Corsair The Santa Monica College
Volume C, Issue 4
Informing Since 1929
Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Fee-free health technology program launches at SMC By Adam Rubin Staff Writer
As technology becomes more and more prevalent in the workplace, more classes are being created to fit this new climate. Health information technology is an upcoming example of this: a new tuitionfree program being offered by the Santa Monica College Computer Science and Information Systems Department. All of the costs associated with the course, including books, are being funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. However, space is limited in the program, which requires an application process. “We’re really trying to recruit people with some IT or healthcare background and at this point it’s a non for credit program. But hopefully we are going to take it to the Curriculum Committee and get it to be for credit,” explained Wendy Demorst, the project manager of recruitment for the health IT program. “People go through our training program and they end with a certificate as an implementation manager or a trainer,” Demorst added. A health IT trainer is someone who trains people how to use electronic health care records. A health IT project manager is someone who would “go out to the small clinics and doctors offices and oversee the whole installation process and implementation of electronic health records,” Demorst added. This means that doctor’s offices and hospitals are moving from paper files to an electronic health
[See IT, page 3]
Albany Katz Corsair Festival goers enjoy one of the twenty original art installations displayed at “Glow” in Santa Monica last Sunday. The dusk to dawn art festival featured acrobatic performances, glow in the dark paint and a mountain of soap bubbles spewing from the top of lifeguard towers. [See Glow, page 6]
Decision delayed again over student organizing fee By Ariana Masters Staff Writer For the second consecutive week, Santa Monica College’s Associated Students Board of Directors has postponed voting upon the student organizing fee of $1.50. Having run an online ballot to determine whether or not to establish a permanent student organizing fee of $1.50 per term
for the purpose of providing funds to organize students on issues of importance, the Board remains divided as to whether this fee will be implemented. Sixty two percent of voters who responded to the online poll (initiated in May of this year) approved of the fee increase. Should the AS sway with the collective majority, the fee will go to fund such programs as the Student Leadership Academy
and CALPIRG. Max Morgan, the 2008-09 SMC Chemistry Club president and former member of the Constitution Committee and Great Appeals Committee, said, “I think that they rushed it. Nobody really looked at what $76,000 would do to the AS budget.” Current AS President Tiffany Inabu, believes that the only reason this year’s board is considering a fee withdrawal is
dissimilarity between student’s thoughts and the proceedings of the Board. She said that although this topic needs to be voted on, “we had to postpone it till next week. We will discuss it then.” Responding to these recent events, previous AS president Cameron Henton said that during his time in office CALPIRG was fully funded for an entire year while they achieved all [See AS, page 3]
Weighty issues, a burden of our environment In a lecture at SMC, Dr. Deborah Cohen elaborated upon the environmental pressures and subversive marketing strategies that inflate the nation’s obesity rate. By Zuliema Alvarado Staff Writer Obesity is becoming increasingly prevalent in today’s society. People are choosing coke instead of water, chips instead of fruit and video games instead of exercise, all of which are affecting our health in a big, fat way. If someone is overweight, should they be the
ones to blame for lacking will power? Are we in control of what we eat, or is it all an illusion? On Tuesday Sept. 21, Dr. Deborah Cohen, a senior natural scientist at the RAND Corporation, who is board-certified in public health and preventative medicine, held a lecture at Santa Monica College explaining the effects of the environment on our health. The lecture, entitled, “How the Environment Causes Obesity and What We Can Do About It,” covered multiple ways in which we can take action to prevent obesity and the fundamental components of why so many people are obese. Cohen started the lecture by explaining that everyone is
affected by obesity. Whether are most healthy? “We think that you’re rich or poor, young or old, obesity is initially self-control obesity is a common problem or not having knowledge, but that keeps growing and growing. that has nothing to do with the “Everyone problem,” Cohen is being explained - eating affected and It may not be apparent is an automatic what’s really but our brain has limited behavior. s u r p r i s i n g capacity to think about According to is that even more than one thing at a Cohen, the main e x p e r t s time. problem with in weight obesity is our control have environment. Food problems with their weight,” advertisements, junk food that is Cohen said, followed by an uproar relatively less expensive and large of laughter throughout the room. portions constantly surrounds As funny as it sounds, this us. If we see food, our brain is is no joke. But why are health automatically triggered to want professionals being affected? to eat. She explained that seeing Shouldn’t they be the ones who convenience foods creates desire.
Dopamine, a neuron-hormone that is a powerful motivator, is automatically secreted in response to food cues. For example, an experiment was conducted to see what happens when you put a jar of candy on a secretary’s desk. An opaque jar, where the candy can’t be seen, was placed on a desk. In another case a clear jar, where the candy was seen, was placed on another desk. According to Cohen, the secretaries with the clear jar ate 46 percent more as opposed to the opaque jar. This is an example of desire and convenience. When visiting a supermarket, we don’t realize that the fatty
[See Lecture, page 3]
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Wednesday September ,
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Sara Stark Corsair
Patrons of the Los Angeles Flea Market enter through the gates at Dodger Stadium last Sunday.
able of Contents News
1 & 3
6 & 7
AS postpones decision Health Information Tech Environmental impact on weight
8 & 9
Master Dance Hollywood book fair Flowersʼ new album “The Social Network”
Blowing Whistles Bikes in LA Whatʼs your passion? Barfly: The Garter
Featuring the work of Jeremy Biglow, Vienna Urias, Vera Hughes, and George Mikhail
Generation Y loves fame Meg Whitmanʼs budget
10 & 11
Womenʼs soccer ties again Womenʼs volleyball
Wednesday September ,
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Youth vote important to Decker By Miles Arnold Staff Writer After a 30-minute parking hunt around Downtown Santa Monica and a three block trek west, I was standing in front of “The Yard,” a Santa Monica pub owned by local resident and city council candidate Jeff Decker. Forty minutes, two no-answers and one voicemail later, I had no choice but to stand and wait - I had an interview to do. Decker, who is running for public office for the first time, has been a local business owner for almost 10 years in Santa Monica and hopes to win a fouryear term in the November elections as a councilman for the city. But today he appeared to be running late. I waited, and waited, and waited some more. Then after another 20 minutes, that call came - while I was driving away (of course). He apologized, I pulled over, and we were able to discuss over the phone the upcoming election, his campaign goals and what his future plans are in the event that he is elected to the Santa Monica City Council. One of Decker’s main goals on the campaign trail is to attract the younger crowd. His camp feels that “a surge of young voters” on the national level played a crucial role in the recent election of President Obama, but they also believe that young voters are “unaware of the impact that local politicians make on their everyday life.” Decker believes that Santa Monica College is a great place to spread the word to young local voters. When I asked Decker about his thoughts regarding the ongoing talks of raising the Big Blue Bus ride fare he told me that he “wasn’t sure why the fares were going up” and added that, “finding out why these measures are
[Lecture, from page 1]
Alfredo Luna Corsair Jeff Decker, 39, is running as as Santa Monica City Council member. A locally based businessman, Decker believes that having a younger perspective gives him an advantage over his opponents.
