11.20.08 vol. xl, no. 12 Harvard gears up for the 125th playing of the Game.
independent THE HARVARD
President Diana Suen ‘11 Cover art by CANDICE SMITH
Senate Results In Doubt
Special: The Game Kegs Kiboshed at Tailgate The Yale and the Restless Architectural Anarchy The Meowel 6-7 Guide to Heckling Byzantine Brouhaha 4 5
Forum 8 9
Name That Woman Teens Try for the Ballot
Arts 10 11
The Making of a Madhouse Chauvinist Dystopia
Last week we erroneously wrote that Prof. Richard Fallon said, "I would predict Justice Stevens's vote based on the Pacifica case." Prof. Fallon actually said, "I would not predict Justice Stevens's vote based on the Pacifica case." The Independent regrets the error. Please report corrections to email@example.com. 2
Editor-in-Chief Sam Jack ‘11
Production Manager Faith Zhang ‘11
Publisher Brian Shen ’11
Technology Director Sanjay Gandhi ’10
News Editor Forum Editor Arts Editor Sports Editor Design Editor Graphics Editor Associate Arts Editor Associate Business Manager Associate Graphics Editor
Rachael Becker ‘11 Riva Riley ‘12 Truc Doan ‘10 Hao Meng ‘11 Patricia Florescu ‘11 Candice Smith ‘11 Pelin Kivrak ‘11 Jenn Chang ‘11 Sonia Coman ‘11
Staff Writers Peter Bacon ‘11 Andrew Coffman ‘12 Caroline Corbitt ‘09 Ray Duer ‘11 Pippa Eccles ‘09 Jessica Estep ‘09 Nicholas Krasney ‘09 Allegra Richards ‘09 Andrew Rist ‘09 Alice Speri ‘09 Graphics, Photography, and Design Staff Ben Huang ‘09 Caitie Kakigi ‘09 Eva Liou ‘11 Caitlin Marquis ‘10 Lidiya Petrova ‘11 Sally Rinehart ‘09
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 President Diana Suen (firstname.lastname@example.org). Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Sam Jack (email@example.com). Yearly mail subscriptions are available for $30, and semester-long subscriptions are available for $15. To purchase a subscription, email firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 © 2008 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved.
11.09.06 11.02.06 s The Harvard Independent 11.06.08
Solidifying the Senate Democrats could obtain a super-majority, but the difference between 59 seats and 60 is overemphasized. By SAM JACK
lection news withdrawal experienced by political junkies across the country is being mitigated by three United States Senate races for which final results have not, or have only recently, been definitively determined. The races, in Minnesota, Alaska, and Georgia each determine whether a Democrat will replace a Republican incumbent. Victories in all three outstanding races would put Democrats at the so-called “magic number” of a filibuster-proof 60 votes in the Senate. Begich inches ‘Uncle Ted’ The Alaska Senate race, in which Senator Ted Stevens fought for his political life despite seven felony convictions, appears to have been decided in favor of popular Anchorage mayor Mark Begich. The November 18 vote count provided by the Alaskan government shows Begich leading by 3,724 votes. Even in the unlikely event that all 2,500 overseas ballots yet to be counted were cast for Stevens, Begich would remain in the lead. Because of this reality, news organizations such as the Associated Press and the Anchorage Daily News have called the race in favor of Begich. The current voting status also places the Alaska race outside the 0.5% margin threshold which, under Alaska law, triggers a government sponsored recount, and it seems unlikely that the uncounted ballots will move the election back under that threshold. Stevens and his supporters could pay for a recount from their own funds, but it seems unlikely they will opt to do so. The Daily News reports that past recounts in the state have produced little movement in vote totals. Had Stevens proven victorious in the election, as it seemed earlier in the vote counting that he might, he would have faced an expulsion vote in the Senate. Senate Republican leaders had said that they had the votes in hand to reach the two-thirds margin required for expulsion. Begich claimed victory Tuesday, saying, “I am humbled and honored to serve Alaska in the U.S. Senate.” On Wednesday, Stevens conceded. The Democratic victory in Alaska, along with the Democratic caucus’s vote to allow Joe Lieberman to retain his chairmanship of the Committee on Homeland Security The Harvard Independent s 11.20.08
and Government Affairs, assures that the Democratic caucus will hold at least 58 seats in the Senate for the next two years. Minnesota race is headed for a long recount The Senate election in Minnesota is in the midst of a manual recount, a process which will take several weeks and which will probably employ scores of lawyers on both sides. Republican Senator Norm Coleman leads Democratic-Farmer-Labor
com, wrote on his site, “The more that I examine this data, the more I’m beginning to believe that the number of reclassifiable ballots may be relatively low, but that the proportion of such ballots that are resolved in Franken’s favor may be relatively high. How these two factors will ultimately reconcile themselves, I don’t know.” A runoff for Georgia Just as in Minnesota, neither majorparty candidate obtained a majority of the popular vote in Georgia’s Senate Election.
