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One recent evening I wandered around a fraternity, stupefied, as a small human tragedy unfolded. Familiar faces flashed before my eyes. I wasn’t in the condition to make small talk, and neither were they. We were conducting the social whittling away that is endemic to modern existence. This process takes on added significance during the winter of one’s final year at Dartmouth.
The ninth issue of the ninth volume of “InfoWorld: The PC News Weekly” from 1987 was filled with what one would expect for a magazine targeted at IT professionals and computer geeks. The front page advertised the new Macintosh II, replete with one megabyte of memory sold for $3,899 for one floppy drive and no display (nearly $8,500 in 2018 dollars). One page featured a story labeled “Presentation Package Lets Users Control Look” by Scott Mace. Mace writes that “Forethough Inc. last week introduced PowerPoint, a Macintosh program that lets users create and manage business presentations “using overhead transparencies, flip charts, speaker’s notes and handouts” and concludes that PowerPoint will be a catalyst in the new computerized business market. What Mace failed to prophesize is that PowerPoint would become the bane of the civilized world.
Reflecting on New Years' resolutions.
If Richard Pryor was the godfather of comedy and Bernie Mac its uncle, then Dave Chappelle is comedy’s first cousin. He was cool when audiences first saw him back in the 1990s, as a 20-something cracking jokes on “Def Comedy Jam.” And as we got older, Chappelle got better. Slapstick humor meshed with racial and social commentary, setting the foundation for the highly successful but short-lived “Chappelle’s Show.” And we liked him. America’s older first cousin matured. Now in his 30s, he taught us more grown-up lessons in his sketches about George W. Bush-era geopolitics with “Black Bush,” and the nuances of America’s racial imaginary in “When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong.” Yet he retained the familiarity that made us love him in the first place, with some sketches whose chief aim was goofiness, like “A Moment in the Life of Lil Jon” and various sketches that followed the misadventures of crackhead Tyrone Biggums.
What, in your estimation, is the most widely-shared quote attributed to Martin Luther King, Jr. on the third Monday each January? Is it “I have a dream”? “Hate cannot drive out hate”? An excerpt about content of character, perhaps? It is certainly not what King wrote in his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”: That “it is wrong to urge an individual to cease his efforts ... because the quest may precipitate violence.” Your most conservative friend on Facebook will never post that freedom “must be demanded by the oppressed.” King’s declaration that America is the “greatest purveyor of violence in the world today” will not appear on any banners.
If you’re at all familiar with the niche meme community, you’re probably aware of the “I’m Not Like Other Girls” meme, which satirizes girls who go out of their way to distinguish themselves from traditional notions of femininity. “Starter pack” memes characterize these “unique” women as those who wear checkerboard pants, Kurt Cobain-esque clout goggles and Doc Martens. They identify “Lolita” as their favorite book or movie (a perfect combination of the ironic and subversive) and drink black coffee (black like their soul). Satirizing this behavior is an important critique of internalized sexism. Thus, it is also important to consider that some of the “feminine” characteristics that “I’m Not Like Other Girls” resists are actually worth resisting, and that there should be room for multiple femininities.
When was the last time you sat down with pen and paper and wrote a letter to someone in your own unique and imperfect handwriting? When was the last time you sat down with a cup of coffee and a print newspaper to read about recent events?
I’ve struggled throughout college to find an alarm clock that really works for me. Apple’s “chimes” sound is too calming, and “radar” is too harsh. Custom tones have not worked either: I had my alarm set to Arcade Fire’s “Wake Up” for a while before I realized that I had the rest of the day to channel my hipster-dom and didn’t want to start that performance so early in the morning.
When most people stumble upon something horrific, their first reaction likely isn’t taking out a camera or recording device — at least this was not the case a mere few years ago. Now, with the advancement of technology and the changing role of social media platforms, such an event would be shared via Snapchat, live-streamed, posted on Facebook or added to Instagram stories. In the case of vlogger Logan Paul, his medium of choice was YouTube.
With record lows in Hanover this week and snow as far south as Florida, it isn’t difficult to imagine that somebody, somewhere, is citing the abnormally frosty weather as evidence to deny climate change. We all know the argument: Snow means Earth isn’t getting warmer; it’s getting colder. Of course, weather is different from climate. The fact that one can easily observe weather, along with all its natural fluctuations, but not climate is one reason among many that explain why it can be so difficult to convince climate change deniers of our planet’s impending environmental decline.
This article started as a tirade against Dartmouth Dining Services. I know this is an overworn topic — The Dartmouth Editorial Board and The Dartmouth Review have already done a good job airing students’ fresh set of grievances for 2017. But it was 4:30 p.m. on a rainy Sunday, and the KAF line was a long, painful reminder of the inadequacy of our school’s dining options. And so I wanted to know: What exactly is DDS?
What happens when art is patriarchal?
When deciding where I’d go to college in my senior year of high school, I did what most Type A people do: I made a pro-con list. Good academics at Dartmouth and my contender? Check. Good people? Definitely at Dartmouth, or so I’d heard. Service opportunities? I wasn’t so sure about Dartmouth’s offerings. I thought New Hampshire was a tiny, idyllic state, bordered by Bernie Sanders and Ben & Jerry’s. I assumed that diversity was nonexistent because 90 percent of people in New Hampshire are white.
“I need to work with my group.”
Sometimes your friends can get a little self-absorbed.
In high school, I mostly listened to rap music. It was a part of my daily life, and it was what my friends and I played on the way to school and back home, while doing our homework and in every kind of social setting. It was just another language that we heard and spoke.
Biosphere 2 was an interesting experiment. Built in Arizona and currently owned by the University of Arizona, it includes seven entirely self-contained ecosystems where plants, animals, soil, water, bacteria and animals can exist. But a fascinating issue arose regarding the trees that grew in Biosphere 2 — they died because there was no wind. Wind, and the resulting tensile and compressive stress placed on the tree, force the creation of stress wood in which the cells of the tree are arranged at angles rather than purely vertically. The tree is stronger for the adversity. This is a metaphor served on a silver platter for a lazy writer, and here’s how I’m going to use it: our most accepted, reasonable and applauded opinions are trees without wind; our biosphere is college. It is these simple laws we’ve come to accept — the equality of all people, the power of democracy and the dangers of isolation — that are the most endangered when we come to college.
Robin Jayaswal contributed to this cartoon.
Exploring an alternative grading system.
I spent the first week of my senior fall waking up early every morning determined to do work, only to remain in bed in the fetal position, paralyzed by stress. Thoughts of what I needed to do — apply for jobs, start my thesis, apply to fellowships — overwhelmed me. The weight of infinite futures lay heavy on my chest. And so the last rays of summer light were lost on me. If birds chirped, I did not hear them. If the grass gleamed, awash in early morning dew, I did not see past my bedroom window.