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The Chronicle T h e i n d e p e n d e n t d a i ly at D u k e U n i v e r s i t y

thursday, october 29, 2009

Katsouleas reflects on first year


Going bananas over Franklin Street

4+1, Grand Challenges mark Pratt dean’s tenure

The chronicle

The chronicle

See katsouleas on page 5

DSG OKs tenting changes by Joanna Lichter

by Will Hyung After just one year as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, Tom Katsouleas has already started to leave his mark in programs, and in smiles. Known for his friendly disposition and open office hours at Twinnie’s on Friday mornings, Katsouleas stepped into his position during an economic downturn and still pushed two major new initiatives—the 4+1 BSE/ Tom Katsouleas Masters Program and the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges Summit. “He has been very good at shaping priorities for the school,” President Richard Brodhead said. “And these are not innovations for innovations’ sake. He thinks about the version of education that will do people the most good and provide people with resources to solve the world’s challenges.” Katsouleas was the vice provost for information services and a professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California when he was selected in March 2008 to succeed Kristina Johnson, former dean of Pratt. Johnson left Duke to become provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Johns Hopkins University. A year after being selected for the position, Pratt co-sponsored the grand challenges summit, which brought experts together to address problems facing national security, quality of life and a sustainable future. Katsouleas said it was an opportunity for Duke to play a leadership role in shaping engineering professions. “That’s what I think the future direction for Duke and Pratt will be,” Katsouleas said. “Engineering will be partners in energy, environment and other world issues. Possessing a unique combination of skill sets, not just in engineering, will make students leaders in this world.” The summits will continue next year, with Duke and North Carolina State University hosting the first of the summit series in March. In addition to the NAE summit series, Katsouleas is working on Grand Challenges Scholars program, “a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five

Duke student gov’t

lina colucci/Chronicle fIle photo

A partygoer dressed as a giant banana smiles for the camera to peals of laughter on Franklin Street during Halloween 2008. Last year’s celebration was the first that only Chapel Hill residents were allowed to attend. This year, Duke will again offer Devil’s Eve as an on-campus alternative to Franklin Street. SEE STORY PAGE 3.

Duke Student Government officially approved the 2009-2010 Krzyzewskiville tenting policy at its meeting Wednesday night. The new provisions reduce the number of people required to stay overnight per tent from eight to six and begin the tenting season Jan. 30—a month later than in previous years. The policies also extend curfew on Thursdays to 12:00 a.m. and on Fridays and Saturdays to 2:30 a.m. as well as raising the grace temperature from 20 to 25 degrees. Head Line Monitor Zach White, a senior, presented these changes to DSG, emphasizing the importance of turning the tenting experience into an enjoyable event. By reducing the number of restrictions, White said he feels more students will be motivated to tent and attend basketball games. “Too often in the past, tenting would be just something you get through, “ White said. “We’re trying to make the tenting experience a fun thing so that when tenters leave the Carolina game they say ‘I can’t wait to do it again.’” DSG also officially endorsed Duke’s Climate Action Plan, approved by the Board See DSG on page 5

Pubpol shuffles Econ requirements by Emily Stern The chronicle

As registration approaches, aspiring public policy majors can leave Econ 51 out of their book bags. The Sanford School of Public Policy has changed its major requirements, replacing the Economics 51 or 55 requirement with a revamped PubPol 128 and a new economics policy analysis course called “Economics of the Public Sector.” Current public policy majors are required to take PubPol 128 “Microeconomic Policy Tools,” or an approved substitute course, after fulfilling their Econ 51 or 55 prerequisite. “The change gives us a chance to introduce students in greater depth to public policy analysis, which is something we’ve always wanted Ken Rogerson to do, and now we finally have the resources to do it,” said Ken Rogerson, director of undergraduate studies in public policy. “We think that we can teach a little more indepth about economic policy analysis rather then just economics, because economic theory and economic concepts are great to know, but that’s different than economic policy analysis.” Hiring more economics professors has given Sanford the ability to teach the required economic policy courses itself, Rogerson said


“It’s just a safety issue, and we’re trying to scale it down to a local event.”

­—Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy on Franklin Street’s Halloween party. See story page 3

This change will not affect current juniors or seniors, but the department is giving sophomores the chance to choose Econ 51 or the new course. Rogerson said students who take Econ 51 or 55 for another major or minor will not have to take the new PubPol 128. Corinne Krupp, associate professor of the practice of pubic policy, said Econ 51 is a very broad overview of micro- and macroeconomics, and Econ 55 is not focused enough on policy for public policy majors. Rogerson said the new PubPol 128 course will teach basic economic principles and apply them to the study of public policy. “We’ll adjust it just a little to address those students who may not have a lot of economic policy background, but it will still be our intro economic policy analysis class,” Rogerson said. Krupp said the second course will involve public finance, budgets and cost-benefit analysis. Connel Fullenkamp, director of undergraduate studies and associate professor of economics, said he expects smaller enrollments in Econ 51 and 55 because of the public policy changes. Freshman Bethany Bosley said the new major requirements made the public policy major more appealing to her. “I wanted to take public policy, but was worried about the economics aspect,” she said. “Econ is a lot of math, and the 128 course seemed more relevant. Now, I probably will take public policy.”

Football: Pro Prospect Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis is making waves among NFL scouts, PAGE 7

The Nasher stages Ariel Dorfman’s Picasso play, RECESS 4

2 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 the chronicle






Taliban attack in Afghanistan targets U.N. workers

Senate supports home Health bill to be released buyer tax credit extension WASHINGTON — House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is expected to unveil a health-care reform bill Thursday that will include a government insurance option and a historic expansion of Medicaid, although sticking points in the legislation involving abortion and immigration remain unresolved. Senior Democratic House aides said the bill would likely include a version of the “public option” preferred by moderates and may raise Medicaid eligibility levels to 150 percent of the federal poverty level for all adults, a steeper increase than in earlier drafts. The House legislation aims to provide health insurance of one form or another to almost all Americans at an expected cost just below $900 billion over 10 years, without increasing the federal budget deficit for at least 20 years, House Democrats said.

It is a good thing for an uneducated man to read books of quotations. — Sir Winston Churchill

” Duke

WASHINGTON — The Senate has reached a broad bipartisan consensus on extending a lucrative tax credit for first-time home buyers beyond the Nov. 30 deadline and expanding it to include some current homeowners, the Senate’s Democratic leader said. Under the plan, people buying their first home would receive an $8,000 tax credit if they sign a contract by April 30 and close on it by June 30, the office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Wednesday. Homeowners shopping for a new primary residence would be eligible for a $6,500 tax credit if they owned their home for five consecutive years in the previous eight. In both cases, individuals who earn more than $125,000 annually and couples who earn more than $250,000 would not be eligible.

TODAY IN HISTORY 1914: Russia declares war on Turkey.

KABUL, Afghanistan — A squad of Taliban fighters disguised as police officers stormed a guesthouse in the Afghan capital just after dawn Wednesday, killing six foreign U.N. workers, including one American, and six other people in a two-hour gun battle with Afghan security forces and U.N. guards. Taliban spokespersons said the attack was the first in a wave of operations intended to disrupt a presidential runoff election scheduled for Nov. 7. The Islamist militia appeared to have targeted the guesthouse because about 20 U.N. election workers were staying there. Afghan officials said that the attack would not affect the election and that up to 300,000 security forces would be deployed to protect the polls nationwide. But the brazen assault in a quiet, affluent section of this heavily patrolled capital

melina mara/washington post

The cadence of a fife-and-drum corps resonated through the Capitol Rotunda Wednesday morning. Nearly 500 people were present to witness Edward Brooke, 90, third from right, receive the Congressional Gold Medal—the highest honor Congress can bestow—from President Barack Obama. Brooke made history in 1967 when he was the first African American to be elected to the Senate by popular vote.

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raised questions about the government’s ability to secure the hastily scheduled election. Senior U.N. officials vowed that the incident would not deter them from continuing their work in Afghanistan, in which more than 20 agencies oversee projects such as livestock vaccination campaigns and women’s rights promotion. But with all foreign U.N. workers here now confined to their lodgings and facing more threats of violence, it remained unclear whether the international mission would be able to follow through on its avowed commitment to assist, observe and review the election. The runoff between incumbent Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah is being held because large-scale fraud was discovered in the original Aug. 20 election, which left neither of the two top candidates with enough votes to claim victory.

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Thursday, october 29, 2009 | 3

Prof launches study to combat obesity by Katy Wood The chronicle

A Duke professor is looking for a way to protect at-risk populations from one of the world’s newest and most under-examined pandemics—obesity. Gary Bennett, professor of psychology and neuroscience, has partnered with Piedmont Health Services to conduct the Shape study, an 18-month investigation of a new sustainable, scalable intervention strategy focusing on overweight black women who are at risk for becoming obese. Gary Bennett Shape was prompted by recently published figures in the Journal of the American Medical Society, which revealed that more than half of the adult black female population in the country is obese. Black women are of particular interest in this study because they tend to gain more weight between the ages of 25 and 45, when they are going through life transitions and their childbearing years. Bennett attributes this trend to a variety of factors, including sociocultural norms like acceptance of a heavier body and fewer social pressures to be thin. New research also suggests that being overweight may not carry as many of the health risks for black women as it does for other groups. Currently, the options for the most susceptible populations are sparse. “Nationally, obesity counseling by public providers is very infrequently delivered,”

Bennett said. “It is saved for those who are already obese, or those with a high comorbidity with other health risks.” Coverage is least likely to be provided for ethnic minorities, those of low socioeconomic status and those who are merely overweight as opposed to being obese, he said. At Piedmont Health Services, with its diverse population, “many barriers for our patients” exist, said Heather Miranda, director of Nutrition Services and a coordinator of the study. Each of the 240 or so Shape subjects will be given three fitness goals based on a survey evaluating their behaviors and their perceived ability to change those behaviors, said Erica Levine, Shape’s project coordinator. The unique factor about Shape is that it integrates a variety of affordable technological measures into monitoring progress on these goals. Subjects monitor the frequency and modification of their behaviors by reporting to an automated voice response call every week, and they make a call once a month to a registered dietician to discuss their progress. This plays into Bennett’s long-term goal of creating a model that is scalable and sustainable in the primary care system. “I try to design all of my studies around a sustainability framework, so that the systems can easily be transferred and maintained,” he said. Eventually, Bennett said he wants to expand the Shape study to a more general, global population. “We hope that the Shape model will be nimble enough to be leveraged in the developing world as well,” he said.

michael naclerio/Chronicle file photo

Students enjoy Devil’s Eve on Main West last Halloween. Campus Council plans to offer the event again this year as an alternative to Franklin Street. This is the second year that buses will not run to Chapel Hill.

