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50 Shades of

Statler & Waldorf Valentine’s Day Issue





01 RPI & Study Abroad: Now It’s Complicated 04 Toilet Bowl 05 3D Super Bowl 10 Senate Democrats Go on Filibuster Retreat 11 Don’t Worry, We’re Fixing Global Warming 12 Romantic Advise for the Overly Stupid 15 How to Best Initiate a Romance with Your Cat


06 So, My Girlfriend is a Witch


EMPAC is going through puberty! Preparation is going on for Our Town, the first student play ever. March 9-11,



09 A Very Sexless Analysis of Softcore Pornography 14 S&W’s Valentine Crossword of Love

STAF F Editor-in-Chief Noah Tebben Managing Editor Izzi Cain Business Manager Chester Kowalski


STA FF PH OTO Statler & Waldorf | Rensselaer Union Room 3314 | 110 8th St. | Troy, NY 12180 | | Mini-Issue 17.2 | February 2017 Statler & Waldorf is published while classes are in session by the students of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute under the authority of the Rensselaer Student Union. It is provided to the community at no charge. Opinions expressed within this publication are not necessarily those of the staff or Editorial Board of Statler & Waldorf, the Rensselaer Student Union, or Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Pieces in the Humor section are satirical in nature and do not necessarily refer to real places or people. These pieces are for entertainment value only. The Editorial Board reserves the right to edit all submissions in compliance with the Statler & Waldorf Style Guide. All submissions should be sent to Please see our webpage, [], for more information.


Culture Editor Alex Zylka Humor Editor Peter Wood News Editor Parth Bhide Op-Ed Editor Oleg Yakovets Selections Editor Kevin Phoenix


Copy & Composing Editor Alex Zylka Copy & Composing Editor Jr. Izzi Cain Webmaster Kevin Phoenix Webmaster Jr. Peter Wood


Kristan Tate, Dr. Bathroom, Bobby Martino, Lt. Snow Snake, The Association for Truth, Joe Iaquinto

RPI & Study Abroad: Now It’s Complicated by Noah Tebben

Nathan Keirn from Kadena-Cho, Japan (, „Closeup of protesters at Ginowan protests 2009-11-08“,

The socially-minded of you might have heard that there was a sizable protest going on at RPI two weeks ago with immigration and foreign affairs as the key topics. Specifically, students and faculty and alumni alike got pissed about the baseless travel ban that, for a brief time, was in place in the U.S. of A. My sources in the field tell me that students from well beyond RPI campus were in attendance, with Russell Sage and UAlbany and local Troy dwellers joining in on the organized chaos. Signs were made, voices were heard, and it was a bright spot in a series of dark news cycles. I bring this up because the protest made it clear that international affairs are important to the Rensselaer community and it was a heartening thing to see. From my own experiences, I wanted to share some spots where I think RPI’s upcoming changes have sacrificed the ‘Tute’s ability to be as internationally-minded.



Now I would have been there at the protest as well if it didn’t conflict with a study abroad info session that I’d agreed to speak at. Apparently everyone felt the same, as the info session got a whopping crowd of three students for me to share my wisdoms with. I’ve certainly felt that RPI’s international presence has gotten stronger, but that is almost certainly the afterglow of my time abroad combined with my much closer involvement with the Office of International Study after coming back from my semester in Europe. RPI’s HEOA Compliance data from 2015 suggest that international students make up 11% of the undergraduate body, which sounds like a really healthy number to me considering our undergraduate body is nearing 7,000 students if it hasn’t passed that already. So in regards to encouraging foreign students to come here, I can’t complain in the least; it seems that international students make up a significant portion of our community and aside from the laughable orientation packets, I’ve only heard good things about assimilating to the nerdy campus life here. This brings me to the other side of the aisle; how does RPI treat residential students that are looking to study abroad and earn their own title of ‘international student’ in a different country? Ordinarily, having been through the program myself, I’d give the study abroad program more non-specific praise than a rushed Poly review of a Players’ production. However, thanks to the Summer Arch initiative, if that’s what we’re calling it,

the chance to study abroad has been made significantly more difficult for the globally-minded student.

