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The Tufts Daily
Where you read it first | Monday, April 15, 2024

Columns

The Setonian
Columns

Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

Beginning on Sept. 10, Michael Jordan, among others, will be inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. When Air Jordan takes his place on the stage, flash bulbs will be popping to commemorate the high-flying, Gatorade-chugging scoring machine who dominated the 1990s. Next to Jordan that day will be a man sitting stoically, lips shut and arms folded -- a man whose place in the Hall deserves far more recognition than it will get. I'm talking about John Stockton.


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Columns

Evans Clinchy | Dirty Water

Once a semester, like clockwork, I write a boring, predictable column about my complete shock and awe at the superhuman abilities of one LeBron Raymone James. This semester will be no different.


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Columns

Devin Toohey | The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

We've all been there. A bunch of your friends are hanging out and suddenly you or someone else brings up something relating to "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971) or "Terminator 2: Judgment Day" (1991). Everyone laughs or nods in agreement except for one guy. After a few awkward moments, he breaks the silence by saying, "I've never seen that."


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Columns

Caryn Horowitz | The Cultural Culinarian

I can sum up the major themes of all of my columns from the past year in one sentence: I have a spontaneous peanut allergy, I am very annoyed by Rachael Freaking Ray and Alice Waters, and Anthony Bourdain is my walking Buddha. I was fortunate enough to sit down with Tony (I have permission to call him by his first name -- it's on tape) before he gave a lecture entitled "How to stop worrying and enjoy globalization" on April 2. Globalization was the farthest thing from my mind, but the worrying part definitely rang a bell. What the heck was I going to say to a man whose books I have read and re-read countless times? It's not like I can swap stories with him about trekking through Vietnam or the best place to eat sheep testicle in Morocco. I decided to talk to Tony about several issues that are important to me, minus the peanuts, to get his perspective on food in America:


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Columns

Logan Crane | If You Seek Amy

College provides us four years of our lives to act on our adolescent impulses and ambitions. It provides the opportunity to drink in excess without societal judgment, pursue personal goals and dreams that would otherwise not be possible and -- more importantly -- it grants us a stage to voice sexual expression. A college campus, specifically one with a liberal slant, is the perfect outlet to discuss sexuality in the context of cultural, political and personal issues. Sexual expression is a significant part of the university experience, and without such opportunities, students can be left without adequate instruments for freedom of expression and for holding sexual knowledge.


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Columns

Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

Okay, kids, pull out your pencils. It's time for a pop quiz. Quick, name the longest annual race in sports. The Indianapolis 500, you say? Try again. Second question: What sporting event takes place in negative-100-degree weather with gale-force winds? John Madden's raid of the Dairy Queen icebox? Close, but no cigar. Here's one more to redeem yourself: Who's the most successful animal lover in all of sports? Michael Vi -- okay, that's not even funny.



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Columns

Giovanni Russonello | Look Both Ways

Much of what luminary trumpeter Wynton Marsalis does, including his work as musical director of New York's Jazz at Lincoln Center, is aimed at keeping jazz music relevant. Last month, Marsalis came out with an impossible-to-ignore new project: a concept album composed of quick poetry readings and accompanying musical pieces performed by his jazz quintet. Gimmicky? Sure. Fun? Absolutely.


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Columns

Logan Crane | If You Seek Amy

I can't begin to count the number of times I have had to put on the O face knowing that the sounds and expressions I would make were completely fake. All too often, men believe they are the gift that keeps on giving and that their tongue and penis have the magical powers to make us come on contact. Sorry to burst your mythological bubble, but 70 to 80 percent of women do not have orgasms during sexual intercourse.


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Columns

Giovanni Russonello | Look Both Ways

It's hard to explain how Dan Deacon became the poster child of today's electronic music avant-garde. But at some point between his graduation from the conservatory at SUNY Purchase and now, the quirky singer/songwriter/sampler/celebrator found himself perched at the fore of a coterie that includes Panda Bear, Girl Talk and the Black Dice.


