A canary informs us that the family of departed mobster John Gotti is confident the Teflon Don’s 17-year-old grandson, also named John, will be accepted at Harvard this December.
His mother, Victoria Gotti, is already kvetching over her Cambridge cugine, whose early application isn’t due until Nov. 1. “I have a middle son who is going to Harvard to study law,” Victoria told The Toronto Star last month, jumping the not-so-proverbial gun. Asked to clarify, a spokesman for the family told Gadfly that Gotti has squared away his SATs and will formally apply to the College in time to be considered for early action.
The young Gotti is already something of a national hit, having eschewed, it would seem, the family business in favor of reality television. His perversely entertaining show on A&E;, “Growing Up Gotti,” features John and his brothers (a.k.a. “the Hotti Gottis”) living with their mother in the shadow of the Cosa Nostra. But let’s hope Bill Fitzsimmons happened to miss episode three this summer, when John called his mother a “bitch” during an argument over an unauthorized tattoo memorializing his grandfather. Yes, that grandfather.
—Zachary M. Seward
Ever since that whole “meritocracy” thing happened, true-blueblood Ivy Leaguers have had to use sartorial means to identify one another in a crowd. You know the drill: Brooks Brothers oxford button-down, ribbon belt, tweed jacket and—for the more sporting chap—a pastel Lacoste polo, collar upturned. But wait a second—weren’t half the people in your Tuesday morning Gov class wearing the exact same thing? Welcome to campus style, 2004: Retro preppy is in, and if the morning traffic across the Yard last week didn’t prove it, check out the recent New York Times fashion piece on the style of the “Yale Man.” This year both genders are getting in on the act, exchanging spaghetti straps and hoodies for colorful polos and cable-knit sweaters. For Harvard, it’s 1954 all over again, only with more women, minorities, and Jews.
So how does a Brearley Beaver recognize her Hotchkiss hubby when surrounded by a veritable sea of argyle? To spot the old-school WASP in a crowd of drones, look for the traits you can’t buy in J. Crew: a hint of lockjaw, an enviable air of aloofness, and a faint crease of contempt around the eyes. If all else fails, check the nametag: if it says Wigglesworth, you’ve got yourself genuine prep.
—Michael M. Grynbaum
CourtTV’s live coverage of the Alexander Pring-Wilson murder trial has focused squarely on one angle: the divergent backgrounds of Pring-Wilson and his victim, Michael Colono. In the process, the network’s anchors have discovered every possible euphemism for “Hispanic”—our favorite was a pointed reference to Colono’s black headband—and even spent time last week ruminating on the possible effect of the hyphen in Pring-Wilson’s last name.
But it was CourtTV’s James Curtis who really put it all in perspective with this undeniably true statement: “When Colono crossed paths with a Harvard student, it wasn’t for a tutoring session.”
No shit—it was for a stabbing.
—Zachary M. Seward
SAY IT AIN’T SO
Is Weezer’s frontman more of an assman? According to his thefacebook.com profile, Harvard undergrad-cum-rock star-cum-Harvard undergrad Rivers Cuomo is an officer of the group Harvard Ghetto Booties, currently holding the title of “bootie holly” (yuk yuk). The group’s first-year founder provided Gadfly with some, er, backstory:
“i started this club because of my big latina bootie!! jajaja!!” writes Andrea M. Nosal ’08 in an e-mail. “i invited rivers and he accepted! it was a big thrill for me that he joined up with us.”
Thefacebook is also allowing Cuomo to explore interests beyond junks in da proverbial trunks. He’s a member of Dharma, the Hindu student group, and the Harvard Borat Alliance, which Gadfly believes is quite simply the coolest group ever. For a dorky guy with glasses, this Cuomo dude is certainly gaining some primo street cred. Respek!
Meanwhile, Cuomo wrote an application essay for English Czr: Advanced Creative Nonfiction highlighting his philosophical and literary influences (Neil Young, Plato); his love of the professor’s book (“I loved it!”); and his accomplishments (an Expos essay in 1995 called “The Filling,” seven million albums sold).
“The songs that have been the most successful have tended to have a‘quirky’ element to them: ‘If you want to destroy my sweater / Hold this thread as I walk away,’” he wrote. Needless to say, Cuomo was accepted. More needless, he declined offers for an interview and a long walk on the beach.
-Elizabeth W. Green and Michael M. Grynbaum
In a shocking turn of events, no female Cantabrigians were groped by roving bicyclers this summer, according to HUPD reports. The summer recess followed 12 assaults in the space of four months last semester, four of which involved bike-by ass-grabs.
Like all droughts, this one ended with the coming of autumn, as two female students reported they were groped by men riding bikes last week. Frank T. Pasquarello, spokesman for the Cambridge Police Department (CPD), blamed it on the winds. “They happen from time to time, especially when the weather is good,” he told The Crimson. Yeah, good weather makes everyone feel like copping a feel, doesn’t it?
-Elizabeth W. Green
LAYING DOWN THE LAW
Just in time to save the nation’s justice system from drowning in a pit of hellfire, the Rev. Jerry Falwell has established a new law school which he promises “will be as far to the right as Harvard is to the left.” Huh, we thought Princeton already had that covered. Falwell’s law school, an arm of his esteemed Liberty University, will educate its students in a “principled Christian approach to the practice of law”—as opposed to the God-hating, ass-ramming, Hebrew approach over at Harvard Law. Falwell’s 61 pupils have already completed student orientation, which we imagine was most likely heterosexual.
HOW TO WRITE A SCHOLARLY WORK
By the Faculty of the Harvard Law School
When news breaks in New Haven, count on the Yale Daily News to bring you the inside scoop. Some headlines from the YDN this month: “Laundry sees price increase” and “At Yale, Labor Day is just another Monday.” Next week in the YDN: “Trees to shed leaves in October, possibly November.”
WHAT WAS IN THE PUNCH?
“I think I must have blacked out last night. I mean, I don’t even remember going to the AD!”—Overheard in the Lowell dining hall.
Brown field-goal kicker Steve Morgan surprised no one when he blew a chance to beat Harvard in the final minutes of Sunday’s football game, booting an easy kick far to the left. Brown, as we all know, is notoriously left-of-center.
SUMMER AND THEFACEBOOK.COM
Throngs of members of the class of 2008 logged onto thefacebook.com and quickly made more friends than the rest of the College’s students combined.
Some of these friendships were actually consummated by in-person conversations.
One such frosh got into a very public facebook profile war with one of his future classmates, which turned out to be a veiled UC campaign, as one of them had put “class president” on his profile, and the other one, wanting himself to be class president, thought it a bit presumptuous and attacked the first fellow, which escalated, and so on. By the time the school year started there existed a several paragraph back-and-forth ad hominem profile war between these two individuals. That’s showing ‘em what you’re made of, Harvard style. Booyah!
—Elizabeth W. Green and Teddy R. Sherrill
JOCK THE VOTE
This year, Harvard Square’s political activism is moving out of the Pit and into the mainstream. Even Harvard’s athletes are banding together, determined to make a difference in the upcoming election. Nate T. Picarsic ’07, a wrestler from Pittsburgh, PA, is afraid that “young people won’t vote” in November’s election.
Picarsic is taking action to address this issue—in conjunction with IOP and H-vote he is starting “Jock the Vote,” a program to “mobilize and inform athletes at Harvard about voting.”
—A. Haven Thompson
Send your tips, frivolous gossip, and gratuitous rumors to email@example.com