Man is, by nature, a political animal

Man Is, By Nature, A Political Animal

Today, people have begun identifying themselves and each other based on who they vote for.


In his discourses in The Politics, Aristotle ascertains that man is, by nature, a "political animal." People tend to associate themselves with a group of similar, like-minded people. This provides a feeling of comfort and security cherished by everyone. However, this political factionism often tends to antagonism towards people of opposing beliefs in governance. A recent anecdote took place for me during a screening of the movie The Accidental Prime Minister, a film depicting the tenure of Dr. Manmohan Singh, the Prime Minister of India between 2004 and 2014.

In May of 2019, India will once again undergo its general elections, with a total of over 800 million eligible voters casting their ballots. Despite having tens of regional and state-level political parties, on a national level, the Indian political spectrum is essentially bipartisan, with the Congress and the BJP being the two major powers. In 2014, the BJP managed to oust the Congress from power, a rare occurrence. The Congress party has historically been the dominant force in Indian politics, due to their affiliation with the family name of Gandhi, and the party being spearheaded by his descendants. In recent years, however, it has led to huge controversies, particularly during their reign between 2004-2014, as accusations of corruption began piling up.

The movie did not hold back its criticism of Dr. Singh's term - showing his eventual surrender to the Gandhi family's wishes, which led to one particularly scathing indictment of the situation - "The Mahabharata had two families. India has only one" - using the great Hindu epic to depict the power that one family wields over an entire nation of over 1.3 billion people.

As a soon-to-be first time voter, it would have been easy for me to succumb to pathos and get swayed into the political propaganda wave that the film was clearly presented as. However, in spite of my personal political affiliations or beliefs, I attempted to pay attention to my surroundings within the movie theatre. Interestingly enough, I noticed that a large percentage of the crowd was full of young adults like me. Another notable aspect was the constant cheers and jeers at the almost satirical portrayal of certain political figureheads.

Most importantly, I noticed the massive political outrage caused by the film. In an era where all the information in the world is accessible at one's fingertips, a film based on a book written by the trusted advisor of the former Prime Minister is somehow the most outrageously offensive thing that some people have seen. Instead of appreciating the eerily accurate costume design, the phenomenal acting by the cast, the focus was drawn to its political nature.

"Disrespectful", "abusing freedom of expression", "failed propaganda": all the labels being associated with this film by the ardent supporters of the relevant political party. Today, people have begun identifying themselves and each other based on who they vote for. This merely perpetuates a further political divide, and, rather than taking a step back and attempting to look at an issue, or even simply a work of art through neutral eyes, it has somehow become imperative to try and tear down everything done by the opposition. Perhaps, Aristotle was right. After all, politics is about power and patronage and man indeed is a political animal: unable to separate itself from its emotional desires and blocking rational thought in face of extreme pathos.

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9 Reasons Crocs Are The Only Shoes You Need

Crocs have holes so your swag can breathe.

Do you have fond childhood objects that make you nostalgic just thinking about your favorite Barbie or sequenced purse? Well for me, its my navy Crocs. Those shoes put me through elementary school. I eventually wore them out so much that I had to say goodbye. I tried Airwalks and sandals, but nothing compared. Then on my senior trip in New York City, a four story Crocs store gleamed at me from across the street and I bought another pair of Navy Blue Crocs. The rest is history. I wear them every morning to the lake for practice and then throughout the day to help air out my soaking feet. I love my Crocs so much, that I was in shock when it became apparent to me that people don't feel the same. Here are nine reasons why you should just throw out all of your other shoes and settle on Crocs.

1. They are waterproof.

These bad boys can take on the wettest of water. Nobody is sure what they are made of, though. The debate is still out there on foam vs. rubber. You can wear these bad boys any place water may or may not be: to the lake for practice or to the club where all the thirsty boys are. But honestly who cares because they're buoyant and water proof. Raise the roof.

2. Your most reliable support system

There is a reason nurses and swimming instructors alike swear by Crocs. Comfort. Croc's clogs will make you feel like your are walking on a cloud of Laffy Taffy. They are wide enough that your toes are not squished, and the rubbery material forms perfectly around your foot. Added bonus: The holes let in a nice breeze while riding around on your Razor Scooter.