Devil’s Eve will serve as alternative to Franklin St. by Rongjie Chen The chronicle

For the second year in a row, Duke students will not be provided transportation to Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street Halloween celebration. As another option for students, Campus Council is organizing Devil’s Eve on the Main West Quadrangle Saturday night, with activities including costume contests as well as music and dance performances. The decision to keep Franklin

Street restricted to Chapel Hill residents stemmed from safety concerns, Chapel Hill Mayor Kevin Foy said. “The problem is in the past we have had increased numbers of people coming to Franklin Street until the point a couple of years ago, when 80,000 people crowded downtown in too little space,” Foy said in an interview. “It was too big and too dangerous.” See halloween on page 4

4 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 the chronicle

halloween from page 3 Many Duke students believe Chapel Hill’s Franklin Street policy is unfair. “I kind of equate this to LDOC at Duke,” junior Yi Zhang said. “Even though a lot of people come from off campus and cause a lot of damages, we never exclude anyone from LDOC.” Junior Pat Light agreed with this sentiment. “I don’t think Durham ever closes its doors to UNC students,” Light said. “If they’re trying to foster a brotherhood between the two cities, this isn’t the way to do it.” Foy noted these concerns and emphasized that Franklin Street’s new “Homegrown Halloween” policy was not meant to single out Duke students. Foy said the problem was that people came by the busload from numerous places, sometimes as far as Georgia and Tennessee. “It became an enormous regional event that we couldn’t accommodate,” Foy said.

Celebrating THE Sanford ScHool of PublIc PolIcy

Inaugural Series

november Speakers november 3, 5 p.m. fleishman commons, Sanford building

Michael Sandel Justice, What’s the Right Thing to Do? Prepare to question your convictions. Harvard Professor Michael Sandel’s wildly popular course “Justice” draws more than 1,000 undergraduates each year. The course addresses difficult moral dilemmas in everyday issues such as affirmative action, same-sex marriage, patriotism and rights. He is author of the book, “Justice: What’s the Right Thing to Do?” and the new PBS series of the same name. Book signing after the talk. contact: Sanford Events Office, (919) 613-7428.

november 4, 5 p.m. fleishman commons, Sanford building

Isaac Herzog Israel, World Affairs and the Peace Process rudnick Endowed lecture Israeli Minister of Welfare and Social Services Isaac Herzog will deliver the 2009 Rudnick Endowed Lecture. He will discuss the role of Israel in world affairs and the current state of the peace process with the Palestinians. The lecture is sponsored by the Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs and Development and the Center for Jewish Studies, with funding provided by the Rudnick Lectureship Endowment. contact: Katie Joyce, (919) 681-1698. These events are free and open to the public. Parking available in the Bryan Center parking deck. SanfNovEventsad.indd 5

“It’s just a safety issue, and we’re trying to scale it down to a local event.” Unfortunately, Chapel Hill’s method of addressing Franklin Street’s safety issues has created a new cause for concern at Duke. Junior Will Passo, DSG vice president for Durham and regional affairs, said he worries that Franklin Street’s “Homegrown Halloween” policy will not discourage students from driving to Chapel Hill, a particularly dangerous situation on a night when drinking alcohol is a prime activity. “Kids are still going to go,” Passo said. “But now, the University can’t ensure safety.” Campus Council Programming Chair Ben Goldenberg, a sophomore, said he believes that although there are many alternative ways to celebrate Halloween, it would be good to bring the Duke community together on campus as well. “The Franklin Street festivities have certainly become a well-known tradition,” he said. “I believe that Devil’s Eve can evolve into that sort of tradition.”

november 9, 5:30 p.m. Page auditorium

fareed Zakaria The Rise of the Rest: The Post-American World One Year after the Election of Obama ambassador S. davis Phillips lecture Newsweek International Editor and CNN host Fareed Zakaria will discuss the changes in America’s role in international affairs since the election of President Obama. This lecture is made possible by the Ambassador S. Davis Phillips Endowment and is cosponsored by the American Grand Strategy Program and the Sanford School. The event is free, but tickets are required. Tickets will be distributed at the event, on a first-come, first-served basis. A limited number are available in advance from or by phone at (919)684-4444 ($5 handling fee, limit 4). 10/23/09 11:38 AM

the chronicle

DSG from page 1 of Trustees at its October meeting. The plan focuses on incorporating “Environmental Literacy” in the undergraduate curriculum by educating students about green initiatives both on and off campus. In addition, DSG approved a second green initiative, based on a February 2009 report written by Charlotte Clark, associate director of education and training at the Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences. Academics Affairs Senator Ari Ruffer, a freshman, presented the proposal, which he hopes will lead to University-wide efforts to enforce cleaner bus transportation standards and lower carbon dioxide emission. In other business: DSG also unanimously approved a num-

katsouleas from page 1 components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century,” according to the NAE Grand Scholars Challenge Scholars Web site. Katsouleas said Pratt, as a national model for the program, has gone from a strong engineering school to being the forefront of new education initiatives. Senior Will Patrick, senior class president of the Engineering Student Government, said he appreciates the steps Katsouleas has taken that highlight the role of engineering in society. Katsouleas has also introduced a new way for Pratt students to complete their degrees. The 4+1 program allows students to complete their bachelor’s in science and their masters of engineering degrees in five years.

Thursday, october 29, 2009 | 5

ber of other measures allocating funds to various projects. The Duke-North Carolina Central University symposium, to be held Nov. 1 in the Mary Lou Williams Center, was given the greenlight. The forum will discuss the future of Duke-NCCU relations and will include leaders from government associations from both universities, said junior Will Passo, vice president of Durham and regional affairs. In addition, DSG passed a proposal to allocate funds aiming to increase student participation in government elections. “The turnout in DSG elections is especially low and the only advertisement beyond campaign materials is through a blast e-mail in the morning and before the polls close,” said Executive Vice President Gregory Morrison, a junior. The approved funds will enable the construction of various banners and signs made entirely of reusable materials, Morrison added. This program has also been well accepted by students and faculty, and Tod Laursen, chair of the mechanical engineering and materials science department, said the idea will attract more masters students to Pratt. “A lot of work in the marketplace now requires focus training in technical nature and entrepreneurship beyond what you get in a bachelor’s degree,” Laursen said. “This increases the opportunity for Duke to influence the way engineering is practiced.” One of the things students and faculty particularly notice about Katsouleas is his transparent leadership and engagement with the school, said George Truskey, chair of the department of biomedical engineering. “In my wildest dreams there is a vision of transforming universities, from what have traditionally been repositories of knowledge, to knowledge-creation engines,” Katsouleas said. “With this change, universities can become innovative engines for society.”

MargaUx Mcaulay/The Chronicle

Head Line Monitor Zach White, a senior, presents this year’s tenting policy at the Duke Student Government meeting Wednesday night. The group approved the policy, which aims to make tenting more enjoyable.

6 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 the chronicle

Economic doubts prompt stocks sell-off by Walter Hamilton and Tom Petruno Los Angeles Times

NEW YORK -- Fresh doubts about the economic recovery Wednesday drove U.S. stock prices to their biggest drop in nearly a month and triggered a further pullback in risk-taking worldwide. On Wall Street, broad market indexes suffered their sixth decline in the last seven sessions, with the Dow Jones industrial average sliding 119.48 points, or 1.2 percent, to 9,762.69. The blue-chip Dow understated the extent of the losses in the rest of the market as more investors headed for the exits. Indexes of smaller stocks, for example, slumped more than 3 percent for the day, though traders said there was no sign of panic selling. Stocks slid from the opening bell after the government said sales of new homes fell 3.6 percent in September to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 402,000 units. Analysts

said the unexpected decline -- the first month-to-month drop since March -- probably reflected uncertainty over the fate of the $8,000 federal tax credit for first-time home buyers. Congress this week is debating whether to extend the credit, which expires Nov. 30. The downbeat home-sales report added to concerns that the economy’s recovery might be ebbing. On Tuesday, the Conference Board said its index of U.S. consumer confidence fell in October, the second straight monthly decline. The government Thursday will give its first estimate of third-quarter gross domestic product growth, and Wall Street has been expecting the data to show that the economy expanded for the first time since the second quarter of 2008. But brokerage Goldman, Sachs & Co. on Wednesday added to investors’ jitters by trimming its third-quarter GDP estimate to an annualized real growth rate of 2.7 percent from a previous estimate of 3.0 percent.

