THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
VOL. CLXXV NO. 115
SUNNY HIGH 18 LOW -2
College files response Sullivan discusses policy to class action lawsuit By The dARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
FISHBEIN: THE BIG GREEN MODERATE PAGE 6
CHIN: WHY I STILL LIKE TWILIGHT PAGE 6
SHI: EYE OF THE BEHOLDER PAGE 7
ADELBERG: NEW FOE, OLD IDEAS PAGE 7
‘BURNING’ IS A RIVETING DRAMA ABOUT MASCULINITY AND DESIRE PAGE 8 FOLLOW US ON
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In a Jan. 15 filing, Dartmouth denied allegations that its administration ignored years of sexual harassment by former professors Todd Heatherton, William Kelley and Paul Whalen of the psychological and brain sciences department. The filing is a response to a $70 million class action filed by seven women against the College last November. In particular, the College claims that “relevant personnel” were unaware of any sexual misconduct “comparable to the
serious misconduct alleged in the Complaint” until students in the PBS department brought the allegations to the Title IX office in April 2017. Dartmouth said “prompt action was in fact taken in response” to allegations brought against the three professors prior to April 2017 and that the College “had no reason to believe, based on ... isolated (and old) incidents, that the serious misconduct alleged by Plaintiffs might occur years later.” The formal filing admits SEE LAWSUIT PAGE 5
ALISON ZENG]/THE DARTMOUTH STAFF
Policymaker Jake Sullivan discusses foreign policy with former ambassador Dan Benjamin.
B y Andrew culver
NH Dems introduce firearms ban By Wally joe cook The Dartmouth Staff
On Jan. 2, House Bill 101 — which would allow school districts to regulate firearms in school zones — was introduced by seven Democrats in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Since 2011, the state of New Hampshire has had authority over the sale, ownership, use, possession and permitting of all firearms in the
state. However, this new bill would redistribute some of that power to individual school districts and allow them to enforce gun-free zones. Currently, HB 101 is in the Committee on Education in the House of Representatives. After a public hearing on the bill, the Committee on Education will vote on whether it should pass, would SEE GILLIBRAND PAGE 3
The Dartmouth Staff
Ja k e S u l l i va n , a former top advisor in the Obama Administration, participated in a conversation Wednesday with Ambassador Daniel Benjamin, the director of the Dickey Center for International Understanding, in Filene Auditorium. Sullivan is currently a Montgomery Fellow at the College, which involves visiting classes, meeting with faculty and students and giving a p u bl i c l e c t u re. I n addition to the duties of
the fellowship, Sullivan is currently teaching Gover nment 85.01, “Diplomacy.” He will continue to be part of the Dartmouth community this spring as the Magro Family Distinguished Fellow in International Affairs. Before coming to D a r t m o u t h , S u l l i va n served as director of policy planning at the U.S. State Department f ro m 2 0 1 1 t o 2 0 1 3 , national security advisor to vice-president Joe Biden and as a lead policy advisor to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 and 2016 presidential campaigns.
Sullivan notably opened the initial secret channels of communication with the Iranian government and carried out the early negotiations which lead to the Iran nuclear deal of 2015. “ I t’s i m p o rta n t to understand that Jake Sullivan has been operating at the highest l eve l o f U. S. p o l i c y and politics,” said Benjamin, who worked alongside Sullivan at the State Department as ambassador at large and coordinator for counterterrorism and nominated SEE SULLIVAN PAGE 3
Kirsten Gillibrand ’88 will run for president B y Wally joe cook The Dartmouth Staff
On Jan. 15, Kirsten Gillibran ’88 entered the presidential race. In a segment on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Gillibrand, 52, stated her support for affordable health care and better public schools.
She also promised to confront institutional racism and “corruption and greed in Washington.” “I have the passion, the courage and the fearless determination to get that done,” Gillibrand said. At the College, Gillibrand majored in Asian studies and wrote a senior thesis on
religion in Tibet, which led to a meeting with the Dalai Lama. She was also the captain of the varsity squash team and a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma. Gillibrand later received her J.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles School of Law. In 2006, the New York Democrat first entered
Congress when she won the House of Representatives seat for New York’s 20th Congressional District. In 2010, Gillibrand won a special election to replace Hillary Clinton’s Senate seat after she resigned to serve as Secretary of State for the Obama administration. Since 2010, Gillibrand has won two
Senate elections, including the recent 2018 midterms. “I’m going to run for president of the United States because, as a young mom, I’m going to fight for other people’s kids as hard as I would fight for my own,” Gillibrand said. SEE HB 101 PAGE 2
Q&A with music librarian Memory Apata B y LUCY turnipseed The Dartmouth
Music and performing arts librarian Memory Apata, who has been working at the College for only three years, is already head of the Paddock Music Library in the Hopkins Center for the Arts. Apata, the first to attend college in her family, double-majored in vocal performance and German at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. She now works as a professional musician and performer and is also pursuing a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies at Dartmouth and a Master of Science in Library and Information Science at Simmons College. How did your connection to music and performing arts lead you to this job? MA: I found that being a singer transitioned well into the library world because you get to use these things that other musicians don’t have. Singers learn how to read and pronounce all different languages and coupled with my curiosity in music history, I really worked well in this environment. I also love being on a college campus. There’s a certain kind of excitement that comes with not having experienced the world outside of school yet and that is really inspiring because possibility is fresh on everyone’s mind. What is one of your goals for the Paddock Music Library? MA: I’m really, really passionate about diversity and inclusion so those things are at the center of everything that I do. I have a lot of conversations with folks about ways we can get the conversation about diversity and inclusion centered in our field, whether that’s talking about how we can get more people of color in programs, how to retain people in the profession studying the economic factors that might prevent someone from entering the field from a marginalized group and also the cultural issues and barriers that someone might encounter. For instance, our library is very focused on classical music but not all music scholarship is focused on classical music. Dartmouth was actually a major leader in bringing popular music to the academy and we therefore have a pretty diverse collection comparatively. The majority of questions that come to me from students are about popular music and the majority of those questions have to do with race and appropriation and social justice.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
