Dear Readers,

This has not been a good month for The Daily Princetonian. Honestly, we almost feel bad for them. There was the PUDS fiasco, the misreporting of college council budgets, and, just this week, they ran a story with the headline, “Arab Comedians Bring Down the…” –we’ll just let that one go. And who can forget the morning we woke up to find that Christmas had come early, that the Prince had launched an on-line comments section! Oh boy, we thought Prince Watch had gone public. We even thought they might grow as writers from the constant stream of criticism. That, or resign en masse. Either way, we feared we might be out of a job.

But it was not to be. The idiocy of the comments themselves proved, more often than not, to trump the idiocy of that which they sought to critique. There were diamonds in the rough of course. There were good citizens who pointed out that such-and-such isn’t a word or that this-or-that isn’t true. Fear not though gentle readers; the Nass is here to help. Don’t worry about sifting through the miles of typos that now lovingly grace the conclusion of every Prince web article. If it was embarrassing enough that you should know about it, then you will find it here at Prince Watch.

They even tried to confess their sins:

The editors working on the story were committed to a particular line of inquiry and thus did not fully incorporate information that contradicted their pre-conceived thrust of the article.

–Jonathan Zebrowski, Editor-in-Chief of the Daily Princeton. In print April 7th, 2008.

But will they repent…

~The Nassau Weekly Staff

New Found Glory to play at Quad Lawnparties, Colonial to host Eve 6

By Sarah Pease-Kerr

Who gives those man-on-the-street snippets that pass for research in the News Department? After News randomly calls up a student (and subsequently misquotes them), which editor then decides which lines are insipid and which might actually represent popular sentiment? The Prince’s recent article on spring Lawnparties prompted us to ponder just these questions. The article reports that a randomly selected freshman girl was “disappointed with the band selection at Quad,” though ultimately she remained ambivalent. The Prince “quotes” her at length:

“New Found Glory is a little out of date,” she said. “I have never 
enjoyed their music, and I don’t know a lot of people who ever did.” 
Nevertheless, she said “it seems like an appropriate choice for an 
outdoor concert.”

It was a shining endorsement to be sure. Yes, it does seem reasonable that an unpopular band would be perfect for a Lawnparty concert. Never mind that this poor freshman has probably never attended a spring Lawnparty in her life, the Prince has never written a news story either. So who’s counting?

Princeton’s last best hope

By Matt Kandel

Kandel urges Princeton undergrads to do the job admissions officers should have done by getting the most potentially detestable 2012ers in their crosshairs and taking them out. They are to use such clever techniques as reaffirming the investment banking stereotype and underlining just how grueling a process the senior thesis is.

Kandel writes, “If Princeton still looks good despite your best efforts, don’t be afraid to get aggressive. Feel free to drop such bombs as, ‘I should have gouged out my eyes rather than come here.'”

The joke has the right sentiment but the wrong phrasing. Maybe Kandel meant, “I would have rather gouged my eyes out than come here”–this communicates just how much the speaker despises Princeton by iterating a devastating either-or decision in the hypothetical (I “would have rather”). But with the current phrasing, it seems like Kandel is describing some kind of actual situation he was in, as if this were an ultimatum actually put forward by his parents (“OK, either you go to Princeton or those peepers are comin’ right out!”). Or that it was a question Kandel might’ve asked himself staring at that letter of acceptance (“Princeton…or unbearable pain?”). Now I’m not laughing. I’m just worried for Kandel. I’m kind of disturbed too.

And the jokes just keep on limping:

“[…] or if you’re really on the ropes, [you can say to your bratty pre-frosh,] ‘Hey, wanna try crack?'”

Ok, we’re sorry, that one was actually kind of funny.

Kandel argues that we, the undergrads, must act as the safety net in the admissions process, but is a little hasty to point fingers. “It doesn’t take a National Merit Scholar,” writes Kandel, “to figure out that even the most well-oiled Admission Office can err from time to time. After all, Yale recently discovered that an undergraduate had been admitted based on false transcripts (but then again, that’s Yale).” Yeah, and Princeton let in a fundamentalist, Mormon (thought we must assume, not Fundamentalist Mormon) nutcase who smashed a glass Orangina bottle over his head and who still thinks he’s straight.

But then again, that’s Princeton. Every Admission Office “can err from time to time.”

