The College Hill

contents from the editors
2 Week in Review
George Warner Jonah Kagan, Megan Turley, Jonah Wolf

It’s 4:30 PM, already dark and 70 degrees out. I guess on the Pacific coast you call it the Pineapple Express and in Turkey, apparently, a Pastrami Summer. Meanwhile, black sports utilities, big cops on big motorbikes, bomb dogs, and search squads. It must have to do with Wyclef Jean and that little crystal palace on the main green. Or midterms— something like that. Wait, do I remember how this conversation started? No, you aren’t dreaming, dude, it’s the presidential motorcade. So that explains the half dozen Secret Service cars on Waterman, the four-dozen little flashing blue lights, K9 units and pink tape. Is it a faux pas to stand between the president and a library? Couldn’t someone, like, just bring an RPG to the top of Allegra? Okay, I can hear people cheering. Here he comes. He must be in that really big SUV. No, he was in the limo behind it. Duh. Fuck. But I see his little waving hand behind the bulletproof black glass. And that smile cut like a fruit wedge. Celebrities are always smaller thank you think. I wonder if he noticed how weird the weather is. -AQR

3 Juan Williams stars in a play

4 Hullabaloo at the library
Ian Trupin

5 We love Chafee, and voting 6 John Rawls is an idiot
Brian Judge George Warner, Simon van Zuylen-Wood, Garret Johnson

7 You’re so racist when you’re PMS-ing
Josh Kopin


8 Rare Earth Elements cause tension
Emma Whitford

9 11

e Indy tells you how
Alice Hines

e Big E fair is pretty crazy

F A L L 2010
MANAGING EDITORS Katie Jennings, Tarah Knaresboro, Eli Schmitt • NEWS Ashton Strait, Emma Whitford, Jonah Wolf • METRO Maud Doyle, George A. Warner, Simon van Zuylen-Wood • OPINION Mimi Dwyer, Brian Judge • FEATURES Alice Hines, Natalie Jablonski, Marguerite Preston, Adrian Randall • ARTS Jordan Carter, Alexandra Corrigan, Erik Font, Natasha Pradhan • SCIENCE Katie Delaney, Nupur Shridhar • SPORTS Malcolm Burnley • FOOD Belle Cushing • LITERARY Rebekah Bergman, Charlotte Crowe • X PAGE Katie Gui • NEW MEDIA Kate Welsh • LIST Simone Landon, Erin Schikowski, Dayna Tortorici • DESIGN Maija Ekay, Katherine Entis, Mary-Evelyn Farrior, Emily Fishman, Maddy McKay, Liat Werber, Rachel Wexler, Joanna Zhang • ILLUSTRATIONS Emily Martin, Robert Sandler • COVER EDITOR Emily Martin • MEGA PORN STAR Raphaela Lipinsky • SENIOR EDITORS Margo Irvin, Simone Landon, Erin Schikowski, Emily Segal, Dayna Tortorici • STAFF WRITER Zachary Rausnitz (!) • PHOTOGRAPHY John Fisher • MVP Charis Loke COVER ART: Emily Martin The College Hill Independent PO Box 1930, Brown University Providence, RI 02912 Letters to the editor are welcome distractions. The College Hill Independent is published weekly during the fall and spring semesters and is printed by TCI Press in Seekonk, MA.
The College Hill Independent receives support from Campus Progress/Center for American Progress. Campus Progress works to help young people — advocates, activists, journalists, artists — make their voices heard on issues that matter. Learn more at

1 2 Smelling art
Katie Barnwell

1 3 Photography in a graphic essay
Momoko Ishiguro


1 5Pumped for pumpkin soup
Ann Crawford-Roberts

Malcolm Burnley

e jump-shot lands in Providence

17 Poems


Shemaleiah Smylie

18 Julie Chien

as if you care... ephemera
there are these firewood heated hot tubs at the hotel that i work at, and last night was a party for 2 ppl in townthat got married hung out in those for 4 hours getting lightly fondled by many different men went home with this girl whose lesbian quotient i either misjudged, or mishandled but even that was funny after a half hour of holosync meditation i just plugged into very cute 18 year old that i didnt get enough face time with, his name was kendal and he looked like michael pitt with a pony tail and more of a gangster/trailer park vibe, lives an hour away tuxedo tshirt and silver chain that he got in mexico blond hair and milk skin and big lips


2 News

Even among East Coast colleges filled with bored elites, Georgetown University is one of the last places you’d expect to find a drug lab, especially one producing dimethyltriptamine (DMT), the mysterious psychoactive substance found in the human brain. DMT’s hallucinogenic properties, one assumes, are more suitable to the hippies at Bard (where three students got caught fabricating the drug in 2007) than to their Capitol-primed Hoya counterparts. Yet there it was in the WashingtonPost: three teenagers—Charles Smith,  John Romano,  and John Perrone—arrested on Saturday for synthesizing DMT in Harbin Hall. Police evacuated the dorm after a student led them to room 926, where, according to an affidavit, they found “zip locks containing a green plant substance, a carbon dioxide canister, homemade smoking devices, a grinder, a jar containing a red liquid substance, and a Styrofoam cooler with dry ice and several jars containing a clear liquid substance,” as well as ammonia, salt, lighter fluid, rubber gloves, and a turkey baster. A Georgetown freshman told the Independent, “They’re nice guys, and it’s really sad that all this is happening. This was a complete surprise even to the people who lived next door to them.” Smith and Perrone (who is actually enrolled at the nearby University of Richmond) were classmates at Andover High School in Massachusetts; Romano, whom police released without charge Sunday morning, was Smith’s roommate. Says our source, “It almost feels like the drama ended with the start of the work week— the extent that people around campus are talking about it now is joking about how hard it’s going to be to find a new reliable DMT dealer.” Looks like they’ll have to find a new weed connect, too: on Tuesday, another Harbin Hall freshman was busted for possession of marijuana with intent to distribute. Meanwhile, across the country, nine freshmen from Central Washington State University were hospitalized after ingesting an array of liquors that included the caffeinated malt beverage Four Loko. The school has since followed New Jersey’s Ramapo College in banning the drink (where 23 students—not all of whom were in the state variously and colloquially referred to as “Lok’ed,” “Loko’ed,” or simply “Loko”—were hospitalized for alcohol intoxication last month). Four Loko, which boasts twelve percent alcohol by volume and comes in nine fruity flavors ranging from Blue Raspberry to Lemonade, fills a hole in the market left by Anheuser-Busch’s Bud Extra and MillerCoors’ Sparks, which were decaffeinated in response to a threatened lawsuit from the Center for Science in the Public Interest. While attorney generals across the country are decrying the beverage, it is rising in popularity, with a 435 percent sales jump over the past year. Rap odes have proliferated across YouTube, and one restaurant, New York’s Xiao Ye, has even started serving a cocktail of Four Loko and Hennessey. -JW

by Jonah Kagan, Megan Turley, and Jonah Wolf Graphic by Emily Martin
If you thought Tina Fey’s impression of Sarah Palin was the funniest political video you’ve seen on YouTube (or if you thought that about a video of Sarah Palin herself), think again. This fall, the campaign of Republican Delaware Senate candidate Christine O’Donnell has reached a new LOL. As outlandish as it may sound, O’Donnell’s latest TV spot plays off of an internet meme—and we’re not talking something innocent like ROFLcopter. O’Donnell’s ad mimics Antoine Dodson of YouTube fame, star of the “Bed Intruder Song” video, which consists of clips of Dodson warning news viewers to “hide your kids, hide your wife, ’cause they’re raping everybody out here,” after an intruder broke into his house and got into bed with his sister. The clips have been humorously arranged into a fauxpop song using Auto-Tune, the ubiquitous pitch-correcting software the effects of which can be heard in many of today’s chart toppers. The ad—or, more aptly, fake movie preview—casts O’Donnell’s Democratic opponent Chris Coons as “The Taxman,” a villain out to rape the wallets of taxpayers. “Hide your will, hide your lights, ’cause he’s taxing everything out here,” intones the melodramatic narrator. For those who have seen “Bed Intruder Song,” which is probably a lot of people given the video’s 35.5 million YouTube views, this allusion may come dangerously close to equating Coons with a rapist. Coons, for his part, has decided to respond to this covertly slanderous attack with a spoof ad of his own: “Christine O’Donnell has said a lot of strange things,” says the voice-over, as the words “The O’Donnell Zone” appear against the trademark Twilight Zone outer space backdrop. We then see clips of some O’Donnell gems, such as “I’m not a witch,” “evolution is a myth,” and to top it off, “scientific companies are crossbreeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully-functioning human brains.” Although Coons’s ad does a good job suggesting that O’Donnell might not have a fully-functioning human brain herself, one thing is clear: even if she doesn’t win the Senate seat this year, she will have a much better chance in the future when, instead of counting votes, they will just count YouTube views. -JK

October 9, 2010: Nineteen years after Anita Hill testified at Clarence Thomas’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court justice that she had been sexually harassed by Thomas, she received a strange, early morning message on her office voicemail. Ms. Hill is currently a professor of social policy, law, and women’s studies at Brandeis University, and her particular expertise in these fields makes what was to happen next that much more socially palpable. The caller was none other than Clarence Thomas’s wife, Virginia Thomas, and her message (according to the New York Times) was as follows: “Good morning Anita Hill, it’s Ginni Thomas. I just wanted to reach across the airwaves and the years and ask you to consider something. I would love you to consider an apology sometime and some full explanation of why you did what you did with my husband.“ She goes on to request that Ms. Hill “give it some thought. And certainly pray about this and hope that one day

[she] will help us understand why [Hill] did what [she] did,” ending with an awkward, “Okay, have a good day.” Bizarre phrasing aside, the blatant blame-the-victim mindset is disturbingly clear in this message. Even more disheartening is the fact that after her request was made public, Mrs. Thomas became incredibly popular with Tea Party talk and radio shows across the country. The uncomfortable truth is that this political ploy brings up sensitive issues of race, gender, and perception of abuse victims weeks before a midterm election. omas’s message, both what was said and what was implied, was so inflammatory that Lillian McEwan, a former girlfriend of Thomas’s who refused to testify in his harassment hearing, has finally come forward in Hill’s defense after almost 20 years of silence. Anita Hill has publically refused to offer up any apology to the Thomas’s, and Brandeis has come out in full support of her decision. One can only hope that the majority of Americans will as well. -MT

