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Editors-in-Chief Zoë Hoffman Claire Luchette Managing Editor of Features Kathy Nguyen Managing Editor of Arts & Culture Ben Resnik Managing Editor of Lifestyle Lily Goodspeed Features Editors Mintaka Angell Piper French Arts & Culture Editors Adam Asher Caitlin Kennedy Lifestyle Editor Caroline Bologna Copy Chief Kyle Giddon Serif Sheriffs Clara Beyer Allison Hamburger Large Plaid Asian Phil Lai Web Editor Sam Knowles Staff Writers Jane Brendlinger Adam Davis Dillon O’Carroll Rémy Robert Tanya Singh Ben Wofford
do try this at home // lizzie davis the holesome pastry // claire luchette
summer of nothing // ben wofford
5 arts & culture politi-glee incorrect // teddy shaleva lewd lawyer // dillon o’carroll
6 arts & culture trouble when we walked in // caitlin kennedy
me jane, you food // jane brendlinger oral morals // MM
top ten post-it notes driven to succeed // tanya singh
editors’ note Dear readers, Another week, another storm. Of papal news! This week, Ratzy decided he’d like to be known as “Pope Emeritus” in the time that follows his resignation (TODAY). In his final address Wednesday, Ratzy presented some poignant peeks into the publicity of the Papal position: “He who assumes the ministry of Peter no longer has any privacy. ... The private dimension is totally, so to speak, removed from his life.” You speak the truth, Benedict. Living in the limelight is a tough business, and stardom is especially hard on kids. Just ask Quvenzhané Wallis. Our girl didn’t win an Oscar, and she was the punchline of an ironically rude Tweet (to The Onion: for shame). Her pile of puppy purses will have to comfort her through the tough times. This week, Post- gives in to media pressure and discusses Taylor Swift. Apologies. Let us make it up to you with two humble cake recipes—the first requires a dozen donuts, the second, all the colors of the rainbow. We also offer you some perspective from the road less traveled. Ben Wofford rejects the internship grind in favor of a simpler summer. Tanya Singh reflects on a life walking, not driving, down a similar road (or NYC block). So while you wait eagerly for the Vatican’s decisive white smoke, have a private moment and read Post-. It won’t make you famous, but as Ratzy would agree, fame is overrated. xoxo,
claire and zoë
Staff Illustrators Madeleine Denman Marissa Ilardi Sheila Sitaram Grace Sun Adela Wu
illustrations by Cover Phil Lai
Do Try This at Home Robyn Sundlee Summer of Nothing Sheila Sitaram Politi-glee Incorrect Emily Reif Lewd Lawyer Marissa Ilardi Trouble When We Walked In Grace Sun Oral Morals Phil Lai
do try this at home LIZZIE DAVIS
keeping the wanderlust alive
I used to have a serious condition: chronic multitasking. Many times over the course of my semester abroad, I was struck by the feeling that I’d accomplished too little. I would look at my calendar, where small Xs were supposed to mark achievements: completing my daily running regimen, applying for an internship, or promoting my music. The absence of marks would bring about a sense of nearunbearable guilt. I’d ask myself what I had been doing these last few months, how I could have let so much time slip by unnoticed. As someone with more than a few productivity apps on her iPhone, I became filled with self-reproach for something as trivial as belatedly answering emails. It was only after a discussion with a friend of mine, a frequent adventurer, that I realized the absurdity of my feelings. Traveling, he reminded me, demands focused attention. To fully experience a new place, one must practice total immersion, like when learning how to swim. The thrill of a new journey requires a type of mindfulness completely divorced from the pressures of our Information Age. Although I may not have accomplished much in quantifiable terms during the time I was abroad, my explorations unencumbered by school or work and free of the tethers of my mobile device were fruitful in an entirely new way. Some of my most rewarding travel experiences were those which did not involve Internet access at all. When my phone died in Paris, I couldn’t rely on my TripAdvisor app or my GPS. I was at the mercy of an unfamiliar city and language. To navigate the foreign streets, I had to focus only on my current surroundings. I conversed with Italians and Parisians—fellow humans—in ways I may not have if Siri had been on hand to answer questions for me. I was struck by the art of travel as described by reporter Robert D. Kaplan: “Your life is narrowed to what is immediately before your eyes, making your experience of it
that much more vivid.” I realized then that I’d been missing out on some of travel’s most alluring aspects: disorientation, uncertainty, and serendipity. In his 1937 book The Road to Wigan Pier, George Orwell contrasts primitive travel methods with the train, the modern travel form of his day: “The nomad who walks or rides, with his baggage stowed on a camel or an ox-cart, may suffer every kind of discomfort, but at least he is living while he is travelling; whereas for the passenger in an express train or a luxury liner his journey is an interregnum, a kind of temporary death.” And yet, he goes on, “So long as the railways exist, one has got to travel by train. ... In order that one may enjoy primitive methods of travel, it is necessary that no other method should be available.” Even in 1937, Orwell lamented the changing nature of travel. But he also recognized that advancements will continue
to develop, and the “good old days”—our concept of which is, after all, constantly updated along with our automatic upgrades—can’t be revisited simply by rejecting the available technologies. The resources available on smartphones—image recognition apps such as Google Goggles, websites such as Couch Surfer—make foreign countries more accessible and can enhance travel experiences. Indeed, we can’t forget that not too long ago, digital cameras and credit cards were seen not as innocuous conveniences but rather as blemishes on an adventure’s purity. So in travel, as in all things, we must find a balance. We shouldn’t rely too heavily on our gadgets to guide us. But instead of forgoing all technology, we need to change our mindset: Let us consciously nurture the ability to remain engaged with the present moment in spite of the presence of digital devices. This sort of adjust-
