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The offensive remarks and actions made by Dinesh D’Souza ’83 are so numerous that I can only begin to break down a few of his most egregious ones. I feel it is important to do so because many of D’Souza’s supporters seemed baffled that anyone would dare to claim he is a racist or a homophobe, even though his ideology is deeply rooted in provoking outrage with his offensive remarks. D’Souza proudly makes his shocking comments on his social media platforms and in his books, such as “Letters to a Young Conservative,” which I will be referencing throughout this piece. It appears that D’Souza is thrilled to capitalize off of controversial and hateful stances in order to gain more attention and followers. Perhaps I am feeding into his desires by putting the spotlight on him in this piece, but nonetheless I find it important not to let his dark past fade away from the public eye.
As winter term comes to an end, it’s as good a time as any to review the speakers the Dartmouth College Republicans have exposed our school to over the past two quarters: David Horowitz, Tawfik Hamid and Dinesh D’Souza ’83. The Dartmouth College Republicans speaker line-up responds to the age of post-truth unprincipled politics and amoral Republicanism with, “Yes, let’s do that.” Instead of inviting respected Republicans or policy analysts, the College Republicans have scraped the very bottom of the modern media landscape’s fringe punditry to produce a remarkable lineup of bigots and hacks. But let me back up my argument with facts — a novel idea to the men on the above list.
As a loather of the current President of the United States, I was surprised by my ability to find merit in one of Donald Trump’s main policies. While pondering the consequences of American dominance (a favorite activity of mine), I realized that, in a twisted sense, “Making America Great Again” is the answer to my prayers. I am an advocate for the reduction of power of nation-states and the growth of pan-global institutions. I believe that the dominance of one nation should be a fixture of the past and the remains of an old world order.
The 2020 presidential election is rapidly approaching. President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign war chest grows to over $100 million; meanwhile, more and more Democrats are announcing their campaigns to replace him. America is not ready for another round of the polarizing, tribalistic turf war that increasingly defines this country’s presidential politics. Tensions still run deep from the toxic 2016 elections, and little suggests that the entrenched party elite on either side of the aisle will jostle for power in 2020 with any more civility than last time.
When convicted illegal campaign contributor Dinesh D’Souza ’83 tweeted Tuesday morning about his lecture at Dartmouth Monday night, he had little to say about the content of his “A World Without Walls” speech. Perhaps D’Souza — who started his career as provocateur by outing gay classmates while editor of The Dartmouth Review and has since gone on in his numerous books and movies to make abhorrent statements that do not merit repetition — felt as though his followers already knew what his brand of hatred had to say about the border. More likely, though, D’Souza saw an opportunity to stir up his base. “...the campus leftists yelled, chanted, obstructed, & even cried!” D’Souza wrote. “Despite the best efforts of these little fascists-in-training, the event went on ...” Fox News reporter Heather Childs parroted this idea in her coverage of D’Souza’s visit, claiming on Twitter and television that protestors had “harassed” and “verbally attacked” him.
I can’t speak anymore — not without people attaching the same searing comment, like a parasite, after every point I make. It’s rattled in my brain since my first term here as a freshman.
Four years ago, Dartmouth formed the Ad Hoc Committee on Grading Practices and Grade Inflation, and to quote Douglas Adams, “This has made a lot of people very angry and been widely regarded as a bad move.” Of course, the rationale seems both simple and unimpeachable: Dartmouth gives a lot of As, and if we keep going about it this way, soon everyone will have an A (and if that happens, Dartmouth isn’t doing its job). I added the part in parentheses because it’s an implicit assumption of Dartmouth’s approach toward education, and because I want the reader to read it in a stuffy bureaucratic voice that undermines it as a normative assumption about what Dartmouth’s job is. A giver of well-distributed grades is a terrible way to think about a college education.
