SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
NEWSPAPER Volume XCIX, Issue 6
Online at www.thecorsaironline.com
Informing Since 1929
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
AS Presidential candidates debate student issues to a small crowd
Monique Michaels Corsair Kayo Johnson, Donna Davooti, speaking for Eli Appel and Tiffany Inabu are the three candidates running for Associated Students’ President. Today marked the first public debate for the candidates. By John Stapleton IV Staff writer
Stevie Danielle Merino is a 21-year-old anthropology major at Cerritos College, and like most students who are striving for higher education, she does her best to juggle homework, a part-time job and a social life. Unlike most students, however, Merino is also running for mayor. The race for Mayor of Long Beach has been won by Bob Foster since 2006, and it seemed as though he would run unopposed this election until there was an unexpected addition to the ballot. Merino’s entry is not just extraordinary because of her youth, but also because she is running as a representative of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. If successful, Stevie Merino will be the youngest city mayor elected in the state of California since Russell “Rusty” Hammer won the vote for Mayor of Campbell in 1975 at the same age. Furthermore, she’d be California’s first elected socialist mayor since 1911. The odds, suffice it to say, are against her. It has yet to be seen whether or not Long Beach is.
Merino, a life-long resident of Long Beach, claims that her city is primarily working class, and that its residents want the changes that Socialism offers. “One of the reasons we’re running is to take the negative connotation out of the idea of Socialism. Free housing, free education, free healthcare, these are things that people want and things that Socialism supports,” says Merino. But Long Beach is just the beginning, claims Merino, adding, “Running for office is a way to spread socialism to the U.S. We’re starting a movement here in Long Beach.” Despite the admitted stigma associated with socialism, Merino’s campaign concentrates on appealing to people on a personal level, from conducting door to door introductions to opposing the deep pockets needed to fund a successful political campaign. “Politicians are supposed to be a representative of the people,” says Merino. So the people should be able to talk to them face to face.” Merino insists that this truth alone has helped her grassroots strategy gain its remarkable momentum.
Merino deplores the fact that how much money a candidate has for his or her campaign is often the most important factor in winning. “You have to have a lot of money to win [an election]. We’re trying to expose that issue. Why should you have to be wealthy to run for a public office? Being super-rich or corporate-supported doesn’t make you better qualified to serve the public.” But can a community college student expect to overcome the skepticism attached to her socialist platform to defeat an established New York democrat with decades of political and legislative experience? “Unseating a well-funded incumbent like Foster would be a herculean undertaking, even for a well-known, well-funded and politically connected candidate,” says Long Beach correspondent Paul Eakins, addressing the challenges faced by Merino’s campaign. Merino remains confident, however, saying that her experience as a community organizer makes her more appealing to voters than a candidate who caters to the agendas of big business in order to secure funding.
“Go door to door,” says Merino. “Going to people’s houses are [what] a lot of politicians haven’t done, let alone marching for something or standing for something.” Merino says. According to socialist constituent Carlos Alvarez, Merino stands for the socialist mantra, “people over profits,” calling her crusade “a fight back campaign, providing a voice opposing the status quo.” “We have to be a part of every struggle,” he adds, “From the streets to the ballot box.” Merino remains noticeably active at both ends of the spectrum, from joining last Saturday’s march for immigration reform through downtown Los Angeles while still aggressively promoting her mayoral candidacy. According to Merino, the community awareness her campaign brings to her is rewarding enough, no matter what happens when the polls close on April 13. “It’s not about winning or losing,” says Merino resolutely, “It’s about the community feeling informed and involved.”
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Wednesday March 31, 2010 Santa Monica College
Spring 2010 Staff
Jessica Thomas Guiliana Dakdouk Indah Datau Antoine Themistocleous Rebecca Slawter Dan Bluemel Brandon Quin Ingrid Rosales Carly Gillis Teresa Raschilla Debbie Vasquez
Editor-in-Chief Managing Editor Photo Editor Photo Editor News Editor Opinion Editor Sports Editor Calendar Editor Lifestyle Editor Online Editor Arts Canvas Editor
Marley St. John Corsair A Southern California sunset viewed from the south Venice jetty with Venice to the left and the Marina to the right.
News Photo Story Opinion
Yogis Anonymous Earth Hour IDCA Gmail at SMC Parking
Health Care Co-Ed dorms Guns in Starbucks
3 & 5
6 & 7
Symphony Orchestra MGMT Album Review Amy Allen Dances
30 Days of Going Green Barfly Hungry SMC Students Activism at SMC
Weekly Fitness Womenâ€™s Softball Lakers Analysis
10 & 11
Advertising Consultant Deirdre Weaver email@example.com
Graphic Design Jhosef A. Hern
Computer Consultant Agnius Griskevicius
Faculty Advisors Saul Rubin and Gerard Burkhart
Letters to the editor are encouraged. They should be no longer than 250 words and must be signed by the writer. firstname.lastname@example.org
Corrections: In Issue 5, the Greece study abroad information was due before the 2010 spring semester, not before the 2009 winter session.
Alessandra Catanese, Alfredo Luna, Alica Forneret, Althea Anderson, Anthony Pantoja, Ashli Townsend, Astrid le Noine, Brian White, Bryn Woznicki, Christian Nussey, Daniel Ross, Danyale Koto, David Carranza, David Dolmage, Emil Norlen, Eric Tipton, Farhan Ali, Jeannel Phillips, Jennifer Martinez, Jeremy Biglow, Jeremy Condamine, John Stapleton IV, Jorge Valdovinos, Joseph E Mouallem, Jung Shim, Katie Madejska, Kenneth Robinson, Kevin Duron, Lauren Freeman, Lillie Grossman, Linda Konde, Lyndsay Smith, Marley St. John, Michael Mendoza, Michael Zielinski, Monique Michaels, Nicole Ritter, Quandinae Woods, Sal Guerra, Sammy Soliman, Sean Carpenter, Sean Mazzapica, Tannaz Lavian, Tara Murphy, TenĂŠ Anderson, Terrence Timmins, Tieg Slattery, Tracy Navarro
Business and Editorial Offices Letters to the Editor 1900 Pico Blvd., LS 172 Santa Monica, CA 90405 Phone: (310) 434-4340 Classified Ads: Daily Bruin (310) 825-2221 First copy of the Corsair is free, each after is 25 cents.
03 NEWS 21-year-old college student runs grassroots mayoral campaign Wednesday March 31, 2010
By John Stapleton IV Staff writer
Stevie Danielle Merino is a 21-year-old anthropology major at Cerritos College, and like most students who are striving for higher education, she does her best to juggle homework, a part-time job and a social life. Unlike most students, however, Merino is also running for mayor. The race for Mayor of Long Beach has been won by Bob Foster since 2006, and it seemed as though he would run unopposed this election until there was an unexpected addition to the ballot. Merino’s entry is not just extraordinary because of her youth, but also because she is running as a representative of the Party for Socialism and Liberation. If successful, Stevie Merino will be the youngest city mayor elected in the state of California since Russell “Rusty” Hammer won the vote for Mayor of Campbell in 1975 at the same age. Furthermore, she’d be California’s first elected socialist mayor since 1911. The odds, suffice it to say, are against her. It has yet to be seen whether or not Long Beach is. Merino, a life-long resident of Long Beach, claims that her city is primarily working class, and that its residents want the changes that Socialism offers. “One of the reasons we’re running is to take the negative connotation out of
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
the idea of Socialism. Free housing, free education, free healthcare, these are things that people want and things that Socialism supports,” says Merino. But Long Beach is just the beginning, claims Merino, adding, “Running for office is a way to spread socialism to the U.S. We’re starting a movement here in Long Beach.” Despite the admitted stigma associated with socialism, Merino’s campaign concentrates on appealing to people on a personal level, from conducting door to door introductions to opposing the deep pockets needed to fund a successful political campaign. “Politicians are supposed to be a representative of the people,” says Merino. So the people should be able to talk to them face to face.” Merino insists that this truth alone has helped her grassroots strategy gain its remarkable momentum. Merino deplores the fact that how much money a candidate has for his or her campaign is often the most important factor in winning. “You have to have a lot of money to win [an election]. We’re trying to expose that issue. Why should you have to be wealthy to run for a public office? Being super-rich or corporate-supported doesn’t make you better qualified to serve the public.” But can a community college student expect to overcome the skepticism
SMC’s Health Services suggests controversial women’s clinic
By Dan Bluemel Opinion Editor In the summer of 2008, Nina Lopez walked into the Westside Pregnancy Clinic located on Olympic Boulevard in Los Angeles and requested a pregnancy test. However, she wasn’t pregnant. Lopez, a Santa Monica College student, posed as someone who thought she was pregnant and was seeking a test. She was working undercover for the Feminist Majority Foundation to investigate the clinic. Westside Pregnancy Clinic is one of several clinics to which SMC’s Health Services refers female students. According to the clinic’s Web site, they are “empowering individuals to make informed pregnancy and sexual health choices.” For Lopez, it wasn’t long before she felt something was unusual about the clinic. She said she was asked to fill out a form that asked for her religious affiliation and was told by a nurse that she “should consider not having sex because that’s reckless.” Lopez suspected she might be in what is commonly referred to as a “CPC,” or crisis pregnancy center. CPC’s are nonprofit organizations set up by pro-life advocates to dissuade pregnant women from having abortions. Abortion rights activists argue that CPC’s are quasi-clinics that pose as abortion providers and use misinformation to carry out an antiabortion agenda. As part of an independent investigation for this article, Jessica Thomas, a Corsair
