Are you prepared to die?
Let me tell you something: you are going to die. But surely you do not need me to remind you. We are all thinking about it without thinking! Why else are we complying with mask and social distancing mandates? (I can think of a few ‘plausible conspiracy theories’ as well, though I prefer to keep my head attached to my neck.) But the fear of death that many of us have raises a question: Why is it that we are afraid of dying?
Consider for a moment the job of a firefighter. A firefighter trains to put out fires. Yet, it may be the case that the firefighter would never have to put out an uncontrolled fire. Instead, the firefighter prepares for what is only probable, something that is not certain.
But death is something that will happen to all of us for certain. So, if we follow the analogy, we must ask ourselves, How am I preparing for death?
Or if you have never encountered this question, like many of us, you might ask, ‘How do I prepare for death?’ But surely, we don’t have to look too hard to see how one prepares for death.
A beginner at running, for example, trains to be a better runner by running, eating healthy, and resting. At first, it might hurt to run, turn down that ‘Mike’s Hard Lemonade’, or to go to bed at a reasonable time. (Especially during last summer’s quarantine!) But perhaps with practice, and therefore through habit, training to be a runner wouldn’t hurt as much. In fact, the training might even be something pleasurable. In a way, the runner dies to his or her old self and becomes a ‘new self’. This is because the runner submits his or her impulses to reason, instead of reason enslaving itself to the impulses. In this way, we may call the runner or athlete ‘free’.
Such freedom is not foreign to Philosophy either. Philosophy as traditionally understood is most definitely useless. Obviously, it is not useless in the sense that it is beneath the dignity of useful things, but rather, it is above usefulness! We would say the same thing about happiness, for example. We don’t use happiness for the sake of something else, as if happiness wasn’t good enough. Rather, we enjoy happiness for its own sake, because it is a universal good in itself.
Now, the term ‘Philosophy’ means ‘love of wisdom’, and love requires that one goes outside or beyond oneself. For this reason, a lover of wisdom isn’t too concerned about him or herself. The lover merely wants to know and be with the beloved.
According to the Christian Tradition, God Himself is that wisdom. Thus, the Philosopher truly wants to know and be with God. The Philosopher therefore turns his or her attention away from things that are changing and unstable, in order to gaze into the eyes of ‘Beauty so ancient yet so new’. Thus at death, the lover will say to the beloved, ‘I have heard of you, but now my eyes see you.’
So, how do we prepare to die? We prepare through virtue and contemplation. Virtue consists in performing good actions which become habits. Those habits make one who he or she is. To contemplate, on the other hand, consists in knowing and loving reality, as a lover knows and loves the beloved. As lovers, therefore, let us live well in order to die well.
A red-carpet seems like the last thing we need in the midst of a pandemic and civil rights injustices. However, this year’s Emmys proved that fashion can bring people together while contributing to larger social movements.
By Melanie Moyer
Courtesy of https://www.elle.com/fashion/celebrity-style/g34078712/emmys-red-carpet-dresses-2020/
If it’s irresponsible, even deadly, to gather a group of people from different households together during a pandemic, how can celebrities safely walk the red carpet? This was the question producers of the Emmys had to grapple with while planning the occasion. Instead of collecting by the masses in front of the iconic Staples Center, celebrities were told to take on the TV industry’s biggest night with a reimagination of the red carpet. Jimmy Kimmel, the evening’s host, outlined the dress code as a simple “come as you are, but make an effort.” Some celebrities took this suggestion in stride, some fully embraced the glamor of the evening, and some even took full advantage of the glorified Zoom call to show up in their glammed-out PJs. Even without the social gathering that often comes with the fashion highlights of the evening, many stars proved that they can be the best dressed of the evening no matter where they are.
This year’s Emmys were nearly inseparable from Zendaya and her looks (yes, plural) for the night. Winner of an award for Leading Actress in a Drama Series for her work in Euphoria, Zendaya first wowed fans in a viral Instagram video of her in a Christopher John Rogers dress. The dress had a shaped purple silk taffeta skirt that revealed a snatched waistline and a black-shouldered top, further accessorized with black Louboutin pumps with embellished toes and Bulgari jewelry. Later on in the evening, Zendaya accepted her Emmy in a custom two-piece by Armani Prive, featuring a flowing polka-dot skirt and a silver-studded bralette top. With the elegance and glamor Zendaya brought with both looks, it’s hard to categorize anyone else as the best dressed of the evening.