But 60 isn’t as “magic” a number as some are making it out to be. A position where only need two or three Republicans need to assent in order to break a filibuster is a strong one for the Democrats. challenger Al Franken by only 215 votes out of nearly three million cast in the preliminary count. Franken’s campaign attorneys asked Monday that absentee and provisional ballots they considered to have been improperly rejected be included in the certified result released Tuesday by Minnesota’s Canvassing Board, but the State Attorney General issued an opinion that the Canvassing Board could not rule on the eligibility of ballots. If Franken’s campaign wishes to challenge rejected ballots, they will probably have to do so in court. The Minnesota Star-Tribune reports that a brief filed by Franken’s campaign listed four examples of voters they considered to be disenfranchised when their ballots were rejected by election judges. Attempts to analyze the likely result of the recount have been inconclusive. Nate Silver, the statistician behind popular polling website FiveThirtyEight.
Republican incumbent Saxby Chambliss won a plurality by a margin of 109,671 votes out of 3.7 million cast, besting his Democratic rival Jim Martin. Minnesota law would have simply declared Chambliss the winner, but Georgia law provides for a runoff election, to be held December 2. Most commentators agree that Chambliss’ lead in the general election makes him a solid favorite in the runoff, but it is extremely difficult to predict turnout for runoff elections, simply because runoff elections do not occur very often in the United States. In a SurveyUSA poll conducted November 12, 87% of registered voters said that they planned to participate in the runoff — but only 67% of registered voters participated in the general election, and there has never been a runoff election that increased turnout over the general election. Since many voters convey their intention to vote to pollsters, but a lesser number actually bother to turn out, it is difficult to get an accurate fix on what will
actually happen, or on which side is more accurate in their responses. As a result of this uncertainty, both Republicans and Democrats have been pouring money and time into the runoff election. GOP heavy-hitters like Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain have all either been campaigning for Chambliss in the state or holding fundraisers to benefit the cause, and the Republican National Committee has gone $2 million further into debt to fund the runoff campaign, according to The Hill. $2 million is a very large amount of money for two weeks worth of a statewide campaign. “It’s hard to overstate just how much is on the line for the GOP in this race,” writes Eric Kleefeld of Talking Points Memo. The Democrats have their own bevy of political stars campaigning in the state, including former president Bill Clinton and recent Nobel laureate Al Gore ‘69 and have likewise been pumping money into the state. The ‘Magic Number’? Begich’s victory in Alaska opens up a narrow path to a 60 vote super-majority in the Senate, but the likelihood that both the Minnesota recount and the Georgia runoff will fall in favor of the Democrats has to be judged low. But 60 isn’t as “magic” a number as some are making it out to be. Not all Democrats will be with the party leadership on every vote, and the same is true of Republicans. A position where only need two or three Republicans need to assent in order to break a filibuster is a strong one for the Democrats. “To be sure,” Bruce Reed writes at Slate.com, “A cloture-sized majority would make a difference on some party-line questions that tend to get bogged down for partisan rather than ideological reasons — for example, voting rights for D.C. Prolonged confirmation battles, already infrequent, would become even more so.” But even absent a super-majority, Democrats will be able to cover a lot of legislative ground with 58 or 59 seats in their column. For example, the Lily Ledbetter equal-pay bill failed cloture by three votes last year; the same bill would certainly be able to make it out of the incoming Congress. email@example.com
THE RULES OF THE
GAME What you need to know about the new tailgating policy. By RACHAEL BECKER
S GAME DAY NEARS , STUDENTS ACROSS
campus are wondering what the new tailgating policy has in store for them. The 2008 change comes as an amendment to the 2006 policy, which in turn came as a revision of a 2004 policy. Campus “fun czar” Jason McCoy told the Yale Daily News that amending previous tailgate policies was a response to pressure for University tailgates to conform to city of Boston regulations. Legal counsel for the city, Jean Lorisio, said, “We do not usually get involved in the specific management of the event.” She also noted that the city had not required Harvard to change any of the previous regulations in order to receive a tailgating permit for game day. There are four main differences in this year’s policy compared to that of 2006. 1) HoCos are once again allowed to serve alcohol at the Houses. During the last home Harvard–Yale game, alcohol was only served in designated areas near the stadium, keeping more students near the stadium in the hopes they would actually watch most of the
game instead of spending the first half at House tailgates on campus. The change was also meant to prevent a repeat of the 2004 game drinking incidents, in which 4 students were admitted to UHS for alcohol poisoning and many more were ejected from the stadium for underage drinking violations. 2) The tailgate has been shortened. In previous years, tailgates have started two hours before the game and lasted until half-time. This year however, all tailgates will end at kickoff. This is meant to encourage students to attend the entirety of the game, rather than just the second half. 3) There is a new ban on kegs and similar items that “promote the rapid consumption of alcohol.” Distributing beer in kegs is much cheaper than selling cans or bottles, and the change could present problems to some of the cash–strapped HoCos on campus. 4) U–Haul trucks and other large vehicles are now banned near the stadium. This change primarily affects Yale students, and could create organizational problems for the visiting Yalies.
Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
Even More Rules of the Game Students are not allowed to bring alcohol in to the stadium. Students violating this rule will be ejected from the game. Students are not allowed to bring their own alcohol to HoCo tailgates. HoCos will only sell alcohol to students over 21 wearing ID bracelets that will be distributed at the tailgate. Tailgates will start two hours before kickoff and end at the beginning of the game. Any student who is visibly intoxicated will be ejected from the game and may be disciplined according to University policy.
