Category: Culture

150 Years On, Tolstoy is Still Magical

One of the books that first comes to mind when you hear Leo Tolstoy’s name––and I’m here thinking of Anna Karenina––seems rather imposing. Anna Karenina. It’s a weighty book, for sure, just in terms of sheer size––you might even make a doorstop out of it. (I, for one, have never tried.) And weighty, too, in… Read more »

Racial Stereotyping in the Works of J.R.R. Tolkien

Imagination: the preeminent emblem of our humanity. Through it, we obtain the capacity to revise – or might I say, reimagine – the world around us; to create, alter, and improve that which is tangible and arcane. From J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis to George R. R. Martin and J. K. Rowling, authors of the fantasy… Read more »

AI and The Future of Writing

In April 2022, I started reading articles about OpenAI, an artificial intelligence research lab, and its image-generating program, Dall-E ( I kept reading and realized it is another version of GPT-3. GPT-3, or the Generative Pre-Trained Transformer 3, is a large language learning model: the AI model is given data to ‘train’ on to produce… Read more »

The Bias Among Us In America’s Mainstream Media

Alexandra Bell’s Counternarratives exposes the racial bias present in the news sources we trust the most. The New York Times. Washington Post. Wall Street Journal. These are our go-to sources for news. We use these news outlets to learn about current events and even cite them in our academic papers. Why? Because we trust them…. Read more »

You Are What You Speak

I have always been an international student. Growing up in Hong Kong, I went to an international kindergarten, progressed to an international primary school, and then attended an international secondary school. Now, I am an international student at Bowdoin. Throughout it all, my proficiency in the English language has been my greatest asset. That is,… Read more »

What to Do Post-Posting: Keeping Activism Actionable in the Age of Instagram

2020 seemed like the worst possible year to be stuck inside, a year limited to living vicariously through screens. From the national awakening surrounding pervasive systemic racism in the United States to the most important presidential election in recent history, this year brimmed with potential for grassroots-organized activism. While the COVID-19 pandemic did not prevent… Read more »

Every Game Makes a Statement

Whether or not developers acknowledge it, politics and video games are deeply intertwined — for better or worse. The title of the mission, “No Russian,” rolls on my screen. I hold my breath while listening to the instructions given by Makharov, a Russian ultra-nationalist, who I am supposed to follow. I hold my disguise the… Read more »

Bella Thorne and the Sexploitation of OnlyFans

When Bella Thorne joined OnlyFans, a subscription-based creator platform, the ex-Disney star charged users $20 monthly to access risqué content, from bikini pictures to hotdog-eating pictures to $200 pay-per-view nudes. After a day on the platform, Thorne broke the system, making $1 million in 24 hours and $2 million by the end of the week…. Read more »

We Are Finally Catching Up to Young Thug

“People think I am falling off because I put out music I like but I always know the music y’all like,” declares Young Thug. In creating So Much Fun, his goal was to release an album for the people. He was certainly correct in his assessment, as the album was his first to debut at… Read more »

There’s Only Room for One NBA Team in LA

No team is more symbolic of Los Angeles culture than the Lakers. If you need a reminder of how deep Laker’s history runs, just look at the jerseys hanging from the Staples Center ceiling. O’Neal, Abdul-Jabar, Worthy, Johnson, West, and Bryant might be familiar names to you. If you haven’t heard of these players, Lebron… Read more »