Halloweekend Distractions CXXVI

Written by Executive Editor on October 30th, 2014

8:00pm – WSPN Presents: The Son and Heirs & Batman Nosebleed @ Falstaff’s

7:30pm – Volleyball vs. Potsdam
8:30pm – Awkward Kids Talking & Breakbeats: Breaking Awkward @ Filene
9:00pm – The Accents and Pulse participate in Halloween @ Gannett
10:00pm – Freaky Friday: Sonneteers & Bandersnatchers Minijam @ Wilson

9:00am – Battle of Saratoga Quidditch Tournamet @ WACH Turf Field
10:00am – Volleyball vs. Fredonia
10:00am – Yoga Retreat @ Wilson
12:00pm – Fall Tailgate @ Wachenheim Field
12:00pm – Women’s Soccer vs. Nazareth
3:00pm – Men’s Soccer vs. Union
9:30pm – Social Justice Month Showcase @ The Spa

12:00pm – FOC Presents: Sunday Coffee House @ Falstaff’s
5:00pm – Harvest Dinner @ The Spa

Missing something? Let us know in the comments!


WSPN Halloween Show: The Sons and Heirs & Batman Nosebleed

Written by Major Qwik on October 30th, 2014
You know what's real spooky? The lyrics to "Unhappy Birthday."

You know what’s real spooky? The lyrics to “Unhappy Birthday.”

Tonight at 8:00pm, WSPN will host their annual Halloween Show in Falstaff’s. This year’s bill will feature Skidmore band Batman Nosebleed, who will be donning the costumes of indie royalty, playing a Radiohead cover seat.

Formerly known by the so-bad-it’s-good name “Chromatic Breakdown,” they’ll be opening for NYC-based Smiths cover band The Son and Heirs, about whom The Daily Beast wrote “The Smiths will never re-form…so for most fans, The Sons & Heirs are the closest they will ever get.” In other words, it’s like seeing The Smiths live without having to, well, see The Smiths live, which is kind of nice, because these days Morrissey is really just a pretentious asshat with an insufferable Internet presence.

There will also be a costume contest with highly-coveted prizes like Uncommon and Pizza 7 gift cards. And free Esperanto’s. So fuck this indie red side bullshit, because you know this is worth going to just for that.

But really, the folks at WSPN don’t host shows often, but when they do, they always make quality picks for their headliners. Plus Batman Nosebleed is sounding smoooooth these days. So kick-off Halloweenmorethoughtmatters weekend in the best way possible: listening to solid covers of some great songs by two of the more influential bands of the past 30 years. (Pssst! Need guidance? We gotchoo.)


Skidmore Unofficial’s Guide to Halloween

Written by Hannibal Burgess on October 29th, 2014

I usually hate when people do the most, but this kid’s alright.

Hello, friends. This is the Ghost of Hannibal Burgess! And the Reanimated Corpse of Charmander! Spoooooooooky! As you are all aware, Halloween falls on a Friday this year. It has been many moons since such a blessing, and we must offer a tribute to the Great Pumpkin, or, if he’s busy, Satan.

It’s gonna be a wet and wild weekend, so we’ve put together this fun little guide to aid you in your quest for spooky booty–And I don’t mean just candy! We also mean FUN!

Let’s break Halloween down into its main components, shall we?


We’ve got three nights this year, so plan accordingly!

Don’t be Elsa.  Everyone is going to be Elsa.  Even dogs are going to be Elsa. Even the Boston fucking Bruins are going as Elsa. Rise above it.  Let it go.  Be something unique and out of the box, like “a rainy day” or “Cousin Skeeter.”

Here’s the thing about skimpy costumes:  Halloween night is going to be VERY chilly, like 30 degrees!  It might even snow!  We’re all for body positivity and freedom to express yourself, but you’ll catch your death out there! If your mother knew you left Penfield without a coat, what would she say? Probably nothing, because the thought alone has KILLED HER!  So hold back on your sexy Gollum costume until you live somewhere not on the verge of a new Ice Age.

