Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Cuddle (shudder) puddle

If there was ever a headline I didn't expect, it was "The Cuddle Puddle of Stuyvesant High School." The very thought, the very image, Stuyvesant kids in a web of sexual adventure... "nausea" doesn't quite cover it.

I was always under the impression that New York Magazine didn't give a crap about the plebian schools, of which Stuyvesant, by virtue of being technically public, is one. Coke at Collegiate? Braless at Brearley? Spanking at Spence? Sure. But the sex lives of nerdy teens whose parents aren't paying private-school tuition? What gives?

The set described, of course, is the group of might-as-well-be-private-school kids, white kids who hang out on the Upper West Side and have professional, open-minded,
mostly-non-immigrant parents. Kids who are in public school because their parents are too liberal and bohemian to believe in private school, not because they couldn't afford it. But as the author, Alex Morris, admits, the sexually-adventurous clique profiled in the article is just one crowd, and is not necessarily representative of anything larger. Morris writes that "Alair and her friends... are known as the 'bi clique.'" One "bi clique" doesn't a trend of bisexuality make. The author does not, however, mention the demographic difference between these kids and the rest of Stuyvesant. And yet, finally, a piece about teens that's not a scare story, kids who don't fit into any particular category of cool or dorky, rebellious or innocent, but simply go about their lives and try to figure out ways to improve upon their parents' world. Refreshing, if biased and unscientific.

The obvious question--why is this the article to launch the newly-redesigned NY Mag website, the cover of paper copies city and nationwide? Sure, bisexual teen girls sell magazines, and the fact that most of these particular girl-girl kissers will soon be at elite colleges adds a little prestige to the story. But there's no story. Nothing happened, nothing significant has changed, or, if it has, the article doesn't make that clear. Here's one possibility. It seems as though Morris might, just might, be a former Stuy kid:

Ten years ago in the halls of Stuyvesant you might have found a few goth girls kissing goth girls, kids on the fringes defiantly bucking the system. Now you find a group of vaguely progressive but generally mainstream kids for whom same-sex intimacy is standard operating procedure.

This sounds about right. When I was at the school (late 90's-early 00's) there was a mix, the really greasy-looking, super-alternative try-everything types and the vintage-loving, relatively conventional-looking pseudo-hippies for whom bisexuality was sort of assumed, and who blended in fine with more mainstream popular types. But, correct interpretation or not, how else would someone happen to know who was kissing whom in the halls of Stuyvesant at any given time?

Or perhaps the author is not, in fact, a Stuyvesantian:

"They had to be pretty serious students to even get into Stuyvesant, which accepts only about 3 percent of its applicants."

Serious students? It's a test, middle-school grades, what your teachers thought of you in junior high, all this is irrelevant. Thank god. And really, who cares about Stuy kids' (shudder) sexuality? Gotta get the facts right where it matters.


Anonymous said...

You have to wonder how much of that crap is a show put on for the reporter's benefit.

Anonymous said...

That Alair idiot will soon regret cooperating with that reporter.

Petey said...

"The very thought, the very image, Stuyvesant kids in a web of sexual adventure... "nausea" doesn't quite cover it."


That's the second post of yours in two days expressing disgust at the thought of people having sex...


"The obvious question--why is this the article to launch the newly-redesigned NY Mag website ... Sure, bisexual teen girls sell magazines..."

That's the obvious answer to your obvious question.

"But there's no story. Nothing happened, nothing significant has changed"

Not really true.

Chicks makin' out, much like the blowjob, has mainstreamed with a vengence in recent years. That's worth a cover story or ten, especially if you're trying to sell magazines.

joonjee said...

Uh...hi. So, this is weird, but my friend knows who you are, and found your website and has been obsessed with posting angry things on it since. He talks about it a lot and forces the rest of us to read it also. I never really understood why you stuyvesant people always brag about going to a "public school." From your description, and with it being so selective, it doesn't seem that distinguishable from a private school. I went to a private school and they make a point of "encouraging class diversity" or whatever anyway.

Anonymous said...

Most private schools in NYC require test scores plus student interviews (often, a separate one with parents) and letters of recommendation. Also tuition upwards of $20,000/year.
Stuyvesant admits on the basis of a test. That's it. Connections don't count. No tuition charged. If, for example, Asians score better than other ethnic groups, the school will be 100% Asian. No "aim" for diversity.

BlogFighter said...

Isn't Stuyvesant like 99% asian? You call that diversity? It's like a yellow plague.

Anonymous said...

Stuyvesant is as diverse as a meritocracy allows.

BlogFighter said...

How come non-asian minorities aren't better represented?

Anonymous said...

It's asian and jewish. There's only a handful of blacks and hispanics.

BlogFighter said...

Are asians and jews forming an alliance? I seem to see a lot of jewish dudes with asian chicks. What gives?

Anonymous said...

It's a strategic breeding program to make super samurai accountants.

codone said...

I think the joke is that because of "Ipods" and "electronic internets" College Fashion is making it's way into high schools.

I'd be surprised if any of these "bi-sexuals" have ever had their pants of in a "bi-sexual" situation.

can we all just read Deleuze and Guittari and forget the whole sexuality thing altogether?

Anonymous said...

END OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION PART 5,999,087,011.R [Jonah Goldberg ]
The cuddle puddle. Sexual confusion at New York's best public school (save perhaps for Bronx Science).
Posted at 05:17 PM


Phoebe said...

Some at NRO may not like it, but I'm sure John Derbyshire would have no complaints whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

I go to Stuyvesant. This article was a complete and utter joke. Not only does that idiot reporter (which, by the way, I met; she was very unprofessional and did not quote correctly) over exaggerate; she implied that we all have orgies at school, don't do homework, then somehow end up at Princeton. There are SO many GREAT things happening in our school community, that for this article to cause so much controversy it ridiculous. Stuy is not "just another public high school with nerdy kids," a lot of the students do things you would never even dream of when you were in high school- whether through volunteering or their studies. The people are the greatest; they are diverse and accepting, and incredibly intelligent. This article was a complete waste of time and brings shame to my school.