Local Newspaper Investigates Dartmouth’s Drudge Report!

The Upper Valley News just published a 2,300-word profile of Dartblog‘s Joseph Asch (D’79), a.k.a. “Dartmouth’s Most Tenacious Critic.” To jog your memory: Asch is the Paris-based blogger who broke two equally huge Dartmouth stories: Andrew Lohse’s hazing allegations, and a grainy Facebook photo of an editor at The Dartmouth holding a plastic cup, the latter of which he apologized for in a post referring to his own “exuberant foolishness.” (“Bitter, bitter spite” in Dartblogspeak.)

Asch takes himself very seriously. Hence this very amusing profile (penned by a Columbia J-School grad, in fact):

He has excoriated the administration on matters large and small, from what he considers the “budget explosion” at the Ivy League school to the “Cadillac” health benefits he says employees enjoy. He criticized the immediate past president, Jim Yong Kim, as contributing “nothing positive over the past three years.”

Nothing positive! (Not even his rapping, as a spaceman?)  Read the rest of this entry »

Dartmouth Whistleblower Andrew Lohse Has A Book Deal That Promises “Sex, Drugs, Alcohol”

Andrew Lohse, the recent Dartmouth graduate who gained attention for detailing his fraternity hazing experiences, has always been open about himself. There was the column in The Dartmouth earlier this year that described his time as a pledge in Dartmouth’s Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity. Then there was the article in Rolling Stone a few months later. Now, it seems that Lohse finally got that book deal he wanted so badly.

According to Dartblog, both Lohse’s Twitter and LinkedIn account have been recently changed to include information about his upcoming book with St. Martin’s Press, which is, like, real. (Dartblog calls it “a reputable imprint,” but we’re just surprised someone will publish this thing). The book is titled Party at the End of the World and is due out sometime in 2013.

After first mentioning his literary aspirations in January, Lohse discussed his memoir-in-progress with Janet Reitman for her Rolling Stone piece on him and Dartmouth:

“He’s writing a memoir: a ‘generational tale’ that he hopes will be part Bright Lights, Big City, part The Sun Also Rises and part This Side of Paradise, and describes as ‘a one-way ticket to the secret violence at the heart of the baptismal rites of the new elite.’” Read the rest of this entry »

Mandating “Beer Connoisseurship”: The Cool New Way to Fix Dartmouth’s Fraternities

Yesterday, Dartblog’s Isaiah Berg implored “Dartmouth men” to “rise to the occasion” and “decide” that hazing “serves no purpose.” Good post, on the whole. His only misstep: blaming the phenonemon of brothers hazing themselves, for fun, on how totally chill Dartmouth is:

This is nihilism and self-compartmentalization writ large, and there are numerous cultural underpinnings to this behavior. Dartmouth students are well regarded for their utter lack of pretentiousness. ‘Not taking yourself too seriously’ is a cardinal virtue for many students.

Today, Berg offers several “unconventional reforms” to “improve” Dartmouth’s fraternities. They appear to confirm our long-held suspicion that Dartblog is an elaborate satire of Dartmouth itself:

  • Kegs:

Deregulate kegs to replace cans. Cans of Keystone Light are a nightmare for the environment; tons of waste are produced by Dartmouth’s fraternities and it sits like a plague outside of houses rotting in the sun throughout the week. […] Distribution is more easily controlled, and the beer itself can be made more conducive to a responsible social scene.

  •  Microbrews:

Read the rest of this entry »

Dartmouth Blogger’s Non-Apology Is Outrageously False

Oh, god. Dartblog’s Joseph Asch just issued a slimy, lying non-apology for his intimidation of a student journalist:

Mea maxima culpa. Yesterday, in a moment of exuberant foolishness, I briefly published a picture of several students in SAE’s basement. One of the students, who I identified by name and by her position in a student publication, was holding a cup of beer. What was meant as gently chiding humor was in fact inappropriate, and the picture was only on Dartblog for a brief period of time before I removed it from the site. If I caused hurt or offense, such was not intended. I apologize for my ill-considered action.

Quickly, because IvyGate has better things to do than explain the details of Joseph Asch’s deceit:  Read the rest of this entry »

Dartblog Just Went Off the Green-Tinted Deep End

A confession: When Obama nominated Jim Yong Kim to manage the World Bank, we immediately hopped over to Dartmouth’s popular gossip sheet, Dartblog.com. If you’re not familiar with Dartblog (if not, you probably don’t go to Dartmouth, but that’s okay), it’s difficult to properly describe. It’s peerless* not just in the Ivy League, but in all of higher education. It’s as if IvyGate were to start taking itself seriously—like, really, really seriously—and then focus entirely on one school. It’s vindictive, petty, and somehow earnest, but sucked dry of anything resembling fun or humor or self-awareness. It’s an ongoing reality show that we can’t peel our eyes away from.

The star of this show is Dartblog’s only regular writer: Joe Asch ’79. We’ve written enough about Asch in the past, but if you’re not acquainted with him, just go over to the website, and you’ll get a feel for his grudges. Which is crucial, because Dartblog consists almost entirely of Asch’s grudges. That’s why we hurried to refresh Dartblog after we heard word of Kim’s nomination: Asch hates—hates, hates, hates, hates, hates, hates, hates—Jim Yong Kim. He hates him so much that when Politico announced Kim’s nomination, Asch sincerely believed it was a hoax. You could almost taste his disgust—the effect was that potent.

Other things Asch hates include: Dartmouth’s administration, Dartmouth’s hourly workers, and—incredibly—The Dartmouth.* Whatever the subject, it’s Asch’s signature contempt—unmitigated, unmeasured—that makes Dartblog so entertaining to read.

