The Afterword

Rachel McKenzie

Rachel McKenzie is a rising senior writing about pop culture. She is also the opinion editor of the Daily Trojan. Her column, “The Afterword,” typically runs every other Wednesday.

Featured columns

The Afterword: White people take everything from Black culture but the burden
The enduring influence of Black culture in America as well as white people’s enduring exploitation of it is not a matter of opinion — it is fact.

The Afterword: The emergence of ‘InstaFace’ confuses female empowerment
Social media, photo editing apps and cosmetic surgery have normalized unattainable female beauty standards in an unprecedented way, bringing into question the nature of modern female empowerment.

The Afterword: The thinly-veiled charade of celebrity is breaking down
Celebrities are on the chopping block, and no, that’s not hyperbole — #eattherich and #guillotine2020 have become rallying cries of the digital generation.

The Afterword: In quarantine, art can provide solace — when it’s not completely futile
Whether fleeing the eye of a hurricane, trapped passively in one’s own home or awaiting the end of war, it seems to me that once basic needs (safety, sustenance and shelter) are met, there is an emptiness that the arts can fill. And as time passes, they fill that emptiness in fresh, idiosyncratic ways.

The Afterword: In times of crisis, mass media tends to dangerously oversimplify
I want to talk about how this pandemic has put a spotlight on how incongruent, for better or for worse, our globalized world can be.

The Afterword: The eternal wait for ‘Eternal Atake’ was well worth it
“Eternal Atake” is, first and foremost, a testament to the Philadelphia native’s unique skill and a reminder of his versatile artistry.

The Afterword: TikTok on Instagram’s clock: The rise of the average Joe
The videos that go viral and gain traction are low-production, low-budget and highly relatable.

The Afterword: Woke-scolding in the era of Internet trolls emboldens them
Contentious social debates are often multi-faceted and, well, contended; they aren’t conducive to the knee-jerk, emotionally-fuelled responses that characterize public sentiment toward viral content.

The Afterword: The Kobe Effect – On fame, death and a nation’s heartbreak
It’s noon on Sunday, Jan. 26, and I’m watching Twitter’s trending section. I refresh in disbelief as news of basketball legend Kobe Bryant’s death floods the internet.

The Afterword: Artists who delay music releases tap into Gen-Z craving for clout
Whether it’s the most limited-edition fashion — think Warren Lotas and other high-profile, small-scale brands — or the most elite food and nightlife spots, people love to be in on the gimmick, especially when not just anyone can be.

The Afterword: While discomforting, ‘Joker’ is worth watching
Monday night, I went to see the highly-anticipated origin story of everyone’s favorite criminal mastermind — Joker.

The Afterword: Why ‘Modern Family’ isn’t so modern anymore
I was 9 years old when “Modern Family” first aired in 2009, and I watched the show religiously. I remember how much of a hit it was for children and adults alike, how lauded it was for its progressive material.