What are you currently working on in the library? MA: For the music library, January is a really exciting month because we have our annual outreach program called the sing-ins. Each year we teach the songs of the civil rights movement, like “We Shall Overcome” and “This Little Light of Mine.” This year we have a different theme, which is labor. We have really great conversations with the patrons who come — it’s a lot of community member and seniors that come. I feel like having this older generation present at these events is really important, because the students and young people that do come are able to show a new mind set on certain issues. Last week we had a really interesting discussion about “This Land is Your Land,” the Woody Guthrie song. We sung the lyrics first in English and then in Spanish, which is almost a direct translation, but in a new language it takes on a whole new meaning. We talked about what it could mean, what feelings it brought up. As soon as you take the lyrics and you have to say them yourself, it takes on meaning. Community members come because they want to sing, but also because they want to interact with Dartmouth students. It’s useful to have as many diverse opinions in the room as possible. We have this whole culture of not listening, so bringing this music into the library — which traditionally is a public space — allows community members to raise points in a low stakes way and learn from others. What do you mostly do on a dayto-day basis? MA: I manage this facility and I also manage the budget for music, drama and dance materials, so I make purchases that align with those departments’ missions and curricula. I study syllabi for each course and I talk a lot with faculty about their own research to make sure they have the materials they need. I also talk with students to see what they’re working on. I observe classes because I think it’s really important to know how the faculty are teaching in order to elect materials that will align with assignments that they’re going to be making. I really do a lot of environmental scanning. Can you tell me a bit about your work with students? MA: I work with students in two capacities: one is as a consultant and one is as a partner. I meet with people and help them find sources for projects. Those are pretty frequent but they’re
not as meaningful as when we’re working on a project together. For instance, with the sing-ins, I’m working with Amy Zhang ’20 this year and she’s helping me select the repertoire. She’s doing her own research about the repertoire and she’s helping me come up with those discussion questions that we pose to the group and that’s a really enriching experience for both of us, because on one hand I get to see where the students are coming from and I get to see kind of how you are thinking about these types of things. On the other hand, it’s also enriching on her end because she sees more closely what it is that I do, which can be really hard to explain to someone. Those are the interactions I love the most — when we’re really partners and become a community of workers in that way. What does your balance between school and work look like? MA: What balance? I put a lot of pressure on myself to get done with my degree quickly, because I’m a motivated and ambitious person, but I think that was really detrimental to my health and my development as a professional. This upcoming term I’m making the decision to back off, because I went through some really tough mental health struggles in the past six months. I had a double whammy of pressure from work and pressure from school as I entered graduate school and a field I had very little experience in. The things that have helped me the most in getting back on track have been, one, to admit that I’m burnt out. I found that you need to eliminate unnecessary activity, learn to say no, which is very difficult at the beginning of your career and finally, take care of your body. I have found a helpful yoga and mindfulness routine. And I hula hoop!
Firearms ban in schools discussed in New Hampshire state Senate FROM HB 101 PAGE 1
be inexpedient to legislate or should be studied further. New Hampshire State Representative Dan Wolf, a Republican from Merrimack County who sits on the Committee on Education, said that HB 101 has not yet been discussed by the committee. However, Wolf offered an early observation on the proposed bill. “I think it becomes very difficult when you have individual rules that may have pertained to one town, and you go across the border to the next town and it’s a different set of rules,” he said. “In New Hampshire, it doesn’t take long to drive from one town to another.” College Republicans vice president Daniel Bring ’21 said that he does not support the bill. “I’m all for more individual autonomy, but I don’t think that putting matters of security in the hands of school districts is the best move,” Bring said. “I don’t think that gun-free zones around schools are the most viable way to prevent school shootings.” Bring said that the legislation would take power away from New Hampshire residents and give it to the members of school boards. “These school board administrators are likely to be more politically motivated than they are to be motivated by pragmatic considerations of security,” he said. “It would have a negative impact on Second Amendment rights throughout all of New Hampshire’s communities.”
Bring said the bill is likely to be approved by the state House and Senate. However, he expects it to be vetoed by New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu. “For the Democrats to make a big stand on this would not play well with New Hampshire communities,” Bring said. “This is something that people in communities throughout New Hampshire will immediately recognize the impacts of when their Second Amendment rights become restricted around school zones.” Bring added that he would rather see legislation focused on addressing mental health issues. College Democrats president Gigi Gunderson ’21 said she supports the bill. “This bill comes at a pertinent time in the question of the tension between common sense gun regulation and personal gun ownership, especially in a state like New Hampshire where the culture is ‘Live Free or Die,’” Gunderson said. “We continue to support policies that make our schools and New Hampshire residents safer.” Gunderson also connected the bill to the national conversation on gun control. “Democrats have made it clear — especially in the wake of the Parkland shooting — that gun legislation is an issue that they are not afraid to tackle, especially in the majority,” she said. Currently, there are 52 bills in the Committee on Education. HB 101 is scheduled to be out of committee by March 14.
THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS
What do you wish the community knew about the study of music? MA: The study of music isn’t all about writing a paper. The study of any subject — and especially in the performing arts research — can mean so many different things. It can mean studying for a role, figuring out who that person is, when they lived and what the people who lived in that time had as a worldview. Figuring out a specific bowing or fingering, building a set, sewing a costume. That’s music research and we as librarians are rearing to help with those questions. This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
CORRECTIONS We welcome corrections. If you believe there is a factual error in a story, please email email@example.com.