But two of Dartblog’s recent emissions are beginning to worry us—and they should worry you, too. Read the rest of this entry »

Mitt Romney’s Bain Colleague Berates Dartmouth for Not Bain-ing Everyone

The Bain Brothers. It’s a pun.

 In 1983, Mitt Romney was an employee at the consulting firm Bain & Company. So was IvyGate icon, New Hampshire celebrity, and Dartmouth alum Joseph Asch ’79! By 1985, Romney had departed for the offshoot Bain Capital, where he submitted to Christian-themed pictures of he and his colleagues cavorting with paper currency, and firing lots of people. Meanwhile, Asch had decamped for Paris, where he peddled medical supplies. Fifteen years later, in spring 2010, while Romney was ramping up his campaign for the Republican nomination, Asch’s much more important political ambition—a seat on Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees—was thwarted by two other Dartmouth alumni. Since then, guided by personal bitterness over his defeat and a consequent desire to douse Dartmouth College with Bain’s holy water, Asch now spends much of his energy harassing his alma mater’s administration for not buying his “solution” of massive cuts to benefits and wages, particularly those of the school’s lowliest laborers. On a blog. Meanwhile, he parries inquiries into his personal business practices. Sound familiar?

The last time we heard from Joe Asch, the cranky Dartblogger had completely lost his dark horse bid for Dartmouth’s Board of Trustees, soon after which he vowed to never blog again, citing the “unceasing negativity”  and “rampant dishonesty” that allegedly determines the membership of Dartmouth’s Board. The honorable Asch was probably referring to The Dartmouth’s discovery of and investigation into Asch’s medical supply business, the very name of which Asch deliberately refused to discuss. (Apparently, it’s because Asch didn’t want others to find out how wildly profitable the health care industry is—which is, of course, a huge secret.) As it turns out, Asch forgot to pay $8,000 in taxes to French tax authorities, in 2004. No biggie, though, right? Well! Asch did not appreciate the paper’s attempt to “discredit” his very successful company, thank you! Which meant Asch missed the whole point: his own bizarre refusal to discuss in detail the business experience on which he based his Trustee campaign.

Following his defeat and subsequent promise to never blog again, and after pretending that he never said that, Asch turned the ostensibly undergraduate Dartblog.com into an elaborate LiveJournal on which he continues to investigate a shadowy cabal of administrators who are LYING TO DARTMOUTH.

One of Asch’s more recent posts dissects what he suggests is Dartmouth President Jim Yong Kim’s egomania. Really, yes: have you seen Kim’s CV? Criminal. Among Kim’s profusion of shortcomings, according to the same entry: contriving to appropriate the . . . aesthetic . . . of . . . socialist realism . . .  to mask . . . male-pattern balding. Okay, Asch. That sort of insinuation makes you look totally sane and super-fit to make decisions.

What really bothers Asch, though, are the non-shitty wages and benefits Dartmouth pays its workers. Asch’s preferred solution to this manifest injustice should be familiar to anyone fortunate enough to have been affected by the business practices of Mitt Romney’s Mormon charity, Bain Capital: slashing workers’ wages, health benefits, and pensions.

Despite his professed distaste for the public assessment of personal financial matters, Asch has taken (again) to Dartblog.com to repeatedly and publicly mock the wages and benefits Dartmouth pays its workers. As it turns out, Dartmouth demonstrates an uncommon commitment not to swindle their workers. The College pays them a decent salary, contributes to a defined-benefit pension, subsidizes non-crappy health coverage, and assents to union representation. In other words: Dartmouth declines to exploit the working class of rural New Hampshire. Those with even the smallest acquaintance of the ruling class’s antecedent regard for labor might, you know, consider this arrangement a good thing.

Alas, not Joe Asch. Read the rest of this entry »

PrezKim Actually Kind of Cool; Dartmouth Alum Protests

Breaking! In a Dartblog post this Wednesday, alum Joseph Asch gives readers a crystal-clear example of President Kim’s hypocritical policies from over three months ago. This past October, rather than suit up for the riveting 25th anniversary celebration of Dartmouth’s Hood Museum, Kim chose to attend “hobnobbed” with his son and various trustees at the Columbia homecoming game:

Ill-advised decisions like the above have cost him the support of much of the faculty and other close observers of events at Dartmouth. One day, when the negative opinion of Kim that is currently held by an increasingly large group of insiders suddenly becomes the general opinion at the College (this is most often the way that ideas progress), Jim Kim will wonder where the applause went.

Come on, Asch, tell us what you really think.

The blogger’s main criticism of his alma mater’s prez seems to stem from Kim’s alleged love for the humanities but failure to attend this one specific arts event out of the many, many scholastic gatherings he likely attends each week. Hypocrite! Kim, you may have spent your life saving Haitians from tuberculosis with Partners in Health, but your school’s astute alumni see through your empty words. Asch solidifies this allegation with an “Addendum” that he wrote himself and attributed to another source from an anonymous faculty member, who adopts a strikingly similar tone and wholeheartedly agrees with the criticism of Kim’s “lack of understanding of the humanities.”

Perhaps, though—perhaps Kim’s choice to cheer on the Big Green in the big city was not so anti-arts after all. It is a well known fact that Columbia is, like, the humanities’ #1 fan. Not only does it force students to spend a third of their classes studying classically irrelevant works of dead white males—what, it’s not like Homer and Kant were actuallyinfluential—it also has the names of said progenitors tattooed on the forehead of its library. At football games, students dress in traditional Greek clothing and cheer not for the Lions but for the Lacedaemonians. Kim clearly realized that, in an afternoon at Baker Field (Asch, you realize Dartmouth actually won, right?), he would bask in the belles-lettres far more than he could schmoozing with art collectors in the Hood.