FINIS Magazine: Teaching you to cope with privilege, undermine the opposite sex


I’m almost at a loss for words for how to describe FINIS Magazine, the latest journalistic endeavor to emerge from Georgetown undergrads this summer (move over, Hoya Insider!). So, I’ll just let  FINIS founder Carlisle Alessandra Williams (COL ’10) do it for me.

“It’s a journal for people who, well, would read something whose title is in Latin,” Williams told the Peter J. Grace, the Georgetown University Examiner and, not incidentally, a writer for FINIS. “It’s a no-holds-barred reflection of our culture and lifestyles. The audience is definitely intellectually curious young twenty-somethings, who don’t take themselves too seriously.”


Fortunately for me, though, I took some Latin in college (if you’re wondering what “finis” means, I’ll give you a hint: it doesn’t mean beginning). Williams also states that the magazine was born out of her examination of the problems of print media and her attempt to find an “entirely different medium.”

As FINIS’s introduction states:

“As a response to the growing concern about the state of print journalism, this new publication seeks to develop an innovative approach to bringing creative writing, solid journalism, and introspective social commentary to the intellectually curious on the Internet.”

In other words: take note, dying print publications.

But enough dilly-dallying. When I finally checked out the site, I found everything you would expect from a publication which, in the words of Grace, “continues [the] quest for amusement for the young and idle rich.”

Not counting some sort of bizarre personal statement (sample: “I am the idol which you will pray, envy; a desire distracting, drowning in delirium.”), the Affairs section has two dating articles which are almost perfectly suited to each other, in terms of immorality and insipidness.

Eric Matthews kicks it off with an article advising guys to ignore average girls in bars. Instead, Matthews writes, insult hot girls who will have to sleep with you to validate themselves:

You’re average, she’s hot. How could you NOT want a piece of that? This is when the awesome girl logic comes in to play. In order to prove that she is as attractive as she thinks she is, she needs to bang you. If she can’t get an ugly guy because he isn’t interested in her, that translates to her as “Holy crap, Fatty McGee is out of my league?”

In the next article, Catherine Castillo (BC ’10) advises girls to go on dates with guys, leading them on just for the food:

Some other helpful hints: play stupid whenever he tries to make a move, and finally sit back, relax, and see just how persistent he can be. Trust me- it’ll take him at least 4 dates to figure out you just “wanted to be friends all along.” By then you’ll be comfortable enough with him to completely shoot down any sudden sexual advances and surely you’ll have already picked out your next few friendly dates. Later, ignoring his texts/calls/voicemail messages will be a breeze because you’ll be so busy!

Here’s to hoping that Matthews runs into Castillo in a bar and finds her attractive enough to insult. She’ll lead him on for four dates (free food!) before (not part of the plan) sleeping with him because, you know, she’s a girl and has to for the sake of her self-esteem.

I don’t have much to say about the Fashion section, largely because when I tried to peruse it, the voice reading it in my head was Brüno’s. Seriously, you try to imagine him reading this passage, flamboyant hand flips and all, without bursting out laughing:

We will all forgive you if you spend three thousand dollars on those sky-high spacecraftesque Louboutin pumps because you just HAVE to have them. What we will not forgive is not looking your absolute best. Looking your best means feeling your most confident; which makes kicking butt and taking names just that much more rewarding.

Lastly, in the Cultural Phenomena section, Grace himself offers some counsel for the troubled GOP. His thesis: it’s all in the suits. Brooks Brothers suits, to be exact. Conservatives wear suits which speak of the “unlabored grace that a classically American suit affords its wearer.” The other guy? A “ranting champagne socialist, clad in a velvet suit with a Salvador Dalí print on it.”

So, Mitt Romney, Eric Cantor, Bobby Jindal, et al, some advice:

The Republican Party will do well to take a lesson from Brooks Brothers and recognize what it did well in the 20th century: strong national defense without large-scale intervention and low taxes coupled with low spending.

