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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Columns


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Columns

G.C. in D.C.: Tales from the Swamp: Prime-time entertainment in the heart of the city

Summer is fast approaching, and Washington, D.C. is ramping up for performances in the arts! One of the most surprising facts I’ve learned about the city is the large extent to which it serves as a critical cultural hub for entertainment. Internationally recognized artists, hailing from different genres like hip-hop, shoegaze and hyperpop, perform in D.C. on most weekends, energizing the city with the thousands of people attending these events.


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Columns

Dreamworks: The playwright

Please put your phones on silent, keep talking to a minimum and enjoy the show… Today we will be talking with acclaimed playwright Joshua Harmon, the creator of the new Broadway show “A Prayer for the French Republic.”


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Columns

Ruminations from Rabat: On ‘Morocco time’

When first I arrived in Rabat I was warned about “Morocco time,” which is used to describe the common Moroccan habit of always being late or doing things last minute. Many cultures have similar reputations of tardiness as a result of their collective easygoing attitude. Morocco, however, is different; behind “Morocco time” is a very specific culture of care and intentionality.  



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Columns

For the Culture: In defense of J. Cole

Last week, following the chaos generated from Kendrick Lamar’s diss on “Like That,” J. Cole unexpectedly released a new mixtape, titled “Might Delete Later.” Although the body of the mixtape initially received some positive reviews, many listeners reacted negatively to the concluding track, “7 Minute Drill,” wherein Cole pointedly disses his contemporary: “I came up in the ‘Ville, so I’m good when it’s tension/ He still doin’ shows, but fell off like the Simpsons/ Your first s--- was classic, your last s--- was tragic/ Your second s--- put n----- to sleep, but they gassed it.”


The Bookmark
Columns

The Bookmark: ‘I’m Glad My Mom Died’ by Jennette McCurdy

A note: Perhaps it goes without saying based on the shocking title, but Jennette McCurdy’s memoir contains intense and potentially triggering topics, so I definitely encourage reading content warnings before diving into this book. Now, for the review you’ve all been waiting for: “I’m Glad My Mom Died.” This book caught the attention of pretty much every reader when it came out — and it’s been brought back into many conversations recently due to the popularity of the new docuseries “Quiet on Set: The Dark Side of Kids TV” (2024).




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Columns

Cover My Treks: God’s humble abode

The legacy of mankind is distilled into the grand architectural wonders constructed by the many nameless, through the passing of seasons and dynasties. In the grand course of history, religion seems to be the resilient constant that triumphs over the transience of human regimes. My lack of religious affiliation doesn’t keep me from marveling at the grandiosity of the architecture, unfazed by the unstoppable currents of time.


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Columns

Public Cinemy No. 1: ‘Dream Scenario’ and its thesis on online culture

If I had to pick a favorite movie from 2023, I would pick “Dream Scenario,” the mid-budget fantasy film starring Nicolas Cage in all his crazed glory. The film centers on Cage’s character, run-of-the-mill biology professor Paul Matthews, who suddenly starts appearing in people’s dreams all over the world. Although his dream self first exists as a passive observer, it turns into a sadistic entity that brutally tortures the dreamer as Matthews starts taking advantage of his newfound fame. This prompts a social backlash that sees him placed on leave from his job and forced to exit public places when his presence makes people uncomfortable, culminating in his wife leaving him.


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Columns

Tok the Talk: The plight of child stars

“I feel like people just have a consensus that I’m still nine years old, and it’s crazy because I’m turning 18 this year. I feel like people still think of me [as that age] because I’ve been so young for most of my career,” actor Mckenna Grace said, referring to her growth as an actor in the public eye. Grace, who has been acting since she was five years old, starred in several prominent movies and TV shows in her youth — including “Gifted,” “Chilling Adventures of Sabrina” and “Young Sheldon.” Grace frequently plays younger versions of other characters, which is perhaps part of the reason many find it difficult to grasp the concept that she is growing up. But beyond that, she is a victim of the difficult pipeline of transitioning from a child star to an adult personality.


