No, ‘Collaborate’ really is a synonym for ‘hook up’

Miki Johnson

So, looking through this week’s issue (grasping desperately at straws for a topic, to tell the truth), I was struck with the (albeit vague) idea of “collaboration.”

The Ropeadope festival highlighted on page 4, for example, brings together several talented groups from a single, multi-faceted label. And these guys aren’t just performing in boring ol’ succession. One comes on and plays with the current band before it leaves and later gives way to more collaboration … kind of a round-robin thing.

And our page-5 album review this week looks at Handsome Boy Modeling School, which has studded its latest album with such disparate stars as Jack Johnson, RZA and Del Tha Funkee Homosapien. Although this album might be better termed a compilation than a true collaboration, you get the idea.

But enough of music. On page 6 film gets the lowdown on Brew and View, The Vic’s notorious “collaboration” between flicks and booze. I’m sure this venue has been the starting point for several personal “collaborations,” nudge nudge, say no more.

And we musn’t forget the cover story about the ever-growing interdependence of animation and computer arts. Pixar doesn’t want just some computer geek with no artistic drive, and almost no one wants anyone, even film gurus, to be completely without computer skills. Two Northwestern students explain how they are preparing for such a multi-dimensional job market on page 3.

I would like to single out one of our three theater stories as most exemplifying this theme, but the fact is I can’t think of a single stage production that doesn’t take the closest-knit interaction between actors, directors and endless crew. Of course “Songs for Dixie Kaminsky” on page 9 would be an acceptable place to start considering that the playwright, Northwestern’s own Bridget Moloney, is still here and involved with the show.

Finally we have a page-11 story on Movie-oke, karaoke’s long-last film cousin. Just singing along with famous tunes? How two months ago. If you can’t act along with the famous scene too, what good are you?

I guess all this creative sharing and blending just rings true with us here at PLAY, where absolutely everything is the product of at least three different people. Writers, editors, designers, photographers … and the list goes on. It’s always been that way, but considering the recent “collaboration” trend (which I have just officially created, named and already feel is outdated) we can now pretend we are on the cutting edge of a tendency in the larger artistic community. I suppose it might work better if journalists weren’t widely (and only half jokingly) considered a bunch of writers who weren’t motivated enough to be, you know … writers.4

Medill senior Miki Johnson is the PLAY editor. She can be reached at [email protected]