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OCTOBER 10, 2017

THE INDEPENDENT STUDENT NEWSPAPER OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO SINCE 1892

VOL. 129, ISSUE 5

Economics Nobel for Thaler

BY DEEPTI SAILAPPAN NEWS EDITOR

Booth Professor Rewarded for His Study of Irrationality DAKSH CHAUHAN & ANNE NAZZARO NEWS REPORTER & ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Patrick Yeung

Richard Thaler shakes hands with Booth Dean Madhav Rajan.

Richard Thaler was awarded the 2017 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences on Monday for his work in behavioral economics. The Royal Swedish Academy (RSA), which awards the prizes, wrote in their official statement that his contributions “built bridges between the economic and psychological analyses” and brought behavioral economics into mainstream academia. Thaler is the 90th Nobel Laureate to be affiliated with the University of Chicago. The Nobel Memorial Prize in Economics, established in 1968 by the Swedish National Bank, is regarded as the most prestigious award in economics. Thaler is the author of the best-selling book Nudge, co-written with Harvard Law School professor Cass Sunstein, and Misbehaving: The Making of Behavioral Eco-

NEWS REPORTER

The hosts of the liberal politics podcast Pod Save America spoke at a student-moderated Institute of Politics (IOP) event at International House on Monday. Former Obama administration staffers Jon Favreau, Tommy Vietor, Dan Pfeiffer, and Jon Lovett addressed the responsibilities of progressive media outlets, recent incendiary White House rhetoric, and freedom of speech on college campuses. Third-year Gate editor Dylan Wells moderated the panel discussion, which later transitioned into an audience Q&A.

Some of the questions concerned disagreements and factions within the Democratic Party. “The way that Trump can win the reelection is for us to have divisions in the left,” Lovett said. “Politics, at the end of the day, are about persuading enough people to form a majority to get good things done and to get policies passed.” “What’s not a good argument is ‘One side needs to just shut up and deal with it,’” Pfeiffer added. The four speakers addressed the question of whether their sometimes derisive commentary Continued on page 3

a pioneer in his field. “[Thaler] studies the implications of relaxing the standard assumption of a self-interested, rational economic agent, instead entertaining the possibility that sometimes, some people actually choose to behave as human beings,” Madhav Rajan, Dean of the Booth School of Business, said in a press conference for Thaler at Booth on Monday morning. After the fashion of his research, Thaler told reporters that he will spend the 9-million-kronor prize, or $1.1 million, as “irrationally as possible.” “Anytime that I spend any money that’s really fun, I’m going to say, ‘That came from the Nobel Prize.’” At the conference, Thaler was joined onstage by University President Robert J. Zimmer, Provost Daniel Diermeier, and Rajan. In an introductory speech, Rajan praised Thaler’s work. “Dick Continued on page 2

Community Leader Argues for CBA

Podcast Hosts Discuss Politics and the Media JASON LALLJEE

nomics, which the Financial Times recognized as the most influential book on economics in 2015. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and has taught at the University of Rochester, Cornell University, the Sloan School of Management at MIT, and the Center for Advanced Behavioral Study at Stanford. Thaler also had a cameo in the 2015 Oscar-winning film The Big Short alongside actress and singer Selena Gomez. The field of behavioral economics is relatively new. It aims to study the effects that psychological and social factors have on the economic decisions of individuals and institutions. Thaler’s work in behavioral economics diverges from the tenet in mainstream economics that people act rationally. Instead, he espouses the belief that people behave in irrational but consistent ways that can be modeled and applied to other fields. He is widely recognized as

ALEX WARD ASSOCIATE NEWS EDITOR

Speaking at the University on Monday, the head of the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization (KOCO) said that without a community benefits agreement (CBA) for the Obama Presidential Center, current residents will inevitably be displaced. KOCO Executive Director Jawanza Malone spoke alongside Virginia Parks, a professor at the University of California, Irvine who specializes in urban planning, labor issues, and the history of CBAs nationwide. Both speakers were hosted by student group UChicago for a CBA (formerly the Prayer and Action Collective) at a dinner talk

The Art of the Novel With Augustus Rose

Feng Ye

Virginia Parks and Jawanza Malone at the teach-in. in Reynolds Club. UChicago for a CBA is part of a broader coalition of community organizations pushing for a CBA. “When you look at large-scale

developments across the country where you have not had [CBAs], including presidential libraries, people got displaced,” Malone Continued on page 3

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Page 5 The creative writing lecturer and first-time novelist discussed his process at 57th Street Books Thursday.

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THE CHICAGO MAROON - OCTOBER 10, 2017

Events 10/10 – 10/13 Today Tasting Party for Try-Me Café at SSA School of Social Service Administration, Lobby, 4:30–7:30 p.m. The café, run by the non-profit Lawrence Hall, has been operating since last spring, but this event marks its official launch. Guests can enjoy free samples from their new menu. Tomorrow Celebrating (Or Not) the Centenary of the Russian Revolution Neubauer Collegium for Culture and Society, 5–6:30 p.m. Sheila Fitzpatrick, a visiting fellow at the Collegium and a professor of Russian history, will consider the legacy of a revolution still disputed on both sides of the old Iron Curtain. What the Qu’ran Meant, and Why It Matters Seminary Co-Op, 6–7:30 p.m. Garry Will, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author turned away from Christianity—the subject of several of his books—in favor of an examination of Islam’s holiest text in his most recent book. Thursday Senator Michael Bennet Quandrangle Club, 5:30 –6:45 p.m. Join the Deomcrat from Colorado as he reflects on how bipartisanship and Congress’s reputation can be preserved in the midst of ever more polarized politics. Big House on the Prarie With John Eason Beneath the 64th Street Metra Underpass, 6–7 p.m. A sociologist visits campus to prevent his book, which explores the proliferation of prisons in rural America since 1970. See more at chicagomaroon.com/ events. Submit your own events through our intuitive interface. For events related to arts and culture, see Exhibit [A]rts on page 6.

