November 8, 2017

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Bre Bradham | Associate Photography Editor Steve Schewel, Trinity ‘73 and current city council member, received 59.5 percent of the vote.


Spirits high for Schewel in win, Ali despite loss By Bre Bradham | Local and National News Editor

Alston, Middleton and Freeman also prevail in election By Jake Satisky Staff Reporter

Sarah Kerman | Senior News Reporter

On election night Tuesday, Steve Schewel jumped ahead with an early lead over Farad Ali when the early vote numbers came in and did not relinquish his advantage for the rest of the night—ending the mayoral race with nearly a 20-point margin of victory and giving Durham its first new mayor in 16 years. “I will do my best to be a good mayor of Durham, and I will need all your support to do it,” Schewel, Trinity ‘73 and a member on the Durham City Council, told his supporters in his victory speech. “Thank you.” The city saw much greater voter turnout in the municipal election compared to 2015—36,181 people cast ballots in this year’s race, equating to an 18.7 percent turnout, compared to the 10.8 percent turnout two years ago. Both mayoral candidates gathered with their supporters at night to watch as the precincts reported the results on the state board of elections website. Schewel’s party was at Pompieri Pizza, where he was joined by several local elected officials—including Mike Woodard, a state representative from Durham and Trinity ’81, and city council members Charlie Reece and Jillian Johnson. In his acceptance speech, Schewel thanked his campaign workers and supporters and said he will use the position to honor his mother, who died just more than a month ago. Ali, a business consultant and former city council member, gathered with his supporters for an election night watch party with city council candidates MarkAnthony Middleton, Sheila Ann Higgins See SPIRITS on Page 3

After 16 years under Bill Bell, the city of Durham has a new mayor. With all precincts reporting, Steve Schewel, Trinity ‘73, received 59.5 percent of the vote to become Durham’s next mayor. He defeated Farad Ali, who garnered 40.1 percent.

19.4 Percentage by which Steve Schewel beat Farad Ali Schewel was a member on the Durham Board of Education from 2004 to 2008, and he has sat on the City Council since 2011. He also founded Indy Week in 1983 and Hopscotch Music Festival in 2010, in addition to being a visiting professor at the Sanford School of Public Policy. “I will do my best to be a good mayor of Durham, and I’ll need all y’all’s support to do it.” Schewel said at his campaign party. In October, Schewel won more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary election. According to his platform, Schewel strives to make Durham as progressive as it can be, while making sure “all residents get an opportunity to share in our newfound prosperity.” He has stressed the importance of greater access to affordable housing and public transportation, especially in the area around Duke’s campus. He also noted he wants Durham to value sustainability and carbon reduction, even if the federal government pulls out of the Paris Climate Agreement. First-year Jaylyn Barbee said he was See ELECTION on Page 3


Memes, blood, violence: Next semester’s most interesting classes By Claire Ballentine Towerview Editor

There are few things most students dread more than sitting through a boring 8:30 a.m. lecture filled with dull PowerPoints and low lighting. But what if there was an alternative option, like a class that examined meme culture or hip hop or even the underground market for human organs? The Chronicle took a look at some of the most interesting classes offered this year, which can help you fulfill requirements without wanting to stab your eyes out with your pencil. “Taboo Markets” This course—taught by Kieran Healy, associate professor of sociology—explores the social organizations of controversial markets such as those for alcohol, drugs, sex work, gambling and organs. Cross-listed under the sociology, international comparative studies and ethics departments, it aims to consider the creation, expansion and regulation of

these markets. “Exchange is a basic feature of human life. But it takes many forms,” Healy wrote in an email. “Understanding how the boundary between markets and gifts really works is a central problem across the social sciences.” He explained that he developed the course after writing

If you know how fandoms behave, you basically know how social movements will behave online. NEGAR MOTTAHEDEH


a book on the market exchange of blood and organs, with the goal of teaching about “buying and selling weird things in general.” Although Healy has taught the course on and off for the

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past six years, “Taboo Markets” has not been offered in a while, so he is refreshing the syllabus this year. Topics covered will include trading in babies, domestic labor and care work, human blood, eggs, sperm and pollution rights. Healy noted that students may enjoy his course because it is an interesting topic that connects to students’ lives in unexpected ways. Plus, there’s no calculus involved. “Deciding how a class of person, service or thing is to be exchanged is one of the keys to organizing human society,” Healy explained. “Hashtags, Memes, Digital Tribes” If you’re addicted to the “Duke Memes for Gothic Teens” Facebook page, this class is for you. Led by Negar Mottahedeh, associate professor of literature, it aims to study digital life and creative group expression by examining images, captions and hyperlinked tags. Students will also

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IMF executive director for China talks financial sector, renminbi By Xinchen Li Staff Reporter

to shift their dependence on low-end manufacturing to high-end manufacturing and service sectors,” Jin said. “In the United States, unemployment in the first sector is usually accompanied by higher employment

The executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund discussed the importance of governmental mitigation and marketization Of course the Chinese government in China’s efforts to globalize intends to control [the financial sector]. its financial sector at a But it is interesting to see how open they seminar Tuesday. Zhongxia Jin gave his talk are in many ways. as part of the Rethinking SCHUYLER KNOWLES Development Seminar Series, OPERATIONS COORDINATOR AT DUKE’S OFFICE OF a flagship program under the GLOBAL ADMINISTRATIVE AND TRAVEL SUPPORT Duke Center for International Development. He discussed China’s financial rates in the latter two.” development in recent years and the prospects Jin added that China has made great efforts of China’s currency, the renminbi. to stabilize the value of the renminbi because “China has made great achievements in the country wants to increase its credibility as liberalizing its financial sector,” Jin said. “But an international currency. there is still a long way to go before it is fully The IMF added the renminbi to the Special internationalized.” Drawing Rights Basket (SDR) in September The Chinese government’s regulation of 2016. The SDR is an international reserve its financial market is both legitimate and asset that supplements its member countries’ appropriate, Jin said in response to a widely- official reserves with reliable currencies, other held belief in the United States that China than gold and the US dollar. has deliberately undervalued the renminbi, A currency is considered reliable only causing high unemployment in the US when its host country has a high level of manufacturing sector. exports, establishes operational standards Jin explained that China has reduced its over exchanging its currency on the foreign exchange rate to maintain its manufacturing market and allows free and wide use of its competitiveness. Meanwhile, the United currency, Jin said. States, has kept its interest rate low and “The inclusion of the renminbi into attracted large capital inflow, increasing the the SDR is truly a milestone for China to U.S. dollar relative to the renminbi. Job losses internationalize its currency, but it’s only one in the U.S. manufacturing sector are largely of the first steps,” Jin said. a result of a natural economic structural He added that China has significantly upgrade, Jin said. enlarged its financial sector in the past decade “It is common for developed countries and become a global leader regarding the size

of its banking sector, stock market and credit card market. Despite the large size of China’s financial sector, it is still relatively close to the international market, Jin said. For example, though China’s banking sector is the largest in the world, foreign banks only account for about one percent of the total assets in its banking sector. China has gradually shifted its focus from the mere expansion to the liberalization and internationalization of its financial sector, Jin added. It has adopted measures such as diversifying the roles of commercial banks,

opening up to foreign stock investors and loosening governmental control over the interest rate. Jin acknowledged that many are concerned that an increasing capitalization and liberalization of its financial sector will undercut China’s ability to handle potential crises, like what the United States experienced during the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008. But he said such a worry is exaggerated. China has been maintaining a low public debt rate, Jin said. In fact, China’s total leverage See RENMINBI on Page 3

Xinchen Li | Staff Photographer Zhongxia Jin, executive director for China at the International Monetary Fund, explained that China has made a lot of progress in opening up its financial sector, but that it has a long way to go.

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impressed by Schewel when he got a chance to meet him. “I met Steve Schewel a week before the election and he seemed so genuine,” he said. “One of Durham’s central problems is affordable housing and when asked about it, Steve gave a very thorough answer. He got my vote.”

and Cora Cole-McFadden at the Golden Belt on East Main Street. In his remarks, he said that “sometimes you win and sometimes you learn,” but remained thankful to those who helped him promote the message of “One Durham” in the campaign. “This has been wonderful but I ask that you all continue to pray for the city. Thank you for giving me the chance to serve the city,” Ali said. “I think this is something we can all be proud of. I want you all to be encouraged and inspired because the future is brighter than the past.” Ali remained in good spirits throughout the evening, conversing with his supporters and dancing at one point. “I really was wishing that the Russians would help me this election,” Ali joked. “But I think they’ve been busy.” Schewel—who has been a visiting assistant professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy—was also joined by a handful of his Duke colleagues at his watch party. Martha Reeves, professor of the practice of sociology, and Alexander Rosenberg, R. Taylor Cole professor of philosophy, said that they’ve known him for many years and that their children played soccer with Schewel’s children. Reeves highlighted Schewel’s ability to build bridges within the community and said that she thinks his heart is in the right place for Durham. She said that whether it was in his role as a soccer parent or on city council, Schewel has “always shown great judgement.” “I’m looking forward to hearing Mayor Steve Schewel speak from the Chapel podium on Martin Luther King Jr. Day,” Rosenberg said. Schewel thanked Deondra Rose, assistant professor of public policy and political science, in his victory speech for her help with the campaign. Frederick Mayer—professor of public policy, political science and environment—said that he has been friends with Schewel for 30 years and noted they have been colleagues for 20 years. Mayer said that the day was a “great occasion for Durham” and noted that Schewel has attracted supporters from across many cross sections of city. “All of us who have worked with him at Duke admire how dedicated of a teacher he is and the wisdom he brings to the classroom,” Mayer said. Retiring mayor Bill Bell, who attended both Schewel and

City council In Ward 1, DeDreana Freeman defeated incumbent Cora Cole-McFadden by a margin of 54.4 percent to 45.4 percent. Mark-Anthony Middleton will be Durham’s councilman for Ward 2 after receiving 57.1 percent of the vote. His opponent John Rooks, Jr. received 42.7 percent. Winning 62.4 percent of the vote, Vernetta Alston won the seat in Ward 3, with Shelia Ann Huggins receiving 37.3 percent.

