“why won’t anyone just let me be their unpaid bitch!?


tv food theatre music Sans Sheen In Praise of Sweden Taste Tripping Schwasted Opera

March Madness

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upfront
FROM THE EDITORS
Editor-in-Chief Kate Doyle Managing Editor of Features Amelia Stanton Managing Editor of Arts & Culture Sam Knowles Managing Editor of Lifestyle Matthew Klebanoff Features Editors Ana Alvarez Fred Milgrim Music Editor Eric Sun Theatre Editor Emma Johnson Film Editor Priyanka Chatterjee Literary Editor Jennie Young Carr Lifestyle Editor Sakina Esufally Layout Editors Clara Beyer Lucas Huh Hero of the Hour Priyanka Chatterjee

CONTENTS
THE HITCHHIKEr’S GUIDE \\ priyanka chatterjee POST- IT NOTES \\ post- staff MArCH MADNESS \\ rachel reeves

I know, I know. The last two weeks have been brutal. Facebook statuses (stati?) and wall photos have scrupulously documented where your high school friends are sunbathing and NOT taking midterms. I don’t care that you just went scuba diving for the first time in New Zealand. Get out of my life! Someone decided that it was only appropriate for spring break, usually reserved for Cancun in March, to foray into April. But vacation is finally here, and it’s time for Bruno to hit the sun and sand. By Monday, everyone else will be settling back in at school. So savor it, and savor that sex on the beach, which you will receive with welcoming hands (or in some of your cases, welcoming thighs). You might, like me, have one more hurdle on Friday keeping you from nine days of glory. Then again, if you’re like me, that’ll be nine days of Providence-filled glory. Let’s both hope you’re not like me. The beginning of the semester and the life-sized piles of snow have faded from our memories (though the spring snowfall isn’t helping). Soon we’ll be in a sea of pastels (black skinny jeans are assumed). Before Diddy and Binder come to play, rest your brain for a bit and let loose. You’ve only got four spring breaks before real life, so use them well. Post-ly,

03 upfront 04 feature

05 arts & culture

GOD BLESS SWEDEN \\ gopika krishna LOST IN TrANSLATION \\ sam carter BLAME IT ON THE ALCOHOL \\ berit goetz GET OUT OF MY WArLOCK BrAIN \\ priyanka chatterjee ME JANE. YOU FOOD. \\ jane brendingler THE rIGHT LAGEr FOr YOUr BrOTH \\ molly cousins

06 arts & culture

07 food & booze

milgrim

08 sex & etiquette
PLANNED PArENTHOOD \\ mm BIrTH-CONTrOLLING GIrLFrIENDS \\ lovecraft & dorian EMILY POST- \\ emily post-

Assistant Features Editor Charles Pletcher Graphics Editors Katerina Dalavurak Emily Oliveira Copy Chiefs Julia Kantor Kathy Nguyen Web Editors Michael Enriquez Ellora Vilkin Columnists Jane Brendlinger Rémy Robert Sexicon Lovecraft & Dorian Emily PostCopy Editors Kate Brennan Jacob Combs Christina McCausland Justine Palefsky Kristina Petersen Charles Pletcher Ash Sofman Staff Writers Clayton Aldern Berit Goetz Gopika Krishna Staff Illustrators Anish Gonchigar Phil Lai Carolyn Shasha Shixie Caroline Washburn Kelly Winter Ethan Zisson

READ POST- ONLINE: post.browndailyherald.com TOP TEN

Ways To Get Chased Down Waterman St.

1 2 3 4 5
weekend

Say you go to Harvard. Criminalize marijuana. Oh, wait... Vegan Finger Friday. Wear flannel unironically. Close FishCo. Oh, wait...

6 7 8 9 10
2

Schedule Spring Weekend during Coachella Forget to print Post-.

Make it snow on the first day of spring... and the second... and the third... Throw your plastic water bottle in the trash. Bagpipes and bigotry.

Post- Magazine is published every Thursday in the Brown Daily Herald. It covers books, theater, music, film, food, art, and University culture around College Hill. Post- editors can be contacted at post.magazine@gmail.com. Letters are always welcome, and can be either e-mailed or sent to Post- Magazine, 195 Angell Street, Providence, RI 02906. We claim the right to edit letters for style, clarity, and length.

five
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VALENKRIMEZ PW Upspace l Thurs. 8pm & 11pm

NEUROSCIENCE OF MEDITATION Biomed 202 l Thurs. 5:30pm

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PEACE OUT, GO ON VACATION Train Station l Fri. 3pm

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MEET UP WIT YO’ GRANDPARENTS FOR SOME SHOTS Naples, Florida l Sat. 4:30pm

POST-

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DRUNK DIAL SAD FRIENDS IN PROVIDENCE l Sun. 2am

