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Satire: We live in a Sun Devil-themed utopia

Perhaps it's time we look around and acknowledge ASU is merely an idealized simulation of real life


The students at ASU live in a bubble while the rest of the world deals with a total collapse of all civil liberty. 

"Cheers, to the end of days!" I say to friends, sitting in a $71 million state-of-the-art production studio at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. I brandish my reasonably new iPhone 13, its screen open to a New York Times article about the dystopian reality of doctors smuggling abortion pills into red states. 

"The Handmaid's Tale is becoming way too close to real life!" we riff, comforted by the idea that nothing like that would ever happen in our real life. My middle-class, ethnically diverse, queer, liberal and neurodivergent friends all laugh at this remark, because we're so clever for pointing out the daily list of atrocities committed against each other. 

As students at ASU, it's our responsibility to be educated about the world around us — and regurgitate those ideas into circles of people who agree with us. I mean, if I and my like-minded group of friends don't talk about what's really wrong with America, how will anything change?

The students at ASU live in a bubble. A culturally diverse, inclusive and academically challenging bubble, but a bubble nonetheless. While the rest of the world deals with a total collapse of all civil liberty, we get to throw sticker-decorating parties in the courtyard. 

Sure, at my brother's middle school, any kid hoping to join an LGBTQ+ support club has to be outed to their parents, but every counselor asks me my pronouns here. Perhaps it's time we look around and acknowledge we basically live in a Sun Devil-themed utopia, and face the harsh reality that it's merely an idealized simulation of real life. 

I'm not the first to tell you this, but headlines are getting worse each day. Shootings, abortion bans, the war in Ukraine – it's a stressful time to be a young person in America. Each morning, I step outside my $100 million dorm and feel the weight of every injustice globally. Sometimes, I just want to order my pumpkin cream cold brew without getting an alert on my phone that I have to stare at with a troubled expression, as the camera pans to reveal another human rights violation. Oh, the dramatic irony! 

I've come to the troubling realization that the life we currently live is eerily close to the flashback part of a dystopian movie. Every time I open my mouth to speak, faint ominous music begins to play from seemingly nowhere. You try to vent to friends about it and the next thing you know, the entire lounge has had its warmth turned down in post-production.

We're sitting on a campus underneath a comically large Simpsons-esque dome, where women are still human beings, fascists don't get elected and peace on earth has finally been accomplished. 

But on the outside – a podcast just outperformed the Baltimore justice department. Outside these glass walls, students cry in protest as a known white supremacist speaks at a college campus. Or, was that inside the bubble? Oh boy. 

Pronoun-asking professors be damned, even our bubble of sanity has Jared Taylor. I guess next time I have something really pertinent to say, I'll just head to my nearest echo chamber and scream for a few hours.

Edited by Sadie Buggle, David Rodish, Piper Hansen, Sophia Balasubramanian and Grace Copperthite.

Reach the columnist at and follow @fishstickgirl on Twitter.

Editor's note: The opinions presented in this column are the author's and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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