Mar

27

EyePoke: Superlatives Edition

Written by

Under the sterling aegis of Jeffrey Sachs, we can make this the bestest world ever!!

A letter from the editor about the poorest, richest girls

The meta-est Eyepoke ever, in which a campus blog links to a campus magazine article about a campus magazine

The best-written review of the worst book ever

The tastiest-sounding review of the tastiest meal ever

Most avant-garde Eyepoke ever

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9 Comments

  1. haha  

    the first sentence of "best written review" aint too hot: she says "kara walker" sunglasses...it should be "karen walker" sunglasses. kara walker is a bit different there, buddy.

  2. cc08  

    Hayley Negrin comes off not only as extraordinarily bitter about the wealth on this campus (should people honestly not wear North Face because it suggests that the wearer has enough money to buy a well-made fleece/jacket?) but also as somewhat arrogant about her blue-collar background. Why is it alright to be disgusted by your friend's Mercedes sports car when you yourself are so smug about your own class identity?

  3. hmm  

    I like Hayley, but that column was a bad idea.

  4. cc10  

    even though i don't agree with some of the things Hayley says, I think the column was a good idea. Affluence at Columbia is something that's largely played down, because everybody pretty much just assumes that everyone else is financially prosperous. The new financial aid policy means I don't have to pay for college starting next year, but that's not exactly something that you can go around telling the world, because me admitting that my family makes less than 60 grand a year would make most people I know uncomfortable. And it's not that people like Hayley want to be pitied or something, or for people to stop wearing brand-name clothes, but to stop pretending to be worldly and, oh i don't know, unsheltered, and own up to the fact that yes, by general standards, they ARE privileged and even spoiled as they take unpaid internships in the city and jet off to london, rome, and paris for spring break.

  5. Re: Hayley  

    Well, it does touch on the fact that, in America, a much wider range of incomes like to consider themselves "middle class" than most other countries. Americans tend to be rather self-conscious about class, and can be uncomfortable on both sides of the spectrum.

    Nonetheless, agree with #3 on the fact that publicly airing this was not the best of ideas. Reminds of the freshman running for class president calling his LitHum classmates a bunch of pretentious asses in a Spec column: it may be true, but you don't put it in print.

    • Columbian  

      I don't see why we should shy away from this topic, even if it makes some people uncomfortable. Many issues concerning race, class, biases, etc. make people uncomfortable, but they are important issues that should be discussed.

      I think that many wealthy people at Columbia due tend to assume that everyone (at least everyone who is white) at Columbia is well-off, and make comments that are not intended to be offensive, but may come across as awkward or offensive to someone who is actually not well-off. I've even encountered this among activist-type people.

    • and  

      #5) why exactly shouldn't it be publicly aired? i mean, i assume you have some justification better than, so that we can all not be embarrassed by having to think about privilege?

      #2) the column is really pretty mild as these things go. i think 'extraordinarily bitter' reveals more about you than hayley. your question is also revealing in that is suggests you think being rich and being poor are just like two cultural identities which its unpleasant to be smug about. there is, in fact, an objective difference. and a privileged person showing off (which, true, a mercedes sports car is more likely to do than a north face jacket) is uglier than a poor person taking pride in a too-often stigmatized situation. there's an analogy to race, here... but then a lot of bwog commenters don't seem to see the assymmetry between black and white, either, so maybe i shouldnt have mentioned it.

      • ehh  

        I think it's awkward because at some level there is a resentment about whether the rich deserve their wealth and the poor don't. It's not constructive; some of the rich will unfairly fault the poor for their "laziness" and the poor will unfairly fault the rich for being undeserving, as though all rich had their wealth handed to them on a platter. Point being, nobody wins, and we get lost in babbling about an issue when I don't think there's anything constructive than can come out of it.

        • talking's good  

          I think the article's more concerned with how sheltered some columbia and barnard students are rather than how rich.
          Yes, the conversation's uncomfortable, but it can also be constructive. It's not about who's to blame, but simple awareness. One of my friends here -- who, like me, is not so much wealthy as reasonably well-off -- was shocked to learn how low the average American income is. She really assumed that most Americans were on the same financial plane as her, or at least close to it, and that influenced the way she talked about money, financial aid, etc.
          Columbia and Barnard can already be pretty alienating places, and the widespread assumption that everyone here comes from great neck doesn't help.

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