlong, Ryan Gwyn, Kimi Lillios, Isabella Moussavi Isabel Hadley, Leon Lau, Patille Papas, Grace Rowell, Lia ONLINE CREATIVE DIRECTOR Tamar Ponte Salvatierra, Rosa Schaefer Bastian, Jack Stefanski, Gigi COPY EDITORS Kailee Correll, Theo Lim-Jisra, Mahati Tierney, Jess Weiss, Nieve Wellington Subramanian ILLUSTRATORS Ellen Chung, Leon Lau, Natalie Schilling, CREATIVE ADVISOR Tyer Varner Tyler Varner DIGITAL DESIGN EDITOR Claire Li ADVISER Brian Wilson WEB DESIGN EDITOR Raj Sodhi SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGER Sukman Sahota
COVER Natalie Schilling
CONTENTS 4 8 11 15 18 21 24 30 33 36 38 41 44 46
CREATIVE COMMOTION COMIC CRUSADERS artist of the month GETTING IT JUST WRITE
(TRANS)FORMING FAIR PLAY GOOD HAIR DAY UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE cover SO LONG, MOM AND POP PALY PAST TO PRESENT SUBCONSCIOU S PREJUDICE
NICKELBACK DOESNâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T SUCK (YOU DO) UNDER THE MASK THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC DEAD RISING SENIOR PLAYLIST
TEXT BY CLAIRE LI, GRACE ROWELL AND MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM • DESIGN BY LEON LAU, CLAIRE LI, GRACE ROWELL AND MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM
Surprisingly Traditional creative mediums have taken the world by s
odern activism has found its way into every facet of social platforms. Lengthy captions call out injustices, often prompting explosions of commented discourse with users sharing graphics and photos of marches that further divulge the unique human experience. How do platforms like Instagram successfully squeeze the universal desire to be heard into a few pixels? Are users and activists alike squandering their voices and fueling the destructive and oppressive nature of social media by letting their comments and posts disappear into the technological black hole? Kate Madeira, a 29-yearold Nashville and Instagram based artist who operates under the handle @ katemadeira, is not immune mediums, Madeira presents a personal to the feelings of obligation narrative whose threads are becoming that social platforms ignite. more prevalent in the woven nature of “[I was] struck by the sense our of ‘Well, how can I help?’” frenzied and hectic society. Madeira said. “Where do I direct my outrage Her 2016 series of works titled “Postcards and energy when there are so many directions from Bummerville, USA,” shared extensively it can go?” As an experienced embroiderer on Instagram, is one of Madeira’s realized and artist who works primarily with fibrous attempts to probe the digital space and become
4 • ARTS
“Where do I direct my outrage and energy first when there are so many directions it can go?” KATE MADEIRA
comfortable with expressing her ideas. “The Bummerville series started in the weeks after the Trump inauguration when I decided to aimlessly stitch onto a scrap of felt on a night when I was feeling particularly anxious and hyped up and knew I wasn’t gonna be able to fall asleep anytime soon,” Madeira said. With every stitch further and further onto the felt, Madeira was taking the delicate art form of embroidery to a new level. “By morning, I had covered the felt with an angry mouth yelling curses over this new administration, with beads and sequins scattered throughout,” Madeira said. “I decided to keep running with it, creating off-the-cuff pieces that spoke about my frustrations with the current state of the world and the varying issues within it.” Initially introduced to embroidery by her grandmother at age 11, Madeira can now easily track her artistic growth in the numerous pieces she has created since then. “It was rare that I ever completed the projects that I started, but once I finished
by storm, Serving as alternative forms of protest from city walls to social media
my first non-patch piece that was actually something I envisioned as being hangable art, I kept wanting to find new ways within the medium to challenge myself and see what I might be capable of,” Madeira said. As she cruises through her adult career, Madeira finds herself in the process of identifying the underlying motives and themes that guide her work. “‘Postcards From Bummerville, USA’ was a kind of accidental series that marked a pretty big shift in my work,” Madeira said. “Until that point, a lot of the pieces I was making were larger, more intricate portraits that were a lot more thought out and worked off basic patterns, although all of them had varying degrees of freehand work in them as well.” Madeira’s transition to using Instagram as a digital gallery for her series was hidden in the playful, aesthetically-rooted attractiveness of the social platform. “[I saw] it as a list of art projects I was trying to tackle, [which] made it somehow more tangible in a weird way,” Madeira said. Her eagerness to share her artwork made her an experienced user quickly; however, she started to accumulate stress as the inherent fast-paced nature of Instagram began to reveal itself to her. “When I first started doing the Bummerville series, I was getting hit with idea after idea for pieces about different social issues I wanted to discuss and support through my work, and eventually got pretty overwhelmed by the awareness that there is nowhere near enough time to put it all into my work,” Madeira said. Because of the time-consuming nature of embroidery, Madeira began to feel lost in her efforts to catch up with the swiftness of news cycles and social platforms — the platform had damaged her value for patience. “The intense sense of urgency to make as much as I could and carry out as many of my ideas as possible became a driving force that lead me to doing most of
my work over the last two years completely in freehand, and on a much smaller scale,” Madeira said. “In more recent pieces, a lot of the work has become perhaps less explicitly political and more rooted in trying to quell the anxiety rooted in living in these times.” E v e n t u a l l y, her artistry digressed from her initial creative motivator as she seemed to devolve into an overwhelmed state. “I ended up getting pretty burnt out after a few months, and that’s when the pieces started unconsciously shifting into a means of grappling with how futile and devastating it all feels sometimes,” Madeira said.
The experiences that modern social platforms offer often beg the question of the necessity of Instagram and other similar platforms in political spaces and other spaces that promote conversations of change.
“Although the internet in general has broadened my perspective in so many ways and exposed me to the testimonies of people who have had vastly different experiences than I have, and I think social media can certainly be a great tool for organizing.” Madeira said. “I also think it can work to our detriment, as seen through ...
the spread of misinformation, or things like cancel culture [and] performative wokeness.” Social media and its role in modernizing forms of activism can be considered one of the largest paradoxes of our generation; it offers a space for sharing words and images, but sometimes users find difficulty in following through on that mission. Her growing influence on Instagram and the messages she explores artistically have allowed her to assume the role of what is popularly considered an art activist, although Madeira withholds from doing so. “I can’t in good conscience call myself an
ART BY LEON LAU, CLAIRE LI AND MAHATI SUBRAMANIAM • PHOTOS BY NATALIE SCHILLING AND COURTESY OF KATE MADEIRA ART INSPIRED BY BANKSY
activist, because I feel that gives me far more credit than I deserve, especially when I think of the incredible, hardworking people I know that do that sort of work full-time,” Madeira said. “I’m also somewhat averse to the term “art activist,” which I’ve gotten a few times, because I feel like that boxes me in too much.” The term limits and places pressure on her art to be a certain way, while she would rather her art naturally expresses activist viewpoints, whether intentional or simply through her journey of learning and experimentation. Although Madeira may not have had the most fulfilling experience on social media, she already stands out in a pool of millions of other users. Her experience exploring activism in a contemporary format not only serves to characterize the surprisingly unpredictable nature of technology and its range of effects on consumers but also highlight the beauty that is found in these advanced processes. “I think social media has had a big impact on activism today as a quick way to spread information and raise awareness,” Madeira said. “It’s been helpful for organizing on a broader and more immediate scale, and in times that can often feel isolating in all of its chaos, it can be a platform for discussions that remind us that even when we are feeling our most vulnerable, we are not alone.” Madeira represents just one branch of the unusual forms that art activism can take in the modern world, using her art to
“I liketo think I have the guts to stand upanonymously in a western democracy and call for things no one else believes iN like peace and justiceand freedom” Banksy promote dialogue on human freedom. With the power of universal symbols and visuals, art is able to surpass language barriers and impact a larger audience that words cannot possibly accomplish. “Art is a language available to everyone and it reaches people in a much deeper personal way,” Sue La Fetra, an art history teacher at Paly, said. In almost every city across the world, what were once simple, manufactured brick walls have transformed into canvases for artistic expression. Colorful spray-painted murals laden with thought provoking phrases serve as an emblem of change, despite being considered vandalism. Through art, individuals are given the opportunity to discover how they feel about controversial issues without being pressured to follow the views of others. The style of art creates a nonviolent atmosphere allows viewers to contemplate and take a stance on issues for themselves. “It [art activism] allows people to have a more personal relationship with issues,” La Fetra said. “Rather than going through a person, it’s just a direct relationship with the art itself.” The unexpected presence of artwork can shock viewers into stopping momentarily to observe the piece: an accomplishment in itself as most activists simply want to expose the public to their ideas. The distinguished and anonymous England based street artist, known
as Banksy, is renowned for creating graffiti sketches with stencil drawings and words to convey his political views. With minimal color, the dark silhouette melding into the natural wall stands out as the focal point, causing passerbys to stop and stare, admiring both the artistry and pondering what exactly he is trying to articulate. “I like to think I have the guts to stand up anonymously in a western democracy and call for things noone else believes in – like peace and justice and freedom” Banksy said in his book, Wall and Piece. His pieces, however simple they may seem, are visually appealing while simultaneously giving people exposure to controversial topics, inviting the audience to form opinions and think about important matters in daily situations. The versatility and universal understanding of art has been a trait that has been manipulated in the past. As a ways of speaking out on past and current issues, there have been instances in which art has been taken advantage of and used as a way to conform public thoughts and manipulate to the will of the government. During WWI, Russian artists utilized color and elements within the style of pop art, which provided a bold, powerful and assertive meaning. The realistic nature of the artwork along with the bright and bold elements within pop art
are not only visually striking, but are also effective ways to instill fear and assert the power of the government, an important feat for the Russian regime of the time. In the 20th century, art became increasingly important to capture and captivate individuals worldwide in the civil rights movement. In Harlem, New York City, African American neighborhoods were filled with the sound of rhythmic beat boxing and percussion, accompanied by passionate stories told through rap. Locals gathered to watch rap battles amongst the youth, mesmerized by the witty rhymes and harsh truth behind the spoken words. Zealous cheers and supportive chants dominated the scene as people immersed themselves within the new cultural setting. The city of Harlem, home of the infamous Harlem Renaissance, showcases the rebirth of a new identity for African American citizens, who despite being granted civil liberties in law, felt unwelcome in their respective communities. With the idea of freedom and self-expression in mind, individuals moved to the Harlem district of New York City to form a community of their own based on intellectual and artistic expression. Through this modern renaissance, artists began to express their views on black rights through both visual arts and acoustically through music. Central to this movement was the invention of new musical genres, like rap, jazz and blues, which expressed the years of oppression faced by the African American community while also establishing a new wave of redefining what being African
American truly meant. The introduction of these new art forms inspired multiple generations of future artists, proving to be both a powerful and peaceful way of art activism that not only unified thousands of individuals but also effectively made strides to resolve an issue that has been deeply ingrained in society. Art activism has been a subtle way of bringing change to society and global matters for centuries. In the modern world, untraditional platforms are presenting new ways for artists to adopt new means of expressing their viewpoints. As the decades progress and billions are now connected on the realm of social media, art activism invades yet another platform, bringing with it a previously unimaginable potential for change.
TEXT BY LIA SALVATIERRA • DESIGN BY SUKHMAN SAHOTA AND LIA SALVATIERRA
omic rusaders n o i t i d e t s e w ne
For years, the idea of a superhero was confined to the classics. Now comic giants, DC and Marvel, alongside smaller publishers are grappling with the overdue responsibility of writing more representative narratives of the heroes that embody and empower their diverse audiences.