Online This Week: Renovations at Green Line’s Cottage Grove Station; new restaurants in Hyde Park; students visit Grace Hopper conference for female programmers. And in Sports: a strong showing for cross-county.

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A child wanders through a pumpkin patch set up in Nichols Park Saturday. The fall-themed event also included a petting zoo. You can find more pictures from the event at chicagomaroon.com. Photo of the Issue by Giovanna DeCastro.

Sem Co-Op Hosts SSA Scholar for Poetry Collection BY CAROLINE KUBZANSKY NEWS REPORTER

The Seminary Co-Op hosted Eve Ewing, provost’s sociology scholar at SSA, at a packed event on Sunday in honor of her new collection of poetry, Electric Arches. Seminary Co-Op marketing manager Colin McDonald estimated that about 120 people attended the event, which consisted of a reading by Ewing, a conversation between Ewing and fellow poet Hanif Willis-Abdurraqib, and a question-and-answer session with the audience. “This is about as big as it gets for an in-store event—every chair taken and standing room only,” McDonald said.

Electric Arches, which came out September 12, is primarily an account of black girlhood in Chicago. Ewing, who studied English as an undergraduate at UChicago before completing a doctorate in education at Harvard University, touches on many of her memories of growing up in the city throughout the book. “In many ways it’s a comingof-age book…[but] a lot of the book is more so writing through myself to an imagined audience that is in many cases very literal, very specific,” said Ewing, who worked as a middle school English teacher between her undergraduate and postdoctoral stints at the University. “I had specific students that I’ve mentored and taught over the

years in mind and I was trying to follow the adage that you should write the book you wish you’d been able to read,” she added. The book is also Ewing’s attempt to broaden the space in which black women writers can express themselves. “I…feel like part of what I’m trying to do is expand the possibility of what other black women are allowed to write about and speak about in public,” she said. Publishers Weekly had high praise for Electric Arches. In a review of the book, they wrote, “[A] stunning debut…her subtle, provocative exploration of the boundaries between self and world allows a striking and visionary topography to take shape.”

Chelsea Williams, one of the event’s attendees, was excited to hear from Ewing in person after being introduced to Ewing’s work through the slam poetry organization Louder Than a Bomb and following her career for several years. “[Ewing] was just as insightful [in real life] as she is in print,” she said. Jourdan Jenkins, one of Ewing’s former students, has known Ewing since he was in sixth grade and enjoyed the opportunity to witness his old teacher’s evolution. “It was really cool to see how far she’s come…It’s just like seeing a big sister do her thing,” he said.

Economics Professor Becomes University’s 90th Nobel Laureate Continued from front

Thaler represents the quintessence of Chicago Booth’s mission: to produce knowledge with enduring impact,” he said. Thaler also gave a short speech at the conference. “I’m pretty sure that this is the first time that the president, provost and dean have had a conversation about me in which the phrase ‘pain in the ass’ was not mentioned, for which I’m grateful, although I’m sure that is not a forecast of future behavior,” he said. Thaler then said that he had many people to thank for this achievement, specifically mentioning Sunstein and Shlomo Benartzi, professor of behavioral decision making at UCLA Anderson School of Management. During the Q&A session of the conference, one reporter asked how Thaler got mainstream economists to embrace his ideas. “I don’t think I’ve changed anybody’s mind in 40 years,” Thaler responded. “So, given that, I’ve used the

Patrick Yeung

Find more photos from the event at chicagomaroon.com. strategy of corrupting the youth, whose minds are not already made up. The growth of the field is really due to the people that followed me.” Thaler received the call from

the RSA around four in the morning on October 9. “I was asleep, very much asleep,” he said. He was told not to tell anyone for another hour and was invited to the Nobel Prize award ceremony

in Sweden. “Unlike Bob Dylan,” Thaler joked, “I do plan to go to Stockholm.”


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Pod Save America Hosts Answer Questions on Post-Trump America Continued from front

alienates centrist and conservative audiences. “In the wake of the Trump election, a lot of where we landed reflexively was [at] more of a primal scream,” Pfeiffer said. “Hearing that from people who feel the same way as you…helps you deal with the fact that this monster is President,” he said, noting that as the podcast’s parent company Crooked Media expands they intend to bring in more voices from across the political spectrum. Lovett added, “We could be more con-

ciliatory, but there is a problem: Paul challenge opinions they view as problemRyan. When he supported Trump, I atic than to try to censor them. “Go make an argument,” Favreau said. thought, ‘He sold out our country’ and ‘He doesn’t care about our values’…part of it “One of the best takeaways from college is is: We have to stand up to something that how to argue: You have the power to stand up and persuade people in the crowd that is fundamentally wrong.” “I think what we try to do is separate your opinion is better.” On the topic of parsing through inwhat we say about Republican politicians flammatory White House rhetoric and from Republican voters,” Favreau said. When prompted with the subject of “fake news,” the panelists stressed the free speech, specifically relating to that of importance of media literacy. “We have to teach children what legitcontroversial speakers on college campuses, the speakers suggested that it would imate news sources are and what [they] be more effective for students to openly are not,” said Pfeiffer. “I would even like

for there to be conservative and Republican media that tries to tell the truth.” In a discussion largely characterized by fear for the political future, Pfeiffer allowed for some optimism regarding millennials gaining influence in the electorate. “As the generation that grew up with the internet becomes able to vote, media savvy people may be around to solve this problem,” he said.

