Introducing the Evening Look NFT Series!

Every day, Silicon Valley finds new ways to repackage things that already exist. Recent examples of this include totally-not-buses, taxi services, and even taxes.  Now, they’ve set their sights on art. For those unaware, Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are essentially the hip new cryptocurrency, assigning a digital value to art through metadata – be it a static image, a JPEG, a piece of music, or so on. This means that even though anyone could view or consume this piece, you have a Special Tokenized Version of it that only you can claim ownership to.

If this seems like it produces no inherent value to society, that’s where you’re wrong: it produces no inherent value and it destroys the environment! It turns out that in order to give these NFTs an assigned value, we run into the crypto standard of “Proof of Work” where in order to give value to a cryptocurrency, you need to prove that a certain amount of energy was spent in its creation. And by “certain amount”, I mean that highly valued NFTs can literally use up years of personal energy use per token. Sometimes, artists use this power to give additional value to works of great prestige. Other times, a copy of the “Scumbag Steve” meme from before 2010 sells for $57,000. Already, experts are warning they’re going to create a massive bubble.

Last week, much of the Internet was thrown into a state of agony as their favorite creators began to sell NFTs. Everyone from Gorillaz to “Salad Fingers” creator David Firth, Pepe the Frog Creator Matt Furie, and artist/activist collective Pussy Riot is cashing in. Well, I’m happy to say that the nightmare is not yet over. We at The Evening Look have decided to get on this train before it derails and offer our own NFT series! We’re introducing a variety of NFT-encoded greatest hits from The Evening Look’s extremely prestigious run. For example, any peasant can simply view our piece about cyberbullying Italians over Columbus apologia, but YOU, the presumed techbro simpleton (who’s also a leftist somehow), can own an exclusive PDF of it. The world is yours, my friend! For all we know, our piece on an Ice Cube Twitter rant could become our Kerouac scroll.

While these longform articles minted into meaningless kitsch might sound great, we’ve decided to go the extra step by combining NFTs with the definitive leftist experience: we’ve also minted our Tweets into NFT. If you want an already-dated Copium meme with Sergei Kelley’s face on it, it’s time to break out the big bag. Most of the products in this line consist of dunks on Sergei and the Morning Watch crowd at large, which if you follow us regularly should register as a plus. We don’t see the need to diversify our portfolio when our portfolio is all bangers.

The value doesn’t stop there! Not only are these images encoded with arbitrary metadata that makes them exclusive, but each NFT is also encoded with the exact DNA sequence of every member of the Evening Look’s staff. This means that if we weren’t already bad enough at hiding our identities, buyers will now be able to try and match our DNA with every student on campus to find matches. Alternatively, you could just cut out the middleman and clone us. Neither of these solutions would help you that much in actually identifying us, unless you have the resources to do that. But hey, if you have the money to spend on NFT’s, who knows what kinds of bizarre, morally bankrupt investments you can dream up!

To offset the environmental damage that we’ll be creating, we’ve also announced a charity sponsor. We pledge that 15% of our income from these tokens will go to MSU’s new college, the L. Squirrel School of Posting, because we believe that’s finally time that we share our talents with the world. In the meantime, we expect nothing less than a full sweep on these NFTs. Good luck at the auction house! The tokens may be worthless in two weeks, but good posting lasts forever.

– The Evening Look Team

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Pay The Reps

Sometimes, it feels like no one cares about ASMSU. Turnout for General Assembly elections has been in the single digits every year that student tax hikes aren’t on the ballot, meaning that many students don’t know who represents them. There have been many contests in recent years where the number of candidates has been at or below the number of seats needed to be filled, resulting in uncompetitive races.

But there is one man who cares a lot about ASMSU — Sergei Kelley. The big boss is back with a new article for The Morning Watch about a proposal to boost engagement and fill General Assembly seats. Currently, only the President, Directors, and hired staff of ASMSU are paid, while representatives are unpaid volunteers. A report presented by Representatives Aaron Iturralde, Jordan Kovach, and Travis Boling aims to change that by proposing a $250/semester stipend for representatives who show up to most meetings, do constituent outreach, and generally are active participants in student government.

