The independent student newspaper of Goucher College

Category archive

Arts - page 3

Reading Across the Disciplines: An Ode to ISP

by

The International Scholars Program (ISP) encouraged students involved to expand their perspectives globally through various classes and seminars. Now, the ISP program is nearing it’s end. In honor of this course, I sat down with two former ISP students, Liv Siegal and Terrin Rosen who gave recommendations of four books they read throughout the course. While there are specific explanations on why for each of the books below, Liv felt that all of these books were important for her because “[Reading these books] helps us understand why the world is the way it is today. It helps us understand global capitalism. It helps us understand white supremacy, war, national boundaries— pretty much anything related to international relations.”

Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond

Summary: “It’s basically a theory on how the west was able to rise to global supremacy. The whole idea is that it’s based on the way the genocide of the Native Americans happened through the spread of infection, guns because they were able to access gun-powder, so their weapons were more advanced than the indigenous people living here, and steel is industrialization.”

On why it matters: “There’s some truth to it, and it’s an unorthodox interpretation of history, and it also helps us understand the way the systems of oppression work today.” (Liv)

Black Skin, White Masks. By Frank Fanon. Photo Credit: Amazon

Black Skin, White Mask by Frantz Fanon

“It’s about the systems of racism that were being exercised when the world was being colonized and how the colonized experience a lot of internalized racism… the colonized experiences because of the colonizer.” (Liv)

Orientalism by Edward Said

“It’s, again, postcolonial theory, and it’s basically about how Western culture looks at ‘the east’ and ‘the orient’ and how we take that and co-modify that.” (Terrin) “[This] was another one that I’ve recommended.” (Liv)

Orientalism by Edward Said. Photo Credit: Google Images

Discourse on Colonialism by Aimé Césaire

“It is probably a pillar of postcolonial theory, so basically looking at the way colonization worked, and it’s a critique of colonialism and a critique of the motivations behind colonization… and the systems of power it creates— particularly racism and capitalism and exploitation.” (Liv) “It looks at different ways of exploitation in ways that we don’t necessarily think of them.” (Terrin)

Resistance and Decolonization by Amilcar Cabral

“It’s very similar to Césaire’s critique of colonization.” (Liv)

I hope through this section you’ve piled up some books to read (or listen to) over Winter Break! If you have any suggestions of books, essays, collections, etc. from your majors, minors, or favorite courses, feel free to email me directly (kamon002@mail.goucher.edu) or fill out a survey titled “RAtD Submissions” (distributed through the Goucher app and class pages). Just input the title of the work, the course/professor who introduced you to it, and why you think others should read the book. Happy reading!

My Favorite Murder Review

by

Have you ever felt like you and your best friend are absolutely hilarious and that people would enjoy listening to your weird conversations about your super strange and, sometimes, disturbing interests and experiences? My Favorite Murder, a podcast hosted by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, feels exactly like that. Both Karen and Georgia are professional writers and have worked in comedy before. Even though they are both talented writers and comedians, this show feels effortlessly funny and casual.

My Favorite Murder, a podcast hosted by Georgia Hardstark and Karen Kilgariff, was started in early 2016 as a place where Karen and Georgia discuss their obsession with true crime. Photo Credit: Google Images

My Favorite Murder was started in early 2016 as a place where Karen and Georgia discuss their obsession with true crime. Each week, they both pick and research a murder, a famous or lesser known one, and they tell each other the story of the murder. This whole process usually takes about two hours, sometimes more, so the episodes are quite long. However, the show isn’t just two women sitting and telling each other about murders; a majority of the episode is spent on long asides and funny/stupid jokes. Each episode, it usually takes around an hour of them talking, catching up and joking before they get to discussing the murders they’ve researched.

It sounds like it could be flip and callous, but Karen and Georgia do an incredible job of respecting the victims of these crimes. While they are silly and carefree most of the time, there are moments of gravity and reflection. Both Georgia and Karen are reflective about how the subjects of their stories are victims of trauma, and show respect for the victims that they talk about. They also discuss the flaws of and critique the criminal justice system. Despite the fact that they are talking about these heavy topics, My Favorite Murder still feels like a lightweight and funny podcast, rather than a  discussion of horrific murders.

