RAW Expo III: The Raw Appeal of Collaboration

On a normal Thursday night it is no surprise to see Milstein Hall bustling with energy. But, on Thursday last week the scene at Milstein was not the typical AAP students with coffees, drawing plot plans or working around the clock to meet deadlines. The Milstein Dome was transformed into a gallery space for RAW Expo III, an annual exhibition of achievements and creative endeavors by Cornell’s student organizations. “Creative process across disciplines” was the official theme, intended to bring Cornell’s creative community together in one space over a period of just two hours. The event was organized by Medium Design Collective and fits within the greater objective of the club to promote interdisciplinarity and bring various creative communities out of their bubble via design and dialogue.


STANTON | Last Call

Imagine, for a moment, that you have somewhere between $1,000 and $4,000 to spend on a weekend getaway. Naturally, Instagram posts of your sort-of-friend’s Coachella experience inspire you to invest it all in tickets to the 21st century’s definitive live music event: Fyre Festival. Organized, in part, by Ashanti backup singer Ja Rule, the event promises a “luxurious” take on festival culture, complete with fine dining and the presence of at least one Hadid sister. In anticipation, you spend the subsequent months bragging to coworkers about your sure-to-be-great weekend of moshing to blink-182 in the Bahamas. You tell them to check out “this guy called Skepta,” who might rap with a funny accent but can put together a great song.

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Sun Sessions with Shay Collins ’18

Cool Teen is the new project of Shay Collins ’18, Arts and Entertainment Editor emeritus and Pop Punk obsessor. According to Shay, the project “is the result of wanting to make music and perform and, for a long time, refusing to put anything out if it wasn’t exactly perfect. After awhile, I just decided to go for it.” That ethos bleeds through on his most recent (and as yet only) album: With Aliens, brimming with the type of plain-faced, nostalgic, punk-strong music that hurls his deepest-downs in an pure, exposed lump of plucked strings and plaintive vocals at his feet in front of him. For his Sun Session, Shay decided to give us “16,” a song of “mostly half-remembered thoughts and feelings from when I was in high school and trying to figure myself out.


Don’t Make Me Get Out of Line

Get Out, by Jordan Peele, is about a black man, Chris (Daniel Kaluuya), who visits his white girlfriend Rose’s (Allison Williams) parents’ house (think modern day Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner). What should we have expected from a director known for his comedic sketches? What is Get Out’s genre: horror, thriller, or horror-comedy? There are aspects that make it standard horror, but others include comedic facets and parts that stand out altogether from any horror genre. In the first ten or twenty minutes, the tone was all over the place.


TEST SPIN: Kurt Riley — Tabula Rasa

Kurt Riley ’16 is, first and foremost, an optimist. Riley’s imaginative blend of rock, blues and theatricality always gazes forward, hoping for a more enthusiastic and less cynical future. While Riley took on the persona of an alien king to critique humanity from the outside on his 2016 release Kismet, Riley and his band have come back to earth on 2017’s Tabula Rasa. With his distinctive style of “21st century rock,” Riley turns to problems that have been all too pertinent throughout the past few years: a sense of helplessness in a massive political system, a news cycle filled with depressing stories and growing malaise. Yet, Tabula Rasa, with all of its forward-looking anthems, begins on a decidedly somber note.

Bill Burr's 2012 Netflix Special "You People Are All The Same."

MEISEL | Who’s Laughing Now?

As an adolescent, I had a habit of watching too much stand-up comedy. Every Friday night, when there were football games and dances I was too anxious to attend, I would fall asleep to whatever performer I could find on Comedy Central Presents, and all was right with my life as long as I could laugh. I think I inherited this habit from my family, whose core philosophy — if they were to choose one — would center humor as a way to communicate with and understand others. My little brother used to tell me he could make anyone laugh once he got to know them. My mother told me how she laughed at her brother’s funeral, only because crying would have been too difficult. Not to mention she remembered how much my late uncle made her smile.


I’m Smurfing Done with “Smurfs: The Lost Village”

In 2011, The Smurfs came to us from Sony Pictures Animation. In 2013 we got a sequel. Both movies were panned, and now Sony has decided to reboot the Smurfs again. Smurfs: The Lost Village is directed by Kelly Asbury, who also directed Shrek 2 and Gnomeo and Juliet. The writing duo includes Stacey Harman, who did work on The Goldbergs, and Pamela Ribon, who worked on Moana and is currently attached to Ralph Breaks the Internet.


Laughing at Myself in Silicon Valley

As a native of the place, I have an interesting relationship with HBO’s comedy show Silicon Valley. If it were to lionize the tech industry that gives my hometown it’s name, I would probably not like it very much, but the show’s writers choose to take the route of a somewhat affectionate parody instead. As such, it’s always a bit hard to tell whether the show is celebrating the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship that the Valley likes to think it has, or offering a serious critique of those ideas.


JONES | Money Out of Misery: Colbert’s Comeback

It became a cliché during the primaries and the general election that Donald Trump had stumped comedians. He was too outlandish, too unpredictable, too unreal to mock. Any absurdity that a comedian could dream up and then deliver in a Trumpian drawl would be outdone the next day, by Trump himself. Since mockery didn’t really work, some shows like SNL and Jimmy Fallon resorted to flattery, inviting Trump on their shows and allowing him to appear as something like a standard, self-aware candidate. It was during this period that Stephen Colbert became host of the The Late Show, following the end of David Letterman’s 33-year reign.


Psycho as Not-so-Scary Video Art

I often wonder why people pay money to spin around in a teacup or turn upside down on a roller-coaster. Why willfully commit yourself to nausea and headaches when your feet can stay put on the ground?  You say fun; I say torture.  I approach horror cinema with the same skepticism.  Why open your eyes to nightmares when nothing so scary need occupy your mind?