You are on page 1of 20

the college hill inside

:
Chicken barns | 6
Hog slaughter | 9
independent Mountain mines | 11
Birdwatching | 12
the brown / r i s d w e e k ly | M a r c h 1 1 , 2 0 1 0 | Vo l um e X X i s s u e v

“Basically Jason DeRulo is the best rhetorician since, like, Cicero,
but probably gets laid a lot more so yeah, he wins.” –pg. 13
table o f c o n t e n t s f rom t h e editors

news

2 Week in rev iew Ask your Mom if you can come over and play Barbies without ashtrays, cocktail shakers, and martini glasses? Who
The chewed and the screwed at my house! We can play Distant Husband with Repressed would believe a Betty doll sans cigarette? (Who would be-
EG, ES, KS, AS Wife or Cheating Husband and Objectified Secretary! lieve a Dickless Whitman?)
Yes, darlings, Mad Men Barbies—it’s a thing. The dynamics of the Barbie world will doubtless be af-
3 Spilled milk Don, Betty, Joan, and Roger dolls can be purchased for fected as well. How will the marriage of feminized Ken and
Farming mental health crisis $74.95 on two online sources: amc.com and barbiecollector. undersexed Barbie function under the libidinous spell of
Marguerite Preston com. Lionsgate has licensed the production of 7,000-10,000 Don and Joan? As withdrawal drives Betty into deeper agita-
dolls. tion, will she finally snap? And where the hell is Peggy?
metro Some fans might feel that these Barbies violate the Mad It all proves how difficult it is to write tasteful ad copy for a
Men brand name, while some will find the magic in its subtext-rich show. The meta-marketing of Mad Men requires
4 Drastic measures mimesis: a show that depicts the norms of 60s marketing more innovation than, say, Desperate Housewives. Which is
State intervention at Central Falls High packaged in an institution that helped create these norms. why we see Brooks Brothers coming out with a line of Mad
Hannah Kang The dolls themselves show a rewarding verisimilitude Men-inspired suits. And why last summer, Banana Republic
of period costume: padded undergarments, pearls, fedoras sponsored a contest for a walk-on cameo. Just because there’s
5 Cycles, Killer! all included. But can we talk about how Joan’s body is no no Sterling Cooper doesn’t meant we gotta throw Barbie out
Qu’est-ce que c’est? different than Betty’s except that it’s coiffed with a ginger with the bathwater.
Katie Lindstedt beehive? Mattel, you, of all people, we would not expect to Mad Men’s cross-marketing paths are played out. Please
miss an opportunity for breast augmentation. There’s also send over The Wire line of Barbies. But those better come
6 family-style Chicken the devastating lack of cigarette- and alcohol-related acces- with crack pipes.
All-you-can-love sories. What Emily Post-ordained dinner party can function —LT
Nathaniel Levy

features

7 sin papeles
Detained immigrants speak
George Warner
E p h em e r a AS IF YOU CARE
9 after hogs
Sharecropping’s legacy in KY
Sarah Gibson
I have two boys. One fetches the wine, the other
11 mountaintop re moval stands to await my whim. When I grow bored I upend
Destruction and illness in WV all the silver and scatter the grapes. My Khmer consorts
Phoebe Neel become very nervous then because they have come to
know my quick temper. I usually collapse back upon the
science couch, declaring how languid the heat makes one feel as
the women stroke my back with long fingers and scented
12 species of a feather herbs. I send for my Opiate pipe and watch the boy’s
Go extinct togther delicate feet (morsels!) dance out of my reach. He will
Nupur Shridhar be back soon enough. But, sometimes, I feel the need to
look upon our magnanimous empire’s work, and I stride
opinions to the great windows. I look out- the dam built, the road
straight and true, the children with their bibles. I return
13 collected rants to the couch content once again, knowing that I deserve
Sonorous, furious but one more dalliance. The boy returns, and I smile, and
The Editorial Board I beckon.
Know that I may love you still. Tell Francoise I am
arts dead- The other children too. They must never know.
-M’Artin
14 alice in burtonland
The movie and the MoMA show
Nick Greene & Nick Werle

review à trois
French Film fest
g e t i n touch
15 Street museum
Westminster transformed
Ryan Wong
Email: theindy@gmail.com
Blog: theindy.org/blog theindy.org
Twitter: @maudelajoie theindy.org
sports
The College Hill Independent theindy.org
16 open letters
PO Box 1930
theindy.org
From disappointed fans
SvZ-W, BI-B
Brown University
Providence, RI 02912 theindy.org
megaporn dev ices
Call Miss Cleo for clues s taff
Raphaela Lipinsky
Managing Editors: Erin Schikowski, List: Lola Bates-Campbell, Margo Irvin
lit Mega Porn Star: Raphaela Lipinsky
Kat Stoeffel, Alex Verdolini
News: Marisa Calleja, Beatrice Igne- Cover Editor: Emily Martin
17 collected poe ms Bianchi, Marguerite Preston Illustrations: Samantha Ballardini, Becca
All shapes and sizes Metro: Rachel Levenson, Katie Lindstedt, Levinson, Emily Martin, Robert Sandler
Chen, Fitzgerald, Hornick & Sanford Jesse Strecker, George Warner Photography: Annie MacDonald
Opinions: Jordan Carter, Eli Schmitt Design: Robin Davis, Liat Werber, Yue Pang, Joanna Zhang
x Features: Alexandra Corrigan, Alice Hines, Katie Web: Daniela Postigo, Adam Zethraeus
Jennings, Hannah Sheldon-Dean, Laura Tsunoda New Media: Kate Welsh
18 The sporting life Arts: Ryan Wong, Erik Font Senior Editors: Nick Greene, Simone Landon,
A comic Literary: Kaela Myers, Rachel Sanders Margo Irvin, Miguel Morales, Emily Segal
Science: Sam Dean, Nupur Shridhar Staff Writer: Malcolm Burnley
Momoko Ishiguro
Sports: Simon van Zuylen-Wood Staff Illustrator: Paola Eisner
Food: Nick Werle Cover: Brooke Hair
X Page: Gillian Brassil MVP: Robert, Eli, Simon

the college hill independent M a r c h 11, 2010
week i n r evi e w

BY e m i ly g o g o l a k , e l i s c h m i t t,
k at s t o e f f e l & A s h t o n s t r a i t
i l l u s t r a t i o n b y e m i ly m a r t i n

M ANGA - M ONGER
A 39 year-old Iowa man who pled guilty to charges of child
pornography in federal court was sentenced to six months’
jail time and five years’ probation in February. The case be-
gan in 2006 when US Customs rummaged through a pack-
age from Japan, recovering seven manga comic books of the
‘lolicon’ genre. “Lolicon is the sexual depiction of someone
under the age of sixteen,” according to Urban Dictionary.
The defendant, Christopher Handley, is an avid collector of
all kinds of manga. There is no evidence that he ever partook
of authentic kiddie porn.
Odd to go to jail for looking at pictures of naked kids
when there were never, in fact, real naked kids. Mr. Handley
was prosecuted under the Protect Act of 2003, which bans
any “image that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging
in graphic bestiality, sadistic or masochistic abuse, or sexual
intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-
genital, or oral-anal […] and lacks serious literary, artistic,
political, or scientific value.” The comics in question, besides
portraying kids doing things you can’t do at Sex Power God,
also featured images of children having sex with animals. Mr.
Handley’s lawyer, Eric Chase, refrained from describing the
content of the comics in question to the press, and instead
said grimly “Use your imagination.”
On March 2, Mr. Chase remarked in a statement to the
press that “the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and others
concerned about the defense of comic books specifically, and
free speech generally, are upset that the case did not go to
trial.” Recent precedent, both at home and abroad, however,
was against Mr. Handley. A similar case arose recently in Aus-
M at h i m o n y
Today, at least 50 percent of marriages end in divorce,
tralia in which a man was charged with possession of, among but a group of Australian mathematicians believes
other things, sexualized depictions of the Powerpuff Girls. they’ve come up with a magic formula to combat
Bedroom-eyed comic book god Nail Gaiman described such this alarming number. Anthony Dooley, professor of
litigation as “just deeply wrong,” in an interview with MTV. mathematics at New South Wales University in Syd-
As of March 11 the Facebook group “HELP CHRISTO- ney, has derived a mathematical formula that deter-
PHER HANDLY [sic] (the guy who was arrested for own- mines the optimal age at which a man should propose
ing manga)” had only 45 members. Sympathizers with Mr. to his fiancée, using the youngest and oldest age at
Handley may be reticent to voice their support on so public which the man would want to marry. The system was
a forum as Facebook. Or they might just be busy with their created primarily for men, but Professor Dooley and
comics. his colleagues noted that it could also be applied to
women who are perhaps uncertain about whether to
accept a proposal from one of their many beaux.
—ES The formula was based on the mathematical
technique called optimal stopping. While the exact
derivation remains unclear, restless boyfriends the
Supersize Me One
world over can be assured of the fact that it is nearly
foolproof. Indeed, as professor Dooley notes, many
More Time
Is 24 ounces simply not cutting it? No need to worry. Meet
men already follow it, “albeit, accidentally.” the Trenta.
It’s frightening to imagine that for the last few
ANTI - HERO thousand years of human civilization people have
Pulling a Business 101 oldie-but-goodie, Starbucks Corp.
is giving Americans more of what they want. Standing tall at
One brave Blimpie employee in Illinois is taking a stand formed lasting relationships with no thought at all
from within the fast food industry, refusing to participate in 31 ounces—the equivalent of two and a half cans of soda—
for the mathematical optimization of their chances of this newest addition to the fleet of Italian euphemisms makes
the undue proliferation of the most disgusting foodstuff in staying together. Fortunately for those who’d rather
industrialized history: cold cuts. even a Venti look weak. Why deprive yourself with just a
not risk their future happiness by proposing at any- cup, when you could get nearly quart of Joe?
The sandwich-maker’s resistance made waves among the thing less than the optimal age, they merely need to
meat-lovers of Madison County, Illinois last month. Ronald Starting this month, Trenta is taking a test run at 170
decide the oldest age by which they would want to stores in Tampa and Phoenix, where soaring temperatures
“McDonald” Williams and Jennifer “more litigious than her get married (N), the earliest age by which they would
brother Michael” Clayton filed a class action lawsuit against and demand for cold drinks go hand-in-hand. It’s a shrewd
want to get married (P), and subtract P from N, then move for Starbucks, which is trying to contend with the
Blimpie’s parent company, Kahala Corp., on behalf of Illinois multiply that number by .368 and add it to P to de-
residents. The plaintiffs claim Kahala falsely advertised the lower-end competitors that masterminded the supersized-
termine their optimal proposal age. beverage machine. Watch out Dunkin’ and Mickey D’s.
company’s Super Stacked sandwiches—promising double Those whose optimal age has already passed
portions of meat at a slightly higher cost and, allegedly, fail- Will the Trenta be hitting Thayer any time soon? We’ll
would, in these mathematicians’ opinions, do well to have to wait and see, since Starbucks is declining to discuss
ing to deliver. They seek “just and appropriate” compensa- pop the question to the next good catch they come
tion, including legal fees. its future test markets. Sit tight and cross your fingers that it
across. But there’s a caveat. Professor Dooley warns gets here in time for reading period.
The lawsuit ignores the obvious aesthetic and political that “probability isn’t the most romantic basis for
motivations behind the Blimpie employee’s meat-scrimping. Caffeine junkies aside, not all are so hyped about the
marriage,” despite the fact that the formula “does XXL. Others believe that Starbucks is populated with greedy
Although the sandwich maker will likely remain anonymous seem to fit a lot of couples, whether through accident
for security reasons, one can assume that he no longer wished capitalist-consumerists and are therefore totally unsurprised
or design.” Furthermore—and unfortunately for the by the latest invention they’ve dug up from their moral black
to be complicit in the sale of stacks of congealed, refrigerator- tabloids and fans the world over—the formula doesn’t
slick, flimsy meat products that exceed the dimensions of the hole. Sensitive to claims that the Trenta will set America back
seem to be able to tell us whether Brad and Angelina in its epic battle against the bulge, a Starbucks spokesperson
human jaw and, frankly, good taste. It is likely that he was are ever going to tie the knot.
pretty fed up with gagging as diners struggle, due to the un- insisted, “Even a sweetened iced coffee or tea in a Trenta cup
natural consistency of cold cuts, to get a good incisor chomp would be less than 200 calories.” If you were banking on
and are left with flaps of meat hanging indecorously from using the additional seven ounces of frothy vanilla frap to fill
—AS
their bloated, half-open mouths. He is probably also appalled the emptiness you feel inside, you’re out of luck: only plain
by his insider knowledge of the quantity of mayonnaise ne- old iced tea and coffee can get the extra boost.
cessitated by meat ingestion of Super Stacked magnitude. In So, okay, let’s say the Trenta won’t make us any fatter. But
fact, don’t even get him started on mayonnaise. what about our nerves and our poor, bursting bladders? Not
to mention the lack of super-sized cup holders.
31 ounces of love? Bigger isn’t always better.
—KS

—EG

M a r c h 11, 2010 t h e i n dy. o r g
n at i o n a l | 3

DON ’ T BUY THE FAR M
a C ry f o r H e l p F r o m Am e r i c a’ s D a i ry Fa r m e r s
b y M a r g u e r i t e P r e s to n