My Favorite Murder covers a variety of different crimes. They cover some of the most famous murders alongside lesser known crimes. I recently listened to their coverage of the Son of Sam murders in New York City in the 1970’s. While Georgia and Karen discuss their horror at the crimes of David Berkowitz, this episode is also hilarious. Both Georgia and Karen are from California, so they have no knowledge of New York City at all. Listening to them attempt to name all the boroughs of New York City, and cackle while they read the very wild Son of Sam letter is absolutely hilarious.

I’ve also been fascinated by the smaller, lesser known crimes that Karen and Georgia talk about. Episodes about the Collar Bomb Heist and the Amish Killer both showcased fascinating cases. These are also incidents that I otherwise would never have heard of unless I listened to My Favorite Murder. For anyone who is a fan of true crime, of any sorts, but also enjoys weird comedy that makes you feel like you’re just hanging out with your friends, My Favorite Murder is the perfect podcast for you.

Reviews of Helen Glazer’s Walking in Antarctica

by

What is the exhibit?
Kyoko Kinoshita
Goucher College is holding an exhibition entitled “Walking in Antarctica” by Helen Glazer in Rosenberg Gallery, from October 18th to December 18th. Helen Glazer makes photographs and photo-based sculptures based on complex natural forms, informed by an understanding of scientific concepts of growth and form in nature.
This is exhibition is of her seven week “walks”: over frozen lakes, into frozen ice caves, up mountains and with the Adélie penguins. The gallery is structured so that you follow her journey as you walk along the wall.  As soon as you enter the main entrance, you will see the audio guide and brochure right in front of you.

“The balance between light and dark subjects creates a simultaneous sensation of restriction and expansion, of being consumed and being freed.” -Miranda Egan Brooks Photo Credit: Helen Glazer

Background on the Artist
Guadalupe Sosa
Helen Glazer comes from a well-established art background. Her art career began during her undergraduate years. She obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Art from Yale University. Afterwards, she went on to the Maryland Institute College of Art to obtain her Masters in painting. Not only is Glazer’s work displayed at Goucher College, but two pieces from her Walking in Antarctica exhibit will be displayed at the BWI airport.

Art and Technology
Virginia Turpin
Helen Glazer created this exhibit after spending seven weeks in 2015 in Antarctica on a grant from the National Science Foundation’s Antarctic Artists and Writers Program. She spent this time photographing the landscape as well as mapping rock formations for sculpture using photogrammetry and 3D printing.
Despite the technology woven through the exhibit, the focus Glazer brings to the wild and natural beauty of Antarctica makes it feel earthy, rather than high tech. Throughout the exhibit she seeks to illustrate the different landscapes and features present in Antarctica beyond the stereotypical imaginings of Antarctica as endless snow desert. She does this by showing the close details of frost and snow, as well as alien underground chambers. She takes the viewer through the more rocky aspects of the coldest continent, including rocks bare of snow and icy mountain-scapes, as well as low lying lakes and muddy patches. Last, but certainly not least, she does not neglect Antarctica’s most photogenic resident: the penguin.

Why You Should Go
Kyoko Kinoshita
This  exhibition was beautiful and  educational. Antarctica is very far away and there is not much opportunity to learn about it in daily life, so it was very nice to see pictures from there and to learn about Antarctica, especially now, when the global warming is a huge issue.

Pondering about the Future
Guadalupe Sosa
I believe the theme of this exhibit would be pondering about the future. These pictures make you look beyond the focal point. Glazer may be making a point to look forward to the other side. This exhibit hit me because, as a senior in college, I am scared to look into the future. I am at crossroads in my career: should I stay at my current job or go elsewhere? I feel connected with the small penguin. The penguin is an equivalent parallel to my pondering in life. Overall, Glazer did an incredible job of fusing Antarctica’s with a deep message of finding oneself.

From a Photographic Point of View
Sara Naughton
Focusing more on the photographs for this exhibit, you can tell she structured her photos differently according to the different subject she chose. I liked that she decided to have a wider camera view of the landscapes, giving the viewer a broader glance into the environment, whereas when she photographed the subject matter of ice formations, she had a very close up view of them, which gives an entirely different perspective. This allows you to see intricate details you would otherwise miss, and look at ice entirely differently. Sometimes things that are photographed up close look like entirely different things.

