GENERATION WHYissue THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
Letter EDITORS from the
he Generation Why issue was born from a conversation we had about how to raise the bar of em once again. We decided that, more than anything else, we wanted to speak to our readers as exactly what they are (or about to be) – twenty-something’s who are the pinnacle of Generation Y. But what did that mean? How could we sum up such a broad generation in one publication? To find the answer, all we had to do was look again – we didn’t see ourselves as members of Generation Y but instead, as members of Generation WHY. Members of a generation unafraid to ask questions in order to reinvent things, a generation who realizes the importance of looking back in order to move forward. More than anything, we realized we are a generation whose greatest strength lies in numbers. Sure, we are determined and accomplished on our own, but together we’re that much more successful. It was under that belief that we chose the subjects in our main feature – groups of students who are proving our theory to be true – that we may stand strong individually, but together we can accomplish much greater feats. It was also under that belief that we entered into this semester with the mission to provide you, our readers, with content that was thought provoking, imaginative, and indicative of the resourcefulness of our generation. With that, we present you with The Generation Why Issue. MICHELLE: As mentioned above, Justin and I entered this semester with the goal of producing an issue of em magazine that represents our generation’s unique voice. This product — and my experiences making this product — are incredibly representative of the
EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
voices I hear and the people I meet at Emerson College. One of the elements that excites me most about this issue of em is the unique format for the Feature profiles beginning on page 56. When I first came up with the idea this summer, I was inspired specifically by Quinn, Roger, and Ben. Their relationship blends the line of co-workers and friends better than any group I have ever seen. In retrospect, the most important thing I gained this semester from em (more important than writing clips or something to put on my resume) is the first hand knowledge that it is indeed the people you work with who make the product what it is. A giant thank you to the people who made working on this issue a challenging and enjoyable experience. JUSTIN: In previous semesters, watching an issue of em being created was like watching a house being built. The foundation is laid before the semester begins with a theme being chosen and a page map being set. The frame and interior are then built by our writers, after which, our photographers, stylists, and designers fill it with everything needed to make the house polished and stylish. This semester, that house was an estate. I have never asked more from a staff, and have never been more proud of the results. This issue would not have happened without each and every member of our team and I thank you all for your work and contributions, I know it wasn’t an easy one but you should all be proud of what you’ve put out. Finally, I have to thank my co-Editor, Michelle King, for all that she brought to em this semester. I’m sad that your time with the magazine has come to an end but I’m confident that you will excel in whatever lies ahead for you. As always, thank you for reading and we hope you enjoy the issue!
20 Accessory Trends 22 Women’s Trends:
48 One Night Stand Etiquette 49 No One is Random:
71 Food From a Truck Never
How Emerson Changes the Dating Game
72 A Conversation with
50 Black & White and Gray
73 In Defense of YA Fiction 74 The Other Team:
15 People You’ll Meet at Emerson
8 Street Scene 10 Professor Q&A 11 What’s it Really Like in the Field?
12 The Emerson Sandwich 14 The Stage Age 15 The ECA 16 The Ghosts We Live With 17 Hot Shot Alumni 18 Funny Girls: Women in Comedy
The Big Ideas
28 Men’s Trends 32 4 Looks, 1 Trend 37 The New Sexy 38 Why We Love the ‘90s 41 Drop Animal Products, Drop the Pounds?
41 The Pleasure of Pain: S&M in Fashion
44 Raw Denim Movement 46 Fashion Moves East
52 The Ex on Facebook 53 Best Friends of the
54 The Divroced Generation
Tasted so Good Jennifer Egan
Gays on TV
76 PBR & B 78 Cognitive Dissonance: On Listening
80 Best of the Worst You Need to See
81 Entertainment Schools of Thought
82 Dating TV Characters 83 Touched by an Actor 84 Boston Boroughs: Cover & Above: photo // MICHAEL RIVERA model // SHEA GOMEZ stylist // BLAKE METZGER
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EM MAGAZINE Volume 13 - Winter 2012
JUSTIN REIS & MICHELLE KING Editors In Chief AMANDA CUOCO Web Manager
KIMYA KAVEHKAR Managing Editor
KARLAN BAUMANN MELISSA OBLEADA Marketing Directors
DANIEL JONES Emerson Editor
DANIEL TEHRANI Looks Editor
JEEYOON KIM Features Editor
JOEY POLINO Relationships Editor
ERIN DOOLIN Entertainment Editor
DANNI SCULLY Photo Director
BLAKE METZGER Fashion Driector
ALEX OANONO Fashion Editor
ELIZABETH WALSH Beuaty Director
MARIA MURRAY Design Director
Jacqueline St. Onge Copy Editor
Sage Paquette-Cohen Copy Editor
Tamara Omazic Copy Editor
Emerson Writers Ben Lindsay Caroline Praderio Emily McClure Griff O’Brien Kristen Parker Lee Benzaquin Lilliana Winkworth Santiago Nocera
Looks Writers Alex Lau Ali Antonucci Devan Norman Kathleen Montero Kim Suchy Siri Winter
Features Writers Ben Kling Courtney Swift Danielle Scott Dominick Sorrentino Jackie Tempera John Francisconi Libby Webster
Relationships Writers Johan Anderson Kelly Payton Marlee Kula Sienna Mintz
Entertainment Writers Alex Trivilino Emily Onofrio Ethan Young John Francisconi Maggie Monahan Sarah Diamond Taylor Tetreau
Photographers Benjamin Askinas Brian Annis Camille Vecchione David Galinato Jamie Emmerman Katie Lohman Lauren Foley Lauren Kroll Michael Rivera Nikita Merrin Seren Turam
Fashion Assistants Danielle Brizel Fred Kim Jordan Peery Kate Amery
Beauty Team Andrea Zendejas Blair Li Dana Isernio Gabrielle Yaccarino Lena Raff
Marketing Staff Abigail Thompson Ameara Harb Cedrine Streit Doria Dallos Emilia Burns Emily Chu Julian Schnee Maia Luke Sana Bakshi Sofia Nasr Virginia Johnson
Design Staff Jamie Emmerman Jaimie Kaplan Sarah Rocha Madison Fishman Ev Dimmig
© 2011/2012 em magazine Emerson College 150 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116 4
ALEXANDRA GURVITCH Creative Director
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Emerson College, Sharon Duffy, Kathleen Duggan, William Beuttler, SGA, Joe O’Brien and Journeyman Staff, and ECA for being the official model agency of em magazine.
FEATURES 56 Intro to Features 58 At This Point in My Life: Quinn Marcus, Roger Oullette, and Benjamin Kabialis
60 The Design Team: Dana Olinsky and Vivian Del Bello
66 The Political Pair: 69 Apathy is in the Nancy Kwon and Eye of the Beholder Josh Sackheim 70 The Story of 64 Primacy Effect: 68 In the Cut: How Generation ‘I’ Samira Winter, the Major Game Lorena Alvarado, and Plays Out at Tyler Taormina Emerson
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15 people you’ll meet at emerson text // GRIFF O’BRIEN photo // DANNI SCULLY
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the allston spokesperson
-Come down to Allston! It’s awesome. There’s hardly any creepiness anymore. - I’d rather stay around campus. -But we have houses that look haunted year round! And basements! -Do you work for Allston? -I wish!...Please come. If I don’t bring people to the party, my roommates will hit me again.
“It’s just like, I looked at a squirrel and it was so beautiful. Life is so sad.” They’re never in any plays or monologue shows but they swear they act. Life seems to be too much for them. “My shoelaces came undone, and that made me think of how we’re all coming undone, ya know?” No, we don’t.
the published wlp major They’ve got a book published. It’s sold in the book store. Nowhere else, but still. Okay, they haven’t sold a copy, but the memoirs of their relationship with their armless dad is going to be huge someday. The only bitterer WLP’s are the ones who aren’t published at all.
hand raiser She’s the girl that thinks by talking in class, people will learn to love her. She’s wrong. She’ll always have something to say and she’ll never miss a chance to relate a section from the book to her dog’s dyslexia.
the why-haven’t-youcome-out He loves Katy Perry, spring fashion, “Joan of Arcadia,” and the ladies. He swears he’s straight, and maybe he is. Why wouldn’t he have come out already here? This is a magic place that burns closets down, but his is made of asbestos.
lying vegan Why are you eating ham? It doesn’t matter how many sprouts you choke down or how much soy milk you pretend to enjoy, if you eat meat, you don’t get to be pretentious! Vegan, I mean, vegan. You can wear as many hats as you want, but if one is made of steak, you’re not vegan.
out of place bro
How many times can you watch “A Clockwork Orange” in one class? More than you ever need to. This professional has a lot to teach you, but unfortunately every time he cracks his back, he has an LSD flashback and tries to stomp the gnomes surrounding him....No homework!
He wears intentionally stained baseball hats. He’s got a pink polo and pulls it off. He’s unembarrassed to ear Birkenstocks. He has a Rolex but can’t tell time. Lean past the cloud of Axe surrounding him and you’ll hear Dave Matthews Band in his headphones. He needs our help, friends. Give him a hug.
No, I don’t have a second. That’s why I’m on the sidewalk: I’m going somewhere. I love trees. I love womens’ rights. I love kids with bread or however we defeat hunger, but all I have in my wallet is a note that says: Get a job! Love, Dad.
non-smoking friend of smokers The only thing sexier than emphysema is emphysema by second-hand smoke. All of the terrible smell, but none of the looking cool. These people know how to live. All their amigos have one vice on them, so they take up something weird like Pop Rocks or crack.
At breakfast, she’s there. At dinner, she’s there. When you make the mistake of going there for lunch, she’s there. She’s got a studio apartment. It’s called the grain andlegume section. She sleeps on a bed of chicken patties and uses a spinach wrap blanket. The paroled cooks are her family now.
tour guides Cross a golden retriever and a dictionary and you’d get a tour guide. Like a mother duck that’s boring her children, they lead families through the campus buildings, adding nuggets of wisdom like: “This is the Ansin building. It was once owned by a company.” They usually leave out: “I don’t go in there because VMA kids scare me.”
grad student We have grad students?! Yep, they’re the ones that look defeated. “I’ve got my degree. Time to strike out on my own into the real w— back to school.” Just until they finish their thesis about how “The Flintstones” is actually a blacksploitation program. Their motto: what’s a career?
musical theatre starlet The sun’ll come out— Please stop. Your voice is lovely, but that doesn’t mean people want it burrowing into their brains 24/7. You’ve driven people mad. You’ll be on Broadway one day, but that’s one street, and it ain’t in Boston. The sun will come out tomorrow. Let it be cloudy and quiet today.
republica--n’t even say it “What do I think of President Obama? Um, uh, gotta go. Bye!” They’re people too. Most hide their opinions away. They’re not heartless. They’re not anti-gay, they’re not werewolves....I think. It can be hard for them here, and we should give them a helping hand. Not literally of course. If you touch them, you die.
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SCENE photos // JAMIE EMMERMAN and staff
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THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
q&a with robb eason
or Robb Eason, affiliated professor of philosophy at Emerson, what started as a halfyear philosophy course in high school has become a lifelong passion. After graduating with a philosophy degree from the University of New Hampshire, Eason completed a stint of post-grad study in Germany. He then earned his Master’s degree from New York’s Stony Brook University and, after taking a hiatus to focus on his family after he and his wife (a PhD in Biophysics and researcher at Harvard) had their first child, will soon earn his PhD. Since his move to Boston four years ago, Eason, 36, has kept a busy schedule teaching classes at MIT, Suffolk University’s graduate program, and,
EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
most recently, Emerson College. In his three years here at Emerson, Eason’s heavy workload and zany classroom demeanor have earned him a reputation as one of the college’s toughest professors—but also one of the best. em: Were you excited about coming to teach at emerson? had you heard anything about the school? Robb Eason: I actually didn’t know much about Emerson. Of course, I researched it. I found out what it was all about and I thought, “I’m gonna have like, a split personality, right?” Because this is arts and communication, but so many people are into so many different things, from production, to dance, to speech pathology—it’s really weird. It’s kind of a strange school.
em: What are the differences you've noticed between mit students and emerson students? RE: In terms of academic drive, the MIT students are stronger. Unlike Emerson, people there are very happy to be complete nerds. But many of them are difficult to get to know, without a doubt. But every single one is brilliant. I will say that. For a professor, it’s a very untraditional kind of thing to do because the [MIT] students are so hungry. The amount of work I require there is probably three, four, five times as much [as one of my Emerson courses]. And I have students there at MIT who will write me and ask me for more stuff—more reading, more writing, extra material they can work on.
text //CAROLINE PRADERIO photo // KATHRYN LOHMAN em: that’s incredible. RE: And it’s frightening. What’s really great about it is that they’re so hungry and so driven that they often teach me a lot. Emerson’s different. It’s not bad different. And I don’t want to characterize it as one is better than the other. At MIT, the students aren’t career focused at all, because they don’t have to be. If you leave from MIT with a degree, there’s a career coming. The name does a lot for all of them. None of them worry in the way that my Emerson students do, that’s a huge difference. So while they’re nerdy, it’s like they’re insulated knowing that they’re cream of the crop and coming out of MIT. My impression is that people [at Emerson] are more concerned about the future than success.
em: than their present success in school? RE: I don’t know if that’s true for all. If I treat Emerson students more like MIT students, if you give them a ton of work, you make it hard—I feel like there’s a group of students at Emerson that want more of that. Students at Emerson have said, “Your class is what I thought college was going to be like.” And that makes me feel good. I feel like I’m giving students a view into a different kind of school. I’ve had students at Emerson who have left after taking my course, in search of an academic career more like it. I may be a good professor, but I don’t care about that—I think it’s because I’m giving them something they haven’t found in another niche at Emerson. em: have you noticed an attitude among emerson students that general education classes like ethics are useless? RE: I’ll say some. I think it’s too bad because so many people at Emerson are in the business of trying to produce something in the future. The problem is, production values matter, sure. But all of that’s worthless unless you have content. Where do students think they’re going to get content from? Intelligent people have something to say, and you don’t become intelligent just by learning about production values. You learn a skill and that’s valuable, but do you want to be someone’s producer the rest of your life? Or do you want to be someone producing content? If you’re ignoring your gen-ed requirements, you’re ignoring the content side of your life. em: as a philosophy professor, what is your life philosophy? RE: I think it would be to continually work to do two things. One: Push your own boundaries in everything you do, whether it be eating, drinking, reading. Do more and go outside of your comfort zone as often as you can. That’s one side. And the second side is: spend as much time as you can muster thinking about what you’ve done—reflecting on what you’ve done.
what it’s really like in the
film & tv production field
text // SANTIAGO NOCERA
o succeed in the world of film and television, you must prepare to do it all. Experience can start anywhere, from behind-the-scenes camera work, to script writing, to directing feature films. Professionals know that dedication to the craft and willingness for flexibility are key elements to finding a niche in this multifaceted industry. Tripp Clemens, junior Film Production major, knows his breadth of experience comes from taking education into his own hands. Clemens has been running his own film company, Wind Powered Productions, since 2008. “We produce commercial, documentary, and narrative work,” he says. “It’s the challenge I need, because the work we do in the classroom of a large institution can never move as fast as the industry.” The company’s current project is “Endless Abilities” – a crosscountry documentary that explores the way in which sports improve the lives of people with disabilities. It’s an everyday commitment for Clemens, and the time spent with the company has been instrumental in crafting his experience. “The freelance work we do has challenged me to balance my creative work with the commercial work,” he says, “which I think is essential for great material.” The challenge of running a company and producing films has provided Clemens and his partners top notch experience. Their proficiency in the field even caught the attention of Boston’s Apple Store. “We were lucky enough to be invited to teach a workshop on filmmaking and how we use Apple products,” he says. “We put together footage from around Boston to represent the city.” An engaging, professional opportunity like this shows the caliber
of work that Clemens and the company produce. Experiences like these provide him with the necessary preparation for the industry. “Along with the internet– which is a fantastic tool in self education– my experience with the company has been the key to getting a direct look into the industry from the very beginning,” he says. He balances this with classes, which he recognizes give him “amazing networking opportunities that are essential in the industry.” Those networking opportunities are often the necessary edge for success. Martie Cook, an Emerson alumna and current associate professor of screenwriting, knows just how important those connections are. Cook found herself Los Angeles-bound after graduation when a friend offered to house her while she looked for
“What you need to be successful in this industry...is a toolkit that allows you to work on many different things.” -mark hetherington (film ‘91)
jobs. “I started with local TV, then found myself working for Columbia Pictures on the set of the film “Jagged Edge” with Jeff Bridges and Glenn Close.” Her connection brought her to LA, which kick-started her career in screenwriting. “Working on a film set, it was so interesting to see the way in which decisions were discussed and argued over for the final cut,” says Cook, in reference to a particularly graphic scene that the producer demanded be cut. “But movie-making takes a long time, and I wanted to feel the adrenaline rush of a fast pace.” A switch to writing scripts at Universal eventually brought her success in selling episodes
of “Full House” and “Charles in Charge.” “The experience of writing scripts taught me how to be a better writer,” she says. Cook knows that switching from film to television was the correct decision for her writing. “In this industry, sometimes people are unwilling to venture into unfamiliar territory,” she says. “Some are completely against working on a reality show, but who knows what kinds of opportunities can come from that if the position is available?” The more experience the better, for Cook. “I wrote for news shows like “The Today Show” and “Entertainment Tonight” because I had prepared myself with the proper tools to write for them just in case I needed to.” The industry has countless outlets, and it pays to be prepared to tackle any of them. Mark Hetherington, ‘91, knows that it’s the diversity of the film and TV industries that has allowed him to fully explore his talents. An award winning video artist, Hetherington has contributed to various areas of film production, including writing, acting, producing and directing. “What you need to be successful in this industry,” says Hetherington, “is a tool kit that allows you to work on many different things.” That tool kit has allowed him to work as an actor– in hit movies like “The Town” and “Shutter Island” – as well as to produce, write, direct, and star in his own award-wining short film. “But while working on those films, I still had time to continue writing screenplays, which is something I do full time,” he says. For Hetherington, it’s experience and thorough knowledge that will allow one to thrive. “You need to know how to do your skills well,” he suggests, “and after that, you will be able to apply them to anything.”
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
emerson sandwich em mag recently asked a local sandwich delicatessen, run by martin o’flannery and his daughter, bridget, to custom make a sandwich that represented the typical Emerson student. after a month of hearing nothing about that sandwich, we decided to give them a call. this is the transcript from that call.
text // LEE BENZAQUIN & LILLIANA WINKWORTH 12
EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
12:45 pm martin: Hello? Who is this? em: Hi, this is Michelle from em mag call-
ing about the custom sandwich – m: The custom what? em: The custom sandwich for Emerson? I
talked to your daughter about this -m: Hold on, I’m just gonna put you on
speakerphone. I can’t hold something and talk at the same time. Bridget, come down here! Emerson is calling about that sandwich.
bridget: Oh, the sandwich! We’ve been so busy lately that we completely forgot. I mean, yesterday there was this adorable baby who would not stop grabbing condiments, it was insane. em: Our issue goes to print tomorrow, do
you have any ideas yet? m: Sure, anything for you, sweetcakes. You have a sweetcake voice. Bridget, grab the chart. We got a chart we work off of when we make new sandwiches. It’s a sandwich chart. b: The chart’s got white, flatbread, buns,
m: All your friends that go to Emerson al-
b: Exactly! Now, you try; what kind of
ways wear scarves. Even in the summer.
meat will Emersonians like?
b: It’s called being trendy, Dad. Fashion
m: Well, chicken’s too obvious. Or is it?
doesn’t wait for the weather.
Because everybody likes chicken, which means nobody really likes chicken, which in turn means Emerson kids love chicken. But if chicken is “The Fast and the Furious,” turkey would be “Drive.” Ryan Gosling was in turkey, but he was also in “Blue Valentine,” which is tofurkey. But Michelle Williams wasn’t in any other good movies, so we should go with tofu.
m: I was just being observational! You
know our best sandwiches are observation-based. b: Well, then maybe it should be a wrap,
if they’re always wearing scarves? m: Now you’re talking! Alright; if it’s a
wrap, you need a spread. m: Chart’s got mayo, mustard, spicy mustard, aioli.
b: Wow, Dad; I’m impressed. But you for-
m: What’s aioli?
m: Did I?
b: I don’t know, but Emerson kids will
love it. It’s like...different, but...the same.
b: Michelle Williams was in “Dawson’s Creek,” which counts as nostalgia--
m: I’ll never understand you kids. Next?
m: Bacon! Is that what you’re trying to
b: Toppings. We have tomato, lettuce -
m: How about lettuce?
b: Yes! You got it!
b: Lettuce is a little mainstream, Dad.
m: So we’ve got a wrap with aioli, basil,
m: What does that mean? b: If lettuce were like, the Beatles, then
spinach would be Paul McCartney. Paul McCartney’s what old people like. John Lennon would be like basil. Anybody who’s anybody likes basil. m: Whatever; keep the basil. Let’s move
on to cheese. We got American, Pepperjack-- Oh, wait! I got this: Mozzarella! There’s no way mozzarella is mainstream. b: You’d think that, but they’ll actually
want American cheese. It’s a childhood staple. Even though Emerson kids know there are better tasting cheeses, they’d rather ironically eat a mediocre cheese that reminds them of their youth. Nostalgia is hip, Dad. m: In my day, you liked what you liked. It
seems like now, you gotta like what nobody else likes.
got one thing--
American cheese, tofu, and crispy bacon! m: For vegans, we’ll have tofu and tofubacon. em: That sounds great! Can we print that? m: Woah! Who the heck are you? b: That’s the girl from em mag, Dad. em: Do you think we can we have a platter
of them at the release party? m: Oh, heck no. Do you have any idea
how hard it is to get your hands on some genuine tofu bacon? And then there’s the aioli. It might take us a while to figure out what aioli is. em: So, this call was pointless? m: I wouldn’t say that; I learned a lot.
the emersonian: A wrap with aioli, basil, American cheese, tofu, and bacon. vegan style:
Substitute bacon for tofubacon. berkeley beacon style:
The wrap, without insides. Because they can’t afford them. eiv style:
Comes without the worry that anyone is watching you eat it. bfa musical theatre style:
Comes with a sign reading, “Look at me! I’m eating a sandwich!” evvy’s style:
Made by 500 students, with fresh avocado from Kevin Bright’s vegetable garden. little building style:
Looks like crap and tastes like it, too. iwasaki style:
Limited servings of tofu and extra fillings of Will & Grace memorabilia.
em: Well, great. I have to find an entirely new article to write.
president pelton style:
m: Good luck!
Comes with its own house.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
the stage age
text // DANIEL JONES photo // Q LAM
tarting a new theatre company can be risky business even for professionals. But this year, two new companies headed by full-time Emerson students are finding success in Boston.
A Sunday night at the GoetheInstitut Boston has standing room only for the latest Israeli Stage production. Across town, the basement of the Church of St. John the Evangelist fills on a Friday night, not for an unscheduled mass, but to view the latest new play produced by Atomic Age Theatre Company. Although pioneered by Emerson students, both of these new theatrical organizations are not trying to add to Emerson’s theatre repertoire by becoming recognized by the student government. Instead, they hope to create an image all their own. Guy Ben-Aharon, a senior BA Theatre Studies major, began Israeli Stage in fall 2010 as a special side project when he didn’t feel fully challenged within the walls of the college. He began pulling together his first staged reading of A. B. Yehoshua’s “Possessions.” “Everyone told me, ‘There’s no
To the End of the Land by David Grossman; Social Media coordinator Rebecca Schneebaum, Producing Artistic Director Guy Ben-Aharon, actress Sheila Stasack and Elliot Norton Award and IRNE Award winning actor Jeremiah Kissel.
existence. One of them he labels selfish, hoping to bring a taste of his homeland to Boston. But on a larger scale, he recognized a lack of representation for Israeli culture in the States. “I saw that people always associated Israel with war, and I don’t think I can change that, but I do think that I can offer another association for them,” he says. One woman he spoke to after his third production described attending Israeli Stage shows as being “the first time she had a personal connec-
more of a process of learning how to navigate
this non-profit world because i don’t think we’re going out on this limb knowing what we’re doing.”
