Tag Archives: The Daily Pennsylvanian

Mystery solved: The Daily Pennsylvanian is in the pocket of Big Marble

A month and a half ago — though my outrage is still fresh like it was yesterday — I wrote a post that insinuated the Daily Pennsylvanian is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean. And mean, etc. And by insinuated, I mean that was the exact title of the post in question.

It’s possible I was slightly mistaken. As it turns out, it’s more than just that the Daily Pennsylvanian is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean. And mean, etc. It’s that whoever runs the paper these days has been blinded by the sickeningly obsequious DP columnist who goes by the name of Will Marble — if that’s his real name.

Continue reading Mystery solved: The Daily Pennsylvanian is in the pocket of Big Marble

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The Daily Pennsylvanian is giving Penn way too much credit

The Daily Pennsylvanian wants to know:

To save you further investigation, the linked article just embeds the relevant tweets in order and concludes as follows, “So who got the best of the Twitter battle? Let us know in the comments below.”*

Continue reading The Daily Pennsylvanian is giving Penn way too much credit

The Daily Pennsylvanian is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean. And mean, etc.

Yesterday was April Fools’ Day, unless you contribute to The Daily Pennsylvanian, in which case that happened sometime last week. I’ve already expressed my annoyance with the annual joke issue — and especially the paper’s self-satisfactory celebration — but that’s not actually the worst thing the DP did that day. It messed with me:

Continue reading The Daily Pennsylvanian is a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean. And mean, etc.

“Tear gas canisters, BDS Stickers and hope: What I Saw on My Trip to Palestine/Israel This Summer”: a response

The most-commented article right now on the Daily Pennsylvanian’s website (and therefore highlighted alongside the right-hand margin) is a guest column by rising Junior Clarissa O’Conor titled Tear gas canisters, BDS Stickers and hope: What I Saw on My Trip to Palestine/Israel This Summer.

In the column, O’Conor describes her recent visit to the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and elsewhere in the company of “two other Penn alums, a larger group of Presbyterians from Atlanta, Jews, Muslims and secular folks, and one alumni of Birthright Israel.” [The editorial oversight that allowed this sentence to be printed as is simply boggles my mind. Thank you, “Summer Pennsylvanian.”] In any event, O’Conor believes that this field trip qualifies her to hold forth on the complex Israeli-Palestinian conflict because she’s gone where no American visiting on Birthright has gone before:

Throughout the entire trip, I could not help but think of my fellow Penn students who have taken a Birthright tour of Israel or are there now on Birthright Excel. I know that they do not go where I went. I know that they are told nothing about what they are seeing outside their bus windows through Palestine/Israel. For example, although Israeli soldiers accompany Birthright groups to encourage the identification of young American Jews with the Israeli army, these groups do not visit the more than 600 military checkpoints, roadblocks and barriers that are symbols of Israel’s control over Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

O’Conor seems to know a lot about what people do on Birthright for someone who — I’d wager — never went on such a trip herself. Having staffed two in the past [full disclosure: I staffed two Birthright trips in the past, and what people do on Birthright is hook up], I would dispute that the American visitors are “told nothing about what they are seeing outside their bus windows through Palestine/Israel” — though I would agree that they probably don’t often experience checkpoints like O’Conor did.

But I’m not writing to defend Birthright; I’m writing to o’ffend O’Conor. The ironic thing about her description of a Birthright trip and all that it omits from the itinerary is that her own seems somewhat far from complete. Here is a list of her experiences on this recent trip — the locations, people, and organizations she writes of having visited:

Continue reading “Tear gas canisters, BDS Stickers and hope: What I Saw on My Trip to Palestine/Israel This Summer”: a response

Is anyone really surprised by this morning’s fire at Cosi?

Because I seem to make my way back to Philadelphia every other semester, I’m inexplicably still friends with on Facebook/follow The Daily Pennsylvanian and Under the Button (which inexplicably didn’t earn even one mention in Kate Taylor’s piece).

So this morning I was treated to the following blow-by-blow account of Big News on Campus:

As you can see, big happenings by the Bookstore are good for a lot of tweets. But after examining the chain’s logo, I’d have to say the real story is that this sort of thing doesn’t happen more often:

Continue reading Is anyone really surprised by this morning’s fire at Cosi?

Kate Taylor’s piece about hook-ups on Penn’s campus eerily reminiscent of her own life

Kate Taylor published a long piece in the New York Times this weekend, and because it was written about Penn, I haven’t been able to escape it. It’s everywhere:

Apparently, over the past year, so was Kate. According to one account by a current student, Taylor was a “ubiquitous campus figure — spotted at bars, at frat parties, [and] at downtown clubs.” The author used these opportunities to conduct a series of focus groups and interviews for the sake of vindicating her main thesis: that women are important drivers of “hook-up” culture at Penn.

Of course, what better place than the home of Wharton to turn up gems like these:

Continue reading Kate Taylor’s piece about hook-ups on Penn’s campus eerily reminiscent of her own life

Penn [Dis]Connects — an ulterior motive?

