VOL. CLXXIV NO.31
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
HANOVER, NEW HAMPSHIRE
Lodge will be completed by next fall
SNOWY HIGH 30 LOW 18
By ANTHONY ROBLES The Dartmouth Staff
PAULA MENDOZA/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
‘THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES’ TONIGHT PAGE 8
Q&A WITH AUTHOR GENE BAUR PAGE 8
SANDLUND: CELESTIAL TELEVISION PAGE 7
GOLDSTEIN: TRUMP’S DUNCE HAT PAGE 7
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Despite the challenges that winter weather brings, construction of the new Moosilauke Ravine Lodge continues apace. Construction is scheduled to ﬁnish in time for the 2017 iteration of the Dartmouth Outing Club First-Year Trips, according to DOC director of outdoor programs Dan Nelson ’75. As of now, most of the Lodge’s tinder frame has been put in place, and within the next few weeks construction on the building’s exterior and roof will be complete. The building is expected to be weather-proof
Construction of the Lodge’s exterior and roof will be completed within the next few weeks.
SEE LODGE PAGE 5
College utilizes multiple emergency notification systems
By JULIAN NATHAN
The Dartmouth Staff
Earlier this month, students on campus might have heard sirens and voice recordings as part of Safety and Security’s annual testing of security systems. The College and other organizations on campus have several emergency response systems in place, allowing them to alert students to possible threats and communicate with students in danger.
On Feb. 1, the College tested its multi-modal emergency notification systems, which consists of an outdoor mass notification system and DartAlert, a campuswide messaging service. Director of Safety and Security Harry Kinne said that the College has these systems in place in order to address “catastrophic situation[s]” posing “imminent harm to the campus.” Kinne said that Safety and Security tests its outdoor mass notification system once per year.
He explained that the system consists of two sirens and speakers located at the edges of campus that play pre-recorded messages alerting students about the type of danger present. The outdoor mass notification system has been in place for approximately five years, he added. He also said that the DartAlert system also allows Safety and Security officials to electronically communicate with the campus community in the event of an
Q&A with professor Ezzedine Fishere By MIKA JEHOON LEE The Dartmouth Staff
It is diﬃcult to describe Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures professor Ezzedine Fishere’s career in just a few words. As an Egyptian diplomat, he served as a political advisor to several United Nations missions in the Middle East. He dedicated his life to politics in Egypt, working with government oﬃcials, presidential candidates and political groups before withdrawing
from an active public role a few years ago. In addition, Fishere is an author of six novels, two of which were shortlisted for the “Arabic Booker” Prize, or the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, which recognizes Arabic creative writing. Fishere arrived at Dartmouth this fall as a visiting professor from the American University in Cairo. At the College, he has taught courses about Arab culture, society and literature such as Arabic SEE FISHERE PAGE 3
emergency. T he system sends Dartmouth community members text and email messages and dials desktop phone systems. Kinne said the DartAlert system is tested twice per year, and that this system has been in place for approximately 10 years. Safety and Security also uses an Alertus system, Kinne said, which generates pop-up messages on College-maintained computers. SEE SECURITY PAGE 2
SNOW MONEY, SNOW PROBLEMS
PAULA KUTSCHERA/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
Yesterday’s winter storm brought a signiﬁcant amount of snow.
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
DAILY DEBRIEFING The New Hampshire Union Leader reported that on Feb. 15, former state representative Frank Edelblut was voted commissioner of the New Hampshire department of education in a 3-2 vote by the state executive council. Republicans David Wheeler, Russell Prescott and Joseph Kenney voted for Edelblut, also a Republican, while Democrats Chris Pappas and Andru Volinsky voted against him. Critics say that Edelblut, an advocate for taxpayer-funded school choice, lacks previous experience in public education, while New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu, who supported Edelblut, has complimented Edelblut’s previous managerial experience. Board of education chairman Tom Raffio sent Sununu a letter containing 57 pages of communications from New Hampshire residents with concerns about Edelblut’s nominations. In the letter, Raffio noted that the board had heard from a single supporter. Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, also criticized the appointment. On the other hand, Shannon McGinley, a board member of the conservative advocacy group Cornerstone Action, gave a statement supporting Edelblut. According to a Valley News article, Vermont Education Secretary Rebecca Holcombe was reappointed to her position by Vermont Governor Phil Scott due to her commitment to improving education for children. Holcombe, who comes from Norwich, has taught at the middle, high school and college levels and has also served as a principal in the Upper Valley. In 1998 she helped create the Rivendell Interstate School District, which serves three towns in Vermont and one in New Hampshire. She is currently charged with enacting changes to Vermont’s educational systems, including the implementation of universal preschool education and of Act 46, which seeks to consolidate school districts in the state. State representative David Sharpe and state senator Philip Baruth, who head the House Education Committee and the Senate education panel, respectively, both applauded Scott’s choice to reappoint Holcombe and complimented her abilities and experience. Holcombe was appointed to her position by former Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin in 2014.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
Dartmouth security system notifies the community of emergencies FROM SECURITY PAGE 1
He said that, fortunately, none of the three systems have ever been activated in an emergency situation. Kinne said that the system would be activated in situations such as if an active shooter or a tornado were present on campus. Kinne stated that Safety and Security also sponsors the use of the LiveSafe mobile application on campus, which was introduced in the fall of 2015 and supports anonymous incident reporting. Director of university partnerships for LiveSafe Kevin Lombardi said that the LiveSafe app creates a channel of communication between students and security personnel in order to prevent incidents before they occur. The mobile application allows students to anonymously report incidents by text, photo, video or voice note. The app records the location of an incident when a user makes
a report, which allows police or other security personnel to address an incident more accurately. The app’s emergency chat feature also allows users to communicate via text with police or campus security. Lombardi said that this feature could be especially useful when a user feels that picking up the phone could escalate a dangerous situation. The app’s SafeWalk feature allows a user to let family or friends virtually watch the user walk to their destination. Lombardi said that this system allows for “crowdsourcing information in real time.” Though only seven percent of the student body had downloaded the app as of November 2015, Kinne said that he believes that LiveSafe has become more popular due to Dartmouth’s information technology officials efforts to introduce incoming freshmen to the app during Orientation Week. Lombardi said that 130
universities utilize the app, but this number could grow to 200 by the end of the year. He said that students can adjust the app’s settings if they visit a participating campus, automatically updating the app to communicate with that school’s emergency resources. Other campus organizations have security measures in place intended to keep the campus community safe. In an email statement, executive director of Dartmouth Emergency Medical Services Lindsay Salem ’18 wrote that her organization has an internal emergency activation system used in the event of a mass casualty incident. The system alerts responders to report to the organization’s office for further instructions. In the event of a mass casualty incident, she explained that Dartmouth EMS might make use of other resources like the Hanover Fire Department or the Lebanon Fire Department depending on that incident’s specific circumstances.