3 Political Theatre

O C T O B E R 28 2010 T H E C O L L E G E H I L L I N D E P E N D E N T

A New Play by George Warner—in Four Parts
Ed. Note – Any part of the play below reminiscent of the firing of Juan Williams by NPR is pure and absolute coincidence. Resemblance of characters to Juan Williams, Fox News commentator; Rupert Murdoch, owner of things; Vivian Schiller, CEO of NPR; or Bill O’Reilly, Fox News host, is also wholly coincidental. Quotes that may seem attributable to those people are, similarly, not. Mostly. It is late October 2010. e economy is in shambles for working Americans and midterm elections are near. e political climate has become increasingly su used by xenophobic rhetoric. A few months ago Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani immigrant, brought a truck into Times Square lled with explosives. Luckily, the bomb never detonated. A street vendor noti ed police when he saw smoke coming from the truck. Characters: Juan Commentator is a prominent journalist/commentator. He works for “Fair and Balanced” TV—a TV station focused on mostly conservative commentary and opinions—and Taxpayer Funded Radio—a national radio syndicator funded overwhelming by private donors. Juan Commentator was born in the Central American country of Canama, and moved with his family to an outer borough of Metropolis as a young boy. Juan Commentator began his career at e Capitol Mail in 1976 and covered politics in various positions at the paper until 2000. At Taxpayer Funded Radio, he initially hosted Chat with the Country. Now Juan has become a contracted news analyst rather than a strict Taxpayer Funded Radio reporter, allowing for more leeway in his remarks. Vivian CEO is the CEO of Taxpayer Funded Radio. Taxpayer Funded Radio has faith in its position as an objective media outlet. Taxpayer Funded Radio has been criticized in the past for having little diversity in its on-air sta . Bill Host is the host of a nightly show on “Fair and Balanced” TV. He is a prominent conservative commentator, although his fame has been overshadowed in the last couple of years by Glenn Host (no relation), a younger commentator who also has a show on “Fair and Balanced” TV. Rupert Owner owns “Fair and Balanced” TV, along with many other news outlets including Barrier Road Diary and Metropolis Mail.

Juan, our lead, is in the “Fair and Balanced” Newsroom with TV Commentator Bill. American ags and at-screen television set the studio backdrop. Bill (In Nasally Voice): Juan, does America have a Muslim problem? Juan: Well Bill… Political correctness can lead to some kind of paralysis where you don’t address reality. I mean, look, Bill, I’m not a bigot. But when I get on the plane, I got to tell you, if I see people who are in Muslim garb and I think, you know, they are identifying themselves first and foremost as Muslims, I get worried. I get nervous. Now, remember when the Times Square bomber was at court. He said that America’s war with Muslims is just the beginning. I don’t think there’s any way to get away from these facts. Lights go o . e following newspaper headline is projected onto the stage: Taxpayer Funded Radio ends contract with Juan Commentator over comments made about Muslims at “Fair and Balanced” News.

Juan in kitchen with wife, sits at a round table in the middle of the room. Phone next to sink rings. Juan: Hello…oh hi Rupert, how are you… good good, I just finished dinner… just taking it all in, it always hurts to be let go, but it is good to know I am still wanted at “Fair and Balanced” Newsroom…yes, yes, I did lose a lot of money… Juan paces around the kitchen…Wow, Rupert, I really appreciate the offer. Two million dollars a year! And my contract was not even expiring!... Thanks for standing behind me on this one…Talk to you soon, Rupert. Juan hangs up phone, pauses and turns to his wife. Honey, I guess expressing my opinion about Muslims paid off, after all. As light fades out, Juan smiles.

working to tackle diversity head-on. Reporter 3: CEO Vivian, how do you feel about Juan’s comments? Vivian: He should talk to his psychiatrist or repress his feelings. When I have a problem, though, I talk to my publicist. Maybe he should try that. (To the audience): Oh shoot, I should not have said that out loud. Thank god I am not a news analyst. That is a pretty personal position on a pretty controversial issue. Reporters all turn around in unison, arms outstretched, broad smiles and hats thrown up in the air. Reporters: It is all in the name of a good headline! Lights.

Lights Rise. Two white men and one white woman, powdered for e ect, stand around a water cooler. Fluorescent lighting and cubicles in the background. Sign on wall says: “Taxpayer Funded Radio: Claiming Objectivity Despite the Inevitable Politicization of Speech since 1970.” Male 1: Gosh, it is too bad about Juan’s firing, he was really such a character on our shows. Too bad he violated Taxpayer Funded Radio’s policy about news analysts. He should have known not to express views that are vaguely liberal but not radically so…I mean views that are not objective. Female 1: Yeah, too bad. I am just so frustrated that CEO Vivian did not tell us this was going to happen. Instead we are being faced with a media firestorm! I am supposed to monitor the Contact Us form on the website, but it crashed at noon. So, I took my lunch break early and went to Le Pain Quotidien. Male 2: (incredulously) Did you get any nasty emails from people complaining about our commentators’ lack of diversity and how, now with Juan gone, we have lost something like 100% of our black men on-air? Not to mention someone vaguely close to conservative. People don’t realize you cannot SEE the commentators on Taxpayer Funded Radio. It’s Radio! Male 1: Gosh, you’re right. I cannot believe people would complain about our diversity. We are OBJECTIVE, so it does not matter who is talking on the air. Smiles around the room. Each person walks back to their cubicles. Light fades.

CEO Vivian stands behind podium, in front of a horde of reporters below. Reporter 1: CEO Vivian, why fire Juan for expressing his personal opinion? CEO Vivian: Well, Taxpayer Funded Radio has a policy for news analysts like Juan. It says they can’t take personal public positions on controversial issues. That is what Juan did and has done before on “Fair and Balanced” News. This is not an isolated incident and we have warned Juan before. Lights fade and scene changes to dimly lit “Fair and Balanced” Newsroom, January 2009. Juan has less grey hair. TV Commentator Bill shows a clip of President Obama’s Inauguration. Bill and Juan are talking about Michelle Obama’s childhood obesity programs and her work with military families. Bill: So, Michelle Obama. Is she going to be a liability for the President, like, during the campaign? Juan: Michelle Obama, you know, she’s got this Black-Panther-in-a-designerdress thing going. Her instinct is to start with this blame America, you know, ‘I’m the victim’ race stuff. If that stuff starts coming out, people will go bananas and she’ll go from being the new Jackie O to being something of an albatross. Lights go out, and then back on with CEO Vivian back in front of a horde or reporters. Reporter 2: CEO Vivian, why is Taxpayer Funded Radio so white? Vivian: I have deep feelings about diversity and we at Taxpayer Funded Radio are

Book Club Edition Appendix – Questions to ask your group members, and potential answers for shy groups and/or discussion leaders without answers: 1. Does our Diversity need Media? Yes. Our diversity needs media because diversity relies on objectivity. And, for objectivity to having meaning in a society with a plurality of opinions, social positions, social statuses, backgrounds and personal realizations, we have to acknowledge the plurality. So yes, diversity needs media. 2. What does Juan Commentator character tell us about life? A lot. Juan Commentator shows us that America still exists in prejudices. Juan Commentator shows us that money makes these prejudices. He tells us a lot. 3. What do we think about ‘Fair and Balanced’ News and Taxpayer-Funded Radio? I know how I feel. Taxpayer Funded Radio has no media, which means it is cannot be an objective diversity outlet. ‘Fair and Balanced’ News, on the other hand, seems to support commentators who say racially and religiously stereotypical images. When Juan Commentator said, “represent themselves rst and foremost as Muslim,” I wondered if the same thing would have been said of a Christian with a cross around their neck. IDK. And I didn’t really get what he meant about a black panther in a dress. ‘Fair and Balanced’ News supports that. 4. Is there a ‘good guy’ and a ‘bad guy’ in this play? Let’s look at the title. A media ga -edy in four parts. How many named characters are there? Four. Scenes? Four. Bad guys? Four. Coincidence? I think not. GEORGE WARNER B’10.5, an aspiring playwright, divides his time between Martha’s Vineyard and New York City.



4 Metro
plan would increase by over $1,400, compared to a total of no more than $940 under the previous agreement. Given the 10.2 percent return to the endowment this year, and the 3.9 percent increase in the school’s budget for fiscal year 2011, library workers do not understand why the status quo cannot be maintained. “[Raising healthcare costs] is mean-spirited,” said Stephen Gervais, who works at the Sciences Library.

n closed rooms deep in the Rockefeller and Hay libraries, representatives of Brown’s library union and library management are wrestling late into the evenings over a 51-page document, sometimes without even taking breaks for food. For six weeks, the two sides have been negotiating a new contract for library workers under the guidance of a federal mediator. Unless it is extended for a third time, the current contract between Brown University and Brown’s library workers, who are organized under the United Service and Allied Workers Union (USAW), will expire Friday October 29. Before this happens, one of the two sides will have to give. The process has been inflammatory at times, with students joining librarians in protests on the steps of the Rockefeller Library and at President Simmon’s “An Hour with the President” event on the Main Green during Parents Weekend. Nevertheless, in an e-mail to the Independent, Joe Sarno, the Director of Labor and Employee Relations and a leading negotiator for the University, praised “the cordial and professional manner that has characterized these bargaining sessions.” Library workers, however, are frustrated with management’s proposals to increase their monthly healthcare premiums and reduce the Union’s ability to negotiate changes in the hours worked by staff. In addition, union members worry that the contract does not sufficiently protect union positions from outsourcing, and they ask for a clause on the preservation of Union work. Losing unionized jobs is particularly sensitive if work once done by a Union member is given to an outside firm. Hypothetically speaking, not only does this reduce the Union’s collective bargaining power, but it also allows the employer to avoid any responsibility for the needs, well-being, and development of employees.

outside job, and [be] put in a precarious financial position.”

