Jerk December 2017

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Try not to be salty, but we can't sugarcoat it. DECEMBER NOVEMBER2017 2017VOL VOLXV XVISSUE ISSUEIII II SYRACUSE NEW YORK Your student fee

Certified mumps-free content.


CONTENTS November 2017 Keeping the Faith 24 The fashion industry tends to favor extremely small sizes and ignore those who don’t fit into the typical model category but Syracuse University is attempting to combat this with their “Fashion Without Limits” program.

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2049 38 Take a trip into the future. Forget basic sequins and easy metallics this holiday season. Glossy, vinyl fabrics and silver swatches of makeup will send you straight into the matrix. Bring the structured fabrics and futuristic cuts of 2049 into the present. And don't forget here at Jerk, we always take the red pill.

What Do You Meme? 48 Memes are more than meets the eye. Engaging with the pop culture nuggets may be more artistic than you thought. Know your memes.

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Cover Design by Chelsea Portner Illustration/Photography by Cassie Zhang






JERK THIS What you should hit up and bitch about this month. 21 +/Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL Down in the DMs SEX Bruises, Bites and Breaks FRAMED Berlin Cathedral





Winter Media Diet Read a book, for once.


REWIND Classic Kicks






SYNAPSE Punk and Hip-Hop


That's Not My Name

Why is catcalling still normalize?



Bollywood Moment This film mainstay is coming into the mainstream.




Missing the Mark Enough is enough— the ads need to stop.



OBITCHUARY Unaccountable Dudes

Bridging the Gap How much does consent cost?


Unfunny Business A punch line should be more than a race or gender.


The End The place where music happens.


STRIPPED The only kind of basic we like.


CLOSET CASE Remini-scents FORM AND FUNCTION How to Dress like a Frat Rapper


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Chelsea Portner EDITOR IN CHIEF

Caroline Schagrin

Alex Erdekian

Jacob Marcus





Alex Archambault ASST. FEATURES EDITOR Caroline Blair ARTS AND MUSIC EDITOR Deniz Sahinturk ASST. ARTS AND MUSIC EDITOR Jake Smith OPINIONS EDITOR Bronte Schmit ASST. OPINIONS EDITOR Audrey Lee STYLE EDITOR Hairol Ma ASST. STYLE EDITOR Nick Della Sala ASST. STYLE EDITOR Hayley Greason FRONT OF BOOK EDITOR McKenna Moore RESEARCH EDITOR Callie Chute COPY EDITOR Jacqui Meuser, Matti Gellman, Sophia Jactel FACT CHECKER Taylor Connors, Emily Kelleher, Madison Snyder FRESHMAN INTERN Vivian Whitney, Katherine Flynn, Emily Lewis FEATURES EDITOR


Tiffany Moran Kate Kozuch ASST. WEB EDITOR Emily Gnat, Joann Li WEB DESIGNER Becky Savoia PHOTO EDITOR Alyssa Smith WEB INTERN Tiffany Huang DIGITAL DIRECTOR


Sarah Whaley Sam Adams, Ilana Shire, Jennifer Sachs, Vivian Whitney, Kateri Gemperlein-Schirm



Maddi Minicozzi Kasey Lanese STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Lane, Leigh Ann Rodgers, Kali Bowden, Zoey Peck, Molly Colletta ILLUSTRATORS Emily Bruder, Maddie Ligenza, Rachel Gee, Chloe Crookall ILLUSTRATION DIRECTOR



Sydney Stein

PR REPRESENTATIVES Lillee Bellia, Julia Susskind,

Georgiana Volturo, Alana Smolinksy, Hadassah Lai PR DESIGNER Olivia Sharf





Catie Anderson Caitlin Shewbrooks AD REPRESENTATIVE Ellen Greene PUBLISHER


CONTRIBUTORS Caroline Fokos, Caroline Blair, Staci Soslowitz, Meredith Clark, Rachel Day, Hayley Greason, Singdhi Sokpo, Emily Magnifico, Cassie Zhang, Caroline Colvin, Krystal Silfa , Julia Catalano, Kasey Lanese, Stephanie Peter, Yoori Jee, AJ Krappman, Samantha Lane, Codie Yan, Maddie Ligenza, Emily Bruder, Ciara Bethel, Tori Thomas

Melissa Chessher ADVISER Through its content, Jerk is dedicated to enhancing insight through communication by providing an informal platform for the freedom of expression. The writing contained within this publication expresses the opinions of the individual writers. The ideas presented in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Jerk Editorial Board. Furthermore, Jerk will not be held responsible for the individual opinions expressed within. Submissions, suggestions, and opinions are welcomed and may be printed without contacting the writer. Jerk reserves the right to edit or refuse submissions at the discretion of its editors. Jerk Magazine is published monthly during the Syracuse University academic year. All contents of the publication are copyright 2014 by their respective creators. No content may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Jerk Editorial Board.

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WE'RE NOT GONNA TAKE IT Here we are again: one year later and Jerk's funding has been cut once again. And you know what? We're tired of the bullshit. From getting our funding cut to waking up everyday to a new powerful white male being accussed of assult to net neutrality being put at stake—it isn't fair. We need our voices, as young burgeoning journalists, protected. But when we can't produce the content we need, our perspective on these issues gets lost. Here at Jerk we try to represent everyone and jerk students out of their apathy. Our December issue is no different. Flip to page 24 to hear about religion is reinvigorating the fabric of Syracuse community with New Americans arriving. Learn about why advertisers need to stop trying to pass off racists ads on page 18. Ponder if your favorite meme means something more on page 48. And take a look into the future, where hopefully birth control is free for all, in our Gawk feature on page 38. We are covering what matters and you better be reading it. Even if our funding is disappearing, we certainly are not. See you next year,



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Nothing says "Happy Holidays!" like a Facebook comment! Nothing like a good ol' fashioned campus mag versus campus mag rivalry!

SHOW US SOME LOVE Jerk Magazine 126 Schine Student Center Syracuse, NY 13244 @jerkmagazine

And we can't forget this timeless advice in response to our Head in the Clouds article from the November issue:



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Jerk contributors Photography by Kasey Lanese

Cassie Zhung / Senior / Bling Bling, Bitch If Cassie could be any animal for a day, she would be her roommate's cat, PP. She longs for a life of catlike leisure. If her life were a movie it would be called “Life of Pie.” Clever, huh? Check out her photography on page 46

Caroline Fokos / Senior / The Great Imitator Caroline hates Canadian tuxedos and takes forever to parallel park, although this could have something to do with the fact that she likes to apply eyeliner in the car. She would love to write for Cosmopolitan one day, but for now, she’s writing for Jerk. Check out her feature on Lyme Disease on page 30.

Rachel Day / Junior / Sex Appeal She’s SCUBA certified and would marry her water bottle if she could. She’s afraid of Nancy Drew video games and loves that stupid Complex video of Bella Hadid sounding stupid in a shoe store. To read more of Rachel’s funky opinions, turn to page 16 for her take on portrayals of unprotected sex in media.


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Miguel: War & Leisure

Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas

December 1 We've all been patiently awaiting a new album to smoke and have sex to since Miguel's last album, War & Leisure, released in 2015. Thank fuck it's finally here­—pun intended.

December 1 - 25 While we're still a little salty that it's not named ABC Family anymore, Freeform's 25 Days of Christmas is the cutest way to get in the holiday spirit.


Little Leaders: Bold Women in Black History

The Disaster Artist

Shit we like

December 1 Seth Rogen and James Franco are back together again to create another movie you should only watch while buzzed. It's a mockumentary of the filming of The Room, AKA the worst movie ever made.

December 5 This adorable illustrated book takes a look at 40 black women who had a huge impact on history. Right in time for the gift-giving season.

Shit we like to avoid

U2: Songs of Experience December 1 We're still pissed about that time Apple loaded U2's album onto our phones without asking.

New Year's Eve December 31 You thought you'd be sipping champagne at a ritzy party but you actually just blackout in your high school friend's 10 11.17• JERK

basement and accidentally hookup with your ex.

I Do! I Do! A Musical About Marriage November 30 - December 17 Our relatives are already asking when we'll find "a nice man to settle down with." We're too young to think about marriage this much. We don't need to see this play at the Redhouse Arts Center to make it worse.

Pitch Perfect 3 December 22 No one asked for this. We kind of liked the first movie. We tried to learn the cup song. No one saw the second movie. Now this? Is this punishment for electing that orange fuckwad? Okay, you're right we deserve it.


Tequila Hot Chocolate Booze in December should be cozy. That’s where Tequila Mint Hot Chocolate comes in. It strikes just the right balance between snuggled up on the couch and dancing on elevated surfaces. The drink only takes a few minutes to make. If you really want the full effect, don’t cut any corners by using pre-made hot chocolate packets. Ingredients: 1/4 cup cocoa powder 1 tablespoon granulated sugar pinch kosher salt 3 cups whole milk 4 ounces milk chocolate chips 4 ounces bittersweet chocolate chips 4 ounces tequila 2 ounces peppermint schnapps Whipped cream and mint leaf garnish Instructions: In a small pot, stir the cocoa powder with the sugar and salt. Then, stir in the milk and both types of chocolate chips. Heat this mixture over medium heat and stir until the chocolate has melted and the entire mixture is hot. Whisk until the mixture is all one texture. Now, add in the tequila and peppermint schnapps. Divide into some cozy ass mugs and add whipped cream on top. Drink.

