A Modern French Revolution: The Yellow Vests Are Back To Serve Justice

A Modern French Revolution: The Yellow Vests Are Back To Serve Justice

To continue the good fight against Macron's regime of poverty and inflation.

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Written as a response to Alissa Rubin's New York Times article: France's Yellow Vest Protests: The Movement That Has Put Paris on Edge

In the late 1780s, French workers, starving men and women alike, rioted for bread. Today, they riot for gasoline. As President Macron fumes over the current tax situation while overlooking burning cars and empty tear gas canisters, the rebellion looks nothing short of the French Revolution, which transformed the social hierarchy seemingly for good. Yet, history repeats itself, the struggle of the working class, and Paris descends into chaos once more, with the Yellow Vest Rebels leading the way.

The Yellow Vest Movement Quill News// Facebook

The events appear in ideal parallels, exemplifying a desire for fair wages and tax cuts.

During the reign of Louis XVI, the elite lived lavishly, indulging on meat feasts, sleeping in the gold-plated walls of Versailles and relaxing in majestic fountain gardens. On the other hand, the bourgeoisie worked for long hours in factories with meager wages, only to be deprived of food and shelter due to inflation and sky-rocketing rents. With Macron, Parisians are facing the same struggles. Taxes on gasoline make up more than half the cost: prices around $6.00 per gallon. With the median income for France near $1,930 a month, rent, food, utilities, clothing and fuel, are struggles to cover.

In response, resisting factions develop. The Yellow Vests, petitioning against the hike in prices through modest protest or violent uprising, represent the Reign of Terror lead by Robespierre, which embodied the most radical spheres during the revolution. Furthermore, the symbolism advocated for the passion of the people — the tricolor flags and culottes of rebels are replaced by fluorescent vests and banners screaming anti-government slurs. As of now, Macron's response is disappointing to many: there will be no modification of the planned tax increases.

The current crisis of workers versus government is a lesson often reflected in history. It indicates some of the greatest disparities represented in society today. As France boosts world-renowned luxury brands such as Louis Vuitton, Channel and Dior, materialism flourishes in the high-class society of Paris, drawing attention away from the poverty and inflation that are reality. Therefore, problems such as high taxes go unnoticed until a drastic uprising such as the Yellow Vest Movement takes control.

Thousands gather before the Arc de Triomphe Yellow Vest UK // Facebook

The moral is clear: history is always a class struggle. Without a content middle class, prosperity halts, strikes take down the economy and anarchy ensues. Although such uprisings fracture the unity of France, they are also catalysts for greater change. Through struggle, patriotism, nationalism and democratic fervor, the Yellow Vest Rebels united, reaching a global audience never imagined. Like during the French Revolution, this movement will have rippling influence for others to speak out and take charge against corrupt government policies. Ultimately, only the value of voice can change Macron's policies for good.

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Somehow, I Ended Up With The Best Roommate Known To Man

I've truly been blessed.

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College can be a very stressful experience to prepare for. From orientation to selecting your classes for the semester, your responsibilities quickly pile up. On top of all that, you also have to find somebody who you will be sharing a room with for your first year of college.

After not sharing a room with my sister for several years, I was worried about going back to splitting a living space with someone else. Immediately after I finished submitting my application to finalize my commitment to Temple, the stress of finding a roommate sunk in. Rooms in the residential hall I wanted were filling up quickly, and I still didn't have a roommate.

I was trying to find a roommate, but everybody seemed to already have their living situation figured out. However, one day, I received a message from a girl named Tori. Little did I know, she would become my best friend. I saw her profile prior to on RoomSync, an app for finding roommates, so I was really excited when she messaged me.

We didn't meet until move-in day, which made me a little bit anxious, but right from the start, everything clicked. We have lots of similar interests and living standards. Even though our majors are totally different, hers being biology and mine is English, that didn't stop us from being friends and enjoy spending time with one another.

In just the first weekend, Tori discovered that I hadn't seen a lot of movies that I should have seen growing up. From that point on, she created a list of various movies, and every weekend we watched at least one movie together. I don't think she has shown me a movie that I haven't liked yet, and I'm so glad that we started this tradition.

On top of movies, Tori has also expanded my music taste, which is a very hard thing to do. I couldn't be happier that she introduced me to Dean Lewis and Noah Kahan and then persuaded me to go to their concert in October with her. In general, she has got me more into music and is increasing my knowledge about music overall.

