Read our third print issue of the year, including a story on the future of the riot grrrl movement, an interview with Black TikTok creator HeyTonyTV, reviews of music from Adele and Black Pumas, commentary on Turning Point USA, sex education and waste in the fashion industry, and more.

Letter from the Editor

By Josh Joseph

As someone who had the recent pleasure of digging his bike out of a foot of frozen snow, I can tell you that we’re officially in that dreariest, chilliest, slushiest, grossest period of winter. Outside, tiny mountains of ice are being slowly whittled down, day by day, with brief rainfall from gray skies.

But I’m feeling optimistic, which might be a bit out of character for these letters considering my history of writing brooding, pseudo-intellectual laments about the pandemic and time and all that stuff. But yeah, I can’t shake the feeling that despite the many obstacles in our path, we’re going to make it.

It’s nice to be able to look back at old issues and appreciate that we made them and recognize their goodness, but that nostalgia can be limiting. I find myself getting in my head sometimes, like we couldn’t possibly outdo what we’ve done so far.

That defeatist thinking is what gets in the way of doing, and we really have a lot to do around here. We have pieces to edit, layouts to make, podcasts to record and meetings to run. Instead, I’m trying to recognize my own patterns of thinking, independent of “quality” or any metric that I could measure “objectively.” I might love my work one day and hate it the next, but in the long run, hindsight is vital — and more often than not, it shows me that I’m proud of what we do.

Instead of framing and hanging our past work and imposing expectations on ourselves, we’re plowing forward, taking the fun little ideas we have and evolving them into their wildest versions. Someone’s napkin doodle has just as much of a place within these pages as our most urgent written pieces, and that’s what makes this magazine a gift. We have been empowered, over and over again, to give voice to our strangest ideas, our best thoughts and our silliest. We never pull our punches here, and we have fun doing it.

Our office is sometimes an unnerving place to be, especially while trying to focus — I’ll inevitably shift my gaze to the hundreds of confusing objects around me: the ostrich egg at my side, the demonic Mona Lisa, the wooden giraffe, the ceramic chef, the whiteboard completely full of bullshit or the “40 and Sexy” wine glass. Some of these things have been here for decades, some just a semester, but it takes a certain kind of insane accumulation to be interesting even after I’ve spent months in this room.

I’d like to think, or hope, that we inject that overwhelming brand of weird into everything we do. The unblinking stare of our in-house Furby reminds me not to take this so seriously and to stop caring too much about the wrong things. I hope we never stop overwhelming and confusing people.

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