As we all know, for many years the Daily Princetonian has wallowed in a sea somewhere below mediocrity. Whether book reports masquerading as cultural reviews, Captain Obvious news articles pretending to be incisive, or just plain bad writing, we can always count on our favorite daily to drop the ball.
In celebration of the Prince’s journalistic decrepitude, we are inaugurating what we hope will become a monthly column highlighting its most egregious errors. And the most wonderful thing? As “responsible” journalists, they can’t fight back. Or at least they probably shouldn’t.
We know there are significantly worse examples of Prince writing and editing than those cited here (comma splices, stream-of-consciousness columnists, photo-shopped turkeys at vegan Thanksgiving dinners, claims that famous personages “might” come to campus, etc.), and we invite our readers to submit the Daily Princetonian’s most recent gaffes to firstname.lastname@example.org. Happy hunting!
“Let the campaign begin: When it comes to Young Alumni Trustees, students deserve to know what they are voting for – Editorial, March 28, 2005
“Without campaigning,” the faceless voice of the Prince warns, “the Young Alumni Trustee election risks becoming a popularity contest.” As opposed to all those other elections at Princeton, which are decided by “genuine debate over important issues.”
What do you think this is, Prince, Watergate? Hey Woodward and Bernstein, the fate of the free world hangs very much not in the balance and maybe you could check some facts: these seniors you discuss have theses. Check the date, it’s March 28th – their theses are literally due in a week. The candidates are, at this point in time, busy to the point of not sleeping. Leave them alone, get off your high horse, and I hope you voted for Azalea Kim.
Emily Justine Balter, March 10, 2005
This piece of journalism is a fine example of the Prince’s book report policy. As close as she gets to criticizing the production, Balter warns that some of the play’s components “can border on being hackneyed or trite,” but, never fear, she finishes with the reassurance that “the overall material is handled carefully with such wit and aplomb it escapes that fate.”
I personally sat through this musical. My review was called “Don’t take a dead sperm for a long walk.” It should have been called “Shit Sandwich.”
Emily, you know as well as I do that bouncing midget Conscious McBadass was not a “hilarious little touch,” as you describe him. His inclusion was a senseless act of badness.
“Million Dollar Baby rises against competition”
Glen Weyl, February 3, 2005
“The only negative thing to say about Clint Eastwood’s newly released masterpiece, “Million Dollar Baby,” is that, unfortunately…we will never see another film with quite this depth of truth, brilliance of acting, and beauty of production from anyone.” So what you’re saying, Glen, is that Million Dollar Baby is the greatest movie of all time – that, like hearing the sweet melody of Pan’s flute, watching Million Dollar Baby makes the rest of your experience seem pale and lifeless in comparison. Pale and lifeless like a paralyzed female boxer! I can go no further.
“From urban chic to west coast flavor – Nassau St. offers all”
Katherine Hamilton, March 3, 2005.
In this piece, Ms. Hamilton claims that Nassau Street “offers all” for the spring shopper. Are you kidding me? Nassau Street offers “all” of nothing, except maybe those stores my mom likes that only sell house wares you can’t quite classify, like ceramics and placemats and decorative roosters.
This is patently ridiculous: Nassau Street is high noon in Yup City; and this article only further proves that the Prince is written like a sixth-grade book report. Hamilton writes of students’ new spring wardrobes. I don’t have a wardrobe. I often have clothes; even more frequently, I just have laundry.
Hamilton editorializes that “feminine touches” will be all the rage in the spring. She goes on to use the word “feminine” to describe each of the retailers she visits, for a total of six “feminine” styling destinations.
Trends at Rouge include “Italian and Scandinavian designers.” Thanks Katherine, you’re a doll – just let me hop over to Reykjavik real quick to get some new mukluks for Houseparties.
And since there’s no respectable way to top off your new Finnish designer duds like hot new make-up, Hamilton finishes with the latest trends from Blue Mercury. She reports that “eye coals” are a popular spring item. What are eye coals?? The expired embers at the center of the empty sockets of the undead…
Oh wait, she means “kohl,” not “coal.” Kohl has been used as eye make-up since ancient Egypt, and you can find it in eyeliner pencils from CVS to Neiman Marcus.
