Jerk February 2018

Page 1

FEBRUARY 2018 VOL XV ISSUE IV SYRACUSE NEW YORK Your student fee


Only love our beds and our mamas, we're sorry.


jerkmagazine.net


IN THIS ISSUE

The Empathy Machine 30 As amazing as the potential is for virtual reality machines, people cannot force themselves to feel an emotion, especially empathy.

Warm Regards 40 Some lovely descriptor here. Nonsed et harupti onsecea quaerem am simin es a sinullo restest liatur autatiam ipsa doluptas asperferum la es es voluptas in nis aut quia nulluptatur?

Spelled Out 50 The poltical climate in the United States sparks a rebirth in religious activism, but in 2018, Pagans are front and center.

4 11.17

•

JERK

FRONT OF BOOK

BITCH OPINIONS

JERK THIS What you should hit up and bitch about this month.

Finishing Last

JERK RECOMMENDS Our pop culture picks for the month.

Your Movie Sucks Shitty movies come from shitty audiences.

TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL Sweet Nothings SEX Hit It And Quit It FRAMED Me, in the Leaves

Let's talk about the mysterious female orgasm.

Smart House Alexa, stop eavesdropping. Cashing in Your Chips The tax reforms spell bad news for students.


7 EDITOR'S LETTER 8 FEEDBACK 9 PEEPS

SMUT FEATURES Spoonful of Strangers Finding solutions for the loneliness epidemic. Modern Love At SU, love comes in more than one form.

GAWK FASHION STRIPPED Hell hath no furry.

NOISE ARTS&MUSIC Don't Drag Me Down From fish to tea, we're serving you a full drag read. REWIND Amy Winehouse NO JUDGEMENT #OscarsBeenWhite AMPLIFIED Charlie Burg SYNAPSE Sex Talk

BACK OF BOOK SPEAKEASY Jilly Hendrix OBITCHUARY YouTube CLOSET CASE Lighters FORM AND FUNCTION How to Dress like an D.O. Reporter Recovering from Bid Day

Cover Design: Photography:

JERK

•

2.18 5


Chelsea Portner EDITOR IN CHIEF

Caroline Schagrin

Alex Erdekian

Hailey Seiferheld

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

MANAGING EDITOR

CREATIVE DIRECTOR

EDITORIAL

Alex Archambault ASST. FEATURES EDITOR Caroline Blair ARTS AND MUSIC EDITOR Jake Smith ASST. ARTS AND MUSIC EDITOR Vivian Whitney ASST. OPINIONS EDITOR Emily Kelleher STYLE EDITOR Hayley Greason ASST. STYLE EDITOR Claudia McCann ASST. STYLE EDITOR Chandler McMillan RESEARCH EDITOR Callie Chute FEATURES EDITOR

WEB

Tiffany Moran WEB EDITOR Emmy Gnat ASST. WEB EDITOR Ari Wodarcyk, Carly Fokos WEB DESIGNER Becky Savoia DIGITAL DIRECTOR

MULTIMEDIA

Laura Kellerman ASST. MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Grace Crummett, Josie Hannum, Mallory Rogers, Lauren Burrell SOCIAL EDITOR Victoria Patti SOCIAL EDITOR Alexis EauClaire

DESIGN

Sarah Whaley Sam Adams, Vivian Whitney

DESIGN DIRECTOR DESIGNERS ART

Maddi Minicozzi Kasey Lanese STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Sam Lane, Leigh Ann Rodgers, Kali Bowden, Zoey Peck, Molly Colletta ILLUSTRATORS Emily Bruder, Maddie Ligenza, Tori Thomas, Annie Schwartz ILLUSTRATION DIRECTOR

PHOTOGRAPHY DIRECTOR

PUBLIC RELATIONS COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

Michelle Jordan & Sam

Trombley

MULTIMEDIA EDITOR

BUSINESS

Catie Anderson Ellen Greene AD REPRESENTATIVE Georgie Olmeda, Hannah Volpe, Keren Mevorach, Molly Garrity

PUBLISHER

AD DIRECTOR

CONTRIBUTORS Tiffany Moran, Kate Kozuch, Liam Sheehan, Lilly Stuecklen, Danielle Edwards, Rashika Jaipuriar, Caroline Colvin, Sally Rubin Briana Dorley, Nicole Engleman, Will Georges, Cassie Zhang

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.

6 2.18 • JERK


LETTER FROM THE EDITOR

CRYING IN THE CLUB I am one of those weird people who loves to cry. I really believe it is cathartic. Turn on any movie with Eddie Redmayne, play that one Bon Iver song we all listened to in high school, or find me a video of any baby animal and it's game over. Even just thinking about Miley Cyrus's transformation over the years can get me going. I've always been this way: a hopeless romantic, a bleeding heart and a dedicated obsessive to all things I love. My cherished rock collection from second grade hangs on my bedroom wall right now. I took the Myer-Briggs personality test just this morning and got INFP—which basically means I’m a living, breathing puddle of emotions and daydreams. But isn’t that what every great journalist needs? A thin skin and swayable emotions? Not so much. In our ~first ever~ February issue we caught the feelz and embraced them fully. On page 24, get the scoop on spooning versus forking at cuddle parties and how lonliness is an epidemic. Learn about why the orgasm gap needs to come to an end on page 16. And on page 54, realize that it’s what on the inside that counts, but that doesn’t mean what’s on the outside can’t be fabulous. So grab some chocolate, put on some Drake and take a flip through—because even Jerks deserve some love. Xoxo,

JERK

2.18 7


Hate Mail We're not sure who will recieve more hate this month: Jerk or Kylie Jenner's baby?

In response to a post on Facebook—the sad part is he doesn't even go here:

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

We think John might be compensating for a ~little~ something:

@jerkmagazine jerk@jerkmagazine.net jerkmagazine.net

FOLLOW, DON’T LEAD youtube.com/jerkmagazine facebook.com/jerkmagazine instagram.com/jerkmagazine @jerkmagazine vimeo.com/jerkmagazine

8 2.18 • JERK

FEEDBACK

CORRECTION: The staff of Jerk Magazine would like to apologize for incorrectly attributing "Keeping the Faith" in our December 2017 issue. The correct author is the incredibly talented Delaney Van Wey.


CONTRIBUTERS Photography by Kasey Lanese

JOSH KRING Sophomore WARM REGARDS

SALLY RUBIN Josh has a very real fear of Sophomore owls and believes his lucky BACK TO BLACK

number is 11. He wants to visit Australia and learn how to whistle a melody. When he's not eating S'mores Poptarts, Josh can be found eating ketchup on rice—weird! His favorite part about catching the ~feelz~ is feeling like your floating on air. Check him out in our Gawk photoshoot on page 40.

She think Hot Cheetos are too spicy, loves Rookie Magazine and believes she would be a Brontosaurus if she were an animal. Sally is a Chicago native with a deep attachment to her Fitbit. Read her reflection on Amy Winehouse on page 58.

PEEPS

JERK

2.18 9


UU Spring Comedy Show: Jenny Slate and Aparna Nancherla

Mardi Gras

February 13 Take your top off or don't—we February 9 don't care. Just make sure If you don't love and cherish you take advantage of another Jenny Slate, you don't know what excuse to be at Lucy's on a you're missing out on. Go, laugh, weeknight. thank us later.

HIT BITCH Shit we like

2 Dope Queens

Winter Olympics

February 2 One of Jerk's longtime favorite podcasts will now be coming to you from your TV, too. Directed by Tig Notaro and featuring a stellar lineup of guests, expect the same LOL moments and great stories from Jessica and Phoebe.

February 9-25 We love a man in a sparkly outfit twirling his heart out on the ice. We also love badass women carving up the mountain. And at least we can pretend like the rest of the world doesn't hate us for a month.

Shit we like to avoid

Groundhog Day

Fifty Shades Freed

National Polar Bear Day

February 2 We questioned why we allow an oversized rodent to predict our futures until we remembered who our president is.

February 9 There are only so many ways to tie someone up during sex. We're dying to see what toxic relationship quality Fifty Shades is promoting this installment. .

February 27 Will there even be any polar bears left by then? WILL THERE?

Justin Timberlake's

Apple Homepod

February 2 We're sad to share we prefer both NSYNC Justin and Friends with Benefits Justin to desertroaming Justin .

February 9 Just another way for the FBI agent assigned to us to hear our rendition of Bodak Yellow.

10 11.17• JERK

JERK THIS


single shot Alcohol by Volume: 40%

For all the lonely lovers on Valentine's Day we are recommending the Single Shot. Easy, straightforward, and simple the Single Shot is the only valentine you need this year. It won't complain about the cold, question your political views, or take forever to decide that it really just wanted to go eat at Pastabilities. Best consumed at Harry's after sneaking in underage, in the Erie Boulvard McDonald's parking lot, or after saying "I just don't want to be tied down this semester, I'm in Whitman core so..." Ingredients: Tequila Salt and lime (optional) Lack of a signifgant other, casual hook-up, or Tinder match Time to prepare: 30 seconds worth of self-loathing, mental preperation, and internal debate.

21+/-

JERK

•

2.18 11


JERK RECOMMENDS

GRACE AND FRANKIE, SEASON 4

FLEETWOOD MAC DELUXE EDITION, FLEETWOOD MAC A deluxe edition of the 1975 title album Fleetwood Mac dropped January 19. The classic, witchy track Rhiannon that Stevie Nicks is so notorious for is just as enchanting 43 years later. The re-release including a deluxe edition vinyl, three CDs, and a DVD is available on thesoundofvinyl.com now for $67.

12 2.18 • JERK

In its fourth season, duo Grace and Frankie—Jane Fonda and Lilly Tomlin— take the show above and beyond with a more serious theme than the sitcom has previously struck. The psychological struggles of physically aging and facing the reality of death as one LINDA SARSOUR, approaches it are artfully @LSARSOUR handled in a comedic way Sarsour is a Palestinianin the new season. American-Muslim and a radical civil rights activist. She is the co-chair of the Women’s March and is widely known for her advocacy for American Muslims. You can typically find her in a hijab fending off alt-right extremists and speaking up for what she believes in.

