The Indy is not even doing meth once. Cover Design by ANNA PAPP & ELOISE LYNTON
VOL. XLV, NO. 11
CONTENTS FORUM 3 Over the Counter Encounter 4 Dope Scope 4 Your Day-ly Fix NEWS 5 Here for the Holidays ARTS 6 I Saw It, I See It 7 The Apple of My Eye 8 Give Me That Thing That I Love 9 Not So Asinine SPORTS 10 Ice Ice Baby 11 Droolin' Over Dribbles
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 Angela Song (president@harvardindependent. com) or Managing Editor Sayantan Deb (managingeditor@ harvardindependent.com). Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Christine Wolfe (editorinchief@harvardindependent. com). For email subscriptions please email president@ harvardindependent.com. The Harvard Independent is published weekly during the academic year, except during vacations, by The Harvard Independent, Inc., Student Organization Center at Hilles, Box 201, 59 Shepard Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
President Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Director of Production
Angela Song '14 Christine Wolfe '14 Sayantan Deb '14 Miranda Shugars '14
News and Forum Editor Arts Editor Sports Editor Design Editor Graphics Editor Associate News Editor Associate Forum Editor Associate Arts Editor Associate Design Editor
Whitney Gao '16 Curtis Lahaie '15 Sean Frazzette '16 Alex Chen '16 Anna Papp '16 Milly Wang '16 Kalyn Saulsberry '14 Sarah Rosenthal '15 Travis Hallett '14
Cartoonist John McCallum '16 Illustrator Eloise Lynton '17 Business Manager Albert Murzakhanov '16 Columnists Aditya Agrawal '17 Michael Feehly '14 Jackie Leong '16 Andrew Lin '17 Madi Taylor '16 Shreya Vardhan '17 Senior Staff Writers Michael Altman '14 Meghan Brooks '14 Whitney Lee '14 Staff Writers Manik Bhatia '16 Xanni Brown '14 Terilyn Chen '16 Lauren Covalucci '14 Clare Duncan '14 Caroline Gentile '17 Gary Gerbrandt '14 Travis Hallett '14 Shaquilla Harrigan '16 Yuqi Hou '15 Cindy Hsu '14 Theodora Kay '14 Eldo Kim '16 Chloe Li '16 Dominique Luongo '17 Orlea Miller '16 Albert Murzhakanov '16 Carlos Schmidt '15
Pills, Pills, Pills You triflin’, good-for-nothing type of med. By LAUREN COVALUCCI
his fall, I finally came to terms with my late-onset lactose intolerance. I should have figured it out when it started last spring, but I was still convinced of my deep, personal compatibility with cheese. After weeks of prodding from my roommates, this meant a trip to CVS to try Lactaid (I consider it couples’ therapy for me and dairy). It took me ten minutes to find the box. Even in the Harvard Square CVS’s cluttered upper floor there are two aisles full of pills — stacks of shiny cardboard cartons in unimposing secondary colors, all with their own guarantees and descriptions of how they’ll fix you. I can take two with every meal to prevent heartburn and erectile dysfunction, and they can cure my PMS if taken regularly! Aside from some chronic ear infections and a few memorable strep throats, I was a healthy kid. My friends had to take Flintstones gummy vitamins at breakfast and two puffs from an inhaler before gym class. They came in with arms in slings and leg casts to sign — I’ve never even had a broken bone. When I did get stomachaches or sore throats, my parents used one of two universal pain-killers: ice cream or a McDonald’s milkshake. Either one would pretty much shut me up. So, I never really took pills. Sometimes there was Tylenol for an unusually bad period and antibiotics when my sinuses felt as though they had burst open like a pipe. Vitamins were for people who didn’t eat well, and Aleve was for old people with arthritis. TUMS were for quitters; and besides, the taste makes me more nauseous after than before. My only regular medication is a life saving one I started taking in the spring, and even with all the good it’s done me, I still want to be off of it. Side effects are more than normal when you’re starting something finicky, but I was special in that the “lightheadedness” the bottle warned me about actually meant vertigo, and I The Harvard Independent • 11.14.13
went three days feeling like my left leg was three inches longer than my right. When I felt like I could walk without falling over, I’d wear a high-heeled pump around my room just on my right foot to feel normal again. (I didn’t look normal.) If I didn’t have to dance and go to class I might have enjoyed it; something that mimics the rocking motion of a ship at sea, if that ship were also a roller coaster, would make a fantastic amusement park ride. Now, when I stand in CVS looking for Lactaid to shut my stomach up or Advil to quiet a sprain, I don’t know what to think of the piles and piles of little colored capsules. I don’t like that I need to take two pills before I have frozen yogurt. I’ll take anti-inflammatories gladly when I aggravate my old knee injury during rehearsal, but I’d rather just ice it and throw an ace bandage on. Every night I still take a pill and a half to make sure I feel okay in the morning, and after six months, I still wish I could just do the job myself with some biological duct tape and superglue. So I’ll avoid the Tylenol when my back aches once a month and the Nyquil when I’m having trouble sleeping. I know there’s no good reason not to take over-the-counter medication. I know there’s no point in suffering needlessly when two caplets and 30 minutes could free up my attention
for better things. But I barely ever use OTCs. I just don’t, and it’s probably for some stupid reason like I don’t want to get dependent on them — which probably wouldn’t happen — or I somehow think that my dumb headache is profoundly worthwhile and beneficial to me as a human being. I’ve counted the number of people who are impressed by my reluctance to pillpop for pain relief. The final tally is nil. I think I don’t like over-the-counter meds because they promise an easy fix for the things that hurt and I’ll never believe that such a thing exists. When something hurts, I want it to be for a reason. That’s why I dance. I earned those muscle aches, thank you very much, and all the Johnson generations in the world can’t take that away from me. Lauren Covalucci ’14 (covalucci@college) wonders if popping bottles counts as a sister form of popping pills.
Photo by Lauren Covalucci
Musings about Mary Jane
Crimson cannabis consumption.
