The 2020 Democratic Primaries are currently crawling with candidates hoping to face off against Donald Trump for the presidential bid, but one candidate stands out among the crowd, lurking in the background, and he won't be for long.
Last October, while reading a David Foster Wallace short story entitled “Death is not the End” from his 1999 collection Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, I happened upon the following (very long, as is typical for DFW) sentence:
Ask an average republican what he or she believes are the most pressing issues facing the United States today. Chances are, you wouldn’t hear about our excess military spending or the fact that we dwarf the rest of the world in the categories of both mass incarceration and mass shootings. What you may hear, however, is that the United States has a drug problem and that the only inevitable solution to this problem—the only way the United States can finally defeat those wishing to pump their own bodies full of harmful substances they’ve used their own money to obtain—is to crack down even harder on drug users and imprison more people, helping to contribute to the mass incarceration issue mentioned earlier. An average democrat would likely have a different opinion on the most pressing issues facing the country, but would most likely still support the “War on Drugs” to an extent, maybe going as far as to say that recreational marijuana should be legalized nationwide while maintaining that “harder” substances should remain illicit. While I tend to side more with the democrats on this issue, I disagree with both of these stances, because I fundamentally disagree with their premise.
While reading a chapter of Excursions in World Music (2017) that was assigned for my music in world cultures class, I stumbled upon a sentence that struck me as a self-contradictory truth about Western, and more specifically North American, culture:
Last week, I was challenged to write an article arguing that Satan, as he is portrayed in the Bible, is actually the good guy. Thrilled by this opportunity to quite literally play devil’s advocate, I accepted the challenge. However, considering he’s been the universal symbol of evil for centuries, Lucifer proved himself to be quite easy to defend.
No series of books has impacted me more as a writer than the Harry Potter series. From the moment I first immersed myself in J.K. Rowling’s world of magic at eight years old, I’ve been captivated by it. By the end of my junior year of high school, I’d read the series six times—forwards, backwards, and out of order; within anywhere from the duration of a week to the duration of a year. I can therefore firmly say, as I look back wistfully but realistically on my nine-year obsession with the series, that I am unbiased—or at least as unbiased as a Slytherin whose Hogwarts letter is nearly nine years late can be.