The UWIRE Forum


Despite talent, Jackson’s bizarre life doesn’t merit celebratory coverage
June 26, 2009, 8:02 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Michael Warren

Michael Warren

The sort of navel-gazing occurring in the wake of Michael Jackson’s surprise demise is nothing new for pop music (see Kurt Cobain’s death 15 years ago). The ritualistic lauding of a pop star, replete with rebroadcasting music videos on cable news and mournful paeans to said star’s “importance”, is always about us and never about the star.

That has never been truer than for Jackson, and the grotesque worship of him over the past 24 hours reveals a lot about the generation who propelled him to stardom. It also serves as a lesson for our generation, if we’re willing to pay attention.

Michael Jackson was the last national music superstar. When the King of Pop reached his height in the 1980s, his fans included old white women from the suburbs and young black kids from the cities. He collaborated with artists as varied as Eddie van Halen, Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder. Jackson was a remnant of an era that started in the late 1950’s where America had a singular culture and when all Americans listened to the same music.

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For Millennials, Jackson was freak over ‘King of Pop’
June 26, 2009, 3:06 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

By Katherine Miller, guest columnist from Vanderbilt

Millennials only got to see the Michael Jackson that was a freak.

And even if we do comprehend the awesome 1980s version, we lack the context to appreciate the sheer enormity of his awesomeness at his height. If you can’t remember the beginning of something, it’s difficult to realize its perfection.

It requires a crazy, tremendous amount of effort to watch the 25th Motown anniversary performance or the Thriller video, or basically anything else Michael Jackson may have possibly been involved with, and not retroactively read into it like it’s some premonition of imminent doom.

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Michael Warren published in The National Review Online
June 25, 2009, 6:09 am
Filed under: Uncategorized

Eminent Domain in Reverse
D.C. interest groups seek to ‘preserve’ an eyesore.

Read the full article on The National Review Online.



Is Khamenei good for the West?
June 22, 2009, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Alex Knepper

Alex Knepper

The prospect of revolution circles the air in Iran. Rumors are swirling that Assembly of Experts leader Akbar Rafsanjani might be attempting some sort of administrative coup, while the specter of a Mir-Hossein Mousavi presidency still exists. The crowds chant the name of Mousavi — who fully supports the nuclear program Iran has going and sat on a founding board of Hezbollah in the early 1980’s — and many, if not most, seem to be there because they want him in charge, not because they want legitimate secular democracy. (These are a few of several possibilities; the truth is that we genuinely just do not know exactly what is going on.)

If Iran is indeed a year away from obtaining a nuclear weapon, it might, sad as I am to say it, be better if the status quo remains: better the devil we know, after all. Having either Mousavi and Rafsanjani in charge would amount to nothing more than a half-assed revolving-door pseudo-revolution and would serve no purpose but to buy the Iranians more time to come up with a nuclear weapon.

Rafsanjani has openly stated that he approves of the use of a nuclear weapon against Israel, should the Muslim world obtain one. The fact that the West wants to think of him as someone we can do businesss with is a testament only to how horrific the prospect of dealing with the Khameneists is.

Mousavi’s intentions, it should be said, are ambiguous even while Rafsanjani is more apocalyptic, but that’s irrelevant, if he wants nuclear weapons: they will exist for all time, not until the next presidency ends. Mousavi may be more favorably inclined toward women than Ahmadinejad, but as far as the West is concerned, we might just be talking about the difference between Hitler and a Hitler who thinks that women should be allowed to go to school: pretty irrelevant to the Jews. Nuclear weapons simply cannot be allowed to enter the Middle East.

Should Rafsanjani or Mousavi assume command, the West will be lulled into a false sense of security — a fully illusory change will have taken place. But what a beautiful illusion it will appear to us as!

Only a secular democratic state will earn my endorsement. I’m horrified to admit it, but if what these revolutionaries want is a Mousavi regime — or, worse, a Rafsanjani one — I’m afraid that, for the sake of the West and Israel, I must side with the status quo.



Policy solutions to fix 70 percent unemployment for recent grads
June 16, 2009, 7:43 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Chris Burks

Chris Burks

Ask any recent college graduate the most shocking statistic about our economic slump and you won’t get any percent GDP or loss of market capitalization number.

Instead, the cry of the college aged is summed up in this simple statistic: Nearly 70 percent of those graduating from college this year are estimated to not have a job.

While the seeming wizards of Wall Street cast blame on others as easily as a child waves a toy wand, the now defunct dark magic of collateralized debt obligations or credit default swaps looms large when nearly three-fourths of us don’t have a job. Fault should be apportioned, but we should also focus on the future. Yet, in the words of 2Pac, hip-hop’s first Icarus, “it’s on us to do what we gotta do, to survive… and still I see no changes.”

Change and survival are words this generation now knows all too well. They are also terms our nation of immigrants has embraced. We must continue to persevere through hard times by adopting those public policy solutions that work — wherever we may find them.

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Troubling that youth shun private sector for government work
June 16, 2009, 7:14 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Michael Warren

Michael Warren

In this economy, where’s a 20-something with a fresh bachelor’s degree supposed to find work? The federal government, apparently.

According to Reuters, college graduates are flocking to Washington in search of government jobs. The plight of businesses across the country can be summed up in two words: nobody in the private sector is hiring. The nation’s capital is one of the few areas where jobs are growing, no doubt due in part to the economic stimulus signed by President Barack Obama in February. So with Wall Street in turmoil and the rest of the private sector feeling the blowback, a government job seems like the easiest path to a steady income right out of college.

Reuters also finds a political aspect to the employment march on Washington, quoting a recent graduate named Britini Wilcher, who landed a job at a government consulting firm.

“It’s becoming trendy to take your community into your hands and give back, which is a good thing,” Wilcher said. “People are empowered by the current political climate.”

Is it any surprise that we’re finding more young people shunning the private sector for the public sector?

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Academia leading the fall of the intellectual class
June 11, 2009, 4:48 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized
Matt Cavedon

Matt Cavedon

Harvard. For most, the word conjures up an image of classicalism: British-tinged accents lecturing on about the glories of Rome, perhaps, or a group of neckties debating the relevancy of Aristophanes to the civil disobedience campaigns of the 19th century.

Sure, there is room for diversity: Harvard without discussion of campus radicalism in the ’60s or global trends in religious pluralism would seem equally empty, and Harvard sets the trends for what is both respectable and prestigious in American academia. But the decisions of Harvard’s programs in English, Classics, and Visual and Environmental Studies (VES, which is Harvard-ese for “art”) to abandon the canons of their fields in pursuit of greater “flexibility” are very troubling and indicative of an unwillingness to do the necessary work of judging the importance of various works and people.

The coming years will see considerable changes for humanities majors here at Harvard. Formerly required survey courses in British Literature for English majors are now gone, replaced by a smattering of courses from a buffet of required but loosely-defined subfields of study, like “Arrivals” and “Diffusions.” It is disappointing that Dickens, Eyre, Bronte, Blake, and Milton are now deemed merely optional. To think that an English student could avoid them and still make it out with a full degree seems like overindulgence in student liberty.

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