Sunday, December 12, 2010

Post columnist defends the marginalized frat boy, people with college degrees

There's a humdinger of a column today in the Post titled "East Village bohemian snobs drive out the frat boys."




You need to read the article for yourself — that is, if you know how to read. ... A few excerpts to get you warmed up...

“Superdive made a lot of us into activists,” a 58-year-old former social worker named Dale Goodson told Capitalnewyork.com, which offered a fascinating history of Superdive.

So, what brand of humanity is considered undignified to a guy who spends his days shepherding the underclass?

Frat boys. Solid men in Big Ten regalia. Business types who spent their college years learning about balance sheets instead of transgressive modes of self-actualization. To these, the East Village can be as intolerant as a monocle-wearing English aristocrat from a P.G. Wodehouse novel, gazing down upon the polloi and pronouncing them a little too hoi.


And!

Community Board 3, at a meeting in which residents carried signs reading (really) “Not in my backyard,” last month opposed one businessman’s request for a liquor license at a new space to replace a former bar at 34 Avenue A — without even listening to his proposal. Silence a dissenting voice? Not very “Rent.”

Or maybe very “Rent” indeed. A bohemian’s idea of anarchy always seems to come with a surprisingly detailed set of standards. The story of the East Village might be how little things have changed — it’s still a cramped little hipster Vatican suspicious of outsiders.

But if your neighborhood is steeped in youthful rebellion, don’t be too outraged when free-spirited types come flocking around in a mad celebration of twentysomething exuberance. And don’t hate them just because their hero is Rex Ryan instead of Allen Ginsberg.

43 comments:

Michael Daddino said...

Waaait just a golddurn minute here, "Kyle." (If that is your REAL NAME.) If these dudes are spending "their college years learning about balance sheets instead of transgressive modes of self-actualization," what are they doing in the East Village in the first place?

Also: Rex Ryan? Yeah, AIM HIGH.

Jeremiah Moss said...

that's right. the bohemians and the EV Blog Mafia are oppressing all the poor little frat boys, those sad marginalized children of middle-class suburbia.

that's who Emma Lazarus was talking about when she wrote, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free." she meant drunks dressed in Santa suits. she meant lovers of foosball and Beer Pong. she meant wearers of giant foam "We're Number One" hands.

those poor, wretched frat boys, so stigmatized, so discriminated against. they can't find jobs. they can't find housing. people beat them on the streets for the way they look. because of us, they'll be forced into sex work and panhandling.

it's awful. we should take up a fundraising drive. maybe put cans near the cash registers of every EV bodega--"Can you help a frat boy today? Even a dime or a quarter will make a difference in the life of a future hedgefund manager."

i'm weeping for them right now.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I must be one of the olds because I don't know who Rex Ryan is. I should add that I'm not a fan of Allen Ginsberg either. Not that I hate him. Just not that into him.

Marty Wombacher said...

Who the fuck is Rex Ryan?

e vill girl said...

You're right, Michael. It's funny... I certainly don't judge them for being business majors. I just them for being loud, selfish and obnoxious.

EV Grieve said...

@Marty

Rex Ryan is the mysterious older brother of Speed Racer.

EV Grieve said...

After reading this, I quickly turned off the Bengals-Steelers game and picked up my copy of Sartre's La Nausée.

Marty Wombacher said...

@EV Grieve: Ha ha ha! Go Speed Racer, go!

esquared said...

unless the rex ryan they're talking about is the coach of the j-e-t-s -- j-e-t-s, jets, jets, jets

clearly written by a frat boy or a former frat boy not wanting to grow up and trying to hold on to his frat boy years, much like most of those that invade ev on the weekends. if they feel marginalized in the ev, there's always the upper east side and the meatpacking district. they are more than welcome there -- and please stay there.

Hank's Pound of Spaghetti said...

"After reading this, I quickly turned off the Bengals-Steelers game and picked up my copy of Sartre's La Nausée."

Awesome

LiberationNYC said...

@Jeremiah Your comment should be EV's comment of the year.

From 11am yesterday morning until about 2am last night, every where I went there were drunken santas dragging their slutty, sweaty elves behind them before retiring for a night of Axe-scented plowing. Loud and obnoxious, they all disgusted me and I was trying to figure out why I felt such hatred for this segment of our society.

They have the kind of personalities that don't mix well with alcohol. They are stupid and have no unique point of view on anything. It seems all they can discuss is whatever game is on the widescreen TV, the cra-zazy week they had at the cubicle farm, or their previous weekend's antics of getting blackout drunk. Mix these things together with their inability to grasp the volume of their voices and they come across like Neanderthals.

