If you were to be taken on a tour of the headquarters for the Albany Times Union, you would come across a large picture hung prominently in one of its hallways. It’ll catch your eye and, for some of you, it might also illicit an audible gasp.
It is a photograph taken during the 2004 celebration of Fountain Day. The picture, seen on your right, is of two students (one male and one female) captured in a pose that unintentionally(?) looks like a scene out of a softcore porn flick.
The photo won an Associated Press Award, which is the excuse given for its prominent placement. The attitude of male staff members who giggle, point, and everything else short of high-fiving each other when they pass it might suggest otherwise, but that’s neither here nor there.
This image may not be pornography, but it is iconography. It’s the penultimate visual representation of the public image for a school that has been fighting an uphill battle to better its reputation academically and shed its reputation as a party school.
Then there was the Kegs and Eggs riot on the morning of Saturday, March 12th, which has thus far resulted in over forty arrests ranging from violations of noise ordinance to assaulting a police officer. Yesterday, the fallout continued.
As was first reported by the Albany Student Press’s twitter account (and subsequently on this space) Sunday afternoon, SUNY Albany has cancelled Fountain Day 2011, which was set to take place April 10th. It is a move that has seen a strong negative response from a student body that feels unfairly ostracized for the actions of a few, but may also be an unfortunate but necessary step for a school that has seen its reputation tarnished by the events two weekends ago.
In light of the Kegs and Eggs riot last weekend and resulting controversy, SUNY Albany has cancelled Fountain Day 2011 according to a tweet from the Albany Student Press.
The event had been scheduled for April 10th and had been an annual tradition since its inception in 1978.
Stay tuned to TimesUnion.com for what’s sure to be a bigger story in the coming days.
UPDATE 10:40pm – The full statement from SUNY Albany President George Philip, sent to the student body earlier today:
Dear University at Albany Students:
On Saturday, March 12th, we were faced with the knowledge that a number of UAlbany students participated in destructive activities in the City of Albany. We are struggling to understand why these students would blatantly disrespect themselves, their neighbors, and the values of this campus in order to participate in such negative behavior. The shocking conduct of a few that day stands in stark contrast to the behavior of the vast majority of hard working students who are intent on pursuing an education and contributing to society.
The University is now facing severe criticism. The behavior exhibited by some of our students has many questioning the integrity of our University and, as a community, we must respond. Consequently, we face some difficult choices, including the future of Fountain Day.
Recent Fountain Day activities have required substantial efforts to mitigate negative student behavior. While Fountain Day continues to be a source of school pride, there remains a contingent of students who use this day as an excuse to promote excessive alcohol consumption that compromises everyone’s safety.
Although I am deeply saddened by this decision, I am announcing the suspension of Fountain Day in 2011. I regret that this action will punish students who had no role in the disturbing events of March 12. But the need to proactively respond and to uphold our reputation has never been greater. In light of last weekend’s incidents and difficulties with Fountain Day in prior years, we simply cannot continue to sponsor this event in its current form.
This is a regrettable choice, but the right decision. There is much at stake here: your education, your future success, and the success of the University at Albany. I call upon each of you to work together during the next academic year to develop a spring event that can become a meaningful, safe and fun tradition. We must stand together in our resolve to forge the future we envision together.
George M. Philip
UFC 128 was last night, and the theme of the event – from Dana White’s statements throughout the week right down to Jon Jones‘s entrance music – was “boy, what a shame this is in Newark instead of Madison Square Garden.”
Unfortunately, the event paled in comparison to recent cards and even the forthcoming free Ultimate Fight Night card on Spike next week both on paper and in terms of entertainment value. Nothing was particularly bad, mind you, but nothing was particularly memorable either.
Save, of course, for the fulfillment of the Jon Jones prophecy.
Jones dominated defending champion Mauricio “Shogun” Rua the entire fight, including what could generously be described as two 10-8 rounds followed by a merciful stoppage in the third. Rua came into the cage already looking tired and old, carrying with him the war-weary look that belies the fact that he’s still only 29-years-old himself. A soft mid-section and early exhaustion indicated that conditioning has once again become an issue for Rua, making a Jones victory an inevitability.
This is not to take anything away from the new champion. At 23-years-old and with only three years of fight experience, Jon Jones has ascended the Light Heavyweight ranks in dominant and impressive fashion.
