Archive for the 'rompin’ years' Category

The key to good times is probably remembering them.

Reunion

Reunion was fairly successful.  An executive summary:

  • As usual, pushed, and perhaps exceeded, the bounds of “formal attire”.   
  • Received a commemorative pin for my non-work1  as an alumni committee member2.  
  • Bragged that I had nurtured a personal publishing empire3 with an audience of two.  
  • Unabashedly hit on one now-married classmate, remarking on her ravishing, eternal beauty, while giving her absent husband one backhanded compliment after another.  
  • Delighted in the sad state of one loathsome classmate, who had, in the interim, lost locks of hair, found 30 pounds, and has a crooked hunched posture.  He is the nightmare embodiment of To Catch a Predator.  Sweet, karmic justice.4
  • Received a job offer to join a firm making software modeling government and finance information.  Outside The Heights.
  1. I am really sorry. []
  2. When your committee contains 27 people, getting 10% participation from a class of 300 should not be difficult.  Perhaps your school’s core demographic just does not give away money to large, impersonal causes []
  3. Three blogs, one twitter feed, and a prolific facebook updater []
  4. “At age 50, every man has the face he deserves.” –George Orwell []

go cross campus

NY Times: Storming the Campuses: Yale kids and one Columbian, Isaac Silverman (CC ’08?), build “multiplayer locally social gaming” in GoCrossCampus, a strange amalgam of Risk and the social web. Don’t miss the fascinating slideshow, detailing plot twists of the Ivy League campaign.

Working

I’m working on it… working on it. There is a new blog being made. I’m slowly migrating over there and making it feel like home.

Bag blogger

Shit! I can’t believe the entire month of July went by without a single post. I am still alive. But having just graduated–Shit again! I forgot to post about graduated. Hey everyone, I graduated. It was dandy. Emotions blah blah touchy feely blah blah. I’m currently in a major creative rut / productivity rut. That is, I can’t get around to updating this site, redesigning this site, and/or starting a new blog on some space that I have.Okay, well, this is my post of August. Let’s hope that by the time September rolls by, I will have done something.

Interview with Ronald’s Son

This NY Times Magazine interview with Ronald Reagan’s son has got to be the most bizarre piece of journalism I have read in some time. Did the journalist do any research at all? Does she dislike Reagon progeny???A sample:

Do you and your wife, Doria, have children?

No. We have three cats. It’s like having children, but there is no tuition involved.

Aren’t you working in television these days?

I am a correspondent for MSNBC. They hired me primarily to do election coverage for them. We’re not rich. Doria’s a clinical psychologist. I mow my own lawn.

Doesn’t your mom help you out financially?

Of course not. My father felt that children should make their own way.

“Aren’t…”, “Doesn’t…” and so forth. Weird. And who the hell point-blank asks:

Did you vote for Bush in the last election?

No. I did not.

gmail invites

Once upon a time, gmail invites were coveted and cherished. Now invites seem to be a plentiful.If any of my readers (do I have any left?) or anyone wandering in from a search engine would like a gmail invite, feel free to contact me.

This Just In

I swear, you can’t make this stuff up. All Columbia students received the following email tonight. We are certainly a progressive educational institution. There is no doubt about that.

Dear Student,

For some time, Columbia has been considering how to best
communicate with our students. It now seems clear to us that the
principal way in which members of the University communicate with
one another is through e-mail, and we feel that the time has come
for Columbia to make e-mail an official vehicle of communication.
This will, we hope, improve both the timeliness and reliability of
our efforts to inform students of matters of importance to them.
It will also expand the range of services we will be able to offer
in the future and permit many more University transactions to be
conducted through e-mail and the Internet.

You will find below the new ‘Columbia University Student E-mail
Communication Policy,’ which outlines the University’s plans for
using e-mail and the responsibilities we expect students to assume
in response to this change.

The effective date of this policy is July 1, 2004. If you have any
questions about it, please write to studentservices.columbia.edu. [emphasis mine. -j]

Thank you.

Alan Brinkley

Provost

Robert Kasdin

Senior Executive Vice President

First thought: what the hell was the previous “official vehicle of communication”?

Second thought: This “email” is surely a new technology, and we’re not even sure how to write email addresses correctly. Give us time. I think we are next evaluating the so-called “World Wide Web” for use in academics. Welcome to the future.

test of teaching

If you are a professor, every spring you get to find out just how well your teaching is being received. If your teaching sucks, about 80% of your class will be hitting the steps the moment warm weather hits. Because after that the hard, cold New York winter, people will be saying to themselves: “Hell no I ain’t going to Intro to Innovation.” And 12 people will show up to your 80-person class. And you will be able to smell the truancy in the air.

tip drill

Today, I was channel flippin’ and something on BET caught my eye. What caught my eye was the most motherfucking offensive music video I have ever seen in my life: Nelly’s “Tip Drill”. (“tip drill” – a homely female with an attractive body [source] )

Let me first say that I have no problem with using beautiful people in videos, as long as they are treated with the same awe and admiration they receive in real life. (Pharell’s one-on-one attention in Snoop Dogg’s “Beautiful” is close enough)

That said, I have been feeling increasingly uneasy about the way women are being treated in rap videos in recent years. (formula: skimpy bikinis + close-up of buttocks shaking + recording artist leering and pointing = success!). The illustrious Ying Yang Twins have created a lucid example of this in their 2003 Salt Shaker video .