featurette

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

upfront

3

The Hitchhiker’s Guide
to the intergalactic community of a capella
priyanka CHATTERJEE film editor
It’s dark, nearly midnight. Everyone’s drunk. Someone yells out a name. People explode in an uproar, hands are raised, and the czar motions for quiet. A beat. A group’s name is yelled. The group cheers. Some innocent freshman has been inducted. An a cappella baby is born. A cappella is big on all college campuses, from the Ivy League to the mountains of Utah. We have the largest amount of groups per capita in the nation, 14 groups for around 6,000 undergraduates. Brown has everything from your traditional all-male and allfemale groups, to your pirate group that sings sea shanties, to an all-Disney group—and even a newly minted Jockapella group for athletes whose practice schedules preclude participation in other singing groups. Most of these groups fall under the general umbrella of the Intergalactic Community of a Cappella (yes, that’s the actual name). All 14 of these groups make their presence widely known all over campus. If you’ve ever tried to walk through Wayland Arch on a Wednesday, you may find yourself wading through a crowd of people serenaded by some drunk, suspendered males. You wonder which allmale group has chosen this day to block your route to Ivy Room falafel. With so many groups on campus, it’s often difficult for outsiders to distinguish among them. The single-sex groups in particular have trouble conveying their distinguishing features to outsiders or newcomers (read: freshman). At least the male groups—the Jabberwocks, Bear Necessities, and Brown Derbies—have clothes on their side: All three have distinctive sartorial traditions (it’s blazers, suspenders, and bowlers hats, respectively). The girls’ groups have it harder: Aside from the Ursa Minors’ habit of wearing all black, there is little way to differentiate among female groups. Fixing this problem would require hiring some skilled PR agency. Instead, groups try to get as many people as possible to come to their concerts, where they show off repertoires of distinctive, crowd-friendly songs. Some even try to add catchphrases to their names. See “fiercest?” That’s the Brown’sTones. “Oldest all-male?” That’s the Jabberwocks. Drunk guy with an eyepatch kidnapping someone in the audience? That’s probably ARRR!!!! With so much a capella on campus, it seems like auditioning would be a piece of cake. With so many groups, you’re bound to get into one, right? But the more you scrutinize the process of getting into an a cappella group, the more you realize it’s far more akin to Greek life at other schools than even our own Greek life. After many, many nights of auditions, the list of callbackees is posted at midnight at both Wayland and MoChamp arches. From there begins a long process of singing, schmoozing, and bonding—ability to mesh with the group becomes just as important as ability to match pitch. The amount of time spent rehearsing each week engenders bonds among group members—one mismatched personality, and the entire chemistry of the group can be thrown off balance. Group sojourns to the Crêperie or one-on-one lunches with members are equally important as a great solo voice—the group as a whole supercedes any of its divas. Even the preference card system for placing new members into groups has a Greek-life aftertaste. Callbackees rank the groups in order of preference—and the groups rank them too. A midnight meeting occurs in order to determine placement—the first group you pick that picks you back is the one in which you end up. New members are deliberately placed into groups, rather than simply accepted—and inevitably, your entire Brown experience takes shape. Senior singers you meet as a freshman may get you jobs in the future; juniors you meet may offer you a house to sublet for the summer; sophomores you meet may have cute friends you end up dating. Even better, you earn the right to participate in a lavish commencement concert where all your solos are showcased for friends and family. Friends become groupies, evaluating the talent of your group in comparison to the others— always picking yours as the best, even on an off night. The attempt to expand your singing beyond the shower becomes a part of your identity. In that sense, the a cappella experience extends to the entire Brown community—it isn’t confined to the singers. Because these groups define the lives of their members, their members seek to sing their way into the lives of their peers. And whether it’s pop, Disney, or the pirate tune “All for Me Grog,” we’ll take it.

what we’re doing this week

MUSIC is

going to a combination Pizza Hut and Taco Bell. Think Das Racist? You’re right.

BOOKS is

hoping Valerie Plame’s upcoming spy novel becomes a TV show starring a hot lady. Because our lives lost lust(er) when Jennifer Garner quit the corps.

FILM is TV is

mourning Elizabeth Taylor. No one will do glamour like you did, Liz.

getting all hot and bothered watching Archer at 10pm. Gotta love that cartoon cleavage.

THEATRE is

CORRECTION
The article entitled “Of Mice and Men,” which ran in the March 17th issue, was incorrectly attributed. In fact the author was Berit Goetz ‘13, staff writer extraordinaire, whose fine work and fine wit also appear in this week’s magazine (“Blame It On the Alcohol,” page 6). While we’re correcting ourselves, we confess to another error this semester. Namely, Clara Beyer never did go to the Science Museum. It is true, however, that they do show IMAX films there.
Katerina Dalavurak

caterpillarin’ it down in da Upspace tonight, to da rhymin, rappin’ dinosaurin riddims of Licki Ucroj on steroidz. Coz Nicki Minaj signed her bra-clad boobz bitchez.

FOOD is

indulging in Godiva’s Double Chocolate Raspberry truffles in celebration of Spring Break. Decadent, sumptuous, sexy, and so much better than that bikini body.

BOOZE is

taking comfort in milkshakes from the Better Burger Co. and Extra Dry André, after losing two hydrogens and an ounce of self-worth at last night’s orgo exam.

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feature
POST-

“why won’t anyone just let me be their unpaid bitch!?”
rachel REEVES
Illustration: Phil Lai

March Madness

contributing writer
we need to exude the confidence that got us into college in the first place. And so, to get a job, we campaign for ourselves—ever so slightly, and only when it’s allowed. Amit Jain ’12, a Political Science concentrator, recalls that when he called to follow up on his attempts to work in a Senator’s D.C. office, “I felt like I was being ignored every time.” When Jain applied for a “more competitive” internship at the White House the following summer, he was specifically told not to follow up. Biology concentrator Will Donovan ’12, who spent last summer interning at the National Institutes of Health, explained that while the program has an online application, it serves more as a database and “applicants must contact individual labs at the NIH” in hopes of being noticed by researchers and being offered a position. The internship search process reflects a balancing act of knowing when to paid work is just part of the process (you know, the process—going to a good school, getting a good job, earning fortune and maybe fame), this article presented a dilemma. Many prospective interns would do anything for an opportunity to work for free. The article suggested that in a poor job market, companies were using unpaid internships, marketed as educational experiences, as an easy way to get free, illegal labor. Although its argument is entirely legitimate, it’s not clear whether the Times article had any impact. It certainly failed to usher in a new age of paid internships for all. For students who cannot afford or are not willing to work without pay, Simmons suggests “creative ways to get unpaid experience” such as working as an unpaid intern part-time in addition to finding a paying job. Whether students are paid or unpaid, he insists that “at the end of the day, it’s the experience swallow. Why do we spend so much time crafting our lives and our resumés just to be an unpaid b*tch—or a minimum wage scrub, or, at best, a well-paid person at the (way) bottom of the totem pole? What does this reveal, maybe not even about our generation, but about Brown students? Not much: The skeptical students answer, “Brown students want jobs. Surprise.” Maybe instead of harboring a vague sense of guilt and superiority for our competitive generation, we can look at ourselves and recognize that we’re part of a long line of do-ers. Simmons senses that the internship search process is “no more competitive now than it has been in the past,” although one might still be left to wonder when internships became an assumed aspect of one’s progression through college. So while we tend to confirm our own paranoia that our peers are striving to outcompete us, perhaps instead we should disregard our illusions that students are suddenly more ambitious. The best you can do is establish your territory in the summer job search. Some students approach it with optimism—Aaron Nam ’12, an Economics/ Public Policy and American Institutions concentrator who spent last summer working at Goldman Sachs, insists that the process was not “cutthroat but rather exciting and a great learning experience.” Although establishing his territory required submitting an application, talking to a recruiter, and being flown to New York to complete a “superday” of several different interviews, Nam seems to have escaped the process unscathed. But even students who might struggle to maintain a positive outlook can heed Simmons’ advice: “Never, never, never give up.” Standing one’s ground in the process might be difficult—but it might also result in a job. Of course it’s tempting to wallow in self pity, convinced that the postmodern world and all of its demands have forced our ripe young minds into the drudgery of cover letters and phone interviews when we should be filling our summers with leisure. But it seems significant that in our generation, and more importantly in the generations before us, people went to work—out of financial necessity, out of a desire for a good future, to escape boredom, to feel that they were doing something meaningful, to validate the education they were lucky and grateful to receive. There’s something nice about being part of a world where sitting on your a** (for too long) is frowned upon. So bring on the competition.