ment can positively influence us not only when we travel but also in our daily lives. At Brown, on more familiar soil, I continue my pursuit of mindfulness. Now, though, my eyes are no longer the easily awed eyes of a traveler, and, like most college students, on most days I seek not new adventures but the successful completion of an established routine. The same devices and their vices that distracted me on my travels are even more insistent with their buzzes and beeps; the hours that sprawled out before me when I was abroad are now punctuated by deadlines. In this native environment of persistent stress, mindfulness is even more difficult to achieve—but it’s that much more worthwhile of a goal. On any given day in the Blue Room, it’s not uncommon to see a table of friends with their fingers flicking across the touchscreens of their Wi-Fi-enabled apparatuses, paying only partial attention to whatever story is being told. At school, we are each busily wrestling for every free moment, and the temptation to keep our minds in constant multitasking motion is undeniably strong. I maintain, however, the importance of being truly aware of our surroundings, of taking time to unplug mentally from the minute diversions of everyday life. If we put just a fraction of the effort we devote each day to our studies (or Facebook, more realistically) into our real-life interactions with others, perhaps those interactions would be that much more fulfilling. If we resisted the impulse to text a friend on the way to and from class, we might notice in greater detail the charm of the snow covering the green. As I readjust to the rhythm of quotidian student life here at Brown, I hope to continue living with the wonderstruck curiosity and enthusiasm of a traveler, bringing the interactions and experiences of each day into sharper focus—this time around, without a guilty conscience. Illustration by Robyn Sundlee
the holesome pastry CLAIRE LUCHETTE
editor in chief
The 2012 Memorial Day weekend brought highs and lows for the sugar industry in New York City. Mayor Michael Bloomberg declared that he planned to ban 72-ounce sodas from the city on Thursday, May 31. He then proclaimed Friday “NYC Donut Day,” and he and employees from Entenmann’s celebrated by giving away 7,500 free frosted donuts in Madison Square Park. Matt Lauer gave Mikey a lot of flack on The Today Show for this seemingly contradictory series of decisions. I’m going to defend the Mayor, not only because Matt Lauer sucks big time, but also because: · A donut party roughly describes how I envision my wedding · Donuts > soda · Donuts > everything else I’m a bit of a fanatic, admittedly, but I really think the existence of the donut is a reason to celebrate. Donuts are the perfect storm of two qualities of great food: They are circular, and they are fried. Name any food you love, and it will fall into one of those categories. The donut is in both. To add to the reasons to laud the king of fried doughs and circular foods, donuts are
go nuts for donuts
readily accessible. They are cheap and easy and simple and humble. They are versatile: breakfast or dessert. On their own as a snack or as a meal with a glass of milk. Donuts are at their best when they’re not trying to be what they’re not. Since they’re not pie, they shouldn’t be filled with fruit or, worse, jam. A donut’s not a cream puff, so let’s just cut out that Bavarian thing right now. Call me a purist, but I mess with no funny stuff or attempts at experimentation. The best donut is simple and modest: glazed gently, plain and cakey, or dusted with cinnamon sugar. The donut should be unassuming, never larger than the palm of your hand or in any shape other than the classic ring. I am ambivalent about the best temperature at which to eat a donut; each donuteer has his or her preference. Some, like Liz Lemon, take them as most take cookies and brownies: soft and warm, either fresh from the fryer or re-gooed in the microwave. Others, like myself, like them completely cooled, firm and dense. The donut camps (doesn’t that sound fun?) might be divided about temperature and other topics including sprinkles and frosting, but we can all agree that the basic idea of fried dough
is a beautiful thing. Chances are, if you’ve ever driven 20 minutes to pay 88 cents for a fresh Krispy Kreme, you already understand everything I’ve told you so far about just how great a great donut can be. Donuts are worthy of praise, but they’re more than just comforting and indulgent pastries. I’ll go so far as to say they also have the potential for social good. I think an appreciation of donuts bonds humans worldwide together. When I was in Delhi last year, I was delighted to sprinkle some sugar on poori, which is dough fried in butter, and call it a donut. The French have their beignets, Morrocans their sfenj, Spaniards their rosquilla. In Israel, sufganiyot are the jelly-filled pastry of choice. Dolcho are sprinkled with powdered sugar and promptly enjoyed in Ethiopia. Around the world, people cannot refuse the glory of fried dough. Serve it with chai or coffee, call it a pastry or a bread; fried dough is fried dough, and fried dough is glorious. A uniquely American version of the universally acclaimed fried dough is the apple cider donut. I’ve only found them on the East Coast, and they are best paired with flannel and coffee in the morning or denim and a dark beer at night. Good cider donuts are cakey and moist
and coated with cinnamon sugar. You don’t have to look far; they’re amazing even from the worst, grossest bodegas that sell them each autumn. I love the ones that Coffee Exchange offers, but they’re only available on weekends, and are often sold out. If you have the good fortune of finding apple cider donuts, don’t buy just one. Get a dozen—or, if you’re Bloomie, get 7,500—and use them in making this recipe:
Priyan’s Perfect Donut Cake This recipe comes from the kitchen of heartthrob/magician Priyan Wickremesinghe ‘13. You will need: A dozen donuts A tub of frosting Stack the donuts on top each other to form a donut tetrahedral prism [Ya nerd. -Ed.] of sorts. Treat the frosting as mortar, and stick the donuts to each other. Cover the whole darn structure with frosting. You’re done. Eat it with your hands.
