the college hill independent November 15, 2013 : Volume 27 Issue 8 a Brown-RISD weekly
MANAGING EDITORS David Adler, Doreen St. Félix, Ellora Vilkin NEWS Simon Engler, Joe de Jonge, Emma Wohl METRO Megan Hauptman, Rick Salamé, Kat Thornton ARTS Becca Millstein, Grier Stockman, John White FEATURES Lili Rosenkranz, Josh Schenkkan SCIENCE Golnoosh Mahdavi, Jehane Samaha SPORTS Tristan Rodman INTERVIEWS Drew Dickerson LITERARY Edward Friedman EPHEMERA Molly Landis, Ka-
THE INDY VOLUME 27 #8
tia Zorich OCCULT Julieta Cárdenas X Lizzie Davis LIST Claudia Norton, Diane Zhou DESIGN + ILLUSTRATION Mark Benz, Casey Friedman, Kim Sarnoff COVER EDITOR Robert Sandler SENIOR EDITORS Grace Dunham, Alex Ronan, Sam Rosen, Robert Sandler STAFF WRITER Alex Sammon STAFF ILLUSTRATORS Andres Chang, Aaron Harris WEB Houston Davidson COPY Mary Frances Gallagher, Paige Morris COVER ART Ann Kremen MVP Megan Hauptman P.O. Box 1930 Brown University Providence, RI 02912 & firstname.lastname@example.org & @theindy_tweets & theindy.org Letters to the editor are welcome distractions. The Independent is published weekly during the fall & spring semesters and is printed by TCI Press in Seekonk, MA. The Independent receives support from Generation Progress/Center for American Progress. Generation Progress works to help young people make their voices heard on issues that matter. Learn more at GenProgress.org.
NEWS FROM THE EDITORS Let’s begin at Courbet’s L’Origine du monde, with Paris and Petersburg miles apart. Let’s take off our shoes and be nude like the lady. Our shoes will be there when we get back. I have chosen no path, still near to Paris—so you choose our steps, how the feet should trip. And once we start, body fluids will trip us, we can wade in the body, and then we can swim. We will move with the current—you have been next to nature? Somewhere in the lady, we will find a skeleton. We will dig inside of it and hold up the dust. I have heard it’s all shade and that we are just paint, that our blood is not real, that the heart is two. Let’s lay in the color and rest our feet, Petersburg one way and Paris the other. –KS
2 Week in Review simon engler, joe de jonge & alex sammon
7 Cuba Libre kat thornton
METRO 3 Protests megan hauptman, grace healy, cherise morris & julian park
5 Paul Buhle kat thornton
8 PVD Punks sophie kasakove
SPORTS 6 Tough Questions tristan rodman
FEATURES 15 My Gowanus abigail savitch-lew
ARTS 11 Cool Stuff estelle berger
OCCULT 13 Dear Fetish julieta cárdenas & katia zorich
LITERARY 17 Dactyloscopies maru pabón
X 18 Illumigauti kasi brotz
INTERVIEWS 9 Brad Neely drew dickerson
E P H E M E R A : 12 molly landis & katia zorich
THE WEEK TO BE DETERMINED by Simon Engler, Joe de Jonge & Alex Sammon
We’re sorry—we know that, generally speaking, readers look to the news section for updates, not for equivocation. But this week we were just flummoxed. These days, nothing is certain.
BEING CHICKEN LITTLE
JINGLE BELL ROCKS
it’s well known that the BlackBerry and the iPad stand at opposite ends of the Tech-Cool sliding scale. The BlackBerry is businesslike, stiff, dorky. It’s a forty-something on a Segway. The iPad is different. It’s intuitive, even artistic. The iPad is a thirty-year-old riding a longboard. But from a less superficial perspective—and regardless of the fact that Segways and longboards are both, in fact, lame— the iPad and the Blackberry have something in common: among some of their largest institutional customers, the future of both devices is uncertain. The iPad is facing threats in its own backyard. On November 5, the Los Angeles Times reported that the LA Unified School District’s plan to “put an iPad into the hands of every Los Angeles student and teacher” might end up “difficult to financially sustain.” This makes sense: there are tens of thousands of students and teachers in Los Angeles, and iPads cost hundreds of dollars each. That tablet computers have been chosen as an improvement for cramped classrooms and poor instruction is less intuitive. Exactly how LA schools will keep their iPads is yet to be determined. At the moment, the Unified School District is considering extreme measures—including the diversion of extra construction funds to iPad purchases—to maintain the program. LA students are probably unaware of this. FarmVille can be very distracting. Federal types, on the other hand, are well known for their BlackBerry use. Obama demanded a personal ’Berry when he was elected President. The device’s blue glow likely illuminates the sleeping faces of every staff member at Politico. And the Department of Defense owns nearly half a million of them— the BlackBerry is the only device authorized to connect to the Pentagon’s secure network. But all of this might change. In light of recent turmoil at BlackBerry (shares in the company plummeted 28 percent on a single day in June; CEO Thorsten Heins was fired just this month), the DoD is looking to expand its network. According to NextGov, a pilot program to connect non-BlackBerry devices to the Department’s servers will begin by the end of the year. That might be another nail in the coffin for BlackBerry. It’s true that the future of government and education might just lie in technology. But don’t get too attached—it’s all still being determined. –SPE
chicken little is minding his own business when he is plunked on the forehead by a wayward acorn. Unequipped to address the possibility of projectile flora, he stammers his legendary resolution, the sky is falling!
toronto mayor rob ford loves christmas. Luckily for Mayor Ford, Christmas comes early this year—or at least the 109th Annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade does, on this Sunday, November 17. It’s the largest parade in all of Canada, with an expected turnout of between 750,000-800,000 revelers. Mayor Ford has always been a big supporter of the parade, and this has not gone unnoticed by Parade CoChairman Ron Barbaro, “He’s the only mayor who ever really walked the whole parade, which I thought was spectacular.” Handing candy to children every step of the way, I might add. But Mayor Ford may be getting a lump of coal from Santa this year. The fate of the 109th Annual Toronto Santa Claus hangs in the balance. In May, rumors surfaced of Mayor ford smoking crack on video. These remained rumors until Halloween, when the Toronto Police announced that they were “in possession of a video digital file” with “images consistent with those reported in the press.” After a few days of mulling it over, on November 5, Mayor Ford owned up: “Yes, I have smoked crack cocaine. But no, do I, am I an addict? No. Have I tried it? Probably in one of my drunken stupors, probably approximately about a year ago.” Not a crack-addict, just a drunk; business as usual. Later that very day Mayor Ford announced his plans to seek re-election next year. On November 13, Toronto City council voted 37-5 to ask Mayor Ford to take a leave of absence. He has no intention of doing so: “I’m definitely keeping this job,” he said earlier. “I am not leaving here.” He also has every intention of marching in the 109th Annual Toronto Santa Claus Parade. Former fan Barbaro thinks otherwise, “He won’t be walking in the parade. He will be watching the parade with his family and that is his participation.” Mayor Ford doesn’t like to take hints. His Chief of Staff Earl Provost insisted, “He is going to do something official. He is the mayor of Toronto.”–JJ
NOVEMBER 15 2013
Chicken Little then gets eaten by a fox. It’s a cold world. Little’s slogan has since been used to undercut every doomsday prophesy since 1895. Generations of bedtime bards have made a mockery of his ill-fated prediction. But this week Chicken Little finally caught a break. +++ the european space agency’s GOCE satellite ran out of its xenon-ion fuel in October. Environmental regulation has precluded the construction of an extra-atmospheric Shell station, which sealed the satellite’s fate. On November 11, it reentered the atmosphere and began its fall back to earth. The GOCE satellite has spent the past four years in orbit, gathering detailed readings on earth’s gravitational field and oceanic terrain. The irony here is painful: it is this same gravitational field that has, of course, caused its death. It is estimated that 75 percent of the satellite will be incinerated upon atmospheric impact, with 25 percent reaching earth’s surface. Recent reports placed the satellite above Siberia, though it is unknown as to where this heavenly detritus will finally come to rest. Early reports have placed debris as far as the Falkland Islands. Apparently, though, the sky has been falling with some regularity. NASA’s Upper Atmosphere Research satellite, Germany’s ROSAT X-ray space observatory, and Russia’s PhobosGrunt Mars probe all booked unexpected return flights in 2011 alone. In fact, the GOCE satellite represents only a tiny percentage of the 150 tons of anthropogenic galactic refuse cascading back to earth every year. Debris showers have been most frequent in Australia, though no casualties have yet been recorded. While this trend has raised the stakes on stargazing, there doesn’t yet seem to be cause for concern. LiveScience estimates there to be a one in 3,200 chance that someone on earth will get struck by descending satellite. So it probably won’t be you. But given the frequency, odds are that someone’s face is going to get smashed by smoldering space shit, statistically speaking. Please apologize to Mr. Little. –AS
NEWS █ 02
ACTION IS NOW Students cycle through Brown in roughly four years. During their time here, student activists are cycled through study committees, working groups, and disciplinary commissions. As we pass through school, the actions and lessons of previous generations get lost in the movement; we often forget how much of our campus culture has been shaped by student dissent, protest, and activism. Brown has a long history of student organizing, much of which has effected tangible changes in institutional policies, such as the establishment of the Open Curriculum, revised admissions practices, and the founding of the Third World Center. Here, we explore a few of the many student campaigns and protests in Brown’s history. Black Student walkout December 5, 1968, 12PM: Sixty-five black students from Brown and Pembroke College walk out of class to occupy the Congdon St. Baptist Church for five days, protesting the University’s racist admission practices. Some of these students have already been working with the administration for a year and half to increase the number of black students admitted and are frustrated with the slow rate of change. On the day of the walkout, the AfroAmerican Society at Brown University releases a public statement in which they criticize the University’s “concerted effort” to change their admissions policies: “This is not meaningful change. We have therefore decided that this course of action will not lead to a re-evaluation or a reorientation of the racist policies at Brown University that gave rise to our demands in the first place.” Instead, they announce, they will disassociate themselves from Brown until “the commitment we seek has been made, or the University admits to its true racist nature.” The walkout, which attracts national attention and media coverage, culminates in a weekend of negotiations between the students and administrators. The walkout and subsequent negotiations result in a 300 percent increase in black student enrollment the following year and the creation of the Transitional Summer Program (later renamed the Third World Transition Program). –MH
