Thursday, February 13, 2003
Thirteen affluent white Pitt students have formed a new organization to solidify their place in both the University of Pittsburgh and society at large.
“Recently, as a people, we’ve had the good fortune to be on top of the world,” white Pitt student Jason Tyler explained. “We wanted to come together to form an organization which would not really do anything except honor that lineage and celebrate our place in society.”
The group, made up of white, suburban Pitt students, was formed in response to recent gains by minorities in terms of scholarships at Pitt and in job status due to affirmative action.
“God gave white people an innate ability to make prosperous connections with those of similar cultural background and skin color. We just want to ensure that we need to do as little as possible in order for our children to have this same opportunity. Our dream is that hopefully one day [our children] will receive the same jobs our parents’ parents had, or at least build a trust fund large enough so our children won’t have to work,” said White Complacency President Alan J. Gould.
Without much action in recruitment or requests for funding, the group has already gained over 50 members and raised an operating budget of over $2,000 annually for unspecified events.
“It’s a scary world we’re living in,” Tyler admitted. “We just want to make sure that we don’t have to apply ourselves too much, and that we can still fuck off for another four or five years and still get well- paying jobs when we graduate.”
“It’s our unalienable right to experience this rite of passage,” Gould added.
Labels: lead story
World renowned Historian David McCullough is used to getting at the very fiber of American heroes. McCullough has written narratives about former President John Quincy Adams, steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie, and former President Harry S. Truman. Now, for the first time, McCullough attempts to portray a contemporary figure as he wraps up his new biography due out in Spring 2003 entitled, Cumpie: The Story of a Resilient South Oakland Entrepreneur.
“You essentially have a man who has weathered all kinds of criticism to emerge as a man of the people and for the people,” McCullough explained. “You have one man who has endured numerous attempts at the destruction of his business from such bureaucratic regimes as the Liquor Control Board (LCB). Over the past three years the LCB has attempted to stronghold Cumpie out of his prestigious Atwood Street location, but Cumpie has held on.”
While McCullough portrays Cumpie as an overall hero, he also recognizes the duality and inconsistencies of the South Oakland entrepreneur.
“This is the story of a complex man who fights for the rights of the working man, yet still charges $2.25 for a 16 oz. draft of Iron City. Certainly, that price is not extravagant when compared to other Pittsburgh taverns. However, when one considers you can get the same Iron City draft in the bigger 22 oz. format down the street at Denny's for the same price, you scratch your head and wonder, why?” said McCullough.
However, through all the criticism and controversy McCullough sums up the man with one word: “resilient.”
“When the LCB shut down his establishment, he opened a fruit stand. What other man could entirely turn around his means of operation under such circumstances? Certainly Zelda’s couldn’t, CJ Barney’s – no, the Beehive – absolutely not. He rose above fines, debt, and rent control. This is a man committed to the South Oakland community and he goes to any length to meet its needs. That’s the portrait I attempted to paint, the portrait of a man who has survived in an environment where others have failed,” McCullough declared.
When his Shadyside home was repossessed, former Allegheny County Judge H. Patrick McFalls was forced to wander the cold streets of South Oakland. But now, thanks to Adopt-A-Bum, McFalls is living in a plush University of Pittsburgh fraternity house.
The Adopt-A-Bum project, which was instituted last fall by the Pittsburgh chapter of Habitat for Humanity, places homeless people in Greek living quarters for an entire semester.
In January, McFalls became an honorary brother of Sigma Alpha Epsilon. But some fraternity members are not convinced that the former judge is a “true gentleman.”
“I can’t stand that asshole,” said SAE president Matt Webber. “He drinks all of our booze, drops his pants at parties and tries to take over chapter meetings by stealing my gavel! I wish we would’ve adopted Sombrero Man or even the blind dude that sings gospel outside of McDonald’s…anyone but this loser.”
“Objection!” retorted McFalls. “In my day, fraternities were wild and crazy. None of this ‘charity’ and ‘philanthropy’ bullshit. I have to act this way to uphold the standards of fraternity ethics.”
McFalls blames his erratic behavior on personal problems, the September 11th attacks, and his inability to “score with a hot freshman chick.”
Labels: Sombrero Man
February 2, 2003 (Punxsutawney, PA) - They arrived in droves. They set up tents. They cooked on small fires, drank beer, and waited in anticipation for one short moment. Would the now almost world-famous groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, see his shadow, heralding six more weeks of winter?
While all the world looked to Punxsutawney, PA for this outcome, one man remained skeptical. Vietnam Veteran and assistant groundskeeper of local Bushwood Country Club, Carl Spackler.
