Katerina Dalavurak

Tending to Tenure
education, examined
upfront music food sex Southern Belle The Low Anthem Sweet & Salty eduHookups


upfront CONTENTS
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

sweet home, new england \\ zoë hoffman Post- It notes \\ post- staff tendIng to tenURe \\ fred milgrim

03 upfront

04 feature

05 arts & culture

hIttIng home \\ clayton aldern goIng agaInst the gRaIn \\ jennie young carr talK aBoUt TALK \\ emma johnson deFendIng RealItY \\ zack mezera RaVenoUs RaPtURe \\ rémy robert neItheR Clean noR ClassY \\ matt klebanoff

06 arts & culture

07 lifestyles

The trials and tribulations of drunk college kids ... or maybe just the trials and tribulations of a dog in outer space ... Like Me is a new play in the PW Upspace, playing Friday at 7 pm and Saturday at 5 pm. Starring Sarah Dominguez, Mireya Taboada, and Matt Peterson, written and directed by Nic Mooney.

08 sex & etiquette
tRollage \\ mm loVe and seCtIon \\ 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 Zack Mezera Staff Illustrators Anish Gonchigar Phil Lai Carolyn Shasha Shixie Caroline Washburn Kelly Winter Ethan Zisson



Superior Alternatives to Living in a Keeney Quad

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.

1 2 3 4 5

Living in a Keeney triple. Living in a Keeney quad while smoking a sh*tton of weed. Young O. Ever been there? It’s real f*cking nice. Carrie Tower. Tight quarters, one classy view. A single at Cornell. Just kidding!

6 7 8 9 10

Seppuku. Berge Cage. Your Mom. The Rock—by which we mean Alcatraz. Libya.



GALA Rhode Island Convention Center l Sat. 10pm


THE BROWN STORYSLAM Kassar Fox Auditorium l Fri. & Sat. 8pm



THE STORM OF MYSTERY Andrews Dining Hall l Thurs. 7:30pm


JOE ICONIS CONCERT The Underground l Sat. 9pm

APRIL 7, 2011


Sweet Home, New England
southern gal out of water
zoë HOFFMAN contributing writer
Coming to Brown as a transfer student from the University of Virginia, I was worried I would be mistaken as a gun toting, Confederacy-loving Southerner. According to Brown’s Office of Institutional Research, students from the South make up only about 12% of this year’s entering class. Southern matriculation is on par with that of international students. Sometimes it feels like I’m coming from a foreign country. As a native Virginian, I wasn’t sure how Northerners might perceive those of us from below the Mason-Dixon line. Despite my home state, I have never truly thought of myself as a Southerner. I grew up in the Northern Virginia suburbs of DC—a location that does little to foster a love of sweet tea and southern drawls. This is why I was a little shell-shocked when I started my first year at UVA. Charlottesville is a place where Greek Life rules, the use of “y’all” is common, and Lilly dresses are the outfit of choice for football games. I watched as my friends slowly adapted to a more southern lifestyle—joining sororities, going skeet shooting, even developing a bit of a southern twang. It wasn’t uncommon for students to arrive as Democrats and graduate as proud members of the Republican Party. As time went on, I got used to the slower pace of central Virginia. So when I decided to come to Brown, I had to ask myself—What is New England exactly? It’s not that I hadn’t been to New England before. I completed the requisite Northeast college tour during the winter of my junior year. I saw small town after small town during the eleven-hour Vermonter train I took to visit a friend at Dartmouth. Other than those two forays northward, though, my exposure to life in New England was limited to a short bout as a Mighty Midget camper in Maine as a toddler. In other words, I was a New England virgin, inexperienced with the gusty winds of Providence or distinctive Boston accents. So, as I packed up my dorm room in Charlottesville, I didn’t really know what to expect of a northern education. My first few weeks here seemed completely different from my time down South. Gone were the Jack Rogers sandals, the Jeffersonian architecture, and, for the most part, the conservative politics. Alabama native Amy Kallman ’14 also noticed the loss of the southern gentleman, pointing out “guys don’t open doors for me.” Here, along with other southern students, I was an outlier. I was easily identified as a new kid on the block, and it wasn’t just my sensitivity to the cold that gave me away. My knowledge of boarding schools was limited (who knew Phillips Academy and Phillips Exeter weren’t the same?). As a Washington Nationals fan, I had no opinion on the Red Sox vs. Yankees debate. When my friends devoted an entire conversation to discussing the best ice cream on the Cape, I had to admit I had never been. As time passed, I gained an appreciation for the differences between my old home and my new one. I find that more people share my love of chewy, dense bagels—a variety easily found in Providence, but hard to come by in Falls Church, VA. When it snowed a few inches, I didn’t hear cries of a “Snowpocalypse.” In fact, the feeling of overall panic and doom was noticeably absent and, instead of bumperto-bumper traffic on the D.C. Beltway after a light dusting, the streets were cleared in a timely fashion. Underlying these day-to-day dissimilarities seems to be a profound change in attitude as well. Overall, I think the biggest change was the lack of social boundaries here at Brown. The South can often be oldfashioned in that respect, and it’s easy to get stuck in a social group and with a certain reputation. At Brown, sorority girls don’t travel in homogenous packs, varsity athletes aren’t subjects of hero worship, and it’s common to see artsy types grabbing a coffee with someone dressed in boat shoes and a polo. Everywhere you look there are unlikely collaborations that probably wouldn’t fly back at UVA. It’s easy to be accepted as you are without the pressure to conform to a specific stereotype. That’s not to say everyone at Brown is a nonconformist while everyone in the South adheres to tradition. After all, I’ve observed that the uniform for female students may have simply shifted from sundresses at UVA to combat boots and thick-rimmed glasses here in Providence. There is, however, a distinction in the treatment of those who would normally be perceived as outsiders. Take me for example. Sure, I get teased from time to time about being from the South, but my friends recognize that not all Southerners are members of the NRA or soft-spoken southern belles. I’m proud to be from Virginia, but I’m also happy to live here as a temporary New Englander. And, hey, if I ever miss the South, all I have to do is head over to Sigma—because frat basements are pretty much the same wherever you go.

what we’re doing this week


blown away by Childish Gambino, the filthy, smartass rapper alter ego of Donald Glover, AKA Troy on Community.


impulse buying The RL Gang, Ralph Lauren’s shoppable children’s book. No child left without a polo!


happily overwhelmed by the Britishness of Arthur. Cheerio, scones, and crumpets, guv’nah!

