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02.11.10 vol. xli, no. 14 The Indy indulges its softer side. Co-Presidents Patricia Florescu ‘11 and Susan Zhu ‘11

Cover art by SUSAN ZHU

FORUM 3 No Holds Barred 4 Politicians from Illinois SPECIAL 5 Love, Abroad 6-7 World Traditions Television's Best Couples Songs to Love by 8 Love Across Distances 9 Love and Compromise 10 A Life Outside Romantic Love SPORTS 11 The Passion of a Lifetime Sports in Brief

Editor-in-Chief Faith Zhang ‘11 News and Forum Editor Riva Riley ‘12 Arts Editor Pelin Kivrak ‘11 Sports Editor Daniel Alfino ‘11 Graphics Editor Sonia Coman ‘11 Associate News and Forum Editor Weike Wang ‘11 Columnists Chris Carothers ‘11 Sam Barr ‘11 Staff Writers Peter Bacon ‘11 John Beatty '11 Rachael Becker '11 Ezgi Bereketli ‘12 Andrew Coffman ‘12 Truc Doan ‘10 Levi Dudte '11 Ray Duer ‘11 Sam Jack ‘11 Marion Liu ‘11 Hao Meng ‘11 Alfredo Montelongo ‘11 Nick Nehamas ‘11 Steven Rizoli ‘11 Jim Shirey ‘11 Diana Suen ‘11 Alex Thompson ‘11 Sanyee Yuan ‘12 Graphics, Photography, and Design Staff Chaima Bouhlel ‘11 Eva Liou ‘11 Lidiya Petrova ‘11 Kristina Yee ‘10

The February 4 article “A Princess Comes to Town” incorrectly stated that the Lampoon brought Anne Hathaway to Harvard. In fact, it was the Hasty Pudding. The Independent regrets the error.

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As Harvard College's weekly undergraduate newsmagazine, the Harvard Independent provides in-depth, critical coverage of issues and events of interest to the Harvard College community. The Independent has no political affiliation, instead offering diverse commentary on news, arts, sports, and student life. For publication information and general inquiries, contact Presidents Patricia Florescu and Susan Zhu ( Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Faith Zhang (editor@harvardindependent. com). Yearly mail subscriptions are available for $30, and semester-long subscriptions are available for $15. To purchase a subscription, email The Harvard Independent is published weekly during the academic year, except during vacations, by The Harvard Independent, Inc., P.O. Box 382204, Cambridge, MA 02238-2204. Copyright © 2009 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved. 02.11.10 • The Harvard Independent







Chief Justice John Roberts told us in his confirmation hearings, should act like an umpire: call balls and strikes, but never root for either team. Now Roberts and his conservative brethren are behaving more like personal trainers, slipping steroids to the political world’s Mark McGwires — Citigroup and Chevron, Aetna and AIG. And that’s the ballgame. Without stronger campaign-finance laws, now foreclosed by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Citizens United v. FEC, economic inequality will continue to be exchanged, dollar for dollar, for political inequality, and vice versa. Our new Gilded Age may have just become politically unassailable, a perfectly vicious circle. It is cold comfort that the Supreme solons merely put the final touches on this state of affairs with last month’s ruling. Under the law circa three weeks ago, corporations merely had to set up political action committees, or funnel money through front groups like the Chamber of Commerce, in order to spend freely and anonymously on political campaigns. The results were plain to see: Does anyone think Barack Obama actually preferred, as a matter of policy, to throw huge sops to Big Insurance and Pharma in his health care bill? Or might it be that he didn’t want to have such wellendowed enemies? Still, the fact that corporate money already permeated politics is no defense for the decision in Citizens United. It may actually make the ruling worse, because it destroys the conservative claim that corporations have been oppressed under a far-reaching regime of censorship. The small practical impact of the ruling underlines just how hyperbolic such claims always were. More importantly, this case gives the lie to the twin pillars of judicial conservatism: that originalism is a principled way of interpreting the Constitution, and that judges ought to be restrained and cautious in overturning legislation. Justice Antonin Scalia, the ur-originalist, points out that the First Amendment protects all speech, and does not discriminate between different types of speakers. A plausible argument, if only we could credit Scalia with actually believing it. But it can’t be squared with his vote, along with the four other conservatives, to distinguish speech by a public-school student (“Bong Hits 4 Jesus”) from the speech of ordinary citizens. The Harvard Independent • 02.11.10

Chief Justice Roberts, meanwhile, tries to make this decision jibe with the commitment to minimalism, or judicial restraint, for which he has been so lavishly praised. A tough sell, since the case could have easily been decided on narrow grounds, without making any big constitutional pronouncements. Last year, when the conservatives went out of their way to misconstrue the Voting Rights Act in order to avoid striking it down, we could reasonably praise Roberts’ minimalism. It seems that completing the corporatization of our election season was too big a prize for him to pass up. But perhaps the worst opinion belongs to Justice Anthony Kennedy, writing for all five conservatives. For Kennedy, campaign finance laws are a clear-cut example of censorship. But this “glittering generality,” as Justice John Paul Stevens described it in his dissent, can’t withstand scrutiny. For one thing, who is being censored, exactly? Surely associations deserve some of the constitutional protection given to individual citizens, but Kennedy speaks of corporations as if they were political clubs — as if Bank of America were the League of Women Voters. But corporate executives aren’t representatives of their employees, or their shareholders, or their customers; they represent only themselves, but they can use the profits of their “association” with these lowlier types however they want. This enables contributions that bear no relation to actual public support for their particular causes, yet Kennedy’s opinion gives the impression that corporations have been suppressed, that their voices have not been heard. I understand that justices of the Supreme Court can be a little detached from political reality, but this is ridiculous. And still, for all his abstraction, Kennedy never asks the most fundamental question: What’s the purpose of free speech, anyway? To say that limits on corporate campaign spending constitute censorship is to promote not a marketplace of ideas, but a pissing match in which wealth, not reason, wins the day. The conservatives have reversed the general tilt of the Bill of Rights itself: it is supposed to be a charter for the little guy, for citizens who cannot hope to have their interests protected by the democratic branches. Does that sound like Wall Street to you? Still, this issue is not without its difficulties for serious believers in free

The Supreme Court strikes another blow for big business. speech. For one thing, The New York Times and NBC are both corporations with outsized political influence. Could we limit them as well? If not, what justifies restricting the spending of other corporations? For the answer, we must clarify the goal of campaign finance reform. It is to prevent distortion of the process — to stop people from being manipulated by corporate spending that no individual American (save a few) could match. Only the 30-second TV spot really carries any danger of distortion: you can switch off MSNBC and Fox without being much influenced, and you don’t have to buy the New York Times at all, but TV spots bombard people when they are off

their guard, with horror-movie music and silky-tongued voiceovers decrying the latest liberal or conservative perfidy. Interestingly enough, the principle that unasked-for speech deserves less protection has its legal precedents, and Justice Scalia even suggested this approach a few months ago. The Court could have overturned huge swaths of campaign-finance law and still left us this most important nugget: the ability to limit the extent to which corporations, and other groups, can invade the home and distort our democracy. It’s bad enough that well-made, emotionally manipulative ads can tell us what to buy. Do we really want them convincing us who to vote for?