reporter at the time, went undercover into the Westside Pregnancy Clinic. Her experience was much tamer than Lopez’s. Thomas was pleased with her experience at Westside. She described the receptionist as being “sweet, chipper and nice.” She said the clinic was “comfortably furnished, clean” and even “cozy.” She was not challenged about her sexual behavior either. Similar to Lopez however, Thomas was asked about her religious affiliation on the patient questionnaire. Westside considers this a way to get to know patients so that they can administer the right kind of counseling. Sharon Dittrich, Nurse Manager at Westside’s Crenshaw clinic, said knowing a patient’s religious background is part of servicing the individual. “If you go into a hospital, you’ll always be offered a chance to put down your religious affiliation, so that the hospital can be sensitive to your needs,” she said. “And as a nurse we were always taught that we had to not just expect people to come from where we’re coming from, but to understand where they’re coming from as well.” However, when three similar clinics recommended by SMC’s Health Services were questioned, none of them attested to requiring a patient to disclose their religious affiliation. “We are not hospitals,” Patricia Kytlica, Executive Director for the Women’s Clinic and Family Counseling Center, said. “It’s certainly not a standard
See ‘Westside Clinic’ on Page 4
attached to her socialist platform to defeat an established New York democrat with decades of political and legislative experience? “Unseating a well-funded incumbent like Foster would be a herculean undertaking, even for a well-known, well-funded and politically connected candidate,” says Long Beach correspondent Paul Eakins, addressing the challenges faced by Merino’s campaign. Merino remains confident, however, saying that her experience as a community organizer makes her more appealing to voters than a candidate who caters to the agendas of big business in order to secure funding. “Go door to door,” says Merino. “Going to people’s houses are [what] a lot of politicians haven’t done, let alone marching for something or standing for something.” Merino says. According to socialist constituent Carlos Alvarez, Merino stands for the socialist mantra, “people over profits,” calling her crusade “a fight back campaign, providing a voice opposing the status quo.” “We have to be a part of every struggle,” he adds, “From the streets to the ballot box.” Merino remains noticeably active at both ends of the spectrum, from joining last Saturday’s march for immigration reform through downtown Los Angeles while still aggressively promoting her
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mayoral candidacy. According to Merino, the community awareness her campaign brings to her is rewarding enough, no matter what happens when the polls close on April 13. “It’s not about winning or losing,” says Merino resolutely, “It’s about the community feeling informed and involved.”
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Continued from westside clinic controversy on page 4 Surgeon General C. Everett Koop in the does not increase a woman’s subsequent
practice that I know of.” Westside’s CEO Talitha Phillips said Lopez’s claims of being accused of reckless sexual behavior were unfounded. “If I found out that one of my nurses said something like that, they wouldn’t be working here,” she said. “That doesn’t match any of our procedures in how we handle any of these issues with our clients.” Westside’s Medical Director, Dr. James Moran, acknowledges the dubious nature of CPCs and stresses that Westside “deals with women in a non-threatening manner.” “There are no Bibles or crucifixes laying around,” he said. However, the issues pro-choice advocates have with Westside go beyond patient questionnaires or insulting comments. It’s about information. Despite the safety afforded to women through legal abortions in the United States, a woman going to Westside or perusing their Web site wouldn’t get that impression. A Westside staffer told Thomas that the clinic doesn’t offer abortion services or refer women to abortion clinics because “they didn’t know if the other clinics were safe.” Westside Pregnancy Clinic warns women of an unsubstantiated psychological illness connected to abortions, referred to as “Post Abortion Syndrome” on their Web site. Studies conducted by the American Psychological Association in 1990 and 2008, as well as a review of 250 scientific studies by
late 1980s, concluded that there was no mental illness connected to having an abortion, apart from the understandable sadness or second-guessing associated with making a life-altering choice. Although Westside Pregnancy Clinic acknowledges on their Web site that Post Abortion Syndrome “is not officially recognized,” they still assert that “many women often have long-lasting emotional problems following an abortion” and advise women to “be informed about the mental health risks that are associated” with the procedure.
risk of developing breast cancer.” But according to Westside’s Web site, Dr. Moran argues that “the current consensus is that the medical community is unsure about whether there is a connection between breast cancer and induced abortion.” Westside offers ultrasounds, STD testing, pap smears, post-abortion counseling, parenting workshops, adoption counseling and sexual education to students. However, Westside is not an on-going, follow-up clinic and therefore does not give out
As a nurse we were always taught that we had to not just expect people to come from where we’re coming from, but to understand where they’re coming from as well.
Westside lists multiple side effects for Post Abortion Syndrome, such as suicidal thoughts, nightmares and eating disorders. “Some women have issues after having an abortion,” Westside’s Medical Director Dr. James Moran said. “We provide a place for them to discuss it.” Connecting breast cancer to abortions is another side of the issue. The National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society and the World Health Organization have all determined there is no link between breast cancer and abortion. The National Cancer Institute’s Web site states: “abortion or miscarriage
medication, including birth control. Professor Gloria Lopez (no relation to Nina), SMC’s Health Services Coordinator, said she vetted the Westside Pregnancy Clinic. According to Gloria Lopez, she verified the clinic was licensed, clean and able to deliver the services it advertises. Her primary concern was making sure students weren’t being sent to a fly-by-night operation. Beyond that, “it’s a student’s choice where they want to go,” Gloria Lopez said. “Our belief is that students come in for information and we give it to them.” Pro-choice activists interviewed have
Wednesday December 9, 2009
no problem with Health Services making the Westside Pregnancy Clinic available to SMC students. However, they have an issue with how Westside is described by Health Services. As it stands, Health Services ambiguously designates Westside as an “options counseling clinic” on their list of approved medical facilities. “We want [Health Services] to label it properly,” duVergne Gaines, the West Coast Campus Director for the Feminist Majority Foundation, said. “This facility does not provide abortions or referrals for abortions and it doesn’t provide birth control.” Phillips has a different view on how her clinic is labeled by Health Services. “I think we should all be labeled the same,” she said. “I think there are a lot of clinics who don’t represent themselves properly. I know we are not like that.” When asked if it would be better if Health Services labeled Westside as a “pro-pregnancy clinic,” Anna Koper, President of the SMC Feminist Alliance, thought that might be a more accurate designation. “I would want the label to be very, very clear,” she said. “It would be important to stress that this clinic is there to help women through their pregnancy.” Gloria Lopez feels Health Services properly informs students on the nature of the various clinics, however she is open to changing how Westside is labeled. “I can certainly give it some thought and discussion,” she said.
05 NEWS Eric Fabian is first to graduate from SMC’s new auto program Wednesday March 31, 2010
By Daniel Ross Staff writer Eric Fabian’s ’84 Nissan Maxima was a real headache. With its best years well behind it, some time during the Reagan administration, and an escalating bill for repairs, Fabian decided enough was enough. Tired of giving every last hard-earned dollar to mechanics that he suspected, though could never confirm, of inflating the repair costs, he decided to take matters into his own hands. With little experience working on car engines, he enrolled last spring in Santa Monica College’s newly piloted Automotive 40 course, automotive maintenance and operation, and the rest, as they say, is history. “My alternator broke and the mechanics told me it would cost roughly $500 to fix,” said Fabian, rolling his eyes into the back of his head. “So I brought an alternator for about $100, took the car into class with me and fixed it myself. I must have saved at least $400. For me, that’s a lot of money.” One year and nine units later, Fabian, 21, from downtown Los Angeles, has completed all three automotive courses available at SMC and was officially awarded the Certificate of Completion of the Introductory Automotive Technician certificate. He is the first student to receive this certificate since auto classes were reinstated at SMC last year, and the experience has expanded his horizons regarding his future career. “Having taken this course, I really want to finish my [automotive] degree…Probably somewhere like Cerritos College,” said Fabian. Both Cerritos and Rio Honda College offer certificates that seamlessly transition to more advanced training programs. “My ultimate dream would be to open my own garage…I would love the opportunity
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
to provide fair and affordable auto care to those who can’t afford to be ripped-off by mechanics.” Automotive classes were reintroduced at SMC after a hiatus of nearly six years. Up until 2003, the classes were conducted in facilities on the Pico Boulevard side of Drescher Hall. Now they are held at the Lexus-Toyota dealership on Ninth Street and Colorado Boulevard in Santa Monica. The facility looks like NASA commissioned it. It is a cavernous repair “hanger” lined with hydraulic lifts along each side and equipped with the latest gadgetry capable of dealing with an increasingly computerized industry. However, it can only be used in the evenings after normal business hours. Fran Chandler, chair of the SMC business department and one the people who awarded Fabian with his certificate, understands how fortuitous and beneficial the premises are to SMC. “Mike Sullivan, the owner, and Dennis Erikson, the facilities manager, have been incredibly generous in donating their time and such an amazing facility to educate [SMC] students,” said Chandler. “Our students have been lucky to learn in such a high-tech, real world environment.” Should the courses, which were tentatively introduced with the proviso that they prove to be popular with students, continue to gather the high enrollment figures that they have thus far received, Chandler said that it is highly probable SMC will once again have its own on-campus automotive facility. This, she said, might be at the proposed Career Technical Education building slated to be built at the Bundy campus by 2117, “should funding become available for it.” Aside from the course in maintenance and operation, SMC offers two more classes in braking and electrical systems. All three classes are specially designed to provide students with a fundamental
David Dolmage Corsair Eric Fabian is the first person to receive a certificate of completion in Santa Monica College’s Introductory Automotive Technology progrom.
