Oct

30

Underground “Fire Miriam” Movement Surfaces

Written by

Vowing to “protect the world at large from horrible sex advice” and claiming that Spec sex columnist Miriam Datskovsky “is a violation of all of our human rights,” anonymous tipster “Captain Subtext” has informed Bwog of the Fire Miriam Datskovsky blog. The site primarily contains frighteningly thorough critiques of many of Miriam’s columns and of those who have praised her work, and further correspondence with its mysterious proprietors reveals that they next plan to target Ms. Datskovsky’s vanity website. If you want to know just how far these guys are willing to go to refute every word of Miriam’s columns, look no further than this nitpicky comment, which is just the tip of the iceberg:

Miriam: “There will forever exist those expectations that the logical side of our brains insist are false, but our desires hope to be true”

Fire Miriam Blog: “Desires can’t hope, Miriam.”

Miriam has declined to comment on the site. 

The creators have attempted to preempt the inevitable criticisms with a FAQ at the bottom of the page, in which they reveal that they resent the “gender bias” in the selection of sex columnists, “pretty much” all adore the Red Sox, and plan to start a “Fire Miriam Facebook Group”. Is all really fair, Bwog asks, in lust and war?

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89 Comments

  1. Sorry, but  

    miriam isn't getting fired - she is also the head of the opinion page, in addition to writing her own column.

  2. CML  

    How depressing! What kind of person has the time and desire to write such thorough, expansive, and pointless things?

    • I'm guessing  

      the same people who write the critiques of jake olsen's columns that sometimes run in the bwog comments?

    • Alex  

      CML, there's nothing wrong with constructive criticism, especially when it's well thought out -- people should use their time as they see fit. Still, I agree with your sentiment -- Miriam's column just isn't that bad, and this whole affair does seem a bit frivolous.

  3. The Dink  

    YES! Thank god someone is putting the time to show just how pathetic and terrible Miriam's sex column is!! Furthermore she sucks as head of the opinions page, she fired all the cartoonists last year. Fuck that pretentious chick, well, not literally, because then she'd write a poor and misinformed article about it.

  4. DHI  

    All our desires and frustrations culminate in a single action. Firing. Rejection. Pain. The rejection and pain of firing. Of no longer being wanted.

  5. spec opinion  

    had really done poorly since miriam took over. under her watch:
    1. jacob mckean was allowed to have a column
    2. nell geiser was allowed to submit as a column an entry which was 100% quoted from an email
    3. she threatened to fire chris kulawik for "not doing enough research" on his abortion column

    so, she'll allow someone to submit a copy&pasted rant as a column, but she threatened to fire chris over "research"

    • don't forget  

      the new GS guy...she wanted, it seems, to reshape the opinion page along the lines of identity politics, and cared little for quality in the process. of course, those identities were subject to censure if they stepped too far over her ideological boundaries...

    • say what you  

      will about Kulawik, but he's probably one of the best writers they have - and by far the best researcher

  6. It's True  

    Kulawik, as much as I often disagree with his diatribe, is indeed the best writer the opinion page has and deserves some praise for that. As for the remaining columnists: what happened to the spec that used to piss us off at least twice a week with a well written, yet mentally challenged columns? Does anyone remember Indian Poker? the "Surf's Up Dude" piece made me fume for three days, but damn, at least it got people fired up!

    • unaware  

      Were the Spec columns, on the whole, ever any good?

      The only thing they have in common now is a startling lack of coherent, follow-able arguments (with exceptions, including Kulawik on most weeks).

  7. hell yes.  

    i have been waiting for this my entire life. this is hilarious. no. this is essential. really.

    thank GOD some group of people have the will/skillz to produce some kind of RELEVANT criticism during their time here.

    frivolous my ass. this is what pisses me off too. and so i support it.

  8. Oh man  

    Her vanity site is just waiting to be lampooned. The photo section looks like one of those horrible self-inflicted myspace photography sessions.

  9. alma  

    as good as kulawik is (and i think he is very good), he did fuck up that abortion piece. it was just plain inaccurate, and because of the nature of the topic, it became a serious misstep and thus addressed seriously - rightfully so, i think.

    • hunh?  

      I thought the issue was pretty important so I followed up and read the Letters to the Editor for the abortion column - not one thing (in any of the letters) proved Kulawik wrong. Rather, they harped on the exact nature of the funding (which he accounted for) - not the fact that Columbia does pay for the abortions.

