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The Chronicle

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

ONE HUNDRED AND EIGHTH YEAR, ISSUE 39

WWW.DUKECHRONICLE.COM

Athletics gets $10M donation

Business fraternity disbanded

Good aim

from Staff Reports THE CHRONICLE

by Caroline Michelman

The Duke athletics department has received a $10 million gift from Dr. Steven and Rebecca Scott, the largest gift of its kind in the University’s history. The gift will support a new threestory, 35,000 sq.-ft. building that will house ticket offices, department offices, a team store, training rooms and a larger weight room for Olympic sports. It will be built next to the Murray Building and is expected to accommodate Duke’s more than 600 athletes. “The tremendous generosity of Steven and Rebecca Scott for this magnificent investment is, in fact, unmatched in the history of Duke Athletics,” said Kevin White, vice president and director of athletics, in a press release. “The facility will serve as a showplace for the standards of excellence exhibited throughout the entire institution.” The gift marks a step closer to the University’s $250 million goal for athletics—$100 million of which will be dedicated to facility enhancements—as part of the Duke Forward capital campaign. Additional facilities to be renovated with the funds include Wallace

The Duke chapter of Alpha Kappa Psi officially disbanded Friday, when all but one member resigned after the co-ed business fraternity was put on probation this summer. The national AKPsi organization put Duke’s chapter on probation in May due to alcohol and hazing violations—implementing several proAlpha Kappa Psi bationary terms including increased fees and additional policies. These terms caused all but one unnamed member to drop out. After most of the remaining members officially resigned Friday, AKPsi was formally disbanded on Duke’s campus, leaving the status of the 41-member residential house in question. “They resigned because they were put on probation,” said Brian Parker, managing director of operations for the national AKPsi organization. “The students were not willing to put in the work to change the culture and their behavior.”

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NICOLE SAVAGE/THE CHRONICLE

Sophomore Lauren Silverstein tries her hand at a carnival game at the N.C. State Fair Wednesday night. SEE GIFT ON PAGE 12

SEE AKPSI ON PAGE 4

Early voting kicks off today Courting mice learn by Jack Mercola THE CHRONICLE

The North Carolina early voting period begins today, and Durham County residents are able to vote on campus. Duke Student Government and administrators have taken measures to make voting in the 2012 general election in North Carolina convenient for the Duke community. Those who are already registered to vote in Durham County may cast their ballot in the Old Trinity Room in the West Union Building at the one-stop early voting site. SEE VOTING ON PAGE 4

ON-CAMPUS EARLY VOTING SCHEDULE Although regular voter registration closed several days ago, there is a one-stop early voting site on campus where people can register and vote in one visit. The site—located in the Old Trinity Room in the West Union Building—will be open between Oct. 18 and Nov. 3.

HOURS Oct. 18: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 19: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 20: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 21: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 22: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 23: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 24: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m.

Oct. 25: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 26: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 27: 9 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 28: 12 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. Oct. 29: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Nov. 1: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Nov. 2: 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. Nov. 3: 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.

to sing new songs by Imani Moise THE CHRONICLE

Language has traditionally been accepted as an all or nothing trait, but new research suggests that there may be a continuum of vocal learning. Male mice, who were previously thought to be incapable of vocal learning, can change their ultrasonic mating songs after hearing the songs of other mice, according to a recently published Duke study. The

findings could be used to better understand speech disorders in humans. Previous research in vocal learning focused on songbirds, but the discovery of mice as vocal learners could have significant implications for understanding communication systems in humans, given that both are mammals, said Gustavo Arriaga, a doctoral student SEE MICE ON PAGE 3

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2 | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

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DUKE STUDENT GOVERNMENT

Prof wins award for Senate amends walk-up his genetics research policy for basketball

Thomas Petes, Minnie Geller professor of molecular genetics and microbiology at the Duke University Medical Center, received the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal for his achievements in the field of genetics. Conferred annually by the Genetics Society of America, the award recognizes an individual for their lifetime contribution to the field of genetics. Petes received the award for using yeast as a model to understand chromosomal abnormalities and genetic instability Thomas Petes in cancer cells. His research has given new insight into how normal cells become cancerous. “Dr. Petes’ rigorous work over the years in a model organism, in this case, yeast, is a wonderful example of how studies of model organisms can inform us about mechanisms of human disease, in this case, cancer,” Dr. Michael Kastan, executive director of the Duke Cancer Institute and William W. Shingleton professor of pharmacology and cancer biology, said in a press release. Petes’ research uncovered similarities between the structure and function of proteins responsible for DNA repair and protection of the chromosomes’ tips in both yeast and human cells. The parallels between proteins found in yeast and human cells allowed the scientists to understand how issues with these proteins play a role in creating cancerous cells.

When Petes and his colleagues were looking at yeast cells, for example, they saw that cells lacking particular enzymes responsible for DNA mismatch repair demonstrate similar genetic instability to that in human colon cancer cells. The findings suggest that these repair defects play an important role in the disease process. Petes has applied these findings to patients with hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer—an inherited, high-risk colon cancer where 80 percent of patients develop intestinal tumors. His research predicted that patients might have mismatch repair mutations. His research also gave greater insight to patients with ataxia telangiectasia— an inherited, neurodegenerative disease that causes severe disability. Petes’ lab discovered a gene in yeast responsible for the maintenance of the tips of chromosomes that is closely related to the human gene that is mutated in patients with this disorder. People with ataxia telangiectasia are cancer-prone. “[Petes’ research] is a powerful example of how the most fundamental, basic science research can have tremendous importance for understanding and treating human diseases,” said Dr. Nancy Andrews, dean of the Duke University School of Medicine, in a press release. Petes served as president of the Genetics Society of America in 2002 and was chair of the department of molecular genetics and microbiology at Duke from 2004 to 2009. —from Staff Reports

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Head line-monitor Jackson Lindsey, a senior, talks to Duke Student Government Wednesday about modifications to the basketball game walk-up line policies. by Carleigh Stiehm THE CHRONICLE

Duke Student Government passed legislation to change the walk-up line policy for the 2012-2013 basketball season at its Senate meeting Wednesday. Head line-monitor Jackson Lindsey, a senior, introduced the modifications—which include a decrease in the number of people responsible for representing a group and an increase in the maximum large group size, noting that he hopes the changes will encourage more students to attend games. The Senate passed the legislation unanimously. “Our goal for this year is to get as many people as possible for every single game,” Lindsey said. In previous years, at least one-half of a group was required to register and maintain the group’s place in line. Beginning with “Countdown to Craziness,” which will take place Friday, only one-third of the group will now be re-

quired. The new legislation also increased the maximum number of students that can register with a large group from 50 to 100. The rest of the rules regarding conduct in the walk-up line will remain the same, including that groups must be registered by midnight on the night before the game. In other business: Vice President for Social Culture Neil Kondamuri, a junior, announced safety concerns regarding the football game against the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, scheduled for Saturday. “It is very important that people know not to bonfire,” Kondamuri said, adding that an unsanctioned bonfire after the game would put the permit for a bonfire following the UNC basketball game in jeopardy. SEE DSG ON PAGE 12

Russel Targ: The Reality of ESP: A Physicist’s Proof of Psychic Abilities October 19, 2012 7:30-9:00pm Stedman Auditorium Duke Center for Living Campus 3475 Erwin Road, Durham, NC 27705

JOIN US AT 6:30 FOR Admission $20 Members $16 A RECEPTION AND Students $10 BOOK SIGNING Russell will be offering his last workshop on Saturday, October 20. Please call for details. 919-309-4600 or www.rhine.org/event

fall break wear you out? follow the news from bed or bus the chronicle on-line: anytime, any place, classes not required.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012 | 3

Rare cells can combat autoimmune diseases by Georgia Parke THE CHRONICLE

Regulatory B cells could be used to combat severe autoimmune diseases in the near future, thanks to researchers at Duke University School of Medicine. Although scientists have long known that B cells have the potential to inhibit autoimmune diseases, a new study introduced a method for harnessing a special type of regulatory B cell, or B10-cell, to more effectively combat the diseases without causing harm to the body. When an autoimmune disease is present in the body, B10 cells— a type of white blood cell that works as part of the immune system—often attacks healthy tissue as well as diseased tissue because it cannot tell the difference between the two. Researchers removed B10 cells from the bodies of mice with autoimmune diseases and manipulated them so they would only attack substances foreign to the body. The study was published in the journal Nature on Sunday. “This is a new therapy,” said Dr. Thomas H. Tedder, professor of immunology at Duke and one of the authors of the study. “It provides a molecular basis for understanding how new cells regulate other cells.” B10 cells were extracted from the mice involved in the study and were exposed to receptor signals that allowed them to interact with T-cells— the “helper cells” of the immune sys-

tem. This reaction caused the B10 cells to be able to solely target diseased tissue rather than healthy tissue. It also accelerated the reproduction of the B10 cells by four million times, thereby developing enough cells to effectively combat autoimmune diseases once the manipulated cells were reinjected into the body. “This is taking a cell out of the body, expanding it, making a million copies, and putting it back in,” Tedder said. This method could potentially combat autoimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or rheumatoid arthritis. “Dr. Tedder’s paper shows B cells are important in what stimulates immune responses,” said Dr. Bill St. Clair, chief of rheumatology and immunology. “It is a conceptual advance because it gives more detail about how B cells suppress and stimulate immune responses.” St. Clair said he was excited about the potential of the findings, describing the research as a new avenue for treatment. Tedder expressed similar optimism, but was conservative in his estimates about when treatment would be available to patients, adding that it could take as long as ten years, or more. “Having it ready in three to five years would be a miracle,” Tedder said. He added that getting a drug from the research stage into a clinic could SEE CELLS ON PAGE 12

MICE from page 1 in neurobiology and lead author of the study. “Having a mammalian model of vocal learning is going to provide new pathways for scientists who are trying to understand communication disorders such as Parkinson’s and even speech loss after stroke,” Arriaga said. Vocal learning is an animal’s ability to modify the sounds it generates, according to the study published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE. The scientific community used to view animals as either vocal learners or non-vocal learners, said coauthor Eric Zhou, a second-year medical student at Tulane University. The continuum hypothesis, however, posits that there is a range of vocal learning, with basic imitation to creating new speech—like humans do. “The trait of vocal learning is rare in the animal kingdom,” Arriaga said. “Before [this study] we had no clear example of an animal that was an intermediate.” Mice are such an intermediate. They require a template—such as another mouse’s mating song—and it appears that they cannot independently create new sounds. Only a handful of mammals are known to possess this vocal learning trait, Arriaga said. These animals—dolphins, whales and humans—however, are impractical subjects to study in a lab. The researchers mapped brain activity of the mice while producing their mating songs and found that mice possess a rudimentary version of the neurological pathways associated with vocalization in humans and songbirds. Senior author Erich Jarvis, associate professor of neu-

robiology, said he is excited to explore potential correlations between rodent and human vocal learning. “The next steps would be to further our knowledge of similarities and difference between human and mice pathways, be able manipulate them and enhance the pathways in order to advance vocal learning,” he said. In the future, Jarvis seeks to use the grant from the National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, which he received in 2005, to find a way to produce the neurological structures needed for vocal learning in species that do not have them. Richard Mooney, George Barth Geller professor of neurobiology and a researcher of vocal learning in songbirds, said the study is important because it maps structures for vocalization in mice, an area previously unexplored. But he questions whether mice should be categorized as a species capable of vocal learning, adding that there are other possible explanations for the changes in the mating songs such as environmental factors. “It is important to define what is learning,” he said. “You can loosely define learning as change, or you can define it as adapting in order to improve.”