RENMINBI FROM PAGE 2 ratio, the percentage of capital that comes in the form of debt or loans, is lower than France’s. “Nobody is concerned about a debt issue in France— France is actually considered as one of the best performers in the Eurozone,” Jin added. “Then why should you worry about China?” Attendees shared their reflections upon the event. Lin Zhao, second year economics master student who attended the talk, said as a Chinese native, he found Jin’s talk to be timely. He thought that Jin incorporated the latest financial policies in his presentation in an effective way, including the ones raised on the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, which closed about two weeks ago. Another attendee Schuyler Knowles, operations coordinator at Duke’s office of Global Administrative and Travel Support, said he is amazed at the changes China has made to take a greater leadership role in the world economy. “Of course the Chinese government intends to control [the financial sector],” Knowles said. “But it is interesting to see how open they are in many ways.”


Ali’s watch parties—and who endorsed Ali in October—said he has mixed emotions about leaving the office he has served in since 2001.

I really was wishing that the Russians would help me this election. But I think they’ve been busy. FARAD ALI


“Whether I’m ready or not it’s gonna happen. I’ve got a little over a month,” Bell said. “I’m gonna make it work. I’m looking forward to the time when I can pass the baton on.” McFadden, who was an incumbent city council member but lost the Ward 1 race this year called Bell’s departure a great loss to the city. McFadden said that it is a blessing to exit alongside “the greatest mayor that has ever served the city of Durham.” Attendees at both candidates’ watch parties praised Bell’s service to the Durham community over the past 16 years. “Mayor Bill Bell has been a great mayor, and he has served his community so well. Steve sings his praises all the time,” said Amy Salo, Schewel’s campaign manager. “I think it meant a lot that he would spend some time and come say hi to all of us.” Salo noted that though Schewel’s campaign has drawn to a close, the work is not done. “Steve mentioned today when we were riding in the car, ‘So after this, then I’ve got to do the job!’ The hard part is not over. We will have some loose ends to wrap up on the campaign,” Salo said. “There are people to thank, there’s yard signs to pick up—all those types of things to wrap up and make sure that everyone who was involved feels the full appreciation for everything that they did.” But on Tuesday night, Schewel’s supporters and campaign staff celebrated their victory—electing someone not named Bill Bell to be the mayor of Durham for the first time in over a decade. “It feels like the grand finale,” Salo said. “A lot of joy, a lot of relief, a lot of rest coming for our team in the next couple of days.”

We are pleased to announce the Class of 2021 Baldwin Scholars Charity Agasaro Madison Alvarado Sophie Elliott Mary Gooneratne Hawo Ibrahim Megan Libke Lindsay Maggioncalda Abla (Samantha) Messie Hannah Miao Samia Noor Maria Renteria Maria Rocha Mayra Navarro Lydia Smeltz Amelia Steinbach Eritrea Temesghen Lauren (Lulu) Wein Ecehan Yurukoglu

On view through Feb. 25, 2018 Don Eddy, Green Volkswagen, 1971. Acrylic on canvas, 66 x 95 inches (167.6 x 241.3 cm). Collection of the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Gift of Ivan and Zoya Gerhath, 2001.40.1. © Don Eddy. Photo by Peter Paul Geoffrion.

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CLASSES FROM PAGE 1 study digital tribes such as communities of te deaf, oil rig workers, Hindu worshipers and prison wives to learn about how these groups connect online. “The course considers online fandoms and tribes in terms of their cultural and communal activities,” Mottahedeh said. “Each student follows a fandom or a tribe and does a deep dive into their life online.” “Hashtags, Memes, Digital Tribes” is cross-listed as a course in literature, visual and media studies, Asian and Middle East studies, arts of the moving image, visual and media studies and gender, sexuality and feminist studies. Mottahedeh noted that although this can seem irrelevant at first, examining a whole population’s online activity uncovers patterns and a separate culture. For example, delving into images and selfies posted by the tribe of prison wives reveals how they are using technology almost as a replacement for their husbands.

“Out of research into patterns and behaviors and rituals, students derive something like an underlying mythology and underlying self understanding of the tribe that brings the tribe together and drives the activities of the tribe forward,” Mottahedeh said. She developed the course three years ago after realizing the growing number of digital tribes and fandoms online. Through the class, students have the chance to examine some popular fandoms like those surrounding One Direction and Justin Bieber and will also develop research skills. This topic is important because it can provide insights into how social movements today function, Mottahedeh explained. “If you know how fandoms behave, you basically know how social movements will behave online,” she said. “Banality of Evil” Taught by Renee Ragin, a Ph.D. student in the literature department, “Banality of Evil” focuses on the perpetrators of crimes and violence throughout history using international case studies. “The class is about perpetrators,” she said. “The argument


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The Chronicle is that instead of studying catastrophe through victimcentered narratives, this does the opposite.” She noted that students will examine different media like film, legal texts, autobiography and psychiatric evaluations to explore how perpetrators depict themselves and how others depict them. This is her first time teaching the course, which is cross-listed in global cultural studies, arts of the moving image, Asian and Middle Eastern studies and international comparative studies.

I think it will be challenging in terms of how students think about ethics and morals, and who is worthy of analyzing. RENEE RAGIN


She explained that she had the idea for the class after noticing the language used to describe perpetrators of catastrophic events. She became interested in examining where that language came from and how perpetrators are represented in media. “I think that most societies, at least if we think about most Western societies, are focused on the victim, particularly in the context of trauma and justice-based assessments of a catastrophe,” she said. Because events are usually narrated through the stories of the survivor, this often leaves out the perpetrator’s perspective, which could be useful in gaining insight into how and why horrific events happen, Ragin explained. The course will examine historical events like the Armenian and Rwandan genocides as well as the Ku Klux Klan in the South after the Civil War—topics that students will be familiar with, but might not have thought about from the perpetrator’s point of view. “I think it will be challenging in terms of how students think about ethics and morals, and who is worthy of analyzing,” Ragin said. “It will be good chance to have interdisciplinary scholarship.” “History of Hip Hop” What could be better than an entire class devoted to your favorite music genre? Mark Anthony Neal, professor of African and African American studies, leads a course that examines the social and cultural foundations of hip hop and its prominent innovators and innovations. It also considers the debates surrounding hip hop’s increased influence. Neal teaches the class with Grammy Award-winning producer Patrick Douthit, better known as 9th Wonder. This will be their eighth time teaching the course since they developed it in 2010 after participating on several panel discussion about hip hop, such as the “Sampling Motown” panel at the Nasher Museum of Art in 2008. “The class offers a free and open exchange of ideas, as well as insights to the music industry and Black culture,” Neal wrote in an email. He noted that the class focuses on African American history and culture, using hip hop as a portal to examine historical events like the Great Migration, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 and deindustrialization in urban centers. The class is known for its guest lecturers and performers like jazz pianist Jason Moran, author Joan Morgan and hip hop artist Blitz the Ambassador. This year, Neal said the rapper Murs will visit in February. “Premodern Memes” Taught by Astrid Giugni, instructor of English, this course delves into imagery and artifacts that are taken out of context and repurposed. Students will work in groups to do research on the movement of textual imagery, culminating in a group project. Topics will include Renaissance artwork that took images out of original context—either because they were being repurposed for a different church or because they were considered inappropriate—as well as contemporary discussions around Confederate monuments. For instance, students will consider how these monuments are being seen as completely separate from their historical background. This is Giugni’s first year teaching the course, which she developed around her research on iconoclasm in the Renaissance period. Giugni noted that she wants students to gain insight into how the media can shape images through how they present them. “I hope they gain an awareness about how we think about images and how we think about textual snippets when they are removed from context,” she said. “[This class is] a closer reflection on the ethics of sharing images and sharing textual artifacts and how this is not just a contemporary phenomenon, but that it has shared a long history.”

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VOLUME 19, ISSUE 32 | NOVEMBER 8, 2017

from farm to k-ville Farmers’ market brings fresh produce to campus, page 7

nc comicon Event returns to the Bull City, page 6

the week in film ‘The Florida Project’ and ‘Lady Bird,’ page 9


recess editors Best place on campus to cry?

Will Atkinson ....................chron office Nina Wilder ............................ e-quad Georgina Del Vecho..........nasher cafe Dillon Fernando ............... duke forest Christy Kuesel ............... allen building Jessica Williams Likhitha Butchireddygari..........McD’s

on the cover: Screenprinting at DEMAN Weekend. Photo by Laure Bender.

The Chronicle recess

One of the perks of being a writer at Recess is that I get to reach out to interesting people whom I would not easily be able to talk to if I were not writing articles about them. But after every interview follows the painful time when I have to play the recording of the interview on my computer and unwillingly listen to my voice. Listening to the recording of my first interview was the worst. When my afternoon class at the Nasher ended, I ran to the Duke Performances building right across the road from the museum. I regretted my decision to schedule my interview ten minutes after the class, not expecting that the class would end later than usual that day. I was already nervous for my first interview as a Recess writer, but my racing heart after running made the nervousness worse. I cringed every time I heard my voice from the recording of the interview. My voice was shaking. My habit of using complicated sentences became so bad that by the time I got to my last question, I had forgotten the subject of my sentence — it had gotten too long. As I listened to the recording and wrote down the details to my outline for the article in the dead silence of the Gothic Reading Room, I checked multiple times to make sure I had not accidentally unplugged my headphones so that no one else could hear the recording. Every time I listened to a new recording, I found reasons to hate the way I talked. Whenever I said, “That’s interesting,” I sounded like Siri. I

cringed as I heard myself laughing at parts of conversations not intended for laughter. I hated myself for my lack of communication skills and ability to express my genuine emotions. I got tired of hearing my recorded voice, which sounded more low-pitched and nasally than my usual voice. But I kept all of the recordings on my computer along with the outlines of my articles, even though I never wanted to listen to them again. When I was suffering from writer’s block while writing my art history essay last week, I scrolled through all of the files in my computer and came across

staff note the recordings. In a silent reading room on the second floor of Lilly Library, I wanted to do anything else but write a single word about a 1930s painting of a surrealist exhibition. So I put on my headphones, ensured it was well plugged into my computer and played the recordings. My recordings all began with the same questions about if it is okay to record the interview, followed by the request for subjects to introduce themselves. Most of my first few recordings had unnecessary “um”s

between the words and I wondered why I had to hesitate so much to ask people to introduce themselves. But the number of “um”s decreased in later recordings and my voice became louder in those. I began to replace the monotonous show of interest with follow-up questions. Although I still sounded like I was trying to imitate Julie Andrews’ voice from “Princess Diaries,” I realized I was becoming more interactive through a number of interviews. I realized I cut out many of the details from the interviews to meet the word count. But those omitted details came back through the recordings and helped me recall moments from the interviews that made them more meaningful as parts of my life at Duke. I replayed a conversation with a visiting artist, in which I continuously rephrased what she said and asked questions, and recalled myself trying to picture her complex yet interesting world. The interview at a poetry reading on East Campus captured the conversation filled with jokes on a Thursday night at a small theater. I held my laughter as I remember the moment after the interview when a professor suggested I write his title as “squire of poetry.” I still cringe when I hear my voice in those audio files, and I will never share them with anyone. But I keep them in my computer as unofficial records of the interactions with interesting people I have met — and as something to replay when I need some laughter. —Ashley Kwon

local arts

As it gets ‘better, badder, bigger,’ fans embrace NC Comicon By Sarah Derris Staff Writer