TV is

picturing Ray Barone, GOB Bluth, and Ron Burgundy tag-teaming Dunder Mifflin Scranton. THREAT LEVEL: MIDNIGHT!


taking a nap, downing an energy drink, and heading to Leeds to TALK about beatniks and Bretonites.


drunk-bartering for $3 dumplings at the Korean BBQ Truck. The prices aren’t cheap, but at least it’s not a Korean Winnebago.


classing it up at the GCB, with a basil cocktail in hand. It’s so refreshing to enjoy an herb without smoking it.

Marissa Ilardi



Tending to Tenure
education, examined
features editor
suggests two options—the McKinsey study shows that having an above average teacher, even at the kindergarten level, actually increases a student’s lifetime income. Further research suggests that the Japanese system, which employs larger classrooms equipped with better teachers, is beneficial to students’ learning and would thus garner higher wages and more respect for the teaching profession. It seems necessary that we reevaluate our hiring methods for public school teachers. We could start by injecting some of our State budget into the syscent tenure changes, less than a month old. Back in 2009, during the reaccreditation process, peer universities referenced our unusually high tenure rate (72% of all faculty, and 87% of those that apply are granted tenure). In response, the Provost (at the request of The Corporation of Brown University) put together a committee to reassess the process. In short, the committee approved changes that make it harder for faculty to receive tenure. Our numbers were definitely high. Is it possible that we are protecting faculty private university. Talking with one of my professors, the generally well liked (and newly tenured, yay!) Deak Nabers of the English department put a few things into perspective. “I was treated incredibly fairly,” said Nabers, “and Brown wants that.” He emphasized that everyone wants to be given a chance and that Brown has fostered a positive reputation for professors. It’s an attractive place to be. That said, he seemed to take the position that the undergraduate student body at Brown is outstanding. Part of the desire to toughen the tenure review process is to make sure that the faculty is as top notch as its student body, to keep the increasingly bright classes on their toes. Here we are again, though, with the vicious cycle—which he too recognized. The brightest and easiest students to teach get taught by the best teachers, who receive the best pay, garner high esteem, and receive the most job security. Meanwhile, kindergarten teachers, who arguably have the greatest influence on a child’s trajectory, receive none of these things. Even the discussion of tenure amendments comes back to public school shortcomings. I think about a fifth grade classroom in Providence where I volunteer once a week, and when I compare this environment to my own Massachusetts suburban public school, I shudder at the disadvantages that these students face. It’s glaringly clear that the system needs to be reinvigorated. My consolation, for now, is that Brown students are lining up to join organizations like TFA, which have made it their goal to revive public schools around the country. If we want this country to thrive in the future, we need to stop the inequity here. While taking away the salaries of our teachers might momentarily boost limping state budgets, it only perpetuates the real problem. If we continue to tell ourselves that subpar schools and teachers are satisfactory, then we will continue to churn out generations of underachieving adults. After all, I assume that is part of Brown’s mission too—to have the best faculty in order to foster “intellectual renewal.” The means are different, but the ends have to be the same: better teachers. Brown is concerned that its faculty is too pampered, so hiring processes need to be more stringent. Hell, maybe we should just trash tenure and make it incentive based. For the American public school, though, selective hiring is only part of the answer. Yes, I believe that we should be more careful in choosing our teachers, but taking away funds from an already depleted field will not yield results. So put money back into the system, cut corners by increasing classroom size… do something. I just don’t think it is fair to criticize our teachers until we give them a chance to succeed. Our sustained growth relies on our ability to enhance the reputation of our educators, public and private, so that our fifth graders want to grow up to be teachers.
Caroline Washburn


In the United States, the issue of education is highly polarized. The disparities among our school systems, from primary to tertiary, and public to private, are quite baffling, and yet, very few people are willing to do anything about it. In Finland, the teaching profession is one of the most coveted careers. There, the field of teaching is more or less equivalent to areas like medicine or law in the U.S. Teachers undergo extensive training, and only the top tier candidates are allowed to become educators. It is a depressing reality that, as many advances as the U.S. has made, there has been a drop in the quality of the American public education system. A March 12 New York Times op-ed on the current battle between Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and a host of others in the educational field cited a study by McKinsey & Company, which states that 47% of K-12 teachers come from the bottom third of their college classes. It also notes that workforce discrimination once forced many women into teaching, but now, brilliant women are spreading themselves more thinly across more desirable vocations. Don’t get me wrong—I believe in equal opportunity, but it seems that it has adversely affected the quality of teaching available to American students. Of course, it makes sense to look outside the teaching profession. No matter the gender of the teacher, there just isn’t as much money in teaching for newly minted (and highly indebted) Masters degree recipients. The same op-ed offers this example: in 1970, a New York City starting teacher’s salary was only $2,000 less than that of a new lawyer entering a reputable law firm. Now, the difference is $115,000. So, let’s get to the source of the problem—we don’t pay our teachers enough. Think back to 2008 when CEOs were being asked to forego their million dollar bonuses and all hell broke loose. Now, Governor Walker wants to balance the state budget by cutting into public school funding, because a median salary of $39,000 plus dental benefits is stifling the economy, whereas the trillions of dollars we have poured into our ongoing wars are not. The cycle is vicious. We can’t attract good teachers because we refuse to pay them what they deserve—while other countries respect and reward their educators, we are quick to strip them of vital resources. So we force unqualified teachers into the system, in turn causing officials to point fingers at “lazy” teachers who fail to produce the desired test scores. But we cannot and will not affect change by decreasing salaries even more. The only way to improve the quality of teaching in public schools is to throw a wrench into the system and increase salaries, because something’s got to give. Sure, revenue would have to come from somewhere. The op-ed

