Yesterday, the NY Times had a piece about the flurry of unusual and tragic events in our very own Middletown, CT. The Times offers the tragic Broad Street shooting last May, the September arrest of Raymond Clark III for the murder of a Yale student, and the recent power plant explosion as examples of Middletown being unexpectedly thrust into the national spotlight.
Is this a legitimate news item? Eh. Maybe. Picture our hero, the New York Times, drowning in a sea of new media, sputtering and gasping for air, flailing out in search of any lifeline it can find, when lo!–a tiny trickle of shocking events from one sleepy town in Connecticut! Voila, a biting story. How enlightening.
Strangely (or perhaps predictably), the Times decided to use Wesleyan’s weirdness as the article’s hook. They suggest that Middletown typically only makes headlines when Wesleyan does something silly–until recently. This should sound familiar. The “Wesleyan being crazy” trope has appeared again and again in coverage of our school. As Xue pointed out back when I was a frosh, apparently any article about kooky ol’ Wes must include mention of (a) marijuana, (b) the “naked dorm,” and (c) the famed pornography class. Now, the Times uses the same tired frame, this time nixing clothing-optional living and substituting chalking for pot. To quote Holly: “Le sigh.”
New York Times: Connecticut Town Chafes at Return to the Spotlight