As college students, we think we’re immortal. Not in the “guzzles-a-four-pack-of-Red-Bull-and-jumps-of-a-roof” type of way, though. Of course, those people are out there. We think we’re immortal because of how far we plan ahead. We pick our majors with a rough idea of what we want to do with our lives. We have an idea of where we want to live and what industry we want to work in, for the most part. By the time we reach our last academic year, we more or less have an outline of the exact job we’re going to get and how we’re going to get it. We think we’re immortal because we are assuming nothing happens to us before we get there.
Opinion | Editorials
Last week, we published an editorial discussing reasons why a hypothetical dystopian fate of the U.S. was more similar to a Huxleyan dystopia (massive inputs of meaningless information that detract from important news; control by desire and pleasure) instead of the typical Orwellian one (censored media; control by fear). This week, we’re going to re- evaluate that claim and amend it slightly.
For the past decade or so, fans of science fiction have been pegged as a specific type of person — picture the central cast of “The Big Bang Theory.” Though attributing science fiction to the stereotypical pasty, white male nerd may seem like a long-standing tradition, it is interesting to note that this has never been an accurate depiction of science fiction fans. In fact, much of the sci-fi culture we see today — conventions, fan fiction, online forums — was sparked by female fans. It’s sad though; whatever it was exactly that designated science fiction the genre of the intelligent, white man ignored a history of diversity and progress in fiction far beyond that of other genres. It’s sad to see science fiction reduced to such a small demographic, considering its past and the actual origins of the phenomenon of a fan base.
Let’s talk about Liberals — capital L — in the way people like Tomi Lahren and Bill O’Reilly refer to them. Perhaps the most common critique of Liberals is how overly sensitive they are, clamoring for political correctness and safe spaces. We’re familiar with Brown University’s backlash for having a ‘safe space’ full of coloring books and bubbles after a campus debate on rape culture, and conversely, the uproar following the University of Chicago’s decision to release an email saying they were not in favor of trigger warnings and safe spaces. But we’re not here to debate the validity of these safe spaces. We’re going to analyze the claim that conservatives keep going back to — that Liberals are awful because they are oversensitive — and refute it with one, big counterpoint: our current President- elect, Donald Trump.
It is safe to say that a majority of millennials and those who are even younger have some sort of social media account. After all, we are dubbed the social media generation by various media outlets. Whether your interactions with social media just involve the Twitter you had to make for class participation, or if you’re constantly picking the perfect Instagram filter, you have most likely had some degree of interaction with making a post. Think about the last post you made, whether it be a quick snap on your Snapchat story, a long Facebook life-update or a witty tweet. Would you say that post accurately represents you? Chances are, you’re rolling your eyes and going “duh.”
Let’s start with something completely trivial in order to ease into the new year. In a move that no one really asked for, Pixar and Walt Disney Pictures are set to release “Cars 3” this sum- mer. “Cars 2” is the only Pixar movie thus far to ever receive a “Rotten” score on movie-rating website Rotten Tomatoes, so it seems like a strange move. Perhaps it’s for the nostalgia factor? After all, children and young adults alike were excited for last summer’s “Finding Dory.” You’d think that, perhaps, visiting an old movie for the third time, the big shots at Disney and Pixar would know how to balance their new and old audiences, as they so masterfully did in “Toy Story 3.” But plot details released to Entertainment Weekly have revealed that “Cars 3” is going to be about entitled millennial cars. Yes. Millennial cars, according to Entertainment Weekly. So a dart to Pixar for giving us another reason not to see the sequel to the sequel that no one asked for.
Ever since the inception of dystopian fiction, it has been a common trend to point at the direction a country is going in and liken it to a fictional dystopia better left in print. By far and large, the most common dystopia used in these comparisons is the one in George Orwell’s “1984.”
