This week’s spring break swept the majority of UC Berkeley’s student population out of town, but Weekender writers still had much to say about the state of artistic and cultural trends in the Bay Area and beyond.
Staff writer Nelly Lin charts the growing relevance and prevalence in the United States of the Korean viral video genre “mukbang,” wherein hosts consume vast amounts of food in front of the camera. Likewise examining a trend in video broadcasts, staff writer Arth Vidyarthi expounds on the power of comedic news shows such as “The Daily Show” and “Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj” as well as their strengths and controversies. As a student veteran, staff writer Mellissa Del Barrio interviews other student veterans and takes a look at she and her interviewees have adjusted to civilian life at UC Berkeley.
Troubled by reactionary internet presences in the face of terrorism, staff writer Andreas Gjosaether unravels his frustration with 4chan and the white supremacist rhetoric it produces. Turning to the realm of authorial authority, assistant editor Alex Jiménez launches a blistering critique of J.K. Rowling for her recent — and seemingly perennial — sound bite comments about the identities of her characters on Twitter.
In despair of a society built upon screens, staff writer Aliya Haas Blinman contributes a personal essay advocating for a childhood away in the wilderness. Staff writer Hannah Frances Johansson similarly takes a foray into nature as she comments on fire management policies in light of California’s annual wildfires.
Wrapping up the issue are three poignant portfolio works. Staff writer Lillian Wollman shares a piece of short fiction on coping mechanisms in the event of a parent’s death. Mediating on her relationship with the ocean, staff writer Pamela Hasbun contributes the piece “I Sea.” And in a deeply personal essay, staff writer Ru-Ping Chen mixes the poetic with prose and confronts moments in her life wherein she felt like she was drowning, culminating in a memory of actually almost drowning.