“Yeah, well, you know, I hate those little varmints. To kill, you must know your enemy, and in this case my enemy is a varmint. And a varmint will never quit – ever. They’re like the Viet Cong – Varmint Cong. So you have to fall back on superior intelligence and superior firepower,” said Spackler, dressed in camouflage, small tree branches sticking out of his helmet and vest, and wielding a rifle.
The crowd slowly gathered. Spackler and a few other locals stood around, drinking canned beer still in their plastic rings. They commented mostly on the attractive women who came out for the event. However, now and then, the topic of the groundhog would come up, to the distaste of the small group.
Spackler said that he was told by Head-groundskeeper, Scottsman, Sandy McFiddish, to kill all the golfers. “So I said,” he explained, “‘Correct me if I’m wrong, Sandy, but if I kill all the golfers they’ll lock me up and throw away the key.’ Then I realized he meant gophers. Gophers! Lousy critters.”
And so, Carl Spackler’s hatred of what he calls “critters” or “varmints” began.
“I got to get into this dude’s pelt and crawl around for a few days,” said Spackler, looking at the swelling crowd and holding two clay animals. “Who's the gopher’s ally? His friends? The harmless squirrel and the friendly rabbit.”
As the sun began to rise over the small town of Punxsutawney, PA, the master of ceremonies prepared to draw the groundhog from his hole. Spackler loaded his rifle and began to take aim at the stage where Phil would make his appearance.
“I smell varmint poontang,” said Spackler.
Influenced by the success of ABC’s The Bachelor, PCNC is hoping to capture a more regionalized demographic with its own version of the show this fall. Starring long-time Pittsburgh Steelers radio broadcaster Myron Cope, PCNC’s Yoi Bachelor will see the local celebrity choose between 25 eligible senior bachelorettes and widows.
“Pittsburgh loves Myron, and we’re hoping Pittsburghers will love to watch him date 25 very sexy seniors,” said PCNC spokesperson William Nagle. “We came up with some great dating scenarios which we think Myron will really enjoy. I’m especially looking forward to the episode when Myron takes one very lucky lady to the clean Original Hot Dog Shop in Plum Boro.”
Cope will initially meet the 25 contestants at Penn Brewery’s “Octoberfest” in September 2003. From there, he will eliminate five of the twenty-five. Subsequent weeks will have various social events which will eliminate the competition to one lucky winner. The winner will be chosen live by Cope at the opening day festivities of PNC Park 2004, and will also get to throw out the first pitch.
“I can’t wait to meet these beautiful ladies, hmmm haah,” said Cope. “I might take a few of them out for a toddy or two. Ummm, ahh, I’m also sure to bring one of them, you know, ya, yoi, lovely females to Subway, where we can get a horseradish melt six-inch if the Steelers score on the first drive of the third quarter. ‘Subway. Eat fresh.’”
PCNC insiders have already leaked that one of the bachelorettes will be former Pittsburgh Mayor Sophie Masloff.
This is the boldest programming move since 2001’s Frat Brother, which raised PCNC viewership by 2%. “We’re confident we have a hit on our hands,” said Nagle.
Transportation for all of Cope’s dates will be provided by All-Star Limousine of Greentree, as the Pennsylvania State Police Department has forbidden PCNC to allow Cope to drive on any of the dates.
CAS junior Aaron Rodgers made a startling revelation last Friday evening as he rode the 71C home from an off-campus fraternity party. As the bus turned onto Highland Avenue, Rodgers shrugged off his alcohol-induced haze to realize he was the lone Caucasian on the bus.
“At first, I thought I was seeing things,” Rodgers recalled of his harrowing ordeal. “I thought, ‘There is no way this could be happening in Shadyside.’”
While Rodgers was frightened at first, he gained his composure and began plotting his escape.
“I surveyed his situation, deciding the bus driver was not likely to open the center doors at this time of night,” said Rodgers. “I knew if I pulled the cord too far from my stop, one of the riders could follow me. Then, I thought, ‘Of course, the bus driver!’ I moved closer, and to my dismay, discovered he was not of my skin persuasion either,” continued Rodgers.
It was at this point Rodgers realized he was trapped. “I knew I’d have to wait the two blocks till my stop,” said Rodgers.
Miraculously, Rodgers made it those two blocks and was not stabbed, beaten, shot, or mugged as he exited the bus and entered his Highland Avenue apartment.
Tina Matthews attended Sunday morning church services at Heinz Chapel her entire life. For a while, she even thought about becoming a nun. But when the 22-year-old engineering major learned that some local liquor stores would remain open on Sundays, she quickly kicked the habit. Now, instead of sipping wine from a chalice, Matthews is swigging booze from a buffet of bottles.