Kayla Escobedo/INDEPENDENT

The Annals of Government Illinois, you’ve done it again. By RIVA RILEY


y home state is a proud one.

The 21st state admitted into the USA, Illinois boasts beautiful country and a healthy agricultural presence in the south and booming, vibrant Chicago in the north. There we have Second City, the lakeshore, and Navy Pier. What else can I say? We border Wisconsin, Indiana, Kentucky, Iowa, and Missouri. The state fish is the bluegill. I know these seemingly trivial facts due to the decision, made sometime during my youth, to educate the state’s students about Illinois’s legacy. And, fine state though Illinois is, there were some traditions that my second grade teacher failed to illuminate for all of the young pupils in my year. Most notably, the longstanding, incredibly dubious system of politics in Illinois was not a subject of attention. Of course, back then, it might not have been such an obvious disaster. Governor Ryan had not yet been sent to jail, and Blago had not been discovered trying to extort cash from a children’s hospital while concurrently attempting to sell Obama’s vacant senate seat. These were new acts of depravity — which is not to say that Illinois, the state famed for the miraculous resurrection of deceased voters at every election, was particularly surprised. In fact, the noble state of Illinois seemed in many ways overjoyed when Blago’s misdoings were finally uncovered. It had only really been a matter of time, as my father told me from the spontaneous family party that erupted when Blagojevich’s crimes were first reported. Once Blago is convicted, which seems all but inevitable, Illinois will be in the unique position of having four of its last eight governors in jail for a variety of crimes. Go team! As if this were not embarrassing enough, Illinois can now begin a new chapter in the hilarious chronicles of its corruption. Scott Cohen, who had just won 4

the Democratic nomination for lieutenant governor, recently had to resign from the race before he ran because the incredibly illegitimate dealings of his past were brought to the light after the someone saw his name on the winner’s list and thought, “wait a minute…” Like a bad punch line waiting to happen, Cohen had so many strikes against him that he was forced to step down, as Democratic party leaders massaged their temples and shook their heads, wondering how Illinois manages to attract such candidates. I wonder sometimes if this is Illinois’s curse. While other states surely boast their fair share of ridiculous politicians, Illinois seems endowed with a unique knack for scraping the bottom of the slime barrel and emerging with candidates so spectacularly absurd that hundreds of hours of press coverage are devoted to their mockery. Jon Stewart has a particularly funny take on Rod Blagojevich’s almost unbelievable antics, but Blago certainly doesn’t make it difficult. As a friend once warned me, I do harbor a fear that Blagojevich might be able to successfully register a plea of insanity. His actions throughout his scandal would not refute such a claim. And yet, despite all of Illinois’s ridiculousness, I do believe there is hope for us yet. After all, we did have Lincoln. Sure, that was eons ago, but now, more than a hundred and fifty years later, we have Obama, who — though no messiah — hasn’t tried to make puppies work in salt mines or any other such atrocious act. Perhaps Obama’s influence will prove a boon to Illinois politicians, who may finally fade quietly into competence. In any event, I wish the candidates for the upcoming elections luck, and ask only this: do your best to keep my state out of the news and away from the comedians.

The INDY 500 Speed Dating Want to have some fun and meet other single people? JOIN US! Friday, February 12, 8pm – 9pm Ticknor Lounge, Boylston Hall Who's eligible? Single Harvard affiliates, ages 18-24 Finale’s cakes, fruit, and beverages will be served. There will also be a raffle of $25 to the restaurant of your choice for one lucky guy and one lucky girl. To be eligible for the raffle, you MUST register for the event at

Riva Riley ‘12 (rjriley@fas) has no idea where these people come from. 02.11.10 • The Harvard Independent



In Another Country Looking for love abroad.


t the beginning of the summer of

2009, a wise man named Ronnie uttered this now-famous piece of sage counsel to the young ItalianAmerican men of this country: “Never fall in love at the Jersey Shore.” (He quickly went on, saying “I don’t really know what love means” and that “the whole thing about this is pretty much getting laid; you just take your shirt off and they come to you.”). Unfortunately, this noble philosopher’s words did not reach me until this winter, long after they could have enlightened me and helped me avoid the romantic transgressions I committed in my time studying abroad in the United Kingdom last semester. All joking aside though, I was pretty much on the same page as Ronnie, at least about the not falling in love part, when I flew out of Boston on the evening of September 6th. As I set foot on British soil the next day, I smiled fiercely and exulted in the myriad new opportunities ahead of me. For the first time in my life, I had a complete break with my previous reality. I could do pretty much anything I wanted, almost anything could happen, I had no idea what to expect, and I loved it. Only one thing, one huge thing, was completely set in stone: I was leaving the UK in the early afternoon of December 13 th, likely never to return. This meant that everything I experienced on that island would be temporary, transient, and ultimately fleeting. Though it was far from the first thing on my mind as I arrived at Heathrow that day, I knew that that was definitely not the right recipe for any kind of serious relationship. I would be coming back to America with experiences, memories, and a greater knowledge of the world, but I would not be coming back with a girlfriend. In my opinion, the dual forces of refusing to consider getting into a long distance relationship across the Atlantic and wanting to just have a great time in the short while I was there — the Ronnie approach — combined to make any kind of serious commitment a horrendous idea. I discovered, however, that I have a bit more of the Ron-Ron juice flowing in my veins than I thought. Like that jacked and tan Sartre, I found that matters of the heart, no matter where, are never as black and white or predictable as guys like the two of The Harvard Independent • 02.11.10

