The Daily Princetonian is bad. We all know that. Their machinations have caused a great deal of trouble for those of us who enjoy spending time at various eating clubs, and, to put it bluntly, their staff either doesn’t know how to write, or is robbed of any talent by the publication itself. Accordingly, simply listing terrible stories of theirs would be redundant, so I have given this semester’s most uniquely awful articles their own awards. Without further ado, this is… The Worst of the Prince.
Worst “Breaking News”
“Is it too much?” By Kate Carroll 4/25/06
Continuing the Prince’s long tradition of sensationalism, complete with a blurry faux-artistic picture, this piece begins as follows: “When a drunk person passes out on his back, it’s possible for him to throw up, choke on his vomit and die.” And believe it or not, it gets much worse from that point on. Filled with useless statistics – yes, most binge drinkers have thrown up at some point in their lives; thanks for that tidbit – and anonymous confessions – which robs them of their potential impact – Carroll’s “window into the drinking culture” tells us absolutely nothing a reasonably sentient member of the Princeton community wouldn’t already know. The window’s been open for a long time, Kate. Glad you finally decided to look through it.
“The State of the Union” By Jennifer Day and Alexandra Ritts 4/20/06
This weepy, embittered article has a mildly clever title, a gaggle of unintelligent quotes, and a stunningly alarmist attitude. Like every other time the Prince attempts to explore a legitimate issue, they not only drop the ball; they drop-kick it out of the window and onto a busy city street, where it is run over by a truck full of terrible writing. Writing about Prospect Avenue, the duo explains: “Those people looking for true love in that alcohol-fueled social arena are likely to meet with great disappointment. When libations flow freely and inhibitions are lowered, seeds of deceptive romance can be planted that come to disappointing fruition.” Let me explain something here: no one is looking for “true love” on their nights out. No one. Not one person. Who are you talking about? And while your use of the Word thesaurus might amuse you, you’re not writing a term paper here; it’s a “Street” article. And, again, the only people dumb enough to be deceived by the “romance” of their weekends here are the type of genius that requires Transit Authorities to tell people not to walk on the tracks. Idiocy aside, however, Day and Ritts would rather whine than investigate, and by the time they reach their conclusion, they can only resort to exaggeration: “If you don’t ask, you might not go out. But if you do ask, you might be stigmatized as an aggressive she-monster! What to do?” I really don’t know what you two should do, but one thing you should avoid is being deceived into thinking this is a good article.
Worst “Nonsense” Article (tie)
“E-mail Puts Professors @ Students’ Fingertips” By Ava McAlpin 3/1/06
There is no point to this article. It does not need to exist. We can’t neglect to mention her soft plagiarism of New York Times’ Education section, hotbed of discourse that it is. But seriously though, what technological marvel’s virtues will the Prince extoll next? The telegraph? The cluster printer? Craigslist Casual Encounters? Essentially, Ava wants to inform us of increase in electronic communication between students and professors. The story could have been written in a series of sentence fragments and been just as fun to read: More people are using e-mail; more people are contacting their professors this way, even to say they won’t be in lecture; sometimes they don’t write good; English professors don’t like this; Nunokawa likes e-mail. And that’s it. See? I saved you the trouble of trudging through awful paragraphs like the following: “As email use has risen, though, the social barrier between students and professors has disappeared. Under the veil of email, students are less shy about approaching their professors or telling them personal details about their lives.” Wait a second, there’s no social barrier between professors and students? So why haven’t any of my preceptors picked up on my hints? Oh, right: they don’t want to be stigmatized as aggressive she-monsters! No, Ava, the word you’re looking for is “shrunk,” or “decreased.” Also, what is this “veil” of e-mail? They know who’s sending it to them. And what personal details have you been sharing with your professors, Ava? I don’t want mine to know how annoying my ex is, or even that I prefer Sprite to Coca-Cola. And I’m not going to tell them when I won’t be in lecture, either. Who the hell would do that, anyway? Oh, right: freshmen.
