The Oberlin Review

Status Quo Reigns Supreme at Vatican

March 15, 2013

When Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio was elected pope on Wednesday, the event was hailed as a sign that the Catholic church was finally, mercifully beginning to evolve to reflect the interests of its 21st-century membership. Bergoglio — or Francis I, as he will be known from here on out — is a native of Buenos Aires, making him the first pope not born in Europe in over a millenium. And such a shift is apt, considering that the majority of the world’s Catholics now reside in the global South; in the Church as elsewhere, Europe is losing its supremacy. But before we fall over ourselves congratulating the cardinals on their progressivism, it bears repeating that Bergoglio is hardly a revolutionary choice. Though...

Workplace Flexibility Best for Both Employer, Employee

The Editorial Board

March 1, 2013

Perhaps it was unfair to place Marissa Mayer on a pedestal she never asked for. When the 37-year-old Google wunderkind convinced Yahoo! to make her the youngest Fortune 500 CEO — while she was pregnant, no less — she was preemptively hailed as a role model for working mothers. It seemed as though, finally, biases surrounding women in the workplace were beginning to fade. But when Mayer returned to work after a mere two weeks of maternity leave, armed with an incredibly posh nursery installed next to her executive suite, it gave pause to those who had fashioned her as a pioneer. And this week, not long after being hired, she decreed that all employees would now be required to work from Yahoo! offices rather than...

Dubya Exposed, in More Ways Than One

The Editorial Board

February 15, 2013

Last week, the public got a sneak peak at the products of George W. Bush’s post-presidency hobby: his self-portraits. A hacker, who goes by the alias Guccifer, broke into the e-mail accounts of multiple Bush family members, sharing private documents that included photos of the paintings in question, which Dubya had e-mailed to his sister. Independent of the news of this hacking and the current Secret Service investigation into it, the self-portraits present themselves as a curious conversation piece. In one painting, Bush stands in the shower, his bare back to the viewer. Next to him, water streams down from the shower head. A small mirror hanging on the wall above reflects his blurry face. The other self-portrait...

After Too Many Free Passes, Obama Must Answer for White Paper

The Editorial Board

February 8, 2013

First, it was the financial disaster he inherited upon taking office. Then it was the impossibly obstinate three-ring circus known as the House of Representatives. Then it was his re-election campaign. Then it was the entirely self-imposed fiscal cliff crisis. For the past four years, left-of-center mainstream media pundits have defended Barack Obama time and time again against accusations of passivity (if not downright timidity). Now, following one of the boldest modern inauguration addresses, the clock has been reset and the waiting game will begin again. The leaking last week of a 16-page memo from the Justice Depart- ment detailing the White House’s drone strikes on suspected al-Qaida operatives should serve...

Election Results Should Be Wake-up Call to GOP

The Editorial Board

November 9, 2012

If ever there was a vulnerable incumbent, Barack Obama would seem to fit the bill. With unemployment hovering around eight percent and a still-lagging economy, the GOP was handed a golden opportunity to wrest the White House back into its control (for a nice contrast, look at the electoral upheaval that took place in Europe amid its economic meltdown.) Yet Mitt Romney — a man who has essentially been running for President full-time for the past decade — fell just short again on Tuesday, and it’s time for the Republican Party to take a long look at itself. Amid all the euphoria of the last couple of days, it bears restating that the GOP probably lost this election more than the Democrats won it. Certainly Obama...

Lectureship Series Well-Meaning Yet Fundamentally Divisive

The Editorial Board

September 28, 2012

The always-divisive Ronald Reagan Political Lectureship Series began anew on Thursday, kicking off its 2012–2013 calendar with a talk by political commentator Bill Whittle advertised as “What We Believe: Why the Right is Right” — although Whittle was quick to de-emphasize the second part of that title in favor of the first. He told us he didn’t expect to convince us (“us,” apparently, meaning the all-consuming liberal monolith otherwise known as the Oberlin student body); as long as we realized that conservatives were not “motivated by meanness, anger, or a desire to see people get hurt,” that was enough for him. But as Whittle’s talk went on it zigzagged between conciliatory and defensive in a...