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

O n January 21, on a cold morning in Copake, New caused an outbreak of mental health problems in the agri- MILK M ONEY
York, Dean Pierson rose before dawn. Just as he cultural community. Farmers had invested heavily in new Farmers are also seeking financial help from the government.
did every morning, he went out to the barn of machinery and expansion when the economy went bad. Right now, according to the New York State Department of
High Low Farm alone and milked each of his 51 milking High interest rates and decreased consumer demand left Agriculture & Markets, the average New York dairy farm
cows. By the time he finished, it was early afternoon. He them with debts they couldn’t pay. As a result, the suicide of 100 cows loses about $10,000 a month, and the market
went for his rifle and returned to the barn. For a second time, rate among farmers in the ’80s was roughly double that of doesn’t show any signs of improving. After reaching historic
Dean Pierson made his way down the row of cows; this time the non-farming population. Similarly, during the outbreaks highs in 2008, US milk prices plummeted by 27 percent last
he shot each one in the head. When all 51 were dead he of hoof and mouth and mad cow disease in Great Britain in year, down to around $12 per hundredweight (12 gallons)
wrote two notes, sat down in a chair, and shot himself in the 2001 and 2002, in which the government mandated that according to the USDA. This drop was in part due to the
chest. whole herds be slaughtered, farmers’ suicide rate rose to nine end of drought conditions in Australia and New Zealand,
A neighbor discovered the scene. A note on the barn door or ten times the national average. India has seen one of the and in part due to a decrease in demand for cheese, due to
warned not to go in, but to call the police instead. Inside they worst suicide rates of all in the past ten years, where large in- the recession. Meanwhile, prices would have to reach at least
found the bodies of Pierson and his cows, along with the vestments and poor crop yields have led to unpayable debts. $17 per hundredweight just to cover the cost of production
second note, in which he explained that, though he loved his According to The Hindu, a national Indian newspaper, the in the long run.
family, personal and financial troubles had left him struggling number of farmer suicides has been steadily increasing. Just In the past few years, consumer demand for certified
with depression. He had, he wrote, been “overwhelmed.” last year 1,500 Indian farmers committed mass suicide after organic and bovine synthetic growth hormone–free milk has
drought caused their crops to fail. increased significantly, and these products can go for twice
Conference c all for help Much of the evidence that dairy farmers are next comes the price of conventional milk. In 2007 organic milk pro-
Last week the National Farm Family Coalition (NFFC) from AgriWellness, Inc. This nonprofit corporation, based in duction increased by about 40 percent. So while the industry
Dairy Subcommittee held a teleconference calling on the Iowa, was founded in 2001 to help advocate and provide be- was still booming, farmers invested heavily in expansion and
USDA and Congress for help. As it turns out, High Low havioral health services to agricultural communities. Among the means to produce organic, hormone-free milk. Now, if
Farm is an all-too fitting name for a dairy, and Pierson was other programs, they sponsor Sowing Seeds of Hope, which farmers are to pay off these debts, milk prices would have to
not alone in feeling overwhelmed. In the past year the milk provides education, healthcare support, and crisis hotlines rise even higher.
market in the US has taken a turn for the worse, with prices for seven states in the Midwest. In the past year, says Agri- Last year the USDA announced a new Dairy Economic
dropping to the lowest they’ve been since the ’70s. Already Wellness’s executive director, Mike Rosmann, the number of Loss Assistance Payment program, with $290 million au-
overworked and in debt, dairy farmers are finding it increas- calls received from dairy farmers has increased 40 percent. thorized by the 2010 Agricultural Appropriations Bill to go
ingly difficult to survive. The dairy farmers participating in These hotlines have had success in keeping suicide rates towards loss assistance payments for dairy farmers. Eligible
the teleconference described being barely able to maintain down, but right now they exist only in Iowa, Kansas, Min- farmers received a one-time payment determined by esti-
their animals and machinery, or even to feed themselves. nesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, mates of how much milk they would produce in a year. This
“Farmers have their necks between a pair of scissors,” dairy New York, and Tennessee. Though exact numbers are not subsidy pushed the price of milk up some in the past year,
farmer Brenda Cochran told the teleconference. Among ag- yet available, “in states without hotlines,” Rosmann told me, but the price is still below what most farmers need to stay
ricultural communities, the growing concern now is that that “the number of newspaper accounts of suicides [among dairy afloat.
US is not only at risk of losing its family farms, but of losing farmers] has increased.” At the teleconference last week, the heads of the NFFC
its farmers themselves. That the suicide rate among male farmers has always been Subcommittee announced that they had sent a letter to
These farmers feel the same burden Pierson did. Pierson’s double that of non-farmers is due, Rosmann says, “to what I USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, as has New York State Agri-
father, a Swedish immigrant, had purchased High Low Farm call the agricultural imperative.” Farmers “feel the burden to culture Commissioner Patrick Hooker. Both urged him to
when Dean was a baby. For his entire adult life Pierson ran hang onto the land and be successful” and are driven by “the set a higher price floor for milk, and expressed support for
the farm single-handedly, working 15 hours or more a day urge to create the necessities for our life.” Furthermore, they a bill proposed by Senator Arlen Specter, which would do
from the first milking before sunrise to the last after sunset. are often working in isolation. Rosmann would like to equip that, as well as simplify the pricing structure to two classes
He faced a combination of troubles that farmers of all kinds farmers with the skills to manage stress. “We can’t control of milk and provide dairy farmers with a living wage. As of
often face: the pressure to maintain a family legacy passed weather or government policy,” he said, “but we can control now, this bill is still in committee.
down through generations, the responsibility of running the ourselves.” High Low Farm, however, has already toppled over the
business, often with little help, the weight of debts incurred, Currently there are no federal programs that focus spe- brink. After Pierson’s death, neighbors banded together
and the inability to earn enough money. This set of problems cifically on the behavioral health of the farming population. with a backhoe and a bulldozer to bury the 51 cows. A
is in the nature of family farming, which requires a high AgriWellness would like to see this change. “I would like to John Deere tractor pulled his coffin to the cemetery. Pier-
investment of labor and capital and offers no guarantee of see the emphasis in the federal government on the people son did leave alive some 50 heifers and calves, which did
return. Farms are highly susceptible to both economic and who produce the food, rather than on price support,” Ros- not require milking. Neighbors speculate that his shooting
natural disaster. Although exact numbers fluctuate, studies mann says. AgriWellness is working to establish a National the milking cows was a mercy killing: he knew they would
have shown that farmers tend to have a higher incidence Center for Agricultural Behavioral Health, and has also been need to be milked, and with him gone there would be no
of mental health problems as a result. During hard times, vocal in the push for Congress to approve funding for the one there to milk them. And Pierson’s wife told the Times
rates of depression, substance abuse, familial breakdown, and Farm and Ranch Stress Assistance Network (FRSAN). This Union newspaper of Albany, NY, “[W]e need to figure out
suicide all increase. Now dairy farms are showing signs of program, which is modeled after Sowing Seeds of Hope, was how to keep the farm going. It wouldn’t be right for all
becoming the center of a suicide epidemic. authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill but failed to receive fund- that work he put into it to go to nothing.” Still, with the
ing then and in 2009. This year Congress will again consider dairy industry as it is, and without the milking cows or
a troubling pattern funding for the FRSAN, but for now mental health services Pierson’s fifteen-hour work days, it’s hard to see how they
This is not the first time suicide has broken out in farm- for farmers are limited mainly to what Sowing Seeds of Hope will manage.
ing communities. The Great Depression is perhaps the best programs can provide.
known case. More recently, the Farm Crisis of the 1980s ____________________________________________
Marguerite Preston B’11 didn’t know that
exposure to insecticides also increases the risk of suicide.

the college hill independent m a r c h 11, 2010
metro | 4

CENTRAL AND FALLING
r h o d e i s l a n d’ s s t r u g g l e f o r s c h o o l r e f o r m

by Hannah Kang

i l l u s t r at i o n s b y r o b e rt s a n d l e r

O n February 23, the Central Falls High School
(CFHS) Board of Trustees voted five to two to
fire every single member of its faculty, support
staff, and administration, a move Secretary of Education
Arne Duncan lauded as “courageous.” The vote came after
A necessary m easure?
While the new RIDE protocol on interventions for low-
achieving schools mandated that Superintendent Gallo take
action, many involved were surprised by the severity of her
response. Michael Paul, a teacher who has spent the last 19
the school was named one of the six “persistently lowest- years at CFHS as an English as a Second Language (ESL)
achieving schools in the state,” in a news release from the instructor, questions the reasoning behind the decision: “Are
Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) on January we a failing school or an improving one?”
11. Since the firings, local, state, and national media have Out of more than 50 high schools in the state, CFHS
been watching the smallest state’s smallest city, one of the juniors ranked seventh worst in reading, fifteenth worst in
first in the country to opt for the turnaround model under math, and sixth worst in writing on the October 2009 New
new federal guidelines for School Improvement Grants. In England Common Assessment Program (NECAP) tests. Yet
this radical approach to school reform, a school must fire the teachers union points to the growth in NECAP scores
its entire workforce and can only re-hire up to half of the over the last two years as evidence of progress at CFHS: a
original members upon a thorough performance evaluation. 21 percentage point increase in reading, 14 in writing, and research-based programs,” says Paul.
At the epicenter of a national debate on educational re- four in math. In a March 1 press release urging the district to In response to this call for stability, Secretary of Education
form, students, parents, alumni, and teachers in this tightly reconsider the firings, Central Falls Teachers Union (CFTU) Arne Duncan said in an interview with The New York Times:
knit community grapple with the practical and emotional President Jane Sessums and American Federation of Teachers “The status quo needs to change […] this is not the kind of
consequences of the termination of the 93 faculty and staff (AFT) President Randi Weingarten cited an April 2009 re- stability I want. I’m looking for improvement.”
members. At a Rhode Island Board of Regents meeting at port on former RIDE Commissioner Peter McWalters’ visit
West Warwick High School on March 4, longtime Central to CFHS, in which he praised the school for “the accom- REFORM school
Falls guidance counselor George McLaughlin voiced his plishments, successes and positive changes that have taken Do radical reforms like the turnaround model really work?
opinion on the media attention: “The reason this has got- place over the past few years.” Scholars remain divided over this question. One enormous
ten on national news, I believe in my heart, is because every Supporters of teachers also emphasize that Central Falls problem in the research to date lies in the number of fac-
school teacher in America is worried and they are not just as a whole has the second highest English Language Learn- tors that must be controlled for any quantitative analysis.
worried about their jobs, they are worried about the future ers (ELL) and special education population in the state: 25 Although federal guidelines contain many stipulations, the
of public education.” percent of CFHS students are classified as ELL, while 21 per- individual school district can choose from a number of op-
In a passionate defense of her former teachers, Theresa cent receive special education services. Sixty-three percent of tions to satisfy these requirements. The resulting statistical
Agonia, a 2009 CFHS graduate, addressed the members of students at CFHS are eligible for free or reduced price lunch. samples of turnaround or transformation models contain a
the Board: “I lost my father junior year to cancer, and these District-wide, CFSD has a mobility rate of 27 percent, the great deal of variety. In order to address this problem, most
teachers, they took me under their wing, they stayed with me second highest in the state, an indicator of a highly transient research relies on case studies and other small data sets; how-
day in and day out after school. [...] I’m currently a freshman population due to immigration, the housing crisis, and job ever, this approach yields less generalizable conclusions.
at Roger Williams University, I’m on the Dean’s List, I have turnover. In the meantime, the rest of the country is watching
a 3.65 GPA out of a 4.0, I’m a high school mentor at PAIS But CFHS Trustee and alumnus B.K. Nordan rejects Central Falls navigate the difficulties of implementing radical
[Providence Academy of International Studies][…] and I’m these facts as excuses for poor performance. At the Febru- reform. In particular, the two national teachers’ unions, the
proud to say I wouldn’t be there without the help of these ary 23 Board of Trustees meeting, he addressed the teachers AFT and National Education Association (NEA)—which
teachers.” directly: “It’s not fair to these students to have these statistics. supported Obama during the 2008 campaign—have ex-
Not all students are against the choice of the turnaround The rhetoric of they’re poor, they’re ESL, you can imagine pressed their anger over the situation in Central Falls and
model. On February 17, high school members of Young the home lives—this is the exact reason we need you to step threatened to withdraw their support of his administration.
Voices, a state-wide youth research and advocacy organiza- up and take a bigger role in their lives, regardless of the pay, Superintendent Gallo and President Weingarten of the AFT
tion, gathered outside the RIDE office to show their support regardless of the time spent—we need you.” Nevertheless, each released statements on March 3 confirming that the
for any CFHS students who were in favor of turnaround but Nordan voted against turnaround. He commented in a later district and CFTU will resume talks about reform at CFHS.
feared offending their teachers. interview with The Providence Journal that he is often asked The union continues to advocate for the repeal of the turn-
how he reconciled his words with his vote: “I say to them, around decision in favor of transformation, but it remains
that’s what I thought was best for the unclear if that is possible.
kids.” If Superintendent Gallo’s decision stands, it could send
Teachers also cite the instability of a powerful political statement to educators everywhere.
the last six years as a significant factor “Other school boards and school superintendents around
that should have been considered be- the country that want to do something similar […] can say
fore approving a model of reform that the President of the United States, Barack Obama, someone
they feel would cause further disrup- the teachers voted for, supports us here to take some radi-
tion in students’ school lives. CFHS cal actions to shake up our schools,” said Michael Petrilli, a
has had five different principals and vice president at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute in Wash-
18 vice principals. In 2006, the school ington, an educational research and advocacy organization.
began to implement new proficiency On the other hand, the outcome could reaffirm the power
based graduation requirements, block of teachers’ unions and deal a blow to the Obama admin-
scheduling, advisories, and a literacy istration’s efforts to promote radical reforms in chronically
program. In 2007, after failing to meet failing schools. The events of the next few weeks will likely
adequate yearly progress (AYP) under fall somewhere in the middle, with both sides spinning the
the terms of the 2001 No Child Left media coverage to claim victory.
Behind Act (NCLB) for the fifth year Relations between the district and teachers union remain
in a row, CFHS partnered with the strained, but longtime CFHS guidance counselor George
University Rhode Island to reopen as McLaughlin remains confident that the faculty and staff can
the Central Falls-URI Academy; or- move on if an agreement is reached. He said at the Board
ganized smaller academies within the of Regents meeting in West Warwick, “I’ve had worse fights
school; restructured into a lower school than this in the crazy Irish family I grew up in, and there’s
and upper school; and abolished de- no doubt we can go back together, and there’s no doubt we
partment heads. “The only constant for can get along and there’s no doubt we can make Central Falls
our students has been the teachers [...] High School a better place in the future.”
We need stability,” in addition to “long ______________________________________________
range planning, and commitment to HANNAH KANG B ’10 is also from a crazy Irish fam-
ily.

t h e i n dy. o r g
metro | 5

TALKING
HEADS
DAV ID B YRN e l e a d s pa n e l
o n p v d’ s c y c l i n g f u t u r e