What's worse is they have a pack mentality and the bigger the pack grows, the dumber the shit they do. Like throw full garbage cans into the busy streets, pound on passing taxis for not picking them up, picking fights with random people on the street, and mocking the homeless. All of these things I have witnessed myself the past few weeks.

It doesn't surprise me some jackhole at the Post is defending these people. He's probably one of the people I step over violently puking in the gutters on Second Avenue each weekend.

Melanie said...

@ EV Grieve--Sartre's La Nausee is a great read!!
@ Jeremiah Moss-great piece and I appreciate your writing chops.

Michelle said...

Frat boys eventually forced into sex work--that cracks me up! Be nice to see the tables turned given they love strip clubs AND are douches when patronizing said places.

Curt Hoppe said...

The story is a basically defending bindge drinking cause thats what their doing

Jeremiah Moss said...

@LiberationNYC--yes! the scent of Axe is strong these days.

also saw a Santa yesterday kicking over garbage cans. and another with his pants down, passed out while mid-bite of a falafel.

isn't Murray Hill enough for them?

--------m said...

aaaahhhhhh......these comments put a wonderful 'so I am not alone!' smile on my face, which was joined by a loud chuckle. thanks everyone!!

Jill said...

@Jeremiah you are my hero and I nominate you as capo of the EV Blog mafia.

Claribel said...

This piece is no surprise. The Post is owned by Rupert Murdoch who also owns Fox News and more recently the Wall St Journal. The author doesn't even cover local news on a daily basis, but has been a film critic for the Post since 2005. I therefore give him one middle finger up for his movie review version of EV history and EV community issues.

C Merry said...

Pope Grieve.. hehehe :)

Jeremiah Moss said...

popes and capos beat santas any day.

EVGayBear said...

Mr Post Columnist,

Could you please be a little more condescending? 'Cause I'm not real great with subtlety.

Anonymous said...

That Post column wasn't perfect, but a lot of your comments sound incredibly foolish and are even proving his point. That is, your criticism of his column isn't thoughtful; you're resorting to ripping on frat boys and Jets fans. The guy picked Rex Ryan not to get all jock vs. geek on you, but to illustrate what kind of clientele is patronizing these bars, and that they have as much a right to be in the East Village as you do (believe it or not). Since when is the EV an exclusive club?

I like this blog (and hate frat bars) but this post and its comments were telling. "If you know HOW to read"...huh?? Is that supposed to win anyone over? I respect your opinions but I guess I'm just a little disappointed you couldn't come up with some better responses.

Also, just an aside: the frat boy/sports fan has ruined football fandom the way potheads have ruined marijuana appreciation. A lot of erudite people follow the game, but unfortunately its intelligent side doesn't sell very well.

Leesy said...

Aren't we all just peddling stereotypes? The East Village is a mixed bag, that's what makes it so great. Most people are mixed bags too. I grew up really poor. I have a college degree. I'm a writer. I went to Santacon. I didn't get drunk. I support local community events and businesses. I love college sports and drink cheap beer. I'm still poor. I spend my days inside a cubicle. I love Allen Ginsberg.

I love the East Village and can't imagine living anywhere else. Yet, in a lot of ways, I fit the descriptions of the people you're all so quick to hate. If I don't belong, who does?

Shawn Chittle said...

I'm officially changing my name to "East Village Bohemian Snob #314"

VH McKenzie said...

I agree with some of the commenters here you say that anyone has the right to come to the East Village, it is not an exclusive club nor a gated community.

Whether they be frat boys or euro trash or supermodels, they are welcome to come spend their money in our humble nabe, but don't leave civility at the gate. They seem to forget that they don't have the right to behave as if this is not a neighborhood at all but rather their own little amusement park, Disney-on-the-East-River.

The local "characters" you mock on the street are not in costume for your entertainment. If you puke and litter in our neighborhood, there is not a tidy cartoon-inspired work force scurrying behind you with a mop and a broom.

The full-time residents clean up after you in the morning. The full-time residents try to sleep through the ranting and screaming in the streets - do you do that at home?

We live here, we are not the staff of the amusement park, hired to smile and cater to your every whim. Just stop being The Ugly American tourist, whoever you are and wherever you come from, when you come to our neighborhood. That's not so much to ask, is it?

Anonymous said...

Kyle Smith's butt hurts. I like seeing this story in the Post. Keep 'em coming. Keep on whining. Spread the word far and wide that not everyone is welcome in the east village.

Anonymous said...

Kyle Smith lost me at "midget." Fourth sentence. Although I suppose writing for Rupert Murdoch generally trends toward dickbagism.

