Archive for the ‘VAULT — archives’ Category

Everyone go clean your room and comb your hair because the 64th Primetime Emmy Awards are on their way here RIGHT NOW!  This year the festivities will be hosted by Jimmy Kimmel and of course I have unrealistically high expectations ever since the perfect hosting of Neil Patrick Harris back in 2009 (soft sigh as I think how he’ll never love me).  But hey, if Jimmy Kimmel can get Sarah Silverman to hang around him for five years then he can probably get me to hang around my television for a few hours.

On to the actual awards!  One disclaimer I have to make before stating my predictions:  the HBO show Veep, starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus as the Vice President of the United States, nominated for Outstanding Comedy Series and Actress in a Comedy Series- I’ve never seen it.  Frankly I don’t know anything about it really except that it exists.  I feel a little awkward predicting it for anything because of that.  Therefore I will not, so just remember that it’s a thing and is probably not bad.

Outstanding Comedy Series:  For me the two biggest contenders here are Modern Family and Girls.  I know, we all love 30 Rock but as much as it distresses me I have to admit the domination of comedy by NBC is coming to an end here.  Obviously Modern Family is a fan favorite, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if it won, but my vote goes to Girls.  It had a great first season and garnered a lot of hype.

Actress in a Comedy Series:  Once again I think it will go to Girls with Lena Dunham winning the award.  Personally my fingers are secretly crossed for Amy Poehler as Leslie Knope, since this past season of Parks and Recreation was by far the best, but whenever I want someone from NBC to win they never do and that’s just something I’ve had to accept.  Sorry, Amy, my support might be your downfall.

Actor in a Comedy Series:  Everyone nominated here is a past nominee so there’s really no clear-cut winner.  Jim Parsons of Big Bang Theory has won the past two years; obviously Alec Baldwin of 30 Rock has his fair share of wins as well.  I’m going to say either the award goes to one of them, or Louie C.K with a win for Louie finally.  Don Cheadle is nominated too but for a lackluster House of Lies so that’s a no. Obviously Two and a Half Men is just circling the drain at this point so I was shocked someone watched enough episodes to even nominate Jon Cryer, despite how great Ashton’s beard looks.  This is Larry David’s fifth nomination for Curb your Enthusiasm and at a certain point you just have to realize the ship has sailed.

Outstanding Drama Series:  Both Breaking Bad and Mad Men had a couple of their strongest seasons yet; one of them will probably pick up the award.  I’m rooting for Game of Thrones but that’s just a personal elf-lover thing.

Lead Actress in a Drama Series:  Claire Danes is really favored here for Homeland and I think that makes sense.  But newbie Michelle Dockery in Downton Abbey is a contender as well.  Per usual, Julianna Margulies is up for The Good Wife, Glenn Close for Damages, and Elizabeth Moss for Mad Men, so the pot of nominees is overall really strong.  That’s all I really have to say about that since all these nominees are good at exasperated sighs and tensing their mouths (an imperative part of drama).

Lead Actor in a Drama Series:  Similar to the Outstanding Drama Series, Breaking Bad and Mad Men are really killing it this year so it would be no surprise to anyone if either Bryan Cranston or Jon Hamm walks away with it.

So that’s it.  Tune into the Academy Awards September 23rd on ABC and marvel at how spot on my predictions are, or laugh at how out of touch I am when The Big Bang Theory wins it all.

-Taylor Kowalski

Photo courtesy of the

When College Democrats approached us about co-hosting a talk from Rolling Stone sweetheart Matt Taibbi, we nearly pooped our pants. Through wit and careful analysis, Taibbi has slowly made the spread of information sexy again. And we love him for that. Knowledge, disguised by a little snark, is the media industry’s best weapon to combat apathy—especially political. Our Noise editor Shea Garner sat down with Taibbi before his talk in Maxwell last week. Enjoy their conversation—verbatim, no bullshit.

Jerk: Your recent string of articles in Rolling Stone about Mitt Romney and Bain Capital have garnered a lot of attention. While it’s great to inform the public, some people say giving Romney any publicity is like giving attention to a screaming baby. What do you say to that?

