HANGLING L ('19)
If somebody asks me what has kept me going all these years, it would be either, “Walk your own path, let others chatter whatever," or “Who cares? Because I don't."
As human beings, we are all social animals; we interact with others and we live in a society filled with expectations, judgements, and pressures. There are times we change for others’ attention, and there are times, intentionally or unintentionally, where we wonder what others think about us. It could be physical things, what you wear or how you present yourself, or mental, from what you say to what you think. This is not to say that there is anything wrong with our social nature: it is completely normal and understandable, and we, as individuals, need this to be a member of society.
What I've found, however, is that being too caught up - in your relationships, your actions, or the way you present yourself - is unhealthy. Personality plays a role in our human interaction, as people hold different viewpoints towards things. Conflicts are inevitable, and it is perfectly natural that not everyone likes you as you don’t like certain people. However, anxiety and frustration tends to kick in as people stress about relationship with others, future events, or mistakes that were made in the past. I believe everyone does care and stumbles across these feelings at some point.
However, if you truly question why these thoughts matter or question why you care what people think, you will realize these worries are futile. You should not live your life as a victim of others or people’s opinions of you. It is important to be aware of what others think as a part of our social consciousness, but caring too much, in my opinion, is not healthy for you. Although there are people who do judge people a great amount, they do so due to their insecurities. There will be people like that everywhere. But if you stop caring about what people will think, you will find a world of possibilities out there.
Ask yourself: do you live a life for others? Are you just acting out roles just for others to be content, or being silent because you care too much about others’ judgement? What would happen to you if you truly did as you pleased and held on to what truly matters to you?
During my Junior Year, I ran for student body president. Other people could think many different things.“Why is she running?” I'm sure they questioned. But honestly, I didn’t really care. Even with the possibility of not being elected, the thing that mattered was that I did run, and left no regret. I knew that many years ahead, I would not look back, asking why I did not have the courage to run for that position.
I used to care about having an accent, wearing glasses (I am big picture taker, but glasses always reflect my face on the photo), and all sorts of random stuff. I felt terrible when I talked in English and there were plenty of people who made fun of my accent. But the reality is: I grew up in a small town and did not seriously start learning English until third grade. I did not know “English” was a thing because I thought all the people on earth spoke the same language. The first few years I drew pictures during my English class and did not listen to my teacher at all. I was a terrible student and used to hide comic books under my desk while doing homework. My mom used to get so frustrated in the car after class because I could not discern between “boy” and “girl" or "left” and “right." I never even dared to think I will be writing a full article in full English if you asked me when I was in third grade.
I am pretty proud for how far I have come. As I got older, I stopped caring about my accent; it's a part of who I am, where I come from, and my unique journey in life. You could call me lazy for the fact that I like dressing comfy: but I'd much rather be found wearing T shirts and leggings every day. The fact is that I've chosen not to care about what others think. For me, if I want to do something, I now just do it; overthinking things could work the opposite way.
In AP Psych, I recently stumbled across a phenomena called the spotlight effect, that people tend to believe they are being noticed more than they really are. If there is a question that is bothering you on what the teacher just said, just ask it rather than holding it back. Though it could feel intimidating as people looking at you, I encourage you to challenge yourself to do what you want. The reason why you are sitting in a classroom is to learn, so you should embrace the reality that there arer many things you don’t know. Have faith that you have the ability to master them.
In closing, care the right way. Don't say, "I'm skipping class, I don't care,” but choose to constructively care and not to an overwhelming extent. It's your life. Choose your own path. Take off the burden of judgement, just do it and follow your heart.
10 THOUGHTS DURING YOGA
ELIZABETH R ('19)
As an avid yoga goer, doing yoga is like sending your mind on a roller coaster for an hour. You will think and wonder about anything and everything. Here is a list of some of the stuff that goes on in my mind when I’m in yoga.
“Why am I here?”
I am so tired. Why didn’t I go home and nap? Whatever, I already set up my mat, so I’m not going anywhere.
“Oh shoot, forgot my water.”
Terrific. Off to a great start. Can’t wait to die of dehydration.
