INCITE MAGAZINE VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6 ▪ APRIL 2016
EDITORS-IN-CHIEF Sarah Mae Conrad Jaslyn English CONTENT EDITORS Caitlyn Buhay Dalya Cohen Kayla Esser Gali Katznelson Nimra Khan Madeleine McMillan Sarah O’Connor Sunny Yun Rachelle Zalter ART CURATORS Kayla Da Silva Lauren Gorfinkel Jason Lau Angela Ma Camelia McLeod
SPIRIT OF BEING EIGHTEEN Incite Staff
OH, THE 90S Trisha Philpotts
THE PARADOX OF SOCIAL GLOBILIZATION | Drushti Mehta
ON NEW BABYLON & THE CREATIVE INSTINCT Kayla Esser
LAYOUT EDITORS Catherine Chambers Angela Ma Elaine Westenhoefer
ART | Muhbooba Yoqoub, Jasmyne Smith, Eric Van Nus
IN-HOUSE ARTISTS Kayla Da Silva Mimi Deng Lauren Gorfinkel Diana Marginean
ANCIENT, #2016 Muskaan Sachdeva
SEX AND STARDOM Coby Zucker
INTEGRATIONAL DAMAGES Amanda Lemus
TATTOO Hamid Yuksel
ncite Magazine is McMaster University’s student-run monthly publication featuring a wide range of content, such as personal essays, research pieces, fiction, poetry, photography, paintings, drawings, and digital art. Every aspect of Incite’s production is carried out by student volunteers, from writing to graphics to layout. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to get involved.
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PHOTOGRAPHY Jin Lee
ISABEL Emma Hudson
KEEP CALM & SAY NO TO FOMO | Aarti Sayal
BOOKS Kainat Amir
PERFECTIONISM Sunny Yun
DO I EVER CROSS YOUR MIND? | Michele Zaman
SEVENTH SEAL Aryan Ghaffarizadeh
BASICS Khatija Anjum
PAINT IT RED Jasmine Chahal
EIGHTEEN YEARS OF INCITE Various Writers
PHOTOGRAPHY Jason Lau
facebook.com/incitemagazine issuu.com/incite-magazine @incitemagazine 2
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
ARTISTS Vannessa Barnier, Talysha Bujold-Abu, Angela Busse-Gibson, Jasmine Chahal, Sarah Mae Conrad, Jonathan Cortese, Kayla Da Silva, Mimi Deng, Shirley Deng, DJ Gomez, Kayla Esser, Leah Flanagan, Brittany Forsyth, Dana Hill, Sonnet Irwin, Jamie Kasiama, Jason Lau, Jin Lee, Jonsson Liu, Patricia Nguyen, Diana Marginean, Camelia McLeod, Tahmina Minhas, Sherri Murray, Maya Newman, Imasha Perera, David Shin, Jasmyne Smith, Catherine Tarasyuk, Eric Van Nus, Muhbooba Yoqoub, Brian Zheng
WRITERS Kainat Amir, Takhliq Amir, Khatija Anjum, Danielle Campagnolo, Jasmine Chahal, Dalya Cohen, Jaslyn English, Kayla Esser, Aryan Ghaffarizadeh, Aaron Grierson, Catherine Hu, Emma Hudson, Annabel Krutiansky, Amanda Lemus, Sonia Leung, Angela Ma, Karishma Manji, Alexandra Marcaccio, Parsa Mehrabanfar, Drushti Mehta, Sarah O'Connor, Trisha Philpotts, Muskaan Sachdeva, Gagandeep Saini, Aarti Sayal, Nikhita Singhal, Danielle Smith, Ioana Stochitoiu, Annie Yu, Hamid Yuksel, Sunny Yun, Michele Zaman, Coby Zucker
THE REVOLUTION IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION Aaron Grierson
THIS TOO Catherine Hu
Iâ€™M LYING IN BED STARING AT MY MACBOOK SIDEWAYS Angela Ma
DEPENDENT, AFTERGLOW David Shin, Dana Hill
THIS PIECE IS NOT NORMAL Takhliq Amir
UNTITLED Annabel Krutiansky
THE RUINED Danielle Campagnolo
SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS IN THE LIFE OF A FIRST YEAR Alexandra Marcaccio
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
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LAYOUT DESIGNERS Catherine Chambers, Sarah Mae Conrad, Catherine Hu, Angela Ma, Elaine Westenhoefer, Annie Yu COVERS/TABLE OF CONTENTS Sarah Mae Conrad
OVERCOME Nikhita Singhal
END OF A STORM Sonia Leung
CHANGE IN RESPONSIBILITIES Parsa Mehrabanfar
THE UNSPOKEN RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA Ioana Stochitoiu
IN MY DREAMS Gagandeep Saini
#ACTIVISM & THE POWER OF MILLENNIALS Danielle Smith
THE TIME GHOST Sarah O'Connor
THE GRADUATION Annie Yu
sunny yun When I think of 18, I think of loss. The year that I started university was the year that I lost a loved family member. This was a person who I had previously thought to be invincible, a permanent figure to be in our family’s life forever. I held this lie close to my heart during the diagnosis, through every surgery, and in the very moment I learned of his passing. At age 18, I learned the meaning of the word fallibility. I came to understand how my world could change inthe blink of an eye; and how time fails, indiscriminately, to wait for the final thank you and goodbye.
kayla esser 18 – the year we signed the lease to a house, the first that we would call our own. Proud of our new postal code, we painted our walls the colours of spring and moved our furniture in carts stolen from Fortino’s. We hung up our picture by the door and declared the motto ‘be nice or leave.’ In the end, it was our landlord who needed the reminder the most. By April, we had packed up our carts once again, and left to build our home somewhere else.
madeleine mcmillan The essence of my eighteen-year-old self can be found in the stress that is University applications. My being was absorbed in getting into every school I had applied to, and my biggest fear was that thin envelope in the mail that would tell me of my rejection. To fight against this anxiety, I took to studying as much as I could, delving into the books, and even coming into school on Saturdays to get some extra work completed. To put it frankly, my old self went insane. As soon as I graduated high school, it was waiting to pack up for McMaster. And then the excitement of moving in. The excitement of being alone. The fear of being alone. And then, once again, the pressure to strive, to do well. Eighteen is a difficult year. It is a liminal year, a transition to the new, to the unknown. A year of growth. 4
nimra khan Being 18 was captured by a little voice in the back of my mind telling me I was lost. It was an itch, and sometimes it would go away, but I realized at many points that I had no idea what I was doing. Where am I going? Am I choosing the right path? Everything worked out, it's true, but it was like feeling your way through the darkness and just as your eyes would begin to adjust to the dark, it would be pitch black again. I was afraid. Worried. Uncertain. I didn't need to be. The world came into better focus and I finally reached the door. "You were 18!" I tell myself now, "In the millions of years this planet has breathed life, you were a speck in infinity. You're allowed to be lost in that vast expanse."
Co-Editor-in-Chief, Fall 2013 I was 18 when I first wrote for Incite. I wrote for the first issue that was released after I started at Mac, and I wrote for the last issue released before I left Mac, and I wrote for many issues in between. I’d like to say that my evolving Incite contributions over the years show how, through my undergrad, I developed into a mature, intelligent, and sophisticated young citizen, but the first thing I wrote for Incite was about how the mainstream media shamelessly distorts and exaggerates the truth for better ratings while the last thing was a story about an idiotic cowboy who starts a bar fight for no reason. So I guess I can’t really speak much about maturity, intelligence, or sophistication. Instead what those early Incite contributions do demonstrate is the sort of confident literary swagger that can only come from being young and having no idea what the hell you’re talking about. Other topics that I tackled in my first year at Incite include transhumanism, veganism, and nihilism (twice). Back then I wrote argumentative essays instead of absurd short stories. I had opinions instead of thoughts. I made a fool of myself, but I think it was only by being such a huge idiot when I was 18 that I’m able to be a slightly smaller idiot today.
sarah o'connor Starting university after a victory lap of high school and fooling myself into believing that I was an adult. Believing that at eighteen I would now be going to house parties, making mistakes I would fondly look back on, that I would drink (even though I couldn’t legally drink), explore, socialize, fall in love, and grow as a person like you’re supposed to at eighteen. Eighteen was when my mom got sick for the last time. When one of the friends I had made began calling me “sheltered” for staying home instead of going out. When I learned that things change at eighteen in ways I never imagined. But at eighteen, there was nothing I could do but take it all in and keep moving forward.
caitlyn buhay Being 18 is complex enough without bringing in convoluted vocab. So to be more informal for my own sake, I will instead simplify zeitgeist to the spirit. When you are 18 your entire being is at once consumed with excitement and torn with worry about the path you are about to take. Tormented by the choices and changes waiting for you on the horizon, you must prepare yourself as you leave your safe little ecosystem of secondary education, and traverse into the vast jungle of post secondary education. You are wrapped in confusion and excitement and often a little doubt with what exactly you have wandered into. But there is a subtle peace in this period, as you are secure in the notion that others make this same journey with. Although you may all be parting ways to venture on different paths, the same spirit drives each of you. The spirit for change, and a transformation of the self. For new passions and many new adventures. Whether you wander off the path or not, you are going on a journey millions of others have ventured on, and at the end of your 18th year or perhaps it may take you longer- but soon enough you will realize that spirit, and it will lead you to your whole new self. INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
Jin Lee VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
ARTWORK BY ANGELA BUSSE-GIBSON
OH, THE 90s Trisha Philpotts
rom The Spice Girls to Nirvana, Corey and Topanga to Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano, Walkmans to HitClips, and dial-up Internet to cordless phones – the 90s were a unique time in history. Us 90s babies were the last to live in the archaic world in which things like iPhones, iPods, tablets, Blurays, and Netflix didn’t exist, where the only Justin we knew was Timberlake, and the Kardashian name was associated with the lawyer and not the socialites. It was the best of times, but it was also the worst of times (just ask anyone who rocked frosted tips or had to rewind VHS tapes before returning them to Blockbuster). Now, I know that everyone hails the decade they were born in as “the best”, but I think it’s fair to say that the 90s really were some of the best years, at least in terms of pop culture. So, hear me out as I walk you through some of the best parts of the 90s.
MUSIC Spice Girls We all did it, and by it, I mean fighting over who got to be which Spice Girl at recess. Whether it be Baby, Posh, Scary, Sporty, or Ginger, there was someone for everyone, and oh how I loved their fierce, unapologetic presence and of course, their zig-a-zig-ah. Favorite song: Say You’ll Be There.
NSYNC I know you thought Backstreet Boys would be in this spot. You may hate me but it ain’t no lie… I was a bigger fan of JT than Nick Carter. NSYNC’s shamelessly choreographed group dances are still some of the greatest – but also most cringe-worthy – moments in history and still I loved every pop and lock. Favorite song: Tearin’ Up My Heart. Honorable Mentions: Backstreet Boys, Sugar Ray, No Doubt, Smash Mouth
In no specific order, the 90s had a plethora of iconic toys – Furby (they creeped me out!), Bop It, Pogs, Bones, Beanie Babies, Tamagotchi/Nano Pets, Pokémon trading cards, Polly Pocket, and Talkboy voice recorders.
