Author Archives: Danzig

Abigail Washburn in NYC Saturday the 12th

Abigail Washburn, who had a surge of popularity at Wesleyan after she played last spring, has a (relatively inexpensive) show tomorrow night in manhattan, tomorrow (1/12) night at 7:30. BB King Blues Club in Times Square. As of 6pm tonight, tickets were still available, so if you’re in the area and want to go, try ticketmaster. Also to play: Kevin Bacon (!).

Bathrooms: Part 1

As many of you know, I’m a fairly small person, and so I tend to pee and poop very frequently throughout the day – I’m kind of like a small, nervous rodent of some sort. As such, I really appreciate a good, convenient bathroom. Here are some of my top selections, some of which are quite underappreciated.

The admissions office bathrooms are beautiful and clean, obviously, because their primary purpose is to impress parents. Also, a central and very convenient location – great for an afternoon on foss hill, although not as necessary now with the Usdan bathrooms so nearby.

The astro bathroom is also extremely convenient if you don’t want to leave the foss hill area, but not nearly as nice as admissions or, now, usdan

Exley Handicapped
there are lots of bathrooms all over Exley, but this one is immaculate, spacious, and surprisingly infrequently occupied.

Sci Li Basement
the entire bottom floor of the science library was redone and pimped out, but few people seem to have noticed. The bathrooms are brand new, immaculate, and lovely.

this is but a small sampling – more to come later

Fox News? F that.

Today I received a facebook message from a Hamilton College student who is an intern at Fox News. She read about my co-ed living arrangement in the CSMonitor. She sent me and my roommate the following identical facebook messages:

Hi im an intern working with the Big Story on Fox News. We were reading about you and yourfriend Janet being able to live together in the same dorm room and we are hoping to do a segment on this new co-ed living policy on our show. We were wondering if you and your roomate would be willing to come on the air and talk about living co-ed.
If you have any questions please dont hesitiate to contact me.

I sent her the following response:

As progressive, compassionate, thoughtful and informed people, Janet and I are deeply opposed to Fox News, and all that it does and stands for. We suspect that during such an appearance, the hosts of the program would attack us with hostile condemnations of our living arrangement borne of their social conservatism and desire to please a base viewership of arrogantly puritanical Evangelical Christians. For these reasons, we do not wish to appear on the program, and would appreciate if our names, personal information, or the name of our college were not mentioned by Fox News on air or in print, for fear of a torrent of emails from angry heartland crusaders.
Thank you for understanding,
Matthew Danzig

Janet (my roommate) sent a slightly more tactful response:

Thanks for the opportunity, Allie, but I don’t think so. I’d rather not be on TV, and I’m not a big fan of Fox News.

I thought she took it pretty well in stride. Here’s her response to me:

you could have just said no. But thanks for the string of sat vocab glad to see fox has you fired up. Best of luck!

Thought you guys might find this little exchange interesting.

a late-night mind-@$%@

The Last Question by Isaac Asimov

This is one of my all-time favorite stories, and it’s short enough to be a quick distractor (only a few pages). Just felt like sharing it with you all.
Asimov himself considered it his best.

There’s a tiny amount of science relevant to the plot:

  • Entropy: In the context of this story, a measure of how close a system is to equilibrium (the system, in this case, is the entire universe). Technically, a measure of disorder.
  • 2nd Law of Thermodynamics: The entropy of the universe is always increasing

IMPORTANT: there’s a great, great ending. Scroll carefully so you DON’T READ THE LAST LINE TILL YOU GET TO IT

Call UCLA, encourage strong response

ACTION: Call UCLA and demand an investigation into this incident. BE POLITE. 310-825-4321

“The officers repeatedly order Tabatabainejad to stand even as they administer further shocks – sending 50,000 volts of current that override the nervous system and temporarily paralyze muscles shooting through his system again and again. He can’t stand and the cops know it, they just get off on the maniacal ego power trip of torture and this is why Tabatabainejad is hit again and again despite his screaming and the protests of the onlookers. “

(From here.)

Poster’s note:
a) I think it’s pretty highly likely that racism played a part in this incident. This is the opinion held by some random kid who posts on Wesleying. Don’t freak out about it. Disagree with me, but be civil. You’re in college, man, come on.

b) I am a poster on a college blog site. I have some opinions about current events. If you disagree and you’d like to have a civil discussion about it, I’d love to talk to you, feel free to email me at, stop by my room in hewitt 9003, write me a letter and put it in box 4271, or stop me as I walk around campus.

c) Until we give further notice, it’s safe to assume that Wesleying does not subscribe to any sort of ideas about journalistic integrity or objectivity.