As Durham settles into November, an ensuing buzz of excitement suffuses through the self-proclaimed “geek” community — as with winter, North Carolina Comicon: Bull City is coming. It will be held at the Durham Convention center from Nov. 10 to 12. Rife with “Supernatural” cosplayers and Deadpool impersonators, the convention prides itself in being “the ultimate celebration of comics and pop-culture in the Triangle.” Special guests will include “The Flash” actor Michael Rowe, “Rick and Morty” cartoonist Tini Howard and “Steven Universe” actress DeeDee Magno Hall. Orchestral folk-pop musician Dante High, hip-hop pioneer Darryl “DMC” McDaniels and electric group Starkiller compose the convention’s music lineup. Previously, NC Comicon has hosted “Dr. Who” actor John Barrowman (Captain Jack) and My Chemical Romance’s Gerard Way. The comic convention, a proverbial meeting of the tribes, is the culmination of all things pop culture. It is an avenue for “geek culture” to manifest itself vis-àvis cosplay and other creative mediums. Duke first-year Darien Herndon plans on partaking in this year’s festivities, namely the cosplay contest. “Cosplayers are dedicated to a specific fandom and I am mostly drawn to Comicon for the cosplaying aspect, as well as the ability to showcase my own costume,” Herndon stated. “I am especially excited for the cosplay contest as both a participant and a spectator — I plan on cosplaying two different Disney characters: Belle and Pocahontas, the latter being an homage to

my Native American background.” As a high school freshman, the idea of a comic convention fascinated me. To be surrounded by individuals with the same interests as me and to unify in unabashed “geekiness” with fellow members of selfidentifying fandoms seemed like an idyllic getaway from my socially rigid peers. In a way, it is — as Herndon put it, “These conventions serve as a way to meet new people with similar interests and to cultivate new friendships, as well as an outlet for creative self-expression and engagement with some of the creators and artists [who] bring films and comics to life.” But while many find solace in these conventions as places where they can express and be themselves, questions arise as to whether these conventions exploit and profit from fan enthusiasm. Comic conventions originated in the 1960s, initially to bring greater exposure to both niche and more popular comic book series. Fans would gather to meet creators, experts and one another and they were usually modest affairs organized by local enthusiasts. Since then, comic conventions have been widely commercialized, overrun by glossy entertainment machines including Marvel, 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. These conventions are not shying away from their transformation into corporate monoliths but, rather, fully embracing it — North Carolina Comic Con’s statement asserts that the convention is “better, badder, bigger and can’t wait to show off!” But is this at the expense or the benefit of the fans? “I do think that certain people take advantage of their fans,” Herndon said.

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons This year’s NC Comicon takes place Nov. 10-12 at the Durham Convention Center downtown.

“For example, ‘The Flash’ actor Grant Gustin charges sixty dollars per autograph, and other stars do this as well — often with even higher prices.” To fans, notable guest appearances are the crux of comic conventions, often justifying spending hundreds of dollars on ticket packages and photo-ops for a chance to see their favorite stars. To capitalize on the obsessive nature of fandoms, entertainment corporations employ aggressive marketing techniques in the form of ubiquitous fan merchandise — from Brony beanies to Batman bobbleheads — and exorbitantly expensive autograph and photograph packages. The easilyamused Comicon-goer who is fascinated with the myriad of “geeky” commodities offered allows corporations to foster an environment that encourages increased consumption of these goods. After a few hours milling about a comic

convention, cognizant attendees may find themselves jaded by the endless stands toting Justice League mugs and Elektra action figures. One may question whether conventions even differentiate between the identities of “consumer” and “fan” — the two words seemingly becoming synonymous. Eschewing consumer activities may leave some wondering if there is any other point to these conventions. On the contrary, disillusioned fans still see merit in aspects of conventions that hold true to their roots and history. Panels featuring the artists and writers for niche comic books and film screenings of geeky cult classics, often included in the entry fee, unify die-hard fanatics. “Comicon features a wide variety of original artwork, authors promoting their books, film trailers, comic book creators, See COMICON on Page 10

The Chronicle recess


campus arts

K-Ville Farmers’ Market increases sustainability on campus

By Selena Qian Staff Writer

On a hot, sunny afternoon in early November, tents lined Krzyzewskiville as music streamed from a speaker. But it wasn’t a game day. While it was nowhere near as loud or boisterous as the hours leading up to a football or basketball game, the area did hum with activity surrounding the K-Ville Farmers’ Market Friday. Students swept through the area and milled about with friends, pausing when a table caught their eye and often carrying on conversations with the local farmers who displayed their wares. The tables were covered in locallysourced produce of all kinds, from bright red tomatoes, crisp green beans and still-in-the-husk corn to farm-fresh eggs, flavored goat cheeses and jars of jam. One vendor sold granola made from scratch. Another touted pastries, both savory and sweet. All were local North Carolina farmers. Signs around the space proclaimed the importance of local foods for sustainability. Rebecca Hoeffler, program coordinator for Sustainable Duke, said Duke Dining does an “incredible” job of sourcing foods locally, and the goal of the farmers’ market was to promote that sustainability. She said the market allowed students to access food directly from the farmers and encouraged them to take similar sustainable actions in the future. The K-Ville Farmers’ Market was also tied to the Duke Healthy Campus initiative, which aims to build health through five key areas, including food

and nutrition. “If you sleep right, eat right, drink right, you’re going to be able to wake up each day ready to tackle a new problem,” Hoeffler said. “That is definitely something we’re trying to push, and healthy food is a way to get there.” This market was a couple months in the works, with collaborative planning efforts from members of Duke Student Government, Campus Enterprises and Sustainable Duke. The planning took two separate but somewhat parallel paths before the groups all linked together. Sophomore Jared McCloskey, codirector of Next Ventures for Campus Enterprises, started thinking about the idea as a result of talking to a friend who had heard about a farmers’ market at Georgetown University. He then found out that LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke’s employee wellness program, actually does host one near the hospital, in an area that is less visible and less accessible for students. It also only runs from late April through September. McCloskey contacted the organizer of that market, Cassandra Callas, and she gave him contacts for the 15 vendors that attend the LIVE FOR LIFE market. He then started looking into a location, landing on K-Ville through talks with Robert Weiseman, Duke’s Director of Athletic Facilities, as well as discussions with Parking and Transportation. The market was also something that junior Kristina Smith, vice president of services and sustainability for Duke Student Government, had been thinking about for a while.

Selena Qian | Staff Photographer Students browse produce at the K-Ville Farmers’ Market, the result of months of collaboration.

“It was one of the things on my platform that I felt the most passionate about, something that I think would be really really great to bring to campus for students to have access to,” Smith said. After she was elected, she began working with Sustainable Duke, an organization that focuses on environmental stewardship and sustainability on campus. They were also inspired by LIVE FOR LIFE’s farmers’ market. Initially, these groups intended to have the market on the Bryan Center plaza, but they quickly realized that was unfeasible. Junior Sean Bissell, vice president of academic affairs for DSG and vice president for growth and data analysis for Campus Enterprises, noticed the two were both working towards a similar goal and brought the groups together. Students

from each group then met with Hoeffler to talk about the event and solidify details. The collaboration of all three groups came to fruition Nov. 3. Smith said the process of planning went fairly smoothly, but that it was still a big undertaking. McCloskey said the most difficult parts for him included explaining to Weiseman, Parking and Transportation and vendors why they wanted to have the farmers’ market and convincing these groups that they could truly make it happen. “This is the first time that I’ve done something to this scale,” McCloskey said. “The project that I did in high school, that was somewhat similar, but it’s nothing like with the amount of communication and effort and management put into this.” See K-VILLE on Page 10

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Screen/Society series shows films the way they’re meant to be shown By Alexandra Bateman Staff Writer

It seems nearly impossible to walk around campus and not find people streaming shows and movies from their laptops — huddled in a corner booth at The Loop or holed up in Perkins, their screen split between organic chemistry notes and Netflix. I’ve even seen people watch episodes of their favorite show on Amazon with the sound muted so as not to attract unwanted attention at work. I don’t personally have a Hulu account, but my aunt does; without it, how could I watch old episodes of “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” when I should be studying for my midterm instead? Each of these streaming services (and many others) has come to reshape the ways we view digital media. Our culture is one that allows us to constantly bombard ourselves with images — film and otherwise — all on a screen no more than 15 inches wide. And while none of us would give up our 24-hour access to all nine seasons of “How I Met Your Mother,” we do have to acknowledge the ways in which streaming services have transformed spectatorship — not necessarily for the better. Screen/Society is Duke’s film and video exhibition program, dedicated to keeping the practice of traditional film-viewing alive despite our shifting tendency toward digitally-streamed, small-format viewing. According to program coordinator Hank Okazaki, the merit in viewing film in its original format lies in its ability to foster community and open dialogue. “People have so many more options of ways in which to see films. There’s less appreciation for seeing it on the full, big screen format for which is was designed, and in a communal way,” Okazaki said. “For folks to venture out and see films that way, instead of on a small screen in a distracted environment, is a richer experience.” Screen/Society has taken it upon itself to provide opportunities to see films in this way — on the big screen surrounded by peers and, sometimes, the filmmakers themselves. The program shows a variety of films, including foreign films, documentaries, experimental films and classics, that are either contemporary works or works that have been instrumental in the evolution of film as a medium. “[We want] to show interesting and challenging works

that are not usually seen on campus, especially on the big screen, and then also to provide context for those films by having faculty members introduce them,” Okazaki said. “Sometimes there is a discussion or Q&A afterwards; sometimes we bring in filmmakers and have panels.” Perhaps the most unique characteristic of Screen/ Society is its interaction with faculty and organizations both at Duke and beyond. Though the program began as a graduate student group in the late 1980s, it is now run as a departmental program through Duke’s film program, Arts of the Moving Image (AMI). Since becoming