Netta Van Vliet TTH 3:05–4:20 PM WST 290S.05 THE HUMAN NON-HUMAN INTERFACE

Shannon Withycombe WF 11:45 AM-1:00 PM WST 290.02 REPRODUCTIVE TECHNOLOGIES: RUBBERS, PILLS & OCTOMOMS ... examines the social, historical, ethical, and political issues surrounding reproductive technologies. It explores the ways in which medical technologies have intersected with cultural constructs of gender, sexuality, and race to produce ways of controlling the pregnant and reproducing body. Topics include: egg and sperm donation, birth control, abortion, sterilization, prenatal testing, assisted reproduction, and adoption. We will look at the ways in which these technologies have been used to conform to, subvert and expose social norms about reproduction, as well as interrogating the means by which medicine and science are implicit in the cultural construction of those norms. HISTORY 390.0 (CZ, SS, STS)

... draws on cultural anthropology, science studies, feminist theory, and literature to consider the concept of the human and its implications for scientific, political and social discourse. We will focus on various forms of human and non-human interfaces in order to ask how the human has been constituted in relation to the non-human, including figures of difference who have historically been defined as not fully human, such as the figure of woman, black, Jew, the child, the mentally insane and colonized people, and the figure of the cyborg. We will examine how the concept of the human shapes and is shaped by the claims of science and of the political frameworks of liberal democracy. CULANTH 290S, LIT 390S (SS, CCI, STS)

Kathi Weeks MW 1:25 – 2:40PM WST 290S.06 SEX WORK: THE POLITICS OF SEXUAL LABOR ... explores forms of sexual labor in relation to questions of consent and coercion, labor contracts and work values, sexual practices and intimate relations, trafficking and migration. The course seeks to trouble some of the conventional distinctions between sex work and other forms of both economic exchange and sexual practice in order to think more rigorously about the current organization and meaning of sex work, as well as its experiential and institutional specificities. LIT 390S, SXL 290S (CCI, SS)


4 | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

AKPSI from page 1 The national AKPsi organization began an investigation last Spring when Duke’s chapter listed alcohol on a budget sent to the national headquarters. Purchasing alcohol using chapter funds is against AKPsi policy. As part of the investigation, AKPsi sent representatives to interview Duke’s members. “It all came out in the interview process,” Parker said. “We discovered alcohol and hazing violations…. It was mental hazing, as well as forced physical activity— like exercises and calisthenics.” Sophomore Ryan Bartoszek, a former AKPsi member, said he had no knowledge of the drinking violations or hazing. The fraternity was notified of its probation a few weeks after the end of the school year, and their probationary terms included doubled dues, doubled insurance premiums, required attendance numbers at certain conferences, along with two more pages of stipulations, Bartoszek noted. “When we got back to Duke, we came together as an [executive] board and decided that the probationary terms would have hampered our ability to develop business leaders, which was the point of the fraternity,” Bartoszek said. The members’ resignations have not only affected their extracurricular involvement but also their housing. Previously, AKPsi was an affiliated house in Craven Quadrangle, housing 41 people. Housing, Dining and Residence

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Life will conduct a formal review next week to assess whether or not the house can remain a selective living group, Dean for Residential Life Joe Gonzalez said. If AKPsi can no longer be deemed an SLG, Craven House C will become an unaffiliated house, though its members might not have to move. “We will not force people to move unless there are community issues that would require them to move—vandalism, conduct issues, etc,” Gonzalez wrote in an email Wednesday. Regardless of the former members’ decisions to resign, AKPsi plans to return to Duke in the near future. The chapter needed at least five members to keep its affiliation, Parker said. The single student who chose not to resign— along with those studying abroad this semester and therefore not currently on the roster—will now have alumni status and will have the choice to rejoin when AKPsi decides to recruit and build a new chapter at Duke. When exactly AKPsi will return, however, has yet to be decided. It could be as early as next Fall, but the national organization has to work out a plan with University administrators. In the meantime, some former members have created a business club called Scale and Coin, separate from AKPsi. “They were a successful chapter until this,” Parker said. “It’s unfortunate that they weren’t living by the values of AKPsi, but we will come back and continue with the right group of people.”

VOTING from page 1 Voters are not required to bring identification if they are already registered, according to the state board of elections. It is recommended, however, that those who are voting for the first time at a given address— such as freshman living on East Campus—bring a valid form of identification. Student identification cards are accepted along with a document from the University showing the student’s name and current address. Although the regular registration deadline has passed, students who are not yet registered or are registered in their home state but would prefer to vote in North Carolina, may register in Durham County and vote in the same visit to the one-stop early voting site, University Registrar Bruce Cunningham wrote in an email Tuesday. Students who wish to register in this manner must bring proof of University residence if they live on campus or proof of Durham County residence if they live off campus, as well as a valid form of identification, which includes DukeCards, he added. “For many of you, this may be your first opportunity to vote in a presidential election,” said Larry Moneta, vice president for student affairs, in a September email to the student body. “Voting is one of the most important rights we hold as Americans. I urge you to exer-

cise your right and vote.” The one-stop early voting site will be open from Thursday, Oct. 18 until Saturday, Nov. 3. Regular voting will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 6, but the campus voting site will not be open on Election Day. Moneta added that the voting site makes it so there is “no excuse” for students to not exercise their right to vote. An on-campus one-stop voting site was first available for the 2008 general election, where approximately 9,300 votes were cast, according to the Durham County Board of Elections, the organization that has been responsible for approving the site each time it has been present on campus. Most recently, the on-campus option was available for the May 2012 primary elections, in which a controversial anti-same-sex marriage amendment passed in North Carolina despite heavy dissent in Durham County and on Duke’s campus. More than 2,000 ballots were cast at the on-campus site this May. Sophomore Derek Rhodes, DSG vice president for Durham and regional affairs, said he worked with the county board of elections in August to bring the early voting site to campus. Because of positive feedback from the Duke community concerning the ease and efficiency of the on-campus voting site—as well as the high-profile nature of the general election—it has been brought to campus again

by a Duke Student Government effort, said DSG President Alex Swain, a senior. Other student groups— including the Black Student Alliance, Duke College Republicans, Duke Democrats, Duke Partnership for Service, Duke Political Union and Duke the Vote—have organized with DSG to collectively host four non-partisan events to encourage Duke students to vote, Rhodes said. “All of these student groups are really excited about the election and the role Duke students can have in determining its outcome,” he said. “These groups made a conscious effort to bring the voting site to campus.” Rhodes, who spearheaded the effort to bring the early voting site back to campus, added that the coalition of organizations will hold an early voting celebration event, another event that will facilitate and encourage freshmen to register to vote on East Campus, a mock debate and a general election results viewing party. This is the first non-partisan alliance of student groups working toward voter registration and turnout in a general election at Duke, he said. “Everyone should get out and vote early,” Swain said. “It’s very simple and easy to do. This is a really important election—and being civically engaged, something we talk so often about in our classes, means voting.”


Sports

>> THE BLUE ZONE

The Chronicle

WOMEN’S SOCCER

THURSDAY October 18, 2012

Visit the sports blog tomorrow afternoon for Duke football’s injury report as the Blue Devils prepare to host North Carolina Saturday at 7 p.m.

www.dukechroniclesports.com

FOOTBALL SCOUTING THE OPPONENT

Duke seeks Tar Heels rush back to Wallace Wade North first home Carolina TAR HEELS win vs. UNC 5-2 (2-1) by Karl Kingma THE CHRONICLE

by Matt Pun THE CHRONICLE

Last October, Kealia Ohai poked in an 88th-minute goal to give North Carolina a 1-0 victory against Duke. Eleven months later, Ohai had another big game winNo. 7 ner. Teaming up with UNC Blue Devils Mollie vs. Pathman and Kelly No. 6 Cobb, Ohai scored Duke to give the U.S. U-20 women’s national Thursday, 7 p.m. team the gold at the Koskinen Stadium U-20 women’s World Cup this September. When No. 7 North Carolina heads to Koskinen Stadium to play No. 6 Duke tonight at 7 p.m, it will certainly be the former goal that remains on the mind of Pathman and her Blue Devil teammates as they seek their first ever home win against the Tar Heels. “We haven’t discussed the game,” Pathman said of her relationship with Ohai. “We know it’s part of the deal. I’ve been friends SEE W. SOCCER ON PAGE 8

North Carolina’s 2004 trip to Wallace Wade left a lasting impression. After a lopsided 40-17 victory, the Tar Heels rushed the Victory Bell and immediately began spray-painting its base Carolina blue. The digital scoreboard was hastily extinguished as paint residues were washed from the stadium track. North Carolina’s dominance in the heated rivalry, though, has proved more resistant. The Tar Heels return to Durham this weekend looking to secure their 12th consecutive win in Wallace Wade and to prevent a darker blue from coating the Bell’s base. Riding a four-game winning streak and receiving growing attention from national media outlets, North Carolina boasts a dangerous offensive arsenal. The Tar Heel offensive line was recently named the “best in college football” by ESPN experts Mel Kiper and Todd Mc-

Shay. Junior offensive tackle James Hurst attributes the unit’s success to experience and cohesion. “I think a big thing is that we’ve been playing together for a few years now,” Hurst said earlier this week. “Chemistry is a pretty big deal on the O-line.” Hurst also discussed the front five’s pride in earning national distinction. “It’s kind of rare for an O-line to get any recognition, but we’re excited about it,” Hurst said. Perhaps no one is more excited about the O-line’s success than Giovanni Bernard. Carolina’s redshirt sophomore tailback is packing the stat sheet with a little help from the boys up front. Due to a week one knee injury, Bernard saw little action in the Tar Heel’s first three games, but the All-ACC first teamer has still rushed for 652 yards this season and is averaging a whopping 8.3 yards per carry. Last week’s win against Miami was the first college game Bernard’s busy father had the opportunity to attend in person. The young running back put on a stunning performance for his family and friends, carrying

UNC 40.3 PPG 210.6 RUSH/G 276.0 PASS/G 36 TD 10-13 FG-FGA SACKS-YDS 17-123

OPP 17.3 99.7 227.3 15 6-7 4-26

Tar Heel running back Giovani Bernard has torn through opposing defenses this year, averaging 130.4 yards per game on 8.3 yards per carry. In five games, he already has racked up five rushing touchdowns. the ball 27 times for 177 yards and two touchdowns. He also caught four passes for 36 yards and owns 158 receiving yards with two touchdowns through the air on the season. “I definitely highlighted that game as a game I wanted to do well in,” Bernard said. SEE SCOUTING ON PAGE 8

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Irving whips former teammates into shape by Andrew Beaton THE CHRONICLE

At Duke, it’s easy to supplement the freshman 15 with a Durham dozen, surrounded by eateries such as Cosmic Cantina and Cookout. To get into shape this summer, two Duke basketball players turned to a former teammate for advice. Josh Hairston and Tyler Thornton visited Cleveland and went on the Kyrie Irving workout plan. “I was just telling them that the perfect time to go to the gym is when you really don’t feel like it,” Irving said. “That’s when you’re getting better. When your body tells you not to, your mind is getting stronger.” Irving, who left Duke after one season and was selected first in the 2011 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, spent much of the offseason unable to play basketball after breaking his hand. But he was able to use his time on the sidelines coaching his two former teammates and classmates. For Hairston, getting in peakplaying condition was the major priority. The junior forward averaged just 6.1 and 8.5 minutes per game in his freshman and sopho-

more years, respectively, a statistic he blames on his fitness. “This is the first time in three years that I’m actually in shape. That’s one thing that’s really been my Achilles’ heel—there was no way for me to get in shape,” Hairston said. “I would never be in shape and honestly Coach couldn’t put me on the floor because I could only run up and down the floor a couple times here and there and I’d be tired. This is the first time I feel like I’m actually in game shape.” As a freshman, his role changed from game to game, fluctuating between finding limited minutes on the floor and riding the pine for entire contests, which he did 10 times that season. Not that Irving has spent much time on the bench in his life, but he saw how the fluctuating role could inhibit his former teammate. “It’s hard to stay in tip-top shape when you’re on and off the bench,” Irving said. “[Now] he’s one of the older guys so they need to play him.” Hairston, who said he feels “stronger and faster” as a result of his summer workouts, also worked on his ball handling and

CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Former Duke basketball guard Kyrie Irving spent part of his summer helping Tyler Thornton and Josh Hairston develop their games. jump shooting with Irving, saying he now repeats those drills since he has returned to Durham. But dribbling and shooting are more critical to the development of Thornton, who will com-

pete for minutes in a crowded backcourt that includes Seth Curry, Rasheed Sulaimon and Quinn Cook. Although Thornton started 19 of Duke’s 34 games last year, head coach Mike Krzyzewski

announced that Cook, who started just four games, will begin the season as the starter. Thornton joined Hairston SEE IRVING ON PAGE 7


6 |THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

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The ‘new Duke’ isn’t Duke without basketball On a four-lane road in suburban Atlanta, lined with strip malls and apartment complexes, there is a strip club. It was there that my parents met. Now that I have your attention, I can tell you that 25 years ago, when it still had windows, it was a restaurant called Theo’s where in late March 1986, a crowd of Duke alumni gathered for nothing Tom more than Mexican food and an evening of Duke basketball. On March 31, Anne Marshall, Trinity ’78, and Rick Gieryn, Trinity ’79, each came and watched as Pervis Ellison and the Louisville Cardinals beat the Blue Devils in a nail-biter, the first national championship appearance of Mike Krzyzewski’s career. Although they may not have known it at the time, the basketball game would turn out to be far from the most significant event of the evening for them. That night, they were introduced by a mutual friend who had also attended Duke, and 18 months later, my parents were married. Brought together nearly 25 years ago by Duke basketball of all things, they have sent one of their two children to Duke—as a diehard fan of all things Blue Devil—and hosted fundraisers in Atlanta for the Duke Cancer Center, where my grandmother lost a heroic battle with pancreatic cancer in 1997. But now, the Duke administration seeks to marginalize a force that has long brought together students and alumni alike and provided a reason for many capable students to choose Duke over other schools of equal academic stature. Last week, The Chronicle’s editorial board met with President Richard Brodhead and published a piece entitled “The new Duke,” in which they laid out Brodhead’s vision of the next step in Duke’s future. The culture change that Brodhead

Gieryn

FOOTBALL

Cutcliffe dismisses Burton by Staff Reports THE CHRONICLE

Redshirt freshman cornerback Tim Burton has been dismissed from the team for violation of program policy, head coach David Cutcliffe announced Tuesday. Cutcliffe would not specify which policy Burton violated. Serving as Duke’s primary kick returner, Burton returned 13 kickoffs for 260 yards and a 20.0 yards per return average in 2012. Also appearing on defense for the Blue Devils, he registered seven total tackles and two pass breakups in the team’s first seven games. Burton traveled with the team to last weekend’s 41-20 loss to Virginia Tech and participated in the contest, returning three kickoffs for 63 yards. His duties returning kicks will likely be given to freshman running back Jela Duncan, who saw his first action on the kickoff team for the Blue Devils last weekend, returning three kicks for 51 yards in the losing effort.

