Join us this full moon as we meditate on our present and our past. This year’s RAW theme “Might Now” (8-9) invites us to memorialize our world. Yet as alum Ben Williams ’14 reminds us, Reed’s institutional memory can often be too short to retain important lessons about how we care for each other (1-3). Maddy Appelbaum shows us that honor lies in small acts of compassion and joy (4-5), while Erika Hurth explores the questions the ongoing Wage Review raises(6-7). Grace considers the human condition in her latest Grousing (10-11), Miss Lonely Hearts deals with a ticklish situation (12), De Sastre looks you over (13), and Charlie rebrands culture once more (14).
Love and memories,
News & Features
During my O-Week, back in 2009, some seniors informed me that, to their incredulity, I had to be discreet about getting drunk. The shopping cart full of 40s that they had been distributing around the quad had been confiscated. It was clear from the onset of my time here that there was beginning to be a shift in how drugs and alcohol were handled at Reed. The word around campus was that the fatal heroin overdose a year and a half earlier had cemented Reed’s reputation as a “drug school,” and was negatively affecting enrollment. The administration was trying to kick this reputation, and had adopted a newfound zealotry when it came to AOD violations, but some habits are hard to break.
My senior year of high school, self-righteous granola cruncher that I was, I only deigned to submit applications to colleges that were bonkers about “community.” Retrospectively, this makes no fucking sense. What did I think went on at schools that didn’t talk about community on their brochures? Did I imagine automatons strolling to class each morning in a bubble, pushing all the other little robots down on their way? And what did I think made the schools that talked about community so communal? Would they would mirror my 80-student alternative high school, where I attended a slumber party with the whole senior class?
The 2015 Student Body Wage Review survey closed on Monday, but many students are still wondering why the review happened in the first place. The poll explained that “the Wage Review Board is surveying the student body in order to gauge their financial needs and to better understand the work done by students who hold student body positions.” Are we to assume, then, that SB employees are unsatisfied with their current wages?
Million dollar rock rocks campus.
Rumors of a large rock circulated wildly around campus on Tuesday before the Visiting Artists show, however the rumors themselves turned out to be larger than the fist sized rock with a smiley face on the inside. This year’s RAW explores the subtle and strange using the theme “Might Now” as its jumping off point into peculiarity. The campus turns into a gallery as art takes to the library, the GCCs, the gym and of course—the art building. For the five-day duration of the event students will have the opportunity to interact with art as a part of their daily routine, whether they be math majors or linguistics students.
Often in our lives we incorporate our upbringing into the persona we hope to present to our future. Fashion is often an amalgam of what you know and what you want to become. In Cris Cambianica’s outfit, there is the sentimentality of “grand-me-downs” and an inherited heightened aesthetic awareness. Simultaneously, they adapt their LA-style to the rainy Portland. Their thigh-highs are a nod to the Portlandian sock culture but also keep them warm in this cool climate. Until next time, we encourage you all to ponder your past, present, and future as you pick out your pants.
Miss Lonely Hearts
Dear Miss Lonely Hearts,
I started seeing this boy last spring and he's great. He makes me feel attractive, he always supports me, and our times spent together are full of laughs. Here's the thing: he keeps fighting me. Literally. Just last week he tried to tickle fight me into submission. When he was about to lose, he shouted "I'll never surrender!" and pulled both me and him off the bed onto the hardwood floor below. Now he has a concussion and everyone in the dorm is monitoring his health to watch for a relapse.
I'm starting to worry that this relationship is gonna be higher maintenance than I initially expected and I don't think it would be fair to leave him. He's severely concussed, but I want to get out and I'm starting to suspect that his behavior is deliberately reckless. I love him, but his decisions are draining me.
What should I do?
