BUZZSAW RUB A DUB DUB OCTOBER 2010
Below the Belt Analyzing genital surgery by a Cornell doctor
Cleaning up the crash
How to bounce back A guide for scandalized celebs
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BUZZSAW EDITORS’ COMMENT
Buzzsaw presents... The Clean-Up Issue
News & Views Upfront Ministry of Cool Prose & Cons
hen you make a mess, you clean it up. That’s what we’ve been taught since kindergarten. When color from our paintbrush drips onto the floor, we’re met with a wet washcloth to sop up the liquid before it stains. When playtime’s over, we instinctively understand that it’s time to collect all of the toys and put them back in the box. And there’s no crying over spilled milk, but when it does spill, you damn well better grab a towel and dry it up. We’ve learned that every problem is fixable. Every dilemma has a solution. Every mess has a clean-up strategy. But that doesn’t mean that we should wait until a problem escalates to such a point where our only option is overhauling the system. Why is the world in a constant state of cleanup? From the Gulf oil spill to the financial crisis to global warming to the mishandling of Hurricane Katrina, we have to clean up fuck-up after fuck-up after fuck-up. So why are we waiting for things to fail if there’s a way to correct them beforehand? Some messes are so colossal that a solution may not be easily attainable, much less understandable. Christine Loman’s article, “The Crash, the Crisis, the Cleanup,” dissects the financial disaster that resulted in the recession that we’re still trying to sort out. And in Kacey Deamer’s piece, “Mother Earth’s New Janitorial Crew,” we see a new generation of activists trying to address the monstrous problems facing the future of the environment. Of course, not all clean-up is on such a global scale. In “Cleaning Up Their Act,” Catherine Fisher discusses celebrities who jeopardize their fames and fortunes with cringe-inducing scandals, including how they can bounce back. And in Gena Mangiaratti’s “Do-It-Yourself Religion,” we see a group of Christians trying to clean up their churches by breaking away and starting from scratch. There’re plenty of messes out there. So it’s time to grab your mops, brooms, shamwows and Swiffers, because we’ve got a huge task ahead of us if we’re going to avoid having only one option: “massive, large-scale cleanup duties.” Everybody, everywhere. Everybody, do your share.
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Jacquie Simone Adam Polaski Carly Sitzer Emily Miles David Lurvey Chris Giblin Lucy Ravich Anika Steppe Daniel Sitts Emily Miles David Lurvey Zachary Anderson, Shannon Anthony,Tim Bidon, Lara Bonner, Zoe Epstein,Shaza Elsheshtawy, Kristiina Korpus, Jessica Levine, Gena Mangiaratti, Kayla McCormack, Megan O’Donnell, Emily Phiffer, Carly Smith
Jeff Cohen Abby Bertumen Kelly Burdick Bryan Chambala Sam Costello Thom Denick Cole Louison James Sigman
Buzzsaw is published with support from Campus Progress / Center for American Progress (online at CampusProgress.org). Buzzsaw is also funded by the Ithaca College Student Government Association and the Park School of Communications. Our Press is our press. (Binghamton, NY) Buzzsaw uses student-generated art and photography and royalty-free images. Views expressed in this magazine are not necessarily those of the editorial staff or of Ithaca College. Feedback and contributions should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Front cover by Daniel Sitts & Anika Steppe Back cover by Anika Steppe Center spread by Jess Hock Upfront divider by David Lurvey Ministry of Cool divider by Garen Whitmore Prose & Cons divider by Ally Cunningham Sawdust divider by Colleen Cunha
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Image by Anika Steppe
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Table of Contents News & Views ...............................4 Current events, local news & quasi-educated opinions.
Upfront .........................................13 Selected dis-education of the month.
Ministry.of.Cool............................29 Arts, entertainment and other things cooler than us.
Prose & Cons ...............................41 Short fiction, personal essay and other assorted lies.
Sawdust .......................................43 Threatening the magazineâ€™s credibility since 1856.
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Compiled by Jacquie Simone
Midterm candidates’ crazy quotes
Explaining why poor people should be housed in prisons: “These are beautiful properties with basketball courts, bathroom facilities, toilet facilities. Many young people would love to get the hell out of cities.” - Carl Paladino, GOP gubernatorial candidate for New York, in an interview with the Associated Press, Aug. 21, 2010 Tea Party candidate Ken Buck, after being asked why people should vote for him for the Colorado GOP Senate nomination: “Because I do not wear high heels. [Opponent Jane Norton] has questioned my manhood, and I think it’s fair to respond. I have cowboy boots, they have real bullshit on them. And that’s Weld County bullshit, not Washington, D.C., bullshit.’’
- Christine O’Donnell, GOP Senate candidate from Delaware, on MTV’s “Sex in the ‘90s” in 1996
“The Girl Scouts allow homosexuals and atheists to join their ranks, and they have become a pro-abortion, feminist training corps. If the Girl Scouts of America can’t get back to teaching real character, perhaps it will be time to look for our cookies elsewhere.’’
- Ken Buck, GOP Senate candidate from Colorado, at the Independence Institute’s Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms Party, July 17, 2010
“People ask me, ‘What are you going to do to develop jobs in your state?’ Well, that’s not my job as a U.S. senator.”
Image by Lucy Ravich
— Sharron Angle, GOP Senate candidate from Nevada, at a campaign event in Henderson, Nev., May 14, 2010
Image by Daniel Sitts
- Hans Zeiger, GOP candidate for the Washington House of Representatives, in an article for Intellectual
“Another thing we can do for jobs is make toys of me, especially for the holidays. Little dolls. Me. Like maybe little action dolls. Me in an army uniform, air force uniform, and me in my suit. They can make toys of me and my vehicle, especially for the holidays and Christmas for the kids. That’s something that would create jobs. So you see I think out of the box like that. It’s not something a typical person would bring up. That’s something that could happen, that makes sense. It’s not a joke.” - Alvin Greene, Democratic Senate candidate from South Carolina, in an interview with The Guardian, July 6, 2010
Politicians Say the Darndest Things! 4
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“It is not enough to be abstinent with other people, you also have to be abstinent alone. The Bible says that lust in your heart is committing adultery. You can’t masturbate without lust! ... You’re going to be pleasing each other. And if he already knows what pleases him and he can please himself, then why am I in the picture?”
Conservative, Feb. 16, 2004
“The exact phrase ‘separation of Church and State’ came out of Adolf HItler’s mouth, that’s where it comes from. So the next time your liberal friends talk about the separation of Church and State, ask them why they’re Nazis.” - Glen Urquhart, GOP House of Representatives candidate from Delaware, at a Republican candidates forum in Greenwood, Del., April 2010
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End of an Error
Reflections on the Iraq War as some troops return home By Mike McCabe
On that St. Patrick’s Day, the four protesters visited the recruitment station in Ithaca and poured their own blood in the building. “They wanted to kneel down, pour their blood in a prayerful way; not throwing blood,” Grady Flores said. “They took a quarter cup each, and they took the blood and just prayerfully poured the blood on the wall of the vestibule.” Grady Flores said she supported their actions. “The fact is that the war was going to spill innocent blood,” she said. “People were going to die. Blood is something that’s very visceral. It’s something that we all share as a human quality, and it’s part of us. And Iraqis have it, Americans have it, any human being has it. It’s the common denominator. Blood is not a destroyer. War is the destroyer. And that’s the part that we need to understand.” All four protestors were punished with prison time. Then, the U.S. invaded Iraq, resulting in the shedding of much more blood: At least 4,424 Americans and an estimated 100,000 Iraqi civilians died. Grady Flores made sure to comment on the lasting effects on not only Ithaca, but on our country as a whole. Costofwar.com estimates that Ithaca alone has spent more than $50 million and counting on the Iraq War. “Nobody in our local media conversation, and especially on the national conversation, is talking about the cost of war and how that affects our local communities,” Grady Flores said. She noted that as tax money was being wasted overseas, community cornerstones, like the Fall Creek School, suffered and nearly had to close because of the lack of money. Had the “abomination,” as she described the war, never occurred, would people across the nation be experiencing the Great Recession so harshly? No one could claim that the money that’s been thrown away was more
Image by Sam Pinto
valuable than the lives thrown away. It’s a bit ironic that the liars who started the war were not part of any end-of-war interviews. She might only be an activist in one left-thinking city in upstate New York, but it’s safe to say that Grady Flores’ feelings are shared across America, and for all intensive purposes, the entire planet. Let’s all think about this one together: Was there any connection between Saddam Hussein and 9/11 at all? Is Iraq not a breeding ground for radicals and terrorists now, with a worse quality of life than pre-war? Did the war not contribute to the fall of the U.S. from one of its most prosperous eras to bankruptcy? And most importantly, did any one at all really benefit from this clusterfuck? Actually, I take that last question back. Dick Cheney and Halliburton surely made millions. Mike McCabe is a freshman journalism major. All he is saying is give peace a chance. E-mail him at email@example.com.
News & Views
lthough in recent years Afghanistan has regained the status of “Radical Middle Eastern Country Stumping Our Military,” it must be noted that the long, tragic war with those other allegedly WMD-hiding bad guys is finally (yes, FINALLY) winding down. To say “the war is over” is a slightly less bullshitcovered phrase than “Mission Accomplished” was—there are still 50,000 Americans in Iraq, and some are still dying. There is no denying, though, that a drastic number of American troops are either on their way back home or to other parts of the globe to carry out their military duties. As far as Iraq is concerned, the people of America find themselves reflecting on the past few years of war, not unlike the country did in the mid1970s after the Vietnam bloodbath. Was it worth it? Was anything really accomplished? Were we justified? These are the questions that citizens all across the country are asking themselves. Mary Anne Grady Flores is an activist in Ithaca who remains involved in local, national and global affairs. Her opinions in regard to Iraq are representative of the entirety of the city and much of the country these days. The war had quite a personal effect on Grady Flores’ life, as two of her sisters, her brother-in-law and a friend were sent to prison for their role in a 2003 protest demonstration. “Months before the Iraq War happened, there were so many people [in Ithaca who were] well aware that we were being lied to,” Grady Flores said. “The Catholic Workers community specifically invited people to gather.” Some of these activists would come to be known as the St. Patrick’s Four, since their demonstration occurred on St. Patrick’s Day 2003, two days before the invasion, and they quoted St. Patrick: “Killing cannot be with Christ.” They were committed to having their voices heard.
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Restaurant Review : By Kayla McCormack ounds of people chatting and smells of exotic spices filled the dining area of Ko Ko Korean Restaurant. Waiters moved fluidly from table to table carrying bowls of noodles and plates full of food that incited hunger with a mere glance. Not only did the food look amazingly appetizing, the place was packed—always a good sign. After traveling to South Korea over spring break, I had been eagerly searching for some of the delicious cuisine I tasted while in Seoul. The crowd of people had my hopes up. While waiting for our table, I looked through the room and took in the hanging lights and Korean alphabet wallpaper as the two friends I had come with talked quietly by the door. “Is that a cotton candy machine?” one asked, puzzled. Yes. It was a cotton candy machine, offering a complimentary make-your-own sugary treat experience to diners. We eagerly scooped up the opportunity to make our own little carnival before we were seated. After 20 minutes and three trips to the cotton candy machine, we were seated and eagerly perused the numerous descriptions for a huge variety of appetizers and entrees. The appetizers, which were offered in both small and large portions, included items such as mandoo, or handmade dumplings, and oh jing uh tweegim, or deep fried squid. The entrees were equally varied, including seafood, vegetarian and meat dishes. We ordered
mandoo ($4.99) and kimchi jun ($4.99) a lightly pan-fried wheat batter with kimchi, as appetizers. We went with traditional staples of dol sot bibim bap ($12.99), bool go gi ($13.99), and jae yuk bokeum ($13.99). Before the appetizers arrived, the waiter brought cabbage kimchi, cucumber kimchi and a steamed egg dish to the table. I first encountered kimchi on my trip to South Korea and was glad to see it served as a complimentary part of the meal—my tour guide continually asserted, “It’s not real Korean if they do not have kimchi!” Although I am not a fan of the vinegary spice that is the defining feature of the fermented vegetables, I found the cucumber kimchi a bit more palatable because the cucumber flavor helped cut the acidity of the dish. The steamed egg was the perfect complement to the biting tang of the kimchi. Although the dumplings were nothing spectacular, the dipping sauce served alongside them was amazing. What appeared to be a basic soy sauce was enhanced by an assortment of spices that created a dynamic and delicious flavor. The sauce was so scrumptious that we couldn’t help but dip the kimchi jun in it. The appetizer was yummy alone but even better in the sauce. I thoroughly enjoyed the flavors and saltiness of the dumpling sauce. The expectations for the main course increased with each satisfying bite of the appetizers, and we were not disappointed. The dol sot bibim bap arrived in a sizzling hot stone bowl with a cloud of steam trailing behind the waiter. The rice and vegetable dish was served with a raw egg on top in the traditional Korean way. The bool gogi’s arrival was not as impressive, but the flavor was as sweet as it should be. The traditional Korean beef dish arrived with a side of rice and a delicious scent in the air. It was not the best bool gogi I have ever tasted—the meat had a slight excess of fat even though it was tender—but
it went nicely with the sticky white rice served alongside it. The jae yuk bokeum, a Korean pork dish, was extraordinarily spicy, definitely not for those with a low spice tolerance! By the time my friend was finished with the jae yuk bokeum, she was blowing her nose and commenting on her new ability to “breath fire” from the spice of the meal. If, however, you could handle the heat, it was a delicious dish. Each taste I had was even better than the last. We were completely satisfied with our Korean feast. After tasting the delicious food in South Korea, I had doubts that Ko Ko would measure up—but as soon as I entered and saw the crowd of people happily munching on their meals, the evening was already looking up. The service was quick, the waiters were friendly, and the food was scrumptious. Ko Ko far surpassed everything I had hoped for, especially since I walked out holding a chopstick full of cotton candy. Ko Ko Korean Restaurant 321 College Ave, Ithaca 607.277.8899 $$
____________________________________ Kayla McCormack is a sophomore journalism major who is coo coo for Ko Ko. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images by Kayla McCormack
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Opening the Door on Closet Sluts By Drew Kellogg
exactly do wonders for her work in the House of Mouse. However, is it really fair to Cyrus and the millions of girls right now who are going through the same feelings of sexual confusion and independence to perpetuate the message that sexuality is wrong? The main reason for the “closet slut” phenomenon, especially in females, is the double standard pertaining to promiscuity. If a male is sexually active, it is considered a positive trait, while promiscuous women are considered to be slutty. This is apparent in the Hollywood scene, especially among singers and other artists. 3OH!3, an electro-rap group from Colorado, reached the pinnacle of the charts in 2009 with their smash-hit “Don’t Trust Me,” which glamorized the lead singer’s “tongue on the inside of some other girl’s teeth.” On the other side of the spectrum, pop singer Ke$ha blew speakers up in 2009 with her hit single “Tik Tok” and 2010’s “Take It Off.” She showcases anything but a closet slut in her music—one lyric in “Blah Blah Blah” states, “Don’t be a little bitch with your chit-chat, just show me where your dick’s at!” She was lambasted in the media for being so sexually forward. In one instance, blogger Perez Hilton posted the music video from 3OH!3’s single “My First Kiss,” on which Ke$ha is featured, with the title “Hey Ke$ha! This SUCKS!” He criticized both the video and Ke$ha’s sexy image, despite her having nothing to do with the creation of the video. Is it not obvious to anyone else that the men
of 3OH!3 are as slutty, if not more so, than Ke$ha, yet she is the only one attacked? While Ke$ha is torn apart in the media for her use of sexually charged lyrics and obnoxious punctuation in her name, 3OH!3, an allmale group, receives none of this criticism. When young people, especially girls, see that sexual freedom is frowned upon and that embracing it will lead to ridicule, they will undoubtedly condition themselves to hide their sexual expression. I completely disagree with the sexual repression of America. I salute Ke$ha for being open with her sexuality and, perhaps more importantly, not apologizing for it. The problem with closet promiscuity is that it promotes unhealthy living. Sexual repression makes people believe that natural sexual urges are dirty and wrong. So how exactly do we “clean up” closet sluts? We do so by banning our own prejudices. By reinforcing the notion that sexual freedom makes someone slutty, we are simply creating deeper issues within our own society. Allowing people to express themselves freely without fear of backlash would help “clean up society.” So to quote Ke$ha with class, “Take it off, everybody take it off!” Drew Kellogg is a freshman journalism major whose first kiss went a little like this... and twist. E-mail him at email@example.com.