being taken and finding out where the money will be going is one of the things I will have to figure out once I get into office.” Another topic that has been swirling around the Santa Monica Community of late, and one that could have an impact on the state-funded local education system, is the Y measure that would increase sales tax revenue to $12 million for the “general fund” of the city. When I asked him how he felt about measure Y he commented by saying, “My understanding is limited.” However, he stated that maintaining the outstanding public school system in Santa Monica is one of the things on the top of his list and that “appointing the right fiscally responsible personnel” is a top priority. The new smoking law that was passed recently, Sept. 9, which prohibits smoking
H.I.T. new to College record. There is a need for people to facilitate this change and that is why health information technology is becoming increasingly important, Demorst believes. The program consists of four semesters, each six months long with eighty students graduating per semester. The first semester starts Sept. 27, and upon successful completion of the sixmonth period, students will receive a “certificate of achievement” as a health IT project manager or health IT trainer. According to a report published by the California Health and Human Services,
project managers are projected to earn between $62,300 and $99,680 and trainers could earn between $40,000 and $89,000, This course is done entirely online with each semester made up of seven classes. The classes are about three to four weeks long which requires students to learn a lot of information at an accelerated pace. This means students applying should be motivated or have some kind of background knowledge. According to Demorst, there are available spaces on this course for this semester, and any student interested in the program should contact her directly.
their goals and objectives, and they had the largest kick off meetings. “They were doing, in terms of a first year chapter, way better than chapters that have been established for a while,” said Henton, adding that although the CALPIRG “pilot” year went smoothly, it is always difficult to maintain continuity with programs like this when the AS Board rotates yearly. When CALPIRG’s full funding from the AS Board was removed, they decided it would be better to have their own separate fee to fund themselves. “We told them no,” said Henton. “We couldn’t have something specific for just one organization. We instead transformed it into a studentorganizing fee that could fund a vast array of things.” Vince Slevin, the New Voters Project Coordinator for CALPIRG and the AS director of Budget Management
said that, “the fee was implemented to fund CALPIRG. The cost of having a CALPIRG Chapter here at SMC is $72,000.” “They ratified the vote and added it to the AS fee instead of making it separate. Some people this year want to rescind the fee, but without the Student Organizing Fee, which is our entire funding, I don’t see there being a CALPIRG chapter,” added Slevin. In response to public feeling that CALPIRG isn’t worth the money, Henton said, “My argument [is that] you just approved $21,000 for study abroad students, and $65-$70 thousand last year. That’s…20 students that get 70,000. Whereas CALPIRG benefits everyone here on campus.” Henton continued, “The intention is not to fund them forever from the AS money. The idea is to get them started, then they could go to the system like the other schools.”
[IT, from page 1]
Fee decision postponed by AS
[AS, from page 1]
An environment of obesity
within 25 feet of any apartment door window or vent has caused more than just a bit of controversy in the community. I asked Decker what he thought of the law to which he responded by saying, “It’s definitely something I’m going to have to look into when I get elected,” and added, “I will have to see who is being affected by that law and see if there are any boundaries being crossed.” He also questioned whether or not a law like that is even enforceable. In the weeks leading up to the elections on Nov. 2, Jeff and his team will be holding parties every week on Thursdays up until the Oct. 14 to help encourage the young crowd to get out and register to vote in the community. To find out more about Jeff Decker you can visit his website, www. electjeffdecker.com and you can also find him on Facebook.
things like chips and soda usually have more shelf space, colors and variety. The selections are endless. When we walk into the fruits and vegetables section, we normally see less. According to Cohen, this is done intentionally. Marketers pay to have their items such as soda and candy close to the cash register in order to boost sales. Doubling shelf space and making junk food more accessible increases food sales by 40 percent. According to Cohen, we pay attention to brands and packaging but we don’t realize that these things influence us. It may not be apparent, but our brain has limited capacity to think about more than one thing at a time. This is also a factor that influences what we eat. Cohen explained how an experiment was performed on a group of people to see what kind of decisions people made under a cognitive low. Half of the people were asked to memorize a 7-didgit number and the other half to memorize a 2-digit number. While they memorized the number, they were asked to pick either a fruit salad or a chocolate cake. People who memorized the 7-digit number overwhelmingly chose the chocolate cake; people that memorized the 2-digit number were less likely to choose the chocolate cake. What happened? The people with the 7-digit number spent all of their energy with the numbers that they didn’t make a wise choice. We underestimate the influence of our environment. This is why the environment, according to Cohen is the source of health and illness. SMC student Samuel Kinney, present at the lecture said, “This lecture was great. It reinforced things that I already knew but haven’t taken action about. Dr. Cohen made me open my eyes and pay closer attention to our environment.”