tem in order to attract more desirable candidates. By hiring fewer teachers, we could save money and avoid bringing average teachers into classrooms. Think about your classes at Brown— it doesn’t matter whether you’re in a lecture or a 20 person seminar—if a teacher is great s/he can excite a class, if merely average, students don’t try to mask their boredom. A friend of mine teaching for Teach For America in inner city Boston overheard a coworker yelling at a student one day for getting a D on a test. He heard the teacher say, “Look at me, I got Cs and Ds when I was in school and now I’m a teacher. You don’t want to be a teacher, do you?” Regardless of the student’s reply, it’s a frightening reality that even the teachers have written themselves off. How can you get an 11-year-old motivated when you have no self-respect? So we have addressed the low end of the spectrum, but what about the upper echelon? America has one of the most prominent tertiary school systems, compared to its abysmal primary and secondary schools. Perhaps our primary school system could take a page out of Brown’s playbook and study the re-

that, like some in the K-12 system, just shouldn’t be here? Perhaps the changes are warranted, but I’m always leery of private corporations making financial decisions concerning the common good, and specifically, education. Where do we draw the line between fiscal responsibility and cutting too many corners? The government has always been stingy with education. At least Brown’s private interests are backed by important academic standards. According to the Brown Daily Herald, the tenure review committee, consisting of nine tenured faculty members and two administrators, announced at the beginning of the processes that the high tenure acceptance rate “imposes constraints on hiring and restricts opportunities, limits the ability to expand into new and important areas of scholarship (and) reduces the turnover that is vital to intellectual renewal.” This seems like a fair point—and parallel to the one I’m making about public education. My gut reaction to the tenure changes was one of sympathy for our faculty, but after giving it some thought, it would be hypocritical of me to suggest that we axe crappy public school teachers while spoon-feeding professors at a


arts & culture

Hitting Home
staff writer

APRIL 7, 2011

Emily Oliveira

the low anthem at their folkin’ finest
of all this, the group churns out slick-as-butter fourpart vocal harmonies (check out “Charlie Darwin” from 2009’s Oh My God Charlie Darwin). Smart Flesh was recorded in Porino’s Pasta Sauce Factory, a not-quite-decrepit industrial site in Central Falls. Porino’s adds to the character of each track on the album, equally impacting the hymn-like nature of songs like “Matter of Time” and jangly stompers like “Boeing 737.” The factory complements the structure of the songs with an open reverb that couldn’t be mimicked in a closed studio. The site, simultaneously languid and enigmatic, was a fitting choice for the recording on another front, as it embodies the sound of the album as a whole. Smart Flesh is spacious, plodding and tremendously sad: an abandoned factory in its own right, primed and ready for exploration. Take your time with the album (although the turtle-paced tempo prevents you from doing much else). Smart Flesh wasn’t written for a picnic; brace yourself for the despondency before it hits. On “Ghost Woman Blues,” Knox Miller echoes George Carter with “On my way home, by that lonesome graveyard / A ghost jumps up and says ‘Come on, be my man.’” And you believe him—only a haunted man could sing something that haunting. The March 12 album release party, also at Porino’s, showcased the Low Anthem’s stunning musicianship. The recorded spectacle of Smart Flesh requires no downscaling onstage. Instead, the band members are in constant motion, trading instruments and spaces from song to song in order to fulfill the hefty requirements of their songwriting. The calm, wheezing sigh that is the sound of the new album is visually a dynamic, swirling entity. Despite Knox Miller’s onstage observation that the mass of people at the

clayton ALDERN

Strong folk music is an Americana-studded roadtrip—a dusty El Camino stocked with honest lyricism, simple chord progressions, and a cup o’ pure and gritty insta-nostalgia. If the vehicle stays its course, the route culminates in wonderfully poignant pieces of despair, loss and rebirth. The Low Anthem is absolutely on this track. The quartet, composed of Brown grads and based out of Providence, recently released their fourth album Smart Flesh in February of this year. The new disc potentiates the group’s already solid work to an extraordinary new level, resulting in a fresh new addition to modern folk. And with an appearance on David Letterman behind them and a tour with Iron and Wine slated for the coming months, it appears that the musicians are finally receiving the recognition they deserve. The first incarnation of the group emerged in 2006 after Ben Knox Miller and Jeff Prystowsky met at WBRU, the student-run radio station on campus. What began as a completely hand-produced project (read: dumpsterdiving for cardboard to use for album inserts) has evolved into a quiet juggernaut on the Rhode Island and, recently, national folk scene. Five years, two additional members, and three albums later, Smart Flesh shows off the group at its folkin’ finest. Knox Miller, Prystowsky, and co. offer a too-rare combination of intricate songwriting and spectacular musicianship. Jocie Adams (another Brown alum and an ex-NASA employee) is a classically trained clarinetist, which means those intriguing ambient notes aren’t synthesized—rather, they’re perfectly controlled breaths through the licorice stick. Other notable musical appearances on Low Anthem tracks include a pump organ, a stand-up bass, crotales, a bowed saw, a dulcimer, and something wonderfully brassy (possibly a euphonium). This is a true troupe of musicians. Of course, on top

show dampened much of the factory’s innate tone, it was apparent how much the environment added to the music. Moonlight through half-blacked-out windows and industrial-style stage lighting revealed a band that is passionate about and committed to its work. Rolling Stone’s David Fricke calls Smart Flesh “despairing songs at crippled-spirit speed.” Indeed, the mournful, echoing recordings on the album are the embodiment of a singer-songwriter and band that confront sadness in a well-oiled, tried-and-true manner. But there is more than despair in Smart Flesh. The Low Anthem creates a melancholy that is gorgeous and melodic, music that resonates with anyone that has known yearning or regret. The outstanding musicianship generates a cathartic sense of triumph—a coming-of-age story to which we can all relate. This is where Smart Flesh shines: the Low Anthem hits home because it is home.
Kate Atherton