RECOMMENDS


Sweet Nothings We’re all about the feelz this issue, and whether you like it or not, Valentine’s Day is cumming. We asked our readers how they feel about and this is what they think.

THOUGHTS ON VALENTINE’S DAY? Hey, at least there’s free candy around. (43.1%) Who are you getting a valentine from? A. My right hand. (11.3%) B. My BF/GF, duh! (28.3%) C. I haven’t received a valentine since the third grade. (41.7%) D. My freshman year hook up I ghosted. (2.85) Honorable mention: My mom, a bottle of wine, myself.

What’s your favorite Valentine’s Day treat? A. Gimme dat chocolate (73%) B. Heart shaped lollipops (11.7%) C. A box of Sweethearts. (7.7%) Honorable mentions: sex, Domino’s heart shaped pizza

BEST ROMANTIC MOVIE TO WATCH ON THE BIG DAY: Crazy, Stupid, Love. The best Gosling/Stone combo. (35.2%) Honorable Mention: The Jonas Brothers Concert Experience

WHO WOULD YOU GO ON A DATE WITH? Pete Sala (31.1%) YOUR GO-TO PET NAME FOR YOUR S.O. IS: Lil bish (41%) YOUR IDEAL VALENTINE: Wasn’t featured on @barstoolcuse (54%) TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL

• 2.181313 • 12.17 JERK JERK


HIT IT AND QUIT IT Sometimes the best sex comes from passionate feelings, even if that feeling is hate.

SEXTUAL One time I texted a boy from across the room after he did something FEELINGS idiotic and said, "yeah we are done." He then pulled me over to "talk," and

less than two minutes after I was ending things with him and telling him what a horrible person he is, I ended up naked in his bed. After we had sex, he replied to my text, "oh yeah?"

STAGE 5 There's this clingy girl I know, and if she sees you talking to another girl CLINGER within a few weeks after fucking, she flirts with guys right in your face. One night she saw me talking to the girl that took me to her formal, got pretty mad, and kept flipping me off and yelling obscene things to me. I was trying to do my thing, but the girl I was talking to could see and hear what she was doing. My date left, so she comes up, smirking like she did her job. We stared at each other, and I gave her a look of "what the hell do you want?" She grabbed my arm and dragged me upstairs. She wrapped her legs around me and yanked me down on top. Before I knew it, we were both naked, and I was flipping her over and spanking her. She shoved me off and told me to lie on the table. She rode me while telling me to choke her. I've never been so turned on yet so confused in my life. All I know is that in a few weeks, she'll be back and see me talking to someone. Round 2?

14 2.18 • JERK

SEX


Me, in the Leaves Katherine Villarin Freshman, Neuroscience "The purpose of this portrait was to place myself in an environment where I feel content, relaxed, and powerful. I've recently found that I lack the ability to spend significant time outdoors. I wanted to be lost in the woods somewhere, so I put myself there."

FRAMED

JERK

•

12.17 15


Finishing Last

While male orgasms are the standard for heterosexual sex, women's remain optional. By Danielle Edwards : Illustration by Maddie Ligenza “Did you finish?” The first time I heard this question I was shocked. It had been my much anticipated -first time-and I hated it, but when my then boyfriend posed this question to me, grinning in selfsatisfaction, I did not have the heart to tell him that I had not, in fact, finished. I remember laying in my bed later that night thinking that something had to be wrong with me: maybe I had finished and I didn't realize—this one I quickly threw out as I had orgasmed plenty of times on my own accord. Maybe I was broken and could not enjoy sex with someone else, or maybe that was what sex was and I just had to learn to enjoy it. It was not until a year later, when I started dating someone new that I realized orgasms from sex are real. Throughout history, the female orgasm has been shrouded in mythology, coming across as more of an urban legend than actual occurrence. A simple Google search of “female orgasm” pulls up countless Cosmo or GQ articles instructing readers on how to achieve the mystifying female orgasm that always seems to be right out of reach. Jokes about men being clueless when it comes to women orgasming are a dime a dozen across television shows and comedy routines.

16 2.18 • JERK

BITCH

16 2.18 • JERK

Deeply ingrained in our social norms is the idea that female pleasure is secondary to male. This orgasm gap is often discussed, but action is rarely taken to resolve it. Women are still expected to put their partner's pleasure before their own. While it's hard to imagine a woman having an orgasm and then rolling over and going to sleep, most often sex is "over" once the man finishes, and women are expected to live with that. According to a 2014 study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine, 85.1 percent in men experience orgasm during sex with someone they know, while only 62.9 percent of women do, a gap which the study classifies t as statistically significant. (It is important to note that for men, variance in sexual orientation did not affect this statistic, but for women the study found that lesbian women experienced a mean rate of orgasm at 74.7 percent while the rate for heterosexual women was a staggering 61percent and bisexual women at 58 percent). While this would lead one to believe then that men would notice this lack of orgasming in their partners, another study done by the Kinsey Institute for Research in Sex, Gender, and Reproduction found that 85 percent of men believe that their


BITCH 1

most recent partner orgasmed, though only 64 percent of women report having an orgasm during their most recent sexual encounter. Heterosexual men seem to be continually astounded that their female partners are just not finishing. Nobody who has seen When Harry Met Sally can forget the shock when Meg Ryan’s character Sally successful mimics a faked orgasm in the middle of a restaurant. Much like I did during my first encounter, many women find themselves in the midst of “faking it”, trying to assuage fragile male egos and convince themselves that 'hey, maybe this orgasm thing is overrated anyway. We deserve better. While I am not one to dictate the sexual preferences of other people, and I do believe sex can be pleasurable with or without orgasm, we are doing a great disservice to ourselves and our partners when we let them get away without satisfying our needs. There are many

different reasons for the orgasm gap and some of them require cultural shifts to end [looking at you repressed feminine sexuality!] but there are simple ways we as individuals can have better sex, and who doesn’t want better sex? The easiest way to improve sex, (and hopefully achieve more orgasms on both ends,) is simply speaking up. Be honest with your partners when you don’t orgasm or when something is \not working for you, and encourage them to do the same for you. It can seem like a daunting task to tell someone that what they are doing isn’t working for you, but think about how much satisfying sex you’re denying yourself by not talking about it. Though I do not believe this orgasm gap will truly be closed anytime soon, work on closing it for yourself, so that maybe next time you are hit with the “Did you finish?” question, you can truthfully answer that you did. JM

JERK

2.18 17


Your Movie Sucks The future of film is uncertain in an age dominated by Netflix and viewer disinterest. By Lilly Stuecklen : Illustration by Emily Bruder

You know how some people remember where “Epic Movie?”—Ebert became my authority for they were when Michael Jackson died? Or quality films, unknowingly helping grow my Prince? Or Robin Williams? I remember exactly passion for movies. where I was when I read that Roger Ebert died. I Come back to 2018, where in the past year was 17, sitting in the lobby of a retirement home domestic box office sales hit a 25-year low, waiting for a job interview. I started sobbing. "Pirates of the Caribbean" is still chugging along For those of you that don’t keep a running on developing its sixth entry (why), and movies tab on film critics, Ebert was one of the most are being pulled from release schedules and influential. He essentially trademarked the term reshot to make up for the bad press surrounding “two thumbs up” when giving a positive review, sexual assault and toxic masculinity that seems and actually wrote a book called “Your Movie like the industry norm. My boy Roger is probably Sucks.” In high school when there was nothing rolling in his grave. better to do than illegally download “The And it’s not just the big screen that’s suffering. Human Centipede” in your friend’s basement Netflix, long the bane of movie theatres, is or see whatever spoof movie was out together— swinging and missing big time. While celebrated remember “Disaster Movie?” “Dance Flick?” recently for giving some power players in the

18 2.18 • JERK

BITCH

18 2.18 • JERK


“Audiences want the fLexibility to click in and out of what they view. As a result, they've lost patience.” industry full creative freedom (Martin Scorsese was handed $100 mil to shoot “The Irishman” out sometime this year), sometimes too much freedom can be a bad thing. “Bright,” an “End of Watch” meets “Lord of the Rings” cop story was Netflix’s first mega-budget film. I guess $90 million buys you a less-than-half-assed performance from Will Smith, some bad Orc makeup, a shameless “Shrek” joke, and one of the worst reviewed films of 2017. The issue that “Bright” and other poorly received films from this past year (whether in theatres or via Netflix) raise isn’t necessarily even that they’re bad. It’s that they’re becoming the normal standard, and they probably aren’t going away any time soon. To Netflix’s credit, they have a lot less risk riding on “Bright” than if it had been released traditionally into movie theaters. It doesn’t matter that “Bright” gets terrible reviews and awful word of mouth, there’s no box office to lose when your title just gets added to the thousands of other titles you interchangeably watch when you get bored. In the world of streaming services

where you’re paying for a whole library versus an individual title, it’s quantity over quality. And in the case of traditionally released movies, the opposite holds true. However, with theatre attendance down, studios don’t want to risk hundreds of millions of dollars on a new original idea when they can just capitalize on another "Transformers" picture that takes little creativity to make and even less of an attention span to watch. When we can hardly sit through a 55-minute class without checking our phones, we sure as hell won’t sit through a two-hour movie without doing it. “Audiences now want the flexibility to click in and out of what they view. As a result, they’ve lost patience,” says television, radio, and film professor Imraan Farukhi. This lack of audience attention is killing the potential for quality stories to be told in film format. If an audience can’t stomach a featurelength movie that requires your undivided attention, production companies won’t fund the filmmakers that make them. Meanwhile, television is booming, with digestible stories being told through 30 or 60-minute episodes. But if we end up bingeing ten hours of David Fincher’s “Mindhunter” anyway, why can’t we devote two undivided hours to a David Fincher film? Head IndieWire critic David Ehrlich lingers on this two-way street between audiences and filmmakers: “If Netflix fortifies their assault on the theatrical experience by internally developing blockbuster-sized movies that are even semiconsciously optimized for disinterested audiences, then it’s hard to imagine how dark the future of feature-length filmmaking might be.” At this rate it should be made mandatory that the chorus of “Phone Down” by Lost Kings play before every movie is watched. Because, honestly, why don’t you put that fucking phone down? You’ll miss the best part of the movie. JM

