The Oberlin Review

Love of Stars and Stripes Far from Universal

Brooklyn Demme

February 10, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

In “Obies Should Rally to Restore Sanctity” [The Oberlin Review, Dec. 2, 2011], staff writer Andrew Lipian discusses the vandalism enacted against the Sept. 11 memorial erected by the Oberlin Republicans and Libertarians. First of all, I deeply sympathize with his belief that memorials are sacred and should not be muted, disabled or disrespected. Still, the article is embedded with ideological assumptions which make dissenting, patriotic citizens like me resent our flag and what it stands for. He expresses how this act of vandalism is “still fresh, just like the memory of the victims’ deaths at the hands of Islamic extremists” — but was the memorial meant to commemorate the 2,976 people killed in the a...

Remembering Review Alumnus Ross Drake

Nate Cavalieri

February 10, 2012

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

In March of 1999, a piece by then-Sports Editor Ross Drake, OC ’00, appeared in The Oberlin Review under the headline “Where Have You Gone, Joe DiMaggio?” — a touching if slightly awkward obituary for the heroic center fielder. In the piece, Ross’s affection for DiMaggio has the immediate, open-hearted earnestness of a lifelong sports fan. But the surprise is in the first line, where he makes a glancing reference to e. e. cummings’s “Buffalo Bill ’s.” It goes like this: Buffalo Bill 's defunct who used to ride a watersmooth-silver stallion and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat ...

Alum Describes Chaos at Occupy Oakland

Ben Master

November 11, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The massive day of action organized by Occupy Oakland on Nov. 2 both inspired and troubled me. As has been the case with most of my involvement with the Occupation, I left in awe of Oakland’s persistent and passionate mobilization against economic injustice. At the same time, I was dismayed by incidents of anti-worker and needlessly violent behavior. The black-masked radicals who perpetrated these actions endanger our movement by directing the public attention toward sensationalist stories about reckless kids, instead of the unifying theme of economic equality. If we do not develop an organizational structure that can help contain these elements, our claim to represent the 99 percent will lose credibility and our message...

Suggestions, Concerns for Occupy Wall Street Movement

Erin Amlicke

October 14, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Dear protesters of the Occupy Wall Street movement: At Day 27 of your string of protests, I think us skeptics should be obliged to extend you our congratulations for successfully sustaining and growing the Occupy demonstrations. However, as a former protest organizer and lover of any divisive political debate, I would like to voice my concerns and apprehensions about your demonstrations, as well as offer a few harmless suggestions as to how to successfully bring about financial reform. I admit that my initial reaction to the protests was confusion. Yes, corporate deception undermined the financial market considerably, and yes, many Americans are suffering from an exceptionally high unemployment rate. Yet, with...

Op-Ed: Riding the Regression Train of Austerity

Ben Master

May 13, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Republican solutions for the deficit, manifested most clearly in Paul Ryan’s 2012 budget proposal, threaten to fray the entire American social fabric. By this point, we know how attacks on public sector unions will reduce living standards for one of the last cohorts of securely middle-class workers, and how budget cuts exacerbate the plight of the poor. Yet the impact of austerity extends beyond the amplification of income inequality; government cuts jeopardize the gains made by female workers and workers of color since the 1970’s. If a plan even remotely similar to Ryan’s squeezes through Washington and the national assaults on public sector unions continue, we can expect heightened gender and racial inequality...

Op-Ed: Progessives Must Reject Conventional Politics

Shannon Ikebe

May 13, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

It’s probably become too cliché to say that we are in a turbulent, troubled times. But we indeed are. Since I came to the Oberlin community nearly four years ago in the summer of 2007, the world has changed to a much greater extent than it did in other times, even though it might be difficult to ascertain it in the relatively tranquil campus of Oberlin. The dual crises of the capitalist economy and the planetary environment are systemic, paradigmatic and deep. In the recent few years, we have seen the crisis of global neoliberal capitalism leading to the further austerity agenda, any effort to make our economy sustainable coming nowhere close to realization, and relentless, hateful, sadistic war on women’s fundamental...

