The Insider: Winter Wonderland

Page 1

funded by the

on behalf of the student body

Making outsiders, Insiders | December 9th, 2020

vinsider.ca CAMPUS 3: De-Stressing With Vanier Student Life NEWS

THE HOLIDAYS

5: Sam Smith and Elliot Page: Inspirations for Queer Youth 821 Ste-Croix, Saint-Laurent, QC, H4L 3X9 Tel: (514)744-7500, ext. 7059 studentnewspaper@vaniercollege.qc.ca

@vcsainsider VOICES

6: Marketing the Holidays

10: Girls and Gays Against Paywalls

7: Acknowledging a Celebration

11: Sex and Relationships During Quarantine

ARTS

4: What's Happening With Farmers in India? FEATURES

VCSAInsider

8: First Snowfalls 8: Still Life

FUN PAGE 12: Horoscopes, Sodoku, Jokes, Riddles

...AND SO MUCH MORE!

1

Wednesday, April 1st | Winter 2020 | Issue 3


EDITORIAL

Editor’s Note

Editor-in-Chief Mel Spiridigliozzi Assistant Editor Sophie Dufresne Executives Natalia Cristina Ibáñez Angélique Chu Miguel Cano Gallo Song Tran Copy Editors Mel Spiridigliozzi Sophie Dufresne Miguel Cano Gallo Angélique Chu Meriem Terzi Contributors Mel Spiridigliozzi Sophie Dufresne Natalia Cristina Ibáñez Angélique Chu Miguel Cano Gallo Song Tran Isabella Del Grosso Mayank Khuran Maïa Fukuyama Hue Bean Meriem Terzi Marieke Glorieux-Stryckman Genderless Alien Andrea Montes India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner Rexi Music Lover Anonymous

Assistant Editor’s Note

Hello all!

Dearest Comrades,

It is with great pleasure, as well as some melancholy, that I present to you the final issue of the Fall 2020 semester. Before we head off for the holiday break, I would also like to announce a final writing contest. Submit your best winter-themed piece of writing or artwork by December 14 (ignore the date on the add because we ended up postponing it) to studentnewspaper@vaniercollege.qc.ca for a chance to win a gift card to The Word Bookstore! That being said, given the obvious circumstances we face, this semester surely hasn't been easy, so I would like to congratulate our executives, our copy-editors, our contributors, and, of course, you, the readers, for sticking with us as we released our montly issues. As this is the last issue of my cegep career, therefore as editor-inchief of The Insider, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank my friends in my Liberal Arts cohort, who always delivered in terms of making the newsroom such a lively space for comic relief and intellectual discourse; your articles weren't half bad either. I would also like to thank my profs, who were gracious enough to support the paper by sharing our issues and speaking about us to your classes. The number of contributors we've garnered over the past year as a result has been unparalleled! Finally, a big thank you to India-Lynn Upshaw Ruffner, the OG "madame editor," who welcomed me into the newsroom when I was barely trudging through my first year of cegep and showed me what it takes to be a good editor-in-chief. I will always cherish my time as part of the Insider, and I hope that this issue is as enjoyable to read as it was to put together!

Mel Spiridigliozzi, Editor-in-Chief

Upcoming Events ACADEMIC

vinsider.ca

Live Chat with Academic Advising: Until December 18th;

VCSAInsider

Tuesdays and Thursdays

@vcsainsider

VCSA

from 1:30 to 3:30. •

General Assembly: December 9th at 12:30pm.

Please pass onto a friend or recycle after reading!

• •

STUDENT LIFE Netflix Parties - Holiday Edition!: Friday, December 4th at 9pm, Friday, December 11th at 9pm and Friday, December 18th at 9pm. Sign up on Omnivox! Virtual Animal Therapy:

Cover Page Credits:

Wednesday, December 9th

Song Tran

at 12h30pm. Sign up on

Winter Wonderland Digital Illustration

2020

2

Of course, I still miss the Newsroom with its chaotic Liberal Arts vibe that I, a Law Major student, was not accoustumed to, but The Insider group chat's chaos somewhat made-up for it. I don't even know if anyone reads these (besides my mom, so shout-out to my mom, who thinks I failed my mid-terms because of the JOKE I made in my last note), but thank you to everyone who actually takes the time to read these online issues that the executive team works so hard to assemble! We know that screen fatigue probably dissuades many to read them in full, but we have been pleasantly surprised to see how much our influence seems to have grown this semester! We have gained several new frequent contributors to whom we must now pass the torch, as Mel and I are (finally) graduating. We are confident that The Insider won't die under your care... right? Anyway, I guess this is my last chance to plug our insta that Mel and I revived for the first time since 2014 (who let The Insider's Instagram die in the first place? And will it die without us? And other questions science cannot answer): @vcsainsider Happy reading, good luck with your finals and have a very happy holidays :)

Happy holidays!

Layout Mel Spiridigliozzi

studentnewspaper@ vaniercollege.qc.ca

Hélas, the final issue of Fall 2020 is upon us, and I must say, this semester flew by thanks to The Insider! From coming up with creative ways to roast Sagittarii (as well as every other sign with the help of Angel) to furiously speed writing 4 articles before the release of the issue, I always had ways to fill up my breaks between tiresome zoom classes!

Omnivox! Last Day to apply for VConnect Winter 2021: Monday, December 14th - More info on Omnivox. Deadline to submit your

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

S.T.A.R hours for Fall 2020: December 18th

Sophie Dufresne, Assistant Editor


CAMPUS

De-Stressing With Vanier Student Life

Rexi

Once again, Vanier Student Life has some fun and de-stressing activities for you.

If you like animals and need to find ways to destress, then the virtual animal therapy event will be

just for you.

meet other animals.

Vanier Student Life has also organized multiple Netflix Watch Parties with the theme of holiday movies.

To join the event, you must sign-up through the

Vanier Student Life has organized a virtual animal therapy event. This virtual event will help you de-stress, and, also, you will get to meet really cute animals. It will be held on December 9th during UB, which is from 12:30pm to 1:30pm. The really exciting thing about the virtual animal therapy is that you can attend the event and show your own pets, but, if you don’t have any pets, you can still attend and virtually

The second movie is The Holiday, which will be shown on December 11th at 9pm.

ing, all while meeting really adorable animals by joining virtual animal therapy, as well as joining the Netflix Watch Parties to watch holiday movies. This is a great opportunity to meet and chat with other Vanier students.

link in Omnivox, and a Zoom link will be sent to you through MIO. In addition, there will be several Netflix Watch Parties that you can join. The theme for the Netflix Watch Parties are holiday movies. The first Watch Party movie is Last Holiday; it will be held on December 4th at 9pm.

The last movie is Let It Snow, and it will be played on December 18th at 9pm. To join, you must sign-up with the link on Onmivox. You also need a Netflix account and the Teleparty browser extension to watch and chat along with everyone at the Watch Party.

Finally, make sure to follow Vanier Student Life on Instagram for upcoming activities that will be happening over the holiday break.

