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TUFTS OBSERVER MARCH 5, 2012

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inside the

volume CxxIV / issue 3

Community shakes A liberal leader for Why America loves  up the sitcom today: Cornel West  Jeremy Lin (page 6)

(page 8)

(page 22)


2 Ruth tam

CC

United Russia?, by Angelina Reitman

Will Vaughan

Ben van meter

What should we be reading? by Eliza Mills

Monica stadecker

5

The Liberal Lion, by Ariana Siegel

Beyond Spring Fling, by Jeremy Ravinsky

6

12 18

27

Floating, by ShirNakajima Livne Curated Class Notes, by Catherine

The Observer has been Tufts’ publication of record since 1895. Our dedication to in-depth reporting, journalistic innovation, and honest dialogue has remained intact for over a century. Today, we offer insightful news analysis, cogent and diverse opinion pieces, creative writing, and lively reviews of current arts, entertainment, and culture. Through poignant writing and artistic elegance, we aim to entertain, inform, and above all challenge the Tufts community to effect positive change.

Cover Credits: Current issue: media collage by Catherine Nakajima. Issue 2: graffiti shot taken by Knar Bedian on Brick Lane in East London. Issue 1: "Barnum" roast beef sandwich, scanned by Catherine Nakajima. Get it at Campus Center Commons!


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Table oF contents March 5, 2012 Tufts Observer, Since 1895

Volume CXXIV, Issue 3 Tufts’ Student Magazine

feature

Required Reading, by Eliza Mills

2

news

5

United Russia?, by Angelina Reitman

opinions

6

The Liberal Lion, by Ariana Siegel

news

8

The Linsanity, by Shayna Schor

CULTURE

10

Zeitgeist

off campus

12

Beyond Spring Fling, by Jeremy Ravinsky

inset

13

Tufts. (Life).

news

17

The Legacy of Prop 8, by Alex Kaufman

off campus

18

Milas and Stella Explore Inman Square

culture

20

Tufts, Y YOU NO Make Memes, by Evan Tarantino

television

Where No Show Has Gone Before, by Kumar Ramanathan

opinions

24

Intervention in Syria, by Jeremy Goldman

poetry & prose

Submerged Rock, by Douglas Cavers

poetry & prose

floating, by Shir Livne

police blotter

managing editor Cara Paley production director Katherine Sawyer production designers Catherine Nakajima Ben Kurland

section editors Kyle Carnes Zachary Laub Ellen Mayer Molly Mirhashem Nicola Pardy Kumar Ramanathan Angelina Rotman Molly Rubin Ariana Siegel Evan Tarantino Megan Wasson

photography director Louise Blavet photography editor Knar Bedian art editor Ruth Tam lead artists Natasha Jessen-Petersen Becky Plante

26 27 28

by Becky Plante editor-in-chief Natalie Selzer

22

copy editors Kristen Barone Gracie McKenzie Isobel Redelmeier Michael Rogove business manager Lenea Sims editor emeritus Eliza Mills

contributors Milas Bowman Douglas Cavers Stella Denning Alexa Firmenich Jeremy Goldman Shir Livne Laura Liddell Alex Kaufman Jeremy Revinsky Denis Richard Shayna Schor Bernita Ling Danny Macdonald


RE FE AT U

Required

Reading Cultural literacy in the 21st century

by Eliza Mills

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FE E UR AT

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equired reading is a term that no longer applies only to text; as modern storytelling changes to accommodate new media, the meaning of “well read” is being redefined. We now measure cultural literacy in a variety of ways—from New York Times reviews and YouTube hits to viral moneymakers and critics’ darlings. Understanding and keeping pace with culture largely depends on one’s ability to stay well read. In a time when “well read” begins to take on new meaning, how do we keep up? Living in an era where something can spread like wildfire overnight, it becomes hard to stay up to date with culture. Is it equally (or more?) important to have seen last night’s Breaking Bad as it is to have read Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad? Is Downton Abbey as must-see as the weekly discussions of the show on Slate and analysis in The New York Review of Books and The Paris Review would have you believe? Who decides what’s worthy—what’s “required reading” for the Millennial, and what’s not? The arbiters of taste-making are no longer exclusively reviewers at established magazines and newspapers. In a world full of zeitgeisty blogs and online personalities competing for attention, creators and taste-makers have become more diverse and eclectic, but perhaps less reliable. As everyone on the web tries to tell us what to like, and as sites like Tumblr and Twitter transform into cultural curators, who are we supposed to listen to? The shift in the definition of “well read” has made its way onto our campuses as well. Professors teach film and text alongside one another, and the documentary is in a golden age. In short, modern education is being heavily impacted by technology. As advancements in visual storytelling start to transform art and academics, we’re left to decide: are films literature? Lee Edelman, Fletcher Professor of English Literature and Chair of the Tufts English department, says that film “has to be taught as a hybrid

Art

by

Nata

sha

form in which language, sound, and visual image all combine to produce a distinct aesthetic experience.” “But when I’m teaching film, the central practice remains the same as when I’m teaching literature,” he continues. “We look closely at the text to see how it works, what it does or doesn’t do, what it doesn’t seem to know it’s doing, [and] what it claims to do but doesn’t.” Edelman teaches several courses that use film as a sort of literature, including a class on Hitchcock and another called “How Films Think.” He says that cultural literacy is not the same today as it was 50 years ago, when “high culture kept itself rigidly separate from the products of ‘popular’ culture.” Instead of a “familiarity with the touchstones of a common Western literary tradition,” today’s cultural literati must be “versed in the various genres of literary production (poetry, novels, drama, and non-fiction prose) as well as in cinema, television, and other forms of popular cultural narratives.” Universities have already begun to help their students become more modernly culturally literate. Tufts offers several courses devoted to film and television, centered on both analysis and production; a standard syllabus for a Tufts humanities course is bound to include at least one or two film screenings. In English classes especially, “Required Films” and “Required Reading” are listed side by side. Film has become an important enough method of storytelling that it is now a requisite part of academic and cultural literacy. Meanwhile, outside of the classroom, anyone and everyone is using video to tell stories. Cell phones and computers take video, and almost all allow users to upload and showcase their work. Navigating the Internet and blogosphere has become a basic resume skill, as has mastery of certain types of editing software.