a history of Brown student activism takeover of university hall
April 24, 1975, 8AM: A secretary arrives and opens University Hall. A student spies from a window on the second floor of Faunce, where several people have slept overnight. A few minutes later, 30 students walk into University Hall and rope the doors shut. Four hundred more students quickly circle the building outside. By 8:45AM, there are at least 1,000 students beating drums, chanting, and walking around the building in concentric circles, keeping administrators and police from passing. The takeover lasts 38 hours, during which several student organizers meet with administrators in Graduate Center over their list of demands. The occupation, organized by the Third World Coalition—a newly formed merger of the Organization of United African People (OUAP) and Latin American Students Organization (LASO)—occurred a few weeks after 80 percent of the campus participated in a four-day class strike against University President Donald Hornig’s proposals to increase tuition and reduce financial aid. Hornig had been unwilling to discuss criticisms of his plan with the Brown community. The proposed tuition hike was the final straw in long-standing frustrations with Brown’s institutional disregard for minority students and faculty. Since 1968, Brown had gained a reputation as one of the most open-minded, liberal, and racially diverse campuses in the nation. But that reputation was an illusion for many Third World students, who felt their presence was often tokenized by the administration while their voices and needs were disregarded. The takeover, planned after several smaller and less drastic actions failed to stop Hornig’s proposed budget from passing, was in part the culmination of student frustrations with Brown’s failure to live up to its promises to black students in 1968. The Graduate Center negotiations ended after sunset on April 25. Not all of the student demands were accepted, but the administration did promise to revamp its admissions goals for Third World students, offer more generous financial aid packages, and renew its commitment to recruit minority and women faculty. Notified that an agreement had been reached, all the students occupying University Hall filed out, exhausted, and walked over to the basement of Churchill House to debrief. “It was very emotional; we all cried,” remembered Steven Soares, a member of OUAP who was part of the occupation team. “I could say I was proud to be a Brown student because of what I did.” Students had taken well-coordinated, disruptive and loud action—and the University had been forced to change in response. –MH
rotc and the new curriculum
By the end of spring 1969, then-President of Brown University Ray Heffner would resign. “I have simply reached the conclusion that I do not enjoy being a university president,” he told the Brown Daily Herald. Just a few weeks into the spring of 1969, the faculty had voted to phase out the Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) and to instate the New Curriculum (which Brown still uses today). These changes, which have come to define Brown, were largely the result of vehement student and faculty action. Student activism in favor of the New Curriculum and in hopes of ousting the ROTC began in 1966 and 1967, respectively. While the battle for the New Curriculum consumed a larger portion of the student body, as it was thought to take up “a million student work-hours,” the ROTC issue became relevant because of both the changing academic standards of the University and the ever-looming Vietnam War. Some students viewed Brown’s hosting of the ROTC as support for the conflict in Vietnam. Other students believed that the values of the military were incompatible with the values of a liberal arts education and that there was no justification for a military presence in the academic sphere. They argued that a liberal arts university was not meant to endorse a program with such a narrow goal and that military science courses restricted students’ “free and open inquiry,” especially as laid out by the New Curriculum. Less than a month after the faculty voted to maintain the ROTC on campus without giving it class credit, President Heffner extended Brown’s contract with the Navy for at least another year without consulting faculty or students. The faculty held a meeting the next day to discuss their future action. Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) sponsored an open mic on the Main Green to discuss President Heffner’s negotiations. On April 18, 1969, the faculty had a final vote, where they determined that ROTC would be phased out. No new freshmen were to be admitted to the program, and ROTC would be completely absent on Brown’s campus after the 1972 spring semester. There remained the crucial and desperate issue of the New Curriculum. While students had at times had argued about the ROTC through an academic lens, their fight for the New Curriculum was not yet won. Through a series of faculty votes in early May, the New Curriculum was adopted. Classes were cancelled to allow the faculty to attend a marathon meeting to discuss and vote on the new philosophy; 300 of the 500 faculty members attended. Students held a speak-out on the Main Green at the same time to show their support. The ROTC issue and the New Curriculum were debated and decided as separate matters, but they were entangled endlessly with the activism that swept the nation and Brown’s own campus. –GH
03 █ METRO
1975 student takeover of university hall
Photo Courtesy of The Brown Daily Herald
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
by Megan Hauptman, Grace Healy, Cherise Morris & Julian Park
interview with james forman jr.
In 1987, James Forman Jr., then a third-year student, wrote an op-ed for the BDH titled “We Tried Changing the World,” which questioned the decline of activism on campus over his three years at Brown. For Forman, 1985 was “not an easy year. It was an emotional and crisis-filled time. It was an angry and idealistic time. [...] We had to reexamine all of the values which make up our being and which most of us had never questioned.” In comparison, 1987 seemed to Forman quiet and apathetic, the campus devoid of the political debate and activity that had charged through the campus only two years earlier. Why had student attitudes toward activism changed? Why hadn’t the debates and actions of ’85 changed campus culture and attitudes? “Perhaps it is the very fact that problematic issues like racism and sexism are still with us that explains the silence on campus,” Forman mused near the end of his column. Twenty-six years later, we’re still talking about the same things. Indy: How would you characterize activism on campus over your time at Brown? Were there connections between all the different campaigns happening? Were there divides between the general student body and activist groups? James Forman Jr.: My freshman year, the big activism was around the whole issue of the CIA recruiters, and then there was the referendum on the suicide pills, and then there was a lot of black student activism around intolerance on campus. And that was connected to broader activism about the need for a Third World Center. So those were the big things my freshman year, and I would say the thing I was the most connected to, though definitely not in any kind of leadership way, was the black student protests. And a group of us, that spring of my freshman year, decided we wanted to meet to talk about an organization that we were going to call Brown Divest/Free South Africa. That was when the anti-apartheid protests were really kind of gearing up on college campuses around the US and New England. Some of the people in that initial founding group of Brown Divest had been very involved in the CIA protests and the suicide pill referendum. I had not been involved in any of these things, but I had participated in some of the black student protests. The black student protests were very selfconsciously an echo of 1975, 10 years earlier. We were always making reference to the protests in ’75, which were the protests that were our memory point, not that we actually remembered them, but we kind of viewed ourselves as operating in that tradition. And then, my sophomore year, the other things kind of died down, and the dominant activism of my sophomore year was the divestment movement. Indy: What kinds of events did Divest Brown/Free South Africa organize? JF: We did a lot of things. We had a number of debates with the College Republicans. We did a lot of teach-ins, we brought speakers. We organized a lot of protests and rallies. We must have had three or four big ones over the course of my sophomore year, including some that were organized specifically around the meeting of the Corporation. And then we ended up having a hunger strike. We were a constant presence in the post office—that was a place that everyone went everyday, because you had to pick up your mail, and it was a very active place. So if you set a table up in the post office, and you had literature and were talking to people as they walked by, you could get the word out about what you were doing. I think there might have been people who were tired of getting their mail because they were tired of talking to the Divest people. Indy: As someone who now works at a university, do you think that student attitudes about activism and the potential for actual impact from protest has changed? JF: I think that the nature of it has changed. There’s less protest-oriented activism; people said this in the ’80s, and their context was the ’60s, and I think that was true, and you just move 20 years out and it’s still true. In the ’60s, you had a period of American history when there was a vibrant and energetic movement at a relatively wide scale—though it’s important to remember that at every point in historical time, the majority of people were not protesting. So we often think of the ’60s as a time where everyone was on the streets, but it wasn’t. If you read the memoirs of activists in the ’60s, black or white, they’re talking about how hard it was to get the majority of the community to join them. And they used all sorts of tricks to try to make it look like there were more people out there marching than there really were. So just one point to remember is that the majority of people are never marching. Having said that, there was a period where mass protest was very much part of the American historical moment, and it was how people thought about change. And that has changed. And part of why that has changed is that there is more access to legitimate ways of influencing power. Universities have gotten much smarter. They don’t just completely lock people out anymore. They invite people in, they form committees, they have ad-hoc working groups, they have study commissions, they ask the students, “Well, what do you think, and let’s write a report about this,” because universities know that students graduate, and the group that was passionate about an issue, after they spend a year and half writing a report, half of them are out the door, and the other half don’t remember what the whole fuss was all about. Universities are extremely, extremely smart at defanging protests before they become protest movements.
