Dear Readers,

Welcome ladies and gentlemen. I know what you guys have been thinking– since it’s been so long since we’ve had a Prince watch, that must be because the Daily Princetonian has finally achieved a journalistic integrity which puts it beyond our childish jabs. Actually, we just haven’t been reading the Prince that often. But fear not, what awaits you is a very special issue of Prince Watch–-

When I opened my first Prince at the beginning of last week, I thought to myself, I want a challenge. I shall restrict myself to only one section, the most ridiculous and Princesque, and see how much material can accumulate in a week. Thus, welcome to Prince Watch: Opinion Section.

_Major consistency_

By Simon Fox Krauss

Published: Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

We begin the week with fresh meat, Simon Fox Krauss, writing an article entitled “Why my major is more legitimate and harder than Anthro”–-and you really don’t need to know which major he’s talking about to buy the point. Because the Computer Science department requires more prerequisite classes, students should probably have a vague idea about what their major will be at least a couple of days before the declaration deadline. And here’s me, planning on walking blindfolded from Frist and picking the first department I walk into.

The real fun begins when Krauss is introduced to the Daily Prince commenters. One relatively tame response claims that a particular sentence which could imply that COS 226 and COS 217 occur at the same time–-not just the same semester–-is unclear. Krauss, rather than letting this small point drop, goes into the comments himself to clarify “Sorry, the original wording was ambiguous and must have been reinterpreted before it ran.” Clearly, the Daily Prince Copy staff has been adding ambiguous sentences to articles for years. It all finally makes sense. On to the next one.

_Cartoon break_

Prefrosh week

By Kevin Lin

In this one cell panel, two androgynous figures, one holding a Preview packet, sit in the shade of a tree below the caption, “James was walking across campus when he spotted his friend. And he was with a prefrosh…? Trust me, it was really weird.”

Now, as with most Daily Prince comics, this comic doesn’t even count as a poor imitation of humor. Yet a closer inspection shows that it also lacks even the meanest semblance of coherence. It isn’t only unclear what the punch line is, for there is nothing apparently weird about the comic except the poor visuals. A more pressing problem–who is James? Clearly he can be neither of the figures below the tree, for James has “spotted his friend“(one of the figures) with a prefrosh (presumably the other figure.) Though there are other people in the background, they are all located behind the tree. This means that no figure in the picture can see the two sitting in the shade, and thus none can be this James character.

So who the fuck is James? Kevin Lin claims that he is “walking across campus,” but then where is he? Is the viewer James, taking on his perspective as he sees a friend conversing with a pre-Frosh? Yet if the viewer sees out of James’ eyes, then why can’t James’ friend recognize him? From this perspective, James must be almost on top of his supposed friend, who must be able to see him.

Thus, he’s invisible. James, a ghost, is stalking his friend. The paranormality of this situation is what warrants the italics in the subcaption: “Trust me, it was really weird.” Unexplained ghosts are indeed quite weird.

Another Prince comic solved.

April 12, 2011

Ah, Tuesday, a day that will surely go down in Prince history. Not one, but two opinion columns about writing opinion columns. Clearly the Prince Opinion staff was going for a Meta themed issue.

_My opinion on Opinion_

By Lily Alberts

Published: Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

Lily begins her first column by selling herself short: “I realize this premiere is of importance only to about six people — grandparents not included.” Honey, now would be the time to start counting the grandparents, because at this rate that number is not going to be increasing.

“The freedom of writing for this particular section is overwhelming.”– True, along the lines of “Monkeys typing on typewriters” there must be some incredible freedom when writing for a publication that will literally publish whatever series of characters you send to them.

At this point, I’m excited. What topic will she pick? “[s]electing what will be my first contribution”, she begins, “has brought my spouting of opinions to a halting stop. I’m at a complete standstill.” Well, shit. It takes most Prince columnist at least a few articles before they run out of ideas, but you seem to have started that way. This girl has a future at this fine editorial publication.

Now the real mystery: having realized and admitted in writing that you do not have a topic in mind, how on earth are you going to fill 850 words about it? To answer: incredibly painfully.

First, she disabuses her ignorant readership that the point of opinion pieces are to “sell you on my opinion.” “Convincing you that my opinion is ‘right’ or superior to anything else out there is just … not the point.” Which makes me, for one, very curious what in fact “the point” is. In her first two paragraphs she has already not only forsworn having a particular opinion, but established that opinions that one thinks better than others is not the point of the Opinion section.

