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WEEKEND // FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013

Linda Ko ch L or

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SNOW DAY OF JUDGMENT AMY WANG and JULIA ZORTHIAN measure Yale’s past and present preparedness for the worst of Mother Nature. Page 3

FOOD

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FILM

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FIREARMS

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BATTLING YOUR BODY

THE ACADEMY AWARD GOES TO...

THE GUNS DOWN SOUTH

Isabella Huffington recounts how she got her period, lost it and then got it back, and the role of nutrition in the journey.

We have assembled a team of our best popculture enthusiasts to comment on the State of the Oscars.

Georgia-native Andrew Bezek attempts to reconcile his roots with the national debate on gun violence.


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

UNDERFED // BY ISABELLA HUFFINGTON

LEDBETTER

There are only two types of women who are excited to get their periods: those who are afraid they’re pregnant, and those who have lost it prematurely. I lost my period the way other women lose their car keys, not once or twice, but habitually. I kept losing it, because I have spent most of my life dangerously underweight, struggling from ages 11–20 with anorexia of varying levels of intensity. Getting my period meant I was healthy. And that was the problem. I didn’t want to be healthy; I wanted to be skinny. And I wanted to be skinny more than I wanted to be anything else. When I was 11, a friend asked me what superpower I wanted. I told her I wanted to be invisible. I was surprisingly perturbed the first time I got my period. I was at dinner with my father. We were eating steaks, mine well-done, his medium-rare. I watched the blood drip, drip, drip, drip out of his steak like a broken faucet. I found this particularly upsetting. I was not, as one might hope, upset for the cow; no, I was upset for myself. You see, I hate blood. I hated it even more 15 minutes later when it was coming out of me. I was 12 years old, and I had gotten my first period. I was indignant. I felt like a 95-yearold man lying on his deathbed, asking God, “Why me?” I remember trying to barter with God. If he would remove my period, I would give $5 to a charity of my choice. This was a pledge I made frequently, whenever I thought the airline had lost my luggage. And it was a pledge I just as frequently forgot as soon as my luggage arrived. At 12, I knew all about the menstrual cycle, since my hippy elementary school had spent an obscene amount of

time discussing it. We were given important kernels of wisdom, like the fact that we could indeed make mayonnaise while on our periods. And we were made to pack prevention kits, consisting of a pair of underwear and a pad, which we were commanded to carry with us the way a diabetic carries her insulin shot. We were all fully prepared to get our periods, except I wouldn’t get my period that year. I didn’t get my period because I was 5 feet 6 inches tall and I weighed 85 pounds. At 11, I was diagnosed with anorexia and a compulsive exercising disorder. I don’t have an answer to why I developed anorexia. All I have is a series of clichéd responses. One day I was a carefree child eating chicken nuggets and curly fries, and the next there was suddenly nothing childlike about me and I was too afraid to eat a baked apple with cinnamon on it. Some children refuse to eat any food that isn’t white, while others refuse to take off their Halloween costumes and end up dressed as Esmeralda all year long. At 11, I had rules too. I woke up every morning at 5 so that I could jump rope. I had to jump 1,000 times, and if I messed up I had to start again. I always messed up. My hair ties had to match my socks. I would only go to bed at numbers divisible by 5. What I remember about being 11 is packing the same lunch every day: three dried apricots, eight pistachios and half of a Nature Valley “Oats ’N Honey” bar. I remember my hair falling out in red, curly clumps in a London salon. On my 12th birthday, I refused to eat my birthday cake, and that is when my mother panicked, taking me to see a doctor who told me that if I didn’t gain 15 pounds, I would be hospitalized.

I remember going to lunch with my mother afterwards and her pushing the breadbasket towards me. I remember the bread tasted like sawdust and stuck on my tongue like a lump of flesh. I remember trying to learn how to be a kid again and failing, trying to make duck beaks out of Pringles, trying to do flips on the trampoline, trying to eat at my old favorite restaurant, an all-you-can-eat sushi buffet. But I couldn’t. All I could think about was that 14 Sour Cream and Onion Pringles had 140 calories, that jumping on the trampoline burned fat, that I hadn’t eaten all I could eat in a long time. Fro m a ge s 11–20, my relationship with food vacillated between high points, when I was healthy enough to get my period but still obsessed with my weight, and low points, when I stopped getting my period all together. During these nine years, I resented my period when I got it and was indifferent about it when I didn’t. This changed in March. It may sound overly simplistic, but it finally dawned on me that I was suffocating — and that it was my own hands around my neck. I finally admitted to myself that I wasn’t healthy and that I hadn’t been healthy in a long time. But realizing you want to be healthy and becoming healthy are two very different things. I had grown up with anorexia. I didn’t quite know who I was

The Decider, The Fan-Maker

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colleagues, I began to wiggle around, fidget with my unrealistically shiny Mary-Jane slippers and tug at my Christopher Robin bowl cut. With Linda fooled by my restless façade and seeking to get my feignedly fidgeting self off of her hands, my scheme was a success, and I found myself proudly rising from the lowly carpet to join the superior ranks of the fanmakers.

ALTHOUGH AT THIS POINT IN MY LIFE I KNEW VERY LITTLE, I DID KNOW HOW TO GET WHAT I WANTED. The fans we made turned out to be ones of folded and stapled pieces of 8 ½-by-11 printer paper, no lace, no delicateness, no vessel for demure smiles. My life was far from over, but when I saw the ribbon-stick group perform a special dance with their silky ribbons flowing from fine, wooden chopsticks, I felt as vulnerable as my paper fan, small and recyclable. Fourteen years ago,

witho u t it. But I recognized that anorexia and I were two different things. And that was a start. I started gaining weight. It wasn’t easy. In fact, I think it was the hardest thing I ever did. People talk about looking

in the mirror and not recognizing their own face. I knew my face; what I didn’t recognize was my own mind. I learned that just because I think something doesn’t mean it’s true. I went from regarding the voice in my head that told me I was fat and worthless and undisciplined if I

finished the salad on my plate as the voice of truth to seeing it the way I see Fox News: sometimes funny, often dangerous, but rarely true. I finally got my period again in July. And this time I was ecstatic. Contact ISABELLA HUFFINGTON at isabella.huffington@yale.edu .

All About Midterms

// BY LUCIE LEDBETTER

Sitting, 5 years old, on an endless navy carpet, knees tucked to my chest, I remember the first and only moment I knew exactly what I wanted. I was in kindergarten, and we were learning about China. Although at this point in my life I knew very little, I did know how to get what I wanted. And that day, I wanted to make a fan. A beautiful, delicate, lacy fan — just like the ones that the elegant Chinese women would hide coyly behind in pictures. The class, we were told, was to be divided into two groups: One would be making fans, the other, Chinese ribbonsticks. We were not given an option between the two; it was assumed that we would be happy with whichever group we were randomly assigned, a reasonable assumption to make of a room of 5-year-olds. This assumption, however, reflected naivety on the part of Linda, my bottled-blonde kindergarten teacher, for there was at least one kindergartener with an adamant preference. Sitting in my stretchy, red skirt, what I wanted more than anything in the world was to make a fan, and I knew what I had to do. When Linda had selected all but two of us that were to be in the fan group, I knew that it was time to take action. Sitting helplessly among my apathetic

// KAREN TIAN

ASCHER

HUFFINGTON

WEEKEND VIEWS

although I came to know disappointment, there was some satisfaction in knowing what I wanted, and getting it. As I watched the dancers with their silky ribbons, I still clung to my paper fan, I had folded it, stapled it, and colored it myself, and it was entirely mine. Since that day I feel like I have learned quite a lot. I now know how to write a 10-page paper in four hours, I know how to survive a day with six straight hours of classes on five hours of sleep, I know how to make a passable presentation on a 300-page book that I read the night before. But I keep thinking that what I knew as a 5-year-old is more valuable than any of that. Sure, I didn’t know how to write coherent sentences, but I did know what I wanted, and that was plenty. If I could only commission my 5-year-old self to make decisions for me, maybe I could finally figure out what I want to major in, what I want to do this summer, what I want to do with my life. At nineteen, I like to think that I still have the means to get what I want, but the problem is that I just don’t know what that is. Maybe if all I wanted was to make a lacey fan, then life would be easier. Contact LUCIE LEDBETTER at lucie.ledbetter@yale.edu .

IRAN COLLOQUIUM: “THE WORD, THE WORLD AND THE WONDERFUL LIFE: NOTES ON THE AESTHETICS OF EARLY PERSIAN POETRY” Luce Hall // 12 p.m.

It’s an Iranian Life with all this Persian poetry.

// BY JORDAN ASCHER

That you’re reading this tells me a few things: You have eyes, you are literate and you have reached the end of the sixth week of the semester. We’re halfway there, folks. But I’m afraid you’ll have to keep the champagne on ice a few weeks more. After all, midterm means one thing: midterms. Your humble WEEKEND correspondent took to the streets to find out what everyone is up against. Here’s what several actual fictional Yale students had to say: Felix Shoebox ’16: “Oh my goodness, you have no idea. I can’t talk. I have to write a whole paper by tomorrow! And I’ve only written three-quarters of it!” James James (J.J.) Chubb “’16”: “I have this 10-page paper. Thing is, it was due in 1975. Yeah, I’m a pretty terrible student. Also, I’m having a little trouble convincing my roommate that I’m a freshman.” Nina Lime Rickey ’13: “I’m a chemistry major, so whatever I say right now will probably sound like gibberish to you.” Carla Candlestick ’15: “I have three papers, two exams and one oral presentation — but before I can do any of that, I need to pass the key in my stomach and unlock these handcuffs! Magic!” Seymour H. Manatee ’14: “I’m an English major, so whatever I say right now will make you want to punch me.” Katherine Needles MED ’28: “I need to bring this cadaver back from the

dead. I am in medical school, and that is how medical school works.” Arthur Ceiling-Fan ’13: “Oh my goodness, you have no idea. I can’t talk. I have spent so much time pathologically overextending myself in order to make other people think I’m great, and now I’m paying the price for my low self-esteem!” Andre ’3000: “I am so stressed! I know everyone says that, but I’m trapped under a giant boulder and my body is under a great deal of stress. Hey — come back! Help me out from under this rock!” Feline M. Floorboard ’14: “For my midterms this year I worked for an investment bank as an intern and made $15,000. I think this midterm season will look very good on a resume.” Gray S. Lake ’14: “I’m a theater major, so whatever I say right now will be a fancy way of saying that my only midterm assignment is to come to class and walk like how a kitten would walk. Theory!” Cornelius Vanderbilt XXVII ’$$: “Oh my goodness, you have no idea. I can’t talk. And I’m going to keep saying that so I can feel superior to everyone around me.” Grum Bernstein ’14: “I’m working on a really fabulous project for one of my classes. I’m very proud of it. But if I don’t get into a society, it will all be meaningless.” Contact JORDAN ASCHER at jordan.ascher@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Feb Club

Only one more week.


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

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WEEKEND COVER

DESPERATE CLIMES, DESPERATE MEASURES

// BY AMY WANG AND JULIA ZORTHIAN

n an ordinary Friday night at Yale, numerous students — excited, bright-eyed and under various degrees of intoxication — stumbled to line up in the Woolsey Hall rotunda. Dressed in a haphazard assortment of glittery clothes, neon headbands and plastic bracelets, the students waited to get into Commons for a campus-wide dance event. Across the hall, Yale administrators, their guests and another group of students dressed in formal attire filled a dozen rows of seats in Woolsey, anticipating a world-class concert. At the same time, a group of international visitors stepped off a tour bus onto campus, chattering excitedly amongst themselves on Grove Street. Some lifted cameras to their faces. Others pulled open the doors of the rotunda, peering curiously inside. Suddenly — out of nowhere — an explosion on Grove Street blew out all the Woolsey windows.

O

PREDICTING THE UNPREDICTABLE

Maria Bouffard, Yale’s Director of Emergency Management passed the hypothetical scenario out to the 60 people seated around the table. The other members of the team read through the fact sheet as they passed it around, nodding and contributing their thoughts to the plan for how University administrators would proceed should the windows of Woolsey Hall really explode. Bouffard leads the University’s emergency response team, a group of administrators, staff and faculty on campus who meet once a month and are poised to react in the event of a crisis, be it nightmarish weather, a disease outbreak or worse. Three or four times a year, Bouffard stages a tabletop: a hypothetical situation to which the emergency response team constructs a comprehensive response while seated around a table. “You’d be very surprised about how you can feel your blood pressure moving up,” said team member and University Associate Vice President Martha Highsmith of the exercises. “People really get into it, which is good because you want that kind of adrenaline.”

