Effete, Mormon, Ivy-League Elite to Seek GOP Nomination

To the great surprise of almost nobody, Jon Huntsman, Jr. (Penn ’87) on Tuesday announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for the 2012 presidential election.

It’s no secret what Huntsman been up to lately — after two successful terms as governor of Utah, President Obama banished his potential challenger to the Far East appointed Huntsman as U.S. ambassador to China, where he proceeded to randomly stroll through an anti-government protest and found himself temporarily blocked from Internet searches.

But before he was an accidental-Chinese-dissident-turned-Presidential-hopeful, Huntsman was a humble, salt-of-the-earth Ivy Leaguer like the rest of us. Well, kind of like the rest of us — he actually started at the University of Utah after dropping out of high school (to play keyboard in a rock band called “Wizard”) and before spending two years as a Mormon missionary to Taiwan.

The interwebs are pretty sparse on details of Huntsman’s time at Penn. We know that he graduated with a B.A. in international politics and does not appear to have been involved with student government, or any other activities that would have made his undergrad years particularly Google-friendly. He returned to Philly to speak at Penn’s 2010 Commencement, and his speech was pretty OK. Reviewing the Youtube video, Huntsman uses good enough sentence structure and vocabulary to seem vaguely Presidential, at least until you notice the Penn banners in the background.

So, does he have a chance at the Oval Office? Huntsman lacks the “batshit crazy” or unexcitingoldwhitedude characteristics of his competition for the nomination, which may or may not be a good thing based on the Republican base’s seeming voracious appetite for those qualities. But, should he make it through the primaries and secure the GOP nomination, the absence of those same qualities, along with sensible, centrist positions on many social and fiscal issues, could serve as a boon in winning over general election independent voters who still think Obama was born in Kenya are unhappy with the current administration’s inability to simultaneously fix the economy, save the polar bears, and cure cancer.

Note: IG editor emeritus Alex Klein was at Liberty Island for the announcement, having hitched a ride with a bus full of adorably earnest College Republicans. Check it his report at The New Republic when you get a chance. — Ed.

Attention All Freshies (Especially “That” Guy and Gal)

Doe-eyed innocent creatures we call freshmen are equipped with a dangerous ability – to blindly friend everyone from the  Ivies on Facebook.  Although some treat such activity with scorn, others argue that being “that” person is advantageous. To find out, I turned to Alex Jasiulek, CCSC 2013 president, who some might have considered “that” guy a year ago.

1. How many friends did you friend on Facebook before freshman year?

200 friends approximately

2. How did you view your classmates before you met them? Do you view people differently now?

I thought people were very interesting due to their impressive records and the cool things they liked to do. I had very few negative impressions. Mainly the people I didn’t talk to after summer ended were people that had different social interests than I did. I feel that besides physical appearances I think people turned out pretty much how I imagined and I am still great friends with the people I talked to before freshmen year.

3. Did knowing many people through Facebook early-on help you during freshman year?

I definitely think that having friends online helped me approach my first year with pure excitement, with none of the fear of making friends. Many of the people I talked to I had long conversations with and while an anonymous internet forum doesn’t prove you’ll be great friends with a person, talking on Facebook with people who you know you will be spending the next four years of your life with make the conversations more real. I came to campus with people’s numbers in my phone and after checking in I already had a group with me.

4. How you do you view yourself a year later? What do you think of the freshman this year?

I am much happier now that the relationships I began forging have turned into really great friendships. Not everyone I talked to turned out to be great friends (or great people) but I have great friends to turn to a year later. I honestly don’t know much about the current pre-frosh but I think the kids I had for my POD group were great.

5. Do you have any regrets? Any advice for the class of 2014?

If people want to meet their peers before coming to school, I think it’s definitely worthwhile and can help the summer go by quicker. However, after one bad experience I would also caution to not get to close with any one individual because they can turn out to be real bad. Although to be honest, all but one person I talked to last summer turned out to be amazing.

So there you have it, y’all have my blessing to go friend away shamelessly.  If you ever think we berate you for your unbridled enthusiasm and hope for the future, we simply are just nostalgic for the days we thought FroSci would be an interesting and informative course.

Our Sad Future: Unemployed, Single and Blogging About It

So, as it turns out, the Ivy League diploma isn’t actually the get-out-of-jail-free card, all-expenses-paid-trip-voucher, ticket-to-post-graduation-bliss we thought it was, at least according to two bloggeristas, one who writes about her life as a single Ivy grad trying out the Jewish Online Dating Scene, the other who writes about the irony of all ironies: being unemployed even years after the Ivy League.