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Evans Clinchy | Dirty Water

It is with zero regrets that I am making my retirement official."   Those were Curt Schilling's words upon announcing early Monday morning that he was retiring from professional baseball after 23 years. After 436 starts, four World Series appearances, three rings and finally two years battling injuries as his time ran out, the former Red Sox righthander finally called it quits at 42. As always, he was graceful and articulate in retirement.     "I am, and always will be, more grateful than any of you could ever possibly know," he wrote.     Wait a minute. Wrote?     Yes. Curt Schilling, one of the great October heroes of our generation, announced his retirement via blog post. At 9:37 on Monday morning, the post "Calling it quits" appeared on his infamous 38Pitches.com, and that was that. No TV appearance, no conference call, no nothing.     No media at all.     I have a problem with this.     When Schilling first launched his blog prior to the 2007 season, he joked that if it went well, he'd never have to talk to the media again. The fans wanted to get his take, so he'd just write for them. Cut out the middleman.     At least I took it as a joke. I never thought I'd see this.     I think Curt Schilling is failing to grasp the idea that journalists are more than conduits for athletes' sound bites. They're also there to ask the difficult questions when it matters most — times such as, for instance, the retirement of a possible Hall of Famer.     Questions such as: What about those rumors last month about you coming back from the Cubs? How are things in Boston — are you still cool with Theo Epstein and Terry Francona after how the last couple years have gone? Are you quitting because you're hurt, or you're washed up, or you miss your family, or you need more time to play World of Warcraft?     But instead, we get no answers. We just get those good old sound bites — he reflects on his memories, he says he's been blessed, he thanks his wife and kids, he thanks Jesus, he thanks his fans. And then 890 of those fans dart off to the comments section to post their own personalized "No, Curt, thank you!" messages. How touching.     Francona, Schilling's manager for four years (five if you count 2008, when he spent more time in operating rooms than dugouts), once remarked that "For a guy that doesn't talk much to the media," Schilling "sure does talk to the media." Throughout his 23 years, he was always trying to have it both ways — he wanted his voice to be heard, but he didn't want it heard by the professionals.     As a result, Monday's announcement came off as boring and uninformative. We already knew he wasn't much of a pitcher anymore — we figured that out when he fell off the face of the earth two years ago. But Schilling was always a competitor, even after he became too old and fragile to be a good one, so the question is just dying to be asked: Why face the facts now? Why finally give in and admit that you're no longer able to pitch in the major leagues?     We don't get an answer. We deserve one, though, and so do the writers, in Boston and elsewhere, who have spent two decades helping us get to know Curt Schilling, the baseball player and the man.     In five years, Schilling's name will appear on a ballot and he'll be considered for a plaque in Cooperstown. If he's considered a borderline candidate in 2013 (and I think he should be), he's going to wish he'd let the writers do their jobs and ask him why he left the game the way he did.     You think you have no regrets now, Curt? That may be true. But a few years from now, we'll see.


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Columns

Giovanni Russonello | Look Both Ways

My cousin Tom used to lecture a younger, more impressionable me on the folly of interpreting Bob Dylan songs. Dylan lived his songs; he was in them. They weren't just great poems or pieces of music; they were his blood coming through the speakers. Jimi Hendrix's version of "All Along the Watchtower" was garbage, and Guns N' Roses' take on Dylan's "Knocking on Heaven's Door" was treason. If all professional musicians' renditions were blasphemous, I asked, why was Tom always playing Dylan's tunes on the acoustic guitar? "I'm not covering them," he answered. "I'm channeling."


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Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

Last week, two NFL players were shipwrecked on a fishing trip in the Gulf of Mexico, and after days of the Coast Guard combing the waters, the search was abandoned and hope lost. Following this incident, the world barely stirred, dismissing these men as dead. My question is: Why?