CHELSEA PIERONI/CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

The experience of being a Cameron Crazie is vital to the Duke experience, Gieryn writes. described will affect student life from top to bottom, but, in particular, the head of the school took a shot at basketball. “When speaking with us,” the editorial board wrote, “Brodhead put the matter bluntly, calling basketball a ‘foolish’ and ‘disheartening’ reason to pick Duke.” I understand the reasoning for emphasizing the school’s academic prowess in recruiting new students, but I also struggle to see why such emphasis has to come at the expense of enthusiasm for the school’s storied basketball program. I don’t understand why the school can’t be just as proud of the Cameron Crazies as it is of its new focus on “interdisciplinarity.” I don’t understand why one of the oldest, most lauded and most recognizable institutions of this school is suddenly being pushed aside as a justification for students to come to Duke. I know I am not alone in saying that I chose Duke because—while I don’t work as hard as some, or play as hard as others—I knew I could find a balanced life where I would be pushed to do both.

I don’t understand why, if Brodhead feels so strongly that basketball is not meant to be one of the core elements of the student experience, Duke spent more than $7 million in 2010 to pay the head coach, or why Krzyzewski was one of the keynote speakers when Duke announced its $3.25 billion capital campaign in September. I want to be clear that the importance of basketball here actually has very little to do with basketball. There is nothing inherently useful to the school to have 13 particularly tall, athletic students—who constitute approximately 0.2 percent of the undergraduate population—dribble a ball up and down a court. The use comes in the sense of community that students can create at Cameron Indoor Stadium, the sort of large-scale unity that can be experienced in few other places on this campus, including—and perhaps especially—classrooms and labs. According to the editorial board, “The administration proudly cites the fact that prospective students now mention Duke-

Engage more frequently than basketball as a reason for attending Duke.” DukeEngage has turned out to be an admirable and wonderful program, and has had a remarkable impact on both the students here and on the world at large. But the basketball experience is crucial because it is precisely opposite in nature. Duke Engage is without a doubt a collaborative process for each student involved. Few endeavors of such profound import can be undertaken alone. But the immersive community service experiences are fundamentally individual, at least with respect to the Duke community. The program allows students to pursue their own passions and make their own mark on the world. In the fire-code-mocking crush of students in the Cameron Indoor Stadium bleachers, there is no individual. You can— maybe—pick yourself out in the crowd on a television shot if you’re in one of the front rows and happen to find a good freeze frame. You are just 1/1800th of a mass of blue and white and waving arms. And there would be nothing intimidating if everyone cheered individually—we chant together. No one voice stands out. All you hear, whether as a TV audience or an opposing player or Mike Krzyzewski himself, is a single unstoppable thunderous crescendo of “LET’S...GO...DUKE.” It requires all of us, and only together can we reach 120 terrifying decibels of noise. There’s something to be learned in those rickety bleachers that no academic or community service experience can teach you. There’s something about the way that only basketball can bring together 9,314 fans for a few hours of raucous excitement or a few hundred students for weeks of bonding in freezing tents. Or even just two people, with plenty in common but no existing connection, for a life of showing their son his way in the world, disagreeing over plenty of things but never Sunday Night Hoops. Trust me, I know.

Blue Devils need a signature win When Jordon Byas crossed the goal line to give Duke a 20-0 advantage against Virginia Tech just 11:48 into Saturday’s game, more than 65,000 Hokie fans at Lane Stadium fell speechless. Forty one unanswered points later, it was the Blue Devils who were unable to put a humongous collapse into words. It was a loss that forced college football’s pundits to rethink Duke’s Daniel early-season success. After receiving its first votes in the AP Top 25 Poll in David Cutcliffe’s tenure as head coach, the 4120 loss in Blacksburg has brought the Blue Devils back down to earth. With a 20-point advantage on the road against one of the perennial powerhouses in the conference, Duke seemed assured of its first bowl berth in 18 years, a national ranking and a pretty convincing argument that it was the favorite to win the ACC’s Coastal Division. Now the argument has shifted from Duke’s legitimacy to contend for an ACC Championship to whether or not the Blue Devils can even win a sixth game to become bowl eligible. Duke has taken care of business this year. The Blue Devils have fought through a couple of close contests, but it’s safe to

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say they have won the games they were supposed to win and lost the games they were supposed to lose. What this program needs is a statement game. It needs a win against a marquee conference opponent, either coming against a ranked team or on the road, but preferably both. Duke had the chance to accomplish this last weekend against the Hokies, the chance to prove to the entire nation that it deserved the national recognition beyond that of an upstart Cinderella story. And the worst part about it is, for the first quarter of the game the team succeeded, only to let it all slip away. As horrible as last weekend’s implosion was, Duke has another chance at that elusive signature win this week when it faces North Carolina. Although the Blue Devils and Tar Heels account for the single greatest rivalry in sports, it has been awfully onesided when played out on the gridiron in recent memory. North Carolina hasn’t lost to Duke since 2003 and has taken 21 of the teams’ last 22 meetings. If the Blue Devils look remotely similar to the team that played the last three quarters against Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels’ speed and athleticism pose a significant mismatch. North Carolina’s high-flying spread offense now features a revitalized ground attack behind the best running back in the ACC, Giovani Bernard.

If there’s a reason you haven’t heard much about the Tar Heels this season, it’s probably because they are ineligible to compete in the ACC Championship or postseason play because of academic violations. After posting back-to-back wins against Virginia Tech and Miami, North Carolina would likely be the favorite to win the ACC’s Coastal Division if not for their ineligibility. Not to sound any alarms, but even with five games left in the season, Duke’s chances to reach the magical plateau of six wins seem to be running out. The Blue Devils close their campaign with arguably their five toughest ACC opponents: North Carolina, Florida State, Clemson, Georgia Tech and Miami. Although this team has definitely not stopped believing in itself, this season is certainly not getting any easier. If there were a time for a signature win, there’s no time like the present. All negativity aside, there are many worse places to be than 5-2 right now, and bringing the Victory Bell back to Durham would be the perfect way to cement Duke’s first bowl berth since 1994. At his weekly media luncheon Tuesday, head coach David Cutcliffe emphasized the importance of having a strong home atmosphere in a rivalry game. North Carolina will have more than its fair share of fans in SEE ON FOOTBALL ON PAGE 8


THE CHRONICLE

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012 | 7

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Preseason polls begin by Andrew Beaton THE CHRONICLE

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Duke basketball head coach Mike Krzyzewski may not place a lot of value in preseason polls. But for those who do, the Blue Devils are ranked No. 8 in the preseason USA Today Coaches’ Poll. The top 10 teams in order are: Indiana, Louisville, Kentucky, Ohio State, Michigan, N.C. State, Kansas, Duke, Syracuse and Florida. The Wolfpack are the only ACC team ranked ahead of the Blue Devils and were ranked No. 1 in the conference in a poll of the league’s coaches this week. This was the first year the ACC has conducted a preseason coaches poll. Krzyzewski did not attend the conference meeting in which it was decided the ACC coaches would conduct a preseason poll, but said—before the results were announced— that he disagrees with doing it. “I would have never voted that,” Krzyzewski said. “Why would we make predictions? I don’t understand that…. I would rather be praised for what we’ve done, not the expectations of what we’re supposed to do.” In the USA Today poll, rival North Carolina is ranked No. 12. The three schools in the Triangle, in addition to Florida State at No. 24, were the only ACC teams to make it into the top 25. The Blue Devils are scheduled to play No. 3 Kentucky and No. 4 Ohio State and also have the chance to play No. 2 Louisville and No. 16 Memphis in the Battle 4 Atlantis.

CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Hairston focused on his conditioning while training with Irving this summer.

IRVING from page 5 with Irving in Cleveland, but also spent a month at home in Washington, D.C. There he had the chance to work with another former Blue Devil and NBA first round pick, Nolan Smith, who currently plays for the Portland Trail Blazers and went to school nearby at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia. “Kyrie and Nolan have two totally different games but they both do things very well. I was able to pick up things off both of them,” Thornton said. “I learned a lot from those guys. They teach me little things here and

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Thornton trained with both Irving and Nolan Smith to improve his game.

there, little tricks here and there.” Thornton focused on both his physical condition and his shooting. Although he hit notable 3-pointers in a couple games last season—against Kansas and North Carolina— Thornton spent this offseason trying to become more consistent from behind the arc. “I’m a lot more athletic. I feel quicker, faster, and I’m definitely going to be able to use that this year,” Thornton said. “If I get the open shot, I’m going to knock it down.” More than anything, Thornton and Hairston are happy to have such a wide-reaching network that they call the Duke family. “You couldn’t ask for anything better,”

Thornton said. “Those guys could be off doing something else in another part of the world, but they choose to come back and hang out with us and give back to us. You’ve got to love those guys for that.” And for Irving, he said the summer was an opportunity to stay in touch with two people he calls best friends, adding that they are the type of people he will always remain close with. “I’m a Blue Devil for life no matter what…. It’s real important to me to have that connection with Coach K and the Duke program,” Irving said. “I do miss it at times, but it’s not too bad being in the NBA either.”


8 |THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

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W. SOCCER from page 5 with Kealia [and other Tar Heel players] way before we chose colleges… so we kind of separate that a little bit, but I’m sure I’ll be friends with them after the game. But during the game, it’s gametime, so they’re my competitors.” Beyond the rivarly, Thursday’s match is also Duke’s last conference contest of the regular season, and home-field advantage in the ACC tournament is on the line. The Blue Devils currently sit third in the ACC, but North Carolina, No. 11 Virginia, and No. 12 Wake Forest all have two or more conference games to make up the difference. A win would give Duke a guaranteed home-field advantage in the quarterfinal round of the ACC tournament. “This is our last shot at points in the ACC,” head coach Robbie Church said. “We’re one of the first teams to be finished. So it would be a booster.” Duke (11-3-2, 5-2-2 in the ACC) will certainly face a tough test in the Tar Heels. Although North Carolina (8-3-2, 4-2-1) has played just two games in October, it enters Thursday’s match on a three-game winning streak. The Tar Heels have outscored their opponents 11-1 in that span. “They’re very quick up front,” Church said. “They’re very dangerous up front. They like to serve a lot of long balls…. We play different styles, but they play their style very well.” In contrast, the Blue Devils have already played four October contests, and Church noted that the relative freshness of the two teams could be of concern to Duke. With six players receiving regular minutes at the forward positions and a

SCOUTING from page 5 “I just wanted to make [my dad] proud and hopefully I did that.” Another tenacious performance like the one Bernard delivered in Miami could be a game clincher for the Tar Heels. North Carolina’s passing game provides a formidable complement to the team’s dangerous rushing attack. Quarterback Bryn Renner has thrown for 1,830 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Downfield threats Eric Ebron, Quinshad Davis and Erik Highsmith will prevent the Blue Devil safeties from focusing too exclusively on the backfield.

