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04. 07. 11


It ’ sa Wonde r ful Li fe I ns i de: Ga y pr i de , pr i nc es sbr i des , a ndpa ga ni s m.

04.07.11 vol. xlii, no. 20 The Indy is coming out (of hibernation). Cover photograph MARIA BARRAGAN-SANTANA

Cover art by


President Vice President Editor-in-Chief Business Manager Production Manager Executive Editor Associate Business Manager News and Forum Editor Arts Editor Sports Editor Design Editor Columnists

FORUM 3 Battle of the Berries 4 Pride Amidst the Puddles 5 The Holy in Holiday 6 Rain, Rain Go Away 7 A Fairy-Tale Wedding ARTS 8 Gears in the Gallery 9 Power Trip 10 McDreamy, McSteamy, McSteaming SPORTS 11 Courts v. Classrooms

Weike Wang ‘11 Whitney Lee ‘14 Yuying Luo ‘12 Amanda Hernandez ‘14 Miranda Shugars ‘14 Riva Riley ‘12 Eric Wei ‘14 Meghan Brooks ‘14 Zena Mengesha ‘14 Brett Giblin ‘11 Alexandria Rhodes ‘14 Sam Barr ‘11, Luis Martinez ‘12

Staff Writers Michael Altman '14 Peter Bacon ‘11 Arthur Bratolozzi ‘12 Colleen Berryessa ‘11 Arhana Chattopadhyay ‘11 Sayantan Deb ‘14 Levi Dudte '11 Gary Gerbrandt ‘14 Cindy Hsu '14 Sam Jack ‘11 Marion Liu ‘11 Hao Meng ‘11 Alfredo Montelongo ‘11 Nick Nehamas ‘11 Steven Rizoli ‘11 Brad Rose '14 Kalyn Saulsberry '14 Marc Shi ‘14 Jim Shirey ‘11 Angela Song '14 Diana Suen ‘11 Alex Thompson ‘11 Christine Wolfe ‘14 Sanyee Yuan ‘12 Faith Zhang ‘11 Susan Zhu ‘11 Graphics, Photography, and Design Staff Maria Barragan-Santana '14 Chaima Bouhlel ‘11 Patricia Florescu ‘11 Eva Liou ‘11 Lidiya Petrova ‘11 Schuyler Polk ‘14

Picks of the Week By INDY STAFF

Friday: Eastbound: A wonderful dance show showcasing the talent of Harvard Wushu, Harvard Deepam, Harvard Chinese Music Ensemble and the Harvard Phillipine Forum. Location: Location Lecture Hall. Time: 5pm and 8:30pm. Ticket Cost: $10 – general admission, $8 – student (for the 5pm show); $12 – general admission, $10 – student (for the 8:30pm show). Saturday: Pops Comes of Age: Featuring Guest Performer Brad Ellis! Calling all Gleeks! Come see The Harvard Pops perform with a special guest pianist straight from one of the popular show, Glee. Location: Lowell Lecture Hall. Time: 8pm. Ticket Cost: $10 – general admission, $8 – student/senior admission.

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 Weike Wang ( Letters to the Editor and comments regarding the content of the publication should be addressed to Editor-in-Chief Yuying Luo ( Yearly mail subscriptions are available for $30, and semester-long subscriptions are available for $15. To purchase a subscription, email subscriptions@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. Copyright © 2010 by The Harvard Independent. All rights reserved. 2

Sunday: Chocolate Seder with Yachad! Harvard Hillel is partnering with Yachad, an organization dedicated to addressing the needs of all individuals with disabilities and including them in the Jewish community. Location: Harvard Hillel {52 Mt. Auburn Street}. Time: 12pm – 1:30pm. Ticket Cost: free. -------------------------------------------------------------Sex, Lies and Drug Dealing Professors? Danny Jeffay: CS Major, smartass, drug dealer. Two hours ago he sold some drugs to a Wall Street executive. They didn’t take. But now he’s got to put that situation on hold when he finds out that his bag is missing — a bag containing his entire drug stash plus $5,000 that he owes to a mysterious campus drug lord named The Iceman. For Danny and his friend Mark, this day is about to take a turn from bad to much, much worse.... Ivory Tower Season 8: Get Addicted <http://www.> 04.07.11 • The Harvard Independent




Battle of the Berries

Berryline Is Best



f you haven’t heard already,

there is big news if you’re a froyo devotee. On Pinkberry’s website, the company claims that it will be “swirling soon” in Harvard Square. But do not let their choice of innocuous words fool you — Pinkberry has essentially declared that it will be invading Harvard Square. While they may try to mask their nefarious plans of invasion as some sort of philanthropic (strategic business) move to bring us a taste of their “Swirly Goodness,” we all know there is something ominous going on here. Many Cambridge residents know of a certain local froyo shop that is a shining beacon of hope and joy when we are craving our fix of froyo. As Medha Gargeya ’14 describes it, “Berryline is more than just a pastel-colored haven nuzzled at the intersection of Mass Ave. and Bow Street. It’s beyond a culinary experience, really. It’s tranquility in a cup.” Berryline is a place where people can discard their worries and be free of stress and anxiety. That’s how good the yogurt is. And Pinkberry actually has the audacity to think that they will be able to compete with such high standards. Now, Pinkberry’s arrival to Harvard Square may not necessarily be a bad thing. It is actually a good thing because as we all know, competition among businesses can be beneficial for consumers as it drives down prices and so forth. However, there is no question over who will win the competition of awesomeness. Berryline will win and yes, there are legitimate reasons as to why it will do so. As we all know, Berryline is this cozy froyo shop that serves The Harvard Independent • 04.06.11

