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June 7th, 2007

Staff Pic 2004

What I was going to write about before the other shoe dropped

Posted on 2007.06.07 at 18:12
Current Mood: nostalgicnostalgic
Current Music: The Orange and the Black
Last week end all of us (yes, Lucky too-the dramamine worked both ways) piled in and drove up to Old Nasau for reunions.  It wasn't one of our big years, but Al Kogut (minion to both Nobel Prize winners in Physics this year) is married to an '82er, and Ili wanted to touch base with some friends from 82.

This is a pic at the end of the P-rade.  Kevin Williams was there along with a few other from the team.  Kevin called Rob "Bobo" Haywood on his cell phone so I could raz him about losing my grandpa's hat long ago.  "I want the hat back!" was left on his voice mail.  We also got to see Jhn Carr again and Kurt "Coach" Thompson.  I also saw Mueller of the old Antactica Liberation Front.  They posted flyers around that claimed the 12 Tablets of Drivel given to the Divine Bruce Yam by the Archangel Gabreil predicted the wardrobe "malfunction" with Janet JAckson.  I think I'mgonna see if  Wikipedia has an entry about it. 

It was wierd seeing the "Old Guard" not being as old as they had been before.  The last reunion we were at I still remember at least one member from the teens and several from the roaring 20's.  I was reminded that our tail back might be the first grandpa in out class,as his oldest boy is now 26 (he was in a baby car seat/carrier next to me at the end of season banquet back in my senior year).  Alan Aptner, the chef at Cloister Inn was still there and cooking as good as before...although he is a lot greyer in the pate and beard now.  Also, way too many buildings where they shouldn't be!  Outrageous!  They should keep it the way it was when we were there!  How dare they!

Next year may be a bit pricey...its the big 25th.

One of Ili's closer associates was over at Charter Club (her eating club as well as that of Jimmy Stewart and David Duchovney) along with his wife and 2 kids, the youngest of which was a deceptively cute little girl who gave Alex the chance to play the role of "Uncle Albert" from "Never Cry Wolf".  A lot of climbing and leaping on and off of him punctuated by "OOFs!"  He never realized that a cup could be required equipment for child care!

With the borrowed orange bandana worn like a neckerchief rounf his black and white spotted neck, Lucky Joe was a hit with lots of Coeds and Alumni children.  He got worn out on the walk from the car next to Caldwell field house to 83's staging area, but was able to cool down and rest up enough for the P-rade itself.  Fireworks were cool as well that night, and this time they went off as planned.  At our 20th a lightening strike just before sundown set off most of the ordinance and led to its cancelation.

The Bio Dept at city met at the Red star Bar and grill this afternoon to say farewell to two of out numbers.  Rose had had enough, and due to not being able reconcile cultural differences (in the Phillippines it is bot usual to have students swear at teachers) and have her family across the world from her.  She landed a job in PG county downstate in a relatively good school AND her family will be joining her once she finds a place down there to live.  Mike H. is also leaving to work at the charter middle school his kids are in.  We came up with lists of things we could do to get him to change his mind (he's a great teacher and a physics teacher to boot) He has helped me and many other colleagues with computer hardware stuff, so one of my suggestions was that he get paid for his "Geeks On Call" work.  I also suggested that the Physics dept's egg drop and pumpkin drop competitions of fthe school tower be replaced with an Administrator drop.  After laughs, Mike pointed out that the point of the egg and pun'kin drops was to keep the objects from breaking.  Oh...but that's a minor glitch we could work on in the beta version of the activity...


Ok...what is the Antarctica Liberation Front?

Posted on 2007.06.07 at 19:27
Current Mood: mischievousmischievous
Current Music: Rock LOBSTER!
Here are a few blog references about it.  I'm thinking of maybe getting the people involved to create a wikipedia entry going about.

From an old 2004 Coyote Blog:

"Eliot Spitzer and the Antarctic Liberation Front

The "news" today is that Eliot Spitzer has announced he is running for governor of New York.  This is about as surprising as the "revelation" that Barry Bonds took steroids.  Duh.  The "AG" job is not nicknamed "Aspiring Governor" for nothing.  Also, Spitzer represents the worst of a new trend of AG's using their prosecutor role to engage in lawsuits more for their media and publicity value rather than an sense of public service.  Why else would Spitzer involve himself and the AG office in a compensation dispute between two private parties, except for the fact that the two private parties are very high profile in NY.

OK, but what is this Antarctica thing?  Back when I was an undergrad at Princeton, one of my fondest memories was of a bizarre Student Body Governing Council (USG) election.  The previous USG administration, headed by none other than fellow Princetonian Eliot Spitzer, had so irritated the student body that, for the first time in memory, the usually apathetic voting population who generally couldn't care less who their class president was actually produced an energetic opposition party.  Even in his formative years, Spitzer was expert in using his office to generate publicity, in this case frequent mentions in the student newspaper that finally drove several students over the edge.