JERK

2.18 19


Smart House Alexa, are you good at keeping secrets? By Rashika Jaipuriar : Illustration by Maddie Ligenza

Alexa, remind me to write that article for Jerk. I wasn’t blown away by The Amazon Alexa when it first came out last summer, but now, she is a full-fledged member of our family. She can tell us about the weather, update us on the score of the Syracuse game, and translate English phrases to different languages. And then there’s Alexa’s new buddy ‘Echo Look,’ which takes #candid pictures of you to help you analyze your outfit and give you style opinions. Because a mirror isn’t enough. Your wish is literally Alexa’s command. Like a loyal pet, she’s always there for us, always listening. But is that a good thing? We tend to think that voice assistants like Alexa present privacy and security concerns because they’re always “on.” But of course, Alexa doesn’t turn blue/listen until you say the code word – her name, followed by the command. According to Amazon’s terms of use, Alexa streams audio to the Amazon cloud when you “interact.” But perhaps the real concern is Amazon’s storage of our information. Do I really

20 2.18 • JERK

BITCH

20 2.18 • JERK

want the world to have evidence of my ignorant questions, like when I asked “Is Migos really a trio?” or “What does dilly-dilly mean?” Or as one New York Times writer argued, “I put on a Barbra Streisand album the other day. It’s not something that I’m proud of, but these are complicated times and it happened. How do I explain that to Alexa?” You could go back to ‘Settings’ in the Alexa App and delete certain-or all-voice recordings, but that affects your “personalized” user experience. And isn’t the point of assistants that they anticipate your every need, perhaps know you better than you know yourself? Media-NXT, a project recently created within the Center for Digital Media Entrepreneurship at Newhouse, helps identify new media technologies and shifting trends in the industry. According to its first report published earlier this year, digital assistants like Siri and Alexa will get better in terms of personalization and user experience. “Users’ willingness to provide permissions and information to these corporations will


increase, enabling brands to take full advantage of intelligently curated digital experiences while enjoying an increased presence and trust,” the report says. Trust is an important word here. Like any relationship, you get what you give. But how much should you give? Amazon argues that all the data they collect–and there’s a lot of it– is used to figure out your interests and future purchases. Amazon will probably figure out your next favorite music artist before you do. Sean Branagan, director of the center for digital media entrepreneurship, argues that this data collection is “an unstoppable force.” And despite the occasional uncertainty, overall, consumers are generally open to share. “If you give me convenience, I will give you personal information,” Branagan says. “It’s a trade off.” Take this example: the GPS on your phone is literally tracking your every move, but we’re okay with it, because it helps us get to our destination. And although big companies like Amazon seem omniscient and omnipotent, Branagan says that essentially “we determine who gets trusted.” He argues that we choose to let strangers pick us up and take us to our destinations, and we choose to live in strangers’ homes in new cities. We as a collective society deemed these processes dependable. “Trust is transferred when there’s a trust interface,” Branagan said. “And [because of the voice] conversational interface has elements of trust, elements of familiarity.” I’m always a little hesitant to use new technology, and I worry about my dependency. I’m already addicted to my iPhone as it is. I can’t navigate any roads without following the GPS to a T. I check my email probably three or four times in one 80 minute lecture, and I look at the weather app constantly, to make sure I’m wearing the best possible outfit before facing

the great outdoors. But being hesitant didn’t help man get on the moon. Yes, new technologies, like virtual reality and voice assistants, are new and possibly scary to some, but being ignorant of these devices and their full scope is more dangerous than using them without any knowledge. Personalized technology can be tremendously useful if we make an effort to fully understand their functions and just use common sense. I know we all skip this part, but maybe we should at least skim the Terms and Conditions? Or perhaps, have Alexa read it to us. Alexa, end article. JM

JERK

2.18 21


Cash in Your Chips Because higher education is expensive enough. By Caroline Colvin : Illustration by Tori Thomas

When the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act became a reality student loan interest deductions. in late December, at the front of everyone’s mind, However, the tax on private colleges’ net it seemed, were pressing concerns about how investment income remains. In the past, nonthe bill targeted higher education. profit higher ed institutions have been able to For starters, the future of graduate student invest their endowments without fear of taxes. life was looking bleak. Scholarships awarded to Now, investment income that private colleges grad students for tuition, research and teaching typically use for financial aid programs, research assistant duties were going to become taxable and community service faces a 1.4 percent tax. income. Early on, Cornell University President Martha Next, the GOP was looking to eliminate the Pollack was vocal against the tax. possibility for post-grads to request deductions “[The tax] would likely have the perverse effect — up to $2,500 — on their student loans. And of making colleges and universities like Cornell finally, as the House deliberated over the bill in more expensive,” Pollack told Associated Press. November, the proposed tax on private colleges’ “While reducing our ability to provide quality net investment income caught heat. education for economically disadvantaged But after much protest and strife, American students, conduct research for the public good grad students and post-grads can breathe a sigh and undertake public engagement services that of relief. Grad student tuitions are safe and so are are critical to our mission.”

22 2.18 • JERK

BITCH

22 2.18 • JERK


The tax now affects colleges with endowments worth $500,000 per student. Chuck Marr, director of Federal Tax Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, said this dollar amount was key. Any administration whose endowments were “close to the edge” — right around that $500,000 mark — might have to comb out some kinks in how their schools are run. “It’s not a welcome tax from the university and college perspective,” Marr said. “But I think we’ll have to see.” People such as Association of American Universities President Mary Sue Coleman have called out the GOP for the damage the tax would inflict on higher education. “The tax includes no incentives for spending that would in any way make college more affordable,” Coleman wrote in a New York Times Letter to the Editor. “Rather, the tax is a blanket transfer to the federal government of funds that support student aid, research and other programs.” Even though this rhetoric leaves behind a sour taste for college students, it’s not all doom and gloom. Shannah Compton Game, a Certified Financial Planner professional and host of Millennial Money Podcast, pointed to three tax reforms that might help young people, not hurt them. One is the standard deduction when you file your taxes. In 2017, the standard deduction for single filers was $6,350. With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, that number has doubled. “It’s a pretty good chunk of change that has been taken off, right off the bat,” Game said. “That alone could help a lot of people in their 20s feel like they’ve got more cash when they’re filing their tax return.” Another reform poised to help young people is the revamped tax brackets. The old breakdown was income taxed by 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, 35 and 39.6 percent. Now, income is taxed by 10, 12, 22,

24, 32, 35 and 37 percent. Depending on your income, you could find yourself paying less in taxes. Someone who was in the 15 percent or 25 percent ranges could find themselves in the 12 percent or 22 percent ones. “The opportunity for someone in their 20s or 30s to end up better off is pretty good,” Game said. “And I think that there has been so much talk about everything being negative that sometimes it’s hard to see like, ‘Wait a minute! There actually might be a positive.’” But there are still plenty of perks we’ll have to say goodbye to. Under the new bill, you can’t claim moving expenses to reduce your taxable income. You can no longer deduct the cost of having your taxes looked at by a tax professional. The $20 per month you can skim off your taxes for bicycling to work is off the table, too. And sure, there will no longer be a mandate to have health care. Which is just fine if you don’t want to have health care, but who wants to be in that situation voluntarily? Game said that the best thing you can do is to stay woke when it comes to your finances. “I know it’s hard in your 20s, to care about a lot of these things,” Game said. “But you know, the more you can find out, ‘How does this affect you?’ and the more you can be interested about this, I think the better off you’re going to be.” Look into putting money aside for the future, whether it’s a savings account or something bigger, like a 401(k) and IRA. This can help, especially if you’re going to end up owing money instead of raking it in with this tax reform. “Because, after all, it is your money at the end of the day. I feel like you owe yourself a responsibility to understand what’s going on. JM

JERK

2.18 23


SPOONFUL OF

Although the cuddling business caters to different types of needs, it seems Americans are deprived of touch, and willing to pay for it. By Tiffany Moran : Illustrations by Hailey Seiferheld

24 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


During a brisk Saturday afternoon on 69th and 3rd in a small section of the Upper East Side, 28 men and women buzz four flights up to a loft. Among them is a full-figured regular with tattoos and a shaven head, who clutches her teddy bear, a burly veteran, clad in blue flannel pajama pants, who is open to talking about his struggles with mild PTSD, and the event facilitator, Adam Lippin, who exudes positive energy in his white Adidas joggers and purple shirt. Soft jazz floats through the apartment as the faint scent of feet lingers in the air. Trays of snacks and bottled water grace the kitchen as people mull about and chat while munching on fruits and nuts waiting for the 3:30pm start time. There is a make shift changing room consisting of two people holding up a curtain where people briefly disappear behind later to emerge in more appropriate clothes for the event. To an outsider, it may appear as a dinner party or family gathering. But time reveals the real reason everyone came: at 4:04pm, the cuddling begins. Lippin, makes certain to explain the rules and boundaries of this three hour cuddling session. He describes this apartment, covered in pillows, blankets, and mattresses, as a sacred space. The whole room laughs as he advises if you see someone on the street, avoid running up to them and saying “so how about that fucking cuddle party last night, right?” It is a reminder that an event like this still remains misunderstood to the majority of the public. Welcome to a cuddle party. A group event that promotes non-sexual touch, boundary setting, and communication. The company Cuddle Party has expanded over the past 13 years to 18 different locations, including international cuddle parties in Ireland, Australia, and Canada. But cuddle parties are only one way the cuddling business has expanded. Cuddlist, one of the many professional one-on-one cuddling companies, was co-founded by Lippin, and has gained about 200 certified professional cuddlers who have completed the company’s training across 17 states as well as Canada and the U.K. Spoonr, a Tinder-esque app for cuddling that shut down for unknown reasons in January 2017, allowed users to meet up with strangers around them for a cuddling session. Websites like Cuddle Comfort boast over 86,000 members who are looking for someone in their area to cuddle. And a 2015 cuddling convention in Portland, called Cuddle Con. All of these new and growing services have played a role in catering to an increasing audience and expanding the cuddling business. Even though there are more cuddling services today than ever before, the first cuddle party phenomena dates back to almost a century ago, in the 1920s. Then called “petting parties,” “spooning,” and “snugglepupping,” these gatherings scandalized the typically repressed American society. Far more sexual in nature than the modern cuddle business, groups of couples would get together to experience explorative touch that always stopped before sex. But the sexless operations of today began in Oregon in 2002. A few years later, the cuddle phenomena stretched bi-coastal to New York City with the founding of Cuddle Party in 2004. Despite common misconceptions, the modern cuddling business still struggles to separate