-MICHELLE ROGINSKY (co founder of atomic age theatre company) way you’ll get more than 30 or 40 people there. People don’t go to staged readings,’” Ben-Aharon recalls. But he took on the challenge and filled every chair at the first production. The turnout caused him to think about something more long term. “I realized this really should be something bigger, not just project-based,” he says. “This should be a company with a season.” Ben-Aharon, a native Israeli, says there are multiple reasons for bringing Israeli Stage into 14
EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
tion to Israel.” Audience reactions like this are what Ben-Aharon hopes to get more of at future Israeli Stage productions. He describes the current crowd as sophisticated, cultured, and mostly Jewish. Yet, he has noticed an increased interest from non-Jewish audience members as well as students, a group he is targeting in his 2011-2012 season by having one production at Harvard University and one at Emerson College. Wherever audience members
may come from, Ben-Aharon hopes they are “open to a peaceful dialogue” about Israeli culture. Jeff Freeman and Michelle Roginsky, founders of Atomic Age Theatre Company, are also in search of a fresh audience and a new dialogue. Both BA Theatre Studies majors at Emerson, the two first worked together as a directing team in spring 2011 for Neil Labute’s “Bash.” A few months later, they reunited to direct Freeman’s original play “Emanations,” which laid the foundation for Atomic Age. “There was a company feel to it, so we thought—let’s take the next step and make a company with these people,” Freeman says. The two uncovered a unique dynamic as they continued to work with each other. “Michelle has a style of working which very much contrasted mine, but at the same time complemented it. I do a lot of text work with the actors, whereas Michelle is physical and will get people into their body in a way that’s wonderful,” Freeman says. “We had a repertoire going and a common language, so we wanted to do more.” The pair also hopes to learn the rules of running a non-profit theatre company while they lead Atomic Age. Since more than two-thirds of the company’s in-
come comes from ticket sales and donations, they’re considered a non-profit. Roginsky notes the benefits of trying out the nonprofit theatre group model while in school. “It’s more of a process of learning how to navigate this non-profit world because I don’t think we’re going out on this limb knowing what we’re doing,” she says. Freeman agrees, hoping they can both learn the ins and outs of the process while still in the safety zone of college. Roginsky and Freeman describe past audiences composed mainly of friends, teachers, and the theatre crowd. “We’re trying to get a little bit outside the theatre crowd,” says Freeman. A principal way they’re doing this is by ensuring that at least half of the company’s executive board is non-theatre majors. Their hope is for people who are not normally theater-goers to come to their shows. “People who are like, ‘Theatre sucks because it’s boring,’ should be coming to see [shows like] ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Jesus’ because, for me at least, it’s so far out of sitting in a proscenium theater and watching people act,” Roginsky says. For both Atomic Age and Israeli Stage, the future is uncertain, but the dreams are big. “I hope that we can be a stage where all kinds of [Israeli] art and culture are featured,” Ben-Aharon says. “Israel has never had a cultural institute like the Goethe,” he hints, calling running an Israeli cultural center a “big boy dream.” Freeman and Roginsky don’t seem to have such elaborate plans in the works, but value every moment of the experiences they are having now. “It’s wonderful that we work with people that I know I will want to work with in the future,” says Freeman. Roginsky gets excited thinking about the future, knowing great things are in store. She says, “The way I see Atomic Age going—whether Jeff takes it over or I become the tyrant—I think my dream would be that whatever it becomes can follow us wherever we go.”
emerson casting agency text // BEN LINDSAY photo // LAUREN FOLEY Jon Allen, sophomore Marketing major and aspiring entrepreneur, is quickly becoming a notable new face at Emerson. You can find Allen all around campus. He’s President of his class, Little Building RA, VP of talent for Fashion Society, Chair of Family Weekend 2011, Talent Director for this year’s ERA Awards, Philanthropy and Social Chair of Phi Alpha Tau, and most recently, President and co-creator of one of Emerson’s newest organizations: Emerson Casting Agency, or ECA. Upon moving to campus, Allen quickly took notice of the apparent dissonance between the college’s acting and film departments. Actors wanted to act in films, and
filmmakers needed actors, but there was no cohesive process linking these two desires. Allen—along with friends and co-creators Kyle Koslick, Garren Orr, and Stefani Robinson—sought to change that by developing ECA earlier this year to accommodate not only the needs of acting and film students, but also those interested in modeling for print and runway. Although the agency is yet to be SGA approved, it is already becoming successful and showing what it’s capable of. From the beginning, there was an immense interest from potential actors and models alike. In terms of the audition process, those wanting to act come prepared with a monologue to perform for an ECA board of five. The audition is filmed, reviewed, and saved to the agency’s database. Same goes for modeling—models
come in, are asked a few questions, pose for a few shots, and saved to the database. The atmosphere is incredibly relaxed and nondiscriminatory, but professionalism is maintained in the sense that organization and passion are stressed as priorities. The main concern is to make those auditioning feel comfortable throughout the process. Shea Gomez, sophomore BFA Musical Theater major, was recently signed to ECA as a model. She says, “I think they really wanted to see how you appeared on the camera and whether or not you felt comfortable. I mean, I don’t think I was very fierce, but I tried my hardest. That’s one of the reasons they just casually talk to you and push for comfort.” Since becoming a model for ECA, Gomez has landed several opportunities around campus. She’s already had a shoot for ECA’s Look Book, she walked for the LF Trunk Show in October, and is featured in this issue of em Mag. These opportunities all came about through the post-audition processes. For any project or film that utilizes ECA, they must first email the agency with a brief overview of the project and copy of the script. Then the agency decides whether the project is worthwhile—Allen says it must be “top-notch” to be taken on as a client. After a client is signed, character break-downs are drawn, the database is searched for possible matches, then those who are eligible and interested are sent out to the audition. The agency acts as an essential stepping-stone between an actor, actress, or model and their projects of interest. Allen and his team only sign projects that they feel have quality and potential, mainly because it would be a shame to waste his models’ and actors’ time. Allen says, “As long as a project is a project that we think will be worthwhile for our actors to have and to show their work, we’ll take it.” ECA is not just another extracurricular, but an opportunity for students to really build their experience and portfolios for the post-Emerson professional world. Based on its success these past few months, Allen has set his expectations high for the future. “My hope is that eventually Emerson Channel, EIV, and all these other organizations on campus will be able to funnel directly through us. We’re currently working with them on a couple of different projects, but right now [ECA does] anything from Emerson organizations, graduate student projects, undergraduate projects, BFA films, private projects, [and potentially the] Kevin Bright sitcom.” The in-the-works deal with Kevin Bright is particularly impressive, seeing as Bright usually relies on actors hired outside the Emerson community. Allen isn’t the only one with high hopes; male model Andrew Barret Cox, sophomore VMA major, says, “I think it’s a great idea. I really hope that they start branching out more… It could really take the campus by storm.” THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
The Ghosts We Live With
fter moving into the Little Building in the fall of 2009, I began wondering about the people I lived with. Not my roommate, or the hundreds of strangers who were suddenly my neighbors, but the people who lived in this ironically titled building before me. Unlike the other housing options at Emerson, the LB is historically rich (which, for many, is merely a euphemism for “dirty.” Those people live in The Paramount). Despite all the changes Emerson has experienced in the past several years, the Little Building remains, well, old. The Little Building is most famous for being the largest brothel in American history, which closed in 1850. It was eventually purchased by Tweed Roosevelt, for purposes of personal research. Roosevelt sold the Little Building to Emerson in 1994 and, in 1995, the building reopened as a dormitory. I would be lying if I claimed that I chose to live in the Little Building because I was interested in imagining the ghosts of brothel past roaming around the gilt-trimmed lobby. It wasn’t until my third day as a freshman, when someone knocked on my door to tell me they lived in my room the previous year, that I even began thinking about my relationship with the people who lived there before me. These people studied for tests at my desk, had sex in my bed, and tidied themselves up in my mirror. They hid alcohol in my drawer and ran back to my room after a particularly bad day. For many of them, it was their first living space away from their parents. My room represented independence and adulthood for them. 16
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I never thought about my link to these people until that stranger came knocking on my door, asking if they could, “see what [I] did with the place.” My instinct was to say, “Absolutely not.” Why would I want to invite this stranger into my new home simply because this was where he used to hang his Abbey Road poster? I did let him in, partly because I have difficulty saying no to people and party because I suddenly felt like the room wasn’t mine to deny access to. Richard Robinowitz, president of the American History Workshop, states in an essay, “We live here in the traces of others’ lives. It can be a great kick to imagine the people who preceded us. It’s the way great literature works, in that it lets you project yourself into multiple personalities.” The Little Building feels easy to project such things upon. You’re given a room to call home for 8 months — the same room that over a decade of twenty-somethings have also called home. It’s difficult to resist wondering who these people were and what your room meant to them. I lived in the Little Building the entirety of my freshman year and the spring of my sophomore year. I was planning on living there again my junior year, until receiving an email informing me I would not be receiving housing for my third year at Emerson. My roommates and I looked at countless (re: 4) apartments until finding the one where we live now: a fully renovated, modern complex in Downtown Crossing where we have the luxury of being the first tenants. It took me awhile to understand why I was incapable of feeling at home in my new apartment. It wasn’t until I visited a friend’s that I understood the crucial element my new apartment was missing — any amount of history.
text // MICHELLE KING photo // LAUREN FOLEY The Office of Housing and Residence Life attempts to erase any signs of former life at the end of each school year, but such a task is impossible. In my freshman dorm, the dresser door didn’t close properly, a result of someone slamming it too hard. In the suite I lived in sophomore year, we found a box of Pop Tarts and a Nintendo 64 in the ceiling (friends of mine have found money, mix tapes, photographs, used condoms, and Frisbees in their ceilings). A senior I dated mid-spring told me about how the majority of his freshman year was spent in my suite with people who used to be his best friends. My editor at Seventeen this past summer, an Emerson alum, lived in my freshman year room when she was 19. The events that transpired in these rooms were historical, not historic, but that didn’t make them any less influential on their surroundings. In a stark contrast, my new apartment is defined by how new it is. The paint still smells new in the bathroom and it gives me a headache if I’m in there for too long. The carpet in my freshman year dorm was stained with what I assume was a bottle of spilled red nailpolish. Quinn and I spilled hot wax during our second semester and it left a very visible (and incredibly sticky) stain near the doorway. My new home has glossy wood floors. The low ceilings of the Little Building made it easy to turn your ceiling into a time capsule. My new apartment has high ceilings, making the space seem far larger than it actually is.during our second semester and it left a very visible (and incredibly sticky) stain near the doorway. My new home has glossy wood floors. The low ceilings of the Little Building made it easy to turn your ceiling into a time capsule. My new apartment has high ceilings, making the space seem far larger than it actually is.
alumni hot shot
Many students at Emerson dream of performing under the bright lights of the Broadway stage. For Julia Mattison, that dream came true unexpectedly less than five months after graduation. Mattison graduated in May 2011 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Musical Theater. Currently, Mattison is cast as an understudy in the Broadway production of “Godspell,” but has been performing in a lead role during the first round of previews for the show. text // EMILY MCCLURE photos // JEREMY DANIEL em magazine: Since you are a recent college graduate, what has your life been like since you were cast in “Godspell?”
EM: Is there anything that you found surprising about Broadway when you first began rehearsals?
Julia Mattison: It’s been a completely unreal experience so far. After I graduated, I moved to New York on June 1st; I was ready for the long haul. The audition happened and a couple weeks later, I got a call back. However, I didn’t hear back from them for a while. For most of the summer, I was just finding jobs here and there. Then all of the sudden, in August, I got the final call back which led to me getting the job. We started rehearsals the day before my birthday, September 12th. It was a complete whirlwind. At the end of each show, the cast goes out to sign autographs; there are all these kids who ask you to take pictures with them. The whole time I’m just trying to keep cool and not laugh, because none of them realize I was this kid in school a few months ago.
JM: I think what was most unexpected was how comfortable I felt with this group. I was ready to slowly adjust to this level of show because it is unlike anything I have ever done. However, from day one, I noticed it was a really fun and happy group. They just kind of bring you in and welcome you.
EM: That must have been a great birthday present realizing that you were cast for a part on Broadway. JM: It was the craziest thing to have rehearsals start that day. Even though the rehearsals are every day from 10a.m. to 6p.m., I could never ask for a better present. Also, to hear all those Broadway voices sing to me “Happy Birthday” was unreal!
EM: Has being in “Godspell” influenced your view on musical theatre at all? JM: I think it has. It’s funny, I feel very spoiled that this is my first Broadway experience, because even at Emerson I went through the musical theatre program feeling a little quirky. I was never the typical Broadway-bound musical theatre person. I was into comedy and writing my own music, and that is a little different for someone entering the musical theatre world. EM: Here at Emerson, I know you were highly involved with Chocolate Cake City. I have to know, how did you get into the mindset to write the music for “The Human Centipede: The Musical?” JM: I knew that the troupe wanted to do musicals, and I always wanted to write a comedy musical. However, we didn’t know what direction to take
with a musical. We started talking about it, and how funny it would be to imagine how any of the characters [in “The Human Centipede”] would sing. Then I just sat down and wrote it based on the troupe. They happened to fit these roles in a really funny way and then when everyone agreed to finally do it, it was like “Okay, we are really doing this.” It’s amazing how things can rhyme with butt jokes. We were really doing quality work. EM: What role are you currently playing in “Godspell?” JM: Currently, I play the Swing [chorus members], even though I am an understudy for all five women in the play. One of the leads of the play broke her ankle before previews. Things happen when you least expect, and it’s unfortunate. I went in and performed in the first preview. Morgan—the character that the other actress plays—is a vampy, Mae West type of character. I’m going to play up my weird factor and make it my own version. The cool thing about this play is that the characters on stage are based around the actors. They even get to use their own names! When we auditioned, the director asked us all about our talents such as what instruments do we play, what languages we speak etc. The cool thing is that all those things get thrown into the show. So as a swing, you kind of have to embody those people, yet still be yourself. It is a bizarrely wonderful type of experience. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
funny girls text // KRISTEN PARKER photo // LAUREN KROLL The comedy world: you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll probably be a boy. That’s the way things have been ever since the first pair of funny glasses had a moustache attached. The comedy scene has long been a male-dominated culture, leaving women as the vessel to receive jokes but not create them. As women finally pave the way for leading female comedic roles, (shout-out to my girls Poehler and Fey), I sat down with some fellow Emerson female comedians to hear what they have to say.
ith so many comedy troupes being a regular boys club, it’s no wonder that some ladies can get a little intimidated and not want to audition. Almost all Emerson comedy troupes are, in numbers, more male oriented. So what would make a girl decide to go against the odds and audition for an Emerson comedy troupe? For many girls, comedy just made sense. “I knew I wanted to do it professionally, so I knew I wanted to do it at Emerson,” says Stevie Palmer of the Emerson troupe Chocolate Cake City. But for others, it can be a thing that you just stumble upon. “I guess I didn’t really know what I was getting into at the time,” says Eleanor Monahan, president of Swomo (full troupe name: Swollen Monkeys). “It was, ‘I’ll try out for this, I’m a dumb freshman,’ but it’s a good thing that I accidentally got into.” Kailey Godoy of Chocolate Cake City was one of the people who randomly decided to give it a shot. “When I came to Emerson I had never done comedy before, and I signed up for everything at the Org Fair.” Luckily, despite the male majority, Emerson women continue to try out for the troupes. With the male majority being visible, many women can go into these auditions or callbacks and get the idea that there is a quota for women comedians and once that number is filled, they won’t take any more. Women 18
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can think that since there are so few females, the audition becomes a girl fight to the death. There’s the added pressure of competition instead of camaraderie between the women already in the troupe and the women auditioning. Monica Baker of Emerson Comedy Workshop says, “Something that I wanted to make known is that we can’t be terrified when a girl walks in to audition for fear of there not being enough parts.” The same goes for the auditioner. A woman shouldn’t feel like she won’t have a place in the troupe just because of a perceived proportion. Eleanor Monahan says, “Take whoever’s the most talented. That’s the way to get a good troupe.” Auditioners, regardless of gender, should feel the same sense of nerves when trying out. Basically, everyone should be scared equally. Rejection sucks. Undoubtedly, there’s natural pressure during comedy troupe auditions. For females, however, the pressure can feel even greater because of this imagined quota, which can even affect performance. During auditions, many existing troupe members noticed a sense of a comedic mask instead of personal humor. “There were a lot of girls that auditioned that were just vulgar because that’s what they thought we wanted,” says Palmer. Girls seemed to put on and adopt a style instead of coming in and displaying their own. “They tried to appeal to the guys in the troupe and not us, which is really very weird,” says Godoy. For the
Palmer. Women are often written as the part in the scene that can be the voice of reason, while the other character gets the laughs. The other character is wacky, weird, and funny— what’s known as a “straight man” character. And it would be hard to debate that women aren’t just as weird and wacky as men. If your mom is like any sitcom mom ever, you’ve undoubtedly heard: “Men only want ONE thing.” I assume this “thing” is years of committed and indefinite courtship, but I’ve also been told that it’s sex. Sex sells! But does that rule carry into the comedy world? Many women believe that there’s a certain distinction between women and men in this area. “Girls have been conditioned that the prominent feature they have to sell is their looks. And it’s not the same for dudes,” says Palmer. Take a look at some of the marriage sitcoms that have been on TV— it’s become ordinary to see a gorgeous and fit wife with a sloppy and incompetent husband. The discrepancy becomes the comedy, but it’s a very real situation: women in comedy are often held to a standard of beauty that men are not. Since appearance is not a learned or easily changed quality, a performer is often trapped in this narrow opportunity for specific comedy. “It’s often that you either have to be really pretty or really ugly and stick to those roles,” says Baker of a flawed system that primarily affects women more than it does men. Monahan jokes, “Comedy guys only want to do it with girls they want to DO IT with.”
the future women currently involved in Emerson comedy troupes, it can be a saddening thing to watch this self-doubt. Baker comments, “Unfortunately, I can see girls thinking ‘Oh, they won’t think I’m funny, I have to work extra hard.’”
his is when women begin to gear their comedy towards the tastes of men. This raises the question: do girls have to behave like boys to be funny? It’s safe to assume that many sketches written for a troupe are written by males. Stevie Palmer noticed, however, that “boys don’t know how to write for girls very well.” In order to have a female character be portrayed to their liking, women are finding that they have to write the characters themselves. Palmer admits, “If we didn’t write, we wouldn’t be in any sketches.” Kailey Godoy agrees. “[Boys] don’t know how to write for girls at all!” she says. This is no twoway street. Women don’t get to lay back and accept that they’ll never understand men and how they operate in comedy. According to Monahan, “Girls have to know how to write for men because that’s how it is.” Because comedy is written by men, for men, the idea that there’s a limited spot for women is not necessarily made up. Delegating the “women’s comedy” to be written and acted by women is leading to a further divide between
the sexes and a lack of motivation for men to work harder with female portrayals. “I don’t care if it’s said with cupcakes,” Monica Baker says. “Not representing women characters is not acceptable!” If we allow men to simply accept that writing for funny females is hard then we’re severely limiting both genders in the comedy world. Often in this process, females get labeled and placed into specific roles. This worked for
“men aren’t evil... they just don’t have to try as hard in this... the goal is not to assert females as the ‘better’ comedians and put men down; it’s a search for the balance.” -ELEANOR MONAHAN (president of swomo) the Spice Girls, but I think it’s high time that women in the comedy world demanded more. We have to tell them what we want. What we really really want. And that is: less female stereotypes in comedy! “I think a lot of times, in comedy it’s like, ‘Oh, I’m the mom!’ or ‘Oh, I’m the girlfriend!’” says Monahan. “I feel like that’s such an easy go-to. It’s either, I’m feeling fat or why don’t I have a boyfriend?” says
f course, not all men are oppressive non-believers of comedic women. In fact, many men in comedy are in full support of a more gender balanced comedy world. “I think to say that it’s the men’s fault is silly,” Baker says. Every person has the opportunity to fight for the equality of the genders in comedy. Just as stigmas of comedic women exist, so do ones against men. It’s important to realize that men are not the villains here. Boys are great! Maybe even you’re a boy. You’re probably great. “Men aren’t evil... they just don’t have to try as hard in this,” says Monahan. The goal is not to assert females as the “better” comedians and put men down; it’s a search for the balance. The good news is, we’re moving in the right direction. With box office hits like “Bridesmaids,” the general public is recognizing the legitimacy of leading female comedians. Some top sitcoms like “30 Rock” and “Parks and Recreations” have a female leading presence (in both acting and writing) and are huge successes, especially in the Emerson community. The next step is to bring this balance to our everyday lives, not just the movie or sitcom world. “I view it as a crisis,” says Baker. “That’s a strong word but I feel really comfortable using it. [This issue of women in comedy] is a crisis, and Emerson needs to think about it that way.” By vowing to create an Emerson comedy circle that is gender-balanced, we can hope to change the views that exist outside the college community. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
uptown This season fashinoistas got the gift of loud and luxurious accessories to fight the winter blues. Even better? Designers across the world’s fashion capitals gave two major takes on what it means to be luxurious today.
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text // DEVAN NORMAN photos // MORGAN COTTLE
olor theory shouldn’t be confined to clothing alone. This season, colored accessories are making their presence heard loud and clear. Opulently shaded accessories are an easy way to add a pop of visual interest to a neutralsbased ensemble. Both Tomas Maier at Bottega Veneta and Christopher
Bailey at Burberry opted for colored accessories in hues of reds, greens, purples, and everything in between to accent the sophisticated styles that walked their runways. Michael Kors punctuated his Studio 54 throwback collection with shoes and bags in deeply rich hues, adding just enough flash to his retro collection. The
easiest way to interpret this trend is to stick to two or three violently vibrant hues when ac- cesorizing. If mixing color palletes, make sure each shade is far enough away on the body. Shoes and bags are your best bet here, but if you’re feeling extra bold, try turning up the volume with an extra-bright pair of chandelier earrings.
downtown From left to right: Reece Hudson clutch, $795; Stelâ€™s. Giuseppe Zanotti Design suede heels, $670; The Tannery. Marc Jacobs bag, $675; Gretta Luxe. Salvatore Ferragamo patent red flats, $395; The Tannery. Jeffrey Campbell wedges, $165; LF Boston. Heather Hawkins white bangle, $132, red bangle, $128, and Proenza Schouler heels, $595; Gretta Luxe.
inter accessories thi season seem to prove the point that when Miuccia Prada does something, the world will follow. She punctuated her namesake show with splashes of skin in the form of dyed snake. There were boots and bags patchowrked
with python and lurex on almost every model in the designerâ€™s Milan show. Sleek and modern with just enough refinement, snakeskin is an excellent way to add texture and interest to your wardrobe this season. Pile on various snakeskin bangles or opt for a python pump in an electric hue to
capitalize on the trend - or grab an oversized python day bag like those shown by Frida Giannini at Gucci. If a full python bag or shoe seems to scare you away, try belting a neutral ensemble with a thin snakeskin belt to puncuate your winter wardrobe.
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ideas Designers this season were as scattered as ever in presenting their collections at the Fall/Winter runway shows. The biggest trend to emerge was the lack of a central trend all together. Below, we offer a road map for dressing yourself through the season – trust us, you’ll need it. text // JUSTIN REIS Opposite. Decade Dressing From left to right: Earrings, $595; Dress. Nomia silk dress, $572; The Tannery. Proenza Schouler shoes; Gretta Luxe. Phillip Lim camel dress, $595; Dress. Cotelac coat, $690; Cotelac Boston. Yigi Girl patent nude heels, $110; LF Boston. Athe sweater, $219; Dress. Shirit, $215 and bag $275; Cotelac Boston. Genetic Denim jeans, $220; Gretta Luxe. Steve by Steve Madden boots, $238; LF Boston.
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DECADE DRESSING Start with the season’s biggest statement and get ready for some DECADE DRESSING. We were in the ‘30s at Armani, ‘50s at Bottega Veneta, and ‘70s at Chloe with no rest in between. The key here is to invest in pieces with a period feel. Modest bias cut dresses in jewel tones, chic sweater sets in sorbets, and wide leg jeans in light washes will all convey their respective decades with ease.
Next, get ready for a crash course in GENDER STUDIES coming from designers like the boys at Dolce & Gabbana and Stefano Pilati at Yves Saint Laurent. The best way to interpret this trend is to pick a look and stick with it. Sport a full on suit (sequined fedora included in the Dolce show) with brogues for a masculine feel or choose an ultra-femme lace dress with an illusion bodice to appear as girly as possible.
Keep the volume high as you meet this season’s PRINTS CHARMING. Dries Van Noten, print master extraordinaire, led the way by piling print on print in his Paris show. Find a bold printed skirt and raise the stakes with an equally loud printed top – bonus points for pieces mixing prints on their own. Avoid grounding the look by adding a multi-colored scarf or statement shoe and maximize your print potential.
FLIGHTS SLEEK OF FETISH STREAK Pull another about face and indulge your inner dominatrix in FLIGHTS OF FETISH. Avoid simple leather accents and, instead, opt for full-blown leather looks. Keep it literal with liquid leather leggings and a cropped jacket or play the coquettish card and choose a collared leather mini paired with massive leather wedges. At Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs sent his models out with handcuffs and whips but we suggest saving those for the professionals.
Finally, take a breath of fresh air with the SLEEK STREAK designers employed to round out the season. Ever minimalists Phoebe Philo at Celine and Francisco Costa at Calvin Klein showed carefully constructed dresses in muted pallets that were refreshingly chic. Look for dresses that offer contrast sleeves in neutral tones, LBDs with exquisite draping, or winter white pieces with architectural elements. For the uber minimalist, choose a pair of sleek patent flats to finish the look.
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Gender Studies From left to right: Fedora; LF Boston. Acota shirt, $160, Cotelac blazer $510, and belt $120; Cotelac Boston. Obakki lace dress, $418; The Tannery.
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Flights of Fetish Porter Grey collared dress, $595, Vena Cava jacket, $695; The Tannery. Leather pants, $495; Cotelac Boston. Vera Wang Lavendar shoes, $325; Gretta Luxe. Jeffrey Campbell booties, $280; LF Boston
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This page: Prints Charming Yumi Kim scarf, $128; Dress. Vera Wang Lavendar wedges, Yigal Azrouel skirt, $580, sweater $395; Gretta Luxe. Opposite: Sleek Streak Edun dress, $248, Proenza Schouler pump $645, Helmut Lang bag $395; Gretta Luxe. Nomia coat dress, $528, Rag + Bone white dress, $695; The Tannery. Jeffrey Campbell flats, $88, booties $225; LF Boston.
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Chunky Sweater & Cargo Pants Rag & Bone sweater, $255, J. Brand utility car- gos $231; The Tannery. Chukka boots, $50; H&M.
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Varsity Jacket Shipley & Halmos varsity jacket, $425, Gant jumbo checked oxford, $145, and Rag & Bone tie $125; The Tannery.
Step up your college game with these men’s wear trends.
text // DANNY TEHRANI photo // -----------------
men’s trends chunky sweater cargo pants
If you’ve been in touch with the menswear blogosphere the past few months, you’ll know that they’ve been constantly talking about two trends: the shawl collar and slim cargo pants. And for good reason. Pair up the two, along with a pair of Wolverine boots and you’re all set for this New England weather.
text // ALEX LAU photos // BRIAN ANNIS
‘70s color wave
Prep is back, folks. The letterman jacket is a staple of fall weather. Shipley & Halmos’ Reversible Varsity Jacket has completely modernized the look with their take on it. A slimmer fit, try wearing this with a crewneck sweater and an oxford button down to achieve that Take Ivy look.
The French term of Apres Ski refers to the partying and socializing AFTER the skiing. You may not find any snowy mountains in Boston, but who says you can’t dress the part? Spice things up at the lodge with a knit Fair Isle sweater or a wool cardigan with some contrasting buttons.
Just because there’s a chill in the air doesn’t mean you have to stop wearing colors. Trade in your bright summer palettes for some darker earth tones. Consider colors such as maroon and olive green. These mustard yellow corduroys by APC are a must have for fall. Just remember to cuff those pants.
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Apres Ski Gant fur lined hat, $95, Creep fair isle sweater, $211; The Tannery. Long johns, $15 and socks $10; H&M.
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‘70s Color Wave Giltman Bros. flannel, $180, APC t-shirt $70 and cords $210; Stel’s.
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four looks, one trend:
ver the past few seasons, Emersonians have adopted socks as a wardrobe staple. Early October chill in the air? No problem, let a sock peek out by your boot straps. Ready to break out those canvas Toms for Spring? Add a neon sock for some individuality. Heading to Allston for a basement party? A sheer knee-sock is the perfect flask holder. This season, however, designers caught wind of the Boylston trend and offered several new ways to incorporate socks into your winter wardrobe. Here, Siri Winter offers advice for wardrobing 4 of her favorite interpretations.
THE NIGHT SOCK Marc Jacobs showcased the perfect evening sock look in his Fall/Winter 2011 collection, pairing polka-dot socks with chunky peep-toe heels. Make like Marc and pair flirty over-the-knee cream colored socks with a micro-patterened design. Black platform peep-toes with delicate straps add a monochomatic elegance against the stark white. Finish the look with a gray or navy pleated mini-dress for instant understated allure.