Jes

sen

-Peter

sen

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RE FE AT U If reading is changing, then so is writing, and education in the digital age should encourage us to become fluent in the languages we use to express ourselves. Just as it was crucial for us all to learn to read and write, it should be important for students to use film effectively today. We should be taught to operate a camera and use video and audio editing software. We should learn to code so that we can run our own websites. It is imperative that in a culture whose modes of expression are dominated by new media, people know how to use new media. It’s thanks to multimedia expression that our culture is so fast paced and that there is so much relevant and important information to take in. Daniel Rosen, producer for the multimillion view YouTube channel KurtHugoSchneider, argues, “Culturally literate people don’t relegate themselves to one medium of culture; they’re well versed in multiple forms of culture that we consume today.” Rosen is a Tufts alum who moved to Los Angeles after graduation to work in television. Instead, he found a job with Kurt Schneider’s YouTube channel. He’s had to teach himself to use a lot of editing software and media tools, and he thinks that part of modern education should be technological. “Reading and writing aren’t like coding; they’re fundamental skills,” says Rosen. “If you’re doing anything with creative production, those skills are fundamental too. If you can read and write, you’re probably going to be a consumer of culture, but if you can code and edit, you can be a producer of culture.” And aren’t universities trying to

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prepare their students to be producers of culture? Shouldn’t they be? Budding producers with successful YouTube channels can make hundreds of thousands of dollars yearly; their channels reach millions of viewers. An especially successful video or channel might even inspire more far-reaching fame. Dean Fleischner-Camp’s “Marcel The Shell” took the world by storm, and “Marcel the Shell” is now being adapted for television and even

making is “ inTaste the hands of a

wider audience, and the result is that being culturally literate means ‘reading’ a greater variety of ‘texts’

a children’s book. As virality rapidly accelerates across the web, cultural relevancy is no longer in the sole hands of esteemed critics and reputable publications. The idea of something being “viral” isn’t necessarily new, but it’s certainly never been speedier and more commonplace. Taste making is in the hands of a wider audience; the result is that being cultural literate means “reading” a greater variety of “texts.”

The breadth of what may be considered “Required Reading” is overwhelming. Rosen cites Showtime’s Shameless and HBO’s Boardwalk Empire as must-sees, while Edelman says he’s reading Proust in French on his iPhone and watching the Bond parody films that Michel Hazanavisius, Jean Dujardin, and costar Berenice Bejo made together before The Artist: OSS 11: Cairo, Nest of Spies, and OSS 117: Lost in Rio.There is enough required literature written before film was ever created to last a lifetime. Still, being well read is contextual, and by the looks of our syllabi, even the most devoted academics seem to agree that we can’t ignore modernity. Text and literature are no longer synonymous, and the line between high culture and pop culture is more ambiguous than ever. Literature and culture are unlimited, and in a visual society, literacy means film literacy, television literacy, and YouTube literacy. So what are we to do? Read as much as we can of the New York Times Book Review’s favorites while catching up on the classics? Stream BBC favorites on the PBS website while recording the best of HBO, Showtime, and FX on our DVRs? Listen to the podcast of This American Life and look over our friends’ shoulders when they say, “Oh my god, you have to see this video?” There is too much to keep track of to follow it all, and the question remains: in today’s increasingly digitalized society, what does being “well read” really mean? O


n ew s

A UNITED

RUSSIA? By Angelina Rotman

R

ussia without Putin! Shame! Constitution! This is our city!” protesters in Moscow shouted as they took to the streets this past December. In the largest protests since the collapse of the Soviet Union, tens of thousands of people across Russia rallied against election fraud, calling for the resignation of Vladimir Putin and burning flags of Putin’s party, United Russia. While United Russia won only roughly 50 percent of the parliamentary votes, as opposed to 64 percent in the 2007 elections, cries of fraud and falsification seized the Russian blogosphere, sparking protests of a size and scale not seen in Russian since the 1990s. Tufts students Scott Mimnaugh and Ben Van Meter, studying abroad in Russia, experienced the historic events first-hand in the city of Yaroslavl, less than 200 miles northeast of Moscow. The Yaroslavl oblast, or province, had one of the lowest turnouts for the United Russia party. “Despite the fact that there was opposition, there was not a huge amount of people out for the protests,” Van Meter said. “For a lot of people, they did not want social protests in their country. It was the first major one in Russian since the collapse of the Soviet Union. I think that partially scared the crap out of a lot of people. I think, to many people, the protests could go to that bad end—the ‘90s, or as my host mom said, another Stalin.” A history of too much change too quickly, combined with remnants of the Soviet era feeling of political powerlessness, has kept Russia from its own version of the Arab Spring. Political authorities,

too, were careful to manage the protests, keeping things under control through police and even military forces in Moscow. “It was very managed demonstrating, managed civil rights,” Mimnaugh said of the protests in Yaroslavl. “Everyone was allowed to protest, but it was not an American type of protest. It was completely fenced in, and there were cops everywhere. There was a very large police presence—kind of absurd. I’m surprised they had enough cops to do that. It was very much this kind of, ‘you’re allowed to do this, sure, but we also have the strength to stop you.’ It was a show of force.” When state media sources failed to give the protests adequate coverage, Russians turned to the Internet to express their discontent and relay news. Russian blogs, news websites, and social media exploded with coverage of the protests. “Once I was in the teacher’s lounge, and I asked a professor something about the protest, and immediately she and another professor started having this exchange of information,” Van Meter said. “Then other professors joined in, and it was basically everyone debriefing each other about what had happened.” For Russians, the protests marked the first real civic engagement of the postSoviet era, shaking the generalww sense of political impotence. “I think it clearly affects the idea of people being powerless. I think that might have a long term effect—people can self-organize and make a difference,” political science professor Oxana Shevel said. “The[re] is a conception of civil society, that people can stand up and feel that sense of camara-

derie. Civic association life has been traditionally undeveloped. That might actually change things. You hear how everyone felt this sense of oneness. Will that last and will that morph into stronger civil society? It’s still too early to say.” As the March presidential elections draw nearer, the likelihood that Putin will transition back into the role of president does not appear too damaged by the protests. The same cannot be said for his carefully structured public image. “Putin has to tread lightly, because he’s used a lot of his political capital at this point,” Mimnaugh said. “It’ll be interesting to see how a PR machine like United Russia deals with what may become a sinking ship.” While there’s little doubt that Putin will soon reclaim his position as Russia’s president, the Russian public’s reaction to the election process and results will be something to watch. “It’s going to be interesting to see how the election is going to be perceived by Russians,” Van Meter said. “Putin’s candidacy was seen as sort of background dealing. You’re deciding the results before we even vote on it. If falsification is too brutal, Russians are going to get angry. I think they’re tired of being treated as children by their government. They don’t want the government to think it can lie to them through its teeth and get away with it.” As the opposition finds its footing, Putin and his party face a complicated political landscape, one made even more so by the public’s thawing political apathy. A new era of Russian politics is emerging, whatever Putin’s official title may be. O MARCH 5, 2012

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oFE pAi nT UioR nE

“To talk about democracy is to raise the most terrifying question: What does it mean to be human?” –Cornel West ruth tam

