Musings Issue (Winter '15)

Page 1

Volume XCI


Issue TWO

Editorial Staff Thinkers IN CHIEF Nikhil Menezes ‘15 Kira Simon ‘15 Meaghan Harding ‘16 idealistic imagers Max Levy ‘17 ě ¢ȱ ȱȱȱ ȱ ȱȁŗŝ Ben Jiang ‘17 Musing editors Andres Gonzalez ‘15 Jonathan Calles ‘16 Myles Wolfe ‘16 Bart Buurman ‘17 J ě ¢ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱȁŗŝ

ȱ ¢ȱȱ ȱ Miguel Davila ȱ ȱȱ ȱ Daniel Gillis ȱ ȱȱ ȱ Katie Sgarro Theo Trampe Sam Anthony ȱ ȱ ȱ Noah Goldman ȱ ȱȱ ȱ Ĵȱ ¢ȱȱ ȱ Shira Stearns ȱ ě ȱ

ideas of spoons

ȱ ȁŗś ‘15 ȱ ȁŗś ‘15 ȱ ȁŗś ‘15 ‘15 ‘16 ȱ ȁŗŜȱ ‘16 ȱ ȁŗŜ ȱ ȁŗŜ ‘16 ȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȱȁŗŚŜş

Iman Charania ȱ ¢ ȱȱȱ ȱ ȱȱ ȱ Ĵ ȱ ȱȱ David Cantù Hannah Ceisler

ě ¢ȱ ȱȱ ȱ ȱ ȱȱ Claudia Hogan ȱ ȱȱ ȱ Daniel Loud ȱ ȱȱ ȱ ȱ ȱȱ

ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱ ȱ

‘17 ȁŗŝ ȁŗŝ ȁŗŝ ‘18 ‘18 ȁŗŞ ȁŗŞ ‘18 ȁŗŞ ‘18 ȁŗŞ ȁŗŞ

Want to see your name on this page? We’re looking for writers, designers, and anyone who can laugh! Meetings will be held Tuesdays at 8 pm in Huntsman F60. Follow us on our Facebook page or our Twitter (@ThePunchbowl).v We can also be reached at or by carrier pigeon.

Lovingly, were

Hey SAC, what’s new? I’m sorry that we lost touch last semester, but I couldn’t take the mes-­ sages sent at 2 a.m. anymore. I mean how long does it take to get the hint that I don’t want to respond to “whatsupppp?” I’m reaching out now to make it clear that I’d prefer not to hear from you. It’s not your fault, really. I understand that sometimes the lonely weeks just got the best of you and you needed to cut loose on the weekends with a box of wine or two-­ it happens to the best of us. I really liked you, SAC, really. Those rainy mornings were nice, when it was just us two, lis-­ tening to the pattering on the roof while curled up with a box of Cheez-­Its between us, but we

both need to stop living in the past. To be perfectly honest, SAC, I’m tired of feel-­ ing used;; like you’re only keeping me around because it’s easy. I mean just because I am inher-­ ently an object by nature of the fact that I’m a magazine doesn’t mean you just get to treat me like some piece of meat. I’m a publication, with thoughts and feelings. I can be hurt too. I’m sorry that you’ve taken some of my jokes the wrong way in the past, I never meant to give anyone the wrong impression about my intentions. But to be honest, I just don’t want to be that kind of magazine anymore.