Now I’m not a huge gamer by any means, but my translucent orange N64 was a huge part of my childhood. Mario Kart was the game of choice – you all know it was. If you’re anywhere near as competitive as I am, you know the fights that could erupt the moment someone dropped a banana peel causing you to skid out of first place. You also knew that it was a cheap shot to pick Toad if your opponent was using Bowser.
TV SHOWS My So Called Life Though it only ran for one season, My So Called Life solidified my love for Claire Danes and Jared Leto. Teenage angst was at an all time high in this series as Angela Chase navigated the gritty realities of being a teenager. Honorable Mentions: Boy Meets World, The Famous Jett Jackson, Clarissa Explains It All, Secret World of Alex the Mack, Uh-Oh!
LIFESTYLE Hands down my favourite part of the 90s were the outdoors – kids today don’t seem to enjoy communing with neighborhood kids as much as we did. No matter what time you went outside there was always an impromptu game of hockey, basketball, or tag going on and if you were lucky enough to be out after the streetlights came on there was always a game of Manhunt in the dark. A little further down the street a group of neighborhood kids were surly doing the Macarena, practicing cartwheels, or jumping rope. The 90s was a time where it seemed like everyone, girl or boy, knew how to skateboard, rollerblade, or hacky sack. Anyone could just join in on a game, a time when residential streets were unofficially owned by hockey nets.
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
Isabel Emma Hudson Why Venice? It echoed through her head every time her feet hit cobblestone, every time a water bus chugged by. Perché Venezia? Her mother’s voice, a constant presence. She’d flown through once when she was young. A family vacation to Spain, delayed six hours in the Venetian airport. Six hours spent looking through windows. The water, the boats, the creakiness of everything. A few buildings jutting out above the others, demanding the city’s attention with their gawky stature. Too short to be awe-inspiring, too tall to blend in with the background. She bought a one-way ticket for the next day. She knew no Italian. She walked amongst compressive heat, getting lost in the winding language and canals. Sometimes she missed driving, but mostly she just appreciated the aimlessness. She really had nowhere to go. Then there came the flooding. In the darker corners of winter water would rise up to her ankles, sometimes her calves. A city underwater. Sometimes she thought it seemed very ironic (or maybe prophetic) That the city she had chosen to escape to was also sinking.
ARTWORK BY MIMI DENG VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
THE PARADOX OF SOCIAL GLOBILIZATION
ine year old me sat in front of the computer waiting eagerly to play the Disney games. “We have to wait for the Internet to connect” my mother said. My excitement grew as the sound of the dial up filled the space of our small apartment. This was my first introduction with the medium that would grow to house the future realm of social globalization. The final school bell rang ending my fifth grade class. I parted ways with my friends as I rushed to get home to my computer. “See you on MSN” we chanted as school ended. I rushed up to the computer room, impatient to log into my MSN account. The computer screen came alive as “Drushti (online)” appeared. MSN was everyone’s newfound hobby. There was something intrinsically exciting about gluing ourselves in front of the computer screens to chat with classmates, and friends: sharing news, stories and gossip completely isolated from the real social world. We were all so busy making and strengthening our virtual social connections that we barely noticed the sun
ARTWORK BY CATHERINE TARASYUK 8
setting on the horizon. “Please get Facebook,” my eighth grade best friend begged me. “It’s the coolest thing. You can write your name in glittery letters and it is the greatest way to chat and stay in touch,” she promised. It was soon after that I activated my very own Facebook account. It started with 10 minutes of chatting, which progressed to 30 ultimately increasing until it interfered with regular family time and dinners. It was so easy to lose myself in the virtual world of Facebook. I often rushed to finish my dinner in order to get back to the conversation that I had left with “gtg for dinner. Brb in 5”. The atmosphere is live with bustling activity as the kids run around the house, the adults chatter away and we gather around in the living room. It is my cousin’s Christmas party and all our friends are here. The room is filled with laughter and jokes as friends and family catch up with one another. While engrossed in a competitive round of Spoons, I notice the silence in the noise. The sofa behind me is captured by a
group of friends, absorbed in their individual phones. They are so completely captivated in their virtual social worlds that they remain immune to the jovial social surroundings and hardly notice as the party dims down at the end of the night. Electronic social mediums have quietly woven themselves into our daily lives where we often depend on them to alleviate our boredom in a boring class, a party where we don’t know anyone, an uncomfortable social situation, or simply to provide entertainment. As the virtual social industries continue to expand I too began developing a growing dependency on them to form and maintain my social relations. However, I have begun to question and fear this dependency. The prospect of deceiving myself in the world of false social security while in reality being completely isolated is frightening. What is more frightening is the paradox of social globalization becoming a haunting reality for my generation and those to follow as we begin living our social lives exclusively through Facebook, Twitter, and Whats app.
There was something intrinsically exciting about gluing ourselves in front of the computer screens to chat with classmates, and friends: sharing news, stories and gossip completely isolated from the real social world. INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
KEEP CALM SAY NO TO FOMO Aarti Sayal
here is nothing better than an evening with my “sweatpants, hair tied, chilling with no makeup on”. I have my blankets wrapped around me, my warm pink fuzzy socks sticking out from under my covers, a Starbucks coffee in my hands, and Netflix playing on my laptop in the background. What else could I possibly want to do on a Friday night? I am as comfortable and happy as can be – nobody can force me out of my house on this cold winter night. But I get a phone call about a party I NEED to go to because EVERYONE will be there. We have probably all had this moment before. Do we choose to stay in?
Do we choose to stay in? What if we miss out on the most amazing party of the year? What if we miss out on the most amazing party of the year? All the doubt that arises comes from a “fear of missing out”, or what we have termed as FOMO. Whether this is a term you have heard of or not, you have probably felt it at some point. You are definitely not alone because people from all ages feel it as well. A toddler crying over a toy they must have comes from a fear of missing out on the enjoyment they could be having with something new. However, they get the toy, and two hours later they are already tired of it. A teenager, upset over not being allowed to go a party, fears of all the Instagram and Snapchat pictures they will not be a part of. Little does she know, all the drama that occurred at the party is a taboo subject by Monday that no one wants to talk of now. As university students, we may feel like we are constantly missing out on various opportunities–not only socially but academically as well. We hear about all the great courses our friends are taking, and we think maybe our semester could have been a little better if we had VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
just enrolled in that course too. We may even think our parents or grandparents never have FOMO, but they probably do as well. For instance, they may fear missing out on the new social media platforms and technology their children are a part of. As you sit reading this, remember to not let the YOLO philosophy justify your FOMO. Why do we constantly question what we choose to do? Why can we not be a hundred percent satisfied with a comfortable stay-at-home Friday? The reason lies in our frequent desire to be constantly connected to what everyone else is doing –something social media has definitely enhanced. When we are alone at home, we see Snapchats, pictures and videos of everyone having a great time at a get-together you are not at. While the people in these images are definitely happy in the moment, remember why you chose to be where you are now. You can never be a part of everything that everyone else in your life is doing. Enjoy the Friends episode you are watching; enjoy the pizza and movie night with your family; enjoy The Bachelor night on Mondays with your girlfriends. The only thing us as students should feel we are missing out on is sleep! As hard as it is to never feel you are missing out on something, especially in a generation so dependent on social media, we should try our hardest to live in the moment. Be satisfied with what makes you happy – especially with what makes you happy now.
ARTWORK BY SONNET IRWIN 9
ON NEW BABYLON AND THE CREATIVE INSTINCT Kayla Esser
ohn Lennon’s 1971 song “Imagine” could have easily been dismissed as cliché, but it became his greatest hit. The brilliant thing about the song was that it didn’t address anarchists and hippies, rather people outside these subcultures. Those were the people Lennon called on to imagine a new, better world. And his timing was perfect – after the destruction caused by the Second World War, Europeans had an urgent desire to build a new world on the ruins of the old one. This was expressed with mounting urgency in the cultural, social, and political domains of the 1950s and 1960s. One of those visionaries paving the way for Lennon’s call to action was Dutch artist Constant Nieuwenhuys, who worked tirelessly on his New Babylon project from 1956 to 1974. The project was a collection of suggestions for a new world, in the form of paintings, sketches, architectural designs, photos, collages, and lectures. The ideas he based his model on were reflected in the work of other artists working at the same time. New Babylon is a model for a world which Constant believed needed to be achieved immediately, and this urgency is reflected in the incredible detail and passion that can be seen in his designs. In New Babylon, earth was to be a collective property, all manual labour would be completed by machines, and society would be populated by a new type of person that could devote her life to her own creative development. Free of work, people would no longer be bound by time and space. The New Babylonian could wander, nomad-like, through an artificially organized
world. It was a radically different culture that would require radically different architecture. In Constant’s sketches, New Babylonian architecture takes the form of a global network of districts supported by pillars, with common open spaces in which life was subject to constant change. Doors, floors, bridges and walls would all be removable, so that the New Babylonians could create new routes and build new environments whenever they desired. Temperature, colour, and lighting could be easily changed based on the mood of the moment. In this way, individuality and the artist would be banished in favour of a more collective spirit. The culture of New Babylon would not result from isolated activities, barring exceptional situations, but from the global activity of the world’s population, with every human being engaged in a dynamic relationship with her surroundings. I discovered the New Babylon project while backpacking through Spain, in Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, which was temporarily housing the entire collection. In addition to all of the static pieces on display, the museum had recreated one of Constant’s interactive door labyrinths. His goal in creating these spaces was to challenge the visitor to experience the space differently than they might have initially been inclined to. In our world, we are obsessed with efficiency and simplicity, with the goal of getting from A to B in as little time as possible. We choose the most optimal route in our static space. When entering a maze, we immediately feel the frustration of getting lost. But in New Babylon, losing oneself
would no longer exist. Today’s ‘straying off’ in such a labyrinth would no longer mean ‘getting lost,’ but simply finding new paths. Constant argues that the creative human has an active relationship with the world around her, she wants to change things, intervene, and instead of arranging space in such a way as to reach her final destination quickest, she will instead make the space increasingly complex and therefore multiply its potential utilization. In 1974, Constant remarked that New Babylon was ultimately “nothing more than a model, a model to think about and play with.” New Babylon would have to be built, at some future time, by others. I am moved by the spirit of optimism that underscores his work. When I look at the world, I am often overwhelmed and disenchanted by the state that we are leaving it in for future generations. Constant’s project has prompted me to open my mind to the possibility of a world in which we take responsibility for our surroundings, and engineer them in such a way that no one struggles to maintain a basic, sustainable quality of life. Every reason for aggressive behaviour, for divisions of class or race, for starvation and exploitation, has been eliminated in New Babylon. The conditions of life favour creativity, and we are free to explore the world however we choose. Although I know that this is an ideal, and to some it may seem out of reach, I am grateful for the hope that this inspired in a generation that was in great need of something to believe in. At the very least, Constant’s project is a reminder to loosen our grip on the utilitarian model, and be more meaningful in the way that we interact with the spaces surrounding us.
