The Bates Student

The Voice of Bates College since 1873

Month: March 2017 Page 2 of 7

Gala Review

Gala Review:

Ahh, Gala… What a wonderful way to end the horrific month of March. A Bates favorite by many of my friends, Gala is the classiest event on the Bates social calendar. As my last Gala came to an end last weekend, I decided to do a quick review for anyone who missed the event or wanted to revel in nostalgia for a little longer.

 

Ambience: 6/10

The ambience of Gala was rightfully dominated by the string lights that somehow made the Gray Cage a little less gray. Not too white, the lights provided an interesting yet satisfying setup for the Gala pictures we all can’t live without. As far as the Under the Sea theme goes, the wall decorations were very knock-off Disney, but I can’t complain because the lobster, clown fish, and flounder hats that the Bates Dining Staff were sporting were excellent. The photo booth and the funky hats really saved Gala 2k17 from being ordinary in my opinion. If the wall decorations stepped up the game a little bit more, I would give the ambience a higher review. Looking for some more creative liberty next time. Let’s get crazy Gala 2k18.

 

Food: 8/10

The theme of this year’s Gala food selection seemed to be dip and meat. Unfortunately for the vegans of Bates, the black bean dip was okay, but the steak and cheddar dip was frankly unbelievable. The gooey cheddar and hot and spicy flavors mixed in with smoky meat was everything I have ever desired in a dairy product. Personally, I prefer the dips paired with tortilla chips, but the mini baguettes also looked like a nice choice. Centering the app station was a grand meat contraption in which guests could grab shavings from. Not only was this meat incredibly juicy, it (wait for it) paired GREAT with the steak and cheddar dip. It’s almost like they were made for each other. Making a little nacho combination was more than gourmet. In terms of the other appetizers, I was less than impressed. The hush puppies were dry, the egg rolls had little to no flavor except for ginger, and I cannot tell you about the fancy Greek spinach filo pastry because I didn’t try it. But I heard that one was good. Moving to the post-meal stuff, the staple chocolate fountain carried the team. Unfortunately all of the chocolate covered strawberries were gone by the time I made my way to the dessert tables (that steak and cheddar went a long way, guys). Nevertheless, the ice cream cake and the Swedish Fish cupcakes were lifted up by the classic Gala chocolate fountain. Maybe I am just being nostalgic for Gala’s past, but the desserts definitely did not live up to the beignets of 2015’s A Night in New Orleans Gala. Overall, the melted dairy products of chocolate and cheddar quite literally took the cake, and for that I cannot complain.

 

Music: 6/10

The jazz ensemble swing dance playing brass instrument rocking music people in the main area killed it, which again is a Gala staple and truly no surprise. They made it simple yet entertaining: they gave us what we wanted, and they did it well. However, the “ratchet” room in Alumni was less than classic. The washed up (no pun intended) hits and lack of excitement in the crowd made for a subpar dance party. I would have enjoyed some experimentation, maybe some beats and a freestyle rap contest next time.

 

 

Wardrobe 7/10

As usual, I was more than impressed with the glamour of Bates students (sorry, I didn’t see any faculty there) all around me. I saw a few statement rompers which were very impressive, and some funky printed blazers that did not disappoint. At times I was in awe of those still wearing their heels as well. I have to say, though, in terms of wardrobe the theme was completely irrelevant. V disappointed I did not get the chance to see any shark girls (looking at you, Alexis).

Real Estate makes sure you keep them “In Mind”

In Mind, Real Estate’s fourth studio album, is the product of the band’s newest incarnation. After having split with founding guitarist, Matt Mondanile, the band has picked up Julian Lynch, an accomplished, productive musician in his own right, as their lead guitarist. Also new to the Real Estate lineup is the producer Cole M.G.N, who has worked previously on such projects as Dev Hyne’s Palo Alto OST, as well as Julia Holter’s prestigious 2015 release Have You in My Wilderness, both records diamond-bright with electronic flourish. Whether or not by Cole’s direction, Real Estate has made an interesting shift in their use of audial space, having in the past left conscious room in between their music. In Mind eschews emptiness for texture, every strata of the album filled with synth and sensation.