News & Views
s there anything more telling of our generation than the coining of the term “closet slut?” To me, the term represents a divided time where people try to split who they are and what they believe into as many realms as they can to avoid conflict. In public, they remain a beacon of a socially acceptable standard. Behind closed doors, however, they are changed completely. When they exchange sexually charged picture messages of themselves with pouty lips and bare midriffs, their actions shock and appall the citizens who so dutifully follow them. How could, say, Miley Cyrus take a semi-provocative picture and send it to her boyfriend? For God’s sake, she’s a 17-year-old Disney Channel star! To anyone who either has common sense or has taken some sort of health course, this news should not be overtly shocking. Sure, Miley is a fixture of the Disney Channel, which features programming for children and young adults, and is thus seen as a role model for young girls. However, her status does not change the fact that she is a human capable of being sexually active. Miley is a true example of the closet slut, but as with a growing percentage of closet sluts today in America, she is not this way because she chooses to be. Her public sexual repression is the doing of the Disney Channel and the parents of children who watch Hannah Montana, the show that made Cyrus a household name. The news of Miley dancing on a pole at the Teen Choice Awards in 2009 doesn’t
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Under the Knife
Local activists question a Cornell doctor’s surgeries By Stephanie Black here has been an overwhelming amount of concern among feminists and human rights activists in the United States surrounding what is known in Western cultures as “female genital mutilation.” These procedures are commonly done out of the fear of “abnormal” sexual development of a child, specifically when children are born with a larger-than-average clitoris. Most people think of the issue in relation to Third World countries, but controversies surrounding a Cornell doctor have brought the issue to Ithaca. The main question behind all of
nation who are conducting this type of research. The question remains, however: What is the line between treating a patient like a human being and an object of invasive research? Abnormalities of the genital area are commonly referred to as disorders of sex development (DSD). One disease of particular concern is congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH), which can be fatal. Children born with CAH or other DSD can also be intersex, a term applied to a person born with sex organs that are not typical of males or females. Female genital cutting, according to Ithaca College politics professor Peyi Soyinka-Airewele, is often accepted
“What’s the difference?” SoyinkaAirewele said. “It’s the same thing.” These kinds of issues reveal that people living in affluence in the First World have a warped sense of what is normal and what is abnormal in terms of cultural practices. On Oct. 4, 2010, Cornell University hosted a panel discussion led by Carla Golden, professor of psychology at Ithaca College. Entitled “Differences or Disorders,” the panel sought to discuss the issues surrounding Poppas’ and his colleagues’ research, determining what is right and wrong socially. The three other women on the panel were Janet Green of Accord Alliance,
“Poppas performs common genital reconstruction surgeries on intersex infants and young children; but it is his unorthodox research methods after the fact that are stirring controversy.” this is, as Anne Tamar-Mattis of Advocates for Informed Choice said, “What can we do to children’s bodies, and what can’t we do to children’s bodies?” At Cornell University, Dr. Dix Poppas of the Weil Medical College has recently come under the scrutiny of human rights groups and feminists. As a prominent urologist and talented surgeon, Poppas performs common genital reconstruction surgeries on intersex infants and young children; but it is his unorthodox research methods after the fact that are stirring controversy. Focusing on female reconstructive surgery, Poppas follows up his surgeries annually by testing the young girls, stimulating them in their genital region with Q-tips or a “medical vibratory device” and asking them to tell him their feeling intensity on a scale of one to five. Protected by medical institutions and professionals but called out by activists including intersex people, Poppas is one of many doctors in the
and even considered a social norm in other parts of the world, namely Asia and Africa. In some cultures, it is considered a part of the celebration of coming into womanhood, much like how male circumcision is common in the United States. While there are some instances where female genital cutting is detrimental and could be considered a human rights violation, most often the practice is just a normal part of life. In Western cultures, the alteration of female genitalia holds a severe and confusing double standard: While the removal or cutting of the clitoris, as what has been deemed “female genital mutilation,” is considered to be a human rights infringement, the alteration of the genital area for cosmetic purposes is increasing with surgeries such as labioplasties and vaginaltightening procedures. Some women are willing to do the latter but fail to take into consideration that they too, in fact, are “mutilating” their own genitals.
Ellen Feder of American University and Anne Tamar-Mattis, founder of Advocates for Informed Choice. Representing Weil Medical College and present to give Cornell University’s official statement on the issue was Dr. Ralph Nachman, professor of medicine and associate dean of clinical research. The panel focused on what society perceives as normal and abnormal. They all asked the same question: “Why does it matter?” The women of the panel spoke with great emotion about patient advocacy and the protection and support of intersex children. They had personal attachments to the problem of medical research conducted on individuals considered abnormal by doctors and society. The panelists, especially Green and Tamar-Mattis, spoke passionately about how their own lives were directly influenced by the intersex community and medical research. Green, born with CAH and a member of the intersex community, grew up
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being told that she was the only person in the world with her condition. When speaking about self-esteem and how people born with physical discrepancies think of themselves, Green said, “It is important that you live your life, that you treat your body with the highest regard.” Infants and young children, however, cannot grow up loving themselves if they are altered and operated on from birth. They have no choice, no ability to make the life-altering decision of surgery. Even so, Nachman defended Poppas and his research for medical and other purposes, asserting that what he is doing is a standard clinical procedure. “Clearly, the surgery he performed was a clinical activity,” Nachman said. The issue still remains about the follow-up research activities. TamarMattis, a lawyer who has an intersex partner, expressed her concern that the real problem is that the children are not being treated like human beings. “I’ve become very worried about intersex children when they become objects of research,” Tamar-Mattis said. While it may seem that doctors take advantage of children and their families, regional pediatricians actually refer parents to Poppas from all around the world. More often than not, parents have the best interest
of their child at heart, but they are frightened about how their child will be received in society because of the physical difference. Parents agree to this surgery and research because they want their children to have happy, normal lives. However, as Feder asked, “Why would parents consent to procedures on behalf of their children when they would refuse the procedure themselves?” The surgery Poppas performs on infants with CAH benefits their health; however, it puts the infants who are healthy but “abnormal” at risk of psychological damage from the testing and objectification that follows. It is not ethical to treat patients like research objects instead of human beings. The children do not determine whether they will receive surgery—their parents do. Sometimes, parents do not know what is best for their children. Is gender identity still such a pressing problem that parents are not comfortable simply accepting their children for their differences? As Green said, “Each of us deserves to feel loved and respected for who we are.” Stephanie Black is a freshman drama major. E-mail her at sblack1@ithaca. edu.
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10/11/10 3:04:42 AM
Making a Mountain out of a Mosque Why the “Ground Zero Mosque” is the election’s hottest non-issue By Merdina Ljekperic ower Manhattan is made up of not just Wall Street, but stores, churches, mosques, temples, bars, clubs, McDonald’s and just about anything you can think of. So, whether or not Muslims want to pray in a former Burlington Coat Factory, just another one of these buildings that lines the streets of New York City, is a non-issue. The debate surrounding the proposed Islamic cultural center, or Park51, should not be focused on taking sides, but rather on asking why it is happening in the first place. The greater problem that must be addressed is the growing acceptance of vitriolic intolerance in the American public that has allowed the Park51 debate to blow out of proportion. Particularly since the election of this nation’s first black president, racism and religious intolerance have stepped out of the shadows and into the public sentiment. There is no better evidence than the fact that a third of this country still thinks Obama is Muslim and, furthermore, uses the term as a slur itself. The Park51 cultural center has really no significance in and of itself, but the issue cannot be written off because of the greater schism in the American public that gave it that national stage it never deserved. Our real problem is the growing American psyche and political faction that equates intolerance with patriotism. It’s not just the extremists. It’s not veiled. It’s in the public. It’s in the media. It’s accepted. And that’s downright terrifying. Ithaca College professor Asma Barlas said she was far from surprised by the backlash. “This sort of suspicion, often hatred, for the other has been around for a very long time,” she said. “It’s just that the other keeps changing. … The sentiments that are being expressed under the guise of patriotism
and concern for U.S. citizens is actually exemplifying the worst historical tendencies.” We cannot ignore what message this debate sends to the rest of the world. For that small group of Islamic extremists, there will be no greater achievement than stripping America of its core fundamental values from our very constitution. There will be no greater success than cementing the war they strive to create between the West and the Islamic world. We cannot defeat extremism through isolation. Extremists rely on isolation. It is when you ostracize someone, when you hate them, when you make them feel unwelcome, when you destroy any hope they have to find solace and a home, that you turn them to extremists who blind them with lies and false promises. The media have framed it as the “Ground Zero Mosque” issue when in reality, it’s a non-issue of a nonmosque not on Ground Zero. It is only an issue because outspoken intolerance, fueled by the right-wing Tea Party, is far from a fringe position, but a contender in the political climate. It’s a concern not just because of anti-Islamic sentiment, but fanatical distrust, bigotry and onedimensional stereotypes against all minority groups. It’s disconcerting because it’s creating a false American dichotomy of “You’re either with us or against us.” You are either a good, patriotic American or you are, simply put, evil. “I think it is about intolerance in the United States of America,” Barlas said. “For me, to frame it as a discussion about Islam and Muslims is really a red herring. By giving advice to people on one side, it’s like I’m really ignoring the storm in the tea cup by the Tea Partiers that needs to be dealt with not by advising Imam Rauf, but by advising [the Tea Party].” The media have also completely botched the coverage of the issue, only
fanning this very insignificant flame. The Daily Show with Jon Stewart is possibly the only media program that has correctly framed the issue—not calling it “The Ground Zero Mosque” or the “9/11 Mosque,” but rather as the “Mosquerade.” It has been just that: an easy distraction from the real issues facing this country, like the two wars overseas, the widening gap between the rich and poor, the lack of jobs, health care and more. Professor Barlas referred to the historian T.J. Jackson Lears when she said that it is “the tendency of public discourse to make certain things readily available to conscious while ignoring or suppressing others.” Park51 has not been on the forefront of all news stories because of its significance, but because it’s a juicy story, conveniently situated near midterm elections, that feeds into the outcry of intolerance in this country. Despite all concerns, there might be some good than can result from this “Mosquerade.” As a society, we have grown accustomed to pushing any issues we’re afraid to talk about under the rug. This only creates a vicious circle because we cannot hash out these major issues until they are brought into the public eye and into the national discourse. Well, now it seems as if the issues we’ve decided to ignore are growing bigger than the rug we tried to hide them under. We must learn to be comfortable discussing uncomfortable topics in order to find a resolution. By allowing this baseless, racist and intolerant sentiment to creep out from under the surface, we can address it, attack it and hope that it will soon crumble. Merdina Ljekperic is a sophomore journalism and politics major who attends weekly services at her local Burlington Coat Factory. E-mail her at mljekpe1@ ithaca.edu.
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The “F” Word Sarah Palin claims she is a “Conservative Feminist” By Connie Honeycutt omen used to run from it, deny it, fear its wrath, and yet recently Sarah Palin claimed it as her own. That’s right: She dropped the Fbomb. Palin called herself a “conservative feminist” in a May 14 speech for the Susan B. Anthony List, a political action committee for anti-abortion female congressional candidates. Awesome. Now what? Don’t get me wrong. Palin has every right to call herself a feminist. And if s h e has the guts to do so, then more power to her. But, what I want to make extremely clear is that Palin does not
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represent the entire feminist body. And I think that is something a lot of men and women who associate with feminist movements fear. They are skeptical of Palin because in a lot of ways, and for many years, she represents the enemy. And so, for her to align herself as part of the same group that has fought against her seems odd. Why do current feminists feel anger toward Palin’s coming out? And should she be allowed to claim the word as her own? To begin, it is nearly impossible to define feminism. There have been many different feminist movements. There were at least three distinct waves of feminism, and in those different times, we saw socialist feminism, liberal feminism, radical feminism and post-modern feminism. Apparently today we have discovered a “conservative feminism” courtesy of our dear friend, Sarah Palin. When we take a moment to look at Palin’s political agendas, it is clear that feminist ideas are not at the top of her list. Palin actively seeks to restrict women’s freedoms. Sure, one could praise Palin for being brave enough to drop the Fbomb, but her motives are what drive feminists crazy. This new conservative movement distracts from the existing movements. It distracts from what feminisms are really
about. And this is what scares many feminists. Palin is not a feminist simply because she is a woman of power. She is not a feminist because she believes in equality. She is not a feminist because she believes in pro-choice or fights against oppression. No, Sarah Palin calls herself a feminist because she is a public figure, and her image needs other women to like her. Reclaiming the word “feminist” empowers conservative women. It is a ploy like no other. Sure, liberal women are more likely to accept the label, but for a conservative woman to embrace the power of femininity is a new concept. She claims to be a feminist because she believes in some sort of sisterhood of women, right? Well, let’s take a quick look at her true agenda: She vetoed a bill denying benefits to gays, saying it was unconstitutional. She believes that it is ok to deny benefits to homosexual couples and denies spousal benefits for same-sex couples. She publicly stated that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and she claims her top priorities include preserving definition of “marriage.” She opposes explicit sex-education programs. And, she is pro-life. So, this is what feminism means to her? Feminists desire equality for men and women. They fight the concept of a heteronormative world. They believe in encouraging women to express their sexuality: to reclaim their bodies, to love their bodies, to find their own passions, to love whom they want. If Sarah wants to take on this word along with the burden that comes with it, then I’d love to sit down and chat. But until then, step off, Palin. Connie Honeycutt is a junior TV-R major who is working on her own Bridge to Nowhere. E-mail her at choneyc1@ ithaca.edu.
Image by Zachary Anderson
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The Internet Is For Buzzsaw.
Check out our newly-revamped site (buzzsawmag.org), featuring more new content than ever! Including: >>> “Going Au Naturél,” by Lyndsey Lyman: Sure, you could stick with the tried-and-true brand of facial cleanser, but you risk health issues due to a list of potentially damaging ingredients. Let’s weigh the pros and cons of all-natural facial cleansers. Art by Zachary Anderson >>> “Still No Recovery for NOLA,” by Jenni Zellner: The burden of restoring New Orleans from Hurricane Katrina has, five years later, fallen largely on student and volunteer groups. The problem is, they’re not always the best equipped to handle the job. >>> “The Forgotten Country,” by Rodrigo Ugarte: After hiding an ugly history of violence, the government of Peru is now being pressured to relive the past and clean up the present. >>> “Put That in Your E-Cig and Smoke It,” by Andrew Lindsay: Electronic cigarettes are the next big thing in the tobacco industry. But is this new product worth kicking the habit for? And can it be a truly clean alternative to Big Tobacco? Art by Sally Russell >>> “Tearing Up the Textbooks,” by Carly Smith: History can be uncomfortably jarring, whether it’s the existence of the Holocaust or the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves. But that doesn’t mean we should sanitize history in our middle school and high school textbooks. Or does it? >>> “The Simple Life,” by Maureen Tant: A social movement is growing to renounce as many worldly possessions as you can and use only what you need. These “21st century minimalists” aren’t trying to escape society; they’re trying to keep themselves pure from pressures to consume, challenging themselves to live with less. >>> “More than a Maid,” by Marc Phillips: As the profession of housecleaning becomes further divided between under-the-table work and company affiliations, can consumers put a price on quality? >>> “The Evolution of a Controversy,” by Sarah Ward: It’s 2010, and some students in the United States are still taught only creationism, with administrations refusing to teach evolution. But deleting this information from textbooks only winds up hurting the students. >>> “Cleaning Out the Pipes,” by Shaza Elsheshtawy: Lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup… part of a well-balanced breakfast? According to the Master Cleanse, just one of many body cleansing programs that aim to lighten your soul by purifying your body, yes. What are the benefits and risks of these cleanses? >>> “You Got Some Eggsplaining to Do,” by Jessica Levine: The massive egg recall of August 2010 was no yolk. But how the hell do you recall a half billion eggs that may be tainted and cause illness? Buzzsaw cracks the mystery. Image by Nikki Black
Critical Thinking & Shit A note on society’s huge messes By Shaun Poust leanup is on the agenda. We need to clean up the air; it’s full of pollution. We need to clean up Wall Street; it’s full of irresponsible investors. We need to clean up our streets; they’re full of criminals. We need to clean up Washington; it’s full of “out of touch” bureaucrats. But can everything be solved with scrubbing? Is hysterical germaphobia the appropriate disposition given the problems confronting us today? When we use cleanup as a metaphor for problemsolving, we simplify matters by implying that the problem can be clearly identified at its source and that the problem will disappear once its source is done away with. The dream is of a system—to continue with the examples above, an ecosystem, a financial system, a social system or a parliamentary system—that could function perfectly, that could be disinfected and thus be without the pollution, over-speculation, violence and corruption that get in the way. But what if the system’s perfect functioning necessarily produces its own excess, its own waste products, so to speak? What if what allows for the possibility of the system’s perfect functioning is related to what so often prevents it? Things are more complicated than eager-beaver cleaneruppers would like to believe. Take the oil spill in the Gulf. BP has been demonized, billed the cost of the cleanup as well as the losses local businesses have suffered—and we all remember that President Obama said that the purpose of the federal investigation into the spill was to let him know “whose ass to kick.” There is some justice, some truth, in all of this. But as the Slovenian philosopher
and avowed Marxist Slavoj Zizek has pointed out, the top oil companies all function in basically the same way, with only marginal differences in technology, policies, etc. It was only a matter of chance that the spill happened to be BP’s. A system that requires oil to be transported in huge quantities across the globe is bound to be a system in which accidents sometimes happen, and the size of those accidents will be proportional to the quantity of oil transported. The oil spill may have been a tragedy, but it was certainly not a surprise. Don’t get me wrong: When there is shit on the ground, we should clean up the shit. And right now, everyone, from Glenn Beck to Noam Chomsky, seems to agree that there is tons of shit on the ground. We spend a lot of time thinking about that shit: We see it on the news, we talk about it in our classes, and the best of us devote our lives to shoveling it into buckets. But as conservatives say when they denounce public spending, shit doesn’t fall from the sky. We should be looking for a very large horse, or cow—or maybe a giant. We have a generation of hysterical germaphobes, of cleaner uppers; but we need some zoologists and animal trackers, too, because where there is this much shit, there is something that eats—a lot. Cleanup certainly has its place, but we can’t let the need for cleanup —and it may be there—eclipse the need for critical thinking. ____________________________ Shaun Poust is a junior journalism major and advocate for worldwide pooper-scooping. E-mail him at spoust1@ ithaca.edu.