CHRONICLE FILE PHOTO

Duke, which has never beaten North Carolina at Koskinen Stadium, lost last year off an 88th minute goal. number of Blue Devils playing multiple positions during the course of a game, however, Duke may be able to overcome potential fatigue. “I definitely think our depth is one of our strongest assets,” Pathman said. “We can sub in a lot of people, and we will need to do that in the Carolina game. There’ll be a lot of running because we’re going to high pressure…. It’s awesome that we don’t really have a drop when we make the subs and that so many people are so versatile.” So far this season, Pathman has rotated

between playing outside back and wing-forward, and against North Carolina she may see action at midfield, Church said. And the Blue Devil sophomore is not the only one excelling in different places across the pitch. Freshman Cassie Pecht and redshirt junior Kim DeCesare have also played a variety of roles for Duke, earning time at forward and midfield. Playing primarily on the outside, Pecht has picked apart opposing defenses with her crosses and ranks second in the ACC with nine assists.

In addition to their potent offense, the Tar Heels also have a stout defense, which gives up only 17.3 points per game. Although the team has struggled with penalties at times, head coach Larry Fedora is happy with the aggression and enthusiasm his team is displaying. “There’s going to be some penalties in a game that are due strictly to you being aggressive, you getting after people,” Fedora said in his radio show Tuesday night. “I would much rather have to tone [the players] down than to try to get them going.” North Carolina is firing on all cylinders. If Duke is not prepared to fight for 60 minutes on both sides of the ball, they may get their bell rung yet again.

Duke gave up 6.9 yards per carry to Virginia Tech Saturday and now faces one of the nation’s top runners.

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“She does a good job with her body,” Church said. “She shapes her body up well, gets her hips around it, [and] has a compact swing with her legs. And not only does she get balls in, she knows where she’s serving it. Some people just rip a ball in and hope it goes to somebody, but she’ll take a look. She’ll be composed. She’ll find them…. She has a great soccer sense about her.” While Pecht is a big reason the Blue Devils lead the ACC in assists by 10, DeCesare has helped Duke become the fourthbest scoring offense in the nation. DeCesare, who had missed playing time earlier in the season due to an ankle injury, ranks third in the ACC in goals as well as points, and the redshirt junior’s 11th tally of the season earned Duke the tie against the Demon Deacons this past Sunday. “Her strength is in the air, and a lot of the goals that she’s scoring are coming from great services on the flanks,” Church said. “We are a good serve-and-finish team, and she’s been on the end. But Kimmy always works hard. She anticipates things.” The Blue Devils will still need to overcome one of the nation’s stiffest defenses as North Carolina has shut out seven of its 13 opponents. Nevertheless, with Pecht, DeCesare, and Pathman—as well as ACC-leading scorer, junior Laura Weinberg—Duke has the offensive weapons to defeat the Tar Heels in Koskinen Stadium for the first time and to secure a valuable tournament seed. “Any time you play an athletic event against North Carolina, it’s always something you remember after,” Church said. “So [a win] would definitely do that, but it would give us a huge three points and earn us a homefield game on Oct. 28.”

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the stands, and Duke students should be there to match. This game marks one of the few times that Duke students have had the chance to attend a football game against North Carolina. The Blue Devils have faced the Tar Heels in the final week of the season, which takes place over Thanksgiving weekend, all but four times since 1965. Students should take advantage of the opportunity to see this game under the lights at Wallace Wade. Shooters will still be there when the game is over, and chances are it won’t be overrun by freshmen by the time you get there, seeing as they make up most of Duke’s student section every week anyway. There will be plenty of points and a lot of passion, but if Duke gets a lift from its fans this weekend, they could hear the Victory Bell ringing through the streets of Durham. And if the Blue Devils can pull off a signature win this weekend, put an exclamation point on the evening by storming the field at Wallace Wade—how many times have we had the opportunity to do that in the last 20 years?

Always get the most up to date Duke football news by following us on Twitter @chroniclesports and visiting the The Blue Zone at www.sports.chronicleblogs.com


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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012 | 9

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Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. (No number is repeated in any column, row or box.)

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Answer to puzzle www.sudoku.com


The Independent Daily at Duke University

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10 | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

Sustaining advocacy Duke Student Govern- mulated demands and strong ment has recently concluded arguments. Instead of relying two successful advocacy cam- simply on student pressure, paigns, convincing the admin- they appealed to the cost-benistration to repeal the statute efit analysis that administraof limitations for sexual mis- tors often defer to and conconduct and vinced them expand the size that adopting editorial of the future DSG’s proposLGBT center. DSG, though als would best serve the intersometimes derided for its inef- ests of the University. fectiveness, has proven that it Given the importance of is capable of identifying issues strong leaders in the recent polthat matter to students and icy changes, there is a risk that, crafting efficacious campaigns once these leaders move on, to pursue them. DSG will become less effective. Effective leaders played a In order to mitigate against this central role in ensuring the possibility, DSG should work to success of these campaigns. collect and institutionalize the They were able to facilitate col- knowledge it has gained from laboration among various or- its recent successes so that, ganizations, marshal research once its current leaders have and heighten the visibility graduated, a new generation of the issues, approaching of student activists is equipped administrators with well-for- with tools and techniques that

What happens to Duke when all the admits are outliers? [sic] I look around at all my highly successful classmates and wonder what “problem” Duke is trying to solve? —“ForbiddenPlanet ” commenting on the editorial “The new Duke.” See more at www.dukechronicle.com.

LETTERS POLICY The Chronicle welcomes submissions in the form of letters to the editor or guest columns. Submissions must include the author’s name, signature, department or class, and for purposes of identification, phone number and local address. Letters should not exceed 325 words; contact the editorial department for information regarding guest columns. The Chronicle will not publish anonymous or form letters or letters that are promotional in nature. The Chronicle reserves the right to edit letters and guest columns for length, clarity and style and the right to withhold letters based on the discretion of the editorial page editor.

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have been tried and tested. Each new batch of student leaders should not be forced to start fresh. The perennial, and seemingly intractable, problem with activism on college campuses is that students only have four years to pursue an issue. These short college careers, studded with long summers, significantly limit the efficacy of student advocacy. This means that effective communication across generations, along with diligent recording and preservation of acquired knowledge, is crucial in ensuring that student advocacy can build on itself over time. DSG has also revealed that the most effective advocacy originates with students. What distinguishes the recent DSG successes from past campaigns

is that the issues did not originate in the senate chamber but in student organizations and conversations on campus. DSG, when it trades toothless resolutions for meaningful advocacy, can accomplish a lot, and we hope that DSG will continue to actively seek out issues that resonate with students and work with them to lobby administrators. DSG should view itself as an organization whose primary duty is to identify issues that students find meaningful and facilitate interactions between student groups and administrators to address those issues. The success of the statue of limitations and LGBT center campaigns not only points to DSG’s latent power, but also illustrates the administration’s amenability to pro-

posals that are well-crafted and deftly articulated. Many students incorrectly perceive that the administration clings to beliefs about campus culture that fundamentally differ from those of students. This is rarely the case. Administrators often have the same desires and goals as students, but are wary of change either because they feel it affords the University no identifiable benefit or exposes it to unnecessary risks. Administrators are concerned with rules and liability, not with quashing student freedom. Campaigns that understand this, and craft their proposals accordingly, meet with the greatest success. We applaud DSG’s accomplishments and hope they will achieve equal success in future campaigns.

Is interdisciplinarity even a word?

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commentaries

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lmost four years ago, I was sitting in my Duke ties, even if “StanfordEngage” doesn’t have quite alumni interview being told that Duke may the same ring. Although my inspiring alumna innot be in my future. My interviewer didn’t terviewer attempted to downplay the unique asreally putter around the point of my pects of Duke culture that drew me denial from Duke, obviously frustratto the school, claiming they were ed with my answer to her question, available elsewhere, this simply isn’t “Why Duke?” Apparently, my being true. The combination of our camdrawn to the University because of pus’ Southern charm, our students’ its basketball tradition, beautiful “work hard, play hard” attitude and campus and student culture wasn’t our abounding basketball addiction an adequate answer. Much like what is not easily replicated elsewhere, no President Brodhead and the Board matter an institution’s endowment. travis smith of Trustees seem to be focusing on There is only one Coach K. and i was all like... with their “new Duke” campaign, This isn’t to say that I completely my particular interviewer was probdisagree with the “new Duke” agenably hoping to hear that I was considering Duke da. In 2011, a College Board report found that the because of its academic rigor, interdisciplinary growth rate of tuition is double that of inflation. research opportunities and the popularity of its As the tuitions of Duke and other top tier private partially Gates Foundation-funded DukeEngage institutions become more and more expensive, programs. Now, just one semester from leaving the heightened cost of a “college experience” will the school in the midst of this transition, I���m be- be less justifiable to paying parents. Applicants ginning to feel that there may not be room for a will be shelling out the big bucks for the value of student like me in Duke’s future. the diploma, not intangibles available for cheaper Duke University, like any other educational elsewhere. This is where I side with Brodhead; institution, is a business. And like all businesses, some day college athletics and student life may be Duke has competition—top Ivy League schools a distant afterthought to academic rankings. And being among the most formidable. With an ambi- just as Brodhead appears to have taken our unique tious $3.25 billion fundraising goal aimed at “en- student culture for granted, our student body has riching the Duke experience,” “activating Duke’s taken Coach K’s era for granted. The man won’t power for the world” and “sustaining Duke’s mo- be around forever and there is no guarantee Duke mentum,” President Brodhead has entered an will find a Roy Williams to our Mike Krzyzewski. In academic Cold War with our competitors that at these terms, focusing on academics seems to be the very best Duke can only hope to match, and the safer bet. certainly not foreseeably win. To clarify, in 2011 My caution to Brodhead is that there is nothDuke only boasted a $5.7 billion endowment, sig- ing beneficial about pitting the ideals of sustaining nificantly less than endowments at Harvard ($27.6 Duke’s momentum against preserving and fosterbillion), Stanford ($13.9 billion), Yale ($16.7 bil- ing its existing culture; future presidents and new lion) and Princeton ($14.4 billion). Programs politics may reverse the trend of tuition increases. like DukeEngage are things that schools with four If that is the case it would be a tragedy to have lost times our endowment can easily replicate. How- what has set Duke apart for so many years. When I ever, the same is not true of the more intangible applied to colleges, I was unsure of what I wanted in qualities of a unique campus culture, such as our life, and I don’t think this is uncommon. This ununique love for Duke basketball, that Brodhead certainty led me to pursue a handful of academicalreferred to as “foolish” and “disheartening.” ly competitive liberal arts colleges, between which In a market of highly substitutable goods, I ultimately decided based on aspects of the entire like top tier education, it is critical to accentuate college experience. So as I move forward and soon uniqueness, not take it for granted. I argue that the away from the place that has been my second home pursuit for improved academic excellence and the for the last few years, I hope that there is a place for fostering of a vibrant and unique student culture a student like me in Duke’s future. are not and should not be mutually exclusive aims. DukeEngage isn’t a secret to our competition, and Travis Smith is a Trinity senior. His column runs our immersive approach to volunteering abroad every other Thursday. You can follow Travis on Twitter can be matched and surpassed at other universi- @jtsmith317.


