Page 1

F R I D A Y MARCH 5, 2004


An independent newspaper serving the Brown community since 1891

Chinese dissident arrives in Providence

Conference to advocate “middle path” in Israeli-Palestinian debate


small, smooth and lovable, Painter said. Burke conceived of beautiful women as white, of the upper class, weak and delicate, she said. “Black people did not fall under ‘darkness’ in the sublime. To Burke, black people were a sight of horror and uneasiness, and therefore not sublime,” Painter said. Kant was the first philosopher to introduce race, as we interpret the word today, into the concept of the beautiful and sublime, Painter said. “In the writings on Kant today, this disappears. His views of race are not known about by many scholars,” Painter said. Kant praised the noble white form, blonde hair and blue eyes, Painter said. “He thought that black people were vain in their own way and so talkative that they must be driven apart by thrashing,” Painter said. Kant effectively set up racial lines that flourished into the 19th and 20th centuries, Painter said. Kant deprecated the image of the strong woman, Painter said. “He thought that laborious learning destroyed a woman’s beautiful merits. He wrote that women are disgusting when they go unchaste,” she said. Painter cited Thomas Jefferson’s 1787 “Notes on the State of Virginia” as another source of discussion on race and sex in the context of the beautiful and the

This weekend, Brown is hosting the national student conference of the organization Tikkun, a progressive Jewish group committed to working toward peace in the Middle East through the creation of a Palestinian state side-by-side with Israel. Speakers at the conference will include Princeton University Professor of Religion and Tikkun Co-Chair Cornel West; Medea Benjamin, founder of the human rights group Global Exchange; and Jewish Renewal Rabbi Michael Lerner, founder of the Tikkun Community and Tikkun Magazine. The conference, which organizers said will bring in about 100 students from other universities, will also host workshops on topics such as Arab-Jewish relations on college campuses and Kabbalah, Jewish mysticism. While attending Tikkun’s national conference last summer in Washington, D.C., Michaella Matt ’06, president of Brown’s Tikkun chapter, said she met Lerner, who asked her if Brown would be interested in hosting Tikkun’s next national student conference. “What impressed me about the group I met from Brown was the intellectual maturity and sophistication of the people that I’ve had contact with,” Lerner told The Herald. “The reason to have (the national student conference) at Brown is because Brown has become famous as a place that encourages open thinking about issues that are usually dominated by cliches and rigid thinking.” Tikkun’s message of a Jewish spirituality fundamentally connected to progressive politics is a perfect fit for Brown, Matt said. Before Brown’s Tikkun chapter formed, the Israeli-Palestinian debate on campus was dominated by Jewish groups, such as Brown Students for Israel, that “defend Israel no matter what it does,” and the International Socialist Organization, which “pretty much denies the right of Israel to exist,” Matt said. “Tikkun started out as a group for people who cared about Israeli security but who wanted to openly and harshly criticize Israel,” she said. What Matt describes as Tikkun’s “harsh” criticism of Israel has been divisive in the American Jewish community, as has Lerner, whose name, when entered into Google, pulls up dozens of accusations of “self-hating Jew.” In the past year, Tikkun has argued that the wall currently being constructed by Israel’s right-wing Likud government to separate Israel from Palestinian territories will be a barrier to peace. The group also has supported the Geneva Accords, an alternate peace plan drafted in December 2003 by Israeli and Palestinian opposition leaders. The Accords call for the creation of a Palestinian state and the withdrawal of Israeli to its pre-1967 borders. Tikkun also mobilized against the war in

see PAINTER, page 4

see TIKKUN, page 4


Wang Youcai, a Chinese dissident who fought for democracy in China, was released on medical parole from a Chinese prison early Thursday morning and arrived at T.F. Green airport that same night. Wang helped lead the 1989 Tiananmen Square student demonstrations, which resulted in a military crackdown that left hundreds dead, and served one year in prison on charges related to this incident. He was then sentenced to 11 years in prison in 1998 for his involvement in the founding of the China Democracy Party, according to CNN. Wang is the third prisoner released by Beijing this week after heavy lobbying in Washington, D.C., where the U.S. House of Representatives Wednesday urged President George W. Bush to respond more forcibly to China’s poor human rights record. Wang was among the U.S.

Nick Neely / Herald

Sitting on the floor of the Thomas J.Watson Institute for International Studies, monks from the Tashilhunpo monastery in southern India labor to create a finely detailed sand mandala. After two days of labor, the monks will destroy the creation, collect the sand and scatter the grains in the Providence River.They began assembling the design Thursday morning, and they will perform the dismantling ritual at 4 p.m. today in the lobby of the Watson Institute.

see WANG YOUCAI, page 4

Race and gender transform concepts of beautiful, sublime, scholar says in speech Thursday BY KATE GORMAN

An interest in race and gender issues demands engagement in traditional Western thought, said Nell Painter, Edwards Professor of American History at Princeton University, in a Wednesday night lecture in Smith-Buonanno 106. Titled “Where are Race and Sex in the ‘Beautiful and Sublime?’” Painter’s lecture addressed changing ideas about beauty and the sublime throughout history. “Race and sex are rarely present in traditional Western discussions of the beautiful and the sublime. When they

Judy He / Herald

Nell Painter spoke about race, gender and aesthetics in a lecture Wednesday night.

are, it’s in an insulting way,” Painter told an audience of about 50 people. Philosophers of the 18th century such as Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke and Johann Joachim Winckelmann wrote extensively on beauty and the sublime, and their theories have influenced 21stcentury perspectives of these concepts, Painter said. “Winkelmann described beauty as something that is not passionate — to him, it was a non-sexual aesthetic,” Painter said. As a German art historian, Winckelmann drew from the ideal of the Greek statue when describing beauty. “Winckelmann interpreted beauty as mathematically proportionate and bleached white like the marble. This was seen as the human ideal well into the 1920s,” she said. This ideal was so elemental that in Miss America pageants of the 1920s, contestants’ measurements were taken and the woman whose proportions were closest to the Greek standard won, Painter said. “Winkelmann’s description of beauty still endures today. Art students still work from plaster casts on white statues,” she said. Burke was fascinated by beauty but wrote loosely about the sublime, commenting briefly on blackness in his work, Painter said. For Burke, the sublime is elevated over beauty: the sublime is associated with males, justice, wisdom, power and darkness, whereas beauty is

I N S I D E F R I D AY, M A RC H 5 , 2 0 0 4 John Hay Library exhibits military collection of Anne Brown arts & culture, page 3

Festival brings French film into focus for Brown students arts & culture, page 3

TO D AY ’ S F O R E C A S T Maximilian Silvestri ’05 says safety first, even at the expense of good fashion column, page 7

Christianity sells at American box offices, writes Jonathan Liu ’07 column, page 7

Jayne Finst ’04 is Athlete of the Week after performance at Ivy competition sports, page 8

showers high 47 low 44


THIS MORNING FRIDAY, MARCH 5, 2004 · PAGE 2 Coup de Grace Grace Farris



High 47 Low 44 showers

High 60 Low 31 rain



High 47 Low 32 mostly sunny

High 46 Low 30 cloudy


Greg and Todd’s Awesome Comic Greg Shilling and Todd Goldstein

TO D AY ’ S E V E N TS RESTRUCTURING JOHANNESBURG: THE FALL OF RACIAL APARTHEID AND THE RISE OF FRAGMENTATION 12 p.m. (McKinney Conference Room,Watson Institute, 111 Thayer St.) — with Mzwanele Mayekiso, principal collaborator for a research study on informal settlements in South Africa.

SAND MANDALA: IMPERMANENCE 4 p.m. (Watson Institute Lobby) — after almost two full days of construction, the monks from Tashilhunpo monastery in southern India will perform a ritual dismantling ceremony and scattering of the sands in the Providence River.