11.20.08 s The Harvard Independent
Losing the Game How infectious disease ruined an otherwise glorious weekend. By JOHN BEATTY Note: The story you are about to read is pretty much true. Only the names and minor details have been changed to protect the innocent.
H ARVARD -Y ALE G AME : A MORE wretched hive of snobs and douchebags you’ll never find. But it’s not the alums that crowd the campus in their varsity sweaters and BMWs for a day that have made me so bitter. Nor is it even the obstreperous desires of the local constabulary to cut down on “underage” “drinking” that has done it. No. I am a bitter broken husk of my former IvyLeague-rivalry-loving self because I’ve been shown the dark underbelly of The Game. Let me take you back to where it all began. Last year, I was but a lowly freshman living in Canaday. The time for the Game was nigh, and the campus crackled with almost sexual tension over the upcoming competition. I myself was excited more for the party scene, but I was willing to take whatever excitement HE
I could get. I set out that Saturday morning, having failed to make it down there the night before, with my two buddies, Michael Sandel and N. Gregory Mankiw. We were going to head down on the six dollar bus, crash with a high school friend of Michael’s, and then catch a morning train back. The scene was set, the actors prepared, and I was completely unaware of the forces in the universe aligning against me. The confusion began early on. I awoke from my nap aboard the bus confused. Confused as to what a Boston to New York bus would be doing by the side of the road in Chechnya. It would turn out to be the New Haven stop. Oh dear. We headed off to the Game, a.k.a. the Great Blowout of 2007, and quickly caught up with out fellow students. By halftime, Greg had begun chest thumping and singing his high-school fight song, and Mike was starting to get a little handy with Diana Eck, who happened to be sitting next to us. Suffice to say, the
second half of the game went much faster than the first. After the game, Diana Eck left for Harvard for a sports match the next day, while Mike, Greg and I went to go meet Mike’s friend, Harvey Mansfield, a nice young female Yalie. Once we met up, saw Harvey’s room, and met her roommates, we all headed out to a restaurant. I ordered some fish, which was excellent. The service was great, too, so I made sure to leave a big tip for the waiter to find. Harvey left early the next morning for her Thanksgiving break. Mike, old Greg, and I awoke late and meandered to the Amtrak station, the shining architectural jewel in New Haven’s crown, to catch our noble chariot back to fair Cambridge. But it was too good to be true. Exuberant revelry. Meaningless physical intimacy. Mike not throwing up for once. I was beginning to think that Harvard-Yale really did give us Ivy-Leaguers a taste of what a regular college would have been like. What hubris! The gods of epidemiology had other
things in store for me. Lo, they did strike me down. The kissing disease. Mononucleosis. It would be six weeks before I realized it, deep in the midst of reading period. Now to give Harvey the benefit of the doubt, she may have thought I had always wanted to write a twenty-page literature paper with swollen tonsils. I actually hadn’t, but I guess it’s the thought that counts. Either she misunderstood my preferences or else she was a bitter Yalie bent on extracting her petty revenge for the previous days's spanking. A spanking on the football field. When Harvard beat Yale. Please, get your mind out of the gutter. And that was how the Harvard-Yale game lost its shine. I’m sadder and a little wiser. But now I’m prepared. While the crowds cheer and the battle is met, I will have my breath mask ready and my hand wipes standing by. Once is enough. John Beatty ‘11 (jbeatty@fas) likes to go by his party name, Al Gore.
Red Brick Rivalry Harvard’s architecture isn’t as flashy, but it’s just as classy.