By ELDO KIM
aiting for my food in the downstairs section of Le’s Vietnamese Restaurant, I casually look out the window. What I see unfold in front of me next is quite intriguing. A man in his mid-to-late 20s, in a black sweatshirt, stands leaning against the brick wall across the street. His somewhat slouched posture seems to be relaxed and nonchalant, but his eyes tell a different story. They restlessly scan the bystanders on the street, looking for a something or a someone. And eventually, the eyes find their mark. A college student, wearing a navy blue “I took CS50.” t-shirt, strolls towards the man and curtly nods in recognition. The man quickly glances around and takes out a Ziploc bag half full of weed. In response, the student takes out a roll of bills surreptitiously and… fumbles it onto the ground. Are you serious? You had one job. One job. Eventually, the student gets his shit together and they exchange the goods and go their separate ways. Weed, or cannabis, is currently the most popular illicit drug in the world. Often touted as the casual drug, for its easy obtainability and relatively safe side effects, weed has long been a staple in the college community. I grew up in South Korea, a country where even a miniscule level of usage or possession can result in extensive prison time. Social stigma against marijuana runs extremely high. In the United States, Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa openly roll and smoke blunts in public concerts. In South Korea, a
music artist, no matter how popular or prominent, would most likely be forced into an early retirement with a permanent legacy of venomous public judgment and shame. As such, when I first came to America, I was shocked by how students in my high school would smoke in the bathrooms during lunches or brazenly eat “baked goods” in classrooms. After coming to Harvard, I have not come across too many people who smoke weed. Many, who used to smoke in high school, have said that they stopped “blazing up” after coming here because there are more responsibilities and academic chaos. While Harvard has its fair share of 420-friendly students, it pales in comparison to colleges such as University of Southern California or the University of Oregon. I recently had the opportunity to talk to a junior at Harvard about his marijuana usage. He requested that he be kept anonymous. How frequently do you smoke? Usually, I smoke two to three times a week but it also depends on how busy I am. Why do you smoke weed? I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it is an escape, but it keeps me relaxed and grounded. Tell me about the logistics. How frequently? Where? How do you get the weed? With whom? I either smoke inside my dormitory room or outside
near the Charles River. I purchase my weed from another student on campus here. I have no idea where or who he gets it from. I have never really smoked by myself; I only smoke with my close friends. How much money do you spend on weed? I spend about $50 per month. But if I can, I usually mooch off of other people. What do you think is the Harvard student community’s general stance on weed and other drugs? Well, the crowd I run with is very relaxed about drugs in general. But I feel that there is more of a social stigma and negative reputation surrounding marijuana at Harvard than colleges on the West Coast. What is your personal view about drugs? I am basically willing to try anything, but not to an excessive extent. I have done various hallucinogens such as shrooms and molly. As long as I don’t feel dependent on the drugs and my life is not negatively disrupted, I think it’s fine. Eldo Kim ’16 (eldokim@college) thinks you should know that it takes over 800 joints in one sitting to kill a person.
The Young and the Restless
A spoonful of cough syrup is how the medicine goes down. By CAROLINE GENTILE
s a 17-year-old freshman in college, I have not had some of the privileges of my 18-yearold adult peers. I can’t volunteer for certain organizations on campus, I can’t buy lottery tickets, and I’m not even sure if I can go see an R-rated movie. These laws are all pretty well known, though. I’m not surprised when I’m told I can’t buy cigarettes or enlist in the army. But there has been once instance in which I have been surprised by the law, and it happened at CVS. It was the beginning of the school year, and the first round of sickness had come upon us. Almost my entire entryway was suffering. As one of the only people who wasn’t ailing of the typical cough, runny nose, sore throat, and general feeling of crappiness, I offered to go buy some medicine for my sick new friends. So I went to CVS, grabbed a bottle of 4
Dayquil and a bottle of Nyquil off the shelf, and proceeded to the checkout line (not without making some detours through the food section, of course). There were a few people in front of me in line, and my arms were starting to feel the burden of two bottles of cough medicine, Greek yogurt, coconut water, and other various snack foods. But I powered through, with the thought of the relieved looks on the invalids’ faces when I gave them their Dayquil. Soon I was at the front of the line. “Can I see your ID?” asked the cashier. I handed her my credit card out of habit. “No, no. Your ID, please,” she clarified. Wait, what? Is it illegal to buy coconut water or something now? I handed her my ID, and she looked it over. “I’m sorry, but you can’t buy these.