Vermont is currently seeking to pass a bill that would counter President Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, the Valley News reports. Two identical laws, which would prohibit state and local law enforcement from collecting personal information such as immigration status and prevent the federal government from deputizing those officers, were introduced into the state House of Representatives and Senate. State Democrats, Republicans and members of the Progressive Party all support the bill, though some House Republicans still have reservations. The Senate could vote on the bill by the end of the week, at which point it would then proceed to the House. If passed, the bill would go into effect on July 1. -COMPILED BY ZACHARY BENJAMIN
CORRECTIONS We welcome corrections. If you believe there is a factual error in a story, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PAULA KUTSCHERA/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
A winter storm hit Hanover yesterday, blanketing campus with fresh snow from the tops of trees to the road.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Professor Ezzedine Fishere discusses his career in politics through writing, org anizing democratic gatherings and giving 81.03, “Images of the West in Arabic advice to youth and candidates. Novel” and Arabic 62.04, “Egyptian When the Muslim Brothers [a Culture, Society and Politics.” religious and political group] reached power, Egypt was still in a democratic What have you enjoyed the most transition. However, the Muslim about your life at Dartmouth Brothers derailed it, and Egypt was so far? obviously taking up a diﬀerent form E F : W h at I of governance. have enjoyed “Transitions are always Disagreeing with most here is the the government quality of the diﬃcult, and it’s was now viewed students. I think probably going to get not as diversity, what sets good but as dissent worse before it gets universities apart or subversion. is not the quality better. But it will get P u b l i c of professors or better.” p a r t i c i p at i o n programs, but in politics also the quality of went down s t u d e n t s . I n -EZZEDINE FISHERE, ASIAN d r a m a t i c a l l y. universities like Because I had AND MIDDLE EASTERN Dartmouth, been speaking you come as an LANGUAGES AND to the public, “A” student and LITERATURES PROFESSOR and the public discover that w a s g o n e, I everyone else is found myself in almost or at least as good as you a position in which I was speaking to are. While this puts pressure on the myself. In my view, there was no point students and their self-esteem, it in continuing this public engagement. pushes the entire learning process However, I also took the time to work upward. Students have to stay alert, on my novel. Producing literature is compete, be better and get the best my way of continued engagement out of themselves. This pushes in public life and a mode that I ﬁnd everyone else in the class to do the more eﬀective and longer-lasting. same. It also keeps the professors on their toes, and they too have to stay To what extent are your books on top of what they are doing. I ﬁnd based on your views of Egypt’s this very refreshing. political issues? EF: In general, I think novels always What made you withdraw from reﬂect the author’s views. If the active public life? novel has a political dimension, it EF: I was politically active before would reﬂect the author’s political Egypt’s revolution in 2011 mainly views. Novels are also mirrors of FROM FISHERE PAGE 1
the society. Sometimes the author doesn’t deliberately depict something in a certain way, but unconsciously does so because this author is part of the society at a particular time in a particular context. The expression of the author is reﬂective of the social conﬂict. I think the novels that I have written all have some political elements in common. The decay of the state institutions, of the public order and of the society and oppression are themes you’ll ﬁnd repeatedly in many of the novels I have written. There’s always the conflict between this decay and repression on one hand and young men and women’s hope for freedom, love and sometimes for normal life on the other.