All the small things

By Daily Princetonian Editorial Board Staff

In this lovely little piece The Prince reminds the pre-frosh that there’s more to Princeton than the glossy pamphlets let on. For The Prince Editorial Board, it’s “the little things” that makes life at Princeton so delightful.

Among the “little things” discussed in the article are lawnparties, the dodgeball tournament, free laundry, and Murray-Dodge Café. “And when it’s time to write papers,” the Prince writes, “you’ll appreciate our libraries”–yes, the oft-overlooked libraries, one of the many “little things” Princeton has to offer that other universities don’t and that the pre-frosh would otherwise have had no idea existed.

And then the article concludes:

Finally, we couldn’t forget Charlie, the card-swiper at the Mathey Dining Hall. He loves talking to students, and he’ll know your name after a single encounter. For his long service to the University, he was granted an honorary degree last year.

Just another one of the special “little things” on par with free printing is Charlie— a person. He swipes and smiles! Despite the hours upon hours he spends swiping the ID cards of the intolerable and insensitive minds of the future, Charlie still engages in conversation. He even remembers your name. What a novelty! How nice it is not having to feel guilty about class inequity in America, how nice not having to interact with the disgruntled.

The way the Prince evaluates this university employee, this human being, is both appalling and hilarious. He’s treated as some kind of diversion or convenience in this weak attempt at portraying Princeton students as sensitive and warm humanitarians. Instead, the Board comes off sounding as classist as it is oblivious. Operating in true Prince fashion, they achieve exactly what they tried so hard to avoid

Oh, the Prince. It’s one of the little things that sets Princeton apart. Always stumbling, always bumbling–at least it never fails to amuse.

Monday morning everyman

By Becca Foresman

Is it just us or is the central premise of a truly startling number of Prince articles something along the lines of, “Wow. I’m really interesting. I may not be very bright, articulate or funny, but I bet people will love to read about whatever trivial thing I did today.” The Prince calls this section of the paper “Opinion.” We call it, in the tradition of Ivy Gate, Word Garbage.

In the good old days of Word Garbage, the focus was often inward and personal. It was a trope governed by deep narcissism masquerading as modesty, “I don’t understand complex sentences…”(10/9/07) or even more tellingly as sexual liberation (read: repression), “I’m notorious among my friends for ‘always bringing up tits,” (4/1/08). We were happy then, they pretended to be journalists and we pretended to understand whatever it was they were dithering about.

This week our esteemed paper of record printed no fewer than 777 words (albeit mostly short words) by sophomore Becca Foresman who is either tragically narcoleptic or wasting a hell of a lot of money on tuition. Apparently she can’t stay awake in class, and apparently we should know about it.

“Yeah. I prop my arm against the table with a sigh, dragging my pen in the slow arc of a smiley face. So. Hard. I blink.”

It’s so clever in it’s use of the monosyllabic sentence; it’s very Hemmingway. Perhaps it is even a subtle homage to he college Ms. Bardes, she of “Big Words, Small Ideas” fame. Who can say?

“My arm, seemingly on its own, wafts upward…. Taking a deep breath, I begin with the only sentence written in my notebook.”

We are used to this nonsense though; it amuses, but fails to surprise. What struck us as truly offensive about this piece was the title’s implication that we are all like this. Foresman is not speaking for herself, but for the everyman. Apparently we all fall asleep in precept, and we all ask irrelevant questions just to hear our own voices. We all find this elaborate game of anti-intellectual pretending to be most amusing. Right. Speak for yourself, and please, in future, do it quietly.

Admissions decisions go live on website

By Doug Eshleman

A few weeks back, our dear Daily Princetonian sought to prophesize the admission rate for the Class of 2012. Unfortunately, they were a little heavy of the verbiage and a little light on the common sense. That is to say, they were completely wrong and in a very comical way indeed.

It would appear that post Lian Ji-gate, Prince editors are too busy dehumanizing, depoliticizing, and generally chewing up articles to bother inquiring as to their basic content. So when the Prince editor read this article predicting a 6% admit rate, it did not cross his mind that this was, quite simply, absurd. Of course it would make perfect sense if we assume a 100% yield rate… Jesus Christ, monkeys with calculators, no we won’t go there either. Let’s just say that April 2nd saw yet another correction and apology.

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