ARTWORK BY KAYLA ESSER 10
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
ARTWORK BY JONATHAN CORTESE
ith age, there are many things we grow out of, such as clothes, toys, hobbies, and people. Our tastes develop for novel foods, we expand our music interests, and we enjoy new environments. The one thing that remains constant is our relationship with books.
out physically being in it. As readers, we know what we look for in a book when we pick it up and read the back cover. The pages filled with feelings and faith, laughs and losses, human depth and perceptions. Once we turn the first page, we set ourselves upon a journey that
The pages filled with feelings and faith, laughs and losses, human depth and perceptions. Whether of fantasy or horror, sci-fi or romance, an avid reader understands the immense power books possess. Hundreds upon thousands of words creating landscapes and wielding characters out of thin air, books paint a unique picture in all of our minds, despite, incredibly, coming from the same source. How amazing is it to be able to see a movie, a narrative play out, without actually watching it? To feel the emotions of characters and to relate to them without seeing their life forms? Books give us the ability to share the experiences of many people around the world, as their unique thoughts are put into characters and events, allowing us to envision a world withVOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
us a way to adapt to these differences and understand them. How fictional characters deal with relationship issues, uncertainties of the future, or the bigger questions of life, is what allow us to shape our realities. Books remain our source of inspiration and of escape throughout time. They help us see things in new ways, things that define friendship, and love, and hate. They create infinite worlds for us, with vampires and werewolves, with human beings reaching out to other dimensions of the world and imaginative technologies. We may never have travelled to another country or have seen a rare animal, but through books we can go all around the world, learning
We may have dull lives but find excitement and drama in books. has a reward and an end. We get into it, flipping page after page, and then seconds turn into minutes and minutes into hours and we realize that it is past three a.m. We try to stretch out the end by reading each word of the last chapter slowly, mentally preparing ourselves. As young adults, facing changes and growth of the body and mind, books give
about cultures and their beliefs and traditions and imagine the spices and flowers and fauna that exist. We may have dull lives but find excitement and drama in books. We may have too much spark, and in books find some peace and quiet. We can escape our reality, even for a few moments, and it is such a great feeling to be able to do that. ď Ž 11
Eric Van Nus 12
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
ne day in preschool, I sat for what seemed like hours meticulously crafting a painting of a fairy. Every detail, from the mixing of the colours to the thickness of the strokes, had to be just right. When I was almost finished, I destroyed it and threw it into the garbage. I thought my act had gone unnoticed, but a teacher salvaged my work and sent it home with my parents. I still have this painting, of a fairy with bright orange curly tresses, curved wings, and a ruffled dress. There is also a big, fat X struck through her face, symbolizing the frustration my three-year-old self felt with the piece and my tantrum thereafter. Looking back now, I see that my inclination for perfectionism began during my youngest years. Something that all self-proclaimed perfectionists understand but rarely speak about is fear. Specifically, the fear of producing work that is not representative of one’s full potential and ability. Extreme perfectionism is the inability to separate oneself from one’s creation, making it difficult to share work with peers or a public audience. In my own life and in the lives of others, I see how perfectionism urges people to turn inward, perpetuating the illusion that if you do just a little bit more preparation, your work will finally be perfect, and you will share it with the benefit of avoiding the pain and discomfort associated with criticism. Perfectionism was the squeaky voice in the back of my mind throughout elementary and high school, demanding me to triple and quadruple check my work. This strategy did the trick, for a while, until my senior year when I failed a test for the first time and found myself seriously questioning my intelligence and worth. My teacher told me not to worry and to remember that I was
Perfectionism, Embracing Humanness, & Something About a Painting
still a bright student, but perfectionism told me that she was lying. It was not until my university years that I learned how to be more accepting of discomfort. During my first year, I encountered the work of Brené Brown, a researcher who has studied vulnerability for more than 12
the “20-ton shield,” a protective mechanism used to conceal one’s flaws and justify staying hidden. She draws the distinction between perfectionism and the drive to produce great work, noting that perfection is a goal that is impossible to achieve. To overcome the perfectionist urge, Brown suggests recognizing our inherent shortcomings and vulnerabilities, claiming that in this way, one is better able to develop resilience against criticism, judgment, and shame. Realizing that getting perfect in class is often unachievable has helped me to accept the greys among a world too often viewed as black and white. I have found that practicing being imperfect makes for a life more varied and fun, as well as helps me feel more human. My former writing teacher taught me an incredibly effective strategy to overcome writer’s block: allow yourself to write absolute garbage. Even absolute garbage is better than writing nothing, because it takes courage and shows that you do not give up. I now see that this advice is applicable to the general perfectionist tendency. Displaying one’s work to the world is better than producing great work and sharing it with no one out of fear. The concept that there are endless benefits to imperfection is incredibly liberating, because if there is anything that these years of young adulthood mean to me, it is exploration, confusion, and learning. Instead of resisting this, I am now trying to remember that acting is better than hiding, so I make space for myself to take chances with my individual identity and relationship with the world. When my preschool self destroyed that painting, I was looking for a blank canvas, a fully fresh beginning. But there never is a fully fresh beginning, because a perfect anything does not exist. All we can do is build upon our past.
This means giving yourself permission to make mistakes. years. Specifically, she discusses the importance of vulnerability for healthy self-esteem and creativity. Among her findings, Brown reports perfectionism as diametrically opposed to vulnerability. Brown says that 1) perfectionism is common and 2) perfectionism is
ARTWORK BY TAHMINA MINHAS We apologize for an error in the print edition, which miscredits this artwork. VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
Ancient Muskaan Sachdeva
#2016 Muskaan Sachdeva
Eloquent vocabulary with elegant ways, for love — so boundless. Conflicts carefully resolved with apologies and eternal promises. Words patiently heard. Pictures finely printed and framed. Please correct me if I am wrong. Farewell.
Broken and squished words expressing love — less than three. If things slip: Ctrl+alt+delete. sorrynotsorry. Words lost amidst lol-ing and rofl-ing. Selfies swiftly taken, and homies tagged. Amirite? #kthxbye
ARTWORK BY DIANA MARGINEAN 14
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
DO I EVER CROSS YOUR MIND? Michele Zaman
Thursday March 18th, 1925 New York City, New York Webster Hall 125 East 11th Street
oday marks my twenty-sixth year on this balled up planet. Twenty-six. TWENTY-SIX. Your darling self came into my life a mere five years ago; I was doing just fine until you decided to turn my world upside down. I’m old, shouldn’t I have my life together? Why is it still this hard? I’m twenty-six and somehow I still find myself completely alone at 3:30am writing this goddamn letter to you (you’re all I think about). How pathetic. I do insist you cut me a teeny bit of slack if you decide to read all of this rubbish; I’ve had enough giggle water tonight for seven men and I’ve got quite the edge. You probably don’t even remember a gal like me, with you being the big cheese at the New York Times and what not. Why would you bother with a plain old Jane like me? No, I am not stalking you − although I do admit I take the longer route to work everyday in hopes of running into you on eight. You do a brilliant job of avoiding me. I applaud you. Anyway, Daisy told me you got the promotion. I know, I know, why am I still hanging around that gold digging bird? Well, she is really good to me and knows how to throw a helluva party. You would have loved it! I wish you were here. I kept waiting for you to walk through the doors but...nothing. Anyway, I keep getting distracted. I am so proud of you, so extremely proud of you, you’ve always been the bee’s knees and I knew you were going to take this world by storm since the moment I first laid eyes on you. The New York Times is lucky to have a man like you. Everything reminded me of you tonight, the girls could tell. Every two seconds that broad Myrtle would turn around and ask, “What’s eating you, darling?”. God and that flat tire (Tom) from last weekend followed me around ALL night. I know Nick told you about him but baby I swear he is so dull; He means nothing to me. I had to beat my gums all night! The only person I wanted to talk to was you. Why didn’t you come? Everything reminded me of you: my swanky dress (I know you loved it when I got all dolled up) and even the goddamn ciggys I bummed off Jay (your favorite kind). I can’t get over you. I know I don’t have a place in your life anymore but I LOVE YOU. There, I said it. You’re all I think about. I know I ruined everything but won’t you give me another chance?
ARTWORK BY MAYA NEWMAN
No, I am not stalking you − although I do admit I take the longer route to work everyday in hopes of running into you on eight. VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
SEX AND STARDOM Coby Zucker
nited States Organization Tour – 1954, Korea
What does it mean to be a generational icon? A household name? How does one person come to terms with being a symbol for an entire decade, epitomizing the style of an era, and having every action dissected by millions? Allowing herself one final moment of hesitation, Marilyn steeled herself for the coming ordeal. She felt giddy with excitement and nervousness, though she was hardly the fresh-faced girl she had been. Yet, this was not Hollywood boulevard and the veritable horde of men gathering outside was not made of reporters or journalists. As the plane rolled to a stop, the men who had accompanied her on the flight unbuckled their belts and rose from their seats. Marilyn took one last glance at her hand mirror before allowing herself to be shepherded towards the door as it slid open. There was a heavy thud as the mobile stairs locked into place on the side of the airplane. Marilyn drew in one thin breath of the dry winter air, holding it in her lungs, as she got her first look at her surroundings. In a few short years, Marilyn Monroe rose from being an ordinary girl with a troubled home life to an icon of the ‘50s. Whatever her intentions, Monroe came to be symbolic of the growing sexualisation of the media and pop culture. Her first impression was of an ocean. Even standing on the topmost step leading out from the airplane, she could see nothing but
the shifting dull green of the G.I. uniforms. Marilyn glanced down at her own outfit, a heavily modified variation of the uniform, before she swung her coat over her shoulder, put on her most winning smile, and gave a sweeping wave to the assembled soldiers. One boot at a time, she descended the steps, all the time waving and smiling. She was here to capture the attention and imagination of thousands of American marines and to distract them from their own grim reality for just a short time. About this, Marilyn had no illusions, but when she looked out over the assembled faces, it was difficult to imagine the wide-eyed men going off to kill and be killed. Following her return from Korea to Hollywood, Monroe was perhaps the most popular female star in America; her life was scrutinized by every tabloid and journal. Yet, it was not until Monroe’s untimely death at the age of thirty-six that she truly became an immortal icon of pop culture, a near deified figure. Undoubtedly, her life and career captured much of the substance and ideas of an era. After a few brief minutes posing on the steps, Marilyn, escorted by a knot of men, began moving through the vastness of soldiery and flashing cameras. Faces beaming with intrigue, plastered with dopey smiles, escorted her on either side of the rope line. She waved, blew kisses, laughed, winked, grinned, and strutted through the seemingly never-ending throng of men. Incredulously, though she had been on the ground for no more than twenty minutes, Marilyn felt as if she had already put on a grand performance.
What does it mean to be a generational icon? A household name?