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Dear Acolytes, I won’t act like my heart doesn’t sink a little when I walk down Locust and you putrid, denim-­clad students don’t bow down before me. I won’t let the fact that there are churches, mosques, synagogues, scattered all around this campus and not ONE building dedicated to the worship of myself irritate me. I will even acknowledge that there are cosmic questions that I have trouble answering — What happens to man after death? Is there such a thing as the Good, and can we attain it? How much money does it take to bribe U.S. News to bump us up a few places? But as the spiritual leader of this campus, I demand more respect. I mean, can’t a sister even throw a damn Christmas party without people making it all political? God, if there’s one thing I abhor, it’s politics. I mean, the petty squabbles, the public relations, the façade behind which moneyed interests play with the fates of millions — that’s all pretty great, don’t get me wrong. But come on, don’t expect me to have an opinion on everything without having my response triple-­checked by my Commu-­ nications Advisor and read through by my entire legal team. I mean, what am I, God? No need to answer that question, actually. 3ROLWLFDO VFLHQFH LV P\ ¿HOG EXW LW DOO JHWV D ELW WRR PHVV\ ZKHQ RQH KDV WR GHDO ZLWK actual people. I mean, it’s one thing reading nice clean data on how certain spending programs could cut unemployment, but actually seeing real people who don’t have a regular stream of income? Yuck! I’d retch seeing thousands of jobless kids walking across my campus everyday if it weren’t for the fact that their so-­called learning was the reason I could afford my gold-­plated Lamborghini hairdryer. But anyway, that’s why I like to stick to the theoretical. In fact, I make it a rule that if life is ever too icky, I make an allegory out of it! Unemployment? Like a stream whose outlet into the ocean has been blocked off by a big ol’ dam. Warrantless mass surveillance of citizens? Like watching a friend shower naked ZLWKRXW KHU NQRZLQJ EXW RQO\ WR VHH LI VKH KDV DQ\ VLJQV RI EUHDVW FDQFHU 'URQH VWULNHV" /LNH WKH OLWWOH SODQHV , KDYH À\LQJ DERYH campus that make sure no student or faculty member says anything too challenging . . . remember, these are just allegories! But I digress, often people think just because I own a few islands and have rented a continent here and there, I don’t think about the higher things in life. Nonsense! Often on balmy nights, I walk outside on my patio and, after cursing my gardener for not properly pruning my azaleas, I look up to the stars and wonder what God could have conceived of me, what being could have HQYLVLRQHG P\ GD]]OLQJ EORQGH ORFNV P\ VSHFWDFXODU VPLOH P\ WUDQVFHQGHQW LQWHOOHFW" $QG WKHQ , ¿QG P\VHOI DJDLQ DW WKDW SRLQW where so many great minds in history — Anselm, Descartes, Leibniz — have found themselves . . . but of course, God must exist! And to any atheist out there who says otherwise, I assume we have not yet met. The power of ideas must never be underestimated. After all, what is a pantsuit before it is sewn? What is a multimillion-­dollar salary before it is given? What is a student before it has paid its tuition? Mere ideas! It is our unique role as human beings to con-­ ceive of things and make them exist in the real world. And, most importantly, as long as people continue to believe in the power of ideas, they’ll be too busy thinking to actually make any trouble for me! We all have our ways of coping with the world. Some turn to religion. Some to science. Some to a belief in a transcendental meerkat named Shaun who watches over us and when Shaun cackles, that is what we call the sound of thunder. When these ways of coping, these beliefs, clash with one another, it can get ugly. That’s why I like to believe that nothing exists besides myself and that everything in the world is merely a projection of my unbounded imagination. I think that’s called solipsism. God, I come up with the coolest words! <RXUV DQG E\ GH¿QLWLRQ PLQH

Amy Gut mann

President Amy Gutmann



Latest and Greatest Holiday Gifts Do the holidays have you feeling stressed out and confused? Can’t ÀQG LW LQ \RXU KHDUW WR JLYH WKH JLIW RI ORYH" <RX·UH QRW DORQH LQ WKDW so we’ve put together a handy guide to our wide variety of Punch Bowl KROLGD\ JRRGV :KDWHYHU LW LV ZH·YH JRW LW DQG ZH·OO GR ZKDW-­ ever it takes to get you through those befuddling days of chaos and cheer... Are you Jewish? Do you always want to decorate a tree around Christmas time? We’ve got just the thing for you: The

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Forgotten Movie Posters Punch Bowl has recently stumbled onto an archive of movies that were deemed too provocative to premiere in theaters, but we present you with their movie posters here...