CLICKBATE What We're Getting Off To On The Web This Month

JERKMAGAZINE We know you have it bookmarked, but just in case.

How You Can Watch Misogyny Begin and End in Your Classroom

If you're feeling frustrated by our sexism in comedy piece, be sure to check out how you can end that bullshit in the classroom. We take a note from Feminist Fight Club to stop misogyny here at Cuse.


A ? Can't Even with Apple's Keyboard Glitch 12 12.17 • JERK

Its sad how quickly we acclimated to Apple's keyboard glitch in our everyday lives. Will we be stuck with A ? forever, or will Apple do something else Android users will forever mock us for?


IT GOES DOWN IN THE DMS As a wise woman once said “I saw you man post a quote and a pic in bed, so I hit him in the DM like heybighead”(NickiMinaj,“DownintheDM”).DirectMessagingonappslikeSnapchat,Instagram, and Twitter is the new frontier of courtship. Your #mcm posts a #GreySweatpantsChallenge picture on Twitter? Slide into his DMs with a “;)" to show him you’re interested. Bam, you’re dating now. And it all started in the DMs. We took a look into your DMs to see what’s up.

Have you ever approached someone in the DMs Have you ever been successful shooting your looking to hook up or take them on a date? shot in someone's DMs? • Of course, that's what DMs are for (35.9%) • Yes (28.9%) • Not yet, but someday (33.3%) • No (13.2%) • No, I'm too scared (30.8%) Have you ever sexted over DM? Have you ever been approached in your DMs? • No, the NSA is watching (52.5%) • Yes (63.2%) • Who hasn't? (25%) • So. Many. Times. (26.3%) • Yes, but I would never tell anyone that (22.5%) • Nope (10.5%) What is your DM platform of choice? • Snapchat (66.7%) • Instagram (20.5%) • Twitter (12.8%) • Kik (0%) What is the most outrageous thing you've ever received in your DMs? • A picture of this guy and my grandma, they had met at a golf tournament and he found me on Instagram • "Hey sorry this is random but I was sitting next to you on the metro today and didn’t really feel like asking for your number in front of a crowd of people" • Some guy, after following me on Insta & liking all my selfies, told me I was really hot and then Are you open to someone messaging you followed it up by telling me I looked just like his randomly to hit on you? older sister. • It depends on the approach (61.5%) • "Opinions on butt stuff?" • I love attention, HMU (28.2%) • "I would like to titty fuck u" • No GTFO (10.3%) JERK

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bruises, bites, & breaks

Illustration by Tori Thomas

After a few years of sexperience under our belts, we’re bound to run into some mishaps. Some of those end in injury. What can we say? Some like it rough. We asked the ‘Cuse community to spill their most embarrassing sex injury stories.

Seeing Purple

Candy Lips

Wearing Her Easter Best

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My formal date and I were deep AF into our bottle of tequila at the pregame and start making out. Obviously, we had to go bang one out before formal actually started. I'm riding and he starts slapping my ass HARD. Every inch of my left butt cheek is covered in red and purple slap marks. I left him in his dorm room because he was too fucked up to make it to formal. Later that night, I hung out with my fuck buddy. As if the devil himself were possessing this guy's hand, he slaps my left ass cheek as hard as he can. I didn't think I was going to make it after that. Long story short, I couldn't sit right for three or four days. But it was totally worth it. I got my shit rocked. After a night dancing my cares away in the bagel-scented fishbowl that is now Lucy's, I was whisked away into a hookup that got very rough very fast. This dude chewed on my lips like a piece of fucking bubblegum and left me with dark purple lips covered in cuts and bruises. My high school boyfriend and I got frisky in his car in our middle school parking lot one day—#classy—and there was some biting and sucking involved. When I woke up the next morning, which just happened to be Easter Sunday, I found a hickey that took up the entire left side of my neck and wrapped around down onto the right side of my collar bone. I tried to get it off but nothing worked. So I ended up going to church with my extremely conservative Catholic family wearing a scarf in 75 degree weather. Moral of the story: don't fuck around with the rough stuff the night before major holidays.



Berlin Cathedral Alena Sceusa Senior, Illustration "My painting depicts the grand cathedral in hues of grey, black, and white to preserve a travel memory. Visiting Berlin in the winter, the Cathedral was a study of lights and darks, just as stunning as if the sun was shining."

To showcase your work on "Framed," email JERK


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Men who share their opinion on the female experience need to realize there is more to being a woman than they can see. By Callie Chute : Illustration by Maddie Ligenza

As a female, I often have to calculate my nights out hours in advance. I can’t always ‘go-withthe-flow,’ because I’m worried about who I can walk to a party with, who will walk me home, and if my outfit will warrant unwanted come-ons or profanities by men as I walk down the street. If I wear a skirt deemed ‘too short,’ then I’ll ‘have it coming—then I am deserving of criticism by strangers regarding my wardrobe. According to the status quo, I should be accepting of men questioning my style choices because apparently they have the final say over my safety as they impose physical advancements upon me. But, this issue is larger than whether or not I want to rearrange my closet to dress more conservatively or letting catcalls roll off my back;

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it has to do with a power struggle that feeds into a larger rape and hookup culture. One Sunday morning, I was scrolling through Snapchat stories, catching up from the night before. One video zoomed in on a girl in an oversized t-shirt, heels in hand, walking down the sidewalk with the enlarged caption: “walk of shame.” Immediately, I swiped up to chat the boy that exposed her, arguing with him for about an hour before he finally agreed it was wrong and deleted it. At first, he wouldn’t budge because he insisted it was her choice to leave the house. That choice, in his opinion, meant he was free to judge and comment on it. Fuck that! Women, or anyone, can leave the house dressed however they want. Appearance is a form of expression. And, despite this girl being a complete stranger who’s unable to stand up for herself and ask for this Snapchat story to be removed, it was unfair before that. We only have an assumption of her situation— maybe she was walking home from her best friend’s house, not a ‘one night stand.’ Or, maybe it was! Regardless, a woman’s sexuality and how she chooses to dress is no one’s business but her own — it’s no one’s place to point the finger and laugh. Yet, he felt like it was, likely because he’s never felt the shame that women face every day just based off what they choose to wear. If it had instead been a guy walking home from a girl’s house, no one would look twice because he’d be dressed in a ‘normal’ outfit—

one he’d wear to class. Women, because of beauty standards, are expected to dress in heels and tight clothing for a night out. But men can wear whatever they want without the fear of judgement. Men are never expected to change their appearance to cater to a certain gaze. “I think with catcalling it really doesn’t matter what you’re wearing, I’ve been catcalled in my ugliest outfits,” says Mandy Freebairn, a senior at New York University. “It doesn’t have to do with clothing but people attribute clothing to a situation. To any kind of objectification people say, ‘look at what she was wearing, she was asking for it.’ It blames the victim and perpetuates men.” Living in a city environment, Freebairn experiences these frustrations daily. Some may think ‘it’s a compliment, that men would yell out how beautiful you are,’ or that they’d appreciate a ‘daaaaaaamn girl’ on their way to class. However, being on the receiving end is not as fun as it sounds—it’s dehumanizing. It trivializes women to just sexual objects. It might be time the U.S. takes serious action against verbal sexual harassment. France, for example, in wake of the Harvey Weinstein allegations is considering proposals to fine men for public acts of aggressive catcalling and sexual behavior toward women. It's 2017, no one no matter what gender, race, or ethnicity to be subjected to harassment and degrading remarks just for walking down the street. JM


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Missing the Mark Why hasn't the advertisement industry figured out diversity yet? By Caroline Schagrin : Illustration by Maddie Ligenza

Year after year, advertisements are released that make us second guess what year it is. The industry has an apparent diversity issue and time after time, fails to create ads that are culturally appropriate and authentic. In a time where media continues to shape and produce a hegemonic system on what is normal and accepted in our society, it is absolutely necessary that advertisements reflect various cultures, races, and ethnicities in ways that are respectful and innocuous. Some companies blatantly—while maybe unintentionally—continue to publish ads that end up being culturally insensitive and ignite public outrage. Mostly notably as of late, Pepsi, with their very unfortunate attempt at creating 18 12.17