overview of each operating system, all the while introducing cutting-edge techniques that will help them to come to grips with an industry that is becoming increasingly hightech. “In the ’60s you could get a screwdriver and a hammer, give [the engine] a good whack and it would start,” said Jose Camacho, one of two automotive professors at SMC. “Now, cars are more and more computerized… It’s complex. Everything is in the software.” Camacho also said that as vehicles continue to evolve, eschewing high pollutants in favor of more sustainable fuels, it is imperative that the technicians of today stay current with trends in order to get the best possible jobs once their training is complete. While the thought of getting stripped down and dirty with your two-liter, four cylinder combustion engine may seem daunting to the
uninitiated, Camacho stressed that the courses offered are suitable for all levels of experience, even those who think an oil change means finding a different suntan lotion. “Sometimes you can possess the gift without really knowing it,” said Camacho. “So many students come who don’t know a thing about cars, but after only a little while they’re doing as well as anybody” This sentiment is echoed by Fabian, who admits that when he first started he found it difficult, regularly “getting stuck on the basics.” However, with Camacho’s “patience and passion to show him every little [detail],” he said it soon got easier. “I quickly felt more confident…I felt powerful. I started working on cars more then I played on video games.” If Fabian’s efforts are anything to go by, it seems as though SMC’s latest automotive course is here to stay.
1960s Chicano activist movement who fought for minority and labor worker civil rights. By leading numerous strikes and boycotts, he and other workers achieved the first industry-wide labor contract. He was a common man who had a vision for equality, justice, and dignity for the Chicano community. When Fred Ross, founder of the Community Service Organization (CSO), hired Chavez as a community organizer in 1952, only 1 percent of agriculture workers had healthcare. Chavez established the National Farm Worker’s Association in 1962 (which later became the United Farm Workers of America) to ensure that workers would no longer have to work in inhumane conditions and that each would be entitled to a fair, livable wage. “The next time someone eats fruit, they should know about the workers that fought for their rights and the amount of labor that goes into that little piece of fruit,” said Andrea Avila, President of the Association of Latin American Students (ALAS). Avila, who has been an active member of ALAS since 2007, explains that people now no longer remember who Chavez was and have difficulty recalling what Chavez did for Chicano rights. “Our whole purpose is teaching others about what he accomplished for the community” said Avila.
Justin Quintanilla, publicist for the ALAS and an active member since 2007, explained that while it is an honor to celebrate Cesar Chavez and his contributions to the Latino community, just having a festival and a day off from classes is still not enough to pay respect to what he accomplished. “I’ve learned a lot of selfempowerment from being Chicano, said Quintanilla. “How you perceive yourself with labels is how you live your life.” Because of Chavez, he explained, the label “Chicano” is now seen as something positive, allowing Latinos to have a sense of pride and dignity in their heritage. Quintanilla and Dora Chaves, historian for ALAS, performed a skit on the quad about life in the mid-1960s. They portrayed two farm workers in the fields conversing about what Chavez had done by protesting for their equal rights and discussed how they felt about working long hours and being paid below minimum wage. Juan Lopez, Vice President of ALAS, said that Chavez stood up for the right of Chicanos to have a decent life. “The impact Chavez had on the Latino people transcends beyond the amount of dedication anyone has [had] for the community,” said Lopez.
Cesar Chavez Day reminds students to remember where their produce comes from
Jennifer Martinez Corsair The Association of Latin American Student member Bianca Alcantara, 20, holding a poster of Cesar Chavez at Santa Monica College on March 30.
By Jeremy Biglow Staff Writer Tuesday, March 30 marked the Cesar Chavez celebration at Santa Monica College. Students gathered and explained
how Chavez was the first successful civil rights activist for minorities fighting for fair wages, humane living and medical coverage for labor farm workers. Cesar Chavez, born March 31, 1927 in Yuma, Arizona, was a leader in the
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Wednesday April 7, 2010
Reform is long overdue, it is time for the Catholic Church to change its ways By Farhan Ali Staff Writer Over the years we have become accustomed to hearing about Catholic priests molesting children. What was once an essentially American secret has become a worldwide abuse issue. Last week, Larry King interviewed Arthur Budzinski, 61, who was molested as a child by Father Lawrence Murphy, a priest at St. John’s School for the Deaf in Milwaukee. “Father Murphy asked me to go into a closet and then molested me in the closet,” Budzinski said through an interpreter. “I was shocked...It happened three times to me.” This is just one of the many molestation reports that people have been hearing about in the past couple of years. Many have been reported outside the United States, such as in Germany, Italy and Ireland, according to The Guardian, a British newspaper. Pope Benedict XVI is having a tough time handling the situation. The Los Angeles Times stated that he sent a letter to the Irish clergy where he “chastised Irish bishops for leadership shortcomings and errors in judgment for failing to apply church law to stop abusive priests.” According to the Times, Vatican spokesman the Rev. Federico Lombardi commented on the church’s response to the incidents. “Recognizing [the incidents] and making amends to the victims is the price of re-establishing justice and ‘purifying memories’ that will let us look with renewed commitment together with humility and trust in the future,” he said in a statement on Vatican Radio. So the message that comes across is that they may molest our children to satisfy their desires and, to be forgiven, all they have to do is own up to their behavior and apologize to the families. That will not help heal the psychological damage they have inflicted upon these children, nor will it help those children lead normal and fulfilling lives.
Lombardi stated that making amends would help “purify memories” so that we can all work together in the future. Basically he wants to buy back people’s loyalty to the church. And seeing as how the church has nearly unlimited assets and resources at its disposal, that seems easy enough. Bill Maher, a liberal talk show host and comedian, spoke about the issue in his show “Real Time with Bill Maher” two weeks ago. He raised an interesting question: If you were a part of an organization that treats children like this, wouldn’t you quit it or try to change it? He argued that people don’t change the institution. “If this was a chain of day care centers, they would’ve rolled it up and hundreds of people would be in jail right now,” Maher said. “The only reason why they are not is because it is religion.” Maher said the reason this happened was because celibacy eliminated people from the priesthood that would not do this sort of thing. “It attracts the wrong kind of people because they know it’s the wrong kind of place. It’s where the boys are,” Maher said. “The Pope should stop denying the link between celibacy and people who get into an organization to be with little boys.” There must be accountability and the church should respond to public opinion. The United States was founded on the basis of separation between church and state, but when situations like these become commonplace, it is time to reestablish justice. There were about 200 priests removed from their posts in 2002, according to ABC News. However, if priests are still molesting children after these punishments, the punishment is clearly not stringent enough. It is time to bring about major reform to the Catholic Church. Since the church is clearly hiring the wrong crowd, it is time to consider overhauling the ordination process.
Jhosef Hern, Corsair
The church is naturally creating a bad name for itself when its inaction appears to perpetuate abuses. The Catholic Church should revisit the issue if celibacy, as Protestant churches have done, background checks should be conducted every year and priests should be kept under
a microscope so that clergy are not allowed to do this. People go to priests for leadership and guidance. When the supremacy of the priesthood is lost amidst sordid and psychologically crippling acts, one thing is certain: the Catholic Church’s legitimacy will be among its casualties.