We all know the story of how the four undergraduate schools at Penn were founded. On the ¿UVW GD\ %HQ FUHDWHG WKH &ROOHJH 2Q WKH VHFRQG GD\ WKH SUH PHG PDMRUV ULSSHG RXW WKHLU ULE DQG FRXOGQ¶W ¿W LW EDFN LQ VR WKH\ VZLWFKHG PDMRUV DQG FUHDWHG :KDUWRQ 2Q WKH WKLUG GD\ WKH :KDUWRQLWHV EXLOW WKH 1XUVLQJ VFKRRO DQG ¿OOHG LW ZLWK VWXGHQWV WR PHQG WKHLU EURNHQ ULE $QG RQ WKH IRXUWK GD\ :KDUWRQLWHV LQYHVWHG WKH ULE LQ WKH VWRFN PDUNHW DQG FUHDWHG WKH (QJLQHHULQJ VFKRRO WR EXLOG WKHP URERWLF ULEV Once a long, long time ago, a button factory owned by Claudius I stood in the place of Harrison College House. During the Great Flood three thousand years ago, the EXWWRQ IDFWRU\ ZDV ¿OOHG ZLWK water and hundreds of twelve year old children were forced to swim for their lives, but no buttons were able to escape the factory, as buttons cannot swim. The Button was erect-­ ed in front of Van Pelt as a memorial to all of the buttons lost in that great tragedy. Originally in the Quad there was just Fisher and Riepe. The divider be-­ tween the two houses was left unnamed for centuries, but people still lived there. Eventually fed up with constantly being asked "Where do you live?" they RI¿FLDOO\ FKDQJHG WKH name to Ware College House. Erected in 1307 by Tamara the 0DJQL¿FHQW WKH IRXQGHU RI WKH *HQ-­ der Studies program, the Tampons symbolized the growing presence of women on campus. “No longer shall we allow only statues of men to decorate this intellectual forest,” she proclaimed. “It is the time of women. That is, our time of the month, for our cycles have synced. But, it’s also our time to gain equal education!” While Tamara’s large red contribution to campus has been largely forgotten, one can often hear her ghost laugh-­ ing in the wind whenever someone says, “meet me at the Tampons.”


The Great and Glorious Ben Frank-­ lin had three sons: Barnabus, Bar-­ tholomew, and Benji. They did not JHW DORQJ YHU\ ZHOO FRQVWDQWO\ ¿JKW-­ ing as children, and sending each other passive aggressive telegraphs as they aged. After their father died and his essence was entrapped on a bench, they could not equally divide the Great University their father had bestowed upon them, for they bickered too much. They died just a few years later, buried in the exact spots where the High Rises now reside;; the buildings spon-­ taneously sprung forth from their corpses. The brothers’ names have been forgotten, replaced by Gaylord Tobasco Harnwell, Auguste Rodin, and William Henry Harrison, but WKHLU FRQVWDQWO\ ¿JKWLQJ VSLULWV KDYH been maintained through spiritual vessels in the building: annoying roommates. So the next time your roommate leaves an arrangement of raisins on the table that spell “clean up your shit,” know that it is a mes-­ sage from beyond.


an Origin Story

+RZHYHU WKH RULJLQ VWRULHV RI FDPSXV ODQGPDUNV DUH OHVV ZHOO NQRZQ 'LG \RX NQRZ WKDW RQ WKH ¿IWK GD\ %HQ FUHDWHG WKH FROOHJH KRXVHV" %HQ WKRXJKW WKHVH ZHUH JRRG H[FHSW IRU +LOO +H VDLG ³)XFN LW ´ DQG PDGH +LOO SXUJDWRU\ XQWLO VRPHRQH FRXOG ¿JXUH RXW ZKDW WR GR ZLWK LW +HUH DUH D IHZ PRUH WDOHV RI KRZ SODFHV RQ FDPSXV ZHUH IRUPHG Fisher Fine Arts Library was constructed in 1911 by a zany local architect who decided that Penn needed “much more red, where the fuck is all the red? Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red Red REDRUM.” Although the architect was later committed to two stints in the asy-­ lum that used to stand where the Civic House is today, Fisher Fine Arts Library was completed after four years RI FRQVWUXFWLRQ 6KRUWO\ WKHUHDIWHU 3HQQ RI¿FLDOV UHDO-­ ized, “Oh shit, we didn’t think of anything to do with this,” so they decided to put all the university’s most cowardly tomes in the red building, which is why you have to be totally silent when studying in the near-­total darkness that surrounds you.

During the Second World War, people started to get really sketched out by their vaguely German and Japanese class-­ mates, and Van Pelt Library was constructed as a prison for those students who people just “didn’t like the look of.” After the war ended, Van Pelt remained empty for a few decades before it was decided under the reign of Judith Rodin that having an entire empty building dedicated to the wrongful imprisonment of suspected spies likely wasn’t the best look IRU WKH XQLYHUVLW\ 6R WKH VFKRRO LQVWDOOHG VRPH ÀXRUHV-­ cence and employed a strident bag-­checking policy, making VP the bibliographic paradise that it exists as today.

