Our team is made of heroes bold / Who aren’t afraid to try

Senior week has been a BLAST. Tonight was Campus Dance–Lincoln Field and the Main Green are strung up with thousands of glowing lanterns, alumni from way way back return for festivities and memories, etc. It’s been good.

But for unknown reasons I was off-and-on grumpy tonight (sorry), which leads to the following observation:

Campus Dance is 10000+ people, and I’d estimate that there were at least 5000 people who are still there at 1 am, when the dance was over. This is the population of a small town spewing onto a very small street with very few places still open.

Brown, did you think about crowd control? How about town-gown relations? Maybe give the businesses a heads up? Devise a clever way to make people trickle instead of gush out? Provide snacks and water instead of an arcane system of drinks tokens and some hidden place where pizza could be had (for one drink token that could take a long time to buy)? You hired all those skilled bartenders but most people just got beer. Had you provided some snacks and water (after all, you did charge $20/guest), 5000 hungry thirsty people wouldn’t have come gushing out of every orifice.

Because, you know, the better experience these returning alums have this weekend, the more money they give. Mobbed Antonio’s/Nice  Slice/pizza cone place (about the problems of which I opine below)? Probably leads to a sub-par experience.

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These are jokes

I know I titled my last post “I like jokes” or something. That’s definitely a nod “These are jokes,” by Demetri Martin, whom I love. I don’t know Mitch Hedberg’s comedy, and people keep telling me that I’d like Mitch Hedberg, but I imagine that Mitch Hedberg is somewhat like Demetri.

I think Demetri’s beautiful, and so is his mom! And Grandma! Just look at them! So cute!

He does art too!

I like jokes

Note: the following joke is very funny in German, but doesn’t translate well into English.
Was sind die drei Lagen auf der Bratsche?
Erste Lage, Notlage, und Niederlage.

(What are the three positions of the viola?
First position, emergency, and defeat.)

What are the three rings in a (wo)man’s life?
The engagement ring, the wedding ring, and the suffering.

(I couldn’t figure out whether “man” or “woman” was more correct, from either a political or humor standpoint. First, I think it’s important to establish that the joke means that suffering is caused by the wedding ring, or else, it’s just saying that suffering, wedding rings, and engagement rings are three critical and universal elements of the human condition, which I don’t think it is.

I think the old concept was that men felt trapped after marriage, but I mean, wouldn’t the woman feel just as trapped? Or what if the marriage was open? I did think about putting “person,” but that seemed weird. I think this sort of joke relies too heavily on gender stereotypes to de-specify.)

Homophonery gone too far

We’ve been studying Zhang Yimou a lot this year in Chinese class. He’s apparently one of those 5th generation directors who’s garnered unparalleled international attention, etc.

One of his films is Ju Dou, which, if I’m not mistaken, means like, “chrysanthemum bud.” It’s a wrenching-sounding story about dye vats, horrid amounts of unhappiness, and the main character burning up amidst rolls of silk, that conjures up Dido.

[[ And you know where Dido’s from? Carthage! And what was Carthage’s parent city? Tyre. And what came from Tyre? Tyrian purple, one of those insanely important commodities of the Mediterranean. This is definitely what the director had in mind. In fact, Zhang Yimou was reading teh Horace and Ovid as a child also.* ]]

But “Ju Dou” kind of sounds like Jeau d’eaux, Ravel’s piece for piano based on something by Liszt. I think it’s about fountains.

They’re both about water, right? Yeah?

* I’m kidding; I don’t think /any/ bit of English literacy in China stems from classics of this type. In fact Zhang Yimou says that he doesn’t speak any foreign languages, so this is even more unlikely.

Golly I really want to be good enough at Chinese so I can start translating INTO it.