The summer internship opportunity: When I told people the subject of my article, their responses gave me all the information I needed. One, especially, stood out: “Don’t do it.” Apparently, students are either tired of hearing about the internship search, or they just don’t care. It seems like at least once a month The New York Times Style section interviews 20 college kids to get to the bottom of our supposedly enigmatic generation. Their findings: we are competitive and stressed overachievers. Not a surprise, but thank you to those who spilled their hearts in the name of groundbreaking journalism. Perhaps we’ve lost interest in learning about what it means to be a college student because, well, competition is part of our lives. We’re competitive, even when it comes to drinking. Last weekend six freshmen cut my friend in line at Spats while she had been waiting patiently to go inside and celebrate her 21st birthday— people like to be first, even if they’re all going the same place. Right before dinner, campus gyms are a madhouse of elliptical devotees— people like to suffer, and will even wait in line to do so. The SciLi during midterms always seems to be filled with phantom students using their backpacks, books, and friends to hold tables— people like to establish their territory. Around Brown, it’s not news that these Spats-goers would refuse to move when asked, that anyone would stand around patiently in hopes of sweating in public, or that a study group with an exam in two hours would not dare move someone’s notebook, set down four hours ago, so they could work at a table. More importantly, it’s also not news that a Brunonian would whip out a cover letter arguing in his or her favor for an internship, even if the chances of being hired appear slim. It’s just how things are done. When asked about the internship process, Career Development Center Director Andrew Simmons explained, “Of course it’s competitive, of course it’s hard, it’s not easy, but [internships are] certainly attainable.” Even if we doubt our chances, we summon our fearlessness, polish our resumés, and find the most professional-looking font so that we too can compete. Simmons reminds students that “no one should be discouraged” from the internship search. So with our heads held high (maybe) we enter into this competition, knowing that

speak up and knowing when to resist screaming what we all secretly want to express: “I promise you won’t regret hiring me!” “Why won’t anyone just let me be their unpaid b*tch?” are the oft heard words of a frustrated friend of mine. Just as an eager volunteer realizes that there is a waiting list to work in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving, there seem to be lots of people dying to fix paper jams and to go on coffee runs all summer. These stereotypical summer intern tasks can seem unreasonable considering the pay scale. Knowing that one is essentially begging to perform slave labor, while full-time employees perform similar duties and receive a reasonable salary, can be a little disheartening. As we have seen, people like to suffer. In April 2010, The New York Times released an article entitled “The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not.” While students defended their summer jobs of choice, claiming that un-

and connections you make that are important.” A February 2011 Times Op-Ed, by Colin Buckley, appropriately entitled “My Life as a Dog,” paid homage to Ted Kennedy through a discussion of the author’s internship with the esteemed Senator. More specifically, it was a position in which the author had to make copies, answer phone calls, and (wait for it) respond to emails from children in which he pretended to be the Senator’s dog, Splash. The article’s post-script hints at the long-term value of pretending to be a Portuguese water dog: “Colin H.P. Buckley is a presidential management fellow with the federal government.” While it might not be an especially appealing truth, interning and its menial and quirky tasks do seem to be play a part in later career success. So when a Brown student said, “don’t do it,” maybe he didn’t want to hear about internships anymore because the reality is too hard to

music

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

arts & culture

God Bless Sweden
staff writer
just another Europop “it-girl.” Yet it’s that very combination of tough and tender that makes this chanteuse stand out as a powerhouse among all the other self-proclaimed, dollar-sign toting fempowerment starlets. What exactly is it about Lykke Li that makes her such a leader in musical badassery? Part of it is the music itself. Li’s music ranges from hard-hitting, almost grungy clatters to gorgeous a cappella tracks that showcase her fairy-like vocals, sometimes within the same song. Take her most famous single to date, “Little Bit.” The song starts off with a symphony of percussion—a beautiful, cacophonous blend of bass,