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Somebody Call the Spin Doctor The magic behind repairing politicians’ public image By Meagan McGinnes
above the law and the rules of the governed. Spitzer, however, has been working to cleanse his image since this scandal. He still has his wife by his side, has hired Howard Rubenstein to handle all of his public relations, and is getting back into the political world. Spitzer is now writing for high profile outlets on issues he
Image by Garen Whitmore
knows well: financial scandals and other serious events. John Edwards, however, is an example of a political figure that has not used the public relations tool well. A former U.S. Senator from North Carolina, Edwards revealed this year he had had an affair with aide Rielle Hunter and fathered a child out of wedlock, all while his wife was fighting metastatic breast cancer. Even after previously admitting to the affair, Edwards denied being the father of the child in 2006. On Jan. 1, 2010, Edwards issued a press release finally admitting that the child is his. Andrew Young, Edward’s campaign aide, released a book called The Politician to detail the affair. Young
originally claimed that he, not Edwards, was the child’s father, but later retracted that statement. He claims Edwards pressured him to accept responsibility on his behalf. Young wrote that Edwards once calmed his anxious mistress by promising he would marry her in a rooftop ceremony in New York, with an appearance by the Dave Matthews Band, after his wife died. “He is morally compromised,” Arroyo said. “His professional reputation is now intertwined with his spiraling personal life.” Because he betrayed his wife when she was in such a vulnerable position and also lied repeatedly, both Arroyo and Flowers doubt that he will get back into office. This stain is too deep to be completely removed. “In some cases the public can have a short-term memory, but a long-term memory on others,” Flowers said. In Spitzer’s case, PR may be an effective use of bleach to remove the stains of his prostitute scandal. It is far less likely for Edwards, but only time can truly tell. Rebuilding a positive image can take years. As both Flowers and Arroyo said, PR is a process that takes time, patience and communication, in the same way that cleaning clothes is also a process. Deep stains may take multiple washes and bleaching in order to completely remove them, and sometimes, they ruin clothing permanently. There is only so much grime and dirt that bleach can combat. There is no magic solution and, unfortunately for politicians who find themselves entrenched in enormous scandals, neither is public relations. ____________________________________ Meagan McGinnes is a freshman journalism major who needs a PR guy to spin her love for Nickelback into something cool and respectable. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
oliticians are placed on a pedestal of morals, ethics, values and patriotism. Because of the influence and power they hold, mistakes are not an option. “A good politician has three common traits that give them a source of credibility: expertise, sincerity and charisma,” said Arhlene Flowers, assistant professor of Integrated Marketing Communications at Ithaca College. “It takes years to create a political image but almost a nanosecond for it to dissolve.” It seems now more than ever, the press is breaking scandals involving major political figures. We cannot trust even those who are supposed to be representing the population in government to be role models. It is this personal deception that makes it more complicated for politicians to recover and cleanse their images after a scandal. Juan Arroyo, assistant professor of comparative politics at IC, linked these scandals to stains on his children’s shirts. “Removing the stain depends on two things: the type of stain and the quality of the shirt beforehand,” he said. Public relations is the politician’s bleach. Just as bleach can make an already-clean shirt seem brighter, as well as remove tough spots from a dirty shirt, PR can build a clean and marketable public figure and minimize the damage of a disgraced one. Like bleach, public relations is merely a tool in the “cleansing” process. It is up to the individual to use it wisely. After becoming governor of New York state, Eliot Spitzer was caught with his pants down as a patron of an illegal prostitution ring. Previously, Spitzer was an advocate against prostitution. “He was someone who seemed to be the holder of all things good,” Flowers said. This scandal made it seem that Spitzer thought of himself as being
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Do-It-Yourself Religion Cutting, pasting and whiting out the Bible to fit your worldview By Gena Mangiaratti ast summer, following years of questioning the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) on its adherence to the Bible as the final authority, members of the largest Lutheran denomination in America made the decision to disaffiliate and become members of a new denomination, the North American Lutheran Church (NALC). The NALC was established on Aug. 27, 2010, at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, where more than 1,000 orthodox Lutherans from the ELCA, as well as supporting Lutheran Churches in Africa and Eastern Europe, gathered to approve its constitution. Last year, the ELCA lifted a ban on openly gay and lesbian members serving as church professionals after the action won a vote of 559 to 451 in the denomination’s church-wide assembly in Minneapolis, Minn. Citing that Bible scriptures name same-sex relationships as a type of sexuality that is unpleasing to God, Lutherans in the new denominational body feel this statement in addition to past actions by the denomination are indicative of the ELCA’s drift from scriptural authority, the fundamental core under which Lutheranism was formed during the Protestant Reformation. “People can get things wrong—so can bishops, and so can church presidents and anybody else, but the Bible is the Bible.” said Ryan Schwarz, a member of the executive council of the NALC. “That is very fundamental for us as Lutherans.”
Christian Unity Lutheranism was formed as a breakaway from the Catholic Church in the 1500s on the grounds that the Church was adhering to the authority of the pope over that of the scriptures. The ELCA, headquartered in Chicago, was formed in 1988 at a convention in Columbus, Ohio, when three Lutheran Church bodies in North America united. Today, the ELCA consists of 4.8 million members
and about 10,500 congregations in the United States and the Caribbean, according to the ELCA website. Schwarz emphasizes the authority of scripture as one of the fundamental principles on which Lutheranism was formed. He cited that the ELCA had been drifting from scriptural authority in several ways, including a decreased emphasis on starting new churches and in modifying scriptural readings by eliminating militaristic-sounding passages and references to God as a “He.” “We see that as not faithful to the Bible to change the scripture to fit our own current views or whims,” Schwarz said. At the ELCA church-wide assembly of 2005, there had been a recommendation on providing a procedure that would allow pastors in committed same-sex relationships to become church professionals. That fall, a group of Lutherans who had for a while been skeptical of the ELCA’s direction held a meeting in Kansas City. They formed the Lutheran Coalition for Reform, or Lutheran CORE, a reform group with the goal of working within the ELCA to change its direction. Their first priority was to restore the ELCA’s emphasis on the authority of the Bible, said Pastor Steve Shipman, secretary of Lutheran CORE. When reform of the ELCA proved to be too difficult a year ago, the group turned its efforts toward forming a new denomination—now the NALC. The ELCA’s new teachings on sexuality became the last straw for many people, Schwarz said. The homosexuality issue, with its controversial place in today’s politics, has gathered the most attention in the press. While Schwarz feels that the Bible is clear in its stance on sexuality, he realizes that it can be difficult for many people to understand. “If you have a heart, it’s kind of hard to know somebody who understands themselves to be gay and have to say to them that I believe the Bible teaches that homosexuality is wrong,” Schwarz said. “But we believe that the
Bible actually teaches that over and over.” Lutheran CORE, now called Lutheran Coalition for Renewal, today continues as a fellowship of congregations who, while they may or may not be part of the NALC, are in agreement with its tradition. Some members of Lutheran CORE, like Shipman, are in disagreement with the direction of the ELCA but for various reasons, such as loyalty to current ELCA congregations, have chosen not to leave the denomination. Shipman said he could not serve his congregations as a member of NALC. Through efforts such as holding meetings each year and using common materials where possible, Lutheran CORE aims to allow for continued unity between NALC congregations and those who have chosen to stay with the ELCA. “We’re trying to avoid that decision to separate [from] becoming a chasm that eliminates relationships with those who’ve stayed,” Schwarz said. “That would be, in our perspective, sad and would also be contrary to the goal of Christian unity.” A Question of Murder Rick Blair, an ELCA pastor at the St. Luke Lutheran Church at Cornell University, feels the fracturing that led to the formation of an entirely new denomination did not happen suddenly. The ELCA was formed out of three predecessor church bodies that were in different portions of the United States and had their roots in different countries. The bringing together of these formerly distinct groups has led to a body with somewhat differing opinions, Blair said. Some Lutherans currently feel that members of the Church are bound to their particular understandings of scripture through their relationship with God. This concept is often referred to in ELCA documents as “bound conscience” and is traced back to concepts in the Bible and statements made by Martin Luther in his trial for heresy, according to the ELCA website. “I as your pastor cannot, should
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Bible as a human product that can be re-interpretted. Debbie Kollgaard, communications director of St. Luke’s Anglican Church, a breakaway congregation that recently joined the ACNA, feels that choosing which verses to follow as written and which not to is ultimately ignoring the fundamental authority of scriptures and therefore the main reason to be Christian. “It really goes down to … who do you say Jesus Christ is? Is he the son of God?” Kollgaard said. “What do you say scripture is? Does it have authority? Is it the word of God? Or is it just a nice collection of writing?” She feels that by condoning the ordination of a bishop who is in a same-sex relationship, the Church leaders are making a clear digression from scripture. “What they’re saying is that the Bible doesn’t have authority and what Jesus did on the cross doesn’t really mean anything,” she said. Why Homosexuality? Shipman recalls that the homosexuality question was not always a key issue and believes the breakaway from the ELCA would have happened one way or another. He said he is unsure why an issue of same-sex relations seemed to be the breaking point. “It is probably a part of the answer that sexuality and sexual ethics really do help to define the nature of humanity and that our culture has lost its moorings on a lot of matters regarding sex,” Shipman said via e-mail. “It is also a very visible manifestation of a religious viewpoint that seems to many of us to be the exact opposite of the teachings of the Bible.” But he has yet to come across an answer he deems acceptable. Shipman said, “Some questions will best be answered by historians in several decades, after the smoke has cleared.” ____________________________________ Gena Mangiaratti is a sophomore journalism major who founded the Church of Loveism. E-mail her at gmangia1@ ithaca.edu.
not, try to bind your conscience on Episcopal Church ordained Bishop any issue,” Blair said. “Given what Gene Robinson, who is openly gay you have from scripture, the Holy and lives with his longtime partner. Spirit—you are free.” Like Lutheranism, Anglicanism The ELCA’s social statement of was formed as a breakaway from the August 2009 convention states Catholicism in the 16th century over that the church has not yet reached the Catholic Church’s submission to consensus on where the Bible stands papal authority above the authority of on same-sex relationships and that all the Bible. members are encouraged to “live out Bryan Jones, an Episcopalian their faith … with profound respect pastor at St. Luke’s of the Mountains for the conscience-bound belief of the Episcopal Church in La Crescenta, neighbor.” Calif., believes that in the tradition of Blair feels the scriptures about the Episcopal Church, each generation same-sex relations might not actually has the “freedom of conscience” to be condemning the relationships work toward finding what it means themselves, but rather the effect they to be a Christian based on scripture, had during the time the scriptures while holding that the Bible is a were written. Through his study of Hebrew texts, he said, Blair understands there previously to have been a different Image by biological understanding of Sam Pinto how life is produced. The male, he understands, was believed to supply all 48 chromosomes to the offspring—rather than 23 as understood today—and the woman supplied none, functioning only as the carrier to which the “seed” was being planted. In relationships between two men, the seed would therefore be wasted. Because the culture at this time was more difficult to survive in, the lack of opportunity that relationships between two males provided to produce life was a grave concern. Blair also notes that there is a lack of scripture regarding relationships between two females. “Is this an issue that we would see from our perspective as sexual morality, or is it an issue more of murder?” Blair questions. “Does, therefore, the condemnation [have] to do with a lack of responsibility for producing the next generation rather than some mutually-agreed “human product.” adult relationship?” “It’s both human and divine, and you can’t separate the two, and you A Similar Path can’t take every verse literally,” he Having undergone a similar said. “But overarchingly what it breakaway is the Episcopal Church teaches is that we’re to love God and —the U.S. branch of the Anglican love our neighbor as ourselves, and Communion, which is under the overarchingly the ministry of Jesus Church of England. Members of the was always about including those Episcopal Church disaffiliated and people that others would want to in 2009 formed a new denomination exclude.” called the Anglican Church in North Members of the breakaway church America (ACNA)—six years after the disagree with the idea of treating the
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Prescription Pill-Popping Why meds alone won’t ever clean up mental illness By Megan Devlin any refuse to acknowledge the pervasion of mental health disorders in society, especially among children and young adults. Rather than seek outside help, minors are often persuaded by parental preferences and professional suggestion to rely on medication to treat their mental health disorders. This over-reliance on prescription drugs has been influenced by consumerism. In modern society, individual interests are linked strongly to those of our capitalist economy. It does not mean that members of society do not possess a free will, but rather that conscious choice is often swayed by the power of capitalist America. Sophia Terazwa, a sophomore Ithaca College student, was first diagnosed with what was believed to be depression. Later on, doctors claimed she had developed a more severe mental illness. The pressure to take heavy
medication forced Sophia to dropout of high school her sophomore year. “I started having delusions and getting paranoid,” Terazwa said. “My doctor wanted to put me on an antipsychotic, but my mom was really against the medication.” According to Health Affairs, the drug market is a $140 billion dollar industry whose spending on prescription drugs has been steadily growing at a rate of 15 percent to 18 percent per year. In 2000 alone, drug manufacturers spent nearly $16 billion on the promotion of drugs, $2.5 billion of which was spent on directto-consumer advertising. This influences the prescription of medicines based on consumer demands when, in some cases, they may not be medically necessary. Duff Wilson, a journalist for The New York Times, covers stories on the pharmaceutical industry. His recent focus is on the over-marketing of antipsychotics, the tranquilizing substances used to treat psychosis. Wilson said today, experts agree that doctors are more likely to recommend drug treatment as opposed to therapy. Through his research, Wilson has
Image by Daniel Sitts and Anika Steppe
discovered the “piecework mentality of medical care.” The determining factor almost always comes back to economics. Kaylie Crawford, a freshman at IC, has suffered from depression since fourth grade. Depression, as defined by the World Health Organization, is a common mental disorder that combines depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy and poor concentration. Living with this psychological disorder from such a young age has allowed Crawford to experience the full realm of treatment options and thereby express her concern for the direction in which society is headed. “People don’t invest in prevention, they invest in fixing once it’s a problem,” she said. Although the drug industry has spent almost double the funds in research and development, which have led to the production of products that have altered the process and outcomes of treatment for major diseases, the pill-push mentality still exists and poses a significant threat to mental stability. Unlike many, Crawford approached her parents with her concerns, who decided that she should s e e k t h e
professional help of a therapist with whom she could share her problems. “I wasn’t just medicated and left at that,” Crawford said. “It was actually contemplated whether or not it would be safe [for me] to be on medication.” Dr. Michael B. First, director and editor of the research agenda for the
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therapy. She explained how her doctor prescribed her medication in order for her to feel an immediate relief by helping to balance out the chemicals in her brain. She said that without the antidepressants, she would have been stuck in an inescapable thought cycle of negativity. However, Crawford also said that her doctor understood that medication is not a longterm fix. “It’s nothing without the support of a therapist,” Crawford said. “The medicine is like a gateway, but therapy teaches you how to live again.” Unfortunately, it is still considered more socially acceptable for parents to provide their children with medication than send children to therapeutic counseling. It is difficult for parents who feel they have to rely on outside help in order to cope with the effects of psychotic disorders when the “fix-it” mentality is ubiquitous. Breggin said the push from drug companies and “big money advocates” has created a huge stigma surrounding mental health. His assertion is that those with mental struggles are made to believe that they are “diseased.” Terazwa had never been heavily medicated until last semester, after she started hearing voices. Although at first she was just frightened by what she was experiencing, her fear turned to depression and then to thoughts of suicide. However, when she sought out help, she felt an even greater threat from the stigma surrounding her condition. “They said I was schizophrenic and prescribed me antipsychotics,” she said. “When you hear the word ‘antipsychotic,’ you think, ‘She’s psychotic. There’s something really wrong with her.’” The stigma surrounding psychological disorders is huge and poses a threat to mental health recovery. Pharmaceutical conglomerates are only partially responsible for the drug market’s influence on society.
