Letter from the Editor: Carrying on through trials and tribulations

It has never been an easy job to form a group with the task of telling the news and creating together. In the past few weeks, The Corsair has worked night and day to bring you coverage from Cuba to campus construction, but as with any joint venture there are always ups and downs, both of which present opportunities. In these past few days, The Corsair has been learning the key lessons of what collaborative work entails. We have experienced changes within our own staff, providing individuals with the opportunity to claim new responsibilities, try new things, and welcome new members. Setbacks are seen as occasions to step forward even farther, and moments of doubt are fuel for moments of drive.

In this issue, we take a hard look at relationships and present their various forms. In any context they can be ever so complicated, delicate and important.

Our Photo Story, staff writer Stacey Ellen focuses on "Locals Only," presenting the nature of young love and the relationship between two different communities. The expensive, colorful new stage production of "Grease" on the beach, which opened last week at SMC's Main Stage, has been heralded as the college's first ever, inter-department collaboration. It offers a juvenile fairy tale reminiscent of any 15-year-old's daydreams in its tale of a clueless redhead named Ariel from the valley who falls for a beach bum. Of course, this typical vapid "valley girl" allows priorities like education to take a backseat to much more crucial decisions concerning to whom she should impart her whimsical young love. The bum? Or her jerk, valley jock boyfriend? Are these the relationships in life we should find meaningful? Decide for yourself as "Locals Only" will be playing at the campus theater until October 19. More in-depth thoughts on the musical are featured in a piece authored by myself.

I would personally recommend the feminist crusaders on campus who wrote us love letters concerning our coverage of a pole dancing awards ceremony last semester to pay close attention to the "Bikini Song" dance number.

The dark side of modern relationships opened at #1 at the box office this past weekend as well. In our Arts & Entertainment section, Rachel Gianuario reviews the new David Fincher film "Gone Girl." Adapted from the Gillian Flynn bestseller of the same name, the film tells a dark fable about a modern, unstable marriage that spirals into a disappeared wife and suspected husband. It works as a Hitchcockian-style thriller with a plot mash-up of "Dial 'M' for Murder" and "Sleeping With the Enemy". "Gone Girl" also taps into our national psyche as it portrays a world where relationships are defined by cold, abstract urges and moods, where the media shapes our perceptions of others, where underneath glossy surfaces lie gothic truths. A world in which we very much live.

While much of modern society is fast-paced, addicted to getting dates through quick apps, many individuals do still seek marriage. Some want a deeper, more meaningful connection or relationship with another person than what today's tech-dating world provides. "Gone Girl" speaks to the linger fears over committing to another individual or forming a legal partnership. Others seek to banish loneliness by joining something greater than themselves. This can include sports teams, film crews, or in our case, a newspaper office.

I admit to being a cynic on such matters. However, though I choose not to defy the current rules of natural selection, it is hopeful to see people defy the crass materialism of our time, and dare create authentic relationships. In his book "Mutual Aid," the Russian scientist and anarchist Peter Kropotkin concluded 100 years ago that the species who survive the best, including the smallest, are the ones who form families, communities and groups.

This brings me back to the opening of this letter. I have found no greater partnerships and sense of solidarity than here at The Corsair. The ethos of collective, inspired work is alive and well in our newsroom. We have endured and will continue to persevere through any and all moments of great stress, as we always have. It is with profound respect for one another, an unbreakable commitment to being there for one another, and the pleasure of arguing and brainstorming together, that we continue to produce work we are proud of and hope you find enriching. Nothing sinks this ship.