THE CHRONICLE

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012 | 11

commentaries

Sanctions against humanity

The politics of materials

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uring this season of presidential debates, I writer Chuck Sudetic, “killed more civilians than all can’t help but notice how many questions the chemical, biological or nuclear weapons used in are left unasked, or how many questions that human history.” When sanctions weren’t enough, the are asked already assume the range of acceptable re- United States rushed into a baseless and expensive sponses. Our foreign policy toward Iran is one of the war that we are still paying the price for in dollars most glaring in this aspect and exposes our utter lack and international standing. Iraqi civilians are paying of concern for the humanity of the Iranian people. for it in blood. The stated fear is of an Iran with Sanctions are already hitting Iran’s nuclear weapon capabilities. This economy hard. Iran’s rial has lost 80 fear has been reiterated for years and percent of its value against the dollar years, although there doesn’t seem to in the past year alone. Prices for staples be much evidence to support it. Iran’s like milk and bread have increased leadership has repeatedly stated that dramatically. Tens of thousands of Irathey are pursuing nuclear technologies nian children suffer as medicine shortfor peaceful ends. The international ages threaten their survival. Though community has reason to doubt their the poor and middle class of Iran are ahmad jitan intentions, but the UN International struggling, those in power are largely Atomic Energy Agency and others indecent family man unaffected by the sanctions. The sufhave yet to see any concrete evidence fering of the Iranian civilian populato the contrary. While Benjamin Netanyahu is dis- tion is so great that Blake Hounshell, the managing playing cartoon bombs in front of the U.N. General editor of Foreign Policy magazine, tweeted that he Assembly, Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz, chief of staff of the was “beginning to wonder if limited airstrikes on Iran Israeli Defense Forces, has stated that Iran “is go- may actually be the more morally sound course of ing step by step to the place where it will be able to action.” decide whether to manufacture a nuclear bomb. It Sanctions against Iran are not only unethical but hasn’t yet decided whether to go the extra mile.” No also ineffective in pursuing the stated goals. The one can rule out the possibility that Iran may at some working class, who are struggling to make ends meet, point in the future change its mind, but if there’s no aren’t joining democracy movements in protest of evidence, it is hard to justify a policy that causes so the regime but are more willing to rely on it as extermuch harm to civilians in order to pressure a state nal forces threaten their well being. For this reason, away from a potential situation. leaders of Iran’s Green Movement and Iranian huThe fear of Iran’s nuclear capabilities isn’t that man rights groups have come out against sanctions. they’ll haphazardly use them. Both American and If anything, sanctions and increased talk of miliIsraeli intelligence consider Iran a rational actor in tary action is only hurtling Iran, and the rest of the the international sphere. Countries develop nuclear world, toward the proverbial red line and ensures weapons as deterrence. The concern isn’t that Iran further instability and insecurity in the region. U.S. will “wipe Israel off the map” with a nuclear warhead, actions against Iran only increase anti-American senbut that they’ll more aggressively pursue their poli- timent in the region and validate the perception of cies and gain greater influence in the region know- the U.S. as an aggressor. If we wonder why the “Musing that an attack against them is less likely if they are lim world” is so mad at us, we only have to look at a nuclear power. The concern isn’t a commitment to the continued suffering of civilian populations as we nuclear disarmament (Israel, along with India and dehumanize and inflict suffering through sanctions, Pakistan, are non-signatories to the Non-Prolifera- military interventions, drone strikes and continued tion Treaty) and it is not a concern for the Iranian support of corrupt regimes as long as they are in line people’s access to a free and democratic state; the with our interests. concern is over Iran being a stronger regional player We should have no illusion that the United States that can threaten the United States’ economic (e.g., is on any kind of moral high ground when it comes to access to natural resources) and political interests. foreign policy. As Glenn Greenwald asks in a recent But what are these sanctions actually accomplish- Guardian column, “If ‘terrorism’ means the use of viing? According to Rep. Brad Sherman of California, olence aimed at civilians in order to induce political “The goal of the bill is to drive Iran’s economy into a change from their government, what is it called when crisis and force its leaders to the negotiating table.” intense economic suffering is imposed on a civilian It’s a strategy that’s been used on regimes in the population in order to induce political change from past in order to pressure them away from unsavory their government? Can those two tactics be morally policies and practices, to varying success. Some have distinguished?” argued that sanctions pressured apartheid South Africa to finally hold democratic elections. Sanctions Ahmad Jitan is a Trinity senior. His column runs evon Iraq during the ’90s did little to nothing to harm ery other Thursday. You can follow Ahmad on Twitter @ Saddam Hussein’s regime but instead, as stated by AhmadJitan.

lettertotheeditor Response to “The feminine mystep” I tried not to get too frustrated reading the Oct. 12 column “The feminine mystep,” because it’s been refreshing and enjoyable to hear feminism at the forefront of social discussions on Duke’s campus recently. In that respect, I truly appreciate the author’s words. But, frankly, the column was ironic. In critiquing feminism for making generalizations, the author made many generalizations himself. Now let me get something straight: I don’t know any woman, or any person for that matter, who prefers to be told she or he is dumb instead of being given flowers and support. But hey, everyone loves a good perpetuation of the hairy-legged, man-hating, lesbian feminist—it’s an easy go-to when critiquing a movement you know nothing about. Feminism is not about emasculating men, making them uncomfortable or ignoring those sympathetic to its cause. Feminism is about autonomy. In a world where man is “A” and everything is measured terms of A—leaving women seen as not-A—feminists strive to be “B.” That

is the primary claim of feminist theory. And if you’re asking us to embrace the mainstream and “accept the majority,” you’re missing the point. A society shaped by phallocentrism and sexism cannot be changed by a pop singer in a neon bra-let telling us to let our true selves shine. I’m sorry, but that’s just not the way it works. Study intersectionality, look at your own privilege and get back to me. Articles like this promote patriarchal thought, although perhaps unintentionally. Articles like this invite people to say, “I am not a feminist, but I support the equal rights of women.” The fear of being associated with the feminist movement is disconcerting—many people don’t want to face the social stigma concomitant with feminism. Ultimately, the veracity of a claim is determined by its origin. And perhaps if the author had walked into the women’s center once before writing his column, he would understand. Maya Flippen Trinity ’15

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n my last column I wrote about how art can be political and why politicians should pay attention to it. It got me thinking about whether art is inherently political, regardless of whether its content is specifically political. Considering that many visual art forms are very material-intensive, it seems like the politics of the materials themselves automatically transfer onto the art piece. As you probably know, materials and products are not always extracted, grown or manufactured in an hannah andersonenvironmentally sustainable manbaranger ner. To try to encourage companies state of the arts to be more socially and environmentally sustainable, the consumer can “vote” with his or her dollar—he or she can decide to consciously purchase, and therefore support, companies that uphold the values of sustainability in their practices. An artist is no different from an ordinary consumer; by choosing to work with specific materials, artists are voting with their dollars. But artists create consciously and purposefully, with intention. This intent assigns a certain amount of ethical responsibility to the artist, more than that of the average consumer. Therefore, we could say that artists have an increased responsibility to consider the environmental and social impact of their materials. One artist who does consider this is Nicole Dextras. She creates garments out of leaves, flowers and edibles like vegetables and grains to express a desire for a more sustainable fashion industry. Dextras’ work is delicate and ephemeral, and easily decomposes back into the earth without major impact. Her work is definitely in line with the sustainability ethos, but it caused me to wonder whether work made from plants has to be about sustainability and whether work not made with plants can be about sustainability. Specifically, can artists consciously choose to not be sustainable? Luckily for my column, I got a chance to think more about this question this weekend while I was helping the artists from the performance/installation piece “How to Build a Forest,” which you can experience this weekend in Page Auditorium. The piece is an interactive, complete experience of the building and taking down of a forest. The forest is constructed out of an assortment of ethereal alive-seeming objects, most of which are manmade and disastrous for the environment either while being produced or in disposal. While working on the piece, I was really struck by the oxymoron of how such a beautiful organic-seeming “forest” can be created out of materials which are anything but beautifully organic. The artist Shawn Hall and the collaborative team Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour, the duo known as PearlDamour, are aware of this juxtaposition. A “field guide” is given to audience members that attempts to trace the origins of the materials used to create the artificial foliage. “Forest” is an example of artists consciously working unsustainably in order to inspire thought on issues surrounding the environment and humans’ relationship to it. Most sculptural and installation art, however, is not purposefully unsustainable, but rather unsustainable by default. Generally, the origin of materials is not considered at all, and neither is the decomposition of the piece. This becomes especially problematic when considering large sculptures and installations, both of which use large quantities of material, thereby increasing whatever environmental impact those materials have. For instance, Jacob Hashimoto’s installation pieces are beautiful created-environments—that is, spatial experiences—yet I wonder about what happens after the exhibit. His piece “Silence Still Governs Our Consciousness,” shown in Rome in 2010, consists of hundreds of paper kites, creating an airy, cloudlike atmosphere. Paper need not be an unsustainable material, since in theory it can be successfully recycled and decomposed, but the problem with many materials often lies in the quantity being used. And for this specific piece, a whole lot of paper was used. Maybe Hashimoto had a plan for the environmentally-friendly disposal of his piece. But if he did, he didn’t mention the after-life of his work on his website. There are several possibilities for the relationship between sustainability and art. I just walked through examples of sustainable art about our relationship to the natural environment, unsustainable art about our relationship to the natural environment and unsustainable art not about anything related to sustainability. The final iteration is sustainable art that is not about the fact that it is or isn’t sustainable. I’m not sure what this would look like, but with shrinking resources and the need to decrease our carbon footprint, perhaps artistic responsibility requires a future that consists completely of sustainable art. Hannah Anderson-Baranger is a Trinity junior. Her column runs every other Thursday.


12 | THURSDAY, OCTOBER 18, 2012

THE CHRONICLE

GIFT from page 1

Battle of the Midway

NICOLE SAVAGE/THE CHRONICLE

People gather on the midway to play games for prizes at the N.C. State Fair in Raleigh Wednesday evening.

WST 290S.02

Islam, Europe and Gender Jeanette Jouili MW 1:25–2:40 PM A look at current policies and debates on Muslims in Europe shows a shift from ethnicity and race towards religion, where Islam is increasingly utilized as a category through which to perceive a diverse group of migrants and their descendants. Political discourses describe Muslim women as oppressed and demand political measures to free them from their subjected status. Muslim men are depicted as inherently violent and oppressive. We will examine the debate on Islam in Europe through its gendered nature from the headscarf to more recent niqab (veil) debates, from those on honor killings, to the infamous Zidane scandal. AMES 390S.01, CULANTH 290S.07, PUBPOL 290S.05 (SS, CCI)

WST 290S.04

Gendering Migration Lindah Mhando WF 10:05–11:20 AM This course invites us to peek through diverse theoretical lenses as we entertain multiple complexities and contradictions in women’s lives. We will explore how global inequalities, beginning with colonialism, immigrants’ decisions to migrate, their new household set-up, men’s and women’s identities, and the second-generation’s fates, are gendered. The aim of this course is to introduce students to the various ways diasporic migration as well as formations and experiences are gendered. ICS 290S.01; AAAS 290S.01; CULANTH 290S.01 (SS, CCI)

WST 380S

Transnational Feminist Research Frances Hasso TTH 3:05 - 4:20 PM This interdisciplinary seminar uses feminist and critical scholarship from many disciplines to examine how ways of knowing (epistemology), ways of being (a person’s identity and locations), power relations within and between countries, and different historical contexts impact the production, understanding, and circulation of knowledge. Open only to sophomores, juniors and seniors. No 1st year students. ICS 279S (SS, CCI, EI, R)

Wade Stadium and Cameron Indoor Stadium, as well as a new track and field stadium. “Becky and I strongly believe in the need to give back and do what we can to make an impact and a difference,” Steven Scott said. “After speaking with President [Richard] Brodhead and Kevin White and hearing more about their vision for the future of Duke Athletics, we decided we wanted very much to be a part of this effort.” Steven Scott serves on the board of directors for the Duke University Health System as well as the steering committee for Duke Forward. He is the retired chairman of Scott Holdings, LLC, a medical investment company, and currently serves as an assistant consulting professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke. He is president of the Scott Family Foundation and is on the board of trustees at the University of Florida. After graduating from medical school at Indiana University, Scott completed his internship and residency at Duke from 1974-1978. Rebecca Scott graduated from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro before coming to Duke, where she earned an allied health certificate in nurse anesthesiology in 1979. She previously served on the boards of Durham-area educational organizations including Durham Academy, the Hill Center and the Lucy Daniels Center for Early Education, and on the board at the Saint Andrew’s School in Boca Raton, Fla.

CELLS from page 3 cost as much as $1.6 billion and require the work of thousands of people. But the study outlines a course of action toward research that will bring scientists even closer to developing treatment options, Tedder noted. “We provide a path to which [treatment] can occur,” he said. “We are planning on moving forward as fast as humanly possible.”

DSG from page 2 He added that the tailgating scheduled for the UNC game will be of particular interest to students because there will be free food and school spirit. If Duke wins this game, the team will be in contention for a bowl game. Sophomore Derek Rhodes, vice president for Durham and regional affairs, announced that he is continuing to work with University and Durham officials to reform the Knock and Talks policies, which have been in flux since the beginning of the academic year. As part of Knock and Talks, Duke police officers visit off-campus student residences to discuss housing policy and regulations. “Knock and Talks has definitely drifted from its intended purpose,” Rhodes said. Senator for Equity and Outreach Adesuwa GiwaOsagie, a sophomore, presented a request for $1,500 on behalf of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. The funds will be used to pay the honorarium for poet and activist Nikki Giovanni. who is scheduled to speak on campus on October 24. The event is open to all students. Giovanni’s speech will focus on the “new civil rights,” said Giwa-Osagie. The proposal was passed by a Senate vote, following a failure to approve the funding at last week’s meeting. Executive Vice President Patrick Oathout, a junior, presented amendments to the Young Trustee bylaws. First year students are now able to apply to the position of young trustee. Nominees are selected by the Young Trustee Nominating Committee to serve on the Board of Trustees for a three-year term. Oathout noted that by extending the opportunity to all students, age-based discrimination is eliminated. The Senate voted to approve funding for Phi Beta Sigma fraternity’s Casino Royale Charity Ball. The ball, scheduled for Oct. 27, will support March of Dimes, an organization dedicated to improving the health of mothers and their babies.


