Rank and File
Kitestring: This web-based app aims to get users to their destinations safely, even when they’re taking sketchy routes. Activated by inaction, Kitestring will send custom messages to designated contacts if you don’t check in with it after a set amount of time. It’s an awesome example of a marriage between technology and activism. We only wish it had been offered sooner.
#MyNYPD Twitter response: Turning the New York Police Department’s PR stunt on its head was genius, especially considering recent revelations of its Muslim-American surveillance and not-so-frisky practice of stop-and-frisk. Besides, how exactly does the NYPD want to present itself? Is it our buddy, with enough time to hang around for selfies, or a force to protect (at least some of) us? #SMH
Shakespeare’s birthday: Yesterday might have been Shakespeare’s birthday. Or maybe it’s today. Or on Saturday. The point is all the world’s a stage, and we’re all merely players, with most of our lines dictated by the legacy of this guy we know little about. Why not flip the script? Sure, the Bard may be timeless, but let’s embrace and celebrate some authors who are timely. It doesn’t make you dumb to want lit that comments on the now.
Bragging about Coachella: It was awesome. You saw Lorde and that European DJ was off the chain. Flower crowns. Horrible cell phone service. But, please, some of us are poor and also tired of looking at your “Navajo” headdress on Instagram. Hang up your crop top and fringe skirt (no creasing) and retire that peace sign. It’s finals time — for you, too.
Conversations about “gray” rape in the media: “Game of Thrones,” “Girls,” “The Wolf of Wall Street” … all have recently portrayed “confusing” but realistic rape scenes. But instead of this creating open dialogues about the complex, often contradictory, feelings of victims, it’s encouraged arguments about what makes rape “real,” usually from the rapist’s perspective. Blurred lines can exist in rape, but not in consent. Everybody sit down.
Michigan affirmative action ban: The Supreme Court has traditionally protected minority interests, so what’s up? Its advisement that colleges seek race-neutral processes to increase diversity is vague and confusing, especially considering that statistics show states forbidding affirmative action see enrollment drops in racial minorities. Colleges can’t be forced to admit minorities, but eliminating one of the biggest mechanisms to smoothen the process means we’re in for a bumpy ride.