Claim to fame: Current senior editor, tunnel explorer, dilettante music journalist, dilettante intramural official, defender of hopeless causes, hack. Also Bwogged for a spell.
Where are you going? Any suggestions? It’s a brutal job market for middlingly-talented hacks, and for the middlingly-talented in general…
Three things you learned at Columbia:
1. Whatever it is, it’s all gonna get done eventually
2. If you absolutely must hitchhike in a 3rd world country, do yourself a favor and don’t tell your parents about it.
3. It’s really important just to like, remind yourself to stop freaking out every once in awhile.
Justify your existence in 30 words or fewer: I’m the Typhoid Mary of the Spicy Special
Any war stories from the War on Fun? I know this isn’t a competition or anything, but I think mine is probably among the saddest WoF-related stories out there. The Zeta Psi brownstone on 113th was pretty much a second home for me, until the brownshirts up at Low decided that my deadbeat fraternity’s house could be put to better use. Now we Zetes didn’t really contribute much to campus life–beyond of our baller annual Mardi Gras party, which I’m sure only about 5 of you actually remember–and in retrospect the brownshirts were probably right. But the heart doesn’t care about such things. Our house was taken way the summer before my sophomore year, and I’m bitter about it to this day.
Would you rather give up oral sex or cheese? Oral sex. Not ashamed to admit that there’s a lot more cheese than oral sex in my daily life.
Any advice for the Class of 2014? When I was a freshman, I asked two of the school’s outgoing journalistic luminaries a similar sort of question. Bari Weiss, now with the Wall Street Journal, said you should “never hedge, and stick up for what you believe in.” Avi Zenilman, formerly of the New Yorker, said “Screw that. Always hedge, you’re just a college student anyway.” In addition to never hedging, always sticking up for what you believe in and forgetting at every possible moment that you’re “just a college student,” I recommend you get a bicycle and explore this town with the urgency of someone who’ll be permanently exiled from it any day now. Also, never agree to do an unpaid internship for more than like, 3 hours a week.
Any regrets? Agreeing to do any number of unpaid internships for more than like, 3 hours a week, thus devaluing my labor and, by extension, the labor of every other aspiring journalist in New York. And not reading for pleasure as much as possible, and not paying enough or in some cases any attention to Ross Posnock’s lectures, and not quitting Spec a semester earlier than I did, and not really cultivating as many new talents or skills as I could have, and not actually studying for or, God forbid, learning Hebrew and never eating at Massawa or Kitchenette and never setting foot on the dome of Low Library. And not sucking it up and throwing down the $70 to see Jeff Mangum last week. And not sucking it up and throwing down the $10 to buy a good pair of earplugs (if you’re gonna go to a lot of shows, children, do your potentially half-deaf, 50-year-old self a favor and BUY A GOOD PAIR OF EARPLUGS). The memory of having my fake confiscated at frickin’ O’Connels during the 2007 NFC Championship game still produces pangs of regret. And I guess I should have spent some time stalking Thomas Pynchon, who lives somewhere in the 80s I hear…