You’re underage,” she said, chucking the bottles of cough medicine into a basket behind the counter. “But…I’m really close!” I offered, gesturing to my November birthday on my driver’s license. “Sorry. It’s the law.” I quickly paid for the other items and left the store in a mixture of shame and indignation. I have to admit, I was definitely relieved that coconut water was still legal, but I was shocked that I couldn’t buy something as necessary as cough medicine just because I wasn’t eighteen. People under eighteen get sick, too! Sure, they usually are living with their parents who can buy them the medicine, but what are people like me supposed to do? Does the government want me to suffer? The answer to that is obviously no (hopefully). After much reflection, I understand why laws like this are
in place. In fact, Dayquil and Nyquil are actually classified as exempt narcotics, which means they are overthe-counter medications that contain low-level dosages of narcotics, such as codeine. You can cook up a lot of harmful drugs or OD if you aren’t careful, which is why minors can’t buy these medicines, and why even adults can’t buy too much of it. Even though I am still considered an angsty teenaged minor by the government, I am not a drug dealer and know how much medicine is too much. Given these qualities of mine, I feel like I deserve to have access to cough syrup. Needless to say, I can’t wait to go buy that particular CVS out of all their Dayquil come my 18th birthday. Caroline Gentile ’17 (cgentile@college) can’t wait for possibly the one perk of being a baby — a fully populated 21st birthday celebration. 11.14.13 • The Harvard Independent
T h a n k s g i v i n g 617
By MILLY WANG With Thanksgiving weekend fast approaching, many students are rushing to book their tickets back home to spend five glorious days with family and friends. But for those who are staying on campus for the long break, there are quite a few interesting places to explore right here in Boston. Whether you’d prefer to visit some museums, go for a walk through some parks, or do some shopping, Boston has a variety of cool places that you can visit. Boston Tea Party Ships & Museum 306 Congress Street Boston, MA 02210 This museum not only offers you the chance to view artifacts of historical importance, but also allows you to immerse in a multisensory experience. If you’re interested in reliving that night at Boston Harbor in December 16th, 1773, then this is the place to go! This floating museum presents live actors, interactive exhibits, and restored tea ships. You’ll even get the chance to dump tea overboard. Institute of Contemporary Art 100 Northern Avenue on Boston’s Waterfront The ICA has shown works by Picasso, O’Keefe, Warhol, Cindy Sherman and Bill Viola in the past. Currently, it features the Exhibition: Amy Sillman: one lump or two, which will run until January 5th, 2014. This exhibition showcases the development of Sillman’s work and features over 90 works, including drawings, paintings, zines and animated film. Also available are two other exhibitions: Expanding the field of painting, which showcases transformations in the practice of painting since the 1970s, and Multiple Mourning Room: Mirrored, which showcases travelers at airports as a symbol of global transience. Museum of Fine Arts 465 Huntington Avenue Boston, Massachusetts 02115-5523 This museum currently features over 10 fantastic exhibits, including She Who Tells a Story: Women Photographers from Iran and the Arab World, Piero della Francesca’s Senigallia Madonna: An Italian Treasure, Stolen and Recovered, Rembrandt the Etcher, and Jewels, Gems and Treasures: Ancient to Modern.
Museum of Science 1 Science Park Boston, MA 02114 This wonderful place features not only exhibits, but IMAX movies, Planetarium shows, live presentations, 3D films, and simulator experience. The current temporary exhibits are focused on nature and climate: Seasons of Change and Climate Change in our world. You can always drop by one of the permanent exhibitions: A Bird’s World, Dinosaurs, Beyond the X-Ray, Cosmic Light, among others. Commonwealth Museum 220 Morrissey Blvd. Boston, MA 02125 Visit this museum to learn more about Massachusetts’ history. The current special exhibit that runs until January 2014 features the watercolor paintings of Louis Fuertes, an American ornithologist, illustrator, and artist. Fuertes is considered to be one of the top five painters of bird art, and his paintings are considered to be some of the most accurate and natural depictions of birds. This is the first time the paintings have been displayed in decades — don’t miss out! BSA Space 290 Congress Street, Suite 200, Boston, MA 02210 BSA Space is Boston’s leading cultural institution of architecture and design. Admission is free and open to the public. Current gallery exhibitions include Conditions/Environments, Boston City Hall: Drawings by Kallmann, McKinnell and Knowles, and Women in Design: Urban Interventions. Boston Symphony Orchestra 301 Massachusetts Avenue Boston, MA 02115 Boston Symphony Orchestra first gave its inaugural concert on October 22, 1881 and is currently in its 129th season. The BSO has performed around the world and if you’re not up for seeing a show, you can always for a tour of this beautiful building. On Friday, November 29th, Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos is joined by American pianist Peter Serkin for one of the most challenging piano concertos in the repertoire, Brahms’s Concerto No. 2. Boston Opera House 539 Washington St. Boston, MA 02111 The Boston Opera House hosts the region’s most active program of top touring Broadway shows, Boston Ballet performances and other high-quality cultural presentations and concerts. During the Thanksgiving break, you can see The Nutcracker, which is Boston Ballet’s production of Mikko Nissinen’s The Nutcracker. The show received great reviews during its premier in 2012. Get a head start on getting into the Christmas spirit! If you are looking for places to shop, Downtown Crossing has a full range of national department stores and boutiques. The Faneuil Hall Marketplace features over 40 pushcarts and 17 restaurants. Newbury Street has some of Boston’s most chic and fashionable stores. The Prudential Center is also another great stop for not only shopping but also dining. And the Haymarket runs every Friday and Saturday year-round and offers fruits and vegetables at great quality and low prices. Or if none of these places appeal to you, other totally awesome ways to spend Thanksgiving include hanging out with friends, watch a few movies, rewind and relax, and catch up on lots of sleep!
Photo by Madeline McMahon
The Harvard Independent • 11.14.13
Milly Wang ’16 (keqimillywang@college) is looking forward to catching up on TV…along the Harbor, of course.
BR OO K
Th Ha e re r va su l ts r d B o D M an f th EG H ce e AN Pr BR oje O O KS ct.
