Well, that got here quick! Dear reader, you’re holding in your hands the last print issue of The Hoot for the 2019-2020 school year, which just so happens to contain the very last “Koslofsky’s Corner.” Yes, this self-indulgent exercise must come to an end, as COVID-19 shutters the doors of this university a month and a half before graduation. It’s an eerie time in the world: our New England winter has been extraordinarily pleasant and mild, leaving us with the best weather anyone could ask for during a global pandemic.
I’ll be leaving soon, too. I can’t pretend to have processed the fact that in just a few days, I’ll be getting in my car (my beloved, beat-up stick-shift minivan) and driving 16 hours back to my native middle-west. I’m not sure when I’ll see Brandeis again.
Over the past few days, it’s begun to feel like nothing matters. Why go to class when class is about to be cancelled? Why go to online class when instruction over Zoom feels so useless? With the state of the world so clearly out of all our hands, what does an event like commencement matter?
Stories are comforting because they have an end, a satisfying closure. Over the course of this year, I’ve tried to use this column to highlight stories that are significant to me, to express why certain works of self-expression matter. But even if you’re convinced to watch “The Way Back” by my review this week, how the hell are you going to see it when going to a theater presents some very real health concerns?
It looks like my time at Brandeis is not going to get that satisfying, narratively-consistent closure. And that’s OK. The truth is, the state of what we care about is out of our hands, always. That doesn’t mean that stories are useless—though perhaps the more honest the story, the more depressing. I’ve spent the past four years at this school thinking about narratives, taking them apart, putting them back together and even writing a few of my own, and that’s the only conclusion I feel confident sharing.
But there is joy that’s honest, too, and writing for The Hoot has been one of my most consistent sources of joy over the past four years. At the start of the school year, I thanked those who encouraged me as a freshman and promised to try to do the same. Over the past eight months as Arts Editor, I’ve done my best to bolster anyone and everyone with a desire to write about art and pop culture. I hope it helped.
I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished with this section, and I’m really excited to see what it becomes next year. Emma Lichtenstein and Aaron LaFauci will be taking over in August, and I have complete confidence in their abilities (there may even be an increase in coverage of Brandeis events). Again, if you are a person passionate about art, reach out to them. They’re some of the friendliest people I know, and they’ll be happy to help get your words into the paper. Emma, Aaron, I’m so excited to see what you build—and I’ll be reading, weekly.
Endings are hard. They don’t really make sense. This is the part where I’m supposed to convince you that everything you just read was worthwhile, that it was all building to a cohesive, valuable point you can take away. Look, writing is a pain. You rarely feel you’ve expressed all of what you’re trying to say. You’re not fighting disease or working to make change, you’re sitting behind a laptop, desperately trying to make something worthy of the time you’re putting into it. And you can bet that the same goes for making a newspaper every week.
In our first issue of the year, I wrote about “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” a movie about a guy who’s out of time, a guy who—because the world is changing—doesn’t get to make silly stuff any more. I was going to do a “Koslofsky’s Corner” on how FKA Twigs’s music makes my brain ooze. I was going to write one on how “Gone Girl” has aged somewhat poorly, or at least how I get why my Mom hates it now. No, I’m not going to stop writing—but I am going to stop writing this piece. So long—maybe it’s time Koslofsky left his corner.