The stock market’s powerful rally from 12-year lows in early March has been rooted in the belief that the recession was ending and that a sustainable recovery was taking hold. Better-than-expected company earnings reports for the second quarter and, this month, for the third quarter have helped pull money back into equities. But Wall Street has been nagged by worries that the economy could quickly sink without the massive government aid programs that have helped to support the housing and auto markets in particular. The home-sales data for September showed that “the first-time home buyer credit brought a lot of would-be buyers into the market for affordable housing, but in its wake, the demand for housing slumped just as auto sales tumbled in the aftermath of the cash-for-clunkers program,” said Steven Ricchiuto, chief economist at Mizuho Securities in New York. Although many other economic reports have been positive in recent months, the stock market’s slide over the last two weeks suggests that more investors are turning wary about the economy’s prospects and are taking some of the profits they’ve racked up since March. Key indexes have rocketed more than 50 percent from their winter lows. Art Hogan, chief market analyst at Jefferies & Co. in Boston, said some hedge funds and other investors appeared to be taking the view that this was a good point to lock in gains for 2009 rather than risk watching them evaporate. “I think some of them just want to wrap it up for the year,” Hogan said. Banks, energy companies and other commodity producers paced the Standard & Poor’s 500 index’s slump Wednesday, as it lost 20.78 points, or nearly 2 percent, to 1,042.63. That cut its year-to-date gain to 15.4 percent. The tech-dominated Nasdaq composite tumbled 56.48 points, or 2.7 percent, to 2,059.61. It still is up 30.6 percent for the year, and up 62 percent since early March. The sell-off in stocks has been global since mid-October, and many high-flying foreign markets fell more sharply than Wall Street on Wednesday. The German market sank 2.5 percent, the Brazilian market slid 4.8 percent and South Korean shares were down 2.4 percent.


volume 12, issue 11 the skeleton joke: it’s too easy

october 29, 2009

The Cubist Closet Ariel Dorfman brings his play to the Nasher as performed by Jay O’Berski


maddie lieberberg/The chronicle

quoth the raven “Convinced myself, I seek not to convince.”

page 3


Yoni Wolf brings his genrebending sound to the Cradle

page 4&5

horror of horrors

Halloween 2009 brings a new batch of horrible films

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Traditionally, one of the best parts of Halloween is putting on a costume, which means adopting another identity—splitting your personality, if you will. Some, however, are lucky enough to not have to dress up to discover their doppelganger. Whether it’s because their egos are so large that one normal identity can’t contain them, or a demon has been unleashed inside of them or they’re just bored. Everyone from the most famous celebrities to mere students have fallen under the curse of multiple personality disorder. Jekyll and Hyde were the trendsetters, the Madonnas of schizophrenia. Theirs is a rare case of physical transformation, unless you include early and late Barry Bonds. Today’s popular music is rife with the phenomenon: there’s Beyonce, turned by a post-“Crazy in Love” explosion into the demonic and less talented Sasha Fierce. There’s regular, everyday sweetheart Miley Cyrus (she’s just this girl that’s rocking kicks!) and superstar blonde Hannah Montana, famous for a

kids’ TV show and not posing for Annie Leibovitz. If you didn’t get the reference the first time, T.I. became T.I.P., pitting self against self. Wonder what kind of envy Freud would call that. Bowie’s a good one. He was David Bowie, Ziggy Stardust—homosexual space alien—and the Thin White Duke, a period in which he supposedly doesn’t remember because of all the coke (doubt anyone here could relate to that). Some bridge their personalities within genre, but Joaquin Phoenix made the unprecedented move from actor to rapper/full-time beard. Think showers in those sunglasses? Does he shower? What mysteries do these personalities procure? Who else has an evil twin that goes bump in the night? And might they even be other Duke students, even your own roommate? We here at recess know of at least one: our editor, Andrew Hibbard, who moonlights as radio personality Ira Glass. Some people don’t need Halloween costumes. —Kevin Lincoln & Charlie McSpadden

[recesseditors] KTL: Lessons for a Less Infantile Decade Andrew Hibbard.....................................................................procreation can wait Eugene Wang..............................................better the briefcase than the shotgun Kevin Lincoln.........................................................................................temperance Claire many licks does it take to make a Girl Talk Charlie McSpadden................................onlyburger = post-tailgate deliciousness Maddie Lieberberg.....................................................................................don’t die Jonathan Wall........................................................................................................22! Will Robinson...........................................................stimulating facial hair growth

October 29, 2009


With Parents’ and Family Weekend having come and gone, it made me think: why didn’t my parents realize the mistake they had made and “accidently” leave the water running in the bath tub? They did do something right by deciding not to become famous. Believe me they had a chance, too. We called our act The Aristocrats. But thank God my parents are not so foolish as to live for public approval. Celebrity parents are the worst. When Heidi Klum had another baby with Seal, you had to think: girl named Lou? Who are you, Johnny Cash? Does this girl need a tough name? Her father’s chemical burns don’t speak for themselves? She’s going to be gorgeous, but with a name like Lou, she’s going to be that girl sitting under the slide giving kisses for a dollar, probably being pimped out buy the class clown who’s taking an 80-cent cut. Pimp is such a harsh word. I preferred young entrepreneur. Heidi’s first kid was not with Seal, which brings up another superficially obnoxious social norm. Celebrities are the only people who can have kids out of wedlock without being considered easy, dumb and loose. “Longtime boyfriend?” That’s no excuse for getting knocked up. Just because you’re attractive, blond and blue-eyed doesn’t mean you can populate the earth as you please. We won that war, remember? It sounds like these guys have some commitment issues, which brings me to the current world’s worst dad: Jon Gosselin. This guy is actually a celebrity for being a bad parent. I was going to be make a Halloween joke that Kate Gosselin should go as Octomom, but Octomom made it too easy. She actually said she thinks Jon Gosselin is “hot.” I’m really rooting for them. I think this relationship can really happen, but I also thought I’d make Towerview’s Power 50.

It seems like once someone in your family becomes famous, you yourself become a sharted piece of dump. Exihbit A: the entire Lohan family. Mom is so blind to her washed-up, coked-out daughter Lindsay that she thinks it’s a good idea to have her nuture the younger daughter, Ali. That’s like when my family decided we wanted to enter our pup in the Westminster Dog Show, so we enrolled her at Michael Vick’s Canine Obedience Academy. At least Papa Lohan is doing the right thing by trying to get his daughter some help. He couldn’t be doing that for publicity, right? And I keep a shovel and a bag of lime in my car because I’m a big botanist. It could just be that the types of people who seek fame are just jaded tainted individuals to begin with. Just look at all the nutjobs on Youtube desperately hoping their rendition of “Top 50 Ghetto Names” will be their big break. Good parents don’t use their kids for publicy by locking them in the attic and telling the world they took off in a research ballon. I’m surprised they didn’t attribute his on-screen vomiting escapades to air sickness. Parents aren’t completely to blame for bad child-rearing. Sometimes, the kid is just psychologically underdeveloped. Other times, he’s just trying to get publicity for himself and hoping to turn a quick buck. Take the case of Billy Mays’ son who is having a contest for who can sport the best costume of his cold, lifeless corpse of a father. That’s almost as tasteless my Halloween costume: Cassius “Teen Wolf” Clay—champion-boxerturned-werewolf. Get it? Michael J. Fox going as Muhammad Ali? My editor is telling me that is way beyond bad taste. Jack Wilkinson is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Thursday.

Duke Performances in durham, at duke, the modern comes home. louis lortie, piano complete chopin Études Thursday, October 29 • 8 pm | Reynolds gal costa & romero lubambo Friday, October 30 • 8 pm | Reynolds ciompi quartet lunchtime classics: beethoven

Tuesday, November 3 • 12 pm | Rare Book Room miami string quartet & kalichstein-laredo-robinson Saturday, November 7 • 8 pm | Reynolds urban bush woman Thursday, November 12 • 8 pm | Reynolds lambchop + alejandro escovedo Friday, November 13 • 8 pm | Reynolds

$5 tickets duke student

louis lortie, piano · 10/29


October 29, 2009

Page 3

‘Glengarry’ delivers drama at Deep Dish by Kevin Lincoln The chronicle

Faith robertson/The Chronicle

Nevermore brings a steampunk approach to Poe’s works from the American Romantic period, uniting them all under one stage play.

Poe lives on in ‘Nevermore’ by Aziza Sullivan The chronicle

Lights rise to the sound of an ebbing ocean tide as a woman clad in white runs, halts and stands, gasping for breath. A black box becomes a sheer cliff, overlooking the relentless surf as she stands at its lip, teetering precariously. She recites Poe’s famously melancholy line, “All that we see or seem/Is but a dream within a dream.” The lights fade, and the sound of the ocean diminishes. Seconds later, the stage goes dark, and Coheed & Cambria’s “Welcome Home” shatters the resulting silence. This is the juxtaposition established in the first minutes of senior Adam Barron’s play Nevermore. Barron began work on Nevermore in January of 2009. The eight-person show cleverly ties together six of writer Edgar Allen Poe’s most celebrated works with an original storyline of love, murder and revenge. “The more I read the stories, the more I saw storylines,” Barron said. “I can pull these characters that unify all the stories.... That made me happier than any-

thing else, knowing that Poe’s works could have central stories.” The show itself predictably takes place in small, dimly lit areas, adding to the experience a feeling of intimacy that is more eerie than comforting. The atmosphere established by Poe’s work, Barron’s words, and the unnerving silences scattered throughout the play is well met for the upcoming Halloween weekend. “It’s a great show—kind of scary,” said sophomore Kyle Glackin, who plays the comically sardonic Ringmaster Wind, one of the show’s principal characters. “It’s also funny. And it coincides with Halloween. I think people will enjoy this, but particularly students who know Poe. They don’t know him like this.” Indeed, the show presents Poe’s work in a new and spooky light that is, somehow, hauntingly familiar. It captures the pain and insanity Poe was famous for putting down on paper, and mixes it with rock music and