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
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Meg-a-millions Whitman makes it rain to participate in government has been eroded by the power and ambition of billionaires. Democracy has been bought out. Whitman certainly has a plan to change California, and her funds derived from her work at EBay have certainly paid off. Wherever you go Meg Whitman can be found: In commercials, on billboards, web advertisements, the news, mail and even that archaic and outdated twentieth century, noise-maker thing called a radio. But you have got to give it to her, everyone in California knows her name and knows her game. But is this fair? What would the Founding Fathers say about this in terms of a fair and democratic society for all? Although I cannot speak for them (R.I.P. Jefferson), it seems evident they would find this behavior ridiculous. It goes against the idea that America would be a land free from the tyrannical rule of the elite. That every individual rich or poor, has an equal opportunity to represent and serve their country. Voters should want a candidate in office based on their platform and ideals, not the power of their pocketbooks. It seems as though politics are a dirty, dirty game. Every member of office should represent their community and be an example of the system at its’ best. How can anyone take
someone seriously who spends $119 million on themselves? It can be said a better impression might have been made if she contributed those funds to a charity or starving children in Africa, or this black hole of an economy. Whitman is not the first to spend millions on a campaign, and I realize that it is part of her job as a candidate to be seen and garner attention. I just don’t believe that anyone can compete with the likes of the extremely wealthy and this certainly threatens the very existence of a fair, balanced and accessible democratic process. The definition of democracy goes something like this: democracy is a government of the people, by the people, where the supreme power is vested in the people. Or in modern English, the power of democracy is found within the masses, and is represented by elected officials whom WE decide is the best representative through FREE elections. Nothing is said of who has the most cash, or the most campaign power. It is vital to question who we appoint to represent California. What we accomplish as a state and as a nation is dependent upon who represents the common individual. Let us be certain it is not those who have bought out democracy.
important goals in life. realize that in the long run “My New BFF” people degrade With reality programming they are merely degrading and demoralize themselves just taking over television, we are themselves, as well as our to be Paris Hilton’s “friend,” seeing an influx of people generation on the whole. when in real-reality, once the becoming celebrities simply On “Jersey Shore” countless cameras stop filming, they for being themselves and women throw themselves at never see each other again, nothing more. It’s hard to the male cast members for save for the occasional promo. More and more it seems like wonder, why not me? I could a shot at their 15 minutes of This, however, ends an epidemic of pure laziness get angry at dinner and flip fame. has taken over our over that table. I could get generation. When I see the pregnant, be a teen mom average moron becoming and have cameras follow Young people are about rich and famous for getting me around. And yes, I twice as likely to admire drunk in a mansion all could thoroughly enjoy day, I become angry that having 20 single men an entertainer, as they are someone so insignificant throw themselves at me a political leader. could possibly be getting while I pick them off one paid for that. But what by one, hoping to find the man of my dreams. abruptly when they get kicked isn’t shown is the reality in The simple fact is that money out around three a.m. after their reality. We have yet to creates the freedom to live proving just how desperate for see any of these “stars” parlay the lives we desire. With the attention they really are. On their quasi-celebrity status tanking economy far from “American Idol,” people who into something long lasting. recovery it seems that debt- should never even attempt In five years I’ll be shocked if riddled Americans are actually karaoke, make fools out of any of these people are still beginning to see get-rich-fast themselves believing they around save for promotional scenarios as actually being can be the world’s next great appearances at Wal-Mart. the best option. Little do they singer. And on Paris Hilton’s The Pew study also found
that young people are about twice as likely to admire an entertainer, as they are a political leader. This fact doesn’t so much surprise me though, given the frequency of scandal-shrouded politicians making the headlines in recent years: John Edwards cheating on his cancer-stricken wife while harboring a hidden love child. Governor Eliot Spitzer’s expensive taste for call-girls, and Congressman Mark Foley resigning from office after “sexting” an underage, male, congressional page, all speak to the suspect moral integrity of our country’s leaders. So all things considered, I suppose wanting to be rich is not a bad thing. But the kind of fame that I see people searching for everyday is simply unrealistic. The spotlight is fickle and fifteen minutes blows by, but well-deserved success can last forever.
Jhosef Hern Corsair
By Vienna Urias Staff Writer What would you do with $119 million? More than likely you would find some extravagant way to spend it upon yourself, which is exactly what California Republican candidate Meg Whitman did. Whitman set the record for personally funding a U.S. political campaign, beating
the previous record holder, billionaire and three-term New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who reportedly spent over $100 million on his campaign. According to recent campaign finance reports Whitman has so far spent in excess of $119 million. Shocked? Well you should be especially considering the California governor’s salary is only about $200,000 a year.
These big-time politicians and high-level executives have made it almost impossible for the average American to be a recognized candidate for office. Sure, one may run for office in a publicly funded campaign but can it hardly compete with someone who drops millions of dollars so effortlessly? It seems that the fundamental ideal that anyone should be able
Generation Y has no viable claim to fame By Julie Newsome Staff Writer What do Kim Kardashian, The Situation and Heidi Montag all have in common? I literally have no idea why they are in my hemisphere, not to mention trending on Twitter. With no plausible talents, achievements or even goals, it begs the question: why are these people famous? The simple answer is reality TV. The complicated answer is Generation Y. According to a Pew Research Center poll released earlier this year, 81 percent of 18 to 25-year-olds (Generation Y) surveyed said that getting rich is their generation’s first or second-most-important life goal; 51 percent said the same about being famous. Twenty years ago the same demographic was listing family or success as their most
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Sara Stark Corsair Melissa Tindall, jersey number 13, reaches to block the ball against the Pasadena City College women’s volleyball team at the Pierce College volleyball tournament in Woodland Hills, last weekend. Santa Monica College lost to Pasadena with a final match score of 3-0.
Women’s volleyball swept away in identity crisis By Alexandra Leighton Staff Writer The Lady Corsair volleyball squad walked out of the gymnasium at Pierce College last Saturday empty-handed, unable to snag a victory in the taxing three-game tournament. Constantly switching players into different positions throughout the tournament, the Corsairs looked desperate to make something work and struggled to locate their identity in true “Jason Bourne” fashion. SMC was dominated in the first match against Pasadena, getting held to under 22 points in every game of the three-set loss. A sub-par effort from the hitters produced a similar
outcome in the second matchup versus Saddleback. The opposing Gaucho blocking game was a determinant factor all match, seemingly sending back every other attempted kill. And though players like freshman outside hitter Amelia Keeling quickly turned her performance around with hard spikes off the Gaucho blocks, SMC’s performance was marked by playing catch-up to the unchanging Saddleback lead in the 14-25 loss. Game two showed more promise with a stellar performance by sophomore Vera Hughes, who cleaned up the back line with some great first-touch passes after being moved to libero. Freshman transfer Chelsea
Thayer followed the act by providing more daylight for SMC, coming through with a huge block that gave SMC their first lead with a score of 12-11. Unfortunately, the second match would end in a 23-25 loss, proving to be another
“Some players are okay with just trying.” - Coach Ryan unsatisfactory effort as the girls were unable to prepare defensively for the reoccurring Gaucho blocks. “We’re consistently inconsistent,” said head coach Nicole Ryan, expressing her frustration toward the team’s
play. And though the third game of the match was also a losing battle for our Lady Corsairs, the pressure was on for the Gauchos who struggled to stay alive in the face of SMC’s front line heat and power defenders. Hughes and fellow defender Megan Hauser battled on the back line to keep the Corsairs in the game despite the inconsistent offensive success. In the end Saddleback would steal another 23-25 nail-biter, ending the match altogether. Failure to keep formation in unfamiliar positions and the lack of effort among some of SMC’s players proved thematic throughout
the tournament, and led to another heartbreaking loss to Palomar in five sets in the following match. “Some players are okay with just trying,” said Coach Ryan. However, the Lady Corsairs are far from being down and out. With a week left until their first Conference game, the Corsairs still have time to fine-tune their game plan and establish a working lineup. “It’s all relative,” said Ryan, referring to the concept of trial-and-error. And since it holds true that defining yourself comes only through hard work, the volleyball squad is out to prove an old saying true; it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog.