“GOD it’s hot”
Interesting, it feels hotter than normal. My shirt is soaked through and it’s only been about 2 minutes. *thinks back to what class they said this was at the beginning when I wasn’t listening because I was thinking about napping and my forgotten water bottle* HOT YOGA, not regular yoga. Yep, the shirt is coming off. Thank god I wore a cute sports bra.
“Dear lord, how many chaturangas* do I have to do?”
*(Chaturanga = high plank, do a push up, and push into upward facing dog)
Did I hear that right? The instructor just said EVERY SINGLE TIME!?! My arms are already starting to shake. This is going to be a long hour.
“I can’t believe she just said we have a break. FINALLY.”
… a break from yoga to do core work. Not what I wanted to hear. At least the music changed to something with a beat.
“Tree pose!! Wait, wait, wait…”
Easy, I can stand on one leg. HA. Someone yell timber because this tree is falling down.
“How much longer?”
I am sweaty. I am thirsty. And I am tired. *checks watch* My watch is definitely broken. How is it only half way over? We’ve done practically every pose.
“Ahh I’m so yoga-y I’m doing the frog.”
I can’t wait to tell my mom that I did frog pose…well, held it for like 3 seconds, but she doesn’t need to know that.
Ahh…This is what I’ve been waiting for. I can finally lay down on my mat. It feels so good. Why can’t the entire class be like this? I never want to leave this position.
I’m on a whole new level of zen.
MUSIC ROUNDUP #4
We’re in for a bit of a detour this go-around. Since this is the last lap (fingers crossed) for your dear writer, I feel a bit more comfortable with a change-up for this edition. Instead of talking about the most talked-about music releases of recent memory, I’ll use this space to reflect on the music that last year brought us. 2018 passed by like a flailing tube-man blown up for an Auto bell holiday sale. As Kacey Musgraves put it while accepting her Grammy for Album of the Year, “Life is pretty tumultuous right now for all of us.” Swedish pop-star, Robyn, who returned in 2018 to release her phenomenal Honey, echoes a similar sentiment: “pop at the moment is depressing...The music kids are listening to is heavy! Maybe it’s hard to be positive and optimistic at the moment.” This is mostly true. Emo is mainstream. Kanye loves Trump. And one of the best singers we’ve ever heard said her goodbyes. I’ll attempt to highlight some releases and happenings over the past year which stood out, while also more openly sharing my opinions for a more personal touch.
On the first music roundup, we talked of how music can offer quiet and retrospective spaces in an often loud world begging for your ears. On the summer roundup, I mentioned how some music possesses the capability to transport a listener back to a time and place, encapsulating sounds and memories like cityscapes in snow globes. Last edition, we discussed intimacy, and how skilled artists can shorten the distance between themselves and listeners, creating an experience where you feel like the artist is talking just to you. Aretha Franklin can fall under any one of these categories. Her ears are skilled, her touch personal, and her voice: a gift from beyond this world. When Miss Franklin died, I felt I had lost someone I had always known, and I imagine I wasn't the only one. Rest in Peace.
“Are you leaving me” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kyZIKd7VkNU
Die Lit and Juice box Punk
J. Cole came out with a record last year. I listened to it once front-to-back, then again on shuffle. I couldn't decide whether I was bored or annoyed, but afterwards, I returned to Playboi Carti’s, Die Lit. I've come to consider this album one of the best of 2018. Instead of the campaigning I had grown wary of, Die Lit welcomes listeners with nonsensical ramblings over deceivingly simple beats and a curious amount of oddly skillful adlibs. Die Lit sounds like what happens when you burn K.O.D., bury the ashes, dig them up, then reassemble their remnants with non-toxic, childproof Elmer’s glue. Playboi Carti existed as a meme long before Die Lit; he was a ‘mumble rapper’ who couldn't spit bars and should not be taken seriously. Truth be told, ‘mumble rap’ wasn't invented until Die Lit, a timepiece of accepting a prescribed title, and pushing it to its outermost possible confines. After witnessing the mosh-pits in both Asheville and Charlotte, I can confidently say that Carti has helped resurrect the new kind of juice box punk movement - where piercings, dope, and booze have been replaced by Supreme, Capri-Suns, and anxiety medication - a movement running parallel to ‘underground’/’emo’ rap, one constructed by the youth, for the youth.