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Logan Crane | If You Seek Amy

As a heterosexual, I often take for granted the accessibility of hookups and matchmaking. I have a high regard for constituents of the queer community who live as minorities in our college hookup atmosphere. The Tufts social scene is a montage of frat parties and bars that encompass heterosexual norms. As I commonly joke with a gay friend that we should "man hunt" on Saturday nights, I have come to realize just how complicated that process can be. A queer in search of a relationship or sexual advice is often left with minimal resources.


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Columns

Devin Toohey | The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

This week, I've been invited to appear on Full Moon Fever (Thursday at 10 a.m. on WMFO) to talk about movies and address the hosts' disagreements with my picks for overrated movies. In honor of this appearance, and because I like throwing more fuel onto the fire, I give you a second installment of overrated movies! This time, however, they're all united by a theme: movies that think they're a lot smarter than they are. (Insert joke about a certain pop culture columnist here.)


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Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

In this age of rampant drug use throughout baseball, I'm going to go Barack Obama all over Bud Selig and demand change. I vote for the opening of a new Hall of Fame, one that enshrines those Major League Baseball players not associated with the Steroids Era, the best of the non-tainted. In accordance with this completely random solo founding, I would like to introduce my first inductee: Jamie Moyer.     Currently a pitcher for the Philadelphia Phillies, Moyer is at 46 the oldest active player in the major leagues. Yet throughout a career that began in 1986, the same year in which three players on the Phillies' active roster were born, Moyer has remained a model of cleanliness, especially in recent years amidst the cream, the clear and the cheaters. Consider him a beacon of hope for baseball, a pitcher on whom younger children can model themselves, needle-free.     With a fastball slower than a suburban speed limit, it's highly likely that Moyer does not do steroids. Even though the only juice in his body is of the Tropicana label, his 246-185 career record paints the picture of a hurler who has somehow managed to remain among the ranks of baseball's most respected and most consistent, a telltale sign of a player whose body has not deteriorated due to the harmful effects of using.     Moyer's stint in the major leagues opened with the Chicago Cubs 23 years ago, but since then he has gotten around more than Paris Hilton. His journeyman status has landed him in Texas, St. Louis, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle and most recently, Philadelphia, and all the while he has been racking up wins with his fluttering fastball and devastating changeup. Moyer has won at least 10 games 14 times, including two seasons with the Mariners in which he reached the 20-win plateau. To that end, he has lost 10 games just six times, posting a modest career ERA of 4.19, 23 points lower than the league average during his career.     But that is what Moyer is: completely modest. You'll never see him pumping his arms after a big strikeout or pointing to the heavens, but rather calmly strutting off after another hitter is left baffled by his pitches. At the age of 45 last season, Moyer led the world champion Phillies with 16 wins, culminating in his first World Series championship, after which he nonchalantly walked around Citizens Bank Park with a pitching rubber on his shoulder, soaking up the moment. And who said people slow down with age?     What I like about Moyer is that he's not the sexy superstar, as he strikes out barely over 100 batters per year, yet his strikeout-to-walk ratio for his career is better than 2:1, and he boasts an extremely high infield-fly rate even into his forties. It's clear that movement and deception keep Moyer going through the years and make him baseball's proverbial Houdini.     Recently, Moyer signed a two-year extension with Philadelphia, allowing him to stay in the City of Brotherly Love. But it is his love for the game that provides a constant inspiration for those fans seeking another hero when the home run-bashing stars of the past will eternally don an asterisk.     Not only is Moyer a world-class pitcher, but he is a world-class human being. Together with his wife, Karen, he founded The Moyer Foundation in 2000, established to aid children in severe distress. In nine years, they have raised over $16 million to support organizations helping children, the same amount of money that would buy A-Rod roughly 7 million tablets of Primobolan. Imagine how much good one player could do by donating a couple million to provide assistance in dire times. Moyer has transformed the token charity golf tournament donation eightfold.     Regardless of how the Alex Rodriguez situation turns out and regardless of whether known-steroid users like Barry Bonds are inducted into the real Hall of Fame, this age in baseball will forever be linked to the syringe. Thank goodness we still have players like Jamie Moyer to help us forget.