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a diverse ad. The video ad starred supermodel Kendall Jenner alleviating tensions in a protest by handing a police officer a can of soda. Not only did this advertisement mirror and trivialize the Black Lives Matter movement by emulating the viral image of Ieshia Evans standing up to police officers in a 2016 police brutality protest in Baton Rouge, it completely missed the mark at creating an appropriately diversified ad. It is unclear what exactly the people in the advertisement are protesting and it seems Pepsi was just trying to check off the diversity box by dropping in people from different ethnicities, including a middle eastern woman wearing a hijab, LGBTQ members, African-Americans


dancing to reggae drums, and Asian Americans playing instruments—classic stereotypes. "Diversity is more than just putting people in ads that look different," says Rebecca Ortiz, an advertising professor at Syracuse University. "It’s about really exploring what are the differences these people might experience, how can we tell these stories in a way that really looks at how we are all similar in many ways, but also experience the world in different ways." In more recent news, skincare brands Dove and Nivea faced backlash from nearly everyone. Dove this past October published a Facebook ad featuring three ethnically diverse women using their body wash to show how the product is fit for everyone. However, Dove’s PR team somehow didn’t realize the implications with having an African-American woman transform into a white woman by using body cleansing product. Similarly, Nivea published an ad in West Africa promoting fairer skin in October. Not really sure who let this one slide, but it depicts an African-American woman using Nivea’s Natural Fairness Body lotion to get visibly fairer skin. In addition, Nivea also got reamed —rightfully— for an ad promoting their deodorant claiming, "White Is Purity" with the caption "Keep it clean, keep bright. Don’t let anything ruin it, #Invisible." All three companies issued apologies claiming they never intended to offend anyone. I mean, I’d hope that wasn’t their intention, but an apology on Twitter or Facebook is not enough to erase the subliminal messages these ads produce. Much of this lack of diversity might stem from the fact that the industry itself is not made up of diverse groups. A recent study by Adobe in November surveyed 750 U.S. individuals in the creative field and revealed several diversity

discrepancies within the industry, including gender and race. The study noted that 73 percent of men claimed there are more males in leadership positions at their companies compared to 62 percent of women. In addition, 82 percent of the surveys participants believe their most successful group projects were produced by a diverse team, however, only 54 percent believe diversity in the creative industry has improved within the past five years. "If you don’t have a diverse group of people meaning gender, ethnicity, experiences, age, all that, then you’re often not able to create authentic, diverse advertising where people are portrayed in diverse ways," says Ortiz. According the Census Bureau of Labor 2015 statistics provided by Ad Age, an industry trade group, 582,000 Americans are in the advertising industry, yet less than half are women, less than 6.6 percent are black, 5.7 percent are Asian, and 10.5 percent are Hispanic. In another 2015 report, the Census Bureau analyzed U.S. population projects and predicts that by 2020, more than half the nation’s children will be part of a minority race or ethnic group. By 2044 the entire country’s population will become majority-minority. With minority groups making up a large portion of our population, it is imperative the advertising industry makes structural and creative changes toproduce ads that are inclusive and authentic. Whether that means hiring more diverse teams or taking the time to actually ask the right questions on what it means to be diverse to try to tell stories that genuinely reflect and incorporate differentcultural groups and minorities. JM


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Bridging the Gap It’s hardly entertaining to hear that the wage gap is still VERY real. By Rachel Day : Illustration by Annie Schwartz You’re in your freshman political science recitation sitting near the guy that took it just to fulfill his core requirement. Predictably, he tries to explain to you how the wage gap is a myth while barely glancing up from the homepage of ESPN on his laptop plastered with a “Make America Great Again” sticker. The concept of equal pay and the wage gap has been a staple in the debate over feminism since women have joined the workforce. Anti-feminists choose the narrative that it doesn’t exist anymore, that the $0.78 to dollar statistic isn’t right, that it’s much more complex than that. It is more complex, but not in the way that would discredit the equal pay argument. Some industries have a greater gap than others. For example a female lawyer n i n e years into her career could be

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making 60 percent less than her male counterpart. On average, women of color will earn even less than white women, making roughly half of what a white man will make doing the same job. The widespread accusations coming from both women and men against high-power male figures in Hollywood about sexual assault show just how influential money is in regard to sexism. Throughout 2017, more and more individuals have come forward with accounts of how they were sexually harassed or assaulted in the media industry. Harvey Weinstein being accused of rape set off a chain reaction of other men, like Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K., being accused of countless assaults over decades. Fox News has become a staple name in media tied to allegations of sexual assault and harassment of women, such as NBC “Today” host, Megyn Kelly, who formerly worked at Fox. The stories outlined by women left some people with a lot of questions: How could this have happened on such a large scale? Why didn’t more women come forward earlier? How can a secret be so open?


The answer comes from the power imbalance that takes place in every industry. Film and media are the ideal examples to show how economics plays into the outright horrible things that happen to women (and men) who don’t have the money and power to support themselves. In the Atlantic, Brit Marling wrote that “consent is a function of power” and it is. And power, in part, comes from representation and money. In 2016, only 4 percent of the directors of the 100 top grossing films were women. Twentynine percent of the films featured a female protagonist. Seventy-six percent of the female characters in the films were white. Hollywood, as it stands currently, does not favor women. In fact, the entertainment industry through individuals and as a whole, continues to make choices that debase and demoralize women. As of May 2017, Robin Wright said she still was not paid the same amount as Kevin Spacey per episode in House of Cards. Emmy Rossum, backed by William H. Macy, was able to negotiate equal pay for her role in Shameless after Macy had made more money than her even though they appeared in the same amount of episodes. Even through Rossum’s victory, it shows equality for women is not freely given, it has to be fought for. The economic power men have over women or unknown individuals or people of color make it so their actions do not have consequences.

The allegations against powerful men in Hollywood reflect the everyday life for many women. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates a minimum of 25 percent up to 85 percent of women have experienced sexual harassment in the workplace. Male dominated industries have considerably higher statistics. The study also found that only 30 percent of women reported the harassment they faced out of fear of retaliation. This fear among women is the same, whether it comes from Gwyneth Paltrow interacting with Harvey Weinstein or a woman in a small town being harassed at her nine to five office job. The fear of losing your job, losing financial security, and losing any sense of safety is what stops women from coming forward. It traces back to men with money and power being able to instill this fear in women. The world’s eight richest men have the same amount of wealth as the poorest 50 percent. The imbalance and the effects that follow cannot be ignored any longer. It is important for us as individuals and a society to reject the normalcy of degrading of women. It isn’t a bad thing to be angry and uncomfortable when you hear allegations of sexual assault, regardless of who they come from. To cause change is to recognize a problem and actively work to solve it, otherwise it will never be solved. So the next time the kid in your poli-sci class lectures you about being a woman, tell him to open his damn eyes. JM


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Unfunny Business Jokes aside, women deserve recognition and respect on the comedic stage.

By Caroline Cianci : Illustration by Emily Bruder The comedy scene in America has been dominated by men since stand-up originated. Some of America’s earliest and most notable comics include George Carlin, Don Rickles, Woody Allen, and Bill Cosby. Popularized in the ‘60s and ‘70s, stand-up allowed for various types of comedy. Slapstick, satirical, and crude stand-up all made audiences erupt in laughter. Yet, there was a vital thing missing from these hilarious routines: a strong female presence. Instead, America got the likes of Cosby and Allen— yikes. Today, the comedy scene for women really has not improved significantly—The presence of women in stand-up comedy is utterly low. From data collected at Caroline’s on Broadway, a popular comedy club in NYC, from 2011-2014, only eight percent of headliners were women. The sad truth is, the battle to get into this business has nothing to do with content— women are hilarious as hell. It comes down to the way people react to female comedians. Take a look at Amy Schumer. If you’re a comedy connoisseur, you may not think she’s the funniest, I understand. Yet, the issue is how people react to her content. She is extremely confident, crass, and loud on stage. And people, specifically men, are frightened by that. Amy will spend a lot of her time talking about sex, and viewers 22 12.17


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will complain heavily about that, then go home to watch Louis C.K. and crack up. Despite Louis C.K.’s obvious misogynistic tones in his content, and his history of sexual harassment and assault allegations, people could still prefer him over Amy Schumer. What the hell, man? Along with women struggling to gain popularity on stage, they are also ostracized by their male counterparts. Stand-up comedy has always been a ‘bro’s world’ and the male comedians want to keep it that way. The New York stand-up comedy scene was once heavily influenced by a specific boys club that featured Louis C.K., Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Marc Maron, and more. This is exactly what you think it is: an elitist group of comedians that protect their brand, each other, and limit the females in their group. It’s a vicious and dangerous community for women to be a part of. Female comedians always know of a comedy club where they have been sexually harassed, or a male comedian they’ve been told to stay away from. It would be impossible for me to speak about sexism in comedy without talking about the trouble black women face in the comedy world, which greatly outweigh the plight of white female comedians. They have to fight harder and louder to get their voices heard.


Just recently, Tiffany Haddish made history by becoming the first black female comic to host SNL. Some incredible black female comics to follow are Issa Rae, with her show Insecure, and all the girls from the movie Girls Trip. Of the top 12 highest paid comedians of 2017, only one is a woman: Amy Schumer. None are women of color, and even Amy is outnumbered by nine other men. How can we fix this? We can avoid going down the easy road of watching content only created by men. It’s everywhere. You can do your part and seek out content created by women. It’s hilarious, I promise. The more awareness we create and the more we actually purposefully seek out comedy written and performed by women, our representation will improve. Start out easy with some streaming specials from women like Maria Bamford, Ali Wong, Jen Kirkman, Tig Notaro, and Wanda Sykes. Check out TV shows that are written and star female comedians like: Broad City, The Mindy Project, Veep, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Lady Dynamite. I believe in you all. JM JERK

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Keeping the Faith New arrivals to Syracuse breathe life into a religious community eager to embrace them. By Delaney Van Wey : Illustration by Molly Coletta

In the heart of the University neighborhood, there’s a church on the Lancaster Avenue that is the embodiment of a new era in American faith. All Saints Church looks like any other church, but a small sign on the door promises a radical welcome to all who seek community. Inside, changes are more pronounced. The gospel is read in Spanish and traditional hymns are sung in Swahili. Congolese refugees, who make up nearly half of the congregation, helped fix a technical difficulty before the late-morning Mass on a recent Sunday. Throughout the United States, parishes of all faiths and denominations are becoming centers of cultural exchange. Syracuse, as a city that sees many of its young people leaving and many New Americans coming in, these trends are highly visible. Leaders in the faith community have said this infusion of new people and practices has breathed new life into their congregations. “If we’re trying to maintain what is the status quo, sooner or later we probably will die,” said Father Fred Daley, the pastor at All Saints. “If we

