BUZZSAW Painting the Town... DECEMBER 2010
Coming to America
Foreign students work in local factory
Youâ€™re Invited to The Tea Party! The media craze behind a political movement
Ti(RED) or Inspi(RED)? Questioning the effectiveness of consumer activism
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BUZZSAW Buzzsaw presents...
If stress is making you bright RED with rage, Play our Buzz-Spy game on the cover page.
But first, are you thirsty? Then drink some COKE! Red makes you hungry—it isn’t a joke. “Does This Coke Can Turn You On?” pg. 17
Head to the Commons to see a new store, They’re RENTING the space, with goodies galore!
News & Views Upfront Ministry of Cool Prose & Cons Sawdust Layout Art Website SeeSaw Production
Zachary Anderson, Andy Casler, Moriah Petty,Marc Phillips, Abby Sophir
Jeff Cohen Abby Bertumen Kelly Burdick Bryan Chambala Sam Costello Thom Denick Cole Louison James Sigman
“Downtown Perks Up” pg. 12
Here comes SANTA, with his jolly smile, He knows that red fashion is always in style. “Seeing Red in Fashion” pg. 36
So wear a red RIBBON to help fight AIDS, The disease affects people of all different shades. “Race and the Red Ribbon” pg. 16
Then pucker up, honey, and give me a kiss! With sexy red LIPStick, you’ll be hard to miss. “Red Lips Don’t Lie” pg. 32
If you’ve found these items, you’re way far ahead. Now read some articles about all things RED!
Bonus: Can you find the following red items? A billiards ball, rose petals, chopsticks, a comb, five crayons, a screwdriver, a lobster, 15 playing cards, a toothbrush, a condom, a tea kettle, measuring tape, a CD
Jacquie Simone Adam Polaski Carly Sitzer Emily Miles David Lurvey Chris Giblin Lucy Ravich Anika Steppe Daniel Sitts Emily Miles David Lurvey Andrew Rivard
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)
-The Editors :)
Buzzsaw uses student-generated art and photography and royalty-free images.
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
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 & back cover by Anika Steppe Center spread by Daniel Sitts and Anika Steppe Upfront divider by Ally Cunningham Ministry of Cool divider by Colleen Cunha Prose & Cons divider by David Lurvey Sawdust divider by Anika Steppe
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Image by Anika Steppe
ON THE COVER
Coming to America pg. 8
You’re Invited to The Tea Party pg. 14 Ti(RED) or Inspi(RED)? pg. 31
WRITE US Our magazine exists to inspire thoughtful debate and open up the channels through which information is shared. Your comments and feedback are all a part of this process. Reach the editors by e-mail at:
Table of Contents News & Views ...............................4 Current events, local news & quasi-educated opinions.
Upfront .........................................13 Selected dis-education of the month.
Ministry.of.Cool............................28 Arts, entertainment and other things cooler than us.
Prose & Cons ...............................40 Short fiction, personal essay and other assorted lies.
Sawdust .......................................42 Threatening the magazine’s credibility since 1856.
check us out at:
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Nov. 23, 2010: North Korea fired dozens of artillery shells onto the South Korean island Yeonpyeong, killing four people and destroying more than 60 houses
buzzcuts Compiled by Jacquie Simone
2010: Tensions escalate between North and South Korea; U.S. places more sanctions on Pyongyang
Food Crisilas: tion is
33% of popu malnourished ain n gr 1.3 million to shortfall ople do 6.2 million pe ough food not have en
its nt prohib overnme bly and asg n a re o m se hK The Nort peech, press, as , but ‘wrongoers of s freedom Not only wrong-d ress is centrally p . sociation re punished, the ally no access a tu ’ ir v rs e is k ere consisthin h Korea d, and th controlle information. Nort countries with e e to outsid ks last among th dom. Freedom e n tently ra level of press fre t and workers’ n e st e m e w v lo o e . m th physical everely restricted , n io lig s o of re ls a rights are t group n activis Korea, a h rt o N in –Liberty
September 2003: Most recent election; Kim Jong Il and Kim Yong Nam run unopposed Mid-1990s: Famine from natural disasters and collapse of the Public Distribution System, more than one million people die
July 1994: Kim Jong Il of the Korean Workers’ Party becomes Chief of State following his father’s death
1950-53: Korean War, fails to conquer U.S.-supported Republic of Korea; adopts anti-U.S., isolationist policies as a result 80 % ref of tim ugee Nort s o s in h K o fh um Chin rean an a a tra re v ffic ickin g 20 0,0 are 00 co held Nort nce h i ntr n pol Kore atio itic a n c al ns am ps -LiN
Aug. 15, 1945: Independence from Japan; split into North and South 1905: Japan occupied Korea following the Russo-Japanese War
“We want to m ake sure all th e parties in the region recognize that this is a serious and ongo ing threat that needs to be dealt with . ... We strong ly affirm our commitment to defend So uth Korea as part of that al liance.” –President O bama in a Nov . 23 ABC News intervie w in response to the North Korean attack on Sout h Korea
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
Sept. 9, 1948: Founding of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea under Kim Il Sung
NORTH KOREA: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Choson-minjuju ui-inmin-konghwaguk Capital: Pyongyang July 2010 population: 22,757,275 Government: Centralized Communist state: one-man, one-party dictatorship
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The Sodexo Struggle Continues Union organizers and students fight for better work treatment By Lyndsey Lyman
had no information to give despite the fact that the college’s vice president of Finance and Administration, Carl Sgrecci, told LIPS members that Prunty is the college’s main contact with Sodexo Supervisor Jeff Scott. In addition, the group has been unable to schedule an appointment with Scott after repeated attempts. Ott said many workers have been continually bringing up concerns with Sodexo management as well. One example of these concerns is favoritism in the promotion process. One worker said there is a history of jobs being available but not fairly posted for all to see. This limits the number of applicants to a select few and, more often than not, ends in the promotion being given to a worker whom management knows personally or with whom they have a particular bond. Ott said this is an obviously unfair process. “It’s harder to get a promotion when you don’t even know that there’s a promotion being posted,” Ott said. One dining hall worker said she tried to address the issue and, even after hearing from multiple workers who had not seen a listing for a recently offered job, was told she must have been mistaken. “We brought it up to the manager, and he said that was posted but we just didn’t see it,” she said. “I talked to the assistant director, and she said it was there and nobody had seen it.” Even if the job actually was posted, it obviously was not done well enough so that workers actually saw it to call it a fair opportunity. Ott said the biggest issue with Sodexo’s employee advancement is often a lack of equal opportunity. “It’s an unfair process,” Ott said. “Sodexo supports it, and they continue it. It’s been going on for years.” After all of these meetings and media coverage, Sodexo still has yet to speak directly with students concerned over the company’s treatment of workers. LIPS members have decided to up the ante. Senior Kiera Lewis, the organizing coordinator of LIPS, said the group’s goal is to have 2,000 signatures on their petition by their Dec. 9 meeting with college President Tom Rochon to begin their dialogue with him about improving the situation for workers on campus. SEIU Local 200United Research/ Communications Specialist August
Schneeberg said the petition is a key aspect of college officials’ understanding of how important the issue is to a number of people. Besides evidence for college officials, Schneeberg said a petition with this much support would also send a message to workers. “It shows workers they have support as well because a big part of any organizing campaign is that in the beginning, workers are reluctant to stick their necks out because, although the law protects the right to join a labor organization, the law really has no teeth,” he said. “I think the workers are very aware of that.” Schneeberg was referring to the fact that Sodexo management is likely to fire employees who are found to be union supporters—often on fictitious grounds—and then the workers’ options for retaliation become limited. A worker could choose to fight back and sue the company, which takes years and a huge amount of money to follow through. Even if that is possible, he said, the outcome is barely worth it to many. “Even if they did have the means to do that, all they’re entitled to is their job back and the wages that they would have earned during that period minus any wages they may have earned at another job,” Schneeberg said. This, along with the unfair promotion practices, poverty-level wages, lack of affordable health care and Sodexo’s refusal to change on any of these issues, nationally or locally, is why Lewis said involvement from community members—from within or outside of the college—is absolutely key to the campaign. “This campaign and the way it’s shaped really will depend on students and the greater community and how much involvement they have in putting pressure on the college to accept these recommendations,” Lewis said. “That’s an invaluable aspect of the campaign, just having people support it either by signing their name on a petition, or being part of whatever action we take, or just spreading the word about it so that people are aware.” _______________________________________ Lyndsey Lyman is a sophomore culture and communication major who thinks fair treatment is pretty sweet. E-mail her at email@example.com.
News & Views
he national movement to put Sodexo’s bad habits to rest has only been gaining momentum in recent months, and at Ithaca College, it is no different. Students, faculty, workers and union organizers continue to work together to spread community awareness and change the college’s and Sodexo’s practices with petitions and public action. The Labor Initiative in Promoting Solidarity (LIPS) is continuing its All Campus Living Wage campaign in efforts to make sure the college only makes contracts with outsourced services that protect workers’ right to organize and guarantee them a living wage and benefits equal to other college employees. Meanwhile, Service Employees International Union Local 200United continues to encourage dining hall workers to unionize in order to reach these same goals. Calvin Ott, SEIU Local 200United organizer, said becoming a union is an invaluable tool for the workers. “Ultimately, the workers need a union contract,” Ott said. “They need to be a union so that whatever agreements that are made, whatever the college chooses to do, whatever Sodexo chooses to do, the workers have a contract so that those working conditions can’t be changed unilaterally, whether it’s Sodexo that’s doing the food service contract or some other company or Ithaca College itself.” Media across the country have been reporting recently on campaigns against Sodexo at colleges where the company provides dining and housekeeping services. Campaign participants are enraged by Sodexo’s history of povertylevel wages, lack of affordable healthcare, dangerous working conditions and alleged discrimination. As the movement grows, some struggle to make their voices heard while others are more successful. On Tuesday, Nov. 23, 25 protesters were arrested on criminal trespass charges at Ohio State University for their demonstration against Sodexo’s unfair wages. Although many meetings between LIPS members and Ithaca College faculty have gone well, some of the most important ones have not. David Prunty, director of Campus Center and Events Services, told LIPS representatives he
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Restaurant Review : By Emily Broat ooking around at white, architectural walls and an artfully deconstructed ceiling, the décor at Stella’s Restaurant, Bar and Café could easily be considered a distraction, but somehow the restaurant makes it work. Asymmetrical, glossy mahogany tables create a fun contrast with patterned tile floors, adding quirky sophistication and reminding us not to take ourselves too seriously. When you enter Stella’s, located in the heart of Ithaca’s Collegetown, it is pretty clear that you are in for a treat. The restaurant’s most effective tool by far is its undeniable charm; however, the ambiance is the most enjoyable part of your dining experience at Stella’s. Having enjoyed a delicious brunch at Stella’s last year, I walked into the establishment with high expectations. Stella’s seems to have something for everyone, and it’s easy to get lost in the perfectly sized dinner menu. Local sausage and penne, a healthy tuna wrap and five different types of grass-fed burgers are just a few of the options. Appetizer choices range from a classic shrimp cocktail to the
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
Photo by Emily Miles
restaurant’s own truffle Parmesan plate looked promising, a nicely sized fries. The decision is a tough one, sandwich accompanied by crisp golden but there doesn’t seem to be a wrong french fries. Upon further inspection, answer, as each dish sounds more however, the entrée was not much of deliciously elegant than the last. an improvement from the first course. Peppercorn-encrusted steak with The turkey and Brie sandwich was rosemary mashed potatoes never indecisive in temperature, the result sounded so appealing. There are a being a lukewarm pile of lunchmeat fair number of vegetarian options, and French bread that sagged with the most of which are appetizers. This is weight of a once-buttery cheese. The disappointing, especially considering fries didn’t fare much better, feeling the unnecessarily high percentage of rubbery between my teeth. The menu claimed the accompanying farmstand the long menu that contains meat. The restaurant’s pricing is right salad would have fresh strawberries on target, charging around $10 for and blueberries on a bed of arugula, a sandwich and no more than $20 adorned with goat cheese and pecans, but when the dish for an entrée. Stella’s does, arrived there was however, charge $1 extra for a only one strawberry side of sweet potato fries with Stella’s Restaurant, Bar and Café to be found. a burger and $2 extra with a 403 College Ave. The salad’s size sandwich. The logic behind 607-277-1490 would have been this eludes me. www.stellabar.com $$ underwhelming After ordering the spicy crab if not for the bisque to start, noted as the additional grilled restaurant’s “best seller for chicken we had 10 years straight,” followed by the turkey and Brie sandwich, I requested, and the dressing was hunkered down to wait. I had heard inconveniently located underneath the the restaurant was open until 1 a.m., greens, resulting in a tussle between so dining at 7:30 p.m. seemed perfectly eater and intended meal. Although we opted to forgo drinks, reasonable; but, once seated, it wasn’t hard to notice the restaurant’s lack the bar at Stella’s is quite impressive. of patrons. A couple of well-dressed It makes up a majority of the café’s women in their mid-20s sat at the scenery, and fortunately, it’s easy bar, while a few seats down, a single on the eyes. This pleasantry was man glanced around every couple lost, however, due to a photographer of minutes to see if the scenery had obliviously snapping away at a trio of martini glasses to my left. This caused changed. I felt his pain. The meal was delivered in a timely a blinding flash to illuminate the manner, with the crab bisque arriving entire establishment every one to two around 10 minutes after ordering. minutes. The irritation of other diners As soon as the spoon made contact was evident in their blatant scowls, with the soup, it was clear I was but the wait staff appeared completely in for a disappointment. The soup unaware. Ironically, the photoshoot was thin and watery, and the crab was probably to drum up publicity, that was detectable was so small it which will no doubt be needed after felt unnatural and accidental. The tonight’s sub-par meal. At Stella’s, restaurant did offer a few pieces the modern décor lures you in, and of French bread to accompany the a surprisingly cozy atmosphere asks soup, and dipping the baguette into you to stay. The food, however, quietly the bisque helped to improve the whispers, “Get out while you still experience. Still, it was difficult to can.” shake the promise of “spice,” and ____________________________________ adding a large amount of pepper is Emily Broat is a junior CMD major a must if you hope to achieve some who resisted the urge to pull a Marlon Brando and scream, “Stella!” at the end sizzle. Next up was the main course. My of her meal. E-mail her at ebroat1@ ithaca.edu.
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Parting the Red Sea By Samantha Brucker
tricky at times, spinning and turning and flipping, kissing and unbuttoning, being sexy with a condom, keeping the blankets on, moving from spread eagle to doggy style and any other animalistic position that falls in between. How on earth was I supposed to factor in the menaces of Aunt Flo, with all her needy tendencies? “Well,” Emma said, “it honestly doesn’t get too messy, but in this case you’re staying in pretty basic, vanilla positions, otherwise it probably would.” “Is it like a plug or something?” I asked, completely confused by how all this seemed to work together. I naturally always assumed this was some sort of taboo. Not that I am an angel, or by any means sexually restricted, but the option of engaging in any sort of sexual contact during those five days was, to me, out of the question. The answer to my inquiry was that no, this was not like a bathtub: The blood didn’t simply stop running out. I guess I imagined his penis was like a stopper in a leaky pipe, waiting to burst once it was taken out. Apparently, she explained, his penis isn’t a stopper, and my vag isn’t a drain. Who knew? “How did it happen? Was Adam [her boyfriend of almost a year] chill with it?” I probed for more information. I was taken aback as I found out the unusual culprit of encouragement for this was Adam’s older sister, Leah. At a family birthday dinner at Adam’s house, in the lovely suburbs of the Big Apple, Emma had excused herself from the dinner table midcourse: Her excruciating cramps had left her to crawl up the stairs to Adam’s bed to do nothing but wait for the pain to pass. Leah came upstairs shortly afterward to check on her,
knowing the reason for her discomfort. Offering her empathy, she told Emma stories of how when she was younger, her cramps would be so painful she would throw up. Her tidbit of advice was simply, “Not to be awkward, but ya know what really helps relieving cramps? An orgasm.” Turns out, orgasms do relieve cramps and pain. Cramps are essentially a pain due to starvation of oxygen from over-contraction. Massaging and exercising the muscle can help your muscle not contract as much, which is what limits oxygen. The orgasm then releases endorphins that act as a painkiller. So, saddle up, ladies! Emma did saddle up, in the shower—a recommendation she made for “clean up.” The actual act itself isn’t too messy, but laying out towels seemed to be a just-in-case factor, she said. This all seemed to be a good sex itinerary, but I started wondering why I felt I needed all this reassurance at all. I mean, it is my body and my boyfriend and MY cramps that need relieving, not to mention, my stress that needs easing. After all, it is just blood—it’s not like semen is a heavenly bodily fluid to encounter. In fact, I imagine if guys had their period, some would brag about it just as they do when they “unload” one: “Dude, I bled all over this girl last night. It was awesome!” No offense guys, but let’s be real. So ladies and gents, is Aunt Flo visiting? Talk it out, use a condom and have some fun! ____________________________________ Samantha Brucker is a sophomore journalism major who thinks this advice fits. Period. E-mail her at sbrucke1@ ithaca.edu.