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lykke li makes me go gaga
synth, and drums. As it progresses, we hear Li whisper in a girly, innocent voice, “And for you I keep my legs apart,” proving she’s a woman with some serious intentions that are anything but pure. It is that tension between powerful and strong, hurt and vulnerable in Li’s songs that makes her stand out. This tension takes center stage on Wounded Rhymes, Li’s latest (and arguably greatest) release. Although the sound is darker overall than on her debut Youth Novels, it toys with the same contrasts between the fantasy of love and reality of heartbreak. What makes the album stand out, however, is how she plays with contrast not only in her lyrics but also in the fabric of the songs, juxtaposing instruments and melodies in unexpected and tantalizing ways. Wounded Rhymes draws upon sounds from numerous musical lands and cultures, from doo-wop in “Unrequited Love” to Eastern-influenced drums in “Love Out of Lust,” a clear homage to Li’s childhood in Morocco and India. The album’s greatest triumph is how seamlessly these ostensibly clashing parts come together to form a gorgeous and accessible whole—it’s a musical clusterf*ck that makes sense on the first listen. Unlike current controversial musicians who appear to put on a costume every time they’re in the public eye (meat dress, anyone?), Lykke Li doesn’t force it. She remains enigmatic without throwing fistfuls of glitter in people’s faces. Her live shows are visually unassuming, with Li decked out in all black and surrounded by a few instruments, yet musically large and grand. The night usually transforms into an all-out rager for the audience. Although she’s a charismatic and energetic performer, Lykke Li maintains an air of reclusiveness in her private life. She releases music through her own record label, LL Recordings, and distances herself from the business side of music. Rather than playing the flashy fame game the industry seems to love, she shows off her grand voice and personality in her records. Perhaps we can take a page out of this bold brunette’s book and learn to embrace all our idiosyncrasies. So don’t be afraid to pull out your best pair of black skinny jeans and lacy boots while you get your groove on to “I Follow Rivers.” Or maybe even release your inner (s)he-wolf to “Get Some,” after lamenting over a lost love in “Let It Fall.” Lykke Li’s message is clear: there’s no need to go gallivanting around in your electric see-through onepiece to leave your mark. A broken heart can sometimes be stronger and more powerful than an untouched one.
Emily Oliviera

gopika KRISHNA

God bless Sweden. From meatballs to Ikea to Alfred Nobel, it’s no secret that the Scandinavian Peninsula is a veritable hotspot of epic cultural contributions. Music is no exception. Although for many, the idea of a “Swedish pop star” may conjure images of ABBA and gold lamé jumpsuits, it is the edgy, strong Swedish dancing queens of today that are dominating our indie landscape (see: the effervescent Robyn). At the forefront of this revolution is Lykke Li, a doe-eyed gamine with music equally perfect for kicking ass and making out. With her partyfriendly beats and delicate, airy voice, it’s tempting to pigeonhole Li as

Carolyn Shasha

books

Lost in Translation
la maladie de l’ignorance et de l’insularité
editor emeritus
like many others, where the etiology isn’t nearly as important as the diagnosis and treatment, both of which are quite simple in this case: Americans don’t read enough translated works. We need to read more. But why seek treatment? Is it really a serious condition? In 2008, the Secretary of the Nobel Academy said that American writers were “too sensitive to trends in their own mass culture” to win the prize in literature and that “the U.S. is too isolated, too insular. They don’t translate enough and don’t really participate in the big dialogue of literature. That ignorance is restraining.” Toni Morrison was the last American to win—she did it in 1993. Since then, there have been five winners who write in English, demonstrating that the Academy has no aversion to the language, just to the American writers who use it. Of course, the list of writers who never won a Nobel is impressive— Joyce, Nabokov, and Auden are only some—so perhaps DeLillo and Roth need not worry. What’s worrisome, however, is the fact that we don’t participate in what the secretary called the “big dialogue of literature.” Imagine, for a moment, a friend whose sense of humor consists only of inside jokes. He or she isn’t that funny, and after a while all the jokes get old. Perhaps it’s a slightly simplified analogy, but we don’t want authors (or readers) who can only tell (understand) inside jokes but rather ones who possess a fully developed and highly sophisticated sense of humor. When we’re not part of the conversation, we’re missing out on the chance to be influenced by—and perhaps influence—many of the greatest writers in the world. Even if we don’t interpret the translated works in the same way as some-

sam CARTER

The success of Stieg Larsson’s books is just an exception, not the rule. Fueled by the appeal of its badass, dragon-tattooed heroine, the Swedish author’s Millennium trilogy has sold over six million copies in the United States—a remarkable figure for a translated work. Average Americans rarely venture beyond James Patterson novels in their literary pursuits, much less the borders of the Englishspeaking world. In 2005, only 3.54 percent of all adult fiction titles in the U.S. were translated works. This figure, which hasn’t changed since then, is known as the “three percent problem.” Foreign governments and cultural institutions have reacted strongly, subsidizing the publication of English translations and thus making it easier for works from their regions to reach the U.S. market. But the cultural literacy of the American public doesn’t seem to concern major U.S. publishers—they have long claimed that translations simply don’t sell here, and are slow to publish the translations themselves. The publishers suggest that the American reading public—or what remains of it—is to blame. They say it’s a simple case of supply and demand: they won’t provide it if we won’t read it. Do Americans lack interest in cultures outside the U.S.? Are we so immersed in our own culture that we have trouble understanding and appreciating the cultures of other countries? This is a pessimistic view, but perhaps it’s true. The Internet draws us into a realm full of inane, culturally specific memes and social media outlets where there’s little cross-language pollination. In television, we even opt to adapt British series such as The Office and Skins instead of watching the original. There are few easy answers to explain why so few Americans read works in translation. This is a case,

one who’s reading them in the original, and even if we (or the translators) miss out on some cultural subtleties, we’re still benefiting from what Borges, Bakhtin, Williams and others have called the “lifeblood of literature,” the exchange that begins to free an author from writing solely within his or her own unique cultural constraints. An author’s culture doesn’t have to be a constraint— only when he’s mired in it does it become restrictive. The circulation of new ideas and the tossing out of old ones keeps literature dynamic for both readers and writers. Cutting ourselves off from not just one source of ideas but a whole variety of them is foolish at best, arrogant at worst. Despite the limitations inherent in converting a work from its original language, translation is still an effective way to expose oneself to these ideas. The malady of ignorance and insularity is serious, but the treatment is easy and painless. There’s no need to learn another language; one has only to be willing to read. No excuses—self-medicate and take a translation off the shelf.