Recess

volume 14 issue 8 october 18, 2012

(RE) MI FA SOL LA TI DO

o t w o h

BUILD A FOREST

and prune your wallflowers

CENTER

SOPHIA DURAND/THE CHRONICLE

perks

soviet art

wallflower adaptation fails to blossom

PAGE 3

SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

allelujah!

Nasher goes back to the USSR

godspeed you! black emperor returns with new album

CENTER

PAGE 6 SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE


recess

PAGE 2

October 18, 2012

EDITOR’Snote their shared love of The Prisoner, a short-lived 1960’s cult TV show that is the perfect esoteric symbol for what Rob is trying to say. On the surface, Rob’s philosophy makes a lot of sense. Out of the millions of albums, novels, paintings, etc. that have been produced, we choose to covet a small fraction and call them our favorites. And if someone else has likewise sifted through the same heap of artistic output and plucked a select few to be their favorites, doesn’t that mean something? At the very least, shouldn’t two people have an easier time talking to each other since you’ve already established a common ground? Not necessarily, and it was only when re-watching High Fidelity and hearing Rob say those words that I realized how much I disagreed with that way of thinking. In Rob’s world, we all come with a deck of cultural cards we’ve collected over the years, ready to lay them on the table in hopes that someone will match our Dostoyevsky or Marc Chagall with their own collector’s edition. The more matches, the more compatibility, theoretically. But this is a dangerous way of thinking that, if anything, is antithetical to being card-carrying members of these exclusive clubs. Deciding that a movie or book is your “favorite” is no light declaration—it’s a committed relationship that has been cultivated over a long period of time. With TSwift songs that describe our lives that comes a responsibilMichaela Dwyer..................................................................................................Mean ity to defend, to praise, to Holly Hilliard........................Back to December (the one about Taylor Lautner) explain the significance of that particular work. The Katie Zaborsky......................We Are Never Ever (EVER) Getting Back Together danger lies in the fact that Dan Fishman...............................................................................................TiK ToK? when we tell others about Ted Phillips.......................................................................................FREEBIRD!!!!!! the “books, records, films” Sophia Durand........................................................................Today Was a Fairytale that we like, we are only presenting an end result Andrew Karim.......................................................................................Tim McGraw that’s rendered meaningEmma Loewe............................................................................................Speak Now less without personal con-

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couple of months ago, some of the other Recess editors and I sat down and watched High Fidelity, a movie I’ve probably seen at least half a dozen times since I rescued it from a Wal-Mart discount movie bin a few years ago. If you’ve ever seen High Fidelity, you know that it’s entirely quotable from beginning to end: the movie is narrated by Rob Gordon (John Cusack), a hyper-reflexive, misanthropic music snob who consistently doles out gems such as, “Liking both Marvin Gaye and Art Garfunkel is like supporting both the Israelis and the Palestinians.” There’s one quote of Rob’s in particular that I have carried around in my back pocket for a long time, and until recently, used it as a quasi-maxim for relationships—romantic, platonic, and that delicate hybrid beast that threatens our sanity. In one scene, Rob is at the bar with Marie de Salle (Lisa Bonet), a beautiful bohemian singer with the ability to turn a cover of Peter Frampton’s “Baby I Love Your Way” into a religious experience. As he’s talking with Marie, the scene is spliced with Rob delivering the following wisdom: “A while back, Dick, Barry and I agreed that what really matters is what you like, not what you are like. Books, records, films, these things matter. Call me shallow, it’s the f*****g truth.” Then, the scene cuts back to Rob and Marie discovering

[recesseditors]

DUKE PERFORMANCES In Durham, at Duke, a City Revealed. ay!!! this frid

GROUNDBREAKING NEO-SOUL

MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO A DEDICATION TO NINA SIMONE

text. These cultural markers have merely become shallow inroads into forming relationships that we believe are based on substance, when really substance is the long and beaten path that’s often left untread. And to blanket this entire notion that people can be grouped together in this way, we’ve come up with a wildly superficial term to justify it all—“taste.” If I told you that Michael Chabon’s The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay is my favorite book, what does that say about me? That I have “good taste”? “Bad taste”? Need to read more books? Taken by itself, it should say nothing. And if that happens to be your favorite book, too? Well, that may be even worse, because in so many interactions, we’re often blinded by the initial excitement of discovering a similar interest that we never dig deeper; we omit the second question that makes our likes and dislikes so powerful—“Why?” For some reason, we are all too content to know that another person has the same tastes without wondering how they got there, as if they exist in a vacuum that’s removed from our life experiences. Rob’s philosophy is certainly convenient—if someone also likes Firefly and agrees that Dharma Bums is indeed the superior Kerouac novel, aren’t they a good person because you’re a good person and believe the same? And if not “good,” then at least “cool,” “fun,” or a dozen other vague adjectives? Inevitably, this fallacy is what keeps people at arms’ length when it should be the ideal opportunity to start a real conversation. Let’s not replace discussions about the role fiction plays in our lives with the empty conclusion that “Tolstoy rocks!”; don’t be complacent when someone calls Woody Allen a “genius,” even/especially if you think the same thing. Our likes and dislikes are certainly meant to bring people together, but they aren’t the be-all, end-all of compatibility. If that sounds obvious, it is. But if you don’t automatically like a person more when they reveal that they’ve actually seen The Prisoner, you’re a better person than I am. —Katie Zaborsky

NASHER MUSEUM OF ART AT DUKE UNIVERSITY

Collecting Matisse and Modern Masters THE CONE SISTERS OF BALTIMORE November 4, 2012 – February 10, 2013 LEFT: Henri Matisse, Striped Robe, Fruit, and Anemones, 1940. Oil on canvas, 21½ x 25½ inches. (54.3 x 64.8 cm) BMA 1950.263 ©2012 Succession H. Matisse/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 19 8 PM • REYNOLDS THEATER rday!!! this satu SUBLIME STRING QUARTET

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 8 PM • REYNOLDS THEATER rday!!! this satu

SOULFUL ICONOCLAST

MESHELL NDEGEOCELLO

VENTRILOQUISM: A NIGHT OF COVERS

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 20 9 PM • MOTORCO MUSIC HALL (723 RIGSBEE AVE.)

LEGENDARY PERFORMER

MEREDITH MONK

ARTIST TALK: ARCHEOLOGY OF AN ARTIST

$10

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Tickets on sale now 919-684-4444, nasher.duke.edu/matisse or in person at the museum.

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THURSDAY, OCTOBER 25 7 PM • NASHER MUSEUM OF ART

This exhibition is organized by The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Jewish Museum, New York, and the Vancouver Art Gallery. In Durham, the exhibition is presented in collaboration with the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. At the Nasher Museum of Art, lead foundation support is provided by the Crow Creek Foundation. Lead corporate support is provided by Wells Fargo. The media sponsor is NBC17.


recess

October 18, 2012

the perks of being a wallflower

DIR. STEPHEN CHBOSKY SUMMIT ENTERTAINMENT

 Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rare for me to be in social situations where I am uncomfortable, and so determinedly correct in my feeling uncomfortable, that I address the public about it. An example: over the weekend I sat in a movie theater, high-tops flexed atop the empty chair below me, happily downing an Icee that cost more than most meals I ate in Berlin this summer. It was capitalism and fall break in full, lazy glory, and I rested on several judgments (laurels?)â&#x20AC;&#x201D;betting my friend that â&#x20AC;&#x153;everyone coming to see this movie would resemble the characters in it,â&#x20AC;? squirming after a few seconds of generic acoustic strums during the opening credits, which were rendered in typewriter Courierâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;but I was at peace with an open mind. Emma Watson portraying a complicated American high schooler who, like Zooey Deschanel in (500) Days of Summer, screeches that she â&#x20AC;&#x153;love[s] The Smiths!â&#x20AC;? couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be that bad. Especially considering the big-budget context of a film adaptation of Stephen Chboskyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s epistolary novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower, which, being big-budget and all, supposedly necessitates cute-ification. Until it was that bad. Somewhere between the scenes where Sam (Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller, the sole beacon in a filmic sea of miscast teens) toast protagonist Charlieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s (Logan Lerman) wallflower status (â&#x20AC;&#x153;You see things, and you understand. Youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re a wallflower.â&#x20AC;?) and Charlie passes out in the snow after taking LSD, I turned toward the rows behind me and wondered aloudâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;with passiveaggressive inflectionâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;why everyone thought these parts were laughable. Unless this was part of some meta-narrative intended by the filmmakers to force moviegoers out of their own wallflower tendencies and into the realm of â&#x20AC;&#x153;participationâ&#x20AC;? that Chbosky elaborates on so beautifully in the novel, I wasnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t buying it. The movieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s plot is easy enough to follow and to describe, and maybe this is the problem. Circa 1991, Charlie, a high-school freshman dealing with (suggested) mental illness and that damning overly-analytical approach to social life, falls in with a crew of seniors (among them Sam and Patrick). They introduce him to an idea of fun that I canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really argue with: Smiths-and Beatles-heavy mixtapes, brandy-filled house gatherings and tunnel drives that make everyone â&#x20AC;&#x153;feel infinite.â&#x20AC;? In the novel, all of this plays out via letters Charlie writes to an anonymous â&#x20AC;&#x153;Friend,â&#x20AC;? whom he addresses from the get-go: â&#x20AC;&#x153;I am writing to you because she said you listen and understand and didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t try to sleep with that person at that party even though you could have.â&#x20AC;? The film begins with Charlie speaking this text, but immediately it feels wrongfully distorted. The book version of The Perks of Being a Wallflower, while in my mind a rough cross between Stargirl, Go Ask Alice and The Catcher in the Rye (which, incidentally, Charlie re-reads obsessively in the novel and not in the movie), is no ordinary bildungsroman. Charlieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s impressionistic observations in the novel meander from

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vulnerable to befuddled to mundane to prescient. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a bit of eccentricity in his voice thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hard to define, unlike Holden Caulfieldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s unilateral cynicism and angst. No matter the entry, Charlieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s letters show how crucial it is to understand himself and his surroundings through writing. When reading, we feel like Charlie is really living through all he describes, sure of nothing save for the unsureness of his own conclusions. This isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t narration to be performed, and certainly not atop a score of sentimental instrumentation and early-90s indie songs, as well as the blasĂŠ Disney Channel movie-style cinematography. All of this gives me pause because Chbosky wrote and directed the film himself. Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m curious about the intentionality behind the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s generally chipper monotoneâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;excepting the final five minutes of headspinning montage, the closest the film comes to honoring the bookâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s tone and contentâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;which ensures easy narrative digestion in accordance with the filmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s bigbudget bloatedness. It seems serving up a glazed-over tale of quirky teenagehood overrode the challenging prospect of honoring the novelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s wandering and often very intense â&#x20AC;&#x201D;but always honestâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;essence. So why is it that I still get chills when I re-watch the trailer for this film? Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s something in me that wants so badly to like it more than I do, a part of me strongly defensive of my identification with Perksâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; themes. Moreso, though, I feel icky about people pledging allegiance to this film without having read, and felt something, about the book. And this isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t coming from Michaela the elitist bookmonger, waving the chartreuse paperback over a crowd of pubescent girls as they trample her en route to Urban Outfitters. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s coming from someone who took the book up again this past week after a seven-year gap and was a little freaked outâ&#x20AC;&#x201D;first by how nuanced the text actually is; second by how I wanted everyone I know to read/re-read the book at this point in our young adult lives; and third by how eerily discordant the book and film feel. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;Michaela Dwyer

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daphni JIAOLONG MERGE

 I think about electronic dance LPs in the same way I think about baseball lineups. The opening track is equivalent to a leadoff hitter: great dance albums start quickly but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t overwhelm with too much power. The job of the second track is to maintain momentum: in baseball terms, it moves the runner into scoring position. Around the ten-totwelve minute mark is a dance recordâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s heart-of-the-order, its most memorable and high-energy tracks. From then on, songs need to preserve accumulated energy, wind down slowly but not too slowly, so as to position the lineup for another go-around. That may sound too formulaic, but dance albums that deviate from this procedure tend to be less successful. Start off a dance album with too much volume or with too much throbbing bass, and it will be either monotonous or lethargic within fifteen minutes. Start too slowly, and the dancing will be half-hearted when it should be strongest. With the nine tracks of Jiaolong, Daphni (a.k.a. Caribou SEE DAPHNI ON PAGE 7

