experiment in empathy

Welcome to SKEW

issue 1 • march 2018

First Things First:

In This Issue

So About Last Night...

Two of our editors break down their thoughts on all things Oscars.


The Shape of Water had such great potential to present Elisa as a whole person, showing not only her sexuality but her disability as a core part of her identity. But when abled people write our stories, they tell them with pity, failing to see disability as something other than a flaw that must be cured. Of course Elisa can sing in her dreams, because that’s what she would like, they assume.


In the build-up to this year's Oscars, things felt just plain weird for me. With the barrage of daily crises in the world today, from White House scandals to mass shootings to the threat of nuclear war, I just couldn’t bring myself to care about several of the nominated films. It’s hard to focus on fiction when the real world keeps getting in your face. So I’ve been dealing with this question: should I even care about the Oscars?

In Praise of Strong Women:

Three pieces celebrating women working against sexism, racism and transphobia to challenge how we view feminism, pop culture and spirituality.

Hello, Wakanda calling.
Will you answer?


Wakanda has never been colonized.

It is ruled by Black people who never had to experience the cruelty of colonialism. I can hardly imagine what it must be like to be a Black person in a world untouched by slavery, much less to have the luxury of growing up in a country where people who look like me are held up as the standard of beauty; to never read about how my people are lacking in intelligence, or are lazy, incapable, thugs, drug addicts, or worse.

“What this show is trying to do is discuss these issues and get people laughing. Maybe it makes you question what you think or believe, or maybe it reinforces it, but if you’re laughing you’re not so focused on that.”


We spoke with Patrick Walsh, executive producer and showrunner of the new CBS sitcom, Living Biblically, about the challenges of discussing religion in a sitcom and his passion for making a show that appeals to everyone regardless of faith.


BPM could have been the "movie of the moment."
So what happened?


Growing up, the plague was a distant memory for me, a forgotten nightmare, a long-gone scourge. While I wasn’t opposed to remembering those in the plague, of course, by telling their stories, I didn’t see any pressing need for it. HIV narratives were for the dead, not the living. Simply put, the epidemic didn’t seem like a story that urgently needed to be told. At least, that’s what I thought, until I received an HIV-positive diagnosis in May 2017.

What better way to explore moving on than trying to take it all with you? What better way to hold on to the past than to give it all away?

Jack Antonoff is bringing sincerity and heartfelt lyrics back into indie pop, and we're here for it.


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