Associated Students fall short in providing open and fair elections
Upon reading the mission statement released by the Associated Students, one would assume that as students, our voices would be heard and that the AS would openly disclose information largely considered public knowledge. In fact, the preamble to the AS Constitution states that the AS exists “to promote the intellectual, social, educational, and cultural welfare of the students” of SMC. Based on such words, one would assume student involvement with the AS would be encouraged. However, when it came to this election, that wasn’t the case. The AS chose to move the candidate application deadline in order to procure students for all positions. This gave the impression that the AS was ready to play ball and make this race truly democratic. The day after the candidate application deadline, a list of candidates running for the 2010-2011 term was given to the Corsair. However, this was only after several uninformed people in the AS office had
told a Corsair reporter that the list would be unavailable to the public until voting day. The AS did not provide the Corsair with candidate contact information due to their rather strict interpretation of privacy laws. The Corsair delegated reporters and photographers to cover the election, however due to several failed attempts by our staff to obtain useable information from the AS, the paper was not able to cover the election as comprehensively as we had hoped. The AS elections began on Monday, April 5. Candidates were not given a proper forum to speak and share their statements with the voters until yesterday, when the AS presidential candidates held a debate in the main quad. However, little notice of the debate was given to students. The timeline allotted by the AS was not enough to run a legitimate campaign. And while online voting polls were opened to students on Monday, April 5, students still have no way of accessing information as to who is running or what their platforms
represent because the current administration remains tight-lipped. In fact, a meet-and-greet with the AS candidates won’t happen until this Thursday when candidates will set up tables along the quad to answer students’ questions and discuss the issues. Thursday, coincidentally, is also the day when the polls close, giving students roughly twelve hours between noon and midnight to make a semi-informed decision. How many uninformed students will actually vote for these specter candidates over the next two days is a mystery, but, hypothetically, the statistic “80 percent of the student vote” doesn’t have the same impact when it is based on a pool of ten voters, does it? It is not solely the current administration’s responsibility to make the next term’s election competitive and fair. Candidates must also be held accountable for not calling more attention to themselves, though you would think that this is something that would benefit their position.
A few candidates have used Facebook to spread the word, but are failing to reach the majority of students. Campaign signs can be found around campus, but they are haphazardly and sparsely placed and do little to inform. And even if the signs were plentiful, simply bombarding students with pretty faces rather than a focus on the issues further perpetuates the pretense of this election. In theory, the election of our student representatives is an exercise in representative democracy. However, in its present state, it is a subversion of the democratic process, where candidates are rushed through their campaigns under a media blackout. A free-flow of information is essential to any functioning democracy. Significant to this process is the unfettered access of the news media to candidates and election information. We ask of the AS to create a more timely election that encourages student participation. Rather than count on raffles or ice cream vouchers to draw in voters, count on student interest. Really. Just give us a chance.
Wednesday April 7, 2010
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Liz Cheney’s indifference for the accused has no place in American justice By Farhan Ali Staff Writer Recently Liz Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, created a new storm in the already messy world of American politics, and showed how dirty Republican politics has become. Last month, the New York Times reported that Liz Cheney lashed out against Department of Justice lawyers who defended suspected terrorists. Seen as a rising star in the Republican Party, Liz Cheney is a lawyer and former state department official. She currently runs the advocacy group Keep America Safe. According to their mission statement, Keep America Safe (KAS) wishes to inform “concerned Americans about critical national security issues.” The use of the word “concerned” makes the assumption that many of us are not concerned about the well being of this country. Cheney slammed the lawyers through a video released by KAS on March 1. The 48-second YouTube clip put Attorney General Eric Holder’s judgment on the line regarding Justice Department lawyers who previously defended suspected terrorists. The video questioned the loyalty of the lawyers as well as President Obama and Eric Holder. Furthermore, the video questioned
why Holder didn’t release the name of seven of the nine lawyers who had defended suspected terrorists. The video refers to the lawyers as the “AlQaeda Seven,” a slam that, according to the Times, crossed lines even for some conservatives. According to the Huffington Post, Senator Lindsey Graham, former defense attorney and a Republican from South Carolina, condemned the ad. “I’ve been a military lawyer for almost 30 years, I represented people as a defense attorney in the military that were charged with some pretty horrific acts, and I gave them my all,” Graham said. “This system of justice that we’re so proud of in America requires the unpopular to have an advocate and every time a defense lawyer fights to make the government do their job, that defense lawyer has made us all safer.” The Federalist Society, a 25-yearold group advocating conservative and libertarian policies, has criticized Cheney’s comments, stating that every individual has the right to a lawyer. Because attorneys defend suspected terrorists, they push prosecutors to
provide the necessary evidence to prove guilt. By so doing, they protect all of our rights and ensure people are not thrown in jail by flimsy evidence. One person’s violated rights, is a violation against us all. Terrorists have killed people and spread terror, just like criminals do. They deserve legal representation. The Bill of Rights is very clear on the matter. According to the Sixth Amendment, “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to... the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.” A key word to notice in the clause is “all.” Not some, not U.S. citizens only, but rather, all. People tried within the boundaries of the United States have the right to a lawyer. Period. Every time I listen to Republicans, I get caught up with their patriotic rhetoric, but after some thinking, I am always reminded of author Samuel Johnson’s famous quote, “Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.” Politics is a strange game of perception. Polls, statements and media appearances all get taken out of context in the game of getting things done. Overall, I would have to say
One person’s violated rights is a violation against us all.
some, like Liz Cheney, have lost touch with reality. Some Republicans chose to ignore the word “all” in the Sixth Amendment. They believe that right should be only for American criminals. But as stated in the Bill of Rights, “all” deserve counsel. Lawyers have made America safe by making the government work hard to prosecute suspected terrorists at Gitmo. Keep America Safe wants to strengthen America’s national security and these lawyers are doing it for them, but KAS sees them as terrorists. This is why so many Republicans have become unhinged from reality. They pick and choose what works for them and twist those ideas for their own purposes. Democrats do this as well, but Republicans have a sketchy track record. Members like Liz Cheney muck up American politics to a new level. If her father were to be accused of lying to the American public to sell a war and ordering people to be tortured, he would get the best governmentappointed lawyers for the case. That is the beauty of American jurisprudence; even those considered deplorable are kept safe from mob justice. If only Liz Cheney and friends shared these values. Then they too could understand the core tenets of our Constitution.
Newspaper 08 Corsair Santa Monica College
Lack of interest in AS elections is reflected through the small number of students attending the AS Presidential Debate on April 6, 2010 on the quad at Santa Monica College. Althea Anderson Corsair
Associated student presidential candidate, Kayo Johnson, gives his closing speech after and Dona Davoodi, who spoke on behalf of Eli Appel on April 6, 2010.
AS Elections, cont
Jennifer Martinez Corsair
Speaking for AS presidential candidate, Eli Appel, student trustee nominee, Dona Davoodi, speaks about solving the student budget at the AS debate at Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, Calif. April 6, 2010.
4) How will you help international students with regard to in semester even as classes are being cut? Inabu proposes to work with the Board of Trustees and “will exhaust every heard.” Johnson proposed that money automatically allotted by the school cover in On behalf of Appel, Davoodi proposed that the school have a program like status when enrolling for classes at the beginning of each term. 5) How will you contribute to the issue of transportation? Inabu commented that the AS budget, which exceeds $1.2 million, is subst urges students to take advantage of options like parking at the satellite cam parking spaces on surrounding community streets. Johnson recommended that SMC take the steps to close the gap between d only the Big Blue Bus simply would not suffice, said Johnson. Appel’s rep, Davoodi, proposed approaching the city of Santa Monica for for current students within adjacent neighborhoods. 6) Following the debate, all candidates responded to further quest Inabu guaranteed the students that she would govern realistically and thou assuring students that their concerns would be heard by her slate. Johnson concluded that “leadership is an action and not a position. It doe doing something, it means you are in a position.” Although he respects and a to utilize his position as AS President to make active changes. On behalf of Appel, Davoodi said, “We are the students, we are the under outlet for the silent majority of students whose voices are not heard. In a pep talk following the debate, incumbent AS President Cameron Hento “Please treat each other respectfully,” said Henton. “You are running on w person is bad.” The polls are open until midnight on Thursday and results will be publishe
S T O RY
Wednesday April 7, 2010
Monique Michaels Corsair
AS Presidential candidate, Tiffany Inabu, gives her closing statement at the AS debate. “We will absolutely do everything in our power to have your voices heard,” said Inabu.
r an intense debate in the SMC quad. Looking on, are fellow candidates Tiffany Inabu
tinued from page 1
ncreased unit fees, and the requirement to maintain 12 units a
y possible way to work with whoever can get international students’ voices
nternational students’ expenses. e the Scholar Program, implemented to give international students priority
tantial enough to continue utilizing the school’s Big Blue Bus program. She mpuses and disagrees with the suggestion of requesting more non-metered
different transportation entities from all over Los Angeles. Having access to money to build another lot, or to allocate more parking spaces exclusively
tions by making closing statements: ughtfully. “We are not going to make any empty promises,” she said, while
esn’t matter if you hold 15 positions on campus. That does not mean you are admires his opponents for being involved with student government, he plans
rdogs, we are not in the spotlight.” She supported her slate’s position as an
on advised all running candidates to remember why they are running. who you are and why you’re the best person for the job; not why the other
ed on April 9. Elected candidates will begin their term in the fall semester.
Monique Michaels Corsair
(From left to right) Kayo Johnson, Dona Davoodi and Tiffany Inabu pose for a picture after the AS Presidential Debate.