Ultimately, be sure to look forward to de-stress-

Vanier Student Karim Mane Is Going to the NBA Hue Bean

Vanier Cheetahs guard Karim Mane has made history by signing with the NBA’s Orlando Magic. Mane becomes the first player ever to join the league directly from CEGEP, having attended Vanier College from 2017 to 2020 and turning down interest from

a number of NCAA Division I universities. The 20-year-old made the announcement two days after he went undrafted in Wednesday's 2020 NBA Draft. Blake Murphy posted on Twitter that Mane's deal in Orlando is a two-way con-

NEWS

tract. Mane said on Twitter that he's "excited and humbled" to join the NBA.

with University of Nevada’s Khem Birch having joined the roster in 2017.

The 2020 NBA draft went without a Canadian being selected for the past nine years.

“He’s got a great first step and can beat just about anybody off the dribble.” -Vanier College coach Andy Hertzog, to the Detroit Free Press.

Mane’s signing also marks the first time two Montrealers play for the same team,

Secularism Is Out the Window Sophie Dufresne

The Quebec government has recently announced that the lockdown restrictions, which have been in place since roughly October and have only been getting stricter, will temporarily be lifted from December 24th to December 27th, as gatherings up to 10 people will be allowed*.

It is no coincidence that Christmas Day just happens to be on December 25th (“Noël, cette année, ça tombe le 25 Décembre,” as Legault so eloquently

put it), and Christmas Eve, which French Canadians, in particular, are known to celebrate, the 24th. Hanukkah, this year, begins December 10th and ends December 18th, but there will be no accommodations for that holiday. Bill 21, which was passed

by Quebec’s National Assembly on June 16th, 2019, supposedly aims to “provide” laicity, which “is based on four principles: the separation of state and religions,

religious neutrality of the state, equality of all citizens, and freedom of conscience and religion,” according to the online Library of Congress.

to lift crucial lockdown restrictions, going against the principle of “religious neutrality of the state”.

from affecting governmental decision-making.

Also, doesn’t banning religious symbols go against the principle of “freedom of conscience and religion”? It could also be argued that it goes against the principle of “equality of all citizens” since it disproportionally affects non-Christians; by contrast, Christians apparently do not even need to be wearing religious symbols to let their religion affect their decisions, as we have seen with Legault’s Christmas Covid Exception.

However, religious bias seems to have influenced the government’s decision

In other news, on November 2nd, 2020, the civil court case against Bill 21

By forbidding all government employees from wearing religious symbols while working, this bill aims to prevent any religious bias

began trial at the Quebec Superior Court. Its aim is to prove that this law is unconstitutional and to have it immediately suspended.

sions around the Christian holiday is proof that he DOES have a religious bias, as this article aims to prove, making it still relevant.

Hearings have been happening daily at 9:30am in room 17.09 of the courthouse located at 1 Notre Dame Street East. There is one entrance for lawyers and one on St-Antoine for anyone else who wishes to attend. *Legault has since backtracked on this decision, acknowledging that Quebec will likely not “succeed in reducing the progression of the virus in a satisfactory way by Christmas.” However, the fact that he continues to base his deci-

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

3


What’s Happening With Farmers in India? Mayank Khuran

Three bills on agriculture market reforms, which would change the way agricultural produce is marketed, sold and stored across India, were introduced by the ruling party of the county, for which the provincial government of Punjab was not in favour, as it is one of the most agriculturally based states of the county. As a result, the leader of the provincial government resigned from the post for being against the introduced law. In the Lok Sabha, the voice of opposition was not considered, and the three bills were passed through the house in a dictatorial manner by the ruling party. Talking a bit about the bills, they are in a way which will hugely affect small scale farmers.

Although the policies are designed to make the agricultural trade more profitable, most of the farmers, around 85% of them, won’t be able to take advantage of it because the policies are not designed to address the actual ground reality of most farmers in the country; also affecting other parts of the economy, such as middlemen and the whole ecosystem in which millions of people where employed. The policies are reluctant to the ground reality of the country’s actual position. Furthermore, by understanding the bills, it could be easily understood that these new laws are more focused on placing companies and private corporations in a position of exploiting farmers rather than framers benefiting from them. Instead, the states should be focusing more

on strengthening existing policies related to farmers, which also have a lot of faults due to lack of amendments; moreover, their rights are not even protected in that regard. So, the farmers want the government to reform the existing laws to make them better rather than changing everything and turning most things against them. Moreover, the experts and economists are suggesting that the farmers should be paid more and there should be more policies to encourage farming practices rather than completely changing the existing system. An improvement is required, not this transformation.

to protest against it. Now, instead of addressing the issues of concerned people, the government is making a full effort to stop the rallies to reach Delhi by blocking roads, barricading, and even being aggressive with people in the rallies, including the assault of many elderly people. Right now, there is no official statement from the government, and people

are staying on the roads in the harsh pre-winter season, but the local communities are supporting the rallies and providing all kinds of help to the people. At last, the whole world is supporting the farmers, who work day and night to put food on their tables. The issue is being globally recognized: In Canada, Jagmeet Singh Dhaliwal MP, recently condemned

the acts of the government, and requested to support the farmers in this time of need. In our Vanier community, we always promote sustainability and social justice; it is rooted in our values and we also believe that social order and peace should be promoted in all communities.

Now, talking a bit about the revolt against the government for taking these bills back, huge allies from Punjab are coming to the county’s capital city, Delhi,

FEATURES

Fighting Terrorism The Macron Way Sophie Dufresne

As the media has been turned towards the USA for so long, calling out their institutional racism, mocking Donald Trump during his entire 4 years in office, and reporting live updates during the incredibly tense 2020 elections, Canada and the USA seem to have forgotten about the issues present across the ocean. No, I’m not talking about

China and Russia, as we do hear a lot of anti-Russia and anti-China propaganda. I’m talking about France. On October 16th, Northern Parisian schoolteacher Samuel Paty was beheaded by a suspected Islamist terrorist for having shown his class Charlie Hebdo caricatures of the Prophet Mohammed in a lecture concerning freedom of speech.