  10. dotdotdot

    I'm going to be honest here. Miriam's columns might be crap. Fine. But it's a goddamn independent college newspaper run by kids. Making a blog about it demanding for her firing is pretty darn juvenile.

  11. annoyed by bwoggers  

    people seriously need to remember that there are actual people behind these columns. Miriam is doing a damn good job and if an article has an issue once or twice, its cause she's a student with a zillion other concerns on her mind. I think she rocks, and bwog-readers are pretty f'ing vicious.

  12. speccie, not opinion  

    This post is the shittiest piece of "reporting" I have seen this year, I think, though I guess I don't read the Bwog every day. I used to really like Bwog before you guys started printing official statements as stories and turning Bwog into some kind of second-rate loudspeaker, drowning out the quirky, snarky news pieces that used to be the norm. I think this post has just crossed the line in a big way. What happened to journalism? If posters want to bitch about Spec or its writers and editors that's exactly the kind of thing the comments are for, but seeing it in an official Bwog post just makes me want to vomit.

    • wait  

      isn't it obvious Bwog isn't editorializing about Miriam, but merely reporting on the fact that another site is? if anything, the post pokes a lot of fun at these overzealous Miriam-bashers.

  13. haha  

    whatever, miriam is worth the effort. those columns are freaking embarrassing.

  14. DHI  

    Although I agree that the column is bad, but it might be going too far to make fun of her personally (as going over her website would be doing, and indeed much of this blog is doing in general. Yes, she has made herself into a semi-public figure, but this intense personal hatred seems unwarranted when directed at someone who appears to be generally a nice person. The thing is funny but I don't know about doing that kind of thing to a fellow student, even if she is a fan of a team that cheers injuries and boos Santa Claus.

    • DHI  

      Correction: the team does not cheer injuries and boo Santa Claus, its fans do. I don't see McNabb, for example, having the same lack of class as the fans who booed him when he was drafted.

  15. pissed  

    have some fucking decency, people. WHY IS EVERYONE AT COLUMBIA SO PRETENTIOUS AND UNAWARE OF THEMSELVES BUT SO QUICK TO JUDGE?

    you have a right to your opinion, of course, but god, miriam is a person and i just hate how no one knows how to show empathy on this campus. like, why is our immediate instict to be critical/mean? we all think we're so entitled to make our points that we lose sight of what we're actually saying and how that affects people. im not trying to be preachy, but c'mon, have some human decency.

    and can someone produce a better sex column? i don't doubt it for a second, but why doesnt someone just DO IT. we're all so critical of shit we can't/don't/won't do ourselves. put your money where your mouth is.

    • but  

      it would be somewhat difficult to unseat miriam as sex columnist, even if one were better, considering she runs the opinion page.

      from everything I've heard about miriam as a person, she's wonderful. she is not, however, an effective sex columnist. george w. bush has a warm personality, but most here would agree that he is not an effective president. should we not criticize his work because he's a great guy and it might hurt his feelings? yes, a president is more distant from us than a campus sex columnist, but we should not have one moral standard inside campus and another outside of it.

    • 24 again...  

      i think we absolutely should be critical of the actual pieces of writing (and i mean legitimate, not some of the stupid shit they nitpick on this site), but c'mon a BLOG devoted to attacking another student? just very hurtful and unnecessary, i think.

  16. Sprinkles  

    I do feel bad for Miriam now that I know the blog exists, but as she is the opinions page editor of a major university newspaper, she has made herself a public figure and her work is entirely open to criticism. I, personally, would not criticize who she is as a person, as that's none of my business and besides I don't even know her. But criticize what I see as poor columns that don't represent student life? Of course.

    I'm sure someone else would be willing to write the sex column, but...Miriam is the opinions page editor. It's not like someone else can go strolling in and take over.

  17. have more sex!  

    here, here, post #24! i totally agree. it seems to me that the previous poster need to lighten up and have some sex.

  18. clarification?  

    the bwog and its commenters DO exist solely to lampoon miriam datskovsky, both as a public figure and human being, doesn't it? I could have sworn I got that memo.