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Honest Abe draws blood By Sean Carpenter Staff Writer Author Seth Grahame-Smith struck literary gold when he combined the brilliance of Jane Austen with the bonecrunching madness of the walking dead to create the New York Times’ best seller “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.” With this novel under his belt and a resulting prequel, Grahame-Smith’s latest release proves that raising the undead is not only popular, but a way to bring new readers to old themes. With the success of “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies” and resulting prequel “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls,” Grahame-Smith’s recent release uses a similar formula. This time, instead of using a classic work of fiction, Grahame-Smith retells the life and times of a historically iconic American figure, and spices it up with some blood-sucking creatures of the night. The result; “Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter.” Although this popular genre of fiction may seem to be wearing thin, and despite other literary releases of similar type such as “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters,” Grahame-Smith’s revisionist approach is one that has not only found appreciation from both intellectuals and unseasoned readers alike, but has also sparked interest
LIFESTYLE 30 days of going green: fun with vermi composting Wednesday April 7, 2010
in Grahame-Smith’s literary derivatives. Samantha Flicker, SMC English major, is one student whose background in English literature gives weight to her opinion of Grahame-Smith’s innovative approach. “I am usually very opinionated when it comes to movie adaptations or re-inventions of one of my favorite stories, [but] I actually loved “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” said Flicker. Flicker went on to state that the zombification of classics made reading seem more approachable. After some of her friends picked up the book due to its undead theme, they started asking her about the original Austen story. “Once they realize that the language is not nearly as difficult as they had feared, they slowly grow to love the original Austen story and move on to read other stories by Austen,” Flicker said. The book opens with a package and letter being delivered to a character named Seth Grahame-Smith (we need not guess who this character is modeled after). A onceaspiring writer who now works as a cashier, Seth Grahame-Smith opens the package to discover ten leather-bound books, written by the sixteenth president himself, along with instructions to turn them into an original manuscript. The subsequent story unfolds to narrate Abraham Lincoln’s formative years, ascension into political notoriety and subsequent demise. After a vampire murders his mother, Lincoln vows to
See ‘Abe’ on Page 09...
Nicole Ritter Corsair Alessandra Catanese shows off the final product of her new compost bin on April 5, 2010 in Los Angeles, CA.
By Alessandra Catanese Staff Writer According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, landfills are the secondlargest human related source of methane, reported to be a major contributor to the depletion of our ozone layer. In 2007 alone, landfills created 23 percent of all methane emissions on our planet. Looking for a green way to help? Composting! That was this week’s project. My roommates have been pretty accepting and helpful of my new “green” ways, which does make life a lot easier. If your housemates get freaked out about composting, you can proudly assure them that vermi-composting (composting using worms) is not only odor-free, but it is also completely sanitary too. Composting not only helps reduce waste, but it can also save you money. The end product of a well-composted bin is a nutrient-rich fertilizer that can help grow hearty plants and vegetables at home. Small, organic gardens can flourish outside on a balcony or patio. I couldn’t resist starting one of my own. My patio is a bit too small, so I brought my compost bin to my friend’s apartment. She has a large balcony where she grows everything from strawberries to spinach, so she was an ideal hostess. To start my composting adventure, I googled, yahoo’d, youtube’d, and even asked Jeeves for the best and cheapest ways to doit-yourself. I found out that composting can take anywhere from a few short months to a year, depending on the amount of food waste and the location of your compost bin. Specially made compost bins can be found at any local hardware or gardening store, but they can be rather pricey. To help us fledgling farmers, the cities of Santa Monica and Los Angeles have a worm bin compost distribution program (smartgardening.com) that sells vermicomposting bins to residents for $33.23 and $66.46 to non-residents. I wanted to experience the full spectrum of this experiment, so I chose to make my own compost bin at home with some old stuff
I found in my parent’s garage, and some cheap hardware options from Smart & Final. In order to make my own composting bin, I had to first consider size. The size typically depends on how much waste your household creates. I live in a small apartment with three roommates and we create a lot of food waste, so I got a 2 feet high trash bin, drilled ten tiny holes along the sides and the bottom of one bin and placed it inside the other bin. This gives the worms some breathing room, and lets the juices drip to the bottom to be collected later. The worms were a little more difficult to find. I called all the local gardening supplies stores, hardware stores, and a few bait shops, but either they were sold out for the week or they didn’t sell worms at all. After a long search, I finally found Lara Laskay of Urban-Worms.com. Located in North Hollywood, she sets up Urban Worm booths at farmer’s markets in Pasadena and Studio City during the weekends. Laskay was more then helpful in explaining some of the wormworkings of vermicomposting and holds local informational workshops that are listed on her Web site. If you’re worried about amounts of worms threatening your sanitation or stinking up your apartment, Laskay can put your fears to rest. “A lot of people are scared of the worms being unsanitary, but they are actually very sanitary, “ said Laskay. She explained how red worms specifically consume the bacteria from decaying food, literally eating the bad smell out of your future soil. Next I got some pointers from Gina Garcia, SMC’s director of sustainable works. Not only does sustainable works have two vermi-compost bins in their backyard, but the school has one on the main campus by the dumpsters as well. Garcia explained how compost bins can be stored almost anywhere, especially if worms are used. Ideally, you should store the larger compost bins outside, away from direct sunlight. Heat does help the food decompose faster, but the worms will try to escape if it gets too hot. “Try to keep the mixture damp, but not too wet; the consistency of a damp sponge,” said Garcia. Worms won’t make it smell, but moisture will. To prevent this, just add more newspaper, dead leaves, or sawdust to reduce the moisture. Garcia also advised to avoid any meats, fats, oils, dairy, or citrus, because they strongly attract critters and animals that hurt the worms and composting process. Putting it all together does get a little messy, but it is worth it in the end. When your composts have finished, that final product, called worm castings (aka worm poop) is the best fertilizer for any vegetables, flowers or plants you would want to grow. Vermi-composting also produces a “wormtea” which is caught at the bottom of the larger bin leaking out of the holes of the interior bin. After you collect this you can give it back to your plants for some extra growing support. Would you look at that? The elements of nature actually work together. I can’t wait to see the transformation from food to flora. Check out my journey at thecorsaironline. com and remember to stay green!
Wednesday April 7, 2010
By John Stapleton IV Staff Writer Local dive bars are a dime a dozen, and typically provide that cramped, smoky atmosphere of dubious rapscallions we’re used to seeing in “that bar fight scene” of every corny movie – think Tatooine’s Mos Eisley Cantina from Star Wars. Ordinarily, there’s cheap booze, out-of-date jukeboxes, and nobody cares if someone gets lightsabered in the corner. And yet, for the sake of proximity, we keep going. If that pretty much sums up what you’ve come to expect from your local hole in the wall, Saints and Sinners Lounge offers you salvation. This dive bar almost isn’t, and once you walk inside (for free) you’ll swear you’re
‘Abe’ continued from Page 08... destroy the undead, waging war against all vampires as he proceeds through his extraordinary life. Like its literary predecessor “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” which used 85 percent of Jane Austen’s original text according to a review in the New York Times, “Vampire Hunter” follows suit by accurately depicting the history of Lincoln’s life, while adding entertaining action, and at times humorous events as causal reasons for what propelled Lincoln into some of his most famous political endeavors. With an acute sense of revisionism, Grahame-Smith artfully subverts famously historical events, such as the Civil War and Emancipation Proclamation, to make the reader believe that these events were in fact caused by the undead and Lincoln’s hate for vampires. “I loved ‘Vampire Hunter,’” said SMC student and history major Dominique Moreau. “I’ve read all of [Grahame-Smith’s] books. I couldn’t put any of them down. [His work] is like looking at a piece of fine art while the world is ending. I can’t wait for his next appeal to history and classicism.” Although Smith Graham’s work has been widely accepted and praised for its use of classic literature and historical figures, some people believe his work to be a subversion of literary integrity. “’Pride and Prejudice and Zombies’ was a sad attempt at using something from popular culture and trying to meld it with a classic work of literature to make money,” said SMC student Gabriel Argueta. “[Grahame-Smith] took a classic and ruined it with a shallow piece of American popculture. I skimmed through [“Vampire Hunter”] and found it to be the same tired formula.” With the use of such classic novels and iconic figures, there’s no wonder why Grahame-Smith’s works have been met with such controversy. Yet, with many flocking to the bookshelves with each of GrahameSmith’s releases, and its current number six standing on the New York Times’ best seller list, it seems that his use of this formula will keep selling, and selling well.
