a PAW web exclusive column by Wes Tooke '98 (email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
19 , 2001:
out the hardware
As interesting as the Academy Awards; as meaningful as an Emmy...
With a New Year and a new Ivy League basketball season almost
upon us, it is time to hand out the inaugural PAW Princetonian of
the Year Awards. Since the idea of handing out only one award seemed
frightfully disciplined given my track record, I have created a
number of totally arbitrary categories. Also, please note that current
and past presidents of the university are ineligible for the Princetonian
of the Year award for the same reason that the secretary general
of the United Nations ought to be ineligible for the Nobel Peace
Prize - if they do their jobs, they ought to win the awards almost
every year. So, without further ado...
Grateful Alumni of the Year: Over the last 24 months, Peter Lewis
'55 has given the university $115 million (plus class dues). I would
tell Steve Forbes '70 not to let the door hit him on the way out,
but I'm finished with taking cheap shots at wannabe presidential
candidates who inherited their father's money but none of their
Princetonian in Hollywood of the Year: With Tom and Nicole and
Bruce and Demi but lingering tabloid memories, it is time to salute
the enduring presence of Hollywood's real golden couple. The Coen
brothers have been making interesting, engrossing movies for 15
years now, which puts them in rare company. Since I can never remember
which one actually went to Princeton, we'll just give the award
to the entire family.
Hero of the Year: Li Shaomin *88 spent six months in a Chinese
jail on a cooked-up espionage charge, almost certainly because he
has criticized the Chinese political and legal systems in his work.
He returned home in July and has continued to speak compellingly
on human rights issues. In a side note, while Chinese jails may
not get the press of Turkish prisons, I don't think they're any
From the Grave Award: John Nash could be either the big winner
or the big loser - it's hard to decide if being played by Russell
Crowe is a coup or an insult. Speaking of Russell Crowe, the petulant
Aussie earns Class Act of the Year for extending his middle finger
at one of our innocent sophomores while a guest on campus.
Initiative of the Year: Eliminating loans. Best thing to happen
to private education since coeducation.
Badass of the Year: A tie between Donald "we drop cluster
bombs because they kill more people" Rumsfeld '54 and Robert
"I'll find the terrorists and strangle them myself" Mueller
'66. The only group more terrified than the perpetrators of September
11 is the Washington press corps.
Team of the Year: Men's lacrosse. If Steve Tosches could coach
football as well as he coaches lacrosse, he would make $2 million
a year and be a media darling.
And the Princetonian of the Year goes to... Lesley Carlin '95.
Not only is she a former coworker of mine, she has also written
a hilarious book, Things You Need to Be Told (Berkley Books), and
created one of the funniest sites on the web. Tune your computer
In a totally unrelated note, I would like to thank Berkley Books
and the Carlin Foundation for their generous contributions to the
Wes Tooke Rent Fund. And I would also like to point out that I have
managed to avoid awarding myself any hardware. Congress should take
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