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October 18, 2012

Fall fo Students curate Soviet protest exhibit at Nasher by Thomas Kavanagh THE CHRONICLE

For the media-soaked American viewer, the incisive humor behind Alexander Kosolapov’s 1988 screenprint Lenin-Coca-Cola is its ambiguity of target. Part of the Nasher’s new Education Corridor exhibition, The Subverted Icon: Images of Power in Soviet Art (1970-1995), Kosolapov’s work sweeps satire across two nations and cultures. The Marxist revolutionary and the icon of capitalism face each other, both stenciled in the Coke/communist-red-on-white decor of classic ‘50s billboards, to create a bizarre contrast. An uncharacteristically informal quote by Lenin promoting the soft drink—“It’s the Real Thing”—gives the fake-ad the explicitly dissident comedy the artist intended. The politically charged farce is part of a sixteen-piece installation organized by students of Professor Pamela Kachurin’s “Soviet Art After Stalin” seminar. Using works previously collected in Nasher storage, the students assembled their own series, noted Kachurin, and were responsible for selecting individual works, writing label texts and arranging them to create thematic unity. Senior Julia Rayis, a student who contributed to the exhibition, describes the criterion for curation: “We chose representations of power because we felt that every person would get to work with a piece that they were really interested in, and all of the pieces tie into that one way or another,” explained Rayis. The class’s efforts to unify a group of works was not in vain; the installation has an immediSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE ate sense of tonal harmony. The collection of etchings, sculptures and prints all typify the non-conformist period of Soviet art. Their importance, of course, is best understood in historical context: having been granted new expressive freedoms under Krushchev leniency and Gorbachev’s glasnost (“openness”) policies, the late 20th century Slavic intelligentsia was eager to break the Socialist Realist mold. Each work communicates its criticisms of the party regime uniquely, but all approached the icons of the Soviet state with suspicion. The installation description summarizes their sociopolitical effects, that through displacement of symbols of power, the “three major institutions of Soviet culture—communism, architecture, and

the media—[were] confronted and challenged.” A representative work captures the essence of the exhibition: Oleg Vassilev’s Leaders, a tweaked issue of the communist bulletin Pravda, exemplifies Soviet artists’ pent-up criticisms of the regime. Vassilev’s lithograph overlays black silhouettes of KGB officers across a Pravda front-page. An isolated, small, white figure sprints away from the viewer into the depths of a large dark mass. An unidentified set of legs approaches the viewer menacingly, surrounded by a wash of red that connotes “blood” as much as it does “The Party.” Such a deliberately sinister portrayal of Stalinist communism was only feasible under glasnost; thus, Vassilev’s 1992 work arrives in the wake of growing artistic boldness. I say “growing,” because freedom of artistic expression was only nascent in the 1970s, and for Russian artists it is still maturing. Vitaly Komar and Alexander Melamid’s work Onward to the Final Victory of Capitalism—an ironic fusion of socialist propaganda with James Bond as an American-flagwaver—is also featured. The collaborators made history when they took part in the notorious 1974 “Bulldozer Exhibition.” The unofficial, underground installation in Moscow was disbanded by the secret police force, who used bulldozers to destroy all the works and water cannons to attack the artists and spectators. On its own, memory of the incident demonstrates the historical gravity behind the works in The Subverted Icon, but recent reminders of the country’s artistic restrictiveness add to the exhibition’s relevance. In 2010, curators for the “Forbidden Art” exhibition in Moscow’s Sakharov Museum were jailed for unveiling Kosolapov’s new work This is My Blood/Body (the piece rendered Coca Cola and McDonald’s as substitutes for the Eucharist). Just last week, members of the punk-rock group Pussy Riot were sentenced to two years in a labor camp for “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” after their non-violent protest concert in a cathedral. Yet what makes The Subverted Icon especially exciting, in a youthful, rebellious way, is that it’s not just Soviet idols being overthrown. The United States and consumerism are as much the butt of Komar, Vassilev, and Kosolapov’s jokes as are Lenin and Soviet architecture. Upon viewing Leonid Sokov’s Untitled (Bear and Marilyn Monroe), which shows the gleeful, swimsuited pop icon being chased by a lustful Russian Bear, I found it hard to stifle laughter at the unusual juxtaposition. When I described my reaction to the work (I thought the scene was “funny”) Kachurin retorted, “It is, until you realize that bear is Stalin.” The Subverted Icon: Images of Power in Soviet Art (1970-1995) will be on display at The Nasher Museum of Art until December 23rd.


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October 18, 2012

or Arts ‘How to Build a Forest’ installation combines visual arts and science by Lauren Feilich THE CHRONICLE

If you thought one forest was enough for Duke University, think again— another will be sprouting up this weekend inside of Page Auditorium. “How to Build a Forest” was created by PearlDamour, an interdisciplinary theater team, in collaboration with visual artist Shawn Hall. Countless elements are carefully orchestrated to create a hybrid somewhere between installation and performance. The interactive, multi-sensory experience lasts for an eight-hour period, during which time a forest of fabrics and fibers is gradually built from scratch and then dismantled entirely. Katie Pearl and Lisa D’Amour have worked together as PearlDamour since 1997. The duo won an Off-Broadway Theater Award for their 2003 play Nita and Zita, a true story of two New Orleans showgirls, through which they met Hall, who did the set design. “It was sort of obsessively painted, with sequins everywhere,” said Pearl of Hall’s interpretation. The two appreciated her distinct visual style, and the development of “How to Build a Forest” progressed naturally. “Once we started talking, the piece really started to take its own shape based on our mutual interests,” Hall said. “It changed the way we think as true collaborators. It’s not the ‘theater model.’ I’m not designing for them, I’m designing with them.” The idea had evolved for two years before its debut at The Kitchen in New York City in June 2011, and will next head to Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. PearlDamour and Hall participated in a panel at the Nasher Museum of Art last weekend along with Megan Granda, executive director of Duke Center for Civic Engagement, and Marjorie Pearson, a Durham-based fine arts photographer. Pearson, who has taught and lectured at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, focuses on the natural beauty of southern wetlands in photographs that range from the realistic to the abstract. In capturing her surroundings on film, her overlying objective is to bring attention to the disappearance of these stunning landscapes. “Environmental arguments tend to put people on the defensive,” she said. “When faced with the idea of loss, people become paralyzed, but association with visual imagery can build bonds before words are ever spoken. Your mind becomes more open to discussion on these complex subjects.” In its attempt to build these bonds, “How to Build a Forest” goes beyond the presentation of an appealing aesthetic. “The way to really engage with people is to make with, not make for,” said Pearl. Attendees will have the opportunity to walk onstage and look closely at the elements of the forest, and even sit down within it, and members of the performance will occasionally venture offstage and incorporate themselves into the audience. “There are several elements that are theater performance,” said Mao Hu, a Duke sophomore who has been working as an assistant to the directors.

Rather than tell viewers to “sit there and we’ll tell you a story,” which Pearl observes as the norm in more traditional American theater, the trio have designed a truly immersive experience. They seek to “create a space, or personal relationship, before a message is delivered.” Within this theme of the nontraditional space, viewers are encouraged to come and go throughout the piece’s duration to view the forest in its many stages of development. Attendees will be handed field guides that contain specific and detailed information about the materials that comprise the forest, including their former uses and potential toxicity. The statement is fairly clear: we, as a society, do not sufficiently consider sustainability in our acts of consumption. The artists, however, have carefully refrained from delivering one specific message through the piece. “How do you bring someone into an experience? You can’t force them,” D’Amour said. “You have to create the circumstances so they can engage in their own way.” Jules Odendahl-James, resident dramaturg and visiting lecturer in Theater Studies, appreciates the ambiguity of the collaboration’s meaning. “The work is so open on its own, open to lots of ways to enter in. A particular chord is struck, but it’s not directing. It’s coming out of a very specific place, but the audience will define it and bring it to fruition,” said OdendahlJames, who first initiated the bond between Duke and “How to Build a Forest.” “It just seemed like it must come [to Duke],” she said. “We were a place where a forest was attached to our university. It was a right space for a lot of environmental science work that was happening. This was sort of my way to connect that in a piece that would also push the boundaries in terms of what people had thought of as a ‘science play,’ something in the theater having to do with scientific research.” “How to Build a Forest,” in its previous incarnations, has relied heavily on what Lisa D’Amour calls an “ecosystem of volunteer help and paid help.” “This is about community involvement,” said Hall, in reference to the vast requirement of effort in the preparation and execution of the piece. The Duke community has certainly risen to this challenge. A broad range of students and faculty from a variety of academic disciplines have been working tirelessly with PearlDamour and Hall to bring the forest to life. “It’s a model for the way theSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE ater and environmental science students could work together on something that intersected in terms of the learning component,” said D’Amour. Recalling the ongoing “Art+” lecture series about the intersection between art and mathematics, there seems to be an exciting new movement toward interdisciplinary arts involvement on Duke’s campus, proving that creativity and reasoning are not mutually exclusive. “How to Build a Forest” will take place on Friday, October 19 through Sunday, October 21.

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October 18, 2012

Duke senior’s film explores autism by Madeleine Roberts THE CHRONICLE

Sometimes what begins as class topic can result in passionate exploration. So the story goes for Jean Rheem, a Duke senior who took the entirety of last year to pursue the story of autistic youth for her Certificate in Documentary Studies senior capstone project. A psychology student graduating this winter, Rheem was inspired in her junior year to pursue this story after a friend made a documentary on another social issue—a North Carolina murder trial. “I wasn’t interested in filmmaking until that time period in my life,” Rheem recalls. “It took a whole year for me. Duke had everything I guess I needed.” Jean has been passionate about the individual experiences of those labeled with autism for some time “It’s something that, once you find out about it, kind of stays in your heart,” she said. “I kept taking classes about autism and then volunteering.” Her final 40-minute film, The Social Group, chronicles the experiences of five remarkable autistic teens that have been meeting as a group—run through a private family house in Chapel Hill—every Friday for ten years.

godspeed you! black emperor ALLELUJAH! DON’T BEND! ASCEND! CONSTELLATION

 Ever since the release of their titanic debut F#A#Infinity, GY!BE has cemented itself as one of the premiere post-rock bands. The Montreal collective is acclaimed for its use of wide dynamic ranges, unusual instruments, anarchic found sounds, and Satanic albumpackaging. The intensity of the music is made more pronounced by their use of classical composition techniques and many tracks have multiple movements. After a 2003 tour supporting new LP Yanqui U.X.O., the nontet went on indefinite hiatus until 2010 when they reunited for a world tour. In typical Godspeed fashion, the band released ‘Allelujah! with absolutely no publicity, selling them quietly at live shows this month. ‘Allelujah! is the band’s first record since 2002’s Yanqui U.X.O., which emphasized concise songwriting rather than their usual lengthy build-ups. ‘Allelujah! represents a strong return to what made Godspeed famous—music that traverses several distinct emotions in a single track. Unlike the four huge pieces of Lift Your Skinny Fists, two

als are.” What’s immediately clear in the film is the individuality of each of these teens. Julian, the oldest at age 19, has a talent for art and a zeal for animals. Courtney is the only girl, an aspiring filmmaker with academic ambition. Jordan is a fan of zombie novels and has a passion for acting and writing. Will is incredibly friendly, well read, a talented electric guitarist and an avid collector of Rheem weaves interTransformers. Joey is quiet but expresses himself views with the teen through the stories that he writes. and their parents Joey’s mother is the leader of the social group, with candid shots and in a later scene discusses with the five teens of their interacSPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE some plans to celebrate the holidays: “Courtney’s tions within the social group. But what sets it apart from other documentaries mom suggested that you guys do some cooking…you is the focus on, as Jean describes it, “what autism and know, once you turn 18, there are certain things you’re social skills and friendship look like.” Although she accountable for.” Later in the film she continues, “a lot does explicitly discuss autism and its effects, Rheem of kids with autism really don’t want to grow up.” The also focuses on the normalcy of the group’s interac- film culminates with the five teens making Thanksgivtions. One of the first scenes depicts a lighthearted de- ing dinner together for the first time, and sharing the bate about whether Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee would meal together. “This film is about the transition into adulthood,” win in a fight. In one interview with the parents of Julian, one of the Rheem said, emphasizing that this is never a simple tale. teens in the group, his father explains how “it is difficult to Rheem’s work was recognized by the New York City Independent be in those shoes and operating in our society.” Exposing the complexity of the condition was impor- Film Festival, and a shortened (20-minute) version was chosen to debut in the 3rd annual festival on October 21. The film can be tant to Rheem in producing the documentary. “I wanted to show the human side of these individ- watched in its entirety on YouTube. uals—even though they are labeled with autism. I just want people to see beyond that,” Rheem said. “I hope the viewers see how lovely and awesome these individu-

