Letters from the Editor – Life in the ‘upside-down’

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It’s cliche to say “I need a drink” in response to the events of 2016, but I find myself thinking it regularly. Just when I think this year can’t get any stupider, some new idiocy surges into the spotlight. It’s hardly even surprising anymore.

You’re probably well aware of the campus events that fit the bill. Revelations about the handling of title IX cases had me “mad online” for lack of a better term when I penned my editorial last week. But as our coverage of this issue continues — you’ll find a story about the chancellor’s forum in this paper — it was surpassed as the dumbest thing on campus over the Halloween weekend.

I’m not sure why a gun had to be drawn over access to a party or whether it was firing blanks, but the trauma it caused the residents of Cutler was quite real. We’re at least lucky that it was idle foolishness and a mere handgun, but it served as all too real a reminder of just how frequent and nonsensical gun violence is in this country in general, and on campuses in specific.

For all the stupidity that permeates campus, though, it’s but a small whiff of national affairs. The presidential election in particular has been a non-stop idiocy festival for going on two years now, and even with the “big day” a week out, it shows no signs of slowing down. Racism, xenophobia, overt corruption and fringe politics have all taken center stage this year. And if that wasn’t bad enough, emailgate is back and better than ever thanks to Anthony Weiner’s compulsive penile photography (Copy Editor’s Note: I begged him not to use this phrasing). If you told me four years ago this would be the course of the next presidential election, I would have laughed in your face.

Things are no better on the international stage. Just today (at the time of this writing), South Korea has been rocked by a governmental scandal of their own. Corrupt heads of state are nothing new, certainly, but in this case it’s asserted that their president is under the sway of — get this — a shaman and cult leader who may rule behind the scenes by way of a secret council of 8 women.

A shaman and cult leader. Just let that sink in for a little bit. The closest we can swing here in the states is a televangelist or the occasional secret society common to elites. (Consider the Bush’s Skull and Bones ties or last year’s Piggate in the UK.) But a full-on Korean lady Rasputin? I don’t even know where to start.

The threads of our timeline seem to break down all the faster as 2016 draws ever nearer to its close. I’m hoping for a brief respite over Thanksgiving, and, in my grandest dreams, a return to sanity as of Jan. 1. Until that time, I’ll just keep hoping the operator hears me as I cry, “stop the world, please, I’d like to get off!”

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