See nevermore on page 8

There are a few givens when it comes to a David Mamet play: profanity, liberal doses of chauvinism, rhythmic and complex dialogue. And especially with Glengarry Glen Ross— arguably Mamet’s best, most famous work—the script will offer few surprises. Regardless, these inevitabilities don’t make the piece any easier to perform. It is intricate and complicated with deftly intertwined lines that an unprepared or untalented actor will likely butcher. This just compounds the amount of credit due to the Deep Dish Theater Company, who are currently presenting Glengarry Glen Ross at their intimate theater inside Chapel Hill’s University Mall. The play tells the story of a competition between four salesmen at a struggling real estate office in Chicago. The top producer gets a Cadillac, the second a set of steak knives and the other two pink slips. These stakes seem high enough in the abstract, but Mamet makes them a matter of life and death. Nothing less than the characters’ existences seem to be at risk. Such narrative intensity demands a similar velocity of performance, and the company sweats blood on their welldesigned set. In particular, actors David Ring (Levene), John Murphy (Moss) and Joshua Purvis (Roma) are incendiary, and the one scene where all three are on stage at once is breathlessly intense. Although there are times when a subtler approach might have achieved an equally convincing— and probably more nuanced—effect, it’s enjoyable and enthralling to watch the characters dress each other down with the full brutality of Mamet’s hypermasculine ego. The other actors hold their own as well, particularly Byron Jennings as Williamson; Jennings’ handling of the character’s delayed comeuppance recalls Kevin Spacey’s performance in the brilliant 1992 film adaptation. That said, there were times when a few of the more minor parts seemed to lose the thread of conversation, though these snags were usually trivial. The set, a dimly lit, generic Chinese restaurant prior to intermission and a squalorous and ransacked office postbreak, is atmospheric and eye-catching. They supply a gritty realism to the characters’ diatribes and lectures, a reality that is beautifully phrased and viscerally wrought. Glengarry Glen Ross will be performed tonight through Saturday at the Deep Dish Theater. For more information visit

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Page 4

October 29, 2009

who: yoni wolf | w


ith its genre-b sun, WHY? h of the band’ spoke with writes his songs (well... m not actually be adopted) (sic’d). Who says artists

(Bottom) Special to the Chronicle, (top) maddie lieberberg/The Chronicle

Picasso’s Closet by Ariel Dorfman was first performed in 2006 in Washington, D.C. Dorfman’s play echoes themes of his own life and comes to the Nasher this weekend.

Nasher stages Dorfman’s Picasso by Emily Ackerman


The chronicle

n his play Picasso’s Closet, distinguished Ariel Dorfman asks, “Can you continue to produce things of beauty as if people were not dying all around you?” In conjunction with the Nasher’s current Picasso and the Allure of Language exhibit, Dorfman’s play examines this artistic dilemma. Picasso’s Closet made its debut in 2006 at Theater J in Washing-

ton, D.C. and will be performed at Duke as a staged reading directed by Jay O’Berski, a lecturing fellow in the theater studies department. The reading marks the first official event in the Duke University’s Center for International Studies’ yearlong series, “Ariel Dorfman: 25 Years at Duke University.” Walter Hines Page Research Professor of Literature Dorfman has been a professor of literature and Latin American studies at

Duke since 1989 and has written numerous plays, novels, films, essays, poems and articles during his tenure, including his award-winning play Death and a Maiden, made into a film by Roman Polanski. Picasso’s Closet is set in 1940s Paris, where Nazis litter the streets and Vichy propaganda infiltrates the culture, yet an underground art world continues to thrive. Despite Hitler’s disgust for the modern art he deemed degenerate, revolutionary artist Pablo Picasso was left in peace during the German Occupation. Why? Executing the most famous painter in the world wasn’t exactly a power move. In Picasso’s Closet, however, Dorfman imagines a scenario in

during the Spanish Civil War. In writing Picasso’s Closet, Dorfman considered himself a “collaborator” to his protagonist and allowed himself the freedom to “do to Picasso what he did to his women,” he said. In this sense, Dorfman was able to reinterpret Picasso’s persona in the same way that Picasso manipulated relationships with his lovers and friends in his art. Most notable of these lovers in the play is Dora Maar, the muse of Picasso’s “Weeping Woman” series. “At the Nasher, we don’t feel that visual art stands alone,” said Wendy Hower Livingston, manager of marketing and communications for the museum. “[In

“The best homage you can do to a master is not to take him too seriously.” — Ariel Dorfman which the artist was not able to escape the hands of fascist fate and is instead hunted and killed by a Nazi officer. In this choice to kill off Picasso, Dorfman raises the question of whether the artist’s self-preservation in a time of genocide was not, in fact, a death in itself. In 1973, Argentinia-born Dorfman was forced to leave his adopted home of Chile after the coup by Gen. Augusto Pinochet that led to the death of President Salvador Allende. Having been a close supporter of Allende, Dorfman fled Chile and spent his first year of political exile in Paris. Thus, Dorfman’s experience in exile was not far removed from that of Picasso, who chose to relocate to Paris permanently in 1936

the exhibit,] art historians who have studied Picasso for decades can learn something new about the artist. And with Picasso’s Closet, Ariel examines a side of Picasso that not many people know.” Although Dorfman’s Picasso is a notably darker take on the modern art legend, his reinvention of the artist is hardly a critique. “The best homage you can do to a master is not to take him too seriously,” Dorfman said. And who better to examine through a twisted lens than the father of cubism himself? Picasso’s Closet will be performed Oct. 29-31 at the Nasher Museum of Art. Tickets are $5. For more information, visit

For this album, you’re obviously singi lot more than rapping. What’s it like for yo sing versus for you to rap? You know, they’re the same thing reall a little different, obviously, but it’s not b and white, there’s a gray area. But someti for a live show, depending on the nig might be easier to do the more rap-type so if my voice is weak or something, worn-ou Do you think WHY? is becoming, band, more and more of a cohesive unit a albums have been going on? Especially f Elephant Eyelash to Alopecia to Eskimo S it seems like everything’s getting tighter. I don’t know. Each album’s differen has its own sound and feeling. Yeah, the more sparse as time has gone on, we’ve of whittled things down a little bit. Elep Eyelash and Oaklandazulasylum as well sort of any idea goes kind of albums, w they’re more additive to solve the prob of the production of the songs you keep ing stuff, whereas with these last two alb it was more subtractive, where they’re bo down more or less to they’re most impor elements. And you know, hopefully not is there that is extraneous or whatever. I know right now you guys have this part Vimeo series going on. Where did idea for that come from, how did that st The camera crew started followin



October 29, 2009

Page 5

what: eskimo snow | where: cat’s cradle | when: oct. 30

ing a ou to

ly. It’s black imes, ght it ongs, ut. as a as the from Snow,

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around basically since Alopecia came out, they would come out and film me in California and they went a couple times up to Seattle. But yeah, I don’t know, they just follow me around and go through my life with me and at some point, you just kind of forget that they’re there. Looking back at it, actually watching them has been embarrassing. Any chance of you and Andrew Broder, who’s touring with you right now, putting out another album as Hymie’s Basement? I don’t know. Not immediately something we’re gonna do right now, because obviously we’ll be touring for the next year and then... I don’t know. It’s possible, one day. How does playing in a duo like Hymie’s Basement compare to being in WHY?, which is a little less intimate, it seems like. How do the two outfits, and outfits like cLOUDDEAD too, compare to each other? Well, yeah it is different. WHY?’s a fivepiece at this point, and it is different. It’s fullon, everyone can do a little less generally, or at least I do less. There is a dynamic with a threepiece, there’s a dynamic with a two-piece, each of them has their own plusses and minuses. With everything I’ve been reading about you guys after Eskimo Snow came out, it sounds like the new talking point that everybody feels like they need to hit is how prolific you are, because Eskimo Snow followed

up Alopecia pretty quickly. Do you feel like you’re a prolific artist? I work a lot, I don’t think that means I’m necessarily prolific. I’m not a fast worker by any means, I’m very slow. What’s your songwriting process like? Well, I’m given the songs by, there’s like a writer’s group that comes through BMI that the label pays for, so they basically give us a pool of songs to choose from, 50 or 60 generally for an album, and then we pick the ones that we feel best represent us, and then go from there, sort of. Then we speak to the producer’s group and see what they can do for us. So yeah, it’s really just a lot of management, it’s a lot of paperwork and stuff like that. I mean, if you really want to get down to the nitty gritty, I’m more of a paper-pusher. (Laughs) Alright. Have you heard the Karl Blau cover of “This Blackest Purse?” I did hear that, yeah. What did you think of that? Because it’s so much different than your version. Yeah, it’s super lo-fi (laughs). I love his stuff. I think I like it. It’s pretty different, yeah. So, having a band with your brother in it, what is that like? Because it seems like that can affect a lot of bands greatly. Umm... it’s cool, I mean, he’s adopted, so, I don’t know, there’s never been too much weirdness or competition because

Special to the Chronicle

bending fusion of hip-hop, pop and everything else under the has blown a lot musical minds out of the water. In anticipation ’s show tomorrow at the Cat’s Cradle, recess’ Kevin Lincoln frontman Yoni Wolf about his band’s progression, how he maybe) and his adopted bandmate brother (who may or may ). All answers are potentially true, and should be treated as don’t have a sense of humor?

it’s always been understood that the birthright is mine and stuff like that. But it’s nice to have him in tow, I’ve known him since I was like 8 years old, so it’s neat to have somebody you’re pretty close to. I gotcha. I guess this goes back to Alopecia, but I just watched the video for “A Sky for Shoeing Horses Under” again, which I hadn’t seen in a while, and it reminded me of how amazing that video is. Do you remember how you guys got the idea to do that, with the whole band inside and people resisting an alien attack, and it’s all done in one shot and everything. How did that come about? That was all the director Ben Barnes, it was all his thing. When we got to his house where we shot it, he showed us a demo of the video that was exactly what we were gonna do except he was playing every single part. So he had mapped it all out, it was all him, it was all Ben Barnes. Was that fun to do, was that tough to do?

