Week in review: laurels and darts
Facebook has been praised for its role in the massive revolution in Egypt, and now the website itself is taking steps to affect more social change. Users will now be able to choose from two previously unavailable relationship statuses: "in a civil union" and "in a domestic partnership." Given that Facebook is becoming more integrated into the normal operations of everyday life, it is conceivable that this move will help open people's eyes to the acceptability of alternative relationships. Hopefully, a day will come when everyone, regardless of their gender or sexuality, will be allowed to claim marriage as their relationship status. But even though that day unfortunately has not arrived yet, this is certainly a step in the right direction. For proving that they are indeed open to everyone, the men and women of Facebook receive a laurel.
Sometimes, it feels like the Republican Party does not care about the poor and the unemployed. Need proof? Consider that, once again, Republicans in the House of Representatives have decided to ignore the plight of the jobless and vote down legislation proposed by Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., which would extend unemployment benefits and give an extra 14 weeks of aid to those who have been unemployed for six months or longer. Despite Lee's command that the House not "resort to parliamentary maneuvers to block help to the unemployed," Rep. Denny Rehberg, R-Mont., did just that. How does the GOP expect the United States to ever right itself if they refuse to lend a helping hand to those who are most in need? We are tired of the GOP's constant "pull yourself up by your own boot straps" rhetoric. Sometimes, people need help — and there is nothing wrong with that. For essentially ignoring the hardships many people are facing in the United States today, the GOP receives a dart.
It may be cliché, but the saying rings true — desperate times call for desperate measures. Just ask the estimated 30,000 people who rallied in front of the Wisconsin Capitol building in response to Gov. Scott Walker's proposed bill that would deal a great blow to public unions in the state. If that is not enough to prove the aphorism's truth, consider the Democrats who literally fled the state in order to prevent the passing of the bill. That is dedication. It is great to see people taking it to the streets and fighting for their rights. Perhaps they were inspired by what the Egyptians achieved? Whatever the case, both the protestors and the Democrats who fled receive laurels for standing up — albeit dramatically, in the case of the politicians on the lam — for what they believe in.
What happens when American literature is turned into a Super Nintendo-style video game? In the case of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby," it ends up being a lot more fun than you would think. Of course, it will never replace actually reading the book, but we are confident that Fitzgerald would have been proud of this rollicking, action-packed adaptation of his powerhouse novel. It is a great way to kill time and seem cultured. Although, there is significantly less laser shooting in the source material, so keep that in mind if you decide to use the game as a substitute for the real thing. If "Gatsby" is not enough, there is a "Waiting for Godot" video game available for free on the Internet as well. Both of these games receive laurels for translating classic works of art into funny and highly enjoyable video games.
Because of a rather impressive budget-related impasse between the House and the Senate, it looks like the United States is headed for a federal government showdown. This is a pretty significant example of how little progress the nation has made toward bipartisanship. It seems to be a buzzword in the political realm on the tip of every politician's tongue, and yet, no one seems to actually be working toward it. Instead, the people get to watch two fiercely divided sides yell at each other and talk a lot of nonsense. The fact of the matter is, bipartisanship would be a great thing, but we will only arrive there once both sides begin taking steps to meet each other. For butting heads instead of taking steps to solve budget problems together, the House and the Senate receive darts.