No blackface. NO BLACKFACE? NO BLACKFACE. Nothing that could be even remotely affiliated with blackface. None of that Moon Emoji bullshit. If I see someone in a Ray Rice costume, I am contractually obligated to set them on fire. Like Angie Jordan says, “Don’t do imitations of other races, Liz.” Do not disappoint the Queen of Jordan. This might (and should) make you reassess the Cousin Skeeter suggestion.

Don’t do this either:

Yes, we know this image is fake but we;re illustrating a point here

Yes, we know this image is fake but we’re illustrating a point here. You’ve probably thought it.



Pace yourself. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Although, sprinting from house to house while drinking is certainly encouraged.

You also do NOT have to drink, I guess. Drinking does not make you interesting, despite what Hemingway might tell you. Be yourself.


Do them. All of them. At least seven of them.*

*Do not take seven of the blue ones. No one knows where the blue ones came from.


Fuck cops. Actual cops, not costumed cops. Cops are liars. Question authority. Who are they really protecting and serving? Who watches the Watchmen?


Ask your friends! They know more than you, and are better looking and more popular. Actually, could I get their numbers?

Do not ask Yik Yak. 235 Maple isn’t happening. It will never happen. Nothing ever happens on Maple. Cool your karma.

If you go to the infamous DT, watch out for the most dangerous monster of all: the straight white male over the age of 25.

Obviously, Moorebid isn’t happening this year (or did you not hear?), so you might have to get creative in terms of venues to get your drank on. Explore your options! Be proactive! There’s that huge stall in the 2nd floor Bolton/Palamountain men’s bathroom. Do body shots in the same room where Senate fails to make real change (TOPICAL). Or an elevator suite in JoTo (if you know an upperclassmen who’s cool [citation needed] enough to live in one). Or the upper-level art studios. Or your room. By yourself. Thinking about the girl from your Bio lab. The one you definitely had a chance, if only you’d talked to her that one time you were in line behind her at Global.  Drink amongst your failures and regrets, for there are so many. Call your mother. She misses you.


Hit up that giant mansion on Broadway; they’ve got the best stuff. But actually, there are several candy bars there with $100 bills in them (because spooky) so test your luck!

If you’re giving out candy: Take a shot every time you see a little girl dressed as Elsa. (Surgeon General’s Warning: You will die.)

Halloween can be iffy if you are going abroad for a semester (other countries aren’t into it like we are? We don’t run the world?) so make your mark right here. Right now. In America. You’re safe here.

That just about wraps it up! Share your Halloween plans with us in the comments! Or don’t! Happy Halloween, and be sure to be spooky!


North Woods Halloween Haunt

Written by Executive Editor on October 28th, 2014
I believe the term is "spoopy."

I believe the term is “spoopy.”

Tomorrow night, Sustainable Skidmore will kick-off Skidmore Unplugged (which you might know as the event that spawned this beautiful creation) by hosting the North Woods Halloween Haunt. Not to be confused with the Northwoods Halloween Hunt, of course, which will take place this weekend and will consist of campo combing through every apartment unit on campus, missing the golden days of just busting people at Moorebid.

This guided tour of the “possibly haunted” North Woods will begin at 8:00pm at the Falstaff’s entrance to the woods, which is appropriate, given the fact that most of your scariest experiences in your time at Skidmore have probably taken place at Falstaff’s.

The tour is sure to feature many creatures that haunt your nightmares, such as ghost, goblins, and that email from Sam Harris detailing the new smoking policies. So take a spooky study break and bring your friend. Or come alone if you don’t have any of those think you can handle it.


WIB Talks with Avon Sheriff, Oct. 27 @ 6PM

Written by Executive Editor on October 27th, 2014
Save the dates.

Save the dates.

This evening, Oct. 27th, Skidmore Women in Business will be hosting the first in a three part series entitled “WIB Talks.” This evening’s talk will feature Avon Scherff, owner of Scherff Insurance and Momentum Consulting, and founder of “I Am. I Can“–a nonprofit that connects high school girls with female mentors.

Founded in fall of 2013, Skidmore Women in Business “strives to empower ambitious women across all disciplines to engage in leadership.” Since their founding, they’ve held consistent meetings, represented Skidmore at conferences at Harvard and Wheaton, and hosted panels and speakers.

