a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
September 11, 2002:
house (and mind)
ideas related to PU
Something about the long summer break has made the prospect of
constructing a coherent column seem impossible, so I'm instead going
to expunge all the Princeton-related thoughts I've had over the
last two months in one swift swoop.
1) Fortune 500 companies don't take a quarter as long a time to
find a new CEO as the PAW took to find its next editor. Jane Martin
announced that she was leaving her job in February, which I assumed
meant the new person would be in place by the start of the summer
leaving him or her plenty of time to evaluate the magazine
before the pressure of the regular production schedule. But by waiting
until mid-August to make the decision, the new editor has little
chance of being able to make any significant changes in her inaugural
2) Individuals who go to Yale may be fine people; Yale University
is run by the biggest pack of losers this side of Enron. Let's review
this summer's scandal: Princeton admission official hears that Yale
has posted a criminally insecure admission site, Princeton official
stupidly logs onto criminally insecure Yale admission site, Princeton
official tells Yale that it is running a criminally insecure site,
Yale does nothing, Yale Daily News breaks "Princeton hacker"
story, Yale is shocked, SHOCKED, to discover that Princeton has
"hacked" into its private site using the advanced code
breaking techniques of entering a social security number and birth
date, Yale turns the case over to a federal prosecutor and demands
a public apology.
Where to begin... If the Yale administrators weren't afraid of
looking as dumb as they are, this situation could have been handled
in a civilized way. The president of Yale acts like a gentleman
and calls the president of Princeton, the president of Princeton
apologizes, the Yale Daily News prints the apology, the president
of Princeton yells at her admission department for being so stupid,
the president of Yale yells at his admission department for being
criminally incompetent, and life goes on. Minor story. Instead,
a member of the Princeton admission department, who is by all accounts
a dedicated employee, loses his job. In fact, the whole dumb situation,
which has already been discussed ad nauseam on every Princeton e-mail
list, needs to be properly buried. I therefore demand that the president
of Yale come to the steps of Nassau Hall and read the following
statement: "I am a clown. I wear big, floppy shoes and have
a red nose. My football team resorts to dirty transfers in a vain
attempt to reach respectability. The only place more ugly than New
Haven is the bilge of a trash barge. I can't compete with Princeton's
financial aid packages because my university is carrying too much
deferred maintenance, so I'm therefore forced to resort to desperation
tactics in order to increase my slipping yield. I am a clown."
3) I know that somewhere in this country there must be people
who are thinking, "Gosh, another season of Ivy League football
is right around the corner. I can't wait." I find the existence
of these people to be very, very curious. Certainly, I understand
that attending an Ivy League game can be very entertaining; I understand
that ticket prices are low. It makes perfect sense to me that if
I lived in Princeton, an afternoon at the new stadium might be a
good place to spend time with my family or old friends. But to have
the energy to crunch statistics or complain bitterly about a third-down
call on an e-mail list... I worry about these people.
4) With the magazine under new leadership, the odds I'm getting
sacked must be awfully high. One simply does not impinge one's bosses,
Ivy League football, and God and Man at Yale in the same column.
It just isn't done.
See you next time. Maybe.
You can reach Wes at email@example.com