What inspired you to dedicate most of your life to diplomacy and politics? EF: I wasn’t a 4-year-old that dreamed of becoming an ambassador. It just happened. I was interested in politics when I was 20, but there was no outlet for eﬀective political participation at that time. So, I stumbled into diplomacy, which was kind of the second best. Politics has always been there. I’ve been preoccupied with politics since I was in high school. But again, in Egypt, if you have any public interest, you’re bound to be interested in politics. If you’re interested in charity, the condition of women, the sanitary system or anything that goes beyond yourself, you will be in direct contact with politics. Was there a social issue that especially stimulated your interest in politics? EF: Egypt is a country that doesn’t work. It’s a society in crisis. It’s a state that is failing. You can feel it in your
daily life. One has to be completely worldwide where China is rising and insensitive not to notice it. It hits is becoming more and more assertive. you from the moment you wake At the same time, the U.S. is not only up to when you go to sleep. Your receding, but it is also less willing to school and the play the role of a transportation leader with the rise s y s t e m “When major powers of populism and don’t work. defect on leadership, fear in Western U l t i m a t e l y, societies, which institutions stop the society have translated to itself ceases working properly. When right and extreme t o f u n c t i o n this happens, there right-wing, and properly. bizarre characters could be dangerous coming to political W h a t consequences like hold. It’s a mess. concerns do At the same you have for wars.” time, everything’s the future? changing. The EF: I have a -EZZEDINE FISHERE, ASIAN culture is changing. lot of concerns You have a new for the future. AND MIDDLE EASTERN generation with a I think the LANGUAGES AND different culture world is in a that doesn’t have very difficult LITERATURES PROFESSOR its space in the spot. Look at existing system. Egypt and its The lines of promise of democracy. Look at the authority, the deﬁnition of authority Middle East, which is probably in one and the attitude toward authority of its worst points in history. Look especially among the young are at the rise of fascism and populism diﬀerent and existing institutions worldwide. Look at the United States, seem incapable of coping with this. which is the leader of not only the free world but for all practical purposes, What would be your message the leader of the international to the next generation? system. It is what keeps the system EF: Whatever you do, don’t become functioning or what is supposed to cynical. Transitions are always keep the world functioning, but the diﬃcult, and it’s probably going to get U.S. is not providing the leadership worse before it gets better. But it will anymore. It seems less and less get better. A new world and culture willing to do so at a time when there is going to emerge out of this mess. is an interstate system. This isn’t a Try to stay safe during this harsh centralized system. It is anarchy, and transition. Staying safe means not in anarchy, you need major powers only physically safe but also mentally to make institutions work. When and morally safe. Stick to your ideals major powers defect on leadership, and don’t lose heart because of what institutions stop working properly. you see happening around you. When this happens, there could be dangerous consequences like This interview has been edited and wars. We are in a critical juncture condensed for clarity and length.
COURTESY OF EZZEDINE FISHERE
Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern languages and literatures Ezzedine Fishere will teach at Dartmouth from 2016 to 2017.
THE DARTMOUTH EVENTS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
Matthew Goldstein ’18
TODAY 5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.
Lecture: “The Fate of International Law in the Trump Administration and an Agenda for its Proponents” with Yale Law School Professor Harold Hongju Koh, Filene Auditorium, Moore Building
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
DEN Smart Business Workshop, DEN Innovation Center & New Venture Incubator
7:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m.
National Theatre Live in HD: “Saint Joan,” Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center
5:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Film Special: “Academy Award Nominated Shorts: Live Action,” Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center
8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
“Urinetown, The Musical,” Theater Department MainStage Production, Moore Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts
8:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Film Special: “Academy Award Nominated Shorts: Animation,” Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center RELEASE DATE– Thursday, February 16, 2017
Los Angeles Times Daily Crossword Puzzle Edited by Rich Norris and Joyce Nichols Lewis
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4 Outer: Pref. 5 Run after 6 __ support 7 Liberty 8 Auto with a prancing horse logo, whose company 66Across ends 18Across 9 Mike Trout’s team, on scoreboards 10 Check no. 11 “Sons of Anarchy” actor Rossi 12 Brainy bunch 13 Passing remark? 14 Beef cuts 19 Field 24 Alternative energy vehicle 26 Unreserved way to go 28 “Hulk” star Eric 30 Fly-__: air passes 31 Juicer’s juice? 33 Nonsense 34 “__ Holden”: Irving Bacheller novel 36 Cactus League spring training city
37 Neil deGrasse Tyson subj. 39 Blizzard restriction, perhaps 40 Final Four matchup 42 Rural storehouse 44 Plays usually involving the SS 46 “I’m a fan!” 47 Shoelace holders 51 IM option 52 “Seriously?”
53 Apply, as sunscreen 55 Respectful word 56 Pastoral piece 58 Stop-offs before big dates, maybe 59 Muscat money 61 Rush job letters 63 “Knock it off!” 64 Stallone and Stone 67 Nashville awards gp. 68 Mgmt. degree
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THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
Lodge construction to be finished for upcoming First-Year Trips FROM LODGE PAGE 1
by the end of March, allowing for work on the interior to commence. “I think that this new Lodge will almost immediately become a Dartmouth icon and a building that people feel passionately attached to,” Nelson said. “The building is really aesthetically connected to the mountain, and it’s designed so that it will really help members of the community feel connected with one another and with the traditions of the place and the wonderful outdoor experience that you can find at Moosilauke.” To preserve the rustic feel of its predecessor, the Lodge has been constructed with an emphasis on exposed wood, while the interior will be decorated with much of the old memorabilia that once hung on the walls of the original Lodge, Nelson said. Besides preserving its rustic feel, the new Lodge will be insulated and energy-efficient. It will feature “comfortable” bathrooms and be accessible to those with physical disabilities, Nelson said. A new kitchen space will include new appliances, better lighting and ventilation. While the new Lodge will not have Wi-Fi, Nelson said there will be spaces that can be used for academic classes, conferences and retreats, where people can connect an ethernet cord in if they
need Internet service. “It’s a long tradition of the Lodge that people are off their devices when they’re up there, and we plan to continue that,” Nelson said. “We won’t have, at least for the foreseeable future, guests wandering around the Lodge glued to their phones.” The architects behind the estimated $17 million project are Maclay Architects, based in Waitsfield, Vermont, who were also responsible for the design of the Class of ’65 bunkhouses directly next to the Lodge. The general contractor working on the Lodge is DEW Construction Corporation, based out of Williston, Vermont, according to Nelson. Working on a rigorous schedule, the construction crews have had to deal with heavy snowfall, high winds and cold temperatures. Reaching the Lodge alone requires plowing through two miles of snow, with the commute from Hanover to Moosilauke Lodge taking up to an hour a day each way. “The crews there have the right kind of equipment, and they’re used to working in those conditions, and they’re really making the best of it,” Nelson said. The construction of the new Lodge brings with it a feeling of both excitement and trepidation, for the original structure has fostered many fond memories since it first
opened in 1938. Lodj Croo director for Trips 2017 Milan Chuttani ’18, who worked at the Lodge the summer after his freshman year, said that he would miss constantly fixing all the parts of the Lodge that broke, as it was something that he and his fellow workers took a lot of pride in. As the new director, Chuttani will be responsible for choosing additional crew members in the spring and making sure that all safety protocols are in place, along with ensuring that all food and medical materials are organized and secured in time by the time the first trips section arrives. “During Trips, it’s a completely different atmosphere,” Chuttani said. “The entire energy of the program culminates at the Lodge and there’s so many excited freshmen coming in that you get to meet. My favorite part has been getting to support trip leaders and freshmen at such an exciting point in their lives.” Former Lodge crew member Rachel Kesler ’19 said that her favorite aspects of working at the Lodge were the connection with the outdoors and having face-to-face connections with people without the distraction of social media. Along with nine other people, Kesler worked at the Lodge this past summer from early June to early August, which involved day-
PAULA MENDOZA/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Moosilauke Ravine Lodge hosts First-Year Trips each year.
