Interview: Chester French On Vampire Weekend, Sticky Substances, and White People Music

They’re smart, they’re talented, they look good in skinny jeans. They marry teen celebutantes, Pharrell thinks they’re hot, female fans want to have their babies, and they’re playing The Studio at Webster Hall tonight. Harvard rock duo Chester French is a perfect storm of “next big thing,” and gave us an interview before launching their firstworldwide tour. With Harvard correspondent Adam Estes asking the questions, D.A. Wallach and Max Drummey talk music, fashion, and spooge:

Max: We just look up to [Vampire Weekend] so much. I mean, those guys are our idols and to be mentioned in the same breath as them is just fucking—it feels so good. But slightly wrong. Like the first time you jerk off. Yeah, I guess being compared to Vampire Weekend feels like the first time jerking off.

Max: We’ve got a lot of semen to clean up.
D.A.: It’s everywhere.

Interview and more pictures after the jump.

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GOP and the Ivy

This Labor Day weekend, I interviewed Lauren Salz, Executive Director of the Columbia University College Republicans, for a Q&A with Youth Vote ’08. According to her, all of the right-wing groups on Columbia’s campus have a budget smaller than the International Socialist Organization. This *exclusive* IvyGate iteration has bonus questions and a picture. Swanky!

NS: Why did you get involved with the CUCR?
LS: I wasn’t originally planning to join any campus political group. I had just taken a year off from school and worked on a campaign [Tom Kean for U.S. Senate] and I had enough of partisan politics. But then I got to Columbia and realized I needed to have an outlet to talk to other conservative students.

Did you anticipate feeling politically isolated at Columbia?
Not at all. Maybe I was naive, but I thought that since Columbia was such an elite university, I would find people willing to listen. I also had no idea about Columbia’s radical activist tradition. Prior to my first week of classes, I had never heard of the events in ’68, although I did hear about the Minutemen incident. Read the rest of this entry »

Middle-Aged White Guy Sues Columbia for Discrimination
An Interview with Roy Hollander, Men’s Rights Pioneer

the face of oppressionRoy Den Hollander — Columbia B-school grad and self-described “anti-feminist” — took aim this week at his alma mater’s Institute for Research on Women and Gender. In a lawsuit charging sexual discrimination, Hollander calls the institute “a bastion of bigotry against men.” Using Title IX as an “analogy,” Hollander adds the Columbia suit to a growing stable of “Men’s Rights” crusades, including a lawsuit protesting Ladies’ Nights at bars, and another against VAWA, the Violence Against Women Act.

In an hour-long phone interview, Hollander waxes poetic on physical desire, his background as a draft-dodger, and the best places in New York for middle-aged dudes seeking jail-bait booty (dance class). As for Women’s Studies at CU:

The whole program is about benefiting females and teaching that guys are evil and that guys are responsible for all the world’s evils.

He also told me about his “Russian mafia prostitute stripper” “mistress to a Chechen warlord” ex-wife, and how she used VAWA to persecute him and/or attain US citizenship.

Roy is surprisingly interesting for a guy who spends 90% of his waking life plotting the destruction of feminism, and the other 10% trying to get laid. Our epic conversation, after the jump.

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Your Olympic Hero: Susan Francia

In this installment of “Your Olympic Hero,” Ivygate introduces Susan Francia, who is the second attractive female Olympian to have a post devoted to her this evening. While I don’t have any Youtube videos of Susan drop-kicking fans, I do have a charming interview with the Penn alum.

Name: Susan Francia

Ivy Affiliation: Penn ’04

Major: Criminology

Sport: Women’s Rowing (Women’s 8+)

1. Are you going to win?
We’re going to try our best!

2. Is this your first Olympics?
Yes, it’s my first Olympics.

3. What’s on your ipod when you’re erging?
Lil Wayne, Jay Z, and German techno.

4. Was Penn your first choice?
Good one! Yes, coming from a suburb of Philly, Penn was an institution that I prayed that I would get into. It’s an awesome school and I’m glad I went there.

5. Which is the least athletic Ivy and why?
Rhode Island School of Design, enough said.

6. For the rest of your life, you have to give up either rowing or missionary position sex. What’s your choice?
You mean coitus?

Sorry, but all of the best questions are after the jump.