Speakers Consider Impact of CBA at Student Dinner Continued from front

said. “So unless there [are] protections against it, it’s going to happen.” Parks gave a history of past agreements, emphasizing that although about 50 have been created since 2001, she only considers 15–18 of those to be “strong CBAs,” based on criteria including public availability and the distribution of the benefits beyond the groups that signed the CBA. At a meeting with community organizations last month, former president Barack Obama stated that a CBA does not suit the Center because the Obama Foundation is a nonprofit already working for the benefit of South Side residents, and because signing a CBA with only certain groups would suggest that they represent the South Side as a whole. Parks explained that CBAs come from a tradition of labor and environmental agreements which aim to protect certain groups from being unfairly taken advan-

tage of. She said that strong CBAs are written to ensure that the benefits of the relevant development projects go beyond the groups that drafted the CBAs. According to Parks, the groups that negotiate CBAs are generally doing so on behalf of communities which will be directly affected by major development projects, but are also ensuring that the benefits are shared with the public. For example, the Staples Center CBA written in 2001 requires that the project’s developers hire a certain percentage of long-term employees from the surrounding neighborhoods and from low-income neighborhoods across L.A., she said. “Even if we recognize that there might be some actors that benefit more greatly [from projects], we want to make sure that, at the very least, there aren’t negative effects that fall disproportionately on certain communities,” Parks said. Malone gave additional reasons why a CBA for the Obama library would be ben-

The Lumen Christi Institute presents

CATHOLIC REFORM:

THE COUNCIL OF TRENT THE CATHOLIC ENLIGHTENMENT

&

a lecture by

ULRICH LEHNER Marquette University

THURSDAY OCTOBER 12, 4:30PM SWIFT HALL COMMON ROOM Ulrich L. Lehner is Professor of Theology at Marquette University. He is an internationally recognized expert in the study of religious history and historical theology from the late 15th to the early 20th century, especially the socalled Catholic Reformation/Catholic Reform. Professor Lehner is author of The Catholic Enlightenment: The Forgotten History of a Global Movement (Oxford University Press, 2016).

eficial. He noted that UChicago—which submitted the proposal for a Jackson Park Obama library—stands to profit significantly from the library’s development. He also cited the University’s recent announcement of its plans to build a conference center and for-profit hotel near the Center and pointed out that the University owns much of the real estate surrounding the Center’s future site. According to Malone, property values in Jackson Park and Woodlawn have risen 13 percent and 23 percent respectively this year. He credits this surge of development to speculation connected to the Center. Malone responded to a CBA criticism expressed by Obama and Hyde Park Alderman Leslie Hairston, which claims that community groups should not constrain the potential benefits of the Center with a written agreement. “‘Why try to hammer [Obama] on something you want? You say you want [community benefits], we say he’s doing this. Why

tie the man’s hands up?’ Our point is, if we’re saying the same thing, what’s the problem with putting it in writing?” Parks also responded to a question about what community groups can and have done to convince developers to sign CBAs. “It’s about going around, getting signatures…raising heck,” she said. “It’s about shaming the actors that, if you’re saying you’re going bring these benefits, prove it.” Fourth-year Robert Hayes, a member of UChicago for a CBA, outlined the group’s upcoming plans in an e-mail to T HE M AROON. “We’ll be attending Alderman Leslie Hairston’s next ward night on October 24 to continue to press for her support,” he wrote. Hayes added that UChicago for a CBA will also go door-to-door in the Fifth Ward to ask residents to sign postcards to the Alderman. He stated that the group has already given Hairston 300 signed postcards and aims to deliver 1,000 in total.

ool presents The University of Chicago Law Sch

FROM PARCHMENT TO PRACTICE: IMPLEMENTING NEW CONSTITUTIONS October 13-14, 2017 THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO LAW SCHOOL CLASSROOM V 1111 E. 60TH STREET CHICAGO, IL 60637

The possible dynamics of change and continuity from the period before a text is adopted to the period after its installation are manifold and varied. Yet little systematic work has addressed either the theoretical questions or the practical ones raised by this variance. Please join us for this conference, which aims to understand how, when, and why written constitutions can be agents of social, economic, and political transformation in both the short- and long-term.

learn more at: www.law.uchicago.edu/events/parchmentpractice-implementing-new-constitutions

Free and open to the public. Cosponsored by the Department of Romance Languages and Literatures. For more information and to register, visit WWW.LUMENCHRISTI.ORG.

This event is free and open to the public. No response is required, but seating is limited. For special assistance or needs, please contact Erin Wellin at ewellin@uchicago.edu.


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THE CHICAGO MAROON - OCTOBER 10, 2017

VIEWPOINTS A New Normal: High-Fashion Crocs It’s Time We Learned to Embrace Our Increasingly Absurd World

readers, Jibbitz are the little of rubber that can be placed in the holes of Crocs). The last few models followed, and each of them sported a different colored pair of platform Crocs. In a world where we regularly experience the absurd, whether it is through the omnipresent meme culture or our divisive modern politics, it somehow makes sense that Crocs earned themselves a seat at the table of high fashion. If you had asked me 10 years ago what I thought about Crocs, I would have said Crocs were a colorful and comfortable alternative to regular shoes, and you might have caught me rocking a pair at Sunday mass. If you had asked me five years ago what I thought about Crocs, I would have audibly gagged in disgust. However, my stance on Crocs has now become far more nuanced. Crocs occupy an ambiguous fashion gray zone—while their foam structure looks awkward, Crocs are incredibly comfortable to wear. It seems unfair to label Crocs with the highly subjective term of “ugly,” but their clunkiness could hardly be described as “visually pleasing” in any sense. So why is it permissible to redesign these utility clogs and place them in the domain