Moorpark, who reached the third round of the playoffs last season, was expected to be a tough team to beat. Coach Benditson concluded that the draw was satisfactory, and continues to remain positive about the team’s future. “We played a quality team, and I’m happy we got a positive result,” said Benditson. “We will be playing some
tough teams during the season, but I’m glad we have some experience under our belt and overall I think we’re ready for the challenges ahead.” The Lady Corsairs’ conference opener is an away game and is scheduled to take place this Tuesday at Citrus College, followed by their season’s first home game against Bakersfield College on Oct. 1st.
Lady Corsair soccer continues to knock on the door By Alvaro Escalante Staff Writer Santa Monica College’s Lady Corsair soccer team couldn’t end their streak of tie games, drawing level with Moorpark College on the road in their last pre-season matchup of the year. Last Friday the Lady Corsairs earned their third straight draw of the season by a score of 0-0 against the Moorpark Lady Raiders. Despite the low-scoring affair, Santa Monica and Moorpark kept fans on the edge of their seats as they battled to a stalemate. SMC’s rock-solid defense held the Raiders to only two shots on goal, as captain goalkeeper Alisa Sheldon thwarted both attempts by the opposition. Sheldon played superwoman throughout the entire match, with only her goaltending jersey hiding the “S” on her chest. Witty defensive tackles and broad-strength challenges provided by right back
Samantha Li further reinforced SMC’s ball-stopping power. Li, a freshman, showed no fear against the Raider strikers and defenders, also posing a threat as an attacking player once she moved up in the second half of play. “What do you do when a bull runs at you?” said Head Coach Aaron Benditson rhetorically to his players during the half. “You cut to the side and let him pass, boom, ole!” Li proved attentive as she responded with several impressive cuts in the second half, leaving the spectators in awe and more importantly providing chances to score. However, the back of the net seemed to elude the Lady Corsairs all throughout the game, a credit to the stellar defense of the Raiders. The ladies did not drive an hour inland to settle for a draw however, and they made that statement clear by turning up the volume at the end of the match. The Corsairs managed to maintain ball possession
for almost the entire last twenty minutes of the game, a trademark of well-played soccer. Although they had a few scares on defense as a result of Raider counter-attacks, Moorpark wouldn’t pose any legitimate threats. Ball control and occasional hip-twisting brilliance came from freshman Olivia Patterson. Patterson was the first option in free-kick takers, and nearly scored by just missing the post in a shot about 30 yards out in the sixtieth minute. The heartstrings of spectators were tugged in the last ten minutes, as each play hinted at a goal that just never came. Frustration settled upon the faces of the SMC squad as the referee signaled the end of the game. Players dawning the Corsair blue and white each looked down in disappointment, knowing they had opportunities to put a tally in the win column and take this one home.
Alvaro Escalante Corsair Despite multiple opportunities on goal, the Lady Corsairs failed to get one past the keeper at Moorpark City College last Friday afternoon.
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Festival attendee at “Glow” in Santa Monica covered in glow in the dark paint last Saturday.
“It is meant to be a piece which reflects what the beach is all about -- peace, quiet, and contemplation.” - Corey Madden
Festival goers enjoy one of the twenty original art installations displayed at “Glow.” Installations included light shows, films, and liv
By Jennifer Ferrad Staff Writer
Santa Monica Muscel Beach crew member, Alex Bigge, performs acrobatics at the 2010 “Glow” festival.
Last Saturday, the S Pier was jam-packed with glowing necklace and paint. “Glow: Dusk and Bey eye-opening art festi by the city of Santa the Santa Monica Art took place on last Sa Santa Monica Pier an art festival had an int of different and div from several artists, the public to enjoy fr evening to 3 a.m. that Art works varied segments to live and artistically ado all scattered and
O S T O RY
Wednesday September .
Photos by Albany Katz Corsair
A spiral of illumination, invites fest goers to one of the many art exhibitions.
w” lights up Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica and crowded es, wristbands,
yond 2010,” an ival compiled a Monica and s Foundation, aturday at the nd beach. The eresting array verse features made free for rom the early t night. from filmed performances rned objects, d numbered
throughout the beach. A couple stood out with their technically advanced shows, such as “Shaped Noise,” which featured a lifeguard tower shooting out foam. Installation 13 did a lively performance called “Muscle Beach Glow,” a musical engagement done by gymnasts from the Santa Monica Ringflyers. The gymnasts moved to the music playing in the background and performed impressive movements like balancing on top of one another. One of the performers occasionally walked around juggling glow sticks. A performer also came out and encouraged a couple of audience members to come out and do a demonstration by teaching them certain balancing tricks. Everyone
around was cheering, dancing, and enjoying themselves. “Day for Night,” which was on the number 15 installation, made up for some of the loudness from other projects. A film shot during real time in the same exact spot from dawn till dusk, “Day for Night” shows people on the beach sitting and spending time there. It was a quiet score, with no dialogue involved. Some were shown relaxing underneath an umbrella, while others were playing around with a ball. The writer and director, Corey Madden, shared some insight. “It is meant to be a piece which reflects what the beach is all about -- peace, quiet, and contemplation,” said Madden. “We wanted the actors to let go of acting here and just be
natural.” Installation 12 titled “Hot Dog Stick,” was an interesting pick for many. It was a staged performance of 20 pit bulls with their owners, projected onto the wall of a Hot Dog on a Stick stand. Aside from zoomed-in shots of the dogs themselves, the film showed several owners walking their dogs next to others around this room. Some of the film angles were unique and distinctive, shot slowly to display subtle movements, including a dog being drenched in milk. Those standing around watching, were rubbing their chins, pondering what this meant. Kathy Lee, a confused yet impressed onlooker said, “It definitely is getting people’s attention.”