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SMUT reach out, opening our doors, and we’re faithful to Jesus and faithful to the gospel then we’ll probably grow.” A sequence of demographic shifts has caused these changes in the religious community in Syracuse. In 2016, the nonpartisan Public Religion Research Institute, which collects data and publishes statistics about politics and religions, found that the number of people in the United States identifying as white Christians had fallen to 43 percent. This was down from 54 percent in 2008. At the same time as white Christians are losing their position as the majority and upstate New York is facing a declining population overall. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 73,000 people moved out of New York state between July 2015 and July 2016. This is nearly double the number for the previous two years. Numerous Christian denominations in Syracuse have felt these dual losses. All Saints itself is a church that rose from the ashes of two parishes that were forced to close. Rabbi Dan Fellman at Temple Concord said that the Jewish community has also been in decline, from a population of about 15,000 to currently around 6,000. But not all religions are shrinking. In fact, spirituality is playing just as important a role in the fabric of Syracuse society as it ever has before, according to community leaders. Fellman said that 15 years ago, there was one mosque in the city. Now, there are four or five. This growth has come from the increasing number of refugees and New Americans settling in Syracuse every year. About 9,500 refugees have settled in Onondaga County over the last 10 years, according to the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance.

These newcomers have brought their food and clothing with them, but also their faith. According to religious leaders and refugees, their spirituality provides strength and a connection to home. To varying degrees, they have transformed existing religious institutions with these faiths. “A parish in the city has two choices,” Daley said. “They can either sort of live with the glories of the past as they prepare to close up, or they can reach out and welcome this wonderful community that surrounds them in the city. And that’s what brings new life to the parish community and is doing, very directly, the gospel of Jesus.” In some places, these changes have been stark. On the North Side, a Catholic church was converted into a mosque, the name of which is translated to Mosque of Jesus, Son of Mary. In others, newcomers such as the Karen Buddhist refugees from Myanmar have created their own places of worship. At places like All Saints and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on James Street, though, the new cultures and old institutions are merging together in an effort to maintain the best of both. Refugees from the Democratic Republic of Congo first came to All Saints in 2009 when St. Andrew’s on Walton Street closed its doors. Although it started with just one or two families, more than 20 now attend a weekly meeting — or shirika—of the Congolese community before late-morning Mass. Papy Amani, a leader in the Congolese community at All Saints and creator of the shirika, said he is grateful for the ability and space to worship his faith in the United States. “Here in the United States life is not easy,” Amani said. “It’s not the way we were taught. Be having faith and being together in a community in the United States … we try to help each other here.”


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Amani said he created the shirika because he realized that most of his fellow Congolese didn’t understand the English-spoken Mass. Consequently, they didn’t feel like a true part of the church. A language barrier is just one of the examples of how the cross-cultural exchange of spirituality can be challenging sometimes. Rabbi Fellman, as the chair of the InterFaith Works Round Table of Faith Leaders, said he had experiences in which one or more of the faith’s sitting on the round table did not accept a particular minority sect. While these differences were not

insurmountable, Fellman said, they are rooted in the core of people’s faiths, and therefore their identities. Differences can be bridged, though. At All Saints, Amani bridged the language barrier by creating a space for his community to worship in Swahili. The congregation has also made the traditional Mass more inclusive, however by including hymns and readings in Swahili, led by the Congolese refugees. Amani said their separate meetings aren’t solely for using language as a communications tool. Far more importantly, these weekly reunions of the Congolese community are used to preserve their cultural heritage. Amani 26 12.17


said they sing and dance for much of the time, as they did during Mass back home in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It makes them feel like they’re home, Amani said. “It is important for us to keep going from generation to generation with our heritage,” Amani said. “We don’t want our kids’ generation to forget those things.” Even though religion has lost influence in liberal Western society, it remains a key component of people’s identities around the world. Rev. Katherine Day, the Managing Chaplain at Crouse Hospital, said the United States is known for being a place where people can practice their religion freely. While this makes her job more challenging, it is also vitally important that the country continues to foster this diversity, Day said. Unlike a pastor of a congregation, Day encounters a wide variety of religions on a daily basis in her work at the hospital. Not all religious traditions expect to have a person from their faith community with them in the hospital, she said, so it is sometimes challenging to know where she is welcome. Once, a Somalian couple had an infant in the neonatal intensive care unit, and multiple imams came in to help the couple and to negotiate with distrusting family members. “I think a lot of people who come to the hospital are afraid that we are going to try to proselytize or try to turn them into Christians … and that is absolutely not the case,” Day said. “We are there to support what their faith is because that is what gives them strength.” That strength and faith in a higher power carried many of these New Americans through adversity that is unimaginable to most Americans. Although religious leaders in the community recognized that this adversity can sometimes make people lose their spirituality, it often only makes it stronger. In those cases,


faith becomes a direct line to their culture, their ancestors and their hope for the future. “For immigrants, that connectivity matters a lot because you’re in a strange new land where you know nobody,” Fellman said. As much as religion has connected refugees of the same faiths and ethnic groups, it has also served as common ground for different communities, despite religion’s reputation for causing division. Back home in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Amani said, different ethnic tribes would work together in their common Christianity. Here in Syracuse, his Catholicism has brought him closer to the community at-large, in which he is recognized as a leader.On James Street at St. Paul’s Syracuse, the Downtown Episcopal Church, members of the Sudanese community are given space to worship in their native language of Dinka. At a recent Episcopalian conference in Liverpool, Rev. Day said, leaders of the community shared their goal to eventually combine their services with that of the Englishspeaking congregation. “That’s the great vision,” Day said. “It’s not there yet, but that’s the way of the future.” In a world in which religious morality may seem flimsy, the generosity of both New Americans and established religious institutions in Syracuse has been a sign that not all hope is lost.

Rev. Gail Riina, the Lutheran chaplain at Syracuse University, said she has seen two responses to the decline in Christianity: backtracking to staunch conservatism and celebrating that God is in all people. It has heartened her to see so much of the latter in the community, she said, through her work in tutoring New Americans. One story that particularly stood out to her was that of an adult volunteer from a local church who worked with Riina’s program that teaches English to refugee families. At the end of her experience, the volunteer wrote a letter to Riina describing how she had been nervous, initially, about how different everyone was from her, a manifestation of the common human fear of the unknown. By the end of her time, though, she found great joy in the refugees’ happiness in learning as well as from everything she learned from them. Riina said the woman’s faith is what gave her the courage to do something that she was afraid of. “In people without that value, that value we trust God and that this is our brother or sister even though they look different and come from another place, the other becomes feared,” Riina said. “And that causes all the problems that we have today.” JM


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BOLLYWOOD moment As the second largest film genre in the wolrd, why has it taken Bollywood so long to break into the United States mainstream? By Josie Hannum : Illustration by Sarah Whaley

Bollywood. Upon hearing the word in 1913, Dadasaheb Phalke produced as someone from the west, images India’s first full-length feature film of elaborate dance numbers, catchy entitled Raja Harishchandra. This music and extravagant, melodramatic film was released in Bombay two plots inevitably come to mind. I years before D.W. Griffith’s The Birth know this idea was ingrained in me of a Nation, which is credited as when my white high school physics Hollywood’s first feature film. Today, teacher played a musical number the narratives of Indian cinema are from a different Bollywood film at the still deeply rooted in Indian history, beginning of every class. With this faith and traditions of song and image in mind, you can imagine my dance. surprise when I learned that the term While Bollywood is the second “Bollywood” is a mere 15 years old, largest film producer in the world and actually only describes a niche after Hollywood, Indian movies have type of Indian cinema that is: one: in yet to cross over to mainstream North Hindi—India’s most widely spoken American audiences in a consistent language—and two: based in the city way. When I spoke to Tula Goenka, of Mumbai—formerly called Bombay. a professor of Television, Radio and Film first came to India around Film at Newhouse and the author of 1895, shortly after the Lumière “Not Just Bollywood: Indian Directors brothers screened their first Speak,” she said, “The real difference projection of motion pictures. Then, between Indian cinema and western

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cinema is the mode of storytelling.” According to Goenka, because of the culture difference between India and western societies, the story structures vary greatly between the two. In traditional Bollywood films, there tend to be many different story plots, as opposed to western films that generally follow one carved out premise. Goenka went on to explain, “In today’s day and age with Hindi films, some films are much more western oriented in in their storytelling.” Interestingly, however, these are not the films that are making the biggest splash in North America. Goenka likes to separate Indian cinema into two categories. The first is traditional Hindi/Bollywood films in all of their flamboyant glory. The second is independent Indian films, which are more serious art films that are based in reality. While the Hindi films are played primarily in Indian theaters within the US, the independent films do well in smaller art cinema houses. Because the structure of these films is more universal, independent films are succeeding with non-Indian

populations in the west. The success of these films has lead to more South Asian-centered writing, more South Asian film festivals, more representation of regional languages other than Hindi and an overall heightened attention to Indian cinema as an industry. The spread of Indian cinema to the west is also due in large part to the change in technology distribution. A couple of decades ago, the long and expensive process of producing physical copies of the films along with subtitle made it logistically impossible for Indian films to be released elsewhere. Now, thanks to innovations in technology like streaming services, film distribution is a much cheaper process, allowing more films to be released internationally. One example of this is the video streaming giant Netflix. At the Mumbai Film Festival this year, VP of International Originals at Netflix Erik Barmack announced the company would be targeting “at least five to six Indian originals a year.” This will start with Netflix’s


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first Indian series Sacred Games, which is currently in production. Sacred Games will be an eight-part series directed by co-founders of Phantom Films, an Indian film production and distribution company, Anurag Kashyap and Vikramaditya Motwane. The lead of the series is Saif Ali Khan, who is an established Bollywood star. This is a big step for integration between Hollywood and Bollywood, crating a stepping-stone for Netflix to enter local film production in India as well as formore Indian talent to work on its U.S. productions. Bollywood is also finding its place on Syracuse University’s campus through Goenka’s “SU Bollywood” program. Through the program, students travel to India in May and participate in a production course at Whistling Woods International, Asia’s largest film, communication and media art institute. “It was a very personal thing,” says Goenka, who was so impressed by Whistling Woods’ facilities when she returned to India in 2007 that she decided she wanted to share them with students at SU. Originally an internship trip, the program has transformed into a full-on production course where students get the chance to film and edit their own fiction film, while learning how to dance in a Bollywood number.