My Best Effort Will Newman and Nate Goralnik

MENU SHARPE REFECTORY LUNCH — Vegetarian Caribbean Black Bean Soup, New England Clam Chowder,Tangy BBQ Pork Spareribs, Spinach Pie, Broccoli au Gratin, Chocolate Lemon Squares, Orange Delight Cake, Raspberry Yogurt Pie

VERNEY-WOOLLEY DINING HALL LUNCH — Vegetarian Mushroom Vegetable Soup, Rhode Island Quahog Chowder, Chicken Fingers, Broccoli Quiche, Corn Cobbets, Chocolate Lemon Squares

DINNER — Vegetarian Caribbean Black Bean Soup, New England Clam Chowder, Pot Roast Jardiniere, Fried Catfish, Red Potato Frittata, Spanish Rice, Okra and Tomatoes, Gumbo with Red Beans, French Bread, Chocolate Lemon Squares, Orange Delight Cake, Raspberry Yogurt Pie

DINNER — Vegetarian Mushroom Vegetable Soup, Rhode Island Quahog Chowder, Breaded Pollock Fillet,Vegan Baked Polenta, Roasted Rosemary Potatoes, Sugar Snap Peas, Oriental Stir Fry, French Bread, Raspberry Yogurt Pie

Scribbles Mirele Davis

CROSSWORD ACROSS 1 Sussex stable area 5 Switch on a radio 9 Harsh cries 14 Bountiful site 15 Broadway vamp 16 Gerald succeeded him 17 Statute protested by short-order cooks? 19 One lacking ties 20 Sham 21 Take from the top 23 Prefix with cure 24 Steak accompaniers 26 Liable 28 Avocation, slangily 29 Marshal at Waterloo 30 Shower alternative in a 1960 thriller? 34 Shakespearean contraction 36 Special Forces topper 37 Fish with chutzpa? 40 Breakdown of societal norms 42 Tricks 43 Woof woof? 46 Trifling amount 49 Wire diameter unit 50 Babi __: historical WWII site 51 Corrupt 54 WWW facilitators 56 Wisconsin senator Feingold 59 Draw a bead on 60 Rich kid in “Nancy” comics 62 Allergenic ointment? 64 Swiftly 65 Moselle tributary 66 “Mrs. Battle’s Opinions on Whist” author 67 Pacific island invaded in 1944 68 Wilts 69 Interpreted

DOWN 1 English, in eateries 2 Online financial site 3 Intercept 4 __ kebab 5 Former Barbary st. 6 Riot participants 7 Critical words 8 “__ McGee”: 1991 Newbery Medal winner 9 Fashion letters 10 Per 11 Places to enjoy bouquets 12 Come before 13 Correct beyond doubt 18 Prefix for colonial 22 Dash abbr. 25 Blow out 27 Go __ for: defend 31 Span. title 32 San Francisco Bay’s __ Buena island 33 Columnist Myerson 1





























Hopeless Edwin Chang

03/05/04 9









30 34


19 22



26 31

23 27


28 33






















Penguiener Haan Lee




47 Livorno locale 48 Erupt 52 English author Weldon 53 Roughage 55 Suggestive opening 57 It may be wild 58 Union concern 61 Partner of all 63 Big hits: Abbr.

34 Grave 35 With irony 37 Police often suspect it 38 Patriotic women’s org. 39 Mountain __ 40 Fleet runner 41 Hardly fragrant 44 Ring site 45 Tender spot 46 Like does



50 55

51 56


57 62





59 63

Editorial Phone: 401.351.3372

The Brown Daily Herald (USPS 067.740) is published Monday through Friday during the aca-

Business Phone: 401.351.3260

demic year, excluding vacations, once during Commencement, once during Orientation and

Juliette Wallack, President

once in July by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. POSTMASTER please send corrections to P.O. Box




Carla Blumenkranz, Vice President 2538, Providence, RI 02906. Periodicals postage paid at Providence, R.I. Offices are located at 195




Lawrence Hester, Treasurer

Angell St., Providence, R.I. E-mail World Wide Web:

John Carrere, Secretary Subscription prices: $179 one year daily, $139 one semester

By Charlie Riley (c)2004 Tribune Media Services, Inc.


daily. Copyright 2003 by The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. All rights reserved.



“Panoramas, Peepshows” highlights eclectic collection of Anne Brown

French “cool” comes to Providence with annual Cable Car film festival BY STEFAN TALMAN


Pop-up books, paper dolls and toy soldiers are not objects one would expect to find in the library. But since Feb. 17, the John Hay Library’s exhibit “Panoramas, Peepshows and Other Fun Things,” has had them on display as part of an exhibition of the Anne S. K. Brown Military Collection. Peter Harrington, curator of the collection, said he dreamed up the exhibit during winter break. “But it wasn’t until I was putting the exhibit together that I discovered all the interesting pieces we had,” Harrington said. The pieces on display are indeed quite intriguing. While one might assume a military collection would feature guns or other weapons, “Panoramas, Peepshows and Other Fun Things” is an eclectic display of military art and toys. Most of the military collection was acquired by Anne Brown, who lived on Benefit Street from the 1930s until her death about 20 years ago. Brown had been collecting since the 1930s, and by 1981, when she donated the collection to the University, her house was “literally bursting at the seams with military artifacts,” Harrington said. “Anne Brown’s passion was uniforms,” he said. “She wanted to be the expert on them.” Most of the pieces on display showcase an intricate mix of military uniforms from France, Scotland and Austria, among other nations. The exhibition includes only one non-European piece, a Chinese painting of a military funeral procession.

save the ducks before it’s too late

“That painting was actually stored in a servant’s room in Brown’s Newport Mansion,” Harrington said. Paper soldiers from the early 19th century can also be found in most of the glass cases, scattered among intricate, handcrafted scrolls depicting battles and funeral marches. In one display is a 19th-century paper doll of a British soldier so rare that it will be featured in an upcoming Rhode Island exhibit devoted to paper dolls, Harrington said. The child’s play doesn’t stop there. The exhibit also features two cardboard optics, called peepshows, featuring peepholes which reveal three-dimensional military scenes. Other children’s toys featured in the exhibit include wooden panels, called flipbooks. These flipbooks have different portraits of soldiers on each side, allowing children to mix and match soldiers’ uniforms and body parts by flipping the panels. The exhibit itself is relatively small, but the military collection is growing, Harrington said. While in Germany this summer, Harrington added to the collection one of the handcrafted scrolls included in “Panoramas and Peepshows,” on display on the first floor of the Hay until April 2. The full military collection is stored on the second floor of the Hay and can be viewed by appointment. Herald staff writer Lela Spielberg ’07 can be reached at

