Location: Aspen Social Club.
Time: Eh, noonish.
Why were we placed directly in the center channeling a melanin-warped Dinner For Schmucks?
Why did Salvador, our Dominican waiter, mistake our Haitian friend as Latina?
Why did this necessitate a tortuous, albeit illumined dialogue on the beset racial complexities of the island of Hispaniola?
Why did we witness what was assuredly a drug bust?
Why was our beloved Salvador the culprit?!
Why was he escorted away in handcuffs by police officers we earlier mistook for street performers, "Don’t have time for this - we’re here on serious business," as we nodded in solidarity to our fallen brother?
Why did we continue on in contented solitude as if the transpired events normal?
Why did we decide at that moment this meal was most certainly complimentary and proceeded to order an additional side of bacon and round of bellinis?
But really, whywere we unfazed?
Why did one of us quip, “Sitting here throughout it all is the White man’s sense of entitlement our bougie education has afforded us.”
Why was this the best brunch ever?
Because it was free.
A friend recently ruminated in GChat ”…she posits a conjecture here…probably inadvertently…” Essentially he questioned if men of faculty will exist to traverse the next frontier and I answer “Is it that hopeless? I choose to interpret that natural selection triumphs through troughs of incompetence. The charlatans and the dissembling cannot sustain perennially.”
I then email excerpts to a second friend who mocks “I just wish I had the luxury to engage bourgeois philosophical inquires, instead I’m busy trying to ameliorate the masses through my academic research as a Columbia Sociology Ph.D candidate.”
Can we afford to indulge? Can we afford to entertain pensive might? Can we afford to reprieve Bloomsbury?
Reading “The Literary Cubs,” an article in The New York Times dedicated to my people, literally. I am agog, and aghast. I am a Cornell 2009 alumnus, they are Cornell 2009 alumni. They studied Comparative Literature, I, Applied Economics & Management, but I tote a torn collection of T.S. Eliot poetry in my messenger. I derive intertexuality from the oeuvre of Djuna Barnes and that of the Combahee River Collective… is it sustainable?
A mentor recently told me we have our 20’s to lead charmed lives. I am 23. M.J., my initials, my Jordan year. I have seven more to convert romanticism to livelihood. Clock is ticking.
“This is my fantasy: a room full of books, people talking about books — it smells like books,” explained Ms. Chapman, the journal’s literary editor. “It’s the literary community that I had read about when I was younger. It’s Moveable Feast-type stuff.”
Despite her upbeat take on the proceedings, Ms. Chapman admitted she wasn’t feeling chipper. It was her birthday. A happy occasion? For most, maybe — but not, she explained, when you are turning 25, having graduated summa from Cornell, with a master’s from Columbia, only to find yourself unemployed and back living at home with your parents.
Ithaca: A Cornell peer and fellow member of the class of 2009 was elected to Ithaca City Council in 2008 during our senior year. A friend of mine from a New England liberal arts institution carped “It’s sad when elitists from local universities take other the town. Going to institutions of that caliber means they can’t relate to the residents.” And I agreed. That would be unfortunate. If that were the case.
Last night the same peer, Svante Myrick (D), won the mayoral seat with 54 percent of the vote in a four-way race - making history as the youngest and first African American to serve as Mayor of Ithaca, New York.
Myrick’s commitment to serving and engaging the community; his appreciation of holistic diversity; and his empathetic quality enriches relatability and disavows the insular pitfalls of elitism.
Myrick said he hopes to keep in close contact with city residents as mayor.”We’re going to continue doing what we’ve been doing,” he said, “reaching out to citizens, knocking on doors, reaching out through Facebook and Twitter, holding office hours.” - The Ithaca Journal
Perspicacious, spirited, and community-minded, Myrick possesses ingredients that inspire efficacious service to Ithaca and upstate New York.
Fritz Pollard. 1894-1986.
Thanks to Dungy and others, Pollard’s achievements as the Jackie Robinson of football are now better appreciated; what is much less known is that football was only one small part of this remarkable man’s achievement. Even as his football career flourished, Pollard was busy establishing himself as a successful and pioneering entrepreneur. He was, successively, a dental student, a college football coach, a founder of one of the first African American–owned investment firms, the owner of a coal business, a movie actor, a founder and operator of an African American independent pro football team, a newspaper founder and owner, a syndicated sports columnist, a movie studio owner, a Negro League baseball executive, a music video producer, a talent agent, a movie producer, the founder of a public relations firm, and, finally, a tax consultant.Inside the studio.
Truth is, as much as we romanticize the achievements of the great African American athletes from the early part of the twentieth century, black professional football and baseball players were hard-pressed to earn a living back then. Football may have been an avenue leading to a field of dreams, but for many of these smart and ambitious players those dreams had little to do with football. Pollard’s friend Paul Robeson, for example, was also an early NFL player. But Robeson earned a degree at Columbia Law School so he could become a practicing attorney, a career he soon put aside to become an internationally famous singer, Broadway and film star, and political activist. Among Brown-educated baseball major leaguers, about one-third later became physicians or lawyers, while others became college professors and executives. One such star, Billy Lauder, class of 1898, studied law at Harvard, practiced law, was a college baseball coach, scouted future baseball hall-of-famer Eddie Collins, authored a book on baseball, and even designed a radical new baseball uniform, all before settling into a career selling insurance.
But the breadth of Pollard’s non-sports activities surpassed all of them. In the Pollard family, success was expected of everyone. “His family played a big role,” explains John Carroll, whose book Fritz Pollard: Pioneer in Racial Achievement is the definitive work on Pollard’s life and career. “They were plungers. His sister [Willie Naomi] was the first African American woman to graduate from Northwestern University. Luther [his brother] made movies and published a newspaper.” Another brother, Leslie, played football for Dartmouth and was a college football coach before his untimely death, and brother Hughes Pollard became a renowned jazz drummer before he, too, died young.Friend Ink Williams ‘21.
For many of these men, football was a bridge into the white world and way of collecting useful contacts there. While at Brown, Pollard, whose entrepreneurial bent manifested itself early, started a suit-pressing service for his classmates; for a dollar a month students could get an unlimited number of garments pressed. “I did this so I could become known on the campus,” Pollard later claimed, though he apparently wasn’t above “borrowing” an outfit for social events. President William Faunce actually visited the football star in his dormitory room, which was jammed with pressing equipment, and informed him that John D. Rockefeller Jr., class of 1897, was offering to pay for more spacious quarters and new equipment. It marked the beginning of a long relationship between Rockefeller and Pollard that would resurface as Pollard got involved in more and more business ventures. (Brown Alumni Magazine)
… $150,000 in HEROIN???
I thought Ivy Leaguers sniffed mounds of coke and pressed their chinos?
Cornell keeps it gangsta.
My alma mater one-upped that silly and retrospectively weak drug bust over yonder Columbia several weeks ago.
If this were Grand Theft Auto Vice City… we’re winning.
…alas this is life, so home girl with the meth face,
is l o s i n g.