ARTWORK BY LEAH FLANAGAN, MARILYN PHOTO BY BEN ROSS
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
Seventh Seal Aryan Ghaffarizadeh Steps, steps, steps Walking through expired fantasies Reminiscing old heroes, Tainted by new memories Steps, steps, steps I see Spongebob still flipping burgers With no cash in his pockets He pleads to Mr. Krabs for more money With a condescending look, Sitting on a throne of gold coins Mr.Krabs throws him a penny or two Calls him employee of the year, Brewing his deviating remedy, For spongebob to catch the ignorance flu Steps, steps, steps I see Jimmy Neutron going to a bar Head down, frowning, drowning in his misery Bitterly staring at his paper The first skews of the glittering stars He drew to one day travel to The brilliance of his inquiry, All flushed down the sewage of greed By men in suits, Whose roots Blossom the forbidden fruits Steps, steps, steps I see Scooby and his friends Chainsmoking with the villains,
ARTWORK BY SHIRLEY DENG
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
Mysteries are scams nowadays They say, We just wanna party Emergencies are spams We’ll just tell the world we’re sorry Then smoke another gram Steps, steps, steps I see the Griffins under the same roof, Lost in their own spoof Sitting beside one another Flashing screens and fixed eyes Web surfing as time flies Searching for redemption? Or deep emotional connections? No Doomsday is today But They are hooked to their gadgets They are baits of a dull tragedy Tweeting their characters, That’s their most prominent faculty Steps, steps, steps My legs are still taking it But my eyes are sore The sham reality, Of these virgin shows New curtains are up now Bowing to the audience, Lies are gone now “Welcome to the desert of the real” Here, Is the opening of the seventh seal
UNPAID INTERNSHIPS Amanda Lemus
he thought stayed with me, the wonderful unspoken promise that my hard work would pay off and result in me getting a job. The first day of my internship. It had been hard to get in, but I had been lucky enough to have been picked after a competitive application process. This was my chance to prove to this company that I would be a benefit to have on board as a paid employee. This was also my chance to get relevant experience in my field. This unpaid internship would be for 6 months, I was to work hard, look sharp, and somehow manage to live on what little I had saved for the entire time. I wouldn’t even get a chance to start paying off some of my school debt; it would have to wait until that job comes through. Everything would work out. The first few days everybody was welcoming, but after reflecting on the first month Nicole found that she had not learned anything, but had become the “get my coffee, prepare my presentation slides, print and compile these binders” intern in the department. It was upsetting, this couldn’t be it. She had to say something to the manager. He was surprised. “What? You aren’t working hard enough?” Nicole was switched to another department where the employees were annoyed that they had to take time out of their own work to show me how to compile reports. The following 4 months, were exhausting. Nicole had to work 8 hour days and she couldn’t sleep, but she was getting more hands on experience as an analyst. Just before her internship was over, the Assistant Analyst opportunity did come, but Julie, a friend of the manager’s who worked in another department, got it. And just like that, Nicole’s opportunity came to an end. Frustrated, in debt, without any earnings to show from all the work in the summer and overall exhausted and feeling used, Nicole’s internship came to an end. They encouraged her to stay in touch, to continue networking and wished her the best in her future endeavours. They offered to give her a reference when she returned to the rat race of finding employment which usually took 6 months to a year plus. She was so disappointed. Why was it so hard to pay interns as they also have to eat, pay rent, pay education debts, and you know, stay alive? Nicole thought, I am a human 18
being and I deserve to be treated with respect. How could this have happened? Nicole had entered into a situation where she was faced with the fear of not finding a relevant employment opportunity, not having been taught about the laws regarding employment standards, and that Ministry of Labour did not protect student interns from employers who were unscrupulous. She remembered reading that once about a social contract between the generations. Nicole thought, yes, a breach in the social contract between the generations has occurred – no longer was there importance in ensuring that the situations, establishments,
and systems that are being put in place or that are being designed will positively impact the lives of the next generation. Nicole didn’t know, it really could be argued that perhaps this breach was actually a break
Nicole thought, I am a human being and I deserve to be treated with respect.
ARTWORK BY CAMELIA MCLEOD
that started before she had been born… Nicole’s story is not new. Many of us students have lived through such a frustrating experience. Many of us can identify with the frustration of finding jobs at all or jobs that can provide relevant experience in our field of study so that we can pursue our desired careers. Relevant experience of a minimum of 3 to 5 years is often the requirement in most of job postings that we come across if we are lucky to find one. Along with the hundreds of applicants we must creatively find a way or be lucky enough to have a family member or a friend who can “get us in and set us up.” The constant reminder that we have to pay back our loans makes this situation even more stressful. In the past few years, the increaseing competing for that chance to get a job for the many has pushed students into a vulnerable position: unpaid internships. These “opportunities” that are a type of modern slavery where the power imbalances in the work environment and fear of being shut out of another possibility of getting work cause a lot of stress. Students need to have the opportunity to develop essential and applicable workplace skills (skills that differ a lot from school work) so that we can be ready to join the workforce. Our message to the individuals who work at the Ministry of Labour is that we as students want to work in career oriented positions, we want to be treated with respect and fairness, we want to contribute to our society, and we want to pay back our loans. Do you understand and can we trust that you will set, monitor, and enforce laws that will protect us? INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
back to basics Khatija Anjum born into the clutter of my parents’ history, captured in the sentimental tick-tocks of watches and inherited furniture (somehow permanently dusty), and future, presumptuous with a library of books to study, clippings of recipes to make, lists of things to do and boundless dreams to wish for, I’ve always found myself surrounded by things, and these things have raised me as much as my parents – these things and the spaces in between them have taken up a lot of my time over the years, as unlikely places to discover secrets and socks and crevices that inhale things in, soon to be labelled ‘lost’, as I’ve grown older, more things have accumulated around me and I’ve stumbled a bit more over these objects and gotten frustrated with their presence and they offer little more than a nagging reminder, so I’ve searched for freedom from these ever-accumulating possessions, to release them of their abstract assigned meanings, which have gotten misplaced over time, and are, frankly, much too meaningful to be trapped in a dying form, to release me as collector and caretaker, living with the guilt of not keeping everything and having too much, a distracting, all-encompassing, paralyzing task, to free my gluttonous self of the excess, making space to feed my soul and find comfort in the emptiness, and found what’s important in deep reflections of contentment and fulfillment.
ARTWORK BY JASMINE CHAHAL VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
ARTWORK BY JIN LEE
TATTOO Hamid Yuksel
y ears old. It is her birthday. She is now 18 years old. She stares at the ceiling above her as she contemplates what this means. She will soon be moving out, starting her own life, caring for a house, buying groceries, working a steady job, paying bills, being independent, being free, and being herself. The responsibilities seem very enticing. She needs a new way to celebrate her newfound adulthood. It has to be something memorable, something to remind herself of what she has become. She is no longer a teenager, she can do adult things. Gone are the gimmicks and toys of adolescence. She enters a new world with unlimited possibilities. This is the start of a new person, but how will it begin? “I want a tattoo.” Her father stares at her in disbelief. “No, no tattoos. That’s not a decision you get to make.” The girl is not discouraged. She is 18 now; she can make this decision herself. “Dad, I’m 18 now, I can make this kind of decision myself.” “What, you think being 18 allows you to do that?” “Yeah, pretty much.” “You’re wrong, it doesn’t. I don’t care how old you are. No tattoos.” The conversation ends there. The truth is, her father has his reasoning for disliking tattoos. He remembers college, the beautiful girl, and the love. He remembers the passion, the marriage, and the daughter. He remembers the tattoos, the arguments, and the divorce. He remembers it all well. He remembers how it all fell apart. No more tattoos. They remind him too much of her. The girl does not remember as much. She remembers the yelling, the crying, and the divorce. They are not fond memories. It was tough going, but she got through it and now at 18 she is ready to
move on. Even if her father is not. Try as he might, her father can’t stop her. He’s never been a big part of her life, so why start now? The girl goes to a tattoo parlour the next day and gets her tattoo. All she has to do now is keep it a secret until she is in college. She is 18 and can make her own decisions now. She does not need her father. Still, her father finds out. He can’t believe it. “I can’t believe it. What makes you think you can make a decision like this without my approval? Just because you’re 18?” “Dad…” “You’re not an adult!” The girl sits across from her father in silence. She no longer feels like an adult. She no longer feels ready to be an adult. Somehow, she feels more like a child than before. The tattoo no longer feels like the triumph it should be. She feels warm tears running down her cheeks. She does not know what to say. Her father doesn’t know what to say either. He doesn’t know what to feel. He loves her, but what is he doing? She’s 18. She’s growing up. She can’t stay with him forever. Maybe it’s time to let her go into the world. Maybe it’s time to get over her leaving. He looks back up at his daughter. It’s shocking to realize how much she has grown. Her father gets up, goes to her, and hugs her close. Her father’s warmth embraces her and makes her feel safe again. She misses this feeling. It’s a feeling she has not felt in a while. It’s good to feel it again. The two hug each other close. No matter the changes, both the girl and her father know everything is going to be alright.
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
ARTWORK BY JASMINE CHAHAL
PAINT IT RED Jasmine Chahal
here’s lipstick, and then there’s red lipstick. From the Ancient Egyptians to the Hollywood bombshells of the 1950s, the red lipstick seems to have been a constant in the world of beauty. Unlike foundation and nude eyeshadow that seek invisibility, red lipstick is bold and gloriously confrontational. It is more of a statement than a technique. Red lipstick is Viola Davis collecting her Emmy. It’s Uma Thurman in ‘‘Pulp Fiction’’ and the diabolical Angelina Jolie in ‘‘Maleficent.” It’s Taylor Swift’s classic thing. The symbolism behind red lips has evolved significantly over time. Historically, red lipstick was saturated with sexual connotations. Cleopatra, the ultimate classic sex symbol, wore red lipstick made from crushed carmine beetles, which is thought to have helped her seduce Caesar and Anthony. After the Egyptians managed to spread their inventions across Europe, red lipstick became popular amongst the actors of the Greek and Roman empires. However, as Christianity became more prominent across Europe, red lipstick was abandoned as the colour was often associated with Satan. The resurgence of red lipstick took
place during the 16th century when Queen Elizabeth I decided to sport white face paint and ruby red lips as her signature look. After a while, red lipstick fell to the margins of society where it was only used by lower class women and prostitutes. This trend did not change for several centuries, until the late 18th century. Amongst other women, actress Sarah Bernhardt may have been responsible for bringing red lipstick back in fashion in the
represented female liberation. Over the years, red lipstick became the ultimate emblem of femininity. Advertisements showing ladies like Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor applying their red lipstick encouraged women to “take time out for beauty” just like them. And, as Audrey Hepburn once said, “there is a shade of red for every woman.” Red lipstick therefore became a universal power symbol that women all over the world could embrace. Ultimately, the little red bullet has come to be associated with confidence, seduction, and passion. It can change how men see women, how women see women, and how women see themselves. Today’s women wear red lipstick with pride and feminine power. By wearing red lips, you are drawing attention to your mouth and therefore to the words that come out of it. You are showing the world that you are comfortable with who you are and what you look like – in fact you are more than comfortable, you are proud, you are confident and you wear your sexiness like a badge of honour. So, as Marilyn Monroe once said, “Put on some red lipstick and live a little.”
There’s lipstick, and then there’s red lipstick.
