Voxiversity IV

I’m getting more than a little tired of economics after four months of writing RGD and more than thirty interviews in two months, so I think it makes sense to accede to the will of the readers and go with the Inferno portion of La Commedia Divina, which beat RGD by a vote of 133 to 128. I’d previously been leaning towards Commentarii de Bello Gallico, but that finished a distant fourth with only 28 votes. Here is a link to the Cary translation; those who prefer Longfellow or Norton translations may be interested in this three-way comparison site. For simplicity’s sake, I’ll use Cary supported by the bilingual edition that features Robert Pinsky’s translation.

Ironically after all that, the translation with which I’m most familiar, and which inspired my economic satire, was Lawrence Binyon’s. But I think it’s best to work with the freely available texts. Start reading Canto 1 for next Saturday.

Hierarchy test: the answer key

The most popular fraternity on campus is inviting you to a rush party on a Greek-dominated campus. You’re assured that there’s a very good chance that you’re in. Do you:

a) Show up, be excited, and join. Both Alphas and Betas will answer this way, as being sought by the best group only confirms their self-regard. The Alpha, however, will likely be an officer at some point in the next four years. Remember, you can’t be at the top of the social hierarchy without being a part of it.

b) Show up, be nervous and join. This is the Delta answer. Who wouldn’t want to belong to the most popular fraternity on campus? And yet, the Delta is quite conscious of the difference between “probably” and “definitely”.

c) Show up, make an ass of yourself, and be rejected. This could be either Alpha or Gamma. Alphas are always in competition and Gammas constantly sabotage their efforts to reach their goals because they want them so badly. Desperation is seldom attractive.

d) Don’t show up and don’t join because fraternities are lame organizations for insecure people. The genuine Gamma answer. Gammas always engage in preemptive rejection. Even if they have given up trying to belong to the popular set, deep inside they would still very much like to. If you see a guy wearing a GDI sweatshirt, he’s definitely a Gamma.

e) Don’t show up and don’t join because you forgot. This is the Sigma answer. The real Sigma doesn’t feign indifference, it truly doesn’t matter to him. While I was quite pleased to be invited to rush by Delta Upsilon, it wasn’t a big deal one way or another and I just completely forgot about it. They invited me back anyhow, but by that time I was over the idea. Remember, Sigmas aren’t only strange, they tend to be unpredictable.

f) Don’t show up because you suspect a joke being made at your expense. Omega baby! It’s amazing how incredibly narcissistic losers can be. And yet, it’s not entirely impossible. Paranoia doesn’t mean they’re not out to get you and no one knows better than the Omega how cruel people can be.

g) Show up and give one of the brothers a blow-job in the bathroom. And that would be Lambda, obviously.