‘Documentary’ Sheds Disturbing Light on Racial Perceptions of Obama

The Editorial Board

September 28, 2012

You didn’t watch Dreams From My Real Father: A Story of Reds and Deception so much as it washed over you in a wave of disbelief. A pseudo-documentary purporting to expose the “true origin of Obama’s life and politics,” Dreams From My Real Father tells the story of how President Obama’s father was a card-carrying member of Communist Party USA — not a goat herder from Kenya who came to America in search of an education. The film, copies of which have recently filled many of the OCMR’s mailboxes and trash bins, contains some familiar far-right tropes from the last few years: Obama’s friendship with Bill Ayers, his ties to Reverend Jeremiah Wright, his hidden socialist and Islamic beliefs. But it soon...

Angry Mob at Art Rental Reveals Oberlin’s Ugly Side

The Editorial Board

September 21, 2012

Art rental is one of the most treasured Oberlin traditions, not just for the opportunity it presents — priceless art spending a semester in your dorm or apartment — but for the event itself: renting a tent from the Outings Club and camping out in the courtyard, imbibing illegal substances on school property after dark and listening to classmates howl their favorite songs late into the night. It’s a fundamentally communal event, which is why last weekend was such an unfortunate sight. By 6:45 a.m., the sign-up list, a motley collection of papers scotch-taped to a pillar, was up to 220 people, and the lines of sleeping bodies filled the courtyard and several hallways. As 8 a.m. approached, a group gathered near...

Editorial: ObieTalk Useless If Obies Don’t Talk

The Editorial Board

May 4, 2012

Well, ObieTalk is all over the place. Where it used to exist mostly online and in the gossip-filled first-year dorm rooms, the anonymous forum has now been featured on the Oberlin blogs, on the front page of the Review, and was even the topic of a student forum facilitated by the Oberlin College Dialogue Center earlier today. After all this, it seems evident that the controversy swirling around the rise of bigoted posts on the site is sparking a long-overdue conversation about ObieTalk and the purpose of anonymous forums in general. Naturally, fingers have been pointed — at Will Adams-Keane, for creating ObieTalk and not monitoring it closely enough; at the administration, for not blocking the site; at the si...

Solar Array an Important Step Toward Sustainability

The Editorial Board

April 27, 2012

Environmentally conscious Obies can finally rejoice! This week, the Office of Communications announced plans to construct a 2.27 MW solar array on 10 acres of agricultural land adjacent to the Athletic Fields. As part of the College’s ongoing efforts to lower energy use and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2025, the array — built by national PV services provider SPG Solar, and operated and maintained by a Colorado- and Utah-based company called Spear Point Energy — will generate 12 percent of the College’s annual consumption and will be up and running by the start of fall semester. This is exciting news. Though the initiative might seem like a relatively small step compared to the work cut out for mank...

Editorial: High Expectations Make for Enlightened Campus Drug Culture

The Editorial Board

April 20, 2012

If you — student, professor, prospie or visiting parent — notice students greeting each other with calls of “Happy holidays” and sleepy grins today, don’t be surprised. But don’t be too quick to judge either. As much as Oberlin gets a rep as a hippie school, that is no longer the primary aspect of our culture. Sure, we were the first school to have co-ed dorms, and we swing pretty far left on the political spectrum, but it’s the rare Obie you’ll find these days naked in the woods playing the didgeridoo. For such a small school, we have a good variety of stereotypes roaming around campus — musicians, hipsters, athletes, nerds, and, yes, the occasional dirty hippie toking on a joint. While some...

Drag Ball Revamp Deviates from Tone of Event’s Past

The Editorial Board

April 6, 2012

By the way, Drag Ball is this weekend. You might have missed the Facebook reminders (because there really were none), the posters (also few and far between), and most unfortunately, if you just arrived on campus this September, you might not know the Ball is a thing at all. As seniors who remember the all-Wilder-consuming, Wizard-of-Oz-themed, end-of-an-era blowout Ball of 2009, we cannot help but lament the apparent demise of the great Oberlin get-together to celebrate the queerness in all of us. The cancellation of Drag Ball in 2010 due to a lack of student organizational support and funding spurred discussion about whether, in the almost two decades since its inauguration, the event had lost its focus. Some...

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