Artistic Rather than Environmental
Miranda Egan Brooks
Although its aim was to shed light on Antarctica’s need for environmental concern, Glazer’s exhibition does not quite accomplish this and is stronger in other areas. Glazer’s success comes from her artistic talents and ability to depict the richness of the Antarctic landscape. Since each picture was so full of interesting content, I found myself focusing on the visual pleasures and complexities of the work, rather than feeling any concern for Antarctica’s environment. I can say that I genuinely appreciated a great number of Glazer’s photographs and that I left the exhibition appreciative of Glazer’s ability to expand my knowledge of the Antarctic landscape in a creative and impacting way.

Art Analysis: Blue Fractals
Miranda Egan Brooks
Packed with emotions, aesthetically intriguing, and demonstrative of technical skills, Blue Fractals is one of my favorite pieces in Glazer’s collection. I especially enjoy how much this photo has to offer in regards to content and perspective. The balance between light and dark subjects creates a simultaneous sensation of restriction and expansion, of being consumed and being freed. This photograph is also remarkable, as it illustrates the intricacies and beauty of nature in a very graceful way.

 
Intrigued? Check out the exhibit for yourself in the Rosenberg Gallery.

Murder on the Orient Express: Review

by

Great scenery? Check. A-List casting? Check. A script based on one of the greatest murder mysteries of all time written by an author universally acknowledged as ‘The Queen of Crime?” Check. A totally fresh and revamped adaptation of a classic that lives up to it’s predecessors? To quote Hercule Poirot, “Non.”

Poster for Murder on the Orient Express Credit: Google Images

Full confession: I did grow up watching the 1974 Albert Finney version, which kind of (maybe sort of) got me hooked on murder mysteries. I went to see Branagh’s version  knowing who the culprit was and where most of the clues lead; I had to prepare myself with the fact that the reveal probably wasn’t going to be as exciting or mind blowing as the first time I’d seen it. With this in mind, I have to say those who do not know the answer to the mystery may enjoy this film more than someone who does, as the interest in the murderer’s identity will motivate them to keep watching.
Kenneth Branagh did to Hercule Poirot what Robert Downey Jr. did to Sherlock Holmes, which was essentially upgrade him from odd, dapper genius, to genius-gentleman-action-hero with a love interest. Which is fine— to each their own interpretation and revamping— except for one problem: Murder on the Orient Express is not an action film. The use of the Imagine Dragons song in the teaser trailer should have been my first clue that this movie was going to be pitched to audiences as something it really wasn’t.
At it’s core, Murder on the Orient Express is a delicate puzzle that requires the detective and the audience to use their ‘little grey cells’; to take a slew of seemingly unrelated clues and occurrences, and piece them together, until the very end, when all is revealed. Now, if you want to change things up, add in some action, a little flair, go for it. But don’t sacrifice valuable screen time that could have been used for sleuthing and deducing for the sake of a chase scene that literally leads nowhere. There are so many instances where clues are pulled out of thin air, confessions are made with barely so much as a threat, and a couple of the suspects (the lesser known actors) are passed over in favor of other suspects (the top billed cast), which made me wonder if there had been scenes edited out of the final cut.
I do have to give credit where it’s due; in this case, it’s to the cast. Everyone who had a part to play fully embodied their characters, taking full advantage of their time onscreen, no matter how short it was. A special kudos has to be given to Michelle Pfeiffer, (but is anyone really surprised? It’s Michelle flipping Pfeiffer) who is simply fabulous in her role as Mrs. Hubbard, and to Kenneth Branagh. I may not agree with his portrayal of Poirot, but he really stuck to his choices of characteristics and gave it all of the energy his six-pointed mustache could muster.
Looking back on my viewing experience, I realized that it wasn’t that the embellishments on the plot and the new characters that were bad; some of them actually added a new depth to the story. However,  others just weren’t executed as well as they could have been, which caused them to pale in comparison to the intelligence of film’s source material. Bottom line, I recommend that you either read the book first or watch the 1974 version (or even the television adaptation starring David Suchet, Jessica Chastain, and Toby Jones) before learning who the murderer on the Orient Express is in Branagh’s version.