3. Insane durability

Have you ever been so angry you could throw a Croc 'cause same? Have you ever had a Croc bitten while wrestling a great white shark? Me too. Have you ever had your entire foot rolled like a fruit roll up but had your Crocs still intact? Also me. All I know is that Seal Team 6 may or may not have worn these shoes to find and kill Osama Bin Laden. Just sayin'.

4. Bling, bling, bling

Jibbitz, am I right?! These are basically they're own money in the industry of comfortable footwear. From Spongebob to Christmas to your favorite fossil, Jibbitz has it all. There's nothing more swag-tastic than pimped out crocs. Lady. Killer.

5. So many options

From the classic clog to fashionable sneakers, Crocs offer so many options that are just too good to pass up on. They have fur lined boots, wedges, sandals, loafers, Maryjane's, glow in the dark, Minion themed, and best of all, CAMO! Where did your feet go?!

6. Affordable

Crocs: $30

Feeling like a boss: Priceless

7. Two words: Adventure Straps

Because you know that when you move the strap from casual mode chillin' in the front to behind the heal, it's like using a shell on Mario Cart.

8. Crocs cares

Okay, but for real, Crocs is a great company because they have donated over 3 million pairs of crocs to people in need around the world. Move over Toms, the Croc is in the house.

9. Stylish AF

The boys will be coming for you like Steve Irwin.

Who cares what the haters say, right? Wear with pride, and go forth in style.

Cover Image Credit: Chicago Tribune

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From One Nerd To Another

My contemplation of the complexities between different forms of art.


Aside from reading Guy Harrison's guide to eliminating scientific ignorance called, "At Least Know This: Essential Science to Enhance Your Life" and, "The Breakthrough: Immunotherapy and the Race to Cure Cancer" by Charles Graeber, an informative and emotional historical account explaining the potential use of our own immune systems to cure cancer, I read articles and worked on my own writing in order to keep learning while enjoying my winter break back in December. I also took a trip to the Guggenheim Museum.

I wish I was artistic. Generally, I walk through museums in awe of what artists can do. The colors and dainty details simultaneously inspire me and remind me of what little talent I posses holding a paintbrush. Walking through the Guggenheim was no exception. Most of the pieces are done by Hilma af Klint, a 20th-century Swedish artist expressing her beliefs and curiosity about the universe through her abstract painting. I was mostly at the exhibit to appease my mom (a K - 8th-grade art teacher), but as we continued to look at each piece and read their descriptions, I slowly began to appreciate them and their underlying meanings.

I like writing that integrates symbols, double meanings, and metaphors into its message because I think that the best works of art are the ones that have to be sought after. If the writer simply tells you exactly what they were thinking and how their words should be interpreted, there's no room for imagination. An unpopular opinion in high school was that reading "The Scarlet Letter" by Nathaniel Hawthorne was fun. Well, I thought it was. At the beginning of the book, there's a scene where Hawthorne describes a wild rosebush that sits just outside of the community prison. As you read, you are free to decide whether it's an image of morality, the last taste of freedom and natural beauty for criminals walking toward their doom, or a symbol of the relationship between the Puritans with their prison-like expectations and Hester, the main character, who blossoms into herself throughout the novel. Whichever one you think it is doesn't matter, the point is that the rosebush can symbolize whatever you want it to. It's the same with paintings - they can be interpreted however you want them to be.

As we walked through the building, its spiral design leading us further and further upwards, we were able to catch glimpses of af Klint's life through the strokes of her brush. My favorite of her collections was one titled, "Evolution." As a science nerd myself, the idea that the story of our existence was being incorporated into art intrigued me. One piece represented the eras of geological time through her use of spirals and snails colored abstractly. She clued you into the story she was telling by using different colors and tones to represent different periods. It felt like reading "The Scarlet Letter" and my biology textbook at the same time. Maybe that sounds like the worst thing ever, but to me it was heaven. Art isn't just art and science isn't just science. Aspects of different studies coexist and join together to form something amazing that will speak to even the most untalented patron walking through the museum halls.

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