Naturally, Kelley is not interested, portraying it as the big, bad student government giving itself money to spread leftism on campus. To that end, he tries his hardest to give the proposal the worst framing he can. Apparently, all the fat cats at ASMSU spend money on are yearly banquets, retreats, and diversity training. And now, another transfer from the student government elite to themselves? The horror!

The report addresses several important reasons why people might not be interested in participating in student government at the GA level. Representatives have to make a pretty big time commitment to make assembly meetings, committee meetings, have office hours, write and review legislation, and do other tasks related to their position. That’s all fine for someone who doesn’t need to work in college, but 20% of MSU students come from the bottom 60% of family incomes. If someone interested in student government had to choose between a paycheck or doing legislative work for free, I bet they would choose the paycheck every time. I don’t think it’s presumptuous to say that affects who decides to run for GA positions.

It’s impossible to get everyone interested in student government, but there are only 36 seats in the GA from 15 colleges. 13 of those seats are vacant, including all the seats reserved for the College of Nursing, Residential College in the Arts and Humanities, and the College of Music. No Preference, the College of Education, and the College of Arts and Letters all only have one seat filled. There are two inactive slots in CORES and COPS, plus four more in the Major Governing Groups, according to ASMSU’s website. While some of this may be due to the weirdness of scheduling and promoting the previous ASMSU election during a pandemic, it’s ridiculous that there are so many vacancies in student government. 

Even conservative representatives understand that this is a good proposal for student government. Though Kelley states that he spoke to multiple representatives, the only one who would give him a quote for this article was Jack Harrison, a Communication Arts and Sciences representative who is also on the MSU College Republicans eboard. Although Kelley has been known to talk to conservative students while passing them off as random voices from the student body, it backfires as Harrison tells him that it is a good policy, because “it is important to reward representatives for their work” and mentions the struggle to fill the GA seats.

Despite Kelley’s implicit protest in the title of his article, which contains an outdated photo that implies representatives have already approved the proposal, I think the proposed bill is a fantastic idea to make sure that representatives are actually paid (somewhat) for what they do. If we want to have a student government that accurately represents students’ concerns and speaks to their issues, then we should start with having a full government.

-K. Sins

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The Young Strivers

Longtime readers of this blog have probably noticed that we tend to take shots at campus conservatives here at MSU. They’re most likely to be loudly stupid and obnoxious, and thus they occupy a lot of our time when we aren’t writing about Animal Crossing or Twitter discourse. Campus liberals, on the other hand, are merely boring and earnest at their worst. With The Morning Watch becoming more irrelevant by the day (hi Sergei!), I took a look into one of the least essential liberal groups on campus, the James Madison College (JMC) Kennedy Democrats, and its founder, Jasper Martus.

Continue reading The Young Strivers

Is It Time To Cyberbully Italian-Americans?

Every year, Columbus Day comes and goes, and with it comes a round of discourse about whether Christopher Columbus was racist or if sensitive snowflakes can’t accept that we need to recognize European greatness or something like that. I’m not going to act like that’s an open question (he was horrifically racist and genocidal), but the discourse is fascinating in how the only thing that seems to change is that replacing Columbus Day with an Indigenous Peoples Day gains prominence. The same people who are invested are on the same side every year in a never ending conversation.

Here’s another thing that happens every year now: this annual culture war came to MSU on a small scale. On one side: President Stanley, who sent out an email that acknowledged that the land the university sits on was taken from Native Americans, as well as consistent messaging from other university organizations and departments about celebrating Indigenous Peoples Day and thinking deeper about the history of interactions between Americans, especially white Americans, and Native Americans.