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
1880s. Most famous for playing a title role in Hamlet, Bernhardt popularized red lipstick by brazenly applying it in public in a time when women were reluctant to wear any cosmetics to begin with. Later, this perception of red lips evolved over time to the point that red lipstick became a surprisingly feminist symbol for the suffragette movement. When Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Charlotte Perkins Gilman marched at the 1912 New York City Suffragette March, they wore red lipstick. It soon became a look that
To life, to life. To 18! In Judaism, the number 18 is more than the age at which you can legally buy a lottery ticket. Similar to Roman numerals, the Hebrew alphabet has a corresponding numerology system called gematria where the letters of the alphabet represent numbers. The letters of the Hebrew alphabet that correspond to the number 18 spell the word chai, which translates to “life”. The significance of this (probably not so coincident) coincidence has not gone un-communicated. The Hebrew letters that make up the word chai have become a symbol adorned by many in the form of jewellery and tattoos, as a medallion of good luck. Often when a monetary gift is given at a wedding, birthday, or Bar/Bat-Mitzvah, the amount is a denomination of 18. When I think ‘18’, I think good luck, well wishes, and, of course, I get intense flashbacks of being a pre-pubescent 13-year-old bombarded by a hoard of crazy relatives (who I don’t really know), asking me a-million-and-one questions, but holding that all important envelope with a cheque inside for $18. Which I would have totally put toward a SWEET new Juicy Tubes lip-gloss. L’Chaim. Dalya Cohen
At the age of two He wished for the flu. At the age of three He wished for trees At the age of four He wished for doors. At the age of five He wished for hives. At the age of six He wished for sticks. At the age of seven He wished for Evan. At the age of eight He wished for bait. At the age of nine He wished for a fishing line. At the age of ten He wished for a pen.
A year later He wished for a calculator. Another year went by He wished for boston cream pie. At the age of thirteen He wished for baked beans. At the age of fourteen He wished for Irene. The next year Irene And the year after not Irene. When finally at the age of seventeen, his little brother Evan gleaned, “Why are your wishes all so odd?” “I only wish for things I’ve got!” Karishma Manji
There are 16 different personality types according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. The MBTI assigns people one of two traits, in four different categories. A hugely popular personality test, it has been criticized for being entirely useless, even though it has been used to predict group dynamic in jobs and other settings – shout-out to my (ex-) housemates. Of course, individuals don’t fit into strict dichotomies, so these results aren’t definitive and can change with repeated takes. Nonetheless, I like that my results are always scarily relatable and come with that ‘warm fuzzies’ feeling. Each of the 16 types offers a different perspective on the world and interesting thoughts on behaviours; the popularity of the test is a result of our desire to understand ourselves and others, which is why we often see it applied to relationships. Take the test! INFP, you? Angela Ma
EIGHTEEN YEARS OF INCITE MAGAZINE
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
15 in Love Young and naïve Self-confidence so far away… Acne –oh the horror Boys staring Cover your face Cover your Face Cover Your Face. Let someone see Beauty in you Let him in Let him see Beauty in You. Romantic lover emerging Emotions swirling Heart fluttering Butterflies leaping Face flushing Wait. They kissed. It has begun. Aarti Sayal
Fourteen (or … Started From the Bottom Now We’re Back) You woke up today With terror on your face As your breathing sped up And your heart raced. You only wished that it could still be yesterday. Because yesterday, Oh, it was a glorious day! The sky was yours to keep Resting in the palm of your hand, As you walked down the hall The ruler of the land. Those scrawny boys in the corner They were terrified of you. As you looked at them and smirked They shrieked and took cover. You were the king of the jungle The alpha of the pack Leading your people — your followers, really, As you laid out your path. But today, what are you? Where do you belong? You ask yourself this As you keep walking on. You open the doors And see winding stairs As you stand at the bottom And stare to the horizons. The tall guy in the corner Looks at you and smirks, And you realize those scrawny boys Well, they are now you. You were the king of the jungle The alpha of the pack. Now you’re back where you began, Invisible to everyone, A mere speck In the large ocean. Takhliq Amir
ARTWORK BY SARAH MAE CONRAD VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
In Western culture, the number 13, and in particular Friday the 13th, has become synonymous with bad luck. This long held superstition has even been officially classified as a phobia. However, for others, like Taylor Swift who was born on Friday December 13th 1989, the number 13 has only ever meant good things. Clearly, a number is not universally lucky or unlucky, in fact, it is anything we choose it to be. Superstitions often give us the opportunity to do what we, as humans, love to do: blame something other than ourselves. However, I consider believing in good luck as potentially worse than believing in the bad. It is astounding how many of us downplay our achievements by attributing too large of a portion to pure luck. Circumstance and random chance events are real, however the risks we take and the opportunities we seize are conscious, personal choices that lead to success. Is luck real? If it is, then it has been a part of every success story and every shortcoming. The only difference is the choices that we make in between. Remember, if you don’t buy the ticket, you will never win the lottery. Ioana Stochitoiu
I’ve always been fascinated by the human brain. It’s been nicknamed “The Three Pound Universe” because everything we have ever experienced in this small corner of the solar system we call home would not be possible without it. We are what we perceive – all of our senses are the result of hundreds of thousands of action potentials going off inside our skulls. We have a dozen cranial nerves, each responsible for relaying information between the brain and different parts of the body. Ever been curious about how your body retains a sense of balance during motion? Thank cranial nerve 8, the vestibulocochlear nerve. Wonder why your mouth waters at the mention of a fresh Nutella crepe? That’s cranial nerve 9, which provides sensory innervation to the oropharynx and back of the tongue. And beyond the realm of physical objects, research has shown that the brain does not make a large distinction between experiencing an event and reading about it – the same parts of the brain are activated when smelling a rose and reading a depiction of the same activity. So get cozy and let your brain bring this edition of Incite to life! Kayla Esser
“Turn it up to eleven.” His fingers were aching. His airway burned and his eyes stung with sweat, yet Nigel had never felt more alive. He let another note roar from his guitar and felt the air around him vibrate as the crowd roared right back. It no longer mattered how he had gotten there. As Nigel pounded out the solo, everything else fell away until it was just him and the instrument in his hands. Years and years of a life going nowhere, jobs he hated, days that blended together, fruitless searches for something, anything, that made him feel inspired. Call it what you will: a purpose, a calling. For what seemed like eternity, he’d searched for something that would allow him to push himself to the limit and beyond, for which he could wake up every morning and still want to devote his whole life, because that something was what made his life really worth living. Nigel’s hands ran like lightning over the guitar strings. He let thundering chords blaze out from underneath his fingers, and he realized that all those years of wondering were over. Because right there, on that stage with the music blasting at his back, Nigel had found his eleven. Catherine Hu
TV's Top 10 'ships Friendships 1. Harvey & Mike (Suits) 2. Annalise & Frank (How To Get Away With Murder) 3. Morgan & Penelope (Criminal Minds) 4. Jackson & Opie (Sons of Anarchy) 5. Ragnar & Athelstan (Vikings) 6. Harvey & Jessica (Suits) 7. Bruce Wayne & Selina Kyle (Gotham) 8. Max & Carter (Finding Carter) 9. Olivia & Huck (Scandal) 10. Turtle & Drama (Entourage) Relationship 1.Rick & Michonne (The Walking Dead) 2. Glen & Maggie (The Walking Dead) 3. Clare & Eli (Degrassi) 4. Emma & Sean (Degrassi) 5. Cook & Effy (Skins UK) 6. Octavia & Lincoln (The 100) 7. Finn & Rachel (Glee) 8. Carrie & Sebastian (The Carrie Diaries) 9. Rory & Jess (Gilmore Girls) 10. Olivia & Jake (Scandal) Kinship 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.
The Starks (Game of Thrones) Kopus & Junior (The Red Road) Effy & Tony (Skins UK) Alli & Sav (Degrassi) Tina, Louise, & Gene (Bob's Burgers) Peter & Nathan (Heroes) Tim & Billy (Friday Night Lights) Bash & Francis (Reign) Dylan & Norman (Bates Motel) Sarah, Alison, Helena, & Cosima (Orphan Black)
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
Bright red, yellow and blue balloons stream through the air past my head. The Jell-O jet stream sure is fast today! This high up, everything looks so small: the Candy Cane fields are pinpricks, and the Cake Mountains are pebbles! Crack! The 102Cloud9 to PizzaVille is empty – I’m the only passenger on the Cloud today. Hope it doesn’t rain – soda is always so hard to get out of clothes. Crack! Past Mount Fudgemore I go, over the river of caramel with a quick stop at Jolly Rancher station. A marshmallow refilling and I’m off again! Crack! A mongoose lands on the ground near me, its smooth orange body bobbing up and down as it walks. It flies onto my shoulder and squawks in my ear. Crack!…BOOM! Oh no! The Chocolate Volcano just exploded! Brownie rocks and syrupy lava everywhere! All hands on deck! Flatten the mainsails, burn the marshmallows! Go! Go! Go! Faster I say, faster! Past the BananaFloat Boats and Vanilla Cupcakes, past the Valley of Fries and Milkshake Island! Last stop, PizzaVille - safety at last! Phew! One thing’s for sure, there’s never a dull moment on Cloud Nine! Gagandeep Saini
Seven is a tender number - loving and gentle, young and immature, painful when touched. It’s probably around the 7th grade when most of us have had enough interactions with the world to cognize a feeling of regret. We begin to struggle with philosophical questions of why he (or she) hasn’t replied to your last message, why people start asking you about your “goals” instead of “dreams”, and why, years later, you still don’t know how to respond to them. Common folklore also says that it’s around the 7th year of marriage when a couple has known enough about each other to feel a scorching itch for divorcement. Flaws that we’ve turned a blind eye to resurface into our narrow field of vision, and we quietly observe our affection mutate into affliction. And it’s usually during the 7th hour of the day when the sun goes down and we embrace the anonymity of nightfall. Darkness is a mask that we wear to show our true selves. We awaken into a new world patrolled by neon lights, strange emotions, and a spontaneous sense of creativity accompanied by the hepatatonic musical scale. Here, at least, seven - lucky number seven - revives lost faith into potent passion. Annie Yu
When we inhale, oxygen flows through our trachea and into the bronchioles, saturating the alveoli. It diffuses into the bloodstream, carried by red blood cells through the crevices of the body, into the legs and fingers, into the brain and the heart and the backs of our knees. When she swam, she tried to beat her record for underwater somersaults. One two three four five six seven eight She was losing sight of which way she was turning. Her lungs felt tight, almost sore. She sat still, at the bottom of the pool, contemplating her need for oxygen. She had never liked to feel like she needed something. She pushed off the bottom and cut through the surface. The day was overcast and she thought she heard a rumbling of thunder in the distance, though it may have been a train. She counted the length of her inhales, trying to match them to her exhales. Apparently that was supposed to calm you down, restore some sort of balance. So there she sat, midnight firmly behind her, tethered to reality through the flow of air into and out of her lungs. Emma Hudson
6 slang terms you should know Bae - noun; an irritating term of endearment used to describe one’s romantic or sexual partner. Commonly mistaken as a derivative of Beyoncé, it is actually an abbreviation of the term ‘babe.’ Netflix and chill - verb; a seemingly innocent term using an invitation to watch the online streaming service, Netflix, together as an euphemism for engaging in sexual intercourse Twerk - verb; to move one’s gluteus maximus in a pulsating motion with the objective of inducing sexual arousal in the intended audience Turn up/lit - verb; the act of being uncivilized, riotous, and engaging in sexual activity post consumption of large quantities of alcohol, cannabis sativa, or other illicit substances. F*ckboy - noun; a subspecies of the genus Homo, the f*ckboy is a widely dispersed animal that can usually be found in its natural habitat such as the local discotheque fulfilling its ecological niche of attempting to fornicate with a female. Tinder - noun; a web-based software application that provides a platform for seemingly unattached bachelors and bachelorettes to solicit services of courtship and general merry-making; a common domain of the classic “f*ckboy” species and usually results in the “Netflix and chill” scenario as outlined above. Jasmine Chahal
ARTWORK BY SARAH MAE CONRAD VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
