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Content? Ah yes, content.

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We’re running out of time.

Phluid Project Grand Opening
Why is this picture here? No one knows.
Photo by Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Phluid Project

[WARNING: This article is really dumb and completely pointless. Read at your own risk.]

AN ANNOUNCEMENT: This is my last week here as co-EIC of Inside NU. It’s Will’s last week too. As a reward for reading this article, you will learn the identities of our new co-EICs.

ANOTHER ANNOUNCEMENT: But we still need content #medill #mytruenorthwestern.

Why should I be allowed to publish this, you ask?


Here is a list of historical examples of co-rulership in the Roman Empire and how they compared to the Will and Tristan tenure at Inside NU:

Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus

Most people don’t even know Marcus Aurelius had a co-ruler, but he did. His adoptive, playboy brother Lucius Verus also ascended to the Imperial throne in 161. According to the ancient sources Marcus was the “senior” partner and was busy being boring, writing the best-known work of Stoic philosophy and waging brilliant campaigns against some Germans. Lucius Verus was known for ruling over the east and debauchery. However, he also conducted a reasonably competent campaign and diplomatic policy for the better part of the decade against the dangerous Parthian Empire. I’m pretty sure most of the sources are wrong about Lucius Verus’ insane parties. I bet he certainly had parties, but they weren’t any worse than what Rick Pitino did at Louisville, probably.

This partnership is apt for Will and me because he has more alcohol tolerance than me and I enjoy writing pointless notes of philosophy, but in the end both of these guys were probably better at their respective jobs.

Caracalla and Geta

Caracalla and Geta hated each other. After years of intense hatred, Caracalla finally had Geta murdered in front of their own mother.

Not apt.

Macrinus and Diadumenian

Diadumenian barely counts; he was Macrinus’ son and didn’t do much. Will and I actually did stuff.

Gordian I and Gordian II

They are best known for revolting against Maximinus Thrax and losing very, very badly. There is a metaphor to be made with Northwestern basketball here but I will refrain from doing so.

Pupienus and Balbinus

Two old senators who did a really good job for a while and then started hating each other’s guts. They were both assassinated by the Praetorian Guard. Now you know why Inside NU’s leadership is turning over.

Decius and Herennius Etruscus

That was a joke, guys.

Trebonianus Gallus and Volusianus

Many of these co-emperor pairings are just the emperor who took power in some coup and his son. Let’s find the next true parternship.

The Tetrarchy

Ahhhh, now here is some excellent content for metaphors. Well, if we’re going by the book, Kevin Trahan has to be Diocletian, right? He stabilized the empire, really re-founding it into his own image, and also started the project. Next, we have to think Henry Bushnell, Josh Rosenblat and Zach Pereles are Maximian, Constantius Chlorus and Galerius, respectively.

Of course, when the Roman Empire turned into a knockout-style tournament bracket, it was fought by the next generation. That would make me Constantine the Great and Will Licinius.

WILL: Screw you, I want to be Constantine, why do you get to be Constantine?

TRISTAN: Look, do you actually want to be Constantine though? He did murder his own son and forced the entire empire to become Christian to suit a personal fantasy.

WILL: Fair enough.

[Will Ragatz was not consulted for this article.]


  • Let’s pivot to another topic. Can we talk about that Loyola/Nevada game from last night? That was tremendous. Loyola Chicago really is the most fun NCAA Tournament team to root for since Florida Gulf Coast, I think. Also they have Gryffindor scarves.
  • Quidditch has the dumbest scoring system ever. Why would you make a sport in a magical world and have the game essentially be decided by ONE PLAY?
  • What if Bruce Weber wins the national title with Kansas State? How would that make you feel?
  • I know many of my readers have never met me, so this is a video of me in most social situations:
  • While we’re at it, can we talk about cryptocurrency?
  • Oh, we can’t?
  • What is the point of producing mindless content if I’m not even allowed to post about dogecoin?
  • Tyra Buss dot com is the best site on the Internet.
  • This is the best scene in American cinematic history:

I’m done with bullet points. Bullet points are for bad comedians and Tobias from Arrested Development. Have you ever listened to the song “Manion” by The Courtneys?

I haven’t done something overly intellectual in this column yet [everyone: that is blatantly false Tristan, you just listed off ~20 Roman emperors you bum.], so here we go. I’m actually obsessed with this song from The Courtneys, the type of obscure all-female indie punk band that I wield over my friends as leverage for my lack of taste in clothing. Anyway, this song is lyrically fascinating to me. I have no idea what “Manion” is supposed to represent. It’s possible that the writer of this song dated someone named “Manion” (Elena Manion? Manny Manion?) and decide to break up with Manion, leading to the “mandatory suicide” in the song.

What about this?

“You’re a big big bug in a small small blanket/And your anime retina’s burning through my headache”

Is Manion an anime character? Is it actually current Los Angeles Rams punter Sean Mannion? It could just be drugs. It’s probably drugs. Or Northwestern basketball. Same thing, in my opinion.

Alternatively, it’s the difference between embracing Epicureanism and Stoicism. You see, Epicureanism suggests you should enjoy life and have restrained but fruitful pleasures. Pleasure is the only thing that matters. For Stoics, reason is the only thing that matters. The end of the “manion era” is the end of the time when the author only likes Epicurean pursuits.

It’s definitely about a breakup.

Speaking of breakups, Inside NU is breaking up with me after I publish this.


The new co-EICs of Inside NU will be Caleb Friedman and Davis Rich. Neither of them are as weird as me.