new Rubenstein Arts Center will open up the films he is able to show. Though he doesn’t shy away from projecting 16mm films, there is no proper projection equipment for showing 35mm films on campus. According to Okazaki, the Arts Center will rectify this problem. “Moving forward, with the opening of the new Rubenstein Arts Center, which will have 35mm projection, we will start showing 35mm films” again, he said. “We’ll be able to start [pulling from] the archives to show 35mm prints that normally are limited in their circulation. Few places have the proper projection facilities [to show them].” This semester, Screen/Society is partnering with the Asian/Pacific Studies Institute to bring East Asian films to campus with their Cine-East: East Asian Cinema series. The series, co-sponsored by the AMI Program and the Department of Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, consists of seven films from the region including Kazuhiro Soda’s 2015 film “Oyster Factory.” Screen/Society also showed Evan Chan’s 2016 film “Raise the Umbrellas,” after which attendees engaged in a panel discussion led by Chan himself. Of the approximately 80 screenings Screen/Society does each year, Okazaki estimated that about 40% of them have some sort of discussion panel component and that filmmakers are present at about 20% of screenings. On working with professors and other groups to organize screenings, Okazaki said, “The organizers of the series will come with ideas that they have, and I’ll research the availability and cost of the films, and we go from there Jeremy Chen | Associate Photography Editor to settle on a final lineup. I track down the distributors The Rubenstein Arts Center will include a 35mm film projector. and arrange for the films and the screening rights, book connected to AMI, Screen/Society has partnered with the venues and then do advertising.” Duke faculty and institutions to provide themed series, Though less common, Okazaki said that Screen/Society as well as individual screenings. has previously partnered with student-run organizations “There’s a number of film series that happen maybe on campus to provide topical series or screenings of once a year or, in some cases, a few films each semester,” interest to the members. Okazaki said. “There are several different series, and “[We’ve worked with] the Native American Student then there are some individual screenings, sometimes Alliance (NASA) [to bring] director Chris Eyre who connected with a filmmaker or other person connected directed ‘Smoke Signals,’” Okazaki said. “He had a to campus. Sometimes it’ll be a professor talking about newer film that he was showing. Many years ago, the a particular topic, and we’ll show a documentary on the International Association showed four films from same topic, or something like that.” different parts of the world.” The bulk of Okazaki’s job is hunting down and See SCREEN on Page 10 presenting these films, and he is excited by the ways the


On Weinstein, Spacey and the media response to sexual assault By Sydny Long Staff Writer

The headlines come rolling, a tidal wave of buzz words and quotes and halfhearted condolences that ring hollow in the echo chamber of media news, in which the same stories — “celebrity comes forward with sexual assault story” — are produced without any action ever taken against the perpetrator of the assault. Victims are maligned and dismissed, while perpetrators go on to win Oscars and make millions. This dichotomy only amplifies the blasé reaction to sexual assaults on smaller scales; the media’s reluctance to dole out consequences for sexual predators impresses upon the public the belief that sexual violence is a petty crime for which the repercussions are minimal and that victims are selfabsorbed and attention-seeking. However, since the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke and scores of women took to social media to share their experiences with Weinstein, it has become increasingly difficult to shrug off the accusations as the hysterical cries of a few conceited celebrities. It was discovered that Weinstein had been paying off women for decades, which led to his expulsion from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. No sooner had the outrage over this scandal diminished than another story broke — Kevin Spacey had allegedly made sexual

advances towards performer Anthony Rapp when Rapp was only fourteen years old. Another scandal, another victim, another celebrity whose true character has been revealed to a public accustomed to idolizing actors and producers. Kevin Spacey has been in the industry since the 1980s and has covered every artistic base from theater acting to directing. He has two Oscars, a Golden Globe and a Tony. In 1999, his name was added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He should not be remembered for any of these awards or honors. Instead, Spacey should be remembered as a predator, a man now allegedly responsible for the assaults of several young men who have been emboldened not just by Rapp — who should be applauded for having the courage to come forward with this story and channel the trauma of his experience into fantastic performances — but by the recent shift in Hollywood regarding sexual crimes. The days of excuses like “that’s just how things were back then,” of blatant cover-ups, are finally ending, meaning action is being taken against these perpetrators to directly punish them for their behavior. As with every scandal, the question of whether or not it is still ethical to consume content produced by these predators is raised. After all, the general public watches an alleged sexual predator on the presidential podium every night: why should they never rewatch “House of

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons After repeated allegations of sexual assault by him, Spacey was fired from “House of Cards.”

Cards” or commend Spacey’s performance in “American Beauty”? The issue lies in the context of these projects: Spacey’s lusting after a teenage girl in “American Beauty” has become exponentially more problematic knowing his real-life encounters with minors and therefore creates an atmosphere of unpleasant uncertainty, as the viewer wonders if Spacey took advantage of this role behind the scenes. Films, shows and productions that involve sexual predators should not be consumed if they still provide any form of revenue to the predator in question, and if they are consumed, the audience should view the entertainment critically. Even if nobody directly involved with the production was harmed by these predators, their crimes still

taint every frame and this indelible presence should be recognized. Most importantly, the survivors of these assaults need to be respected and their stories listened to in spite of prejudices or innate beliefs. The current system punishes people who come forward, fearing loss of revenue and harm towards linchpins of entertainment and production that have monopolized the industry. Even now, the Weinstein scandal has focused exclusively on how the revelations have affected Weinstein and his company; very little air time has been offered to the survivors. This oppressive atmosphere makes it incredibly difficult to come forward, with survivors See WEINSTEIN on Page 10

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‘The Florida Project’ examines childhood innocence, poverty By Nina Wilder Recess Managing Editor

Summers in Kissimmee, Fla. — a city just south of Orlando and the setting of Sean Baker’s “The Florida Project” — are hot. Anything that comes into contact with the sun melts or glistens or burns under its unrelenting rays. Ice cream, though sweeter in the thick heat, has to be eaten quickly before it drips and splats onto the blistering pavement. The whirring hum of fans fills every indoor space and the dark tint of sweat stains are unavoidable. But for Moonee (played by Brooklynn Prince), the precocious six-year-old around whom “The Florida Project” centers, none of those caveats really matter. Summer means that school’s out and unsupervised adventure awaits, and she’s determined to create as much magic and mischief in her corner of the universe as she can. While Moonee’s taste for troublemaking is no different than any other child’s, her life is far from typical: her home is a purple motel called the Magic Castle, an establishment marked by transience and poverty — it’s a place for people at a crossroads, economically selfsufficient enough to make rent every week but desperate for the ability to afford something better. Moonee’s mom Halley (Bria Vinaite), a tattooed 20-somethingyear-old with bright blue hair and an aura of carelessness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her daughter. She peddles overpriced perfume to wealthy resort-goers and relies on the kindness of her neighbors to get by. We’re fiercely aware that the motel’s moniker is cruelly tonguein-cheek — Moonee and her friends play

in the shadows of Disney World and its Magic Kingdom, though they will never step foot inside its fortified gates. And yet it’s clear that Moonee isn’t particularly bothered by this. Indeed, she’s learned how to make the most of what she has, as precarious and broken as it might be. “The guy who lives here gets arrested a lot,” Moonee mentions to her friends Scooty (Christopher Rivera) and Jancey (Valeria Cotto) as they walk across the balcony of the Magic Castle. “These are the rooms we’re not supposed to go in. But let’s go anyway!” Moonee’s kingdom reaches as far as her eye can see, from her motel to the dilapidated buildings littering Kissimmee, and she reigns supreme — even Bobby (Willem Dafoe), the beleaguered manager of the Magic Castle, can barely keep her from burning the place down. She soars from antic to antic without reservation, conning tourists out of money for ice cream (“Could you give us some change, please? The doctor said we have asthma and we have to eat ice-cream right away”) and impishly spitting on cars. As offcolored and unconventional as Moonee’s pursuits might seem to spectators, they’re the hallmarks of her Florida summers unburdened by the woes of reality, as numbered as they might be. This preservation of childhood innocence — and the strife and struggles of adulthood which encircle it — defines almost every scene of “The Florida Project.” While Moonee schemes and plays, poverty and danger and uncertainty loom over her. Halley, often as childish and unrelenting as her daughter, doesn’t know how to cope with the burdens wrought by adulthood; though she has rent to pay and mouths to

Courtesy of Vimeo Sean Baker’s film “The Florida Project” centers around a precocious six-year-old named Moonee.

feed, she still yearns to escape, indulging in any delights she encounters and evading responsibilities. Bobby struggles to keep the Magic Castle afloat and strike the right balance between benevolence and authority — he cares deeply for his residents and their needs, but his thoughtfulness becomes selfdefeating when he receives so little in return. And though no one looks after Moonee or protects her as fiercely as he does, Bobby ultimately has little say in how she’s raised or where she ends up — a fact that is as disheartening as it is realistic. At the core of “The Florida Project” is that thin, precarious line between dreams and reality. Sean Baker’s richly saturated 35mm cinematography and shallow, melty depths of field create a beautiful juxtaposition between Moonee’s vibrant

perception of her world and its harsher realities (a welcome departure from the iPhone direction that defined Baker’s previous film, “Tangerine”). Moreover, Baker’s film never passes judgement on its characters, but warmly embraces them for all of their shortcomings and imperfections — their flaws are what make them so singular, so heartbreakingly real — and he makes a concerted effort not to create a monolith out of his subject matter, presenting an unvarnished and authentic portrayal of poverty. And though “The Florida Project” is honest about the limitations of dreaming, ending on a heartbreakingly genuine note, it’s hopeful until its end. Innocence may not last forever, but its confidence in something greater certainly does.