rituals of the sacred squadoosh
BEN WOFFORD staff writer Rarely do I jump into a culture war dispute at Brown. Although not one to dodge a good fight, I have a natural aversion to the Brunonian phenomenon of Faux Combat: the petty nitpicking of smarty pants incessantly searching for something to argue with each other, despite sharing pretty similar views. Our political divides aren’t exactly expansive, after all: Last week I heard a Brown Republican endorse full amnesty. No punch line. But assessment of the Summer Internship might stand as one of the few meaningful battle lines left here that can still divide us. An argument last week in the Ratty set me off. “Internships may be necessary,” I argued, with the kind of precision that only comes from a logic class, “but they’re bullshit and they suck.” QED. “They’re meaningful if you allow them to be,” countered Internship Girl who, as always, was dressed just like an intern. “Envisioning ourselves as interns is how we test whether our dreams have merit.” Then she really started going for the idealist jugular. “Every kid wants to be an astronaut, right?” True enough, I nodded. “Well, a shitty internship is how we make the commitment to turn the kid into a salaried employee at NASA. For every moon landing, there were a thousand interns.” Watching, in horror and in slow motion, myself lose the debate, I began to have second thoughts. Maybe I needed to “think big” about internships after all: One small step for man, one giant leap for manila envelope licking. But then I thought some more, and an eternal gem of wisdom came to mind: Different strokes for different folks. Though I did have some internship experience, had I ever demonstrably learned anything from it? I can understand the appeal of the well-dressed hunt for trade knowledge and well-placed friends, but the summer I took and learned the most from was the one that took me furthest from society and eventually to Brown. I don’t mean to go off about the worn cliché of The Summer I Found Myself, but I bet that for those who have enjoyed experiences away from civilization, the search for nothing—with no ultimate end, no tangible goal—can be more gratifying than any internship could be. For me, the call to search for nothing came in my first year of college—a great time for knowing nothing. As a freshman, I sucked at making friends and suffered badly from anxiety problems. So over the winter
break I sent in two applications: one to a summer job on an island farm and the other to Brown. I’m still not certain where either idea came from, but there was a lot of marijuana involved. My summer fantasies crumbled about as soon as I attempted to achieve them. When my gay island landlords told me over the phone that I could look after their dog, I imagined an experience similar to living with Modern Family’s Mitchell and Cameron, plus a golden retriever. I was instead greeted at the cramped duplex by Mia, a tiny Shih Tzu wearing a pink bow, and a basement sublet that reeked of cat urine. The free appletinis with which my hosts plied me did not make up for this. I moved into farm housing two weeks later, which somehow turned out to be a downgrade, judging by any metric of human decency—most applicably, the UN Declaration of Human Rights. However moldy and dilapidated the 100-year-old shack was, though, even more repugnant were the habits of the nine people who were wedged together in it for the summer. These included Dylan, the twenty-something professional vagabond who made up in tattoos what he lacked in brain cells; Bud, the wanderlusting lax bro whose summer hobby was, I gathered through observation, “wicked MILF hunting”; or Claire, the 30-year-old Baylor grad clinging to her fading youth. And me, an unapologetic recluse prone to panic attacks. We lived under one roof, each of us a different slice of human neurosis, the lowest common denominator that kept the house barely functioning. My job itself on the farm was also a lesson in managing illusory expectations. Lofty notions of honestly tilling the good earth were yanked down to reality when I was permanently assigned deli duty on the first day. My quick adjustment to the fast pace of the kitchen resulted in no fewer than four slicing accidents. No sooner than when my knife wounds healed did I begin meeting people who, like me, were attracted to the simple beauty of the island and were taking the summer to wander, poke around, and think about life, whatever that meant. Engaging in these eyeopening encounters was like acquiring X-ray vision for the anxious and broke. There was Nathaniel the sandwich maker, a Wesleyan freshman obsessed with electronica (“Uh, it’s called Intelligent Dance Music”); Michael the shelf stocker, a self-acclaimed rap phenom; Laura, a gorgeous NYU undergrad who sometimes cooked us dinner.
We just as seamlessly mingled with our elders, who remained young at heart: Jeremy the baker, Cassius the cook, and our kitchen cashier, a gargantuan Jamaican woman affectionately known, in thick patois, as Mama V. But the greatest departure from intern culture was the unlimited latitude to remove myself from the company of even these ne’er-do-wells to be completely alone. I spent those weeks cherishing solitude, sitting on the dunes under the stars, watching the moon move across the sky for hours, and beginning and finishing every day with a solemn swim. In fleeting moments, nothing was suddenly enough. And when I learned to quiet my mind, I could peer inside. Not all of it I wanted to see. This private mental chaos was comfortably brought to scale on the farm. As the sun heightened by mid-July, so did our collective delirium. In one economic standoff, half the house refused to buy toilet paper, while the rest of us resorted to using coffee filters. Dylan started a compost pile in the farmhouse freezer, sending Bud over the edge, who was already exhausted from long hours and a taxing MILF-hunting schedule. Mama V was fired for strangling Cassius over a dispute about a used tire, and Jeremy threatened to pull a Glock and take us all with him to the big crème brûlée in the sky. All of this served as the backdrop to my reception, at long last, of a piece of mail that sent my mind racing, a large white envelope labeled “Brown.” Inside that acceptance packet were all-consuming projections of possibility. Could I attempt, yet again, to remake myself on the new campus? Or had I already found the “real me” on this farm, eating discount vegetables while my freshman roommate interned at JP Morgan? Less confusing than my search for nothing was the fact that, against my own odds, I was pretty sure I found it. In a thousand moments, separated by everything, I had lived and relived all the revanchist loner fantasies from my days in my freshman dorm and exhausted any chance of magical redemption by sitting alone somewhere. Because the idea of doing nothing proved just as illusory as my peach-picking pipe dreams that ended with me in the deli. Beneath the surface, there was always something that denied the simplicity of personal appearances that meet the eye. I could no more search for nothing than I could avoid saying hello to my companions of that season. As American author Wendell Berry noted, nothing living lives alone. Because as it turned out, I wasn’t the only person fighting demons—if anything, I was the