Typically, spring semester of junior year is the ideal time to study abroad, since many of the tricky class scheduling strains have died down and it allows students to extend their abroad experience into the summer if the logistics work out. Of course, with Summer Arch that becomes impossible since that specific semester is the mandatory ‘Away’ semester. Why wouldn’t a study abroad fit into the ‘Away’ category for the Summer Arch program? This is because study abroad programs still earn you RPI credits, and per the terms of the ‘Away’ semester, you’re not allowed to earn any credits during this time because you are already a semester ‘ahead’ from attending RPI over the previous summer. Students could still


pursue an unaffiliated study abroad program during their ‘Away’ semester, but this would be a very expensive way of not earning significant credit hours. This puts pressure on potential abroad students to either do an abroad semester in the spring of their sophomore year or in the fall of either their junior or senior year. I know this would be a lot to take on in the first half of an undergraduate degree, and I know from experience that fall semesters are notorious for having lots of crucial non-transferrable RPI courses. To be fair, I understand that sacrifices have to be made for the grand revelation that is Summer Arch and that the study abroad program currently serves around 70-80 students annually (on a healthy year). The sacrifices are relatively small from the overall community’s perspective, and I am the definition of biased on the subject, but these programs often become the defining moments of getting an undergraduate degree and now the avenues for the program are even narrower. All the same, the support shown at the international march seems to have us on the right global footing. Still have your eye-catching sign from the protest? What were some of the best chants during the march? Can anyone really explain the benefit of Summer Arch? Drop us a line at! &

Toilet Bowl by parth bhide

Following the Patriot’s thrilling comeback over the Falcons, Roger Goodell and the NFL have decided to capitalize on the increased revenue by holding “The Toilet Bowl,” pitting the Cleveland Browns against the San Francisco 49ers. The NFL believes fans will enjoy watching the ridiculous matchup, akin to the blooper reel following a blockbuster movie. The NFL conducted a poll asking which team’s fans were the most hated and as a result, the exhibition match will be held at Lincoln Financial Field, home of the Eagles. To increase the excitement, the 49ers will bring back head coach Chip Kelly for a final game. When announcing the game, Roger Goodell stated, “The NFL is excited to allow two teams to prove their dominance over the other. These teams have demonstrated abilities not present in the other 30.” We assume this means the ability to lose consistently. Coach Kelly commented to reporters, “I’m excited to be back. I don’t think this game is in anyway derogatory; we’ll take this game like any other, play to win.” Kaepernick, and one of the Browns’ “quarterbacks”, have declined to comment. The game is scheduled for February 19 at 6:00 PM on NBC. Playby-play commentary will be provided by Al Michaels and color commentary by Cris Collinsworth. The halftime performance will be provided by Nickelback. &


3D Super Bowl by Oleg Yakovets

The Super Bowl has come and gone and fat men have successfully consumed way too much pizza and beer over one night of their year. This year, the Meatheads played the Jockoffs in a rather gruesome festival. As always, half the US was disappointed and the other half was rather cheerful, as with any competition that recently involved 2 parties. But the NFL is losing money to subscribers and needs to figure out how to get them back. Current solutions include offering sexual favors from the commentators, and maybe even the players themselves, to get fans to bend over a little longer for cable packages, though little has worked since the usage of free streaming has rapidly increased. The real shake-up for football actually comes from right here in Troy. Engineers at RPI have discovered a new way to enjoy football: being inside the head of the player. Yes, that’s right, being inside the head of the player. What does this entail? Well, as the game is played, fans will watch from their homes as usual, but this time, from VR headsets. Similar to DotA 2’s VR system, they can watch the game as it happens. Fans can hear what is happening inside their favorite player’s head and hear the calls as well. Here’s the real kicker: pneumatic hammers will be used for this custom VR headset so that fans can also experience the concussion forces that the players feel. “We did it to make people truly connect with their heroes and suffer as they do,” says a sadistic cog-sci student. She did not comment on the fact that her girlfriend is a struggling physician who needs more money to pay off student debt. & 5

Pentzer, Scotte. Halloween Witch Face Profile. Digital image. Scotte Pentzer - Deviant Art. Deviant Art, n.d. Web. <>.