Greta Gerwig’s ‘Lady Bird’ reinvents the coming-of-age film By Jennifer Zhou Contributing Writer

In Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, “Lady Bird,” Saoirse Ronan plays Christine McPherson, a self-possessed teen who’s stuck in Sacramento for her final year at an absurdly wealthy and suffocatingly Catholic high school. She yearns to chase the art and culture of the real world, which she’s certain is somewhere on the East Coast — anywhere but here — and aches for something that’s infinitely larger than she knows. She goes by a self-given name: Lady Bird. The film is first and foremost about

coming of age and, as such, hits all the required notes: Lady Bird cuts class to eat stolen communion wafers with her best friend (Beanie Feldstein), she pranks a sister at her school by writing “married to Jesus” on her car, she loses her virginity to a dirtbag (Timothée Chalamet) and goes to prom with the same dirtbag, whom she ditches before the night begins. These insulated moments of youth — small in consequence, but earth-shattering in Lady Bird’s private world — fulfill the checklist of requirements for the film to become an endearing “teen angst movie.” They saturate the film with the nostalgia for youthful innocence and soft rebellion that makes the

Courtesy of A24 “Lady Bird,” Greta Gerwig’s directorial debut, stars actress Saoirse Ronan as the titular character.

bildungsroman easy to love. To derive the film’s success solely from the nostalgic value of its genre, however, would trivialize Lady Bird’s adolescence as a phase, a trope, and be completely untrue — the genre is merely a framework. What gives color, vibrancy, texture and life to the film are the continuous moments in between the big ones that are unexpected, but once there, so obviously necessary. After Lady Bird walks in on her first boyfriend (Lucas Hedges) kissing another boy, he later reappears in her life to plead her not to tell anyone. As he collapses into sobs, Lady Bird, despite her stubborn intellect and brokenhearted resentment, holds, in the kindest way — with protection despite total uncertainty — the first person in the film to really hurt her. This is the last time the audience sees him, and perhaps it’s the last time for Lady Bird, too, but for the moment they’re safe. This is one of the quiet micro-realities of Lady Bird’s life, the storm of small worlds that make and try her. Indeed, the film had the audience at Telluride Film Festival (where it premiered) laughing uncontrollably in one scene then, thirty seconds later, crying with all their hearts. “Lady Bird,” in its filmic craft, is not selfindulgent. It’s not obsessed with imbuing within each frame cinephilic meaning that requires the audience to sleuth out contrived narratives. Instead, the cuts are quick and shots unpretentious. There is no cinematographic riddle. The film shows to us exactly what it is, bringing us closer to the performances, the characters and their

raw feeling. Here, what you see is what you get, and it’s exquisite. After Lady Bird’s mother (Laurie Metcalf ), with whom she shares a difficult relationship that is both portrayed impeccably and drives the film, tells her, “I just want you to be the best version of yourself.” Lady Bird asks, “What if this is the best version?” and is met with silence. Although Lady Bird is fully aware of the limits of her reality, she fights for the entire film against her mother and her situation in a desperate and blind attempt to find something better. For Gerwig, who was inspired by her own experience growing up in Sacramento and moving to New York out of a vocational desire to create art, this resonates: Gerwig reflects in an L.A. Times interview, “I certainly had that feeling of, where is the real thing happening? And then you realize, no, the real thing happened to you.” Despite inevitable teenage myopia, Lady Bird is not denied her agency. Gerwig allows her to be painfully vulnerable without exploiting her trauma — the film never asks us to psychoanalyze Lady Bird, but to empathize with her as she’s tasked with the impossible: growing up. She is both grounded and irrational, rude and sympathetic, surprising and disappointing. For her, the present is oppressive and the future paralyzing, and meanwhile the audience watches alongside not to protect or council, but to bear witness. This is real life. “Lady Bird” is present, genuine and irresistible. It speaks deeply because we’ve all been there — we are there.


COMICON FROM PAGE 6 independent makeup artists and photographers. Fans attend these conventions to appreciate these artists’ works and find enjoyment in expanding their knowledge of popular culture,” Herndon added. Panels in this year’s convention range from “Strong Female Characters in Popular Culture” to discussions on Protest Art and “Superhero Science” in Cinema One (the arguable equivalent to San Diego Comic Con’s coveted Hall H). Rick Veitch, cartoonist of cult comics including “Maximortal” and “Brat Pack” will be in attendance and screenings of the 1982 film “Creepshow” and the 1966 film “King Kong vs. Godzilla,” among others, will be available to attendees. Perhaps at least slightly comforting to capitalist critics is the prevalence of local artists and craftspeople, unaffiliated with large corporate entities, who frequent NC Comicon and have a passion for their

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work. Herndon expressed reservations about targetmarketing within comic conventions but ultimately felt that fans can retain a level of autonomy when navigating such promotion-heavy environs. “I don’t really feel much pressure to buy merchandise from the franchises, and many vendors at Comic Con are local artists, so I wouldn’t mind supporting their craft,” Herndon said. “With that, marketing plays a huge role in Comic Con in my experience — especially for upcoming movies — and it primarily functions to market to fans directly.” In the eyes of fans, it may be better to embrace the pleasures of comic conventions rather than subvert the ills. Perhaps treading trite platitudes, comic conventions at their core serve to bring together a plethora of diverse individuals to celebrate their “geekiness” and connect with like-minded individuals. Though some may feel Comicon has strayed too far from its roots, pop culture fanatics will always have a place to converge annually as long as pop culture retains its relevance.

SCREEN FROM PAGE 8 In addition to these screenings co-sponsored by institutions and organizations, Screen/Society runs the AMI Showcase, a series of films shown specifically for the AMI program. Within this series, Okazaki shows Duke student films, faculty films and alumni films all hand-chosen by him and AMI faculty. In fact, the next screening in the AMI Showcase series is the AMI Student Film Festival on Nov. 14. This showing will feature some of the AMI instructors’ favorite student works from last semester. Though many of us may praise Netflix, Amazon and Hulu for the unfettered access they provide to both contemporary and older films and television shows, there is something to be said for watching a film the way it was meant to be viewed — on a large cinema screen, in the dark, in a shared space. As Sunday Salon film curator and MFA student Lexi Bass said in a previous interview, “There’s a way to engage in spirituality with a group of people, in the dark. [We’re] able to reflect on things that don’t necessarily lend themselves to words.” So go see a film. Sit in the dark with other people and engage in something spiritual. Talk about your experience of that film, of that space and of yourself as a viewer. Pull yourself out of your Netflix queue for an hour or two and experience cinema the way it was intended to be experienced. To see a full schedule of Screen/Society’s Fall Semester screenings, visit

K-VILLE FROM PAGE 7 While that high school project was based around agriculture, it focused on the process of farming rather than the hosting of an event. McCloskey also spent three weeks of the past summer working on a farm, which he said was “crucial” to his work on the farmers’ market because it taught him how the farms were run, which helped him to connect with farmers for the market. The three groups hope to now make the farmers’ market a recurring event, something that students will have access to throughout the year. They plan to start work on that soon, continuing to meet the demand for fresh, local produce and increase campus sustainability. “Sustainability can be coined as this unnamed movement,” Hoeffler said. “Because it relates to so many different movements and it’s really commonality between humans wanting to create a livable future for not only ourselves but future generations.”

WEINSTEIN FROM PAGE 8 worrying that they might lose credibility within their professional circle if they publicly accused Hollywood bigwigs, most of whom have cultivated personas that the public eagerly buys into without question. Men create public images that portray them as goofy, harmless and moderate, which appeals to mainstream America and makes it difficult to reconcile their mildmannered character with the notion of sexual predation. Meanwhile, women are often villainized or cast as “b---es” — it becomes easy to dismiss their accusations and to silence them with little room to explain themselves properly. Even male survivors like Rapp are ignored, with most coverage of the scandal referring to his comments only in passing or going so far as to question his relevance to the story when it is his narrative that matters the most. Support and space to express themselves should be granted to survivors, as it is their suffering that is most important. In the Spacey scandal, Rapp is the one who has had to cope with the trauma of being assaulted at the age of fourteen, while Spacey has the privilege of forgetting and going on to earn Hollywood’s affections. In order to change the system, the media needs to give a platform to Rapp’s story, not Spacey’s excuses. The entertainment industry is changing for the better, but that progress is currently moving at a glacial pace. Until every predator is given the swift punishment he or she deserves, it is vital to continue offering support to victims and to remember that it does not matter how talented or generous a sexual predator is — sexual assault is sexual assault.

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Black Knights’ triple-option attack could expose recent vulnerabilities in Duke’s run defense By Ben Feder Staff Reporter

After their first four games, it seemed as though a trip to West Point would be a breeze for the Blue Devils. Duke ranked among the best in the nation in rushing defense with impressive efforts against Power-5 opponents Northwestern and Baylor. But since then, the Blue Devils have struggled to wrap up opposing ball carriers during their five-game losing streak. Saturday will be a test to see if Duke has revitalized its rush defense during its open date as it goes up against the nation’s top-ranked rushing attack in Army. The Black Knights enter the contest averaging an astounding 365.4 yards per game on the ground thanks to their dangerous triple-option scheme. “There’s a reason [Army has] won five games in a row. They’re playing at a really high level in all three phases,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “[It’s] another huge challenge and a travel opportunity for us. We’re going to have to keep pushing and have ourselves as ready as we can be come Saturday.” Army is trending in the opposite direction of the Blue Devils. The Black Knights are on five-game win streak and have already accepted a bid to the Armed Forces Bowl in December. Led by senior quarterback

Sanjeev Dasgupta | Sports Photography Editor

Andy Davidson is a key piece of an Army rushing attack that averages 365.4 yards per game on the ground. and leading rusher Ahmad Bradshaw, Army utilizes a bevy of running backs, as five tailbacks have at least 39 carries this season. In their 21-0 victory against Air Force last weekend, the Black Knights did not attempt a single pass, instead opting to rush 59 times for

nearly 400 yards. Bradshaw has never been a pocket passer—he has completed less than 29 percent of his passes and has totaled just 190 passing yards this season—but he has inflicted damage when his attempts connect, as the Chicago native registers 19 yards per completion.