Jeremiah Moss said...

on the issue of intolerance, it's important to keep in mind the power differential here. we're not talking about a group of socially marginalized people moving into a neighborhood filled with the powerful. we're talking about a group of people who have quite a bit of socioeconomic clout and privilege, profoundly affecting a neighborhood filled with people who, often, have less power and privilege--due to race, class, social standing, sexuality, language, etc.

while the conversation here might devolve to "frat bashing," we can't ignore the dynamic underneath. to call it snobbery, as the Post author does, is akin to the larger national issue of tea partiers opposing progressive social change under the "insult" of elitism.

it's part of the same problem whereby people of privilege co-opt the language of the marginalized to cry "oppression." it's offensive.

Anonymous said...

I see both sides of the story on this one. I have lived in the EV for a long time and I love it for it's ever-changing ways and diversity (diversity in the sense of everyone is different, from the 76yr old polish immigrant next door to me to the 22 yr old "model" one floor up).

There is some irony as to how the EV is treating our local businesses. We deny bars liquor licenses but that attracts Papa John's. Which is worse?

Jill said...

From what I've heard (and I hope maybe somebody reading this knows more than I do about the situation and can elaborate) SuperDive wasn't shut down because of activists or the Community Board. We actually don't know exactly why they closed other than that they apparently were no longer paying the rent and/or had racked up more fines than they could afford. Their fines were for doing illegal things like using the basement which was a fire hazard and not properly zoned for this use, serving underage drinkers and "all you can drink" offerings which are specifically illegal in New York.

Make no mistake, if they paid the rent and their fines they would still be there. They have an active liquor license to operate in this location.

Anonymous said...

Oh for fuck's sake anonymous 10:54, "your criticism of his column isn't thoughtful" . . . the Post article isn't the slightest bit thoughtful to begin with! To respond to meathead whining with thoughtful criticism would be pointless and tin-eared. And speaking of tone, you have the tone of someone who thinks that using the phrase "that is" signifies that you are being intellectual. Accordingly (see what I did there?) I suspect that you are also a meathead. Or that you have lots of meathead friends. The Post article represents meathead culture at its most tedious. One small example, the guy has obviously never actually read any Wodehouse, he's only heard of him, likely while sleeping off a hangover in some big shitty school where social life centers around sports, thereby missing the humor while foolishly learning just enough to feel confident engaging in vacuous, anti-intellectual name-dropping. And his central argument seems to be "wah wah, I can't get my feeble little meathead mind around the fact that people other than me and my friends have standards, ergo they must have 'a surprisingly detailed set of standards' . . ." Hmph. Go back to your Ayn Rand and your dingbat girlfriends with long-winded stories about what happened at some other dingbat's baby shower. Can you really not understand why other people don't find your culture interesting?

LiberationNYC said...

1. Jeremiah for President.

2. Unlike other groups who have called the EV/LES their home over the years whether they be African American, Puerto Rican, Polish, Russian, Gay, or artists and musicians, etc. this demographic is not bringing any type of culture or background to the "mixing pot."

Quite the opposite, they drive it out. How? By spending their (parents) money in chain stores like Subway, Walgreens, and... the newest neighborhood low, Pap John's.

They are not here to be part of the community or support local business or take in all of the unique things the neighborhood has to offer. They are here to use NYC as a backdrop in an iPhone photo documenting their raging alcoholism.

I'm glad the Post let their favorite movie critic write an op ed piece on the current state of the EV. His chicken scratched, defensive article only makes them look worse.

pinhead said...

Thanks Mr. NY Post Movie Blogger for so clearly defining the two sides in this conflict. I would never have known that I was either a frat boy or a bohemian snob, but you've helped me with my self-awareness. Now everyone pick a side and let's get on with hating each other.

hunter said...

response to jeremiah 11:29 am. its america. you can go anywhere to any bar. the EV is where some of the bars are located, that these frat people like. the article was a bit sarcastic. it does bring out a point. you have a double standard. i live in an area which has changed drastically as well. old residents leave, new ones come in. that also reflects the businesses as well. i also hate the new people & what they bring w/them. the lowering of standards (they dont care about quality of life, or who else comes here to hang around), & they are gross to look at. BUT its the developers that were fundamental in bringing about this change. as NYU/developers are responsible in new york. i call the police when someone is on my property, or making noise. i do what i need to do. you should do the same. thats all you can do. the EV does not belong to you & your posters. as my area does not belong to me, or families that were here for 75 yrs. they sell their houses & move because they cant stand it anymore. the form is the same but the content different. i cant stand seeing the very poor hanging on my street, i do not like my grass used as a toilet, or a garbage can. how is that different from a business major throwing up on your stoop? or an alcoholic bum vomiting on your street? or it that the bum is just so cooool....like the junkies your fans idolize. double standard. the article was making fun of the liberal east villagers. they're for everyone doing their own thing, except when the people "dont fit in"?

