Words—sometimes raunchy and occasionally uncomfortable—jumped off the pages of The New England Classic’s website and into Cushing 001 for the satirical publication’s inaugural NECTalks. A parody of TED Talks just in time for Saturday’s TEDxBostonCollege conference, The Classic taglined the event “Ideas Worth Ruining” and certainly lived up to what it promised—The Classic stimulated dialogue about issues ranging from the Crazy Frog’s involvement in spreading terrorism to the unique job search challenges faced by those belonging to the BDSM community.
Steve Jorsh (Josh Artman, MCAS ’19) and Billnmelinda Gates (MaryElizabeth Mooney, MCAS ’20) kicked off the night as the stars of an introductory video that offered a brief history of the NECTalks. During the video, Jorsh and Gates recalled their favorite talks, including a 2007 talk encouraging listeners to invest in subprime mortgages. Clips of the cast of speakers detailed each speaker’s reason for performing at the event: Katie Ovoian, MCAS ’22—who later gave a presentation titled “What Can We Learn From Fossils”—alleged she had been kidnapped and forced to perform. Following the clip a red warning that stated “Do not call the police” flashed on the screen.
Doug Girardot, a staff writer for The Heights and MCAS ’21, was the first to present with “ASMR Isn’t As Sexy As People Think.” During the talk, Girardot waxed ASMR kink to bring audience members to the brink of a “brain orgasm.” Girardot acted out three ASMR-induced brain orgasm triggers: calmly drawing a penis on a chalkboard, flipping through a gentlemen’s magazine, and sealing an envelope in a sexually suggestive manner.
Although lofty terminology and demonstrations worked to Girardot’s advantage, Kathleen Garrity, MCAS ’21, opted for a different approach in her speech: selling out to cracker corporate giant Nabisco. Titled “How to Build More Meaningful Relationships,” Garrity’s talk was sponsored by and completely centered around the new brown rice sweet potato and roasted onion Triscuits.
Another crowd favorite immediately followed when Shea Rulon, CSOM ’20, took the floor for “The Power of Poetry.” Rulon performed a poem she wrote for Spencer (Jerry Trainor) from iCarly as a black and white highlight reel played from the eccentric character’s tenure on the Nickelodeon show.
“Put your spaghetti in my taco,” Rulon said as a video of Spencer scooping spaghetti into a taco played on the lecture hall screen behind her.
An angry Aidan Fitzpatrick, CSOM ’20, made several allegations against his roommates during his presentation of “Who The F—k Took My Shit.” The crowd revealed strong geographic bias during Fitzpatrick’s remarks, booing at the mention of his roommates’ New Jersey and Connecticut residencies, but lightly applauding—or at the very least more quietly booing—another roommate’s residency in upstate New York.
Throughout the night, there were many moments that made it almost unbelievable that NECTalks was taking place in a classroom where actual learning occurs—these moments came often during “Taking the Pain Out of Finding a Job,” a talk by Peter Zogby, MCAS ’21. Zogby instructed his captive audience that the first thing they want to do when searching for a job is “remove [their] ball gag.” Zogby went on to detail which sex toys were acceptable (butt plugs) to wear during an interview and which weren’t (just about everything else).
No Boston College event is complete without a healthy dose of Catholic guilt, and Fr. Robert Drencher, S.J. (Sabel Flynn, a former columnist for The Heights and CSON ’19) made sure to shame students about watching hentai during “The Corruption of the Christian Man.”
“Transsexual anime characters are a threat to society,” Drencher said.
Luke Layden, MCAS ’19, rounded out the night with “The Global Impact of Meme Culture,” a presentation that threw the audience back into 2003, a year in which Tobey Maguire was Spider-Man, the U.S. invaded Iraq, and “the notoriously circumsized internet icon” Crazy Frog was born. Dedicated to his cause, Layden laid out the complicated web of connections that linked the Jamster-created internet sensation to ISIS. Layden demonstrated that, when slowed down, the Crazy Frog ringtone clearly states “Death to America.”
Typically working in anonymity without names attached to stories in print or online, The New England Classic spotlighted its uncanny sense of humor when the humans behind the headlines stepped out of the shadows for a night—and at NECTalks, the publication served up much more than just chips and a pickle.
Featured Image by Delaney Vorwick / Heights Staff