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the college hill inside:

Deporation | 4
independent Undergrad Gaga | 12
t h e b row n / risd weekly | February 4, 2010 | Volume XX issue I Sex tourism | 17
table o F c o n t e n t s F ro m t h e editors

Four days into 2010, the college Hill Independent moved tic talent, and replaced him with the shrewder, suitier Ellen
2 week in reView into a new office, a Brutalist penthouse atop the Sciences Rosenbush. Although Harper’s is a nonprofit, supported by
Avatar, Dungeons & Dragons, Library: the highest point in Providence. We are breathless a John T. and Catherine D. MacArthur Fund, they’re not
Super Bowl, and Whole Foods before our view—the brick and clapboard we report on tum- immune to the ever-looming Bottom Line.
Beatrice Igne-Bianchi, marguerite Preston bling to the river. It enraptures us, the figurative import of Print is a transient tribe, and we’re lucky to remain in it.
our perch. At a time when near-ancient publications like Harper’s are
3 coak talk In spite of the honor, we yearn for the Indy offices of old. feeling the heat, we at the Indy feel that (as they did) we
No broads in the Bay State We remember what Marcel said about memory and scent; should push the envelope, break the molds—to try our luck,
marisa calleja old Indy smelled like toner, tobacco grains nestled in wool, to see what happens, out of spite and out of gratitude, for
and—most pungent—stale beer. Here, we have motion-de- the hell of it.
metro tecting fluorescent lights and a neon-jacketed security detail.
The administration says, “Move!” We grumble: “If you Mid-move, we cracked open a box of old illustrations
4 deportation all carry the boxes.” We’re petulant print adolescents: inde- and hung them on the off-white walls, with the kind of tape
An immigrant raid in RI pendent in name and nature, dependent in financial reality. that strips paint. It was our only transgression against the
rachel levenson University—and the first reason why the SciLi is beginning
It’s too easy to forget our privilege. We are unbeholden to to feel like our home
5 Zoning For boning advertisers; we print “masturbatory, alcoholic, middle-class,
Pawtucket’s pleasure center liberal, pretentious, sardonic, juvenile bullshit.” But the re- —EMS, KSS, ASV
Katie lindstedt cent turmoil at Harper’s, one our most loved publications
(and a constant source of inspiration; v. our annotated Gaga
6 made in ri on page 12) brings us back to reality.
Smarter manufacturing Following a long dip in sales and circulation, Harper’s fired
george warner longtime editor Roger Hodge, an uncompromising, idealis-


7 snow day ‘78

Frat boys on skis
Hannah Sheldon-Dean ephemera as iF you c are
9 palmistry
A handy guide
alex corrigan
My friends are invited to celebrate New Year
11 gloc al connections abroad. What has not just abroad but at sea, in
Fuck my life Egypt! Theoretically, everything needed for this,
richard whitman and finance and liquidity passport. I write this not
to boast. I would like to consult with those who
megaporn deVices have experience of meeting the New Year in warm
Sexy, can you? areas. What is this?? I, frankly, very poor idea, NG,
raphaela lipinsky without snow and Christmas trees and toys, ice
slides and children’s laughter, Medvedev on TV
opinions for 5 minutes before the bells, bottles of vodka
and nemerennogo of tangerines. And that instead
12 gaga annotated of this can give me, Egypt? In truth there was not
The Theory of stardom even once, and the desire to lie down on the hot
jordan carter Egyptian sand—available. But do not think this is
in the New Year.
arts What advise? How can I be??

13 not a phony
J.D. Salinger remembered
alex Verdolini

14 m.F. husain at brown

The Vishnu villain
ryan wong g e t i n touch

epic b attles
Roland Barthes v. Tiger Woods Twitter: @maudelajoie THEINDY.ORG
Simon van zuylen-wood The College Hill Independent THEINDY.ORG
PO Box 1930
science Brown University
Providence RI 02912 THEINDY.ORG
16 season in science
The future is scary, have a cigarette
nupur Shridhar, Sam Dean

Managing Editors: Erin Schikowski, List: Lola Bates-Campbell, Margo Irvin
17 naturalism Mega Porn Star: Raphaela Lipinsky
Kat Stoeffel, Alex Verdolini
We see you News: Marisa Calleja, Beatrice Igne- Cover Editor: Emily Martin
rachel Sanders, Kaela myers Bianchi, Marguerite Preston Illustrations: Samantha Ballardini, Drew Foster, Becca
Metro: Rachel Levenson, Katie Lindstedt, Levinson, Emily Martin, Robert Sandler
x Jesse Strecker, George Warner Design: Robin Davis, Liat Werber, Yue Pang,
Opinions: Jordan Carter, Eli Schmitt Natalie Uduwela, Joanna Zhang
18 as the crow Flies Features: Alexandra Corrigan, Hannah Web: Daniela Postigo, Adam Zethraeus
Foreign correspondence Sheldon-Dean, Laura Tsunoda New Media: Kate Welsh
gillian Brassil Arts: Pablo Larios, Ryan Wong Senior Editors: Nick Greene, Simone Landon,
Literary: Kaela Myers, Rachel Sanders Margo Irvin, Miguel Morales, Emily Segal
Science: Sam Dean, Nupur Shridhar
Sports: Simon van Zuylen-Wood Cover: Hannah Tarr and Miles O’Doyle Lawson
Food: Nick Werle MVP: Liat
X Page: Gillian Brassil

tHe college HIll InDePenDent f e B r ua ry 4, 2010

newS | 2

week in reView

b y m a r g u e r i t e p r e s to n a n d
b e at r i c e i g n e - b i a n c h i

n ow I n 3 D
It’s been the dilemma facing every movie-goer for weeks: see avatar in 2D, 3D, or spring for the 3D IMAX Experience? For the diehard avatar
fanatic, now there’s a fourth option: go to China. The city of Zhangjiajie in the Southern Hunan province recently announced on its website that
it would rename one of the peaks in Wulingyuan National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site) after the floating mountains of avatar’s alien
world, Pandora. In an official ceremony, the mountain that had been “Southern Sky Column” was rechristened “Avatar Hallelujah Mountain.”
Tourism officials in Zhangjiajie renamed the mountain out of pride for its resemblance to the mountains in avatar. They claim a photographer
came from Hollywood in 2008 to spend four days shooting pictures of the area, and that these photos inspired the artists who created Pandora’s
floating mountains. “Pandora is far but Zhangjiajie is near,” the municipal government’s website proclaimed. “Welcome to Zhangjijie to see
‘Avatar’s Hallelujah Mountains’ and discover the real world of Pandora.” Note however, that James Cameron says his inspiration for the mountains
of Pandora came from a different set of Chinese peaks, the Huangshan range in Anhui province.
And don’t go asking your travel agent for the “Magical tour to Avatar-Pandora” or the “Miracle tour to Avatar’s floating mountain” that the
Zhangjiajie tourism website was promoting. City residents did not, apparently, share officials’ pride and were not pleased to have their mountain
rechristened with a Christian name. They complained to the official Xinhua news agency that the name was a marketing stunt formulated by
officials “blindly worshiping Western culture” and mainly aimed at attracting money and tourists. In response officials quickly retracted their
declarations and issued this clarification: “We only added a way to call the mountain. The previous name is not abolished.” As yet, no direhorses
have been spotted.


n o m o r e D r ag o n S tHIncentIVe
In 2004 Captain Bruce Muraski of Wisconsin’s Waupun Correctional Institution received a worrisome letter from an To kick off the new year, and perhaps get people to
anonymous inmate. As the prison’s Disruptive Group Coordinator, it is Muraski’s job to monitor and prevent any gang activ- stick with their resolutions to drop a few, Whole Foods
ity. So when he learned that Kevin T. Singer and three other inmates had formed a group, and were passing out publications Market is implementing a program that offers bigger
to recruit new members, he decided to act. Prison officials searched the inmates’ cells and confiscated all materials related to employee discounts to workers with lower BMIs. Whole
the group. That was the end of Singer’s game of Dungeons and Dragons. Foods universal-health-care-opposing-union-hating-plants-
Singer, according to court documents, had been a “devoted player of D&D” since childhood. In 2002 he was sentenced based-diet-following CEO John Mackey explains in a
to life in prison after stabbing his sister’s boyfriend and bludgeoning him to death with a sledgehammer. Yet the real-life formal letter to employees that if they choose to enroll in
dungeon hasn’t dampened his enthusiasm for the game. He formed the group and continued to play, having D&D publica- the Team Member Healthy Incentive Discount Program,
tions mailed to his cell. When officials searched Singer’s cell they confiscated 21 books and 14 magazines, plus his 96-page they can raise their standard 20 percent discount on locally
handwritten manuscript detailing the specific settings and fictional locations of his D&D campaign. grown leafy greens and soy ice cream to as high as 30 per-
In response, Singer sued prison officials for what he claimed was a violation of his right to free speech and due process. cent, which definitely makes a difference at the overpriced
Recently, however, the court ruled against him. It sided instead with Muraski, who told the court that a game like D&D natural and organic grocery chain. And while Mackey has
“promotes fantasy role playing, competitive hostility, violence, addictive escape behaviors, and possible gambling.” It could, stated that he is not in favor of universal health care, this in-
he argued, foster hostility and “an inmate’s obsession with escaping real life,” which could compromise the prison’s goal of centive is largely aimed at cutting Whole Foods’ health care
“rehabilitation.” Furthermore, argued the court in its final ruling, it’s within the basic purpose of prison to “punish inmates costs, which, according to his letter, are projected to rise
by preventing them from participating in some of their favorite recreations.” each year. Employees who opt into the program are ranked
-MP like American Express cards—from bronze to platinum—
depending on their BMI, blood pressure, cholesterol, and
whether or not they smoke cigarettes.
While the program appears to be a win-win for team
S u P e r B I a S e D S u n D ay members and Whole Foods, some—namely Oregon’s Bu-
reau of Labor and Industries (BOLI)—are concerned that
The Saints and the Colts are not the only ones going head-to-head this Super Bowl Sunday: the perennially controversial a BMI-based discount program will infringe the law. Amy
abortion debate is slated to make an appearance during the most watched commercial breaks of the year. Tim Tebow, Klare of BOLI was quoted in The Portland mercury’s Blog-
quarterback for the Florida Gators, and his mother will share their personal story—in the form of a pro-life ad—during one town shedding light on the fact that not everyone fits into
of the priciest 30-second slots on American television. neat columns. She explained, “There are times when a per-
Funded by the conservative Christian group Focus the on Family, the commercial chronicles Ms. Tebow’s choice to keep son can have a condition that can affect their BMI. Blood
her son. Ms. Tebow fell ill during her pregnancy while serving as a missionary in the Philippines. Afraid she might die, doc- Pressure can be affected by thyroid. And off-work tobacco
tors strongly advised her to abort the future QB1. But Ms. Tebow decided to go with her gut—and God. She gave birth to use is a protected status,” which means that puffing Parlia-
one of the best college football players, like, ever. ments is one’s private information. Whole Foods needs to
But the pro-life message is misleading; Ms. Tebow was never denied choice, despite what the ad alleges. While CBS gave figure out a way to work out some of the discriminatory
the green light to the don’t-abort-a-baby-even-if-you-may-die-it-could-be-a-super-star-athlete ad, the network’s Standards kinks in their new program, but until then, the yuppie food
and Practices department rejected a commercial—just as lucrative—advertising the gay dating site mancrunch. Evidently, chain has become an attractive post-grad option for those of
CBS feels that the image of two men swapping spit doesn’t mesh well with the main event—spandex-clad men rolling us who believe you can never be too rich or too thin.
together in the grass. -BI-B

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010 t H e I n Dy. o r g
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p o l i t i c s p o s t- c o a k l e y
t H e S tat e o f w o m e n I n n e w e n g l a n D