NOVEMBER 15 2013
April 21, 1992, 8:30AM: Around 70 students entered University Hall to participate in a sit-in demonstration, lining the doorways to the offices of several of Brown’s most important officials, led by the coalition Students for Admissions and Minority Aid (SAMA), calling on President Vartan Gregorian’s administration to implement need-blind admissions policies and boost financial aid initiatives to ensure class diversity among future student populations. Around 1PM—after a fiery speech by a SAMA leader, protest organizer and low-income student, Joanna Fernandez ’93—approximately 300 students who had gathered on the Main Green throughout the morning to lend their voices to the rally began entering University Hall, storming through doors and clambering through windows. An assemblage of students from different racial, ethnic, and class backgrounds took over the campus’s flagship building and occupied it for nine hours. The occupation turned into a party at one point, with people eating pizza and dancing on the Corporation’s table. By 9PM, after a final warning from hard-handed administration and law enforcement representatives, Providence police arrested all of the 253 students who remained inside the building.The need-blind admissions movement lost momentum in the following weeks as protesters dealt with the fallout from their arrests. The Gregorian administration continued to ignore student calls for need-blind admissions after the action. Ten years later, in 2003, President Ruth Simmons finally instituted a needblind admissions policy. –CM return of sds/corporation transparency
In 2006, Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) reformed nationwide. After going defunct in 1969, following a long decade of involvement in civil rights and anti-war struggles, the invasion of Iraq inspired its reemergence. Following the SDS North East regional conference at Brown University in the spring of 2006, Brown’s chapter was formed. As well as organizing anti-war protests and die-ins against recruiters for defense contractors at the Career Fair, Brown SDS began to work on an “accessible education” campaign. SDS called on Brown to “live up to the spirit of the need-blind promise” by shifting to a financial aid policy that relied more heavily on grants and scholarships rather than student loans and freezing tuition hikes. By spring 2008, following a petition signed by hundreds of students and a parade at the meeting of the Brown Corporation, SDS claimed a partial victory when the University committed to no loans for students whose parents’ incomes totaled less than $100,000. Nonetheless, the demand to freeze tuition was reissued. The feeling that the Brown Corporation was generally unresponsive to student concerns led to a new turn in the campaign for accessible education. In May 2008, SDS members sought to submit a petition containing more than 600 student signatures to Corporation members, demanding that that body’s minutes be released immediately (instead of 50 years later, as per policy), that meetings be open, that the agenda be set by the Brown community, and that the Brown community democratically decide on measures that affect the whole university. SDS was prevented from submitting their petition. This new turn produced the pinnacle, or nadir—depending on ones perspective—of this era of Brown SDS. The 2008-2009 academic year kicked off with a march reiterating the old and new accessible education demands. A new petition was circulated, accumulating over 1,000 signatures. In an act of planned desperation, 20 students attempted to enter the fall Corporation meeting to submit the petition and an proposed agenda. Eight students were able to make it inside. Seven of them would a month later be issued papers charging them with Student Conduct violations that would by the end of the year result in non-academic probation. This action of SDS brought much criticism, often in favor of the demands, but disputing the tactics. By all accounts, the action drew significant attention and debate toward the activity and transparency of Brown’s highest governing body—the Corporation—that had previously not existed on campus.–JP
METRO █ 04
ON THE STUDENT RADICAL an interview with Paul Buhle by Kat Thornton Illustration by Casey Friedman
paul buhle’s official photograph shows him mid-rant, arms out to either side, mouth open as if mid-sentence. His life work screams radical. A native of Champaign, Illinois, Buhle first got involved in protests as a student in high school in the 1960s. He remained an activist in college, when he got involved with Students for a Democratic Society, the decade’s most promising but short-lived radical social justice student organization. He continued down academic halls, writing his doctorate thesis on Marxism in America. He moved to Providence, Rhode Island, in the 1970s when his wife, Mari Jo Buhle, was hired as a professor at Brown, thereby granting him a courtesy appointment. In 1992 he became part of the Brown faculty, teaching classes on local oral history, the 1960s, and Brown’s history, among other things. Today, he’s a Professor Emeritus of History and American Civilization. His most recent work, Radical Jesus, is “anything but the comfortable gospel of wealth,” according to one reviewer. Radical Jesus is a graphic novel that tells the story of Jesus, and other modern-day individuals, who make moves of both resistance and love. I spoke to Buhle over the phone on a Friday from his home in Madison, Wisconsin. The College Hill Independent: As a student, you were quite involved in Students for a Democratic Society. At one point you published a magazine for the group called Radical America. Could you tell me about that experience? PB: It’s the only moment that I know of in which students believed they could change the US, or for that matter that were in solidarity with students in other countries and all across the Iron Curtain. And we all believed we could change the world. And the young people could change the world. That sentiment died after the early 1970s when the powerful people were clearly in control. The Indy: When that sentiment died, SDS also collapsed. How did that happen? PB: It was not clear that the sentiment of the country was changing very much toward the war, though it was changing more than we thought. And the movement was of people under the age of 25, so they weren’t exactly prepared for the long run. It was a revolutionary fantasy which was quite disruptive and above all impatient. It couldn’t carry on. It helped to bring into existence the women’s movement, the gay and lesbian movement, and it gave more urgency to environmentalism. The Indy: You wrote in a more recent essay that young people today really can change the world. Is that something you still believe? PB: I think that things have come to the point of terrible crisis in which it may again be possible. Occupy was overwhelmingly young people in most places and was a perfect example. They weren’t able to hold on to institutions and come out of it but it was a very important challenge to forces of power in both political parties and to all the institutions that are failing in the US. The Indy: Current time of terrible crisis—could you elaborate on that? Are there any parallels, perhaps, to the time in the 60s?
PB: You know these things as well as I do. The incredible and accelerating division of wealth, the distribution of wealth, the crisis from the health system may be somewhat cured but not too much by Obamacare and the ecological crisis, which is for your generation what our fear of nuclear war was for my generation. The fear that the US will embark on another series of wars and bring the hate of the world and the cost of everything for society and the turn toward chauvinism and hatred, for no good reason except to maintain the empire. The Indy: Do you still see activist idealism alive on today’s college campuses? PB: Less at this very moment. At the University of Wisconsin, we had our vast uprising two winters ago, winter of 2013. The number of students taking part was markedly low. Part of it was because this school is the very place where the most young people from the most wealthy homes now come to school anywhere in the state. So, they’re privileged and they live in a privileged way; I guess that’s nothing new to Brown students. But they’re less likely to feel the contradictions that students at other colleges feel. So as I say, we had no Occupy here. But if you look at major cities and who were the people who were in most places in Occupy they were very frequently college students. Very frequently theology students, which is very interesting to me. That was in a way well who were the people who were selfless and devoted and so forth and so forth. It’s a twist that prompted me to produce a book that just came out called Radical Jesus, a comic book. The Indy: What were you trying to do with Radical Jesus? PB: Oh, let’s say I was speaking to those young people. I’m not a person who goes to church. But I was speaking to those young people and to others who were looking for some alternative, there’s one page in the comic that says to either passivity or violence. For some other way to respond to the crises, and you know, Americans by and large, still, have this religious thing, this mystique. It’s good to think of a way to speak to them in this fashion. The Indy: Some have labeled Brown a “progressive haven” of sorts. Would you agree with that statement? PB: No campus in the US was more closely associated with the CIA than was Brown University from the 1940s through at least middle 1960s. They recruited officers more heavily than the other campuses, especially through the political science department. And many retired CIA officers tended to retire to Southern Rhode Island, to Jamestown and those kind of places. The Indy: So what does that say about Brown as an institution? PB: It means that Brown and Barnaby Keeney, according to Brown Daily Herald reports, never ceased to be on the staff of the CIA even when he was president of Brown. So if you regard the CIA as an organization guilty of vast human rights violations and overthrowing elected governments and assassinations, then Brown was firmly on the side of those things, even if they were spoken about quietly. The Indy: Was this involvement with the CIA widely known at the time period?
PB: Yes, but not so much in the anti-war movement of the late 1960s, because the anti-war movement at Brown was not very big. Educational reform substituted itself for political protest. But you can see between those two contradictions where there would be older people writing in to the Brown alumni magazine…they were pretty grumpy at the kind of changes that went on on campus, the kinds of speakers there were on campus from the 1970s on. And they were people with a lot of money, persons who made big contributions. There’s an inherent contradiction. I was told that from the end of WWII until the end of Vartan Gregorian, all of the Brown presidents had a background in military intelligence. My understanding was all of those presidents, expected or hoped they would be advanced into a presidential cabinet. Having a military intelligence background was then considered to be part of the Cold War resume, you might say. The Indy: How did you experience social activism in Providence during your time as a professor here? PB: There was wonderful labor support activity and labor educational activity, from the later 1970s for maybe 10 or 15 years because the factories were still just about to close. That was a very class-divided society in Rhode Island with almost all working people being Catholic and the few owners of everything having been Protestant forever, so that there was an intensity of class sentiment and class resentment and a real feeling that unions had changed the lives of a majority of people in Rhode Island. That period passed with the passing of that generation, but it was fascinating for me to see it, and be on picket lines doing it, to work with ministers and others who had the same way of seeing things. It was a way for me to learn labor history up close. The last great thing was a strike at Brown & Sharpe that, in the day, was one of the leading machine tool manufacturers in the world. It was losing everything to Japanese manufacturing but, in one last effort to push the union out, brought on the longest strike in the US, from 1979 to 1984. And a big movement seemed big, opposing the company. It was sort of like one big push to hold on to the labor institutions, and with that defeat, everything sort of faded away. The Indy: In Rhode Island, or elsewhere in the US too? PB: In Rhode Island and wherever the factories shut down. But I will say something else, and that is that most of the things on the left have taken place in non-English language populations behind closed doors. So that there was a very big movement supporting the Cape Verdean revolution. But you would only know about it if you showed up in East Providence and watched a crowd of three or four thousand people applauding a representative of the Cape Verdean government who had come to speak. Nobody at Brown would ever know about it because their language was a patois, which didn’t actually have a dictionary or anything. There wouldn’t be a way to learn it, even! Now, finally, here, the largest population in Rhode Island is from the Dominican Republic, and historically they’re the best organizing Latin American Spanish speaking group in Rhode Island. And they’ve been the most progressive. And yet, you’re not going to see too much of their activity, unless the organizing takes place in a different language. At least for this generation. That’s an old story, which has now been revived as a new ethnic generation that isn’t bound to the old rules. At least, if I had retired to Rhode Island, that’s what I’d be thinking about.