delicious yogurt of all sorts of flavors with a huge variety of toppings. Granted, they only have three flavors available at a time at each shop, but they make up for that with quality. This is especially apparent when you try the original because it is then that you can really taste the refreshing tartness of the yogurt. In fact, it makes sense that they would have better tasting yogurt — Berryline is not a huge franchise business like Pinkberry. They do not massproduce their yogurt, which also explains why they do not churn out 10 different flavors at a time. If you are worried about getting sick of certain flavors, don’t be! Berryline is known for switching up flavors every couple of weeks. So unless you eat froyo for every meal (if you do, maybe you should go see someone…), you have nothing to worry about. As a small business, Berryline definitely has a unique atmosphere. If you were suddenly dropped into a Pinkberry shop, you couldn’t tell where you were because they all look nearly identical. On the other hand, Berryline has gives off a local vibe. The people working at Berryline are super friendly and always patiently let you try out the different flavors. Pinkberry may be shiny and new, but don’t let that sway you. Allow the quality of the experience and especially of the quality of the yogurt to make the judgment. We all know Berryline trumps Pinkberry, and I suspect that time will prove that true.

Cindy Hsu ’14 (cindyhsu@college) will be picketing Pinkberry this Friday by eating Berryline in its store window. Join the movement!


Pinkberry Power! By MEGHAN BROOKS

P inkberry is one thing , it is extremely, incredibly, wonderfully, and amazingly good. Really. For about five dollars and thirty cents in crisp, jangly cash you can get five heaping ounces of decadent chocolate frozen yogurt loaded with as many toppings as will fit in the rather generous Pinkberry paper cup — and what toppings they are. Still-wet raspberries and blueberries plump with the juices of summertime shimmer under the fluorescent lights of the glass counter. Deep orange-yellow cubes of mango and tender green rounds of kiwi stand out against the neat tubs of milk chocolate shavings and dark chocolate crisps that rest between the tubs of fruit, so close and yet still a full cash transaction away. Dense and creamy mounds of white cheesecake, savory crumbles of cashew, the chewy pull of mochi — all these and more tempt the tongue and draw droves of yogurtlovers to Pinkberrys across the country. This past Sunday, the line of customers at the Pinkberry on Newbury stretched from the cash register through the store to the sidewalk outside, and surprisingly, though the wait was over twenty minutes long, no complaints could be heard from anyone in line. It might have been the soothing effect of the cheerful yet modern pale green and blue décor of the store that calmed the crowd, or perhaps it was the longawaited emergence of the sun, but judging by the entirely froyorelated content of conversations, it is more likely that they were placated by their overwhelming desire for the tangy goodness that is the yogurt itself. Pinkberry frozen yogurt, which swirls out of sparkling chrome nozzles as if it were a f

creamed cumulus cloud, has a tang cleaner and more refreshing than that of any other frozen yogurt available, including that of the local favorite, Berryline. There is something about the way in which the Pinkberry tang touches bright and slightly sweet on the tongue that sets it apart from other yogurts. It is a tang distinct enough to shine through in any of its six seasonal flavors without overwhelming the delicate freshness of flavors such as lychee or the rich fragrance of flavors like coffee. It is a tang that lands lightly and then bounces off again, leaving a pleasant, crisp aftertaste no matter the flavor it came with. Although people come to Pinkberry for the froyo and fresh toppings, loyalty to the Pinkberry brand is not driven only by flavor. Originally from So-Cal, it is no surprise that the frozen yogurt is low-calorie and no-fat or low fat, making it a dessert option that fans aren’t afraid to call healthy. Pinkberry is the dessert to the stars, and with a new location opening in Harvard Square on April 8, it can be dessert to us Harvardians as well. Although Berryline is the go-to froyo shop in the square, Pinkberry, with its greater flavor selection, wider range of toppings, and much larger store space, will provide a more convenient and more delicious alternative to both Berryline and the stuff they serve in the dining halls. So if you’re reading this, stop by today and get converted — the only part of you that might feel sorry is your wallet.

Meghan Brooks ’14 (meghanbrooks@ college) is still trying to wipe the drool off her keyboard after writing this.



Gaypril LBGTQ on campus.