by marisa calleJa

i l l u s t r at i o n b y s a m a n t h a b a l l a r d i n i

w e will remember the narrative of Massachusetts’ senatorial election in facial

terms: Scott Brown’s rugged, graying boyishness contrasted against Martha
Coakley’s nervous, wide-eyed professionalism. Election results came in with 52
percent for the beaming grin, 47 percent for the defeated gape.
In the aftermath of the campaign, which began early last fall after the death of the revered
wasn’t until Elizabeth Roberts (B’78) was elected Lieutenant Governor in 2007 that Rhode
Island had a woman in major office once again.
Rhode Island’s track record for electing women to smaller offices is equally dismal. Women
hold a tiny 17 percent of state-wide offices. Although a woman, Teresa Paiva-Weed, heads
it, the General Assembly only has 22 female representatives out of 125. The state’s Senate
Senator Edward Kennedy, Coakley has been described by the new york times as an “ex- and House of Representatives have 8 and 17 women, respectively. The Center for Women
ceptionally weak candidate” and chastised by newsweek for “showcasing herself as a woman in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston, which tracks the
candidate—as opposed to a candidate who happened to be a woman.” progress of women in New England politics, called Rhode Island’s record of women’s political
Most analyses were armed with 20/20 hindsight and ignored the fact that, just a few representation “one of limited gains for women at both the state legislative and federal levels.”
days before, Coakley was widely considered a completely viable candidate. She was first to Part of the historic lack of female politicians in states like New Hampshire, Vermont,
announce her intention to run—in the same hotel in which John F. Kennedy announced his Rhode Island and Massachusetts is the sheer lack of open seats. Until Brown, Massachusetts
candidacy for the same seat in 1952—and was the most successful fundraiser of the major hasn’t had a new Senator since John Kerry, 25 years ago. Connecticut hasn’t had an open
contenders. In the primaries, she swiftly dispatched her four Democratic challengers and Senate seat in twenty years. Vermont’s senior Senator has held his position since 1975. New
stayed ahead for weeks. On January 11, eight days before the election, she held a formidable England breeds lifers, and lifers make it hard to women to seek office.
50-36 lead over her square-jawed opponent, who was still an obscure state senator with a “It’s a challenge in a lot of states to get women elected to higher office,” Parker said. “The
series of goofy television commercials. opportunities have to be there.” In New England, he added, “you’ve got people who have
Then—gaffe by gaffe—it all been in office for a long, long time and
fell apart. First, she mistakenly it’s harder for women to crack those
referred to prominent Brown old networks.”
supporter Curt Shilling as a Which isn’t to say that things can’t
Yankees fan, despite the fact turn around. When the rare, coveted
that he pitches for the Red Sox. spots open up, EMILY’s List and
The next week the campaign similar groups like the White House
released a commercial criticiz- Project zero in on the opportunity
ing Brown’s voting record in and on potentially viable candidates.
the State Senate that misspelled In Vermont right now, EMILY’s List
Massachusetts. While Brown is firmly backing the current Secretary
pressed the flesh with thousands of State, Deb Markowitz, in her bid to
of voters, she was quoted in the become the state’s second female gov-
Boston globe scoffing at his face- ernor. The group also backed Elizabeth
to-face campaigning. (“Standing Roberts when she considered running
outside at Fenway? In the cold? for Governor of Rhode Island, and
Shaking hands?”) Three days will back Gina Raimondo to become
before the election, the woman the state treasurer. They have high
every Democrat from Newton to hopes for Ann McLane Kuster to take
Northampton believed would be over Paul Hodes’ congressional seat
their next Senator was swirling in New Hampshire’s second district,
the drain. which would make the state’s delega-
It’s silly to ponder hypo- tion majority-female.
theticals, but with just a few “There are a lot of up-and-coming
extra percentage points, Coakley women candidates (in New England),”
would have become the first Parker said. “There are some real stars
female United States Senator there.”
from a state that has tradition- In the flurry over Obama’s historic
ally been icy toward its female presidency, many people didn’t notice
politicians. Until the election that there were more women elected
of Congresswoman Niki Tson- to Congress in 2008 than in any other
gas—the widow of popular year besides 1992—dubbed the “Year
Senator Paul Tsongas—in 2007, of the Woman” by the washington
Massachusetts had gone 25 years Post. There are more women in Con-
without a female representative gress than ever before, but they still
in Washington and 35 without a only make up only 17 percent of
female Democrat. Every woman Congress. This is evident watching the
who has run for governor in Mas- State of the Union, where it’s hard to
sachusetts has lost. (Jane Swift, the Bay State’s only female governor lasted only a year and a spot the brightly-colored St. John’s Bay
half, promoted from Lieutenant Governor after former Governor Paul Celucci resigned.) For skirt-suits peppered throughout the sea of dark coats and ties, but not impossible.
a state with a progressive streak wider than the Charles River, Massachusetts has elected few Regionally, this decade has not been entirely without gains for women politicians. New
Democratic women to state and national offices, and few Democratic women have run for Hampshire elected their first female United States Senator, Jeanne Shaheen, and elected a
major officee. Many women campaigning for office have been moderate Republicans pushed majority-female state senate. Maine held on to two woman Senators. Rhode Island elected
forth by the state’s puny GOP, like 2006 gubernatorial candidate Kerry Healey. their first female Lieutenant Governor. And despite her failed bid to become Massachusetts’s
Jonathan Parker, the political director of EMILY’s List — a political action committee that first woman senator, Martha Coakley is still the state’s first and only female Attorney General
helps pro-choice democratic women get elected to major offices—doesn’t believe Coakley’s and currently the only woman serving as a state Attorney General.
loss will discourage women from running, but that it does indicate the difficulty of electing Things can go horribly wrong in Democratic or Republican campaigns, and in campaigns
Democratic women to major offices. “It’s all part of the same struggle,” he said. Nationally of male or female candidates. When more women run for office, more women win and more
and regionally, it’s neither a turning point for women running for office, nor a regressive slide. lose. It would be dishonest to blame failed campaigns like Coakley’s on gender politics or
This is true of Rhode Island’s famously inbred and corrupt politics, which are even less sexism because a whole swarm of circumstances and failures cost her the election. Her gender
hospitable to female candidates that those of its bigger New England cousins. (Superficial may not have even cracked the top five.
evidence: Wikipedia’s “Women in Rhode Island Politics” category bears a scant three names). But with two men representing Massachusetts in the Senate for the 234th consecutive
But 25 years ago, it looked like things were going to turn around. Claudine Schneider, Rhode year, it’s a reminder that there is still ample room for more cracks in the glass ceiling, and
Island’s first, and to-date only, female representative in Congress was elected to the House of more St. John’s Bay skirt-suits in our state and national offices.
Representatives as a Republican in 1981. Three years later Rhode Island nun-turned-attorney ______________________________________________
Arlene Violet became the first female state Attorney General in the country. This burst of marisa c alleJa b’10 didn’t know Curt Schilling was a Red Sox player, either,
girl-power petered out by the 1990s when Violet and Schneider returned to private life. It Martha.

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p r o V i d e n c e d e ta i n e d
6 0 I m m I g r a n t S fac e D e P o rtat I o n
by rachel leVenson

o n January 6, 2010, US Immigration and Cus- to be trained to assist ICE in arrests and also empowered
toms Enforcement (ICE) agents and state police ICE to investigate the legal statuses of prisoners. In addition,
stopped four white vans en route from Providence Carcieri required all executive branch offices and businesses
to Foxboro, Massachusetts. In these vans, 60 undocumented hired by the State to confirm documentation of employees
immigrants were on their way to work. using E-verify, a federal program that electronically checks
The workers, primarily indigenous Maya K’iche from documentation. It was this section of the executive order that
Guatemala, were hired by a temp agency to shovel snow led to the courthouse arrests.
at the Gillette stadium. East Providence Attorney Deborah In September 2008, the Rhode Island chapter of the
Gonzalez described the workers as being in a “sketchy situa- American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) filed a restraining
tion”; most had heard about the job opportunity by word of order to prevent the use of E-verify, which has received much
mouth, she said, and few knew who was paying them. “You’d criticism for its inaccuracies. While Judge Mark A. Pfeiffer
show up and get in the van, and put your name on the list, denied the request, he issued a statement ordering that the
so they know how many hours you worked,” said 29-year-old program stopped being used, based on its violation of the
immigrant David Catu in an interview with the Providence Administrative Procedures Act.
journal. Legislation requiring the use of E-verify by private em-
ployers has passed in the Rhode Island House of Representa-
Stadium management has since terminated their contract
with the temp agency involved. Neither ICE nor the stadium
“These people are afraid. tives for the past three years. This bill has yet to be passed
in the State Senate. If it does pass, the bill will have major
managers have disclosed the name of this agency.
“I don’t know how ICE found [out]… but ICE knew
M o s t o f t h e m d o n o t h ave a consequences for Providence’s undocumented workers.
that there was a van that would pick up these people and
drive them to the Gillette Stadium to do their work,” Gon-
c r i m i n a l h i s t o r y.” the potus position
zalez said about the arrest. After pulling over the vans, ICE The Foxboro raid came as a surprise to many who had hoped
brought all of the workers to a local police office. There, ICE arrested speak only K’iche, making the interviews difficult: the Obama administration would scale back on immigration
detained several workers because of criminal records or pre- “We almost had to guess what was being said,” Gonzalez enforcement. Nonetheless, Anibal Lucas, director of Orga-
vious deportation rulings. Agents distributed letters to the explained. nization Maya K’iche—one of many community groups
rest with instructions to report to ICE offices in order to supporting the individuals affected by the raid—says he “still
investigate their legal statuses. Afterwards, ICE agents drove get out oF town has faith” in Obama’s capacity to move the country toward
the workers to the stadium to complete the shoveling job. For many undocumented immigrants, a notice to report to immigration reform.
ICE is a lose-lose situation. The failure to appear at an ICE Alexandra Filindra, a post-doctoral research associate at
legal aid appointment constitutes a criminal offence: the evasion of a the Taubman Center for Public Policy, is less hopeful about
Attorney Alex Isbell, of Boston, is coordinating the legal law enforcement organization. This violation of statute law prospects for reform: “People have been surprised that the
response to the arrests. Isbell is a member of Justicia Global, can be used as grounds for deportation. If an individual at- Obama administration has not only continued President
an organization funded by the Guatemalan government to tends the appointment, but pleads the Fifth, he or she risks Bush’s immigration policies of enforcement but also have
support the legal needs of its citizens abroad. Currently, he is detention. been encouraging such efforts.”
working to find lawyers who will provide counsel pro bono Although the majority of those detained in the Janu- Last month, Illinois Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez introduced
for the 40 immigrants seeking legal advice. “The whole ary raid have clean records, all were in the US for only a a comprehensive immigration reform bill in the House of
experience has been like a legal emergency room,” Isbell said. short period of time, ranging from a few months to two or Representatives. This bill sparked hope in those seeking im-
The Guatemalan Consulate, located in Providence, fi- three years. Ms. Gonzalez, who is no longer involved with migration reform in Rhode Island. Steven Brown, Executive
nanced the initial screenings of the clients. The Consulate the case, is not hopeful about their prospects for avoiding Director of the Rhode Island chapter of the American Civil
hired Attorney Deborah Gonzalez and her husband, Attor- deportation. However, both Gonzalez and Isbell agree that Liberties Union, commented in an interview with the Provi-
ney Roberto Gonzalez of Gonzalez Law Offices, Inc. to help the police’s decision to stop the vans was of questionable dence journal that the bill “would go a long way to addressing
Isbell with the interviews. legality. If evidence of reasonable suspicion is not produced, a lot of specific problems and issues that we’ve had to deal
Born in the US to Brazilian parents, Deborah Gonzalez lawyers may pursue the argument that racial profiling led to with in Rhode Island.”
grew up in poverty in São Paolo, Brazil and then moved back the arrest. However, Obama did not mention comprehensive im-
to the States for high school. After graduating, Gonzalez be- The raid was the largest affecting Providence residents migration reform in last week’s State of the Union. “Clearly
gan her legal career as a cleaning woman in a law office. Over since July 2008, when ICE raided six State Courthouses, tak- the policy of the Obama administration is to focus on border
the course of the next ten years, Gonzalez took night classes ing 31 undocumented workers into custody. This coordinat- enforcement and police enforcement,” Filindra added.
and put herself through college and law school. She com- ed sweep of custodial workers followed Governor Carcieri’s The Pew Hispanic Center estimates that there were
mented on her decision to go into immigration law: “We are March 2008 executive order that cracked down on illegal 20,000-40,000 undocumented immigrants in Rhode Island
all immigrants. I think the only people who have ever been immigration. The executive order called for the state police in 2008. Numerically speaking, the deportation of the 60
here are the Native Americans, and people think they are the workers in Foxboro makes an insignificant dent on Rhode
immigrants.” Island’s undocumented population. Enforcement, how-
Over the course of several days, the attorneys interviewed ever, is always more about the message than the numbers.
the Guatemalan workers. “These people are afraid. Most Whether this message is effective in decreasing the number
of them do not have a criminal history,” Ms. Gonzalez said of undocumented persons in Rhode Island is debatable. In
about the interviews. Some of the workers are juveniles, as the meantime, sixty individuals are likely to be deported.
young as 14. One is pregnant. And many of the workers
rachel leVenson b’10 is borderless.

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010 t H e I n Dy. o r g
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the For
push pleasure
Paw t u c K e t zo n I n g B oa r D r e P e a l S S e X ua l e D u c at I o n B lo c K

b y k at i e l i n d s t e d t

o n Monday, February 1, certified sexologist Megan Andelloux or something.”

