The guy in the $10,000 suit plays the viola

In the July 28th issue of the New Yorker we were treated to the story of the Carpenter family, described by Rebecca Mead as “imagined into being by Wes Anderson.” Sean, Lauren, and David Carpenter all attended Princeton on financial aid, but are now living the life posing as Stradivari asset managers to promote their musical careers. We think? It seems they just wanted the opportunity to play these extraordinary instruments so badly they cracked the financial market for them.

Sean and Lauren both served as concertmaster at Princeton while David only played in the orchestra briefly, choosing instead to follow the spotlight as a soloist. The siblings “have a disconcerting habit of referring to themselves in the first-person plural,” are all unmarried (“We just haven’t met the right person yet”), and now live together in a two-bedroom apartment at the Plaza. Their mother often sleeps over.

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The New Yorker Writes About Drugs, Hipster Harvard Kid

crazykidIn this week’s issue of the New Yorker, staff writer Margaret Talbot penned a lengthy piece about the “underground world of ‘neuroenhancing’ drugs”. (Whether or not the use of cognitive stimulants – especially on college campuses – is “underground” is up for debate; I’d say from my own experience it was hardly hush-hush, but I digress.)

Stories on students using drugs like Adderall and Ritalin have been the yawn-inducing fodder of rags both on and off-campus for years now, and yet none have given the issues at play as much consideration as Talbot has in “Brain Drain.”

While the piece does not focus solely on “neuroenhancers” and their use by students, the story opens and ends on a recently graduated Harvard student under the alias of “Alex”. According to Talbot, Alex – who is “skinny and bearded…[and who] looked like the lead singer in an indie band” (and yet apparently has not relocated to Brooklyn) – took drugs in college in order to balance his school and extracurricular commitments with an apparently ravishing weekend social life.

More after the jump.

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Europe is the New Ivy League (For Rejects on the Cheap!)

Yesterday the New York Times published an exposé, of sorts, bolstering the new trend of foregoing the Ivy League admissions for cheaper, ask-fewer-questions colleges overseas. Top schools in the U.K. and Canada offer world-class educations preloaded with neat things like conversations in foreign languages and cobblestone streets. Apparently, kids also get to skip the crappy American traditions of doing well on SATs and writing personal statements—not to mention getting cured of a nasty case of of a plagiarism.

To high school students considering six-figure debt versus five-figure debt, the move to Europe’s gothic arches and prestigious-sounding names abroad makes buckets of sense. (Reference to the global economic crisis implied.) As the Ivies reaffirm their commitment to increasing financial aid and eliminating debt, however, applying abroad really just seems like an easy way into tweed-wearing university towns. Club meetings at pubs and potential for Old World extravagance run a close second to sounding “original” when telling high school classmates your postgrad plans.

So is the faux-Ivy, go-abroad-for-a-new-accent trend really all it’s cracked up to be? It all depends whether higher education should be what the title implies or just a ticket to drinking pints scot-free at 18. The whole Ivy League thing really is getting a bit tired for everyone (The New Yorker included?), but why not do it for the right reasons? Ivy League educations have never been more expensive or exclusive as they are now weirdly accessible to Europhiles and free to those who read the YDN.

Cat-loving Wikipedia Admins Kill IvyGate, Dog-loving IvyGate Resents This (UPDATE)

Cat-loving Wikipedia Admins Kill IvyGate, Dog-loving IvyGate Resents This (UPDATE)A search for IvyGate’s sleek Wikipedia page now yields nothing. The page underwent a deletion review and was ruled undeserving of Wikipedia’s (apparently limited) real estate, for lack of notability. (To see the full details, click the image.)

The initial hater was Wikipedian “Biggspowd,” who argued on August 20 that “The references listed just mention the blog in passing, not on it’s own merit.” Two words, Biggspowd: New Yorker. That is a magazine of repute. You are not.

A talk ensued with Biggspowd’s Crabbe-and-Goyles “Corpx” and “Aarktica” questioning IG’s “long term historic notability.” I had been on Wikipedia when I first read this. At the time I was browsing through some of Jeopardy‘s 5-day champions from the early ’90s, many of whom have their own pages. So. This. “Long term historic notability.” You decide.

The Pontius Pilate figure was admin CitiCat, who deleted the IvyGate page on August 27, the same day that “Image:Cher_in_hell_on_wheels.jpg” and “Tourettes Guy” underwent review and a day before “Rank insignia of the Galactic Empire” and “Croatophobia” sat in cyberrelevancy court.

Back to CitiCat, who sentenced our personal Jesus to death. The CitiCat admin page reveals the provincial governor’s felis sylvestris namesakes:

Cat-loving Wikipedia Admins Kill IvyGate, Dog-loving IvyGate Resents This (UPDATE) 

CitiCat calls these “two of the various fuzzy occupants at my home.” CitiCat has “been using the internet pretty much continuously since 1987.” CitiCat is a 38-year-old man. CitiCat kills dreams.

We want to know everyone’s opinions. Is IvyGate worthy of a Wikipedia page? Do our recent highlights–the L.A. mayor’s son’s confessing crimes, the early leak of the USN&WR rankings–make us as historically notable as Jerome Vered, who won a week’s worth of Jeopardy! in 1992? Why would the admins ever consider deleting Galactic Empire rank insignia? To whom would the Storm Troopers answer?!

Or is this some relic of the Jim Cro-atophobe Laws? Because we will play the Croatophobe card, you catfucking Cro-Magnon.

–JIM NEWELL (Remember me?)

P.S.: Someone make the new IvyGate Wikipedia page and fight out the historic notability there.

UPDATE 2:40 p.m. Thursday: The rumors on the comment boards are true. IvyGate’s Wikipedia page v1.2 returned in the wee hours of August 30. The hero was Wikipedia admin Wikidemo, famous for creating the Francis Ford Coppola, Redheaded Slut and–yes–“Impossible is Nothing” pages. Wikidemo, according to the IvyGate article’s history, restored and updated it to “overcome any ‘single news event’ concerns.” It is much more thorough than the old article, devoting a long paragraph to Chris Beam’s dad.

CitiCat, meanwhile, has suffered his greatest defeat in 20 years of Internetting.