Be on the lookout for the February issue of The Blue & White, on campus now! Bwog will again honor our heritage/amorous affair with our mother magazine by posting features from the upcoming issue. Such treats include the first part of a discussion on the Columbia School, an investigation into Columbia’s animal testing practices, and a talk about, well, self-pleasure. Here, Sam Herzog introduces you to someone you may not know—but should.
Ask Charlie Dinkin, BC ’12, how the world is run, and she’ll respond drolly, “for children by children,” in her effortlessly cool British accent. Her timbre has always been in high demand. As a first-year, her floormates would ask her to read “Colt 45” by Afroman out loud just to hear her voice. “That was entertainment, pre-Netflix,” she explains.
At work on her senior thesis—on ritual in improvised comedy—and in her daily routine, Charlie’s life is humor. “Laughter is not just a thing you do when you feel good,” she’ll say, “sometimes laugh- ing makes you feel better; [it] reminds you to take a break.” Then again, she also believes it’s “kind of a sickness. I’m obsessed with paralleling everything with comedy,” she says.
As Madame President of both Control Top (Columbia’s all- female long-form comedy group), NOMADs (New and Original Material All Directed by Students), and co-executive of Chowdah, Charlie’s sense of humor is prized by the comedy community and ubiquitous on campus. Since joining her first sketch comedy troupe in her sophomore year, she has become a something of a fixture in all sorts of “funny” organizations on campus. “It’s not even that I want to make people laugh, I don’t even need to make a joke out loud, I just have to make it in my head,” she said.
With no disrespect to her comedy-game, the funniest thing about Charlie might just be her obsession with the Diana. “I love the Vag, obviously not the outside but I love everyone being in it.”
Most of this bizarre appreciation comes from her genuine love of Barnard, which she feels matches her personality perfectly. The recent birth of the Barnard-specific slew of memes only reaffirmed her endearment to the school. “I love all the memes[…] Every time I see them I’m like, ‘Yeah, get it girls!’ I love that people make really good jokes about Barnard,” she explains, though, “when people make the bad jokes it’s like, uuuhh.”
For Charlie, comedy isn’t a free-for-all. “I don’t like mean jokes,” she says frankly, “It just doesn’t work if it makes people feel bad.” Dinkin maintains the firm belief that comedy should be corrective; a way to challenge popular thought or discourse. “You should see it and laugh at yourself. Jokes should target ideas that we have that are questionable. It shouldn’t be like, ‘Oh, yeah, I guess I’m really funny looking and nobody likes me.’” But it’s not a hard and fast rule. And when humor is indiscriminately cruel, it must commit—all or nothing—and take no prisoners. “Everyone should come out feeling violated or no one should come out feeling violated,” she declares.
Charlie’s post-grad career aspirations are uncomplicated: “I write. I mean I obsessively write jokes and scenes and that’s what I want to do for the rest of my time. I will write anything for anyone, I have no moral standards, don’t care,” she announces candidly.
Mainly, she’s ready for the real world outside of the Morningside bubble. “I have to have a go at my own thing,” she explains, “I’m 22 and I’ve been in school since I was four; I think I need to be on my own and see if I can survive.” But, for now, she’s happy to take full advantage of the simple pleasures during the more blissful final months of her senior year. “Ultimately I love to watch Netflix Instant and eat Chipotle,” she laughs. “You know, living the Columbia dream.”