8 • ARTS
lad in layers of gleaming, colored metal and strapped with their noble weapon of choice, superheroes stand and fight to save broken cities and helpless people. These beloved characters are recognizable to even those who are unfamiliar to the specific storylines of DC and Marvel comics. Largely due to their iconic flagship characters and undeniable media presence, these companies are well-known as the two top dogs in the comic industry. A secondary tier of companies, more unknown to the wider population are made up of publishers such as Image and Dark Horse comics. These companies allow for greater deviation from the archetypal heroes and storylines, most of which never make it past printed pages. Beginning with the DC Comics debut of the Superman movie in 1978, DC and Marvel’s wider media platform have allowed them to share their narratives of heroism to the greater public. With this ability to connect with a wider audience, however, comes the great responsibility of representing it accurately. Recently, both
efforts to champion unrepresented superhero leads resulted in tangible benefits for each and marked the beginning of Marvel and DC’s greater representation of characters in the media meant to inspire many more diverse individuals worldwide. Although “Wonder Woman” and “Black Panther” made names for themselves through their radical storylines, these — among other brilliant and well-recognized heroes — have their origins on brightly colored paper detailed with bold fonts, for which the nuances and histories of many are constructed from years of archived stories. These superhero tales don’t require highly focused reading skills, allowing for their underlying messages and nuances to be received by many. Paly senior Alex Daw found comic books to be a medium more accessible to him. “The reason I like comics is because I have always been a slow reader; I have dyslexia and dysgraphia, and it was hard for me to understand or read regular books,” Daw said. Matt Marin, a local educator and gay rights activist agrees: “For me it was just a
“FOR ME IT WAS JUST A LOT OF TRYING TO FIND SOMETHING TO CONNECT TO BECAUSE I WASN’T REALLY A BIG READER GROWING UP.”
MATT MARIN companies have made an important commitment to shaping their heroes on paper, layering in flawed, diverse backgrounds to published comic books to highlight that the superheroes are, at their core, human. Albeit slowly, the progress happening on the pages of these comic books is making its debut onto the big screen. The companies’ wide cinematic platform which shares heroes with inspirational backgrounds have the opportunity to empower many. Additionally, a new publisher, AWA comics, is seeking to find a balance between these iconic stories and their fledgling counterparts and explores the fresh possibilities of championing new heroes among the traditional ones. Busting the widespread notion that a female lead would never reap the same value as her male counterparts, DC Comics’ “Wonder Woman,” claimed ownership of one of the highest grossing superhero origin film of all time, hitting a box office total of 821.74 million worldwide in June of 2017. Its groundbreaking follower “Black Panther,” the Marvel film premiered in February of 2018, remains Marvel’s highest profiting film. Although these films were deemed groundbreaking for the world of comic media, both of these characters, minorities among their heroic allies, were written into the books long before their on-screen features. These two companies’
lot of trying to find something to connect to because I wasn’t really a big reader growing up” Marin said. Many readers find company and connection in these superheroes that represent their identities. Marin references Superman as a character he resonated with due to the many “masks” he found himself wearing throughout his adolescence as he struggled with his identity. . He does, however, have greater hopes for how the LGBTQ+ community can be fully represented in world of heroes. Marin’s story is not uncommon, as it exemplifies the potential hero narratives to better represent a world of increased diversity genders, races, sexualities, disabilities and lifestyles. Captain Marvel was another untraditional hero to join the big screen, premiering in March of this year. Daw believes that this movie was another positive shift towards redefining what it means to be a superhero. As Marvel’s first female headed film, “Captain Marvel” highlights this well-overdue representation. “She deserves her own movie because she’s been in every single Avengers movie since the beginning, but they had to establish all these more-known characters like Thor, Iron Man and Captain America first,” Daw said. Aside from showcasing Captain Marvel on screen, the full creation of her story — and any story — should be done by individuals who actually represent the group being projected. Actress Brie Larson,
who played Captain Marvel on screen, shares how the she felt the film truly aligned with this idea. “For me the aha moment was when I got the very first draft of the script… There were little nuances that I noticed were touches of its being written by females…” Larson said to Entertainment Weekly. “Between every letter of the script was the female voice.” Marin elaborates on this concept, noting how critical it is for the people of each respective community to be hugely involved in the creation of the film. “Without that real connection to that part, it’s not going to do anything for anybody else…[These people] can give their perspective on the script and could [say] this doesn’t really happen, this is how it goes,” Marin said. He further emphasizes the onscreen importance of representation for the actual actors playing the parts. Referencing how this affects the LGBTQ+ community, Marin commended the DC TV series “Supergirl,” that features a transgender woman. “For trans characters, you want to have trans
This commitment to diversity, not only of individuals but of their stories, is clear in both companies. At their roots, however, these stories are written and centered around white men. Even Black Panther, although being reformed to proudly represent the black community, has its roots in racism. “Black Panther — a lot of these are established because of the old-time racism — he has a full mask because in the early days they didn’t want to put black skin on their pages, and originally they drew him to have a half mask, but the censors kept drawing in a full mask,” says Daw. While Marvel and DC are moving forward with their responsibilities both on and off the screen formulate a more diverse difnition of the word hero, another company is taking a different approach. Announced by the New York Times in March, AWA Publishers aims to be something novel in the comic world: a centralized publisher that will provide Marvel and DC’s iconic tales as well as smaller individual titles that center around alternative heroes. AWA
“SHE DESERVES HER OWN MOVIE, BECAUSE SHE’S BEEN IN EVERY SINGLE AVENGERS MOVIE SINCE THE BEGINNING, BUT THEY HAD TO ESTABLISH ALL THESE MORE KNOWN CHARACTERS LIKE THOR, IRON MAN AND CAPTAIN AMERICA FIRST.”
people playing that role,” Marin said. He adds that the actress, Nicole Maines, “has been really at it for trans activism, specifically for the trans bathroom movement, and she was the one really pushing for it… All these people that are playing these superheroes are superheroes on and off screen.” Retreating back to its original pages, the Captain Marvel comic itself gained a fanbase wide enough to instigate a fresh take on the Marvel legacy: Ms. Marvel, a Pakistani-American muslim teen superhero. Those who read comic books, primarily ones published by Marvel and DC, recognize their efforts to broaden and humanize the heroes they create. In 2015, Iceman, an archaic member of Marvel’s X-men, came out as gay in February of this year, and Marvel’s teenage character Wasp, of the “Unstoppable Wasp” series was revealed to be dealing with mania, a factor of bipolar disorder. The author for “The Unstoppable Wasp,” Jeremy Whitley explained his choice to represent a character with serious mental illness “Historically, comics have blamed villainous tendencies on mental illness. This has resulted in some characters having entire galleries of ‘crazy’ villains and heroes frequently doing things that are mentally unhealthy and feeling very little consequence,” Whitley said. “What we wanted to show was a character who is overwhelmingly associated with positivity and optimism who is forced to face her own limitations.”
10 • ARTS
Publishers centers around giving writers the opportunity to reshape the comic mold without severe financial risk. “What we’re offering creators is an opportunity to bet on themselves without putting it all on the line,” Axel Alonso, a former Editor-in-Chief at Marvel, said in an interview with The New York Times. Aside from the possibilities that AWA Publishers presents, the power of the big two, Marvel and DC is undeniable. Generating insane media buzz, Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” broke an opening weekend profit of over one billion dollars and is the grand conclusion to the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. Seen by a strikingly large audience, the film exemplified the immense platform Marvel and DC have to rewrite the classic hero narrative, however many found that Marvel fell short of its potential. Although this film includes representation of the gay community, many, including Marin, take issue with the intent behind a gay character who briefly appeared on screen. “It was just a throwaway character used to hype up having representation,” Marin said. Nonetheless, the controversy surrounding the proper portrayal of minorities and diverse communities, this film undoubtedly has a powerful role in empowering a wider audience. There is still space for greater change, but great strides are being made towards diversity and responsible media representation, serving to showcase that not just a few, but many are heroes.
“As I picked it up, I could have sworn I heard a laugh that seemed as close and impossible as a just-forgotten dream, and I thought I caught a glimpse of an infinite dress twirling away through the trees. Of course, as anyone else would have, I shook my thoughts away, my lost memories drifting like cobwebs to the ground, where they would no doubt be collected once I was gone and subtly returned at a later date.” The Queen of Lost Things
TEXT, DESIGN AND ART BY ISABEL HADLY AND KARINA KADAKIA
ARTS • 11
ith youth comes an expansive imagination that engulfs the mind, sparking creativity and originality; Christina O’Konski was a child whose imagination consumed her world. When creating her complex stories, set in worlds that no adult mind could ever imagine, O’Konski would fervently describe her captivating plots to her wide-eyed teddy bears and dolls, unfortunately with no response. As O’Konski matured, she recognized that rather than performing for the audience in her room where her words would remain unheard by cotton ears, she could instead write them down. Years later, O’Konski’s creative instincts have developed into published short stories and have guided her through her heavy involvement in the Paly theater program as an actress, playwright and director. Taking inspiration from her love of fantasy and fictional stories, O’Konski has been able to maintain her creative tendencies from her childhood throughout her high school career. Now, rather than just performing for her beloved inanimate companions, her work has been shared with those who will remember her, and who will make them come to life. Both of O’Konski’s passions for writing and theater stemmed from her childhood admiration for reading and storytelling. These interests were ignited by the gravitating plots of books such as “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster and “The Six of Crows” by Leigh Bardugo, which she describes as “some of the
best fantasies I’ve ever read.” These stories, filled with distinct characters and confounding themes are the types of ideas that O’Konski aims to mirror both with her own stories and plays. O’Konski was introduced to acting at Christian Musical Theater (CMT), a summer camp at Grace Lutheran Church, where she had starred in her first play and instantly fell in love with the performing arts. “I did [acting] for fun but from a young age I really enjoyed it and kind of from there I just wanted to keep doing it,” she said. O’Konski continued to participate in CMT every summer until entering middle school where she was able to join her school’s theater program. More than just a way to progress her skills, “[theater] is something where you meet a lot of fun people and it’s just really enjoyable for me,” she said. O’Konski continued to act in school theater programs through middle school and into high school. Whether it is a chuckle or an uproar of belly laughs throughout the audience, O’Konski highly appreciates a responsive audience to her humorous acting style. “The best feeling ever is when you say something funny on stage and the whole audience is laughing,” she said. One of her favorite memories from her years in theater is playing Peter Quince in the play, “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” Quince’s goofy characteristics combined with his assuredness in himself, drew O’Konski to pursue the character with an unorthodox approach. By incorporating aspects of her own
ebullient personality into her onstage portrayal of Quince, she shapes a unique performance for her audience and fellow actors. O’Konski’s interest in comedy and character development are elements that she incorporates into her ironic and creative scripts for Paly theatre. It was only her junior year that O’Konski ventured into the world of playwriting and directing. Her first play was for Paly’s annual One Acts, student-directed performances, titled “Trumpet Lessons,” about a support group for under confident supervillains. After her success with her first play, O’Konski continued to bring to life her humorous and playful prose style in a second play called Unfinished Business Law, which depicted “the ghosts of college students who have ‘unfinished business’ while taking Business Law,” she said. On top of playwriting, O’Konski has become a natural storyteller. “Theater is sort of a natural continuation of stories because writing is making the story and theater is living it,” she said. She has expanded these skills into the vocation of short stories; most recently when she wrote a short story for the Palo Alto Weekly for an annual contest.. Her submission, titled “The Queen of Lost Things,” won first place in her category and is featured on the newspaper’s website. The story was inspired by a time when O’Konski lost a crucial piece of a puzzle she was putting together with her family. It was only after the piece was lost that
she recognized its importance. “When you lose something, it matters in a different way,” O’Konski said. “The satisfaction and relief of finding that thing you really needed...that’s kind of like getting visited by ‘The Queen of Lost Things.’” Although O’Konski is unsure about the logistics of her future career path, she is certain it will incorporate her love for the arts. “I definitely want to keep writing and acting but I don’t think I want to pursue theater as a career,” she said. Instead, she wishes to further explore her talent for writing. “Writing is one of my skills and there are a lot of careers [for it], but I could go a lot of different ways.” O’Konski said. Reflecting on her high school experiences, O’Konski feels satisfied with the work she has accomplished. “As cheesy as it sounds, I would say [to my younger self] just don’t do anything differently, just do it all,” she said. O’Konski’s assuredness in herself and her work is a reflection of her overall confidence and ambition. The wisdom she has accumulated throughout her years of experience is what will guide her through her next steps in her career. Her advice to younger, aspiring artists is coherently simple:. “You write the stories you want to read and that you would want to see on stage (...) Take that to heart and enjoy it,” she said. O’Konski’s openmind will continue to aid her on her path of creative exploration, leading her to the formation of tangible stories on a page, only to be shared with the world.