So, My Girlfriend is a Witch by Noah Tebben

Those of you currently in a relationship are probably well aware that such things take compromise and a healthy amount of middle ground. As such, my girlfriend Nicole and I have found plenty of ways to accommodate our varying interests and enjoy them together. For example, she puts up with me when I tell her fabled stories of great shooty games and she even comes along for the ride from time to time. And in return, I help her procure the candles and carve the eldritch runes into the floor when she needs to commune with the Triple Goddess herself.


Like I said, it all takes compromise and mutual effort. But Nicole is not just any witch; she’s an entrepreneur of the occult and as such I find myself setting up shop at wizarding conventions and running sales pitches in the hubs of all things Pagan. You see, my girlfriend designs and laser etches ouija boards, tea boxes, sacred geometry tablets, you name it. She turns sheets of wood into magic money, and while she’s bankrolling herself through college I’m right beside her racking up the inane stories of a hidden world. Let me first tell you that after decades of horror movie cop-outs, bad Hasbro marketing, and fables from Grandma in the days where pissing off the spirit world beat listening to the radio, ouija boards have become somewhat of a polarizing item. When selling these things, you must first overcome the Whisper EffectTM in which potential customers will read your nicely-decorated sign and simply mouth the words ‘ouija boards….’ in awe before meeting your gaze and skittering off as if you might hex them. Those brave enough to wander over to the very unintimidating tiny white couple were often joined by one or two individuals who I’ll deem the border patrol because they sure as hell weren’t coming within three feet of our stand and they insisted on triple-checking anyone else who wanted to come in. “Why do you wanna take the risk?” “You don’t know what’s in there!” “Haven’t you seen the movies?” We got more than a few who very clearly crossed the street to avoid our bad juju, so I guess we finally understood how Samsung feels lately. For those who got past all those barriers, we either got interested newbies who wanted to tempt fate,

seasoned vets who enlightened us with the true way of engaging the spirits, all of whom had conflicting methods in the art, and then the occasional fellow business owner who wanted to arrange custom designs from my girlfriend. The most memorable individual was a blacksmith who spent 15 minutes grilling us on how we started things and where we went to school and how he could work with us to do metal designs and make tons of money. Why so memorable? I told him I was an IT and Business dual and he politely told me “Hah fuck you, guys like you never get laid.” Too right random dude, too right. Nicole found that hilarious, but he began rambling for so long that we missed a chance to enjoy the ‘Mr. Brightside’ dance rave happening in the booth a few feet down from us. Bastard. The rest was cheeky business as usual, where that ever-enticing 3-for-5 necklace deal would change to 4-for-7 or howevermany-the-customer-is-holding-plusone deal. You can thank the Lally school for training me proper there. We moved on to bigger exploits from there, eventually landing ourselves in Salem, Massachusetts, to peddle Nicole’s heathen wares at the source of all witch culture. If the convention was weird, Salem was the deep, dark ocean cave that the convention crawled out of. We set up a hit list of shops to visit and seek deals with, and off we went. In sum, we found: u A cozy gemstones shop u A botanicals place with mother-daughter ownership where the daughter was so bored of being there that I’m convinced she kept googling ‘how to fake own death’ while she was supposedly writing down our contact info (and we got

a deal there somehow) u A closed-for-winter witch shop u A very-not-closed witch shop wherein we found the owner had been previously sued and tried for assaulting the owner of the closed-for-winter witch shop (and we got a deal there too! To industry!) u A hole-in-the-wall shop where we went in blind and pretended to be customers, brought up the slightest mention of ouija boards, and were lectured on the dangers of being an ‘eclectic’ and how we needed to read one book to save our souls (#witchsplaining) u A planned visit to a shop that didn’t exist, like one of those infamous market stalls that disappears after you buy a cursed amulet from it, except it’s probably just that the owner changed the name without telling us, but I’m sticking with the former. So, you see, these are the kinds of things that being in a relationship takes. If you’re not a little afraid of being damned to an eternity of haunting people, is it really love? Find someone out there that can put a curse on your enemies and also work out a sweet commission deal, dear readers. They’re out there, and you deserve them. And if you need an occult starter pack...I know a gal. &


