Boys will be louts
I don’t usually look at the Johns Hopkins News-Letter (which is probably a good thing), but someone at Jezebel.com does and has given its editors a well-deserved public caning.
One Greg Sgammato, the managing editor of the News-Letter, was moved to write an article, “Local Bison Bear All At Psi Kappa Psi’s Annual Lingerave.” It deplores the presence of fat chicks at fraternity lingerie parties. I don’t intend to go beyond this synopsis, but Jezebel.com quotes amply from the article.
The same issue contained an article by one of Mr. Sgammato’s colleagues, Javier Avitia, on the happy influence that liquor has in making young women sexually receptive.
Mr. Sgammato’s article, as most people with less intellectual horsepower than is required for admission to Hopkins would have expected, provoked an uproar on campus, and the News-Letter has been moved to publish an apology, also anatomized at Jezebel.com.
The follow-up will have to be filed with the rapidly expanding literature of the non-apology apology. You see, Mr. Sgammato was writing satirically, with the high intent of exposing the “depthless, flawed and real culture of thought that persists in the minds of many students.”
I don’t know whether Mr. Sgammato has ever passed any time hanging around the English department at Hopkins, but I am reasonably sure that there are people there who could explain that satirical writing, when performed competently, gives the reader little clues that the writer’s views are the opposite of those stated.
It’s possible that Mr. Sgammato has learned something from this experience, though I haven’t often seen the tone deaf become musical. The lesson to be learned is for Mr. Sgammato’s editors: he bears watching.