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TEXT AND DESIGN BY KATHERINE BUECHELER, ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN AND FIZA USMAN • ART BY KATHERINE BUECHELER
forming Fair Play As professional sports become more inclusive, athletic environments in schools are working towards building stronger and more welcoming communities. While some people believe that transgender athletes should not be allowed to compete in tournaments, there are many fighting for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community within athletics. young age, we are all taught the concept of fair play. As we grow up, we find that this concept integrates into virtually every aspect of our lives. Modern society puts a great emphasis on the importance of equality; from women’s rights to the black lives matter movement, we are creating an environment that prioritizes equal play for all. In order to maintain impartial competition in sports, runners begin their race at the gunshot, swimmers dive at the beep and boxers begin fighting at the bell. Despite these efforts, there are still many ways an athlete can have an unfair advantage. When transgender athletes are introduced to the scene, society struggles to find a fair place for them in the world of sports, provoking the question: in a modern world founded on an equal opportunity, how can we maintain these standards while including transgender athletes? In order to identify an adequate solution, it is crucial to understand the frustration faced by players on both sides of the game. Transgender athletes receive heightened animosity throughout their athletic careers and are frequently discriminated against by their competitors, coaches and even teammates. Meanwhile, other athletes believe that being transgender can create competition with
unfair advantages. Chloe Anderson, a transgender women’s volleyball player, has had a lot of experience navigating through this taxing journey. Anderson has always been passionate about sports, and being a transgender woman was not going to stop her from pursuing her passion. “I put a lot of my life into sports, and they were a positive factor in moving forward,” Anderson said. It was not until she started playing volleyball for the University of California, Santa Cruz, that her formidable journey truly began. “I felt the struggle of the entire transgender community on my shoulders. As I was open I made myself a target for those who attack transgender athletes,” Anderson said. Regardless of who someone is or what sport they play, athletes can usually find much-needed strength and support
CULTURE • 15
from teammates. Anderson, however, struggled to find her place and connect with those on the team. “My coach [UCSC] isolated me on my team there and regularly attacked me as a person off the court,” Anderson said. Receiving this treatment from a prominent adult figure was highly detrimental and had a negative impact on different aspects of Anderson’s life and her athletic performance. “I felt like playing became a challenge as he played mind games from the get-go and made me feel invalidated for all my struggles in life,” she said. Beyond just her coach, Anderson dealt with an extreme amount of discrimination from the public. “It takes a lot of emotional energy to be a transgender athlete as death threats and targeted abuse will come with being publicly open,” Anderson said. Struggles such as this one stem from people’s differing and controversial beliefs about whether or not transgender athletes should be allowed to compete in tournaments. Many people and critics have the notion that transgender athletes have an advantage, justified by the idea that men are biologically physically stronger than women. This leads to competitors believing that they are at an unfair disadvantage and that transgender athletes are violating the concept of fair play. Because of this, we often lack compassion and fail to recognize the arduous journey transgender athletes endure. Anderson reflects on how her entire body began to shift physiques during her transitional process. “I slowed down a lot on estrogen and within the first six months, my whole performance changed,” Anderson said. “I had to relearn how my body functioned and performed under high stress, which took me two years to feel comfortable to even return to sports.” Anderson is not alone in her struggle of being a transgender woman in sports; the controversy of how to maintain fair play while
including transgender athletes has been around for decades. It was first brought into the public’s eyes in 1975 when professional tennis player Richard Raskind, transitioned to Renée Clarke. Her gender reassignment immediately created public push back and protests. The following year, the United States Tennis Association began requiring genetic screening for female players. Clarke challenged this policy and the New York Supreme court ruled in her favor, establishing a fundamental precedent for transgender athletes. In 2009, Caster Semenya, a professional track and field athlete, was competing in the African Junior Championships and won both the women’s 800-meter and 1500-meter race. For the 800-meter, Semenya beat her personal record by four seconds, causing severe scrutiny to arise regarding her sex. Despite the 1975 ruling from Clarke’s case, The International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) asked Semenya to take a sex verification test, reasoning that her rapid improvement and outer appearance, including her broad shoulders and her large biceps, provided a reason to investigate and her to get suspended from competition during the investigation. While the official results were never published, some were leaked and the press thus discovered that she had an intersex condition, called hyperandrogenism, which caused Semenya to produce an increased amount of testosterone, explaining her abnormal physical characteristics. Later that year, a statement was issued declaring that the IAAF and Semenya came to an agreement letting her keep her awards and medals. In July of 2010, she was cleared to compete again. While these situations continue to plague professional athletes, similar controversies are becoming more prevalent in the lives of
“Each runner’s biggest goal is winning, so it makes sense that certain runners wouldn’t want their opponents to have any advantages over them, genetic advantages included.”
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younger recreational athletes as gender transitions begin to occur much earlier in athletes’ careers. Terry Miller, a 17-year-old track runner at Cromwell High School, had her gender reassignment surgery at the age of 16. After qualifying to attend the state open final, Miller won first place in both the 100-meter and the 200-meter dash. Despite the fact that Connecticut, along with 17 other states, allows transgender athletes to compete without restrictions, Miller’s accomplishments have sparked huge controversy in her community. One of Miller’s very own competitors, Selina Soule, says the issue of fairness on the track comes with wider implications. “We all know the outcome of the race before it even starts; it’s demoralizing,” Soule said. “I fully support and am happy for these athletes for being true to themselves. They should have the right to express themselves in school, but athletics have always had extra rules to keep the competition fair,” she said. Soule believes that transitioned females have an easier time winning due to their natural build that has shown to be a lot stronger than most of their contenders. Soule is a track athlete and finished eighth in the 55-meter race, missing out on qualifying for the New England regionals after losing to two transgender athletes, Miller and Andraya Yearwood. She believes that had they not run, she would be set to race in Boston at regionals and would have been able to prove herself to the college coaches who would be present at the big meet. However, not all track teams share Soule’s opinion on the restriction of transgender athletes. The Paly track team has formed a strong bond with each other, competing in many different
tournaments together, some of which require traveling. Although there are currently no transgender athletes on the Paly track team, the community has built a foundation of trust that makes most, if not all, accepting of each other’s differences. “I like to think of the track team as a very welcoming group of kids, so in my views, we would gladly accept any transgender runners on the team,” John Tayeri, one of Paly’s track team captains, said. “However, there will always be a certain stigma against transgender runners. At the end of the day, each runner’s biggest goal is winning, so it makes sense that certain runners wouldn’t want their opponents to have any advantages over them, genetic advantages included.” As sports have remained a big part of our lives, the culture of the sports
“It takes a lot of emotional energy to be a transgender athlete as death threats and targeted abuse will come with being publicly open.”
community continues to change to become more inclusive of all people. Although there are still many critics of these developments, the future of dayto-day sports tournaments continues to move towards a more accepting environment, providing opportunities to people of all backgrounds. These developments have been reshaping society’s understanding of fair play in sports.
CULTURE • 17
As a large part of our appearance, hair is an aspect of ourselves that we showcase to others on a daily basis; the choices we make in styling and presenting our hair gives others a look into our culture, personality, and visions of who we want to be.
ith her tightly curled, afro-textured hair, junior Esther Kagiri has had a complicated relationship with styling and taming her voluminous curls. When she lived in Kenya, her private school required her to always straighten her hair, suppressing her from showing her natural hair. Because of its strength and type, Kagiri had difficulties straightening her hair, forcing her to perm it. After moving to Palo Alto, she stopped perming it and started putting her hair in braids. Now, Kagiri continuously alters her hair and experiments with different hairstyles ranging from wearing wigs
to wearing it naturally in a bun. In Black culture, women have been using their hair as a part of their identity and a way to protest. Many resort to straightening their hair not only keep it under control, but also to fit into societal beauty standards. “I really don’t like my hair, because of a lot of reasons… It’s really hard to style,” Kagiri said. “It’s heat damaged so it’s not growing anymore.” Her tight curls make her hair type uncommon, making it difficult for her to easily find hair inspiration. “I don’t think I have gotten to the point where I love my hair but I have to learn to embrace it,” Kagiri said.
iery, versatile and hard to overlook, Ben’s hair is impossible to forget. As senior ASB Vice President and a Paly water polo star, Ben is not one to shy away from the spotlight. Lucky for him, his red hair demands attention. “My hair gives me an easy way to make sure everyone notices me,” Ben said. For him, being unique is rewarding in itself and his prominent, outstanding hair gives him a sense of importance. “The hair validates me that I’m not like everyone else, I’m different, I’m special,” Ben said. Not only has his red hair brought him joy, but also it has taught him how to deal with criticism and build a strong sense of self. “In middle
18 • CULTURE
school, I got roasted a little bit, but then I could just flame the other people back, and it helped me build a resilient skin,” he said. As Ben developed more self-confidence, his hair transformed from a burden he had to defend to a crown atop his head. “I started liking it a lot in high school because it was different and sort of interesting, and that’s why I started growing it—just because it was something different,” Ben said. Not only does the distinct color of his hair set Ben apart from others, but his acceptance and celebration of his uniqueness truly makes him one of a kind. It should be noted that this student’s last name was hidden in order to protect his privacy.
unior Tina Lagerblad commands the attention of any room she enters. With its remarkably bright red color, her hair attracts admiration from those around her. “With my hair, I am pretty noticeable, so I get a lot of strangers on the street— in stores or wherever I am—stopping me for a moment to comment on my hair or wondering if it’s real,” Lagerblad said. “It’s always nice to hear that from other people and I really appreciate it.” Due to its uniqueness—only about two percent of the world has this trait—red hair has been the source of many myths and stereotypes, some
or most, hair is simply a characteristic given at birth, yet for senior Josh Singh, the appearance of his hair - or lack there of - holds deeper meaning, revealing beliefs and practices rooted in tradition. Singh does not cut his hair but instead chooses to wear it in his brightly colored or patterned turbans. Singh does not only do this in observance of his Hindu religion, but also to show alignment with the history of his culture; he views wearing the turban as claiming different parts of India’s history as his own. “The turban originated from the ancient India where only the kings used to wear turbans,” Singh said. “I have something called the iron bracelet right here, which is what the untouchables used to wear.” Through wearing a combination
even going as far as associating redheads with witchcraft or claiming that they are on the brink of extinction. Though Lagerblad is often showered in compliments for her distinctive appearance, having such a unique characteristic can sometimes turn into a source of stress for some. Lagerblad, however, has always seen standing out as a positive bonus to her style. In the rare instances when she did ever feel somewhat insecure, her family was always there to provide support and reassurance that she was fortunate to be so unique. “I really like my hair and wouldn’t trade it for anything else,” Lagerblad said.
of the accessories from both the highest and lowest parts of Indian society, Singh denotes the idea of social hierarchy. “We are no better than anyone else, but we’re also no worse than anyone else,” Singh said. “It’s a symbol of equality.” Singh knows that his turban may make him stand out in a crowd, in fact, he hopes it attracts attention. “The turban has many reasons behind it… It’s specifically to make us stand out,” Singh said. “If anybody needs help they can go up to a person with a turban” The significance of Singh’s turban and hair is one that is a part of a current global conversation. Through sharing this meaning, Singh helps spread awareness of different cultures and fosters acceptance in our society.
enior track star Damion Valencia sprints past an amused and elated crowd as his “noodly” hair floats closely behind him. His free-spirited energy is emulated through his luscious locks as they catch the wind and flow in rhythm with his steps. When Valencia chooses to wear his hair down and free-flowing, “a lot of people call it noodles and like to play with it,” Valencia said. The length and wavy nature of his hair allow for more range and control of style as well. “I could put it in a bun or I could very easily braid my hair into any type of way: two braids, three braids,
little cornrows,” Valencia said. “If I picked it out, I could even make it into an afro if I really wanted to because the length of it; the blackness in me comes with natural curls so it poofs up a little bit.” Valencia’s versatile hair gives him flexibility in choosing a variety of cuts and arrangements, ultimately allowing him to create an individual look that he can feel confident in and proud of. “My hair is drippy, and the people think it’s fun and funny,” Valencia said. With wide admiration from others and self-assurance of the fashionable nature of his hair, Valencia moves through life in style.