" YOU COULD THINK OF US MORE AS A TOUCH DEPRIVED CULTURE POTENTIALLY IF YOU DON’T HAVE A ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP OR CLOSE FRIENDSHIPS WHERE YOU’RE ENGAGING IN THAT KIND OF TOUCH"

JERK

2.18 25


with the sexual connotations touch had in the original cuddle parties and today in modern society. Professional cuddler, Michelle Renee, deals with these misconceptions all the time since receiving her professional cuddling certification with Cuddlist. But she believes what her clients lack in their lives is platonic, not sexual, touch in a digital age that is less physically connected than ever before. This lack of touch is particularly prevalent in the majority of her clients being middle-aged men in relationships with an absence of touch inside that relationship. And although arousal occurs during sessions even when unintended, Renee is certain to emphasize the non-sexual nature of one-on-one cuddle sessions and screens her clients to make certain platonic touch is their sole intent. But even when she’s not on the job, Renee notices that she likes to touch her friends when she talks to them. She loves the connection it creates that lets them know she’s present and there with you. She wonders if she’s like this because of the work she does or if she does this work because of this. Renee is in the minority of Americans who touch each other in a casual setting, due to the low contact culture that exists in the United States. This was revealed in a study by Canadian psychologist Sidney Jourard, who counted the number of times groups from different cultures platonically touched during a one-hour period. Puerto Ricans touched each other 180 times; the French, 110;

26 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


" SO HOW ABOUT THAT FUCKING CUDDLE PARTY LAST NIGHT, RIGHT?”

Americans, twice; and the British, zero. Brittany Jakubiak, author of Affectionate Touch to Promote Relational, Psychological, and Mental Well-Being in Adulthood, says she understands why people might turn to the cuddling business. “You could think of us more as a touch deprived culture potentially if you don’t have a romantic relationship or close friendships where you’re engaging in that kind of touch,” she says. The AARP Loneliness Study gives some insight into the effects this lack of touch has on the general population and where the cuddling business is gaining some of its steam. The AARP reported that 35 percent of people living in the United States suffer from loneliness, up from the 20 percent reported in 1980. Also reported was that one quarter of U.S. households consist of only one person. Because marriage rates and number of children per household continues to decline, more and more people live alone in social isolation, leading to a decrease in overall health. Cuddling services provide an outlet and holistic healing to combat these increasing numbers. Lippin actually founded Cuddlist because of this lack of touch in people’s lives, and because he saw this was something that was missing as an option to help people live happier and healthier. “Culturally, we’re fucked up,” he says. And in order to contribute something to the greater good, Lippin left behind his life as an owner of Atomic Wings to become the CEO and co-founder of Cuddlist, a cuddler for hire business, in January 2016 as a way to provide people with the one thing therapists can’t do: touch. Therapy, medicinal, and holistic healing are all words that come up frequently within the cuddling community. Despite the common use of hiring a professional cuddler or attending a cuddle party to fulfil a lack of platonic touch in day-to-day life and create and foster a connection, alternative uses of the cuddle business also play an important role.

JERK JERK

12.17 27

2.18 27


Cuddle party attendees Belinda and Kevin Porter have been married for almost 30 years and love the consent aspect of these gatherings. The Porters say it’s important to learn and teach consent inside but also outside of a sexual context. People are always trying to tell other people how to live without giving them the right and privilege to have their own choice. Mrs. Porter says cuddle parties are a great place to practice saying no in a safe container. “Easy word, hard to say. We need to learn to be a society that asks and accepts no,” she says. Professional cuddler Renee had one of her cuddle party attendees learn the power of saying no when she was going through training and facilitated her first cuddle party ever. Renee says she received feedback from the participant thanking her for learning to say no. “She’s online dating and she had an offer for a date and she used to say yes out of obligation,” Renee says. “And she said it was because of coming to my party, that she realized she could say no. And it seems so simple, but people just don’t have practice in it.” Other than the purpose of boundary setting and learning about consent, the cuddling business has also been trying to gain more credibility as an alternative health treatment along the likes of somatic therapy or massage therapy. Dr. Suzanne K Oliver, professor at Syracuse University, went through three years of somatic therapy certification learning The Alexander Technique in order to understand how to work the body and the biomechanics behind tuning in to discover what is constricted, blocked, or out of balance. She can see how the cuddle business could provide something massage and somatic therapy can’t. “There’s a lot of respect that goes into being an accomplished person with your hands,” she says. “I think if this is done right, it can be very nourishing for people. There’s so much loneliness in our world.” Lippin has seen this nourishment first-hand in his experiences, and it is a path he hopes Cuddlist and the cuddling business will explore further. He recounts stories of people who have hired

28 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


professional cuddlers and reaped unbelievable benefits. One client with Parkinson’s described their nervous system as quiet after a session. Another client with multiple sclerosis stopped shaking for three days after their cuddle session. Lippin says he sees a lot of potential in the business with veterans suffering from PTSD and hopes to branch out in that sense within the next year. But until then he will continue to grow his business and facilitate cuddle parties like the one in New York City. There is a natural talent Lippin has in leading a cuddle party and maintaining the space. He is a reminder of the rules and boundaries as well as a mentor to open up to, but his presence is not overbearing. He does not take part in the massage trains, puppy piles, or spooning sessions this time around. He leaves the attendees to stare intimately into each other’s eyes in silence or talk about their days while intertwined. There is a buzz of both quiet chatter and a warm kind of energy in the ruby red room four flights up. The sun has set and almost three hours have passed, meaning the time available in the safe, soft space has expired. Lippin mentions that it is time to have the closing circle. Some people have to be roused awake from their naps while others smile lazily at each other, stroking a hand or a head or a leg. Lippin encourages people to share their thoughts and open up about what they thought of the experience. Some people came out of curiosity, some after getting out of a relationship, some because they came from a different country where touch was far more normalized, some because they are dealing with trauma, and some of these people just love any kind of touch they can get. After a short meditation exercise, the party commences but the people continue to linger. Numbers and hugs are exchanged as soft words of dinner plans or drinks at a nearby bar mix with the rustling of people gathering their things. Twenty-eight men and women exit the apartment in pairs and groups, grabbing a bite or finishing a conversation. Nobody who wants to, leaves alone. JM

JERK

2.18 29


The The Empathy Empathy Machine Machine The virtual reality “empathy machine” was supposed to help us understand one another unlike any other digital medium before. That’s a delusion. By Kate Kozuch

It takes five minutes time-travel to Hiroshima in August 1945. Teleport into the deserted Japanese city, watch an overhead plane drop an atomic bomb, and then travel back to Syracuse in February of 2018. All daring tourists will survive the bombing, absolved of the dark, fiery destruction and exposure to ionized radiation upon relieving their heads from the considerable weight of a wonky set of plastic goggles. The magical powers of the virtual reality (VR) headset possess the ability to take viewers everywhere without going anywhere. Believers in the clunky headset deity tout VR’s capacity as an “empathy machine,” an intimate, immersive, and innovative medium capable of transmitting and enhancing the human experience. Technologists commonly use virtual and augmented reality to transport users into similarly unnerving disaster zones, homeless encampments, date rapes, or various other instances of human suffering. In other words, empathy machine supporters have hardly ever been the actual “subject” of an empathy machine-worthy experience. With the exception of a select few who lived out a

30 2.18 • JERK

SMUT

reconstruction of their past through it. Keiko Ogura, 72, is one of them. She tests the “Hiroshima in VR” experience in Syracuse University’s VR lab after sharing her testimony with an auditorium of SU students. When Ogura was 8 years old, she was 2.4 km away from the hypocenter of the atomic bomb. Now, as a storyteller for Hiroshima Peace Culture Foundation, she visits a CGI-version of her prewar home city and seems, oddly, unruffled by being virtually bombed. “That’s the end? Do I go around and see?” Ogura wonders when she reaches the sullen, shadowy finale of the 360-video. Professor Dan Pacheco, SU’s chair in journalism innovation, helps Ogura remove the headset and responds to her question by asking if the simulation reminded her of Hiroshima. “Yes, but where were the people?” she replies. Everything she witnessed in the headset displayed on a computer monitor in the lab. It revealed to the audience of students in line to try the experience that there were, in fact, no people populating the city with Ogura. The headset could not surround her with real people who fully understood the ruin of nuclear destruction


VR IN Fashion Over the past few years, VR has become a huge component of fashion marketing. Here’s a short timeline showing how fashion brands and designers have utilized Virtual/Augmented Reality technology to display their products in

Topshop VR workshop held at London Fashion week for spectators to take part in an immersive, augmented catwalk experience.

fall 2015

Spring 2014

new, innovative ways.

summer 2016

Rebecca Minkoff creates a product line of Virtual Reality fashion goggles.