Matt Taibbi: Well, that’s an interesting question. When I decided to do that article, I actually tried not to get into these Blue versus Red political debates. The articles I write, I try as much as possible to write about these things that resonate for people on both sides of the aisle, and this was an article that I thought was really less about Mitt Romney as a person than it was about private equity business and financialization—this whole idea that American business used to be about making stuff and selling it, and now, the new way of doing things, is just about making financial products and squeezing value out of things that we’ve already built. That’s what I was trying to write an article about. The consequence of it is that it turns into this gigantic anti-Romney article, and that’s why everyone is reading it, unfortunately. But that’s more of a marketing thing than my intent.

Jerk: On the flipside of Romney, Obama has seemingly made it one of his very publicized missions to cut student loan rates. A lot of politicians promise these things and never deliver. Do you see this getting any easier for college students like us?

MT: My next assignment is actually about student loans, believe it or not, and I actually haven’t started delving into the issue. I think that it’s clear that the way that students are burdened with lifetime debt for educations, that half the time don’t result in a guaranteed job after you get out, is an incredible burden on kids. I think it’s awful. It’s one thing for med school students who borrow a ton of money, but they’re going to be able to pay that money back. It’s not hanging over their heads for their entire lives because that’s part of the return for being a doctor. But ordinary kids who go to liberal arts schools and get bachelor degrees get out and are just sort of left to find their way in the world. It just sort of becomes this life-crushing thing for a lot of people and end up into their late-thirties trying to find a way out of it. Debt is a gigantic political issue that’s not talked about enough, and most of the country has either zero net worth or negative net worth, and that’s because one part of society is lending and the other part is constantly having to get into debt. And it starts with student loans.

Jerk: Speaking of debt, we see a lot of discourse back and forth about four increments and bark about results within term limits, when economically, it seems like a lot of trends are decades in the making (a major point in your latest book Griftopia). What do we need to do to stop things like bubble economics and change that in the short term?

MT: Well, in terms of bubble economics, one of the constant threads between the recent bubbles that have come up, whether it’s the internet tech bubble in the 90s, the housing thing in the early part of the last decade, or the commodities in 2008, is this enormous access to sums of money and easy liquidity that’s become a feature of our economy. Sometimes that comes from the private sector, whether it’s junk bonds or securitization of mortgages. They find these get rich quick schemes where they’re able to monetize things that aren’t that valuable, and it creates these enormous sums of money. Other times, it’s the Fed just pumping the economy full of tons and tons of money, which is what happened before the Internet stock boom. It happened before the housing crisis, and it’s happening now. In fact tomorrow, they’re going to announce another round of what they call quantitative easing, which is where they just print a billion dollars and pump it into the economy. And when you have massive amounts of money that is sort of engineered out of nothing, that’s your recipe for an economic bubble because it creates these surges and manias for speculation that encourages everybody to get in on these various booms. If access to the Fed’s trillions were cut off, if you eliminated junk bonds and CLOs for mortgages, it would reduce the mania in the economy.

Jerk: If the US wants to become an actual economic leader again, what key industry do you see as vital within the next decade?

MT: Well, I think right now the thing that is the leading industry for the United States is still the financial services industry. And the reason that traditionally we’ve been the world’s leader in banking is because we have this image around the world of  “this is the safest place to put your money.” Whether it’s dictators in the Middle East or wherever, people felt that the American financial system was sound. They felt comfortable investing here and thought that American businesses were safer to invest in. The problem with that is that we’re losing that competitive edge now because of this newer perception that there is a lot of corruption in our markets. That’s why I think this is a critical moment in our history. When we decide not to prosecute all of these people that committed fraud, that kind of scares people around the world, and it starts to make them think that this isn’t really any different than Russia or Indonesia. That’s a key for us. We could still easily be the banking leader around the world, but we just have to turn that around.

Jerk: Okay, enough about politics. As a magazine, we obviously want to talk about the future of journalism. With the newspaper and periodical industry currently struggling, especially physical publications, where do you see the industry heading? Will we be totally digital soon? As graduates hoping to get a job in that field, what steps are we going to have to take differently?

MT: Well I think there are two things to consider here. One is that people are actually reading more than they used to because of the Internet. So the foundation for some kind of business that’s going to employ people is there. The specific method of how they’re going to be able to monetize that hasn’t been figured out yet. Clearly, newspapers and magazines are on their last legs, or they’re kind of transitioning to a new role in society. I came up publishing alternative newspapers my whole career; I love the feeling of being able to read something in your hands. I think with glossy magazines—it’s kind of like an art form in itself. You know, to try to make it look good. And I think people always will love that, but I think that 90 percent of the people that do read it don’t need that, and it’s going to transition to tablets and stuff. There’s going to be a transition period for people like you when you get out of school where the business hasn’t quite figured out how to pay writers, but they’re going to figure it out eventually. Those jobs are going to come back.