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“I’ve taken 51 students to India so far over 5 trips, and each and every one of them tells me that its the best experience that they’ve had. It has changed their life the most,” recalls Goenka. She explains that the trip not only teaches the students valuable skills in film production, but also immerses them in a different culture and exposes them to people working in the business. Goenka is planning on taking another group in May of 2018, with the application going live later in December. Whether it’s on the Syracuse campus or within North America at large, the world of Indian cinema is on the move. With changing demographics, shifting markets and evolving movie going trends among viewers of Indian-made films, Indian films are becoming big business in the U.S. and Canada. And it’s important to remember that Indian cinema is much more than Hindi language Bollywood films. It’s a complex network spanning over multiple genres and languages. While the spread may seem slow, there is a consistent growth in the availability of quality Indian films in the market, promising increasing prosperity for Indian filmmakers in the U.S. and Canada.JM


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Jerk explored how six roommates transformed the attic of their college home into a full-blown music venue that offers inclusivity and a mashup of genres.

By Taylor Connors : Photography by Liam Sheehan

Down Euclid Avenue is a double-apartment residence occupied by eight friends. The house looks like a typical man cave: video games, food, and clothes littering the floor. Upstairs, however, is a vast attic enabling the boys to fulfill a dream they’d had since freshman year: a live music venue. And that’s exactly what they created. Every once in awhile, the off-campus home is changes into an electric venue which they refer to as “The End.” The artistic minds occupying the space are matched only by its transformative decor. Christmas lights cover the ceiling, the floor is decorated with a rotating cast of decorations, and it’s all topped off with a giant clown head. While none of these • JERK 32 12.17plastic

boys study music, they definitely have a clear vision of what “The End” should be. The house is a creative bunch—there are six film students, a design student, and a photo student. This combination affects what the live performances look like. “We go after creating a venue as an atmosphere—not just what it looks like but what it feels like,” says Scott Sweitzer. Not only do their studies influence the setting of the physical space, but they also inspire the roommates to film the shows and upload the videos on YouTube in what they call “Psycho Sessions.” There is only one video online so far, but the top notch editing and distinctive artistic vision helped it to gain 75K views in a week. That and




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SMUT the fact that on-the-rise YouTube sensation and Syracuse student, Clairo, was featured in the video. While Clairo and other indie artists are popular at SU, the boys do not want to limit the type of music performed by any means. One of the main goals the team wants to achieve is to create a place that brings everyone together, in contrast to the exclusive scene that is often present on campus. “We thought it would be cool if you could come in and see a rapper as the opening set, and then someone like Clairo, and then you know maybe a funk band,” Sweitzer says. An eclectic variety of sound is not only an important factor for The End, it’s an aspect they believe is missing from campus. Sweitzer explains: “We don’t want to name any names, but some venues play one type of music and that attracts a specific crowd—not everyone.” And that’s probably the most defining factor of The End: inclusivity. The boys have very different but meshing personalities, and they wanted to bring that to the venue. As Sweitzer says: “A big thing for us is acceptance of every kind of person. You look around and there’s a diverse crowd. That’s what The End is all about.” JM

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Forget the overrated metallic statement piece for the holidays. With stretchy chrome and structured patent leather, Jerk is making a New Year’s resolution to toss the shimmery skirts and dresses for something a little ahead of our time.

Hairol Ma, Nick Della Sala, Hayley Greason : Stylists Cassie Zhang : Photographer Jessica Oh : Makeup Artist Markcus Blair, Chelsie Pennello : Models Ciara Bethel : Graphic Designer

• JERK • JERK 36 11.17 2 5.15 For a behind–the–scenes look, check out our video at


20 49 Pants: Nasty Gal $30 Bodysuit: Nasty Gal $20 • 11.17 • 5.15 37 JERKJERK 3


Jacket: Topman $100 Top: Thrift Glasses: eBay $12

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Bodysuit: Nasty Gal, $18 Top: eBay $11 Skirt: Nasty Gal, $18 Choker: Zara $16 Boots: Nasty Gal $35



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Hoodie: Dolls Kill $32.50 Necklace: Taiwan $2.00 Earrings: UO $18.00

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Bodysuit: Amazon $24 Pants: UO $70



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GAWK Cheetah print shirt: Thrifted $5.00 Crystal Necklace: Amazon $26.00 • Jacket: Zara $59

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Jacket: Morocco $50 Earrings: Nastygal $20 Gem Clips: Asos $9.50 Necklace: eBay $2



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Bare Necessities Ever bought something from Forever 21 you swore would revolutionize your signature look? Yeah, we did too. This issue we introduce Jerk’s guide to the capsule wardrobe. Dig through your closet and pluck out some of these versatile pieces, or break out your wallet for the last time this season.

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Instead of wearing your track and field hoodie from high school, invest in a sweatshirt in unexpected colors or one with fun embroidery.


Just a couple pairs of black and blue denim will suffice. We recommend a mom jean fit so you can layer leggings underneath when the ‘Cuse winter hits.

Doc Martens

If an elephant stepped on your foot in these you probably wouldn’t feel it. Doubles as a great staple to go with jeans, skirts, or leggings.


If you’ve got a business casual meeting, wear a turtleneck underneath. For a chill going-to-classbut-put-together look, throw your coat on under your favorite hoodie.

Graphic T-Shirt

Give a healthy   your personality without actually trying. Wear with any wash of denim, they work with skirts or layered over a turtleneck.


Awesome for layering and looks great peeking out from under a sweatshirt.

Air Force Ones

Because everyone and their moms have a pair of Stans, and Air Force Ones have been around for a long time for good reason.


Let’s face it, berets are going to die in a month and Avril immortalized these.


Perfect as a cute accent with a blouse, or if you’re feeling nifty, tie it into a cool shirt!


Brandy made this a thing in 2013, but instead of dropping $40 for a “vintage” flannel just get one from Salvo for three bucks.


Your partner in crime for a bad hair day. Who’s looking at your greasy bun when there’s cute circles sitting on your shoulders?

Solid Skirt

Pairs easily with a nice blouse or your favorite hoodie. JERK

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WHAT DO YOU MEME? We all love and know memes. But, did you ever consider them to be a valid form of art expression? Jerk explores the signifigance behind these pop culture symbols that are more valuable than Bitcoin to Twitter trolls. By Erik Benjamin Just before Thanksgiving break, University Union held an advanced screening of what will be remembered as 2017’s major box office disappointment: Justice League. As I watched this rather absurd film, I found myself engaging with the content in a particularly new way. Naturally, I took in the film’s aesthetics as you do when you watch a movie, but I also found myself listening to each line and looking at each frame, and then imagining them out of context. I kept wondering what images from this strange movie would stick out and then quickly find themselves online. I was not looking at Justice League as just a movie, but instead as a haystack where we would eventually find some needles that would

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become memes. Memes are everywhere you look. If you go on social media, you’ll find memes. If you open an official Syracuse University email regarding mumps vaccinations, you’ll find memes. What started off as casual jokes on the Internet has quickly evolved into a major form of communication—and everyone is always on guard looking for the next great one. As memes become a larger and larger part of our society though, it is time to ask ourselves: what exactly are these things, and where do they come from? Whenever a major event occurs, you can expect memes to follow. For instance, I’m an Atlanta Falcons fan, so when my team somehow


blew a 28-3 lead in the Super Bowl, I instantly knew the Internet would soon be blazing and absolutely torturing me. Almost a year later, my prediction was correct; 28-3 is almost everywhere you look. The events that yield memes though are not just necessarily major events like the Super Bowl, but can also be as small as something that happens in your local community, say a chain email regarding parking passes goes terribly wrong. If you’re a sophomore or older, you probably remember a particular day this past summer. It was July 19th, and after a string of calendar invitations bombarded our emails, someone replied to the thread asking for the emails to stop. Suddenly, the floodgates opened. We received hundreds of emails from both current students and alumni—including a smartass comment by yours truly, of course. While some students just wanted their inboxes to be left alone, many also saw this as an opportunity to “meme”-ify the occasion, making their peers laugh over a shared experience. As the emails flowed in, some students had inspiration for something even bigger.