  19. Jimmy Vielkind  

    This was a stellar post, Bwog. First rate. I mean, I read it and it really got me thinking about whether or not I agree with Miriam's journalistic activities. It's not like you just opened the door to take shots at her as a person. You were so spot on to call her out on her vanity website, and thanks for letting me know that such frighteningly thorough ad hominem critiques existed. That brilliantly playful language lent itself perfectly to its subject. And thanks further for all the context you gave this post, and the incredible objectivity you brought to this post as all others; I really walked away a better informed member of the campus community. I know your diligent reporting was thorough, because it led to such insightful conclusions by most of the other people who comment here. Thanks, Bwog, for showing me a great model for responsibly engaging and shaping discourse at Columbia. Your vast experience, thoughtful judgement, and recognition of the responsibility that you wield really shined through on this one.

    Jimmy Vielkind
    Spectator Columnist

    • jimmy  

      how is Bwog supposed to control what its commenters say about miriam as a person? even if Bwog posted nothing but a hagiography of miriam, these comments would come out of the woodwork. context? what context would be necessary, exactly? the only context that existed here was a mocking critique of the website itself. if the language didn't clue you into that, it's unfortunate...as for shaping discourse, would you have rather had this site exist underground? is it not better to have it exposed so that those who disagree with it can be shouted down?

      • Jimmy Vielkind  

        Yes. When Bwog picked up the fact that this site exists, summarized its contents as such, and then gave Miriam an ultimatum to respond to its charges, they presented the anti-Miriam blog in a way that legitamized its content. It was a journalistic judgement to place it here on a general discourse campus blog. How many other things go unreported for want of substantiation or legitimacy? I've always believed that a responsible mass media outlet like the Bwog has become has an obligation to sort the shit from the sugar, and I don't think they did so in this case. I would never argue against the right of anyone to start such a blog. That's their business, and their personal definition of free speech. But picking up such an outlet tacitly endorses it.

        Let's look at the construction of the post. What was presented? Were any contrasting opinions of Miriam offered? There are plenty of people who enjoy Miriam's work and would be proud to so proclaim in public. Count me among them. But Bwog made no effort, it would seem, beyond offering Miriam a chance to comment on the hatchet job that is the other blog, to provide any context for informed discussion.

        So what can we expect from commenters? What were they presented to comment on? And what regulation is there upon those (be they a diffuse group or inner clique) who comment? I would argue that Bwog, by only presenting one side of the story in the manner they did, has led people to react vociferously against Miriam.

        I don't think this is responsible, and I don't see what it adds to discourse on this campus.

        Jimmy Vielkind
        Spectator Columnist

        • jimmy  

          you give people who comment on bwog little credit for their own ability to read, digest, and discuss your own publication, particularly miriam's column. how many of these comments really seem to have derived from the opinions presented on the blog, as opposed to longstanding grievances with the way miriam has chosen to write her column and/or run the opinion page? these people do not exist in a vaccuum in which bwog is the only medium they sift their opinions through.

          some comments on "balance": this is an elusive concept. yes, bwog could have (with substantial effort; it does not have a vast staff of roving reporters to collect opinions with regard to every story) found one or two people who adored miriam and made nice little counterpoints to the site. but that's beside the point; miriam clearly has allies, and this point is reflected in her powerful position within spec as well as her defenders in the comments here. what is really substantive is that there is such a groundswell of vehement sentiment such that some people have actually taken it upon themselves to build a website devoted to the issue. to put it otherwise: if there were a major protest, or the creation of an organization, a couple quotes from the "man on the street" holding opposing views would a) hardly establish anything beyond the fact that two people hold such views, which can be assumed by anyone with a reasonable understanding of public opinion and b) artificially "balance" the amount of print devoted to the exertion of a major effort with the opinions of two less-assiduous individuals. in other words, the notion that this constitutes balance is a false construct; bwog did not need to include a trifling sample of opinions in order to establish an obvious point.

          beyond this, however, the balance of the post does nothing but put the site in a satirical light, and beyond perhaps the reference to miriam's "vanity site" (is this public website now sacrosanct?) its "balance," if anything, is tipped in miriam's favor. if bwog is not circling the wagons entirely around miriam, it is because integrity and objectivity demand that a defense of her only go so far as well.