The album starts off especially strong, beginning with their lead single “Darling,” the most successful synthesis of their new styling. It begins with a sharp, cool synth introduction, giving way to Lynch’s guitar talent. Despite the modifications, Real Estate maintains their singular sound: clean, looping guitars, woven together, riding to lead singer Martin Courtney’s charming, pastoral lyricism. Good or not, In Mind begins with Real Estate’s best and most successful effort. That is not to say the rest of the album is disappointing, but rather, In Mind hits with its hardest earliest, the middle of the album occasionally slacking and dropping in its inspiration.

But it is a fine album with fine songs. The seven-minute movement “Two Arrows” begins as a drowsy march, moving deliberately but dreamily, its back-half fraying into a lush fuzz of synth squeals, reverb and resonance. It gathers sonic momentum and volume but cuts tightly and abruptly into silence, the structure of the song an apparent nod to “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)” off of Abbey Road. Following, “Holding Pattern” is the sleaziest, jammiest song on the album, affecting Steely Dan-style guitar patterns, heavy on the ride cymbal, rolling at a pace just a tad faster Real Estate’s languid style of play and performance.

Just as the album began with force, it ends so, with the five-minute, multi-movement “Saturday.” The song begins with a lovely, hesitant piano intro, careful but warm, uncharacteristic of Real Estate’s guitar heavy modus operandi. Soon enough, however, the band returns to its old tricks: dueling guitars file in, and then a rhythm, supplementing but not overpowering the piano. At two minutes, the song kicks into pace, regretfully dropping the piano, transforming into a surf rock song, strumming and chuffing.

If there is any sort of thematic presence to this record, it would be an awareness of space and surrounding, both in the music as well as the lyricism.

As mentioned before, this album does the most to create landscapes of sound, full and stereo, focusing on encapsulation. There is a clean richness to this album unheard in the Real Estate discography. In the record’s lyrics, Courtney focuses most intently on the natural space around him, making mentions of the birds (“black and yellow finches”), plants and weather (“six AM rain”) that make him feel most at ease. In context, this makes sense: Courtney has left New York City to raise a family upstate.

Perhaps this is Courtney rationalizing his change of scenery, coming to ease with domesticity. But despite settling down, there is no sense of defeatism or stagnation but, rather, expectancy for good to come.

 

Beastly Narrative

On March 17th, the new Disney remake of the classic, “Beauty and the Beast,” starring Emma Watson was released in theaters.  For those of you unfamiliar with the story (there can’t be that many of you), “Beauty and the Beast” is the story of an intelligent, beautiful (hence the character’s name “Belle”) young woman who is an outcast in her town.  To save her father, she sacrifices herself to a beast that lives in a castle and eventually they fall in love and it is revealed that he was a prince under a curse all along.  Love allows him to transform back into his true form.

I saw the movie this weekend, not having considered or analyzed the story since I was about six.  The new film follows the plot and even many of the shots of the original Disney cartoon very closely.  Despite the similarities, I saw the 2017 film in a completely new light watching it as an adult. I think that Disney did many positive things as far as social messages, but aspects of the story are inherently flawed and these couldn’t be remedied unless Disney completely changed the whole premise of the movie.

My main issue with the storyline is the tired and potentially dangerous narrative of a girl ‘fixing’ a man.  ‘Beauty tames the Beast’ has become a tired trope in film and literature.  Of course, this cliché is the entire plot of the movie, so its inclusion is pretty much unavoidable.  I think I find issue with this because it seems to excuse abusive relationships.  No one should stay in a relationship with an erratic, violent partner because they feel obligated or even believe it’s possible to ‘fix’ them. Women face domestic abuse at far higher rates than men, and this message of ‘taming the beast’ isn’t a positive one to be sending young women.  In the 2017 film, the Beast never directly physically harms Belle, but he does yell at her and threaten her. After the two have a conversation in which they get to know each other, the Beast softens and never yells at her or threatens her again.  The origin of the Beast’s anger is also explained when the other residents of the castle tell Belle it stems from the loss of his mother, an abusive father, and lack of support from those around him.  Still, even when anger and violent outbursts have a cause, sufferers can inflict harm on those around them.

