Opinion

81 results
Page 1
Close-up on smiling Kate. She wears diamond earrings and a high-necked blue dress, her brown hair curving around her face.

Kate Middleton’s cancer diagnosis could remind us to stop projecting our own fears of illness and death.

Before and after, for Kate and for me

Princess Kate’s cancer announcement brought up Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer’s own memories of fighting cancer as a mom in her late 30s. This news is an opportunity for us all to look inward and stop projecting our fears about illness and death.
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer

Essays 5 minute read
Close-up of Tom, an elderly white man, with glasses, a tan cap, white goatee, and calm smile.

The man who called me an optimist: remembering writer Tom Purdom

“This is my editor.”

In January, the BSR community lost one of our founding members: science-fiction and music writer Tom Purdom. Near the end of his career, he never balked at having a youngster for his editor. Alaina Johns remembers a treasured friend and colleague.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 7 minute read
Black & white close-up photo on a laptop keyboard with a magnifying glass held closely over it.

I’m an editor, but I want 2024 to be the year we stop harping on typos

Everyone makes mistakes. Why are we so anxious to point them out?

One drawback of working in the media is that your smallest mistakes are extremely visible to the public. Everyone loves to point out typos and errors, but only some of us are helping. Alaina Johns wonders why it matters so much.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 5 minute read
Near the US Capitol, a crowd, many wearing yarmulkes & tallits, hold a giant Torah-style scroll saying Rabbis for Ceasefire.

Thirteen ways of looking at a war zone: Poetry as vital pause

“I feel allergic to the show of taking sides. I want to be on the side of a just peace.”

Anndee Hochman was at an artists’ retreat on October 7, 2023, making things with words. She remembers how poetry works, even as atrocities rage.
Anndee Hochman

Anndee Hochman

Essays 6 minute read
A frightened-looking white man in a raglan tee sits in the dark with his knees up, leaning against a rough wall.

At the darkest time of year, horror movies bring me unexpected healing

Falling for the darkness

Melissa Strong used to leave the lights on after watching The X-Files, and hated doing anything risky or scary. But when she pushed herself to begin watching horror movies, she experienced a surprising change.
Melissa Strong

Melissa Strong

Essays 5 minute read
Neil, Alaina & Kyle lean on the railing of a 4th-floor roof-deck on a sunny day, the Philly skyline behind them

BSR Behind the Scenes: An inside look at our editorial process

Going backstage at BSR: How do we publish so many writers?

Did you know that BSR is Philly's top destination for professional arts journalism ... and that we're a small, independent nonprofit made up entirely of remote-working part-timers? Here's how we do it.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 4 minute read
In profile, a young woman sits on the edge of a bed and leans over, clutching her head and stomach in pain.

Menstruation is a part of life, but pain doesn’t have to be

Why don’t we take women’s pain seriously?

Despite studies that show women experience pain more acutely, we wait longer for diagnosis and pain relief than men do—if we get relief at all. Isabel Soisson considers.
Isabel Soisson

Isabel Soisson

Essays 5 minute read

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Crisp photo of a small gray songbird perched alertly on a twig, with pink and green foliage a blur behind it.

The freedom on the bike, and the freedom in the weeds

Making magic in the ragweed

As a boy, Kile Smith knew there was no freedom like riding your own bike on your own time. But now, as he watches the world go by from his garden, a whole new kingdom opens up.
Kile Smith

Kile Smith

Essays 5 minute read
A multi-racial group of smiling colleagues posing together in a lofty coworking space. Alaina holds a tiny dog on the left.

BSR Behind the Scenes: Why do we need arts criticism?

Going backstage at BSR: The truth about reviewing

In our experience, some people opine that the critics are just dragging the cultural scene down—especially when a review is mixed or negative. But is that true? Not at all. Alaina Johns explains in this BSR Behind the Scenes editorial.
Alaina Johns

Alaina Johns

Editorials 6 minute read
Berenstain Bears logo with the cartoon family of five light-brown bears in human clothes crowded happily together.

Remembering Stan and Jan Berenstain, the Philly artists who created the Berenstain Bears

The makers of America’s favorite bear family

Stanley Melvin Berenstain met Janice Marian Grant when they were both studying art in Philadelphia—ostensibly to join the army, but their career took a very different turn. Emily Zarevich considers.
Emily R. Zarevich

Emily R. Zarevich

Essays 3 minute read