Going Against the Grain
also, vampires
literary editor
troduce the Kindle, and the iPad wasn’t even a gleam in Steve Jobs’s eye. These gadgets have altered self-publishing so dramatically that a comparison to the world of 10 years ago is essentially meaningless. The system used to be much more clear-cut. You toiled over a book for a few years, then brought it to a literary agent. If the work had sufficient promise, he would secure a contract with a publishing house for you, and that publishing house would then manage editing and marketing. Your job was to fill plot holes and rewrite inelegant sentences, maybe do some book readings in local stores, and wait for your 10 percent of the royalties. Self-publishing was a losing game. After paying the overhead costs of printing your book, you faced the considerable challenge of marketing it and finding a readership. It’s still not an easy road to success, but the increased popularity of e-readers—and thus e-books—has made self-publishing a practicable proposition. Programs such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing allow writers to sell their books in the Amazon Kindle Store, which is accessible to a wide variety of devices. The program is free and offers authors 70 percent of royalties. Suddenly, selfpublishing looks a lot less pathetic. There are limitations to self-publishing, though, a fact that Hocking recognizes. “People have bad things to say about publishers,” she told The New York Times, “but I think they still have services, and I want to see what they are. And if they end up not being any good, I don’t have to keep using them.” That kind of take-it-or-leave-it attitude about the titans of publishing is jarring, but appropriate in these circumstances. As a self-made success, Hocking is in a unique position to reimagine the power dynamic between author and publishing house. She will not be tied exclusively to St. Martin’s, nor will she depend on it for her livelihood. Rather, she has stated emphatically and repeatedly that she will continue to self-publish, and that she may actually lose money on the books she allows St. Martin’s to publish. “But,” she reassures readers on her blog, “I’m making enough money on my other books—and I will continue to make enough on my self-published books—that I can afford to take this risk.” But why take such a risk? Hocking’s alliance with St. Martin’s Press is like a marriage between a nouveau riche American industrialist and the daughter of a British lord. Crude earning power meets tradition and refinement—ultimately, polish results. Hocking has admitted that her novels will benefit from the more intensive editing that they’ll receive—her freelance editors just aren’t cutting it. And, with the marketing team of a prestigious publishing house pushing her books, Hocking has the potential to become a household name, a status that she equates with career stability. “I want to be the impulse buy that people make when they’re waiting in an airport because they know my name,” she wrote on her blog. At this point, you’re probably wondering what Ms. Hocking’s books are actually like. In possession of a Kindle and time to kill, I launched an investigation. 99 cents bought me a 332-page tome entitled My Blood Approves. While I respect the author as a businesswoman, her jejune prose made me wince. (Painful moment: the 17-yearold heroine asks her cryptic suitor, “What’s your angle?” His response: “Isosceles.”) It was like the diary of a teenage girl without exceptional wit or perception, plus some stuff about blood. Literary merit has never been a requirement for an author to become a bestseller, so perhaps Hocking’s move into print will win her the status that she craves. At the very least, let’s hope for a better editor.


Switch on your Kindle or iPad and a vast, unregulated bookstore is at your fingertips—the Wild West of the publishing industry. Traditional publishing houses dominate the realm of printed books, but online venues allow savvy, independent authors to work outside the system and self-publish e-books. Amanda Hocking is perhaps the most successful of these authors. After several publishers rejected her paranormal romance novels, she decided to sell them herself. Melodrama and hunky vampires are a winning combination—19 novels later, she’s made nearly two million dollars. Last week, though, this badass, anti-establishment figure made a surprising decision. She signed a deal with St. Martin’s Press, thus joining the system. Her controversial move raises questions about the viability of self-publishing and the role of publishing houses in this radically altered literary landscape. Outraged readers have accused Hocking of selling out. She defended her decision on her blog, writing, “It is crazy that we live in a time that I have to justify taking a seven-figure publishing deal with St. Martin’s. 10 years ago, nobody would question this. Now everybody is.” While this is true, her point is irrelevant. Stretch your mind back to the technological wasteland that existed a decade ago. Amazon had yet to in-


arts & culture


Talk about Talk
theatre editor
Monday, February 28 Oh Diary, I have good news! So it turns out I’m not actually playing a man. Apparently the text doesn’t really mind which gender my character is! Anyway, at rehearsal today, we read through the play for the first time, and OMG the writer was there. Like he was just sitting at the end of the table chilling with us in his beret. STRESSFUL.COM! Diary, I wish I could tell you what the play is about, but I just don’t think I get it! What I can tell you is that there are lots of words (memorization is gonna be a bitch). I bet you’re into that, though— cuz you’re a diary. ROFL! You should definitely come and see it. Friday, March 4 Hey Di-di, This week was spent chitchatting, hammering out all the “whats” and “whys,” and many, many “whos.” Erik, our lovely director, has asked us to bring in daily research in order to compile this huge dramaturgical database. I’ve been focusing on the stuff my character is an expert on— postmodernism, surrealism, Dadaism, abstract expressionism, the Beats, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Breton … I’ve also been printing lots of photographs, and I’m really pleased with them—my printer ran out of ink, so they look very hipster.