Disney obviously took steps to ameliorate this potentially negative narrative.  The inclusion of the explanation of the Beast’s anger, how early in the movie his anger disappears, and the development of Belle’s character all show their awareness for the potential effects their movie could have on its young audience.  Belle really is a great character—she’s caring, brave, strong, intelligent, and unafraid to be herself.  Despite the annoying rhetoric of “she’s not like other girls,” the movie is a fairly positive one in terms of social values, featuring a diverse cast and a brief depiction of two gay characters. Obviously that doesn’t make it as inclusive as it could have been, but perhaps the attempt at representation of a more diverse population is a step in the right direction.

Lick-it-like-Gala

“I don’t get Lick-It. If it is about individuality, why does everyone dress the same?” This was the first comment I heard on the Friday morning before Lick It had taken place. At the time, my answer was simple but genuine: “I don’t know.” Maybe there was something about nakedness that made evident the uniqueness of each body. Maybe Lick-It was about being (or seemingly being) confident with oneself. Maybe it was simply beyond clothes, deeper and more profound than appearances. Later in the night, I was pleased to see that, whether dressing similar to one another or not, many people were having fun experimenting with clothing.

Lick-It is Bates’ annual celebration of individuality, organized by OutFront. This year was themed “the world of fantasy – dragons, magic, and melodramatic family affairs.” Lick-It has been a tradition at Bates for 23 years and it is considered one of the college’s dearest events. While the theme was brilliant, I was hesitant to consider the possibility of people transforming identities into costumes (see: Halloween). Despite my initial concern, Lick-It was more than costumes and “the naked dance.” While the Benjamin Mays Center had indeed more people than articles of clothing, this was simply one aspect of the night.

Aimee Oakes ’20 mentioned that she loves Lick-It. “You could go in your PJs,” mentioned Oakes. Even though there were many positive reviews, not everyone was comfortable with the atmosphere. Josh Andino ’20, described it as “a wild crashing of bodies. I’m not saying it wasn’t good, but it was much more crowded than other Silo events, and it did get a little bit sweaty and nasty after some time.” Jin Wei ’20 took another perspective: “I wished to see more people being themselves during Lick-It,” he mentioned.

On Saturday, March 25, Gala happened. It was the 28th annual event, themed “Under the Sea.” There were two different live performances happening simultaneously, intertwined with student performances. Drew Collins ’20 mentioned that “the bands were awesome; it was great to have two different ambiences and rooms.”

While the music and ambience were impressive, I was truly astonished by how people dressed. Having both swing music and top hits made my night. “It was two different scenes coexisting,” mentioned Collins. Needless to say, Gala had countless articles of clothing in comparison to Lick-It.

Much like Lick-It, Gala did not please everyone. Oakes ’20 said she preferred Lick-It over Gala. “Gala was different. It wasn’t about being comfortable; my feet hurt all night,” said Oakes.

Gala and Lick-It are very different, and yet very similar. There is no contradiction in wearing a suit one day and flowery skirts in another. In contrast, these events show that identity and individuality are complex.

This weekend, comfort and discomfort coexisted, boundaries were broken and reinstated. A Bates Student article on Lick-It from 2013 by Grace Pezella quoted previous OutFront coordinator, Jarron Brady ’15, and is worth comparing to this year’s event. Brady mentioned that “Bates doesn’t want to be a sexually repressed campus, but it doesn’t really know how to express itself.” I have heard from people that loved Gala and Lick-It and from people who did not. Four years have passed but Brady’s comment is still relevant to our community.

At least Batesies seemed to agree: Gala’s food was exceptional.