to-day tasks such as checking in guests, serving dinner and taking reservations. “It’s a place that’s really central to a lot of Dartmouth connections and memories,” Kesler said. “We had a lot of alumni come this summer with their kids, and it was really cool to also see how connected people were to the Lodge and how many memories were there.” Kesler also said it was sad that the Lodge was being torn down at the end of the season, and that guests would occasionally inquire why. “Being a part of the last Lodge crew, we kind of had to take the flack for that every now and then,” she said.
If construction of the new Lodge suffers a setback and cannot be completed in time for Trips, there are contingency plans in place for such a scenario, such as using the Dartmouth Skiway, Nelson said. But if it remains on schedule, the Class of 2021 will be the first to create memories there. The Lodge will open to the public in the fall of 2017. “The old Lodge felt so removed from the modern world that it became its own magical environment in a lot of ways,” Chuttani said. “I’m really excited to see how people make the new Lodge their own and make it feel like home — the way that the old Lodge has always felt.”
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THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST JULIA HUEBNER ’20
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST WILLIAM SANDLUND ’18
The Art of Ideological Pong
If you can’t win the game, you can at least understand your opponent. As anyone close to me knows, I love talking politics. Yes, I’m that person. Talking politics is verbal fencing and a political debate is a game of pong. Instead of sinking cups, the politically savvy highlight logical fallacies. Rather than making saves, we introduce an irrefutable fact. It’s all a game, a duel. And like most competitions, there are polite and impolite ways to play. The 2016 election taught us how to play dirty. Professional politicians know the rules too well: smear ads, personal jabs, name-calling and lies are just tools that appeal to our emotions. At Dartmouth, we’re taught to play nice. Instead of seeing Republicans as inherently wrong, I’ve come to see Republican ideals as a result of one’s identity and life experiences. I can’t blame people because they’ve had different experiences than I have. Because I’ve experienced underhanded moves from political conservatives, I can empathize when an outspoken Republican friend complains about intolerant liberals. Last Monday, I had the cleanest political debate with a friend. The issue on the table: is transgenderism an identity or a mental illness? I contend that it’s an identity; my friend claimed that it’s an illness. Unlike many political discussions, our conversation was polite and empathetic. I tried to see where my friend was coming from. He explained that one of his childhood friends is transgender, and I tried to appreciate his perspective and experience. Our anecdotes were bolstered by facts; when common knowledge was exhausted, I pulled out my computer and pulled up JSTOR articles. “‘Research has shown,’” I read aloud, “‘that discrimination and victimization are related to several measures of psychological distress such as anxiety and depression that in turn, may increase one’s risk of attempting suicide’ according to this study.” We tried to out-reason each other and ended up getting lost in semantics. After three hours, I left feeling exasperated: I made a clear case backed by facts, so why couldn’t I “win”? Here’s the thing: you can’t win politics. It’s maddening to try and it leave you feeling burnt out. Of course, I should have realized that. I came
in with a clear — liberal — agenda. My friend represented a conservative school of thought. It was a debate, and I was trying to win. Talking politics is like playing pong, except for one critical difference: there can never be a clear winner in politics. Presidents are elected, and Congresses pass bills, but no political ideology has ever been accepted as universally true, moral or correct in American history. I doubt one ever will be so long as we remain a democracy. Of course, there’s political polarization on Capitol Hill. Party leaders see their ideals as a fight of good against evil. When I worked on my first political campaign as a high school junior, I distinctly remember what my boss told a gaggle of interns. “This,” he said, “Is a fight of good versus evil.” Was he being cheeky and grandiose? Probably. But underneath the showman’s remark was a nugget of truth: people want their basic values validated. That’s why I’m one of the few (probably rude) people who will bring up politics at the dinner table: I realize that attacks on my political views are not attacks on me as a person. If I’m personally smeared, whoever is debating with me has simply run out of facts. Although I hated the frustration I felt after my healthy debate, that feeling is a gift. When I was in high school, I thought that us liberals had a monopoly on morality. Democrats were in the right; Republicans were at best ignorant and at worst racist, homophobic, sexist, ablest and a host of other -isms and -ists. If you were one of the few outspoken Republicans on campus, everyone knew it, and not in a positive way. I knew Dartmouth would be more open to conservative ideology than my high school was. At first, that fact scared me. I was worried that I would sail through my time here, too bogged down in homework and club meetings to stop and debate. On the contrary, I’ve made extra time to assert my values. I’ve also learned that the left is not unequivocally right. Debate, rather than preaching to a sounding board, has firmed my own positions and given me the chance to empathize with my ideological opposites. I never thought I’d say this, but I’m thankful for the Dartmouth Republicans. You are a privilege to play against.