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Master of Dance: Kati Hernandez takes the stage Kicking off this semester’s “Master of Dance” series is professional dancer Kati Hernandez. By Vaïmiti Herlaud Staff Writer More than forty people gathered last Thursday to participate in an intense Afro-Cuban dance workshop conducted by experienced dancer and teacher, Kati Hernandez. The event, which was the first of this fall’s “Master of Dance” series, was open to the public and sponsored by the Santa Monica College Associates, for the sake of bringing people together to learn the history of South African cultures through music and dance. The class focused on Nigeria and Congo movement influences, and included live batá drumming, which introduced the ancient songs of the Yoruba people that reside in Nigeria. Three drummers accompanied Kati Hernandez, who had a smile as wide as the Congo River as she spoke about the influences of the Afro-Cuban dances. “Having Kati Hernandez was meant to simply be a great party,” said Norah Ward, 19. “But it has more relevant intentions, too, because it’s a rare chance for students to get a taste of the African Cuban dance through professional artists like Kati Hernandez.” Drums, songs, and dances transported the audience to Africa. Students explored different traditional movements by using their entire body.
Alexander Soltes Corsair The drummers keep the beat going as Kati Hernandez continues her Afro Cuban workshop at Santa Monica College. In the first of many for this semester’s dance series, Hernandez emphasized Afro-Cuban dance, influence, and culture.
“The first part was more energetic; dancers had to use the space, follow the rhythm, and use strong gestures,” said Hernandez. “For the second part, the beat went down because it was representing Oshun, the Yoruban goddess of love, so the dance was more sensual.” Hernandez was born and raised in
Cuba, where she received her masters in modern dance and a teaching degree in Havana. She began her performance career in Havana and shared the stage with Chucho Valdes, a Cuban jazz musician who has won three Grammy awards. Ms. Hernandez also had the privilege to dance with Santiago Alfonso,
choreographer of the famed Tropicana. Hernandez started her international career by performing and teaching in Spain, Costa Rica, and Portugal. She ended up in LA five years ago where she instructs Afro-Cuban dance classes every Sundays from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for all levels, and every Tuesdays from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
TV picks: comedy sitcoms For the next month, Corsair writer Stephanie Forshee will help guide you in the world of television. This week: Comedies and sitcoms. Which shows are funniest? By Stephanie Forshee Staff Writer Recent magazine covers, radio spots, and the majority of network commercials have been solely devoted to one thing: the new TV fall lineup. Various pilots premiered this past week in the vein of both comedies and dramas. With so many newbies entering the picture, it’s difficult to know which network you can trust. Since time is scarce for college students, consider this the Cliffs Notes version of fall TV. For the first week of new-show overload, we will focus on the sitcoms. Did any fail miserably or is everyone off to a great start? Monday, “Mike & Molly” hit CBS with a bang. When Mike (Billy Gardell) meets Molly (Melissa McCarthy) at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting, the game of cat and mouse ensues. The pilot was undeniably laughout-loud funny and surprisingly sentimental at moments. Judging from the strength of a few of the more vulnerable scenes with the lead characters at their weight loss meeting, “Mike & Molly” has mighty potential. This endearing sitcom has some stiff competition against “Gossip Girl,” “Dancing with the Stars,” and the new series, “The Event,” but it definitely stands a strong chance to outweigh the odds. Tuesday evening was dedicated to “Raising Hope.” It’s very early to tell,
but “Raising Hope” is likely to stand the test of time. The cinematography, the setting, and the refreshing acting all work, and they work well. It’s not your typical sitcom; the humor is subtler and darker. After melancholy and frustration set in, Jimmy (Lucas Neff) quits his job and has a one-night stand with a girl he later discovers to be a felon. Jimmy turns her in and after eight months in prison, she unveils she is pregnant with his daughter. The pilot is filled with sentimental comedy when he decides he is going to raise baby Hope but realizes he has no clue as to how. On Wednesday nights, ABC’s “Better With You” will keep you laughing. When Mia (Joanna Garcia) meets Casey (Jake Lacy) and gets engaged after two months, her family’s concern provides a lot of laughs. Part of you wants the show to succeed just for Garcia’s sake. Her shows have been pretty hit-or-miss in the past. As much potential as “Better With You” has, it likely won’t be the top sitcom of the season. It’s funny but some of the other comedies offer a few more laughs. “$#*! My Dad Says” started a little rough, but by the end of the episode things seemed to fall into place pretty nicely. The writing is slightly bizarre, but the overall plot was charming. The episode revolves around Henry (Jonathan Sadowski), the son, mustering up the courage to admit he needs financial help to his estranged father, Ed (William Shatner). Shatner and Sadowski have a solid chemistry on-screen. The humor is a little out there, but nonetheless it’s worth checking out. Next week we’ll explore the new primetime dramas and see how they measure up.
A&E Book Fair shines bright in Hollywood
Wednesday September ,
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Anisa El-Khouri Corsair Readers enjoyed browsing through the wide selection of new and used books that the Rick’s Fun Stuff booth provided at the West Hollywood Book Fair.
By Cyndi Gomez Staff Writer Last Sunday, the ninth annual West Hollywood Book Fair was held at West Hollywood Park. While it didn’t quite compare to the LA Times Festival of Books held yearly at UCLA, it did not shy away from controversial politics, obscene humor, and mystery. Contemporary fiction was well represented, and for those who cannot escape the vast fascination of vampires, there was certainly an abundance of material. The fair featured 15 stages, 300 authors and artists, and 150 exhibitors-- a small increase of participants from the year prior. Crowds attended to enjoy panels and performances, though the greater purpose was to promote reading, writing and literacy in the community. Eighth-grade English teacher Rachel Morhus who came with a couple of
students commented on the surprising amount of kids at this year’s event. “If you know a kid who regards reading only as homework, this is the perfect place to turn them on to books through storytelling, mini-playwriting workshops, comics and graphic-novel seminars,” Morhus said. During the afternoon, screenwriters gathered at The Writing Room Schedule workshop to have a free lesson from memoirist, essayist, and poet Diana M. Raab. Raab took the opportunity to send everyone afterwards to the UCLA Writers Program booth for a raffle, which included a prize of free classes for a week. The evening program consisted of some really interesting programs. The storytelling panel consisted of the California Paranormal Private Investigators telling real ghost hunting experiences. MacBeezy’s “MacBeth Hip Hopera” was Shakespeare like no one has ever seen him before.