B y K at i e L i n d s t e d t

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

I n the world of bicycling, according to David Byrne, there Byrne cherishes the unity of physical sensation and geo- has also undertaken initiatives to create green routes—alter-
are no fashion prerequisites. graphic cognition that biking provides. Zipp agreed that bik- natives to urban bike paths that promote recreational biking
“You don’t have to wear spandex to ride a bike. You ing provides “much more intimate reflections on the kinds of at greater distances.
can be a normal business person in a suit,” Byrne advised social and cultural divisions that all cities have.” The panel’s final speakers, Barry Schiller and Thomas Del-
a full house at Trinity Repertory on Tuesday in downtown Some years before his time on College Hill, Zipp wrote ler, shared their visions for a future bike-friendly Providence.
Providence. He commented on the final image of his Power- in a book review of Travis Hugh Culley’s The Immortal Class: Schiller spoke of ways to reverse the transportation rates
Point presentation: a Louis Vuitton executive riding a vintage Bike Messengers and the Cult of Human Power, “A friend of in Providence, currently at 90 percent car travel and 10
cruiser through Manhattan. mine once observed that there is a certain soul to the job of percent pedestrian and bicycling. The tone of Schiller’s sug-
Byrne, former lead singer of the Talking Heads and a messengering. It’s in making a steady, motionless track stand gestions varied from humorous (“No child left inside! Teach
lifelong bicycling activist, spoke at the second annual Sena- at a busy intersection or a graceful, soundless curb hop paired your kids to bike!”) to somber (“Help combat dangerous
tor Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities. This with a fluid dismount and lock-up.” driving”), but his ideas were nearly uniform: less driving,
year’s sold-out lecture was a panel discussion entitled “Cities, The single-speed Bianchi that sits in Samuel Zipp’s of- more biking, again and again. He encouraged support for
Bicycles and the Future of Getting Around: How Bicycling fice—one of the “three or four” bikes he owns—is, in a way, RIPTA, Rhode Island’s public transit system, and the state’s
Can Transform the Urban Experience.” Providence Mayor a vestige of his past. During the early ’90s, Zipp made many vast bike advocacy network, which encompasses organiza-
David N. Cicilline initiated the lecture series in 2009 to soundless hops atop the curbs of San Francisco as a bike mes- tions like the Providence Bike Coalition, Recycle a Bike, and
honor the late senator Pell. senger. the Narragansett Bay Wheelmen.
Tuesday evening, Mayor Cicilline welcomed Byrne, a “It was important to me,” he said. “You learn cities in Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation has a
man of “rock-solid rhythms and adventurous a novel way biking around, because you actually feel their number of green bike paths, including the Ten Mile River
In his lecture, Byrne discussed the ways in which bicy- geography.” Greenway, the Blackstone River Bikeway (which currently
cling can change a city. Samuel Zipp, a Brown University Zipp discussed America’s transition from bicycle to auto- extends from Woonsocket to Pawtucket and will eventually
American Studies and Urban Studies Professor; Barry Schil- mobile culture. Towards the last half of the 19th century, he reach Worcester, MA), the Fred Lippitt Woonasquatucket
ler; the Providence Bicycle Coalition Head of Advocacy; and explained, the “feedless horse” became a phenomenon. Yet it River Greenway, the William C. O’Neil South County Bike
Thomas Deller, the Director of Providence’s Department of was ironically the bicycle that paved the way for cars as city Path, and the almost-finished Washington Secondary. Del-
Planning and Development, were among the other panelists. streets increasingly became single-use spaces. Cyclists lobbied ler mentioned on-street bike riding in Providence’s Jewelry
Byrne himself has roots in Rhode Island; he attended the for increased quality of roads, providing the automobile in- District and connections between the urban paths with the
Rhode Island School of Design, where the Talking Heads dustry with an opportunity on which it capitalized. rural green bike routes as future goals.
formed in 1974. “When I went to school here, the river was Though the automobile has traditionally functioned as a Despite Schiller’s enthusiastic call for Rhode Islanders to
paved over,” he said. substitute for its two-wheeled predecessor, it has never ad- “help get the bike path system finished,” neither he nor Del-
According to Lynne McCormack, the Director of Provi- equately replaced the nuances of bicycle travel. ler offered any coherent policy for the completion of Rhode
dence’s Art, Culture, and Tourism Department, Byrne’s pub- “Bikes supply the same kind of freedom that cars supply, Island’s urban bike routes.
licist approached the city with the concept of the lecture in but with the added responsibility of physical exertion. You
mind. Byrne recently released The Bicycle Diaries, a chronicle have more physical contact with the city on a bike,” Zipp A Routine Pleasure
of his journeys through Buenos Aires, San Francisco, New said. The panelists eagerly anticipate a day when Rhode Island
York, and many other cities on a bicycle. He has given similar It is perhaps this unique physicality of bicycling that lets will resemble a cyclist’s utopia. But that very bicycle haven
lectures at other cities worldwide. it transform of urban experiences, and thus of the utmost remains a subjective notion in light of the many functions
Tuesday’s four lectures ranged from romantic accounts of relevance to city planners. Bikes can get into the interstices of our pedal-driven, human-powered vehicles serve. The ten-
biking glory in days past to pragmatic outlines of a transpor- cities, the alleys and uncharted spaces—but have no parking sions implicit in the structure of Tuesday’s panel discussion
tation mode’s future. The event’s diversity—if not its lack spots and multiple lanes, automobile accommodations now remain to be reconciled. Can the intimate connections
of cohesion—illuminated the complex state of bicycling in deeply ingrained into our metropoleis. It is no wonder that that Byrne and Zipp have to their beloved cycled cities, the
this era of fixie-loving hipsters and climate change. That is the integration of bikes into cities has entailed such innova- novel vantage points and urban experiences afforded by their
to say, biking likely signifies something different to each of tive urban transformations. off-the-beaten bike paths, remain intact in an age when all
the panelists, to each demographic in the audience, and to bicycles are awash with the green glow of pragmatism and
each individual in attendance. It is difficult to predict which No C hild Left Inside zero fuel emissions? Let the existence of a blog by the name
one of the bicycle’s present sub-identities—a factor in ur- Based on a American Community Survey, bicycling com- of Copenhagen Cycle Chic affirm the interrelated nature of
ban development, the transcendentalist’s transport, proof of prised a small percentage of US transportation in 2005, biking’s many facets.
subcultural identification, or a cure for climate change—will especially in comparison to European cities like Copenha- Time will tell whether bicycles will dominate the streets
define its future, or if bicycling can even be reduced to any gen. Even in bike-friendly Seattle and Portland, bicycling of Providence as they do in Copenhagen, Amsterdam, or
single essence. comprised only 2.3 percent and 3.5 percent, respectively, even Portland. In the meantime, it’s difficult to imagine any
of commuters’ journeys. Those figures were still above the obligation more enjoyable than a daily bicycle commute
Poetry in Moti on United States average of 0.4 percent. In Copenhagen, 36 down Benefit Street as our rubber tires roll gracefully over
Of the bicycle’s many rôles, David Byrne is most fascinated percent of all commutes are by bicycle. cobblestone. And what’s more, you don’t even have to wear
by the vehicle as a factor in the changing landscapes of cit- Since the 1980s, city planners in Copenhagen have been spandex.
ies. He referenced the Parisian bike-share system, Portland’s building bicycle tracks on main streets and reducing traffic _________________________________________
conversion of two parking spaces into complex bike racks, on local streets—creating neighborhoods that cater to the Katie Lindstedt B’11 doesn’t mind wearing
and Berlin’s stoplight-equipped bike lanes as examples of needs of pedestrians and bicyclists, rather drivers. The result Spandex.
how bikes have defined cities’ spatial organization. is a city where there are more bicycles than cars. Copenhagen

the college hill independent m a r c h 11, 2010
metro | 6

WHERE HUNGER IS
THE HEART ’ S DELIGHT
R h o d e Is l a n d C h i c k e n B a r n s
b y N at h a n i e l L e v y
i l l u s t r at e d b y A a r o n K e n t W a r d e r

T he Ocean State and the Bay State draw salivating much farther than Ma Glockner’s, all the way to the onset of barn. Roughly 300 employees staff the grounds, gift shop,
hordes seaward during the summers for an array of industrialization in the Blackstone River Valley, when labor- lottery counter, bar, six dining rooms, and kitchen. Of the
seafood’s finest, such as lobster rolls, oysters, and ers in the textile mills would gather for hearty meals to sate lot, Forgue, who began her Wright’s career during high
clams. But further inland, along the mostly exurban stretch their massive, work-induced appetites. Regardless of whether school, said that she knows all of them well. “Even though it
between the two towns that compete for the title of New this narration reflects a historical reality, the lore contributes looks so massive, it’s like any place,” she explained.
England’s second-largest city, family-style chicken restaurants to the pleasure of tucking into the chicken—after, before, But in some ways, it’s not just like anywhere else. Em-
have cultivated an attraction and following that may very well alongside, or stuffed between everything else they serve (in- ployee turnover is low; a small contingent has been working
rival, if not surpass, those of their coastal, seafood-serving cluding Oreo ice cream pie at Wright’s). Eating family-style for over thirty-five years. For some, rising through the ranks
counterparts. The fry shack, though, is a poor parallel; the chicken feels like the kind of meal you’ve earned after a day can even be something of a family affair. Forgue met her
Rhode Island chicken barn is a different quantity altogether. of hard labor. husband working at Wright’s. One of her two brothers, both
Family-style roast chicken, all-you-can-eat with friendly After visiting Village Haven Restaurant and Wright’s of whom are managers, met his wife there too. The banquet
table service, constitutes the bill of fare at a handful of Farm Restaurant, it is perfectly clear that neither relies on manager Roger has been her boss for her entire life.
restaurants in and around Woonsocket. Endless rounds of such stories for validation. When I asked one manager if she
white wine vinegar-tossed salad, pasta with red sauce, french knew anything about the mill-worker account, she said no Reconsider “ Tastes like chicken”
fries, and rolls of varying kinds accompany the poultry, all one had ever asked about the regional origins of the cuisine While Wright’s and Village Haven both prioritize family ser-
for about $11, give or take a buck. This dinner lineup has itself. For the people who come to eat and those who serve vice, each offers its own distinctive variation on the family-
developed a devout following in northern Rhode Island and them, the food’s background hardly matters; its local dimen- style theme. Both are popular for functions of different sorts,
Central Massachusetts over the past thirty plus years. Fel- sions are self evident. A wealth of family connections affirms such as weddings or celebrations—Forgue mentioned that
low diners are quick to chat and most reveal they’ve been the restaurants’ local roots and confirms their staying power she has also hosted bereavement dinners—but Wright’s,
frequenting family-style chicken their whole lives. But even as local institutions. with its spacious and well-lit interior, caters a bit more to the
a one-time customer would be easily Family-style chicken’s more recent origins are in the now- youth sports crowd. I encountered a girls’ basketball team
convinced. As one man- defunct Ma Glockner’s in Massachusetts. Although no one at from Douglass, Massachusetts, there to close the season, who
ager told me, “If you leave Wright’s or Village Haven could name the year it opened, it informed me that the little chocolate chicken at the bottom
hungry, it’s kinda your is clear it was before 1954, the year Jean Wright started open- of the ice cream cup “will change your life.” Village Haven,
fault.” ing up his garage on Sundays to serve barbeque chicken and a with its much more expansive menu, has carved out a place
Some allege that the bag of chips, according to Wright’s Manager Tammy Forgue. in local food culture in other ways. “Our fried fish is basically
family-style tradition Village Haven got its start a decade or so later, and by the how we survive Lent,” Gary told me, referring to the sizable
dates back end of the 1970s the Galleshaw family bought Wright’s, and Catholic population of the surrounding area.
Rachel Narodowy took over Village Haven from her brother. It’s inaccurate to say that Village Haven’s menu is larger;
Wright’s doesn’t have one. While Village Haven has a variety
Families Do it Better of chicken, meat, and fish offerings, Wright’s does just two
Family business is not an empty refrain at either restaurant. things —family-style chicken and steak. Though curious pal-
Narodowy co-owns Village Haven along with her son ates might well enjoy the roast chicken alternatives (a friend
Gary, who, as he explained from his post behind the ordered the pot pie at Village Haven; he seemed content,
bar, doubles as the beverage manager. Most of her but I remained dubious), it is the family-style experience,
other six children, or their spouses, remain directly or excess, and the corresponding amazement it elicits that
involved, including her daughter-in-law Donna Nar- endears both restaurants to me. But the initial appeal had
odowy, who manages the floor. Mark Constantino, the nothing to do with my appreciation of the family-style tradi-
son of the head chef Ron, said he still drives up from tion. The juiciness, tenderness, and the ease with which the
URI on Sundays to wait tables, which he’s been doing for meat slides off the bone, a quality not typically associated
seven years. Nor is the Narodowy presence confined to its with roast chicken, was distinctive enough to merit a write-
older generations—three of Rachel’s grandchildren bus, up by Gourmet magazine last August.
bar-back, and serve. Wright’s and Village Haven are not the only two places of
Narodowy admits, “People love our family.” When their type. The Pines Restaurant in North Smithfield and the
asked if she ever considered expanding and opening Bocce Club Restaurant in Woonsocket also do family-style
another restaurant, she expressed unequivocal commit- chicken. Alhough I can’t yet attest to their quality, I hope
ment to maintaining Village Haven as is so the whole to be able to soon. For the faint of heart, northern Rhode
family could remain involved. According to Narodowy, Island’s peculiar specialty may be worth only an occasional
Ma Glockner’s tried repeatedly to expand, once on trip. The rest, however, will find something to enjoy in the
Cape Cod and once in East Greenwich, Rhode Island. state’s unique variant of an otherwise ubiquitous dish.
Neither venture lasted. For Narodowy, that’s reason ______________________________________________
enough to stay put in a community she enjoys Nathaniel Levy B’10 is a charter member of the
and knows well. “I’m happy,” she stated. clean plate club.
Similarly, the Galleshaws maintain
an active presence at Wright’s.
Much more remarkable,
though, are the close ties
employers share at the
massive chicken

W h e r e to f i n d fa m i ly - s t y l e c h i c k e n
Wright’s Village Haven The Pines Restaurant Bocce Club Restaurant
84 Inman Rd, Harrisville, RI 02830 90 School Street, North Smithfield, RI 02896 1204 Pound Hill Road, North Smithfield, RI 02896 226 Saint Louis Ave, Woonsocket, RI
Thurs&Fri 4-9 PM, Sat 12-9:30, Sun 12-8 Wed&Thurs 4-8:30 Thurs 4:30-8:30 Since there’s no website, call (401) 767-2000 for hours
Never need a reservation, unless you’re hosting a ban- Fri&Sat 4-9 Fri&Sat 4-9
quet Sunday 12-8 Sun 12-8
Browse the gift shop online at http://www.wrightsfarm. Again, never need a reservation just for dinner www.thepinesrestaurant.com
com/ www.thevillagehaven.com

M a r c h 11, 2010 t h e i n dy. o r g
THE VOICES OF UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS

O
n Wednesday, January 6, Martin Ji- forcement (ICE) officials had detained Jimenez, Gomez speaks of poverty as well—his family
menez Lopez and Norberto Gomez, Gomez, and 57 other immigrants traveling could no longer support him when he decided to
two K’iche’ Guatemalan immigrants, to work at Gillette. After taking their photos, leave Guatemala— but says it was violence that
cleared snow from Gillette Stadium, home of recording their information and making finger- ultimately provoked his departure. “There were
the New England Patriots. The wind was blow- prints, Jimenez says ICE officials drove all but lots of killings,” he says. During what Guate-
ing hard, spraying snow into their faces as they seven of the immigrants—who had either previ- malans simply call La Violencia (The Violence),
shoveled. It was twenty something out, Jimenez ous run-ins with the law or outstanding depor- Gomez saw his grandfather murdered before his
recalls, but most of the workers were just wear- tation warrants—to work as planned at Gillette eyes. “I was afraid,” he says, pausing and then
ing sweatshirts and jeans. “I don’t have gloves, Stadium. It was the largest raid in southeastern repeating quietly, “I was afraid.”
boots…nothing,” Jimenez says. New England since 2007, when 350 undocu- Josh MacLeod, an Anthropology graduate
At around 2PM, a man he knows simply as mented immigrants were detained at a leather student at Brown writing his dissertation on
“the big boss,” told him to leave the field, along goods factory in New Bedford, MA. Guatemala, explains that between 1960 and
with about 70 other workers. The Patriots were These detainments tell a story of living on the 1990, Guatemala faced “an incredibly violent
coming to practice, and management did not margins of society, while working at the center. internal armed conflict”—what the UN has
want the players and workers outside at the same Immigrants shovel snow unseen, yet make a classified as genocide. The Quiche region, home
time. The overseer corralled the workers into a Patriots game—a New England and American of ethnic K’iche’s, suffered the most violence
small room without windows and gave them hot spectacle—possible. Being sin papeles, without in Latin America’s longest-running civil war,
chocolate to drink. papers, is more than merely legal status. It repre- MacLeod says, “with hundreds of massacres and
Why management sought to conceal the sents their struggles for dignity within a broader tens of thousands of civilian deaths.”
workers remains unclear. It could have been to society that fails to recognize their contribution. There is a Guatemalan saying, civilians were
keep secret the Patriot’s plays for the playoff “caught between the two fires” of guerillas and
game against the Baltimore Ravens. It could government counter-insurgency forces, though
have been to restrict interaction between the “I came here because of poverty,” Jimenez the UN ascribes 93 percent of massacres to gov-
players and the workers. says, sitting in the same Dunkin’ Donuts in ernment forces.
But for Jimenez, the experience felt like just Silver Lake where he was picked up to go to Gil- MacLeod says that now, one in ten Guatema-
another instance of being hidden in the country lette. It is a sentiment shared by many within lans live in the US. While a number of Guate-
he has called his home for fifteen years. Providence’s Guatemalan community, the larg- malans sought immediate political asylum, many
Hours earlier, Immigration and Customs En- est in New England. Guatemalans still immigrate because of the war’s
lasting damage, which left few economic oppor- with the Massachusetts Secretary of the Com- soliciting the Guatemalan Consulate for help, in
tunities in the country to this day. monwealth, Corporations Division. No charges the form of financial assistance. “Did anything
Some left for reasons more personal than have been filed yet against Legal Pro-Temps for come of this?” Jimenez asks rhetorically, then
poverty or war. Detained in the last major ICE labor practices in the wake of the ICE raid. When answers, “No. There is no money!”
raid before the Gillette Stadium raid, at Licht asked about the company, the Massachusetts At- Contreras has had a different experience.
Judicial Complex in Providence, Lucy Contreras torney General’s Office declined to comment, “Perhaps I have survived because of my faith in
has lived undocumented in the US for six years. citing a policy of not disclosing whether or not a God,” she says, but also suggests that it is also
She comes from Guatemala, but unlike Jimenez company was currently under investigation. Af- thanks to “all the organizations” that she has
and Gomez, is not K’iche’. ter the courthouse raids in 2008, in which both depended on for legal and educational support.
“Poverty I can bear,” she says while sitting at temp agencies were involved, only the owner of Without immigrant advocacy organizations like
the kitchen table of her house in Mount Hope, Falcon Maintenance LLC was charged. He pled Immigrants in Action, Contreras says she would
“but abuse, no.” guilty, spent two months in a federal halfway not understand her rights. She has taken classes
“I was afraid to leave the house, when I knew house, and was fined $10,000. in English, Spanish and computing. At the same
my husband was out,” Contreras says, describ- For Contreras, finding work after her deten- time, she mentions that she has helped other im-
ing how her husband would become crazy when tion has been difficult. “I have a few people as migrants, teaching them about their rights.
he drank. If she saw him out on the street, she [house cleaning] clients now,” she says, “but
would hide to avoid being harassed or abused. some people don’t think it is a good idea to have
“I wanted a rest from so much violence, and undocumented immigrants in their house.” Contreras says that one of the most difficult
[a break] from seeing my children afraid,” Con- aspects of post-detention life is the ambiguity.
treras says, as a tear escapes down her cheek. “Every case has happened in a different way,” she
For Jimenez, the 14-day journey from Guate- says, “Never, never the same.” Some cases from
mala to the United States was “easy.” He literally the 2008 raids closed in a matter of months, oth-
Gomez lives in a small, windowless room in walked across the border, found the van on a side ers are still ongoing. Alex Isbell, an immigration
the basement of a single-story house in Silver street as instructed by a coyote, the people who lawyer working with some immigrants from the
Lake, Providence. The room is sparsely decorat- smuggle immigrants out of Mexico, and drove Gillette Stadium raid, describes a similar variety
ed. Gomez’s keyboard, which he proudly shows off in a van full of immigrants to Phoenix, AZ. in terms of outcomes. “Whenever you encounter
off, is propped up near the middle of the room. The journey was successful, but funding it a group of fifty people,” he says, the individual
His first job, which lasted three years, was was difficult. Coyotes demanded money up front, decisions of the case will not be the same.
cleaning fish at a factory in Fall River, MA. He and Jimenez had to solicit the help of family and After the 2008 courthouse raids, some of the
pauses, and then says in English, “This is hard friends in the US to pay the cost, sending the immigrants involved were granted legal status.
[work].” Since then, he has worked a number money through Western Union. A few were deported. Immigration law is more
of jobs: at a car wash on Dexter Street, at an As Jimenez readily points out, much has complex than merely determining whether or
ice-skating rink, a supermarket, another factory. changed in the 15 years since his border cross- not an immigrant has legal papers. Isbell explains
Due to the economy, Gomez has been out of ing. These days, crossing the border has become that immigrants can have claims to residency,
a steady job for the last six months. He takes a far more harrowing experience. And with the the first step towards citizenship, without hav-
whatever odd jobs he can find. increased risks, coyotes demand more money for ing legal documentation. While there are many
“It is not because I don’t know how to work,”
Jimenez says, talking about his own problems
finding employment. “After 90 days, a company
would check my papers. The boss would tell
me, ‘Your papers are not good. Sorry, but I can’t
[keep you]’.”
Over the last few years, finding work with- their services. Now “people are paying five, six, factors that could warrant permanent residency,
out papers has become harder. Contreras found seven thousand dollars to come here,” says Ji- the potential harm, economic or emotion-
the custodial work only five weeks before being menez. With no work, many family and friend ally, on an immigrant’s immediate family in the
detained, beforehand unemployed for a series networks no longer can pay the upfront costs of US—especially if some family members are US
of months. She heard about the job through a the trip. Instead, the immigrants go into debt. citizens—and health concerns that could not be
friend from her hometown in Guatemala. Like Jimenez says that many of them have not been treated in one’s home country have won legal
the immigrants at Gillette, Contreras was work- able to get out of it. residency in the past. Isbell suggests that seeking
ing for a temp agency, Tri-State Enterprises, “There are a lot of good things here,” Gomez asylum from domestic abuse or being an unac-
formerly based in Providence. Jimenez and says. Gomez, like Jimenez and Contreras, says companied minor—seven of the undocumented
Gomez both say that Legal Pro-Temps. Inc., the he came to Providence because he knew people immigrants were 16 or under—would also be
Roslindale, MA temp agency that managed the in the area. Since his arrival, he has classes in legitimate claims.
Gillette snow removal, was one of the last places English and toward his GED —he needs only Nearly two years after her detainment, Con-
that would still hire undocumented workers, two more to graduate. In the past, when he treras still waits anxiously, not knowing whether
albeit on an irregular schedule and paying cash. had steady employment, he took music classes, she will remain in the states. Filing for asylum
Working for Legal Pro-Temps meant being “mostly the piano, sometimes the drums.” because of her history of spousal abuse, Contre-
constantly on the move. Gomez tells of being Despite the educational opportunities Gomez ras’s court case was recently delayed again, from
sent to different companies, sometimes for a has found, he has not found a broad sense of March 2010 to May 2011. “I don’t want to, I
day, sometimes for three days, sometimes up to community in Providence. With the difficulties can’t, return to Guatemala,” she says.
a month. He has traveled to Boston, Fall River, of finding work and paying the bills, some be- Gomez says that since the raid, he has “felt like
and New Bedford, among other cities. The lieve that the members of the Guatemalan com- a prisoner,” continuing, “I do not know what is
work was different each time. Sometimes it was munity are too busy looking after themselves to going to happen.”
picking up trash after events, sometimes clean- worry about collective problems. Contreras says that one thing she has learned
ing offices. Other times it was shoveling snow. For Jimenez, the difference between the US is to “continue the fight. To fight for dignity, for
Recently, Jimenez wore advertisements for stores and Guatemala rests in unión–unity. “In Guate- equality, for respect, for peace.”
on the street, standing in the cold all day. mala, we don’t have money, but we have unión,” “We are not animals, we are human beings,”
The one thing that stayed the same was the he says. He acknowledges that there are groups Contreras says. At the same time, Jimenez says,
pay: $7.50 an hour. After the money that Legal trying to build and support the community in frustrated, “sin papeles, you’re nothing.”
Pro-Temps took out for transportation, workers Providence, but in the US, “one person has one
would sometimes only get $250 dollars a week. opinion, another person has another,” and no- G eorge Warner B ’10.5 would like
When they had to work overtime, Jimenez says body comes to a consensus. In Guatemala, when to thank Will Lambek and Jesse Strecker for
they were paid nothing extra. But sin papeles, Ji- there was a community issue, Jimenez says, “we translation assistance.
menez says he could not complain to authorities would all [fix] it together.”
about the unpaid overtime. Besides unión, the other word Jimenez repeats
On January 25, two weeks after the raid, Legal is dinero–money. Since the Gillette Stadium
Pro-Temps filed papers for voluntary dissolution raid, many of the affected immigrants have been
G S
ON HO
iN
L O S S
S a N d C Ky
r e S eN T u
PrOG uNT y , K
C O
TOdd GiBS
ON
NG a
araH NNa zH
By S jO a
S i G N By
d e