5 things I thought were true as a kid but aren’t: 1. Carpenters are experts in carpets 2. You wear safety pins to keep you safe from criminals 3. Swallowing a watermelon seed makes a watermelon grow in your stomach 4. You have to have a date to the dance or you aren’t allowed to go 5. Mothers give birth out of their armpits Sunny Yun I still find myself pausing when I’m asked to: reserve a table at a restaurant, book my grad tickets, setting the table for dinner, list the number of people in my family, etc. Four is on my mind, on my lips, but four no longer exists physically, only spiritually. I’ve had twentyone years of four and only one of three. Sarah O'Connor Three Once was all it took. The Tune played undeterred as if nothing happened Free from the grip of consequence Peanut butter and jelly: it’s the best snack there is (unless you are allergic to peanut butter, in which case, my condolences). Closely followed by chocolate and strawberries, this magical combination was the staple food of my childhood. And there were so many choices! Crunchy or smooth peanut butter? Strawberry, raspberry, or grape jelly? Each combination more perfect than the last. Whenever I make myself one of these sandwiches, I am immediately drawn back to the days of being a five year old. Back then my Nonna would babysit frequently. I looked forward to these days because every time she came, she would make me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread. And she wouldn’t just cut off the crusts – that would be too simple. Instead, she carefully cut the sandwich into small squares and served it with a knife and fork. At 20 years old, I’m always tempted to go out, replace my healthy rye bread with the old-fashioned Wonder white, and make one of those PB&Js cut into squares. Sometimes, I give into this temptation, and get to relive this memory of my childhood. It was, and remains for me, the world’s most perfect duo. Alexandra Maraccio
Quite frequently, our generation is denounced as selfish. Though not in complete disagreement with that statement, I think perhaps the word ‘selfish’ is ill fitting. I think we’d be more aptly dubbed the unicorn generation. Our generation is on a constant mission to prove that we are precious little snowflakes, while simultaneously wanting to be one with ‘squad’, as the kids are saying these days. We rig up new ways of creating old art, pay homage to all things 90s (rap, jeans, hair), profess favourites, and instagram it every step of the way. Though this is annoying and vomit inducing half the time (trust me, you didn’t discover freaks and geeks), it can also be terrific. Our generation celebrates the one, giving validity to individual identity and spirit, respecting differences as effervescently as we change snapchat filters. Though I originally pictured this small rant going a very different, slightly angry, NONE OF YOU ARE SPECIAL path (sorry for the caps, the previously discussed pent up annoyance got away from me there) I think maybe it’s just time to breathe a sigh of relief at the long overdue acceptance and celebration that we’re all a little weird. (Just don’t make too big of a fucking deal about it). Jaslyn English
ARTWORK BY SARAH MAE CONRAD 26
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
THE REVOLUTION IS DEAD, LONG LIVE THE REVOLUTION Aaron Grierson
he spirit of revolution is arguably perennial. And perhaps it is, but it seems to become more prominent every so often. Certainly, the last few years have seen a lot of revolutionary fervour. I think, from a global perspective it’s safe to say that the social revolution that occurred in Egypt back in 2011 stands out the most. It was that intimate sort of spirit, shared hand in hand,
ARTWORK BY JONATHAN CORTESE 28
rather than mediated by handheld devices. And indeed some things changed. Reminiscent of the French Revolution that peaked in 1789, a government was overthrown, with little to say of the status quo. Thank whatever deity it is that oversees such things that no Robespierre or Napoleon has risen from the ashes of the action. It should be said that not all revolutions are met with so much success, but it is the lack of spirit, or the lack of follow through that has seen the likes of KONY 2012 or the Occupy Movement peter out into irrelevance referenced only by writers with a memory for failure. I’d say lack of follow through, but that the root of the problem runs deeper – either into specialized training, as we saw with the nonviolent movements in the 60’s, or more broadly the public education systems. And I could wax categorically nostalgic about successful social movements, you know, Gandhi and the like, but such a catalogue with siphon off my designated space and ultimately are tied into the previous generations, rather than the current youth. And indeed, while many of us are stoned into distraction by our social media and neurotic electronic toys, and others are just plain stoned, some few of us continue to imbibe the revolutionary spirit, plotting some world domination, global social “correction” or sinking into self reflection in the hopes of plucking up our flaws and releasing Me 2.0 – the new and improved you, more talented, charismatic, and driven version. For some, definitely not enough of us,
It was that intimate sort of spirit, shared hand in hand, rather than mediated by handheld devices. self improvement should be perpetual – we can always improve ourselves. Perfection is a misguiding ideal. Complacency should merely be the breath between the next big leap. Indeed, I wish more people focused on self improvement instead of every social justice cause that leaps out from news headlines. The average “share” or “comment” in our mangled social media would be actually enlightening for most people, instead of just a tedious repetition. And I don’t mean in the self help book sort of way. I’m sure it works for some, but I believe that self discovery is done primarily by yourself, not by another’s dictum. This sort of a shift in our collective mindset might even mean moving forward as a society instead of stagnating behind lost causes. Alternatively we can join what seems to be a sizable chorus and squee about how handsome Trudeau Jr. is (10 of 10 people asked agreed that my wheaten locks are more luxurious, and it’s all natural, baby). But for all I, or anyone, complains about all of the outcries and up votes about every little potentially revolutionary post that’s either spasming in death throes, utterly successful or completely irrelevant to our little lives here in Canada, the grain of that revolution is undeniably present. Revolution, in its conceptual core, buried in the heart of a human, is the hope for improvement – to see some change somewhere in the world. Unfortunately the contemporary and even historical vision of such change is inexorably tied to politics. We need to tend to the microverse, or ourselves, before we can change the macroverse – our world. Let that be the Zeitgeist for the coming age. INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
Overcome Nikhita Singhal Did you want to see me broken? Bowed head and lowered eyes? Shoulders falling down like teardrops, Weakened by my soulful cries? –Maya Angelou Still I Rise Power, honour, dignity: pilfered from the crib. Ebony though our flesh may be, we refuse to be mere tokens. The time has come to take a stand– voice truths too long unspoken: Did you want to see me broken? I fear I know the answer lurking in those inky depths. You long for us to yield, submit; quell the inner strength you so despise. To fall prostrate upon the dirt with nothing but a sigh: bowed head and lowered eyes. One, two –dead. Who’s next? Can’t breathe, can’t speak, can’t fight. Suddenly the world stops in a flurried snow of silence. Shot despite hands raised up, shoulders falling down like teardrops. We shall, we will, we must stand tall. So if you yearn for us to cede, we truly must apologize: never again. This overcast reign is at an end –your lies weakened by my soulful cries.
ARTWORK BY JAMIE KASIAMA VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
This Too Catherine Hu
ne day my daughter will teach me how to use a time machine. On that day, my fingers will struggle with the holographic controls, slipping and fumbling and grasping at the fluid blue projections until she sighs and leans over to do it for me. “No…no, Mom, stop using it like a touch screen,” she’ll tell me. The woman beside me will be nineteen, and in my eyes she’ll be the most beautiful person in the world. She will look like her father, yet I will find haunting traces of me in the curve of her jaw and the tone of her voice. Frustrated, she will try once more to explain the swirling interface before us and I’ll realize — not for the first time — that I am growing old.
I will find haunting traces of me in the curve of her jaw and the tone of her voice.
ARTWORK BY ERIC VAN NUS
My daughter will be a product of her time, and her passions will be for things I won’t understand. As she tells me about Einstein-Rosen bridges and paradox breakers and time-like curves, she will not realize that when I was her age, things like these were but a dream, a fantasy that existed only in stories and in the mind. Throughout
her childhood I will have told her anecdotes about my own. In these clumsy, half-formed sketches I will have tried to capture a time close to my heart that she will never know, and with each one I will have thought of my own mother, years ago, relating tale after tale to me as we sat at our kitchen table. I will have wondered if her own mother had done the same for her, and her mother before her. And on that day, as I watch my daughter set the coordinates and configurations, I will wonder if my stories of early 21st-century Canada were as strange and distant to her as my mother’s stories of post-Cultural Revolution China had been to me. The machine will hum as it primes for departure, and together my daughter and I will step inside the capsule. It will be different from how I’d imagined a time machine would be when I was younger: more spacious, less cold and austere. I will be hooked up to a translator but my daughter will not. She will have learned Mandarin and C++ in school rather than cursive and French, and the irony will not escape me that her Chinese will be better than mine. Rubbing the tiny device tucked behind my ear, I will at some point jokingly call it a Babel fish, prompting my daughter to roll her eyes. The lights will dim slightly. The countdown will start, and I will look to a holographic display hovering to my left. Destination: Changsha, People’s Republic of China, 1979. I will press my hand to a packet of old photos in my breast pocket and look to my right. There, my daughter will be strapping herself in beside me, and for one brief, flickering moment, I will see in her face that this means just as much to her as it does to me.
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
End of a Storm Sonia Leung While in my mind I sang and sighed The heavy thoughts I hold so dear Of every failure every lie I wish that I could disappear Looking to horizon’s end Lost in the hollow of my eyes Accustomed to the break and bend The chronicles of getting by Premonition could not help That fate had set in stubborn course Stumble into deepest hell Taking in the fullest force A lonely I cannot describe Somehow words lack magnitude Etymology can try And break the sanctity of youth The wonder of the childish gaze Diminish in the new found light Revealing when she comes of age Too ugly to romanticize Toss aside complacency The glitter of the cellophane Recycle the delinquency Settled in her DNA Momentary photophobic Exiting of Plato’s Cave Every photon neurotropic Teach her eyes how to behave When turbulence will set her free When dust has settled in the storm In frame and focus she will see She’s not a child anymore
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
I’m lying in bed staring at my macbook sideways Angela Ma I’m lying in bed staring at my macbook sideways passively listening to track laughter tempting deadlines by pursuing the next season of a mediocre sitcom lol in flux the current state of my life and I realize as I shift to a cooler part of my sheets I don’t know what my bed feels like before 2am it was literally forever ago we met in transit en route to who knows what shared excitement like when a rare cat comes to visit now it’s hard for me to describe in words how I feel about the departure but I know the emoji that captures it perfectly but remember when we laughed so loudly at everything I couldn’t stop crying and music filled the dimly lit room I prefer noise to silence the indistinct coffee shop buzz also keeping me awake through lectures or television shows or late-night conversations about the future a notification *pings* omg hey I drift asleep I’ll go to bed an hour earlier tomorrow
ARTWORK BY VANNESSA BARNIER
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
CHANGE IN RESPONSIBILITIES Parsa Mehrabanfar
ll the world’s a stage. When I was in kindergarten, I always got lots of toys for my birthdays. My favourite toys were action figures. The action figures weren’t little useless plastic objects; to me they were tools that empowered me. To me, they were the link between reality and my imagination, where the action figures had beating hearts and were alive just like me. In this imaginary world I was not a kid, instead, I had grown up and lived alongside the action figures. The gift that I really wanted wasn’t a toy. I wanted a tool to put the space-time continuum on fast forward and experience how it felt to be an adult. Years passed and high school came. These were different times indeed. There was no more playing like the past. There were no real toys. My textbooks had become my “toys” and the imaginary world in
my head was governed by the laws of science, utterly similar to reality. Ironically, as my goal of becoming an adult was coming closer every day, my desire was to some extent decreasing. Adulthood and I were the like poles of a magnet and the closer we got, the repulsion got stronger. With the start of university, adulthood had officially forced itself into life. Playing was forbidden. Expectations were high. Responsibilities were immense. I got a few gifts for my 18th birthday. I really loved those gifts, but I remember how what I really wanted was to experience life as a kid again for a couple of minutes. I wanted a tool to rewind the space-time continuum and see the world again like I used to in kindergarten. We have the tendency to seek experiences we cannot currently enjoy. We want changes and are rather impatient. A child wants to grow fast and become an adult.