Because the whole it being one shot makes it seem like it would be really tough to make. Yeah I can’t say it was like, an entertaining thing to do, it took many many hours of doing it over and over again before we got the shot that was actually used. But we were glad to do it, anything for a cool piece of art, I think. A day’s worth of work for us, which is not a big deal. So yeah, it was great. And it compares nicely with the “Song of the Sad Assassin” video, where you get to see yourself animated, which is probably interested. (Laughs) Yeah, yeah. I think he got me way wrong though, dude. I was about to say, it doesn’t look much like you. A little bit, a little bit. It’s got the gist. WHY? will be playing the Cat’s Cradle tomorrow. Tickets are $10, and Au and Serengeti & Polyphonic open.

Toro Y Moi talks Islands, remixing by Andrew Hibbard The chronicle

Special to the Chronicle

Buzzworthiness, thy name is Chaz BundickAfter parting with his punk act the Heist and the Accomplice, Bundick made his side project Toro Y Moi his main focus and is now abuzz on the blogs and releasing two albums in 2010. This Sunday, the ever-relaxed Bundick will be visiting the Duke Coffeehouse with headline-making acts Islands (formerly the Unicorns) and ex-Be Your Own Pet member Jemina Pearl. While in August, Bundick took some time to talk about the tour and his project. How’s the tour going? It’s good. Everyone is really cool in the other bands. I was kind of worried that I wasn’t going to get along with anybody because it’s so random, but everyone is really good. Were you around for the recently newsworthy Jemina Pearl incident? Oh, where she punched some guy? No, was that recently? I heard about last week, but it wasn’t sure if it was recent. She’s pretty cool. She’s not mean or anything. I heard the reason she punched that guy was because he was like requesting songs from her old band and being a total asshole. To focus on your music, what can you tell me

about your planned release for next year? The first one is going to be a little bit more electronic-based—kind of spacey, echo-y, all that stuff. The second one is going to be songwriter-type traditional songs. It’s going to be like guitars and drums, not a lot of electronic stuff. How did you transition from your Heist and the Accomplice work into Toro Y Moi? Even during the Heist and the Accomplice, I was into that kind of stuff. I just wasn’t using the Heist as the output for those types of songs. I had like a lot of earlier stuff that was electronic too but a little bit more weird than the Heist. I used to write just acoustic songs and then I got away from it, but now I try to maintain both sides of it. How are you doing these Toro Y Moi tracks live? I pretty much have the songs running from a program, and I’m doing live vocals and keyboard. Why are you doing two albums in one year, especially since this is your debut? It was an option. I had all this material I was working on, and I have a few sides to what I’m trying to do with Toro Y Moi, so I wanted to show those. I wanted to show more the more rock-indie-folk-type thing, and I wanted to show the experimental pop-type. Do you think anything has changed for you since sign-

ing to Car Park other than the increase in attention? I don’t think so. I definitely see more opportunities now. That might change the way I write songs because I’m more busy. The outside things are going to effect the way I’m working, you know? I’m going to have to stay in touch with what I was trying to do. I don’t want it to change the way I’m writing songs. I don’t want touring too much to make want to write songs faster before I go out on the road again. Can you tell me about some of the remixes you’re working on right now? I’ve got a couple. I’m doing one for Neon Indian that’s slowly coming along. I’m collaborating with another artist called CSCS, he’s from CSCS. I’ve got those in the works. And I have a project called Les Sin so I have a bunch of people doing remixes for that album. I don’t know when that’s coming out yet. Sometime in the spring, I think. Is anything else happening with Les Sin? No, not really. It’s all going to go under Toro Y Moi. We decided to keep it all under one name to make things easier. Toro Y Moi will open for Jemina Pearl and Islands Sunday, Nov. 1 at the Duke Coffeehouse. The show starts at 9 p.m. and tickets are $10, free for Duke students.


Page 6

October 29, 2009


what will we be devendra banhart warner bros.

tegan and sara sire

On What Will We Be, Devendra Banhart finds himself in a period of transition. His seventh album and major label debut has Banhart retaining his formula of beard-y, bilingual, Tropicalia-infused guitar pop. Banhart sticks with his nonsensical, cloyingly naive lyrical scribbles (“Travelling by choo-choo train/we know where we just don’t know when”). He holds back, however, from the more bizarre imagery that defined his previous albums. Although he doesn’t record his songs on friends’ answering machines anymore, the recording fidelity is still fuzzy. And the songs, though no longer the product of loose collaborations with sometimes dozens of musicians, still have a loose, improvised feel. But B-Dog has some new tricks up his proverbial sleeves. He throws in some brushed drums and jazzy flourishes on “Chin Chin & Muck Muck,” casting himself as a lysergic John Cheever in his meditation on suburban alienation. On “Foolin’,” he gives a reggae and campfire sing-along hybrid a try. The infectious glam throb of the appropriately-titled “16th & Valencia Roxy Music” is a jarringly streamlined piece of pop craft. That’s not to say that all genre forays succeed as well: “Rats” is a middling piece of plodding Stooges-inspired doom rock that goes on about five minutes and eight seconds too long. The loose, ephemeral charm of the album is its undoing, as it doesn’t leave enough a taste in the listener’s mouth— good or bad. Still, not an altogether bad album to while away a sunny afternoon playing Hacky Sack with the bros. —Asher Brown-Pinsky

Tegan and Sara aren’t for everyone. Some acquire a taste for the shrill-voiced duo, while others can never get past the piercing, idiosyncratic vocals. If one can accept their singing though, it’s love. As artists, they constantly explore and push the frontiers of music while still remaining pop-friendly. Tegan and Sara’s sixth studio album, Sainthood, immediately lets the listener know that the pair’s alt-pop is moving in yet another new direction. Stripped down music, simplified lyrics and a hodgepodge of random electronics create an album that sounds familiar to fans but also radically different from anything they’ve ever done. Leading track “Arrow” starts the album with quirky electro-percussion that leads into the quintessential vocal overlap and witty lyrics for which Tegan and Sara are so well known. There is a stilted, choppy feeling to the girls’ voices that continues throughout Sainthood, particularly on tracks like “Don’t Rush” and “Sentimental Tune.” The overall quality of songs on Sainthood is fantastic. Track after track is emotive and unique, and none outright fail. Some, however, like “Paperback Head” achieve only mediocrity. The biggest flaw of the album is the occasional posturing that tries to transform their music into something else. “Hell” sounds like a missing track from a Yeah Yeah Yeahs record, and “Northshore” could have been written by Blink-182. There is nothing wrong with either track, except for the fact that neither fits the album in the slightest. Sainthood is yet another offering that showcases the immense talent of Tegan and Sara, though it falls short of canonization. —Nathan Nye



raditude weezer geffen


Weezer has spent the last 10 years trying to make us forget that they produced a classic in The Blue Album, a record offering an escape route from grunge that would come to be known as “alternative rock.” Fast-forward a decade and they’re reaping the benefits of this easily won success, periodically dropping self-derivative albums while taking hiatuses in between. Just a year after subjecting us to The Red Album, we get Raditude, significant only in its abandonment of the nerdy self-portrait album art. Now, it’s a flying dog. Rivers Cuomo’s ironically cool nerdshtick is now iconic in music, but he’s over the hill. His musical touchstones have degenerated from the Pixies and Nirvana— he’s now a pop egalitarian, singing the praises of Miley Cyrus and the Jonas Broth-

Picasso and the Allure of Language August 20, 2009 – January 3, 2010

ers. This is fine in theory, but it looks like Weezer has taken a few too many cues from mainstream pop, dulling the edges of their once ragged, epic sing-alongs. On Raditude, especially with opener “(If You’re Wondering If I Want You To) I Want You To,” the songs run on quick adrenaline highs. Their catchiness is fleeting—it’s hard to actually remember any interesting melodies or hooks as the mess of indistinguishable tracks bleed into one another. In 2005, they told us Beverly Hills was the place to be, and now they “Can’t Stop Partying:” “I gotta have Patron, I gotta have the E/I gotta have a lot of pretty girls around me,” Cuomo repeats. It’s no surprise Lil Wayne dropped by the party to phone in guest verses, though I doubt he stayed long. The raddest part of this album is the cover art, and it’s got as much ’tude as Hannah Montana’s latest. —Brian Contratto

Halloween Comedy

The Nasher Museum presents a groundbreaking exhibition examining Pablo Picasso’s lifelong relationship with writers and the many ways in which language transformed his work. Picasso and the Allure of Language was organized by the Yale University Art Gallery with the support of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Pablo Picasso, Dog and Cock, 1921. Oil on canvas, 61 x 30 1/8 inches. Yale University Art Gallery. Gift of Stephen Carlton Clark, B.A. 1903. ©2009 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

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October 29, 2009

cirque du freak: the vampire’s assistant

dir. p. weitz universal


As the Harry Potter film series nears its end, the 12-book series The Saga of Darren Shan attempts to replace it as the new “it” teen fantasy franchise. Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant is an adaptation of the first three volumes, an unrealistic and far too ambitious attempt obviously written with the intent of sequels. Darren (Chris Massoglia) is an average, small-town boy. He lives in a world where vampires exist openly and there is a war between those that have learned to co-exist with humans and the much more violent, “old-school” Vampaneze. He and his vampire-obsessed best friend Steve (Josh Hutcherson) hear that a freak show—Cirque du Freak—is showing nearby, and Steve convinces Darren to sneak out to attend. While there, Darren is “blooded” by Mr. Crepsley (John Reilly) and becomes entangled in