Jerk: As both a writer and contributing editor for Rolling Stone—which do you prefer? Writing or editing?

MT: (Laughs) Well, I edited newspapers for years and years, and I’m a terrible editor because my instinct with people is to tell them not to worry about it, and then I do it for them, which is absolutely what not to do as an editor. It’s two completely different skills. If you’re a good writer, chances are you’re not a good editor, and vice versa. I would prefer the writing. Let’s put it that way.

Jerk: As the Arts & Music editor for Jerk, I feel obligated to ask what’s currently on your iPod.

MT: Oh god, I don’t listen to anything. I listened to rap and hip-hop growing up, and I haven’t bought a new album or anything since like the Clinton administration.

(Yes, you read that right. A contributing editor to Rolling Stone doesn’t listen to music.)

Jerk: Going off what we were talking about with the Internet—social media networks like Twitter are breaking news before many major sources, and it seems like analytical news isn’t as immediate or accessible to the public. The public then relies on humorists—The Daily Show, Colbert—and people like you to deliver some sort of analysis and opinion that’s easy to eat up or more entertaining. Do you see that as dangerous at all?

MT: I do think it’s dangerous that a lot of stuff that I write about, like politics, that particular corner of our political universe, is now unbelievably complicated, convoluted, and boring. It’s intentionally so. I think they try as hard as they can to make it as inscrutable and difficult for people as possible. So the only way for people to get any kind of grip on it is to do what I do, and dress it up with every conceivable literary bell and whistle to make it swallowable. And that’s not good, because the reality is that people are not going to read about collateralized debt obligations and quantitative easing. They’re just not going to do it. They fall asleep. That’s bad because it makes our politics inaccessible to people, and I think it’s a serious problem. Our media is totally trending in the other direction. It started in the 90s with magazines like Maxim that started with boxes this big, and then boxes this big, and next thing you know it’s like a couple of headlines. Now people can’t digest anything that’s more than just a tweet, really. They’re training a whole generation of readers to not be able to digest modern politics, which is a problem.

Jerk: What’s your favorite drink to talk politics over?

MT: (Laughs) I don’t drink so much anymore since I came back from Russia, but you know, it would be Vodka, I would think.

Jerk: Rolling Stone obviously has its own personality. Writing for a publication, you take that personality into account, but outside of that you don’t necessarily feel the need for that association. How do you portray yourself outside of Rolling Stone or how do you differentiate that?

MT: Well, the only difference is that I’ve been working with those guys for so long that I think probably my style outside of the magazine has morphed into what it is inside the magazine. But when I came to Rolling Stone, I had a lot of really bad habits because I was my own editor before that. You learn in a professional, legitimate, major, glossy magazine that you can’t meander. Every single paragraph has to be pretty lean and concise. Then, there’s the fact checking issue, which is if you haven’t gone through it at that level, it’s like having to go through an IRS audit with every article you write. It takes a long, long time to get used to. I guess the good thing is, now that I’ve been there for so long, I can’t write the other way anymore. When I think about it, I think, “How am I going to source that when I publish it?”

Jerk: How important is a partner’s political views in a relationship to you? Could you ever sleep with a crazed Tea Partier?

MT: (Laughs) If it’s a long-term relationship, I don’t think it works. I guess not all the time though. I met James Carville last year. I went down to his place, and he’s married to Mary Matalin. They’re basically mirror images of each other. She’s a republican consultant. But I guess that’s more like the professional discipline that kind of tied them together. I think one of the problems is that American politics has become so blood sportish that if you’re a genuinely red state person I just don’t see those people tolerating living with a blue state person. My wife isn’t very political at all. She has no interest in politics, and that works just fine.

What do you hope to deliver to a room full of college students tonight a month and a half before the 2012 election?

I talk a lot about Wall Street, but tonight I’m going to talk about campaign journalism, my experience coming to that, and what you don’t see, what they’re not telling you, what some of the illusions and deceptions are in a campaign. I just want to tell people how to watch out for certain kinds of propaganda in campaign journalism. And I sort of tell a bunch of funny stories about my own experience getting there.