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Cotelac dress, $440; Cotelac Boston. Socks, $10; H&M. Jeffrey Camp- bell shoes, $185; LF Boston.
text // SIRI WINTER photos // MORGAN COTTLE
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Kelsi Dagger heels, $148; LF Boston. Socks, $10; H&M.
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Leather boots, $365; Cotelac Boston. Socks, $13; H&M.
DRESS DOWN DAY
For strolling to a dressed up lunchdate take inspiration from Celineâ€™s fall collection and pair colored heels with neutral hued thick socks folded at the ankle. Wear with slouched pants cuffed at the hem and a form-fitting blazer for a masculine meets feminine vibe. The yellow heels bring a burst of sunshine to an otherwise mono-toned ensemble.
A thick pair of knee high socks work perfectly as seasons change and temperatures drop, keeping you warm in between classes. The look was spotted on many Fashion Week regulars and off-duty models on the streets of Manhattan. Choose a versatile hue like the grey shown, pairing them with leather lace-up boots for an urban edge. The looks contrasts nicely with a moderate length printed skirt or shift dress, showing just a hint of bare knee.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
BORROWED FROM THE BOYS Boyish brogues are highly coveted footwear this Fall/ Winter, praised for their universality and day-to-night elegance. Slip into a subtly embellished pair like the studded ones shown. A pair of mid-calf masculine socks perfectly compliments the brogue and shows just enough leg. For an everyday look, wear with knitted sweater dresses cinched at the waist for a side of femininity.
Studded leather flats, $585; Cotelac Boston. Socks, $13; H&M. 36
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the new sexy text // SIRI WINTER photo // STYLE.COM
emininity has long been connected to dressing in a way that portrays an obvious sexuality and glamour, a way that showcases physical traits as pleasing to men. That is, skin revealing garments that cling to the curve of the waist, prop-up the chest and projecting the woman’s body. In the 80’s, designer Hérve Léger pioneered the creation of the bandage dress, igniting a craze for “body-con” dressing that exploded in the fashion market and was duplicated by an array of accessible brands. However, this season, as designers debut their Fall/ Winter collections, a new sexy is emerging, one that goes against squeezing into a preemptively sculpted uniform of femininity. One woman whose innovative collection has turned heads this season is Phoebe Philo. Appointed creative director of Céline in 2008, her latest fall collection showcases impeccably cut, oversized blazers, refreshingly minimalistic tailored dresses and full-legged pants in restrained colors of white, black, camel and blue. As a whole, the look emerges with a low-key allure. Phoebe Philo, who previously worked as the creative director of Chloé, is also accredited with making Chloé cool, bringing in chunky heels and flared pants in a market where stilettos and skinny pants ruled. Philo, with her Parisian roots and London upbringing is famed for being a breath of fresh air to women’s wear. Her concept stems from the roots of Céline and its namesake, Madame Céline Vipiana: clothes designed for women by women. Through Céline, Philo has proposed an antidote to the generic hoard of modern-day-glamazons (think Kim Kardashian), one that projects an innovated elegance that is more wearable and comfortable without losing its femininity. Simply put, dropping skimpy cocktail dresses and platforms for feminine separates: a crisp white shirt and a sleek pair of pants with a pointed high-heel and understated clutch. Philo’s inspiration comes from minimalist designers like Jil Sander, whose collections by Raf Simons are known for avant –garde minimalism, originally inspired by women conquering the professional world during the 1980’s, after decades of being housewives. Similarly, American design house Calvin Klein has always sworn by minimalism. Francisco Costa, the brand’s creative director, showed richly liquid fabrics like silk on loosefit, flattering shapes. It’s femininity stripped down to its core, falling somewhere in between girly ruffles and skin-tight temptress. The best part of this nouveau-allure is that it is incredibly easy to wear and universally flattering. The shapes and fabrics can be draped from all angles of the body. Layering slim-fit shirts under cashmere sweaters or placing a long-line blazer over a loosely fit jumpsuit cinched at the waist. The new sexy is not about attracting the attention of a man, nor is it about hiding behind clothes. It is all about finding a comfortable balance. How a woman feels on the inside is important and she must feel sexy from within before projecting it through her wardrobe choices. Less body-conscious, more mind-conscious. Taking cues from minimalist designers and mixing them with your personal style is the direction to head towards. The aim? To provoke thought and perhaps a little mystery through your wardrobe, rather than blatant seduction. As Emerson students our willingness to unapologetically experiment with our creativity (be it fashion or academic) is collective and on going and it is why we stand out from the crowd. The new sexy can go as far as you want it to go, it can mean reinventing what is seen as appropriate attire for day and night (goodbye mini-dress), or simply wearing your personality from the inside out, you’ll have just as much sex appeal, but twice the confidence. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
‘90 s T why we love the
he ‘90s kids are growing up and taking on the real world, one Doc Marten-clad step at a time. Younger (along with more established) fashion designers are taking more inspiration from this era of ideal youth and rebellion. This tugs on the heartstrings of a generation so inherently nostalgic, and the results show. The theme song of the classic ‘90s cartoon “As Told By Ginger” says, “someone once told me the grass is much greener on the other side.” In this case, the “greener side” is a reversion to the familiar. Clothing and style act as an indicator of social and financial climate; a return to the aesthetic could be a cry for help, trying to catalyze a more successful future. As fashion is cyclical, nothing truly dies. Our attraction to the ‘90s is a result of fashion’s penchant to recycle and a generation’s unwillingness to forget their youth.
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Ragged Priest jacket, $248, Reverse corset pants, $128, and Milau white top, $138; LF Boston.
text // DEVAN NORMAN photo // HOPE KAUFFMAN THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
why we love the ‘90s
arc Jacobs is one of those designers who can’t let go of the perfection and chaos ‘90s rebels held. He has been breathing life into the pre-millennium youth culture. His grunge-inspired collection for Perry Ellis rocked the world of fashion in 1992. Suddenly, extremely expensive clothes held an entirely new appeal for young, cool people (with the means to buy the collection, of course). This is the collection that embodies the quintessential grunge aesthetic, for a high-end customer. The way Jacobs presented his vision left the world of fashion forever changed. Acid washes and styles suitable for Kurt Cobain or Courtney Love became covetable in a way they hadn’t before. Layers upon re-envisioned layers (a cashmere shrunken sweater was a signature) recalled the ease musicians and youth in general encapsulated. Suddenly, everyone wanted to look like a rock star. The best part was, they could. In a way, this masterful collection shaped the majority of visual nostalgia associated with the ‘90s. With such a perfectly balanced and effortless selection of clothing, neither the press nor the public could ignore Jacobs’ vision. Aspects of the monumental Marc Jacobs for Perry Ellis collection are still seen throughout the industry, to this day. The more put-together aspect of ‘90s fashion also inspired Yves Saint Laurent’s Fall 2011 Ready-to-Wear collection. The collection was incredibly similar to styles selected by “Clueless’” protagonist in her high tech closet, from the sophisticated monochromatic palette to the crispness of each piece. All that was missing were exclamations of “Ugh, as if!” Button-downs fit for Cher Horowitz made an appearance, peeking out beneath sharp blazers. Ranging from visionary to timeless, the aesthetic 40
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of clean lines and elegance remained consistent throughout. If Cher were to suddenly find herself in the 2000s, she would, like totally, wear this collection. The universal appeal of looking polished and classy appeal transcends trends. This selection of clothing is going to be incredibly popular with best dressed regulars and style novices alike. A less grunge inclined person should look to this movement if they’re in search of wardrobe inspiration from the ‘90s. Fashion designers aren’t the only group jonesing for the era of grunge rockers and hyper-girly preps. Tavi Gevinson is an acutely aware fifteenyear-old blogger and online-magazine editor, obsessed with a decade she was
Our attraction to the ‘90s is a result of fashion’s penchant to recycle and a generation’s unwillingness to forget its youth. never even part of. Her nostalgia speaks for the powerful influence of the time, as she wasn’t even alive at the era’s peak. Self-referential and strangely in tune with the industry (for anyone, let alone someone her age), her inspiration boards have been creepily prophetic. Editors and fashion high rollers alike hail her as a savant. Attracted to the unkempt and easy lifestyle of the ‘90s, her personal blog Style Rookie is filled with inspiration boards featuring “Twin Peaks,” “Freaks and Geeks” and “My So-Called Life.” Those shows haven’t been in the forefront of conversation since they went off air, but she brings them more exposure much later. Educating the masses about things that already happened, in terms of entertainment and fashion, Tavi’s voice somehow seems fresh. A childlike wonder at the glory of the ‘90s makes readers think back and reevaluate their thoughts on the generation. Through her modern
style of communication (blogging didn’t really pick up until relatively recently), her past-inspired fashion insights ring true. Her most loyal audience, besides her teenaged peers, is the group whose formative years she champions. Tavi represents a strange combination of the culture she admires and the contemporary world we live in. Youth and freedom are powerful selling points for the 1990s. Teenagers at the time were a groundbreaking, idealistic culture. The seemingly perfect product of decades before, they followed the tradition of the ‘60s and ‘70s: youth in revolt disregarding authority and striving for freedom of expression. MTV still played music and side ponytails were nothing to scoff at. Late twenty-somethings and early thirtysomethings who have outgrown their neon spandex biking shorts long for the days when their slang wasn’t derived from the Internet. They’re old enough to be pretty successful professionally, but still nostalgic for their youth. Grasping onto fragments and pop culture is the final step they’re taking in the growing up process. Bringing back layering, flannel, acid wash, and knee socks, fashion’s cyclical nature is responsible for this recognizable set of trends. While this phase too shall pass, that’s not to say we shouldn’t tune into the newly revived reruns of Teen Nick classics and embrace the comfortable familiarity of the past. There was a certain ease in the lifestyle that cannot be interpreted in a contemporary equivalent. Technology was less engrained in society, which made things seemingly slower. Today, everything is fast-paced and based in social media. No one found out Kurt Cobain died over Facebook. It’s almost as though the past is the final frontier of stress-free adolescence. Dressing in a certain way, to remember, isn’t much different than watching your favorite old movie on DVD. A temporary transport into another time will always be appealing. Nothing seems as easy in the present, which is why the fun and lighthearted ‘90s seem like a perfect escape. For now, it totally is.
drop animal products, drop the pounds ? text // ALI ANTONUCCI photo // LAUREN KROLL
t merson, where diversity is both accepted and celebrated, the pressure to be thin is ever-present. Fad diets and liquid cleanses have been around for years and often provide a quick fix for many college students, but a surprising new dietary trend is now on the rise. People have been temporarily (and incorrectly) adopting the vegan lifestyle, not for their beliefs, but in the hopes of slimming down. The trend manifests itself in many ways, from “I only eat lettuce so I’m vegan” to “I’m a vegan, but only until spring break.” The truth is, no matter how you spin it, veganism is not to be taken lightly. This trend may have originated due to the success and cult-like following of “Skinny Bitch,” a diet book written to convince the masses to go vegan. It assures readers that giving up animal products, fast food, and processed meals for a whole, natural vegan diet, will make you happier, healthier, more energized… and skinny. The text compares meat to “dead, rotting, decomposing flesh,” calling dairy products “toxic” and describing sweeteners as “liquid Satan.” The book’s proposed diet plan may seem credible, but in reality, it promotes incredibly unsafe practices. It encourages readers to wait until they are ravenous to eat, and to get used to the feeling of an empty stomach. It also claims that the side effects of hunger, which include headaches and nausea, are merely results of the body cleaning itself. If that isn’t enough to slash the authors’ credibility, its promotion
of cleanses and fasts certainly should be. “Skinny Bitch” puts its followers at risk because there is not enough professional guidance to ensure that the diet plan is properly balanced and rich in the nutrients our bodies need from animal products. This book provides a good introduction to the vegan diet, but anyone attempting to adopt a vegan lifestyle should consult a dietician to be sure all nutritional needs are being met. While veganism itself is not unsafe, adopting the lifestyle without proper planning and complete commitment is. Fad vegans who don’t take veganism seriously, or don’t plan to adopt it as a permanent change, run the risk of seriously damaging their health. Initially, they will feel the “high” often associated with the diet, since eating organic and raw food leads to an increase in energy and a decrease in body fat. However, after a few months, the side effects of fad dieting kick in. Without the proper nutrients, energy levels deplete, strength and muscle mass are lost, the immune system is weakened, emotions become unstable, and physical appearance begins to depreciate. Essential vitamins, such as B12 and K2, are unavailable in the vegan diet and must be replaced with supplements in order to avoid physical and mental deterioration. The “vegan high” associated with fad dieting is produced because it is so short on calories and vitamins that the body begins to digest its own fat in
order to obtain necessary proteins. Evelyn Kimber, of the Boston Vegan Society, explains, “There are no dangers of using a vegan diet to lose weight, unless of course one decides to do very unhealthy things along the way.” Just because something says ‘vegan’ on the box, or doesn’t contain animal products, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. “It is important to have accurate information about vegan diets,” she continues. “Registered dieticians and professional nutritionists possess the credentials to address the topic with authority.” As with any other major life change, going vegan requires research, consultation, and a good bit of thought before it can be done correctly. For those who are serious about going vegan, there are countless resources to help you make the change. Emerson’s dining hall recently introduced its vegan food station, Whole Foods Market carries organic vegan groceries, and local vegan-friendly restaurants such as El Triunfo and Pho Pasteur offer delivery. PETA’s vegan college cookbook contains over 200 cheap, easy recipes that can be made in the dorm room, even without a stove. Fellow classmates and friends are there to help, too. As a final step, consult the nutritionist at the health center to make sure that your transition is a smooth, healthy, and overall beneficial one.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
pleasure of pain fashionâ€™s latest fetish text // DANIEL TEHRANI photo // HOPE KAUFFMAN
Danity sweater, $168, Strawberry Kats collared top, $132, Kelsi Dagger patent heels $129, gloves $35, headband, $28; LF Boston
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hink of how the structured tailoring of a suit can instantly make you feel stronger and in control while a slinky dress adds instant glamour to the way you feel, even the way you act. What you wear is your personal way of expressing to the world the way you feel. Before you speak, before you open your mouth, your clothing already sets the tone of your interactions with others. Style is a spectator sport, but this season, as designers take inspiration from S&M, everyone will be your voyeur. In Marc Jacobs’ Fall/Winter collection for Louis Vuitton, French maids walked the runway, tied up in chains and suited up in the menacing sheen of patent leather. The collection was inspired by the obsession, the fetish that women have over LV bags. And indeed women do lust after that monogram – but perhaps it isn’t the letters they’re after but what they represent. Luxury, yes, a sense of style, arguably so, but what if it gave the wearer a sense of power? Fashion’s ability to strengthen or subjugate came into utmost prominence as every designer from Paris to Milan took cues from fetish-wear and the forbidden erotica of S&M for their Fall 2011 collections. The power games of bondage took center stage this season and an analysis the trend proves that fashion has always been about power and selfassertion. To gain a better understanding of fashion’s fetish fixation, look no further than the origin of S&M, Sadism and Masochism. Both are named after authors, the Marquis de Sade and Leopold Von Sacher-Masoch respectively. Sade was a sexual deviant of the 17th century, a writer who’s erotic works inspired horror in society with their descriptions of gaining pleasure from torturing others. Masoch, in his literary classic “Venus In Furs” recounts a nearly autobiographical tale of a Victorian man who gets off on women hurting him, both physically and emotionally. S&M as inspiration for high fashion is not new by any means. One of the most important fashion photographers of the past decades, Helmut Newton’s photos have always been like stills from some forbidden, erotic film. Jean Paul Gaultier outfitted Madonna in her iconic cone-bra corset for her Blond Ambition tour and the symbol of a woman corseted still defines the image of his brand to this day. In the ‘90s, Thierry Mugler was the first to put
Latex and PVC on the runway, admiring its ability to shape a woman’s body. Mugler had closed its house until just last year, when another pop star, equally fond of lingerie came along. Under the creative direction of Lady Gaga’s stylist, Nicola Formichetti, Mugler reopened it’s doors. The fall show was a best of collection of Mugler’s glory days; leather, body-con dresses and killer heels, all elements found in fetish-wear. At Givenchy, Ricardo Tisci put out a nearperfect collection, pairing shiny latex and sheer elements with bold, graphic floral prints, many sporting images of the kink-queen herself, Bettie Page. Indeed, Alexander McQueen built an empire on subversive imagery, the leather harnesses and other bondage-like details at the latest collection by Sarah Burton and at the “Savage Beauty” Met exhibit this summer were both glorious testaments to that. Emerson professor Cynthia Miller, who teaches a much loved course on burlesque, finds that fashion’s enduring fascination with S&M and bondage “speaks to the way that bondage - as a subculture - has become something that the mainstream consumer is aware of and maybe even a little used to. Hints of bondage make fashion consumers feel like they’re taking a small, manageable risk with their fashion.” She also found that power, both taking control and relinquishing it is at the center of S&M “In dominant/submissive relationships, it’s about power, not sex or gender and in relationships that involve the giving and receiving of pain, it’s even more complicated.” The crossing point between fashion and fetish is based more on power, and less on leather and latex. Designers may be taking the look of S&M, but those implications of dominance and power have always been paramount in fashion. That’s what we desire most, that’s our fetish, our obsession. Not luxury but the desired feeling we get from onlookers, the reaction to how we dress, the power we get from style. Unlike actual S&M, taking cues from it in your wardrobe can be all about pleasure; for you and for those who lay witness to your killer patent heels or the impression of skin behind those sheer details. You may be inciting passion or jealousy, pleasure or pain, but either way, that’s the game of fetish in fashion, to excite others and to express oneself.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
from left to right: Patrik Ervell baseball jacket, $145, Gant Rugger oxford, $125, Naked & Famous jeans, $145, Shipley & Halmos anorak, $545; The Tannery. Wing + Horns crewneck tee, $55, APC jeans, $175; Stel’s.
raw denim text // ALEX LAU photo // EVAN TETREAULT
pair of raw denim is a blank canvas, leaving it up to the wearer to make it their own. Raw denim jeans are essentially jeans made of unwashed denim. Dry or raw denim jeans are denim fabric that doesn’t go through the post production process of fading and washes. Every pair of jeans that has ever been in existence has started off as raw denim. The sewing process and cutting on traditional jeans are all done on dyed denim material, only then to be put through multiple washes to create the worn and relaxed aesthetic. The difference between raw denim jeans and traditional jeans is that raw denim Enter the world of raw denim. If you is unwashed, often times produced in a dark were to ask most people what raw denim is, rinse, with a stiff texture. This means that you’re likely to be returned with blank stares. it’s up to the wearer to break in the jeans However, there’s a niche group of followers themselves, which is a tough, yet rewarding who adhere to the raw denim lifestyle. These process. are guys (and the occasional brave gal) that Breaking in raw denim is a practice that let their jeans go months without washing. requires a long term commitment. Most peoThey’ll be the first ones to tell you that a new very guy wants to own that pair of jeans – the pair that you live in, day in, day out. The pair that your girlfriend loves to see you in. The jeans that look like you two have been through thick and thin, while still maintaining that James Dean-esque cool. It’s hard to find that perfect pair. Often times, the wash is forced or the fit is off. Most pairs that you’ve seen just seem to have that “meh” effect.
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ple interested in the look of worn raw denim are often scared off by the initial stages of wearing stiff and uncomfortable jeans. But for those willing to brave the early break-in stages, lasting up to a month or two, they’ll find themselves with a pair of jeans that have molded to their daily movements. Your morning walks to class? Yeah, we can tell from those honeycomb fades behind your knees. You ride your bike to work? Those whisker fades show us how hard you’ve been pedaling on your commute. There’s just one rule to follow when it comes to raw denim: Don’t wash your jeans. In order for the creasing and whiskering to set in, the jeans can’t be washed. If washed too soon, the dark dyes of the denim will become too light, preventing the contrast of the creases from becoming apparent. However, eventually even the most devout denim wearers will have to clean their
jeans. Using the washing machine to clean your pair is out of the question. What most raw denim enthusiasts do is soak their jeans in a tub for about an hour in lukewarm water with Woolite, finished with a hang dry. An extreme method recommended by French raw denim brand APC is the ocean soak. APC’s method involves the wearer putting
there’s just one rule to follow when it comes to raw denim: don’t wash your jeans. on their jeans and running into the ocean, allowing the salt water to soak into their jeans. The last step involves rubbing sand all
over your jeans, finished with a fresh water rinse. Eight months into wearing my APC New Cures [$175], I decided it was time to get rid of that man stank and give my jeans a little soak. Let me tell you, you haven’t lived till you’ve run into the freezing Pacific Ocean wearing nothing but a pair of jeans and the last remaining bit of my integrity. Sure, I may have gotten a number of stares from strangers as I alternated between slapping wet sand onto my pants and frolicking in the ocean waves, but the resulting fades and clean smell (after the fresh water rinse, that is) made it all worth it. My APCs now have prominent and distinct fades, along with a grainy faded texture due to the sand rubbing - and that’s something money can’t buy.
RAW DENIM BRANDS TO CHECK OUT... A.P.C. [Petit Standards - $175]
Flathead Denim [SE05BSP Slim Tapered - $350]
Baldwin [The Reed - $250]
Nudie Jeans [Grim Tims - $180]
Naked and Famous [Weird Guys - $135]
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
FASHION MOVES EAST
As China opens its doors to commerce, an influx of culture has transformed their society. The Chinese once had government restricted wardrobes but now boast the fashion industry’s most sought after market. We spoke to two Emerson students who witnessed the rise of the newest international style capitol.
palpable surge of electricity is currently stimulating the streets of Beijing. The electricshock was sudden and all encompassing, inciting people to move with passion and purpose. While stringent rules used to restrict Chinese dress, Beijing style has become an explosion of color and self-expression. China’s rapid power surge has managed to mystify the entire globe, but its youthful influence lingers most in the spirits of designers and fashion moguls. Buzzing with young energy, China inspires the world by developing its sense of fashion to generate power. Living in Beijing the majority of her life, Crystal Yuen, a sophomore Communications major, is able to recall a time when fashion in China was not accessible to the masses. “In Guangzhou, a city outside of Hong Kong, people had to use tickets to get into the department stores. In order to get the tickets, you had to pay or have a certain connection.” Those lucky enough to receive the tickets were exposed to an exclusive world of fashion. Yuen reflects, “People with family members in the army or the government had special privileges. They would go into Hong Kong where they could buy international brands.” Chinese people gradually learned to distinguish the few entitled members
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t e x t / / K I M B E R LY S U C H I
of society from the underprivileged majority by the quality of their clothing and the brands that they wore. Yuen recalls, “You had to have power to dress fashionably. There was a barrier between those who could afford things and those who couldn’t.” Fast-forwarding a couple decades, Crystal depicts a China whose privileges are no longer restricted to the privileged. “Now if you have cash you can have anything. The divide has closed.” China became obsessed with fashion after realizing the implications of power that accompany a person’s dress. In their beginning stages, Chinese people often referred to western countries for inspiration, using venerated and established brands such as Versace and Chanel to fuel their climb up the social ladder. Born into this fashion-hungry mindset, China’s youth is more influenced by global fashion than any other generation. Blair Li, a sophomore T.V. Production major, explained,“ [Young Chinese] love being exposed to different cultures. The fashion scene is just so new.” This past summer, Blair Li lived in Beijing and co-produced the Chinese T.V. show, Beijing Chic, on the Blue Ocean Network, China’s only T.V. station not controlled by the Communist party. The show was broken into a series of segments in which Blair interact-
ed with the frontrunners of China’s sudden fashion surge. Interviewing young fashionistas on the street, tailors, and even well known local designers such as Vega Wang, she experienced the designer drive behind Beijing’s global youth culture firsthand. “People are driven by wealth and the status symbol of labels. Luxury goods are more about people thinking highly of them,” Li explained. Li recalls how wealthy people were once obliged to travel elsewhere to access this luxury fashion. “Back then everyone went to Hong Kong to do shopping. But now all the stores are coming into Beijing and Shanghai. Designers are everywhere.” While Chinese people once had to travel as far as Europe to quench their thirst for sumptuous labels, designers now serve them by bringing the fashion home. “My half sister used to be the buyer for lane Crawford,” Crystal recalls. “They have everything. If you go into Lane Crawford you’re going to see Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Lauren, Hogan, Marc Jacobs—the ones that matter.” Despite an ever-lingering population of poverty-stricken peasants, China has become the world’s second largest buyer of luxury goods, and will reach the world’s top luxury market by 2015. This explains why high-end de-
signers are obsessed with courting the Chinese market and are gaining more influence in China. Burberry, Diane Von Furstenberg, Prada, and Marc Jacobs have all held major global fashion events in China, and LVMH Group, the world’s largest luxury goods conglomerate, lans to enter two new Chinese cities per year. Many established designer labels such as Louis Vuitton, Burberry, and Chanel feel a deep sense of connection with China because they have the same goals; both the designers and China are ancient, yet are driven by a young energy that defines their futures. Because of this interconnection of values, the Chinese have as much power over designers as the designers have over them. Inspired by traditional Chinese dress, Chanel created a “Made for China” limited collection for Shanghai’s EXPO 2010, and Karl Lagerfeld staged his 2007 show on the Great Wall of China. While China was once known for drawing influence from other countries, western designers are finding more inspiration in Chinese culture. Dior Snow, a skin lightening and UV blocking foundation, for instance, caters specifically to the Chinese desire for brighter, whiter skin. “In China, it’s all about paleness. A darker skin is the worst thing that could happen,” says Blair. Many western companies, like Dior, see hope and worth in these Chinese values and are gaining more influence in their marketplace. Beijing, Shanghai, and other major cities in China are now the billboards for western designers. Fashion week shows play on loop on giant LED screens and heiresses flaunt their Bottega Veneta bags and coveted Alexander McQueen clutches. Men’s fashion is huge in China, and Blair recalls often seeing men in bold items, like pink and yellow short shorts. “They don’t have a skewed concept of masculinity like in America,” she reflects. “China is still in their experimental stage, so they are more open and like to draw from things. Their style has become a morph of different European and western styles.” Having brought various influences and inspiration homeward, Chinese
designers are becoming more popular than established western brands. “People admire when young Chinese fashion designers have studied abroad and brought back different cultural elements to their designs. Vega Wang is huge in China for this reason,” Blair said. Vega Wang is praised for her collection, “Cape,” in England and Philip Lim is gaining more influence for his modern twist on traditional Chinese dress. Blair described the excitement of the emerging designer Phoebe Lam. Lam just launched her line and aspires to someday be better than fellow designer Derek Lam, who studied at Parsons and brought his talents to Hong Kong. Rather than comparing themselves to European or American designers, the Chinese compete against each other to gain recognition in the industry. Most people are still new to fashion,
everyone else has,” Blair explained. While the wealthier people can actually afford designer labels, Blair noted that there is actually an awareness of style from a variety of economic backgrounds. Girls who cannot buy designer brands will instead accessorize with girly bows, lace, and frills to create their own definition of personal fashion. Blair believes that this is what makes Chinese style so revolutionary: “Other people that aren’t that well off are still passionate about fashion. They have such good style. It’s very individual. It’s not European or American. It’s Chinese.” China shifted from being a standardized country to a bright center of possibilities. The country is still developing and building up, but the world is inspired by China’s receptiveness to new ideas and openness to change. While the
“[men] don’t have a skewed concept of masculinity like in America...China is still in their experimental stage, so they are more open and like to draw from things. Their style has become a morph of different European and western styles.” -blair li (tv production ‘14) and those with money will spend it on designers that others recognize as fashionable. Crystal went to an International school where many of her peers came from wealthy families and were spoiled with designer clothes and accessories. “My rich friends who have parents that are Chinese will go to school with Louis Vuitton or Valentino purses for their laptop. They’re still new to fashion, and they want to have all of those essential items.” These nouveau riche tend to dominate the fashion scene and create a skewed concept of Chinese fashion. When Blair interviewed trendy people for her Street Chic segment, wealthy girls exposed their Valentino and Vivienne Westwood-inspired styles. “ They love feeling glamorous and having what
Communist government still affects the way Chinese approach sexuality, young people have used fashion as a tool to gain economic power. “Mao was the big scary guy who wouldn’t let any of this fashion in,” Blair recalls. “Now they don’t care. As long as it’s not yellow [which means pornographically related], it’s fine in China.” Young Chinese pride themselves on being international citizens and find creativity in a mix of cultures. Even Crystal confessed, “I’m not that Chinese.” The new generation of youth possesses a refreshing sense of possibility and optimism, and their sense of identity through fashion has drawn in other countries’ attention. A country wealthy in style and spirit, China is the place to be now, working for a brighter future. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
One Night Stand Etiquette
text // MARLEE KULA photo // DANNI SCULLY
t our age, it’s totally okay to shag someone to whom you have no intentions of betrothing yourself. The norm has become a bit more: “So what?” Sex doesn’t always have to be candles and rose petals. But just because the sex isn’t serious doesn’t mean you shouldn’t show the object of your affections a little respect, at the very least. So what is it about one night stands that make people feel like they’re headed down a shame spiral? Having a one night stand doesn’t make you a harlot or anything less than a gentleman. But pulling off this kind of encounter with poise isn’t always easy. Sometimes, an innocent sexual encounter can lead to seriously awkward after-effects.
