Tattoos are viewed negatively in American society. For generations, they have been associated with criminals, gang members, and other generally negative connotations. In modern society, tattoos are on people of all sizes, shapes, ethnicities, races, sexual identities, and backgrounds. They are a form of self-expression and are very common. There are still hundreds of U.S. employers that have a no-tattoo policy, including Calvin Klein, Gamestop, and even Starbucks. Many companies state that tattoos are unprofessional, impact customers negatively, are not images they want for their company, and other twisted reasoning for not allowing tattoos to be shown. I disagree with these companies and their reasoning. Today, it infuriates me that so many people can not accept change or even put forth an effort to understand previously-controversial things like tattoos.
by Theresa Dooley
As you may find yourself feeling a little angry, here are a few fun things to think about.
Tonight, I decided to make myself some tea. After letting it steep for a few minutes, I went to take a sip to find that it was still too hot. Deciding that I didn’t want to simply wait, I went to the freezer to get an ice cube. I gently put the ice cube into the mug and as I did I became immediately entertained by the behavior of the frozen water. As it was submerged into the hot tea, there was a sharp cracking sound, and then little jagged patterned formed to be seen through its translucent sides. The amount of ice quickly decreased as little bubbles crept up the sides. And then, quite suddenly, the cube flipped over onto another side. I perceived this behavior as the bottom part of the cube melting at a faster rate than the top, making the cube top-heavy and resulting in it flipping over. I watched the little ice cube flip over a couple times, and then it grew so small that it was lost in the little bubbles that it produced. So, there you go: watching something as simple as ice in hot water can provide joy, and perfectly-heated tea accompanies that joy.
By yourself, headphones in, good song—this is the perfect scenario for dancing. This may seem odd because moving your body in ways that you are not used to is vulnerable and awkward. Despite the awkward feeling, however, I believe that allowing yourself to dance creates a unique release of joy that nothing else provides. Throughout history, dance has been a part of human culture, taking many different forms. Over time it has grown into a performance art, which I still love, but I believe that the popularity of performance has taken away from the original reasoning behind movement. It is natural for humans to dance. If you don’t believe me, spend some time with a toddler and observe how they react to music. It doesn't have to be pretty, it doesn’t have to look cool, it is just moving to a rhythm. So I dare you to try it, turn on some music and allow yourself to dance. I hope it brings you as much joy as it brings to me.
by Maia Wheeler
We live in a society constantly rushing toward the same thing. It's always, “What’s next—what are we going to do now?” Sometimes, we aren’t content with what we have in ourselves, always wanting something more. We look at what will happen later. We always want to do the next big thing. But what happens when you forget about the future and stay content with yourself now and what you have to offer to the world? What happens when you just let yourself be who you are?
Over the course of some time, I have captured photos of people and friends during moments where they felt content with themselves and let themselves be who they are. It could be a simple laugh or even a passion that they have that made them forget about what's next and let them live in the moment.
by Maia Wheeler
Mary Oliver was a woman of many words. She was a woman of poetry, changing the way the mind looks at the beauties around us, specifically nature. Her works focused on the natural world and the details contained in nature. She was beloved by many and opened the eyes of many young writers aspiring to create diligent pieces connecting with nature and the beauty of life. She wrote from the heart, making artists able to connect and relate to her works. Though not an artist of paintings nor sculpture, she was an artist of words and creativity of the mind. Mary Jane Oliver holds a special place in many hearts as a woman of powerful words inspiring others to create their own stories.
Mary Oliver sadly passed away this past January from lymphoma. She is always in our hearts when writing and reading the poetic mind and she will always be recognized in history as one of the most inspiring poets. She will keep inspiring many writers for generations to come.
We encourage you to read her beautiful and heart-wrenching obituary from the New York Times, accessible here.
by Elliot Marks
Pitcher of the Sea
This is a photo focusing on surrealism. I added some boats and a person floating into the water. It is meant to represent the water in a pitcher being an ocean.
Street Light Painting
My project is focusing on Street Photography and Light Painting (long exposure photography). I went by a busy street at night to capture the red car lights, getting a streak effect from the moving cars.
by Izzy Cohn
My friends probably get very annoyed with me: I will ask them to go out at 11 pm to some run-down chairs off the side of Arapahoe. I will create a safe space for an 11-year-old to dance her heart out. I will get picked up at 11 to go to the Boulders Farmers Market, only then to get distracted and end up blinding beautiful eyes with the bright sun. I will drive to Denver with a friend for her surprise party at the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art, and drive back home at 11. I counted 11 chairs at The Cheese Importers. I asked her how many siblings she had, and she said she had 11. I took a hike with her and my new camera and got 11 cactus spikes in my legs. There is something special about the number 11, something that calls me. In this series, I chose to capture this number as I saw it manifest around me.
by Leo Sipowicz
142 songs, 9 hours and 6 minutes (not including Kon the Louis Vuitton Don and the Freshman Adjustment mixtapes). Kanye West’s discography is extensive but not massive considering the almost 15 years it spans. Every album is unique and holds a special spot in my heart, but the effect of listening to each album in its entirety—starting with College Dropout and ending with KIDS SEE GHOSTS—gave me a new perspective on Yeezus himself.
