October 16, 2009 | Feature
Being disappointed with Barack Obama, Nice Slice, Ruth Simmons, Spandex, Macs
Stuff Brown Students Like
article by marshall katheder
Being disappointed with Barack Obama:Yes, that’s right. Or leftist. Whatever. The obscene fervor with which Brown students rallied around Obama made sense. He’s young-ish so he’s cool-ish. But, most importantly for the Brown student, he’s the alternative candidate (at least externally). He’s a departure from the norm because of his race and his age.
Eventually the party was over though, and sobering realities set in after the glow around the myth that became man turned hazy. Obama did, like, the worst thing ever and got elected—sell out! So now he’s strapped with the sinking ship of a nation that voted him in. And while most Brunonians are disappointed, they can’t articulate why. But I can: change didn’t happen fast enough for a generation with iPhones, and your Shepard Fairey Urban Outfitters shirt isn’t trendy anymore.
Nice Slice: Brown students know that genius on College Hill lies not in the bulbous foreheads of Chemical Engineers but in the bellies of hipsters at this surly Thayer St. pizza joint. Their masterful punk-pie confections include Bar-B-Q chicken on pizza; brilliance was never so tasty.
Ruth Simmons: Oh, Ruth! I can’t help but feel as though we’ve grown apart. You see, dear reader, all Brown students have an intimate relationship with their president. They just can’t decide whether Simmons is Madonna or their Mom who makes them cookies. The truth is that she’s no celebrity. And while there’s no doubt she’s done a bang-up job running Brown, you don’t know her (looking at you, guy with her face on his shirt) and neither do I.
As with most Stuff Brown People Like, the Ruth Rooters aren’t sure why they’re so emphatic about her presidency—or why they think that they and Babe Ruth are close pals. But we’re seriously one toke away from having poster-waving TRL-esque hordes screaming her name outside of University Hall. And at least the girls on TRL had a chance of meeting Carson Daly. Seeing Simmons is like seeing Batman; no one will believe what you saw.
Spandex: If there’s anything Brown People like, it’s clothing that distinguishes them from the dredges of unwashed masses (see: Saying You’ll Explore Providence). And that might not be a challenge for the Ivy-Leauger: if you can throw down 40 large for an education, you can afford some preppy-threads and rock them, right?
Wrong again, oh gentle reader. Brown People aren’t like their seven sister schools—we’re above that sort of pastel polo-shirt class distinctions. We’d much rather don clothing that we got at a RISD yard sale. Something that says, “I defy conventions.” Like spandex. But of course, we’ll also scrimp something that’s ludicrously expensive but that looks practical enough (Birkenstocks). We’ll save lookin’ like a rich WASP for when we stumble down to classy joints like the Fish Company.
Macs: Macs are perfect for the Brown Student—nothing says I’m hip but with gratuitous discretionary income like paying top-dollar for the newest and chicest Apple Computer. We could probably do with an older model (since we only use it to check Facebook) but then how would we look on the Main Green with our computers, pretending to like being outside? Behind the curve? Unacceptable for a Brown Person. To put it in our terms: NC.