Letter from the Editor 01.22.2020
We all want happy endings.
To write this letter, I did some research. I read Annabelle’s first letter, Nick’s, Orly’s, Emily’s. There’s a thread of precedent, of sincerity, honesty, and passion for Street, art, and culture.
Unfortunately, though, I’ve only been thinking about David Bowie’s “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean” for the last several days, and I hoped that writing about it would bring me solace, or at least dislodge the chorus from repeating in my head the way it did during my French lecture.
The music video for “Jazzin’ for Blue Jean” is twenty minutes and four seconds long, so I completely understand if you don’t want to watch it, although I recommend you do. Here’s the plot: David Bowie takes an unnamed woman on a date to a show. The musician performing at said show is also David Bowie. Unfortunately for David Bowie, his date is more enamored with the rock star David Bowie than her original David Bowie and she departs the venue with and without him.
Then the camera zooms out, you see the microphones and the cameras and the people on set. The jilted Bowie, distressed at this ending, breaks the fourth wall: “Look,” he says to the air, “I want a happy ending!”
I want a happy ending, too. The ending Bowie gets is some kind of meta commentary on his own bizarre career, and as much as the story breaks down in the last couple of minutes in the video, that’s staged and purposeful as well.
I’ll leave the office tonight to descend down the same staircase that I walked up before my first production shift. I’ll go past the ghost of my sophomore self as a design editor in the empty chair nearest to the entrance to the newsroom.
I used to be a first year design associate messing up the Street layouts on Tuesday production nights, and now I’m a junior, editor–in–chief, fumbling similarly around this mostly blank page on a Tuesday years later. Some things change, and others don’t.
Learning curves at Street and the DP are steep. Leading Street wasn’t something I’d even dreamt of as a first year, and it still doesn’t feel very real now. But if 18–year–old Tamsyn wanted a happy ending to her tenure at 4015 Walnut, maybe this is the beginning of that end.
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