Next, she acknowledges “how aggressive online comments get for even the best-written and least-controversial submissions,” seemingly preparing herself for the types of comments left on submissions which are neither.

“I can’t just spout whatever bullshit comes to mind,” lies Alberts, in what must have been a Prince editor who just stopped caring (reasonably) after the first few sentences.

Alberts ends on a 180: “So there it is: my opinion. Take it or leave it.” I want to take it, Lily, but I just didn’t see it lying around anywhere.

“Either way, you can look forward to future installments, because I’m all about encouraging people’s conviction in their own beliefs.” Posted without comment.

How did she fare in the comments?

The ubiquitous Grover opines: “You know those girls in precept that preface their every sentence with ‘I’m not really sure but I feel like maybe…’ and only punctuate with question marks? This is that girl in column form.”

_This isn’t ‘that’ column_

By Zeerak Ahmed

Published: Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

At least Lily is new. Zeerak, what’s your excuse?

“I avoid landing on the “most commented” section of the ‘Prince’ website.” Admits Ahmed, which often means my columns will address issues without the strong ‘opinion’ that you’d expect from this section. I want to avoid being ‘that columnist’ who wrote ‘that article’ about ‘that issue.’”

In this sense, Ahmed is a resounding success: despite drawing the short straw and having to read the Prince frequently, I cannot recall a single other article Ahmed has written, so I guess that’s a success.

_Bold Headers._

He seems to be very fond of them.

I think after reading “’What should I write about?’ I often have to ask myself”, we can conclude that any article that begins by admitting the author doesn’t have an idea can only go downhill from there.

“Then there’s Pakistan and being a Muslim in America, which are my “issues,” some would say.” Who is this “some”? Yet for someone who started a recent article “I am brown, Muslim and Pakistani,” I would say that sounds accurate.

“I feel safe knowing that I have some authority to say something about my country and my faith.” But what good is that authority if instead of using it, you merely write about it?

I get a better picture of Ahmed’s direction after he says that “writing for the ‘Prince’ is like participating in a big precept discussion.” I can visualize it, Zeerak is that one kid who starts talking but has forgotten his point, and must continue unmoored, making the occasional reference to topics like his Brown-ness that are readily available.

“Even this article may be just another effort to raise more questions, with perhaps few answers; after all, I’m just a columnist.” No Zeerak, opinion columnists write columns, with, you know, opinions.

_On Broism_

By Monica Greco

Published: Thursday, April 14th, 2011

In what I can only hope was an unscheduled foray into the writing game, Opinion editor Monica Greco opines on that which is “Bro.”

She begins by recounting a conversation: “’What do you mean when you say bro?’ asked a certain middle-aged woman with whom I share some DNA.” An obvious throwaway quip, that last part deeply confused me. I envisioned an odd woman, who through some oddly structured inheritance or legal maneuver had come share with Monica joint ownership over some poor unsuspecting test tube of unnamed genetic material. Or she’s Monica’s mother. But that seems like a stretch given the text.

“This statement made me aware of a great tragedy — the concept of “broism” is dangerously unfamiliar to people over the age of 35.” The real tragedy is not this fact, nor even that it doesn’t hold for those under 35, but rather that this column ever had to be written in the first place.

In an explanation of “Icing” which I can only assume required several thesauruses, Monica writes that “the bro can win ‘bro points, [note–not actually a thing] (thereby redeeming himself from being iced) by quickly consuming a large enough amount of girly fluid so as to merit the approving grunts of other bros.”

As Monica, herself an editor, was busy writing this article, there must have been no one at the wheel to nix a sentence involving the “grunts of … bros” while “consuming a large enough amount of girly fluid.” I mean, that just begs the question how much girly fluid is too much girly fluid, which is clearly out of the domain of thus humble anthologist.

Monica next writes several paragraphs that through written gymnastics sew together all of the following terms: “Brodysseus”, “Bromer”, “bromosapien” “Brobama”, “Brobi Wan Kenobi,

“Brobe Bryant” and “his holiness the Brope.”

What do the commenters say?

Badonkadonk Donk admits that he is “also a little uneasy about the term “broism” to begin with: bros don’t like to be boxed in like that, yo.” Yo indeed.

Chillbro Baggins asks, “Sup bros? Anybody care to lax?” Another day, Chillbro, another day, for this poor writer tires.

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