Worst “Nonsense” Article (tie)
“On Tap with Alexis Etow” 4/7/06
In the most stunningly irrelevant series of articles in a newspaper filled with stunningly irrelevant articles, the Prince goes “On Tap” with various athletes, asking them questions about their everyday lives that are even more inane than the questions they usually ask. This is pretty much the Prince’s weekly opportunity to suck the dick – or clitoris – of a completely random athlete. We find out, for instance, that women’s golfer Alexis Eto (April 6) loves “having an awesome group of girls to call [her] team!” and that – wait for it – her favorite Facebook group is “I Just Tried to Ford the River and My F–king Oxen Died.” Oh man! The excitement of NCAA sports! The Prince has totally taken me front-row! I see what’s behind these athletes, what makes these extraordinary human beings tick! Now please, take me to the links so that I can slit my throat so that at least something about women’s collegiate golf will be interesting! –Contributed by Jacob Savage
“Students live day of 24 beers” By Katherine Hamilton 4/25/06
This may be the best example of the Prince’s inability to obtain a worthwhile quotation from anyone except idiots and narcissists. Apparently, useful people have wisely decided not to speak to our only daily publication, and their staff has been left with bites that are so ridiculous, it’s hard to tell whether the sources are being facetious or not. This Newman’s Day article illustrates my point perfectly: “I’m an extremely intelligent and academic person involved in many activities, but there are certain times when you’ve just got to be a meathead.” Hmm. Okay. And from the same unidentified person: “I mean, what are you going to think about in 50 years? Are you going to think about a stats test or about a day you went nuts?” And finally: “By 5:30 p.m., nearly 15 students were participating in the game, swings of the bat had become noticeably less accurate and dozens of beer cans lay strewn about the courtyard. The group later disposed of the garbage.” Oh, wait; that was Hamilton herself trying valiantly to manufacture tension around litter that momentarily “lay strewn about the courtyard.” They cleaned up after themselves, Katherine; there is nothing to report here. Why do you think this is intelligent journalism?
Worst Self-Righteous Article
“In postings, a tragic portrait of defiance” By Kate Carroll (again!) 4/14/06
The saddest thing about this article is that although the story it wants to tell is indeed a tragic one, its author has a fetish for artificial depth. Our friend Kate must have congratulated herself for observing that the friend of a deceased Cornell student continued to refer to him in the present tense, even though she had just quoted this friend as saying, “He’d have trouble finding people to drink with him.” I wonder if she knows what the present tense is. Or, I should say, would have been. She also considers that bastion of credibility, Facebook.com, to have been an accurate predictor of the poor man’s fate, as she counts the number of alcohol-related groups he had joined on the site. I’m in a handful of alcohol-related groups, Kate; does that mean I’m doomed? Or does this only kick in after a certain number? What if I’m in 18, like the deceased student, but I’m also a member of 100 other groups? Is that a low enough percentage? What about your own membership in “If I can’t remember it, it didn’t happen (Princeton Chapter)?” And your photos of the entire Prince staff playing Beirut? That’s a dangerous drinking game, Kate. Are you going to die now, Kate, or would that be a stupid conclusion to draw? Thought so.
The Jennifer Epstein Award for Worst “Star Reporter”
“Class of 2010 pre-frosh descend on campus” By Jennifer Epstein 4/24/06
The Prince’s golden child Jennifer Epstein is probably going to run a major magazine one day. This is good, because it might separate her from the content of her publication, and thus save us from reading opening sentences like: “Selling a product isn’t hard when it sells itself.” Most of us are proud of our school and ourselves, Jen, but one of the main reasons why some pre-frosh actually do decide not to come here (!) is people who have attitudes like this. She continues to fellate the University by writing about two students who “had offers from other top schools but were certain they’d be coming to Princeton, if for no other reason than that it was ‘so pretty out.’” Now, do any of you actually believe that Miss E asked the students why they liked Princeton, and that the response was the day’s weather? Because if these students had been accepted to our glorious institution, they’re probably smart enough to know that New Jersey is not as sycophantic to its inhabitants as J-Eps is to her school. She even admits that it rained the very next day. I wonder if those students decided to go to school in Southern California instead. There are many flaws in every piece Epstein touches, but her revolting attitude is often the most glaring.