ly not in Culver City anymore. The layout is elegant and inviting, the leather couches and cushy barstools are simply divine, and the décor is sophisticatedly classic, accented with velvet patterned wallpaper, little glowing chandeliers, and marble cherubim. But this ain’t no cathedral, as the dominant color scheme seems to be “lava,” everything is on fire, and the drinks are simply sinister. This neighborhood favorite made its debut four years ago under the management of Nick Amado, who wanted to create a local environment that shared equal parts elegance and decadence. He did that by creating the most luxuriously decorated bar in town, without issuing a pretentious cover, or charging $20-a-drink for the “privilege” of getting smashed in style. Enter Prometheus. When 12-year veteran
barman Ian Malcolm joined the bar staff, he brought with him a tradition that has become one of Saints & Sinners’ most celebrated spectacles: fire breathing. “What better place to blow fire in than a place called Saints and Sinners?” he asked rhetorically. “This place is special. We have rock stars for bartenders; it’s not just drinks and TV’s. People come here for the show behind the bar. They come here for the experience.” But Malcolm was preaching to the choir, as the friendly ambiance of this bar is apparent as soon as you pass through its pearly gates. The sanctifying experience extends from the VIP-esque sitting lounge, to the ultramodern natural gas fireplace, to the surprisingly accommodating smoker’s balcony. But in order to be a true sinner’s sanctuary in this City of Angels, this bar would need a miracle. And by “a miracle” I mean, “whatever music I want.” Cue angelic chorus. Saints & Sinners literally lets it patrons pick the soundtrack, plugging your iPod into the sound system for up to 30 minutes. The crowd decides what music stays and what music goes, and if you last the whole half hour without getting gonged, an angel gets
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
its wings you get a free drink. As expected, Saints & Sinners makes no qualms about baptism by fire, offering seven specialty drinks – one for every deadly sin – with which you can exercise your demons. Good luck getting away from the bar without a regular buying you a “Hellfire” – the bar’s signature shot – which is delivered en flambé and bombed into a pint of Monster Energy Drink. It goes down like a demon, but the aftertaste is purely seraphim and cinnamon. This balancing act between good and evil, pain and pleasure, formality and fornication plays out beautifully at Saints & Sinners. As Poe would put it, “That motley drama – oh, be sure, it shall not be forgot.” It’s posh enough to win Malibu regulars, and divey enough to keep the crowd dynamic and returning. “I wish this bar existed in the Valley,” says Absolut promotion girl/sinfully sexy angel Iris Almaro. “You can tell this is a neighborhood bar, the crowd is talking, the music’s great, there’s no need for a taxi, no parking issues, no cover, cheaper drinks and nicer people. And then they do their little fire show.” Amen, sister.
Club Grow blooms amidst thorny issues By Jeremy Biglow Staff Writer Even with Santa Monica College’s priority of sustainability, growing a campus garden has proven to be somewhat of a thorny issue. Club Grow started in 2007 as “The Dirt Farmers,” the brainchild of Melody Overstreet and Natasha Vokhshoori, former SMC Associated Student officers and current students of UC Santa Cruz. As “farmers,” they led the charge by pushing the garden project idea through the necessary committees to become a fully functioning campus club. Once the founders left SMC, the remaining members evolved into the club now known as Club Grow. Due to few participating faculty members, complex paperwork and funding issues, Club Grow has dealt with a variety of obstacles in starting an organic garden at SMC. Since the club wasn’t well-known, few campus staff knew of its goal. Finding a permanent spot for the garden was a challenge for Club Grow. SMC President Chui L. Tsang approved a lot for the garden in front of the Arts Complex at the main campus. However, Club Grow is expected to create a two-year plan describing a system for maintaining the garden. “Groundbreaking on the organic garden and getting it established and planted is the number one objective,” said Dana Morgan, SMC English professor and Club Grow advisor. Morgan, currently on sabbatical to research how gardening can be integrated into the college curriculum, has been a devoted member of the club since its inception. Since she is on leave, Amber Katherine, chairmen of the Environmental Affairs Committee, has volunteered to be the club advisor in her absence. Morgan also travels around to various schools observing different types of educational gardening programs. She
records her findings in her blog at AvantGarden.org, where she discusses gardening initiatives around the Santa Monica area. “My contributions to the club have included input from my knowledge into how other gardens are set up and managed,” says Morgan. “There are many different models out there.” On her return, Morgan says she will try and encourage the use of the garden to her students. She plans on teaching her students how to nurture and care for the plants, teaching them to integrate growing food into their daily life. SMC’s Global Council has selected next year’s theme to center around the subject of food. Springing from that theme, Club Grow plans to plant a diverse range of edible flora in their
gardens. “Since there is a vast amount of different cultures at SMC, the garden could be used as a sense of home,” says Natasha Gorodnitski, SMC’s Director of Sustainability, who is also a current acting member of Club Grow. In an effort to reach their goal, Club Grow formulated a survey asking faculty how they might implement the garden into the curriculum. Club Grow hopes the garden will be used as an educational tool, proving that the garden will be more than just a pretty backdrop for SMC. “I plan on giving my students the opportunity to understand more thoroughly, through nurturing plants and writing about it, the values held by people for whom growing their own food is a way of life,” said Morgan.
David Dolmage Corsair On Tuesday April 6th, 2010, Grow Club members discussed the types of uses they have in mind for the garden as well as proposed plant types with consultant Yarrow Collins.
CALENDAR “Titan” remake struggles and clashes on the big screen 10
Wednesday April 7, 2010
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disputes of the heavens threatening to plunge men into hell on earth, the only hope of salvation is that an unlikely fisherman will accept his place among those whom he hates – the gods – and use his power to save mankind. Director Louis Leterrier (“Transporter 2,” “The Incredible Hulk”) puts his spin on “Titans” by adding momentarily entertaining (albeit hard to follow) action and adventure scenes. Given the strikingly
boring deliveries of recycled dialogue, it is probably a good thing that the performances are not the primary focus of the picture. The battle to save mankind is accompanied by little character development or conflict (besides the overtly obvious) anywhere in the story. Frankly, none of the characters were compelling and the dialogue was extremely mediocre. I would give an example if I could remember one. At least audiences found the 1981 script “campy.” This script’s salute to its predecessor ends up being an unintentional bad joke at times, and at other times it is just, well, boring. Worthington portrays a protagonist with almost no internal or external dynamics. His version of Perseus looks out-of-place with a buzz cut and it seems like an eternity, about halfway through the movie, when he finally starts changing facial expressions and delivering emotionally vacant dialogue. Acting-wise, “Titans” is a large waste of screen possibilities. With Ralph Fiennes embodying a potentially memorable Hades and Liam Neeson playing Zeus, it is a wonder why the studios didn’t give them adequate screen time or quality material to work with. That is surely a change that could have made this version that much better or at least interesting. These two actors starred opposite in Spielberg’s ‘Schindler’s List’ with roles not too much unlike the aforementioned.
There are some attractive, almostengaging visuals throughout the movie such as the giant scorpions and the infamous Kraken. The journey to the underworld, where Perseus goes to confront Hades, is a particularly impressive sequence, which appears to combine computer graphics with actual sets. Special effects and make-up do justice to this updated tale, creating a couple of awesomelooking minor characters like Medusa, halfsnake, half-woman. Unfortunately, all the quality effects fail to coalesce, mostly due to the dispensable script that does not bring significance to the visual elements. Last but not least, it is important to note that this film was rushed into 3-D formatting during post-production. It may be a studio executive strategy that will succeed in increasing the box office numbers (more expensive tickets) but the sloppily rendered three dimensional items do nothing to make the action, or for that matter, the movie, any better. You will probably enjoy the 2-D version just as much. Bottom-line: This film is not far off from the original. The special effects sequences are pretty cool; however, they don’t make up for the lack of characterization or plot structure. If you’d enjoy two hours of mythological eye-candy, with little else, this movie may be a godsend.
Directed by Janie Jones, the drama revolves around Hedley and his efforts to make enough money to provide for his family. Hedley tries to make ends meet by selling stolen refrigerators so that he can open up a video store with his partner in crime, Mister. In “King Hedley II,” Wilson’s characters all face the harsh reality of black American life in the 1980s. Social problems like poverty and violence are addressed, where guns frequently accessorize and gangrelated problems are commonplace. Jonathan Sherman delivers a stable and convincing performance as King Hedley II. Performing in his second production at SMC, Sherman describes the character of
Hedley as different from other characters he has previously played. “He is a man who wants a lot and he is very violent,” Sherman said. Sherman did not want to reveal too much about the play, though the ending will shock you, he said. Supporting Hedley’s character is Celia M. Rivera as Tonya. Rivera delivers a shining performance of a strong woman carrying Hedley’s child. Tonya is a woman who values a stable family life instead of materialistic things. While Hedley lives with the illusion that money will take away all the problems that are surrounding him, Tonya fights to make Hedley see beyond his pride and materialism.
The language in this play sets this production apart from others. It is dynamic and adds personality to its characters. The actors and actresses perform many emotional monologues and the dialect puts it into a cultural context. The issues that Wilson addresses in his play are still relevant in America, 25 years later. Violence, poverty, and limited opportunity are common elements in today’s society, fueled by segregation and race-related issues. “King Hedley II” runs Friday through Sunday from April 2 to April 11 at the SMC Main Stage. Discounted tickets for all SMC students are available at the box office.
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
By Andre Alexander Martin Contributor In the highly computer-generated mythological extravaganza, “The Clash of the Titans,” Perseus (Sam Worthington), a half-man, half-god seeking revenge, leads a band of warriors against the perils of forbidden worlds, fantastical creatures and the gods themselves. With the terribly underplayed domestic
King Hedley II: New play takes center stage at SMC By Emil Norlén Staff Writer In a dark backyard in Pittsburgh, Pa., come travel back to the year of 1985, a world where hard lines are drawn between races, greed propels people to violence and love’s influence brings surprising results. Amidst the darkness, you find yourself in the world of “King Hedley II.” “King Hedley II” opened on Friday, April 2 on the Main Stage at Santa Monica College. This August Wilson play is one of ten in Wilson’s ten-play Pittsburgh cycle. Wilson’s plays span different decades as they focus on the twentieth century African-American experience.
