To acquire wisdom, one must observe

Art that eased the pain

Hell-ooooooo Hoot Readers!!!! It’s been a while since I’ve last written to you. The last month and a half has been an emotional roller-coaster, but we are so back! Aside from all the wonderful people in my life (I love you all so much, yes, even you), art has been essential to getting me through this time. With Thanksgiving coming up, I thought I’d express my thankfulness for the art that helped numb my pain with another list. So without further ado, here’s some of the art (visual and auditory) that I’m thankful for this year: 

  1. So so many songs by the The 1975

Matty Healy is my therapist. I’m really obsessed. I can’t tell if this is preventing or contributing to my decline. Most likely the latter. But, when I’m feeling my worst, all I have to do is turn on songs like “Tonight (I Wish I Was Your Boy),” “Sincerity is Scary,” “The Birthday Party,” “Heart Out” and “Paris” (just to name a few), and I start to feel better. In fact, I recently saw The 1975 perform live and it truly was a spiritual experience. I am healing. Thank you for everything, Matty (plus Ross, Adam and George).

  1. “Agora Hills” by Doja Cat

This song is unbelievably catchy. In the span of a month, it became my most listened to song of 2023. Sure, Doja Cat is problematic and it’s about her awful boyfriend, but that just makes this song go harder when it’s used in Matty Healy edits (which I watch and enjoy often). I’ve had it on repeat for over a month now and I’m still not tired of this song. Doja really popped off here and I’m living for it!

  1. BasedMetaBoys Memes

I could not believe it when I found a meme account that posted about The 1975, Succession AND Morrissey. Like OMG!!! This person and I would probably be best friends if we knew each other. The memes on this account have essentially been my culture for the last two months. UPDATE: This account is currently deactivated on Instagram. I am absolutely devastated. RIP to a real one. Please come back.

  1. “Hot Fuss” by The Killers 

The same friend that recommended The 1975 has got me listening to The Killers now and I’m already hooked. As a fellow Morrissey fan, I feel like I get Brandon Flowers (the frontman) on a personal level. I can tell when he’s channeling Morrissey and I love it! Their 2004 debut album, “Hot Fuss,” is a musical triumph. Everyone knows “Mr. Brightside,” but the album is packed with so many other incredible songs! Their post-punk inspired sound brings me so much joy as an 80s alternative fan and I’m so excited to listen to their other albums.

  1. “Slut! (Taylor’s Version)” by Taylor Swift

This song rocks, everyone just had too rigid of expectations. It’s not the pop banger that everyone wanted, but it has beautiful lyrics and is a great commentary on dealing with the labels assigned to us by others. When it comes to music produced by Jack Antonoff (he’s so annoying), I hardly give credit where credit is due, but this is objectively fantastic! Similar to “A&W” by Lana Del Rey and many of the songs off “Being Funny In a Foreign Language” by The 1975, Antonoff’s slightly distorted and echoey production style works here and fits the vibe of the song.

  1. “Xanadu”

Apparently I talk about this movie too much! I haven’t actually watched it in over a year, but Naomi insisted that this article wouldn’t be complete without it, and she’s right. It’s a part of my personal brand and I cherish my “Xanadu” poster and laptop sticker. This 1980 classic stars Olivia Newton-John as a muse who comes to life and inspires a struggling artist. The acting is quite bad and the plot makes no sense at all, BUT the soundtrack is absolutely incredible! Electric Light Orchestra performs the majority of the tracks and Newton-John is so incredibly talented as a singer. My aunt first showed me “Xanadu” when I was very young and I’ve really come to appreciate it as an adult. If you can’t admire this movie’s soundtrack or overall campiness, I don’t think we can be friends. 

  1. The “Good In Bedit”

Now, don’t get me wrong, I LOVE Xanadu, but I think art as a visual medium actually peaked with this X-Files edit of Mulder and Scully to “Good in Bed” by Dua Lipa. My friend from Minnesota showed this to me in March and changed my life forever. I feel chills each time the chorus of “Good in Bed” starts blasting through my headphones, ready to guide me through a series-long romance in just 40 seconds. Every snippet is used perfectly in showcasing the cute but subtle romantic tension that culminates into Mulder and Scully’s relationship. The editor marvelously combined just the right scenes so the viewer can feel the incredible chemistry between the two characters. 

  1. Anything with Rob Lowe in it

Rob Lowe is so cool. He inspires me to be a cooler person every day. I love Rob Lowe so much that I have him on a t-shirt and display a “St. Elmo’s Fire” poster in my dorm. He’s also fantastic in “The West Wing.” If you want to learn more about the amazingness of Rob Lowe in the 80s, just watch “Class,” “St. Elmo’s Fire” and “About Last Night.” He’s almost too charming! Every day is Man-crush Monday when Rob Lowe exists.

  1. “My Beautiful Laundrette”

I actually don’t like this movie very much, but being forced to watch it in freshman year Humanities class is how I became friends with Naomi, esteemed arts editor of The Hoot. None of my articles would exist without Naomi, whose friendship I value deeply. Thanks for letting me write whatever I want and being a wonderful friend!

  1. “Call Me By Your Name”

This is one of the most stylistically beautiful movies I’ve ever seen. It looks and feels like a two-hour dream sequence. I wish I could stay immersed in the ’80s Italy vibes of this movie forever! In addition to its visual beauty, this film contains a message that I feel is relevant to the last month of my life and therefore, this article. In a moment of sadness, the main character, Elio, has a very heartfelt conversation with his dad, who communicates some profound wisdom. When discussing Elio’s feelings, his dad remarks, “to feel nothing so as not to feel anything—what a waste!” Essentially, don’t repress your feelings. Allow yourself to feel emotions, even if they’re unpleasant, because that’s a part of living. I’ve felt a lot of emotions over the past month, many of them terrible, but I’d rather feel those than nothing at all. 

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