Fred Kardos decorative pieces With each day, current events grow progressively more and more absurd. Over the last month, Trump struggled with NFL protests while on the brink of war with North Korea, Americans obsessed over their recurring fascination with murderous clowns in the adaptation of Stephen King’s It, and the Internet went insane at the prospect of Kim, Kylie, and Khloé Kardashian all being pregnant. With no correlation between any of these events and no suggestion of what may happen next, our normal expectations of life seem increasingly less likely to come to fruition. It makes more sense to simply embrace the weirdness as it comes. Recently, this weirdness arrived in the form of Balenciaga four-inch platform Crocs. Balenciaga took the notion of absurdity to the extreme, turning the bizarre strangeness of life into art at its 2018 spring/summer fashion show. Near the end of the show, a slight gasp could be heard. Walking down the runway came a model wearing four-inch platform Crocs, decked out with Jibbitz (for those of you less fashion-savvy

of high fashion? As our world grows increasingly strange, our fashion has to follow suit. It seems that the absurd has become the norm. While I watched Balenciaga’s models walk the runway in platform Crocs, I began to question how my own life became so surreally strange. I’ve now accidentally been to four Vance Joy concerts. I’m taking a class on the public and private lives of insects, because somehow bugs are essential to my core education. I still have a pair of periwinkle Crocs back home from my early experiments with fashion. Why did I hold onto a pair of

periwinkle Crocs? No, I did not anticipate Balenciaga’s daring display. Rather, I too quietly normalized the increasingly absurd things that are becoming more and more routine; a part of me knew owning periwinkle Crocs was no big deal. Avocados are now less than $1.50 at Whole Foods, and Anna Faris and Chris Pratt are now separated. Sure, one could provide reasons for these events, but it’s evident that general human existence is progressing illogically and unpredictably. So, what does it mean to live in a world of Balenciaga platform Crocs? It means we live in an absurdist world.

Every day I try to plan for the future, hoping to anticipate the best and worst possibilities. It’s not working out too well. So for me, Balenciaga platform Crocs were a wake-up call. Living in a high-pressure, high-stress environment means it’s time for me to accept absurdity for what it is, put on my own metaphorical pair of Balenciaga platform Crocs so I that can finally embrace the weirdness of our world, and turn it into something radically unique. Fred Kardos is a secondyear in the College.

Stephanie Dorris

Letter: Professors Demand Administration Stop Contesting Unionization Election Adam Thorp, Editor-in-Chief Hannah Edgar, Deputy Editor-in-Chief Euirim Choi, Managing Editor Stephanie Liu, Managing Editor The MAROON Editorial Board consists of the Editors-in-Chief and editors of THE MAROON.

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Dear President Zimmer, Provost Diermeier, and Dean Rasmussen, For years the University of Chicago administration has been waging a campaign against graduate student worker unionization involving informational meetings with groups of graduate students, web page postings and e-mails from the central administration, and deans expressing opposition. Despite this lengthy and intense campaign, in spring quarter, Graduate Students United (GSU) managed to garner sufficient cards to proceed with a vote on unionization. The University administration took the case to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) claiming that graduate students are not employees. The NLRB rejected this claim and allowed GSU to proceed with the vote. In his e-mail from August 11 the provost informed the University community that the administration will appeal the

NLRB decision. The attempts of the administration to prevent these elections using legal proceedings are causing serious harm to the University of Chicago and to the atmosphere of free academic inquiry and debate essential to the functioning of a university. First, the arguments presented by the University lawyers at the hearings allowed administrators to present distorted descriptions of the role of graduate students in the University, causing severe damage to the relationship between the University and its graduate students as well as presenting an unappealing image of how education is managed in the University to the outside world. More importantly, the attempt to resolve this issue using legal means has undermined the very idea of open debate in the University. It negates the idea that we trust the community as a whole—students, faculty and administrators—to openly

discuss an issue and resolve it internally through democratic procedures. The administration’s control of the instruments of communication hardly squares with its commitment to freedom of expression—as freedom depends on equal access. Whether one is for or against graduate student worker unionization, this matter should be resolved through a robust campus-wide debate allowing all sides to express their opinions, followed by a vote by the graduate students. Therefore, we the undersigned tenure-track and non-tenure-track faculty members at the University of Chicago request the University administration refrain from contesting the latest NLRB decision from August 8 ordering a graduate student employee vote on October 18, 2017. Editor’s note: The full list of signatories can be found in the online version of this article.


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THE CHICAGO MAROON - OCTOBER 10, 2017

ARTS Rose and the Readymades: Campus Author Talks the Art of the Novel BY JULIA PAZ MAROON CONTRIBUTOR

“He totally changed the landscape of art,” Augustus Rose said of Marcel Duchamp, the inspiration behind his new book, The Readymade Thief. At 57th Street Books on Thursday evening, Rose, a University of Chicago lecturer in fiction, discussed his novel, the focus of which is main character teen-runaway Lee Cuddy, and her exploration of the seedy underbelly of Philadelphia with homeless kids, hackers, and secret societies. To kick off the event, Rose’s friend and coworker Rachel DeWoskin, a fellow University of Chicago lecturer, introduced him. Rose then gave a brief reading as the audience members listened enthralled as the words were spoken from the page. DeWoskin and Rose proceeded to discuss his writing process up to his finished work. He gave the audience a sneak peek into his early drafts by explaining how the idea for the book came from the artist Marcel Duchamp’s “readymades,” and how Duchamp was originally the main character in The Readymade Thief. Rose admires Duchamp to the point that he makes his own versions of Duchamp’s artwork, and brought an example of this to

show the audience. Rose stated that he became especially fascinated with Duchamp when he noticed how the other artist’s pieces come together. “ The more I studied his work, the more I realize there is an interconnectivity in his work.” Rose explained. The more he worked on Duchamp as the main character, the more he noticed the limitations of writing a character based on a historical figure. With Lee, entirely original, there were no limitations. The Readymade Thief is often referred to as a thriller, though it crosses into other genres. The book brings the reader through Lee’s world as she journeys through abandoned urban landscapes, feeling trapped. Along the way, she meets artists and hackers, squatters and fanatics, all of whom believe she holds the key to a sinister plot. A suspenseful narrative filled with cliffhangers, the plot is a labyrinthine puzzle, much like the abandoned buildings and tunnels Lee and her friends scope out. Melding all these different themes and ideas took time; finishing the first draft took a year and a half. The next part of the event focused on Rose’s journey toward becoming an author. In early adulthood, he faced constant rejection from publishers, causing him to switch gears and write screenplays. His history with rejection and

