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Not Now, John: Pink Floyd’s The Final Cut and the History That Inspired It

In 1983, Pink Floyd released The Final Cut. Despite the middling reviews it received from contemporary critics and fans alike, the album, like most of the band’s work, has aged well, and is arguably the group’s most interesting composition in terms of theme and inspiration. While Dark Side of the Moon explored greed, mental illness, time as well as death and The Wall was an extended meditation on isolation, The Final Cut was a concept album that took its inspiration from something far different: the history of postwar Europe. Written almost entirely by the band’s bassist and co-lead vocalist, Roger Waters, the album is, at its heart, an anti-war manifesto. Throughout, however, Waters als

The Julio-Claudian Women Reshaping the History Books

The fledgling Roman empire is a source of continued fascination and inspiration for the modern-day historian. The appeal of the era, with its intrigue, violence, and complex characters, transcends historical accuracy and nestles firmly in the pop-culture sub-conscience. However, modern scholarship’s continued infatuation with this hazy world of war, death, and classic masculinity neglects an ever-overlooked part of history: women. The reactive socio-political environment of the Julio-Claudian period encouraged the transgression of traditional political boundaries. Succession issues and proximity to the male elite were two key components of influential women’s successful transgression of trad

Dehumanization and War Atrocities

World War II engulfed every aspect of life in the United States. The climate that was created by World War II affected every aspect of a person’s life, from the films people watched to the jobs people held. During World War II, the United States transformed into a war machine. The United States was not the only nation to fully transform its society and base its culture around warfare during World War II. America was hardly the only country to truly transform its society and culture around warfare during World War II. Countries like Germany and Japan also directed their national rhetoric to represent its militaristic ideals. Germany, for instance, used bars as a place to spread different poli

Cannabis Policy in Action in DC

Residents within the DC metropolitan area ponder with consistency whether cannabis within the jurisdiction is legal or illegal to purchase and possess. Prior to the 1930s, the vast majority of Americans had never seen or used cannabis, as the drug lacked popularity and was not broadly traded in the country. Through the 1930’s, however, Federal Bureau of Narcotics commissioner Harry J. Anslinger claimed that cannabis “came in from Mexico, and swept across the country with incredible speed” and that “high school students particularly are the prey of the reefer peddlers.”[1] These statements not only capitalized on parental concern for their children, but also on fears of Mexican immigration. E

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