Tracee Ellis Ross was also an early highlight of the night on social media, with her ruffled gold Alexander Vauther dress (and a matching mask!). In an Instagram post, Ross walked down her own red carpet looking like an Emmy herself. Her golden ruffles of material parted in the front to create one of the most iconic looks of the night. She also gets extra credit for donning her mask.
Regina King was also one of a few celebrities to bring her look to her own red carpet, but with a personal and powerful twist. Wayman Bannerman and Micah McDonald, King’s stylists, used the virtual platform to create an experience out of her look, capturing her first outfit in a twelve-second clip. In it, King takes center stage in a dazzling sapphire dress from Schiaparelli, accompanied by two sketched Black dancers. Her next look was first seen on E! News, where she appeared in a hot pink Schiaparelli suit over a shirt with the face of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year old woman fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police Department officers on March 13, 2020 while she was sleeping. With her look, the winner of a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Lead Actress in a Limited Series or a Movie made the first of many political statements of the night.
Other stars to incorporate solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement into their looks were Uzo Aduba and Sandra Oh. Aduba, winner of an award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie for her role in Mrs. America, donned a gold skirt and a shirt with Breonna Taylor’s name in matching gold lettering. Sandra Oh wore a royal purple Korelimited bomber jacket with ‘Black Lives Matter’ written in Korean on the front. Oh also brought in a mask to her look, showing that fashion and preventative measures in response to the pandemic go hand-in-hand.
Another fashion highlight of the evening was the gorgeous Chanel Haute Couture gown Shira Haas wore. It was reported that the gown took about 1,200 hours of work to complete, which immediately became apparent once the floral detail of the dress came on camera. Billy Porter was also a highlight of the night—but really, when is he not—in a custom Ashi Studio off-white suit paired with a sweeping shawl to match.
Father-son power duo Eugene and Dan Levy from Schitt’s Creek dominated the night’s awards and style, with Dan showing up in a pleated grey skirt and a matching blazer from Thom Browne and Eugene in a clashing (but in a good way) navy-black Dior suit. Jameela Jamil showed everyone that she could show up to the Emmys in her PJs and still serve a fantastic look in a rainbow sequin dressing gown over white pajamas. Power couple Rachel Brosnahan and Jason Ralph also brought their PJ game with a matching custom look from Christy Willing, and they even brought their two dogs in on the look.
Overall, this year’s Emmys were full of incredible looks from the homes or hotel rooms of the nominees. While it may have seemed impossible to host an event that was both safe and fabulous during a pandemic, the stars showed that fashion is not limited to a single red carpet nor does it take precedence over slowing the spread of the coronavirus. From the celebrities who were able to incorporate masks into their look to those who made the best of staying safe at home, the all-encompassing message of the evening was that we can still come together for these events while doing our part of social distancing.
Because San Francisco has your health in mind.
By Katelyn McCarthy
The City of San Francisco, like most areas of the country, is slowly lifting its shutdown. Today, you can go to a florist, an aquarium, or a mall at 50, 25 and 25% capacities, respectively. You can go into a store and buy basketballs, baby dolls, or cannabis. You can go swimming in an outdoor swimming pool. You can even get a tattoo or a massage—and indoors, to boot.
However, if at the end of a long day of shopping and preening you should drive up to a church, please know that you must be very careful. Churches are dangerous places. You are much more likely to catch the coronavirus by entering a quiet church than you are by walking around the throw pillow aisle at Target that you and a few hundred others have meandered down during the course of the day.
Check out San Francisco’s list of businesses permitted to open. Most of them are allowed to, though a few services, like indoor playgrounds and concert venues, remain closed. Of those permitted to open, however, none have more stringent rules foisted upon them than churches.
This is because the City of San Francisco is concerned about your health. They care about you, they really do. That’s why they let you buy marijuana, get a tattoo, be massaged, and permit only one person inside a church at a time. Remember. They have your safety in mind.
Some may claim that the institutions which have been permitted to open at reasonable capacities are allowed to do so so as to sustain the economy. This, however, is based on the presupposition that economic good is the only good. The government, separated as it is supposed to be from religion, has no authority to make that decision. The City evidently thinks that going to a store, with safety measures and reasonable entry quotas put in place, can be conducted safely. The same reasoning ought to be applied to churches.
