There used to be a time when movie rental stores roamed free across this vast land. Blockbuster would graze happily on its nourishing customer base. Rival species Hollywood Video would gladly pick up the scraps.
We live in a world of extremes. It saturates our culture, plagues our politics. But substantive discourse often requires gray area and nuance. Yet as a society, we perpetually leave little room for it. The conversation about political correctness is no exception. This became obvious to me a few days ago.
I went on vacation two weekends ago, and almost everything that could’ve gone wrong did go wrong. It was a weekend adventure to the Desert Trip concert in California (dubbed “Oldchella,” because it was a showcase of ’70s and ’80s musicians on the Coachella grounds) with my dad and my sister, and going in, I was already nervous. I’m a naturally anxious person; my dad and my sister are not. So the week beforehand, I had called them numerous times trying to figure out what the “plan” was. As of Tuesday, two days before we left, I didn’t even know what time the flight was. The two of them just told me to relax and that they’d take care of it, which wasn’t exactly helpful to my overly anxious brain.
I remember my very first tattoo — a crude rendition of the word “baby” on my right bicep. I got this done in my senior year of high school. My buddy Cameron had been tattooing a lot of our friends ever since he bought some sewing needles and India ink. I kept seeing people I knew showing off their small new tats, usually small doodles of things like birds, clouds or crescent moons. After seeing that none of them got infected, I decided it was high time for my own.
Becoming an adult in college is a more emotional experience than we are able to appreciate. Between due dates, job applications, extracurricular activities, laundry and studying, being a part of university life seems quite stressful.
With Hurricane Matthew still fresh in our minds, we need to talk about our governor’s behavior regarding the hurricane.
Last Wednesday, the editorial board of the Alligator wrote a column titled “Religious self-reflection is necessary,” in which it took the instance of a British Muslim school educating their girls that to be beaten by one’s spouse is permissible as a reminder that we all must reflect on the nature of religion. Mr. Editorial, as I will call this unnamed author, said we must recognize that “The Bible, the Torah, the Quran … are the words of the gods you believe in, but they were written by man, and man’s way of thinking has come a long way since those initial writings.” He consequently reminded us the books and the religions they have created are inherently flawed, and we must not simply “cherry-pick the pieces that you like and ignore the pieces that you don’t like.” Thus, the example from the British Muslim school is a classic case of a primitive religion that needs reform and needs to come to a more rational understanding of the social context in which their religion started.
Darts and Laurels
You’re sitting on the edge of a river bank, staring intently into your reflection. Minnows swim in circles around the reflection of yourself. You feel the soft breeze blow across your face, rustling the leaves of the trees behind you. It sounds like the wind is whispering something. You turn around and try to listen. Unable to make it out, you turn back to look at your reflection. To your horrid surprise, it’s gone. You feel a slimy tap on your shoulder. It’s your reflection, wet and covered in minnows. “Darts & Laurels,” it says to you. Leaning closer and closer, it says one last time before disappearing…
You’re sitting alone in your car in Archer Road’s typical rush-hour traffic. As a small commando unit of scooters whizzes by you left and right, you fiddle with the radio, looking for something to listen to. As you’re navigating through the various snippets of sound, one station grabs your attention and demands you to listen. It’s just one man’s voice, chanting something over and over and over again. You find this uncomfortable and unsettling. What is it this strange man chants? Well, dear readers, that something is…
Life is strange. The future is unpredictable. You find that scary. You seek answers everywhere, but the more you discover, the less you know. The confusion slowly dissipates, and fear starts to take its place. All hope seems lost. In the darkness, you see a flicker of light. With curiosity ablaze you chase after the glimmer, and as you grow nearer and nearer you stumble upon the Friday edition of the Independent Florida Alligator. In it, you find something that makes everything okay. That something is…
One of the challenges for us in assigning current events with a dart or a laurel is the fact that there is just so much to talk about. Economies across the globe may be in recession, but we never seem to run short on our supply of ridiculousness. Experts are saying its market value is at an all-time high. So, with all of the ups and downs in recent world news, we’d like to bring you a more international segment: “Dartos y Laurel-schteinem?” We digress.