Highlights of this year’s event included Molly Ringwald’s conversation with Susan Anderson. The brat-pack princess was there to promote her book titled “Getting the Pretty Back.” “Her book is clearly a woman’s dream bible: It is about finding inner beauty when you are no longer sixteen. Ringwald truly wants women to feel admired and confident at any age, and her passion comes across as clearly and quirkily as it did in her teen movie years. And I’m glad I get to get my copy signed!” said Timothy Binder, a huge “Breakfast Club” fan. Overall, the West Hollywood Book Fair clearly shone with merit this year. The event was bigger, better, and with more attendees than previous years. With its free admission and free parking, the West Hollywood Book Fair demonstrated a community’s effort to broaden every mind with the vast intellect and importance a book can have.
Flowers’ effort in full bloom Fincher delivers again Brandon Flowers, lead singer with “The Social Network” of world-renowned band The Killers, proves he can hold his own with his new solo album, “Flamingo.” By Michael Santana Staff Writer When a lead singer of a group goes solo, it’s usually because they want to set out and do something they couldn’t necessarily accomplish with their band. Remember Gwen Stefani trading in her rock roots for dance shoes? Yeah, we “ain’t no hollaback girl” either, but that’s beside the point. So, when Brandon Flowers announced he would release a solo album in September of 2010, it was assumed his sound would venture into a different direction than that of his band, The Killers. However, with “Flamingo,” Brandon Flowers’ sound is so similar to his band that it’s difficult to tell any difference between his band and his solo project from listening to the songs. Titling the album “Flamingo,” an ode to the road that intersects the Las Vegas Strip, is one of the many tributes to his hometown. Unfortunately, “Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas,” the first track, fails to leave a lasting impression. Despite its drab start, the rest of the album gets better. “Only the Young”
is the album’s first indication that Flowers is capable of being as great a solo artist as a member of the Killers. With a hauntingly heartfelt delivery, it’s a song you’ll go back to and feel like you’re hearing for the first time. “Jilted Lovers and Broken Hearts” is the most Killers-esque of the bunch, delivering a catchy, high-strung hook. “Playing with Fire” slows things down again and Flowers’ performance excels. Flowers, a Mormon, embraces his spirituality with religious concepts and references throughout the album. Lyrics such as “We’re caught in the crossfire of heaven and hell” (“Crossfire”), and a theme of redemption (“On the Floor”), showcase his upbringing. It’s this, alongside a few other mentions of salvation and temptation that sets the album apart. With “Flamingo,” Flowers has joined the ranks of the greats. He’s an elaborate storyteller; a modernday Springsteen and Cash. Mixed in with the Brandon Flowers you already know, the outcome is an album of solid material. It’s not perfect all the way through, but the few tracks that feel like fillers are over-shadowed by the album’s strong moments. Simply put, it’s refreshing in this day and age, when lyrical depth is scarce and where Top-40 radio hits lack substance. So for that, thank you, Brandon.
The film tells more than just a simple story about social networking -- Fincher’s new drama succeeds in both story and performance. By Sean Hunt Staff Writer
However it may look, “The Social Network” is not just a cash-in on the current Facebook hype. The film is a meeting of two creative artists, director David Fincher (“Fight Club,” “Seven,”) and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin at the top of their respective games. Indeed, “The Social Network” is possibly one of the best films of the year and one not to be missed. The film uses the founding of Facebook as a backdrop for telling a story of how two best friends become enemies. Harvard student Mark Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg), with the help of his best and only friend Eduardo Saverin (Andrew Garfield), hack into the Harvard servers to create Facemash, a website that allows students to pull up pictures of two random female Harvard students for ranking purposes. The website goes viral and causes the network to melt down, which catches the attention of the Winklevoss twins, played by Arnie Hammer and Josh
Pence. The siblings ask Zuckerberg to help them create a Harvard-only social networking site. The rest of the story is a fascinating tale of greed and betrayal. The acting in the film is superb, topnotch, and is the main component as to why this film is a must-see. Andrew Garfield’s performance as the scorned friend is fantastic and stands out among the rest, though that’s not to say the other actors were terrible either. Eisenberg gives his best performance to date in this film. Justin Timberlake does a surprisingly great job as Sean Parker, Napster founder and entrepreneur. Arnie Hammer also performs well as the faces of the Winklevoss twins. Josh Pence only lends the body to the other twin, but the computer wizardry used to graft Hammer’s head on Pence’s body is some of the best used in a film so far. “The Social Network” is one of the best films to come out this year and will definitely be a major force when it comes to award season. Fincher has created yet another winner, but with “Fight Club” and “Seven” already under his belt, it’s no surprise. Regardless of how truthful the film really is, “The Social Network” is still a film that deserves to be seen.
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Wednesday September ,
Non-profit group blows whistle on the Congo
George Mikhail Corsair Falling Whistle volunteer, Brittany Bledsoe, prepares necklaces in Downtown Los Angeles at the Falling Whistles headquarters. Each necklace showcases a whistle similar to those used by young boys in the Congo to warn their troops of oncoming enemies.
By Ayla Pound Staff Writer To most children in America, the sound of whistles can mean many things. From the halt of cars by a crossing guard who is escorting them across the street at school, to the screech it creates at beginning of a basketball game during recess.
