Amidst the frenzy and politicking that has come to define much of Donald Trump’s presidency, whether it be the buzz surrounding the 35 day government shutdown or the latest Twitter fight, there exists the resurgence of a political “tendency” that has existed throughout history: that of populism. Populism generally refers to a political sentiment wherein…
Let’s say I am laying in my bed in unlaundered sweatpants as I watch “Titanic,” or “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before,” an updated version of the forbidden love story archetype. As I inattentively watch these idealized romances play out on my laptop, I rapidly drag my finger right on my phone screen, affirming my attraction to a promising mirror selfie of a decent-looking Stanford student without a creepy or arrogant bio. In this *hypothetical* scene, something feels a bit wrong about my desire for instant gratification and my yearning for a scenario similar to that of the people slowly falling in love on the dusty laptop screen in front of me.
Over the past few years, VII has built an impressive resume both at Stanford and his native Chicago — one that speaks to an artistic spirit and skill beyond his years, fueled by a dedication to his craft and a relentless pursuit of new creative avenues. You may have seen him performing at Blackfest in 2018, where he opened for 2 Chainz; he competed in the Stanford Concert Network’s Battle of the Bands in January of this year, and he was featured at Kairos’ Wine & Cheese night in November. Maybe you’ve heard the two mixtapes he dropped on Soundcloud this summer, in addition to Marketable Melancholy.
“STANFORD THREATENS LIMITS ON NUMBER OF CS MAJORS,” the sensationalist all-campus email newsletter The Fountain Hopper (better known as The FoHo) alerted readers in fall 2016, during my freshman year. There wasn’t a lot of substantiating evidence beyond the fear mongering title, and the information was later revealed to be false. Nevertheless, a panic ensued in my freshman dorm, although most of my friends were a ways away from even thinking about declaring.
This is not what a Stanford education is supposed to look like, I remember thinking. It was only my third week at the University when my entire freshman dorm had marched off to the annual Fall Career Fair held in White Plaza. I wandered through its rows aimlessly, unsure of what I, without a single grade on my transcript, was meant to offer the nicely dressed recruiters, waiting eagerly for me behind their well decorated booths. The thought of my summer internship or first job had barely crossed my mind; as for me, school had just barely begun.
Last April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg sat, sweating, before a Congressional panel. Under scrutiny was how a British political consulting firm had gained access to the private data of more than 50 million Facebook users while, in the meantime, Russian operatives leveraged the platform as a tool to interfere in the election of a U.S. president.
What the fuck did we just do? Sophia Sterling-Angus ’19 remembered thinking to herself, staring at the numbers on her laptop screen last fall. 13 hours prior, she and Liam McGregor ’20 sent a survey called “The Stanford Marriage Pact” to around ten Stanford email lists and group chats. Around a hundred questions poked shamelessly at students’ intimate values, ranging from “How kinky do you like your sex?” to “Are you comfortable with your child being gay?”
“I lost the Google!” my 80-year-old grandmother once told my dad over the phone. “I turned on my computer, and it was gone. I don’t know where it went.”