But can going to church be conducted safely? Picture yourself in the Saint Mary’s Chapel. You are sitting in the back pew and are behaving as though you are a San Franciscan, which is why you are the only person inside. Now picture another person, in the front pew. How likely do you think it is that you will catch the coronavirus from him? Add a few people scattered throughout the middle. They are all about 20 feet away from you and are masked. Would you regard this as a highly infectious situation?
Now picture yourself at Target. You are pushing your cart down the aisle, and a lady squeezes just past you. You wheel over to the clothes section and riffle through a rack of t-shirts. A kid is standing on the opposite side of the rack, rummaging, too. A little while later, you lock wheels with a shopper as you both make your way through the laundry detergent section. Then you head over to the ice cream aisle, where a man opens the freezer, pulls out a carton of rocky road, and walks away. You open the same freezer and grab a carton of your own. After this, you head to the Halloween section, where families are looking at candy and snatching up the last of the back-to-school supplies.
Finally, you make it to the checkout line. A few dozen people are conglomerated there, each taking turns to load their goods onto the conveyor belt. You give your money to the cashier, who has handled plenty that day, and she gives you your change. As you leave, more and more people file into the store. They have been doing so since early this morning, and they will continue to do so until late this evening.
Make a choice. Of these two buildings—the Target, or the church—which do you think is more likely to allow for the transmission of Covid?
The answer is pretty clear. A church, which far fewer people generally enter and in which the people are stationary and touch very little, seems to be the safer place. Why, then, does the City think that it is safe for many hundreds of people to go into a store throughout the day (even for non-essential goods), but two people ought not be allowed in a church at the same time?
The answer is easy. Organized religion is the single largest threat to tyrants everywhere. A religion is the only institution which competes with the government for seniority. It is the only thing that can compel a citizen to do not what the state wants but what the moral code demands.
The religious person’s primary allegiance is not to his government but to his God. A religious American carries around the stars and stripes surmounted by the Cross. The Cross comes first. Government comes second.
That’s why religious people need to be put in their place. They need to remember that Big Brother is always there and that he has fists of iron and is clad with boots studded with spikes. He wears a face with lips that speak, “I care about you” and performs actions that say, “I really don’t.”
So, when Nancy Pelosi instructs the Archbishop of San Francisco that the restriction on churches is necessary, she does not really mean, as she says, “I think we should follow the science on this.” If that were the case, only one person would be allowed inside a florist, instead of half of the facility’s capacity. If that were the case, aquariums and toy stores would allow just one person in at a time, too. If that were the case, then why would the City of San Francisco let a masseuse come anywhere near its beloved citizens?
It’s simple. It’s not about the science. Florists, aquariums, and the like are being treated reasonably. Churches are not.
The City doesn’t think we should follow the science on this. It thinks we should follow the government officials on this simply because they are government officials. The City says, “I think you churches should stop thinking that you are important and recognize that I, not God, am god.”
There is something seriously wrong with a city that is more concerned with its citizens’ ability to have their nails buffed than to step into a church and pray. That “something” is nothing more than discrimination and intimidation, masked over as it might be by crocodilian pronouncements of good intentions.
But, please, don’t let me mislead you. The City really loves you. Everything is in your best interest. Now go out and get a massage.
By Melanie Moyer
Along with many other changes, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the scholarly approach to technology. Suddenly, terms such as ‘hybridity’ and ‘zooming’ have found their way into circles of higher education, along with creative new mechanisms of shaping the use of technology in—or as—the classroom. On September 8th and 9th, the use of technology was further shaped to fit a new model of usage: the advocation for social justice, inclusion, equity, and diversity in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.
The #ScholarStrike began as a tweet from University of Pennsylvania professor Anthea Butler, who was inspired by the recent strikes of NBA and WNBA players. Described as a “movement designed to bring recognition to the mounting numbers of deaths of African Americans and others by excessive use of violence and force by police” by Butler and co founder Kevin Gannon, the strike was a “two-day action on September 8-9 where professors, staff, students and even administrators [stepped] away from their regular duties and classes to engage in teach-ins about racial injustice in America, policing, and racism in America.” This hybrid model of protest is among the first of its kind, demonstrating the adaptability activist professors have brought to our first fully-online semester. Beyond the nationwide movement, Butler and Gannon also began a website comprised of several ten-minute videos to provide professors with material on injustices in America, policing, and organizing. Thus, educators across the country were provided both the opportunity to use their class time to recognize the racial injustices that have taken and are currently taking place in our country, as well as the proper material to do so.