Some crises, like a hurricane or national disease outbreak, can be prepared for with advance notice. Others, such as a violent crime or fire, must be handled immediately and without hesitation. The emergency management team has a range of plans laid out for any type of emergency, which spell out the best orders of contact, roles for specific administrators, ways in which to prepare the campus and more, so that when the time comes, the team can spring into action. Vice President Linda Lorimer said that after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, Yale recognized the need to adopt this continuous model of emergency preparedness and developed a serious dedication to creating plans of action for different scenarios. She added that a task force of staff members and administrators worked on emergency preparedness as parts of their jobs, but the University hired Bouffard four years ago when they realized the benefit of having someone work on the plans full-time. “I think we are a model institution for having really well organized protocols and lots of employees who are designated to be emergency responders,” University President Richard Levin said. Since 2001, the University’s emergency preparedness force has grown to 63 faculty and established connections with local and national emergency response networks, such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Lorimer said. In addition to tabletops, Yale also conducts drills, in which emergency responders play out various scenarios. Highsmith said these are held rarely because they are both labor and time-intensive — in a recent drill, staff members had to set up a portable hospital in the gym and prepare to administer mass vaccinations, a necessary measure in the case of a smallpox outbreak, for example. Bouffard called Yale’s emergency readiness process “ongoing.” “It’s something we are always getting better at and talking about. It evolves and evolves and evolves,” she added. “Our plan doesn’t have time to sit on a shelf and get dusty.” The University has certainly had opporunity to put its plans to the test this year. Two extreme weather occurrences resulted in Yale canceling classes four times — an unthink-

able volume, considering the last cancellation occurred in February of 1978. Though neither emergency involved window-shattering explosions (Highsmith noted that Bouffard does have a “pretty active imagination”), Hurricane Sandy and the recent blizzard hit New Haven with a vengeance, leaving the emergency response team the task of holding Yale together.

READY, SET, RESPOND

Yale and the rest of the Northeast received a few days’ notice before Hurricane Sandy was scheduled to touch down in New Jersey on Monday, Oct. 29. Accordingly, the emergency response team implemented the massive hurricane plan of action. The Yale community received the first email about Sandy from Vice President Linda Lorimer that Saturday morning, without knowing how important (or abundant) Lorimer’s emails would later become. After explaining that the University was closely watching the path of Hurricane Sandy, Lorimer concluded, “Let’s hope the storm turns right into the North Atlantic!” But turn into the Atlantic it did not. Behind the scenes, Lorimer, Highsmith and Bouffard coordinated with the predetermined emergency team of police officers, security officers, facilities staff, dining hall staff, custodial staff and Yale Health workers who would perform emergency duties through the storm. A team of 26 responders set up the Emergency Operations Center, or EOC, a situation room-type home base on the second floor of the Yale Police Department at 101 Ashmun St. The group camped out in the room for over two days, coordinating preparation and responses to the storm over conference calls with city and state officials. In the hours leading up to the storm, crews laid down sandbags around buildings with sloped walkways and entrances to prevent water from rushing in. Yale staff placed flood faxes — large, diaper-like sacks that retain up to 40 pounds of water — in various facilities to absorb flooding. Rafi Taherian, executive Director of Dining, coordinated emergency food deliveries ahead of time so that annexed students and freshmen could stock up on provisions. Meanwhile, Robert Klein,

Deputy Director of Environmental Health and Safety, canvassed science laboratories to make sure various apparatuses were secure before the storm. Lorimer’s emails became more urgent. On Sunday afternoon, Lorimer announced the cancellation of Monday classes. The move was almost unprecedented — Yale hadn’t canceled classes since a massive blizzard body-slammed the city in 1978. “The first priority is life and safety,” Highsmith said. “If it’s not safe for people to be out, driving or even walking around, then classes have to give way.”

‘LET’S HOPE THE STORM TURNS INTO THE NORTH ATLANTIC,’ LORIMER SAID. BUT TURN INTO THE ATLANTIC IT DID NOT. With constant status updates from the city and storm projections coming in over conference calls multiple times a day, the 26 staff and administrators ate and slept in the EOC. On Monday, when winds of almost 90 m.p.h. started to bring down branches and power lines around campus, the group decided to cancel classes and activities on Tuesday as well. In 1978 — the last year that Yale canceled classes — the situation was less dire, but also more disorganized. Dining hall staff workers slept in offices and dining hall basements, and professors were trapped off campus. Most significantly, the University hardly made any contact with its students.

FLASHBACK: FEBRUARY, 1978

Barrett Ford ’80 woke up to a world of white. Outside his Davenport dorm room window, the ground was no longer visible — the grass and pavement were replaced by a relentless barrage from the sky, so bright that it was staggering to look at. Snow fell in a furious daze. Ford’s roommate, Kenneth Bass ’80, who was from South Carolina, had never seen the likes of such weather before, and excitedly

ushered the both of them out into the street to witness it firsthand. They stood at the intersection of College and Elm, observing the buildings visible all around them, bathed in the eerie whiteness — Woolsey Hall, Sheffield-SterlingStrathcona Hall. Bass wore a giant winter coat that his mother had purchased for him before he left the South for Yale (the “one time I got to wear it,” he noted). Ford had his camera with him, and he has kept the photographs from that first snow day for over 30 years now. “Even though I was used to slogging through all kinds of snow in the wintertime, this was something special,” Ford said. “We stood in the very center of Elm Street, this huge intersection. There wasn’t a car to be seen. White and snow all about. It was remarkable.” It was the first week of February in 1978 — the Northeastern United States blizzard had just hit Connecticut, and Yale’s campus was swathed in slush. Connecticut governor Ella T. Grasso ordered all state roads closed except for emergency travel for three days — essentially shutting down the entire state — and Yale issued the order to classes and operations entirely, said Levin, who was an associate professor at the time. Snowed in, Ford and Bass pushed their door open the next morning and noticed the freshly printed paper on the door. It announced that all University classes were canceled that day. “Because I was a dinosaur from the class of ’80, there was no such thing as texting or emailing or anything,” Ford said. “There were notices posted right there in the front entryway, because there was a lot of speculation [that classes would be canceled]. The storm was so intense.” April Alliston ’80 said that though she did not even remember that classes were canceled that year, she still remembered the storm simply for the seemingly unprecedented amount of snow that fell on campus. Several other alumni interviewed said they also did not recall details of the day — only the fact that they had never seen that amount of snow. During the blizzard itself, administrators did not actively prohibit students from venturing outside, and by no means did students hole up SEE BLIZZARD PAGE B8 // VIVIENNE ZHANG

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PRINCETON’S JOSHUA KATZ: “GODS AND VOWELS” Phelps Hall, Room 401 // 12 p.m.

A-E-I-O-ZUESS

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: “Say My Name” Cyril Hahn Remix Want to hear Beyoncé sound like Jay-Z?


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND THEATER

AT CO-OP THEATER, ‘CASTOR ET POLLUX’ SHOWCASES YALE LARKS // BY YUVAL BEN-DAVID

The rare breed of reader who’s recently picked The Herald will no doubt have come across the epithet “dead white males.” Some philistines like me might wonder what’s so bad about smart white dudes — imagine primal section-assholes. Nay, not even section-assholes: Those didn’t exist until a certain dead white (Jewish) male invented the anal fixation! What’s the harm in porcelained cranks? Opera, that’s what. They wrote operas. They wrote them to be three hours long. Opera: that classically entwined genre that shrieks at you from a high, high pedestal. 120 D.S.-ers bursting into song. Harold Bloom on acid. Opera lumbers towards you from five centuries’ distance, chasing after extinct categories of love and tragedy. If you’ve ever heard diplomats talk about borders, that’s how opera talks about love: endless quibbles, a neurotic push-and-shove. How gracefully, then, “Castor et Pollux” annoys you. Really, with great tact. Barely a pinch. A tour de

force of understatement, the production of Rameau’s 18th century French masterpiece brings together the Opera Theatre of Yale College and the Undergraduate Ballet Company in a brilliant ode to art, if not quite to opera. As a pageant of individual talents, it stuns. As an exercise in artistic cross-pollination, it cheers. As an opera, “Castor et Pollux” champions the genius of minor irritation. (That’s a compliment. Take it.) Past the musical overture, your first thought, of course, is “What the fuck is going on?” Besides the baroque wafting in from the orchestra pit — notes that seem to walk on stubby tiptoes — little is identifiable. A drowsy winged angel slouches on a chair in front of a colorfully, loosely dressed ensemble. This you can process. Enter mythological characters you should recognize from ninth grade but don’t — Mars, Minerva, Venus — singing in a French that’s subtitled on a back screen to little success (it’s just not pedestrian enough). In this lexicon, “Go to hell” becomes “Descend to the shores of

Hell.” It took all of 20th century philosophy to cut some of these words down to size: What does it mean if Pleasures are ensemble members running around the stage? What does Love mean with a capital L? As it turns out, the prologue bears no relevance to the storyline — even Rameau cut it out in his second draft — but as a preview to the show’s later highlights, it earns its keep. Think of the prologue as a guide to a gallery of local talent. Christina Lamell ’16, as Minèrve, climbs to high notes as if she’s taking a pilgrimage there. Between nimble stage movements and wild grins, Michael Protacio ’14, as the angel, builds first notes so lingeringly gorgeous as to glide in and out of song like water. Stolidly masculine, Robert Yaman ’15 surprises with a honeyed, if temperate, voice. There’s something about these performers that warrants such operatic praise. Lyric guides their creed and their conviction. Take Sylvia Leith ’16, Yale’s newest wunderkind. The plot’s central pole, Leith — who

plays princess Télaïre — twists two men around her pinkie: the mortal Castor, just slain at war, and his immortal twin Pollux, who seizes on Castor’s death to court the virtuous Télaïre. After that, sure, things transpire in the story (or, so the subtitles imply). Who cares? Leith’s notes charm into exquisite life a plot of their own: headlong transcendence of cue and formality, of distinctions in music as between loud and soft and high and low. Leith’s professionalism betrays the production’s undercover ambition: the renovation of opera. But the production hustles to more modest ends: foiling the predictable snooze. While indubitably gifted, Bryce Wiatrak ’14, playing the regal, withholding Pollux, serves as narrative locomotive; his economy of pathos sets a clip for more languorous peers. And while Protacio, who also plays Castor, commands a formidable stage presence, his sweet energy (and bouncy Italian pronunciation of the French) contributes mostly to the show’s basal metabolic rate. Clearly, stage director Lara Panah-

Izadi ’14 knows her audience of cynical opera initiates. And so, by directorial wizardry, “Castor et Pollux” mobilizes a centripetal whirlwind of ballet dancers to sweep boredom off the stage. But only towards the end of the play do dancers and the ensemble synergize. Before then, one group awkwardly huddles off to the side as the other makes a feeble pass at the audience. “Castor et Pollux” pushes through a rotation of characters who take turns at a desperate kinesis centerstage, while others slouch in the shadows. The endless costume changes for the ensemble and constant set changes smartly keep you alert. But at what cost? These ploys thwart a thoughtful orchestration of elements. And to what end? “Castor et Pollux” stays running just long enough to deliver, proudly and with brio, the only opera some of us might ever see. Contact YUVAL BEN-DAVID at yuval.ben-david@yale.edu .

// JENNIFER CHEUNG

Ugly truths in Laramie // BY VANESSA YUAN “It’s a good place to live. Good people, lots of space,” Reed Bobroff ’16 says in his role as a native of Laramie, Wyo., in the Yale Dramatic Association’s production of “The Laramie Project.” This was an irrefutable description of Laramie until October 1998, when 21-year-old college student Matthew Shepard was kidnapped, tortured and left to die on a fence in the outskirts of town. His crime was his homosexuality. His killers were two other young men, also Laramie natives. Suddenly, the town’s “lots of space” was lousy with eager reporters, looking for answers that the townsfolk did not yet have. Lara-

// ANNELISA LEINBACH

The cast acts out a dark moment in American history.

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mie no longer represented a “good place” but, instead, a hate crime. This show tells the story of how it heals and how it understands what has happened. The play, told through interviews conducted by the Tectonic Theater Project, opens with the company’s arrival at Laramie. But the Dramat slips up when it comes to the audience’s first impressions of that apparently idyllic town. Their set features three rows of wooden power-transmission poles at stage left. While these poles are meticulously crafted and impressive (wires included and all), they are also distracting. For one, the town is supposedly home to a warm and vibrant community; it’s said to be picture-perfect, with blue skies and views of “mountains with the little snow on top.” That is, the town itself is described to foil the ugly crime

“WHERE IN THE WORLD IS DPOPS?”

mouthed Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson, approach the well-mannered Shepard at the bar, but he did nothing to intervene. Osborne plays the regretful bartender convincingly, combining an eager tone in his detailed account with obvious discomfort in speaking. His naïve demeanor creates for some of the most poignant moments in the play, especially in his description of Matthew Shepard. He says, “If you had 100 customers like him it’d be the … the most perfect bar I’ve ever been in. Okay? And nothing to do with sexual orientation. Manners. Politeness. Intelligence.” For McKinney and Henderson, though, it had everything to do sexual orientation. The people of Laramie sincerely want to understand this kind of hatred, but with understanding comes discomfort. That means they need to come to terms with their discomfort surrounding sexuality, religion and, most importantly, humanity. Osborne and the rest of the cast subtly and skillfully portray this initial discomfort in their first few interviews. While the interviewers later win praise for starting this conversation within the town, they do not come off as glorified saviors. For the most part, the interviews are not shown in Q-and-A format, but in monologues by the interviewees. More importantly, the interviewers take on inferior positions in the play. They stand clear of the spotlight when these monologues take place and are only present onstage to remind the audience of the overarching project the play depicts. Catholic priest Roger Schmit (Skyler Ross ’16) says in his interview, “Just deal with what is true. You know what is true. You need to do your best to say it correctly.” In this case, the cast does their job truthfully. “The Laramie Project” is a conversation that has just begun. The show will run through Feb. 23 at the Iseman Theater. Contact VANESSA YUAN at vanessa.yuan@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Battell Chapel // 8 p.m.

