opinion web graphic

GROSKAUFMANIS | The Trendiness of Activism

It’s no secret that activism is becoming trendy. In today’s day and age, famous comedians are taking stances on the Affordable Care Act, supermodels are posting their opinions about gun control, and The New York Times just published an in-depth piece on how “wokeness” is the new cool. As a partial consequence of this, many people’s personal and political identities have become inextricably linked. A lot of people today seem to be creating personal “brands” that reflect their penchant for social justice — whether they are celebrities or students. For the most part, I honestly think this is fine.

benitez 10-6

BENITEZ | Rejecting Libertarian Intuition

At the end of Ayn Rand’s dystopian novella Anthem, the story’s protagonist, escaping an oppressive society in which everything from technological progress to reproduction is centrally-planned, retreats to distant mountains where he happens upon a series of texts from the early 20th Century. In them, he re-encounters the word “I,” and hence reclaims his agency after having been brainwashed from birth to not use such first-person language. Putting aside whether our ability to perceive of ourselves as distinct, first-person entities can be so fundamentally altered by a change in language, Anthem has stood out as an effective encapsulation of the intuitions fundamental to political libertarianism. Chief among them is advocacy of minimal governance from a belief that society is bettered by unleashed individualism. Indeed, the political libertarian holds a series of admittedly-consistent notions pertaining to all levels of society: in the “micro” by holding steadfast to the tenet that no one can understand the ideal trajectory of your own happiness better than you; and in the “macro” by believing that the interactions between these self-aware individuals can most fairly and justly optimize the productivity and welfare of the population as a whole.

opinion web graphic

DANBERG BIGGS | You Can’t Do Politics Scared

The most useless columns I write treat politics like a profile picture. They are snapshots of whatever kind of political aesthetic I would like to have attached to my name. Sometimes, this is a regurgitation of the campus consensus, while at other times it is contrarian purely for its own sake. They are honest, but only in the most superficial sense. That is, they are honestly the beliefs I would like you to think I hold.

lieberman 10-12

LIEBERMAN | New Views on North Korea

Stress dreams run in my family. My mom gets them about travel, my dad gets them about work and my brother gets them about sports. Lately, mine have been about impending nuclear warfare. The other night I had the most unbelievable one. It etched itself vividly in the back of my brain.

opinion web graphic

JEONG | Why We Must Protect the Hateful

I came to college a Bernie-loving, John Oliver-watching, 420-friendly, devout liberal. My political awakening began in sixth grade when I read then-Senator Barack Obama’s autobiographies. To a minority kid interested in politics, his words were gospel to me. I was vehemently pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and if anybody were to disagree with me, they were ignorant, minority-hating bigots. In an era in which politics has been defined by Trumpism, liberals have rallied under a common villain — a catch-all caricature that represents the evil of the right.

opinion web graphic

LAM | With a Murky North Korean Policy, Coincidences can Become Catastrophic Once Again

The recent lull in tensions with North Korea is apparently the “calm before the storm,” according to President Donald Trump. When asked to elaborate about “the storm” by reporters in a White House military dinner, he simply grinned and replied an inexplicable, “You’ll find out!” like a child waiting for his prank to be discovered. This ominous reply is perhaps a bluff for his equally unstable North Korean counterpart or just to cause anxiety for the journalists that the president despises. If the statement had any effect, it was to disturb one of the “great military people” standing next to the president, who was struggling to smile for the cameras through thoughts of an impending nuclear war. But in international politics, actions are infinitely louder than words, and the quick military actions two weeks ago exemplify this.

opinion web graphic

RUSSELL | Life, In Valencia

The fourth floor of the Port Authority bus station is never as hectic as the first, so if I’m ever early for my Shortline I duck my head and speed upstairs to wait in line for the bus. This time, my bee line was intercepted by a suited yuppie in his 30s, walking at my speed in my direction, an oversized phone between his gaze and mine. To avoid a collision, I hopped to the left, glancing at him as he gathered himself and passed by. He was talking at his phone, so I took it for an ill-timed Facetime call until I looked a bit closer and realized the face on his screen was his own. He was vlogging.

hagopian 10-6

HAGOPIAN | Greek Life Should Not Exist: Part II

I’m fairly certain that one of the Confucian philosophers advised his pupils to learn something from everyone and everything from no one. And if Donald Trump has taught me anything, it’s that successful people always double down. My last column, “Greek Life Should Not Exist” elicited some negative feedback two Fridays ago. I’ve read these opposing viewpoints, I’ve considered them, and I remain convinced that I am right. A 50-year old conservative alumnus sees the world in a profoundly different way than I do.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Pretty When I Cry

It had been at least a year since I had seen him and even longer since I had enjoyed seeing him. I still despised him and yet, for some reason, I got a message from him asking if he could visit me at Cornell. I actually considered it for a second, but my better judgement helped me decide against it. A few weeks later though, I felt this inexplicable need to see him. I had hated him for so long, but now I wanted nothing more than to be with him.

Sex on Thursday

SEX ON THURSDAY | Kinky Boos

Life’s too short to have vanilla sex. Now, I like to live fast and hard, so maybe this mantra is just a reflection of my lifestyle, but I have a feeling that there are a lot of kinky souls relating to this right now. For me, it goes back to my first kiss. I was 18 (I know, so much for living fast and hard), but to be fair, having to handle two  dominating parents and a course load  full of APs on top of a myriad of extracurricular activities was a  true cock-block. Anyways, I was 18, and after many summer evenings of eye-fucking a hot guy at my country club’s gym, he finally asked me out.