August: Cycle of Obsession: Editor's Letter
Hello! Welcome to a new issue of Low Caliber, Cycle of Obsession. Last month, we published pieces about changes and uncomfortability. This month, we are hoping to reflect on the things that do bring us comfort, albeit in an unconventional way. Our habits that become one with us. Our loves– movies, books, t.v. shows, songs, people. Things that feel like they are interwoven into our DNA, or things that are new– yet feel so familiar and close to us and provide a launching pad or safety net onto or from something else.
Lorde’s sophomore album “Melodrama” is such a tangible representation of the way obsessions can consume us; and then mean absolutely nothing. She refers to herself as an obsession in the lines of “Liability” when she says: “I am a toy that people enjoy until all of the tricks don’t work anymore and then they are bored of me.” And in the shiny luster of a new romance in “The Louvre” lyrics: “Drink up your movements, still I can’t get enough.” This is exemplified in nearly every song about romance– and camped in Taylor Swift’s “Blank Space” music video– where she plays up her romantic fixations by feeding into the character the media painted her as in 2014. This is the cycle of life; not always beautiful but somewhat comforting all the same.
Sally Rooney writes beautifully of the romanticization of obsession in her novel Conversations with Friends, when the protagonist, Frances, speaks to missing spending hours in the library for the routine of it all, saying: “Over the summer I missed the periods of intense academic concentration that helped me relax during term time,” She goes on to describe the sensations, the smells, the bulging headache you get after focusing for too long. There is a way our nostalgia can become a type of obsession for us and the way that can betray us. In summer, we forget the tribulations of the winter. In winter, we crave the lasting sunlight of the summer as we sit in a mustily lit library. In the time of Coronavirus, we romanticize the way it feels to be in a crowded room, forgetting the overwhelmingly loud music, sweaty bodies and pure exhaustion that comes with it.
In a world where things can go viral in hours, we also want to hear about the obsolete. We cling to things so strongly one day only to throw them out the next. Our culture is so consuming and so cultivated. The mannerisms that are muscle memories, only to become cringey phases when you look back on them. At one point, one of us took time to learn every piece of choreography in Just Dance 3, but obviously hasn’t returned to that video game in years; we ran dedicated fan blogs for Ariana Grande on Tumblr, while now we only listen to her on the radio; we collected every novel by John Green while now we cringe at his pursuits. We hang posters in our room, only to take them down– but we never forget how it felt to hang them up for the first time. We want to hear about the intense obsessions that are then swept under the rug.
Head over to our submit page and tell us about your obsessions.
Lots of love,
The Low Caliber Team