All of the Lights, All of the Money

Richard McGuire

May 6, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Last weekend, hundreds of students eagerly lined up on North Quad for a one of a kind event. It was a rare sight to see students gathering at the Science Center on a Saturday night for a party. The event was put on by Solarity, a new student organization founded by College sophomores Eli Clark-Davis and Daniel Cook, whose goal is to unify the student body through large-scale, high- quality social events. “We had no large draws that everyone felt comfortable and people could unite around. We decided that could be done by hosting large-scale parties in unique places that reach out to different social strata,” said Clark-Davis — and they did just that. The atrium was transformed into a Neon Garden where stud...

The Pursuit of Happiness

Sarp Yavuz, Staff Writer

April 15, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

Inspired by my mother’s recently published article on making a list of things you want, I tried to make my own, and I am challenging you to do the same. Make a list, right now. Make a list of at least 25 things you want from life. It will be difficult, but I’m making it a little easier for you guys than she did for her readers, because she asked for a 100-item list. This list can consist of anything from going to a concert this weekend or having a specific car, to becoming famous. Think before you write, give yourself time and write without inhibition. You’re the only person who’s going to see this list, so be completely honest with yourself. Do not worry about differentiating between what you think you want...

Gaddafi Actions in Libya Require Military Intervention

Alex Posa

March 11, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The time has come for the African Union or the UN to enter Libya. If we can’t use our weight to coerce international organizations to stop the brutality, we must enter with support from our allies. With thousands already dead and Gaddafi showing no signs of giving up power, the world can’t use condemnation and sanctions to force this brutal dictator out. A military intervention solely comprised of the AU would be the best outcome. While individual African leaders are eager to see Gaddafi go, the AU seems to lack the will to oust Gaddafi. The organization’s hesitation is understandable. The AU evolved out of Gaddafi’s desire to create an organization more effective than the Organization of African Unity, and...

America Approaching Class Warfare

Pete Sabo

March 11, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

“If you’re not outraged, you’re not paying attention” is the most appropriate maxim to apply to what’s been happening in the past weeks across the U.S. in the battle for labor unions against the greed of Wall Street and its corporate cronies running our states. Governor John Kasich, for instance, worked for Lehman Brothers and made millions selling toxic loans to Ohio. We’re reaching a breaking point at which we will see the dissolution of American society as we’ve known it since 1945, and fall deeper into a corporatist state of Democratic Fascism. Otherwise, we will empower ourselves, the working and middle class, and bring America to a more free and equal society: democratic socialism. Students need...

Pondering Cross-Atlantic Pedagogies

Rina Seegoolam

March 4, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The syllabus of my first history class at Oberlin College stated that the class would have six discussion sessions that would last the entire class. As an exchange student, I was very surprised and thought that this would never be possible because students would not have enough things to say. I was wrong. During the first discussion session, students talked for eighty minutes, the professor hardly ever intervened and I was the one feeling lost. As I went through the semester, I realized that this experience was a common scenario for humanities classes in Oberlin College. That's precisely where the difference of teaching methods between my home country France and the United States lies. Where the former country privileges...

Pro-Choice Views Need Depth

Chip Williams

March 4, 2011

Filed under Commentary, OPINIONS

The Review’s editorial last week concerning Ohio’s “Heartbeat Bill,” a proposed ban on abortion after a fetus’s heartbeat can be detected, rightly condemns the legislation as dangerous and wrongheaded. However, like the majority of arguments put forth by the “pro-choice” camp, it fails to directly engage with the “pro-life” claim that fetuses are morally equivalent to adult humans. Most feminist writing on abortion seems to ignore or downplay the question of fetal rights, attempting to frame the issue as simply a question of women’s rights. We hear, for example, that bans on abortion constitute an unacceptable restriction on women’s personal autonomy; the bumper sticker phrase “Keep your law...

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