Kate Moss starred in the first VR perfume ad for Charlotte Tilbury’s fragrance, Scent of a Dream.

fall 2016

ELLE readers watched celebrities come to life through their phone screens by way of an augmented reality feature in its “Women in

New York Fashion Week goers sported Samsung Gear VR headsets in a special event that allowed them an up-close, 360 view of the Givenchy releases fashionable VR goggles in multiple colors in an attempt to bring some style to traditional clunky JERK

fall 2017

spring 2017

as she did— instead she saw a deserted model of a home she once knew. Even Ogura, a living victim of the disaster an empathy machine has recreated, struggles to emotionally connect   with a fabricated version of her own reality. As VR champions navigate a heavy blend of ambition, hype, and hope, with Goldman Sachs estimating $80 billion in revenue by 2025, they cling to “empathy” as a buzzword to sell their experiences. VR is a medium with immense artistic possibilities, and the majority of films collecting attention are journalistic clips that take headset wearers into humanitarian crises, like Project Syria and Clouds Over Sidra, both of which demonstrate the difficulties of Syrian refugees. In 2015 Chris Milk, CEO of Within, the virtual reality technology company commissioned by the UN to create Clouds Over Sidra, used a 10-minute-long TED Talk to promise the capacity of VR as an “empathy machine.” The term was probably coined by Roger Ebert, who described traditional film as “the most powerful empathy machine in all the arts.” In his presentation, Milk claims VR will resolve the empathy deficit ingrained by screen culture and gaps in privilege. Then, in 2016, Oculus founder Palmer Luckey even went so far as to extol the virtues of a VR future in which poor people could have everything wealthy people possess within their VR worlds. “Virtual reality can make it so anyone, anywhere can have these experiences,” Luckey told Wired. The rhetoric of the empathy machine begs us to endorse a type of technology without questioning the its spectrum of uses. Empathy, as if some coveted craze, is being manipulated to sell packaged access to feelings. To most, VR may seem like an innocent gamer’s utopia, but few have stopped to consider the possible cruelty of what emotion-targeted VR demands of users. Michael Madary and Thomas K. Metzinger, researchers from the Johannes Gutenberg University of Mainz, in Germany, published a

2.18 31


series of recommendations on the Silicon Valley mogul will never know. “Viewers mainstream applications of VR in 2016. Their need substantial background to contextualize valuation of the medium’s psychological force is what they’re seeing, otherwise immersive video both wary and foreboding. “The power of V.R. spotlighting catastrophe risk becoming disaster to induce particular kinds of emotions could be porn,” says Robert Yang, an VR game developer used deliberately to cause suffering,” they write. and outspoken critic of VR’s claim to empathy. “Conceivably, the suffering could be so extreme Zuckerberg used the live audience to discuss as to be considered torture.” what Facebook is doing to aid relief — including Using VR for torture may seem dubious, but donating $1.5 million and sharing user data with “any device set on provoking a distinct emotion the Red Cross. could easily be programmed to target another,” It’s certainly heartwarming that the Mark said Dr. Mark Povinelli, an engineering ethics Zuckerbergs of the world are interested in professor at Syracuse University. Povinelli promoting empathy for people in areas of plight, describes all technology as holding potential to but the idea that passing up to 15 minutes in be applied to its maximum good and maximum virtual reality goggles can manipulate a viewer’s bad purposes. In the case of VR, empathy could sympathies is a delusion. The skewed and be exploited for either objective. overhyped focus on empathy undermines VR’s The meaning of empathy is the ability to plethora of practical uses in technical fields, none understand and take on the thoughts and of which have to do with emotional connection. feelings of others. This notion from social Amber Bartosh, an assistant architecture psychology, also has backing in neuroscience, professor at SU, operates with the discovery of mirror neurons, which fire a simpler VR lab across both when we perform actions and when we see campus from Dan Pacheco’s actions performed by someone else. Something journalism-centric one. happens inside us when watching others and “It’s revolutionary for inferring their feelings. Empathy is often linked understanding spatial to positive emotions and behaviors, but we can design,” she says. Aside also use empathy to more effectively cause pain, from architecture and like an adept bully. The VR industry is operating storytelling, students at with this obscure and superficial definition of SU use VR technology for empathy, and it’s approving of truisms like neat things like enhancing “standing in another person’s shoes,” as VR graphic design, gaming producer Elizabeth Scott puts it. interface, and medicine Evidential backlash against the “VR as the education, proving the ultimate empathy machine” idea came most technology itself is not recently when Mark Zuckerberg used Facebook’s the issue; it’s how VR as an virtual reality platform, Facebook Spaces, to entertainment vehicle is being transport his curly-haired floating cartoon avatar advertised outside the classroom to hurricane-wrecked Puerto Rico. The visit, aired for mass audiences. on Facebook live, was met with swift accusations of tone-deafness to a condition the billion-dollar Marketing VR as an

32 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


“empathy machine” is a cynical tactic designed in Rio. An interesting topic for sure, but an to exploit other people’s pain and struggles. “empathetic experience” as the company VR faces two major obstacles (neither of which marketed the film? That’s a stretch. pertain to the awkward appearance of hefty Some VR journalism proponents note headsets): First, the constant sexual harassment VR might not necessarily act as an empathy allegations and assault scandals drawing machine, but the immersive technology could attention to women in technology. Elizabeth still be a means of clueing people in on realities Scott, who made the “other person’s shoes” they know little-to-nothing about. Dan Pacheco analogy, notably left her job at UploadVR after believes, “VR experiences can take people filling a gender discrimination and harassment through stories and places they may never get lawsuit against the start-up’s founders. Second, to live or visit otherwise. If you see, maybe you is the need to find a consumer demographic understand, then you think about beginning to outside of gamers with lavish desktop devices. empathize.” His VR journalism course at SU Demonstrating that VR can be an instrument produces high-quality content. Much like the for deeper recognition of the global human Olympics documentary, Pacheco’s students condition and not just a fancy entertainment design high-quality experiences which highlight apparatus for games and porn isn’t just good unique places, people, and events just as any PR — it’s an increase in the products’ target market, piece of intriguing journalism might. and a relief for large companies like Facebook Pacheco didn’t appear surprised by Ogura’s and Google that have made substantial reaction to “Hiroshima in VR,” but as he investments in VR development. untangled the thick headset cords to prepare According to a 2017 report in for the next tourist’s trip, he says “the answers August by IDC, total spending aren’t the same for everyone.” The empathy on AR/VR products and services umbrella isn’t as inclusive as its made out to is forecasted to explode at an be, and empathetic connections cannot be annualized rate of 113 percent to packaged for retail. The notion of revealing a reach $215 billion in 2021. That’s commercial empathy machine from behind red up from $11 billion this year. curtains is absurd. Imagine a future where we’re Between camera all sitting, Black Mirror-style, drooling, hooked equipment, CGI-development, up to hideous VR headsets and experiencing all and moderate production of our emotions through a 360-degree screen costs, VR isn’t a modest art to gain the empathy that we’ve supposedly lost. form. Henry Stuart, CEO of It’s possible we’ll further the two-way bridge VR production studio Visualise, of empathetic connection as we recoil into our said “projects can start from devices; regardless, VR isn’t the end-all answer £15,000 [about $20,000] and go to making people feel something or feel anything. up to the hundreds of thousands.” No matter how sophisticated virtual reality gets, Google commissioned Visualise to it can’t force anyone to care against their will. It’s create a VR documentary that explored still all just pretend.JM gentrification in the Favelas leading up to the summer Olympics

JERK

2.18 33


MODERN

love

IN 2018, JERK WANTS TO FOCUS ON THE LOVE. AND AT SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY LOVE COMES IN ALL SHAPES, SIZES, AND SPECIES. READ ABOUT HOW FAMILY, FRIENDSHIPS, AND LOVE HELP TO CHART STUDENT'S LIVES. Photos by Liam Sheehan, Alex Erdekian, Caroline Schagrin, Chelsea Portner

34 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


JERK

••

2.18 35


36 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


"He’s a Gemini so he’s fucking crazy." "He brought a chair into the bathroom to watch me throw up" JERK

2.18 37


"My favorite thing about the relationship is making you laugh."

"He's very thoughtful. He goes out of his way to do the little things." 38 2.18 • JERK

SMUT


" The best part about being a dog owner is you’re never alone”

And the rest is history. JERK

2.18 39


When the snow won't stop falling and the temp is below freezing, you might be thinking twice about stepping outside. This issue, Jerk brings you cozy knits, simple sweats and subdued colors to make you feel as warm and fuzzy as a new relationship. So skip class and stay in—we won't tell if you don't.

40 2.18

•

JERK

Photographer: Cassie Zhang Makeup GAWKArtist: Jessica Oh Models: Alex Cortinas, Josh Kring Stylists: Hayley Greason, Claudia McCann, Chandler McMillan


JERK

•

2.18 41


42 2.18 • JERK

GAWK


Right Model: Josh Kring Beanie: Topshop $15 Cardigan: UO $59 Shorts: UO $15

Left: Model: Alex Cortinas Fannel: UO $39 Turtleneck: F21 $10 Chain: Thrift $5 Sweats: Hollister $20 Socks: UO $5

JERK

•

2.18 43


Model: Alex Cortinas Sweater: F21 $9 Shorts: UO $15 Socks: Topshop $5 Model: Josh Kring Sweater: UO $29 Boxer Briefs: American Eagle $10 Socks: Thrift $5

44 2.18 • JERK

GAWK


JERK

•

2.18 45


Model: Josh Kring Jacket: Levi's $70 Jumpsuit: UO $59 Belt: Ralph Lauren $140 Socks: UO $5

Model: Alex Cortinas

2.18 JERK JERK 46462.18 •

GAWK GAWK

Turtleneck: F21 $10 Silk Pants: UO $39 Socks: Thrift $5


Model: Alex Cortinas Floral Tee: American Rag $15 Long Underwear: UO $15 Model: Josh Kring Striped tee: Thrift $5 Khakis: Hollister $25

Glasses: UO $20 Bracelet: Thrift $3 Beanies: Topshop $20 Socks: UO $5

• 2.184747 JERK• 2.18 JERK


While fashion giants like Michael Kors and Gucci were swearing off fur this winter, street stylists and trendsetters were wearing it like second skin. Jerk is here to show you both sides of the heated fur debate that makes pelt coatwearing Kendall Jenner disable her Instagram comments. By Jerk Staff : Illustration by Annie Schwartz

48 2.18 • JERK

STRIPPED


FUR IS FETCH The dyed fur craze started in the fall and extended into winter, celebrating edgy individuality and uniqueness. Why fur, you ask? In terms of being fashionable, real fur is a wonderful, textured, and loud status symbol that timelessly equates to fame and fortune. Just like a Rolex watch or a pair of Christian Louboutins, real fur can show off your wealth. And like any good knockoff, fake fur is a great way to achieve that same bougie look without the bougie price. Not to mention, real fur’s purpose for years has simply been to keep us warm— parka and ski coat brands like Canada Goose and Moncler promise to use the best, high-quality materials to prevent their highpaying customers from getting frostbite.

