The Oberlin Review

Federal Government Adopts Hypocritical Policy on War Crimes

Sean Para, Columnist

April 8, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The list of Russian violations of international treaties and human rights in the past two and a half decades is astounding in its lawlessness. The two Chechen Wars from 1994–1996 and from 1999–2009 resulted in an incredible number of civilian casualties, so many so that some have called it a genocide. Human rights groups estimate approximately 80,000 people were killed in the Chechnya region from 1994–1996 alone. The 2008 Russo-Georgian War was engineered by the Putin regime to gain control over the breakaway republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and deter Georgia from looking toward joining NATO. The 2014 annexation of Crimea and incursion into Eastern Ukraine to support the Donbass republics was also in flag...

Your Satisfaction Will Follow “U”

Josh Ashkinaze, Columnist

April 1, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

In late March, somebody on Reddit posted a question: “What event divided your life into ‘before’ and ‘after’?” One answer was, “I think I’m still in the ‘before’ stage of my life, if I’m being honest.” And this resonated with me because I probably am too. But it would be nice to know when and what my bifurcating experience will be. For seniors and fifth-years, college graduation is approaching. Is that a life-dividing experience? What experience will be life-changing, making me noticeably better or worse off afterwards? As it turns out, many events that should drastically change people’s lives are not reflected in measures of satisfaction. In the end, most people’s life satisfaction follows a con...

U.S. Should Extend Compassion to Refugees

Sean Para, Columnist

March 11, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Across the world, societies in both developed and developing countries are struggling to cope with the largest migration crisis since the World War II. The enormity of the current worldwide refugee problem is hard to come to terms with — about 60 million people are refugees. In 2015, 1.3 million people claimed asylum in the European Union. Germany alone received about 1.1 million people in 2015. Stable countries in the Middle East and Africa have taken even larger numbers of refugees. For example, the Syrian War alone has displaced almost 5 million officially registered international refugees. Of these, Germany has taken about 500,000 Syrians, while Turkey has taken 2.8 million and Lebanon has taken more than 1 million. ...

GOP’s Failure in 2016 Would Create Seismic Shift in American Politics

Sean Para, Columnist

March 4, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The 2016 election is increasingly revealing the seismic shifts that have taken place in American politics over the past decades, as well as the possibility of a new political order. Donald Trump’s surge to the front of the race for the Republican nomination may fracture the GOP for generations to come. An unexpected groundswell of support for Trump’s campaign also displays the strong undercurrents of racism and other forms of prejudice found in the contemporary U.S. A year ago, I never would have believed that a man who openly and regularly makes racist and sexist remarks, has no government experience, speaks only in vague generalities with no concrete policy details and was hesitant to reject the support of former...

Tinder’s Appeal Lies in Ambiguous Use

CJ Blair, Columnist

March 4, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Nothing captures the vexing emotional landscape of college better than Tinder. It’s an app that’s elegant in its simplicity, but its effects are totally scattershot. It is awkwardly situated between the realms of online dating and hookup culture and it never settles on either side. Maybe this ambiguity is what draws over 50 million people to swipe left and right incessantly, looking for anything from gratification to a long-term relationship. Tinder’s wide range of purposes and the disparate goals of those who swipe ensure it stays an emblem of the millennial college experience. This, I believe, is what makes it so popular. Tinder is an app where you make a profile with several pictures of yourself and a short...

Poetry Promotes Honesty, Reveals Feelings

CJ Blair, Columnist

February 26, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

“Poetry is more than just words in a strange order, CJ.” These were the words of my uncle, a well-known poet in my hometown, after reading my earliest attempts at poetry. I had written a handful of poems in high school but didn’t start writing in earnest until I decided to try and enter Oberlin’s Creative Writing program. To prepare myself, I started reading and writing poems for at least an hour a day. I had no intention of liking poetry, but I found that practicing it necessitates a way of thinking that was more honest and sobering than any I had tried before. Because of this, I realized I had to keep writing poetry to better understand my emotions and myself. It makes sense that my uncle made the commen...

