Monthly Archives: October 2015

The Self Made Man in the Last Great American Election

In our ASTU 100A class, we’ve viewed life narratives through many lenses, but I wanted to look at politics and the story of a man andideals he’s always fought for.

American politics is simultaneously the greatest show of democratic freedom and the biggest circus-like sideshow in the world today. It’s candidates, ranging from former First Lady Hillary Clinton to the controversial businessman Donald Trump have revealed the degredation to which the election process has suffered. It’s become a reality show, where we’ve become more interested in their hairstyles and emails than the actual issues at hand. However, there’s an outlier this election cycle and it’s his self-invention into a charismatic man who believes deeply in the equalization of the classes that grabs our attention and interests us in the issues at hand. The man in question is Senator Bernie Sanders.

Sanders was born in Brooklyn to Jewish immigrants in Poland in 1941. He was part of a working class family, and as a result of that began to involve himself in civil rights. Not only around his university but around the country, as evident by him being present at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Bernie has been quoted by the Guardian newspaper as seeing unfairness, which led to it being one of his main political inspirations. He’s been involved in political office since the 1970’s, only being part of the House of Representatives since the 1990’s, then switching to the U.S. Senate in 2006. Known for his status as an Independent as well as his own reverent ability to acknowledge the wrongdoings of both parties, he resisted against both Bush tax cuts and helped to advocate for a universal health care system.

While Bernie’s opinions and values seem to clash with other political parties and entire regions of the U.S., it’s his his continuing, endearing nature that makes many Americans, myself included, look to Sanders as the perfect candidate for this generation. His policies, actions, and history of advocacy against the economic elite make him the voice of college graduates, families, and young professionals from one coast to another. His record of voting against the status quo since the 1970’s allows us to trust him not only because we believe in what he says , but because of the evidence to affirm our own feelings.

Senator Sanders calls himself a democratic socialist, but in my opinion, I believe he’s a true democrat.  He is by definition a supporter of democracy in a society that I believe has all about done away with it. If Sanders is unable to receive the nomination, the greatness of the U.S. election system, it’s history as the once ideal system to which many other countries have modeled themselves is undoubtedly flawed, but nearly gone. It’s quite interesting actually, to see the self made man taking on the elites in what may be the last great American election where the restoration of democratic ideals may occur, or perhaps fade forevermore.


A Field Trip with the President and a Comedian

After a lengthy, tiresome trip to the UBC Bookstore, I settled upon a memoir written by the then U.S. senator from Illinois, now current U.S. President Barack Obama. This memoir being his second known as The Audacity of Hope, Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream  through which Obama highlights such understanding and bipartisanship that he believes is hopeful and can give Americans the best going forward. My eye was immediately drawn to the look of the book, and the stance that the President takes in it. He’s leaned over, hardly smiling, wedding ring prominent and without a tie, giving a semi- formal look about him. Furthermore, the term “The #1 New York Times Bestseller is featured on the front and back covers, not once, but three times. To myself, these two factors alone make for a best seller. Obama is youthful in this photo, his wardrobe and prominence of his wedding ring seems to make his audience the 18-40 year old range of people who can look at him and see many things that they see in themselves in him; from the readers marriage to his own, and his own semi-formal dress with the reader’s own relaxed attitude. Being on the New York Times Bestseller list, let alone being on the top of it makes this a memoir people will be attracted to. An authority such as the New York times, can assert it as notable, making this voice the one that’s heard, due to a well known, reputable media outlet endorsing this product, and causing many people to buy and read it on recommendation alone.

On the Internet, I chose to look at Bossypants by Tina Fey, due to its humorous nature as a autobiography from the SNL alumni, and also because the cover of the book. It’s pink hue with Fey featured with the arms of a much older man made me chuckle. However, it’s the reviews that stuck out at me the most. The reviews on are varied from ones who sing the praises of the book such as this one by sauceawesomest, who tells that the book is “The opposite of blerg” playing off it’s humor as well as comical stories. At the other end of the spectrum lies a review by an individual who states that it’s simply “disappointing” and “not very engaging”. These two reviews alone can sway a potential reader to either camp. By both existing at polar ends they draw in our attention, to those two extremes through the way they engage the buyer; they’re just far enough from the median that when read, they can help sway what the buyer will ultimately think of the book. This alone can help for Fey to get her narrative across without doing anything other than writing the novel because of the people writing what they think allowing for promotion to take place. It’s the reviews from others that will sell us on a book, and not just a humorous photo on the front cover.