When the talks started in September, management proposed increasing monthly healthcare insurance premium co-payments for library workers incrementally over three years, from the current six percent to sixteen percent. According to USAW Business Agent Karen McAninch B’74, management has explained the proposed increase as library workers paying their ‘fair share.’ Opponents of this proposal note that this increase would be the highest for any unionized employees on campus, with the next highest being Facilities Management at nine percent for 2010. Furthermore, this increase would more than negate the library workers’ 1.25 percent pay raise. Sarno wrote that it is against University policy to comment on the ongoing negotiations. Healthcare insurance was the hotbutton issue in a “Rally to Support Library Workers” organized by the Student Labor Alliance on October 14. At the rally, Andy Pereira, who works at the Rockefeller Library led a chant on behalf of workers: “no co-pay increase—that would be a wage decrease!” In the negotiations, the proposed copay increase has now been lowered to fifteen percent by the third year of the contract. This means that the cost of health insurance for a worker on a family

e management also wants to modify an agreement which, in the current contract, allows for a period of up to six months for management and the union to negotiate any hour changes for workers. Currently, the management is proposing a reduction of the six-month negotiation period. McAninch and others believe that reductions of the negotiation period may hurt the Union’s ability to ensure that hour changes work well for employees. As negotiations continue, it appears likely that the new contract will shorten the maximum negotiation period to three months, a blow to the workers. But on the other hand, it will also protect library workers from having their hours moved to after midnight. Despite the compromise, library workers fear that if the Union’s power is weakened, some may find themselves unable to stop changes in their working hours that could conflict with other obligations in their lives. Alison Bundy, who works part-time at the Hay Library, summed up her concerns: “[A] single parent… who has taken the job in part because the hours may allow him or her to be home in the evenings, or a parttime employee who must have a second job in order to make ends meet… [might have] to give up the job at Brown, or give up the other

The current negotiations come in the wake of significant restructuring and downsizing of library staff. In June 2010, as part of an organizational review process that saved the University over $30 million, layoffs and early retirement packages were used to cut eight percent of Brown’s workforce. These cuts included twelve library positions, and it appears that in the new contract only one position may be refilled on a temporary basis. Over recent years, the number of unionized library workers has declined by a third, and Union members feel that these losses undermine the power of the Union to represent workers in the long term. In these negotiations, Union representatives have found themselves forced into a defensive position. “It took us 30 years to get us to where we are today,” said McAninch, “and [management should not] come into a negotiation and say ‘we’re going to take that all back.’” Nevertheless, McAninch also notes that the new Medical School Library being built by the University will have no unionized staff, which is clearly a loss of ground for the Union. Some workers feel that in addition to shrinking the library bargaining unit, these changes have also resulted in critical understaffing. Among the unionized positions that were lost in the organizational review process last year were the doorguards at the Rockefeller Library. Since the beginning of this year, the desk behind the cardswipe at the entrance to the library has remained empty. Visitors to the Rockefeller Library are still required to swipe their IDs or sign themselves in, but of the three different faces who might have greeted them last year, only two will be seen from now on, and only at the Sciences Library. “They’re still crying poverty,” explained Stephen Gervais, who wondered why this year only the Sciences Library

has the level of security that the Rockefeller Library once had. “Basically they expect circulation people to glance over [at the cardswipe entrance],” said Gervais, who previously worked at the Rockefeller cardswipe entrance. Jennifer Kennedy, another Rockefeller circulation desk worker, explained that this expectation is unreasonable, particularly given that there is now only one staffer on late night shifts, which is often Kennedy. Her attention is sometimes diverted, and she cannot keep her eyes constantly on the entrance. The University’s position on this issue contradicts the assertion that the libraries are understaffed, and the Organizational Review Committee’s report, on which the changes were based, called for restructuring based on “demonstrated patterns of use,” and “changing demands for services.” In this round of negotiations, McAninch says that the library bargaining team is determined to include specific contractual language to prevent the administration from eliminating union work. Management has apparently agreed in contract negotiations to hire a third doorguard for the Sciences Library, but ultimately plans to install a turnstile at the Rockefeller entrance. Both sides agree that the negotiations have made progress on some fronts. Sarno has expressed hopes that “remaining issues will be resolved [by the time the contract expires].” For her part, McAninch affirms that the long list of issues has been narrowed considerably, and that the tone of negotiations has remained “cordial and respectful” as ever. She also expresses surprise, however, that library workers were asked to give up as much as they were, given the cuts in staffing leading up to the negotiations: “We were thinking it would be a smoother process through these negotiations because we’ve already been cut back so much.” Nevertheless, she says she feels motivated in her work, particularly because many of the things that the union is pushing for may gain ground for other groups of employees. “Sometimes these are universal issues,” she explained, “[the Union] is trying to gain ground for all groups.” In the coming days it should become apparent which side has the wherewithal and tenacity to hold its ground. IAN TRUPIN B’13 is part of an institutional review process.

Negotiations still raising qualms
by Ian Trupin, Illustration by Charis Loke



6 Opinions

How John Rawls’s political philosophy is sort of like The Secret
by Brian Judge, Illustration by Alexandra Corrigan

the mere assertion that something cannot be tolerated is enough to convince you, great. But if you are an intolerant bigot, assertions to equal dignity, rights, justice, and the like made by Liberal political philosophers aren’t likely to convince you of the error of your ways. When I was shoved into lockers in middle school, my insistence on reciprocity and equal rights for the weakly constituted didn’t get me very far. Making fun of my assailant’s girth did, however. There needs to be power behind assertions, whether that is the wrath of the Almighty, the force of logical reasoning, or the threat of public humiliation. Merely stating that something is the case is worthless. You have to be able to make it the case. Begging for tolerance doesn’t get you very far. One of Rawls’s merry men writes, “equal rights for the ill-constituted is not a piece of gross vulgarity. It is a powerful vision of social justice.” Blessed are the meek, indeed. Why? Because they say so. It is interesting that the “because I said so” method of argumentation ultimately rests on an appeal to power. In other words, the claim here is that this particular arbitrary claim is true


hen Liberal political philosopher John Rawls descended from Mount Sinai bearing A eory of Justice in one arm and Political Liberalism in another, the heavens sang. It was sometime in the fall of 1971, and after many years of wandering in the wilderness, mankind finally had the Law. And, lo, it was good: Thou shalt have no other political philosophers before me. Thou shalt not be intolerant. Thou shalt have no other feelings towards your fellow man other than tolerance. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s successes, for all are equal before the Liberal State. Thou shalt recognize the intrinsic dignity and worth of every person on the grounds that their rationality enables them to identify a system of ends that thou shalt neither judge nor impede. Thou shalt not make any normative judgments in any public discourse, lest you offend the sensibilities of one of your equally constituted peers. Thou shalt arrange all inequalities such that they are of the greatest advantage to the least well-off members of society. Thou shalt insist that all persons are free and equal. Thou shalt insist on an array of intrinsic rights that all free and equal persons possess. Thou shalt affirm the doctrine of justice as fairness. Seeing as how John Rawls has yet to be played by Charlton Heston, there is reason to doubt at least a bit of his Liberal Pentateuch. I want to consider whether or not it is actually true that each member of society “possesses an inviolability founded on justice that even the welfare of society as a whole cannot override.” If not, how does this affect our conception of tolerance and intolerance? If each person does possess an inviolability founded on justice, it is not something that anyone has ever found especially helpful. The Liberal conception of justice has yet to intercede on behalf of someone whose inviolability is about to be violated. This suggests that the schema of Liberal justice and rights exists insofar as it is respected. Arguing for a certain conception of justice or personhood on the grounds that it enables a kind of social arrangement we find agreeable is one thing. Merely stating fantastical antecedent conceptions of justice and personhood is quite another. In reference to a recent incident in which someone’s inviolability was violated, the editorial board of the Brown Daily Herald wrote on October 5th, “Intolerance and bigotry at schools can never be tolerated, and we hope educators and school administrators across the country redouble efforts to create safe environments for students.” This sentence, like each of Rawls’s commandments, is an assertion and not an argument. If

If you are an intolerant bigot, assertions to equal dignity, rights, and justice made by Liberals aren’t likely to convince you of the error of your ways.

because it claims to be powerful. I appreciate the can-do attitude, but its selfless magnanimity is hamstrung by the fact that it is completely and utterly meaningless. I can also anoint myself grand dictator of the Universe on the grounds that it is a powerful vision of social justice with similar results. If I disagree with the claim that equal rights for the ill-constituted expresses a powerful vision of social justice or that we all possess inviolability founded on justice— which are two sides of the same coin—I am labeled an intolerant bigot. For the sake of argument, let’s assume I am in fact an intolerant bigot. Do I really care if you try to make me feel guilty by labeling me an intolerant bigot? Not unless I am trying to get a job teaching college somewhere. A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, sticks and stones can break my bones, et cetera. What does this mean practically? In political discourse, if I want to criticize, belittle, demean, problematize, ignore, or otherwise be intolerant of you, there’s not a damn thing you can do about it. In other words, if you want to convince me of something, trying to make me feel guilty by calling me intolerant isn’t a viable option. Think about the number of times you hear the word “wrong” and “right” used in political discourse: it is wrong that corporations are laying off workers / a well-paying job is a right, it is wrong that so many people in the world have no access to an education / an education is a right, it is wrong for gay people to be married / marriage is a right, and so on. Mere insistence doesn’t do anything. For example, saying that a well-paying job is a right is code for “I want everyone to have a well-paying job.” It would be great if there were some kind of omnipotent force that could enact our collective vision for social justice. Unfortunately, the universe doesn’t respond to moral imperatives in such a way. If all you do is insist that a well-paying job is a right, and I am in a position to do something about the dearth of well-paying jobs, on the Rawlsian Liberal schema I am free to ignore you, just as you are free to express your moral indignation. The function that tolerance plays in Rawls’s thought is to fill the gap between the ideal world and the real world. There are all sorts of people and causes that ought to be given more consideration, despite other people’s preferences to the contrary. That’s all well and good, but when some aspect of my ideal world is missing, I would want to subscribe to a political philosophy with a more robust and useful solution than bemoaning intolerance and unfairness. BRIAN JUDGE B’11 is tilting at windmills.