News & Views
SON OF A BITCH! I haven’t gotten laid in three weeks, and I get my goddamn period. PISSED!” Shouting from the bathroom, I bitched and moaned about this seriously unfortunate occurrence. I wouldn’t be surprised if the whole dorm hallway heard the ruckus coming from my Emerson bathroom. Not only did I have the lovely privilege of wearing leggings for five days due to the excessive bloating, the backbreaking aches and pains, the unspoken understanding of my bitch-ass-ness, but after weeks of being away from my bearded, flannel-wearing man, there would be no sex—no stress-relieving pleasure after weeks of daunting papers and presentations, except maybe only on his end. But there would be no reciprocation, I mean, right? Spreading my annoyance further than the Emerson hall, I left the bathroom to type furiously on my computer into the Facebook thread I have with the girls back home. Searching for moral support, possibly? Maybe just an outlet of frustration? Who knows what compelled me, but it seemed appropriate at the time. Emma, my most notorious, sexually adventurous friend, responded immediately with a goahead, green light sort of attitude. It seemed interesting to me that this was a possibility, that I wouldn’t get scrutinized for having “welcome home sex” while… menstruating. Struck by her positive attitude, I had to know more. What was it like? Where did it happen? Was it… messy? I almost needed the playby-play, wanting to make sure every tactic, every maneuver, was done successfully. Sex in and of itself can be quite
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An Exchange Program How a local corporation uses foreign students as a workforce By Pete Blanchard merican college students typically associate a semester abroad with traveling to exotic locales, eating different foods and meeting new people. For some foreign students coming to the United States, the situation is quite different. Every year, foreign exchange programs bring more than 280,000 visitors to the United States. About 90,000 of these visitors are students who come through the Summer Work Travel Program. A growing number of foreign students are traveling to the United States on this program, typically working in hotels, resorts, restaurants and casinos. Factories can now be added to that list: Marietta Corporation, a national company based in Cortland, N.Y., that supplies hotels with cleaning products, has hired the labor of at least 50 foreign exchange students.
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
Welcome to America
In June, Pete Meyers, coordinator of the Tompkins County Workers’ Center, received a letter from a local pastor that the Holiday Inn had just hired seven foreign students from China and Moldova as housekeepers. “When we first heard about this situation at the Holiday Inn, we were initially concerned that they were perhaps not even being paid for the position,” Meyers said. Sarah is a Chinese pre-med student who came to America on the Summer Work Travel Program. Back in China, her parents make a modest living owning a shoe store. Here in the United States, she cleaned hotel rooms at the local Holiday Inn, making just above minimum wage and occasionally working overtime. Sarah was temporarily living at the Cortland Motel before the Holiday Inn agreed to provide rooms for her and the six other foreign students working there. “There are students from all over the world at the motel,” she said. “They work as packers for Marietta.”
Over the summer, the Cortland Motel provided housing for about 50 international students who were working for Marietta. The housing situation was less than luxurious. There were at least four students per room, and all of the students had to share one kitchen, which was pretty decrepit. The majority of the students get to work by biking to the factory, which is located a few miles away from the motel. At Marietta, the students typically worked 12-hour shifts and made just above minimum wage. Work on the assembly line is pretty mundane, consisting of putting caps on shampoo bottles or packaging bottles into boxes. One of those students, Muhammed, is a 20-year-old student from Uzbekistan studying finance and economics at the Tashkent Financial Institute. Like all of the other students staying at the motel, Muhammed came here with a nonimmigrant J-1 Visa through a sponsor organization called Cultural Homestay International. CHI is one of many sponsor organizations that provide work opportunities for both students and employers, and the Summer Work Travel Program is just one of the exchange programs offered to international students. Kidon Clyde, 20, is currently studying at the University of West Indies in Mona, Jamaica. Since flights from J a m a i c a to the continental U.S. run fairly cheap compared to international f l i g h t s , J a m a i c a n students like Clyde are able to save up money to bring back home. “I was working at the Sagamore
Resort in Lake George. … I lived there,” Clyde said. “I loved it. I am trying to make some money to go home and pay for tuition.”
Behind the Brochures
While Clyde and other Jamaican students use the Summer Work Travel Program to help pay for college tuition, the same cannot be said for other students. Dino Radulovic, a 20year-old student from Bosnia, had a troubling experience in Atlantic City, N.J., before ending up in Cortland. While in New Jersey, he pulled people in chairs on the boardwalk for three days straight and ended up making less than minimum wage. “People who do this job are either on crack or they’re international students,” he said. “It was a bad job. People talked shit to us. It was humiliating.” Muhammed described an incident where he flew to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., after being promised there would be a job waiting
Image by Sam Pinto
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for him there—but his employer did not accept him. “When I came there and told him my name, he said he did not know me,” Muhammed said. “I asked him, ‘Are you joking?’” The majority of the students came here for the experience, looking for the opportunity to work and travel in the United States, but many were lucky to break even financially. Between travel and visa expenses, the money they earn is barely enough to keep them going. “We pay $3,000 to see America and to travel,” Muhammed said. “We come here, and we are just a little bit disappointed. This is America? It’s a little town—there’s nobody here and nothing to do. … Our program’s name is now work, sleep and cook.”
A Growing Trend
He said these students are basically doing a job that anybody else here in the United States could do. “Employers have to prove they need foreign workers and that there are none available in the local market,” Gutierrez said. “I understand the main principle of the program, and I think it’s under good principles, but when you have a lot of unskilled workers who would take those jobs locally, there’s conflict there.”
Benefits and Struggles
Meyers of the Tompkins County Workers’ Center said he thinks this program is catered to corporate interests rather than to the students. Many companies have come to depend on this program to stay afloat, especially casinos, hotels and resorts that rely on seasonal employment in the summer months. Meyers said one solution is to change the conditions and social stigma of these jobs in the first place. “If these were jobs people could take pride in, you’d have a different feeling,” he said. This is a localized example of a much bigger issue. There have been more serious cases of abuse in bigger cities like New York and Miami, where communication between the sponsor organizations and employers is minimal at best. Furthermore, cases of exploitation go undocumented, so there is no way of calculating how many of these 90,000 students have suffered on-the-job abuse, or how many students like Dino and Muhammed were promised a job but left to fend for themselves. Unless there is increased oversight by the State Department and sponsor organizations like the CHI, then corporations nationwide, not just Marietta, will continue to abuse this program. While Marietta has not violated any law, many people like Powell question the ethics of the program. “When you bring these kids to work 10, 12, 14 hours a day, and you put them up in a motel where they mingle only with each other and not with members of the community, where is the cultural exchange of that program?” _____________________________________ Pete Blanchard is a junior journalism major who wants to study abroad in Djibouti. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
News & Views
It might seem peculiar that a motel would need to provide housing for 50 international students while they package shampoo products for a national corporation, but this is quickly becoming a common scenario. Victoria Cani is a regional Employment Services Manager for CHI. Founded in 1980, CHI was set up when foreign exchange students began coming to the United States and looking for home stays. She says motels and hotels are the most common housing options for Summer Work Travel students. “Ithaca was the most challenging area for housing,” Cani said. Samantha Wolfe, a senior sociology student at Ithaca College, interned at the Tompkins County Workers’ Center over the summer. After spending a night at the Cortland Motel, she learned that these students working at Marietta are essentially temp workers. They are exempt from Social Security, unemployment and Medicare taxes. “That’s tax-free labor for them, taxes that could be used to support social services for their workers that aren’t making enough to live,” Wolfe said. International students were not greeted warmly by the rest of the community. Muhammed once read a sign on the highway nearby the motel that read, “Learn English or go home!” According to Cani, an associate at Marietta slashed the tires of one student, and several lockers were broken into. Instances like these are not uncommon among Summer Work Travel participants. “They really attack our students sometimes,” Cani said. “Lockers being
broken into happen nationwide on the program. We addressed right away the issue of slashing tires at Marietta, and the company fired the person who did it.” As a result of these incidents, CHI has considered discontinuing its program with Marietta. Professor Stephen Yale-Loehr teaches immigration law at Cornell University and specializes in J-1 Visa law programs like the Summer Work Travel Program. “You’ve got thousands of employers using these particular kinds of J1 work students,” he said. “We need more oversight by the state department as well as more supervision by the sponsoring organizations, such as the CHI.” In 2005, the Government Accountability Office issued a report to the State Department urging stronger action to improve oversight and assess the risks of the Summer Work Travel program. The report concluded that there is a severe lack of oversight in the management of the Summer Work Travel Program, also citing the lack of data on cases of abuse during the work period. All of the students mentioned in this story have since returned to their home countries, but Marietta is already looking for the next cycle of student workers. “Marietta is taking spring students, too,” Cani said. “There is a rotation.” If Marietta is capable of having a year-round student workforce, then this program is being seriously abused. With the nation’s unemployment rate hovering just below 10 percent—in Cortland it is at 7.5 percent—some local residents feel that Marietta is taking potential jobs away from Cortland citizens. For a four-month period, these students made up about half of the assembly line workers. “This is in effect creating a permanent workforce out of these temporary student workers,” said Ron Powell, a retired labor activist from Cortland who volunteered with the Cortland Workers’ Rights Board. Powell has dealt with labor violations at Marietta for much of his career. “I would have to say that in those 12 years, we received more calls from workers at the Marietta Corporation than the next five largest employers combined.” Carlos Gutierrez is a volunteer at the Workers’ Center who works with members of the community on immigration and local labor issues.
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Beyond Black and White Analyzing race relations in and out of prison By Bruce King hen they pack you into the back of a black van, it only begins to set in. The process of acceptance can take years, and it never happens immediately. This is really happening. I will not see my family or friends for a very long time. Federal prison sentences are immovable. There is no parole, so I buckled in with the intention of enduring at least 85 percent of my 42-month sentence for associated felony drug charges. From the moment I left my holding cell in county jail, where I had spent three months awaiting transport, and headed to the Brooklyn holdover, a trend emerged: This place is the anticollege. Having finished more than three years of my degree at Ithaca College, where diversity is akin to seeing a few speckles of pepper that found its way into the salt shaker, the opposite is exhibited here. White is the minority. However, unlike pepper, the shades of brown are not intermingled among the spectrum of shades— on the contrary, each race tends to find and gravitate toward others within their racial group. Sit in a college class in which race is being discussed, and you’re bound to get more than a few students (often white, though not exclusively) who believe that the issue of race is not at all relevant anymore. Since my return to school in the spring, I have come across a great many people who believe that race in no way affects our experience as human beings. All I want to ask them is, do you think that would be the case if you were to be forced from the norm that insulates you and most other Ithaca College students?
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
At some point in time, I myself may have harbored such a belief; however, during my extended absence from Ithaca College, I found myself in a situation where the reality of racism in the United States proved unavoidable.
When I finally arrived in my designated institution after a month
and a decent vocabulary, which have granted me a certain mobility. I was able to blend in well enough with the primarily Caucasian white-collars if I so desired, or the “connected” Philly Italians. Even so, there was part of this that felt disingenuous to me because I’ve always identified strongly with my mother’s family, who still lives in Mexico. When I was the new kid on the cell block, I’d sit in the rec yard and hear how the lighter-skinned races would criticize the other races, especially those of Hispanic descent. It was all I could do not to start an altercation. I guess I seemed “safe” company to share such sentiments with. However, at that point I had not yet found it in me to simply walk up to a group of Latinos in the cafeteria and claim my race. Something about it seemed forced.
Image by Nikki Black
on the road, traveling from prison to prison in transit, I was thrown into something of a demographic lottery, not all that different from the one depicted on Chappelle’s Show when the Asians manage to draft the WuTang Clan. I am of mixed decent, half white New Englander and half Mexican. However, I have a very fair complexion, which has long allowed me to pass for Italian. I also have a slight New England accent
A few weeks into my time, I was using the phone. Upon completion of my 15-minute limit call, I was about to walk away from the booth when a white-haired, Caucasian inmate ran up and grabbed the receiver from me. This upset a large, middle-aged, non-English-speaking Puerto Rican, whom I would later come to know as Bronco. Bronco was clearly disappointed that I had not spoken on his behalf because he felt he had been there first. I was uncomfortable intervening in any way since I was still a newbie. Bronco muttered a series of profanities in Spanish at me that I was clearly not supposed to understand. When I responded to him in his native tongue, his eyes widened. “Hispana?” he asked me. “Claro,” I replied. Any perceived transgression on my part was instantly forgiven. Bronco took me around and introduced me
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to the Latino contingent as a new brother in the facility. We cooked together, sat together in the dining hall and became quite close. If one of them needed help with legal forms or GED requirements, I would often be called upon. I even gained a seat in the Hispanic section of the TV room. When my mother would come visit me (an eight-hour trip for her), she was embraced by a community of Spanish-speaking spouses and families that would offer her a place to stay and emotional support via phone calls. She was visibly Mexican and thus adopted instantly. She often made connections before she even entered the visiting room. She spoke Spanish to them, but even if she had not, her complexion was a good enough pass for her. The more people she connected to, the more Latinos were willing to approach me and view me as one of them. Despite these benefits, affiliations come at a price. If altercations broke out, you were expected to side along racial lines in spite of friendships that may otherwise supersede skin color. Like a traded ballplayer in a brawl against his old team, one had to at least delve out some semblance of physical retribution, even if during color-neutral peacetime everyone would get along. This proved to be a major issue for me. During my time, I straddled many racial lines and social divides. Like I mentioned before, I was educated and light-skinned, so I got along well with white collars even though I was serving for drug charges. I was from New England while serving time in a Pennsylvania facility, so I had a tight relationship with other Bostonians who were of various shades. For some inmates, religion was a dividing factor. It was not uncommon to see a black Protestant having arguments with black Muslims.
Return to Reality
News & Views
After three years of serving time, I was released and re-engaged the world through a new lens—a deconstructive hybrid of both academic and prison knowledge. Looking back on my bid, it’s clear to me that the prison population is not representative of the country’s racial makeup. According to a 2009 Project America study, “Black males have experienced the highest rate of imprisonment—6.5 times that of white males and 2.5 that of Hispanic
males—of the three major races in the United States.” It is clear that with regard to the makeup of the prison population, race matters in who is locked up and why. Furthermore, the way that race becomes interpreted and manifested is more pronounced in prison. However, in my experience since finishing my sentence, the undertones of race relations on the outside remain. During my semester back at Ithaca College, I have observed similar racial segregations among groups. Students of more visibly colored minorities tend to affiliate themselves closer with those of similar hue. The only real difference is that the make-up of the student body is something of the inverse of the prison population, since there are far more white people than minorities at Ithaca College. So to those who say that race is no longer an issue, one must contextualize their experience. Having viewed discrimination against otherwise privileged whites on the inside, I really have to question whether those same people who out here claim that race is not an issue could truly say the same thing if their role in society were reversed. Can a fish tell the water is wet if it has never been removed from it? Furthermore, I’m left wondering if prison is a state of exception, or if it is rather a microcosm of society at large. In prison, though, public policy has reversed representation by privileging a certain group through relative omission. So it seems that I am left with far more questions than answers. I think, fundamentally, what I’ve come to find through the juxtaposition of prison and the college experience is a sense that inequalities do exist along racial divisions in this country, and that those inequalities play themselves out in numerous ways. Although race may be a constructed idea, it has very real consequences and manifestations in various sectors of society. It exists subtly in subtext and pronounced in hardships. One cannot simply wish it away and believe that it is therefore gone, just as an inmate cannot dream away his prison bars. ____________________________________ Bruce King is a senior politics major. Email him at email@example.com.