MICHAEL LIN/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
Baker Berry tower stands tall in the gray, snowy ski.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
Montgomery Fellow, policymaker talks about foreign relations FROM SULLIVAN PAGE 1
all in global politics is the United States of America,” Sullivan h i m f o r t h e M o n t g o m e r y said. “That will not simply end if Fellowship. “He has a range of Donald Trump walks out of the experience that is just remarkable, White House.” almost unparalleled, and I think Sullivan sees Russia as being one it’s an amazing of the key foreign thing that we at policy issues facing “The largest Dartmouth can A m e r i c a t o d a y. b e n e f i t f ro m variable in all of He said that the that.” “fundamental” global politics is the S u l l i va n’s job of the next talk began with United States of president will have an introduction America. That will to be to stabilize from interim t h e U. S. - Ru s s i a d i r e c t o r o f not simply end if relationship. M o n t g o m e r y Donald Trump walks Sullivan later Program and shifted his focus out of the White music professor to the escalating Steve Swayne. House.” economic tensions Benjamin between China and and Sullivan’s the U.S. -JAKE SULLIVAN, c o nve r s a t i o n “I don’t believe f o c u s e d o n AMERICAN that we are destined American fo r a n e w C o l d POLICYMAKER AND foreign policy War with China,” i n t h e a g e MONTGOMERTY Sullivan said. o f P re s i d e n t FELLOW S t re s s i n g t h e Donald Trump, importance of good touching on diplomatic relations America’s with China, Sullivan relations with said he believes that Europe, the U.S.’s role in the the U.S. will be able to establish Middle East, Russia and the future a “set of understandings” with of U.S.-China relations. China which would for m a “Now, the largest variable of friendlier relationship more than
competition. “You can’t spend all your time “There is no more important attacking Donald Trump,” he issues in American foreign policy said. “You’ve got to put out an or more important relationship affirmative vision about what that the one with China, and if we you’re going to do for people.” don’t get this right we are all in for He added that policy will play it,” he added. an essential Sullivan also “There is no more role in 2020, discussed the allowing upcoming 2020 important issues in Democratic p r e s i d e n t i a l American foreign policy candidates election and to hold or more important the wide array T r u m p of Democrats relationship that the accountable s e e k i n g t h e one with China, and if to the nomination. American we don’t get this right “There is a people. way for politics we are all in for it.” Sullivan to become a said that unifying rather candidates t h a n d i v i s i ve -JAKE SULLIVAN, AMERICAN will likely force,” Sullivan POLICYMAKER AND focus on said. Looking the ways a h e a d t o t h e MONTGOMERTY FELLOW in which 2020 primary, Tr u m p ’s Sullivan noted rhetoric has “there is such a not matched hunger for voices his policy that are more actions. about healing In the and unity than i n t e r v i e w, going to the ramparts.” Sullivan also discussed his In an interview after the event, reasons for coming to Dartmouth. Sullivan emphasized the central After deciding to move to New role which policy will play in the Hampshire, his wife’s home state, 2020 primary and general election. Sullivan said he was drawn to
STUDENT OPENING PARTY JANUARY 31
Dartmouth for its “intellectual e n e rg y, c o m m i t m e n t t o t h e information [he] cared about and students who are passionate about changing the world.” He also noted the importance of academic institutions like Dartmouth at this moment of great flux in international relations. We need thinkers who are “not in the fog” of politics to design “new, innovative and forward looking solutions,” he said. Sullivan added that having policy makers step out of the political arena, as he is doing at Dartmouth, is important work allowing them to “spend time with academics, professors and intellectuals and to spar and engage with students who bring their own perspectives,” he said. The talk was “a little pessimistic but probably truthful” from a foreign policy perspective, said Aziz Woodward ’22, adding that from a political perspective looking ahead to 2020 Sullivan’s comments were “optimistic.” Robert Williams ’21, who is in Sullivan’s course this term, also attended the event. He said he found it inspiring to hear Sullivan’s views on American and foreign policy and have him teaching at Dartmouth.
THE DARTMOUTH EVENTS
GIVE A ROUSE
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
CAROLINE COOK ’21
4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.
Lecture: “Identity and Citizenship,” with Columbia University history professor Mark Lilla, sponsored by the Daniel Webster Program, Kemeny Hall 008
5:30 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Opening Night Pre-Show Event and Panel for Barber Shop Chronicles, sponsored by the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Top of the Hop, Hopkins Center
7:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m.
Play: “Barbershop Chronicles,” written by Inua Ellams, sponsored by the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Moore Theater, Hopkins Center
9:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Tuesday Trivia, sponsored by the Collis Governing Board, One Wheelock, Collis Center for Student Involvement
TOMORROW 6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
Women’s Hockey: Big Green v. Cornell Big Red, Thompson Arena
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Film: “Boy Erased,” directed by Joel Edgerton, sponsored by the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center
8:00 p.m. - 11:30 p.m.
Concert: “Ana Tijoux and Flor de Toloaca DOUBLE BILL,” sponsored by the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Spaulding Auditorium, Hopkins Center
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
THE DARTMOUTH NEWS
College files response to lawsuit her Title IX complaint, and that both Whalen and another woman some nuances to the College’s denial involved dispute the nature of of the allegations. It acknowledges events. that “the For mer Professor s Dartmouth states that the engaged in improper conduct,” College’s decision-makers now but stresses that understand the the College “took “[The College] “unacceptable the unprecedented environment” took the step of seeking and inappropriate to t e r m i n a t e unprecedented behavior between the tenured students and step of seeking employment of the three PBS to terminate all three” once professors which Dartmouth senior the tenured existed in or after administration 2014. m e m b e r s w e r e employment of The College m a d e a w a r e o f all three.” also states in its what had occurred. filing that it did not In particular, the improperly violate f i l i n g s a y s t h a t -DARTMOUTH the confidentiality claims of sexual COURT FILING of complainants, assault against as alleged by Whalen made in the plaintiffs in the lawsuit by one of their complaint. the complainants vary from what Instead, Dartmouth says the that plaintiff initially alleged in PBS professors were made aware FROM LAWSUIT PAGE 1
of the complaints against them only with the permission of the plaintiffs. The College further disputes the claims that some of the plaintiffs suffered academic retaliation for coming forward with their complaints, asserting that any academic difficulties the students faced were unrelated to their allegations regarding the PBS professors. T hroughout the response, the College states that it “lacks knowledge or infor mation sufficient” to “form a belief ” about the verity of certain pieces of the original lawsuit. Asked for a statement, College spokesperson Diana Lawrence directed The Dartmouth to a press release summarizing and restating the claims made in the College’s court filing. The Dartmouth first reported that fifteen students alleged misconduct on the part of the PBS professors in Nov. 2017.
