I am asked surprisingly often by customers if I have read every book in the Carleton Bookstore. As the General Books Manager in the store I have the good fortune to spend my days surrounded by titles that I would gladly devour. I am also frequently told that I have the ideal job because surely I must spend my day behind the counter reading to my heart’s content.
Mothers in the United States face the judgments of a culture that hesitates to consider the work of a mother as a legitimate job. There exists a general acknowledgement that the “work of a mother is never done” and yet there remains a crippling double standard faced by women who choose to become mothers.
The release of Grand Theft Auto IV has received significant media attention in the recent weeks. Critics are hailing the game as one of the best in industry history. For those of us who are not video game aficionados, Grand Theft Auto IV is a game where, according to IGN reviewer Hillary Goldstein, players will “blow up cop cars, run down innocent civilians, bang hookers, assist drug dealers and lowlifes and do many, many other bad deeds."
About five years ago, a group of Carleton staff members got together to write a column, “The Ethicist,” in order to encourage students to think on ethical issues. But soon, staff contributions waned, and the column was retired.
Yet, ethics is still of the utmost importance! For this reason, student-group EthIC (Ethical Inquiry at Carleton) is bringing back “The Ethicist.” We EthIC Associates will write on questions of ethical significance, ranging in scale from personal dilemmas to global concerns.
We urge you to contribute to this ethical endeavor. Send us your questions of ethical importance; or, if you wish to advance your own viewpoint on an ethical question, contact us about writing for this column. Please direct your questions (and answers) to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We hope to hear from you soon,
Michael Bonin, 2011
In Defense Of...Ethanol and its many opportunities: Reconsidering things that generally get a raw deal at Carleton
Rethink ethanol. Ethanol is biofuel made from corn. You can fill up your car with an 85/15% ethanol/gasoline mixture in Northfield (it’s especially popular in the Midwest, home of corn). Congress subsidized and encouraged production of ethanol just last winter. The goal was to produce enough ethanol by 2015 to replace 10 percent of our motor fuel. As a result of this and previous subsidies, ethanol has replaced food as the destination of much American corn. The portion of total U.S. corn plantings used for ethanol is expected to increase to 22 percent this year, up from 17 percent last year, according to the Department of Agriculture.
Ever since arriving in Northfield this past fall, I have noticed an interesting trend within the student body. For some reason, members of the Carleton community believe that they are part of some radically liberal movement or culture. They argue politics, work on humanitarian efforts, and they almost entirely fall on the left side of the political spectrum. But this student conceived perception of liberalism baffles me. Carleton College is no bastion of radical liberal thought, and our school is not a diverse political community. We are all part of a homogenous culture of the status quo.
Tocqueville and Numa: A Weekly Column by Peter Fritz and Tommy Walker: Stimulating student discourse: what’s wrong and how to fix it
Over the past few weeks we have been lamenting the lack of public discourse about governance at Carleton. Lack of a discourse across the student community may make it difficult, as we have illustrated, to express student goals and desires coherently and fairly.
Simplicity is the kind of virtue that we, in America, love to idealize as long as we don’t have to deal with it. We love Buddhism and Ikea for their simplicity. We enjoy imagining a hermetic life in the mountains of Montana, and we really like fantasizing about sitting around in some romantic part of France and sipping wine, which is what most French people do.
Unfortunately, life at Carleton is just too busy for this kind of thing. We have meetings all the time, we have jobs, we have practices and rehearsals, we play IM soccer games in leagues with an artificially soft-core level, and, of course, we have mountains of coursework. At least I do, and I tell myself that I crave simplicity. I actually spend most of my time when I’m not doing one of these time-intensive activities envying my friends who have more free time than I do, which is most of them.
I like a show. This show been called the best show on television by Time, has won a Peabody award for excellence in TV broadcasting. Its premise: a society is devastated and transformed by a catastrophic surprise attack. The enemy looks like us, lives in our very midst. Sounds great, you say. 24, you say. Band of Brothers, perhaps? No. Better. For now this show will go by the acronym BSG. For those who know or suspect what I’m talking about, bear with me.
Returning to her home in Newark, New Jersey from a night out in Greenwich Village, New York, fifteen year-old African-American lesbian Sakia Gunn and her friends were harassed by two men, and when they rejected the men’s advances, declaring themselves to be lesbians, the men attacked. Gunn resisted, leading one of the men to fatally stab her in the chest. Despite Gunn’s death being a clear example of a “hate crime” contextualized by multiple matrices of domination, her case received limited media attention. This neglect on the part of mass media as well as mainstream LGBT media contrasts with the resounding outcry that followed the murders of Matthew Shepard, a white gay man from Laramie, Wyoming, and Brandon Teena, a white transgender man from Lincoln, Nebraska.
It’s been a fun couple of years. I’m not sure that I can say that I’ll miss you next year, because I really won’t. We’ve had our ups and downs, buddy. Ok, ok, you’re right. They’ve been mostly downs. But you kept me at least mildly entertained every once in a while, right? I mean, you’re definitely going out with a bang - I mean. where did that Buffalo Chicken Meltdown come from? Seriously.