by clairetattersfield & estherrosen
art by ivy babson
People say that things heat up in summer (sorry), and this summer and its inevitable shitstorm did not disappoint. It didn’t help that Mercury was in retrograde for much of it, and to put it delicately, things got weird. Locally and internationally, personally and professionally, things got weird.
At first, the nation was optimistic. The president spent so much time in the winter on vacation, it would follow to hope that he would spend the whole summer on some secret private island paved with gold-leafed nuggets accompanied by golden showers.
Then Kanye West happened. Four albums, four weeks, sponsored by a veritable tweet-storm that set the tone decidedly for the rest of the summer; top hits included “Google dopamine” (May 21) as well as his real-time book that he started to write on Twitter and then promptly stopped. If this is indicative of the way the summer ended up, it’s only fitting that the first track on Ye was “I Thought About Killing You.” Same, Kanye, same.
This wouldn’t be a front page article if it didn’t mention the foreign overlord and world-renowned car-launcher, Elon Musk. A pivotal moment in the summer was when a Thai youth soccer team was found, trapped in a cave for over a week, more emaciated than the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue. An international rescue team of divers, engineers, nutritionists, and disaster-relief professionals aided in the rescue operation. No, Musk doesn’t fall under any of these categories (except maybe engineer, when Mercury isn’t in retrograde), and despite no one asking, decided that he was on the case.
And so he pledged to make a chunk of small space garbage of the car-launching variety to help in this effort. Before said submarine was even built, all of the boys and their coach were rescued. To commemorate his half-assed effort, Musk quite literally abandoned a pile of space garbage at the mouth of the cave. Thailand has asked him to remove it. He has ignored their calls. Oh, and Flint still doesn’t have clean water. Surprise!
Who can forget our dear leader and his presidential twitter dumps? They range from short and sweet (see his “TREASON!” tweet from the other day) to threatening foreign powers with whom we already have a rocky relationship (see his all-caps attack to the President of Iran, utilizing the full 280 characters and the threatening language one would associate with a 3rd grader’s first fight).The executive branch continues to crumble, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade-style. Paul Manafort testified before Congress, and the Mueller investigation continues in full force despite the president actively obstructing justice along the way. ICYMI: part of the investigation is his habit of obstructing justice. *long sigh*.
In terms of local news, the university experienced quite the shake up as we lost both the president of the university and his trusty sidekick. We still mourn the passing of President Tucker the Therapy Dog and the resignation of his longtime friend and companion, Tom Sullivan. That is, the only evidence of Tucker’s passing was an announcement from the Wellness Environment. And not to name names, but Jim Hudziak has been talking about having him stuffed ever since WE was founded in a cloud of Apple watches and disordered eating.
Despite the odds never being in his favor, Gary Derr was still able to shoot out his biweekly email blast whenever he got a whisper of wifi access in his cave under the print and mail center in the basement of Waterman. It’s unclear what his email blasts said and say, because the water tower has a bet for how long the staff can go without reading them. From what we’ve heard, his emails are longer and less riveting than the iTunes terms and conditions, but they always end with “Please get me out of here, Gary Derr”.
And against all best efforts, thoughts and prayers, Satanist rituals, Alex Jones’s Infowars, and perhaps even worse, The Odyssey Online continue to spew their typical pabulum. Evidently @Jack, twitter founder and gaping maw in the middle of the Tatooine Desert, permitted the continued existence of neo-nazis (the likes of Richard Spencer) and Alex Jones to continue exercising their free speech rights. Oh yeah, did we mention that the White Supremacists are still a thing?
Whether or not the world sucks a little bit more, less, or just differently is open to debate. And it certainly depends on the time of day, day of the week, and whether or not somewhere in the world an underpaid assistant has wrangled an iPhone from a power hungry self-obsessed twitter tyrant (could be the likes of Kanye West, Elon Musk, or our current president). However, this paper exists to provide a commentary of the shit that happens around the world or on campus. You could say we want to make information more digestible– and yes, our paper is edible. Or if you’re feeling creative, our papers make wonderful paper mache. Or kindling for a roaring fire. We’re multipurpose! Welcome back to the water tower, and may God have mercy on our souls.