When Ahmed was born those twenty or so years ago, the world was taking a piss. His mother screamed in agony as his overlarge head forced its way out of her vagina. His father, preferring oblivion to the messy, bloody process that is birth, smoked himself retarded outside the whelping chamber.
But, with the surge in oil prices and the resultant focus on the Middle East, Cairo and Egypt (along with pre-bombed Beirut) became virtual Meccas of Western culture. And, of course, with the Gucci and the McDonald’s came the fitness clubs. Appearing like empty candy wrappers after a night of THC-induced debauchery, these clubs came complete with ellipticals, aerobics classes and muscle-bound personal trainers. Catering to the Cairene elite, the gyms cover all the bases: massage parlors, multiple steam rooms, kickboxing and hip-hop classes and, of course, the smoothie bar
John Hagee has perfected this easily accessible, easily consumed version of Christianity at Cornerstone. He has pared down the commitment, time and energy one needs to devote to religion to the barest minimum. You simply show up at 8:30, 11:00 or 6:30 on Sunday and worship. For a little over an hour, you can cleanse your soul, praise the Lord and find peace. And you don’t need to strain yourself, either. The music is simple. The message is alliterative.
“Although neither of us is particularly loud, I guess you could say I’ve always been a little bit more introverted, a little quieter,” Castro said, describing his relationship with his twin brother, Joaquin. “But Joaquin and I have different ideas about politics and how to serve the people. I felt that I could help more people on a day-to-day basis in the city government. And so,” he finished, a quiet determination in his voice. “Here I am.”
“It’s really big. I mean, it’s like really, really big,” a prospective Princetonian exclaimed. “Like I think my high school could, like, fit into this building. What do they do with all this space?” she queried, twirling her bleached blond hair around a manicured finger. She flounced off to catch a departing Orange Key Tour.
What happens to your vomit? Which magical little elves comes and clean it up, so when you groan your way out of bed, you don’t step in it on your way to class? The singularly important responsibility of cleaning up vomit belongs not to elves but regular people—the Princeton Grounds and Maintenance Crew.
Princeton’s drug culture is like a moon. Once a month it is full, lustrous and can be seen from all over campus. For some, this metaphorical moon is perpetually full and bright while for others the sky above is eternally dark.