It’s nothing without the support of a therapist. The medicine is like a gateway, but therapy teaches you how to live again.
Not only has society been coerced to believe that a pill will cure anything, but certain stigmas have dissuaded parents from talking to their children about their mental wellness. For those with mental health disorders, this is a fearful notion. “I’m really lucky because a lot of parents could have just said, ‘Buck up, you’re sad, make new friends,’” Crawford said. She shared her appreciation for her parents’ openness and understanding after she had approached them with concerns about her mental health at such a young age. However, Crawford is one of the few who are fortunate to receive such support. Many people with mental health disorders are limited by the stigma. Labels can be demeaning and damaging, an automatic mechanism for disempowerment. Without a strong support system, people with mental health problems do not know how to properly cope with their disorder. Social support and therapeutic counseling are the first steps in demystifying the stigma. The combination empowers individuals to cope with their mental struggles. Crawford compares the dual components of treatment for mental illness to a student’s journey through the educational system: You can sign up for classes in the same way you can receive prescription medication and take it as recommended. But, without the support and guidance of your teacher, you will never reach your full potential. Succumbing to societal assumptions and relying on medication to clean society of mental health issues won’t help those with psychotic disorders. Instead, it will only help craft a reality built on misguided beliefs that will supposedly lead to a “cure.” However, without believing in recovery balanced by medication and therapeutic support, it’s not possible. Eliminating mental health disorders is impossible, but that’s ok. People should understand that recovery is the end, not the means. Those undergoing treatment must help society coexist with mental health. ________________________________ Megan Devlin is a freshman journalism major. E-mail her at mdevlin2@ ithaca.edu.
American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, explains his findings on what constitutes a great threat to those “diagnosed” with psychotic disorders: “Although the past two decades have produced a great deal of progress in neurobiological investigations, the field has thus far failed to identify a single neurobiological phenotypic marker or gene that is useful in making a diagnosis of a major psychiatric disorder or for predicting response to psychopharmacological treatment,” he said. Despite technological innovation in the field of medicine, psychiatry is largely a guessing game dependent on the subjective diagnosing of mental health conditions. For this reason, medicine has become a process of elimination—ruling out what one does not have by mere observation. Terazwa expressed her gratitude for waiting to take medication for a mental illness that was still unclearly diagnosed. “I’m glad my mom didn’t put me on antipsychotics right away,” she said. “I was still trying to figure myself out and I was really unsure of what I was experiencing.” Dr. Peter Breggin, a psychiatric reformer and private psychiatry practitioner in Ithaca, criticizes many of the diagnostic processes for mental conditions. “There is no such thing as ‘mental illness,’” Breggin said. “There are psychological problems, and there are physical problems.” Breggin believes that antipsychotics are toxic to the nervous system, requiring it to compensate the toxicity with abnormal cell growth. As a result, he said that these psychoactive substances disrupt brain function and worsen medical conditions over time. His radical view of medication has led to his belief that therapy and proper education have the potential to treat any state of mental instability without the use of medication. However, through her own experience, Crawford emphasized the importance of both medication and
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One Hand Washes the Other
Greek philosophies from an IC dining hall worker By Kristin Leffler
You know what they say the Greek philosophy is?” His accent is powerful, strong. He tilts his head down a bit, looking under his blue eyes to emphasize the importance of his inquiry. His hands urgently beat the dining hall table to the rhythm of his words. “Learn any job you can. And… you’re never hungry. You know why?” He leans in closer. “Why?” “Because you’ve learned so many jobs, somebody’s gonna give you a job.” His hands swing out as if he’s throwing the wisdom in the air to whoever is willing to catch it. He relaxes in his chair. Lesson one complete. From Sunday through Thursday, John Mavros works in the Terrace Dining Hall, moving swiftly, quietly, tending to the swarm of hungry college students who slide their trays down in a robotic fashion, stopping to scoop food onto their plates. One carrot falls; he is quick to pick it up. The stack of plates is stripped one by one; he is quick to refill it. At 73 years old, Mavros does his job and does it well. “I’m not meant to sit down. I don’t want to muck around. I want something to do. Working is good for life because you’ve got something to do.” When he first moved to the United States from the port city of Piraeus in Athens, Greece, in 1964, he worked three jobs—painting houses and public buildings during the day and working at restaurants at night. Mavros’ lifelong desire and need to earn a living was instilled in him at an early age growing up in Greece. “It’s a beautiful, lovely land,” Mavros says about his home country. “You got a nice space to sit down and eat, you got a lot of place to walk on the port, you got coffee shops, you got ice cream, you’ve got taverns, you’ve got anything you want. It’s beautiful. Beautiful, gorgeous.” At only six years old he took his first job in a coffee shop, relaying the port workers’ orders to his boss. He continued to help support his
parents, brother and sister by working at a jewelry store and a shoe store. In 1941, the effects of World War II impacted their family. His voice quiets and his eyes shift downward as if the memories have finally caught up to him. “Too much. [The war] affected us too much,” he says. After his father lost his job and their house was destroyed by bombings, they moved into his greatgrandmother’s one-room home. He was young, but he knew what his responsibility was to his family. It didn’t matter what he was doing. Work was work. “My mother and father don’t have any money or food. I’m looking through the garbage to find food to eat,” he says. “I had to work to help my family. My family didn’t have any money, but still I work for my family because I know what happens. That’s the game”. He sits forward and lays his hands on the table, palms up. “The Greek philosophy says one hand washes the other one, both wash the face.” He rubs his hands together, right over left, left over right, and then flings them upward with a shrug as if emphasizing the simplicity of the theory. Lesson two complete. Mavros applies this same belief of family commitment and respect to his work in the dining hall. He sees it as a functioning family and expects a certain level of respect from those he serves. “Some kids don’t give a damn shit. If your mother and father say, ‘Hey, take those dishes over here,’ you say no? Respect [us] just like your family at home. If you respect us, the workers, I respect you more.” But Mavros has no tolerance for students who allow the drinking and partying scene to
impede on their academic life. He knows how hard people must work to be able to obtain an education, and it’s something he says has too much value to throw away. “My dream? I wanted to go to school. But [I had] no money. It’s too bad.” Mavros worked for a small company his father started after the war, joined the army, and then ended up as a cook on a ship that he took to the United States, where he decided to stay. For Mavros, achieving a better life meant staying focused and driven. “If you know what you want in life you’ll never lose it,” he says. “Life is using your brain. Keep your mind straight.” He cuts the air with his index finger, slicing it with every other syllable. “The Greek philosophy says if your brain is right, your body is right. If your brain’s not working, your body feels tired.” He points to his head and to his heart, back and forth, and then opens his hands, widens his eyes and leans back again. Lesson three complete. “Whatever I said for you is insight for my life,” he says as he adjusts the white dishtowel draped over his shoulder and returns to do his job and do it well. ____________________________________ Kristin Leffler is a freshman journalism major who really does give a damn shit. E-mail her at kleffle1@ ithaca.edu.
Image by Anika Steppe
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(Don’t) Wade in the Water E. coli is not gorgeous...it’s just making its home in the gorges. By Andy Casler
Image by Anika Steppe
water. At the wildflower reserve there is also only one sign posted, and cars often obscure the sign, which is positioned in a corner of the parking lot. The sign at Mulholland Wildflower Preserve lists swimming among many other prohibited activities. Along with “No Swimming,” the sign posts other ordinances that are commonly broken, either because park visitors don’t notice the poorly-placed sign or they simply don’t mind breaking the rules. Ordinances include always keeping your pet on a leash, no smoking and no swimming. With sparsely-posted “No Swimming” signs, many Ithacans have been swimming in water that is unhealthy and could cause serious ailments. For Ithacans who do swim in Six Mile Creek, it’s not wise to enter the water after a rainstorm. Kate Haggerty, a water quality assistant for the New York State Parks, is involved in testing local freshwater beaches. With water quality testing, “the results vary from week to week, greatly depending on weather, especially rainfall,” Haggerty says. Since swimming in Six Mile Creek is illegal and water samples haven’t indicated an exponential rise in pollutants, the City of Ithaca is not investigating the stream’s E. coli levels or making the public aware that the water tested as too dirty for human
recreation. Symptoms of E. coli infection begin about seven days after you contract the germ. The first symptom is severe abdominal cramps, nausea, vomiting, and diarrheacausing dehydration. The diarrhea lasts for about a day and then the infection makes sores in your intestines and leads to red, bloody stools. Bloody diarrhea can last from two to five days. Roxanna Johnston, the watershed coordinator for Ithaca, says that for the drinking water that comes out of Six Mile Creek, E. coli levels are still low enough to not affect the quality of Ithaca’s drinking water. The water treatment plant cleans all E. coli from drinking water before it reaches any utility users. “We’re not allowed to have any E. coli at all get through the plant,” Johnston says, in regard to the drinking water that Ithacans get through the tap. When asked about the safety of swimming in Six Mile, Johnston is more wary of the physical dangers of swimming at the dams, like jumping into the water from the gorge’s edge – as many swimmers at Second and First Dam do. But, in regards to water pollutants like E. coli, Johnston says, “I don’t think it would be necessarily unsafe to take a dip, but that all gets really qualitative. For whatever reason if your immune system is compromised it might not be as good for you.” ____________________________________ Andy Casler is a senior journalism major who’s not okay with grimy ish in the water. E-mail him at acasler1@ ithaca.edu.
ix Mile Creek is a popular swimming spot for Ithaca residents and college students on hot summer days, but few people know that the stream recently tested for amounts of E. coli bacteria that exceed the New York state standards for safe freshwater swimming. Recent water testing shows that the water between Second Dam and First Dam contained 35 Colony Forming Units (cfu) of E. coli more than the state’s 235 cfu/ 100 ml limit for freshwater beaches on June 15, 2010. According to Community Science Institute’s (CSI) online database, Six Mile Creek contained 280 cfu of E.coli per 100 ml sample, an amount of E. coli that N.Y. deems hazardous for swimmers. The polluted water was tested at Mulholland Wildflower Preserve, which is located between Second Dam and First Dam, two popular swimming spots. The water sample was taken at the river’s base flow stage. Base flow is described as a river’s regular flow under normal conditions, which has fewer washed-in pollutants than at flood stage. During a river’s flood stage the flow is approximately two times more than base flow. When there are high water flow conditions, pollutants get carried off to the nearest body of water, which is usually a stream or a river. Though a single test for E.coli levels above 235cfu/ 100 ml sample will get any N.Y. swimming area temporarily closed, no notice was made for the high amounts of E. coli in Six Mile. This year the swimming areas at Butter Milk Falls and Robert Treeman were each closed twice because of high E. coli levels according to Deputy Press Officer of the New York State Parks Dan Keefe. At First Dam, there isn’t a single “No Swimming” sign posted. There is only one “No Swimming” notice at Second Dam, and the sign is only visible from one side of the dam, and not where swimmers often enter the
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The Crash, the Crisis, the Cleanup Making sense of the financial disaster and how we’re fixing it By Christine Loman a price tag Consumer News Business Channel estimates at 7.26 trillion. It has happened before, they say. And it will happen again. “It’s a very old story of overextending, making bad loans, making bad investments and not being prudent enough,” says Elia Kacapyr, professor and chair of the economics department at Ithaca College. There remains a good deal of uncertainty about exactly what happened and why in the financial crisis that lasted from 2007 to 2010. “I don’t think the experts even understand…We’re still looking for an explanation that really ties everything together,” says David Yermack, the Albert Fingerhut Professor of Finance and Business Transformation at the Stern School of Business at New York University. Back to the Beginning The story doesn’t start in 2007 when the crisis began or when the housing bubble burst. It began at the Great Depression; Congress enacted checks on the financial industry to limit the expansion of banks into other financial operations. These measures were passed into law with the Glass Steagall Act in 1933. The erosion of the Glass Steagall Act spanned the administrations of ten different presidents and included action by the Supreme Court, the Federal Reserve and deregulation legislation introduced by Congress in 1982, 1998, 1991, 1995 and 1998. Completely dismantled in 1999, it was replaced by the Financial Services Modernization Act in a year when the banks, securities firms and insurance companies spent $150 million in campaign contributions, according to “Sold Out: How Wall Street and Washington Betrayed America,” a report funded by the Consumer Education Foundation and Essential Information. “We allowed banks to stop merely being banks and to get into other areas of trading and pursue profits in investment banks, sell you complicated financial products and so forth. The repeal of the Glass Steagall Act was part of that,” Yermack says. Less than ten years later, everything would fall apart. Consumerism Takes Off With an ability to branch into other areas of trading came a shift in attitude. Commercial banks stopped thinking conservatively and started thinking like investment banks, according to “Sold Out.”
conomists say it is a story as old as the economy itself: Sometimes the markets go up, sometimes the markets go down. And other times the markets go into crisis mode, plummeting into a financial meltdown with
“There was a demand for the kind of high returns that could be obtained only through high leverage and big risk-taking,” the report states. The impact of this attitude would be compounded by the intense consumerism of Americans in the early 2000s. “There was an attitude in society in general that it was okay to spend like mad, the companies were encouraging us to spend like mad, the credit card companies were encouraging us to go deeper and deeper into debt,” Craig Mehall says. Mehall is the financial policy counsel at Private Citizen, a non-profit advocacy group. The Housing Bubble It was this outlook that helped spawn the housing bubble. It was the ignition point to the meltdown. Prospective homeowners with poor credit histories were lured into homeownership with offers of loans with low teaser rates. Buyers were unable to pay their mortgages when the unaffordable interest rates of these predatory loans became realities. Subprime mortgages inflated into a massive bubble. When it popped, 1.2 million Americans lost their homes, a report from April 2010 by the Mortgage Bankers Association says. Financial institutions, the biggest names on Wall Street, had been repackaging these sub-prime mortgage loans and bundling them together in a process known as securitization. They bought and sold these packages to each other, driving prices higher, betting that housing prices would continue to increase. “It’s a very unusual situation… there were basically just a lot of buyers with no sellers and when mortgage securities ultimately got really overpriced, people tried to trade out of their positions but found there was really nobody able to trade with them,” says Yermack. The sales of these mortgages went unreported to investors and regulators. Banks held these securities and other “toxic” assets in shadow markets, off the balance sheet. “Sold Out” estimates that the size
Image by Daniel Sitts
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of off-balance sheets assets was 15.9 times larger than reported assets in 2007. When housing prices stopped increasing and mortgage holders began to default on their loans, large amounts of these unreported securities plummeted in price.
by the U.S. Treasury saved an all out collapse of global financial markets,” says Kacapyr. Mehall agrees, saying that the speed and aggressiveness with which the government acted were able to contain the damage done by the crisis.
When did it become okay for a business to rob, steal, and cheat but it’s not okay for somebody who didn’t put a suit and tie on to do it?
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$33,742,815 Total decade-long campaign contribution (1998-2008).