Maria Barragan-Santana / INDEPENDENT


May what does Gaypril bring? For students at Harvard, Gaypril, the month that student groups on campuses across the United States have dedicated to recognizing and celebrating LGBTQ issues and activism, will bring more than a dozen events of all shapes and sizes to campus. Harvard’s very own Queer Students and Allies (QSA) is hosting a number of lectures, discussions, film screenings, and parties in honor of the month, and has organized each of Gaypril’s four weeks to reflect the diversity and vitality of queer life on Harvard’s campus. Last week, “Week One: Learning about LGBT” included a group discussion, a film screening, the first part of the “Trans 101” series, and a law school conference devoted to the unique legal issues surrounding LGBTQ youth and elders. This afternoon kicks off “Weekend of Activism” with the Queer Activism Fair in Boylston’s Ticknor Lounge, and Saturday brings the Educational Bodies Conference, a daylong series of events dedicated to exploring the role of gender and sexuality in academia. With week three come the pre-frosh, and with the pre-frosh come ice cream socials, meet-andgreets, and of course, a huge dance party. That Friday also happens to be the Day of Silence, an annual event 4




showers bring

organized by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network that asks participants to remain silent for the day, symbolically echoing the silence faced every day by LGBTQ students in schools. The final QSA Gaypril events will take place on Friday, April 22nd. At eight o’clock, a drag night at the Queen’s Head will begin, and will be followed with a mixer at Daedalus on Mt. Auburn Street, where festivities are projected to last until one in the morning. Said QSA Social-Committee cochair Alex Chivescu ’13 about the month, “Gaypril offers LGBTQ students at Harvard the opportunity to connect through dozens of  community  interest activities, from graduate school conferences to weekend social events. It is also a period of important transition as we introduce LGBTQ life at Harvard to incoming first-years and bid farewell to the seniors who will graduate.” The Gaypril events that Chivescu and the rest of the QSA Board have prepared for the month reflect the spirit of Gayprils at other colleges across the nation, where students and student groups come together to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues, promote activism, and celebrate the communities that already exist on campuses. Gaypril’s focus on college students is no accident — although

the traditional Gay Pride month is June in commemoration of the 1969 Greenwich Village Stonewall Riots, festivities on college campuses are moved to April in order to accommodate a celebration within the school year. On the national level, LGBTQ events in June tend to center on specific “pride weeks” that culminate in pride parades. Boston’s own Pride Week 2011 will happen between June 3rd and 12th and will commence with Mayor Menino raising the rainbow flag over City Hall. Later in the week, Boston will see dance parties, block parties in Jamaica Plain and on Stuart Street, a “Pride Idol” competition based off Fox’s hit reality show American Idol, a pageant contest open to all regardless of gender identification, film screenings, and, of course, the pride parade itself. Boston’s 2011 Pride Parade will begin in the South End, a neighborhood with a wellestablished LGBTQ population, and will then wind its way through other neighborhoods to City Hall Plaza, where a festival will await paradegoers and participants. Boston’s Pride Week, like similar weeks around the country, is not only dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ pride, but also to promoting “safe and healthy spaces” for people of any sexuality and gender, and to continuing the fight

for complete equality. Although pride weeks held in June strive to include people of all ages, devoting a full month to celebrating queer identities while students remain on college campuses is especially important because college is often the place where people grow into their sexual identities. At Harvard, many Gaypril events resemble those of Boston’s Pride Week. However, some also take advantage of the university setting to engage in educational efforts, while others take advantage of the small college community to focus on the well being of LGBTQ students at the group discussion level. According to Chivescu, as Gaypril enters its second week at Harvard, the QSA continues to “take on the challenge of filling this month with informative and entertaining events to round out the school year with a fabulous bang.” So if you’re a LGBTQ student or ally at Harvard, consider checking out some of the month’s events, because while the QSA sticks around for all three hundred and sixty-five day in the year, Gaypril only gets to take up thirty of them.

Meghan Brooks ’14 (meghanbrooks@ college) wishes everyone a happy Gaypril!

04.06.11 • The Harvard Independent


Easter on Parade


Or how I realized I’m a pagan.

Maria Barragan-Santana / INDEPENDENT



he realization arrived late

came slowly, spanning a number of years during which I lived in confusion. It started in elementary school, during one fateful Christmas that I remember with clarity. One of the three Katherines in my predominantly Irish Catholic suburb announced that she was now old enough to go with her family to midnight mass on Christmas Eve night. “What’s mass?” I asked. “Isn’t that the same as weight?” The kids around me started to chime in, some moaning that they had to wait until junior high and others gloating that they had been going to midnight mass since kindergarten. It took me the better part of recess to figure out that most everyone I knew went to church on Christmas. “But why?” I asked. I was alert and

The Harvard Independent • 04.06.11

enough to know that churches existed, but aside from serving as Sunday prisons to my unfortunate peers, I was not aware of the precise involvement of Church in other parts of their lives. “Well, we have to visit Jesus on his birthday,” somebody explained to me. They then asked me politely what my family did to commemorate Jesus on his birthday. As an offspring of an intercultural marriage, I imagine that my family provided a mind-blowing mystery to those dutiful church-going youngsters. I was unable to satisfy their curiosity because I was too busy wondering why Christmas was at all related to churches, religion, or Jesus’s birthday. I only had to go the Riley family Christmas party that, coincidentally, does not involve any kind of mass.