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arts & culture
POST-

theatre

Blame it on the Alcohol
staff writer
salinde (Juliana Friend ’11) that he’s leaving for prison instead. Little does he know he’s playing right into the dastardly hands of Dr. Falke, who’s seeking revenge against Einsenstein for abandoning him dead-drunk in a bat costume after a night of revelry three years earlier. While Eisenstein is away at the party, Alfredo, a seductive Italian tenor (Andrew Wong ’11), turns up to woo his old flame Rosalinde with a tender rendition of “Drink, My Darling, Drink”— the Viennese waltz equivalent of Pitbull’s “Hotel Room Service.” Rosalinde is beginning to relent (“You know what your high A does to me”) when Herr Frank (Phil Arevalo ’11), the prison warden, interrupts the late-night winesoaked tête-à-tête and carts Alfredo off to jail in his dressing gown, mistaking him for Eisenstein. Back at Orlovsky’s party, the cases of mistaken identity pile up as an increasingly schwasted Eisenstein hits on everyone from his disguised chambermaid (Rebecca Lichtin ‘14) to his own wife, who—thanks to a tip-off from Dr. Falke—turns up in disguise as well. Meanwhile, Orlovsky channels Lil Jon with his high-spirited song “Chacun à Son Gout (To Each His Own Taste),” threatening to kick out all of the guests unless they take a shot. During the opera’s hilarious

Shixie

opera, in layman’s terms
morning-after denouement, Eisenstein feebly tries to blame everything on the alchohol, and Dr. Falke reveals himself as the engineer of the whole mess. The Bat has had his revenge. But it wasn’t just the farcical plot that allowed the production to resonate with Brown students. The dazzling spoken repartee in director Audrey Chait ‘11’s revision of the English text made the opera unusually intelligible and engaging. The lyrics to the songs were projected above the stage (the convention in many professional opera houses), providing a lifeline of comprehensibility in the midst of a torrent of vibrato and high Bs. In addition, the authenticity of the orchestral score powerfully supported the cast’s emotive musical performances. Die Fledermaus’ famously waltzy score was brought to life by a small student orchestra under the direction of Jacob Klapholz ’13, who—clad in tails and a white bowtie—stole the show at the downbeat of the overture, wielding his baton with the ferocity of a modernday Beethoven. Efforts to make the opera accessible to a wider audience clearly paid off: seven rows of seats were added at Saturday’s performance to accommodate the thronging masses. But will BOP be able to carve out a niche for more se-

berit GOETZ

The alcohol is flowing freely. Music is blaring. Inebriated partiers scramble to match each other shot for shot. Between frenzied bouts of dancing, everyone tries to get laid. No, I’m not talking about Spring Weekend at Brown. I’m describing a typical scene from Brown Opera Productions’ Die Fledermaus (The Bat), which channeled all the comic, carnal, and alcoholic glory of Johann Strauss’s 1874 original into Alumnae Hall last week. Oh, you didn’t see it? Skeptical about the relevance of 19th century Viennese opera to your life? Let me fill you in on what BOP has done to make this sparkling operatic nugget resonate with the lighthearted bacchanalia of the Brown experience. Even the original plot reads like the stuff of the BroPo Spring Weekend blotter. Herr Eisenstein (Nathan Margolin ’11) is really into what Rebecca Black of “Friday” fame calls “partyin’ partyin’ YEAH.” He’s about to spend eight days in jail for a minor offense. What better way to spend his last night of freedom, wheedles his friend Dr. Falke (Zal Shroff ’14), than in debauched carousing at a rager thrown by Prince Orlovsky (Ivy Alphonse-Leja ’14)? Eisenstein agrees, but tells his long-suffering wife Ro-

rious operatic fare on campus, or was the success of Die Fledermaus still largely contingent on its lighthearted content? After Friday’s performance, one audience member remarked that after watching all that partying, he was ready to go out and get wasted. And while it is a delicious irony that 19thcentury Viennese opera strikes a chord in the debauched souls of some Brown students, my hope is that BOP will continue to strengthen opera’s presence on campus by exposing us to an increasingly challenging repertoire. With the kind of freshman talent we saw last weekend, who knows? Don Giovanni could be next. But in the meantime, grab yourself a drink and a seductive tenor—it’s time to start rehearsing for Spring Weekend!

film & tv

Get Out of my Warlock Brain
why two and a half men can’t win, duh
film editor
on—sans Sheen. It’s a risky move, to be sure. Sheen was a vital, if not the central, component of the show, if his former salary of $1.25 million per episode is any indicator. Other shows have tried and sometimes succeeded in writing in a new main character after a star’s departure. Interestingly enough, Sheen himself was one such replacement, taking over for Michael J. Fox as the new principal character on Spin City in 2000. To make a successful transition often requires a few special ingredients: several lead characters, a strong ensemble cast structure, and a workplace setting that allows for a natural transition of characters. ER went on for almost twenty years with a revolving door of good-looking people (remember George Clooney and Julianna Marguiles?) because it possessed all three magic traits. With a workplace setting, the arrival of new doctors (or lawyers, or vampires, or Parks department employees) seems natural. Cops are even better: one look at the Sporcle quiz for all the Law and Order detective pairs shows how many cast changes the show was able to withstand. The only other time in recent television history that an actor was handed a pink slip for offscreen antics occurred in 2006, when Isaiah Washington was famously fired from Grey’s Anatomy for making homophobic remarks about a costar. But the show moved on seamlessly without him, as it contained the aforementioned ingredients: a hospital setting, an award-winning supporting cast, and several lead characters (oh hey, McSteamy), as well as a number of intertwining plotlines to follow in the wake of Burke’s departure. Men, unfortunately, is not set in a gritty police department—and its main characters number only two and a half, apparently. Is Alan (Cryer) supposed to miraculously find out he has another rich brother who can house him? A longlost uncle, perhaps? How many jingle-writers can you even have in one family? The outcome of a Sheen-less show should be a sight to see. After all, cast rotations in shows with few lead characters are not usually effective even under exceptional circumstances. Recall John Ritter’s sudden passing in the middle of 8 Simple Rules in 2003. Even then, with James Garner and David Spade joining the cast as the new alpha males, the show failed to sustain itself. So, the future of Two and a Half Men seems bleak—no viable replacements have stepped forward, and the show’s production cycle remains in limbo without a leading man. As Sheen embarks on his “My Violent Torpedo of Truth/Defeat is Not An Option” tour (which sold out in eighteen minutes), he seems to be riding his newfound infamy to new heights,