          finally, let's discuss "substantiation". every media outlet has some means of obtaining information, and is thereby able to determine what constitutes news. bwog happened to receive this bit of information; it can assign some people to gather others, but generally bwog, like spec, cannot cover everything happening on campus at every moment. hence, "substantiation" in terms of warranting a post is only distorted insofar as bwog's capacity for gathering information is limited. beyond this, however, one has to question how much this "substantiation" in any way empowers or legitimates the proprietors of this website. by way of analogy: did bwog's snarky, sardonic coverage of the nazi crackergate incident empower or "substantiate" racist nazis? did its focus on bill o'reilly's criticism of columbia do the same for his show? yes, we could live in a world in which bad news, or undesirable information, was not "substantiated" by the media, but we would live in a thoroughlly uninformed world. better the inherent problems of "substantiating" those stories one is able to convey to the public than holding back for fear that any one's publication could be unfair to the others one knows nothing about.

          did bwog lead commenters to believe one thing or another about miriam? the results hardly seem to bear that out. does this post add to the discourse of the campus? perhaps it does if one believes that an individual firmly ensconced in power needs to be criticized by some organ- and many here are critiquing miriam, unlike much of the blog's rhetoric, responsibly. but beyond that, and you have not answered this charge, if bwog does not bring such proto-libel to public attention, if it is not censored in the marketplace of ideas, then "adding to the discourse" of the campus becomes an irrelevant criterion by which to judge journalism, but rather the maintenance of this discourse by the exposure of its potential violators.

          • Jimmy Vielkind  

            I think you raise some excellent points, but I don't believe they apply here. I don't think that a blog, even one as well thought out and dutiful to purpose as this one, represents a "groundswell of vehement sentiment." What cost is there to starting a blog? Granted, one of time, but I think that this could be the work of one or a handful of people. I don't know the answer and neither do you (well, maybe you do. I don't know who you are. You could have started Fire Miriam.) We only get to look at the finished product because the proprietors insist upon retaining their anonymity.

            To me, that's not indicative of a "groundswell of vehement sentiment." It's just a blog. I need not tell you there are blogs for every concievable ideology known, many of which decidedly do not have any groundswell behind them.

            So I'm skeptical as to why this is done, and I believe a greater deal of agency should be vested in a quasi-mainstream outlet like the Bwog for picking it up as such. The as such is key. If you want to legitimately spark debate about Miriam's writing, the present this blog alongside an article in New York magazine that addressed her writing, and let the two speak against each other. Present Miriam with an opportunity to cogently articulate her point of view. I consider this approach consistent with responsible journalism.

            That's the balance I'm talking about. Not picking up John Sophomore and getting him to offer a quote in support of Miriam. It seems you know as well as I that sources can be distorted. My solution to that is to examine the outlet in which information is presented, and place trust in them to have responsibly surveyed an issue, evaluated its various sides, and presented the data relevantly based upon that research. I certainly don't believe that was done here.

            Maybe I don't give commenters enough credit, but I fear you give them too much. My experience is that people are not savvy consumers of media, and they rarely take the time to compare various outlets. They can be led; and because of this, I think media outlets have a tremendous responsibility either not to push or to make a conscious effort of pushing them. So, either the Bwog has to take responsibility for pushing or make more of an effort not to push.

            You bring up that interesting Millian point about letting the Fire Miriam be vetted by those opposed to it. It could be interpreted that that is what has happened (I don't know about you, but I figured I would be doing Russian homework right now, not writing these comments), and I don't have a clear response to it. I just think it's better done by making a more thorough effort to illuminate the issue.

            Maybe we're just different kinds of consumers.

            Jimmy Vielkind
            Spectator Columnist

          • How

            is this valid? The Bwog post at no point gives the website even the slightest bit of credit, calling it "nit-picky" and "frighteningly thorough." It's not an endorsement of contnet, and bringing something to people's attention is hardly advocacy, whether or not there's balanced journalism behind it.

  20. The problem is  

    people think they know Miriam because of her column. The blog definitely does take shots at her as a person, but that's because the writers of the blog only know Miriam through what she prints.

    Doesn't make it right. Just saying.

  21. DHI  

    "Miriam has declined to comment on the site."
    Well, no shit. The only response you could really make would be "fire deez nuts" and (due to gender inequality?) there's not a good female equivalent to "[word] deez nuts" in popular usage. She could use the shorter "fire deez" but it still is based on "deez nuts" so it might not work, but maybe that is just the kind of CHALLENGING OF GENDER BARRIERS that a sex columnist could take on.

    Really though, of course she declined to comment, that's sort of a false option.

