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HAGOPIAN | Protesting Pollution by Not Breathing: How To Fight an Evolving Capitalism

A pretentious person I know referred to this year’s batch of Oscar-nominated short films as a “mixed bag,” which in my mind means that they must be pretty good. My personal favorite, “The Eleven O’Clock,” is a delightfully original comedy about a patient of a psychiatrist who believes he’s the psychiatrist. The rest of them are nearly as good, albeit a deal more serious. “The Silent Child” tells the story of a deaf girl whose parents fail to get her the help she needs, while “Watu Wote” addresses Christian-Muslim conflicts in Africa. These serious films are so unabashedly serious that they almost come across as narrative-based public service announcements; each credit sequence is peppered with statistics, authentic footage and calls to action.

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SONG | I’m the Legislator Responsible for Your School Shooting

Hi, I’m your local legislator. You probably didn’t do enough research to know who I am, but I’ll fill you in anyways. I can be anyone you want, but most likely I’m a 52-year-old white male who likes playing golf and drives a giant SUV and who makes an intern buy my coffee with three sugars every morning before I get to my office. My office being at the state capitol building, of course. My job is to create policies for all you people and pretend like I give a crap about the common good.

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JEONG | Winter Olympics… In Ithaca?

Dear Mayor Myrick,

I hope your February break has been going well. It’s been a few weeks since I saw you driving through the Commons. I waved at you, but you pretended not to notice. I’m going to act like that never happened, because I have bigger issues that I want to address today. Since the last time we’ve met, I’ve been watching a lot of this Winter Olympics — dozens of sports that I never knew existed two weeks ago have now consumed my entire life.

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KANKANHALLI | Who’s Behind the Trigger?

Voices flock to controversy like bees to honey. The case surrounding the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High shooting is no outlier — without delay, a multitude of sentiments regarding the affair has peppered the national landscape. As in prior responses to tragedy, we have heard vehement accounts from survivors, onlookers, afflicted families, and of course, politicians. This is precisely what we would hope for in response to an unthinkable calamity, is it not? Hardly.

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DANBERG BIGGS | Kids With Guns

We know, at this point, that massacre is routine in this country. 17 children were shot and killed in an afternoon at school. It wasn’t the first time shots were fired at schools this year, or the fifth or the fifteenth. It wasn’t the first mass shooting this year, or the fifth, or the fifteenth, or the twenty-fifth. Perhaps for older generations it is still experienced with shock, but those my age have a memory dotted with acts of domestic terror.

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GUEST ROOM | Vladimir Putin’s Inner-scape is Completely Beside the Point

I read with mixed feelings Artur Gorokh’s February 13th column Putin’s Fears and Grievances. In it, he asks us to consider Putin not as an evil antagonist ever-bent on chaos, but as more of an antihero — a once-keen idealist turned into the callous ruler we know today by circumstance. Gorokh is correct insofar as Putin’s early rhetoric was much easier on the international ear. It is also true that the villainizations of Putin by western outlets range from the hypocritical to the absurdly comical. All that aside, it is perhaps most useful of all to look at a few actual events early in Putin’s political career to assess where he falls on what is referred to in superhero circles as “the evil villain spectrum.”

In 2004, on what would be called back-to-school day here in the States, the Beslan School No.

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LIEBERMAN | Vulnerability Is My Valentine

I love Valentine’s Day. I’m sorry. I’m one of those. But I adore being a little self-pitying if even for just a day. I cherish the opportunity to complain about being lonely.

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PINERO | The Revisionist History of Black Panther

Black Panther hits theaters everywhere tomorrow.  The buzz around the movie is electric, as evidenced by its formidable social media presence, record-breaking box office projections and ubiquity in the thinkpiece realm. Though the reviews are glowing, what seems to be propelling this global phenomenon is not the movie itself, but its materiality to the world as it is today. In the comic book world, the word “retcon” is a common portmanteau for “retroactive continuity.” It refers to the reframing of past events to serve a current plot need. For example, TV shows often retcon characters’ backstories in order to explain their present actions.

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LAM | Mismanagement Case Study: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business

Six days into the Spring semester, founding Dean of the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business Soumitra Dutta resigned, after a little more than a year and a half in the post. Weeks later, still not a word from Cornell on the reason. A Sun reporter even went to the former dean’s home to find some answers, to no avail. Of course, as a private nonprofit institution, Cornell has no legal obligation to be transparent about personnel movements. A stench of mismanagement, however, stinks to high heaven. Most, including myself, had initial doubts about the endeavour.

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AHMAD | The Inferiority Complex

“Cornell professors really hype us up,” said one of my friends after a psychology lecture in which our professor spent the last 20 minutes of class telling us how incredibly “brilliant” we all were, and how “blown away” he is by our potential. I don’t even really remember what prompted him to go on this complimentary rant. One minute we were talking about the psychology of dreams, and the next thing I knew, we were being showered with compliments by a professor a hundred times more accomplished than anyone else in the room. While it may seem random, I’ve found that this is quite a common theme in a lot of classes at Cornell. As a freshman, I remember being told in every introductory lecture that we were all “extremely bright” and “driven” students, and I really believed it.