Of course, on the other side is our friends at The Morning Watch. Sergei Kelley helpfully compiled all these actions by the administration in an article released on Columbus Day called “Columbus Day at MSU: ‘Pioneer’ Title Regrets, Pres Says ‘Rethink History,’ and More”. He can’t be bothered to have an opinion, of course, instead just presenting the administration’s attempts to rectify massive historical wrongs one after the other. The subtext is that I’m supposed to hate it, but once again he’s accidentally made them look better than they are.

But the least accurate bit is at the end of the article. Because Sergei wants to maintain a layer of “journalism” on his articles, he decided to get a student quote. So we get this quote at the end of the article from Anthony Russo (probably a friend):

“I view Columbus as an American hero. Case closed.”

It’s pretty hard to call Columbus an American hero. His achievement of reaching the Caribbean happened because he was literally too stupid to understand the size of the globe. He heroically enslaved native populations on Hispaniola and made them mine for gold, which he found little of. The only contribution you could view him as having was that he let Europeans know that the area existed, and I have a hard time believing no one else would figure it out eventually. After all, he never even “discovered” the United States!

So why does Columbus have such a huge status in a country he never set foot in, so much so that he’s one of the three people to have a federal holiday in his honor? It’s all thanks to the efforts of primarily Italian-American Catholics, who sought to counteract widespread discrimination against Italians who came to the US. The Knights of Columbus, fittingly, were the biggest group leading the charge. By finding a famous Italian that had any part in the history of white people coming to America, they wanted to link their history to American history to counteract prevailing narratives that they were foreign invaders.

Nowadays, Italian-Americans face essentially no prejudice. I’m part Italian, and I average one mafia joke a year on the receiving end and a couple million that I make about myself. Everyone I know who has any amount of Italian ancestry would probably say the same about themselves. Since they were able to push past xenophobia, what’s the point of having a holiday for a man who didn’t even see this country when there are so many famous Italian-Americans to choose from?

But nothing ever moves easily at the federal level. Even if the Democrats would like to prove they can do woke gestures when they get into power, changing the name of Columbus Day would probably be far down the list of priorities. 

I believe that in order to change Columbus Day, we need to go back to what made Columbus Day. Folks, it’s time to create a unified front to bully Italians. If Italians must feel their identity in order to take pride in their own then it’s time we made Italians feel Italian again. Anytime you see an Italian, make sure to let them know that they’re Italian. Flaunt your superiority to them in every capacity. Make sure that they grow in their self-understanding of what being Italian in America is. Make them search out Italian excellence and Italian boy joy and Italian girl magic.

In other words, anytime that someone makes fun of me for this article, I am going to take it as an act of anti-Italian aggression. If Sergei wants to send a weird DM or comment about how I’m being racist, it only incentivizes me further to rediscover my ancestry and start the movement to Get a Better Italian-American Holiday. Make current-day Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples Day, and then [insert Italian-American figure here] Day somewhere else.

I think a better choice would be Vanzetti Day, to honor the Italian immigrant anarchist who, like too many today, was unfairly punished by the justice system for a crime he didn’t commit due to anti-Italian sentiments of the time. Bada bing!

-K. Sins

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Here Comes The Night Time

The thing about staying up all night is that the evening never ends. It will continue until the sun rises, alerting you to changes in the world around you.

At 3 AM on November 4, 2020, nobody knew who would be the next president. We still don’t know. CNN and MSNBC especially are surely enjoying the horse race. A “NAIL-BITER ELECTION COMES DOWN TO AZ, GA, MI, NC, PA, WI” while much of our audience tries to sleep through something that would in most years be done by midnight. Our horribly broken electoral system may once again fail to do what it was meant to do, balancing power between the states.

Political parties spent millions trying to get the votes of people like me and my parents because we live in a Designated Swing State, even though our votes have been set in stone since November 9, 2016. Everyone on Twitter needed to spend their night screaming at about 300,000 people in Florida, or at a governor who barred over twice that number from voting by forcing them to pay unreasonable amounts of money to vote.

