“The sky is falling, the wind is calling; Stand for something or die in the morning” -Kendrick Lamar
I got a waffle and coffee last weekend with my freshman year roommate. It was nice to catch up with my first friend at Harvard, and after a few awkward small-talk questions, we began to talk with the rhythm and depth that we had when we were still rooming together. The conversation was all over the place; it went from what comes after college to the surprising similarities between Flume and Future.
I got cut from a final club in the fall, and it sucked.
While both of my roommates joined final clubs and were off at events and feeling “accepted” into a community, I was at home honing my FIFA skills. At the time, I was willing to burn the system to the ground. Final clubs sucked. Harvard’s war against them was justified. But, after a semester of review and the opportunity to take myself out of the discussion for a while, I believe that, instead, Harvard should actively seek to expand final clubs.
Yesterday I watched “Beasts of No Nation,” and I cried. I couldn’t tell you the last time I cried at a movie. Hell, it’s been a while since I’ve cried at all. Yet “Beasts of No Nation” induced tears.
I didn’t cry at the scenes where you’d expect me to cry. When the protagonist, a young boy named Agu, witnesses the murdering of his family, I didn’t cry. When Agu is forced by his commanding officer to kill innocent women and children, I didn’t cry. When Agu was raped by his commander, I didn’t even shed a tear. Oddly, I cried during the happy ending. I cried when Agu rushes into the ocean with his friends, a moment that signifies growth and the prospect of hope.
I arrived in Cambridge last August a wide-eyed freshman from a beach town in southern California. I had a distinct style. It was half anti-establishment and half The Weeknd wannabe. I wore, and still predominately wear, minimal color. In fact, in the first week of college, my roommate told me my closet looked like that of a cartoon character because it was literally all white, gray, or black t-shirts. Same style choices go for my shoes, jackets, and sweatshirts. I do get a little crazy with my socks, but that’s about it.
At first, I found what east coasters wore to be comical. I chuckled when I saw my buddy show up to class in white loafers, blue shorts with pink whales on them, a white Lacoste belt, and a pink Lacoste button-down. But when winter hit, I was not prepared to deal with the preponderance of L.L. Bean Boots on my classmates’ feet.
Even after Sunday’s loss, it’s impossible to watch Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton play football and not be enthralled. He is dynamic, versatile, and extremely talented. He is a showman who is not afraid to make himself the center of attention, from dancing after a score to posing on the sideline with rappers before the game starts. But to many, this showmanship is the subject of major criticism.
I find this whole phenomenon odd—I can see how his posing for a picture before a game might open him up to criticism not being “in the zone," but the critique of his celebrations seems baseless to me. It is harmless for a man to do a dance move after a first down, yet this exact behavior has spawned “think of the children” letters and the disdain of countless commentators. I have trouble comprehending how dancing ignites indignation in the 21st century.