We all know how elections go: the most polarizing candidate or the bland incumbent often wins with less than half the overall vote, or the race has so many candidates that just a few hundred votes decide the winner. In 2016, Trump won the Republican primaries with 1,543 delegates, well over half. However, he won only 44.95% of the popular vote. Flash forward to 2020, my own congressional district, Massachusetts’ 4th, had a nine-candidate Democratic primary. First place Jake Auchincloss beat second place Jesse Mermell, 22.4% to 21%, a margin of 2,145 votes in a race with over 157 thousands total. The other candidates had vote totals in the thousands, well over the 1.4% difference. These results are not representative, and in the case of Trump, these ‘plurality’ wins can be disastrous. How do we stop such close wins and candidates who thrive on a minority of the electorate? The answer is ranked-choice voting.
Today was my first day back in in-person classes. After grabbing a mid-morning iced coffee at The Sink, I sat down in a big, comfortable blue armchair in the Mayer Campus Center. As I bent back the pages of Edith Wharton’s “The Age of Innocence” (1920), I was transported to 19th-century New York City. Despite my fascination with her commentary on the complex inner workings of the city’s upper echelon, I couldn’t help but notice a tour group out of the corner of my eye. The spirited guide took a big step up onto a bench, and I had a moment of realization: I really am a Tufts student.
During the formation of Israel, aspects of two distinct cultural groups — European Ashkenazi Jewish people and Arabic Mizrahi Jewish people — were fused to form a shared national identity within the supposed Jewish homeland. However, Israeli society remains hierarchical; many Ashkenazi Jewish Israeli individuals have long suppressed both Mizrahi Jewish individuals and Palestinians, who claim indigeneity over much of Israel but have long been confined to the margins of Israeli society by the government.
Everyone has suggestions for how national politics should be run, but with my background in independent journalism, civic education and opinion and interview podcasting, I have the experience of explaining complex topics, starting conversations, and promoting new ideas. This is “A Better Consensus.”
In a world with hurricanes of Herculean force, pandemics that have jolted the globe and politics arguably more divisive than ever before, we as global citizens are forced to tackle life in our own unique way. Along each of our individual journeys we are accompanied by vastly different sets of environmental factors creating a society that lights up each of our senses, with no two people absorbing sights, sounds and smells in exactly the same way. When facing the respective adversities that life sends us, it is quite simple to get lost in the big picture, stuck in the clouds. Yet, what if we were to take just a moment to get lost in the minutia, immersed in the details that create the diversity that colors our landscape’s vibrant hues?
Wishing my life was a TV show has the same energy as romanticizing trips to Costco and pretending The Sink baristas are the archetypal “popular kids.” Although I don’t need it, I just want an excuse to battle through song ("Glee," (2009–15)) and speak in an Irish accent ("Derry Girls," (2018–)) and drink coffee for lunch ("Gilmore Girls," (2000–07)). Instead, this column is my chance to ramble, uninterrupted, about TV shows I love and to imagine myself as the Athena to Ryan Murphy’s Zeus (i.e. a screenwriter’s brainchild).
A DJ once told me that mixing techno or house during a set is easier than mixing pop or hip-hop songs due to the similarity in beats and repetition, as well as the anti-teleological nature and layering characteristics of house and techno tracks. The difficult part is how to perfectly master the grand rhythm of buildups and drops in order to keep the audience hooked to the evolving repetitions. If the whole night of music is graphed in terms of its excitement, then it should look like a flow of slowly ascending waves.
For this last column, I asked my friends to share a bit of what they’re looking forward to as a post-pandemic world starts to come into focus. They sent me songs of rumination, rest and, most of all, celebration. This is part 2; part 1 is available at tuftsdaily.com.
It’s equally hilarious, terrifying and heartbreaking, which is a rare (and difficult) combo to achieve. And considering the fact that it’s about a hit man, it has some of the wildest cold opens that I’ve ever seen on TV. These cold opens do not only set the tone for how each episode will play out, but also point out the ridiculous nature of it all — that we’re essentially rooting for a hired killer to succeed, find love and be happy. The concept is ridiculous, but when it takes place in a world that's as ridiculous to the characters as it is to us, you find yourself in the unique position of relating to a hit man.
What I like about vinyl stores is that I need to be prepared to handle the disappointment of failing to find the record I want, but at the same time, I never know what I will discover by sheer chance. The burst of joy after flipping through arrays of vinyl and all of a sudden spotting a favorite album or a non-mainstream artist can light up my day.
When Jess asked me to write for this column this week, I realized something that I hadn’t before; a large number of my friends, even those I’ve been tight with for a lot of my college life, don’t know what my music taste is. The truth is, I usually keep my favorite songs private because I think they’re best appreciated in moments alone. I like to reserve my music for late-night walks back home from the Daily office, or long nighttime drives in California.
The story opens with Reed Richards speaking at a “TED Talk” analog at “Singularity 2010,” which seems to be going well until Reed seems to go off-script. He begins to berate his fellow scientists, proclaiming, “You fear tomorrow.” As such, Reed decides to form the eponymous “Future Foundation”: a collection of young and brilliant minds from around the Marvel universe to solve the problems of the "tomorrow" that his colleagues supposedly fear.
Despite a vinyl revival in recent years, classic vinyl records are still deemed obsolete in the mainstream, as modern technologies and the digital world sift them out. But they are still there, lining up quietly and unyieldingly, in boxes organized by genre, protected and loved by a small population of firm supporters.
"The City Saga" really is a breath of fresh air for a superhero comic, allowing for moments of calm reflection and study. The climate feels less like our heroes are spoiling for a fight; rather they’re acting as anthropologists attempting to understand a unique pocket of their strange and wondrous world.
This is where "Once Upon a Time... in Hollywood" comes in. Was it the most critically acclaimed film of the year? No. A lot of people liked the film, but not as much as other nominees. But like I said, universal likeability doesn’t matter here because, at the end of the day, it’s Hollywood people who get to pick the winner — not average Joes. Considering that the title of this movie has “Hollywood” in it, I was pretty confident that it would take home the Oscar.
I revisited the show during my one-day spring break (thanks, Tufts!) by binging all four seasons of it on Hulu. Needless to say, I have a few questions, the biggest of which is: Who was the true protagonist of the show? And after many years of beating around the bush, I’ve come to decide that it’s Seth Cohen — contrary to popular belief.
VJs are visual artists who create and improvise videos for performances and live music events. My VJ project was abandoned, but I started to pay more attention to visuals during music events. Some of them were sublime in terms of design, composition, meaning and even beat-matching; some of them raised questions in my head.
Dear J: I know the dining hall workers work very hard but I just can’t bring myself to enjoy the food at Tufts. What can I do? Tufts has to cater to thousands of students, so sometimes that just means that the food has to be simple and inoffensive. I don’t know what year you’re in, but as I’ll be a sophomore next year, I am looking forward to cooking more if I’m able to score an apartment-style dorm with a kitchen.
When asked about my music taste, whether during an awkward first date or during pre-orientation duck, duck, goose, my answer was always the same — “Anything but country, really.” But through the haze of the last year (carrying my clothes in trash bags and dozens of pies out of Latin Way), I found my music taste through much trial and error, not understanding what I liked, and chasing the goosebumps. So now, when asked what music I like listening to, I answer, “weird … psychedelic … funky.” I like my music to not sound normal, to put you on edge as much as it soothes you.
The place is also much bigger than I imagined. It's not just a single room but almost a maze. The hallway connects several rooms together. From roaming in and out of rooms, looking at the style of the arches and the bricks on the wall, I was drawn to its structure. It's like a part of a bigger picture.