  22. dan  

    While the site does seem to attack Miriam at times (and I don't think that's necessarily right), it isn't wrong in pointing out that Miriam's sex column isn't very well written both grammatically and content-wise. I was super excited when Sexplorations first started printing and I even read it for a few weeks before realizing that it's not so much a sex column as a bi-weekly projection of Miriam's sex life onto the sex lives of the Columbia student body. I don't know if she'll read this, but I hope she takes at least some of the criticism and maybe starts to write articles that are less personally involved and a little more factually based/informative.

  23. HJTime  

    "...beyond offering Miriam a chance to comment on the hatchet job that is the other blog"

    Is Miriam going to write a column about hatchet jobs (the "other" hj)? Sounds hot.

  24. still  

    miriam's column is light-years better than the original sex column. anyone remember that gem? scott mcbain and veronica claremont. christ.

    kulawik is the best columnist they have now.

    and i do miss indian poker. bring back kwame and although those other douchebags who were attention whores.

  25. BWOG Mad libs  

    Chris Kulawik (inseret inflamatory comment here)and Miriam Datskovsky
    (attack writing) both (verb) liberals and (verb) a(n) (andjective) Prezbo

  26. assapop  

    a couple of points

    1) posting a link to a blog can hardly be considered unethical, since in no way does the bwog make any claims of unbiased reporting. it is basically a university gossip rag and is not to be held accountable to the "standards" the spectator miserably fails to uphold.

    2) there seem to be two opinions present here:

    a) yes, the column sucks, but this blog is really mean!
    b) yes, the column sucks, and i'm glad this blog exists!

    assuming these comments are representative of public opinion, what conclusion can be drawn??? (hint: it has to do with the quality of the column)

    love to all :)

  27. Anonymous  

    I have to disagree with all of the above posters about the quality of Chris Kulawik's columns. Chris Kulawik's article "The Lost Generation," for example, was not only poorly written and researched, but written from an openly ignorant and vicious perspective. Kulawik praised the "Majority Coalition" as a symbol for "open discourse and civility" during the Columbia protests of 1968 would be similar to hailing the Birmingham police who used water-cannons against civil rights protesters and labeling them as "freedom fighters." Kulawik, much like his column, is a "Lost" cause.

    • wow  

      you just compared a handful of radicals who occupied a building w/the black civil right movement and the majority of students who opposed them w/racist thugs?

      looks like the ISO has learned to use the internets

  28. Can someone please  

    start a Fire Avi Zenilman blog?

  29. jimmy

    congratulations mr. 'knight in shining armor come to rescue Miriam from the big bad vague journalistic integrity of the bwog'. are you hoping the next editorial is about chivalry?

    your analysis of how bwog carefully chose its language to take as low of a blow, while trying to seem objective is a stretch. bwog reports on a website (which I think is amusing that it exists) that has some overly thorough comments on Miriam's writing and you throw a hissy fit. next time you find a miriam or chris kulawik internet shrine, be sure to email it in, as it will probably get posted too.

    • umm  

      Jimmy actually already has a real job and he hasn't even graduated yet. What about you? Got a nifty unpaid internship lined up for yourself?
      http://www.nydailynews.com/front/story/451480p-379875c.html

      • DHI  

        Look, as much as that poster is a jackass, Jimmy's job is irrelevant. It looks like you believe a little too much in Worthington's law.
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aF8wLg5Asgo

        • jimmy's job  

          is irrelevant, i agree, but you probably didn't see the specific post i was replying to before it got deleted, which basically said "jimmy you suck you're not going to get a job after you graduate," which was in itself irrelevant. so i'm not trying to pimp jimmy out, tempting as that is, i was just pointing out the stupidness of the original poster's comment.
          carry on.

          • inability to read?

            "which basically said "'jimmy you suck you're not going to get a job after you graduate,"'... i was just pointing out the stupidness of the original poster's comment."

            get your reading glasses checked. I never said anything about jimmy's employment status or ability to be employed. I didn't write anything even tangentially related. That was post #50 that you were responding to by the way.

            Jimmy's tirade was and still is completely unnecessary and misdirected. Way to read.

            "carry on"

  30. not coach wilson

    Since when is Spectator a job in which you can be fired? They pay over there or something?

  31. Wow  

    Why don't we just whip out and compare penis sizes real quick. I haven't been involved in the Jimmy vs. everyone else debate yet, but what does it matter if Jimmy has an unpaid internship or is going to be the next opinion page superstar of the NYTimes? While Jimmy makes some good points (which I happen to disagree with) I don't see his gig about Kareem Abdul Jabar's garbage, of all things, to be a sign of his greater merit than anyone else in this dialogue.
    If you want to back up your friend Jimmy, write a well thought out response to the people you disagree with rather than pointing out who is going to be employed at year's end.