FUR IS DEAD Killing and skinning our fluffy friends is unnecessary murder and mutilation. Non-profits dedicated to the protection of these creatures make this very clear. Yeah, Canada Goose likes quality shit, but what are they willing to do to get it? According to PETA, CG’s fur providers skin animals alive. This animal-protecting sentiment extends beyond the likes of PETA and into the fashion world. Designer Stella McCartney vowed to keep fur out of her lines forever in 2015, and said people who wear fur look “old”, “unaware”, and “irrelevant”. At this time, real fur seemed to be on the decline, and fake fur on the rise. But while the fake stuff can proudly say “no animals were harmed in the making of this purse”, it still promotes and normalizes wearing fur, in effect keeping the real stuff around for the buyers with more mula in their pockets. Complicated, right?

JERK

2.18 49


Spelled Out In the shifting and tumultuous political climate, witchcraft has become a source of power and stability for more than 13,000 activists. By Chelsea Portner : Illustration by Sloane Sexton

Rapid Cabot Freeman is famous across Pagan Internet communities for his inflammatory rhetoric. He dotes long hair, facial tattoos, and an unshakeable dedication to the alt-right movement. Freeman wholeheartedly believes in Trump as the leader of the United States. He calls the president amazing and says Trump knows exactly how to handle situations where lives are at stake. In accordance with a majority of the president’s supporters, he loves the way Trump talks like a “regular guy.” But with all his respect for the alt-right, comes his disdain and disappointment for the political left and the people who are using their Pagan beliefs to promote it. “Ninety percent of the people who claim the mantle of Pagan or heathen have no right to it. When I got into it I was a 16-year-old kid; the movie The Craft hadn’t come out yet and the only place you’d seen a pentacle was on a Mötley Crüe video,” says Freeman, a Pagan high priest based in Connecticut. “And it wasn’t considered a great thing. But I had issues with Christianity and it’s the same issues that I’m having right now with Paganism on the other end of the spectrum.” This was how Freeman began to wrap up our conversation when I called him on the evening of his 46th birthday. I asked him if another night would work better, but he messaged me back saying “LOL Its My Birthday But For The Alt Right Pagan Movement OK.” His dedication to what he believes in is not up for question. Freeman runs the “American Pagans for Trump” Facebook page, an online community for conservative Pagans to discuss political, cultural, and personal issues. Freeman is just one member of the small Pagan community that makes up 1.5 percent of the American population that identify with “other religions.” These “other religions” are sparsely populated making reliable estimates of how many Pagans actually live in the United States difficult to track down. Regardless, the other major religious affiliations dwarf the Pagan community. In 2014, over 70 percent of American identified as Christians and 16.1 percent identified as “unaffiliated.” But interest in Paganism and witchcraft has been on the rise in social media and in politics. In 2013, the Public Policy Polling Firm found that Americans preferred witches to Congress at a 46 percent to 32 percent approval rating. The hashtag “#witch” on Instagram spits back over 4.5 million results, and Tumblr houses a dedicated community of blogs that curate “witch vibes.” There is a newfound interest in what happens behind the Pagan broom closet doors. And this niche, spiritual community established a stronger voice with 2016 presidential election. On Facebook, there are pages of Pagan groups dedicated to discussing politics, “Pagan Liberal” garners 31,000 likes, and even the “Conservative Pagan” page has 740 likes. Freeman’s page “American Pagans for Trump” clocks in at just under 500 likes. And every month under the waning crescent moon, over 13,000 activists participate in a binding spell on Donald Trump.

50 2.18 • JERK

NOISE


The spell is part of the larger “#magicalresistance” movement and is one of the largest public displays of witchcraft in recent history catalyzed by President Donald Trump’s inauguration on January 20, 2017. Initially, the movement began as a single spell to prevent Trump from causing harm to be performed on February 24, 2017. Michael Hughes, a Baltimorebased eclectic magician and author who prescribes to a number of Pagan paths, wrote the spell and posted it Medium, Twitter, and Facebook. Hughes is a self-proclaimed history nerd. He can walk you through the spiritual history of nearly any Pagan religion. He rattles off terms like Greek papyri, santeria, Ifa, traditions you have never heard before. Now 50 years old, he began studying Pagan traditions in his late teens and early twenties. And because of his encyclopedic knowledge, the binding spell originates from a number of Pagan practices. Hughes optimized the magical qualities to make the spell as effective as possible. “I started putting a spell together and I tried to make it kind of generic” says Hughes. “And I tried to make it so it was malleable and adjustable, but still had the core elements of a spell.” The original spell transformed into a monthly effort to slowly weaken the legitimacy of the president. Within hours of posting, the spell went viral and Hughes phone rang off the hook for three full days with reporters looking to get a sound bite from the magic man who was putting spells on Trump. “I think it really hit a need in a lot of people and just so many people embraced from so many different traditions that it was shocking,” he says. “It made me realize

JERK

2.18 51


there was a really deep need for people to kind of combine their spiritual beliefs with spiritual activism.” Hughes wanted to show that spirituality doesn’t need to be divided between faiths, especially when coming together for a common cause. “We’re all doing magic in different ways. The Christians are doing prayers, the Wiccans might use a spell, but it’s really the same thing,” he says “And for me that’s what this spell getting so big has done, just shown the commonality in spiritual traditions.” Now, 10 months out from the original spell, Hughes’s post on Medium attracted more than 1 million views and the “Bind Trump (Official)” Facebook group has more than 3,000 members. The growing numbers prove that this witch-y behavior is trending. Even celebrities like Lana Del Rey participate monthly. Hughes doesn’t mind appropriation of his spell by non-Pagan participants. “I’m all for openness and synergy between different spiritual beliefs and practices. There’s a lot of discussion of appropriation and I take that seriously, but appropriation has always been a part of human culture and society.” And Hughes is on to something. At Syracuse University, Peter Marshall Townsend, an anthropology professor who teaches a course on magic and religion believes that this magical uprising is cyclical and even predictable. “People reach for the supernatural, when the stakes are high, when something is at risk, and when they cannot control advancements through technological means. If they can completely control something then who needs magic, right?” says Townsend. “But if you can’t control certain things and the more important it is, such as life or death or illness, than you find more supernatural.” But Pagan purists, like Freeman, have their concerns. “They are idiots. They are anti-free will, which is against the beliefs of the faith. I think it’s antiAmerican. They are hoping the pilot (Trump), of the plane (America), crashes and we are all on board — that is beyond stupid,” says Freeman. “Most of these people are the pop culture-wannabe occultists that use the faith for attention. They don’t live the life 24 by seven by 365 like my people and the nationalist minded occultist that really live this life, [that] I call my friends.” Raised in a house divided by his Cherokee father’s shamanic traditions and his grandparents’ German Methodists beliefs, Freeman’s formative years developed around the Pagan traditions found in both these practices. He believes in the legitimacy of his claim to the Pagan title. Now, as a third-degree high priest he formed his own faction of Paganism, the Firstblood Tradition. Based on Kent traditions found in English Wicca combined with Pagan native folk traditions, the Firstbloods believe that if you are steadfast in your beliefs, the old ways and the old gods then you are considered a brother. The coven came to fruition in 2009. As of 2017, its members stretch across the Atlantic with offshoots in Germany and Scotland. As Freeman tells me about his religious beliefs and his coven, he interjects with snippets about his political persuasion as well. He tells me how he thinks Tammy Lahren is great, shares his thoughts on Muslims (pronounced with a long u sound — “Moo-slims”), and how he doesn’t allow antiAmerican sentiment at events he sponsors. He sides with the Democratic or liberal views on some key issues: marriage equality and women’s rights, for example. “It’s not really my religion per say that’s supporting my political views, it’s the moral compass that I got from [my religion] supporting my political views. I want everybody to be safe,” says Freeman. “I want everyone to raise their children and not have anyone tell you where to sleep or how to eat, you know? But despite being a minority in the Pagan community with his controversial opinions and beliefs as a Trump supporter, Freeman isn’t the only member with concerns over the trendy spell. In North Carolina, a British expat, Elizabeth Watkins lives in Asheville, a city of 89,000 citizens. Watkins claims Asheville is quite liberal despite its location in the middle of the Bible Belt. Watkins is middle-aged with mid-length brown hair and round wire frame glasses. She is married and raising a three-year-old daughter, who she refers to as “her little witch.” Like Freeman, Watkins is a bit of a

12.17• •JERK JERK 52 2.18

NOISE


political hummingbird. She flits from issue to issue as she sees fit. However, she is his exact antithesis. She felt disappointed when the marriage quality movement died down, so now she seeks to satiate her urge for social justice in Black Lives Matter and trans rights groups. But in accordance with Freeman, Watkins doesn’t agree with the binding spells being performed each month. “I am not a fan of Donald Trump, obviously. But he is not the only person doing this shit,” she says. “By hexing him are you really fixing anything? I don’t think so.” Instead, Watkins she focuses on inclusive rhetoric and social change, not spells. In November 2016, she formed her own coven, Open Coven, following the presidential election. It began as a blog that aggregated occult content from female, LGBTQ+, and other marginalized artists. She saw an opportunity to turn the blog into a motivator for change and morphed her mission into developing a spiritual community around liberal issues. Strictly for women, Watkins is hoping to promote a strong feminist agenda via Open Coven. Though it is small, with only three members, there are plans to create a larger movement and connect with other liberal-minded fringe groups across the nation. The truth is both Freeman and Watkins are working towards their versions of a bright American future. Watkins wants a network of liberated Pagans to collaborate on art, protests and creating a more feminist future. And the future Freeman wants is a return to the way he believes America used to be. He reminisces about Blazing Saddles, calls himself “kraut” for his German heritage, and discusses how believes stereotypes hold some truth. “Everybody got along then because we could laugh at each other. It wasn’t a big deal,” he says. “And now it’s gotten to the point where everybody is nuts.” Before we hang up, Freeman tells me about Tony, one of his best friends who passed away. Tony was a Vatican knight and worked in the same building where Freeman ran his own cable access show. The pair would get coffee together every day. “We both believed in a god, we both believed in our country, we both loved our kids. We would both go to the fire department breakfast, ya know? American.”JM

JERK JERK • • 12.17 2.18 53


DON'T

DRAG ME DOWN By Jerk Staff : Illustration by Emily Bruder

54 54 2.18 2.18 •• JERK JERK

NOISE NOISE


HER story 400 BC1800s

1932

DRAG IN THEATER

Marlene Dietrich

Since the origins of theater, women were often not allowed to play women’s roles onstage. In ancient Greece, Shakespeare productions, Japan’s Kabuki performances and China’s operas, sexist rules gave rise to men dressing up as women and performing for crowds.