Security Firms: Bear Stearns: $6,355,737 Goldman Sachs: $25,445,983 Lehman Brothers: $6,704,574 Merrill Lynch:$9,977,724 Morgan Stanley $14,367,857 (5 leading security firms)
$121,658,156 Total decade-long campaign contribution (1998-2008)
Finance, Insurance, Real Estate Decade-long capaign contribution total (1998-2008):
$1,738,284,032 Source: http://www.wallstreetwatch.org/soldoutreport.htm
A Lack of Regulation The Plausibility of Prevention At the same time, the market for Could the government have derivatives—“financial weapons intervened before the crisis became of mass destruction,” according full blown? Kacapyr says no. to Warren Buffett, because they “These [were] slow glacial things concentrated large amounts of risk in that are gradually moving forward the hands of only a few dealers—was over decades and they eventually also unregulated. come to a head. Can you imagine A specific derivative, the Credit President Clinton saying, ‘We’ve Default Swaps (CDS), was widely used just got to stop this’? Society just by banks. CDSs operated as a type of wouldn’t accept that, he wouldn’t be insurance; banks could purchase a reelected. Did we intervene too late? CDS to protect themselves if debtors, I don’t think there’s anything the like the subprime mortgage holders, government could have done along went into default. The seller of a CDS this path,” he says. would then be The damage done liable for that by the financial crisis debt. continues to linger. It was a The so-called Great climate that Recession— spurred allowed for by job loss in affected corruption, industries, an inability Mehall says. of banks to perform as “When did it banks, and a loss of become okay consumer confidence— for a business was only recently to rob, steal, declared over. and cheat but While the bailout it’s not okay prevented the crisis for somebody from worsening, it has who didn’t put also helped to create a suit and tie a banking system that - Craig Mehall, Private Citizen on to do it?” is made up of what he says. Mehall calls “ultra mega In the aftermath, some of America’s banks.” most revered financial institutions It’s the idea of too big to fail: Large went bankrupt, were nationalized, or financial institutions are too big to go sold. Bear Stearns, the fifth largest bankrupt without causing the entire investment bank in the country, failed financial system to collapse. and was taken over by J.P. Morgan, Kacapyr says it’s an issue the as was Washington Mutual. The U.S. government has punted on. Treasury nationalized Fannie Mae “There was an opportunity here to and Freddie Mac; the U.S. Federal address that issue that sometimes Reserve bailed out AIG Corp, the is referred to as moral hazard where world’s largest provider of insurance institutions are so big that they know and significant seller of CDSs. if they fail colossally, they’ll be bailed The bailout that followed totaled out. For whatever reason, we decided $700 billion and included the not to address that issue right now,” Troubled Asset Relief Program that he says. allowed the federal government to And ten years from now, where will purchase assets and equity from we be? remaining financial institutions in ____________________________________ order to stabilize the markets. Christine Loman is a junior “I believe we would have had journalism and history major whose another Great Depression had they piggy bank got screwed by the not done what they did. I think the recession, too. E-mail her at cloman1@ actions by the Federal Reserve and ithaca.edu.
Campaign Contributions & Lobbying Expenditures
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The Big, Gay Elephant in the Room How Republicans are rehabilitating their image by coming out for gay rights. By Adam Polaski
ady Gaga ditched the meat dress and took to the podium when she led a rally in Portland, Maine on Sept. 20 against the U.S. government’s “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy, which bans openly gay, lesbian and bisexual people from serving in the military. Gaga, clad in an atypically conservative suit jacket, tie and thick-framed glasses, spoke out about the unconstitutionality of the policy, attempting to convince several key U.S. senators to vote for repeal. The rally came 11 days after Virginia A. Phillips, a Federal district judge in California, ruled that DADT was unconstitutional on the grounds that it violated due process and free speech rights.
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But Gaga wasn’t the one who brought the judicial lawsuit against the U.S. government asserting that DADT was unconstitutional. Neither were any of the young liberals in the crowd. Hell, not a single Democrat was nominally associated with bringing the conversation regarding repeal of DADT to the forefront of the national courts. Instead, the plaintiff in the lawsuit was the Log Cabin Republicans (LCR), a political group devoted to making
values and that put us at odds with what I expect will become over time, if not a consensus view, then the view of a substantial majority of voters.” Casey Pick, Programs Officer at LCR, agrees that the party must stop using issues like gay marriage as campaign platforms, especially with 2010 mid-term elections approaching. She says, “For years, LCR has advocated that the Republican Party needs to get back to the core issues that unite us:
For years, Log Cabin Republicans has advocated that the Republican Party needs to get back to the core issues that unite us: individual liberty, personal responsibility, a strong natural defense, fiscal responsibility.
positive change related to gay rights within the Republican Party. The Washington, D.C.-based organization began the lawsuit in 2004, and after years of political back-and-forth about plaintiffs, went to trial in July 2010 and on Sept. 9 received a favorable verdict. The defense bill was less lucky, failing to achieve cloture, meaning there was no immediate action on the bill. Regardless of the legislative failure, 10 years ago, no one would have expected to see a Republican organization taking legal action on behalf of gay and lesbian Americans; key members of the party, which has targeted religious people as a core group of voters in modern history, have been traditionally antagonistic toward LGBT causes. But the rise of LCR to national prominence comes when an unprecedented number of Republicans are coming out in support of gay rights. Meghan McCain and Dick Cheney, for instance, have famously shown support for equality. And just last month, Ken Mehlman, George W. Bush’s 2004 campaign manager, came out publicly and is now fighting for gay causes, perhaps as repentance for actively supporting a number of anti-gay measures during the campaign. Some of the most impassioned pleas for the party to consider gay rights have come from Steve Schmidt, manager for the McCain campaign in 2008. At an LCR convention in April 2009, he said, “I believe Republicans should re-examine the extent to which we are being defined by positions on issues that I don’t believe are among our core
- Casey Pick, Log Cabin Republicans Program Officer
Individual liberty, personal responsibility, a strong national defense, fiscal responsibility.” She argues that the party must refocus on what LCR believes truly matters to voters, saying,
“The economy is the core issue. It really is all about jobs, all about cutting spending. Social issues are a distraction.” Another group asserting that “gay Republican” is not an oxymoron is GOProud, a political action committee representing gay conservatives and allies on strictly federal issues. According to Jimmy LaSalvia, executive direc-
tor and co-founder of the organization, GOProud is “seeking to redefine [gay issues]. Every single issue we work on is a gay issue because every single issue affecting America affects gay people. Every thing we do is to help improve the lives of all Americans, but especially gay and lesbian Americans. … We’re not letting the Gay Left define what’s important to us.” For example, LaSalvia says, GOProud fought for the perpetuation of free market health care reform, saying, “The discussion over health care reform was a gay issue because Republican solutions that involved the free market—allowing people to choose the plan that fits them best—would have been better for gay couples and offered more choices for gay families.” GOProud was founded in 2009 after the results of the 2008 presidential election indicated that between 1.2 and 1.3 million voters who identified as gay—27% of the total “gay vote”—voted for John McCain. Today, GOProud boasts a membership that exceeds 5,000. The organization has been under increasing scrutiny as it gains notoriety. Adam Bink, a writer at OpenLeft.com, says, “The problem with GOProud is that they use traditional Republican economic issues and stick the word gay or lesbian in there to make it a gay or les-
Image by Clara Goldman
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bian issue. The worst part is they do so ploy for garnering more votes? That’s a while dismissing LGBT prioirites like question that can’t be answered until ENDA and trying to defeat openly gay a Republican taking a pro-gay stance candidates in favor of ‘I have nothing is elected. against gay people but oppose special It appears as though the GOP as a rights’ candidates like Mary Bono Mack whole won’t play a leadership role in and Sean Bielat. It just rings complete- the equality movement anytime soon. ly false. They’re not acAfter all, even the tually taking steps to pro-marriage equalEvery single advance LGBT equality Schmidt explained ity.” issue we work on is in the aforementioned Gay conservative “Social cona gay issue because address, groups, including LCR, servatives remain an are often attacked by indispensable part of every single issue the media for contrathe Republican coaliaffecting America dicting their own mestion...I don’t honestly sages by both publicly affects gay people. expect our party will supporting anti-gay in the very We’re not letting the reverse politicians and opposnear term its opposiing fierce LGBT advo- Gay Left define what’s tion to same-sex marcates. For example, the riage.” important to us. LCR recently praised Bink explains that, - Jimmy LaSalvia, John Cornyn, R-TX, for now at least, proGOProud Founder who received a score of LGBT conservatives 0 out of 100 by the Huare a “nascent” group and have shown man Rights Campaign regarding his little positive movement regarding gay stance on gay rights. They’re simulta- rights, so it’s difficult to trumpet gay neously leading the charge to remove Republicans as Equality’s Next Big Barney Frank, D-MA, one of the most Thing. He says, “Individual members ground-breaking LGBT figures in Con- of the Republican Party support gay gress, from his position. Some of the rights nominally, meaning that they criticism, especially against LCR, may know gay people—their friends, their be unwarranted; after all, there’s a dif- neighbors. But they don’t put up when ference between an organization like it’s time to show up. The difference GOProud, which misleadingly uses is that progressives, and Democrats gay rights to push an entirely unrelat- especially, show up when the time ed conservative agenda, and one like comes.” LCR that’s taking actual action to work When it comes down to it, LGBT istoward gay rights. sues, like most social and economic Regardless of the lobbying interests issues, are tapped into, distorted and of these specific groups, both insti- manipulated every year by conservagate a key question: Can the GOP be tives and liberals alike in order to put successful if it continues pushing for the most appealing face forward, atsustained inequality for sexual minori- tract followers and win elections. Afties? ter all, Bil Browning, editor-in-chief For Pick and LCR, Republicans of LGBT blog The Bilerico Project, reshould support gay rights, if for no minds us: “Republicans vs. Democrats other reason, to earn votes. She says, goes back a lot farther than anything “It is part of what will make us more LGBT–before we were even part of the appealing to independents, more ap- picture as far as politics goes. It’s impealing to the next generation of vot- portant to keep in mind that a lot of ers. It is how you craft a stronger ma- what they do is just strictly political jority: You appeal to more voters.” But game.” if Republicans start changing their ____________________________________ tune on gay rights, would they be doAdam Polaski is a junior journalism ing so to actually correct institutional- major who’s totally cool with gay eleized inequality based on sexuality, or phants but really prefers gay donkeys. would it be little more than a political E-mail him at email@example.com.
Gay Americans are in the habit of getting their hopes up. They rejoiced when samesex marriage was legalized in California in 2004, then were devastated in 2008 when Proposition 8 banned it. They rallied hard to convince the Food & Drug Administration that a gay man’s blood can save just as many lives as a straight man’s blood, only to see the antiquated ban on blood donations from “men who have sex with men” reaffirmed. And now, it’s happened again: They applauded the U.S. House of Representatives for voting to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in May and the California district courts for ruling it unconstitutional in July, certain that this was the year for gay rights. But then, on the day the Senate was scheduled to decide on the policy’s future, the legislative body failed to achieve cloture. In the country’s current state of slow progress on issues like gay rights, it’s hard out here for an advocate. You have to prepare to be fucked over. So what went wrong in this latest instance of “let them taste victory, but don’t give them the whole piece”? “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is a policy that bans gay, lesbian and bisexual members of the military from discussing their sexual orientation, while simultaneously barring military personnel from actively seeking that information. Since its implementation in 1993, the DADT policy has resulted in over 13,000 troops from being discharged from the service. The House moved to repeal the law with a vote of 234-194, and then the bill moved onto the Senate. The amendment that would have repealed the law was incorporated into this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, which was scheduled for a vote on Sept. 21. The problem came when Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid locked out the amendment process to Republicans, and, in retaliation, the GOP filibustered the bill, which translated to no immediate end to the debate about the defense bill and no way for the Senate to officially vote. The Senate will likely resume debate on the defense bill after November’s mid-term elections. Just enough time for gay Americans to rebuild their optimism and hope that this time, it’s not in vain.
Want more Buzzsaw?
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, Don’t Worry About Equality
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Mother Earth’s New Janitorial Crew The youth activists behind environmental advocacy By Kacey Deamer hey jammed to the Spice Girls and Blink-182 in the ’90s. They lived through Y2K and the turn of the millennium. They saw the Twin Towers fall. They graduated high school. Now, they have a job to do. They are Generation X, and they are Mother Earth’s new janitorial crew. College students have become the heart and soul of the modern environmental movement. From front stage activism to backstage clean up, our generation is covering all of the corners. Front and center activism was seen around the country this fall. One such event was Appalachia Rising, which the organizers described as “an unprecedented gathering of Appalachian people and their allies in the movement to abolish all forms of surface mining.” Held Sept. 25-27in Washington, D.C., the weekend focused on ending the environmental and human health issue that is mountaintop removal coal mining. Appalachia Rising The event culminated on Monday with a rally, march around D.C. and a protest at the White House with more than 2,000 people. In acts of non-violent civil disobedience, over 100 people intentionally got arrested to bring attention to the issue, many of them young folks, including three George Mason University students. One of those three students was first-year music education major Holly Smucker. She told GMU’s Mason Goes Green blog, “Mountaintop Removal is an awful practice that is not only destroying the mountain, but polluting the water and killing the citizens of Appalachia. Our message [that weekend] to the EPA and to Obama needed to be voiced loud and clear: We weren’t going to move until they abolished mountaintop removal. In fact, if they hadn’t arrested us we might have still been out there square dancing and chanting.” Smucker Mason Goes Green Students like Smucker and her fellow activist peers are bringing the environmental movement into the forefront with an “in your face” approach to the need for change. Ithaca College is also taking on environmental change. Emma Hileman, a senior environmental studies major, is one of IC’s environmental leaders. She serves as co-president of ICES (Ithaca
College Environmental Society), comanager of the Organic Grower’s community garden and co-intern for ICNL (Ithaca College Natural Lands). “Primarily these organizations are geared toward environmental awareness for the Ithaca College community,” Hileman said. The first stage in improving our environment is getting back to our roots and actually interacting with nature, according to Hileman. “Each of the organizations, in their own little way, leads people of the Ithaca College community to become more aware of their environment,” she said. The movement goes beyond college students, however. Recent graduates are continuing their fight for environmental justice after leaving campus. Colin Bennett of Connecticut is one such person. Bennett has acted as director of STEP (Student Training for Environmental Protection) for the past two years. STEP STEP is a “weeklong course designed to give students the skills they need to become effective environmental advocates,” explained Bennett. Grassroots organization skills are specifically focused on during the program. Beyond helping to garner young environmental activists, Bennett has done some of the “dirty janitorial work” as well. One of his more recent and larger jobs was helping to clean up after the
Image by Lauren Connelly
Gulf oil spill. As a member of the Coast Guard, Bennett was called into action this summer to help clean up the mess created by BP. Stationed in the Delta National Wildlife Refuge, Delta Nation Wildlife Refuge Bennett and a group of around 30 people worked to clean up what others had done to Mother Earth. “Most of the crew was under 30 years old. All of our crew were males, except for a female medic,” Bennett said. He explained that the crew was a racially diverse group, “including blacks, whites and Latinos including people from Vietnam, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru.” Ithaca College alum and former Buzzsaw editor Kate Sheppard (’06) is also bringing attention to environmental issues. Sheppard wasn’t deeply involved in environmental issues while on campus but has become a leading environmental journalist for Mother Jones. A nonprofit news organization, Mother Jones specializes in investigative, political and social justice reporting. The organization produces a bimonthly national magazine and a website featuring new, original reporting. Mother Jones While reporting on climate and energy news in Washington, D.C., Sheppard is in the midst of young folks fighting for environmental liberation. “I know a lot of young people [in D.C.] who aren’t really interested in working with the older environmental groups. They want to take a new path,” Sheppard said, continuing, “Young people have a different view of what’s going on.” Sheppard doesn’t consider herself a true “janitor of the Earth”; “I cover topics as a reporter rather than an activist,” she said. She could be described as the person on the PA system, saying, “Cleanup on aisle 5.” Generation X has a big job ahead of them, one that will require more than just a mop and broom. Young environmental leaders are emerging every day, but there is a lot of weight on their shoulders. If young environmentalists can bring their fresh outlook to the more established organizations, there may be a future for this planet. __________________________________ Kacey Deamer is a sophomore journalism and environmental studies major who wants to broom sweepa moppa sweepa moppa sweepa broom. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Ministry of Cool
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Kidz Bop: Starting to Get a Little Bit Silly Changing the lyrics doesn’t mean changing the meaning By Colleen Cunha oday’s pop culture-soaked world, Sean Kingston sings about the slums, children with guns and police in the West Indies. But for ages 9 to 13, Sean Kingston is going to sing about the tropics and chillin’ in the sun! In the original version of “Take You There,” the artist sings, “Little kids with guns only 15/ Roam in the streets up to no good/ When gun shots just watch us, run quickly/I could show you where.” But he teamed up with Kidz Bop, which creates compilation CDs with pop songs sung by kids instead of the major artists, to sing the song, “Yes you lookin’ good, yes you’re pretty/ You and me we’ll be a good look/So just roll with me in a hurry/I could show you where.” This song does not send the same message as the original at all. Does changing a song this much really leave enough of what the original was trying to say? But if the makers of Kidz Bop didn’t change as much of the song, would it be appropriate for children? Mat Barletta, a musician from the Boston area discussed censorship in music and what it really means. “Artists pick their words for specific reasons,” he said, “‘Fuck You’ by Cee-lo
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Green is a perfect example … the censored version is ‘Forget You.’ Obviously, saying you’re going to ‘forget’ someone versus telling them ‘fuck you’ has a different meaning, both connotatively and denotatively.” When an artist writes a song, they choose words meticulously and purposefully. If Sean Kingston wanted “Take You There” to be about hanging out in the sun, he wouldn’t have written about the violence and slums of Jamaica in the first place. On the other hand, does changing only a few words in a song make it suddenly appropriate for children? On Kidz Bop Dance Party, Ke$ha’s song, “Tik Tok” is hardly changed at all. Instead of “Before I leave/Brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack,” the Kidz Bop version says, “Brush my teeth and then I go pack” version is hardly different. Later in the song, instead of “Tryin’ to get a little bit tipsy,” the kids are “Tryin’ to get a little bit silly.” This entire song, if you are lucky enough to have never heard it before, is about crazy partying all night long. Does changing only these two lines really make a difference? Bridget Cahill, a mother of three, says it does not. As a mother, she makes a conscious effort to “exclude the artists intended for more mature audiences” when it comes to her children’s musical selection. She has never purchased a Kidz Bop CD and said, “My older children and I always chuckle about the fake lyrics.” But do these changed lyrics make songs suddenly appropriate for children, the obvious target audience for Kidz Bop? “Absoutely not,” she said. “Removing an expletive cannot change the intended meaning of the lyrics.” When it comes to things like this, some parents don’t give their children enough credit. Children are like tape recorders—they hear everything that’s said around them, and they repeat it. Pop songs like this are
no exception when it comes to their absorbent brains. Artists like Lady Gaga, Ke$ha and Rihanna probably aren’t the best idols for children of this age, but their songs are going to be stuck in these kids’ head for a long, long time. The songs are catchy and they’re targeted straight at these kids. Some artists, like Fall Out Boy, realize that their songs may be lyrically appropriate while the message is not. In 2006, their song “Dance, Dance” was posted online on the track list for Kidz Bop 10. It’s important to note that the creators of Kidz Bop do not need the artist’s permission to use their songs. They only need permission if they wish to change the lyrics. Fall Out Boy bassist, Pete Wentz, quickly fought the company, saying “I can’t imagine some young kids singing ‘[I only want sympathy in the form of you] crawling into bed with me,’” quoting some of the quite obviously sexual lyrics from the song. In the end, the band got their way and the song was dropped from the album. Although the song has no profanity, the subject matter is still inappropriate and thankfully, the artist caught on quickly enough to keep it from being recorded by children. In the end, is it the profanity or the subject matter that makes these songs unsuitable for children? It’s really both. If you change too many words, the song itself is destroyed, and if you don’t change enough of the song, the artist’s message may be all too clear for these tweens. “They’re eventually going to wonder what the hell they’re singing,” Barletta points out. Personally, I don’t want today’s youth running around dressed like Lady Gaga and Ke$ha. Just saying. ____________________________________ Colleen Cunha is a sophomore cinema and photography major who wants to be a Kidz Bop Kid, so fucking—sorry, very—bad. E-mail her at ccunha1@ ithaca.edu.
