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Letter from the Editor

Letter from the Editor 9.12.18

It's a red party for UTB's 10th birthday.


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Photo: Ben Zhao

On September 8th, 2008, a trifecta of catastrophes struck the United States. The financial crisis hit, Distrito opened its doors, and 34th Street launched Under the Button dot com.

“Welcome to UnderTheButton.com, 34th Street's new blog. For our inagural post, we shall attempt to say something meaningful about our generation vis–a–vis a recap of the MTV Video Music Awards.”

With that editor’s note, UTB’s first post was published, laying bare the sorry state of Street’s copyediting department in the late 2000s. Street EIC Kerry Jones had an idea, and Heather Schwadel was the chosen one to execute it. Her VMA commentary was the thinkpiece that launched a thousand clicks. And with this morsel of cultural criticism, 34th Street birthed UTB unto the world.

A long and winding road of questionable content brought us to where we are today. UTB was a place for gossip, greek life musings, and betchy non–news, a reflection of what 34th Street and its interests were a decade ago. But nonetheless, she persisted.

Along came September 2016, and with it, us, two writers, alike in lack of dignity, in the Pepto Bismol Palace of 4015 Walnut Street. Nick, a lowly 34th Street Film & TV writer, and Alessandro, an equally lowly UTB staff writer, were engaged with their weekly assignments in the heat of the Street/UTB rivalry that gripped their publications.

On the eve of UTB’s 8th birthday, Alessandro published UTB’s first fake news story, documenting his freshman friend losing his virginity. Meanwhile, Nick was composing some bullshit about Stranger Things. Alessandro’s article marked UTB’s gradual shift from reality to fantasy, establishing it as the satire publication we know today and killing Lowbrow. Stranger Things was also pretty good.

In this moment, we were strangers traveling parallel paths through the ranks of our respective publications, remaining un–introduced until rising to the high altars of our parent company, The Daily Pennsylvanian Inc

Today, we realize our true purpose. For too long our publications have served as the vestigial arms of the news department, looked down upon by our highbrow peers. But we are now grown. UTB is turning ten years old, and becoming firmly pre–adolescent. 34th Street will be 50 next month, and we have sat idle like a withered old crone for far too long.

Now, the time has come for UTB and 34th Street to unite against the tyranny of The Daily Pennsylvanian, Inc. We must organize, rise up, and overthrow the system that continues to discredit and oppress our beloved publications. For years we have warred over the rights to comedic writing within the DP, Inc., but now we have set our grievances aside, embracing each other in comradeship. We wish a happy 10th birthday unto Under the Button and we thank all our readers for joining us on this journey.


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