One of the first public figures to challenge gender norms, the openly bisexual actress showed up to the 1932 premiere of Sign Of The Cross in a men’s tuxedo. She famously said of her penchant for menswear, “I think I am much more alluring in these clothes.”

1969

1972

STONEWALL

PINK FLAMINGOS

The Stonewall Riots, the birth of the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement led by trans activists of color Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera, counted queens among its revolutionary members.

Baltimore director John Waters introduced drag queen Divine to the world with the campy, deliberately disgusting Pink Flamingos, the first entry in his Trash Trilogy. Divine, a Baltimore performer who became one of the most influential queens in history, starred in the film.

JERK JERK •• 2.18 2.18 55 55


1993

supermodel (YOU 1990 BETTER WORK) PARIS IS BURNING Much of America was introduced to drag through RuPaul’s breakthrough song and music video on MTV. His polished, aggressively self-aware style laid the groundwork for modern drag.

This documentary chronicled the Harlem drag ball scene at the end of the 80s. Gorgeously shot on film, it portrays the lives of young, queer people of color at a time of cultural upheaval.

2009

2017

RuPaul’s Drag Race

Brooklyn’s drag renaissance

RuPaul forever shaped pop culture with his show, which went from obscure to massively popular almost overnight. Featuring outsize performers from multiple disciplines, Drag Race renewed our collective interest in drag.

Fueled by new performance spaces and unique, boundarypushing personalities, Brooklyn’s scene having a moment. Sasha Velour, the most recent winner of Drag Race, is one of the many queens to Brooklyn home.

56 2.18 •• JERK

NOISE


QUEEN BEES Desmond is Amazing

Though he’s only 10 years old, Desmond Napoles is already a performer, LGBTQ+ advocate, and public speaker. He first stepped into the spotlight when he marched at the 2015 NYC Pride Parade.

Sasha Velour Yes, she won the ninth season of RuPaul’s Drag Race, but she’s also the creative director of Velour: The Drag Magazine and the organizer of a monthly drag show in NYC.

Lucy Stoole An outspoken advocate of Black Girl Magic, Lucy Stoole contrasts exaggerated femininity with her full beard.

Vander Von Odd

Though some performers focus on glamour, Vander Von Odd instead fixates on the macabre. His looks draw from horror movies, Marilyn Manson and Tim Burton, making Vander a unique face in the scene.

Lee VaLone The only drag king on this list, Lee more than justifies his place here with his mustaches alone. Another member of Brooklyn’s flourishing drag scene, he’s a reminder that drag isn’t just for the girls. JERK

••

2.18 57


SALT CITY'S SCENE

RAIN LOUNGE

103 N Geddes St., 315-218-5951

For over a decade, Rainn has been a keystone of the LGBTQ+ community in the Syracuse area. With great dancing and better drag, Rainn aims to create a safe space that celebrates every one that steps into the bar. Their mission is "celebrates the spirit and diversity that we as people are lucky enough to express through laughter, art, music, conversation, friendship, and love.”

Trexx

323 N Clinton St., 315-474-6408

Trexx is a nightclub that caters specifically to a queer audience and drag performers. They welcome students on Thursday, and feature drag on both Thursday and Saturday. Trexx specializes in theme nights, including upcoming themes like glow paint, fetish freaks, and antiValentine's Day. Plus, they're 18 and up.

Hometown HERo Daniel Donigan, better known by his stage name Milk, grew up right here in Syracuse before becoming a national drag star on the sixth season of Drag Race. Donigan is making a name for himself outside of the show, though—he’s the face of both Marc Jacobs and MDNA, Madonna’s new skincare line. As a queen, Milk’s style is off-kilter, blending high fashion with pop-inspired makeup and, on occasion, a muscle suit. A loyal Syracuse native, Milk has even returned home to host Pride Union’s annual drag show, which is happening this year on Feb. 15 at 9:00 p.m.

58 2.18 •• JERK

NOISE


READ UP Beat

To apply makeup

Box

A slang term for “vagina”

Drag Queen

A reclaimed term that was used as an insult to effeminate men

Fish

An especially convincing or feminine look

Gag

To react intensely, most often in shock

Hunty

A portmanteau of “honey” and “cunt” used as a term of endearment

Kiki

A get-together or informal chat between close friends to spill the tea

Read

To insult someone by wittily pointing out their flaws

Sickening

Amazing; sublime

Tea

Gossip or juicy information; comes from T for truth

Tuck

Hiding male genitalia to create the illusion of a vagina

JERK

••

2.18 59


Back to Black

Ten years after Amy Winehouse's sweep at the 2008 Grammy's, her voice which defined the 2000's is still just as impactful in 2018. By Sally Rubin : Photography/Illustration by Tori Thomas On Oct. 27, 2006, Amy Winehouse released Back to Black, an eclectic genre-bending album. The album quickly gained international acclaim and tied Winehouse for most Grammys won by a female artist in one night, including Best Pop Vocal Album and Artist of the Year, shortly after it hit the U.S. stands in March of 2007. That same year, “Rehab,” the albums intro track, skyrocketed up Billboard’s Hot 100, landing at number nine on the list. Four years following the success of Back to Black, Winehouse was back on the Hot 100 list with Tony Bennett on their track titled “Body and Soul,” which also earned the pair a Grammy for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance. Only, Bennett had to take the stage on his own. On July 23, 2011, Amy Winehouse died after reportedly consuming two entire bottles of vodka in her London home, sending her bloodalcohol content to almost five times the legal driving limit. Her death came after five weeks clean from alcohol and three years clean from drug usage. The media immediately grouped Winehouse in with artists like Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Kurt Cobain, members of the so-called “27 Club”, who all died at that young age. Winehouse’s struggle with addiction was, like most artists in the public eye, no secret. While she was alive, Winehouse could control the public perception of her addiction, most famously in the hit song “Rehab”. But five years later, her the positiveiy of her

60 2.18 • JERK

REWIND

legacy is only getting stronger. Just one day after her death, Winehouse broke the Guinness World Record for the most simultaneous songs by a female artist to enter the UK singles chart. She left two genre-transcending albums, shelves of awards, and chart-topping songs, all of which are still available in digital and hard-copy platforms around the globe. More so, Winehouse also left behind more than just her impressive trackrecord. Her influence persists through today’s popular artists. Adele, with fifteen Grammys at 30, gave a tribute to Amy Winehouse on what would have been her 33rd birthday during a concert in Boston. “Amy paved the way for artists like me and got people excited about British music again,” she said, “I feel like I owe 90% of my career to her,”. Lady Gaga also credits Winehouse with paving the way for her career, even dedicating a portion to her recent documentary, Gaga: Five Foot Two, to discuss her influence. And it doesn’t stop there. Artists across genres, ranging anywhere from Sam Smith to Florence and the Machine, say that Winehouse not only inspired them to become musicians, but she continues to influence the way write and perform music today. While the public can take hold of her story and see it as a cautionary tale for artists struggling with addiction, the strength and persistence of her influence can in some way keep her alive as she is remembered for the thing she dedicated her life to sharing- music JM


#OSCARSBEENWHITE By Briana Dorley : Illustration by Maddie Ligenza The Deal: Hollywood has always been where dreamers go in hopes of turning their visions into reality. Films can reflect our breakups and makeups, creating frames of perfect little moments, like a smile exchanged between two friends or a woman admiring her lover across the room. Directors, writers and actors all strive to create award-winning projects. However, Hollywood produces works that address some of the darkest recesses of human nature while simultaneously protecting dangerous sexual predators and avoiding the troubling history that defines the relationship between film and people of color. The Issue: It’s easy to ignore the issues in Hollywood. I mean, look, there's a black guy nominated for best actor—how could Hollywood be racist? The movie industry, with its beautiful, golden gates, was not meant for everyone. Awards shows, spectacles of booze and speeches that often miss the mark, showcase elitism at its finest. The 2015 Oscars ceremony caused buzz for its lack of representation, leading to #OscarsSoWhite, which changed the discourse around representation at awards shows. From Crash to La La Land, stories that center white people often overpower other films at awards shows.