the secret diary of a stage actress
Tuesday, March 15 Dear Diary, We’ve now begun the mammoth task of getting the play on its feet. Which has also meant that we’ve been spending more time … on our feet. Stretching and jumping and doing yoga and sh*t. Now, diary, you know I’m really not a fan of engaging my body in any sort of exertion, but I’ve tried to make things easier for myself on the sun-saluting-downwarddogging front by wearing sweatpants. Of course, I still can’t touch my toes, but that would just be asking too much! Well, anyway, diary, I shouldn’t complain. I’m sure all this is vital for the alignment of my spiritual, physical, and emotional cores, and ensuring that my metaphysical aura doesn’t turn rancid! Thursday, March 17 Today we were supposed to be off book. No comment. Friday, March 25 Tomorrow we leave for spring break. Right now, the show is running about six hours, and the dreams that I am having about a snoring audience are making me perspire profusely. Sunday, April 3 Diary, This may be my last entry ever. I’m going to jump off the OMAC now, and you can’t stop me. The show goes up in four days, and I think I’ve missed the boat for memorizing my lines. Or the plane, more precisely, because I totally planned to memorize them really hard on my flight in from California last night. How was I supposed to know that the woman in the row behind me would decide to have a seizure, miles above freaking Arizona in a really distracting and traumatic way?! The squeaky southern stewardess turned it into a full on pandemonium, it really wasn’t a conducive environment for any kind of learning. Tuesday, April 5 Oh diary! It finally feels like we are on our way to a climax, just in time for the show. I had been feeling so weary about the way things were looking, but tonight for the first time I was like damnnnn we might actually have reached a presentable state. Which is such a relief—so many hours have gone into trying to mount and manage this masterpiece of a play, it would be rather sad if it sucked. Will Emma Johnson remember her lines? Find out this weekend and next at TALK, April 7-10 and 14-17 in Leeds Theatre.


Friday, February 4 Dear Diary, Today I got cast in Talk. Surprise of the century: I’m playing a man. It’s not even funny anymore! I thought I covered all bases to prevent this happening again—I wore my teeny-weeny skirt to the auditions, and when I read the monologue I did that thing with my lips and nostrils that gives me a kind of pouty look. I don’t get it, diary—what am I doing wrong? Tell me: Is there a moustache on my face wearing an invisibility cloak that everyone except me can see through?

film & tv

jake gyllenhaal puts on a shirt
Stephanie Vecellio

Defending Reality
to much more self-serious films like 12 Monkeys and the delightfully Gordian Primer. The second strand, a new kid on the block, is the mind/body genre. Its hallmark is the idea that there exists some kind of alternate reality accessible by the mind. The Matrix was the first in this line of mind/body movies, but films like Vanilla Sky, Avatar, and Inception have broken new ground in the genre. In many ways, Source Code feels like the culmination of these two strands, the fulfillment of some longstanding promise. With this bridging, science fiction seems to be pointing toward a capital-T Truth. It is interesting that these films about time travel and alternate reality are some of the highest-grossing of all time. Indeed, we literally buy into these ideas—to the tune of billions of dollars. One could easily claim that these films are a coping mechanism for the strains of everyday life. We openly admit that we often watch movies to imagine an escape (don’t we all want to go to Hogwarts?). But some are more powerful—when the escape hits almost too close to home, too close to reality itself. James Cameron made the world of Pandora seem so real, so unattainably beautiful, that some came down with “Avatar Depression Syndrome.” They just couldn’t bear the real world, which literally paled in comparison.

staff writer
But when we watch movies like Inception or Source Code, we don’t just do so passively, drooling over a world of which we can never be a part. Instead, there’s a hero we identify with, a character we discover ourselves in and pour our hopes into—the actors’ enviable physiques notwithstanding. In all of these films, the hero is the person searching and fighting for the objective truth, for reality. The audience cheers on the guys like Neo and Cobb who defend our reality. Even in time travel films, the good guys usually find a way, accidentally or not, to preserve continuity and return to when they came from. So when Cypher chooses to live in the Matrix, to eat steak and presume that “ignorance is bliss,” the audience instinctively knows he is the villain. Because the heroes of these movies are defenders of the real, we are in fact rooting for our own reality. By negating various unrealities, whether alternate timelines or computer simulations, we rediscover and are reassured of our own existence. And by bridging both the time travel and

Well we’re right in the thick of them now, the post-Oscar/pre-summer cinematic doldrums. The time of year when studios often release those films they’re almost embarrassed to have produced, like Mars Needs Moms and the latest Mel Gibson tirade/movie. But it’s also the prime time for those genre flicks that might just be a little too weird or ambitious for the general public’s taste. Case in point: last week’s Source Code. Jake Gyllenhaal—who thankfully has cut his hair and put on a shirt following Prince of Persia—stars as a young army officer who spookily finds himself occupying someone else’s body on a train set to explode in eight minutes. His mission, the Orwellian telescreen lady tells him, is to enter this strange man’s consciousness in order to find the bomber and stop his next attack in the real world. What follows is a surprisingly fun ride: action with just the right amount of human touch, certainly worth the trip down the Hill. While a solid film in its own right, Source Code is also a commendable entry in the long tradition of science fiction thrillers. Moreover, it is the ambitious love child of two parallel strands of sci-fi films. The first strand is a distinguished line of time travel flicks, ranging from the light-hearted Back to the Future and Bill and Ted,

mind/body traditions, Source Code successfully doubles down on humanity. All Gyllenhaal’s character is asking for in this movie is to die: the ultimate affirmation of humanity and reality. If you’ve got the time, Source Code is a flick worth catching. It is a tad melodramatic, but compared to the cookie-cutter cash cows of late, Duncan Jones’s film gleams like a beacon in the fog, lighting a hopeful path for popular cinema. When viewed within the tradition of great time travel and mind/body films, the film yet again reinforces our belief that “virtual” reality just isn’t good enough. The top must fall, the Matrix must end. Source Code is one more reminder that there’s an even better dream outside the dreamworld—an affirmation that there is in fact “no place like home.”