7 Science

O C T O B E R 28 2010 T H E C O L L E G E H I L L I N D E P E N D E N T

A new study ties race bias to the menstrual cycle
by Josh Kopin Illustration by Charis Loke


ver the last few years, a cluster of studies has emerged from the varyingly rigorous depths of experimental psychology reporting correlations between what researchers call “conception risk” (which varies over the course of the menstrual cycle) and psychological traits ostensibly related to sexual selection. This little pocket of research seems to reinforce, or at least to re-legitimize, the idea that a woman’s decision-making process tends to swing, largely unbeknownst to her, to the same rhythm as her body. These studies suggest that women’s evaluations of men who demonstrate good health, high social dominance, and high willingness to settle into a committed relationship all fluctuate over the course of the cycle, reaching their peak with maximum fertility. One new contribution in particular has taken these already provocative hypotheses to a new level of complexity. In the paper “Race Bias Tracks Conception Risk Across the Menstrual Cycle,” Navarette and his team report that women, especially those “highly vulnerable to sexual coercion”—‘VSC,’ as the paper abbreviates it—exhibit increasing implicit race bias with increased conception risk. The researchers drew their sample of women from Michigan State University’s Psychological Study Pool, winnowing down the 115 white and black American volunteers to a group of 87 by turning away those with unusual cycle lengths, those who were pregnant, and those who used oral contraceptives. And then, since only 10 of the 87 acceptable candidates were black, the researchers decided to control for race by declining to test them and focusing exclusively on the 77 remaining white volunteers. The researchers recorded each volunteer’s position in the menstrual cycle and administered several written tests, including an unsubtly named “Fear of Rape Scale,” two measures of implicit race bias, and one measure of explicit bias. They followed these up with two more tests in which the volunteers were shown “artificial digital images of four seminude male exemplars representing Black and White American race categories” and asked about their feelings toward the composite men in the photographs—to what extent did they find the exemplar “‘attractive,’ ‘sexy,’ and worthy of a ‘romantic encounter?’”; “to what extent [did they] think this person looks ‘scary’? […] 1 = not at all scary, 7 = very scary.” After analyzing the data, the researchers found a statistically significant correlation between “conception risk” and implicit bias against black men, which they illustrate with a graph. A solid red line and a dashed blue line, presenting

a “smoothed local average” of the values “Race Bias” and “Conception Risk” respectively, are situated above an axis indicating “Cycle Day” on a scale from 0 to 35. Right up until day five, the red line and the blue line lie flat at their initial values, which indicate negative race bias and virtually no conception risk. One week in, “Race Bias” reaches zero as conception risk increases swiftly. At the twoweek point, “Race Bias” and “Conception Risk” both peak near the top of the graph. By day 25, Race Bias has dropped below its starting value and conception risk approaches zero once again. The researchers conclude that their hypothesis is correct: women have evolved to be sensitive to in-group and out-group cues in their evaluations of mate fitness, and this manifests as variable race bias. The paper makes a telling observation, saying “[…] investigators have yet to explore the relationship between [the effects of menstrual cycle on women’s perception of men] and one of the most fundamental features of interpersonal social evaluation: race bias.” Calling race bias “fundamental” and “uninvestigated” is clearly meant to engage the reader’s sense of manifest scientific destiny: an uninvestigated fundamental aspect surely deserves investigation and funding! But in this case, the appeal amounts to question-begging, considering the researchers’ project of investigating race bias’s supposed biological basis. Chasing a hypothesis made on the assumption that race bias is fundamental must lead to the discovery that race bias is fundamental. Despite this fallacy, it remains clear that the researchers are trying to engage with the political issue of race bias, and, in fact, consider that issue sufficient to justify their whole project. Two problems emerge with this strategy of justification. The first is the researchers’ clearly partial political engagement. While the researchers refer to racial politics and clearly consider it a problem, what they’re trying to say about women is not so clear. They reference prior research that supports the hypothesis that women’s minds are out of their conscious control, thereby engaging with the problematic conversation about female fickleness. But the researchers do not acknowledge their own

involvement in this conversation at all. Furthermore, the paper itself refrains from referring to women in general, using “the menstrual cycle” instead. But the euphemism amounts to little more than a stand-in for the female. Equating gender with hormonalcyclical state is negligent, in light of the existence of intersexual, transgendered, amenorrheic, pre- and postmenopausal women. In doing so, the researchers accept an outdated and sexist notion of gender while dressing the whole mess up in the sheep’s skin of scientific rigor. The study provokes the reader by entering into a conversation about women, declines to do say anything informative on the subject, and leaves the reader with unanswered questions about the researchers’ commitments and biases. The second problem is that it isn’t clear what the researchers are trying to say about the very topic of their paper—namely, race bias itself. Their study brings the subject of race into play by using visual cues in the form of seminude exemplars. It also claims that the biased reactions it measures can be traced to an organ of sorts that identifies in-group and out-group subjects, and it supposes that this organ evolved over time and therefore bestowed some advantage on its possessors. As Richard Lewontin has pointed out, though, genetic differences are greater within racial populations than between them. If the bias organ evolved but could not have given its possessors an advantage based on genetic factors (since visual cues of race, like race itself, have no reliable genetic correlates) it must have given them some other kind of survival advantage. But the researchers don’t make clear upon what this advantage could have been based. I’m in the realm of speculative reasoning here: it isn’t at all clear to me that a biologically rooted bias organ could exist. But if it did, it seems reasonable to think that whatever mechanism is at

work has more to do with environmental factors than genetic ones, given that genetic differences cannot play a role here. In light of my present line of reasoning, eliminating race bias or mitigating its effects would need to take place not in the biological realm but the environmental one. In the researchers’ line of reasoning, it seems impossible to change the state of affairs—mental organs are not excisable. But oddly, the biological interpretation they arrive at is the same one they depart from; as I have shown, it is the result of sloppy reasoning and question-begging. If the researchers are concerned with eliminating or ameliorating race bias, it is hard to understand why their hypotheses, assumptions, and conclusions are all based on an idea of an inborn racism that no environmental measure could address. Between the issues of feminism and race relations, it’s not clear that these scientists could simply have been doing what scientists do—which, to paraphrase Richard Feynmann, boils down to making hypotheses and checking to see if they are wrong. It seems an agenda is afoot. In hopes of sniffing it out, I I visited the principle investigator Carlos David Navarette’s homepage, at An animation plays in the center of the page, cycling between several uncaptioned photographs: a figure in a red dress surrounded by butterflies; a line of warriors of uncertain provenance standing on a field dressed in what one supposes to be traditional garb and brandishing spears; Charles Darwin; and an obvious digital collage depicting a signpost: one of the signs says “Right Way,” the other, “Wrong Way.” On the site, Navarette writes that his research interests “touch on topics that cut into broad, existential questions of life, such as why do we love and hate, and why are we moral yet so damned tribal? In framing my approach to these questions, I contemplate how evolutionary pressures... might be relevant to the emergence of the psychological mechanisms…” His research may be an attempt to address the origin of tribalism, but I am not sure his approach could ever succeed. The second page of his website, the one with his research interests, is headed with the picture of the tribal warriors taken from the earlier slideshow. The photograph has been stretched and squashed to fill a pre-shaped space. I eyed the malproportioned natives, concerned about the violence that pulled them from their original shape. In the quest for the origins of cultural phenomena, I think, it is important for representations not to be distortions. It seems Navarette does not agree. JOSH KOPIN B’11 will not be represented by a seminude exemplar.



The US Reassesses Its Dependence on Chinese Mines
by Emma Whitford, Graphic by Emily Martin
gines. Lanthanum allows for production of lightweight and efficient batteries for electric vehicles, and neodymium is a key ingredient in miniature technologies like cell phones and iPods.

Bill Kovacs, a lobbyist with the US Chamber of Commerce, makes a pro-business argument in favor of domestic REE mining. In a June press release he warned, “If we fail to do this [mine domestically], and given that there are no cheap alternatives to REEs in many applications, how can we possibly hope to advance innovative energy technologies?” On June 29, the Chamber of Commerce and 12 other business organizations in the US sent a letter promoting domestic mining to Steven Chu, secretary of the Department of Energy (DOE). They argued that mining is a matter of national security: many U.S. defense and weapons systems are entirely dependent on imported REEs. The motors that run the rudder and tail fins on fighter planes like the Air Force F-22 Raptor are built with lightweight REE magnets. Neodymium is even found in the lasers used to designate targets. They also argued that domestic production of REEs would generate jobs. If the US were to establish a reliable source of REEs, manufacturing jobs would open up in producing all kinds of rare-earth dependent technologies. But even though the United States has enough natural resources in Mountain Pass, California to justify REE mining, it is currently dealing with what Molycorp calls a “capability gap.” This potential REE mining operation lacks sufficient startup funds. The Rare Earths Supply Technology and Resources Act (RESTART) has passed in the House and was introduced to the Senate on September 30. If it gets through the Senate, the federal government will subsidize domestic REE mining. Environmental regulations pose another barrier. If Molycorp hopes to reopen, it must first deal with the contaminated soil, ground water, and surface water left over from its early mining days. To meet environmental and safety standards, the contaminated soil must be dug up and transported to a treatment and disposal facility—a $3 million task that will take at least a year and a half to complete.

8 Features

are Earth Elements (REEs) play a key role in the functioning of a range of modern techn o l o g i e s — f ro m the tiny batteries in smartphones to the powerful engines of US Department of Defense fighter jets. China currently produces 97 percent of all REEs in the world. This year China’s Ministry of Commerce capped REE exports at 30,000 metric tons—a 40 percent decrease from last year. The US once mined and refined REEs domestically but outsourced the market in the early 1990s for two main reasons, the first being that mining was environmentally harmful, and the second that Chinese competition had made the industry unprofitable. China’s control of the REE market has recently become a political issue. On September 7 a Chinese fishing vessel collided with Japanse coastguard ships in the East China Sea. The New York Times reported that China responded by blocking all shipments of Chinese REEs to Japan. Dudley Kingsnorth, CEO of Industrial Minerals Company in Australia, told the Wall Street Journal on September 23, “[this incident] raises real alarm bells about long term security of supply and will force companies to look at diversity of supply.” Last week the New York Times cited anonymous industry sources complaining that REE imports to the US from China appear to have halted as well. As was the case with Japan, China has denied the accusation. On October 17, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman wrote that China is a young superpower that has not yet learned to be judicious with its strength. He fears “a Chinese government that is dangerously triggerhappy, willing to wage economic warfare on the slightest provocation.” China, for its part, argues that quotas and export regulations are necessary if its industry hopes to be economically and environmentally sustainable.