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Downtown Perks Up
Independently owned businesses fuel local economy By Gena Mangiaratti ith this year’s arrival of new businesses on the Ithaca Commons, occupancy rates in downtown Ithaca have seen notable growth while other cities still cope with growing vacancy rates in the rough economy. The secret? Waffles with ice cream. Or at least hard work, along with an appealing product sold at affordable prices. Julia Pergolini and Alexis Randall remember many storefronts going under around the time they graduated from Ithaca College in 2009. In April of this year, they opened Waffle Frolic in the space previously owned by That Burrito Place. The idea for Waffle Frolic, named after the parties held by the same name in the late 1700s, was conceived in October 2009. Pergolini and Randall said they wanted to create a place that would add to the nightlife of Downtown Ithaca, particularly for those who, like them, do not engage in the bar scene. At first, they only served coffee, but the idea of waffles was eventually “born out of it.” They have since begun to serve regular breakfast foods, such as eggs and bacon with waffles. At other times of day, people sometimes order ice cream with waffles. The young entrepreneurs enjoy the versatility that waffles offer and said they often notice passersby standing outside the restaurant mouthing the name of their business: “Waffle frolic?” Waffle Frolic is one of several independently owned businesses that account for much of the traffic in downtown Ithaca. Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance, finds that in addition to changes in economy, businesses owned independently by young entrepreneurs seem to have played a significant role in reducing the vacancy rate of downtown Ithaca. “The people who have opened up in the last couple years have beaten the odds, really worked hard to not only get their own financing together, but work to establish a market in a very
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
down economy,” Ferguson said. The two IC grads at Waffle Frolic note the high commitment it takes to run a business. Open seven days a week, their “weekend” consists of the days when the shop is the least busy, they said, usually Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. Another business that recently found its way to the Commons is RandomStyl Computer Solutions. Bran Moxley, owner and head technician, started a computer repair business when he was attending Tompkins Cortland Community College, running an on-site private consulting business while majoring in computer science and computer information systems. Originally from Virginia, he said he saw a lot of potential for computer repair business in the Ithaca area because of the high population of college students. In moving his business to Center Ithaca on the Commons, his computer repair service now has an office space close to the colleges. On the top of the service counter at RandomStyl is a list showing the different services the business offers, each with a set price. This, Moxley explained, makes computer repair more affordable to those who normally may not be able to pay for the services he offers. “We don’t charge by the hour; we charge by the job,” Moxley explained. “We don’t say it took four hours to get a virus out, just that it was a virus and malware removal.” While he said he looks forward to expanding his company, he aims to maintain the personal service offered by a small business—like being able to explain how the bill came out and exactly what was done in the repair. Other new business owners also add to Ithaca’s atmosphere. After perceiving a lack of affordable beauty product shops downtown, Ithaca natives Lykeesa Hill and Cassandra Landes decided to open Baby Girlz,
Photo by Gena Mangiaratti
offering beauty supplies, hair accessories and jewelry. Immediately upon entering the shop, the owners’ own jewelry creations can be found under the glass counter. The women said they try to cater to adults as well as younger children, and not only people who can afford a high price range. The most expensive item in jewelry, Landes pointed out, is about $6. “This is like a passion. We never had stuff like this when growing up,” Hill said, while braiding and adding extensions to her daughter’s hair behind the counter. Other businesses that opened this year are The Bodhi Tree, Anna’s Vietnamese Restaurant and Sarah Blodgett Photography. The diversity of these businesses reflects the diversity of Ithaca itself. Pergolini and Randall said that when they were first starting out, they realized immediately that they would have to cater to the many tastes of the people of Ithaca. “We always said we can’t pick a market,” Pergolini said. “There are so many types of people in this city.” ____________________________________ Gena Mangiaratti is a sophomore journalism major who bought three orders of waffles and six pairs of earrings in the course of writing this piece. E-mail her at gmangia1@ithaca. edu.
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A Hazy Shade of Red
And now for tonight’s top story: More irrelevant Tea Party coverage! By Andy Casler alling November’s election cycle “expensive” is an understatement equal to saying that Lil’ Wayne smokes some weed. But still more noteworthy than the $4.2 billion spent on campaigning is the fact that during the seven weeks leading up to the midterm election, the Tea Party movement candidates received more lead newsmaker attention than any other political group. In 2010, the mainstream media dedicated a lion’s share of its coverage to the midterm election, with much of that coverage featuring the emerging Tea Party movement. According to studies conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism, of the 10 most covered candidates, the media focused more of its coverage on Tea Party-backed candidates than establishment GOP and Democrat candidates combined. The most prominent newsmaker of the election was Delaware senate hopeful Christine O’Donnell, who commanded 160 stories prior to the election.
Covering the Two-Party Horserace
Accounting for historic precedent, it is absolutely freakish for a third party to be so intensely covered by the mainstream media, while also neglecting to include other third parties. This October, when the Green Party candidate for governor of California, Laura Wells, tried to enter a debate with her opponents, California’s San Rafael police department arrested her. Mainstream national media did not cover this story. But the Tea Party rallies were covered by most national news networks, and Tea Party-backed candidates ranked among the biggest newsmakers of the country’s most expensive midterm election. It’s apparent that the Tea Party movement is bankrolled by some of the nation’s largest pocketbooks, indicating that it’s possibly a movement more Astroturf than grassroots.
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The origins of the Tea Party also focused on Tea Partiers’ water movement are murky, and polls have cooler antics, ranging from O’Donnell shown that few Americans know asserting she is not a witch to what the movement really stands for, Rand Paul supporters stomping on but in general, their talking points protesters’ heads. These discussions failed to account support smaller government and no tax increases. The public’s knowledge for some of the most important gap is mainly the fault of a mass information about candidates. For media system that treats political example: Who is funding this candidate? What do they campaigns like stock stand car races. Statistics It doesn’t hurt to be in the really for? Could are distributed news every day, and it their policies regarding the racer’s latest lap time, doesn’t hurt to have every c o n t r a d i c t their campaign position in the race 20 people who show up to promises? and how his season W i t h o u t yell at a congressman is going. answering On cable news covered live on CNN. t h e s e it’s common to tune - Peter Hart, F.A.I.R. questions, into a discussion it is nearly regarding the lowhanging fruit of the political process: impossible for voters to fill knowledge what candidate has the most effective gaps and understand exactly whom ad, what candidate is ahead in the they are supporting. Peter Hart, the activism director of polls and what their reputation is so Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, f a r . National media believes that the media helped the Tea Party gain much of its support. “I think any activist group across the political spectrum would have to be dumbfounded at the amount of attention that was piled on right away without any understanding of the size or scope of it,” he said. “[Mainstream media coverage] certainly helped build the Tea Party movement. It doesn’t hurt to be in the news every day, and it doesn’t hurt to have every 20 people who show up to yell at a congressman covered live on CNN.” With heavy coverage for candidates like O’Donnell and Carl Paladino—who never actually had a chance at winning their races and provided very little reason to be covered in the national media other than serving as weird sideshows with clowns committing political faux pas— the result was a bait-and-switch effect with irrelevant news. “You knew who was running in terms of Tea Party candidates, you knew Christine O’Donnell, [but] you didn’t know who was running against
Image by Garen Whitmore
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Russ Feingold,” Hart said. Feingold was a three-term Democratic Wisconsin senator defeated by Republican Ron Johnson. “[Johnson] is somebody who had an actual impact in the national political conversation, but for whatever reason the media said he wasn’t as interesting as Christine O’Donnell, who was perhaps better TV but completely forgettable as a politician and had no impact, other than she would lose for the Republican party what seemed to be a sure win in the state of Delaware.”
An Astroturf Movement?
At first glance, the Tea Party seems like the conservative echo of President Obama’s 2008 political machine, but as the midterm elections dragged on, information regarding who funds the purported grassroots movement emerged. The assumption that the Tea Party is grassroots is, in fact, partially true. The Tea Party is a disjointed political organization that began as grassroots but was picked up by influential investors and then embraced by the likes of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and the billionaire Koch brothers. One reason that the Tea Party is so skilled at finding media coverage is that the movement has been bankrolled by some of America’s wealthiest people and supported by TV news pundits—many of whom have close GOP ties. The New Yorker first exposed that brothers David and Charles Koch, the owners of Koch Industries, were helping to finance the Tea Party. The Sarah Mellon Scaife Foundation, financed by the Mellon industrial, oil and banking fortune, has given a total of $2.96 million in funding to FreedomWorks, which is a lobbyist-run think tank that works to train social activists and funnels support to the Tea Party. On Oct. 28, Mother Jones published an exposé showing that multimillionaire Raymon F. Thompson, whom the magazine reported to have been a major donor to the Republican Party for more than 15 years, donated his jet to the Tea Party. Thompson
is the founder and former CEO of Semitool, a semiconductor company he recently sold for $364 million. In essence, as the Tea Party movement grew, it became a rebranding of the Republican base after eight damaging years of President George W. Bush. The new name energized supporters and became a new way of talking about the exact same ideas that the political right has supported for decades. But it is difficult to qualify which Tea Party principles are fueled by grassroots and which are fed by silver spoons.
Clearing Up Media Distortions
A worthwhile starting point for inaccurate media coverage of the Tea Party Movement is Glenn Beck’s 9-12 rally in Washington, D.C. Beck reported attendance of the Tea Party rally at 500,000, while the Washington, D.C., Fire Department unofficially estimated the actual range to be from 50,000 to 60,000 people. Months later, Fox News pundit Sean Hannity used b-roll from the 9-12 rally to portray a Tea Party protest of the health care reform plan. This time Fox estimated the attendance at 20,000 to 45,000. The Washington Post estimated attendance at 10,000. The effect of media outlets choosing to focus coverage on Tea Party foolishness may have dulled public misgivings toward GOP establishment candidates, and amid low approval for President Obama’s polices from the left and right, may have allowed the non-Tea Party, GOP-affiliated candidates to largely avoid political faux pas in the media during the campaigning season. Since the media were tied up with a few ill-behaved politicians like Paladino, O’Donnell and Paul, it was easy for Americans to be left not knowing exactly what the Tea Party stood for. “If you were watching the nightly newscast, you might know that the Tea Party movement is people who are worried about spending or people who want to take their country back,” Hart said. “Without any explanation
of what they mean, or exactly what they’re trying to do, you might think, ‘Wow, that sounds OK to me.’” A September survey from the Associated Press and GfK Roper Public Affairs & Media shows that 41 percent of respondents knew “not too much” to “nothing at all” about the Tea Party movement. Only 29 percent of respondents said they had “favorable” views toward the movement. Despite their rhetoric, Tea Party candidates are not anti-government or anti-spending. They demonize the TARP bank bailout but simultaneously champion Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck—who both supported Bush’s $700 billion bank bailout—as heroes. Tea Partiers support building schools and roads, maintaining a police force and military spending. The Tea Party has, as a whole, shown itself to be intolerant of minorities as well as taxes, which they believe, eat up their money and redistributes it to a welfare state. Though often underreported in Tea Party coverage, candidates have shown vehement distrust of Obama and other blacks, radical views against Muslims and anti-gay sentiments. This isn’t an astounding change from past American social movements that have occurred in times of economic hardship. The most obvious example is radio host Father Coughlin, who preached anti-Semitism during the 1930s and 1940s. In order for a democracy to have a meaningful election cycle, voters must be armed with relevant information about whom they are voting for, what investors those politicians, if elected, will be beholden to and what policies they will enact when in office. But when the media cover the election like a stock car race, it is nearly impossible to get those imperative questions answered. ____________________________________ Andy Casler is a senior journalism major who avoids tea parties but is always interested in what the host is serving. E-mail him at acasler1@ ithaca.edu.
>>> What about those other alternative movements? both documented by F.A.I.R. for downplaying anti-war rallies prior to the Iraq invasion, a time when most Americans opposed invasion of Iraq without U.N. approval. A major gay rights march in October 2009 got a fraction of the coverage that Tea Party rallies received, although the marriage equality march
attracted more participants than Tea Party gatherings in Washington. The progressive Green Party has long been affected by the complete lack of attention that corporate media gives to “Greenlisted” candidates. To receive coverage, candidates have gone so far as to get arrested for showing up uninvited to debates.
The Tea Party’s acceptance and support in corporate journalism is an interesting contrast with sparse coverage that more authentic popular movements receive. The nationwide anti-war rallies of 2002 and 2003 were largely ignored or treated with hostility in the news. The New York Times and NPR were
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Race and the Red Ribbon
How HIV/AIDS disproportionately affects blacks and Latinos By Kristy Zhen
ince it was first isolated in limits mobility, creating communities 1983, HIV has infected 60 of people that stay in a general area million people worldwide all their life. This, in turn, limits social and killed about 30 million. and sexual networks. One study of African-Americans In the United States, an estimated 1.1 million people in North Carolina showed that live with HIV, and 600,000 people imprisonment, death and drug use have died due to AIDS complications among men connected with sexual networks relating to the spread of since the beginning of the epidemic. HIV, or Human Immunodeficiency HIV and other STDs. A recent Center Virus, is the virus that leads to AIDS, for Disease Control and Prevention or Acquired Immune Deficiency study found that regardless of race, Syndrome. HIV works to attack the members of impoverished urban areas faced similarly high rates of HIV immune system, making the prevalence. body more susceptible “Poverty, access to to infections. A person healthcare and education who is HIV-positive is are all interrelated,” diagnosed with AIDS Alicia Carbaugh, when he develops principal policy analyst one of 26 AIDSof Global Health Policy related infections. and HIV for the Kaiser While treatments Family Foundation, exist, there is no said. In 2007, close to cure for AIDS. a fifth of HIV-positive The leading cause blacks and one quarter of HIV infections for of HIV-positive Latinos all racial groups is were uninsured, and having unprotected sex about two-thirds of blacks with an HIV-positive man, Image by Lauren Connelly and half of Latinos relied on while blood transfer Medicaid for HIV treatment. from injected drug use Another factor is funding for research is the second most common form of and treatment in these communities. transmission. HIV does not discriminate when “Even if you look back at the data infecting people. However, statistics from early on in the epidemic, blacks show that blacks and Latinos in the especially were disproportionately United States are more likely to be affected,” Carbaugh said. When the affected by this epidemic than other epidemic started, blacks did not get as racial groups. Although blacks and much attention because gay males, a Latinos make up 12 and 15 percent group that remains disproportionately of the U.S. population, respectively, affected by HIV/AIDS, were perceived they account for almost two-thirds of to be affected most. In the Latino community, factors people living with HIV in 2006. According to the National HIV/AIDS such as immigration, religion and Strategy for the United States, blacks language barriers also play a role in “comprise the greatest proportion the spread of this epidemic. According of HIV/AIDS cases across many to Xóchitl Castañeda, director of the transmission categories, including Health Initiative of Americas at the among women, heterosexual men, School of Public Health at University injection drug users and infants.” of California at Berkeley, Latino Several factors contribute to this men can migrate between Latin disparity, including poverty, lack of America and the United States, and education, lack of access to health some deviate from their normative heterosexual relations that would not care and lack of funding. Poverty plays a major role in be accepted at home while in the new, spreading HIV. Young people in liberal environment. Some may then poverty are more likely to drop out return to their hometowns, bringing of school and, in effect, less likely to back HIV if they were engaged with have access to stable employment, someone who was HIV-positive. Religion can also play a role in which could lead them to illegal activities, such as drug use. Poverty spreading HIV, since Catholicism, the
most practiced religion among Latinos, condemns condom use. Although the pope recently deemed condom use appropriate in some cases, it is essentially up to the discretion of local church officials to disseminate this information to their church members, so its impact is questionable. Documentation status and inability to communicate in English can also be barriers in attaining preventive services and treatment. There have been governmental, as well as grassroots, efforts to combat HIV/AIDS among the black and Latino communities. Nonprofit organizations across the nation offer health education, counseling, treatment, housing or financial support to those affected. “I think they’re incredibly important because the Department of Health, I think, holds with it a stigma, too,” Christopher Murphy, deputy director of Love Heals, the Alison Gertz Foundation for AIDS Education, said. Community-based organizations can provide services and information to those who are too afraid to seek help from the Department of Health. Love Heals provides prevention education to deter many adolescents’ misconceptions about the epidemic in New York City and Long Island. Although there has been progress in treatment and preventive strategies related to this epidemic, there is still more to be accomplished. “A lot of progress has been done in education and promotion of condom use,” Castañeda said. “In schools and places of ‘at-risk population,’ there is availability of condoms. The problem is utilization is still not being embodied.” She feels that there should be more campaigns promoting the compatibility of condom use and pleasure, emphasizing disease prevention. The way to fight this epidemic is not by tackling the factors one at a time; the factors are interrelated. The first step in reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS, therefore, is spreading awareness and acknowledging the connections between poverty, health care and this epidemic. ____________________________________ Kristy Zhen is a sophomore journalism major who thinks that red ribbons are always in style. E-mail her at kzhen1@ ithaca.edu.
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Does This Coke Can Turn You On? The psychology behind the commercial success of red By Rachel Konkler he color red is notorious for its associations with love, passion and romance. Culture has taught us to think it’s sexy, and it demands attention. Shades of red have taken over the retail industry, coloring logos, advertisements and packaging. The bright, fiery hue is more than just commanding: It makes a statement both visually and psychologically. Companies have discovered it and used it to draw the consumer to their product instead of others. The fashion industry is a juggernaut that uses the color red as one of its most powerful statements. Fashion designer Valentino Garavan, best known as simply Valentino, once said, “red has guts.” Red dresses, red heels and red lipstick scream sex appeal. Even the ancient Egyptians wore rouge to attract men. But why are people attracted to red? Studies have shown that the inclination to choose mates in red is grounded in both culture and evolution. Evolution teaches us that attraction to red is innate; for instance, female baboons display red on their bottoms when they are ready to mate. Women interviewed for a special on The Today Show about the color said that although red is proven to make people more interested, they tend not to wear it out because they will look like they are “trying too hard.” Even so, red excites people, and fashion experts agree it flatters many skin tones and hair colors. You may wonder why, scientifically, the color red causes excitement. According to Brandmade, a website devoted to design, “Red is physically interpreted by the human eyeball behind the cornea, which means actually inside your head. This gives
Compiled by David Lurvey
Today’s Target logo was designed in 1968 as a more streamlined, direct symbol. The red bull’seye has since become an effective and wordless representation of the brand.
Image by Marc Phillips
is chubby, jolly and adorned in red, in order to promote the beverage in wintertime by dressing him in Coke’s signature color. In 1931, Coca-Cola first depicted Santa in the red and white suit that the character is today famous for, drinking a bottle of Coke while delivering presents and riding his sleigh. According to the Coca-Cola website, “Before the 1931 introduction of the Coca-Cola Santa Claus created by artist Haddon Sundblom, the image of Santa ranged from big to small and fat to tall. Santa even [once] appeared as an elf and looked a bit spooky.” The company says that Santa’s red suit has a “powerful, endearing quality.” Like many famous corporations and iconic logos that incorporate red, Santa Claus captures attention and creates a lasting impression that keeps consumers coming back for more. ____________________________________ Rachel Konkler is a freshman exploratory student who finally understands why kids are obsessed with Clifford, the Big Red Dog. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Fueled by its red color, the Marlboro logo design put forth the image of masculinity and independence for smokers everywhere.