By BRIAN SHEN
YALE, TO OUR MUTUAL chagrin, are commonly thought to be quite similar in terms of structure, environment, and educational effectiveness. But all it takes is a quick visit to both campuses to notice an immediate difference. Harvard is in bustling Cambridge, while Yale is in what a lot of people call “sketchy” New Haven. We all laugh at that, yes, but in all honesty, there is a tremendous superficial difference between the two schools that could affect the attitudes of students. This difference, the contrast in architectural style, is something often overlooked. Each school is valued for different reasons. When I visited Yale, I saw the most gorgeous campus I had ever seen — but that was before I visited Oxford and Cambridge. In any case, what I loved so much about Yale’s campus was the colossal feeling of each building. Each building felt as though it were there for a distinct purpose. The campus had character. The iconic acid-washed, gothic-revival clock tower with its grimy bricks was a structure I had once wished I could see on a daily basis. Now, instead, I have the comparable neo-gothic peak of Annenberg Hall. But it’s not really the ARVARD AND
The Harvard Independent s 11.20.08
same at all. The point here isn’t that I’m dissatisfied by Harvard’s consistently square red brick buildings (with modern twists inserted into a few of them); it’s that Yale’s buildings sometimes reflect the British roots of our universities just a little bit more — that some buildings just end up having more of a distinctly Gothic and British air than ours. Residential colleges cropped up at Yale in the early 1930s, with each college occupying a full block and each equipped with a courtyard, dining hall, library, seminar rooms, and recreation lounges much like ours. Yale’s residential colleges consistently capture the feel of Adams House. You can feel the history in the spaces; the archaic architectural styles add character. I suppose Puritanical Harvardians don’t go in for the baroque ornamentation and ostentatious stonework that is popular at Yale. While Harvard’s Yard and House architecture may be elegant, it is not as flashy as Yale’s architecture. Yale’s monuments (for example, the picturesque rotunda) and their modern buildings (such as the Rare Books Library) are more visually appealing than ours. Their
Rare Books Library, for instance, is a windowless cube of translucent stone. From inside the building, the walls seem to glow. The only comparably daring structure that appears on our campus is the cement Carpenter Center, designed by Le Corbusier, which, though dearly beloved by our Visual and Environmental Studies concentrators, is not a really “pretty” sight. The root of this difference in style lies in the time in which both campuses were built. Harvard was built first, with simple red brick buildings reflecting the Puritan values of the founders. The less religious, Congregationalist Yalies constructed their campus with a renewed
interest in the glamorous universities back in Britain. This difference is not something to be upset about, but it is something to note. While Yale’s campus may inspire visual awe, Harvard’s intellectual prowess and non-ugly campus not only dazzles the minds of the rest of the world, but also brings a bunch of tourists who marvel at Widener Library and the iconic Yard. Don’t think it’s true, Yalies? Well you better just duke it out on the field at the Harvard-Yale Game. Brian Shen ‘11 (bshen@fas) would be the Science Center if he could be any building.
indy special 4 0
The Fourth Annual
H e c k l e r ’s G u i d e to T h e G a m e
Because it never hurts to brush up on ways to mock Yalies. By HAO MENG ’M NOT GOING TO SUGARCOAT IT: THIS GUIDE is designed to reveal the best possible ways of degrading the Bulldogs during The Game. In other words, if The Game had a required reading list, this would be it. We do this every year because we think it’s important. Because The Game involves two highly lionized colleges, we try to keep our mockery at a sophisticated, intellectual level. That’s why we never forget to remind the world that Yalies are Yalies because Harvard rejected their application to become Harvardians. Intellectual rigor also requires us to note that Yale, as nice as it is, was basically created to make us look better. The gracious folks at Yale really deserve the selflessness award for having south of 100 fewer Rhodes Scholars, 50 fewer affiliated Noble Prize winners, and three fewer US Presidents than we have had (of course, I think we were pretty congenial in giving them G.W. Bush). Moreover, Yale was nice enough to create the second largest academic library in the world and to gather the second largest endowment for an academic institution. We are very blessed to have a stepsister college so consistent in her ability to take the silver. I grew up in the football-frenzied state of Alabama, and pigskin rivalries there certainly don’t garner polite, highbrow banter such as the above. It is trench warfare at its worst, and you won’t find a person in sight who isn’t proud of the tradition. So this guide will be a little grittier, dirtier, and edgier than what you might be comfortable with. But frankly, it’s time we got off our high horses and trash-talked the way hard-hitting football fans are supposed to. In the tradition begun by former Indy President, Colin Twomey, and continued by my predecessor, Andrew Rist, I’ve read the bio of every single Yale varsity player and picked out the players that are heckleworthy. Make sure to look for them on the field — that is, if they’re even good enough to play.
Bobby Abare, LB #44: It’s on the DL, but Bobby became captain when the rest of the team realized his name was pronounced “A-bear.” They thought it was beyond cool, so they tried to make him look like a bear by using a forest as the background for his photo. Nathan Burow, OL #36: Nathan’s originally from Alabama, which means he probably wasn’t good enough to play football for a real football school, like Alabama or Auburn, so he chose Yale. Talented Southern football players stay in the South, because — trust me — there’s no reason to give up a nice, blonde “Southern Belle.” So if Nathan happens to be a good football player, by logic, he must be terrible with the ladies. Jon Charest, OL #38: Jon used to work as a milkman, so don’t hesitate to let him know that the answer to the question, “What do you call a milkman on high heels?” is “Dairy Queen.” There are other (read: better) milkman jokes, but they’re all too profane for me to share (read: Google it). Sean Williams, DE #99: Sean’s dad played eight years in the NFL, while his mom was a national champion in women’s single tennis. I’m sure if you reminded him of that, it wouldn’t stress him out or anything. Joe Hathaway, DL #95: Joe Hathaway is not your “Average Joe.” He claims to have “extensive knowledge and research” of the Star Wars series. If we’re going to heckle him, we better speak his language. So if you see Joe on the field, let him know that he’s a “Hairless Wookie,” “Sexless Marshtoad,” or my personal favorite, “Slag-Sucking Slagchucker.” I have no idea what those mean, but uber-cool Joe will. Darius Dale, OL #65: Darius’s teammates call him “Sunny D” because of his vibrant personality. His personality is perfect — especially since he loves creating hip-hop, which we all know is the music of love and friendship.