On October 21st, in tribute to Paty, and “in defiance of Islamist terrorists”, the very same caricatures that got the man killed was projected onto government buildings. (I swear, this is not an Onion article.) Macron gave a speech saying the teacher was a “quiet hero” who “was killed precisely because he incarnated the Republic. He was killed because the Islamists want our future.” Furthermore, Macron posthumously awarded Paty the Légion d’Honneur for his bravery, the country’s highest civilian honour. Also in response to this murder, France led dozens of police raids against Muslim homes and groups “accused of radicalism”, putting in question whether they really wanted to prevent further acts of terrorism or if they simply wanted revenge for Paty’s death. The French government

4

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

has also threatened to mass expulse over 200 Muslims and cut funding for over 50 Muslim organizations, some of which were even forced to shut down. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin has even labelled the Collective Against Islamophobia in France (CCIF) as “an enemy of the republic”, and proposed to ban it. The CCIF’s mandate is to track hate crimes against Muslims and it effectively condemned Darmanin’s words, expressing how the government is “criminalising the fight against Islamophobia”. Tensions between Muslims and non-Muslims aren’t only rising within France’s borders; Muslim countries are also threatening to boycott France. Pakistan’s Prime Minister accused Macron of “encouraging Islamophobia”; a 40 000 person anti-France rally took place in Bangla-

desh, who also threatened to destroy the French embassy; the Turkish president commented that “Macron needs mental treatment,” confused as to how a head of state can be so prejudiced against Islam. In Kuwait and in Qatar, French products were removed from store shelves; Jordan condemned the “continued publication of caricatures of Prophet Muhammad under the pretext of freedom of expression,” and many other countries expressed similar discontentment with France; specifically, its president. On October 29th, three people were killed in the seventh suspected Islamist attack of the year, this time, in front of the Notre-Dame basilica in Nice. However, the effectiveness of the French government’s response to the rise of terrorism that has been happening ever since the

Charlie Hebdo attack, back in 2015, was further put into question when it was discovered that the perpetrators of all seven 2020 attacks had no affiliation to any terrorist groups, according to the director of a Paris-based research organization, the Center of the Analysis of Terrorism. Indeed, these individuals seemed to have been self-radicalized, rather than radicalized by Islamist networks. A former head of the French domestic intelligent services describes them as “a new generation” of terrorists, “a personal jihad, religious and without demands,” unlike the synchronized attacks of 2015. On December 3rd, Macron announced that out of the 2 600 mosques in France, 76 are suspected to be a threat to France; these mosques will be monitored and controlled by the state until further notice.


Amber Heard Is a Liar, Doesn’t Mean All Women Are Isabella Del Grosso When looking at the Amber Heard and Johnny Depp domestic abuse case, there is a lot of hearsay present, which adds confusion and only makes it harder for people to acknowledge who the real abuser is due to a lack of confirmation of evidence. However, there is no lack of confirmation of the recording, where Heard admits to hitting her ex-husband and even laughing at him when he refuses to hit her back.

There is no lack of confirmation of the fact that Amber Heard became an advocate against domestic abuse and used the Me-

Too movement as leverage for more people to take her side on the accusations she was making against Johnny Depp. Recently, Johnny Depp lost a legal battle against The Sun, a tabloid newspaper that was founded in the UK when the tabloid published an article labelling Depp as a “wife beater.” The actor continues to claim that these allegations are false, and he even had

one of his bodyguards testify on his behalf, claiming that Heard was physically and verbally abusive. Not only that, but former lovers

Winona Ryder and Vanessa Paradis made public statements defending Depp. It’s safe to say that losing this battle cost Johnny Depp his career, since he was asked to leave the Fantastic Beasts movie franchise and resign completely from Warner Bros. This unfair verdict has caused a lot of backlash, and it even resulted in a petition with more than 1.5 million signatures to get Amber Heard removed from the cast of the upcoming movie Aquaman 2. Many people are standing in solidarity with Johnny Depp, however, with this overwhelming support, comes many who have the wrong motivations. Many are seeing the strong and factual evidence against Heard and using it

as an excuse to claim that women lie about abuse and sexual assault, even going as far as discrediting the legitimacy of the Me-Too movement, as Heard used it as a way to get people to believe her lie. Amber Heard lied not only about the abuse, but about being the abuser herself, and this allows for a situation where many women will not be taken seriously on issues that are already surrounded by a stigma. Statistics show that fifteen percent of women in the US experience domestic abuse, and it is not a situation to taken lightly. Additionally, many people are supporting Johnny Depp just because they want to see him in films again, totally disregarding the trauma and abuse he’s suffered.

This is due to the societal notion that men must always be strong and that the idea of a man being vulnerable, as well as a victim, is hard to accept; this was a contributing factor to him not only losing the case, but also a way for Heard to gain sympathy and followers. Male victims of abuse exist, they are real, and they need support. This shame that society adds onto men who are abused only causes them to hurt even more. Toxic cancel culture does nothing to help either, and it has people jumping onto the bandwagon without knowing the facts. We currently live in a world where the consequences of false accusations being placed against you are greater than the consequences of real accusations.

Johnny Depp is not the first to suffer from this, and he definitely will not be the last. It leaves the rest of us feeling confused because many want to support the victim, but cannot know who it really is. It’s important to support those who have suffered abuse; however, this shouldn’t be a case of picking sides. Modern day cancel culture has destroyed the reputation of many good people over accusations that were false, and these liars leave the situation unscathed. It’s important to look at the facts present before openly commenting on situations such as these and to remember that, once evidence is confirmed, victims are in need of support, regardless of their gender.

Sam Smith and Elliot Page: Inspirations for Queer Youth Genderless Alien

On Tuesday, December 1st, 2020, Elliot Page, formerly known as Ellen Page, known for his roles in Inception and The Umbrella Academy, among others, came out as a transman over Instagram and Facebook. He stated that his pronouns are he/they and expressed his gratitude for everyone who has been supporting him. He also explained how the trans community has “endlessly inspired” him. Despite the gratitude he displayed, there was another side to his comingout letter: “Truth is, despite feeling profoundly happy right now and knowing how much privilege I carry, I am also scared. I’m scared of the invasiveness, the hate, the “jokes”, and of violence.” This shows how coming out in 2020 may be easier and more frequent than it was just a few years ago, but that doesn’t mean that it is easy. In fact, it seems as though violent crimes against transgender, non-binary and

gender non-conforming individuals are on the rise. The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) has been collecting data on this type of violence since 2013, and 2020 has been the year with the most recorded killings of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals in the USA, with over 40 of such murders. In March of 2019, singer Sam Smith officially came out as non-binary, stating, “I’m not male or female. I think I float somewhere in between,” but only announced that they were changing their pronouns to “they/them" in September of the same year. Recently, they have admitted that they weren’t ready for the hate and bigotry they have been faced with since then. As they explained in an interview with CBS This Morning, “Queer people all around the world, we don’t identify within those two places. Gender, for me, has been nothing but traumatizing and challenging throughout my life.” Hardly the first celebrity

to come out as non-binary, they have not escaped the resentment so many nonbinary individuals have faced and continue to face daily. Back in 2016, Amandla Stenberg, best known for their role as Rue in The Hunger Games, first came out as non-binary on Tumblr. Then only 17 years old, they faced backlash from fans who thought they should “focus on actual problems instead.” In 2018, they admitted that they “didn’t need those pronouns [they/them] to feel comfortable.” (It is important to note that she/her and she/they non-binary people are just as valid as they/them nonbinary people, but, for consistency, I will refer to Stenberg as they/them since they have expressed having no preference.) In the four years that have passed since Stenberg announced that they were non-binary, a lot of progress has been made towards the recognition of individuals outside of the traditional gender binary. However,

even more progress is needed before equality among all genders is reached.

ports, citizenship certificates, and permanent resident cards.