us would hope. While I certainly did not turn 360 degrees the way he did and I would almost certainly decline to use the L-word (at least with its traditional, serious connotations), I ended up being romantically involved with more girls in one semester abroad than in my previous four at Harvard, albeit for much shorter periods of time. This says a bit about the UK, a lot about Harvard, and maybe even a little about why I should start posting on Harvard FML. Despite my philosophy on relationships while abroad, and despite the horror pre-commitment Ronnie would certainly have exhibited if he saw that I was not trying to find a different girl, take my shirt off, and ‘pretty much just get laid’ every single night, I was fine with these ‘involvements’ because they were not relationships. There is a middle ground between Ronnie’s fairy-tale love with Sammy and Pauly D’s relentless pursuit of extremely short term physically-based interactions with the fairer sex (to put it euphemistically). All three of these varieties have their place in certain situations and with certain people, though I still maintain that one should stay away from a serious relationship while abroad. While I did maintain this ultimate resolution, the middle ground turned out to be more complicated than I would have liked while I was in the UK. In the abstract, short term casual dating is ideal for study abroad students. Without the rigid exclusivity and long time period of a true relationship, one can really get to know and have a great time with a person from another culture. It is harder to make serious cross-cultural relationships work anyway, just because differences in nations’ social and cultural practices can be larger than we think — trust me, this is true for the English, even though they speak the same language. For many reasons, casual relationships look great on paper, but real life is rarely so simple. I found that the girls involved had a much harder time with this sort of thing than I did. Everyone I met knew within a minute of talking to me that I was leaving in December. The plane ticket turned out to be something like a scarlet letter on my chest. Women immediately shifted me from the “normal guy” category to the “leaving

really soon!” category. This meant that a different kind of girl than normal was attracted to me, or that girls were attracted to me for different reasons than they normally would be. The result was that I was something of a fling for some women, or that things just got a lot more complicated than they had to with others. Neither situation was exactly what one would ideally envision. I am not blaming women as a whole for this, but in my experience and that of my friends most girls seem to have a lot of trouble with the grey area in romance; a guy has to be everything, nothing, or a possibility to be everything, which I ultimately could not be because I was leaving in December. So does all this mean that having any kind of romantic involvement while temporarily abroad, whether serious or casual, is a mistake? Does a study abroad semester have to be populated exclusively by one night stands? Some would agree, but others certainly do not. Many of my American friends in Britain firmly believed that studying abroad was exclusively a time for random hookups. Nonetheless, the plurality of people I have talked to about this are not that extreme in their views; they think that some casual involvement can be worth it, but that getting a long-term girlfriend or boyfriend is a bad choice. Even still, some students are open, to one degree or other, to entering a relationship with someone met overseas. There are even a determined few who go abroad looking for love, romantic idealists fighting against the odds. And despite my skepticism and that of most college students, transoceanic commitments do sometimes work. A girl in my program from California got a boyfriend while in the UK, and has stayed with him since she returned to America. Having recently broken up with a long-term boyfriend, she went to Britain “not expecting to get into a serious relationship.” She was, in fact, looking forward to being single for a while. But, in her words, “it just happened.” She and her boyfriend just hit it off, decided to keep going when she left, and now long distance is working out. My friend is still aware of the difficulties of such relationships, and she notes that maintaining a “laid-back” mentality and a flexible approach to break things off if they are just not working are key to having a trans-Atlantic significant other. She

By Steve Rizoli does, however, agree with my opinion that many girls have trouble with a middle ground in relationships. At this moment, her boyfriend is everything to her romantically; if they had decided earlier in the semester not to pursue a long distance relationship, she would not have continued seeing him even for her remaining time in the UK. Where does all of this leave me? Do I regret becoming even somewhat involved with girls while in England, even if I never had any long term intentions? Do I regret not being open to getting into a serious relationship, like my friend from California? Somewhat surprisingly, since I went from having no direct experience in the matter to having a ton, my views have not really changed since September 6th. The short term things I had with girls over there may not have been the smoothest ever, but that’s what makes things like that interesting. I have brought no emotional damage home with me. Nor do I regret not solely going for random hookups, as Ronnie once advocated. I had a great time, experienced ups and downs, and just lived. I spent some time with some great women, but I never seriously entertained the idea of getting a girlfriend, and I stand by that decision. Long distance may work out for some people, like my friend from California, but not for me. Too much of a relationship is about actually being with a person to have a girlfriend you only hear on the phone. All this said, there is still a tiny sliver of dissent in my mind. The romantic in me, the Byron and Shelleyinspired aspect, protests against my realistic, rational, and worldly majority. There is a certain chivalric, dreamy appeal to finding true love in another country (along with, for me at least, the hilarious possibility of someday having children with British accents). I briefly tasted this amorous ambrosia in my fleeting involvements with girls in England, and it was most enjoyable. Can I truly say that if I had drunk deep of that wine, of my own volition or not, I would not have broken Ronnie’s rule as egregiously as he has? Most of me says no to this possibility, but a very small part of me says maybe. Steve Rizoli ’11 (srizoli@fas) is a modern-day Casanova.



A Many-Splendored Thing


Valentine’s Day traditions the world over.


day drenched in the red rains of candy hearts,

roses and cards, Valentine’s Day is a day of love.  Skeptics and bitter singletons roll their eyes because the feverish occasion takes the question “how much do you love me?” very literally.  Cosmopolitan seems to have gotten it right; by aligning relationship longevity with price ranges, it preaches a tacit understanding that the more a lover surrenders his wallet, the deeper his love is. While neither a skeptic nor a bitter singleton, I do find the day a tad, well, dull.  Here in the States, the day is caulked with stuff.  There is so much wrapping around the simple sentiment of love that I wonder if the 14th teddy bear would make a difference. So now, I find myself asking the question, is this it? Is this as good as V-day gets?  Apparently not.  The day of love is a global phenomenon, revered in places where Hallmark does not even exist.  How on earth do these folks manage?  


him in matrimonial bliss.  One day the King beckoned his daughter back to the heavens; she complied with a heavy heart, but her farm boy persisted.  Riding on a magical ox skin, the boy chased his wife through the skies.  The King, infuriated by his son-in-law’s impertinence, created the Milky Way between them.  It is only on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month that the farm boy is allowed to visit his wife by crossing a bridge stretched across the stars.  So on the 7th day of the 7th lunar month, the Chinese celebrate their Valentine’s Day or Qi Qiao Jie.  This year, the date falls on Aug 16. On that day, lovers will visit matchmaking temples to pray for a successful marriage. Singletons will visit to seek luck in love.  And dreamers will look up to the constellations and bid our tragic lovers a good journey.  