M
I
y family’s barn burned down in 1962, lit aflame by a heat lamp hanging plaining about his hogs’ odor unless they weren’t selling well at market. They were
in the hog pen. It was one of their first years in Todd County, Kentucky, part of the unwritten sharecropping agreement: in exchange for the sharecropping
and, like every other farmer, they raised hogs. Chester Whites, black family’s labor, farm owners gave sharecroppers a small house to live in, space for
Hampshires: they were big-shouldered breeds with oversized, floppy ears for the a vegetable garden, coal for the winter, and two hogs. At the end of the year, the
hot summers and skinny legs that gave their scrounging an unexpected delicacy. sharecropper would also receive half the profit of the tobacco crop with expenses
The lamp provided extra warmth for the piglets when their pile of sleeping bodies taken out. Sometimes it was a very, very long wait.
didn’t generate enough heat, but one winter night it lit up the nearby hay bales, and Hogs would eat trash, would grow fat in spite of it all. Hogs would provide just
flames devoured the barn. enough sustenance that one’s faith might be sustained. Hogs reminded one of who
A premature pig roast. provided and who owed. The hog killing, then, was a ritual that marked the end of
“The Reeves lived across the road. Jesse Reeves was a hard-working dirt farmer life (the hog’s and the growing season’s) but also shaped the social landscape.
[with] a very religious Baptist wife. Jesse was the first man to come bring us hay “The colored fellows would help us kill hogs and would kill their own hogs.
the morning after our barn burned down.” Jesse’s son, Mike, rode the school bus You’d slaughter by sticking them through the throat and letting them bleed [...] And
with my mom and aunt. Today Mike roasts pigs for a living, smokes pork shoulder then we’d hang hams and the jowls and side meat and the shoulders up in here and
in a pit of hickory coils and serves them with his famous vinegary barbeque sauce. smoke ‘em. The smoke would help you keep your meat. When it come out of that
We buy the pulled pork regularly and serve it at terry-tableclothed family reunions. barn you’d salt it down; you’d run it all over with salt. And that would preserve it.”
Mike’s done well for himself, and some people resent it, think he’s gotten too big Salt the meat in November. Eat it come hunger time in February. This was well
for his own dirt farmer shoes. thought out, calculated.
I’ve asked my mom to tell me the fire story several times, in nighttime conversa-
tions as the cicadas screech outside and in formal interviews in the quiet of the III
tall-ceilinged farmhouse. Each time it moves me. I imagine the trapped piglets, I sometimes worry that asking people to tell me about hardship is like rubbing
curly-tailed and squealing, the barn a charred heap the next morning, and I am salt in open wounds. Were there times when sharecroppers didn’t get their share
struck by the tenuousness of wealth and the hardness of poverty here. One must ig- at the end of the year? I want to know, what do those pictures hide? This question
nore certain questions and cultivate certain kinds of faith to survive. Mike inherited is an undoing of faith, an eating up of innocence, and I am not sure what kind of
his mother’s devoutness, adopting the nickname “Pit Master Pastor.” In his BBQ sustenance can emerge from it.
joint off 848, there hangs a sign quoting Psalms 37:4: “Delight yourself also in the “We wasn’t treated right, I know that for a fact. I mean the boss man took
Lord; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” advantage of my father, I know he did. I don’t even want to go into it because all
that’s done past, and I don’t even want to think about it, but I know for sure.”
II This is not as much blindness as it is the careful tending of wounds not yet
If those piglets had lived, my grandfather and his sharecroppers would have healed. I am wary of willed forgetfulness, but here one might forgive it, appreciate
killed them eventually. Hog killings were yearly rituals, done once the summer its complexity and its suggestion of strength. Still, I ask Calvin to tell me more.
heat had retreated and August’s tobacco leaves hung drying in the barns. Hog kill- “Some of them raise the crop—work all year—and then didn’t have nothing
ings were a family event, like reunions or church dinners, and most everyone has coming out of it […] They had to live the whole year and then by the time they got
pictures of them in their family albums. A black and white photo: overalled men through taking out stuff to get their food, when they sold tobacco they still didn’t
inspecting the hog carcass with furrowed brows like doctors in an operating room. have nothing coming. A lot of people did that, or so they say. That was before my
Next picture, a disemboweled hog hanging from its dainty feet, the slashed head time, but I heard the older people say that—they raisin’ it and didn’t have nothing
dangling precariously from its sinewy neck. Oh and this one: black sharecroppers coming but still they kept on raisin’ it.”
hoisting the hog’s heavy body to hook up to a rail, their breath smoky in the No- They just kept on raising tobacco. This sounds near-sighted, hog-like; it implies
vember cold. These are the pages of the photo album that remind us of histories we an absence of foresight or self-consciousness. But I don’t think Calvin meant it that
prefer to forget, that ask from us certain strains of faith or blindness. way. There were no nearby factories, no loans for black farmers, no inherited wealth.
Hogs had poor eyesight but made up for it in other ways. They were stubborn What else was there to do than hope that next year might be better?
and smelly but profitable, and the joke goes that you never heard a farmer com-
IV numbers of black landowners, the deterioration of farms, the growth of housing
Calvin sharecropped on our farm but didn’t stay there. He lived on his own developments.
property near other black landowners, on a dirt road that wound through pasture I would like to see the decline of the hog as some kind of emancipation. I would
for cattle and hogs and small plots of tobacco. He shared the cost of the tobacco like to think that in pulled pork, we have preserved what was beautiful about the
seed and fertilizer and provided all the labor to receive half the profits. “I share- hogs—sustenance and community—and discarded all else. But the forgetful-
cropped and still had another job. Everyone asks me how I did it and I say, ‘I had to ness worries me, so I ask everyone for memories. The barbeque man. Wizened
do it! Didn’t have no money so I had to do it.’... Had to work on Sundays. Didn’t grandmothers. Former sharecroppers. Old suspendered white farmers. We stumble
want to but I did.” through romance and silence and willful blindness; I do not want to hear just about
People resented working on Sundays, the supposed day of rest. Sundays were how good it was, because I do not believe you. Tell me about my grandfather. Tell
church day, barbeque day, drive-to-town-once-a-week day. My grandfather, a me what the farm looked like. Tell me what you see.
writer-turned-farmer, stayed home on Sundays while the sharecroppers made their “Well you look outside your window and you see things and it makes you won-
way to pray. On Sundays he smoked a cigar and drank gin and tonics with farming der. And you start asking questions ‘why’ and sooner or later you’re going to get
friends, men who sent their families off to church before driving down the long answers. I rode up and down the road for years and never paid much attention to
gravel road to Mabry Farm to ignore the dry liquor laws and talk about hogs. They the little falling down houses. It grieved my heart to know that my people lived that
discussed other subjects too, but my grandfather seems to have taken a particular way—not only lived that way but thrived—raise their family, go to church, go back
interest in hogs. Cookie Askew convinced him to buy Landrace hogs, delicate Dan- to work in a harsh environment. Those conditions are not here now, but it’s the
ish breeds with two extra ribs. More meat but less sturdy. reason why we don’t have what we should have.”
He also wanted to start a ham smoking operation, but “the labor situation was _______________________________________________________________
wearing on him.” In other words, the sharecroppers showed signs of discontent. My SARAH GIBSON B’10.5 invites you to check out her multimedia exhibit,
mother describes one sharecropper as lugubrious and resentful; the other was bril- “We Care for the Land: Farmers, Sharecroppers, and Migrant Workers in Todd
liant but alcoholic. They hated each other, and my grandfather was apparently too County, Kentucky,” in the John Nicholas Brown Center at 50 Williams Street.
interested in the human condition (in the writerly sense of the word) to recognize
that perhaps one of them needed to go. His kindness had viscous consequences. The
sharecroppers remained unhappy, and my grandfather spiraled into deep depres-
sion. He saw no end in sight. I conducted these interviews in summer 2009 for an oral history project that was
ostensibly about changes in agriculture. Hog ghosts hung heavy.
V
I’ve never seen these breeds of hogs before the pulled pork stage, at which point I Eliza Mabry.
they are unrecognizable. People don’t raise hogs anymore. There aren’t any share- II Robert Downer.
croppers around, but their shacks remain to house farm equipment, or, in some III Joe Moore, Calvin Bell.
cases of ironic continuity, bunk beds for Mexican migrant workers who have come IV Calvin Bell, Susan Menees.
to harvest the tobacco. V Stanley Russell.
I am not the only one who seems struck by the hogs’ absence. There is a sadness,
some twisted nostalgia that enters the voice of old people when they remember
hogs. The space they have left behind is fraught and confused: if hogs validated
and supported a system of poverty, must we grieve their passing? But what if their
leaving also marks other sorts of human exodus? Hogs marked calendars, marked
the social landscape. Now they mark the demographic changes, the dwindling

Photos courtesy of the author.
f e at u r e s | 11

M O V ING M OUNTAINS
b y P h o e b e NEE l

M a ss e y e n e r g y c o . & t h e c o n s e q u e n c e s o f m i n i n g a p pa l ac h i a

W

alking through Lindytown, West Virginia, the demanding its abolishment. In response, Massey CEO Don “Massey Energy is terrorizing us in Appalachia,” says
loudest sound is the whistling of wind through Blankenship dismissed their evidence of water contamina- activist Judy Bonds. “Little old ladies in their 70s can’t even
the decaying houses that line the streets. Much tion as “simply not true.” sit on their porches. They have to cut their grass wearing
of the town has already been destroyed and is scattered in Dressed entirely in an American flag suit, Blankenship respirators. That’s how these people have to live. The coal
enormous piles of rubble—but other sections still stand told miners at a Friends of America rally, “We’re smart companies are the real terrorists in America. And we’re going
boarded up, families long gone. The demolition appears enough to believe that God determines the weather, and not to expose them for the murdering, lying thieves that they
almost leisurely. Behind the abandoned church, stumps Al Gore…[the government thinks] they can save the earth are.”
prickle the once-majestic mountains, sheared clean by those by giving your job away and putting you out of your home. Since MTR began in the 1970s, outspoken citizens and
still invested in this land—Massey Energy, and the other But global warming is pure make-believe. Our government environmental advocates such as Maria Gunnoe and Ed
companies mining West Virginia for coal. wouldn’t know a fact if it tripped over one.” Wiley have formed a diverse and dynamic movement to
Lindytown is only one of the many once-vibrant towns of fight to reclaim their land and way of life. In January, three
West Virginia that lie vacant as a result of mountaintop re- the real price of coal members of the organization Climate Ground Zero lived
moval coal mining (MTR). The residents of Lindytown were Massey Energy may decry government involvement, but atop platforms they erected in the treetops of the Coal River
slowly driven away by blasting and pollution from MTR environmental groups insist the DEP and the EPA have en- Mountain mine site, halting blasting on the site for nine
mining, until they were bought out en masse by Massey abled coal companies’ environmental abuses. Massey Energy, days.
Energy. Now it has been largely bulldozed, but the remain- the largest producer of Central Appalachian coal, has a long Coal mining dominates the economy of West Virginia and
ing wreckage serves as a chilling example of the economic, history of environmental violations, for many of which they much of Appalachia. Consequently, the debate surrounnd-
cultural, and environmental devastation of the Appalachia. allegedly have yet to acknowledge responsiblility. In 2008, ing mountaintop removal mining has been framed as a battle
Nearly every day, throughout certain areas of West Vir- they were fined $20 million for 4,600 documented instances between locals and non-native environmentalists, trying to
ginia and Appalachia, the sound of blasting shatters the air in which they dumped toxic chemicals down waterways. protect nature at the expense of the livelihoods of those from
and shakes the ground as millions of tons of explosives rip “Incredibly, Massey’s violations have increased in frequency West Virginia. However, the organization I Love Mountains
the peaks from the mountains. This type of coal mining since its settlement with the federal government,” says a state- tells a different story. They assert that mountaintop removal
was developed to access coal seams buried hundreds of feet ment released by a coalition of local environmental groups mining and its technology were developed precisely to mine
deep, by clear-cutting mountain forests and blasting away formed. In January they said they intend to sue Massey if the the most coal with the smallest workforce. According to the
the tops of the mountains. The wreckage that’s left after the company doesn’t change their pattern of operation. Labor of Bureau Statistics, in the 1950s, there were between
blasting, called overburden—once some of the biodiverse “The threatened suit is but another attempt by out-of- 125,000 and 145,000 miners employed in West Virginia.
land in North America and home to dozens of endangered state extremists to attack the coal industry,” Massey respond- Today, this number has plummeted to 16,000. This means
species—is dumped into nearby valleys. In the past fifteen ed. In the past, Don Blankenship has remarked to Forbes, some of the most mineral-rich areas in the United States are
years, this practice has buried over 2,000 miles of streams “We don’t pay much attention to the violation count.” home to the poorest people, with 17.8 percent living below
and contaminated them with pollutants from mining. Massey may not be counting, but the same coalition of the poverty level.
In addition to the overburden, MTR produces huge environmental groups now estimate they are in excess of “The Appalachian people have been promised prosper-
amounts of coal slurry, liquid waste made up of water, coal 12,000. And as the poisons pile up, so do the cases of grave ity through coal for the last 125 years,” says Maria Gunnoe.
dust, and toxic chemicals like lead, arsenic mercury, and illnesses and deaths among those who call these regions “And we’re poorer now, because we used to be rich in the
other carcinogens. Coal slurry is stored in what are essentially home. abundance of the land, and now that’s been taken away.”This
enormous, toxic lakes contained by dams made of the rocks A study from West Virginia University concluded that week, as the 5th annual End Mountaintop Removal Week,
and debris from the mountains. Eight years ago, a coal slurry while mountaintop removal mining brings $8 billion a year 200 people from across the United States came together to
failed in Martin County, Kentucky, releasing 360 million into the state in terms of jobs and economic benefits, the ac- Washington, bearing samples of blackened, poisoned water
gallons of toxic waste into local streams and poisoning the companying pollution, sickness, and death has a $42 billion from Appalachia. They’re advocating for H.R. 1310, the
drinking water for residents. The Environmental Protection price tag. In Kentucky, illegally overloaded coal trucks have Clean Water Protection Act, which would seriously reduce
Agency later called this the worst environmental disaster ever killed five and injured over 500 in the past five years. In the mountaintop removal mining and work to protect the Ap-
in the southeastern United States. past three years in West Virginia, 14 have been killed from palachians currently under siege from polluted water and
floods linked to coal mining. Massey Energy continues to destructive floods.
massey’s mess defend mining. “It’s not a perfect world,” Blankenship told In Appalachia, the visual evidence is grim and undeni-
One of these sludge impoundments, as they are called, is The New York Times, but “there’s more pollution coming off able—leveled mountains, exploited peoples, and disappear-
Massey Energy’s Shumate Impoundment, which holds 2.8 of cars than off of mines.” ing ways of life. It is these people and communities that are
billion gallons of coal slurry. Beyond that, there is a 1,849 Maria Gunnoe, a Boone County, West Virginia na- paying the highest price for cheap coal. On the East Coast,
acre strip mine. Right in front of the coal-filled silo, a mere tive whose home is bordered by a 1,200-acre MTR site, a out of the shadows of the coal fields and towns like Lindy-
150 feet away, is the Marsh Fork Elementary school. Chil- ten-story valley fill, and two ponds of toxic sludge. Since town, these are stories that are seldom told. Nevertheless, the
dren who run through the playground barefoot can leave the mine became operational, her home has been flooded blasting of mountains and the devastation of fragile ecosys-
with the soles of their feet blackened by coal dust. seven different times. Now an award-winning community tems directly affects us all.
Ed Wiley, a former coal miner, tells of the unusually high organizer against mountaintop removal, her final straw came “Today the coal industry […] is allowing our water to be
rates of illness in the children of Marsh Fork Elementary in 2000 when another flood contaminated the water on her poisoned,” community organizer Judy Bonds of Coal River
from to the exposure to mining chemicals. He describes property and destroyed the farm her family had for genera- Mountain Watch, said in a statement. “Tomorrow it will be
bringing his daughter home from school three days in a row tions. Massey refused all liability, calling it “an act of God.” the East Coast’s water supply as the mining discharges will
due to coughing and severe headaches. Her face turned blue. reach downstream water sources.” Across America, people
“When she looked back at me she had tears running down m ountain m en and wom en are made complicit with every flip of a light switch, illumi-
her face and she said, ‘Gramps, that coal mine is making us In an crescendoing clamor, those fighting against MTR say nating houses with energy whose production is devastating
kids sick.’” Now an environmental activist, he says, “Those it is not only destroying the physical health of those from communities in Appalachia. “There is an old saying that
tears are what woke me up. I realized I was setting things up Appalachia, but their culture and way of life as well. Paula civilization lived thousands of years without electricity and
that could possibly kill my granddaughter and hundreds of Kaufman, a Brown student and Appalachian native, writes: never without clean water,” Kaufman says. “We have a right
other kids.” “The Appalachian are among the oldest mountains in the and a responsibility to speak out, to protest and to act for the
In January, Science completed the most comprehensive world: 460 million years. Our culture is inextricably bound environment, for Appalachians and for change.”
survey and condemnation of MTR mining to date, prov- to the land. Our music, crafts, food, folklore and stories. We ______________________________________________
ing what Ed and Kayla Wiley already knew: mountaintop are a land-based heritage. We are mountaincentric. When Phoebe Neel B ’12 appears to be a small girl from
removal was poisioning the people and the land. “The the mountains go everything that makes Appalachians sin- South Providence but she is a husky mountain man at
scientific evidence of the severe environmental and human gular will vanish. They are the map of our past, present and heart.
impacts from mountaintop removal is strong and irrefut- future.”
able, ” the scientists said of their work, and “its impacts are These mountains are disappearing rapidly. By the end of
pervasive and long lasting. […] There is no evidence that this year, it is estimated that 1.4 million acres will be mined
any mitigation practices successfully reverse the damage it with mountaintop removal, an area larger than the state of
causes.” They took an unusually strong stance for sicentists, Delaware.