For example, later in 2016, the first person in the United States successfully changed their sex to “unknown”, and, the following year, Oregon became the first American state to allow an “X” gender marker on IDs and driver’s licenses without requiring a doctor’s note. Now, a total of 19 states have similar laws.

However, there is still a long way to go before nonbinary individuals are fully accepted in society, as the safety of Canadians with the X gender marker is not guaranteed when travelling.

In 2017, Ontario was the first Canadian province to allow for non-binary gender markers on birth certificates and driver’s licenses.

Several non-binary individuals have decided not to change their gender marker just yet, especially “[w] ith violence and discrimination against non-binary and trans people still all too

common,” as explains Finn Stuart-Seabrook, a Trans Peer Support Worker who identifies as non-binary, but has not adopted genderneutral markers on official documents yet. English singer and songwriter Sam Smith, as well as Canadian actor Elliot Page, unfortunately, confirm that we non-binary, agender, genderqueer, gender non-conforming, bigender, transgender, and any other label we feel most comfortable claiming, have a very long and weary path to acceptance ahead of us.

The reason allowing for non-binary gender markers on birth certificates is so important is because the gender marked on your birth certificate is the one used on your death certificate; hence why many non-binary and trans individuals will request a gender change to be made on their birth certificate. In 2019, the federal government officially started allowing the “X” gender marker on federal documentation such as pass-

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

5


THE HOLIDAYS Marketing the Holidays Meriem Terzi

The holidays are arguably the time of year that everyone is eager for. Whether the holidays have a religious

or a secular meaning to people, most of the world gathers to celebrate and have a lovely time with their families and friends.

ucts plays mostly on guilttripping parents. The concept of gifts for Christmas is a great way to commercialize this holiday.

The importance of the holidays never ceases to increase in the western world and; subsequently, so do the efforts to exploit them for profit.

Today, Christmas is solely a ploy for companies to profit from. Whether it be extravagant decorations that you can see on your neighbours’ house, or wish lists of gifts at exorbitant prices that the kids’ friends are expecting, parents are guilt-tripped into this competition for the best gift; or,

Now, commercializing holidays might seem inevitable when living in a capitalist society, but the marketing of holiday prod-

in other words, competing for who will spend the most

money on gifts. It is a vicious cycle. Even the origins of Christmas’ mascot, Santa Claus, is a capitalist icon. Santa was based on St-Nicholas,

a bishop of Greek descent that used his inheritance on

the sick and the poor. Ironically enough, his image is now used to profit off of the relatively poor to make the opulent minority even richer. The modern-

day Santa was used by Coca-Cola for their advertisements, and soon enough, it became popularized. The bottom line is that the holidays are a great time, and gifts are an endearing way to celebrate, but we should try to resist the urge to splurge monstrous amounts of money on them. Try to be conscious of the gifts you are buying and enjoy the festivities!

Enjoying the Holiday Spirit at Mirabel Outlet With Me Song Tran

Tightly knit crowds gathered around Mirabel outlet, despite the chilly Quebec weather. Reasons that could explain this crowdedness are the Holiday season, Boxing Day, Post-Boxing Day, boredom, and desperation for socialization. How I ended up here was more justified, while not completely guilt-free: I don’t live with my family and we wanted to spend some time together since I

haven’t seen them in ages. In the end, I admit that I ended up spending quite a lot of money at Mirabel, contributing to unethical brands’ profits and to an unsafe atmosphere during these times. A sense of normality floated in the air of Mirabel Outlet (besides COVID). People were laughing, eating together, talked like they hadn’t seen each other in ages (which was likely the case).

Thankfully, some of these moments were captured (for my photography project). For example, you can see the ecstatic expression of the gentleman on the left in this photo (see top right). This photo also demonstrates the Outlet’s plausible efforts to regulate their avid supporters by asking them to form lines outside of the store. However, inside shops like Brown—where the most popular things people were interested in at the time (including my mother) were the dozens of racks of extra promoted shoes organized near the cashiers. One could wonder whether there was enough space for social distancing. Every party involved in the economy of Brown

must believe that the racks were thick enough to replace the plexiglass barrier where coronavirus cannot surpass, regardless of the meter distance. I bought myself a great Calvin Klein cardigan and remembered how crazily occupied the cashiers were. CK had 4 or 5 cashiers and they were sweating from processing the mass amount of clothes people bought. The line for paying was long and packed. I could feel the impatient breath from two young Indian girls standing behind me in line for 15 minutes. The number of people that were inside CK compared to the number of people waiting in line to get in the store could make an interesting hypothesis for

sociology major students.

former, not the latter.

Either only a small group of people enjoyed CK products so much that they occupied the store like an Ariana Grande’s concert, or the employee let everyone enter, forgetting how many people she had already allowed in because she had forgotten her coffee, or her mask prevented oxygen to enter her brain. Possibly the

As critical as I am, I am glad that everyone that day was content with the socialization. I hope that they became more grateful for their life as well as for those who joined their shopping trip that day, and fulfilled with the number of new treats they bought.

although now lined with the drunken hazy nights of a thousand ecstatic bodies, no longer feel as empty as they once did the night of Christmas Eve.

may find their way home. Be kind to yourself this holiday season, and remember that you can be your own safe place.

How to Find Your Way Home During the Holidays Maïa Fukuyama

With the winter break approaching rapidly, we are unable to escape the looming arrival of the holiday season.

is truly incomparable to that of any other; a common feeling of ease runs through the veins of all as they are finally allowed to rest.

For some, such festivities are enticing, promising warmth and a sense of belonging amid the harsh and cold Canadian winter, characterized by the scent of pine wafting through hallways bathed under golden lights, as well as the hurried anticipation of a thousand overheating bodies under down jackets crammed together in line before Christmas Eve.

Of course, no fantastical moment of happiness is pure in all its forms; many feel very differently during the holiday season.

The energy of the season

6

The waning sound of Christmas jingles through the streets may, in fact, cause some great distress. The truth is, not everyone holds the same special memories of the holidays that are fed to us like fast food through the media. To those people I say: It’s okay!