Image by Zachary Anderson
10/11/10 3:22:39 AM
Cleaning up the Dirty Jerz The armpit of America’s cleaner side By Francesca Toscano
ever, when they hired the young Tracy DiMarco and Olivia Blois Sharpe, drama and mayhem ensued. Many people don’t realize that only two cast members o n the Jersey Shore are from New Jersey; the beloved characters Angelina Pivarnick, Jenni “JWoww” Farley, Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi, Pauly “DJ Pauly D” DelVecchio, Ronnie Ortiz-Magro and Vinny Guadagnino are all residents of other northeastern states. However, the prominence of New Jersey in the show forces the stereotypes to become exclusively associated with New Jersey. The Real Housewives is emphasized by Bravo for ratings, and while many parts of New Jersey are upper middle class, not everyone is ostentatious about their wealth. Though three of the 21 counties in New Jersey are amongst the 25 richest in the nation, the affluence is to be expected: The state contains ideal suburbs of New York City and Philadelphia, as well as gorgeous beaches that have still not been infected by the “guido” lifestyle. And, as a resident of a wealthy New York City suburb, I can personally say that only a limited amount of the population have the audacity to flaunt their wealth. The flame of New Jersey disgust is further fueled by the endless stupidity of the cast members of the shows themselves. In regards to her growing fame and infamy, Snooki retorts in a Rolling Stone article, “The only reason people talk negative is because they’re jealous. Every time they call me a midget, Oompa Loompa, orange, they’re just jealous. It makes me want to act more ridiculous and stupid.” As if more absurdity could result from a girl who is searching for a meaningful relationship from a “romantical juicehead”, Snooki’s denseness mirrors how the entire cast of Jersey Shore not only accept their label as idiotic
Image by Marc Phillips
“guidos” and “guidettes”, but embrace it. As evident by multiple seasons and countless press coverage, it is only expected that The Real Housewives and Jerseylicious are equally accepting of their skewed perception. With support from New Jersey politicians and residents alike, it is agreed that the state of New Jersey should not be associated with the negative connotations in Jersey-focused reality television shows. Although they have undeniable entertainment value, these shows, as the case is with many reality shows, have no basis in reality. As “eloquently” stated by Snooki in regards to the success of her show, “You get addicted to it. It’s like a drug.” I am not suggesting that the population should stop watching the reality shows, as withdrawal symptoms are imminent. However, if the world can learn to separate New Jersey from its stereotypical counterparts, the reputation of the tainted state may one day be salvaged. ____________________________________ Francesca Toscano is a freshman IMC major who never forgets to GTL. E-mail her at email@example.com.
Ministry of Cool
am the product of a state synonymous with hair poufs, middle-aged mothers in Range Rovers and the infamous fist pump. Those who remain current in the world of trashy reality television can immediately associate these unflattering traits with the state of New Jersey. Unbeknownst to today’s generation of brainwashed, reality-obsessed teens, New Jersey is more than a breeding ground for tomorrow’s clubhopping, orange-skinned youth. It is an eclectic, diverse hub in which only a limited portion of the population can identify themselves as a stereotype. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie complains, “We’ll take Snooki and The Situation, and you can have them back.” While the complete disappearance of these pop culture phenomena would result in a teenage mass hysteria, the disappearance of New Jersey clichés is long overdue. Many shows are culprits of this blasphemy, the most prominent being The Real Housewives of New Jersey, Jerseylicious and, of course, Jersey Shore. The Real Housewives of New Jersey traces the lives of four housewives of an affluent New York City suburb, exposing stereotypes of snobby and drama-driven mothers who are concerned solely with wealth, expensive clothes and sabotaging the lives of their fellow cast members. Jerseylicious and Jersey Shore, though different in plot, consist of similar Jersey clichés. Jerseylicious follows the drama of a central Jersey hair salon, and Jersey Shore narrates a house of self-proclaimed “guidos and guidettes” as they party, tan and start trouble shoreside. Both Jerseylicious and Jersey Shore conventionalize New Jersey as a home of pouf-haired girls and meathead guys who thrive on drama and partying. Though New Jersey does have its fair share of stereotypical residents, many are appalled with the current perception others have of the state. New Jersey residents are currently burdened with the popular perception of young adults from New Jersey. On Jerseylicious, The Gatsby Salon was a fully functioning boutique when it was run solely by New Jersey adults. How-
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10/11/10 3:22:40 AM
The dangers and desires of skin lightening creams By Katy Newton kin lightening cream. Upon first hearing about this product, the most common reaction can easily be described as “WTF?!” The words “skin lightening” often bring to mind the magical transformation that Michael Jackson went through in order to switch races. Therefore, many wrongly assume that skin lightening creams are weird, dangerous, creams created by a mad scientist. Their purpose can often seem controversial and confusing. In reality, skin lightening creams can be used for a variety of purposes … none of which include “pulling an MJ.”
We’ve all seen the Proactiv infomercials. Jessica Simpson and Katy Perry explain to us the wonders of clear skin and how we can achieve stardom with our skin by using Proactiv. The brand is best known for their acne-clearing products. However, delve deeper into their offerings and you’ll see a Skin Lightening Lotion for $22. The product is described as containing “hydroquinone to gradually fade troublesome hyperpigmentation caused by acne, sun exposure and aging.” Head over to your local pharmacy, and you’ll see even more of these lotions popping up, with the intent of lightening acne scars and erasing sun damage. One of these products, SH-18 Skin Lightening Body Lotion, promises that it is “a very effective bleaching care for the body.” Sorry, did you just mistake my body for something that should be thrown in the laundry along with those other things that got stained from that wild party last night? Why would I want to moisturize my face with a product with hydrosomething in it? What is that anyway? Hydroquinone is in fact the skin-bleaching ingredient used in these lotions. Currently, the chemical is allowed in concentrations of 2 percent (with a prescription, 4 percent without) in personal care products in the United States. The packaging on these products will most likely fail to tell the consumer that the
chemical has been banned in Japan, Europe and Australia. Why ban the bleach? Studies performed on rodents (hey, rodents have blemishes too) show “some evidence” that the chemical may act as a carcinogen. Basically, it may or may not cause cancer… no biggie. As long as my acne scar is healed by next Friday, who cares about potentially getting The Big C. Due to their title of “skin lightening” creams, the chemicals such as hydroquinone work by reducing or blocking melanin production. Think back to biology class, and you’ll remember that melanin is the pigment that gives each of us our unique skin tone. Some of us have an overwhelming amount of melanin, either naturally or artificially (I’m looking at you, tanorexics). Others were not blessed in that region and often get mistaken for Casper the Friendly Ghost. By reducing the amount of melanin, the lotions are raising our exposure to UVA and UVB rays in the skin, which as we all know by now, is a straight shot to the road to skin cancer. But enough about cancer. Let’s lighten the mood with some goodole irony. Hydroquinone has also been linked with the skin disorder ochronosis. Ironic how? Ochronosis, aside from affecting the skeletal, cardiovascular, respiratory and urinary systems, also affects the skin in that—wait for it—it makes the skin darker by causing black and blue skin discoloration. Skin-lightening creams may actually make me darker? Say what? Ochronosis causes cartilage to become pigmented, and dark patches of this pigmentation may show up on the person’s face. So, then, I need more skin-lightening cream to lighten the skin that became darker from my original bout with skinlightening cream. Cool!
Image by Andrew Wilmer
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10/11/10 3:22:45 AM
So now that we’ve successfully covered what skin lightening creams can be used for on the face, it’s time to move a little farther down south. Yep, bleach can do wonders for the fine china. Genital and anal bleaching exist. This form of lightening is obviously intended to lighten the apparently “typical” darker pigmentation around these regions. Not surprisingly, the first customers to purchase these products were adult film stars, dancers and models with darker pigmentation in the anal and vaginal region. Adult video star Tabitha Stevens had her anal bleaching televised to millions when she appeared on E!’s Dr. 90210. Brazilian wax customers also found redemption in these products because clients were embarrassed by their dark skin once their hair was removed. With companies such as Divine Derriere, which offers a wide array
of vaginal and anal bleaching products, the demand must be spreading. Aging, hormonal changes from pregnancy and, my personal favorite, “discharging feces,” are all things that anal bleaching can help with. Done for cosmetic purposes, anal bleaching intends to make the anus blend better with the surrounding area. Divine Derriere describes many of their customers as being adult film stars who have achieved “beautiful, pink, clean-looking, attractive anal/vaginal skin.” Sound enticing? Even if you are growing pink at the thought of ordering these products, rest assured: Divine Derriere takes this into consideration and ships the products with “very discreet packaging.” Whatever the purpose, skin lightening creams attempt to conceal something about your appearance. Some people, such as women in Asia, buy into the “pale is the new tan” look of models in fashion magazines and use
the creams to achieve a paler complexion. Here in the United States, the creams, aside from the uses in the adult video industry, are mostly used for fading scars and blemishes. Yes, acne scars can be über-annoying, but most of the time they fade away on their own, or many people resort to just using concealer. Would you really want to put yourself at such great risk by using these creams just to hide a small red spot? Not to sound cheesy, but don’t all of our scars represent a story anyway? Author John Steinbeck wrote in The Winter of Our Discontent “To be alive at all is to have scars.” Take a cue from that and don’t let your stories (or actual skin tone) fade into the background. ____________________________________ Katy Newton is a freshman journalism major who is the fairest of them all. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Skin Lightening Around the World Eastern Asia: An unblemished complexion historically indicates wealth. Only peasants and slaves (who did manual labor outdoors) had brown or dark skin. Paleness in women meant they were pure and innocent, untouched.
United States: Baseball star Sammy Sosa is the latest celebrity to be criticized for his lightened skin tone; he explained that a cream that he uses to smooth and soften his skin has also lightened it.
South Africa: Skin lightening products have been banned, but are still sold on the black market. Some South Africans believe that lightening their skin helps increase their job opportunities.
UK: Asian supermarkets now carry the same skin lightening creams advertised by Bollywood stars. India: Light skin equates to being attractive and successful. Indian women want fair skinned children; some even eat saffron and powdered gold during pregnancy because they think it will make their baby’s skin lighter.
themselves more appealing. Some go so far as to use creams on their children.
Saudi Arabia: People ignore health risks and use skin lightening cream because many adults show preferences for lighter children and even ignore darker-skinned children.
Ministry of Cool
Mexico & USA: Many Mexican and Mexican-American women use skin lightening creams to make
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10/11/10 3:22:46 AM
Whatchu Chalkin’ About The confusion about IC’s no-chalking policy By Anne Gould Northgraves halk is an incredibly simple item. It is a basic writing tool composed primarily of calcium carbonate. But most of us know it as an instrument for bringing childhood imagination to life on the blank canvas that was the playground tarmac or home driveways. You could draw the gigantic five-bedroom mansion of your dreams, in 2D form of course, create polka-dotted whipped-cream breathing dragons, practice what your signature would look like if you were a giant or, at the very least, form a game of hop-scotch. Yet on the Ithaca College campus, such dreams are not allowed—or at least not as readily realized. While the college’s official Policy Manual does definitively state that chalking is not permitted, further rules governing free speech and administrative interpretation of the policy complicate the issue, calling into question the very existence of the policy. According to volume II, section 2.12.3 of the College’s Policy Manual, “Chalking is strictly prohibited,” and in volume VII, section 188.8.131.52.8 states, “Defacing, damaging or destroying property belonging to the College…is prohibited and is cause for disciplinary action.” However, the former statement is listed under the solicitation and advertising guidelines and does not specify whether it also pertains to artwork. Volume VII also states in section 184.108.40.206.3 that “Students and student organizations are free, publicly and privately, to hold discussions, pass resolutions, distribute leaflets, circulate petitions, and take other orderly action that does not disrupt the essential operation of the institution.” Given the mixed messages and the fact that the writing tool in question is rather transient,
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the administration of the college does not pursue chalkers as coldhearted criminals. Mike Leary, assistant director of judicial affairs, said that students are not caught mid-chalk regularly and that the offense is a comparatively minor one. “If someone were caught, we would have to look at the circumstances of what they were doing, where it was happening,” Leary said. “They’re not caught very often. I would consider it a very minor violation. I won’t consider it vandalism.” Sybil Conrad, assistant director of campus center and events services, explains the logic behind the policy, pointing out how difficult it is to regulate content, location and who can chalk. “Once you get into the logistics of trying to regulate such a thing as chalking, it’s very, very difficult,” Conrad said. “It’s also hard to have repercussions for something written that shouldn’t be there because it’s just one chalk message.” Conrad’s comments are curious given the policy at Cornell University. There, chalking is not only allowed, but also encouraged. Catherine Holmes, associate dean of students for the student activities office at Cornell, said their policy allows chalking that will wear away in one week or after two rainstorms on any horizontal hardtop surface except around Day Hall. Holmes added that the few problems they run into on their campus involve using materials that are resilient or protective sprays. “Where student groups on our campus get into trouble is when they use something that doesn’t wear away quickly,” she said. “They can be charged for the cost of removal.” In fact, this signage for student groups provides many positive aspects, not only for those organizations but also for the campus. “[They are displayed] particularly that first week of classes and when the new students arrive,” Holmes said. “The Big Red Marching Band chalks extensively around campus. They’re pretty creative. They’re funny messages. Sometimes there’s some really
incredible works of art.” T h i s is something that Image by Zachary Anderson Carla Stetson, Ithaca College assistant professor of art, sees as an advantage to outdoor artwork and a reason to consider changing the policy. “I think that it could be somebody’s art form,” she said. “It shocks us into seeing our environment again. It could be very beautiful. It could be art.” Even Conrad admits that the chalkers she has encountered have been harmless. “People are usually pretty nice about it a lot of times because people are not aware of the policy or they didn’t realize that this was something they weren’t supposed to do,” she said. “In the eight years I’ve been here, I have not judicially referred someone for chalking.” When any type of public free speech is allowed, there is the potential for derogatory or offensive material. But the possibility of such unfortunate instances should not stand in the way of allowing free expression—particularly expressions that could not only help student groups more successfully advertise their programs but could help encourage student creativity and a more colorful campus. Even though we are much older than our preschool selves, it does not mean we have to live in a world devoid of pastel-colored mansions or rainbow-maned unicorns. ____________________________________ Anne Gould Northgraves is a senior cinema and photography major who likes to chalk it out. E-mail her at email@example.com.