Let’s think about it this way: you go to a party with your friends somewhere off Harvard Ave., eyes scanning the room for the perfect shameless indulgence. Target acquired, you flirt shamelessly all night, making sure he knows you’ve been drinking (it’s really a cure-all excuse). The night is just heating up as you leave together. You get down to business, and after the tryst is over, you head back to campus, looking forward to a no-judgment breakfast at 2p.m. in the dining hall the next day. It isn’t until way after all this has happened that you realize you might potentially see this person walking down Boylston or in a Walker Building elevator. Why does everyone feel like when your paths cross again, it has to be awkward? Can we be civil? Cordial? Or even acknowledge their presence in a public arena? It’s true, there are some things you can never come back from. Justin Eastzer, a junior Broadcast Journalism major, bears his cross with pride. “I threw up in his toilet three 48
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times, and then kissed him goodbye as I was leaving. He didn’t even have a clue.” If we are old enough to have casual sex, we should be old enough to handle it with dignity. Muster up all your newfound college maturity, and wave hello. You could even go out on a limb and ask them how their day’s been. The most important thing to consider about having a one night stand is how you want to handle it after the affair, as this makes all the difference. Lexie Fleege, a sophomore Marketing major, has no qualms announcing her views on post-encounter etiquette. “I just don’t make eye contact with him, I don’t say hi, I don’t smile. I honestly never want to see him again.” she says. Eastzer agrees, “The guy I was with is always in the Common and I’m always walking around the Common too, so I’ll have to veer off and make my friends walk another way with me.”
Perhaps chivalry is in fact dead: the classic “drop your pants and no thanks I don’t want to go for dumplings later” has become a tried and true method.
Why does everyone feel like when your paths cross again, it has to be awkward? Can we be civil? Cordial? Or even acknowledge their presence in a public arena? But maybe it isn’t the best way. Upand-coming knight in shining armor Jessup Deane stresses, “To me it’s always about how you deal with it the next day.” What’s important to
relationships the junior Communications major is having the confidence to approach them. “If you ball up and try to run away from them, it’s going to be awkward no matter what every single time,” Deane says. Who knew that going out of your way to acknowledge the situation like a grown-up could be most effective? Treating your piece of meat like a piece of meat is not the way to go. Deane emphasizes being considerate and cool with the other person. When asked about how to handle seeing that person post-encounter on the street, Deane explains, “I think it’s sort of like a sign of respect if you could just be nice and be a gentleman about it even if it wasn’t the most gentlemanly thing in the world.” Because if they don’t, it stings. Emily Files, sophomore Journalism major, has had some scarring experiences. “The day after he and I hooked up, we were in the same suite, and I walked into his room with a bunch of people and he was sitting on his bed kissing some other girl.” No one wants to be toyed with like some recycled Barbie doll with cut up hair. If you’re going to get involved, now matter how serious, it’s important to think about what the other person wants as well, even if they don’t want that much. Sex without love doesn’t mean sex without common courtesy and manners. Deane swears, “I still have a pretty good relationship with every person I’ve ever been with.” Having the decency to be cool about it will go a long way in helping you handle the situation, especially if you plan on exercising your right to have hundreds of one night stands. Strut your stuff on your walk of shame; bedhead never goes out of style (and you earned it).
no one is random
et’s be straight here: no one at Emerson is random when it comes to hook-ups. Everyone has hooked up with everyone else during their tenure living on Boylston between Tremont and Charles. If you try to play Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon with a potential flame, chances are you’ll be able to make the connection within one to three steps. “I feel like Emerson is sort of split in half, where half the school is basically this whole group of kids that are kind of connected through the people they’ve dated, hooked-up with, whatever. And the other [half] likewise.” says Evan Tetreault, a sophomore Marketing major. Let’s put this into more concrete context: You meet a guy at a party on a Saturday night, talking for hours and inching closer and closer with every minute. You exchange numbers and a genuine “let’s hang out soon!” as he wishes you goodnight upon the evening’s close. A problem then arises in the potential act of beginning this flirtationship as you realize he’s the ex-boyfriend of a friend or someone you look up to. At any normal school, the ax would be dropped and you’d spend a couple of weeks mourning the loss of this almost-beau. But this isn’t a normal school and there are only so many people to pass around. “I like to call it Emerson Incest, and I don’t mean that with a bad connotation,” says Andrew Asper, a junior Acting major, putting a name to the epidemic. Junior Film Production major John Curtis agrees, saying, “There are a lot of relationships that go on not just between friend groups, but
back and forth within.” At Emerson, the biggest issue is that we’re so small in number. It’s quite easy in such a contained environment to step on someone’s toes when you start up a new relationship. This opens us up to the age-old question, is it okay for me to hook-up with my friend’s ex? According to sophomore Communications major Crystal Yuen, it all depends on the past circumstances. “If it was someone just liking someone and not having an intimate relationship, that’s one thing,” she says. Senior Media Studies major Stasia Fong agrees, “If it’s just a casual kind of thing, I don’t think it really matters.” “But another [situation] would be if they dated and had a lot of chemistry.” Yuen says. In this case, she says she would, “not confront the person, but talk to them about it and make sure it’s okay.” It seems that hook-ups are not the problem; or at least, not so much as a budding relationship. When faced with the prospect of a new relationship with a friend’s former flame, Asper says, “I’m going to go to my buddy and say, ‘Hey, I’m thinking about this. What’s your opinion.’ And you know, nine times out of 10 they’re going be like, ‘Oh, no it’s cool, I’m over it.’” But nine times out of 10 is not a perfect score. There will always be that one time where you get the red light, to which Asper advises, “You’ve just got to be courteous about it.” It’s easy to get mixed up in – and hurt people’s feelings about – past relationships and past loves that they might not have ever moved past. Which brings us to the question: if no one is random at Emerson, are people off limits? The opinions differ. “I don’t like to think of peo-
text // JOEY POLINO
ple as possessions, so I don’t really have the right to tell people who they can or can’t be with,” Curtis says. Yuen disagrees a little, saying, “I don’t think they’re off limits to anyone, but I think they might be off limits to a certain person in your close friend group.” Unfortunately, with Emerson having such a small population, this close friend group is proportionally bigger than it would be at most other schools. And with Emerson being such a social media powerhouse, it’s easy for gossip to be started. It’s not a stretch to think that even our most innocent hookups can be broadcast across the Web via Facebook, Twitter and the like even if only in the background of a photo. “You think you meet a great guy, and then the next day they hook up with one of your friends and you see it in a Facebook picture. It’s super uncomfortable,” says Trelawney Davis, sophomore Political Communications major. While people might not exactly be “off limits,” it’s best to give your friends a heads up so that Facebook is not the first place they find you hooking up with their ex. And by talking it through with your friends, you can garner whether or not the prospects of this new relationship (of any kind) are anything to get worked up over. Leftover feelings and bad blood can cause heavy friend drama that you might not want to deal with. It may seem like 3,500 is a lot of people, but at Emerson, it’s not. Here, it’s hard to find someone who isn’t romantically connected to another, maybe even to you. You can decide for yourself whether it’s a good thing or not, but there’s no denying that at Emerson no one is random. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
black & white and gray all over While our generation has blurred the lines of what does and does not constitute a relationship, have we completely stepped away from the ultimate desire of monogamy? text // JOHAN ANDERSON
ecades ago, in the dark ages of dating, the “in a relationship” status meant you could disco with one and only one. But now, in the age of Nate and Blair with a side of Chuck all in one Friday night, things start to get a little fuzzy. What changed between now and then? Our generation isn’t afraid to air its dirty laundry and to be honest and open about relationships. With that honestly comes a new freedom to explore and to experience all types of relationships and develop our own definition of romantic relationships. This freedom has been adopted into the daily activities and party scenes in college. There are more open conversations about casual hook-ups, people on the side, and cheating. Committed relationships don’t have to have such rigid lines and commitment is not a necessity anymore. Honesty has become the policy and now, more than ever, all people have the right to speak up about their relationships and be in the kind of love affair they want to be in. But are we leaving behind the concrete lines and boundaries for good in favor of a more hazy and fluid line that has more exceptions and more flexibility that’s different with every 50
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person? “I think most people actually want monogamy,” says Nicholas Kraft, a senior Audio Post-Production major. And maybe this is the case, or maybe our generation has our own form or time frame for this state? Think about it: you’re forced to go to a party deep in Allston, and you’re basically either the only male wearing skinny jeans, or the only female. You spot someone in the corner with some guy all over them. You lock eyes and something clicks. The guy leaves for a refill and you go in for the kill. You talk, you dance, you talk some more and they friend you on Facebook the next morning. Then you start texting and one night when you’re ready to ask them over, you receive a bombshell in 160 characters or less: “I have a boyfriend. But I still wanna hook up. He won’t care :) It wouldn’t be the first time”. Success. Or is it? Some might argue that all modern relations are trending this way. “I feel like sometimes it’s a game for some people. Like how many people can I hook up with…and they are like “oh I’ll get serious later in life”,” states sophomore Musical Theater major, Shea Gomez. Black and thick: the lines in stereotypical monogamous relationships. The key words are: taken and intimate. But pure, monogamous relationships are often thought of to be a thing of the “dark ages”, something our grandparents and parents did because it’s what was expected of them. Now it’s part of the past. We still look back fondly at the ideas of ‘Happy Days’” but now that’s too glossy. As we have grown up, we have seen these relationships fail more frequently than they succeed. It’s as if we’ve done away with the black lines of the past in favor of a blank slate whose lines we draw in ourselves. The key
words for this new era are: fresh and fun. “Ring by spring” may have been a goal before but instead of settling down after college like our parents and grandparents before us, our generation is questioning the norms and shaking it up. Options are always a good thing. When ordering off of a menu, variety is key. After all, diversity keeps life interesting. In the case of relationships the same has become true. We live in a world where new terms and names for relationships pop up every other day. Boyfriends have been replaced by “unboyfriends” for when you’re away at school and it has suddenly become acceptable to have a “goodnight kiss” from more than one someone. Most college students aren’t looking for the everlasting love that they’ll tell the fruit of loins about; they’re looking for the quick fix. They’re looking for something with no strings attached. What’s more, we’re open to talking about it. Chatter of relationships and sex is by no means taboo anymore and the media has even embraced this new, open conversation. “Sex is something talked about much more today,” says Pat Lambert, senior Political Communications major. Our blogs, tweets and social media outlets have allowed us to speak up about everything and anything in terms of our love lives. We can read about awkward hookups or breakups through text on the blog “Texts from Last Night” or explore modern relationships on Thought Catalog. With this, our new views of relationships have become part of the rising norm. This new, “blank slate” is a powerful force, but when it marries with the concepts associated with the “dark ages” of relationships, things can get a little gray. Should the romantic notion of a perfect, “meant to be” relationship be thrown out of the window? Is the idea of singular love so 1989? “When we watch the royal wedding I think we still have aspirations for romanticism, though technology may complicate it, it does not destroy it,” says Lambert. Love notes turned into phone calls, which in turn became Facebook posts. Relationships are evolving with these technologies. With technologies like Facebook and smart phones, communication has become so simple and so smart. Long distance can feel a little closer with Skype, and “unboyfriends” back home can keep in close contact through late night. The playing field has become larger because our generation has access to connections with crushes all over the world. In previous decades single people were lucky if they could find love outside of their hometown or surrounding area. Does all of this technology help find the right mate or does it complicate the eternal search? “The plus is that you can find someone who is really perfect for you but the downside is if something doesn’t work its very easy, I think to say, ‘Screw this I’m going to find a better [choice]’,” comments Kraft. Options are always a good thing. Dates are basically set up for people in search of their perfect entree, hoping their choice will sustain, nourish and satisfy. Today, with our access to more personal connections through technology, it is easier to uncover what seem to be all of the best choices. This makes finding
the right one more satisfying and staying happy in a relationship harder knowing that someone could possibly quell your craving in a different way. “There’s too many choices right now, I think for some people… our society is becoming more open to open relationships now, like having this sole person that you are with and…if they need space and you need space you guys can just go to your “separate others”,” explains Chris Largent, a junior Design Technology major. This is new and unique to our generation. And it is through experience that we will be able to fill the role of pioneers in this frontier time. Experience is what gets us the best relationships in life. Perfection cannot be attained on the first try, and college students are finding that out every weekend. Relationships don’t
“When we watch the royal wedding i think we still have aspirations for romanticism, though technology may complicate it, it does not destroy it.” -Pat Lambert (poli comm ‘12) always work. Just start over and try again. This process leads to a better-rounded outlook on relationships and what is healthy for them. Healthy relationships come down to honesty and trust, not lines. Even though the belief in marriage may be declining, the concept behind, “for better and for worse” and the vows found within the ceremony of marriage are traits that are programmed into most, but the numbers are dwindling. Pairs and duos are famous throughout history and life is always better if there is someone to share it with. Maybe they won’t be called “husband” or “wife” but having an entourage of one next to you is something that is never going to go out of style. Our generation will never be like the generation before. People now have more choice and the freedom to get married or not. States are finally realizing that long-term relationships can have manifestations other than between a man and a woman. This is not true of the previous generations and the freedom to love whoever you want is a defining element to the Y generation. Our parents and grandparents may have dated one person or many people, but that does not mean that they didn’t want to explore and experience the same way our generation is currently participating in. Lines and colors aside, our generation is progressing forward. The first date can be found online and there don’t have to be strings or labels attached at the end of the night. We can experience a variety of different relationships and not feel cheap or like a player. Monogamy comes when we are ready for it, or it may not come at all, but we will never rid our culture of the romantic gestures and passionate kisses on a rainy doorstop. Gray isn’t a bad thing and our blurry lines and vision lets us have fun and experience life as it comes. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
The Case of the Ex (on Facebook) t e x t // A M A N D A C U O C O p h o t o // L A U R E N K R O L L
riday night. Home alone again in lieu of attending that lame frat party your friends are going to. With the help of Betty Crocker Single Serving Brownie Lava Cakes and the sweet songs of Adele, you’ll be fine. Nothing wrong with a little “me-time.” The only problem is that we’re never really alone, and you might as well go on Facebook to kill some time. Just when you cozy up, you spot your ex’s name in annoying blue letters next to a big pink heart. “In a relationship,” it says. It’s not that the two of you ended on bad terms exactly, it’s just that you were hoping they might drown sooner than ditch the “single” status that was
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hanging out at the bottom of their page. Why are you still Facebook friends? Well, why not? Friends are friends regardless of the situation. Still, you can’t help thinking it would make a statement to defriend them, since no one would really notice except them, right? But who are you kidding, they’ve found another and you’re old news. You’d just be making a statement without an audience if you did that- a very lame statement about your loneliness. Then again mutual friends might notice, and this opens the door for potentially unwanted comments. Rather than be pegged as immature, you might as well avoid it all together. They’ll know you only defriended your ex out of jealousy. …But they’re looking pretty good in
that beach picture, and that last status was really funny and clever. Aaand your birthday is in a few weeks so maybe you’ll just see if they write something on your wall. Defriend? Another time. So why is the decision to hold on to your digital friendship so hard? Maybe because you’re setting yourself up for a hefty letdown. It’ll start with a peek at the new significant other, and like Pandora’s box you’ve spiraled into an uncontrollable stalk-fest that will leave you wondering why you hadn’t made the trek to that frat in the first place. And then comes the denial. So many people are faking Facebook relationships these days. And even though the picture next to that annoying Facebook
heart is adorable and they seem like love-birds, you’ll remain firm that it’s a joke. They’re probably some drunken hookup that spilled and made a sticky mess on your Facebook table. Next comes anger. You guys were friends. They should have told you about this newbie. While they aren’t exactly required to text you saying, “Hey, I’ve found someone new. I’ve moved on from you 100% and I am going to date them,” they should be. You would have benefitted from a warning. Or at the very least they could have had the decency to defriend you before weaseling into a new relationship. What a jerk! And to think, you almost bought them a puppy last Christmas. Then you’ll move on to bargaining. Just ONE peek at the new sweetheart’s profile pics won’t be a big deal. And all of the pictures they’re tagged in. And the photo albums those pictures are in to find pics they untagged themselves from. The ugliest photos are the most realistic, right? Oh yeah, you’re much more attractive. This relationship won’t last after a catch like you has come and gone. Might as well prepare for the texts begging to get you back. And without any notice, the depression will set in. Turns out your ex not only has no interest in taking you back, but they’re certainly not begging on their knees for a reunion. Maybe you aren’t more attractive or the all-aroundbetter-person you thought you were. They met at a concert? You two met at a concert. Soon the tears start flowing. They’re dating some model (even the ugly pictures were amazing!) who’s nicer and better at sex than you. How many tears can your Snuggie soak up? Enough for one lonely person. Snuggies can’t be shared for a reason. After all the pain and sadness, you’ll eventually move on to acceptance. It’s the mature thing to do after all. It’s time to face the fact that you’re no longer together. Maybe now you’ll talk to that cutie in class or do something nice for yourself. It may seem inappropriate to know the ins and outs of your ex’s new relationship (which will surely be posted on Facebook for all eyes to see). But you’re not a child and you can handle it. Hide them from your newsfeed and stand clear of friending their beau. Whatever you do, don’t change your relationship status unless you have the bite to back up the bark. You’ll surely be called out. It’s best not to catch yourself making silly choices based on a dead relationship.
Best Friends of the Attracted Sex t e x t / / K E L LY PAY T O N
t Emerson, there is every possible type of platonic relationship involving all combinations of genders and sexual orientations. That being said, it’s common for best friends to be members of the attracted sex. These friendships can get a little tricky when one of the friends enters a new romantic partnership. As a new significant other entering this equation, it’s hard to deal with the possibility of attraction, especially when they’re spending as much time with their BFF as they are with you. Rom-com fantasies are a more regular thing when your beau is constantly with someone they might have more feelings for than they’ve let on. And so we find ourselves feeling threatened and insecure. Anxiety is a practical response to the subject of your new beau and their best friend of the attracted sex. Why wouldn’t you feel concern when your partner spends copious amounts of time with someone it’s not hard imaging them making sweet music with? Looks and personality are definitely a factor that may begin to suffocate you as their beauty and brains can seemingly overshadow yours—even if only in your neurotic eyes. “I would be threatened by both,” says Maria Warith, a sophomore Journalism major whose ex boyfriend had a female best friend. “Well, actually, I would be threatened by anything, honestly.” More insecurity can stem from the amount of time they spend together when you’re not around. One of the mistakes you might make as a new significant other is assuming that your new partner is going to completely devote their time to you, and forget their best friends. This is an everyday factor for every relationship, but when this friend is someone they could potentially hook-up—or even fall in love with, it’s easier to find yourself wanting to control their time. And no one wants to be that lover. So during this time, you can’t be full speed on the jealousy train. Ben Parinello, a junior Visual Media Arts major, says, “You don’t hook up with your friends, so what’s the problem? What’s there to be jealous about?” And he’s right, there’s a reason that your partner is dating you and not their BFF.
This isn’t to say that you should be oblivious to the best friend, though. While you shouldn’t go reading the texts they send each other, definitely keep an open eye for the rare case that their best-friendship could potentially grow into something more. A factor that could change your fairytale relationship into My Best Friend’s Wedding is the relationship status of this friend. If they are in a relationship themselves, you shouldn’t have much to worry about. But what if they’re single? Being single can increase their vulnerability and heighten your own sense of insecurity. Erica Irigoyen, a sophomore Communications major, thinks it’d be easier to date someone whose best friend was in a relationship, rather than single. “Then she’s kind of vulnerable and she’s going to go to her guy best friend for advice.” It’s not hard to imagine the lines of friendship being crossed when the best friend suddenly becomes lonely, going to your boyfriend for comfort. According to Irigoyen, you should also look out for new best friends. “If you’re going out and all of a sudden he has a new girl best friend, it’s not okay because there could be something that could shape from that.” Friendship is all to commonly the first step to relationships. This is a neurosis you’re allowed. So when you find yourself in these situations where the lines could potentially be crossed, honesty should become law. Keep an honest relationship with your significant other and talk to them if you’re getting a weird vibe. Trust is important in every relationship, but possibly more so here. When you enter a new relationship in which your flame is best friends with someone of your own gender, you need to make sure honesty is never betrayed. With honesty you eliminate the potential risk of mental breakdowns and lover’s quarrels. Honesty is a sure way to prevent relationship-related freak-outs and will keep everything cool with your partner and their bestie. Althea Luhm, a sophomore Communication Studies major, believes that honesty is key in a successful relationship: “as long as [my ex boyfriend and I] were honest with each other about other parts of our lives then I didn’t feel like there was any reason for him not to be friends with [his best friend].” And honesty, of course, goes handin-hand with trust, another crucial part of a healthy and happy relationship. “I go into any relationship with this attitude: unless the other person gives you a reason to believe something different, you have to trust them,” Luhm explains. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
the divorced generation T
oday, every other marriage ends in divorce, a thought that would make any hopeless romantic question their wedding dress sketches and crinkled MASH games. Generation Y wasn’t only the first to grow up with the Internet and the iPod, they were also the first to experience the Baby Boomers’ obnoxiously high divorce rate. For every child with divorced parents, this means something different. Whether their parents have been divorced for as long as they can remember, separated when they were in grade school, or are making the split now, the Divorced Generation’s views on marriage has clearly been influenced by their parents’ decisions. With 90% of this generation claiming to be “very close” to their parents and a divorce rate climbing the charts with just as much gusto, Gen Y has undoubtedly become the products of our parents’ problems.
Who is the Divorced Generation?
hen remembering how to tie her shoes and coloring inside the lines should have been Karinna Trepanotto’s only concerns, she went home to the confusion of fighting parents. “I didn’t really understand what was going on,” says the sophomore TV Production major, regarding her parent’s divorce. They called it quits when she was only seven years old, an age of the utmost impressionability. The effects of this were too scarring for any amount of Maderma For Kids, but that’s not keeping Trepanotto from conquering the playground. On the topic of marriage, she wants to prove, “I did it even though you couldn’t.” For Trepanotto, diamonds are forever, no matter how much kicking and screaming her parents did.
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text // SIENNA MINTZ
When sophomore BFA Acting major Nash Hightower’s parents dropped the news that he wouldn’t be coming home to a very merry Christmas this year, his entire take on marriage was shattered. Having spent the past two decades in a household where his parents were more than happily married only to find this reality vanish would be extremely frightening for any college student. Hightower reflects, “The hard part about being older and having it happen is that you can really notice the pain that they’re going through and you get to experience it with them.” With a keen understanding of the dirty details of his parents divorce, his views on marriage have shifted toward a “what’s the point?” mindset. “You see these two people that you love so very, very much and they’ve been together for what? 30 years now? And then in three months it all collapsed. So it’s like, what does marriage really mean? And how much does it really apply?” As far as the split affecting his own views on marriage, Hightower explains, “It seems like marriage is just another relationship that is just the next step [before] divorce.” Disheartened at best, those in Nash’s position are forced to redefine their own views solely because of their parents’ choices.
The Married Life
t the end of the day, some believe that the expectation of a happy marriage will still permeate society. Regardless of his parents’ perilous past, sophomore Film major Alex Clarke still feels “you see [marriage] in movies and on TV and eventually wait for the day you get to walk the aisle.” With a similar optimism, Trepanotto states that we’ll “counter the generation that precedes us [and] actually do the opposite and hold stronger bonds than our preceding generation did.” The courthouses, churches, temples, and hotel ballrooms don’t have anything to worry about according to these members of the Divorced Generation. The consensus of this side of the argument is that we’ll be more careful
than our parents in making such a big decision. Ariel Foss, sophomore Marketing Major, says, “I would never rush into a marriage because I would never want to deal with my own divorce.” Clarke agrees, “I would just be more careful and really make sure that I love someone before settling down.” But for every hip-hip-hooray, there’s a rotten tomato being hurled at the altar. If this were the topic for a high school debate, the anti-marriage team could offer a hefty rebuttal. Their nuptial indifference could be linked to a negative association with contracts or a fear of being burdened down by financial and legal agreements when infidelity and lost sparks are (unfortunately) not so far out in left field. Having gone through not one, but two divorces in her family, sophomore Marketing major Rose Chirillo says, “I feel like I’m just being realistic,” in regards to her apathetic take on matrimony. Hightower adds, “Marriage in general is not as important as it was before.” Those in this category see their generation as a transitional one, where marriage is no longer the determining factor for social acceptance and self-satisfaction.
