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Monday, October 18, 2021

"Oh, we're halfway there…" Three weeks, ladies and gentlemen. That's all that's left of summer B. Soon some of us will be graduating and making our way out into the real world. Or, failing that, crashing on our parents' couches for the foreseeable future. Unfortunately, considering the current state of the economy, the latter is looking increasingly likely. More on that later.

For everyone else, three short weeks is all that stands in the way of a much needed respite from textbooks and coursework as we gear up for another exciting (or, in some cases, excruciating) fall semester.

But before we get too ahead of ourselves, we at the Department of Darts and Laurels have for you another exciting (or, in some cases, excruciating) edition of …

Darts & Laurels

Starting off, we fire an absence-may-make-the-heart-grow-fonder-but-our-patience-is-running-out DART to Gator Party Student Sen. Matt Michel, who is the third member of Student Government who has placed his personal goals ahead of the obligations of his office this summer. Michel has been in Peru studying and as a result, has been unable to attend Senate proceedings. Instead of removing him for lack of attendance, the Senate has voted to expunge his absences (he has missed half of this semester's meetings).

In our judgment, resigning would have been the honorable thing for Michel to do. We recognize that his education comes first, and as we understand it, Michel's trip to Peru was no junket but rather a requirement for his major. Nonetheless, his inability to balance the demands of his studies and the duties of his position require him to step down. It's no surprise to see the Senate, dominated by the Gator Party, acting in a self-interested manner; it's what we've come to expect. But enough is enough. We would appreciate it if members of SG at least pretended to give a damn.

Next, we send a maybe-you-should-leave-the-satire-to-Jon Stewart-and-Stephen Colbert DART to The New Yorker magazine for its decision to use a controversial piece of cover-art for its July 21 issue.

For those who haven't seen it, the cover depicts Sen. Barack Obama in full traditional Islamic regalia, exchanging a fist-pound handshake with his wife, Michelle Obama, who is sporting an afro and military fatigues and is strapped with an automatic weapon. The image is set in the Oval Office, where a portrait of Osama bin Laden hangs conspicuously over the fireplace and an American flag burns within the fireplace.

In response to condemnation from the Obama campaign, the magazine claimed its intensions were pure, noting that the artist is a well-renowned satirist and that the cover art's objective was to deride the ludicrous rumors and caricatures that have beset Obama and his wife during the course of this election season.

Fine. We get it. And there's little doubt that the regular readers of The New Yorker, a long-standing staple of the liberal media, got it too. But there is such a thing as editorial discretion, and The New Yorker editorial staff failed miserably on this count. If the endeavor is to snuff out the ignorant and vicious untruths that have plagued Obama and Co. in the campaign, The New Yorker's cover achieves the opposite.

Next up, we present an as-if-we-really-needed-further-proof-of-UF's-excellence LAUREL to Shands at UF for earning a top 50 ranking in 11 categories of U.S. News & World Report's annual hospital rankings. Shands stands as the highest rated hospital in Florida, and it ranks higher than any hospital in Alabama, Georgia, or South Carolina. Take that, SEC foes! Congratulations to Shands' hardworking doctors, nurses and staff for this recognition of your dedication to the well-being of others.

It is at this point that we'd like to venture into the abstract for a moment, if only for our sanity's sake, and award a could-this-be-the-light-at-the-end-of-the-tunnel? LAUREL to the price of crude oil, which has fallen $10 in the last two days. The cost of a barrel of oil has decreased to about $135 on Wall Street. We're not quite sure whom or what to praise for this precipitous decline in petroleum prices - and as far as we can tell, neither can the experts. It is our great hope, however, that this development portends brighter days in the not-too-distant future.

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