Horns Up, Horns Down for Jan. 27: Discontent with the Grammys, students unaware of recycling


Horns Up: University recasts ‘In The Heights’ Musical

In November of last year, the College of Fine Arts promised to recast its upcoming production, “In the Heights” — a musical that follows the lives of 12 Dominican-American teenagers living in New York — after receiving backlash for casting professional guest actors instead of students. In the original casting, nine of the 12 lead roles were given to professional actors, as the outside creative team felt there were not enough qualified students of color in the theatre department to fill the need. On Friday, The Daily Texan reported that the theatre department both recast the production with minority students and hired an entirely new creative team to oversee the play’s production. Not only are we pleased that the college has made good on its casting promise, but we are glad that it has chosen to start fresh with a new director, musical director and choreographer, signaling that they aren’t afraid of making drastic changes in response to well-deserved  criticism. 

Photo: Debby Garcia, Daily Texan Staff. Theater department officials have a discussion with students about the casting of "In the Heights" in November. 

Horns Down: Macklemore beats out Kanye and Kendrick

On Sunday, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis won three Grammys for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance, effectively sweeping the rap categories at this year’s ceremony. And while Macklemore is certainly a talented artist worthy of the accolades he’s gotten over the past year, it’s both disappointing and disheartening the awards didn’t go to Kanye West or Kendrick Lamar. Sure, The Heist is a great album, and “Thrift Shop” will go down in history as the first single to reach the top of the Billboard Hot 100 without the support of a major record label. But at the end of the day, Macklemore’s fun, accessible pop pales in comparison to the heartfelt and deeply meaningful music of the other nominees. The intense racial commentary of West’s Yeezus is definitely harder to listen to than The Heist, and the harsh narrative of Lamar’s Compton upbringing on Good Kid, M.A.A.D. City is less accessible than a silly song about buying second-hand clothes. But the path of least resistance is seldom the most worthwhile, especially when it comes to art. Horns down to the Grammys for overlooking two veritable hip-hop masterpieces in favor of Macklemore’s easily digestible pop.

Horns Down: Students don’t know much about recycling

Though Austin continues to encourage recycling efforts and reduce wastefulness, information on how and where to recycle properly is not reaching UT students living in high-capacity dorms and apartments, according to an article by The Daily Texan released Friday. The city requires complexes with more than 50 units to allow 25 percent of waste disposal space for recycling, but the city’s policies and ordinances are not well enforced. Property owners and managers, consequently, don’t put in the effort to inform student tenants, who are often unaware of these recycling opportunities. Any student who has gone grocery shopping since last March is aware of the city’s stance on limiting wasteful plastic bags, and many students make an effort to utilize the recycling containers on campus. Educating students about apartment recycling options could lead to a similar surge in compliance. Property owners should take the time to point students in the right direction, instead of assuming that they already know their recycling options.