A Very Sexless Analysis of Softcore Pornography by Noah Tebben

So let me first be a massive wet blanket, and not in the kinda-gross kinda-sexy way, and say that anyone looking to get some jollies out of this article will be sorely disappointed by a large amount of etymology and a stark lack of images. We may barely cut it as a literary magazine these days, but really? Those truly interested will have to take a bit of initiative and treat this as a choose-your-own-adventure article and note that every choice leads to your own browser window. With that covered, my curiosity for this article was to identify why, exactly, the concept of ‘softcore’ pornography existed. In my mind, I interpreted this slice of the world as pornography dedicated to being distinctly absent of explicit sexual meaning; images designed to flirt the line between Playboy and summer Sears catalog. What market would there be for this? Was it a coy way to get around the disjoint nature of American censorship? Is there a dedicated fanbase of people looking for just a tease? A fantasization of the friendzone? Do these sites sustain themselves solely on the ad revenue from love-hungry RPI traffic? I was able to answer most of these questions in my research, and we’ll start from the very origin of the word itself. Where does the term ‘softcore’ come from? My good friends on had some insightful findings to share. There were two competing theories on the topic; StackExchange contributor Liz presented convincing evidence that ‘softcore’ was termed as a way to differentiate itself from the scary ‘hardcore’ denomination that a 60s-era Supreme Court ruling had used to identify conventional ‘hardcore’ pornography. This counter term found itself as the basis for a long series of images contained within ‘The Realist’, a 60s-era satire magazine that debuted the ‘softcore porn image of the month’. I must say that these images contained mostly fully-clothed individuals in slightly suggestive positions that nowadays would only be construed as sexual with the ‘this is a

porn image’ context plastered right onto it. So, initially, it does looks like this was a method to say ‘We have porn in here!’ and ‘You won’t go to hell for looking!’ simultaneously.

For when teasing is almost too much

The other leading theory stems from the historical context of ‘hardcore’, which comes from the designation between hardball and softball, two types of baseball that served mostly as a means to let both sexes enjoy the sport while still getting to demean women by giving them the ‘soft’ version. They had few principles in the late 1800s, but dammit, they stuck to them. Hardball and hardcore were synonymous terms at that time, and with the prevalence of baseball in American culture, it’s theorized that the term became a general term to describe something of greater intensity, and as such, softcore was used in a respective fashion. So that covers where it came from, but why does it still persist in a post-suffragette era? If daytime TV and a tastefully-curated set of internet forums have anything to provide, it’s that it is a combination of availability, shifted focus, and the tease effect. To clarify, softcore pornography is often more available through conventional television providers and apparently doesn’t have the same pay-per-view restrictions in many cases, thus making it accessible to the bored couch potato without requiring them to dedicate time to specifically consume pornography; it can just be mixed in as part of flipping the channels, and maybe this slight convenience is enough

to keep it alive. Additionally, consumers seem to find that the story and writing are often more developed simply because the logistics of actual intercourse aren’t in the equation. So if you’ve ever watched a porn ‘for the story’, apparently softcore is where it’s at if you’re *really* there for the story. Finally, it seems that some people do prefer the tease of softcore versus the in-your-face nature of 99% of the hardcore market. To be fair, with horrific Mad-Libsworthy titles of “_____ Gets Completely ______ In The _______ And Then ________ While _______ Does _______ And Who Keeps Complaining That Porn Is Aggressive?” it seems reasonable that many consumers aren’t up for that intensity. It bears consideration that as some parts of our culture get slightly more amenable to sex, often spurred by the carte-blanche we give to depictions of violence in this country, softcore porn has grown to usually encompass bare chests and implied sex, so the medium is always being redefined and could still be classified as explicit content. Additionally, with the online pornography market being as saturated as it is, conventional hardcore suppliers have taken to putting the softcore tag into their content regardless of the actual level of sexual conduct in their content, in an attempt to boost viewership across the board, thus contaminating the results pool for any online searches on the subject. Not that I’m speaking from experience. If you’re really interested in more detail on the history and role of softcore pornography, I’d recommend the book “Soft In The Middle” by David Andrews. None of the research conducted in this article came from it, and inevitably it came up after the article was written, so you’d probably learn lots of new information and invalidate a few claims made here with superior knowledge. What’s your favorite porn story arc? Drop us a (confidential) line at satan@union.rpi. edu and we may feature the best finds in a future piece! &