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Tim Handlon, LB #31: Mr. Handlon is quite the patriot. He lists “loving his country” as one of his main hobbies. Now, we all love our country, but I think the only other person who has that listed under hobbies is George W. Bush, and he turned out great. Seriously. Adam Money, DB #17: I hope Adam realizes that if he’s planning to live up to his last name, it won’t be by way of football. Actually, most — if not all — of these Yale players will make their money pursuing something other than football (there are currently no former Yale graduates in the NFL, whereas Ryan Fitzpatrick, a Harvard graduate, is the current starting QB for the Cincinnati Bengals). Feel free to let these Yalies know that they have no future in professional football. Eric Gresham, DE #49: I knew I was looking at a photo of a male football player, but for a split second, I seriously thought Eric might be a girl. His flashy, long blond
hair definitely reminded me of Fabio in his worst days. Remember, it never hurts to question football players’ genders. Chris Stanley, DB #22: Based on his bio, I’d say Chris is the most egotistical member of the team. His bio not only includes his uninspiring 100-meter time of 10.86, but he also brags about receiving full football scholarships to UNLV and UC Davis. Never heard of those schools? That’s okay, because those teams are both 5-6 — even though they play in terrible conferences. Peter Boisi, OL #74; Joe Dennison, WR #80, Josh Helmrich, P #16, Sam Matias, WR #47, Jay Richmond, DE #79; Adam Sato, OL #68, Patrick Sedden, WR #13, Rylan Spence, DB #25, Chris Yergan, K #77, and Rich Scudellari, QB #18: The first nine guys are all seniors and were all delegated to the JV team for their first three years. That’s pretty embarrassing. I mean, at least Rich, who’s a
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4 0 11.20.08 s The Harvard Independent
Friends, Romans, Crimson Fans
We’re ready to cheer for our team on Saturday — but the Byzantines were willing to fight a war. By ANDREW RIST
r, earned his varsity letter by holding . In case you don’t know what that s, Rich basically waits for the ball to apped to him, at which point he holds all to the ground with a finger and for the kicker to kick it. What can I t’s really difficult stuff. But then again, have to be really good to play varsity ale.
ephen Morse, OL #61: Only a real like Stephen enjoys poetry by the ace, Italian opera, and singing in the But so do clingy, desperate, hopelessly ntic teenage girls. I think there are of the latter than the former. Someone tephen that, please?
ck Schneider, LB #57, who loves oom dancing, can team up with Stephen e’s serene poetry reading to provide a mind-blowing performance—especially a rainy game. With their talents, who s Yale cheerleaders?
Alex Golubewski, OL #70: Poor Alex is the only member of the team without a biography. Don’t feel too bad though — he’s probably just a member of the Skull and Bones, which is a euphemism for “jerk.” Definitely don’t hold back when you’re heckling Mr. Golubewski. As we all know, Yalies aren’t nearly as amazingly awesome as Harvardians, but it doesn’t hurt to remind them of that yearly. November 22 is the day, so don’t be shy in your heckling and mockery. And if any Yalies are foolish enough to disagree with you, just remind them that the founder of Yale, Eli Yale, once said, “Not everyone is smart enough to attend Harvard.” True that. Oh, and more to the point, not every football player is good enough to play for Harvard. Hao Meng ’11 (haomeng@fas) has “Mocking Inferior Yalies” under his list of favorite hobbies.
4 0 The Harvard Independent s 11t.20.08
and the violence returned, worse than ever. The riotous mobs drove Justinian to consider fleeing Constantinople. In the nick of time, however, Justinian’s wife,Theodora, a former prostitute and exotic dancer, showed the only part of her that a majority of the male population of Constantinople had not seen, her balls. She told Justinian: “If flight…were the only means of safety, yet I should disdain to fly. Death is the condition of our birth; but they who have reigned should never survive the loss of dignity and dominion. I implore Heaven, that I may never be seen, not a day, without my diadem and purple; that I may no longer behold the light, when I cease to be saluted with the name of queen.” Upon this advice, Justinian returned to Constantinople and took his stand. In the meantime, the riotous Greens had proclaimed a new emperor and were celebrating his accession to the throne in the Hippodrome. Justinian sent a highly trained military detachment to trap the Greens in the Hippodrome and ultimately to massacre them. This marked the peak of the fiercest sports rivalry ever. Michigan and Ohio State can boast all they want about their big rivalry, but until an entire faction of them has taken over the stadium, declared a new president, and subsequently been slaughtered en masse, I think they’ll have to take a back seat to the Blues and Greens. This historical anecdote is not told here as a cautionary tale. We all despise Yale, sure, but the thought of an armed uprising hasn’t crossed most of our minds. This is a tale to give us some perspective. I personally think of sports as an important part of my life. I tend to identify emotionally with the success or failure of my favorite teams, but I’m not that committed — I think that most people are with me on this one. So when we stumble out to Harvard Stadium this Saturday morning for tailgating followed by freezing cold football, let’s all remember that we live in fairly tame times. We’ll be at our most outraged because of a poor call by a ref, and only the belligerently intoxicated will participate in any violence whatsoever.
