PONTIN | ‘In Fair Verona’

“Romeo and Juliet” is a story that feels universal. I feel it would be an oversight, however, to designate it purely as a love story. It is an account of deep-rooted tension, of superfluous strife and of needless violence, with love riding along in a sidecar.

PERATI | Weathering the Storm

Weather offers a space to reflect and process the anger and heartbreak of living in a world plagued with destructive forces of violence, hate, and injustice.

YANDAVA | Fictions of the Self

“Write what you know” is one of the writing clichés I have come to despise. Often, I find that I don’t know what I think or feel until I write, and even then, in the very moment of writing, I have a vague sense that perhaps I am only making things up, only pouring my experience into the mold of a voice congealed out of everything I’ve ever read or watched or heard, that none of this is really “me” at all, and in the last analysis, I am forced to concur with Montaigne: Que sçais-je?

PONTIN | The Burning Soul of Psychedelia

It can be tempting to trace the roots of psychedelic culture back to the plant-eating, headband-wearing hippies of the 1960s, but doing so neglects an extensive and riveting past. Historical accounts tell of smoking hemp seed in Ancient Greece, consuming mushrooms in the Aztec Empire and the Viking cultures of Scandinavia and chewing peyote in Native American societies across the United States.

Footprints on the Sands of Time

It is possible for me now to revisit the me of a year, five years, ten years ago, and watch the outline of the person I have become harden into shape like an image coming into focus.

PONTIN | Whodunit?

Our suspects are nearly always heightened, hyperbolic variations on what we would consider to be “normal people,” a far cry from what we recognize in our own social circles and in ourselves. They are distant royalty, accomplished and esteemed academics, famed members of the one percent. It is not long, however, before an ironic relationship begins to reveal itself. Even amidst a churning sea of captivating individuals, the detective somehow always emerges as the most intriguing.

YANG | We’re Collectively Tuning Out

Despite all the memes we made about possible ways to splurge our “stimmies,” we also couldn’t be bothered to spend extra bucks on new releases that aren’t readily available on Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max or Amazon Prime Video.