Senate Democrats Go On Filibuster Retreat

Senate Democrats (, „2016-03-22 Senator Chuck Schumer meets with Merrick Garland 01“,

by Parth Bhide

An inside source from within the US Senate reported that Senate Democrats will be embarking on a weekend retreat to discuss political strategy. According to the source, Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer plans to train his fellow senators in the art of the filibuster. Given the thin majority the Republicans hold (52-48) in the senate, Schumer believes the Democrats need to block most of the Republican agenda. A leaked source revealed that the Democrats will be retreating to Richmond, VA following confirmation hearings for Trump’s cabinet. The first day will consist of a group reading of the complete collection of Dr. Seuss and the Oxford English dictionary. The leadership’s hope is that senators will have ample material to sustain long hours of speech. According to another source, Sen. Schumer and Rep. Pelosi will be offering bonuses to the senator who can hold out without water and food the longest. An emergency paramedic has been asked to remain on the premises to protect the health of some of the older senators. The second day will be a competition. The leadership wants to find its A-team to tackle emergency bills. House democrats have been called on to monitor each individual senator, evaluating their tone, consistency, and endurance. Sen. Schumer, Rep. Pelosi, and other members of the Democratic leadership were unavailable for comment. Speaker of the House Paul Ryan commented that he was, “disappointed that Democrats were this devoted to stalling government, rather than spending time improving the lives of American citizens.” Most likely related, local DC bookstore Speaker of the Book has recently sold out of all copies of Dr. Seuss books. &


Don’t Worry, We’re Fixing Global Warming by Noah Tebben We here at S&W take climate change very, very seriously. We were a little confused in the shitstorm of snow that Troy has recently received, but rest assured, we’ve done our homework and come to find that this kind of nonsense is *supposed* to happen and then some! Granted even that wasn’t enough once we got to thinking about doing nothing and just letting those awful windy hikes to West Hall melt away into the scalding, catastrophic sunset. But then the ski club refused to stop doing tricks on the stairways up to the Union just to block us from getting things done, so we finally came back around again and we mean business! We’re running out of ice, sure, and things are getting toasty on the global scale. Well, the S&W office has been sitting on the solution the whole time. You see, our office fridge just won’t stop making ice. We made the mistake of putting some sodas in there once and they have since been perfectly preserved in a glacial tirade of ice because the fridge just has to fill every single inch of itself with frostiness. We cleared the ice out completely in hopes that it would discourage the fridge from acting out again, but just a few weeks later we were back to a fridge full of ice and a group of tired, thirsty editors. We unplugged it, and it still manages to keep the ice intact, as if the ice has taken on a life of its own and it’s going to personally fight everyone who says the polar bears will be just fine. So instead of tossing the fridge to the curb, we’re going to use its annoying powers for good. We’re going to be stockpiling ice like no tomorrow. The Poly graciously volunteered their second office for the task, since their publication style should provide the glacial, lifeless atmosphere we need to keep the ice good and ready until we personally ship it out this summer. They are the real heroes in this fight, and we are grateful. So don’t worry dear readers, it’s up to us to fix this, and we’ll be doing our part at S&W. As long as our fridge keeps running, we’ll be able to keep California from going to sea just yet. & 11

R o m a n t i c A d v i c e f o r t h e O v e r ly S t u p i d b y D r . B at h r o o m

gBuy pants with 3 leg holes, whether you’re male or not. Never wear them, but always bring them up in conversation, unwarranted if necessary. gEver heard of Stockholm Syndrome? gWomen in shelters make the best furniture. gWhen you enter a new room, find the most attractive person of your sex and ram your skull through theirs. That’s where the good pheromones are. gSome people say that women belong in the kitchen. gLearn to speak another language. That’s sexy to anybody. I recommend Russian because it’ll probably come in handy soon. And it sounds like Klingon, so now you’ve got the nerd vote. gSympathy is the best aphrodisiac. gBuy some cats. gLao Tzu once said, “If you want to lead someone, walk behind them.” The same is true in the game of trying to sex people. gMost people aren’t that intelligence. Take advantage of that. gKids are usually stupider than adults. And they’re weak. gI mean the goat kind, don’t be ridiculous. gA good man once said, “Love is all just chemicals and hormones.” My favorites are chloroform and WD40. gMake sure the body is far enough below the floorboards. gPeople adore the rich and famous because we’re all actually secretly attracted to 12 STATLER & WALDORF  •  MINI-ISSUE 17.2  •  FEBRUARY 2017