BY ARIANA SIEGEL

L

ately, with the Occupy movement on hiatus and conservative rhetoric shouting to be heard over the din of its own confusion, it’s been difficult to touch base with liberal politics. The Faculty Progressive Caucus’s series on “American Democracy in Crisis” has been a breath of fresh air, bringing liberal speakers to campus and us leftists back to our roots. I had been anticipating Dr. Cornel West’s lecture since I heard about it last semester while sitting on the floor of Cabot, waiting to hear Noam Chomsky’s speech. Chomsky, the first to speak about the democratic crisis, came to Tufts in November during an Occupy movement high, but for all its appropriate timing, the lecture was a somewhat underwhelming experience. The MIT professor rehearsed arguments I might have better understood in his books, speaking softly about American hegemony with a perspective that might have resonated more with my parents. As a senior, I see these lectures as more than just a breath of political fresh air. I look to them for insight into progressive life after Tufts. I have been hoping to hear someone tell me how to make use of my Peace and Justice Studies major and how to continue believing in change outside of Tufts. So it was disappointing to hear a progressive leader like Chomsky sound antiquated. Cornel West, on the other hand, did not disappoint. At the end of his talk, I saw in the eyes of the audience that he is a lib-

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eral leader for today—wise with experience, filled with perspective on current politics. He has his head in the books, but his feet on the ground. The lecture began with considerable fanfare—a student introducing a professor, who introduced a dean, who introduced Dr. West. Each heralded the occasion as an opportunity to delve into our interest in diversity on this campus. Each was white. Diversity is always an interesting and seldom tension-free subject among white liberals. Despite students, faculty, and administrators’ oft-professed desire to live in a diverse world, Tufts’ white liberals frequently seem to me to be uncomfortable listening to people of color speak about their perspective on diversity at Tufts. So as those introducing West heralded his ability to “speak truth to power,” I wondered how they felt about him speaking truth to the Tufts power structure. To me, the way West responded to this situation demonstrated why he is indeed a liberal leader for today. He did not shy away from his calling. In his opening remarks, he said, “I hope I say something that unsettles you, unnerves you, un-houses you.” Much of what West said was unnerving to the traditional American sensibility, yet he always spoke with grace and humility. He voiced difficult truths about America’s history of racist, classist, and discriminatory behavior without dividing the audience into perpetrators and victims. His words were meant to empower,


nE UioR nT EpAi oF

The

Liberal Lion and they were meant to empower everybody. (This was the beauty of the rhetoric in the first Obama campaign.) With a healthy dose of the showmanship and flare that characterized the messianic leadership of the civil rights movement, West discussed the fate of American democracy. “To talk about democracy,” he said, “is to raise the most terrifying question: what does it mean to be human? What does it mean to be the human that you are?” As an antidote to the ills plaguing the system, West preached courage. Courage to examine the self, even the dark corners that frighten us. Courage to reject the consumerist race to the top, the system of “survival of the slickest.” Courage to love your own people, even if they behave in a manner that is hateful or hated, but also courage to expand your horizons and venture outside your community. And especially courage to allow old ideas to die, so that democracy can be reborn. “I like to remind people, when they talk about the US Constitution like it’s holy, [like] it’s scripture,” he said, “that it was a pro-slavery document for over 70 years!” What was it about Dr. West’s sometimes clichéd liberal rhetoric that seduced me where Professor Chomsky’s did not, where President Obama’s now seldom does? The word “courage,” like “democracy” or “freedom,” can sound hollow in so many mouths; but in West’s, it felt real.

Why? Because West practiced what he preached, right on stage. Rather than buzzing with platitudes or succumbing to the urge to enumerate the ways the world has wronged him, he painted a realistic yet hopeful picture of current politics and the place that people of all colors and creeds can have in it. He professed his love for his own people and demonstrated intimate knowledge of others (he once quoted the scriptures on Jewish prophets). He even had the gumption to condemn “successful people who are too well-adjusted to injustice, too well-adapted to indifference,” knowing that many of those people likely sat before him. During the question-answer period he even did something I’ve almost never seen a speaker in Cohen auditorium (or anywhere else) do: he acknowledged it when he didn’t know an answer. That is true courage. Even as Obama ratchets up his own rhetoric to match that of the conservative circus, the diminished excitement in his second campaign compared to his first is tangible. Leftists of our generation may find their hope faltering, and while Tufts can be an incubator for liberalism, I worry that in the outside world, my idealism will be hard to maintain. That is why powerful, experienced, and widely appealing leaders like Cornel West remain so crucial. Watching this liberal lion still bursting with energy and zest for change at nearly 60 years of age, I saw a leader I could get behind. And I saw the possibility that my liberal, Peaceful-and-Just Tufts education might carry over into a progressive future—that is, if I have the courage to work for it. O MARCH 5, 2012

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THE LIN When a benchwarmer becomes a superstar BY SHAYNA SCHOR

O

ne year ago, Jeremy Lin’s name carried little ring to it. “He’s a minimum, inexpensive asset. Is he going to be a superstar? No.” This lackluster sentiment expressed in late 2010 by Golden State Warriors team owner, Joe Lacob, who signed the then 22-year-old Harvard grad, accurately reflects how most fans and experts felt about Lin. They did not underestimate his skill, but they were fairly certain he was not the next Isaiah Thomas. This undistinguished reputation had shadowed Lin for the majority of his basketball career. Despite earning the Player of the Year title for both first-team All-State and Northern California Division II during his senior year in high school, he graduated without a single offer for an athletic scholarship. Regardless of the numerous Ivy League records he had set by his final season on the Harvard Crimson—1,483 points, 487 rebounds, 406 assists and 225 steals—Jeremy Lin went undrafted into the NBA in 2010. His time on the Warriors was short lived, and the Houston Rockets cut him soon after he was signed, too. In each case, a surplus of guards, deficit of minutes, and clash of styles blocked Lin from making a name for himself.

