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Trump as a Daesh … has ‘Der Spiegel’ gone too far?

Screen Shot 2017-02-04 at 2.07.04 PM



Ephblogers seem to be readers of various media … ‘junkies’ may not be an over-statement.

The article below from the Sydney Morning Herald is a nice summary of this publishing occasion. The New Yorker this week uses the iconic image in a similar statement but accomplishes its’ message in a more quiet, thoughtful, and melancholy manner, similar to the black-on-black 9/11 and the Purple Rain covers.



1. Your thoughts on the use of revered graphic icons for political observations.

2. Your thoughts/rants on the covers themselves and the message they deliver.

I write this as an old manipulator of graphics for branding/image purposes.


Witch hunt, Indeed! I’ll show you Bowling Green, my pretty ….

I'll show you Bowling Green ...

… and your little dog, too!


Race is so fluid …


It has only been 10 days since January 20th, 2017 …

Hitler-hindenberg 30Jan1933

January 30th, 1933. Bismark makes Hitler Chancellor of Germany.


The Forgotten Man: Recycling Busby Berkeley …

“Gold Diggers of 1933″.  Very much in the style and sensitivity of 45.


Clan Marches …


… well, the Swart clan anyway. Family members marched in Seattle, Oakland, Boston, and DC.

Here is a family reporter from DC:

It was a great and important day today in Washington DC and the Women`s March.  We wanted to take Metro but when we got to our station, the queue was about a 1/2 mile long coming out of the station (Uber was about $70!).  We wound up driving (easy) and parked in a parking garage.  Lots of incredibly clever signs so look closely at the pictures in the link, many are funny, scary, poignant, and everything between.  The crowd was huge (a few hundred thousand at least I would guess) and things got extremely tight at times in the throngs but everyone was so nice and loving.  No signs of anger (except at Trump) and just a good time peacefully demonstrating and exercising our First Amendment rights – very patriotic and very American!  Hope all other demonstrating marchers today around the globe had an an equally positive experience standing up for important issues they believe in.


Transposing Peter Arno …


This cartoon from the September 19, 1936 issue of The New Yorker expresses sentiment felt by many at that time.

This cartoon in the property of Conde-Nast. It is doubly interesting that it appear in Ephblog since Raoul Fleischmann, Williams 1906, financed The New Yorker and ran it for many years with the legendary Harold Ross as the editor.

The Translux was a movie theater showing only newsreels … theTV/Phone/Screen of Choice of the day.


C-A-R-N-A-G-E …

hmmmmm. Not in my section of the Northwest. How is it where you are?


ART STRIKE: An interesting list of artists and institutions …


Our own local art center is closed today. Not because of threats to the NEA and PBS, but the weather. Hood River, although a rural county in Oregon, voted 60% for Hillary.

I look forward to seeing Cindy Sherman’s strike placard!


January, 1933. Adolph Hitler becomes Chancellor of Germany.

Hitler-hindenberg 30Jan1933

A new beginning.


Only If You Hate Rich Alumni


Anti-rich prejudice is acceptable at Williams, at least judging by the lack of pushback against yaks like this. What other prejudices are acceptable? Anything remotely racist or sexist is immediately deleted from the Williams Yik Yak thread, which is a good thing.


Trump Question


1) Is it true that someone’s social standing at Williams would fall if they “came out” as a Trump supporter? My guess is Yes. I have heard that there was a Trump-related controversy on the Facebook page for the class of 2020. True? Tell us what happened.

2) Assume that it is true. Do you think it is a good thing or a bad thing that Trump support leads to a drop in social standing?

3) Assume a student is an excellent candidate for JA. However, she is a very public supporter of Trump, in the same way that many students were very public supporters for Bernie Sanders. Would the JA Selection Committee hold her political views against her? Should they?


Dance, Monkeys, Dance!


EphBlog is here to help! Today is the kick off to the Williams Capital Campaign. Elite colleges run capital campaigns — multi-year attempts to raise substantial amounts of money — every decade or so. The typical cycle begins with a new president who spends a few years getting to know the campus, a few years raising money, and then a few years recovering. The last Williams campaign, which started in 2003, targeted $400 million but eventually raised more than $500 million. Some questions:

1) Will this campaign have a catchy slogan or theme? Last time the name was simply the “Williams Campaign,” although there might also have been some “Climb High” branding. I suspect something similarly anodyne this time round. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

2) What will the target amount be? At the low end, I have heard $600 million, which would be 50% more than last time. At the high end, a knowledgeable alum (with no inside info) was certain it would be $1 billion, both because this was an eye-catching target and because it was more than any other liberal arts college, which would be appropriate for an institution of Williams stature. My guess is $1 billion.

3) The Campaign takes place in two stages. The first, going on for the last few years, is the “quiet” phase, during which major gifts are solicited from mega-wealthy donors. At least 1/2, and up to 2/3, of the total money has already been raised. Tonight marks the kick-off of the “public” phase.