The Single Life
hether you’ve got your heart set on a fairytale ending or see yourself riding solo for good, being single no longer holds the same connotations it used to. Members of the Emerson community have determined that those who will get married will simply take their time doing it, while the other side prefers the idea of a life free of contracts. Regardless, everyone will still be single for a good chunk of their lives. Back when our parents were going steady, the sooner you got married the better. But with a generation that prides itself on individuality and independence, there’s nothing to fear. Chirillo, who plans on checking the “single” box on her W2s year after year, comments, “you need that [marriage certificate] of reassurance to validate your relationship, which I don’t think is necessary.” Those on the
same page understand that confidence overrides documents and would rather spend their paychecks at William Sonoma than on a pricey divorce lawyer. Without a registry, that stuff has to come from somewhere!
A Divorced Generation
he Divorced Generation has shaken the boundaries of what’s expected. Without the Brady Bunch as their classic mold, this batch has had to redefine the ways they perceive families and, therefore, marriage. As a whole, one’s parents’ divorces might not determine this generation’s response when a significant other gets down on one knee,
“You see these two people that you love so very, very much and they’ve been together for what? 30 years now? And then in three months it all collapsed. So what does marriage really mean? And how much does it really apply?” -Nash Hightower (acting ‘14) it just might change how quickly they say yes. However, it’s impossible to generalize in this situation. Some have experienced such traumatic divorces that their take on marriage is completely demolished. Those in this situation cannot imagine going through the same situation their parents did because they would never want to experience divorce for themselves. Unlike the Baby Boomers and the GI Generation, the Divorced Generation cannot be clumped into one group. While many anxiously anticipate booking their honeymoon suite, still others would rather travel the world without the extra baggage. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
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here’s a rumor
around that, in order to be successful, you have to be somewhat selfish. I think Ayn Rand started it. The idea is, if you want to gain notoriety, you have to subscribe to the notion of being intensely independent. In order to create something brilliant, you’re going to have to make certain personal sacrifices that will eventually lead to your t friend telling you to “lawyer up, asshole.”
I was raised to believe there is a great deal of truth in this rumor. It wasn’t until I came to Emerson that I began questioning it. The profiles in the following pages feature three groups of twenty-somethings who are able to reach their creative zenith only by working together. They don’t work ‘for’ each other; they work ‘off’ and ‘with’ one another. Typically, em magazine profiles are written in a very standard format by one of the Features writers. More often than not, this leads to a series of wooden or glib quotes from someone who is totally aware they are having a conversation with a journalist. By talking to one another, the true voice of the subject comes out. The following three conversations capture the anxiety we all fear (especially at a school like Emerson) regarding our ability to succeed. More importantly, they capture the pleasure we feel when we find people who, thorough collaboration, are able to shrink that anxiety.
text // MICHELLE KING
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
at this point in my life roger, quinn & ben text // JOHN FRANCISCONI photo // BENJAMIN ASKINAS
uinn Marcus, Benjamin Kabialis, and Roger Oullette drew inspiration from a “weird, hard summer” for their new series, “At This Point in My Life.“ They are open about the show’s roots in reality. You might assume that the collective drive to write and produce a show based almost entirely on themselves, and their experiences, was driven by vanity. While on set for the production of episode two, however, the decision to draw from autobiography seemed, to me, motivated by the desire to make the series as authentic as possible. By creating a show that dissolves the space between writer and performer, Quinn, Ben, and Roger were able to create a strange and special working environment, wherein they only barely had to “enter character.” This is a huge part of the show’s appeal. They each take on the responsibilities of director, and so retain an unusually large amount of control over the show’s aesthetic. Giving direction for a scene featuring Quinn and Roger, Ben advised the co-creators to “discover what they’re doing as they’re doing it.” This direction was followed by suggestions for how to “fuel the next joke,” while not “wasting any comedic opportunities.” I moderated a discussion they had at Bravo Pizzeria in Allston, where the three friends spent the great majority of their summer nights. They spoke about the challenges of making a show from scratch, the benefits of improvisation, and the real-life friendship that made the show possible.
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Q: A lot of the show was based on what happened to us this summer. We didn’t want to give the show away. We have a crew of about fifty people, which is still shocking to me. B: At first we were really paranoid about it. We were opposed to adding anyone new. R: Our executive producers [Sam Gold and Marlowe Lyddon] were great about understanding where we were coming from. B: It’s a very Allston idea. But we’re shooting in the South End. R: We’re shooting there and using certain places because we have a certain budget, but at its core, you can still understand it as a story about a shitty existence in Allston. B: When we came up with a concept it was important for us to be like, “Okay these characters have three weeks before they have to figure out their entire lives. But we realized the show’s not about
that. They learn how to figure out their lives, and forget about it immediately, and I think that’s a very Allston thing, to be like, “I really have very important things to do today.” Then you just go back to bed. Q: We also knew we needed to have the characters have something important to do. Something that would affect their personal life or their career, and then to have them just not do it. To have them wait, and wait, and wait until as long as you can, and maybe think about doing it next time. B: Inadvertantly, the sub-plot about graduation came out of me being a little bit older, and seeing it [pause] There’s a block of time, where it’s like, “What happens?” You get your diploma, then you get in the car, and drive home, and there it sits on your kitchen table, and you’re done. You’re going to go to bed and wake up and the diploma’s still going to be
there, and it’s not going to tell you what to do. Q: Though that would be a cool feature. B: At the start of the summer, I’d just come back from a silent meditation week. It was so strange because I was extremely calm and sensitive, and I came in and they’re asking me about it. And I’m like, [sarcastically] “Yeah, it was fine, I cried every time I saw a bird.” They wondered if I would come back funny. Each of us had bizarro personal stuff this summer. Q: Very weird, hard summer for all of us. It gave us stuff to write about it. R: It gave us this show. It’s not, “Look at the crazy times we had.” When we think about where these plot points came from, it’s just pure awkwardness, anger, completely upset, mad. Q: Funny, but tender. We talked a lot about the tone.
Q: We sat him down, and told him he’s not funny. B: [laughs] But seriously, I hope the three of us work again in the future. We’ve always been conscious that our creative synergy is out of this world. This is the best working relationship I’ve ever had. R: But we don’t think about the immediate future. Q: We’re trying to figure out shooting episode three right now. R: Once it’s over, we’ll have time to reflect on it. Looking at it logistically, in the real world, come May, I’m gone and you’re both still here and there’s a few more years and who knows where we’ll end up, but I don’t worry about it because I feel like we’ll still be in contact. B: I have no idea what I want to do professionally, so I kind of just stab in the dark, because you can do that at Emerson, and this was just a lucky stab. Q: I hope the show is funny, but it’s a lot more than that. I used to write thinking, “Funny, funny, funny,” [to Ben] You’ve taught me a lot about, like, feelings. You don’t call yourself a comedian, but you’re very funny. And where does it come from? If the three of us do work together, again, in a few years, that will be our opportunity to use what we learned. This is us learning. B: I have worked this whole time with the idea that this is practice for something else, that this is us learning to make something else.
B: I don’t think we had any problems interior to our friendship. [to Roger] You and I have different perspectives about improv. R: Well, I am not averse to writing scripts, because I’m a writing for film and television major, that’s basically what I’m going into, but this just seemed to be a situation where. we were going for something that was more slice of life. I feel like a lineby-line togetherness would have not functioned well. Q: Each take is a little more written than the last. R: You’re just a little more into the improv. B: Yeah, I don’t have an opposition to a script. I’d like to be a script writer. But I come from a performance background, what I’ve done the most is performance and theater, film. I’m really into performance; I think it’s the big thing that really reads for an audience. This is the happiest I’ve been so far with the combination of improvisation and pre-planned script.
R: One thing I’m starting to realize: I’ve spent the last two years behind the camera, doing television writing, directing shows for the Emerson Channel, and I’ve always had this notion of… we’re making all the decisions, setting up the camera angles, doing it from top-to-bottom, and the actors just go in there and act, it’s like a kush job for them, and I’m exhausted at the end of the day. Stepping in front of the camera now, it’s just as exhausting, maybe even more exhausting, to be in that zone of creativity. B: It’s exhausting. That’s why I like having actors in power positions. I don’t think our performances are better because we’re directing, or that the story is better because we’ve written it, I think it’s inversely true as well. Q: Improvising for hours, the focus it takes, is exhausting. Hours of improvising, you’re mind is going that whole time, thinking, “What am I gonna say next?,” and also, “What is the story I’m telling?” and
we have to keep it going in a story form. Over the summer, we wrote the ideas, and I think we thought, “Well, there’s an episode.” But the first line of the first scene ended up being “We talk about something.” Period. Another scene was: Ben walks in carrying bags. Quinn and Roger ask ‘What’s all that the stuff? B: Ben walks in carrying a lot of stuff. ‘What’s with all that stuff, Ben?’ Q: There’s a lot of writing that goes into the improvised show. We always have to know what the character wants from each scene. B: It’s just a different form of writing. I think it’s a ton of fun.
R: If it’s not certain people’s style, they can’t get into it, that’s fine, but people can at least respect that the stories are genuine. Q: Roger, if there is one thing you could accomplish between the ages of 53 and 63, what is it? R: Oh jeez. What year would that be? Q: I don’t know, what are you, thirtyfive now? R: I would mainly be cool with staying on the earth, in the sense of staying alive. B: For those ten years. R: Yes. And why don’t I write a memoir? B: I could picture you on the cover, in front of your sailboat. Q: I don’t know how interesting your memoir would be if the first thing you thought of was just to stay alive.
Q: Great things come out of writing on your feet.
R: Here’s how I stayed alive.
B: I don’t consider myself a comedian. They’ve always known this. I sat them down and told them-
B: Chapter 5: Fight or Nap.
Q: Staying Alive. Q: Answer: nap. R: It’d be more of an instructional guide to living. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
the design team dana olinsky & vivian del bello
Olinsky and Vivian Del Bello fall into a fit of giggles when asked what their personal aesthetics are. Olinsky looks at Del Bello, questioning, “That’s what I like, right?” Another fit of giggles. The pair of junior BFA Design Technology majors with emphasis in costumes have been pretty much inseparable since landing in the same orientation group freshman year. ana
They worked late nights on crew, were co-designers at the EVVYs and are now roommates. For Olinsky and Del Bello, all those hours together don’t cause cat-fights and bitch-fests, they’ve grown closer together. The lack of costume designers on campus makes the two a highly sought after duo for film projects, smaller theater groups, and even their friends needing some favors. They oblige them all, and still make time to work on some personal projects.
text // KIMYA KAVEHKAR photo // MORGAN COTTLE
Their personal aesthetics are different, but complimentary. While Del Bello strongly favors the style of the ‘40s and the ‘60s, Olinsky is a little bit edgier. “You’re like vintage, but sweet,” says Olinsky. “Well not really sweet, but demure. I feel like I’m a little bit more edgy. People always joke that you’re the Blair and I’m Serena style-wise.” Although friendlier than the “Gossip Girl” duo, they still have that undeniable chemistry.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
Are you guys close with the other costume designers? Viv: We have class together, we work together, we do the same shows together and we all work in the costume shop as our job. We all do that, we all work on shows together we all have the same classes, so it’s hard not to be friends. Dana: Yeah we’re close. It’s funny because it’s sort of obvious that the two of us are besties.
Individually how did you both get into costume design? Viv:Well, a long time ago I thought I was going to be an actress, but that was not a good idea. I did theater when I was a kid and I was like “I’m going to be famous,” but then I realized I can’t be an actress. I’m not good at this and then I had always done art and sewing and stuff like that so it was kind of a natural switch. And I always like art and stuff like that.
What is your friendship based on besides just the costume design aspect? Viv: I feel like it’s from, honestly, shopping together and things like that. Dana: I feel like Viv is a friend that I 62
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can literally say anything to and she won’t judge me. Because we have so much in common we always know what the other person’s talking about because obviously we both have a lot of friends that aren’t costume designers, but I’ll be like “Oh my God, this,” and you’ll know exactly what I’m saying if it’s costume stuff.
What are some of the projects you guys have worked on together? Viv: First was “Paint.” We were always co-assistants. Viv: Yeah, they always get us mixed up. We’re like “Are you kidding me?” Dana: Yeah we don’t look alike at all. Because it was just like “Oh, those two freshmen…” Viv: And we had the same work schedule, so we’d be there at the same time. I don’t know the number of times I’ve been called Dana. So we always we got paired together because they were like “Put them together!” So we were on the show Paint, which was the NewFest show and then we did EVVYs 29. We signed up to be assistants and they were like “We don’t have designers, so you guys can do it.”
Dana: That was our first big project together. We were just freshmen and we were thrown into it, like go, go, go. We had fun though. I think we learned a lot from that. Viv: And then “Nine.” Dana: We was like the big fall Em Stage musical last year. That was a really interesting experience we were co-assistants to a girl who was designer. I think it was hard because we were both so on the same wavelength and I feel like she…I don’t know. Viv: There were points where she would try to split us up. We would both go shopping together and she would be like “No, you’re not allowed to go together.” Dana: She was treating us like we were 10 years old. Whatever. It was weird. It’s weird because we do work better together. Viv: I always second guess myself. I always think “No, this isn’t going to work,” but if someone’s there and says “Yeah, that’s good.” I trust that better than just myself. Dana: I think that’s a huge thing for us, we really trust each other. We live together and I’m always like “Okay, does this outfit look weird?” and you’re like “Yes.” And that’s
good. (Viv laughs) I feel like everyone needs someone like that in their life.
Who are some designers that inspire you guys? Dana: I really like Patricia Field, she did “Sex and the City” and a bunch of other films. She does a lot of films and stuff and I want to do film and TV also. She has a quirky style and she’s famous because of her style even though “Sex and the City” is a huge clothing show it’s not what you would expect and I like that about her. I think she does her own thing, which is cool. Viv: The designer of “Mad Men” I love, I’m obsessed with her, but other than that, I grew up watching old movies. I love anything that Edith Head did, that’s really obvious but…Audrey Hepburn and all of that, I love.
Do you guys ever clash? Dana: I mean, we don’t fight. If she says something to piss me off, I’m like “Okay, whatever.” For us, we know each other so well, it’s not even worth it. That’s stupid, I hate that! I feel like I have good friends that fight all the time, but it’s not worth it. But we don’t really conflict ever, though.
What do you guys admire about each other’s style and work ethic?
competition between us, but I we’ve never taken it to an extreme. We sort of joke about it.
Viv: I think Dana has a lot of confidence. (both laugh) No, I’m being serious!
Viv: Because we always got paired together.
Dana: No, I know. That’s nice. Viv: Say spatial relations. (both laugh) Dana: Okay, this is like a joke. This is stupid. I was doing layout for something. Viv: She was cutting paper. Dana: I was cutting things out and I had to put them on a board or something and I was like “I don’t know what I’m doing.” And she was sitting there and I was like “You have to help me, you have good spatial relations!” Which means she knows how to put things in space, which I guess is a compliment. I think Viv is good at seeing the bigger picture and being able to put things together, design-wise, that makes sense together and is cohesive.
Dana: And we’re always up for the same things in the same grade, and we’re also up to other people too, so it’s not as weird. It’s never really been a problem.
Do you guys have any working ethics that differ? Dana: I think we split the work really evenly, usually. Viv: I feel like we just do everything together, like during EVVYs and stuff we weren’t like “You do this and I’ll do this.” Dana: We do sometimes though, because sometimes it’s easier to delegate. But it’s the same thing, it’s like “I’m gonna go shopping, you’re gonna go pull.” Viv: Well we’re working on that now. We’re splitting things up for Kevin Bright and the EVVYs.
So what about you personalities makes you work well together?
Dana: True, we have different roles which is cool.
Dana: Yeah, I think people that work together a lot can be really competitive, and obviously there’s a little
Viv: For the past two EVVYs we’ve been co-costume designers and we’re switching it now.
Dana: It’s hard when you’re Co-s because it’s just hard to have two people doing one thing. We both have to agree and even though we normally do, it’s hard to run it by two people at least logistically for everyone else. Because everyone else would have to run it by both of us, so it’s hard.
What projects are you working on right now? Dana: For Kevin Bright, she’s the designer and I’m the wardrobe supervisor. Viv: We’re not in the class, but they need people to do costumes so they ask us. Dana: I’m designing for Em Stage right now and so I can’t design (for Kevin Bright) so I’m only doing wardrobe supervisor which means I come in that week… Viv: I designing. I’m shopping, doing tear sheets, designing costume plates, and all of that. Dana: And I’ll come in the week of and help expedite. I’m the one who’s like “Make sure everyone’s wearing the right thing, make sure everything’s there.” Because she will be there obviously, but she shouldn’t be worried. She should be worried how everything looks together and the wardrobe supervisor’s just making
sure they have all the pieces, more like organization.
Do you guys think there’s a potential for professional partnership when you leave Emerson? Viv: We’ve joked about it, like we’re going to open a store, but that’s a joke. Dana: I see us being friends for a while… Viv: For a while?! Dana: I don’t know…we’re friends forever! I do think it’s going to be beneficial for us wherever we end up, like if we end up in the same city then we have a colleague, and if I need help with something I’ll call you. I don’t think we’re ever going to open a business as co-designers. Viv: In costume design you just don’t open a business together. Dana: It’s not like lawyers who can just open a practice together, it’s not like that. You do it on your own. But if I’m working on a project and I need help, obviously I’m going to call her. It’s who you know, it’s like any entertainment form, if you need help and you know someone else who does that, you’ll call them. I think we both want to live in LA. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
primacy effect: samira, lorena, & tyler
assion Pit is not the only musical act to have been born in an Emerson dorm room. This past year, Piano Row 610 was home to a new up-and-coming act: Primacy Effect. Samira Winter, a junior Broadcast Journalism major from Curitiba, Brazil, provides vocals and plays bass. Lorena Alvarado, a junior Media Studies major from Caracas, Venezuela, played keyboards and lead guitar. Meanwhile, Tyler Taormina, a junior Writing for Film & TV major from Long Island, New York, sings vocals and plays drums.
S: Describe our sound.
Stemming from far countries, all three found a home at Emerson College and, ultimately, each other. Winter and Alvarado met on their first day at Emerson during international student orientation, became friends, and attended an open mic night on campus later that semester. A male keyboardist enamored both that night, and was later introduced as Taormina by a mutual friend. The three made plans to begin hanging out and casually jam, and by the end of their freshman year the plans for a solid band were set.
L: How do we benefit from being so close and working together?
The band name is a psychological term that refers to one’s tendency to remember events that occurred first and block out the later memories. Taormina proposed the name because he feels a strong connection between the concept and the band’s common theme of nostalgia. 64
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L:It’s a mixture of alternative, shoe-gaze, indie, dream, pop. It’s really hard to pinpoint one thing because we all have different styles and different tastes and we try to integrate all of those things. T: That classic style of shoe-gaze is what pumps us up. Our first EP is a lot of different sounds while we were still trying to figure [our style] out, but our second one and everything we have written recently has a ‘90s feel.
L: It’s interesting to look back and see how our friendship grew with Primacy Effect. As a band, as we started writing more songs, we got to know each other more. It’s not the kind of band where we have Friday night practice; we just wanted to hang out and we would practice within that. T: Our band is zero percent business. Other bands might replace someone to play a certain show and to me that is unfathomable for us. We’re in it because we are best friends and it’s a great bond that furthers our friendship. We all love to do this and it wouldn’t be Primacy Effect without any of us and at this point I would never even want to add
anyone else. This is it. It’s our own very specific bond here at Emerson. S: What are the difficulties of being so close and working together? L: If one us gets sick, we all get sick. T: Sometimes when we are all together, we would rather hang out than practice- so that slows us down. Even the night before a show, we might be together and wonder if we should practice but decide to just hang out instead. Then we play the show and regret not practicing. L: What do we admire about each other’s styles and methods? S: What I love about Lorena is how she is able to incorporate her classical influences in her piano playing. I like how melodic her guitar compositions are, she can pick up a simple melody and go with it. I know a lot of guitarists who try to fill every space and do too much but she picks up something simple, approaching the guitar like she would the piano. As for Tyler, he’s really influenced my song-writing. I’ve never met someone who writes songs the way that he does; it’s so true and honest. He doesn’t care about conventions and he challenges
text // JEEYOON KIM photos provided by PRIMACY EFFECT
me to write and try new things. He makes me question what song writing should be. T: Samira’s smile on stage is the key. My friends from back home who have seen us play said that they just loved watching us because we seem so happy to be doing it. She brings such brightness to the group with her voice, it sounds like we are having fun. For Lorena, more than bringing her classical background to the table, she is able to break away from it. The first songs that we wrote were very much about her playing these beautiful melodies and we would add over it. Then she started to write these awesome guitar riffs that I would never have expected to come from her. She is able to experiment so much and she has been the drive to so many of these songs. L: Tyler manages to see something small and abstract and push it to become something amazing. Samira and I could be playing around with something, unsure of what can come from it and he will walk in and hear something in it. He drives it and then we see the big picture. He has an ability to foresee the song and always find something great; he has such a great vision. Our songs always need the push from Tyler to put it all together. We can always rely on Samira to consolidate everything, every time we hear the vocals we get extra excited about the song. We can completely depend on her to make us move forward; it’s the next step to finishing things. It’s easy to leave things unfinished but she helps us close everything.
S: What is our creative process like? S: Songs are always born in a practice; it’s a very open and collaborative process. There’s never one person who takes ownership of the song, we all work together and it’s really nice to work with people who are accepting and will let you be creative. T: The newest song that we wrote, Samira and I wrote it together for the first time. It’s very cool because now I can interpret the lyrics because I helped write them. Your input compared to mine makes new meanings next to each other. S: What is our favorite memory together? L: This summer we each visited our hometowns and we played a show at my dad’s bookstore. It was really personal, my friends and family came; there wasn’t a single person there that I didn’t know. We turned off all of the lights and put up Christmas lights between bookshelves. My aunt made drinks for everyone and it was such a relaxed and familiar environment. Normally when you play a show there are people who have seen you before or they are there to see someone else, they can be distracted. In that moment, everyone was focused and everyone was there for us. We finished and everyone was so happy and it was incredibly loving. T: The feelings I associate with these moments are the best thing for me. Whenever we have a new song in the works, the excitement and anxiousness that we share is indescribable. One specific time that I look back on is when we were re-
cording a song called “Hailey House”, we were so pumped and so into it that there was a fire drill and we kept playing through it. Those moments where you can share such an amazing feeling with your best friends and the best music because you created it yourselves, there’s no beating it.
“Our band is zero percent business. Other bands might replace someone to play a certain show and to me that is unfathomable for us. We’re in it because we are best friends and it’s a great bond that furthers our friendship. We all love to do this and it wouldn’t be Primacy Effect without any of us...This is it.” -TYLER TAORMINA (writing for film & tv 13) T: What is our goal with Primacy Effect? S: Honestly I just want to keep making music that I love and am proud of. T: There are two goals for me: first, to record a fulllength LP and also milking this out as much as we can. Being a band, being best friends in Boston. L: We’ve all come from different places and different backgrounds and this is the moment right now. We’re living in the same place and we have the same lifestyle of practicing and making music. If we make an LP that we are proud of and we love I would be so happy and satisfied to have that documentation of the moments we are living now together. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
political pair nancy kwon & josh sackheim text // JACKIE TEMPERA photo // LAUREN KROLL 66
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ate nights of heated discussion debating legislation after meetings has been something of a tradition for junior Political Communications major, Nancy Kwan and junior Broadcast Journalism major, Josh Sackheim. In their freshman year, both focused on becoming involved in on campus organizations, they plunged into the Student Government Association and WECB. The two self-proclaimed high school geeks struck up a mutual bond over a love of politics. Although the two felt no romantic connection at that point, as time passed, their relationship blossomed. Both agreed they enjoyed spending time together and their
vast mutual interests brought them closer. After a busy few semesters, the duo stopped serving on the SGA together, but their connection did not fizzle. Now dating 10 months, Nancy and Josh remain quirky and offbeat as a couple. Their unique personalities seem to strike a balance in an eccentric way. When speaking to the two the chemistry is evident, in a refreshingly subtle way. While Josh bombastically speaks and gestures Nancy sits nodding inputting her dose of logic and levelheadedness when necessary. Yet, while conversing the contagious laughter between the two reveals a side of Nancy that mirrors Joshâ€™s outgoingness.
Nancy: We met as freshmen, we were friends. I think we became friends at the end of the semester? Josh: Yes. It was in the first semester freshmen year because at the time you were running for student government as a class senator. And at the time I was co-hosting a radio show on WECB and I invited you on [the show] to interview you about your campaign and you won. And then I think a few weeks into the second semester the journalism senator spot opened up and you came to me an said, you should run for journalism senator,and I did.
Nancy: And then we started spending a lot of time together. We would sit next to each other at the SGA meetings.
Josh: And have little post mortems after all the meetings.
Nancy: That was like a really busy year! A lot was happening.
Josh: We would talk about policy.
to start a new one. And it was right before you left for the castle.
Nancy: Yes, it was two days before the end of the semester break. We decided to be in a relationship. Then I went to the castle and we were apart for about four months. Josh: But it worked and we communicated weekly if not more than once a week and it was really cool because even though I was in Boston and you were-
Nancy: -Everywhere. Josh: Yes, you were everywhere in Europe, we were not only communicating but we were backing each other up and being a resource for each other. And we were there to comfort each other when things got difficult or just to talk. I would share whatever issues I was having with you and you would help me out and vice versa. And then she came back. Nancy: Yes I did. Nancy: But then he lives in LA and
Nancy: Yup, we drafted some legislation together.
I live in a little town called Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
Josh: We did.
Josh: She’s a little bit country and
Nancy: A lot of bonding. Josh: Yes, a lot of late nights drafting legislation together. Nancy: That never got passed because we were freshmen.
Josh: It was the thought that counted.
I’m a little bit rock and roll. But I tend to spend a lot of time here. I spent pretty much the entire summer here.
Nancy: It would’ve been difficult if he’d gone home from the summer. I’ve never even been to the West Coast. Josh: But we’re going to finally get
her to go, spring break.
Josh: But, through that we became friends, I’m thinking.
Nancy: He’s met my family, like everyone unfortunately.
Nancy: Well at that time too we weren’t really thinking of each other in a romantic way.
Josh: So she’s going to meet everyone for me.
Josh: Right, because you had just gotten out of a relationship and I was in a relationship so I don’t think either of us were really looking at each other that way.
