A&E
Movies and musicals have a symbiotic relationship
Courtesy of Playbill
If you enjoy musical classics like “Phantom of the Opera” and “The Lion King,” or more popular ones, like “Hamilton,” “Mean Girls” and “Beetlejuice,” then continue reading. 
Recently, musicals have become even more popular in American media. In particular, the movie industry has paid more attention to Broadway by adapting actual musicals into movies. This is important because adding musicals or musical-related scenes into movie theaters widens the audience for the art form of musicals.
One musical that widened the audience for musical theatre was “The Lion King,” which is not just a popular animated Disney film made in 1994 but is also a classic musical that has been playing since 1997. It has warmed the hearts of many with its touching story of a lion cub, Simba, who is destined to be king. When his envious Uncle Scar gets in the way of his rise to the throne, disaster strikes. This musical is the third-longest Broadway show with 9,176 performances according to PlayBill.com. While it has always been popular on Broadway, it has also had major success on the big screen. Even after Disney made its cartoon version in 1994, in 2019, they made a new live-action animated version. 
The trend of movies becoming adapted into musicals does not stop there. For example, “Beetlejuice,” which started as a 1980’s Tim Burton film, follows the story of a demon named Beetlejuice who haunts and kills couple Barbara and Adam, to teach them how to be a ghost. Years after the Tim Burton film first premiered, “Beetlejuice” has gained so much popularity that fans of the film also enjoy the musical on broadway. 
On the other hand, popular musicals becoming adapted into movies widens the audience for those musicals as well. “The Phantom of the Opera” is another major musical, which began in 1986 and became a movie in 2004. It follows the story of a young soprano girl who falls in love with a murderous musical genius living under the Paris opera house. This musical is the longest-running on Broadway, with 13,246 performances according to Playbill.com. After the movie played in 2004, the music became more popular with a wider audience. 
Musicals play an important part in many people's lives all over the world. Movies are increasing the audience for musicals, which makes people appreciate this important art form more than ever before. 
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Free Write
Plant novice? Have no fear, your plant recs are here
Lazily scrolling down my Instagram feed, I see many posts of bright room layouts with plants adorning the walls. This makes me turn away from my phone screen and look at my bedroom walls. There’s a stick figure drawing that my sister drew some time ago and some marks of Crayola from babysitting. The rest of my bedroom walls are bare and lifeless. 
Although I am a big fan of plants and agriculture, I don’t have a particularly handy green thumb. My first plant was a small succulent gifted on my fourteenth birthday by my older brother. I put the plant on my windowsill and watered it too often. It was early October, so the New England chill had started to settle in. It went from a pretty Echeveria to a squishy, yellow-colored dying plant in three weeks. I stared in shock as the plant looked back at me in disgust. It inflated as I poked the plant. Then It gave out and the watery insides dribbled down my fingers like plant vomit. That was the first plant I killed. Filled with regret, I promised to not have another houseplant (that was a lie, I have a spiky cactus that is still going strong). 
What I didn’t know is that plants vary in the amount of care needed to survive. Some plants need constant watering and attention, and some will just flourish on their own. Here are five plants that are hard to kill—even if your green thumb is non-existent.
Devil’s Ivy (Pothos): This plant sounds ominous, but it isn’t! Pothos is often called “Devil’s Ivy” because it is hard to kill and still thrives in darkness. My biology teacher has this plant in the back of his room and it hasn’t been watered for quite some time. It’s like the Hulk of plants: green and resilient. 
Philodendron: Often mistaken as Pothos, this plant has large and shiny leaves. Would it be weird to pet it? Yes. But should you? Also yes. Philodendron can range from hanging in small baskets to being the main focal point of your indoor garden. It will keep growing with care and might outgrow your apartment (hopefully not).
Strawberry Begonia: Although there won’t be any sweet summertime strawberries, Strawberry Begonias are stunning on their own. It has wide circular leaves, and when flowering, it will send blooming runners downwards. This plant will liven up any room with its charm and bubbliness. 
String of Hearts: String of Hearts is a particular favorite of mine. The leaves can vary from purple to green. Also called Chain of Hearts, they can be tricky to handle at first, but with proper care, they can reach the floor! This plant is also non-toxic to pets. Don’t let your cat paw at them because they will break the chain of hearts (and your heart too!)