The band in Alumni Gym rocks top hits. JAMES DONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

The band in Alumni Gym rocks top hits. JAMES DONALD/THE BATES STUDENT

News and notes from Bates Athletics

Cancellations

The baseball team, anticipating their first game action in New-England, had their scheduled doubleheaders against Brandeis and Husson postponed, due to Storm Stella last week. The men’s lacrosse team also had a home contest against Endicott last Tuesday which was cancelled. There are no rescheduled dates at this point for any of those contests. The lacrosse schedule has moved steadily forward, but the storm proved untimely for the baseball team, who have not played a game since their trip to California over February break.

Lacrosse

The women’s lacrosse team split their games last week, thumping Wheaton 18-7, and competing on a snow-cleared Garcelon field Saturday when they fell to Trinity 9-5. Camille Belletete ‘18 tallied six goals over the course of both contests. The women’s team is 3-3 overall and 0-3 in the NESCAC. Meanwhile, the men’s team was victorious away against Trinity, moving to 5-0 overall and 3-0 in conference and continue to sit atop the NESCAC standings. Matt Chlastawa ‘20 led the attack with four goals. In the first USILA national DIII poll of the season that came out last week, Bates ranked eighth in the country.

Tennis

The women’s tennis team travelled to Fredericksburg, VA to compete in the Blue-Grey Invitational at University of Mary Washington last weekend. They competed against Whitman, Johns Hopkins, and Mary Washington, falling in all three matches by scores of 6-3, 7-2, and 8-1 respectively. Men’s tennis did not compete last weekend, but will travel to UMW in Fredericksburg on Friday to compete in the men’s blue-grey invitational.

 

A proposal for Bates Athletics

Another season and another Trinity men’s squash national championship. This is a trend as sure as Sunday garlic bread in Commons. The Bantams men’s squash has captured 16 of the last 19 College Squash Association Team National Championships. This includes a streak between 1998 and 2012, when the team won 252 straight matches; the longest winning streak in college sports history. This success has brought a great deal of attention from national media outlets. The New York Times, Sports Illustrated and USA Today have all published stories about Trinity College squash. In fact, ESPN ranked the Bantams as one of the top 10 sports dynasties of all time.

What has been the Bantam’s secret to success? It’s not terribly complicated. As reported by The Student earlier this semester, Trinity as a whole has shown a substantial institutional commitment to attracting the best squash talent in the world. Great players equals great success; it’s really that simple.

Nevertheless, it’s an impressive feat that a small school like Trinity is able to be one of the best teams in the country, and it’s something Bates can do as well. In big time college sports (football, soccer, basketball, baseball etc.), Trinity, Bates, or any of the other NESCAC schools will never be able to garner national attention. Bates, as a Division III institution, can compete for national championships at that level. But Division I schools regularly receive national recognition in those sports. As a smaller school, Bates lacks the resources and draw that bigger state schools offer athletes in major sports. Additionally, as a Division III program, Bates cannot offer athletic scholarships, and is rarely, if ever, featured on national television. Bates will never be able to attract the top talent in major sports, but in a niche sport such as squash Bates could potentially compete as a top team.

Subsequently, my proposal is for Bates athletics to emulate the model that Trinity squash has set out. This would mean picking a niche sport, such as skiing, rugby, or sailing, and recruiting top talent. Becoming one of the top teams in a given sport will bring notoriety, excitement, and money to campus.

And the sport Bates should pursue is competitive video gaming. Yes, you read that right. The official term for competitive gaming is eSports; a growing number of colleges have begun to form varsity eSport teams. A handful of schools, including the University of California, Irvine, have even started offering partial scholarships to eSport athletes. “We’re going to be the Duke Basketball of eSports,” said the director of the Irvine eSport initiative.

College eSports fits Bates for a number of reasons. First, it is played indoors, which eliminates the disadvantage that Bates outdoor sports teams face by virtue of being located so far north. Second, if you take a look at the list of colleges that currently have varsity eSport teams, none of them have the same academic prestige as Bates. This prestige will give Bates a distinct edge when it comes to recruiting. Last, the establishment of a Bates eSports program could be coupled well with the rise of our digital and computational studies program currently being formed.