the college hill independent m a r c h 11, 2010
s c i e n c e | 12

e v e ry w h e r e
thoughts on birds and humans

l
canaries

Nupur Shridhar and
by Nupur Shridhar

i l l u s t r at i o n b y

Ro b e rt S a n d l e r

I n about two months, during the last full moon in May, to study animals and their habitats extensively, and we are
red knots (Calidris canutus) migrating from the Pampas right to blame the institutions we’ve inherited—our highly
to the Arctic will land on the shores of the Delaware Bay, specialized society, our insufficient educational systems—for
their sole rest stop on the 12,000-mile journey home. This the damage already done. Yet we shouldn’t forget to blame
will not be their first visit: the birds have always arrived, year ourselves as well: this indifference operates most often at the
after year, as far back as anyone can remember, on the one level of the individual. We honor valuable ideas by giving
night of the year when horseshoe crabs crawl out of the sea them our attentions and affection, by integrating what we
to lay their fatty, delicious eggs in the sand—sustaining food know into what we do—but birds, though they have pen-
for the strained, starving knots. This year, though, there will etrated our menus and mythology, have failed to leave an
be far too few eggs and even fewer crabs: humans have over- impression on the modern mind. This is the responsibility
fished them for their blood, which, since the 1970s, has been we inherited with our astonishing success: if humans, the
used by researchers everywhere to test drugs, vaccines, and most influential animals on the planet, do not make room
medical devices for bacteria. No other test is as simple or reli- for other species in our heads, we will forget to make room
able. The horseshoe crab’s blood is irreplaceable, and this is for them in real life.
why we’ve killed so many, and why, this spring, hundreds of Fortunately for us, birds are everywhere, eager to be seen
beautiful birds will fall, hungry and exhausted, from the sky. and admired by those who are taking the time to find them.
It’s sad to think of so many red knots dying, but evolution Providence in the springtime is filled with hundreds of gor-
teaches us not to care. These are the rules of the game: eat or geous winged creatures. House sparrows nest in nearly every
be eaten, adapt or die. Mother Nature isn’t nice, but at least nook, and starlings are currently looking their best: keep an
she plays fair. If you’re not fast enough, big enough, or smart eye out for sleek birds white shiny black/purple/blue feath-
enough, you forfeit your right to this planet and its precious ers and a generous sprinkling of white speckles. Raptors and
resources. Humans aren’t being selfish. We just know how gulls frequent Prospect Park, and anyone living on Hope or
to win, and we have, for centuries, been happy to ignore the Cooke should look for cardinals, the downy woodpecker,
losers. Consider the dodo, once native to Mauritius, which and the tufted titmouse—and let’s note forget about the per-
was eaten to extinction by invasive pets and livestock while egrine falcon pair has built its nest downtown on the Bank
their European owners looked the other way. As a species, of America building.
the dodo failed to impress us: it wasn’t tasty; it couldn’t fly; it Admittedly, simply observing another species doesn’t
looked more than a little silly. Unsurprisingly, the last dodo constitute political or environmental activism. Bird watch-
was gobbled up slightly over a century after the species was ing in Rhode Island isn’t going to save any red knots this
first discovered. In the face of all that human indifference it season, and continually ascribing this kind of importance to
didn’t stand a chance. our thoughts and activities can seem like another brand of
What makes humans so remarkable, then, what makes species-dependent selfishness—once again we’ve developed
us so different from the species we domesticate or destroy, is inflated senses of self-importance. Yet birds, like all other life
our ability to determine who lives and who dies by changing including our own, don’t exist for any particular reason. They
the kinds of things we think about and how we think about simply exist, and bearing witness to this existence, at sunrise,
them. We’re wiser than the red knot. We haven’t arrived at with a friend, a full thermos, and an unashamed curiosity is
these shores unawares. Thanks to countless scientists and satisfying enough: I’m telling you to get out there now, while
educators everywhere, we know about the great circle of life; they’re still around, and fall in love with a bird.
we know we have to care about the environment; we know ______________________________________________
what’s going to happen if we don’t. We recycle (or always NUPUR SHRIDHAR B’11 found the Brown Boobies
mean to); we read the Science Times; we endorse only the spotted.
most conscientious goods and services—but birds, though
they remain the best indicators of environmental health, ca-
naries both in and out of the coalmine, are as unseen as ever.
On the surface, this disservices done to birds presents itself
as yet another problem for scientists to solve. As laypersons,
most of us lack the resources, and often times the willpower,

M a r c h 11, 2010 t h e i n dy. o r g
o p i n i o n s | 13

r i a l s
e d i to m i ss ives
F r ig g in

There is n F o o d
ss y
ds & pi
o defense
reported o
a n that tofu, f good food. The
d e m
Rants,
for the en for reason Guardian
vironmen s of its o
Oreos. Fre t, alo w n , is bad
eganism is ng with meat, ch
Dumpste e e se and
r diving: g the  only way to
o big or g eat green
W is h y- Was h y W o home. .
as h in g to n
Washington D.C is no
t a state. 
It has more people th
an Wyoming and alm
as Vermont, North Da ost as many
kota or Alaska. 
The majority of those
people are African-Ame Cr app y Cr eat ivit y ma n’s mo ra ls
They pay taxes.  rican.  that my Fiction
Fucking free association. It’s the shit Hey, let me run this by you, tell me if
you think it’s
They have no voting and the thing that sev-
representatives in eithe workshops prefers to traffic in a good idea. Normally, you have a mal
e and a fe-
congress and congress r house of c in befo re text mes-
can overturn any laws
passed by the enteen year olds preferred to traffi male, and they join together. I see you’
re nodding,
local city council.  a gene ratio n. Canadian
saging eliminated feelings for good. From this union comes reprodu
ction, copies
D.C is overwhelming I’m doin g it again.
ly left of center on a co
nventional poets also seem partial to—shit, of whatever their code tells them to
make. You’re
political spectrum.  Pave men t. Pave ment is
Sometimes it’s alright. Take with me so far? OK, so how about then
you put a
In 2008 it voted 92.9 the stud io, I’m all like
% for Barack Obama. 
  fun. Stephen Malkmus said, “In male and male together, or a female and
a female?
Our exclusion is inexc I’m sayin g.’” Now that
usable political and rac
ial oppres- ‘Look at me and the crazy shit se
No more copies, the code just hits a
wall. What
sion in a capital city fill got us cove red. Plea
ed with monuments to
freedom. Pavement is back together he’s is
do you think of that? Bad idea, righ
t? Immoral,
wor st part abou t it
stop trying this at home. The g
even. So now I ask you this: how, give
n the fact
dy. The shit keep s pilin that you, you sniveling factotum (I’ll
when you’re feeling shitty alrea for explain what
, and she took a shit
on. I was just walking my dog that is later) ordered not one, not two
, but an in-
number of times
the second time today. Imagine the dustrial GROSS of MALE-TO-MALE
cables for
gine pick ing it up with
M eg a M us ic she’s shit in the past month. Ima the Xerox vendor retreat, are we supp
osed to set
Head” video pare nts. Be grateful.
Jason DeRulo’s “In My club jam out- your hands. Now think of your up the demo displays?! With our goddam
n dicks?!
d the insight to film a Stop romanticizing pet ownersh ip. Turn the page. Get me some fucking coffee before
 Why no one ever ha to me. They I wrap your
re before is a mystery ballsack around your own throat you
side a convenience sto t drinks. JdR cocksucker!
here and plenty of sof
provide a dusky atmosp with is not
de this chick is dancing
points out that the du ution. Sleep
Luckily, JdR has the sol Alu m. Let ter
going to give her love.  go, he’ll be
the word and they’ll Many people think that the status quo in
with him now, just say his solution a
health care
e r n P is s
in g ple steal-
the ropes. He repeats is sustainable. They are wrong. Per capi m o d it, like peo
the teacher, show her also because ta health Po s t
of post-m o d er n sh g like it
se it’s the chorus but care costs in the United States rose to
I am tired d pretendin
few times mostly becau her problem
over $8,000
e salvatio n ar m y an
g that ther
e
her and wants to see in 2009, and at their present rate of
ing from th eople sayin
he really cares about xt verse is just
increase will
n anyth in g , o r p
ings like fa ct s,
that was good, the ne surpass $16,000 by 2019. Without the
doesn’t mea g as obviously real th
solved.  Ok, while all by his mind passage of
in diffuse
e chick was confused comprehensive health care reform, the
is no such
th in on’t believe
KILLER. In case th he just spat. number of
dichoto m ie s. I d
ecisions. I
gate all the great game uninsured, inflation, unemployment,
gender, and l all my d
games he goes on to ne ht here, but I
bankruptcy
ctures th at co n tro
e, or that
to a great novelist rig rates, taxes, trade deficits, and budget
power stru is subjectiv
I would compare him who’s ever deficits will
that ev er y th in g
pating in a
r anyone in the canon all be increasingly higher than they wou
don’t think ld is partici I believe
actually can’t remembe He explains ld other-
riends o r S ei n fe
anything that baller.  wise be. We have the most expensive
watching F al discourse.
Nor do
written/done/thought say (ey aaaay)”
health care
ri arch that can be
all the right things to in the world, with per capita costs that
hegemonic
, p at itute ‘texts’
that “some girls know t ga-ay-ayme.”
are at least
s or Sein fe ld co n st
down to it, it’s all jus double those of any other country, and
that Friend e-quotes.
BUT “when it comes at sex. That’s yet we live
A ls o, fuck scar
about how he is great shorter, sicker lives than do people in
‘deconstru ct ed .’
Then he explains more the greatest the vast ma-
ally Jason DeRulo is jority of other advanced industrial coun
pretty cool also.  Basic gets laid a lot tries: our
Cicero, but probably infant mortality rate is higher, our life
rhetorician since, like, is shorter, and we experience many mor
expectancy

more so yeah he wins severe, chronic, debilitating illness. Con
e years of
gress must
pass comprehensive health care reform
now so that
millions of jobs and hundreds of billions
in taxes will be saved, so that millions
of dollars infa nt inju stic e
old.
Pea san t Pre dic tio ns
bankruptcies will be prevented, and so
of personal On the fifteenth of July in 1992, I was three years
People like to talk about how the wor that we and sure I wasn’ t hung ry or anyth ing,
ld is going to end— our children and grandchildren may be Instead of making
like global warming, the recession, peak able to live ing about my baby sister, since it
oil, etc. But that’s longer, healthier lives. my mom kept worry
not what’s going to happen. It will be What the fuck? Then again , five
much subtler than   was her first birthday.
me
that. Basically anyone who is a poli
tician, investment Kevin Costa, AM ‘89 years later, she can’t listen to me re-tell the aweso
banker, or who has over $10 mil. in the Doo episo de I just watch ed becau se
bank will be fine. plot of the Scooby
The rest of us will become peasants. Like ng six, and my little broth er was six
, real-deal, third- my sister was turni
world, no hot water, vitamin deficient
, socially immobile months old and needed to be “changed.” You know
peasants. This death of the American
dream is romantic what needs changing? This bullshit system.
though, because soon there will be gent
ry again - and the
two hundred years between 1850 and
2050 when anyone Frig gin ’ Foo d pt. II
could make a buck and feel important
will be scoffed at as EarthBalance is too salty, too yellow, and too
foolish times. spreadable to satisfy the need for butter. Maybe it’s
s
a parody of butter, not sure. Vegans use it on thing C o ll eg e C a
t sh it
but it doesn’t
that are supposed to be fun to eat, Don’t ignore me
when I wave hello
g
make them any tastier. It’s also a piss-poor bakin Fiction I first sem
ester freshman ye
, asshole. Did
substitute.  ing? Now you ju ar mean noth-
L a p to p dge me under th
Losers Ray-Bans as you e guise of your
I sometimes sit on the Faunce
dream of a w pants on, it’s not steps. Put some
Because ther orld in whic that warm. And fu
e is no reaso h I could step I thought that sh ck you, Brown.
more power n to ever use on people in it would be serend
to you; you a laptop in lecture classe this spring. Senior ip itously closed
an entire ye ar e already m cl ass, unless it s wh
ar as a Prose aking more is a compute o use their laptops. social anxiety. No,
year continues to
be laden with
justify shelli P oet or Chee d u ri ng your sum r class, in w seriously, fuck yo
ng out $475 se Expert. B mer internsh hich case: u all. 
celebrity blo 6 p er class to sl u t for everyon ip than I ev
gs or picture ug about in e else, sham er will in
why bother s of lectu e on you: h
coming to cl cats doing hilarious thin re halls checking Faceb ow can you
skateboard ass, you pois gs. It is not ook or sport
accidents th onous turd, only disresp s scores or
your time to at are wildly dis if yo u are just g ec tf ul but flabb
ngue-waggin tracting for oing to wat ergasting:
anything to g students wh ch videos-o
o fast for yo at me about how you o actually w n-mute of
ta g e m
slides that ar u to write it use it to tak ant to learn
Se m in a r Sa bo Because I’ve met hi
e available o
nline is pure
with your g
od-given han
e notes, bec
ause no one
? Don’t was
te ve a cla ss wi th Ca ptain Pretentious? ha ve to o, yo u
your skull at Do you ha if you
the soonest
possible dat
monkey’s-pla
y and anoth
d , and further
, taking note
has ever said
ra l tim es at Br ow n, and I know that m ou th , ju st to
e. er reason w s of lecture and her se ve Captain in the
hy my boot ing desire to punch turn,
should mee have this overwhelm ad yo u no d an d smile and wait your
t .  Inste though,
shut ’im (or ’er) up pe op le di sa gree .  One of these days
civilize d ’s hear-
because that’s how
. An d on e of us is going to have a dean
one of us is going to
burst civilized
e vic ar io us ly th ro ugh this brave, un
Book s 4 Bitch es will liv and the
s that have ing. And all of us ete nt io us , then you are one
Worse than any ‘chick lit’ are instructional books aimed at women for activitie hero. If you don’t kn
ow Ca pt ain Pr
ck up.
nothing to do with being a woman. Highbal ls High Heels: A Girls’ Guide to the Art of
I as k yo u ki ndly to shut the fu
Home Repair Guide are just two example s of this same, and
Cocktails and The Woman’s Hands-O n
to the Idiot’s Guide series. They cut the informa tion
publishing trend that must be related
irration al or empowe red, and present it in a smaller
with aphorisms about feeling either
less useful.
format with a matte cover and zany/soothing photo collages. Less intimidating,

the college hill independent m a r c h 11, 2010
a rt s | 14

T h r o u g h T HE L o o k i n g GLASS CEILING
Bu rto n’ s F o u rt h - Wav e A l i c e i n w o n d e r l a n d
by nick werle & Nick Greene
ILLUSTRATION BY ISABEL KHOO