Nancy: We just enjoyed spending time together.
Josh: Yeah, we enjoyed each other’s company. Nancy: We became really good friends.
Josh: We started dating. Nancy: Last December. So we had been friends for a while. Josh: Right, so by the time we realized that we really, really liked each other’s company, I was out of a relationship and you were ready
Nancy: This was freshman year. So we kind of knew each other through that a little bit. We’d talk about it sometimes. Josh: Do you remember it was both our first semester there and we both went to this award thing together? We weren’t super good friends with anybody else on the staff. And you won best new member of the music staff and I won best new member of the news staff. Nancy: So that was something to bond over our achievements. Josh: We would get together after every meeting; we would discuss how that day’s session went, about the legislation and predict things-how we wanted to vote, how we thought other people would vote. It was very political.
Nancy: We didn’t even make a conscience decision to do that we just would gravitate toward each other. Josh: It was natural because we both liked spending time with each other. Nancy: And it was kind of an excuse to. Josh: Also, because we really liked what we were doing. And the nice thing about that is I feel like when you’re in something like Student Government, it is so easy to get intimidated and not voice your opinion.
Nancy: Absolutely, I’m really interested in Health Care and it is something that is a new area of interest for me; and kind of a long the same thing, except I’m not bound to one specific place. It doesn’t have to be D.C., I’d just love to be there in work in the Department of Health and Human Services or something. Josh: But she already said she’d bite the bullet and go to Arkansas. Nancy: I mean if we had to for a couple of Christmases.
“I think it is good because it
Nancy: Especially if you are a freshman.
Josh: But because we would work together and had very similar mind sets, it kind of embolded us to discuss things at SGA that maybe a freshman wouldn’t be so comfortable doing now.
Josh: Now when she is primarily doing CPLA and I’m doing news stuff, we still find ourselves coming together and talking about-
allows for us to be asupport system for each other, that we have this one major passion to bond over. Even though academically we approach it from different directions, it is still something we can be comfortable talking about.” -josh sacheim (political communications ‘13)
Nancy: -current events and politics Josh: Right. And she kind of gives me the inside track perspective while I give her the journalist from the outside looking in perspective.
Josh: In terms of how we approach our relationship we tend to take it day by day but it never hurts to be positive and look ahead.
Nancy: It is definitely something we still bond over.
Josh: I would say that we’re both kind of fun loving. But at the end of the day I’m kind of goofy.
Josh: I think it is good because it allows for us to be a support system for each other, that we have this one major passion to bond over. Even though academically we approach it from different directions, it is still something we can be comfortable talking about. Nancy: We both want to go to the Washington program next year; it is a goal we’ve had since freshman year. Which is another reason we connected freshman year, we both wanted to end up in Washington DC. Nancy: It’s just the hub of all politi-
Nancy: He is very goofy. Josh: I’m very goofy, very silly, very outgoing. Nancy: He is someone that likes to be on stage and use his talents and make people laugh. And I’m more reserved and kind of shy and quiet. Josh: Definitely very reserved. Nancy: I keep him grounded. Josh: And I help her loosen up a little bit. Nancy: At least temporarily.
cal activity and just a good place to be.
Josh: It is very symbiotic.
Josh: For me, as someone who
wants to go into journalism, I really don’t have much of a choice in where I end up but ultimately if I have to approach this from a longterm perspective and let’s just say we are still together for a very long time I would like to work my way into the D.C. or Maryland or Virginia market and that I could be working there and you would be able to work in D.C. which is really where you want to work.
Josh: We can talk with each other about almost anything and it is really nice to come home at the end of the day knowing that no matter how bad my day is I know I always have someone there I can talk to about it.
Nancy: Yea, that is a good word for
Nancy: And vice versa.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
In the Cut
mprov class. Darby O’Hara only had two minutes to read over the scene, and then she was on her own. The words, “SAY SOMETHING,” repeated in the junior former BFA Acting major’s ears as her professor screamed at her. Opting to make an arm gesture she was screamed at again, her professor demanding, “Who is over there?” O’Hara stood frozen, unable to speak and suddenly found herself second guessing her choice.
merson College is not like every other school in the country. Switching majors is uncommon. Students may be looked at as weird for being “undecided”. Sometimes it seems as if choosing a major on your application could be the end-all, be-all of a student’s existence. While maybe students at other schools face this, it seems to be an Emerson specific crisis. Junior and former BFA Acting major Darby O’Hara remembers her improv class as the moment that solidified her decision to change her major. It wasn’t always this way for O’Hara; she remembers being excited and ready to come to Emerson as a freshman. In high school, O’Hara became interested in and set acting as her priority early on. As she got more involved, she quit lacrosse so she could do the fall play, and again to do the spring student run production. A defining moment for O’Hara attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland with her high school to perform. She said she finally felt like she was where she needed to be. O’Hara committed to Emerson and genuinely thought she found what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. But she quickly began doubting her major. Before Junior year began, O’Hara made the decision to switch from BFA Acting to BA Theatre Studies. “The more I talked to people the more I discovered my learning patterns. I dabble,” she says. “I don’t know who I’m kidding to think I can go into this really concentrated program.” O’Hara is not the only one who has gone into Emerson with a certain plan and had it change in an instant. Another performing arts major, Frankie Campofelice was a part of the MFA Musical Theatre program, but was cut after his sophomore year. Before coming to Emerson, Campofelice was torn between studying musical theatre and music education. However, when he got
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text // COURTNEY SWIFT
into Emerson he made the decision that it was a really good musical theatre school. At first, he thought the school was perfect, but eventually realized it didn’t offer as much music as he had hoped. “It made me doubt my major more as the two years progressed.” As sophomore year continued for Campofelice, he felt prepared and confident in his work. Students in the Performing Arts majors, more so than some of the others at Emerson, spend the majority of their time in and out of classes with each other. Their social lives often include each other, so when an element such as being cut from the program appears, it can be difficult to bounce back and feel included. Campofelice says last semester after the cut was a rough transition as well as the first two weeks or so of junior year. “I felt very confident about myself and my work,” he says. “Things didn’t start to go downhill until the spring semester when the cut happened. That’s when you make it or break it.” He felt
it.” Campofelice is also happier now. He is in the process of transferring to another school for music education. Another issue arises when graduation rolls around and students are still insure of what career they want to pursue. Senior Cinematography major Nick Keating currently finds himself in that predicament. When Keating got his first camera, a Sony FX1, in his junior year of high school, he began to develop an inerest in video and film. Keating came into Emerson as a VMA major with a concentration in post-production. At the time, he really enjoyed the editing; but by junior year when a concentration had to be solidified, Keating was sick of the editing aspects of film. He realized that his passion was traveling and shooting out in the field. While his major in Cinematography remained, he found a new interest in taking still photos and began to prefer it to shooting video. Keating started a Project 365, a popular
“Our generation feels like we need to get everything done right now. Emerson and this generation, we have to get everything down right now or we don’t go anywhere in the world.” -FRANKIE CAMPOFELICE (ACTING ‘13) it was more about socially fitting back in. He says he remembers thinking, “Do they think less of me now that I’m not in the program?” Emerson students are recognized for knowing exactly what they want to do with their lives. Emerson’s environment is an accurate representation of the competitive nature of our generation aimed towards success. With so many organizations, it is almost impossible to not be involved. The only downfall is falling into the trap of getting too involved and over-committing or somehow deciding that such a specified curriculum isn’t for you. “I think it’s college in general,” says Campofelice. “Our generation feels like we need to get everything done right now. Emerson and this generation, we have to get everything down right now or we don’t go anywhere in the world. Having that pressure is exhausting.” O’Hara agrees. “It’s hard not to feel terrible about not doing as much as the next person,” she says. “People can become a victim of overworking and feeling the need to do everything and compete.” Both students feel confident now with their decisions even though there was a period of stress and questioning. “It was scary,” O’Hara says. “I think when I made the decision it was a relief and it was exciting because now I have a whole new path ahead of me I didn’t think I was going to have. I could drive
challenge that photographers take on to take a photo every day for one year. “It really forced me to look at things differently and get a different picture each day,” he says. “It helped me explore the city, but also to find more of my eye.” Keating explained that he goes back and forth between what his main interest is, but he doesn’t mind exploring new things. “I like change, so I’m up for anything that’s going to bring that,” says Keating. “If something slaps me in the face one day and I want to do it, I will. I’ll still have photo and video as a hobby.” While Emerson offers an environment where students eat, sleep, and breathe their majors, that does not mean it is the end of the world to change your mind. It isn’t as uncommon to occasionally doubt your major as people might think. In terms of advice to other students, Camopfelice suggests to explore as many options as they can- because you never know what you might be good at and respond to. “I felt like I tried so hard to fit into my major, but I think we need to realize there are other places that will fit you,” he says. “So when you think you’re trying so hard and not getting any approval, don’t be afraid because there’s always something else that fits you and what you want.”
Apathy is in the Eye of the Beholder
e are the lazy generation. We will not change the world. We are apathetic. A generation more in tune with cell phones than human rights violations, we are ignorant and uninvolved. At least, that seems to be the consensus among adults who haven’t grown up in the digital age. Even some Emerson students believe this. One has to wonder how the youth of America transitioned from the radical revolutionaries of the ‘70s to the lazy kids of present day. Hanna Finchler, a sophomore Visual Media Arts major, disagrees. “It’s kind of polarized. There are people who are super involved and people who just say, ‘whatever,’” she says of our age group. It’s true: there are examples of both. Still, older generations insist that technology has rendered us useless and apathetic: but teenagers have been discovering the power that the Internet wields, and the good has begun to outweigh the bad.
espite the negative attitude surrounding our generation, it would seem that we have reached a turning point. Perhaps young people today have appeared apathetic because there has not been a movement that has truly resonated with this generation. Until the Occupy movement, that is. Beginning September 17th on Wall St., hoards of both young and old people flooded Zuccotti Park in Manhattan, peacefully demanding reform on Wall St. The Occupy Wall St. movement soon gained national attention and Occupy camps and marches began popping up in major metropolises across the country. According to a story by CNN, this movement strays from the traditional format of protests, and functions as the Internet does: leaderless. People have been working together to spread information on social media sites, but the protestors together form a faceless organization, one that is not focused on the people behind it, but the message. Hannah Wallace, an Emerson sophomore and Marketing Communications major, who was present on the first day of Occupy Wall St. and has been working with Occupy Boston, says, “This is a huge turning point,” and adds that she discovered the movement on the Internet. Wallace is only one of many Emerson College students involved with Occupy Boston, and Emerson is only one of many Boston area colleges affiliated with the movement. The Boston site has been overrun with college-age kids
getting involved and demanding change. Still, there are those who criticize the movement, claiming that it is unorganized, that the demands are unclear, and that some people are only in it because it’s “hip.” After all, we haven’t really had a cause to cling to in our generation, so it would make sense for young people to join up without thinking. “The fact that the media is dismissing something that is truly a revolution should be alarming,” says Wallace. In response to the people joining just for the cool points, she admits, “That definitely does happen, and while it’d be a lot better if they were fully invested in it, the fact that they’re there and protesting against corporate greed shows that they’re ready to wake up.” It does seem like a positive sign that people are getting involved for any reason: a definite step in the right direction. Abby Peel, a junior Broadcast Journalism major agrees, “I think Emerson students are passionate about issues. Emerson students are social in general, so that ties in with how we respond to social issues,” pointing out how Emerson’s utilization of social media contributes to our campus’ awareness of issues such as Occupy. However, despite the advantages of the Internet being obvious within the Occupy movement, many students readily denounce the Internet, blaming it for our ignorance. In November 2010, New York Times reporter Matt Richter focused on how technology was playing a hand in wiring younger brains to multi-task, rather
text // LIBBY WEBSTER
than remain focused on one subject. Arjun Singh, a sophomore Writing, Literature, and Publishing major, says of the apathetic, “I think that because their attention span has been so reduced, they get bored when an issue is a little too complex for them to understand.” Which is true. Kids are less inclined to spend time on issues that require extra time, thought, and explanation, resulting in apathy. Sophomore Visual Media Arts major, Michael Tedesco, a student who has also been involved with the Occupy Boston movement, says that while Emerson students are able to think critically about where they get their information, “they’re just as likely to lambast Bill O’Reilly as they are to worship Jon Stewart,” accurately illustrating how young adults are more apt to jump to conclusions without fully understanding an issue. But maybe the issue isn’t our generation being apathetic; maybe the issue is how focused everyone is on our generation’s apathy, rather than what we have been accomplishing. “I don’t think we are apathetic. I think people just need a kick in the ass to do something,” says freshman Chelsea Nowak, a Visual Media Arts major. The Occupy movement would appear to be that kick in the ass. But even before the Occupy move-
“I don’t think we are apathetic. I think people just need a kick in the ass to do something.” -CHELSEA NOWAK (VMA ‘15) ment began, the Center for Information and Research of Civic Learning and Engagement reported that between 21.6 and 23.9 million Americans aging from 19 to 29 years old voted in the 2008 presidential election. This is reported to be the highest figure of young people voting in an election since 1972. As a whole, we do not deserve the title of “apathetic.” Some people are, but as a generation, we are beginning to bring about change.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
the story of generation “i” text // DOMINICK SORRENTINO
efore the Internet expanded into its own universe, the celebrity shrines and slogans of Time square served as a beacon for our sense of individuality. The creative minds of Hollywood and Madison Avenue inspired us with visions for our clothes and our hair, our cars and our choice of diet, our music and art, and even our bodies and our faces. In a post—“www “ generation, this model has become as archaic as the geocentric view of our solar system. The new beacon for individuality is the World Wide Web.
ohnny Diaz, a writer for the Boston Globe’s business section, focuses on media as the topic of many of his articles. He believes that the Internet is changing how people choose to consume content for the better. “The internet is making everyone their own brand,” Diaz says. “Everything is becoming more customized to what we want, and it’s going to be micro; it’s going to be niche, and I think it’s a good thing.” In an online survey conducted by em magazine, all of the 48 Emerson students polled—of various grades and majors— agreed that their primary source of media, artistic and otherwise, is the Internet. Forty-three of these 48 also said that the Internet makes it easier to find content that interests them. This makes sense when one considers the existence of outlets like Pandora, iTunes, Netflix, Tumblr and StumbleUpon, where it becomes possible for consumers to receive promotions based on what they already know they enjoy. Netflix accounts, for example, are trained to recommend films based on what the holder’s personal reviews and ratings. Democratic models such as this encourage people to refine their personal tastes to a very specific extent or, as 70
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Diaz puts it, to help them find “their own brand.” The same can be said about how the Internet generation produces personal content to share on the web. There is sense of democracy on the Internet that allows people to fill in the content niche they believe should exist with their own material, or with obscure material that mirrors their vision. “If you love music and you love movies, you don’t necessarily need to go to a mainstream website,” Diaz, who is also the author of four novels, says. “You can create your own content and share your own reviews. That’s the beauty of the Internet, it has allowed us to amplify our own voice and our content, where ten, fifteen, twenty years ago you couldn’t do that.” Not all producers are optimistic about how the Internet is changing art.
“The internet is making everyone their own brand... Everything is becoming more customized to what we want, and it’s going to be micro; it’s going to be niche, and I think it’s a good thing.” -JOHNNY DIAZ (BOSTON GLOBE WRITER) Emerson sophomore Writing, Literature and Publishing student Jonathan Rizzo, writes and records his own music under the moniker Cauzamos. Unlike Diaz, Rizzo feels that he is capable of gaining more notoriety through people-to-people interactions than through his web page. “The actual web-page itself does very little. I try to promote that when I’m at shows, because if I’m going to update, that’s where I’m going to update, and hopefully people will notice,” Rizzo says. “It’s more of a helper, and it doesn’t neces-
sarily make everything easier.” Rizzo is also wary about the impact the Internet can have on art. While the Internet does create more opportunities for artists to get their material into the world, it doesn’t necessarily create more artists. Rizzo expressed concern that well-produced content could be drowned out by the huge amount of content available. “There are so many ‘photographers’, there are so many ‘musicians’ and there are so many blogs out there, that I think the people who deserve to get noticed can get very lost,” Rizzo says. “Rebecca Black shouldn’t be famous right now. It’s just wrong.” It’s true that the Internet contains a universe of content that is both good, and as Rizzo points out, “just wrong.” But there are ways we can sift through this universe, and continually increase the scale of what we love with a stronger understanding of why we love it. The best tools, according to Diaz, are our individual tastes and interests. “That’s the beauty of the Internet,” Diaz says. “It puts it all out there for us to consume…I find that the Internet is a giant online catalogue, and depending on what you’re interested in, there’s something there, whether it’s good or not, again that’s up to whoever is consuming it.” This new wealth of information and content available online, creative and otherwise, encourages people to draw their interests from a much larger pool, rather than associating with what they’ve been exposed to via prolific media outlets. The individual is at complete liberty to consume, or produce, content in the most democratic of all forums. Descartes once said “I think, therefore I am.” The Internet generation is made up of a cluster of “I’s”: individuals, who have the potential to think for themselves like never before.
Food from a Truck Never Tasted So Good
he next time you need fast meal, but don’t want to turn to McDonald’s, just scan the streets for the nearest food truck. For a few years now, the most exciting trend in the culinary world has been the rise of these mobile food vans, miniature restaurants on wheels that serve fast, portable meals. If that brings to mind the shady hot dog stands or ice cream trucks of old, then think again. This new class of truck is often staffed by professional chefs and restaurateurs who know how to give their creations a gourmet twist.
text // SARAH DIAMOND photo // LAUREN FOLLEY
he truck craze was born in Los Angeles a couple of years ago and has been spreading ever since to New York, Chicago, and finally Boston. Often described as a “punk rock” eating experience, food trucks seem an unlikely fashion to capture the elegant Boston crowd, and yet these urban mobile vans are getting more buzz than some of the finest restaurants in the city. It turns out that people don’t mind eating in the street as long as they are being served the same fresh and flavorful ingredients. That could include anything from grilled cheese to barbecue ribs to pad thai, all portable and reasonably priced. Take, for example, Kick*ss Cupcakes, a brickand-mortar bakery that has found new life as a mobile van, dishing out confections in creative flavors such as cookie dough, Mojito, and “Green Monster”. Particularly good is the “Lucky Cupcake”, an Asian-inspired lemon cake topped with ginger crystals and a slick of white chocolate frosting. It’s delicious; just the right combination of springy and sweet. Now popularly known as one of the best “cupcakeries” in town, the Kick*ss food truck is drawing crowds all over the city. Food trucks are also a smart way for the restaurant business to thrive in these days of economic hardship. Adam Gendreau and Patrick Gilmartin, runners of the charming truck “Staff Meal”, got into the truck business because of monetary concerns. “We are chefs by trade” explains Gilmartin, “but its just not feasible to open up a restaurant on your own dime anymore.” They bought their truck in November and for the past year the men have been handing out the kind of fine cuisine you would normally associate with linen tablecloths: short ribs, foie gras, and even tripe. Because the
truck’s upkeep is so inexpensive, Gilmartin and Gendreau can afford to pursue their passion. This is also a benefit to the customers, who can buy quality dishes from only $3 to $7. And yet, some fear the trend might be wearing out its welcome in California because of the overexposure in the media, especially since the premiere of a Food Network show called “The Great Food Truck Race.” Sure enough, LA hipsters are starting to cry “mainstream” as copycat trucks spring up around the city. Josh Hiller, who works as a food truck outfitter, explained the problem to the LA Times, saying that amateur “truck owners saw money and basically just prostituted the whole culture. So what you ended up with was 15 so-so trucks parked on [the street], the city unhappy, a mediocre food product and all the truck owners cannibalizing each other’s business.” Fortunately, the city of Boston has high standards for the trucks it will license, so we haven’t seen that kind of chaos. Patrick Gilmartin says he hasn’t seen any sort of backlash in Boston yet, only a natural turnover in business. “I’ve talked to a lot of other [food truck owners] who won’t be able to continue next year. But there will be new ones to take their place.” He maintains that Staff Meal will still be going strong in 2012. The city of Boston provides a full list of the local food trucks as well as a map of their daily locations at cityofboston.gov/business/mobile/ schedule. On any given day, you can find them parked by Fanueil Hall, Boston University, or the Boston Public Library. There is a wide assortment of themes and specialties, but these four especially have whetted the public’s appetite.
boston food truck fan favorites Bon Me These irreverent chefs serve Vietnamese food with a twist! Spicy baguette sand wiches and steaming noodle bowls. Recommended: The “Basil-Lemonade” and “Teasoaked deviled egg.”
Red Bones BBQ If you are ever by the BPL on a Wednesday afternoon, check out their hearty platters of ribs, brisket, and pulled pork. Recommended: a side of smoky baked beans.
Clover Food Lab Purveyor of crisp, savory gourmet sandwiches. Recommended: The Chickpea Patty (a.k.a. falafel).
Roxy’s Grilled Cheese This Boston fan favorite serves some seriously fancy grilled cheese, made with swiss, muenster, and fontina. Recommended: For dessert, a rich Grilled Cheesecake. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
text // JOHN FRANCISCONI photo // PIETER M. VAN HATTEM/VISALUX
he following interview was conducted using Google Voice, a service that, according to its site, “allows you to set up a single phone number that rings all of your phones, saves your voicemail online, and transcribes your voicemail to text.” It’s the kind of technological advancement that Pulitzer-Prize-winning writer Jennifer Egan (“A Visit from the Goon Squad,” “The Keep,” “Look At Me”) might be slightly and rightly wary of. The last chapter of Goon Squad takes place in a future where language has been corrupted, in large part, by screen-based digital media. (Sample sentences: “U hav sum names 4 me? he read on the screen. hEr thA r, Alex typed […]”) Google Voice uses the second-person omniscient voice of advertising to connect with users/consumers, the collective “you.” It aims to simplify, though, currently in beta, it just as often obstructs and complicates communication. After some technical difficulties at the start of the phone recording, we spoke about writing at the micro- and macro-levels (sentences and novels), and the dizziness of contemporary culture. em Magazine: The “rock novel” is having a kind of moment right now, with the publication of and praise for Eleanor Henderson’s “Ten Thousand Saints,” Dana Spiotta’s “Stone Arabia,” and, of course, “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” which seems to have sort of legitimized the genre. Why do you think the music world/industry has been a recurring feature in these and other examples of contemporary literature? Jennifer Egan: I didn’t think of my book as a rock and roll novel; I would have felt intimidated if I
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had. It wasn’t quite clear to me how central the music element would be to the book. Part of it may be that we know the whole music industry is in freefall. As a business, it’s shrinking and imperiled. There’s nostalgia in remembering a time when rock and roll felt indomitable and the industry felt really strong. What has really jeopardized, I don’t want to say killed, the industry is technological change, and I think we’re all a little dizzy from that. Remembering a time when the music industry was strong expresses a kind of anxiety about the pace of technological change. All of that together has resulted in this little
cluster of books, and maybe they’ll keep getting written. It’s often when something is waning or fading that people begin to celebrate it. Again, while I did not think of it as a rock and roll novel, I was certainly aware of a choice on my part. My book was more about time and technological change. It wasn’t a conscious decision; I tend to be more instinctive, as a writer. I felt a kind of lightness to using rock and roll as a lens to look at time and technology. Not only is the industry imperiled, but the nature of its peril felt familiar to someone working in the world of journalism and publishing, around which huge
decisions were and are still swirling, about the future. It’s not like music is going to disappear. It’s not like the industry has been a paradigm of good faith and altruism, but the move into the digital recording age was preceded by a whole lot of prognosticating, about how artists might finally be able to find their way directly to the public without the scummy labels. But it hasn’t really worked out that way. How artists are going to make money without constantly touring is anyone’s guess. And the writing world might not be far behind. And no one’s paying to come see us! em: Walter Pater is famous for having suggested that all art aspires to the condition of music. Do you agree with his position? If so, how do you believe books can accomplish that (at the sentence level, or otherwise)? JE: Story-time began as an oral tradition, and while I am not a poet, I feel keenly as a writer that the way my sentences play out beat-by-beat and the actual sound and rhythm of the sentences are critical to its power. I have a writing group that I work with regularly. I’ll bring in something in a very raw
state, to find out if it has a pulse, or if the sentences are landing. We never read on the page, we only read aloud. To my mind, the work has to stand alone as an auditory experience. There should be a time for it to be evaluated at that basis. It needs to exists as a series of sounds, and have power that way. It’s amazing how many things you hear: repetitions, infelicitous noise. I would even go possibly slightly further [than Pater], and say that all art is music, whether you know it or not. You can ignore it, as a writer, but there will be a dimension of your work that is totally flat. em: You and Ms. Spiotta have each acknowledged the tremendous influence of Don DeLillo’s writing. His influence is most clear, to me, in the way your books seem to have a finger on the pulse of American culture. Is that Zeitgeist-y quality something you turned to his books for? JE: Ideally, anything that’s really good should work in many ways and at many levels. His work is an auditory experience, if you will, and it reaches in all directions, including across the surface of the culture, and that’s something I aspire to in my writing. There’s a nice access of the surfacey nature of the culture, which alone does not make for a resonant or deep read, but coupled with the language itself, which reaches into our roots as humans, the structures of words, the history of words, is really impressive. If all of that can be present in a bracing and immediate engagement with pop culture it’s an exciting mix of surface and depth. It’s a deep look at our present surface, which is the best kind. em: Winning the Pulitzer must have broadened your readership -- I saw “Goon Squad” beside Paul Tinker’s 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel “Tinkers” at Target, sandwiched between a selection of mass market paperbacks. Is the accessibility or difficulty of your work something you consider when writing? JE: It’s a much bigger readership than I’ve had before. Some readers don’t respond to it. They tend to be readers of “commercial fiction.” They tend to like books with a central through-line, so my book feels inaccessible to them. When I’m writing, I don’t think “Gee, I really love this, but what would a reader think?” I think my taste is a sensibility I’m trying to satisfy. The number one important thing to me as a reader is to be gripped, transported, and I would take experience that feeling over simple experimentation
any day. I am looking for excitement and diversion. Those things are extremely important to me. I try to make sure my work does that every step of the way. Sometimes, in commercial fiction, you can feel the haste of the writing, and you can’t hear the music at all. Another aspect that has to be there, there has to be some kind of intellectual girding, and a real kind of freshness. If I sense that stale familiarity with something, and it doesn’t feel distinct, I’m not compelled and I don’t want to go on. I’m always looking for an attention to language, and a deep engagement with ideas. A reader who doesn’t like that stuff is not going to like my work. A lot of my readers seem to come at my work with open-mindedness, and that’s great. To some extent what I’m doing is unfamiliar to a reader of commercial fiction. I would never judge a reader for not liking my work, and I do think very much about what a reader’s experience is going to be, but my aesthetics dictate how I write. em: You’ve openly acknowledged the influence that reading Proust had on the writing of “A Visit From the Goon Squad.” What are you reading now, and can we expect it to inflect what we see next from you? JE: My next book, which I talk about a lot but haven’t actually gotten to work on, is going to be a historical novel set during World War II, in New York. One book that excited me recently was “Butterfly’s Child” by Angela Davis-Gardner. It’s a really interesting and complex book set in America in the late 19th century. It does a great job of placing the reader in the past with a kind of sensibility of the present. That’s a question I’m asking myself a lot. How can I tackle history in fiction in a more complex way, narratively, than “OK, now we are in the 19th century.” So, I hope to be influenced by that book. I hope, also, to put pen to paper myself soon.