exited the Pawtucket City Hall, victorious in the final episode Throughout her career, Andelloux, who holds certifications from the
of a battle that began last September when the city’s zoning American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists
board prevented her from opening the Center for Sexual Pleasure and and the American College of Sexologists, has emphasized pleasure. On her
Health. The following day, on February 2, Andelloux opened the non- official website, Andelloux writes, “Why do I do the work that I do? Too
profit adult sexual education center—furnished since September—which often, the views on sexuality (medical and pleasure) distance themselves
she describes as “your grandmother’s living room…just with a lot of sex from one another. The medical world frequently turns its back on the
stuff around.” The center will feature drop-in hours, workshops, and an pleasurable aspects of sex, and the thrill seekers are not interested in learn-
internship program for those interested in the fields of sexual education ing the hows and whys of what makes the body work the way that it does.”
and advocacy. “I absolutely believe that pleasure is a large component in terms of
health,” she said, citing a recent study that showed individuals who use sex
no school in session toys are more likely to get tested for STDs and pap smears.
On September 26, after 12 years of teaching at colleges, nonprofits, and Andelloux also questioned the relationship between her own gender
the Providence sex store Miko Exoticwear, Andelloux was set to open the and the looming controversy. “People have made comments that if a man
Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health at the Grant Building in downtown was trying to open up the center, no one would have batted an eye. I’m
Pawtucket. sure it’s true.”
But on September 15, a Pawtucket policeman called Andelloux and
ordered her to cancel the center’s grand opening on the basis of zoning a question oF rig hts
concerns. A zoning official informed Andelloux that the area was zoned In November, the Rhode Island Affiliate of the American Civil Liberties
for residential and commercial use only—not for educational activities. Union spoke out against the zoning board’s ruling.
On November 30, Andelloux appeared before the zoning appeals “After city officials received a letter saying this was going to be a hot-
board. The following Monday, the board upheld the initial decision. bed of secret prostitution,” ACLU Executive Director Steven Brown said,
After meeting with her lawyer, Andelloux decided to file for a special referencing Donna Hughes’ email, “I think some officials just got tense
use permit in a last attempt to open the center. On January 25, Andelloux about the notion of having a business like hers that dealt with sexuality.”
appeared before the city’s zoning board to present her case one last time. A In a letter to Pawtucket Mayor James E. Doyle, the ACLU claimed that
week later, the zoning board announced their final decision, voting unani- city officials “appear to have reacted to this misinformation reflexively,
mously to grant Andelloux a special use permit. Two of the zoning officials and inappropriately,” despite Travers’ assertion that the issue was purely a
approached Andelloux to express their congratulations. question of zoning.
“We argued that the city denied the permit based on a pretext, because
opposition politics there was no educational zone in the city and there were other tenants in
Andelloux draws connections between the zoning controversy and her vo- the building engaged in educational activities,” Brown said.
cal opposition to Rhode Island’s indoor prostitution ban, which Governor Brown claimed that Andelloux’s case is an infringement of free speech.
Carcieri signed into law last November. “Miss Andelloux wants to run a facility that will provide information to
At a state legislative hearing in June, Andelloux spoke against the indoor the public. It appears to us that the city was trying to prevent her from
prostitution ban. She expressed concerns that the ban would criminalize opening her center because of the type of speech she wanted to engage in.”
the actions of sexual trafficking victims and deter them from interacting After the ACLU’s involvement, the city began to crack down on other
with police. nonprofits and businesses in violation of the zoning code. The Blackstone
Andelloux “fundamentally [believes] that people should have the right Chess center, another tenant of the Grant Building, received a summons.
to do with their bodies what they want.” She said, “There are different In an email, David Harris, owner of Blackstone Chess, called the zoning
reasons why people go into sex work; some are good, some are bad. [But] code “a convenient tool to use for discriminatory practices.”
when you drive something underground it becomes worse.” He wrote, “In my brief research to defend against a summons issued to
After the hearing, University of Rhode Island professor and anti- the Blackstone Chess Center, I discovered that the exact interpretation of
trafficking activist Donna Hughes wrote an editorial in the Providence the code used to stop the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health could be
journal, calling the hearing “a sordid circus, with pimps and prostitutes applied to dozens of downtown locations.”
coming forward to oppose the legislation.” Hughes referred to Andelloux Another Grant tenant, Jason Hogue, wrote in an email, “[This] has
as a “tattooed woman, calling herself a ‘sexologist’ and ‘sex educator,’ shed light on glaring zoning problems in the City that will need to be
[who] spoke against the bill.” addressed if they want more development and business downtown.”
The police officer who ordered Andelloux to cancel the center’s open-
ing informed her that Hughes had emailed every member of the Pawtucket * * *
City council a few days prior, notifying them of the upcoming event.
Megan Andelloux’s struggle to open the Center for Sexual Health and
what’s in a name? Pleasure marks the final legislative saga in a year that was ripe with
Since the decision last September, Pawtucket officials have offered contra- changes in Rhode Island’s regulation of sexuality. In 2009, Rhode Island
dictory explanations for the city’s decision. criminalized both indoor prostitution and underage stripping, the prior
“This is really a straightforward zoning issue,” Ronald Travers, Paw- statuses of which rendered the state an exception with regard to sexuality.
tucket’s zoning director, told women’s enews in December. He cited a As Andelloux rejoices in the fact that “Pawtucket is on board for people
karate studio that faced the same struggle a few years earlier. But City having access to information,” memories of her struggle will continue
Councilor-At-Large Albert J. Vitali, Jr. believes the city targeted the na- to complicate the state of sexuality in Rhode Island, one female orgasm
ture of Andelloux’s work. workshop at a time.
“The title freaked everybody out,” Vitali told women’s enews. “The
‘sexual pleasure’ end of the title flipped a few people on their heads. They _______________________________________________________
didn’t know what she was talking about. They assumed it was a strip club KATIE LINDSTEDT B’11 preferred Grandma’s furniture.

tHe college HIll InDePenDent f e B r ua ry 4, 2010

metro | 6

r hode Island’s manufacturing legacy teeters between

two historical facts: Rhode Island’s Slater Mill is the
‘birthplace of the Industrial Revolution in America,’
yet over the past 20 years, the number of manufacturing
companies in the state has declined from around 2,800 to
economy such as America’s from agriculture to manufactur-
ing to services is a natural change,” while Alan Greenspan, the
former Federal Reserve Chairman, proclaimed manufactur-
ing to be “something we were terrific at fifty years ago” and
“essentially a nineteenth- and twentieth-century technology.”
highly-compensated workforce,” and a “network of scien-
tists, researchers, precision machinists and engineers” from
various companies, and institutions working together, makes
advanced manufacturing less susceptible to outsourcing than
manufacturers relying on large quantities and low costs. The
1,945, a loss of nearly 30 percent. With the recession, most policy-makers have recognized study also notes that the “robust network” of advanced manu-
As Rhode Island, and the United States as a whole, tries to that the loss of manufacturing is not just a matter of nostal- facturers in New England strengthens the area and individual
recover from the largest recession in the last 60 years, the de- gia but a barrier hindering a resurgent US economy in the manufacturers in the region by “enhanc[ing] learning across
cline of manufacturing takes on new meaning. It is no longer 21st century. Reducing imports with American-made goods the entire membership of manufacturers.”
a nostalgic but inevitable fact, a true weakness in the Ameri- and expanding exports abroad are both essential steps toward Concordia Manufacturing—a yarn manufacturer and,
can economy. While manufacturing may never return to its reducing the (expanding) trade deficit. Moreover, increasing at one point, the producer of about 75 percent of the yarn
old economic predominance, Rhode Island’s manufacturing manufacturing translates into increasing expenditures in in Velcro—has successfully made the transition from simple
sector is at a point of transition, with companies moving to- R&D, the innovative lifeblood of the economy, as compa- commodity production to more specialized manufacturing.

ambiguity in the
p ro d u c t i o n l i n e

b y g e o r g e wa r n e r
i l l u s t r at i o n s b y
annika Finne

ward more advanced manufacturing—focusing on complex nies finance 70 percent of the United States’ R&D. Randal Spencer, the CEO and President of Concordia, said:
products and engineering rather than low production costs With the US facing the largest economic inequality in “As our big consumer markets were moving offshore—fast,”
and high volumes—that can thrive in a post-industrial New generations, policy makers and economists argue that a Concordia transitioned to manufacturing more advanced
England. strong manufacturing sector expands the middle class by fabrics for [everything] from “power transmission lines […]
________________ providing good paying jobs for workers without college to advanced composite materials like carbon fiber.”
degrees. John Grady, the Executive Director of the Rhode Concordia’s success rests in part on its “reputation for
In January 2009, in the height of the recession, Clariant Island Manufacturers Association, notes that manufacturing being able to do unusual things with fibers that are very dif-
Corp, a manufacturer specializing in chemicals for pigments is no longer a “dark, dirty profession.” Compared to entry- ficult to handle,” according to Spencer. The company has
and dyes, laid off or relocated its 50 administrative work- level service professions, Grady said, “Manufacturing prob- even developed a new facility to produce a synthetic medical
ers in Coventry, Rhode Island. The company had over 400 ably pays 25 percent higher wages and 90 percent of the time fabric for burn victims after having been approached by a
employees in the state 1997, but by 2008, when it moved its has full benefits. If you are not going to college, and even medical device company that could not figure out how to
in-state manufacturing jobs to Mexico and Germany, there sometimes when you are going to college, manufacturing is a turn a fiber, i.e. a strand of fabric, into a yarn in a commercial
were only 120 plant employees. great industry to get into.” setting.
In the same month workers at the Colibri Group, one Still, Spencer says that “in [Concordia’s] heyday, some-
of Rhode Island’s most prominent jewelry manufacturers ________________ where in the early 90s, we employed 160 people,” whereas the
showed up to the main factory on the Cranston-Providence company now employs between 50 and 60 people. Despite
border to find the doors locked. Clariant’s firing was the final While Taito’s claim that commodity manufacturing is the clear decline, Spencer added that many of the current
step in a long departure, unlike Colibri, which had closed “not coming back” may seem dire, it does not mean a death jobs are better paying, in part because they “are much more
its doors overnight. With their $100 cigarettes and cufflinks sentence for the manufacturing industry as a whole. Instead, technical.” Spencer put the company’s development in blunt
priced at $1500 no longer selling in stores, Colibri had Taito says that successful manufacturers are going to focus on terms, saying: “The bad news is that we are smaller in terms
amassed around $30 million dollars in debt in under three making small quantities of “highly engineered” products that of employment, the good news is that we are still alive.”
years. The unexpected closure meant 280 employees became involve increasing technical knowhow. Recently featured in reuters, BMS, a Pawtucket-based
unemployed overnight. plastics manufacturer, is another manufacturer that has
The rapid demise of Colibri and Clariant’s slow exit transitioned from basic products to design-intensive, highly
highlight some of the main barriers for Rhode Island
manufacturing businesses. Colibri crumbled in part because
“a lot of commodity technical products. After losing 35 percent of their business
when one medical device company relocated the production
consumers could no longer afford luxury jewelry during the
recession, but also because they could not access loans as
m a nu f a c t u r i n g i s go i n g of a basic product to Mexico—the price difference was two
cents per unit compared to eight—BMS transitioned to
lenders reacted to the real-estate market collapse. Clariant’s
exit does not so much reflect the current credit crunch as it
ove r s e a s , a n d q u i t e manufacturing specialty products, often designing collabora-
tively with the customer.
does a longstanding trend of the globalizing economy; the
relatively expensive labor and property costs in New England
c a n d i d ly i t i s n o t go i n g Instead of producing basic plastic bottles, BMS now
makes anything from blood vials for testing the safety of
have made it difficult for the state to compete against foreign
commodity manufacturers.
t o c o m e b a c k .” donated blood to plastic bellows that can withstand the
pressure of underground aquifers. Many of the products still
Leslie Taito, the director of Rhode Island Manufactur- cost dollars or cents, but BMS now makes its revenue on the
ing Extension Services (RIMES), a non-profit that consults design process, in addition to the actual objects.
small and medium-sized manufacturers in the state, claims, A study by the management consulting firm Deloitte BMS and Concordia represent the new wave of Rhode
“A lot of commodity manufacturing is going overseas, and Consulting LLP also sees New England’s future in more ad- Island, and national, manufacturing. Reliant on skilled labor
quite candidly it is not going to come back.” vanced manufacturing. In “Re-examining Advanced Manu- and design, they are also much smaller than many traditional
facturing in a Networked World: Prospects for a Resurgence manufacturing companies like Ford, GE, and Raytheon.
________________ in New England,” Deloitte tries to “debunk the myth that While BMS and Concordia will never singlehandedly em-
advanced manufacturing is a dying industry.” It states that ploy a community, like the traditional giants once did, there
For the last thirty years, as Alan Tonelson documented 57% of Rhode Island’s manufacturing jobs—5% of total is a flip side to that equation. If BMS, Concordia, or any
in Harper’s, the political and economic consensus was: while jobs within the state and a total of 28,703 jobs—are already singular small manufacturer in the state closes down, a com-
it is tragic that manufacturing is declining in America, it is in advanced manufacturing. munity will not close down with it.
part of a natural economic progression toward a fully service- Deloitte claims that advanced manufacturing, charac- ______________________________________________
based economy. For Ronald Reagan, “The progression of an terized by “highly-specialized products,” “a highly-skilled, george warner b’10.5 is manufactured.

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010 t H e I n Dy. o r g
B r ow
Blizz Student
ard o V o lu
f 197 ntee
8 rs in

by H
an nah

T his February, Brown University student organizers remain on campus. “I’m going to sleep anywhere I land,” one Though some students in the storm’s later days received pri-
and volunteers across campus will devote their time worker at the Verney-Woolley dining hall reportedly said. “I vate payment for shoveling out residents in non-emergency
and resources to aiding earthquake recovery in Haiti. might sleep in the dishwashing machine. That way I can take situations, the majority of Operation Digout’s work in the
Thirty-two years ago this week, legions of Brown students a shower in the morning.” Still, compared to its East Side community remained unpaid. By February 12, the group of
participated in relief efforts much closer to home. Begin- neighbors, the University community fared well. With four students had expanded to 500 members, and Governor Gar-
ning on February 5, 1978, an exceptionally strong winter unexpected days off from class, several hundred students set rahy placed Operation Digout at the head of the state’s list of
nor’easter blew through New England, killing approximately out to provide food, resources, and access to transportation emergency assistance resources.
100 people, injuring thousands more, and causing, in pres- to those trapped in their homes around Providence.
ent-day terms, over $1.7 billion in damage. _______________
By February 10, Providence was blanketed by 29 inches _______________
of snow, with drifts as high as fifteen feet; it was the heaviest Despite the damage of the storm’s immediate impact, the
snowfall ever recorded in the city. “It started snowing in the Coordinated by Dave Zucconi, a ’55 Brown alum, and Sam pervading atmosphere on campus was, unsurprisingly, much
afternoon, and it didn’t look like anything special,” Brown Mencoff, a ’78 senior and the head of the University’s As- more excitement than gloom. “It was more of an adventure,”
professor Barrett Hazeltine told the Independent. “But I got sociation of Fraternity Presidents, Operation Digout began remembers Professor Hazeltine. Some students burnt off
up the next morning and it was up to the windows of the almost immediately upon the storm’s arrival. Initially com- the exuberance of the unexpected vacation by building the
house. We couldn’t get out […] for three days.” Not two prising roughly 300 students, Operation Digout turned its kind of elaborate snow sculptures for which paltry Rhode
weeks into Spring ’78, Providence was snowbound, and members’ attention from their usual academic and extracur- Island snowfalls rarely allow; one volunteer with Operation
Brown’s students were eager to be of use. ricular pursuits to life-saving manual labor. Armed with shov- Digout noted that the relief efforts made for “one of the few
els and excess energy, Operation Digout tackled the campus legitimate ways in which a college student can get away with
_______________ first, shoveling out sidewalks and walkways and eventually playing in the snow.” As Professor Hazeltine remembers it,
clearing a path that led all the way around Brown’s campus. most students spent the free time more or less demurely.
In the storm’s aftermath, Governor J. Joseph Garrahy declared They also moved snow away from the Ratty’s delivery dock, “One thing I don’t remember,” he says, “is the stereotype
a state of emergency, and President Carter declared Rhode permitting trucks to bring more food to campus. that people have, of a lot of people sitting around the dorms
Island a disaster area, sending in members of the National Operation Digout’s biggest project, however, was the East and drinking. I don’t remember hearing any of those stories
Guard to clear away the snow. Several individuals had already Side community off campus. “I remember groups of students at all.” Still, bored Brown students share some things across
been found dead in downtown Providence—at the time, the coming and opening up pathways to get to houses, that sort decades; the Herald noted the following trend during the
Brown Daily Herald reported at least eleven “snow-related of thing,” said Professor Hazeltine. “They knew where elderly snow days: “Spats enjoyed brisk sales.”
deaths” in the city—and shortages of heat, food, water, and people lived, and people with medical problems.” Working in
electricity were widespread. On Brown’s campus, stores of conjunction with the Red Cross, teams of students shoveled ______________________________________________
preserved food were sufficient to last about a week, but sup- throughout the day to free snowed-in residents, sometimes HANNAH SHELDON -DEAN B’10 has always
plies of heating oil in several dormitories ran out, sending delivering food or medical supplies as well. dreamed of being snowbound.
residents into temporary living quarters. Those dorms that As the recovery progressed, counterparts to Brown’s
were still heated ran low. Of the Young Orchard Apartments, Operation Digout cropped up at Providence College, the Archival information and photographs courtesy of the
the then-director of the physical plant reported: “Their heat University of Rhode Island, and Johnson and Wales Univer- Brown University Archives at the John Hay Library.
will last maybe three days.” By the end of the storm, costs sity, while the original group expanded their efforts further.
to the University in damages and resources would total over Sometimes working on skis or snowshoes, volunteers shov-
$13,000. eled out stranded cars and continued to deliver emergency
“Clearly, it was a real disaster for some people,” said Pro- medical supplies—insulin, in particular, seemed to be in
fessor Hazeltine, referring to the student commuters stranded short stock at area hospitals—and the Herald reported that
on campus. Some University employees were also forced to Brown volunteers provided staff for four local hospitals.
S t u d e n t r e s p o n s e to
the Hurricane of ’38

