A journey around this week’s current events

Justin Marinelli​, Staff Writer

Normally in these pieces I focus on a single topic, but today I’ll be shaking things up with a lightning round. I hope you’re wearing a seat belt, because this is going to be a wilder ride than usual.

​Gamergate is the first major battle in an imminent culture war that is going to rock this country to the core. Arguing that this whole affair is about corrupt journalists or entrenched misogyny is akin to saying that Gavrilo Princip was the sole reason for World War I. The spark is not the tinder.

​I’m a little surprised that no one has accused Maroon 5 of promoting rape culture with their new song “Animals,” which relies heavily upon the metaphor of predatory animals to portray the nature of sexual desire as antagonistic in character. The only explanation I can think of is that everyone is too busy taking the song literally and actually hunting each other down to get offended. Come to think of it, I have been seeing a lot of zombies around these parts lately …

​As the recent terrorist attack in Ottawa demonstrates, one man with a gun can strike anywhere in the world for any cause. We are entering an age of human conflict in which there is no differentiation between the front lines and the home front. Warfare has become a truly global occurrence, and will become even more so as cyberwarfare becomes more sophisticated.

​On a different note, it’s rather strange that I break the law if I pay someone to have sex with me, but I’m in the clear if I pay someone to have sex with someone who is not me while I film it. The fact that this legal inconsistency hasn’t been strongly challenged in this country suggests to me that it’s more profitable for everyone involved to uphold this state of affairs. Yet, why should that be the case? There’s something very interesting going on here, and one of these days I really ought to get to the bottom of it.

​Fears about an Ebola pandemic breaking out in the United States aren’t completely off base, though the odds that one will occur are at this point almost nonexistent. A truly worrisome (and far more likely) occurrence would be if Ebola managed to gain a foothold in India. If that happens, then all hell could break loose.

​Talk of a decline in U.S. power relative to other countries in the world makes sense. Predictions of the United States collapsing are off-base. The closest historical parallel to the United States right now is Rome in the last hundred or so years of the republic. Once the republic fell, Rome still took several hundred years to “collapse,” and the Byzantines managed to keep plugging along for another thousand years after that. The United States is not going up in flames anytime soon, though the next 20 to 30 years are likely going to be a bit of a rough patch.
​The expression “May you live in interesting times” has to be one of the most inane statements ever made. Every time period has interesting things happening in it. Ergo, everybody is cursed with interesting times, which means that being cursed is meaningless. Also, the guy who first said this had to have been one of the most boring people ever to live. Avoid taking life advice from people like that. You don’t want to turn out like them.

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