Image by Alisha Linton
10/11/10 3:22:47 AM
Get a Whiff of That...
Dirt perfume brings a whole new meaning to a natural smell
By Alexa d’Angelo ould you ever want to wear dirt-scented perfume? Well guess what—it’s here and on the market. Dirt was first launched by Demeter Fragrance Library in 1996 and is now being sold in stores across the world. It has actually become quite popular. Demeter Fragrance Library created dirt-scented perfume and many other “natural” smells. These fragrances include Wet Garden, Rain, Grass, Snow, Christmas in New York and many other “real fragrances for real life” smells. The idea is to recreate memories and to make things smell like home. Did you know there are different dirt smells? According to Demeter’s website, some people say that this perfume doesn’t smell like dirt because instead of having a dirt-smell from France or Georgia, their dirt is the dirt smell from “the fields around the Pennsylvania family farm belonging to our founding perfumer.” An ounce of this dirt-scented perfume costs $20. You can also buy dirt smelling purse spray, splash, atmosphere spray, calming body lotion, foaming bath and shower gel, tender bath oils and infused soap. These
range from $6 to $39.50. Would you pay that much for a perfume that smells like dirt? This fragrance not only smells all natural, but it’s also made naturally. “Demeter fragrances are highly natural, known more for what does NOT go into them—no artificial color, nor binders or emulsifiers—just alcohol naturally fermented from corn, purified water and fragrance oil,” Mark Crames, owner and CEO of Demeter Fragrance Library and Ithaca College alumnus, said. “The fragrance oils do have synthetic ingredients, but overall, Demeter fragrances use 95 percent natural materials, or more. The specifics of the materials in the fragrances oils are considered trade secrets.” Dirt was part of the beginning of the line of natural smells by Demeter Fragrance. However, its name was not originally Dirt. “Demeter’s original mission was to recreate the wonderful scents of nature and the garden in wearable formats,” Crames said. “So Dirt was a natural choice and was one of the three original scents in the Library, along with Grass and Tomato. Today, with fragrances like Angel Food, Hershey’s Special Dark and Sex on
Ministry of Cool
the Beach, the mission has changed somewhat, but Dirt remains a Demeter classic. Of course, we could have called it Earth, but Dirt is so much more fun.” Although you may not think so, dirt-scented perfume is actually one of the best selling fragrances out of all the perfumes that Demeter Fragrance has to offer. “Dirt has always been a top seller, and remains so today,” Crames said. Who would wear this perfume? It sells well and it’s popular even with celebrities—Sharon Stone loves Demeter, especially Dirt. It is also said to be one of Kate Moss’ favorites. I have personally tried the Dirt perfume, and it really does smell like dirt with just a little hint of perfume. I also tried Leather and Grass, and both are true to their names. Although I may not plan on wearing these fragrances, at least they fulfill their expectations. While people may not think of wearing dirt-scented perfume, it is a creative idea on behalf of Demeter Fragrance. This led to other earthy, natural scents that sell very well around the world. The name on the bottle is true to its smell. Dirt has allowed Demeter Fragrance to build and expand its library of natural smells. “We also make a scent called Earthworm, which is deeper, richer and I guess dirtier than Dirt,” Crames said. “But to maintain balance, we also make Laundromat (the smell of clean clothes right from the drier) and Pure Soap (freshly scrubbed skin after a shower).” If you ever want to smell like dirt or some other earthy or true-to-life aroma, demeterfragrance.com is the way to go. ____________________________________ Alexa d’Angelo is a sophomore journalism major who smelt it and therefore probably dealt it. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image by Anika Steppe
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10/11/10 3:22:50 AM
Cleaning Up Their Acts
Just a few simple steps for celebrity screw ups and scandals By Catherine Fisher in the arms of the public there is just elebrities: They’re famous, back on top. one more crucial phase, step three: they’re fabulous and they Written statements are the most Come back bigger than ever. You fuck up. Yes, much like popular method the guilt-ridden mes- might be sobered up or just donatthat guy who had too sages are released into the press as ed all of your income to the hottest much to drink at a party a desperate publicity ploy, but extra charity organization, but if you star and pukes in the living credit to any celebrity with the skills in a flop movie or your voice cracks room, the stars of America too have to televise an apology that’s convinc- on stage, you might as well have taktheir moments where they fall from ing and put-together. en the Lohan path. Step three is the grace. Whether it is an untimely arWe can look at Chris Brown as most crucial because the only way rest or a social offense, the perpe- someone who flawlessly executed that the comeback is a success is if trators go from being on the top of step one. After being caught for do- you stay back. the VIP list to their own three-page mestic assault, it looked as though Mel Gibson is an example of somespread in the latest scandal rag. his family-friendly image was shat- one who flopped on the last one. The gossip mill doesn’t hurt every tered. A single two-minute televised Four years ago when Gibson was star’s career—for some an arrest can apology was released, and all of the hammered with a DUI and alleged actually fuel that bad boy image sell- sudden he wasn’t the anger-ridden anti-Semitic claims it looked like his ing point they have going for them. monster everyone condemned him to movie career was over. Then he came When Madonna got racy in the ‘90s on be. It also didn’t hurt that he men- out with Apocalypto, which got him a her Blond Ambition tour and pissed tioned his appreciation of his moth- Golden Globe nomination. off the Vatican, Gibson got slopshe wasn’t boypy, so vile recordcotted from MTV ings left to his exWhen Jamie Lynn Spears announced to the world she was or the rest of the girlfriend leaked to pregnant, parents flocked to block her Nickelodeon show from music-loving nathe media, causing tion. The scandal being shown to their children. But once the young Nick star more trouble for only boosted the the wayward star. and her mother said that they were going to raise the baby to taboo, risqué repThere are claims utation for which give it a “normal” lifestyle, the heat left young Jamie and went that he has mental she is known todisorders, and peoback to where it belonged: pestering the elder Spears sister. day. ple doubt whether The ones who he will ever walk are actually afdown the red carpet with dignity fected the most are the good guys; er and other “spiritual teachers” as again. the Disney stars, the teen singers, rocks in his life that he looks for in With each relapse into the scandalthe PGA pro golfers. For these folk, such dark times. addicting lifestyle, it gets harder and a tarnished reputation can be devThis brings us to step two: Revert harder to become acclaimed again, astating—career-ending even. They to family values. Nothing is more ap- and the public eventually just loses can lose sponsorships from highly pealing than someone who has their hope. But celebrities should have esteemed companies and become the priorities straight. Somehow even faith that they will never be completebutt end of jokes on Saturday Night if someone cheats on his wife with ly erased from the public’s memory. Live. countless other mistresses (word up Even if they go in and out of rehab, Thankfully, Hollywood scandals are Tiger), when he says that he is tak- nearly overdose and have their earas old as the Hays Code, and there ing time to fix things at the home, ev- ly morning faces plastered on every are a few simple steps that need to be eryone will think he is back on track. magazine, they can wait about five taken to overcome them. When Jamie Lynn Spears announced years and try the steps again. Step one: Apologize. “I had affairs, to the world she was pregnant, parHopefully, the public will do what I cheated. What I did was not accept- ents flocked to block her Nickelodeon they did with Robert Downey Jr. and able, and I am the only person to show from being shown to their chil- call their new comebacks a “career blame,” Tiger said after being caught dren. But once the young Nick star rebirth.” Then, they’re golden. with mistress after mistress (after and her mother said that they were ____________________________________ mistress). When people find them- going to raise the baby to give it a Catherine Fisher is a sophomore cinselves in the wrong, being humble “normal” lifestyle, the heat left young ema and photography major who they can only help. As it turns out, the Jamie and went back to where it be- tried to make go to rehab (she said no, public is very forgiving. The truth longed: pestering the elder Spears no, no). E-mail her at cfisher2@ithaca. is, the more we like a celebrity, the sister. edu. easier it will be for him or her to get In order to secure your place back
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10/11/10 3:22:51 AM
RAW FROM THE SAW Arcade Fire Merge Records, 2010
By Quinton Saxby
you add it all up, you have a crystal clear picture of a desolate, spiritually empty suburban community, with all its wandering punks and hipsters and airs of pretension that flood over into superficiality. Musically, the band works with the tried and true formulas of their past experimentation, choosing to further develop the sound they pioneered on their first two albums. Like Arcade Fire’s sound before, The Suburbs relies on strings, reverb and unexpected harmonies to create a sound that is distinctly theirs. Their mainstream status seems to have developed because of strong, original songwriting that is also catchy enough to garner lots of attention. And with the number of potential singles on this album, Arcade Fire’s popularity may continue to soar. Maybe they’re already at this point; if not, this album will surely bring them there. The Suburbs is a remarkable album. Arcade Fire tackles explicitly the issue of what it means to be “modern,” while also writing superbly catchy hooks. Arcade Fire on this third album takes up themes of modernity and suburban unhappiness while also producing a distinct, ambitious and honest style. No one can fault Arcade Fire for trying, and no one should fault them for succeeding. It seems that after all this waiting, they have finally arrived.
Ministry of Cool
Arcade Fire’s catapult to stardom after their formation in 2003 has been surprising but well deserved. With an EP and three albums, including The Suburbs, this once-indie band hailing from Montreal can hardly be called indie as of their new release. Their music is too accessible, and their popularity is too exponential, making them too large a phenomenon to earn the coveted “indie” title. Instead, Arcade Fire has managed to maintain their originality and musicality while still being wellproduced and very, very popular. This latest album finds this alternative/pop/rock band experimenting with counter-melodic strings, bombastic choruses and lyrics lamenting the fall of “modern man.” Clearly, Arcade Fire is not afraid to take chances. The majority of songs on The Suburbs are a reflection on the moral and spiritual desolation of growing up in the archetypal middle-class suburban sprawl. The album functions as a whole because of its recurrent themes, such as waiting and lost chances, and although not quite a concept album, it maintains coherency and consistency. Lyrically, the album creates a world of crumbling Brady Bunch houses, rebellious but impotent modern kids and long, aimless drives around town. When
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10/11/10 3:22:52 AM
Mad Men AMC
By Nicole Hakimi
The winner of an astounding 13 Emmys and four Golden Globes, Mad Men follows life in the 1960s at Sterling Cooper, a fictional advertising agency on Madison Avenue. Although the critically acclaimed costumes give you a taste of another time period, Mad Men features three things we can never get enough of: drinking, sex and advertising. Don Draper (Jon Hamm), the mysterious creative director at Sterling Cooper, seems to split his time evenly between those three things. He drinks during the day, smokes in the office, has affairs with women of all ages and at the same time is so charming that he can almost (almost!) be forgiven. Many would call Draper’s life perfect: He’s powerful, wealthy and, until recently, married to the beautiful Betty Draper (January Jones). In the current fourth season, much of
Sara Bareilles Kaleidoscope Heart
By Francesca Toscano
For many breakout artists, a sophomore album can prove to be an impossible and career-destroying feat. The musician has two choices: to feed off the success of the last album with a similar compilation or take an artistic risk and break the mold. For Sara Bareilles, her new album Kaleidoscope Heart is a creative departure from Little Voice (2007) that stunningly displays her abilities as not only a musician but also as a songwriter. On Little Voice, Bareilles received fame for her hit “Love Song,” a snappy, pop-piano piece heard on Top 40 stations internationally. However, Bareilles gained a cult following because of the other tracks on the album, which have of elegant lyrics, flowing melodies and captivating vocal performances. Although the record was able to capture the ears of countless listeners, the album’s title represented Bareilles’ musical state: It was her “little voice,” and she is capable of so much more. Kaleidoscope Heart is more than an uplifting pop album—it is a soaring melodic accomplishment with a variety of musical influences spanning far beyond the reach of similar artists. There are some pieces remi-
Draper’s life falls apart. He can no longer see his wife, who left him because of his infidelity, or their three kids. He no longer works at the prestigious Sterling Cooper and is now a partner at the newly formed Sterling Cooper Draper Price, along with Bertram Cooper (Robert Morse), Roger Sterling (John Slattery) and Lane Pryce (Jared Harris). Lonely and humbled, Draper is now forced to make necessary changes in his life. This new season allows the audience a closer look into the psychology of the glamorously flawed main characters. Between Sterling’s notorious one-liners and Cooper’s discreet references to Randian philosophy, viewers can expect to fall in love with the refreshingly original plot, as well as the changing politics, emerging media and guiltless society of the 1960s.
Sony Music Entertainment, 2010
niscent of her Little Voice days: “Uncharted” is a pop-based single that describes Bareilles’ epiphany of self-discovery, and the sassy “King of Anything” might as well be titled “Love Song: Part Two.” Displaying Bareilles’ expansive musical ability, “Gonna Get Over You” is suggestive of a 1950s doo-wop hit with modern influences. Although the song recalls vintage musical attributes, the haunting lyrics that have become Bareilles’ staple are still apparent. Similarly, “Basket Case” departs from her typical style, featuring an acoustic guitar, a harmonica and flowing harmonies instead of relying on piano melodies, soft in demeanor but strong in lyrical purpose. Listeners who analyze Bareilles’ content cannot help but be captivated by her stunning imagery and imaginative use of language. Kaleidoscope Heart is a representation of Sara Bareilles as not only an evolving artist, but also a creative, introspective individual. Just as the title Little Voice reflected Bareilles’ freshman album, Kaleidoscope Heart does the same. This album is an innovative burst of color, straight from the creator’s heart.
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By Sarah McCarthy
Epitaph Records, 2010
It’s easy to have low expectations for a band that hasn’t released a well-received album since its first two in the early ‘90s. Set the bar even lower when you see the ridiculous album cover, a close-up of Lost actor Jose Garcia’s face. On the surface, this album begs not to be taken seriously. Surprisingly, Weezer’s Hurley does not suck—it’s actually pretty awesome. The story of Weezer is an interesting case. In the early ‘90s, Weezer was one of the biggest alternative rock groups after releasing two iconic albums, Weezer (better known as “The Blue Album”) and Pinkerton. Since then, the band has managed to ride that fame for nearly 20 years and six albums. To the dismay of the fans, each album has been increasingly worse than the last. For the first time in over a decade, this album displays the raw and emotional sensibility that made Weezer famous in the ‘90s. Furthermore, several of the tracks on the album have a scratchy, raw, un-produced feel to them. Arguably, this is one of Weezer’s most
Stevens, as he has kept mostly out of the limelight for the past few years. The first four songs on The Age of Adz are definitely the most accessible songs for casual listeners. After that, the songs go a lot deeper and are definitely more trippy and abstract. The album’s last track, “Impossible Soul,” breaks all the rules by stretching for an unthinkable 25 minutes. That’s right: 25. “Impossible Soul” is an unconventional narrative that may turn off a lot of people, but there is something to be gained if you’re able to make it all the way through. The Age of Adz is a completely unconventional release based on Sufjan Stevens’ prior works. While it may alienate some of his fans, it will probably also acquire a lot of new ones based on its crossover into the dance and techno genres. It’s certainly not what we envisioned when we sang along to “Chicago” all those years ago, but its ambition and musical creativity certainly stand up to the rest of Steven’s celebrated catalogue.