“I have found my true savior,” Matthews said, “and His name is Jose Cuervo.”
In December, former Gov. Mark Schweiker signed into law a bill that allowed roughly 60 liquor stores statewide to remain open on Sundays. Eight of those 60 stores are located in Allegheny County. Matthews visits the Wine and Spirits Shop on Centre Avenue in North Oakland religiously.
“Yeah, that broad is in here every Sunday, stocking up on the sauce. She seems to have a thing for the tequila, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she mixed it up with a little blended whiskey every now and then.” proprietor Mark Fabian said. “It’s always those good, wholesome Catholics that are the closet-case alkies.”
This past year, in an effort to solve the problems stemming from the connection between student and academic life, the University of Pittsburgh looked no further than Jack Daniel. Provost James V. Maher announced the permanent appointment of Daniel as vice provost for undergraduate studies and dean of students, consolidating both positions into one title. Pitt hopes that Daniel will help numb the loss of previous vice provost Sharon Johnson, who walked out on the University in 2001.
“Everyone in the administration knows that no one will help you forget about women-problems like Jack Daniel,” said Maher.
“Well, we just felt it was the right time for the University to turn our hopes to Jack,” said University of Pittsburgh spokesman Robert Hill. “We’ve been trying to get over Sharon leaving us, and all the while trying to bridge the gap between student and academic life. Sometimes it’s just too much to deal with. We should have realized it before, but Jack Daniel is the only one we can turn to. We knew it was all about just taking that first shot.”
While the University is happy with the final decision, other options were eyed in the past year, including John Walker from nearby West Virginia and especially James Beam from Rutgers.
“We were well aware of how much Rutgers depends on Beam to get them through their daily routine,” added Hill, “but in the end, we felt that Jack had helped us cope with so many problems we've had here before at Pitt, it was worth sticking with him.”
When asked about their feelings for Jack Daniel, most Pitt students seemed excited.
“Jack Daniels rocks!” exclaimed Pitt sophomore Michael Cohl. “Shit man, ain’t nothing gonna help you through rough times like Jack Daniels. My roommate’s all about the Cuervo, but fuck him. If I was running the show here [at the University], I’d be hittin’ the Jack, too.”
Jack Daniel has left a bad taste in the mouths of some though.
“Ugh, don’t even get me started,” began former vice-provost Johnson. “It was like sometimes I felt as if the University trusted Jack more than they trusted me. God, there were sometimes where I’d put in late hours with Jack back at our office. The next morning, I’d feel nauseous just thinking about it. It would be weeks before I’d even be able to look at Jack Daniel again without feeling sick. After a couple times like that, I had to get out of there. I put in so much of my life into that University. If they think they can get through these tough times with Jack Daniel instead of me, they’ve got serious problems.”
How Can We Keep Our Young People In Pittsburgh?
by Jim Roddy, Allegheny County Chief Executive
Historically, our region has had some of the most precious resources on the globe. Our three rivers allowed for expedited transportation, our coal helped to produce iron and steel, and our hills and valleys produced dramatic landscape. But above all of our natural resources, the greatest asset to our region has always been, and will always be, its people.
Our region's population has always sacrificed to do what was needed to propel Pittsburgh and the United States towards its destiny. Our immigrants, African-Americans, and women tirelessly worked in the mills for over 100 years and throughout two world wars, thus securing America’s global positioning as the world’s best.
Once again, we need a segment of our population to step up to the plate. We need our bright, talented, and educated younger residents to stay in our region and help develop the city’s burgeoning economy. If we succeed in keeping young people in Pittsburgh, the city can once again assume its rightful place at the forefront of the world.
How Can I Get The Young People Next Door To Move Out?
by Samuel Bailey, Atwood Street
Historically, the people next door to me succeed in pissing me off night after night. Those God-damned kids stay up until the wee hours of the morning blasting their urban music and shouting at the top of their lungs. They litter the sidewalk with broken beer bottles and contaminate my back yard with human excrement.
I have lived in South Oakland for nearly sixty years. I worked for forty of those years doing back-breaking labor in the steel mill. These kids today wouldn’t even last a day in the mill, let alone six decades. And now all that I want with the remainder of my life is a little R&R in the home I spent 30 years paying for.
So what I need is to find a way to kick those spoiled, ungrateful pricks off my block. I have tried calling the police, but that does not work. All I have left now is the city. I know those kids have more than three people living in that house, thereby breaking city ordinance. All I need to do is inform the city of this, and those bastards will be crawling back home, crying to mommy and daddy. I need to do what I have to in order to keep young people from living next door.