These past few months of cavalier government expenditures and elitist social engineering (the work of a president who sheds his jacket in the Oval Office and favors the open collar!) offer the perfect opportunity for a resurgence of the Brooks Brothers Republicans.

Now if only Grace could go back in time to give the same message to Reagan.

If you’re hungry for more FINIS, it looks like they’ve posted their second issue (with the charming title “Start coping with privilege”), so go knock yourself out. Just don’t take me with you.

20 Comments on “FINIS Magazine: Teaching you to cope with privilege, undermine the opposite sex

  1. Far be it from me to diss students ballsy enough to start a website, much less one that updates twice a week (!). Still, these two sentences from Grace’s promo have been running laps in my head and I have to get them out:

    “Resent your birthright but wouldn’t have it any other way?”


    “It’s perfect reading for a class of aspiring professional dilettantes: talented enough to do anything but, spoiled for choice (and by a tremendous sense of entitlement), end up spending their mid-20s traveling and drinking.”

    I don’t know, it just strikes me as too striving.

  2. Where’s HRH George III when you need them?

  3. This represents the decline and fall of Western Civ, even if they are trying to be pseudo-intellectual. If they want a real Latin title, they should have gotten something that can’t be easily deciphered by people who have never taken a classical language, or maybe spent more than three minutes looking through the New College Latin Dictionary for their title. (As a Classical Languages major it’s almost insulting)

    If there’s one thing I hate more than the self-proclaimed rich, it’s the self-proclaimed intellectual.

  4. Good god, we’re doomed, all of us, doomed. This site, and those like it, will murder any kind of journalistic integrity. My hope in the future is waning. What kind of sick bastard keeps breeding these foul creatures? Nothing more needs be said. For a bit of irony, “res ipsa loquitor.”

  5. Scott, is there a Latin term for “Douchebag Magazine”? This thing is incredible. I love any sentence that begins “The Republican Party will do well to take a lesson from Brooks Brothers…”

  6. If she’s trying to be satirical, she’s obviously failing. If she’s not, well…there’s not much to be said, is there?
    I couldn’t imagine something that I would want to read less than the incoherent “Latin” ramblings of a coked-out, shopaholic dilettante like Carlisle Alessandra and her amici.

  7. let’s wait and see how it shapes up. it always takes a while to get something new off the ground. this at least sounds ambitious, if it doesn’t improve, i’ll stop reading.

  8. On that note, I should say Hoya Insider hasn’t updated since July 4.

  9. Hey all, it’s great to get feedback (both positive and negative) concerning this new adventure we at Finis are embarking upon. it’s tough to start from ground zero with varying writers, ideas, and passions, as I’m sure many of you fellow writers are aware. the first issue was just that…we needed to receive some criticism in order to smooth out the bumps in the magazine and cater to our readers [all 5 of you out there :) ]. With time, we’re hoping to make this into something easily accessible, entertaining, and engaging for our target audience. Anyways, check out the newest issue and keep the advice coming, we are genuinely grateful for it!!

  10. Also, one tip for Finis: Don’t scale your images. It stretches them out and makes them look grainy and MS Paint-y. Your original cover image at 750px x 1000px is nice; stretched out to 1074px x 1431px – not so nice.

    Just make the image bigger to start out with.

  11. You know, when someone used to start a competing show to Carson, he’d always invite them on at the beginning to interview them politely and wish them luck, and again at the end once their show had been canceled due to zero ratings to talk about it.

    That’s what I was going to write before the jump. After the jump, I read such douchebaggery that I don’t see much point in feigning politeness.

  12. “the incoherent “Latin” ramblings of a coked-out, shopaholic dilettante like Carlisle Alessandra”

    I decided for the most part I would not respond directly to the Vox Poluli criticism (Battle of the Blogs, Latin Edition?) which I accept willingly as it comes with the territory. Instead, I decided I would allow my much stronger second issue to speak for itself. I feel it has. I’m very proud of the articles submitted in it and think it presents a much better picture of what we at FINIS are hoping to produce.