ASIAN

HARVARD PLAYER

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171

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BERNITA LIN(G) 8

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N SANITY

“Jeremy Lin is a guy who nobody thought was even a rotation player possibly a few weeks back, and he’s doing things that usually we only see all-stars do.” Even after Lin was signed by the New York Knicks late last December as third-string point guard, his talent was doubted; he was almost released at the end of January. But he stayed on and, when a frustrated D’Antoni “desperately” threw Lin in to break a losing streak, the Harvard grad of Taiwanese descent shocked fans nationwide. On February 10, with seven assists and 38 points to outscore Kobe Bryant’s 34, Lin led the Knicks to a 92-85 victory over the Lakers. When Lin scored the winning three-pointer in the final second of the game against the Raptors four days later, “Linsanity” had officially set in. Leaving the Knicks with an undefeated record for the first seven games in which he started, Lin was unstoppable. “We’ve never seen it all come from a guy who, two weeks beforehand, was fourth or fifth on a point guard depth chart, undrafted, overlooked coming out of high school, cut by two teams. It just doesn’t happen this way,” said New York Times sports writer Howard Beck in an interview with Fox Sports. “Jeremy Lin is a guy who nobody thought was even a rotation player possibly a few weeks back, and he’s doing things that usually we only see all stars do.” What’s noteworthy about Lin is the mark he has left on the public eye. It may have taken him some time to get his name out there but, now that he is exposed, he exerts an unprecedented magnetic pull, drawing press and fans alike. He is an undrafted rookie who had a press conference with national media the moment he signed with the Warriors. He is the most sought after interviewee on the team, and he was asked to be the focus of a documentary soon after signing. A reporter from Taiwan requested to trail him once he joined the team. From February 6-14, Lin’s name was mentioned 2.6 million times on Twitter. Headlines like “Thril-Lin” and “Amasian” dominated national news. So what is it that draws everyone to Lin?

Many argue that his unique background makes him stand out. A Harvard graduate who led the campus’ Asian American Christian Fellowship, Lin is not necessarily a traditional poster boy for the NBA. The Ivy League is highly underrepresented in the NBA, having no drafts since Penn’s Jerome Allen in 1995. Lin is the fourth Asian American to make the NBA, and the only one of his descent in the league currently. His impact on racial stereotypes has been a topic of contention: whereas some see him as breaking the traditional stereotype of a non-athletic Asian, others believe he is reinforcing the “Model Minority Myth” of a successful, overachieving underdog. Perhaps what makes Lin most charming to crowds is his genuine character. He struggles to hide his dimples when told that President Obama has been watching his games. The grin that breaks through when he acknowledges his dedication to teammates and gratitude to mentors reveals an unparalleled degree of authenticity. “You know you can fall as fast as you rise, and that’s just a reality of the situation,” said Lin in a press conference. “I just want to make sure I’m not doing a disservice to my team by milking all the attention…because at the end of the day, that’s now what I love—I love basketball, that’s my passion. I want to make sure I’m doing everything I can to give myself and my team the best opportunity to win.” This is a man who runs basketball camps for Taiwanese children in the summer, who giggles before reporters as he recalls the children he coached. Despite the sudden stardom, it is clear that Lin remains intently focused on the game, on and off the court. Maybe fans love Jeremy Lin so much because he comes across as a grounded, engaged, invested team player. For whatever reason, the public is addicted. The understated Ivy League American Asian point guard has the world waiting to watch his next play. O

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cFE uAl TU ture RE

Zeitgeist

[noun] The spirit or genius which marks the thought or feeling of a period or age 1

2 3

10

Blogs It used to be you’d update your middle school Xanga. Now you turn to them for news, opinions, and everything good online. The diary has evolved.

Food trucks Korean BBQ/Mexican. Vietnamese. Grilled cheese. This is a trend that better be here to stay.

3-D movies Don’t even pretend you like seeing movies in 3-D. This may be the medium of the future, but it’s far from perfection.

TUFTS OBSERVER

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4

5 6

Old people Old is the new young. The Republican primaries, the Oscars, Betty White on NBC, and period dramasmake this year’s hot ticket an AARP card.

Strong women Don’t tell me what to do! Strong women in politics and media (both, in Leslie’s case) are standing strong for Ovarian power. Back off, clergy.

Quinoa Turn on Food Network, head to Whole Foods, or get a farm share and you’ll know that quinoa is all the rage. Why? We’re not sure.

7

8 9

MTV Video killed the radio star. Then reality television killed the video star.

Pop culture mashups Lana del Rey’s Video Games meets popular book series The Hunger Games. See also: Niggas in Paris at Midnight, and Downton Abbeyoncé.

Miracle berries Flavor tripping is the acid tripping of our generation. Not really. But seriously, pop some berries and bite into that lime.


ture ul c

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Totally Zeitgeisty

1

. d

5

2

6

Awesome

Meh

4

3

9

s s : ,

7

8 Not So Zeitgeisty

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CamO ff pus

Beyond Spring Fling

The Observer’s concert agenda by Jeremy ravinsky

March

16 — Dropkick Murphys at House of Blues.

Boston’s own Celtic-punk phenomenon is playing on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day. Need I say more?!

17 — Immortal Technique at Paradise Rock Club.

This Harlem-based rapper’s rhymes will stimulate you to think about salient socio-political issues and make you shit your pants. He is definitely worth seeing in concert.

Get excited, Tuftstonians, because this semester’s concert lineup is pretty awesome. I can’t list them all here; after all, there are probably between three and six really good shows in Boston every night. But here is a sampler of what’s to come in the spring season. And for those concert virgins among you, for those who shrink away from the mere mention of exiting the campus bubble to rub shoulders with dirty, sweaty strangers in a dimly lit club or concert hall, I urge you to leave behind those inhibitions and pop your concert cherry this spring. Because, in all seriousness, this season is a good one. O

29 — Youth Lagoon at the Middle East.

Youth Lagoon’s debut album is the product of Trevor Powers camping out in his room for several months, watching VHS tapes from his childhood, and recording pure lo-fi innocence, which is sure to strike a few nostalgic chords. The openers, Spanish Prisoners, are also really good, so get there early.

April

1 — of Montreal at Paradise Rock Club.

For those (shameful few) of you who don’t know of them, Montreal is a psychedelic indie rock group from the southern music Mecca of Athens, Georgia. This is a show that you must see before you die. I’m not kidding.

6 & 7 — The Magnetic Fields at Berklee Performance Center.

Sometimes, when I listen to Stephin Merritt’s lovely and bittersweet music, I want to believe in love. And that doesn’t happen often. They are playing two nights in a row, so you have no excuse not to go (I didn’t mean for that to rhyme).

24 — ­­ We Were Promised Jetpacks at Paradise Rock Club.

Scottish label mates of Sigur Rós, Múm, and Frightened Rabbit, this alternative band spits out some gazey guitar effects.

May

9 — M83 at House of Blues.

Thank goodness M83, the French electro-indie collective, is coming back to Boston (they were here in November) because last year’s Hurry Up, We’re Dreaming was almost too epic, and everyone needs to see them live. The opener, I Break Horses, is also great, so be sure to give them a listen, too.