  32. CC, Column Columnist  

    Oh lord, why do I stumble upon these things when it's late at night?

    Well, At least we're getting fired up about something, that's a nice change of pace.

    As someone who doesn't much care for Ms. Datskovsky's columns, but has respect for anyone who'd choose to write about a topic like sex, I think, Jimmy, that you've gotta grow a pair on this one.

    The Bwog makes no effort to disguise what it is or isn't. It's not a news forum. The Spec is a news forum. The Bwog's e-mail address is "bwgossip." Assapop, whoever the hell that is, said it very well - this is not your go-to location for important things. (So stop posting press releases, Bwog! We get those in our goddamn cubmail enough!)

    Now, that much aside, I do get uncomfortable when The Bwog talks about individual students in this way, because from there it ain't hard to get to something like "Bwog saw that kid Chas Carey huffing and puffing along the Dodge track again today. Bwog could make out by reading his lips that once again he's jogging to the White Stripes. Bwog can't help but wonder how long it will take this public disclosure of his enjoyment of music that was "so 2002" to get him black-balled from WBAR. Titter-titter-titter." I think Bwog realized that sort of press was not Kosher, recently, as it used to print things like that about its campus characters. It now restricts itself (I hope, right, Bwog?) to people who put their works into the public sphere.

    Do I agree with starting up a "fire Miriam" blog? Eh. Not really. I don't feel that strongly about it, I just don't read her column, and I certainly don't think less of her as a person or whatever, since I don't even know the kid. Do I think the "Fire Miriam" kids have the right to say what they're saying? Yeah, absolutely, and I think Bwog obviously hit on something that's gossip-worthy, another public forum wherein one writer critiques another. I kinda think they're taking too much time with it, and I'd prefer they not be anonymous (if you woudn't say it yourself, to the person's face, don't say it) but they seem to care about the underlying issue of discussing healthy sexual relationships on a campus that's got its share of unhealthy ones - so good for them. Better than just spouting slogans at one another, or camping out in front of the gates with a "9/11 is a lie" banner and stupid grins on their faces.

    Like it or not, O Columnists of Columbia's Composite Corinthian Columns of Calumny, your writing exists in a public forum, and your articles may be discussed in other public forums. I was at a party on Saturday and someone told me they thought very poorly of an article I wrote recently. I thought that was very nice of them to tell me that and I asked them what specifically they didn't like, and they thought I was being weird (or wrecked, or both), but I really was thrilled that someone wanted to express how that made them feel. Now, if they'd said "hey there, fuckface, yer article's like you, guilty of goat-blowing" I would've been a little upset, but I think criticism, even acerbic criticism, isn't such a bad thing.

    Folks're entitled to their opinions. Isn't that page Miriam writes on the "opinion" page?

    Fuck, I need sleep. Maybe I am a different kind of consumer. A SLEEP consumer.

    Chas Carey

    Managing Editor, "The Federalist Paper"
    (est. 1789 - Founders: Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, John, Paul, George, Ringo, Moses)

    Junior e-Associate On-Site Web Commentator

    Senior Outlying Data Point, Columbia Psychological Laboratory (Compensated Voluntary Studies Department)

    Senior Discrete Holder Of Large Bedsheets To Hide The Indiscretions Of Public Fornicators, Mudd Building

    Fuckface Emeritus

  33. right on  

    All hail Chas.

  34. Good God  

    I hate Miriam. I even hate her name.

  35. hmm  

    These guys hate Miriam and love the Red Sox. Are they single?

  36. invisible_hand

    it should be noted that the "anonymous tipster" is named Captain Subtext, one of the founders of the fire miriam blog. looks like they wanted some attention. looks like it worked.
    also: it should be noted that captain subtext and melty man are both jokes from coupling, a great show about sex.

  37. horatio  

    whatever you think of miriam or her column, it's not fair to say she's not a good opinion editor. she's actually one of the best the spec has had in years. thanks to her work last semester, the section has expanded to two pages every monday and friday, and they've managed to cover crazy shit on a moment's notice (they had opinions from both sides within a day of the minutemen shitfit). you may think some of the columnists (including her) have been mistakes, but miriam has raised the visibility and quality of the opinion page substantially since she took over. interest in it is at its highest if you look at the number of people coming to meetings and sending submissions and letters. you don't know the dedication it takes to do what she did. plus, most of you suck at life.