Wednesday April 7, 2010
“Music of the People” puts new twist on classics By Alica Forneret Staff Writer In the dimly lit Edye Second Space theater, Karen Benjamin’s voice rang out into the audience with a question: “Through all the tumult and the strife, I hear the music ringing. It finds an echo in my soul; how can I keep from singing?” This song, the first set of four performed, introduced the audience to a project created by Benjamin to reflect on music written during the 19th century. On Tues., March 30, Karen Benjamin, Charles Lane, Yulia Kozlova and Alan Chapman performed a preview of the recital, “Music of the People, By the People, and For the People.” The songs touched on both positive and negative aspects of American life that rang true then and ring true now. In addition to songs like “How Can I Keep From Singing,” the show included “$8 a Day,” a commentary on government wages, and “Single Girl.” Arranger, narrator and bass player for the show, Alan Chapman commented on the fact that these songs allow people living in today’s society to relate to the past through a cultural outlet. “We put [these songs] on a pedestal almost because these are the songs of the people,” he said. “And they’re right up there with any other art that you can think of.” The fuel for this project ignited when operatic singer Benjamin stumbled upon a book of American folk songs. “I found this book and what I noticed from going through these divine lyrics was
how poignant they are today to the state of the world,” said Benjamin. Along with Benjamin’s interest in performing the songs for historical purposes, the other performers each had special motivation for being a part of the show. Pianist Yulia Kozlova, a native of Russia, said, “I recently became a citizen of the United States and I thought it would be good to become familiar with the music of the country.” Lane also found meaning behind the show as it allowed him to perform songs from a more spiritual spectrum of American history. The team took the feelings of turmoil and stress emitting from these songs, as well as the uplifting themes of love and perseverance, and exhibited these sentiments in an unconventional manner. The songs were also arranged in a way to suit the talents of the performers. The singing style is classical but simultaneously involves spurts of dancing jigs and voice inflections like the southern twang. “It’s not the usual. We’ve turned them into art songs for classical singers to sing,” said Benjamin. Following what they believe will be a successful second run on April 9, the group hopes to move the show outside of SMC and have it accepted by the rest of the country. “I am sure we will go on to perform this show many times for larger and larger audiences across the country, with our eyes on the prize: The White House,” said Lane. The second showing will be at 7:30 p.m. on April 9.
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Siddhartha Abbazi Corsair
Soprano Karen Benjamin and tenor Charles Lane performed various American folk songs, spirituals, and revolutionary music of the 19th century at the Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center on Tuesday March 30, 2010.
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
S P O RT S
Wednesday April 7, 2010
Women keep Corsair swim team afloat at Citrus Invitational By John Stapleton IV Staff Writer
Last Saturday, the Corsair swim team competed in the Citrus College Invitational against rival schools Citrus and Pasadena College. While SMC didn’t win the meet, they displayed an impressive resolve and certainly proved to be a force worth reckoning with come conference finals in late April. The meet consisted of a fast-paced preliminary round followed by a short break, and then went immediately into finals, forcing competitors to demonstrate both speed and stamina. The Corsairs spent the day completing in the Glendora-held invite that lasted a strenuous eight hours. While the meet was intentionally grueling, it gave the Corsairs a chance to show their prowess, as well as an opportunity to test their mettle against the opposing Citrus Fighting Owls and Pasadena Lancers. The meet’s scoring system, based on cumulative wins, automatically put SMC at a disadvantage due in large part to the number of Corsair swimmers who were unable to attend. Despite the drawback of having fewer
participants, the Corsairs valiantly engaged the opposition, compensating for their handicap with a brilliant display of team chemisty and cohesion. Despite the men’s aggressive swimming and multiple first-place slots, they finished with a disheartening third place relay time and forfeited any possibility of a winning cumulative score. In contrast, the Lady Corsairs absolutely torpedoed the competition, taking first place in everything from 50-yard medleys to 400-yard relays, essentially keeping the team’s head above water. The highlight of this three-team invite was newcomer Katya Shatalova, the Corsair distance swimmer who made waves by winning her first 1650 yard freestyle event by an astounding margin. Shatalova finished her debut mile race more than twenty seconds before the next opponent. The Corsairs lined the pool along Shatalova’s 25 meter route, cheering and encouraging her throughout the 66 required laps. Her victory time of 19:29:20 electrified the team, but left Shatalova understandably drained. “I just want to eat. I’m so hungry,” said
Shatalova after the significant achievement. Despite her exhaustion, Shatalova returned to help the Corsairs win the women’s 400-yard relay, and took first in the 200-yard freestyle, posting a one-second improvement over her preliminary time. Her versatility and impressive endurance has secured Shatalova’s position as one of SMC’s top performers preparing for the Western State Conference Swimming Finals in Santa Clara on April 22-24. Shatalova’s results automatically qualify her for state, and with a team as motivated as head coach Steve Contarsy’s Corsairs, they’re sure to make a splash in future competitions. According to Contarsy, Saturday’s Citrus College invite was an exercise in exactly what state-level preparation is. “The whole purpose of this meet is to give you the feeling of three days of swimming prelims and finals,” he said to his team, stressing the importance of mental and physical stamina throughout the event. “You have to learn how to swim exhausted, so you know what it’s like when you’re doing it for three days at conference,” said Contarsy. “You’re beat up. You’re tired. But you gotta get up on those blocks, and you gotta swim fast.”
John Stapleton IV Corsair Freshman Katya Shatalova launches herself into pool en route to her three first place finishes
Star athletes get out of jail free house, 400 hours of community service and forced to donate $5,000 to a fund for victims of violence. People in this nation are supposed to For an NBA All-Star point guard making be treated equally in the name of the law. over $100 million in five years, $5,000 is Washington Wizards point guard Gilbert pocket change. Arenas was no doubt thanking his lucky Government prosecutors advised a stars that he wasn’t sentenced fairly for a three-month jail term, which Judge Morin misdemeanor earlier this year. reluctantly rejected. Terrence Timmons Corsair The All-Star point guard was just beginning It is sickening to see how fame and fortune (top): Freshman Jutta Collet returns serve against to get his legs back underneath him after a change the punishments stars receive for the Santa Barbara Vaqueros. near two-year absence from the NBA due crimes that would otherwise have been given (left): Collet poses in front of tennis net in the to various injuries. Although the team was a much tougher sentence. Siddhartha Abbazi Corsair midst of a senstational season. performing poorly compared to their high According to ESPN.com, Kobe’s sexual hopes for a championship, Arenas was assault charges were completely dismissed. beginning to play like he had before all of the Michael Vick served nineteen months in setbacks; averaging nearly 23 points and 7 prison for dog fighting charges, and Ray Although, she says, “the first thing I ate when I By Tene Anderson assists, almost identical to his career numbers. Lewis got only two years probation for double got off the plane was a burger.” Staff Writer But something happened that no one could murder charges. Her current pre-game eating routine America, are you kidding me? Two years One of the brightest stars in the constellation consists of pasta and white meat the night ever have predicted. Gilbert Arenas and of the Lady Corsairs’ tennis team is 19-year before, and a salad about an hour prior to backup point guard Javaris Crittenton where of probation for a double murder charge? If old sensation Jutta Collet. Collet was born in avoid feeling heavy before a match. She also gambling on the team’s private plane during someone who could not afford a renowned Abidjan, the former capital of Côte d’Ivoire in snacks on bananas and electrolyte-enhanced a flight back to Washington on Dec. 19 when attorney had done such a thing, they would West Africa. Her father owned a tennis club beverages to keep her energy up during they allegedly had an argument over some have spent the rest of their days in a federal money that resulted in both guards bringing penitentiary. and insisted that his daughter learn the sport. competition. ESPN’s Lester Munson gave three valid Collet expressed the importance of having guns to the locker room. Collet started playing when she was eight According to ESPN.com, Arenas brought reasons for why most stars are let off the hook. years old and juggled her tennis lessons with both mental and emotional stability along the guns supposedly to “keep away from his Firstly, these athletes can afford the best with physical fitness. classical dance, gymnastics and swimming. “Tennis is a hard sport mentally and children.” Right. Anyone with a pulse knows lawyers. Their attorneys are clever and “My mom said I had to choose one, so I chose conniving and can make cold-blooded murder physically, but playing on a team has been darn well that was not the situation. tennis,” Collet said. Both guards were suspended for the rest of look incidental. When she was 13, her school was burned really good, it was the best thing I could’ve Secondly, police and law enforcement aren’t after a civil war erupted and Collet’s parents done,” said Collet. “When I got here, my the season without pay. Furthermore, Arenas pleaded guilty to arms willing to deal with the media coverage and made the decision to send her to a boarding English was bad and I didn’t have any friends, but my teammates helped me a lot and they’ve possession on Jan. 15, 2010. The hearing was attacks by those lawyers. It is not a legitimate school in the Bordeaux region of France. held a few days ago. excuse to lighten a sentence simply because The school also happened to be a tennis always been there for me.” According to CNN.com, Arenas stated you don’t want to do your job in the face. Collet believes every student should play academy. Collet’s confidence as a player was Judges must understand that while it may initially shaken when she first compared at least one sport because “it gives you a lot of that he “is very sorry that this all happened.” More amusing were Arenas’ comments when be difficult to prosecute these individuals to herself to the other girls at the academy. “They opportunities to do other things,” she said. The communications major is hoping for a picture of him miming shooting a gun was the highest capacity, it doesn’t mean they were all good and I was like, the worst,” said should shy away from their responsibilities as Collet. “They didn’t want to play with me. the opportunity to continue doing what she shown to the jury. “That picture where I was pointing my an authoritative figure. For Collett, however, quitting was never an loves. It’s amazing how some people consider “I would love to have a scholarship to finger [like a gun], I thought the 14 or 15 option. “I started playing and practicing a lot and play tennis for another school,” Collet said. players are laughing together for maybe the athletes like Arenas or Michael Vick to had a good progression throughout the four “That’s my dream; tennis is really a fun last time. I like to make people laugh. That’s be incapable of committing any type of who I am,” Arenas told the court. wrongdoing. What has to be understood is years, and when I left, I was ranked enough to thing to do.” Superior Court Justice Robert Morin was that these are common people with common Collet feels her first choice would be to be a teacher,” she said. Compared to boarding school, Los Angeles play for UCLA because of their superb clearly not laughing, although Arenas should failings. They are everyday people that have was a chaotic and difficult environment for tennis team and the chance to make a send him a thank you card for handing him such light punishment. extraordinary gifts, but the fact that they have Collet to stay regimented. Collet has had to permanent home in Los Angeles. Arenas was sentenced to two years these gifts does not give them the right to live “I really love L.A. and I’m tired of apply focus and self-discipline to her training supervised probation, 30 days in a halfway above the law. in order to maintain her level of fitness. moving,” she said. By Farhan Ali Staff Writer
SMC Weekly Fitness: tennis star Jutta Collet
Wednesday April 7, 2010
S P O RT S
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Women’s tennis train continues to roll; 10-0 finish in western conference play By Kevin Duron Staff Writer
Siddhartha Abbazi Corsair Second year player, Caroline Hofsten, smacks the ball in a match against the Antelope Valley Marauders.