Sufjan Stevens The Age of Adz Asthmatic Kitty Records, 2010 By Matt Kelly
Ministry of Cool
It’s fair to say that listeners who were left starry-eyed by Sufjan Stevens’ 2005 breakout release Illinois were not expecting a follow-up like this. In fact, they were probably expecting another edition of Stevens’ much-hyped “50 states project” (Rhode Island, anyone? What about Oregon?). Five long years later, however, Sufjan Stevens continues to keep everyone guessing with his longawaited comeback release, The Age of Adz. Named after the artwork by apocalyptic artist Royal Roberston, the album finds Stevens shelving his banjo and flutes and implementing a mind-dizzying array of synthesizers, computer-generated sounds and glitches, and swooning horns. It presents an exercise in auditory endurance for the listener as much as it shows off new material that Stevens’ fans have been desiring for nearly half a decade. This new album, once you’re able to make your way through the layers upon layers of sonic storms and endless melodies, holds a lot of insight into the mindset of Sufjan
over-produced albums yet, but it is evident that the band is finally returning to its roots. The album lacks a central feeling, but it is a bumpy ride of emotion that explores being a lazy and unaffected mess to befriending bugs to an angry, sex-driven search for socks. Far from a concept album, Hurley feels more like a compilation of songs. Perhaps a product of iTunes culture, the album is best heard in individual songs, rather than as a whole. Overall, the album has highs and lows. It’s definitely the band’s best effort since the fan favorite album Pinkerton. It’s not overwhelmingly memorable, but it has enough great tracks to be considered a solid album for both casual and diehard Weezer fans alike. However, for listeners unfamiliar with Weezer, Hurley may not be the album to fall in love with. As a fan, it’s a fairly good record that pays tribute to an era long-gone in music. Welcome back, Weezer—we missed you.
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Rounder Records, 2010
Junior Breaking away from her usual finger-style slap guitar, Kaki King delivers a tour de force of intense, musical elements in her fifth, full length album, Junior. Die-hard Kaki fans may be unsettled by this musical shift, but the change is far from disappointing. With the help of two multi-dimensional instrumentalists, Dan Brantigan and Jordan Perlson, King embarked on a new form of recording that made her feel “like a little kid or a novice.” Brantigan and Perlson’s influences helped King format her album around her interests in Cold War novels, espionage and even double-identities. The first track of the album, “The Betrayer,” is even about Eddie Chapman, a spy during WWII who turned the tables on the Nazis and switched his life of espionage to the Allies. Musically, the song begins with a simple guitar riff that crescendos during the first verse, all the while preparing for the climax of the refrain. Lyrically, while each song emphasizes its own theme, there is heavy repetition within
Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M. Sam Wasson
By Katy Newton
each track textually, which seems to reinforce the meaning of the song as well as the structure of the album. This phenomenon is highlighted in “Falling Day,” in which the title of the track is repeated, most frequently at the end, along with the words, “Everyone comes from somewhere else/Everyone stays alone.” In terms of genre, almost any lover of good music can find something that he or she finds pleasurable about this album. Kaki King does a wonderful job providing a diversity of songs that span from prog rock, to punk, to folk and indie pop. This variation supports her inspiration for the album overall in that, like espionage, one must take on a number of different guises to complete a mission. If Kaki King is not a name with which many people are familiar, Junior is undoubtedly the album that should draw in new listeners.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Yep, that movie that begins with some skinny chick in a little black dress eating a danish in front of a jewelry store at 5 a.m. That chick, as most of us should know, was the adorable Audrey Hepburn, and that jewelry store, the one with the little blue boxes, is the iconic New York staple Tiffany’s. But what few of us know is that composer Henry Mancini and lyricist Johnny Mercer almost never got the chance to write the Oscar-winning tune. Breakfast at Tiffany’s almost didn’t get the chance to have posters made from it, since the filmmakers struggled to adapt Truman Capote’s novel. And perhaps the biggest shock, Audrey Hepburn was not the first choice to play the lovable Holly Golightly! These secrets and more are revealed in Sam Wasson’s “Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M.,” a behind-the-scenes look into the making of one of the most influential movies ever.
By Amy Obarski
Yes, Breakfast at Tiffany’s was influential… but I’m not just talking about that dress. The book takes a look at the bigger cultural influence of the movie. Because, let’s face it, we’re all influenced by the media. Even those crazy housewives of the ‘50s got out of the house, and once they did, they had no clue how this controversial movie would shape their views for years to come. Another kitschy extra that Wasson adds is a list of “Holly Golightly’s New York,” which includes locations that had an impact on the movie. As if that weren’t enough, the book, as expected, has odd but fun unknown facts about the film. Even if you haven’t seen the movie or have no clue what this review is even about, Wasson’s book will envelop you into the alluring world of movie magic and how that magic can shape the views of independent minds for years to come.
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Last Night By Kristiina Korpus
Everything was still. Only the occasional drifting, whispering wind across the open window told me of a world outside the sweet warmth of your breath. Sheets rustle as I slide across the cool cotton to press closer and nestle into the crook of your arm, which is so perfectly suited, as if made just for me. Your chest falls as a heavy, contented sigh issues through your lips, and the current of air chills my damp cheeks. A steady rhythm beats against your ribcage; I hear its deep echo clearly, feel the strong and sure vibration that follows each drum beat. There’s a pain in my chest that I can’t identify, but with each of your heartbeats mine falters and flutters against my confining chest, a butterfly unable to be free. The butterfly sinks then beats its wings twice before again falling momentarily silent. Everything is still. Lungs cramp in protest and I gasp, flooding the cage with air and sending my heart into a rapid succession of beats, as if it could ever catch up. I pant quietly, my forehead rested against your broad shoulder, as your arm snakes around my waist and you pull me close while you are still fast asleep. Again, I wonder how it is that you are so aware, even in your deep sleep. Does some part of your subconscious warn you that I may slip from your grasp? Small domes of salty water settle on your shirt before disappearing, their only evidence of existence dark spots on the already dark fabric. Evidence that will have
long since dried up when you wake in the morning. So many things cannot be said, despite how I wish to just grasp your hand and confess. But that would sadden you and ruin me. Therefore, this butterfly must remain caged. Because when it cannot express all there is to say, there is no way to say “goodbye” to you. No ability to obtain release until baggage is unloaded. This is the last night. And so I say “good night” in the hopes that those words will not lead you to say “goodbye.” Mattress springs softly complain as I wiggle out of your arms. The wooden floors creek and chills run from the soles of my feet up my spine. Somehow, you don’t wake and just resettle with little protest. Across the icy floor I shuffle to the open window. The sky is inky this late at night, even stars seem to struggle to emit their untainted light. Looking at them makes me wonder how I might hope to overcome my darkness if even they fight against theirs, those creatures much purer than I. The night air renews the feeling of wet tracks running down my face. Or perhaps it was my own musings that awakened them once more. The windowsill is washed blue-white by the glow of the moon. It becomes a perch and the whispering breeze ruffles the hem of my nightshirt. You’ll never know I was here; so now I tell you “Good night . . .” instead of releasing the painful butterfly that is my confession, because you don’t want to hear “I love you” from me.
Photo by David Lurvey
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City Fallen on Hard Times 15 Years After Power Rangers’ Departure By Andrew Lindsay t has been more than a decade since the Power Rangers finished their duty, defending the innocent against the loathsome forces of evil, and left the streets of Angel Grove City. The city was all but leveled each week in the wake of fights between the Power Rangers’ Megazord and its opponent. “There were a lot of casualties in those years, what with the massive amounts of collateral damage, but most of them were just construction workers working on previously wrecked buildings,” the Mayor said in an interview last week. “Angel Grove was very much a town of migrant workers looking for construction jobs,” he added.
“How else could so much of the city be rebuilt so quickly each week?” Interestingly, as the city swelled with laborers, more and more suburbs were created to house the influx of workers. Once the Power Rangers won their war after years of weekly after school fighting, however, most of the population left, knowing the demand for labor would drop exponentially. With the absence of the Power Rangers, these suburbs have become the ‘90s-style equivalent of old-fashioned western ghost towns. “Yeah, it’s a curse and a gift at the same time because the majority of the homeless have wound up squatting in the old suburbs,” the Mayor said. “But on the plus side, we have also seen a noticeable decrease in teenagers with attitude.” The Power Rangers provided the
city of Angel Grove with a multi-layered economic boom. Not only did they create a demand for laborers, but the high-profile super-beings also brought a torrential number of tourists hoping to catch a glimpse of the Rangers, a monster or even just a few of the Putties. “Good Lord, the amount of merchandising the city did was obnoxious! I still own a complete set of replica T-shirts,” the Mayor said. When surveyed, native Angel-Grovians commented that they missed the costumed warriors. “Yeah, it was a bitch having your life in constant danger from mutant armadillos or anthropomorphic piranhas with nunchucks or whatever,” long-time resident Patrick Willis said. “But we all felt those Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers were the soul of our city.” _______________________________ Andrew Lindsay is a sophomore writing major who just wanted a picture with one of the putties.Email him at alindsa1@ ithaca. edu.
Image by Hannag Knight
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Matthew Not To Receive Single Cookie Until He Cleans His Room By Noah Burd
what his parents called a “temper tantrum” over new regulatory procedures like “Don’t stuff everything in your closet,” and “Just because you threw it under your bed does not make it clean, mister.” Upon being informed of the procedures, he reportedly whined “But mom!”—rhetoric common to the national dialogue over the controversial cookie measure. Furthermore, Matthew claims he needs the cookie to prevent him from failing the first grade and threatens that he won’t love his parents as much if he is denied said cookie. He says the family’s well-being depends too much on Matthew’s love and success for them not to grant him his desired cookie, a chewy chocolate chip. “Our son is too big a part of our lives to fail,”
Mom said. “But until he shows us how the energy from last week’s cookies was spent, we’re not going to give him any more sweets. He was supposed to use those calories to clean this mess up, but if anything, things have only gotten worse.” “We will not continue to mindlessly throw cookies at this problem,” Dad said. “We’re tired of the immature threats and empty promises of better future behavior. We refuse to keep doling out unearned rewards.” Mom and Dad have been issuing similar behavioral warnings all afternoon. Perhaps the biggest threat to Matthew, however, is the risk that if, by Friday evening, he still has not cleaned his room, he will forfeit TV privileges for the weekend. ____________________________________ Noah Burd is a sophomore writing major who wants a cookie stimulus package. E-mail him at nburd1@ithaca. edu.
Image by Sally Russell
n a stern verbal statement released early yesterday afternoon, 525 Oak St. resident Mom let it be known that she would not be offering her son Matthew any more cookies until he tidies up his room. “The state of his bedroom is a mess,” Mom said to reporters with firm conviction. “And quite frankly, we’re a bit uncomfortable with the prospect of rewarding him when he’s done nothing but squander our good will on clutter.” This marks the third time this year that Matthew has been threatened with cookie cessation, yet his room is still dirty. Past attempts to regulate the dirty clothing draped over everything have failed, leading outsiders to wonder who is at fault for the current state of affairs. “It’s a question of accountability,” said babysitter Kate, who found wet bubblegum coating Matthew’s door w h e n she was tucking him in last week. “I want to know why nobody saw this disaster of chaos coming.” Mom and Dad blame the boy’s grandparents, as they watched him for about a week in January when Mom and Dad were on a cruise. “For eight days, his grandparents let him get away with anything. They would spoil him with candy no matter how good or bad his performance was,” explained Dad, then added with a somewhat sad look in his eye: “These are the same people who didn’t let me have maple syrup growing up.” The decision was not without its detractors. Matthew threw
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Designated Driver Diaries - True Tales By Sarah Parker arch 26, 2010: Best friend who moved away in fifth grade visited this weekend. She brought her new best friend. New friend annoyed shit out of me all weekend. Shouldn’t have volunteered to drive at night. Fuck being a good hostess. All it gets you is a pool of vomit in your trunk. Night started out normally. Ended up in sketchy barn owned by kid I barely know. Yes, I do mean barn, not bar. Normal night in my town. Became involved in conversation with only other semi-sober person present. Realized everyone I went there with was gone. Soon found them. Annoying girl friend brought was rolling around in hay. Took three of us to get her out. Next time I saw her was approximately one hour later in backseat of Jeep. Now also covered in hay. Don’t know how we found out about it or where it was, but ended up at another party full of kids I didn’t
know. Annoying girl stayed in car, apparently. When I came back she was in my trunk. Whatever. Rather have hay in trunk than backseat. Everyone was hungry. Drove to 7-11. Bad idea. Came outside to see vomit everywhere. All over parking lot. So gross. Trunk door was open with half her body hanging out. Annoying girl covered in her own barf. Police in parking lot at time. Pushed annoying girl back in trunk and shut door. She rolled around wiping vomit covering her body all over my carpeted trunk. Slept at Abby’s. Thus, had to leave car festering over night. Smelled so horrible in morning. Drove home quickly with all windows open. Put on best sad face, but mom refused to help clean. Was like, really mom, what the hell? Guess she didn’t care; not her car. Just threw out everything with puke on it; called it a day. Worst idea ever. It will smell like sloppy bitch barf forever.
June 10, 2010: Met new German foreign exchange student today. She threw up in backseat of mom’s new car. Apparently Germans are not better drinkers than us. Liquidy white chunks of vomit spewing from her mouth for a consistent twenty seconds. Had seen friends giving her drinks, beer and liquor alike. Didn’t realize how much. She was average height for a girl of 15, rather skinny. I accurately judged her body size due to her tight jeans and see-through shirt. We didn’t talk at all and I went home. James called me at 2:30 a.m. Had been sleeping for a couple hours so was able to drive and get them. German girl got into car, again, without asking. She sat between boys. Boys began to yell at sight of her vomit. Because of yelling, did not realize she was throwing up until all barf was deposited into pocket behind driver’s seat. Mother did not know I took German girl home. She drove to work next morning, car full of vomit. Warm outside, air conditioning broken. Somehow, she did not notice until on way home. More surprisingly, she was not angry and cleaned it herself this time. Usually hate mom’s need to clean, but she wins “Best Mom Award” for cleaning mysterious German vomit before I even woke up. ___________________________________ Sarah Parker is a freshman journalism major who can’t DD tonight. E-mail her at email@example.com.
Image by Zachary Anderson
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Buzzsaw Asks Why...
President Rochon didn’t want to talk about Sodexo workers’ wages at the student discussion of the IC20/20 Vision Plan? On Thursday, Oct. 7 at Emerson Suites, President Rochon invited Ithaca College students to discuss the objectives, initiatives and proposals of the IC20/20 Vision plan, which outlines various programs and ideas the school administration hopes to develop over the next decade (for more details on the plan, you should have an e-mail about it on your IC account on Oct. 5). IC20/20 is admittedly not a bad pun, and much of the document appears well-meaning and focused on the improvement of the institution in the coming years. During the discussion, however, a small group of students raised questions as to whether Sodexo employees working on the IC campus will ever receive fair treatment and a living wage. According to Buzzsaw’s own Alyssa Figueroa in her May article “Putting a Fork Into Sodexo,” only Sodexo ser-
vice supervisors and production supervisors at IC make above the Tompkins County living wage of $11.11 per hour. Some students at the meeting questioned whether IC would either drop Sodexo as a subcontractor or make sure workers were paid a living wage. Other issues students wanted to address included Sodexo employee job security and employee rights to yearround, affordable healthcare. Rochon brushed off these concerns, reportedly calling it a stretch to apply this issue to the ideas of IC20/20, since meeting attendees were given a list of talking points to address. Here at Buzzsaw, we simply point to Objective 4 in the plan: “We will educate students for civic engagement in order to develop character.” If Rochon and the administration want a more involved, engaged student body
as we progress through the next decade, that means he needs to respond more fully to the students who try to address the biggest labor concerns on campus right now. This is just one example of the administration saying it wants students to be involved, but then stifling involvement when students raise controversial questions. Thus far, Rochon has skirted the topic of Sodexo wages on the basis that the college does not pay those workers. Addressing Sodexo workers’ rights is a hugely pertinent issue for IC20/20, however, if the school truly wants to enhance its image and produce a campus of students confident in their ability to effect change through civic engagement. -Chris Giblin
by Sarah Kasulke
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The Clean-Up Issue, October 2010