last. My former landlords, as they confessed to my astonishment after only two weeks of knowing me, were undocumented immigrants living illegally in the United States. Mama V, it turned out, had a baby daughter, whom she supported by taking a third job at ShopRite soon after her dismissal from the farm. Michael worked an impossible four jobs while training for the Marines. And in the months after her father’s death, Laura was revisiting her childhood here; I never asked for details, and I wish I had. In this makeshift shared home, our suffering was kaleidoscopic, as diversified as a JP Morgan portfolio. And yet somehow our common source of relief was so simple. We all sat on the dunes, under the stars, and watched the moon. We all sought, and some of us found, nothing. Laura and I were watching a full moon by the beach the last week of the summer that changed my life, my orientation at Brown days away. She was certain she would return another summer, the I-word be damned. We talked about my ex-roommate, who during intermittent phone conversations had grilled me about my summer using hedge fund parlance picked up from interning on Wall Street. “What were your key ‘takeaways’?” he had asked me. “Were there ‘areas for improvement’?” A dozen yards down the beach fence was an older local, 70 years old at least, casually fishing. Laura went up to this man with an easygoing lean and thousand-yard gaze, me following with shy reluctance. In no time, we struck up a conversation, and a match with which we lit a joint. He talked about his life on the island and what it means to get old. I asked him what had changed the most. “Ambition,” he eventually said. “We used to desire things as a group, when I was young.” When Laura asked what he meant, he paused. “There was a time when I thought that if we had the courage to send someone up there,” he said finally, gesturing upward to the moon as if acknowledging a friend, “that we would have the courage to finally fix things down here.” After a while, he grabbed his pole and left in his truck. Laura and I ended on a key takeaway, with no area for improvement, as we watched an enormous moon radiate pure white off of the ocean’s surface, a million dimpled pockets of liquid glass. It brought me back to life. Illustration by Sheila Sitaram
arts & culture
getting away with four seasons of stereotypes
TEDDY SHALEVA contributing writer Glee is certainly not a new phenomenon and has been praised and dismissed by critics and fans many times since it started airing back in 2009. It is precisely because it has been on television for a while, however, that we can take a look back and try to objectively comprehend why the show has been so successful, despite quite a few rough patches (a painfully lackluster second season, for instance). If you follow Glee, chances are you’ve been on both sides of the argument, as the show is infamously inconsistent, both in terms of plot and quality. But even though it sometimes seems that the show’s success was a fluke (perhaps because people were so surprised by Glee’s musical format that they didn’t have time to criticize its narrative flaws), it continues into its fourth season better than ever. Despite its many bumps on the road to success, Glee was and still is a novelty; there is no other show on air that combines the characteristics of musicals, comedies and dramas, while also featuring a sprinkle of weird Christmas specials and alternate reality episodes. What’s even more special about Glee, however, is that in an era of political correctness and very careful phrasing by the media, it doesn’t shy away from controversial jokes and dark humor. The selection of characters whose roles as high school stereotypes—or representations of specific social issues, such as anorexia, dyslexia, physical disabilities, and teen pregnancy—sometimes outshine the characters’ actual personalities. Now,
maybe this is counterintuitive. Isn’t that exactly the opposite of what the show should be trying to achieve? If I were to write a TV show preaching against discrimination and prejudices, I would want to show multidimensional characters who were defined by their unique personalities rather than by the issues they face. But this is not the case in Glee. For example, Mike Chang—a character who has been with the show all four seasons—is pretty much a mystery to viewers, even now. The only major plot line he’s ever been involved in had to do with his strict Asian father, who refused to let Mike follow his dreams of being a professional dancer. Now, if that’s not reducing a character to a stereotype, I don’t know what is. And Mike is not alone. Almost all the Glee kids are more caricature than character. Storylines that prominently feature Artie, a wheelchair-bound Glee-club member, almost always have something (or everything) to do with his chair. Granted, Artie has more of a personality than Mike, but he’s not defined by that personality. His wheelchair defines him. Thus, the show’s attempt to transcend stereotypes backfires—instead of encouraging kids to forget their differences and embrace their talents, Glee insists on making each character’s “difference” the most crucial part of his identity. So how does Glee get away with it? What makes us forgive Glee’s endorsed stereotypes, especially when premise of the show is to undermine those stereotypes?
I would argue that Glee fans, the ones who’ve really stuck with the show through all the ups and downs, have a sense of pride and ownership over the show’s trajectory. In fact, sometimes it even feels like we’re writing the show along with the writers, because Glee rarely hesitates to break the fourth wall. The show is nothing if not self-aware. The writers slip in little clues and jokes to let fans know they hear our feedback and opinions. Examples range from Brittany’s fear of dating Sam because of the wrath of the lesbian blog community to Sue’s inability to think of a nickname for Marley except for “the absolutely stunning kind-faced, blue-eyed girl,” a feeling I’m sure most of the audience shares. All of this snarky self-criticism allows us to not take Glee so seriously when the writers dive off the deep end, making potentially offensive (and definitely politically incorrect) jokes. And honestly, this snark is what saves Glee from entering after-schoolspecial territory, a real risk considering that the show tackles charged issues like teen pregnancy, bullying, and stereotypes. Though the show is certainly melodramatic at times, it’s too self-aware to be dismissed as a typical teen melodrama. Ironically, it’s easier to take Glee seriously precisely because the show doesn’t take itself too seriously.