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
OFFENSIVE LINES Jonathan Martin, Richie Incognito & Black Masculinity in American Sports by Tristan Rodman
On October 28, Jonathan Martin left the Miami Dolphins. Martin, 24 years old and in his second NFL season, briefly checked himself into a Miami-area hospital to be treated for emotional distress. Six days later, the Dolphins suspended left tackle Richie Incognito indefinitely as they launched an investigation into allegations of harassment. Incognito, who lines up with Martin to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill, frequently subjected Martin to insults, extortion, and harassment. His aggressions towards Martin, captured on voicemails and text messages, featured racial slurs and derogatory comments towards Martin’s sister. The transcript of one voicemail has been published and syndicated via ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Grantland ran it without redactions: “Hey, wassup, you half nigger piece of shit. I saw you on Twitter, you been training 10 weeks. [I want to] shit in your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your fucking mouth. [I’m going to] slap your real mother across the face [laughter]. Fuck you, you’re still a rookie. I’ll kill you.” +++ When the story broke, many reporters questioned whether Martin would play in the NFL again: He violated a code by taking something that should’ve been an internal matter and turning it public. Tony Siragusa, an ex-lineman-turned-analyst, told Dan Patrick, “When you’re in the locker room, that’s like your home… Things are handled in there that shouldn’t be brought to the media. The media, and really the real world, can’t handle a lot of those things.” Siragusa sets up a clear opposition between the locker room and “the real world,” one that suggests that behavior in the former does not mimic behavior in the latter. Hiding the locker room from national debate is a part of color-blind ideology that hides discussions of race under discussions of sports culture. The outrage over Martin’s departure stems, in part, from how it brings race to the fore. Popular representations of black masculinity in American sports are still fraught with racist histories and narratives. In Black Sexual Politics, Patricia Hill Collins writes extensively about the view of the black body as the buck—a beast to be tamed by the white man. This fear persists alongside fears of aggressive, rough, threatening black bodies. Popular sports culture magnifies this problem, both in the media and inside the locker room. In theory, sports exist in a vacuum: All is supposed to be left on the field. Yet Incognito’s aggression is part of a larger culture of taming the black body. It’s frustrating, then, that race has slipped from the commentary, especially beause Incognito insists that he’s “not a racist”—a claim made to Fox Football analyst Jay Glazer in his only public appearance since being suspended. This is, perhaps, because our conversations about Martin and Incognito reveal of a set of racially prejudiced tendencies we’d rather not examine. The biracial Martin presents a paradox: as a black athlete, he needs to be tamed into submission; as a white athlete, he has not earned his rough masculinity. +++ Incognito, 30 years old and in his 8th NFL season, is white. He played in college at the University of Nebraska. He is
NOVEMBER 15 2013
known in league circles as a tough guy. A member of the Dolphins’ six-person “leadership council,” Incognito was allegedly tasked by the coaching staff with “toughening up” Martin. In his leadership role, Incognito frequently held offensive line meetings at strip clubs, fining players if they did not attend. Martin attended Harvard-Westlake, a prestigious Los Angeles private school, before going to Stanford, where he completed his degree in classics in 2012. His mother, father, grandfather, and great-grandfather are all Harvard graduates. Martin told his high-school newspaper that he chose to go to Stanford because “there’s no way” he would pass up the opportunity to get “an Ivy League level education and play Pac-10 football at the same time.” At his academic institutions, Martin was known as “Moose,” an imposing physical figure. “Moose,” like the buck, suggests a body-to-be-tamed. Yet Stanford’s media guide still described Martin as a “gentle giant in every sense, soft-spoken and articulate, more likely to reason with somebody than start a brawl.” Even as a physical force, Martin’s intellect went against constructions of black masculinity. But to the Dolphins, Martin was “Big Weirdo,” a man whose introspection and intelligence clashed with the rest of the offensive line. No longer a standout for his big frame, Martin’s status as a “gentle giant” did not translate to the NFL. To explain why Martin would be the target of harassment, Vic Eumont, Martin’s high school coach, suggested, “Before, he wasn’t around Nebraska, LSU kind of guys. He’s always been around Stanford, Duke, Rice kind of players. In locker rooms full of Nebraska, LSU, Southern Cal players, Miami players—they’ll look at this as a weakness.” +++ Media discussion of Incognito often isolates him from his team, his sport, and his broader cultural context. He is one bad man misbehaving. To focus so closely on personal flaws is often exonerating: there is a problem but it is not our problem, as a society, or even as sports fans who support the league. Instead, it is his problem, their problem. Incognito is simply doing his job—his title, after all, is offensive lineman. Yet Incognito’s voicemail to Martin highlights the way black masculinity is always constructed by white ideology. Incognito’s invocation of a racial slur is meant to mold Martin into the type of black man the NFL expects him to be. “This isn’t an issue of bullying,” Incognito insists. “This is an issue of mine and Jon’s relationship,” Incognito continues, “where I’ve taken stuff too far and I didn’t know it was hurting him.” But thinking about harassment as a problem between two teammates obscures its broader cultural logic. Incognito is a product of a color-blind system that allows him to believe his remarks outside of context—he’s not a racist. Instead, his reasoning goes, the issue only extends to the boundaries of his relationship with Martin. +++ In the past two weeks, numerous members of the Miami Dolphins have voiced their support for Incognito. “Richie Incognito isn’t a racist,” said tight end Michael Egnew. Mike Wallace agreed: “I don’t think he was out of hand. I have a lot of respect for Richie.” Egnew and Wallace are both black and played college football at Missouri and Mississippi, respec-
tively. Ryan Tannehill, the Dolphins’ white quarterback, said, “If you had asked Jon Martin a week before who his best friend on the team was, he would have said Richie Incognito.” Yet another member of the Dolphins, speaking under the condition of anonymity, told the Miami New Times, “Richie is honorary... being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It’s about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you’ve experienced. A lot of things.” Members of the Dolphins imply that Incognito earned blackness from his teammates in a way that Martin did not. Incognito’s performance of toughness and aggression aligns more closely with constructions of black masculinity than Martin’s upper-class background. Following Patricia Hill Collins’s argument that racism now lies predominantly in cultural associations, Martin’s perception as soft is tied intricately to his half-whiteness, his class status, and his education. For the Dolphins, it wasn’t just that Martin didn’t embody his black masculinity—it’s that he didn’t appear to want it. To them, he was “Big Weirdo,” not “Moose.” By accepting him as a “brother,” members of the Dolphins granted Incognito permission to use certain language. Nate Jackson, a former player writing for New York Magazine, affirms: “If Richie Incognito said the N-word in a malicious way, those teammates would have taken care of the problem.” This logic frames Martin, not Incognito, as the one breaking code. While Incognito is allowed to participate in black masculinity, his teammates read Martin’s decision to abstain as abnormal, even weak. Martin was placed in a double bind: He needed to be “toughened up” in order to claim a black masculinity which would, in turn, have to be tamed by the very same white men who forced it on him. The very construction of the team is designed to elide the differences of its individual members. All are united under common goal; we let it all out on the field and leave it there. But Martin’s decision to leave the team challenges this entire system. Martin “wasn’t merely exercising his own choice to leave,” argues NPR’s Gene Demby, “but indicting their choices to stay.” In discussing Martin’s departure, it’s necessary to look not just at Richie Incognito, the Miami Dolphins locker room culture, or (black) masculinity in the NFL, but at the system as a whole. TRISTAN RODMAN B’15 is with Gene Demby.
SPORTS █ 06
The history and future of two currencies in Cuba
DE LA DOBLE MONEDA Daily Receipt Wake up. put ground coffee beans into the cafetera (bag purchased for 5 CUP). Rip a piece of white bread in half (1 CUP) and smear with guava gel (7 CUP) or maybe some soft, white, Caribbean cheese (3 CUC). Leave the apartment, lock the door, walk downstairs, and hail a coche—a shared taxi, one of those old 1950s models—from the street. Get in, tell the chofer “23rd” and pass up 10 CUP for the fare. Get out of the coche, walk to the office, and go to work. After work, jump in a bus (40 CUP cents). Walk back up to the apartment and have dinner (about 20 CUP). Later at night, join your friends at a bar. Buy a cuba libre (1 CUC), or 3 (2 more CUC). Smoke a cigarette (pack costs 20 CUP). Go home, go to sleep, start again tomorrow. Definitions 1. The Cuban peso (peso cubano, CUP, moneda nacional, national peso, peso): The national currency of Cuba. 25 CUP is equal to one CUC (see below), or one US dollar. 2. The convertible peso (peso convertible, CUC, dólar, peso): The international currency of Cuba. 1 CUC is equivalent to 1 US dollar. A Timeline 1. Cuba became independent again on New Year’s Day, 1959, when Fidel Castro and his revolutionaries took over the city of Havana. Following a series of events including the nationalization of US-owned lands and factories in 1960, plus the Bay of Pigs in 1961, the United States introduced a total economic blockade on the island, which has stayed intact until the present day. 2. The United States was the primary buyer of Cuban sugar, and American-run tourism ventures were aplenty in Havana and down the coast, but the Soviet Union made up for the economic void beginning in the 1960s, constituting the majority of Cuban international trade. 3. When the Soviet Union fell in the early 1990s, Cuba fell into a severe economic depression. The government called this “The Special Period in Times of Peace,” and it’s ongoing. Oil was in short supply, resulting in scheduled blackouts throughout the country and a surge of bicycle riding to replace cars. Healthcare, education, and cultural events remained at a high level, and food, while limited, was enough to survive. 4. Cuba instituted a double currency in 1994, when the CUC was added as a separate peso, its value pegged to the US dollar. For years, US dollars had already been circulating illegally through the hands of families receiving remittances from abroad, and it was officially accepted as alternate currency. In 2004, the US dollar was banned from use to keep national transactions in the established Cuban currencies. 5. Last month, on October 22, the Cuban government announced the end of the dual currency. From the national newspaper, Granma: “Se avanzará hacia la unificación monetaria.” We will move toward monetary unification. The notice continued: The unification won’t be the only way to save the economy, but it is a necessary step toward reestablishing the value of the Cuban peso and its function as money. The state assured the public: There’s no timetable yet, but we’ll let you know the details as they become available. This will affect both individuals and businesses.