In 1989, Toyota redesigned its logo to have a more universally recognizable symbol. While the design changed, the color red remained.
>>> Making Consumers See Red
red an active feeling, as it seems to be constantly coming toward you. Red is used in commercial businesses because it creates excitement.” Red is seen everywhere from logos to labels: Staples, Sports Authority, Kmart and Target all display red in their iconic logos, and red packaging can be seen in stores on anything from cans of Campbell’s soup to bags of Skittles. The color red is dynamic, and it also represents change. In nature, red is seen in the flow of lava from a volcanic eruption or the changing of leaves in autumn. Companies use this idea to their advantage to show that their product is better and ahead of its competitors. According to the employee training manual for Sears, the company believes the color red “signifies a premium product that’s made of a higher quality and workmanship.” Sears’ embrace of red can be found in many of its logos, including brands like Craftsman, a leading tool brand carried in the store that dons a red logo. The commercialization of red is bigger in the holiday season than any other time of year. Influential companies have used the signature colors of Christmas—red and green— to their advantage in advertising to promote holiday shopping. Obviously, the holiday icon Santa Claus is always seen sporting his classic red suit. But contrary to popular belief, Santa did not always look this way. Commercial powerhouse company Coca-Cola actually helped to invent the modern Santa we see today. Coca-Cola created the modern, American image of Santa, one who
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LGBT in the Red States The push for equality in conservative USA By Adam Polaski n many parts of the United States, two men can hold hands without attracting much attention, a rainbow bumper sticker won’t earn any car vandalism and a local public figure makes an “In Gets Better” video every other week. But in much of the country, the situation for members of the LGBT community is far different. On a legislative level, same-sex marriage is just one item on a long list of rights not yet afforded to sexual minorities—a list that foremost includes the right to job security. In 29 states, employers who disapprove of employees’ sexual orientation can fire employees without legal ramifications. Culturally, the intolerance is less concrete but more pervasive. Many gays and lesbians feel that coming out to family or community members could open the floodgates of prejudice and vitriol, expose a lack of any support system and, in extreme cases, jeopardize their lives. This is the plight of gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people in the deeply conservative parts of the United States—namely, the Southern “Bible Belt” and the Midwest, regions highly influenced by religion.
As Strong as the Weakest Link
But the unwelcoming environment of a large portion of this region does not mean that all hope for those citizens is lost. That mindset, according to Change.org writer Abbie Kopf, is a roadblock to equality. “Anytime there’s a story about something horrible happening in a red state, [some gay rights proponents] will say, ‘Just forget about that state,’ and that is the exact wrong argument that you could have,” Kopf said. “They need to change their paradigm to see these states as the most important
in the gay rights battle because if we can’t turn around every single mind in this country, we’ll never be truly equal.” Instead of condemning overtly conservative states, Kopf continued, activists should seek out the often smaller, quieter gay rights movement growing in those parts of the country. After all, it’s been proven time after time that some of the most defining triumphs of the LGBT rights movements occur on a statewide scale: Sexual orientationinclusive hate crimes legislation was approved in a majority of the states before being passed federally, and issues like samesex marriage and employee nondiscrimination acts are currently being seriously considered primarily at the state level. Stephanie Perkins, the deputy director of PROMO, an LGBT organization in Missouri, highlighted the importance of contributing to grassroots, local movements. “Federal work is very, very, very important, but I want people to be involved in their state,” she said. “You’re already in your state, and you can work with the organizations there to do so much good that really translates into federal work.”
Changing Opinions, Stimulating Actions
There certainly isn’t an absence of counter-cultured social liberalism in many anti-gay areas of the country. From Texas to Alabama to Kentucky, LGBT organizations are gaining greater confidence each day, bolstering their visibility and continuing to earn supporters. For instance, the Center for Artistic Revolution, the most active statewide LGBT-centric organization in
Image by Jess Hock
Arkansas, has been steadily growing. T h e group works to defray school bullying that targets actual or perceived LGBT students—they led the charge for the resignation of Clint McCance, the school board member who drew significant attention in October with his anti-gay tirade on Facebook that encouraged “fags” to commit suicide. Despite some legislative setbacks, like a 2008 ballot initiative that banned all unmarried couples in the state from adopting or fostering children, CAR has seen an increased awareness of the LGBT community in the past few years. The University of Arkansas’ 2010 statewide poll indicates some progress. This year, for the first time, a majority of respondents did not agree with the statement, “There should be no legal recognition of a gay couple’s relationship.” Forty-eight percent of respondents agreed with that statement, as opposed to 54 percent in 2009. However, Randi Romo, co-founder and director of CAR, said the ideology behind those poll numbers has yet to be demonstrated in a tangible way. In this year’s midterm elections for
>>> Hear from these red state-based advocates themselves by checking out the “LGBT in the Red States” multimedia presentation at WWW.BUZZSAWMAG.ORG www.buzzsawmag.org
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the House of Representatives, the Democratic LGBT ally Joyce Elliott lost the race in the second district to Republican Tim Griffin, who had been linked to voter-caging and corruption. Romo said, “They’d rather vote for someone who’s a known crook than someone who’s a black woman and a known LGBTQ supporter.” She added, “There’s still a lot of discrimination that happens in the state—people lose their jobs, they get refused housing, public accommodations. It’s pretty systematic around here.”
It’s the Network
It’s an uphill battle, but advocates insist that without groups like these, the countermovement wouldn’t exist at all, and LGBTs would be in a far worse situation. Mertz stressed the importance of being involved in the push for equality: Progress, he said, needs to be instigated. “Sitting at home and bitching about it might make you feel better, but it doesn’t do anything,” he said. “People need to be active within their community, no matter where they are.” Romo also explained why devoted LGBT populations in the red states are essential: “We have to stay and fight. … We are poised to make significant shifts, and we already see a climate shift happening. Sometimes, it feels like one step forward and two back, but nevertheless, there are a lot of forward steps that, when I came here seven years ago, didn’t exist. You cannot change culture and climate and policy if you’re not there to help implement the change.” For Harper, too, abandoning the cause is not an option. “You can’t change a color unless you add more of another color,” she said. “The only way they’re going to change the red into a blue—or even a pink—is to add more progressive people who are actually going to speak up. The more people are aware, the more the color will start changing.” ____________________________________ Adam Polaski is a junior journalism major who would love to introduce R to the rest of OYGBIV. E-mail him at email@example.com.
>>> How “I’m From Driftwood” puts a face to the equality movement If visibility is the key to working toward LGBT equality, it’s essential for all Americans to understand that non-heterosexual people live in every state, every city and every community. Advancing that understanding is the goal of “I’m From Driftwood,” a website that shares stories and perspectives from LGBT people. The website, now a year and a half old, currently features more than 500 stories from 30 different countries. Three months ago, the website’s founder, Nathan Manske, along with videographer Marquise Lee and Manske’s brother, embarked on a cross-country tour of all 50 states. While most of the content on “I’m From Driftwood” is user-submitted, the tour was designed to produce video and audio content to share as many reflections as possible and advance the mission of the project. The 50-state tour exposes steps that advocates are taking from every part of the country, shattering the myth perpetrated by the mainstream media that progressive activism is isolated to Los Angeles and New York City. In fact, Manske said that his travels have taught him much about the ideological makeup of the country and proved wrong many of his preconceived stereotypes. He’s heard from a gay man in North Dakota who essentially sacrificed his job by writing an editorial about the failure of a bill to ensure job security for sexual minorities. He’s spoken with a Nebraskan woman whose 4-yearold son came out as transgender. But he’s also met with members of a youth group in Los Angeles who were quick to explain that just because they live in an urban setting doesn’t mean they don’t face discrimination. Manske explained, “Where you are doesn’t necessarily mean how easy or not easy it is to be LGBT. This project is teaching me to not judge people based on where they live—whether it’s a red state or a blue state.” “Society is starting to change,” he said. “Some of the most inspiring stories have come from traditionally conservative areas, where people don’t leave their community because they’re gay, but rather, they stay there because that’s what’s making a difference.”
In the LGBT movement in the South and Midwest, as with any social movement, it’s important for advocates to stay connected, highlighting each other’s successes (and learning from each other’s failures) in order to be most effective in advancing the rights of LGBT people. The relatively few LGBT rights organizations in Arkansas often partner together in order to convey the diverse range of voices in the equality movement. The most obvious examples of this networked movement are seen in the pride parades organized across the state. The Northwest Arkansas Pride Parade, hosted every summer since 2007 in one of the most conservative regions of the state, brings a broad array of LGBT rights groups to march together. Public pride events like these are essential, according to the parade committee’s president, Joney Harper. “It brings awareness that there is a GLBT community in Northwest Arkansas, and basically [it says], ‘We’re here,’” Harper said. “We break a lot of myths in Northwest Arkansas. … Right now we deal with the radical right vision of what GLBT people are like and show them the real deal.” Baby steps toward true equality is the main trend in much of the South and Midwest. In Manhattan, a small, comparatively liberal college town in Kansas, the Flint Hills Human Rights Project is one organization working bit by bit to succeed. The group is currently focused on encouraging the community to support a proposed ordinance that would add sexual orientation and gender identity as protected classes in the city’s human rights ordinance. If the ordinance passes, Manhattan would be the
second municipality in Kansas to have sexual orientation as a protected class and the first to include gender identity. Jonathan Mertz, chair of the FHHRP, reflected on the significance of the proposed ordinance, saying, “With some of the [local] LGBT kids, they want to go to a place where they feel safe, and, unfortunately, some of them don’t here. The ordinance cannot change attitudes, and we know that, but it would be a statement of support, and we see it as a preventative measure in that hopefully it will prevent discrimination from happening.”
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The Dangers of Passing Gas Exploring the business of fracking...and how New York is at risk By Emily Miles Nobody saw it as a big deal,” John Vandermark said, his voice hardly wavering. “At the time, it was really just a year of college for my daughter.” John Vandermark owns 175 acres of land in Montrose, a small rural town in northern Pennsylvania. Four years ago, Epsilon Land Services, a middleman land leasing company, leased Vandermark’s property for $50 an acre. Vandermark didn’t realize it at the time, but it was a big deal. His land falls in the heart of the Marcellus Shale, a geographical region rich with natural gas. Only six months later, a multibillion-dollar corporation, Cabot Oil and Gas, purchased Vandermark’s lease from Epsilon for nearly $5,000 an acre. Cabot, a company based out of Houston, Texas, plans to use Vandermark’s land to begin drilling for natural gas using a drilling method called horizontal hydraulic fracturing, also known as hydrofracking or fracking. This method involves injecting a high volume of chemically altered water into the earth to extract natural gas. This controversial method of extraction is in widespread use in Pennsylvania and is planned for use in New York, where dozens of oil companies are now racing to lease land and drill wells. Yet as the fracking boom ensues, environmentalists are voicing serious environmental and health concerns about the practice. Oil companies and the government are beginning to feel
Fighting to Regulate
In 2003, the EPA entered into a voluntary memorandum of agreement with the three largest hydraulic fracturing companies—Halliburton, BJ Services and Schlumberger—to eliminate diesel fuel from hydraulic fracturing fluids injected into certain wells located in underground sources of drinking water. Aside from this MOA, there is virtually no federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing. Although the Safe Drinking Water Act regulates most forms of underground injection in order to protect drinking water sources, in 2005 Congress exempted the practice of hydraulic fracturing from the act, except when the injected fluids contain diesel fuel. This is referred to as the “Halliburton Loophole.” Oil and gas companies can use additives and chemicals besides diesel fuel in their hydraulic fracturing fluids, but federal regulators have no authority to limit the types and volumes of these substances.
Indeed, oil and gas companies do not need to report to federal regulators what their fracturing fluids contain or where they are used. Since the exemption was enacted, hydraulic fracturing operations have been linked to contaminated drinking water in communities across the country. National legislation to repeal the exemption has recently been introduced in both the House and Senate. Among other things, this legislation would require public disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluids. In June 2009, Reps. Diana DeGette, John Salazar and Maurice Hinchey and Sens. Robert P. Casey Jr. and Chuck Schumer introduced the Fracking Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act. According to EarthWorks, the act is aimed at “closing the ‘Halliburton loophole’ and requiring the oil and gas industry to disclose the chemicals used in drilling projects.” “In order to maintain the state of our state’s environment, it is everything we need,” said Hinchey of the FRAC Act. Hinchey is still fighting for passage, though he said he’s not against drilling. “As long as it’s done safely, drilling will only bring benefits to the state of N e w York,” Hinchey said. Though this act has yet to pass on a national level, the work of
the heat of increasing high-profile press coverage and national legislative battles. And amid the upper-level action, local rural communities are struggling to decipher a shockingly new influx of drilling, people and wealth.
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legislators in New York has halted drilling. Currently, corporations have been limited to merely making proposals and leasing land under a moratorium passed on Nov. 29. If passed by Gov. Paterson, the fracking legislation will be in place until May 15.
The Gas Rush
While drilling has yet to begin on Vandermark’s land, there are two wells planned “right next door,” both of which could reach into his property within the year. Vandermark said he welcomes it. Vandermark said the New York moratorium means “more progress in Pennsylvania,” asserting that Pennsylvania’s drilling culture is thriving amid a modern-day gas rush. Vandermark has seen education, jobs, people and wealth increasing exponentially. “It’s really a big boom to the area,” Vandermark said. “People don’t realize the amount of money spent here because of drilling.” Vandermark explained that while only a couple of residents own mineral rights, those people “put all of their money back into the community.” With an influx of money, landowners are able to invest in businesses and outside labor, often offering jobs to community members. Vandermark was hasty to defend this pattern. “If somebody hits it big with gas, then say they buy a new house. Well, somebody’s gotta build it, right? And the new car he buys? Well that comes from Montrose, too. And the landscaping work, too. It all goes back into the community.” According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the United States is the largest consumer of natural gas in the entire world. Its heavy reliance
on the resource began during the industrial revolution and has been steadily increasing ever since. In recent decades, new technologies have revealed easier and more effective methods of extracting natural gas from the earth, leading to an immediate spike in production. In 2009 alone, the United States added 27 trillion cubic feet of gas reserves, a 13 percent increase from the previous year. This was a staggering success for the energy industry and the US. government. Even so, fracking, now seen as the most efficient method of natural gas extraction, has recently raised serious environmental and health concerns. Recent enhancements to gas well development technology, specifically fracking, and the proximity of high natural gas demand markets in New York, New Jersey and New England have led to an explosion of gas drilling in the Marcellus Shale region. However, to most long-time residents of Pennsylvania, the practice has become a cultural entity. “It’s normal,” Vandermark said. “There’s been drilling around here since before I can remember.” Vandermark’s land has been in his family since 1944; land leasing, drilling and mineral and oil rights have been part of life since he was a kid. According to John A. Harper of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Topographic and Geologic Survey, natural gas has been drilled in the state for more than 200 years. The first-ever natural gas well was drilled in Fredonia, N.Y. in 1821, and drilling soon spread down the Lake Erie shore. By the beginning of the twentieth century, he said, “Just about every backyard and manufacturing plant [along the Lake Erie shore] in Pennsylvania had at least one gas well that supplied the house with heat and light.”
Water, Water Everywhere
Photos by Emily Miles from Cabot Oil & Gas drilling site in Dimock, Penn., Nov. 2010 12.10. 2UPFRONT.indd 21
Build rig: clear land, insert drilling equipment 8,000 feet underground.
Pump water: inject approx. 4.5 million gallons of water at high pressure.
Extract gas: fractures in rock release natural gas to the surface. Trap it!
Repeat: to reach maximum harvest, repeat process multiple times.
Fracking involves pumping large volumes of high-pressure water underground to create fractures in gas-bearing rock. When the rock formations are fractured, gas is released into the well. However, one innovation introduced with hydraulic fracturing is the addition of certain chemicals and propping materials to hold fractures open. This method allows more gas to flow into the well than would naturally, so it is especially helpful for “tight” rocks like shale, making
Fracking 101 1
Clean up: cap well, dispose of trillions of gallons of contaminated water.
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it the most practical and growing method used in the Marcellus Shale region. This new method opened the door to the Marcellus Shale gas basin. Marcellus Shale is found in the Appalachian Plateau, a geographical region that stretches from New York to Tennessee, and has recently become the largest gas play in the country. Out of the six active gas shale basins in the United States, Marcellus is by far the largest and most productive. The region spans an area of 95,000 square miles—more than double the area of the remaining five shale regions combined—and produces at an astonishing rate of 3,100 cubic feet of gas per well per day. According to the Department of Environmental Conservation, the natural gas resources in this region are estimated to offer 168 to 516 trillion cubic feet. To put this in perspective, New York state uses about 1.1 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per year. The abundance of gas available in the region has started a gold rush of sorts in the American oil and gas industry.