As well as going to a concert together, we also recently went to see my favorite Youtubers when they came to Philly. When we found out that Cody Ko and Noel Miller were going on a comedy tour and coming to our city, we immediately planned to buy tickets. It was a night full of laughs, and I'm so happy I got to spend it with her.

Tori Ploesch

Having a random roommate who is also your best friend is rare. I've heard a lot of horror stories about random roommates, but I honestly can't picture not being friends with Tori. Along with being an amazing roommate, she is incredibly selfless and caring. Her focus is always on helping people, and I admire her for all the hard work she puts into everything she does.

Being surrounded by people in the College of Science and Technology, I know it isn't easy. Because I have a strong dislike of science, I give major props to Tori and her friends in CST. I'm so happy she is studying something she's truly passionate about and will love doing in her future career. Whenever I meet people that want to pursue a career in science or the medical field, I immediately give them immense credit. It's extremely difficult to take that career path, and I'm already excited for Tori and her ultimate success.

College is a time for making new friends that will last even after you stop going to school together. Even though I'm only in my second semester, I know I can trust Tori with anything, and she'll be there for me when I need her. I also know that she'll be 100% honest with me when I need guidance or advice.

I cannot even begin to express my gratitude to Tori for messaging me to room with her. My college experience has been incredibly positive thus far because she has been with me through it all. I'm extremely grateful for the way things worked out because I couldn't have asked for a kinder roomie.

Thank you, Tori, for not just being an incredible person and roommate, but my best friend as well.

P.S. I can't wait to bake with you in our apartment together next semester!

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'The Great Gatsby' Is More Than Just Another Love Story, It's Fitzgerald's Way Of Teaching Us A Timeless Life Lesson

Universally known as a forced read for high schoolers, we forget this book is so much more than paper and ink.

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"The Great Gatsby" is the epitome of the highlights of the 20s: the massive parties, the extravagant wear and abundance of illegal alcohol. A book set within the midst of celebration, F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel portrays Jay Gatsby as nothing more than living the American dream: a life of luxury and a constant, unlimited party. However, as soon as we realize Gatsby's success, we're sucked into a whirlwind of issues coming with being rich, most importantly one Gatsby most struggles with: finding love.

We soon find that what Gatsby most struggles with his letting go of the past: he stuck in a time warp before the war began, when he served as a soldier, where he lived a happy life because he fell in love with Daisy. As quickly as their love formed is as quick as it fell to ruin. In Gatsby's absence, Daisy grew tired of waiting and fell to Tom, another rich man who consistently cheats on her with other women. Undeserving, Gatsby spends the remainder of the book and his life chasing after Daisy in hopes of reviving the past, their love and finding happiness.

If you've ever taken a language arts class, you know metaphors are an author's best friend. As you can most likely assume, Fitzgerald uses Daisy as a metaphor for the American dream: the white picket fences, steady job, family and overall contentment with life. Gatsby fell in love with Daisy and chased her until death: caused on her behalf as well, even after their break and her marriage. Through trying to bring back the past and continue his obscured view of Daisy, his obscured view on life, Gatsby fell into the trap, leading to his ultimate disappointment and failure to attain the American dream.

So what is Fitzgerald saying? What was the message high school language arts teachers across the country trying to teach us?

Through Gatsby and his futile attempts to control the past, we learn the truth: no one can change the past as well as the true feelings one holds in their heart. As humans, we hold the tendency to chase after smoke and mirrors — impossible thoughts and expectations because it is what we believe to hold true. More specifically, we are all given life and liberty, but it is the pursuit of happiness that separates us all because it is a separate journey; no two people can share the same pathway to happiness. It's what Gatsby failed to learn: in his attempts to live a lavish style to match that of Tom's, he died without ever attaining true happiness.

Tangentially, Fitzgerald points to the truth of the maxim that money can't buy happiness: when it comes to loss, love and other strong emotions, they can not be bought, only felt. By trying to buy Daisy's love, Gatsby created his own false identity, forgetting to look into himself and instead pouring himself into others with his massive parties, his name and fame. It's why in the end, no one came to Gatsby's funeral. No relationships were made; he was only harvested by others around him.

To be truly happy is a concept that has no dollar value, has no correct path and no predicted end. It's a step in life, one that we can only take personally and reap the benefits of.

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