May 2, 2017

ALUR | Adieu to the Arts Section

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This is my last column. It’s the last time I’ll spill out a series of opinions about musicians that I’m unjustifiably obsessed with, the last time I’ll claim any sort of authority on the arts. When I stumbled into the Arts and Entertainment section, I was a struggling sophomore, trying to find a space to write outside of my courses. My dad was eager for me to join The Cornell Daily Sun, having heard of the many successful alumni that started their writing careers at The Sun. I took his word for it, and started writing test spins and single reviews, enjoying my newfound freedom to spell out my opinions on quarter-page sections of the paper.

In the past few years, this column has been my personal playground. I’ve used it to vent about the election and comment on my love of the Tiny Desk Concert Series. It’s been a place for me to rant about the latest albums, reflect on artists I’d seen in concert and analyze films and TV shows I’d found particularly thought provoking. I’ve enjoyed it not for the fame and fortune because, as Arts columnists know, few actually read our section. Rather, it has forced me to examine my tastes and expand upon them. During my time at this section, I’ve attended events I would have never considered. I went to plays at the Schwartz, concerts at the State Theatre and reviewed albums by artists I’d never heard of. I wrote about other things too: mainly Spotify, Billie Holiday and auto-tune. And while many articles were scraped together in the hours before my deadline and in the midst of prelim and essay seasons, I enjoyed writing them.

I’m not going to lie and claim that I’m upset about leaving Cornell. My time here has been tumultuous at best, and I’m eager to move on. But leaving this section feels somehow more difficult. I’ll miss the hours spent thinking of new ways to describe intricate music by artists few know or care about. I’ll miss sifting through my seasonal playlists, in search of something new to write about, or exploring my Netflix queue as a way to procrastinate my assignments. Most of all, I’ll miss having a space for these strange thoughts of mine.
As my final parting words, I want to thank my friends and family for reading my silly opinions and allowing me to field my ideas before committing them to paper. Thank you to the many wonderful editors who have given me the opportunity to share my thoughts in this section. And to the select audience of people who actually read this section, keep spreading your love of the arts. We’re entering a time where the arts are truly at risk, and it’s all the more important for all of us to do our part, to remind people of the importance of creating and consuming art of all sorts. Keep reading, writing, watching and listening. In times of flux, when things seemed particularly difficult or chaotic, I always turned to the arts. And I’ll continue to do so, even as I move away from the world of arts journalism.

Anita Alur is a senior in the College of Arts and Sciences. She can be reached at aa567@cornell.edu. Millennial Musings appears alternate Wednesdays this semester.

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