On the Fence

What can one Canadian’s board game tell us about the US elections?

“All voting is a sort of gaming, like checkers or backgammon, with a slight moral tinge to it, a playing with right and wrong.” -Henry David Thoreau Uncertainty and chance are beginning to feel familiar to many Americans. The experiences of the last our years have left their mark on the American psyche—and on this fall’s coming election. This year, a New Haven resident created a board game that mimics life in these conditions. In “Generation,” a single roll of the dice can undo anyone’s. . . Read more
Nicholas Geiser
Pillow Talk

The recent debate over Sex Week stands in for the discussion no one’s having about educating—and sleeping with—the Facebook generation.

In the debate about sexual culture at Yale, everyone agrees that “intolerance,” “rape culture,” and “objectification” are bad, while “intimacy,” “respect,” and “love” are good. Both sides also agree that something is wrong with their school’s sexual culture here. So the indignant, supercilious tone of editorial on both sides isn’t a result of a difference in goals, but of a disagreement about what the problem is. After news of the Department of Education’s Title IX investigation broke last spring, President Levin hosted a series of. . . Read more
Nicholas Geiser

A student pedals across Connecticut one fine day.

It’s already past 10 a.m., but campus is silent on a Sunday morning. The overcast sky is the color of cream of wheat, and clouds linger placidly overhead. The cool November air feels too sleepy to stir, and there’s not a hint of a breeze. I’m anxious to get on the road to my aunt’s home in Simsbury, Connecticut and the Massachusetts border, but haste would upset the composure of the moment. Then again, I have a 112-mile day in front of me. I’d been. . . Read more
Nicholas Geiser
Out of the Weed

Proponents of this summer’s bill to decriminalize marijuana in Connecticut were a bit too mellow.

“Sorry, officer, I thought they were my American Spirits.” Carrying the wrong kind of cigarettes last spring meant a one thousand dollar fine, possibly jail time, and certainly a misdemeanor on your criminal record. Caught again? Try a felony. On June 7, the Connecticut House of Representatives gave final approval to SB 1014, a marijuana decriminalization bill that reduces the penalty for possession of less than half an ounce of cannabis (about fifteen cigarettes) from a misdemeanor to an infraction. A first-time offense now carries. . . Read more
Nicholas Geiser
Catch Him If You Can

Professor Kirk Wetters is pulling a con job.

Tucked away in an office on the third floor of WLH, Professor Kirk Wetters is pulling a con job. While his colleagues in the German Studies department lecture on the Brothers Grimm and the Weimar Republic, Wetters teaches classes whose connection to the studies of his colleagues is tenuous—“Literature, Politics and the Public Sphere,” “Literature of Travel and Tourism,” and, this past fall, “Confidence Games: Fakes, Frauds, and Counterfeits.” Wetters’ desire to teach a course on confidence games was sparked by Orson Welles film F. . . Read more
Nicholas Geiser