Jade Plant: I remember gifting this to my freshman U.S. history teacher, who let me take care of her plants before class. After a few months, it did start drooping because of the lack of watering and sunlight, but we revived it! The Jade Plant is also called a money tree because of the Feng Shui belief that the plant attracts wealth.
Some days I find myself wanting a new plant to decorate my room with. I try to convince myself that I DON’T need any more plants. But to no avail, I still end up in my local plant nurseries and flower shops and my wallet wilting. My two favorite places are in the South End: niche plant shop on 619 Tremont St, and Olympia Flower Store on 1745 Washington St. 
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A&E
What you don’t know about Fast Fashion
Jasmine Heyward
Clothing is something that we all should care about. Items of clothing are worn every day, by everyone everywhere, right? Well, your clothes may be the cause of harm to the environment after being produced at the cost of another person working in a sweatshop. At the same time, the concept of the piece itself could have been stolen from someone else. This should really surprise you. You may not expect a piece of cloth to have that many effects, but it does and you need to be aware. Fast fashion has been taking over the clothing industry without anyone realizing what’s happening. 
Fast fashion is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as “inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers in response to the latest trends.” In fast fashion production, the clothing is made at a rapid rate and uses cheap materials to mimic trendy clothing at a lower cost. The mass market, which is anyone who wants the trend look without the cost, is targeted, as thousands of stores are stocked with these items, from puffer jackets to mimicked Balenciaga speed trainers. Popular stores, such as H&M, Forever 21, Ross, Primark and more, fall under the umbrella of fast fashion when they recreate fashion trends from high-end designer brands, such as Gucci and Louis Vuitton and streetwear brands such as Off-White and Bstroy.
The environment is being damaged because of fast fashion. “More than 60 percent of fabric fibers are now synthetics derived from fossil fuels, so if and when our clothing ends up in a landfill, it will not decay,” wrote Tatiana Schlossberg in her New York Times review of the book “Fashionopolis” by author Dana Thompson. Schlossberg also stated that about 85% of textile waste in the United States goes to landfills or is incinerated. As these fabrics are used in numerous new styles every week the effect on the environment is compounded.
Humans are also affected by fast fashion. The workforce that produces the clothing often faces harsh working conditions. “Without authorization or affiliation, fast fashion brands carry no legal obligation to ensure decent working conditions in the bottom tiers of their production network,” wrote Victoria Stafford in a blog piece for the Green Business Network. 
But the worst part of fast fashion, or at least what should be the most discomforting, is that millions of consumers worldwide are spending their money and wearing these clothes, supporting a cause that is technically killing them, all for the look. H&M was worth over $15 billion in 2019, and that is just one out of the many companies that are creating their clothes with the element of fast fashion. 
So, how do we combat fast fashion? The price, more than anything, is what is pulling in more people than ever. Who doesn’t want the trendy look for cheap? But that is the problem. Cheap isn’t always good, and there are ways to fight back against the ways of fast fashion. Be aware of where you’re getting your clothes from, make sure you care about the quality and don’t always focus on the trend. At the end of the day, you should be buying what you think looks good not what’s gonna get you likes.
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A&E
The things left unsaid about the Black Arts Movement
During the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and ‘70s African American people exerted their artistic potential. The movement was full of black excellence across many spectrums, but most articles only mention three parts of the movement: the work of Amiri Baraka, the poets and jazz music. What’s missing from the narrative is visual arts and dance. 

Hannah Foster, author of “Black Past,” begins by describing Amiri Baraka, as he’s seen as the “Father of the Black Arts Movement.” She proceeds to write about how jazz musicians such as John Coltrane, Thelonious Monk, Archie Shepp and others were celebrated.
For an article dedicated to the understanding of African American history, I’m surprised that there isn't more discussion of other parts of the movement. For example, a Google Images search of “Black Arts Movement” yields a lot of artistic drawings. Yet, the drawing aspect of the movement is barely mentioned in articles that cover this topic. 
Non-profit website Poets.org mentions Baraka and his significance because they also view him as an important figure. The website focuses on the poetry aspect of the Black Arts Movement because “poetry was the genre that saw the most expansion and growth at the time.” The site shares information about Baraka and his poems, but it fails to acknowledge other important aspects of the movement such as the transformation of art or women's role in exhibiting the black aesthetic. 