T im Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (which debuted
March 5) takes the director’s signature darkness as
a lens for Lewis Carroll’s famously warped children’s
classic. Carroll’s psychadelic motifs have no better comple-
ment than 3D technology. The chatty poppy flowers and
California. In these pencil drawings and oil paintings his
grim honesty about the world of adults becomes clear. Bur-
ton’s visual power lies in his ability to condense the painful
normalness of the adult world into caricatures.
Although he got his start drawing signs about city
Streamlining the plot is one thing, but Burton goes too far
trying to wrap up the new plotlines so neatly. After emerg-
ing from the rabbit hole—no spoiler alert necessary—Alice
leaves her fiancé on bent knee. But she attracts the attention
of his father, Lord Ascot, a shipping magnate who recently
effervescent Cheshire Cat are enough to justify your $14. ordinances for Burbank, CA, Burton seems to be gener- bought out her late father’s business. He is intrigued by Al-
But Burton’s Alice, with the eponymous maiden played by ally skeptical of social standards. His sketches condense this ice’s idea to begin trading with—you guessed it!—China. In-
Mia Wasikoska, is no moribund Victorian fairy tale. suspicion into bodies: love is two sweethearts skewered on stead of a daughter-in-law, he gets an imaginative apprentice.
The beginning of the new Wonderland shows Alice as a cupid’s arrow. In one pair of paintings, grotesque monsters This exchange, in which Alice’s whacky imagination frees her
frustrated, bookish girl on the brink of marriage to a rich feast at a long table; in the other frame, children play below, from marriage and gets her a job, turns the moral of Alice
Lord meant to keep her from “being a burden” on her re- between the legs of soberly dressed adults. Alice in Wonder- in Wonderland into: “Think outside the box; you may get
cently widowed mother. “If you have an idea,” says her fiancé land echoes this view, which finds its motivation in equal an Emerging Markets internship.” The last frame is Alice in
during a waltz, “It’s best to keep it to yourself.” If you missed parts from childlike wonder and disgust with convention. a business suit–looking frock on the prow of China-bound
this Austenian wrinkle last time your read Carroll, it’s because Burton characters embody the uglier aspects of human ship. Burton’s visual masterpiece suffers from these final two
Burton has added a (rather lengthy) frame to the “Alice falls nature in both the sketchbooks and the Wonderland char- minutes. Nothing would have been lost—but much would
down hole; opium ensues” narrative we are familiar with. It acters. In a scene where the Mad Hatter (Burton’s favorite have been gained—if Alice in Wonderland had ended in the
has the advantage of setting an oppressively staid standard for actor, Johnny Depp) dresses the Red Queen in a number brilliant world down the rabbit hole, where Burton’s talents
normality; and its cleverness is the contrast between the live- of chapeaux, fawning courtiers praise each and every one: show best.
action English gardens and the computer-animated world “You’ve never looked more splendid,” one says of a hat whose ______________________________________________
into which she escapes. brim flops over the Queen’s face. Her half-yard nose belies NICK GREENE B’10 and NICK WERLE B ’10
It is when her future mother-in-law (Geraldine James) the compliment. haven’t lost their muchness.
is interrogating Alice on her cooking plans among the box Burton’s most conspicuous addition is a traditional Hol-
hedges that she sees the (CG) White Rabbit in a waistcoat lywood plot for what is an essentially plotless novel. His most
darting between the bushes. So she flees the gaze of the Lords conspicuous subtraction is any reference to hallucinogens—
and Ladies, dashes across a field and tumbles into the rabbit surprising, considering the source material. The film be-
hole. comes a crusade in which Alice must regain her “muchness”
In Wonderland we get to Burton’s home turf: the universe by saving Wonderland from the Sauron-like Queen of Hearts
of children’s imagination. The recent career retrospective (Helena Bonham Carter). In this version, Alice is anointed
on his work at the Museum of Modern Art in New York “Champion” of the White Queen (Anne Hathaway) and
showcased the origins of the dark humor undergirding his must slay the Jabberwocky, which—no longer a mere non-
most famous movies. The show, which runs until April 26, sense rhyme—has become Alice’s rival, the tool of the evil
devotes some space to films like The Nightmare Before Christ- Red Queen, and the nemesis of benevolent rule. Her guide
mas and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, but the heart of is a mumbly Johnny Depp who aces the role of the Mad
the exhibition lies in pages torn from reams of sketchbooks, Hatter, but can’t quite overcome his previous personal bests
showcasing a psyche forged in the doldrums of suburban as Willy Wonka and the immortal Captain Jack Sparrow.

CAHIERS DU CABLE CAR B y G i l l i a n B r a s s i l , K at s t o e f f e l
& Alex Verdolini

c’est pas moi, je le jure! journée de la jupe L a belle personne
[i t’s not me , I swear!] [skir t day] [T he beautiful person]

Any movie that opens with a ten-year-old hanging him- In Journée de la jupe, director Jean-Paul Lilienfeld mixes Would you like to watch a movie with an intercepted
self is sort of asking for trouble. two familiar genres: the gritty ghetto-schoolkids flick (enjoy- note, passed in Calculus class, as a major a plot device? Y/N
“Oh ho!” you might think, “What about Harold & ing something of a vogue in France lately; cf. Entre les murs This is the litmus test for enjoyment of La Belle personne,
Maude? There is a hilarious and finely-crafted movie about [The Class], winner of the 2008 Palme d’Or at Cannes) and Christophe Honoré’s latest Louis Garrel swoon-vehicle.
young suicidal thoughts.” the classic hostage drama. Isabelle Adjani plays the baby- La Belle personne is loosely based on La Princesse de Clèves
The difference, though, is this: Harold’s suicide attempts faced Sonia Bergerac, lit instructor at a troubled, mostly- by Madame de Lafayette, a novel of debatable value to France
are jokes, merely intended to distress his high-strung mother. Muslim high school—which is to say, the object of a good (Sarkozy vs. Everyone else). La Princesse de Clèves is about
But there’s nothing at all funny about the despair of Léon, deal of catcalling and all-purpose disdain. She’s besieged, it courtly heartache; Honoré’s interpretation takes place at a
the protagonist of C’est pas moi, je le jure!; he’s legitimately seems, on all sides: the students’ treatment of her verges on Parisian high school. This is actually totally appropriate. La
miserable. Unfortunately, the film’s director and co-writer, the assaultive, and the administration has it in for her, ap- titular princesse was only fifteen—and high school is the only
Philippe Falardeau, spoils this strength—the exploration of parently because she insists, against school regulations, on place where you can find such abundant angst these days.
depression at such a young age—by drowning it in clichés: provoking the students by teaching in a skirt. Plus, it’s the only place anyone ever reads it.
Léon’s despair brought on by his parents’ turbulent marriage; She’s just trying to teach a class on seventeenth-century I think it’s best to watch it as a French version of Twi-
his relationship with a girl who also has a troubled home life; French theater when two students get into a scuffle and a light: expect melodrama, an intolerably beautiful, older male
the envy and hatred of neighbors who seem to have it all. handgun falls out of someone’s bag. She seizes it and pro- lead (Louis Garrel) reforming his skirt-chasing (in lieu of
When Léon’s mother takes off to Greece—prompting ceeds to hold the class hostage. Now, she says—with a copy bloodsucking) ways to win the PG-rated love of an ingénue
many baffling references to the Odyssey sprinkled throughout of Le Bourgeois gentilhomme in one tremulous hand and a (Léa Seydoux), burdened equally by her convictions and
the script—he deals with his unhappiness by acting like a semiautomatic in the other—she can teach a real class, a her glowering good looks. If you think the Twilight kids are
little shit. He flashes the finger like it’s a new dance move, proper class. “Une classe,” she declares in manic sing-song, good-looking, wait ‘til you see their French equivalents. They
swears incessantly, and breaks into his neighbors’ home to “sur Molière.” have thicker hair, huskier voices. They show their tits.
destroy everything in a jealous frenzy. We’re clearly supposed Most refreshing, La Belle personne is set in Paris, but
to find his antics funny—precocious kid actin’ bad!—and The plot is meant to provoke—at points, it’s almost Paris, for once, is not a character. Honoré found the outer
indeed, many audience members laughed uproariously, but a white French revenge fantasy—and for a while, it seems arrondissements’ most crumblingly Gothic corners on their
I found Léon’s unpleasantness far from charming. Who pays like Lilienfeld might be pushing the envelope in a politically most gouache-overcast days, the better to offset Garrel and
for a muddied carpet and a ruined harpsichord when the incorrect and interesting way. But eventually we learn that Seydoux’s matching high color and matted black hair. Even
snickering stops? Bergerac (whom another character had earlier termed a catho if you titter and groan at the histrionic dialogue and the
Ultimately, it’s these unsuccessful attempts at crowd- coincé, an uptight Catholic) is actually Muslim by birth— campy, impromptu musical number (Just one [1]! This is
pleasing that make this film the hardest to watch. Falardeau’s just like the kids in her crosshairs. a restrained follow-up to Honoré’s 2007 musical Chansons
super-saturated 1970s colors seem garish instead of lush; It’s an easy out. We empathize with both hostages and d’amour), you can’t call it false advertising.
inter-spliced shots of ships on the Mediterranean prompted hostage-taker, without feeling any conflict of sentiment. The In the grand French tradition of Raymond Queneau: turn
eye-rolling rather than appreciation. There may be an artful film still moves, saddens, confuses us, but it’s an unconstruc- off your critical faculties, call the whole thing an “Exercice de
way to tell a story about wanting to die when you’ve just tive confusion, a sadness without traction. It’s possible for an style,” and enjoy.
started living, but Falardeau hasn’t found it. audience to be moved—and still not change.

– GB – ASV –KSS

M a r c h 11, 2010 t h e i n dy. o r g
ART S | 15

CURBSIDE CURATING
A P r ov i d e n c e G r o u p R e i n v e n t s t h e M u s e u m
b y Rya n W o n g

P h oto g r a p h s b y A n n i e M ac d o n a l d

E veryone on Westminster Street last weekend became Providence’s empty storefronts into creative spaces. Since people have is, “which building is the museum?”
part of a museum. Volunteers distributed stickers December 2009, 191 Westminster has displayed a photo- Unlike museum labels, some of those on Westminster
reading “CURRENT EXHIBIT,” and more than graphic diorama of people and buildings along the street, described objects and buildings no longer present, adding an
a hundred white labels papered the two blocks between along with their stories (the display ends this week, but new historical bent to the project. Monteiro wants to “help people
Dorrance and Union Streets. Most took the cue: dozens of stories will continue to be posted at themuseumonline.com/ develop a greater sense of ownership” of the street, by equip-
perusing pedestrians clustered around labels describing the westminsterstories). ping them with history and anecdotes they can share with
stories of subjects as diverse as “The Kresge Building,” “Trash A team of about 30 researchers and photographers con- their friends the next time they pass through. For example,
Can,” and “Ted.” Like the museum labels we know, these ducted 160 interviews with well-known personalities and the plot of land hosting the museum’s diorama was once the
made you look again at the objects they described. One label random passersby. A sort of This American Life for the street, Chin Lee Chinese restaurant, opened in 1914 by a Chinese
explained that the tree it was affixed to—a special hybrid of the dioramas are organized around themes like “Work,” immigrant. In 1924 he moved to New York and started a
honey locust and kwanzan cherry—was planted because of “Love,” “Christmas,” and “Getting Around.” Each week, a restaurant there with a capacity of nearly a thousand.
its resistance to urban conditions and could live up to 130 new set of printed texts float above the cutouts on the street. But the goal here is not to privilege Westminster street
years. Another label pointed your eye upward, to a ceramic Like the radio show, they value everyone’s story. For example: itself. Monteiro says they didn’t choose the street because
peacock adorning a building’s facade. Most days, you can find David writing poetry at a table for any particular quality, but to point out that the project
This was the Museum of Westminster Street: a project in Tim Horton’s, on the other side of Dorrance Street. “I could be replicated almost anywhere. That is, the idea of the
bringing curatorial practice to a public space. The street have an international following.” He worked in technology street—any normal, busy, downtown walking area—inspires
becomes museum, the buildings and people its collection. until 2005, when his $98,000 job went overseas. “I lost my the project. As Losowsky said, “a lot of people ask us why we
Lyra Monteiro, a PhD candidate at Brown, and Andrew home, my job, my marriage. I was homeless for 13 months. do this. My response is, because we want to live in a world
Losowsky, a writer and photographer, created and co-direct But I’m better off now then I was before. When you have to where things like this happen.”
the Museum On Site, an organization that rethinks the pur- start over again, you appreciate what you have.” He’s been ______________________________________________
pose and methods of the traditional museum. writing poetry for almost 40 years. Ryan Wong B’10 is a Late 20th Century work.
The experiment we call museums—buildings open to Then there are recognizable figures like “Buddy” (Cianci):
the public (not just the itinerant aristocracy) showcasing art, his blurb tell of his childhood memories of streetcars on
culture, and history—is still in its infancy. Only in the last Westminster and of his unrealized plans to revitalize the
couple hundred years have these institutions existed, and the street as mayor. The window generates a community feel; as
Museum On Site wants to remind us there is potential for the Monteiro points out, “Providence is small. Everyone knows
concept to grow outside its traditional walls. This philosophy someone in the window.” She says exclamations like “Hey,
can be traced to numerous sources: from the ‘60s performance did you see me?” and “There’s my secretary!” are common
art blend of high and low culture to museum education pro- by the display.
grams and oral histories. The website for the organization
HITTING THE STREETS
B S R to p t e n
cites inspiration from projects as diverse as The New York
Times’ “One in 8 million” series, Le Cool’s travel guidebooks, For two days the Museum of Westminster Street took that

6
Gorillaz Andrew Thomas

1
and the Lower East Side Tenement Museum. Last century’s diorama, itself modeled on the street, and magnified it back Plastic Beach Between Buildings and Trees
“white cube” model is under attack; its critics are dismantling to life size. The small photos of people became five-foot cut- Parlophone/Virgin Kompakt
and reassembling it on the web and outdoors. The Museum outs and the labels 8.5” x 11” sheets. Virtual Hip-Pop Drowned In Sound puts it
On Site’s inaugural exhibition in October 2008, A Thou- A small crowd gathered around Jane, one of the “exhibits” in the realm of “cuckoo
Dez Cordas washy ambient kerfuffle”

2
sand Ships, commemorated the bicentennial anniversary of in the museum with a label around her neck, as she stood
next to her near-life-sized cutout. Asked how she made it Dances Songs Inventions
the abolition of the slave trade. They drew on research from

7
Centaur Broken Social Scene
Brown’s Slavery and Justice report, bringing it to those who into the museum, she said “I was just walking down this
Classical Guitar Forgiveness Rock Record
wouldn’t otherwise read it. Using Barnaby Evans’s WaterFire street, and they approached me. I thought, I’ve got time, I’ll Arts and Crafts
as a staging ground, a hundred people poured water into the just talk to them.” One girl remarked, “You’re like a celeb- Pantha Du Prince Canadian Indie Rock

3
canal, after an African ritual, then walked through the crowd rity now!” This underscored the privilege we grant to the black Noise All-Stars
taking on the personae of historical abolitionist figures. Two curated: though she was selected for no other reason than Rough Trade
being in the area one day, we look more closely at her story Ambient Techno Hooray!