by Kat Thornton Illustration by Maya Sorabjee
+++ the dual currency system had two sides, of course. On one hand, Cuba could reap the benefits of international tourism while avoiding inflation for Cuban citizens. “Sugar was once king in the Cuban economy. But tourism brought in $1.35 billion in 1996 from more than 1 million tourists, compared to $970 million earned by sugar exports,” the Baltimore Sun reported in 1998. Creating two currencies was a radical economic move (you’d think it wasn’t allowed), a way to capitalize on the many miles of beaches and colonial architecture while keeping the socialist project safe from dominant market forces surrounding it. After the creation of various state-run hotels up and down Havana’s coastline, Fidel Castro walked through the rooms himself, sat on the beds himself. “We are not oil extractors, we have to exploit the sun, the sea, the air, and the beautiful natural resources of our country,” Castro said in a speech at the height of the Cuban economy in 1977. In the 1990s, he assured the people that other exploitations of an international tourism market would not be permitted, like it had been when the US mafia ran casinos and other establishments on the island prior to the revolution. “Sex tourism will not be allowed to enter here again, nor drugs, nor things of that sort,” Castro said in 1999. On the other hand, the dual currency spurred the development of two classes in a system that sought equality above all. The highest-paid workers are those with ties to the international market: hotel workers, entertainers, artists. Foreigners use the CUC, so when they pass a tip of a buck or two to a musician at a restaurant, or the boy bringing their suitcases from the taxi to the hotel, those larger, more powerful dollars go straight to someone who would normally be making around $20 a month (a dollar or two a day, which is a modest estimate, can therefore make a huge difference). These industries tend to favor whiter, younger Cubans, rather than those of African descent or the elderly. Doctors, lawyers, professors, and other high education professionals who stay in offices, away from tourists, make less in a month than a taxi driver can in a day. +++ 1. Things you can buy in CUP: Fruits, vegetables, rice, some street vendor meals like pizza, fried plantains, bread, public bus fare, cigarettes, used books, used clothes, small sweets. If you can prove residency: bus tickets, movie tickets, ballet, live concerts, works of theater, buses to other cities, airfare. 2. Things you can buy in CUC: Milk, rum, chicken, beef, soda, imported goods, shoes, clothes, nights at hotels or bed and breakfasts, café cortado, chocolate, daiquiris, cigars, taxi rides, some street vendor meals like hamburgers. As a foreigner: bus tickets, movie tickets, ballet, live concerts, works of theater, buses to other cities, airfare.
A Sidenote The first Cuban national currency was created in 1897. Tomás Estrada Palma, the first president of independent Cuba, was exiled in New York raising money for the first Cuban revolutionaries when he was approached by an early entrepreneur, Andrew J. Cobe (& Co., Investment Securities, Broadway Avenue, NYC). Cobe suggested that the Junta mint its own souvenir coin to raise enough money to push forward liberation from Spanish colonial rule. It would be a collector’s item like the Columbian half-dollar, which the US had issued to raise money for a national exposition celebrating the voyage of Christopher Columbus. “It is confidently expected that some millions of the coin will be sold, and that this source of revenue will hasten the freedom of the island,” Cobe wrote in a letter on April 17, 1987. Three million coins were to be struck, but in the end only 4,865 made it to the island. The coins were minted by Gorham Manufacturing Company of Providence, Rhode Island. +++ first in the process of monetary unification will come a “preparation period,” where the government will elaborate on the legal procedures and decide who will execute the orders to make unification possible. But it has not been clarified yet which currency will become the singular official one, since the word “Cuban peso,” which was used in the official announcement, can refer to both tenders. In other words, no one knows which of the pesos will be retired. Academics, journalists and others from the outside speculate about what it means, politically, when Cuba makes changes in its economic system. To some, each step away from the prescribed socialist model is a step toward Cuba’s eventual surrender to capitalism (for better or for worse). Academics in Miami have made it clear: Cuba’s “only option” is to make the national peso equal to the convertible peso. The unification is “positive” and “necessary,” but will create “enormous inflation” and economic “dislocation.” You can’t keep the domestic market insulated from the outside any longer. It’s inevitable; sooner or later, Cuba will join everyone else in the international market. Cuba counts economic growth with free health and education as a factor. Last year, the economy grew by 3.1 percent. It is projected for 5 percent in 2013. (For reference, the US GDP grew by 2.2 percent in 2012). “The economy has become the preferred field for experimentation in new politics,” wrote political economist Julio Cesar Guanche in a 2012 essay about “the old, the new, and the future” in Cuba. Guanche continued: “The Cuban dialogue frequently repeats these two sentences: ‘it’s not easy,’ and ‘we’ll see.’ Both express a feeling inscribed on the national political culture: everything that is easy becomes difficult, and you don’t believe anything until you see it.” The Cuban government has a heavy hand in its economic policies. Every step into the international economy is a step into a market dominated by states with “an underlying bias against socialist economic designs1.” It will take time to see how currency unification will go into effect, and what results it will bring. KAT THORNTON B’14 pays in cash.
1 J. Moses, “Financial Strategies and Consequences for Cuba as It Engages the World Market,” unpublished paper written in July 1996 (cited in an essay by George Lambie, DeMonfort University, United Kingdom)
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
PUNK POLITICS by Sophie Kasakove
“i don’t write songs about beaches or love,” says local musician and activist Joey DeFrancesco, “Those things just aren’t a part of my day-to-day reality. I don’t think that’s anyone’s day-to-day reality.” Instead, DeFrancesco writes about workers’ rights and race and class inequality in Providence. In his band Downtown Boys’ song “Rich Boys,” DeFrancesco and his bandmate Victoria Ruiz scream, “Consider the rich and what they’re for! Have you considered the rich? Are you keeping score?”Their chants echo out over driving bass lines and screeching saxophones. According to Ruiz, the band realized that they could use their music as a platform to raise awareness about local issues when DeFrancesco, a Providence native, released a video online of him quitting his job at the Providence Renaissance Hotel. After informing viewers that he was “treated like shit” for his three and a half years at the hotel, DeFrancesco enters the Renaissance, accompanied by the What Cheer? Brigade. As DeFrancesco declares his resignation to his boss, the band bursts into song and parades out of the hotel. Since the video went viral two years ago, DeFrancesco and Ruiz, whom he met during her own stint at the Renaissance, have been at the forefront of the Providence workers’ rights campaign. DeFrancesco created an educational website featuring articles and videos about service workers’ rights and launched a campaign to end tiptheft in Rhode Island, the process through which employers take excessively large percentages of employees’ tip money. “This issue affects everyone,” says Ruiz. “Immigrants, people of color, young white kids working in the service industry, even the tourists who are lied to about where their tips are going.” Former employees like DeFrancesco and Ruiz, along with other workers’ rights activists, have conducted picketing campaigns outside the hotel weekly since April 2013 in an attempt to pressure the hotel into ending its practice of tiptheft. Videos of the pickets show the street outside the hotel filled with music, dancing, and chants of “Si se puede” (“yes we can”). Signs show support for a local service workers’ union, Unite Here! Local 217, and workers tell their personal stories of mistreatment on the job. The same sentiments expressed by these protestors are reflected by DeFrancesco and Ruiz’s music. Ruiz believes that music should portray the world as it really is, rather than how we want it to be. “Art is about figuring out all the reasons you feel the way you do and simultaneously being able to relate those things to the bigger picture,” she says, “That’s how the personal becomes political.” Ruiz and DeFrancesco not only speak about political issues in their lyrics but use the shows themselves as a tool for activism, announcing actions from the stage and recruiting the audience to sign petitions after their set. “We’re very direct about where we stand on these issues,” Ruiz says. “We wear our minds and actions on our sleeve.”
