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(12 hours ago)
The only thing Shakespeare liked more than naming characters “Antonio” was playing with gender—Portia names herself Balthazar in The Merchant of Venice, Viola names herself Cesario in Twelfth Night, and Rosalind names herself after Zeus’s mythical male consort, Ganymede, in As You Like It. The Globe’s recent production of As You Like It ratchets the show’s gender play and gay undertones up to a hundred with gender–blind casting, a feature that is not only the production’s gimmick, but blended in seamlessly with the themes of the play that I almost forgot not all productions of the show are cast in such a way. Though it has sadly ended its run, one of the most fun things I have done in my time in London was go to The Globe’s As You Like It, and it made me hope for not only more productions that centralize fun, but also more theatergoing experiences that centralize community.
There’s a quaintness to Jacques–Jean “J.J.” Tiziou’s abode on Osage Avenue beyond the kind typically embodied by West Philadelphia's colorful rowhomes. It’s reflected in the year–round Christmas lights strung across the narrow zigzag staircase and above the table, which, aside from a small lamp, are the only source of light in the dark wooden dining room. Deep shadows paint the faces of the soirée guests. Brows furrowed and eyes twinkling, the visitors exchange words and bowls of thick pottage. Somehow, I’ve found myself a part of the semimonthly tradition as nearly as old as I am—Tiziou’s French soirées.
As one of the only senior girl groups still active in the K–pop industry, Red Velvet has made a lasting impact on the genre. Title tracks like “Red Flavor,” “Dumb Dumb,” “Zimzalabim,” and “Psycho” display a sample of the group’s wide and expansive sound. No matter if the group showcases its “Red” (the bubbly, colorful pop side) or its “Velvet” (the darker, evocative R&B–influenced side), listeners know that the five–member girl group has one of the most diverse and creative approaches to the K–pop genre.
When someone mentions the Hunger Games, one’s thoughts likely gravitate towards Katniss Everdeen, the thirteen Districts, and the whole cinematic spectacle. More recently, the mention might garner a visceral reaction towards that Josh Hutcherson "Whistle" meme, or with the recent release of the series prequel, The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, you might be reminded of the internet’s collective thirst over President Coriolanus Snow. (What’s up with that, by the way? I know Tom Blyth is hot, but has everyone forgotten that Snow is evil?)
Bundles of presents under a glistening Christmas tree. Keeping up with decades–old traditions. Quality time with loved ones. For many people, these are the hallmarks of the holiday season. For others, like myself, the staple of post–Thanksgiving holiday cheer is listening to hours upon hours (upon hours!) of Christmas music.
If you’ve ever seen a Save Chinatown Flyer or the UC Townhomes sweatshirts, you’re looking at the art of Alyssa Chandler (C ‘24). Leaning on a couch in the Charles Addams Fine Arts Hall, Alyssa takes a sip of her Dunkin coffee. “It’s been a crazy week,” she admits, gesturing towards her senior thesis sitting on display as part of the Fine Arts Department as part of their Senior Thesis Preview Exhibition. On a table, Alyssa has laid out protest stickers and a hand–printed zine detailing the community’s current fight against the 76ers arena. On either side of the wall are archival photos and articles underscoring the history of Chinatown, including a handmade map of the Vine Street Expressway.
Content warning: The following article includes mentions of rape, sexual violence, and murder, and can be disturbing and/or triggering for some readers. Please find resources listed at the bottom of the article.
Tucked away in the corner of Dahlak Paradise in West Philadelphia lies a hall of mirrors, transporting you to another universe. Emblazoned on the wall is a fluorescent neon purple sign that reads “If these walls could talk … ” One brisk Wednesday evening in late October, an eclectic group milled about in that very room. The conversation came to a halt as the first note rang out.
(13 hours ago)
The first time I met Katie I was livid. Seventh grade, my mom decided that we needed a guard dog after our house was burglarized. I knew this was a terrible idea. But nonetheless, I came home one day to find a two–year–old rescue pitbull, tail wagging and tongue out in the closest thing to a canine grin.
