Author Archives: Avocado

Das Racist in the Times

das-racist-foto1The NY Times music review published an article about Wesleyan’s Das Racist which includes Obama and fighting racial prejudice. What more can you want from an article, Wes?*

Check it out:

During a news conference on Wednesday night, President Obama stood up for the prominent African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr., who had recently been arrested by a white police officer in Cambridge, Mass., in an incident rife with racial tension.

In a less publicized defense later that night at Union Pool in Brooklyn, the local art-rap group Das Racist offered a song to Mr. Gates, who famously testified on behalf of 2 Live Crew in a 1990 obscenity trial, locating that bawdy group’s performances in a long lineage of black oral traditions.

Mr. Gates, though, couldn’t have anticipated Das Racist, a pair of stoner jokesters: Himanshu Suri, whose parents emigrated from India, and Victor Vazquez, of Cuban and Italian heritage. But their sloppiness is a mask for detailed, affectionate hip-hop parody, name-dropping KRS-One and Asher Roth as easily as W. E. B. Du Bois and the literary critic Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak. Their act is a blend that inspires questions like this one in a recent interview in The Village Voice: “Is this a joke that everyone thinks is a graduate thesis, or vice versa?”

And this one, which Mr. Suri asked the tightly packed, largely white, artfully dressed and coifed crowd on Wednesday: “You guys like rap music at all?”

Both were fair questions. Das Racist formed at Wesleyan: if the Hoover administration promised a chicken in every pot, perhaps what the Obama era has to offer is a joke-rap ensemble at every liberal arts college. But Das Racist’s lack of piety has become an aesthetic of its own, with songs that are as much commentary on hip-hop as rigorous practice of it.

See the full article here.

[Thanks to JohnWesley for the tip.]

* Seriously Wes, we’re curious. Tell us.

Cardinal’s Nest: The New Cafe-Ology

Those of you on campus for the summer may have noticed a sign that has been put up on the newspaper covered windows of the old Cafe-Ology building, congratulating the graduating class and announcing the coming of “The Cardinal’s Nest.” The Nest will be a small American Bistro, and was featured in The Middletown Eye recently (thanks to anonymous for the tip). Here is what they have to say about it:

Coming soon to 129 Church Street is the Cardinal’s Nest American Bistro. The little eatery will offer lunch fare and affordable small plates in the evenings. They will be accepting Wesleyan dining cards in addition to usual forms of payment. Owner John Gecewicz grew up in Middletown and has returned from the New York City restaurant business to help out his aging mother here in Midletown. The Cardinal’s Nest is in the former space of Cafe-Ology, which came and went pretty fast. Before Cafe-ology the space was occupied by Guiseppe’s Pizza. The planned opening for The Cardinal’s Nest is in the first week of September – watch for reviews after it opens.

Hopefully, The Cardinal’s Nest will provide a cheap and tasty alternative to Usdan for the residents of Lo-rise/Hi-rise for years to come, and like Cafe-Ology,  will provide a performance space for student musicians.

cardinal's nest


210034121_d2af75637cThe Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship (SAGES) put up fliers today announcing that Usdan will “go trayless” next year. Starting on September 8, 2009, the slight annoyance that many students feel every “Trayless Tuesday” will become an everyday occurrence.

On the other hand, we will be saving a lot of energy. According to the flyers:

  • “A comprehensive study found that traylessness results in a 25 to 30% reduction in food waste per person.”
  • “Energy related to food production and consumption represents 10% of the total energy consumed in the United States.”
  • “The amount of food thrown away in the US annually is equivalent to $100 billion.”
  • “The methane released from food waste in landfills is 12 times worse than carbon dioxide.” (I assume they mean 12 times worse for the ozone layer.)

The argument seems to be as follows: “Traylessness” reduces food waste per person, because it forces students to be selective in what they bring back to their tables. Obviously, waste is bad for the environment and Bon Appétit’s/the University’s bottom line, and we should seek to reduce it.

That makes sense. Now, how do you, the students, feel about this idea? Should we have been included in the decision to go trayless, or is the benefit of this program so obvious that the decision of SAGES should not be questioned? Comment away.

