Columbia University might want to rethink that hasty decision to take a pass on summer team-building retreats for staffers. Maybe some ropes course training or a little "Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board," would have upped the love between two different pairs of its fine educators, who have been bitch-slapping each other around for years. Charges of bad-mouthing; jockeying for position; insinuations of intra-office noose-hanging (and whatever happened to those security tapes, by the way?); rumor-spreading; sabotage, "Machiavellian ouster" schemes—God, we so love "Gossip Girl," it's totally, like, the best show on television. What will go down tonight, when the outgoing president of Barnard hosts a public dinner to talk about recent incidents? Staff food fight?
The trusty interns of n+1, the most important literary journal of our time, are delivering a pamphlet for college students called "What We Should Have Known" around the grounds of Columbia this fine evening! Well, "intern." His name is Mark! Say hi! "The n+1 guys have probably already developed a small cult of worshipers at Columbia, and some students will no doubt gladly imbibe their advice, which is offered generously, if slightly self-importantly." [NY Sun]
While the campus is in full uproar, Columbia University is refusing to give the NYPD security videotapes of the office of Madonna Constantine, an African-American professor who found a noose hanging on her office door Tuesday morning. The police began asking for the footage yesterday, but Columbia administrators have turned them down, forcing the police to seek a court order for the tapes. An odd choice for the school to make. Two explanations come to mind!
"And to the rest of the Columbia University students: What was with the uncomfortable silence after my joke about nuclear weapon-seeking leaders being retards? Was there a translation issue? That joke kills in Iran! Then again, in Iran, there does not exist the phenomenon of retards. In America, I hear that you have one as your leader! Hahahahaha!!! (In Iran, there would be immense laughter.) I want to go home." [Note to MSNBC: This is not a real quote, don't recycle it in a story.] [NewsGroper]
You've read about Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's famous "we don't have any homosexuals" routine, but you really need to see it performed live at his Columbia University gig to get the full effect: It's all in the delivery. As a bonus, he also breaks into his bit on women, which has the absolutely hilarious part about how Iranian women are so respected—How respected are they?—Iranian women are so respected that they're exempt from legal responsibilities. This guy kills us.
From the mailbag: "Broadway around Columbia is pandemonium. Protesters of every vein, including some pro-Ahmadinejad ones with posters saying "May Allah cast a mushroom cloud over Israel." Classy. No violence, yet, but i was hoping a cop would bash the head in of a whiny guy who needed to get through to get his books and didn't want to go around the 5-block police blockade."
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad: "In the teachings of the prophets, one reality shall always be attached to science: the reality of purity of spirit and good behavior. Knowledge and wisdom are pure and clear reality. Science is a light." Up at Columbia, Bwog says one student suggests that "Either he's stoned or the translator is." [NYT, Bwog]
Iran's president and suave dresser Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is about to make his pre-infamous speech up at Columbia. What's everyone doing inside while they wait for him? At least one is reading Philip Roth. "It's just a book I'm in the middle of, and I don't want to do work." More soon from this exciting scene no doubt! [Bwog]
We're keeping a close eye on L.A.'s favorite fauxen yogurt chain PInkberry; it's already hawking its addictive mixture of air and chemicals and mouse excreta at four locations in the city. Eater mentions today that Pinkberry's fifth outpost will open soonish near the Columbia University campus at 112th and Broadway. Good news for Columbia frosh, because nothing goes with Thinking Sexuality Transnational class like an ounce of swirly fat-free frozen chemicals, if only because Columbia students hate their bodies and theirselves.
In the constellation of collegiate societies—fraternities, sororities, eating clubs, finals clubs, and the like—few are more exclusive, and WASPy, as St. Anthony Hall, or St. A's as it is commonly known. Founded at Columbia University in 1847, today the organization has merely nine chapters, six of which are co-ed and three of which are all-male. At the university we attended, the St. A's chapter house was an imposing Tudor brick presence in the center of campus, with leaded-glass windows, a large side yard, and a stoop where the blond members would sit outside on nice days, drinking beer out of plastic cups. (They were still a frat, after all.) So perhaps it's not surprising that Tinsley Mortimer would've been a member.
It's been a while since we've heard about the Columbia class on political writing to be taught by the editors of n+1, which is the most important literary journal of our time. Now we've gotten our hands on the class description—and it turns out that Ben Kunkel and Co. will be teaching from... the magazine that they edit! (Or should we say, the magazine they write and don't edit. At all.)
The other evening, the sisters of Columbia's Sigma Delta Tau sorority gathered to hear a speaker who could figure very prominently in their futures: matchmaker Janis Spindel, of Janis Spindel Serious Matchmaking and 365 Proven Ways to Find Love in Less Than a Year. Why, did the lovely ladies need some help learning how to attract the fine male specimens of Columbia University? Yes, it turns out!
Past Class Day pre-commencement speakers up at Columbia University make up a fairly fancy gang, one that includes George Stephanopoulos, playwright Tony Kushner, and last year's much-protested choice, John McCain. But never before has the student body been quite so totally pissed over the choice of Class Day speaker as they are now. What, Lost star Matthew Fox isn't good enough for you children?
Matt Sanchez, a 36-year-old Columbia student and Marine Corps reservist, has been appearing on all sorts of conservative talk shows like the O'Reilly Factor and Hannity & Colmes, whining about being mocked for military service by those lefties up at Columbia. And then Sanchez was feted at the CPAC conference— the one where Ann Coulter made her "faggot" remark. That must have been a weird experience, since all the gays have now fingered him as a former gay porn star. (Well, we told you Ann was a huge fag hag!)