The club’s doing great and important work, so I encourage you to attend this evening’s talk in Ladd 307 at 6:00pm . You should also keep an eye out for the next two talks: Nov. 10th (with Linda Toohey, Skidmore Board of Trustees Chair) and Nov. 24 (with Corrine Moss Racusin, Assistant Professor and Researcher on Gender Bias).

Be sure to check them out on Facebook and Twitter and stay posted on events they host in the future.




Written by Hannibal Burgess on October 24th, 2014







Ben Jurney Publishes “Netflix, A Love Story” on The New Yorker Website

Written by Executive Editor on October 24th, 2014


Humorist and comedian Ben Jurney ’14 has had yet another humor piece published in the Shouts & Murmurs section of The New Yorker‘s website.

Jurney’s fourth piece on the site, “Netflix, A Love Story” showcases Jurney’s always impressive ability to take the some of the most mundane and relatable situations and inject them with oftentimes subtle yet rewarding hilarity:

Our first weeks together were full of late-night rendezvous. Each session was intense—we could go for three or four hours without stopping. Our favorite spots were in bed, on the couch, and sometimes in the kitchen. One night, my friend Carly even got in on the action. I had never tried anything like that before.

It’s like a longer version of your friend’s constant stream of Snapchats and Tweets about how Netflix is their boyfriend/girlfriend. But actually funny. Only a day after the story was published, “Netflix, A Love Story” is presently the most popular piece on the site’s Humor section. So be sure to check out the entire piece and keep it there. Congratulations to Jurney.


Skidmore Ranked 153rd Smartest College in America on Bullshit List

Written by Major Qwik on October 23rd, 2014
You might be happy, but are you NINTH-HAPPIEST-COLLEGE-IN-AMERICA happy?!

You might be happy, but are you NINTH-HAPPIEST-COLLEGE-IN-AMERICA happy?!

In college ranking lists, Skidmore tends to rank somewhere between “solid” and “definitely not worthy of a share on Facebook” with sites/magazines like this. Forbes put us at 102 in their most recent list, and Washington Monthly had us sitting pretty at 129. So none of this is particularly new, and none of this shit matters anyway. You get out of college what you put into it, and you can get a perfectly good education at any plenty of schools. Plus the economy/universe is shitty enough that it all ends up being relatively arbitrary anyway, and there’s no real way to guarantee financial success. You know this because you’re not 17 anymore.

Keeping all this in mind, it therefore gets pretty easy to shrug off when Skidmore doesn’t do well on lists like these. But what makes the Business Insider’s list of “The 600 Smartest Schools in America” more concerning is their simplistic methodology of ranking–which, I might add, they make no effort to hide: “Exclusively for Business Insider, Jonathan Wai, a Duke University Talent Identification Program researcher, calculated a ranking of America’s colleges and universities based purely on smarts, as reflected by the school’s average scores on standardized tests.” They begin the article with the claim “Schools are constantly being ranked on everything from student happiness, campus beauty, success of alums, and professor prestige. But where should you go if you want to be among the most intelligent students in America?”

Let me paraphrase that one for you. Essentially, what they’re saying is “We know people use a myriad of complex and valuable factors to rank colleges and help you pick the one that’s best for you and will fit your academic needs, but where do you want to go if you’re just plain ol’ fashioned smart?”  And what better single factor to use when indicating a student body’s intelligence than standardized tests, which have been repeatedly shown to have little correlation to actual performance or intelligence, causing many colleges to go test-optional. (Though it’s worth noting Skidmore isn’t even remotely test-optional, which hardly matches the whole progressive academic institution vibe.)

Also, to say that Wai “calculated a ranking…based purely on smarts” is essentially a euphemistic way of saying that he organized colleges in descending order of their average SAT scores. That sounds like the kind of tedious shit you do for your disappointing gig as a research assistant for your Stats professor or something. But that bears quite a bit of resemblance to another list run by Business Insider last year, and another one put out by Forbes back in August.