French cinema is commonly described as cooler than American cinema, to the frustration of many Hollywood filmmakers. Hollywood, however, must approach cinema differently. The relative coolness of French films is due largely to the fiscal structure of U.S. cinema. That is, American films are made to make money, whereas France’s Ministry of Culture funds the vast majority of French films. In turn, Brown partially funds Providence’s French Film Festival, now running at the Cable Car Cinema. Studies in behavioral economics have shown people exhibit substantially different patterns of production when freed from fiscal constraints. Brown students, for example, vividly illustrate this pattern. With French filmmakers freed from economic constraint, the measurable effect is aesthetic, namely coolness. French film’s particular “je ne sais quoi” also falls within an art-historical movement. Films at the festival are to a great extent bastard children of the French New Wave. This movement, which began in the late 1950s, featured filmmakers such as Jean-Luc Goddard, Francois Truffaut and Claude Chabrol. With new lightweight equipment, they began to leave the studio, exploiting natural lighting and shooting on location. Protagonists of their films were often young iconoclasts. The result was a more casual, raw film, the tradition of which lives on to a great extent in modern French film. In this vein, the films screened at the Cable Car are in a sense more “real” than

those of the “Hollywood blockbuster.” To switch from Hollywood to French requires a switch in value judgment: from fantasy, special effects and spectacular expenditure aggrandizing the mundane to New Wave, artful close-ups and long takes holding a magnifying glass to the unwashed pores of “real life.” Wednesday night’s “On the Run,” written and directed by Lucas Belvaux, is the first film in a trilogy; its characters dance in and out of each film. The catch: each film falls into a different genre — thriller, comedy and drama. “On the Run” is the thriller of the series, a perfect example of the French take on Hollywood thrillers. Though gritty and violent, the film approaches stock thriller material with a certain methodology. Picture a car chase with more than 30 seconds between each cut. (The average for American action scenes is about three seconds). This is where French cinema does what Hollywood will not, perhaps cannot ever do: be daring. Aside from the recent “Star Wars” and “Lord of the Rings” trilogies — both essentially long movies partitioned for the sake of our attention span — no mainstream director has tried such an experimental concept on such a scale. Yet coming from France, it is de rigueur. The French Film Festival runs through Sunday at the Cable Car Cinema. Films show from 2 to 9:30 p.m., with a special free screening Saturday at 11 p.m. Herald staff writer Stefan Talman ’05 can be reached at


Tikkun continued from page 1 Iraq, and on March 20, 2003, chose to participate in major anti-war demonstrations organized by the organization ANSWER (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism). ANSWER has been viewed with skepticism within the Jewish community because of its tendency to link Israel’s actions in the occupied territories to the United States’ occupation of Iraq. In fact, Lerner was barred by ANSWER from speaking at an anti-war rally in San Francisco, Calif., in February 2003 after ANSWER’s leadership deemed him too pro-Israel, despite his history of support for Palestinian statehood. It is through events like this weekend’s national student conference that Tikkun hopes to bridge divides between the progressive Jewish community and other leftist groups, as well as encourage a new generation of Jewish activists to reconnect with their Judaism, Lerner said. “We have reports all the time from different college campuses of students feeling trapped between a pro-Israel voice that claims that the only way to be pro-Israel is to support the policies of Ariel Sharon and, on the other hand, a pro-Palestine voice that often talks in a voice that is demeaning to the Jewish people and denies the right of existence of the state of Israel,” he said. Judaism risks alienating many young progressive Jews if it does not provide “a progressive, middle path,” Lerner said — one that “makes it possible for students to recognize the complexity, which is that both sides have a legitimate story and both sides are incredibly screwed up.” Professor of American Civilization Paul Buhle, who has written for Tikkun Magazine for the past 10 years, told the Herald the voice of the American Jewish community is dominated by organizations like the AntiDefamation League, which tend to equate support for the policies of the Israeli government with support for Jewish causes in general. This “uncritical” approach to Israel is “unhelpful for achieving peace,” Buhle said. “The situation in the Middle East is so desperate and getting worse so fast, attitudes toward America are so negative. … The ability to detach all that from anti-Semitism is something so important that every voice must be heard.” Buhle and leaders of student groups that address the IsraeliPalestinian conflict agreed that at Brown, debate tends to be more academic and less confrontational than on other campuses. Sarah Zakowski ’06 is president of Brown Friends of Israel, a Hillelaffiliated group whose only political platform is that members believe in the right of the State of Israel to exist. Zakowski, who is from Los Angeles, Calif., said she has heard reports of shouting and physical confrontations from high school friends who engage in proIsrael activism at the University of California-Berkeley. Brown students, however, “try to intellectually challenge ideas,” she said. “There’s less of a sense of aggression. People are really looking for debate.” President of the Brown Chapter of the Arab-American AntiDiscrimination Committee (ADC) Akram Bakkour ’06 said that although his group is primarily

interested in hosting Arab cultural events on campus, it jumps at opportunities to cosponsor cultural and political events with primarily Jewish student groups such as Friends of Israel. The ADC and Brown Students for Israel will be cosponsoring a “taste of the Middle East” event later this semester that will feature Middle Eastern cuisine, Bakkour said. Those types of events bring students of different backgrounds together in a casual, social setting, as opposed to a highly charged, political one, Bakkour said. But the fact remains that at Brown, politically oriented organizations focusing on the IsraeliPalestinian issue tend to be ethnically and religiously homogenous, student leaders said, even when students of different backgrounds can agree on the issues. Both Matt and Lerner said Tikkun is an interfaith community working toward peace in the Middle East, but at Brown, the organization is comprised almost completely of Jewish students, Matt said. Similarly, Zakowski said Students for Israel includes no non-Jewish students, and Bakkour said that from time to time, there is political tension between the ADC and the Muslim Students Association. Bakkour said he would have loved to participate in the organization of the Tikkun conference, but he found out about it after preparations were already underway. He did publicize the conference over the ADC’s e-mail list, and he said he and other members of the ADC are excited about attending the weekend’s events. “Everyone should grab this great opportunity this weekend to learn more,” he said. Students who are rigid in their opinions of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict tend to avoid events that do not espouse their views, the students leaders said, but all agreed the Tikkun conference would benefit from a large and diverse group of participants. Although Zakowski said some members of Students for Israel “are really into Tikkun, and some really believe that Tikkun is wrong,” she said she did not expect the conference to cause any rifts in the Jewish community at Brown. “I could see several speakers being controversial,” she said, “but I don’t see it getting ugly. I don’t see it getting out of hand. I see people getting passionate.” Bakkour and Matt said they felt most Arab, Muslim and Jewish students on campus are well informed about the IsraeliPalestinian issue and open to better understanding viewpoints with which they are less familiar. “By virtue of Arabs being Arabs, they feel very strongly about the issue. They live it day to day, even if they don’t live in Palestine” Bakkour said. “Arabs think it could be them, it’s their people suffering. I think the Jewish community feels exactly the same pain.” Non-Brown students have to pay a $40 admission fee to attend the conference, but admission for Brown students is covered by a donation from the Office of the President. Brown students can register for the conference at Hillel from noon to 4 p.m. today. Herald staff writer Dana Goldstein ’06 edits the RISD News section. She can be reached at m.

Finst continued from page 8 to perform at a high level. “Being a gymnast at Brown is a great honor. There is a lot of support from alumni and the university, and it really makes me feel proud to represent Brown at each event,” she said. Finst is a true leader, teammates said, setting high goals for the team as well as herself and getting them excited for every competition. “Jayne does a great job of pumping up the rest of the team. She’s great with dealing with people and does a great job of leading by example. She sets a high standard that other teammates try to emulate,” said Melissa Forziat ’05. With so much success during her career at Brown, Finst

W. tennis continued from page 8 In singles action, Falconi rolled to a 6-0, 6-3 win over Barfuss at No. 1, using speed and movement to create longer points and force backhand errors from her opponent. Arlak needed three sets to overtake the big baseline game of Viviana Figueroa, winning 46, 6-3, 6-3 at No. 2. Saiontz and Pautler both pulled out three-set matches at the No. 3 and 5 spots, respectively. Pautler’s endurance allowed her to win a third-set tiebreaker, 10-8. Meath and Ames posted straight-set wins to sweep singles competition. Brown saw improvement in its Sunday doubles matches, led by a strong 8-6 showing from Falconi and Meath at No. 1. But Arlak and Pautler fell in their second tiebreak loss of the weekend, while Saiontz and Ames were also unable to convert in a 9-8 defeat. “The second day, I think they

Painter continued from page 1 sublime — one that has long gone unnoticed by scholars. “Jefferson felt that white people had a greater share of beauty over any other race, due to their elegant symmetry of form,” she said. Jefferson associated black women with sex, and that set the tone for writings on race and beauty in the 19th century, Painter said. “But DNA finally got to Jefferson, and I’m hoping that Kant will be next,” she said. The fine arts experienced a change in the 19th century that fractured people’s ideas of beauty. “In the early 19th century, images of sublime nature were portrayed in idealized