Connecting the Chemicals
In the past five years, dozens of corporations based in Texas, Oklahoma and Wyoming have moved across the country to begin drilling in Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Meanwhile, environmentalists have questioned the consequences of fracking because of evidence of water supply contamination and improper disposal of wastewater. The hydraulic fracturing fluid typically contains compounds added to the water to make the process more effective. These may include a friction reducer to enable the movement of water; a biocide to prevent the growth of bacteria that would damage the well piping or clog the fractures; a gel to carry the proppant chemicals into the fractures; and various other agents to ensure that the proppant chemicals stay in the fractures and to prevent corrosion of the pipes in the well. On a fracking site in Dimock, Penn., a sign stated that peak day consumptive water use was at 3.575 million gallons a day. According to the New York DEC, the department is still in the process of “assessing the chemical makeup of these additives and will ensure that all necessary safeguards and best practices are followed.” Injecting the chemicals in or near
sources of drinking water has proven to create contamination risks, and these fluids could also be a violation of the Safe Drinking Water Act if they contain diesel fuel. The drilling companies offered information but neglected to include information on the disposal processes of their fracturing fluids and whether this is being done in an environmentally safe manner. In late Oct. 2009, the House of Representatives agreed to include a statement in the Interior and Environment Appropriations Bill and the report for fiscal year 2010 urging the EPA to reassess the impact of fracking on water supplies. However, according to Greg Oberley, an EPA groundwater specialist working in the western drilling states, the EPA currently plays no role in the monitoring of the environmental impacts of the process. In an interview with ProPublica in 2009, Oberley said, “We absolutely do not look at fracking under the Safe Water Drinking Act. It’s not done.”
So if the EPA is not looking at fracking, who is? The industry has developed such advanced technological processes that it is too complicated to even begin to test the fluids used. While many have tried, seeing as there is no legislation to enforce it, testing of fracking fluids is nearly impossible and often results in little agreement or acknowledgement from the industry. Extreme cases of water contamination and waste spills have been reported in Dimock, the town bordering Vandermark’s property. More than a dozen spills have occurred in the past two years under Cabot’s leases. In the winter of 2008, drinking water in several homes was reported to contain methane and dangerous metals. In the spring of that year, the company was fined for other spills, including an 800-gallon diesel spill from a truck overturning. In the fall of 2009, Cabot made national news: The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Conservation reported a series of spills over the course of two days in September. Due to faulty pipelines, 8,000 gallons of dangerous drilling fluids were spilled in the Dimock area. Since the incident, state and national regulatory agencies have moved Cabot into an area of necessary consideration. Regardless of the accidents, some
residents are unconvinced of the safety issues. Vandermark, having experienced no side effects yet, still has faith in the practice. “I’m not really concerned with the water source,” Vandermark said, though he said he expected problems. A major concern currently being raised in Montrose is that of leaking methane gas. The gas becomes extremely dangerous when it evaporates out of the water and into homes, where it can become flammable. It can also suffocate those who breathe it. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, as the concentration of gas increases it can first cause headaches, then nausea, brain damage and eventually death. In 2007, the ATSDR released a report on the chemical benzene, found in gasoline and diesel fuels, which is often added to fracking water. Benzene is listed as highly flammable and is “associated with leukemia, especially acute myelogenic leukemia.” Specific cases of leukemia have been cited in Western states where drilling has occurred for a decade or more. “Whenever you have humans and machinery involved there’s gonna be problems,” Vandermark said, “But, are they gonna do the best they can to keep it clean? Yes, I think they will.”
A Clean Call for New York? More and more often, reports of fracking malpractice are leaking to the surface, igniting fear in landowners and environmentalists alike. Activist organizations and local communities are beginning to take heed of environmentalists’ warnings and by questiong fracking on a large scale. As the days pass for Gov. Paterson to sign the moratorium on drilling, New York is coming closer and closer to entering a red zone of fracking with the potential to threaten water, people and the environment. Yet, amid the chaos and dispute, Vandermark is content in waiting. “Change is pretty much a fact of life. I mean, things change,” Vandermark said plainly. “It may not always be good, but it always happens.” _____________________________________ Emily Miles is a sophomore journalism major who wants to stop you from going in for the drill. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Capitalism and the Barriers to Social Change A case for communism in the twenty-first century he image of Democrats and Republicans one gets from the media is that they are polar opposites and will never agree on anything. The media has a vested interest in maintaining this image. Conflict sells. That said, I want to suggest that behind these disagreements there is a more fundamental agreement: Democrats and Republicans agree that the best form of social and economic organization is capitalism. Of course, Democrats and Republicans have different attitudes regarding this agreement. Republicans are confident that capitalism is the best form of social and economic organization and are proud to say so. Democrats, on the contrary, are usually a little embarrassed about this issue, since it is one of the issues on which they are conservative. Even though Democrats recognize that capitalism has negative aspects, the only change they see as possible or desirable involves using the government to temper some of these negative aspects, making capitalism more tolerable. For both parties, capitalism is here to stay. I have two theses. The first is that capitalism defines the horizons of what is possible in terms of social change. There are certain limits to how good and just—and, to be fair, how bad—our society can be; in the last instance it is capitalism that fixes these limits. The second thesis is that it is necessary to insist upon an alternative to capitalism. The name of this alternative is unimportant, but for a number of reasons I hope will be clear I will call it “communism.” First thesis: The notion that profit is king in capitalism is too often taken to mean that selfishness and greed run rampant. But this notion must be understood in a more technical sense. The centrality of the profit motive means that those who control the means of production employ them in order to gain more than they put in. Problems arise when society has
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“common” and suggests the tradition of radical egalitarianism to which I think any outside-and-beyond of capitalism belongs. Yes, I am aware it was used to justify horrible crimes in the past—but I see no reason why the name could not be appropriated for different purposes. Stalin didn’t copyright “communism,” nor could he. The possibility of living otherwise is correlative to the fullest critique of the present—one cannot accept the existing order as absolute and critique it for being what it is. One must insist upon the necessity of developing communism if one seeks answers to the question “What is to be done?” that have not already been prescribed by the existing order. To paraphrase Slovenian philosopher and avowed Marxist Slavoj Zizek, it is easier for us to imagine the apocalypse than to imagine a change in social and economic organization. We all spontaneously agree with Democrats and Republicans that capitalism is here to stay. What limits to social change do we accept with this agreement? Are we satisfied with these limits? Or are they too constricting? If the answer to the latter question is affirmative, then perhaps the place to begin is to break our agreement: We refuse to accept the terms set by capitalism, and out of this, new possibilities arise. ____________________________________ Shaun Poust is a junior journalism major who thinks McCarthy can suck it. E-mail him at email@example.com.
needs related to production other than profit. What do we do when those needs contradict the goals set for those in control of the means of production? When social change is profitable, capitalism seems fine—but what about those times when it is not? For instance, food, housing and clothing are produced for profit. How does one guarantee that all people are provided with these essentials? How can one avert environmental catastrophe when concern for “sustainability” is eclipsed by concern for profit? What if some things are incompatible with profit? It is not that we need more compassionate CEOs. Making profit is what businesses do; a business that ceases to make profit will soon cease to exist. This is about the system within which profit is the essential part. And as the centerpiece of capitalism, the profit motive cannot be entirely “domesticated,” and it cannot be forced to go along with social change. So long as it is taken for granted as being permanent, the system will predetermine the answers to that old question, the one that immediately arises when one learns about the horrors of our current situation: “What is to be done?” Unfortunately, if our problems have to do with things inherent to the system—part of its functioning—then the system’s answers are unacceptable. Second thesis: Any hesitance in explaining what exactly communism would look like is usually taken as evidence of some flaw in argumentation. But I do not think communism should be insisted upon as a “plan” for how society should function. “Communism” is, rather, a name for the outside-andbeyond of capitalism, an outside-andbeyond that remains to be created. The demand for communism is the demand for something new. I retain the word “communism” for two reasons: It is close to the word
Image by Sally Russell
By Shaun Poust
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The Balkans on the Brink
Examining the crucial turning point in former Yugoslavia
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By Merdina Ljekperic
or people in the United States, the term “Red Scare” denotes an era of paranoia and fear of communism, specifically from the Soviet Union. Moving much closer west, however, it was the very fall of communism that brought about a different type of red scare. The fall of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, brought about by rising ethnic, political and economic tension, erupted in the form of the Balkan Wars and later the Kosovo War. They resulted in the deaths of almost 200,000 and the displacement of more than 3.2 million, making them the bloodiest events in Europe since the Holocaust. The most chilling “red” in the Balkans is not its communist past, but the often overlooked bloody wars fraught with ethnic cleansing and genocide that followed.
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Despite arriving far too late to prevent the deaths of thousands and displacement of millions, Western powers intervened in the Balkans through the negotiation of the 1995 Dayton Agreement, which brought an end to the war in Bosnia, the NATO bombings during the Kosovo conflict, and post-conflict negotiations of the Kosovo state. The short-term solutions made by international powers have become a huge part of the problem, keeping the Balkans at a socioeconomic and political stalemate. Overlapping international, regional and domestic bodies have created a complex, patchwork bureaucratic web that has hindered any progress in the region. As a result of the missing longterm solutions that the international community failed to address at the end of the wars, the region is now red again—but this time, it’s on red alert. With growing tension in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the disputed state of Kosovo and hopes for integration into the European community, the Balkans are at a huge turning point. Attention must be given, government institutions must be restructured, and negotiations must be brokered. Otherwise, the weak central government intuitions, flawed constitutions and the issues of corruption, poverty and organized crime that arise as a result will pull the final threads of the Balkan system apart, allowing this regrettably ignored region of Europe to fall into further disarray.
The Ethnicization of a Constitution
The two most pressing issues in the region lie in the two states that have been most affected by Western intervention: Bosnia and Herzegovina and Kosovo. The 1995 Dayton Agreement, signed by Croatian, Bosnian and Serbian leaders but brokered by Western powers, was not just a peace agreement: It set up the very constitution and structure of Bosnia. That same structure is now a great obstacle in the nation’s progress because it placed ethnic segregation at the heart of the constitution. It split up the country into two autonomous entities divided by ethnicity: Bosnian Muslims and Croats in the Federation and Serbs in the Republika Srpska. It also established “entity voting,” which allows the Serbian parliamentary minority the power to veto almost anything in parliament they deem to be against their “entity’s interest.” In addition, it created the country’s tripartite presidency made up of a Croat, a Serb and a Bosnian, thus
excluding any minority group from running for high office. The agreement solidified the role of nationalism by placing a real political interest behind it. Florian Bieber, professor for Southeast European Studies at the University of Graz in Austria, said, “In Bosnia, you need to appeal to your ethnic group and that, of course, you do most easily by appealing to nationalism. That is a problem with the system. There is no incentive to appeal to more than one ethnic group, to try to be more accommodating or more moderate.” Elections in Bosnia have reflected that to this day, where the vast majority only votes for candidates of the same ethnicity.
The Bureaucratic Overlap
As if the domestic government wasn’t cluttered enough, the agreement also created the Office of the High Representative, a foreign minister (who is currently Austrian), and the Peace Implementation Council comprised of 55 countries and agencies to oversee the civilian implementation of the agreement. Often considered to have the most clout in Bosnia, the OHR remains the decision-maker between the two entities to ensure peace. Because international and national administrative complexity isn’t enough, the role of regional groups in Bosnia, like the EUPM, EUFOR and OSCE, must also be noted. This administrative complexity, where regional, national and international players share overlapping responsibilities, is not only an issue in Bosnia, but in Kosovo as well—the newest independent nation in the Balkans. UN Resolution 1244 put an end to the war in Kosovo, a former Serb entity that has a population made up of about 90 percent Albanians. Harking back to the institutional complexity of Bosnia, the resolution cut all Serbian authority over Kosovo and placed Kosovo indefinitely under the administration of external bodies like the UNMIK and KFOR. It is at this very moment that many feel the greatest error occurred. “The West should have allowed Kosovo to declare independence right away after the Kosovo War,” said Ruben Avxhiu, editor-in-chief of Illyria, the only
bilingual AlbanianA m e r i c a n newspaper. It would have been easily accepted then by all the sides. We are left now Image with a long-term crisis that will by Sam take years to be fixed.” Pinto Kosovo has since declared its independence in 2008 and, although the ICJ declared that declaration legal in 2010 and a number of countries have recognized the tiny nation, Serbia fervently denies its legitimacy, and no signs point to any change in that stance. “In 1999, right after the war, Kosova* should have been recognized,” said Shirley Cloyes-DioGuardi, Balkan adviser to the Albanian American Civic League. “As a result, ever since, because we didn’t do that, we have this overlay of international structures, billions of dollars spent and very little to show for it in the end.” Here again, the negative impact of that exact complex of international bodies is seen. In addition to the fixed structures created by the resolution, there’s also EUCLEX and the ICO, similar to the OHR in Bosnia, along with parallel structures of Serb minorities in the north and south and the Kosovo government.
The EU Roadmap
While it is clear that the international community has been part of the problem, there is still an appropriate role for them in the region. These nations all strive first and foremost for integration in the European community.
“Kosovo” is the Serbian name of the territory, while “Kosova” is the Albanian name. The author has chosen to use the Serbian name, Kosovo, that is standard in most English-language publications.
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only seek to maintain their positions in government. Kosovo politicians have been under harsh fire as a result of their dependence on international players. Former congressman and founder of the Albanian-American Civic League Joe Dioguardi said Kosova politicians “position themselves as puppets to Washington in order to keep their power.”
Recognizing the Past to Ensure a Future
Despite the current Serbian stance on Kosovo, progression of talks and stability is still a possibility. Taking into account the current Serbian political perspective on Kosovo, it is futile to demand immediate Serbian recognition of the nation. Yet, an easing of tensions could begin with an “agree-to-disagree” truce. Serbia doesn’t have to recognize it at this very moment, but Serbia should not be able to interfere with Kosovo’s entrance into international organizations. This, however, would require an easing of tension and greater discussion of the region’s history, which has had a sluggish progression. Although there have been sporadic public apologies made by politicians, they have done little to truly discuss the context of the crimes committed. Thus, the culture of denial, especially within Serbia, has become a key part of the region’s failure to make advances. “As soon as the war ended, Serbia began its propaganda campaign to create a false parody between the victims and the perpetrators,” said Cloyes-Dioguardi. “If we can say we were all guilty in some way, then we’re all the same. As long as Serbia did not have to acknowledge what it did in the way that Germany was forced to in 1945, it never is going to come to terms with its genocidal past.” While statistics have actually shown a declining knowledge in Serbia of the war crimes committed, it is important to recognize that this same reluctance to discuss the past is an issue throughout the Balkans. In order to truly move forward and eliminate this culture of denial, there needs to be a special emphasis on the awareness of the media and education systems in the region. “The same is in Kosovo, the same is in Croatia,” Bieber said. “It’s just that the scale of the crimes committed in the name of Serbia in the 1990s is greater so the denial is greater. We need a process that goes beyond just what politicians say. It’s going to be something which requires the involvement of
the educational system, of the media, which really has more of an impact on the social perception overall.” “A nation refuses introspection for its own peril,” Avxhiu said. That stands correct not just for Serbia, not just for the Balkans as a whole, but for Western nations as well. Changing that is a crucial first step to creating long-term solutions in the Balkans. Bieber said, “There’s certainly not enough awareness of the failure of the West to prevent the wars. There’s a great, shared responsibility of many Western countries enabling the violent disputes of Yugoslavia. Without the international context and the neglect externally, it would have never happened. … They could have probably prevented the war with very little effort. Maybe Yugoslavia couldn’t have been saved as a country, but certainly its dissolution would have been a lot less violent.”