All that’s to say that this whole thing is just another installation in a line of gimmicky bullshit, but even more so than these lists are by their very nature. Though I suppose such a reductive and piece of “journalism” is no surprise coming from a business website that boasts articles like “19 Websites That Will Make You Smarter,” “9 Ways to Become Smarter,” and “Here Are 97 Books, Articles, And Movies That Will Make You Smarter.” Honestly. What is with website–specifically this particular writer–and the obsession of being “smart?” My personal favorite is “A Shocking Number Of The World’s Rich And Powerful Attended Elite Colleges,” which is less of a compelling article title, and more of a statement that barely requires saying.

Ultimately, the piece is just unnecessary and lazy, though it plays on an ever-increasing anxiety that plagues our culture and education system–namely the worry that you’ll somehow end up at a school that doesn’t immediately peg you as smart or worthy. Titling the article “Here Are The List of Schools With the Highest SAT Composite Scores” or “You Won’t Believe Which School Has the Students With the Highest SAT Scores” might be more appropriate and indicative of where this shit belongs: on BuzzFeed or Upworthy.


Weekend Distractions CXXV

Written by Executive Editor on October 23rd, 2014

5:00pm to 11:00pm – Quiet Music Festival @ The Tang
8:00pm – Finger Lake’s Guitar Quartet @ Zankel
10:00pm – Danny Pravder/Jake Ratkvich Free Improvisation @ Wilson Chapel

12:00pm – The Hunt @ Robin Adams’ Backyard*
4:00pm – Field Hockey vs. Union

12:00pm – Volleyball vs. RIT
2:00pm – Field Hockey vs. St. Lawrence
3:00pm – Volleyball vs. Clarkson
7:00pm – Cabaret Troupe Presents: Disney Cabaret @ Falstaff’s
8:00pm – Rey & Lemay LIVE: Food & Halloween @ Gannett
9:00pm – Drastic Measures/Dynamics Mini-Jam @ Wilson Chapel
10:00pm – The McLovins & Otter @ Falstaff’s

1:30pm – Skidprov @ Filene
3:00pm – Pola Baytelman Concert @ Zankel
8:00pm – The Klemperer Trio Concert @ Zankel

Missing something? Let us know in the replies!

*Do not actually go to Robin Adams’ house.


Civil Rights Advocate to Present Lecture on Racial Injustice in Legal System

Written by Executive Editor on October 21st, 2014

Michelle Alexander, critically-acclaimed author and legal scholar, will be speaking Wednesday, Oct. 22 at 7:30pm in Zankel.

Skidmore’s Committee on Intercultural and Global Understanding will be sponsoring a lecture presented by legal scholar and civil rights advocate Michelle Alexander on Wednesday, Oct. 22nd in Zankel. Alexander will give a talk entitled “The New Jim Crow,” which will most likely sample some of the material covered in her first book The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness–in which she claims that “”[w]e have not ended racial caste in America; we have merely redesigned it.” 

Published in 2010, The New Jim Crow received rave reviews and went on to win a slew of awards. Benjamin Todd Jealous of the NAACP wrote that the book “offers a timely and original framework for understanding mass incarceration, its roots to Jim Crow, our modern caste system, and what must be done to eliminate it. This book is a call to action.” Plus Cornel West called it the “secular bible for a new social movement in early twenty-first-century America,” so it doesn’t get much more badass than that.

Alexander, who currently hold a joint appointment at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity and the Moritz College of Law at OSU, has spent many years in the legal system advocating for justice in cases of gender and race discrimination. She’s worked at the Racial Justice Project at the ACLU, the Civil Rights Clinic at Stanford, and in both the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals.

As you can tell, this woman is pretty fucking incredible, seems like a very good speaker, and will no doubt have some very interesting things to say on an issue that has been at the focal point of the media and our cultural consciousness. Alexander writes in The New Jim Crow that “the future of the black community…may depend on the willingness of those who care about racial justice to re-examine their basic assumptions about the role of the criminal justice system in our society.”

So if you’re tired of seeing shit like this and this, then go to Alexander’s lecture on Wednesday at 7:30pm in Zankel.