Wang Youcai continued from page 1 government’s human rights priority cases, according to CNN. Wang was greeted at the airport by Xu Wenli — a fellow

acknowledges that it will be bittersweet to see this part of her life come to an end. With only four meets left in the remainder of the season, she is trying to cherish each moment. She is also hoping that the team will avenge its third place finish at the Ivy League Classic and finish first at the ECAC Regionals. “I think we have a very good chance of winning at Regionals. I’m sure there will be very close matches, so we have to be sure to maintain our poise and composure,” Finst said. With only three freshmen this year, it is safe to assume the team will be just as competitive in the Ivy League next year. Since almost all of the team has been together for more than a year, the team has been able to learn to work well together. “Because we have so many

upperclassmen on the team, their experience has really been helpful to us. All the teammates are always encouraging each other. The team’s closeness also extends outside of gymnastics, where many of the girls eat and live with each other,” CarverMilne said. As Regionals approach quickly, the gymnastics team will be very focused and counting on Finst to lead the way to victory. “Jayne has qualified for NCAA regionals twice in the all-around competition, but her ultimate goal is to qualify for nationals. She holds almost every Brown gymnastics record and will be severely missed after this season,” Carver-Milne said.

got it together a little bit more,” Beck said of Sunday’s doubles play. Brown once again dominated the singles matches Sunday, winning all five completed contests without dropping a set. A back injury forced Ames to forfeit her No. 6 match after going down 2-3 in the first set. Particularly impressive matches came from Arlak at No. 2 and Meath at No. 4, who, together, dropped only three games. “Tennis-wise, we were just better,” Falconi said of the weekend’s competition. “They were pretty good and pretty competitive, but we won all the big points.” Taylor said she believes injuries have contributed to the consistently sub-par doubles performances, with this weekend being no exception. “So far this spring season, we have not had our entire team healthy for any of our matches,” Taylor said. “So the continuity of regular doubles partners has not been there.”

Beck said she agrees that injuries affected the doubles outcomes. “Playing with people you’ve never played with before is not easy,” she said. “Against stronger teams I’m sure the injuries would’ve affected us more.” Both Taylor and Beck said the team will use the upcoming free weekend to focus on doubles improvements. “We need to be more aggressive on high balls and poaching,” Taylor said, adding that the team will hopefully have a healthy line-up in time for the March 14 match against the University of AlabamaBirmingham. As of Thursday, Beck was still unable to return to practice because of her surgery, but she said she expects to return next weekend. Herald staff writer Robbie Corey-Boulet ’07 covers women’s tennis. He can be reached at

waterfalls and mountains,” Painter said. After the invention of photography in 1839, fine art took on a life of its own, separate from the reproduction of idealized nature. Painter said the 20th century further shattered past views of beauty. “When white people slaughtered millions of people in the world wars, artists pulled away from the idea of beauty in fine art and turned to abstraction and cubism. Beauty was suspect and merely something that would sell,” she said. After the world wars, human existence was seen as ugly, Painter said. Feminists showed that beauty leads to the oppression of women, and the black power movement challenged traditional definitions of beauty, she said. “In the 1990s, how-

ever, there were renewed concerns for the beautiful and sublime,” she said. In the later 20th century, beauty was described by scholars as having symetrical features, Painter said. “After 1990, beauty, to the scholar, was no longer dependent on skin color, hair type or sexual attractiveness, but only on symmetry,” Painter said. Evolutionary biologists since the late 20th century have defined beauty as genetic. “There are genetic proxies for good health and youthfulness,” Painter said. Still, today scholars discuss the beautiful and sublime in ethical terms and leave out sex and race, she said. “It’s a compulsive avoidance that needs to be reconciled,” Painter said.

Chinese dissident released on medical parole from Chinese prison in 2002. Xu is regarded as the father of the Chinese prodemocracy activists, according to a Brown press release. After his release Xu emigrated to the United States and now

serves as a senior visiting fellow at the Thomas J. Watson Institute for International Studies. Head of the Brown News Service Mark Nickel said Wang will be staying with Xu and his wife, but he currently has no appointment at the University.

Herald staff writer Robby Klaber ’07 can be reached at


Fencing continued from page 8 ty they experienced in acquiring podium status during the team competition. The women’s saber squad ended their day in the ninth spot despite excellent showings from Olivia Partika ’06 at the A-strip and Peiling Li ’06 at the C-strip throughout the day. In women’s foil, Jennifer Hausmann ’07, known for her aggressive fencing style, ended her first ECAC/IFA competition with a seventh-place finish in the team competition and a 10thplace finish in the individuals. Her foil squad-mate Nanette Milner ’06 also ended the day

Klonick continued from page 8 time: a third of $1 billion. No wonder a beer and a hot dog costs 18 bucks. The sad part about the AL East is that the Jays and Rays would have a shot in almost any other division in major league baseball, save perhaps the NL Central, which is shaping up to become the AL East’s clone. The Jays, who last year somehow managed to capture 86 wins with Roy Halladay as their only saving grace and no relief pitching, have added three starters and three relievers to their staff. After nipping on the heels of the Red Sox for the Wild Card last season, the Jays are once again a force to be reckoned with. Vernon Wells and Carlos Delgado return to fill out the lineup, and even though the SkyDome is emptier than Mike Tyson’s head, the six people that do follow Toronto won’t be taken by surprise if they make the playoffs. The Devil Rays, who last year were little better than a low-level minor league team, are looking to do anything but finish at the bottom of the heap and have made slightly more drastic changes. With an outfield that had 28 more hits than the Yankees’, the Rays undoubtedly have some talent, namely in Aubrey Huff, who finished last season above .300, with 30 homers and 100 RBI. In addition, they’ve filled out their ranks with the likes of Tino Martinez. The added experience will make a difference with the plethora of novices on the Devil Rays (they still have two of the three top prospects in baseball), and hopefully add to their team chemistry. So that’s the AL East — let’s talk NL Central. The Cubs and the Astros have a combined payroll of $118 million lower than the combined payroll of the Red Sox and Yankees. But given last year’s statistics, the schism in funds doesn’t seem to make a difference. The Astros, and especially

with a solid ninth-place finish. In women’s epee, All-American Ruth Schneider ’06 fenced her way to fourth place, one away from the podium, for the team competition and secured the eighth spot during the individuals. Her squad-mates Alessandra Assante ’04 and Lucy Walker ’06 ended their strips with ranks of ninth and 10th, respectively. But in spite of strong performances from both rookies and veterans, the women couldn’t earn enough victories to place higher in the standings. “We’ve had our share of both really good fencing and disappointing days. As much of a team sport as it is, a lot of the measure of our success will come down to how individuals on the team do,”

the Cubs, held on until the bitter end and have made significant changes to their teams this year that will allow them to once again compete with the likes of the Yanks and BoSox in interleague play. Houston, the middle-market underdog of its division, has had just as scandalous an off season as their double dealing neighbors, the Texas Rangers. Starting with the acquisition of Pettitte in December, rumors began circulating of Roger Clemens coming out of retirement to join his pal Andy Pettitte in his hometown of Houston. The Rocket’s ego (which is probably 80 times bigger than the Hummer Steinbrenner gave him as a farewell gift) couldn’t resist, and presto, the Houston Astros now have one of the most competitive pitching rotations in baseball. With Clemens, Pettitte, Oswalt, Miller and Redding, the ’Stros are more than capable of repeating last year’s performance of a no-hitter on the Yankees, even if they do have A-Rod. Not to be outdone by their divisional brethren, the Cubs signed Greg Maddux, four-time Cy Young Award winner, back to Chicago where he began his career. Whether or not Maddux is the difference-maker the Cubbies need to hold up against the ’Stros stellar hurling staff remains to be seen. Regardless, Houston and Chicago’s rivalry is getting as hot as New York and Boston with competition and excitement; it won’t be a surprise if both divisions end in nuclear winter. So even with all the chaos, controversy and climax of this year’s off season, opening day will be more exciting then ever. Everyone is waiting to see how the dramatic shifts in talent and chemistry will hold up in spring training and ultimately the regular season. 2004 has the potential to be one of the most exhilarating and cutthroat years in baseball. Now if only your love life was this stimulating. Kate Klonick ’06 is too cool for aboutlines.