Socialism Should Be Reconsidered for Our Political System

Sean Para, Columnist

February 26, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Socialism has long been misunderstood in the U.S., too often vilified as an ideology associated with the repression of the Soviet Union. The Red Scare symbolized the peak of anti-Socialism in the U.S. However, those witch hunts came out of a misunderstanding of what socialism really means. It has long been an ideology outside of our political discourse. The Soviet Union did not represent true socialism. Its top-down command economy, in which the central government planned out every aspect of the economy with no input from workers, was nothing like what early socialist theorists envisioned. The brutal purges and longstanding police state took away people’s freedom, rather than truly freeing them like in Karl Marx’s visi...

Oberlin Mistakes Quantity for Quality

Cyrus Eosphoros, Contributing Writer

February 26, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

The last time the anti-affirmative-action Supreme Court case Fisher v. University of Texas hit the news, it was because former Justice Antonin Scalia had put his foot in his mouth about it again. “There are those who contend that it does not benefit African Americans to get them into the University of Texas, where they do not do well, as opposed to having them go to a less-advanced school, a slower-track school where they do well,” Scalia said. “One of the briefs pointed out that most of the Black scientists in this country don’t come from schools like the University of Texas. They come from lesser schools where they do not feel that they’re being pushed ahead in classes that are too fast for them.” Multip...

Primary Results Mark Turning Point for 2016

Sean Para, Columnist

February 19, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

If this year’s Iowa Caucus was a dramatic beginning to the presidential election season, last week’s New Hampshire primary was a true game changer. Both the Republican and Democratic primaries were won by radicals who have built their campaigns around anti-establishment sentiment and promises of major change in the government. Donald Trump won the Republican primary with 35.3 percent of the vote. The viability of the leading Republican candidates — specifically Trump and Cruz — with their deplorable policies and childish antics would lead many to question how they are serious contenders for the highest office in the land. But that is the ludicrousness that has befallen the Republican party. It is a sad fate for a p...

Expectations Prove Damaging to Emotional Health

CJ Blair, Columnist

February 12, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

Too often it’s easy to think that what you hope for and what will happen can be the same thing. Everyone is guilty of placing hope in a certain version of the future, expecting to make it real. Expectation sounds pretty ridiculous described this way, but somehow very few people see anything wrong with it. It is a form of selective blindness that can shatter a person’s emotional health, but somehow it’s never talked about, let alone confronted. I doubt many people share my hostility toward expectation, but I’m certain everyone has suffered its effects. The danger of expectation is that it elicits investment in things that aren’t real. It can make you mourn the loss of something you never had or take for ...

Politicians Should Embrace Internet Memes

Politicians Should Embrace Internet Memes

February 12, 2016

Everyone with a social media account and more than two friends or followers has seen political memes. They’re clever ways to convey a simple point, which can then be reiterated, with slight variation, by another person who laughs at the meme. The dankest meme now is “Bernie or Hillary?” (dankness is to memes what catchiness is to pop songs). Images of the two are juxtaposed and their opinions on a fictitious topic are contrasted. Hillary always has the lame and simplistic view; Bernie is portrayed a...

Iowa Caucuses Reveal Flaws in Archaic Primary Election System

Sean Para, Columnist

February 5, 2016

Filed under Columns, OPINIONS

This week’s Iowa caucus began the 2016 presidential campaign in earnest. The media has reported on the various candidates’ every move and turn of phrase. The results promise a tough campaign for the candidacy of both parties. Hillary Clinton beat Bernie Sanders by 0.3 percent of the vote, meaning that the two politicians will likely have a state-by-state duel in the coming months, a far cry from the bloodless nomination that former Secretary of State Clinton expected to obtain when she announced her candidacy. The Republican field remains scattered, with Ted Cruz narrowly winning the caucus with 27.6 percent of the vote, followed by Donald Trump and Marco Rubio with 24.3 percent and 23.1 percent of the vote respec...

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