After a careful listen to each album, I think most listeners will see three pretty distinct ways to group the albums based on the content of each album. These are as follows:
“Hurt and Reflection Period” (808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and The Life Of Pablo)
I think these three albums are the weakest connection I've made, but I definitely think the connection is still strong. Each album in this group feels like a therapy session with Kanye: he is processing his pain, success, and family. Each album is more sonically creative than the last; these albums cross genres and were each incredibly influential to the music industry as a whole. These albums are all where Kanye has been the most creative with the production with a softer focus on lyricism.
“College Period” (The College Dropout, Late Registration, and Gradation)
The “College Period” is the most in-your-face connection between albums, as they were released in chronological order and share obviously connected titles. Each album is explicitly connected via Kanye’s reflections on college and his own experience. However, each album shares much more deep-seated connections as well. Many of the themes discussed in these albums are rooted in Kanye’s early belief that the world and the people around him want him to lose. As you move through each album Kanye is able to reconcile his decision to drop out even though it's not what his mother wanted and as each album made a bigger name for himself he ends graduation in a good place with his decision.
“Yeezy Period” (Yeezus, Ye, and Yahandi)
The “Yeezy Period” is easily my favorite storyline between multiple Kanye albums, and, even though Yahandi still hasn't been released, I think it has the most potential. Yeezus is as boastful as Kanye gets, and it places him in his own world where he has decided that he is a god. Everything about the album is over-the-top: he knows he is the best and feels godly. Five years later, Kanye releases Ye. Ye matches Yeezus step-for-step in self-reflection, but instead of being arrogant and self-absorbed, Ye is Kanye's admission to being only human. Kanye reflects on the unique failures and success of his life that make him human. I think it’s safe to guess that Yahandi will be similar to Ye and Yeezus with a more humble and caring perspective.
These descriptions are purposefully short and vague because I think everyone with a vague inclination to Kanye should listen to each album on their own and interpret his art in there own way. If I were you, I would listen in this order: The College Dropout, Late Registration, Graduation, 808s & Heartbreak, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, The Life Of Pablo, Yeezus, Ye, KIDS SEE GHOSTS, Yahandi, Watch The Throne, KIDS SEE GHOSTS. (Or in chronological order.) I also want to mention that KIDS SEE GHOSTS and Watch The Throne are not included in any of my groups because they are collaborations with Kid Cudi and Jay-Z, respectively, and, in my opinion, do not connect to any other albums.
Eminem's first two albums were released in 1999 and 2000. The Slim Shady LP and the Marshall Mathers LP were (and still are) some of the most influential and important rap albums of all time. They both remain widely viewed as classics. They are also extremely vulgar and violent, to say the least, with many songs painting Eminem as a deranged serial killer.
In 2013, 13 years after the release of the Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem released the Marshall Mathers LP 2, and the first song on this long-awaited sequel album is called “Bad Guy."
“Bad Guy” is 7 minutes and 14 seconds long and goes through several thematic and stylistic changes throughout its duration. It begins with a conversation between two people, one of whom is stalking the other with the intent to kill. Not personally my favorite subject matter, but also not surprising considering the subject matter of the first Marshall Mathers LP. As the song progresses, it is slowly revealed that Eminem's role in the story is as the victim, and the song is actually from the perspective of an anonymous fan who is mad at him for the provocative things he had said in his past. This twist recontextualizes the previous lines and adds meaning to lyrics which may have originally seemed like they were no more than shocking imagery.
“We’re in the car right now… here comes my favorite lyric: ‘I'm the bad guy why makes fun of people who die’.....”
I think that this choice was made as a way to reflect on and, possibly apologize for, his problematic past. Eminem has always seemed to be able to achieve a sore of catharsis through his violent songs, and I think that “Bad Guy” is Eminem allowing those who have been affected negatively by his music the same type of catharsis.
The story concludes after about 5 minutes and 12 seconds, with Eminem, indeed, dying, and the last 2 minutes and 2 seconds are a much more explicit self-critique and analysis, in which Eminem explicitly states that the killer in the story represents all of the people who have been negatively affected by his music.
I personally do not really love the subject matter of old Eminem, and I am not really all that interested in his more recent pop-leaning albums, but I think this song is kind of brilliant and more people should listen to it.