The New Balkan Battlefield
This is the story of the Balkan Wars that Westerners have failed to tell. It is not too late, however, to avoid repeating past mistakes—such as ignoring the dynamic, tumultuous region. The Balkans are under threat again, but not of falling back into bloody conflict. The war is not being fought on the battlefield, but rather, on the political stage. The patchwork quilt of international, regional and domestic bodies sewn by the West for the Balkans has worn out—it is shredded and torn apart. Its failure has left the region exposed to corruption, economic downfall, organized crime and trafficking. Western powers must accept their role as the ones who set the standards and create the incentives, guidelines and roadmaps for the Balkan nations to create their own long-term solutions. With the effective implementation of these solutions, they have the potential to become stable, integral members of the European community. “A common future as Europeans is the only hope for both the sons of the tormentors and the sons of the victims,” said Avxhiu. “While many Serbs feel their land was stolen and many Albanians feel that the Serbs have avoided punishment for their crimes. We should not forget that letting go and forgiving are the ultimate sacrifices. And the people of the Balkans owe [those sacrifices] to their future generations.” ______________________________________ Merdina Ljekperic is a sophomore journalism and politics major. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The incentive for them to reform and to act according to the guidelines and standards of the Western community is vital. It is crucial, however, that the decisions made are their own—not those imposed by the West. “You can’t impose a functioning system from outside,” Bieber said. “It has to come from within. … It has to be perceived by its citizens as being its own and not some external imposition. And part of the problem in Bosnia is that a good part of the population sees the institutions it has as not their own, but as something which was imposed by the internationals. ... But you certainly need international, external systems to provide guidance and to provide assistance with making that possible.” Noting the same issue in Kosovo, Avxhiu said, “It is also indispensable that the European Union itself manage to unify the support for the independent Kosovo and continue its role of helping the new state, but without being too intrusive. The Kosovars need to make their own mistakes and learn from them, instead of being continually instructed and babysat by foreign supervisors.” Foreign guidelines also play a key role in limiting another significant Balkan problem, arguably the one that started it all: corrupt, elite politicians. In his book, The Myth of Ethnic War: Serbia and Croatia in the 1990s, Ithaca College Associate Professor Chip Gagnon said, “The violence of the Yugoslav wars […] was a part of the strategy […] used by conservative elites in Serbia and Croatia, not in order to mobilize people, but rather as a way to demobilize those who were pushing for changes.” Subsequently, they secured their positions and their newfound wealth in the new liberal economic system. Gagnon goes on to explain that the conservative elites took advantage of that violence to create those nationalist identities that didn’t exist before. The opportunity for EU integration would keep in check conservative elites who have an interest in maintaining that group mentality. Because all Balkan citizens want integration, politicians must push for reforms whether it is in their interest or not. The elites pursue it only to appease the people. Too often, politics, organized crime, corruption and nationalism have overlapped in the former Yugoslavia, but setting a EU standard for democracy, human rights and more would prevent that. Yet, with the likelihood of EU integration so far away, the region still deals with standing politicians who do not have long-term incentives and
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BUZZSAW The Red Issue
Ministry of Cool
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Red, Red Wine You make me feel so fine By Marc Phillips
Facts about Wine The smell of young wine is called an “aroma,” while a more mature wine offers a subtle “bouquet.” >>>
ed wine can have many different functions among various groups of people. In the Jewish religion, Kosher wine is used to celebrate holidays or events. To college students, a box of $9-wine means a fun—yet messy— weekend. For those who live in Mediterranean countries, wine is a part of everyday culture. A bottle of Manischewitz may seem to have nothing in common with a box of Franzia or a bottle of fine Sicilian wine, but they are all fundamentally the same. These wines have some level of health-related benefits, even if the wine is from a vineyard or perhaps manufactured swill. In an online article about heart disease, Mayo Clinic is fast to prove the benefits of drinking red wine in moderation. “The alcohol and certain substances in red wine called antioxidants may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of ‘good’ cholesterol and protecting against artery damage,” Mayo Clinic staff explains. In addition, resveratrol is produced naturally within the skin of red grapes. Doctors believe this is where the health benefits lie—ingesting resveratrol helps improve metabolism. Therefore, those who are dieting are encouraged to eat antioxidant-rich foods with high levels of resveratrol. These foods include fruits such as blueberries and strawberries, and vegetables such as kale and red bell peppers.
In ancient Greece, a dinner host would take the first sip of wine to assure guests the wine was not poisoned, hence the phrase “drinking to one’s health.” “Toasting” started in ancient Rome when the Romans continued the Greek tradition but started dropping a piece of toasted bread into each wine glass to temper undesirable tastes or excessive acidity.’ >>> Since wine tasting is essentially wine smelling, women tend to be better wine testers because women, particularly of reproductive ages, have a better sense of smell than men.”
>>> An Italian study argues that women who drink two glasses of wine a day have better sex than those who don’t drink at all. >>> Red wines are red because fermentation extracts color from the grape skins. White wines are not fermented with the skins present. >>> Early Roman women were forbidden to drink wine, and a husband who found his wife drinking was at liberty to kill her. Divorce on the same grounds was last recorded in Rome in 194 B.C. >>> There is increasing scientific evidence that moderate, regular wine drinking can reduce the risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and gum disease Source: Randomhistory.com
Ministry of Cool
Image by David Lurvey
Furthermore, resveratrol promotes anti-inflammatory properties that can help curb obesity. According to an online resveratrol aficionado about recent Danish research, “Researchers claim that a daily glass of wine could stave off cancer of the [throat]. A study found that those who enjoy a regular tipple more than halved their risk of developing Barrett’s Oesophagus, an untreatable condition that can lead to oesophageal cancer.” So what are the best wines to drink? “Cabernet Sauvignon, followed closely by Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir,” YaleNew Haven Hospital recommends. Many of us cannot budget for these high-end wines, but those who are fortunate to drink these libations will be markedly healthier over the long term. Flavanoid, another compound with similar properties as resveratrol, is key in producing the anti-inflammatory in the wines. The key, however, is moderation. Drinking alcohol under the age of 21 is admonished in the United States, the land of excess. In Europe, drinking is encouraged from a young age, as it is commonplace in the culture. Researchers at Duke University even found that while wine sales have declined in Italy, wine still accounts for 2 percent of the household budget. The custom of family members drinking a glass of wine at least once a day still lives after many centuries. The tradition is so engrained in the culture that drinking isn’t a taboo. In Europe, drinking alcohol typically isn’t an activity to indulge in—it is seen as part of a moderate diet. So the next time you’re playing “Tour de Franzia” on a Saturday night, remember that even the trace amounts of resveratrol in the box can almost justify the impending hangover. _____________________________ Marc Phillips is a sophomore IMC major who swears he is waiting until he is 21 to try wine. E-mail him at mphilli1@ ithaca.edu.
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Weasley-ing Their Way Into our Hearts Break me off a piece of that ginger snap By Francesca Toscano he multi-billion dollar Harry Potter franchise centers around the courageous and loyal titular character, but in the backdrop there is a fiery collection of supporting roles that have allowed Harry to succeed throughout the series. No, I am not referring to the Goblet of Fire or Dumbledore’s phoenix that periodically bursts into flames. I am speaking of the Weasley family—the underrated ginger dynasty that have collectively enhanced the Harry Potter franchise. “Without Ron and the other Weasleys, the Harry Potter series would suffer,” insists Emily Burns, a Weasley-obsessed freshman at American University. “Because of the Weasleys, Harry gets a sense of what a real family is, since he never really had one.” Burns’ statement is verifiable: Weasley parents Arthur and Molly were selflessly welcoming to Harry from the moment they met him at Platform 9 and 3/4, and throughout the series, they have provided Potter with shelter, necessities and endless love. After years of Harry’s entrapment in a cupboard under the stairs, the humble and warmhearted Weasleys allowed him to understand the power of a familial bond. Continuing her support for this ginger genealogy, Burns states, “The Weasleys add humor and light to an overall dark story, and you have to offer audiences a little relief.” Fred and George, the famed jokester twins, could always be relied on to bring joy and witticisms to an otherwise chilling and mysterious series. Ginny, the youngest of the Weasley
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
brood, brought light into Harry’s life and happiness into the hearts of readers as she became Harry’s love interest and ultimately his wife. And naturally, Harry’s best friend Ron provided Harry with the perfect conjunction of hilarious missteps and courageous strength, which allowed Harry to achieve his life’s quest while maintaining his sanity. “Ron is the comic relief,” Burns said. “Though Ron may be Harry’s sidekick, he is an essential part of Harry’s battles against Voldemort. Ron really is a hero.” Though there are seven Weasley offspring, Ron, Ginny, Fred and George are best known because of their pivotal roles in the works. However, the other Weasley siblings have also positively influenced Harry’s journey. Bill Weasley, the oldest progeny, played a crucial role in the destruction of the death eaters in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Charlie, the Weasley who submitted himself to a life among dragons in Romania, assisted Harry, Ron and Hermione when they needed assistance with the dragon Norbert in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Percy, who played a prominent role in the first book but was then
Image by Daniel Sitts
alienated from the family after an intense dispute, returned in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to make amends with his family and fight for the survival of both Hogwarts and Harry. “[The Weasleys] are a perfect blend of humor and sincerity,” asserts Burns. “And the perfect model of a quirky and loving wizard family.” Burns is not the only person to support this crimson-haired clan. On social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr, the fan sites for the Weasleys are both infinite and popular. Countless websites are devoted solely to fan art of the family, particularly featuring the romance between Ron and Hermione, known affectionately as “Romione.” The obsessed are also given the opportunity to be J.K. Rowling themselves on “fan fiction” sites, through which Potter addicts submit their own stories involving the Weasley family’s antics. The influence that the Harry Potter series has had on the world is undeniable, and Harry Potter himself has become a renowned and esteemed heroic figure. However, the central protagonist could never achieve his fullest potential without support of those around him. “The Weasley family is selfless, charming and brave,” Burns said. “Without them, the entire franchise would suffer.” The Weasleys have allowed Harry Potter to understand the power of family, love and infinite support. Nevertheless, this lovable ginger family has transcended the bounds of books and given countless readers a compassionate family to escape into. Fortunately, living in a cupboard under the staircase is not required. ____________________________________ Francesca Toscano is a freshman IMC major who wants to Accio Fred Weasley. Email her at ftoscan1@ithaca. edu.
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Lu(RED) by Colo(RED) Activism Debating whether consumer activism makes a difference By Abby Sophir
million annually from its pink ribbon campaigns. It’s hard to argue with those statistics. But despite the huge financial successes of these marketing techniques, many questions arise about the morality and legitimacy of the efforts. Some claim that the (RED) campaign’s use of AIDS as a marketing tool is unethical. Should Nike be benefiting from the fact that more than 20 million people in SubSahara, Africa have HIV? This leads to another question: Is the use of consumerism to aid a region that suffers from the detrimental effects of that same capitalistic system incongruous? An opposition website, Buylesscrap. org was launched to combat this idea with the tagline, “Shopping is not a solution. Buy (LESS). Give more.” Buy (LESS) mocks the (RED) campaign, rejecting the idea that shopping is a reasonable response to human suffering and encouraging people to donate directly to The Global Fund and other charities rather than engaging in “causumerism.” The website’s mission is “to remind them that this is the most efficient way to support a cause and to inspire less consumerism overall.” As these color campaigns gain momentum, the line between a casual clothing selection and a purposeful message begins to blur. A thoughtless choice to put on a purple shirt may turn into a protest against anti-gay bullying, homelessness and religious intolerance. The ABC News article “Breast Cancer ‘Pink Cause’ Has Some Women Weary” reports on skepticism of the pink campaign’s success. Samantha King, author of “Pink Ribbons Inc.” and an associate professor at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, claims that “the marketing of breast cancer has gone
too far.” Her book examines the psychological effect of seeing cancer reminders everywhere when you’re fighting the disease and outlines the often-ambiguous exchange of funds between pink products and philanthropic organizations. The pink campaign itself recommends that consumers question the legitimacy of a particular program and benefactor before purchasing a ribbon-linked product. Although cause-related marketing, like anything else, has its opposition, the ends outweigh the means. The (RED) campaign is the perfect example. The campaign allows people who may otherwise not donate money to support a charitable organization without going out of their way. It exposes audiences to the AIDS epidemic and takes advantage of the immense marketing power of companies such as Apple and Nike. While these private companies benefit from sales, so do nonprofits. Although cause-related marketing is not “the” solution, it is certainly a place to start. I am sure the 145,000 HIV positive people who have received antiretroviral treatment in Ghana, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland and Zambia from funds raised by the (RED) campaign might not object to this marketing strategy. ____________________________________ Abby Sophir is a freshman TVR major who justified getting a new Project (RED) iPod because she’s saving lives—right? E-mail her at gsophir1@ ithaca.edu.
Ministry of Cool
hat do Gap clothing, Dell computers and Converse shoes have in common? That’s right: red. These companies are working with Project (RED), a campaign to eliminate AIDS in Africa, to produce Project (RED) branded products. For each item purchased, up to 50 percent of the profit goes toward HIV and AIDS programs in Africa. Gap, Dell and Converse are not alone. Other iconic brands, including American Express, Apple, Armani, Hallmark and Nike, are manufacturing (RED) products as well. The (RED) campaign was started in March 2006 by U2’s Bono and Bobby Shriver with the intent to engage the private sector in raising awareness and funds for a humanitarian cause. This concept is part of a new advertising era of cause-related marketing. This promotion method frequently uses colors to advocate a cause and sell merchandise. For example, pink is used for breast cancer awareness. “I think it’s terribly effective, pink in particular,” Thomas Bohn, lecturer and former dean of the Park School of Communications, said. “It’s incredible in the sense that it’s being used and worn universally, You’re sitting there watching a pro football game, and you see pink cleats. Your mind automatically goes to the breast cancer cause and concept.” Is this an effective marketing technique? No doubt. According to the official (RED) website, “To date, (RED) partners and events have contributed more than $150 million to the Global Fund to fight AIDS in Africa.” Throughout the years, the pink initiative has grown to cover more than 30 countries, spanning five continents. According to ABC News, the Susan G. Komen for the Cure organization brings in $50
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Red Lips Don’t Lie
The power of the pout throughout history By Katy Newton Beauty, to me, is about being comfortable in your own skin. That, or a kick-ass red lipstick,” said actress Gwyneth Paltrow, who, arguably, does not need much to enhance her beauty. Paltrow is one of many celebrities who have advocated the use of the notorious cosmetic and its effect on men (Paltrow’s red lips were kickass enough to attract Coldplay’s frontman Chris Martin…not too shabby). Modern red lipstick sirens include Gwen Stefani, Dita Von Teese and Scarlett Johansson. Red lipstick is undoubtedly the most referred
using this mixture. The Babylonian trendsetters inspired Indus valley onlookers to tint their lips with a red color. However, it was the Egyptian women who took suffering for the sake of beauty to a whole new level. Yep, these daredevils went as far as squeezing out iodine and bromine in order to achieve a purple-red color. As expected, or unexpected at the time, serious diseases ensued yet the women continued to be redlipped beauties as they experienced what came to be known as “the kiss of death.” Perhaps the most famous of these women is the infamous Egyptian ruler Cleopatra.Her innovative concoction consisted of crushed carmine beetles to provide These days, red lipstick can be the red pigment, seen as a sign of the times. The which was mixed look of flawless skin paired with a dark, with ant’s eggs for the base. For less blood-red lip was all over the Fall/Winrisk-taking followers ter 2010 runways and is a classic beauty of the ruler’s beauty look that will never go out of style. habits, henna was a popular substitute for the lip color, and to cosmetic in popular culture. From fish scales were used the sensual image of singing red lips to add shimmer. These practices may have stained in the opening sequence of 1975’s cult hit The Rocky Horror Picture the wearer’s lips but actual lipstick, Show to Sarah Palin’s well-known as in, molded pigment in a pot, did distinction between hockey moms not come to be until around 900 and pit-bulls, lipstick has remained A.D. Ironically, it was invented by a prominent symbol of femininity the father of modern surgery: A Muslim Andalusian by the name of and sexuality in pop culture. But who was the first person Abu al-Quasim al-Zahrwai created a to don the dashing shade and wax base for the pigment, perfumed why? Every great pop culture icon it, then pressed it into a mold. Lo has to have some sort of absurd and behold, the modern day lipstick historical context, and red lipstick was born. The popularity of lipstick grew is no exception. Time travel 5,000 years back and land in the ancient immensely under the rule of Queen th Babylonian city of Ur, and you’ll find Elizabeth I in 16 century England. women hard at work crushing colorful Pale girls who rock red lipstick have semi-precious stones. Once ground the trendsetting Queen to thank for well, they would apply the stones this look. Chalk-white faces with with a paste and paint their lips blood red lipstick made from beeswax
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
and plants started appearing on women all over the country. However, not everyone favored the striking look on women. In 1653, English pastor Thomas Hall led a movement against lipsticks, proclaiming that the painting of faces was the “Devil’s Work.” Pictures of devils putting lipstick on women appeared often and sinners would admit to wearing lipstick. At confession, Hall believed that women who put the brush to their mouth with color were trying to “ensnare others and to kindle a fire and flame of lust in the hearts of those who cast their eyes upon them.” In 1770, England’s parliament went as far as to enact a law that prohibited lipstick, stating that women who seduced men into marriage by means of makeup could be tried as witches. In 1837, another queen had a very different view on lipstick, one that agreed more so with the English government than with the women of the country she was ruling. Queen Victoria banished lipstick, declaring that it was only fit for prostitutes and actors. She considered it “impolite” to wear lipstick or any make-up at all. Luckily, the 20th century saw a new beginning for lipstick in the United States. While Kansas was still disfavoring the cosmetic (in 1915, any woman under 44 in Kansas would be given a misdemeanor if she wore lipstick, powder and rouge for the very evil purpose of creating a “false impression”), American women began to embrace lipstick as to appear more like the actresses they looked up to. The movie industry played a great role in the growth of lipstick’s popularity. In silent films, lipstick needed to be dark in order to show up in the black and white film. Many women began to use dark lipsticks
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Image by Clara Goldman
as well as seductive red shades to show empowerment and femininity, especially advocates and protesters in the women’s suffrage movement. When women began to enter the workforce during World War II, sales of red lipstick soared as they earned their own salaries. Women wanted to remain beautiful while working factory jobs. Red lipstick also became a symbol of patriotism. These days, red lipstick can be seen as a sign of the times. The look of flawless skin paired with a dark, blood-red lip was all over the Fall/Winter 2010 runways and is a classic beauty look that will never go out of style. However, in the eyes of Leonard Lauder, president of Estée Lauder, lipstick is a signifier of the current century’s cultural and economic plight. He developed a “Lipstick Index” after 9/11 when he noticed a massive rise in lipstick sales.
