Tag Archives: College

“Hello, I’m a Stand-Up Comedian.” “And I’m PC.”

After the events of this past week [and given the temporary resolution] now is as good a time as any to have a little bit of fun. With so many of us actively fighting for both our rights and the rights of those who cannot speak for themselves a momentary reprieve is needed, a way of recovering in between bouts. It may even be a good idea to turn to comedy, to try laughter in the face of the shockingly grim edicts being rained down by a particular governmental administration.

For a broad number of reasons 2017 appears to be the only year where the current POTUS could ever have been inaugurated. It’s not just our contemporary political landscape that has become so dauntingly complex, however, the same can be said of the comedic sphere as well.

Back in 2015 comedian Jerry Seinfeld was a guest on the ESPN podcast The Herd with Colin Cowherd where he responded to the host commenting about other notable stand-up comedians opting to steer clear of performing on college campuses.

“I don’t play colleges, but I hear a lot of people tell me, ‘Don’t go near colleges. They’re so PC.’

He elaborated on that a bit, saying-

[College students] just want to use these words: ‘That’s racist;’ ‘That’s sexist;’ ‘That’s prejudiced.’ They don’t know even know what they’re talkin’ about.”

-before agreeing with Cowherd that these people are “hurting comedy.”

My favourite thing about this is the

My favourite thing about this is the “PRESENTED BY PROGRESSIVE” right at the bottom.

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2 Broke Girls, S6E5 “And the College Experience”: A TV Review

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I am invested in Max and Caroline’s relationship.

While it’s no secret that reviewing 2 Broke Girls is far from my favourite task for the week, I do care about how the show deals with the pair at its core. Strongly in its favour is the fact that the conflict that tends to arise between people of vastly different socioeconomic backgrounds is literally the premise of my favourite Arthur episode. For as much as this CBS sitcom is built on the friendship Max and Caroline share, what actually keeps both it and the narrative moving forward is the two butting heads. That said, what difference arises between the two titular leads this week?

Caroline doesn’t like having fun.

Which, to be fair, is sort of true. A much more accurate statement might be: Caroline doesn’t like having fun compared to Max. Though even then the definition of fun would need to be reduced to general debauchery [drinking, drugs, premarital sex, the sorts of activities your parents didn’t want you doing in your teens]. Having just typed out that stipulation it still doesn’t feel entirely accurate, since just last season we had the former heiress knocking back multiple tiny bottles of hotel liquor. Just trying to lay out the conflict in this episode is proving really difficult and I’m not even 300 words into this review.  Continue reading

The Power of Twitter Showcased at the Oscars: #OscarsSoWhite, #YesAllWomen, and #AskHerMore

Twitter has changed the way news is reported. The Black Lives Matter movement has been particularly successful in raising awareness for cases of police brutality that generally would have been overlooked by mainstream news channels.

Arguably the second most important aspect of Twitter is its ability to connect celebrities to their fan base. With the prevalence of these two features, it’s hardly surprising that celebrities and celebrity events have become more politicized.

This year’s Academy Awards are a prime example of this overlap between the celebrity world and political struggles that have been highlighted via Twitter. Below, I’ve included a few notable examples of Twitter flexing its muscles at the Oscars

#OscarsSoWhite

I’m not going to dwell too much on the circumstances of the #OscarsSoWhite boycott, since Gordon and Evan have already thoroughly explained its context. However, I do want to talk a bit about how the controversy was handled by the Oscars host, Chris Rock.

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Overall, I thought Rock did a great job calling out the Academy without reducing his monologue to a humourless lecture. However, in his article for Salon, Arthur Chu points out that,

Acting like caring about day-to-day violence in the streets and the impact media and culture have on that violence are somehow mutually exclusive — a common, frustrating, tired argument anyone who talks about racism in media will inevitably see dozens of times in the comments section — ignores history.

It ignores the many, many arguments that have been made about how the excuses made for the deaths of Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown frequently come verbatim from untrue stereotypes out of TV and movies, how the only way Darren Wilson’s description of Brown as a “demon” who was “bulking up to get through the bullets” could possibly make sense to anyone is after a lifetime of media portrayals of the scary superhuman black man. It ignores Martin Luther King going out of his way to call Nichelle Nichols and tell her not to quit “Star Trek” because having a black woman on TV who wasn’t a domestic servant mattered. It ignores the ongoing civil rights protests around the Oscars back in the 1960s and ’70s, including Marlon Brando making history as the first and only best actor winner to boycott the ceremony, sending American Indian Movement activist Sacheen Littlefeather to accept the award in his place.

Similarly, several activists have since pointed out the one-dimensionality of calling for more black representation only to appeal to Asian-American stereotypes for a laugh. Continue reading

Houghton Students and Early Marriage [An Observation, Not a Defence] – Redux and Reflection

evan20122Three years ago I graduated from Houghton College, a Christian liberal arts college in the hamlet of Houghton, New York. A few months before I left, however, I wrote my first and only op-ed for the Houghton Star, the student newspaper, the title of which is pretty self-explanatory.