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Your Olympic Hero: Doug Lennox

Ivygate wants you to meet Doug Lennox. He’s Princeton ’09 and competing on the Puerto Rican Olympic swim team. He’s also part of a new feature called “Your Olympic Hero,” in which I interview our brave men and women over in Beijing. According to Iviesinchina.com, a website that offers more information than you really need about the history of Ivy League Olympic achievement, 42 students or graduates of the Ancient Eight are competing in the Summer Games. This is slightly worse than four years ago when there were 54 of us running around Athens. But 42 Olympic athletes is nothing to scoff at: it’s more than most countries have in the Games. In fact, if the Ivy League were a country (god forbid), it would have the eighth most medals of any country in the world. But enough about Ivy superiority. Onto Doug Lennox and his accomplishments!

Name: Doug Lennox

Ivy Affiliation: Princeton ’09

Major: Anthropology, with certificates in Latin American Studies and American Studies

Sport: Swimming (Men’s 100 and 200m butterfly)

1. Are you going to win?

Maybe my preliminary heat…or if Mikey (Phelps) busts a knee.

2. Where did you grow up?

I grew up on the North side of Chicago, most of my years in Lake Forest and a couple in Evanston.

3. Is this your first Olympics?

I competed in several Illinois Junior Olympic Games….do those count?

4. What’s on your ipod when you’re working out?

Depends on what mood I am in. When I wear an Ipod working out it means I am spinning or running, and I use that time to do a lot of thinking…If you talk to anyone who knows me, I am pretty in touch with my emotions — not to be confused with “being emo” — but if it’s a really intense/focused work out (often times to get away from thinking about things that suck in the real world) it will include a lot of Metallica, Linkin Park, Godsmack, Lamb of God, Disturbed, etc. Also on this playlist are inspirational songs from movies, like the Rocky series, Space Jam, etc. I am pretty eclectic with my music.

All the fun questions after the jump.

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ProdigyGate Part IV: In Which IvyGate Interviews Annabel Osberg

For Annabel Osberg, it sucks to be 19, and not because fake ID’s are so damn expensive. For the past few weeks, we’ve been covering the story of this art prodigy’s expulsion from Yale’s MFA program. When we last checked in with ProdigyGate, Osberg had just filed a lawsuit against the University, claiming that she was unfairly expelled without proper warning from the Master of Fine Arts program in Painting and Printmaking. According to an article in this week’s Yale Daily News, University officials say there is “no merit” to Osberg’s allegations that Yale considers her “too immature and too young” to receive this terminal degree, despite knowing her age when they accepted her.

Per the YDN, University Spokesman Tom Conroy says that the decision to expel Osbery did not violate any protocols whatsoever. “The Yale School of Art assesses the academic progress of its students carefully and followed its procedures in all respects in making its decision not to promote Annabel Osberg to the second year of the MFA program,” Conroy told the YDN. “We believe that Ms. Osberg’s claims have no merit.”

Osberg’s lawyer hopes to get a hearing on the injunction in late August or early September; Yale has until August 12 to respond to Osberg’s complaint.

Meanwhile, here at IvyGate, we’ve taken matters into our own hands and sat down for an exclusive interview with Annabel Osberg (formerly Y-ART’09) to discuss all this hullabaloo. Read the interview after the jump:

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Harvard Guy Mostly Naked on TV
An Exclusive Interview with Corey Rennell

Harvard Guy Mostly Naked on TV<br><em>An Exclusive Interview with Corey Rennell</em>I started watching Last One Standing (streamable here) expecting the worst: Advertised as an imperialist fantasy pitting testosterone-pumped Western athletes against tribal warriors in caged death matches the world around, it seemed a little outside my ANTM schtick. But the presence of Harvard senior and Natural History major Corey Rennell necessitated IvyGate supervision. LOS turns out to be a ridiculously addictive BBC/Discovery observational documentary, featuring heartstopping sequences of Zulu stick-fighting, Mongolian wrestling, and long-distance running with the Tarahumara Indians of Mexico. Oh, and the cast is total eye candy.

After the jump: Pictures of Corey playing sports in various states of undress, and our interview, including discourse on compassion, sustainability, and anal sex.

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Tory Tells All in Exclusive Interview!
I’m not sexy, and Tyra feared me.

Last week saw the sad demise of Victoria M, Yale ’09, from America’s Next Top Model. Eliminated for her “prickly” disposition while posing as a cactus, Tory left the show and returned to life as a History major. In an exclusive phone interview, everyone’s favorite failed model gave IvyGate juicy details from her life as television star.

After the jump, Yale’s Hottest Skinny Chick dishes on castmates, crazed fans, the quality of Tyra Banks’ boobs… and re-tells a scene Lady Banks didn’t want viewers to see (hint: it involves Tyra siccing her bodyguards on a tiny, defenseless Tory)

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On Killing the Ivy League: An IvyGate Recap and Exclusive Interview

On Killing the Ivy League: An IvyGate Recap and Exclusive Interview

As we’ve mentioned a couple of times, this past weekend’s New Yorker Festival played host to a debate between staff writers Malcolm Gladwell and Adam Gopnik, entitled “Resolved: The Ivy League Should Be Abolished.” Gladwell, arguing the pro to Gopnik’s con, apparently had more input in the naming process.

