Eric Pilch


Monetizing modern art

In a recent Wall Street Journal profile of superstar art dealer Larry Gagosian, the author explains that a decade ago, the abstract work of Cecily Brown would only sell for around $8,000. However, all that changed when curators from the Tate and the Museum of Modern Art, at Gagosian’s encouragement, began to buy Brown’s work. Today, Brown’s paintings are sold for around $800,000.


Liberating Libya

Almost eight years to the day after the War in Iraq commenced, our new conflict in Libya began. Allied planes now fly over Libya; enforcing a no-fly zone and targeting forces loyal to Gaddafi. And while I don’t mean to conflate Iraq and Libya, growing up with the failure of Iraq makes me leery of our third military engagement in a Muslim country. In the post-Vietnam era, applications of U.S. force have consistently led to consequences we had no way of predicting ahead of time, a danger that often seems lost to policymakers and pundits. When the use of force is not used as a last resort, we frequently risk the danger of creating more problems than we solve.


The Wheel World: D.C.

Everyone is familiar with the urban cyclist stereotype—he or she is skinny, wears spandex but not a helmet, and is usually plotting a way to slip through a red light, only to be narrowly missed by oncoming SUVs. I’ll admit I have a certain fascination with these law-defying speed demons. Because rather than zooming past them in a car or observing them from a clunky Circulator bus, I generally find myself in front of them, then blocking their path, and finally watching them zip through an intersection, barely avoiding traffic, as they rush ahead of me.


Phones are damaging English

Having grown up with instant messaging and texting, I don’t bat an eye at slang as diverse as “irlol” (or “in real life laugh out loud”) and “iucmd” (my friend Matt’s favorite, meaning “if you catch my drift”). Yet I was shocked a few weeks ago when my dad sent me a text message for the first time. It read “miss yu, yu have pro status as spanish tutor lv dad.” I had helped my 14-year-old brother Sam study for a Spanish exam over Christmas break, and it was nice to be informed he did well. However, I was more interested in those dropped vowels. I love my dad, but I don’t consider him to be the most culturally adept person. He uses email, but I’ve always found his communication there to be very precise. As recently as a few months ago my brother was still showing him how to open the text messages he had received, so I wasn’t prepared for his sudden embrace of text slang.


Carrying On: Compromising Values

Back in late 2004, when George W. Bush was poised to win a second presidential term and Barack Obama was still a lowly state representative campaigning for a Senate seat, you probably would have shrugged if anyone had asked you about the long-term fiscal position of the country. Everything seemed to be fine.


City on a Hill: Libation regulation

When the Georgetown freshmen who are just getting comfortable at off-campus house parties start to explore D.C.’s nightlife scene, they will find subpar bars and exorbitant prices throughout the city.


City on a Hill: The District’s forgotten second party

On Tuesday night, in a small, dimly lit Adams Morgan bar, the old guard of the D.C. Statehood Green Party gathered together for an election party. The crowd, which was heavy on tweed coats, traded stories from their daytime campaigning. They booed audibly when a close race was called for the Republicans and cheered when the Democrats hung on to another seat. The bar’s choice to tune into Fox News proved controversial and the loud commentary about the on-air antics


In poor taste: GU dining

When current Georgetown senior Tory Pratt (SFS ‘11) arrived on campus in the fall of her freshman year, she was shocked at the quality of the food she encountered in Leo J. O’Donovan Hall, the only dining hall on campus. Having grown up in a family that emphasized healthy eating and home-cooked meals, Pratt had trouble adjusting to the dining situation on campus.


City on a Hill: D.C. loses a literary icon

This past week, Carla Cohen passed away at age of 74. A Washington resident, Cohen became one of the most celebrated booksellers in America after she founded a bookstore 26 years ago. After the Reagan Administration eliminated her position at the Department of Housing and Urban Affairs, she decided to establish a bookstore that she would like to spend time in—a comfortable store with a knowledgeable staff and a regular community of readers. That bookstore became Politics and Prose.


City on a Hill: Republican hypocrisy

Democrats across the country are scared of what will happen on Nov. 4, but District of Columbia residents have good reason to be especially worried. With Republicans poised to take control of the House of Representatives, this year’s midterm elections will likely put the GOP in a position to meddle in the District’s affairs and reverse laws passed by the D.C. Council.