Picture this—literally picture it: a tabloid-sized magazine cover. Two college-aged women walk down a paved path lined by as many trees you could find in Manhattan. One is dressed in business attire, the other sports a backpack. Both look beyond the camera, determined.
Below the women, the lead story headline reads in large, red bolded letters, “The New Road to Prestige: Inside the Internship You Wish You Had” and above, in a smaller, red sans serif typeface, “Why You’ll Never See Johnny Depp’s Penis.”
The cover stood as a preface to the years of quality magazine journalism that ensued. On that fateful Thursday—September 7, 2006 to be precise—the first issue of the first volume of your favorite weekly magazine was printed. And as we publish the eighth issue of the 21st volume, The Eye has followed through on our original commitment: We have yet to see Johnny Depp’s penis.
Dear loyal readers,
The Eye turned 10 earlier this semester. (No, we’re not old. Your mom is old. Shut up.)
For some, your loyalty is limited to this first time you’ve picked up our virtual magazine; to others who remember all those times you recycled our printed copies. But whether you’re scratching your head asking yourself, “Who are you?” or lamenting the fact that “Time flies!”, The Eye’s decade of existence is nothing short of a miracle. After evolving from “the arts and culture magazine” to a hyper-hipster quasi-zine, to what our current staff would aspire to be Columbia’s very own New Yorker, 10 years is a long time.
But The Eye isn’t the only cultural product born out of the foggy year of 2006. WikiCU, that ancient creature, was also founded here. Crystal Lua’s lead, “The Odds WikiCU Defied,” takes a close, narrative look at what means for an institution to survive. How are things built by bored, enterprising students 10 years ago passed down and kept alive?
Still, WikiCU feels small in the face of another 2006 baby that has forever altered the way we understand social media: the Facebook News Feed. Also now 10 in age, the News Feed—and its shaping of our social interactions—is the focus of Ana Espinoza’s charming, cheeky, and intriguing essay.
It’s clear, then, that this decade has been big. It is only retrospectively that we can even begin to try and impose some meaning onto it. Which is exactly what Ali Lake does in her wonderful, expansive profile of sociology professor Gil Eyal, who’s been at Columbia for all of this 2006-2016 decade and felt shifts that we fleeting students can’t fully underline for ourselves.
And let’s just say that those 10 years were nothing short of controversial: Even though Columbia University protects students’ right to invite any hot-button speaker they choose, several logistical considerations are involved in planning these events.
And since we’re the go-to literary journalists on campus, we couldn’t help but toy around with the decade theme. Decade, 10 years, the number 10—it’s all the same, no? And thus came to light Jesse Chase-Lubitz’s historical essay looking into Barnard College, founded by a woman but named after a man, who just so happened to be Columbia’s 10th president. Let’s not forget an Eye staff favorite—Blinks!—where we all hypothesize the long-lost 10th seasons of our favorite shows. It's more than just a decade—it's years and years worth of pop culture shaping the way we think and speak and interact and hear; this week's Tiny Dorm Concert featuring the newly-named band, Good Night Moon, proves that.
Here’s to 10 years. Here’s to an ever-evolving mission statement that, despite its several twists and turns has always stayed true to itself: We’ve always been human, and every week, we’ve always been an unrivaled media event.
Have fun leafing through our eighth issue, and subscribe to our new weekly newsletter, As We See It!