On the (virtual) Saint Mary’s campus, the strike was observed by faculty members upon their own motivation, with many finding unique and effective ways to make the striking meaningful. According to a poll held on the Saint Mary’s Black Student Union Instagram story, 88% of students recorded having some form of observation of the strike from their professors. Various professors took the opportunity to cancel classes to observe the strike, supplementing material on social injustices and Black Lives Matter for regular class activities. Others held teach-ins, protesting in the classroom by centering the conversation around discussions of racism and social inequities. Some of these teach-ins focused specifically on racial injustices within their field of study; for example, some faculty members from the Music department educated their students on the history of Black musicians and their exclusion from the music world that is still perpetuated today. Different Seminar professors took the opportunity to discuss the diversity of the literary canon and Seminar readings, brainstorming ways to challenge our notions of ‘classic’ literature. Thus, many meaningful conversations were held during the strike for SMC students and professors alike.
In response to the strike, faculty from the Saint Mary’s community also created a Youtube channel with several videos discussing racial inequities and injustices, as well as statements of action on the part of faculty members. On the Youtube page, professors from the Justice, Community and Leadership and Sociology departments; members of The Counselors, Activists, Scholars, and Educators for Liberation organization on campus; the SMC association of Retired Staff; and the SMC Leadership Center all contributed to the conversation. They discussed topics pertaining both to racial injustices, its analysis in regards to the SMC campus, and its presence in collegiate fields such as technology. Their videos were moderately short in length but full of applicable information, with the total time needed to watch all of the videos a little over an hour (the length of Saint Mary’s shortest class time).
It should be acknowledged that some faculty members did not participate in the Scholar Strike, with reasons such as not knowing about its existence until too late or their disagreement with the strike. Some professors—who presumably were unaware of the resources available on Butler’s website and from the Saint Mary’s Community—felt they were unqualified to discuss topics related to racial injustices in their classes. Regardless of their motivation, choices made on the part of professors to not observe the Scholar Strike left several students unaware of it until after its occurrence. Thus, those who chose not to observe the strike had an impact of their own.
*Author’s Note: Although I am a student at Saint Mary’s College who experienced the Scholar Strike firsthand, it is important to note that the perspective I write from is that of a white student. This article should not be taken as a consensus of the Saint Mary’s student body, nor should it speak for anyone’s perspective of the strike other than my own. When evaluating protests of this kind, it is crucial to amplify Black voices and perspectives and it must be acknowledged that the impressions gathered by white participants and bystanders will be incomplete. That being said, after reaching out to the Saint Mary’s Black Student Union, they did not respond to requests for comment. In lieu of a statement, I attempted to utilize information provided by the club’s social media accounts.
For further reading, please see the resources below:
#ScholarStrike at Saint Mary’s College:
Why we started the #ScholarStrike:
SMC Supports Black Lives Matter:
Would you take the red pill?
A Case Against Swallowing Socialism.
By Katelyn McCarthy
Imagine that you are suffering from some ailment and are sitting in the doctor’s office in the hopes that he will have a cure for you. He comes into the room, a bottle of pills in his hand, and says, “Well, my dear patient, we’ve got a solution for you. Just take one of these pills twice daily, and we expect that your condition will clear up.”
“Thanks,” you say. “What exactly is this medication, Doctor?”
“It’s a formula we created some years ago,” he says. “Everyone who has taken it so far has died from it, but that’s because it wasn’t being administered properly. We think we’ve cleared up all the issues, and now we’re ready to try it again.” He unscrews the lid and shakes a red pill into his hand. “Now if you’ll just open wide—”
What would you do?
Would you take the pill?
Sure, the doctor says it’ll heal you, but didn’t he just say that it has killed everyone who has taken it so far? He says he won’t bungle it this time—that he’s worked out all the kinks. Are you willing to take that chance?
If you’re anything like I expect you are, you’ll push his hand away. “Sorry, Doctor,” you say. “No thanks.”
If you would do that in the doctor’s office, wouldn’t you do it somewhere else—say, in the classroom or the voting booth?
According to a survey conducted by YouGov, 70% of Millennials and 64% of Gen Z’rs regard themselves as extremely or somewhat likely to vote for a socialist candidate for office. After having seen how socialism (a term which Karl Marx used interchangeably with communism) has played out over the past hundred years, these statistics leave me scratching my head.