Glee’s selfawareness allows it to get away with a lot—inconsistent plots, one-dimensional characters, offensive jokes, and a complete lack of subtlety when it comes to ascribing different themes to each episode—but the show’s most remarkable feat is its didactic function. Because the show communicates on teens’ terms—sarcastic, self-deprecating, irreverent—its young viewers are more willing to appreciate its (often heavy-handed) morals, which they would otherwise instinctively dismiss. This teenage appeal is maybe Glee’s most consistent feature: from season one to season four, through all of its ups and downs, the secret to the show’s success has been its ability to successfully embody the teenage mentality. Illustration by Emily Reif
living the (rude, dirty, nasty) brown dream
DILLON O’CARROLL contributing writer Some things are better left unsaid. Living in a hypersensitive age of social media, people watch their words. You become careful to be politically correct, to not step on toes, to not offend anyone. Most people glance around the room before telling a joke or relating an anecdote. But for a few intrepid souls, this lifestyle is simply unfit for their nature. Will Newman ‘04 is one of those souls. By light of day, Will is an attorney practicing in New York City, a Brown alumnus, and NYU Law graduate. But by the light of the moon, you can find Will Newman in clubs around New York City singing and playing music that is, frankly, unpublishable. Will Newman’s music doesn’t just cross the line of correctness—it cracks it over the head with a beer bottle and tells it to get the hell out of the bar. His music is quirky, irreverent, and hilarious. Will brings a joyful tone to subjects most people tune out. You can get a sense of this just by looking at his song titles “It’s Not My Fault You’re in a Wheelchair” and “You’re the Second Best I’ve Ever Had.” There’s no embellishment in these titles: “Wheelchair” is about a man feeling guilty he isn’t attracted to a girl in a wheelchair; “Second Best” is a ballad in which a man, ranking his lovers, tells a girl she would be first if it “weren’t for that stripper from Dallas.” His
songs are a collection of inappropriateness, which include lyrics that express what most of us choose not to express. But behind his impolite lyrics is a measure of redeemable charm, plus a really good band. Will’s irreverent lyrics have their foundation in his undergraduate days. “When I went to Brown,” he told me, “I was in this unit with like 20 dudes playing acoustic guitar with all the same sort of singersongwriter standard, ‘I’m a guy with deep, sensitive feelings and can do a good singersongwriter kind of thing.’ There wasn’t a way for me to differentiate my feelings from these other guys. So I tried to think of the bluntest way to put things.” So Will, inspired by the comic stylings of Steven Lynch and Demetri Martin, sharpened his music and made his lyrics match the hilarity of those artists. And in the century of SoundCloud and YouTube, where musicians can proliferate their “lovey-dovey” songs quicker than ever, Will adapts through comedy. “Honestly, really talented singer-songwriters—I don’t want to say they’re a dime-a-dozen but there’s just so many of them, so by doing something a little different it makes you stand out.” While Will carved out his own sound at Brown, he also developed skills and talents that helped him become an attorney. Will is the “Brown Dream”—the kid who trooped off to Brown where he followed all his ambi-
tions without turning into a machine. “Pursuing my very juvenile sense of humor at the same time I was taking myself seriously as a future law person I think springs from not having any core requirements or having to worry: Am I taking all of the right classes? It made me realize that these are two things that neither of which I wanted to give up.” Will doesn’t run into much resistance from the professional side of his life; in fact, the music compliments it. “I really thought this was gonna be a problem and it really hasn’t been. I’ve been very lucky that the people that I’ve worked with are fine with it. By working in law I get to be the one creative person or one of few creative people in a whole other circle. Also the money is pretty good.” There is no tip-toeing for Will Newman, either in his music or his professional career. Brown cultivated Will’s urge follow his desires. His music may step on people’s toes or “offend” their sensibilities, but the music is bigger than the lyrics. The music represents the moment in life when you need to figure out a way to separate yourself from the pack. It is disdain for the mundane, making people laugh at feelings we don’t like to talk about because we are afraid to confront them. His music might make you awkwardly crack up with touchy subjects, but also reminds us all that we don’t have to
give up passion for profession. Will Newman has found balance through hard work and dirty jokes. Illustration by Marissa Ilardi
arts & culture
in the bathroom, where I’d count backwards from ten in order to cleanse my broiling brain cells: ten … nine … eight … . “Caitlin, come dance with me!” she’d cry, banging on the door. “Just give Nick Carter a chance!” I didn’t like boys, and certainly not men twelve years my senior, but Alex had been stalking potential mates ever since she’d learned how to crawl. “You better meet your husband by college at least”—that’s what she told me, what her mother told her, what my mother told me not to repeat, not ever, because it was barbarous. (Alex liked that. Barbarous.) Seven … six … five … “No thank you,” I’d say politely, through clenched teeth, “Nick Carter is all yours. I’m saving myself for Janis [Joplin (obviously)].” Four … Three … I was pretty sure that pop music wreaked havoc in the same way the aliens did in the Animorphs book series—by slithering through your ears and into your brain. Two … one … I mouthed the lyrics to “The Sound of Silence.” Poetry. Good music did exist—in the sixties.
trouble when we walked in privilege and pop in the girls generation CAITLIN KENNEDY arts & culture editor Immediately after I introduced my mother to the television show Girls, I regretted my choice—and not because of all the sex scenes (we also watched the first two seasons of Shameless together, so clearly borderline pornography doesn’t faze us). We guffawed through Adam and Lena’s awkward hookups, but the scene where an opium-addled Lena demands money from her parents was a different story. I could practically see the light bulb going off in my mother’s head, the gears of her brain revving towards a reluctant realization: This is my daughter, and my daughter is a joke. She didn’t say it, but she didn’t have to. I was suffering from the same epiphany. Somehow, watching Girls’s first season with my mother, all the privilege I had laughed at the first time around just made me cringe. My mother worked several jobs to pay her way through college and graduate school. In the context of my mom’s experiences, Hannah’s quixotic cluelessness when it comes to money and employment isn’t endearing, or even amusing. It’s obnoxious. For Hannah, joblessness is a luxury, and it’s one that most people never get the chance to enjoy.