This is the country that owns the city of love, and it is the country where Valentine’s Day began.  Australia During the Middle Ages, popular thought held that Valentine’s day has a history of extravagance down birds began mating halfway through February, and under.  Back in the Australian gold rush, wealthy therefore lovers considered it auspicious at this time miners spent their fortune on lavish valentines — to exchange tokens of love.  Early French tradition some costing thousands of pounds — which in light of had unmarried people “draw for” one another. They current inflation and dollar-pound conversion is a lot would go into houses facing each other, call out across of dough.  These Valentines came in satin perfumed the window and pair off with their chosen partners.  cushions, decorated with seashells, flowers and If a young man failed to be window-wooed by his taxidermied humming birds (a pleasant gift indeed).  valentine, he would desert her.  The sore maidens Such practices are now antique, but the tradition of would then hurl images of their ungrateful lovers into luxury lives on as Aussies honor the day with unique bonfires and damn them to a fiery grave.  The ritual mementos and exotic bouquets. eventually grew out of hand — bonfires became big   fires and maidens less forgiving — to the point that the Brazil government officially banned the custom.  Nowadays, Brazilians don’t celebrate Feb 14th; their equivalent the French celebrate the day in the same fashion we of Valentine’s Day is June 12th, Dia dos Namorados, do.  Cards, fresh flowers and hand made chocolates the day of lovers, in honor of Saint Anthony, patron all say one thing, je t’aime. saint of matchmaking and marriage.  Unmarried   women perform rituals to find their mates.  Some write Japan the names of potential candidates on pieces of paper In Japan, February 14th is Red Day and March the night before, crumble them up and open one the 14th is White Day. On Red Day, ladies give men next morning to determine whom they should marry.  chocolates.  There are two types of chocolates. GiriYes, quite the reliable system. choco holds no romantic implications and is bought   for friends, bosses, colleagues and close guy friends.  Britain Ladies pass it along to all men close to them, as it is Great poets have graced this land and immortalized embarrassing for men to not receive chocolate on that love in so many complicated ways.  Weeks before day. So severe is the association between men and Valentine's festivities start, publications print love their chocolates that half the country’s chocolate stock sonnets and verses that spark the creativity of is sold on Red Day.  Honmei-choco is prepared by the all loving Brits to start penning their own for the ladies themselves and reserved for boyfriends, lovers momentous occasion.  Letters, songs, poems—the day and husbands; for these ladies, true love is not bought steeped in literary tradition. but knelt into dough. On White Day, men return A fun tidbit to share at tea time: in the olden days, chocolates favors to ladies who gave them chocolates unmarried girls used to wake up before sunrise in on Red Day; this is the other half of chocolate sales. belief that the first man they saw on Valentine’s Preferences run twoard white chocolate — pure, Day would marry them within a year.  Shakespeare dainty and cloyingly sweet. mentions this practice in Hamlet when Ophelia   sings So if my research is correct, Valentine’s Day is Good morrow! 'Tis St. Valentine's Day not entirely a commercialized Western export; it All in the morning betime, remains an endearing day of love for people across And I a maid at your window, continents.  This is a comfort and a reminder that To be your valentine! love is a universal language translated through kisses While I see some serious setbacks in the plan, who and fluttering hearts.  Whether it be familial love or a am I to argue with Shakespeare? lover’s love, the emotion takes many forms and gives   us capacity to do great things.  Though I boost no China Cosmopolitan credentials, I leave you with my own Practiced raconteurs of folklore and myths, the piece of wisdom…in verse. Chinese give their lovers reason to rejoice. This is If everlasting love is what your seek, the love story that defines a day: There once was do not unload all on February 14th; a farm boy smitten with a princess from heaven.  save some for the next day and the next, Flattered, she came down to Earth and lived with Cupid will surely take care of the rest. 6


Romance on th

Television’s b



Friends - Ross Gellar & Rachel Green  

“We were on a break!” These five little words — a testament to the minute bits of miscommunication that are prone to striking many relationships — almost broke up the best TV couple of the ‘90s. Ross and Rachel, two members of America’s favorite set of friends, seemed destined for each other since the season premiere. Consoling Rachel after her impromptu run from the altar, Ross proved that he was the one who was willing to, as the catchy theme song 02.11.10 • The Harvard Independent



he Small Screen

best couples.

EE YUAN emphasized, be there for her. The two of them, along with their four other friends, faced the trials of adult life in bustling New York. As they went through job hirings and firings, bad romances and blind dates, family drama and three divorces (for Ross, anyways), they weathered it together. Although they were also TV’s most trying on-again/off-again couple, audiences always knew that Ross and Rachel would end up together. After ten seasons of getting to know each other’s quirks and gaining a deeper mutual understanding, as well The Harvard Independent • 02.11.10

as experiencing rash bouts of jealousy whenever one was involved with a different significant other, the two finally realized that they were the perfect match. Friends to the end, Ross and Rachel are proof that the formula of being friends first before jumping into a relationship just might work.   The Co-workers - Pam & Jim I don’t actually follow The Office. My sister does, sharing an affinity for that show with a majority of my friends. I do still remember watching a few holiday episodes and season finales with my sister, though, as well as hearing my friends’ triumphant chants of “PB&J” after one Thursday night. From what I can hear, though, Jim and Pam are the perfect example of an office romance done right. Attracting Pam with his witty sense of humor and sharing the office-wide (minus Dwight) dislike for boss Michael’s eccentric leadership style, Jim immediately hit it off with Pam. However, like most couples, they were both too shy to admit their feelings to each other and found themselves in different, lackluster relationships. Once Jim mustered up his courage and went through with his admitting-fest, though, he showed Office fans that honesty was the best policy, and PB&J became a winning combination of a couple.   The Roommates - Will & Grace   Okay, so these two aren’t really a couple — but, if you have seen this sitcom about a woman and her gay best friend, you know that no one could have Will without Grace. Or vice versa. I think Will and Grace definitely demonstrate the best qualities of a best-friendship: together since college, they could finish each other’s sentences, easily beat any other partnership for Game Night, and laugh, cry, and hug it out within ten seconds after each fight. Forgiving and forgetting — or forgiving and learning from their mistakes — was a shared mantra. Most importantly, they always willingly and gracefully (many puns intended) advised each other. Pointing out flaws with ex-boyfriends, offering direction on different career paths, and always butting in with their two cents, Will and Grace always looked out for each other. When Grace finally got married, Will, very fittingly, was the one to walk her down the aisle, and lthough he gave her away, it was clear that he was not going to be walking out of her life anytime soon and that the two of them were the ones who would stick together through better or worse.    The Boy and Girl Next Door - Ryan & Marissa Who remembers The O.C.? The original, scripted show — before MTV camped on the trend of televising the problems of pretty, rich, young people with Laguna Beach and The Hills — was based on a simple yet addictive premise. Poor kid from the wrong side


