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The pandemic has fundamentally challenged the classical music world. As recording labels and orchestras begin a painful, gradual process of reopening, they do so in an economic and artistic landscape ravaged by the closing of countless companies in artist management, performance, and more.
Set in Los Angeles, Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land” (2016) focuses on Mia Dolan (Emma Stone), an aspiring actress, and Sebastian Wilder (Ryan Gosling), a jazz musician, who fall in love with each other while pursuing their respective dreams.
Editor’s Note: This piece includes language and imagery that some readers may find distressing.
In New York’s Chinatown, where the fish outnumber people, I am a foreigner among my own blood. A thousand glassy eyes stare at me, white and hungry. Hunchbacked men gut the silver-scaled spread of hollowed-out salmon, hands calloused like the topography of the Himalayas, knuckles scabbed like borders wrenched apart. No one stops. No one notices. My mom and I walk to the hazy pulse of the city, swaying with this chorus of bodies.
When Spike Lee’s “BlacKkKlansman” debuted at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, it received a six-minute standing ovation; some critics called it Lee’s best film in years. Throughout his career as a director, Lee has used cinema as a medium to explore themes such as race relations and the African American experience. “BlacKkKlansman” updates these themes for modern mainstream audiences, representing a natural progression from his previous works. Thanks to Lee’s masterful directing, a bold screenplay, and an all-star cast, the film combines absurdity, dark humor, and horror into a nuanced commentary on social issues still relevant today.
Editor’s Note: This piece was first published on Thursday, Oct. 8, 2020. Due to a technical error, it was republished on our website on Nov. 16, resulting in a new but inaccurate timestamp.
Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day. The day was first celebrated in 1988 and based on the idea that the personal is political, that the most basic form of activism can be coming out to friends, family, and coworkers, and living openly. The core idea is that homophobia thrives in silence and people are less likely to maintain homophobic beliefs when they discover that a loved one is LGBTQ+.
What surprises me the most about living in a city is how quickly I got used to the noise. The rumbling of the subway, the shouts from the sidewalk, the honking cars — after a few days spent jumping at each sound, they’ve quickly faded into the background music of what has become my everyday life.
For those of you out there who enjoy pinning self-view during Zoom seminar. We see you. We do it, too.
As August slipped away and the first day of classes approached, I spent a good deal of time searching for that start-of-the-semester energy that typically imbues everything, even the most mundane activities, with excitement, if also a small apprehension at the academic tasks ahead. A week beforehand, it was quite underwhelming to think that the only thing different about Aug. 31 would be waking up just slightly earlier to log on to Canvas and click on a Zoom link instead of aimlessly switching between my phone’s apps.
Introduction by Sandeep Mangat ’23
Without the beautiful gothic architecture, the lecture spaces, eating clubs, the athletes on motorized scooters zipping down Washington St., what is campus? Without running into people at meals or in class or at the Street late at night, what is student life? Without the campus and the friends, and all the connection that comes with the physicality of it, what is Princeton?
“Americans call them hillbillies, rednecks, and white trash. I call them neighbors, friends, and family.” — J.D. Vance, “Hillbilly Elegy”
On a particularly warm July morning, I interviewed Alexander P.G. Sittenfeld ’07 — who is currently running to be Cincinnati’s next mayor — for my summer internship. With Sittenfeld being a Princeton alumnus, our conversation at one point turned to the University’s July announcement of a partially virtual semester. Like many other community members I’ve talked to these past months — especially other alumni — he offered his condolences for the lost time on campus while, of course, acknowledging all of the other, much more terrible losses people have endured this year. I don’t recall my entire response, but I do remember suggesting this year was full of losses on many different levels, all deserving at least some of our attention and care.
It started with an Ethiopian restaurant that had outdoor seating but limited space. My friends and I were wearing masks in the park, but we wanted to grab dinner, and I only realized it was a sit-down place when they beckoned us inside. We took off our masks when we ate, and then, gradually, when we talked as well. Then one of my friends wanted me to meet the cat she was fostering. Saying ‘no’ seemed cold, heartless even. I wasn’t living at home anymore, a few minutes inside couldn’t hurt anyone. My plans for flawless social distancing already shirked, any further missteps no longer seemed like a big deal.
I had sung away Monday morning with ABBA’s “Waterloo” on repeat, dancing as I mopped the floor and swept dirt off the porch. After spending over two weeks in even stricter isolation than usual, I was going to visit my grandparents, whom I hadn’t seen for months, and I was cleaning the house before leaving in the afternoon. Then came the email: my SARS-CoV-2 test, which I’d taken as a precaution before seeing my grandparents, and not at all because I was symptomatic, was positive.
Back in mid-March, when I arrived back in Australia, I hadn’t spent longer than two months at home for the last two years. When I left for America in the fall of 2018 to begin my freshman year at Princeton, I left my entire life behind with it — my friends from high school, the club team where I used to train, the part-time jobs I had tutoring local kids or lifeguarding at my school’s 25m indoor pool.
Fall semester classes used to kick off on a Wednesday. A wake-up slap after the four-day fever dream known as Frosh Week.
Backlash over creative writing lecturer Michael Dickman’s use of offensive and violent language in a recently published poem led Don Share, the editor of Poetry magazine, to resign last month — one of several recent controversies surrounding free speech and accountability that have embroiled the University.