Close your eyes and picture this right now. A tour of prospective students walks through the quad on a beautiful spring day. As they walk by the chapel the tour guide says, “Bates features the largest selection of cereal in the country, one of the best debate teams in the world, and the best competitive gaming team in the country.” One of the prospective students, an accomplished artist as well as video game enthusiast, perks up their ears when they hear about the eSport program. Six months later, that student is admitted to Bates, and is an invaluable contributor to the community over the next four years.

 

The truth is more important now than ever

Modern advertisements seldom move me. Even ads that are lauded for their meaning seem to reveal latent capitalistic motives or flowery platitudes when stripped down to their bare elements. But last week, during the Oscars, The New York Times aired an advertisement that made me think.

In this deceptively-minimalist advertisement, their first in over a decade, The Times explores a singular idea: truth.

Beginning with words, “The truth is…”, the three words are completed by a multitude of statements, drawing from all points on the political spectrum. In quick succession, statements range from, “The truth is a woman should dress like a woman,” to “The truth is women’s rights are human rights.” In its thirty second duration, the ad nails down more than a fair share of American controversies – along with women’s rights, the ad encompasses border politics, the refugee crisis, the Black Lives Matter movement, healthcare, gun control, and climate change.

At around the halfway point, the ad takes a turn. The flashing statements, previously shown in comprehensible time intervals, begin to materialize and vanish in rapid succession. Soon, each statement bleeds into next– completely indistinguishable from those that came before and followed. Nearing the tail end of the ad’s 30 second duration, the statements, and the ideas therein, have devolved into indecipherable blurriness. As the ad comes to a close, a final statement appears on the screen: “The truth is more important now than ever.”

The ad invoked a visceral feeling in me; as the statements blur together in the final moments, I was impressed by not only the murkiness of the sentences themselves, but the murkiness of contemporary American media. But as the advertisement concludes, we are left with one certainty: how crucial the truth is. In this way, the ad conveyed a simple message: with the messy political climate of today, our role as journalists is to sort through this murkiness and pursue “truth.”

Despite this nuanced message, the advertisement was met with some backlash – most notably from our president. On his notorious twitter page, Trump writes, “For first time the failing @nytimes will take an ad (a bad one) to help save its failing reputation. Try reporting accurately & fairly!” And this statement, of course, is one of many in which Trump has derided media outlets. A few months back, Trump tweeted that “the FAKE NEWS media,” expressly The New York Times, CNN, and NBC, is “not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People! SICK!” Though statements like these might declare otherwise, Trump has painted a grim portrait of some of America’s most trustworthy news outlets.

As our president’s Twitter suggests, the goal of Truth is by no means a simple one to achieve.  But I am not writing this article out of hopelessness; on the contrary, I think that The New York Times ad underscores the pursuit of Truth as a principle that can unite us, regardless of political standpoint or party affiliation. But more important, I think, is how this pursuit of truth works on the small scale, too.

For me and the Times both, we pursue truth through journalism; but lest we forget the multitude of other outlets. We pursue truth in the classes we take. We pursue truth through the books we love, and the books we hate. We pursue truth in laboratories and in studios. We pursue truth in the music we listen to and the music we make. We pursue truth through art. We pursue truth in our conversations.

So, through whichever medium suits you, keep pursuing. It is more important now than ever.

We couldn’t do anything but enjoy our stay

There are three things a Batesie must do before graduation: jump into the Puddle in February, climb Mount David, and complete a thesis. The first two tasks are relatively easy and short. A person could accomplish the former in under five seconds and the latter in fifteen. But thesis is different. Surmounting that last hurdle requires time, dedication to the subject, and a drive to finish.