On the other hand, an adult is tired of the current state and once again acts playful, trying to experience childhood again. Living life is like running on a treadmill. It goes by fast and all it takes to fall behind is to close your eyes for one moment. As you get older your responsibilities grow and the treadmill moves faster. Just dare to close your eyes for the smallest fraction of a second and you fall off of the treadmill. In the split of a second your life transforms. An athlete starts slow and gradually increases the speed. Similarly in life, responsibilities grow over time. It is not the speed of the treadmill that determines your enjoyment. It is not the amount of responsibilities you have that determines your enjoyment. All stages of life have their own unique beauty. A professional athlete appreciates both the slow and fast speeds equally on a treadmill.
ARTWORK BY PATRICIA NGUYEN
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
Dependent | David Shin Afterglow | Dana Hill
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
THE UNSPOKEN RULES OF SOCIAL MEDIA Ioana Stochitoiu
ocial media is a completely different world, and let’s face it, people act differently in this world. We all know at least one person who behaves in a way they would normally never dare to in real life. What is it about social media that brings out the worst in people? I don’t make the rules of the internet but there is a certain etiquette that we must agree upon. Whether it is Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter or any other platform, here are the top five social media faux pas you should avoid:
1) Relationship Status Overkill This can come in many different forms and applies to various relationship statuses. Single? Great! We don’t need to hear about how there are “no more good guys in the world.” On the other extreme, if you are in a committed relationship, we do not need long and elaborate descriptions about how much you love and enjoy your significant other. I’m not saying you can’t share your happiness with others, but if the magnitude of these personal details makes me feel like I am the one dating you, you have gone too far. Let’s not even start with those who change their relationship status constantly.
2) Gym/Health Enthusiast These are the people I like to call the “vegans of social media.” They have to constantly remind you that they are a “gym rat” and that they “eat clean.” You definitely know a few of these people, who seem to believe if they do not share their workout or meal plan with you, then it won’t give them the same health benefits. Worst of all is when these posts include advice or preach to others to join in. We get it, you hate pizza! Don’t make the rest of us feel bad.
3) Egocentric Behaviour You have freedom of expression on your social media platform. You can talk about anything, so why choose to post about the mundane details of your day? No one wants to hear about when you woke up, what you ate, or what song came on the radio. Rule of thumb: if your own mother would not care to hear about it, neither will the rest of the world.
4) Political Know-It-All Many of us just got to vote in our first federal election (yay!), so this one should be very familiar. Imagine there is a pressing issue in the news. You come across a few biased article titles, and suddenly you are outraged. You go on every social media outlet and post angry rants while firmly holding that your opinion must be the only correct one. Even worse, if you had done more research you would likely disagree with yourself. There is nothing worse than a know-it-all who does not actually know it all! If you are going to engage in political debates, make sure you are on the right platform (forums, blogs, etc) and be prepared to be challenged.
5) #TooManyHashtags Perhaps the original purpose of hashtags has been lost among social media users because this is one of the most common faux pas. Hashtags were created in order to sort posts by content such as specific topics, events, and trends. Just because you can hashtag every single word, phrase, or an obnoxiously long sentence, does not mean you should! #SorryNotSorry. These faux pas, and many more, make it hard to do what social media is meant for…actually socializing! Don’t make it difficult for others to connect with you. If you are going to share something, do it properly and make it worth reading. It is also important to remember social media is not a one way street, so spend more time listening and engaging with others. For those persistently awkward social media users, thankfully we still have the unfollow button! ARTWORK BY DIANA MARGINEAN
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
THIS PIECE IS NOT NORMAL
(OR NONEXISTENT OR FROZEN IN TIME) Takhliq Amir
ormal is a laughable farce, a sad reality, and an obstacle to individuality. What was normal in the 1800s, for example, is now rather unrealistic. Their clothing — of long dresses and bonnets — and mannerisms — bows and curtsies — are possibly incredulous thoughts for daily life in modern society. If that was the norm, are we not normal? Simply put, normal doesn’t exist. We talk flippantly about the “new normal,” as if it makes sense to call something normal when it keeps changing so rapidly. Because conventions, norms, standards — none of these ever truly hold in their original, pure form, so why define things as normal when it never actually remains? Instead, it is an ever-elusive concept, the ghost that slips right through our fingers just as we begin to rejoice the tight hold that we have managed to capture it with, the word that seems to be just on the tip of our tongues, the light at the end of an endless tunnel. Right when we seem to develop an apparently “normal” society, right when we seem to have achieved that deeply sought balance of normal, the illusion is spontaneously shattered — a new normal replaces the old normal, contradicting the entire basis of a normal itself. Certainly this concept of a societal normal has many flaws, but the greatest perhaps is that it is dangerous — it fools us into holding a belief in a frozen time that is
yet speeding past us, threatening to leave us behind. It is restrictive, embodying the tight binds of society that hold us captive to these nonexistent “norms” and undermine the freedom of the individual.
to a new people. Yet the question remains: how can we allow ourselves to be suffocated by the confines of normal in a swiftly changing society? Therein lies the contradiction. Normal is a construct that rests in the deep recesses of the human mind, a fabrication of our imagination that without actually existing can puppeteer us as individuals to be frozen in time in a society that seems to be racing against time itself. It is a concept that has been carefully crafted within us to provide reasoning for our own norms where none truly exists. It blinds us to our own individuality. That is the sad truth — despite this faulty image of a normal, we still have set standards for people, and anyone out of the ordinary is looked down upon. If you are somehow different, you cannot possibly be normal. How can society be so supportive of individualism, yet frown upon anyone who expresses it? When did we become slaves to ourselves? We are scared. We have followed our lives in so structured a society. Anyone who does not fit into this construct of normal simply does not belong. And this occurs because we lack belief in the strength of human nature. This world will keep moving forward, but we are holding ourselves back. Only when we begin to open ourselves to the world will we realize that it isn't as unforgiving and rigid as we believe it to be. We don’t need to be normal. We just need to be ourselves.
We follow the rules of society — concerning dress, diet, and even political beliefs — as if they are set in stone... As the creators of this illusory concept, we are to blame — we have restricted ourselves to a lifestyle that attempts to silence our individuality. We follow the rules of society — concerning dress, diet, and even political beliefs — as if they are set in stone;
Anyone who does not fit into this construct of normal simply does not belong. a stone that exists only in the inner eye of society, that has been engraved inside our minds following years of living in a stagnant world that is advancing so rapidly that we fear being lost in the crowds. New celebrities bring new trends, new crises lead to new resolutions, and new voices give rise
ARTWORK BY TALYSHA BUJOLD-ABU 36
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
In My Dreams Gagandeep Saini In my dreams angels fly spreading gossamer wings and drifting away from the bustle of life to a meadow in heaven surrounded by a delicate wall of green sprung shoots and glistening blossoms. Where nothing is heard but the sound of the lark and the flute at the angel’s lips and the harp at the angel’s tips weaving a sanctuary of harmony around me. The angels fly with restless hearts and restless souls mirroring my own in anticipation of the day that comes when the night ends and dawn breaks shooting ribbons of gold all through the sky lighting up heaven and kindling hope. In my dreams angels fly furling gossamer wings and coming back down to earth to embrace the day with its new beginning and old ending just like me.
ARTWORK BY DJ GOMEZ VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
Untitled Annabel Krutiansky The thing about time is that it doesn’t play by your rules. it’s the poker play who lives to bluff and you have a gambling mind. They say that history repeats itself. They also say that my story — my life — is unique. Literature proves that stories don’t change, but the times do. They leave a legacy of the past that aims to inspire hearts and minds of the future. Something about that doesn’t sit well with me. So I often find myself searching for stories of the exact moment people change. My father used to be a great writer, he doesn’t dabble as much any more, his mind is all consumed with formulas and algorithms and whatnot. Still, beautiful in their own sense, just not same beauty as I know. My father and I speak different languages, mine is flowered and his is mathematical jargon. I always found it hard relating to him until the day I found an old journal he kept in a safe. I came into a series of poems, which by the looks of it were meant for my mother (I stayed away from most of those). I devoured his writing like a banned booked and exhaling some form of serenity. He wrote about love like the passing of seasons, so did I. But as the pages passed the dates became fewer and farther apart. I began to slow the passing of pages. The writings became more conscience, more literal, he had changed. I had a friend who l thought was a literary genius, she could phrase my feelings before I could even think them through. Her words were magical, the arrangement of the same 26 letters I know, just made more sense coming from her. she kept an online journal, password protected (for some). Her entries gave me some sanity knowing I could follow her feelings. She often wrote about the company she kept. I remember the day she forgot how to love. She always called him her moon, but that day she wrote about the sun. She had changed.
Love and heartbreak aren’t new. The same stories are found over and over, they are just read with a different voice. Death and illness aren’t new, people are born and they die. The thing about time is that it doesn’t wait for you. like that one friend who always starts walking out the door while you are still tying your shoes, time is that it doesn’t wait for you. Don’t get the wrong, time isn’t your friend. Time is always a little too fast or a little too slow. It hurts and it's beautiful and well, it is what it is. I know that I changed. For a while, I thought one of these days it will come back to me. There are days I swore to remember and times I tried to forget, but life doesn’t seem to care for my choices. it has a way of changing things until we can longer recognize them. I remember walking home and feeling the palm of someone that I used to know. i can’t tell you how many times I found myself looking for them in the wrong dreams and the wrong rooms. The day I was thinking if that person was thinking about me, I changed. Don’t wait for time to change you. When people leave, let them. Know that they need to, they are changing too. Don’t bother picking up pieces of your old self. Change for the better. Live for the days that fill the dash between the years you've lived.