The music, the message messy beehive. At their shows, Mitchell and her bandmates wear heavy makeup and black lingerie. In the FAQ section of their website, the band explains that their “uniform” intends to “challenge the idea that sexuality and blatant femininity necessarily preclude power.” Jones, who also serves as the executive director of Girls Rock! Rhode Island—a nonprofit organization providing music education to girls and women—expands on the band’s aesthetic, saying, “It’s about how we engage in our performance, it’s very,” she pauses, and with a sweet smile finishes, “aggressive.” The band makes a clear effort to express their feminism through their stage presence, but Stern notes that they would still be seen as a feminist band even if their performance were not informed by ideology. “Just the fact that we’re all women is a statement in and of itself,” she says. The members of Whorepaint are not afraid to be contentious in their self-presentation but are wary of being explicitly political in their lyrics. “For me, the word ‘political’ often references party politics in a way that I don’t really identify with,” says Stern, “We aren’t a band that writes really straightforward lyrics about oppression.” Mitchell adds that while she doesn’t write lyrics that address specific political issues, it’s important to her that the band’s lyrics sound like they were written by a woman. “As a woman, you spend a lot of your life trying to hide your femaleness. In this band we’re not trying to hide it all the time.” For these women, lyrics that explicitly reflect their femaleness are more powerful than lyrics that express a specific political message. “The downside of being outwardly political as a musician is that you can end up preaching to the choir,” says Mitchell, “The only people who will listen are the people who are already convinced.” +++ maralie armstrong, one of the program directors for local music venue and community center AS220, says that much of the activist music happening in Providence right now is based on representation rather than real activism. One example Armstrong gives is a recent booking request she received from a band of trans-women. “They don’t put their politics out there or talk about being trans in their music,” Armstrong explains, “They’re just like ‘we play music, we want to have fun, and we all happen to be trans.’ ” Armstrong sees the emphasis on appearance and identity rather than direct action as a continued backlash against the rise of activist art in the 1990s. “There was so much political music in the ’90s that it got to a point where the message didn’t even matter anymore,” explains Armstrong, “People would just refuse to listen simply because there was a message.”
Illustration by Andres Chang
While Armstrong understands resistance to political music as a majority opinion, DeFrancesco believes that there remains strong support for the genre. “There’s this minority of sort of ‘hip nihilism’ or something—people who think it’s cliché or cheesy to talk about politics directly,” he says, “I think we lose that audience pretty quickly. But we don’t really need them anyway.” DeFrancesco emphasizes that these “hip nihilists” are far outnumbered by the people at their shows who express gratitude towards the band for addressing issues they’ve been experiencing and thinking about. The best reactions at shows, Ruiz says, come from people who are surprised by the political content of the songs but are inspired by the music to take action. “Real punk music, with a lower case ‘p,’ has always existed because people want to take a stand and do something about what’s happening in the world,” says Ruiz. Like the historical punk bands they identify with, Ruiz and DeFrancesco understand venue choice as political. Many of their bands’ shows take place in unlicensed warehouse spaces in Olneyville, such as Building 16, which is being shut down in under a month. In their deliberate decision to play in these venues, the musicians make a statement about rights to public spaces and the role of the police in controlling who uses space and for what purpose. Whorepaint agrees that venue choice is important, referencing explicitly feminist music festivals such as LadyFest and ClitFest as their favorite shows to play. +++ in olneyville in late october, the warehouse walls of Spark City, which serves as both a performance space for Ruiz and DeFrancesco’s bands and their apartment, were suddenly illuminated by the words: “WHO TAUGHT YOU TO HATE YOURSELF?” The steady thump of a drum shook the room, as if ignited by Malcolm X’s question. Ruiz and DeFrancesco thrashed around to the beat as footage from newsreels and protests danced on the concrete behind them. “Mi concha no es bastante blanca [my pussy isn’t white enough],” Victoria screamed over and over, feeding the energy of the crowd. The excitement only grew when Whorepaint took the stage, as Reba howled over a wall of distortion, her arms and hair waving above her head. Their first song coming to a close, Reba, caught her breath and surveyed the room. “You guys are all just so amazing,” she said, glowing, “I can’t even tell you how happy and proud I am to be here.” Gracing the crowd with a final smile, she put her head between her knees and let out a shriek, barely audible above the roaring guitars. SOPHIE KASAKOVE B’17 needs a byline.
+++ for some artists, such as Providence’s Whorepaint, a selfproclaimed “no-wave” band that formed in 2010, a disguised form of artistic activism is most compelling. Singer Reba Mitchell, guitarist Hilary Jones, and drummer Meredith Stern say that feminism is their most unifying influence and defines how they present themselves as a band. “Being feminist has a lot to do with our aesthetic,” says Mitchell, weaving a loose piece of bleach-blonde hair back into her
NOVEMBER 15 2013
METRO █ 08
MOVING THROUGH THE WORLD, MOSTLY DRUNK, LOOKING FOR PLEASURE
a conversation with Brad Neelyy
A wounded Confederate soldier sprawls and bleeds across a corpse-strewn comic panel. To his dead comrade: “You probably don’t want to hear this right now, but this kind of thing is really beautiful to me.” Cartoonist Brad Neely’s work represents a uniquely weird synthesis of exactly these sorts of rhapsodic, non-sequitor asides pictured alongside bodies and their various fluids. The maladaptive and impossibly weird are made to work and operate in a world obviously not built for them. Demons never get around to causing sorrow for any humans because they are too busy fucking and killing each other to ever get anything done outside the house. In 2004, Neely released a spoof audiobook soundtrack, Wizard People, Dear Reader, to be played in conjunction with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Warner Brothers took action against theaters playing the feature. I dislike describing things—comedy in particular—as “dark,” but Neely’s work is certainly extreme. In the fictional universe of China, IL (originally detailed in a series of online videos) we see the actions of a pair of self-centered and sex-crazed professors, a singing duo of neoliberal apologists, and a freestyle rapping 30 year-old man-child as they are brought to bear on one another. If you can stomach the stomach-turning moments, there are occasional pearls of tossed-off, strange wisdom: “Have you ever heard that Freud was a motherfucker? Like…a real one?” The universe is currently in its television iteration; China, IL, is now in its second season on Adult Swim. We talk here about vomit, blood, and Ken Burns. The College Hill Independent: You’ve progressed from still comics to online videos— which are composed of stills shown in succession that imply a sort of motion—to an animated television show. Brad Neely: The earlier versions online were not necessarily an aesthetic choice, it was sort of the only thing I was able to do. I’m not an animator. I did all those by hand—I did them on paper and just scanned them in. It was kind of out of ignorance and not having a whole lot of options. So it was kind of the only way I could tell those stories visually to accompany the audio I was doing. That said, the restriction really paid off and I enjoyed the form. I’m going to go back and explore that form some more when I have some more time. But, it never was something I felt I was needing to defend or stick to, or that it represented me artistically. It was just one of the styles of storytelling that I could adopt. Moving on to fully animated moving images, that came with a whole other set of
09 █ INTERVIEWS
by Drew Dickerson Illustration by Casey Friedman
rules. We found out that, without pupils, the characters felt like zombies when you saw them moving around. So it was my idea to put pupils in, and that activated the characters more. I had to learn along the way, not having any background or education in animation really, but luckily I had a lot of really smart people around to help me do it. The Indy: The aesthetic it always reminded me of—and it seems sort of characteristic because I know you have a scrapped Civil War project—was Ken Burns with his archive images. We pan slowly over these Civil War photographs. BN: Yeah, absolutely. Those were definitely something that made me feel it would work. Seeing that Ken Burns Civil War documentary and realizing the small amount of things you had to do visually, as long as you had something compelling going on with the storytelling interacting with those images then you would be fine. Those things really helped me out through that period, Ken Burns’s work, for sure. But he panned and he zoomed and he pulled back. Those are the thing that I was just too stupid to know to do. The Civil War project is a book. It’s an actual novel. I still work on that. It’s an active part of my life. It’s become something that’s probably pretty unhealthy, but I keep it up. People will see it when I die I guess. The Indy: A lot of your work takes place at a community college, in the shared universe of Baby Cakes and the Professor Brothers. You’ve been there a very long time, certainly longer than the show has been on the air. What do you find compelling about that world? BN: I hate to correct you, but we really have been making efforts to make sure that people know that it’s not a community college. It’s just the best state school Illinois has to offer. I just like the college atmosphere because it’s kind of a world within a world. I didn’t really have a genuine college experience. I dabbled with it, but only really as an art student and I got out pretty quickly. So all of my information about college is living near one and having sort of vindictive assumptions about it. My sister’s a professor. My closest friends are professors. But I didn’t fit well in a college environment, so maybe that informs my perspective on it.
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
The Indy: Well it seems like most of your characters—Baby Cakes in particular—are themselves incredibly maladjusted for that environment. They can’t make any sort of sense of it. BN: Say that in a different way.
The Indy: And within this universe, the people that self-present as having their shit together are the ones that are being sent up. We see it with the “America, Now” singers. There are these very bourgeois or neoliberal people with total confidence who are the actual brunt of the joke.
The Indy: The central characters can’t figure out what’s going on. Baby Cakes doesn’t really understand figurative language or metaphor.
BN: I think that’s an instinct for me, to mistrust authority figures and anybody who is firmly espousing any kind of rule or law. My primary instinct is to tear that down, remind them that they shit and puke.
BN: Oh, yeah. Yeah. I feel like he’s, in a lot of way, representative of me and my attitude towards the world of academia and the world at large. He’s kind of moving through it, mostly drunk, looking for pleasure. I split different aspects of my personality amongst a lot of the characters in China, IL. That’s the part of me that’s shown by Baby Cakes. The Indy: And then the scatological angle is played very well too. It seems like most of the characters in your show really embrace the fact of “I have a body; I am an animal.”
The Indy: Music plays a large role in the early videos. BN: It’s been a large part of my life growing up. I’ve played music in bands since I was a kid, with friends. I can’t keep it out of my life. I did songs for the show that will be peppered throughout the season. As far as taste is concerned, I hate to sound like a generic dad, but I like pretty much all sorts of stuff. When it comes to making comedy, I gravitate mostly to the stuff I listened to as a kid or heard as a kid. 80’s music mostly.