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justin mccallum


Knar Bedian

Tufts. (Life)

Laura Liddell


Louise Blavet

Louise Blavet

Catherine Nakajima

Alexa Firmenich

Catherine Nakajima

Knar Bedian


Denis Richard

Catherine Nakajima

Catherine Nakajima


Knar Bedian

Alexa Firmenich


s

THE LEGACY OF

ew

F

ebruary 7, 2012 marked victory after a long and arduous battle that started on Election Day 2008. Right as America ushered in President Obama, Californians voted on Proposition 8, a proposition that would eliminate the rights of same sex couples to marry—and it passed, roughly 52% in favor and 48% opposing. The passage of Prop 8 was met with protest, vigils, a slew of YouTube videos, and general discontent. The bill was immediately brought to the California Supreme Court, where the Californian justices defended the bill. On August 4, 2010, however, Chief Judge Walker overturned that judgment, stating that it was an infringement upon the due process and equal protection clauses found in the 14th amendment to the Constitution. A three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit of the United States Court of Appeals voted to uphold Walker’s ruling 2-1. Proposition 8 was finally deemed unconstitutional on February 7, 2012. Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who wrote the majority opinion for this trial, distinguished the majority opinion from Judge Vaughn’s by narrowing in on what it was that made Prop 8 unconstitutional, as opposed to ruling on why same sex couples have a constitutional right to marry. “Proposition 8 singles out same-sex couples for unequal treatment by taking away from them alone the right to marry,” depriving same-sex couples “… of an existing right without legitimate reason.” The Ninth Circuit’s ruling also stated, “Proposition 8 serves no purpose, and has no effect, other than to lessen the status and human dignity of gay men and lesbians in California.” The ruling was written in terms that limited the judgment to California. The people of California were withholding a right from their fellow Californians, in which case the United States Supreme Court would not have jurisdiction to rule over the case and the Ninth Circuit would indeed have the final say. Just when it seemed that Californian same-sex couples and their advocates could breathe for just a moment, Prop 8 supporters filed a request to have the case tried before the entire Ninth Circuit of judges, or what is known as an en banc review. This would require first that the majority of the 25 judges of

n

PROP 8

BY Alex Kaufman

the circuit vote on whether the case should be reheard in front of another panel of 11 Ninth Circuit judges. Many of the judges currently sitting on the circuit are conservative appointees by President Bush, and if the measure is voted down, this would leave the case at risk of being appealed to the United States Supreme Court. This ruling comes at a time when several other states’ same-sex couples are fighting for their constitutional right to marry as well, such as in Washington, where supporters succeeded. On February 15, 2012, Governor Chris Gregoire signed a bill that would legalize same-sex marriage in the state of Washington, giving gay rights advocates a major victory. As of Feb. 15, Washington was the seventh US state (plus the District of Columbia) to have legalized same-sex marriage on the books. Until recently, it seemed as though there would be an eighth state with the addition of New Jersey, whose legislature had passed the bill. That hope was crushed by Governor Chris Christie, who vetoed the bill upon arrival at his desk. However, the United States is again prepared for another state to be the eighth: Maryland. On Monday Feb. 27, Governor O’Malley promised to sign the same-sex measure as soon as it comes to his desk this Thursday. The Washington Post reported the governor saying, “I’m prepared to sign it because I believe that the way forward among people of many different faiths is always in the direction of greater respect for the equal rights for all.” Governor O’Malley continued to say that he believes that a good leader “always [tries] to be a force for building consensus that moves us forward.” Can same-sex couples across the nation hope that their state is next? With four states legislating on gay marriage bills within the same month, it appears that the rest of the nation is lining up to bring the issue to their state. That’s not the case, however, according to Aaron Hartman, a graduate assistant at the Tufts LGBT Center. When asked if there were a continuing trend of states voting on gay marriage, Hartman said, “There are spikes of it. There’s a momentum like dominoes, and it’s nice that we’re getting some groundswell. But it will be a while ‘til we see the next spree.” O MARCH 5, 2012

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Random Trysts Bucket Lists

by milas bowman and stella dennig

louise blavet

Trina’s Starlite Lounge 3 Beacon Street, Somerville, MA

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fter discovering that Bon Apetit ranked Trina’s among the top 10 best fried chicken joints in America, we knew we had to go. Our first impression was sweetened by a bowl of Hershey’s chocolate kisses next to the traditional matchbox dish at the empty hostess’s table. The nostalgic decor boasted a collage of 1950s advertisements, covering every surface down to the bathroom stalls. After extensive deliberation (we passed on the Bucket of Ponies, five mini cans of Miller High Life for $11), we went family style and ordered two orders of Trina’s classic Fried Chicken & Buttermilk Waffles ($14), Baked Haddock ($15), and a corn dog (Stella’s first, $5). For the record, it was not just the two of us. The highlight of the meal was the hot pepper syrup, vaguely reminiscent of a spicy sweet and sour sauce, which we proceeded

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to pour all over everything. Our only (major) complaint was the temperature of our waffles; we felt like we were eating fried chicken a la mode. The baked haddock arrived on a delicious bed of smoky sweet potato and green onion hash. Though it was probably the most oil we’ve ever consumed in a single sitting, we would not have had it any other way. As for the corndog, we must rely upon Stella here, who fell into a dream filled with Americana visions of Coney Island and baseball. While in her deep-fried induced trance, Stella accidentally flung a chunk of battered chicken into a certain editor-in-chief ’s eye. Thankfully, neither our egregious overuse of the word penis last week nor this week’s ocular attack has been enough to shut us down.


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Milas and Stella Explore Inman Square Bucket List Destination: Inman Square, Cambridge, MA Goal: Waffles! Fried chicken! FRIED CHICKEN AND WAFFLES! Successful? Unbelievably.

The Druid 1357 Cambridge Street, Cambridge, MA

Inman Oasis 243 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA

Upon walking into this Inman Square bar, our attention was immediately drawn to the music, which we can only describe as “pop druid,” the strange, glowing, Ghostbusters-esque ceiling art, and the confusing yet unmistakable waft of incense. Luckily, we were able to camp out in a nice corner booth before someone passed out. Somehow we ended up with Middle Ages Druid Fluid ($7.50), a 22 oz. bottle of thick, sweet, alcoholic barleywine, and a pint of Rapscallion Honey Ale ($5.50). We did not enjoy the latter, which tasted a little too much like urine. The variety of knickknacks and wall hangings attract a varied crowd. We spotted young professionals as well as 60-something retirees. The atmosphere lends itself more to a subdued, intimate bar experience. Weeknights recommended.

The Inman Oasis is nestled inconspicuously off the road and partially obscured by Rosie’s Bakery. With its pervasive warmth and the unshakable chlorinated reminder of public bathing facilities, Inman Oasis is a welcome respite from the icy Boston temperatures. For the less germophobic Bostonians, Inman Oasis rents out hot tubs. You can choose between a dip in the community tub (capacity: up to 7) or opt for the personal tub (capacity: up to 4). Regardless, showers are mandatory, and the accommodating staff changes the tub water weekly. Much to our surprise, this is apparently more frequent than health code regulations mandate. Each tub is even equipped with its own sound system, so if you come with a preloaded playlist, the staff will hook it up for you. With advance notice, it is even possible to book the community tub for a group of up to 10.