‘CHRONICLES’ INTRODUCES BARBER SHOP TO THE HOP
MICHAEL LIN/THE DARTMOUTH SENIOR STAFF
The Hopkins Center for the Arts hosts the musical “Barber Shop Chronicles” wfor Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration.
CONTRIBUTING COLUMNIST KATIE SHI ’21
STAFF COLUMNIST STEVEN ADELBERG ’21
Eye of the Beholder
New Foe, Old Ideas
The culture of “#Bookstagram” is damaging to the community’s mission. The bookstagram community has been credited by many with increasing the popularity and diversity of literature for a wider audience. When I first joined this online collective years ago, I loved the vibrant community of fellow readers from all over the world — ranging from places as diverse as the United States to Romania to Syria — and the discussions we had about what we read. For the unfamiliar, “bookstagram” is a term used to describe the book blogging community of Instagram. On this platform, users share pictures of their books using the eponymous hashtag. Common posts include book hauls (stacks of recent book purchases), to-be-read piles and current reads. Often, more popular bookstagram account users receive advance reading copies from publishers to promote ahead of publication date. The amount of work that gets put into a bookstagram photo can be astounding. A photo could feature one book or a stack of them, while coffee mugs, fairy lights and flowers often serve as common props. In some more elaborate photos, users stage themselves with their books — there are not only portraits of the user with their reading material, but also photos of books parallel to legs, the latest Penguin edition cradled in arms, or even, in some cases, the user’s entire body, curled up or spread-eagled next to rows of open pages in a kind of visual performance. The artistry of these photos is amazing — but how much does it contribute to the book community? Over time, a popular bookstagram account often becomes less about what the person is reading and more about how carefully presented the photos are and how curated the account’s theme is. Many accounts, for instance, are based on a certain color, lighting or season (a winter versus autumn theme, for example). To gain a wider following on Instagram, a user must post “consistently,” at a rate from anywhere between once a week to once every few hours. There are monthly challenges where users post one book photo a day according to given prompts, and they often don’t explain why they chose those books beyond how they ostensibly fit the prompt (usually based on title or cover design). While these accounts are aesthetically appealing and in line with Instagram’s broader culture, they
inherently go against the book community and against books in general, which are textual. In the 1930s, the Nazi regime cared less about literature as a means of propaganda than they did about other forms of art such as films, painting and architecture. Since literature lacked a tangible aesthetic that they could exploit, it was ignored. Instagram has made the aestheticization of literature, or at least books, possible. The danger with focusing too much on aesthetics, however, is that it’s reductive. It’s too easy to fall into the trap of spending more time selecting and editing photos of books rather than reading the books themselves. Users often post books to read or books they’ve just started, only to post a picture of a different book immediately afterwards because it seems gauche to post more than one picture of the book that they’re reading. A few of the people I followed announced a hiatus from social media after feeling “burned out by bookstagram.” The problems with bookstagram are not because of the readers who use it, but because Instagram, a visual platform that relies heavily on aesthetics, is inherently incompatible with a genuine book community. Instagram does not accommodate people who read at slower paces, or those who don’t spend time staging their photos. It’s extremely difficult for users with popular bookstagram accounts (and therefore more followers) to continue appealing to a large audience while providing in-depth commentary on what they’ve read, simply because of the pace at which they must post. Relatively few readers can actively maintain the aesthetic of their account while still engaging in the more intimate discussions of the book community. “What this picture doesn’t show: today’s tears, dark circles, stress, unwashed hair, anxiety,” bookstagram user Laura Oosterbeek says in her caption for a post featuring Pullman’s “His Dark Materials” trilogy. “I love instagram, and I love that I can choose what to post. But what you see is part of my story, not the whole story. @instagram is a carefully curated construct. Don’t forget.” Indeed, Instagram is all about creating the most flattering version of yourself and your narrative, even if that narrative is borderline fictitious. On Instagram, a picture isn’t always worth a thousand words; a picture can also mean absolutely nothing.