TEXT AND DESIGN BY ANGIE CUMMINGS, TAMAR PONTE, AND GIGI TIERNEY PHOTOS BY PATILLE PAPAS
20 â&#x20AC;¢ CULTURE
WATCHFUL With the recent influx of scandals, the reach of public shaming is becoming more widespread. In what situations can this hate be justified?
TEX T DES BY J IGN ACK AND CAL ART LAGH A BY TAM N, SO P AR PON HIE JA C TE â&#x20AC;˘ PH OB AN OTO D TA M SB Y N AR PO ATA LIE NTE SCH ILLI NG ace it. There have been instances in your life that you wish you could erase. However, shameful memories are harder to neglect when the pervasive media leaves little room for sheepish apologies in the relentless court of public opinion. Some view online shaming as a form of public participation in correcting injustice and that the actions of those who are targeted warrant the hate. However, others argue that the rise of social media has created a toxic platform for hateful extremism, sometimes making the damage done to a targetâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s life irreversible. While the question of justification is one of deep complexity, the debate will continue to shape the trajectory of public shaming and its ever-evolving role in an increasingly media-obsessed society.
Monica Lewinsky is known as one of the first victims of public shaming after her affair involving a former president broke out.
orced into the public spotlight at the age of 24, Monica Lewinsky has had first-hand experience with the impacts of public shaming. In 1998, news of an intimate relationship between her and then President Bill Clinton spread, causing Lewinsky to quickly become the eye of a political storm. Her privacy instantly vanished, causing every aspect of her life to be placed under a microscope. With the constant attention to the scandal on TV and in newspapers, the public seemed to disregard the feelings of the person behind the infamous name, leading to a significant emotional toll on Lewinsky. 21 years later in an interview with John Oliver on “Last Week Tonight,” Lewinsky reflects upon her state of mind in the midst of it all. “It was an avalanche of pain and humiliation,” Lewinsky said. “At 24 years old, it was really hard to hold on to a shred of dignity or self-esteem when you’re the butt of so many jokes.” Lewinsky suffered significant repercussions from the shame that the public forced upon her, including having trouble finding a source of
steady income due to the negative associations with her name. “I couldn’t get a job,” Lewinsky said to Oliver. “There was this wide range of not being able to support myself and also have a purpose, which is equally important.” Some believe that these consequences surrounding both her mental state and professional life are not justified, as Lewinsky had not placed herself in the public eye prior to the scandal. Since the scandal, Lewinsky and her life continue to be widely publicized. Recently, she has used her platform to take a stance on a variety of issues. In 2014, Lewinsky launched a campaign in which she spoke out against cyberbullying to combat the hate and pain she endured during and after the scandal. She also took part in the #MeToo movement, actively condemning sexual assault and harassment. Lewinsky has since used the momentum from the scandal as a means to speak out about important issues. “If I have learned anything, it is that you cannot run away from who you are or from how you’ve been shaped by your experiences,” Lewinsky said. “Instead, you must integrate your past and present.”
Alexis Stone decided to test societies role in shaming when it comes to plastic surgery.
lexis Stone, a makeup and drag artist, decided to conduct a social experiment based on the concept of public shaming. After going through various plastic surgery procedures in the past, he recalled the harsh remarks people made and decided to run with the “botched monster” portrayal that was given to him. In October of 2018, Stone shared a photo of himself covered in bruises, portraying himself to have recently undergone a heavy cosmetic plastic surgery transformation. In reality, he had put prosthetics on his face to make it appear puffier and scarred. Along with this photo, he posted a reveal video on Youtube of his “new” face that was drastically different
and resembled socialite Jocelyn Wildenstein and the late comedian Joan Rivers. He immediately became a target for shame and hatred from fans and critics who made comments about how he ruined his life and received many death threats. For someone who had seemingly only affected himself, he received a tremendous amount of criticism for changing his appearance. According to Stone, comments left on his Youtube and Instagram accounts, including “Oh, just do us a favor and kill yourself,” “You’re deluded, you can barely breathe” and “‘You’re a monster,” had a deep impact on his mental health. “I’ve been called crazy. I’ve been called an addict. I’ve been called botched. I’m told on every single day that I’ve ruined my face … It’s just had such a crippling effect,” Stone said. Losing a relationship, finances and various brand deals throughout the experiment had opened his life to public shaming as he experienced how it can severely alter someone’s life.
After allegedly betraying her best friend’s family, Jordyn Woods faces public hate and embarrasment.
ocial media icon Jordyn Woods, longtime best friend of reality star Kylie Jenner, recently found herself in the spotlight after allegedly having intimate relations with basketball player, Tristan Thompson. Thompson, until recently, was in a serious relationship with Jenner’s half-sister Khloe Kardashian, with whom he shares a daughter. Once word of their purported affair got out, many were outraged and criticized her on various media outlets. “Every time you refresh the page it’s another person bullying me or wishing death on me or telling me something like ‘your father deserved to die,’” Woods said. She has been getting vulgar comments such as “homewrecker,” “you’re a disgrace,” “now it’s time for your life to fall apart” and many more. In an interview with the “Red Table Topic,” she recalled not being able to eat for days, look at her phone or get out of bed once the media had found out about her relations with Thompson.
THE EX BEST FRIEND
Woods also mentioned how the scandal has not only affected her daily life but those of her family as well. Her younger brother could not attend school, and her mother could not go out in public without fear of harassment from the press and the general public. Although this focus on her has harmed her reputation, some argue that this has improved her career due to the amount of PR she has received from the scandal. About a week after the scandal occurred, Woods’ Instagram follower count boosted up from 8 to 8.9 million. Ever since the incident became public, she had begun planning trips to London, the Middle East and Dubai to secure large financial deals with a marketing agent. From being on countless entertainment-related shows to receiving many business deals, her newfound popularity has expanded her career opportunities and aided her in becoming more well-known as she achieved notoriety.
With recent events, Olivia Jade Giannulli has proven that not all problems can be fixed with money.
n order to lessen the inherent randomization of college admissions, some decided to take matters into their own hands this past March. Across six states, fifty people, including top celebrities, high profile CEOs, college coaches and standardized test administrators, were indicted for taking part in the U.S. college entry fraud which illegally admitted unqualified students into elite universities. One of the most well-known people involved in the scandal was Olivia Jade Giannulli—the daughter of actress Lori Loughlin— whose admission to the University of Southern California was guaranteed after her mother allegedly paid $500,000 in bribes to the school. Before the scandal, Giannulli was a successful social media influencer, with close to two million Youtube subscribers, over one million Instagram followers and a number of brand deals from companies such as Amazon Prime, Sephora and Marc Jacobs. As a young and thriving entrepreneur, Giannulli was regarded as a role model for many of her younger fans. Consequently, her presence in the public eye prior to the admission scandal only made the ramifications more severe for Giannulli. After receiving an extreme amount of hate and judgment regarding her involvement in the scandal on her Instagram and Youtube accounts, she disabled comments on her most recent posts on both sites. A remaining comment left by a user on her Instagram page reads, “Dumb offspring of rich parents. Can’t earn s**t without mommy & daddy $.” Another reads, “You deserve to be in jail. F**k you and your whole family. I can’t wait to see what happens
to you when karma comes rolling towards.” Soon after her mother was indicted, Giannulli’s newly released makeup palette and clothing line were discontinued. Many companies with which she had previously had brand deals publicly announced that they would no longer be working with her in the future. “Drop out, you derailed another students life because you feel like as a wealthy and famous person, you are more entitled to the things other people actually work for,” one user said. Although Giannulli’s fan-base has greatly diminished, many devoted fans remain by her side, believing whole-heartedly that she was unaware of the crime her mom committed and therefore doesn’t deserve the backlash she is currently receiving. One user said, “I’m sorry all these people are bullying you. It sounds like you just want to do YouTube and your mom roped you into this.” Others felt that people who were leaving negative comments on her social media accounts were being hypocritical. “What she did was bad, but you guys need to stop the bullying, it’s not cool,” one user said. While many stand by their opinion that Giannulli embodies the spoiled, upper-class elite who continue to rob opportunities from hard-working, lower-class individuals, others rationalize that she is merely a nineteen-year-old girl who made a mistake and deserves a shot at redemption. Whether or not people choose to forgive her for her actions, it’s likely that the shaming and criticism she has received will leave a mark on her forever.
