Tag Archives: Elon University

This week in The Pendulum…

For the first issue of the summer, the opinions section will have a nice little balance of that warm, fuzzy optimism that you’ve grown accustomed to reading in other publications, and the typical grizzled, commentary that tends to dominate the editorial pages. If you’re on campus (all three of you) then pick up your copy on Wednesday, but if not, take a look on the Internet. I heard it’s the hip, new thing.

As for a few sneak peeks at this week’s content…

  • Learn about the humility and honor in charity, no matter how small the contribution may seem.
  • Can Obama’s new “Can’t we all get along?” policy for the Middle East accomplish anything?
  • Reality TV doesn’t just hurt the pride of super models and the crotches of the contestants on “Wipeout.”
  • The revolution in Iran will be televised, and the West can do nothing but watch.
  • Hard times don’t mean that deplorable behavior is inevitable, it means that ideologues will have an excuse for their depravity.
And find out just what this cat and his bumper car have to do with Obama's economic policies...

And find out just what this cat and his bumper car have to do with Obama's economic policies...

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Filed under Business, Culture wars, Elon, Government, Hollywood, International, Iran, Media, Military, Morgan, Obama, Pendulum, Religion

Everything you need to know until tomorrow…

I’m actually not sure why I’m blogging right now, the weather’s brilliant, obligations have freed up a bit and that sensation of stepping into the vast unknown of an unstructured summer break is keeping me on my toes. Nonetheless, the rest of the world is moving on, and Elon’s doing its best to keep up.

  • An issue near and dear to Elon’s heart is the matter of Dr. Ocek Eke being denied tenure, a matter that has from the very get-go struck me as incredibly suspicious. By not speaking out about it, the University has allowed rumors and accusations to fly about the campus, with a great deal of the student body genuinely comfused as to why such a high-quality professor is being let go. Yes, he’s highly political, but his advocacy doesn’t just serve a bully pulpit, but he works tirelessly to improve the world around him. There’s something to be said for those who don’t just pencil push and wallow in academia, but instead try to demonstrate the power of the individual in the political landscape. For more info, click here for some Pendulum coverage.
  • Stop the presses. President Obama has shaken hands with Hugo Chavez, further cementing his reputation as a horrible communist. As we all know, the proper way to deal with a foreign leader we don’t agree with is to leer at them from across the table, and pretend not to when they look in your direction.
  • Of course, the major issue everyone on campus is buzzing about is Pirate Bay’s founders being found guilty, and sentenced to millions of dollars in payments they can’t possibly afford as well as up to a year in jail. We can pitter and patter about whether or not the court made the right decision, but like it or not, the decision is most likely going to stay. The implications that arise from this are far-reaching and could signal the end of the pirating culture that has become the norm in the Internet. To be sure, there will always be Internet piracy, but it has reached a point now where it seems to be the norm, not the exception to download media illegally. By indicating that those who provide the means to pirate can be just as accountable as those who engage in the acts of privacy, the suppliers, the big guns are now being aimed at. Speaking of guns, by this similar logic, can’t gun makers be accountable for providing folks with the means to murder? Can drug companies be held responsibile if their products can be addictive? Can film companies be held responsible for emotional damages if a movie is terrible?

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Filed under Business, Crime, Elon, Government, International, Media, Obama, Pendulum

Cooperstown

All of this from that guy who hosted "The Mole!"

All of this from that guy who hosted "The Mole!"

Going into Anderson Cooper’s speech, I was a bit hesitant to let my expectations run wild. He is, after all, a highly public figure whose reputation always precedes him, but he’s also a television broadcaster who came in on a private jet. Sure, he’s always performed magnificently, but that inner cynic kept on poking with hints that maybe he’s allowed his celebrity to blunt his message.

This is the part where a writer typically goes, “Luckily, Cooper failed to disappoint,” but to say that seems to attribute his success on the podium and in the field not to his own intellect and will but to sheer chance. His speech, equally grisly and hilarious, was the product not of odds or a mere satisfaction of expectations. It was, instead, an inspiring and carefully-constructed gambit that felt off-the-cuff and unrestrained.

Seeing Leo shift about in his seat while Cooper talked about the depravity of the atrocities that he’s borne witness to across the world was strangely satisfying at a school such as Elon, where the meticulous upkeep of a rosy image seems to take a high priority (it was even more satisfying to hear a student praise Dr. Ocek Eke for trying to instill the same beliefs Cooper is heralded for, and to point out Elon’s inept decision to deny him tenure in such a crowded arena.)

There were the expected jabs at politicians (and quite a few at broadcast folks as well), and the feel-good story for any bewildered college student of how Cooper came to graduation not knowing what to do with himself and now, through force of will, has become an international paragon of journalistic excellence. But there was a darker current running beneath the speech, persistent reminders of the fragility of human life and the importance of its appreciation.

“Everything can fall apart and everything will,” Cooper said, summarizing a point touched upon earlier when he reminded the audience that in the case of a disaster, they could be in the same position that those suffering in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina endured.

Ultimately, the point of Cooper’s speech was to highlight the universality of human suffering and the indignities that run rampant across the globe. The image of anonymous bodies rotting unnoticed in the sun came about several times throughout the speech, and they in part give life to Cooper’s own mission of bearing witness to both joy and torment so that people’s stories may be heard. Mortality, Cooper reassured the audience, may limit what we can do, but it creates the importance of life on both a grand and small scale.

Being able to realize that the world doesn’t end at the coasts, when the news broadcasts end for the evening or when we find ourselves in the comforts of luxury, that the global human experience is a tale of despair and from that despair is born the triumph that gives birth to life even from the corpses of the slain, the malnourished and privileged alike.

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Filed under Elon, Media, Morgan