The same phenomenon has been happening recently with the current economic crisis. Multiple factors can be attributed to the surge in women going out and buying a tube of red rouge. The first is the fact that red is an attention-grabbing color and easily attracts the opposite sex to the female bold enough to wear the color. The psychology that men love women with full and red lips is an ancient notion that has been rooted in the male brain since the early civilizations of humans. In those early days, a woman with wide hips and a rosy lip was seen to be the most attractive woman in the bunch. This is because a plump woman with large breasts and wide hips meant that she could carry children better, so men often sought these women for reproduction. Rosy lips also signified good blood circulation, therefore showing that this woman
was in better health than others. Whether you are in an ‘80s mood and want to channel Madonna with her preferred lipstick, MAC Cosmetics’ “Russian Red,” or want to appear healthy and attract a mate with the aptly named pure blood red shade “Fire Down Below” by NARS Cosmetics, red lipstick is one trend you can safely surrender yourself to for any season. ___________________________________ Katy Kewton is a freshman journalism major who sealed this article with a kiss. E-mail her at knewton1@ ithaca.edu.
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Rolling Out the Red Carpet
The history of a glamorous American staple By Anne Gould Northgraves h, the daydreams of how soft that burgundy path to fame and fortune must be. The glitz. The glamour. The attention. All eyes on you. Most people have watched the rich and famous parade down the red carpet, eyes glued to the television memorizing every veneered, smiling face, every pricey frock, every wave to the screaming fans. Whether for film premieres, awards shows or someone’s particularly well-publicized birthday, there’s something about the red carpet that attracts average, everyday people’s interest. But the reasons—and effects—of the centerpiece of Tinsel Town are as varied as the people that walk down it. Much of what attracts people to the red carpet has to do with the famous faces that are the focus of so much attention. Steven Gordon, assistant professor of television and radio at IC says that allure is affected partly by a desire to be in their shoes. “Everybody has such a fascination with celebrity,” Gordon said. “Part of it is wish fulfillment. People dream about being celebrities. It’s also voyeurism. We love to see celebrities rise, and we love to see them fall as well. I think that sometimes makes us feel as though we can be as good as they are or better than they are, sometimes.” While this malicious line of reasoning is certainly a factor in some viewing, just the thrill of seeing a well-known name is enough of a draw for others. During her time in Los Angeles for the semester,
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
senior cinema and photography major Kelly Gannon actually went to the star-studded Hollywood premiere of Valentine’s Day at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in order to take photos of such a special event. “I figured it was kind of a once-in-alifetime kind of thing,” Gannon said of her short stay in California. “It would be a cool experience to see the stars up close.” In fact, actually being in attendance had a humanizing affect of Gannon’s view of celebrities. “It was kinda one of those things that made you realize that famous people are just like the rest of us,” she said. “Seeing them in person kind of breaks that barrier.” Gordon said, “I think the red carpet just exploded because everyone passes through it to come in. It’s the place where everybody has to go.” He acknowledged how it can be an enjoyable experience for the actors and other industry people in attendance. “You’ve risen to the level that you get to put your feet on a red carpet” he said. It’s a
Image by Zachary Anderson
level of validation.” Morgan Pepper, a senior TelevisionRadio major concentrating in scriptwriting, similarly finds the red carpet a source of inspiration, encouraged her while pursuing her career. Going to the site of the Emmy red carpet even the night before, prior to any celebrities arriving, was exciting. “We really wanted to see it,” Pepper said. “Just the fact that we were there and got to see it, even though no one was there, it was still exciting. “It provides a motivation,” she continued. “‘Here’s the red carpet. I want to be here some day.’ I would like to be interviewed [there] because I want to create a show that would be nominated at the Emmys.” Pepper finds another aspect of the red carpet atmosphere—the live gathering of fans—particularly exciting for the artists that get to see fan reaction watching to feel the shared enjoyment. “It’s cool that while they’re getting interviewed, you can hear the feedback of the fans being really excited,” she said. “If you were on that red carpet, imagine the people who are there just to see you and the show that you’re a part of.” For such a simple stretch of brightly-colored flooring, the red carpet is a complex reality. Attracting fans for reasons bad—voyeurism, obsession—and good—excitement, recognition, inspiration—the red carpet, since becoming prominent in the 1920s, has become a strong factor in how success in the entertainment industry is gauged. And while the showiness is problematic when considering the horrors in the world today, that is not what the industry is about. It is a world of appearances and accolades, which is precisely why we love it so much. ____________________________________ Anne Gould Northgraves is a senior cinema and photography major who is going to be the next Joan Rivers. Email her at email@example.com.
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Eating with Your Eyes
Why fast food chains use red to attract customers
By Kaela Bamberger ou would think fast food restaurants don’t have to do much to draw in customers: It’s easy, it’s quick, and it tastes like America. But places like McDonald’s and KFC are full of clever ruses to lure in today’s hurried, hungry patrons. Cheery, family-oriented commercials and catchy jingles are tactics employed outside the place of business, but what about within? The common color theme applied in many restaurants is no accident. Red is in an overwhelming number of logos for places that sell food, like Wendy’s, Dairy Queen and your local diner. The color red also often decorates the interior, the seats and the menus. This is because red is proven to be an appetite stimulator. It raises blood pressure, heightens respiration and increases pulse. It is recommended that people who are picky eaters use red place mats or plates, but people who are trying to diet bring in the color blue to their kitchen or fridge. The reason for the connection between hunger and the color red is attributed to psychology. One theory is that our primordial ancestors recognized red to mean ripe fruit. Red was also associated with the hunt and fresh meat. “Colors are constructs of the brain, not physical realities, and the presumption would thus be that whatever color or color combination is most appealing to humans is attractive because of some ecological/ evolutionary advantage,” explained Dale Purves, director of the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at Duke University in an interview with AIGA. The color could also be culturally assigned to quick cuisine. McDonald’s started the trend in the 1950s, and with its success other fast food chains
Image by Lucy Ravich
best suited to detect small red spots of light.” Fast food restaurants may use red to flag down those on the road who might not have otherwise stopped.Whichever reason it may be, beware of the hunger that arises upon sight. Whether it’s hazard or hamburger, red is out to influence what you’re thinking. ____________________________________ Kaela Bamberger is a freshman drama major who could really go for a Big Mac right now. E-mail her at kbamber1@ ithaca.edu.
Ministry of Cool
rode its coattails. These days it’s almost counterproductive to choose a different color because people assume ‘fast food’ when they see that bright red. The final theory is that red is simply eye-catching. On the road, it’s used for hazard signs, and there are multiple animals that have developed red spots to let predators know to stay away. “I don’t really know why red is such a good warning signal,” according to Karl R. Gegenfurtner of Gießen University in Germany, as reported in an interview of AIGA. “Charles Stromeyer and colleagues from Harvard have shown that the eye is
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Seeing Red in Fashion Psychology proves that red is the new black By Meagan McGinnes plashes of the color red are popping up everywhere in women’s fashion this season. The bold statement is on fire in more ways than one. Red is constantly linked with being a sexual prowess and promiscuoity. The color is invigorating. I personally feel more confident and sexy even with a pop of red in my accessories. It is a color eyes are automatically drawn to, making one want to stop and stare. The question is this: Does wearing the color red actually grasp men’s attention to make them stop and stare? Scientific research says yes. University of Rochester psychologists Andrew Elliot and Daniela Niesta did a study to evaluate whether certain colors were more likely to be associated with sex appeal. They did this by letting a sample of men look at pictures of a woman in various shirt colors,
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
including red, and asking them to rate her attractiveness. Not only were the men more attracted to the women when she was wearing red, but according to the study, “They were also more interested in dating the woman and indicated they would be willing to spend more money on her when she was dressed in red.” So is it a fluke? Did the men only prefer the woman when wearing red because of the stereotype that women who choose to wear red are bolder sexually? Elliot and Niesta addressed this issue by repeating the experiment, but instead of varying the color of the woman’s shirt, they changed the color of the photo background. The original results held true even though the woman was no longer wearing the color. What proved to be even more interesting is that when asked, the men in the survey thought the color of the woman’s shirt and the background had no effect on their thoughts of her “hotness.” So, the attraction to the color red is unconscious for most males. Neurologically, the color red is linked to sex because after a woman has an orgasm, she becomes flushed. The color red reminds men of this action, automatically jogging the part of the brain controlling sex. This is also why men generally prefer red lipstick and red nail polish on women. However, after speaking to other female college students, many feel sexier and more attractive in the color. Every girl I spoke to mentioned a sense of empowerment and presence. Why does red give us girls this
feeling of overt sensuality? The link between red and sex has been dictated to us through media and marketing. We want red roses, red lingerie and chocolates in red, heartshaped boxes on Valentine’s Day. In movies the vixen will most likely be wearing red. Even in Grease, when Sandy makes her transformation, she is rocking super sexy red stilettos. “It is definitely a Hollywood style,” said film major Shea Lynch. “It’s not necessarily a sexual connotation, but its bold. It gives an impression of confidence, someone who is not likely to fit in with the crowd,” However, red’s appeal to the sexual senses does depend on the context. “I don’t think Little Red Riding Hood was a slut,” freshman Zach Krowiak said. A red, baggy sweater is much less sexy than a fitted and revealing blue dress. Also, because red is not worn often in an everyday setting, its spontaneity in wardrobes through subtle accent touches creates a further intrigue and mystery. “You only buy [something red] if you know it looks really good on you and it makes you feel more confident,” said Sara Kay, freshman CMD major. So here is my advice to all the ladies out there: Go buy a few red items of clothing for your wardrobe. Guys won’t even realize why they find you so irresistible. ____________________________________ Meagan McGinnes is a freshman journalism major who just bunch of skintight, red jeans for her wardrobe. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Images by Clara Goldman
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A : Mon Khmer
By Carly Sitzer
To some people, Mon Khmer is just a family of Southeast Asian languages. To others, it is an alternative band based out of Brooklyn, N.Y., that performed at Ithaca College this month. Bass player Mathew Scheiner sat down with Buzzsaw to talk about the band’s new EP, Birthplace, the band’s future plans and more. To hear their music or find out more about Mon Khmer, visit: www.myspace.com/ MonKhmer.
unique thing about this one is that everybody’s background of music that they listened to and played is so vastly different. For Elias, it’s come from a strictly classical and jazz background. Hammarsing, who grew up in India on folk music and underground British new wave. The drummer and I are into all sorts of things, Motown and Steely Dan… On the Myspace page there are like 80 different bands listed as influences.
Buzzsaw Magazine: How did the band get started? Mathew Scheiner: Everyone in the band sort of knew someone else in the band when we are at school in Boston, so that’s sort of where we all met. But we didn’t start playing all together until we all lived in Brooklyn and we’ve been in this current formation just for about two years.
B: What are your influences musically? MS: A lot. There are a lot of influences. For me, anyways, out of any other band I’ve been in, the
B: What advice would you give to young musicians? MS: Listen to a lot of music and record yourself, even if it’s on of these [voice recorders], because getting to know what you’re doing is not as easy as just sitting in your room and playing songs. It takes a while to get to know yourself.
Birthplace, Mon Khmer High Scores/Daily Vinyl, 2010
B: How would you describe your new EP? MS: I would describe it as representative of us. It’s like six songs, and each one is pretty different, but sort of as a whole collectively sums up where we are right now. B: Do you have a favorite song on it? MS: I really like to listen to and to play “Birthplace” because it’s sort of like this one vibe all the way through. It’s a trance sort of meditation that I like playing, too.
B: Do you have any plans for the future? MS: Besides the whole world famous thing… We want to try to put out either another full-length or a couple more EPs in 2011 as well as get on the road more. We went on our first real tour back in March with this band and it was a blast. So we want to hit the states again and maybe go further West this time, maybe make it to the UK sometime. B: Anything else you want to share? MS: Check out new music— there’s a lot of great stuff out there that goes unsung.
Ministry of Cool
B: How did you guys come up with the name of the band? MS: It was kind of an arbitrary decision, our loving, dutiful front man is from this town in Northeast India where they speak this language called Kahsi, which is part of a family of languages called the Mon Khmer languages of southeast Asian languages. We have a sort of eastern element to the sound of the band. And it’s a weird name and it stands out—it’s difficult to understand, but once you get it you don’t forget it.
B: How do you think your music has changed or matured over the past two years? MS: We’re about to go record some new stuff in a couple of weeks, and that newer stuff is definitely marketed different. I think the main part is that we’re sort of come to realize what our sound is. We’re conscious of it, as to make subtle changes here or there. We started out as not a terribly-accessible band, and we’re trying to be more accessible and write new melodies.
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RAW FROM THE SAW Harry Potter
and the Deathy Hallows: Part One
Warner Bros., 2010
BUZZSAW The Red Issue
By Ethan Wennberg
No more Hogwarts, no more school, no more training. This time, it’s for real. The latest film in the Harry Potter franchise takes a rapid departure from the feel of the previous six installments, ditching the old formula completely. With so much going on, it might be easy to get lost in, or overwhelmed by, the details. I’m delighted to say that this is not the case. Director David Yates has refined his directorial skill and style, making a Potter film that capitalizes on the extended running time and flourishes on detail. While his previous two Potter flicks were criticized for the alteration or deletion of events in the book, Deathly Hallows: Part One masterfully creates a world alongside our own that is easy to become invested in. Likewise, the extended time allows greater character development, making it easy to become emotionally invested in the characters. Yates has constructed a splendid transitional film that does a wonderful job of continuing the story in a new, inventive way while setting everything up for the final film of the franchise. Tonally, the film is considerably darker and more mature than the previous six, utilizing suspense as a key element throughout. Yates maintains the magic in a new way
by grounding it in reality rather than fantasy, with action scenes that include, what amounts to, a wizard car chase and a shootout in a diner with wands rather than guns. However, the film has several inherent drawbacks that prevent it from achieving greatness. Although the infamous “camping” scenes from the novel are condensed, the length of this portion of the story translates from the page to the screen. While every scene in the second act is crucial to the story, the film drags somewhat—much like the novel. The film also lacks exposition, which is to be expected from one half of a full, two-part film, thus feeling less whole, it is not quite as gratifying as a result. For those who have read the books, this movie captures the spirit and the feel of the novel and will not disappoint. For those who have not, it is still a standout achievement in the franchise and a great film, although the second act may drag a bit. For those who are new to the series, do yourself a favor and watch the previous six films before viewing, or else prepare to be hopelessly lost. With beautiful cinematography, thrilling action, true drama and character development, Yates ultimately delivers a film that is not only action-packed, but also emotionally and visually gratifying.
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Kanye West My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
By Brandon Niro
Kanye West has always been a source of controversy in the media. From his rambles on George W. Bush, to his infamous on-stage interruption of Taylor Swift at the 2009 VMAs, Kanye has always been portrayed as a villain, and it is a role he has seemed to embrace on numerous occasions. Following the mixed reception garnered by 808s & Heartbreak, many believed that West’s creativity and desire to constantly change his sound were leading to his decline as a hip-hop artist. However, with the release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, there is no controversy: Kanye has produced a masterpiece that combines the best of hip-hop, R&B, pop and rock to create a revolutionary sound that is incapable of duplication by any other artist. Kanye has reinvented hip-hop, leaving the remainder of the competition in the dust, and forcing them to play by the rules he has created. The album as a whole allows the audience to take a peek into the mind of Kanye West, who evidently is deeply troubled, maniacal and twisted on levels almost incomprehensible to the average listener. On tracks like “Runaway” and “Lost in the World,” he exposes his vulnerability and even questions his past “douche bag” behavior.
With the help of collaborations from John Legend, Bon Iver and even Elton John, he reveals himself by examining his conscience and trying to shed the “jerk-off” image he has embodied for so long. Yet, along with these confessional tracks and other emotional ballads such as “Blame Game,” he also showcases his emcee prowess throughout the album, almost elevating himself to a heroic status, particularly in the triumphant, epic single, “Power.” Overall, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy has reached a pinnacle that few artists have achieved before or can hope to achieve in the future. Kanye has changed the rules of hip-hop and created his own, challenging others to get on his level musically. Kanye has dared to go where no other artist has gone before, combining the very best elements of several genres to produce a sound that is truly masterful and unique. It is safe to say that Kanye has officially shed his villain persona, regaining the iconic status he achieved early in his career. You would be foolish not to purchase this album, which is arguably one of the best albums in any genre during the past decade.
De Line Pictures, 2010
By Zoee Silber
the audience into her show, while Ali watches in sheer amazement. Cam Gigandet, Julianne Hough, Kristen Bell, Alan Cumming, Stanley Tucci and Eric Dane are all introduced within the next 30 minutes, which lets viewers know (if they didn’t already) that this will be one helluva production. After arguing with Tess about a job, Ali predictably proves herself with a dance routine that pushes Jackie (Bell) out of the show. At this point the movie begins to pick up speed and introduces the inevitable connection between Jack (Gigandet) and Ali, as well as the financial troubles of Burlesque, and the awkwardly sweaty Peter Gallagher we used to love as Sandy Cohen from The O.C., who is now Tess’ exhusband, Vince. Although I am, as some would say, a crazy Christina fan, I was skeptical about her acting skills. But I have to say, she did a surprisingly good job playing Ali. Cher’s performance was decent but creepy, and I couldn’t help but watch with fascination, as the 64 year old’s face did not budge, even when crying. Ultimately, I was pleased with the outcome of Burlesque, but left the theater covered in glitter, with the strange craving to do something not so girly.