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Columns

Extra Innings: Living legends

In honor of hot starts to the 2024 season by the two greatest position players of this generation, I wanted to show a little love to Mike Trout and Mookie Betts, who, in my opinion, have already secured their spots in Cooperstown despite being just 32 and 31, respectively. With the Angels never having won a playoff game in Trout’s career and Betts now having to play second fiddle to Shohei Ohtani at Dodger Stadium, these two living legends can get overlooked. Rather than make such a mistake, I’m looking at their substantial career accomplishments and evaluating their legacies accordingly.


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The Policy Perspective: Blue states are floundering

Clean energy is a core part of the Democratic Party’s platform. The 2020 Democratic Party platform calls for building a “globally competitive clean energy economy”[a]. Yet in 2024, the state with the most installed solar infrastructure is not New York or California, where Democrats dominate state government, but Texas, a Republican-controlled state[b]. This isdespite billions of dollars spent by California’s state government to invest in solar[c].


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Columns

Dorms, Dishes and Delicacies: Richardson House

You know that feeling when you’re expecting something to be great, but then it’s just okay? “Pitch Perfect 3,” iced coffee from Dunkin’ and waking up early to ‘feel productive’ are a few let downs that come to mind. Unfortunately, last night as I cooked up some pesto pasta, I determined that the kitchen in Richardson House must be added to this disappointing list.


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The Casual Death of Education: The failures of American sex education

Public education isn’t all about math and reading. There are many other topics students need to experience and learn about to become healthy and functioning members of society. With discourse around sex education becoming increasingly common, we must understand what adequate and competent education concerning sex looks like for America’s youth. However, the state of sex education in our public education system is in shambles and the public must take notice and address the ever-expanding problem.


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Weekly Wellness: On being the ‘almond friend’

In recent conversations with some of my close friends, it has come to my attention that I have been dubbed the “almond friend.” A play on the popularized caricature of the “almond mom” on social media, the almond friend shares a similar obsession with health and fitness to these moms, who often project their extreme health habits onto their children.


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Harmonies in the Limelight: A ‘Dancer in the Dark,’ forever dreaming of singing and dancing in the light

Lars von Trier emerged as a filmmaker who experimented with intertwining the avant-garde and melodramatic. He and Thomas Vinterberg penned the Dogme 95 manifesto, which outlined a new generation of art house creativity. It called for all camerawork to be handheld, denounced superficial action and prohibited optical work and filters, amongst other rules. Independent films after the 1995 conception of the Dogme 95 movement, especially those from von Trier, were not all strictly a part of the movement but remained mostly inspired by its goals and guidelines. “Breaking the Waves” (1996) is a prominent and majestic example of the style in action. “Dancer in the Dark” (2000) is possibly the strangest example, while also being one of the most remarkable.


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Columns

For the Culture: Does hip-hop have an industry plant problem?

So far, I have not dedicated an entire article to one artist. However, I believe that the truthfully meteoric rise of Dallas-based singer and songwriter4batz warrants some consideration in the conversation of industry plants. Despite having just released his first song, “act i: stickerz “99”,” in June 2023, and so far, only five songs total, 4batz somehow currently maintains 17 million monthly listeners on Spotify. Moreover, 4batz received the ever-coveted “Drake Stimulus Package”— essentially, the phenomenon of when Drake remixes the song of an up-and-coming artist, which massively boosts their streams, clout and revenue. 


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Confessions of a Cooking Fanatic: Cabin Fever? Berry Fever

As flowers begin to bloom and the occasional breath of fresh air becomes more frequent, we know that spring is on its way. Unsurprisingly, my cabin fever is manifesting itself in a desire for fresh spring and summer produce, as evidenced by my recent YouTube history. I’m dreaming of Saturday morning trips to Minneapolis farmers’ markets to get June ramps, July corn and August tomatoes.


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Columns

Munching with Max: Coffee

Something terrible happened over spring break. No, I didn’t fall off a zipline exploring the jungles of Costa Rica. I — it’s embarrassing for me to say this — had a latte. Twice (insert shocked emoji). To paraphrase Obi-Wan Kenobi’s words, I’d become the very thing I swore to destroy. After years of decrying those highfalutin beverages with endless varieties of milk and flavored syrup, I not only tried but enjoyed two swanky coffees. So, in breaking with my usual hot coffee and hazelnut creamer, I thought I’d take my primed palate back to Medford and sample Tufts’ coolest caffeinated creations.