BN: Yes. That, I think, is one of my primary interests. Boiling things down to what is common between all of us. I think it’s funny to talk about poop and vomit and blood. But I think that really that’s kind of what links us all together, having that stuff in common.
The Indy: Are you a father, when you describe yourself as “a generic dad”?
The Indy: But at one and the same time the characters have an alienation to them. Their capacity for sense-making is fairly low. It’s sort of off. Despite the fact of their having poop and vomit and blood in common, they still come from this place of total weirdness. BN: Yeah. I think that reflects my general attitude about communication and sharing between people. I feel like it’s an easy thing to get wrong. I think it’s easy to misunderstand each other and also misrepresent yourself. I feel like that’s grounds for a lot of comedy for me, that general misunderstanding between people, even people who spend all their time together or are brothers even. I feel like that’s super funny, how people really have a hard time communicating.
NOVEMBER 15 2013
BN: I have a two year old daughter. The Indy: That must be ripe for you. BN: She was born when we were doing season one. So I had two things growing in front of me shitting and puking. The Indy: It’s been ten years or so since the release of your “Wizard People, Dear Reader.” With a little bit more perspective on the franchise as its ended, do you still agree with the character of Harry Potter as you portray him, as this myopic, young deity? BN: Yeah. I never read the books so I wasn’t a step ahead, I’ve only seen the first one. And I feel like I nailed it. The kids are drunks. He’s a god. I don’t think they were hiding any of those facts. They’re celebrating it. “The world’s dangerous. Let’s get drunk. And by the way, Harry is God.”
INTERVIEWS █ 10
HOLD MY JUNK a 24-Hour Experiment by Estelle Berger Illustration by Lucrezia Sanes
empty space is terrifying. Blank pages, rooms without furniture, classrooms without students—absence makes us feel alone. Vacant land hangs in limbo between an immobile stall and valuable use. So, we fill the emptiness with shopping malls, residential complexes, supermarkets, places to buy stuff. On Friday night, the Student Creative Arts Council (SCAC) at Brown University designed a 24-hour experience for a group of artists to enter an empty, white-walled gallery at Anchor in South Providence and respond to a two-word prompt: Material Obsession. But in renting this chic white gallery, camouflaged as a warehouse, MESH participated in the materialism that it strives to critique. Like the drama of a reality TV show, under cushioned pressure, the Brown and RISD artists were given 12 hours from Friday night to Saturday morning to create. Tiffany Zabludowicz B’14, the head of the SCAC, called it “art from its inception.” But the event seemed more of a laudatory pat on the back for 24 hours of contrived coolness than any sort of penetrating examination of material culture. Instead, the Annual MESH Party, in itself, becomes an accidental portrayal of apologetic materialism, an ingrained need to impregnate emptiness with predetermined sentiment. An ethereal party, MESH claims to be a celebration of the dynamism of the past 24 hours. In their curatorial statement, Chae Lin Suh B’15, Isabela Muci B’16, and Maggie Hire B’15, call it an exploration of “the obsessive materiality of contemporary culture.” Hire says, “It’s about the conceptual space, the dynamic energy, consumerism, individual practices.” Muci adds that it’s also “the body as material ... [the] direct interaction between paint and body.” And don’t forget, it’s a party. The show features 15 artists from Brown and RISD. The pieces, 11 in total, range from a reconstructed map, a room transformed into an eerie doll cemetery, a series of watercolor pictures depicting “The Things Scott and Louise Wanted Badly.” Not only are they limited by time, but the artists are also confined by the fear that accompanies such a closed, creative environment. Here, the space becomes a part of the art. Some of the artists choose to use Anchor as a venue to experiment, while others hide behind apathy to protect their impermeable, glazed detachment. The warehouse, both as workspace and gallery, becomes a microcosm for the compulsive habits, obsessive behavior, and unhinged instincts that exist, if perhaps not as potently, in daily life. Girls in one-strapped overalls and black bandeaus roam the gallery unsmiling. On a nearby wall, Theodora Atwater B’16’s watercolor painting reflects the scene. Atwater’s character, Louise, with words in ink above her head, wants “A vintage fur coat, a crown of flowers, and a mason jar, because these things make her seem worthwhile.”
The room shimmers. But in the corner, the bright and eerie junk sculpture seems almost out of place. Electric green–haired troll dolls explode out of blue sand buckets. Tropical drink umbrellas are wedged into styrofoam balls, miniature playing cards spew out of purple teacups, and bouncy balls and rubber toys are suspended mid-lob. With her back to her hard plastic sculpture, the artist, Celine Katzman B’15, admits that 80 percent of the items in her piece on display are from garbage day in upstate New York. In reference to her creation, she says, “It’s never finished, never unfinished. It’s a thing.” And when you’re working within such tight time restrictions, “you kind of just have to follow your instincts,” she says. She throws up her arms as she turns into the crowd. “I’m glad people like it. I mean, it’s just a bunch of shit!” Katzman’s nonchalance undermines intention. Although her creation alludes to a deliberate recalibration of the obsolete and the left-behind, in reality, she does not seem concerned with significance, and it’s refreshing. Meanwhile, Ana Mosseri and Adeline Diamond, both students at RISD, seek to transform the painting process into a corporeal expression of shame and anger. Sharing a tiny square plywood room, Mosseri painted with her forearms while Diamond scratched and screamed and splattered red paint and water and graphite onto canvas. “It was a literal way for two emotions to exist at the same time. ... Sometimes, I had to protect my canvas from Addie’s paint,” says Mosseri. She crouches into her blackened canvas, her crepe paper–thin blouse stark against the crude-oil black paint: “It was material in terms of the paint and the pressure I was applying. ... I was hugged in to the canvas. I felt the pressure,” she says. But looking from Mosseri to the solid black canvas, from her doe-eyes to the dark smears, her process is lost in the product. A few steps away from Mosseri’s painting, a door opens into a crafted, dimly-lit lair, a shrine to the things that inhabit our bedrooms. People peer into the painted canvas windows with fabric curtains, perch on the yellow couch, tug at the suspended pink yarn. But it is difficult to search for purpose amid the contorted Winnie the Pooh poster or the tiny definition of Underdog that sits below the TV screen when there is so much to interact with, to see, to touch. The artists Tala Worell B’14, Gianna Badialli B’14, and Anna Musselmann B’14, like Katzman, carry a blasé aura. “We just wanted to be funny and put funny things together,” Worell says with hunched shoulders. The three artists seem disinterested in analyzing the creative process, and are instead excited by the interaction between their room and the viewers. As people bump up against the bookshelf and the tin pail, they are invited to fill that untouched abstract space with pieces of themselves. The room fills with people. A guy—tall, serious, with brown curls, glasses, and a flannel coat— shoves his jacket underneath the low-set bed and shrugs, “Well, I guess it’s part of the exhibit now.” ESTELLE BERGER B’16 thinks troll dolls are freaky.
NOVEMBER 15 2013
ARTS █ 11
THE FETISH BEFORE FREUD: an epistolary correspondence by Julieta Cárdenas & Katia Zorich N.B. If you search for “fetish” in English language texts before 1856—when that neurotic Sigmund was born—you will see the word is used as God. God is sacred. A Charm. A Deity. I am locked in a time-capsule and so are you, I think. I dug into the ground where the moss had already been disrupted by my frequent footfalls and pulled out the box you had hidden. I opened it. A portal. I knew you–your letters–before the Viennese took over, and you have known me in all the years thereafter.
13 █ OCCULT
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
Julieta Cárdenas B’14 is the Andersson to your Liv. Katia Zorich B‘13.5 is the Ullman to your Bibi.
NOVEMBER 15 2013
OCCULT █ 14
Light and Shadow
by Abigail Savitch-Lew In summer the canal’s stench is heavy and oil-slicks coagulate on the water’s surface. A news blog calls the Gowanus “the crack between two hipster neighborhoods.” It’s a ragged seam, a shadow beneath the brow of Brownstone Brooklyn. I have always loved walking down to the canal. I learned how to write here, honing my sentences on rusted tin and splintered wood.
A drill stutters in silence, alone as a woodpecker in a dead forest. A crane chirps awake. I am walking along the Gowanus Canal, among shackled warehouses and auto repair shops, no sign of the coal-to-gas plant that used to be on this wharf, no stove workers’ footprints preserved in the cement.
The canal is slated for remediation, and residential developers are assessing the value of the land. The Lightstone Group sketches a future for the Gowanus: condos with waterside terraces, kayaks on water blue as sky.
The water is sluggish—a reflection of the dockyards. The yards once took in coal, carcasses, flour—they served stone workers, soap makers, and tanneries. Now they are parking lots for utility trucks and big box stores. They contain mechanized cement factories. The bushes grow back along razor lines.
Of course, I will always be nostalgic for the Gowanus of my childhood. Sometimes I imagine an adventure, the way of Huckleberry Finn. If I rafted out of the canal into the Atlantic and all the way south to Virginia, M. could pick me up on the beach and drive us to the mountains. After months of flat sea,
In fall during Yom Kippur, my mother and I throw pieces of bread off the Third Street Bridge, one piece for each of our regrets.
the hills would seem like Gods.
Coal River Valley, West Virginia is hash and ham, lightning and his hot hand, the air shuddering with dragonflies,
At the organization I met M., a former mine security guard. When I interviewed him for a newsletter, he said sulfur was burning holes in his stomach.
it is tomatoes throbbing in a rain-soaked garden, blood-flecked scouring in the blackberry bushes, his coughing smile across the bonfire.
