The Oberlin Review

“Keep It Gay” Evokes LGBTQ+ Pride with Queer Music

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

March 2, 2018

Oberlin was dazzled by its newest Oberlin Musical Theater Association musical showcase, Keep It Gay, which ran last Thursday through Saturday under the direction of College junior Julia Peterson. The showcase featured a collection of musical songs that had been “queered” or were queer and both tore at heartstrings and invoked laughter. Peterson, along with assistant director and College first-year Mia Fox and co-music directors College sophomore Paul Lawrence and College junior Alex Ngo, organized the showcase as a celebration of queer identity, delivering an important reminder of the values that hold the Oberlin community together. As the cast pointedly sang in I Am What I Am, “It’s my song, and if you don...

California pop singer-songwriter Melina Duterte performs as Jay Som at the Cat in the Cream Saturday night.

Duterte, Sridharan Perform Innovative Indie Pop Tunes

February 16, 2018

The Cat in the Cream hosted California-based pop singer-songwriter Melina Duterte, performing as Jay Som, Saturday night. Duterte is known for kaleidoscopic dream pop and personally crafting all the sounds on her records. She has been featured on Pitchfork, NPR, and Rookie. Out Magazine described Jay Som as “the New Queer Voice of Indie Rock,” and Vice featured Duterte in a 2017 article titled “The Defiant Sound of Asian-American Women in Indie Rock.” Her Oberlin performance, which was co-spo...

OINC Showcases Unconventional Improv Performance

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

December 1, 2017

When I went to attend the Oberlin Improvisation and New Music Collective’s latest performance at the Birenbaum Innovation and Performance Space on Wednesday night, I had no idea what to expect. I had never seen the OINC before, and when I thought of improv shows, I imagined fast-paced jokes on a dimly-lit stage or silly songs composed on the fly — the sorts of things that friends sometimes do together when everyone is bored and has had a little too much to drink. The OINC’s performance was unlike anything I had imagined. The show consisted of two main acts. The first improvisation was carried out by two musicians, who used synthesizers to engineer a variety of innovative sounds together. These were not songs ...

Supreme Court Justice Biopic Thrills with Legal Twists, Turns

Russell Jaffe, Staff Writer

November 3, 2017

Editor’s note: This article contains mention of sexual assault, violence, racism, and anti-Semitism. In a thrilling biographical legal drama, Marshall tells the story of the Supreme Court justice and civil rights lawyer, Thurgood Marshall, as he confronts one of the first and lesser-known cases of his prolific career. When a wealthy socialite accuses her Black chauffeur of sexual assault and attempted murder, Marshall must join forces with local insurance lawyer Sam Friedman to uncover the truth and defend the chauffeur from a town that has already presumed his guilt. This films stands out from the typical biographical drama, as it avoids the usual attempts to glorify an individual by focusing on their greatest...

Lucas Briffa, OC ’12, returned to Oberlin to give a film screening on Sunday and a talk on Monday as part of the Pathways 2017 series.

New Series Explores Pathways in Past and Future Artistic Careers

September 22, 2017

The Pathways 2017 series, which the Art department debuted this year to bring recent alumni back to campus to speak to current art students about the trajectories that their lives and careers have taken since graduation, had a strong launch. Last Sunday and Monday, two recent Art department alumni returned to campus and gave firsthand accounts of what they have done post-college, and more alumni will be giving talks later in the year. In conjunction with the Art department’s Senior Studio and Th...

Doobie Ingenuity, one of two sketch comedy troupes that staged performances at the Cat in the Cream over Labor Day weekend, presented both live and pre-recorded sketches Friday night.

Sketch Comedy Troupes Deliver Lighthearted Performances

September 8, 2017

Sketch comedy is a rare treat at Oberlin, but last weekend not just one but two sketch comedy troupes performed at the Cat in the Cream. On Friday night, Oberlin’s newest sketch comedy group; the self-styled “most innovative sketch comedy group on campus,” Doobie Ingenuity, gave a spirited performance to a nearly full house. The performers showcased some of the best skits from the group’s previous shows, introducing the audience to their brand of humor and hoping to inspire other prospec...

