Palmer: “It is always very interesting when people misinterpret art, and then get angry about it.”
Wesleying’s own Gabe took this ridiculously excellent shot of Amanda Palmer at last weekend’s “Humanity Festival.” Click for the full gallery.
Amanda Palmer ’98 (whom we haven’t blogged about in a whole week-and-a-half, it’s true, we swear) is not much of a stranger to controversy, so the Internet probably shouldn’t have been surprised or outraged when she responded to the Boston bombing by writing a poem for suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (titled, fittingly, “A Poem for Dzhokhar“) and posting it on her blog on Sunday.
But that’s not really the way things worked out.
As Palmer herself noted in a follow-up post a few days after posting the poem, “there are 1,947 comments on a poem that took me—no exaggeration—about 9 minutes to write. many of the comments have been confused, many of them understanding, many of them angry.” Indeed, dozens upon dozens of readers have called Palmer out for what they perceive as her self-interest and arrogance in the wake of a tragedy. One particularly popular comment, signed “A fan,” argues that “this isn’t a poem for Dzjokhar, it’s a poem for yourself because you imagine you know how he feels.” The comment currently has 770 up-votes and 12 down-votes, if that gives you an indication of what the reaction has been like.
It’s that time of year again: you’re spending winter nights hunkered down in front of the Macbook and drafting cover letters for summer internships so you can work for free, gain valuable experience, and maybe someday sue the shit out of your employer. (You may even get an op-ed in the Times out of it!)
Trying to land an internship at a “boutique investment bank” on Wall Street? Take it from one admittedly average finance major at an admittedly average university who wrote a bizarrely frank, candid cover letter that apparently garnered him attention from “entire listservs of Wall Street bigshots.” Via Gawker:
“This might be the best cover letter I’ve ever received,” exclaimed one recipient. “THIS IS AWESOME,” capslocked another.
Others weren’t interested in wasting time on platitudes while someone else was snapping him up.
“No joke, I think we should consider this guy,” said one investment banker who was two forwards deep. “I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy gets at least a call from every bank out there.”
If you have no idea what I’m referring to then you might want to read this first. Or this. Or this, or this, or this. Also this. And maybe this, too.
Anyway, the point: this story has been getting a good deal of news coverage, all the way from Wesleying and The Argus, to the Hartford Courant, to HuffPost, Salon, and more. In addition to this post on the coverage, keep an eye out for a more substantive post from pyrotechnics this weekend. Round-up with brief sketches of coverage below:
BuzzFeed is the first source to challenge some of the contentions of the lawsuit, in particular the campus identity of Beta Theta Pi as a “Rape Factory.” BuzzFeed contacted several current and former students, including our very own Zach, to inquire after the use of this particular term around campus. Some commenters on our earlier piece questioned its use, as did many quoted in the BuzzFeed article, but most do note a stigma around Beta that isn’t exactly positive. All in all, BuzzFeed seems to have done some proper research before writing, taking the time to discuss Beta’s historical image, Beta’s relationship with the University, and some of the confusion surrounding events of the 2010-2011 academic year.
Pointless Tuesday distraction: some anonymous tipster sent in this nuts time-lapse video of a mega-ginormous pumpkin currently growing in Broad Brook, Connecticut, just a little ways north of our own Middletown. The pumpkin’s owner, Ken Desrosiers, captured its two-and-a-half months of growth via time-lapse photography.
The 1,487-pound monster is officially the biggest pumpkin in Connecticut history. WHOAH. The video kind of looks like some mutant round baby creature emerging from the earth in a low budget 1960s Japanese horror movie.
Side note: if you want to learn all about the thriving underground community of giant pumpkin- and squash-growers, check out this “interactive web site to the giant pumpkin growing community.” I have gathered that the adjective “giant” here modifies the noun “pumpkin.” Not “community.”
“Nakie is good. Nakie is free. Nakie is nakie!”
Remember back in the day, when Wesleyan’s now defunct Art House would throw the celebrated, twice-annual Naked Party, which MGMT claimed to have performed at? Remember when the administration casts its disapproving glance and shut down Art House, and when Wesleyan’s famed Naked Party switched venues, to Earth House, and advertised all over the ACB, and P-Safe still bared its teeth and contacted Earth House to cancel? Remember that time the New York Times published a 2007 expose of college naked parties at Yale and Wesleyan and beyond, which cites Wes naked parties as “so well known that student tour guides sometimes mention them”? A then-Junior discussed her experience throwing a naked party in her dorm (“people look each other in the eyes more than you’ve ever seen,” apparently). David Pesci, university spokesperson, expressed the administration’s concern that such parties “create a condition too ripe for sexual harassment.”
No. You probably don’t remember, because most of this took place before you got to Wes, and because Wesleyan’s illustrious history of naked parties has been all but stamped out by Big Evil Administrative Overlords, and because Eclectic didn’t even hold its traditional Sex Party shitshow last semester. If you can’t get naked at Wesleyan, where can you!?
Apparently not at Yale—the other prestigious Connecticut university with a colorful history of naked partying. According to the Yale Daily News, the Yale Police Department is currently investigating events surrounding a February 19 naked party thrown by The Pundits, a “senior prank society” on campus. Several attendees ended up at the hospital; at least one mentioned a possible sexual assault at the party, which about 50 students attended. The added detail that this was part of the society’s “tap” process (read: like pledging), and reportedly entailed forced heavy drinking by the Pundits, probably doesn’t help matters:
Déjà Vu ensues at Wes.