At some point in the not-so-distant past, I understood this. My mother raised me, after all, on a diet of Johnny Cash and Joni Mitchell. On our monthly road trips to my grandparents’ old Kentucky home, Top 40 was out of the question. Instead we sang along to John Prine, a country-folk Dylan wannabe who rasped wistfully about his Appalachian childhood, lamenting the environmental degradation wrought by coal mining and mocking Americans’ blind patriotism (“your flag decal,” he warned, “won’t get you into heaven anymore”). My mom’s favorite was “The Spanish Pipedream,” in which Prine urged listeners to “blow up your TV / throw away your paper / go to the country / build you a home / plant a little garden / eat a lot of peaches / try an’ find Jesus on your own.” So in elementary school, I refused to listen to the Backstreet Boys. My best friend, Alex, used to sneak her CDs into my boom box and surprise me by blasting “I Want It That Way” at full volume. In response, I would run screaming from the room. “You’re rotting my brain,” I would squeal, not completely joking, and then lock myself
Fast-forward to 2010, my sophomore year of college, and I’m all decked out in glitter for a Ke$ha concert. Taylor Swift’s latest album, Speak Now, means a lot to me. Sometimes I watch the music videos for “Teardrops on My Guitar” and “You Belong with Me” on a nonstop loop for hours at a time, because Taylor—whom I will henceforth refer to as T-Swift—gets me better than any boy ever could. (Ironically, the boy I like is also named Taylor; he doesn’t get me like T-Swift.) Alex and I aren’t anything more than Facebook friends now, but I’ve developed a perhaps unhealthy infatuation with her two-year relationship, which from the vantage point of status updates and profile pictures appears nauseatingly functional. I am militantly single. When I describe my fairytale future, it includes twenty cats and no neighbors, ideally because I live alone in the forest. “Why would I want a Prince Charming when I could be a crazy cat lady instead?” I ask anyone who will listen, boys especially, seductively (or so I like to imagine), because I want to be joking when I slur it, sadly: “I don’t believe in relationshipsssss.” Then I make out with strangers, stagger home to blast some T-Swift before bed, and marvel at the myths I’ve made for myself. When my life is so safe and easy, why do I insist on pretending to be out of control? Finally: Spring break of last year. I crash on the couch of the San Francisco apartment where I lived during my semester off (an apartment that my mother helped me pay for instead of buying the new kiln she needed for her studio). The night before I’m supposed to fly back to Brown, I drink my body weight in free champagne at a warehouse party hosted by my ex-not-boyfriend. We hook up in his best friend’s loft bed, which surprises no one, except me. I leave the party alone. Stumbling down dark deserted alleys, I remember how I was supposed to walk back with Rebecca, my best friend and former roommate, who dropped out of school after our freshman year. Becca and I have spent most of spring break skipping through the streets of San Francisco singing silly songs like “Love Story” and “Call Me Maybe.” Wasting warm afternoons in Dolores Park, shivering through cool evenings at startup launch parties, never laboring, but languishing, exquisitely, we
giggled. I picture the two of us together, eyes wide and bright against the night, still singing, skipping maniacally like children all the way back to our gentrified corner of the Mission, a neighborhood inhabited by smug thirty-somethings who introduce themselves as entrepreneurs and co-founders and product managers at Google. Usually these warehouse parties end in one-nightstands, which end in (prepaid) Uber cabs of shame back to the apartment, and I’ve almost forgotten how much I love to walk alone at night, how the cool air on my bare shoulders is the perfect amount of dangerous, like the catcalls of drunken passersby. To spite myself, I smile back, suggestively as I can manage, because I cherish the thrill in my stomach, despite myself. And this is the most exhilaration I experience in my silly, sheltered life. Somewhere between childhood and (ostensible) adulthood, I regressed. I forgot the lyrics to the ballads I used to belt in the car on family vacations, or maybe I romanticized them, or missed their message entirely, and so descended into musical mindlessness: T-Swift. The pop-country starlet epitomizes the fading woman Dylan lambastes in “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965). She even wrote her own song about it, “The Lucky One” (2012), which explicitly references Dylan’s generation: “You had it figured out since you were in school / everybody loves pretty, everybody loves cool / so overnight you look like a sixties queen.” Subtlety has never been T-Swift’s style, and this song is no exception. Like Dylan, she uses the second person to address a fallen Miss Lonely (“you don’t feel pretty, you just feel used / and all the young things line up to take your place”), but she’s sympathetic instead of derisive, because (as usual) she’s talking about herself. And, selfishly, I don’t mind her selfishness—after all, she’s singing about the Girls generation, which I’m a part of, however reluctantly. Girls reflects the experiences of a miniscule segment of the population—privileged, pampered, self-loathing—but it’s a segment that is overrepresented in the arts, and has been for some time. This is not a new phenomenon—look at Miss Lonely, or Kerouac’s gang of drifters in On the Road (which I hated when I read it—during that semester in San Francisco, of course—because it exposed the emptiness of Dean’s lifestyle, and of my own “adventures”). T-Swift gets the allusions right in her latest video, “I Knew You Were Trouble,” which pays (drugless, sexless) homage to the Beat movement. Granted, the video is a blatant rip-off of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and Lana Del Rey’s “Ride”—only it’s worse, with a painfully vapid voiceover at the beginning and aggressive symbolism littered throughout (in my favorite sequence, T-Swift reaches out dangerously to … touch a hot light bulb). But I watch the video anyway, precisely because of its melodramatic, watered-down quality, because of that silly light bulb scene, that contrived danger—an all-too-familiar aesthetic for the sheltered girl who masquerades as a San Francisco socialite, seeking out “Trouble” where really there isn’t any to be found.
Somewhere between childhood and (ostensible) adulthood, I regressed.