At the same time, there are many on the left screaming at the Biden campaign for not reaching out to Latinx voters in much of the Sun Belt. It seemed that they just assumed they would get the same amount of votes they got in 2016 there, not bothering to see if that was actually the case or if anything strange was up. There was a sense of complacency, that they could just count on things happening because that’s what happened before. Although it’s too early to draw any conclusions about a nail-biter election, it does remind me of what this blog has become for me.

Continue reading Here Comes The Night Time

The Weirdest Guy In The House

Check out our article on Beau’s opponent, Renee Richer!

No figure in American politics combines weirdness and consequential power like the state legislator. Just in the past decade, examples include the Georgia senator who was tricked by Sacha Baron Cohen into biting the head off a dildo and screaming the N-word to deter terrorists, the New Hampshire state representative who founded /r/TheRedPill, one of the most misogynist areas of Reddit, and the Tennessee state representative who drank out of a chocolate syrup bottle on the House floor (a privilege that I would ABSOLUTELY take advantage of).

Many of these civil servants reside and work in other states outside of Michigan. Here, we usually have legislators who don’t stray too far into personal weirdness no matter how strange their beliefs. However, there always seems to be an exception to the rule, and Michigan’s exception truly embodies this spirit of deep weirdness to go along with his munted conservatism — Beau LaFave (R-Iron Mountain).

You may wonder why this publication, which usually writes about campus issues, is writing about a guy who represents a remote part of Michigan over 400 miles north of East Lansing. Well, about two months ago (ten years in COVID-19 time) we came into the possession of meeting minutes from a joint meeting between the MSU College Republicans and MSU Turning Point USA. The slides were filled with useful information about upcoming conservative events along with some cursed boomer memes. These organizations wanted to bring LaFave to the university in some capacity, which brings us to the man himself (a recent graduate of this very university).

Here are many things that Rep. LaFave has done that would be bizarre to any sane human, but are selling points for MSU’s College Republicans.

Continue reading The Weirdest Guy In The House

One Confirmed Case of Stupidity

The COVID-19 pandemic has turned East Lansing into a ghost town. The Grand River strip is dotted with restaurants that no longer have bustling dining areas. People have retreated indoors to self-quarantine, shutting down most club activities. Even MSU’s museum has closed, depriving students of hours of fun on mandatory class field trips. What is left in a college town with no college?

Continue reading One Confirmed Case of Stupidity

Down in the DMs: 2 Sergei 2 Slide

“That DM is the devil, son!”

music video for Yo Gotti’s “Down in the DM”

Longtime readers may remember that back in September, flyers for this blog went up around campus. Our flyer team noticed a Morning Watch poster folded on itself and placed our own flyer over it. This caused Morning Watch editor-in-chief Sergei Kelley to send a four-part DM to a loyal reader, under the impression that they worked for us. We thought that this would surely be the funniest interaction we ever had in the DMs, but we’re proud to announce that we were mistaken.

A few days ago, we checked the Evening Look Facebook page to find this:

Though a shorter DM, this incident demands a full breakdown.

Continue reading Down in the DMs: 2 Sergei 2 Slide

All Work and No Play…

Sometimes, in the course of making these little criticisms, I come across an article that has such poor writing its premise falls apart under the weakest examination. One such article was “The Superiority Complex of the Left”, published on (where else?) The Morning Watch and attributed to Jack Carlson. I say “attributed” because I have no idea why anyone would put their real name on this. 

Continue reading All Work and No Play…

High Thoughts: Why Conservatives Aren’t Funny

Dear viewers, let’s set the scene real quick: 

I, your esteemed author, have just sat down to spill his thoughts out onto his laptop after having just taken a fatass rip of wax, with Vampire Weekend on the speaker and Emeril Legasse on the TV. 

I am in an uncanny state of mind.

Continue reading High Thoughts: Why Conservatives Aren’t Funny