The craze of March Madness By Michael Mendoza Staff Writer Littered with drama and excitement, the 2010 NCAA men’s basketball tournament left fans in a state of frenzy that could only be described as March Madness. As the event came to a fittingly spectacular close on Monday night with Duke’s 61-59 win over Butler, the road to the big dance was full of riveting surprises that had fans nationwide in awe. From Tennessee upsetting Ohio State to Butler topping Syracuse, basketball aficionados continued to contemplate if the tournament could possibly become any crazier. That surprise was combined with emotion, as the tournament saw teams like the Ohio Bobcats, a Cinderella story barely finishing ninth in its own conference, but knocking off number three seeded Georgetown in a convincing 97-83 win to advance to the second round. While Ohio University turned heads across the nation in the world of sports, St. Mary’s was in the southern section of the tournament looking to make their own waves, as they put nearly everyone’s brackets on high alert. By defying the odds and pulling off one of the many major upsets in March Madness, St. Mary’s defeated the number two seed, Villanova, in thrilling fashion, 75-68. In the process, the Gaels revealed one of the more talented big men in the country, Omar Samham, who lit up the Wildcats for an impressive 32 points. Undoubtedly one of the biggest upsets
of 2010 college basketball was the fall of top overall seed Kansas to Northern Iowa in the second round of the tournament, as they were defeated by a bold, illadvised shot by Northern Iowa guard Ali Farokhmanesh to seal it 69-67. Despite dropping the jaw of countless fans that witnessed the upset, Farokhmanesh never viewed his team as a long shot. “The fact we’re a nine seed, that’s probably why we’ve been given the Cinderella label,” Farokhmanesh said to the LA Times. “I guess we don’t look at ourselves as a Cinderella.” Aside from the underdogs making multiple headlines throughout the tournament, there were other games that took excitement and thrill to a whole new level. Contests that left fans drained of all the adrenaline, as they watched their favorite teams duke it out in the waning seconds of the game. A prefect example was Kansas State against Xavier in the sweet sixteen, as the teams battled to double overtime resulting in a titillating 101-96 victory for the Kansas State Wildcats. Both teams nailed multiple clutch shots and free throws, making this game an instant classic and leaving any fans that missed out desperately searching for a replay. With the NCAA basketball tournament expanding to 96 teams from the original 65, fans can look forward to more riveting upsets and future classics to come. According to yahoo.com, the expansion may come as soon as 2011, leaving basketball fans chomping at the bit for more March Madness.
Domination is the only word that comes to mind when asked to describe the Lady Corsair’s tennis play as of late. Feeding off the momentum of their tengame winning streak, the Corsairs put on a clinic at home and bulldozed their nonconference opponent, The Antelope Valley Marauders. Everyone seemed to be on their game last week, as the women swept the Marauders in perfect fashion, with an ending result of 9-0. SMC’s dominance didn’t stop at Antelope Valley, as the Lady Corsairs decisively finished off the Santa Barbara Vaqueros 6-3 yesterday, ending the regular season with an unbelievable 10-0 conference record. A key to success for the Lady Corsairs has been the notable play of their international athletes. The archetype of these players can be seen in sophomore Tiana Lauritzen, a native of Denmark. Lauritzen has been playing beautiful tennis lately, and came out aggressively against her opponent on the main court to start off the day for the Corsairs. Her talent was far superior to that of her opponent’s and she held nothing back as she won in straight-sets against the Marauders, 6-0, 6-0. When asked about her virtually perfect match, the sophomore phenomenon credited her sharpened fundamentals. “My serve was really working for me well today, as well as my backhand,” she said. Lauritzen would go on to win her second
match of the day when paired with freshman Iris Berger in a doubles round. Although Lauritzen’s brilliant play has undoubtedly fueled the women’s tennis team’s success, she is only a drop in the bucket as far as team play goes, and she knows it. “I think we’ve really come a long way as a team this year, and I definitely think we’re ready for playoffs,” said Lauritzen, humbly crediting her teammates for the squad’s undeniable improvement this year. Assistant Coach Adam Davis attributed the Corsair’s uncanny performance to the team’s relentless effort throughout their matches. “You know, everyone has been completing their games,” he said. “All the girls are confident in themselves at this point of the season, and that’s why they’re able to go out there and execute the way they have been.” Tuesday against Santa Barbara College, it was more of the same for Santa Monica. The Lady Corsairs got off to their usual stellar start as Eliseeva, Collet, and Lauritzen each registered decisive victories against their Vaquero counterparts. While Santa Barbara managed to take two of the next three singles matches, SMC was not going to allow minor hiccups to rattle them. The Corsairs won two of three doubles matches and put a definitive stamp on the contest, winning overall 6-3. Women’s tennis has been nothing short of spectacular this season, and their aspirations continue to rise with every victory. Finishing with a 10-0 Western Conference record, the Lady Corsairs are poised make a big splash in the playoffs next week.
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
A RT S C A N VA S
Wednesday April 7, 2010
Dog, I couldn't make this stuff up even if I tried...
A Moment at SMC....
by ARAM KATCHATURYAN Santa Monica sushi restaurant owned by the city serves whale meat. They closed out of shame last week (out of SHAME,can you dig it.) This kind of cancels out 60 years of Heal the Bay,sustainable samo,tree loving,eco green Pete Seeger singing fucking BULL*** with 10,000 years of bad karma ...don't ya think ? But wait...with stimulus money samo is opening a burger stand where the sushi place was and they hired me for $37.95 to write their jingle...for their FEATURED BURGER...you guessed it, Mama, THE BIG MOBY ! WHUMPA WHUMPA WHUMPA ZIZZZ ZIZZZ ZIZZZ That's the sound of THE WHALES flippin on the grill, doo-ooo-ude ! Oh,man their good ! Terrence Timmins Corsair
The Synapse Contemporary Dance Ensemble will be performing at The Broad Stage SMC Performing Arts Center from April 23- 24.
“Inner Beast” by Jackelyn Bautista
On a toast-ed bun as big as a house ! Oh yes, you know you would, So just you Feed me now with a ton of krill and I will share one big thrill: A whale is just a party-fish in the Barbecue of Life ! Served only in sustainable samo USA the big moby comes with special sauce and breastmilk cheese ! We're Lovin It !!
The Wolf at Midnight by Deb Vasquez
Throughout the forest, as the mist seems to rise to a looming eerie atmosphere the wolf comes out at midnight to smell the flesh of the young, to capture the souls of the wandering, and to terrorize the minds of the villagefolk. With black as night fur, a larger than life size, and sharp as knives teeth, the howling of the wolf can be heard through vast distances, through the wind that moves the trees, causing a shudder to anyone who hears it, for it would be the last thing they hear before their untimely demise. Beware of the wolf, its harrowing shadow encompassing the night, and the moon, its friend, its detector, its life force. Beware! Beware!