As the rate of positive COVID-19 tests rise again, we must consider the source of the virus and how to prevent future pandemics. The New York Times referred to the coronavirus as a wave that will “be with us for the foreseeable future before it diminishes” and will take more than one round of social distancing. We cannot depend on the warmer weather to diminish the number of cases or hope that a vaccine comes quickly; we must face the grim reality that the pandemic may persist into the next year. First, we need to educate ourselves on the nature of zoonotic diseases, which the Center for Disease Control defines as being caused by “germs spread between animals and people.” According to One Health Commision, in the past three decades around 75 percent of all emerging infectious diseases originated in animals. These viruses are brought to humans by wild animals, whether humans consume them, capture and cross-breed species or increase encounter rates by destroying natural habitats.
In a period often referred to as the “information age,” the notion of technological addiction is a fairly pervasive reality, and very much a hot topic of conversation. Written for an audience primed with various science-fiction films and novels about this idea, the expectations for The Feed, Nick Clark Windo’s debut novel, were high. With a title that overtly references the main aspect of popular social media: one’s facebook feed, twitter feed, instagram feed, etc., there was a sense of relevancy to the novel that was almost immediately debunked by the end of chapter one. The novel evoked commentary similar to that of Dave Eggers’s novel The Circle (2013) in an atmosphere of mass-death and suspect forces akin to Oryx and Crake (2003) by Margaret Atwood. However, the execution of The Feed lacked the subtlety and mind-warping prose that allowed for the success of its forebears.
Roombas are adorable. They look like rounded pieces of To-Ak chocolate, and cost about the same. My parents managed to pick one up before the holidays, and it whirs around during the day, dusting off the micro-pests that clutter the household. My dad seems genuinely amazed. “Look at this,” he says giddily.
The technical possibilities of tomorrow are just as incredible as those of the 1950s because they are real. Simultaneously everything is within reach and nothing. We use new technologies but few people understand their function. Machines, programs and devices on the horizon, rushing towards us, will be far less widely understood than would those of the 20th century, had they come to pass. It is conceivable that most people, with a modicum of study, could understand the functioning of a color TV or a flying car depicted in a pulp science fiction book.
Cuddling in Eleni’s queen sized bed recounting a fun evening, we began discussing our lack of photo documentation this year. By the time you reach senior year, is taking a #selfie in your novel mixer costume lame/sad/pathetic/overdone? Or were we having too much fun dancing and twirling? Either way, we’re getting nostalgic and sappy as our time at Cornell comes to an end:
GO: Won’t we want to look back at pictures of us in our Brandy Melville crop tops and LF chokers, which are likely to be painfully outdated? ET: Or the body contouring, mini dresses that may only be acceptable and flattering in this realm of our lives?
The shtick that has turned Future into one of hip hop’s biggest superstars casts him as a drug-addled club rat, drinking lean to numb the pain; this was more or less the premise of his last album, DS2, which was a huge critical and commercial success. The updated hipster take on Future is that he’s a doomed, lovelorn soul who turns his druggy misery into art like a sizzurp-sipping Cobain. This kind of revisionism is necessary in order to listen to such mindless music without irony, because Future’s songs are unbelievably repetitive and dreary. But in a recent interview with The Source, Future as much as admitted that his persona is a fabrication designed to sell records. “I’m not like super drugged out or [a] drug addict,” he said.
We love the story of a good Fall. Ever since the Garden of Eden, humans have lived in sin; and for as long as there have been sinners, others have relished the task of exposing them. It seems that few things fascinate us as much as a figure that rises to great heights and seems morally unimpeachable, and then is exposed as something else entirely. From Bill Clinton to Bill Cosby, our culture has a special appetite for those who claim to have high morals and are then exposed as ignoble imposters. Maybe this explains Future’s popularity.