Due to recent events [three engagements within a few days of each other] marriage has very understandably been on my mind, and I thought it would be worth digging up the article and comparing where I was then to where I am now. Due to extensive revamping it’s no longer hosted on the paper’s website, so I’ve included it in its entirety below. There are also pictures from my high school and college graduations, respectively, for your enjoyment.


Houghton Students and Early Marriage
An Observation, Not a Defence


evan20082Four years ago I graduated from Grace International School, a Christian school in Chiang Mai, Thailand. With the internet and, of course, Facebook I was never really far away from my former classmates in spite of us scattering to the far corners of the globe. Since that final year of wearing matching polo shirts and eating lunch by the pool 
seven members of the class of ’08 have gotten married, two of them to each other; three others are currently engaged. Out of a class of 45 or so students that’s almost a quarter of us tying the knot before the age of 23.

A few years later I was musing about the flood of marriages [four happened at least a year after graduation] out loud to my cousin one day, and he asked why all of my classmates were getting married at such a young age. He then quickly answered his own question with a question, asking “Oh, it’s because you can’t have sex until you’re married, right?” This wasn’t a factor for him, and I vaguely recall half-heartedly muttering something to the affirmative. I knew that couldn’t be all there was to it, but it made enough sense at the time.

Now here I am, a senior with less than two months left before I hit the real world. At least four of my college friends have gotten married since my freshman year and “Save the Date” cards continue to materialize in PO boxes left and right. Proposals have lost any kind of surprise they once had for me. Not too long ago two people in one of my classes were engaged over the weekend and I [not that I wasn’t happy for them] didn’t give it a second thought. My first semester here I had never heard of “ring by spring” or the more clever “getting my MRS.” I didn’t understand at the time how quickly dating relationships could metamorphose into marriage or how prevalent engagements would be in my college life. Continue reading

12 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Went to University

I’ve spent several years blundering through the university system. It’s only now, in my fourth year, that I’m beginning to feel like I have a clue how anything works. Alas, it is too late for me to take full advantage of this knowledge, but I thought perhaps I could pass on a few words of wisdom before it’s all over.

You know what they say about sharing…

Below I’ve included a list of things I wish I had known before I started. I wasn’t sure if I was the only one who had no idea what was going on for the first few years of their education, so I also posed the question to Reddit. I’ve included several of their excellent responses below.

1.Know What You Want to Do Before You Start

I know a lot of people who felt pressured to go to university straight out of high school. Then, once they made it to university, they had no idea what program to take. There are seriously A BAZILLION options. I worked for several years after high school, so by the time I started my undergrad I thought I had developed a game-plan. Even then it definitely wasn’t specific enough. I was so
overwhelmed by the number of choices that I ended up taking several courses that had nothing to do with my degree.

Redditor wolf2600 also suggests having a program, or even a career, in mind before choosing a school:

“Don’t choose a school/major on a whim. When deciding on a school/program, go to the school’s website, find their college catalog, and see what courses are offered in the department (along with their descriptions), and also what courses are required for the degree. Majors with the same name can have very different requirements at different schools, and the selection of elective courses can also vary widely.”

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Why “Yes Means Yes” Means “Maybe”

It turns out that the one day I postpone writing so I can review Gotham is the same day the whole world decides to go crazy.

In Hong Kong, thousands upon thousands have established “Occupy Central” to challenge Beijing’s infringements of their democratic rights…

…In California, one of the strongest anti-rape laws in recent history has just been passed…

…and Spain and Catalonia get ready to square off with each other in what could very well be the final battle for the small province’s independence.

In short, there’s a ton to talk about and not a lot of time, but since the Catalonians are still gearing up for the fight and the defiant protestors in Hong Kong have yet to be moved, it’s the SB-967 or “Yes Means Yes” Bill that we’ll be talking about today.

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Shame Day: The Post-Grad’s Job Search

This is pretty short as posts can get, but its length has directly to do with the topic at hand. See, I’ve been unemployed since last year, and that’s not for lack of trying to change that status. Given certain things going well there’s a chance that, instead of sitting here on the couch that doubles as my bed, I’d actually be in sunny Las Vegas with your favourite communist Culture War Reporter Gordon. Some things just aren’t meant to be, however.

I’m well aware that this isn’t going to be anything new for many of my peers out there, but just allow me this platform to vent a little. I am a college graduate. I am the child of a generation who believed that attaining a post-secondary degree more or less equated to a good job. Honestly, I wish that the piece of paper I have in a storage bin somewhere had some significant effect on my job search. See, and again, you probably already know this, what employers are really looking for is experience.

Most places are asking for three to five years with a particular task, and here I am having graduated in 2012, worked in 2013, and presently job-hunting full-time in 2014. This poorly-designed diagram really says it all:

Really, I don’t know what more to add to that. Surely Gordon, who has a job directly related to employment and has more of a finger on the pulse of current events regarding the economy, would have more to say, but I really don’t; I’m not even quite sure who to blame. It’s tough out there, and today’s just one of those days where I’m letting it get me down.

Normally I try not to let things on this blog get too personal, but honestly I think it’s a facet of post-grad culture, holding a diploma and wondering how on earth we’re going to use it. It’s frustrating to say the very least, and I just have to throw my two cents into what’s ostensibly a very large and very heavy bucket of copper-plated steel.