Xue adds: The Daily Bruin has more.

Homecoming Chalk

*poster’s note: perusing aceboard, i now realize that other people had this idea way before me.

Hey everyone.

First off, read below Holly’s eloquent thoughts about chalking and what it means – it is well spoken and rings true.

For homecoming weekend, I plan to hand out pieces of chalk to parents, with little notes rubber banded around them saying “engage in a cherished wesleyan tradition! chalk messages to students, thoughts on the news, recipes, anything!” I encourage everyone to get out there and chalk in front of parents, show how excited you are about it, try to get them to play along, offer to let them write a message with your stick. Show how much this means to us, welcome them into the community that chalking helps to bridge and build.

Many of these parents are alumni, many many are donators, and many many many are contributing towards tuition. When it all gets erased in the morning, or when public safety intervenes, or even when they hear from their children how this wonderful activity that they see the students being so impassioned about is banned, they may wonder why. And, in a school run by a shadowy and mysterious Board of Trustees, the opinions of the people writing checks matter a decent amount.

I only have about 200 sticks left, but if you need a piece feel free to swing by my room (Hewitt 9003), or any of the other rooms posted on the ACB as having stocks. Also, sometimes I walk around campus throwing sticks at people.


p.s. I am neither involved with nor know of the lightning society, but hats off to them.

More Surprises at Weshop

So I was at WeShop the other night, doing one of my frequent regression runs (nilla wafers and apple juice), when I discovered something absurdly wonderful. MINI NILLA WAFERS. They’re just like the normal ones, except little. So you don’t get crumbs all over your shirt when you’re sprawled on the sofa stuffing them into your mouth and wondering why you can’t quit school and go work on a rice paddy.

They’re so small, they could even fit into this guy’s mouth.

Ganging Up On The Sun

I have a long and emotional relationship with Guster. They were the first real music (other than the crappy adult alternative radio stations my parents listened to when they were driving me places) I ever really listened to, via my sister’s cds. They were the first concert I ever went to, in the gym at Marist College. The fact that no one knew who they were made me quirky in middle school, when everyone else was listening to the Backstreet Boys and Korn. Through the years they’ve continued to be one of my favorite bands, and the primary reason I took up playing hand drums.

Early Guster albums were unique for many of the same reasons as other indie bands. Pretty high-low harmonies from the singers; quasi-profound, essentially meaningless lyrics; being entirely, absurdly Jewish. The main appeal, though, was in the style – percussive guitar-based grooves, and the HAND DRUMS. Through the first three albums, as the band went from unknown freshman at Tufts to a relative indie success, there was no drum kit. The percussion was entirely hand drums, a kit which grew from a few congas and bongos at the beginning to eventually a huge kit. It was really fucking cool. Anyone who’s ever seen them live, and seen Brian’s hands gushing blood after a jam-out at the end of ‘airport song’ knows what I mean. It was cool, made for a great groove, and Brian is Tito Puente- FAST. The bongos never stop on the first album, ‘parachute,’ and just try to keep up with him on ‘bury me’ from Goldfly.

Thus, when Brian picked up the sticks for a few tracks on 2003’s “Keep it Together”, I was taken aback. A drum kit? on a Guster album? However, after a few listens I was ok with this. They songs were great, contemplative and still funky, and the hand drums were consistently there, if not still the main focus.

Now here comes the latest, Ganging Up on the Sun. There are no hand drums to be found. Not a single bongo or djembe. I was horrified. Those high-pitched, reverbrating cracks of the bongos had been with me since I was 11 years old, and now they’re GONE. For about a month I didn’t listen to the record.

Lately, though, I’ve been giving it another chance. And, much to my surprise, it almost works. The songs are still funky. The harmonies are still pretty. The lyrics are still meaningless. Yes, it does sound much more like generic indie rock than anything they’ve done before. But it’s not all that bad generic indie rock. ‘Satellite’ has a really good melody. ‘Hang on’ has the potential to be a serious it’s-all-gonna-be-allright anthem.

I’ll always prefer the old Guster, and ‘Parachute’ will always be my favorite album (it overcame a serious challenge when I was 16 and heard “Aeroplane over the Sea,” and it’s still going strong). But I’m almost ready to accept this new incarnation. They’re still chill, still funky, and Ryan’s voice is still whiny and Jewish. But without the djembe grooving…they’re not mine any longer.