Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Emerson College’s only independent, student-run newspaper since 1947

The Berkeley Beacon

Letter from the Magazine Editor

Readers, 

I knew I wanted this edition of The Berkeley Beacon Magazine to be about the United States, because selfishly I needed to create something to make sense of it all. I was born in 2004. My generation, along with millennials and Generation Alphas, experience a surplus of never-ending content. 

All the time, I’m aware that American bombs are en route to the Middle East, an election is coming up, the ice caps are melting, I need to lose more weight—more more more, another celebrity is dead, should I become a mother? No, that wouldn’t be smart to do right now, there’s a new movie and book and TV show and album out, I’m almost out of Vitamin D supplements, everyone is running out of money, I can’t check my phone during class without seeing dead bodies, another paper is probably due soon, call your grandma, the U.S. exports almost one billion pounds of trash, is this guy following me? Netflix is now rolling out ads and Hulu is charging an extra $5 a month (with the ads) and HBO Max is now Max (with ads) and look! Your cousin posted on her Instagram story but first here’s an ad for chips, tuition is increasing again, this video is for you: very soon you’re going to be in a committed relationship, comment down below “claim” to claim this reading, civilians are starving and mangled and, dead look at them, look how your taxes have paid for this, 639 dead this week from Covid-19, New York’s hottest new bar is called Tofu and the waitlist extends to 2047 and—

My thoughts are like a bunch of frozen solid fruit in a blender, clanking loudly against each other, never assimilating. Disruptive. This is normal now, this is an unsustainable culture of insanity. So how are we surviving? And what does it look like? 

In this edition are a mix of photos, illustrations, creative writing, opinion pieces, and reported articles that define Neo-Americana: The New American Landscape. We provide context for twists on classic Americana, report on valuable change happening via art mediums, recall our post 9/11 American childhoods, and much more. This is a curation, a jungle juice of the beautiful, horrific nonsense that we call life in modern America. 

As editor of this magazine, however, it would be reprehensible to print copies of an all-American magazine without acknowledging the United States’ legacy inside and beyond this land. The opinions I’m expressing are solely my own and should not be associated with other writers or contributors of this magazine.

I learned recently about a phenomenon called quantum entanglement in one of my literature classes (special thanks to Prof. Neutill). The theory states that two individual particles are inextricably bound together once they interact, even when separated by a great distance after their interaction. One particle always belongs to the other. The land that was violently colonized and turned into the landscape we discuss in this magazine will forever belong to the Indigenous peoples who first inhabited it; those who each had their own societies, cultures, families, values. This land is forever theirs. 

Palestinians, whose distance from their land began in the 1948 Nakba, will always belong to their beautiful, native land. No act of colonialism will ever truly sever those particles. 

As much as this sentiment should inspire and move us, it cannot be deemed revolutionary on its own. Only through action and activism can victims of colonial terror be avenged. Our collective support and activism for the indigenous people to the Americas, Palestine, and every other colonized nation is integral. No matter our distance from the action, we are all forever tied together. 

Amidst all the terror I’ve seen recently, all the terror I’ve seen in my lifetime, I’ve been witness to more hope and kindness. There is love in collective action. There is love in mutual aid, in investing in your communities, in celebrating self-expression and identities not as a threat but as a freedom, and in creating or maintaining family, friends, loved ones. 

“Who can stand to witness broken people sob among the rubble and do nothing? Whose fight is this not?”

–Robert Edwards

With peace and love,

Maddie Barron 

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About the Contributor
Maddie Barron
Maddie Barron, Magazine Editor & Assistant Opinion Editor
Maddie Barron (she/her) is a sophomore WLP major with a minor in journalism. She serves as editor for the Beacon Magazine and co-section editor of the opinion section. Maddie is an It Girl, philanthropist, lover, gardener, and the Princess Diana of Goose Creek, SC.

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