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THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
LAYOUT: Alec Rossi
SUBMISSIONS: We welcome letters and guest columns. All submissions must include the author’s name and affiliation with Dartmouth
College, and should not exceed 250 words for letters or 700 words for columns. The Dartmouth reserves the right to edit all material before publication. All material submitted becomes property of The Dartmouth. Please email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Free World must stand up to China’s 21st century tyranny. The great democracies of the world stood at the precipice: Hitler, empowered by five years of appeasement, launched the mightiest military machine ever seen against the bastions of freedom. France folded within weeks, Britain fought tooth and nail for mere survival and the United States faced an existential threat like no other. This country sent 16.1 million soldiers to wipe out fascism before it could destroy all America holds dear; by 1945, no fascist power remained standing. But unlike men, regimes or civilizations, ideas do not die — the seeds of fascist ideology spread far and wide, with fascist political parties springing up everywhere from Iran to Puerto Rico. This ideology of oppression slowly took root in post-Mao China, a land seeking order and unity after two decades of starvation, cultural collapse, instability and state-sponsored atrocities. New leadership passed a new constitution, ushering in a new era of single party rule over a state-led economy through oligarchic organs of power. Inequality and corruption skyrocketed as the protectionist state built consolidated titans of industry. “National rejuvenation” became the rallying cry as the line between head of state and dictator blurred. Ethnic minorities lived in fear of brutalization at the hands of the apartheid police state as neighboring countries suffered violations of their sovereignty. China’s new undemocratic and unequal system of government owes more to Mussolini than Marx. The Cambridge Dictionary defines Communism as “an economic system based on public ownership of property and control of the methods of production, and in which no person profits from the work of others.” Yet China’s private sector accounts for 60 percent to 70 percent of GDP according to the International Trade Administration. Much of this private income stays in the hands of business owners — the business think-tank The Conference Board reports that labor only receives around 50 percent of China’s GDP. Contrary to the ruling regime’s propaganda, China is not a Marxist country. This ruling regime is blatantly fascist. Merriam Webster defines fascism as “a political philosophy, movement, or regime that exalts nation and often race above the individual and that stands for a centralized autocratic government headed by a dictatorial leader, severe economic and social regimentation, and forcible suppression of opposition.” UN human rights experts report that the current regime holds two million ethnic-minority Uighurs in concentration camps —The Nation observes that “an individual can be imprisoned for up to three years for showing disrespect toward the national anthem.” The BBC documents official proclamations that “there would be no separation of powers between the different branches of government and no federal system.” This centralized government serves the leader of China’s Communist Party, a position that under Xi Jinping has grown to command nearly boundless powers and a massive cult of personality. China sustains both one of the highest rates of inequality and one of the most sophisticated systems of censorship on Earth. The truth is dismally clear: China has a fascist system of government. The international community did not seriously punish fascist China for its systemic assault on
human rights — they pulled China from poverty and gave its illegitimate regime a seat on the United Nations Security Council. Fascist China is now the most populous nation in the world, mere years away from eclipsing the United States as the world’s biggest economy and on track to achieve superpower status if the free world does nothing. This corrupted cradle of civilization is already shaping the world in its fascist image — Zimbabwe is the first to openly emulate the Chinese model as developing nations around the world collapse under the weight of predatory Chinese infrastructure loans into a state of neocolonialism. The neoliberal world order with its open markets and open exchanges of ideas has failed to contain and liberalize China — it has served as a vehicle for Chinese capture of foreign media environments and natural resources. Forty years of appeasement have failed: the time for action was long ago but the time for justice is now. T he United States must stand uncompromisingly against fascism in the 21st century if it hopes to defend American values for ages to come. America must defend its core values of individual liberty, equality, tolerance, democracy, national sovereignty, free markets, free thought and the international liberal order it built to safeguard these values. The United States cannot stand by as a fascist regime erodes these precious pillars of our way of life, hand-wringing over how our language may offend Beijing’s sensibilities as it wages aggressive manipulation campaigns against global democracies. The free world must be bold: The United States must bring its full might toward a comprehensive strategy against the rise of Chinese fascism. China’s corrupting influence abroad must be challenged on every front. America must contain China geopolitically and deny it superpower status by adding more countries to the Southeast Asian Treaty Organization and expanding its network of free trade agreements in the region. The free world must liberate developing nations from their growing dependency on sovereigntyeroding Chinese foreign direct investment by championing long-needed reform of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund. It must end China’s state-subsidized trade dominance by spearheading international border adjustment taxes to restore market competitiveness. The free world must restore integrity to its international institutions by aggressively prosecuting China for its countless violations of human rights, intellectual property, territorial integrity and national sovereignty. The free world must do everything in its power to campaign against the rise of Chinese fascism. This fight against Chinese fascism will not be easy. This stand on principle requires a national reckoning when American consensus is at its most fragile. But this fight is not one that America can walk away from: 1.4 billion souls live under the heel of a tyrannical, revisionist regime that actively undermines the democratic world order America depends upon. As leader of the free world, America cannot fail to uphold its duty to humanity. America is the legacy of a centurieslong resistance against tyranny in all its forms: as humanity hurtles headlong into the 21st century, the free world must meet the trials of their times and stand up against Chinese fascism.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
THE DARTMOUTH OPINION
STAFF COLUMNIST CLARA CHIN ’19
STAFF COLUMNIST DAN FISHBEIN ’19
Why I Still Like Twilight
The Big Green Moderate
