ROUND-UP December 15–March, 2021

 Hello readers! Here are the most recent (relatively speaking) pieces of writing I've had published!

But what happens when [Swift's] love life is finally taken out of the spotlight, and her artistry stands alone, as on July's folklore and December's evermore? Will people (read: music snobs) finally be able to admit that she's an incredible songwriter when they aren't scoffing at the specter of tabloid fodder? (Still looking at you, Pitchfork, for only deigning to review the Ryan Adams cover of 1989 rather than the original.) Do we require Swift to excise the personal and turn to the explicitly fictional, to consider her craft as mature and sophisticated? Folkore eases us into this new world of narrative, of historical and make-believe alike, each rendered with the detail and emotional honesty that Swift consistently has delivered. "The last great American dynasty", as has been discussed, tells the story of a real-life woman who married into old money, while the trio of "cardigan", "august", and "betty" drew us into a high school love triangle across three musical genres and varying moods in shades of pensive, wistful, and rueful.
What makes this adaptation of Antigone particularly hard-hitting in 2020 (or rather, 2019, when it was released in Canada), is Deraspe’s choice to fully update the story to incorporate the issue of police brutality against vulnerable members of society—a reminder to American audiences that our struggle with this injustice is certainly not unique. As Algerian immigrants, the Hipponomes were targeted by the police; similarly, they could never expect a fair trial in the court of public opinion. In this imagining of Antigone, social media cleverly takes on the role of the Greek chorus, with several montages cut throughout like chapter headings showing how contemporary networks of communication allow both prejudices and social movements to spread beyond the boundaries of a small community.
Standing in the ocean in the dead of night with the water up to your calves, you might see something like this: a slender ribbon of colorful light weaving its way deep below the surface of the water. Inspired by the phenomenon that makes that sight possible—bioluminescence—Paula Cahill transmutes the aura of wonder from these observations into her large-scale paintings. These works reflect her combined interest in marine ecologies, her command of form and depth, and her deep knowledge of the imagery and storytelling of artistic practices and canons dating back millennia.