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Jerk: Off to a Running Start

New Humor Mag

By Michael C. Hughes

The front of Widener Library attracted even more attention than usual from tourists and passers-by yesterday afternoon, as the founders of a new undergraduate humor magazine stood on the steps wearing brown grocery bags over their heads.

Steven V. Mazie '93 and Philip M. Rubin '93, founders of Jerk magazine, beat a metal keg while chanting, "Jerk magazine, Neil Rudenstine." For the sake of the rhyme, they mispronounced the name of Harvard's 26th president.

The antics of Rubin, Mazie and several others disrupted a University tour and drew mild chuckles from bystanders. Most passing students and tourists reacted with amusement to the sight of Rubin and Mazie, their necks connected by a yellow rope draped with an American flag. One man, apparently unamused, uttered an expletive before quickly walking away.

After about 15 minutes, Widener Security Supervisor David W. Muir asked Rubin and Mazie to cease their banging. The noisemaking stopped, but Muir returned shortly afterward to insist that the two remove their Jerk banner, prominently displayed on one of the library's large front ledges.

Mazie said he and Rubin, along with Daniel E. Kosowski '93, have founded Jerk in order to combat "a marked dearth of humor on the Harvard Campus."

"We seek to fill this void," he said.

The new magazine, based in Currier House, will be distributed free to students. Rubin said it is recieving independent funding from "a Wall Street source."

"Not Salomon Brothers," Mazie added.

Mazie said the present staff of 10 will likely produce the magazine's first issue in six weeks.

Rubin said the magazine's humor will be "satirical, provocative, offensive, original, witty, brilliant."

Jerk's founders plastered the yard with comp posters, which sported slogans such as "10 Reasons to Jerk," "Ever killed a guy? We don't care," and "Feeling lonely? We'll be your friend."

Many Jerk comp posters were placed over those of the Harvard Lampoon, previously the sole campus organization to publish a so-called humor magazine.

The posters read, "Are you comping the Lampoon?...I don't see nothing else to comp."

Someone who answered the phone at the Lampoon yesterday declined to comment.

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