After a summer of following meme groups for universities like Yale, Harvard, USC, and Brown, Emilia Smart-Denson and Brianna Stankiewicz saw an opportunity. “That day was when we were like ‘okay, we have to do this now’. It was a big group experience that everyone was going to want to make jokes about, so it was fun to create a space to do that”, said Smart-Denson. After a summer of noticing memes from comparable universities, they used this day to create a Facebook group called “syracuse memes for literal snowflake teens”. Riding the momentum from this absolutely insane digital event, the group quickly amassed a couple hundred members, and the parking pass memes immediately begun. While most Internet fads come and go quickly, this one actually stuck around. What started as a group from a sole event actually evolved and expanded its horizon in both membership and content. New types of memes sprung up, while the group swelled to e almost two thousand members. Then, when the next big meme-worthy event occurred on our campus—the mumps outbreak—


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NOISE the cycle of memes continued. A spin off group was formed called “cuse memes for mumps infected teens”—which is currently sitting at almost 1,800 members. While a Justice League meme can strike a chord for anyone around the world, the memes found in these groups are specific to our community—making use of our campus icons: Otto and Kent. While the scope and scale of memes may differ, what they share is the idea of finding humor within a shared experience. “I think the fun thing about memes is that not everyone gets them. Even if almost everyone who sees it is going to understand it, you still kind of feel like you’re special for understanding it. It’s a joke format that requires you to be in touch with culture and have a similar understanding of things as other people, which brings you together,” said Smart-Denson. “It’s all about using imagery and universal experiences to elicit a response from your audiences.” If this idea of a certain group of people bonding over a cultural work sounds familiar, that’s because it is. This is nothing new and harkens back to every period of art. Whether they were hieroglyphics, sculptures, or paintings—media of expression resonate with groups of people when they can highlight what they have in common. While making a meme might not require the same level of precision and skill as those other creative outlets, they share a necessity to both recognize and emphasize our shared perspectives. What has changed, however, is accessibility. Satire and composited art has existed for all of time, essentially, but due to cultural restrictions, it was often saved for the elite. Sure, there were outlets for the lower class to engage culturally, such as newsletters and rogue art shows, but there was always a clear division between class lines. Not to put memes on the same level as these culturally significant pieces, but they provide the same utilitar-

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ian value but by transcending class. Yes, there are memes geared towards higher class audiences, but a higher class audience is just one of many niches. Thus, memes represent a new kind of meritocracy, where anyone can create a culturally relevant piece that can be enjoyed by anyone who can understand it. For a medium that exists on making references to our culture, it’s no wonder how memes popularity has increased in a politically divisive and chaotic time. While everyone has their opinion on the current White House administration, we can all agree we are treading on somewhat uncharted territory. We are dealing with a government that not only leans into memes, but also in a strange way acts as one itself. Like him or not, but Donald Trump has in a way become a human embodiment of the idea of a meme: using references and humor to make a short and simple point. It is only natural that memes are being used as the medium both to support him and to fight him. Presidential campaigns have often been used as an incubator to test new technology and media, and the Trump campaign was really no exception when it came to memes. While some might consider it a stretch, I do not consider the Trump’s campaign’s use of memes that different from the Eisenhower “I Like Ike” campaign from 1952. A far cry from memes, the “I Like Ike” campaign hired Disney to create a commercial using a catchy jingle that took advantage of the hot medium of the day—animation. They could see animation gaining popularity and used it to create content that would strike a chord with the common person. Similarly, the Trump campaign noticed the rise of memes and instead of fighting them they embraced them. The Donald’s frequent use of nicknames, from Crooked Hillary to Low Energy Jeb, gave his followers the groundwork to run off and make


their creations. Consequently, memes can be an effective way to band together against the establishment. Due to their simplicity and humor, memes often generate enthusiasm and can be an accessible way to analyze the issues. They are not thorough, nor will they accomplish anything on their own, but they can combine to help people organize and bond together. Yet, this is easier said than done, especially dealing with humor. Smart-Denson says “as long as you don’t let the jokes distract your from the actual activism, involvement, or understanding of the issues, they’re great.”

At first glance, memes are nothing more than silly photos, gifs, or videos relating to pop culture. Yet, their simplicity on first glance is exactly what makes them so subversive. Memes are a medium that thrive on creating humor that only someone with pre-established knowledge can understand. They seem so unassuming, yet in their foundation they can bring people together from corners of the world, or even in a tightknit community such as SU, while also serving as a new tool of political propaganda. If this medium of expression can accomplish so much with so little, and is not considered art, I’m not sure what is. JM


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winter break

media diet Right now you’re in the middle of finals week, with three tests and two papers all due in the next two days. Winter break is still a far away bliss. But the minute all the chaos of school ends, what do you do? Your hometown definitely doesn't have anything comprobable to DJ's and your mom's story about her new favorite yoga class gets old after the third time. Instead of watching Sex and the City re-runs on E! and aimlessly staring at Instagram praying for a new post, go read a book. And make sure it's Jerk approved.

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books NOISE


screwtape letters Written from the point of view of senior demon, The Screwtape Letters imagines a demon who isn’t toting a pitchfork and raking the burning fires of hell. Instead, Screwtape is sophisticated, cultured, philosophical, intelligent—and far more insidious than what Dante and Hollywood dream up. Best read in broad daylight.


female brain

The Female Brain by Dr. Brizendine is an accessible and edu-taining book that educates women and men alike the gorgeously unique brain, behaviors, and bodies of women. Brizendine lays out the biological differences between men and women, as well as the environmental and societal impositions on women that shape them every day.


glass castle This classic novel the tale of two eccentric parents and their three children, moving through towns in the American Southwest until they’re inevitably on the run again. Walls’ parents did not provide her with the traditional trappings of family life, but she writes about them with admiration. They never did give her a glass castle, but she inherited the tenacity that enabled her to forge her own path.


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Take a break from whatever playlist you’ve had on repeat all semester and take chance on a podcast.

reply all If you haven’t hopped on the podcast bandwagon yet, consider listening to Reply All. Hosts Alex Goldmund and PJ Vogt narrate captivating stories about the ways in which people and the Internet interact. Listen to episode 99, “Black Hole, New Jersey,” where a thief hiding out on the Internet intercepts items purchased online or episode 53 “In the Desert” where the hosts travel to Atlanta to find out why people keep knocking on a young couple’s door looking for their stolen iPhones.

modern love

I’m not a sucker for sappy Hallmark movies, and I hate most love stories to begin with, but this

podcast made me second guess what I thought love actually meant. This podcast features different essays published by the New York Times, read by celebrities like Julia Stiles and Jake Gyllenhaal. Even after listening to these, I wouldn’t say I’m quite a love expert, but it has shaped my opinions on what love entails. And if you cry, well, at least I warned you.


daily It doesn’t matter how much you hate hearing bad news—it’s vital to get a little taste of the world every single day—The Daily will fulfill that quota. Host Michael Barbaro talks through what you need to know about the world in episodes only half an hour long at most. Listen to it as you smell all your dirty leggings in the morning deciding which are the most appropriate to wear again or listen as you walk to class with your head down to avoid awkward interactions. I don’t care. Just listen to it.

hidden brain Psychology junkies and self-help gurus alike will be just eating up the sound bytes that make up this NPR podcast hosted by social science correspondent Shankar Vedantam. It links to other fields such as economics, anthropology, neurobiology and more to explore in interesting ways. The show’s tagline is, “a conversation about life’s unseen patterns.”

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albums NOISE

light up on the lake

Whitney's 2016 album Light Upon the Lake is great the begin with, so of course I was excited to listen to their newest release Light Upon the Lake: Demo Recordings. The songs on the album have a more raw, intimate sound that I love and are perfect to listen to on a melancholy day.

ctrl SZA has dominated the music scene the entire second-half of 2017. Ctrl takes a winding and poetic look at love and lust in the abismal hookup culture. SZA admonishes and glorifies the fuckboi in nearly every song. Longing for love but too intoxicated by freedom to take it seriously? Ctrl will turn you into a weepy puddle then rebuild you into a bad bitch.

phantom brickworks Phantom Brickworks can be hard to break into, but listening to it all the way through is one of the best pleasures I’ve gotten this year. It conjures up places shrouded in thick fog and long abandoned, haunted not by ghosts but by memories. Melodies layer and repeat, mantra-like, past the ten-minute mark, becoming profound in their starkness. Late autumn and winter were made for music like this.

utopia Björk’s vision of utopia is simple on her tenth proper album. Utopia, resplendent in flute, harp and birdsong, is a healing experience, reaffirming the power of love in an uncertain world. Whether she’s sending mp3s back and forth or obsessing over features other men have in common with her lover, Björk brims with earnest affection for the natural world and for the ones she loves. It’s an album we could all use right now.


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wrestling circuit, Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, and starts at the point when struggling actress Ruth shows up at an audition looking for “unconventional women.” It features a diverse range of characters, and touches on a lot of important issues like abortion, sexism in Hollywood, body positivity and many more. Definitely worth a Netflix binge.