Laura Pietropaoli ’17 is a double major in Dance and Rhetoric who just performed her Dance thesis entitled, Enjoy Your Stay. Her project was a culmination of countless hours of research, choreography, and rehearsals that ultimately gave the audience a captivating thirty minute show.

For any student undertaking a project on the thesis-level, the first step to success is a solid foundation. In an interview Pietropaoli remarks, “I’ve learned from a wide range of teachers and artists who all have a myriad of methods for creating, different instincts and preferences, and varied philosophies about performing arts.” That knowledge and experience led this senior to choreograph her piece in a slightly different way.

Pietropaoli did away with the normal hierarchy found in the dancer-choreographer relationship. Danielle Ward ’20, a member of the six-person ensemble notes “Laura’s thesis is unique because it engages the dancers as choreographers.” Instead of standing in the front of the room chanting steps in an eight-count rhythm, the choreography of this piece was collaborative.

“My cast had an equal voice throughout the making of the work. Most of the choreography in the piece was generated by the cast. I did not come up with the movement but rather directed the preexisting movement that they created based on the prompts and tasks I gave them,” said Pietropaoli.

The way in which this particular thesis was designed is not the only unique thing about it. Dance theses have both visual (the performed piece) and written components (the stereotypical thesis). The process is more than just writing a long research paper or performing a study and analyzing its results. With Dance, in addition to the time and effort spent creating a live work, students also have to complete the stereotypical written work. As Pietropaoli states the physical, written thesis is a “…more verbal look at the creative process.”

But the aspect of research goes into both the performed and written piece. Trying to decide on a topic, Pietropaoli “did some intensive research on film directors and composers…[like]…Wes Anderson, Christopher Guest, John Ford, Terrence Malick…” Ultimately, Pietropaoli took all those perspectives, and more, into account, but relied heavily on the John Ford quote: “When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” The cast and their choreographer spent a lot of time untangling that quote, all posing different hypotheses about what it could possibly mean.

That was also another bonding point for the ensemble. Cast member Alex Eaton ’17, noted that his favorite part of the process was “exploring our relationships with one another through the dance, I’ve formed some really amazing friendships.” When a group of people comes together for such an extended period of time, grappling with interesting questions and themes they form tight bonds.

Sitting in the audience, the chemistry among the cast was easily seen in the easy chit-chat the dancers wrapped up before the show began. Pietropaoli wanted her dancers to feel comfortable and, by association, for the audience members to feel that ease. “The title is Enjoy Your Stay for a reason; I want people to feel comfortable just existing in the room and taking in what the cast is offering them. They’re giving up a little bit of themselves for the audience, and at the very least, I hope the audience can just appreciate what the cast is doing,” Pietropaoli states.

At a liberal arts school such as Bates, one of the main things we learn is how to learn. A graduate of a liberal arts school, no matter the major, can be thrown into almost any environment and succeed based on that core lesson. Particular for a Dance major, Pietropaoli states that “[e]ven if I’m not a professional choreographer or dancer, I know that dance will always effect the way I make decisions and think about things.” Taking tools learned at school in the classroom or on the stage, Batesies such as Pietropaoli and her ensemble will go far.

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An alphabetical journey into the English Premier League: T and W

Tottenham Hotspur F.C. (Spurs)

Overview: Tottenham F.C. is located in Tottenham, Haringey, London and was founded in 1882 by a group of boys from a Bible class at All Hallows Church. They played in the Southern League from 1896-1908 when they joined the Football League Second Division. The club is said to have taken its name from one Harry Hotspur (from Shakespeare’s Henry IV), who frequently wore riding spurs and had fighting chickens that also had spurs. The spurred cockerel has been in their crest for over a century. The team struggled in the 1970’s and was briefly relegated before returning to the top flight. In the 90’s, the Spurs were found guilty of making illegal payments to players, resulting in a $600,000 fine, 12-point deduction from the next season, and a one-year ban form the FA Cup. After appeal, the point deduction and ban were removed but the fine was upped to $1.5 million. The team struggled in the early 2000’s before better managing helped them qualify for the Champions League in 2006. Their biggest rival is Arsenal. The team has won the FA Cup 7 times, the Football League twice, the Football League Cup four times, the UEFA Cup twice, and the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup once.