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On learning how to embrace television—and laziness — with family. My grandfather, known in our family as Pop-pop, left today after a two-week visit. Every year, he makes a pilgrimage to this part of the family in California, where he soaks in rays of sun that leave his pale skin riddled with basal cell carcinomas. Around twice a year he has these blemishes wiped off his body with blasts of liquid nitrogen. What is left are white scars the color of the moon. I love Pop-pop dearly. In spite of my family’s frequent moves, he has been a constant presence in my life. With him, I caught my first fish on a lake in New Jersey. And when his wife, my grandma, died nine years ago, he drove her old car across the country to pick me up in California before driving to Alaska to drop it off with my uncle. We spent a lot of time together that summer talking, listening to audio books and betting small change on random things like the temperature of the town we would spend the night in. Five years after this journey, our family had a reunion that also served as Pop-pop’s 80th birthday celebration. When I was asked to say a few words, I promptly burst into tears, sobbing my way through a muddled impromptu speech as Pop-pop quietly sat next to me. Part of why I started to cry was a sheer inability to articulate my love. I was also crying because of how much he had changed over the course of my life. Seeing people you love grow old is difficult. Harder than seeing their bodies age is witnessing the gradual fading of that previously indomitable will to survive. Perhaps my tears were an attempt to remind Pop-pop of what he had to live for as much as they were triggered by beloved memories. Of course, my grandfather has not checked out of life completely. It has just become gradually less interesting for him, and with good reason. When you consider the coupling of physical aging with the loss of peers all around you, it is easy to understand how getting old erodes your drive to survive. It occurs in different ways in different people, but certain interests are gradually shaved away until all you are left with is family and a close group of friends. In fact, for most people these connections are what ultimately keep us going, regardless of age. Getting old just makes it painfully clear. All of our ambitions, successes and failures would mean nothing without people we love acting as reference points throughout our lives. That is a scary thing to think about. Now, I mainly watch television with Poppop. Together we plumbed the depths of cable in the 21st century, where hundreds of stories are unfolding simultaneously on the screen, just waiting to be watched. My responsibility was often to act as a sort of spirit guide on these journeys; when I left Pop-pop unattended he often got disoriented in this 800-channel world. Once, when left alone, he got hooked on Investigation Discovery, a channel with shows that dramatize murder cases and interview traumatized bystanders. I tried as much as possible to direct him to the non-cable world of streaming
television, where we could experience American entertainment without the incessant humdrum of commercials that, strangely enough, often targeted Pop-pop’s age demographic. Tom Selleck, the police chief in “Blue Bloods,” one of his go-to series, stars in an ad promoting American Advisors Group’s reverse mortgage that often runs during episodes. So we steered toward streaming TV. We plowed through “The Night Manager,” “The Crown,” started “Mad Men” and, of course, had a healthy dose of “Midsomer Murders.” Every time we sat down for one of these sessions I felt a tug of war between guilts. On one side, I felt terrible for watching so much TV, and on the other, I felt terrible leaving Pop-pop alone. At first, it was depressing to see the man who once drove me to Alaska content to be a couch potato. But I realized this emotion came from a bias against TV that also contributed to my self-disgust for watching so much of it. At the heart of this disgust is a cultural distaste for more than the state of idleness. It is reasonable to dislike this state of being; it breeds a sense of purposelessness we are desperate to avoid. What is strange is how we have an unspoken hierarchy of indolence, with the image of mindless TV-watching being amongst the most repulsive. I started to wonder: if Pop-pop and I read instead of watching TV, would it be objectively better for us? I concluded that it would depend on the book — and on the TV show. It seems possible that our biases against TV is part of a wider historical trend to deem certain forms of entertainment as damaging and others as productive. For example, in the 18th and 19th centuries, reading fiction, especially if you were a woman, was considered a dangerous waste of time. Of course, novels do not have Tom Selleck advertisements selling you a reverse mortgage, but neither does Netflix. In fact, even as I watched the trite “Midsomer Murders” episode “Written in Blood,” I had to admire the slow and deliberate pacing building up to a climax rife with now-overused allusions to Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” and Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining.” It shared the pace of one of the original British detective successes, “Inspector Morse.” When you sit down to such shows, there is that same feeling of comfort you get from settling into a good novel. Besides, when Pop-pop and I laughed at the obviously breathing corpses of “Midsomer Murders” or the ridiculous acting, I couldn’t help but feel that the show was a tonic of some sort. Laughter requires some mental acrobatics — humor being that ability to step outside of a situation and laugh at how silly it is. And we were not just chuckling at the show, we were laughing at ourselves for watching it. That kind of humorous self-awareness is a higher order of laughter than guffawing at a prescribed joke. TV had elevated us, and restored my faith in the absurdity of life. So don’t feel shy, put your feet up and tune in to some WWE.