We don’t know. Come help us find them as they gallivant around the globe.

that it breeds. While this is not a call to overdo it with comfy chairs and other feel-good embellishments, it’s worth noting that the overwhelming timber is not necessarily the next step down — or the next couple of steps down, for that matter. These poles distinguish themselves from any kind of visual comfort or beauty, which could have made for a powerful contrast. While it could be argued that these might be, in fact, realistic attributes of the town, it is unclear why they use up the entire left half of the set. This leaves the right with a more neutral, stepped stage, which is actually more practical when isolating the characters in the interviews. A product of over 200 interviews with Laramie locals, the play moves quickly, jumping from one interview to another, with each member of its 10-person cast taking on multiple and consistent roles throughout. While these swaps could have easily been chaotic and confusing, they are choreographed perfectly and paired with coherent onstage costumechanges, evidence of great technical effort. The play also includes alternating narrators who introduce each character’s name and affiliation. This is a key choice made by director Nailah HarperMalveaux ’16, and a smart one, as it allows the audience to get used to the pace of the production. The switching roles also serve to remind us that these are only a few of the many accounts to be found in an entire affected community. The cast is particularly strong. Catherine Connolly (Simone Policano ’16) is an openly gay faculty member at the University of Wyoming. Policano accurately shows how a confident and puttogether woman deals with her own fear in the aftermath of a horrifying hate crime, suggesting an apt sense of confusion in her eloquent speech. In his interview, bartender Matt Galloway (Jacob Osborne ’16), who worked at the last place Shepard was seen in public, conveys remorse. He had noticed Shepard’s eventual murderers, the rude and loud-

Congee

Even more basic than porridge.


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

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WEEKEND KISSES

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HE SAYS

HE SAYS

I was going to be pretty early for our date, so I decided to take what any Hounie would call the “long way” to Prime 16: an extra block down College, a leisurely stroll on Crown and then a swift left turn onto Temple. It’s a good thing that I had borrowed my suitemate’s extra-large umbrella for the occasion; on this night New England showered me with rain of a long-forgotten vigor. Finally, while approaching the restaurant, I sidestepped a massive puddle and brought my gaze back up just in time to see a slender figure appear out of the shadows ahead of me. After the initial awkward introductions (“Hi, so I’m Matthew”), Isaac led us to a table and nabbed the coveted booth seat. He talked about

ust two Southern boys, living in a lonely world, taking the 6 p.m. train going to Prime 16. Our first date of the season, despite Mother Nature’s weepy disposition, seems to have given our two strapping young winners a nice respite from the Midterm Madness. You can read all about their experience here, but our guess is, they are being a little coy. They are Calhoun neighbors, after all, and there is no saying what will happen behind closed doors. Who needs Grindr when you have WEEKEND?

back to Calhoun, our college. I bid him farewell — no tongue of course, I’m not a slut! — and rushed off to my section. All in all, not disastrous. That’s about as good as it gets for me.

his experience as a transfer student at Yale, his work with the Yale Daily News, and “30 Rock”’s final season. We talked about our mutual friends, our shared major and what a coincidence it was that we both live in Calhoun (Glory to the Mother Houn!). Armed with many stories from my childhood spent abroad and prepared to talk about an upcoming trip to Budapest, I valiantly waged war on awkward silence. Among several LOLs in our conversation, there were also some lulls. So, I launched into a tedious ramble based on what little I know about Hungary, expressing my anticipation for the great goulash I will eat this weekend. It was only when our food arrived that I remembered how intimidatingly massive the burgers are at Prime 16. While Isaac neatly polished off his moderately sized beef fare, I struggled with the ginormous slab of chicken sandwich that lay in front of me, first taking a measured approach with the help of my good friends Fork and Knife before diving in elbowdeep for the soppy finale. Isaac had another engagement at 7 p.m., so after settling the check we grabbed our things from the coatroom and headed out. I clumsily fiddled with my suitemate’s umbrella, trying to hold it steady as we walked home to Calhoun. I thought myself lucky that the wind didn’t take me up and away, Mary Poppins style. Somewhere near the corner of College and Chapel, I awkwardly realized that Isaac would probably appreciate the shelter of my umbrella. Eight years in Brussels were sufficient to condition me to always “go Dutch,” but Isaac, like a true Southern gentleman, insisted on footing the bill. Isaac was kind, sweet, and funny; I enjoyed getting to know him better. A door from his common room opens into my stairwell, so I’m sure I’ll be seeing him around!

Contact ISAAC PARK at isaac.park@yale.edu .

Contact MATTHEW FINNEY at matthew.finney@yale.edu .

// BY ISAAC PARK I mean, let’s be frank. I give pretty terrible first date. So last week, when I got that fateful message from matchmaker Jordi — “YOU WON THE BLINDEST DATE,” his email gently informed me — I wasn’t so much excited as I was apprehensive. Still, on Tuesday, after a few minutes of quiet reflection in front of one of my more forgiving mirrors, I put on an unobjectionable oxford shirt and my best cardigan, and then I braved the cold, wet walk to the restaurant. I got to Prime 16 a little early. Matthew walked in a few minutes later, sporting an easy smile and a comically large umbrella. He said something nebulously charming about the weather. I giggled. The chemistry — and, thus, sexual tension — was unbearably palpable. The Yale Daily News had promised that a photographer would come take a picture of us at the beginning of the date, but said photographer never materialized. So after a few minutes, we got ourselves a table. I busied myself with the notso-inconsequential task of some-

how spending $40 at Prime 16. I should note that Matthew, Southern gentleman that he is, ordered an iced tea. We finally got to talking about our lives. I found out that Matthew lived in Belgium for eight years and that he was taking a trip to Budapest this weekend. (It was quickly established that I knew nothing about Budapest.) I also discovered that he played the double bass; I used to play cello! We jointly reminisced about our respective upright stringed instruments. There was so much goddamn chemistry. In an unfortunate incident, he asked me what I planned to do after graduation and I reacted pretty violently. A momentary lapse. We left the restaurant and walked

// BY MATTHEW FINNEY

// ISAAC PARK

THE BLINDEST DATE: ROUND TWO

R

ound two, everyone! This is The Blindest Date: Sapphic Edition, for all the single ladies. In case you were living under a rock (or in East Rock) when we launched our inaugural blind date, here’s the gist: Read these anonymous profiles, go to our WKND blog and vote for your favorite candidate. The top two vote-earners will get the chance to go on a date together, all paid for by WEEKEND! Let’s help some more Yalies get a little bit of warmth during these icy times. Bachelorette #1

Bachelorette #5

Major: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology (probably)

Major: Computer science (and maybe Psych? Linguistics?)

Interests: Theater, music, coffee, the Sun; when the Blue Line bus comes in time for me not to have to walk up Science Hill.

Interests: Art, music, writing, learning, general geekery, Lord of the Rings, open-mindedness, tea and good food.

Random fact: I thought snow was a figment of the northerners’ imaginations until I came to Yale.

Random fact: I’m asexual! (ish)

Looking for: “It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious.” I like the former.

Bachelorette #2

Looking for: Actually, I’m just looking for a new friend, someone who likes hugs and/or cuddling, with whom I’d enjoy low-key hanging out — talking, procrastinating, playing games. In a partner, add: romantic, 5’7” +/- 4 inches, a tendency towards non-feminine expression.

Major: Women’s, gender and sexuality studies Interests: Indie pop, decorative arts, thrifting, cooking, friendly conversation. Random fact: I’m really talented at nail art. Looking for: Someone whimsical (and a little punny) who can turn anything into a dance party.

Bachelorette #3 Major: Drinking wine

Bachelorette #6 Major: Ecology and evolutionary biology Interests: Bugs, feminism, trashy pop music, Jane Goodall, Twitter, Fall Out Boy’s return from hiatus. Random fact: I had pizza with Richard Dawkins last summer. Looking for: Someone talkative, laid-back and nonjudgemental, especially regarding my horrible taste in music.

Interests: Kindness and witty banter Random fact: I love rhythm.

Bachelorette #7

Looking for: A sweetheart.

Major: Chemical Engineering

Bachelorette #4 Major: Molecular, cellular and developmental biology Interests: Reading and roller coasters (not at the same time usually). Random fact: I can do a one-handed cartwheel. Looking for: Someone relaxed, fun and cuddly.

Interests: “How I Met Your Mother,” long and (debatably) productive Gchats, sports, warm weather, 90s jam sessions (clearly the best decade), cooking/baking. Random fact: Even though she didn’t donate to the non-profit I was working for, Linda Hamilton from “The Terminator” made me a fruit smoothie to make up for it. Looking for: Someone that’s not afraid to be silly, and more importantly, have dance party study breaks during the wee hours of the morning. // THAO DO

F R I D AY F E B RUA RY 2 2

“ELECTRIC PARTY SONGS”: A WORKCENTER OPEN PROGRAM PERFORMANCE Calhoun Cabaret // 8 p.m.

Music based on Allen Ginsberg’s poetry? Yes, please.

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Not hosting Pre-Frosh

The only pre-frosh worth getting to know is the one you already know.


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

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WEEKEND AWARDS

’TIS THE OSCARS SEASON

Caleb’s picks: a soliloquy

H

ave you been doing your homework? Not your archaeoastronomy problem set, but YOUR MOVIE-GOING DUTIES. Did you go to the Criterion every week? Did you cry when Naomi Watts cried on screen? Did you pontificate when Daniel Day-Lewis pontificated? Did watching “Life of Pi” make you feel like you just drank a sea full of water? Well, the Oscars are being held this Sunday! Luckily, our savvy WEEKEND troopers have watched and read and digested all the information you need to catch up before Hollywood’s biggest night. Time to make the grade, kiddos.

// BY CALEB MADISON Caleb Madison: For best picture, “ARGO” — UGH I love this movie SO much. I’m so glad Ben Affleck has moved past having a sense of humor (like in “Mallrats” and “Dogma”) and also writing what he knows (like “Good Will Hunting” and “Gone Baby Gone”). “Argo” is about SO MUCH MORE than those movies. The whole time you’re like “Is America going to save them?” and then at the end you’re like “YESSS!!!” At first Iran is like, “No Americans allowed! We hate America!” but then they realize that Hollywood is totally different from

If you haven’t seen any of the films... // BY CYNTHIA HUA AND ANDREW WAGNER Did you spend over 15 hours in a movie theater this year watching all the best picture nominees? Neither did we. Fortunately, we sat through all nine trailers to help you get through even the film-snobbiest Oscar party. It’s just like faking your way through section. Let’s start with the one movie that nobody cares about — “Amour”: It’s French and about old people (we can stop here). Every time it comes up, drop a “Mmm … intéressant” and drink. However, that won’t be necessary because we don’t think this will win any awards. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”: We were uncertain whether this was a movie trailer or a Levi’s commercial. The premise is confusing: Why does a woman have cave paintings tattooed on her leg? Why is there a monster with fangs? I thought this was a movie about Hurricane Katrina? “Zero Dark Thirty”: It’s so dark. So political. Ugh. Literally don’t even feel like watching the trailer for this. Pass. Also, we’re pretty sure it’s actually the same thing as “Homeland.” Don’t get this one mixed up with “Argo,” which also appears to be very political and set in the Middle East. The only reason Andrew knows about this movie is cause his high school teacher’s daughter is in it (Shout out to Mr. Bishé!). We have nothing to say about “Silver Linings Playbook” except that the best looking actors are in it, so it gets our vote for best picture. Can’t wait to see what they wear. “Django Unchained”: We’re not sure, but this might be about slavery. Cowboy slaves? “Lincoln” is definitely about slavery. As far as “Django Unchained” and “Lincoln” are concerned, you should treat these two as opposite ends of the political spectrum, pick a side and fight anybody who challenges you to the death. Also, both of these may or may not be racist — if either of them wins awards, best to play it safe and feign moral outrage. Finally, there is “Les Misérables” which is everything all at once, and “Life of Pi,” which we forgot about.