Illustrated by Grace Sun
me jane, you food JANE BRENDLINGER
kidz stuff staff writer
Considering the food I ate as a child, I should be both morbidly obese and fluorescent. Ring Pops, Pop Rocks, Hostess Butterscotch Krimpets. Fun Dip (“Ya lick it, and dip it, and lick it again!”). My favorite thing on earth might’ve been a Chipwich. I was on what my mom called the “White Food Diet” (which excluded, of course, chocolate and artificial coloring). Bread, rice, and plain noodles—those were my staples, but generally I’d just hold out for dessert and dance to the Nutcracker Suite in the living room until I could bound into the kitchen to eat Cool Whip in a bowl. Not only did I refuse to eat veggies, but I also was a sugar fiend. A supposed cure for the hiccups in my house was a spoonful of sugar—I’d fake the hiccups to get this sweet remedy. One Easter, when I was two, I shoved a chocolate egg into my mouth and started choking. My mom gave me the Heimlich, and then she noticed that in my hands I held another chocolate egg, half out of the foil, ready to go. Another Easter found me hiding in my parents’ bed with an entire bag of jellybeans. When my mom tried to coax me out, I replied, “Go away. Leave me alone.” I kept this up until I was eight. Perhaps it was my status as a third child that caused my parents to give up trying to force vegetables down my throat and to just let me eat whatever pleased me at the moment. I’ve also retroactively diagnosed myself with acute Selective Eating Disorder, especially common among young children who have aversions to bitter foods and more taste receptors
for sweets. Kids with SED exclude entire food groups (see vegetables, fruit, legumes, meat), and are often afflicted with neophobia, fear of the new. I like to think sometimes that my taste buds were extra sensitive, too—but I think that’s just out of my wish for some kind of superpower, like someone who takes pride in their “really good vision.” If I were a kid today, though, I don’t think I could get away with eating the way I did. There’s too much health buzz, too much demonization of trans fats and refined sugars, and childhood obesity is catching. The kids I babysit eat kale and snack on toasted nori. My future progeny will hate me because they won’t even know what sugar is until they’re 16 (“I love Mom’s chia-seed pudding!”). Where’s the line, though, between preserving kids from the evils of processed food and depriving them from carefree exploration of the culinary world? That special joy that comes from putting a Bugle on each finger and pretending you have gross ridged troll nails—is that a joy lost to memory, to the organic Bugle that’s sure to not be quite the same? I have about 15 to infinity years to decide what I’m going to feed my children. Sour Cream and Onion Pringles might not exist by then, and Pillsbury Toaster Strudel might be illegal. The tale of Hansel and Gretel will require more explanation: “A house made of candy … it’s this stuff that’s sugary and sweet … yes, kind of like fruit …” Buy up your processed foods while ye may, my friends, so that your children might know high fructose corn syrup. Don’t worry—they won’t go bad.
Rainbow Cake To honor the child in us all, here’s a great recipe for Rainbow Cake (courtesy of Martha Stewart, thanks girl!). It’s oh-so visually satisfying: 3 cups all-purpose flour 4 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter, room temperature 2 1/3 cups sugar 5 large egg whites, room temperature 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 1 1/2 cups milk, room temperature Food coloring (primary colors!) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour six 9-inch-round cake pans (or as many 9-inch cake pans as you have, reusing them as necessary) with shortening. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream together butter and sugar. Slowly add egg whites and mix until well combined. Add vanilla and mix until fully incorporated. Add flour mixture and milk in two alternating additions, beginning with the flour and ending with the milk. Mix until well combined. Now for the colors! Divide batter evenly between six medium bowls. Use your knowledge of the color wheel and the rainbow (ROY G BIV, guys) to dye each bowl a different color of the rainbow. Transfer each color to an individual cake pan. Transfer to oven and bake about 15 minutes (working in batches if necessary). Let cool 10 min, then invert cakes onto a wire rack to cool completely. Spread buttercream between each layer, and stack in rainbow order!
pl. n. the set of expectations, practices, experiences, and motives an individual may bring to an oral-sex encounter MM
Recently, my friend was bitching to me about the discrepancy between the amount of oral sex she gives and the amount of oral sex she receives. “The ratio’s off,” she told me. “I go down on my boyfriend almost weekly. He goes down on me almost never.” While I don’t want my friend to be distressed, I also don’t have a ton of sympathy for her in this situation. It’s a well-known trope that performing oral sex on a partner entitles a person to receive oral sex in turn. And it’s tempting to buy into this system of sexual bookkeeping—to gauge the fairness of a relationship by quantifying and comparing sex acts. What’s more, it’s reasonable and healthful to desire and expect pleasure from a sexual encounter, especially if you desire and expect to bring pleasure to a partner. But when facilitating someone else’s pleasure becomes a means to facilitating your own, things start to get messy. Feelings start to get hurt. There are a few good reasons to go down on someone. One reason is that it can feel really good to make someone else feel really good. Another is that it can bring new intimacy and care to a partnership. It can be a sexy form of foreplay or the culmina-
tion of a make-out sesh. And, in case you didn’t realize, oral sex can’t get you pregnant. Generally, it’s pretty pleasant, too. Like putting a spoon really deep in your mouth, or licking an envelope for a really long time. If you’re anything like me, you think of oral sex as a rare opportunity to show off your jugular prowess. But there are also bad reasons for putting your mouth on someone’s junk. And one of them is giving someone head in order to compel or obligate them to give
you head back. Everyone has totally different sexual experience and brings to each encounter a unique history and set of expectations. While my friend’s boyfriend may be feeling lazy or ungenerous, he may also be feeling vulnerable or incompetent. He may think he can better please his girlfriend by fingering or penetrating her. In short, he may not understand what she desires or how to fulfill her expectations. The takeaway here is not to ignore your sexual frustration. The message, I hope, is to try to treat our partners with compassion and understanding, and invite them to communicate their experiences with us by communicating our own. Asking someone to go down on you, if that’s what you want, is reasonable and practical—especially if you have demonstrated your own willingness to give pleasure. It’s not always easy, but I recommend putting on your sexiest, sweetest, or most businesslike voice and firing
away. If my friend had reported that her boyfriend refused to perform oral sex even after being straightforwardly asked, and for an arbitrary reason like “Vaginas are icky,” my advice would have been to ditch that loser. As a woman and a feminist, I’m particularly intolerant of gendered double standards and phallocentric (read: my penis deserves more love than your vagina) language. If I were my friend’s boyfriend, I’d probably feel a little unsportsmanlike accepting blowjob after blowjob with no plans to reciprocate. But, in my view, this relationship suffers more from a lack of communication than a lack of cunnilingus. My friend needs to verbalize her desire for oral sex rather than, er, swallow it up. That said, my friend is doing one thing really well: she’s being generous to her partner. And gender politics aside, I believe in relationships—of all kinds—predicated on generosity and care. She needs assurance that her kindness is not going unnoticed or underappreciated, and she needs reciprocity. It’s not her generosity and attentiveness, here, that make her worthy of love; instead, it’s her capacity for love that makes her so generous and attentive.
