Et Cetera

How to Buy What You Can't Buy

December 26 / Linus L.

It's been nearly two years since I gathered a ragtag group of friends in a local coffee shop to start a website called Cafe Avant-Garde. Over the last two years, both from here and outside, I've learned more than I ever thought I would. And while I'd love to be reinvigorated to keep looking for writers and keep writing on this site, I also feel the need to move on and look for even bigger, even more exciting ways to try to make something of myself and make an impact on the world. So with this post, I'm closing down Cafe Avant-Garde. The site will be up for the 2017 calendar year, and then I'll do something with it (I don't know yet). But when I do, and on where I go next, I'll try to keep you all updated. In the meanwhile, thanks for reading. You made my year. And with that, here's my last post, on why I find it so important to keep writing, and help as many people write, and become better writers.

Will to Belief

November 12 / Jongjin P.

The will to power is a concept founded by philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche. He describes the will to power as the main driving force in humans - our intrinsic need for achievement, ambition, and striving to reach the top. In short, this concept describes our willingness to reach that “state of power.” Some may disagree as to whether or not this will to power is the main driving force in humans, but it cannot be denied that we are all determined to do something or to be in a certain position in life...

Imagining Reality

October 1 / Jongjin P.

In 2009, Toyota was forced to recall over 10 million vehicles and pay over $1 billion due to claims that their cars were uncontrollably accelerating. But it all started with this 911 call from a man driving a Lexus. The call is extremely harrowing. Mark Saylor, 45. We hear him not being able to stop his car with his family inside it. He struggles to hit the brakes as hard as he can, but the car won’t stop. Eventually, the car jumps off the cliff and crashes. The media went crazy, and thus Toyota was blamed for the faulty manufacturing of their vehicles. ABC News tried to recreate the sudden acceleration ...

Inner Demons: Confessions of a High School Senior

September 24 / Darren C.

Senior year has continuously represented the pinnacle of secondary schooling. Semiotically, it means the closing of curtains combined with the opening of doors - a time close to freedom, away from parental authority. But with it comes the nasty side (especially if your mantra is Ivy League or Ivy Tech). Competitiveness isn’t pretty. A horde of students, mostly Asian, with pushy parents, vying to get into an Ivy League school (or equivalent) turns into a zero sum game - one where the goal is to guess where your classmate is applying early to...

Encountering Regrets

September 11 / Jongjin P.

On February 14th of 2016, Kanye West, recording artist, songwriter, record producer, fashion designer, and entrepreneur, releases his seventh studio album, The Life of Pablo* on an exclusive music platform called Tidal. Generally, the album receives good reviews, but despite of the positive reception, West tweets the following on the same day of the release: "Ima fix wolves". For those confused, ...

Becase You Care

September 5 / Linus L.

I'm currently working through a book by Keith Ferrazzi called Never Eat Alone, and in it, there's a sentence that stuck out to me more than anything else in the book so far. "Behind any successful person stands a long string of failures." It's not the most original idea, I know. But I think it's important nevertheless, because most people don't seem to get the implications of this observation. If this is a pattern in many successful people (and trust me, it is), how do they do it? How is it that despite all of the failures, they succeed eventually? ...

Pokemon Go: Revisiting the Columbine Problem

August 28 / Jongjin P.

On April 20, 1999, two students named Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, went on a shooting spree in Columbine High School killing 12 people and injuring 20 others. At this point in time, this shooting was dubbed, “the worst school shooting in American history.” With the mourning and the grieving that occurred in response to the tragic incident, came many puzzling questions: the prominent one being, “Why?” Why did two seemingly regular students decide to kill so many people? Over time, this question spurred a debate on what to blame their actions on, with many pointing their fingers at gothic culture and secular music.

The Irony of It All

August 15 / Shruthi G.

So, I don’t particularly like writing. It is not something I enjoy. Weird, right? Here I am writing a post about how much I don’t like writing. I suppose that is true to some extent, but the rest will be whatever comes out of my brain throughout the rest of this piece -- stay tuned. Anyone who understands a little bit of life understands that communication is very very very important to get anywhere, be it a dream of yours or finding your way to that new restaurant everyone loves. It’s a beautiful thing that we have been gifted as a species, to not only make aware our necessities, but our desires and our fears, as well. We have words to tell others what we feel allowing us to understand each other a little bit better...

The Whole Story

August 7 / Linus L.

On Cafe Avant-Garde's servers, and on my computer where I maintain this website, everything that goes into making this site run -- from the people's profile pictures to their bios to the posts to a myriad of computer-related files -- live inside a single folder, not called Cafe Avant-Garde or some variation thereof, but something else entirely. The folder for this website is called Iris on my computer, because initially, this website was called Iris. Actually, there's so many things that are different about Cafe AG than the way I'd initially imagined it when I pulled a few friends together into starting it, and I thought it would be interesting to share the story with you, after nearly a year and a half of time...

Carpe Diem

December 1 / Siddu N.

Carpe Diem. I know that this has been written about time and time again, but I think in this day and age it still rings true. It is easy to get sucked into the daily routine and humdrum of life. Get sucked into your smartphone or go on a Netflix binge. But as I sit here writing this article. I reflect on my life. Nearly 17 years have gone by, nearly a fifth of my life. It all went by so fast. I don’t want to look back at my life and see how much of it I had wasted. I felt that I hadn’t used the time I had to my full potential. It seems that I wasted all those years and a moment wasted is, or was, a moment lost...