-Shea Garner

Meet the Bloggers: Taylor Kowalski

Posted: September 18, 2012 by jerkmag in VAULT -- archives

Oh hi, I didn’t see you there! Probably because I’m not at your house.  If I do show up at your house though my name is Taylor Kowalski and I’ll be blogging fun television things for you and other stuff.  Not really other stuff, mostly just the television.

Year and Major:  I’m a sophomore Television, Radio, and Film major and a Marketing minor.

Hometown:  Originally from Northville, Michigan but now live in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Most Embarrassing Moment:  Hitting my head on a stop sign while texting.  I’m now working on “Don’t Text and Walk”, the slower and less dramatic sister movement to “Don’t Text and Drive”.

Biggest Lie I’ve Gotten Away With:  My name is Taylor Kowalski and I’m a sophomore Television, Radio, and Film major and a Marketing minor.

Movie I Can Watch Over and Over:  Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Feel free to follow me on Twitter or something, if you’re free: @taykothewhale (I’m no Miley Cyrus just bear with me)

I couldn’t agree with these more—and that there is a list that has been made to spell it out to the fellas out there. Okay, some skills like “run rapids in a canoe ,” and “tackle steep drops on a mountain bike,” may be a bit extreme (although I am not going to argue with any man who has those skills), for the most part I think these skills will come in handy (even though I am not a guy, I’ve had a couple in my life so I think I have an idea). I think that woman should also have most of these skills too, honestly, so we can help the guys who don’t take a look at this list.

-Shannon Hazlitt

Meet the Editors: Julia Fuino

Posted: September 9, 2012 by jerkmagblog in VAULT -- archives

Hey ya’ll! My name is Julia Fuino, and I will be editing the blog this year. I started out as a blogger myself, writing all about television, and all that is Hollywood. I am a huge fan of the Black Keys, a lover of Boxer puppies, and a diet coke addict. (Perhaps enthusiast is a better word…)

Year and Major/Minor: I am a senior Communications and Rhetorical Studies Major/Psychology Minor

Hometown: Rochester, New York — Home of the Garbage Plate.

Most Embarrassing Moment: Ask the friends that took me out for my 21st birthday…to a quiet little bar…on a Monday night.

Biggest Lie I’ve Gotten Away With: “I have read and understand the terms and conditions.”

Movie I Could Watch Over and Over: Billy Madison

For more information/endless entertainment, follow me on twitter @juliafuino, or follow my blog:

Oh, hello there. I’m Charlie and I’m back for one last semester as your blog editor here at JERK. The lovely Julia Fuino is my co-editor this semester and will be taking over for me when I graduate in December. Don’t worry, I’m leaving you in the best, most capable hands possible… I think. 

Major/Minor: Communication and Rhetorical Studies SOON TO BE GRADUATE STUDENT OMG WHAT???
Year: Senior aka boss status.
Hometown: East Stroudsburg, PA. Right in between Allentown and Scranton for those of you keeping track.
Most Embarrassing Moment:Who knows, probably one or two but I can’t remember them for various reasons.
Biggest Lie I’ve Gotten Away With: I don’t lie. I’m a firm believer in the brutal truth.
Movie I Could Watch Over and Over: Fight Club or Snatch because I’m angsty.
You can check me out on twitter at @gsleiden or find me on facebook. I like new friends.

Hi, there! I’m Beatrice Schachenmayr and I started writing for JERK while I was exploring Istanbul, Turkey. Hopefully I connect with your inner-creative selves and inspire you to become explorers.
Major and Year: I’m a Fine Art Photography and Visual Culture student in the Visual and Performing Arts school, finishing my senior year.
Hometown: I’m from Lake Placid, NY – heart of the Adirondack Mountains, not where they filmed that movie about alligators.
Most Embarrassing Moment: I’ve got no embarrassing moments to recount unless you find me in person, then maybe we can share a reuben.
Biggest Lie I’ve Gotten Away With: I can not tell a lie, and sometimes I’m too honest.
Movie I Could Watch Over and Over:  Movies these days have dropped to the bottom of my to-do list.

Check out my personal blog, , it’s got some of the sources of my inspiration and a whole mix of things worthy for the Internet. Connect with me if you’ve got suggestions or if you just want to share that reuben.