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
STAFF COLUMNIST CLARA CHIN ’19
STAFF COLUMNIST MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN ’18
Sells Like Teen Spirit
Trump’s Dunce Hat
Institutions like the Grammys detract from the independent spirit of art. Following Adele’s Grammy win for Album of the Year this past weekend, my Facebook feed has been filled with long rants and links to pop culture websites about why Beyoncé should have won instead of Adele. Whether I prefer Adele or Beyoncé is irrelevant; it neither influences who I think should be the Grammy winner, nor is my opinion influenced by the results of the Grammy Awards. By overvaluing the opinion of large-scale, corporate institutions that support the arts, we come to have a narrow understanding of what the arts are and lose the chance to form more complex ideas about the arts through our peers and ourselves. Adele’s win is unsurprising. Instead of criticizing the Grammys for racism and normativity that is, to some degree, inherent in such an iconic institution, we must look outside the mainstream artistic monoliths to access the true spirit of resistance and forwardness emblematic of groundbreaking pop culture and art. The Grammy Awards, put on by the Recording Academy, is still an important institution that brings pop cultural conceptions of art to the TV screen, thus making art accessible to communities who may not have the incentive, resources or reason to attend or watch other types of cultural events. The Recording Academy awards top educators and holds music education programs that promote genres such as jazz and electronic music production, to name a few. But the Grammys are also well-known and work with a large budget. A large institution like the Recording Academy, while supportive of the arts, must also work within the limits set by the companies that donate money, the networks that broadcast their programs and the viewers they rely on for revenue. Additionally, the widespread idea that a large institution defines music is diametrically opposed to the multifaceted, multi-genred nature of art and music. Smaller, less mainstream companies, blogs and taste-making individuals are less indebted to audiences and companies than the Recording Academy is. The Grammys rose out of elite institutions and publicized artists that were already famous. Smaller taste-making institutions as well as large publications with not-for-profit origins maintain the independent spirit that allows them to work outside superstructures as well as artistic and corporate norms. The online magazine Pitchfork, for example, began when Ryan Schreiber wanted to share his favorite indie bands and called record labels to interview musicians. This approach celebrates personal taste instead of claiming that certain artists can be considered universally better than others. While the magazine is now reputable, its origins as a project for personal expression rather than profit mean that it retains much of its original independent voice and that profit remains secondary to artistic vision. Its commitment to exposing the public to the multiplicity of artistic voices is evident in its periodic, instead of annual, reviews and various Spotify playlists. The magazine updates its “Pitchfork’s Best New Tracks”
playlist throughout the year and hosts playlists for lesser known genres, including “Pitchfork’s 20 Best Experimental Albums of 2016” and “Pitchfork’s 50 Best Indie Rock Albums of the Pacific Northwest.” As artists and creators at an Ivy League institution, we too should be conscious of the ways in which the ideological norms of an old, respected university and the values of our school in particular shape the production and effects of our art. At a college with a focus on the liberal arts, our artistic vision differs from artists who attend an interdisciplinary fine arts school or a school specifically for one art form. This has shaped the way I play the piano. My former piano teacher tended to focus more on expression and intonation, while my current teacher focuses on articulation. Neither approach is wrong. All three attributes are important, but different institutions and spaces will stress various aspects of form and art. While it’s important to understand classical knowledge and even more modern forms of art by taking classes and participating in student groups when given the chance, it is equally important to develop an artistic vision outside these institutions by carving out our own spaces. Nevertheless, it is impossible to fully resist being an artist of an institution. When Kurt Cobain wrote “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he had in mind the rebellious nature of youth — uniquely able resist the constraints of capitalism and United States hegemony. Turns out “Teen Spirit” was also just a brand of deodorant. The brand even gained in popularity following the release of Nirvana’s song. As artists, it may be tempting to call ourselves countercultural. But even when art serves as a mode of resistance, it can undermine itself. So we must resist the temptation to claim the label of “counterculture” and instead maintain self-awareness about the artistic and political structures under which we create. As for the Grammys, it has become clear that the prestigious award is beginning to decrease in its supposed cultural influence;:influential pop culture figures like Kanye West, Justin Bieber and Drake did not make an appearance at the event. The uproar over the Grammys demonstrates how much value we place on the winners of the awards. Because Adele won Album of the Year, it is assumed that the Recording Academy made this decision because Adele produced a better album than Beyoncé did. Art, however, is not monolithic. While large art corporations can be beneficial to the world of art, we must not forget about the small taste-making publications and companies that serve as a reminder of various artistic styles and modes. These publications are also more likely to serve as platforms of resistance because they are not as beholden to large companies and institutions. As artists ourselves, we should keep in mind the people, institutions and policies to which we are beholden especially during the age of President Donald Trump — in doing so, we keep the body of art in the United States moving forward.