You might remember a Wesleying post over the summer regarding a Wes student ’12 whose family financial situation, coupled with his international status, rendered tuition for the coming semester all but completely unaffordable. Distraught but unbeaten, the student set up an extensive website and Facebook page soliciting donations and ideas for how to raise upwards of $60,000 in one summer. That student did not end up returning to Wesleyan this term. His website is no longer online. But the Wesleying comments section (archived here) unleashed some worthwhile (and unnecessarily ugly) debate, ranging from sincere outpourings of sympathy (“even if you don’t want to donate, show him some support!”) to terse dismissal (“Get a fucking job”) and much in between.
A recent Gawker story, regarding a 2009 graduate of Northeastern University who is now soliciting donations to help her cover over $200,000(!!) in student loans, offers startling parallels. Kelli Space, 23, has also set up a website to plead her case and seek generous contributions: TwoHundredThou.com. She even provides the horrifying repayment schedule itself. For a 23-year-old, this is pretty goddamn bleak. She writes to Gawker:
The severity of my situation goes a bit deeper than “I owe this money, help me” – I am actually forced to live with my parents (forced = I am lucky! But…) as the monthly payments for just my private loans are currently $891 until Nov 2011 when they increase to $1600 per month for the following 20 years… attached is my payment plan. I also mentioned I have a job – which is great! And I probably have my college education to thank for that! Except there is still no way to make these monthly payments, and live on my own as a contributing member of society. Neither of my parents, nor I, really knew how this would pan out — unfortunately — and now that I’m here, I see no real light at the end of the tunnel.
Wesleying answers: Well, no, actor/TV writer Jon Golbe ’06 is probably not the most entertaining Jeopardy! contestant ever (I favor the goofy kid who mutters a clear “Oh, fuck!” on national television after missing an easy Star Wars question), but Gawker’s compilation of amusing moments from Golbe’s Jeopardy! debut is still pretty entertaining. There’s no embed code, so watch it here.
Dearly departed Wesleying alum Ashik Siddique ’10 Sheek points out that Golbe has been featured on Wesleying quite a bit in the past. Check out his George McFly-style role as the nerd in the Colbert Report‘s ’08 “How To Be A Maverick” spoof:
Also, vaguely related sidenote slash fun fact: gloriously mustached Olin reference librarian and ADP member Erhard Konerding has been featured on Jeopardy! at least once. Ask him about it.
Most of us have, at some point or another, scrutinized the Admissions Office and the many things it does to attract vulnerable little high school students. But it seems that the nature of Wesleyan admissions propaganda has become notorious. In a Gawker blog post maintaining that, supposedly, the bloggers at Gawker aren’t jealous of those featured in a New York Times article about “The Rising Stars of Gossip Blogs,” Adrian Chen alludes to Wesleyan admissions materials:
So go tell all your friends our name is in the New York Times. Whatever. Did you see that hilarious picture, though? It’s like something Wesleyan would send out to high school juniors.
Take a look at the picture:
I don’t know. Strike anyone as familiar?
Judging from the massive amounts of prefrosh drudging through campus tours with their colorful umbrellas over the past week, whatever we’re sending out to our high school juniors is working.
Unlocked coeditor Yannick Bindert ’10 contemplates Jacob D‘s body.
Obligatory copy-pasted excerpt here:
“We note that Wesleyan, the most annoying liberal arts school in the US, has launched a new sex magazine called…wait for it…Unlocked. Uh, unless this is like Wesleyan’s 267th different sex mag, may we just say about time, kids? Despite the fact that almost nothing in all of collegedom could be more tritely predictable than a sex magazine at Wesleyan (pictured: a photo shoot), this news was enough to warrant credulous coverage in the Hartford Courant“
(Picture of Jacob D ’11 Via Gawker, Via the Courant)
Of course, there’s a variety of anti-wes comments for you to read. My personal favorite comment is one by Mount Prion:
Of course, both articles fail to take into account that nobody really believes Unlocked is “edgy,” but rather, simply falls into the category of “another student magazine that focuses on things students like to do”… in this case, each other.
Hartford Courant: Wesleyan Sex Magazine Features Nudity
Hartford Courant: Behind-the-scenes Unlocked photo shoot
Gawker: People Still Care About College Sex Mags
*Of course, i’m not doing much better by simply posting a link to the blogpost itself. Pot, meet kettle.
Come see Patterns of Inheritance, a “modern opera about the internet”, by Ben Bernstein ’10. This sounds ridiculously intriguing:
The entire libretto is composed of chopped up blog posts and Wikipedia articles, and the orchestrations are fragments as well. Using movement and a cast of five singers and eight instrumentalists, and six dancers, the opera attempts to paint a picture of the information we process, distribute, and inherit through the internet.
Basically, just imagine the lovechild of Phillip Glass and Gawker…a digital dream. You have 4 chances to catch the free show this Homecoming Weekend, so don’t miss out!
Live performances at the ’92 Theater
10/16 – 8pm
10/17 – 8pm
10/18 – 2:30pm, 8pm
Place: ’92 Theater