The result was the incredibly funny and entertaining Antarctic Liberation Front.  I wish I had saved their brochures, but their proposals included things like imposing a dawn to dusk curfew on the school and funding school parties by annexing the mineral rights between the double yellow lines of the US highways.  All of this was under the banner of starting jihad to free Antarctica.  The ALF swept the USG election.  This immensely annoyed Spitzer and other USG stalwarts, who decried the trivialization of such an august body.  The pained and pompous wailing from the traditional student council weenies (sounding actually a lot like liberals after the last presidential election) only amused the general student population even further.  After a few student-council-meetings-as-performance-art, the ALF resigned en mass and life went back to being just a little bit more boring.

If you think I am exaggerating in saying that the Spitzer-led student council types had a whiny reaction to this bit of fun, you should know that Spitzer was still whining about it 20 years later to the New Yorker magazine.  Virginia Postrel, also a Princetonian at the time, had a similar reaction to mine here, and fisks the New Yorker article..."

And from http://www.dynamist.com/weblog/archives/000083.html


This week's New Yorker brings a John Cassidy profile of crusading NY attorney general Eliot Spitzer. (The piece isn't online). I didn't like Eliot Spitzer when he was using his eating club connections to get good coverage in The Daily Princetonian, and I don't like him now. It's the first of these facts that is relevant to a shocking (to me) misstatement of history in Cassidy's profile:
"Princeton at the start of the nineteen-eighties was hardly a hotbed of political activism. Candidates for office included a 'Jihad Party,' made up of hard-partying frat boys who wore towels and face masks. 'It wasn't an office that I recall many people fighting for,' one of Spitzer's fellow-students said. 'Even without Jihad, the slate would have been pretty thin." The general point is correct: Only resume-polishing student-council weenies like Eliot Spitzer thought being president of the student body was a big deal. (Unlike many schools, Princeton had low student fees, so the student government didn't control a huge money pot.)

The descriptive facts are absurdly off--especially that self-serving line about "hard-partying frat boys." The Antarctica Liberation Front, whose then-dadaist slogan was Jihad (it's not so funny today), was a satirical party of--I say this in the most flattering and self-identifying way--nerds: brilliant, quirky, funny, intellectual guys who make Eliot Spitzer look like a frat boy.

Google turns up a brief reminscience in our class notes:

"WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE CAMPUS REVOLUTIONARIES? (PRINCETON STYLE, SORT OF)": On campus, he was a leader of the ever powerful Antarctica Liberation Front, the group that 18 years ago pulled off one of the most stunning upsets in USG election history by taking most of the top spots and, in one of the group's first official acts, declared war on The Hun School (reports were unsubstantiated that the ALF demanded a recount upon winning the election).

Another ALF platform plank was to annex all the spaces between the yellow lines on highways. After a year of Eliot Spitzer running student government, the ALF swept to electoral victory, dealing a humiliating rebuke to self-important would-be pols. No wonder Spitzer and his friends want to revise history.

The person mentioned above--the ALF's "spiritual leader," a.k.a. The Divine Bruce Yam--is my friend Keating Holland, now director of polling for CNN, who worked more than full-time as managing editor of The Daily Princetonian and still managed to graduate Phi Beta Kappa. Not a frat boy, and not what people picture when they hear the phrase. A former ALF candidate's current job description starts this way: "I am primarily interested in theories of strongly correlated quantum systems, particularly in low dimensions where quantum fluctuations can lead to interesting and exotic new states of matter." (Dan Arovas has "tenure in paradise," as Keating puts it, as a physics prof at UC-San Diego.)

Sorry, Eliot. I'm sure the New Yorker audience thinks it's just terrible the way the big, bad frat boys mocked your noble sense of public service. The truth--that a bunch of hyperintellectuals with a sense of humor incited a student revolt against Spitzer-style self-importance--is a lot more embarrassing.

How about that famous New Yorker fact checking! "

I was the Party's token football player, and was "appointed" Sgt. at Arms.  I stood at the back of the assembly hall at the infamous USG meeting after the election wearing a green and white tabard (borrowed from Lawrence J. Lustig '83 who introduced me to SCA), my PIC Widowmakers Hockey helmet. and a large copper African ceremonial sword (borrowed from Mordecai Mark MacLowe '83) to make sure a quorum was kept during the meeting.

We may go on a sign-fixing mission for our 25th... re-renaming all buildings on campus that existed at the time "Daniel P. Arovas Hall"  except for the Rock Magnetism Laboratory.  That was another passed motion that was never recinded.  You see, the Rock Magnetism Laboratory, being built deep into the ground and rising less than 4 feet above the campus soil, was the only building on campus shorter than the diminuative Daniel P. Arovas (OK...most people not on the football or basketball teams were diminuative to me.  To Mark Rifkin, I was a bit on the small side.  Like the NAtive American Chief that discovered Columbus on the beach said, "It all how you look at it.").  I also think we (Princeton) are still technically at war with the Hun School.  I guess the Rooseveltian Big Stick Policy worked.  As of the 2007 reunions, Princeton has yet to be overrun by Huns.

OK...THAT DOES IT!  If any PU members of said ALF run across this, consider this an invitation/challenge to post here or emai to me all that you know about the history of The Movement to liberate the Continent of Destiny.  I will make it my mission to compile and try to get it put into wikipedia...

(Take that Mr. Spitzer, you revisionist you!)

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