We're at the point in the spring season and spring term where we can feel summer approaching. I've been thinking about one of my favorite songs, "Summer Soft" by Stevie Wonder. There's something about the song's dense texture and Stevie's incomparable voice that reminds me both of summer's restless heat and the nostalgia of school ending. In the song, Stevie shares with us an evocation of summer and winter and how he feels fooled and heartbroken when they end. He references this again and again in the chorus, singing "and he's gone" and "and she's gone.”
The Israel-Palestine conflict may be the most toxic and polarizing political discussion that has occurred in modern history. As I've followed the debate, I can feel my hair graying from stress as I am constantly frustrated and baffled by the discussions occurring. In this article, I am not interested in debating or convincing anyone of my general political beliefs on the issue. I'll state them bluntly in the following paragraph for transparency's sake.
The murder of George Floyd was just one instance in a string of many victims of police brutality. This one turned the eyes of many — more than ever before — to the U.S government as the time for change was overdue. It was a turning point in the history of our nation. As with many other major events, like the Civil War and the Civil Rights Movement, it gives us a chance to radically restructure fundamental parts of society, our government, and, in this case, our justice system.
A terrific rain of fire and brimstone might be a scene symbolic of doom unmatched in the Judeo-Christian narrative. Close enough to the reality of volcanic eruptions, yet also the peak of supernatural firepower, it's the ultimate moralizer that evokes ideas of eternal damnation. The biblical story of Sodom and Gomorrah sees an entire society of sinners vaporize, disintegrating into smoke and cinders. Professor Martyn Smith of the Religious Studies department gave an interesting analysis of this portion of the Book of Genesis, saying that one way it can be read is as a commentary on the differences between rural and urban societies.