The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank, believes that the frenzied reaction to China’s REE quotas is unjustified. Derek Scissors, a research fellow for Asian Economic Policy, argues that the market has a self-correcting mechanism that will prevent China from single-handedly inhibiting technological development around the world. He wrote in a blog post on October 6, “As Chinese quotas push prices up, they not only encourage new suppliers to come online more quickly than otherwise feasible; they also encourage development of alternative products that don’t rely on rare earths.” On September 10, one day after Chinese and Japanese vessels collided and raised fears of China taking advantage of its monopoly, Chu and the DOE awarded $9.6 million to six energy research and development projects in the US. Chu stated in a press release, “We are laying the foundation for a clean energy future […] to ensure US leadership in science and technology, restore our global competitiveness, and create thousands of jobs.” Japan, meanwhile, is pursuing an alternative to traditional REE mining that could lessen its dependence on China: recycling, or urban mining. Karl Jacoby, professor of North American Environmental History at Brown, pointed out EMMA WHITFORD B ’12 is texting.

in an e-mail to the Independent, “There is the issue of what to do with all of our ‘e-waste’ [old cell phones, computers and iPods]. The question of ‘e-waste’ seems especially pressing since most computers and other electronic devices are used for only a few years before becoming obsolete.” In the town of Kosaka, Japan, the site of an old REE mine has reopened as an REE recycling facility— Dowa Holdings Company has erected a 200-foot-tall furnace to melt down old computers and cell phones. But this recycling is less efficient than ore processing. On October 5, the New York Times reported that the factory processes 300 tons of recycled materials a day, and each ton yields only 150 grams of rare metals. It’s no wonder that Molycorp is pushing domestic mining—despite environmental consequences, it is more efficient and profitable to go straight to the source. The United States stopped mining REEs when the job became dirty and expensive. Now that China is reassessing the environmental damage and costs, the US is forced to consider what it is able, and willing, to produce domestically. Maybe environmental concerns will even the playing field—curbing rampant production in China and giving the US an incentive to subsidize improved techniques here at home. Regardless, the urgency of the situation reveals a lot about what drives industrial policy in the new global economy. Consumers in industrial countries will continue to demand wind turbines, cell phones, iPods, and electric cars. It remains to be seen how well the need to protect the environment measures up against the need to protect the economy, and all the gadgets, gizmos, and green machines that come with it.

In 1965, color television was developed using red phosphors—the visible light emission from the REE europium— which led to a soaring global demand for REEs. This meant that Molycorp, Inc. in Mountain Pass, California—the US’s only domestic REE mining facility—saw a huge surge in production. But by the late 1980s, demand for REEs began to decrease, and accordingly so did Molycorp’s output. These days, world demand for REEs has skyrocketed again, thanks to their applications in communication and green energy technologies. Europium now contributes to florescent light bulbs. Cerium catalyzes more complete fuel combustion for energy-efficient en-

Illustrations by Charis Loke Design by Liat Werber


by Marguerite Preston
1 Good news: you’ve already done the first step. You

have the Independent. It’s open to this page. Nice work. 2 Would you look at that? The second step is to start reading, and you’ve done that too. You’re a whole six sentences in—now seven. Plus a title. 3 Now before you keep going, pause a second. Get settled. Spread out. Make sure you can see the whole page, none of this holding it awkwardly in your lap so that the bottom is all scrunched up and the corners keep flopping down. 4 Ready to move on? Let your eyes wander, browse the options. Pick out whatever appeals to you. There’s no order to these things—in fact, you don’t even have to read all of them. 5 The last step is obvious: follow those instructions. Go write that poem, go make that face mold, go cook that huge fuckin’ steak. You’ll be a better person for it.


by Charles Lepey
1 Sear that shit for two to three minutes on each side. 2 Drip that shit in fuckin’ butter, don’t be a pussy. 3 Put it in a pre-fuckin’ heated oven at 450 fuckin’

degrees. 4 Let that bitch cook for about five fuckin’ minutes. 5 Take that bitch out and let it sit for a couple minutes. 6 Enjoy it, motherfucker. You deserve it.


by Julius Caesar
1 Make pancake/flapjack batter, as per usual. 2 Melt butter in skillet. 3 Take spoonful of batter. Make mirror-image of the

design you want in the pan. (i.e. for the letter J, write a backwards J). Let cook for 40 seconds. 4 Pour normal amount of pancake batter on top of design. Cook until light brown. 5 Flip ‘cake. Cook until done.


by Beatrice Shore
1 Bring a buddy. 2 Locate stranger(s); make eye-contact. 3 When stranger(s) invite(s) you in, say yes. Bring

your buddy. If they don’t invite you, invite yourself. 4 Ask questions you would want the stranger to ask you. Don’t be too intense. Your stranger will already be exhilarated, since you, too, are a stranger. Listen carefully. 5 Pet stranger’s cats. If stranger has a roommate who is not home, leave a note on the roommate’s bed. Use the stranger’s bathroom, and make a point of not stealing anything. 6 Consume something together. 7 Exchange stories about cities you’ve lived in/people you know in common/first-times. 8 Exchange phone numbers. Text each other immediately. 9 Invite stranger to potluck where all other attendees are former strangers.


by Eli Schmitt
You will need: Brain, language Writing implement and surface, or keyboard Propensity for/understanding of relating to the world through the dialectical syllogism of time/memory/loss
1 Using language and your writing implement, record what’s in your brain. 2 If you are being literal and prosaic in your language (e.g. “I am hungry”), add a dramatic literary flourish (e.g. “I am hungry / to the depths of my bones”). 3 If you are being dramatic and literary in your language (e.g. “all your loves like ancient trees”) add something literal and prosaic (e.g. “all your loves like ancient trees / texting you to see what’s going on”). 4 End the poem: a. If your poem up unto this point has been primarily optimistic (e.g. “the world is full of lightness), end it pessimistically (e.g. “the world is full of lightness / and lightness is a blight”). b. If your poem up unto this point has been primarily pessimistic (e.g. “god fucked all of us and we died”), end it optimistically (e.g. “god fucked all of us and we died / but it felt good, both the fucking and the dying / thank you god”).

1 Encase human being in a big garbage bag dress— make sure the neck hole is tight against the skin (use duct tape if you wish). 2 Put bald cap on human’s head. 3 Vaseline human’s eyebrows and hair tufts around the ears. 4 Half-fill three ice-cream containers with alginate. 5 Half-fill three ice-cream containers with warm (not hot) water. 6 Pre-cut burlap into small squares; enough to cover a face three times. 7 Pour first container of water into container of alginate; mix furiously and quickly, as it sets fast. 8 Using a tongue depressor, apply lather of alginate evenly onto human being, starting from the forehead and slowly and gradually moving across the rest of the face. (Tip: leave the mouth and nose uncovered until last.) Apply extra alginate to the eye sockets, and be sure to scrape up as much of the alginate dripping off the face as possible. Leave nose holes so that the human being can breathe. If material makes its way into the human’s nose, instruct it to do the “Texas Blow,” which is to say blow out sharply through the nose. Once the alginate begins to have the consistency of cottage cheese, it’s time to mix the next batch and apply it as soon as possible (unset alginate will not adhere to set alginate). 9 Repeat steps 7 and 8 two more times. 1 0 Once you have applied three layers of alginate, wait for it to set and then mix up your first batch of plaster. 100 parts plaster to 74 parts water. Gently tap the plaster into the water until it reaches a not-thin consistency and you see islands of plaster floating on the surface of the water. 1 1 Dip a strip of burlap into the plaster; fold it and squeegee off the excess with your index and middle finger. Apply it to the face as you would apply a bandage to a victim; start around the outside, chin to forehead, and work your way towards the center. 1 2 Completely cover the face (except for the nose holes). 1 3 Repeat steps 10 through 12 two more times. 1 4 Let face mask set for five to ten minutes. The plaster will heat, then cool: then you’ll know. 1 5 Using a tongue depressor, gently pry off the face mask, careful to keep the alginate layer flush against the plaster layer. 1 6 Once you have your face mold, you may cast it. Mix up a batch of plaster and apply it, thickly; this is the layer that will capture detail. Then apply three layers of burlap, using a different batch of plaster for each, then a final coat of plaster on top. 17 Wait for plaster to heat, then cool, then gently pry it away from the face mold. 1 8 Voilà! The alginate will begin to shrink after a day or so; leave it out for a week to make a cast of a shrunken head!


by Jonah Kagan
It’s getting cold out there, and your face probably needs its own personal blanket. For some reason though, nobody seems to support growing a beard. Here are a few simple steps to growing a respectable beard that your friends and family will want to touch (actually, we can’t guarantee that last part). 1 Grow for it! Once you decide it’s beard time, you have to grow fast and hard to get as much coverage as you can before people start to notice. The sort-of-scruffy period is when the naysayers will launch their most effective attacks, so make sure to stay strong until your beard is long. 2 Give a good reason for having a beard. “It’s wintertime and it’s cold out,” is always a good option. “It’s wintertime and Santa has one,” is not. And whatever you do, don’t say you are participating in some sort of beardthemed month (Octobeard, No-Shave November, etc.), or you will instantly lose all legitimate beard-cred. 3 Define a neckline. Your beard should end where the line of your ear meets the line of your sideburns. Making sure your beard is well groomed will take you far, especially with your significant other, who will probably say something like “it’s scratchy,” “I miss seeing your face,” or “ewww.” Just keep telling him or her that it will get softer, and if that doesn’t work, offer to role-play as a lumberjack.


by Eli Schmitt
You will need: Brown paper bag Iron Ironing surface (just a bath towel on a floor or counter will suffice)
1 Turn on the iron to “medium.” 2 Lay out the garment that has the wax dried into it. 3 Put the paper bag on the waxy part of the garment. 4 Run the iron over it quickly, but not too quickly (melt


by Chloé Rossetti
You will need: Human being Garbage bag Duct tape Bald cap Vaseline Several ice-cream tubs Alginate Warm water Tongue depressors Gypsum plaster, a.k.a. Plaster of Paris Burlap

the wax, but don’t let the paper start to smoke).
5 As the wax melts it will adhere to the paper bag and

MAGICALLY DRIFT OUT OF YOUR CLOTHING! 6 Repeat as necessary with brown paper bag.