dead foxes around the neck. Make the necessary adjustment. gTake some more cats. gEverybody likes an athlete. And lucky for you, I hear waterboarding is making a resurgence. gMake sure he’s dead. Like, all the way. gIn some countries, “no” does actually mean “yes.” gDominance is best perceived through the dirty window of an old sub-basement. Draw your own conclusions. gYou know the problem with cats? You don’t have more of them! gAsk yourself: what would Russell Brand do? gIf things are getting serious (and if you’ve followed my advice, they most certainly have) remember that cat bones have about the same density of diamonds. &

S&W’s Valentine Crossword of Love Nothing Says I’m Available Like Word Association Skills!




1. 6. 9. 10. 11.

3. 4. 5. 7. 8.

He won’t hurt you, won’t hurt you, no more Quality campus smooching spot Hungry? Eat your... The most widespread disease in the U.S. RPI’s biggest babe How we’ve been doing lately


Get friendzoned by FB, go to RPI ______ The Poly’s V-Day gift to you RPI’s new biggest major The chocolate you can buy for your dog You and this crossword are similar this way 12. Troy’s biggest loss in 2016 13. Internet fad that’ll season you right ;)

Paniagua, Arturo. David Hasselhoff. Digital image. Flickr, n.d. Web. 15 Feb. 2017. <>.

How To Best Initiate a Romance With Your Cat by Dr. Bathroom

As every video on YouTube will show you, cats are inherently reflexive creatures. If you want one to make love to you, you’re going to have to make the first move. But before we start, let’s go through a quick list of DO NOTs. DO NOT grab it. Right then, onto the serious bit. Psyche Cats think you’re less than they are in every conceivable way. It’s why they mark you with their scent, gloat with the glory of their kills, yell at you until you bring them food, have you open every door for them, use your furniture as their sharpening stones, and generally treat you like the useful but intrinsically fallible human being that you are. And you’re never getting away from that. So before we start, let’s clarify that you’ll not be getting into a life-long partnership; you’re applying for a booty call. Looks Zeus. A powerful god capable of hurling literal bolts of lightning. Also, a slut. Why? Because hot is hot, regardless of mortality. So if you want to impress your cat, you’ve got to get cute. Kitty cute. First of all, stop shaving. For awhile. Further, I recommend hairbrush bristles for whiskers and a sharpie for the ears. Aim for the corners of your forehead. Go ahead and get rid of your actual ears in anyway you see fit, those’ll just confuse it. Embrace The Hotness Now that you’ve approached ever-closer to godhood, it’s time to “act” hot. Humans do this with things like being stupid, but hot cats are much more subtle. If you’re going after a Tom, go ahead and stop using the toilet for no. 1’s. The world is your urinal. But if you’re going after a Queen, go ahead and just be around them whenever they’re in heat. You’ll know because they’ll be constantly mistaking your leg for a penis.

The Approach Alright, this part is easy regardless of which gender tail you’re chasing after. If it’s a Tom, don’t worry, the piss did the heavy lifting. All you’ve got to do is imitate a crying baby from about 8 PM till midnight, and your King will come. For the lady-puss, just make sure you’re there first. Once you two are in the same room, all you’ve got to do is go over there and, uh, lick ‘em. Lick ‘em good. They’ll be doing the same; like heavy petting, but less metaphorical. Now is a great time to start the conversation. Think of it like you’re chatting up someone, but much more literally. Just don’t forget: you’re not actually a cat. So you’re going to want to focus the conversation more on them then on yourself. When they say “Meow,” you say “No, YOUR-ow.” Don’t worry about how this might affect initial impressions: cats love mystery mate. Aftermath Congrats! If you’ve followed my suggestions exactly, you are now the proud(?) owner of more power than any lonely cat person should ever have. It’s an exclusive club, for sure. & 15

































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Oskay, Windell. HeartBox 10. Digital image. Flickr, 31 Jan. 2012. Web. 15 Feb. 2017. <>.

S&W Valentine's Day Issue #17.2  
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