Far more devastating than the ’78 blizzard to the

Providence community was the New England
Hurricane of September 1938, which killed
upwards of 600 people and destroyed thousands
of homes across New England. Some parts of
downtown Providence were under thirteen feet
of water. Brown University’s original charter was
washed clean of its ink when a downtown stor-
age vault filled with water; the statue of Caesar
Augustus that stands on Wriston Quadrangle
lost its right arm. The University’s attitudes
toward students’ involvement in national and
international issues were notably different than
they are today: later that September, President
Henry Wriston urged students to save their en-
ergy for “establishing peaceful relations among
all student organizations rather than among all
peoples and nations on the other side of the
world,” and the editorial staff of the Brown Daily
Herald recommended that students not “get
excited over things which they [are] powerless to
control.” Although the hurricane occurred just
as students, some fresh from harrowing train
journeys, returned to campus, Brown men and
Pembroke women reportedly earned commen-
dation for their role in the relief efforts. Student
rescuers helped a Pembroke freshman stranded
at “the station” (most likely the train station,
then located next to what is now Kennedy Plaza)
make her way to campus, and the vice president
of the Narragansett Electric Company person-
ally thanked Wriston for the efforts of Brown
students in testing out the company’s downtown
circuits “from midnight until daylight,” com-
mending their “fine workmanlike attitude.”
t h e a n c i e n t a rt is j u s t a l ib r a ry away.
By Alexandra Corrigan
i l l u s t r at i o n b y a l i s o n d u b o i s
d i a g r a m s f r o m b r o w n l i b r a ry & t h e a u t h o r

I had heard rumors about Condessa on Thayer Street, and her upstairs boudoir full
of Lay-Z-Boys and Jesus figurines. And sure, I had been advised that my money
would be better used as tissues. But a friend had just told me I had large mounds
on my hands indicating creativity, and I couldn’t resist third-party confirmation. One
morning, Condessa clumsily welcomed me into her apartment. I followed her through
the entryway of an IKEA kitchen, a living room stocked with yard-sale frames of Tou-
louse-Lautrec pictures and a ‘psychic’ corner of Spectrum India tapestries. Condessa,
a woman of about 60 with jowls weighed down by the burden of psychic ability,
aggressively pulled out my hand and sat me down.
“You get taken advantage of often. You give too much. Am I right? Do you have
breakup in last two years? Terrible breakup?”
She had put down my hand almost instantly, apparently gleaning this information
from photographic memory. “Sure,” I encouraged.
“Well everything will work out. Don’t rush into anything. You will marry a blonde
man at age 26, you will not be rich, you will not be poor, you will be well off, and you
will have three healthy children.” By now, I was sure she was playing to my strong,
bourgeois, brown-haired white-girl vibes. “But there are negative energies around you.
Could you tell your friend to leave the room?” Awkwardly, she ushered my friend out
of the apartment. “You have lots of negative energy with her. You need me to pray on
candle for you, only fifty dollar, but you need it.” I handed her twenty dollars for the
reading, told her I had to think about this “difficult decision,” and made my way back
onto bright Thayer Street.

From Antiquity to Athenaeum

Beyond Condessa, thirteen registered psychics practice the art of palm reading in
Providence. Widely scientifically discredited, the art still maintains its seductive ap-
peal. Dr. Brandon Gaudiano, PhD, an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Brown
Medical School, is an outspoken skeptic of psychics. His insights help explain why
people continue to support Condessa and other Providence psychics. He wrote to the
Independent: “[People] are highly susceptible to things like cold reading techniques
because we are biologically hardwired to be pattern-seeking animals....[Palm read-
ers] focus on a highly susceptible, eager audience, such as people who are grieving or
in personal turmoil.” Unsure and saddled with disposable cash, students keep these
palmists in business.
A trip into the Damon Collection of the Occult at the Hay Library, however,
proves Brown complicit in furthering the palmist agenda. The collection reveals for-
mer professor S. Foster Damon’s dirty academic fascination with the supernatural,
including alchemy, witchcraft, mysticism and palmistry. Here, alongside Lincoln’s
manuscripts, one can find texts instructing the novice on the tried and cobbled science
of palmistry. Historically, the collection starts with recent editions of 7000 year-old
Hindu texts, which combine signs from the gods and correspondences to organs in the
palm’s color, shape and size. Adapted from Indian traditions, Chinese palmistry dates
back 4000 years. In Chinese palmistry, all the body’s organs correspond with parts of
the hand. The fate of one’s liver derives from one’s index finger and not, perhaps, too
many beers. Western palmistry, however, can be traced for the most part to the Greeks.
Most famously, Aristotle found a how-to book of palmistry on the god Hermes’s altar.
Modern palmistry retains the Greek names for the regions of the hand.
Banned by the Catholic Church, palmistry went underground. A new anthropological, i.e. colonialist, fascination with categorizing the body in the 18th and 19th centuries revived the
tradition. Napoleon notoriously kept a palm reader in his court and inspired a legion of writers to resurrect the art. Thanks to the French colonial influence, some of these works can be
found in Providence. The Hay library owns the first seminal piece of this revival—D’Arpentigny’s La Science de la main, published in 1856. The Providence Athenaeum and Fleet Library
at RISD stock Desbarrolles’s Chiromancie nouvelle, another seminal relic from the mid–19th century. Some lesser known English and American how-to manuals lie in the rare History/
Science section of the Hay as well. Beyond rare books, the Rock and RISD library stock the canonical texts of Palmistry—most notably, Cheiro’s Language of the Hand. Internet resources
on palmistry abound, from scans of ancient texts available from the Brown and RISD libraries to dating-website compatibility charts.

Palmistry for Dummies

At $20 a pop, it’s economical to learn how to read your own palm. At the very least, it’s a great party trick. From ancient Chinese healing to French revival palmistry, from 1896 palmistry/
phrenology manuscripts to Madam Anna’s Palm Faxts (1999), the consensus remains that three lines actually matter: Heart Line, Head Line, and Life Line. Beyond that, hand shape, minor
lines, and mounds can all alter the picture. These lines differ on right and left hands. The left hand maps the individual’s family influence, the right hand the individual’s agency. According
to palmists, the markings on the right hand change over time.

Heart Line gap, however, is too exaggerated,

The heart line is the palm’s first hori- this person is reckless and excitable.
zontal line. It should ideally be deep A common mistake is to confuse
and thin. A red or extreme depression the vitality line for the life line. The
into the skin denotes a violent passion. vitality line exists in about half of
A pale and broad line indicates a blasé the population and indicates an
attitude about love. Consider treading inner strength of spirit, resistance to
lightly into love with a person of either disease, and sexual vitality.
heart line. The line’s direction can
indicate six kinds of lover, ranging from Line of Fate
selfish to selfless, nurturing to analytical. Running from the base of the hand
Lines connecting from in-between your up to the middle finger, this line
first two fingers into your heart line suggests a belief (or lack thereof ) in
indicate a high level of sexual passion. fate. Breaks can be tracked over time,
starting from the beginning of life
Head Line (bottom of palm) to the end (top).
Head lines either descend into the Compare to left hand for introspec-
lunar mound (the lower left quadrant tive musings on family and religion.
of your hand) or horizontally traverse he
the palm. If yours does the former, the ad h ma Line of Fame/Success
18th-century palmist would probably ear rria The line of Apollo predicts success in
keep you on watch for fragility of mind. t fame ge the arts. It connects the base of the
In contemporary palmistry, one would, hand to the third finger (naturally,

with prime political correctness, call the finger of Apollo, denoting passion
your line ‘creative’ or ‘imaginative.’ This for beauty). The showy person will
is especially true if your lunar mound have an overdeveloped mount at top
is exaggeratedly prominent. If you’re of this line, below the ring finger.
straight across, well, congratulations: ven
you’re a little square, but you think u s Marriage
rationally and will probably succeed in Saving the best (and most difficultly
life. Cross-check this with your Mount legible) line for last, marriage lines
of Jupiter (the prominence under your aren’t for the idealist. These can tell
index finger) to see if your ambition of divorces, affairs, premature death,
is to be in charge of others. Does your and temporary separations. These
head line fork? You probably have had dueling influences from your parents, and have had slashes lie between the base of the pinkie and the heart line. Each deep, defined and long
to choose one or the other. Men typically choose what their mother passed down, and slash represents a long-lasting, intense love affair (and most likely, a marriage). Time is
women vice-versa. Beyond line shape, watch out for chains or islands on the head line. measured from the heart line up to the pinkie. So the first marriage is the slash closest
Breaks on any line indicate flakiness, change, or, if very severe, trauma. to the base. A fork at the beginning of each slash represents a long engagement; a fork at
the end of the relationship ends in divorce. Breaks in the marriage line indicate problems
Life Line within the marriage. For a more complex inquiry into possible extra-marital affairs, social
Life lines start from the top of the thumb and curve down towards the palm. Some life prominence, and exactly when your 26-year-old blonde, opulent hubby will materialize,
lines originate from within the head line. A subject with this connection has a nervous, you’ll need to consult your local library.
oversensitive disposition. When the life line simply joins the head line, however, the lines
indicate a cautious sensitivity; a palmist would instruct the subject to gain self-confidence _____________________________________________________________________
and let loose. A small separation between the head line and life line is the most auspi- ALEXANDRA CORRIGAN B’12 blames a middle-school love of Charmed for her
cious, which shows a clever and independent thought and spirit. If this coincides with seduction by the Occult.
a straight head line across the palm, this wit will be used to control other people. If this

Variations of heart line

Condition Type: attributes. Advice.
1 Independent: reserved, loyal, and shows affection practically. Should date nurturers.
2 Humanitarian: charitable, idealistic, and free. Should remember to give primarily to their Significant Other and self.
3 Nurturer: giving, expressive and sometimes co-dependent. Should make expectations clear to SO.
4 Expresser: mercurial, spontaneous, but sometimes self-centered. Should keep SO’s plans/feelings in mind.
5 Thinker: idealistic, practical, and responsible. Should find the right person instead of giving up wants for an ideal.
7 Pleaser: adaptive, sensitive, but loses self in relationship often. Should make sure relationship is not one-sided.
f e at u r e S | 11