The early days of Trump’s administration have been wrought with failure. I f l i e s , u n t r u t h s , f a l s e h o o d s , flashlights. A Mar-a-Lago member who posts mischaracterizations and alternative facts pictures of this conference on Facebook then were removed from a transcript of everything poses for a photo-op with the soldier who guards Kellyanne Conway has said since President the codes to the United States’ nuclear arsenal. Donald Trump assumed office, all that remained The executive branch leaks information in much would be a picture book-length collection of the same way Yellowstone’s geysers can be said her saying “good morning” to Sunday talk- to leak water. In sum, it would be disingenuous show hosts. And even that might be rated to say that the inmates are running the asylum. less-than-true by the legions of fact-checkers The inmates have merely been dropped behind this administration has put to work, because desks and are now struggling in vain to figure few mornings have been good to the young out what desks are and how they work. Trump White House. If the narrative driving The upper echelon of the most powerful the day’s news cycle isn’t the administration and government in the world is spending its formative erstwhile campaign’s connections to Russia, weeks sitting in the corner wearing a dunce it’s Conway’s ethics conflicts stemming from hat that once served as a Klansman’s hood. her on-air commercial for It should be abundantly Ivanka Trump’s clothing “The upper echelon clear very soon, if by some line. If the scandal du jour depressing miracle it is not of the most powerful isn’t a botched executive clear already, that Trump order that is most likely government in the and his preferred network unconstitutional, it’s a world is spending of parrots, puppets and shutdown of national clones would not know parks’ Twitter accounts its formative weeks organizational efficiency over an obsessive insistence sitting in the corner if it hit them straight in on the size of the crowd at the face. And as so often wearing a dunce hat the inauguration. Critics happens, fools beget fools. of the administration have that once served as a The former Secretary of labeled it evil, but even that Klansman’s hood.” Energy has a Ph.D. in gives Trump’s team too theoretical physics from much credit. America is Stanford University. The not being led by a savvy comic-book villain; the current nominee preceded his with a stint on highest levels of our government are a clown “Dancing With the Stars.” The former Secretary car with nobody at the wheel. of Housing and Urban Development was a To call this administration incompetent is political scientist and graduate of Harvard an insult to incompetence. It has placed its lot University Law School. The current nominee on the backs of Sean Spicer, a press secretary was chosen for his post because the president unable to stumble through a sentence without equates inner cities with black people. The list mispronouncing a visiting foreign dignitary’s goes on. In the face of all this, is it too much to name; Stephen Miller, a policy advisor with an ask that the people responsible for our health, authoritarian streak and a demeanor about as economy and security actually know what pleasant as a stab wound; Michael Flynn, the they’re doing? treasonous former National Security Advisor The only weapon capable of breaking down who obsessed for months with his son over a confident idiocy is a self-assured commitment nonexistent pizza-based conspiracy; Rick Perry, to fact, logic and organization. The only a nominee for Secretary of Energy who doesn’t antidote to a poison that know what his department kills by disinformation is a does; Betsy DeVos, the “The only weapon steadfast support of truth g rizzly bear-fearing capable of breaking and a free press. There Secretary of Education is no doubt the Trump w h o s e d e p a r t m e n t down confident administration threatens misspelled both W.E.B. idiocy is a selfbasic American values and DuBois’ name and the institutions, but we who word “apologies” in the assured commitment oppose it should count subsequent correction; and to fact, logic and ourselves lucky — we above all, a president with organization.” could have found ourselves no policy knowledge who confronting a schoolyard was duped into demoting bully who actually knew the Joint Chiefs of Staff in how to land a punch. favor of Steve Bannon, his white nationalist Instead, we are up against a Goliath that has chief strategist. managed to repeatedly slingshot rocks at itself. Unsurprisingly, the symphony of avoidable The countless scientists, foreign policy experts mistakes performed by this crew would make and current and former officials who have a kamikaze pilot jealous. Press conference condemned this executive branch are certainly transcripts read like grocery lists whose writers better than the president they lambaste, but selfhave heard of neither groceries nor lists. Articles congratulations will not advance the cause of detail presidential aides’ inability to find the liberty. Only action and continued pressure will light switches to rooms in the White House. ensure America’s present flirtation with disaster The terrace of the president’s country club ends up nothing but a historical anomaly. Our is used, Japanese Prime Minister in tow, to leaders are morons, but we must put autocracy confer about sensitive information on North to bed before someone more capable steps up Korean missile tests under the glare of iPhone to claim its mantle.
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2017
‘The Vagina Monologues’ will be performed tonight at Hop By EMMA GUO
The Dartmouth Staff
First performed in 1996 at the HERE Arts Center in New York City, “The Vagina Monologues” has quickly blossomed into one of the feminist movement’s most relevant and empowering pieces of theater. Written by Eve Ensler, “The Vagina Monologues” is composed of a series of monologues based on interviews Ensler conducted with over 200 women. Each episode includes instances that deal with the feminine experience, employing topics such as sex, rape, birth and the various names for the vagina. Since its conception, “The Vagina Monologues” has been adopted in many forms across the country and around the world. Today, Dartmouth will be putting on
its 19th annual production of the monologues in association with the V-February movement, which promotes awareness and prevention of gender-based violence as well as the spreading of gender equality. “The Vagina Monologues” will be one of three productions throughout V-February, the other two being “Voices” and “Upstaging Stereotypes.” In an effort to increase the relevance of the monologues to college students in 2017, co-directors Olivia Fine ’20 and Liz Klein ’17 have taken steps to place the show into context for students. “We’re making this year’s rendition political and including media from the current political climate and political events,” Fine said. “There is mention of Dartmouth in the play.” Historically, “The Vagina
Monologues” has received its fair share of criticism for its controversial commentaries, such as equating biological sex with gender, giving too much attention to non-consensual sexual experiences and negatively portraying homosexual relationships in a way that is representative of a time significantly different than 2017. Fine and Klein are also attempting to facilitate a conversation about the controversies and problematic areas of the show after it is performed. While some monologues are controversial, the majority serves to empower women and spread awareness of issues that pervade today’s society, such as gender-based violence and sexual assault. Ensler’s early monologues, such as “Because He Liked to Look At It,” help women feel confident with their bodies. More recent monologues such as “Under
the Burqa” touch upon the role of femininity, culture and religion in modern society. “I hope that audience members are empowered throughout the production to work on these issues and become more aware of the issues, and to keep up the fight for equality and justice,” Fine said. Sumner Matthews ’20, a cast member, is performing a monologue entitled, “My Revolution Begins in the Body,” a piece about dreaming of a world that accepts women and the earth as they are. The piece empowers women, giving a message to shake off societal constructs and patriarchal values in their opinions of themselves. “It’s been wonderful being in a space with self-identifying women sharing and going through this process because it’s a lot of heavy material,” said Matthews, adding that she hopes
that every self-identifying Dartmouth female will be able to have a similar experience. With the intent of entertaining and raising awareness, “The Vagina Monologues” has become a worldwide phenomenon since its conception, and Ensler adds in new pieces each year to reflect the current state of the world. “This play is so important and historically has been so important in empowering women and giving them a voice, and I feel like we’ve really formed a community within the cast,” Fine said. “I’m looking forward to sharing all the hard work we’ve been putting in with the audience.” “The Vagina Monologues” will be performed in Spaulding Auditorium at 7 p.m. Tickets for students are free, and tickets for community members are $9 to $10.