N THIS RIVALRY WEEK, I FELT IT MIGHT BE A GOOD TIME to write about the fiercest sports rivalry of all time. This is not Texas vs. Oklahoma, Ohio State vs. Michigan, or even Duke vs. North Carolina. No, to find the fiercest rivalry of all time, one has to look a little farther into the past, back to the times of the Byzantine Empire and the rivalry of the blues and the greens, which came to a head during the reign of Justinian in the mid-6th century A.D. Long before colors became politically charged, chariot racing teams took their names from four colors: white, red, blue, and green. Anyone who raced a chariot in the Circus at Rome, the hippodrome at Constantinople, and at any racetrack in between belonged to one of these four factions. During the reign of Justinian, the rivalry between the blue faction and the green faction was reinforced by religious differences, since supporters of the blue faction predominantly professed the orthodox Christianity of Justinian, while the greens were mostly supporters of other Christian sects. The rivalry escalated to violence, a reaction not uncommon when religion is introduced to a situation. The illustrious historian Edward Gibbon described the violence in the streets of Constantinople: “Insolent with royal favor, the blues affected to strike terror by a peculiar and Barbaric dress, the long hair of the Huns, their close sleeves and ample garments, a lofty step, and a sonorous voice. In the day they concealed their two-edged poniards, but in the night they boldly assembled in arms, and in numerous bands, prepared for every act of violence and rapine. Their adversaries of the green faction, or even inoffensive citizens, were stripped and often murdered by these nocturnal robbers, and it became dangerous to wear any gold buttons or girdles, or to appear at a late hour in the streets of a peaceful capital. A daring spirit, rising with impunity, proceeded to violate the safeguard of private houses; and fire was employed to facilitate the attack, or to conceal the crimes of these factious rioters.” That sounds worse than a soccer riot, and to be fair, half the motivation for a soccer riot is that the fans just can’t stand to watch another minute of soccer. During a precarious cease-fire, both factions filed into the Hippodrome to watch a chariot race sponsored by the emperor Justinian, but the angry rivalry was fed by the indifference of the monarch,
Andrew Rist (arist@fas) ’09 is a Classics concentrator — could you tell? Since he’s a red supporter, he can comment impartially on the alcoholic blues and the mentally deficient greens.
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An Old Tradition Gone Stale
Married women should keep their own names.
2005 S T U D Y B Y University of Florida professor Diana Boxer, 77 percent of married women elect to adopt their husband’s surname. This was extremely surprising to me, especially when I considered that the percentage of women who change their last name upon marriage is actually increasing. Two decades ago the tradition met a significant challenge as more and more women chose to maintain their own names. Now, however, those challenges are fading and the old tradition continues to thrive. The tradition, which dates back to a time when women were almost literally being given to their husbands, no longer has a place in a society where women and men are equals. Women today are no longer extensions of their spouses, and they have the right to exert their individual identities. For this reason, women should keep their surnames
By RIVA RILEY
PATRICIA FLORESCU/Independent CCORDING TO A
and maintain that tangible tie to their families and their pasts. There is no reason women should regularly sacrifice the right to their personal identity. It is true that almost all modern women bear their father’s last name, and so even if women kept their own last names consistently, the male-centered nomenclature system would still persist. But change has to start somewhere. If women today chose to retain their original surnames, they would create space in our language for more egalitarian societal standards and set the foundations for more natural, equal marriages. Both partners in a modern marriage have led individual lives before meeting their spouse, and the language of modern marriage should reflect the union of these two partners, not the ownership or subjugation of one partner to the other. It is also important to rethink the way children are named within the family unit. Modern conventions dictate that
the children be named for their father. This strikes me as grossly unfair. Ideally, children are raised by both parents, and are certainly the product of both parents. Why should they be named to only carry on their father’s legacy? Unfortunately, hyphenating the father’s surname and the mother’s surname to produce the children’s last names has a fatal flaw in that it cannot really last behind the first generation. I also do not think this conundrum can be solved by delegating either parent’s name to the spot of middle name. My parents went this route and gave me my mother’s first name as my middle name, and while I cherish it, my middle name is so rarely used that it does not make a difference in my day-to-day life. I believe that children within the same family can and should be given different last names. Perhaps the daughters of the family can receive their mother’s last name, and the boys the father’s. This would allow
both the mother and father’s family lines to continue in a systematic fashion that preserves both parents’ histories. These sorts of ideas always spark intense controversy. The commonly advanced counter-argument is that a common name within the family creates family unity and strengthens the bonds between the family members, but unity should not come at the price of the mother’s identity. In any case, modern families do not need the cohesive force of a common name. Families are no longer crude clans that live in the same place for the purpose of survival and use their name as a signal of relation. Families today are held together by mutual love and respect between family members, and the names of family members will not change those feelings. Riva Riley ‘12 (rjriley@fas) really likes her name.