To Listen: “Long Time” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qdh5FY5rj9o
Quotable Lyrics: “No cap and gown, I ain’t go to class/I rather die before I come in last”
A Misfit Cowgirl in Hollywood
Last year, Kendrick Lamar’s DAMN lost a speckled gramophone to Bruno Mars’ 24k magic. The year before that Beyonce lost to Adele, and the year before that, To Pimp a Butterfly lost to Taylor Swift... The only good thing about this continued injustice is people seem to care less and less about the Grammys. As time goes by, misrepresentation seems to lessen viewership, and deserving artistry is championed with digital aid, not sleep inducing white-washed award shows. Being on the right side of modern country music, Kacey Musgraves has catalyzed the genre as something wholesome and progressive. Golden Hour stands as a comparable achievement to that of Dolly Parton’s 9 to 5, or Lucinda Williams’ Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Without the lyrical or musical versatility of her foremothers, Musgraves relies on tremendously powerful yet soft inflections, capable of conjuring a wide array of emotion in tangent with her simple yet witty aphorisms and shrugged remarks. Consistently filled with brilliant moments fueled by subverting expectations of what country music is supposed to sound like, Ms. Musgraves enters the ranks of country greats while redefining a once-aging genre.
To Listen: “Space Cowboy” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Beu0imD8-wc
Quotable Lyrics: “Sunsets fade, and love does too”
What a Whacky Wrld/Deconstructing Rap into the New Jazz
In the hip-hop ballpark, a lot of the average heavy hitters came to the plate this year. Drake, Migos, Travis Scott, Kanye West, and The Carters, all took some decent swings. There were definitely some surprise hitters too: Cardi B, Teyana Taylor; the Black Panther ensemble; “This is America;" JPEGMAFIA; and Charlotte's own, Da Baby. Still, the biggest winners in my book were relatively low on the batting order to begin with. I’ve mentioned Tierra Whack on previous editions and her ingenious, afro-surreal Whack World. Whack is able to capture modern hip-hops progressions in just 60-seconds across fifteen one-minute tracks, an unquestionable feat of a record, becoming even more commendable with an audio-visual experience to pair with it. The windy city also swept the park with three straight home-run records including Saba’s storytelling epic Care For Me, featuring the emotional marathon “PROM/KING”, Smino’s fun and funky Noir, and Noname’s expertly introspective Room 25. Perhaps in one of this year’s biggest surprises, Earl Sweatshirt reinvented his already renowned sound on Some Rap Songs, a record which brings a progressive style of hip hop to the foreground. Full of jaw-dropping left-turns, the production behind Some Rap Songs can be compared to the MIKE’s Renaissance Man, God Fahim’s Wide Berth, and Pink Siifiu’s Ensley, albums which rely on deconstructed compositions and scattered ruminations, capturing the spirit of free-jazz in true postmodern fashion.
To Listen: “Pet Cemetery” “Prom King” “Windows” “Ontheway!” “decisions ova jerk chicken”
Comebacks Kids and Passing Torches
MGMT morphed pop-music into satire, and ironically became pop stars doing so. Then, attempting to abandon the sound which made them Coachella-famous, the duo ventured further and further away from their audience, exchanging their authenticity for self-servitude. This regression changed in 2018 with Little Dark Age, a record which finds inspiration from 80s synth pop while tackling digital-age burdens like smartphone addiction and workout-obsessed partners. “Me and Michael” stands out not only for its nostalgic yet reinventive sound, but also as a requiem for the best thing around: friendship. Car Seat Headrest also reemerged this year with a remaster of their classic, Twin Fantasy. The album already has a tremendous emotional range, and with modern tweaks, tracks such as “Beach-Life-in-Death” are practically unstoppable. Cat Power, St. Vincent, and Brandi Carlile also returned this year for more spectacular contributions. Their trailblazing artistry paved the way for younger female artists like Snail Mail and Soccer Mommy, both of which released albums deserving of all the praise they’ve received. All in all, 2018 was another year for passing the torch and making the future a little bit brighter while pocketing some of that original spark.
