By now the long and dour Bobst digi-screen (“suicide prevention screen”) is old news. It’s massive, ugly and here to stay. Gawker used a brilliant title – “NYU Imprisons Students in a Video Game To Stop Them From Killing Themselves” – which got us thinking. What exactly went through President Sexton’s and his High Council of Dark Lords’ heads as they met to discuss what the screen should look like?
There had to have been earlier drafts of the screen – images other than this Matrix bullshit that was probably designed to prevent tour groups from seeing the unhappy faces of studious pre-med majors. NYU Local came up with a short list of what Sexton might have drafted before settling on our new videogame prison wall.
Watch The Throne: The first draft of the screen must have been J-Sex sitting on a throne with a chalice in one hand and student ID in the other. He must have been wearing a crown of the finest jewels, and might even have had Kanye and Jay-Z polishing his shoes as he stares out towards the lucky students who found seats on floors four or five (Image rendered above).
The Drunk Idea No One Approved: After a long meeting with his Dark Lords, President Sexton and his council were a little sloshed. They were smoking Cuban cigars (acquired from that Tisch doc program), drinking Glenlivet, and making dirty jokes. A quarrel started regarding who was sexier, Housie Maguire or The Bobcat (obviously the answer is Housie). Then one of the minions suggested, “What if, like, the screen was the two of them going at it?” Sexton immediately said, “Yes, the mascots should be fucking! I’m a genius!” Well, the team woke up hungover and a little embarrassed. They made a blueprint – which Local miraculously got its hands on – but it never made it to stage two.
Timekeeper’s Honor: Some schools have beautiful clock towers, NYU has a short man who shouts the time at students so they’re not late for class. The Timekeeper is an essential part of the University, but he is yet to get his due honor. Rumor has it that the golden wallpaper was going to be the Timekeeper and Hermoine Granger holding timeturners, but the plan was rejected when Emma Watson chose Brown over Gallatin.
The Student Loan Office: In an act of cruelty, the Bobst wallpaper was going to contain the image of a student loan office with a line out the door. After the Dark Council had a hearty laugh, they moved on to the next topic on the meeting agenda … how to exterminate the Brittany Ghost.
Hats off to NYU – Bobst is now more unwelcoming than ever before. We didn’t think it could be done, but man – we are an innovative University. We know NYU is a forward-thinking, tech-driven university, but why is there a digi-screen in a house meant for print?! The mind reels. If you ever get trapped within this digi-wall, just do what the upperclassmen use to escape: text rosebud!;!;!;!;!;!; to anyone.
[Images by Julia Berke and Aaron Marks]