APRIL 7, 2011



Sugar in the Salt Shaker
NaCl + C6H12O6 = awesome!
rémy ROBERT food columnist
What is it about the siren call of salty sweetness? The two tastes have a kind of bewitching effect on one another. Sugar softens salt, salt amplifies sugar, and the combination is a harmonious little parcel, greater than the sum of its parts. In a world where chefs are cooking with the likes of flavored foams and powders, this trend isn’t just accessible—it actually makes a lot of sense. I remember tapping into this genius during the Wendy’s trips of my childhood, when I would plunge French fries into my chocolate Frosty. It felt like a delicious rebellion against the prescriptive conventions of what we should eat and when we should eat them. But by the time I discovered the dynamic duo of salt and sugar in those fast food forays, Henri Le Roux had long since invented the miracle of salted caramel. One imagines a rotund, jolly Frenchman, tinkering around his rustic kitchen and getting the wacky idea to toss some salt in with the swirling caramel. The confection took France by storm, and the rest of the world with it. After that watershed year of 1976, Le Roux won the award for the best candy in France (no small task). Today, his company makes a life-affirming salted caramel spread that can be used in lieu of butter on toast, cream cheese on bagels, or Nutella on everything. On this side of the Atlantic, there are plenty of ways to get your paws on salt and sugar’s magical and multifarious coupling. In one giant leap for mankind, Ben & Jerry’s recently unveiled a new flavor with a crack-like addictiveness—Late Night Snack, a vanilla bean ice cream with ribbons of gooey caramel and crispy fudge-covered potato chip clusters throughout. It is truly a late night snack for the ages, and a dangerous addition to any Micro-Fridge. Candymaker Vosges Haut-Chocolat gained notoriety with Mo’s Bacon Bar, which is spangled with bits of applewood-smoked bacon and a dose of Alderwood smoked salt. The company also came out with a baconchocolate pancake mix. The pairing can be perilously redolent of a fancified dog treat. Nonetheless, pork is ideal for salty-sweet ventures—it’s sweet enough on its own to blend right in with new playmates. My favorite rendition involves praline bacon*, but I’ve also been daydreaming about a pulled pork and coleslaw sandwich, served shamelessly on a glazed donut bun. Seems like something for the dark depths of the blog “This Is Why You’re Fat,” but then it dawns on you … this is a crazy, twisted, brilliant scheme. Chocolate, in all its lush, velveteen glory, is an obvious counterpoint to the salty edge of potato chips or bacon, but salt works with sugar even beyond the realm of cocoa. In the South, we salt our watermelon—it’s a counterintuitive coup that magnifies the melon’s summery sweetness. Adding just a pinch of salt to orange juice has a similar effect. (Before you try any of this at home, it’s best to procure a jar of fleur de sel, a deluxe sea salt with ethereal crystals that melt on your tongue like snowflakes.) Like light filtered through a prism, sweetness comes alive with the extra push of good ol’ NaCl. Burst forth, nab that salt, and shake it.
*To prepare, cook bacon as usual, but toss in a mixture of brown sugar, chopped pecans, and chili powder—if you are so bold—after the first ten minutes of cooking.

Chocolate Caramel Crack
… So called because it’s absurdly addictive. My recipe is adapted from Smitten Kitchen, but there are lots of renditions floating around. Some of my Jewish friends switch in matzo during Passover. Ingredients: 40 Saltine crackers 2 sticks salted butter 1 cup packed light brown sugar ½ teaspoon vanilla extract ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 ½ cups bittersweet chocolate chips Extra sea salt Directions: 1. Preheat oven to 350°F. 2. Line an 11x17” baking sheet with aluminum foil. 3. Pave the sheet with Saltines, perfectly covering the foil. 4. In a saucepan, melt the butter and sugar, stirring frequently. When it starts boiling, stir vigorously for three more minutes. 5. Remove from heat; stir in vanilla and salt. 6. Quickly pour caramel over the Saltines—spreading quickly, as it will set lickety-split. It’s easiest to do this with a friend (teamwork!). 7. Bake for 12-15 minutes, watching closely to make sure nothing burns. 8. Sprinkle chocolate chips all over, then leave alone for five minutes so the chocolate can do its thang. 9. Spread the melted chocolate in an even layer over the crackers. Sprinkle with sea salt. 10. Refrigerate to set, then break into pieces, and eat your heart out.


Neither Clean nor Classy
roughing it at the grand canyon
Phil Lai


managing editor
were spectacular—more striking than anywhere else I’ve ever visited. The accommodations, on the other hand … not so much. Unlike the vacations I’ve taken with my parents, my trip to the Canyon didn’t involve cushy resorts, tropical beaches, or Mickey Mouse. My hotel room, in fact, consisted of a small blue tent, with just enough room for five people to sleep side by side. The lodgings were Spartan but adequate, though I feared that they wouldn’t provide sufficient protection from the animals roaming about. Bears weren’t an issue, but I was told to watch out for mountain lions, scorpions, snakes, coyotes, and perhaps even chipmunks. (At first, I secretly welcomed the prospect of chipmunks coming into our tent to cuddle and sing us Christmas carols, until I remembered that rabies exists, whereas sweater-wearing squirrels do not.) By the time I’d had the good fortune to catch sight of a rattlesnake and hear a pack of coyotes howling eerily nearby, I was firmly of the opinion that nature would be best enjoyed without all that damn wildlife. Aside from the pesky presence of fauna, I quickly found the lack of hot water to be another failing of the outdoors. How was I supposed to wash my face, I wondered, with cold water? It would just close up my pores and lock dirt inside! Hot water is necessary for cleansing—that’s just science. Without it, I was also unable to shave for a week, which presented me with a major problem: I have sensitive skin and quick-growing facial hair, which causes irritation if left untamed. Some campsites didn’t even have running water to use for hand-washing, so for the entire week, I was covered in Purell—a constant reminder of last year’s swine flu epidemic. In a similar vein, very few of the campgrounds offered showers. Oddly enough, “Horse Camp,” as it was named, was one of the few campsites where showers were a possibility. (“It’s not for horses,” the campground matron assured us. “There’s just a horse trail nearby and some stables over there.” For me, this wasn’t very comforting.) At Horse Camp, two dollars in quarters bought you six minutes of hot, wonderful water—it had only been three days since my last shower, but I still thought to myself, “This must be what it’s like when people get home from Survivor.” Surprisingly, though, forgoing daily showers wasn’t a big problem. Though I most certainly didn’t smell piney-fresh, it was comforting that everyone else on the trip smelled roughly the same, so no one could be judged. And after a while, we all became unaware of our unsavory odor—our olfactory senses somehow managed to occupy themselves with