To Listen: “Me and Michael” “Beach-Life-in-Death” “New York” “Sugartooth” “Heat Wave”
Thank U, Next.
With misspelled tattoos and numerous allegations of plagiarism, Ariana Grande’s is easy to laugh at, but do so and you’ll be assaulted by a plethora of die-hard devotees. “How dare you, she’s gone through so much!” And it’s true. Grande has had a tough year even as a best-selling artist with a number one release. In the darkest corners of the internet, there was a cohort of a**holes blaming Grande for the late Mac Miller’s drug problem, which tragically took his life. In either a strategic marketing move, or genuine heartfelt praise, Grande bellows, “Wish I could say, "Thank you" to Malcolm/'Cause he was an angel” on her now instantly recognizable, “Thank u, next”; an ode to past relationships and their nature of self-renewal. I’m not ready to say goodbye to Grande, and with her recent full-length album release of the same name, I imagine I won’t have to anytime soon.
To Listen: “Thank you, Next”
Quotes: “I’m so ... grateful for my ex”
That’s it for now. Perhaps music roundup will fade away in the coming year like a dusty sunset over a blooming prairie. Perhaps a brave soul will uptake the tradition and add their own spin on things. I would be fine with either. While the future is uncertain, the past certainly has been a pleasure.
Catch you on the flip-side,
TWIN FANTASY: THE BEST ALBUM OF 2018 THAT CAME OUT IN 2011
MONK S ('19)
Last February, Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) by Car Seat Headrest was released. A re-recording of the original album (Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror), I instantly fell in love with it. It soon became my favorite album of the year and went on to become one of my favorites of all time. In this article, I would like to discuss the improvements made in the newer version of Twin Fantasy (Face to Face), what the album and songs exceed at, and why I love it so much.
Twin Fantasy was originally released in 2011 as Car Seat Headrest’s (which at the time consisted of headman Will Toledo recording music on his laptop in the back of his car) 6th full length album. The album featured a lo-fi production, and although it was a lyrical masterpiece, it suffered from mixing and audio quality issues that held it back from achieving true greatness. Since its release, Will frequently discussed his desire to rerecord many of the tracks on the album, and the release of a new recording of “Beach Life-In-Death” in December of 2017 sparked rumors that a re-recording of the original album was on the horizon. As more evidence of the forthcoming album surfaced, Matador Records officially announced the release of the new Twin Fantasy (Face to Face), while branding the 2011 version as Twin Fantasy (Mirror to Mirror),released on February 16, 2018.
On a technical level, Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) greatly exceeds the original in quality. The low-quality production of (Mirror to Mirror) often causes the instrumentals to become a cluttered mess. The drums and bass are sorely lacking on (Mirror to Mirror), and even though the guitars are given the most focus, they often become jumbled and indistinguishable from each other, creating an obscure, messy sound. In (Face to Face), however, the production is far better and creates a sound which is far more competent than the original. All of the instruments pop out more in the new album, giving it a sense of structure that the original lacked. The most improved instrument is by far the drums. They are more emphatic and pronounced in (Face to Face), and highlight the build ups and explosions of sound that characterize the album. One of the best examples of the drums’ improved sound is on “Beach Life-In-Death," one of the longest songs on the album. Previously, the drums’ presence was lacking any real emphasis on this track. However, on the new recording of the song, the drums are loud and bombastic, leading the guitars and bass forward. The drums form the foundation for the other instruments, creating a more orderly medley i which each instrument pops out. One other thing worth mentioning on the new Twin Fantasy is the improved vocals. Although Will’s performance is more emotional on the original Twin Fantasy, his performance on (Face to Face) is of higher quality (meaning Will’s singing voice receives a significant improvement, and he manages to hit a more diverse range of notes). In contrast to the tone of his singing on (Mirror to Mirror), Will is more calm and collected on (Face to Face) (with a few exceptions). This change in tone is parallel to his change in attitude towards the events described in Twin Fantasy. The original was more emotional because he was still heavily experiencing those emotions. The re-recording was more collected as Will took a look back and reminisced on all his wrongs and rights. Overall, the improved mixing and vocals lead to (Face to Face) being the album of choice between the two.
Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) is characterized by Will Toledo’s somber lyrics and explosive sound. The album mainly focuses on the concept of a romance, being based on a real relationship Will was involved in. It tells the story of his romance with one Cate Wurtz, and uses his experiences to comment on love with all its hardships and joys. This intertwines with other subjects throughout the album, such as: depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol abuse, homosexuality, critiques of societal structures, and much more. This provides a more depressing tone for the most part, but Will also focuses on more upbeat topics such as partying and dancing as a means of highlighting the pleasant parts of his romance. The mood set by Will’s instrumentation ranges from bleak to upbeat to somewhere in the middle throughout the album. This provides a sense of breadth which adds variety to Twin Fantasy, making it an interesting and diverse listen. An element of the music that practically characterizes the album is Will’s frequent use of “explosions” of guitars and drums. Often in Twin Fantasy, Will Toledo crafts masterful buildups which lead into ecstatic and instantaneous bursts of resounding drums and roaring guitars. These explosions of sound range from heart wrenching and emotional to elating and upbeat, demonstrating the various moods Will experiments with on the album. This style helps elevate the album, creating intensely emotional moments, both happy and sad. These elements create a sense of variety which helps to make Twin Fantasy an absorbing musical experience.
Twin Fantasy can essentially be broken down into four “Acts” as an album. The first Act encompasses the first two tracks, “My Boy(Twin Fantasy)” and “Beach Life-In-Death." “My Boy” invites the listener into the album with a slow and steady drum beat, intermixed with clacking drum sticks. The drums are followed by a soft baseline, which leads into Will’s first vocals on the album. All of these elements combine to form a fantastic buildup, which leads into Will’s first explosion of guitars, drums, and vocals. Lyrically, the song is not very complex, and merely serves for Will to introduce his romance, or “fantasy," that will be the topic of remaining songs. Overall, the song is very catchy, and serves as a great introduction to the album. However, “Beach Life-In-Death," the second track, is where Twin Fantasy begins to really shine. My personal favorite track on the album, “Beach Life-In-Death” is the epitome of Will’s insanely rambunctious musical compositions and hard-hitting lyrics. The song is divided into three parts. The first and third parts are loud, energetic, and thrilling, characterized by frantic, fast paced drums and blaring guitars. The middle part takes a slower, more mellow approach, featuring relaxed, slower guitar compositions. The bursts of sound found throughout the album are at their best in this song, coming at just the right time with just the right amount of buildup. Lyrically, the song is dense and powerful. Will sings about the mundanities of life, deteriorating mental health, homosexuality, rebelliousness, and his struggles with romance. Will uses metaphor, hyperbole, and other poetic devices throughout the song, creating a beautiful masterpiece of lyricism that is the peak of the album. To delve into the depths of Will’s lyricism and instrumentals on this song would warrant an entire article in and of itself, so for now I encourage you to listen and discover all the intricacies of this song for yourself. The closing of “Beach Life-In-Death” ends the first Act of the album. Most certainly the most disconnected Act of the album, the two songs that comprise it are fairly similar in style and serve to introduce the listener to Will Toledo’s “fantasy” of a romance that will be present throughout all other Acts of the album.