Samuela Mouzaoir University lecturer Augustus Rose read excerpts of his debut novel The Readymade Thief at 57th Street Books.

years without publishing is a far cry more about their characters. He enjoys from the quick and intense sale of The “entering the inner life of a character Readymade Thief. There was an auction that deeply,” and feels that it is easibetween many publishing companies for er to do so through novel-writing. In the rights to the novel, a rarity in the parting words, he said he hopes to replicate the effects movies have on people publishing world nowadays. The audience asked questions ea- though his writing. gerly, probing Rose’s creative process. Rose revealed that he finds novels more engaging to write than screenplays, because a writer can describe and learn

Misleading Marketing: The Mother! of Failed “Horror” Films BY ERIC GUZMAN MAROON CONTRIBUTOR

Perhaps the most divisive film of the year, Darren Aronofsky’s Mother! is a box office bomb not because of polarizing content, but because of horrifying marketing and distribution by Paramount Pictures. Mother! is not a horror film at all. At least not in the traditional sense as seen in recent horror films such as The Conjuring, Insidious, and Lights Out. It is tense, uncomfortable, and thought-provoking, but never scary. Yet, Paramount sold the film as a horror film to mass audiences through its promotional material, including choppily-edited trailers, disturbing posters, and cakes resembling a bleeding heart sent out to several journalists. In fact, Mother! was originally scheduled to be released on Friday, October 13. Like Aronofsky’s other works (Black

Swan, Requiem for a Dream), Mother! is not an easily digestible film. It should not have been distributed widely across thousands of theaters because it was never intended to entertain a general audience. Instead, Mother! would have been better suited for a limited release, as its conceptual and metaphorical narrative is more apt for an awards season audience. Yet, Paramount believing that Mother! would shock audiences with its grand “twist” reveal, set the film up for a grand disaster. Mother! is no Rosemary’s Baby. Contrary to the trailer that advertised, “You will never forget where you were the first time you saw Mother!,” Aronofsky’s film doesn’t have any secrets up its sleeve to later reveal to the audience in a great f lourish. Leading up to the release of the film, Paramount was determined to ensure no spoilers would leak. This led to rampant speculation about the film’s “twists” since very few

people were allowed to see it prior to its release. During the ensuing backlash, one of the major criticisms was the lack of a shocking reveal. However, even if the film’s symbolism was spoiled for the audience, it would not detract from the viewing experience of the film. Mother! is an experiential film that, regardless of one’s awareness of the film’s narrative, is unapologetically unsettling. There are no false leads in Mother!, only those that are presented in Paramount’s marketing which promoted it as something that it is not. If Mother! is not a widely accessible horror film with a shocking twist, then what type of film is it? Simply put, it’s an allegory. One that explores various biblical and environmental themes which compel viewers to question long-standing narratives regarded as a fact or a truth; and for Paramount, that is a hard film to sell. There is no “Allegory” section on Netflix that could

accommodate it. Rather, through its promotional material, Paramount manufactured a horror film that it could more easily sell to larger audiences. To make matters worse, Paramount bet big on Mother!, but received the infamous “F ” CinemaScore. The fact of the matter is that this film is much more than just “horror,” as are most of the films labeled as horror. It is a heartwarming coming-of-age drama, Get Out is a twisted social satire, and Mother! is a nerve-wracking romance. Each of these films defy convention differently, and yet, they are all confined within the same horror genre. Hollywood is a business, and as such, major production studios do what they can to sell tickets. It’s just how the system works. So, don’t condemn a horror film for not being a “horror” film. It is not the film’s fault it was sold as something it never intended to be. Mother! did not fail; Paramount did.

Fall Exhibits Examine Community Engagement at the Smart BY ZOE BEAN & MEGHAN WARD MAROON CONTRIBUTORS

This fall, in addition to its sculpture garden, the Smart Museum of Art is home to five dynamic new exhibits which range in subject from historic themes (Revolution Everyday), to current political topics (Welcome Blanket), from the emotional (The Hysterical Material) to the more concrete (Conversations with the Collection), and of course, including a nod to the Chicago community (Radical [Re]constructions). Revolution Everyday marks the 100th anniversary of the Russian Revolution. The exhibit showcases some of the posters and videos meant to illustrate com-

mon life for people living during the revolution. The posters feature praise of workers and pro-Stalin iconography. “The exhibit was designed to reveal the nuance of what it felt like to live in Russia, particularly the experience of women,” said Michael Christiano, Senior Director of Museum Programs at the Smart Museum. The exhibit specifically focuses on the experience of women in 1917, with most of the posters depicting working women being empowered by the social change brought about by the revolution. One poster shows a smiling working woman holding a mop and bucket, another a woman working in a factory looking up and smiling, her hair back in a red bandana. The propaganda was designed

to convince women that the revolution would bring about better working and living conditions. “These posters are projecting a shared way of life to viewers: a way in which you were supposed to look at everyday life,” Christiano said. “There’s a complicated tension because in many ways the message was uplifting, but it was also kind of prescriptive for women at the same time.” “Hysterical” is a word often associated with humor, but it actually refers to extreme emotion, whether it be elation, grief, panic, or bewilderment. The Hysterical Material, organized by sculptor Geof Oppenheimer of the Department of Visual Arts, is an exhibit that evokes that level of emotion and causes the view-

er to examine how we as humans express our inner turmoil, and how art can express the resulting actions. Christiano described the exhibit as “thinking about the human form and the body as both subject and material tool.” Accordingly, it counters striking works of sculpture including those of Auguste Rodin, with photography and other two-dimensional work, notably a fascinating series of screen-prints by Bruce Nauman (on loan from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City). Butter-yellow walls complement the monochrome exhibit and harmonize with the playful nature of the screen prints. Though superficially calming, upon closContinued on page 6