Anonymous said...

@ Anonymous 2:49, you obviously aren't familiar with Kyle Smith or his work. If you actually bothered to ever read his website, you'd realize that he has certainly read his share of Wodehouse. Unfortunately, you probably never read anything outside of the leftwing echo chamber of the Village Voice, Daily Kos, & the Times editorial page. As for the shitty school that Mr. Smith attended & graduated from, it happens to be that little known university located in New Haven, CT: Yale.

EVGayBear said...

@anonymous 9:59

Thanks for stopping by Kyle!

LiberationNYC said...

@ anonymous 9:59 PM

It's safe to say we're not impressed with Kyle's perspective, writing skills, or his siding with the douchelords. Do you really think we find him SO fascinating that we'd subject ourselves to more of him?

Just the thought is making me want to do a keg stand and black out ASAP.

Anonymous said...

"Trangressive modes of self-actualization". Fuck yeah! I love that! Better than a Self-Actualization via Facebook and Dave Matthews. Fuck those Santa Douche people. I couldn't believe what I was seeing yesterday. Yeah, boo-hoo feel bad for the frat-boys. No...they're not territorial at all. Only the EV snobs who think too much.

Melanie said...

I have been a publicist in the travel related field and what the East Village has become is a destination. Yes, a destination. Visitors and tourists come here now to see the "regulars" on the sidewalk at Ray's. Rays as an quirkey little shop or better as a cool "Bohemian" place. The shopping area we know as E. 9th Street is filled with tourists on the weekend shopping and window shopping. Eating at cafes and watching the world (EV life ) go by.

Anonymous said...

Jump back y'all -- Kyle Smith is a YALIE! Thus we are required to take back every negative thing we've said about his writing! Because it's YALE, people.

9:59, an Ivy League grad and professional writer like Smith should know that "midget" is pejorative, and its use is strongly discouraged. Please forgive my public school ass for thinking he's ignorant.

Claribel said...

Anonymous, you ask for more thoughtful and reasoned debate from commenters while at the same time giving Smith a lot more leeway for the half-baked article that he wrote. The author either did sloppy, cursory research to give such shallow treatment of the EV residents and history of the EV, or he did his homework on current EV demographics and resident’s legitimate complaints of noise and moronic, disrespectful behavior by bar crawlers, yet deliberately chose to reframe the story by painting the residents as elite bohemian snobs and the offenders as the oppressed. So which one is it? Did he not do his research or did he do his research and deliberately omit relevant facts to serve his spin? Here’s one significant omission: the gentrification of the EV and the EV’s dwindling bohemian community as the marginalized, not the frat boys who are the subjects of Smith’s spin.

More fantastic is his point that it’s ironic for the Community Board to not be accommodating and sympathetic to bar crawling frat boy antics when they once stood up for squatters who didn’t really deserve an ounce of humanity because heck, they didn’t pay taxes or contribute to the economy. If you’re loitering and impoverished in Tompkins Square Park, you really should just be pummeled by the police and thrown in jail where you belong. If you pay taxes and contribute to the local economy, by all means, vomit wherever you like. It’s the EV where bohemian means vomit tolerant because they were sympathetic to the homeless. Don’t be elitist, be open-minded and glad for the business. There are plenty of other neighborhoods in the City who’d reject the bar crawlers, but they’re just snobs, not bohemian snobs. He doesn’t even give an adequate description of who the bohemian snobs are in the EV today (apparently they’re Community Board 3?), but he doesn’t have to because the piece doesn’t aim for accuracy, it only aims to validate one’s prejudice. Bohemian is simply an amorphous derogatory label in his story. I agree that we’re peddling in stereotypes which Smith seems more than happy to promote.

Claribel said...

The EV is still a neighborhood and always has been, even during the rougher and rebellious times. Just ask any of the older community garden members who’ll tell you about the gunfire they could hear on the street while gardening their plots, but who’ll also tell you how it used to be that you could walk from 14th St down to Houston on Ave C and you’d know just about everyone on each block. People looked out for one another and if they’re trying to continue that practice today, apparently that makes you a snob. I don’t rely on the Post for real journalism, but I’ll criticize any article that misrepresents real people in favor of fueling stereotypes. And yes, bar crawlers are real people too, but apparently only during the day. At night they’re real assholes who don’t give a crap whose residential block they’re on.

Anonymous said...

Back in the day I dated a few Yalies. There is a drinking kind of culture there. To be fair not everyone is an alchy in training. This reporter may be from the same level of intelligence as George W Bush--a C student.. Just saying.