Two Jewish gals stumbling around the Big Apple just trying to find a way to

glow city

GLOW is the show to hit up when you need to feel empowered. The show gives a fictionalized recount of the 80s syndicated women’s professional

their next joint—get ready for the ride of your life. Abbi and Ilana are immature, sweet-loving, and funny as hell. Combine this with an endless stream of famous guest stars and you’ve got yourself a show that never loses your interest. Oh, and, start at the beginning. It features Fred Armisen in a diaper.

tv shows JERK

The perfect mix of reality and comedic hyperbole. Ern, Donald Glover, an essentially homeless father with a baby girl he loves to death and a babymama he wants to love, takes on the Atlanta rap scene when he reconnects with his cousin Paperboi, a hot new local rapper. Taking on the essence and culture of the city, the show turns truth, no matter how unfortunate, into comedy. Whether it’s commenting on cultural appropriation, jail, or trapping with Migos, Atlanta never lets you stop laughing.


and sexy FBI agents are a guarantee during the first season.


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whip up some hot chocolate, and chill. Mindhunter is a nostaligic look at some of the most violent criminals, ever. A Netflix exclusive, goosebumps


Criminal Minds and Law and Order SVU junkies, get your ass on the couch,



Prints not dead, so take a look at some of the best books hitting the shelves right now.


Whether you’re into high fashion or hypebeasts, Love Magazine is a British publication that pays homage to all of today’s trends in a completely unique way. Forget ‘how to wear’ articles and lists of beauty products you should buy based on your astrological sign, this mag has a delicate and artistic spin on news delivering it with bright colors and funky cut-outs. December is the perfect time to get hooked because of their racy advent calendar featuring videos with world-renowned models all 31 days of the month.

puss puss A lifestyle magazine featuring the people shaping culture today, all with a feline twist. They've featured the raddest celebres like Grace Coddington, Tyler the Creator, and Chloë Sevigny. That is all you need to know. Get on board or GTFO out.


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Back to the Basics Why waste your money on Yeezys whan you can keep it classic in some old-school Nikes? By Joshua Anite : Illustration by Tori Thomas

Post summer ’17, we’ve played witness to a peculiar detour in streetwear fashion; a collective revert back to the classics. Sneakerheads have opted to return to retro this year and their eyes stuck on Zappos’ cuttingedge curator: The Ones. Curatoration tools such as The Ones provide a platform for memorable shoe lines that might’ve been lost along the rocky road of time. These bad boys display an exposé of contemporary classics, giving us leeway back to 2005. It all started with the resurrection of the Fresh Prince fade from the '90’s. That was the dawn of our deep dive into the fashion archives after undergoing the tumultuous period of mohawks and tight T-shirts—ew. Since then we’ve brought back the likes of Fila, Kappa, Champion, and Adidas. This resurgence of retro nostalgia subtly shifted the cultural view and brought back being bool. Once the reverberation breached into shoe departments, it was a wrap. Looking around today, we’re all dressed as we used to in the schoolyard during recess: jiggy. This cultural moonwalk has us questioning our fashion filters: why should we hurt our pocket over what’s ‘trending’ when we can save up by copping a fresh pair of trainers? Classics are timeless, fast-food shoes age like fresh milk 56 12.17 • JERK

—choose wisely. As the perspective of what’s ‘hot’ in modern culture shifts gears like Lewis Hamilton, it’s only natural that people wonder whether this back-to-the-future approach is here to stay. With what seems like everyone rocking the wave, the movement might not be as trivial as a fashion fad—it looks like a genuine Renaissance sure to last longer than a hot minute. The recent phenomena hasn’t gone unnoticed by cultural trendsetters though. Nike’s new installments have accommodated the culture’s climate change by collabing with the likes of Acronym, Comme des Garçons, and Undefeated and Co. so as to reinvent a few of their classic shoe lines. It’s only fitting seeing as Adidas cooked them up this year like Lebron did the Washington Wizards. Seeing as our cultural palate is stuck in the past, it’s easy to see why we’ve been so welcoming of a show littered with 80’s memorabilia. Namely, Stranger Things. Its woods-lurking, Demogorgon-fighting characters often line up in cool, white, Nike Cortez’s. Albeit gnarly, whether this alludes to large leap in sales is all up in the air. It’s ultimately up to us to decide if they’re fire enough to fly off the shelf. JM


PODjohn green By Brontë Schmit : Illustration by Emily Bruder The Deal: Whether you’re an avid reader, YouTube addict, or spent high school utilizing CrashCourse to cram for your AP U.S. History exam, chances are you’ve heard of John Green. Known for his bestselling titles such as The Fault in Our Stars, Looking for Alaska, and Paper Towns, Green, alongside his brother Hank (fellow Vlogbrother) is also the founder VidCon and the CrashCourse video series – you know, the one with the funky little cartoons. But beyond being the ͞dad of the Internet,͟ Green’s success, and controversy, stems mainly from his novels. The Issue: Enter the ͞John Green Formula͟ or how to write a manic-pixie-dream-girl in 200 pages or less. The trope, by definition, is ͞a character who exists solely to teach brooding, soulful young men to embrace life about its infinite mystery and adventures.͟ As a reference, if Zooey Deschanel was 10 years younger she would have been the star of all the movie adaptations. Being books that are written for the common teenage girl, the characters are rarely powerful, inspirational women. Instead, the main purpose of the female characters is to teach their male counterparts a powerful life lesson, leaving the majority of character development to the boys. Further, the novels, while touching on a myriad of important issues—read physical illness, suicide, mental illness, and more—rarely feature characters of color.

The Bigger Issue: Glamorizing this problematic narrative only furthers the trope in other novels. Being a young woman in society is exceedingly difficult when the narrative continues to read that they are solely there to benefit the men that surround them. Writing powerful female characters creates powerful women and we need to create a stronger foundation for our youth. Telling young girls that they need to wait around to please a scrawny, yet strangely attractive teenage white boy with a boner, for metaphors only strengthens the power of the patriarchy. The Defense: Despite reading as a problematic narrative, John Green has been critically influential in promoting education and a love of literature in our youth. The Fault in Our Starscontinues to be a bestseller since its release in 2012 and the CrashCourse channel currently hosts over 710 million views. Green and his brother Hank have created a brand, through their separate channel The Vlogbrothers and CrashCourse, of promoting positivity amidst a world of suck, coining their sign-off ͞Don’t Forget to be Awesome!͟Green’s novels have also created a narrative around issues that don’t typically grace Y.A. novels. Yes, there are numerous issues with the narrative arc, but encouraging teenagers to talk about these matters—mental health specifically—is one of the first steps towards normalizing the conversation in society. So John, you can certainly do better, but DFTBA. JM JERK

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MÉLAN Active since: 2014 Sounds like: Lauryn Hill, Jorja Smith, Jhene Aiko What they Jerk to: Erykah Badu, J. Cole, Kendrick Lamar, DMX Mélan might still be a student at Syracuse, but she sounds like a pro. Boasting sultry songs that blur genre lines, she's destined to find an audience beyond campus. By Jake Smith : Photo provided Jerk Magazine: How did you get into performing as Mélan? Mélan: I was doing spoken word a lot on campus as part of Verbal Blend. I started playing around with GarageBand and recording on a $70 mic. I was just excited to hear my voice on some beats and letting my friends hear it. I’m not new to the stage, but engaging music was definitely new. JM: How has your background in poetry influenced your music? M: What’s funny is that I freestyled first, just doing my thing. I didn’t write music yet. When I started writing music, I was already writing poetry, so they kind of just met each other. Early on, it was like poems on beats. That’s why some parts of my songs are very soulful and subtle but have hard-hitting cadences. It’s unorthodox, like, “Did she rhyme that with that? Is that even a rhyme?”

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JM: Does going to school at Syracuse affect your sound? M: I create a combination ofsomewhat talking about how I grew up in the Bronx and mainly talking about what I’m experiencing in college, going through what I’ve been going through. Surprisingly, you find so many diverse artists in the Syracuse area. Everyone loves music. Being around different ears and seeing how they reacted to my music, I knew I was getting somewhere. It’s cool to see how far it’s going. JM: What do you want your music to say? M: I definitely talk about positivity and selfmotivation. I found myself in a low place, not seeing anything for me, and I talk about getting out of that. I have a lot of metaphors in my tracks, which I kind of have to simplify a bit now, so people can be like, “Oh, I get that.” It’s definitely … it’s something. JM


REMIXED The Beginning Punk was created as a reaction to the shattered world left behind by the late 60s—think Watergate, Vietnam, and the assassination of MLK—that started transforming into new wave at the same time that hip-hop emerged, around the late 70s. Both movements were centered in New York City and shared the same cool, experimental energy. Blondie’s “Rapture,” for example, features spoken-word lyrics from lead singer Debbie Harry that mimic the style of rap. Hip-hop borrowed from punk too, most successfully in A Tribe Called Quest’s “Can I Kick It?” which sampled Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side.” This fusion morphed into rap rock, which has since evolved into today’s chart-toppers.

The Look Revamps of Kurt Cobain’s style is not exactly a new thing—we’ve seen grunge’s oversized mohair sweaters, shredded jeans, and flannel shirts repurposed in the last few years. The white, oval, oversized sunglasses Cobain pioneered are just the latest trend to spring from the singer’s style. The shades have been around since at least the 60s and were revived by Christian Roth in the 90s, but they blew up this summer after being spotted on Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti, Pharrell, and among others. Denzel Curry released a video wearing those glasses where he declared, “These ain’t glasses, these are clout goggles." By adopting the iconography of grunge, rappers are the musicians that most embody the outsider spirit of the genre.

