LU | Exhaustion, 4 Exhibitions and Pleasure Reading

Spring semesters have always had a rapid cadence but this year, March slipped straight to May and April was an immaterial haze. Perhaps my April was also marked by the exhaustion of four nearly back-to-back exhibitions in the Johnson Museum.

PONTIN | Can’t Repeat the Past?

I would suggest that our predilection to concentrate on the explosion of arts and culture in the 1920s is not a means of purposefully concealing the decade’s true identity, but rather the result of a phenomenon in historiography. While the period was not entirely admirable, its likability is escalated by comparison.

YANG | The Romance of Substack and the Illusion of Meritocracy

Against this backdrop of the illusion of meritocracy, contrary to what Best said in the interview, I argue that Substack does not free journalists from the need to game the social media algorithms. Instead, Substack primarily serves those who have already successfully “gamed” the algorithms — those that have already been rewarded with attention, fame and popularity on existing social media platforms, particularly Twitter.

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.