Editors’ Note: November 20

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Hannah Cooper/Senior Staff

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“These violent delights have violent ends

And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,

Which, as they kiss, consume.”

— William Shakespeare, “Romeo and Juliet”

 

As we approach the end of this semester, we here at The Weekender have turned our focus to “consumption” in our era. How has what we consume changed in quarantine? How in our late-capitalist society does consumption drive everything from media to politics? And how has the word itself evolved? 

In a cross section of media and the history of the word “consumption,” Miranda looked to the history of the media’s portrayal of sickness, starting her analysis with depictions of tuberculosis — known in the past as consumption — and ending with today’s media portrayals of those with COVID-19. Keeping with the media theme, Cate looked at the way gender affects how literature is categorized and, in turn, how that categorization determines, in part, who consumes those works.

Others were interested in how we consume technology. Riley looked at the way TikTok has consumed her life in quarantine, and Pamela wondered if there are better ways to stay in touch with friends than by scrolling through her social media feeds. With the closure of bars and restaurants, Nat asked how we present ourselves like commodities to be consumed on dating apps and explored how we ask the same thing of the other people we encounter in those spaces. 

There is, of course, also the consumption of good, old-fashioned, tactile things to consider. With her mind on her time spent inside during lockdown, Raina examined how her consumption of fashion trends has changed in quarantine. While at first the green effects of sheltering in place were praised, Danielle asks us to question the environmental repercussions of our increased online shopping. Additionally, Ashley argued that changes in consumption on an individual level can never be the solution to environmental degradation under a capitalist system.

Finally, Zara and Eriko considered how their time has been consumed by family. Zara looked back on her fondest Thanksgiving traditions in a year when almost nothing is as it was. Eriko examined the rising popularity of Korean dramas and wrote about how they brought her family together. 

No matter what’s consuming your time these days, we here at The Weekender wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving.

Contact the Weekender at [email protected] and follow us on Twitter at @dcweekender.

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