The awkward circumstance of not realizing that religion was involved with Christmas was perhaps delayed — I probably ought to have realized that a bit earlier. However, in my defense, Christmas does not immediately invoke religious feelings. My family had a Christmas tree, all my friends’ families had Christmas trees. I got presents, all my friends got presents. I had a nice dinner with my family, all my friends had a nice dinner with their families. My younger self made the reasonable assumption that Christmas was nothing more than a festival of winter, a time of twinkly lights to distract from the bitter cold. Perhaps because of my mixed family, blurred details didn’t bother me so much. For example, on the Indian brother-sister holiday, a sister ties a symbolic bracelet around her brother’s wrist and, in return, he has to get her a gift. Awesome. Did my sisters and I understand the precise language of the mythology that inspired this holiday? We did not, and it didn’t make tying a bracelet onto our brother’s wrist and getting a present any less exciting. However, the Easter and Christmas conundrums involved more than a little detail gone unnoticed. I hadn’t been aware of the whole point of the Christmas holiday. Now, imagine my shock when I realized that Easter wasn’t a celebration of baby rabbits and candy shaped like eggs. In fact, the crux of Easter has nothing to do with those fundamental parts of my childhood Easter experience. I won’t belabor the details of that revelation (which involves a miscommunication of the proper meaning of “resurrection”), but let me just say that I was shocked. I reflect on these realizations because, as this year’s Easter approaches, I’m reminded of the halcyon days of my early youth, during which I got baskets filled with fake grass, plush rabbits, chocolates, and jelly beans to celebrate the spring. We had Easter egg hunts in my Uncle Jim’s big backyard. We

went to brunch at my grandma’s and ate some lovely food. We threw bright plastic eggs filled with water at one another and almost ruined the new carpeting. Both of my parents, my Irish father and Indian mother, conveniently neglected to mention that there was an actual religious undertone to all of this. Frankly, without its religious underpinnings, Easter is just a celebration of baby rabbits, newly laid eggs, and new life in general. What is more decidedly pagan than that? And without Jesus’s (fake) birthday, Christmas is just a winter festival of lights, spawned to keep spirits up during the cold season, which is definitely not a new idea. Inadvertently, I’m sure, my parents raised me up to be a pagan. I hope my parents will rest assured, however, because I do not blame them for it. In fact, I think everybody should turn into pagans and start a new religion, a modern paganism that incorporates the good parts of the holidays we already practice and leaves the dull bits behind. Admittedly, this leaves us with the original holidays of the pagans before they were bastardized, but we can still make them our own. For example, instead of going to church for midnight mass on Christmas Eve, we might drink eggnog and decorate our (pagan) Christmas trees, or we might do something practical to fight the cold (like sew blankets for Siberian orphans). For Easter, we can still give baskets filled with trinkets and candy to children and send them to roam outside in search of eggs. They may think it’s strange, but they will be happy to do it, and when they realize they are pagans, they might reflect happily on their untroubled youths of holidays that reflect an older, more ancient history. Then they will dye some eggs and wonder if it’s safe to eat an egg that is colored purple.

Riva Riley ’12 (rjriley@fas) really thinks paganism is the way to go.



Get Sprung

Welcome warm weather returns to Cambridge.



ast week, at our hebdomadal writers’ meeting, the staff of Th e H a r va rd I n d e p e n d e nt focused on two main topics: the free Chinese food which came to us by way of the HRCSA, and the terrible, terrible absence of spring which had befallen us. It had been more than a week since the big clock in the sky (or, well, the Earth’s rotation angle) ticked over into spring territory, and yet the days had been miserable without fail. For the entire second half of March, things had been awful. We alternated between cold and colder, and only once or twice did the suncentered sky poke through a low, gray layer of cloud. It had been doing a lot of “raining,” depending on your definition of rain. (Mostly, it had been sleeting, snowing wetly, or raining while cold — all three officially do not count among the rejuvenating precipitation patterns of spring.) Yet, by far, the worst weather day was April 1. When I woke up that morning, refreshed from a decent sleep and a few prize reactions to a crappy April Fool’s joke, I let fly my curtains to discover a wintry wonderland.  It is April, right? I’m surely imagining this. Still asleep? Nope. Yeah, no, that’s real. Okay, worst prank ever, world. Strangely, as quickly as the misery of more winter befell us (thanks mainly to the groundhog prognosticators whose evil doings must have cursed all of New England), the clouds parted, and Harvard Yard floated beneath a glassy plane of blue. The sun cast the old buildings in a stark, shadowy relief, and the snow vanished as quickly and mysteriously as it arrived.  I don’t want to try to predict the future, or even the weather, but after the horrible incident which made everything worse that “hilarious” April Fool’s morning, things have (mostly) improved. It 6

was seasonably lukewarm all of Saturday, and the tourists were out in full force to watch the Yard and its inhabitants tentatively awaken. People have finally begun sitting in the Yard after a long, my-asswill-be-cold hiatus. And, as my Facebook newsfeed can attest, the colorful, plastic-y chairs have once again returned to the Yard. On Sunday, I walked up to Porter Square. I was surrounded by smiling faces, people’s chattering about life, absorbing the omnipresent sun’s rays, walking past me wearing fewer than two layers of clothing. The time of the North Face fleece has passed. The parka is headed back to its closet igloo, and most importantly, the unpleasant winter doldrums are headed along with it despite the rain that put a damper on springlike temperatures Monday and Tuesday. As I write this, I realize that spring means more than just the budding of trees and the return of the sun. It means that this year at Harvard is coming to its end. Reading Period begins in three weeks, as hard as that is to comprehend. The last day of finals is only about two weeks

after that, and then, like the leaves that will unfurl and drape the Yard in a green curtain, another year will have reached a wonderful end. I know I can’t wait.

