News: Kony 1986

I opened my Facebook yesterday and was greeted by a flood of Kony 2012 faces all over my news feed. I watched the 30 minute documentary, and then thought about it for a bit. How did a 25-year-old conflict suddenly become so popular? How did the video go viral? Of all the documentaries I’ve seen, this was definitely nowhere near the top. And it’s not like Joseph Kony just abducted hundreds of children; he’s been doing it for a while now. Yet obviously, regardless of all that, it’s an amazing cause. It’s not like Invisible Children are greedy pigs. They unquestionably have good intentions, and while they do glorify themselves a bit too much, they are clearly trying to do good… continue reading →

News: Forgetting History, Remembering the Future

I have always believed that history is a critical tool in understanding present-day issues, and that everyone should have a good, basic, knowledge of history. But sometimes, while it is valuable in understanding the present, it is a great obstacle to moving forward.  Such is the case in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Because in most of the arguments presented about the issues that the region faces today, one invariably calls upon history: whether as evidence that the only agreement Palestine will accept is war or to demonstrate Israel’s past illegitimacy as a nation. And so as much as I love history and believe it is incalculably important, in this case, it is completely useless… continue reading →

News: 9/11 – A Legacy of Manipulation?

The day is September 11th, 2001. I am certain that you are familiar with the details, but I will rehash them for those of you that are not. It is a bright morning, indistinguishable from any other. The seemingly innumerable citizens of New York City maneuver through the tangled lattice of avenues and catacombs of subways and tunnels that form the city’s public transit apparatus. The streets are permeated with the sounds of everyday life: dogs barking, casual conversation, children’s laughter..continue reading →

News: The Stick – or Throwing Carrots to the Crowd

In the wake of the 2011 Tottenham riots, social media exploded as subliminal fears of anarchy erupted in the populace, myself included. I remember staying up late into the night watching twitter and the BBC news website for updates. After about 1:00 am, little happened, but many social commentators then gushed forth on the subject. The debate on the cause and cure, and indeed what actually happened, is still going on, but it is becoming increasingly irrelevant… continue reading →

News: An Unpredictable Future for Libya

Finbarr O'Reilly for ReutersAs I watch the recent events unfolding in Libya, I find it hard to decide what the ideal outcome would be. On the one hand, I am excited for the rebels, who have finally taken down an oppressive regime and now have a shot at creating a new Libyan democracy. On the other, I am frightened for what is to come. The future is full of uncertainty for Libyans of all walks of life. There are too many different forces at work for any kind of accurate prediction… continue reading →