Reading Across The Disciplines: Part 2

by

This issue, I’m sharing three books from Economics and one from Creative Writing (focusing mainly on poetry). The following are books from the Econ department, shared with me by Fiona Rutgers, a current Econ major. If you’re interested in economics but don’t have time for the classes, check out the books below! All the following descriptions were given by Fiona Rutgers.

Photo Credit: Google images.

Naked Economics by Charles Wheelan; Class: Equivalent is Essentials of Economics
“Gina [Shamshak] recommended this book as a fantastic sampler of the kinds of topics we cover in Econ 111. The author wrote this book with the specific purpose of demystifying econ, so it’s a great place to start if you want to learn more about the subject.”

Photo Credit: Google images.

The Worldly Philosophers by Robert Heilbroner; Class: History of Economic Thought, Steve Furnagiev
“[This book] is a historical examination of some of the biggest economic thinkers in history, and [provides] the background for the ideas and theories they created. I’ve heard that the course is really handy for poly-sci majors, since it gives context for a lot of the economic policies implemented in the US today.”

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Google images.

Why Nations Fail by Daron Acemoglu and James A. Robinson; Class: Intermediate Macroeconomics, Steve Furnagiev
“The book is all about the power of institutions—political and economic, and how they shape the ways societies develop. The book specifically argues that institutions, things like corruption, education, and innovation, influence the wealth a country develops. It touches on a lot of the big picture ideas of macroeconomics.”

 
If you’re not interested in Economics, or want a quicker read over Thanksgiving or Winter Break, poetry may be what you’re looking for! You can look into poets like Rupi Kaur, Billy Collins, or the infamous Shel Silverstein.

Photo Credit: Google images.

The Collected Works of Lucille Clifton; Class: Introduction to Poetry, Katherine Cottle
While I don’t believe you need to read her entire life’s work (about 600 pages if you get the hardcover edition), Lucille Clifton’s poetry is stylistically unique, far from the stereotypical rhyme schemes and odes that many people know poetry to be. Lucille Clifton, the Poet Laureate of Maryland from ‘79-’85, writes with blunt, brutal honesty, expertly using punctuation and formatting to emphasize the strong imagery in her poems. Most of them are relatively short, so if you’re looking for a quick read that still packs a wallop, read a collection by Lucille Clifton.
That’s all for this week. If you have any suggestions of books, essays, collections, etc. from your majors, minors, or favorite courses, feel free to email me directly (kamon002@mail.goucher.edu) or fill out a survey titled “RAtD Submissions” (distributed through the Goucher app and class pages). Just input the title of the work, the course/professor who introduced you to it, and why you think others should read the book. Happy reading!

Stanger Things 2: Review

by

Halloween: the time of spooks and scares, of tricks and treats, of strange otherworldly monsters and telekinetic girls. That’s right my friends; dust off those conspiracy boards and strap in for the second season to last year’s surprise Netflix hit, Stranger Things. I’ll be doing my damnedest to avoid spoilers, but there’s no guarantee. If you haven’t watched season two (or season one for that matter), proceed at your own risk.

Stranger Things 2 “was a little bit overstuffed…but there was a lot to love about it.” Credit: Google Images

