A polaroid camera aimed at a wall, on which all the other polaroids representing the B-Side pieces are displayed.
Design by Madison Grosvenor.

Indulgence is, in its most simple definition, the practice of allowing enjoyment in whatever is desired. Indulgence is a passionately intimate act and connects to the very center of a person’s humanity. It is a necessity for a full life, and a necessity for joy. Despite this, guilty pleasures and diminishing free time from 9-5 work weeks can make the act of indulgence seem unfathomable to many. This does negate indulgence as a necessity; rather, it only increases its vitality to life. Indulgence exists in all moments of pleasure and selfishness. The writers in this B-Side explored their own indulgences and did so with passion and fervor that famous hedonist Oscar Wilde himself would envy. While their indulgences vary widely across art forms, hobbies and guilty pleasures, they are all perfectly tied together with a ribbon of celebrating authentic enjoyments. 

Daily Arts Writer Ava Burzycki can be reached at burzycki@umich.edu

‘Big Brother’ and why I love trashy television by Daily Arts Writer Ava Seaman

Design by Reid Graham.

When most people think about summer, they might think of sunny days, swimming at the beach or a three-month break from school. For me, summer means that three nights a week, I get to watch a new episode of “Big Brother,” my favorite reality TV show.

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Halfway down to Hadestown: My Orphean rewatches of ‘Bojack Horseman’ by Daily Arts Writer Saarthak Johri

Design by Reid Graham.

The shows “Bojack Horseman” and “Hadestown” — for the screen and stage, respectively — are some of my favorites, works of art I could dissect endlessly. My consumption of “Hadestown” is also endless, playing the Original Broadway Cast recording on loop for myself. My rewatches of “Bojack Horseman” are a bit more limited, if not still the same conversation.

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Romance novels are so much more than sex by Daily Arts Writer Hannah Carapellotti

Design by Tamara Turner.

When I told my 75-year-old coworker that I wanted to write romance novels for a living, he gave me a knowing grin. “So one day, there’ll be books with scantily-clad people on the cover and your name underneath them?” Yes, he actually used the words “scantily-clad.” To make matters worse, I thought it would be a good idea to explain to him that, nowadays, it’s the cutesy cartoon covers that feature the more scandalous stories. But regardless of the awkward silence that ended our conversation, I shouldn’t have been surprised by the image that came to his mind. There are many people who, when thinking about a romance novel, probably picture the Harlequin stereotype: A man and a woman posing suggestively, both of them attractive and at least one of them half-clothed. If not that, then “Fifty Shades of Grey” likely comes to mind, instead. The artwork on the front and back cover make it easy to infer that their contents are all sex and no substance.

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Earth, art and body by Daily Arts Writer Ava Burzycki

Design by Abby Schreck.

Nearly three years ago, I found myself sauntering around the University of Michigan Museum of Art. The building itself was colored by crisp, clean shades of white and beige — a perfect juxtaposition with the vivid art on its walls. While my brain tried to tear through piece after piece after piece, my eyes couldn’t help but be drawn back to a curtained installation in the center of the vast room. I decided to break my typical methodology of moving clockwise through the museum and went straight for the curious installation. Inside, I found a video art piece by Ana Mendieta. At its most basic level, the work was innovative and stunning. At its most complex, I found her “earth-body” video performance to be a completely revolutionary indulgence into Earth, art and body.

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How treat culture could save the world by Daily Arts Writer Emmy Snyder

Design by Reid Graham.

Whether you’ve heard of the specific term “treat culture” or not, you may have observed a trend (which, one could argue, while not directly derived from “Parks and Recreation,” has deep origins in Donna and Tom’s “treat yo self day”) in which people indulge for the sole purpose of making themselves happy, usually in the form of a “little treat.” (Note: “little” is not a reference to actual treat size but an addendum to emphasize cuteness). While “little treats” are not limited to food items — sometimes taking the form of a new house plant, Squishmallow or another object that brings you joy — it would hardly be a stretch to say iced coffee is the “little treat” selected most often (although Meghan Trainor and husband Daryl Sabara of “Spy Kids” fame, for their part, choose Oreos).

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My love affair with Mr. Sausage (and other stupid chefs) by Daily Arts Writer Hunter Bishop

Design by Abby Schreck.

Though YouTube is filled with different channels clamoring for my attention, I have found myself falling for one man in particular. A man who, for the last two-and-a-half years, has specialized in making sausages. The seasoned fingers of YouTube channel Ordinary Sausage’s “Mr. Sausage” grind, stuff, cook and rate a different sausage two to three times a week. Mr. Sausage specializes in using uncommon ingredients such as SpaghettiOs or food-grade dirt, things that seem like flippant clickbait but end up being just as fascinating as you’d expect. He makes a whole show of it as well, singing sausage-based parodies of songs, with hits like “Don’t Fear The Sausage,” a brilliant take on Blue Oyster Cult’s “(Don’t Fear) The Reaper.” There’s also a section of each video called “Will It Blow,” where he blows the leftover sausage bits out of a tube. If you’re looking for more of an explanation on that part, I’m not sure I can give you one. That’s part of the beauty and mystique of Mr. Sausage.

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Valar Morghulis: My perpetual indulgence in ‘Game of Thrones’ by Daily Arts Writer Swara Ramaswamy

Design by Madison Grosvenor.

I’ll admit — I joined the “Game of Thrones” hype pretty late. It was only upon hearing the uproar about the show’s final season in 2019 that I decided to jump into the series. Sure, call me a fake fan or a bandwagoner, but there was something charming about watching a show that took the world by storm during the post-hype period after its ending. It was during that initial viewing that I understood how a fantasy series featuring magic, dragons and an obscene amount of blood and gore could become a worldwide indulgence. And shortly thereafter, it became mine.

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