Nothing Happened

This piece of mine ran in Tiger Magazine‘s Daily Princetonian parody.

In spite of the pressure of a daily news cycle, absolutely nothing worth commenting upon occurred in Princeton University today. Five thousand undergraduates carried out their mundane daily routines with no events of remote interest anywhere on campus. Instead of printing eight pages of unreadable dross, we’ve decided to face the truth. Nothing happened.

Crime remains a non-factor. There were no arsons, stabbings, shootings, sexual assaults, beatings, muggings, curb-stomps, bombings, floggings, flayings, defenestrations, hangings, or disturbances of the peace. None of the racial, religious, or social factions in the university have established any organized crime groups. Shirley Tilghman has not embezzled the university budget and fled to an undisclosed location in Nicaragua. No domestic or foreign terrorist cells have revealed themselves on campus or made any demands towards Nassau Hall. As far as we know, no serial killers have taken their victims amongst the residential colleges.

Despite the scores of flyers decorating every wall and street light, there were no student events worth leaving one’s room for, let alone buying a ticket. Last year’s reviews of the generally interchangeable dance organizations provide a fair guide for this year’s nearly identical annual performances. The Performing Arts Council remains equal parts inept and corrupt, making this unlikely to change. On a similar note, the military occupation of campus archways by a capella groups continues, community disinterest in athletics is still matched by a general lack of achievement, and Alcohol Initiative events continue to fail to provide a compelling alternative to drinking until something interesting happens.

The editorials sent to us remain worthless. We have a binary choice between the rants of deluded freshmen and senile alumni. Typically, we would print one of these under the guise of “starting a conversation,” especially if the piece beat the undead horse of hookups on campus. Today, we’ve elected to take the high road. Since we’ve received nothing worth printing, nothing will be printed. This week’s editorials will be lit on fire, and the ashes will be scattered across New Jersey’s countless landfills.

Our team of undergraduate reporters made every effort to find something to report on. They failed. The articles submitted by our staff were obvious, dull, biased, mendacious, or some combination of the four. This led to two of our editors quitting outright. The editor-in-chief took an “extended vacation,” reappearing an hour later at the Nassau Weekly office. One editor simply stared silently out the window, with a lone tear running down his cheek. He still refuses to leave his seat, and responds to all questions with “How did it come to this?” Suicide watch has been notified, preventing an incident that might have led to a notable headline.

Princeton University is essentially purgatory. In our desperation to find something worth covering, we considered several fictitious news stories. These included headlines like “Satanist Cult Seizes Control of Chapel,” “University Secedes From Union and Declares Independent City-State,” “Creative Writing Department Removes Heads from Rectums,” and “Minotaur Stalks Halls of Firestone Library.” Our editorial staff wishes we lived in a world where any of these events would break the monotony.

The status quo holds in every facet of campus culture. Princeton University remains the fourth least interesting location in the western hemisphere, eclipsed only by two ghost towns and the Mild Acres nursing home. As of next week, we will be assuming the title “The Monthly Princetonian” and adopting a schedule to match.

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