JiZZ in the
l i b r a ry
B r ow n f m l a n D V I rt ua l c o m m u n I t I e S

by richard whitman
i l l u s t r at e d b y e m i ly m a r t i n

d ecember 11th, 2009: “Today, I just read every

BrownFML, finishing at 5:30 in the morning. I
have an Orgo exam at 9. FML.”
December 13th, 2009: “Today, while I was using the
men’s bathroom outside the quiet room, I accidentally
u r the css to my html
While the FML forum has no underlying agenda, both
Varon and the Brown moderator notice overarching trends.
The comments invited by FMLs contain real advice and
Brown student, the byproduct of which is the creation of an
internet niche.
At Brown, like anywhere else, we surround ourselves with
people who have similar ideologies and interests. The internet
allows us to create even smaller communities with blogging
empathy—and are incidentally the funniest part of the site.
stepped in a wad of jizz tissues. This is the closest I’ve gotten On the original FML, the comments are click-to-view. Va- platforms like Tumblr and forums like SomethingAwful.
to action in weeks. FML.” ron decided to expand the comments by default, emphasiz- Inhabiting these internet niches can potentially give rise
Brown FML went live on December 8th, right at the cusp ing the potential to foster helpful and meaningful interac- to exclusivity. Immersing ourselves in social networking
of reading period. Within a matter of days, the campus was tion among the readers. “What is of value in a larger sense tools reinforces the social and class divisions that separate
noticeably abuzz with this new medium for viral news stories about this whole idea,” says Varon, “is that it provides a way us from people who don’t—people without 24/7 internet
and cheeky, ribald vignettes. Brown FML became one of the for people to communicate in a way they didn’t have before. access, people with full-time jobs. Although this is an impor-
largest and most trafficked FML site of any college, with up They have real problems, excessive drinking—not that that’s tant consideration for tools like Facebook (whose user-base
to 70 submissions on a given day. Of course, not all of them an inherent problem—people posting about real issues in presents controversial ethnic breakdowns), it’s unclear how
were published. their lives and they get support through the comments…. It much, if at all, it matters to sites like Brown FML, the conceit
“I got so many ‘I blew my load in the library,’” says the fills a role in the community.” of which is descriptive comedy—a toggle of perspective that
sole Brown moderator, who has a pile of about 30 jizz-related “A lot of times people will go to a college FML site, and turns life’s quotidian tragedies into buoyant commiseration.
FMLs and who has asked to remain anonymous. if [they] don’t really understand what is going on,” Varon On Brown FML, we endorse school camaraderie and
Other popular topics include roommate anecdotes and explains, it looks like “a bunch of whiny college students engage in a larger conversation about what makes us Brown.
Orgo, writing normally relegated to the Rock bathroom complaining…. What do these people have to complain We can, in that sense, participate in a shared sense of Brown
walls now digitized and archived in cyberspace. The under- about, they’re going to a good college [...] but that’s a misun- homogeneity. A Brown stereotype. Something to mythicize,
lying brilliance of FML is the combination of two major derstanding of what the site is trying to do.” to poke fun at, to self-deprecate, to offer sympathy for, but
comedy doctrines: misery loves company, and laughter is the Of course, FML is limited as a support group. Though ultimately something to reinforce. Whether this stereotype is
best medicine. anonymity enables the brazen honesty and vulnerability that accurate is less important than the motive behind construct-
Last semester, on Halloween night, Harvard freshman makes the site worth reading, there is no personal account- ing one: mainly, to connect, to join the club.
Jonah Varon launched the College FML mainframe that now ability. So while, “I have not made a single friend while at People will always self-separate, but the key difference here
supports over 40 different FML communities, a procrastina- Brown. I am a junior. FML” is met with comments full of is that the internet is boundless. Though one might wonder
tion portal for students from Yale to UCSD to Brown. “I solace, it is also tempered by an astute observation: “it’s very about the social implications of the network-driven social
thought, if it took off at Harvard, why wouldn’t it take off easy for commenters [sic] to say ‘oh I’ll be your friend!’ or media, especially those related to educational institutions,
elsewhere,” says Varon. ‘oh let’s all have coffee’, but it’s small comfort, given that this these online communities are evidence of a well-meaning
College FML doesn’t take off everywhere. So it seems is the internets [sic] and all. it just drives the point home.” pack mentality. Even in the interweb’s anonymous and in-
interesting that Brown took to it with particular affinity. finite expanse, there’s a kind of instinctual cohesion at play.
Someone will approach Varon about creating an FML for lol is the best medicine But it may be in the guise of sly and goofy lolcat. It may be
her college, and he will set her up as the moderator. But Instinctively, users find FML to be different from the other written in library jizz.
sometimes, it falls flat. What makes or breaks a college FML? Brown-specific social mediums. Spotted at Brown often
Varon notes that successful college FMLs capture “a feel of documents the failure to connect. Brown Texts From Last ______________________________________________
the dynamics of the community,” though he is quick to add Night is faceless. What is unique about Brown FML is the Tune in next week for richard whitman b’11 ’s
that it’s only a piece of the puzzle. underlying effort to connect over what it means to be a investigative journalism on library jizz.

seXy can i...

g by raphaela

a Instructions: Each puzzle

p (#1 and #2) enocdes one five-

letter answer word. Deduce
this word by first identifying

o the word clued by each picture.

The number on the upper right

corner indicates the number of
letters that the clue shares with
the answer word. Read the an-

swers in order to solve this clue:
“Dig it, below the bleachers”

last year’s answers: leFt to right,

up to down owe/owie/bowie/
bowtie hat/heat/heath/sheath
cop/coup/coupe/couple ate/c ate/

tHe college HIll InDePenDent f e B r ua ry 4, 2010

o P I n I o n S | 12

t h e t h e o ry m o n s t e r
g ag a g e t S t e X ua l
b y J o r d a n c a rt e r
i l l u s t r at i o n s b y a m a n d a g r e e n b e r g

b ritney Spears is my secret vice, but I’m proud to blast the Lady. She’s smart, arguably edgy, and at the reins of the beast commonly referred to as fame. Britney is a pawn of a talented
army of producers. Gaga does a cappella variants of her self-written hit singles. Britney is the mistress of lip-syncing and these days can barely shimmy. Gaga simultaneously executes
extensive choreography and sings live. The synthesizer plays Britney. Gaga plays the piano.
I was hesitant to dignify Gaga’s ‘artsy’ aesthetic until one routine raid of the Official Lady Gaga website’s fan forum ended in a rare find: a theoretical art analysis written by a 17 year old
Gaga, or rather, Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, during her freshman year at NYU Tisch. Although the document has yet to be certified by any media heavyweights, the prose reads
Gaga. I feel it. It’s gritty, fragmented, and tastefully flawed. In order for the following essay to scream Gaga any louder, she would have to personally deliver it to you in a bejeweled manila

folder. Don’t be skeptical. Just let Gaga go.

s t e Fa n i g e r m a n ot ta contrast between what is ordinary and what is unordinary.

n oV e m b e r 1 , 2 0 0 4 The perceptions of the nude and the deformed both manifest out of a concept of the
a s s i g n me n t # 4 : r e c ko n i n g o F eVidence social body, and the ideological contrast and visible conflict that is created in their presence.
In Of A Monstrous Child, Montaigne asks us to consider the way we look at the body, and
The terms of the human body, some might say, are determined through a theoretical at each other. Montaigne suggests:
dissection of both the private environments and public atmospheres in which we live.[1] What we call monsters are not so to God, who sees in the immensity of his work the
By terms, the rules and evaluations of bodily condition, I mean to establish a division of infinity of forms that he has comprised in it; and it is for us to believe that this figure that
perception. The first divide is that of the social body, the perception of our bodies in relation astonishes us is related and linked to some other figure of the same kind unknown to man.
to a larger intellectual and sexual community, one that views each other in groups.[2] The (58) When we view something contrary to custom we assign them a monstrous quality.[9]
second divide is the condition of our nature, a perception of the body without relation or We infer based on something’s lack of ordinariness that it is disgusting or somehow linked
comparison, a singular entity that is independent, formless, and free. This segregation of to something inhumane, in some cases one might say uncivilized. In light of Montaigne’s
seeing is general, yet universal because it capitalizes on our differences. theory, that we assign the unordinary with a monstrous condition, we can see the viewpoint
However, it is in the freeing of both natural and artificial bodies that art is created.[3] from which art critics, the government, and the public, condemn Spencer Tunick’s work with
Some artists depend on the predisposition of their subjects to provide the work with its naked bodies. Because it is not socially ordinary; it is irregular to see that many nudes amassed
primary message and meaning, other artists rely on a temporal and physical freedom, an abil- at one time, the art possesses a grotesque quality for the viewer.[10]
ity to use objects while also freeing them of their social significance and thus endowing them This assigned foreignness can be designated as a kind of artistic racism, a public percep-
with endless possibilities of form.[4] Spencer Tunick, an installations artist and photographer, tion that handicaps from seeing and experiencing different forms, whether artistic or natural.
struggled to achieve this freedom as a working artist in New York City. This artist is most There is an error in our perception that our perception of the human body is somehow
famous for his installations, often characterized by masses of naked people arranged together flawed. We call contrary to nature what we call contrary to custom (Lopate 58). We are
in domestic locations, and in countries from every continent of the world. Removed of sexual trained only to be accepting of the regular, and it is this blindness that prevents us from seeing
implication or intention, the nudes are used primarily and only as intended by the artist, as the prodigy in that which we have never seen before.[11]
an exploration of the shape, contour, and texture of the naked body.[5] Spencer is fascinated It is possible that in our naked form, in our deformed, that we are not only exposing our
by the metamorphosis of the human body into a form, and the effect that his chosen locations vulnerability, our skin, our scars, our flaws, and our genitals. But we also are exposing our
have on this new shape (and vice versa) . In this way, the naked bodies are Spencer’s clay, and secrets.[12]

he uses them in the same manner that a painter uses oils or a sculptor uses marble. Sexuality manifests most physically in the form in the human body. Kenneth Tynan,
This way that the artist looks at the body, is a radical contradiction to Western society’s author of several sexually thematic plays, including OH! Calcutta, a show done entirely in
view of the nakedness. In the eyes of some of his critics, Spencer’s works—showcasing mass the nude, has expressed in his published diaries a personal infatuation with sexuality, and an
nudity— invade social privacy and degrade the sacredness of the body. Tunick challenges interest in its relationship to society and history. In an October entry during 1972, just a few
traditional ideas of intimacy, and asks us to free the body of sexuality and view it aesthetically years after OH! Calcutta closed, he ventures to further his knowledge and fascination through
for the purpose of his art. The social body cannot exist, most specifically in the nude, as psychoanalysis, and provides us with the perspective of what some might call, an artistic
anything other then a sexual thing. This is our naked condition.[6] sex-maniac. Unlike Spencer Tunick’s work, Tynan embraces the human body’s sexuality as
The analysis of form, while an engaging arc to follow, can also reveal an inverse explora- its primary and most important function: the body cannot be freed of its sexual condition.
tion[7] of the body. An examination of the deformed. This word, Michel de Montaigne He criticizes Freud who hypothesized an ideal sexual act, from which all deviations [sexual
addresses in his essay Of A Monstrous Child, suggesting that the existence of a social body is fetishes] were heresies to be purified by confession and rooted out (Lahr 103). Tynan finds
formless, but far from free. He describes the figure of a boy, below the breast he was fastened Freud’s interpretation of sexual goodness—an interpretation of intercourse in relationship
and stuck to another child, without a head, and with his spinal canal stopped up, the rest of to society and nature—to lack an understanding of the human relationship with body. He
his body being entire.[8](Lopate 57). Montaigne paints for us, a portrait of the boy’s physical reveals a kind of disgust for the psychoanalytic world in relation to sexual nature, classifying
form, or rather his de-form. With fastened, stuck, and stopped as his verbal interpretation of Freud’s writing as scorching fire, a method of analyses that distorts our human nature by
a Siamese twin, he illustrates how a human body, or form, can be imprisoned by abnormal searing its purpose and condition in society. This modern sexual relationship is evident most
disabilities. For the deformed, there is an ownership of one’s difference, an ownership that is clearly for Tynan in a Euro sexual openness, a perspective that embraces fetish and profane
visible and undisputable. Through a scenic description of a deformed child, Montaigne uses desire as our most fundamental and primitive form of sex, seeing the human body only as a
the different shapes and contours of the child’s deformed body in order to create a visual form with sexual signification.[13]

9 2 5
Gaga does not simply own her difference; she Groups like gay and straight, I as- 1
Gaga is about to break it down Track I style. Looks like good ol’ Gaga has been packing
takes it to the max. She refers to herself as “de- sume. Gaga—often accused of be- legitimate ammo to back up her Warhol-
formed” and carrying “a monstrous quality,” the ing a hermaphrodite—purposefully inspired manifesto since she was seventeen
beastly fervor she claims propelled her to stardom. plays with these sexual boundaries. That’s right, Gaga wants to emancipate us; years old. What now. So the next time she
Her glossy, yet thrillingly dark Monster Ball Tour She gives regular shout outs to the she will facilitate our transcendence into hu- wears sunglasses covered in rhinestones,
showcases Gaga and her zombie crew decked out in gays in interviews and award accep- man art. How can you hate on that? If only forget the fact that they likely obstruct her
glamour-goth garments, vigorously thrashing their tance speeches. Gaga does not care the world were sprinkled with Gaga-glitter; vision, and accept it as art. If we stop being
paws. She is media’s Frankenstein. if you think she wears a micro-jock we could frolic like Adam and Eve before the so pessimistic and take Gaga into our hearts,
strap under her itty-bitty bionic whole apple thing. she can actually become the new Warhol:
Gaga knows a thing or two about the grotesque; bikinis. She probably wants you weird, popular, conceptually enlightened,
let us pay homage to her classic bloody mid-air to. It’s press; it’s another chance to 3 commercial…legit.
Free. Perhaps Gaga’s favorite adjective. The
suspension at the 2009 MTV VMAs. wear a bikini with gigantic shoulder diva of discourse frequently proclaims, “I’m 8
pads and parade the glamour, and a free bitch” in “Bad Romance” and other It looks like we found the inspiration for
12 the vice, embedded in our image- tracks on her sophomore album, The fame Gaga’s transformation into a sexy, bionic
Wait a second Gaga…have you been
hungry culture. monster. paraplegic in her eight-minute-long music
hiding something down there all along!?
video for “Paparazzi.”
That’s why she opts to be sans bottoms. Gaga must have 11
With each escalating spectacle, Gaga performs
Gaga is certainly no stranger to that burned all her designer skinnys after writing this essay. and promotes the human capacity to conjure
ideology: “I wanna take a ride on your For such an impulsive act, it sure paid off. I’m pretty sure inclusive, yet self-defined, social space where
disco stick.” She is one hell of a quasi- we all want to toss on a scantily clad spacesuit and “walk, judgmental blindfolds are exchanged for plu-
ugly, hypersexual being. She wants walk fashion baby” across a multi-media playground- ralistic diamond-studded Wayfarers. During a
sex—or at least her alter-ego does— turned-stage as the mouths of allegiant fans spread wide, November ‘09 interview with Ellen DeGeneres,
and she wants us to be comfortable consuming our self-referential spectacle. Oh, don’t forget Gaga—draped in latex—attempted to sum up her
with ourselves, so we can have sex too. the gold lobster pumps. heterogeneous aesthetic: “The whole point of the
monster mall, the music, and the performance art
7 aspect of it is to create a space for my fans where
I think Gaga wants us to get naked and free ourselves
Jordan c arter b’12 is from the chains of restrictive sexual pedagogy. Wait, that they can feel free and celebrate because I didn’t fit
stunnin’ with my love glue-gunnin’ can’t be right—if she gets to wear a polar bear parka then in during high school and I felt like a freak…so I
why should I freeze naked on the streets trying to prove like to create this atmosphere for my fans where
an empty point? I’m definitely going to keep my clothes they feel like they have a freak in me to hang out
on. I’ll simply snuggle up by the flat screen, select Lady with, and they don’t feel alone.” Gaga, you’re still
Gaga from MTV On Demand, and fixate on her skin-tight, a freak, but don’t worry, you’ll never feel alone
avant-garde stripper garb, as she goes berserk on a piano again. Pa-Pa-Paparazzi. As for your fans, at least
that looks like it’s fresh from the Willy Wonka Chocolate they get to enjoy the show.