Exactly a week ago, two students published an opinion piece in the Daily Pennsylvanian plugging (pun intended) something called Penn [Dis]Connects, which they describe as “an opportunity to pluck yourself from the web, remind yourself of the world not viewable through an Instagram lens and return with a better appreciation for the people around you.”

No, they’re not asking for tributes to the Hunger Games.

But then, how specifically would they like to provide you with such “an opportunity”?

[We] challenge you to put your computers to sleep… Get a group of your friends together and plan activities… Go to PennDisconnects.com — take the pledge, spread the word, join the movement.

That last request — to pledge online — perhaps unfairly calls to mind Rainbow Jeremy, who don’t have a telly, ain’t got no technology, he just chill at home, smoke his own homegrown, and if you don’t believe me, check out his website.

Leaving Ali G aside momentarily, the overall idea here isn’t original — it even has a trendy name: “Digital Detox.” Digital Detox can last up to a whole week — or in the case of certain residents of the third world, and less-privileged residents of the first, a lifetime — but more common manifestations last for much shorter periods.

Here’s a guy who gave up his cell phone for a dayHere’s a guy who wants you to give up your phone for a weekend. Here’s a lady who gave up her phone for a whole yearHere’s another lady who pledged to do the same just for Christmas (but what’s a holiday without cellphones, amirite?). And here’s a lady whose husband didn’t use his phone for a week, and who was quite eager to share 21 reasons why that was great (couples therapy, anyone?). Here’s a guy who didn’t bring his phone on vacation to IrelandHere’s a website dedicated to helping others plan similar phone-free vacationsAnd if you can’t imagine yourself ever relaxing without a phone, here’s the functional equivalent of Digital Detox fat camp.

Here’s a scientific study of everybody in that last paragraph, and here’s a helpful Digital Detox how-to guide (I suggest you print it out before you give up access to electronics). The New York Times even wrote a trend piece about it, so you’d know there are at least three people doing it even without my extensive documentation.

So what makes this proposal different?

As I’ve shown, the overall idea isn’t fresh, but the DP article’s authors do go to great effort to offer some unique, local, value-added suggestions for what you can do all day in the vicinity of Penn — without using your phone:

[Give] each other real attention, grab a cup of coffee and look each other in the face… get together with a group of friends and just spend time with real people. Do something — go to a museum, bike by the Schuylkill, host a late-morning brunch… This isn’t an event that you show up to — it’s an experience that you create for yourself and your friends. It’s a space in time that you set aside to realize how incredible it might be to not have to respond to emails for a day.

I count somewhere between six and nine suggested activities in that excerpt, depending on how you count (and also on your counting ability). They’re all, no doubt, quite lovely ways to spend your time. But while the list is in many ways helpful and adorable, I couldn’t help but notice it’s also astonishingly incomplete.

“Well, obviously,” you might reply: there are literally infinite things you can do on this Earth — the best any author could offer is a brief sketch of some possibilities.

But I would suggest the list was left intentionally incomplete, because there’s one absent activity that’s so obvious, you have to imagine any realistic account of the proposed date would include it. What clued me in? For one thing — actually, for the only thing — the authors’ frequent repetition of the specific date chosen for the big event, scheduled two and a half whole weeks in the future:

On Saturday, April 20, we challenge you to put your computers to sleep… Get a group of your friends together and plan activities for Saturday, April 20. Come the 20th, turn off your phones and computers and spend the day together, fully-present.

Really, you expect me to believe you just happened to pick 4/20? Sounds to me like the entire article is actually a siren’s song intended to encourage you not just to put down your phone, but to pick up your phone bong. I won’t be at all surprised when the guys pushing Penn [Dis]Connects turn out to be actual pushers.

If anyone reading this is planning to participate in another week and a half, I suspect Rainbow Jeremy would be more than happy to keep you company while you [Dis]Connect.

Reading the DP makes me feel like I’m taking the LSAT

Last week, the DP shared the news that Janelle Monae would perform at Spring Fling. And today, it alerted readers that the rapper Tyga would be joining her. Pretty straightforward.

But the way it tried to put the two announcements together seems to have involved a certain amount of complexity. To the excerpts!

Rapper Tyga will be coming to Penn on April 12 as the first Spring Fling opening artist.

Tyga is the second opening artist to be released. Janelle Monae, the first artist announced last week, will take the stage after Tyga.

The third artist, who will headline Fling, has yet to be released.

I’m sure that third addition to the lineup won’t make things any more unnecessarily complicated.

“The worst chart about Canadian drinking” actually makes some sense

I don’t hesitate to call out terrible and misleading posts on respected publications like Wonkblog, nor do I hesitate to call out terrible and misleading graphs in respected magazines like TIME or 34th street. So it’s only appropriate that in this post, I call out Wonkblog for unfairly calling out a graph that I don’t think was all that terrible or misleading.

You may have guessed from the title of this post that I’m here to defend “The worst chart about Canadian drinking” Wonkblog complained about on Friday [selection bolded for emphasis]:

Continue reading “The worst chart about Canadian drinking” actually makes some sense