Teen romance fantasies remind us to celebrate love despite judgment. My inner monologue goes something like this. “Get over it! Twilight came out 10 years ago. Wait — am I really that old?” Yes, Twilight the movie came out in 2008; 10 years, one English major and several French New Extremist films later, and I still am a Twi-hard. I enjoy Claire Denis’ “Trouble Every Day” as much as the next girl, or as much as the next girl who really wants people to know she has “good taste” in films. But there is something to be said for the unrelenting melodrama of a film like “Twilight.” One thing that many feminists and blatant misogynists can agree on is that, put simply, “Twilight” is trash. I do not think “Twilight” is so easy to hate because it is corny; many campy teen or kid flicks are met with little hate, such as the “Harry Potter” series and the television series “The Big Bang Theory.” “Twilight” gets hate because of the way it confronts the reality of emotion. “Twilight” certainly is no feminist rallying call, but the hate it receives makes evident how people (especially women) are stigmatized for embracing their feelings. The growing popularity of auteur culture led to an overvaluing of intellectual control over emotional vulnerability. But pop culture representations of love, in the broadest sense of the word, remind us to forget about being cool; instead, it acknowledges that idealistic emotion can be cheesy and politically problematic, but can bring people together through a now-rare idealism. To go back to a term I used earlier, “auteur culture” is essentially the celebration of arthouse film directors who often happen to be male. Think Hitchcock, Godard, Truffaut and, more recently, sex- and violence-obsessed Lars von Trier. While some moviegoers appreciate these directors alongside more straightforwardly emotional and pulpy films, it is much more common for film “snobs” to condemn projects like “Twilight,” “Gossip Girl” and other pop culture media geared toward young women. This is not to say that men do not produce pop culture or that no non-male auteurs exist, but that in many contemporary discussions of film it is easy to think of high culture and low culture in this reductive, binary way. More recent film theorists like Laura Mulvey critique auteur culture and the male gaze for being misogynistic, often celebrating male directors who show violence against women on film. The type of director considered an auteur limits the kinds of films worthy of appreciation, often valuing emotionally removed films over emotionally indulgent ones. It also limits auteur creativity, discouraging art-house filmmakers from inflecting smaller films with technical motifs or references to big-budget emotional films. One of the worst reasons to dislike “Twilight” is for being “poorly executed” — I actually do not think this is true. While certainly a film that emphasizes marketable value over artistic value, “Twilight” serves its purpose as well-written camp. As of late, films with a pessimistic take on life have been in-vogue for the film community. Yorgos Lanthimos’ Golden Globe-nominated film “The Favourite” portrays a fictionalized triangular relationship between three ruthless women, infamously brutal Gaspar Noé’s “Climax” shows a group of dancers descending
into madness and violence during an unexpected drug trip, and ‘auteur’ Lars von Trier’s “The House that Jack Built” shows a mass murderer mutilating his victims, many of them women. Film culture tends to formulate the avant-garde as smart, emotionless and masculine, and popular film as dumb, excessively emotional and feminine — usually showing preference for the latter. But “Twilight” does not aspire to be high-brow, since its very premise is a novel that has accrued a mass following of teenage girl pop-enthusiasts. It embraces its corniness, using phrases like “Even more, I had never meant to love him.” These phrases do not hide behind artistic pretenses, but stand unabashedly in their over-the-top affect. One could argue that anyone could come up with a phrase like this, but it is arguably difficult to use the right syntax and word choice to capture exactly how love feels. And yet comments on reposts of scenes argue that it does just this. In a scene where Bella is depressed after Edward leaves her, reposted on YouTube, user “Sarina Valentina” writes, “Love sickness is real… And serious. Going through it.” The self-aware corniness of “Twilight” makes it unapologetic and intentional, bringing young women together through online forums Twilight also manages to do camp well by infusing subtly “indie” traits. For instance, the color scheme of “Twilight” is dark, gloomy and blue, similar to indie vampire flicks like previously mentioned Claire Denis’s “Trouble Every Day.” It uses the grunge backdrop of Forks, Washington, and a ’90s grunge-inspired soundtrack complete with Radiohead — keep in mind this is before the ’90s nostalgia trend of the late 2010s. It functions similarly to the more “auteur” show “Twin Peaks” by David Lynch, which infuses soap opera motifs into the weirdness of the avant-garde. Twilight borrows from indie culture to make what would normally be teen melodrama just a little more interesting. Robert Pattinson, known for his wryness, delivers his lines in a way that seem Self-aware. Rather than situate themselves within pop culture, recent “auteurs” often distance themselves from any trace of emotion. The indie marketability of dispassion has caused filmmakers like Lars von Trier to go overboard with violence, as evident by the negative reviews for his most recent film, “The House that Jack Built.” I will not deny that “Twilight” is blatantly problematic; the premise of “pale” vampires and Native werewolves reeks of simplistic colonial narratives. But I’ll save this deconstruction for another time. Even this problem, as well as the elements of misogyny present in Twilight, are more indicative of American collective anxieties. It is Bella’s relationship with Edward, which she also recognizes as dangerous ( “…And so the lion fell in love with the lamb”) that recognize that desire is not always straightforward. For young feminists and young women of color who aspire to be in control, it may be jarring to fall in love with someone who may pose a threat to their politics. Watching “Twilight” is a little like having a crush. It seems silly, but there is also something comforting, idealistic and emotionally rich about it. “Twilight” still matters because it is a reminder of idealism — and that a girl in love is defiant.
King’s criticism of the “white moderate” is especially relevant to the College. When Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Newton, founder of the Black Panther Party, spoke at Dartmouth on May 23, 1962, he idolized Malcolm, citing him as inspiration for delivered a message about the importance of the Panthers’ call on black people in Oakland resisting conformity, specifically around racist and around the country to defend themselves viewpoints. “There are certain things within against police brutality. Newton and the our social order and in the world to which Panthers believed King had too much power I’m proud to be maladjusted,” King told his as the leader of the civil rights movement, audience. “The world is in desperate need of and they wanted the people to take action maladjusted men and women … And I believe themselves when demanding justice. By not that through such maladjustment we will be acknowledging these alternative approaches to able to emerge from the bleak and desolate combatting injustice in this movie, the College midnight of man’s inhumanity to man, into exploits the impactful imagery of activists to the bright and glittering daybreak of freedom further the spectacle of a man and a cause in justice.” they did not believe in. Over the coming weeks, Dartmouth While Dartmouth might use its celebratory will attempt to honor King’s legacy. This programming as a platform for speakers who celebration, according to the College’s do meaningful work to combat injustice, the website, will coalesce around the theme College itself seems to have not taken the of “Standing at the Threshold.” “It is our opportunity to use this moment to hold a hope that the programs over the next several debate about its own complicated relationship weeks will inspire you to get on board and with inclusivity. The events include four guest embrace and support inclusivity, equity and speakers at the Life Sciences Center on topics diversity in our community and around the related to sexual violence, as well as a keynote world,” Evelynn Ellis, the speech from Georgetown Law school’s vice president for professor Alicia Ely Yamin on Institutional Diversity and “The College has the topic “Sexual Violence: Equity, writes. “We hope not scheduled Survival, Stereotypes, and that you will be inspired to Social Change.” The College speak up for your neighbor events that would has not scheduled events even if your own well- allow students, the that would allow students, being is not threatened.” the people affected by sexual people affected Dartmouth will screen a violence at Dartmouth, to documentary about King’s by sexual violence challenge the College about, life, hold a “Sing-In” to at