For those of you who don’t know what Stranger Things is, it is a Netflix-original 80s-style small-town horror/sci-fi show. Think of it as a scarier, more supernatural version of Goonies or Stand by Me. Season One introduced us to our main cast and the central mystery/conceit of the show: the Disappearance of Will Byers, the appearance of a young girl named Eleven and her telekinetic/psychic powers, and the Upside Down. It was a tightly constructed season that resolved its main plot while leaving open the doors to expand the world and answer a lot of unanswered questions.
Now, over a year later, we have the answer to some of those questions as well as a whole host of others. Season Two does not possess the tight narrative of Season One, but it does have the advantage of knowing that it’ll probably get a season three. Therefore, it can afford to think on a larger time-scale. A lot of this has to do with the increase in the number of plot threads we get, along with the increase of characters in the cast.
We’ve got the main crew— Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will— and each of them get their own mini-arcs. Lucas and Max, Dustin and Dart, Will and Joyce and the fallout of Season One, and Mike….is pretty sidelined this season, but considering he was the main focus of Season One, that’s ok. It gave the rest of the cast a chance to grow and to expand, which is exactly what we needed, enabling us to finally see more of the other families.
The other plots are split between Eleven and  Sheriff Hopper (whose plots converge and diverge throughout the whole season), along with Jonathan, Nancy and Steve, who fulfill the fandom’s promise of “Justice for Barb” and resolve their lingering love triangle. I’m glad that the creators addressed both of those issues and hopefully this was the wrap up we needed on those plot threads before we move on to others. This season also brings back everyone’s favorite character: Nail Bat!
On a more serious note, I think this season was a little bit overstuffed with all of these moving pieces, but there was a lot to love about it. Steve’s character arc continues here, and I’m so thankful for the nuance they are giving his character. He could have easily been the shitty boyfriend that he originally started out as in the beginning of the first season, but this season gave him a slow arc of character growth. He isn’t perfect, exemplified by the advice he gives Dustin on how to get girls and his own thoughts on love; but he has moved beyond the sex-obsessed douchebag we were first introduced to.
Bob was also a fun addition to the cast and exemplified peak-Dad characteristics of any character other than Mike’s. But out of all the new characters, new girl Max was the best and a true joy to watch. Her ‘brother’ (whose name I can’t remember so I’ll just call him by his key traits: Toxic Masculinity & Creepy Charmer) was easily the worst part of the season. He served no purpose other than to be an example of the bad guy that Steve could have been, failing to bring anything new to the show; at best, he’s a plot device for Max and Steve.
Speaking of unnecessary additions, Episode Seven was most definitely a misstep for the series. It broke from the established format of jumping between plot points to slowly build tension; instead it spent an entire episode focused on Eleven and Eight, a new character who really irked me. By spending the whole episode on this, we don’t have the layered storytelling we’ve gotten throughout the rest of the show. There were at least three cuts in the first twenty minutes where I expected us to cut away to another storyline to give us a breather, but we never get that. Instead, we get more of Eight and her self-righteous attitude. She serves as a foil to Eleven, as someone who grew up without anyone to hold her back or to teach her anything about compassion. She has no remorse and pretends to care about Eleven, but her only concern is her own agenda (at least at the onset). By the end of the episode, it’s apparent that Eleven’s presence has had an effect on her, but what that effect is is left up in the air. However, the episode was necessary for Eleven’s growth as a character, so it can’t be skipped. While I applaud the directing of the episode and the decision to take a risk, it wasn’t one that panned out.
Beyond that and a few other, smaller pacing problems, this season is very solid. It’s not as focused on the elements of horror established in Season One (which is a shame) but it makes up for it with the development of characters’ depths. Check it out if you haven’t yet, and if you have, get pumped for season three… eventually.

Reading Across the Disciplines

by

I have a horrible habit of buying textbook rentals at the end of the semester. Every semester, I try to figure out which books I’ll want in the future, then inevitably miss three or four that I decide I need after reading them. These are books that I found have made my college experience all the more valuable and engaged me at my core. Because each discipline has books that change perspectives, I’ll also be featuring other books (and some articles) from other disciplines and professors that matter to students at Goucher. Below, I’ve named my top three books from courses in Psychology and English. I hope to add books from others in the future. In the meantime, feel free to add these three to your to-read list!

Source: Google Images

Stand Your Ground by Kelly Brown Douglas
Genre: Non-Fiction
Read for: Rick Pringle, Relational Psychology, Spring 2017
Summary: Kelly Brown Douglas examines the history of Stand Your Ground laws in the wake of the shooting of Trayvon Martin and considers the contradiction that exists within Black Faith.
Why: This summary is far too simple to address the whole of Douglas’ discussion, but that’s mainly because the issues Douglas confronts are far too complex for a one sentence summary. While Stand Your Ground is certainly a dense read, it provides incredible and important insight into how systemic racism came to be a part of our judicial systems and our media. It certainly covers a dark history, but the book is overall hopeful that these issues within our society can be fixed, if only enough people acknowledge the horrors in our past that have lead to our horrors in the present.