Here are a few relevant links:

EON Blog: Aramark Study on Trayless Dining
Wasted Food: Studying Traylessness

[EDIT] This post has been updated to reflect the fact that the Wesleyan Sustainability Advisory Group for Environmental Stewardship (SAGES), and not Bon Appétit, is responsible for the traylessness initiative:

Bon Appétit is not the group behind traylessness. Students are actually the ones who spearheaded this campaign. We have been working on it for months and Bon Appétit has finally approved it—they are not in charge of it, and whether or not they approved it for the cost savings, going trayless is entirely a student effort. If you read the posters, you’ll see that traylessness is sponsored by the SAGES Waste Committeee, a group of students, faculty, and staff, not by Bon Appétit.

Thanks to Katherine Yagle ’12, a member of SAGES, for bringing this to our attention. [Justin, 2009-04-28 12:56 PM]

Senior Houses!

10 B Fountain

(Most) Senior groups have chosen their housing for next year. I’d like to compile a list of who is living where, so that rising seniors can know their future neighbors, and underclassmen can know where they will be spending their nights next year.

Comment to this post, and I will update it with the full list periodically.

Alternately, if it seems strange to post your real name in an anonymous comment forum, you can send us an email.

Welcome Back, Wesleyan!

Welcome back, all you returning students! Wesleying hopes that your break was great!

If you’re looking for a bite to eat, Red and Black and Weshop are back on normal hours, Usdan opens at 5pm, and the little cafe on the ground floor of Usdan is open from 12 – 5. Facilities will return to normal hours tomorrow.

Also, with all of the Wesleying writers back on campus, we will return to posting articles that are (slightly) more relevant to Wesleyan. In the mean time, here is one last goody to distract you.

Interesting Days in Wesleyan History

For those of you who are stuck on campus for a few days, as I am, I’ve found little bits of Wesleyan history to keep you entertained. There is an entire Argus article on it, but here are a few of the choicest highlights.

November 1973: Beta House Nearly Flooded by Urine

30-45 members of former Wesleyan fraternity Chi Psi urinated on the Beta House and 5 windows were broken. This was the second time that semester that such a wild display of urination occurred, but the first time any windows were broken. Chi Psi President Bill Belichick expressed concern and said such an incident would not occur again. You may have heard of Belichick; he went on to coach the New England Patriots to [four] championships.


April 1990: President’s Office Firebombed

President William Chace’s office in South College was the target of explosives used to show discontent regarding decisions being made, or not made, on campus. Students wanted to amend the civil rights policy, improve disabled accessibility, address the recruitment and retention of faculty of color, restructure financial aid, and create a multicultural center. After the occurrence of other violent acts, including AK-47 shots fired at North College and X House being covered in racist graffiti, the University responded by organizing UNITY Day. 1000 students participated in this campus rebuilding effort by attending workshops. The Administration looked into addressing student concerns.

The first post, at the very least, is completely absurd. Read the full article here.

Officer Clark Nominated for America’s Most Wanted

The Middletown Police Department’s Officer Douglas Clark and his police dog Niko were recently nominated to be an America’s Most Wanted‘s “All-Star” for the capturing of fugitive Tormu Prall.

Clark, who is infamous at Wesleyan for harassing Wesleyan students and his involvement in the Fountain Avenue incident last year, as well as for other altercations, clearly has a tendency to take his job to the extreme.

However, on September 8, 2008, this quality manifested itself as bravery. Responding to a call about a man breaking into cars, Clark and Niko followed Prall, who is accused of arson and murder, through briars and a forest to a parking lot near the Mattabasset River, where he disappeared from sight:

Using his powerful sense of smell, the dog followed the trail of the convict until it reached the tractor trailers. Then the dog isolated the man’s location under one of the parked trucks.

Based on the dog’s reactions, the officer found the suspect. As he described it, “The dog was very hot … excited. Ears are literally perked forward, tail’s wagging. Everyone should know their own dog.”

At that point, Clark started exhorting the man to show himself and police ultimately took the guy in.

Had it not been for the dog, Clark said police would not have found the fugitive.

“He had wedged himself up under the axles where you couldn’t have seen him,” Clark said, a few days after the capture.

[…] Police had no idea if he had weapons, [Fellow MPD Officer] Puorro said. Still, Clark crawled on the ground and began digging under the trailer.

That bravery, a successful capture and all the work Clark does for the force combined to give Puorro a reason to nominate him, Puorro said — so he did. The next thing he knew, the producers from the show called and interviewed him.

See the full article in the Middletown Press here.
See the “America’s Most Wanted” article on Prall here.
And here’s previous Argus content featuring Officer Clark.

Also, this is my first post as a new Wesleying blogger. Hey Wesleyan.