Sex and the City is the physical embodiment of everything that is wrong with the universe. Yes. I said everything. If you have not heard of Sex and the City, stop reading now; not because you won’t understand what is to follow, but because you are a filthy liar and I have no patience for you.
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I work at a record store and we have a listening counter on the basement level: a broad semi-circular counter with a half-dozen control panels and headphones jutting out of it at two-foot intervals. Customers stand about shoulder-length apart, skimming through the liner notes of a potential purchase, bopping their heads rhythmically.
Being a student sucks sometimes. Crazy stress, daily intellectual calisthenics, and intense sleep deprivation are all part of the day-to-day routine. By now, you’re probably used to the stress – you may even enjoy it on some level. Still, many of you, like me, have likely been wishing for a lighter course load since you started learning fractions, or at least for a break from homework that didn’t coincide with getting a summer job.
My name is androgynous. Upon hearing it, you cannot tell if I am a boy or a girl. Some people say that they can tell if they know how it’s spelled: Jessie is a girl and Jesse is a boy. I doubt my parents meant to spell my name the “boy” way, but I sometimes wonder whether it was a Freudian slip; whether somehow, even then, they knew.
Throughout my short life, friends and colleagues have often asked me why I wear a veil when I travel abroad, and why I choose to hold on to my Islamic values and Egyptian traditions. For some of them, this is something quite odd and surprising. I came to Canada a couple of years ago to pursue my PhD at McGill.
There is one massive economic difference separating ideas from physical goods: The marginal cost of an idea is now zero. If I eat a sandwich, you cannot also eat it, but once an idea, an essay, a song or a better web browser comes around, it can be shared, from anyone and to everyone, network to network, at a negligible additional cost.
Ann Coulter is a bit of a troublemaker, isn’t she? I’ve always had a love-hate relationship with the firebrand conservative columnist. A strong advocate for small government, Coulter is also an unapologetic advocate for Western society’s ethics. She decries the silencing tendencies of political correctness and never gives in to moral relativism.
Thanks to the great privilege afforded to me by living north of the 49th parallel, I find the American right really funny. The Bill O’Reillys, the “These Colours Don’t Run” American-flag T-shirts, and everything Fox News has to offer are far more entertaining and, frankly, far less disingenuous than the earnest approach to conservative ideas put forward by the “liberals” of the Democratic Party or our own Conservative Party of Canada.
Every year, the Students’ Society produces a handbook, largely for freshmen students. The handbook contains all sorts of useful information about university life, including, among other things, tips on surviving frosh, good places to eat and details on the SSMU health plan.
There are many areas in which France is worth emulating. The French have impressive universal health care, a generous day care system, and they enjoy a high standard of living. But unfortunately, the Parti Québécois and certain elements of Quebec society seem hell-bent on copying one of the worst aspects of French culture: religious paranoia.