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O C T O B E R 28 2010 T H E C O L L E G E H I L L I N D E P E N D E N T

Excess and excitement at New England’s biggest fair
by Alice Hines with reporting by Maud Doyle
Coming from the interstate, it takes over an hour to cross the final three miles through Springfield, MA for the Big E. The sticky tar pit of cars oozes along the overpass and across a monolithic bridge straddling the Connecticut River. Approaching the grounds, Bruce Springsteen hacks over car radios and the greasy smell of fried onion blossoms overpowers the nose. Originally, the Big E was an agricultural and industrial fair, birthed in 1916 as a Northeastern version of the Chicago National Dairy Show. In its current incarnation, it’s an annual agriculture exposition/horseshow/carnival/infomercial summit/fried food fest in western Massachusetts, i.e. New England’s Mecca of Fun for the last two weeks of September. It is perhaps the only place where one can pet a llama, purchase live butterflies, eat an elk burger, win an iPod, visit all six of the New England statehouses, and throw up fried dough on the “Crazy Flip” all in one day. This year, 1,228, 418 people descended upon West Springfield (population 30,000) during the fair’s seventeen-day run. Walking onto the fairgrounds, one is assaulted by people and products. Within the first minute, I saw a foot massage stand, a pony parade, a Halloween float, five pairs of lips dyed blue from squashsized eXtreme slushies, a doll clothing store, four firetrucks, and three exposed butt cracks.

the 1893 Chicago World Fair, is remembered for its exotic displays of Eskimo, Irish, Hungarian and other “traditional” villages, a Chinese Theatre, a hall of mirrors, and the world’s first Ferris wheel. For most of the Big E’s history, midways were banned. In 1921, County Agent’s Magazine praised the exposition’s lack of seedier flavors: “No feature of the Eastern States Exposition is more unique nor of greater interest to the public than its freedom from cheap shoddy sideshows, questionable vaudeville performances, skin games, etc.” There is nothing explicitly naughty or exploitative about Big E’s midway, owned by the traveling company North American Midway Entertainment. Adults of the legal age drink Mike’s Hard, and high-schoolers peck on the Ferris Wheel. A policeman, when asked what his job consisted of, said that mostly he stands around and occasionally deals with small children vomiting. Yet in the spirit of the sideshow, the vibe at the Big E is one of permitted vice. The impulse to eat, drink, shop, get massages, or gamble all your cash away on a stuffed pink Teddy Bear goes unchecked. From the world’s sharpest knives to the craziest rides to the the fattiest food, the fair loves superlatives. You can pay a dollar to see Muffin, “The Smallest Horse in the World,” or five dollars to have your picture taken in a leopard print, bearsized chair with huge fake bottles of Coors Light. Fried butter balls, this year’s new food craze, are both sexless and completely pornographic, an illicit combination of every possible evil food.

world. “Gifts from Ghana” and “Gifts from Inca Culture” sell airport-shop type items; “traditional” jewelry, scarves, soaps. Himalayan salt rock lamps promise to be both beautiful accents to your home and to release negative ions that naturally filter your air. If you can’t afford to leave New England, or America, at least you can buy the souvenirs. Most of the “international” stands also have pamphlets and signs explaining their histories and origins—anecdotes free with purchase.

Photo by the author

The Big E’s flashing carnival rides lure children from across the 175-acre grounds. If they’re tall enough, they can buy tickets for the roller coaster or the high drop for pocket change—two dollars a pop. Carnival rides are some of the only mind-altering experiences that Americans today accept as “good and clean” fun. They give ecstatic of bursts of adrenaline without anything illegal or sexy. The carnivals, or “midways,” of the early twentieth century were less tame. They were known mostly for their sex shows, rigged games, and to place human suffering in the category of entertainment. The first midway, at

Today, fair curiosities come in the form of products and foods rather than physically deformed people. In two of the Big E’s larger buildings, “The Better Living Center” and the “International” building, you can find every as-seen-on-TV product you have ever changed the channel on: butterfly “rainforest” jewelry, rolling suitcases, biker gear, the “Amazing!” sheets with the world’s highest thread count, smart swifter mops, and Cutco knives. You can also buy tchotchkes from exotic reaches of the

For all of its ‘World Fair 2.0’ exotica, the Big E has remained a regional agricultural show. Steps over from the infomercial tents are livestock tents, flanked by a cow sculpted entirely from butter. Inside are pigs, cattle, sheep, sheep dogs, goats, llama, beagles, and cheeses. The fair also sponsors competitions in ox pulling and giant pumpkin growing (this year’s winner was 1,254 lbs). The Big E, the “Eastern States Exhibition” is a place to display symbols of regional pride. It is a miniature, condensed version of New England. Literally. Storrowton village is a replica nineteenthcentury New England town built with original schoolhouses and churches donated by states. Costumed blacksmiths demonstrate traditional techniques; booths serve up clam chowder and blueberry pie. Replicas of each of the New England State houses line the neighboring Avenue of States. As The Big E website notes, “Visitors to the Exposition can literally stroll through all six New England States.” Three times a day, the Mardi Gras Parade, complete with floats, purple beads, and batons, makes its way up this boulevard and around the fair. Occasionally, an odd float sneaks its way in, like an antique style truck filled with hay and brazened with the words, “Vermont Flannel.”

As the descendant of entertainment events as diverse as the World Fair, the sideshows, and the livestock convention, The Big E is a smorgasbord. Or to use a more topical reference, it is a Crazy-EBurger, in which fried Krispy Kremes serve as buns. It is a jumble of local and exotic, where families from Maine cheer Louisiana carnival floats as they stand by a replica of the Connecticut state house. Everyone seems to love it. The sandwich has too many f l a -

vors, but at least everything is slathered with MSG-y Fun ‘n Spicy sauce. When the Eastern States Exposition was launched in 1916, it was meant to promote New England’s declining agricultural industry. Visitors to the exposition no doubt saw Vermont goats and Maine sheep as emblems of regional production, putting food on their tables and helping America. Today, these animals seem as much as part of the spectacle as anything else. Like Muffin, the sideshow relic, sheep, and goats are public curiosities. To the suburban fairgoers of today, whose kids have only seen farm animals in petting zoos, livestock are anomalies. The farm animals signify the quaint rural, evoke the alien, and—like everything else at the fair—invite you to gawk at them while you consume food so unhealthy it should probably be illegal. Post-industrial towns like West Springfield live less off of agriculture now than ever before. The traditional loom artists that are still around sell sweaters to crafts fairs and souvenir shops in Nantucket. Pumpkin farmers from New Hampshire sell at farmers markets in Boston. Towns like Deerfield, MA reinvent themselves as “Historic Deerfield: Opening Doorways to the Past,” and become living museums for tourists. Today, the local survives by making itself nostalgic, and ultimately, exotic. America has become Americana. World fairs made the exotic into a spectacle. Regional fairs made local identity tangible with cows and pigs, shared symbols of productivity and place. The Big E attempts to do both, at a time when the exotic and the familiar are already increasingly convoluted. Pilgrims, farming, textiles—once the building blocks of New England identity—are parts of the region’s history, not its present. Today, the symbols we latch onto, or at least the ones displayed at the Big E, are all consumable, either foods or products. It’s possible that you feel proud to be a New Englander when buying a Vermont Flannel at the Big E. But more likely, you’re a parent or child who feels more like a middle American than a New Englander, who knows more about the gaming booth than you do about either Vermont or flannel. You’re happy to have it because you saw something similar on TV, but you’re just as psyched about your new salt rock lamp (guaranteed to heal all of your tobacco-related breathing problems) and the neat picture you’ve got of yourself with a weird animal. When you follow the other thousands of cars evacuating the town of West Springfield en masse, you head straight for interstate I-90, passing by the empty streets of downtown Springfield. ALICE HINES B’11 is slathered with Fun ‘n Spicy sauce.


12 Arts

Contemporary art noses its way into our olfactory imagination


by Katie Barnwell

e encounter most scents for the first time in childhood. In olfactory art, that means that the way you’ve experienced a certain scent in the past determines how you experience the art. Either you’ve encountered a certain smell before or you haven’t. If you have, your experience is largely predetermined. The odor molecules trigger a reaction from the limbic system, and you’ll be reminded of something that your brain connected to that smell the first time you encountered it. If you haven’t, your brain will most likely form a new memory to associate with that smell—and the artist is responsible for the creation of that memory. Some artists want the smell to be the only art on display—presented in plainest form, in a white gallery background with white lighting. Others aim to integrate multiple levels of sensory perception, using tactile action and visual stimulation in conjunction with the emotional response that olfaction triggers. A 2008 exhibition at the University City Science Center in Philadelphia called “Odor Limits” invited olfactory artists to create a multi-sensory experience for the viewer. In his piece 1 Woodchurch Road, London NW6 3PL, Oswaldo Maciá set out five aluminum trashcans and encouraged viewers to lift the lid off each one and take a whiff. In Jenny Marketou’s Smell It: A Do-It-Yourself Smell Map, visitors were handed a street map and asked to walk around the neighborhood and record their smell experiences. Back at the gallery, each viewer could add his or her observations to the collective wall map that records the changes in the neighborhood’s smells over space and time. Chrysanne Stathacos’s Wish Machine is a

custom-made vending machine that dispenses ‘wishes’ to viewers in the form of olfactory interactive experiences.


Clara Ursitti of Glasgow, Scotland has been exploring olfaction through art since her 1995 untitled performance piece, in which she borrowed a police dog and had it track her in a park. Since then, she has taken her art in a more interactive direction. Ursitti is well aware of the atmosphere’s ability to forge memories. She designs the atmosphere surrounding the scent based on how much or little she wants the smells to speak for themselves. In Ursitti’s 1995 Self Portrait in Scent Sketch No. 2, she scented strips of white paper, placed them in a plastic box nailed to the wall, and simply instructed the viewer to “PULL.” Displayed in a white gallery with basic white lighting, the viewer has no choice but to let Ursitti’s self-portrait affect the senses, evoking memories or creating new ones that trigger virtually nothing but the specific experience of this exhibit, at thattime, in that space. Her later pieces attempt to instill a specific experience through use of colored lighting and space design. In James, the viewer enters an eerie grey-blue room containing an intricately carved mahogany chest, a brick fireplace, the skull of an animal with two enormous horns, and the smell of musk. Most people have encountered musk before; in this example, she draws upon each viewer’s past scent-sual experience to create a personalized new experience out of one’s old memories and the feel of an old, musky room. e Smell of Fear incorporates red spotlights, motion sensors, and video projection.

In 2006, Sissel Tolaas’s the FEAR of Smell—the Smell of FEAR debuted at MIT’s List Visual Arts Center and made headlines in the art world. For this exhibit, Tolaas designed a special device that nine men placed in their armpits when they were likely to be afraid. What did these nine subjects have in common? They all suffer from acute, chronic fear. Tolaas, whom many regard as the world’s preeminent odor artist, has graduate degrees in chemistry, art, and language, and an undergraduate degree in math. Her lab is funded by International Fragrances and Flavors, a $4 billion company that produces perfumes for the likes of Prada and Calvin Klein. Each man sent his samples to her lab to be synthetically rendered; then, using IFF’s industrial micro-encapsulation process (think Mr. Scent markers or Scratch ‘n’ Sniff, but really high-tech), she created a special paint for each man’s scent. When gallery-goers touched the walls of her exhibit, the odors were released into the air. Tolaas started experimenting with smell after some chemicals she was using for an art project blew up and released a particularly funky odor. “I realized we have only two words to communicate about smells: bad or good,” she told Wired. “I thought, something is wrong with that.” She traveled the world collecting over 6,000 different odors, including dirt, toys, and rotten bananas. She eventually found her way to the perfume industry, where her collaboration with IFF gives her access to the most current technology and the ability to focus exclusively on smells. She’s even designed scents for companies like Ikea and Volvo in a new wave of ‘scent-branding’ that’s

changing the way companies attempt to associate positive emotions with their brands.