– Heartbroken Heartbreaker
I could be using this space to promote Kendrick Lamar’s new album To Pimp a Butterfly, which is undoubtedly one of the biggest releases of the year, and will be discussed intensely for the months (if not years) ahead. One of the reasons I am not, however, is because of this. It’s an album that requires a significant amount of time and spins to parse out, and I couldn’t build a cohesive statement on it after the few listens I’ve fit in between Sunday and now. As could be surmised by my hesitation, I also expected to be instantly taken with the album and after these few listens, I’m still not sure if I completely like the thing. I’m not a huge fan of the FlyLo over-caffeinated jazz style production that permeates this record, and sometimes Kendrick’s appreciation of signature West Coast rap styles comes across as uninteresting. Beyond that, I also don’t know what to make of the gender dynamics in the album yet, but songs like “These Walls” use women as symbols in a way that seems irresponsible at best and, at worst, actively works to undermine the overarching statements that Kendrick attempts to make. That being said, there are a lot of interesting, great things going on here, and even if Kendrick didn’t fully deliver on the hype surrounding this album, it’s a substantial document that will (and should) be investigated as the year goes on. Who knows, maybe I will warm up to it even more on repeat listening. If anything, the presence of this and D’Angelo’s Black Messiah, which both make heavy and creative use of the sounds of ’70s funk, soul, and rock might indicate a genuine trend, one that we should welcome with open arms.
Wanna get fancy on the cheap? A bunch of the best restaurants in the city banded together to offer three course meals of their best stuff for $29 each. While that isn’t exactly as cheap as sum tastee burger’n’fries from Burgerville, it is nowhere near the price that some of the meals at these restaurants would usually be. So drag your smelly butt out of the library to some PDX fine dining. Wear your Reed crewneck, too, so everyone else in the joint knows where that grungy kid with the greasy hair and bad table manners is coming from. I’d say that we would be really making a name for Reed College among the hoi polloi of Portland foodies, but (1.) Reed already has made an ivory-casted name for itself and (2.) Half of the foodies in PDX are grubby sweatshirt-wearing greaseballs anyways.
It’s Kanye’s world, and we are just living in it. Said differently: YEEZY SEASON APPROACHING. And fuck whatever y’all been hearin’, because “Only One” is a great song, and “All Day” perfectly combines the sound of Yeezus with this new McCartney kick that ’Ye’s been on. But honestly, Kanye is usually pretty on point (on sight, if you will) but rarely so much so as he has been in the last month. Check out some of the interviews he’s been giving lately. He’s been getting into some pretty great discussions about classism versus racism in contemporary society, and his forays into fashion with Adidas have some pretty solid ideological underpinnings. Plus, he was literally spitting some fire on that television debut of “All Day.” My body is ready, Kanye, drop this new album on me. (As a sidenote, I had a dream/nightmare that Kanye, Death Grips, and Kendrick all dropped their albums surprise-style on the same day and the world just imploded because of it. It would be too much greatness to handle.)
Besides boasting some of the best album and band names pretty much ever, the new split by PWR BTTM and Jawbreaker Reunion carries some pretty great tunes with it as well. I’m a huge fan of JR’s 2014 album Lutheran Sisterhood Gun Club, and this continues on their roll of great bandcamp lo-fi pop-punk jams. PWR BTTM is a bit newer on the scene, but this split proves that the queer-rock duo has what it takes, and I’m anxiously awaiting news of a debut LP from them. Both of these bands are from Bard College, which makes me think that we should offer up some sort of band exchange with them. Who should we send to Annandale-on-Hudson? Any takers?
I won’t pretend to know anything about childbirth. I know it happened to me, in so far that I didn’t care to leave my mother’s womb on time and so they had to wrench me out via incision, eliminating the possibility of a pleasant gondola ride down the birth canal for me. None too soon, either, considering I was “the biggest baby they ever saw” according to one awestruck nurse, and if I waited much longer I may have gained so much mass that an escape out of my mother would be nigh impossible. That being said, Elisa Albert’s new novel After Birth gives tons of insight into the mind of a new mother. Not just any new mother, either; Albert’s protagonist Ari has one of the most distinct, caustic, and engaging narratorial voices in recent memory. She navigates the world of motherhood and sisterhood with scorching insight, attempting to figure out what keeps women emotionally divided between each other, and whether or not she even cares that much for women, anyway. After Birth is hilarious, pregnant with acerbic barbs on everything from milk formula to Nazi joy divisions. Yeah, it goes there.