of the tracks moves into a rich neighborhood with well-meaning caretakers, and immediately falls in love with the unhappy rich girl next-door. With his couldn’t-care-less attitude and mysterious-stranger aura, Ryan Atwood beats up Marissa Cooper’s boyfriend and catches her eye in the process. This characterizes their relationship: rough-and-tough Ryan provides the thrill of excitement and danger for Marissa, who feels like no one else can stand up for her quite like the new kid. Although (spoiler alert) the show jumps the shark by bringing one of these two to an untimely end, audiences will forever remember The O.C. as the jumpstart for the primetime teen soap opera genre and for the dream couple created out of the “opposites attract” formula.   The Family Couple - Homer & Marge We analyzed Homer and Marge Simpson in one of my high school English classes, during our marriage unit. Through all of Homer’s headache-inducing schemes and harebrained ideas, Marge puts up with him and his wild shenanigans. The Marge murmur, which can be best described as a vocal cringe, is the only sort of complaint she voices to him. Aside from that, she sincerely cares for his wellbeing in any situation and simply wants what’s best for the family. Unlike the stereotype of domestic suburban housewives, though, she gets into her own adventures as well, and whether she gets addicted to gambling or breaks her leg on the ski slopes (not from skiing, but after a giant clock from the ski lounge falls on her) — Homer looks out for her, in his well-meaning, slightly clumsy way. The two depend on each other, and like the other four couples, love each other at the end of each crazy day.

The Food of Love Sweet songs for Valentine’s Day.


By EZGI BEREKETLI very special day should have a playlist: a list

of songs to carry the essence of the day and to personalize universally celebrated feelings. St. Valentine’s day is naturally well suited for a musical celebration, as love is the most common theme for all genres of music throughout the world. Love has many forms and faces, and has indubitably touched all of our lives. Let’s add music to our reminiscing about love and hear what great songwriters and singers had to say about its fleeting sorrows and joys. Here, I have compiled a small playlist of my favorite love songs, and I hope it will convey a broad spectrum and be the soundtrack of a day of celebration of all the love we have — or have had — in our lives.   I Want You - Fiona Apple (Live for Decades Rock Live!) Sweet Child O’ Mine – Guns N’ Roses Read My Mind – The Killers Lover I Don’t Have to Love – Bettie Serveert / Bright Eyes Million Miles – Reamonn Drops of Jupiter – Train Dance Me to the End of Love – Leonard Cohen I’ll Have to Say I Love You in a Song – Jim Croce Be Mine – David Gray Please Forgive Me – Bryan Adams



ABSENCE MAKES THE HEART GROW FONDER How to thrive, not just survive, in long-distance relationships.


he decision to undertake a

long-distance relationship can be a hard one to make. There’s a reason why a lot of people are skeptical of even trying — it requires a great deal of patience, sacrifice, and love. It has to be something that both of you truly want to do, not something that one does because the other wants to, or something that you feel like you both should do just because you’ve been together for a long time. It is definitely too much emotional stress for it not to be completely mutual. That said, while distance can make relationships tough, it can be more than worth it if you are both willing to take that step. Before you leave each other’s presence, you should both agree to the same set of rules — what would be okay, or not okay? What are the limits and expectations? Once you’re apart, though, here are some tips on handling being apart: Communicate. As with all relationships, the most important part of a long-distance relationship is communication. With distance, it becomes even more important. Without the ability to display physical affection, verbal communication becomes the only way you can show your significant other how you feel. It doesn’t have to be over the phone or on Skype, but it is the little things that can make all the difference. A cute text when they’re not expecting it, a thoughtful email sent late at night so they’ll see it first thing in the morning, a care package of comfort food from your area (expedited, of course), or a handwritten note sent by snail mail are all sure-fire ways to make their day. As Kevin Mechenbier ‘12 said, “exhaust all forms of communication. It isn’t always about talking often or for hours at a time, but by calling, texting, skyping, emailing, and writing letters, I think it gives the idea to my girlfriend that nothing can keep me from talking to her.” Which brings us to our next two points: sharing everything, and making sacrifices. Share everything — even details about the daily grind — and be honest. When people are together, they often don’t have to talk about the daily monotony, because they already 8


experience it together. Ugh, my TF is bipolar like none other. Man, they had really good Korean barbecue tonight! Being apart means that these monotonous things can’t be taken for granted. It keeps you updated on each other’s lives, not just in terms of big events, but also in terms of the small things that can change our emotions one minute to the next. It can be hard when you’re far away to read the other person, especially when they’re having an “off” day – it’s always good to tell the other person the little things that annoy you, so they know that it’s not because of them. That way, when you finally burst from dealing with stress, you won’t spend more angry energy trying to explain how everything led up to that point. And don’t just share the negatives — also share the positives. For instance, my boyfriend and I like to tell each other when we’ve had a really good meal so we can make it together when we see each other again, and when we’ve had an interesting lecture, so we can hold our own discussion about it. Be willing to make sacrifices — but be smart about them. You only have 24 hours in a day, and some things are more important

than others. Sacrificing certain things allows you to demonstrate how much you care about the other person, how much they mean to you, and how you view them as an integral part of your life. If the other person needs or wants to talk, make time for them. That said, not every sacrifice is a smart one. Don’t do anything that would put your future goals, dreams, and career on the line. This caveat leads us to the fourth point: being independent. Be independent. Just as two people in the same place shouldn’t plan and do absolutely everything together, two people in a long-distance relationship shouldn’t make every single decision based on the other person, either. You should hang out with your friends, go to events, apply to internships you really want, etc.; both of you should. You don’t want to live with resentment — you never want to get yourself into the mentality that you’re missing out on fun or your life goals because you’re limited by, or obligated to, the other person. The best outcome is for the two of you to end up in the same city after graduation, but pursuing your dreams now will open up more ways

for you to be in a city of your choice in the future. Having a social life outside of the relationship is a good way to recharge and stay happy. Being involved in extra-curriculars can also help you stay busy, making your time apart go by faster. Be careful about schedule discrepancies, where one person is a lot busier than the other. It’s tough to have a lot of downtime to miss someone who doesn’t have the same amount of free time to talk. That’s why it’s important to be patient. Be patient. Don’t fall into the fundamental attribution error. In psychology, you learn about what’s called the fundamental attribution error: we see someone’s behavior as an example of what kind of person s/he is, rather than attributing it to circumstances and the present situation (while for ourselves, we always make excuses about the situation, rather than make any claims about our personality). It can be difficult, while being far away, to give someone the benefit of the doubt. Is he not calling because his class ran late, because he left his phone in his car, or because he doesn’t care? Hopefully the two of you communicate well enough for you not to have to doubt each other’s feelings, but when little slip-ups happen, it’s important to be patient. Don’t be quick to point fingers and put the blame on them — there may be a lot of factors out of their control. Look back fondly, be happy in the present, and always look forward to the future. Presumably, you start a longdistance relationship with someone you dated in person for a while, so you’ll have a lot of wonderful memories and cute pictures. Every once in a while, you’ll reminisce (alone, or together), and it’ll feel nice, with a tinge of nostalgia. Don’t dwell on the past too much, though, even if it was spectacular, because it will probably make you miss each other even more. Be happy now; even though you’re apart, you still have each other. And always be excited about what the future holds, because you’ll finally be together, and all this long-distance business will have been worth it. Susan Zhu ’11 (szhu@fas) will think of a byline later. 02.11.10 • The Harvard Independent



