Despite the public perception that we’re the happiest students in the nation, Brown students and members of the administration have got a lot of ground to make up in a disturbing number of important areas. Our landscaping, for instance. Our entering/exiting architectural choices. Our “these chairs aren’t functional but who cares because apparently purchasing working things from Ikea would lose us street cred or something” decisions. And the list goes on.
FlogDailyHerald’s mission is to bring to light these failures, these persistent aggravations, in an attempt to spark some intervention on the part of the U and its student body (the authors of BlogDailyHerald and its malnourished sister publication, the Brown Daily Herald, being naturally above reproach). This screenshot of our inbox following the publication of our last Flog shows you just how well the student body has responded to our suggestions. Our writers are invested heavily in the Flogging process, to the extent that we’re in sponsorship talks with Mister Sister.
We realize, though, that the portion of humanity that exists beyond our impossibly virtuous staff is filled with folks eager to have their say. Who are we to deny the voices of our
nation community school narrow group of Facebook friends? Witness, now, the birth of a new era of Flogging: the Fireside Flog. We’ll sit down and chat with completely real, not made up at all members of the Brown community, listening to their candid, uncensored view of what’s going wrong around here. Most importantly, we’ll try to show both sides of the issues: some of our Firesides will be with the victims, some with the very perpetrators we dream of [insert frightening gerund here]. Though these are conversations, we still strive to meet the challenge of FDR’s Fireside Chats – because really, what were his warm radio narratives if not extended monologues of “shit’s fucked so here’s unsolicited advice”? That’s nutshell enough for our vision.
Let’s get cracking.
Fireside Flog: “I mean, diagonal crossing is easier.”
The setting: Blue Room. The hour: late. Our Blog writer sits in a booth, gradually slipping down the teflon upholstery. Across from her sits Subject A. They’re here to discuss crossing the street. The fake fireplace behind them crackles sadly in their imagination.
BlogDH: So, streets.
Subject A: Yeah, they’re out there. Everywhere.
BDH: And you’ve crossed them before?
A: All of them, any of them that been in front of me over all these years.
BDH: And let’s get this on the record…you cross on the diagonal?
A: Uh huh.
BDH: I’m gonna need to hear that one more time. Yes or no, do you cross on the diagonal?
A: Yes. Like, all the time.
BDH: If the crosswalk is pointing directly across the street you’ll just, like, veer gradually away from it?
A: It’s quicker. It’s cheaper. It’s tastier.
BDH: When did you first start crossing on the diagonal?
A: I dunno, I just…I mean, I think I knew I always wanted to cross like that. When I was little I loved math. Shapes, you know? Geometry. Isosceles triangles? Fuckin’ loved ’em. And so every time I cross the street I try to make one with the crosswalk. A little piece of math every time. Learning, right?
BDH: Well, I don’t think-
A: Is that a problem? I’m sensing this is a problem. Like I’m doing something wrong. What is this for again?
BDH: Nothing, just a thing. So…beyond some ancient instinct for number-worshiping, why do you cross the street in a way that doesn’t make sense? You’re in the middle of the street. Most people would agree that’s a bad thing.
A: Well I wouldn’t say that. I wouldn’t say it’s a bad thing, no. Like, I had a friend who always crossed in a straight line. All normal like that. Real proper. Then one day this huge Mack truck just leveled him. I mean, it was bad. Like, tore off his-
BDH: OKAY. But that doesn’t prove-
A: He was crossing in a straight line! He got hit by a car! Okay, he was running straight across I-95 on a dare but the fact remains that had he crossed on the diagonal he only would’ve been clipped by that Hyundai and he’d be here with us today.
BDH: Um. Well.
A: Just today I crossed on the diagonal. Outside there in front of J. Walter. This BMW was trying to get through and I was like, heh, I’m late for class, I’ll slip on in after this big group and just slant my way to victory. Fucker soaked my Vans as he went by but it wasn’t that close. Jumped up on the curb and I was, like, at least 15 feet closer to the building than the next guy. Shit was so cash.
BDH: Can we quote you on that? “Crossing on the diagonal: shit’s so cash.”
A: Slick. I mean, screw the crosswalks, right? Every day it’s like we’re giving the finger to the man. The man makes the crosswalks, you know. I didn’t come to Brown to have requirements shoved in my face.
BDH: You just came to slowly tip Providence residents towards murderous rage.
A: Y’all are paranoid. Aren’t the people around here aware that we’re students? We’re bound to do stupid shit. And you should see their faces when we get multiple levels of diagonals going! Like, I’ll be crossing, then someone else gets bold and crosses farther down. Perpetual motion traffic stops. I don’t pay fifty thousand a year to be polite to locals. Helllll no.
BDH: That, of course, being the motto of most Brown students. Okay, thanks for laying out your philosophy for us. It’s been…enlightening.
A: “Ain’t gonna wait/to cross it straight.” That’s a poem. Do it.