6

THE CHICAGO MAROON - OCTOBER 10, 2017

“We look at how every project can help us engage with our publics”

Courtesy of the SMART Museum Radical [Re]constructions immiedately engages with viewers as they enter the museum lobby. Continued from page 5

er examination, it is a vibrant take on the expressive capabilities of the human form. Many of the exhibits on display at the Smart Museum feature “serious”

themes, but there is something to be said for art for the sake of art. The “Hysterical Material” allows the viewer to draw conclusions that can be applied to any discipline. Christiano reasons, “There is a deep curiosity and desire to know,

through art, the world around us that permeates everything we do.” It seems that this exhibit speaks to that desire without attempting to provide answers, as there is no text on the walls. To fi nd out the title or artist of a piece there are small diagrams of the exhibit featuring pertinent information allowing the eye to wander rather be drawn to a word or phrase. While this exhibit does not exceed in physical size, it provides spacious room for interpretation.” Radical [Re]constructions, by Emmanuel Pratt, is the fi rst exhibit seen upon entering the museum, occupying the museum’s lobby. This choice is in keeping with the welcoming nature of the installation piece. One is immediately greeted by a lifelike wooden facade that mimics the front of a real house, located in Perry Avenue Commons on the border of the Washington Park and Englewood neighborhoods. It’s currently under renovation by the Sweet Water Foundation founded by the artist which, according to its website, “creates safe and inspiring spaces and curates healthy, intergenerational communities that transform the ecolo-

gy of once-blighted neighborhoods.” The foundation incorporates a wide variety of activities in its practice, as shown by Pratt’s elevation drawing which creates a diagram-like view of what’s going on in the house: cooking, art making, aquaponics, and raising tilapia fi sh. Christiano describes the piece as “thinking about how to take that place and represent it in the context of this museum.” The drawing reads as a life-size blueprint, letting the viewer in on the vision of the founders of the Sweet Water Foundation, watching a community materialize as Pratt did. The museum has used the question of how to represent this dynamic space as a chance to “transcend space and geography” and “animate this space as a site of culture.” When prompted to speak about how the Smart Museum engages with the community, Christiano responded, “We look at how every project can help us engage with our publics across campus and our broader community.”

Continue reading this article at chicagomaroon.com

Telephone Lines and Veins Intertwine at Savageness BY JAD DAHSHAN MAROON CONTRIBUTOR

You can’t help but wonder what the dilapidated walls of 6018North manor have seen as you weave through the wine-sipping and cheese-sampling crowd on its steps. Inside, unhinged doors and a wall traversed by a mosslike creature make you even more curious about the history of this manor-turned-contemporary-art-space that has become a performance venue for this year’s Chicago Architecture Biennial. Last Saturday’s performance, entitled Savageness or There are veins embraced in the property, began with its performers— Jennifer Scappettone, Judd Morrissey, and Abraham Avnisan—nowhere in sight. Hearing a rumor that the third f loor of the building was haunted, the audience headed upstairs to find four pale effigies with flamboyant ribbons around their heads, suspended by strings tied to the stubs of a ceiling fan. Their spinning movement evoked the ancient Mesopotamian dance ritual that the artist Rodrigo Lara Zendejas appropriated into this artwork. As the boundary between the art installations and the decrepit facilities of 6018North blurred, a bushy-haired dark figure, wearing a Venus of Willendorf around her neck, made her away across the hallway, breathing through a copper pipe into the electrical sockets on the walls. She wore a belt of fairy lights and a phone strapped around her forehead

like a luminous third eye. All three performers emerged downstairs wearing the strange headgear, like miners about to excavate your mind. Exper imental electronica music played in the background while a light blinked on and off in a corner to rhythmically signal a pattern in Morse code. The miners stood attentively, notepads in hands, pipes to ears, to translate: “A critical analysis would doubtless destroy the appearance of solidity of this house.” Scappettone, Morrissey, and Avnisan took turns articulating a prophecy dooming 6018North’s “image of immobility.” They spoke of the house as a “nexus” at the center of many worlds, with invisible sprawling veins connecting it to electricity generators, stamp mills, and mines. Their performative transmission of data paid tribute to the once-vital telegraph and telephone networks that contractors and miners far from home relied on to tell bureaucratic stories about this very house. Just outside the wall was another work hosted by the Biennial: the Chapuisat brothers’ In Wood We Trust, a convoluted wooden structure with entrances on the second floor and through a window on the first floor. Scappettone entered the shadowy shaft while Morrissey took the stairs, leaving a befuddled crowd with a glitchy recording of Bing Crosby’s “Pennies from Heaven.” Half of them followed. For those who remained, live feeds from the different

miners’ headsets were projected onto the building’s walls, allowing the audience to simultaneously crawl upwards through a dark labyrinth and stand upright at its summit. Scappettone lay supine on the platform as Morrissey poured pennies over her body for the next part of the performance, making the audience wonder whether the copper mine had collapsed upon the miner. Morrissey then began to locate the scattered currency using a metal detector. There was scarcely time for bewilderment before the next act began with all three performers taking turns in translating more Morse code. Pipe to ear, one yelled out: “PENN YWORTH DEA DSH AVE!” The second deciphered: “will serve as a warning/ encroaching upon the reserve.” The performers’ code came from various code words chosen from a thick telegraphic code book filled with bizarre abbreviations and their mundane meanings. By piecing the code words together, the performers created an imagist poem that animated seemingly meaningless phrases from the past to convey a powerful statement about the environmental and social implications of urban domesticity. In the surreal space of 6018North, you could feel the taste of copper on your tongue; the fairy lights, pennies, pipes, and poetry all served to highlight how foundational the material was to the different telecommunication systems evoked in the show. LIDAR projections formed a back-