“If you need to pee, do it at least 200 feet away from the trail and any running water. If you need to poop, the same rules apply, but you have to dig a hole six inches deep, and then fill it up afterward—I have a trowel you can borrow. Oh, yeah, if you use toilet paper, you have to bag it up. I have some extra baggies if you need them.” So a fellow geology concentrator announced last week before we all embarked on an eight-mile hike through Tonto National Forest in Arizona. An inexperienced woodsman and hiker, I was immediately taken aback by these rules. I barely ever stray more than 15 miles away from a Cheesecake Factory or a Banana Republic—in other words, I’m sort of an indoorsman. My initial trepidation soon gave way to contentment and awe as I walked across the dusty brown desert landscape and gazed in every direction at the hilly volcanic rock, dotted all over with swarrow and prickly pear cacti. This was the first stop on the geology undergrad field trip to Arizona this spring break, where we made a pilgrimage to the mecca of geologic sites—the Grand Canyon— along with several other impressive sites, which included an enormous, natural rock bridge and a massive crater formed by a meteor impact 50,000 years ago. Of course, the views at all of the sites

non-bodily aromas, especially at Horse Camp. To be honest, though, in the world of camping, I had it easy. There was always a bathroom available, every night I enjoyed a large, warm meal, and at bedtime I curled up in a warm, plush sleeping bag. Besides, part of the fun of camping is getting kind of gross and knowing it’s socially acceptable. There’s no way to stay clean or classy when you’re camping—and rightfully so. By the end of the week, I let go of any hopes of maintaining personal hygiene, and urinating indoors started to feel unnatural. In my flannel shirt and hiking boots, washing down mouthfuls of beef jerky with swigs of dark beer, I realized that being outside 24/7 didn’t seem so unusual anymore. Still, at the end of the trip, I was glad to no longer live “off the grid”—i.e., somewhere where cell reception is spotty. And above all, I was glad to have constant access once again to restrooms, rather than a trowel.


sex & etiquette

n. a website that lets users cyber-cruise according to the university they attend; notably, University of Chicago’s www.eduHookups.com invites students from eight colleges to solicit poon on a public forum
MM sexpert
to “change the ages-old stereotype that UChicago students are severely sexually deprived.” The site originated as a coding project, but quickly turned into a public service endeavor to controvert depictions of UChicago as a place where “the squirrels are cuter than the girls and more aggressive than the guys.” The site’s creators abased another adage that U of C is where “fun comes to die” by taglining their header, “eduHookups: Where fun comes to thrive,” in a chill, embossed Lucida Handwriting. I don’t know jack about web design, but I do know that Spotted at Brown and Prospect & Meeting get an A for usability, and give pretty explicit instructions about what buttons to press. I can’t say the same for eduHookups, whose table layout might have been designed by Carlton Banks circa 1995. Though members can sort listings by selecting their school in a drop-down box, there’s no internal Brown page. In other words, WashU users can see everything that Northwestern students are saying to each other (which might be valuable for schools located within a 50-mile radius of each other, but isn’t super functional for us Yankees). In fact, even non-members can read the propositions passed between horn-dogs from states away—which is how I’m able to cite authentic quotes such as, “Let me f*ck the nerd out of you,” and, “Looking for a frat star to rock your world? Lets meet up, I may even superman you with my letters.” I don’t mean to hate so hard on this venue for no-strings sex. Casual hookups can be incredibly fulfilling, especially when one party has explicitly communicated his or her intentions and desires, and another has voluntarily responded. And I love online exchanges of any kind—they’re easy, resourceful, and effing efficient. You know what gets me really wet? Gmail. I’m pretty sure if I drag-and-dropped enough attachments I could actually get off. But eduHookups makes me uncomfortable. Maybe if there were a dragand-drop function, or fewer spam ads in the ShoutBox, or more women users, or less UChicago ubiquity, I wouldn’t feel so weird about publishing my donutthemed, ethnic-exotifying scrotum fantasy. eduHookups doesn’t feign a democratic service as its modus operandi. Instead, there’s an entire tab (wedged between “Safety” and “FAQ”) devoted to “Ads,” which lets businesses know exactly what to do to promote their tchotchkes in the sidebars. “We need new members,” blurts the homepage. “Register now!” On March 18, Jay Leno said of the web page, “A place to hook up with college kids? There’s already a place for that. It’s called college.” As if this were an endorsement eduHookups, the site adduces this quote several times: “Comedian Jay Leno probably described it best ... Clearly, the desire for the services we offer is also shared by students across the nation.” Not to be a wet blanket here, but I think The Tonight Show is maybe, I don’t know, mocking you? A tad? I read about this a few days ago on Huffington Post, and I swear I tried to reserve judgment until Brown got officially roped in. Maybe we can use this site, not to talk about our blue balls and thong sizes, but to facilitate really rewarding sexual—or even platonic— experiences. Maybe we can make a conscious effort not to be intolerant, whether it’s of gender or ethnicity or academic concentration or year of study (I’ve seen ’em all). Before that happens, I’m going to remain cynical. If I miss an opportunity to get pegged in the ass with a pastry by a blowdart fetishist, then I guess that’s my loss. I’ll have to use one of Brown’s existing hookup websites to fulfill that fantasy.