America, and that Hollywood rules! I love that. It makes you think, because the power of movies is what saves those hostages, but it’s ALSO what makes the audience like the movie! It’s about time the Academy recognized a movie about how amazing movies are. I have never seen “The Artist.” CM: Yeah, totally! And for best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis in “LINCOLN” — YES! What a film. Daniel Day-Lewis transforms himself into Lincoln SO WELL. In the middle of the movie I took out a penny and I held it up to the screen and I was like, “WHAAAA!!!?” It made me realize that presidents have so much power. And, like, what are our presidents of today doing? Lincoln was like, “Sorry, haters, but I have to follow my beliefs.” When’s the last time Obama did that? If ONLY politicians saw and made a big deal about seeing this movie. Also Lincoln’s speeches were crazy. It was like every scene had a different moral! He would go up to a group of confused men and be like, “Hey… let me tell you a story.” Then he’d tell a story that started out totally random so everyone was like “Hunh!??!!” but then at the end you realized there was a moral that totally related to what they were talking about. It’s about time the Academy recognized Daniel Day-Lewis in a role about a conflicted larger-than-life historical figure. I have seen neither “There Will Be Blood” nor “My Left Foot.” CM: I totally see that. And for best supporting actress, Anne Hathaway in “LES MISÉRABLES” — I dreamed a dream … that Anne Hathaway made me cry with song!!!! But it was real life!!!!

I know what a lot of you are thinking. “A two-and-a-half hour musical with no dialogue? About the French?” But “Les Miz” has so many more aspects than that. Like the fact that all the singing was done live on set. When you watch Anne Hathaway sing and cry in one continuous shot, you are watching real life. And she actually cut her hair for the role too! That’s Acting. That’s dedication. We haven’t seen an actress do something so brave since Natalie Portman in that comic book movie seven years ago. It’s about time the Academy recognized the performance of an actress in a musical who uses her tender yet resilient singing voice to express her personal struggles. I have never seen “La Vie En Rose” or “Walk the Line.” CM: Totes, man! And finally, for best supporting actor, Christoph Waltz in “DJANGO UNCHAINED” — Let me get this off my chest: I love Quentin Tarantino movies. When I saw “Pulp Fiction” for the first time in eighth grade I was like, “Yes.” I couldn’t stop quoting it for the next 10 years. I have the Bible passage that Samuel L. Jackson says before he kills people MEMORIZED. Whenever I eat a burger I’m like, “Mmm! That’s a tasty burger!” The thing I like about Tarantino movies is that, even though sometimes they’re serious, everyone talks about the most random weird things! It’s like my real life, and how my friends talk about just random things! And I imagine Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz being best friends in real life. It’s like Quentin calls him up and is like, “Hey, I’m making another movie with witty speeches, do you still have your hilarious accent?” and Christoph is like, “Y’Doy! Does my character speak way more formally than everyone else? Does he use really long words that he has to explain and go on long random wordy tangents?” and Quentin is like, “Y’Doy!” It’s about time the Academy recognized Christoph Waltz. I have never seen “Inglourious Basterds.” Contact CALEB MADISON at caleb.madison@yale.edu .

An adequate ode to Jessica Chastain // BY OLIVER PRESTON AND ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER Unknown were the snows of Abbottabad Before good Jessica, about as bad As Samuel L., or J. Christ’s dad, Stormed onto the screen, all pantsuit clad. Jessica, you are the strong woman in consummate form, Come Hillary, come Michelle, look on and adore! This love child of Big’low and the good goddess Sass, Writes boldly in red on our hearts’ shining glass…

Contact CYNTHIA HUA at cynthia.hua@yale.edu. Contact ANDREW WAGNER at andrew.wagner@yale.edu .

(A much-needed digression in couplet form: Jessica’s competitors and their patent inadequacy.) Ms. Watts, just forget it, Chastain’s unstoppable, This awards show will teach you the meaning of impossible. J-Law, we love you, but this Oscar gold lacks silver lining, Looks like behind Jessica you’ll ever be climbing. Emmanuelle, this is AMERICA, so we suggest that you geaux. Who even are you? No seriously, we want to know. Quvenzhané Wallis, your name is weird. Also, you are a child. Jessica Chastain breaks gender binaries. She literally breaks them. She waterboards them. Contact OLIVER PRESTON at oliver.preston@yale.edu . Contact ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER at isaac.stanley-becker@yale.edu .

Becca and Lomax: a dialogue // BY BECCA EDELMAN AND MICHAEL LOMAX Becca Edelman: I’d like to start things off with the thought that “The Master” was inexcusably ignored in this year’s nominations. While it may have been a bit inaccessible, the film was an aesthetic masterpiece, gorgeous from start to finish. And when a film’s three main actors are nominated for an award, doesn’t that say something about directorial skill? I was hoping at least for a nod to Paul Thomas Anderson. Michael Lomax: That Paul Thomas Anderson was robbed of a best picture, best director and best writing nom is simply a travesty. “Master” was a movie with great ambition and astounding scope. What pains me the most is the fact that David O. Russell and his ballyhooed rom-dramedy might walk away with the biggest haul here. BE: Really? I thought “Silver Linings” was a great story, with great performances. But watching the pre-Oscar buzz, I’m not ready to say that it will walk away with too many awards. Ebert described the film as “so good, it could almost be a terrific old classic.” I think “almost” is the key word here — it’s almost

there. For Oscar gold, I’m looking for something with a little more substance, a little more artistry. Which brings me to the real elephant in the room: What in the world has been going on with “Argo”? ML: “Argo” winning the Golden Globe sent a very clear message to this year’s crop of Oscar contenders: There is no favorite. All we can agree on is that “Argo” will not be winning the big one. I mean, it can’t! It’s a fantastic thriller, but it just doesn’t have the “feel” of a movie that could take home cinema’s biggest prize. But what exactly are those specific extra qualities? BE: Some combination of the accessibility of “Argo” and the ambition of “The Master.” “Lincoln” certainly cleans up in the latter category, but I found the film to be a meandering disappointment. Perhaps “Zero Dark Thirty” fits the bill. ML: A “meandering disappointment”? If we’re going to stamp any movie with that label, we might as well slap “ZDT” with it. Not saying it’s a bad film at all, but did it need to be 157

minutes long? Same with “Lincoln.” In fact, all the movies that have been nominated have glaring flaws that could doom them. We’re better off trying to predict the other major awards. Speaking of which, the year’s best director was…? BE: If I ruled the world, it would be Anderson. But, as he isn’t an option, I would have to go with Spielberg. Even if “Lincoln” wasn’t his finest, I think the Academy will give him the award as a lifetime achievement acknowledgement. ML: I don’t disagree with your reasoning. But “Lincoln” just wasn’t all that good, though I’ll admit the performances were quite incredible at times (specifically: Day-Lewis’ and Jones’). So I guess you have to honor a director for that. If not, who else? BE: We’re also forgetting about the most interesting addition to the category: Benh Zeitlin. He’s only 30, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is his first film and he’s nominated in a category with Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. I don’t think he’ll win, but if he did that would be pretty exciting. ML: “Beasts” was my favorite film from 2012. It was beau-

tifully incomprehensible and stark in its sentiments, and it’s precisely because of these facts that I don’t think Zeitlin has a chance to win. If anything, Quvenzhané Wallis (aka Hushpuppy) has a better shot of bringing home an Oscar. But we all know the best actress category is coming down to Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. Who you got? BE: Lawrence has a well-executed and well-managed career: She already has a nomination for a hit indie under her belt, as well as the lead in a lucrative franchise. And Chastain has made a name for herself working with prestigious directors like Malick and Bigelow. But I think the award will definitely go to Chastain. Lawrence is too young, and her part was too comedic. Then again, there’s also been a lot of hype about Emmanuelle Riva’s performance in “Amour.” ML: Riva’s work was heart-wrenching, but I doubt enough people have seen Michael Haneke’s devastating film. Instead it really does come down to Lawrence and Chastain, and of the two, I would go with Chastain precisely because of the reasons

you’ve mentioned. That doesn’t mean I’m counting out Lawrence, but her time doesn’t have to be now necessarily. At least the men’s side is a bit more clear. I’m penciling in Daniel “All Day, Every Day”-Lewis to grab his record-setting third best actor crown. BE: My true favorite for the category would be Phoenix, but I would bet on Day-Lewis for the win, too. The really interesting race will be for best supporting actor — every actor nominated has already won an Oscar. Waltz won the Golden Globe, but I don’t think the Academy will be quick to give him an award for what some might deem a quite similar role to his turn in “Inglourious Basterds.” As I said about Lawrence, I think that, for De Niro and Arkin, their performances were too light, and Hoffman was great but overshadowed. I think the winner will/ should be Tommy Lee Jones, who was responsible for a large proportion of the few shining moments in “Lincoln.” ML: Tommy Lee deserves it, hands down. But what about best supporting actress? Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln

was forgettable and hardly worth any fanfare. Same with Jacki Weaver, Amy Adams and Anne Hathaway (though I’m in love with her, all things considered). As such, I’m staking my claim that Helen Hunt deserves the Oscar. She put herself on the line in “The Sessions,” and she ought to be rewarded. BE: Hathaway may have a shot, too, especially due to all the press she’s gotten for her role. It seems to me that this year’s awards have less obvious winners than there have been in past seasons. I guess we’ll just have to watch and see! ML: You’re right. We will see. For the first time in years, there’s no guessable front-runner. It’s anybody’s game, though I think we can all agree that “Argo” isn’t getting lucky twice. If it does, I’ll eat a brick. Contact BECCA EDELMAN at rebecca.edelman@yale.edu. Contact MICHAEL LOMAX at michael.lomax@yale.edu .

// MICHAEL MCHUGH

S AT U R D AY F E B RUA RY 2 3

TEDXYALE

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Shubert Theater // 10 a.m. Smart people say stuff — def better than seminar.

Dump Kimbo

Will McCullough take note.

S AT U R D AY F E B RUA RY 2 3

“CINDERELLA: THE STORY OF STEPMONSTER”

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Dwight Hall // 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

What does this bitch have to say for herself?

Clip-on earrings

Oh so vintage and oh so flashy.


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

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WEEKEND AWARDS

’TIS THE OSCARS SEASON

Caleb’s picks: a soliloquy

H

ave you been doing your homework? Not your archaeoastronomy problem set, but YOUR MOVIE-GOING DUTIES. Did you go to the Criterion every week? Did you cry when Naomi Watts cried on screen? Did you pontificate when Daniel Day-Lewis pontificated? Did watching “Life of Pi” make you feel like you just drank a sea full of water? Well, the Oscars are being held this Sunday! Luckily, our savvy WEEKEND troopers have watched and read and digested all the information you need to catch up before Hollywood’s biggest night. Time to make the grade, kiddos.

// BY CALEB MADISON Caleb Madison: For best picture, “ARGO” — UGH I love this movie SO much. I’m so glad Ben Affleck has moved past having a sense of humor (like in “Mallrats” and “Dogma”) and also writing what he knows (like “Good Will Hunting” and “Gone Baby Gone”). “Argo” is about SO MUCH MORE than those movies. The whole time you’re like “Is America going to save them?” and then at the end you’re like “YESSS!!!” At first Iran is like, “No Americans allowed! We hate America!” but then they realize that Hollywood is totally different from

If you haven’t seen any of the films... // BY CYNTHIA HUA AND ANDREW WAGNER Did you spend over 15 hours in a movie theater this year watching all the best picture nominees? Neither did we. Fortunately, we sat through all nine trailers to help you get through even the film-snobbiest Oscar party. It’s just like faking your way through section. Let’s start with the one movie that nobody cares about — “Amour”: It’s French and about old people (we can stop here). Every time it comes up, drop a “Mmm … intéressant” and drink. However, that won’t be necessary because we don’t think this will win any awards. “Beasts of the Southern Wild”: We were uncertain whether this was a movie trailer or a Levi’s commercial. The premise is confusing: Why does a woman have cave paintings tattooed on her leg? Why is there a monster with fangs? I thought this was a movie about Hurricane Katrina? “Zero Dark Thirty”: It’s so dark. So political. Ugh. Literally don’t even feel like watching the trailer for this. Pass. Also, we’re pretty sure it’s actually the same thing as “Homeland.” Don’t get this one mixed up with “Argo,” which also appears to be very political and set in the Middle East. The only reason Andrew knows about this movie is cause his high school teacher’s daughter is in it (Shout out to Mr. Bishé!). We have nothing to say about “Silver Linings Playbook” except that the best looking actors are in it, so it gets our vote for best picture. Can’t wait to see what they wear. “Django Unchained”: We’re not sure, but this might be about slavery. Cowboy slaves? “Lincoln” is definitely about slavery. As far as “Django Unchained” and “Lincoln” are concerned, you should treat these two as opposite ends of the political spectrum, pick a side and fight anybody who challenges you to the death. Also, both of these may or may not be racist — if either of them wins awards, best to play it safe and feign moral outrage. Finally, there is “Les Misérables” which is everything all at once, and “Life of Pi,” which we forgot about.

