DOOLITTLE | I’m Mad as Hell, and I’m Not Going to Take This Anymore

Throughout my tenure as a writer, editor and now columnist for the Arts & Entertainment section, my favorite tradition has remained the end-of-year lists we publish, in which we lowly critics gerrymander and jockey our favorite albums, films and TV shows for a shot at proving that our opinions are objectively correct and yours are wrong. We do this on the assumption that you care about the art about which we spend the year opining; that our recommendations and ratings may encourage you to see a play or listen to a track that you may have otherwise ignored; that, somehow, we are enriching the arts on campus and providing a necessary service to the reader. The critic’s dream. But if there is anything I have learned since coming to Cornell, it’s that you don’t care. Don’t feel bad.

Back to School with President Obama

In a sign of the times, there is uproar over President Obama’s decision to speak to schoolchildren and convey a message of studying hard and staying in school. Parents have appeared on the cable news stations crying out in anger at the idea that President Obama would dare speak to the nation’s children. First and foremost, Barack Obama is the President of the United States, a fact that eludes many U.S. children. He is the leader of the free world and is held to a higher standard and in higher regard than other politicians. Second, that the President wishes to dedicate time towards reaching out to schoolchildren is mutually beneficial and exposes students to the idea of nation and community.