Relentless: A How to Guide

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Mariela Quintana reflects on a day of reflection and offers suggestions to make this year’s Lent the most productive (and honest) one yet. 

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, a 40 day period of prayer, penitence and self-denial before Easter.   Lent is a theologically complex and profoundly spiritual time for Christians and requires a much more thorough explanation than I am capable of giving or than you, most likely, are interested in hearing.

I am sure, however, that many of you are familiar with Lent’s most prominent tradition: the 40 day period of abstinence.   For both Christians and heathens alike, Ash Wednesday raises numerous questions, Why does everyone seeming to have schmutz on their faces? How long do I have to wait to wipe the ash off?  Can I celebrate Mardi Gras on Ash Wednesday if I campaigned for McCain last night?  And the most common question of all is, of course: what should I give up?

Forgoing alcohol, meat or chocolate are all common options. But I think it would be far more meaningful to come up with something more original. Below, a top ten list of things that I, and all Columbia students, might consider giving up for Lent. The unbaptized and the atheistic should not shy away, everyone’s a candidate for self-improvement!

10. Using Wikipedia as a scholarly resource.

9. Getting HamDel to deliver to your dorm room in Hartley.

8.  Allowing the housing lottery to destroy friendships

7. Smoking when you are drunk if you don’t smoke sober (Why would you do it drunk?)

6. Feeling guilty about smoking.

5. Telling Barnard jokes

4. Using Hume as a substitute for religion.

3. Claiming to be a Pynchophile after only reading The Crying of Lot 49

2. Abbreviating bourgeoisie, Le Corbusier and Nabokov to bougie, Le Corb and Nabs, respectively

1. Charging your bar tab to your parents’ credit card.



  1. bwog  

    fix this post it has random symbols everywhere

  2. !!!  

    without #'s: 10,7, and 1, I would be a sad and depressed student.

  3. what soup do

    Catholics eat this time of year?

    Lent-il soup!

  4. alexw  

    Re: #2

    I've noticed that people who say "Le Corb" are those who are simply too afraid to attempt to pronounce his name.

    (Also, I used to complain about his renaming himself "the raven-archer" because it is the most pretentious thing in the world, but good luck pronouncing "Charles-Edouard Jeanneret-Gris.")

    • The King of Spain  

      Le Corbusier was his pen name for L'Espirit Nouveau, where he often signed, with Amedée Ozenfant "Le Corbusier-Sauginier." The idea that it means the Crow-like one or whatever is a strictly English mistake. He named himself after his grandfather or something - it's just part of his public persona.

      • alexw  

        There have been a number of explanations for his name change. While is grandfather was named Monsieur Le Corbezier or somesuch, he also chose it because he wanted it to play on his "raven-like" appearance. It indeed is a public persona thing, but it's awfully pretentious.

        • The King of Spain  

          Yes, but he's French - of course it's pretentious. They all had pseudonyms back then.

          Is it any more pretentious than calling yourself Englebert Humperdinck or Tom Cruise?

          I think he did it because another Charles-Edouard Jeanneret got the SAG credit first.

  5. i'm  

    giving up not having sex, because not having sex is way easier that having it.

  6. when  

    when are ccsc elections?!?!!?

  7. mmmmm  

    whoever wrote this is a pretentious hipster.


    • Shutup #8  

      you suck. Not everything on bwog is hipster-ish. Do you even know what hipster means? I'm tired of everyone saying Bwog is tooo hipster-y. Fuck off pricks.
      PS I love ralph lauren. My hero.

  8. Anonymous  

    John Jay Waffles

  9. i'm catholic  

    i think i'm gonna give up having sex with girls with no self esteem, which seems like pretty much every girl from jersey/long island...it's too easy

  10. bourgeoisie

    call me crazy, but isn't it "bougie"?

  11. Que  

    Do people actually charge their bar tabs to their parents' credit cards? Or is it just the spoiled Connecticut brats?

  12. random  

    improve your credit by charging the tab to a card under your name then have your parents pay the bill!

  13. yuck  

    fix the grammar in #7

    also "forty day" should have a hyphen

  14. smoking  

    people smoke when drunk because it's a much better buzz.

  15. im catholic  

    and this was offensive

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