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Wowza! Locust Walk Reimagined Thanks to Penn-BlackRock Partnership


In the wise words of John Green (he/him), “I don’t know who’s driving this ship of Theseus.”

I was exiting the Huntsman Building after attending a Wharton class I’m still on the waitlist for (brag), and the presence of a snake-game-like brick pattern splayed on Locust reviled me. The head of bricklaying at Penn, a school with an over-twenty-billion-dollar endowment, couldn’t have used some of that red-and-blue pixie dust to fork up the cash for a better brick road contractor? Preposterous! Sure, snake-game tile patterns work for the technocratic healthcare managers of the world, but the New Sincere era calls for more garish tile displays

Picture my surprise when I wake up the next morning. After engaging in motivational self-affirmations in the mirror of the 24th-floor Harnwell penthouse suite (brag again), I take a peek out of my north-facing window to view the fluid dynamics of sheeple proceeding down Locust. Lo and behold, as is usually the case, a funny thing happened on the way to the forum. The forum, in this case, being the Class of 1920 Commons, and the “funny thing” moreso happening along the way to the forum rather than “on.” I digress.

If, in 2020, my prayers were answered by stakeholders in the dominant global technocracy by being admitted to Penn, they were then answered yet again when I looked down to see each brick of Locust Walk replaced with an individualized ad for BlackRock, the world’s premiere asset management firm. Thank you, Larry Fink (he/him/his/CEO)!

I now walk to my 10:15 Huntsman class with a spirit renewed. All roads lead to BlackRock, literally and metaphorically, and now immortalized on Locust in tiled pieces of built history. No other school comes close to having such overt, impassioned displays of gratitude for their overlords!

But one crucial question remains. Is this not an allusion to the ship of Theseus? Is this #ad for BlackRock not a philosophical study into Penn’s modern identity? Why sport the red and the blue when you could sport BlackRock™? Or are the two one and the same? 

Sometimes when I go to New York, I see Penn grads wearing the merch of their alma mater paired with a baseball cap sporting the logo of the tech startup I assume they work at. It makes for a fun, elevated-casual silhouette. They are the modern embodiments of Theseus' ship, manifestations of the process of trading one identity for another, or covering one up with another, or not doing that thing, or maybe I'm assigning that narrative onto them, or I don’t know. I don’t know. 

#BlackRock #ad