All Star Sandwich Bar 1245 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

Punjabi Dhaba 225 Hampshire Street, Cambridge, MA

The motto at All Star Sandwich Bar is, “A good sandwich is like an old friend.” Once you take a bite out of one of their enormous creations, you will begin to wonder if your friends could possibly taste half as good. The Atomic Meatloaf Meltdown ($8.95) will ruin your relationship with your mom—her meatloaf can’t possibly compare.

With oddly secluded dining rooms, ugly seating, and janky tables all located up an out-of sight staircase, Punjabi Dhaba makes up for its rough exterior with a simple, delicious, and wonderfully cheap menu. Everything comes on metal trays with compartments dividing samosas, vegetarian sides, and the multiple entrees that come with every meal (generally no more than $8). It’s the perfect place to grab a quick bite without breaking the bank.

1369 Coffee House 1369 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

Christina’s Homemade Ice Cream 1255 Cambridge St, Cambridge, MA

Occasionally, we find that we have been spending all of our time adventuring around at the expense of actually doing our homework. At this point, it is time to head to a café and camp out for a couple days. With its friendly staff, delicious coffee, and intimate atmosphere, 1369 Coffee House makes for a great secret homework spot and a change of pace from Tisch.

With flavors like adzuki bean, khulfi, and burnt sugar, (as well as all your usual favorites), it is no surprise that Christina’s Spice & Specialty Foods is just next door. O

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Y U NO MAKE MEMES?! Tufts delves into the internet memes phenomenon b y E v a n Ta r a n t i n o 20

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espite its terrifying ability to render us helplessly socially exposed, the Internet is a fluid breeding ground for monumentality. Welcoming both the optimistically serious and the confidently inane, it has thrown the idea of cultural limitation to the dogs. Expression, creativity, and communication know no bounds and are thus able to exert their full and true potentials. The World Wide Web reaches so far beneath the tip of the cultural iceberg that we are often able to find exactly what we were looking for—and then some.

Comedy is undoubtedly one of the cultural mediums most influenced by the web. Because comedy’s success relies on mass proliferation, the Internet could not be a more perfect partner. As a result of this dream team-up, comedic accessibility and relatability are able to effectively breach most societal divides. For example, a child in Beijing can be amused by something that his American counterpart enjoyed only seconds earlier. This unparalleled potential for shared understanding, coupled with the inevitable waning of our generation’s comedic attention span, has spawned a simplistic yet brilliant form of humor: the meme. Made up of a few simple words and a picture of predisposed meaning, memes are a birthchild of our time: the Internet’s Golden Age. Richard Dawkins first coined the term in his book The Selfish Gene, published in 1976. It was not until the early 2000s, however, that memes assumed their rightful place in the Internet’s comedic hierarchy. From Scumbag Steve to Success Kid, they have become an almost universal standard of comedy. One of the defining qualities of the meme is its adaptability to specific groups and associations. As college students represent one of the leading demographics for Internet usage, universities have become a hotbed for meme creation and prolif-

eration. Over the past couple months, college-specific memes have been popping up at leading institutions around the world. Seeing as many consider Tufts a pinnacle of liberal education, it was inevitable that memes would find their way into the heart of Jumboland. Enter Tufts Memes. Founded on a cold, listless Medford night in the first week of February, the site charted over a thousand hits in the first 24 hours. “It was honestly just a response to the growing trend,” the creators (who have decided to remain anonymous) claimed in a brief interview. “If we hadn’t started it, someone else would have.” Kicking off with a few gems from the founders themselves, the voices of the community soon became more than willing to share their comedic wit. Since posting is (and will always remain) public, creative availability keeps the page in a fresh state of constant evolution. Nevertheless, content decisions are hardly democratic. Posts are monitored daily by the creators, and memes that do not receive a specified amount of attention (likes, to be more Facebook-savvy) are deleted without mercy. The cream of the crop, however, receives rather humbling treatment. Those memes that reach far and beyond average expectations of humor are placed in the “Best Memes” album

and have thus become inherent features of the page. According to one of the site’s architects, a sophomore international student from Paris, “People were asking for a way to filter out the good from the bad, so we responded accordingly.” Even our new head honcho put in his two cents less than a day after the launch. After witnessing a playful meme suggesting that his name resembled that of a mobster, President Monaco commented rather enthusiastically, “Something tells me that I am going to have to get used to Tufts Memes!” Such informal, agreeable dialogue is indicative of the incredible communicative power of technology. Moreover, it suggests a potential that is wholly motivating. We live in an age where the simplest of creations can bridge the gap between not only between generations but also within conventional hierarchies. For those of us who are merely spectators of the exponential evolution of the web, it is undoubtedly as daunting as it is inspiring. The staggering amount of information, both private and public, is more than overwhelming. Nevertheless, we must maintain our faith in those mediums that allow us to share and express ourselves. Memes are merely stepping stones towards a limitless cultural revolution, one that will transform the very essence of global culture. O

“ Made

up of a few simple words and a picture of predisposed meaning, memes are a bir thchild of our time: the Internet’s Golden Age .

Ruth Tam

MARCH 5, 2012

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Where No Show Has Gone Before :

How Community is quietly revolutionizing t by Kumar Ramanathan

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n March 15, nerds across the country and the world will breathe a collective sigh of relief. One of cult television’s favorite shows, Community, will return to the air after an indeterminate hiatus announced last fall. A show that has been critically lauded for its creativity and weirdness, Community has gained a strong cult following over its past two-and-a-half seasons. However, like most cult shows, its popularity has not translated into great ratings, despite its prestigious Thursday 8 pm timeslot. The third season saw viewership slip even further as it went up against CBS’s powerhouse The Big Bang Theory, prompting NBC’s decision to put it on hiatus. For the uninitiated, Community, at its barest, is a sitcom about a group of students making their way through community college. Why they have ended up at a lumbering Ohio community college of all places is only briefly explored. The show is driven by

Becky Plante

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the friendships and tensions of this makeshift group of the weird and the weirder. Over its three years on the air, the show has pushed the boundaries of the sitcom genre, producing episodes ranging from action movie homages (with over 100 specific references to boot) to one based entirely on a game of Dungeons & Dragons. When NBC announced in November 2011 that Community would be off its lineup in January, the reaction of its fanbase was formidable. Within the bubble of nerd-friendly online news sites, it seemed as if the very core of network television had been shattered. A “Save Community” campaign emerged overnight, featuring everything from a high-profile CollegeHumor video series to flash mobs outside NBC headquarters in New York. And this was all in response to an indeterminate hiatus; the signs were ominous, but there had been no word of cancellation. This kind of campaign is nothing new to the lives of cult shows. From the innovative protests of Star Trek fans in the late 1960s, which brought the show back for a third season, to the strength of fan interest in Firefly, encouraging its creator to make a wrap-up movie after cancellation, fanbases of cult shows have never sat quietly as their shows were cancelled. And yet, it is rare to see this level of fan devotion to a sitcom of Community’s nature. With the notable exception of Arrested Development, such cult responses are usually reserved for shows with the characteristic genre shadings of period dramas or sci-fi, which keep them from mainstream success.