It’s okay that your memories are not all of joy, just like how it is okay to not know what to say in class when the teacher asked other children how great their Christmas breaks were. In fact, it’s valid to not participate in any festivities hailing from any culture, religion, or societal consumerist pressure that you may feel you must adhere to. Your feelings of unease are justified if the memories you have are bathed in darkness instead of LEDs and the glow of a hearth. Walking

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

through

the

streets during the holidays when you feel low can make you feel like you’re in the midst of some grand movie being filmed, where the set is focused on the happiness of others and never of yourself. On New Year’s Eve, the loneliness can be deafening, intoxicating even. In a room full of people with hearts beating, screaming the countdown while it streams through a flatscreen, you still feel alone. The drink in your glass becomes less of a commodity and more of a necessity, and those streets, again,

Know that you are not alone. Many out there are familiar with the holiday blues. Above all comparison, remember to be kind to yourself. Know your limits and surround yourself with people that can respect them. In the presence of a thousand contemptuous bodies, one may never feel any companionship. In the presence of one loving soul, one


Make the Yuletide Homosexual

Angélique Chu

With the freezing temperatures and shorter days, radio stations have begun to play holiday music to put us all in the mood for a nice winter break. When one plays close attention to some of the older songs, one may be shocked to hear the word “gay” being used, though not in the way we are typically used to. This may lead some to wonder: how did the

definition of word change so abruptly or what are the consequences of this change? Well, look no further as this raging queer will explain to you. The English word first came into use during the 12th century, and it is derived from the Old French word “gai,” which probably came from a Germanic language. For a long time, “gay” was defined

as “cheerful”, “joyful”, or “bright and showy”. In 1862, the Scottish poet Thomas Oliphant wrote the lyrics to arguably one of the most popular Christmas songs of all time, Deck the Hall. When Oliphant wrote “Don we now our gay apparel,” the poet most likely meant its optimistic definition and not the current one we know today. The word was not associated with homosexuality in the 20th century. The first traceable time “gay” was published to refer to a homosexual relationship was in Gertrude Stein’s Miss Furr & Miss Skeene, which was in 1922. The first film to use it as a reference to homosexuality was 1938’s Bringing Up Baby by Cary Grant’s character.

The earliest reference of the word’s use by selfdescribed homosexuals was in 1950 by Alfred A. Gross, executive secretary for the George W. Henry Foundation, in the June 1950 issue of SIR magazine. He was

adopted as interchangeable with “homosexual;” it was seen as the antonym of “straight” which was associated with heterosexuality.

quoted by saying: “I have yet to meet a happy homosexual. They have a way of describing themselves as gay but the term is a misnomer.

atory. At the time, homosexuality was considered a mental illness diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM); however, we now know that it is a sexual orientation.

Those who are habitues of the bars frequented by others of the kind, are about the saddest people I’ve ever seen.” It was by this time in the mid-20th century that the word gay was being widely

Many preferred to use the term gay as they felt that “queer” was too derog-

The latest Christmas controversy with the word happened in 2013, when the retailer Hallmark released an ornament with a lyric to Deck the Halls.

However, they drew attention by replacing the word gay with fun in “Don we now our gay apparel.” Many, including the infamous Ellen DeGeneres, were quick to draw criticism. Despite the outcry,

the company defended its choice and continued to sell the ornament. In my opinion, the Hallmark company is full of cowards that fear LBGTQ+ individuals, as well as the word “gay.” Admittedly, seven years have passed since this incident, though I would be cautious if I were you. Be careful where you spend your gay money this holiday season.

Acknowledging a Celebration

Miguel Cano Gallo

The mainstream conception of western cultural significance is often shaped by the number of customs and beliefs that we inherited from the Greeks, as well as the Romans. We have been taught about a world where Roman Christianity and Greek Philosophy constructed the basis of our current society. However, this way of looking at what shapes our traditions, our folklore, and our general perception of ourselves as a culture has made us unaware of the idea that “western culture” has been shaped by many other traditions; these were either borrowed or stolen from other cultures with richer folklore than the pale traditions carried with western puritanism. It has driven us away from the idea that perhaps “western culture” might not even exist beyond a euphemism for “unrecognized culture”. One might make the case that this pale culture is still rich. One might then exemplify this case by nam-

ing a bunch of celebrations and customs that define this Americanized idea of culture: take Saint Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, or Christmas. One might be surprised to see that all these traditions are, in fact, borrowed. Therefore, now that snow is falling, as well as that the smells like cinnamon and eggnog permeate the air, it is timely to say that Christmas is the epitome of a custom that doesn’t belong to “the west”, but has been shaped by centuries of cultural interchange and suppression. To understand how we got to our current celebration of Christmas, and the ugly-sweater-parties that precede the event, we need to know how this celebration looked before there was any mention of Christ in the manger. The truth is that there is no definitive answer, since the celebrations surrounding the days of current Christmas were local rituals honouring agriculture and the winter solstice.

These rituals were mostly part of the folklore of many pagan groups and tribes, thereby making it difficult to trace the origins of Christmas back to a particular celebration. Nonetheless, we do have an idea of what Proto-Christmas might have looked like in most of Europe and Asia thanks to the rise of Rome as an empire. Saturnalia was the most important and extended Roman celebration; the people of Rome honoured Saturn, the god of agriculture, with city-wide festivities that extended for a week, ending in Sigillaria, when people gathered to have big banquets and give each other little figurines, or Signillaria. During the week-long celebration, animals were publicly sacrificed at the temple of Saturn and served to the attendees; schools and jobs stopped to the point where the Roman Slaves were given temporary freedom to be part of the celebrations. It is said that, during Sigil-

laria, some masters even served their slaves. Even if Saturnalia is still the most common example of pagan proto-Christmas, the effect of the solstice was felt through all northern countries, marking it also a pagan celebration in the Celtic regions, and the celebration of Jul in Scandinavia. With the expansion of the Romans, which soon became the Roman Empire, many of these other traditions were either incorporated into or eradicated in favour of Saturnalia. Thus, when the Empire made Christianity the main religion of Rome, the celebrations were now accommodated to have Christian roots. This is especially important, as in no place does the Bible mention the exact date for the “birth” of Jesus Christ, but, since it was “immoral” to allow these pagan rituals to proliferate, the name of Saturn was traded for that of baby Jesus.

ritual and the suppression of others under the surveillance of the Church. However, what today’s traditionalists call “the magic of Christmas” is the magic of other cultures that don’t resemble traditional Christian beliefs in any way, shape, or form. In the end, instead of writing about how the “west” stole Christmas, we must understand that true “western culture” is rooted in recognizing that there are no such things as traditional values. Instead, there should be an acknowledgement of the fact that the customs that are now celebrated in such a North American fashion exist thanks to cultural diversity

and evolution. One can’t be oblivious to the fact that other cultures exist with different customs, and one can’t try to suppress this multicultural folklore because, the moment we start suppressing this folkloric interchange and we stop acknowledging the evolution of culture for the sake of conservatism, we will begin to witness the demise of “western culture” as a whole. Without other cultures, the western traditions that make many feel so proud wouldn’t have been able to permeate through his image: Saturnalia by Antoine Callet

What comes next is the story of the evolution of the

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

7


ARTS Why I Hate My Writing

First Snowfalls

Isabella Del Grosso

Mel Spiridigliozzi

Creative writing always came easy. Growing up, it became something I cared for deeply. It allowed for me to bring my ideas into existence, make my imagination sound realistic.

something so raw that you want to submit, but your words don't even do yourself justice, Not to mention how you can't show anyone this because anyone holding your work is not to be trusted.

At first, I didn't understand people who couldn't enjoy this. It's such an easy way to forget everything around you and live in ignorant bliss, have your worries dismissed, to feel something that you might miss;

It's not even just your work, it's your life. It's the time your heart was stabbed with a knife, the time you were wracked with jealousy, the time you weren't accepted and felt dreadfully, the time you were your own worst enemy.