Stadium: White Hart Lane, (36,284). Currently building a new stadium.

Notable players:

Steve Perryman, D (1969-1986)

Jimmy Greaves, F, (1961-1970)

Dave Mackay, D (1959-1968)

Danny Blanchflower, D (1954-1964)

Harry Kane, F (present)

Hugo Lloris, GK (present)

Fun facts:

They are the only non-league team to win the FA Cup (1901) since the formation of the Football League in 1888

Their team motto is “To Dare is to Do”

They became the first English team to win a UEFA competition after winning the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup in 1963

The team has a large Jewish following

They hold the record for most goals in a Premier League game — 9.

Watford F.C. (The Hornets)

Overview: Watford was founded in 1881 as the Watford Rovers in Watford, Hertfordshire, England. They joined the Southern League in 1896 and after winning in 1915, joined the Football League in 1920. They have spent most of the 20th century in the lower divisions. When Graham Taylor was appointed manager in 1977, the club was in the 4th division. Ten years later, the club had risen to the 1st division. Unfortunately, the team then spent the next ten years in decline before Taylor returned and brought the team to the Premier League for a year before falling down to the Championship. In 2006 they came back up to the Premier League for a season before falling once more. Last year they won the Championship League and are currently competing in the Premier League.

Stadium: Vicarage Road (21,438)

Notable players:

Troy Deeney, F (current)

Luther Blissett, F (1975-1983, 1991-1993)

John Barnes, M (1981-1987)

Gary Porter, M (1984-1997)

Fun facts:

Elton John owned Watford for a period of time

In 2002 the players and staff agreed to a 12% wage cut to keep the team financials afloat

 

Tomi Lahren goes pro-choice

The woman all of your Facebook friends love to hate just announced via Twitter that she’s pro-choice.  Tomi Lahren has been the butt of many jokes and aggressive rants.  Lahren, a host on conservative online news site “The Blaze”, has had multiple videos go viral for her angry commentary on political issues such as Colin Kaepernick’s protest and #BlackLivesMatter. Lahren is a self-described conservative and a Trump supporter – her videos are evidence of this.  This makes her admission on “The View” shocking to those that have seen any of her television appearances and social media posts.

Lahren’s argument for her position on abortion comes from her belief in limited government.  “I’m pro-choice and here’s why: I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think that the government should decide what women should do with their bodies,” Lahren continued, “I can say, you know what, I am for limited government so stay out of my guns and you can stay out of my body as well.”

Despite the fact that I disagree with Tomi Lahren on pretty much all of her views, I am pleased with the consistency she is showing in her political beliefs.  Much of the Republican Party’s platform is contradictory – it believes in limited government in some respects, writing, “We call for removal of… over-regulation of start-up enterprises, excessive licensing requirements [and] needless restrictions…” but then calls for the reversal of abortion and same-sex marriage legalization.  On the issue of abortion, it is hard to construct an anti-choice argument while endorsing limited government.  Recognizing this, Lahren changed her stance.  At least Tomi has picked a principle to which her political opinions should adhere.

This is not to say Tomi has always been consistent.  She has said before that she is not pro-choice and called those who are “baby killers,” but I do not believe we should necessarily condemn someone for amending their views.  My stance on many issues has evolved and developed as I have grown and learned as a person, but I acknowledge where my past views have been problematic or contradictory.  Lahren should take responsibility for the faults in her past views (though, to her, the faults were likely more ideological than moral) and stand firm in her current beliefs.

I am not excusing Tomi for her, at times, hateful beliefs. However, constructive discussions are much more attainable when a clear and consistent philosophy supports one’s views rather than an ideology where one can pick and choose which freedoms they want to promote and limit. Obviously, the Democratic Party is not immune to this criticism either. In order to progress, we need to develop platforms that facilitate debate and discussion.

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