But Nelly’s “Tip Drill” takes the fucking cake. (I have having difficult finding a link on the web; you can probably find a copy on your file-sharing network of choice.) Never in my life have I ever seen such a degrading potrayal of women. Others have taken notice as well. How the hell is BET willing to air this?

April 27th Update: Wow, who would have known my blog post would have such high pagerank? I’m getting over 100 pages views a day from people searching “nelly tip drill” and variations.

Anyway, looking at the video again, I’ve realized just what makes the video is offensive. It is not the explicit sexual acts and conduct. Those are fine. I have no problem with sex. What makes the women in this video so objectified is their inability to make eye contact with the camera. Nelly and his band of misogynist a-holes are able to rap, point, wave gang signs, throw money, and stare straight in to the camera. Meanwhile all the women are resigned to undulating in the background. It is this act of being unable to address the audience that makes you a background object, a prop. And that’s what makes the video so offensive.

Year-Long Fool

As an April Fool’s Day joke, I contemplated telling everyone that I had finally received a job offer. Then I realized that (1) I had not the emotional energy to lie through my teeth about something like this, (2) it would a terrible waste of other’s good-will (“Aw, that’s fantastic! Finally! I’m so glad for you, [crab]!”), and (3) it’s just sad.

So I chose not to. Then I made myself a sandwich and ate it. The sandwich was filling.

absent

No, this time I had a reason. For the past 12 days, I was a Carioca. Now back to semi-blogging.

a difference

Been thinking about the expression “…as different as night and day…” today. I realized that night and day are really not as different as you would imagine. They are both times of day! Opposites, it turns out, are quite similiar. Hot and cold are both temperatures. Wet and dry both describe levels of moisture. Positive and negative are both types of charge.

In light of this, instead of “as different as night and day”, it seems that a more appropriate expression would be: “oh, they’re as different as barbeque sauce and the Categorical Imperative”.

c250

Just when you thought Columbia 250th celebration was dying down, the US Postal Service announces an official US Postal Service C250 Postcard. That’s right, our shit is blowing up. Maybe soon, we will be a well-known university.

grey tuesday

I don’t think I agree with much of the rumblings surrounding the crackdown on distribution of DJ Danger Mouse’s Grey Album. Several sites (waxy and kottke, notably) have taken stances that this sort of sampling should be allowed and not constricted.I think many people’s stances smacks too much of “take down the Man ” rhetoric. Taking into account recent anti-corporation grandstanding, the scenario leads easily to thinking the artist, the common man, are in the right, and the giant corpo-monger EMI is being big and oppressive by siccing lawyers, armored cease and desist letters, on people.

Maybe a re-arrangement of the situation will be illuminating. If it was the surviving members of the Beatles protesting the unauthorized use of the White Album, would the open-up-the-copyright position remain the same?

Copyright protection is important. Suppose these protestors were granted the copyright freedom they seek. Couldn’t an ad agency come along and begin co-opting musical classics for their jingos and tv spots? Remember the furvor when Nike used the Beatles’ “Revolution” to sell sneakers (with actual permission from property holder Michael Jackson)? This is what copyright does. It protects your hard work from someone that would pollute and dillude your art without your permission.

Feb 25th update: Grey Tuesday made The Times today.

boob tube

Been mulling over the whole Janet Jackson incident. To me, this is an interesting case study for journalism. What is a controversy? Who is responsible for making it so? Are journalists able to make self-fulfilling declarations?

These questions arise because this entire incident seems completely overblown to me. And I am sure it feels that way for many people. So what? There was a stunt and her breast was exposed for a split second. (Many people probably did not witness the flash live; but only in news-room replay.) CBS received some phone calls. FCC chairman Mike Powell was pissed off (yeah, as if the Superbowl is a classy event to begin with… american football has got to be on the crudest and unrefined sports in existence.) Are journalists justified in declaring this a controversy of such magnitude?

I don’t think they are. Personally, it ticks me off that journalists have the power to manipulate the general topics and levels of discussions of the popular culture. It’s unfortunate that when you broadcast the news, you also make the news.

Super Blow XXXVIII

20040202superbowl.jpg

Well, that was a fairly exciting Super Bowl. The commercials, on the other hand, were uniformly uninspired. You can find a catalog of them at ifilm, if you would like to peruse the marketing equivalent of ass.

And wtf was the half time show? It was a lame medley of late 90’s hits. Nelly -> Hot in Herre; P. Diddy -> Mo Money Mo Problems; Kid Rock -> Bawitdaba; Janet Jackson -> mid 90’s hit that is unidentified by me. The only recent act was J Timber’s Rock Your Body which was a single last year. Man, that kid’s body knows rhythm. It was raised to move, and it does.

Oh yeah, and someone’s boob came out. And JT liked it.

and mushrooms

Just had to share the badger badger badger badger badger.