In Defense of Young Adult Fiction
t’s not particularly unique or quirky to claim that I spent my formative years burrowed deep within the Young Adult Fiction section of my local Borders (RIP, we hardly knew ye). This doesn’t, however, make it any less true. What is weird about this habit is that as I grew older, I continued to choose YA fiction (as it’s known) over pretty much everything else. As my friends sang the praises of David Foster Wallace, of gothic romanticism, of the sorts of books teenagers buy because they think they’re adults, I simply couldn’t tear myself away from YA. I’d sheepishly tuck my Maureen Johnson and Meg Cabot behind the single Faulkner novel I’d bought but never read, hoping my SparkNotes knowledge of Bradbury would keep my dignity afloat. I swore to God that eventually I’d get over it and pick up something by Chuck Palahniuk. But I’ve come to a recent realization: I’m not alone. My deep love of YA is no longer a strange habit I suppress around people I don’t know – it’s delightfully widespread. When I first picked up “The Hunger Games,” it was because a twelve-year-old at the summer camp I worked at recommended it; three years later, there’s over 2.9 million copies in print in 28 countries. Clearly, teenagers aren’t the only people invested. The inevitable film adaptation, scheduled for release next March, tipped the national obsession with the series into clinical territory. One only has to track the “Hunger Games” tag on Tumblr to see just how much people outside the trilogy’s target demographic care about the series. After brunette Josh Hutcherson of “The Kids Are All Right” was cast as the blonde Peeta, I genuinely feared for his life as the internet lashed back ferociously. Thanks to “The Hunger Games” and other books like it, it’s getting harder and harder to clamber atop a high horse and raise your nose to YA lit. Not only is it everywhere, but it’s good. Great, even – some of the my favorite books are considered Young Adult. Does the fact that, technically, Jaclyn Moriarity’s “The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie” was written for ages 12 and up, make the hour I spent weeping openly upon finishing it any less meaningful? Another outdated complaint about YA lit is that it focuses too
text // TAYLOR TETREAU
heavily on the day-to-day minutia of teenagers falling in love and yelling at each other in high school hallways. The scope of the genre is expanding exponentially – Markus Zusack’s “The Book Thief ” is about a German nine-year-old surviving the Holocaust, narrated by Death himself. The grim reaper doesn’t spare his audience, either, opening up the novel with: “HERE IS A SMALL FACT: You are going to die” (Zusack 4). “The Book Thief ” has gathered multiple accolades and awards since it was published in 2005; on a smaller level, I force everyone who comes within half a mile of my copy to read it. I always promise them they’ll be hooked from the very first page, and I have yet to be proven wrong. Not to say, of course, that the stories focusing on fairly average high schoolers deserve any less recognition. Ned Vizzini’s “It’s Kind Of A Funny Story” tells the story of a fifteen-year-old checking himself into a psychiatric ward for depression with perfect amounts of self-deprecating humor and startling realism. Suicidal urges are a well-worn trope within literature, but in exploring it through a teenager’s eyes, Vizzini keeps the themes fresh. (It’s important to note that I’m only vouching for the book’s quality. The 2010 film adaptation, starring Emma Roberts and that kid from “The United States of Tara,” was decidedly mediocre.) YA authors are a growing presence online, as well; they’ve flocked to Twitter, Facebook, and Youtube in a mass diaspora designed to break down the barrier between author and audience. The undisputed king of the genre, John Green, constructed an entire online community based off a YouTube channel he created with his brother called “Brotherhood 2.0.” Hardcore fans refer to themselves as “nerdfighters,” and follow the Green brothers creed: “DFTBA, or don’t forget to be awesome.” Direct interactions with readers remains a treasured part of the job description– Susan Beth Pfeffer, who’s “Moon Crash Trilogy” follows various teenagers as they struggle to stay alive in the wake of, well, a moon crash, only decided to top off the series with a fourth novel after the passionate response to an online poll. Ever since the massive sales of Harry Potter coerced the New York Times into creating a separate bestsellers’ list for childrens’ books, young adult literature has been steadily growing in prominence. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
the other team:
gays on television
magine being a relationship with someone but only allowed to hold hands occasionally, stare into each other’s eyes longingly and never get past first base. Welcome to the life of a gay character on TV. Gays have flown under the radar on TV for a long time. On old primetime shows such as “Melrose Place” and
“Frasier,” the characters were made one-note and were never able to be openly gay. Today, shows on smaller networks are starting to greatly increase in the numbers of gay characters on the air and the bigger networks are starting to follow suit. This is a time where gays are starting to get a real presence on television. Whether this presence is a good one, it’s hard to say. text // NICK MANTLE
Proper portrayal means a lot more than throwing the word “gay” into a character’s dialogue and calling it a day. It’s about treating the character as less of a stereotype but more as a character that happens to be gay. That way it doesn’t matter if they conform to some of the general notions of being gay because they have a real personality. These characters should also have the same treatment as a straight character on the show. Instead of being sidelined with their significant others, they should have the ability to carry their own love story. Marissa Cooper (Mischa Barton) of the “The O.C.” has always kind of been a joke. Whether she was chugging booze behind the wheel, or mixing drugs and passing out in an alley in Mexico, Marissa represented an immature party girl we were supposed to love, but actually hated. In 2005, she started doing something different. Marissa Cooper decided to try kissing girls instead of guys. She woke up one morning was like, “Oh, Olivia Wilde is super pretty. I like her hair.” And Bam. Before you knew it, Marissa Cooper was a lesbian. It was so painfully clear that Marissa’s sexuality was a plea for ratings. The second season was tanking, so they grabbed onto their closest female 74
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character, Olivia Wilde’s Alex. Despite the fact that Alex had previously dated a boy, Seth Cohen (Adam Brody), on the show, she was launched her into a relationship with Marissa nonetheless. This sloppy decision represents a very common device: homosexuality being used as a plot twist, rather than be displayed as a part of everyday life. Apparently there is something in the air of California that makes people randomly question their sexuality, because the first time that 90210 2.0 tried out a gay storyline it ended humorously as well. The second season of the show featured Adrianna Tate-Duncan (Jessica Lowndes) experimenting with a girl. It wasn’t completely Marissa Cooper-esque though; the show spent almost one half of the season trying to convince us that yes, Adrianna does in fact think girls are rad. It fell flat as the storyline felt too forced and much like The O.C., an excuse to get viewers that wanted to watch girls make out. In the third season, “90210” tried making another one of their characters a friend of Dorothy. This time it was Teddy Montgomery (Trevor Donovan), West Bev’s resident ladies man. Teddy had been shown to be straight in the past seasons of the show. There had been no hints to him batting for the other team. No hints to the fact that he
might have been questioning. It felt that the writers were just trying to catch the attention of viewers. As the season progressed, it became evident that the creators of the show were making it fit with the character and chose Teddy because he never conformed to a stereotype. Even his sort of boyfriend, Ian, wasn’t a clear cut of a stereotype. He sings and dances but he wasn’t setting fire to the school with his flamboyancy. His coming out storyline turned out to be one of the best handled on TV to date. We got to see every stage of Teddy accepting himself. The show had the character look at the stereotypes and struggle to figure out where he fit. While there were some tough obstacles in his path, the show proved that coming out didn’t have to be horrible. Shortly after his coming out episode, Teddy’s role on the television show slowly became truncated. He would have maybe five minutes an episode or even get dropped from the episode. He also got a new boyfriend, who was about as interesting as an ice cube. It was then announced that Teddy would not return to the fourth season of the show as a main character. The loss of such a character is disappointing, since Teddy turned out being a good, well-rounded gay character. He didn’t conform to the stereotypes and he was just trying to navigate himself in this new gay world. He could have been a character that did so much more. He could’ve be an example for the It Gets Better videos and help fight stereotypes for viewers. Gay portrayal on the popular television show “Glee” provides a complicated example. While the show is literally swimming with gays, I don’t always think that the show treats the subject matter in the right way. There has been a significant amount of blacklash concerning how stereotypical the character of Kurt (Chris Colfer) is. Kurt is a flamboyant guy whose interests include Lady Gaga and musical theatre. Because he was the only gay character in the first season of the show, fans had a right to be angry, and not only because Kurt was so cookie-cutter. “Glee” is an extremely popular show on an extremely popular network. Last seasons average number of viewers was 10 million. There are 10 million people watching the stereotypical way that Kurt acts. The show makes
no effort to make Kurt into a character rather than a caricature, as shown by the fact that he was voted prom queen. This only reinforces to conservative audiences that there is only one kind of gay. Moving past the view of the first season, it’s clear to see that “Glee” is trying to expand on how they portray gays. Last season, they featured two new recurring homosexual characters as well as some background characters. The first of importance is Blaine Anderson (Darren Criss), who was introduced when the show started its Love is Louder storyline. Blaine is an extremely positive character and doesn’t conform to the gay stereotype. He starts the season as a mentor to Kurt, teaching him to stand up for himself and that although he is gay doesn’t mean he should put up with being treated badly. He is proud of himself and doesn’t let the fact that he is gay define him. The guy still sings and dances, so if you want to take points away for that, you can, but what else do you expect on “Glee?” The second character is David Karofsky (Max Adler). Karofsky was first introduced to us as one of Kurt’s bullies and through a twist of events; we eventually discover that Karofsky has been struggling with his sexuality. This being the reason that he loathes Kurt so much. This portrayal is also very non-stereotypical, demonstrating
and discover a newfound appreciation for plaid and softball. She was the same Emily we all knew and loved. The fact that she was a lesbian really didn’t have to become a large part of her character. The only time that it became applicable was when speculating what new love interest they had in store for her. Also to be noted, “Pretty Little Liars” equally portrays Emily’s relationships to the other girls on the show. Her love life is just as important as her friends. Just because they don’t shove the stereotype down our throats doesn’t mean that her sexuality is being downplayed. It’s no question that audiences want to see more of gay characters. This year, Chris Colfer, the actor who portrays Kurt Hummel, won a Golden Globe for his work on “Glee.” This is something very important for the gay community and for gay people on television. It shows that the entertainment industry should no longer be afraid of placing gay character in their show. It brings gay characters to the same as other levels and symbolizes equality in a way. The win was especially impactful because it corresponded with the storylines that were modeled because of the Love is Louder and “It Gets Better” campaigns. Both of these causes are dedicated to ending bullying in schools and also creating more awareness for homosexuality.
Proper portrayal means a lot more than throwing the word “gay” into a character’s dialogue and calling it a day. It’s about treating the character as less of a stereotype but more as a character that happens to be gay. that the show is trying to create a large spectrum of gay characters. With Karofsky living his life filled with aggression and inner struggle and Blaine shown in a positive and confident light, we see “Glee” is dividing a clear difference of being in the closet and coming out. “Pretty Little Liars” took a large chance when one of their main characters, Emily Fields (Shay Mitchell), came out as a lesbian. And the way that she is portrayed is definitely something to be applauded. When Emily came out, she didn’t instantly cut all of her hair off
There is a lot of work that still has to be done in how characters are portrayed. There have recently been some very large developments, such as in the area of “90210” and “Glee” it’s just a matter of sticking with them. “Pretty Little Liars” is one that definitely shows promise for the future. Gays are such a large demographic in today’s society that it is important to tap into all different ranges of homosexual characters on television shows. Teen shows are starting to get it right and if they continue on this path there will finally be a wellrounded portrayal of gays on TV. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
PBR & B text // EMILY ONOFRIO photo // DANNI SCULLY
As R&B , in the traditional sense, is on the brink of extinction , can up-andcoming underground artists thrust the genre back into the spotlight? And if so, is there a price to pay?
&B is in the midst of an identity crisis. If you were asked to typify the music of the mainstream, to label the “it-girls” of the commercial industry - and this is not to jump to the ever-so-offensive conclusion that some of you listen to the radio - you’d probably say something like pop, or rap, or electronic. You wouldn’t have mentioned rock. I think we can all admit that the days chugging guitar solos fueled the world have long since passed. You probably wouldn’t have said jazz or country, and you certainly wouldn’t have said ska (thank god). But what about R&B? What about those smooth, soulful baby-making jams they dedicate to lovers on late night radio? What ever happened to Luther Vandross and Marvin Gaye? Whitney Houston and Aretha? It’s more than likely the depth of these soulful, praised acts will never again be reached, and though that’s only where the basis of musical similarity is concerned, even contemporaryacts like Alicia Keys and Destiny’s Child ring obsolete in a world where the knights of the industry’s roundtable include Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, and Ke$ha - all of whom combine a seemingly essential combination of autotune and electro effects to produce consistent radio hits. Not even Britney could sell her latest album without enlisting dancefloor legend Rusko to inflect every track with a dubbed-out party vibe. This begs the question: are the sensual, soulinfused sounds of R&B a thing of the past? In short, yes. Sound will always evolve, and why shouldn’t it?
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n late 2010, three sultry, polished tracks from an artist known as “The Weeknd” appeared on Youtube. Along with them came precisely nothing – no tags, bio, pictures, or name behind the moniker, just three songs to leave the blogosphere buzzing like a pack of angry hornets. Who was this guy? The speculation and secrecy surrounding R&B’s latest miracle worker made each track something of a coveted gem, but what really enticed listeners was the sound itself. The obvious centerpiece, “What You Need,” is a twinkling, spectral arrangement laced with vocals that are equally gloomy as they are self-assured. Backed by a sensual drum-machine and spacey mellow chords, this three minute slow jam makes tempting a taken woman seem more intimate than lascivious (“He’s what you want/I’m what you need”). Still, the hidden nature of the artist kept listeners at a meditative distance. Who was behind this refreshing, electro-tinged
resurgence of the genre? No one could say. Then suddenly, chaos amongst fans and followers erupted when none other than hip hop’s beloved Drake tweeted a line from “Wicked Games”, a song from The Weeknd’s debut mixtape, House of Balloons, which had dropped in the blog scene only days earlier. With this album came the promise of two more mixtapes – a trilogy – as well as some highly-anticipated answers. The Weeknd became none other than Abel Tesfaye, a 20-year-old Toronto native with a penchant for drugs, pain, and licentious after-dark explorations. It takes but one listen to House of Balloons to see that Tesfaye’s character is a devious one – quick to entice women with a furtive finger - or an eight-ball of coke. The kind of guy whose troubled mind leaves him stoned and self-aware, alone to revel in his own corruption. In “Wicked Games”, The Weeknd leaves his love for another woman, bargaining with her for booze and fame, among other things
(“Bring the drugs, baby/I can bring my pain”), while “Glass Table Girls” is a blatant display of narcotics, beautiful women and the comfortable acceptance of chaos – “But I’m a nice dude/With some nice dreams/And we can turn this to a nightmare/Elm Street.” Combined with his effortless, aching falsetto, Tesfaye’s subject matter is enough to provide listeners with a perfect contrast between the salacious and subdued. Though The Weeknd’s buzz alone had critics and fans alike envisioning R&B’s unexpected, bright new future, he wasn’t the only one crafting steamy slow jams that season. Christopher “Lonny” Breaux was doing the same. Otherwise known as Frank Ocean, the oldest member of rambunctious hip hop collective Odd Future, the 23-year- old New Orleans native learned the pitfalls of the industry the hard way after a failed relationship with Island Def Jam Records halted the release of his debut album in 2009. In February of 2011, Ocean took to social media sites like Tumblr and Twitter to release his first mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra, for free, tweeting, “i. did. this. not ISLAND DEF JAM. that’s why you see no label logo on the artwork that I DID.” Ocean’s mixtape, Nostalgia, Ultra plays like a passionate, downbeat character study worthy of any late morning-listener’s ear. His musical tendencies are too diverse to stop there. Ocean’s Nostalgia, Ultra is a long stretch from the ever-cohesive House of Balloons, but it’s this hybrid creation that renders him such a breath of fresh air for the genre. Nostalgia, Ultra is lined witheclectic covers, from The Eagles, to MGMT, to “Strawberry Swing”, a dreamy, slow-churning pop rendition of a Coldplay song. Other tracks include “Novacane”, where Ocean floats into substance-induced oblivion in the company of an aspiring dentist/porn star he meets at Coach-
ter, sexy enough for the night before, Nostalgia, Ultra is a smooth ride into Ocean’s uneasy but playful thoughts. Though they’re both very distinctive, it makes perfect sense to compare Frank Ocean and The Weeknd – after all, both released their R&B mixtapes at the same time. Both feature diverse but recognizable indie samples, and both are vocally tremendous. What critics seem to think unifies them the most though, is that they share the same listening audience. Shortly after the releases of both Frank Ocean and The Weeknd, writer Eric Harvey of Village Voice’s Sound of the City blog coined the half-playfulterm “PBR&B,” combining the notoriously celebrated hipster beer with the genre title in order to describe these artists’ Pitchfork-driven approval, or, to be blunt, to imply this sound was “hipster-friendly.” It’s quite clever. It’s also rather cringe-worthy. Before you react to the h-word, though, consider the real reason this idea is worth criticizing. Harvey’s mocking observation of the genre trend is certainly not a fair one, and though it’s definitely laughable on the surface, its implications are troublesome. For many, the emphasis on hipster approval translates directly to something like “this is black music that white people like” (black hipsters notwithstanding), and quite frankly, that’s probably exactly what Harvey meant. The problem here is not so much with the term “hipster” as it is with any hipster or critic labeling a black artist “an R&B artist” based on the premise that he is singing, not rapping. This isn’t the first time that musical segregation has floated around R&B and its intimations. It might surprise you that the genre itself was once known as “race music” and was used as an umbrella term for any black artist who sang against a backbeat. In 1948 the name was changed to “rhythm and blues” as a musical marketing
What’s additionally bothersome is that this microgenre is one not wholly based on sound, but trend and appearance, and even said appearances are hardly relevant anymore. ella, and the simmering “Lovecrimes”, the story of a fatal relationship that plays over Nicole Kidman’s adulterious monologue from Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut. Frank’s mixtape is controversial, clever, profound, and funky. Sometimes all at once. Gentle enough for the morning af-
term to make Billboard’s segregated pop charts seem a little more polite. Perhaps it is because the foundations of the genre remain so tied to race that even present day listeners can’t separate the assumptions. What’s additionally bothersome is that this microgenre is one not wholly based on
sound, but trend and appearance, and even said appearances are hardly relevant anymore. It’s true, The Weeknd’s marketing package read like a hipster’s dream: three songs appeared out of thin air from a mystery artist who, all of a sudden, had Drake to back him and the promise of a mixtape trilogy. But it was Tesfaye’s affiliation with Drake that began to drag him out of the underground. “High For This”, from House of Balloons was featured in the promo for the final season of the HBO show Entourage this July, and just this October, Florence & the Machine commissioned Tesfaye to remix their track, “Shake It Out”. Before releasing Nostalgia, Ultra, Frank Ocean had written songs for John Legend, Brandy, and Justin Bieber. If you’ve dipped into 2011’s Watch the Throne, you’ll recognize Ocean as the vocals behind the flawless chorus of opening track, “No Church in the Wild”. In fact, it’s his voice that plays first on the album He’s gotten praise and recognition all across the board, most recently from Pharell Williams, yet another artist Ocean appears to be collaborating with. A few months ago he tweeted a picture of himself with Beyonce. They were in the studio. With this in mind, it seems as though PBR&B is a term already approaching obsolete, as hipster culture often affiliates with pointed obscurity and defiance of the mainstream. As hipster-worthy as these artists once were, their ties to the commercial industry are thrusting them into an undeniable spotlight. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with that. How could there be? If anything, the impending fame of Frank Ocean and The Weeknd might aid in dissipating the entanglement of racial and social implications that currently cling so steadfast to this branch of music. It’s been a dark few years for R&B, as the genre finds itself withering into obscurity among poppy radio hits and pumping electro, but it may have been this very cross-pollination of musical style that influenced the diverse new sounds of this year. 2011 didn’t bring the genre’s identity crisis to a halt so much as it presented, for the first time, a welcoming change, and while they inadvertently sparked a controversial micromovement, the PBR&B artists of 2011 refreshed and awoke the senses of listeners worldwide. They are living, breathing, (crooning) proof that R&B hasn’t been lost, but lying in wait, and from this I can only suggest they steer clear of the dive bar sludge and stick to nothing less than the finest of champagnes.
THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
cognitive dissonance: on listening text // JOHN FRANCISCONI photo // PITCHFORK MEDIA
n her National Book Award-winning memoir, “Just Kids,” Patti Smith describes coming to music by way of prayer. She reflects on the moment she started making up her own bedtime petitions: “I was relieved when I no longer had to repeat the words If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take and could say instead what was in my heart. […] But as time passed I came to experience a different kind of prayer, a silent one, requiring more listening than speaking.”
David’s Book of Psalms, collected as a sort of songbook in the middle of the King James Bible, is composed of heaven-directed cries of supplication, thanksgiving, praise. “Punk,” and the musical genres it has inspired (hardcore, emo, riot grrrl), defined itself in opposition to technical skill, was far more concerned with the establishment of a musical community, an ethos. Bad Religion vocalist Greg Graffin calls “punk” a worldview, writing in his new book, “Anarchy Evolution,” that it “embraces an openness to experience, and a questioning of received wisdom.” In much the same way that prayers and psalms are invoked to pledge allegiance to, or beg forgiveness from, God, the songs of riot grrrl bands like Bikini Kill, Bratmobile, and Sleater-Kinney were passionate appeals to a culture of repression and gender inequality. But how many of your favorite songs do you actually believe in? The critical and commercial success or failure of a song in 2011 has little to do with the moral or political position it takes on its subject matter. Music and values, for the longest time synonymous, now seem to have little to do with one another. Few artists dare to write morally instructive songs. Commercially-successful and critically-acclaimed musicians today, none more ruthlessly attention-seeking/ grabbing/holding in the past year than those affiliated with L.A. rap collective Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, have put to tape songs that narrate, gleefully and without repentance, instances of rape, murder, torture, and other cruelties. 78
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I don’t mean to suggest that transgressive musicians are a particularly new breed of artist; I intend merely to highlight a growing tendency in contemporary popular and independent music reception. There may be no term more apt to describe this tendency than “cognitive dissonance,” or, the state of having inconsistent thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes, especially as relating to behavioral decisions and attitude change. What can we say of the contemporary music listener and/or critic, those who consume media that promotes (or at least seems to promote) thoughts, beliefs, or attitudes that are in direct conflict with his or her personal convictions? Is, or can, listening to Odd Future be a worthwhile confrontation with violence? In his essay, “Finding A Form,” William Gass writes that “it is a mistake to suppose that the speaking of this or that truth, the display of this or that moral stance, the advocacy of this or that point of view is, or even ought to be, the principal aim of the artist.” Excusing the amorality heralded in the lyrics on LPs “Bastard,” “Goblin,” “Radical,” “Earl,” and many other self-released albums, several members of Odd Future are notable for being skillful sentence-builders. The content, rarely free of violence, is given beautiful form. As a writer and rhetor, Earl Sweatshirt outpaces his OF peers track-for-track. One
gets the impression that he believes the sentence should have its own song. Divorced from their meanings, Sweatshirt’s verses display a deft consideration for the way words bump or rub up against one another. Take, for instance, this alliterative boast: “Two shots fired at the Excursion we were swervin’ in / All purpose verses with a passion for servin’ kids / Empty out your purses on an immature crime scene / Eyein’ up the nurses with some gloves that read “I squeeze” / Who the fuck said to speak, Mr. Me-is-Siamese? / Even Christ said, “Christ, he flows quite nicely.” Flow is the currency of rap, a formal quality of prime importance to hip-hop. Speaking very generally, flow refers to the human voice’s ability to function as an instrument. It is arguably the most important component of hip-hop poetics. Flow elevates the art form of the rap song; while certain elements of the hiphop community (i.e. widespread homophobia and misogyny) remain indefensible, the twisted shape rap songs take are often worthy of close structural analysis, as well as, finally, respect. The pleasure of Earl Sweatshirt’s music comes primarily from its free-floating formalism: those spaced-out beats he rides or raps against; his quick intakes between sharply-cut couplets; high-pitched synths that elbow their way into blood-spattered horror stories; flow. Sweatshirt’s butter-
smooth delivery recalls poet Allen Ginsberg’s poetic principle of “wordslinging,” refined by his friend Jack Keruoac as a “blowing” out of sentences and paragraphs that end only as you run out of breath. The rapper becomes a one-man brass band. After sharing a plane with members of Odd Future, American rocker Steve Albini took to the Internet to write a thoughtful – if uninformed – post detailing his experience. He asserts that the young artists “go out of their way to make it clear that this is not a case of regular people making music about assholes, but assholes making music about being assholes.” He doesn’t see any element of the performative in the Odd Future brand. He believes the content of the artists’ songs are congruent with their individual characters, while I see both as elaborate fictions, dramatically formed and, often, elegantly composed. In a recent piece published in the Wall Street Journal, local author William Giraldi makes a statement that addresses both Albini’s criticisms, and the reason Odd Future’s music should be celebrated: “Style is substance,” he writes, “as the poets know.” So it goes, too, in hip-hop, that a song’s ineffable whatness, might best be discerned by its style, what rapper AZ means by “schwepervesence” during his verse on Nas’ “Life’s A Bitch”: its meaningless spirit. There is an attendant anxiety in writing anything even remotely concerning Odd Fu-
ture. They’ve occupied a lightspotted position in the culture since their ascent in early 2011, and have been made the subject of numerous think pieces about race, “shock value,” and authenticity. Many worry that they’ve been exhausted, as a talking point and a musical group, exposed by their harshest, most moral critics. The value in continuing to critically write and think about Odd Future, and the reception they’ve been given, is that it encourages you to interrogate yourself, your culpability as a consumer. Think of it as a tastecheck.
have written mostly out of a personal need to understand my reasons for enjoying Odd Future. These reasons extend beyond the baseline criticisms I’ve heard circulated around campus. It’s not OK to like something simply because it’s “edgy.” All-or-nothing assertions, recently dubbed “drive-by reviews” by The Guardian, litter the last.fm pages and YouTube videos of artists, largely free of justification, qualification, or inquiry. The rhetoric of anonymous commenting, the half-baked thoughts that pass for arguments in online writing, has started, it seems, to impact our appreciative abilities. While a certain gut-level and/or unconscious reaction to art, including music like Earl Sweatshirt’s, resists articulation, one should be able to offer an intelligible defense of the media they regularly consume. I’m attracted to Patti Smith’s idea of a prayer that requires “more listening than speaking,” though what kind of listening she’s referring to is hard to gauge. Nabokov’s definition of a fit reader may well extend to fit listeners: one who does not read with his brain or his heart but with his back, waiting for ‘the telltale tingle between the shoulder-blades.’ The stimu-
lus of that “telltale tingle” should be sought, even if the search is doomed. One of music’s functions is to communicate what plainspeak can’t. You don’t need to believe in a song to enjoy it. While song and dance have had a historically close relationship with belief, it’s been necessarily broken by secular thinking, and the cultivation of a performance/celebrity culture. The short circuitry of a song today rarely ever leads to the brain. Consequently, music-listening, fanship, risks becoming a non-intellectual, thoughtless practice. The ascent of Odd Future is one of the most obvious recent examples of the attraction to primal feeling in song. The primal can and has been intellectualized, but it reads clumsily in a review, and holds much less interest than Odd Future’s self-mythologizing
one of music’s functions is to communicate what plainspeak can’t. you don’t need to believe in a song to enjoy it. sensibility, their Twitter feeds and music videos, as well as the “lost child” narrative they’ve written for Earl Sweatshirt, whose reportedly been sent away, by his mother, to boarding school in Samoa. These distractions and more complicate the modern-day music-listening experience. Taken cumulatively, they suggest that the inverse of Smith’s kidhood prayer has become true of contemporary culture: we belong to a time that requires, or at least encourages, more speaking than listening.