America, and that Hollywood rules! I love that. It makes you think, because the power of movies is what saves those hostages, but it’s ALSO what makes the audience like the movie! It’s about time the Academy recognized a movie about how amazing movies are. I have never seen “The Artist.” CM: Yeah, totally! And for best actor, Daniel Day-Lewis in “LINCOLN” — YES! What a film. Daniel Day-Lewis transforms himself into Lincoln SO WELL. In the middle of the movie I took out a penny and I held it up to the screen and I was like, “WHAAAA!!!?” It made me realize that presidents have so much power. And, like, what are our presidents of today doing? Lincoln was like, “Sorry, haters, but I have to follow my beliefs.” When’s the last time Obama did that? If ONLY politicians saw and made a big deal about seeing this movie. Also Lincoln’s speeches were crazy. It was like every scene had a different moral! He would go up to a group of confused men and be like, “Hey… let me tell you a story.” Then he’d tell a story that started out totally random so everyone was like “Hunh!??!!” but then at the end you realized there was a moral that totally related to what they were talking about. It’s about time the Academy recognized Daniel Day-Lewis in a role about a conflicted larger-than-life historical figure. I have seen neither “There Will Be Blood” nor “My Left Foot.” CM: I totally see that. And for best supporting actress, Anne Hathaway in “LES MISÉRABLES” — I dreamed a dream … that Anne Hathaway made me cry with song!!!! But it was real life!!!!

I know what a lot of you are thinking. “A two-and-a-half hour musical with no dialogue? About the French?” But “Les Miz” has so many more aspects than that. Like the fact that all the singing was done live on set. When you watch Anne Hathaway sing and cry in one continuous shot, you are watching real life. And she actually cut her hair for the role too! That’s Acting. That’s dedication. We haven’t seen an actress do something so brave since Natalie Portman in that comic book movie seven years ago. It’s about time the Academy recognized the performance of an actress in a musical who uses her tender yet resilient singing voice to express her personal struggles. I have never seen “La Vie En Rose” or “Walk the Line.” CM: Totes, man! And finally, for best supporting actor, Christoph Waltz in “DJANGO UNCHAINED” — Let me get this off my chest: I love Quentin Tarantino movies. When I saw “Pulp Fiction” for the first time in eighth grade I was like, “Yes.” I couldn’t stop quoting it for the next 10 years. I have the Bible passage that Samuel L. Jackson says before he kills people MEMORIZED. Whenever I eat a burger I’m like, “Mmm! That’s a tasty burger!” The thing I like about Tarantino movies is that, even though sometimes they’re serious, everyone talks about the most random weird things! It’s like my real life, and how my friends talk about just random things! And I imagine Quentin Tarantino and Christoph Waltz being best friends in real life. It’s like Quentin calls him up and is like, “Hey, I’m making another movie with witty speeches, do you still have your hilarious accent?” and Christoph is like, “Y’Doy! Does my character speak way more formally than everyone else? Does he use really long words that he has to explain and go on long random wordy tangents?” and Quentin is like, “Y’Doy!” It’s about time the Academy recognized Christoph Waltz. I have never seen “Inglourious Basterds.” Contact CALEB MADISON at caleb.madison@yale.edu .

An adequate ode to Jessica Chastain // BY OLIVER PRESTON AND ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER Unknown were the snows of Abbottabad Before good Jessica, about as bad As Samuel L., or J. Christ’s dad, Stormed onto the screen, all pantsuit clad. Jessica, you are the strong woman in consummate form, Come Hillary, come Michelle, look on and adore! This love child of Big’low and the good goddess Sass, Writes boldly in red on our hearts’ shining glass…

Contact CYNTHIA HUA at cynthia.hua@yale.edu. Contact ANDREW WAGNER at andrew.wagner@yale.edu .

(A much-needed digression in couplet form: Jessica’s competitors and their patent inadequacy.) Ms. Watts, just forget it, Chastain’s unstoppable, This awards show will teach you the meaning of impossible. J-Law, we love you, but this Oscar gold lacks silver lining, Looks like behind Jessica you’ll ever be climbing. Emmanuelle, this is AMERICA, so we suggest that you geaux. Who even are you? No seriously, we want to know. Quvenzhané Wallis, your name is weird. Also, you are a child. Jessica Chastain breaks gender binaries. She literally breaks them. She waterboards them. Contact OLIVER PRESTON at oliver.preston@yale.edu . Contact ISAAC STANLEY-BECKER at isaac.stanley-becker@yale.edu .

Becca and Lomax: a dialogue // BY BECCA EDELMAN AND MICHAEL LOMAX Becca Edelman: I’d like to start things off with the thought that “The Master” was inexcusably ignored in this year’s nominations. While it may have been a bit inaccessible, the film was an aesthetic masterpiece, gorgeous from start to finish. And when a film’s three main actors are nominated for an award, doesn’t that say something about directorial skill? I was hoping at least for a nod to Paul Thomas Anderson. Michael Lomax: That Paul Thomas Anderson was robbed of a best picture, best director and best writing nom is simply a travesty. “Master” was a movie with great ambition and astounding scope. What pains me the most is the fact that David O. Russell and his ballyhooed rom-dramedy might walk away with the biggest haul here. BE: Really? I thought “Silver Linings” was a great story, with great performances. But watching the pre-Oscar buzz, I’m not ready to say that it will walk away with too many awards. Ebert described the film as “so good, it could almost be a terrific old classic.” I think “almost” is the key word here — it’s almost

there. For Oscar gold, I’m looking for something with a little more substance, a little more artistry. Which brings me to the real elephant in the room: What in the world has been going on with “Argo”? ML: “Argo” winning the Golden Globe sent a very clear message to this year’s crop of Oscar contenders: There is no favorite. All we can agree on is that “Argo” will not be winning the big one. I mean, it can’t! It’s a fantastic thriller, but it just doesn’t have the “feel” of a movie that could take home cinema’s biggest prize. But what exactly are those specific extra qualities? BE: Some combination of the accessibility of “Argo” and the ambition of “The Master.” “Lincoln” certainly cleans up in the latter category, but I found the film to be a meandering disappointment. Perhaps “Zero Dark Thirty” fits the bill. ML: A “meandering disappointment”? If we’re going to stamp any movie with that label, we might as well slap “ZDT” with it. Not saying it’s a bad film at all, but did it need to be 157

minutes long? Same with “Lincoln.” In fact, all the movies that have been nominated have glaring flaws that could doom them. We’re better off trying to predict the other major awards. Speaking of which, the year’s best director was…? BE: If I ruled the world, it would be Anderson. But, as he isn’t an option, I would have to go with Spielberg. Even if “Lincoln” wasn’t his finest, I think the Academy will give him the award as a lifetime achievement acknowledgement. ML: I don’t disagree with your reasoning. But “Lincoln” just wasn’t all that good, though I’ll admit the performances were quite incredible at times (specifically: Day-Lewis’ and Jones’). So I guess you have to honor a director for that. If not, who else? BE: We’re also forgetting about the most interesting addition to the category: Benh Zeitlin. He’s only 30, “Beasts of the Southern Wild” is his first film and he’s nominated in a category with Steven Spielberg and Ang Lee. I don’t think he’ll win, but if he did that would be pretty exciting. ML: “Beasts” was my favorite film from 2012. It was beau-

tifully incomprehensible and stark in its sentiments, and it’s precisely because of these facts that I don’t think Zeitlin has a chance to win. If anything, Quvenzhané Wallis (aka Hushpuppy) has a better shot of bringing home an Oscar. But we all know the best actress category is coming down to Jessica Chastain and Jennifer Lawrence. Who you got? BE: Lawrence has a well-executed and well-managed career: She already has a nomination for a hit indie under her belt, as well as the lead in a lucrative franchise. And Chastain has made a name for herself working with prestigious directors like Malick and Bigelow. But I think the award will definitely go to Chastain. Lawrence is too young, and her part was too comedic. Then again, there’s also been a lot of hype about Emmanuelle Riva’s performance in “Amour.” ML: Riva’s work was heart-wrenching, but I doubt enough people have seen Michael Haneke’s devastating film. Instead it really does come down to Lawrence and Chastain, and of the two, I would go with Chastain precisely because of the reasons

you’ve mentioned. That doesn’t mean I’m counting out Lawrence, but her time doesn’t have to be now necessarily. At least the men’s side is a bit more clear. I’m penciling in Daniel “All Day, Every Day”-Lewis to grab his record-setting third best actor crown. BE: My true favorite for the category would be Phoenix, but I would bet on Day-Lewis for the win, too. The really interesting race will be for best supporting actor — every actor nominated has already won an Oscar. Waltz won the Golden Globe, but I don’t think the Academy will be quick to give him an award for what some might deem a quite similar role to his turn in “Inglourious Basterds.” As I said about Lawrence, I think that, for De Niro and Arkin, their performances were too light, and Hoffman was great but overshadowed. I think the winner will/ should be Tommy Lee Jones, who was responsible for a large proportion of the few shining moments in “Lincoln.” ML: Tommy Lee deserves it, hands down. But what about best supporting actress? Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln

was forgettable and hardly worth any fanfare. Same with Jacki Weaver, Amy Adams and Anne Hathaway (though I’m in love with her, all things considered). As such, I’m staking my claim that Helen Hunt deserves the Oscar. She put herself on the line in “The Sessions,” and she ought to be rewarded. BE: Hathaway may have a shot, too, especially due to all the press she’s gotten for her role. It seems to me that this year’s awards have less obvious winners than there have been in past seasons. I guess we’ll just have to watch and see! ML: You’re right. We will see. For the first time in years, there’s no guessable front-runner. It’s anybody’s game, though I think we can all agree that “Argo” isn’t getting lucky twice. If it does, I’ll eat a brick. Contact BECCA EDELMAN at rebecca.edelman@yale.edu. Contact MICHAEL LOMAX at michael.lomax@yale.edu .

// MICHAEL MCHUGH

S AT U R D AY F E B RUA RY 2 3

TEDXYALE

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Shubert Theater // 10 a.m. Smart people say stuff — def better than seminar.

Dump Kimbo

Will McCullough take note.

S AT U R D AY F E B RUA RY 2 3

“CINDERELLA: THE STORY OF STEPMONSTER”

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Dwight Hall // 11 a.m., 1 p.m.

What does this bitch have to say for herself?

Clip-on earrings

Oh so vintage and oh so flashy.


PAGE B8

YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND COVER

(S)NO(W) JOKING MATTER BLIZZARD FROM PAGE B3 in their rooms. They took to the streets, whooping and playing in the snow. Bass said he does not recall receiving any instructions from the University regarding emergency procedures, curfews or warnings to stay inside. “What I remember is unmerciful taunting from my roommate from Wisconsin for us Easterners making a big deal out of a little bit of snow,” Andrew Lipka ’78 recalled. Lipka added that most of what he remembers from the blizzard involves alcohol — the drinking age was 18 at the time — as well as “well-lubricated snow fights” and an attempt at an impromptu imitation of Bladderball. A day after the storm hit, a Feb. 8, 1978, article in the News blared a headline across the front page: “SNOWSTORM BLITZES CAMPUS.” The report detailed students taking advantage of the snow by drift-diving, building snowmen in the Grove Street cemetery (“[The deceased] will appreciate it,” one student told the News that day) and engaging in impromptu athletics. One student, John Muir ’80, jumped from a third-floor Trumbull window and hit the courtyard below, and had to be taken to a New Haven hospital for treatment of his injuries. According to Lipka, the University was able to clear pathways fairly quickly, allowing for students to navigate across campus. Though the dining halls were not open right away, Lipka said he and his friends trudged across the street to Broadway Pizza — the “cousin of Yorkside Pizza” — to eat and were not too inconvenienced by the storm. “We were happy to have a day off classes,” Lipka said. “We just kind of took it in stride.” Ford said that due to the cancellation of classes, students “sort of had cabin fever during all the snow.” Despite the minor inconveniences, Ford’s father, a graduate of 1943, was envious of his son because during his time at Yale — as a student of a war class — the University never canceled classes at all. Indeed, Ford said, they probably “made you go to classes twice or something.” Levin said he recalls more power outages in the 1978 storm than in the more recent one. Having stayed home with his wife, professor Jane Levin, and two their young children, Levin said he did not go into campus for several days. Under the leadership of interim President Hanna Gray, the University implemented emergency management strategies that involved coordinating dining services and clearing the roads through campus. But it did not discourage students from going outside, and most do not remember the inconveniences — as Ford joked, the experience of such a blizzard as the one that hit the campus that year is “kind of like childbirth” to think about in retrospect: You retain the happy memories and “forget the hard parts, the adversities imposed.” “I’m sure they fed us, and I’m sure they kept us all informed,” he said. “The heat in Davenport in 1978 was kind of a hit-or-miss thing … we may have been a little cool. But I remember us being pretty comfortable.” Bass said he does not remember anyone doing much studying during the blizzard — mostly, students would drift into the jam-packed dining halls and stay for hours, chatting excitedly with their friends. Although televisions and radios kept students up-to-date on state emergency procedures, University information was mostly spread by word of mouth through students and the college deans and masters. For several days, there were questions of when classes would start up again. Ford and Bass still keep in touch with one another, even though they live on opposite sides of the country — 2,600

miles apart in Los Angeles, Calif., and Arlington, Va. To this day, Ford said, they still talk about the magic of the snow day 35 years ago.