11.20.08 s The Harvard Independent
Give Teens the Vote Americans should enfranchise the young; we have nothing to lose and a lot to gain. By STEFAN MULLER
TWO WEEKS AGO, AMERICA witnessed an election that was historic for a number of reasons. One factor that has fallen under the radar of mainstream coverage is the unprecedented voter turnout, involvement, and general enthusiasm of America’s young people. The youth vote, often chastised for its low showing at the polls, became a demographic powerful enough to help affect an election. Yet, it is unclear whether this will change the way the country sees its younger citizens, or if the mass disappointment in our generation will reappear once media coverage of the election is over. What is the source of this alleged youth apathy, and how can we fix it? Many reasons are floated to explain why young people have little involvement in society. Let’s consider one that is often neglected: maybe nobody invited them. It may seem like an unusual suggestion, but the best way to encourage youth involvement in politics may be to lower the voting age. Young people, especially those under 18, are consistently reminded that they don’t matter: at the polls, in a minimal variety of available jobs, and in a public education system which, in many places, is sorely lacking in student direction. When we turn 18, our opinions matter, in theory. Many members of the class of 2012 diligently applied for and cast absentee ballots for the first time this fall. Many others, still used to years of being told their voice wouldn’t be heard, didn’t see the point. After all, we just moved to a new state which, for many of us, is far away from where our ballots will be cast. A large workload prevents us from poring over an application, and some of us don’t even know where the post office is yet. Now consider a freshman that had been voting for two years already, since age 16. He would have already been registered in his hometowns, and would have voted in previous elections; voting would have been more convenient and this obligation wouldn’t have been overshadowed by a host of other changes and transitions. Much of educated society complains that those who are newly eligible to vote don’t take advantage of this right. They don’t stop to think that UST
The Harvard Independent s 11.20.08
the age limit on voting itself may be causing this poor turnout. A chorus of arguments generally greets the suggestion that the voting age should be lowered. Some say 16year-olds aren’t responsible. Some say they aren’t mature. But neither of these qualities develops at a set age. These same statements could be made of a large number of 30-year-olds, while many people are the models of maturity or responsibility well before age 18. Some say 16-year-olds aren’t educated enough about the relevant issues. But most 16-year-olds have recently taken, or will soon take, classes in civics, government and history which would be directly applicable to making a decision in voting. Junior year of high school could be the only time a future math concentrator would remember all of the checks of the executive branch on the legislative branch. Voting and education would strengthen one another. Government and history classes would become immeasurably more “hands-on” for a student body that is allowed to vote. Some say that 16-year-olds are unduly influenced by their parents. Aside from the fact that anyone who remembers being 16 knows this is false, this is an argument we have heard many times before. Soon after the founding of our country, the general viewpoint was that those who did not own land would be unduly influenced by their landlords and would have no will of their own with which to vote. More recently, the same argument was made of women and their husbands. Time and time again, these arguments have been used to deny a group of citizens the franchise. Time and time again, they have been wrong. Some say that an arbitrary line must be drawn and that 18, considered the age of adulthood for most purposes, is as good as any. Whether you agree or not, 18 is not the universal age of adulthood and it is a poor voting age. 18 is a time of many changes and voting is not the one most on a new adult’s mind. In addition, in many cases, the responsibilities of adulthood come before age 18. Most states allow people younger than 18 to be tried as adults in court for certain crimes. This judgment of maturity is conducted on
a case-by-case basis, but the judgment of voting ability is made based on a generalization. This sends the message to our young people that they are silly, impressionable youth when they want to vote but mature, responsible adults when they commit a crime. Some states make the adult treatment mandatory at age 16 or 17. Young people who work (as most do before they graduate high school) pay taxes on their earnings. People of all ages pay sales tax. However, like the American colonists who allegedly banded together against “taxation without representation,” young people are given no say in who decides how much they pay in taxes and where this money goes. In taxes, in the justice system, in education, and in almost every policy decision made by lawmakers, young people feel the effects of decisions made
without their input. In some cases, young people feel these effects most acutely. The decision of whether or not to fund schools is left to those who may not have attended school for decades. Environmental decisions are made by those who may not live to see their effects. This fall, for the first time, America asked some young people what they think. Much to their surprise, these young voters had something to say. Let’s not give up on this spirit. It’s terrific to listen to the opinions of 18-21 year-old voters, but if these voters are not going to the polls in droves, it may not be their fault. It may just be that we waited too long to get them involved. Stefan Muller ‘12 (smuller@fas) wants retroactive votes if the voting age is ever lowered.
Absorbing Your Sanity HRDC mounts a successful production of Tennessee Williams’ play.
