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‘Songs About Sex’ are prolific enough to get their own category in "Pitch Perfect” Riff Offs. Think of any list of popular songs from the last 50 years and at least 25% of it will be about intercourse in some capacity. But let’s be real—there’s a reason that you don’t see “WAP” on many unironic masturbation or sex playlists despite being a great song about that subject matter. Songs that truly feel orgasmic often contain either a moody, sensual beat or a soaring climax, whether the lyrics are about the rawness of sex or not. Anything can set you in the mood if the feeling’s right.
Monkeypox’s global outbreak right on the heels of COVID–19 has been a recent cause of concern. Although the disease is not nearly as new or as unknown as the coronavirus was, it seems to have rapidly transmitted itself across the globe, leading the United States to declare a public health emergency early last month. Philadelphia in particular seems to be a hotspot, with almost 450 cases in the city as of last week. Considering the limited amount of testing available, these numbers are most likely higher overall.
“Amma” means mother. It’s perhaps the most ubiquitous word in South India; in Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, and Malayalam alike, the word “amma” evokes a range of emotions, from love to belonging to warmth. When I think of my own amma, I think of my childhood in Chennai, India: loitering in a cramped kitchen, touching everything, asking her what this ingredient is or what that smell is. I think of slowly counting down the minutes after she shooed me out, waiting until she plated whatever concoction she’d decided on for the day, and then gulping it down before I was reprimanded for eating too fast.
As a former Jenny Han addict, I knew I had to drop everything and watch The Summer I Turned Pretty the moment it dropped on Hulu. For the uninitiated, the book–adapted series follows the story of Isabella “Belly” Conklin, a 15–year–old whose family stays in a summer home at the Hamptons–esque Cousins Beach every year, courtesy of her mom’s well–off best friend Susannah and Susannah’s two teenage sons.
In these times of turmoil, upheaval, and rights reversals, there are only a few things more horrifying than seeing your favorite indie artist blow up on TikTok. The songs you used to secretly bump in the car seem to have gained 200,000 more listens on Spotify overnight. Some part of your heart hurts every time you scroll through your For You page and hear the remixed version of “Softcore” by The Neighbourhood. “I was here first,” you think. “This new generation can’t appreciate music like I can,” you think.
The human experience exists in color and motion. Visuals and emotions often capture events better than words, no matter how complex or provocative the event may be. When we see stories adapted on screen, we’re bound to gravitate towards lingering camera work, color contrasts that match the mood, and graphics that force us to look and listen. So it makes sense when Love Death + Robots describes itself as mind–bending. Its use of animation generates unseen adventure, both familiar and unfamiliar, and bends the rules for how humans see themselves in fiction.
It’s New Student Orientation, and thousands of bright–eyed freshmen flock onto Locust Walk. The streets are decorated with banners and balloons. The air seems to be filled with possibility. From the outset, Penn is a paradise for new students—a pristine institution that prides itself on its moral code and inclusivity.
During my interview with artist, advocate, and sex worker Mae West, they tell me it’s rare for someone to reach out for an interview that isn’t centered around the trauma that sex workers face or that doesn’t further stigmatize sex work.
The separation of screen and viewer—a separation rooted in unfamiliarity toward characters I’ve seen on screen for as long as I can remember, of plots and writing styles that are intended for a “general audience” that I don’t belong to. To be a part of the screen, to reach out and mix what’s being shown to you with your own experience, is often a rarity for those beyond the Eurocentric norm. The world of television and cinema is a universe I compartmentalized as wholly different from my own reality, and when comparisons were struck between the two, it became harder to find emotional value in either.
I walk into an orange cafe on Baltimore Avenue. It’s brightly lit, sunshine flooding every corner of the area. Ethiopian artwork and drapery in the colors of the country’s flag cover these walls, each contributing to a comforting feel. Color isn’t just an important aspect of Buna Cafe’s decor, it’s also fully embedded into the food, warmth of the hosts, and overall ambience of the place. Classic, colorful Ethiopian food with a vegan and vegetarian emphasis is what you’ll find at these wooden tables, with a food arrangement style straight from a family kitchen.
A lunch period has just ended at a school in Philadelphia, and students pour into class. The room is full of sweaty children, but the other things you would expect from a classroom seem limited: the shelves lay relatively bare, chipped walls surround a muggy environment, and the ceiling is leaking.