Sheehy said. Like the women, the men had difficulty stealing victories from under their opponents’ feet. Despite the success of nationally-ranked Jeremy Zeitlin ’07, who easily secured a seventh place finish in his first ECAC/IFA competition, men’s foil had a ninth–place finish. Fellow foilists Jeremy Moore ’06 and John Wurzel ’05 ended the team competition round with sixth-place and 10th-place finishes, respectively. But tough competition didn’t stop the men’s saber squad from garnering two top-10 rankings through the performances of sabermen Dan Dworsky ’05 and Jeremy Adler ’06, who ranked seventh and third in their strips,

M. tennis continued from page 8 their matches in straight sets. Brown shuffled its doubles teams against Hofstra, pairing Cerretani with co-captain Ben Brier ’04 rather than his usual partner, Adil Shamasdin ’05. The new pairing made little difference, as Cerretani and Brier defeated Djordjevic and Teixeira 8-2. Shamasdin teamed with Goldberg for an 8-1 victory, while Goddard and Charm completed the sweep for the Bears, winning 8-3. Brown returned to the court Tuesday to take on Western Michigan in its first home match against a ranked opponent. This time, the Bears faced an uphill battle to victory. “We knew it was going to be a tough match,” said Head Coach Jay Harris. “We’re both ranked very similarly.” Of the three doubles matches, two were decided quickly by large margins. Brier and Goldberg defeated Tom Dennis and Brady

respectively. The saber team’s performance throughout the competition secured its status as one of New England’s elite saber squads. The men’s epee squad faced a tough match. With epeeist Adrian Martin ’06 still recovering from last week’s head injury, the squad stepped up to the challenge but fell short. Epeeists Brian Williams ’04, Pat Culhane ’06 and Sheehy ended the day ninth, 11th and 15th, respectively, but that was only enough for an 11th-place finish. “Talking from the rather limited perspective of my squad, we could have done better. With (Martin) being out of action, two of the three men’s epeeists were fencing above their usual level,

Crosby 8-2, but Goddard and Charm lost to Dan Grupp and Jose Orozco 8-3. The doubles point came down to the match between the ninthranked team of Cerretani and Shamasdin and the 27th-ranked team of Jeff French and Ravishankar Pathanjali. Cerretani and Shamasdin prevailed 8-5, despite several questionable calls by the official. Having taken the doubles point, Brown moved into singles play looking to put the match away. But Western Michigan was not finished. Pathanjali upset Cerretani at number one singles, 6-4, 6-2, to tying the team score at one apiece. Shamasdin came up big for Brown with a convincing 6-2, 6-4 victory, and then Nick Goldberg sprang into action. After dropping the first set of his match against Dennis 3-6, Goldberg was looking at match point in the second set. But after fighting off two match points, Goldberg swung the momentum toward the Bears in the third set, with a 6-3 victory that won the match 3-6, 7-6, 6-3.

which hurt a lot. I think everyone has a few bouts that they feel they should have won, as well,” Sheehy said. Martin, who accompanied his team to the tournament, spent the day coaching his teammates. “Well, it would have been nice to fence instead of standing around trying to get my fencers to do what I want them to do. Coaching is extremely frustrating,” said Martin. Martin has been granted permission to fence with his team in the upcoming NCAA Regionals , to be held at Brandeis March 25. Herald staff writer Zaneta Balantac ’07 covers fencing. She can be reached at

Goldberg’s victory put the team score at 3-1, in favor of the Bears. Brier followed Goldberg’s victory with one of his own, defeating Brady Crosby 7-6, 2-6, 6-3 to clinch the win for Brown. Charm and Thomas both had excellent first sets against their opponents but faltered and dropped their second sets. In the tiebreak, Thomas was able to prevail over his opponent, but Charm dropped a close decision, leaving the final team score at 5-2 in favor of Brown. Harris said he was pleased with his team’s performance, especially at the moments when Western Michigan appeared to be gaining momentum. “Whenever we had our backs against the wall, the guys responded with a lot of heart,” he said. The Bears return to the court Sunday for an 11 a.m. home match against No. 58 University of New Mexico. Herald staff writer Craig McGowan ’07 covers men’s tennis. He can be reached at




Diamonds and coal A diamond to Sleater-Kinney: Hot Rock for the spring semester. Coal to Nalgene bottles — more dangerous than global warming. Find a new location for those Greenpeace stickers, kids. A diamond to double-booking “Starsky & Hutch” and “The Passion of the Christ.” Just when we thought it couldn’t get better than latkes vs. hamentaschen, it’s Ben Stiller vs. J.C.! Coal to New York University for releasing students’ social security numbers online. Now if only Brown would stop selling our phone numbers. A diamond to pirate supply stores (so quirky!). We eagerly anticipate the myterious disappearance of Dave Eggers in the Bermuda Triangle.



Coal to President George W. Bush’s politicization of Sept. 11. Don’t make us regret crediting you with a “compassionate” reaction to tragedy. A diamond to Professor (Michael) Ray Charles for pointing out the minstrel-show dynamic in “Space Jam.” Charles, you’re “all right by me”! A cubic zirconium to the Oscars. We’re all about hobbits, but nobody makes us want to lip our stockings like Bill Murray. Green eggs and diamonds to the late Dr. Seuss on his 100th birthday — but only if you promise to stop calling it a Seussentennial. And a coal to The Herald. When it comes to respecting our readers, sometimes our best effort doesn’t cut it.

THE BROWN DAILY HERALD EDITORIAL Juliette Wallack, Editor-in-Chief Carla Blumenkranz, Executive Editor Philissa Cramer, Executive Editor Julia Zuckerman, Senior Editor Danielle Cerny, Arts & Culture Editor Meryl Rothstein, Arts & Culture Editor Zachary Barter, Campus Watch Editor Monique Meneses, Features Editor Sara Perkins, Metro Editor Dana Goldstein, RISD News Editor Alex Carnevale, Opinions Editor Ben Yaster, Opinions Editor Christopher Hatfield, Sports Editor PRODUCTION Lisa Mandle, Design Editor George Haws, Copy Desk Chief Eddie Ahn, Graphics Editor Judy He, Photo Editor Nick Neely, Photo Editor

BUSINESS John Carrere, General Manager Lawrence Hester, General Manager Anastasia Ali, Executive Manager Zoe Ripple, Executive Manager Elias Vale Roman, Senior Project Manager In Young Park, Project Manager Peter Schermerhorn, Project Manager Laird Bennion, Project Manager Bill Louis, Senior Financial Officer Laurie-Ann Paliotti, Sr. Advertising Rep. Elyse Major, Advertising Rep. Kate Sparaco, Office Manager POST- MAGAZINE Ellen Wernecke, Editor-in-Chief Jason Ng, Executive Editor Micah Salkind, Executive Editor Abigail Newman, Theater Editor Josh Cohen, Design Editor Allison Lombardo, Features Editor Jeremy Beck, Film Editor Jessica Weisberg, Film Editor Ray Sylvester, Music Editor

The real Supreme Court opinion

Federalism is beside the point

To the editor:

To the editor:

Rachel Marshall’s assertion that there is only a five-to-four majority on the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade is simply dead wrong. In fact, six out of the nine Justices would vote to uphold the Court’s ruling in that case — Justices John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O’Connor, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Stephen Breyer. Five-to-four is the vote on which the last major abortion case, Stenberg v. Carhart, was decided, wherein the Court struck down Nebraska’s ban on dilation-and-extraction (a.k.a. partial-birth) abortions. Only Justice Kennedy deserted the pro-choice movement in that case, but he coauthored the opinion in Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey, upholding Roe. He doesn’t vote to strike down every regulation of abortion, but he refuses to overturn Roe. There are six such justices. And considering that Bush has constantly been talking about nominating pro-choice White House counsel Alberto Gonzales to the Supreme Court, I hardly think that the 6-3 pro-choice majority is likely to shrink anytime soon.