However, to coin a phrase, “I was not eempressed with his performahnce.”
This will surely put me in opposition with most MMA fans, but I could hardly qualify Jones’s win as a sign that we finally have a dominant Light Heavyweight champion. Rua went into this fight looking even worse than he did against Forrest Griffin, and Jones himself has some conditioning issues that nobody else wants to acknowledge. Did anybody else see him in the last minute of the first round, pawing at Rua with an arm he was barely able to lift up, huffing and puffing in the face of a fighter who was out on his feet and practically begging to be struck with a halfway decent tap to the chin that would have finished the fight?
Granted, these issues can and will be addressed by Greg Jackson and his camp. Jackson is no fool: he, unlike many fans, knows that Jones is going to have a lot more trouble against Rashad Evans than he did against Mauricio Rua. Evans has a better wrestling pedigree and isn’t likely to be wrestled into exhaustion like Rua was. He’ll come in motivated and with knowledge of Jones’s fight game due to training with him at Team Jackson. If Jones can get past Evans and do so in easy fashion, then I’ll buy that we finally have a Light Heavyweight champion who can defend his title successfully.
Until then, I’m just going to keep watching the hype train from a distance as the distant echo of a cry from years past echoes in my brain: “the Machida era has begun!”
OTHER NOTABLE ITEMS: After his devastating loss to Brendan Schaub, Dana White announced at the post-fight press conference that Mirko “Cro Cop” Filipovic was done with the UFC. It would be more accurate, though, to say the UFC is done with Cro Cop. … Urijah Faber didn’t put in the dominant performance against Eddie Wineland that so many expected, but that’s due to the fans’ lack of familiarity with Wineland. I was impressed, though, with how Faber didn’t panic in the first round and turned a negative into a positive, using his losing round to figure Wineland out and adapt his game plan accordingly. A bout with Cruz is next, and rumor has it they could be the coaches for the 14th season of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. … After his win, Nate Marquardt told reporters he’s mulling a move down to Welterweight. I did observe that he looked smaller last night than he has in a long time, but a cut to 170 still seems like madness and isn’t something I would advise. … Jim Miller is now on a seven fight win streak, but his C.V. is less than impressive. It’ll be interesting to see what he does against the upper echelon in the division.
- LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT CHAMPIONSHIP BOUT:
Jon Jones def. Mauricio “Shogun” Rua – R3 2:37 via TKO (strikes)
- BANTAMWEIGHT (135 lbs.):
Urijah Faber def. Eddie Wineland via Unanimous Decision
- LIGHTWEIGHT (155 lbs.):
Jim Miller def. Kamal Shalorus – R3 2:15 via TKO (punches)
- MIDDLEWEIGHT (185 lbs.):
Nate Marquardt def. Dan Miller via Unanimous Decision
- HEAVYWEIGHT (265 lbs.):
Brendan Schaub def. Mirko Cro Cop – R3 3:44 via KO (punch)
- LIGHT HEAVYWEIGHT (205 lbs.):
Eliot Marshall def. Luiz Cane - R1 2:15 via TKO (punches)
- LIGHTWEIGHT (155 lbs.):
Edson Barboza def. Anthony Njokuani via Unanimous Decision
- WELTERWEIGHT (170 lbs.)
Mike Pyle def. Ricardo Almeida via Unanimous Decision
- LIGHTWEIGHT (155 lbs.):
Gleison Tibau def. Kurt Pellegrino via Split Decision
- BANTAMWEIGHT (135 lbs.):
Joseph Benavidez def. Ian Loveland via Unanimous Decision
- CATCHWEIGHT (195 lbs.):
Nick Catone def. Constantinos Philippou via Unanimous Decision
- FEATHERWEIGHT (145 lbs):
Eric Koch def. Raphael Assuncao – R1 2:32 via KO (punch)
- Has UFC Found Its Transcendent Star?online.wsj.com
- UFC President Dana White’s visit to Albany and MMA coverage in print mediatimesunion.com
- UFC President Dana White, Frankie Edgar, Matt Hamill, and Renzo Gracie at the Washington Ave. Armory at 3pm todaytimesunion.com
- MMA Makes Albany Pitchstatepolitics.lohudblogs.com
- UFC road show is in towntimesunion.com
- An ultimate fight for approvaltimesunion.com
Congratulations to the RPI men’s hockey team, which has been given a berth in the NCAA play-offs.