8
hundred years after slave ships traveled up the same canal, it
became a site for art, celebration, and remembrance. and her cardboard likeness. The labels parody the formula Daydream EP
Joanna Newsom Self-Released

4
As with the Westminster project, the idea was to force the of the plaques that guide visitors through museums. Each
object has a date and “accession number,” the date a building Have One on Me Rock
performance-exhibition onto the public, rather than drawing Drag City
the public into the space. Monteiro explains that “traditional opened, or for people, “Late 20th Century,” along with a
Freak Folk Born Ruffians

9
humanities presentations tend to happen away from site, and code like WSM.101. Say It
to intellectualize the content. We want to provoke an intui- Though these riffs on museums might raise a smile, they Yeasayer Warp

5
tive reaction first,” which she hopes will inspire the interested are serious critiques of the staidness of institutions and our Odd Blood Indie rock
viewer to explore topics further. Losowsky points out that assumptions about the cultural value of objects. The logo for Secretly Canadian
the Westminster project literally inverts the Metropolitan Psych Rock Four Tet

10
museum-goers tend to be students or of the upper-middle
class; by using the streets, one offers a free public experience Museum of Art’s iconic “M.” It’s a telling target for the two There is Love in You
year-old project. The beaux-arts 130 year-old New York Domino
to a chance audience.
institution claims to house the greatest artistic achievements IDM

A MODEL MUSEU M of the last 5,000 years, entirely indifferent to the stories of
The Museum of Westminster Street started as Westminster people on the street.
Stories, part of Providence Art Windows; an organization But it’s difficult to break people of their familiarity with
funded by local and federal arts endowments that transforms traditional institutions. Losowsky says a common question

the college hill independent m a r c h 11, 2010
s p o rt s |16

BE A

GOOD SPORT
OPEN LETTERS FROM Beatrice Igne-Bianchi and Sim on van Zuylen- Wood

Dear Pittsburgh Steelrs QB Ben Roethlisberger, Dear Michael Lewis,

We don’t know whether the latest allegations are true—we’d like to think not—but your Nice going with the film adaptation of your book, The Blind Side. Everyone is a sucker
reckless habits are becoming cause for concern. On March 2, the night of your 28th birth- for a triumphant sports movie: The Mighty Ducks, Friday Night Lights, Million Dollar Baby
day—Happy Birthday!—you allegedly raped a 20 year-old student at Georgia College and (oops). Who would have ever imagined that the former Miss Congeniality herself would
State University. Out with a 300 pound trusty offensive lineman Willie Colon and two go on to win the world’s most coveted acting award last week, joining the decorated ranks
bodyguards, you hit the Milledgeville, GA bar scene well protected. Which was not the case of Meryl Streep and Katherine Hepburn. It’s safe to say that there was cause for shock and
two years ago, when you allegedly raped another woman at a Lake Tahoe Casino. After the awe (the dread with regard to the Academy’s decline), you know, like when Tim McGraw
incident, she told a co-worker she was hoping (in vain) for a “Little Roethlisberger,” which appeared alongside Bullock on the silver screen. At least to balance it out you opted to use a
pretty much got you off the hook. I’m sure you haven’t forgotten your other little Over- bunch of former and current NCAA coaches to give it an authentic touch. They needn’t act
Armor mishap either, when you crashed your motorcyle sans helmet in 2006. You do have the part.
the burden of wearing one all year long, so you’re forgiven on that count. Lucky for your fans, news that yet another book-cum-blockbuster, Moneyball, about the
But in 2009, as the autumn trees changed, you too seemed to turn over a new leaf. Yeah, Oakland Athletics’ pivotal 2002 season, is finally slated to start filming this summer. We
it was strange to host a WWE Raw event during the season, but at least you brought along know Moneyball the movie will make you some money, but it looks like they’re going to
seven offensive linemen, including Colon, as backup. It seemed like a step in the right direc- butcher this one worse than The Blind Side. First the guy who directed Marley and Me, then
tion, so no one wanted to break the news about the whole rigged thing. Steven Soderbergh, walked away from the project. Now Capote director Bennett Miller,
You seem like a nice person, but a misguided one. Example #1: The Ben Roethisberger whose only other feature film was also about a real-life narcissist, is all set to direct. The
Fund specializes in training police dogs. That’s fine, but you recently signed an $100 million film doesn’t have any real actors lined up either, besides Brad Pitt (General Manager Billy
contract. You could be the Betty Ford of athlete sex rehab. Example #2: You spend your off- Beane) and Jonah Hill (batboy). Just kidding, Hill recently got the nod to play super-scrawny
seasons in Tahoe casinos and Milledgeville beer-holes. The world is your huddle, Ben. Break statistics geek Paul DePodesta.
it! Even Broadway “I wanna kiss you” Joe Namath is ashamed of you.
Michael, one of the similarities between your two sports books/movies, besides their con-
At least your thrill-harvesting began after stardom was reached. Shortly after an outstand- tributing to your bank account, is their focus on very recent stories. To avoid the awkwardness
ing performance at the recent NFL combine (where college studs strut their stuff for pro of fans complaining that the actors look nothing like their real-life counterparts, Soderbergh
scouts) it was revealed that Tony Washington, an offensive tackle at Division II Abilene had originally picked a lineup former players and coaches, including Moneyball-era A’s like
Christian, in Central Texas, became a registered sex offender at 16 when he had consensual Scott Hatteberg, Art Howe and Rick Peterson, to play themselves. Now that Miller and new
intercourse with his 15 year-old biological sister. screenwriter Aaron Sorkin are pinch-hitting, it looks like they might just try to make this
thing a buddy comedy. We know Demetri Martin (previously playing DePodesta) can’t do
Big Ben, here’s what the NFL is okay with: fathering many children via many mothers. much besides mumble with a guitar, but at least he looks exactly like the guy. Which is all
Thirty year-old Travis Henry was a productive running back for seven years, with three differ- that really matters when it comes to getting your sports flick some Oscar credit. So get Sandra
ent teams, despite fathering at least eleven children with ten different women. New York Jet Bullock’s hair stylist to paint some Grecian 5 on the whole 2002 roster—75 percent of them
cornerback Antonio Cromarie, at only 24, is on pace to shatter Henry’s pace. Seven children, are out of work—and get your boys filming already!
six women, five paternity suits.
-BI-B
- SvZ-W

M a r c h 11, 2010 t h e i n dy. o r g
l i t e r a ry | 17

POETRY, DA M N IT ALL

T h e B ot to m NU M B ER S
by Abigail Chen
b y Emm e t t F i t z g e r a l d
I IV
You are a grower and am a lone. Not alone.
The bottom grows down, am the man. The sanctity the lintel empty and the head
Curling ribbon am the wolf. And then he
To the base of the bed. am the southern tip of
am tired of nonsense. John— V
Your wrappings am looking for you. Don’t vernacular myths:
(Nest-like around old shoes and tearing carpet) am sleeping in poverty. Tired of if you are forehead slut,
Grip the floor am I am tired. Often am I pimp’s fingers will shrink.
Better than toes.
“Baby, have my fingers gone short-
You are only here, II er?”
Squeezing the open space in position. this boy touching her leg
touching manacles touching VI
her man’s trousers short long This password pushing!
look at the man’s man *************
is the length unbelievable Did you know the memory
legs on that woman has an 8 digit cap cap cap?
like peaches his face like boys
A CERTAIN S LANT O F and girls’ hands likes
touching manacles VII
S UNLIGHT III
man on
one woman no
by Jeff Sanford child and
[text missing] father on
mother no
[believe the figure to be of demi- child and
As Dante lurked in shadow, man lurks, Da- god stature; poss. herakles… tho
guerre lifts his head. Light takes the mountain and we shuffle past so on and on
likely as close to pos. or medu. or
shameful at our kid parts on the grand tour Virgil grants us. Z. … and as for aprho…] VIII
Niépce writes Daguerre a letter about their love of shadow. No How to politely squeeze someone
& out of a subway conversation.
response, no light, no postal service on a sunlit day, which turns life to
silhou-
ette. Each object a fragment of its self. Dort. See above.
                                    There, Cabestan
 
in the dish a paper cut-out. Light falls and breaks items IX
in half. Who’s that? The Great Axe.
                        Put neon in museums, humble glow, the Who’s that? The Negative One.
hum of hunger fever chills. This good life, What’s that? An inanity
life of light, off the mountain, of God my rock. of your inanity.

X
(the end)

And thank god for that

F U S CHIA II ( e xc e r p t )
by Eran Hornick

Do you remember what fuchsia is like?  How it scintillates against a backdrop rampant of
incarnadine luster?  And lacquered symbioses, paneled wood panels, ply upon ply upon
flying through the blue void up above, or black ink-of-pearl backdrop that so valiantly falls,
so reliably envelops every night every evening every dusk of every day of every year.  Like
rain falling through the skach into our harsh soup, illuminating what tears might be reflected
therein, letting us know that nature is a choice given us, that we are a choice given unto
nature, that the outdoors are a window and that we choose to keep it open or closed, to
make love to the world’s beauty, or to curl into the succor of a warm hearth. To flounce, to
bounce, to toss small buckyballs, to slit them open like so many ripe melons, like citrons
or lemons, to pull out the succulent innards and filling meat, skin and bones, seeds, hard
knobby gourdskins and all, and to make rice pudding, cakes, and lakes from its guts.  With
tiny tins of snuff, bottles of coins, girders of loins, sharpened antelope skulls and surging
muscles beneath reflective hide shiny in its multi-layered, saliva-cleaned fur coats; Ahmad
tea, fresh from the resilient grapefields of Arabia, with four thousand and one stories
behind every grape, behind every bee, behind every mind and gnarled hand that so tenderly
touched, with absence of mind and care of heart, the growth of those leaves, those paddies,
those sugarcane upshooting forests.

the college hill independent m a r c h 11, 2010
THE LIST
FRI 12
6PM How to Conquer America in One Night–Ayiti Cheri Haitian Film
Festival
@ MacMillan 117 // $5 minimum donation–proceeds benefit Partners
in Health
8PM MEME Electronic Improv Ensemble reinterprets Jurassic Park.
Maybe
this time Jeff Goldblum gets eaten @ Grant Recital Hall // free
8PM Three Sisters. Thru March 15 @ PW // free for Brown students
, faculty +
Staff with ID, but too bad, tickets are already sold out
9PM Buffalo Bangers, Living Things, Devil Eyes, Diana Joy, + Amil
Bleckie @
Building XVI // $donate l
tica
N au oon
,
hd M
e Blu ai, + h
s f s
14
y r
te / $5 i
s, W Wa /
N Pu ko, Attic
SU a c k i k s
l M rio u
SAT 13 M B c,
9P ana Hill
a
9AM-10PM Haiti Teach-In @ RISD Chace Center. m @ ing,”
Al ma
n: “ pegg
Full schedule: risdhaiti.wordpress.com // free Ma ussio
6PM How to Conquer America in One Night–Ayiti r disc
Cheri Haitian Film Festival @ MacMillan 117 // $5 T o p ics fo / free r // fr
ee
k
K 2 010. Center / ily Theate Maddoc
minimum donation to Partners in Health W E E e n ’s a m ” @
EX om ck F erparts
t of S le W orma
15
1PM The Agronomist–Ayiti Cheri Haitian Film t e
–par arah Doy @ McC an Coun volum
MON
Festival @ List 120 // $5 donation n 1 0 1 S a e s sive
ap - O ! @ s h id r o p M a
N Str more oko Y
o
its E
u ord. t
3-5PM Community Skating @ Meehan Auditorium,
NOO ecock,” + ing by Ky raphy & ark L Even
235 Hope St. // free, but only come if you have m d g le s ,+M d Music Dark
“ f e m R e a t o b io e e n o w w a r h e
fr K t-For
your own skates PM A ic Au m // Paul $6 y@
T
5:30 M “Arab rian Roo Wittmer/ pire St. // k Feminis nch Bets
7PM On the Verge of a Fever—Haitian Film 0 P r B r it t m P in 8 I
5:3 nte ek, Ger 15 E Paint It Choir, +
Festival @ Salomon 001 // $5 donation ni Ce c 20, 1
Alum issy Spa @ AS2 March–A ns’ Boys
S ls f e
7:30PM Carrie Underwood Live @ Dunkin’ 9PM eme leve Brides o odic, Ath
tr e th
Donuts Center // probably costs a lot of $ at ex eware th athy Ca
B C
PARTY O’CLOCK EMS’s 21st. The theme of the 9PM aphone, St. // $4
party is: A GOOD FUCKING TIME @ Ask where / S e x n o w
w S
, 124
Lady

// $6 rd,
arco
A S220 i’s Am free
16 awin
g@ ellin
ts F the Avon
//
TUE 0PM
L if e Dr presen
Film ovie
@
6-8:3 Brown avorite m
M r ’s f
8P Fost
e
Drew

WED 17
10:30AM A Conversation with Three Literary Editors
who will A your Q’s about the literary publishing world @
McCormac Family Theater // free
7PM “Transgender Inclusion, or Demilitarizing the
Borderlands of the Binary Gender System” A Talk by Emi
Koyama, a multi-issue social justice slut synthesizing feminist, Asian,
survivor, dyke, queer, sex worker, intersex, genderqueer, and crip politics @
Rhode Island Hall 108

THU 18
4PM The State of Brown address with President Simmons.
Will she be rocking the red power suit??? @ Salomon 101
6-8:30PM Annual Friends of Rochambeau Limerick Contest
Awards + Blarney Bash @ Rochambeau Branch Library,
708 Hope St.
8:30PM Sex & the MTV Culture–part of SEX WEEK 2010
@ List 120 // free

Listing by Lola & Margo
Murder of Crows by MATEO