Regarding Eric Mayer’s (“Divided we Stand,” March 3) article: I was home last week in Denver, Colo., when I first read about Bush’s proposed a Constitutional amendment concerning marriage. I madly flipped through the paper to find the Democrats’ response. Kerry and Edwards had the same reaction: states’ rights. States’ rights? Yeah, sure, marriage is a state issue and Bush is attempting to usurp that power, which is an important issue indeed, but breaches of federalism occur all the time, and most go unnoticed. What we should be getting furious about is Bush’s attempt to force his vision of what America should look like on a population of free citizens, and the spinelessness of the Democrats’ response. The issue isn’t federalism, the issue is personal autonomy. Should Americans be able to live their lives, marital aspirations included, without intrusion from the government? I could care less what level of government — local, state or federal — is robbing gay couples of their right to the American Dream, but I sure care that it’s happening. Arguing about federalism is dodging the issue. What we should be arguing about is how a “righteous” majority is legally prescribing its idea about how people should live their lives. We have to understand that it is not our place, nor the government’s, to dictate how others should live. Every person should decide his or her own life path, and the government (and the public) should do everything within practical reason to accommodate that choice.

Alan Silverman ’03.5 March 4

Justin Patrick ’07 March 4

Shirley Jackson, Night Editor Adam Stella, Copy Editor Staff Writers Marshall Agnew, Kathy Babcock, Zaneta Balantac, Elise Baran, Alexandra Barsk, Zachary Barter, Hannah Bascom, Danielle Cerny, Robbie Corey-Boulet, Lexi Costello, Ian Cropp, Sam Culver, Gabriella Doob, Jonathan Ellis, Justin Elliott, Amy Hall Goins, Dana Goldstein, Bernard Gordon, Aron Gyuris, Krista Hachey, Chris Hatfield, Jonathan Herman, Miles Hovis, Masha Kirasirova, Robby Klaber, Kate Klonick, Alexis Kunsak, Sarah LaBrie, Hanyen Lee, Kira Lesley, Matt Lieber, Allison Lombardo, Chris Mahr, Lisa Mandle, Craig McGowan, Jonathan Meachin, Monique Meneses, Kavita Mishra, Sara Perkins, Melissa Perlman, Eric Perlmutter, Sheela Raman, Meryl Rothstein, Michael Ruderman, Marco Santini, Jen Sopchockchai, Lela Spielberg, Stefan Talman, Joshua Troy, Schuyler von Oeyen, Jessica Weisberg, Brett Zarda Accounts Managers Daniel Goldberg, Mark Goldberg, Victor Griffin, Matt Kozar, Natalie Ho, Ian Halvorsen, Sarena Snider Pagination Staff Peter Henderson, Lisa Mandle, Alex Palmer Photo Staff Gabriella Doob, Benjamin Goddard, Marissa Hauptman, Judy He, Jonathan Herman, Miyako Igari, Allison Lombardo, Elizabeth MacLennan, Nicholas Neely, Michael Neff, Alex Palmer, Yun Shou Tee, Sorleen Trevino Copy Editors Katie Lamm, Asad Reyaz, Amy Ruddle, Brian Schmalzbach, Melanie Wolfgang

CORRECTIONS POLICY The Brown Daily Herald is committed to providing the Brown University community with the most accurate information possible. Corrections may be submitted up to seven calendar days after publication. COMMENTARY POLICY The staff editorial is the majority opinion of the editorial board of The Brown Daily Herald. The editorial viewpoint does not necessarily reflect the views of The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. Columns, letters and comics reflect the opinions of their authors only. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR POLICY Send letters to Include a telephone number with all letters. The Herald reserves the right to edit all letters for length and cannot assure the publication of any letter. Please limit letters to 250 words. Under special circumstances writers may request anonymity, but no letter will be printed if the author’s identity is unknown to the editors. Announcements of events will not be printed. ADVERTISING POLICY The Brown Daily Herald, Inc. reserves the right to accept or decline any advertisement at its discretion.




Fighting the good fight WASHINGTON — Long ago, President Bush made clear his intention to end the requirement that wage workers be paid time-and-ahalf for each hour they work over 40 a week. Since there is no good reason that this longstanding law be ended, Bush is essentially stating that he no longer believes that extra work need be rewarded, nor that workers should be compensated when they have to spend more time away from their families. He has also made it clear that he intends to allow unemployment benefits to expire for those who are still without jobs. It is a fact that workers have been paying into a “rainy day” unemployment trust fund for years, which now stands with a $17 billion balance. This trust fund is intended to be used when a weak economy is just beginning to pick up. Because each dollar paid out in unemployment benefits brings two dollars recycled into the economy, it can make a weak recovery — like the jobless one we have now — pick up steam. But on Feb. 26 I attended a press conference where Senators Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) spoke about introducing bill amendments to protect overtime and extend unemployment benefits. Unless these senators are each spectacular actors, the performances I witnessed were fueled by genuine concern for ordinary people and outrage at Bush’s callousness. They each spoke as though it was they who had lost their job or were about to lose overtime pay. Harkin and Daschle made passionate arguments about protecting overtime and a worker’s opportunity to raise his own wages with extra hours. Cantwell introduced her amendment to extend unemployment benefits, and she and Kennedy made eloquent and furious arguments against Bush’s disregard for the less-than-rich and hard work. It is a testament to the Democrats’ connection to the American people that they attempt to extend unemployment benefits when a boost to the economy could help Bush get reelected. And it was not a simple outburst for the cameras; Kennedy continued his attacks on the Senate floor for much of the afternoon. Earlier on Feb. 28 I was present during Harkin’s weekly press call and

The Democrats work overtime for America. listened to an extemporaneous blasting of Bush’s use of saved Social Security funds to subsidize his tax cut for the rich, while Alan Greenspan now says Social Security payments will have to be reduced for our generation. On March 3, Republicans grudgingly agreed to pass Sen. Christopher Dodd’s (D-Conn) amendment, which will disallow companies with government contracts to use foreign labor for those contracts, to Sen. Charles Grassley’s (R-Iowa) “jobs” bill. While this was a victory for Democrats, they are largely losing the battle to protect the United States’ working and middle classes. Republicans have not given Harkin a chance to introduce his amendment to protect overtime pay as planned. They do not want to even vote on it, because a vote against overtime could obviously be used against them. Instead, they plan to introduce it months down the road and use their majority privilege immediately to amend his amendment and render it useless. That way, they can defeat it without any political consequences. Harkin and the Democrats are fighting this. Harkin is trying to introduce his plan to guarantee overtime pay as a second-degree amendment (an amendment to an amendment), which must be voted on as introduced. That is precisely what he tried to do after the Dodd amendment passed on Wednesday, repeatedly requesting that the Republican president recognize him to speak. As I watched from the sidelines of the Senate floor, Harkin’s first three requests were ignored as the presiding officer stared straight at Senator Grassley until Grassley requested to be recognized. When he was, Harkin angrily objected, twice, to no avail. He then watched, incensed, as Grassley introduced his own second-degree amendment, again blocking a possible vote on the overtime issue. When Grassley finished, Harkin gave a passionate, outraged speech decrying the Republicans for not even allowing a vote on the issue. As he did, Grassley, the senior senator from Iowa, turned his back on Harkin, the junior senator from Iowa, and cleaned his glasses for a full five minutes. Harkin angrily promised, “I don’t mean to quote the governor of California, but I’ll be back. I’ll be back, I’ll be back, I’ll be back!” Americans concerned with protecting the right to be paid premium pay for working premium time should be proud that senators such as Harkin are standing up for them are in Washington. They are fighting the good fight, and as frustrating and disheartening as such underhanded tactics are, they will not back down. They will be back. Rob Sand ’05.5 is interning for Iowa Senator Tom Harkin this semester.


