Viewpoint: What we missed covering while on break

Many events have happened between our last issue and now, and like the newsy folk we are, we like getting in our say on everything that might be of interest to our fellow college students. Unfortunately, that’s a bit difficult when we’re busy basking in the glow of no homework and celebrating/ignoring final grades.

So in the spirit of extensive and thorough news coverage, we thought we’d hit on a few of the biggest events that have cropped up in the short time we’ve been off enjoying a bit of between-semester bliss.

Boston Marathon Bombings: It may be old news, but we’re still hearing about it. For example, some of the most recent news with this ranges from heart-warming stories of one of the victims and his rescuer throwing the first pitch at a Red Sox game last week to less-thrilling information about video support for similar bombings from Al-Qaeda.

If you went to certain parts of the Internet during the initial incident, you might have seen talk about immigration. The Boston Bombing brothers were immigrants from an area in Russia that kept getting mistaken for another country, because apparently no one knows how to use Google.

Many initial reactions were along the lines of “All those immigrants are causing problems. We should close our borders and tighten immigration laws!” (OK, the wording was different, but that was the general idea.)

Well, remember that iconic picture of a man in a cowboy hat rushing alongside a wheelchair carrying a badly injured victim? Remember how the man was lauded as a hero? His name is Carlos Arredondo, and he’s an immigrant. For a time, he was even undocumented. One of his sons died serving the U.S. military in the Iraq War. And just last week, he and the victim in the wheelchair from the picture threw the first pitch at a Red Sox game.

Every country has people who do bad things. There’s a definite line between villain and hero, and how/if/when someone got citizenship status is not and should never be a defining factor. So, to all who think foreigners are the root of all our problems, we disagree. And we also present to you . . .

“Iron Man 3”: OK, we shamelessly liked the movie for the most part. And no, we don’t think the Mandarin (one of the most iconic comic-book villains of all time) was “ruined.” Merely updated.

For those who aren’t familiar with the comic-book version, the Mandarin is a Chinese-born, highly trained genius with superpowers from 10 rings of alien technology. In the new movie, he’s (SPOILER WARNING!) initially portrayed as a foreign terrorist threat, only for the real threat to be revealed as a white guy within our own borders. They even put in a line about the horrific destruction of American Indians by white soldiers, illustrating and foreshadowing that even white guys can be the bad guys.


Yahoo bought Tumblr: For those unfamiliar with it, Tumblr is a popular micro-blogging social site. Yahoo is . . . well, we’re not too sure what it is nowadays. All we know is that whenever it buys popular startups, it’s as close to a death sentence as a website can get.

We’d like to believe that Yahoo can maybe turn itself around, but its track record says otherwise. Seriously, how is it going to make back all that money through a site where users spend their time blogging cats and their latest feels over the most recent “Game of Thrones”? Although perhaps the most interesting thing circulating the site right now is . . .

Turkish Revolution: So there’s this park in Istanbul. It’s the last park, actually. And the prime minister wants to tear it down and build a shopping mall. The people do not agree, and the only way for them to get their opinion out is to host peaceful protests with tents and peace and books and peace. Well, the prime minster doesn’t like that and decides to send out the police, with high-speed fire hoses and tear gas and intent to cause as much damage as possible, even if it means death or permanent blindness.

Turkey is not happy with their government. Thousands upon thousands of protestors are swarming the streets. If you get the chance, look up the pictures. One in particular shows a wide street crowded with people from sidewalk to sidewalk for blocks as they approach a police barricade.

And what is Turkey’s news doing? Well, they’re talking about cats, apparently. And cooking shows. Because their government has such a tight hold on the press that nothing about this can get through. There is no free media in Turkey. But there is social networking. For all the bad rep they get at times, sites like Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter are rallying people together to fight injustice, censorship and violence like they’ve been doing for years.

Social networking sites are a very powerful tool when used the right way. And good for people who do.

IRS Scandal: Truthfully, we could write a separate, lengthy column about this one topic alone. In fact, we probably still will, because it’s an ongoing investigation, and we’re sure some more interesting information will pop up in the coming weeks.

No matter where you might fall on the political spectrum, there’s some lessons to be learned and thought about here. After extensive Googling on our part, we’ve realized that many of the claims and evidence are being dressed up by the media to make it seem a bigger deal than it maybe is. Conservatives, for the most part, are rallying around it, claiming injustice, discrimination and government corruption.

And what does the general public think? Well, the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says they care about the scandal, but they’d rather the government focus on stuff like, say, the economy and jobs. You know, stuff that directly relates to them. It’s difficult to focus on discrimination against a party stereotyped as rich and white when people can’t even feed their families.

This is by no means a comprehensive list of all the things we’ve missed on the break. If you’re thinking about it, though, odds are we are too. Guess you’ll just have to keep tuning in to the Viewpoint this summer.