The two — Gladwell, the frisky Skeletor, and Gopnik, the gentle francophile — dedicated an hour or so Saturday evening to this delightful repartee. They neared blows a few times, most notably when Gladwell suggested that the Ivy League wouldn’t accept Gopnik for being “short with big ears.” Hot-shit Columbia professor/raving British lunatic Simon Schama chaired the debate, however, and a few unhinged slams of his gavel usually kept the debaters at bay.

A brief recap of each participant’s main points:

  • Malcolm Gladwell: The author of Blink and The Tipping Point employed a strategy Gopnik best described as “grabbing numbers out of his ass.” Gladwell started by criticizing the criteria Harvard, Yale and Princeton (HYP) — importantly, he only discussed these three as they are “indicative” of the Ivy League he wants abolished — use in admissions, focusing particularly on the “personal qualities” category that admissions officers developed in the ’20s to keep out an excess of Jews. And, he asked, since the Ivy League “helps define what merit is,” are we comfortable with their assumptions, or “are we better if we start over?” He then challenged the notion of the Ivy League as an engine of social mobility by throwing out statistics on HYP that suggest they do relatively little in the way of recruiting lower-class students. In his closing argument, he argued that class mobility in the United States is shamefully rigid these days, and the Ivy League’s elitism embolizes how the country is “in the midst of building itself an aristocracy.” Thus, the kicker: “We would be a better nation without Harvard, Princeton or Yale.” Well, when you put it that way…
  • Adam Gopnik: Stately, plump svelte Adam Gopnik leapt into the battlefield by noting how European countries do everything better than us except higher education. He then questioned the effectiveness of killing HYP as a panacea for America’s woes with this well rehearsed lulu: “Wanting to abolish the Ivy League to solve the problem of American inequality is like wanting to abolish the NBA to solve the problem of American obesity.” He repeatedly tried to score New York City approval points by comparing Gladwell’s bent on university-destruction to George W. Bush’s foreign policy, with HYP being the new “Axis of Evil” and a post-HYP world being, presumably, the academe’s Sadr City. He praises Ivy League schools for pooling intellectually curious minds together and noted that Gladwell is “committed to destroying excellence wherever it’s concentrated.” The Gop also gave props to the excellent tradition of private American research facilities. Basically, the guy said that reforming class-restrictive aspects of the Ivy League is a better plan than doing away with it altogether.

At the end of the debate, Schama took a break from shouting inaudible British babble and held a quick audience poll to determine the winner. Gopnik won, according to Schama’s rough hand count. It looked pretty even to me; then again, I was sitting in an upper right balcony corner after showing up 15 minutes late, like any responsible “reporter.”

BUT NOW THE FUN PART! IvyGate was granted an exclusive post-game interview with Gladwell and Gopnik in the venue’s green room, the transcript of which comes after the jump. Read up — there’s a good chance we came to fisticuffs!

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EXCLUSIVE: Jailhouse Interview With the Stanford Tree

EXCLUSIVE: Jailhouse Interview With the Stanford Tree
Reaching out a spindly branch all the way from California, the infamous Stanford Tree has granted us an exclusive interview from the temperate, leaf-strewn hideaway where he vertically awaits his punishment from the NCAA for this colorful episode.

We knew he was our kind of conifer right away:

To: IvyGate <IvyGate@gmail.com>
From: Tree <xxxx@stanford.edu>
Date: Sept. 2, 2006 7:12 p.m.
Subject: Re: interview

Usually I shoot up before doing phone interviews, and it’s a little early on the west coast.  If you want to email me some questions I can get to them when I’m good and drunk, or we could try the phone one of your early mornings/my late nights.

-Tree

On to the Q&A, with more after the jump.

[UPDATE 1:29 p.m.: Tree checks in: "fyouri, i'm keeping my shit on legit: stanfordtree.com."]

IvyGate: So what species of tree are you?
Tree: I am a masters student that wears 35 pounds of Jo-Ann’s fabric mixed with aluminum, plastic tubes, and duct tape. What is this some kind of game to you?

If we tapped you, like for syrup, what kind of liquor would come out?
Absinthe. Straight from my wormwood.

Are there any traditions that come with being the Tree? Aside from, you know, being shitfaced 24 hours a day?
Soon as I step on the scene I’m hearing hoochies screaming. Plus hell of free gear from Nike and Converse.

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