Gary Gerbrandt ’14 (garygerbrandt@ college) is so close to pulling out his sandals — so close.

04.06.11 • The Harvard Independent


The Princess Bride


…And Disney’s other perplexing market ploys.

When I grow up, I want to be a princess!” While this sentiment might be overbearingly cliché, there are many little girls (and boys) who dream of being Jasmine or Cinderella when they are old enough to go to balls, prick their fingers on enchanted spindles, and kiss handsome princes. The Disney princesses have become an integral part of many people’s childhoods — however, I would like to emphasize the word childhood. Though a woman may feel a nostalgic attachment to Belle’s swooping yellow dress, a garment she may have worn on her fourth Halloween, one would think that the attachment would remain a fond reminiscence of the innocence and make-believe of childhood and would have no repercussions on the present. Unfortunately, those assumptions are misleading. In the fall of 2010, Andrew Angelo, an international wedding dress company, announced that it would be releasing a line of bridal gowns inspired of Disney princesses. There are a total of seven styles, each one reflecting, as Alfred Angelo declares, “the style and sensibility of Disney’s iconic princesses fit for today’s sophisticated bride.” While it may sound fun to wear an Arielinspired gown (and accompanying jewels), the consumer needs to recall that the gown is in fact the gown. These Alfred Angelo creations are not dresses — they are wedding dresses. These gowns are marketed towards grown women who may soon be or already are in the position of watching these same movies with their children! I believe that there comes a point at which Disney should not be involved in one’s life, and that point should certainly come before a wedding. I may be wrong, but I have been told that a wedding is a moment of maturity. If the idea of a wearing a Disney gown still invokes a certain idealized romance, we should again recall that the moment at which The Harvard Independent • 04.06.11

By CHRISTINE WOLFE most people identify with princesses is at least a decade before they could ever begin to understand romance, not to mention human speech. To add to the ludicrous idea of wearing a Disney Princess gown to one’s own wedding, some of the dresses are simply embarrassing. As a particwularly evocative example, I suggest looking up the Jasmine dress. Jasmine is a wonderful princess, but this dress does not do her justice. The gown is highly reminiscent of a basic prom dress, but white, with plain, draped, unfitted fabric. The rather boring dress is given some flair with a rhinestone halter. Yes, a rhinestone halter on a wedding dress. Not only is the dress so far from elegant as to lose all association with a wedding, but it also somehow seems culturally misguided: the dress is described as the most “exotic” of the bunch. Simply adding a halter neck to a dress does not make it representative of Middle Eastern culture, and the association is exquisitely painful. While others may disagree with my fashion assessment, it is truly unacceptable for Disney to be promoting p r i n c e s s paraphernalia to adults. Disney’s seeming market confusion is only worsened when taking into account its recent decision to nix princess movies. After the release of 2009’s The Princess and the Frog (starring Tiana, after whom another dress is modeled)

and 2010’s Tangled, Disney announced that it would no longer produce princess movies. As Dafna Lemish, chairwoman of the radio and TV department at Southern Illinois University, explained in a November 21st LA Times article, Disney execs recognize that after about five, young girls don’t want to be princesses — they want to be “hot” like their pre-teen role models on shows like iCarly and, until recently, Hannah Montana. Following this logic, Disney is going to place its investments more wisely and promote sexiness amongst children. Although it is just barely acceptable for a twenty-five year old woman to wear a larger-sized children’s gown, it is not in the realm of human possibility to accept that Disney, the largest children’s entertainment industry in the world, would uphold such values. The point Disney seems to be missing is that as the primary source of entertainment for children, it should be fostering healthy, positive ideals. There seems to be enough image

crises within the teenage and adult world today — those struggles should not spill over into the realm of childhood. A question that begs asking is where Disney came up with the idea that little girls don’t want to be princesses. I gave out candy at my mother’s clothing store for the last five years at Halloween, and I can tell you with confidence that there were indeed innumerable small girls roaming up and down the streets in pastelcolored princess gowns and tiaras. The old princess movies have not fallen out of fashion so why should the new ones? Perhaps if Disney put as much effort into their movies as they did with The Princess and the Frog, little girls would be more impressed. Hopefully, however, this infatuation with Disney will wear out by the time girls reach their twenties, or those princess gowns won’t be disappearing anytime soon.

Christine Wolfe ’14 (cwolfe@college) is anti-monarchy, especially when it comes to bridal wear.