It’s Not You, It’s Me

sat cross-legged on my bed, tears

streaking salty patterns down my face, as I sobbed into the webcam. It was a Thursday night, and my boyfriend, after a long day and a tiring flight, was listening to me throw more bitter, far-flung accusations at him. As I finished my laundry list of reasons why he should try harder, why I was hurt, how I felt like he wasn’t there for me, I half-expected him to respond with ministrations and remorse, along with a promise that he would do better next time. Instead, he looked at me stoically and shook his head, “I can’t do this anymore.” I felt like someone had simultaneously slapped me across the face and soccer-punched me. No, that’s not what you’re supposed to say, I thought desperately as he pulled out his phone and read aloud the sweet, supportive texts he had sent me, the ones I had coldly failed to respond to. Why? Because he hadn’t called me while on vacation rather than texted. “That’s how bad of a guy I am,” he said, and all I could feel was shame. His eyes looked distant, blankly steadfast, the eyes of a stranger, someone you want to know but who doesn’t feel the same. “Ok, I get it, you want to break up,” I choked, hope slipping away like so many little fish. But strangely, after all I had put him through, he didn’t. “Something has to change,” he sighed, frustrated, pained. “I’m a good boyfriend, but it’s never enough for you.” The next few days, I slept very little, and even that, fitfully. I thought only of his detached tone, of how he was on the edge of breaking up with me. And for the first time, I thought of what I had done wrong, rather than heaping the blame on him. *** We all get a little crazy when we’re in love. We shout, we yell; we become irrational, suspicious, overly sensitive, and needy, even if in our platonic relationships we are anything but. It’s only natural; we guard our hearts cautiously, and on the rare occasion when we let someone into that lair, the tradeoff is that we can make them miserable with our demands. And while it’s important to know what we need and want from a relationship, a dangerous growing trend is to err on the side of demanding too much. While both men and women can fall prey to this phenomenon, it’s usually the fairer sex that nitpicks their partners to death. The Harvard Independent • 02.11.10

Case in point: it’s a lazy Saturday afternoon, and I’ve settled down to some bubble tea with a friend. We’re “catching up,” and of course the subject turns to guys. “My boyfriend went drinking with his friends instead of staying home with me when I had a cold,” says Cassie complainingly. “I feel a little betrayed, and have been giving him the silent treatment, but he doesn’t even notice.” I nod sympathetically and hear myself saying, “What a jerk. You know, Cassie, you’re such an amazing person, and you deserve the best. There are so many guys out there, and you’ll find someone who really cares for you and is there for you.”

By the end of the afternoon, we’ve come to the conclusion that we should both break up with our deadbeat boyfriends, or at the very least, give them some sort of ultimatum that will have them on their knees begging for forgiveness and absolution. What Cassie didn’t tell me how her boyfriend had brought her medicine and soup in bed and called her to check up on her during the party. She only saw the negative in what he had done, and amplified it in her mind. Meanwhile, her poor boyfriend, who simply did not realize anything was amiss (men are often oblivious when it comes to the subtleties of a “wronged” woman’s retaliatory tactics) would never see it coming when she ranted and stormed about everything he had failed to do. We’re pretty; we’re smart; we’re going places. We defend theses and publish research, work for NGOs in Uganda and head up major college organizations. We demand perfection in all facets of our lives, especially when it comes to our relationships. We gripe to our girlfriends about how we wish we were dating when we are single, but when we finally enter a relationship, we are clamoring to get out because it’s “not good enough.” What I’m telling you may shock you, girlfriend, and it definitely challenges the status quo: it’s not him, it’s you! Yes, you. Not always, but at least some of the time, you are the one building mountains out of molehills and finding a way to be dissatisfied with your relationship because you are asking for too much. This culture of demanding so much from a relationship both reinforces and is fed by the media; we watch He’s Just Not that Into You and Bridget Jones’ Diary, and we forge the idea in our minds that most men are caddish, insensitive, aloof, immature,


When you should blame yourself when things go wrong. By Arhana Chattopadhyay and inherently selfish. Men are antagonists, and women are sitting ducks. This perceived dichotomy has far-reaching effects; even when we are happy, we question it, because we think we shouldn’t be. Yes, it’s confusing. We are told by our friends, chick flicks, sisters, cousins that we deserve a prince charming who anticipates our every want and need seamlessly, and we shouldn’t settle for less. Needless to say, the woman is always the perfectly righteous, faultless, wonderful human being who is besieged with legions of crappy men. So we tend to find fault where there is little to none, and to focus on the bad rather than acknowledging the good. And in the most extreme of cases, we either rashly break up with our current paramours to free ourselves up for the nebulous and uncertain “one,” or the men in our lives become fed up with treading the unsteady terrain of our emotions and throw in the towel, their love subsumed by the feelings of obligation and inadequacy that we conjure. Finding someone who you love, and who loves you back, is difficult to say the least. It requires mutual attraction, timing, compatibility, among a slew of other factors. And when you find love, don’t be so quick to let it go or to find faults. It’s tricky territory, because some girls stay on with boyfriends who truly are jerks. If there is something fundamentally wrong in a relationship, of course, you should address it and if necessary, break it off. But a few cardinal rules can help you figure out if you’re in the right, or if you’re just flipping out:

Be introspective after a discrepancy. Resist the urge to immediately start blaming your partner. Take some time, cool off, and think very rationally— what made you upset? What do you wish he had done? What did you do wrong (be honest)? Did he hurt your feelings knowingly or unknowingly? Most importantly, remember to also deeply acknowledge the things he did right, and to bring them up when you talk to him (calmly, of course). For example: “I wanted to tell you that I really appreciate you doing ____. It was really amazing of you to do that. But I was hoping for this kind of response ____. What do you think?” Don’t complain to your friends. Girlfriends can be a great resource when you’re hurting, and you can draw upon their advice and previous experiences. But of course they’re only hearing the bad, so they can be quick to misjudge a situation, especially if they’ve been burned many times. Ask yourself if you are happier with this person in your life. If the answer is yes, on the whole, then a few missteps do not make him a bad person. Just a person. You’re not settling. You’re compromising, which is necessary for any relationship to work. *** I recently injured my neck, and my boyfriend dropped what he was doing to take care of me at UHS. As he helped me zip up my coat and wrap my scarf around me, I experienced a wave of gratitude. I was lucky to have him in my life. “You’re a doll,” I told him. He smiled. “I know.”





