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Classical music is generally thought of as a pretentious genre written by European men, for European men. Classically trained musicians typically spend their formative years of study learning works by canonical European male composers such as Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart; only after do they get the chance to study more contemporary music.
I am privileged. This statement — rather, the implications of acknowledging its validity — have escaped the lips of countless individuals for whom the statement rings true. While some of us at Dartmouth may consider ourselves privileged, few rarely grapple with what that word means or its ramifications in our interactions with other students.
America is a nation built by powerful ideas. In the 18th century, the Framers wove the democratic, individualistic ideals of the Enlightenment into the moral and constitutional fabric of the nation. In the 19th century, laissez-faire liberalism allowed free men and free markets to unleash an unprecedented wave of innovation and growth while uniting the country through commerce. In the 20th century, the revolution spearheaded by then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt brought the struggling masses back into civil society by establishing an expansive, ambitious welfare state and restoring America’s commitment to egalitarianism. In the 21st century, our nation must wrestle with the ramifications of these past revolutions and use new ideas to actualize our timeless values of liberty, equality and prosperity.
This past Friday, a controversial guest column came out in The Dartmouth. The writer, a male undergraduate, suggested that his rejection from First-Year Trips Directorate amounted to discrimination, citing the 80 percent female composition of the directorate. The article provoked intense backlash.
According to a 2017 Pew Research Center survey, about 67 percent of adults in America rely on social media platforms for their news, up 5 percent from 2016. I am part of that 67 percent — I get almost all of my news, both local and national, through Facebook.
Maybe the Sun God has an origin story.
What was the State of the Union really about?
Who hasn’t heard of the campus left, those illiberals who shut down speakers, protest Halloween costumes for allegedly being oppressive and cast offensive speech as “discursive violence”? Countless writers have covered the movement, some in a critical light. After all, the current trends in campus activism can border on the surreal. But is it really so bad? For all their authoritarian rhetoric, campus movements have a noble goal in targeting discrimination. Besides, right-wing illiberalism just elected a president. Isn’t the alt-right a greater threat to liberal values than some fringe campus movements?
In the 21st century, authenticity has become a brand value. We seek products and personas that are real, whether it be in global cuisine or live singing. Yet the search for the real can blind us to the benefits of the synthetic. Making real leather harms animals, leather-tannery workers and nearby communities, while synthetic leather has no victims. While fur-free movements have made an impact over the past few decades, leather has often slipped under the radar. However, leather production is equally harmful to human health, animal rights and the environment.
In the week following the end of the government shutdown, American politics have been riddled with speculation and conjecture regarding the future of the Delayed Action for Childhood Arrivals program. It seems that President Donald Trump — master of the art of the deal — has finally responded by proposing his own framework: DACA could survive and the children of undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. at a young age could be given a special path to citizenship. However, the proposition comes with a caveat. A DACA revival would only come to fruition if Congress (particularly the Democratic aisle) agrees to fund the construction of the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. This deal is expensive; it is ostentatious; but most importantly, it is worth taking.
Though campus jobs often have salaries barely above minimum wage, Dartmouth students are all too willing to take them. The difficulty of these jobs ranges wildly. Many entail simple tasks, such as filming varsity team practices, entering data into spreadsheets and swiping IDs at Dartmouth Dining Services locations. Yet there are also more challenging jobs, such as research assistantships that require advanced skills like statistical analysis. This latter group of campus employment is extremely cost-effective for the College and could be further expanded.
Sometimes the audience isn’t so receptive.
Dartmouth likes to tout its commitment to providing opportunities for students to expand their horizons. From joining clubs to volunteering to interning, we’re constantly being recruited, mentored, probed to try anything new. While Dartmouth facilitates the discovery of different interests, for students like me, coming here was already a bound out of our comfort zones.
Neocolonialism is a strong term, with implications of extractive and abusive control of a weak state by a strong one. It conjures up ideas of the dominant predator insidiously creeping up on its unsuspecting prey. It is also the term most frequently used to describe the fast-growing economic relationship between the People’s Republic of China and the African continent. But although this relationship certainly has grown quickly, with the value of Chinese trade with sub-Saharan Africa rising from $15 billion in 2003 to $100 billion in 2010, it cannot be described as neocolonialist. Despite how it is popularly portrayed, the relationship is not a destructive one. Africa’s industry and population have benefited from the rise of China.
The modern Republican Party is built on contradictions. Classical liberals and social conservatives never had much in common past a shared hostility toward communism. Yet the GOP alliance has proven strong. Republicans pander to bigoted elements within American society, but often as a means to an end; social conservatism rallies for a core policy of limited government and free markets. Republicans need to incorporate social conservatives in order to win elections and promote their agenda.
The National Football League is struggling and seems unable to get out of its own way. From controversies over national anthem protests to concussion research, recent public opinion of football has been far from stellar. The drop in ratings echoes this sentiment. However, one of the greatest impediments to the success of the NFL lies not in external factors, but within the very broadcast booths and media outlets which are supposed to foment enthusiasm for the sport. In their constant haste to render the game exciting through their commentary or discussions of the latest strategies or roster moves made by teams, these individuals have unwittingly managed to oversaturate the market with content. They have created an environment that feeds off of nostalgia, precipitating a sense of apathy that can explain many of the league’s recent quagmires.
Since the launch of the Virginia Slims’ cigarette campaign in the late 60s, feminism has sold in the mass market. Feminists today wear our pussy-hats to the grocery store, plaster our laptops with popular feminist witticisms, layer our “smash the patriarchy” sweatshirts over matching t-shirts and pin buttons printed with the female sex sign onto our backpacks. Our wallets bleed feminism. It soaks into the soap we buy, the makeup we wear, the tampons we carry. But in a market where feminism is thrown at us from all directions, it begs the question: Are we actually feminists, or are we simply buying a label?
What's a president to do when the government shuts down?
Politicians like to cast immigration as a partisan issue with stark alternatives and difficult trade-offs: open vs. closed, natives vs. outsiders, safety vs. liberty, efficiency vs. equality. But what if it was possible to give America the best of both worlds? The United States has a powerful set of core values that can lead this country to greatness if we have the courage and the ingenuity to apply them to the challenges of our day. With bipartisan immigration reform on the horizon, America has the rare opportunity to strengthen its economy and its democracy while answering the plea of the American worker.
I love America.