Maria Barragan-Santana / INDEPENDENT


Around Campus


Crouching Giant W


hat is mankind’s relationship

with machinery that is purely functional, utilitarian, aesthetically unaltered and for that reason, hidden away from our everyday lives? Is there discomfort with the idea of a piece of factory equipment in your living room? A boiler in your bedroom? What does it mean that the machines which are so crucial to life as we know it exist on a plane separate from us? And what about what those machines create? What does living in a world of mechanically, serially

produced images do to us? These are some of the questions that were raised by the tension inherent in Sonia Coman’s visual art show “Replicating Modules are Chosen in the Optimal Way.” Coman ’11 began asking these questions her freshman year at Harvard in a project for one of her classes. Since then, this project became more personal and expanded to an artist’s showcase in Gallery 263 in Cambridge. The exhibit seemed a bit disjointed at first. Ranging from 2D art such

Art show gives insight into daily life.

as wallpaper featuring repeated images of machines juxtaposed with a flower patter to installation pieces like a couch with a pan of pills and coins, the thread that connected the pieces conceptually was unclear. At her artist’s talk, however, Coman articulated her vision beautifully. The aforementioned wallpaper was a large part of the discussion and Coman explained that it explored two themes. The first was the relationship between mechanical production of images versus artists’ hands; the second was photo courtesy of Sonia Coman the contrast between the seemingly serial inescapability of industrial imagery and the domestic or personal realm. The juxtaposition of the two patterns was an attempt to force hidden imagery into the domestic sphere. The discomfort Coman expects her viewers to feel is a tool for opening up questions about machinery’s place in our lives. The machine imagery was a photo Sonia took herself of the energy plant at MIT. She said that she was not able

to actually access the machines and she left the fuzzy glare in the photo to show that even then, she was separated from them by a clear wall of plastic. Another piece that was discussed was a child’s teddy bear pinned facing small white canvas. The paradox in this piece came from the fact that such an object which is serially produced and distributed far and wide could simultaneously be something we could consider so personal and, especially for a child, very charged. In the end, Coman communicated that her goal is to make the gallery an intermediate space where questions of aesthetic merit and worries about serially produced images can be brought forward. “The Gallery is the only place where this question is valid. We need to start exploring it there.” She believes that by de-familiarizing the familiar and familiarizing what is kept out of sight, there can be discussion of a middle ground. Machines already exist, secretly propping us up and making what we do possible. Ultimately, Coman’s work asks: do we want to let them be a real part of our lives or leave them be, silently and oppressively all around us?

Zena Mengesha ’14 (mengesha@college) wonders if she should go looking for the Canaday heating tanks.

photo courtesy of Sonia Coman


04.07.11 • The Harvard Independent

Pop Culture Arts


Truly Limitless? By SAYANTAN DEB

Bradley Cooper shines in this captivating thriller.






times I come out of a movie breathless. It’s absolutely clichéd, but the new movie Limitless truly made an impact on me during its hour and forty-five minute run and kept me thinking long after the credits had rolled. The movie boasted of big name stars, creating hype before it even was released. Bradley Cooper and Robert De Niro alone were enough to make me run to the theaters. As a movie buff, however, I was also excited because Neil Burger, who had previously directed one of my favorite movies of all time, The Illusionist , also directed this movie. Going in, I expected a thriller, and hopefully one that made me think. Furthermore, I expected a stellar performance from De Niro, and I was intrigued by the prospect of Bradley Cooper trying his hands in drama after being exclusively seen in comedies and action. Right from the title sequence, the movie had me glued to the screen. Bradley Cooper is perched on his New York skyscraper balcony waiting to jump. Suddenly, the camera takes a dizzying drop, rushing past the nooks and crannies of Manhattan, until finally it reaches to a crashing halt in a human brain, focusing on one neuron. In many ways, this first sequence parallels the movie itself. As Bradley Cooper discovers the “magic” pill NZT, turns his dilapidated life around, and the movie picks up. But the thrills have barely begun. As Cooper climbs the ladder of success, you want to cheer him on, but all

is not sunny. When De Niro’s character enters the scene, Cooper’s life starts to tumble downwards. Long after the movie has ended one keeps wondering, “What was that?” As I said in the beginning, the entire experience is thrilling. Plot development starts off slowly, adding impact to the rest of the movie. When the drug NZT comes into the picture, the movie speeds up too, and eventually becomes a whirlwind. The pace fluctuates with Cooper’s character’s doses

Bradley Cooper show all the way. Though the actor has a very challenging role to perform, he does not fall into stereotypes — he is neither your quintessential drug addict nor is he always the smart guy. He has a very thin line to balance, and he does it with gusto. This is probably the best performance of his career, and now I can truly say that Cooper can act, beyond relying on slapstick and muscles. In the same vein, De Niro is wonderful in the small part

We don’t see him too often, but his character’s development with NZT foils that of Cooper’s and is wonderful to watch. Abbie Cornish as Cooper’s girlfriend has little to do in the movie, but she shines in the small part. One complaint though — her character didn’t see a lot of development, and the writers take the easy way out too often with “I loved you” as her justification for her actions. Overall, this movie ranks high on this year’s otherwise lackluster slew of movies. My recommendation is to watch this movie for Cooper — he is a revelation. The story also makes one think, and at the end of the day warns us, what would we do if our dreams of grandeur (unlimited intelligence, unlimited power, unlimited strength) did come true? Would we truly be limitless? Or are we forever limited by the world we live in, by our very human vices, by jealousy, lust, and greed? At the risk of sounding too philosophical, I would recommend the movie to all of us here at the college (not because it is a great cinematic experience, which by the way, it is) but because we are all ambitious, sometimes overtly so, and this movie underlines the importance of being so, with prudence.