Jon M. Huntsman Hall was a gift from the Xlina’du extraterrestrials from the Colossus IX galaxy. Sent here originally as a gift to em-­ peror Justinian I in the year 533 B.C.E., Hunts-­ man as it exists today was discovered in 1927 by archaeologists from the Penn Museum who were excavating at a dig in modern-­day Turkey. Eventually it was decided that this YDJXHO\ VRGD FDQ ORRNLQJ EXLOGLQJ ZRXOG ¿QG its permanent home on the corner of 38th St. and Spruce St. and became the bustling hub of the Wharton School. This building has long been rumored to house the ancient alien spirit Malbus, creator of all evil in the universe, but thankfully his presence has largely been felt exclusively in the Finance department.



“Nah man, you know the rules. Get a better ratio, or maybe take a walk around Purgatory and come back at midnight”

Phrenology Map of a Penn Student








Locke Wheels

Mr. PoPlato Head Mr. PoPlato Head is a great starting tool to teach your toddler about the irrational nature of art, the tripartite class structure of our society, and starches. Put his ears where his mouth should be, move his eyes to his arm, and start a rhetorical dialogue about the ethics of misplacing someone else’s body parts!

My Little Sartre Based on the hit accompanying television show, these little toys have no real function and will lead your little thinker to question their existence and the absurdity and meaninglessness of the world they inhabit. Batteries not included.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Nietzsche

Malibu Bentham

Forget Michelangelo, Leonardo, Raphael, and Donatello-­ there’s a new ninja turtle in town! He doesn’t battle with Krang or Shredder, but with haunting questions of religion, morality, and philosophy. Despite never defeating any villains, he will tell your children, “God is Dead” and have them staring into the abyss in no time!

/RFNH :KHHOV LV WKH SHUIHFW ¿UVW IRUD\ LQWR SURSHUW\ rights for your little thinker! Just try to pry these cars from your toddler’s hands and they will learn the implications of a social contract between children and parents. Remember, by being born to you, they have agreed to surrender some of their freedoms to you, but you are still surrendering some freedoms to the state.

Tickle Me Immanuel When squeezed three times, Tickle Me Immanuel will laugh and declare cute little gems of wisdom from Immanuel Kant, such as, “So act that your principle of action might safely be made a law for the whole world.”

Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Rand-­bots Beat the parasitic altruist out of your little thinker with Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Rand-­bots! Our Ayn Rand-­bot is designed to always beat her opponent, O-­bot-­ma, thereby teaching your little capitalist how to treat any looter who may cross their path.

A progressive answer to Malibu Barbie, Malibu Bentham is a plastic version of the skeleton of Jeremy Bentham’s that was left to Uni-­ versity College London. The doll comes with a Malibu Panopticon Dream Prison to teach young kids about the consequences of break-­ ing the law. Other accessories include a copy of An Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation and 7KH ,QÀXHQFH RI 1DWX-­ ral Religion upon the Temporal Happiness of Mankind.

Penn Koans

Practiced in Zen philosophy, the koan is designed to provoke the “great doubt” that often faces us while taking a Math 104 midterm or reading a DP op-ed. Here are some koans that have been gathered through the (ahem) oral tradition among our more enlightened students. A fraternity brother was told to strip The master Amy Gutmann entered a meetDoes he who urinates on Benjamin with his fellow pledges in the dark, ing of the university administration and Franklin lose water or gain a fountain of dingy basement of a chapter house. looked around the room. All looked up at wisdom? He asked his future brothers, “But her, all with their own questions. “Master why, why must we strip ourselves?” Amy, how might we raise academic stanIf a white girl goes to The brothers replied, “Pledge. Until dards?” “Master Amy, are we improving Starbucks in October we strip you of your clothes, how can the minds of our students?” Master Amy DQG GRHVQ·W RUGHU D we strip you of your dignity?” UDLVHG KHU ÀQJHUV WR KHU OLSV DQG WKH URRP pumpkin spice latte, became silent. When an a capella group sings, but only does she really even? She whispered the word “endowment,” their friends are in the audience, and soon all became enlightened. is it really a club? A wise freshman eating at Commons was once sipping a watery OHQWLO VRXS 6XGGHQO\ KH VDZ D UDW VFXUU\ DFURVV WKH ÁRRU :KLOH the rest of the freshmen screamed and put down their food, the wise freshman shrugged and said, “Are they not food too?”


Like this cup of jungle juice, you are full of your own opinions and thought, how can \RX UHDFK ]HQ ZLWKRXW ÀUVW HPSW\LQJ \RXU Solo cup?