THE SNOW DAY AFTER TOMORROW

Three decades later, the recent snowstorm blanketed campus and caused long-serving faculty members to hearken back to the “Blizzard of ’78.”

[LORIMER] IS A GOD… SHE IS EVERYTHING GOOD IN LIFE. Bouffard and Highsmith took charge and, with Sandy fresh in their minds, led the emergency response team in the effort to keep Yale community members safe and sound. Though the team made preparations before the storm, responding to the 34 inches of snow required additional effort. On Friday night, the snow was falling so thickly it was almost impossible to see. Some brave students attended their normal weekend activities and parties, and a poetry slam took place in the Afro-American Cultural House, though two of the teams could not make it. This time, Highsmith said the emergency response team did not sleep overnight in a central EOC, so they could sustain their energy over the longer storm. “If you’re sleeping on the floor of the police station for three or four days, that starts to get pretty stressful,” she said. So the emergency responders hunkered down in their residences this time around, spending the days on conference calls that included major point people across the campus for emergencies, city officials and state officials. They dialed in for the governor’s conference calls and spoke constantly with the fire chiefs and police chiefs in New Haven. They reviewed essential services like dining and Yale Health and coordinated between residential colleges, shaping plans for the next 24-hour period. Members of the emergency response team worked around the clock during and after the snow, staying in masters’ houses and the guest suites within residential colleges so they wouldn’t have to travel away from work. Bouffard said team members braved the unplowed roads to pick up staff members who wanted to work but were stranded at home. She

S AT U R D AY F E B RUA RY 2 3

added that they even received separate calls to transport two stranded people — a woman in labor and a doctor who needed to deliver a baby — to Yale-New Haven Hospital. (The three made it in time.) Students emerged from the warmth of their suites to revel in the photo opportunities provided by waist-deep snow, posing with snow banks towering over them at the sides of the roads. The

huge mounds disappeared by middle of week, however, freeing up the sidewalks for student traffic between classes. Bouffard said the University had the snow removed and dumped into the Long Island Sound, using a special waiver from the state.

ANOTHER ‘BLIZZARD OF THE CENTURY’

On a car ride back to New Haven, Mayor John DeStefano Jr. — who had just touched down from a trip to Ireland, arriving Sunday afternoon in the midst of the storm — spoke with Levin on the phone about the snow. Peering out at the streets around him, DeStefano considered shutting down all city services and buildings. By the time the two met up in person upon DeStefano’s return, both decided it was most sensible to shut down the Univer-

sity as well. “We agreed it would be easier if we didn’t have thousands of people leaving their homes to come to work and students coming to school,” Levin said. Bouffard said the first priority was to clear major arteries on campus, such as Elm Street, so emergency vehicles could have access to campus. Next, the University and city brought payloaders in to clear paths for pedestrians and normal traffic. On Monday, DeStefano and Levin came to another consensus when the mayor told Levin he would prefer the University stayed closed another day. Bouffard, Highsmith, Levin and Lorimer all noted the importance of communication to the University’s emergency response efforts, both within and outside of Yale. “A major part of [emergency preparedness] is to develop networks with those in emergency operations in many other places — the state police, the city of New Haven, the FBI,” Lorimer said. And Yale has developed relationships with emergency preparedness groups at smaller colleges, Lorimer added, where Bouffard helps them develop their programs. The University’s emphasis on communication during emergencies today allows administrators to reach the entire student body within seconds — a drastic shift from 1978, when updates had to be copied and physically delivered to each Master’s Office. The Yale community received almost live updates during both Sandy and this month’s blizzard, unable to avoid the phone calls, voicemails, text messages and emails each time the University issued an official emer-

gency notice of warnings or class cancellations. Between 1978 and today, the level of communication has soared. “I think today, we are generally much more organized about these types of things,” Levin said. “I think we were certainly better trained and better prepared [this year] for these types of things today than what would be the case 35 years ago.” Lipka, who still keeps in touch with Yale’s campus because his daughter is a current student, said he definitely noticed the “lack of expectation of communication” in 1978. Students 35 years ago did not expect any form of contact from the University, whereas today, students are flooded with information from administrators at every turn to ensure that they receive it. He called it “quite a contrast.” While students don’t tend to develop attachments to University administrators they never meet, Lorimer has created somewhat of a cult following for herself — perhaps an expected reaction to someone who cancels four days of classes. After students received her emphatic emails throughout both storms, Facebook statuses and tweets thanking Linda Koch Lorimer became chic, and according to Google Trends, Google searches of her name during the snow days more than doubled the previous peak during Sandy. A petition to elect Linda Lorimer as the next Pope circulated the Internet. Deanna Zhang ’15 said Lorimer is heralded as a hero among students after delivering good news on four occasions. “She is a god,” Zhang said. “She is everything good in life.” Lorimer responded that she thought the petition was pretty

funny, adding that students at Yale are “extraordinarily humorous and thoughtful” with their praise. *** The question remains — why, after 35 years of holding classes without interruption, has the University had to cancel four classes this year? Levin called the year “unusual,” but said he couldn’t give further reason for the extreme weather patterns New Haven has seen in the past few months. “I don’t predict which way the stock market is going to go and I don’t try to predict what’s happening with the weather,” he added. But Highsmith and Bouffard have another explanation for the cancellations. “Climate change,” Highsmith said. “I think this is the new normal.” She pointed to Hurricane Irene in 2011 and a snowstorm that October that crippled the state with weeklong power outages, in addition to Hurricane Sandy and the February 2013 snowstorm. “It is the new normal,” Bouffard added. “Either that, or really bad luck.” Whether it’s misfortune or worsening weather patterns, Lorimer said the University will respond to whatever the future brings. “It’s like carrying an umbrella,” she said. “We hope we can prepare for [emergencies], and that they don’t occur.” Contact AMY WANG and JULIA ZORTHIAN at amy.wang@yale.edu and julia.zorthian@yale.edu .

// KERRI LU, JANE LONG

The 2012-2013 storms do their worst.

SOMETHING EXTRA PRESENTS: “GREEN EGGS AND JAM”

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

William Harkness Hall // 6 p.m.

One fish, blue fish, red fish, a cappella.

Manners

Get some, please.


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

PAGE B9

WEEKEND PROTECTS

A SHOTGUN AT THE DOOR // BY ANDREW BEZEK

When Mother got a divorce, Pops got out the shotgun and set it at the front door. Just in case, he told neighbors. So he’d be ready. It’s difficult for me to imagine it: a 20-gauge shotgun and box of shells at the door beside the umbrella stand Nanny bought not long after they bought their house. The umbrellas were question marks, wondering when rainy days would arrive. The gun was an exclamation. Mother has told me several times that her father was more severe back then than he is now. It was the ’70s. His temper was like the limbs on the dead pecan tree in the backyard: There was a danger of him snapping when storms rolled in. It’s a loose comparison. But it makes it easier to understand the way these limbs and Pops’ temper shared a potential to cause damage. Wiley Lewallen stands 5 feet 6 inches tall. His nose descends neatly from his forehead to a rounded point, giving him a slightly Irish look, and his deep, worn skin is just a few shades lighter than his Cherokee ancestors. He’s never looked threatening, but he’s always believed in protecting his own. The gun by the front door wasn’t symbolic. It was loaded, and Pops fully intended to pull the trigger on Sam Gaddy, the ex-husband, if the need arose. In my experience, the South is a place where people believe the gun is a central fixture in the household, as important and ordinary as the sugar dish or the cream pitcher for coffee in the mornings. My grandparents lived in a shotgun house at the corner of Forest Avenue and Simpson Road in Union City, Ga., with Pops’ gun cabinet stationed right at the middle, in the trigger position. The dark shingle siding covering most of the outside even bore some resemblance to the deep wood color of a gun. It was a small house, and the trigger was still a part of the large front room. Pops wanted it to be central. Guns were heirlooms. They symbolized what was given to him and what he fully intended on bequeathing to my brother and to me when the time came. The shotgun house was a part of a slightly larger complex, which included a small windmill, children’s play set, threecar garage and a workshop in the back of the property, where Pops worked on various side projects. There was enough space on the property to store a small army. Pops even had the guns to outfit it to send troops out and police the neighborhood. But he was never interested in policing the neighborhood. His small precinct extended only from his own complex to the house next door, where Mother lived alone with my brother, Judd, after Sam moved out. When Pops got the gun out of the cabinet and set it at the front door, it wasn’t an act of violence. It was a response. The way a middle-aged man of his upbringing reacts to these sorts of situations. It was his answer to the sleepless nights Mother passed alone in the house with a 13-year-old boy sleeping soundly in the basement — the only way he knew how to cope with the absence of a man in her house.

other small, suburban town in America: It’s located about 30 miles from a major city and is populated mostly by a string of subdivisions and strip-centers. There is a Main Street running through its center, whose key features include the town library, a chiropractor, the First Baptist Church and a small gift shop named the Painted Butterfly, specializing in moon faces and angels. The town’s main attraction, sometimes called the “Smithsonian in your Neighborhood,” is the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History. But Kennesaw isn’t known for any of its smalltown attractions, for its moon faces or local Smithsonian. What makes Kennesaw unique is that, unlike other small, suburban towns, it requires its residents to own a gun. In 1982, after the town of Milton Grove, Ill., became the first town in America to ban the sale and possession of firearms, Kennesaw, Ga., became the only town in America to require it. City ordinance 34-21 states that all “heads of households residing in the city limits” must “maintain a firearm, together with ammunition,” so that they might always “protect the safety, security, and general welfare of the city and its inhabitants.” And even though there is no definitive proof that gun ownership has kept Kennesaw safer, just two years after the city passed the ordinance, the number of home burglaries decreased by over 80 percent, and in the 30 years since, there has been a 50 percent reduction in crime rate. In 2007, “Family Circle” magazine named Kennesaw one of the ten best towns in the nation for families. On the one-week anniversary of the Newtown massacre, the city of Kennesaw ordered its churches to toll their bells 26 times to honor the 26 tragically killed on Dec. 14, 2012. But as the bells tolled, as one small town mourned the losses of another small town, Kennesaw and its re s i d e n ts d i d not begin making plans to revise their gun law. The city police lieutenant has said, “ T h e re ’s sort of a Wild West image of us. It’s just not true.” To them, gun ownership is so woven into the fabric of their daily culture that changing their gun policy means changing the way they think about themselves as free Americans. But, of course, they’re not really free. They don’t have the right to bear arms; they have the obligation. As so many Americans push for a country free from guns, the town of Kennesaw refuses to listen.

