IFF presents: A (Skype) conversation with Jason Schwartzman

“I don’t like this whole Skype-speaker thing,” a friend told me, when I asked if they wanted to accompany me to see the IFF Q&A with Jason Schwartzman. “Like, it’d be better if they just got someone less famous, but in person, you know?”

I’m not personally a huge fan of Skype, so it surprises me that I actually strongly disagree. The quirky nature of these Skype presentations has worked almost perfectly for the speakers IFF has brought us via video chat. Last year’s Wes Anderson Skype Q&A, which was broadcast to two auditoriums because ticketing for the first sold out so quickly, was among the more memorable events I’ve been to on campus. Friday night’s chat with Schwartzman, who wore Beats by Dr Dre headphones and a scruffy black beard, followed suit.

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Projected onto the screen in Granoff Auditorium.

Listening to Schwartzman felt very familiar because his manner of speaking is so distinctive, and so similar to that of the characters he has portrayed (think: HBO’s Bored to Death). He integrates self-effacing humor, or just bizarrely specific details, into articulate and intellectual sentences. When asked for his favorite works, or those he draws the greatest inspiration from, he replied “Hmm, that’s a great question, like one I’d maybe liked to have in an email an hour ago…” and then proceeded to rattle off Paul Shrader’s Mishima, Francois Truffaut’s work (in particular Stolen Kisses), and Al Pacino as favorites. “I’m trying to think of books, but I’m so embarrassed to even talk about books because you guys have read so many more books,” said Schwartzman, with stacks and stacks of books piled around his office in the background.

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Not quite viral: President Paxson’s online office hours

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Yesterday, The Brown Undergraduate Council of Students set up their own version of a Reddit-style AMA for President Christina Paxson. From 2:30-3:30pm they opened up a comment thread on their Facebook page and invited students to ask the president questions which she could respond to in real time.

There were 33 questions asked. Here are some things we learned:

Classes of ’16 and ’17 will not see a renovated Ratty.

Screen Shot 2015-02-27 at 4.14.11 PMStill, the new Ratty may not feel all that new.

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Paxson will go anywhere with Margeurite.

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BREAKING: Sex Power God cancelled

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According to a post on Bluestockings, Brown’s Queer Alliance has decided to cancel this year’s edition of Sex Power God. The Queer Alliance Coordinating Committee stated in the release that “SPG no longer serves its intended purpose,” which was “to affirm queer/LGBTQ+ students who feel excluded or shamed by hetero-patriarchal norms by creating a space in honor of them.” Instead, the party has become the sensationalized subject of FOX News segments and unfriendly BDH opinions columns. In addition, according to the QA’s statement, SPG was not the safe space it was meant to be last year:

Although attendees signed contracts promising to seek active consent at SPG, in spite of this students disregarded the policy during the 2013 SPG. Sexual violence goes against every aim of the Queer Alliance. When attendees violated the space, SPG was no longer safe, positive, or inclusive, despite the careful intentionality of the planners. It has been a violent space. We cannot in good conscience continue perpetuating such a space. If we decided to continue to host SPG, it would mean that Brown students decided that a party was more important than the safety and bodily autonomy of their peers.

Though it is possible that Sex Power God will be reinstated in future years, the 2014 iteration is off. Check back here for more details on this developing story.

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Spring Weekend for dummies: A Q&A with our upperclassmen

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Incoming first years are instructed to be excited for two things: Halloween and Spring Weekend. They are also told that even though it’s called “Spring Weekend,” it’s really “Spring Week,” and a man named Binder will jump around with an acoustic guitar and change our lives forever.

Wait, what?

Spring Week is in full swing. It’s hard to imagine the Main Green, which has recently resembled the kingdom of Arendelle, flooded with students in frat star tanks and this season’s Coachella-est denim. Believe it or not, it’s about to begin, and Blog wants to help you prepare.

We put out a survey where first years (and other noobs) could ask any and all questions they had about Spring Week(end) anonymously, and then had our most weathered finest upperclassmen on staff answer them. Before we begin the Q&A, just remember—take it all in, because this may well be the best weekend of your entire life. No pressure, though.

Q: I am going to have to miss Spring Weekend. How do I cope with this loss?

A: By going to Spring Weekend.

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Queer Alliance and Black Student Union Party: m.A.A.d. City

It's time to rage

It’s time to rage

Brunonians, the time has come to party non-stop. This Saturday, Queer Alliance and Black Student Union are teaming up to provide an awesome campus party.

How did this match made in heaven occur you might ask? Queer Alliance, the student group that annually brings us Pride Prom, The Brown/RISD Drag Show, and, obviously, SPG, were signed up to host a party during Spring Weekend. BSU had a similar interest and in a stroke of genius contacted QA for a collaboration. Both groups have been very eager to coordinate with other student groups on campus, and with a joint agenda of making this campus more QPOC- (Queer People of Color) friendly, this party is the perfect opportunity.

This event has a noble backstory, but let’s not forget that on top of their beautiful intentions, this party will be a rager. Get ready to dance your ass off to their DJ side by side with the POLER BEARS (they booked ten!) We can’t think of a better way to follow up Fratty at the Ratty.

The party will take place at Andrews Dining Hall from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. The capacity is 600 and they are rapidly approaching said limit, so get your tickets now! They’re available until Thursday and reservations can be made here with cash given at specified times in Faunce. Like SPG, Brown students are allowed to purchase a ticket for one guest as well. Also, like for SPG, there will be lines, so you may want to think about getting there early.

Check the Facebook event here and be expecting more exciting collaborative efforts from QA and BSU in the future.