Act 2 is comprised of the third and fourth tracks, “Stop Smoking (We Love You)” and “Sober to Death." “Stop Smoking (We Love You)” is a fairly simplistic yet graceful acoustic arrangement in which Will begs his lover to quit smoking for the people who love him. The lyricism on this song is very simple and to the point, but it is very telling of Will’s overprotective attitude, which the next track, “Sober to Death," emphasizes further. “Sober to Death” combines a beautiful acoustic melody with droning guitar synthesizers, ending the song with the haunting repetition of “Don’t worry, you and me won’t be alone no more." The lyrical content focuses on Will and his lover’s struggles with mental health. On “Sober to Death," Will watches his lover suffer from mental illness and urges him to accept his help, again showing his overprotective nature. There are also hints as to the unhealthy nature of their relationship is in lines such as “I wanna hear you going psycho/If you’re going psycho I wanna hear." This unhealthiness is the defining trait of Act 2. It introduces some of the biggest issues within Will’s fantasy, such as his overprotective nature, his partner’s smoking habits, and he and his partner’s deteriorating mental health. These issues set up Act 4 later in the album, when the fantasy begins to fall apart.
Act 3 is comprised of the fifth, sixth and seventh tracks, “Nervous Young Inhumans," “Bodys” and “Cute Thing." These three songs are all connected by ecstatic and upbeat instrumentals, giving them a more lighthearted mood than the rest of the album. “Nervous Young Inhumans” provides a look into the songwriting process, as Will sings about it to his lover: “Most of the time that I use the word you/ Well you know that I’m mostly singing about you”. The song ends with a haunting two-minute monologue that comments on the conflict of good and evil, religion, and the passage of time. The monologue goes on for just a little too long, but it’s interesting nonetheless. The next track, “Bodys”, is one of my personal favorites on the album. The song is arguably the most upbeat on the album, with an uplifting rhythm that frequently breaks into a harmonious blast of guitar synths and drums. The vocals focus around Will’s social awkwardness as he pursues his love interest, which serves as a commentary on the awkward nature of adolescence as a whole, in addition to the freedom and rebellious attitudes that come with it. The song has a very unorthodox lyrical structure as well. There is no defined chorus in “Bodys”, and the song comments on its own structure: “Is it the chorus yet?/No. It’s just a building of the verse/So when the chorus does come, it’ll be more rewarding,”(Very meta). Together, these things allow the song to stand out and be one of the most absorbing on the entire album. The last song in Act 3 “Cute Thing," is fairly straightforward compared to many of the others on the album. It features a heavy clash of drums and guitar synths that continually erupt. The instrumentation is accompanied by romantic lyricism, with a little bit of commentary on Will’s own musical career. It’s a simple song, but it’s still an enjoyable listen. Act 3 is far and away the most lively and fun Act on the album, comprised of upbeat instrumentation and romantic lyrics. However, the album makes a drastic change in mood as soon as act 4 begins.
Simply put, Act 4 is an existential nightmare. This Act is shaped by depressing lyricism, with Will trying to stop his relationship, or his “fantasy," from ending. It also features dismal instrumentation, making Act 4 feel dreary and hopeless. The first track on Act 4 “High to Death," is a hypnotic beginning of the end. The guitars are soft, the drums are gentle, and Will’s vocals are calm and steady, creating a somber, psychedelic melody. No eruptions of guitar synths, no bombastic drums, no yelling from Will, just a quiet and dismal spiral downwards. The lyrics depict struggles with substance abuse, using references to “The Yellow Wallpaper” by Charlotte Perkins Gilman to depict addiction. The song also begins to open up about Will’s romantic troubles. Will encourages his lover to “Keep smoking”, in direct contrast with the lyrics of “Stop Smoking”. He’s submitting to his partner’s smoking habit, so desperate to keep his relationship alive that he’s no longer concerned for his partner’s health or his own health. As stated previously, this song serves as the beginning to the end. Will’s fantasy is slowly beginning to crumble, and he’s trying everything he can to save it. In the next song “Famous Prophets(Stars)”, he will finally see the end of that fantasy. “Famous Prophets(Stars)” is the longest song on the album, clocking in at 16 minutes and 10 seconds. It features a heavy amount of instrumental variation, with certain parts of the song being loud and chaotic, and others calm and collected. In one verse the guitars are screeching and Will is screaming. In the next, a gentle piano solo is accompanied by his soft vocals. Lyrically, this song deals with the end of Will’s fantasy, which he makes clear right out of the gate: “Apologies to future mes and yous/But I can’t help feeling like we’re through." The rest of the song focuses on his journey through the end, as he attempts to cope with the conclusion of his fantasy. He begs that he and his lover “... go back” to a time when they were together, he pleads that his love “Let me in”, and finally “... the mirror breaks” and the fantasy shatters before him. The song incorporates a lot of interesting ideas lyrically, including a return to other songs on the album (such as “Beach Life-In-Death” and “My Boy”), and the use of bible verses which reflect the themes of the song and album as a whole. The instrumental and lyrical variation and depth make “Famous Prophets (Stars)” one of the best songs on the album. The final song “Twin Fantasy," is the final chapter in Will’s fantasy. The song is not insanely impressive on a technical level, but it definitely gets the job done. The song involves Will’s reflection on his fantasy. He describes that although he and his lover are separated, they will always be together in his mind. As Will says “When I come back you’ll still be here." No matter how much time passes the memories and songs will always exist, and he will always be able to revisit them, as if his fantasy never truly ended in the first place.
