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Donning a pastel pink polo and a fanny pack, Brian Imanuel — who goes by the stage name Rich Brian — became a viral YouTube sensation with his song “Dat $tick”. Much of his initial fame came from the spectacle. Imanuel is a baby-faced teenager from Jakarta, emulating trap music from Black communities in the United States. To many, Imanuel seemed to be a one-hit wonder; audiences were laughing as much at him as they were with him. The world did not take him all that seriously. But Imanuel has proven his naysayers wrong. Two years after “Dat $tick” was released, his debut album Amen took the number one spot on iTunes for hip hop albums.
I did not glimpse the program beforehand, so the Princeton Glee Club concert in March surprised me with its first piece. The music was distinctly non-Western. The singers did not chant or sing in Latin, but in Telugu, Tamil, and nonsensical syllables. The soulful turns of phrase haunted me. The piece unlocked my imagination, evoked in my head images of places I never have visited.
Political divisions are higher than ever in our country. A recent Pew Research Survey found that 44 percent of each party’s membership almost never agrees with their opposition —that’s close to half of both parties. Twenty years ago, the number was less than 20 percent. Congressional gridlock is extremely high: both parties are obsessed with political survival. We’ve already seen the government shut down once this year. If we can’t work together, we'll all lose.
The emotional power of the recent March for Our Lives movement is undeniable — the sheer numbers speak for themselves: at least 1.2 million people marched in one weekend. Although unprecedented in scale, it’s also hard not to see the march as a continuation of the horrific cycle that has occupied the U.S. social and political atmosphere for the last few years: a young boy, usually in a relatively well-off suburban neighborhood, terrorizes the local school, killing innocent young (mostly white) children and tearing apart the sense of safety and protection expected in schools. Then, emotional trauma, outrage, and calls to action ensue. And then nothing else substantive happens, and the cycle repeats.
On a recent sunny afternoon in Princeton, Black Lives Matter and civil rights activist DeRay Mckesson spoke at length on perception and power dynamics and their effect on race. The energy he brought was infectious — and the brutal honesty he carried in every word was equally so.
Before you come at me with accusations of reverse sexism, hear me out. It’s not usually women who express the sentiment that men are always wrong. Rather, this sentiment is loudly and ironically proclaimed by men during arguments in which they feel criticized. When men proclaim that they are always wrong, it is not a tacit acceptance of defeat but rather a joke at the expense of women. After all, women are irrational creatures who will always think than men are in the wrong.
In February, Professor Lawrence Rosen decided to cancel his course on hate speech after receiving criticism for his use of the N-word in a lecture. Defenders of Rosen claimed that he wasn’t using the racial slur intentionally, only using it to prove a point, while his critics said they believe the word was avoidable in the teaching of his lesson. Although many people are aware of this incident, Princeton is not the only community in which the N-word has been said in a controversial context.
We don’t always say hello. The worst part of it is that we know each other — and maybe in a different context, we would say hi, pretend to be excited to see each other, and engage in a polite, boring small talk ritual. When not at a back-to-school barbeque, however, I pass probably dozens of people on campus without acknowledging them. It’s not that I don’t like them (except in some rare cases). It’s usually that I don’t feel like I know them well enough, or that I feel I’m not invested enough in our relationship for me to make an effort.
The University needs to be more willing to cancel classes in the event of inclement weather. Waiting until the weather is so bad that it is dangerous to navigate campus poses a great risk to the safety of students and faculty alike. The University’s Emergency Management website tells students to stay indoors during a winter storm, but we cannot do that if it means missing mandatory classes, nor should we need to choose between attending non-mandatory lectures and our safety.
Too often, Princeton students remain silent on the most important issues affecting both our country and our world. We tend to shy away from activism of the most demanding kind; we tend to remain quiet on the issues that demand pressing reactions from us — the student body and the youth. Especially in this cultural era, students and young people are taking charge as the leaders of national movements for change. In this societal context, Princeton students must become more passionately positioned on the front lines.
In his annual State of the University letter, President Eisgruber discussed his choice of “Speak Freely: Why Universities Must Defend Free Speech” as the Class of 2022’s Pre-read book and criticized last year's protest at Middlebury College, which prevented Charles Murray, a conservative sociologist, from speaking. Last week, in an article titled “What do you mean by 'academic freedom?’”, columnist Cy Watsky chastised President Eisgruber's allusion to this event, saying he has a "flawed perspective into what academic freedom really is."
All throughout school, I always knew when the substitute teacher arrived at my name based on a pause and a somewhat sheepish look on their face. Once in a while, the teacher would ask me how to correctly pronounce my name. Most of the time, though, they’d give it a half-hearted attempt and move on, not bothering to learn how to say it as long as I was present to say “here,” even though I always made it a point to politely but adamantly demonstrate the pronunciation. They were, after all, substitutes. Why would they need to learn my name, if they were never going to see me again?
Going to Reunions my junior year of high school catapulted Princeton to the top of my college list. From catching a glimpse of the P-rade to seeing 85-year-old men raise their walkers in laughter around the crack of dawn, the internationally known affair impressed me with its enduring and effusive spirit.
In an article published last week, the Sexpert responded to a question posed by a “Curious Sub.” The article does an excellent job emphasizing communication, consent, and respect, and offers good practical advice on limits, safe words, and check-ins. As Princeton’s kink and BDSM club, we at Princeton Plays believe that the article falls short in other areas. It mischaracterizes BDSM (bondage, dominance/discipline, sadism/submission, masochism) dynamics that do permeate into day-to-day life. It also casts as harmful the wide variety of BDSM practices that exist completely apart from sex.