[THE TOWN OF KENNESAW IS] NOT REALLY FREE. THEY DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS; THEY HAVE THE OBLIGATION. *** After the Newtown massacre and the surge of anti-gun lobbying it spawned, the small town of Kennesaw, Ga.,0 received some unwelcome attention. With a population of about 30,000 people, Kennesaw seems like any

*** From information I’ve gleaned from old photographs and family stories, Mother’s ex-husband, Sam, had looks and manners that best resembled the characteristics of a helium balloon: He was red and light-headed, vol-

S AT U R D AY F E B RUA RY 2 3

// THAO DO

atile when set on fire and often floated away, for days at a time. He married Mother when she was 19 and just out of high school. She knew no other love. But even then, Pops thought he was shady. That’s a word he’d use: shady. And he’d elongate the “a” sound in a slow drawl so it would last for about five or six syllables, as if the length of the word were somehow related to its truth. By drawing it out, Pops was making damn sure everyone understood how serious he was. There’s a lot of family lore surrounding Mother’s divorce from Sam Gaddy. Some of it suggests that Pops’ precautions weren’t without cause. In one story, a good friend called Mother and told her she should fear for her life. It seems ridiculous, but I didn’t know Sam. Since I first heard the story, I often try to imagine such a conversation. The friend calls in the middle of the night because there is no other time to make such a phone call. Mother picks up, half asleep. Joan? The friend whispers over the phone line. Yes? She says back, uncertainly, because of the whispering. Joan, do you know what you’re

“THE REAL THING”

Whitney Humanities Center Theater // 8 p.m. We couldn’t review this show this week. BUT you should go to it and form your own opinion!

doing? What do you mean what am I doing? He’s going to put a price on your head. If you divorce him. The friend raises his voice, but only slightly. What? I’m telling you, if you divorce him. He’s going to put a price on you. Don’t you understand what that means? Mother hangs up before anyone can say more. Maybe she thanks this friend months later after the divorce is settled, and she’s still alive. And no longer too frightened to confront what might have been real danger. When I imagine this conversation, I often think Pops was right for getting out the shotgun and setting it by the door. Other times, I wonder if it would’ve done any good. If there had been a problem, Pops would’ve grabbed the gun and ran all the way across his own yard, through the small patch of woods that divided the houses. It would’ve taken about a minute and 45 seconds. In that time someone could have entered Mother’s house and shot her three times in the head before Pops had time to get out the

door. So if the gun at the door had no practical use, then why did he move it there? He comes from the same culture as the people of Kennesaw. For them and him, it is the mere existence of the gun in the household that makes it safer. It is a line of defense which, for them, makes the need for defense itself less likely. My grandparents sold their house about 10 years ago. The gun cabinet went with the house, but Pops insisted that my brother, Judd, inherit the collection itself. Judd had just graduated from college and lived in a small one-bedroom apartment. So, the eight shotguns that once belonged to Pops moved to the attic at my parents’ house, until Judd finally moved to a place where he could store them all. The attic where we kept the guns was through a door at the back of my bedroom closet. Sometimes, I went in there and saw them in a long line on the floor, covered with grey bath towels. I could’ve learned to shoot one. My father would’ve been only too happy to teach me. But I wasn’t interested. And I never

learned. Judd is now married and has three children. When I was home for Christmas break, Pops told me Judd is giving the guns back. His wife doesn’t want them in the house. Like me, my three young nephews are part of a generation growing up without the gun cabinet at the trigger position. It’s no longer an obligation. When Mother got a divorce, Pops got out the shotgun. It wasn’t a symbolic gesture. By moving it across the room, from the cabinet to the door, he was acting out a ritual. Setting it at the door. So everyone would know what kind of man he was. And what kind of father he was to Mother. So Sam Gaddy would know if he came around, he might leave with two bullet holes in his chest and a lot of blood spilled across the kitchen floor. This is a violent image. Pops isn’t a violent man. Maybe he’s wrong to put the gun at the door, but maybe he knows no other way. Contact ANDREW BEZEK at andrew.bezek@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS: Not asking about society

Guys, it’ll happen. Don’t freak out; don’t obsess. Just keep waiting & doin’ you.


PAGE B10

YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND COLUMNS

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’WITH MICHAEL CHABON // BY SCOTT STERN “Telegraph Avenue” has what George W. Bush ’68 would’ve called a cast that “looked like America.” Not that he would read a book this progressive. Or one this long. Black, white, Asian, Jewish, Christian, young, old, thin, fat, really fat, gay, straight and sexually ambiguous characters all play major roles. It is as if author Michael Chabon tried to capture the entire essence of Berkeley and Oakland in a single book. Chabon is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who has written works across a number of genres and forms, including novels, children’s books, comic books and screenplays. This, his most recent novel, began in 1999 as the idea for a TV series about a real street that runs through both Berkeley and Oakland. More than a decade later, he came up with a book that is both beautifully written and comically captivating. “Telegraph Avenue” focuses on two men, Archy Stallings and Nat Jaffe. Archy is black, Nat is white (and Jewish), but, other than that, the two are remarkably similar. Both are overweight, immature and enamored with old vinyl records, old music and the old neighborhood. Together, the two run Brokeland Records, named for the “no man’s land” of a district that separates Oakland and Berkeley. Brokeland Records is threatened, much like real-life Brokeland, or even real-life Berkeley, by the impending arrival of big chain stores. In this case, that means a delightfully named “Dogpile Thang” (a sort of mall with a whole floor selling vintage vinyl) owned by Gibson “Gbad” Goode, who was once a Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback and is now, as everyone seems to know, the fifth-richest black man in the country. The Thang will surely put Brokeland out of business, but Archy and Nat have an inkling that

SCOTT STERN READING BETWEEN THE LINES Goode won the rights to build it using unsavory means. Can he be stopped? Will their already struggling business survive? There is trouble on the home front as well. Nat and Archy’s wives, Aviva and Gwen, work together as midwives in a thoroughly nonNew-Agey practice. When a home birth goes wrong, and a very pregnant Gwen has a run-in with a very obnoxious (and quite racist) doctor, their practice is put at risk. Archy, scared of being a father, gets caught cheating on Gwen early in the novel; his illegitimate son later shows up, further estranging him from his wife. Can their marriage survive? Should it? Also, throw in a 100-year-old Chinese woman who kicks ass at kung fu, an annoying talking parrot, a mobster-ish funeral home operator, Quentin Tarantino, old music, old cars, comic books, sexual politics and the Black Panthers, and you might grasp one fraction of the scope of this momentous novel. Even then-state Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., shows up in one memorable scene, making some weird conversation about jazz music and pregnancy. If the language weren’t so beautifully crafted, the book would read like a comic farce. Archy’s estranged former-kung-fu-movie-star, former-Black-Panther father is trying to blackmail a city councilman, who was bribed by Goode, who is trying to strong-arm Archy, who considers abandoning Nat for financial security. Nat’s son Julie is sleeping with Archy’s long-lost son, Titus, who most characters don’t even know exists and no one knows is back in town. The relationships are as com-

plex and confusing as the racial and cultural makeup of Berkeley and Oakland, but maybe that’s the point. The writing is funny. It’s warm. It’s endearing. But, most of all, it’s just good. One man had a bald head “shaved clean as a porn star’s testicle.” The music of John Coltrane was “secretly powered by currents of rage … the saxophone bashing itself over and over against some invisible barrier, a bee at a windowpane seeking ingress or escape.” Nat and Archy sold, above all, “bullshit on tap.”

IF THE LANGUAGE WEREN’T SO BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED, THE BOOK WOULD READ LIKE A COMIC FARCE. “Telegraph Avenue” is a love song written to quirky California, a sweet slow song that sounds much better on vinyl than on iTunes. It is dense and somewhat slow-moving at times, and it’s a bit confusing in the beginning, but it paints a rich and layered picture of a unique community. Above all, it’s a book about adapting to a changing world. Can Archy and Nat stay in business in a world dominated by online shopping and mass retail? Can Archy’s marriage survive when new children, old children and old secrets arrive? Can Berkeley and Oakland and Brokeland remain distinctive in a homogenizing world? Does it matter? Contact SCOTT STERN at scott.stern@yale.edu .

// CREATIVE COMMONS

Written on the Body // BY ELEANOR MICHOTTE

This is the first piece in Eleanor Michotte’s new column, “Crit from the Brit.” Eleanor will be sharing some astute observations from someone raised across the pond, chiming in to tell us when Yale is doing tea, sex, or empire wrong (and also sometimes other things too). Enjoy! The English are incapable of exercise. It’s true: They proved it on “Mythbusters.” Ninety-four percent of our population suffers from a congenital weakness of the spine, which makes vigorous activity both painful and unpleasant. This is why we only excel at sports that can be performed sitting down — think cycling and riding — or are very, very slow, like cricket. We once played an 11-day match against South Africa. And we didn’t even win. As a result, England has developed a laissez-faire attitude to all things bodily. We’re a nation of slightly soft tummies, of things that jiggle a little when we walk down the stairs. And hey, that’s all right by us. We coined the phrase “muffin tops” (back in your box, Jenna Maroney), and we’ll definitely enjoy that extra slice of toast, comfortable in the knowledge that absolutely everything tastes better than skinny feels. I was told that you do things differently over here. You go in for juice cleanses and interval training and that sort of thing. But freshman year was largely the same as things are back home. Yes, I suddenly encountered people who work out. I even had the occasional sighting of that rare breed, the 6 a.m. runner. Still, most Yalies seemed sane. It was a year of Insomnia and FroCo food, of laughing about the freshman 15 at the week’s third Yorkside pit stop. Here’s what was not the same: the freshman 15. Not the weight gain, the expression. Why does no one ever talk about this? Isn’t it weird that that term was invented, the weight gain quantified, brought up over dessert? Isn’t it a little concerning last year’s Spring Fling tanks broadcast a neon

S U N D AY F E B RUA RY 2 4

ELEANOR MICHOTTE CRIT FROM THE BRIT warning against the shame of putting on some weight? This pathological need to keep up appearances was what was new to me. It’s something that I think is bred into upper-middle-class America, where chronic laziness is bred into my culture. Let me tell you, the rest of the world does not teach kids from the age of 14 to go to the gym as often as they brush their teeth. We have plenty of quirks about bodies, sure, but show me a university campus anywhere else in this hemisphere that is so neurotic about fitness that it has built a gym literally unrivaled in size.

ISN’T IT A LITTLE CONCERNING LAST YEAR’S SPRING FLING TANKS BROADCAST A NEON WARNING AGAINST THE SHAME OF PUTTING ON SOME WEIGHT? But you know what? I’ve started to come around. Until last winter, I actually thought spinning classes were something involving wool. I was confused as to why they were held in Payne Whitney. Now I’m in one. And that’s great — I’ll probably live 20 years longer and mother children with an extra 30 IQ points. What’s not so great is that, at the same time, I’ve seen this campus’s attitude towards bodies ravage those around me. I can’t tell you how many girls I know who lived a little freshman year, then came back to Yale in August approximately the width of my left toe. Boys too, but it’s girls

whose metabolisms have started grinding to a halt, so they’re the ones I’ve seen taking drastic measures. Where last year they ate desserts, this year they pick at salads. Where last year they glammed up and went out, this year they get dressed, comment on how fat they look, change twice and run 7 miles the next morning. And what’s really not so great about this is that it’s started to get to me. I never used to worry about how my jeans looked. I never used to know how many calories make up a pound, nor how many cookies will add one to my ass. And I don’t like it. This year, it’s become ever-clearer to me that for gym-going America, being around Yalies is like drinking on antibiotics. We collectively venerate each other’s bodies whilst hating our own. We gratuitously judge peers’ behinds when describing crushes or hook ups; ours, we shamelessly exploit to elicit begrudging affirmation. We ask so much of ourselves here: We demand perfection from every part of our lives. Which is one thing when you’re fighting to do well in a class — it’s quite another when you’re fighting with your own flesh, trying to pare it down to a tacitly institutionalized ideal. The problem is that both stem from the same source. Yalies got to where they are because we’re fiercely competitive people. Our bodies tell the story of that culture, and, American or not, it’s a culture we’re all complicit in building. I hear the royal wedding didn’t get much airtime here. Here’s something to chew on: When Kate Middleton married Prince William, she, like half the sophomore class, suddenly lost a lot of weight. No one recognized her; everyone was talking about it. As those now-spindly little legs clicked over yet another two-page spread, people would sigh, “She looks so American now.” They might as well have said, “She looks so Yale now.” Contact ELEANOR MICHOTTE at eleanor.michotte@yale.edu .

My Essential Journey Across America (Please Fund) // BY ZOE GREENBERG “When does time disappear for you? What does this tell you about your passions, your values?” — Yale Grants & Fellowships, “Getting Started” Dear Fellowship Committee, This summer, I hope to hitchhike across the country, carrying with me only a pocket toothbrush, a bathing suit and a Glock .40 caliber gun. I chose this project for a number of personal and academic reasons.

THIS SUMMER, I HOPE TO HITCHHIKE ACROSS THE COUNTRY, CARRYING WITH ME ONLY A POCKET TOOTHBRUSH, A BATHING SUIT AND A GLOCK .40 CALIBER GUN. I have chosen to wear only a bathing suit for eight weeks because my senior thesis is on the growth and development of the bowhead whale (Balaena mysticetus) in the Arctic. Through the course of my research, I have learned what bowhead whales eat, how they reproduce and how they build homes in freezing water. But I have never had the opportunity to actually feel like a bowhead whale. By wearing a bathing suit, I hope to simulate the experience of being a creature of the seas. Though I will be on land, this will increase my understanding of my thesis subject and allow me to do better work in the fall. The choice to carry a .40 caliber gun was not an easy one. I am PASSIONATE about gun control. I recently started an anti-gun lobbying group, which has yet to meet because I have a number of

“VIENNESE MASTERS”

other extracurricular commitments, but I plan to start sending emails about it next week. I have never, ever held a gun. At first, I was deeply against the idea. But when I thought about it more critically, I couldn’t pinpoint why. I decided that before I made an argument for or against guns, I needed to actually EXPERIENCE carrying a gun. How will I feel, and how will others react? Because I am also an aspiring artist, I will regularly blog (with photos) about what people say and do in response to my gun. I want to bring a toothbrush, because even as I immerse myself in this project — even as I travel with strangers and tuck a gun into the bottom of my bathing suit — I don’t want to forget who I am at my core. The toothbrush will remind me of my home in the suburbs of New York City. By using the same toothbrush under such radically different circumstances, I hope to examine my own privilege. Finally, hitchhiking. At Yale, I have a Zipcar membership. Every time I swipe the plastic card against the front window of the communal car, I wonder to myself: Who are the other drivers who have Zipcar memberships? Where do they keep their cards? Can they find parking? By hitchhiking across the country, I hope to get a sense of the community of drivers in America. Where are we driving, as a nation? What is our speed? Will we arrive on time? I am requesting $9,478 from the fellowship committee. I cannot imagine a better way to spend my summer. Thank you so much for your consideration. Best, Zoe Greenberg Contact ZOE GREENBERG at zoe.greenberg@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Woolsey Hall // 4 p.m.