4) There is a large fat tail in fundraising, at Williams and elsewhere. Although the College will try to get every alumni (and parent!) to give, the vast majority of the money will be raised by the 500 or so biggest donors, with a disproportionate share coming from the top 5 or 10.


Isn’t it unusual to engage students so deeply in the capital campaign? I certainly don’t recall this from the distant past, nor from the last go-around a decade ago. Typically (and appropriately) the students have no idea what the College’s fundraising machinery is doing. And that is OK!

The OP here, however, is quite clueless. He is surrounded by educational and facility luxuries of every kind. Does he think stuff comes from heaven? Is he so naive as to believe that, even if he is a full pay student, his tuition dollars cover anywhere near the cost of what he consumes? Perhaps. Fortunately, EphBlog is here to educate him! Elite liberal arts colleges cost big money. Unless you want to double tuition, you need to raise lots of money from rich alumni. So, dance, you ungrateful little monkey! Dance!


That is some dance stage! Comments:

1) Thanks to Professor Manigault-Bryant and the other campus Ephs who tweet! Always fun to see/read pictures/descriptions of campus events.

2) There has never (?) been anything like this at the start of a Williams campaign. Last time, I think that the kick-off event was a dinner, for major donors and a few selected students/faculty, at Mount Hope. Good idea? I don’t know. At least there shouldn’t be any rain . . .

3) Looks like #WilliamsCampaign is the official hashtag.


So Sad

An unreflective student writes:


You tell us what you hope you won’t be doing. That isn’t very interesting! Tell us what do you hope you will be doing?

Perhaps least appealing blinder common among Williams students is an inability to see your future. Do you really expect your life to be that different from the Williams students that have gone before you? Do you think that you are some special snowflake?

If you are like the thousands of Williams alumni, then your future life will center around family and career. You will marry and have children. You will have jobs you sometimes like and sometimes hate. You will have bills and mortgages.

And, in between those things, if you are smart, you will have a hobby or two. Maybe you will knit, or play golf, or go camping. To each his own!

Or maybe you will become the world expert on Williams College and share that knowledge with the world. There are worse ways to spend the time between annual reports and dance recitals . . .


College Council Considers Social Honor Code

From Yik Yak:


Could a reader provide more details on the proposal? In the meantime, comments:

1) An Eph Style Guide, with no penalties for violation, is still an excellent idea.

What would be the key components of such a guide?

First, a clear and ringing affirmation of the central role played by unfettered intellectual inquiry at Williams. Freedom of thought and conscious must be protected and nurtured at all costs. Those who come to Williams from sheltered backgrounds may be unused to confronting radically different points of view, to having their ideas and beliefs challenged. They need to be reminded that intellectual honesty, saying what you believe and defending what you say, is the highest value at Williams, bar none. Freedom of speech does not stop at the top of Spring Street.

Second, such a guide could provide an overview of words and symbols that are simply beyond the pale. By all accounts, the KKK cookout controversy of last spring was an honest mistake. The author of the flyer did not realize that those three letters remain a potent symbol of hatred and injustice. An Eph Style Guide could make that clear. The existence of a guide, required reading for all members of the community, would remove ignorance as a defense.

Note that nothing in such a guide restricts speech in any way. It is a guide, not a code. If you want to advertise your flyer using the initials KKK, you are still free to do so. But your speech will be met with more speech. You will be called insensitive, because you are. You will be challenged, because you deserve to be. Yet honest mistakes will be made less likely.

Of course, an Eph Style Guide of limited length will need to make choices about what to include and what to exclude. KKK would be included, but “cakewalk,” a term with a viciously racist past, would probably not make the cut. Just the process of thinking harder, slowly and carefully, about what is offensive and why, is a valuable exercise for the College. I would expect the committee responsible for the guide to publish a series of drafts, hold (poorly attended) public meetings and actively seek comments from the broader community.

Third, a guide would make clear what is allowed, what difficult and controversial topics will be, indeed must be, discussed at Williams. For example, common culture affects individual decisions. American culture in the mid-19th century affected the decisions made by Abraham Lincoln just as Japanese culture of the 1920s and ’30s influenced Hirohito’s. To mau-mau Barnard over his claim that Hispanic culture influenced the behavior of specific contemporary baseball players, as some members of VISTA did last spring, is to misunderstand the sorts of conversations that must be allowed, even encouraged, at Williams.

Alas, I doubt that this is what CC is considering. (By the way, who are the key students pushing this idea?) Whoever they are, they almost certainly want the College to punish speech/behavior that they find offensive.

2) Before going to far down this path, College Council should try to learn from its own history. Read this for discussions of similar efforts in 2004 and 2008.

Do any readers think that a social honor code is a good idea?


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