Letter from the Editors, April 2016

Right as I was sitting down to write our final Letter from the Editors today, a Facebook notification bleeped onto my laptop screen—and since I was supposed to be writing this letter, naturally I logged onto Facebook to check the notification instead. It turned out to be quite a pleasant surprise—You Won’t, a small-time, two-man band that happens to have quite a following at Hillsdale, had allowed a website to stream their new album, Revolutionaries, four days before the actual day of the album drop.

This Facebook notification just made Hell Week possible for a lot of Hillsdale students.

As Stacey Egger explains with so much care in her article on taste and community, small communities  “[bind] their members together in a discourse that has the ease and depth that shared imagery and artistic associations bring.”  This early album drop by You Won’t furnishes a perfect example: the new album will likely provide both the quietly humming background music and the celebratory blasting-from-the-speakers music that goes along with all of the camaraderie of all-nighters and hastily written papers.This little-known band, well-loved by an even littler community, has become a part of Hillsdale’s mythos, a recommendation passed down and listened to and played at gatherings from birthday parties to weddings for five or six years now, if not more. The album’s appearance provokes reflection on the richness of the Hillsdale student community’s cultural fabric: the community’s contemporary tastes are cultivated by its studious appreciation of the liberal arts, and its general enthusiasm for beauty turns outward to love for one another.

This issue of The Forum demonstrates the Hillsdale student’s love of beauty in art particularly well. Chris McCaffery opens the issue with the final installment of his essays on irony, urging us to learn to see not only art and beauty, but reality itself, with new eyes. Stacey Egger follows up her previous article on taste and community, explaining thoroughly what I have only addressed briefly in this letter. Jo Kroeker and Colin Wilson discuss better ways to approach gender with relation to personhood, and Emily Lehman explores and contrasts our modern perspective on time with that of the ancients. Providing another contrast of perspective, satirist Noah Weinrich directs our attention to some of the non-art factors that can forcibly shape a community. Finally, Mark Naida shares his thoughts on the ways contemporary singer Leon Bridges has succeeded in becoming a part of pop culture without cheapening his Christian vision, and Tim Troutner explores the humane environmentalism of Hayao Miyazaki’s movies. On the cover and throughout the issue, Forester McClatchey comes in clutch with his delightful pen and ink illustrations.

As this is our final issue of the year, we would like to especially thank the Intercollegiate Studies Institute and the Collegiate Network for their continued support, our advisor Dr. Somerville, and our senior editors Chris McCaffery and Minte Irmer. And to everyone who has contributed to The Forum this year—thank you for sharing your thoughts and contributing to the conversation on campus.

Sarah Reinsel is a junior studying English. Madeline Johnson is a junior studying philosophy.

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