To thousands of little boys in the Congo, though, the sound of a whistle means something else: the approach of the enemy, and unavoidable death. What began in 1998 as a war between various local and international groups over the abundant natural resources in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has spiraled into what is being called by
Time Magazine, “The Deadliest War in the World”. It is estimated that about 6 million people have died already, while about 1,500 people continue to lose their lives daily. Among these people are the children who are forced to participate. The boys who are too small to carry a gun are sent to the front lines with only a whistle to announce when the enemy is approaching, ultimately acting as a human shield. While the war is occurring this very second, hardly anyone is aware of it or of the vast amounts of devastation it is causing. “It’s as if World War II was happening and no one knew about it,” says Sequoia Ziff, an intern at Falling Whistles. “It’s horrible that something like this can go so unnoticed.” Falling Whistles, a non-profit organization founded by Sean Carasso only two years ago, is determined to help the children that have been forced to partake in the war, as well as the children who have been lucky enough to flee. Falling Whistles began as an online journal about these boys during Carasso’s trip to the Congo, however after deciding to take action, it developed into an organization dedicated to raise money and spread awareness for the cause. “With falling whistles, their only choice is to feign death, or face it,” wrote Carasso. After receiving a whistle as a gift when he returned home, Carasso decided what needed to be done. The organization decided to sell whistle necklaces. They believed that “hanging just over the heart, the whistle kept the story of falling whistles alive and caused conversations” allowing the wearer the chance to spread the word. Falling Whistles also set up instillations in stores such as Fred Segal, to educate the shoppers and allow them to purchase
the necklaces. The money is then sent to various organizations throughout the Congo that attempt to rehabilitate the children in numerous ways. This fall they have embarked on a crosscountry tour to spread the word and urge everyone to use their voice as a weapon and educate others about the conflict in the Congo. They will stop in numerous cities, including San Diego, Phoenix, Dallas, New Orleans, Memphis, Chicago, and New York. This will be the second tour for the organization, the first being a tour last spring that proved to be very successful. “We want to build a coalition of whistleblowers so that even if this shut down, people would still be talking about it,” says Brittany Bledsoe, the tour coordinator. “We want to continue educating people about the Congo, but also empower them so that they can become whistleblowers in their own communities.” They have organized high school and university speaking events along the way, as well as more social events such as retail store openings and benefit concerts. “We like to find out what people are passionate about, and try to accommodate to that to try to raise awareness,” says Bledsoe. After visiting the headquarters in Downtown Los Angeles, it is clear that every member of Falling Whistles, almost all of which are volunteers, is deeply dedicated and driven to making a difference. “People dedicate their lives to this. One man hitchhiked from New York to LA just to help when he didn’t have money for a plane ticket,” says Ziff. As the conflict continues in the Congo, it is clear that Falling Whistles will do everything in their power to help make a difference for these young boys. And as they constantly stress, “Our voice will be our weapon.”
What’s your passion? By Vera Hughes Staff Writer There are fights breaking out on the Santa Monica College lawn. At least, that’s how it may appear at first glance, with the sight of sweeping leg kicks and dramatic punches between students, hurling their bodies at each other with violent efficiency. But look more closely and you may notice that the fighters aren’t making contact and some of them are smiling. The fluid, rhythmic movement has all the energy of a brawl, but is shrouded in the beauty of a dance. This is the martial art of capoeira, and students at SMC are falling head over heels for it—sometimes even literally. Often, when watching skilled or veteran capoeiristas, as performers of the art are called, you can catch participants smiling or laughing while they effortlessly throw their bodies into movements that would be immensely difficult for a first-timer. It comes easily enough for the artists that it’s even entered their lingo: hang around a few capoeiristas long enough and you’ll hear them talking about “playing,” their term for engaging each other in the physically challenging dance. The fighting style is immediately recognizable if you know what to look for. Influenced by African slaves and conceived in Brazil, capoeira combines several traditional regional dances that were typically performed as a warm-up by warriors going into battle. The art has the power to unite and connect people, as much of its energy is focused on the importance of interaction, stemming from its original purpose. Santa Monica College student Jassi Patayon, 21, says that this unification of people is one of the most powerful and important aspects of capoeira. Patayon’s interest in capoeira was sparked
at Belmont High School in Los Angeles when he saw people practicing it and eventually tried it himself. “[I decided] this was it, this was my style,” Patayon said of capoeira, an art that he explained helped him regain the roots he lost after moving here from the Philippines in 2001. When Patayon first arrived in the United States, he immersed himself so deeply into the American lifestyle that he started to lose his own sense of heritage, he explained. That’s when he discovered capoeira. Patayon accredits the good things that started happening in his life to capoeira. He was filled with what capoeiristas call “axe,” a main pillar of the art that describes the positive energy that fills participants and with which they in turn energize their practicing group. “The minute I started playing capoeira, everything just went straight up,” said Patayon. Patayon embodies everything that capoeira stands for, according to fellow capoeirista Jonathan Chavez. Chavez credits his own growth in the art to Patayon. But the compassion Patayon has shown Chavez isn’t merely contained to the lawn, Chavez added, explaining that the veteran capoeirista’s humble graciousness makes him more than just a great artist, but also a great friend. “One day, I didn’t have money for food and Jassi gave me 20 dollars; he said he didn’t like carrying money around,” Chavez said. All of these aspects of Patayon’s character come out through his choreography and dance work in capoeira. So next time you pass through the Quad and see the grinning fighter schooling other students, don’t worry about breaking up the fight. Instead, just stand back, watch and let yourself be energized by his “axe.”