priyanka CHATTERJEE

Until two weeks ago, I knew exactly three things about the Charlie Sheen: he’s Jed Bartlet’s son, Gordon Bombay’s brother, and Duckie’s on-screen counterpart. But after the violent eruption of all things Sheen following his controversial spate of televised, drug-induced outbursts, I can’t get the sunken-eyed drug addict with Adonis DNA off of my popculture radar. So when CBS announced that they were firing him from the ratings powerhouse Two and a Half Men, I all but threw my tiger-blooded hands in the air. Finally a chance to get Sheen well and truly out of my warlock brain. Two and a Half Men, which centers around Sheen’s laid-back jingle-writer’s humorous interactions with his uptight divorced brother (Jon Cryer) and listless nephew (Angus T. Jones), is one of the most popular shows on television today, with over 14 million viewers tuning in each week for some mindless humor. Since Sheen’s offensive offscreen rants are hardly in keeping with the tone of this family-friendly show, his firing was all but inevitable. I watch my fair share of questionable television shows (Say Yes To The Dress is heartwarming, okay?), but my hatred for this mindless, onenote comedy is almost Tea Party-like in its fervor. I vote cancellation, outright— but, understandably, CBS doesn’t want to turn away the millions who watch each week. So despite Men’s shoddy writing and tired plot, the show must go

leaving the show scrambling in his wake. Part of me hopes Men will be successful with a new lead, despite my disdain—no innocent cameraman should have to suffer for Sheen’s temper tantrums. But then there’s the much larger part of me that balks at the idea of such a terrible show surviving when plenty of good shows often die in obscurity (Pushing Daisies, I still mourn your loss). If we’re being honest, I’d happily raise a glass to the death of Men, all two and a half of them. And if I ever find myself craving some chauvinistic humor and a few fart jokes, there are always reruns.

Phil Lai

THURSDAY, MARCH 24, 2011

food & booze

7

Me Jane. You Food.
eating under the influence
jane BRENDLINGER food columnist
ering, but tasted instead like sweet syrup, limeade straight from lime. The lemon was equally pleasing. I was still skeptical when my friend Ellen handed me a Dixie cup of vinegar. Though my nose wrinkled at the scent, it tasted luscious and tangy, burning my throat in a thrilling afterbite as I swallowed. Cranberry juice was mellow, and pickles tasted as though they were soaked in honey. Some foods, though, remained the same. Olives were still unmistakably olives, and though I kept dipping my finger in the sour cream, I had the sinking feeling that I just really like sour cream. When Ellen and I had exhausted the samplings of the Science Center, we were still riding our miracle berry high. And so we decided to take our taste buds on the ultimate adventure—a flavor trip to the Ratty. Thus began the strangest meal I would ever consume. “Lemons from the tea station! I’m gonna take all the lemons!” I grabbed my tray, giddy with excitement and eyes widening at the wondrous playground the Ratty had become. “I’m on the balsamic vinegar!” I watched Ellen pour a bottle from the salad station straight into a cup until it was halfway full. We embarked on our great experiment with gusto. The most striking and delicious foods, we found, were those originally acidic and sour. My orange gushed ambrosia, and a Granny Smith apple played delightfully on my tongue. We sucked down lemons until our teeth hurt and washed it all down with glassfuls of vinegar. Warm, savory foods didn’t make much of an impression. The herbed turnips were simply bitter—not to mention overcooked—and the potatoes au gratin, though cheesy and delicious, remained unchanged. Sweet foods became overbearing—ketchup might as well have been tomato-flavored sugar (although it essentially is, let’s be real), and honey was caustic, overbearing to the point of bitterness. Soft serve was cloying, an intensely saccharine vanilla, but I have to admit, I kind of liked it … And so, surrounded by the debris of our atypical Ratty binge, Ellen and I reclined in our chairs, our taste berry high tapering to an end. Though a friend who had joined us frowned with jealousy (“I want to be flavor-tripping!”), I felt some remorse after the meal, not the least of which stemmed from the quantity of acid roiling in my stomach. Just as sex never seems the same after you do it on ecstasy, would food ever taste as glorious? With sober taste buds, would it suddenly lose its sense of surprise and wonder? Then I thought of the expected sweetness of sugar, the welcomed tartness of a cranberry. Food, even in normal circumstances, can still astonish the senses—the dripping nectar of a peach in season, dark chocolate that suspends thought. I realized that, when it comes to food, I don’t need drugs to have fun. Still, I remember that lime, those lemons, the delight and shock that came with each bite. It was a good trip. For just an hour, lemon wedges tasted like candied nectar, and vinegar became my drink of choice. Of course, I wasn’t sober, or at least my taste buds weren’t. I was flavor-tripping out of my mind on taste berries. Last Tuesday, the Science Center distributed a small quantity of the so-called Miracle Fruit. Native to West Africa, the berry contains miraculin, a protein that attaches to the taste buds and induces the sensation of sweetness. The fruit itself was strange and not something I’d choose to consume regularly—slightly tart but with little flavor and the texture of a dried cranberry. Yet one doesn’t drink Karkov for pleasure or smoke pot for the taste of it, and so I eagerly consumed my berry in anticipation of its sense-altering effects. I swirled the rind in my mouth and let the fruit coat my tongue. Then my trip began. After my first bite of a lime, I knew the berry had worked. The lime juice was no longer lip-puck-