n the main space of the Harvard Dance Center at 60 Garden Street this weekend, the staging for SEESAW was sparse. The white taped outlines of three rectangles on the black floor were outlined themselves with broken rows of chairs, and on the wall furthest from the door, tall, off-white panels were arranged as columns. SEESAW, the fall output of the new for-credit College class known as the Harvard Dance Project, asked its audience to contemplate artifice and agnosia, working from two short passages by René Daumal and Confucius on mountains, building, memory, and descent. As low, pulsating music and chalk white lights (courtesy of lighting designer Jon Gonda) illuminated the space, the audience moved freely around the tape outlines, some sitting on chairs and others on the floor, and others still standing against the walls or with toes on the tape. The intention was immersion, and yet when dancers emerged from behind the white panels, catwalking down the three outlines in “fashion” ensembles, alienation was the result. To begin, ten dancers, each clothed in layers of fabric, walked carefully on invisible heels to the end of the “runway”, where they lowered themselves, turned, and walked quickly away on flat feet, breaking the illusion of height. In a continuous stream, dancers emerged, shedding and rearranging fabric, walking more strangely and arrhythmically as the accompanying music increased in speed — artifice apparent. From their faux runway the dancers broke ranks, scattering across the space and then towards the door as a dancer called “Over Here!” “Over Here!”. In one of the most physically impressive moves of the performance, once rearranged in the center of the space dancers ran forward, one or two at a time and then slid, sock-footed, into a perfect squat. “Ah!” they exclaimed, launching themselves backwards and into the group with big, windmilling arms. As with the runway scene, the dancers’ movements and expressions intensified as the music did, resulting in the impression that something other than themselves was in control. And yet, the next sequence, a mirroring sequence, was about control and regaining it. If the runway scene spoke to artifice, the careful mirroring of one dancer to the other spoke to agnosia, the inability to recognize objects, persons, sounds, smells, or feelings despite the senses being otherwise unaffected. In pairs, one dancer slowly led the next in movement — a hand raised, a calf slowly turned — with the audience seated and standing so close to the dancers, the minutiae of moving muscles were as much a show as the full body. Throughout this sequence, the second dancer learned from the first, regaining the ability to move with grace and without. “SAW” was written in black on the forearm
of the first, “SEE” on the arm of the second, and the movement often focused on presenting the “SAW” to the “SEE”, transferring knowledge of movement and form explicitly. This conceit, seemingly unsophisticated on paper, worked subtly on the stage as the audience discovered movement along with the dancers. This sequence, like much of the performance, focused largely on improvisation, choreographer and course head Jill Johnson’s approach to placing the process of creation on the stage. It also referenced the class’s reflection on Daumal explicitly. After describing the experience of climbing a mountain and seeing everything below, and coming down again, he writes, “There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.” The “SEE” mirroring the “SAW” was as close to a true transfer of memory that the stage will see. Undoubtedly, the audience favorite scene was the absurdist comedic sequence that followed the dancers’ recapture of form. Donning a top hat, one dancer took the role of ringmaster as “Entry of the Gladiators” played. Performing obvious “magic” and miming grand introductions, the ringmaster displayed the comedic timing of a good farce as her fellow dancers rearranged the panels in the background. Upon reemergence, the entire troupe performed classic mime with unusual grace and alacrity. Smiling broadly, they walked down stairs, rode escalators and elevators, fell into holes, and careened through imagined streets in a bus behind a horizontal panel. Brilliantly executed, the mime was as hilarious as it was unexpected, a light treat in the usually serious world of modern dance. As quickly as the mime sequence began it ended, and the dancers moved in unison towards the finale. If the primary theme of SEESAW was artifice, this incongruous comedic moment was most successful in thickening the atmosphere of artifice it intended to create. If its primary theme was artifice and agnosia together, the compatibility of the two was less than obvious. Disjointedness is certainly an aspect of artifice capstone, but an audience still looks for unity across scenes. Nevertheless, in concept and execution SEESAW was a successful capstone to the first semester of the Harvard Dance Project’s inaugural for-credit course. It is rare that a performance so beautiful, thoughtful, and hysterical finds its way to a single space. Johnson’s students have learned well. Meghan Brooks ’14 (meghanbrooks@college) recommends that you see SEESAW as she saw it.
11.14.13 • The Harvard Independent
futures past | Andrew Lin
hey come in all sorts and varieties: sleek aquiline Apple products, dramaticallypoised Japanese models, clunky and corporate American bricks (my personal machine at the moment), each of which comes factorystandard with access to the sum total of human knowledge (and cat videos to boot). These devices are ubiquitous across the campus of fair Harvard, with students exercising dominion over Macintosh Maverick or Windows 8 or iconoclastic Linux-based systems in libraries and lecture halls and dorms and common rooms all over campus. With wireless internet and endless applications at their command, students belabored by the onerous stream of work emanating from their professors and preceptors truly do command their machines, battling problem sets and papers with keyboard strokes and browser-based procrastination. Ten years ago, such a description could only refer to one thing: a traditional laptop computer, done in boxy black and most likely armed with Pentium processors, the sort of machine whose campus-wide ubiquity was most likely limited by price and ephemeral battery life. But with 2014 peering around the wintry corner of December, the undergraduates of Harvard College can now leave their dorms awash in tablets and smartphones and iPods, all of which have come to complement (if not supplant) the old laptop in terms of information processing and access. Such a profusion of technology certainly requires a lot of design talent, from the industrial design of each case and extensions to a uniform design typology for all the variegated products offered for sale. Although a niche hipster design market for retro electronics does exist, modern-day computing technology as hawked to the masses through the ages has more often than not sought to appear futuristic, to connote through design cues the reliability, fashion, and raw chic embodied in the idea of the future. And this then begs the question: what constitutes futuristic design insofar as modern computing is concerned? An excellent place to start searching for answers lies not solely in the field of consumer computing, but rather in its ties to a remote, nerdfrequented cultural field specialized in predicting the future: science fiction. It is an oft-repeated cliché that science fiction begets technological innovation, a standard to which predictive achievements such as Star Trek predicting the flip-phone and Arthur C. Clarke proposing global positioning satellites certainly attest. But clichés do have to take root in something, and at least in the case of science fiction’s influence on modern computing design that something is the reality of the history of computers in science fiction. The earliest science-fiction conception of the computer was of a titanic machine, an enormous room-spanning array of tubes and buttons arranged in improbable permutations to generate solutions from arcane data and problems. Such monolithic conceptions of the computer, however, are far older than one might imagine, and indeed date all the way back to Jonathan Swift’s heady 1726 page-turner The Harvard Independent • 11.14.13
The visuals of technology and their evolution.