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga
Genre: Fiction
Read for: Antje Rauwerda, Contemporary World Literature, Fall 2016
Summary: The White Tiger follows Balram Halwai as he plays by, as well as breaks, the rules to rise up within India’s caste system through becoming a driver for one of the wealthiest families from his village.
Why: As a whole, I’d highly suggest all of the books on Professor Rauwerda’s syllabus, primarily because all of the books give context to cultures and countries that are often ignored within our society. The main reason I suggest The White Tiger out of all of the books on this list, however, is because it requires the least background research out of the 5 novels we read. The White Tiger is also a really interesting read, with the crude and honest first person narration of an unreliable narrator. I found Balram engaging, not entirely likable, but a character that continuously shocked without appearing inconsistent or unrealistic. Additionally, if you’re a fan of animal symbolism, this book is right up your alley.

In the Lake of the Woods by Tim O’Brien
Genre: Fiction
Read for: Rick Pringle, Relational Psychology, Spring 2017
Summary: Told in three main formats— an evidence section of quotes, a proposed narration, and footnotes— the narrator attempts to discover the truth of what happened to John Wade, Vietnam Veteran and former US politician, and his wife when they attempted to slip away from the public eye in a tiny cabin in Lake of the Woods.
Why: This book beautifully demonstrates the view of the truth as nebulous and subjective. Throughout it, many people are quoted as supposedly knowing exactly what happened the night John’s wife, Kathy, disappeared. In the end, however, true evidence is scarce, and it is up for the reader to determine what qualifies as being true. For those who love slow build mystery, unique book formats, and footnotes, In the Lake of the Woods is an absolute must.

The SPX Haul Part 3

by

A couple of issues ago, I wrote about some of the super cool comics and artists I met at SPX back in September. Well, here I return, but this time I’m going to do something a little different. Instead of focusing on the objects and stories I acquired, I’m going to talk about one of the artists I met. I did not pick up any particular work of hers at the convention, but I did pick up a few collections that contained her work. I’ll talk about them another time (I still need to read all the stories in them); instead, I want to talk about the conversation I had with Carla Speed McNeil and her insightful comments.

But first, a quick biography. Carla Speed McNeil is an Eisner and Ignatz award winning comic artist, who got her start back in 1996 drawing a comic called Finder. It started as an ashcan comic (black and white, cheap paper, hand stapled, meant to be thrown away) and slowly grew an audience until the advent of the internet where, after thirty-eight issues, it moved online. More recently, Dark Horse Comics has been serializing the most recent chapters in its anthology magazine, Dark Horse Presents.

Finder was not a huge seller in its individual issues, but it created a sprawling, dense sci-fi world that sucks you in and immerses you deeply into its character’s life. It is widely considered to be a seminal science-fiction comic work.

Source: Carla Speed McNeil

More recently, she has worked with Alex Di Campi in creating a series called No Mercy. It’s a wild ride, and having only read the first volume, I can’t fully talk about it ,but go check it out if you can.

Okay, enough backstory. The reason I wanted to talk about her is because of her passion for comics and because of how much of modern comic history she has witnessed and been a part of. As I said before, she started with ashcan copies of Finder back when SPX was only two years old. From what she said, she’s been at the con since its inception in 1994 (hence the con grandmother comment last time). The con was just a singular room, only a few tables, and made up of a small number of independent comic creators and comic enthusiasts. They traded their zines and discussed what they had made.

Now, SPX is the size of a large hotel ballroom, packed to the brim with independent comic creators and comic enthusiasts. All sorts of creators are there and the amount of creativity, while always high, has only grown. Carla talked on how she had watched con guests arrive, become inspired by the work they saw, and a few years later, have a booth right next to hers.

She talked about how the makeup of the con is changing: diversity has increased and female creators are a large portion of the cons now (they were always a large portion of the guests). She sees independent comics as the future— she always had— and while the comics industry is still plagued with problems relating to its treatment of non-white, non-male, non-straight creators and creations, the future looks bright. There are so many new voices being shared by people who love the medium of comics; hopefully, as the years go by from here, more and more voices can be shared.