Ministry of Cool
The Thanksgiving release of Burlesque was not only Christina Aguilera’s debut as an actress, but it also marked Cher’s triumphant return to the big screen since her unfortunate association with 2003’s Stuck on You. Since the movie’s trailer release in August, fans have anxiously waited to see if the star-studded film would be sparkly and fantastic or a disastrous result of dueling divas. The opening scene features Ali (Aguilera) belting out an Etta James classic, “Something’s Got a Hold on Me,” in a rundown restaurant residing in one of our country’s many flyover states. After the initial shock of seeing the normally makeupsoaked actress with clean skin and no shoes, audiences are reminded as to why the star was cast to begin with. Her outstanding performance leaves you wondering why she was even allowed to release her latest album, Bionic. In true movie fashion, Ali leaves her small town for the glitz and glam of Hollywood only to find that Los Angeles is no place for a Midwestern girl with no money. During her defeated late night stroll after her failed job search, Ali stumbles upon Burlesque. Club owner Tess (Cher) gives an eerie and uncomfortable performance to welcome
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Cons Pr&osCeon& s Prose
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October Nights By Anne Gould-Northgraves
Perfection is this night With the moon up above And the stars shining bright. The air is brisk and windy My hands in warm pockets, Nose frozen and cheery. Though the world is cold outside I feel it as much as the trees That is, it does not abide. I could walk miles this way Like some walk on beaches But this autumn evening, I say, Is warmer than the surf For in the air are smells Smells of power and mirth. Earth, sweet, natural decay, A hint of distant fires And faint wafts of rich hay. But more is in that scent â€“ Not the fallen leaves Strewn about from their descent. It does not come from me, Or from the surrounding scene. THIS has no physicality.
Prose & Cons
It is the air of late October And if there were no other scents No view or sound to remember All I would need is this And my bodiless soul Would be in utter bliss.
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The Red Issue
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Embarrassed Virgin Turns Red, Leaves Party During Game of “Never Have I Ever” Extended Game of Kings Ruins Uptight Student’s Night By Alex Palombo
protect her loser friend from the game. “I knew that he had nothing to brag about, so I told him to go play beer pong upstairs so he wouldn’t humiliate himself,” Della Hassa said. “But he didn’t listen. He made some dumb excuse about being allergic to beer and decided to play Never with us.” Sherry, who was unaware of Cochrane’s virginity, was puzzled at his
Image by Sally Russell
embarrassment and quick departure. The final straw was a reference to an obscure sexual position. “Some people just don’t do the Old Tokyo Sandblaster,” Sherry said. “It honestly wasn’t that big of a deal.” Goodman agreed with Sherry, admitting that she and many others had answered “no” to the same question and that Cochrane had nothing to be embarrassed about. “No one answered ‘yes’ to the Tokyo Sandblaster,” Goodman said. “Well, actually, Devka Zasrana said she’d done it, but that’s ‘cause she’s a slut.” Zasrana said she got suspicious of Cochrane when he tried to make up sexual positions, such as the Rickety Tilt-O-Whirl and the Saucy Frenchman, to impress the other players. “He was just trying way too hard,” Zasrana said. “Those positions don’t even exist. Trust me.” Cochrane couldn’t be reached for interview, but sources confirmed he could be heard crying as he stumbled up Danby Road back to his dorm. He then banged on his door for a while, having forgotten his keys at the party. Cochrane then went to his RA’s room to be let into his own, but ran away at the sound of his RA’s loud sex from behind the door. Goodman says that she’s sorry he was so humiliated, but hopes the situation won’t repeat itself in the future. “There’s no way in hell I’m taking him to a party again,” she said. “Not after how he embarrassed me this time. Now I’m known as the Crying Virgin’s Friend.” ____________________________________ Alex Palombo is a senior journalism major who still hasn’t done the Tokyo Sandblaster either. E-mail her at email@example.com.
s a group of inebriated college students tried to look on, sophomore and confirmed virgin Robert Cochrane blushed and stormed out of a party on Pleasant Street, leaving behind his keys and a half-empty watermelon Four Loko. According to fellow partygoers, Cochrane left in the middle of a lengthy game of “Never Have I Ever” after one too many questions concerning his sex life. “He just got up, accidentally knocked over my beer and ran out of the living room,” senior Ryan “Moondog” Sherry said. “I don’t understand why he was so embarrassed.” Sherry was one of the participants in the game. He said that Cochrane seemed uncomfortable throughout the game, shifting in his seat and drinking in between questions. Junior Anne Goodman sat next to him during the game and described him as “sweaty and lame.” “He was embarrassed by everything,” Goodman said. “He was refusing to answer anything, even the questions not about sex. It was so stupid.” The other players were suspicious that Cochrane was uncomfortable, as he asked the least interesting question of the game. When he shouted, “Never have I ever been to Idaho” and emitted a suspiciously Pee Wee Herman-like laugh, the rest of the circle had a feeling that Cochrane was the least experienced person in the room. “It was pretty obvious he was a virgin,” Goodman said. “I mean, ‘Never have I ever been to Idaho?’ Really?” Cochrane’s friend Liz Della Hassa was also playing and tried to
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Roxanne Finally Turns Off the Red Light Says Mind is Made Up, She’s Putting Away the Makeup By Mariana Garces fter more than 30 years of leading a risqué, scandalous lifestyle, Roxanne Belafonte has finally decided to turn off the red light. With the simple turn of a switch on the cheap, red lava lamp in her front window that she used for years to beckon horny customers, she officially changed her life for good. On her new blog on Monday, she announced to her followers that she was finally ready to take Sting’s advice and end her prolific prostitution career. She will be putting away her makeup and, most importantly, she plans to stop walking the dark and dangerous streets for money, because she now cares about what is wrong and what is right. Roxanne, who boasts famous former clients such as D a v i d
The Red Issue
Hasselhoff and Mel Gibson, said she would now be hanging up her red dress in the closet “to save for only really special occasions.” All of this was done after the former streetwalker had an epiphany and decided she wanted to settle down and meet what she described as “a nice, normal guy.” When she met Sting one fateful night while The Police were on tour in 1978, she had no idea how much he would catapult her into fame and increase her business, but she also admits he was more naive than she expected. “He promised he wouldn’t talk down to me or share me with another boy, but he didn’t really give me any solutions to my situation,” Roxanne said. “What did he think, that I enjoyed this job? So I kept working for a while. A long while. A woman’s gotta eat.” While she laments the tasteless, artificial s h i f t she says prostitution has taken in recent years, Roxanne claims to have no regrets and says she loves spending time on her new hobbies of baking, knitting and blogging. She has a small but loyal group of followers who have helped her through the transition from being a prostitute
to being an average, middle-aged citizen. Along with prostitution, she has stopped dealing and doing drugs. She has, however, found it hard to maintain a normal life this holiday season, as her red Christmas lights have brought old customers flocking to her door again. Since Roxanne has decided to stop selling her body to the night, she has started meeting men through the popular dating site Match.com. Her earlier attempts at finding love through Craigslist didn’t quite yield the results she had in mind. The interests listed on her profile include traveling, yoga and watching shows about cakes. It marks the first time she will be arranging dates to meet with men without charging money. Instead, she is a fan of Paypal and selling the fruits of her crafting talents through Etsy.com. “A lot in my life has changed since the ‘80s,” she said. “I’m just a different person now. I have an iPhone. I’m also not snorting crack off strangers’ asses anymore.” Roxanne sells hand-knit mittens and hats through her homemade apparel line for babies, Bastard Baby Björn. ____________________________________ Mariana Garces is a sophomore journalism major who still thinks everything Roxanne does is magic. E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image by Nikki Black
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Local Santa Needs to Stop Hitting the Gym So Much, Says Colleagues Body Fat Percentage Falling Dangerously Below Obesity Levels By Catherine Fisher
Image by Zachary Anderson
see why I can’t have my health and my job.” Clyne has been a Santa in the Freehold Mall for seven years now, having started at the age of 43. He says he loves the job, but won’t physically be able to do it much longer unless he sheds a few pounds. “I am an asset to the NSCR, and I am not asking for special treatment,” he said. “All I ask for is to do my job in a body that is most suiting.” Lucas Hunt, a Mall Santa of 17 years who has had cameos in various holiday-themed movies, took a different stance, however. “My wife constantly berates me for ‘letting myself go’ and not taking care of my body, but I know the criticism would be much worse if I lost my primary source of income during the holiday season,” he said. “This profession is not for everybody, and if you can’t compete with the demands then we can find somebody else who will.” According to Nate Dolan, the head representative of the NSCR in Monmouth County, Clyne’s new body is negatively affecting his work. Reports state that earnings in the mall have decreased 7 percent from last year’s holiday season, in which “Pictures with Santa” is one of the
main attractions, normally bringing in about 15 percent of the mall’s overall revenue during the holiday season. Dolan reports that many children expressed a lack of enthusiasm for having their picture taken with Santa during Karl Clyne’s shifts. “Between his firm glutes and his pronounced jaw, children were asking why this Santa didn’t look like the one they have seen in pictures,” Dolan said. “It would be one thing if just the employees were unhappy, but it’s starting to affect the children. I can’t have a 4-year-old crying in my mall because there wasn’t enough room for him on Santa’s lap.” Hunt added that Clyne has done great work in the past, but that now his skinny image is “ridiculouslooking” and “reflecting poorly on us all.” “Right now all we are focusing on is stopping Mr. Clyne from continuing to improve his physique,” Hunt said. “If we can do that, then maybe by next November Mr. Clyne will be back where he needs to be physically, or at least is fitted into a proper fat suit.” ____________________________________ Catherine Fisher is a sophomore cinema and photography major who thinks Santa needs to be fat to be jolly. E-mail her at email@example.com.
ifty-four red-faced Santas petitioned outside the Freehold Mall on Monday to remove Karl Clyne from the National Santa Claus Registry. According to the NSCR, Clyne is in violation of his contract in relations to physical decree. The accused is said to have dropped 45 pounds over the summer, slimming down to a mere 191 pounds. “The contract clearly states in section 3.0.4 that all members must maintain a Kringle-esque physique,” said Nicolas Pine, vice president of Affairs and Legal Council for the NSCR. “Any member who fails to do so will be put on probation and removed from the service if he does not fulfill the requirements.” The outrage started at a meeting in October, when several employees noticed the change in Clyne. They say that on top of biking to work and taking the stairs, Clyne ate yogurt for lunch, and his Santa suit was far short of “snug.” “The uniform sagged around his upper thighs and stomach,” one Santa said, rolling his eyes. “Now he has to get it re-tailored, but who knows if that one will fit for long. He’s losing weight like crazy. It’s disgusting.” Representatives of the NSCR claim they spoke to Clyne about his contract violation but say he was uncooperative and refused to address the issue. According to representatives, the accused slapped away a chocolate bar when offered and later left, saying that if they wanted to contact him, his employers could “catch him on the treadmill.” When interviewed about the affair, Clyne was clearly shaken. “It’s not that I won’t gain weight, it’s that I can’t,” he said. Clyne said he discovered his cholesterol was reaching dangerous heights earlier this year and, as a result, his doctors have urged him to watch his weight. “That means no more chocolate bars, a better diet and plenty of exercise,” he said. “I don’t
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Republicans in Congress Unwilling to Reach Across the Aisle to Share Tissues With Democrats “We will not back down, America has spoken,” say Republicans By Mike McCabe n a recent act of defiance to cooperate with the Democrats, Sen. Jim DeMint (RSouth Carolina) refused to pass a box of tissues to his fellow congressman, Sen. Al Franken (D-Minnesota). The occurrence brought forth strong words from both parties, as Democrats criticized Republicans for what they called “an unprofessional refusal to cooperate,” while Republicans attempted to justify the senator’s actions.
The Red Issue
“The American people want this and don’t approve of the Democratic majority, as the midterm elections explicitly proved,” DeMint said. “I was merely acting on behalf of the country’s will. I represented my state in telling Senator Franken, ‘Your time is up, and I’m saving these tissues for when a Republican representative gets a little stuffy.’” “This is an absolute abomination,” Franken said in response, wiping his snot on his right sleeve. “It was actions like these that were consistently carried out by the last Republican administration that created the crises that we are still dealing with.” Franken added that the refusal of DeMint to engage in such an act of common decency was representative of what the incoming majority’s plans will look like. Members of the House of Represen-
tatives gave their words as well. “We have said time and time again, that unless President Obama is willing to work fairly and democratically with the opposing party, that we will refuse to adhere to the policies of an agenda that is out of touch with America,” House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Kentucky) said. “Until we see some drastic changes, it is absolutely necessary for us to make our stances clear.” While politicians exchanged complaints, citizens shared their thoughts. “It’s about time that our leaders look beyond petty partisanship and party-driven politics and stood up for what they believe in,” said Billie Joe Finch, a Tennessee resident and known Tea Party supporter. “Thank the Lord for true defenders of freedom like Jim DeMint.” Others were less content. “First, it was Bush’s refusal to sign the Kyoto Protocol,” Stephen Hoffmanberg of San Francisco said. “Then, they wanted to deny health care to millions. Now, these homophobic, racist, Hummer-driving, Wall Street-backing, war-mongering, rich, greedy, pigs won’t even cooperate with their coworkers.” President Obama shared his words on the matter as well. “Clearly, Washington is in a tough situation,” the president said. “I think we need to work on letting the American people know what our real priorities are, by trying to get Republicans to work with us and maybe finding agreements. Hopefully, Senator Franken will be able to receive some form of tissue paper in the near future. Bottom line is, here in the Democratic Party, we’re so pliable that we’ll take just about any sort of minute Republican compromise as a legislative victory.” During his appearance on The
O’Reilly Factor last night, DeMint gave one more defense: “Liberals say that we should lose our health care until a settlement comes. What I did, by denying Senator Franken his tissue, was a symbol of what Obama’s socialist plan will do to hard working Americans everywhere. This is not what the people want, and I am only following their wishes.” Political analysts are currently predicting a deal that will involve significant concessions from both sides. As it stands, the most probable outcome is that Sen.Franken will receive a third of a tissue. Though some Republicans are insisting that even that is a waste of resources in a time of such debt, many feel that it is yet another attempt to stall any agreements. ____________________________________ Mike McCabe is a freshman journalism major who is considering a move to Canada. E-mail him at mmccabe1@ ithaca.edu.
Images by Garen Whitmore
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Can you spot the differences? (there are 6!)
Buzzsaw Asks Why... Ithaca College wants a new mascot named “Bomber,” but it can’t have anything to do with bombing
If you haven’t already heard, Ithaca College is now holding a contest seeking suggestions from the IC community to introduce a new mascot to the campus. This comes, of course, in an effort to increase school spirit and produce a recognizable figure that might one day help people unfamiliar with the campus to identify the mascot with Ithaca College. I will admit this is not a bad idea, and though IC, as a DIII school, will never have an iconic mascot/logo like the Florida Gators or the Texas Longhorns, we can certainly improve from not having any mascot at all. This is not to mention how bland our logo is—it essentially consists of the words “Ithaca Bombers” with some sort of crescent moon around it, but at the same time, this is probably the only way we can have a logo of any kind without being offensive. Let’s face it: The name “Bombers” simply cannot be portrayed tastefully, and although the word can occasionally be used to describe long throws or shots in sports, it is just a euphemism and can’t take away from the fact that we’re represented by pilots who are ordered to kill people. Interestingly enough, IC’s Mascot Selection Task Force agrees on the offensiveness of the name “Bomber.” Obviously they don’t come out and say that bluntly, but their mascot proposal guidelines include a note saying that literal, war-related proposals will not be considered. Everyone involved in the mascot search seems completely attached to the IC “Bomber” name out of tradition’s sake, but it’s pretty clear that if IC didn’t have a nickname at all and this task force were in charge of finding one, the name “Bombers” would never be considered at all. If all goes to plan, perhaps by next semester, IC will have a brand new, thoroughly ambiguous mascot—maybe Bomber the Tiger or Bomber the Black Bear. Weird. Here at Buzzsaw, we wonder how the name “Bombers” has lasted so long in the first place on such a pacifist campus within such a famously pro-peace community. The name, of course, needs to be replaced. However, that new mascot/nickname shouldn’t be a fierce animal like the Wildcats or the Lions—too boring and predictable. What we need is something outlandish and memorable, like the Furious Condors or the Thunder Zebras. At least that would be enjoyable, as opposed to a nickname that’s generic and war-related. -Chris Giblin
1. One of the petals from the bottom center is gone 2. The comb is now a brush 3. The chain on the Buzzsaw keychain is shifted to the right 4. The chopsticks switch direction 5. The streamer from the Hershey Kiss is gone 6. The 3-ball is turned over
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The Red Issue
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Red issue - December 2010