“Who cares about fashion? Men do.”
Robert Wai Wong, March 3, 2005.
In a companion piece to Katherine Hamilton’s incisive analysis of Nassau Street retail, Robert Wai Wong masturbates himself to the thought of his new J. McLaughlin duds. To his credit, Wong seems to realize how ridiculous he sounds, even begging mercy from the cultural luminaries at the Nassau Weekly: he only proceeds, he writes, “at the risk of exposing [himself] to social critiques from one of the many sarcastic and wonderfully collegiate publications on campus.” You know what, Wai Wong? Just because you know it’s coming doesn’t make the slap hurt less.
Upon reading the second quote from Bruce Oldfield in the first three paragraphs, I cry out in the darkness. Wong, are you really writing a paean to polo shirts?
Let’s talk about Wong’s thesaurus: playful plaids, sinful stripes, garishly glamorous – looks like alliteration never goes out of style. He talks of polo shirt colors, of “tangy splashes of juicy orange.” And just a sentence later, the reader meets with “insolent pink.” I’m begging you, Wai Wong, put down the thesaurus.
I can’t accuse Wai Wong of the unlimited cheerfulness pandemic in Prince writers – at least he has a breaking point. He draws a line in the sand: no “obnoxious little creature prints” on Wai Wong’s pants. Mark his words, men. And he has strong words in parting: “brand name quality isn’t a myth; it’s a must.”
You’re right, Daily Princetonian: being a preppy douchebag isn’t a myth; it’s a must.
“Foer: Behind the myth”
by Arthur Dudney, April 28 2005
Dudney, that intrepid reporter, has compiled a book report of other people’s quotes about JSF, since the author only seemed to catch him on the phone for about two quotes’ worth of time, half of which he spent eating a potato chip (yes, that was the “pregnant crunch” referred to in the article). Michiko Kakutani, William Geogiades, Joyce Carol Oates, the Nassau Weekly. Wait, what? The Nassau Weekly? The one that you, fair reader, hold now in your hands, as you sit on a toilet in Brown?
It seems that Prince writer Arthur Dudney (even I find it too heavy-handed to make a joke about his name), lacking material for his categorically needless piece, used our own Jacob Savage’s phone interview with JSF as a source. I also spied a paraphrase or two from Safran Foer’s talk at 185. Now that’s penetrating journalism. Way to get “behind the myth,” Daily Princetonian.
“Tigers’ six-year H-Y-P streak snapped”
Ashley Wolf, February 1, 2005
Ms. Wolf reports that “the last time the Princeton women’s swimming and diving team lost in Ivy League dual-meet competition, Bill Clinton was President, current senior captain was a freshman in high school, and college students managed to procrastinate without thefacebook.com.” Thank you, Ms. Wolf, for putting this historical defeat in such clear perspective. Indeed, you touch on the three traditional hallmarks of the passage of time: who was President? How old was Stephanie Hsiao? Did thefacebook.com exist? Please skip directly to the second paragraph and proceed with caution.
And now, further confusion: the headline tells us common readers that the Tigers’ six-year streak has ended. If Stephanie Hsiao is now a senior, she was not a freshman in high school six years ago. How can this be, you ask? Did the Prince Sports department make such an obvious mistake? Whatever the case may be, at least we know that in that long-ago dark age, college students procrastinated without thefacebook.com.
“Step up to the surreal life”
Amy Averell, March 31, 2005
I thought this was about VH1’s hit reality show. I realize it’s about Salvador Dali, whom Averell describes as “the guy that painted all of those weird, surrealistic images that adorn the walls of many angst-filled college students’ dorms.” Right. The only reason any of us might know Dali is because of our angst and our roommates’ walls. Regardless, there is no need no read on, as there will be no mention of Janice Dickinson or Jose Canseco.