R-E-S-P-E-C-T and a whole lot of H-U-T-V.

wo shoots in one week — Valentine’s Day came early this year!” I posted in my Facebook status at the end of the first week of February. In retrospect, I could have been accused of confusing Valentine’s Day with Christmas. Both are associated with presents; both are permeated with the happiness of getting what you want and sharing with others. However, upon further reflection, the former works just as well as the latter in this situation. I want to work in media: each aspect of film and television production, development, casting, editing, publicizing, and acting endlessly excites me and makes me happier than most other activities. So, what better way to commemorate the holiday meant for uplifting the love of one’s life by taking the time to openly celebrate my love and deep affinity for this field?   Last semester, I began as an amateur producer of an online web show for the campus media hub, the Harvard Undergraduate Television Network (hutvnetwork. com).  Unsure of where exactly to begin with finalizing shoot schedules and borrowing lavalier microphones (lapel mics, for the layman), I had simply been handed the reins for the campus reality dating show by the senior producer who had graduated the past summer.  Based on The Dating Game, the show that the senior had cooked up, Love@Harvard, aimed to help students find love through a purely platonic process — separated from view by an impenetrable screen, getting to know each other through a series of original questions and answers. I soon found students who were interested in being a part of the show — either in helping other students find love or in appearing on Love@Harvard themselves—and I set up our first shoot. Running around to make sure that every detail was immaculately taken care of, I filled my weekend with my producer duties — visiting the set location, meeting with the bachelors, borrowing my former roommate’s Christmas lights for decoration, picking up cameras from HUTV, and unearthing the screen that we had used the previous year. During our first shoot, I felt like I had been thrown into the deep end of the TV-production pool. I had no 10

What You Love By SANYEE YUAN

idea where to attach the different sets of the lapel mics, how the lighting would work, or which angle the camera should take for individual confessionals. Thankfully, my crew members offered their advice and the cast chimed in with their insights, as well. After the shoot wrapped up — we had been going from 12 noon to 4 pm — I felt an immeasurable surge of relief, accompanied by an extremely new combination of happiness and satisfaction. I wrote an extensive email, profusely thanking each individual for his or her efforts and involvement, hoping that they would share the cathartic joy that I was feeling. I soon found out, though, that only the producer could experience the producer’s high. When I sat down to edit the footage from that first shoot, I began another

Kayla Escobedo/INDEPENDENT

 relationship in my life. I often tell

my friends that I share a love/hate, on-again/off-again relationship with Final Cut Pro. The afternoon that I met FCP, I felt intimidated by its functions and unsure of how to use it exactly. However, a helpful VES student who happened to be in the same editing room pointed out some basic tips to store in mind: the razor blade tool for cutting, the drag and drop method for clips, and the difference between the audio and visual tracks. As I stayed in the computer lab, staring at FCP and scrolling through its different tools, for hours on end, I got to know it better. There were times when I got intensely angry at it — whenever I could not, despite multiple Google searches, online help tutorials, frantic phone calls,

and desperate coaxing, find out how to perform a certain action with FCP. There were also times when I felt immensely happy with FCP — whenever I finally figured something out on my own, after hours of frustration and precariously hanging on what felt like the brink of my sanity. Those hallelujah moments were indescribable. Ultimately, I realized that FCP brought out the best in me. It forced me to work for what I wanted to achieve and encouraged me throughout my efforts. It taught me the strength of my own capabilities while teaching me a whole slew of new skills. Needless to say, I soon became addicted to my love for media production. I began developing two new shows — a travel arts & entertainment segment, Explore Boston!, and a campus talk show, Talk Harvard, featuring interviews with visiting celebrities. I wanted to film more, host more, and edit more. I craved getting more handson experience, with the chance of acquiring new knowledge about the world of production, with each shoot. Realizing that carrying around a tripod and large black camera bag to class made me just as happy as researching and thinking up questions for the visiting celebs, I decided that media would be my top priority on campus and in the future. Now, the prospect of moving to Los Angeles, the center of the entertainment industry, and getting my own apartment, car, and chance for nonstop networking and socializing with fellow media lovers inspires me to keep working and producing.  There is no doubt that I want to spend the rest of my life deeply involved in media. So, this Valentine’s Day, I might be celebrating my love for the media with loud proclamations and effusive appreciation. And I urge you all to celebrate that special something that you have in your lives, as well. Although Valentine’s Day is indeed a day to spend rejoicing your loved ones, it can also be a time for rejoicing the other aspects of your life that make you happy. Most of all, it should be a day for enjoying yourself and shamelessly indulging in what you love. Sanyee Yuan '12 (syuan@fas) has finally found true love. 02.11.10 • The Harvard Independent


For the Love of the Game N


I know that Valentine’s Day is coming up, and that most of this issue will be devoted to relationships and the celebration of love, chocolate, and Edible Arrangements™. Well, unfortunately for this writer, he currently does not have any plans for this most special of holidays (Ladies, if you are interested, contact my secretary Mr. Daniel Alfino and he can arrange a meeting). As such, I thought it would be best to write on the deepest love I have ever felt: my heart and soul belong to the one, the only Cleveland Indians. As we all know, the “Happy Valentine’s Day!”s and the “I love you!”s will be filling the air this weekend. However, I will be happy to hear a very different set of words in my conversations, which mark the beginning of my season-long courtship with our nation’s timeless passion — Major League Baseball. “Pitchers and Catchers Report.” It seems that lately, no matter where I look, people are writing about how these are the four sweetest words in the English language. At first, I was inclined to agree with Peter Gammons, Jon Heyman, Buster Olney, and their ilk. However after a bit of soul searching, I came up with four new words that, when strung together, mean even more to me: Cleveland Indians, World Champions. Take that prediction for 2010, write it down, and call your bookie. In all seriousness, though, that is exactly what “Pitchers and Catchers” and “Opening