mom and pop
01. Many family-owned, “mom and pop” shops have operated in the same familiar place for generations. As Palo Alto continues to adapt to a modernized world, its community has begun to wonder how much they are willing to sacrifice in order to preserve nostalgic traditions. Is it time to say goodbye to mom and pop? TEXT AND DESIGN BY KAILEE CORRELL, KIMI LILLIOS, GRACE ROWELL AND LIA SALVATIERRA PHOTOS BY NATALIE SCHILLING AND COURTESY OF THE PALO ALTO HISTORICAL ASSOCIATION PHOTO COLLECTION
he neon wired clock above a countertop lined with jars of candy much more convenient location. Williams recognizes that there are a welcomes customers into the Palo Alto Creamery, a restaurant limited number of mom and pop shops left in the Bay Area and that known for its signature milkshakes and iconic old school the replacement of these establishments is pushing towards a more diner ambiance. For decades, family-run shops have dominated the refined, corporate enterprise. “I just can’t believe all these apartment retail scene in small towns. In a metropolitan setting, however, the buildings and everything [are] getting wiped out,’’ Williams said. “All general style of business changes into mostly streamlined companies. these little places I love to go to are getting chopped down one by one Compared to local shops, these larger businesses often lack a unique like a dead tree.” personality, making them comparable to the long list of other Saying goodbye to these corner stores also means that customers conglomerate-style options, and what they do offer customers in the won’t get the chance to see the familiar faces while browsing the aisles form of personal relations often fizzles out quickly. The independent or checking out at the cash register. From her personal experience, stores are commonly referred to as “mom and pop shops,” implying a Williams has found that this involvement in her community is strongly personal, almost familial, connection between the employees one the most rewarding outcomes she has gotten from frequenting and customers. However, as communities become increasingly mom and pop shops and believes that the friendly environment modernized and city populations continue to grow, there is no longer will simultaneously change as the shopping centers do. “[It’s] the a prominent place for basic neighborhood these independent community friendships “I just can’t believe all these apartment companies. Instead, that develop outside of customers choose where work and homes [that buildings and [that] everything [is] getting to shop between the I like about mom and convenience of a store’s wiped out. All these little places I love to go to pop shops],” Williams location and its history. are getting chopped down one by one like a said. “I think it [the Hometown gems have lack of mom and pop dead tree.” scattered locations and shops] closes people the familiar, credible off and makes them quality of mainstream isolated.” products justify why As soon as news of shoppers are hesitant to the Milk Pail’s closure change their habits and switch to atypical businesses. While there is a spread, there was an outpour of childhood stories about shopping steady stream of new shops replacing longtime community favorites at the treasured store and pleads from the community to keep the due to the high cost of real estate and rent, some local businesses are market open. In this outburst of community support, there were miraculously able to thrive in the revamped environment. In other enough supporters to maintain a daily influx of customers. “I cases, the community support is not enough and these stores have no remember when they fought to keep that space before they did all other choice but to close their doors. that construction and the community stepped in to try and save When driving down San Antonio Avenue, it is hard to miss the them,” Williams said. Unfortunately, the rise in customers was not multi-story movie theatre complex that towers over surrounding enough to keep the market running. The corner lot has been sold, shops. Between its tall glass windows and newly renovated and in the near future there will likely be an office building standing architecture, it has a dominating presence over its neighbor, the Milk in its place. Pail Market, causing the one story, open-air shop to be forgotten in Not even 10 minutes away from the iconic corner lot stood the midst of the hustle and bustle of the shopping center. the unappealing and rundown wooden building, iconic itself in its The community pushback began over five years ago when the concealment of a bustling atmosphere that was comprised of daily businesses around the Milk Pail evolved, creating a modernized regulars and wide-eyed first-time customers. As you cautiously made environment threatening the market’s success with the rising cost of your way through the Friday night crowd, trying not to spill your rent in the Bay Area. The recent announcement of its closure resulted iced Coca Cola or have your cheeseburger knocked from your tray, in backlash from the market’s shoppers and local neighborhood, the buzz of friendly conversations and cheering sports fans engulfed soon drawing attention to the little shop with the hopes of saving it. the small, packed room. Even when sitting at one of the secluded Longtime Milk Pail shopper, Katherine Williams, has been booths at the Oasis Bar and Grill, the chatter amongst total strangers shopping at the market for over 20 years and has seen the extensive gave everyone a sense of communal belonging. change that the San Antonio Center has experienced. “I wanted to Over its finite 60 years of operation, the Oasis accumulated support [the Milk Pail] because it’s really hard for mom and pop countless regulars and became a fundamental part of numerous shops to continue in this area,” Williams said. “All the strip malls traditions involving all generations, from those returning to the are losing people. I know [of ] another little fruit stand [and] I’m establishment ever since childhood to high school sports fans and wondering how long it’s going to be before that one [is] removed their weekly dinners. The Palo Alto Baseball Team used to frequent too.” the Oasis after every Thursday practice for a mandatory team dinner With the changing environment and growing economy, the price and the team even punished players with a fee for every absence. The of maintaining a locally run business continues to rise, making it tradition began decades ago, and the closing of the Oasis forced the harder to compete with chain stores that offer the same products at a team to abruptly adjust and leave the beloved tradition behind.
“You have to keep up with the times, and you make changes as subtle as they may be ... but at the same time you try to maintain some of the nostalgia that the restaurant had.”
Rob Fischer Former varsity player Ole Erickson recalls, “After closing, we started doing dinner at Jeffery’s, the food was good but it just wasn’t the same.” Last year, the Oasis announced their upcoming closure, resulting in the heartbreak of many individuals in the Menlo Park and Palo Alto communities. Through social media and fundraisers, locals came together in an effort to help subsidize the lease. Numerous Facebook posts and groups were dedicated to raising awareness about the termination of the Oasis lease and petitioned for the local customers to further frequent the restaurant to support the ownership and staff one last time. “It was sad when they announced they were going out of business, and when we found out, we made an effort to go as much as possible before closing,” Erickson said. The Tougas Family first leased the building in 1958 and have controlled the business ever since, developing a fun and communitycatered environment. However, with the climbing desirability of the area comes increased costs. “After several months of effort, we were unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business nor meet the requested terms of the building’s owner,” the Tougas Family said. “Therefore, we have made the very difficult decision to close our doors and bid farewell to the endearing community of Menlo Park and Stanford University.” It was only when the Oasis had to shut down did people start to realize what made the restaurant unique. The individuality of the Oasis is one of the many reasons why people cared so much about the fate of the establishment. No one fights for the ordinary, white-walled buildings that populate rapidly modernizing cities. They support places with character, such as the Oasis, that have rusted license plates depicting sports teams hung on the wooden walls etched with key-carved names of past customers. The Oasis, like many other mom and pop shops, is unique because it helped build a stronger community through long-lasting memories made by families and devoted employees. With the demanding costs of real estate in this developing area, the Oasis can no longer provide this sentimental value to its customers. Between the bustle of downtown and the tranquility of Palo Alto’s Professorville, the Peninsula Creamery Dairy Store allows
outsiders to gaze into the old-fashioned diner that has been serving all-American food to Palo Alto for decades. The establishment, known for its breakfasts, lunches and milkshakes, was formerly a primary dairy provider for the community with a fleet of 60 milk trucks at its largest operating capacity. Founded by John Santana II, the business is in the family hands of James Santana, a Palo Alto High School parent. Nearing almost a century of existence, the quintessential shop caters to customers both old and new. Lala Perez, a regular, comments on the lasting tradition of this restaurant. “I’ve been here [the Peninsula Creamery] for 28 years, and there I’ve seen people who were babies and they have now graduated college and come in with their kids, and it is great.” Additionally, the locality of the business builds familiarity and personal connections to the community. “We
01. Palo Alto Creamery, 1987 02. Bell’s Books, 1986 03. Peninsula Creamery, 1970 04. Palo Alto Creamery, 1990
03. get our regulars, they come in they don’t have to say anything, we just know what they want.” In the city of Palo Alto, real estate prices are notoriously unsustainable and many businesses, though striving to rent, are failing. “It’s bad. A lot of businesses try but they move elsewhere,” Perez said. Earlier associated — and often mistaken — with the Peninsula Dairy Store, the Palo Alto Creamery is a relic of Palo Alto’s history and remains bustling every day of the week. The perpetuity of its charismatic barstools and classically-made milkshakes comes from healthy landlord-tenant relationship that is, according to owner Rob Fischer, built for longevity. “Sometimes a long-term relationship is more important than money; both sides have to weigh your options,” Fischer said. He also commented on the blunt realities of our booming economy, highlighting that we live in a capitalist country. “Everyone wants and needs to make money. That’s the way the economy goes, and you can’t rely on the city to protect you.” Due to a long-lasting lease and a fair landlord-tenant relationship, the Palo Alto Creamery is likely to remain common ground for Palo Alto natives, and many cite it as an invaluable haven for the community. “We get so many people who come in and tell me they met their spouse here, or this was their first date,” Fischer said. “It’s endearing, and it’s just one of those places.” The Palo Alto Creamery persists because of the authentic character
and culture it preserves.“You have to keep up with the times, and you make changes, as subtle as they may be, and you still try to keep current with what is going on, but at the same time you try to maintain some of the nostalgia that the restaurant had,” Fischer said. “We just do what we do, and it’s not a race and it’s something that you do because you love it.” Just one storefront over sits a charming, greypainted building with big gold lettering reading “Bells Books.” Contrasting with the otherwise Silicon Valley nature of Palo Alto, the endurance of this store may appear out of place. However, like the Peninsula Creamery Dairy Store, the owners of the store are also owners of the land itself, keeping the business shielded from the struggles many other businesses face. Christopher Storer, husband of the owner, believes in the importance of remaining an analog service in the technologically-advancing community. “It hasn’t particularly impacted us because we have provided a service of the town that isn’t particularly changed by the tech structure.” While they do sell a selection of contemporary writers, they are more known for their rare and used books. “We tend to focus on material that stays important in the human community for generations,” Storer said. Despite the work that is required to keep up the business, their special place in the community is something they deem worth it. “Our value is not in the money we make but in surviving and being able to provide the service that this town — any town — needs.” Many other mom and pop shops share the same philosophy, including the former owner of the Sugar Shack, Suzi Tinsley, who believes that every town should include staple locations such as a local tailor, hardware store or stationery shop. “I am also a firm believer that every downtown city should have a ‘sweet spot,’ whether [it be] a candy or ice cream destination where families [can] enjoy some good old fashioned fun!” Tinsley’s views reveal one of the fundamental aspects of a city or town: the businesses. “Small businesses have things people need, and the community is better for having local businesses as a mainstay of the vitality of the community.” In 2007, Tinsley’s childhood dreams, as well as her personal endeavor to uphold the vitality of her community, culminated in the opening of the Sugar Shack. “As I got older and started my own family, I thought the Sugar Shack would be the perfect spot for kids to gather downtown,” she said. “The store was right next to the barber shop and within walking distance of eight schools, the perfect location for the Sugar Shack.” Not only did her business fit perfectly into the puzzle of her fantasy
04. downtown structure but it soon became an iconic establishment. “I felt supported by my local community from the day I opened,” Tinsley said. “Smaller businesses need the traffic to generate revenue, so I relied on my customers, young and old, to make things come together.” “I had 185 bins of candy in the Sugar Shack,” Tinsley said. “Assorted Jelly Belly’s, individually colored M&M’s; 30 bins just for sour candies, chocolates from around the world, and over 45 varieties of ‘old school candy’ that are impossible to find.” It’s easy to imagine the widened eyes of customers of all ages, peering into hefty plastic containers stocked with everything from classic black licorice and caramels to the latest shape of sour gummy candy. It is clear why customers would be upset when the wondrous experience the Sugar Shack provided was liquidated into an online format where images replaced the sweet smelling aromas. “I did get a lot of dirty looks in the local grocery stores or in our church after the closing, but I am still providing sweets for luncheons, school events, the Lucille Packard prom, and for local athletic teams,” Tinsley said. Although this famous establishment has since closed, the Sugar
establishment continued to prove its prosperous business. “I do miss the day to day routine of seeing the kids after school, catching up with some of the moms who would come in earlier in the day, and the excitement around having new visitors to the Sugar Shack who had heard about it through a friend,” Tinsley said. The slight divergence in her experiences as a small business owner, from an establishment to a website, does not sway Tinsley’s focus on candy as her coveted product. “With the internet, I could, [and still can] track down many items, but the tastes for the duration of the store, and continuing into my events today have remained the same,” Tinsley said. Furthermore, she didn’t feel that she had to feverishly compete with the fast-paced internet age millennials and their changing tastes. “I was very lucky in that what I sold appealed to everyone,” she said. “Candy is very nostalgic, so many of my older customers would have me track down their favorite [candy from] when they were kids, and the younger generation [were] all
“Our value is not in the money we make but in surviving and being able to provide the service that this town — any town — needs.”