Gulliver’s Travels. Upon Gulliver’s arrival in the strange research-collective city of Lagado, Swift introduces the concept of The Engine, a titanic machine, “twenty feet square” and composed of innumerable bits of wood and scribble-covered paper, designed to generate sentences via its movements. Close to a century of technological progress did comparatively little to change that preexisting conception; Charles Babbage’s 1826 prototype “difference machine,” designed to compute mathematical sums through complex mechanical machinations, was some eight feet tall and weighed an imposing fifteen tons. Another century or so later and the picture was, at least from an aesthetic perspective, little different. Although the ENIAC machine designed in 1946 by faculty at the University of Pennsylvania marked a tremendous technological breakthrough insofar as Turing-complete generalpurpose computing was concerned, the aesthetics of it were grim, to say the least. Miles and miles of wire snaked through and around over 17,000 separate vacuum tubes, and indeed the machine in its entirety took up some 1800 square feet and weighed 27 tons. This uniquely massive view of computing certainly proved Jonathan Swift’s predictive acumen right, and indeed led science fiction authors of the period to wax poetical about future computers as brutish, governmentmanaged rooms-cum-machines. With the onset of the 1950s, bigger is better was the mantra of the science-fiction writer seeking to describe the future of computing as an aesthetic construct. Indeed, the examples are numerous: big and bold computers such as Stanley Kubrick’s HAL 9000, Kurt Vonnegut’s cleverly-named EPIPAC, and MARAX from Stanislaw Lem’s The Astronauts all have since become cultural icons for the early, monolithic computer. Isaac Asimov, however, takes the cake for big-computing predictive spirit: in his 1956 short story “The Last Question,” Asimov charted the continual growth in size of the computer, with humanity eventually forced to shove a single galaxy-spanning computer into hyperspace so as to get at processing power needed to determine how to outlast the entropy of the universe. What makes all of this big-computer proselytizing so fascinating, however, is that in this singular case, science fiction was already behind science fact. While big and brash supercomputers dominated the pages and screens of popular culture, a silent revolution – the transistor revolution – was taking place behind the scenes. With the invention of the transistor in 1947 (just one year after ENIAC and its manifest profusion of vacuum tubes), the big, clunky vacuum tubes fell victim to the miniaturization revolution. By 1977, the Commodore PET, the first commercial personal computer – with a monitor, keyboard, and processor bundled in one – came on the market, and the old titanic supercomputers of yore were rapidly banished to data processing centers and scientific research applications. These new computers of the Information Age, from the venerable Commodore to the hugely successful Apple II to the industry-standard
IBM PC, all shared the same basic construction: beige boxes layered on other beige boxes. Such coloration was originally meant to make the computer as inconspicuous and unthreatening as possible, possibly out of a desire to limit comparisons between office computers and the stark black job-stealing human-killing computers of science fiction. Beige computers were meant to blend into beige offices, thus enforcing corporate uniformity and therefore producing a calming work environment. The effect of all this beige, as mercilessly pilloried by Dilbert and other satirical works, was to dehumanize and sterilize the office environment, producing drone-employees sapped of drive, motivation, and creativity – a good descriptor for the 1990s as a whole. And then Apple came on the scene – or rather re-emerged. After enduring years of poor sales following Steve Jobs’ ouster in 1985, Apple burst out of the beige – which had by that point morphed into the equally-undistinguished black – box in 1998 with the iMac. Colored plastic, sleek white curves, and a minimalistic design esthetic all thrust Apple back into the spotlight of both consumer attention and profitability. But that was just the beginning: with titanium PowerBooks, aluminum iPods, and touch-screen iPhones, Apple left its competitors in the dust, slaughtering the Windows-Intel design complex with its consumerdriven modernism redux and forcing Microsoft and friends to scramble all their creative departments to copy, copy, copy. So this is the current state of computing now, here at the 21st century as we approach the halfway point of the second decade, as we Harvard students of the classes of 2014 through 2017 clamor for the newest high-power consumer products and electronics. Nevertheless, Harvard is still home to a singular relic of the old computer age: a segment of the massive old IBM Automatic Sequence Controlled Calculator, fittingly housed in the Brutalist 1970s Science Center lobby. On most days and nights of the week, this huge monolithic segment of 50’s-era computing power is surrounded by frenzied undergraduates working and playing up a storm on their consumer products. And while it certainly is difficult to champion the non-existent design aesthetic (aside from the marvelous lettering on the computer cabinet head), it is still an astonishing reminder of a time when computers were but instruments built exclusively for achievement, for governments and corporations great, taking care of all the dirty operations about which they not afford to care. Perhaps this is mere nostalgic rumination, fuelled by over-analysis of a few plastic-silicon devices and corporate design paradigms, but to dream on the past is something anyone – especially Harvard students caught in the frenetic pace of life here – would do well to remember. Andrew Lin ’17 (firstname.lastname@example.org) carefully crafted this article on an elderly old HP 625, which incidentally is decked out in two-tone black-grey casing and cookie crumbs. harvardindependent.com
MADISON TAYLOR | BEHIND THE SCENES
Do we live for the applause (applause)?