Learning about the Black Arts Movements solely through the lens of writing, men and music is bad because it is a limited perspective. I find it saddening that only these aspects of the Black Arts Movement are displayed. Many sources accuse the movement of sexism, but these sources also exclude female artists who strived to make the Black Arts Movement even more popular. 
I could only find one article that focused on another type of art: painting. In “Widewalls,” notable journalist Patina Lee explores theater, dancing and drawing. For example, Lee mentions Jeff Donaldson, who was a respected artist known for his “Wall Of Respect” mural. Lee writes that he was “one of the most prolific visual authors.” If it weren’t for this article, I would have never learned about the art and theatre parts of the Black Arts Movement. If we are to learn about something as encouraging and powerful as the Black Arts Movement, I would want to learn every aspect of it. Wouldn’t you?
Why aren't we learning about the Black Arts Movement in its entirety? Firstly, sexism was much more prevalent in the ‘60s. Women, in general, were looked down upon by men and males were seen as the dominant gender. The Black Arts Movement was criticized for being sexist, and I believe it was. You can definitely find solid information on the web that explains how women contributed to the movement now, but the articles themselves would tell you that during the Black Arts Movement women seemed to be excluded. 

How come writing is so heavily discussed, and specifically poems? A partial answer that explains this is the fact that the start of the Black Arts Movement revolved around poems. Also, since poems were short and could be recited at rallies or protests to sway the people, poetry was one of the most popular aspects of the movement due to its effectiveness. 
The Black Arts Movement let people see the aesthetics of black culture and put black people from various many professions in the spotlight. The Movement can be criticized in any way, but you can’t deny the fact that the movement did a lot of good. It helped Black culture progress and thrive at a time where the dominant racial group was trying to aggressively oppress them.
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A&E
Some Star Wars fans have gone to the dark side
Courtesy of Walt Disney
The Star Wars saga is quite possibly the most important piece of American cinema to date. No franchise has ever reached the level of success of that of “a galaxy far, far away.” However, there has been a disturbance in the Force. You’ve felt it, I felt it. It’s the ever-growing toxicity of the Star Wars fandom.
After a 10-year hiatus, the seventh entry in the Star Wars saga opened to glowing reviews and packed theaters, and it brought us a warm return to a galaxy far, far away in 2015. In the following months, fan uproar called it a “retread,” criticized Daisy Ridley's (admittedly so-so) performance, and memed the heck out of antagonist “Emo [Kylo] Ren.”
Before the teaser-trailer hype had even set in, that small subsection of the internet who hate women and people of color were, as they tend to be these days, livid. Citing “first diversity,” a made-up concept used to undermine inclusivity, a vocal minority of fans called for a boycott, apparently and conveniently forgetting Princess Leia, a woman, and Lando Calrissian, a person of color, were integral characters to their ruined childhoods and the plight of the rebellion. Fun fact, however: “The Force Awakens” is the highest-grossing domestic film of all time, so it’s abundantly clear how that went.
After two years of speculation, theorizing and getting so far in our own heads we could never possibly be satisfied by the actual product, “The Last Jedi” arrived in theatres. While the film lacks a coherent plot, likable characters or any meaningful payoff to the events of the previous entry, what started as legitimate criticism quickly began to border on harassment directed at Kelly Marie Tran and her portrayal of Rose Tico. Rose, to put it bluntly, sucks, but poor characterization is not, and never has been, a reason to harass another human being off social media.
Love them or hate them, neither entry reaches the level of peak Star Wars. There is a lot of legitimate criticism of both. ”The Force Awakens” is a retread of a much better movie, and “The Last Jedi” is the cinematic equivalent of that scene where Luke kisses his sister. However, when your criticism borders on harassment, you’re effectively opting out of reasonable discourse. It’s fine to say Daisy Ridley’s acting isn’t great, it’s not a problem to think Rose Tico was an unnecessary and terribly written character, and you’re not a bad guy for hating the sequel films. However, if you decide to spread hate, not only do you stray from the path of the Jedi, you also discredit the very real problems of the lack of coherent storytelling put forth by the sequel era. All you succeed in doing is making Star Wars fans all over the world look like bigots, just because you lack the emotional maturity, or security, to avoid hating someone who looks different than you — and Baby Yoda would be very disappointed in you.
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