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.
Some of Italy celebrates F*ck- off Day. It was observed for two years in a row from 2007 to 2008. F*ck-off Day is not a religious holiday, nor a nationally-recognized one. It's a political holiday cursing the government with its own Santa Claus of sorts: frizzy grey-haired founder, Beppe Grillo. Grillo, a comedi- an, is the caricature you may expect. The short, plump man even recently wore clown make-up to reference the chaotic political movement from the 2019 film, Joker.
Distress erupted this past week in our community at Lawrence. Our Associate Dean and Vice President of Diversity and Inclusion, Dr. Kimberly Barrett, sent an email titled "Radical Respect" that has many in our student body (myself included) frustrated. The point of contention in the email refers to the candidacy for a class representative of one of our peers, specifically the discourse and reactions surrounding it in the student-run Facebook group called The Shoutbox, a group with over 950 members that consists entirely of Lawrentians.
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.”
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.
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.