What a weird week, huh? Between kegs and eggs and the situation in Fukushima, it was a banner week for legitimate media outlets embarrassing themselves and getting out-scooped by those dirty bloggers they look down on.
There’s a few lessons to be learned here:
- Any talk of “this is what the people are talking about” is worthless if you don’t have your finger on the pulse of the community.
- It also needs to be balanced out with ethics. Speaking of which…
- Misrepresenting facts and igniting fear in the general populace through misleading or outright incorrect information is FAR less ethical than a blogger who presents accurate facts with an attitude. Telling a lie with a straight face isn’t better, more professional, or more ethical than the truth told with an eyeroll.
- Speculative fiction is not news.
- Kids these days hate cars.
- Media outlets are not only surviving but in many cases thriving in our climate. If you’re struggling despite your parent company increasing its ad revenue on the whole, then maybe -gasp- you’re doing things wrong.
Alright, enough ranting, let’s get down to business.
This week – kegs and eggs and death and cats and spies and the Constitution. This…is Blogorama.
WE’RE YOUR SOURCE!
This week on the Times Union Blogs…
On Kegs and Eggs overload (Daniel Nester)
You’re blaming ME for Kegs and Eggs? (Information Without the Bun)
Golden death penalty (David Kacyznski)
Kats on Cats 2 (High School / Michelle Kats)
Kansas ignores the US Supreme Court (Libby Post)
Dog refuses to abandon fellow canine injured by tsunami (Dog Owned Life)
Immigrant chef caught in legal system; FBI reads Table Hopping (Table Hopping)
IN OUR AREA CODE
- Japan: how to (and NOT to) Help (The Approach)
- APD spokesman arrested, humiliated (Keep Albany Boring)
- The egg cream is Jewish? (FUSSYlittleBLOG)
- Ads from the past make wild promises (All Over Albany)
- Kegs and eggs: the medium is the message (Keyboard Krumbs)
MEANWHILE, IN THE REST OF THE WORLD…
- Hearst leads major publishing companies in 2010 for ad growth (FishBowl NY) In other news, Kevin Marshall is still not paid for ad revenue he generates.
- Old Sparky: the shocking history of the electric chair (WebUrbanist)
- A guide to political rhetoric online (Bark)
- Awkward moments in TV news (Dumb as a Blog)
- Odd Future have owned SXSW (Aziz is Bored)
- Dead Milkmen officially release first studio album in 15 years (slicing up eyeballs)
- The New York Times online and its big move towards paid subscriptions (Nieman Journalism Lab)
- The Avengers help you understand your fears about Transhumanism (Discover blogs)
- A visit to the online world of cannibals (The Awl)
- Fitch vs. Penn II, Dunham vs. Sotiropoulos at UFC 132 in July (MMAjunkie)
- Akiyama out, Kawajiri okay as Japan recovers from devastating earthquake and tsunami (CageWriter)
- Nippon Weekly: fighters okay after massive quake, Sengoku’s woes (MMAfighting.com)
- Jon Jones thwarts robbery hours before UFC Light Heavyweight title victory (CageWriter)
Got links? Share ‘em.
Time to get out of work and start partyin’ partyin’.
We’re gonna be rollin’ three deep all weekend long.
Happy weekend, everybody. Look for stuff this weekend (as well as Blogorama on Sunday).
FUN FUN FUN FUN
Speaking of mug shots…
Trapped in an air shaft and screaming for help, a grease-covered burglar was rescued early Friday morning after Rotterdam police said he got caught in the duct as he tried to break into a pizza parlor.
Nothing I can add to that, except to re-post the fantastic picture snapped at the scene:
Also hilarious: the unbridled “aw shucks” shame displayed in the photo taken by the Times Union after cops “rescued” him from the vent shaft. All that’s missing is him dragging his right foot back and forth across the floor.
What’s funnier, though, is Monty Pyton and the Holy Grail, which you can watch FOR FREE (while tickets last) at the Palace Theater next Monday night (March 21st) as well as have a chance to win great prizes, meet your favorite TU bloggers in the lobby before the event and afterwards at Taste, and get some free appetizers!
CLICK HERE for more info on the event, how to register, and how to claim free tickets for the movie itself.