A common refrain supporters of Marxism will use when asked about the strength of their ideas in light of the abusive regimes of the Soviet Union, China, Venezuela, and others, is that Marxism has never truly been put into practice. That all of those regimes were twisted forms of Marxism. That, should “real” Marxism be established, we can build a utopia.
“So you should support a Marxist society,” they say, echoing the doctor. “Sure, every government that has professed Marxism so far has destroyed the lives of its own people, but that’s because it wasn’t being administered properly. We think we’ve cleared up all the issues.”
If you are now pulling from your arsenal of arguments, perhaps pointing out various idyllic Scandinavian governments, I would like to pause again and simply ask: knowing what sort of pill it is the doctor is holding before you, would you take it? Could the doctor cajole you into swallowing it? Convince you that he is right? Persuade you that it won’t do to you what it has done to the others?
Marxism is a pill which has killed 100 million people the world over. When its supporters tell you that such Marxism was a corrupted form and that we can get it right this time, I want you to ask yourself: is that a risk you’re willing to take? A pill you’re ready to swallow? Are you willing to base your future on arguments backed by nothing but blood?
Think it over.
And, by the way—the doctor is waiting.
The Pandemic has brought into focus the great resource inequality that exists for Native Americans in this country. Will we use this opportunity to act?
By Melanie Moyer
The Navajo Nation is the largest reservation of its kind, both in population and size. Home to over 173,000 people and having an acreage comparable to countries such as Ireland, Navajo Nation is also a food, water, and healthcare desert. The reservation is of a construct of American expansion, stemming from the forced removal of the Navajo people—known as Dine—from their homes and relocated to the Navajo Nation as a place to maintain their sovereignty as a people. In return for this forced relocation, the Federal Government once promised funding for resources such as education and healthcare. Though it’s known that the Federal Government has a pattern of not meeting the promises they have made to the Native American population, recent developments with the spread of COVID-19 in the Navajo Nation and other Native reservations have exposed the extent of their neglect. Native communities have been left vulnerable to the pandemic and other disasters of its kind, revealing the institutionalized violence behind resource inequity and inadequate Federal aid.
The CDC reports that on a countrywide scale, those recorded by the census as American Indian or Alaskan Native are three and a half times more likely to contract COVID-19 than those recorded as white. In other words, 594 per 100,000 AI/AN people have been recorded as testing positive for the coronavirus compared to the 169 per 100,000 white people who have tested positive. However, these numbers are drawn from cases that have been reported, and, due to inadequate testing distribution on Native reservations, these numbers are most likely much higher than what is recorded. Beyond studies regarding the general population, The New York Times reports that within the eight counties with the largest population of Native Americans, the rate of known cases is nearly double the national average. Arizona reported that although Native Americans make up six percent of the state’s population, they account for sixteen percent of COVID-19 related deaths. In New Mexico, Native Americans make up forty percent of COVID-19 cases, while only accounting for nine percent of the population. The Navajo Nation has the most cases reported by capita, surpassing both New York and New Jersey over the summer.
To pass these disproportionate numbers off as anything other than the result of institutionalized resource inequity would be to deny the reality of Native populations in America. The health and socioeconomic factors that play into this increased rate of infection can be attributed to historical trauma and racial inequity, for lack of proper funding from the Federal Government has led to Native populations relying more on shared transport, having limited access to resources such as running water, and living in larger households.
Further, many Native American reservations have inadequate access to needs such as health care, nutritious food, and drinking water, contributing to increased underlying health conditions. When it came to following recommended health guidelines for COVID-19 prevention, many in the Navajo Nation couldn't follow stay-at-home orders when much of the resources they relied on were hundreds of miles away. Though it is larger than ten states, the Navajo Nation only has thirteen grocery stores, forcing many to carpool hundreds of miles for food and medicine. Beyond this, preventative measures such as handwashing were unrealistic, for Native American households are nineteen times more likely to lack indoor plumbing than white households are. However, this resource inequity is most destructive in the realm of healthcare, for health systems on Native reservations are drastically underfunded. Combined, all these factors related to resource inequity have made the already vulnerable reservations open to be ravaged by the coronavirus.
