Tuesday Trinkets

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Herein dumpeth Bwog various unrelated chunks of news, information, and gossip…

SoA Films Score Big

Three films produced by School of the Arts alums have received major accolades. At the Sundance Film Festival, Padre Nuestro, written and directed by Christopher Zalla and produced by Ben Odell (both SoA ’04) took the Grand Jury Prize for best dramatic film, while Grace is Gone, written and directed by current MFA writing candidate James C. Strouse (who also won the Walter Salt Award for best screenplay) and co-produced by Jessica Levin (SoA ’02), won an Audience Award for favorite dramatic film. In Hollywood, meanwhile, Little Miss Sunshine, produced by Albert Berger (SoA ’83) has received four Oscar nominations, incuding one for best picture.

SoA isn’t the only Columbia school celebrating filmic success, however. The Audience Award for favorite documentary at Sundance went to Hear and Now, directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky (J-School ’97), and (update!) Rosie Bsheer, a PhD student in the History Department, worked as an assistant producer for My Country, My Country, nominated for an Oscar for best documentary.

The university homepage is only too happy to gloat, not to mention provide a teleological narrative of the SoA film division’s rise to greatness. Bask in vicarious afterglow here.


Spec’s editorial page wants to get the word out – it’s looking for 200-300 word reactions to Saifedean Ammous’ Jan. 26 piece “Recognizing Palestine’s Struggle“. The short articles should not be point by point refutations but address generally some of the issues with which Ammous’ piece is concerned, e.g. the direction of the anti-war movement or Israel’s human rights record. The articles will run on Monday as part the first of many “Spec Symposia,” a series of 4-7 short takes on a single issue. Submissions are due to specopinion [at] columbia.edu by Friday at 6PM; anyone remotely connected to Columbia or Middle East studies is ecouraged to contribute.

More minutiae after the jump…

Advisors Who…Care?

Reminding us what makes Barnard (well, at least the Barnard of the 1960s) truly special, Ellen Handler Spitz writes in a sentimental piece in the Chronicle of Higher Education about what the term “Alma Mater” means to her – she found that Barnard provided her a sort of substitute nurturer after her mother passed away. Somehow, Bwog can’t see its JSAAC advisors attempting to inspire resolve with a monologue as dramatic and compassionate as Spitz’ Barnard dean, and momentarily wishes it, too, could be strong and beautiful.


Prof. Lydia Goehr in Philosophy of History:

“Tony Blair?  Ugh, he’s not world-historical.”

She admitted, however, that Margaret Thatcher was. Bwog closes with a heartwarming image of the Iron Lady advancing her nation’s Hegelian Volksgeist…or something.


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  1. a small point  

    people should probably reply to Jordan Hirsch's response article today too, no?

    • depends  

      what gender are you, jordan hirsch? if you can't even research the gender of the person you're responding to, why should we bother taking the time to care what you've got to say?

    • Kwyle  

      My thoughts exactly. Taken by itself it's good to open up intellectual dialogue about this. But it is suspect that the first time Spectator is doing this it is asking for reactions to Saifedean Ammous's piece in particular, rather than a response that isn't critical of Israel or a pro Israel letter. It makes one wonder why that one in particular, why an invitation to take that letter apart.

  2. you  

    are jordan hirsch. BTW.

  3. Anonymous

    Spec Op-Ed is unabashedly pro-Israel. The problem is, they don't go Pro-Israel in the space of the Staff Editorial, but instead make questionable editorial decisions. Take the above the fold teaser for Hirsch's article. "Staff writer Jordan Hirsch explains why Israel isn't the bloodthirsty killing machine some would make it out to be." Absolutely abhorrent editorrializing through decisions and not through the actual space allocated the editorial. Please correct me if I'm wrong, but Spec news people aren't allowed to be on executive boards of clubs, to keep an air of objectivity. Where is objectivity when Hirsch departs from the news department to show such a public leaning? As far as objectivity goes, he's now no less neutral on the Israel-Palestine issue than the LionPAC Executive Board.

    Spec, please keep your editorial positions within the limits of your Staff Editorial space and avoid subtle leaning and exceptions in policy for positions you favor. Or simply give up your air of objectivity and openly claim a partisan identity.

  4. Lo0lz  

    That was the above-the-fold teaser? In print?! What the fucking fuck? Agreed Sakib. Writing for it doesn't preclude my saying that spec just annoys the fuck out of me sometimes.

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