Over the past year Twin Fantasy has become one of my most listened to albums of all time. Not only is the album incredible both lyrically and instrumentally, but it also manages to strike a chord with me. Many of the struggles depicted on this album are struggles inherent to adolescence. Struggles that either I or the people around me have had to go through. This sense of relatability has allowed me to find true meaning in Twin Fantasy. It’s ability to parallel events in my life and the lives of those around me has caused me to grow attached to it. For this reason, as well as the numerous reasons listed throughout this article, Twin Fantasy (Face to Face) is my favorite album of 2018, and I think you should give it a listen if you haven’t already.
ZOE C ('19)
Dear students of Charlotte Country Day School,
(To preface, this all may sound a bit condescending, presumptuous, and rude. Please, just keep with it)
I dance because I am happy. I dance because it feels good. I dance through the rooms of my empty house, on my way to class when the sun is out, smack dab in the middle of the mall, and in a parking lot at twilight. Anywhere and everywhere when music is playing, and sometimes when it’s not. I don’t have any sort of talent or training. I just dance because it is fun: my physical expression of pure joy.
However, as I look around my last all-school dance, I feel sad. I am sweating and nasty from the last 45 minutes of going HARD on the dance floor. Yet here, where dancing should feel more acceptable than any other public venue, I feel out of place and slightly self-conscious. Students are standing in clumps, talking with each other. Some sporadically engage in a half-hearted head bop or step-touch. A few are completely committed: shoes off, sweating, spinning and shaking and swaying. But the vast majority of attendees are not dancing. While decked out in stunning fits and fresh cut flowers, everyone seems a bit uncomfortable. Uncomfortable with the event, each other, and the very idea of dancing.
Perhaps my analysis of the Charlotte Country Day student psyche is wrong, but most of you will agree with the statement that people don’t really dance at our school’s dances. We dress up. We take photos that are both gorgeous and witty for Instagram. Then we go and bear the dance for as long as is required before we can leave to go to after-parties. The dance is an excuse to party and an obstacle to the “actually fun” part of the evening. I am not condemning partying or having fun outside of school sanctioned events. Rather, I am questioning why we attend events where we are going to waste our time instead of genuinely participating. Why have we created a culture where authenticity is only acceptable when we can blame it on a substance? Why is coolness equated with apathy? Why do we feel the need to retain an image of ourselves in social situations, in the process losing our carefree joy and genuineness? I am questioning why we all seem afraid of each other, afraid of letting our guard down, afraid of dancing.
I have fallen prey to this fear. At school dances, I have noticed the stomach twist of awkwardness that I do not have when I am dancing with just my close friends or at dances outside of CCDS. I do not like this feeling. To combat it, I made the choice that I will not let my time be run by fear. I will dance, physically expressing pure joy, and not fear any assumptions or judgements from others. This is an opinion piece – simply my observations of a system in which I am deeply ingrained. That may either give me an inescapable bias or a clearer internal perspective. Either way, if you agreed with anything in this article, whether it be a love of dancing or dissatisfaction with our social norms, I encourage you to make a change.