What is it about Community that inspires such cult devotion? A primetime sitcom that has failed to gain traction in the mainstream, it nonetheless lies close to the hearts of many in the nerdier audience (google “community fansite” and you will immediately see what I mean). At its heart is a defiant revolutionary spirit that, despite its mundane premise, makes it one of the most radical and innovative shows currently on television. The show begins with hotshot lawyer Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) as the ostensible protagonist, who has to go back to community college to replace his faked qualifications. Within the first two episodes, however, the show transforms into an ensemble cast of outcasts—a preppy girl with lost ambitions (Alison Brie), a bitter but caring middle-aged divorcee (Yvette Brown), a self-important former jock (Donald Glover) a pop-culture obsessed nerd (Danny Pudi), a self-righteous twenty something (Gillian Jacobs) and Chevy Chase as an oafish geriatric. The characters are immediately definable television tropes, but they change radically throughout their time with each other (and not always in good ways). As is the mark of any great television show, the characters become friends over time—not just with each other but with the audience as well. Great characters alone do not make a masterpiece, however. Community’s genius lies in how it uses those characters. In discussing the nature of good film criticism, Roger Ebert famously said that “a film is not what it is about, but about how it is about it.” To understand the revo-


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g the television sitcom Becky Plante

lutionary nature of Community, one has to look beyond what the show is and towards how it is made that way. A profile of Community’s creator Dan Harmon in Wired delved into his process of writing the show. Harmon uses a circle with eight segments to track the development of each arc within an episode—an alluringly simple system that gives symmetry to the show’s backbone. It would be easy to misconstrue this process as lazy, formulaic screenwriting, but Harmon’s creativity defies any such temptation by using this formula in a radical way. His rigorous structure is reminiscent of Joseph Campell’s literary theory of the Hero’s Journey, which asserts that the mythologies of the world could be distilled into a “monomyth,” a cycle that follows a hero’s call to journey and the subsequent adventure, resulting in his enlightened return to familiar society. It is no mistake that Harmon’s style mirrors the tropes of mythological storytelling. Community’s formula is the greatest of them all—the monomyth, the ultimate story of humanity. In his mundane setting, Harmon uses his dynamic characters to challenge what television can do. He brings them closer to the maturity we expect from masterpieces of literature and film, manipulating the tools of storytelling to explore what it means to be human. For this revolution to work, it is important that Community recognizes itself as a sitcom. Harmon’s circle is an explicit acceptance of that; any episode of Frasier or Modern Family could be

molded to fit into that circle. At the heart of the show’s devoted following is still the fact that it is a good sitcom with sharp wit and funny jokes. But where Community becomes revolutionary is in how it transcends that genre. By the halfway point of the first season, the show had entrenched itself in a level of pop culture referencing that would make Quentin Tarantino jealous. By the second season, it had become standard practice for episodes to jump across genres, featuring anything from an action movie-esque episode (centering around a campus-wide paintball tournament) to a Goodfellastype crime thriller episode (based on a mafia that controlled the dining hall supply of chicken fingers). Its episodes are always comedic, but the show has no fear of jumping between styles and genres to serve its central function. Whatever the circle demands, Community will give. In defying the constraints of genre, Community opens itself up to being a member of TV’s rarest breed: the philosophical sitcom. With the aura of the

monomyth and the wide potential that genre-hopping allows, the show innovatively explores a handful of tough central concepts—friendship, ego, love, tolerance, maturity, and self-identity—in fascinating ways. It allows the characters to tire of each other and depend on each other, giving life to television in a way rarely seen. In the most mundane of places, Community has been taking television in bold new directions by defying the artificial restrictions that most shows have found themselves bound by. Why not do a stopmotion musical episode? Why not have alternate timelines? This is a show that dares to serve its story in the best way possible and constantly defies expectations along the way. As comparisons go, the most apt are metafiction-infused films such as Being John Malkovich or earlier radical shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Community challenges what television means, transforming it into a new form of greatness. The show’s complexity and weirdness can be off-putting, as the ratings have shown, but few shows on-air are tapping into the potential of television like Community. I, for one, will welcome it back on March 15 like an old friend—a mentor who drops by for half an hour every week for a few laughs, powerful perspective, and some sage advice. For fans of the show, I need make no appeal. And if this is all new to you, give it a go, and help us save television’s quiet revolution. O

Bernita Ling

MARCH 5, 2012

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INTERVENTION -in

SYRIA

Misguided Militarism or Humanitarian Aid? By Jeremy Goldman

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s the revolutions of the Arab Spring progress, a principal question that stands before the international community is: when is intervention appropriate? Currently, the world is divided about the appropriate course of action regarding the Syrian government’s violent reaction to political dissidents. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently reminded the UN of their duty to stop such crimes against humanity, but throughout history, there have been many cases of such oppression that the United Nations did not stop. The UN did not intervene after the massacre at Tiananmen Square and did not even condemn the Indonesian killings of 1965. What differentiates this instance of government oppression from the others they allowed to pass? To give some historical perspective on intervention: aggressive military actions meant to strengthen the invading state have often been fed to the public as “good for the people” in the invaded state. The British portrayed their colonization as “civilizing the native populations.” The Soviets claimed to be “liberating the peoples of Eastern Europe.” America claims to be “spreading democracy in Iraq.” The list goes on and on. States and their propaganda have a strategic reason to pretend their actions are taken in the name of humanity; it creates popular support. No intelligent state would act as if its actions are solely taken to increase its own power. They claim humanitarian reasons for their intervention. Syria isn’t the only repressive government in its region. If NATO suddenly decided to commit itself to humanitarian ideals, for instance, there might be an American fleet off of the coast of Saudi Arabia; but Saudi Arabia exports its oil to America. There might also be some oversight of the newly empowered Libyan rebels, who were recently condemned by the African Union for “racist attacks,” according to the daily news source arabnews.com. NATO has not aggressively proposed any resolutions condemning the new Libyan government, as it has done in Syria. A regime change in Syria could perhaps be quite beneficial for the US and its allies. In 1979, the US embargoed many Syrian exports, and Washington’s relationship with Damascus has been quite contentious ever since. At the moment, Syria and Iran are technically the only two countries in the Middle East that are not on friendly terms with America. Libya, Iraq, and Afghanistan used to be a part of that group as well. The NATO bombings in Libya serve as a prime example of the possible outcomes of intervention. Yes, Muammar Gaddafi was repressive, enforcing censorship and employing a secret police to monitor the public and arrest dissidents. However, supporters would note that Gaddafi executed several administrative and economic reforms, and by 2009, the CIA World Factbook reported that life expectancy in Libya was just one year less than that in the United States. Yet, these details are not frequently included in the national narrative.

