Sometimes I feel like there's an intellectual totem pole at this school. Physics majors roll their eyes at biology majors, who then rip into English majors, who scoff at psychology majors and everyone then unites in their desire to poke fun at sociology/anthropology majors. I'm definitely guilty of it. You're probably guilty of it, and it's getting a more than a little ridiculous.
It's easy to villainize the Chinese government -- the reports of gunfire and images of tanks and army vehicles bearing down on Tibetan protesters are reminiscent of Tiananmen Square in 1989 and the brutal suppression of the liberal students and labor activists by Chinese government. But before you jump on the "Boycott the Beijing Olympics" bandwagon, stop and reflect on a few points.
As spring approaches and finals appear imminent, the ever-present reality of struggles for basic human rights may seem greatly removed. In addition, our present situation as students greatly limits the feasible means through which we directly articulate protest and activism.
Friday, April 4 was the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. So why, you may ask, am I writing about this a week after the fact? Well, it may be due to the fact that I didn't hear anything about King until a few days after the anniversary of his death. However, even then, the information went into my head and then left a few moments later to make space for all the "important" information I had to remember for my test the next day.
Now, I drink tap water from Nalgenes, turn off the lights whenever I leave the room and prefer to walk or use public transportation instead of driving a car. But is it just me, or is scrapping 20 perfectly good vehicles in favor of buying a couple of Priuses less green than continuing to drive old, gas-gulping mini-vans? Is the public's demand for green transit services, foods and brand names encouraging mass consumerism instead of sustainable livelihoods?