he theater community at Harvard is pretty large, and it begs the questions “How did all these people get involved? Why do we all do theater?” There seems to exist a common conception that people do theater because, as Lady Gaga’s song expresses, we “live for the applause.” But this isn’t the case. While the recognition that comes with performance is a bonus, everyone’s story is different –– some fell into theater, others started for a very particular reason. Some were drawn to acting, others to production by wanting to apply their creativity to costumes, or sets, or directorial activity. We may have taken different routes to get here, but our unique interests and our common passion for theater have brought us together. I asked members of the Harvard theater community why they do theater, and their answers make the diversity of reasons clear. Every actor, director, or designer got their start somewhere, having been inspired onto their course by someone or something. For instance, theater was something Alice Berenson ’16 stumbled upon early on. She said “I was picked out of a hat to play Dorothy in our class production of The Wizard of Oz when I was 4 years old, and I’ve never looked back.” I know for many of my friends and for myself as well, the story is quite similar — an early introduction to performance was the start of a lifelong love. My parents wanted to expose me to just about every type of activity as a child. In addition to a multitude of sports, I sang, danced, learned piano, took theater classes (my original song and accompanying gymnastics routine about the importance of exercise were quite a hit), and acted in school plays –– there’s nothing like playing Enormous Crocodile #1 in a first grade musical production of Roald Dahl’s The Enormous Crocodile to get you hooked on performing. Yet I’d bet if you asked anyone who does theater when they knew they wanted it to be part of their life, even if they’d been performing for years, they’d be able to describe a specific pivotal moment or two in time when they thought “This is it. This is what I love, this is what I want to do.” For me, that moment was watching Elphaba fly high above the audience, belting “Defying Gravity” when I saw Wicked on Broadway for my thirteenth birthday. I saw and felt the magic, exhilaration, and awe inspired by the theater they had created and knew I wanted to be a part of something that could touch people and arouse such deep feelings and reactions just through the power of words, music, imagery, and imagination. For many students who do theater at Harvard, it’s all about creation. They do theater because of what a group of people can collaboratively invent and what they can stimulate in an audience. Mark Mauriello ’15 discussed some of his favorite productions he’s acted in during his time here, and the common thread was that “these were pieces of theater that could not have existed in any other place or time or with any other group of people. They also took risks, and that’s the other really important
thing for me.” Ben Lorenz ’14 echoed this idea of the importance of creation in theater, saying “theater links the imaginary and the material, the concrete and the abstract, and does it all for and with a group of real people in space.… Everything happens THERE and THEN and can never happen again the same way. Theater is all about contingency and chaos and live creation; that’s why its hard, that’s why its fun, and that’s why (I think) it’s important.” What both Mark and Ben touched upon is the magical essence of theater –– something is formed that did not exist before rehearsals began, will change its form in some way each and every day, and will eventually cease to exist after the show ends. Where else can we take part in something so creative, collaborative, and unique by nature? Theater is creation –– of worlds, of people, of realities, and of moments. For a period of time, theater takes us out of our lives and draws us into situations beyond ourselves to pose questions, search for answers, or examine humanity in new, exciting, and often thought-provoking ways. Lily Glimcher ’14 summed up this profound effect theater can have on both participants and audience members in saying “I do theater with the hope that no person will leave a theater the same person that they entered as.” While many of us participate for the chance to create something important, theater also has a strong psychological vitality, both for actors and for the audience. Brenna McDuffie ’15 said, “for me, theater is the greatest tool for the communication of emotions and ideas and a wonderful platform for change and action. I am always surprised by just how much theater can teach me or make me feel, whether I’m watching, performing, or producing.” Indeed, good theater does often inspire emotion, reaction, and self-evaluation both in the audience and in the actors. While situations dealt with in shows are often far removed from the lives of the audience, they can still be incredibly powerful and poignant to witness if dealt with properly. This is accomplished both through the creative work of the various members of the production staff, and through intense and often very personal psychological and character work by the actors. Andy Boyd ’14 said “I do theatre because creating narrative out of pain gives me the permission to heal.” Indeed, personal experiences and emotions often come into play as actors connect with and add depth to the characters they are portraying and try to realistically navigate and understand the situations they’re in as dictated by the show. “I really appreciate the psychological release that goes alongside standing up on stage and becoming a character that has a different personality from your own,” said George Baxter ’16. Theater is an opportunity for actors to access the powerful emotions and thoughts within us that we avoid in our daily lives and to truly feel and express these in a safe environment. Glimcher conveyed this idea as she said “I do theater because it requires absolute vulnerability. Performers are brave as they are
willing to experience pain and joy and fear and excitement that perhaps an audience is unwilling to experience themselves.” This portrayal of raw and sometimes difficult thoughts and emotions on stage, things we may find hard to watch but can relate to and are intrigued by as human beings, is what incites a response in the audience and makes them think more deeply about themselves and the nature of our world. However, connecting to these feelings and ideas has an equally profound effect on actors. Laura Trosser ’16 said “… theatre is a means of using a work to explore the human psyche and to understand emotions and actions that we can’t necessarily rationalize verbally – for me the most rewarding part of theatre is finding something that I connect with on an emotional or subconscious level and then trying to express that on stage.” Great theater puts us, as actors or viewers, in touch with parts of ourselves and with each other in an emotional and thoughtful manner we might never have experienced elsewhere. When I asked Olivia Miller ’16 why she does theater, she quoted Oscar Wilde in an explanation that sums up theater’s psychological and intrinsic value: “I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.” It is very clear from the variety of answers I received to the question “why do you do theater?” that it is not simply for the applause, for recognition, or for escaping reality as stereotypes seem to dictate. Overall, it appears instead to be because theater provides an opportunity for us to create something new, exciting, and meaningful, to leave our mark on and connect with the people around us, if only for a short period of time. It is also a chance to examine ourselves and human nature in a deeper manner than we do in our normal lives. No matter how each of us arrived at the theater and what that “aha” moment was, we share this passion for artistic creation and exploration. But why Harvard theater? What makes it so unique and special, and why is it such a tightknit community that people return to semester after semester? Mauriello explained it perfectly. “All else aside, we will probably not ever get the opportunity to make theater with essentially nothing at stake again, and this is such a luxury. And what’s more, we get to take these risks with our friends. The theater community at Harvard is a very interesting one, but above all, it is a community of people who want to both challenge and support one another. And there is nothing better than walking into a rehearsal room to get started working on something exciting with a group of friends you have incredible love and respect for.” Madi Taylor ’16 (madisontaylor@college) is so happy to be a part of such an amazing community of people and hopes you will read this article and decide to join us in making creative and compelling art! 11.14.13 • The Harvard Independent
Through an indian lens | ADITYA AGRAWAL
A Mid-semester Night’s Rave A trip to the unexpectedly welcoming chaos of The Donkey Show.
