Picture this: it’s the beginning of June 2023 and you’re looking forward to the upcoming summer. Sleepless nights, water gun fights, and new heights await you. Now it’s past Labor Day, and a lot has happened, in your life, and in pop culture in general. Summer sure was full of sleepless nights, like on the way from Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour, and endless water gun fights from the ongoing heatwave. Barbie and Oppenheimer broke records, and SAG-AFTRA strikes broke the ice. Now it’s time to reflect, and you start off in early June, at Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour.

Paolo V

Taylor Swift’s The Eras Tour made its way to Soldier Field in Chicago on June 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. The event was the first tour to sell out three nights in the stadium’s history, which has been open since 1924 (almost 100 years)! The show featured a 3 and ½ hour setlist and included 44 songs- 19% of the singer’s discography. Swift used the tour to her advantage- announcing two albums and premiering 2 music videos during her shows. The Eras Tour accumulated nearly 3 million people to attend and is on the road to be the most-grossing world tour of all time. The Eras Tour will make its way to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in November 2024.

The environment of the US and Canada was in turmoil throughout the month of July with record-breaking temperatures. Beginning in March of 2023, Canada had a severe set of wildfires, amping up in late June. With the limited air quality due to these fires and the dead of summer in the northern hemisphere, July 2023 turned out to be one of the hottest months ever recorded. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration states that July 2023 had an average US temperature of 75.7°F (2.1° above average), making it the 11th warmest July in US history. Mishawaka itself wasn’t directly affected, with it’s July 2023 high being 81°F compared to 2022’s average July high of 80°F. Regardless, ecosystems across the world were disrupted, with the heatwave crossing into September.

Eden, Janine, and Jim

The rise of AI (Artificial Intelligence) has taken it’s toll on the film industry this past summer, causing the SAG-AFTRA (The Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists) Union to go on strike. The strike is a call for better wages and job security in the industry, specifically for its writers. The SAG-AFTRA strike has put weight onto the film industry, with many production companies delaying or halting productions and multiple streaming services raising their monthly prices. Countless A-list celebrities have joined in on the action, including Kevin Bacon, Sarah Paulson, and Jack Black. As of early September, the union has requested approval to strike against video companies as well, with the result yet to be unveiled.

Brecht Bug

On the other hand for the film industry, July 21st was a big day for its stars and theaters alike. The debut of two anticipated blockbusters,Barbie” (Directed by Greta Gerwig, starring Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling), and “Oppenheimer” (Directed by Christopher Nolan, starring Cillian Murphy and Florence Pugh), broke several box office records, grossing a combined $244.4 million in its opening weekend. Months before the films were released, social media platforms burst with content about the upcoming movies, basing their content on the divergence of the films (“Barbie” being based on Mattel’s iconic Barbie doll and “Oppenheimer” being a story of the WWII physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer) and profiting off the irony of both having the same release date, coining the term “Barbenheimer.”

Needless to say, the summer of ‘23 sure was one to remember. The ups and downs sure had their pros and cons, from union strikes to blockbusters and from record-breaking temperatures to unparalleled events, the legacy of the summer of 2023 will live on in cultural history.