I entered the campus bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, as the lowest of the low in this hierarchy called college. But as soon as I walked around, I began to realize that I might just have one up on some of these poor, sorry suckers. You ask, why? What is this stupid, na*ve freshman talking about? Look in your newly packed dressers and you will find it. I can say these things because I honestly do not own one of those ‘Ithaca is Gorges’ shirts.
When I visited the campus last August, even more oblivious to college life, I chuckled at the thought of such a clever pun. I mean, the fact that the words gorges and gorgeous sound the same is absolutely hilarious in itself, but when you substitute the words in a humorous way, it”s comic gold. I don”t think Jerry Seinfeld himself could have thought of it. But I only heard it back then.
Now I see it daily, printed onto shirts that people wear with smiling faces, unaware of their ominous downfall. It”s not funny or cute anymore. What the fuck? Yes we live in Ithaca, and yes there are gorges that cut throughout the area, but it need not be stated on clothing. Now there are these ‘spin-off’ shirts that students seem to be eating up. As if the first one wasn”t gut-busting enough, there are brilliantly witty new ones like ‘Ithaca is Cold’, and my personal favorite, ‘Ithaca is Gangsta’. ‘Ithaca is Cold’ … no shit.
I”ve heard the stories and have all of my winter clothing stuffed in my closet, but don”t solicit this obvious fact on the nicest day of the year. I took offense to this one personally because I absolutely hate the cold. I imagine Ithaca to o be like the lowest circle of hell in Dante”s Inferno during the winter. We know its coming, and we also know it”s a joke. But please, just refrain from wearing it. The world would be a better, happier place.
Lastly, ‘Ithaca is Gangsta.’ I don”t know what it is about our society, but if anything remotely ‘gangsta’ is plastered onto a shirt, students must buy it. (Which could cause me to become sidetracked on those ‘Jesus is my homeboy’ shirts from Urban Outfitters, but let”s stay on topic) Ithaca is gangsta. Just think about it. It makes no sense whatsoever. Really, aside from Philadelphia, whose rows of crack houses and broken down tenements are to Penn as deep gorges and rolling, dramatic ranges are to Cornell, no town with an Ivy League school in it can be considered gangsta. I know that on the way home from frat parties I have to protect myself with my nine, or all of the Ithaca gangstas are gonna pop a cap in my ass. If Ithaca was a gangsta town, I”d have to think of Jeffery Lehman as the Don … ?
Come on! Seriously. Our student body makes up a good percentage of the population of Ithaca, and so far, no gangstas. Honestly, I”ve seen more hippies and burnouts than gangstas. In regards to that, I”ll give the T-shirt dictators a few ideas: ‘Ithaca is Clambaked,’ ‘Ithaca has the Munchies,’ and ‘Ithaca is Stoned.’ (Also a pun).
Archived article by Robert Ulrich