Day” mean to baseball fans across the country. It means the beginning of a year that is full of hope and promise, one where improbable things happen routinely. For instance, even though I’ve calculated that my beloved Indians have roughly an 11.5 per cent chance of not finishing well out of playoff contention this year, I can still hold out a ridiculous amount of hope that they will finish the season in first place. While we are throttled by the dark, cold grips of February in Boston, there is nothing more comforting than the start of spring training eventually giving way to the boys of summer. Each year one is involved with a team, and as with any lifetime partnership, it is filled with highs and lows. Most of the time, the relationship will be hard work, a devotion of countless hours of your day listening to your lover (or watching her on television), thinking about her, analyzing her wants and needs in order to provide for them. At some point in his or her life, a baseball fan realizes that that one’s successful love for a baseball team and a successful romantic relationship are almost indistinguishable. As with any relationship, however, there are overarching guidelines one needs to know, and below, I have compiled eight in order to make fandom of both your team and your partner ultimately fulfilling. 1. There are important dates in each year, which you must remember and celebrate accordingly — whether they


Eight proofs that love and fandom are the same thing.

are a birthday, your anniversary, Opening Day, or the entire month of October. 2. Before one can become fully invested, there must be a trial period, so you can gauge your compatibility as a couple. Engagement, spring training — same difference. 3. You must defend your partner from criticism and simultaneously tout her perfection. So what if she gained eight pounds last winter? Don’t you dare admit that to anyone . . . because she will find out what you said and subsequently punish you. Instead, talk about how you think that your number three starter is probably the best third starter in the league. Or how your spouse’s bullpen is fantastic. 4. When you spend significant time apart, everyone suffers. Ask any lovey-dovey couple how much they hate spending time away from each other. Or, if you would like to avoid these sickening people, ask a baseball fan what the worst time of the year is. Hint: it involves the months with Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day. 5. Once you are married, the partnership is meant to be for life. Notable exceptions include death of a spouse, and when the team loses so much money that they are contracted (taken apart) by the league and/or moved to another city. 6. You can have no extramarital affairs. It does not matter how hot the

By Brett Giblin barista down the street looks, or how often she puts out. You may not sleep with her just because she has a $200 million payroll. Read: The Yankees are nothing more than extremely expensive prostitutes. a. Corollary. Also, you are not allowed to have one team in each league. Can you imagine having a girlfriend that you are positive your wife will never meet? That will hold true of course, until in some incredibly improbable circumstance, they run into each other when one is with you, and it puts a terrible strain on your marriage, resulting in your family hating you for at least the next calendar year. 7. There will be moments in which your partner will bring you unparalleled joy, and everything will be worth it. Self-explanatory. Your emotional investment pays off and you are rewarded with a win. Or a child. Or maybe even after many years, the ultimately joyous experience — a championship. 8. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. 162 games . . . or 80 years. Take your pick. So boys and girls, when you are out on your romantic dates during this Valentine’s Day, for tips on how to make a relationship long-lasting and fulfilling, look to the national love affair that has been going strong for more than 150 years. Brett Giblin ’11 (bmgiblin@fas) wishes he could go strong for more than 150 years — or at least for a couple of minutes.

Winners and Losers L

et’s face the facts: the entire bowl

system isn’t any better than a Carson Daly joke. (For those of you who don’t know who he is, you’ve just proven my point.) The big conferences don’t want to split the money with smaller conferences, so the TCUs and Boise States of the college football world have no chance to play for, let alone win, the BCS Championship. As Steve Spurrier has said numerous times — yes, I’m a Florida student, but bear with me here — if the bowl system is so great, why don’t other sports use a similar system? The bowl system is a sham. Let’s look at the decision by the Fighting Irish not to play in their bowl game. As my friend Joe Girvan said, “That’s the ultimate indictment of the system.” Have you ever heard of a team — in any sport, at any level — that declined a trip to the playoffs? Of course not. You don’t say “no” to the chance to win a championship. You might say, “It would take too long for a playoff. That’s time those students could be in class!” Not so, my incorrect friend. Basketball players have to miss dozens of classes when they play in the NCAA Tournament. The Big Dance has been in The Harvard Independent • 02.11.10

Beyond the scoreboard.

existence since 1939, and you don’t hear people criticizing that system. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m gonna go watch highlights of the epic clash between Marshall and Ohio in the Little Caesar’s Pizza Bowl. I hear the winner took home a free order of bread sticks.  Here are my ten thoughts for this week: 1. Tiger Woods needs more than sex therapy to fix the mistakes he’s made. What about all those kids that look up to you, Tiger? What message do you think they receive seeing their idol go to sex therapy? There’s nothing wrong with sex, but there is something wrong with people who cheat on their wives. Funny, I didn’t see Tiger in the newest commercials for The Masters... 2. Conan O’Brien got screwed by NBC. He and Fox will be a happy couple.  3. Despite losing to Vanderbilt, Kentucky is the best team, and John Wall is hands down the best player in college basketball. Just look at what Lebron James said about Wall: “He’s great... He’ll be the No. 1 pick in the draft. He has shown why he came out being the top player in high school and is one of the top 5 players in college.” 

4. Sources tell me the fastest human on earth is Charlie Weis being dropped out of a Blackhawk helicopter.  5. I wish ESPN would spend a little more time talking about Tim Tebow’s chances in the NFL. The guy is arguably the best college football player of all time. Whether you agree with his decision to appear in the Super Bowl ad or not, he remains a tremendous football player who deserves respect.  6. I’m still upset about the Heisman Trophy winner. Mark Ingram did not deserve the Heisman Trophy. Yes, he’s an All-American, but he wasn’t the best offensive player in the SEC (Tebow), let alone in the country (Toby Gerhart). Gerhart was outstanding running the football this season, and he did it against better run defenses. Ingram won the “Best Player on the Best Team” Award.  7. The Winter Olympics start next week. My favorite Winter Olympics sport: the luge competition. As Jerry Seinfeld said, “The luge is on the bobsled run, but it’s not even a sled. It’s just Bob.” 8. The Florida Gator football team just landed the best recruiting class

By MIKE GILLESPIE in its 104-year history. Give them a year to get these recruits ready, but look for the Gators to take home the 2012 BCS National Championship in New Orleans. 9. I wouldn’t be at all disappointed if Joe Buck decided to hang up his microphone and retire to a private island in the Bahamas. Troy Aikman is one of the best in the business, and deserves a better partner. 10. Super Bowl XLIV showed us how even the best of the best can fall. I would’ve picked Brett Favre to throw a key interception in the waning moments of the game, but Peyton Manning, one of the greatest quarterbacks the NFL has ever seen, fell victim to Super Bowl jitters. The Colts season, along with their Super Bowl title hopes and dynasty, died on that late interception. Congratulations to the Saints.  Guest writer Mike Gillespie is a third-year telecommunication student at the University of Florida. He is a reporter for WRUF in Gainesville, Florida, and the radio play-byplay announcer for Gator Soccer and Gator Lacrosse.


captured & shot


The Valentine's Day Issue