ARTWORK BY IMASHA PERERA 38
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
#ACTIVISM & THE POWER OF MILLENNIALS Danielle Smith
rom TV newscasters and journalists to even our parents and family members, Millennials are described repeatedly as a generation of lazy, selfish, and spoiled individuals. We are regarded as self-obsessed, vain, deviant and defiant of social norms. Yet, the picture painted by the middle-aged individuals touting these beliefs are not always accurate. We care. More than any of our parents and older peers will believe. In fact, those same platforms of criticism— Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr—are often used to advocate for social issues that are most important and relevant in today’s society. Born in the last two decades of the twentieth century, Millennials spend an average of 17.8 hours a day consuming different types of media, with most of our time directed toward social media. And while I can admit to spending far too much time on Facebook, the more important factor to consider is the quality of use, rather than quantity. Nearly 75% of Millennials tweet and post information about social and environmental issues. With a variety of
digital artifacts at our fingertips, the ability to share posts and ideas, and an endless network of connections between friends and strangers alike, an exponential amount
for the spark of the Movement? Well, you can thank social media for that. And that is exactly what the definition of advocacy is—listening to other people’s stories, being
We care. More than any of our parents and older peers will believe. of people can be reached. Ideas are given new life—ideas that, without retweets and reposts, would have long been forgotten. In the realm of social media, our stories and experiences matter. Unfortunately, Millennials are often also criticized and dismissed by older activists as lazy for not hitting the streets. Yet, you don’t have to look too far to see their judgments as false; studies found that the Occupy Movement, where individuals were Occupying Wall Street as a means of protest against corporate greed, were comprised primarily of Millennials. As
open to learning, challenging what is often defined as the norm, and considering perspectives of those that may be outside your social circle. But it doesn’t stop there. For many Millennials, myself included, activism for social issues goes beyond social media and planned protests: it finds its way into our daily lives, our interactions with others, and our daily routines or habits; 44% try to practice being green in their daily lives. It is through a combination of these avenues that, more often than not, we have the power to make a difference. ARTWORK BY BRITTANY FORSYTH
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
ARTWORK BY SHERRI MURRAY
The Ruined Danielle Campagnolo The sky was yellow When you drove me to the ruin You shouldn’t have told me to call home. I have been blindly walking Over inconsistencies like dreams; Living vicariously Through The halos of streetlamps. They’re flickering. Snickering. Your eyebrows make mountains And silent fissures in your skin But in caverns beneath, a growl: “Let us, let us, let us begin!” In the striped room the regulators hum, The wallpaper mutters, the furnace drums. You trace the imaginary lace Engrained in my porcelain skin, Your lips kiss with velvet shades, While your dark gloved hand Pulls the curtain back. You say that I am a big girl now. Time to grow up. But you were never good with tall words, So maybe that’s not what you mean– Maybe that’s not what you mean at all. (But he said it! He said it all the same!) In the striped room the regulators hum, The wallpaper mutters, the furnace drums. Oh what does it mean? Who? To me? Oh, youA thousand people look at the same picture But the artist is out for a late lunch So they hold their tongues in their fists, Not wanting to be painted fools.
I whimper for a glass of water. Tilt the red cup slowly: One drop of suspense at a time. But I already know that the universe Is one big waiting game. (But what for? Do I even want this?) I try to gain the upper hand By using mine to keep you back But I push the wrong side of the door And you’ve been here before, So you know the ins and outs. (But he promised! He promised to be kind!) Yet Men have been known to build things And then tear them down in the same breath: Your breathing is tender and damp On my neck it is a garland noose. In the striped room the regulators hum, The wallpaper mutters, the furnace drums. I am afraid now. I am in too far.
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
The Time Ghost Sarah O’Connor Time is not cyclical and it does not end. I should know; it’s my job. I won’t be able to explain it in detail to you, trust me. I’ve tried with others but it usually ends with someone raving on a street corner with a cardboard sign and hundreds of passersby ignoring them. Time can be tricky. In layman’s terms, I remember things, or rather, I make you remember things. I’ve never experienced your memories, but I have them. I hold onto them and keep them safe for a rainy day. Or sometimes I just wait until you fall asleep; it all depends on my mood. For example: I remember when your parents kicked you out. I remember when you failed your last high school exam and had to go to summer school. I remember when you said orgasm instead of organism in your grade nine science class. I remember when your crush walked up to you, said they liked you, and then ran away laughing with their friends. I remember, and I make sure you remember. And why do I make you remember? I don’t know. Sometimes they make me laugh. Sometimes they make me cry. Sometimes they’re what you need. Maybe that makes me a jerk, maybe it makes me wise. I don’t know. That makes me sound bad, sadistic, almost. Ghosts aren’t meant to be sadistic; if we are there’s always some underlying cause as to why. Just because we do bad things doesn’t make us bad. And that goes for me too. Just because I make you remember the bad doesn’t make me bad. Because for all the bad there’s also the good. For example: I remember when you stuffed yourself full of chocolate and candy on Halloween. I remember when you stayed up all night for the first time and watched the sun rise. I remember when you found the group of people meant to be your lifelong friends. I remember when you felt (feel) loved. I can’t predict what memories will make you happy, which will make you sad, which will make you cringe. Okay, sometimes I can tell. But you always surprise me. Time and time again I’ll give someone the memory of love and they’ll cry, I’ll give someone the memory of failing and they’ll smile. And there are always some of you who try to squeeze me out, block me from giving you those memories. Humans will always remain a mystery to me. There is only one of me. One of me in charge of all you and all of your experiences. So hate me if you have to, I understand. But hate doesn’t change anything, I’ll still be here with your memories, feeding them to you. Sometimes you will be aware of what I’m doing, sometimes you won’t. Regardless, I will take care of your memories. So make them count.
VOLUME 18, ISSUE 6
SIGNIFICANT MOMENTS IN THE LIFE OF A FIRST YEAR
September 2013, Third Day of School: September 2013, Faculty Day:
pparently, I didn’t get the memo. Everyone here is all cute and matching in their faculty t-shirts, and I show up in my plain purple shirt. I’m so embarrassed, I nearly run back to the car to drive home and change. But then I’d be late, and that would be worse, so I swallow my pride and march over. I introduce myself to everyone, and then proceed to grab a nametag. As I pick it up, I wonder what I should write. Most people in high school called me Alex. I hated it, but I eventually stopped correcting them. But here is an opportunity to write whatever I want. I settle on my full name, writing “Alexandra” on the nametag…
The girl sitting behind me in calculus makes a comment about Jane Austen. My ears perk up a bit, and I turn around and say something. She invites me to her room in Bates, and I find myself texting my mom to let her know that I will be home late. A group of us go to her room and discuss our science electives. She mentions that she might drop her second chem class. I excitedly tell her she ARTWORK BY JONSSON LIU
should take biology with me. Another girl, who I had not noticed before, pipes up and says, “Don’t make me take chem alone!!” I later find out that there is a Facebook group for our program and the Lonely Chem girl adds me. Little do I know that the group of almost strangers that I’m sitting with will turn out to be some of my closest friends…
November 2013: I look down at my agenda, and my eyes blur at the sight of so many due dates. Three papers, two assignments, and a quiz, all due in one week. How on earth do they expect me to finish all of this?? I sit at my kitchen table, the smell of food a tempting distraction. I finally finish one of the papers. It’s not great, but it’s done and that’s what matters. On to the next assignment…
January 2014: See, this is the problem with full year courses. While everyone else gets a free week, I get, “So your first assignment will be due next week and worth 10000000% of your grade. Don’t forget to do your readings too!” I work like a machine, churning out assignment after assignment. While in the Math Café, my friend accepts a dare to braid my now pixie-length hair. She accepts the challenge, and as she does it, she proceeds to tell us how she is now on season three of Breaking Bad. How she has time for all of this, I don’t know…
February 2014: I’m sitting in C105, frantically trying to cram for this quiz as the upper years around me swap jokes and watch movies. My friend asks one of them how they have time for goofing off. He tells us, “Simple: You make time.” It is one of the most important pieces of advice I’ve been given…
It’s my nineteenth birthday. In the spirit of celebrating, my friends take me to a vintage convention and then out for tea. It’s the best birthday ever. Two days later, I’m finished exams. As I leave the exam, I start to get a bit teary-eyed. Despite the sometimes-overwhelming work, despite the difficult days, I’m going to miss it, and everyone, fiercely. These people surrounding me, we’ve been through it all together. We have become a weird little family…
INCITE MAGAZINE, APRIL 2016
THE GRADUATION Annie Yu
here’s something about graduations that I’ve never mastered. No, it’s not the patience of sitting through 300 episodes of cheering and applause. I’ve learned to crack jokes at minute details to pull through the hours of invigorating speeches - they’re like short-lived steroids that install strength within you until all sobriety is lost in the later hours of the day. And no, it’s not the melodrama of bidding farewell. I’ve realized that the people who want to leave will leave, regardless of whether or not they attended an ostentatious ceremony with you. And the people who choose to stay in your lives aren’t the ones waving goodbye anyway. I think the aspect of graduation that I’ve never perfected is the art of reconciliation. Graduation, whether you’re referring to the ceremony or the concept itself, forces you to reflect on your past and simultaneously stare into the haze of the future. You’re tested at each graduation to reconcile your past triumphs and failures with a vast uncertainty known as the “next chapter of your life.” When I graduated from elementary school, the process was relatively simple. The past had been a fulfilling childhood of playground dates and plastic lunch boxes. As someone who has always had a rhythm
a few beats slower than everyone else’s, I only shed my tears after all the hugs, photos, and shiny certificates were done and dealt with. Back then, society hadn’t started doubting you for striving to become a bus driver or ballerina. The future was uncertain, but I had yet to fear uncertainty - ignorance was truly bliss. When I walked into my middle school graduation ceremony, I remember fidgeting
whirlwind of humid breaths and jolly congratulations. My high school graduation ceremony was slightly more inspiring. This time, I held set goals and firm ambitions. I would soon be pursuing a health sciences degree at a university thousands of miles away from home; I even thought I knew exactly where I would be 10 years later. I laughed, cried, and rejoiced with all the candidness of a rhapsodic 17-year-old. With a plethora of awards, bouquets, and a glossy diploma in hand, I watched my mortarboard soar high in the air. It flew like a halcyon bird, so genuinely content above the crashing waves. Now, as a wide-eyed undergraduate student, I can only hope that I will be much kinder and wiser by the next time I graduate. I cherish the opportunity to freely choose what I want to pursue and who I want to be, yet the fear of choosing wrong is awfully terrifying. Our meritocratic society rarely gives accolades for failure, and grand hopes for success are bestowed upon us during graduations of each stage in life. Regardless of others’ differing opinions, however, I have truly began to embrace the notions of “focusing on the journey” as means of reconciling past pride with future uncertainty.
I was in my own emotional quandary, a lost teenager surrounded by a whirlwind of humid breaths and jolly congratulations. in my skirt and trying to tame my disobedient hair every half second. The rest of my time was spent glancing to the far edge of the room towards a classmate that I had hopelessly fallen in love with a few months before graduating. Our principal’s spiel was static noise to my own self-directed romantic scene. I was in my own emotional quandary, a lost teenager surrounded by a
ARTWORK BY BRIAN ZHENG