    Setting this aside, I cannot help but to respond when someone takes to very public forum of the Internet to personally attack not my work but my person. To “Leslie” (which is inadvertently funny as that is my mother’s name), first of all, you could not have possibly read my “ramblings” as I personally had not written anything for the first issue. Also, I’m not sure why “Latin” is in quotes, as we publish in English (oh and for inquiring minds: I took six years of Latin.)

    What I came here to say was that it is extremely tasteless, offensive, and unnecessary to refer to someone you have never met as coked-out. This point does not need expansion. If I do have some sort of drug problem, I’m managing it quite well, don’t you think? Well enough to put out a magazine twice a week. I’ve never really been a shopaholic, and obviously I’m failing on the dilettante front as well with this whole “publishing” thing, but I’ll work on that.

    Just so I don’t become a cartoon of a prep scion (Oh I draw the cartoons on the site. Fun fact. Back to the point…) and to further refute any lingering, unflattering stereotypes about my person I thought I’d come clean: I am from Los Angles, CA. I went to Andover (actually with the author of this article’s sister.) I then went to the Rhode Island School of Design as a film major for a year, missed a liberal arts education, and thusly transferred here to Gtown as a Classics major (tad ironic.) I’m now a Govt and English major.

    I got an idea to start a magazine to showcase some of my friends’ writing. I think it’s important to challenge yourself to write consistently. I’m proud of the work we push ourselves to do, believe me publishing this twice a week is a serious labor of love. At the end of the day, we are a group of college kids who encourage each other to write, edit each others works, and put it out there for other people to read. We have a commitment to a high level of discourse that is becoming ever more solidified with every issue.

    As I learned in art school, criticism is necessary to make your work stronger; I sincerely believe that. I loved the second issue, and the third is coming out on Friday if you care to see how (or if, spake the naysayers) the magazine is changing. We hope you’ll stay tuned.

    But for the love of god, don’t you ever call me coked-out again. Carlisle Alessandra

  13. Finis is simply a weak (what appears to weak, intentions aside) attempt to redefine journalism. What the site is in actuality is everything that is wrong with journalism, yet another contributor to the end of journalism. I don’t think journalism needs to be redefined but the boundary between journalism and a blog needs to be more clearly defined. This is a blog! You are fully entitled to your opinion and viewpoints and sharing them with the world, but don’t pretend you are a journalist or this is a journalistic endeavor. You’re not fooling anyone.

    All of seen in any of the published articles is an empty babble of empty words. And thats all this site is, words. The words of upper class spoiled brats begging to be heard. But perhaps that is because I am not “privileged” enough to understand or care. If only I had such a privileged life as Miss Carlisle.

  14. This website reminds me a lot of the Georgetown’s “Late Night Shots” crowd… gotta love the blue-blooded, old-money, yacht-owning, Brooks Brother-boasting socialites of Georgetown. Also, since when did lines like “If she can’t get an ugly guy because he isn’t interested in her, that translates to her as ‘Holy crap, Fatty McGee is out of my league?'” qualify as “creative writing, solid journalism, and introspective social commentary”? Odd, the two just aren’t connecting…

  15. @ Rusty: Good little quote, aha.

    @ J. Steuf: I’m sure there’s something close. I’d go with “Tabula Prava” but it doesn’t have the same sense as Douchey really at all, more crooked or perverse.

    @Joseph: I always wear my underwear.

    @Carlisle: I sincerely hope the magazine does change, but if it keeps to the mission statement, I don’t see how it can really become much more than a publication to read for simple shock value, sort of along the same lines as the reason why I watch House Wives of New Jersey from time to time. But I’ll give the benefit of the doubt, and keep reading to see if the commentary raises from
    “how to deal with being rich and fabulous”, to, well honestly, almost anything else. By no means do I want this to be battle of the blogs, but just some honest constructive criticism.

  16. P.S. I should admit the articles on the entertainment industry are pretty interesting.

  17. Pingback: Vox Populi » The Venus Flytrap, Georgetown’s newest blog

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