The Bigger Issue: Film is meant to tell impactful stories, but stories by women and people of color been told less often than those by white men. Representation matters, and ignoring the voices of marginalized identities is dangerous. Awards shows, especially, announce to the world what the industry thinks is most important, so a lack of representation in the nominees and winners demonstrates a lack of diversity within Hollywood. The Defense: Rape, abuse, sexual assault, and sexual misconduct are now being taken seriously by film companies as the sexual abuse of powerful white men like as Woody Allen and Harvey Weinstein (and so many more) comes into focus. Hollywood will need serious rethinking, and years of racism and abuse can't be solved instantly, but this year has been a start. Stars blacked out the red carpet in protest against abuse and in solidarity with survivors at the Golden Globes. This year's Oscars nominations included a diverse slate of directors, the first nomination for a female cinematographer, and a notable snub for accused abuser James Franco. Creators need to stop pretending that racial discrimination, rape and assault aren’t real, and awards shows are the way to force this change. Hollywood is tainted, but with more representation, it can heal. JM

NO JUDGEMENT

JERK

2.18 61


CHARLIE BURG Sounds like: Rex Orange County, Daniel Caesar, Cosmo Pyke What he jerks to: D'Angelo, Weezer, artist Juan Miró

Syracuse student Charlie Burg is making a name for himself on campus and beyond. Here, he sits down with Jerk to talk influences, songwriting, and his upcoming work. By Will Georges : Photo provided Jerk Magazine: How did you cultivate your sound? Charlie Burg: I was raised listening to my father’s music, coming from Motown—Detroit you know—Al Green, Marvin, The Temptations. But I got my start writing music playing my dad’s acoustic guitar. That’s where I got my initial sense of artistic expression, playing Coldplay covers, so I wasn’t really cognizant of that R&B influence until I had access to a fuller band. JM: Your music is most evocative when the backing band breaks and swells. Tell me more about that. Initials: I'll never forget, my grandmother told me a good song tells a story—Ella Fitzgerald, Frank Sinatra. But I think that an artist can sonically tell a song through swinging variations without words, so it makes sense to me to have swelling and pulsing in the arrangement. That’s just the language I’ve learned to speak with my music.

62 2.18

JERK

AMPLIFIED

JM: Who are your biggest influences? Initials: I have a deep appreciation of punk culture, and I want to mention Weezer because it’s some of the purest and most exciting songwriting. I remember playing a track of theirs on a keyboard—it felt like playing Chopin or something. I never want to lose that kind of rock setting, which is why I never use backtracks in live shows. Having live instrumentation at a show humanizes the music. For me, music has always been connected with shared humanness. JM: What's next for you? Initials: I’m releasing a single in a couple weeks called “You Used To.” It’s definitely got the same R&B thing I’ve been doing. It’s one of my most proud works, and I've been working really hard on it. I’m debuting it at a show on Feb. 8 at the WERW Launch Party at Schine Underground. JM See more of Charlie Burg's interview and listen to his music at jerkmagazine.net.


SEX TALK

A good sex playlist doesn't include a single song from the Fifty Shades soundtracks, instead it focuses on identity, fluidity, and owning

FEVER RAY Eight years after Karin Dreijer’s first LP as Fever Ray, she surprise-released her new album, Plunge. A current of queer desire cuts through each track, where Dreijer croons to a romantic partner over a warbling beat: “Your lips, warm and fuzzy / I want to run my fingers up your pussy.” Dreijer’s vision is beautifully kinky—in the video for the song, her genderless, latex-clad protagonist gets indoctrinated into a masked orgy. Everyone is welcome to the party in Plunge, as long as they’re willing to explore.

CUPCAKKE Elizabeth Eden Harris, better known as CupcakKe, reached viral fame when she released a string of fun, astonishingly sexual songs, including “Vagina” and “Deepthroat.” The Chicago rapper is more than a novelty though—she’s one of her generation’s best writers, churning out one-liners like, “Coochie guaranteed to put you to sleep so damn soon/Riding on that dick I’m reading Goodnight Moon,” on her new album, Ephorize. CupcakKe obliterates stigma around female sexual desire while advocating for LGBTQ+ rights, remaining fiercely body-positive.

BROCKHAMPTON Known as “America’s favorite boy band,” the up-andcoming art collective BROCKHAMPTON attracted a significant fanbase with three albums released in 2017. BROCKHAMPTON offers a new perspective on masculinity, male identity, and insecurities. In “STAR,” group leader Kevin Abstract addresses his sexuality and evokes one of the most sexually-charged scenes in Moonlight. “So my boyfriend in the street, bitch/In the moonlight I get seasick.”

SYNAPSE

JERK

2.18 63


JILLY HENDRIX We caught up with the vice president behind Fuck Jerry’s social media, Jilly Hendrix, to hear her some of her dating advice, thoughts on Valentine’s Day, and how she uses comedy to deal with emotions. Hendrix also hosts Lady Lovin’ podcast and created the hilarious Instagram account notestomyselfie. By Caroline Schagrin : Photo provided

JM: How do you use @notestomyselfie to deal with emotions or is it strictly comedy? Do you think comedy helps deal with emotions?  JH: When I first started posting notes I loved how people reacted to the statements because it made me feel less alone. Like "Ok cool, everyone else feels this way too." I like to tackle depression and  loneliness in my comedy because I feel like people are always so afraid to not be perfect. Especially on social media. Everyone is always trying to put out a fake persona. I like to over exaggerate the imperfections and awkward experiences because really that's what makes life so great. JM: What has been the most rewarding/ challenging part of Lady Lovin?  JH: The most rewarding would have to be all of the emails and messages from our listeners. We have such amazing listeners and we love hearing how the podcast has helped so many women. The most challenging would have to be scheduling!  JM: Who are three badass women you think everyone should know about right now?  JH: SZA, Lauren Kassan & Audrey Gelman who founded The Wing,  Elaine Welteroth

64 2.18 • JERK

SPEAKEASY

JM: In terms of juggling your podcast, Fuck Jerry, blogs, and DJing, how do you do it all? JH: I plan out every hour of the day. I'm typically at my office by 8:30 a.m. and I don't get home until around 10 p.m.. I don't work on Saturdays but always on Sundays. I think the hardest thing about my work is being online all of the time and feeling like I can't miss anything in the social space. JM: What keeps you motivated/balanced?  JH: The fact that people tell me no all of the time. I always want to prove everyone wrong. I don't know if that’s a good thing, but I do love it when I accomplish something that someone told me I'd never do. I really believe that if you want to do something just do it and it will happen. Life is just a Nike ad. Exercise keeps me balanced. That and a great cocktail.  JM: Lastly, what are your thoughts on Valentine's Day?  JH: To me Valentines Day is not that big of a deal. I think people put so much pressure on this holiday and feeling alone or not doing the perfect thing for their significant other. If you're in love then celebrate it how you want, if you're not still celebrate. Being single is cool too. People forget that everything is going well if you're alive.JM


CAUSE OF DEATH: LOGAN PAUL By Nicole Engleman : Illustration by Emily Bruder

YouTube had his humble beginnings at the hands of three disgruntled PayPal employees, who brought him to life after discussing him for many long nights over bowls of cheese puffs in their parent’s basements. While YouTube’s conception remains a mystery, some speculate that he was born out of the PayPal employee’s fruitless attempts to find videos of Janet Jackson’s infamous 2004 Super Bowl incident online, or their original idea to create an online dating service that would keep their awkward interactions with girls at a minimum. Regardless of his origins, YouTube soon became the prominent video sharing service on the internet. Not long after, YouTube was joined by a coalition of friends who referred to themselves as YouTubers. They showered YouTube with love by constantly providing him with the one thing he craved most—viral content. For many years, YouTube graced the Internet with videos of sneezing pandas and babies biting their brother’s fingers. YouTube taught us the melodic way to memorize all of the characters names in Harry Potter through the use of puppets, and even cautioned us what would happen if we ventured to Candy Mountain. It seemed like his cultural contributions were endless. Still, YouTube was young and he was in need

of some guidance. In 2006, seasoned veteran Google took YouTube under his wing and brought him straight to the top. Following Google’s lead, YouTube began generating revenue from advertisements and exclusive content through the subscription service YouTube Red. It seemed as though his possibilities were limitless, until one day he went too far. Longtime friend of YouTube, Logan Paul, was hiking in a Japanese forest where hundreds of suicides have notoriously taken place, when he came across the body of a person who had hanged himself from a tree. Instead of turning off his camera, Paul continued to film, and even mocked the dead body. In a lapse of judgment, or perhaps just complete stupidity, YouTube decided to publish the video anyway, despite its offensive content. Immediately after the Logan Paul incident, YouTube began to experience serious backlash from users who wondered how a video like this could possibly slip through the cracks. As punishment for his behavior, many people are demanding that YouTube endure the same regulations as traditional broadcasters. YouTube however, maintains his innocence and is desperately clinging to his free-spirited origins.JM

OBITCHUARY

JERK

2.18 65


Light It Up Photos by Kasey Lanese

Janie Kahan, Junior I got my Kris Jenner lighter last year when I needed a pick-me-up. Kris is a badass who takes 10% commission on most of the Kardashian projects. I want to take 10% commission on everything in life.

Will Giddon, Junior I got my lighter in a thrift shop in West Hollywood the summer going into my junior year, it represents my decision to move to LA and pursue a career in the entertainment industry. It’s a standard torch lighter, designed to look like two bullets side by side. I’m the type of person who likes quirky trinkets, something that I think suits my personality well.

Jen Bercaw, Sophomore I got my lighter in Barcelona on a family trip for my grandma’s 80th. When I saw it was orange and blue I knew I needed it! My parents met at ‘cuse so those colors will always be important to me. Also I thought the leaf was pretty cool.

66 2.18 • JERK

CLOSET CASE


How to dress like a DO Reporter Recovering from Bid Day

Prescription Glasses: Got blinded by a gold feather boa that whipped me in the face.

Insta t-shirt: Social media is a SUPER important journalistic art form.

Cargo Shorts: I need the big pockets for my bottles of ibuprofen, and vicodin. Camera: I didn’t get a clear shot of a single srat bitch, my editor was PISSED.

Knee Brace: Got tramped by a hoard of pnms, still recovering.

FORM & FUNCTION

Photography by Kasey Lanese Model: Chase Guttman

JERK• •2.18 2.18 6767 JERK


Voted “Best Mexican Restaurant” three years running

Every Monday night…cinco de Nacho $5 Margaritas $5 special nachos $5 Cocktails $5 bean burritos FRESH handmade Mexican since 1995 www.altocinco.net 526 WESTCOTT STREET SYRACUSE, NY 13210 PH: 315-422-6399


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.