Monday, February 24, 2014

Commentary by Ethan Lally

We're On Each Other's Team
The other night I heard somebody call Lorde ‘arrogant’. Now this person probably thinks this for one of two reasons: he is misinformed, or sexist. Let’s take a look at Lorde and why one might think she is ‘arrogant’. Lorde is a 16 year-old singer from New Zealand who looks, sings, and talks like she’s 25. As well as being an unreal singer and amazing writer, she is very outspoken. Recently, she has called out other female artists, most famously Selena Gomez, for not sharing her feminist values and sending a wrong message to young women. Now some might say that calling someone out for not sharing the same values is a little pretentious. But with that argument you’d have to say that Martin Luther King shouldn’t have stood up for civil rights because he shouldn’t have challenged someone else’s beliefs. Likewise, Lorde has every right to stand up for what she believes in. She’s also got to have a hell of a lot of courage to call out such high profile artists being as young and as new as she is. It’s not like she’s just nonsensically trashing them either, she makes very valid points and speaks with better diction than most people twice her age.
The other interesting thing about Lorde is that there’s never really been an artist quite like her. Her music is simplistic and melodic. Her message is clear. Her demeanor is calm, but confident. And I must reiterate she’s one of the smartest 16 year olds I’ve ever seen, especially compared to the normal pop artist stereotypes.  
    So, what makes her ‘arrogant’?
    First, let’s take a look at the definition of arrogant:

1. having or revealing an exaggerated sense of one's own importance or abilities.
"he's arrogant and opinionated"

synonyms: haughty, conceited, self-important, egotistic, full of oneself, superior;

Now, as I have said before Lorde is definitely quite an outspoken individual. But not once have I ever heard her talk about how great or successful she was in an interview. That’s actually something else that separates her from the rest as well, she is incredibly humble. She never talks about how great she is or how much money she’s made from her huge success. In fact she sometimes seems overwhelmed by it all. Nor does she claim to be better than anyone. The things she is calling people out for is not their talent, it’s their message, which is standing up for what you believe in. So, based off the correct definition of the word ‘arrogant’, Lorde does not fall into that category.
    So, why does this person think Lorde is ‘arrogant’?
My initial hypothesis was that this person is either misinformed or sexist. However now that I’ve written on, I think the answer is that the person who holds this opinion is both. He clearly does not know the proper meaning of arrogant, and thus thinks that Lorde is arrogant for her outspoken nature. So, that makes him misinformed. He is sexist because not only is Lorde outspoken, she is speaking out for women’s rights. Plenty of famous artists speak out about things, and I rarely hear them being called arrogant. Then this beautiful young woman comes along preaching feminism and boom, she’s an arrogant, outspoken bitch who needs to know her place. Opinions like these are the reason there is feminism. A woman cannot defend herself or her rights without being looked down upon. And this has always been the case. African Americans, who were considered property in the United States for hundreds of years, were granted the right to vote nationally in the United States before women. The only other reason women were granted the right to vote in a state pre-19th Amendment, which was done in Wyoming in 1890, was because it was advantageous for the state of Wyoming: with women voting they had enough voters to be considered a state in the United States of America. They didn't actually care about women's rights. Even today, women are often put down for speaking their mind. So, by calling Lorde arrogant for standing up for what she believes in, this person is buying into the culture that has oppressed women, opposed feminism, and dominated American culture throughout it’s entire existence.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Photograph by Taylor Cognato

A Poem by Kirsten Salo


It cloaks the city in denseness
wrapping its tendrils around
the peaks of buildings, spooking
gulls at its presence.

The chill rattles every bone of the
city seeping deep into the marrow
of each structure that spirals up
into the grey sky.

The city is lost between the
low-lying clouds of morning,
wandering to work in a haze of
impenetrable mist.

The sun begins to peek its rays
into the opaque air, burning
the confusion away leaving only
the mystery to linger.