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Jeopardy!? Is this a joke?

The July 2014 Bulletin does have me up in arms. You published a six-page piece (with eight pictures) about Arthur Chu ’06.

I waded through the article about Mr. Chu, hoping to find why this was ever written, and why then published. I never found out. An exemplary Swarthmore alum? Newsworthy? A lesson for our times? A comment on some aspect of the world? No to all the above. (Perhaps “yes” if the story were meant to be sardonic.) Was the article amusing? Interestingly written? Nope. Was there any reason at all to tell us about a Swarthmore graduate whose claim to fame, while working for an insurance company (feh), was to get on Jeopardy!? Is this a joke?

While the Chus are struggling to be Internet celebrities with blogs, YouTube, Facebook, and a cacophony of twittering, the sheer size of this article eclipsed people who were admirable and had actually done something with their lives. In counterpoint, you published one page on Dan Menaker ’63. A book. I see: a long career as editor at The New Yorker, Random House, Harper Collins, author, rates a page (no picture). But Jeopardy! and twittering trump that.

Are your resources so poor to have nothing else? Should my anger be tempered with sadness?

My problem is not with someone from Swarthmore sloshing in social media. My problem is with an editor of the Swarthmore Bulletin choosing to give exposure to it. I boggle at your choice and article. Please cease your employ as an editor (Ms. Brévart-Demm). Please stop writing. Better yet—put tweeting (or is it twittering?) in the syllabus and glue plastic ivy on Clothier.

—Stephen Kirschenbaum ’63
Santa Fe, N.M.