If last weekend’s Harvard-Princeton flashflood of football incompetence had any benefits, it was that the matchup got me seriously thinking about how to best pun on “The Social Network” in order to mock Harvard and its presumably intolerable student body.
For those of you that don’t follow the current cinema (or charitable donations to the New Jersey school system), “The Social Network” is the unrestricted profile (see what I did there?) of Harvard dropout and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and it is just the latest in a long proud line of Hollywood releases to depict Harvard University as an irrepressible douchequarium, a greenhouse which sprouts only the most unpleasant betweeded cockhelmets the Ivy League has to offer.
And with its trifecta of universal recognition, its suggestive wordplayabaility, and its close association with Harvard, a truly smart pun on “The Social Network” has the chance to achieve a quite lofty level of Crimson bashing, perhaps the most public and widespread since the Yale Drama Repertory’s smash of 1975, “The Paper Chase? More Like The Gayfer Face, Am I Right?” (Wendy Wasserstein has since disowned the play).
[Caveat: Unfortunately, I’m not a truly smart person (did you see that Paper Chase pun up there?) and so this is more of a roadmap or gesture towards something rather than an accomplishment. I hope that you real punsters out there help me out in the comments section].
And so let us begin our drive down the long and winding road of puns (our vehicle being, as always, a Beetle), in search of a pun with which to avenge Princeton’s homecoming loss to the Crimson, to turn the tide, to find a bon mot with such bone that it would make those Harvardian’s cheeks turn…a darkish shade of red, I suppose.
The purpose of conceiving this pun (as if conception ever needs a purpose) is to point out what is obvious to every Princeton student and alum: that despite any infinitesimal perceived academic (or athletic) advantage Harvard holds, the social advantage enjoyed by Princetonians is so overwhelming that comparing the two schools holistically is a waste of everyone’s time (even of Harvard students, who have so, so much time on their hands).
Also, I blame Harvard in a very casual way for everything that goes wrong in my life--relationship problems, why I don't get cell reception on the Lower East Side, the reason that trains are so noisy--all of it can be inevitably traced back to a Harvard graduate in a powerful position dicking over the little guys.
And so let us begin. Of course, in order to best appreciate these puns, please do imagine them in the template of The Social Network’s ubiquitous logo, the white text against a blue background of the original Facebook logo:
I would have rendered a few mockups of these puns in Photoshop, except I don’t own Photoshop, don’t know how to use it, have no idea what a “mockup” is, and still haven’t really figured out how to do anything artistic on my computer except crudely spray paint profanity in MS Paint.
Let us begin at the very obvious:
The Antisocial Network - Describing Harvard as The Antisocial Network isn’t bad, but it’s not insulting enough, it doesn’t have that bite. It seems to suggest that the interpersonal incompetence of the Harvard student body is due to some kind of disorder or lifestyle choice rather than an excruciatingly developed Napoleon complex which gives them all little Pavlovian quarter-chubs whenever they sniff perfume. The phrase “The Antisocial Network” also appears on websites for The Washington Post and MTV.com, which means that it is just days away from being used on CNN.com, which will bury it in the same graveyard as “Getting’ jiggy with it” and “Who let the dogs out?”
The Social Regretwork – This is what all Harvard undergraduates experience around November of their first year at around 3 in the morning on a Saturday night, again sitting in their dorm room with their roommate, sipping straight Popov from a glass they stole from the dining hall, listening excitedly for high heels on the floorboards outside before deciding to put back on their headsets and play another seven hours of Warcraft.
The Boba Fettwork – This doesn’t make any sense, but it sure does sound funny.
Okay. This has been weighing us all down, so let’s do something about it. Let’s dispense with all the juvenile,
hypersexual, broadly homophobic portmanteaus. Let’s just get ‘em all out there and out of the way and never speak of them again, no matter how well they may insult Harvard in a high-school locker room sort of way:
The Facial Network, The Fellatial Network, The Social Frotwork, The Criscocial Network, The Dildocial Network, The Bro-on-Brocial Network, The Camel Toecial Network, The Gloryhocial Network, The Rusty Trombocial Network, and, of course, The Butt Rodeocial Network.
I’m glad that’s over.
The New York Metwork – I’m as big a Harvard basher as the next guy, but even I think associating them with the New York Mets is cruel. I apologize, Harvard.
The New Jersey Network – Ditto.
The Low-Cal Fruitwork – Can’t you just see those Harvardians, carefully inserting an Au Bon Pain Frequent Eaters’ Club Card into their Louis Vuitton wallets, pompously wafting the scent of a Triscuit toward their nose before taking a first bite, dipping grandpapa’s silver absinthe spoon into a Brandy snifter of strawberries and cream whilst summering on Nantucket? This is the low-cal fruitwork.
The Kosher Schlepwork – This one combines two great pastimes of the Ivy League Jew: Harvard-bashing and self-loathing. Look: we all know that the Jewish cabal controls all sectors of the non-Chinese world economy. That’s obvious. We also know that, because the rest of were busy drinking hooch and getting laid, the only kids who study enough to get into Harvard are Jews and Asians. Do I need to spell this out for you?
The Essential Kraftwerk – Trans-Europe Express, The Man-Machine, and Autobbahn obviously. I’d throw in the second self-titled and “Computer Love” off Computer World, too, though I suppose a definition of “essential” is needed here—wait, what were we talking about?
The Circle Wetjerk – Not only is attending Harvard like attending a big circle jerk—it’s like attending a big WET circle jerk. And if there's anything worse than attending a circle jerk (see the video from my wedding night for proof), it's when that circle jerk gets wet.
Uh oh. I think we're drifting back towards juvenilia again...
The Fecal Crotchwork – ...yeah, now we're really getting far too close to just outright juvenile potty humor. Also, these are barely even puns anymore…
The Flaccid Titspork – …and we’re gone
I'm sorry that I lost control toward the end here.
I blame Harvard, always dicking over my thought processes. The Social Network? More like The Mental Dickwork, am I right?