topten regrettable tweets
1. It’s time to turn the page on the last four years. Get your friends and family and go vote–@MittRomney, Nov. 6
2. Everything happens so much –@whitehouse
never ever getting back together with T-Swift.
getting screened by the TSA tsars.
tsk-tsking at wet T-shirt contests.
banging T. S Eliot and ending with a whimper.
craving General Tsao’s Chicken and tsetse fly blood.
sipping tsps of Tsingtao beer.
weekendfive Phaedra Thursday - Saturday at 8p.m, Sunday at 2p.m., Stuart Theater EcoReps and Class Board Present: Pool Party in Nelson! Friday, 7p.m. Drag Show with Ursula Londonderry at Luna’s Ladies Night, Friday 10p.m. Royce Fellowship Panel Presentation, List, Friday 5PM BMC Concert in the Upspace, Sunday 9:30PM … WITH BEES.
3. He little children wassupn –@cher 4. Thank fuck it’s Friday! Can’t wait to get out of this stubsucking hell hole –@StubHub
5. @PakistaniMilitaryAcademy Thx for the sweet set-up in A-bad #SealTeamDicks –@OBLOfficial
6. I’M STILL RELEVANT –@SuperBowlLights 7. smokin a phat doobie you hurrrr #YOLO –@pontifex 8. I’m safely on the surface of Mars. GALE CRATER I AM IN YOU #MSL –@MarsCuriosity
9. Everything Kanye has ever tweeted. 10. Bqhatevwr –@ScottBrownMA
driven to succeed
give me a brake
TANYA SINGH staff writer “Don’t kill small animals or children. Don’t kill small animals or children.” This is my mantra whenever I get into the driver’s seat. I am not a great driver. I brake too fast. I forget to signal, and I can’t parallel park for my life. To be fair, I’ve never actually taken the lives of any small animals or children while driving. I guess the mantra is working, right? I took Drivers Ed the spring of my senior year of high school (this may seem late, but by New York City standards it’s pretty early). Every Tuesday, after lectures about blind spots, threepoint turns and oil changes with some staticky ’80s-PSA-esque movies added into the mix, our class would head to the streets. My driving instructor, Mr. Ivanov, constantly smoked Camel Lights and spoke with a heavy, throaty Russian accent. Small in stature with a receding hairline, he liked to alternate between jazz and classic rock stations on the radio. He believed that 9/11 was a conspiracy and he had been married three times. He called me “Tatiana,” which was also the name of his second wife. I had never so much as tapped a gas pedal before I got behind the wheel of Mr. Ivanov’s car. My first time driving was down Prince Street. Dodging shoppers, hazy-eyed tourists, and other random Soho-ites, I quickly developed a strong animosity to all plucky jaywalk-
ing pedestrians in what was the longest fifteen minutes of my life. (Of course, it didn’t matter that I usually completely disregarded the presence of cars when the roles were reversed.) That particular day, to the cacophonous chorus of Mr. Ivanov’s shouts and my friends’ jeers from the backseat, I repeatedly mixed up the brake and the gas and almost hit a school bus. I’m still scarred from the ordeal. Perhaps it won’t surprise you that I still don’t have my drivers’ license. When people ask why, I normally respond with the usual “I’m-fromNew York-we~have-subways” excuse, which is true to a certain extent. There really is no need to have a driver’s license in New York. Parking is a hassle and public transport is usually quick and reliable except for the times the MTA has abandoned me in the Brooklyn boondocks. Still, the whole New York spiel is kind of a cop-out at this point. I haven’t lived in New York for the past two years, and I’m not sure where I’ll end up when I graduate. I don’t want my post-graduation plans to be limited by my driving incompetence. For many of my friends at Brown, independence and driving were inherently interlinked growing up. With 16th birthdays came the fated trip to the DMV and the driver’s test. In that
way, I feel as if I’ve missed out on this American rite of passage. It’s as if everyone else is part of this club that my learner’s permit just can’t provide me access to. Plus, it is embarrassing to have to always be driven everywhere or to be utterly useless on road trips. I can’t take solo spontaneous excursions to Pawtucket or to Warwick strip-mall land. I used to think Providence bouncers and waitresses scrutinized my state ID longer than the IDs of any of my other friends because I have reasonably young-looking features or, alternatively, because my picture makes me look like a legitimate psycho mass-murderer. Both of these statements are accurate. Lately though, I’ve been wondering— maybe they just don’t encounter many 21-year-olds carrying around learner’s permits. I’ve decided this summer it’s time to take the plunge. On top of ice-creammaking, experimental endeavors, and watching the entire series of Friends (as well as partaking in a rewarding, engaging internship—hopefully), I’m going to face my fears and get back into the driver’s seat. Come next September, I’ll be able to whip out a driver’s license at the Ale House and the GCB. I’m giving the world, well, at least the Post- readership, my advance warning and apologies. I’m so sorry. For all of you, godspeed.