Page 7

inter-species political strife. Though never having read any books in the series, I have an overwhelming feeling that there is an extensive backstory that didn’t make the cut. Already somewhat hazy, the plot involves so many characters that it is difficult to decide which are important—that is, even if you remember them. Lead writers Paul Weitz and Brian Helgeland should have focused on making this film stand on its own rather than assuming Twilight-esque success. The film relies too heavily on the expected appeal of newcomer Massoglia, who is as bland and unlikeable as his character Darren. Reilly is stronger, offering a refreshing, different approach to playing the recently sexed-up vampire stereotype. Helped by the film’s slightly comedic tone, he is able to realize Mr. Crepsley’s vampire origins without the often-necessary expensive special effects. But even his efforts, along with an array of famous faces, are not enough to sell the film. Director Weitz is unable to transition from comedy to big-budget fantasy—his make-believe is not believable. —Michael Woodsmall

saw vi

dir. k. greutert lionsgate


Perhaps legislation isn’t the best way to prevent predatory lenders and insurance agents from creating an economic crisis. Perhaps the government should take a page from Jigsaw’s book and torture them into being better people. It works in Saw VI. The sixth installment of the series that has defined the term “torture porn” goes back to the time of Saw III in which John Kramer/Jigsaw (Tobin Bell) has just died. The rest of the narrative consists of a variety of flashbacks, some of which have been shown in previous films, related to the newest Jigsaw impersonator, Lieutenant Mark Hoffman (Costas Mandylor), and his minions. If you’re looking for the hallmark gruesome puzzles, split-second decisions and bone-chilling torture devices, the movie won’t disappoint. But writers Marcus Dunstan and Patrick Melton bring nothing new to the table in their third Saw episode. They rope characters feebly related to the world’s financial woes into their formulaic survival games, forcing them to reflect upon the despair they cause their clients. Most of the film follows insurance executive William (Peter Outerbridge) as he struggles to save his own life. In an interesting twist, his clients get to choose his gruesome fate in the end. Financially-stricken audience members cheer on. Hooray hydrofluoric acid! Hooray bed of needles! In all, the film serves to put more pieces of the vague puzzle that is Jigsaw’s life into place. But if you have a puzzle solved from the start, the only reason to continue adding pieces is if you like the process. Let it be known that the process is still torture. —Andrew O’Rourke

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Page 8

October 29, 2009

nevermore from page 3 black lights. The climax of the show (and a must-see for Poe fans) is undoubtedly Barron’s adaption of “The Raven,” one of Poe’s most famous pieces as well as the source of the show’s title. The play also includes a rendition of “Annabel Lee,” distinctive for its inclusion of an original ballet featuring five white-masked phantoms. “Everything about the show is really well thought,” sophomore Ophelia Chua said. “The entire cast and crew is really dedicated. Whatever you see here is people’s hearts put on stage.” Nevermore runs tonight through Oct. 31 in Brody Theater on East Campus. Performances are at 8 and 11 p.m.


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good hair

dir. j. stilson hbo films


In a list of things that I don’t know much about or understand, hair ranks in third, right behind atom hybridization and women. I could lead a seminar on hidden meanings in Harry Potter (the number seven! Halloween! Socks!), but things like curling just send me through a loop. That’s where Good Hair comes in. Chris Rock’s new documentary examines the importance of women’s hair in the black community. Rock believes hair has the power to mold personal identity and also pressures black women to painstakingly adopt “white” hairstyles. In his pursuit of the social, medical and economic aspects of the black hair industry, Rock interviews celebrities from Ice-T to Maya Angelou and travels from Harlem to India, all in hopes of answering why black women shed thousands of dollars for updos.

Although Rock certainly provides plenty of laughs along the way, his general level of seriousness shocks viewers into realizing the strangeness of the situation. Hearing from a black teenager scared to wear an afro in the workplace and seeing a four year-old use dangerous chemicals to get the “pretty” hair of white women succeeds in raising provocative questions about race, identity and wealth. Unfortunately, the documentary does not provide any solution to the dilemma it describes. Rock talks about how black women need to embrace their black identity, but never says how. He merely concludes that hair expresses African-American creativity and that black women will be beautiful with or without straight, silky hair. Whether you are black or white, male or female, have hair like T-Pain or Al Sharpton, Good Hair is a movie you should watch. Its stunningly frank interviews, hilarious narrator and interesting topic make it worth its weight in weaves. —Brendan Szulik



The Chronicle


THURSDAY October 29, 2009


Women’s Soccer

Duke’s own magician Redmond renowned for unselfish play

Quarterback Lewis drawing NFL attention by Taylor Doherty The chronicle

faith robertson/Chronicle file photo

Senior Elisabeth Redmond has set several Duke records with her slick passing and goalscoring abilities. by Nicholas Schwartz The chronicle

When asked about his trademark unselfishness, Magic Johnson once replied, “Ask not what your teammates can do for you, ask what you can do for your teammates,” a twist on the iconic Kennedy line. The greatest players in any sport aren’t the just the ones who can light up the scoreboard, but the ones, like Magic, who can also facilitate the game for their teammates. Duke’s maestro comes in the form of senior center midfielder Elisabeth Redmond, who has conducted the Blue Devils to consecutive Elite Eight appearances in the NCAA tournament. “We’ve had some special midfielders at Duke, some All-Americans, and Elisabeth is one of the best,” head coach Robbie Church said. With 26 career goals and 35 assists, Redmond has been making headlines for years. Her best feature, however, has always been her ability to make her teammates shine. From the training ground to the pitch, everything for Duke begins with Redmond. “She’s elevated everybody’s game upward, from an intensity standpoint and a quality standpoint,” Church said. Redmond, a New Jersey native, was a prized recruit coming out of high school, though many thought she would decide to play soccer at Virginia with her sister, Jen, who graduated last year. Wanting to have her own college experience at a top-notch institution, Redmond instead decided to join a Blue Devil team on the rise. Her decision to play at Duke is considered by Church to be a turning point in the recent history of the soccer program. “At that time, we were a growing program, and she helped turn it into a great program,” Church said. Since her arrival on campus, Redmond has had an incredible impact on the soccer team. She has received All-ACC accolades each year, and has finished no lower than

Duke faces No. 7 Boston College in Chestnut Hill tonight at 7 p.m. Check The Chronicle’s Sports Blog for more on Virginia Football’s defensive scheme

sixth in total points the past two years. Redmond attributes her strong early years at Duke to the advice of her older teammates. “I’ll always remember [midfielder] Lorraine Quinn pulling me aside and reminding me that freshmen don’t typically have great seasons because they are too tentative, and that I needed to let my personality come out on the field,” Redmond said. Redmond’s fearlessness has allowed her to become a dangerous attacking midfielder. Never shy about taking a shot— she’s third in the ACC with 68—Redmond is always looking to push forward and spark the Blue Devil offense. “She wants the ball from the kickoff. Win or lose, she wants that responsibility,” Church said. Redmond’s leadership has been especially important this year, as Church fields one of the youngest teams he’s ever had. Setting the tone for each practice and game, Redmond has emerged as the onfield leader of the Blue Devils, and the senior captain’s never-say-die attitude is contagious among her teammates. “One of the things I struggle with is confidence, and she brings so much confidence to this team,” sophomore winger Cody Newman said. Redmond’s talents have not gone unnoticed by those outside the ACC. This summer, she traveled to Europe with the United States Under-23 National Team, training and playing with the best players in the country. “It’s a very competitive environment, and it’s great to play in,” Redmond said. “It was also just fun to travel to a different country with that group.” Redmond will need to translate her experience into production on the field, as Duke hopes to secure its place in the ACC tournament. With only two ACC contests remaining, the Blue Devils will be relying on Redmond to push them into postseason play.

Against Maryland­last Saturday—despite the steady and sometimes pouring rain—head coach David Cutcliffe continued to throw the ball. Quarterback Thaddeus Lewis produced, connecting on 30-of-43 passes for 371 yards and two touchdowns en route to a 17-13 victory. As Lewis continues to improve during his time at Duke, there is one question that is becoming harder and harder to avoid: Is Thaddeus Lewis a legitimate NFL prospect? Maryland head coach Ralph Friedgen certainly thinks so. “He’s good, he might be the best guy we’ve seen so far,” Friedgen said after Saturday’s game. “Thaddeus Lewis is definitely an NFL prospect. He’s big, he’s strong and he’s physical. He made some

throws under pressure today. I’ve been impressed with him for a long time, and he impressed me again today.” It was another quality performance for Lewis, and NFL scouts have started to notice. Up in the press box, looking down over the soaked field, personnel from seven NFL teams including the Giants, Jets, Patrios, Cardinals and Seahawks watched the senior in action. For now, Lewis insists that he is focused on the game at hand. Though he enjoys watching the NFL—he’s a Miami Dolphins fan—the quarterback is not ready to start thinking about a career in the league. Last week, the Blue Devils downed Maryland, and now the mission is to secure a win against Virginia Saturday. See lewis on page 8

lawson kurtz/The Chronicle

Thaddeus Lewis is attracting NFL scouts to Wallace Wade Stadium this year with his eye-catching numbers.


Presbyterian hosed by Blue Devil attack by Danny Vinik The chronicle

Duke finished off its nonconference season with a decisive 6-0 victory over Presbyterian Wednesday at Koskinen Stadium behind two goals freshman PRES 0 from defender Andrew DUKE 6 Wenger. The No. 16 Blue Devils (11-4-0) struck early and often as the offense scored multiple goals for the fourth consecutive game. Led by Wenger in the back, the defense posted its third shutout in four games, holding Presbyterian to just four total shots. The matchup was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but was pushed back to Wednesday night because of rain. Duke, however, showed no signs of the delay affecting its

play. Wenger opened the scoring in the sixth minute after Cole Grossman struck a corner kick that bounced across the box to an open Wenger, who calmly put it away. “The ball came back post and I just tried to get it back and it snuck in,” Wenger said. Just 12 minutes later Grossman made it 2-0 off a cross from Christopher TweedKent. Duke continued to clog the midfield and control the game as the Blue Devils outworked and outplayed the Blue Hose. Freshman Ryan Finley put the game far out of reach just 21 minutes into the first half when he took the ball from a Presbyterian defender and beat the keeper to make it 3-0. Things only got worse for the Blue Hose (2-10-2) after that. See m. soccer on page 8

8 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 the chronicle

lewis from page 7

lawson kurtz/Chronicle file photo

Thaddeus Lewis was known as a pocket passer in his first three years at Duke and continues to thrive in that role, but he has added a running dimension to his game as well.

m. soccer from page 7

They certainly did. Wenger added his second goal six minutes into the second half off a Ryan Brown corner kick. And 17 minutes later, sophmore Kwasi Ayisi tallied his first goal of the season off a pass from sophmore Temi Molinar. Duke pressed forward and attacked as the substitutes continued the high level of play. Sophomore Jan Trnka-Amrhein notched the sixth and final Duke goal, the first of his career, with just two minutes to go to cap the victory. The win makes it four in a row for the Blue Devils after a come-from-behind victory versus Clemson last week. Duke returns to action Friday in a big home matchup against Virginia Tech which has major implications for the ACC standings and tournament seeding.