Trump Recklessly Tempts War

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

April 21, 2017

International tensions are on the rise as North Korea and the United States trade increasingly threatening demonstrations of military power. In one deliberate provocation, President Donald Trump supposedly sent an aircraft carrier to the Korean peninsula in a move that North Korea condemned as “reckless.” However, on Saturday’s “Day of the Sun,” a festival celebrating the birthday of Kim Il-Sung, North Korea’s founder, Kim Jong Un responded by publicly flaunting his military arsenal, and is currently rumored to be planning further nuclear tests to advance North Korea’s place in the arms race. For the first time since the Cold War, World War III looms as a serious threat on the horizon. It is difficult...

Congress Votes to Invade Privacy

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

April 7, 2017

In a frightening shift toward the dystopian, Congress recently voted to kill vital protections for internet privacy, with President Donald Trump officially approving the bill Monday. These protections, approved at the end of Obama’s term but not yet enacted, would have been the only line of defense against those who wished to keep their personal information classified. Now, internet providers will not need our consent before collecting and sharing our data, including browsing histories, geo-locations and even the contents of our online identities. This data will be sold in aggregate to advertisers, who will use it to target ads more specifically to internet users. This effectively puts our personal information up for...

Global Redistribution of Wealth Could End Poverty

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

March 10, 2017

The futurists once had a dream: Through technological advancement, all of humanity’s needs would someday be provided for automatically, leaving us free to pursue our passions and aspirations. In the 1930s, for example, economist John Keynes predicted that his grandchildren — now the people of today’s workforce — would need to work a mere 15 hours a week, and their descendents would work even less. Someday, according to this dream, everyone would have a home, enough food to eat and the resources to cultivate ourselves into the very best people we could be, unhindered by a rat race for basic necessities. And then, miraculously, technology surpassed these expectations. In the United States alone, empty homes...

Disobedience Checks Unjust Laws

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

February 24, 2017

Is it ever acceptable to break the law? This question has gained new urgency under the oppression of the Trump presidency. For example, is it morally acceptable to hide our neighbors and friends from violent deportation raids? Can we destroy government property to slow the progress of unconstitutional proposals like Trump’s border wall? How can we stand up against an incompetent administration that refuses to recognize our most basic human rights? These questions are not new. In fact, this country was founded through lawbreaking when the 13 colonies decided to reject an oppressive government that did not fairly represent their interests. Countless other examples of disobedience — from Rosa Parks to the Stonewal...

Inauguration Protests Set Tenor for Trump’s Presidency

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

February 3, 2017

On the day of President Donald Trump’s inauguration, I joined thousands of people from across the nation to voice our disapproval of the incoming administration. Many, including myself, had been protesting all month. At 5 a.m. on the morning of Inauguration Day, I met with The Future is Feminist in D.C., a nonviolent group devoted to combating misogyny and promoting gender equality. Our goal for the day was to shut down one of 14 inauguration checkpoints, in coordination with other groups who would succeed in shutting down another five of these checkpoints. Many members of the Future is Feminist received and continue to receive death threats from various neo-Nazis and conservative operatives who had been attempting to...

Dakota Access Pipeline Latest Case of Environmental Racism

Russell Jaffe, Columnist

December 2, 2016

While many students were preparing themselves for a Thanksgiving full of feasting and celebrating with loved ones Nov. 21, law enforcement officers at Standing Rock were assaulting protesters with water cannons in below-freezing temperatures. The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe has been assaulted, terrorized and arrested since April for exercising its right to peacefully protest against the unethical construction of the North Dakota Access Pipeline. The pipeline, designed to serve as a key link between the state’s oil wells, was originally mapped to cut through Bismarck, ND — an area with more than 92 percent white residents as of the 2010 census — but was instead rerouted through tribal nations. The U.S. Army Corps of...

Established 1874.