Occasionally, though not often, something comes up which forces me to leave my dorm at night. Here in Providence, nighttime is often dark. And as everybody knows, when it’s dark, you get stabbed. Personally, I don’t like getting stabbed, and apparently neither do other Brown students. What’s a guy to do, then? Clearly, the shuttle isn't an option, because for every legitimate SafeRide van out there, there are three station wagons spraypainted with “SafeRIDE” and a toothless driver yelling, “Get on in! I'm totally not a criminal!” Thanks, but no thanks. I'm pretty sure real SafeRide drivers don’t make a point to ask me what my hair smells like as I get into the van. Walking poses its own problems, though, but until I can figure out how to boost a Vespa, it’s all I've got. First off, you’ve got to deal with people yelling very clever things at you from moving vehicles. Once, I was leaving Grad Center at night, and a car slowed down next to me. The driver was smiling and laughing and obviously very excited to take me down a peg or two with a homophobic comment. But then he just said, at a normal volume, “Greg Brady.” Greg Brady? Huh? Yeah, he sure zinged me, as I have both brown hair and parents. Not to mention walking places is nowhere near as safe as driving. In a car, if someone tries to jump you, you can roll up your window, because all glass is stab-proof. But what do you do when you’re on foot

and get attacked? Run? Yeah, right. Most criminals have bicycles. Bicycles that they stole. The University listened, though, to the concerns of the good, knife-fearing students of the Brown community. Their plan of action? Buy a bunch of random dudes yellow jackets and flashlights and place them at stealing hotspots! Is there anything that says safety more than a coat that is entirely yellow, people? Criminals see yellow, and immediately they think: giant bees. That’s scary. And you can’t just buy a yellow Columbia Sportswear jacket anywhere. Like Store 24. That's one example of a place you can’t buy one. Maybe there are others. But that's not the point. The point is that Brown is now completely free of crime, due to guys in jackets sitting in pickup tricks around campus and drinking large containers of Pepsi. Maybe I’m not giving these guys a fair shot. I'm just unclear as to how exactly they are going to stop crime. They certainly don’t have guns. Sometimes, I like to imagine that they are all ex-professional wrestlers, and should a crime happen before their eyes, they’ll be ready with a suplex, or a piledriver. That'd be pretty rad. I’d feel safe then. But I think their time could be much better spent by carrying me from place to place, piggy-back style, whenever it’s dark out. Maximilian Silvestri ’05 enjoys compliments.


America’s crucifixion complex Full disclosure: I have not seen “The Passion of the Christ,” but, in full support of the idea that the zeitgeist can’t be avoided, I’m sure I will somehow. I have no doubt that it is an expertly made film; I am sure that $25 million of pure Australio-American piety allows one to bloody up Jesus real good. And while it may be untoward to pack buses full of church group children into a movie described by Roger Ebert as “the most violent I have ever seen,” who am I to criticize Red State parenting? Faith, it seems, doesn’t come with a V-Chip. Still, one wonders what this new governmentmultiplex-megachurch complex means in the long run. For, indeed, as much as God may have talked specifically to Mel Gibson, a $117 million opening weekend in February speaks even to folks as unrighteous and (gasp!) un-Christian as, say, Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein. Will we see a spat of Brad Pitt as Jesus and Colin Farrell as Satan vehicles spewed from whatever special effects bowel produced such Oscar-winning dreck as “Gladiator” and “Titanic”? Will we see the movies stop projecting their messiah complexes onto inscrutable Matrixes and hobbits and just embrace the real thing? Here’s guessing no. Hollywood, in the end, is a fundamentally conservative place; it is no accident that the major studios avoided “The Passion” like the plague. It’s unlikely that the industry, even in the light of Gibson’s success, would institutionalize a radical marketing scheme that relies on courting claims of anti-Semitism, whispering rumors of Nazi-sympathizing fathers and forcing its product on ailing popes — the kind of thing that brings out true believers and ironic car-crash watchers alike. No, delusions of grandeur notwithstanding, celebrities and the media corporations that create them tend to avoid radicalism — or anything unsettling, for that matter — at all costs. Witness Charlize Theron thanking all manners of agents and lawyers without acknowledging the immense societal failure that created the “Monster” that necessitated her “brave” weight gain or that, gee, maybe a deluded multiple rape victim shouldn’t be electrocuted while Jeb Bush laughs. Which, incidentally, is where the real impact of Gibson’s work begins. The tremendous financial success of the film, that beautiful entanglement of God and money, is in many ways the ultimate sign that despite his recent slide in popularity, this is still George W. Bush’s America. Indeed, W. — cheerleader, oilman and baseball tycoon — is nothing if not American and nothing if not practical.

Measuring the polls, watching “The Passion” and intuitively sensing the pulse of the nation, Bush has adroitly exploited what most American presidents would have tremendous difficulty coming to terms with: namely, that the Republic could convert to (or simply come out as, as the case may be) theocracy overnight and no one would really care. With “faith-based” now a euphemism for “fully funded” and a ridiculous proposed amendment codifying homophobia receiving presidential support, “The Passion of the Christ” is giving way to the Passion of America. In some ways, this development simply adheres to that old cliché: that United States is inordinately religious because we can be. With no history of religious genocides, religious civil wars or religious inquisitions, so goes the story, Americans are free to bat around our deities, our messiahs and our theologies as a part of everyday discourse. The politicization of religion, in other words, is unsettling and disruptive but ultimately harmless. And yet there’s the feeling that for the first time in our lifetimes, religion has become something more than another rhetorical filter through which political noise is absorbed. Perhaps it is the advent of Islamic terrorism, which mercifully presents an Other (not unlike the Communist) against which Christianity must be defined. Perhaps it is the nature of American Christianity itself, a faith uniquely able to inhabit both the position of absolute strength and that of the self-consciously oppressed. Perhaps it is simply an evolutionary fact: the idea of a unifying deity on a country’s side is, politically and aesthetically speaking, just more convenient than the secular alternative. Thus the theocracy of Bush’s America is finally not purely Christian but the Christ-fetishizing ideology of a superpower with a crucifixion complex. There are always imagined enemies at the gates, always imagined threats to “freedom,” always reason to believe that we are still on the cross. It is this needed melodrama that Hollywood can provide; Falwell and Robertson may have tried, but it is ultimately Mad Max and William Wallace who readhere fundamentalism — that splendidly Lethal Weapon — to the Brave American heart. Jesus is back and gays, Jews, civil libertarians and the Islamic world better get out of the way; $117 million can’t be wrong. Jonathan Liu ’07 thinks “Lost in Translation” is orientalist, but damn, what good orientalism.