Christopher Storer Shack remains a testament to the unique products that are formed out of the convergence of tradition and technology. After it closed, the force of the digital age allowed Tinsley to successfully seize entrepreneurial opportunities and further pursue the vision of the Sugar Shack through a website. Despite having to relinquish special personal customer interactions with the Sugar Shacks’ closure, the
about the ‘gummy’ and ‘sour’ items.” After an eight-anda-half year run and a name in the history books, Tinsley is satisfied with her contribution to her community and how she found a place in her fantasy. “Every customer in the Sugar Shack was memorable; I enjoyed meeting and greeting every grandmother with her grandchildren, the
boy getting ‘something sweet’ to make ‘an ask’ to a prom, the kids having a root beer at the bar waiting to get their hair cut next door, and the ‘regulars’ who we knew exactly what they wanted as we saw them parking the car.” In the 1950s, Kepler’s Books, located in Menlo Park, was an innovative force in the book market. The bookstore and self-proclaimed cultural hub championed its driving participation in the ‘Paperback Revolution,’ and has been established as an iconic marker of older, traditional companies thriving in modernizing times, even if its central product has become somewhat of a rarity. Current CEO Praveen Madan describes the prosperous times in which the early Kepler’s Books existed. “Cheap paperback books were the disruptive new technology in the 1950s and 1960s, much like e-books are today,” Madan said. Over 60 years later, Kepler’s roots have consistently widened to encompass a diverse set of values, offerings and community relations. “The result is that today, Kepler’s is one of the most successful, stable and innovative bookstores in the entire country,” Madan said. “There are many different things people value about Kepler’s -—Kepler’s rich history, their relationship with the bookstore, which for many customers goes back years and even decades, their relationship with individual booksellers, the selection of books, our events program that brings leading writers and intellectuals to the community for live conversations [as well as] our work in the community with schools and non-profits.” While Kepler’s is often characterized in terms of its lengthy success, it is also heavily defined by its hardships and the resulting response from the bookstore and the community. “Kepler’s has had two major financial crises — one in 2005 and again in 2011,” Madan said. “Both times, there was a core group of community champions determined to save Kepler’s, and both times they successfully initiated many positive and high impact changes in how Kepler’s operates and engages with the community.” To many people living in the Bay Area, the possibility of the loss of Kepler’s, an intellectual and cultural tenet of the community, was enough incentive for change-makers and ordinary consumers to grasp. The bookstore had transformed into a mainstay of their community, and consumers weren’t willing to lose it because of growing economic difficulties. Enter Madan, an entrepreneur with a vision to combat and appeal to the modernizing interests of consumers and the digital revolution. “I was invited to become the CEO after the second crisis at Kepler’s in 2011, and I was given a mandate to create a new realistic vision for Kepler’s that the community could embrace,” Madan said. “The vision we developed, with significant input from the community, was to transform Kepler’s into an organization with a social
mission to provide public education and cultural enrichment.” Kepler’s has now transformed into an establishment that champions more than just paperbacks, but any items of the paper variety, as well as experiences and opportunities that are relatively unavailable online. “We differentiate from Amazon by focusing on relationships, services, and experiences because we can provide these better than Amazon can,” Madan said. “[I]n the last seven years we have built a high democratic organization of community service specialists and gone away from the idea that’s pervasive in retail businesses that the business should be led by an owner who hires a low-wage workforce to run a for-profit company for the benefit of the owner.” Now, similar to every business owner, Madan looks to the future, one that seems to be crumbling for the print industry. However, he also draws on the past that founder Roy Kepler built in his efforts to formulate a campaign that would extend Kepler’s shelf life for generations. “The philosophy of stewardship has driven us to develop pragmatic responses to address the evolving needs and issues of our community,” Madan said. Their logical response to the impending future? Establish and furnish a campaign comparable to those of 2020 presidential candidates. “The Kepler’s 2020 campaign has already been successful, as it has led to a revitalization of Kepler’s and created a new model for bookstores that’s winning awards, critical acclaim and great media coverage all over the world,” Madan said. “In addition, we are regularly approached by bookstores from all over looking to learn from what we have done so they can apply some of our innovations to their organizations to better serve their communities.” In an economic sense, businesses were initially established to offer goods and services to consumers. Instead, Kepler’s rich history has allowed them to extend their priorities beyond pushing thoughtless purchases and explore and strengthen customer relations, a topic many contemporary companies struggle with. “Our view is that Kepler’s belongs to the community,” Madan said. “We act as stewards, and our job is to ensure that the organization is optimally serving all its stakeholders including our staff, customers, authors, publishers, vendors, partners, landlord, and the community. As the attitude towards shopping and dining continues to change and constantly adapts to new tastes and styles, it leaves the small, local, family favorite shops behind. Although there are not as many mom and pop shops left in the area, those that are still standing are running strong and continue to attract new customers daily. The iconic buildings that hold traditions and family memories might eventually be replaced, but the impressions and sentimental memories are imprinted in the minds of those who cherished them. As we bid goodbye to more mom and pop stores every year, the value of those that remain increases, causing their significance to rise among citizens. Now, it is more important than ever for the community to work together save the remaining hometown gems or else it won’t be long before we say “so long, mom and pop” forever.
“I do miss the day to day routine of seeing the kids after school ... and the excitement around having new visitors to the Sugar Shack who had heard about it through a friend.”
PALY Palo Alto Senior High School alumni reminisce upon their individual experiences at their alma mater, revealing stark differences between the past and present. very city has something special about it — something unique that helps foster a sense of pride and joy among the community. While Palo Alto arguably has quite a few, Palo Alto Senior High School, known to many as Paly, has stood tall as a prominent part of the beloved city for the past 100 years. Like anything else that has been around for an entire century, Paly is continuously growing and has seen many changes in virtually every aspect, shaping it into one of the nation’s top high schools. After graduating, many alumni dispersed around the world, but some have made their way back to Palo Alto to raise their children at their alma mater, forming a strong bond in the tight-knit community and allowing them to share their beloved Paly experiences with the next generation. As graduating classes leave and new ones flow in, contemporary school traditions and campus modernizations have drastically shifted Paly’s atmosphere over the past few decades. With an abundance of funding, it is no surprise that Paly’s campus has endured seemingly-endless construction, updated classrooms and modernized creative facilities. Driving down Embarcadero Road, the glorious new Performing Arts Center and recently added Media Arts Center undoubtedly stand out, leading visitors to commonly mistake the campus as a part of Stanford University. From the new gym to the recently completed library, Paly offers top of the line facilities to accommodate every student’s interests as the campus expands, going from one project to another. While current Paly students are incredibly fortunate to have access to such an advanced campus, alumni agree that Paly seems to have lost something amidst the acquisitive changes. Paly class of ‘86 alumnus Whit Crane described Paly’s old campus as being enclosed
30 • CULTURE
by trees, where students didn’t feel “fenced in.” “Palo Alto, slowly but surely—for whatever reason—has become more calculated,” Crane said. “Where you now would have a fence, you had trees and little places you could go and sit and smoke a cigarette or whatever you wanted to do.” Today, most students spend free time hanging out on the quad, but during Paly alumnus Stephen Niethammer’s time on campus, students spent their time near “The Wall,” a nickname for the side wall of the building now known as the Student Center. The many expansions and additions have not only taken the place of previously open areas but also required some old buildings to be knocked down. Niethammer says he still reminisces of the many rallies held in a huge amphitheater which has since been replaced by the current science building. Spirit week is plausibly Paly’s most celebrated tradition, with current students looking forward to it every October. While this one week is the highlight for many current students, alumni fondly remember their favorite parts of high school being the numerous traditions that have since dissipated. Possibly the most memorable ex-tradition was streaking, which was once a major part of pay culture where students sprinted across the quad wearing nothing but a mask. Although it used to be a right of passage that many seniors took part in during their final spirit week, the administration has stopped tolerating it, putting an end to the streaking in recent years. Kate Marinkovich, who graduated only five years ago, recalls streaking being something prevalent during her time. “I think I was a freshman, and the seniors would do a whole entire show,” Marinkovich said. “They would streak and do a choreographed dance on the quad during brunch and lunch.”
TEXT AND DESIGN BY EMILY FILTER, JAIME FURLONG, CLAIRE MOLEY AND MADDIE YEN • PHOTOS COURTESY OF PALY MADRONO, DAVID AND KAREN HICKEY Marinkovich’s former classmate, Lars Klovdahl, participated in this abandoned tradition. “Everyone streaked, it did hurt anybody and it has been a tradition at Paly forever.” Klovdahl said, reasoning that, “there was a designated streak week so everyone knew when it was going to happen. And if someone was so appalled by a naked human body, they didn’t go to the quad for that week and that was that.” Luckily, Paly administration has not squashed all of the disputed traditions, and Senior Ditch Day remains a senior right of passage. Niethammer vividly recalls his Senior Ditch Day, a day entailing skipping a designated day of school and instead of spending it at the beach with classmates followed by a grade-wide campout. Despite the squandering of certain beloved traditions, the school spirit of the Paly community has remained constant. Sporting events have always been an encapsulating part of the Paly experience and many alumni make a point to continue supporting Paly athletics by following the teams’ season records as well as attend games. During Niethammer’s time as Viking, the radiating lights had yet to be constructed, forcing outdoor sports to start games at three o’clock, setting a different game day environment in comparison to today’s seven o’clock games. Alternatively, Paly has gained the reputation of being an extremely academically-driven environment filled with students who focus immensely on their future, keeping school work as their top priority. Paly alumni, however, shared that they had a different attitude towards high school, enjoying their last four years at home as a stress-free time spent with friends and family. While back in the day some were still competitive in academics, Niethammer recalls not being overly troubled, saying, “I never felt any pressure,” Niethammer said. “Teachers were cool, to me there was no stress whatsoever.” The obsession and worry about college and future success was not something that previously dragged over most students’ minds. Along with Paly, Palo Alto has gone through a metamorphosis of its own. Whether simply returning to their hometown for holidays or residing permanently in Palo Alto with families of their own, Paly alumni believe that the city has
transformed into a bubble or wealth and privilege compared to the traditional middle-class town many grew up in. Now filled with multi-million dollar houses, Niethammer, who still lives in Palo Alto, reflects upon a simpler time.“It was not as flashy, we used to just ride our bikes around and do stuff … it was pretty low key and chill,” Niethammer said. Marinkovich also recalled a shift in neighborhood life and feels the town is not as tight-knit today. “I always had the same neighbors growing up,” Marinkovich said. “People started to come in and build huge homes in these tiny lots. It felt a lot more crowded.” With the Silicon Valley boom, Palo Alto has become a hub of intellectuals and wealth. “It wasn’t the richy rich place,” Crane said. “You know you would date a Castilleja girl and she would live in Atherton and that’s where the rich people would live. But now this is the rich people.” With Palo Alto’s stark accumulation of money, many who have lived in Palo Alto for years notice their once charming town has become a “bubble.” “This place is a weird bubble and it has an interesting facade,” Crane said. “But in some ways, it is a blessing if used correctly. There is too much money here, but that is just my opinion because I’m like the old guy who wants it like it used to be.” Despite Palo Alto’s transformation, Crane believes one thing continues to stay the same. “[Palo Alto] seems to generate a lot of creativity in different ways,” Crane said. “From like the Grateful Dead or Stanford, or now the tech boom.” As with any given place, Paly continues to evolve with time: from buildings to senior traditions, hang out spots to academics, immense changes have been seen throughout Paly’s 100 years. Through all of these alterations, however, one thing has and will seemingly always persist: Paly pride. “We didn’t have all the social media stuff, we’re still really tight and remember the good times,” Niethammer said. “Paly is an unbelievable place, a special place, you don’t want to forget your friends.”
Are you a student at Paly interested in photography and art? Contact Mr. Wilson to join the yearbook Staff!