The Right Lager for Your Broth
beer gets gourmet
molly COUSINS contributing writer
Growing up, I couldn’t wait to be able to have a glass of wine with dinner. Swirling the liquid in your glass and throwing around terms like “mouthfeel” just seemed so sophisticated and, well, adult. Beer was what sports fanatics drank in the Eagles Stadium parking lot and college kids guzzled in Animal House. Imagine my surprise, then, on inspecting a restaurant menu in Boston this summer: “Littleneck clams steamed in a garlicky white wine and cream sauce with lemon, served over linguine. Beer suggestion: Hefeweizen or Witbier.” In the last several years, beer consumption in the food world has been elevated from the everyman’s kick-back drink to the realm of the gourmand. The rise of American microbreweries over the last few years is a major factor in this “gourmetization” of beer. Small operations can experiment and create more distinct types and flavors of beer than Anheuser-Busch Co. can. I recently came across a recipe for mussels that called for beer rather than white wine. A few recipes, in fact, claimed that this was a “classic” pairing, but I’d never heard of using beer in seafood recipes, so I decided to try it out. I chose six beers to try with my mussels: Sam Adams Boston Lager, Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron (Brown Ale), Cisco Breweries Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, Delirium Tremens (Dubbel), Smuttynose Robust Porter, and Mayflower Winter Oatmeal Stout. Lured by free food and beer, three of my friends agreed to help me out and lend me their discerning palates. We all agreed that the Smuttynose Robust Porter was not the best pairing. While the beer itself had a great flavor, it brought out the fishiness rather than the sweetness of the mussels and proved altogether too heavy for shellfish. The Mayflower Winter Oatmeal Stout (a brand that became available in Rhode Island only a few weeks ago) made the mussels taste, in a word, interesting. Cisco Breweries Whale’s Tale Pale Ale, though cute in name, was unobjectionable and otherwise uneventful. The Sam Adams Boston Lager was a surprising disaster—usually I think of Sam Adams as a safe bet and rely on it when I recognize nothing else on a menu. Perhaps the flavor doesn’t respond well to heat, but the broth left what can only be described as that taste in your mouth Sunday morning, after a night spent overindulging. The beer itself was rather plain, at least by comparison to the five other flavor-packed beers. That said, the Dogfish Head Palo Santo Marron was incredibly bitter and the darkest of the six beers we tried—sunlight couldn’t penetrate this stuff. For all its heaviness, it did nothing to the mussels’ flavor—but on its own, it lingered on the palate for quite a bit. I was starting to brace myself for a failed endeavor—and then we sampled the Delirium Tremens. Both the beer and the mussels were naturally sweet and slightly fruity and worked wonders together. The broth tasted strangely similar to a classic white wine sauce but with a slightly wheaty aftertaste. The beer was out of this world, reminiscent of effervescent honey, and far less acidic than any of the others we tried—a definite success. We unanimously decided on the Delirium as our favorite beer for cooking and drinking, with the Mayflower, Smuttynose, and Cisco close behind—Dogfish Head and Sam Adams tied for last. In general, the lighter beers paired better with the mussels and proved less offensive as cooking beers. I acknowledge, however, that my taste buds were on the offensive for this eating session—I probably discerned more of these tastes than I usually would have, had I simply been enjoying a meal out. My advice? Be adventurous—test it out for yourself and let the beer do the talking.
Phil Lai

Mussels alla Delirium
Ingredients: 1 lb mussels ½ medium white onion, finely chopped 2 tbsp olive oil 2 tbsp butter or margarine 2 cloves garlic, minced 6 oz beer of your choice Directions: 1. Sauté the onion in butter and olive oil in a 2+” deep pot over medium heat. 2. Add the garlic once the onions are translucent and cook for another 15-30 seconds. 3. Pour in your beer of choice, then a pound of mussels. 4. Place the lid on top, steam for approximately five minutes or until mussels have opened and are opaque—then pour into a large bowl. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro or parsley and serve with hearty white bread for dipping, so you can better taste the broth.

8

sex & etiquette
POST-

Planned Parenthood
MM sexpert

n. 1. the novel concept of the functional family in which informed and healthful parents love and care for their children, who become empowered through education to make active and positive choices; 2. the community healthcare provider, specializing in women’s health and reproductive care.
a hard three percent for the forced-birth movement to get past. Gassel laments the disparity between the 332,278 abortions and the mere 977 adoption agency referrals that Planned Parenthood delivered in 2009. These statistics are misleading, though, because they don’t address the reality of pregnancy counseling at Planned Parenthood, wherein women speak with trained social workers about their options, including parenting and adoption. I recently spoke with Carolyn Mark, the president of Rhode Island NOW, who told me about a recent lobbying session in which a woman testified in favor of reproductive choice. The woman, now a mother, went to Planned Parenthood to request an abortion, but changed her mind during counseling. The counselor, who had no ulterior eugenic agenda, helped the woman evaluate her options. I can’t help wondering how many of those 977 women referred to adoption agencies showed up at Planned Parenthood with the intention of terminating their pregnancies. The remaining 97 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services include the provision of contraception, STI/STD testing and treatment, cancer screening and prevention, pregnancy tests, and prenatal and menopausal consultation. The 1,900 affiliate staff and volunteers providing sex ed to over 1.2 million young Americans dispense information about HIV/AIDS, abstinence, puberty, and (get this) parent-child communication. If I’ve learned anything as a sex columnist at this university, it’s that y’all are doing lots of kinky sh*t. And if, say, your RC runs out of lube and Trojans, it’s probably not going to make you keep your pants on. While Wesleyan’s sex broadcast doesn’t necessarily work to dispel the misconceptions about Planned Parenthood, it does address this truth: We’re having sex, talking about sex, or thinking about sex, all the time. Planned Parenthood works to keep those acts and conversations and thoughts as informed and as safe as possible. With the defunding of this organization comes the devaluing of information about our bodies and our healthcare options, and a loss of our freedom to choose—to act on behalf of our desires for pleasure and safety without compromising either. I join college students across the country in declaring: Yeah, I have sex. And no, not with anyone who acts anything like Mike Pence.