drop to the miners’ act, projecting scans that seemed to tear down the newly constructed drywall and perforate the very fabric of space-time to reveal the house’s past incarnation. Eventually, the projections were replaced by a digitally fabricated video of papers rolled up like pipes, spinning in a void, from which the performers took turns reading. “It is impossible for a man and a family to live on 72 cents a day.” Such quotes, which ranged from personal letters to legislations, were interspersed with Crosby lyrics and more of the reappropriated telegraphic haikus, read out of an AR software installed on iPads that hung from pulleys on the ceiling. The scene could have come from a science fiction novel. The show concluded with the three miners sitting on a dining table while Scappettone, in the middle, f lipped through the telegraphic code book. Savageness gives its audience so much to take in at once that processing—let alone remembering—the experience is difficult. Yet, as Scappettone used her phone camera to let the audience see the pages of the code book, we were given a bionic eye to visualize the lives of the workers who built the very floor beneath us, who spun the wires through which people routinely upload parts of their soul, and whose work ensured there are indeed “veins embraced in the property.”

EXHIBIT [A]rts [10/10] Tuesday 5–7 p.m. Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time U. S. Poet Laureate Natasha Tretheway will give a poetry reading as a part of the Logan Center’s fifth anniversary. The event will be followed by a signing. Logan Center, free. 6 p.m. Join Executive Di rector Solveig Øvstebø for a walk-through of the Renaissance Society’s latest exhibition: Jennifer Packer’s Tenderheaded. Renaissance Society, free. 9 p.m. In honor of Logan’s fifth an-

niversary, the Hyde Park Jazz Society will present a special Tuesday Night Jazz concert. Café Logan, free. [10/12] Thursday Head west of Navy Pier for Chicago’s 53rd Annual International Film Festival, a two-week event offering dozens of film screenings throughout the day. AMC River East 21, $12 per film with a student ID. 6 –7:30 p.m. Baird Harper, visiting faculty in the Creative Writing

Department, will discuss his recently published debut novel, Red Light Run, a tale of 11 characters in the aftermath of a car wreck in a Chicago suburb. Seminary Co-Op, free. [10/13] Friday 9 a.m. The Logan Center Bluesfest kicks off on Friday and will continue through Sunday with performances from the Elvin Bishop Big Fun Trio and Mike Ledbetter Trio, as well as various music workshops and panel discussions.

Logan Center, free workshops, performances are $25 for adults, $5 for under 21. [10/14] Saturday 2 –3 p.m. Find out more about the Obama Presidential Center at a panel discussion with the museum’s director and interdisciplinary members of the Exhibition Design Team. DuSable Museum of African American History, free.


7

THE CHICAGO MAROON - OCTOBER 10, 2017

Volleyball Wows Again

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VOLLEYBALL

The UChicago volleyball team won its 11th consecutive game this past Saturday against Elmhurst College, making it undefeated in the Elmhurst Quadrangular. This victory improved their record to an impressive 17–3. The Maroons held the upper hand throughout the match, sweeping Elmhurst with scores of 25–19, 25–16, and 25–19. The Maroons collected 46 total kills as a team, with second-year Anabella Pinton, third-year Audrey Scrafford, and third-year Sarah Muisenga all reaching double digits. Star first-year Emma Griffith had 41 of the team’s 45 assists. The team also put up an impressive 62 digs, 20 of which came from second-year libero Anne Marie Stifter. “This weekend, the team played really well as a whole,” first-year Hadley Grundman said. “We came out strong in our first set. In the second set we struggled a bit in the beginning but came together in the end to win that set, and eventually the match. With the team losing one of our starters, Aasha Dave did a great job of filling in that role, and the team did a great job of supporting her and getting the job done! This was such an exciting win!” While the match was one-sided in UChicago’s favor, the Bluejays competed well in each set. Elmhurst delivered more overall blocks and aces than the Maroons, making the match closer than the fi nal score indicated. Second-year Kelly Townsend had 27 assists for the Bluejays,

while first-year Rachel Shuty led the team with 12 digs. However, these efforts were not enough to overcome the red-hot Maroons, who are establishing themselves as one of the top DIII volleyball programs in the country. With this win, the University of Chicago volleyball team has held onto its impressive rank of No. 16, and the team is eager to keep moving up the list. This weekend, the University of Chicago will be hosting the University Athletic Association (UAA) Round Robin #2. Every team in the UAA will be competing. The Maroons’ fi rst game is against New York University on Saturday, October 14, at 12:30 p.m. NYU is 4–16 overall, with a record of 0–3 in conference games. The Maroons are well set to win their 12th straight match against this opponent. The Maroons will then play later that same day, against Carnegie Mellon. This match will be one of the toughest yet for the Maroons, as Carnegie Mellon is ranked 10th with an overall record of 18– 1. However, with the way UChicago has been playing recently, the Maroons stand a good chance at upsetting the Tartans. On Sunday, October 15 at 2 p.m., the Maroons will be facing Wash U, another great program. The Bears are ranked 21st with a record of 16–4, and as such this will be another difficult task for the Maroons. Despite the fierce competition, the University of Chicago volleyball team holds the talent, skill, and competitiveness to come out of this weekend unscathed. Please come support them as they attempt to extend this amazing win streak.

