I would say that the applicant who wrote the “Imagine” essay didn’t get due to the essay’s flat prose, poor organization, and questionable grammar, not its subject matter. The song was not sung “by the show,” but by the characters on the show. The sentence “When I watched this episode while the deaf adolescents were singing it, and soon joined by another glee club, it surprisingly affected me…” is just an incredible mess. He didn’t watch “while” they were singing; it should be “were joined by;” and “surprisingly affected me” is a terribly clumsy construction. How about: “As I watched another glee club join the deaf adolescents in singing the song during this episode, I was surprised by how much it affected me.” Not all applicants will be strong writers, but all need to show at least a basic grasp of how to communicate a thought.
A third serious setback was Egypt. The collapse of Hosni Mubarak’s regime in 2011, amid giant protests, raised hopes that democracy would spread in the Middle East. But the euphoria soon turned to despair. Egypt’s ensuing elections were won not by liberal activists (who were hopelessly divided into a myriad of Pythonesque parties) but by Muhammad Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood. Mr Morsi treated democracy as a winner-takes-all system, packing the state with Brothers, granting himself almost unlimited powers and creating an upper house with a permanent Islamic majority. In July 2013 the army stepped in, arresting Egypt’s first democratically elected president, imprisoning leading members of the Brotherhood and killing hundreds of demonstrators. Along with war in Syria and anarchy in Libya, this has dashed the hope that the Arab spring would lead to a flowering of democracy across the Middle East.