When and wherefore was the unpainted face of sexual activity on an American college campus, specifically solicited through the Internet, made taboo? At what point was “the first person” made criminal? In what universe can only big-dog hyper-scholars comment on seminal advancements in science and the lands of tomorrow? Since when, dear friends, did Finland start reading scene?
Last week we woke up, you woke up.
Now we know: Arts & Living is not always pretty.
Let the commentators sing.
By the numbers, the articles most commented upon in last week’s issue of scene were “Get laid, get on Craigslist” (the most popular article in the News) and “Fear the Singularity.” The former is the story of a youth’s search for erotic love in the Internet marketplace. The latter found two of Hunter S. Thompson’s children running amok at a science conference in Harlem.
Before we add anything further, we should state that we adore commentators. We firstly love the well-informed commentator – that person who furthers an online dialogue with quick wit and the sardonic deconstruction of poorly concocted arguments. But even totally ignorant commentators put a special spring in our step.
All of you darlings are our very own Greek chorus.
In lieu of all the attention our last issue received on the Internet, we dedicate this issue to our critics, all those who raised their voices — be they constructive, critical, ad hominem, scathing or heartfelt.
But furthermore, with your permission, dear reader, we want to single out for special attention the following commentators, who deserve high praise for their feedback on last week’s issue.
In regards to “Get laid, get on Craigslist”
Yalies seek and arrange sex on the Internet. Gabriel Barcia found a whole network of them on Craigslist. We approved.
“Very disappointed sophomore” did not. “This is disgusting piece of journalism [sic],” he or she wrote. “To be honest, the issue of looking for sexual partners on Internet is not new yet it still interesting, nor is the manner of ‘confession’-style account unreasonable. There is huge lack of taste and the writing is simply deficient and vulgar. Just hideous. I would have said it first but #4 got me first.
This is just Rumpus. And to be honest, Rumpus has much better taste in these stories. I can only see the laughters in Herald’s editors [sic]. I know the rest of the campus laughs.”
The words of “Very disappointed sophomore” have brought into light the limestone bedrock of our aspirations for the section.
What is scene? It is the weekly Arts & Living supplement, it is the ape laboratory, it is the incubator for creative non-fiction and fiction, occasionally, but it is not another hothouse for the “news.”
But more importantly it is a social barometer. It identifies trends and expounds upon them, often in humorous ways.
Whenever someone Google searches “sex Yale Craigslist,” they will find Barcia’s article. New perspectives on cultural phenomena should be born in these pages, placenta and all.
Gabriel Barcia exceeded our expectations. Where he went literally and metaphorically, and what he saw was not merely newsworthy or informative, but narcotic and engrossing for a community in a way that only scene provides. Indeed, “sophomore,” we hope the Herald Editors are laughing. We hope the Rumpus is laughing. “Caveat emptor,” we say. Let not all be entertained, but only those willing to approach the horizon of their worldviews and pass beyond — into the abyss.
Still, it is duly noted that “@ anon” believes, “This article does not have a compelling voice, is extremely poorly written, and involves the use of needless profanity for shock value… The YDN is a respectable newspaper, and you do not see this kind of profanity in any good papers.”
Given, in print form, the delineation of scene’s content from the News’ daily content is apparent. But on the Internet, this is less clear.
But is a trend story about more students enrolling in history seminars any more important than an article about Internet hookups? We think not, and those so blinded to the world around them deserve to be shocked, whine though they may.
YOUR SONS ARE HOOKING UP ON CRAIGSLIST, MANKIND.
In regards to “FEAR THE SINGULARITY”
Also ruffling feathers last week, Jacob Albert and Maxwell Barbakow’s “FEAR THE SINGULARITY” drew the ire of readers from as far as Finland.
Upon asking this duo of talented young documentarians to go to Harlem to cover a conference that sounded meaningful when they mentioned it; we received their version of what happened. Sure, we’re not mathematicians, scientists, or economists, but what our writers showed us made sense. And it scared us.
To make a long story short, suffice it to say that certain details were smudged and the headline may or may not have been indelicate and inaccurate. According to our authors at least, you ought not “FEAR THE SINGULARITY.” The organizers of the un-engrossing conference, through which Max and Jacob slept, posit a rather positive outlook on the event. So do the selfsame authors. The incongruity was our mistake. If we could write it all over again, the headline would read, “Hummus, samosas and eternal humanity.” There you have it.
In regards to today’s issue
Comments provoke debate. We’ve come to expect them.
Scream at us.