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Columns

Logan Crane | If You Seek Amy

We have all been informed of our options for sexual protection, whether "the talk" came from parents, health professionals or active groups on campus. We've heard of contraceptive methods like the pill, the NuvaRing, the condom and the patch. Yet as frequently as we are reminded to protect ourselves from disease and the creation of Baby Jumbo, many of us remain woefully uninformed about the best protective products out there.



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Columns

Evans Clinchy | Dirty Water

It was a good couple of weeks to be a nostalgic sports fan. You had Brett Favre quitting like it was 2007, Tiger Woods playing like it was 2006, Shaq and Kobe winning like it was 2002, and Roger Federer looking mortal like it was -- good Lord. I can't even remember when. It's been a while.


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Logan Crane | If you seek Amy

I am one of many in our voyeuristic society that thrives off of the misery and complicated problems of others. I am infatuated with the Web site Fmylife.com, where anonymous bloggers post humiliating stories for cathartic laughter. I suggest logging on to the Web site in times of desperation when nothing seems to be playing out right.     The stories people are willing to share will not only satisfy your need to reap the benefits of others' misery, but they will also make your worst day seem like a walk in the park. So, I dedicate this column to the existence of Fmylife.com. As fun as it is to read the blogs online, you tend to wonder if some of those stories could possibly contain even an ounce of truth. Thanks to the sexual failures of friends, I have included the worst hook-up stories that I have personally heard, and they make a little queef seem like a hiccup.     Here's the first one. It was the wee hours of the morning and she had snuck into the gentleman's room to awaken him with kisses below the belt. As she pulled the covers down and took his package out of the peephole, she noticed a pungent smell. Before I go any further I must make it known he was uncircumcised, and most of us are aware of sanitation issues with the hood. Despite the note-worthy stench, she went down for the kill. As she went down she noticed a flakey film forming on her tongue. When she pulled up, she opened her mouth and peeled off white fuzzy flakes that she had collected from the foreskin. A token FML moment.     Another story: This boy and girl were recurring hookup buddies and everything seemed to be going smoothly. After getting back from a party together, they started making out. He noticed that something didn't taste right but kept going figuring it was a mixture of Natty Light and Popov vodka. But the taste became more and more intense to the point that it made him heave in her mouth. They flipped on the lights to find out she had gotten a bloody nose. She stood there with a mouth full of vomit and blood streaming down her cheeks.     After a forties Friday, a girl had bumped into her latest crush at a party at the DU frat. She and the unidentified male made an appearance on the dance floor before exiting the party for some late night fun. Although she was beginning to feel queasy, she knew this was her chance for a successful hook up. Clothes came off and soon enough she was down on her knees. After the second dip she felt nauseous, and being that she was drunk she lacked the reaction time and rationale to remove herself from the situation. She was gagged by and accidently vomited on his penis. The guy had been drinking so he didn't notice. She slurped it up and continued until he finished. Party foul.     We all have encountered scarring moments that we may never be able to erase from our memories. They seem to replay in our minds, and we can either embed them in our brains and hope that they never occur again, or we can make a mockery of the situation by retelling the story to friends. Falling victim to an FML moment is never fair or fun, but I guarantee that describing your misery to friends will lighten the situation, and you might find that a little laughter is the best cure.


The Setonian
Columns

Alex Prewitt | Live from Mudville

As the holiday season quickly came and went and birthdays were interspersed throughout the year, we here at the Mattel Company recently released what was named the worst toy of 2008: the Dallas Cowboys cheerleader Barbie doll. Even though we rated this appropriate for children ages six and up, the doll comes with short shorts shorter than Spud Webb, boots skankier than Courtney Love and a halter top that leaves little to the imagination. While the media backlash over this particular toy has been extraordinary, we have decided to continue with our strategy of churning out toys that make parents convulse and kids shriek.