MLB: an off season on crack Welcome to the off season: the off season on crack. And that’s not just for Red Sox and Yankees fans, but for the Cubbies, the Rays, the Astros and the KATE KLONICK Jays. So OFF THE FINGERTIPS m a n y m a j o r trades and signings have happened between October and February that it’s almost impossible to keep up. Never before has baseball gotten so much attention six months before July. As a quick summary, this offseason has been like a girl you see at a bar. She bats her eyelashes, flips her hair, hands you her number ... and now all that’s left is to see if anything actually happens. A-Rod, Clemens, Pettitte, Guerrero, Schilling, Wells. Talent is changing hands faster than Pete Rose is changing stories. And there’s nothing left to do but sit back and watch it all unfold. This brings us, naturally, to spring training — what all of this money, talent and energy has been directed toward. It’s easy to know what the stakes are in Boston and New York. In fact, it’s been hard not to keep up with their trades, even if you don’t follow baseball between October and April. But with the Red Sox and Yankees as the predominant teams in the American League East, the rest of the division has received little or no attention in changes to its lineups and pitching staff. And can we really wonder why? The salaries of Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi and Kevin Brown are higher than the entire payroll of the Jays and the Devil Rays combined. In total, the Red Sox and Yankees have yearly budgets that are close to a $1 billion. One more see KLONIK, page 5

Finst ’04 continues stellar season by taking all-around at Ivy Classic BY ROBBY KLABER

Over the past four years, Jayne Finst ’04 has been a dynamic player in the Brown gymnastics team’s victories. Finst recently came in ATHLETE first in the individual OF THE all-around WEEK and beam at the 2004 Ivy League Classic, leading the Bears to a third-place finish, which brought its overall season record to 8-7. “Jayne is one of the most focused competitors on the team,” said Head Coach Sara Carver-Milne. “Part of what makes Jayne so good is that she never crumbles or loses focus during a competition — we can definitely count on her at every meet.” Finst’s winner’s mentality and

dedication to gymnastics have been crucial to her success, she said. “I go in believing I will win each event,” Finst said. “While I am very competitive and focused, at the same time, I am able to truly enjoy each event.” Finst said that even though she has competed in gymnastics most of her life, she continues to learn new skills. “It is great to constantly learn new aspects of the sport, but it is tough to change what I have been doing for so long. Refining my skills is extremely important and should pay off during the rest of the season,” Finst said. As a co-captain on a team with five seniors, Finst has had more responsibility this season see FINST, page 4

M. tennis sweeps Hofstra, defeats ranked W. Michigan BY CRAIG MCGOWAN

The 49th-ranked men’s tennis team improved its spring record to 7-1 with wins over Hofstra University and No. 62 University of Western Michigan. Brown blanked Hofstra 7-0 Sunday and beat Western Michigan Tuesday, 5-2. Currently ranked No. 52 in the nation, Brown came out blazing against Hofstra. The Bears, looking to rebound from their loss to the University of Michigan last weekend, did not drop a single set in six singles matches and won the three doubles matches by a combined score of 24-6.

Nick Goldberg ’05 got the ball rolling for Brown with a convincing 6-1, 6-3 win over Nikola Djordjevic. Co-captain Jamie Cerretani ’04, ranked No. 81 in the nation, took a break from No. 1 singles against Hofstra and, at No. 2, dominated Rodrigo Teixeira 6-2, 6-0. Zach Pasanen ’06 played the most one-sided match of the afternoon, blanking Matt Schor 6-0, 6-0 to clinch the victory for the Bears. Phil Charm ’06, Eric Thomas ’07 and co-captain Kris Goddard ’04 finished off the singles for Brown, each winning see M. TENNIS, page 5

Fencers fall short against tough competition at ECAC/IFA Championships BY ZANETA BALANTAC

Despite 15 top-10 finishers in the team competition, six qualifiers for the individuals and an overall ninth-place finish, the fencing team walked away from the 2004 ECAC/IFA Championships at Vassar College without any team accolades. “Generally, we haven’t done superbly at this tournament, and there are some ridiculously strong teams there, so we went

in looking at it as an opportunity to learn from fencing better fencers,” said epeeist John Sheehy ’07. Going into the competition, the Bears knew they would butt heads with the best teams the Northeast has to offer, including fencing powerhouses Columbia, Harvard, Princeton, Brandeis, Yale and Boston universities, the University of Pennyslvania and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

“The way the tournament was set up, the focus was more on ‘OK, I have (this fencer) next, I should work on these actions,’ rather than ‘the team needs X victories this round.’ People going to Regionals will definitely find that handy when it’s just individual wins that really count,” Sheehy said. With this in mind, the Brown women gladly engaged their competitors despite the difficulsee FENCING, page 5

Nick Neely / Herald

Athlete of the Week Jayne Finst ’04 won the all-around and the beam at this weekend’s Ivy Classic.

Strong singles play leads hurting w. tennis past Seton Hall, Rutgers BY ROBBIE COREY-BOULET

Strong performances from firstyears pushed the No. 75 women’s tennis team (4-2) past unranked Seton Hall University and Rutgers last weekend, allowing the team to continue its winning ways despite two starters injuries. Captain Victoria Beck ’04 underwent oral surgery last Thursday and was unable to play, while Kim Singer ’06 continued to sit out due to illness. Brown once again relied on strong singles performances to carry both matches, as the team was unable to secure either doubles point. Daisy Ames ’07 and Amanda

see W. TENNIS, page 4

WEEKEND SCHEDULE Friday, March 5 Women’s Basketball: vs. Columbia, 7 p.m., Pizzitola Sports Center Gymnastics: at RIC w/ Springfield, 7 p.m., Providence, R.I. Men’s Basketball: at Columbia, New York, N.Y. Women’s Track: ECAC Championships, Boston, Mass. Men’s Track: IC4A Indoor Championships, Boston, Mass. Men’s Swimming: EISL Championships, Princeton, N.J. Men’s Squash: NISRA Individuals, Canton, N.Y. Women’s Squash: WISA Invitationals, Canton, N.Y. Saturday, March 6

The Brown Daily Herald Spring Sports Meeting,Tonight,6 p.m.195 Angell St.

Saiontz ’07 won at No. 3 doubles by a score of 8-4. Theirs was the only doubles win for the Bears. Ames and Saiontz “played a very intelligent and smart match, using different formations and playing consistently,” said Head Coach Norma Taylor. Stephanie Falconi ’06 and Kerry Meath ’05, who filled in at No. 1 for the injured Beck, were unable to overcome the strong net play of Kim Barfuss and Viviana Figueroa, losing 8-6. At No. 2, Alexandra Arlak ’05 and Michelle Pautler ’07 dropped their match in a tiebreaker, 9-8 (2).

Women’s Ice Hockey: vs. Princeton, 2 p.m., Meehan Auditorium Women’s Basketball: vs. Cornell, 7 p.m., Pizzitola Sports Center Men’s Basketball: at Cornell, Ithaca, N.Y. Equestrian: at University of Connecticut, Storrs, Conn.

Softball: vs. Seton Hall, Towson, MD Softball: at Towson, Towson, MD Men’s Lacrosse: vs. Vermont, at Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vt. Wrestling: EIWA Championship, Philadelphia, Penn. Men’s Swimming: EISL Championships, Princeton, N.J. Men’s Squash: NISRA Individuals, Canton, N.Y. Women’s Squash: WISA Invitationals, Canton, N.Y. Sunday, March 7 Men’s Tennis: vs. New Mexico, 11 a.m., Pizzitola Sports Center Women’s Ice Hockey: vs. Yale, 2 p.m., Meehan Auditorium Softball: at Towson, Towson, MD Softball: vs. Seton Hall, Towson, MD Wrestling: EIWA Championship, Philadelphia, Penn. Men’s Squash: NISRA Individuals, Canton, N.Y. Women’s Squash: WISA Invitationals, Canton, N.Y.

Friday, March 5, 2004  

The March 5, 2004 issue of the Brown Daily Herald

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you