By Brian Dupris,
Boxed Wine Connoisseur
Dear Boxed Wine Connoisseur,
I have a date with a new girl this weekend who won’t drink beer. I’m not sure if it’s going to work out with her, so I don’t want to spend a lot of money on liquor if I’m not going to get any at the end of the night. What can I get for $15 that will impress her enough to get naked with me?
See You at D.U.
Wow, that’s certainly a predicament that Mr. Connoisseur knows something about. But friend, don’t fret, I do have the answer.
“What is that,” you ask?
Boxed wine, I respond.
Know this: there are many boxed wines out there. Some good, some bad, most are just average. Oh, the delight my palate felt as I drank my first sip of Franzia’s Chillable Red! What bouquet! What glow I felt as it filled my belly! But four liters of goodness wasn’t enough to satisfy The Connoisseur. Not at all. Soon, I was tasting Franzia’s Chablis, then their Burgundy, then their Zinfandel, then their White Zinfandel. Oh, a wine-taster’s dream, that White Zinfandel!
But soon, I felt I had to branch out. I began with Peter Vella’s Burgundy, and my love for all things Vella began. The boxed wines I’ve drank! So many! All oh-so-good!
But as far as fellatio is concerned, I recommend Franzia’s White Zinf. That will have your lady friend gargling cum in no time.
Like most Pittsburghers, January 27, 2002 was an unusually harsh winter day for the modestly successful local band, Do Not Enter.
“Like everyone else, we were hit pretty hard by the emotional events,” said singer-songwriter Kim Tartoff. “But unlike everyone else, we have a kick-ass band which can serve as a vehicle for our confusion. So we used that energy to produce some really introspective, deep, and spiritually jarring tunes.”
Do Not Enter witnessed the Steelers AFC divisional playoff loss to the New England Patriots at home. “I’ll never forget that day,” recalled drummer Robbie Shulkoski. “We had a gig at Moondog’s that night which was supposed to be a Super Bowl pep rally type of thing. Needless to say, it didn’t happen.”
Instead of harboring ill-will towards the northeastern AFC rival, the group banded together to deal artistically with their emotional hardships. “We really wanted to cope with the emotions which were surfacing right then and there,” said Tartoff.
The group put together a three song EP to raise money for the victims of the Steelers loss. “We really wanted to; no, we needed to do something for those Steelers fans,” said Tartoff. “The loss devastated Pittsburgh and its citizens. But we wouldn’t let it ruin our spirits. Through our labors we were able to raise $22 for those families who were victimized by the loss.”
“Somewhere out there is a family who was able to order a couple pizzas because of our efforts, and that feels pretty good,” said Shulkoski. No word yet if the band plans to put together a compilation for the recent Steeler playoff loss to the Tennessee Titans.
“It’s certainly an option,” said Tartoff. “We’re also considering an album dedicated to the victims of Pitt’s loss to West Virginia.”
In a historic move last Thursday, Pittsburgh Steeler President Dan Rooney announced the second name change in the history of the professional football franchise founded by his father Art. Originally known as the Pittsburgh Pirates, the franchise changed their name to the Steelers in 1940. The Steelers name has lasted over sixty years, but will officially be changed next season to the “Knowledgers.”
“I got the idea for the name when President Bush visited last February and referred to Pittsburgh as ‘Knowledgetown,’” explained Rooney. “Our president really has a poetic grasp of the English language. I wanted to not only honor him, but honor the city of Pittsburgh as well, as it adapts to its new niche in America society.”
The change also pleases Pittsburgh City Council which for the past several years has been making attempts to reform the nations conception of Pittsburgh as a blue collar steel town.
“This is exactly the kind of shake up we need to move Pittsburgh into the 21st Century,” said City Council President Bob O'Connor. “Instead of antiquated images of steel mills on Monday Night Football, we can have more civilized images of students studying in libraries and writing poetry in Starbucks. Hopefully, this will appeal to the young people we desperately need to keep, as well as lure new technological industries.”
While the modification pleases Pittsburgh insiders, many long time residents are fuming over the new name.
“I think Dan Rooney has lost his mind,” said season ticket holder John Riley. “The Knowledgers is the stupidest name I’ve ever heard. The Steelers should change their name to ‘the Bankers’ to honor all the financial transactions which occur in this great city.”
Regardless of criticism, the name change will become official this preseason. Abercrombie and Fitch will now become the official outfitter of the Pittsburgh Knowledgers.