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8

THE CHICAGO MAROON - OCTOBER 10, 2017

SPORTS Maroons Move Past Lawrence FOOTBALL

BY MICHAEL PERRY SPORTS EDITOR

The University of Chicago men’s varsity football team (3–2) continued its winning streak this weekend with an impressive victory over Lawrence University (1–4), 28–8 on Stagg Field. After starting out the year with two tough losses, the Maroons have now won their last three games for a perfect record within the Midwest Conference (MWC). Lawrence jumped out to an 8–0 lead in the first quarter, but the Maroons quickly responded to make it 8–7 going into the second. Fourth-year running back and two-time team captain Chandler Carroll had another impressive game, scoring four unanswered touchdowns as the engine of the offense. Carroll fi nished the day with 21 attempted for 104 yards and three touchdowns, as well as five receptions for 47 yards and one touchdown. Fellow fourth-year Jamie Rieger also had an impressive game, with four receptions for 102 yards, including an impressive 37-yard leaping grab which set Carroll up to score. “Lawrence was a good team and I’m glad we were able to grind out a solid win over them,” said third-year wide receiver Trevor Anderson. “It’s always nice to play in front of our home crowd and show them all a [win]. Chandler was absolutely unstoppable and the defense played lights out.” The Chicago defense rebounded from the early score to allow only 157 yards of total offense. The Maroons simply pun-

Defme Anlas

Fourth-year Chandler Carroll rushes home for his first touchdown of the day.

ished Lawrence, racking up six sacks, 16 tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception, four pass break ups and three quarterback hits. Third-year defensive tackle Mike McGinley had perhaps the best game of his career playing the three-technique, racking up two sacks and 2.5 tackles for loss. “We were very happy with the result. We started off a little slow and made some mistakes, but eventually we were

able to fi nd our groove,” said third-year kicker Mike Kurzydlowski on the win. “The offense and defense didn’t let the weather or their playmakers impact their play. We are now 1–0 in the division.” The MWC is divided into two divisions, with Chicago playing in the North. The best team from each division will play each other at the end of the season, with the victor going on to the DIII playoffs. With the team undefeated in both

the conference and the division, it is in a great position moving forward. “This week we are facing a really tough opponent,” Kurzydlowski added. “They are projected to finish in first place, but we aren’t going to let that become a distraction. We are going to do what we do and focus on executing our goals.” The Maroons play at St. Norbert College this Saturday, October 14 at 1 p.m.

Maroons Stay Dominant WOMEN’S SOCCER

BY DIESTEFANO LOMA SPORTS STAFF

When it comes to the UChicago women’s soccer team, each and every game is played with a purpose. Saturday’s game against No. 19 Emory was no exception, with yet another impressive 4–0 victory extending the Maroons’ historic winning streak to 12–0, and maintaining their No. 1 ranking. In the first half, first-year Katie Jasminski opened up the scoring in the 35th minute, sending the ball through the upper left after a crucial pass from fourth-year Mia Calamari. As the end of the first half was nearing, Jasminski would continue to progress the Maroons’ offense with a pass to fellow first-year Maddie DeVoe, who then sent a 15-yard rocket towards the goal, only to be met by a defender who deflected it past the keeper, scoring an own

goal and extending the lead to 2–0. Thirteen minutes into the second half, fourth-year Whitley Cargile sent a welltimed pass to fourth-year Madori Spiker, who would break away from the Emory defense and beat the keeper to score the third goal of the match. Spiker consistently outpaced her opponents and played a role to ensure the Eagles’ defense would unravel and allow for more goals. Third-year Jenna McKinney continued to demonstrate her prowess on the pitch, as she added the cherry on top of what was already going to be a sweet victory with a marvelous left strike that went inside the net in the 59th minute. This was all initiated by a throw-in that led to Mia Calamari once again setting up her teammate for the clever finish. Calamari continues to drop dimes and lead the team in assists with 10, while McKinney leads the team in goals with nine.

M AROON

SCORE BOARD SPORT

When asked about the crucial factors that have contributed to the entire team maximizing their potentials and playing the best they can, McKinney said, “We had first-years come in this year who were really good, and they just make us step up our levels. Getting to the Final Four last year made winning a tangible goal, and so everyone is just that much more amped for this season.” This was seen from all players, especially from Cargile, whose defense kept the Eagles’ offense at bay. Cargile was responsible in clearing out the ball in critical moments that the Eagles were closing in to score and strived to keep them not only from outside the box, but also from their half. The Maroons outshot the Eagles (7–4) by a 19–5 margin, with a 10–2 margin in shots on goal. The offense showed its dominance with the time it spent in their

opponent’s half, having also had a total of eight corner kicks throughout the match. In yet another victory, keepers Katie Donovan, a second-year, and Miranda Malone, a first-year, maintained the clean sheet, with each playing one half. McKinney spoke of the goals the team had as well as things they look to improve, adding, “The goal is to just keep up the energy and work our hardest, and not lose a game because we weren’t working hard enough. I think we have kept up that goal thus far. We are improving by not playing too scared, trying to do fun moves, and really play through the center of the field and be dangerous.” The Maroons are 2–0 in UAA play, and will face off against Carnegie Mellon on Friday at 4 p.m. E.T., followed immediately with a game against Case Western Reserve on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. E.T.

UPCOMING GAMES

W/L

Opponent

Score

SPORT

DAY

Opponent

TIME

Men’s Soccer

L

Emory

0–3

Women’s Tennis

Thursday

ITA Oracle Cup

9 a.m. E.T.

Women’s Soccer

W

Emory

4–0

Men’s Tennis

Thursday

ITA Oracle Cup

11 a.m. E.T.

Football

W

Lawrence

28–8

Women’s Soccer

Friday

Carnegie Mellon

4 p.m. E.T.

Women’s T&F

W

Lucian Rosa

5th out of 10

Men’s Soccer

Friday

Carnegie Mellon

6:30 p.m. E.T.

Men’s T&F

W

Lucian Rosa

6th out of 9

Volleyball

Saturday

NYU

1:30 p.m. E.T.

Volleyball

W

Elmhurst

3–0

Football

Saturday

St. Norbert

1:00 p.m.

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