The focus will still be on the ground game, though. There will be plenty of pressure on the Blue Devil front six to secure tackles and limit yardage on first and second down. If Duke can force the Army offense into unfavorable thirddown situations, the Blue Devils should be able to feast on Bradshaw, who has thrown two interceptions in just 35 pass attempts. But senior safety Alonzo Saxton II claims that the team has not changed its approach to stop the Black Knights’ triple option. “We’ve been preparing against them like we’ve been preparing against any team,” Saxton said. “It’s rare to go against a team [that has gone games without attempting a pass]. We’ve always got to be ready for them to throw the ball.” For a team that has struggled to maintain possessions during its losing streak, there will be extra emphasis on the Blue Devils’ drives on the road Saturday. Duke has lost the time of possession battle in its last four games, and its defense has repeatedly run out of steam in the second half. The Blue Devils will have to find a way to limit senior linebacker Alex Aukerman, who leads Army with six sacks and 12.5 tackles for loss this season. And Duke’s offensive line needs to get a push at the line of scrimmage if running backs Shaun Wilson and Brittain Brown are going to See SCOUTING on Page 13


Q&A: Jay Bilas breaks down Blue Devils on podcast By Hank Tucker and Mitchell Gladstone The Chronicle

On the inaugural episode of The Chronicle’s new podcast, Cameron Chronicles, our Mitchell Gladstone and Hank Tucker interviewed former Duke basketball standout and current ESPN college basketball analyst Jay Bilas. The following is an excerpt from the 20-minute interview with Bilas—which took place Oct. 26—as he talked about this group of Blue Devils and their outlook for the 2017-18 season. For more episodes, subscribe on iTunes, SoundCloud or wherever you get podcasts. The Chronicle: Taking a look at this year’s Duke team, this is probably the youngest team since you were a freshman here with Mark Alarie, Johnny Dawkins and David Henderson. I know we haven’t seen that much yet, obviously. But have you been able to get any early impressions or do you have any thoughts on the team given the makeup of this group with such a young core around Grayson Allen? Jay Bilas: I have not seen them practice, so I have not seen anything yet. I’ll obviously see them in their early-season games and I’m really looking forward to watching them play. I’ve seen all of their players in past years and in high school, so they’re extraordinarily talented. This is one of the more talented rosters Duke has ever had. It’s just

a young roster. And they’ve got a ton of size, so it’s a different team. Duke’s done—over the last decade or couple of decades—a really good job of spreading the floor and attacking off the dribble and really stretching defenses. This is not going to be that type of team. They don’t have as many shooters to stretch the floor, but they’ve got way more size than they’ve had and they are big guys who are athletic and long and can really change ends. They’ll be able to get up and down the floor, and they have really good versatility and they have a chance to be really good defensively. But as you guys know, when you have youth, there are a lot of variables that go with that and you don’t know how that youth is going to jell together. You don’t know how long that’s going to take and you don’t know if that youth performs at the end of the year. But the good news for Duke is that they’ve got youth in a very young game now, so teams that have high-level experience are the exception rather than the norm. You mentioned the team I played on a million years ago—we were young when every team was older, so our youth really stood out. Youth doesn’t stand out anymore, and these players are far more prepared to step in and play than we were 35 years ago. It’s a totally different deal than it used to be. TC: Coach K has evolved, too—he says now he has to be more tolerant with some of his younger

Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Jay Bilas joined the first episode of The Chronicle’s Duke men’s basketball podcast to dicuss the outlook on the Blue Devils’ season. players and that yelling might not get through to them as much. Can you imagine him not being as fiery and angry when something goes wrong as he was when you were there? JB: Yeah, I’ve watched him over the years and everybody evolves and gets better as they get older. He was great to begin with and he’s only gotten greater, but I’ve never been a big fan of

yelling. I don’t think it works, period. If you’re trying to make a point, you can get it across in different ways and he’s always been a master of getting his point across. Volume doesn’t matter— it’s what you say. We all laugh and every coach that gets older in See BILAS on Page 13


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Injury bug has yet to infect Blue Devils this year By Mitchell Gladstone Sports Managing Editor

Football is a dangerous game, and it doesn’t take a long look at the NFL to see just how. Consider this list of names: Aaron Rodgers, Andrew Luck, DeShaun Watson, David Johnson, Dalvin Cook, Allen Robinson, Julian Edelman, Odell Beckham Jr., Tyler Eifert, Greg Olsen, Jason Peters, Joe Thomas, Haloti Ngata, Jordan Hicks and Eric Berry. No, that’s not an All-Pro roster—it’s 15 players who are either currently on injured reserve with the possibility of returning or have been ruled out for the remainder of this season. In a matter of seconds, a wrong step or the weight of another 250-plus pound man can end a player’s year and potentially ruin his team’s season. Yet, despite all that has gone wrong in a season that continues to snowball out of control for the Blue Devils, they have somehow avoided the injury bug almost entirely. “Sometimes it’s the roll of the dice,” Duke head coach David Cutcliffe said. “We have not protected them any more, we have not done anything differently with practice schedules. We’ve just been very fortunate overall. “A year ago, we had seven starters that had to have surgeries, so it’s just been different. I’ve thought about that a lot and I visit with our medical staff all the time each year and we look at trends, at practice schedules, at

times of the year and honestly, right now, there’s no explanation.” Other than freshman center Will Taylor, who has been sidelined the entire season, just seven other names have appeared on the Blue Devils’ weekly injury reports. Starting left tackle Gabe Brandner missed the Florida State matchup after a leg injury vs. Virginia, and it was a similar story for Brandon Hill and Quaven Ferguson against Northwestern and Baylor, respectively. Beyond that, Duke’s health woes have been little more than a ‘probable’ here, a ‘questionable’ there or a few missed plays on the sideline during a game. “Especially this offseason, our training and strength staffs did a great job of doing injury prevention,” Brandner said. “We did some extra work in the training room, especially with hamstrings, so it was kind of ironic I went down with a hammy. But actually for the most part, I feel everyone has maintained their health, and I attribute a lot of that to those prevention protocols.” Like most college teams, the Blue Devils headed into the regular season with a fiveweek training camp. But from there, Duke played nine consecutive weeks of games— the most it has faced prior to an open date since 2012. The real work in staying healthy this season, though, took place well before the Blue Devils even began camp. As Brandner explained, each player

Jack Dolgin | Contributing Photographer

Left tackle Gabe Brandner had to miss one game due to a hamstring injury this fall, but Duke has otherwise stayed remarkably healthy. went through strength training and biomechanical assessments early in the summer. The Duke training staff then tasked each player with exercises to appropriately address individual “deficiencies.” Still, most teams have implemented similar methods with the goal of staying injury-free throughout the course of a grueling 12-game slate and a season that

now goes almost year-round. Some, like the Blue Devils, have avoided major casualties. Others have not had nearly the same fortune, like North Carolina, which has already declared 18 players out for the season and has another six questionable for its Thursday night contest. See INJURIES on Page 13


Duke set for NCAA regional in Charlottesville By Daniel Landa Contributing Reporter

After coming up short last November, the Blue Devils will run with their backs against the wall Friday with ambitions of returning to Louisville, Ky., for the NCAA championships for the first time in two years. Duke will send its top runners to Charlottesville to compete at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships, hoping to qualify a runner for nationals for the first time

since Shaun Thompson advanced in November 2015. The Blue Devils have high hopes to send runners back to Louisville, where Thompson placed 95th out of 252 competitors with a 10-kilometer time of 30:55.2. This year, Duke will bring a young group longing to keep its season alive. The women’s team is led by the freshman duo of Michaela Reinhart and Amanda Beach, who finished 16th and 17th, respectively, in the ACC championships last week. Reinhart will be running in the biggest event of her young

Bre Bradham | Staff Photographer

Freshman Amanda Beach has been one of the Blue Devils’ top two runners all season alongside classmate Michaela Reinhart.

career only days after being named ACC Freshman of the Year. Following impressive performances in both the conference championships and Pre Nationals earlier in October, women’s head coach Rhonda Riley has reason for optimism. “I think one of our strengths is we were very patient early on and then attacked the second half of the course,” Riley said of the Blue Devils’ October success. “That is something if we can replicate that and do that at regionals, then we’re going to do really well.” Riley will also bring sophomores Lindsay Billings and Sophia Parvizi-Wayne—who finished 42nd in the ACC—and juniors Olivia Gwynn, Kim Hallowes and Sheridan Wilbur to Friday’s meet. On the Men’s side, head coach Norm Ogilvie will bring a young but talented group including a trio of freshmen. Among those competing will be Stephen Garrett, Nikhil Pulimood, Jordan Burton, Matt Wisner, Tom Sullivan, Alex Miley and Paul Dellinger. “We’ve been saying all year we have a young team. It’s especially true this weekend,” Ogilvie said. “We have three freshmen and then two sophomores and two juniors, so it’s a young group.” To make the trip even more intriguing, four of the seven Duke runners will be competing in their first competitive 10-kilometer race. “It’s not that they can’t do it. They are very capable, but psychologically, I think there’s always a question in the back of your mind. ‘What’s going to happen once I get past eight kilometers?’ And the answer is they’ll be fine,”

Ogilvie said. “You have to experience it—a longer distance—once, just to get through it. I just don’t know how they will react.” In order for Duke to advance to the NCAA championships, it will either have to finish in the top two in the region or hope to receive one of 13 at-large bids given based on regularseason performances. “We’re not even thinking about nationals,” Ogilvie said. “It’s all about this. This is the meet.” Both the men and women will be competing in what is widely regarded as one of the most difficult courses in the nation. Although the scenic course is pleasant for spectators—featuring wavy hills through a Charlottesville horse farm—it is not as much fun to run. “It’s the hardest course that we run on this year, and it’s certainly the hardest regional,” Ogilvie said. “What makes it interesting is about five miles into the race you run up a huge, difficult hill.... It’s not just a little speed bump, it’s a tough hill, and you also run across a creek about a quarter-mile from the finish as well.” Despite the high level of difficulty, both Riley and Ogilvie are convinced that the team is well prepared. “We’ve known all along that this is going to be the hilliest course that we’re running up against, so we have trained on hills all season long,” Riley said. “Even just our easy runs are on hills in Durham, so I feel like we are prepared.” Mitchell Gladstone contributed reporting.

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BILAS FROM PAGE 11 the game, their former players always like to joke about how they’ve gotten soft and the like. He has not. The delivery may be different, but the message is still the same and the message is still right on point. He’s the best that’s ever done this and I think he’s the best that’s ever done it in this game and maybe in any game. But definitely in this game, he’s the best ever. TC: In that sense, I know you’ve talked about how this team is a different Duke team. But these guys have grown up with a different game than, in some senses, the one that you played. They’ve grown up playing more outside, more beyond the 3-point line. What have you seen in the evolution of the traditional “back-to-the-basket” guy and how has that position, in particular, evolved over the last couple of decades. JB: The game’s evolved because of the 3-point shot. The difference between this Duke team and some of the teams they’ve had in the recent past is that Marvin Bagley III and Wendell Carter Jr. may take a couple of threes, but they’re not going to make six in a game or seven in a game. Duke’s had guys who can make five, six threes in a game, and you have to go out and guard those guys. So, they’re not going to be able to stretch the floor in the same manner that they’ve done in the past, and the floor’s not going to be quite as open. They may have to find different ways to score, so maybe they become—like they were in 2010—a fantastic offensive rebounding team and they get second shots. North Carolina won a national championship based on its offensive rebounding just this last year, even though they had two guards that led the team in scoring and they were not a prolific shooting team—they had one prolific 3-point shooter, but they were


not a great 3-point shooting team. Duke’s had great 3-point shooting teams in the past and this does not look like one of them, but maybe it’ll become a better defensive team and score off its defense, score more off the offensive glass and is able to get to the free-throw line in a different way by getting the ball inside. I don’t really know the answer to that because I haven’t seen them, but looking at their personnel, it’s vastly different than we’ve seen in the past and I think it’s going to be fun to watch. Coach K likes to use the term ‘adapt,’ fashioning an offensive system and a defensive system around the talent he has. I think it’ll be really fascinating to watch.