Good grief! As finals season approaches, so does the holiday season. Synonymous with this time of year is a certain franchise: Peanuts. With five feature films and 51 television specials under their belts, Charlie Brown and company are the epitome of consistent cultural presence. Though it seems there’s a 25–minute to hour–long short for every holiday—from Easter to Arbor Day—true Peanuts primetime arises as soon as East Coast temperatures hit the fifties. The best of the best cover the three major American events of the season: Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. Millions have watched these specials air each year for decades (a fact that led to considerable backlash when Apple TV+ acquired them and it appeared the company wouldn’t allow the tradition to carry on). Aside from Charles Schulz’s instantly memorable characters, however, there’s another element that contributes to the Peanuts specials’ charm, and it’s all thanks to Vince Guaraldi.
2023 marks another year of my affectionate relationship with cinematic and televisual. I traveled around the globe chasing film festivals, producing more academic nonsense for my beloved Cinema & Media Studies classes, and inevitably falling in love with the many worlds behind the screen over and over again. I believe that film and television are all about worldmaking: They have an unparalleled capability to help us imagine strange people, unconventional lives, and alternative experiences that are by no means trivial to our existence on Earth. All film and television, for me, are realistic, because what is our perception of reality but the very boundary of our imagination?
As the years go by and we as a society have come to realize that, yes, the internet really is forever, it seems increasingly important to keep track of what we’re creating and consuming. From melting your brain with "Subway Surfers" gameplay over Family Guy clips and admiring Sabrina Brier’s on–screen adaption of the worst person you’ve ever met, to a never–ending pool of borg–related puns, or maybe the all encompassing, summer long event that was "Barbenheimer," 2023 was certainly a year of bizarre, albeit entertaining, internet trends. So, if you’re trying to think back on how you’ve managed an alarmingly high daily screen time, and coming up blank, Street’s got you covered. Without further ado, our official list of the best internet trends of 2023.
Everyone says they want diversity. Exactly what this means is up for interpretation. While business says it means trying to hire minorities, and universities say they want economic diversity, the decision–makers and the incentives they operate under are the same as they’ve always been, leading us to little noticeable change.
*Author’s note: The SAG–AFTRA strike ended with a tentative deal on Thursday, November 9. Already, actors have been flocking to do press appearances on late–night shows and promoting their work on social media, demonstrating the importance of press to a movie’s success and how the strike imposed on actors’ awards chances.
Search “things they don’t tell you about pregnancy” on TikTok and a slew of videos pop up. New parents, shock evident in their voices, and people on their second or third child hoping to educate others, describe unexpected bodily changes—everything from chronic nose bleeds to rapid hair and nail growth. How could no one tell them this would happen?
It’s easy to forget erasure. It’s easy to get blinded by the popularity of films like Everything Everywhere All At Once and Minari sweeping awards, K–dramas adorning the Netflix front page, and K–pop topping the Billboard charts. Why harp on past racism when we can move forward without turning back?
Policy regarding disability inclusivity has long been a roaring debate in the United States. In the midst of polarized discourse, Amy Lutz has dedicated her academic and personal life to championing the implementation of support systems for the cognitively impaired. Through her literary journey as a current Penn faculty member and a medical historian, Lutz advocates for an approach to disability policy and practice that recognizes the intense and lifelong needs of profoundly autistic people.
When Sharon Chepnego (W '26) strolled down Locust Walk's Student Activities Council Fair at the start of her freshman year, a particular table caught her attention. Its poster contained the word “KENYA” in big, bold lettering. Sharon, an international student, had just arrived at Penn from Nairobi, Kenya, and was only beginning to get accustomed to her new life at an American university. She only recently received her SIM card from T–Mobile and had just been taught how to use Amazon.
Erika Acosta’s every pursuit unfolds like a series of nesting dolls, each layer revealing a new facet of her vibrant and dynamic personality. At the outermost layer is her role as the Political Chair of the United Minorities Council (UMC), where she ardently advocates for the representation of minority groups on campus. Beyond this, Erika delves into the complex histories and narratives of the Asian American experience as an Asian American Studies minor. Her involvement with the Penn Philippines Association (PPA) brings together her passions with Filipino advocacy.
You might’ve heard some rumbling about a new Beatles song that came out a few weeks ago. Billed as the “last Beatles song,” “Now and Then” features the voices of all four Beatles members, a curious product given the disbanded group had tragically lost two of their members within the last 50 years. However, with the help of artificial intelligence, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr were able to isolate George Harrison and John Lennon’s vocals from demo versions of the tracks. Adding some additional production and a 2023 revamp, the group decided to release the song, to the shock of their fans, in tandem with a documentary film Now and Then – The Last Beatles Song that describes the process of how the song was made.