V ENABLE , A MOTHER WHO IS desperate to preserve a wholesome image of her deceased son, enters the stage, trembling as if she is suffering from severe neurosis. The acting is so realistic that I, as the viewer, feel like jumping down to the stage and shake her from head to toe in order to bring her to the ‘real life’. But I know that as soon as she is on the stage she’s only Mrs. Venable and what’s real for her is what’s on the script. After the first ten minutes, her disconnected speech, heavy breathing, shaking and constant twinkling are balanced by the rigid presence of the poker faced and intensely sane doctor. But since every other character in the play acts like Mrs. Venable, sooner or later, the doctor’s reasonable words start to make less sense in this bizarre realm of insane people. Though it is not one of Tennessee Williams’ most popular pieces, Suddenly Last Summer is a play which has been staged many times across the country, and filmed by famous actors like Katherine Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor. It is a one-act play that features two long
By PELIN KIVRAK monologues by a young woman, Catherine Holly, who goes insane after her cousin Sebastian’s mysterious death during their trip to Europe. Sebastian’s mother who desperately wants her son to be remembered as a great poet instead of a homosexual artist who died under ambiguous circumstances. The poetic monologues come to a conclusion when Katherine finally tells the truth about her cousin’s death. Director Jason R. Vartikar-McCullough ‘11 faced the challenge of creating a convincing interpretation of a play which has already been interpreted in numerous
ways. Other critics of the young director’s staging have already struggled with the question that McCullough’s staging brings up: “Why so lunatic?” That’s a natural question to ask, but I think it may not be as important to answer when considering the work of young artists in an experimental setting. Every choice a director makes excludes a universe of choices the director did not make. And McCullough’s strong vision for the play ultimately makes it a more interesting theatrical experience, whether or not the viewers agreed with every choice. McCullough does a wonderful
THEATER REVIEW Suddenly Last Summer Harvard-Radcliffe Dramatic Club
job of conveying the essence of “madness after a loss” with the effective use of heavy black eye makeup, Gothic costumes and a set surrounded by white curtains and glassy props. The whiteness and fragility of the objects on the stage, as well as the doctor’s eye-catching white suit, signal that the action of the play is taking place on a psychological, rather than literal, plane. The action takes on the qualities of a sort of terrible ritual. Danielle A. Aykroyd ‘12 was breathtaking in the role of Mrs. Venable; not only did she compel attention whenever she was on the stage, her subtle performance saved the play from descending towards mere horror. Lauren N. Medina ’12, who played Catherine Holly, did best when she didn’t have to compete with Aykroyd. Her performance, very impressive when looked at individually, was often overshadowed by Venable. By setting firm aesthetic goals and recruiting talented students, McCullough has made Suddenly Last Summer a success. Pelin Kivrak '11 (pkivrak@fas) sometimes feels like a streetcar on a hot tin roof.
11.20.08 s The Harvard Independent
Sexism and the City Carrie Bradshaw wouldn't last long in Gilead. By ALLEGRA RICHARDS
HE NEED TO PEEL MYSELF AWAY FROM
my thesis research ruled out any assessment of the literary classics. So when I was looking for a subject for a book review, I turned instead to a contemporary classic in the making. The year of Sex and the City marks the promotion of the quintessential independent woman; of financially independent, consumer-driven women who aren’t afraid to work and date exactly as they see fit. The Carries, Samanthas, Charlottes and Mirandas of today’s world are go-getters; hardly the meek servile women of some one hundred years ago. But what if all of that were erased? What if women were no longer independent at all? This is the situation in The Handmaid’s Tale. Meet Offred — a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. Once a chain-smoking university student turned career driven wife balancing her work with her family, Offred, along with the rest of her sex, has
tasked to bear the Commanders’ children when their wives cannot. Once a child is born, the Handmaid is passed along to the next Commander’s family to breed again. Handmaids live in total slavery. The clothing Offred is forced to wear is an emblem of her imprisonment: “Some people call them habits, a good word for them. Habits are hard to break.” Offred is only permitted outside of her Commander’s gates to go to the market, and even then she must travel with a Handmaid companion at all times. Offred remembers a life before her seclusion, a life where women before “seemed to be able to choose… we were a society dying… of too much choice.” “Women were not protected then,” Offred muses, “Now we walk along the same street, in red pairs, and no man shouts obscenities at us, speaks to us, touches us. No one whistles.” Offred’s purpose in life is not to ask questions, only
smoking and drinking to their hearts content. Sometimes repressing freedom only breeds rebellion. While Atwood is quick to not-so-subtly criticize a male dominated society, she makes no recommendations as to how we can avoid one, neither does she leave Offred with much of an escape route. Instead we are treated to a bleak description of Offred’s miserable existence.
Nevertheless, the sense of doom makes the novel difficult to put down, and Atwood’s engaging prose keeps her readers interested until the very end. A quick and easy read for the summer, Atwood’s novel left me wondering long after I had finished reading. Allegra Richards '09 (amrichar@fas) hopes to avoid living in a dystopia.
BOOK REVIEW The Handmaid's Tale Margaret Atwood been reduced to a subservient level. We are not told explicitly how this upheaval came to be, only that following the assassination of the president a religious sect staged a coup and now runs the country on a fanatically conservative basis. Women’s bank accounts are frozen and turned over to the nearest male relatives. Women were no longer allowed to work. Indeed, they were not even permitted a formal education. Women are instead divided into categories: Handmaids, Wives, Econowives (wives from the poorer classes), servile Marthas, and Aunts, half matron-half warden types who train the Handmaids to perform their duties. These duties include living as the concubines of Commanders, The Harvard Independent s 11.20.08
to bear children. That, it seems, is what women were meant for. Atwood now has a Booker Prize under her belt for The Blind Assassin, but this earlier novel showcases her simple yet shockingly mesmerizing prose. The setup is also masterful. Put ultra-conservative Catholics, trigger happy men in control and an Orwellian sense of justice together and you get an excellent setting for feminist critique. Offred’s Commander encourages her to sneak into his office late at night for some private one-on-one time. Secret sexual encounter? No, surreptitious Scrabble game. He also takes her to a secluded hotel hosting a burlesque party featuring scantily clad women engaging in forbidden
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Captured and Shot