Four days ago, our nation reflected on the many things for which we were thankful. My list this year included the standard litany (friends, family) and a few additions I would like to share with you. Here goes:
I was thankful for the Marshall Committee’s report that suggested banning Sex Week. It put me back in business writing columns for the foreseeable future and (for once) put me in the majority opinion. I plan to milk being politically acceptable for as long as I can — I hear it is quite the hit with the ladies.
I was similarly grateful for the Students for Justice in Palestine’s mock checkpoint, which appeared on Cross Campus the week before break. Nothing proves the case for Israel like the intellectual quality of its opponents. And SJP showed that free speech doesn’t necessarily mean tasteful speech, a distinction both Woodbridge Hall and the Marshall Report seem to have forgotten.
But at least President Levin has enough respect for speech that he would not be so rash as to, say, set up a satellite campus in a totalitarian regime sure to quash individuals’ rights of expression. For that good judgment, he deserved some credit this holiday season.
I then decided to thank Harvard. Our northern neighbor’s boneheaded decision to censor the Freshmen Class Council’s shirt made me proud of Yale. After all, our Dean’s Office has never done anything of the sort. At least we honor free expression when it comes to apparel. (I later learned that Mary Miller banned the FCC shirt in 2009 for using the word “sissy.” Gulp.)
Moving on to politics, it seemed appropriate to pay homage to New Haven’s new Board of Aldermen, ushered in with the recent election. They have some brilliant ideas about how to solve the city’s fiscal crisis (hint: Yale has money). To top it all off, alderwoman-elect Sarah Eidelson ’12 is poised to … actually, what she plans to do seems to be up in the air. All we know is that it involves “engagement” and “change.”
Switching from local to national scenes, my whole family took some time to thank Herman Cain for running for president. Now all of America knows about Godfather’s, a chain whose continued existence proves that New Haven will always produce the best pizza on Earth.
And thanks were due to all the GOP primary candidates who collectively make it easier for young Republicans to defend their party at dining hall tables.
Back home: Occupy New Haven, Occupy Occupy New Haven, Occupy Occupy Ocuupy New Haven and Occupy Occupy Occupy Occupy New Haven provided us with some good amusement this fall. The movements also taught economics majors what not to write on exams.
The national Occupy Wall Street also deserved some praise for sheer chutzpah. It has successfully pushed the bounds of what even New York finds acceptable, not an easy feat for a city that put up with squeegee men for decades.
But for me the Thanksgiving prize went to Occupy Morgan Stanley. You showed us what righteous Yalies look like — one part Gucci, one part hand painted sign, a dash of 99 percent, shaken but not stirred. We wait with anticipation to see what you cook up next.
At that point, I stopped my litany of thanks. It was time for a turkey dinner. But I made sure to squeeze in one last gracias: to the locally sourced organic farmer who raised the about-to-be-consumed bird in a humane and environmentally friendly manner. Without him (or her or zer), who knows what evils might have been wrought by corporate America.
Nathaniel Zelinsky is a junior in Davenport College. Contact him at email@example.com.