The possibilities are endless with the world at your fingertips, but, now, I can understand why, to some, this is a struggle. Sometimes, I find myself having trouble. It's hard to take your most vulnerable parts and display them to everyone in the name of art.

I hate my writing because I compare it to others even though no one thinks like me. I hate my writing because I pride myself on it, but I’m scared for others to see. I hate my writing because even though it's my thoughts, it's never done properly.

That's not even the worst of it. How do you know that your words hit? That they create an impact on your audience? And that's not even the worst of it. You try and be authentic, so you think of something personal to transmit,

With my heels trudging against Frost-kissed grass, My toes seek the crunching sound Of the latent fall leaves, And I grumble, Voicing my displeasure;

As the incessant noise Of snapping branches, Bared to the greying sky’s scrutiny, Echoes hollowly in the vacant park, Like a whisper that permeates The folds of snowbanks and icy slopes,

I have yet to learn how to do myself justice or how to gain any sense of self-confidence. So, until then, I just say that I write, but that it's not so great, and, hopefully, hat will make others think thoughtfully and turn away…

I feel my resolve Dissolving into a floury Of snowflakes That wink at me mockingly Amid the sunlight And discordant wind.

Still Life

Fashion Is Unique

India-Lynn Upshaw-Ruffner (Alumni)

Andrea Montes

Model: Alessia Gadoua Location: Notre Dame de Grâce Park "Fashion is unique" means that you are unique no matter the clothes you wear. Clothes are just considered as a tool to represent your personality. Be you, be unique!

16×20 inches Acrylic on canvas 2020

Existence

Animals

Genderless Alien

Anonymous

Do I exist? If all I am is molecules and consciousness, Do I really exist?

Does anything matter? Are our accomplishments in vain, Waiting to be forgotten?

What is the difference between me and a meteorite? We are both made of the same molecules, We both exist in this dimension, In Plato's realm of forms, But if there is no spiritual realm, And all we are is smoke and dust, Then do we really exist?

Or does that give us a reason? A reason to live, To attempt the impossible, To make mistakes, To suffer the consequences, To learn and to teach, Free from the burden of having a meaning.

8

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

Animals mean more To them than human lives No wonder we fight


WRITING PROMPTS A note from the assistant editor: Thanks to all our writing prompt contributors! See you next semester (if our successors choose to continue them). Be sure to check out the submissions posted on our site (www. vinsider.ca) and on our Instagram (@vcsainsider).

Why Everyone Should Listen to Steve Lacy’s Demo Music lover

I first heard “Some,” one of the songs from Steve Lacy’s demo, while shuffling through a random playlist on Spotify. I love Spotify and their

personalized playlists that introduce you to new sounds. I was amazed by what I heard, so I immediately began searching for other

songs by Steve Lacy. This is when I discovered a short ep and found my favourite song: “Dark Red.” Everything about this song is perfect, in my opin-

ion: the drums, the vocals, and the lyrics. I enjoy some songs more than others on the ep, but “Dark Red” is something else. I definitely recommend

Steve Lacy and his music in general. He has collaborated with many other artists such as Tyler the Creator, Kali Uchis, Goldlink, and Vampire Weekend. He has an interesting sound, and I

enjoy listening to him while doing homework. I simply love music :)

Vivarium: A Commentary on Capitalism and Suburbia Meriem Terzi

Vivarium is a 2019 horror and science-fiction movie directed by Lorcan Finnegan, starring Jesse Einsenberg as Tom, and Imogen Potts as Gemma. In the film, the couple wants to look for a starter house. They are led by a peculiar real estate agent to Yonder, a suburban neighborhood, and visit house number nine. They are clearly uncomfortable throughout the entire visit and cannot wait

to leave. As they turn towards the agent to tell him they are not interested, the couple are surprised that he has suddenly left. They leave the house to go back home, but soon enough accept that they are stuck in this suburban nightmare. The couple reluctantly settles in the house and are flabbergasted when they find a baby at their doorstep. As time passes, Gemma is forced to assume the tradi-

OICES

tional mother role, such as raising, feeding, and taking care of the baby, that seems to grow rapidly and speaks in a cartoon voice, which deeply unsettles the pair. Tom realizes that he can try to dig a hole in their frontlawn, a possible escape route. He dedicates all his time to digging, even when sickness is destroying him. He ends up dying because of the sickness stemming from his excessive labor, and Gemma follows him soon

after. This unnerving ending might seem absurd and anti-climactic, but it is actually a clever analogy to life in a capitalist society. The worker is forced to labor himself to death, at the expense of his happiness, his health and his life. Life in suburbia might appear to be the unattainable goal, but once you settle in, the dull and monotonous routine takes every last bit of spirit out of you and turns

you into this lifeless robot that has for only goal to eat, work, sleep and repeat. Vivarium is a brilliant analysis of the subtle ways by which capitalism forces us to conform to its norms and how it obliges us to be stuck in the cycle of working, getting married, having kids, and raising them, who will soon enough grow up and start working, so long and so forth.

purpose in life. Do you want to end up like the lead characters, insignificant coils in the death machine that is capitalism?

The movie pushes the viewers to question their

Is Michèle Flournoy the Defence Secretary Feminism Really Needs? Sophie Dufresne

Michèle Flournoy is expected to be appointed by Joe Biden as the first female defence secretary of the United States in accordance with his “pledge to have a diverse cabinet”. "Ms. Flournoy’s sound policy experience will be vital to ensuring strong civilian oversight of the military, professionalism and ethics in our special operations

forces, workforce diversity, and activities to strengthen our technological edge through science and innovation,” Reps. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) and Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) from the House Armed Services Committee explained in a joint statement. What “sound policy experience”? Flournoy was a senior defence advisor dur-

ing Bill Clinton’s and Barack Obama’s presidencies; she is a controversial figure at best. She is thought to have singlehandedly caused the escalation of the Afghanistan war by being one of Obama’s most “hawkish” advisors, encouraging the increase of troops deployed to an all-time high of 100 000 in 2010 (a decision

then-Vice President Joe Biden opposed), which led to the deaths of hundreds

ing, stating in 2017 that Trump was right in increasing the military budget to

of American soldiers and of even more Afghans.

$603 billion, “only” a 3% increase from Obama’s final budget request, as she explained in an opinion article for The Washington Post.