Q&A with animal rights activist and author Gene Baur By ZACH CHERIAN
The Dartmouth Staff
Gene Baur is an activist and best-selling author who co-founded the far m animal protection organization Far m S a n c t u a r y. T i m e M a g a z i n e has called him the “conscience of the food movement” and he is one of Oprah Winfrey’s SuperSoul 100 dream team of “100 awakened leaders who are using their voices and talent to elevate humanity.” Tonight at 7 p.m., he will be speaking with students and community members in Achtmeyer Hall about his work in sustainability during a “Sustainable Dinner with Gene Baur.” What is Farm Sanctuary and its mission? GB: Farm Sanctuary works to prevent cruelty to farm animals, changing how society views and treats far m animals. We also promote compassionate living, which oftentimes focuses on food choices. Most of us grow up with certain habits, and one of those is eating animals and animal products, and we don’t really think very much about it. We encourage people just to recognize the impact of their food choices, on themselves, on the earth and on
animals, and ultimately to make mindful choices that are more aligned with compassionate values and with sustainable living.
Are you promoting a change in the system and in people’s diets or a general awareness? GB: Both. We work to raise awareness and to encourage people to make mindful consumer choices, and we work on legislative and other policy matters to push things toward a plant-based food system. It’s very difficult to create change using legislation. Legislatively, things have been very influenced by agribusiness in Washington, D.C. and in state capitols. So our ability to make change there is less, I think, at this time than in the marketplace, where each citizen has the opportunity to vote with their dollars. Whereas in state capitols and Washington, the influence that farms have had is immense, and so being able to create meaningful reform legislatively is limited at this time. We do both, but the marketplace is where most of the change is going to happen, and as the dollars start flowing away from the meat industry, the dairy industry and the egg industry and into plantbased businesses, I think the power dynamic in state capitols and in Washington will start shifting as
well, and then we’ll be able to see some significant legislative reforms.
ways, but the spirit that runs it is vegan, as opposed to farms where the animals are exploited.
How does Farm Sanctuary’s creation of physical sanctuaries work? GB: We have sanctuaries in New York and California, and we’re going to be opening another sanctuary in New Jersey with Jon and Tracey Stewart.
What are the key events of Farm Sanctuary’s history? GB: Acquiring our permanent sanctuaries have been impactful over the years. We got the one in Washington in 1989, so that was quite a while ago, but that was significant and foundational. We were also involved in some of our country’s first laws to protect farm animals from cruelty, starting with an initiative in Florida that was voted on in 2002. Voters in Florida voted to ban gestation crates. After that, we did another one in Arizona to deal with veal crates as well as gestation crates, and then we did one in California to deal with veal crates, gestation crates and battery crates. That passed in 2008. Those were significant events that we were involved in. We also, as part of our visitor program in Watkins Glen, New York, have reached out to restaurants in that town and encouraged them to serve vegan food, because our visitors wanted to eat the food, and we were able to convince the local Burger King franchise owner to offer a veggie burger — and this is back in the 1990s — and that veggie burger ended up going nationwide. That was a pretty impactful thing we were involved with. More recently, we have been doing a lot just to raise awareness, and we’ve had some reasonable media hits. I was on
What does running those look like? GB: Our sanctuaries are sanctuaries for rescued animals. They started back in the 1980s as a result of our investigative work — we would go into farms, storehouses and slaughterhouses to document, and we would literally find living animals thrown in trash cans, on piles of dead animals. The sanctuaries are a lot like farms — we have pastures and barns. The animals, however, are not there to be exploited like they are on most farms. They are our friends, not our food. They get to live out their lives, get the best care possible, so if they get sick, we have the veterinarian take care of them. They are treated very much like people treat their cats and dogs, as part of the family. It’s a farm where you have fences to maintain, barns to maintain. We sometimes grow out our hay or buy hay to feed them. We use straw as bedding, compost piles for their manure. It’s a working farm in some
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” for example. That was significant. That was just a couple of years ago. We have celebrities that are involved with our work, and they’ve been able to enhance the profile of these issues. The last two years we’ve been doing a lot just to raise awareness and just get them thinking about the fact that farm animals suffer terribly on factory farms, and that each of us can make choices every day about the way we eat that can make a difference. Have you noticed any evolution of the organization over time? GB: It started back in 1986 as a very small, all-volunteer organization doing undercover investigation, rescuing animals. It grew and evolved and started working more on policy issues. It played a role in passing some of our nation’s laws to protect farm animals, and we’ve been an awareness-raising organization all along, but now given challenges passing laws over the years, just seeing how entrenched agribusiness is, we’re feeling more and more that we need to address cultural issues and raise awareness about the benefits of plant-based eating and modeling compassionate relationships with animals. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.