"Long after the movie has ended one keeps wondering,

'What was that?'"

The Harvard Independent • 04.07.11

of NZ, until the very end, when finally it reaches an even pace. It is also visually excellent — cinematography by Jo Willems is superb, and lends the movie character. The contrasting brightness between the time with NZT and without adds dimension, and gives the movie a nouveau French feel, as does the camerawork. The camera follows the character closely, speeding up or slowing down with the characters, shaking when they are worried or nervous, and in one instance, literally turning upside down. Technically, the movie is perfect. In terms of acting, it’s a

that he has to play. I wish he had more of a role in the story, and part of me feels as if that part didn’t deserve De Niro. Regardless, he does bring plenty of gravitas to the character, and his interactions with Cooper are exciting to watch. Di Nero can make even the most inconsequential characters compelling, and this is no exception. The same goes for other actors with little screen time. Every character made the most of his or her moments in from of the camera. Andrew Howard as the mob boss turned suave entrepreneur strikes a perfect balance of comedy and threat.

Sayantan Deb ’14 (sayantandeb@ college) doesn’t want super intelli gence as his fantas y superpower anymore.



Singing in the Operating Room T

Grey’s Anatomy’s musical foray disappoints.

M usical E pisode ” is certainly not a newfangled idea. Currently, the powers that be in networks are propagating this phenomenon across the nation. With talented stars on every show, it is not surprising to find that many actors can carry a tune as well, and what better way to exploit this gift than to create an entire episode featuring their vocal prowess? Given the explosive success of the completely musicdriven Glee , it comes as no surprise that whether excitement or uncertainty propels the hype. It certainly drives the ratings up, and everyone knows that is the only thing writers and producers are focused on these days. Years ago, Scrubs pulled it off with My Musical, and more recently How I Met Your Mother’s Girls vs. Suits was triumphant. The key to their success lies in the fact that these are both comedies. Throwing in a couple song-and-dance routines is just another way to milk laughs from the audience. Fringe toed the line with Brown Betty because as a drama, it is far more difficult to make breaking out in song realistic in a show filled with solving otherworldly mysteries, though Fringe’s typical offbeat storylines could have helped. The writers get around that slight inconvenience by leading viewers through a strange pot-induced story-telling hallucination by Walter, a man who’s already insane enough that his noir-thirties-fantasy involving singing corpses doesn’t even make you blink an eye. As a Grey’s Anatomy fan who grew frustrated with the show after the third season finale, then was persuaded to come back to a revitalized cast midway through the sixth season, I wasn’t sure what to think about a prospective musical episode. he



There was excitement as I and Lexie, but almost every had heard of the Tony award- other character chipped in with winning chops of Sara Ramirez surprisingly strong vocals.  and Chandra Wilson — not to Song choice was mediocre mention Kevin McKidd, who can a t b e s t , h o w e v e r . T h o u g h reputedly sing as well. The fact the symbolism of featuring that this musical episode was i m p o r t a nt s o n g s f r o m t h e coming directly after a pregnant show’s run were great tributes Callie Torres got in a brutal to “How to Save a Life” and car crash right after a proposal “Chasing Cars” was clear, some made me skeptical. I wondered just didn’t quite fit with the how Grey’s would courtesy of wikicommons manage to pull off a musical in the midst of such a tense, drama-filled episode. The way to get around your vocal star being in a coma for the entire episode while still belting out stunning solos, I found, was to create an out-ofbody experience for her. This was not the strangest t h i n g Grey’s has attempted, considering “sleep with the ghost” was one of the plotlines moment. “Running on Sunshine” that made me initially decide was much too upbeat for the the show was no longer worth episode, and the introduction of watching. However, in this case, it with an awkward role reversal having Callie’s odd second body in Callie’s mind of how the car floating around in almost every crash occurred followed by sexy scene was symbolic enough time with every couple on the emotionally for me to excuse its show was uncomfortable to say eccentricity. The storyline was the least. Yes, I realize that fabulous, one of the best I’ve seen Callie is currently stable, and this season, with the intricacies yes, I understand that these of Meredith and Derek dealing weren’t just random hookups but with their failed baby-making meaningful relationships, but attempts, Cristina’s constant I still felt like the entire scene teacher-student battles with didn’t belong in this episode. Teddy, and Mark and Arizona Another cringe-worthy moment resolving their issues interwoven was Owen’s lead as trauma subtly with the overarching surgeon in the OR, as song lyrics question of whether Callie and were used to bark orders at the her baby would live. The singing, other surgeons and dialogue was of course, was fabulous. The clumsily inserted in the gaps clear winners were Callie, Owen,

of the song. In these scenarios, writing your own lyrics to fit a scene might have been best, rather than recycling previously featured songs on the show. Then again, given Scrubs’ offbeat take on songwriting, that may have been best left to the comedies. I cannot deny that I loved Mark’s tiny rock’n’roll bit, or finally hearing Callie’s renowned

singing capabilities that definitely did not disappoint. It was thrilling to watch the entire cast put so much effort into an experiment, which is exactly what it was and should remain. Though I will be sad to see their musical talents go, Grey’s Anatomy has proved its strength in drama, romance, and comedy — adding music to the list is unnecessary. The plotline was brilliant, the singing was fabulous, but together, especially in such a key, emotionally driven episode like this one, the two clashed horribly.