She also advocated for an increase in military spend-

In 2016, she suggested that “sending more American troops into combat against ISIS and the Assad regime than the Obama administration has been willing to commit” would be in the US’ best interests. She even accused Obama of “inaction” in Syria when he had released a total of 26 171 bombs in 2016 across the globe,

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

9


most of which were dropped in Syria and Iraq. That’s three bombs per HOUR, 24 hours per day. While he lowered the number of troops in Afghanistan and Iraq, he increased substantially “air wars” and deployment of special forces. In 2016, these forces were located in 70% of countries worldwide - that’s 138 countries - an increase of 130% since Bush’s presidency. Yet,

Michèle

Flournoy

repeatedly claimed that Obama wasn’t using the military enough. So why is everyone acting as though it would be a “win for feminism” if she were appointed as the first woman to be defence secretary? Sure, she would be breaking a glass ceiling, but isn’t it a bit insulting that in order for a woman to be respected in politics, she must have the bloodthirst of a vulture and qualities (albeit wrong-

fully, as I am a gender anarchist) associated with men? Women in politics are expected to not show weakness; they must be invulnerable to criticism and not show mercy towards their opponents. This is the only way for them to be seen as the “equals” of the men in this competitive field, for if they falter even slightly, they will be seen as incompetent and presumed inferior because of their gender. An example of this mi-

sogyny that is so deeply embedded in the world of politics is when Republican Congressman Ted Yoho called Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez a “fucking bitch”, among other sexist insults. Cortez gave a speech denouncing what she referred to as the “culture of misogyny” and that’s exactly what this is.

not required to. They do not only have to prove that they have the competencies

and the qualities needed, but they must prove that they are woman enough.

to 49% of the votes can be discarded.

So, what could they do?

Whether the race is close in one state or a landslide, the winner gets the same number of colleges. How is it democratic to dismiss such a large percentage of the population’s votes?

There are a few things the US could do to update the way their country is run and to be more democratic. As Jefferson wisely advised, rewriting the constitution to fit the current times would make it a lot more relevant. This would, of course, be a very tedious task, but it would be worth it.

It is because of this culture of misogyny that the only successful women in politics are those who go the extra mile that men are

The United States, A Democracy? Marieke Glorieux-Stryckman Americans often praise themselves for being the first democracy in the Western world.

history romanticizes figures like Washington and Jefferson, all while ignoring all their flaws.

They look back to their founding fathers, and all of the admiration their young country initially received, and think: “Ah, yes. We did that,” taking nationalism to a whole new level. Today, this image of the great “first democracy” seems to blind Americans to the reality that the US is much less democratic than they were two centuries ago.

In recent years, people have pointed out how hypocritical the founders were (how can you say that all men were created equal, yet still allow slaves?), and some will point out how strongly Washington opposed the two-party system that still stands today (we’ll get back to that).

Picking and choosing Very few Western countries idolize their founders the way the US does. Their

I want to focus on Jefferson’s argument that the United States’ constitution should be re-written every 20 years. That’s right, not only re-

vised, but completely rewritten. He thought that keeping the same constitution for too long would make the people feel detached from their government, which would turn into a tyrannical figure. However, if you were to mention that idea to more conservative Americans today, usually the very people who praise Jefferson, you’ll probably be labeled as an extremist and shooed out of the conversation. Two parties Coming back to the twoparty system, or the illusion of choice, Washington was very against this system. It was put into place around 1792, and, while there have been different duos of parties, the system has never really changed. There are third party candidates at almost every election, but they rarely get elected. Many frustrated voters today complain that they need to choose “the lesser of two evils”. This feeling is directly tied to the twoparty system. It has created a world in which politicians only have to appeal to moderate “swing” voters,

as they can often safely assume that more extreme voters will give them their vote by default. There is no party further to the left or to the right to whom they might lose those votes, and we end up in an endless stalemate in which politicians are afraid to say anything too extreme for fear of losing moderate supporters. The elections These past elections have brought to light many flaws in the way that elections are run. One of these is the electoral colleges and the way they are divided after the elections. Put simply, every state has a number of colleges proportional to their population, and these are given to a presidential nominee after the election. The nominee who has the most colleges wins. However, electoral colleges are not divided by the percentage of votes for each nominee. Most states (apart from Maine and Nebraska) operate on a “winner takes all” principle: whoever wins the majority gets all the colleges. This means that up

In their defense… All this being said, the US is still doing a few things more democratically than Canada. The fact that many issues are dealt with by the state governments instead of the federal one is one of them; this brings politics closer to the people, and it means decisions are truly modeled after the specifics of each state. American ballots also include more local referendums than Canadian ones. People don’t just vote for the president: they vote for the senator, the mayor, the school board, law proposals… This is very close to direct democracy, and, while it may be more complicated, it makes the people involved in the political decisions of their community, which is exactly what democracy is.

Dividing the electoral colleges according to the percentage of votes would solve two problems at once. It would follow the “one person, one vote” principle that democracy relies on, and it would give third-party candidates a chance to win colleges and get more attention on the national level. American democracy was created a long time ago, and it was meant to fit the times and the interests of those who created it. However, times have changed, and so have people; the US needs to evolve into a new way of doing things. By staying stuck in the past, American democracy has lost the very things that made it a democracy.

Girls and Gays (and Everyone Else) Against Paywalls Natalia Cristina Ibáñez I try to write an essay, every single academic article offered by Google Scholar is paywalled. I burst out into the Beauty and the Beast song to console my aching heart. Tale as old as time… I am only half-joking. I don’t burst

10

into songs every time. However, this whole academia being paywalled to death is a tale as old as time that every student has had to deal with at some point in their academic careers. Research articles are routinely placed behind pay-

walls that are inaccessible to most students, and, quite frankly, it’s immoral. There, I said it. I know there are several arguments to be made for paywalls or whatever, but none that I particularly care about when I think about knowl-

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

edge being hidden from the world (and if you’re one of those elitists that don’t care for the world, then at least think about the new generation of academics).

fields. If you bring about new knowledge to humankind, especially when said knowledge can better anyone’s condition, it is immoral to hide it.

In theory, the researchers’ simplest job is to bring new knowledge into their

Yes, yes, other academics and anyone with the financial means to buy the work

can access it, but the question of immorality remains. It remains, for how can anyone who holds that information could be used to better the condition of humankind also defend the withholding of truths from the general public?


You might not believe that a nineteen-year-old not being able to write an IP paper because scientific knowledge has been concealed by scientists behind unnecessarily complicated, pretentious language and sums of money not many students can afford, is important. However, I believe there

is something truly alarming about the general public, for whom academia has been made so inaccessible for centuries, and the working class, who perhaps don’t have the means to allocate a part of their already unfairly low paychecks to unblocking research, not being able to access knowledge about the world, society or just about anything.

There’s truly something profoundly disturbing about knowledge, something that should be universal, something that should be distributed fairly in order to shrink the gaps of inequality and smash through the cycle of elitism, being so out of reach to the average person that only wants to pass their class or enrich their lives.

I know this system of money is built purposefully, that it is beneficial for the ruling classes to keep John and Jane Doe ignorant (or whatever), but perhaps it is time for us to realize the implications of all this research being so out of reach. It goes beyond my inability to write a stupid paper. It is so much more.