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Ghost Hunters The real question we all should be asking is: What Would Jason and Grant Do? A staple of Sci-Fi’s original programming since 2004, his little gem of a reality show follows paranormal investigation group TAPS, run by plumbers and BFFs Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. Yeah, sometimes the evidence is inconclusive and kind of lame. But it all becomes worth it for that one episode when they catch something incredibly off-the-wall, as you sit on the couch at home writhing from the awesomeness of the paranormal. No? That’s just me? Well, even if the spooky stuff ain’t for you, the bromance between Jason and Grant is too irresistible to ignore. If you can’t run through a supposedly haunted house with your bro, freezing hilariously every time the house settles under the green night-vision of the camera, then how can you call what you have a real friendship, anyway?
the best of the worst m e m b e r s of e m m a g ’ s e n t e rta i n m e n t s ta f f of f e r t h e b e s t wo r s t p op c u lt u r e b i t s t h at yo u n e e d t o se e
Dave Matthews Band Everyone who grew up in my Pittsburgh suburb went to Dave concerts. It was like the thing to do. Most people from my high school thought he was a local band because your entire Bio class would be tailgating together. In spite of the fact that in eighth grade, there were passed out stoners behind me, and what now looks like BC bros in front of me, I gotta say: Dave Matthews knows how to play. For a “jam rock” band filled with live improvisations, they’re a tightly-knitted group of flat-out talented musicians. Will there be a bro with a “crash into me” tattoo under his puka shell necklace on his wedding day? Of course. They may not be my favorite band of all time anymore, but DMB will always remind me of home. And I’ll be real: dude’s got some cute things to say
Sky High I have a reputation of liking crappy teen Disney movies that have absolutely no merit to them whatsoever. But to me, Sky High is different from movies like Prom and the Lizzie McGuire Movie. Sky High is about a lot more than a school for mini-superheroes. Though that part is fun, the movie also tackles equality in a really interesting way. At Sky High, students are separated into heroes and sidekicks, ahem, hero support. Throughout the course of the movie we discover that it doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been classified, you still have the ability to save the world. Sidekicks are people too, y’all! 80
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Justin Bieber You may know him the pint-sized pop star who took 2010 by storm with an innocent demeanor and a lesbian haircut. Perhaps you recall that awkward moment where he walked into a glass door on live TV, or when he didn’t understand the word “German” in an interview. Allow me to reintroduce you. His name is Justin Bieber, folks, and while his track record implies he may be nothing more than another tween trend, his pure talent is sure to prove otherwise. Bieber’s musical foundation began with no formal training. He boasts a resume of piano, drums, guitar, and trumpet, all of which were self-taught. Dig deeper than “Baby” and “One Time”, and you won’t be disappointed - Bieber’s YouTube channel still maintains his earliest videos, in which he is no older than eleven, playing alloriginal music, angelic as ever.
Degrassi: The Next Generation has eleven seasons and over 250 episodes under its belt -- and I wear the fact that I’ve seen each one multiple times like a scarlet letter of frothy Canadian drama emblazoned on my chest for the world to see. After a dark ages in which they attempted to get us to care about aging characters being boring in college, Degrassi has entered a new renaissance, ushering a whole new crop of teenagers around season ten. With a cast twenty-five deep (no, really), there really is something for everyone: unplanned pregnancy? Love triangles? Champagne addiction? Hoarding? It’s all packaged into easily digestible, delightfully ridiculous half-hour episodes. Plus, it’ll never stop being funny when anyone says “aboot.”
Most people are surprised this show is still on the air, but I’m still watching it as passionately as I was when it debuted the summer before my fourth grade year. It, along with the reality genre as a whole, has been dismissed as trash. I, however, see something different, especially in this gem. When I watch Big Brother, I see a fascinating psychological study on what happens when you throw fourteen different people into a house and lock the door. This isn’t just The Real World, where they can leave the house and hit the town. Here, they are forced to interact, form alliances, and compete. This is a reality show that truly requires skill, just like American Idol or Top Chef. You have to be smart to win this one. It’s not just a bunch of pretty people yelling at each other... but when they do, it’s lowbrow entertainment at its finest.
Kira, a Greek muse is sent to Earth by Zeus to roller skates around southern California. In her earthly expedition, she stops mid-rollergait and makes out Sonny Malone, a struggling and oppressed artist. Inspired by the sexual assault, Sonny seeks out Kira who helps him fulfill his dream of opening a disco nightmare roller rink. Sonny meets Gene Kelley’s character who offers to finance the project. Together they create the coolest roller rink SoCal has ever seen! The movie ends with a fifteen minute music video of the title song “Xanadu” as camera follows the actors in a nauseating loop around the roller rink. As the song proceeds, Kira and the entirety of the enormous cast, switch costumes from genre to genre (futuristic-->cowboys->disco). The movie means nothing. Gene Kelley, ONJ and roller skates are non stop fun. It is perfect for theme parties (i.e. Xanadu and Fondue: Maggie’s 17th Birthday.)
ABBA ABBA are despised for being shallow, overproduced, and just so disco. But that’s part of what makes them so fun! ABBA’s music is overblown and larger than life, but it’s also filled with glossy melodic hooks and oodles of danceable energy. And what’s the shame in that? Granted, I would be the first to send “Dancing Queen” to the hell for overplayed songs, but I think that “S.O.S”, “Waterloo”, and “Lay All Your Love on Me” are underrated gems of pretty pop. Just be sure to get the originals, and not the scary cover versions that Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan had to croak out for the Mamma Mia movie. And at the end of the day, it is always socially acceptable to listen to 70s disco if it is part of a workout playlist. “Gimme Gimme Gimme” and “Voulez Vous” may not be tracks for searching the soul, but they sound fantastic on a treadmill.
ENTERTAINMENT SCHOOL OF THOUGHT
if you liked this as a kid
text // ALEX TRIVILINO
Perks of Being Wallflower
If this was your favorite book in seventh grade, you had a perfect picture exactly about how high school wouldn’t be like. You went to a state school with the hopes of getting a girlfriend you could walk around the quad with. Maybe you would give her your letterman’s jacket. All because your years in high school weren’t quite as idealistic as ol’ “Perks” made it out to be. Partying with seniors when you’re a freshman? Nope. You had acne; they had sideburns. Life doesn’t work like that. So you’re a bit jaded, you’ve hooked up with some mediocre chicks at the hope of ~~feeling something~~ but just like “Perks,” it’s never as great as you’d hope it’d be.
SpongeBob You’re high. You’re so high right now, you don’t know why SpongeBob isn’t actually your personal kitchen sponge, and why all sponges aren’t animated. If your brain soaked up too much of Bikini Bottom’s finest when you were young, it won’t ever leave. Just like how you won’t ever leave your basement. For years, you watched Patrick the starfish. Now you are Patrick. Art imitates life, or something like that. C’est la vie.
Dexter’s Lab You’re a bit of a creep. Always tinkering away at some bigger project, you probably ended up at some MITish school, hoping to change the world. But not for global domination. Not for the betterment of mankind. But just to prove to your skeptical parents (and most likely, your older cooler sibling) that you aren’t as lame as they thought. That’s why you’re busy zapping photons or something that no one understands or cares about. Sucks, don’t it?
Donnie Darko You’re the weirdo in the bunch, and you may take things too far. You probably ended up at a small school like Kenyon or Oberlin, studied English, (poetry on the side, Russian Literature as your major) and expect a heart-to-heart every time you have a conversation with someone. You journal a lot, all while working on that big edgy project that you know will just make you into a serious writer. You’re definitely an introvert, but don’t worry! You will find your perfect someone at this very school. And he/she is just like you.
Sideways Stories from Wayside School You were the ‘Class Clown’ in elementary school, and you’re still the class clown of sorts. You don’t have just one personality, you’ve got like ten or fifteen. That doesn’t mean you’ve got a split personality, (it doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t) but it does mean you’re all over the place. You’re probably doing standup or improv or something zany, and you may never have a single serious thing to say. But fret not! The world needs people like you. Not too many, but a few.
Even if you haven’t read the book, everyone knows the cover that defined elementary school for years. So you may have been eight when you dove into this book, but now you’ve grown up. You didn’t go to college, but you did bike across the country once or twice. You can use the stars to tell what time it is, where in the world you are, and what the weather’s gonna be like. You’re gonna see the world. That is, until you get stuck in a crevice and have to cut your arm off with a pocket knife. anastasia
If you’re the one who calls everyone out for “Anastasia” not being a Disney movie, you’re a champ. You’re also severely messed up underneath the surface. When it comes to cartoon musicals, the difference between connecting with Belle and connecting with the Russian duchess are astronomical. While you’re all fun and games at first, you’ve got some major daddy issues, and a level of sophisticstion that Disney may not always tap into. Potential identity crisis? Probably. A yearning for finding answers makes you a bit of a nag, with a somewhat large codependence on alcohol. The hard stuff. On the other hand, that’s a perfect formula for college parties. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
If You Went on a Date with Your Favorite TV Character t e x t // E T HA N YO U N G
BETTY DRAPER from Mad Men Where We Went: She made a home cooked meal! It was a little awkward because her ex-husband and children were there. What We Talked About: The dinner conversation was pleasant and boring, yet I felt like there was a subtle underlying meaning I couldn’t quite grasp. Will There Be a Second Date?: I was willing to give it a second chance, but she didn’t understand that I wanted to date exclusively. Oh well. Definite trophy wife material.
“A” from Pretty Little Liars
RACHEL BERRY from The SMOKE MONSTER from LOST Glee
Where We Went: The Greenhouse. No, that’s not a fancy vegetarian restaurant. We went to an actual creepy greenhouse.
Where We Went: Breadsticks. Obviously. I think that’s the only restaurant in her hometown.
What We Talked About: We were pretty quiet. I held A’s gloved hand and stared into that dark abyss of a ski mask. Our connection was instantaneous.
What We Talked About: We almost exclusively discussed the latest happenings on Broadway. Sometimes she randomly broke out into tears (and made a really ugly face when she cried).
Will There Be a Second Date?: He/she texted me the second I left. I looked around to see if I could find him/her, but all I saw was an empty street. The level of intrigue necessary in any relationship is definitely there, so I’ll be giving A another date.
What We Talked About: At first, I was really into it. He was tall, dark, and handsome, and we had some really deep philosophical conversations. However, things got weird when he got up to go to the bathroom and came back as my dad.
Will There Be a Second Date?: I can’t decide. I met about four different versions of her over the course of one date, so I would give it another shot if she decided which one she was for more than a few minutes.
Will There Be a Second Date?: Probably not. We arrived separately and when we left, he changed into a horse and galloped away.
Where We Went: The Rainforest Café. Very atmospheric.
MEREDITH GREY from Grey’s Anatomy Where We Went: The restaurant at the top of the Space Needle. It was a dreary day. What We Talked About: She was quite an eloquent speaker, except for when she repeated phrases for emphasis. We were distracted by the overabundance of The Fray that the restaurant played. 82
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Will There Be a Second Date?: Yes; we had to put this one on hold when a random sinkhole opened up in the middle of the restaurant. Seems implausible, but she said this stuff happens to her all the time.
DEXTER MORGAN from Dexter Where We Went: An outdoor cafe in Miami. He mentioned something about the boss being corrupt, so I wasn’t sure why he wanted to go. What We Talked About: He made a lot of awkward jokes, and left the table a lot, but we were able to have a few little chats. He did say he just got out of a long relationship. It ended badly. Will There Be a Second Date?: He muttered “tonight’s the night” under his breath as I got out of the car, so I guess that means we didn’t hit it off. If we do meet again, I hope he wears that tight-fitting olive green thermal again. So sexy.
TOUCHED BY AN ACTOR: Interactive Theatre
hen most think of a good theater experience, they might think of that time they saw “RENT” when they were fourteen and cried like a little school girl during “I’ll Cover You: Reprise”. Or maybe they tapped their feet during “Do You Hear The People Sing?” at their high school’s performance of “Les Mis” and bought a cookie during intermission. In both instances, audiences members were safely in their seats,The thought of a performer coming out to address an audience member is kind of terrifying; like some embarrassing dream realized, except everyone is probably still wearing all their clothes. But somewhere beyond the over-thetop musicals of Broadway, and the community theater we all rolled our eyes at, there’s a third option between performer and audience member, between the stage and that ever-present fourth wall, making the viewer aware of the fact that they were seeing a show at all times. This third option is a hybrid of the two, where the audience melds with the performers. The name for this new-wave brand of theater has been dubbed “interactive theater”. While many forms of the experimental theatrical off-shoot have taken shape, you can usually identify an interactive theater show by the audience itself being an integral part of the show. One production in particular that has pushed the interactive theater envelope and has called attention to the genre is Sleep No More, created by British theater group PunchDrunk. “Sleep No More” is a modern retelling of the Shakespeare classic “Macbeth”…kind of. This version takes place in a hotel, which PunchDrunk created by renovating an abandoned warehouse. Upon arrival to the building, audience members are asked to don white masquerade masks. Then it becomes a tour of the building, where audience
members are encouraged to not speak for the entire two and one half hour experience, while they move from room to room, watching everything from torrid simulated sex scenes between performers, to murder scenes in blood-soaked bath tubs. You’re even encouraged to approach the performers yourself, even reach out and touch them, as well as root through documents on desks and examine pictures on the wall. The viewer creates their own unique experience by choosing whom to interact with and what rooms to explore, and become a part of the twisted story PunchDrunk creates. Emerson College theater groups have jumped onto the trend as well, with experimental interactive shows starting to pop up through independent production and through established acting groups. Last year’s production of “Bardo,” brainchild of student Benjamin Kabialis, a senior Writing, Literature and Publishing major, included three actors. The rest of the cast? The audience members. The show follows the three actors, who have been somewhere beyond the over-thetop musicals of Broadway, and the community theater we all rolled our eyes at, there’s a third option between performer and audience member, between the stage and that ever-present fourth wall. cast in a movie being filmed on Roanoke island. The show began with a casting call, in which the audience participated, and eventually ends up at a party scene, where two of the actors have their own separate scene. The audience members could’ve chosen to pay attention to the action, or they could’ve been performing their own scene, as guests at the party. Each member of the audience was able to create their own unique experience out of “Bardo.” On top of all that, there was a cameraman catching all the action on video, with a live feed going on two screens in the room. “What made it interactive was
text // ERIN DOOLIN
that it started off with a casting call. That was one of my favorite moments, because Kirin and Dan (McCroy and Robert, the other two actors in the show) have a scene, and you could choose to either listen to their dialogue or just be a member of the party, talking to other guests, being your own character,” said Gabe Rodriguez, a senior BFA Acting major, who played Garrison Albright, one of three actors in the production. Alberto Familiar, a senior Theater Studies major and Dance and Marketing minor, and producer of 2011’s “Poison Apple,” has spent the past two years trying to get audiences involved in his shows. “Poison Apple” is an original update of Snow White, that took place once more in the Cabaret, which was turned into a club in which most of the action took place. The audience members were patrons of the club, watching the action taking place and dancing along with the performers during the musical numbers. Even though not all of the scenes required audience participation, Familiar said that the audience members were so involved in the show, that they audibly booed and cheered during the scenes, energized from the performance. And the audience members weren’t the only ones benefiting from the interaction. “Many of the performers told me that this was the most fun they’ve ever had at a show,” Familiar said, “Half of the show was learning the dance steps and the music, but the other half was figuring out how to get the audience to join in, and I think the actors fed off their energy.” The growth of audience participation in theatre represents another phase of experimentation, as well as blurring the lines between what it means to be an audience member and a performer. Going to a show doesn’t have to mean sitting quietly in your seat, thumbing through your playbill in the dark, tapping your foot beneath the seat. You can jump to your feet, create your own scene and your own story within the story. Just be careful of touching the performers, because now, they’ll probably touch you back. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
outh Boston has a reputation that lies somewhere between the mafia and Riverdance. South Boston has been the epicenter of Irish culture for the past 200 years, as demonstrated by the annual beer scented bagpipes and barfing parade on March 13 and the slew of pubs and bars. Along with the traditional Irish flair, come some new institutions from upscale boutiques to specialty food shops. While real Southie is a little rough around the edges it makes for a filling meal, a shopping spree and an enjoyable time. text // MAGGIE MONAHAN photo // JAMIE EMMERMAN 84
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mul’s diner location 80 West Broadway
why go? Four words, Crème Brulee French Toast. While some of their delicious breakfast specialties may make you more susceptible to diabetes nothing can beat their giant portions and their reasonable prices. The retro diner boasts a neighborhood atmosphere and a bottomless cup of coffee for a mere $2. When you’re sick of pop tarts for breakfast, Mul’s Diner is the place to go.
ko pies 87 A Street
rondo’s sub shop
Just a little pie shop, KO Pies in South Boston will quell fears you had brought on by “Sweeney Todd.” KO Pies, an Australian meat pie shops serves homemade meat and veggie pies perfect for keeping a freezing Bostonian warm. The store has a modern décor complimented by a few Aussie flags, complete with imported Australian favorites like Vegimite, for sale, and WERS playing in the background, makes for a cheery lunch. Samuel Jackson, (yes, that’s really his name) the Australian manager explains that pies sell in Boston because they’re foreign enough to be exciting but not so foreign that Bostonians will be afraid to try them and are fairly cheap. KO Pies also caters and sells frozen pies out of their shop. If meat pies aren’t your thing, KO Pies offers other treats like Shrimp on the Barbie sandwich or Aussie style Caesar salad. If you’re looking for a filling and cheap meal, KO Pies are the best pies in Boston.
For a unique collection of men’s and women’s clothing, as well as home décor and accessories, Habitat is the best place to go in South Boston. The boutique offers an intimate experience, great customer service and selection without the steep prices of Newbury Street. Ku De Ta carries brands like True Religion Denim, Big Buddha Handbags and Charlie Jade. Skip the trip to Neiman Marcus or Dillard’s and head straight for the same brands but with a boutique flare. When H&M, Urban and American Apparel get a little stale, Habitat offers plenty of unique pieces to offset your style from the masses.
Sweetwater getting a little too pricey for you? Looking for cheap drinks with a dash of dive bar fun? Whitey’s is what you need. A PBR draft goes for $1.50. Take a second to gain consciousness again, because I’m sure you’ve fainted at the sight of such a low price for Emerson’s drink of choice. The exterior of the bar is painted a blinding kelly green sure to remind every passerby “THIS IS IRISH!” The drinks are strong and well worth running to the ATM for the cash only establishment. Guiness goes for $3 a pint and mixed drinks, like rum and (a tiny splash of ) coke are also served in a pint glass. You’d be a fool to disagree with the t shirt that hangs in the bar that names Whitey’s as Boston’s #1 dive bar.
703 E Broadway
268 West Broadway
134 Broadway Street
why go? While the outside of Rondo’s Sub Shop matches the seedier side of Southie, the sandwiches make it well worth it. Looking for the local sub shop from home, Rondo’s offers an enormous selection of even larger sandwiches. Unlike Subway, Rondo’s doesn’t claim to be healthy but it does leave you slightly inebriated by a sandwich, unable to walk, and freakishly happy. Rondo’s is old school, which means they won’t accept your Hello Kitty debit card — cash only! Rondo’s was also featured on a recent episode of Anthony Bourdain’s “No Reservations.” If an older hipster like Bourdain likes Rondo’s, the entire (non-vegan, non-vegetarian) Emerson community will as well. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
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Parker sequin dress, $330; Dress. Report Signature heels, $210; LF Boston
IN OUR EYES
e see creativity as our generationâ€™s strongsuit. Genertation Y expresses themselves through not only their actions but their words, their artistry, and their appearance. In celebration of that, we present you with a never before reached 38 pages of fashion editorials
In these pages, our fashion team has dreamed up, planned out, and executed three different stories told exclusively through fashion and photography. Though their inspirations vary greatly, we find them all equally moving and inspiring. Using a trip home, a contemporary artist, and an experience shared across our generation as jumping off points, our team has delivered a feast for the eyes - bon apetit.
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Who says you can’t go home? Certainly not us. Succulent sweaters and luxe accessories take model Shea Gomez home in the only way that we know how - in style. Photographed by Michael Rivera Styled by Blake Metzger
Marc Jacobs blouse, $495; Gretta Luxe. Kaelen skirt, Reece Hudson belt $75; Stel’s. 88
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Helmut Lang fur snood, $505; Gretta Luxe. ADAM sweater, $330; Dress. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
EDUN Blazer, $1095, Marc Jacobs tote, $995; Gretta Luxe. Paul & Joe Sister shorts, $198; Sells & Co. Boston. Dolce Vita booties, $230; LF Boston. 92
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Mizurio-Ind swater vest, $360, Gary Graham mixed media dress $850; Stelâ€™s. Loeffer Randall booties, Stella McCartney bag, $1095; Gretta Luxe. 94
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Paul & Joe Sister poncho, $308; Sells & Co. Boston. Phillip Lim trousers, $495; Dress. Report Signature heels, $210; LF Boston. Diane Von- Furstenburg iPad case; DVF Boston. Proenza Schouler PS1; Barneyâ€™s New York. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE
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Esp No. 1 hat, $45, Mizurio-Ind vest (worn as scarf) , $360, and duffle coat $360; Stel’s.
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Kimberly Ovitz dress, $525; Gretta Luxe. Fashion Editor: Alex Oanono. Fashion Assistant: Danielle Brizel.
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Untitled Film Still #12 Suno kimono dress; Stelâ€™s.
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Woman on the Ve r g e The film noir styles of the season get a thrilling twist in this reinvention of Cindy Sherman’s ‘Untitled Film Stills.’ Photographed by Seren Turam Styled by Justin Reis
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Untitled Film Still #56 Milau dress, $178; LF Boston 104 EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
Untitled Film Still #35 Rachel Comey printed dress, $470; Stelâ€™s. Cotelac clogs; Cotelac Boston.
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Untitled Film Still #11 Milau dress, $188; LF Boston. Stella Mc- Cartney pumps, $695; Gretta Luxe. Arielle de Pinto Couture necklace, $850; Stelâ€™s.
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Untitled Film Still #65 Porter Grey dress, $385; The Tannery. 108 EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
Untitled Film Still #84 Cotelac coat, $815; Cotelac Boston. Sea black and white dress, $403; The Tannery. Vera Wang Lavendar boots; Gretta Luxe.
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Untitled Film Still #4 Stella McCartney skirt, Derek Lam coat, $1590; Gretta Luxe. Nomia collared blouse, $231; The Tannery. Model: Mary-Kate Nyland Fashion Editor: Alex Oanono Fashion Assistant: Fred Kim
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The Trendsetter Strenesse leather blazer, $1300, Helmut Lang pants, $265; Gretta Luxe. Alexander Wang velvet top, $265; The Tannery. Cotelac buckle boots; Cotelac Boston.
‘90s teen M O V IE This season’s trends are put to the ultimate test and are turned into cliche cliques. After all, isn’t fashion just high school with Loboutins? Photographed by Benajmin Askinas Styled by Blake Metzger
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The Free Spirit Gary Graham blouse, $445; Stelâ€™s. Helmut Lang sweater (worn around waist), $275, J Brand cords; Gretta Luxe.
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The Prom Queens Parker beaded mini, Issa wrap dress, $588; Dress.
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The Outcast Cotelac leather vest, $875; Cotelac Boston. Raquel Allegra turtle neck dress, $390; Stelâ€™s. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE 117
The Preps Parker silk blouse, $198; Dress. Yigal Azrouel pants, $480; Gretta Luxe. Matisse loafers, $148; LF Boston. Steven Alan sweater dress, $298; The Tannery. Strenesse collared shirt, $380; Gretta Luxe. 118 EM MAGAZINE - WINTER 2012
The Athlete Aiko sweatshit, $135, and leggings $145; Stelâ€™s. Bensimon sneakers; Dress. THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE 119
The Bookworms Cotelac dress, $185, and scarf $65; Cotelac Boston. Mih dress, $264; Dress.
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The Goths Raquel Allegra dress, $995; Stel’s. Jeffrey Campbell leopard shoes, $185; LF Boston. Robert Geller knit snood, $295, Raquel Allegra distressed shirt, $495; Stel’s. Winifred Grace necklace, Dress. Cut25 pants with leather accents, $575; Gretta Luxe. Jeffrey Campbell booties, $205; LF Boston. Models: Ilaria de Plano, Julia Libani. Fashion Editor: Alex Oanono Fashion Assistants: Jordan Peery, Danielle Brizel, Kate Amery THE GENERATION WHY ISSUE 123
116 Newbury Street - Boston Charlotte Ronson Paul & Joe Sister Lauren Moshi Hudson Work Custom Beyond Vintage Goldhawk
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3.1 Phillip Lim, ADAM, Equipment, Fiorentini + Baker, Giles & Brother, Issa, Loeffler Randall, Parker, Tucker, Winifred Grace, Yumi Kim Dress Boston 221 Newbury Street Boston, MA 02116 617.424.7125
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“Why was I born with such contemporaries?” -Oscar Wilde
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