There is a very strong consensus that 2016, quite frankly, sucked. Maybe folks are blaming it on the massive political overturns happening across the world (including both Brexit and the U.S. presidential race) or the devastating acts of violence that occurred last year. Maybe it was the staggering number of influential celebrities that left us in 2016 or the fact that the globe mourned a gorilla for way too long. Maybe it was the sudden influx of creepy clowns lurking in people’s neighborhoods (seriously, what the heck was that one?). Regardless, there’s no denying that 2016 was an eventful year, but it was not necessarily eventful in a good way.
As college students of the 21st century, we’re stuck in that weird place between a longing for nostalgia and anticipation of tomorrow’s technology via futurism. Perhaps one of the most hysterical and disturbingly beautiful products of this emotionally grappling crossroad is Simpsonwave.
You’re sitting in the doctor’s office, waiting with anticipation for Dr. Pepper to come in to treat you. After what feels like an eternity, he finally knocks on the door and lets himself in. “So, you’ve been cut in half. Vertically. How you were even able to do anything apart from bleed out on the floor, let alone get up, schedule a doctor’s appointment and attend this appointment, is nothing short of a miracle. Frankly, everything I know about medicine has been undermined by your survival.” You stare blankly at him, then despite your larynx literally being severed in half, manage to shout out “God damn it Doc, speak English! How much time do I have left to live?” Shocked you’re even able to reply, he stutters, “A few minutes, I think? Once again, you’ve literally been split down the middle.” “Oh thank God,” you mutter, spitting blood everywhere. “Just enough time to read the only thing worth living for,
Perhaps one of the most famous (and offensive) myths perpetuated by financial conservatives is that all of those who receive government assistance in the form of welfare checks or food stamps are either lazy, addicted to drugs and alcohol or both. Today, we are going to evaluate how absurd and ignorant this view is.
Tuesday morning (at 6:55 a.m. to be exact), early riser and esteemed tweeter President-elect Donald Trump turned his attention toward those who seek to make political statements via flag burning. “Nobody should be allowed to burn the American flag – if they do, there must be consequences – perhaps loss of citizenship or year in jail!” the tweet read. Before we go any further on the implications of this tweet, know these things: In 1989, the US Supreme Court ruled that flag burning is a protected practice under the First Amendment. Additionally, we here at the Alligator in no way condone flag burning. We will continue to point out the many things this country has to improve on, and we will always do our best to point out injustices where we see fit. However, that flag symbolizes more to us than a collection of our shortcomings, and we cannot condone such a behavior.
On Thanksgiving, it is custom to sit at the table with those you feel most connected to in your life and be grateful for the simple things. When we sit down at that dinner table, surrounded by good food and better company, we remind ourselves to be thankful for the little things: a good meal, our health and togetherness. As soon as the meal is complete, another great American tradition begins: Black Friday shopping.
Years ago, Wolfgang Kohler conducted a psychological study in which several monkeys were placed in a cage together with a single piece of food at the top of the cage. The monkeys were fed regularly, but if one of those monkeys attempted to climb up stairs and touch the food, the researchers would spray all the monkeys with ice water. The monkeys were eventually conditioned to never go up that high to retrieve the piece of food.
Perhaps one of our favorite American traditions is the National Thanksgiving Turkey Presentation. At this ceremony, the president of the U.S. is presented a live Broad Breasted White turkey. Here, the POTUS pardons the turkey from his death sentence, otherwise to be served scrumptiously next to some mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce.
It’s a quiet November afternoon. The air is crisp, the sun is going down, and you’re sitting on your porch drinking some iced tea while reading The Independent Florida Alligator. You’re about to flip the page and make it to the Opinions Section when Lassie, the neighbor’s son’s dog, comes running up and starts barking at you. “What’s that, Lassie?” you ask while standing up, clutching the paper. Lassie continues to bark. “Timmy fell down the well?!” you exclaim, “that’s the third time this month, right?” Lassie barks quickly, confirming your suspicion of Timmy’s predictable recklessness. Hurriedly, you run over to the well, paper in hand. “Help, Mister! I can’t swim!” you hear him gurgle while he splashes about within a manageable arms reach. “Yeah, sucks to suck, Lassie. I’m about to hit page six of The Alligator, and not even your bloodcurdling cries for help can stop me from reading my favorite Alligator feature…