On the other hand, Mitchell Heinrich, an industrial designer who has done extensive work in aerospace engineering and robotics, is taking olfactory art to the streets—literally. During his artist residency in Vienna, Heinrich developed a new kind of ‘scent graffiti’ that uses essential oils and refillable atomized spray cans to introduce, for example, the smell of freshly cut grass into a dingy subway station. The scents dissipate after 20 minutes to an hour. With the goal of uplifting spaces that are otherwise inhuman and undesirable, Heinrich explains: “Graffiti as a medium has remained largely unchanged since early humans were painting cave walls. The style and purpose has evolved over the centuries, but still nobody has successfully broken free of its visual nature. The goal of this project is to realize the potential of smell as art and to explore different ways of using it to interact with people.” Visual graffiti demands that the viewer choose to sustain his glance, but with scent, everyone waiting in the underground must share the sensory experience. Accordingly, if a scene in a painting is familiar, we can still look away from the image—the scent, and its associations, emotions, and resonances, pervade a space with or without our consent. Our general lack of control over olfaction enables it to fully take us, along with our emotions, memories, and individual will. K ATIE BARNWELL B’11 has bad associations with shaving cream.


O C T O B E R 28 2010 T H E C O L L E G E H I L L I N D E P E N D E N T



PUMPED UP /SOUPED make UP Don’t smash, carve, or wear a pumpkin. Just

15 Food (Autumn Edition!)

O C T O B E R 28 2010 T H E C O L L E G E H I L L I N D E P E N D E N T

P U M P K I N - S Q UA S H S O U P


by Ann Crawford-Roberts
hen I walk down foliagelittered sidewalks with the sound of crunching underfoot, when I close my windows at night and bury under the covers against the chill outside, when I leave my afternoon seminar to a sky already beginning to darken, I know autumn has arrived. The time is here to savor the harvest tastes that warm the body and soul. And with the Farmer’s Market produce shifting from grapes and tomatoes to sweet potatoes and squash, what’s an aspiring cook to do but make her own batch of pumpkin soup?

land recipes and onto our Thanksgiving tables.

Despite its common association with Thanksgiving, Squanto, and New England pride, the first mention of pumpkin soup in America does not appear until the mid-nineteenth century. Popular memory places the origins of pumpkin soup on the island of Hispaniola in 1804. On New Year’s Day of that year, Haiti declared its independence from France, honoring the occasion with soup “joumou” (pronounced joo-moo, meaning squash, for pumpkin is technically a squash). To celebrate their newfound freedom, Haitians cooked this stew with beef and pumpkin—luxuries formerly reserved for the French ruling class. Pumpkin soup was brought to America by Haitian immigrants. It became well known up and down the Eastern seaboard. Eventually, the soup found its way into a cookbook of classic New Eng-

Inspired by the bounties of the Farmer’s Market, I sought a pumpkin soup recipe fit for this New England fall. I discovered my prize at the Apple Festival at the Young Family Farm in Little Compton, Rhode Island. This thick purée of squash, pumpkin, and apple was served against a backdrop of bluegrass music and pumpkin painting. Warmed by the soup and the scene before me, I could not miss out on the chance to re-create the meal. After tracking down the recipe, I saw that it was surprisingly straightforward. However, my dorm kitchen and time constraints called for some experimentation. It turns out that pumpkin, while a playful decoration, is not so easily turned into soup. It is a pain to peel and purée, and the bland taste is not worth the effort. For a more concentrated flavor, and a lot less aggravation, go for a can of pure pumpkin instead. Use those pumpkins for what they’re made for: jack-o-lanterns. Carving ghost faces on pumpkins is more fun than puréeing anyway. Caution: if you do decide to brave the fresh pumpkin, best to go at it alone. A frustrated cook with a 12-inch chopping knife is not a pretty picture. The original recipe also recommended an hour of simmering, but I found that the soup came together in half the time. Toss in the bread and fruit at the same time and allow them to simmer togeth-

er. Enjoy the saved time by reading this week’s Independent. The final step, after adding a medley of autumn spices, is to purée the soup. You could use an immersion blender, but a regular old blender works just fine. With the final touches of cream and autumn spices, the smells of cinnamon and squash fill the room, and the soup is ready to be slurped up. Serve in hollowed out sugar pumpkins for an extra wow factor—and don’t forget to roast the pumpkin seeds. This soup looks impressive despite its simplicity. Sweet and hearty and a comfort against the cold, it is a delicious accompaniment to infant-sized costumes, glowing grimaces, and all things pumpkin this Halloween. ANN CR AWFORD ROBERTS B’12 is discovering her inner Epicurus.

1 medium butternut squash, peeled and chopped 1 medium onion, chopped 4 tbs. butter 1 tbs. rosemary 1 can of pure pumpkin purée 4 cups vegetable broth 1 cup apple cider (optional: if using, add only 3 cups of broth) 3 apples or pears (or a combination of both), chopped 3 slices of French bread, in cubes 1 cup light cream ½ tsp each salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, coriander, allspice, sage In a large, heavy-bottomed pot, heat butter and rosemary over medium high heat. Add the squash, onion, and pumpkin and cook at medium until the squash softens. Add vegetable broth (and some apple cider if you’re feeling adventurous) and bring to a boil. Add fruit and bread and let simmer for thirty minutes. Transfer entire mixture to a blender and purée until smooth. Return to pot and add cream. Once the purée has returned to a simmer, add spices, stir, and serve.


16 Sports

Inventor of the jump-shot touches down in Providence
by Malcolm Burnley, Illustration by Andrew Seiden


race the origins of modern basketball, and you’ll come across a rural road in Hillsdale, Wyoming. There is no landmark or statue, but on a family farm there, eighty years ago, a sibling rivalry forever transformed the sport. Bud was the oldest by four years, and his 6’5 frame towered over his younger sibling, Kenny, when they played one-on-one out back. Kenny routinely lost, forcing him to craft a new strategy against his dominant brother. So he invented and slowly patented the shot that carried him to college, to the pros, and into basketball lore. At a time when the two-handed set shot was the game’s pre-eminent offensive weapon, when players’ feet scarcely left the hardwood, Kenny Sailors used a 36-inch vertical leap to rise above his flat-footed opponents and release the ball at a superior trajectory. His trick was given many names at first, but soon became popularized as the “jump-shot.” Sailors surpassed his brother, and then took time to foster his jump-shot: “It started on the farm, but I’ll tell you, it wasn’t developed then,” he recalls, speaking from his current home in Laramie. Sailors honed his skills as a collegiate player at the University of Wyoming and became an immediate star. He established himself as an unstoppable scorer with an exotic new technique, leading the team to the National Championship in ’43 as a junior. After a three-year hiatus, serving in the Marines during WWII, Sailors completed his decorated amateur career in ’46, winning a second National Championship, a National Player of the Year trophy, and a third acceptance into the All-

American team. Sailors graduated from UW as a local hero, but when he turned pro later that year, there was no warm welcome.

In the fall of ’46, the Basketball Association of America (BAA) held its inaugural season. Sailors was 26 and just coming off military duty, “an old man by their standards,” he says, when he entered the BAA. The league—which preceded the NBA, but laid the foundation for its establishment in ’49—began with eleven teams, including the Pittsburgh Ironmen, the New York Knickerbockers (the Knicks of today), and the Cleveland Rebels, Sailors’s first club. Red Dehnert, the Rebels’ coach, nearly blackballed Sailors as a rookie, keeping the 5’10, 175 lb guard on the bench in stubborn protest of his radical jump-shot. “He was scared of my jump-shot,” Sailors remembers. Despite Sailors’s prestigious résumé, Dehnert dismissed him as an unwelcomed magician or abstract artist. His inventive technique represented a revolution to the game, and Dehnert was not one to broaden his ways. He ordered the rookie to conform to the set-shot or ride the pine. “Where you get that leaping one-hander?” he would taunt Sailors, “you’s need me to teach you a good two hander, it’ll never go in this league….” Time would prove otherwise. When The Cleveland Rebels folded after Sailors’s rookie year, his contract became property of the Chicago Stags. But in December, three games into the ’4748 BAA season, Sailors was traded to the Providence Steamrollers, a move that would jump-start his career. When Providence allowed Sailors to freely employ his talent, he blossomed into one of the league’s best players and paved the way for modern basketball’s most fundamental skill—his jump-shot. In Providence, professional basketball survived a mere three years, but during two of those, the city hosted an influential trailblazer.

The Steamrollers struggled to draw fans during their first year in ’46; according to Sailors, “Providence was more of a hockey town then.” The Steamrollers played at 1111 North Main Street, the old Rhode Island Auditorium, which had a 5,000-seat capacity, but drew much smaller crowds for basketball. In ’47, the BAA had just completed its inaugural season and the league’s future was uncertain; it had downsized from eleven to eight teams prior to the season’s start, and with little revenue being generated, it seemed inevitable that more organizations would soon become extinct. Lou Pieri, a businessman who owned

the Auditorium and the Steamrollers, struck a deal with Walter Brown, the president of the Boston Celtics. With the BAA fighting to survive in its infancy, both franchises could not be profitable given their geographic proximity, competing for the same fan-base. In order to preserve professional basketball in the larger Rhode Island-Massachusetts region, one of the teams would have to disappear. Pieri and Brown arranged to merge the Steamrollers and Celtics into a single organization, but did not make known the nature of the deal or the date of a merger. Although the details remain unknown, Sailors hypothesizes that the two men agreed to let the BAA standings determine which team would fold and which would remain, but did not predetermine how many seasons would constitute the sample size to compare. Providence finished six games ahead of Boston in ’46, with a record of 28-32, and the Steamrollers looked to stay ahead by bolstering their roster with Sailors heading into the BAA’s second season. The Steamrollers knew that Sailors could be a crowd-pleasing spectacle, and gave him ample opportunity to showcase his jump-shot. With increased playing time in Providence during the ’47-48 season, Sailors returned to his UW form, marveling fans with his artistry. George Duffy, the Steamrollers’ publicist and a local sports icon, chronicled his anticipated debut; the following is an excerpt from a 1947 news release following Sailors’s first four games: His jump-shot was “out of this world” as one veteran newspaper man remarked. e kids of the state began to copy the shot. In Boys’ clubs, YMCAs, Church leagues, and every other youthful circuit around the state, the kids jumped and shot and always remarked, “ at’s the way Kenny Sailors does it!” Yes, the “Wyoming Kid” had won his way into the hearts of every basketball fan, his cat-like defensive play, his swift dribbling, and the jump-shot all added up to real basketball entertainment. Sailors was the team’s most popular player and also the highest paid. His salary of $7,500 a season was a wealthy wage in post-WWII America; according to Sailors, you could buy a brand-new Ford for only $500. George Mikan’s $10,000 deal was the only contract more lucrative in the BAA. As a Steamroller, Sailors paired with Pawtucket native Ernie Caverley, forming an unstoppable backcourt duo, arguably the best in the league. Despite scoring 15.8 points per game (the 5th highest average for a player in the slowpaced, shot-clock-less BAA) and earning second team All-League honors in ’49, Sailors could not elevate the Steamrollers out of mediocrity. His individual suc-