  38. Sprinkles  

    Oh, and the cartoons are gone, too. Everett Patterson was an excellent cartoonist who wanted to continue drawing for the Spec, and Miriam fired him.

  39. huh  

    Did Miriam actually fire Everett Patterson? "Apostrophobia" was great.

  40. Spec MB  

    actually does get paid.

  41. a cartoonist  

    no cartoonists were fired.
    miriam decided we would illustrate monday to friday, yet cartoons, or as she calls them "op-art" would only run mondays and fridays. it was a dumb decision and a frustrating format to work in. cartoons will be back next semester though, because otherwise we're not 'illustrating' anymore.

  42. thanks  

    that blog made my day. I get a shiver of disgust everytime I even see her column in the Spec.

  43. rp  

    while i never really cared for her column (i didn't dislike it either), i don't want to fire her anymore because she is actually good looking. definitely by columbia/barnard standards. so if you want to engage in sexplorations miriam, let me know.

  44. this week's column  

    her column this week was really good.

  45. Spec's  

    MB used to be nominally paid, but no longer is.

  46. Everett Patterson

    In her defense, to which I'm not usually quick to jump , Miriam did not "fire" me. I left because I was missing deadlines and also because my cartoons apparently lacked social or political commentary. I tried to do "op-art" for a while, but it wasn't very rewarding. I haven't read the Spectator since graduating, but apparently the opinion page is doing pretty wellbuymybook.

  47. who cares?  

    I wouldn't have read this but a friend linked it.
    You people are lame for posting on a blog. Miriam is great and even if she weren't, this conversation is childish and catty.
    Go do your homework.

  48. corbowers  

    "You people are lame for posting on a blog."

    • you should be  

      called captain irony.

      speaking of captains, while captain subtext or whatever might have wanted this posted, attention isn't always necessarily a good thing. the KKK clearly wants attention when it marches through someplace, but it's usually met with far more protestors than impressionable kids who suddenly want to don white sheets or whatever.

      • yes!!!  

        we have a KKK analogy! Not only the Minutemen but now a kid who thinks he can write better sex columns than the daily spec! Is he a fascist too? A Nazi? Do Tell!!!

        • number 80  

          um, when did I say I could write better sex columns?

          my point was that attention, even when some are eager to obtain it, is not always kind to them. the KKK was an extreme example, but it is all the more effective that way.

  49. woah  

    this school is obsessed with:

    -chris kulawik
    -being holier than thou
    -taking debate as a personal attack

  50. Hmmm  

    I take your assertion that I am not holier than thou as an affront and think it is a personal attack!!! I'm sure Kulawik would love your silly view and is probably behind your post.

  51. yd betso9  

    I like that somehow a bad sex column is an outrage, that every 2 weeks a couple guys pick up the Spec, open to the editorial section and then smoosh the pages together: "No, no, a thousand times no! She has dash-ed my hopes once a-gain! When will I ever find a sex column that shall release me and my fellows from libidinal ignorance! Blast her! BLAAASST HERRR!" *shake fists*
    When you're mad at stuff, don't start a blog, you use your computer like you're spos'ta and get some porn.
    The two guys seem to be angry at her for doing too much sexploring and not enough sexplaining.
    Maybe Miriam should take people's questions like in Savage Love, as a step toward getting the whole "ARGH! Personal anecdotes?! ARGH!" crowd happy. I for one think a somewhat random personal perspective on one's own sex life is fine.

  52. what?  

    sorry, but as a journalist and public figure, you open yourself up to criticism by the masses. Asking people to have compassion for a writer as a person is a little silly. The way we interact with them is through their writing, and I don't think that compassion should excuse poor writing.

  53. pfft  

    true what?, but i think the main point is, this entire display and hoopla over a sex column is through and through pathetique. which is worse than silly.

  54. prove it!

    Miriam once wrote that she gave an excellent blow job. Fact check please!

  55. Look  

    Miriam is a public figure and, as such, should expect to be open to criticism to a greater extent than a "regular" student. All the spec writers who have commented are certainly good friends, but they would do well to relax, take a joke, and realize that the people behind "Fire Miriam" are actually hilarious.

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