Hate Country Music … Why?

By Hannah Quinque

Pho­to Cred­it: Car­ol M Highsmith

Con­fes­sion time: I like coun­try music. And no, I’m not being face­tious. And no, not just the alter­na­tive kind. Gimme a steel gui­tar, a ban­jo, and a slow south­ern drawl, and I’m jam­min’. When I put on the New Boots playlist, how­ev­er, I do get looks rang­ing from dis­be­lief to slight­ly annoyed to amused. Not that the reac­tion sur­pris­es me. As is the nature of stereo­types, there is some truth to them, but they also don’t cov­er all of the vast corn­field called coun­try music. And hon­est­ly, you don’t have to strain your ears (pun intend­ed) to pick up on all there is to hear.

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Free Verse Poetry or “how to play with unseen rackets”

By Maria Moss

Any­one can write free verse – or so the say­ing goes. Free verse poems are free from lim­i­ta­tions of meter, rhythm, or rhyme – all aspects that some­times cause grief to cre­ative writ­ing stu­dents. Most of my stu­dents are hap­py if, for once, they are free to fol­low their own ideas with­out hav­ing to pay atten­tion to what many per­ceive as the arti­fi­cial­i­ty of tra­di­tion­al rhymed and metered poet­ry. How­ev­er, even free verse poems are not void of artis­tic expression.

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Cancel Field Trips, Cancel Forest Rangers: The Every by Dave Eggers (2021)

By Sebastian Tants-Boestad

Dave Eggers’s best­selling tech dystopia, The Cir­cle (2013), has final­ly received a sequel. While The Cir­cle described the rise of a fic­ti­tious tech and social media com­pa­ny and its protagonist’s steady descent into the mael­strom of sur­veil­lance cul­ture, The Every now picks up a cou­ple of years lat­er, after the Cir­cle has acquired a big online retail­er “named after a South Amer­i­can jun­gle.” The result­ing mega cor­po­ra­tion, called the Every, is pret­ty much the monop­o­list in all things dig­i­tal tech – from apps to online shop­ping to cut­ting edge hard­ware. Of course, it’s every bit as scary and unlike­able as one would imag­ine it to be. 

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A Nude Dance

By Rizwan Wazir

New Year’s Eve is prac­ti­cal­ly upon us once again. Do you always feel guilty for being lazy and not ‘hav­ing fun’ on all the ‘impor­tant’ occa­sions? If so, then instead of curs­ing your­self or the uni­verse for your lone­li­ness, you can choose to be at peace. Instead of scrolling through the Insta­gram feeds of your friends, you can scroll through your own life his­to­ry. Here is a recipe that will make the night one to remem­ber, even if you’re all alone:

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Divided Country, Divided Family

By Levin Schüren

“Divi­sion” by Nick Youngson

Let’s just stop for a minute and reflect on a polit­i­cal, philo­soph­i­cal, or moral issue you’re wrong about. It ain’t that easy, right? But why not? The chance that you’re right on every top­ic you think and argue about is basi­cal­ly zero. Of course, if you knew you were wrong about some­thing you wouldn’t hold that belief or even preach it. When­ev­er some­body utters an opin­ion we don’t agree with, our minds go: How dare you believe that? Of course, you can shield your­self from such thoughts by avoid­ing opin­ions that dif­fer from yours. How­ev­er, that’s a bad idea. It’s impor­tant to talk to peo­ple, so let me give you some prac­ti­cal advice on how to do it. Espe­cial­ly since the hol­i­days are upon us, you’ll like­ly meet fam­i­ly mem­bers you haven’t seen in a while. So here comes an instruc­tion man­u­al on how to deal with that crazy aunt of yours who wor­ships con­spir­a­cy the­o­ries.  

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Santa vs. God – The Final Round

By Agata Mazurek

Pho­to Cred­it: Aga­ta Mazurek

Have you ever won­dered, between dec­o­rat­ing your Christ­mas tree and look­ing for presents, what for God’s sake you’re doing? The­o­ret­i­cal­ly, you’re sup­posed to be prepar­ing for Jesus’s birth­day, but do you actu­al­ly do it? Maybe you’re not even a Chris­t­ian. 

I don’t know why, but I have this strong feel­ing that most Chris­tians have for­got­ten ‘the rea­son for the sea­son’. Of course, we still cel­e­brate the birth of Christ, maybe even loud­er than before. Def­i­nite­ly ear­li­er than before. Shop own­ers so much love to cel­e­brate Jesus’s birth­day that they start their mar­ket­ing cam­paigns and pro­mote Christ­mas prod­ucts at the begin­ning of Sep­tem­ber already. I think God would be proud. There are, how­ev­er, more incon­sis­ten­cies.  

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