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Monday, August 18, 2003   |    Non-Fiction

.edu: An Exchange with My Alma Mater

by Nick Jezarian

Dear Binghamton,

Thank you for your e-mail concerning Binghamton Homecoming. While I am pleased you consider me a distinguished enough alumnus to keep me informed of key happenings in the Binghamton Universe, I’d like to save you some trouble. After spending four years in your cold brick buildings amidst the downtrodden urban landscape of upstate New York, I’d rather eat tofu Twizzlers until my spleen explodes than make the trek to Binghamton for homecoming. As enticing as may be the potential opportunity to rub shoulders with such distinguished alumni as Billy Baldwin and… actually, I think Billy Baldwin is the only person even marginally famous that ever went to Binghamton. Although, I did hear that Ben Vereen once passed through campus in a deep acid trip. Either way, I ain’t going and that’s final. Book it. Is Billy coming though? Frankly, I’m still harboring a slight grudge for kicking me out of my dormitory for a little puff-puff-give. I wasn’t the one who opted to make the floor chemical free. It was you.

I’m not full of only complaints though. I do have a few suggestions for improving the Homecoming and the alumni experience overall. For starters, drop the “Hot Hula” theme for this year’s Homecoming. From what I understand, you had Hot Lips Houlihan slated to deliver a drunken address to the student body. That’s about where your good ideas stop. In fact, maybe you should drop Homecoming altogether, considering we don’t even have a football team. The only real school spirit you see floating around the campus is when someone gets a shipment of the “danks” floating around. Know what I mean? No, of course you don’t, that’s why I was on probation for four years.

Let’s make a deal, Binghamton: you promise to have some “student happenings” more interesting than an author who wrote Ascending the Periodic Table in 23 Days and I’ll send you something more than the flaming bags of poop I keep leaving on the Dean’s door. Perhaps we can even agree to pretend Christopher Walken is an alumnus. How about a shout-out in the next newsletter for a Binghamton Alumni Web site? A little Binghamton love perhaps? The site is dutifully maintained by three of your most under-achieving students of all-time.

Best Regards,
Nick Jezarian
Your Happy Alumni

P.S. Sometimes e-mail is plenty.

– “[xxxxx], Peggy” <[xxxxx]> wrote:
> Homecoming 2003…October 10, 11 and 12
> Sometimes e-mail is not enough.
> Hot Hula Homecoming provides you an opportunity to
> meet face-to-face, in
> person, with the real campus and real friends.
> Basking in the fall sunshine,
> driving through the hills full of golden foliage,
> finding friends you
> haven’t seen in years, meeting current students,
> exploring the new residence
> halls or the new memorial courtyard, connecting with
> professors and
> rediscovering all that is uniquely Binghamton — all
> this and more awaits
> you as Binghamton University welcomes you back to
> campus.
> Reconnect with the spirit from our past, while
> joining students, faculty and
> staff to celebrate all that is new and exciting here
> at BU. Hosted by the
> Alumni Association and Student Association, this
> year’s event again offers
> opportunities for alumni and students to rediscover,
> remember and celebrate
> the Binghamton experience. There is much to be proud
> of and a lot of value
> being added to your degree every year. Learn about
> it first hand in person.
> Bring your family and/or friends from whatever your
> University connection
> is. Don’t wait until next year.
> We have already asked our Hawaiian alumni, parents
> and friends to send us
> stories and mementos from their Binghamton days, as
> well as from Hawaii
> itself. We have a tremendous outpouring of interest
> and entries for our
> first alumni art show. We even have a special art
> event this year designed
> for kiddies. Please join in the fun. Order an
> official t-shirt now and
> register your intention to attend on our website.
> Weekend Highlights include:
> * Alumni Art Exhibit featuring over 70 alumni will
> have original works on
> display in the University Art Museum’s Reifer
> Gallery.
> * Eighth Annual Athletic Hall of Fame Induction
> Ceremony honoring John
> [xxxx], coach; Alicia [xxxx] ‘90; John [xxxx]
> ‘89; and Chris [xxxx] ‘90.
> * “100 Years of Broadway” composed and produced by
> Neil [xxxx] ‘86. This
> special benefit concert of songs from the Great
> White Way features some of
> Broadway’s top stars including other BU alumni who
> have gone on to careers
> in film and theater.
> * Brain Train, a traditional homecoming activity is
> a parade of floats
> winding its way around campus finishing at Baxter’s
> Village Luau. The Luau
> will be the place to meet up with
> friends…entertainment, food, prizes, fun
> for the entire family.
> * Four art classes suitable for children ages 5 and
> up.
> The schedule of events may be found at
> Just let us know you’re coming by adding your name
> to the list at
> To view a list of other alumni who are coming back,
> check out
> Experience has shown that the best turnouts happen
> when alumni encourage
> classmates and friends to make the journey and
> rendezvous on campus. Please
> use your electronic tools now to connect with your
> friends and ask them to
> join you here on October 10. If we can help, let us
> know. Make it a point to
> be here this year.
> Cordially,
> Richard [xxxx]
> Director of Alumni
> & Parent Relations

* [xxxx]: Names have been smudges to protect hapless alumni.

Nick Jezarian is clearly a superbly built creation resulting from the union of man, woman, and crustacean. Nick's crustacean heritage contributes to his being mostly belligerent, constantly angry, yet always amused. Considering Nick's criminal spelling and grammar habits, the fact that he is part of the Y.P.R. brain trust doesn't say much about the site. Josh and Geoff have driven Nick's writing to new levels as he sends his Guff to the staff in an elaborate binary code that can only be deciphered by the light of pixie dust. Nick is Y.P.R.'s resident hip-hop expert, as he owns three CDs and once stabbed 50 Cent. Nick's favorite word is "word."