I began this article by saying that I would talk about Carla Speed McNeil and what she told me as we conversed. I lied. Well, not totally. A couple months can dull the actual words and parts of the conversation, but the sentiment still stuck.

The makeup of the people buying comics hasn’t changed all that much; it’s always been a diverse group of people. Yet, finding a platform from which to share voices that reflect that audience was difficult back before the internet. The internet has made it easier for people to be connected to the voices that would otherwise have been buried, ignored by the industry.

Now, having had time to make those voices loud and proud, artists can start to be heard by those who would have normally ignored them. They can continue the process of change and to inspire a new generation who will continue the fight and continue to produce amazing art.

These are those voices. Independent comics are the voices of the people and the place where unpolished, fresh, or even polished but still unknown talent can be found.

I do remember the last words that were told to me before I left her table. I had asked what was the best way to manage the con and really get the most of it. She told me to take notes. To pay attention to work that grabs me and catches my eye. To get contact info if, even for a second, I pause and stare at a piece.

“It means they captured something, something you’ll want to follow,” she said.

“The Sun and Her Flowers” Review

by
The Sun and Her Flowers. Photo Credit: Urban Outfitters

Rupi Kaur released her book The Sun and Her Flowers on October 3rd, 2017. I was filled with excitement because she is known for her book Milk and Honey, which was released in 2014. Kaur had brought a new type of flare to modern poetry with her first book. It was hard to find poetry that talked about current issues; most of the poetry nowadays talks about being in love or heartbreaks. In both of her books, she talks about multiple topics. I was impressed with her first book, but unfortunately I did not feel the same when reading her newest book.

I bought her second book the day it released. The day she announced the release date for her second book, I put it in my phone calendar so I would not forget (although I did not really need it, I remembered it perfectly). When I first received the book, I scrutinized the cover and the back. The cover of her book is really cute. The background is an off-white, while the title is bolded The Sun and Her Flowers, along with her name under it. Under her name, there is a picture of what appears to be sunflowers, with blue petals. It is not the best picture of a sunflower, but it is still very cute. The picture looks as if it was drawn by a child. The back of the book also has an off-white background, with sunflowers at the bottom, but it has one of Kaur’s poems written on the back of it.

The Sun and Her Flowers covers six main themes: loss, trauma, healing, femininity, migration, and revolution. A lot of the topics were covered in her last book, except for the topics of migration and revolution. She wrote about the same thing, just in different words. There was no spark when reading her poems. When I read her first book, I was constantly taking out my phone, taking pictures of her poems because I believed they were very deep and meaningful. I did not want to forget them. I probably took about three pictures with her newest book. Many of her poems lack depth and meaning. You could literally find tweets on Twitter that basically say the same thing. A lot of her poems looked as if she was making bland statements, but they were just pushed into multiple lines. Unfortunately, she did not bring anything new to the table, so I was not impressed with her second release.

Although I was not impressed with her new book, she is still a beautiful person. If she made a third book, I would read it in hopes that she would give me the same amazement as she did with her first book. She is already a beautiful writer, but I would like her to expand more on her thoughts. She is saying what has already said.  I want her to make me think. If a person is looking for a book to make them think while leaving them with a new perspective, this is not the book for them. If a person is looking for a quick, easy read on some of the most commonly discussed topics, then this is the right book.

HANNAH CLAGGETT

The Show Will Go On— Changes in this Year’s “Rocky Horror”

by
At the Towson Town Center! Photo Credit: Goucher College Events Page

The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a highly anticipated event every year at Goucher college. The raunchy show is part film, part theater, and makes for a unique experience that changes every year. In spite of its beloved place in Goucher’s campus culture, things are changing for this year’s showing. Gone is the show’s traditional closed off setting of Merrick Lecture hall; instead, say hello to one of the center points of campus: the Hyman Forum.

“This year Rocky will be performed in the Hyman Forum,” says Sophie Mezebish, assistant director. “Typically Rocky has always been performed in Merrick, which is a much smaller, more intimate space. The Ath will change things up dramatically as it’ll be vastly larger, accommodating for a larger audience as well as a larger cast and lots of audience interaction.”