The “I Have Sex” video produced by Wesleyan students was meant to “[start] a student movement to make sure elected leaders know: Americans have sex, and we stand with Planned Parenthood.” If you haven’t seen the viddy, which was uploaded to YouTube two weeks ago and has since gone, er, viral, it’s a quickie montage of Wesleyan kids holding signs proclaiming, “I have sex,” “My friends have sex,” or some similar aphorism expressing sexual solidarity. In February, after the House of Reps approved an amendment to defund Planned Parenthood, sponsored by Indiana Republican Mike Pence, smart people all over the country have been going batsh*t—but instead of starting a national Jizz-onEvery-Extant-Portrait-of-Mike-Pence movement, they’ve resorted to less messy measures, such as Wesleyan’s video campaign. Since “I Have Sex” was posted, similar productions created by students from Bard, Oberlin, Elmira, and study-abroad contingents in Ecuador and France, have gained comparable notoriety. The takeaway is that young people are not going to stop getting nasty

no matter what sexual health resources the government provides. Yeah, the National Survey of Family Growth recently published statistics indicating that fewer teens are having sex—over a quarter of 15- to 24-year-olds polled had never had intercourse. But if 25 percent aren’t getting down and dirty, then 75 percent are—and for them, condom use is at an all-time high and teen pregnancy at nearly half the rate reported in the ’90s. You have to give credit to agencies such as Planned Parenthood and Advocates for Youth, which have worked extensively to supplement public schools’ sex ed programs and disseminate contraceptives over the past couple decades. (Or attribute this windfall to Benedict XVI—but I’m just saying, condoms don’t spontaneously generate at your bedside like manna.) Why cancel funding for Planned Parenthood now, when more young people are wearing rubbers more often than they’re wearing Ugg boots? The stigma that surrounds Planned Parenthood, which provides abortions, has become increasingly prominent in popular politics. As columnist Sarah Gassel ’12 pointed out in last Friday’s BDH, only three percent of Planned Parenthood’s services involve abortions, but it’s

etiquette advice for the socially awkward and their victims Dear Emily, It had been a long day, and I was in the mood to slump in a booth in the Ratty and devour some much-needed pasta. While slogging through the line, I ran into a distant acquaintance. He struck up a conversation, and we chatted amiably. But the end of the line came, and I was no longer interested in being sociable. How to communicate such a thing? I feigned entrancement with the ketchup in order to avoid sitting with him, but there has to be a better way. Unsociably, Really Avoiding Talking To You. Leave, Oaf. Never Ever Return. Dearest RATTY LONER, Emily Post- has departed early for spring break, and is presently writing from the blissful solitude of a hermitage in the Alps. The prospect of an uncomfortable encounter seems as distant now as a life without fresh goat cheese and crisp mountain air. But the people need advice, and Emily is a woman of the people. A person in your situation has two main options: you can either lie, or evade. Emily Post- is personally a devotee of the second method. A polite smile with a hint of froideur can work wonders, especially when it’s followed by a brisk walk in the other direction. It’s a simple but effective way to say, “I have finished with you, plebeian, and would now like to partake of my supper in peace.” But perhaps you possess a kinder, less misanthropic soul, and fear wounding the feelings of this “distant acquaintance.” In that case, one must undertake more delicate modes of evasion. When desirous of a meal without company, it is advisable to enter the Ratty with a book firmly in hand. Emily Post- recommends a weighty tome—one can pretend to read Gone with the Wind for months without exciting suspicion. When your conversation partner has ceased to amuse, simply hold up the book, and say, in a tone of deepest regret, “I would love to talk more, but Scarlett calls.” If he doesn’t immediately take the hint, flip to a random page and assume a rapt expression. Rhett Butler may not give a damn, but you certainly do... or so this dense friend will think. If you enjoy the odd spot of prevarication and are prepared to skulk in a corner behind your copy of the Brown Daily Herald for the rest of dinner, you may also consider claiming that you are meeting friends. “But Emily,” you protest, “lying can’t be good etiquette!” Perhaps not—but if your stock of tolerance has been depleted, a white lie is preferable to grimacing through a half hour of inanities. Besides, even a well-manned girl needs her fun. Speaking of fun, Emily has a strapping Swiss goatherd waiting to give her his undivided attention. Farewell, darling. Practice that frosty smile! Emily Post-

Emily Post-

birth-controlling girlfriends
This week, we proudly introduce Krame of standard split down the middle. Love, the Crop as a guest columnist, subbing in for Krame of the Crop Dorian as he trots sassily around the globe.

Dear Lovecraft and Dorian, I’ve been dating my girlfriend for three months. She finally went on birth control last week, which is awesome because now we don’t have to use condoms. (We’ve both been tested and are monogamous.) The problem is that now she wants me to pay for her birth control. Isn’t that her responsibility? Before she went on the pill, we were using condoms, and I bought them—so I shouldn’t have to shell out $25 every month, right? She’s making me feel like a jerk who’s burdening her financially. Should I just give in and pay for it? Thanks, Boy Opposes Payment Dear BOP, If your girlfriend went on birth control to have awesome, unprotected sex with you, then the pill acts as a replacement for condoms. (This isn’t always the case—many women are on the pill before a relationship and use it to regulate their menstrual cycle.) Just as you were paying for condoms earlier in the relationship, it seems like you should contribute financially to whatever birth control methods she chooses. Even though birth control has become her physical responsibility, this doesn’t bear any relevance on who should pay for it. I’d recommend the

Darlink BOP, While you might not have a uterus, BOP, it is in your best interest to take responsibility for pregnancy prevention, even if it means less money to spend on important things such as Natty Ice and ironic tees. While it was very nice of you to buy all those condoms in the early days of courtship, I think it would be in your best interest to split contraceptive costs 50/50—after all, it takes two to tango (and to make a fetus). Your girlfriend shouldn’t expect you to foot the whole bill, and you shouldn’t expect to be excused from financial responsibility just because the prescription doesn’t have your name on it. You’re both getting the benefits, so you should both share the costs. For some couples, it makes sense for one partner to pay all of the costs—for instance, this might be the best course of action for couples in which only one partner has a job. But in your case, I think it’s best to divide the costs evenly and avoid any resentment. While we’re talking money, I’ll remind you that contraception is always cheaper than an abortion or 18+ years of child support. Suck it up and split it with her. xoxo, Lovecraft

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