It takes about eight hours on I-90 West to get to New Castle, Pennsylvania. I’ve never been.
Still, I consider it a sister city to my hometown of Troy in spirit and circumstance. Like Troy at the turn of the century, New Castle was a bustling city littered with mills, factories, and opportunities for the blue collar class. As the Industrial Revolution came to a grinding halt and the Great Depression dramatically altered the economic landscape of the entire country, New Castle saw its resources dry up and its population move elsewhere. It, too, is a city that fighting to find and establish a new identity. It is a part of America that has been forgotten by political rhetoric in the 21st Century. Cities like Troy and New Castle are not Middle America or “the Real America,” yet despite their invisibility to folks running for any office at the state level or higher, their socio-economic vulnerabilty make them an accurate barometer of the nation.
Though really none of that matters, because the most interesting aspects of these cities are the stories of the individuals who live, breathe, and die on its streets with no greater concern than what’s going to get them through the next week.
Small Town Noir is a blog project launched by Diarmid Mogg in July of 2009. After the New Castle police discarded mug shots taken from the turn of the century up to the tail end of the 1950s, Mogg retrieved them from the trash and began researching each and every individual through various stories, tidbits and blurbs from the archives of the town’s newspaper, The New Castle News.
The result is a series of remarkable and astounding journies of residents convicted of everything from public drunkenness to armed robbery. What makes it so remarkable, though, are the extra details gleaned from unrelated stories on the same persons, which in many cases tell us where life took them after the unfortunate circumstances and misdeeds that culminated in the discarded photographs.
To focus merely on its unique concept would be a disservice to its execution. Mogg is also a fantastic writer who lends heart and depth to the stories of these individuals through his prose. Seeing them at their most fragile, hitting their own personal bottoms, brings a familiarity that carries even when information is scant and makes it seem as if they walked out of camera shot and continued straight through until they hit the edge of the planet Earth and walked off.
Small Town Noir is one of those rare, refreshing realizations of the true potential of the internet and blogs as a medium. If there could ever be such a thing as “required reading” amongst a sea of RSS feeds, this should be included.
Hey, what’re you doing next Monday?
Shut up. You’re coming to The Palace instead.
This Monday, March 21st, The Palace continues its Classic Movie Series with “Monty Python and the Holy Grail.”
The movie starts at 7:00pm.
HOWEVER, before that you have a great chance to meet Times Union staff and bloggers, eat free appetizers, win great prizes in a costume contest, and join us at the Taste after-party. And it’s all free!
To register for the pre-event and post-event gatherings (which includes the chance to meet bloggers, free appetizers, and an after-party at Taste) CLICK HERE.
Did I mention it’s free?
For tickets to the movie itself, you can buy them at the box office the night of the event, or you can take advantage of a great offer by Troy-based Enable Labs for free tickets to get into the movie. Click here for free tickets. As of this writing there’s only about 200 tickets left, so act fast!
6:00pm pre-party with free appetizers, after-party at TASTE – CLICK HERE Free!
7:00pm – “Monty Python and the Holy Grail”
Free tickets here (while they last!)
Otherwise: $5; $3 for children under 14
It’s almost 5:00pm, that time when you’ll be leaving work and heading out looking for ways to celebrate the holiday. “What can I do,” you ask yourself “to participate in this holiday in a truly Irish manner?”
FLIPPING OVER CARS LOLOLOL
No, but seriously, there are a lot of great traditions rooted in the Irish culture that you can partake in. What follows is a small sampling with some background info on each.
Flirting with Someone at the Bar So Awkwardly They Don’t Realize You’re Actually Flirting with Them
Not many people know this, but the initial reason for St. Patrick’s Day was to create a competition with St. Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, the holiday is accompanied by heavy drinking, and the Irish when drunk are not known for their romantic prowess. Unless of course they’re writers, but still, it is only their pens that can eloquently express emotion (and stay upright). Soo the great tradition began of being so drunk that your flirting comes across as belligerent ranting. Ladies, be ready for when he randomly puts his arm around you and goes in for a kiss mid-sentence! It’s all part of “the dance.”
Jets and Packers Appreciation
These are the preferred sports teams of Irish-Americans, which is why you see so many of them out at pubs and in Youtube videos. Also, fun fact, before it was made of pig skin, a football was actually made of dried-out corned beef.
There’s a story behind this, but it’s long and very, very, very painful.
