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Financial Aid and

the Rest of Us


2011 meber 15, e v o N e in Magaz Generation


EDITOR’S LETTER must have principles. Ideas.

About that. I hate ideas, too. What does this mean? In my last editor’s letter, I described my admiration of Amos Oz and his relativism, the belief that there is no one thing, no one truth. The more I think about politics, the more I believe that everything about it is rooted in ideas. I’m saddened to break this to you but I think ideas are bogus, or, in the words of one of my former professors, “bullshit.” Specifically, I don’t subscribe to “-ism.” Liberalism, conservatism, environmentalism, feminism, socialism, objectivism, postmodernism, etc. They all suck. I hate to write about politics. Here and in general. I hardly think I contribute something new to the conversation. Pick up any newspaper or magazine or watch any news station and you can get your fill of political updates and commentary. I don’t like politics very much to begin with, mostly because I find it boring and cynical. In today’s political climate, with people on both sides shouting at each other, blaming this, defending that, vilifying the opposition to the point of hysterics and libel, smoking cigs and flashing bogus facts and figures on screen, getting involved in politics seems a toxic expenditure of time and energy. People who hate Fox News but love The Daily Show, people who adore Herman Cain but loath Bill Clinton, always amuse me. I’m just amused by partisanship. To me, it’s all the same. I know this may seem like a cynical “I’m too smart for politics” college rant, a kind of opposite of the “I’m too informed for apathy” college rant. I’d like to stress my belief that it’s okay to have political opinions and even to express them. That’s something George Washington and Abraham Lincoln did, I think. What I’m saying is that it seems as though you can’t have a political opinion without taking a side, that you can’t talk to someone about politics without drawing a line. Political commentators and activists think that you must have a certain set of guidelines to rule your thinking. You must be on the left or the right. You

What I want to convey is that I’m not a Marxist or a Zionist or an anti-Zionist or a Republican or a Democrat. I’m not any of those things. I’m just me. To pigeonhole my beliefs or anyone’s beliefs to an ism is to misread and mischaracterize discourse itself. What the political system can do is marginalize your individuality. Sure, political activists claim that they’re sticking up for individuality and free expression but in actuality they’re only doing it so as far as their isms (and in some cases, their egos) will let them. Take Gloria Allred, for example. Allred, the famous feminist attorney, has recently made news for representing one of Herman Cain’s accusers of sexual harassment. I’m not defending Cain or criticizing Allred or any attorney for representing a sexual harassment victim. I just find it odd that Allred, who makes a living representing high-profile cases, didn’t represent any of Bill Clinton’s alleged sexual harassment victims during his presidency. There were a lot of them; in fact, it’s pretty clear that Clinton did sexually harass women and was a misogynist pig. Why Allred and the National Organization for Women defended Clinton when his actions should disgust any right-minded feminist is beyond me. Wait, I take that back. It’s not beyond me. The reason why Allred and N.O.W. stood up for Clinton is because of, you

guessed it, pure, unadulterated politics. Clinton was a Democrat, i.e. liberal, i.e. a champion of women’s rights. It didn’t matter that he personally didn’t respect women to the point where he kept his cigar to himself. All that mattered was that he was on the left and, as such, advocated women’s rights. He did do so, to be fair, but his actions were disgusting and beyond the pale of any respectable behavior, and so were Allred and N.O.W.’s. That is just one example. My distrust of politics stems from witnessing people – good, decent people – get caught up in the partisan jargon of politicians and analysts. I’m always saddened to hear someone say that they get their news and opinions from The Daily Show, which in my mind is just as biased and hotheaded than anything you find on Fox News. Watching Jon Stewart rail against Republicans and the “mainstream” media is always frustrating when you take into consideration his real lack of criticism against Democrats and more liberal media. It’s rather hypocritical and teasing to watch. Returning to what I wrote earlier, it’s okay to have political opinions. I’d just like to see more transparency and bipartisanship. That, of course, is a tall order, and something that probably isn’t possible in our lifetime. In fact, my studies of history lead me to believe that all politics, from the Romans to the Republicans, is essentially a huge shouting match with things miraculously getting done. It’s a necessary burden, but something people should be wearier of. The people who understand politics the best, I feel, tend to stay away from it.

eneration Magazine Staff

Editor in Chief Josh Newman Managing Editor Ally Balcerzak Creative Director Bonnie Wan Copy Editor Erin Willis Associate Editors Claire Brown Raïssa Huntley Catherine Prendergast Photo Editor Benny Higo Circulation Director Rashid Dakhil-Rivera Business Manager Brian Kalish Contributing Staff Mark Davis Jake Reber Alexander Smith Asst. Creative Directior Lin Hiu Cho Ad Manager Jeremy Wolocki

Sincerely,

Josh Newman.

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The woman was so rude!

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November Christmas

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Rock You Like a

HurriCain

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Thanksgiving

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Nirvana

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Volume 29 Issue 6