tHe college HIll InDePenDent f e B r ua ry 4, 2010

a rt S | 13

glass house
j . D . S a l I n g e r a n D t H e a rt o f t H e a S I D e
by aleX Verdolini

A preliminary question: If you went out and found a taste, at least in one thirteen-year-old’s eyes. be the other way around: perhaps “Bananafish” was the
really good sculptor, sat him down and said, “Make me a He told us he’d once quoted Catullus, in the Latin, one straightforward statement and everything else—all
Salinger,” where would he begin the chiseling? as a dive bar pickup line. He’d wept the day that Beckett those stories of mourning—parenthetic annotations on
I don’t think he would start with the nose, though it’s died. the suicide. Salinger, at the beginning of Seymour: an
a nose of Mt. Rushmore proportions. He’d skip the thick, When it came time to introduce us to Salinger, Mr. Introduction, confirms it in a way: “I privately say to you,
dark eyebrows and the slicked-back hair; if he knew what Hauser skipped over catcher in the rye and put nine old friend (unto you, really, I’m afraid), please accept
he was doing, he’d disregard the face entirely. We’ve seen Stories in our hands. from me this unpretentious bouquet of early-blooming
that face a good many times this week, between the smug And so my acquaintance with the author did not be- parentheses (((())))”
black-and-white snapshot that graced almost every obitu- gin with the outdated, overrated, fairly irritating creature
ary and the four color photographs the new yorker came known as Holden Caulfield (whom most of us are gypped 4
up with (most of which show J.D. playing with some- into meeting long before his infinitely better-sculpted One last digression. Forgive me, please.
body’s son—as if to sweep the man’s misanthropy under cousins), but with a man called Seymour Glass, who in The year after I first read Salinger was an interesting
a sun-dappled Kodachrome rug.) These pictures are “A Perfect Day for Bananafish” “walk[s], talk[s], [goes] for one. I went away to prep school in New Hampshire and
enough to convince me: Salinger belongs to that category a dip in the ocean, and fire[s] a bullet through his brain dropped out promptly; I started name-checking Holden
of people whose faces resemble their inner life in no way. in the last paragraph,” to quote a synopsis that the author in casual conversation, came back to Manhattan and
A discerning artist, a real Rodin, would give up any wrote much later. It remains one of the most striking, eventually—through a suite of minor delinquencies,
hope of straight-up representation. What’s left? A full enigmatic stories I’ve ever laid eyes on; I can close my psychiatric acrobatics, and so on—ended up at what, in
alphabet, in expressive italics, is one idea, but if anyone eyes, cue it up, and watch it as easily as any of my most polite language, you could term a Reform School.
wants to build a monument anytime soon, I’d vote for lucid memories. What does this have to do with Salinger? The school
one humble set of parentheses, unaccompanied by any occupied an old mansion in the Berkshire Hills. The place
inscription. 3 was styled after a castle and rose up on granite ramparts
Because Jerome David Salinger was, first and fore- A word about death. Rilke has a theory that our deaths from a marsh. It had three stacked terraces; on the high-
most, an artist of the aside. Of the delicate, superfluous grow within us, that—like pregnant women—we carry est of these, someone had built a plain wood one-room
description, the obiter dictum, the insouciant sideways them daily right up to the very point of dying. Let’s con- extension. Since it wasn’t part of the original building,
phrase. It is in no way incidental that he spent his last sider one death in particular: not the 91-year-old death you could open your bedroom window and look out into
four decades in rural hermitage, publishing nothing: that of J.D. Salinger, which grew to ripe completion and fell it; it was neither inside nor outside. We really had no use
is to say, living—for an author—in the most immacu- gently from the tree, but Seymour’s suicide at 31, a death for it, so somebody had named it God’s room—and we
lately parenthetic way. that Salinger himself reached up and plucked while it was left it to Him.
still sour and green. And it was, in some odd way, a spiritual realm. The
2 Simply put, it isn’t common that an author kills off ceiling paint was peeling, and the walls were marbled
A brief parenthesis, if you will. I hope you will pardon, his best character within fifteen pages of that character’s with mold. The sunlight always came in dusty, and you
at this point, an entirely autobiographical intrusion. creation. Although Seymour Glass haunts almost every had the feeling of being in a superfluous and therefore
I have had, I believe, a charmed relationship with the story that comes after him (the Glass family, beginning sacred place.
work of J.D. Salinger. The eighth-grade English teacher with “Bananafish,” slowly became Salinger’s sole fictional In the last week, we’ve heard two main critiques of Sa-
at the smallish boys school in Manhattan where I wasted obsession—at least four of the nine Stories mention linger. First, that he was in some way wrong to withdraw
a good part of my childhood was a man of impeccable them, in addition to four novella-length works), he never from the world. Second, that in the years after catcher
again appears in the flesh: the in the rye, as he became more and more absorbed in
subject of raise High the roof- the Glass family, a rift had grown between his writing
beam, carpenters is Seymour’s and the world; that he fell inappropriately into fantasy.
wedding day, but the groom I don’t see it that way. I think he chose to live in God’s
remains absent—he has a sort of room, and that he had every right to live there.
manic crackup, declares himself
“too happy” for the ceremony, 5
and fails to show up. It is strange to mourn a man who, for all intents and
We can think of Seymour purposes, disappeared forty years before his bodily death,
as a sacrifice: Salinger’s oeuvre difficult to find the fitting sentiment. But who knows if
grew around his suicide, the he would have wanted us to mourn him? He might even
way a pearl takes shape around resent the attention, from his perch in a different sort of
some irritant—a grain of sand, God’s room.
say—in the mouth of an oyster. According to his agent and all other knowledgeable
The author found it neces- authorities, there has been and will be no service. In lieu
sary, in the end, to place his of flowers, please send one (1) bouquet of wilting, late-
favorite creation in parentheses, plucked parentheses to somewhere in Cornish, NH. That
put him in an urn. Or it could is all.

b s r to p 1 0

1) Beach House - Teen Dream - Sub Pop (rock)

2) Edo G - White Label - White Label (hip-hop)
3) Hot Chip - One Life Stand - DFA (electronic)
4) Four Tet - There Is Love in You - Domino (electronic)
5) jj - My Way / Let Go - Sincerely Yours (electronic)
6) Caribou - Swim - Merge (rock)
7) Christopher Roberts - Last Cicada Singing - Cold Blue (classical)
8) David Byrne & Fatboy Slim - Here Lies Love - Nonesuch (Rock)
9) Idiot Glee - Idiot Glee 7” - Hop Hop (rock)
10) Golden Ages - Tradition - Self-Released (electronic)

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010
a rt S | 14

t h e t r i a l s o F m . F. h u s a i n
I n D I a’ S c u lt u r e wa r S c o m e to B r ow n
b y rya n w o n g

m aqbool Fida Husain, the 95-year-old painter

sometimes known as “the Picasso of India,” the
grandfather of Modern Indian art, and India’s
greatest living painter, won’t risk returning home. Since the
‘90s, Husain’s accolades as an artist have been matched in
Fauvism, Cubism,
and the works of
Picasso in particular.
This exposure gave
force and number by attacks brought against him by con- him a new set of
servative Hindu groups, forcing him into exile. They claim formal tools. His
that Husain, a Muslim, debases Hindu goddesses by painting 1957  amusement
them in the nude. The scores of defamation lawsuits brought in the Street shows
against him are the mildest of his troubles. Extremists broke a group of colorful,
into his home to destroy his work, and several groups have geometric figures
posted rewards for his death or maiming. One offered a kilo clustered around a
of gold just for gouging out the artist’s eyes. The exhibition shadow box, each
of twelve of his early works opening February 5 at Brown plane and form over-
will no doubt reignite debates that resonate beyond the art lapping the next. It
world, raising questions of artistic freedom and the Indian brings to mind Picas-
government’s role in upholding it against sectarian charges.  so’s Three musicians
Husain’s status as a symbol and ambassador of Indian from 1921 and other
culture makes him a large target. He is astonishingly prolific; cubist experiments.
by his own count his oeuvre contains well over 20,000 works. Acknowledging this
He has been consecrated both critically and financially. At influence, for the
the 1971 São Paolo Biennale, he and Picasso were the only Sao Paolo Biennale
two artists specifically invited. His individual works have he created a serious
fetched well over a million dollars at auction. of works illustrating
Exile, to Husain’s mind, does not involve toning down the Mahabharata in
his flamboyant public persona. He jets between London Picasso’s style. One of
and Dubai, rolling around the latter in his newest toy: a red the works he created
Ferrari. Besides the striking white of his beard and tufts of for the show, Draupa-
hair, he wears his trademark round sunglasses indoors, and di, will be part of the
has been known to sport pink nail polish and a bright green exhibition at Brown. 
jacket embroidered with figures from his own paintings. Un- In his choice to
til recently, he walked everywhere barefoot. He was forced to adopt the style of
stop due to medical complications. Responding to criticisms European modern-
of his showiness, Husain quipped to the South china morn- ism, Husain directly rejected of both the Victorian principles and obscene, these attacks were set against a larger context in
ing Post, “If I had been in Europe, I would have been more he was taught in school and traditional Indian practices. He which conservative Hindus believed radical individuals in a
gimmicky than Salvador Dali.” does not see this as subsuming contemporary Indian art to minority were assaulting the values and beliefs of the major-
Nor has the exile discouraged him from painting. In No- Western influence, stating to frontline magazine, “The West ity. In both cases, each side pressured the government to take
vember 2008, he told The new york times, “They can put claims modern art as its own. This is wrong. It is Eastern, a stance. Supporters of Husain see the attempt to suppress
me in a jungle. Still, I can create.” His commissions in recent they took it from Japan and from Africa. Because their media his work as a threat to the government’s secularism. For an
years include $28 million from a Bombay businessman to are strong, they have dominated the art scene.” American viewer struggling to see why Husain’s work is so of-
produce a hundred works. fensive, Mapplethorpe or Serrano provide a familiar parallel.
placed under pleXiglas The website for the Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS)
bollywood billboards to biennale Why one of India’s most innovative and respected artists group, whose stated goal is stopping the “denigration of
Though Husain was born and raised Muslim, he grew up should suddenly be singled out and reviled is hard to com- Hindu Dharma,” posts comparisons of ‘proper’ ways to
in the town of Pandharpur, a Hindu pilgrimage center. prehend. As one court pointed out in a dismissal of a Husain depict Hindu deities alongside Husain’s renditions. In their
Early on, his eye was steeped in the symbols and art forms suit, the history of art in India is filled with statues of nude view, acceptable interpretations, besides clothing the god-
of Hindu culture, which he saw in religious tokens sold to or nearly-nude women and goddesses. dess, offer more naturalistic renditions of volume, body, and
travelers and in the site itself. In 1996, the Hindi monthly Vichar mimansa published color, with features like landscape filling out the pictures; it
As with Picasso, Husain’s paintings of the female form images of divine nudes Husain had painted in the 1970s in an seems that, as much as nudity, Husain’s stylistic radicalism
have generated by far the most popular fascination and con- article titled “M.F. Husain, A Painter or Butcher.” Choosing upsets the group.
troversy. Biographers believe the death of his mother while twenty-plus year old works suggests the intent to incite right- The HJS home page now includes a call to protest the
he was a baby catalyzed his fascination with mother figures wing Hindu groups to target Husain in their culture wars. exhibition at Brown with a list of contact information for the
and goddesses. Around the age of nineteen, Husain moved Later that year, members of the conservative Bajrang Dal exhibition’s organizers. Jo-Ann Conklin, Director of the Bell
to Bombay and began his painting career reproducing bill- group broke into his home to vandalize his works. Referring Gallery, says that the University has received several requests
boards of Bollywood stars, whom he would continue to paint to the fact that Husain is Muslim, one politician commented for the exhibit to be cancelled. When these same works were
later in his career. to frontline magazine, “If Husain can enter Hindustan, why exhibited in London at the Asia House—the first solo exhi-
Though he received formal British training at the Sir can’t we enter his house?” bition of his works in the city—one protester threw paint
J.J. School of Art, where the realism and naturalism of the In the 2000s, a slew of lawsuits filed against Husain for on one of the works. In Pembroke Hall, the paintings will
Victorian era still dominated, Husain’s painting is better damages caused by his works led to court seizures of his prop- be mounted for display under Plexiglas cases for protection.
understood through his ability to absorb and reapply what erty, forcing him to leave the country. Several court rulings Brown has also hired extra security for the exhibit.
he saw.  The exhibition includes a striking example of this have been dropped, including one in 2004 where though the Boycott calls and threats of violence from conservative
talent in chariot of the Sun god. Husain painted it after a trip court found the work offensive, did not see malicious intent groups have forced the cancellation of several exhibits and
to China in 1952, where he learned the lacquer technique in Husain. Hundreds of other cases remain. One group, Shiv awards for Husain in recent years. Husain has been snubbed
he used for the work. Its mostly gray palette, bleeding ink Sena, has offered 10 million rupees (about $215,000) for the two years in a row by the organizers of the India Art—a major
outlines, and elongated horizontal format show his convinc- beheading of Husain. two-day art fair in New Delhi that claims to “represent the
ing mastery of new techniques. Not unlike the culture wars of the 1980s and ‘90s in the best of Indian Modern and Contemporary Art.” An associate
In 1953 Husain travelled to Europe for the first time, United States, where conservatives deemed the work of artists director of the fair, Neha Kirpal, said to The washington Post
where he gained first-hand exposure to movements like like Andres Serrano and Robert Mapplethorpe sacrilegious of their decision that “we are not censoring Husain...We are
victims, too.” Visiting Professor Mallica Landrus, curator of
the exhibit at Brown, sees the omission as an affirmation that
the tactics of Husain’s detractors worked: “If the artists and
the art groups are not going to stand up for one of their own,
who is? It takes more than support in words.”
m.f. Husain: early masterpieces, 1950s-70s, drawn from
the collection of amrita jhaveri, will run from february 5 to
march 26 in Pembroke Hall.
ryan wong b’10 does exile in style.