TEXT AND DESIGN BY KATHERINE BUECHELER AND ELLEN CHUNG ART BY LEON LAU
Racism does not always take on the form of blatant acts of violence. It is also omnipresent in seemingly insignificant everyday interactions. Whether or not racism is intentional, it harms minorities in sectors of life ranging from education to healthcare.
woman steps into an elevator, struggling to handle her bulky shopping bags as she shuffles in. Walking to a corner, she sets down the bags by her feet and relaxes against the wall as the elevator slowly descends to the ground floor. She senses the elevator gradually slowing to a stall on the fifth floor and looks up slightly. The dull silver doors slide open and a black man strolls in, walking to the back of the elevator and lightly leans against the wall. The woman unconsciously stiffens, nudging her purse towards herself with the toe of her boot. Slightly sighing, the man glances over at her as she moves her belongings. He then exits the elevator at his floor.
he journey towards racial equality has come a long way in the past few centuries. Today, the public impression of racial discrimination ranges between extremes. Some have the perception that people of all races are treated fairly, while others have acknowledged the violent acts of racism present in our modern society, which includes white supremacist rallies and hate crimes. Many of these events do not reflect the minor acts of racial discrimination that affect everyday life in various aspects of society. The most common places of interactions can be tainted with subconscious prejudice, feeding into larger consequences that impact not only the daily lives of those in minority groups but also their health, academic success and careers. Racism is upheld through the seemingly indiscriminate acts perpetrated by people of any race or socioeconomic classes. The issue of subconscious racism has roots in our modern society’s high level of negative biases. Our mainstream culture imposes implicit racial profiles, causing many to be unaware of their discriminatory or racist behavior. These implicit biases upset many minority communities and negatively impact individuals’ lives. However, certain races are often put at a disadvantage through the pressures placed by deep-rooted biases on significant life
decisions. According to NatCen Social Research, white applicants are 74% more likely to be accepted for a job than racial minority applicants. Despite having the necessary qualifications for a job, those of minority groups may not be hired simply because of their race. This then hurts their abilities to work higher paying jobs and have a better quality of life. Furthermore, many minority students are put at a disadvantage throughout their academic careers. Regardless of a student’s academic ability, racism can frequently override this and decreases their opportunities for academic success. The issue of subconscious racism is all too prevalent around the world and has inevitably seeped into the Palo Alto community. Paly has a unique and diverse student body that is generally deemed accepting and open-minded, along with a highly supportive faculty. However, some students have reported acts of racial discrimination in Paly classrooms. “I have felt like a lot of my teachers have treated me differently because of my race,” an anonymous Paly student of color said. “One of my teachers first semester of this year always made me feel bad about not doing well in [their] class. [They] called me out in front of the whole class.” While other students,
“I have felt like a lot of my teachers have treated me differently because of my race.”
"The officer even went so far as to ask where the student lived, only leaving after the student showed him the house." who were not students of color, were also struggling in the class, the teacher supported them and opted to withhold help from this student. Even if the teacher was not being directly racist, “it’s hard to not jump to those conclusions,” the student said. Despite what the teacher’s intentions may have been, this Paly student has experienced discrimination and considered dropping the class even though it is required for graduation. This prejudice extends beyond the school campus. Another Paly student of color describes an incident that had occurred while biking home from a Stanford football game with both his bike and his friend’s bike. While riding home with one hand on his bike’s handlebar and the other pulling along his friend’s bike, the student noticed a police officer closely following two blocks back. “You can probably imagine how scary it was at night. He just pulled up and was like ‘Are those bikes yours?’ I just said ‘Yes, sir’ to everything,” the student said. The officer even went so far as to ask where the student lived, and only left after the student pointed out his home. These actions, fueled by a subconscious racial prejudice, negatively affects people of color in the community, often causing unnecessary fear. Even when it comes to healthcare, racism affects people’s ability to gain adequate treatment for better health, as well as doctors’ abilities to treat patients effectively. Dr. David
Williams, an African American professor at Harvard, immersed himself in a variety of research regarding this issue. He found that African Americans and Latinos being treated for a broken leg by physicians were often given significantly less medication than white patients. African American patients report higher levels of discrimination; some recount being treated rudely by receptionists and being denied comprehensive information about treatments options. These actions interfere with diagnosis and treatment of many people of color. Similarly, there have been incidents of patients refusing treatment from non-white doctors, and even requesting to switch doctors. According to a patient prejudice survey conducted by WedMD, 19% of surveyed physicians have had a patient make an offensive remark about their race. Subconscious racism hurts many individuals by decreasing their chances for academic and career success through acts carried out by professors, doctors and job interviewers, also reaching into the daily and personal lives of minorities. Acts of subconscious racism foster feelings of frustration, sadness and fear in our society. “It made feel like sh*t... if I was white, I know this wouldn’t be happening,” the first student said. “I used to cry a lot because of that.”
"It made feel like sh*t...if I was white I know this wouldn’t be happening.”
Nickelback Doesn't Suck (you do)
Often referred to as the worst band ever, Nickelback has had its fair share of hate from the music community over the years. But here's the thing. They're all wrong. I'm here to tell you how Nickelback is actually underrated; a half decent band, if not an exceptional one. TEXT AND DESIGN BY RYAN GWYN
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or a band that has sold over 50 million records worldwide and received five Grammy nominations, you’ve probably asked yourself: why does everyone hate Nickelback? It’s true, for many who consider themselves to have an interest in popular music, that Nickelback is the poster child of awful music. This is the band that once lost a Facebook popularity contest to a pickle, the band that Rolling Stone named the second-worst band of the 1990s and the band that was once petitioned to be banned from the entire city of London. Pretty much everyone who is even slightly vocal about their taste in music will tell you they can’t stand Nickelback. But here’s the thing: They’re lying. Now, I consider myself to be fairly well-versed in music, and I’m pretty vocal about my tastes, but after taking a step back and looking at who Nickelback really is, this is how I see it. Nickelback, even in th face of constant vitriol, has established themselves to be a perfectly acceptable band, if not a great one. Nickelback is to hard rock what Luke Bryan is to country — admittedly somewhat formulaic and unrevolutionary, but you love it. You’ll pretend to hate it, but you’ll sing every word when no one’s looking because there’s a formula for a reason. The combination of simple lyrics, laid back verses, tension-filled bridges and stadium rocking choruses, is what makes pop music tick. Admittedly, not everything Nickelback has released could be deemed “great music,” but they have released a sizeable collection of very good singles and one, maybe two, very decent albums, particularly 2008’s “Dark Horse.” Overseen by the same producer as AC/DC’s “Back in Black” and “Highway to Hell,” “Dark Horse” is just as catchy, just as tight and just as singable. Each song is crisply written and executed, and the melodies are surely more memorable than anything in that Billie Eilish album that came out last month.
Before I go on further about why Nickelback doesn’t suck, I’ll acknowledge the small amounts of tangible evidence for why they do. Yes, it could be argued that Nickelback sounds like many of the hard rock bands that evolved out of the hair metal of the late 80s. Yes, Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger, who once referred to himself as “a talking penis who wants to take over the world,” is not the epitome of a “self-respecting” musician. Kroeger also once famously lashed out at critics saying, “who’s the most famous music critic who ever lived? They’ve never made a statue of a critic.” However, Nickelback is an underdog, and America loves an underdog. It’s antics like these that make the band so exceptional. In a modern music scene where money and fame rule, a band that doesn’t take themselves too seriously is refreshing. At last, hating Nickelback is classist. Yes, you heard me. Now I can’t say that I know the exact breakdown of Nickelback’s fan base, but their fans overlap heavily with those of mainstream country. This means, to generalize momentarily, that the fans are primarily working class, white Americans and Canadians who might not have the ability to seek out the hottest new music. Believe me, Ariana Grande’s “7 rings” doesn’t deserve the hype. Furthermore, radio stations love Nickelback for their short, catchy and straight to the point songs. Canadian radio stations are required to play at least 25% of their music from Canadian artists and Nickelback is the cream of the crop. Radio is, for the most part, free, along with all of those Nickelback CDs from your dad’s ancient booklet collecting dust in the back of your closet. So again, to generalize, as far as music goes, Nickelback is of the cheaper variety and to devalue Nickelback is to devalue the tastes of the country’s working class. So, the next time you say “I hate Nickelback” before inevitably belting the lyrics of “Photograph,” think for a minute and ask yourself: why?
“ This is the band that once lost a Facebook popularity contest to a pickle. the band that Rolling Stone named the second-worst band of the 1990S and the band that was once petitioned to be banned from the entire city of London.”
UNDER K S K A M E H TTH
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Korean pop music has become an international phenomenon, known for its vibrant videos and even flashier aesthetics. But what happens behind the scenes; what lies behind this manufactured mask?
nside stadiums filled to max capacity, tens of thousands of people tightly grip glowing light sticks, waving them in the air along to the booming beat emanating from the stage. The excitement is felt both inside and outside the arena as fans belt the interchanging Korean and English lyrics so powerfully that a thrum circulates the floor, the foreign chants spilling out of the buzzing stadium and into the night. Korean pop fans have garnered massive attention in both the physical and digital worlds due to their fervent affection for the brand. This passion and dedication to the artists they follow make it impossible to be completely oblivious of the genre and the artists it encompasses. K-pop, a fairly recent phenomenon, began to make its rise in the Western music industry in 2015, most notably with the boy group BTS whose success has escalated rapidly both in Korea and internationally. After speaking at the United Nations conference, receiving a Grammy nomination and being named one of Time Magazineâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2018 Next Generation Leaders, BTS has made a name for the genre, paving the way for other K-pop groups to flourish worldwide.
Following BTS, other K-pop boy groups such as Got7 and EXO are beginning to tread the waters of the American music i n d u s t r y a s well. After only having a prominent platform for a relatively short time, the two boy groups have already been nominated for the Billboard Top Social Artist award. Accompanying them is the fourmember girl group Blackpink who performed at Coachella 2019 after collaborating with English pop artist Dua Lipa. K-pop is known for its extensive attention to detail, apparent in the effort put into physical albums with photoshoot booklets, posters and photo cards. Each group has a somewhat predetermined image seen in much of their music, makeup, clothing and music videos, often leaving little autonomy for the artists themselves. This attention to detail is also applied to the dance routines that accompany songs on stage, requiring artists to intensively rehearse both the lyrics and choreography to perfection. Before the flashy, elaborate videos and intricate dances are flawlessly performed on stage, there is a grueling process K-pop artists to become a member of a successful group. Unlike the Western music industry, aspiring K-pop artists must go through a rigorous application and auditioning process instead of being sought out by record labels.
TEXT AND DESIGN BY ELLEN CHUNG AND ISABELLA MOUSSAVI â&#x20AC;˘ ART BY ELLEN CHUNG
K-pop artists first have to be admitted as a trainee and devote years to fine-tuning their vocals and dance abilities, even though this does not guarantee admission into a group. Aside from the performance preparations, an included aspect of their training is that international trainees must learn the Korean language, taking hours of their time each day. They must learn Korean up to the point where they can converse and pronounce the language well. The process is so demanding that oftentimes, many will end their trainee contracts and leave behind their dreams of becoming a musical artist. Even after debut, idols are put under packed schedules consisting of television appearances and music show performances among other activities. Depending on the company, most artists do not have the luxury of participating in the production of their music until gaining significant success. With the time spent preparing for comebacks, known as the release of a new album, and constant mental stress from executives in the company, idols are left with little time to rest. This gives reason to the instances of artists collapsing due to exhaustion or illness. In many cases, artists are pushed to go under the knife and change their features to better fit Korean beauty ideals which dominate the society and workforce. Soyou, a member of the well-known group Sistar, said,
With the time spent preparing for comebacks, known as the release of a new album, and constant mental stress from executives in the company, idols are left with little time to rest, giving reason to the instances of artists collapsing due to exhaustion or illness.
MUSIC â&#x20AC;˘ 39
“My agency doesn’t want me to say it [that I’ve had cosmetic procedures done] because you can’t tell the difference before and after the surgery.” Undergoing surgery is a common fate for many K-pop idols but is concealed by both the company and the artists. Artists are often criticized by the public for not naturally having the appearance fitting Korean beauty standards, yet are also attacked when they opt to undergo plastic surgery. Although criticized for it, K-pop artists are not the only ones who are going under the knife; South Korea has the largest plastic surgery capita in the world, with 20% of women between the ages of 19 and 49 admitting to have undergone a cosmetic procedure according to the International Society of Aesthetic Plastic Surgery (ISAPS). The beauty standards in Korea are incredibly specific and set at a high bar with many striving for a slimmer jaw, pointier nose and double eyelids, all of which can be achieved through plastic surgery. In everyday job applications, many corporations or stores require a headshot to be included in the application, and admittance into the company between one possible employee and another can depend on the photo. Beyond facial standards, Korean women over 100 pounds, regardless of height, are often deemed “overweight” by the public.