cess did not translate into victories. “I had good years there in Providence,” he recalls, “I was in the top ten [in scoring]. We just never had a big man, and you have to have a big man.” Those were the days of the game’s first giants: Big Old Mikan (6’10) for the Minneapolis Lakers, Easy Ed Macauley for the St. Louis Bombers (6’8), and Arnie Risen (6’9) for the Rochester Royals. The Steamrollers were skilled but too small, finishing in last place both of Sailors’s seasons with a record of 6-42 in ’47. Those six victories still stand as the alltime lowest win total for a team in the combined history of the BAA and NBA.

In 1949, the NBA was officially formed and the BAA was dismantled. Successful teams transitioned to the new league, forcing Pieri and Brown to determine which of their franchises would establish itself in the NBA. Although the Celtics’ record was unenviable, a composite mark of 67-101 in three BAA seasons, it outpaced the Steamrollers’ embarrassing 46-122. The Steamrollers, including some of its players, were swiftly incorporated into the Celtics organization, and Boston became part of the NBA’s original 17-team class. Pieri succeeded Brown as Celtics president in ’63, and the team progressed into the most storied franchise in basketball history, winning 17 NBA championships. In 1989, the Rhode Island Auditorium was demolished, but generations before, the Steamrollers had already been eclipsed from memory. In the 60 years since they folded, Providence has never had another professional team from the country’s four major sports leagues. Had the Steamrollers mustered even a .500 record and finished ahead of the Celtics in the ’40s, it’s possible the illustrious history of the Boston Celtics would instead belong to Providence. After the Steamrollers disintegrated, Sailors played for the Denver Nuggets during the NBA’s first official season, his best year, leading the team with 17.3 points per game. A year later, he would return to the East Coast, traded to the Celtics for the final term of his career in ’50-51. After five professional seasons, Sailors was eligible for retirement benefits and promptly bowed out of the game. From there, he moved with his wife back to Wyoming, buying a duderanch in Jackson Hole. Nineteen years later, they moved 1,400 miles to a new home in Alaska, but Sailors has since circled back to Wyoming and resides there on a quiet rural road at the age of 89. MALCOLM BURNLEY B’12 was honored to speak to Mr. Kenny Sailors by phone.

17 Literary

O C T O B E R 28 2010 T H E C O L L E G E H I L L I N D E P E N D E N T

Po e m s by S he m a le i a h S my l ie
Graphic by Emily Martin
W I N T E R DAY # 3 , 0 1 0

The teacher stands at the head of the classroom Thick black paper in her fingers, gloveless. “Children, form a line at the door stay together while we walk through the hallway; it’s cold, so please zip up your coats before we go outside.”i

Today the classii will catch snowflakes Moments falling crystalline white on black and captured a mime ephemeral enclosed in glass until There is melting and dampness until The beginning of shivers until Black construction paper returns to pulp untiliii

Miss Patterson speaking to third-graders at Ellicott Elementary School, Orchard Park NY, December 15th 1988. ii Miss Patterson, Matt Whitehead, Chris Snow, Eric Littlechild, Amanda Johnson, [The Poet], and 24 additional thirdgraders. iii Matt Whitehead: 2001, opens landscaping/snow-removal company in upstate NY. 2007, loses right index finger to Homelite Vac Attack II Leaf Blower. Current whereabouts: Syracuse, NY. Chris Snow: 1989, serves a week’s detention for touching Miss Patterson’s breast. 1990, moves to Florida. Current whereabouts: unknown. Eric Littlechild: 1999 – 2002, studies broadcasting at Cayuga Community College. 2003, diagnosed with schizophrenia, loses job with City of Ithaca. Current whereabouts: presumed homeless, last seen at Ezy Money Pawn Shop, Endicott, NY. [The Poet] and Amanda Johnson: 1994, arrested for shoplifting at B. Dalton Booksellers, Galleria Mall, North Tonawanda, NY. [The Poet] pleads guilty, sentenced to fifteen hours community service. Further contact with Amanda Johnson prohibited by [The Poet]’s parents. Amanda Johnson: current whereabouts: unknown. [The Poet]: current whereabouts: (inquire to

M E A S U R I N G 4 - T H E I N T E RV E N T I O N I S T P O E T i

We did not count today in feet, but rather in inches. Six of water running down the sides of streets. Then drops: one, two, seventy-eight. During the car ride home, we mispronounce words on purpose. Car dealerships. Grocery stores. Gas stations. Restaurants.


Being eight Years old Is her advantage Toy-eeeio-huh-tuh. Stupe and Shoop. Akezon Moo-beale. Huh-nee-dwoo Dah-nuh-zzz. Donk-ein within a block.ii We count seconds, mouths full, sounding it out Thunder absconds with flash Turn the radio up. Sing along to windshield wiper rain “P,” she says, “Phinneas.” So I say, “Paul,” and then, “Patricia.” When P is exhausted she says, “F,” then, “Finneas.” This, our other game. “Fred, Felicia, Fanny, Frank.” “Tanya. Tom. Tobias.” We get to the house and the storm does not stop. Soaked, we race from car to door. Inside of windows, she tells me that she left her sweater in the car and that she needs it. I go back by inches. The warm mad-dash of summer rain. Accomplish all recoveries just this way.

[The Author] and [The Poet] wait for something extraordinary. [The Poet] counts months on fingers while [The Author] consults the timeline. The girl has a footnote pinned to her sweater. Attempts to ransom time. Toyota, Stop & Shop, Exxon Mobil, Honey Dew Donuts, Dunkin


At 8:30, I put her to bed. At 12:45, she wakes and claims insomnia. At 1:37, I bring her to my room. At 2:14, she says that she can’t fall asleep. At 2:26, I whisper her name and she does not answer. I wake at 5:42 to her open-eye face only inches from mine. “How long have you been up?” I ask at 5:43. She says one of two things: Forever Since yesterday


18 x

happy halloween
here’s the list.

FRIDAY | 29 6PM Fifth Annual Halloween Iron Pour. Liquid iron poured into a hand-carved wooden skull, and the insides of pumpkins cast with steel. Nothing says Halloween like “molten metal monster mayhem.” At the Steel Yard. $7. 7PM Charlie the Butler, the legendary ghost of Sprague Mansion invites everyone to his annual ghost party at his home. Featuring a medium and some paranormals. At the Governor Sprague Mansion, Cranston. SATURDAY | 30 12 PM Really Really *Free* Market. Seriously, just come and take things. Fewer strings attached than an N*SYNC album. At Dexter Field, Providence. FREE. Olneyville Fall Festival. Family fun, leaf piles, etc. At Donigan Park, Providence. FREE. 2 PM original Skin: A History of Books and Leather in New England Phoebe S. Bean, Printed Collection Librarian at RIHS, will present an illustrated history of leather bindings, and discuss their integrated role in the development of Rhode Island and New England society. at The Aldrich House, Providence. FREE. 12/3/6/9 PM Fritz Lang’s “Metropolis,” in a restored print. At the Cable Car, Providence. $7/$9 7 PM Cirque de la Symphonie. Featuring muscle-y acrobats, contortionists, dancers, jugglers, balancing acts, and the Philharmonic Pops. At the Providence Performing Arts Center, 220 Weybosset St. $28-75. SUNDAY | 31 ALL HALLOWS DAY/EVE It’s Halloween. Dress as sexy Mario Battali, or slutty Christine O’Donnell. We don’t care. FREE CANDY. 7 PM “En Las Manos de la Muerte.” An exploration of Narco Culture on the USA-Mexico border: the drug cartels, Culture of Death personified by Santa Muerte, machismo, honor, poverty, greed, violence, and death. A Halloween upper. Rites and Reasons Theatre, Providence. FREE.

MONDAY | 1 7 PM “Mère Folle” (“Crazy Mother”) with filmmaker discussion. Synopsis (no spoilers): A Parisian psychoanalystis abducted and put on trial by medieval fools and through the course of one hellish night - across several centuries and countries - must argue her case for exoneration. Written by a psycholanalyst. At the RISD Museum, Providence. FREE. 8 PM An Evening with Joseph-Gordon Levitt. It’s like 500 days of Third Rock From the Sun— dreamy. At Edwards Auditorium, Kingston. $53. TUESDAY | 2 7 AM - 9 PM Vote or die. Your polling place. FREE. 9:30 PM The Shit Happens Tour: Big Dirty Nelson, Andy Suhre, and Whisperians. Metal punk + Americana/folk blues/rock/ experimental + pop garage, respectively. At AS220, Providence. $6. WEDNESDAY | 3 6:30 “Archaeology and War in Iraq and Afghanistan.” Lecture by UPenn’s C. Brian Rose on preserving ancient sites from looting, excessive development, and destruction during times of war. At the Chace Center at the RISD Museum, Providence. FREE. 7:30 PM Author Talk with Tricia Shapiro. She wrote “Mountain Justice: Homegrown Resistance to Mountaintop Removal, for the Future of Us All,” an embedded account of Appalachian mountaintop removal. At AS220, Providence. FREE. THURSDAY | 4 2:30 PM A reading by Salvadoran novelist Horacio Castellanos Moya. Three of his books have been translated into English. He will present from his work in Brown’s Writers On Writing Reading Series. At McCormack Theatre, Brown University, Providence. FREE. 4:30– 6:30PM Free Public Information on Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, courtesy of Butler Hospital. That’s right, I’m talking to you. Register by calling 401-455-6366, and come to the Ray Conference Center (345 Blackstone Boulevard), Providence. FREE.