“A lot of people have been confused by the move,” says Abigaile Bates, this year’s director of Rocky. “When I selected my cast, they were the first to know. Some of the actors had issues, given that the forum is a much more public space. Still, we are trying to take control of the space as best we can.”

The Rocky Horror Picture Show started out as a musical in the early 70s. The show gained traction and was adapted to film in 1975. The film gained a cult following, and inspired a set of viewing traditions that persist into today. Since then, organizations across the US have presented their own versions of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, playing the film while having actors lip sync the lines and music on stage below. Productions are especially popular on college campuses, and Goucher is no exception. The show has become a staple of Goucher campus culture.

The first time I saw Rocky was at Goucher my freshman year- I absolutely fell in love, and for the past two years, I’ve been a huge fan.” says Jasmine Hubara, a member of the ensemble this year.

This year’s Rocky Horror will be presented one night only, as the larger space of the Hyman forum ensures that just about anyone who wants to see it, can. But why the location change?

“I went to OSE to reserve the space, and apparently there is going to be an outside concert from a Baltimore group that is going to be using Kraushaur, but they will be storing their instruments in Merrick,” says Bates. “That was only for Saturday night, but the only reason we do two nights in Merrick is that the space is so small, and we want everyone to be able to see it. I thought of the Hyman Forum but thought ‘no, that’s too public,’ but the more and more I thought about it— It’s certainly a creative challenge, but maybe Merick was booked for a reason.”

There are quite a few challenges to overcome with the new space. The openness of the forum makes the lighting and sound design of the show completely different from previous years.

“In addition to the new space being larger and much different than anything we’ve worked with, it is also not set up to hold theatrical performances. This means that we will have to bring in lighting and scenic elements to make the forum feel like the typical Rocky performance space. This is difficult because it’s very expensive to buy props, sets, and lighting implements to fill up the new space,” says Mezebish.
“We have the different levels we can work with, and we can hold a lot of people. For that reason, it’s going to be very loud,” says Bates. “Luckily I’ve been meeting with a technician to try and get the movie as loud as possible to override that. As for the spotlights we usually have, we are going to try using high-tech flashlights to try and have the same effect.”

The open nature of the ath is another concern. “I think that the major challenge with the new space is that it’s hard to practice there if we want to keep everything secret until opening night. And, of course, we won’t have complete control of the space like we did in Merrick,” says Hubara.

Aside from the location change, there are other problems facing this year’s production. Some of the show’s traditionally used props have gone missing.

“We have always had a box filled with Rocky supplies that lies in one of the rooms of the theater,” says Bates “We have special shorts that Columbia always wears, some corsets for ensemble members who can’t afford their own… and I went to the room and could not find anything! The only things I could find were the coffin, wheelchair, and gurney, and we wouldn’t be using two of those! And no one had any idea where anything was. It was extremely frustrating. And so we’ve had to extend our budget not just for the normal props that we have to rebuy every year, but also to get the things we thought we would already have. But the show must go on, and as someone who loves a challenge, I’m still pretty excited.”

And the show is still going on, thanks to the love and effort that’s been put into it. “There’s something about the Goucher community of the show that makes it so different from all the other Rocky shows I’ve seen. We’re not afraid to be vulnerable and wild for the show because we have this supportive and uplifting culture of our Goucher community— I know I decided to audition for the show because I trusted the community I would be so vulnerable in front of,“ says Hubara.

“For so many, Rocky Horror symbolizes transgressing cultural norms and truly feeling free to be one’s self. In a liberal arts sphere such as Goucher, we value acceptance of others despite their differences or what social norms may say about these differences. Rocky reminds us to set our judgements aside and celebrate not only sexuality, but everything that makes us unique,” says Mezebish.

“The funny thing about this year is that we will never run the show full out until the night of. So the first time the audience sees the full show will also be the first time the cast and I also see the full show. It’s frightening, but exciting at the same time” says Bates.

The performance will be Saturday, October 28th at 8 pm.

FIONA RUTGERS

Go to Top