The Lyrics Our generation was raised on descendants of punk like blink-182 and Panic! At The Disco, which in turn influence today’s vanguard of alternative rappers. You know the way the lyrics go--the singer is sad because he’s going to lose the girl he loves, and he’s lonely because of it. Through this lens, so much of today’s hip-hop fits the melancholy image of pop-punk. “Growing sick of this and I don't wanna make you sad," says Lil Peep on Save That Shit. “Do I make you scared? Baby, won't you take me back?” Lil Uzi Vert occupies a similar space on XO TOUR Llif3, mourning a relationship turned sour. “I'm committed, not addicted, but it keep control of me / All the pain, now I can't feel it.”


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Hello, Vietnam!

This Vietnamese restaurant in Syracuse offers a new variety of noodles and soup to satisfy all your cravings. By Divya Murthy : Photography by Zoey Peck If you’re looking for chicken wings in Syracuse

Syracuse resident, just finished digging into a dish

that could give Dinosaur BBQ a run for its money,

of chicken wings apiece. Ashong-Katai’s companion

New Century noodle house might just hit the

says, just about swallowing his last bite, that these

sweet spot. A wide street corner has played home

chicken wings are the best he’s had in Syracuse.

to the Vietnamese restaurant for 17 years. Inside, Vietnamese




It’s only his first time here, and Ashong-Katai brought him.

yellow and peach walls. Potted plants next to

“I have a lot of friends who recommended this

smiling statues of elephants and Buddha show

place to me,” Ashong-Katai says. “I’ve tried a lot

bright green colors, almost warm enough to make

of noodle bowls, and this is a really good spot. I’ve

you forget about your bulky Northface jacket. A 14-minute Uber ride away from campus, New

been coming here for three years now.” The two were considering noodle bowls and pho— but not

Century offers up a mouth-watering selection of

before wondering if they could get more chicken

Vietnamese dishes, packed with noodles, veggies,

wings. .

meets and stir-fry in bowls that might just have you

The menu’s offerings are anything but humble;

packing leftovers for a next meal. But finishing the

finishing strong at 119 dishes, New Century offers

jam-packed bowls and plates doesn’t seem like a

not just tried-and-true combinations of seafood,

task for four Syracuse University seniors. Their table

shrimp and meats, but also vegetarian dishes like

boasts nearly no remains of a raw beef salad, rare

egg rolls, stir-fry noodles with soup and gluten-free

steak and meatballs and their favorite Durian shakes.

radish with chili peppers and lemongrass. Their

Ji Giu rattles off his favorite dish numbers off the

veggie noodle bowl comes swimming in carrots,

menu with the satisfied smile of a person who’s just

broccoli, mushroom, cauliflower, and to make

polished off a rare steak and meatballs and goes on

sure the flavor delivers just as they want it to, a

to say the appetizers were “amazing.”

vegetarian-ham. Their beverage menu is even more

All four prefer New Century to the closer

ambitious: Vietnamese iced-coffee was a favorite,

Vietnamese haunts like Sweet Basil. “The prices

and so was the tamarind drink. The tri-colored sweet

aren’t so different, but here you get better portions

bean drink, with its coconut hit, crushed ice and

for the price,” says Xi Liu. For the four at the table, a

seaweed strands tastes of warm weather, unheard

month doesn’t go by without a visit to New Century

of around the area for the moment. So if you’re

and it’s been the case for the whole time they’ve

looking for a momentary escape from the tundra,

been on campus.

hop into this brick-walled restaurant and dig in. JM

At another table, Aldrine Ashong-Katai, a

60 12.17 • JERK




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No Problem

Jerk spoke with singer and songwriter Grace

Weber about her music and getting to work on

Chance the Rapper's latest album.

By Caroline Blair : Photography provided As if co-writing and singing with Chance the

me and was like, ‘hey I’m working with these

Rapper and Kanye West on “All We Got” wasn’t

producers,’ and he didn’t even say who they were,

enough for Grace Weber, her new single “More

he just said, ‘I’m working with these producers,

Than Friends” has taken Spotify by storm, and her

and they would love to work with you. Anyways,

new album in early 2018 is sure to not disappoint.

he handed me a little piece of yellow notebook paper, and said, ‘sing’ and so I got in the booth

Jerk Magazine: When you get up on stage, what

and I sang and it went really well, and it was very

does that feel like? Grace Weber: The moment of walking on stage feels like home. I feel the most myself, the most confident, it’s just that feeling of really knowing like this is where I’m supposed to be. Before I step on stage, I always get nervous, but then I step on stage, and all of that goes away, and it’s just this feeling of like calm presence and I love it.It makes me feel so happy to be doing what I’m doing, and I also love connecting with the audience. It’s sort of like feeling really grateful that I get to be apart of creating a moment, like there’s all these people in one space and we all get to

light, and we were all so excited, and it was such

come together around music

were down, and we started the project in March

JM: How did you get to work with the Social

of 2016 and then it took about a little over a year


from top to bottom to write the entire record from

GW: I met the Social Experiment in August of 2015

scratch and practice it and do all the vocals and

in L.A., and it was basically a buddy of mine texted

everything JM

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good energy, and it was at that point that I was like, ‘wait who are you guys like what do you do? Because you make the coolest music and I love who you are.’ And that’s when they were like oh we’re working with the Social Experiment and Nate Fox, Nico Segal—aka ‘Donnie Trumpet’— and Peter Cottontale, and the lyrics that we gave you, those are actually Chance’s lyrics, because we’re working on his new project right now—Coloring

Book. After that session, we asked them, ‘do you guys want to produce an album for me,’ and they



CAUSE OF DEATH: FEMALE EMPOWERMENT By Nicole Engelman : Illustration by Emily Bruder

The Unaccountable Dude has avoided consequences for his actions since the beginning of human creation. Let’s think back to the first Unaccountable Dude, Adam, who conveniently swerved the blame for being banished from the Garden of Eden. Sure, Eve ate the apple, but couldn’t Adam have given her the heads up? The guy was quite literally the only other person on the planet and managed to receive none of the blame. Despite his undesirable qualities, the Unaccountable Dude managed to reproduce. Like little creatures that multiply when you throw water at them, the Unaccountable Dude began to populate the world. His uncanny ability to deflect attention and shift blame allowed him to take on leadership positions, and in some cases, rule an entire country. The Unaccountable Dude, taking the form of Henry VIII, divorced and beheaded five wives for failing to give him a son. He appointed himself head of the Church of England just so he could divorce one wife for giving him a daughter, all the while blissfully unaware that his own DNA was the problem. After the Unaccountable Dude secured governing positions of power across the globe, he decided to try his luck in the entertainment industry. It was here that the Unaccountable Dude found a permanent home. He relied on his abilities to schmooze and scheme in order to remain in control. One of his favorite things to do was take advantage of the aspiring

young actresses looking to make it in the film industry. Through intimidation and influence, the Unaccountable Dude’s harassment went unquestioned for years. Unaccountable Dudes like Woody Allen continued to be adored by the public and make successful films, despite legitimate accusations of sexual abuse by his adopted daughter. But on October 5th, 2017, things took a drastic turn for the Unaccountable Dude. The New York Times published an explosive article that catapulted Unaccountable Dude Harvey Weinstein into the spotlight. Female employees of his production company, as well as notable actresses, shared their stories and chronicled years of Weinstein’s horrifying sexual harassment. The incident ignited social media, and women united under #MeToo shared their stories and began exposing dozens of Unaccountable Dudes, and sparking the biggest national conversation on sexual harassment we’ve ever had. No Unaccountable Dude was safe from exposure. Admissions from celebrities like Kevin Spacey and Louis C.K. confirmed the Unaccountable Dude’s greatest fear—owning up to what he did. The Unaccountable Dude succumbed to the wave of allegations and apologies, and died suddenly in a Beverly Hills hotel room. Although he is gone, his legacy has caused companies to completely reevaluate their sexual harassment policies. The Unaccountable Dude is survived by President of the United States Donald Trump. JM


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reminiscent These students get scent-imental Photos by Codi Yan

Jimmy Cinski: I got a sample of Tom Ford’s Noir for Christmas that I then liked enough to order online. It’s very much attached to the time I was first spending with my would-be girlfriend, since that's when I started wearing it. She liked it when I wore it so I basically only ever wore this one around her even though I had several other colognes. I think of my girlfriend, or of my car, or of a few nights we spent by the river. Sometimes it makes me think of her perfume.

Betsy Perkocha, Senior: The perfume is from Santa Maria Novella in Florence and it’studied abroad in Florence my junior year so it reminds me of both the city and the spent there. The city feels like a second home to me so it makes me reminisce about my time there.

Claudia Lewis, Senior: The name of the scent is Belle Cherie, and it’s from a perfumery in the South of France. I went to with my friends last in a town called Èze. I remember going through the options and picking one that was special to us. This one stood out to me, and I have worn it almost every day since. Whenever I smell it, I think of my time in Europe and the beautiful places I visited.

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How To Dress Like a Frat Rapper

Wayfarers: Blockin' all the haterz.

Bucket headphones: Never know when inspiration will strike (probably at the house on a Saturday night). These are noise-blocking so I can freestyle over my beats at any party.


Backwards baseball cap: This way my view of naked girls won’t be blocked. Plus I haven’t washed my hair in a week.

Chain: Donated by the dopest bro, after the best fuckin night of our lives.

Graphic party tee: Party animals like myself can take 16 shots without throwing up.

Baggy jeans: They may not stay up but they definitely entice the chicks.

Photography by Codi Yan Modeled by Jimmy Baras


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