**If you’re interested in becoming a Jerk blogger, contact us at

JERKcast episode 1: Back to School

Posted: August 31, 2012 by jerkmag in JERKcast, VAULT -- archives

The very first episode of the JERKcast is available here for download or you can stream it right from! You’ll also be able to subscribe to us on iTunes oh so shortly.

The JERKcast is a weekly podcast that will be available every Friday when school is in session. The first two episodes consist of our back to school special where we’ll talk about our own experiences and some tips on how to manage your first couple semesters.

Paige, Lakota, and Charlie tackle the trials and tribulations of adjusting to life at Syracuse. We bring you some tips on how to manage your schedule if you’re a freshman or a transfer student and how to get in with the right people in your classes, we throw some daggers at frat row, talk about finding your crowd, and how to manage the new relationships that you’ll make at college.

We record Monday nights, so make sure to get your fan mail, hate mail, stories, suggestions, corrections, and all that good stuff sent to us by then –

Executive Producers: Paige Schell & Charlie Ecenbarger
Hosts: Paige Schell, Lakota Sky Gambill, & Charlie Ecenbarger
Audio Editor: Victoria Kezra
Audio Producer: Hunter Simon
Content Producers: Chelsey Perry, Victoria Kezra, Julia Fuino, Lakota Sky Gambill

Well, actually I guess this list should be six things considering I had no idea Lady Gaga had a boyfriend.  And I pretty much just considered her an ‘it’ since most of the time you can’t even tell there is a human under all that glitter and what not.  Turns out they met while filming the music video to her song “You and I”.  Yeah, the creepy one that starts out in the middle of nowhere.  Oh wait, that’s how all her music videos start.

1. Taylor Kinney—Gaga’s BF, was cast as the love interest in her video.  Apparently they fell in love while Gaga acted as captured mermaid and Kinney played her captor.  Hmm, seems appropriate for Gaga.

2. He’s also a vampire.  He played Mason Lockwood in the second season of “The Vampire Diaries” before he was killed off.  Looks like Gaga’s wrapped up in all that teen heartthrob vampire stuff too.

3.  He wasn’t always on stage, first, he was on camera.  He modeled for L.A. Models and decided to dive into acting.  His first role was in “Fashion House” where he starred with Morgan Fairchild and Bo Derek.

4.  Gaga accompanied him to his brother’s wedding in June.  Seriously… can’t imagine Gaga as a plus one at my wedding.

5.  He grew up in Pennsylvania and studied business management at WVU.  Seems a little too normal for Gaga…

Apparently Gaga still holds a torch for her ex-boyfriend Luc Carl, who honestly looks more like Gaga’s type.  Still hard to believe she’s dating Taylor Kinney, he needs to get a little more crazy before I can believe this relationship…

-Sara Freund

Recently flipping through my stack of fashion magazines I began to question more pages than not.  Now obviously for any slave of fashion, September is the God of all months.  It rules the fashion world, it forecasts the trends for the year and basically sets the tone for every designer out there.  This month can make you wildly famous or basically kick you to the curb and ruin you forever as a designer.

One of the first magazines to have their September issue out is “Glamour”.  And as I’m flipping through the pages I found some trends that seemed debatable.

For example, number eight on their Top 10 Glamour Dos and Don’ts list is a picture of Rihanna in a pink accordion pleaded skirt with a sheer lace bandeau and converse.  The title: “Going Totally Sheer in Public.  Do? Don’t? Discuss!”.  Honestly is that even up for debate?  I’m pretty sure a nip slip is completely inappropriate so why would ‘going sheer’ in public even be a question.

Then there is trend number six of fall fashion: collars.  And no this doesn’t mean oxford button downs or or a cute polo.  It literally just means a collar that you wear over your sweater or shirt.  Styles range from a Graziano pearl collar to Marc Jacobs metal and chain collar.  Even crocheted and studded ones exist.  I just don’t understand how this makes your outfit look chic or why you would wear something that resembles the fashion version of a dog collar.

Another trend that has trickled down to the mainstream: hair jewels.  I mean its great for a runway show.  But when you try to wear a claw of jewels on your head it just doesn’t work for everyday style.  At all.  Just because all the sparkling broaches clipped in an updo and gold chain wrapped buns are screaming ‘BUY ME’ doesn’t mean you should.

Don’t follow a trend that isn’t following you.

-Sara Freund