Sanjeev Dasgupta | Sports Photography Editor


The sight of Duke’s trainers running out to the field has been rare this season after a renewed emphasis on injury prevention during the summer.

find the lanes that will give the Blue Devil defense a breather. “You got to make every possession count with a triple option team,” starting left tackle Gabe Brandner said. “You might not get more than eight series, so it definitely places an emphasis on every snap.” Saturday’s contest gives Duke an opportunity to put a dreadful late September and October behind it, but the Blue Devils will need to return to their early-season form on defense in order to do so. And with just three games remaining on the schedule, the Blue Devils will need to cash in on Veterans Day to reach five wins, a total that would put them back in the bowl game conversation. “It’s a special time of the year, obviously, in college football. November decides a lot of things,” Cutcliffe said. “It’s a pretty significant month for us as a program.”


Coming off a break, Duke will need to regroup. Some of its players mentioned a FROM PAGE 12 mindset of going 4-0 to close the season, Around the rest of the ACC, Florida State has and with three familiar opponents left in the played without starting quarterback Deondre regular season, it’s not crazy to think that Francois since Week 1, Boston College linebacker three victories and a bowl win are in play for Connor Strachan is done for the year and Wake the Blue Devils. Forest wide receiver Greg Dortch’s first season But as their head coach said, the biggest key came to an early end after an abdominal injury will be going 1-0 each week. And health should two weeks ago. be crucial for Duke as it looks to get things Duke might not want to attribute its lack going back in the right direction. of injuries purely to happenstance, but no “The biggest thing you have when you one seems to have any explanation as to why stay healthy and you’re in a good position the Blue Devil medical staff has had little to to practice is that the team will continue worry about in 2017. to improve,” Cutcliffe said. “My history “I don’t really know what it specifically has always told me that we have to go is,” senior safety Alonzo Saxton II said. focus on ourselves in November.... When “It’s been very nice to have basically all you’re healthier in these circumstances, you Thehealthy, New York Corporation our players but Times I don’tSyndication know whatSales should be a little hungrier. Hopefully, we 620 Eighth Avenue, New York, N.Y. I can attribute that to. But whatever it is, I see 10018 a great deal of improvement over this For Information Call: 1-800-972-3550 appreciate it.”For two-week ForRelease ReleaseWednesday, Tuesday, November 7,8,2017 November 2017span.”

Mitchell Gladstone contributed reporting.


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Consumers of Cameron


rayson Allen caused a stir two weeks ago when he was quoted describing Chipotle’s new queso as “underwhelming” at ACC Media Day. Although Bloomberg described the Blue Devil’s disparaging comments as simply echoing the trend of negative criticism that the company has received over its new menu addition, fans still took to their social media to support or shame Allen’s remarks. Last week, Papa John’s CEO John Schnatter also found himself implicated in a controversy related to sports marketing when his comments blaming NFL protests for poor pizza sales received waves of instant and merciless backlash via social media. Some fans have even threatened to boycott the official pizza sponsor of the NFL, and in a strange turn of events neo-Nazis have declared the brand the official pizza of the alt-right. Although seemingly unrelated, both events highlight the ways in which capitalism, politics and sports have become intertwined within our consumerist society. In light of these recent events within the realm of highprofile sports, it is a relationship worth examining in significant depth. We often admire professional athletes for embodying Americana, and for their ability to bring people together. However, we cannot forget that the

Students cannot smoke in their dorms or inside buildings. They must go outside to do so. What is expected, that they leave the campus to enjoy a cigarette at all hours of the day and night? What about their security? —Joanne Smith Parés on Nov. 2 article, “DSG approves resolution in support of reducing smoking on campus”

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

NFL, NBA and NCAA are undeniably structured around capital-oriented business models. Money is the motive and the motor; from branding to marketing, an increase in revenue is the goal and the driving force of these teams. Professional sports are billiondollar industries where players are the employees and the owners are employers. It is an industry where there remains a clear racial dichotomy between the bosses and players; seventy percent of NFL players are black, a statistic that makes racially insensitive remarks by white owners even more appalling. When the owner of the Houston Texans remarks,

Editorial Board “We can’t have the inmates running the prison,” we are painfully reminded of Black Lives Matter and its real-life implications for millions of black Americans. We are reminded of the systemic racism behind Colin Kaepernick’s protest. Just as we cannot forget that sports are inherently financially driven, we must also recognize that they are inherently political. Moreover, as consumers of high-profile sports, many spectators possess the ability to affect change

within capital-oriented professional sports leagues. Critics of Kaepernick’s protest responded to his actions by boycotting NFL merchandise and games. Some fans claimed that their patriotism was being threatened while others criticized Kaepernick for utilizing an “apolitical” platform on the field to express political discontent. In either case, fans reacted as consumers, knowing that attacking revenue represented the best avenue for backlash against Kaepernick. We do not watch the Superbowl and the NBA championships simply as innocent lovers of sport and competition. We watch them through lenses tinted with our political biases, and we love our sports stars from the bottom of our pockets. As we prepare for another exciting men’s basketball season here at Duke, let us remind ourselves of the inherently political nature of sports even within the confines of Cameron. The complex dynamic existing between professional sports, politics and consumerism is one not only limited to the NBA or NFL; our high-profile men’s basketball team is no different. At a university where Division I college sports is heavily interwoven into the fabric of campus life, it is something worth remembering next time we go cheering for the Blue Devils at Wallace Wade and Cameron.

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Direct submissions to: E-mail: Editorial Page Department The Chronicle Box 90858, Durham, NC 27708 Phone: (919) 684-2663 Fax: (919) 684-4696

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Inc. 1993

LIKHITHA BUTCHIREDDYGARI, Editor HANK TUCKER, Sports Editor KENRICK CAI, News Editor SAM TURKEN, Managing Editor VIR PATEL, Senior Editor ADAM BEYER, Digital Strategy Team Director IAN JAFFE, Photography Editor JACKSON PRINCE, Editorial Page Editor ALAN KO, Editorial Board Chair SYDNEY ROBERTS, Editorial Board Chair CHRISSY BECK, General Manager ISABELLE DOAN, University News Department Head JOYCE ER, University News Department Head BRE BRADHAM, Local & National News Head NATHAN LUZUM, Health & Science News Head SHAGUN VASHISTH, Health & Science News Head JIM LIU, News Photography Editor WILL ATKINSON, Recess Editor NINA WILDER, Recess Managing Editor SUJAL MANOHAR, Recess Photography Editor SANJEEV DASGUPTA, Sports Photography Editor MITCHELL GLADSTONE, Sports Managing Editor LEAH ABRAMS, Editorial Page Managing Editor CARLY STERN, Editorial Page Managing Editor NEAL VAIDYA, Audio Editor JAMIE COHEN, Social Media Editor JEREMY CHEN, Graphic Design Editor CLAIRE BALLENTINE, Towerview Editor JUAN BERMUDEZ, Online Photography Editor NEELESH MOORTHY, Towerview Editor NEELESH MOORTHY, Investigations Editor ABIGAIL XIE, Investigations Editor CAROLYN CHANG, Towerview Photography Editor CAROLINE BROCKETT, Recruitment Chair CLAIRE BALLENTINE, Recruitment Chair SHAGUN VASHISTH, Recruitment Chair SARAH KERMAN, Senior News Reporter KATHERINE BERKO, Senior News Reporter LEXI KADIS, Senior News Reporter MEGAN HAVEN, Advertising Director JULIE MOORE, Creative Director The Chronicle is published by the Duke Student Publishing Company, Inc., a non-profit corporation independent of Duke University. The opinions expressed in this newspaper are not necessarily those of Duke University, its students, faculty, staff, administration or trustees. Unsigned editorials represent the majority view of the editorial board. Columns, letters and cartoons represent the views of the authors. To reach the Editorial Office at 301 Flowers Building, call 684-2663 or fax 684-4696. To reach the Business Office at 1517 Hull Avenue call 684-3811. To reach the Advertising Office at 2022 Campus Drive call 684-3811. One copy per person; additional copies may be purchased for .25 at The Chronicle Business office at the address above. @ 2017 Duke Student Publishing Company


vivid orange sunset, a fluffy golden retriever puppy, a colorful breakfast of yogurt and artfully sprinkled fruit. As disparate as the above three images may seem, each is brought into a collision with the others as they vie for our attention on the social media application Instagram. Marketed on the iOS App Store as “a simple way to capture and share the world’s moments,” Instagram is one of today’s most widely-used platforms with more than 800 million active users. It is also one of

Jack Dolinar APPED the most widely misused platforms. As of 2016, Facebook reported that users spend an average of 50 minutes each day on Facebook, Instagram and Messenger. As one Forbes article succinctly stated, “This is higher than the amount of time that people spend exercising or playing sports (19.2 minutes), reading for personal interest (17.4 minutes), socializing (39 minutes) and preparing food (35.4 minutes).” As an entrepreneurial spirit with a penchant for online business, I’ve spent more than $1,000 and hundreds of hours learning the art of selling on Instagram. Behind the scenes, there are communities of enterprisers, influencers and advertisers who are hard at work exploring methods to cultivate the greatest number of likes, comments and follows in order to turn them into profits. As soon as the Instagram team— which has the stated goal of making the app a safer and more user-friendly environment—updates the algorithms that are used to monitor content and curate users’ “feeds,” group chats light up with messages about how to turn this new code to their own advantage. In a world in which we tend to use technology thoughtlessly, these digital entrepreneurs have a field day turning our down time on social media apps into money for themselves and their businesses. Of course, I do not fault them for doing this. I wonder, however, how we would approach our time spent on Facebook if instead of being enticed with the promise of connectivity and social status, we were told, “Every hour you spend on this app is a donated hour of unpaid labor to Facebook. Please enjoy.” The problem with many social media platforms, after all, is that we use them thoughtlessly. Like a smoker who instinctively reaches for a cigarette, as soon as we have nothing to do with our hands we awaken our little glowing screens and swipe to update our social media streams. Does posting a picture of an “aesthetic breakfast” really improve anyone’s life? We have become too used to getting on apps like Instagram as an inherent part of our day. When used without a specific goal, any tool becomes useless at best, or a waste of time at worst.

