To the editors of Tiger Magazine,
In regards to your past “joke issue,” I must object to your faux op-ed piece “Pyramids so Velly Good in Middle Kingdom.” I would have you know that many Ancient Egyptian-American alums are circulating this article like wildfire, with its blatant characterization of Ancient Egyptians as hierarchal, given to agriculture, “gator-phobic,” and pre-modern. To say that we came off as two-dimensional is an understatement, at the very least. The “lampoon” became nothing more than a harpoon.
Speaking for my fellow literates, I can unequivocally state that your article only problematized alterity further in our fractured age, where faulty paradigms and cracked “lens” form the order of the day. To Otherize the Other is one thing, but to go for a cheap “Macacca” laugh with absurd fabrications of a general eye liner fetish? Highly controversial and, might I weigh in, highly debatable, if I can indeed use so many syllables at a go. We Ancient Egyptians invented Kohl eye liner as well as many other things like pyramids, for example, and mummies. Why ignore our brave cultural heritage? Why was nary a word passed on that bastard Moses and his indigent bricklayers? Why the media firestorm and plagues of attention? The careless reader could be forgiven for thinking that the sun revolved around your own selves.
The larger issue is a stasis in our cultural forum-ing. We need more forum, and for us all. We need to spark a dialogue — sparking, sparking, sparking. We either spark together or fall together. Facebook groups may serve all of our individual ethnic needs, but we need a deeper communal sparking. We need a sea of stars placed against the night sky, resolve and courage answering every call. A poor joke is nothing less than an affront to humanity, particularly if they happen to be Ancient Egyptians. Osiris forbid we give this terrible defamation via levity less than four or five or even six cataracts of public outrage. Smiting may rush on the heels of sparking, lest we unite for something, anything.
Yours most measuredly in outrage,
Scribe, Twelfth Dynasty
This letter is endorsed by the Hyksos Student Union (HSU), Convocation of Memphis Elders (COME), Temple Cadre of Seti (TCS), Sisterhood of Ptolemy (heh-heh), and other exceedingly similar student groups with little else to do and the Monobrow Student Union (MSU) with the Gray Panthers (http://www.graypanthers.org/) in a show of communal solidarity.
Dear King Tutu…..whatever,
As the Editor-in-Chief of Tiger Magazine, I, Michael E. van Landingham ’08 do a lot of things. The fame brought to me by my illustrious position keeps me awake hours a day, signing autographs, watching “House, M.D.” and ensuring that my fur game is on top. What I do not have time for is to care for the concerns of certain ethnic groups who complain that they may or may not have been offended by an article which may or may not have slandered Ancient Egyptian-Americans. Just because you would point out that this letter proves that I do have time does not mean, by the way, that I do. I don’t. Shut up.
Really, do you think that Tiger Magazine would be so insensitive as to slander a whole group of people, despite their two-dimensionality? Certainly Tiger Magazine thought long and hard before publishing the piece asserting the very things you refute. Did you know that two writers of Ancient Egyptian-American descent helped to write the article? They did not find a thing wrong with any of the language we used. This included the use of the terms “gator-phobic,” “mummy lovers,” and “pyramid schemers.” Now, don’t you think that two members of an ethnic group should be able to make decisions for the whole group, world wide?
I do, and I am Michael E. van Landingham, Editor-in-Chief of Tiger Magazine. Besides, what you view as “racist” language is completely subjective. I don’t see anything wrong by being called a cracker, so you should be comfortable with me making fun of all of Ancient Egyptians for being obsessed with the Nile River Delta. Also, Nefertiti sounds like “titty.” Hah… I said “titty.”
However, this is beside the point. You, of all people, combined with your multiple co-signers of your almost unreadable hieroglyphic epistle, should have known that we were only writing the article in question to demonstrate how racist the current climate at Princeton is. We wouldn’t have written it if it didn’t have a higher social purpose than just a few laughs. And it was funny. I know it was. I am the funniest person alive.
So in the end, screw you. You cat-worshipping son of a bitch. Don’t ever bother us again with your stupid bird-eye-feather-wheat-bird-bird-square nonsense.
Michael E. van Landingham
Editor-in-Chief, Tiger Magazine