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Whether it is their own decision or their company’s, K-pop trainees and idols will oftentimes follow starvation diets to achieve their desired weight. Nevertheless, entertainment companies constantly lie about the heights and weights of
In the company’s effort to thrive in a cut-throat industry, the substance in the lyrics is sacrificed for sustenance in the charts. the artists so that they will better fit the Korean beauty standards, even if only on paper. Naturally, these artists often feel mandated to have a cosmetic procedure or follow harsh diets when living in a country that puts a strong emphasis on appearance. But this process only further feeds into the business model of K-pop, as with this genre,
label companies typically care more about the “sellability” of their artists, rather than their musical talent. Comparable to that of a production line, the K-pop industry is extremely manufactured and calculated, arguably more so than the Western music industry. In Western music industries, artists are allowed much more freedom in writing and producing their own music, often creating music that is a reflection of their struggles or personal values and tend to be in more control of their careers. In the company’s effort to thrive in a cutthroat industry, the substance in the lyrics is sacrificed for sustenance in the charts. Whether it reflects the artist’s genuine personality, meticulous years are spent to achieve perfection by each K-pop idol, resulting in an aura of purity and excellence practically branded onto the artist. What’s often forgotten by both fans and the general public, however, is that these artists are human and are not immune to scandals and the traits that compose “bad” people. Given the intensity of their dedicated fan bases and their predisposed images, the fate of an idol constantly hangs on a dwindling thread in this cut-throat industry.
thank you for the music Movies and music — they’re more connected than you think. Soundtracks and scores play an irreplaceable role in the success of films.
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climactic melody masks the boy’s heavy breathing as he races through the crowded airport to get the girl of his dreams. The eerie strings of the violin intensify, building suspense as a girl creeps down the basement stairs, the floorboards creaking with every delicate step. The iconic melody of “Jaws” escalates as the shark lurks towards the clueless swimmers. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s voices lilt over the familiar lyrics of “City of Stars,” generating an uncontrollable flood of tears pouring down the faces of the audience. Darth Vader bursts into the Death Star, accompanied by stormtroopers and an ominous orchestral ballad. Simply put, cinematic music creates cinematic magic. Gripping a blanket so tightly as though it will protect one from the horrifying plot twist, viewers regularly mute the sound or plug their ears to avoid hearing a score that drastically adds apprehension to a frightening scene. Film scores, however, are more than just an amplification of scary scenes. Without them, films would lack the power to captivate their audiences and keep them mesmerized and engaged for the entirety of a movie. Even more, subtle background
music can enhance a film’s storyline, prompting viewers to respond emotionally to plot developments, all consumed by the swelling of the orchestra. From drive-in movies to the upscale reclining seats that new theaters offer, movies have long been a part of our culture. With the ever-growing tech industry and increased music streaming sources making millions of songs available at the touch of a button, songs originally debuted as film scores have risen in popularity and gained widespread recognition beyond the cinema world. Big budget blockbusters such as “Black Panther,” “A Star is Born” and “Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again” rely on popular artists and talented celebrities to create the integrity and individuality of the movie. It’s not only the movies that benefit from famous artists; these films provide musicians with new and exciting collaborations that increase their popularity. Now considered a modern classic, “I Will Always Love You” by Whitney Houston was originally created for the soundtrack of the movie “Bodyguard.” “Independent Women Part 1” by Destiny’s Child may have later been included in one of
Without the right combination of music and sound effects, films would not have the same emotional effect on the viewer.
their albums, but it was first made for the “Charlie’s Angels” remake. Many other songs like these have become indispensable parts of our musical lexicon, providing films with an added reward. While some soundtracks become famous for specific songs, others are known for instrumental music perfectly crafted to the plot that sticks with viewers and is integral to its success. Some scores have the ability to tell the story almost as well as the movie itself. This is exemplified in the horror film “Jaws,” where composer John Williams saw his music as an opportunity to convey the terrifying events occurring on the screen through thoroughly orchestrated sounds. While the thought of a shark terrorizing beach-goers is already frightening, the score composed by Williams puts the movie over the top and was so impactful that it has been ranked as having the most terrorizing melodies ever written for a film score. The notes created by Williams have the ability to invoke fear within listeners even without added visuals. In an interview with Limelight Magazine, Williams reflected that he “really saw this as a kind of sea chase, something that also had humor, so the orchestra could be swashbuckling at times.” Music has also been known to subconsciously recall memories and
can often dictate one’s sentiments while viewing a film. “Music is the most powerful of all art forms because you feel it directly in your bones,” Brett Griffith, Paly’s Video Production teacher, said. “We all feel it in a universal way. Certain chords largely have a certain feel: happy, sad, poignant, resolved, unresolved, augmented, diminished. It’s things that you pick up on.” For such an important aspect of a film, most scores and soundtracks are actually composed and recorded while the movie is being edited. This is done in order for the music to seamlessly match the timing of the film. However, in a few unusual cases, the composer will work with the director throughout the filming process and compose music to fit specifically into the timing of certain scenes. “Music will usually queue, and build, and help us get going,” Griffith said. The music behind the film all too often goes unrecognized, and yet it is what draws viewers in and adds emotional complexity to scenes. This makes it no surprise that some soundtracks can become even more famous than the film for which they were produced. Music adds a critical element to the cinematic experience, which deeply resonates with its audience.
TEXT BY ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN, JESSICA WEISS AND NEIVEW WELLINGTON DESIGN BY ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN AND JESSICA WEISS ART BY ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN AND TYLER VARNER
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ea d d RISING
he celestial notes of John Mayer’s guitar circulate through a sold-out arena. Fans are spread across the floor for miles, spinning in spiral-like concentric circles with their graying locks flapping in the fall San Francisco breeze. They sway to the songs of Dead & Company, a revival offshoot of The Grateful Dead, a world-renowned rock band with roots in Palo Alto. Known for their expert musicianship, the Grateful Dead created their own style of psychedelic rock, turning their songs into 45 minute extended jams, influencing a wave of jam bands such as Phish, Dave Matthews and Primus continuing this tradition. Dead & Company, which has been active since 2015, has built a brand cherished by legions of fans around the world. The band may be new, but many of its followers are fans of the Grateful Dead, attending their shows for over 50 years. The band was well known for their unique interaction with their fans, often referred to as Deadheads, who followed The Grateful Dead on tour and were encouraged by the band to sell homemade merchandise, bootlegged
show recordings or food at their shows. Despite breaking up in 1995, the Dead’s following and hype still remain strong to this day. Their reincarnation, Dead & Company, features most of the original band members as well as American singer-songwriter John Mayer on guitar. While they do not release studio albums, they do release recordings of their live shows on CD and their website. These recordings generate just as much hype as a new album release, with their eclectic brand of rock music being well received in all corners of music. While many music fans turn to streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music to listen to music, it’s likely that future revenue made within the music industry lies in live concerts. According to a 2017 report from the tax corporation Pricewaterhouse Coopers, revenue indicates that live music is the future of the industry, as most streaming services give an infinitesimal percentage of royalties to record companies. Even less goes to the
The Dead was known for dedicating a specific section of audience seating to those who wished to record the show
TEXT AND DESIGN BY CLAIRE LI, THEO L.J. AND JACK STEFANSKI ART AND DESIGN BY TYLER VARNER
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Headphones and earbuds are essential to everyday life, occupying one’s headspace with their favorite song. Despite the continued individualization of streaming services, live concerts are making a comeback, and Dead & Company is leading the revival. artists themselves, making live shows a way for artists to make more money and attain a larger percentage of money share. The Grateful Dead were notorious for their enthralling live performances; they even promoted the bootlegging of their live shows, defying the norm where artists and record labels widely discouraged such behavior. The Dead was also known for dedicating a specific section of audience seating to those who wished to record the show, which were often sold or traded between fellow fans. More than 30 years later, many Deadheads still lust after copies of these tapes, buying them on sites such as eBay. It is even more common for fans to pay Dead & Company directly to stream the shows on their website. According to Statista, the concert industry’s revenue has increased by 62 percent, from $4.2 to $8 billion, between 2011 and 2017. Accompanying this is a skyrocket in the attendance of music festivals. Using this trend to their advantage, Dead & Company have built a business around The Grateful Dead’s songs. By combining John Mayer’s pop sensibilities and the Dead’s jam band musicianship, Dead & Company attracts both the Dead’s and John Mayer’s massive fan bases, allowing them to sell tickets en masse. Live concerts provide audiences the opportunity to test out burgeoning technology in music. Some techniques aim to invoke
memories of the past. Hologram performances allow for musicians to grace the stage past the grave, courtesy of a digitally projected hologram. Musicians such as rapper Tupac and heavy metal icon Ronnie James Dio have been dead for years, but they still manage to play shows to adoring fans in holographic form. Other advancements such as virtual reality and infrared sensor lighting are employed to bring live concerts into the future, providing exciting live shows and new ways of interacting with fans in the audience. The continued modernization of the live concert may boost the popularity of these concerts and provide an easily accessible experience. In the age of instant access to music through a number of streaming services, Dead & Company has managed to keep the love of live music alive; and while they don’t use extremely advanced stage technology, they focus on allowing viewers to enjoy themselves and live in the moment. Through all the lighting, equipment and special effects, Dead & Company have proven that sometimes, all you need to put on a stellar show is good musicianship.
TEXT AND DESIGN BY CHARLOTTE AMSBAUGH, RYAN GWYN AND ROSA SCHAEFER BASTIAN • PHOTOS BY NATALIE SCHILLING AND CHARLOTTE AMSBAUGH
As the year comes to a close, the C Magazine seniors have each chosen three songs that sum up their high school experience. Enjoy this nostalgic playlist from our class of 2019. Some songs may be explicit. Parental advisory suggested Claire Moley
Body Like a Back Road SAM HUNT Almost (Sweet Music) HOZIER Don’t Feel Like Crying SIGRID
Someday NICKELBACK Never Gonna Be Alone NICKELBACK How You Remind Me NICKELBACK
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Crazy Rap AFROMAN Pursuit of Happiness KID CUDI Walking On A Dream EMPIRE OF THE SUN
Rosa Schaefer Bastian Whenever, Wherever SHAKIRA Candy PAOLO NUTINI Shake it Out FLORENCE AND THE MACHINE
Mr. Brightside THE KILLERS Alright DARIUS RUCKER Made It SOB X RBE
The Story of Us TAYLOR SWIFT Mistletoe JUSTIN BIEBER Work Out J. COLE
Nevermind - Alternate FOSTER THE PEOPLE
Waiting Around for Grace
POND Tokyo BROCKHAMPTON
Clueless THE MARÍAS At The Club JAQUEES Alive EMPIRE OF THE SUN
Everyday A$AP ROCKY The Morning THE WEEKND The Way Life Goes LIL UZI VERT
Red Solo Cup TOBY KEITH Shots LMFAO Fireball PITBULL
Don’t Stop Me Now QUEEN Breezeblocks ALT-J See You Again TYLER, THE CREATOR
Angie THE ROLLING STONES Angela THE LUMINEERS Angie Baby HELEN REDDY
Good Vibes CHRIS JANSON Nights On Fire DAVID NAIL Everybody BACKSTREET BOYS
Grey Area JERRY PAPER San Francisco FOXYGEN IFHY TYLER, THE CREATOR
Thotiana BLUEFACE Walker Texas Ranger DABABY Clout (21 Savage) TY DOLLA $IGN
It’s A Vibe 2 CHAINZ Drew Barrymore SZA Our Song TAYLOR SWIFT
Jack Stefanski Jack
Big Fish VINCE STAPLES Come Down ANDERSON .PAAK No Scrubs WEEZER