Pre Classic

Sam Junge

The Idea of the great American runner has been lost for decades. Other countries put forth multiple top tier athletes and the US continues to fall short. However American running is on the rise. Steve Prefontaine is once again popular, an American won the Boston marathon. Things are changing in the realm of american athletics. Prefontaine fought dozens of social standards and rules of athletic society to prove that the current definitions of amateur standards were wrong. Prefontaine was a young and rising American star that was Fighting the amateur status set by the Olympic committee. He was an elite level of sports, living in a trailer off food stamps and 3 dollars a day. he was payed in shoes, and still performed and represented the modern athlete. He died young, but he was the face of iconic American athletic representation, and continued even after his death to be a figured head for the US and Olympic sports in a world distraught with turmoil. The world was on the edge of a 3 Great War, and due to the professional presence, of amateur athletes such as Pre, helped show the face of he modern American to the rest of the world.

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The Hydra Epidemic

revolutions throughout history often follow a pattern of process. They start with social injustice, the mob mentality takes over, a power struggle occurs, and things start to change. It is a recipe for social practice. When enough citizens of the middles east decided to take a stand against the injustice among their countries, the Arab spring was started. Social media helped ideas spread like wild fire faster than the governments could shut them down. Political officials were genially overwhelmed by the masses of information being spread and the shotgun precision of the spread allowed for public peaceful and violent protests to occur on scales large enough to rapidly change the shape of the political face of the Middle East. The use of technology in the Arab spring was the first large scale revolution that utilized modern media, and although it came at rapid speeds compared to revolutions in the past, and it was much more aggressive, it still followed the recipe for revolution.
Similarly, those who chose to participate in the occupy wall street movement thought me selves to be revolutionists. The difference lies in the set up of the recipe. The “99%” was truly much much less than what they established themselves as. They tried to claim the voice of the silent majority, and ended up costing the silent majority millions of dollars for the taxes they payed to keep the streets that the protestors vandalized. They supported the businesses that the occupiers took advantage of. The mob mentality did take over, but they lacked any power, and couldn’t cause any true change because of it.
regardless, of intentions, history must repeat itself. That is why there is a recipe. But the wheels often turn in rhythm, if you cut off the head of one dictator, chances are, 2 more shall take its place, hence, the hydra epidemic. The Bolshevik revolution brought communism and Stalin. Germany’s revolution of the early 20th century, brought the holocaust and totalitarianism. Even the American revolution brought the power struggle between France and England, the north and south of the US, and the western world struggle. It all goes around, and the suggestion to offer, is moderate modern revolution.

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The Faults in Gilded Cultures

One of the most sensitive household topics of recent, is the death of Floridian teenager, Trayvon Martin. There are countless news stories, opinions and questions circulating about the scenario, and what the scenario reflects about our culture, both past and present. Of all questions asked, many of them are sung to a similar tune. A case of unfortunate death of a teen who lived a tragic life was adopted and ran with by every kind of media that could get any information, both credible and non-credible, on the case. A neighborhood watch participant was assaulted and reacted with the resources on hand. The unfortunate consequence, is that one resources was a hand gun, and the assaulter was unarmed. It’s unfortunate that the occurrence had such extreme consequences, but what is even more unfortunate is how poorly the situation was reacted to. The media photos of the second victim, were of the teenager, many years before the incident, and somehow almost all of the photos of the injuries to the first victim, “didn’t make the cut” to be broadcast across the nation. You didn’t blink, 182 of the previous words written here, do not once mention anything of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other potential social prejudices. A very sad and sobering related fact is that children are murdered everyday in the United States, but when the reasons behind the murders are thought to be anything to do with race, the media erupts. There are riots, social chaos, lines are drawn, people take sides, and people take sides on taking sides. Eventually, true cultures are masked by popularity, and social acceptability is measured by success in the wrong direction. Articles from sources like the Wall Street journal question not why we care so much about race, but why we care so much about when certain things happen to certain races. An article from the independent journal did the opposite of what most media outlets did. They played the same game of using images, but they show the assailant from photos recent and relevant to the case, rather than those of him as a young innocent child. The photos told a different story, but it is much harder to lie with photos than with headlines. The source of information doesn’t matter, if the story being told is always the same because right or wrong, the story that is a minority, just by being different.

A Generation Lost, In Time

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(Pavel kuczynski)

I am not a millennial, I do not associate with them consciously, nor do I wish to. I like many others before believe I was born in the wrong decade, the wrong generation. My interests are far from those around me, and my traditions, values, and overall way of life are nothing even remotely similar to those that are considered to be in my generation. I would have been very content with almost any of the previous 3 generations than the one I am given based on birthdate. To be a millennium is not something I wish to be, therefor I do not associate myself with the ideals that are thrust upon the generation that is time and time again categorized as “skrewed” my generation might very well be skrewed, but I am not (Kotkin). I am not because I choose not to be. I choose to not live by the forced standards of the previous generation, and the “just go with it” sheeple mindset of those around me. My generation often acts as though our sentencing of peril is mandatory, and that failure to attend the sentencing will result in even greater consequences of not fitting in. This is a pathetic, mindset, it is closed minded and ignorant to believe that we must put up with what we have been handed. It is definitely possible to change our level of success as a generation, and it is not too late to start, but the later we do start to challenge what is being forced upon us, the harder it will be to free the minds of those who have already given in to failure, lower standards, and dependency on the generations dying out (Thomson). If anything. We should strive to be the generation that turned the tide of peril, and may not have grown up the quickest, but grew up the most to deal with not only the problems handed to us, but future problems to be ahead of the curve, as a generation, and to set a president for generations to come.

The Road to Boston

For me to enter the university of Michigan is a very overwhelming experience. I decided to take on more challenges, and harder challenge than I did in high school. My athletic pursuits alone consume time I did not know I would cherish so much, and miss so much now that it is gone. When academics are added, I question daily if all of the things that lead me here and my final decision to show up were worth it. The highs and lows and the constant uncertainty have started to search for my limits of patience and will. I’m happy to be here, but so far what I have done here does not make me happy, but it’s all in good time. Earlier this year, late I his career, a San Diego native won the Boston marathon. It had been over 30 years since an American won the Boston marathon. A slice of perspective for this, would be Real Madrid winning the Super Bowl. It’s an American race, on American soil, and it is once again under the title of not just an American, but a San Deigan. and Just one year prior one of Americas greatest city’s was brought to chaos by the horrendous bombing attacks on athletes and spectators alike, for anAmerican to return to win the following year is a testament to the new wave of great American runners on the rise. American runners both past and present have fought all odds to persevere. “To give anything less than your best, is to sacrifice the gift”-Steve Prefontaine. Life is a gift, the opportunity of college is a gift, a strong passion and desire to archive what means the most to you is a gift, yet everyday I reach a moment when I fear that maybe my best simply is not enough, and that all the sacrifices I have made, have not been my best, but Pre did it. On 3 dollars a day and food stamps, he ran and outran. In shoes from a waffle iron and in a trailer in a field, he fought the largest athletic governing body. When most others were in doubt, and had already given up, he broke limitations and records, so why not me, why not us.image