Week in review: laurels and darts
Protesters affiliated with movements like Occupy Wall Street are characterized far too often as the token “dirty hippies” — unemployed, degenerative and more concerned with loafing around with a picket sign than leading a productive lifestyle. The reason for this kind of mischaracterization is partly because of generalizations of the group’s demographics — which consist of more than just a bunch of “20-somethings” in unwashed cargo pants — and partly because of the movement’s apparent lack of direction. Indeed, little has been accomplished in the months since the conception of OWS. What these movements need to gain serious credibility is an accomplishment worthy of the public’s praise, like the newly founded 99 Percent Declaration Working Group’s planned “General Assembly,” set to take place on July 4 in Philadelphia. The group plans to elect delegates and draft a “petition for a redress of grievances,” and for this they deserve a laurel. Organized undertakings like this assembly may be just what movements like OWS and others need to foster the change they’re looking for.
Harassment in the workplace, household and public space is a problem. This is especially true at the University — though, it often comes masked behind a guise of “good fun.” We’ve all spent a night or two walking tipsily down Easton Avenue, and who hasn’t heard the borderline offensive attempts of a stumbling group of guys to hit on an equally intoxicated group of girls? But what we often don’t realize is that this type of conduct can be more serious than we think. That’s why Emily May has founded “Hollaback,” a website and movement aimed at stopping street harassment against women. The philosophy behind “Hollaback” is that people should stand against the abusive, distasteful treatment of women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer individuals, specifically in public spaces. We agree with May: No one should be subjected to such treatment. For this, May and the “Hollaback” movement deserve a laurel. Because let’s be real: Gwen Stefani was right. We know you ain’t no “hollaback” girl, girl.
If you haven’t heard the news yet, pop singers Chris Brown and Rihanna have recently reunited to collaborate on two new remixes. For those who don’t know the history behind these two individuals, this may seem fairly trivial. But for those who do, we share your astonishment, your bewilderment and your utter confusion. Brown brutally assaulted Rihanna in 2009 after a dispute the now ex-couple had that stemmed from a text message. While we still can’t believe the man’s career hasn’t since imploded, we’re at a loss for words as to why Rihanna would agree to such a thing. The Twitter messages from fans following the assault, saying things like “He can beat me anytime,” were frustrating enough. Not only is this news ridiculous, but it sets a bad example. How can someone charged with such an act still be viewed in a light that’s anything besides than plain repugnance? Forget it: They both deserve darts. Darts all around.
The stream of developments uncovering the depth and breadth of police corruption seems endless in recent months. Most recently is the discovery of a 22-year veteran of the Piscataway Police Department and his act of stealing cocaine from the department’s evidence office. Albert Annuzzi, the ex-evidence officer, pleaded guilty to third-degree official misconduct after he admitted stealing the cocaine for “personal use.” And this wasn’t a one-time deal: Annuzzi was found taking cocaine from the vault periodically over a 16-month period. On top of his two-year prison sentence, Annuzzi deserves a dart for his actions. Our adolescent fantasies have finally found some ground on which to stand: Police officers do indeed spend their time getting high off of the illegal substances they confiscate from the criminals they arrest.
Most Garden State winters tend to be quite brutal right on through February and into March. But this year has been kind to us all. The last two days gave University students across campus a chance to get out, bask in some sun and generally enjoy a little warmer weather. Now we don’t know about the rest of you, but we’re a fan of these kinds of days, and they came as a much-needed break from the more bitter temperatures. So we’re getting a bit metaphysical, and giving Mother Nature a laurel for granting us such pleasant weather. Everyone needs relief from the cold, as well as the default winter attire worn by what seems like every damn girl on campus — Ugg boots and a black North Face jacket.
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