Come witness Austrian conductor Erwin Ortner.

ZOE GREENBERG SOME THINGS CONSIDERED

Being naked

You were born that way.


YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

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WEEKEND ARTS

ENTERING THE CUBE // BY STEPHANIE TOMASSON

The School of Architecture’s newest exhibit, “White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes,” rejects boring, conventional museum gallery spaces and displays. Through the use of relatively conventional museum mediums, the exhibit highlights other museums that have reinvented the traditional style. In the museums represented, a series of white-walled rooms with framed paintings and a few scattered sculptures is not going to cut it anymore. “White Cube, Green Maze” showcases six sites that reject this hackneyed layout, redefining the museum to make the landscape and architecture of the location just as important as the art it holds. This exhibit features adapted and converted spaces ranging from a farmstead in Brazil, to a former NATO missile base in Germany, to the rolling hills of Italy, to an island archipelago in Japan, to a botanical garden in Mexico and, finally, to a defunct oil depot in Seattle. The diversity of the included sites shows the truly global scale of this trend towards invigorating the gallery-going experience through playing with perception and space. Whether an outdoor garden or a tank-like enclosure, these locations warp the way their visitors experi-

ence the cultural treasures and works of art they boast. These spaces engage their visitors by forcing them to understand the artwork in a context beyond the one in which it was created: the environment it now inhabits. When entering the exhibit, you find yourself in a white cube, the inside wallpapered with a photograph of the Olympic Sculpture Garden in Seattle, transporting you into that new space. The rest of the exhibit aims at making its viewers feel as though they are interacting with each of the six locations represented. Photographs taken by Dutch photographer Iwan Baan, who visited all six sites, create a cohesive narrative throughout the entire exhibit. Video and sound elements allow attendees to watch as others actually meander through the innovative museum spaces, while the touch-screen information stands allow you to directly enter the space yourself virtually. Additionally, models and drawings recreate the physical locations. Brian Butterfield, director of exhibitions at the School of Architecture, and Alison Walsh, exhibition coordinator, transform the school’s gallery into an interactive maze of displays. From this cube, there is

// STEPHANIE TOMASSON

“White Cube, Green Maze” highlights the importance of museum design.

no direct path through the gallery; instead, visitors meander in every which way, offering an experience much like that of the sites it showcases. Ironically, however, though this exhibit rejects the basic and plain, the first element that greets us is just that: a nondescript white cube. In fact, the overwhelming majority of the exhibition space is white, most of the color coming from six hanging panels scattered throughout the room describing each featured site. The choice to present these innovative museum spaces in a traditional way makes one wonder if unconventional displays are only sometimes appropriate. Overall, this show is not to be missed. Though it may not answer all the questions regarding gallery presentation, it certainly starts the conversation. “White Cube, Green Maze: New Art Landscapes” is on display now through May 4, 2013, in Rudolph Hall. Contact STEPHANIE TOMASSON at stephanie.tomasson@yale.edu .

When love was in the air // BY JENNIFER GERSTEN

Anne Morrow Lindbergh needed to crane her neck to such a degree to see her husband, Charles, that she could have been looking up at an airplane. But their relationship was such that only his height, a towering 6-foot-3, would prevent them from seeing perpetually eye to eye. As it happened, Anne was not to spend much of her time staring upwards, but rather forwards from her seat beside Charles in the sky. Evident in “Aviators, Authors, and Environmentalists: Exploring the Lindbergh Papers and Photographs in Manuscripts & Archives” at the Sterling Memorial Library is that, for both members of this cockpit couple, there was no higher calling than flight. Glancing over the exhibit, which celebrates the formal opening to research of the Lindberghs’ papers, feels a tad like rummaging through a dry file cabinet. On display is a smattering of maps, missives, post-

S U N D AY F E B RUA RY 2 4

cards and photographs that chart the daring duo’s legacies beyond Charles’ famed solo trans-Atlantic flight from New York to Paris on the Spirit of St. Louis in 1927 — but it is a sterile smattering that leaves no indication of the dramatic events surrounding their relationship. Where the exhibit succeeds, however, is in presenting selections that make the viewer feel as though she is unpacking the overflowing contents of a traveler’s lovelorn suitcase. Charles was as much an explorer of the skies as of the frontiers of innovation. A graduate of the engineering school at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Charles designed and patented a “perfusion pump” that maintains organs’ viability outside the body. Below that structure, reminiscent of an orchid plant, is another meticulously annotated sketch for a novel method to collect atmospheric microorganisms. Also displayed are records of Charles’

contributions to the military, which included helping modernize the country’s air capabilities and launch the space program. The two were no strangers to fan mail. Immediately to your left upon entering are what is surely only a sampling of postcards from earnest Japanese youth, each praising the Lindberghs for completing their pioneering flight to East Asia, which concluded with volunteering at the Chinese Flood Relief Commission. “My dearest Lindy!” reads one, set in curlicued handwriting that recalls the loop-de-loops of a stunt plane. “I called to you loudly from my window. But you passed at full speed to Tokyo,” the writer concludes, miffed like any teenager today at his favorite celebrity’s unintentional slight. Other letters to the couple from statesmen, first ladies, fellow authors and artists makes clear their stature as the eminent explorers of the day. Though it seems they spent their lives primarily in the sky,

the couple remained committed to the earth from which they had taken off. Charles became a passionate advocate for environmental protection and conservation, working especially on behalf of endangered species. Personal photographs of their travels also showcase their respect for the riches of their surroundings. Gazing upon an image of a deep and fractured canyon, one almost wishes the photographer had turned the lens on herself instead to capture what could have been the canyon of her own mouth, agape with awe. In her writings, Anne also made the natural world a focus. Charles wrote as well, going on to win the Pulitzer Prize for “The Spirit of St. Louis,” his autobiographical account of the trip. Not to be outdone, Anne authored 14 books, as well as numerous articles and poems. Missing from the papers, however, is evidence of the intimately personal. There are no love letters, no miss-you notes, no hast-

ily scribbled reminders to take out the trash or buy broccoli — in other words, no hallmarks of a life where your feet never leave the ground for longer than it takes to leap.

IF THERE IS A STORY HERE, IT IS TOLD IN SNAPSHOTS. And little is said of how the two first met, or of the individuals beyond their achievements. We are told only that Anne Spencer Morrow, daughter of the American ambassador to Mexico, married Charles Augustus Lindbergh in 1929. If there is a story here, it is told in snapshots: In one photograph, the couple is shown seated and smiling with their children, chuckling as though pleasantly surprised to find themselves on solid ground. A stark image of Anne in silhou-

ISLAMIC SPIRITUALITY LECTURE

Contact JENNIFER GERSTEN at jennifer.gersten@yale.edu .

WEEKEND RECOMMENDS:

Battell Chapel // 7 p.m.

Music and poetry for the midtermtroubled student.

ette, writing “North to the Orient” in 1935, speaks volumes of her character without a single word. Seeing her scribbling, solitary at her desk, we remember what her beguiling dimples have induced us to forget: how alone she was as a female explorer in the mid-20th century, despite her husband’s company. If she ever felt lonely, however, it’s not evident from the exhibit. There are comparatively few photographs of Charles and Anne on their own — side by side seemed to be their natural state. What is evident, despite a pronounced lack of emotive tropes, is that their relationship was one in which Anne was probably never lonely for long. You don’t need to send love letters to each other if you’re always together — rooted on the ground, through takeoffs rickety and smooth, and soaring through the boundless air.

Glitter nails

Toes done up, with the fingernails matching.


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YALE DAILY NEWS · FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 22, 2013 · yaledailynews.com

WEEKEND BACKSTAGE

DANIEL KAHNEMAN

// ALLIE KRAUSE

PSYCHOLOGIST, ECONOMIST, CHAMPION // BY DAN WEINER

D

Q. In the 1970s, prospect theory, the work that earned you a Nobel Prize in 2002, challenged one of the pillars of economic models that humans are “rational” decision makers. What was it like to publish something so intellectually revolutionary so early in your career?

adopted beyond academia. In particular, marketers have become particularly fond of some of the cognitive biases you documented. What do you think are the ethical implications of exploiting these vulnerabilities you document in order to make us buy bigger lattes or a second box of cereal?

A. Well, we didn’t know it was going to have as much influence as it turned out to have. We thought it was a pretty good paper, but we didn’t think it was going to be as huge, which, in a way, it turned out to be. It wasn’t really that early in my career, either. I was 35, I think, when prospect theory appeared, and that’s a prime age for a scientist.

A. I would say that I doubt very much that anybody who is marketing learned completely new tricks from us. They are of course intellectual tools, and they can be used in very different ways, for good ends and for bad ends. You will find people who are looking for ways of helping people by helping people avoid mistakes that they would otherwise make. The academic marketers are studying it because they are behavioral scientists, and to the extent that they are using it, it would be more to the effect of protecting consumers than to exploit them.

Q. When did you realize that prospect theory was here to stay? A. I think it dawned on us gradually. The most important development was actually that Richard Thaler, who is now guru of behavioral economics as I mentioned, became interested in it. He saw ways of applying the theory to interesting problems. That was the beginning of it. Within a few years after that, we had a pretty clear view that something significant was going to come out of it, but what came out of it primarily was that Dick Thaler sort of injected behavioral economics. He spent a year in Vancouver with me, in 1984 and 1985, during which we did some very good work, and I learned some economics. Some people trace behavioral economics to that year, or to 1980, when Dick Thaler wrote the first paper that used prospect theory to apply to the theory of the consumer. Q. Prospect theory has been widely

Q. Britain has created a “Behavioral Insights Team” to leverage the products of prospect theory to improve public policy. Do you think such “libertarian paternalism” is incompatible with American wariness of the nanny state, or will we see one in time? A. There is more opposition to paternalism in the United States than in the United Kingdom generally, but libertarian paternalism exists in the United States. One of the authors of the book “Nudge,” Cass Sunstein, was chief of regulation in the Obama White House during the first administration. He actually implemented the ideas of “Nudge,” of the ideas of libertarian paternalism. That aspect of behavioral economics doesn’t directly

pictures hold continued promise, or is our fascination with the discipline preventing us from perhaps asking other important questions about the brain?

extend from prospect theory and from our work. What happened was that all these ideas in some sense buttress each other, and so the influence on the field of academics and on the field of policy came from all these ideas at the same time.

A. I’m not enough of an expert on fMRI and alternative techniques to evaluate their relative usefulness, but it’s clear that the field is in its infancy. We are seeing things that we could not see before, but we are not seeing nearly as far as we are going to be able to see when the methods are developed.

Q. If you could pose one research question about the mind to the next generation of researchers, what would it be?

Q. You have been married to Anne Triesman, another prominent psychologist, since 1977. All else being equal, would you recommend marrying

A. I think the question that was very much on my mind when I retired from academic research was the interaction between health and psychological well-being and to what extent does psychological well-being influence health. That is certainly one of the questions that should be answered. I think that there are many questions in well-being that I was very interested in at the end of my career. In terms of judgment and decision-making, I think the big developments are going to come from neuroscience, at least that would be my prediction. There is a different thing called neuroeconomics, which is at a very early stage of development right now, but that I expect will develop a great deal in the future and that we will learn a lot about how decisions are made from a close examination of the brain. Q. Neuroscience has taken off in recent years and seems to have become the sexiest way to learn about the mind and brain. A few days ago, as well, we learned that the Obama administration will propose a billion-dollar initiative to map the brain in greater detail than ever before. Do you think that neuroscience and its flashy techniques and pretty

somebody in the same academic discipline? A. I certainly would not recommend it in general. I think it creates major complications for academic couples in general simply because it is so difficult for two people to get a job in the same place. As it happens, it wasn’t difficult for my wife and myself because we got together at an advanced stage of our career, so we were reasonably wellknown. For people who are graduate students together, life is really quite difficult. Contact DAN WEINER at daniel.weiner@yale.edu .

IN TERMS OF JUDGMENT AND DECISIONMAKING, I THINK THE BIG DEVELOPMENTS ARE GOING TO COME FROM NEUROSCIENCE.

aniel Kahneman’s 2002 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences was a remarkable achievement — especially given that he never took an economics class. A psychologist by training, Kahneman devoted his life to uncovering the cognitive biases and heuristics that plague our everyday decision-making. He is now a professor emeritus at Princeton University. On Wednesday afternoon, Kahneman delivered a lecture at SSS entitled “A Psychological Perspective on Rationality,” in which he discussed ways to think about the irrational human mind. That night, WEEKEND asked Kahneman about his work, legacy and wife.

This WEEKEND  

Feb. 22, 2013

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