Dartmouth, for example, the $70 million learn the music of social lawsuit filed against it or to challenge the movements and show the lack of undergraduate King’s speech twice on College about, for engagement in the C3I Martin Luther King Jr. initiative. The College has example, the $70 Day next Monday. invited a community activist While the College no million lawsuit filed who focuses on urban renewal doubt means well with its against it or the lack to speak, but it has not programming, students scheduled time for a discussion should approach these of undergraduate about how injustice and events with a critical engagement in the racism exist in Dartmouth’s mindset. Although our own communities. C3I initiative.” country now idolizes This effort by Dartmouth King and has given him a to both bring in speakers who national holiday, King’s message to Dartmouth have worked to combat injustice without seeing reveals that he may not have been comfortable how it itself participates in creating injustice with how easily liberals now accept him. parallels King’s visit to the school 56 years Furthermore, students should resist letting the ago. Up until the late 1960s, the school only College collapse a diversity of often conflicting matriculated a handful of black students each messages delivered by activists during the year. This lack of admissions equality went 1960s and recognize that the notion of justice against King’s emphasis in his speech on the was, and very much still is, up for debate. need to continue to walk the long road toward The movie that the College shows alongside ending racism. It would take the College until King’s speech montages several pictures of 1970, when President John Kemeny decided to 1960s activists, including Malcolm X and respond to civil unrest sweeping the country, members of the Black Panther Party. Without to begin increasing the number of students providing context on how these people related of color it enrolled. to King and his movement, this movie commits Rather than waiting for the College to a gross historical injustice. While King sought someday act against injustice on campus, to replace a segregated social structure with thoughtful students should refuse to adjust integration, wherein blacks could participate in to the College’s narrative and programming white-controlled institutions, Malcolm wanted around social progress. Instead of listening blacks to separate, believing that they could to a speech that King gave about equality achieve more by building their own institutions. at a time when the school practiced its own Furthermore, whereas King required that his inequality, they could follow the philosophies followers practice nonviolence in their protest of the activists marginalized in the College’s efforts, Malcolm believed blacks should seek understanding of civil rights activism and liberation “by any means necessary.” Huey P. work themselves to demand change now.
THURSDAY, JANUARY 17, 2019
THE DARTMOUTH ARTS
‘Burning’ is a riveting drama about masculinity and desire By JOYCE LEE
The Dartmouth Senior Staff
There’s an image in Lee Changdong’s “Burning” that I still see when I close my eyes at night: a little boy approaches a burning greenhouse. He is inexplicably dripping wet — with water? with gasoline? — and he stares at the flames in a trance. The surreal nature of this scene — which turns out to be a dream by the film’s protagonist Jong-su (Yoo Ah-in) — and the vague sense of misplaced horror it evokes is a mood that permeates throughout the rest of the film. The atmosphere feels appropriate, considering that the film is based on Haruki Murakami’s short story “Barn Burning.” Murakami is a writer whose work is known for being about monotone men whose worlds start to slowly unravel at the seams, bleeding into the bizarre and disturbing, sometimes for unidentifiable reasons. Initially, Jong-su doesn’t really differ from this stock character; he’s a writer, but he’s taken over his father’s farm after his father gets arrested for
assault. He’s in love with Hae-mi (Jeon Jong-seo), a girl from his hometown whom he runs into by chance. Like his Murakami counterparts, he is not a particularly active character; she initiates conversation with him first, suggests getting drinks first and invites him to her home first by asking him to take care of her cat while she is traveling in Africa. This passivity continues, to an almost frustrating extent, with the arrival of Ben (Steven Yeun) alongside Hae-mi when she returns from Africa. Ben is noticeably affluent, which Jong-su notes bitterly as he calls him a “Gatsby.” Yeun injects his character with a subtle condescension, signaling that Ben’s wealth is clearly on display — this is a man with an ego, no matter how quiet and charming he seems. The film lives and breathes in its mounting tension, as it spirals into a mystery thriller through the fraught nature of the relationships between the three characters. Yoo gives a masterful performance as the mixture of desire, rage and jealousy overtake him. His body seems to always be coiled into
itself, his walk tottering as he looks at the world around him with his mouth slightly agape. Perhaps the best part of this performance is the river of anger and masculine insecurity that lies brimming beneath Jong-su’s impassive face. He is no longer Murakami’s hero — he contributes to his explosive world as much as he is impacted by it. Much of this movie is captured in small, inexplicable moments and details. There’s a small ray of light that is reflected into Hae-mi’s apartment at a certain hour, for a few minutes every day. There’s a cat that may or may not exist. Memories are shaky and inconsistent; people seem to vanish into thin air. Yet for all of these semi-magical details, the film itself is not a fantasy. In fact, parts of it are so grounded in the bitter, bone-weary reality of an economic downturn, youth unemployment and class struggles that even the peaceful setting of Jong-su’s farm is constantly disrupted, sometimes literally by North Korean propaganda broadcasts from the border that exists just a few miles away. The anxieties of the modern world contribute to
the tension in this film as much as the relationships, and it culminates in a wounded sense of masculinity. The word “pride” is repeated throughout the film, as a reason for why certain characters do certain things that would be considered foolish, unworldly. But “pride” in Korean has a different connotation than in English; pride is sacred, something to be protected. It is as much about how one treats oneself, as it is about how others treat you. Pride in Korean sometimes ends up being inherently masculine; there’s even a phrase that acts as justification for why men sometimes do stupid things: “It’s my man’s pride!” There is no equivalent term for women. The masculinity that runs rampant throughout this film is fascinating and complex, but it also threatens to overwhelm the female characters. The vanished woman is also a common trope in Murakami’s work, and one that’s often criticized for how it denotes female characters to objects who only exist to further the male protagonist’s arc. In this sense, Hae-mi is no different. Her disappearance is metaphorized by
burning greenhouses, an act of “fun” that Ben confesses to Jong-su. Like an abandoned greenhouse, women like Hae-mi are anonymous and unwanted by society. But also like an abandoned greenhouse, Hae-mi’s character is simply a shell holding ideas of fragile femininity, of being an object of desire. She is easily burned down, easily vanished. The question has to be asked: Is there not a way to talk about masculinity and how it can warp into rage and violence without making female characters into objects? Lee is a sensitive director, whose previous works like “Secret Sunshine” delved into intense character studies. But he fails to answer this question, much as Murakami has failed to answer it throughout his significant literary career. In the scene I mentioned at the beginning of this review, the little boy is assumed to be Jong-su; it is not revealed why he is dripping wet in front of the fire. Perhaps it’s water, to protect him from the flames engulfing the greenhouse. But perhaps it’s gasoline, and he is just waiting to dive into the fire, to let it consume him completely.