aturday nights at Harvard comprise for me — as for many Haardvarks — a volatile mix of party hopping, gregarious revelry, and raucous debauchery. An awful sucker for traditions, I lived up this Saturday night in a similar fashion – except that I spent it wedged awkwardly between drunken fairies and horny donkeys, discovering a surreal theatre experience crafted by no less than a Tony Award-winning director herself. The Donkey Show, directed by Pauline Ryan (also director of the American Repertory Theatre, Cambridge), has been running every weekend since 2009 at the Oberon, just down the road from the Yard on Arrow Street. Oberon is a theatre space tearing down all notions of contemporary theatre space as we know it. It is an ingenious contraption fusing together elements of nightclubs, bars, and theatres; a space unlike any that I have ever experienced before in my fairly seasoned experimentation with a spectrum of Indian theatrical spaces. Oberon has an inconspicuous main stage, an adjacent dance floor, and tables — for the more indulgent patrons — on either side of the dance space. Indian theatrical spaces have had, always, a centrifugal center of gravity that forms the axle for much of the theatrical action – a direct challenge to the interspersed, non-compartmentalized space that Oberon presented. And the act itself demolished the limits of what theatre can encompass. Based broadly off Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, it is a modern adaption shedding the byzantine dialogues and complex characters that entail the original text. I knew that I was in for an entirely unexpected night when the pre-show began: four ‘fairy hunks’ in briefs and bathed in stardust gyrated on disco cubes in the middle of the dance The Harvard Independent • 11.14.13
floor, surrounded by a sea of revelrous patrons hooting, drinking, and dancing. The show brings to the fore a lot of the sexual innuendos often suppressed in the more literary and academic readings of the Bard’s works. We have Mr. Oberon, the club owner, jiggling the breasts of a functionally naked Titania and the fairy Mia dry-humping with a donkey. The characters danced and reveled to classic disco beats from the 70’s, jumping offstage and, at will, shifting the action to the dance floor below or showing up unawares on the balcony mezzanine or on stage-side patron tables. Ultimately, the play is one big nonsensical, orgasmically colorful and unabashedly brusque riot of confusion amongst star-crossed lovers that ends in happy reconciliation amongst all, thanks to Dr. Wheelgood’s potion. (He, a take on the original play’s ‘Puck,’ is the same elf on roller skates that caused the confusion in first place by administering a love potion to each of the individuals.) The show is a fundamentally immersive experience, and the spectators are expected not so much to be viewers of the show as to live and flow with it. The show, I believe, manages to beautifully walk the tightrope between a burlesque, a cabaret, and a play. There are very few Indian theatrical forms I know of that have experimented with the cabaret version in such capacity; such a production would, undoubtedly, have been heckled and brought down by self-appointed moralists in a society that largely prides itself on its moral righteousness at the same time as it harbors an appalling rates of sex crimes, amongst other things. As such, the production holds a special significance for me: it encompasses the metropolitan identity that art should be accorded, free of the bounds of morality and societal norms. Art is essentially an avenue for discovering newfangled means
of expression, and expression never can be limited to ceilings imposed by the existent ways and thought processes of the society. Do keep in mind, though, that the show can potentially be disturbing for some. A friend from New York who I’d coaxed into accompanying me to the show, pressed to leave midway, citing how the show was ‘way too inappropriate’ for her. I found this incredibly funny for countless reasons. Not the least amongst these was the fact that I, hailing from as closeted a society as India’s, was expected to be the more artistically conservative – very few could have imagined a teen from downtown Manhattan to have a more calcified sense of what comprises decent art than I did. This led me to another important conclusion about art: the appreciation of art is a process that can potentially take shape independent of any and all outside influences, from societal beliefs you grew up internalizing for years to background conditions that you still confront constantly. Call me a libertarian if you may, but I believe firmly that art serves to take us forward, and nothing in the past that successfully propels us (and art) in new directions was created within the bounds that society built for us. Aditya Agrawal, ’17 (adityaagrawal@college) believes that libertarianism should be a national religion by itself.
Hard Knock Hockey Harvard loses tough game to Clarkson. By DOMINIQUE LUONGO
alking into the BrightLandry Hockey Center for the first time, you are struck by how, well, contemporary it seems. Let’s just say that there is a reason why Harvard Stadium typically has “Historic” used to describe it. Sitting in Harvard Stadium, you feel more like a spectator in the Roman Colosseum than a college student in a hoodie who still has to decide what you are going to settle down and concentrate in. The Bright-Landry Hockey Center, on the other hand, has all of the violence of the Roman Gladiatorial games (wait until you see a burly hockey player being shoved full force into the glass inches in front of your face), with none of the accompanying antiquity. From the massive foursided Daktronics display (BrightLandry is the first ECAC arena to have a video scoreboard), to the rows of kiosks selling the very finest, albeit the most delicious, deep-fried and unhealthy foods: churros, nachos, hot dogs, and soft pretzels. Harvard hockey games indisputably offer the atmosphere closest to a pro-game of any of the sporting events that I have attended here at Harvard thus far. There is even a dance cam which pans over the crowd during the intermissions between the periods, displaying the most enthusiastically cheering fans and the most adorable little dancing fans in their “Future Freshman” tees. The arena was packed as it was Community Night, Allston, Brighton, and Cambridge residents received free admission with proof of residency. Arguably not in possession of proof of residency was the group of 50 or so war-painted French tourists who sat homeside behind Harvard. At least they were cheering for the Crimson. Recovering from a disappointing loss to the St. Lawrence Saints Friday night, Harvard looked surprisingly agile on the ice, skating determinedly and leaving piles of shaved ice in their wake. Unfortunately, the Clarkson Golden Knights were able to score the sole goal of the first period, as Clarkson freshman defender James de Haas was able to score against Harvard junior goalkeeper Steve Michalek. 10 harvardindependent.com
Photo by Dominique Luongo