Wednesday September ,
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
A two-wheel revolution cruises across Los Angeles By Julie Newsome Staff Writer If you’ve ever heard the popular 80s song “Walking in LA,” then you understand that well, nobody walks in LA. Seeing that LA is an asphalt jungle between the beach, mountains and valley, it’s become a faux pas to walk about the streets. But what about bicycling? Drive down virtually any street and you’ll be dodging bicycle riders left and right. The kind of people you see will range from experienced racers with fancy gear to girls wearing miniskirts late for work, and even 13-yearold biker gangs terrorizing random people in the night. In addition to those riding for exercise or the purpose of commuting, bicycle events are meeting grounds for mobs of people who dress up in costumes, and ride around the city into the late hours of the night. C.R.A.N.K. MOB is arguably the most popular of the many bicycle mobs that organize rides, seeing as the usual turn out can sometimes exceed 1,000 people. C.R.A.N.K. meets up on the Saturday after the third Friday of each month. Over the years this kind of event has become an underground phenomenon, with multiple rides every night of the week. Information about the rides travels by word of mouth as well as through forums such as Midnightridazz.com and C.R.A.N.K. MOB’s Facebook. People of all ages and walks of life attend these bicycle excursions with one main thing in common: a love for riding bikes. Los Angeles native
By John Stapleton IV Staff Writer Spending a lazy weekday night drinking at The Garter in Venice is like spending a night drinking at your buddy’s house, if your buddy could sing
Daniel Brooks, a student at SMC, says, “LA looks a lot different when you are on a bike. You’ll see things that you could have missed in the blink of an eye driving in a car.” From the beach into the city, Los Angeles biking groups cover vast ground and explore the city in a completely different way. Routes are planned to cover the span of anywhere between 1 mile and 30 miles at a time, sometimes beginning in Santa Monica and traveling through the city streets into downtown. With courses like that, it’s likely that LA riders are likely to witness parts of LA that are only seen via bike. “We once passed a colony-like place for homeless people downtown behind an alley. Its insane that it was there and I would have drove right past in a car without even looking,” says Daniels. While C.R.A.N.K. is described by its loyal members as a “religious organization,” there are others who ride simply for the exercise and breath of fresh air. A popular spot for tourists and locals alike is the Strand bike path. Running directly alongside the sand the ride runs about 22 miles and takes riders through Santa Monica, Venice, Manhattan and into Redondo. Along with the plethora of adventures available for those interested in cruising LA, there is a type of bicycle appropriate for every venture. Most popular, especially in California, is the beach cruiser, which is loved in bright, fluorescent colors. The only downside to a beach cruiser is that cruising the beach is all it is really good for. The enormous weight, single speed, and girth of the bike make it hard to go
all night while accompanying himself on the piano, and if he had a hot girlfriend who liked to invent really strong cocktails and went skipping around being super nice to everyone. The bar wasn’t even close to capacity, but it was overflowing
Michelle Ponder Corsair Once a month hundreds of bicyclists gather on the streets of Los Angeles for Critical Mass, a ride that originally aimed to promote bicyclist’s rights on the road. This month riders gathered on Sept. 25 and were escorted by LAPD on the ride as a result of mishaps in the recent past.
very fast or up a hill. If you want to get somewhere fast and easy you should try out a road bike set up with gears, which are typically used for street riding and community by many Angelinos. I always say that Los Angeles is like
with charm, and the vibe is so relaxed and friendly you half expect to walk in and hear everyone cheer your name for finally showing up. General Manager Will Bailey calls his bar “a real sexy, chill night club with live music,”
Brian White Corsair Regulars visiting The Garter on a Monday night make conversation over the lyrical stylings of Ryan Brahams. The bar offers a neighborhood bar feel with live music and a friendly atmosphere.
one big playground, so get out there and go play. Get back to your inner child and get on a bike if you haven’t recently. Whether you ride to get somewhere or just ride to ride you will find that the best things in life really are simple.
which would (hypothetically) be a fair assessment if you went on a Friday or Saturday where the place (allegedly) packs in so tight you have to call ahead to reserve tables. But The Garter isn’t wildly famous for being sexy, and calling it a nightclub might be a bit of a stretch. That said, it also isn’t contrived, gimmicky, or phony. The truth is, The Garter is a bar – plain and simple. It is a neighborhood bar in the most raw and unprocessed ways, featuring live performances from local talent, a single pool table, and the kind of bartender you’d want to marry if Bailey hadn’t already called shotgun on that. Natively-Texan ‘tender Christa (spelled “like ‘Chris’ with a little T and A” she explained with a wiggle) Bradley has an entire menu of her own secret cocktail concoctions, but on the list of things that make her a keeper, her heavy pours take a backseat to her effervescent disposition. In fact, of the dozen or so patrons that strolled in while I was there, only one wasn’t crowded around the edge of the bar laughing it up with Bradley, and he was the talent. Said talent was Ryan Brahms,
whom you might remember from his gigs at House of Blues or Whiskey a Go Go. Brahms plays when other local artists aren’t on stage, but unlike his Hollywood gigs, playing blues at The Garter is just for fun. “They have like a singer/ songwriter thing here, so I stay a couple hours for practice,” Brahms said. “I play here because it’s home.” “Home” is exactly what Bailey was trying to create when he opened the stage up to artists from the area. “We always have somebody different,” he said “What I went for with this thing is a place you can come play and your friends can come listen.” Like your buddy’s house, your friends can come listen for free. And given its local locale, they can probably walk there. Unlike your buddy’s house, they won’t have to take off their shoes to come inside, and while there are dozens of couches to relax on while absorbing the music and alcohol, your friends can’t sleep over. But they’ll want to: It seems everyone that visits The Garter, stays. “The regulars here are so bad ass!” said Bradley. “It’s like a tiny little family.”
Corsair Newspaper Santa Monica College
Wednesday September ,
The Idea Of Love
The Existentialism of a Missing Pizza
By Vienna Urias
What do I know of love? Its edges screaming and teasing Its rules fleeting with no meaning Teardrops kiss my lips as I stare into this abyss of you I’m waxing and waning like a summer moon Slow and easy and flooded with moods I cannot escape the corners of me I hide because it’s where you abide
Glass bottles rattle in the night, palms sweating ashes burning I forget why All these spaces filled with lack of pace leave me blank and these hands writhe inside your blind mind A taste lingers on my mouth and sweetens my tongue As slow as the tide I wither away at the sight- an old woman, young I dare not love and each tear I bleed I am burned with need Never should I trust this thought I sold my soul to u and its my body u bought Your a poison in my veins running through every thought Like every good lover you come with a cost You are a deadly sin between believe and a lie Like your deep blue eyes which shattered mine These hands caress smoke and dust As soft as a lullaby you said you must Niko and dahlia line the rims of my eyes Falling and wanting I see the edges of my demise Across the deepen lines of your jagged face I follow the lies Around and around I go flinging myself into hell with effortless tries Out of the black mascara tears a woman is mourned A ghost rises from the this ash; reborn I press my withered hand against the transcendent glass On the other side just oceans of wilted flowers and rotten grass
Beneath the water this body lies Trapped by misery it has become my reality Waiting softly fading into the darkness below A gathered stillness, a ripened bliss All in one moment my fingers slide. Against the glass I’m left screaming tears from my eyes Finger nails against a vacant wall Lips of glass shatter and fall I see the devil behind the eyes And understand that within the word believe there will always be a lie.