The act of overthrowing Gaddafi led to vast destruction and the loss of innocent life, as towns uninvolved in the revolt were often bombed and rebels cut off water and supplies to areas under Gaddafi’s control. According to the World Health Organization, the death toll during the “humanitarian” revolt reached between 2,000 and 30,000. As described earlier, the new Libyan army does not show promise to act as a democratic or humanitarian force. Hence, the change in Libya was brought on at great human and economic cost, and Libyans’ economic woes remain unsolved. The New York Times reports that some government employees have gone a year without salaries. Still, US intervention has likely protected our economic interests there. Can anything different be expected of intervention in Syria? Assad represents the same Arab-nationalist movement as Gaddafi, and his party, albeit repressive, instituted many of the same reforms in Syria that Gaddafi had instituted in Libya. Can the world community expect a less catastrophic outburst of violence if it chooses to attempt a regime change? The reasonable answer is no. In line with historical precedent, the national medias of each state promulgate information that conforms to the worldview of their audiences. American media depicts the Free Syrian Army as hopeful but in need of foreign assistance by reporting on the casualties and destruction in Homs. The Russian media portrays the FSA as a tool of NATO imperialism by reporting on pro-Assad rallies and accusing the West of supplying weapons to the rebels. It is imperative that people do not rely solely on the mainstream media of one nation, for it is selective and supports its own nation’s agenda. The Assad regime is reportedly killing people uninvolved in the battlefield. But he rebels are not entirely peaceful protesters either, and the Syrian government has reported over 1,000 casualties among its security forces, according to CNN. Not all Syrians are supportive of the rebels or the government. One recent poll conducted in Syria by The Doha Debates, a project of the Qatar Foundation, reveals that while most Syrians outside of the country want Assad to resign, 55% of Syrians in the country want Assad to stay, fearing collapse into civil war. Essentially, a military intervention would not be a purely humanitarian venture; it could also be a means to promote NATO and US interests in the region. Many civilian deaths could result, and even more people might flee the country. Such a violent environment would not cultivate healthy democracy. Other options are available: the UN could facilitate negotiations between the government and opposition groups. But a US military intervention, if conducted under the façade of humanitarian aid, could result in greater destruction and loss of life. Do Syrians really need another repressive NATO client for a government? O

Not all Syrians are supportive of the rebels or the government. One recent poll reveals that 55% of Syrians in the country want Assad to stay, fearing collapse into civil war

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Poetr

I look to you, my shadow of the deep— A shade so like a hole within the sea. Perhaps there’s much alike between you and me. I look within my mind as if I could Swim just as deep as you; I gaze upon Your beard of kelp, your hardened granite face, Pocked with barnacles, coated in sea-brine. I try to feel the coursing of the waves Around your rocky flanks. I try to sense

Submerged Rock by Douglas Cavers

Your cold, stone heart—a pit in a mighty peach That time and man forgot, and left to sink Below to where just streaks of light can be. What is the secret of your moans, the gurgling Waters you send forth in swirling eddies? I fear that I may never dive as deep; Or fear perhaps that I shall drown in trying. Only cherrystone and quahog will know The aspect of your love; only fiddler crab And starfish legs, periwinkle and sea bass; While I must stand and look without myself Upon the endless, faceless, mocking sea.

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SARAH STRAND


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floating by Shir Livne

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I lead you down my stairs and open the door into blanket night. Lean forward and feel you slipping past me, or my hands catching a snag in space. Maybe pretend a whole week has passed that we’ve been standing here reaching into each other’s palms and living on that small circle our thumbs can turn in, the mailman slipping letters into our pockets.

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POLICE BLOTTER By Becky Plante

Saturday, Feb 18th, 1:09 AM Police responded to a fire alarm at 134 Professor’s Row. When they arrived, they found that the residents had locked the front door and wouldn’t let anyone in. After a few minutes, police managed to enter and saw that guests were being herded out the back door. Police found three kegs in the building, as well as a table that had been set up for drinking games. Some guests had refused to leave, claiming that they thought the alarms and strobes were part of the party. In their defense, “Sexy Strobes and Policebros” sounds like a great theme.

ijuana grinder, stems, and a one-hitter. I think the real crime here is that they hosted a party without a proper bong! Just kidding, in case my mom reads this.

Friday Feb 24th, 12:08 AM Police investigated a loud party at Latin Way. They went to the third floor, where they heard music and screaming. When they entered, they found 20 people, a mar-

Sunday Feb 26th, 12:32 AM Police responded to a report of an intoxicated female at an off-campus house. She claimed to have had 4 and a half cups of vodka and rum (which, if it were a real

Q A1 &

Saturday Feb 25th, 10:53 PM A student came to the TUPD offices from 123 Packard Ave, claiming that someone had thrown a bottle at him from the roof terrace of Zeta Psi. Police discovered that the projectile in question was actually a water balloon. They spoke to brothers at Zeta, who promised to “check into” the matter. More like “look back fondly and gently chuckle, while exchanging high fives.”

Sunday Feb 26th, 2:03 AM A student stepped outside of SoGo to have a cigarette when he was approached by a group of male and female college-aged youths. They struck up a conversation with him, which turned into a heated debate about gay rights. The group started making racial slurs and derogatory remarks about sexual orientation, and the student, feeling threatened, called the police for help. By the time they arrived, the group had fled.

My weed got confiscated by TUPD. How do I get it back?

It’s simple! Just follow these easy steps: Get inside the building. Evade the 24-Hour security cameras.

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mixed drink, would be called a “Vom Collins.”) None of the house residents would own up to hosting the party, and while EMTs were tending to the intoxicated female, they all left the area.

2fication Fool the palm verisystem to get into the evidence locker room.

Find the locker your contraband has been stored in. There are many. They are all opaque. And they all open with different keys, kept in the possesion of a Tufts Police Sargeant. Slay the police guard dragon. Open your locker, and hope your weed wasn’t already thrown out in one of TUPD’s routine contraband disposals!

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Give up. Live with the consequences of your actions.


Ariel Lefland


Tufts Observer Since 1895

www.tuftsobserver.org

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Spring 2012 - Issue 3  

Tufts Observer Volume CXXIV Issue 3

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