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Duke made numerous substitutions as the scoreline allowed many players who rarely get playing time to get significant minutes in the game. Head coach John Kerr played four different goalies and every player on his bench. “We wanted to give some of the guys that don’t get to play a lot a chance to play and it worked out brilliantly that everyone on the squad had a chance to play tonight,” Kerr said. “The starters got to pay back the hard work that the nonstarters go through every day in practice. It was a chance to give them an opportunity and I thought all of them played really well tonight and deserved the opportunity.”

“I dont look around at all that stuff [like NFL mock draft boards],” Lewis said. “I work on what I can focus on, which is practice [today].... I believe that if you take care of everything now, it will all work out.” That singular focus has earned the Blue Devils a 4-3 record, including two consecutive wins in the ACC for the first time since 1994. Over his last three games, Lewis has now completed 92 of his last 133 passes and has accumulated 1,189 yards for nine touchdowns. Having started since he was a true freshman, Lewis has climbed career stat leaderboards, as well. The senior is just 293 yards short of becoming the third Blue Devil and seventh ACC quarterback with 9,000 career passing yards. Though Duke has had some trouble running the ball, the throwing game has flourished. For many onlookers, it comes as no suprise; after all, Cutcliffe famously helped develop both Peyton and Eli Manning at Tennessee and Ole Miss, respectively. But while Cutcliffe has certainly watched Lewis grow this year in the pocket, the quarterback’s improved mobility is just as obvious. “I think Thad is becoming a better runner,” Cutcliffe said. “You know, that’s an acquired thing for a quarterback, because they don’t run it as much. He’s seeing the field better, making decisions, knowing where the sticks are. A lot of times when he’s running we’re trying to get a first down out of it, whether it’s quarterback draws or whatever the circumstances are. It just makes us better in our offense.” As Lewis finishes out his college career, professional scouts will keep seeing what Cutcliffe has been talking about all along.


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the chronicle Thursday, October 29, 2009 | 9

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10 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 the chronicle commentaries

The green imperative As Kermit the Frog wisely out through a number of noted, it ain’t easy being sub-committees, each targetgreen. And for an institu- ing a specific component of tion as large as Duke, it ain’t environmental sustainability. cheap either. Historically, Duke has been But in the active in purlong run, the suing sustaineditorial U n i v e r s i t y ’s ability through push toward greater envi- LEED Certified buildings and ronmental sustainability is switching to alternate energy worthwhile and important. sources when possible. The At its meeting earlier this Climate Action Plan builds month, the Board of Trust- upon these efforts. ees approved the Climate It is also another example Action Plan, a program that of the University affirming aims to make the Universi- the importance and leaderty—not including the Medi- ship of the Nicholas School cal Center—carbon neutral of the Environment. by the year 2024 and to cut Setting the standard for greenhouse gas emissions 88 sustainability brings with percent by 2050. it positive publicity the for A Campus Sustainability Nicholas School and the UniCommittee will oversee the versity as a whole, but more implementation of this plan, importantly, it allows Duke to and its work will be carried fulfill its mission of enacting


Further, some of the best writing can be found on TV. At a certain point in TV history (I pick NYPD blue) people discovered that good writing will earn high ratings.

—“disgruntledpanthersfan” commenting on the column “Drop TVs, not bombs.” See more at

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change globally and locally. As a non-profit organization with a goal of promoting the common good of humanity, the University is well positioned to reduce its carbon footprint and take on the collective action problem that perpetuates poor decisions and practices that only harm the environment. And as a driving force in regional affairs, Duke sets an example for other Durham and RTP institutions. Along these lines, the Climate Action Plan is a good tool for encouraging a broader commitment to sustainability across the region. Not only does the Climate Action Plan indicate that Duke is willing to take practical steps to support the values it espouses, it also ex-

hibits prescience on the part of the University. With legislation to regulate carbon emissions likely to emerge from Washington in the coming months, Duke is wise to take preemptive action in formulating a plan to curb its footprint. And although money is tight now, this plan is financially prudent in the long term. Because it is being implemented over many years, the costs of the program are spread out across a long timeframe that will likely include both good and bad economic times. Additionally, many of the specific measures of the initiative are cost cutting and will comparatively reduce University expenses. The price of carbon offsets will

only rise in the future due to an imminent increase in demand, and securing these assets now while the price is lower makes sense. To ensure that the University’s actions resonate beyond the walls of campus, it is good that the plan incorporates communication and education committees. Duke alone cannot solve the problem of climate change, and education and outreach can create the necessary impetus in Durham and beyond to join in these sustainability efforts. The creation of environmentally sustainable institutions is no longer a choice— it’s a necessity. The Climate Action Plan is a good first step in making this necessity a reality.

Whose raw deal?

s a conservative, I find few things more tiring than hearing like-minded peers whine about the classroom bias of liberal professors. The complaint, in many ways, misses the point of our academic training. If anything, conservikram vatives are getting a sweet deal. While srinivasan paying the same uncommon amount of tuition conviction as our liberal peers, conservative students are often getting a better education by virtue of having our views constantly challenged. Campus conservatives need to realize that the purpose of our undergraduate education is not for us to hear what we want to hear. Indeed, a proper liberal arts education should challenge our deepest beliefs and force us to reevaluate and reflect on them. Yes, there are excesses of political expression among the faculty. But these instances are atypical and should not be hyped up to be more common than they really are. The notion that liberal Duke professors are generally politically intolerant is much-exaggerated. The perception likely originates at least in part with the actions of the Group of 88 during the lacrosse incident and the controversy that ensued. But there are more than 2,500 full-time Duke faculty. To draw broad conclusions, as so many do, based on the actions of a few is surely misrepresentative. Students ought to remember that the overwhelming majority of their faculty members are not tone-deaf ideologues, but individuals who through their years of specialized education have been inevitably exposed to a variety of differing viewpoints. You are not the first conservative your professor has met. In fact, your professor, depending on his or her area of academic specialization, might even have a better understanding of your political views than you do. There is usually little reason for conservatives to fear that they cannot express their views in a classroom setting. Still, because of the prominence of a few misrepresentative cases, many conservatives enter the classroom in a defensive position. Worse yet, many remain in this pose perpetually. This approach to one’s education often manifests itself in a kind of reactionary thoughtlessness, an impulse to view criticism or disagreement as an attack on one’s character rather than an opportunity to reflect more deeply and mature intellec-

tually. At other times, conservatives shrink into a shell and insulate themselves from participation in classroom dialogue. This is a lost opportunity, to say the least. At its root, this defensive reaction can reflect an ideological narcissism unbecoming of a 20-yearold. Political views are not sacred principles immune to criticism, especially since most of us have held them no longer than five years. At the point where you can’t handle criticism for views you’ve basically just arrived at, maybe you should reevaluate your interest in politics. Moreover, to attribute certainty to views which are so fundamentally and frequently debated is little if not intellectual egoism. That’s not to say that you can’t have strong beliefs—obviously not. But students should seek to actively recognize the difference between belief and fact. If not for the sake of challenging and developing your own understanding, engaging with a liberal classroom environment will make you a more effective advocate for your own principles. People of all belief systems benefit tremendously from understanding why and how others might disagree with their positions. Yes, there are legitimate criticisms to be made of the current state of affairs as it pertains to politics in the classroom. Too often, course syllabi skew to the left in their representation of the major authors in a field of study. Liberal students lose out under this scenario from not having their views sufficiently challenged, and all students get a distorted picture of a field. It is also true that there is some benefit to having ideological mentors who share your basic worldview and can guide you as you seek to flesh out its full implications and assumptions. Classes could also benefit from professors trying to be more actively self-aware of how they are presenting themselves. Ultimately, there is a power disparity inherent in classroom interactions. Even if students should not be deterred by the fact that their professor articulates a certain viewpoint without reservation, the reality is that a good number will be regardless. But in most cases, these kinds of precautions should not make or break a student’s learning experience. To avoid those few radicals in the faculty who do not respond well to disagreement, a look at the standard course evaluation Web sites while book-bagging is usually more than sufficient. So conservatives have little reason to complain about the fact that they attend a liberal university. Indeed, we should be thankful for the opportunity. If complaining is to be done, it should come from liberal students. They’re the ones getting a raw deal. Vikram Srinivasan is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Thursday.

