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Best of Grinding the Axe 2002-2003
Media Watch and Yale Notes
Freshman 2003

Media Watch

Or the Freestyle Dueling Association
“In this modern age it seems there is no time for civility and gentility, strength and honor. Yet, thankfully, one institution still survives that exemplifies those qualities of Old Yale…the Yale Collegiate Polo Team.”
— “Overheard,” Light and Truth, Spring 2003

I now declare our nation utterly defenseless!
“After spending billions of dollars over the past year and a half to keep weapons off airplanes, the federal government will now spend nearly a billion more to put them back on. Even if this makes sense to you, solving a safety issue by throwing guns at it shouldn’t.”
—David Grimm, YDN, 4/24/03

Representative democracy?
“Without debate, we risk letting the opinions of a few dictate the actions of all. And what could be more un-American than that?”
—David Grimm, YDN, 3/27/03

Get your laws off my union
“The group [GESO] has been trying to organize a teaching and research assistant union for nearly 14 years but has not called for a National Labor Relations Board election because they say the process would allow the University to contest the results of an election.”
—Shinzong Lee, YDN, 5/1/03

Le Resistance Lives On!
“Shouting ‘Whose streets? Our Streets!,” students and civil activists marched to the Whalley Avenue Jail Tuesday as part of a national day of protests against police brutality.”
— Ricardo Sandoval, YDN, 10/23/2002

Going out on a limb
“On the way to the courthouse, some of the protesters carried and wore signs that read ‘People Against Injustice.’”
— Ricardo Sandoval, YDN, 10/23/2002

You have to draw the line somewhere
“Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt joked Wednesday that he would have to modify his vocabulary since he was speaking in Battell Chapel.”
—Will Sullivan, YDN, 4/24/03

Ugly rights are human rights
“‘[The feminists’] only claim to fame has been to urge a lot of ugly women to march,’ Flynt said. ‘I think the radical feminists who are on the fringe do not speak for the majority of women.’”
—Will Sullivan, YDN, 4/24/03

Well, one can always get a Dean’s Excuse
“You can change the size of your labia if you really want, but it takes a lot of work and I think you all are a little too busy with midterms.”
— Carol Queen, YDN, 10/31/2002

Faceless bureaucrats no more :-)
“In some cases, the [AIM] may allow more expression than the old intercom systems it has replaced. ‘You send a little message with a happy face or a sad face,’ said one administrativeassistant. ‘It makes it personal.’”
—Emily Anthes, YDN, 4/22/03

Death before relevance!
“YCC advises switch to ‘fair trade’ coffee”
— YDN headline, Katherine Stevens, YDN, 11/14/2002

How could such an innovative campaign fail?
“Vice presidential candidate Alan Kennedy-Shaffer ’06 will also use buttons to convey his message and called today ‘buttonday.’”
—Philip Rucker, YDN, 4/13/03

Hard core
“The first time I carried a gun was in kindergarten.”
YDN, 4/11/03

Did you expect Club Med?
“When I was in prison, as anybody should know, the conditions were horrible. It’s just a bad place to be, even without the [stereotypes]. They treat you like an animal, you get 23 and a halfhour lockdown. It’s a terrible place to be.”
— Shelton Tucker, YDN, 10/16/02

In the straight-to-video sequel to Groundhog Day
“Earth Day may be over, but for some Yale students, it never ends.”
—Katherine Stevens, YDN, 4/25/03

The last time SJP condemned suicide bombings.
“When was the last time [the ADL] condemned the defamation of Muslims and Arab- Americans?”
— Sahm Adrangi, YDN, 3/10/03

Don’t call us. We’ll call you.
“Cory Branan wants to spoon you.”
— Alexis Swerdloff Swerdloff, The Yale Herald, 2/28/03

Thousands have never looked so much like dozens.
“Members of locals 34 and 35, whose numbers were estimated to be in the thousands, picketed around campus throughout the morning.”
— Shinzong Lee, YDN, 3/4/03

Going nowhere fast.
“After Levin entered the building, about 45 workers and graduate students marched in a circle and chanted union slogans.”
— Shinzong Lee, YDN, 3/5/03

No pun intended.
“Guys are so much easier to live with. There’s no beating around the bush the way you have when you’re living with seven girls.”
— Anonymous, The Yale Herald, 2/7/03