Though creating undoable cultural damage and tragic death tolls, the pandemic’s impact on Native reservations has brought to light the deep neglect that has been shown to them. Our country has the opportunity to understand the resource inequities that exist and meaningfully act upon them, but many argue that the response so far is not enough. The US Commission on Civil Rights was prompted by Congressional leaders to examine the health disparities constituted by the pandemic on Native reservations, which concluded that further infrastructure and funding is desperately needed in the interest of preserving the communities that exist on reservations. Further, the CDC reported that adequate health care and public health infrastructure should be provided on Native reservations both in response to the pandemic and to account for the resource inequity that preceded it.
Despite these reports, when it came to the allocation of resources with the CARES Act, tribal communities were granted only $8 billion of the $20 billion requested by over 500 sovereign tribes to stabilize them. Along with this, the CDC is being accused of withholding information regarding the rate of illness among Native Americans, accounting for the hindering of Federal Funds allocated towards them. Thus, the potential for meaningful and adequate change is being avoided, leaving the pattern of resource neglect for Native Americans intact.
Following connections between a large religious festival in early March and coronavirus cases, President Jonathan Nez put weekend curfews and other social distance protocols to prevent further spread. Despite this early preventative action, difficulty surrounding communicating vital information arose due to many on the reservation not having access to the internet and other modes of communication. Weeks later, Doctors Without Borders and UCSF began sending physicians and nurses to meet the dire need of medical resources for the reservation.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into focus the great inequities that exist for Native Americans, but this opportunity can be easily lost if we do not escape the pattern of neglect that has led up to immense inequities. There is no excuse for the wealthiest nation on Earth to leave Native reservations without basic medical, dietary, and running water needs, yet current governmental actions prove that further advocacy and meaningful action is necessary.
Standing up to Media Misinformation
By Katelyn McCarthy
“Democracy dies in darkness.” That’s the motto of The Washington Post, and it is a motto which is applicable to all institutes of journalism. Revelation—light—truth. Journalism fosters these, and, without them, democracy has no heart with which to pump its lifeblood.
The media is, unofficially, the fourth branch of the government. It, protected by the First Amendment, has the power to check the other three branches without being checked by them. It thus possesses the sacred duty to protect the rights of the people from infringement. If it sees democracy dying, it can shed light on the would-be killers so as to resuscitate liberty.
This is a noble calling, and a necessary one if American civilization is to be preserved. But, despite the media’s prominence, it is currently bringing neither revelation, nor light, nor truth. It has aligned itself with the parties and, in so doing, has traded its ability to stand up for the rights of the people for ideology and big money. News reporting, I contend, is itself often fomenting darkness.
E.M. Forster, an English novelist, once said: “‘The king died and the queen died.’ That’s story. ‘The king died and the queen died of grief.’ That’s plot.”
The news, if it is to be considered honorable and meritorious, ought to report solely from the lens of story. It is the news’ job to tell you what happened. It’s up to you to decide the happening’s significance. The news gives the story. You decide the plot.
News anchors should not be telling us why we should hate certain politicians or why we should love them; they should not be overplaying stories which they like and downplaying stories which they don’t. The media has no business telling anyone what or how to think. The only proper podium they have to attempt to do so is through an opinion column. And, when reading such a column, one should approach the information cautiously.
Why? The media does not want to tell you what’s happening in the world so that you can have greater control over your life. It wants to twist what you see and hear so that it can have control over you.
It has a good platform by which to do this. It props up professional looking people in business attire who speak eloquently, write catchy prose, or take good photographs. It’s hard to mistrust organizations known by official-sounding acronyms, possessing prominent histories, and promoting famous faces. But mistrust is all that they merit.
The recognition that certain news corporations have marked political tendencies is in itself a hallmark of their failure. The media ought not lean to the right or to the left, nor should it rest in the middle. Its beliefs should be non-existent. It’s the news’ job to tell you about politics, not to be political itself.
There is hope. If one but recognizes the media’s biases, one regains control over it. If one refuses to be mastered by the media, then—mastered as the media might be by the parties—it has no power whatsoever. Big money and politics are completely powerless if they are unable to sway your thoughts or your vote.
So: democracy dies in darkness. What happens when the self-proclaimed guardian of that democracy becomes the darkness itself?
That’s where we step in. The jumbotrons in New York City, the millions of computer screens flashing news sites, and the giant lighted signs in front of media headquarters all give off a lot of light. But it is a light that is self-extinguishing. We, on the other hand, can be little lightbulbs, lightbulbs that click on and say “Aha!” and learn to think for ourselves. If we do that, then democracy will never die.
Ryan Ford '23,