the chronicle

Thursday, October 29, 2009 | 11


letterstotheeditor Brostoff column degrading to Durham We were extremely disappointed by the remarks Ben Brostoff made about Durham in his Oct. 27 column “You, me and Kyrie.” Durham is a great place to live and work. Yes, there is poverty, but we are not “poverty–ridden.” Does he know of some secret city where poverty does not exist? We are consistently named one of the best places to live in the U.S. Durham is an exciting, eclectic city with wonderful neighborhoods, world class entertainment, great shopping, year-round sports to take part in and watch and fantastic restaurants. Durham also has a very active volunteer community. We were also really perplexed with Brostoff’s statement, “Add this to the fact that Durham citizens, oftentimes black, work for the University in such glamorous positions as Subway chef and bus drivers.” What was the point of this sarcastic remark? Besides the racial undertones, was he really insinuating that a person who works in a restaurant or drives a bus is not of as much value as someone in a higher paid position? Does he really not understand that it is the sergeants, in any organization, and not the officers, who keep the doors open every day and turn the lights off every evening? As for Durham citizens resenting Duke, that is just a silly statement. Duke is very much a part of Durham and appreciated by the majority of citizens. We would like to invite Brostoff to get out and experience the City of Medicine. Drive through our lovely neighborhoods, visit the small independent shops, spend some time in our schools, meet our teachers and students. Talk to the bus driver and the Subway chef, (or the dean, your professors, staff assistants, doctors or any of the other thousands of employees). Brostoff’s perception of the Bull City just might change. Monica Allison Staff member, Department of English Gail Hignight Assistant to Dean, Office of the Dean of Academic Affairs Cathy Lewis Staff assistant, Office of the Dean of

Academic Affairs Duke sustainability requires endowment transparency The Board of Trustees recently approved Duke’s Climate Action Plan, demonstrating its commitment to environmental advocacy and sustainability. 2024—Duke’s target year for carbon neutrality using a mixture of offsets and real campus energy reductions and diversification—is now a date to watch. The University’s B+ score awarded by the college sustainability report card augurs well the feasibility of these administrative targets. Ignominiously though, Duke’s F in endowment transparency is emblematic of the many steps that we must take between now and 2024. This abysmal score and the administration’s perennial reticence with regard to the larger issue of transparency demand proper responses and draw serious questions about the contents and overall sustainability of our investment portfolio. If the administration is heavily invested in Duke Energy and other corporations supporting the construction of a new coalfired power plant in Cliffside, N.C., and other environmentally unsound projects, how committed is it really to the promotion of sustainability and other critical environmental reforms? Does Duke really want to promote itself as the environmental Janus of our times? Only full endowment transparency can rectify this glaring issue. In conjunction with these administrative omissions, the work being done by various student groups, and their sustainability and recycling coordinators in particular, shows that sustainability is slowly becoming a central pillar of Duke’s administrative and campus cultures. From Eco-Olympics to the mere existence of a Climate Action Plan for our University, our B+ for sustainability is a reward for the significant progress that has been made on most fronts (endowment transparency excluded). It is equally indicative, though, of the multiple steps that must still be taken in order for us to achieve carbon neutrality within the Plan’s set timeframe. 2024 will therefore serve as the ultimate test of our

Don’t make football special I am writing in response to Jeffrey Bassett’s Oct. 26 letter, “Students, show more support for football.” Yes, it would be nice if we could all go to the football game and cheer on our team that is finally showing some semblance of being a Division I program. But the fact is, not everyone here likes football, and even fewer like (at best) mediocre college football. Still, as members of a living community, I would hope that students feel some connection to support their fellow classmates in their extracurricular endeavors. However, the recent letters calling out Duke students for not supporting the football team misse the point. My issue lies with Bassett’s premise that football should somehow be treated differently than other sports and extracurriculars here at Duke. Why is it that we as a student body should be devoting all of our attention to football? Where are the outcries to get more student support at field hockey games, swimming and diving meets, men’s and women’s cross country (both ranked in the top 30 nationally) or for our world-class fencers? Beyond athletics, when is the last time many of us have gone to a play by our fellow students in Reynolds Theater or Page Auditorium, or listened to the Pitchforks perform? Thus, if you are going to call out Duke students for not supporting their peers, then call us out. I for one will admit that I have not been to every single event put on by Duke students. But please, for my sake and the sake of others, don’t tell me which events I need to support most, or think poorly of me for not choosing to support the ones you like.

In response to yet another irksome “Monday, Monday” column I’d like to point out a few things. Firstly, Steve Wojciechowski came to Delta Sigma Phi fraternity section to discuss the student section’s ailing reputation, namely the fact that our ACC rivals perceive it as unintimidating and ridiculous. Now, I’m not sure how Duke Basketball works, but I’d assume that Wojo was given orders by someone higher up unless he just wanted to relive his glory days and frat it up with some broskis and braskies in Edens for an evening; who could blame him? So, if I were a betting man, I’d wager that the King of All the “Rabid” Ones—the one Coach K, three-time National Champion and Olympic Gold Medalist, maybe, just maybe, sent Wojo to the—gasp—“greeks,” and for good reason. Wojo said the team was well aware that its fans aren’t intimidating enough and that the only game that students were turned away from last year was Davidson. C’mon “rabid” fans, you can’t even fill up Cameron for the UNC game? The current student section repeats the same generic chants and motions every game. No Mr. Line Monitor, I don’t want your cheer sheet. What Wojo said was that Cameron’s atmosphere has been hurting from a lack of aggression and underrepresentation from unified, moraleboosting student groups, like the “greeks”! But all joking aside, “Charlotte’s” argument unfairly stereotypes roughly a third of Duke’s undergraduate community. Furthermore, the line policy currently favors the “rabid” fans while making it nearly impossible for organized student groups to enjoy the game together in one area of the student section, an arrangement which would undoubtedly boost morale and step up Cameron’s intimidation factor, whether we’re sober or not. Ultimately, who are we to question the coaches if they think this new line policy will benefit the team? Maybe greeks will be able to come up with more creative chants than “Airrrrrballlll,” if not, hook me up with a rabies shot… on Flex, please.

Sean-Patrick Oswald Trinity ’11

Arthur Leopold Trinity ’12

growing environmental consciousness and commitment, and, as mentioned earlier, is a date to be remembered from now on by students and administrators alike. Mikael Owunna Co-president, Duke Environmental Alliance Pratt ’12

Pony boy unveiled


’d like to start off this column with a question, and I want up and says something. The problem is, when you combine you to be completely honest with your answer: If I bought this with my weirdness, it leads to many quizzical looks when, you a pony, would you ride it around with me on East after sitting quietly for 15 minutes, I suddenly make a pterodacCampus on a cool, crisp fall day while weartyl joke while everyone is discussing politics. ing argyle sweaters and eating Dunkaroos? Thus, I tend to keep my mouth shut. So, what will it be? It’s a simple yes or no But all that changes on the Internet. question folks; it’s not rocket science (sorry Thanks to the magic of throwaway e-mail to disappoint my Pratt readers). addresses and fake user names, one can be Seriously though, I’m waiting. Even almost completely anonymous on the web. though there’s actually no way that you can So when Nolan Smith announced on his respond to me directly right now, I’m going Twitter account that he was going to be doto assume that your lack of response means ing a live video question-and-answer session jacob wolff you’re blowing me off. Jerk. You know who where the public could submit questions in a i’m serious... didn’t blow me off? chat room, my eyes lit up. From the perspecNolan Smith. tive of “Jacob Wolff, Duke Basketball fan,” it Yes, that Nolan Smith. The Duke basketball player/ was exciting. From the perspective of “Jacob Wolff, strange pony ride aficionado/ person whose name can be rear- kid given a chance to anonymously ask a campus celebrity ranged to spell “Salmon Hint” actually answered that very questions,” it was VERY exciting. question. Allow me to explain. To use a basketball metaphor, I took the ball and ran with If reading my columns this semester hasn’t tipped you it (and was called for traveling violations many times over— off yet, I’ll be the first to admit I’m a pretty odd guy. I clear- screw dribbling). At first Nolan ignored my questions, stickly don’t write about things like my ant farm to score points ing to mostly basketball related topics, such as, “who do you with the ladies, I do it because I have something of a weird think is going to start this year?” But I wasn’t voted “most sense of humor. Basically, if you take that annoying friend likely to marry a trophy wife by pestering her non-stop for who always makes “Arrested Development” references and five years” in high school for nothing—I’m a persistent chap! combine it with your 12-year-old fart joke-cracking brother, Eventually, he had no choice but to humor me. you have me in a nutshell. From “who would win in a fight: 18 grizzly bears or a robot Though I never purposely hide my oddities, I also happen from Transformers” to “did it hurt… when you fell from heavto be a quiet guy. You know, the type of person you sometimes en,” Nolan probably answered about 10 of my questions. All in forget is sitting at your table, only to be shocked when he pipes all, he’s got a great sense of humor. As per the pony-riding ques-

tion, he just laughed and never did give me a straight answer. Along with being a generally quiet person, I also tend to come up with some amazing ideas, but don’t quite get up the nerve to follow through with them. It’s a formula that plays out time and time again: sweet plan plus lame excuse equals inaction. Ideas like singing “Hit me baby one more time” at karaoke night and hopping in the car and for a spontaneous road trip to New York will undoubtedly illicit some sort of excuse. So when I typed the following: “Someday I’m going to get up the nerve to come up to you in the BC and tell you I was the kid asking you all the weird questions,” I knew I’d probably never do it. I’d see Nolan on campus and chicken out, failing yet again to step out of my comfort zone. But you know what, I’m sick of being the “Wouldn’t it be great/hilarious/awesome guy” who lacks follow-through. I’m sick of never taking chances, I’m sick of being scared of humiliation and most of all, I’m sick of “Lost”… that show’s gone on way too long. So, Salmon hint (aka Nolan), here I am: Jacob Wolff, the weird kid who asked the weird questions. I know this isn’t me coming up to you in the Bryan Center, but it’s a big step for a shy person like me, so publicly confessing via column will have to do. If you see me around campus, be sure to say hello. I’ll be the kid riding the pony on the quad while wearing an argyle sweater and eating Dunkaroos, if you catch my salmon hint. Jacob Wolff is a Trinity senior. His column runs every other Thursday.

12 | Thursday, October 29, 2009 the chronicle

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October 29, 2009 issue  

October 29th, 2009 issue of the Duke Chronicle