Questions of America’s Past and Future in Performing and Media Arts Presentation of “The Diary of an American Girl”

I watched The Diary of an American Girl, a play written by Cornell Performing and Media Arts student Aleksej Aarasether, on February 10th at the Schwartz Center. American Girl had been written for the Heermans-McCalmon Dramatic Writing Competition, and the PMA department showcased it as one of the winning screenplays. Two other performances, excerpts of a screenplay and a script, were also shown. The Diary of an American Girl depicts the story of Anna, a young Latinx girl born in America to with undocumented parents. The script flirts with the conceit of Anna’s diary, through which some of the story is told.

KOWALEWSKI | It’s Happening Now

The grim spectacle of Donald Trump’s campaign has transitioned into the grim spectacle of the American  presidency. A mere two weeks have elapsed since President Trump’s inauguration, and already the nation has settled into a routine of expansive executive orders and subsequent corresponding outrage. The vulnerable are under attack, shame is a forgotten concept and the White House seems devoted to the personal aggrandizement of the president above all else. We are in an accelerated America hurling through history. And there are sickening indications that our potential destination is a familiar one.

TRUSTEE VIEWPOINT | Finding a Voice

Aziz Ansari, this week’s SNL host, expressed an important sentiment during his opening bit. “Change doesn’t come from presidents. Change comes from large groups of angry people,” he noted in reference to the millions of people around the world that came together for the Women’s March. Ithaca played its role in this national phenomenon as thousands of students, professors and Ithacans came together for the Women’s March in Ithaca. Like many of you, our social media feeds were filled with pictures and messages displaying throngs of Americans coming together and using their voices to fight for equality.

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STANTON | Trump’s Rosebud

Despite being an acknowledged and well-researched psychiatric phenomenon, panic attacks remain a tricky beast — treatable only by pinpointing their underlying causes. According to Wikipedia, approximately 11 percent of the U.S. population experiences them, putting Europeans to shame at their measly 3 percent and inviting any number of cultural critiques.  In the absence of a Nate Silver-esque trend line documenting day-to-day stress levels of the average American, one need only consult their Facebook feed to identify Election Day 2016 as a stress point of apocalyptic magnitude — the moment in which we collectively confront the bed we’ve made for ourselves. Suppressing my personal nightmare of waking up next to the GOP’s spray-tanned Frankenstein monster has proven itself a time-consuming effort, and one that shirks the comforting assurance of historical precedence. Whom can we consult to contextualize the first true reality TV election?

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Recipes for Election Night Disaster

Thinking of throwing your own election night party, but don’t know what to make? I’ve devised the perfect menu to appease both sides of the aisle before you inevitably begin crying with anxiety into your wine glass.

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Campus Reels After Release of Trump Tape

While there has never been any doubt that the Cornell Democrats would support their party’s nominee, the Cornell Republicans took the controversial step of abandoning their party’s standard bearer and endorsing libertarian candidate Gary Johnson last month.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR | True Conservatism for Cornell Republicans

Re: “Cornell Republicans Break Party Lines, Endorse Gary Johnson,” News, Sept. 2
To the Editor:
After having heard about the Cornell Republicans decision to endorse Gov. Gary Johnson for President, I felt the need to write a letter regarding this decision.  First and foremost, I am appalled by the words with which the CRs used to endorse Governor Johnson, going on to claim that he is a “true conservative.” Not only is this an insult to conservatives, but also an affirmation of ignorance as to what conservatism actually is. All it takes to observe this is a brief trip to Gov. Johnson’s website to realize that this man is surely no conservative!  Surely, there are some Republicans that may be at odds with the GOP on social issues among others, but to endorse the Johnson-Weld ticket and claim that it is a “truly conservative” ticket is outright deception!  The kicker to all of this now is that the organization seeks to call themselves the “Cornell Conservatives.” Calling themselves this after a Johnson endorsement is an additional insult to conservatism in and of itself. If the CRs were interested in true conservatism, they would have backed Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) from the very start of the campaign.  Instead, the organization decided to frantically endorse Johnson at the last minute to try and halt Trump.  True conservatives are men and women built in the molds of Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater, Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, Robert Bork, William F. Buckley, Jr. and a variety of others.  To claim that Gary Johnson is a “true conservative” is an insult to the work and lives of these remarkable symbols and hallmarks of American conservatism! If the Cornell Republicans have an issue with a Trump endorsement, then perhaps simply advising to “vote your conscience” is a better suggestion, rather than deception and falsely branding Governor Johnson.