I’m writing this over Spring Break from a couch in California, so forgive me if, by the time you’re seeing it, the website in question has blown up all over campus and my entire readership has registered as members. But there are several reasons I think this is unlikely. First, there’s not, like, a glaring deficit of casual sex at Brown. Second, there’s not, like, a glaring deficit of facilitative websites at Brown. Third, I suspect that solicitations for beejays from women who are “rich and objectively beautiful,” that specify “humanities majors need not apply,” and that are signed “respectfully yours,” will meet more than the modicum of the skepticism that characterizes the Brown community. I can’t see even the drunkest of biddies responding unironically to a thread titled, “WILL SCREW ANYONE BEFORE 2 AM.” (“Look yo, it’s the last day of Winter quarter, and I want to put my dick in somebody. Seriously.”) But lo, April 4 marked the Brown University launch of eduHookups. Finally, we are privy to the porny community of dick-wetters started by University of Chicago students as an effort

etiquette advice for the socially awkward and their victims Dear Emily, You know how, after enough tequila, almost anything seems like a good idea? Well. Last weekend, suffering from the tequila effect, I decided to exercise my heteroflexibility and hook up with my roommate. When I woke up the next morning, I was ready to forget the whole thing, but she seems to have taken it a little more seriously. She keeps talking about how “crazy” and “hilarious” it would be if we hooked up again. Emily, I totally love my roommate— but I don’t want to get involved with her. What should I do? -Cute Roommate Understandably Suggests Hedonism tion the beefy frat boy that ogled you in the Ratty. Discuss your decidedly heterosexual pursuits at FishCo 2.0. Decorate your wall with (male) prophylactic flowers. On the other hand, you could embrace her advances. Last weekend certainly won’t be the last time that you imbibe tequila. Sometime soon you’ll need to blow off steam (pun gleefully intended), and your roommate is closer than next door. If you absolutely must sate your hetero-thirst, use her playful advances to propose a ménage-a-trois. Trust me—you won’t hurt her feelings. Take last Wednesday, for instance. Having over-indulged my taste for south-of-theborder saguaro juice, I stumbled—gracefully—back to my room. Quite by accident, CRUSH, my cherub, I bumped into my roommate as she was While your opening question was prob- coming from the performance of her nightly ably rhetorical, Emily Post- would like to ablutions. The minty freshness of her breath assure you that she is well-acquainted with was intoxicating, and as my lips met hers, I the deleterious effects that tequila can have realized I had found my new aphrodisiac. The on one’s judgment. Too many mornings, next morning, I woke up woozy and blushing, she has fished a lime out of her bra and her slight figure in calm repose next to mine. searched in vain for her misplaced dignity. I packed my books, put on my clothes, and In fact, last Wednesday—but that’s another headed to my Virginia Woolf seminar. Later in the day, my translations of Sapstory. Anyway. Be gentle, but firm. Get your pho’s verses took on new meaning. The mind out of the gutter, dearest CRUSH, beauty of my roommate’s eyes had been I’m talking about discouraging your room- released—our bedroom was become our primate’s amorous advances. Understand that, vate island of Lesbos. Pardon my reminiscence. I mean only while you feel yourself to be in an awkward position, she probably does as well. By veil- to show that regret need not accompany ing her interest in jokes, she’s trying to as- an inebriated tryst. Carpe diem—and carpe sess your interest covertly, and would likely roommate! Yours, passionately, appreciate it if you responded in kind. So, Emily Postfollow her lead and respond subtly. Men-

Emily Post-

love and section
This week, we proudly introduce Lewbly Mashintire as a guest columnist to sub in for Dorian as he trots sassily around the globe. Dear L&D, Is it wrong for me to f*ck my ex-TA? She was my Neuro TA last year, and we fake flirted a little back then, but now that I’m not in her class anymore, I’ve run into her on several social occasions. She’s a senior, I’m a junior, we have some mutual friends, and we both like dubstep. We started flirting again, but this time it’s for real. We’ve been getting closer and closer and have even hung out alone a few times (nothing serious, just grabbing lunch at the Ratty or whatever). Should I tap that, or am I starting to get into some f*cked up ethics here? Thanks, Teaching Assistant Poon Is Tempting Darlink TAP IT, By all means, tap away. It’s been at least a semester since she was your TA. TAs are usually required to disclose current or previous romantic and sexual relationships with students, just to make sure grades don’t get unfairly influenced. But now she has no power over you or your grades. Your student-TA history might make things weird at first, but it will probably play out in a fun way. Also, she’s only a year older than you, so there’s not even an age issue. At this point, she’s just another biddy waiting for your love. Good luck. xoxo Lovecraft Dear TAP IT, The grade’s in the book, so don’t hesitate to get all up on that sh*t. You two don’t have a professional relationship to worry about anymore, so there’s no ethical dilemma whatsoever. If anything, you’ll both look back on last year as something fun to talk about. As a TA in the sciences myself, I often wish my students would take more than an academic interest in my person, but it feels creepy to make the first move. Anyway, here’s the lowdown: After school lovin’ scenario? I think so. As long as you don’t go after the professor, you’ll be fine. Keep calm and get it on. Turning tables on teachers, Lewbly Mashintire Questions? Ask Anonymously at formspring.me/lovecraftdorian

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