Undoubtedly, Michalek was distracted by the Golden Knights’ band who were camped out on the Clarkson side and managed to offend both the eye and ear equally with their horrifically clashing color combination of bright green and yellow and their cacophony of uncoordinated tuba music. Overall, Michalek put in a strong performance for the game, blocking over 30 shots on goal, nearly 10 more shot attempts than the Golden Knights’ goalie had to contend with. Michalek played in place of Harvard senior goalkeeper Raphael Girard, who had an impressive 121-minute shut-out streak before Friday night’s loss against St. Lawrence. Coming into the second period on a power play, Harvard sophomore forward Jimmy Vesey was able to score within two minutes of the start of the period with assistance from sophomore forwards Kyle Criscuolo and Brian Hart. Vesey was the sole scorer for the Crimson Friday night as well, and his performance suggests that he is
in an excellent position for their first Ivy League match against Princeton on November 16. On the list of casualties for the game were three hockey sticks. Breaking during the scuffles that took place, the debris managed to litter the ice, much to the annoyance of the players, who pushed the remains out of their way with aggravation until the referees were able to finally pick up the pieces after several humorously fumbling attempts to do so. With about 13 minutes left in the second period, Harvard freshman defenseman Kevin Guiltinan earned a penalty for a fight that broke out between he and a Clarkson player. The fight nearly came to blows (much to the delight of the French fan section), as Guiltinan and the Golden Knight bashed each other in the body with their sticks before they could be pulled apart. The Crimson was able to successfully put the puck into the net, but the referees ruled it a “no goal” as a few players tumbled into the net along with the puck, much to
the overwhelming displeasure of the crowd. Having lost a considerable amount of momentum with the ruling, the Crimson were tense coming into the third period, allowing Clarkson to score once again with about 18 minutes left to the game. The Harvard Crimson proved unable to score again and lost valiantly to the Golden Knights (2-1), having played fiercely and smoothly. Post game there was an autograph session, in which a surprisingly large number of eager fans considering the loss lined up with their team photos (provided by Harvard Athletics) to receive the signatures of the team. It is this reporter’s belief that their resilience in the face of two dissatisfying losses indicates that the Crimson will be strong in the upcoming Ivy League Season. Dominique Luongo ’17 (dominiqueluongo@ college) is Hulk-raving mad about the “no goal” call and wonders if sports tourism is the hot new thing in Europe. 11.14.13 • The Harvard Independent
Men’s Basketball wins its first game since last year’s fantastic finish. By SEAN FRAZZETTE
ast season was something of a dream season for the Crimson. Harvard finished the year with a 2010 record, which on it’s own doesn’t seem too impressive or out of the ordinary. But behind that record was much, much more. Despite losing captains Brandyn Curry and Kyle Casey to the year due to the cheating scandal, Harvard won the Ivy League, albeit with a little help from some well-timed New Jersey choking. The squad was seeded 14th in the NCAA Tournament, and matched up with a team many picked as Final Four sleeper in New Mexico. Harvard feared not, however, knocking off the Lobos 68-62 for their first ever tournament victory, before losing to Arizona 74-51 in the third round. Coming into this year, the Crimson have massive expectations. Curry and Casey return, adding to a roster that only lost one player— Christian Webster, who is now an assistant coach — from last year’s team. They are seeking their fourth straight Ancient Eight championship, which would be the first time a team has secured such a feat since Penn from 1993-96. The task started Sunday night with their season opener against Holy Cross at TD Garden, for the Coaches vs. Cancer tripleheader. The previously suspended seniors did not seem to miss a beat, as Casey started off the game with a powerful twohanded slam, with Curry following shortly after on a crisp jumper. All was not well initially for the Crimson, however, as the Crusaders outplayed and outhustled their counterparts to an early 23-18 lead, in which nothing seemed to be going right for the men from Cambridge. Junior forward Wesley Saunders, last year’s leading scorer and All-Ivy League player, knocked a three to narrow the lead to two, and kicked off a 21-7 run by the Crimson. The run was bolstered by back-toback threes from senior sixth-man Laurent Rivard, who true fans will remember as a key to past season successes, as well as the catalyst behind the tourney victory over the Lobos. With only a second left in the half, Saunders found Curry for an open three, and the Crimson took a 45-39 lead into the locker rooms. The second half saw much more of the great ball movement and efficiency that put Harvard on top at the end of the first. But with 5:49 remaining in the game, the Crimson saw their lead vanish and the Crusaders found themselves up with a one-point lead. Shortly afterwards, though, The Harvard Independent • 11.14.13
sophomore guard Siyani Chambers went off, scoring seven of his eleven points in a minute and a half stretch, putting the Crimson back up for good. Although Holy Cross attempted to foul their way back into relevance, they never had much of a chance. The Crimson held onto their lead en route to an 82-72 victory. Chambers and Curry shared the point guard role for much of the night, offering the team two elite ball handlers and passers to run the offense with. While his fourteen point, six assist night capped a terrific return for the senior, Curry shined on defense blocking two shots and shutting down the Holy Cross guard play for most of the night. Despite the terrific display of point guard dominance, the whole game could be highlighted by the consistent effectiveness and relentless hustle of reserve forward Jonah Travis. The junior came off early and often, providing the Crimson with twenty points — a career best — and ten rebounds before fouling out late in the second half. Travis shot 70% from the field, collected five offensive and five defensive rebounds, and shot six for six from the line, making the junior an easy pick for player of the game. The only notable performance of the night for the Crusaders came from senior forward David Dudzinski, who dominated the Crimson down low, with twenty-five points and six boards. While such totals may scare those who see the frontcourt as Harvard’s weakness, the Crimson did indeed outshine the Crusaders all night down low, outrebounding them 44-27 and outscoring them 40-28 in points in the paint. While the team in purple will be far from Harvard’s toughest opponent of the season, the opener did bode well for a team that many predict to have one of the best seasons in Ivy League history. Currently, ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has Harvard slotted as an eight-seed in the end-of-the-year tournament. And while such predictions are too early to take seriously, ESPN’s John Gasaway is bold enough to say Harvard could possibly even make the Final Four. And even if one game is too early to tell how the season may unfold, undefeated still has a nice ring to it. Sean Frazzette ’16 (sfrazzette@college) thinks Holy Cross should change their name to the Purple People Eaters. Photo by Xanni Brown
captured & shot
Published on Nov 14, 2013
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