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010 t H e I n Dy. o r g
S P o rt S | 15

t h e pa r a b l e o F t h e t i g e r
a n d t h e u n d e rta k e r
o r , H ow to c u r e a S P o rt S m e D I a I n f e c t I o n

b y s i m o n Va n Z u y l e n - w o o d
i l l u s t r at i o n b y d r e w F o s t e r

we already knew, ultra-pious Louisville Coach Rick Pitino to suggest he did, but he certainly gave off that vibe. And if
eVent: world wrestling entertainment fathered a love child, then bankrolled its abortion. I wasn’t such a wuss, I would have yelled it too. Most sports
smack down championship match New and old media are joining forces to give us more jock fans dismiss wrestling for being the fraud that it is, but its
than we’ve ever dreamed of. Phelps’s bong rip was some cell appeal—WWE RAW’s broadcasts (RAW and SmackDown
scene: dunkin donuts center, providence, ri
phone camera’s proudest achievement. But Rodriguez’s ste- parade different casts of characters)on the CW and the USA
date: november 3, 2009 roid bust was the product of some dogged snooping bySports network consistently score in the top ten of Nielsen’s cable
time: 9:46 pm Illustrated’s Selena Roberts. Tiger Woods was on the front of TV ratings each week— is as universal as the good vs. evil
The new york Post for 20 straight days (9/11 got stale after narratives that suck us into the fictional universes of Marvel

19). The internet counterpunched on Christmas Eve, when and DC.
hallenger CM Punk is wearing nothing but a yellow (which broke the Woods story) announced plans For fan Roland Barthes, pro wrestling affects the specta-
Speedo and wrist tape marked with the letter X. His
for a sports-only gossip sister site. tor perhaps more deeply than other competitive sports. In
greasy brown hair dangles an inch above his tatted
Some athletes, of course, embrace media. Barry Bonds his 1957 essay “The World of Wrestling,” Barthes writes
shoulders. He’s pacing in the ring, waiting for The Under-
and Terrell Owens had a few short-lived, short-on-drama that in the “spectacle of excess”  that is wrestling, the story
taker, World Heavyweight Champion, to give him his beat-
reality shows. Cincinnati Bengal Chad Ochocinco tweets of the match is insignificant. The audience knows the gig
ing. Weall know he’s coming, and we all know he’s going to
taunts, celebration previews, and personal meditations. As- is fixed, and no matter how sporty the fighters may appear,
win.  The question is how long he’ll make us wait. Wide-eyed
piring tough guy and Wizard Gilbert Arenas was the first they are competing not against each other but to win the
couples and antsy dads whisper among themselves until a
athlete to write an entertaining, high-visibility blog. He was crowd. The poignant moments of the bout are what the fans
gong sounds. The Undertaker’s Gong. The 6’11, 300 pound
recently suspended for the season on a gun charge, but he crave. Barthes likens wrestling to Greek tragedy, or to the
deathbeast is on his way.
apologized to the children in a washington Post Op-Ed piece. commedia dell’arte, in which the characters, instead of de-
By the time he slips under the rope, before he can shed his
But by and large, media coverage is not the athlete’s friend. veloping, become more deeply entrenched in their personae,
black trenchcoat, cowardly CM Punk jumps out of the ring.
like human cut-outs of pedantry or cockiness. According to
He plays a headless chicken for several agonizing minutes
it’s hard to be a saint in the city Barthes, the governing principles of wrestling—what the
(we came to see a fight dammit), and I, who had never in
Multi-million dollar contracts, VIP access to anywhere, people pay to see—are tragedy, justice, and defeat.These exist
my life seen a live match and neither root for nor resent any
groupies, free time. What do we expect from these guys? Are in real sports too, except that by definition, one fan’s tragedy
wrestlers, heard myself audibly booing that Punk bastard. It
we surprised that the hyper-competitive “Just win, baby” is another fan’s justice.
was obvious to ten thousand people which man deserved to
attitude most athletes live by naturally carries over beyond Defeat, however, is hard to argue with. You know it when
win, and it thrilled each to the depths of their being when
sports. Michael Jordan’s gambling problem and Woods’ beer- you see it, and it should not be confused with losing. Feel-
The Undertaker finally thrust his belt—one handed—into
goggles problem, for instance. ing defeat is the acknowledgement of a rightful and total
the air.
Pro wrestlers don’t have these problems. And it’s not beatdown.
Everyone went home happy.
due to lack of public interest. John Cena and The Rock are Watch a college basketball team lose at the buzzer dur-
The very next night, smile stitched on my face, I saw my
blockbuster movie stars (you haven’t seen walking tall?). ing March Madness. The players are splayed on the parquet
first World Series game. The Yankees won it all. Long after
Rather, their sport didn’t have any integrity to begin with, so floor, hands over their eyes, as their opponents whoop about,
the final out, once grown men were done jumping on each
it can’t be disgraced. More important, however, bad guys in fists in the air. Watch a boxer sit in the corner as his trainer
other like they were a pile of leaves, a Fox reporter found Alex
the WWE are supposed to be bad. There’s morality play built squeezes the bloody sponge on his head. His eyelids are
Rodriguez for a little congrats. You could see the thought
into the fabric of each match. One has to be a Nazi, to root swollen and blue. He’s going to fight another round. He will
bubbles above every Yankee fan’s head: “Please don’t ask him
for sneering, bleached-blond wrestler Dolph Ziggler. lose by technical knockout and he’s aware of it. But without
about steroids.”
In wrestling, getting punched hurts, losing is humiliat- knowing why, he gets up again from his stool when the bell
My happiness was tainted by the reminder that our best
ing, and winning is glorious and smells like testosterone. The rings. Win or lose, this is why we watch. But once they’ve
player was a cheater.
on-field spectacle stands for itself. There’s nothing to decode: stopped playing, stop watching, please. It’s going to break
There are no post-game interviews in wrestling. WWE’s
it’s all symbolism. In a sport where nothing is as it appears, your heart. Win with them, lose with them. Don’t follow
hammed-up, performance-enhanced displays of fakeness are
everything feels as it should. And if we want to experience them to the club. Keep the stars in uniform. They aren’t like
just that—displays, exhibitions, spectacles. Unfortunately
that earth-shaking catharsis of wrestling in real sports, we us. They’re superheroes in baggy shorts. They’re gods in pin-
for fans, the pure spectacle of real sports has taken a hit from
must confine both our joy and disappointment to the arena. stripes. Clark Kent in a suit and tie can’t do shit. So don’t let
our ubiquitous, reality-obsessed news media. Sports stars’
a Tiger without clothes on hurt your feelings. 
private mistakes have become the biggest show in town due
in sports that are real, we wish ath- ______________________________________________
to constant, real time updates from new media like Twitter
letes weren’t simon Van Zuylen wood b’12 is a Simonster
and gossip blogs. The latest and greatest to fall, Tiger Woods,
During the CM PUNK/Undertaker bout, I sat with legs in the ring.
has been exposed to be so vile and un-heroic off the course
crossed and hands folded like a choirboy, as the two ten year
that (once we stop counting) the number of his mistresses
-old girls in front of me told smug Punk that he had a ‘man-
will be better known than his Major Tournament victories.
gina.’ From my nosebleed seat I really couldn’t see anything
the dangerous business oF
role modeling
This December, as a decade of bad jock behavior wound
down, Tiger Woods’ car crashed everyone’s Thanksgiving.
He wasn’t charged with DUI. He wasn’t accused of assault,
rape or even of using an illegal wedge (Phil Mickelson’s lat-
est cry for attention). A photo of an SUV and a fire hydrant
on a gossip website was all it took to unmask the greatest
sports scandal of all time, triggering the biggest media feed-
ing frenzy in history. The collective good luck of naughty
athletes had finally run out.
The hardest worker and biggest role model in the indus-
try, a man who opened up golf to minorities, let our staidly
moralizing country down in a way nobody saw coming.
With Tiger as the movement’s poster boy, the good vs. bad
polemic that drives our rooting interest has steadily changed
over the past decade. Good and bad isn’t just about who de-
serves to win anymore. It’s become about real-life ethics too.
The media-enforced transparency of athletes’ lives means
their moral accountability goes way up if they give a damn
about their careers. Thanks to the internet’s power to show
pictures of everything and give voice to anyone, the 24 hour
news cycle is officially on steroids.
In the past twelve months, we learned: mega-sluggers Alex
Rodriguez, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz were caught
juicing, the indefatigable Olympic swimmer did a different
sort of doping, Plaxico Burress landed in jail for literally
shooting himself in the foot, McGwire finally admitted what
tHe college HIll InDePenDent f e B r ua ry 4, 2010
S c I e n c e | 16

w h i l e yo u w e r e o u t :
tHe BeSt ScIence from wInter BreaK
by nupur shridhar & sam dean
i l l u s t r at i o n b y b e c c a l e V i n s o n

1. we c an program ourselVes to Just say no 3. scientists ‘tie’ light into ‘knots’

As the winter grinds on and your New Year’s resolve to kick your nasty 2k9 habits falters, In an attempt to describe their work with light beams in terms readily understood by mere
fear not—scientists have come out with a glut of new research that could help the addicted. humans, scientists from the University of Bristol turned to a somewhat confusing phrase:
Scientists at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) figured out a way to make they’ve managed to capture beams of light and tie them into “isolated optical vortex knots,”
mice stop jonesing for cocaine by tweaking their epigenomes. “What’re those?!,” you might like the one pictured below.
ask. Well, if our genome is the hardware of our cells, our underlying genetic potential, then
epigenomes are the software. They turn sections of the genome on or off. The newest research
in the field has changed how everyone thinks about genetics, since we can change epigenomes
relatively easily. Using the genetic equivalent of non-invasive surgery (simply applying a cer-
tain type of chemical to the epigenomes), we can change how our genes express themselves.
The NIDA group found that chronic cocaine use in mice actually changes their epigenet-
ics, making them more prone to staying addicted. So, they tried injecting the mice with
chemicals they thought would reverse coke’s effects, and hey presto—the genes went back to
normal and the mice quit the nose candy. It’s not included in the report, but one imagines
that they also left their jobs on Wall Street and returned to their former lives, harassing
housecats and lusting after hunks of gouda.
If you’re still a little weirded out by having your genes hacked, you can always distract
yourself out of a habit, according to research coming out of the University of Nebraska-
Lincoln. Researchers there took turns injecting rats with either cocaine or saline solution,
then putting them in one of two empty halves of a “large Plexiglas apparatus.” After a few f I g 1. a K n ot m a D e o f l I g H t, w e S w e a r .
days, they then gave rats a choice: return to the part of the box where they’d been high, or
return to the part of the box where they’d been bloated with saltwater. Unsurprisingly, the What did the researchers actually do? For starters, they kind of almost did tie light into
rats picked the coke side. knots: led by Dr. Miles Padgett, the team, which described its success in last month’s issue
The researchers then repeated the exercise but would put a toy in the saline corner—a of nature Physics, found a concrete application for Knot Theory, a branch of mathematics
sock, some PVC pipe, some balled up newspaper, whatever. As a result, when the rats who’d previously considered perfectly abstract. Using advanced hologram technology and equations
gotten a low-to-medium dose of coke later had to choose between coke room or saline room, I don’t understand, the scientists twisted light beams to create optical vortices—spaces where
they spent equal time in both, looking forward to something new as much as the memory of the light waves interfere with one another, canceling each other out, making black from
their Bolivian marching powder. bright.
The researchers concluded that the same could work with “scuba diving, mountain climb- It’s a remarkable visual feat, to be sure, but my first instinct was to wonder if our money
ing, whitewater rafting, and snow skiing” (the human equivalent of socks, PVC pipes, and really ought to be going towards fancy tricks with computers and laser fields. This isn’t to
old newspaper), successfully stopping ex-addict relapses when confronted with the remem- say that science doesn’t deserve the much-needed attention and funding it’s receiving under
brances of good times past. the Obama administration. If anything, we—and here I mean we Americans—need more
For those who, in scientific terms, prefer sauce to snow, booze to blow, and slurping to scientists, more science writers, more science programs, science classrooms, science teachers,
snorting, a team from the Scripps Institute has potentially helpful news: addiction isn’t only and science enthusiasts. Maybe if I knew a little more physics, if didn’t skip over the Science
based on wanting another dose of drugs, wanting to avoid the stress of withdrawal is just times more often than not, if I hadn’t dropped Orgo just because I could, I would be able
as powerful. Maria Roberto, the study’s leader, explained in a press release that its aim was to understand why optical vortices research might someday play a crucial role in designing
to explore the “dark side” of alcohol addiction, “the compulsion to drink, not because it’s better laser devices.
pleasurable…but because it relieves the anxiety generated by abstinence and the stressful
effects of withdrawal.” Specifically, one stress hormone called CRF drives suffering sots back
to the bar to calm down. When the team put the alcoholic rats on CRF blocking anti-anxiety 4. we c an turn skin into brains
meds, the tippling test subjects returned to moderate consumption. By Biblical standards, the research coming out of Stanford is miraculous. Yes, Jesus turned
Roberto also noted the implication of her study for its inverse—stress and anxiety leading water into wine, saving a few awkward dancers the pain of self-consciousness when their least-
to alcoholism. One more reason why taking three classes, and soaking in the occasional favorite cousin dragged them onto the floor, but scientists at the Stanford University School
bubble bath are a good idea—less stress could help save on your bar tabs a few years down of Medicine have turned mouse skin cells directly into neurons without an intermediate stem
the line. cell state! A little wordier than the messianic feat, but they changed a specialized adult cell
into another type of specialized adult cell, both fully functional, with the application of just
three genes. This is the death blow to the theory that the move from embryonic stem cell to
adult cell is a one-way process and as Marius Wernig, one of the scientists on the team noted,
“tips our ideas about epigenetic regulation upside-down.”
Now, you may not have thought about tipping our epigenetic regulation, per se, but the
idea that our cells don’t have to be the way they are—our skin can be turned into brain tissue
if we get in a bad car crash, our muscle tissue can be turned into bone marrow if we get
leukemia, some stomach tissue can replace our dying liver—is the stuff of superhero comics
and sci-fi medicine. In the short term, this will help patients with the early signs of diseases
like Parkinson’s or Alzheimer’s: instead of having to get neuron samples with invasive surgery
or fuzzy fMRI imaging, scientists can now snag a few skin cells, turn them into neurons, and
see how genetically identical neurons work in the lab.
2. poor people [eVerywhere] smoke more As with anything mind-bogglingly cool, if appropriated for evil, there could be a whole
Researchers from the Robert Koch Institute in Berlin recently came to a rather obvious new field of not simply biological but genetic weapons in the making, turning our skin to
conclusion: social status strongly influences individual health. After 18 years of telephone bone, for example, in a matter of days. On the plus side (and more concretely), it’ll get reli-
interviews, the German team, which published its results in last month’s issue of Deutsches gious fundamentalists who oppose stem cell research for its embryonic involvement off sci-
Ärzteblatt International, discovered that poor men are more likely to smoke and to be physi- ence’s back. Although the process using intermediate stem cells wasn’t nearly as reliable, even
cally inactive. Same goes for poor women, who light up just as frequently and are even more if it ignored embryos, the new process might bring up even thornier theological questions for
likely to be obese. Cigarettes, it turns out, aren’t just bad for us; as many health education the devout. It need hardly be noted how drastically this also upends the economic realities of
activists have been saying for decades, they’ve also managed to sicken the people who were zombie apocalypse, since we might soon have a fast and cheap way to grow delicious brains
worse off in the first place. from any cells, removing the need for attacks on living humans.
Yet there’s something truly remarkable about nicotine’s ability to attract such a wide range
of smokers. Everyone—from homeless nurses to unemployed college graduates—seems to nupur shridhar b’11 is going to smoke anyway, dammit, and
enjoy boosting their dopamine levels—and honestly, who can blame them? This is the 21st sam dean b’10 prefers slupring to snorting.
century. We know tobacco is addictive and we know tobacco kills, and we’re going to smoke
anyway, dammit, because life is hard and cigarettes feel good and because we’ve all got death
wishes that deserve to be acknowledged.
My aunt from Bangalore explained it this way: “I don’t know what to tell these young
people, who are smoking, laughing, not remembering that for others a cigarette is breakfast,
lunch, dinner. Their chaiwalla is smoking because his stomach hurts and he has no food, but
if I remind them of that, they become sad or they become angry with me—and whenever
they are sad or angry, I know they will want another cigarette.” She shakes her head. “What
can you do? The world is an unfair place. When it comes to cigarettes, at least it is fair that
anyone can have one.”