“main” songs and two “drone” tracks make up this release. Twenty-minute behemoth “Mladic” opens the album shows Godspeed at its most cinematic. The track begins with a sample of a radio conversation and then patiently builds to an ominous, cathartic climax. The drums beat faster and faster and menacing strings come in to give the song an exotic, Middle Eastern sound. The guitar riffs are aggressive and continue to get louder and more explosive. “Mladic” is as heavy a track as any in their discography and its brutal, repetitive riffage recalls the best of Swans and Melvins. After the exhausting “Mladic,” “Their Helicopters’ Sing” comes as a refreshing breather. It bisects the two larger pieces and its formless, eerie sounds transition seamlessly into “We Drift Like Worried Fire.” A show stealer, “We Drift,” is Godspeed at its most jubilant. Patiently plucked strings give way to a flurry of instruments that accrue for almost eleven minutes of gorgeous bliss. Then, mid-song, the tone shifts to something much more foreboding. Percussion becomes more prevalent and the song veers into a rapid tempo that is surprisingly restrained. Its final moments, much like “Mladic’s,” are stunning. After almost 46 minutes of intensity, “Strung Like Lights” ends the album with an eerily calm grace. Thick curtains of sleepy, gauzy sound collapse quietly, and place the listener in a world

that’s both desolate and beautiful. Even though the album doesn’t reach the emotional highs and lows of Lift Your Skinny Fists or F#A#Infinity, everything from cheer to despair can be felt through the album. At a time when post-rock is more a joke than a reputable genre, Godspeed You! Black Emperor return from Valhalla to show the world how it’s done. —Suvam Neupane

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October 18, 2012

Duke professor brings puppet show to Durham by Christina Malliris THE CHRONICLE

Puppets, paper hats and a lot of magic: these are the elements behind Manbites Dog Theater’s newest show, The Paper Hat Game, premiering this Friday. Promoted as a unique combination of theatrical techniques, the play brings the city of Chicago to life using only five puppeteers, videos and an intense soundscape—all on a stage two feet wide and just under four feet long. Director and writer Torry Bend, also assistant professor of the practice of Theater Studies, based the story on the life of her good friend: the play follows Scotty, a man who begins giving out paper hats on the Chicago train he rides every day. Scotty has a love/hate relationship with the city of Chicago due to his problems with mugging and other violent crimes, which he tries to counteract with his childlike gesture. Eventually, he becomes known as “the paper hat guy.” “The ‘hatting’ was a way to have a lovely relationship with Chicago, but on the other hand he was afraid of just walking down the street,” says Bend. In the end, Scotty’s paper hat prank comes back to help him through his hard times, with those he inspired returning the favor. This sense of whimsy and playfulness led Bend to consider puppetry as her medium of storytelling. “I feel like there’s something very magical about puppetry and video. And to me, Scotty’s story has magic to it,” she said. “It’s the kind of thing you hear people say, ‘it could only happen in this city…I am sort of blessed to be a part of this moment.’ And to me that’s what puppetry

and video do. They have a similar quality…you can’t quite believe your eyes, even though you know you can.” The show was originally workshopped at Duke, where it saw two runs and received a warm reception. But Bend wasn’t fully satisfied with the final product. “After the run at Duke it became clear that there were a lot of things that needed fixing, and that we weren’t really finished yet,” she said. “We wanted to remount it and really polish it up and get the number of puppeteers down.” Eventually, Bend hopes to bring the show to bigger audiences in Chicago or New York, and the original number of seven puppeteers was too many to travel with. Downsizing, however, poses some new challenges. With around an hour of runtime and only five puppeteers, the actors are kept busy. “There’s just so much happening backstage,” Bend said. “There are moments when you look backstage and there’s one puppeteer crouching under another…it becomes like a jungle gym.” Monet Marshall is one of the puppeteers involved in the behind-the-scenes playground. After recently moving to Durham from New York, she was looking for fun activities when she saw an advertisement for auditions to be in a puppet show. The experience, she says, has been incredible, allowing her to learn about the body’s capacity for storytelling through her job as a puppeteer. “Individually we’re not really doing anything…everything works together,” Marshall said. “Being in a puppet show, you learn a lot about yourself and about how your own body works. You take something that’s inanimate and breathe life into it and that’s really exciting.” For Bend, The Paper Hat Game is all about connections— including the one between Duke and the Durham community. Because the show was born at Duke and originally performed within the Theater Studies department, she hopes Duke students will come see the show and increase the arts connection between the school and the city. “It means a lot to me that this started at Duke and is moving into Durham,” she said. “I love seeing that connection. Getting students out [into the community] is fantastic, and hopefully that’s what will happen with this show.” The Paper Hat Game will run from October 18-November 3 at Manbites Dog Theater.

SPECIAL TO THE CHRONICLE

PAGE 7

DAPHNI from page 3 a.k.a. Dan Snaith) keeps with common managerial wisdom. Opener “Yes I Know” paces the album beautifully. Whereas most of the songs written under the Daphni moniker resonate with artists like Four Tet and Matthew Dear— contemporary electronic musicians known more for their intricate and restrained song structures than for heavy dance tunes—“Yes I Know” channels the extroverted, sample-heavy house music of J Dilla. Second track “Ne Noya”— Daphni’s masterful remix of a yet-to-be-sourced African musician—sounds more like something DJ/rupture would create than anything Snaith has previously produced. But the highlight of the album is the third track, “Ye Ye,” one of the most flawlessly constructed dance tracks I’ve heard this year. Brooding and dark like the best of Oneohtrix Point Never, the song is propulsive without relying too heavily on either the bass or the drums. It’s the sort of track that most UK bass artists can only dream of. After the first three tracks, however, Jiaolong stagnates. Daphni stops using vocal samples, preferring instead to focus on particular sonic whirls and synthesized atmospherics. The results are unexpectedly spare—this isn’t the Caribou of The Milk of Human Kindness—and the songs’ pace and volume become more ambient than dance-worthy. There are some gorgeous moments—e.g. the hook to “Light,” the looming whistle of “Ahora” and the swarming static of “Long”—but most songs slip in and out of consciousness. It often sounds as if Daphni is using his turntable as a crutch, improvising sounds as a DJ might during a live set, leading to music with some interesting minutiae but not enough narrative arcs to maintain attention. For an artist who has just recently started to produce dance music, Snaith has already shown the talent and the vision necessary to create fresh and new-sounding rhythms. The transitions between tracks are done with the chops of a career DJ. Though Jiaolong doesn’t have enough material to always maintain interest—it doesn’t have enough talent to fill the bottom of the order— there’s enough here to justify Daphni as worthy of the big show. —Dan Fishman


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atlas shrugged pt. ii

DIR. JOHN PUTCH HARMON KASLOW, JOHN AGLIALORO, JEFF FREILICH

 If you have seen Atlas Shrugged I, chances are Part II will immediately make you feel uncomfortable. Because straight off the bat it seems as if Eddie Willers—protagonist Dagny Taggart’s long-suffering right-hand man—seems to have suddenly grown a foot, bulked up a good 50 pounds and lost all of his hair to male pattern baldness. And, before you start to wonder what kind of statement the film is making about its token black character, this is mostly due to the fact that the entire main cast has been swapped out between the two films—some more noticeably than others. But, clumsy casting changes aside, most of the film’s awkwardness come from its insistence that you get its message, message, message. Even the most commonplace scenes—a wedding toast—become set pieces for lectures. Its attempts to strike emotional chords are mostly heavy-handed. Part II picks up after the previous film leaves Dagny (now played by Samantha Mathis) disheveled and screaming the word “Nooo!” in front of a burning oil field. Since then she has regained her composure. In a world of inept people, Dagny operates like a cold one-woman efficiency machine, solving her company’s problems as the COO of the Taggart International Railroad Company. Meanwhile she’s also chasing for the answer to the overarching mystery of why “good men” (and they are all men) have been spontaneously vanishing all across the country. In what seems to be a nod to the recent Occupy movement, there is a smattering of protestors everywhere. Although their purpose is unclear—they protest things seemingly at random— they operate as a sort of overused, clumsy cinematographic exclamation mark whenever there are major plot events. When Ayn Rand was approached about a film adaptation for Atlas Shrugged in 1972, she described the love story between Dagny and steel magnate Henry Rearden as “all [the story] ever was.” And the movie does become much more interesting when it considers the relationship that underpinned the books. The most complicated relationship, however, is not the one between Dagny and Henry, like Rand thinks, but the one between Henry and his wife. Whereas the Dagny-Henry relationship is so filled with business-like conversation that it seems more like a corporate merger than an extramarital affair, Henry and his

October 18, 2012

wife have a strange and yet human relationship. For a film that mostly takes place in twentieth-floor offices, Atlas Shrugged II has a more bright and modern look compared to the dark, wood-paneled sets of the previous film. There are also some decent CGI set pieces that are mostly believable. Overall, if it weren’t based off a novel that happens to be politically relevant right now, AS II would be another forgettable, superficial film with a pretty good-looking cast of forty-somethings. Many people have strong reactions to Atlas Shrugged, one way or the other. But I see the film as something like a more politicized Hunger Games, if you will—except Peeta is a married man and there are long speeches criticizing dependency. Like The Hunger Games, the film has a simplistic moral and the occasional unrealistic sci-fi throw-in. To watch the film, suspend your disbelief: at least it’s not as out-there as having children fighting to the death on what is basically PBS. It’s the kind of mediocre film that shouldn’t have—but almost certainly will have—a Part III. —Linda Yu

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liberal arts

DIR. JOSH RADNOR STRATEGIC MOTION VENTURES

 Liberal Arts, at first glance another charming love story, examines difficult topics of sentimentality and the reality of life. Writer/director/actor Josh Radnor crafted a well-written screenplay with relatable and well-acted characters. Jesse Fisher (Radnor), now thirteen years removed from college, returns to his alma mater for the retirement reception of his beloved professor, Peter Hoberg (Richard Jenkins). He is reinvigorated by

his memories of the unlimited opportunity offered by the college experience. He falls for Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen), a sophomore at the unnamed college, and is forced to grapple with the complexities of their sixteen-year age difference. This movie initially seems like the standard love story we’ve heard before—boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back. But Radnor takes the film in an unexpected direction, exploring the divide between nostalgics and cynics. There’s Jesse, who wishes he was back at college, a place of infinite potential. There’s Hoberg, who feels it’s time to leave, but soon realizes that teaching is the only thing that keeps him young. But then there are people who don’t love college or want to be there, like Professor Judith Fairfield (Allison Janney), Jesse’s adored Romantic poetry teacher who has nurtured an ironically “un-Romantic” pessimism, and Dean (John Magaro), a student who wants college to end so he can move on. Radnor masterfully weaves these storylines together, making the audience contemplate such issues as appreciation of the here and now and reminiscence of the glory days. The vagueness of some plot devices, especially the nameless school, makes the film relatable to all. He delves into the significance of age difference, questioning the point at which it becomes inappropriate to love someone. The film is wellstocked with memorable one-liners, and humor is well-appropriated. Radnor includes countless details that make the settings authentic, such as Zibby’s too-often sexiled roommate or Hoberg’s classic, ugly, college-professorial shirts. The actors bring already well-wrought characters to life. Olsen is fantastic enough to make us forget about her washed-up sisters, and she enriches her character with believable mannerisms. Janney’s portrayal of an unhappy, middle-aged professor establishes a healthy dose of hatred towards her character. Zac Efron brilliantly and humorously reveals the complexities of Nat, a pot-smoking, philosophizing spirit-guide for the protagonist. Liberal Arts’ unexpected turns and departure from rom-com standards made me fall in love with the film. The plot successfully materializes a major theme, entrenching Radnor’s motifs in the minds of the viewers. The audience falls in love with relatable characters, and a complex ending spurs a cathartic release of both sadness and joy. Liberal Arts charmingly, philosophically and beautifully explores life, and is especially relevant as we enter and depart from Duke. —Cord Peters


Oct. 18, 2012 issue of The Chronicle