Green Plastic Derbies
First adopted during the Irish Rebellion of 1798, the green plastic derby was a direct response to the British habit of wearing hats that lasted more than a day and were both comfortable and tasteful, two things which the Irish abhor. In modern times the Irish have encouraged other ethnic groups to wear them instead in order to show that we are not only all Irish, but all free spirits who hate the English.
Reenactment of the Banishment of Snakes
Though historical revisionists such as the TU’s own Rev. Alan Rudnick would like you to believe otherwise, St. Patrick DID drive all of the serpents out of Ireland. And one of my favorite traditions has always been the reenactments that occur on streets and sidewalks across our great nation of that time St. Patrick drove the snakes from the land of our fathers by vomiting all over them.
Another tradition that grew out of a desire to mock the English is Irish music. Irish music is easily identifiable for its frantic strumming with all members of the band playing the same notes at the same time, excessive shouting, lazy puns, obsession over things that happened in the past and cannot be undone, and the occasional obscenity. It is thought that Irish music was first used during the Nine Years’ War. Those Irish that were too passive-aggressive to take up arms with the British would instead play their obnoxious music near them, unleashing an audio assault that would force the British to drink and thus be more susceptible to a physical attack from the Irish resistance.
Soggy Meat & Veggies
So get out there and start celebrating! But please, do so safely and responsibly, and do not even think of putting your key in the ignition if you intend to drink.
- St. Patrick’s Day events articletimesunion.com
- St. Patrick’s Day parades step off in New York, Dublindailygazette.com
- Oh no, it’s St. Patrick’s Day, isn’t it?timesunion.com
- St. Patrick’s Day parade in New York gets a trimnydailynews.com
- Music celebrates St. Patrick’s Daytimesunion.com
- Front page: Officials expect (relatively) peaceful St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Saratoga Springs today, state leaders meet on budget negotiationssaratogacitydesk.blogspot.com
Evan Sapio, the 18-year-old native of Queens who turned himself in to Albany Police after they released still images captured from the various YouTube videos posted online, is the son of a media bigwig.
His father, Bob Sapio, is a senior executive news editor for The New York Daily News.
It brings about an added dimension to the story not touched upon: the embarrassment and shame these individuals bring to their parents.
I can already see the comments calling Sapio a “bad father” and that something he did must have somehow contributed to his son’s behavior. But that’s bollocks. Everybody knows that kids make mistakes or sometimes do terrible things despite having good or even great parents and upbringings. Anybody who’d even suggest otherwise is either living in a deluded fantasy world of their own construction or transposing their own guilt over poor parenting onto the parents of Sapio and other students.
It gets particularly embarrassing in light of an editorial that appeared in the New York Daily News that partially blamed parents for the incident.
Bob Sapio’s comment to the paper pretty much sums it up.
“I’m gonna kill him,” the elder Sapio told the Times Union.
- Local police not worried about Kegs ânâ Eggs-like revelry on St. Patricks Day, but they’re ready: with videosaratogian.com
- Cops: “Kegs and “Eggs” rioter surrenderstimesunion.com
- Editorial: Eggheads, SUNY-stylenydailynews.com
- Pub scrambles on kegs and eggs articletimesunion.com
- Here are the mugshots of the Kegs and Eggs Sixtimesunion.com
- 13-year-old Miles Shebar takes home prize in New York Daily News spelling beenydailynews.com
- Police say more arrests will come in ‘kegs and eggs’ incidentswnyt.com
- Local police not worried about Kegs ânâ Eggs-like revelry on St. Patricks Day, but they’re ready with videosaratogian.com
- Live Chat: New York Daily News Editor in Chief Kevin Conveynydailynews.com
- ‘Kegs and Eggs’ rioters still sought by Albany Police, local college officials DOCUMENTtroyrecord.com
- Police seek to ID more involved in ‘kegs & eggs’ riotwnyt.com
- Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye…
- Listen to me LIVE as guest co-host of Alternative to Sleeping tonight at 10pm!
- Realtors: “WAAAAAAAAAHHHHHH” George Hearst III: “NONONOO SSSSHHH IT’S OKAY, it’s okay…here. Here’s a pacifier.” Kristi: “#oops.”
- Open Mic web series premiere tonight @ Lark Tavern
- Trust Me, You’re Going to Want to See This
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