April 10, 2007

New Term, New TDR

In which scores (1-10) are given to the newest iteration of everyone's favorite campus news-thing.

The Cover: 2
I don't understand this at all. The picture I can deal with, a guy with a sled and his flapper-hatted girl, circa 1885. The weird part is the font, which you'd expect to say something like
SPACE INVASION@The Liquid Lounge
Hard/Psychedelic Trance All Night
DJ Phazon and the Cybertrybe
$2 Red Bull+Vodka

Besides the font the problem is really the leading- some freshman's incredible design idea was to make the top of each row of text sit on top of the bottom of the line above it, creating this weird cascading effect that makes everything next to impossible to read. Not to mention that, with the exception of the main article, article titles are in lowercase while the reference to what page they're on is in all caps. Who OKed this typography? What were they thinking? You really have to stare really hard at it to read it. Additionally, I don't know what's up with the huge black box they've put all the text on top of.

The Editorial: 8
Nick Desai's writing is fun to read, even if he does weird shit like hyphenate "Face-book," but there's not really a clear point to the article. I don't know if this is a bold step away from partisanship on the part of TDR or not, but it's really strange to see both sides of an issue considered, in seemingly good faith, on page 3. I mean, if I told you that the editor of the Dartmouth Review was writing an editorial about the effects of the sexual revolution, you'd think you'd know where things were going, but that's not really the case here. Desai even intones that he feels sorry for ugly people, which is remarkably empathetic given that he himself is pretty good-looking, or at least I thought he was Fall term when I had a class with him. Anyway, he may be an arch-conservative or he may not (it's hard to tell from that article) but he seems like a nicer dude than the last guy.

Col. (Ret.) James A. Donovan '39's Cartoons: 10
These are incredible. My favorite part of C(R)JA.D'39's output is that every character's mouth is open all the time, so that you can't ever tell who's talking to whom (actually, this month he sort of broke form with the left cartoon, but that's an exception). The reason for this is ostensibly that he's old and senile and is just recaptioning cartoons he drew 20 years ago en masse (one TDR kid told me a while ago that he sends huge manila folders full of hundreds of cartoons along with his donation checks, with the implicit expectation that they'd better publish at least two of them). But I really think that C(R)JA.D'39 is a radically experimental cartoonist, and this technique deliberately foregrounds the artificiality of the cartoon/caption boundary, in that it becomes impossible for the reader to assign agency to the "speech." Anyway, the unsettlingly sexualized old lady on the left is one thing, but that cartoon on the right really is the clincher here. Does he really believe that women's breasts were bigger in the 1930s? Or is he trying to say that we're not allowed to talk about women's breasts like we used to be able to? This seems rhetorical, but you've gotta consider the source here.

Emily Ghods-Esfahani: 10
EG-E only writes one short article here, and they printed it on black ink over a dark grey box, so you can't even read it. Incredible move on Desai's part. The quality of the paper surges forward.

The Alum's Memoirs: 8

(The Late) Professor Emeritus Jeffrey Hart: who cares

New Feature "Dissent! With Cate Lunt": 9
I say with no sarcasm: incredible satire, spot-on imitation of you-know-what sort of liberal, I want more. Whoever is writing this is a gotdamn genius. The books she has written in her byline info sound great, too.

Barrett's Mixology: (dom)3
Stethers gets a rating of Dome for including scotch, which is the hip new thing amongst residents of Lord 7. I didn't read that part that was written under it.

This issue wins the Little Green Blog's Most Improved award. I had a lot of fun reading this. Nothing made me pissed. I bet Buckley is upset.


  1. AISG posted again, here's the text:

    "Why do you keep deleting this comment Connor Sheph3rd? Are you such a nancy that you can't take criticism or are you afraid that your boss will google search you one day. You are such a loser it makes me want to puke. As always I will do you the favor of reposting it, Connor Sheph3rd:

    (the same comment again.)

    If you are a faggot, you will delete it or add "3"s for "e"s in your last name like you did before."

    Please, AISG, don't tell my girlfriend I'm gay. I wouldn't want to break her heart.
    Sorry about the threes. My offer of a few days ago still stands, btw.

  2. confidential to dude: you leave your name, i'll leave 'em up

  3. Anonymous3:28 PM

    I did think Bruce's extended reverie on that photo of JSD was a little weird, especially since the picture can't support any of the things he wants to read into it. I mean, parking's not permitted on the streets you can see in the picture -- why's it matter that Bruce can't see any cars? And why not mention the photographer, who was probably credited in the magazine where Bruce saw it? I'd bet it was Adrian Bouchard, who was a master of the snapshot and probably didn't retouch his photos (yet Bruce thinks this is a posed and retouched shot). Oh well.

    Why, too, would Bruce think that Dickey "was arguably the most hated President in Dartmouth’s history"? Perhaps he hasn't read the Review. It was Samuel Bartlett, who was charged with his failings at an unofficial trial by alumni.

  4. Anonymous4:12 PM

    No, the photog wasn't Bouchard, because he died in 1976. It might have been Stuart Bratesman.

  5. The main problem that I had with that riff on the photo is that he's not going to reveal exactly what he's getting at until next time. I feel like the guy has chosen to chop up some already complete block of text for serialization, rather than making sure each monthly column encapsulates one aspect of whatever larger problem he's talking about. I would totally forgive him for forgetting that there isn't any parking around the green as long as he used that to make some larger point. But as it stands, the larger point remains hidden.

  6. Anonymous11:42 AM

    I would say that Andrew's pretty accurate in his assessment of the direction that The Review is moving - more thoughtful, less provokative, more content-based. Here's to a more productive future.

  7. Hey, thanks for the praise, but this post is Connor's.

  8. Anonymous6:33 PM

    Annonymous, that's a pretty bold claim after just one issue under the new editor. there's still plenty of time to soil it all over again.

  9. Anonymous11:46 PM

    that's certainly true, but as a writer for the review (as well as a regular reader of this blog and the dfp), i know desai. i think we can meet halfway here and express hope and perhaps even (gasp!) a bit of faith and interpret desai's breakout issue as an olive branch of goodwill, intellectualism, and moderation.

    as before, here's to a more productive, less partisan future.