Angela Song ’14 (angelasong@ college) will only break out into song in the shower.

04.07.11 • The Harvard Independent



Dear Kyrie A letter to exceptionally talented student-athletes everywhere.


By BRETT MICHAEL GIBLIN arlier this week,

Chris Cusack wrote a satirical article in The Duke Chronicle highlighting reasons why star freshman Kyrie Irving should stay in school, as opposed to turning pro and likely having his name called by Cleveland as the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA draft. As has often been the case with any satire pieces published since Jonathan Swift first put forth A Modest Proposal, this particular piece was called offensive and hateful. Cusack quickly clarified the intention of his piece as a simply a way to point out that there may be some drawbacks about being a one year

courtesy of wikicommons

The Harvard Independent • 04.07.11

and done player. I plan on levying criticism at the article not because of its tone: I love satire. Nor will I critique Cusack’s work for the alleged hateful tone, or for the implication that Irving owes something to the fans at Duke. Rather, I disagree with the core arguments in the piece. One might think that I am picking on Cusack or presenting my arguments out of some sort of spite for Duke basketball or the University. This could not be further from the truth. I first fell in love with Duke basketball when my brother, Tom, was there during the J.J. Redick golden years. He lived down the hall from Redick and a few basketball players freshman year, eventually worked in the athletic department, and was actually rewarded a scholarship that is given to athletic departments by the NCAA when studentathletes receive player of the year awards. In my own experience, I was originally committed to attend Duke before I was granted admission to Harvard off of the waitlist in late June 2007. I had already been assigned a roommate at Duke by the time my withdrawal was official — a basketball player from New Jersey named Casey Peters. I am hardly an objective observer or a Dukie hater. I love the Duke basketball program and everything that it represents. If Kyrie Irving were to stay with the program, however, it would be a stupid decision for both him and his family. To illustrate this, I have a briefer, if equally sarcastic letter to Mr. Irving: Dear Kyrie, I know that you have been receiving many opposing opinions as to whether you should turn pro this spring or return for a second year of Duke basketball. One such opinion was a letter published this week in “The

Chronicle.” In it, the author encouraged you to turn pro, and demonstrated a convincing grasp of the opportunity costs that you will be taking advantage of by turning pro. It has been suggested that you should look to the careers of Carlos Boozer, Grant Hill, and Shane Battier as models for your career. Each of these players stayed at least three years before moving on to successful careers in the NBA. This is a fair comparison, because each of these players took on the roles of franchise changing players, whose talent equaled if not exceeded your own. Hill’s career especially offers a wonderful lesson about the benefits of staying in school. He is a prime example of how good health is always guaranteed for professional athletes. After leaving Duke, he was able to maximize his potential as an NBA player well before he aged and his skills declined and relegated him to the status of role-player, albeit a solid one. As such, the fact that you had a serious toe injury that sidelined you for almost the entire season is unlikely to flare up again, thus hurting your draft stock and potential future earning potential. In fact, I don’t think you should worry about the common practice of having a friend or family member taking an insurance policy out on your career. You can only go up Kyrie! Heck, with another season, you could move up from a potential first overall pick and make history by becoming the first-ever player picked with the 0th pick in the draft. Talk about leaving a college legacy. Speaking of legacy, why would you want to go first overall to Cleveland? That city is for losers. With the Indians mired in a rebuilding period that has lasted three years, the Browns not having won a playoff game since their disappearance in the mid1990s, and the Cavaliers still

reeling from the lost of their last number one draft pick, do you really want to be the guy who will be looked to as a potential savior of an entire city that has not won a championship since 1964? Of course not. I am sure that you would rather have your legacy defined by adding to the wealth of riches and tradition found at Cameron Indoor Stadium. Also, the possibility of an impending work stoppage could only hurt you. Not only would the time off cost you lost wages, regardless of whether the rookie salary parameters are restructured, but also, the fact that you are just coming off a major injury doesn’t mean that you could spend that time continuing to heal. Shoot, if you wanted to work towards your degree, I’m sure that a labor dispute would be the worst thing for you — you would have no choice to better yourself, but instead must resign yourself to playing video games 14 hours per day. Basically Kyrie, I am saying that Mr. Cusack was absolutely correct. If you weigh the risks and opportunity costs of focusing on your basketball career at this point in your life and declare to go pro, your life cannot possibly as rewarding for you or your family as to whether you stay in school. Sincerely, Brett Michael Giblin Now let it be clear that I do not endorse the jump to the pros in every circumstance. For instance, the attrition level between college baseball and the Major Leagues is unbelievable, and there is certainly value in getting one’s degree. However, if an athlete is projected to be a top pick in a draft (see: Andrew Luck’s decision), his earning power is likely to never be greater, and should take that opportunity.

Brett Michael Giblin ’11 (bmgiblin@ fas) hopes only the best for Kyrie, Chris Cusack, and the entire Duke family.



It's a Wonderful Life