I’d be squeamish about having AIDS.
“I decided to back out [of the HIV test] when he handed me the consent form… I was squeamish about having blood drawn.”
—Caroline Massad, YDN, 3/30/03

Sharing is caring; yearning is learning.
“And we should cherish, nurture and exalt the democracy that exists here because it is the only thing that can save the world.”
— Shonu Gandhi, YDN, 3/27/03

Maybe if we’d used the magic diplomacy lamp…
“No one mentioned that democracy is being given to Iraq in an entirely undemocratic way, or that human rights will be bestowed upon the country in a flurry of bombs.”
— Abe Koogler, YDN, 3/28/03

Is it not possible that the moon is made of Swiss cheese?
“Is it not possible that war with Iraq is a cynical distraction from our sputtering economy and the failure to capture Osama Bin Laden?”
— Claudio Salas, YDN, 3/4/03

So take off all your clothes…
“At first I thought I was feeling cold. But I was feeling heat. I was feeling so hot. It was the heat of a fight for fair wages.”
— Mayor John DeStefano, Jr., YDN, 3/30/03

No means no
“If we have to drag the University kicking and screaming into this partnership, we will do that.”
— Anita Seth, The Yale Herald, 3/28/03

Clear your throat?
“I frequently hear moaning noises coming from my suitemate’s room when she’s hooking up. I feel like I should tell her, but I don’t know what to say. Any suggestions?”
— Sean McBride and Jessica Tom, YDN Magazine, November 2002

Justice for the Israelis! Death to the Israelis!
“SJP sees divestment a means of attaining peace, justice and reconciliation for Israelis and Palestinians alike.”
— Aravinda Ananda and Ross Anderson, YDN, 11/21/2002

To know the Good is to do the Good
“The fact of the matter is a sorority knows the best men on campus. Everywhere we go, they do.”
— Corey Adams, YDN, 11/12/2002

Yale Notes

Suite 13, a local sketch comedy troupe, which is usually very not funny, has hung up hilarious posters advertising a show for Wednesday, April 9 by promoting free cigarettes. If this is true, the YFP is there. Maybe we can make a killing selling them to the middle class who, with the latest cigarette tax hike in Connecticut has been officially priced out of cigarettes. What is this with Republicans and cigarettes these days?

Speaking of smoking, what has the Dean’s Office been lighting up? I’m sure YFP staff would appreciate some too. The Yale College Curriculum Review recommendations came out and include proposals to create a health studies major. Shouldn’t license to fake statistics in the name of the “public interest” at least require a college degree first? Not to even speak of liberal arts going down the drain... Oh wait, that already happened. Never mind.

The unions’ strike went off with less of a bang and more of a whimper. After getting tired of standing around in the cold for a week, they decided to get back to work. I guess mother nature was more oppressive than Yale. Who would have guessed?!

The latest issue of Light & Truth contained a rather long polemic regarding the lack of manners of modern Yalensians for buttering their bread at the bread stand rather than at their table. L&T staff are tired of “encountering jackanapes, ne’erdo-wells, and shiftless nincompoops.” Well, that’s how we feel when we read a new issue of L&T.

A new shoe store, Thom Brown, has opened on Broadway. Now we can all dress like tragically hip pomo comp-lit graduate students. All part of Broadway Redevelopment.

This issue of the Yale Free Press could not have been complete without some mention of the GESO vote, held on April 30. The vote, which sought to pass a proposition affirming the Graduate Employees and Students Organization and its attempts to unionize graduate students at Yale, stirred up a great deal of controversy among the student body. Those who opposed GESO complained that the vote was illegitimate. GESO gave very little notice of the election, giving its opponents no time to establish any organized opposition. Additionally, it submitted a list drawn up by GESO leaders themselves delineating which students were eligible to vote. Finally, it held the vote at Dwight Hall on Old Campus, a location discouraging to graduate students on Science Hill, most of whom oppose GESO. Despite all of these the vote narrowly failed 651, including 80 challenge ballots, or ballots written by students who did not make the eligibility list but believed they deserved a vote. There were also 27 write-in votes that unionization sans GESO.

What was intended be an artificial victory for fast became a colossal defeat. Not only did the vote fail, robbing GESO leaders of tenuous legitimacy that they have been laying claim to all year, but also the process strengthened opposition to GESO, encouraging those who were once silent speak out. The YFP extends heartfelt congratulations to GESO chairwoman Anita Seth; we hope that she continues to make such brilliant political decisions in the future.


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