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010 t H e I n Dy. o r g
l I t e r a ry | 17

“everything is backwards now, like out there is the true world, and in here is the dream.”
jake Sully, Avatar (2009)

phylum: Fiction

s i g h t to b e s e e n
by kaela myers

i t wasn’t for the sex that I agreed to go on the sex tour. It’s not really the sort of thing so I slipped out the back. The tour guides told us that there would be something for everyone
couples should do together, I think, but Nathan seemed restless, and I knew what that in Bangkok, and I could see why they would say that. I walked past brothels full of naughty
meant. Suggesting a sex tour is a statement of intent, and at least this way it would be girls nurses, or French maids, or girls covered in leather and grommets. Some girls were dressed
I didn’t know. So I bought the biggest box of condoms at CVS and let Nathan work out the in traditional Thai costumes, and sometimes they were dressed in traditional costumes from
plane tickets. other nations: geisha make-up and kimonos, Dutch clogs and bonnets with dyed-blonde
The plan was we would fly to Hong Kong, where we would meet the group, and from hair, Native American beaded necklaces and feathered headdresses.
there we’d be hitting all the big spots, ending with a week in Bangkok. “Sex like you wouldn’t The brothels made less sense the further I went. There were girls covered in sequins, girls
believe,” is what the brochure said, and when that was over, Nathan had arranged a short stop wearing wrestling outfits, girls with moustaches. I stopped at a brothel where the girls were
in Amsterdam, so we could experience a Western red light district. smeared with mud and had twigs in their hair. A man approached and gestured for me to
And it maybe wasn’t that bad. Nathan and I would walk up and down the streets and look inspect them. One girl was wrapped in vines, and I realized that this was the first native plant
at the girls. He’d ask my advice, and I’d pick the girls with the best tits, or with eyes like mine, I had seen.
or the ones who looked the freshest. At night Nathan would crawl back to the hotel and press “What’s with the mud?” I asked.
his face into the back of my neck, saying, “She did this thing I’m going to have to teach you,” “Nature,” said the man, and waggled his brows at me. So I let him lead me inside. He
and his hand would wrap around mine. “It’s so nice to be here with you, Anna,” he’d say, and put his hands on my shoulders and squeezed them gently. “Tense,” he said, and steered me
I would pretend I was asleep, so we wouldn’t have to talk about it in the morning. down a sloped hallway. The walls looked like pressed dirt, and roots ran across the ceiling.
There were a few crusty ladies on the tour, so some nights the guides would split us by He gestured to a door at the end of the hall, so I pushed it open. It was heavy and felt like
gender and take the women down a different set of winding streets. There we would find bark. Behind the door was a thin man covered entirely in mud and a large tree trunk. Roots
brothels full of boys, and though they never tried to entice me, they would always stare. Even or branches hung down, but it seemed like the tree kept growing through the ceiling. The
when Marge and Betty would grab them by the waistbands, whooping at each other, the boys man did not look at me, and behind me the door swung shut.
would keep their eyes on me. The room was dark and I hoped my eyes would adjust. When they didn’t, I stumbled
I only ever looked. forward and my hands found the tree. Or maybe it was the man, and next to him was the
We went like this through China and to Manila and Pattaya. I always had the sense that tree. Everything felt like dirt and like bark and when I touched myself I felt like bark, too,
there was something to see in these places, beaches or grottos or exotic animals. Something but I couldn’t stop. I reached for what I thought was the man, pushed aside the bark and dug
to remind me of home, or remind me that I wasn’t at home, but all we ever saw was city: my hands in. The soil there was soft and fragrant and rich, and I pulled it out by the handful
concrete, people, body heat. and raised it to my face.
And then we made it to Bangkok. Nathan looked like he was in his element under the When I left the room it was still dark, but Nathan was waiting in the hotel.
neon. I took some pictures of his girls, but mostly of the way his skin looked illuminated like “Thank God!” he said. “I’ve been calling embassies all day!” He opened his arms and
that. Lustrous, somehow. At night sometimes I would open my eyes, and for a moment it pulled me close. “I’m sorry I brought you here,” he kept saying. “We can leave. I’m sorry.”
would seem like his arms and hands were glowing under the sheets. I lay down on the bed and Nathan sat beside me, running his hands up my arms and neck.
For our last night they took us to a club called Pussy Collection, but I wasn’t really inter- His fingers found their way to my scalp and tried to comb through my hair.
ested in the girls onstage. They were all wearing party hats and then they used some feather “Are these leaves?” he asked.
boas to pull Nathan onstage to help some girl do something surprising with a blow-dart, and I pretended that I was asleep.

by rachel sanders

w hat I didn’t know when we both moved to Baltimore after graduation was that Fairfax shrugs.
Fairfax Malley would become so concerned with phytonutrients. At some point “Right,” I say, “well, as long as they’re sampling the product I guess we can assume their
she read an article on the virtues of kiwis and lychees, all these fruits with furry vitamin levels are good. I guess that’s comforting.”
coats and squeaky names, and ever since then she’s been getting intolerable. I know how it “What?” says Fairfax.
sounds, but I’m just stating the facts; Fairfax doesn’t have any other friends who put up with “Nothing. I like your sweater.”
her like I do. Sometimes we even make dinner together, on Wednesdays when I leave work
early, and I’ll pick her up on the way to the store because Fairfax doesn’t drive. It’s never been As we walk into Whole Foods, the two sets of automatic sliding doors open at different
clear to me whether this is a carbon footprint issue or she that just never got a license, but at times. For a moment we’re in an airlock; this is space travel. Maybe the breeze on the back of
this point I think it’s too late to ask. I think it’s the kind of thing I should know. my neck means I’m being prepared for a new world—purified, quarantined.
I pull up outside her apartment around five, when it’s getting dark. She opens the door Fairfax takes a big breath as she crosses the second threshold and steps onto the green
right away, too fast, not even pretending that she hadn’t finished lacing up her boots. She’s linoleum, like a tourist sliding back into her air-conditioned hotel lobby. The oranges are
wearing a great sweater, brown wool with little blue cats on it. People who know us both say stacked in pyramids.
I have more striking facial features, but Fairfax really knows where to buy a sweater. “So,” I say, “fruit salad. And for dinner, are we still making chili?”
As she crosses the street she smoothes down her hair, which is limp and pale, the color I Fairfax doesn’t answer; I look over and her skin is starting to glow a little bit. She must be
always imagined when I read about girls with flaxen locks. That was before Fairfax took me drawing in the produce section’s ambient energy. I know it’s hard for her to stick to a game
to the bulk section and showed me what flaxseeds look like. They’re smooth, dark, pointed plan in the face of this over-stimulation, so I try to keep things on track.
on one end. I figured out that the fairy tales must have been referring to flax in some other “Grab a few of those yellow onions over there,” I say, “and I’ll go get us a cart.” But it’s too
form. Now I imagine a tall, pale grass that looks like Fairfax’s hair. late; I see her start to drift, and before I know it she’s picked up a bunch of organic carrots
“Listen,” she says, as she yanks the car door open and wedges herself into the passenger and started to commune with the tubers.
seat, “they just put up this fantastic recipe on the times site, a fruit salad with papaya and “Oh,” she breathes, “come here and smell these. It’s just, like, pure earth.” Her flax-hair
blueberries and lime juice. It looks amazing, like, loaded with anti-ox and vitamins, just really slides forward and the ends get mixed in with the green fringed tops of the carrots she’s
vibrant. Want to get the stuff for that?” holding. I sniff.
Fairfax doesn’t enunciate all the syllables in the word antioxidants any more. In her case, I “Yeah,” I say, but the carrots don’t smell like earth to me. I pause, then add, “Hey, just so
can see how cutting out -idants would save a lot of time. you know, I have to stay late next week, so no Wednesday festivities.”
I try to formulate an objection. “Even though the papayas are probably harvested by, like, “Oh, okay,” says Fairfax, and she sets the carrots back in the bin. I try to get a read on her
deeply unfortunate migrant workers without health insurance? I think I just heard something shoulders (with Fairfax the shoulders are always a giveaway) but her sweater’s too thick to
about that on the news.” show anything, and her voice is soft, and her eyes are as pale as her hair.

tHe college HIll InDePenDent f e B r ua ry 4, 2010

f e at u r e S | 8

f e B r ua ry 4, 2010 t H e I n Dy. o r g

GROUNDHOG DAY. Phil saw his


But he also saw the limelight.

PETA complains.
FRI 2/5 Every year.
1pm “The Archives in the age of ‘Post-Feminism’, ‘Post-Theory’,
‘Post-Race’” @ Crystal Room, Alumnae Hall, Brown // free
7pm-12am Tomorrow, God Willing—photos of conflict in the
Middle East @ List 2nd floor, Brown
8pm RISD BALLS vs. Pratt @ Wheeler School Gym
9pm Nymph, VIZ USA, Truman Peyote, + Kokomo @ Building
16 // $donation
10pm Live Bait: True Stories from Real People. This month:
This is the of
things to do if you don’t
“Tough Enough” @ Perishable Theatre, 95 Empire St // $5
see your shadow.
SAT 2/6
11am “How to Ace Your Investment Banking Interview” @ Career Development Center, Brown
8pm-1am GCB’s Haiti Fundraiser—%50 of profits go to Partners in Health @ GCB // no cover
9pm-12am The Hood Internet with Stegosaurus @ Jerky’s, 71 Richmond St. // $10/12

SUN 2/7 WED 2/10

6:28pm Super Bowl XLIV @ Your Couch 5:30pm Manicures & Martinis. Show up early before the
girls are sloshed and sloppy. Free manicures. $5 martinis. @
“Groundhog day is a lot like a rock Twist on Angell, 500 Angell St.
concert but the people are better behaved 6-10pm College Skate Night @ Kennedy Plaza // $3 + $3
skate rental
and there’s a groundhog involved.” 7pm Reading and Book Signing Oscar, RI’s most famous
Tom Chapin death-predicting cat @ Providence Place Borders
Editor, Punxsutawney Spirit
MON 2/8
6:30pm A Single Man @ The Cable Car,
Punxsutawney 204 S. Main St. // $5
9pm Pepi Ginsberg, Last Good Tooth, The members of the
Phil is 123 Detroit Rebellion, + Tallahassee @
AS220, 115 Empire St. // $7
“Inner Circle” speak

years old.
9pm Karaoke Night @ The Hot Club,
575 S. Water St. GROUNDHOGESE.
He drinks the elixir of life.
TUES 2/9
6-8:30pm Life Drawing. Titties. @ AS220 // $6
THURS 2/11
6:30pm All About Bees and Beekeeping. 6-8pm I HEART PROVIDENCE. Hometown
Apiphobics need not apply @ Cumberland Public lovefest including live music + free Japanese/
Library, 1464 Diamond Hill Rd., Cumberland // Mexican fused love dumplings by Ebisu + El
register @ 401.333.2552, x2 Rancho Grande @ Providence City Hall // free
10pm Lovelife @ 93 Clemence St. // $3
Lola thinks Margo’s shadow is sexy.