For a long time, Spotify was nothing more to me than the obscure, Swedish-born music streaming platform that my artsy older sister used. But five years later, it’s almost impossible for me to envision listening to music without it. I spent a few weeks over winter break with my old iPod Classic. In comparison to the luxurious, adaptively intuitive world of Spotify, listening to music on what had once been my most coveted possession (as an 11 year old, I had opted for the Classic over the Nano because that is what I believed the more “serious” music listeners used) had become taxing. The motion was not a click, but rather an arduous scroll. Playlists were harder to access. Navigation was more cumbersome, and I felt less flexible in my listening. To jump even further back in musical history, to a time when music was something people held in their hands and had to be retrieved from the store or library, is even harder to grasp.
In the op-ed “Red, White and Offended” published in The Dartmouth on Jan. 31, Peter Leutz delves into the issue of free speech in comedy and declares that infamous comedian Louis C.K.’s recent jokes and their offensive content “should be of little concern” as long as they’re for comedic purposes. I applaud Leutz for his defense of free speech and his analysis of modern comedic discourse, but as a person who both preforms and enjoys comedy, I disagree with his thesis entirely. While many comedians rely on “shock value” and often tread the grey area of “too far” and “just enough,” C.K. should be heavily criticized, and his jokes, such as his most recent mocking of Parkland shooting survivors, have no place in modern comedy.
I have never been tasked with breaking a story — that’s not my job. My job is to write hot takes for The Dartmouth. To be slightly more pretentious, I am a columnist for the opinion section of America’s Oldest College Newspaper.
I have no qualms about claiming that “Parks and Recreation” is the best sitcom of the decade. Those who know me are certainly unsurprised by this claim. If my obsession with this show was not brought up in our first conversation, I have certainly quoted, referenced or forced you to watch at least one of my favorite scenes. “Parks” is my go-to pick-me-up — Andy’s gleeful silliness is contagious. “Parks and Rec” is my go-to for motivation — Leslie Knope’s boundless determination is enough to inspire anyone to do their homework. And it’s definitely my go-to for a laugh — the different characters that make up Pawnee, Indiana are hysterical. Basically, “Parks and Rec” is my go-to any day, any time.
Like all faculty, staff and postdocs, I received my email summons to complete mandatory Title IX training, as directed by College President Phil Hanlon and the College in response to the student lawsuit against faculty and the College stemming from alleged sexual misconduct of three male faculty in the psychological and brain sciences department. By a certain logic, this obligation makes me yet another link in the chain of the exploitative side of Dartmouth’s culture, in this case as it concerns labor practices. Exploring this link may point to deeper fixes for campus culture.
Canadians are being targeted abroad, and it is reflective of Canada’s rising political status. In the last few months, Canadian nationals living and travelling in China and Saudi Arabia have been imprisoned, expelled or sentenced to death. In the midst of this tragic loss of life, however, is evidence that Canada is stepping up its involvement in world politics. Its government is finally willing to get its hands dirty in controversial foreign relationships — and the by-product of detainment is a cost that world superpowers have dealt with for years.
Updated Jan. 31, 2019 at 1:44 p.m.
If Mapplethorpe had Instagram, would his account get banned? In museums, nudity and emotional expression are well-accepted. But the account @artwerk6666, which often features twerking and seemingly baroque iPhone photos of the nude body, recently got deleted at 69 thousand followers for about the 17th time. Featured on Vice, Dazed 100 and a couple of smaller culture websites, Alexandra Marzella, the owner of @artwerk6666, is an artist, selfie taker and feminist performance artist — so what’s the issue? Nudity. Nudity is crass and unsophisticated, or so digital admins would have you believe. Her account, however, is one of many that intentionally misuses social media to display an affect of rawness that destabilizes the idea of a polished public face. An Instagram feed with different variations of golden-hour selfies would be a boring place to be. Social media spaces should take the recent Tumblr regulation initiatives as a sign to take a step back, since feminist performance artists rely on social media to destabilize the image of the perfect woman for consumption.