He didn’t expect to live past thirty.
But this is not a story of a city girl returning to nature. Ever since I spent that summer in Coal River Valley, I have been seeing space as a series of positives and negatives, like light and shadow, bodies and ghosts.
I remember the weekend M. drove me to the top of Kayford Mountain, the way M. held his cigarette out the window with one hand and I wondered if anyone could save him. When we got to the top it was evening, the cicadas hissing, the dragline excavator in sleep. I reckon you’ve seen nothing like it, he said.
I went to West Virginia to work for a non-profit that fights mountaintop removal, a method of mining that involves blowing off mountaintops to access buried coal seams.
Below us lay a blasted coalfield: the exposed layers mechanization of the coal industry began in the of rock, the naked pits, 1950s, the number of West Virginians employed in the reclaimed portions sprinkled with greening seed. mining has decreased by over 100,000 people. Deforestation linked to mountaintop removal exasperated Here was why I had descended from New York. flooding in the valley; explosions saturated the air Here was the target. with dust. Facing limited employment opportunities Below us unfurled forgotten valleys, cracks pumped and a scarred landscape, most families packed their with poison. bags. He pointed across the mountains to the sludge dam suspended above his parents’ house. In 1972, a dam seventy miles south collapsed, killing hundreds and leaving thousands homeless as the mercury-laced coal waste surged through their backyards.
Originally I went to West Virginia because I was concerned about climate change. I wanted to fight the coal-backed politicians who had voted against national climate change legislation.
But when I returned home, I was thinking about layJust north stretched the town of Whitesville, its ers, about strata. boarded movie theater and empty storefronts. Since
15 █ FEATURES
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
The Culver Viaduct is the highest point of the MTA subway system, built because the Gowanus is lowlying and without bedrock, making it impossible to construct an underground tunnel for the metro.
And while New York City spends millions to drain the Gowanus, Alpha Natural Resources continues to spill toxins into the streams that the people of Coal River Valley depend on for their livelihoods.
I sent M. a photo I took from the windows of the F train while passing the Culver Viaduct. It overlooks a vista I observe every time I go to Manhattan, the industrial wasteland adjacent to the Gowanus Canal.
But somehow my departure brought M. and me closer. Returning to my apartment from the indulgent streets of Brooklyn, I’d call him as he smoked on the front step of his porch. Together, we’d listen to the sound of the crickets.
When crossing, I could claim I was above a valley, not unlike Coal River Valley—both dumping grounds.
He told me stories about his grandfather, once a proud union worker in the underground mines, and I told him stories about names chopped at Ellis Island, about immigrants who put their kids through college on restaurant wages. We dreamed about the day mountaintop removal would be over; we dreamed revolutions and anarchic societies. Mostly we dreamed about the next time we’d see each other.
I wanted to show M. a New York he would never see on post cards. “We too have our negative space,” I could have written.
I worried that my stresses at school and social anxieties seemed trivial by comparison, and when he told me he envisioned a world without electricity, I argued this would mean the end of New York City.
But perhaps I was trying too hard to draw a parallel. I do not live in the Gowanus like M. lives in Coal River Valley. I only ride above it or descend to the canal to write, and leave when I want to–the same way I descended to West Virginia and left at the end of the summer.
But he kept waving these differences aside to say he loved me.
One day I read that the Gowanus’s pollution traced back to the coal industry.
mountains with grass to build Flushing Meadow Park.
I listened to the sounds of four centuries in the Gowanus – the languid beat of brackish water against Canarsee Indian fishing boats, the crush of grass beneath the Dutchman’s boots, the whipping blades of colonial mills, the tumble of coal from shovel to hopper to shoot.
Calculating the difference between M.’s history and my own became a science.
I learned that Brooklyn’s brownstones came from New Jersey quarries, sawed off the cliffs; that the workers called the dark-red stone “liver rock.” Brooklyn grew up on coal. It came by barge down the Eerie Canal or from Appalachia by rail and was unloaded on the Gowanus docks. Miners like M.’s forefathers extracted the black fossils we burned in our street lamps. New Yorkers disposed the city’s coal ash at a dump in Queens, then covered the ash
For every foot M’s people dug underground, my people stacked skyward. Within every photograph of a New York skyline, Appalachia is in the negative, sinking into the shadows. Our love symbolized a rejection of the old order. We bloomed in the chasm between two colliding realities.
But perhaps I was only pretending to be innocent.
In my absence from West Virginia, I turned my memories into fiction and poetry. I told M. we didn’t have a future together because I couldn’t manage the distance. But perhaps it was because I couldn’t hold onto both of our worlds at once. I was slipping into the widening crack between our realities. The end felt like a hole burning through my stomach. I am told that in photography there must be background for there to be subject; negative space for there to be positive space. I want to know if human society is the same way: all of us balanced on teeter-totters, some of us on bridges and some of us in valleys.
NOVEMBER 15 2013
Sometimes I tell myself I ought to escape–like George Washington after the defeat in the Battle of Brooklyn, when he and his militia slipped out on silent boats through the Gowanus swamp–the way of Huckleberry Finn, all the way south to Virginia, hoping M. picks me up when I reach the beach. But instead I am still walking along the Gowanus Canal, and crossing the Culver Viaduct. I imagine M. standing below.
He is knee-deep in the Gowanus and calling me down.
FEATURES █ 16
DACTYLOSCOPIES by Maru Pabón
Then you must move the magnifying glass up and down to catch light by the tail of its last consonant,
Now the steam room is steaming and I can’t tell if heat means redundancy or the broken exhaust of my escape mechanism,
you must snap the word in two, rub letters together until tiny ants begin to dance.
which is to sing, crawl over, digging knees into, skin already burned by hands I know too well.
Always fire happens only to someone else.
THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT
THE LIST Friday, November 15
Tuesday, November 19
Andy Warhol’s Screen Tests
Flatland Worldwide Exhibit
RISD Museum, Contemporary Art Gallery, 224 Benefit St., Provi- All day // Rockefeller Library, Brown University, Providence dence // Museum admission: $12 adult, $10 elder, $5 student, Professor Tom Banchoff curated this exhibit in celebration free for those under 5. of the 175th anniversary of the birth of Edwin Abbott, the Want to watch Susan Sontag or Marcel Duchamp in slow motion author of Flatland, the classic introduction to Exploring the Fourth Dimension. Pre-publication first and second editions for four minutes? This exhibit will be up through May 11th. signed by the author, as well as translations into seventeen languages, will be on display from the John Hay Library’s Blue is the Warmest Color 7PM // Cable Car Cinema, 204 S. Main St., Providence // $9.5 Special Collections. I hope someone reads to us! for adults, $8 with student ID It’s a coming-of-age story about about two lesbians. It was made by a guy so let’s see how this goes. It won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Curious.
The Social Lives of Dead Bodies (Part 2: Theory and Method of the Dead) 3-5:20PM // 101 Wilson Hall, Brown University, Providence 1. “Dead bodies in personal and political histories” Stephan Feuchtwang, Department of Anthropology at LSE 2. “Why do we care about the dead body?” Thomas W. Laqueur, Department of History at UC Berkeley
Saturday, November 16 Nerf War
2-5PM // 107 Smith-Buonanno, Brown University, Providence Sponsored by Technology House
Doors open at 6:30, Begins at 7:30PM // The Columbus Theatre, 270 Broadway, Providence // $25 advance, $30 day of // 21+ The Felice Brothers , The Low Anthem, Happiness (Ian, Chris and Dennis from Deer Tick + Rafay from Ravi Shavi) , Anais Mitchell, Roz The Rice Cakes, and others to be announced. This will be Happiness’s debut show.
Sunday, November 17 Bereavement Group
4-5:30PM // 411 J. Walter Wilson, Brown University, Providence
Get Your Bearings: Credit, Credit Cards, & Credit Scores
4:30-5:30PM // 115 MacMillan Hall, Brown University, Providence Come try to understand the important role credit plays in securing a car loan, mortgage, and employment. Learn about managing your credit loans and credit cards, establishing a ‘positive credit history’, and your ‘credit score’.
Wednesday, November 20
Hallam Stevens on ‘The Business Machine in Biology: Intelligenetics and the ‘Knowledge Engineering’ of DNA’
4-6PM // 190 Barus & Holley, Brown University, Providence As part of the Science and Capitalism Lecture Series, Hallam Stevens, Assistant Professor from Nanyang Technological University, will be talking about the implications of the computerization of biology. He says that the process ‘involved deploying new practices that were closely linked to corporate uses of computers for speeding up, making efficient, and centralizing control.’
Thursday, November 21 Course: Ways of Looking — American Art
5:30-6:30PM // RISD Museum, 20 North Main St., Providence Are you a curious viewer? Then maybe you’d want to look closely at selected objects. Context and connections might be illuminated through lively conversation. Register at risdmuseum.org. In the know? E-mail email@example.com.
This group isn’t clinical or religious. There will be refreshments. All who might find the group productive are welcome.
Nico Was a Fashion Model
7-8:30PM // 95 Empire St., Providence // $16 “Nico was a Fashion Model” is an intimate discussion of racial identity in a “post-racial” America, viewed through the lens of the punk music scene. Written J. Julian Christopher, the play explores the nature of conformity and what it really means to fit in. Post-racial. hmmmm.
Monday, November 18 Rick Benjamin Poetry Workshop
3:30PM // EPOCH Assisted Living, 1 Butler Ave., Providence Space is limited, call (401) 275-0682 to RSVP
Exotic Providence of the week: Providence, Utah Birthplace of Nephi Miller, pioneer of modern migratory beekeeping!