The Penn alum behind the blog Fifty First (J) Dates is Meredith Fineman.  She’s created somewhat of a social-media empire around this whole Fifty First (J) Dates.  There’s the tumblr, the twitter, the Huffington Post articles.  Sadly, the blog leaves a lot to be desired: it’s a dating blog too shy to give any interesting details from the dates (unless you count a full-wardrobe description interesting).  It is full, however, of self-analysis, like one post in which Meredith revealed she is “a total educational snob”:

In high school, you knew everyones parents, dogs, ratio of peanut butter to jelly in the lunch room (ideally 4:1, but i won’t judge), etcetera. In college, you sorta knew everyone you hooked up with was OK because they went to your school. And were maybe in a cool fraternity, and were known for painting their bodies and imitating a certain Herpes-ridden performance artist from Acapulco. Bad example. But you catch my drift.

Now, I am going out with random dudes, I don’t know their backpack color, or if they sat behind me in Psych 101. Granted, still not that random, given that half of them are my friend’s sister’s little brother’s best friend from baseball camp — but going into the “unknown,” it helps to at least have an idea of where this person was educated.

Mazal Tov, Meredith for the Huffington Post links!  Good luck finding a nice Jewish boy with a good education, but take our advice: if you end up falling in love with a Penn State alum, remember that it could be worse… he could be a Goy!

The blog Ivy Leagued and Unemployed is less tapped-in social media wise and has a rather unfortunate WordPress theme, but is perhaps worth a gander if you want to see how sad life will be when you’re 22 and a recipient of an Ivy League diploma, but unemployed and bored and decide you’ll write a blog about your life as an unemployed-young-and-smart-person because it makes you feel good to offer up your sage advice and sound wisdom to the world for free.

Maybe the Ivy League just wasn’t cut out for blogs.

image via Flickr user Mike Licht.

Penn Professor Looks for Someone to Profess His Pen, Is Still Single

Apparently, this guy isn’t the only sexhog twiddling his thumbs for some online company (amongst other appendages). Thanks to Under the Button, we now know that professors are in on this whole “world-wide-web-is-for-more-than-just-Proquest” thing too, especially those burning with the Jungle Fever. We’ll let you read this for yourselves:

He’s still on the market (read: Craigslist), so pull on your hump-me heels and mini-skirts, non-white and mixed ladies! A few things you should pull from this posting, before your first date:

1) Prof. Pennetration has some sexual history – he’s experienced – so, if anything, don’t appear too desperate!

2) Prof. Pennetration apparently likes vertical straddles at some point on his dates.

3) Prof. Pennetration is secretly Justin Timberlake, which means you should secretly be Ciara.

Summertime really does draw out the cave dwellers.

Penn Sophomore Shows Off Ridiculous/Gaudy Estate on Teen Cribs

Tucker, Penn ’12, is better than you. His pool house has two floors; he has a 19th-century country-house in the middle of DC; he has great polo shirts; and he also has the audacity to show it all off on MTV’s Teen Cribs. Now, despite the ‘let-them-eat-cake’ unintentional elitism–and the surprising tackiness of the house itself–the Johns family seems nice… almost, too nice. One brother describes his parents as “the-bomb-dot-com”; Tucker himself says he spends most of his free-time chilling with his “awesome family.” (The parents are, of course, venture capitalists.)

Through some stilted line-deliveries and awkward tracking shots, we learn that Tucker is

20 years old, and a big fan of anything to do with pop culture.

The attire is preppy par excellence (note the many St. Albans sweaters), and the family is actually sort of adorable, if monarchical:

We have this big island in the middle of the kitchen, so when my Mom’s cooking you’ll find us around it, talking and laughing.

Cut to San Pellegrino and Evian in the transparent fridge (plus super-cool MTV transition music).

Our favorite quote is Tucker’s, wandering the outside grounds:

It’s kind of unusual to have a trampoline in this area. Not a lot of people have big yards.

Cue sister Gussie, riding up on a Vespa (Tucker: “Oh look, there’s Gussie!”), before giving us a tour of their family’s private lacrosse field. This proves a mere lead-in to the family’s luxury two-story pool-house (a hell of a lot bigger than my apartment) where “it kind of feels like you’re not in the city anymore.”

Well, they finally figured out how to make the cold materialism, fetishized elitism and tacit arrogance of Cribs even more skin-crawling: just add a splash of the Ivy League.

Full video here. Skip to 14:40 for the Tucker segment.