Think about it: would any one of us just pick up a hammer, saw or electric drill and start randomly swinging it around? Of course not, nor would any rational human who fears being seriously maimed by flailing construction equipment. Digital tools can be just as dangerous when used unwisely, though the injuries they inflict are not on our physical bodies but on our time. On a recent weekend trip down to Georgia, I spent an evening and night wandering the streets of Charleston, S.C. One of the most striking things about the city was the proliferation of art galleries. It seemed that every street corner had at least one broad doorway opening into a series of rooms and alcoves devoted to painting and sculpture. The true and underutilized power of Instagram is to bring those art galleries into our pockets in a highly personalized way. Instagram is an extremely visual platform. While there are countless pages that simply buy likes, comments and followers from bots programmed in countries far away, there are accounts that create extremely creative and appealing content. What if we used Instagram as a personal art gallery instead of as a hit of dopamine to fulfill our bored craving for stimulation? In his widelyacclaimed 2017 book, “Solitude,” Canadian journalist and author Michael Harris asks himself and his readers to consider whether their sense of personal “taste” has degraded to the point where they no longer consume media based on personal preference. Instead, he questions whether their consumption depends on the suggestions of an anonymous A.I. that feeds us content based on a vast stockpile of user data. Recalibrating our individual ability to distinguish “what I like” from “what the computer thinks I should like” can start when we begin to use Instagram in a different way. My own experiment with this approach is still in progress, but it began when I downloaded the app again a week ago after a 4-month detox and decided that I would use it as a place to go for fitness and business motivation. Having struggled in the past to maintain momentum and to keep my goals in sight, I thought that if my Instagram feed consisted of pictures of super fit models or motivational messages, it could be a place where I go to be inspired. Technology is not inherently evil. It is purposed as a tool. If a smartphone is a Swiss Army knife, apps are the widgets that pop out in order to cater to our various needs. Finding a specific purpose for each tool in our digital toolbox is a step toward improving our quality of life. Our Instagram use is just one embodiment of a societal phenomenon: we spend too much time on our phones, and it is time spent thoughtlessly. Jack Dolinar is a Trinity junior. His column, “AppEd” typically runs on alternate Mondays.

The Chronicle commentary

Londoners lose their freedom


n September, the ride-hailing company Uber was denied a license to continue operating in the city of London, one of the largest and most important metropolitan markets in the world. Uber has amassed a considerable operation in London since it first arrived in 2012: more than three million riders

Ian Buchanan LET FREEDOM RING and 40,000 drivers utilize the app to seek and provide transportation within the city. Transport for London, the agency that oversees transportation in the city, deemed that the company was not “fit and proper” to operate. Specific reasons cited in the decision varied, ranging from how Uber conducts background checks on drivers to its attempts to prevent regulators from exercising full oversight on the app. Concerns over Uber’s toxic corporate culture have pervaded the national conversation in recent months, and this discussion has extended far beyond the company’s problems in London. In June, Uber’s founder, Travis Kalanick, was forced to resign as CEO due to the aggressive, and often misogynistic, corporate culture he had formed. The reaction of London’s taxicab industry to the departure of Uber has been one of jubilation. “Black cabs,” as they are known, may have felt threatened by the emergence of a new, cheaper competitor in a marketplace they historically dominated. Steve McNamara, general secretary of the Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association, has praised the decision as the “right call.” And before the ban, more than 8,000 cab drivers blocked traffic in Central London to protest the presence of Uber. Uber may currently embody a corporate culture that is deeply flawed, but the question remains as to whether Uber’s conduct justifies such extreme governmental intervention to ban the company from London entirely. Some may suggest that London was right in banning Uber to protect citizens from the dangers of Uber’s corporate practices. In other words, they believe that heavy-handed, paternalistic action, without consulting the people who will be affected, constitutes the best way to promote the public interest in London’s transportation system. However, there is something inherently patronizing about governments attempting to act as omniscient social planners by dictating the choices people make in their lives from cradle to grave. If Uber and taxicabs are allowed to compete freely without governmental interference, people who truly disapprove of Uber’s corporate culture are welcome to boycott the company, as more than 200,000 consumers already have, while those seeking a more economical option can continue to utilize the app and enjoy its lower fares. The issue of transportation represents an

excellent example of the potential for new technologies to emerge and disrupt existing industry, a trend that has always existed but has become particularly pertinent in the 21st century, as exemplified by Uber. For years, London cab drivers’ geographic acumen constituted a significant competitive edge over other potential services: to become a London cab driver, one must pass an incredibly rigorous test covering more than 25,000 street names within the city. However, the advent of modern GPS technology has diminished this genuinely impressive skill to redundancy and irrelevance. At this point, there are probably more questions than answers as to the impact that disruptive technologies will have in the coming decades. However, one prospective answer to the changing economy is undoubtedly the wrong one: attempting to regulate new technologies out of existence, a strategy that protects existing industries at the expense of consumers. Writing in 1845, the economist Frederic Bastiat echoed these sentiments in his Candle Maker’s Petition, a satirical critique of protectionist policies to benefit existing industries. In the piece, Bastiat contends that the government must act to protect the candle makers from a deviously invasive competitor—the Sun—by compelling individuals to block all natural light from their homes so they will buy more candles. Bastiat’s analysis was also clairvoyant in a sense, as Edison’s invention of the lightbulb in 1879 presented yet another challenge to the unfortunate candle makers. While advancing the argument that Bastiat mocked in the Candle Maker’s Petition seems ludicrous, proponents of the London ban seem to be supporting the same type of logic. In both cases, protectionists advocate on behalf of exclusionary policies that are both misguided and untenable. If a nascent technology promises to improve people’s lives over the status quo, it ought to be able to overcome past norms and provide consumers with an improved good or service. How many of us still light our rooms with candles alone, board boats to cross the oceans,or compose on the typewriter? The inclination to remain free represents an essential hallmark of any civil society. In addition to basic liberties such as the free exercise of speech and religion, people’s ability to make autonomous choices regarding their own lives forms another critical aspect of a holistically free society. While the city of London justified its ban on grounds of corporate governance, the decision reeks of protectionism to benefit the existing taxicab industry at the expense of consumers and fair competition. The city’s decision represents an unfortunate loss for the people of London, and for freedom more broadly as a guiding societal ideal. Ian Buchanan is a Trinity sophomore. His column, “let freedom ring,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.


Learning to leverage The Duke Social Relationships Project once found that 10 percent of students had not talked with any of their professors outside of class in the past month. I first heard a similar statistic presented near the beginning of my first year during a speech reminding us try to make at least one substantial connection with a professor or faculty member every semester. The speaker emphasized that it was up to student to build those relationships. If the burden is on students, then there always

Amy Fan FANGIRLING seems to be the implication that students who fail to develop substantial relationships with adults either have a lack of interest, a lack of social skills, or just have bad luck. Yet I also wonder: how many people don’t develop these relationships because there aren’t many models of what these relationships should look like? I grew up with parents who explicitly told me not to ask questions in class because it distracted the teacher from the lesson plan. My dad once asked me to translate a word from Chinese. “It describes a person who doesn’t really talk about themselves much—someone who’s quiet and considerate.” Modest? Humble? “No, it’s a type of person.” Is this a positive trait or a negative trait? “Positive.” After I struggled some more, my dad decided to look the word up on Google Translate. Introverted. Months later, I questioned: did the perception ingrained within me—that introversion is a positive trait—make an impact on what I saw as acceptable and favorable behavior? I went to a large public school where I quickly learned that I wasn’t the kid in the classroom who needed the most help. I was most likely an “easy-to-teach-kid,” someone who would probably learn everything even if the teacher wasn’t teaching properly. The best option to make things easy for people around me was to shut up and do my work. Counselors had hundreds of students and I felt like the best way I could help them was to refrain from creating any extra issues. My school regularly sent a small fraction of students each year to elite colleges, but the one time I asked my counselor for application help, she spent an hour convincing me that I shouldn’t have applied to so many top tier schools. Now that I’m here, I’m expected to develop relationships with adults, expected to speak up in class, expected to make diverse friendships, and expected to be just entitled enough to ask for things. Did my pre-Duke life prepare me for this? Recently, I was telling someone about a professor I had emailed who hadn’t responded after almost a week. “Follow up and go to their office,” the friend advised me. But he seems really busy and I don’t want to bother him, I said back. “Amy, your professors are getting paid to

talk to you. People like it when you’re interested in them.” I had emailed the professor originally just because I was curious about something, not because of anything urgent. Had this been my counselor in high school, I probably wouldn’t have followed up or even sent the original email in the first place. Expecting that someone would want to respond, or want to be bugged, requires me to embody at least a certain degree of entitlement. I used to think that there was a “type” of person who was innately better at this stuff, and that I wasn’t cut out for tit. Now I wonder how much upbringing has to do with it. Before I came to Duke, I observed firsthand some of the basics of networking: to ask for business cards, to always follow up with people, to smile and always work on building relationships. I learned that it’s okay to ask a friend to look over an email and that people like it when you remember small details about their lives. I remembered that it is important to smile, to ask for help, to be interested and interesting, and to give off the impression that you know what you’re doing. Logistically, all of this made sense. But even knowing this, I still hesitate to leverage every network that is afforded to me and complain to my roommate about creating a LinkedIn profile that fleshes out everything I’m doing. I’m still working on making eye contact and navigating a conversation smoothly. I’m still beginning to understand what conversation topics are appropriate and how long a pause should be to feel natural. For some people, this comes implicitly. Not for me. There’s a similar issue on a smaller scale that’s also relevant: making friends. I’ve found myself having the same conversation with underclassmen on the difficulty of finding and sustaining friendships. First, I always ask: have you met anyone here who you’ve enjoyed being around? The response is usually: “Yeah, but I don’t see them around much.” Have you asked to get lunch or dinner with them? “No.” Why? “I don’t know. They seem really busy, and I’m worried they’re going to say no.” If someone—anyone—sent you a message and asked to get food sometime, would you say no? “Probably not. But it’s still weird, and I’m still worried.” There’s another statistic that states that 60 percent of college students nationwide have felt lonely at some point in the last 12 months. Both of these statistics suggest that we all could use stronger relationships in our lives. Yet we seem to blame the loneliness statistic less on the individual and more on the reality that college can be a socially challenging place. There doesn’t seem to be an easy answer to address the social norms and realities that make it difficult to build relationships. But in the meantime, I will keep sending the awkward FLUNCH requests, keep asking people to get lunch, and keep pretending like this is natural. Amy Fan is a Trinity sophomore. Her column, “fangirling,” runs on alternate Wednesdays.

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