In ‘The Mule,’ Clint Eastwood is an old dog sticking to old tricks By MIA NELSON The Dartmouth
For a movie about drugs and cartels that was inspired by a New York Times article by Nick Schenk, Clint Eastwood’s “The Mule,” is surprisingly dull, revealing nothing new with surfacelevel characters far below the capability of their actors.. Eastwood plays Earl Stone, a down-on-his luck former daylily horticulturist who becomes a drug runner, or mule, for a cartel in Illinois. Bradley Cooper plays Colin Bates, the FBI agent tasked with tracking the massive shipments of drugs into Chicago. Taissa Farminga plays Stone’s granddaughter, Ginny. Farminga’s portrayal is sophomoric, and her emotional scenes are unconvincing. When she calls Stone to tell him that his ex-wife is dying, Farmings uses acting class-techniques to touch her face and exasperatedly say, “I can’t believe this.” Viewers will have a difficult time believinganythingonscreen,notbecause the story is outlandish, but because all the actors save Eastwood appear to be phoning in their performances. Cooper is predictable, and for someone so consistently nuanced in his portrayals, completely forgettable. Stone is the only character with depth, and even
his depth is a caricature: the old man who dances with prostitutes, the old man who regrets leaving his wife and the old man who just wants to be there for his granddaughter. Even below the surface, clichés run rampant. But I don’t blame the actors; it is difficult to lend vivacity to a tired script. The film falls into unforgiveable and boring caricatures: an effeminate cartel employee, an old man who can’t text, a stoic and determined FBI agent, stereotyped cartel employees, a hysterical ex-wife and a scene where police brutality is supposed to be viewed as comical when a nervous Hispanic man is pulled over. Stone at one point, uses a racial slur to address a black family he pulls over to help change their tire. It is clear Eastwood is comfortable with eschewing political correctness, but should we be comfortable letting him do so? There are moments where his exaggerations might be intended to be commentary on how the elderly are seen as weak, untoward and harmless. Stone is not a happy-go-lucky grandpa delivering pecans to his niece, he is in fact moving millions of dollars’ worth of cocaine. But the commentary stops right at Stone’s feet; other characters who suffer from prejudiced depictions are left unexplained. The
audience is genuinely supposed to laugh when the male cartel employee is shaken down at a nail salon and told he would never survive in prison with his manicure. Stone’s drug runs are the crux of the movie, which is why it is such a shame that they are so boring. He sings ragtime songs in the car and frustrates his handlers by stopping at drive-through restaurants and farmers’ markets before delivering the drugs. There is a moment, however, when my boredom turned to curiosity. Was this Eastwood attempting to lull the audience into a state where it seems perfectly normal, uninteresting even, for an old man to partake in risky and illicit behavior simply to pay for his granddaughter’s wedding? If that’s the case, I watched the film as it was intended: a purposefully dull look at how far a man would go for the forgiveness of his family. The dullness is to show how ordinary it is to go to drastic measures for intangible desires. Stone’s ex-wife becomes ill in the middle of a drug run. Stone finally makes the correct decision and puts his family in front of work. The most beautiful part of the film by far was that Eastwood avoided grandiose gestures as Stone sits in his ex-wife’s dingy, regular room. She dies ingloriously, and Stone
ingloriously says goodbye. This film, in that moment, is about how regular people suffer. Earlier, while at a party in a compound in Mexico, Stone tells his handler that he wants to go to his room and be alone, since that is the only place he is still somebody. That is more than an old man speaking an old truth: it is Eastwood telling viewers that we must be reminded that our sadness and hurt and loneliness is universal. There is something shimmering and important about beating a dead horse, when the dead horse is telling us that we are not alone in our heads. In the end, Stone pleads guilty to drug trafficking and the murders of two cartel employees who stopped him on the way back from his ex-wife’s funeral. Stone says to his daughter at the end of his court hearing that we can buy everything, but we cannot buy time. It is yet another platitude intended to ensure that viewers get the message that family should take precedence over work — but that doesn’t make it less true. Stone is seen in the prison yard cultivating a garden of daylilies, smiling in his jumpsuit. It is an obvious symbol: free from the confines of the metaphorical, all-too American prison of suburban expectation, Stone is finally
able to be happy. But what of our collective imprisonment? Eastwood is telling us that we all lead basically the same lives — we are ordinary, hard-working, occasionally down on our luck. We have hurt people, we have been hurt. We forgive, we plant flowers, we stop for pulled pork sandwiches. We do impossible, brave things. We too live a life of listlessness punctuated by vulgarity and violence. And we all just want to hear what Stone’s wife wanted to hear in the end: I loved you yesterday and I love you today, but not nearly as much as I will love you tomorrow. “The Mule” is a simple movie with no new tricks or revelations. It is telling the same story we have been told about white middle America over and over again: a scrappy guy is reluctantly goaded into trouble for the good of his family. And what is truly interesting about the film is that Eastwood refuses to give viewers anything new to glean. He is an old dog who is sticking to old tricks. But we lose nothing in being reminded that we will miss all of life’s grandest joys if we do not have the courage to stay and live our ordinary lives with extraordinary care. Stop and plant the daylilies, Eastwood is saying. They only bloom for so long.