Columbia Dropout Hates Columbia, Cactus Sex

Presumably because all current students are too busy being severely depressed or dealing with soul-crushing workloads to think of column ideas, the Columbia Spectator recently published a guest article by self-proclaimed “Ivy League Dropout” Hannah Shaper, formerly CC ’15. In her rambling, I-might-be-high manifesto—titled “The sun rises without Columbia”—she tells everyone why Columbia sucks and she dropped out and they should too. We think!

Yes, there are communities within that enterprise like Sorority Sisters and the Chinese Dragon Dancing People and the Butler Chain Smoker Union, but Columbia is you. You aren’t Columbia. Dig? You are the only thing that makes Columbia anything remotely substantial. It’s not Mother Theresa’s house of the sick and dying, it’s a corporation. If it’s not making you happy, you’re not a terrible person.

Society can go fornicate itself for stamping your forehead with the seal of approval if and only if you follow its path. For better or for worse, this mysterious nonentity that we call Columbia University caters to societal approval.

As best as we can tell, Shaper picked up a bunch of scraps of paper from the remnants of the OWS camp and pasted them together to make an article. It’s kind of impossible to follow her argument, but at least this explanation would account for the large number of contradictions. Like how she lavishes praise on her fellow students for being awesome and totally special and making her Columbia experience totally worth it — “But in all seriousness, the moments that augmented my experience with hope and beauty came from you” — but also tells them that Columbia is not a society and if they dropped out and disappeared off the face of the planet no one would care less: Read the rest of this entry »

Harold Bloom is a “Super-Sized Moron” and a “Donkey,” According to Yale’s Angriest Grad Student

In January, a Yale graduate student named Margherita Viggiano published the absolutely insane correspondence between her and Edward Barnaby, the Yale dean who had removed her from Alexander Nemerov’s famous art history course after she complained about a fellow grad student’s gay boyfriend, threw several tantrums about being Catholic, and distributed an elaborate conspiracy theory linking Yale University to “Satanic Freemasonry,” a “pact with the devil,” and a “New England sea-monster.”

“Viggiano may now go down in Yale history,” the Yale Daily News wrote thereafter, “as the grad student who objected to discussion about the Virgin Mary’s ‘boobs’ and told a dean that he should ‘see how [God] reacts’ to him, curtly wishing him good luck directly afterwards.”

And now this: Over the past few days, Viggiano has published several rambling, strangely-formatted blog posts in which she calls Yale professor and famous literary critic Harold Bloom a “super-sized moron,” a “super-sized fraud,”  a “madman,” an “idiot,” and a “donkey.”

Viggiano’s reaction stems from Bloom’s The Book of J, a combination of Biblical criticism and translation published in 2004. In it Bloom theorizes (in Viggiano’s words) that “an adulterous and divorced Hittite woman” authored the first five books of the Bible. “How,” Viggiano wonders, “did this garbage survive peer-review, exactly?”

Yes! She’s BACK! In the same posts, Viggiano mentions “correcting students’ papers,” and she remains listed in Yale’s directory, so we think she’s still employed—but if you know anything else, drop us a line.

There’s so much more, after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »

Ivy Parties Win Bloggers’ Hearts

Here’s a nice, end-of-semester tidbit. With the help of many IvyGate links and pics, the crack investigators over at Guest of a Guest have done a thorough rundown of the Ivy League’s Spring booze-fests, from Lawn and Slope to Fling and Chewbacchanal(?). The results are compelling. The article lavishes praise upon our Ivy shindigs (though Harvard and Columbia are noticeably absent) before criticizing NYU’s painful-sounding “Strawberry Festival.” Its full of witty commentary and worth a read.

Highlights of the weekend included a Mr. And Ms. Brown competition, and, according to the Brown Daily Herald, “popcorn, cookies, and other food refreshments in the Blue Room”. Man, those Brown students can party!

Oh Ms. Atik, you know just how to amuse us sardonic, self-hating Ivy Leaguers. Then again, you did get tricked by our MGMT-April-Fools post…

Dartmouth Prez Discourages Humanities, Encourages Reality Check

In a video on leadership recently recorded for the Washington Post, Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim takes a rather dismissive tone towards the wishy-washy Humanities:

“You are not going to make it in this world if you study philosophy…you have to get a skill… I find myself giving that advice to my student today… When you go to Haiti, when you go to Africa, they don’t ask you “how much do you feel for my people” or “how much have you studied my people.” They say: “Have you brought anything?”

The ever-practical Kim knows what he’s talking about: he and Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health is one of the world’s great AIDS success stories. Whether or not you agree with his somewhat damning assessment of the Humanities, the video itself is laden with insights, and comes highly recommended. Dartmouth, you have one hell of a prezClick here for Washington Post video. See below for leaderly shimmying.