I was sitting down last Tuesday with a bowl of popcorn, geared up to watch Beyonce and Jay Z’s grammy performance for the umpteenth time, when one of those annoying YouTube ads popped up. It was a five seconder. Not bad, I thought. Except then a sad-looking man filled the screen while acoustic guitar played in the background.
“Hi. I’m Clay Pell. I am announcing my candidacy for the Democratic nomination for governor of Rhode Island…”
I quickly clicked SKIP AD. But as I continued to surf YouTube, I found I couldn’t escape it. Nobody in the state of Rhode Island can. It appeared before every music video and movie trailer I attempted to watch. I started to have nightmares about it.
“Hola. Soy Clay Pell. Hoy, anuncio mi candidatura para la nominación…” AHHH. IT’S EVEN IN SPANISH.
I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what bothered me about the ad, and then I realized: Pell had the same expression and voice typically reserved for anti-depressant and laxative ads. Between the James Blunt-esque music and Pell’s puppy dog eyes, he could just as easily have said: “Hi. I’m Clay Pell. I’m here today to talk about your inflamed colon. I want to let you know — I’m here to help.”
‘Tis the season for overly dramatic and arboreal scuffles.
In response to last year’s flak regarding renaming the 17-foot evergreen in the State House a “Holiday Tree,” Rhode Island’s Governor Chafee ’75 P’14 P’17 has restored the Christmas tree title in a statement issued on Monday.
Rhode Island of all places is a peculiar site for a debate over public religious tokens, considering the Rhode Island Charter of 1663 was the first legal document in the world that completely decoupled church and state in favor of toleration, according to historian J. Stanley Lemons.
However, unsurprisingly, much of the hubbub last year surrounding the name “Holiday Tree” came from none other than Papa Bear Bill O’Reilly. In classic Factor fashion, he sent Jesse Watters up to Providence to ask Brown students for their take on the issue. Watters aired a segment portraying Brown students as the only population in the state that preferred the holiday tree over a Christmas tree, saying that all people he spoke to in Providence preferred the traditional name “except if you go to Brown University.” Continue Reading
This afternoon, President Obama nominated Janet Yellen to be the next chairperson of the Federal Reserve. Indeed, you probably already heard–this is big news in its own right. Yellen (if her nomination is approved) would be the first Fed chairwoman, and her appointment marks the end of Ben Bernanke’s eight-year tenure. What you probably haven’t heard is that Yellen is a member of the Brown University class of 1967.
The nature of our school could probably point you towards a few of her political beliefs–she’s a Democrat, and thus a proponent of a strong Fed stimulus program. After leaving Brown with a degree in economics, she headed to Yale to get her Ph.D. in–you’ll never guess–economics. Her extremely successful career in education and government reached new heights when President Obama nominated her as Vice Chairwoman of the Fed.
This Wednesday, the big promotion finally came. Brown should be proud to have such an accomplished, intelligent woman in our ranks. Here’s to hoping her appointment goes smoothly. Once she’s in office, she’ll need all the luck she can get.
Rhode Island killing it: The University of Alabama has released a map revealing the statistically worst things about every state. Rhode Island came in first for the highest rate of illicit drug use, with around 12.5 percent of the population using. Just another fact to add to one of the strangest states in the country. Check out your home state’s fact at Policy Mic.
Too cool to miss: Scientists at Harvard and MIT have successfully created “photonic molecules,” a phenomenon that occurs when photons bind together into a solid state. The coolest part: these molecules could potentially be used to make light sabers. Light sabers. Harvard Professor of Physics Mikhail Lukin stated “It’s not an in-apt analogy to compare this to light sabers. When these photons interact with each other, they’re pushing against and deflect each other. The physics of what’s happening in these molecules is similar to what we see in the movies.” Maybe they’ll use real light sabers for Star War VII. Just maybe (International Business Times). Continue Reading
Washington right now is a little short on some of the virtues— and I’m not even the senior senator from RI— but I want to do what I can to try to push a different debate into the discussion, and to look back and see what people have said and done at some of the most important times in history, things that capture a particular piece of the human spirit. I think that adds a little bit of value.
It’s nice to know there’s someone on the Hill that still has an ounce of hope in America.
This author has chosen to remain anonymous. This individual does not want you to accuse him/her of not reading your work because he/she is too “busy reading Republican Quarterly.”
Republican(n.): A gun-loving, rights-hating individual who is ultimately undateable.
How it’s used in the show: Hannah dates a Republican named Sandy, and later breaks up with him because their “political beliefs are just a little too different.”
We assume (correctly) that the main characters on Girls are left-leaning individuals. Maybe it’s because they live in Brooklyn and graduated from Oberlin (well, most of them did). Most likely, however, it’s because we’ve come to believe that millennials, by default, all adhere to a certain set of liberal beliefs.
As college students at Brown, we tend to take these beliefs for granted. It’s not that we don’t appreciate them— but they’ve become commonplace, and are therefore accepted as the norm. The same goes for the characters on Girls: the ease with which they talk about sex and sexuality reflects their left-leaning political preferences, and whom they vote for. This openness is why many find the show appealing. However, up until this episode, there has been no contesting force that challenges the characters’ values, nor any person or idea that deviates from their widely accepted political norms. Once it’s discovered that a Republican (gasp) lives among the show’s liberal cast members, they are forced to articulate their stances on certain issues and underscore just how different they are from their right-leaning antithesis. Continue Reading
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