Thursday, February 25, 2010

The new Ivy

Last night, Jon Stewart inadvertently made the most compelling case for allstu that has ever been. The February 24th episode of The Daily Show started rather puzzlingly with Mr. Stewart apologizing for a quip he made in his warm-up for the show in which he unfavorably compared Kenyon College to Columbia University. One can only wonder about what he might have said, although it was apparently incendiary enough to warrant an apology. To his credit as a comedian, Stewart manages to trash Gettysburg College and then all liberal arts schools within his opener, jumping into his top stories after muttering "good luck bartending." As an alumnus of Kenyon, it's always strange to hear the school's named mentioned in a broader context, especially one as confounding as the apology for an untelevised jab. More often, I get clips about its "new ivy" status from the alumni magazine emailed to me from my parents, so it's weird to see it targeted in such a specific and lightheartedly derogatory fashion. I would imagine Kenyon students are organizing a a communal protest against the quip right now and if they're not, they aren't worth the obscenely high tuitions their parents pay to let them waste time organizing protests instead of studying. To reconcile my excitement from hearing about the school with my instinctive urge to defend it and my nearly two years of casual distance from it and my complete lack of knowledge about Columbia University, I'm going to guess at what Jon Stewart said:

1. "Boy, we have a good show tonight. I'm sure glad my writers didn't come from Kenyon College and that they graduated from Columbia University or it would be really fucking terrible."

2. "Hey did you guys hear the one about Kenyon College and Columbia University? They are both schools, but one is better. It's Columbia University!"

3. "What's the difference between Kenyon College and Columbia University? My dog Richard could get into Kenyon College and he's an asshole."

4. "I know a guy from Kenyon College with a drug problem. It's very sad. Go Columbia University!"

5. "How many Kenyon College grads would take to get into Columbia University? None!"

6. "Go to Columbia University, where you can graduate faster than Kenyon College students can vote!"

7. "What's with all the hair in the coffee at Kenyon College's cafeteria? Now I know why there is hair in the coffee at Columbia University's cafeteria because that is where Kenyon College kids get jobs and that is all they know about coffee."

I'm pretty sure these are unforgivable.