Sex and Relationships During Quarantine Mel Spiridigliozzi

In my first article of the semester, which was titled “Loves and Laments from Self-Isolation,” I commented on the romanticisms of the early days of “Quarantine.” Speaking on the concept of “romanticism,” I had stated, “I will admit that the dating scene during quarantine is another topic worth exploring though, albeit in a separate article.” You guessed it folks! You are currently reading that “separate article!” Stay-at-home orders became a thing in mid-March of 2020, thereby opening a

floodgate to an onslaught of bored and horny students, who simultaneously decided to create Tinder accounts. At this point, it was understood that these attempts at staying involved in the dating scene were mostly vacuous, save for a few moments worth of entertainment: “I had a lot of fun because I wasn’t taking it seriously. It was also interesting to see what kind of people I attracted,” said one Vanier Student on the subject of virtual “dating” during the pandemic. In fact, this trend has pushed others to delete these “dating apps” altogether. This was the case for Kwazi, a Liberal Arts student at Vanier, who “realized there’s no point in it.” He then went on to describe how he “saw bios with no effort, reading ‘Quarantine sent me here,’ and […] realized that, because people have several matches, nobody can actually give you all of their attention, so the conversa-

tions [seemed] scripted.” Thus, there is a common overtly acknowledged inauthenticity involved with this online dating culture, which points to the idea that more time and energy should be spent with loved ones during “Quarantine” instead. It is a similar, and admittedly embarrassing, pattern of inauthentic behavior that has led me to write this article. Surely enough, there is something to be said about this online dating culture, wherein we seek a momentary connection amid solitary confinement, yet are adamant about the fact that we don’t take the idea of those connections seriously; it’s quite hypocritical. Hence, the flip side of this dating app coin is that, while it is superficial, it provides an avenue for communication, regardless of how fleeting it is. Whether or not such communication is necessary in terms of coping with a collective trauma or of simply tempering the

boredom that accompanies self-isolation, “people […] need to connect with others when times feel uncertain,” explains Natalia Ibanez, General Executive for The Insider.

comfort in the app’s inherent vacuousness.

She also talks about how “there is opportunity in reaching out without the need of commitment.”

lationship, regardless of whether or not it was established via Tinder, despite social distancing measures.

In other words, speaking to a stranger opens the door to the possibility of unfiltered openness; anonymity provides a safe space, as people don’t feel the pressure to conform to a preconceived image of themselves.

“I remember Facetiming him every single day for 14 days to make sure he didn’t see anybody before and after [the date],” describes one student, who chooses to remain anonymous, “I took a risk.”

Therefore, while the fact that one may often only speak to that Tinder match once might point to the fruitlessness of the app in terms of its intended purpose, nonetheless, there is

Another major concern associated with the dating scene is how to go about maintaining a healthy re-

Thus, navigating a budding relationship is now imbued with the new implications involved in keeping those involved safe. Ultimately, dating apps’ hypocritical culture pro-

vides a space wherein there are no expectations for commitment, making it a means to ease one’s boredom or to speak candidly, particularly about the current state of affairs.

As Natalia Ibanez recapitulates these ideas, she says, “We don’t give social media enough credit to communicate and connect with people. We see it as superfluous and superficial in many ways, which is the case, but we’re missing out on the side of the coin.” However, when it comes to going on a date with a Tinder match, or even with a long-established partner, the questions of whether or not it is worth the risk, as well as of how to best keep safe, inevitably lingers in the depths of the collective subconscious.

The Ethics of Hollow-grams Angélique Chu On October 29th, 2020, Kim Kardashian revealed on Twitter that her husband, Kanye West, had gifted her a hologram of her deceased father, Robert Kardashian, for her 40th birthday. The holographic image of the Kardashian patriarch spoke words of praise and of love to his daughter. However, it is highly plausible that Kanye had a hand in the hologram’s script, as, at one point, the image said, “You married the most, most, most, most, most genius man in the world.”

It would not be a gift from Kanye without a little egostroking, of course. If the whole situation was not absurd enough already, the hologram even danced to Barry Mann’s hit single Who Put the Bomp. With this unorthodox gift, it seems that holographic imagery is advancing every day. However, one must wonder if it is ethical to bring back deceased individuals as holograms. This is not the first time a hologram has made headlines. Back in 2012, media

(and most of the world) was shocked to discover that Tupac was alive–as a holographic performer–at that year’s Coachella lineup. For one night, the rapper was brought back from the dead to perform alongside Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. It was a feat of technology, but I am not sure that the actual 2Pac would have appreciated being resurrected through the miracles of modern technology, only to perform for a bunch of rich white influencers on drugs. He did not die for this capi-

talist cause.

or close friends.

Admittedly, I find it amazing that we can do such a thing, but a part of me feels as though doing so is exploitative of deceased individuals. The words these holograms “speak” are programmed by others and their script is not their own.

Would these corpses appreciate being paraded around as though they were sights at a freak show? I don’t think so. As holographic technology progresses, one must

take these ethical issues into consideration — at least, I hope they do. Holograms of the deceased were once individuals full of life like you and me. They deserve a smidge of respect in the afterlife, except for Hitler and Ronald Reagan

Yes, programmers may use verbatim quotes, but they can make these images say and do whatever they want. With these individuals being long gone, they cannot defend themselves, even if they have an estate

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

11


FUN PAGE Pisces (Feb.22-Mar.21):

Someone will poison your water tank this month… nope, it won’t be me, though, I won’t say you didn’t deserve it

Virgo (Aug.24-Sept.22):

u're a virgin. The stars said it, not me :)

Aries (Mar.22-Apr.21):

Stop calling people "babe", bAbE.

Libra (Sept.23-Oct.22):

Stop quoting Adore Delano.

Taurus (Apr.22-May21):

Stop eating all my food, SAVE SOME FOR THE REST OF US.

Scorpio (Oct.23-Nov.21):

un fact: you aren’t as cool as you think you are

Gemini (May.22-Jun.21):

Cancer (Jun.22-Jul.23):

If I had a penny for all of your personalities… well, I’d still be poor cuz pennies are worthless

My brother has you. GET OUT OF HIM.

Sagittarius (Nov.22-Dec.21):

Capricorn (Dec.22-Jan.21):

I'll miss roasting you every month, you're the worst sign </3

I think a capricorn misgendered me once. fuk u :)

Leo (Jul.24-Aug.23):

Stop obsessing about your hair oh my god, it looks fine, now move on with your day

Aquarius (Jan.22-Feb.21):

Stop blaming shit on the retrograde, you don’t know how to spell "necessary" to save your life.

Horoscopes by: Sophie Dufresne and Angélique Chu

WORD SEARCH

HOLIDAYS FINALS NETFLIX_PARTIES SPORTS ARTS SNOW FESTIVE

SUDOKU RIDDLES + GUESS THAT POKEMON Riddle me this: 1) I speak without a mouth and hear without ears. I have no body, but I come alive with wind. 2) You measure my life in hours and I serve you by expiring. I’m quick when I’m thin and slow when I’m fat. The wind is my enemy. 3) I have cities, but no houses. I have mountains, but no trees. I have water, but no fish. 4) What is seen in the middle of March and April that can’t be seen at the beginning or end of either month?

___________________

1) An echo 2) A candle 3) A map 4) The letter “R.”

12

Wednesday, December 9th | Fall 2020 | Issue 4

WINTER CELEBRATION EXISTENCE FEATURES THE_INSIDER NEWS VOICES