Inside: News.......................1-3 Opinion...................4-5 Photo Story.............6-7 A&E.........................8-9 Sports......................10 Lifestyle...............11-12
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Volume C, Issue 23
State within sight By Wayne Neal Staff Writer The SMC Women’s Tennis team began their journey for another appearance to the state championship Tuesday at Reed Park, as they handled their first playoff opponent Rio Hondo with ease. Heavily favored, the number one seeded Santa Monica Corsairs were host to the number eight seeded Rio Hondo Road Runners in their first playoff match. The Corsairs came into the match, focused and ready to take care of business. The SMC women dominated the Road Runners from beginning with a 5-1 victory, the Corsairs claiming victories from the first five spots and Rio Hondo claiming their only victory in the sixth spot. The win in the singles matches were enough to get the win making the doubles matches unnecessary. SMC tennis alumnus Sally Mercado, who played on the team in 2009, was in attendance on Tuesday, and saw some key differences in this years’ team that separates them from her years with the team. “I see a lot more dedication on this
[See Tennis, page 10]
Jennifer Martinez Corsair Newly elected A.S. President Harrison Wills, 26, overlooks the outline during final meeting before being elected president. The final meeting lasted five hours.
A.S. winners announced
By Jonathan Bue Editor-in-Chief After a two-week delay, a new Associated Students board, headed by Presidentelect Harrison Wills, was selected after a special meeting was conducted by an Election Committee this past Friday to resolve whether certain candidates had violated the election code in their bid for a seat on the board. Although the four hour-long deliberation process determined one campaign worker and one candidate, Mackenzie Becket, to be in violation of the
code, the Election Committee ultimately passed a motion allowing violators to go unpunished. Becket, a write-in candidate running for Director of Student Services, was designated to having violated items three and four of section IX, concerning polling procedure, in a unanimous vote against her. She was found to have violated the minimum distance rule stipulated in item three which states “there must be a minimum distance of 8 feet between the candidate or campaign worker and the user of the personal computer when a vote is cast to ensure the voter’s privacy,”
and failed to appropriately register her iPhones for campaign use. As a result, Becket was suspended from campaigning during the voting period for one day. Arthur Rodriguez, a campaign worker for Harrison Wills, was also found to be in violation of the minimum distance rule. The items were the basis of all six complaints filed and addressed at the meeting. “There have been some voices that are saying we should just prohibit laptop computers,” said Leo Leung, Inter Club
[See Election Results, page 3]
Local beach scoured for trash By Nathan Gawronsky News Editor Mide Ogundipe, 23, a member of Sustainable Works, was busy picking up remnants of trash on the shore outside of the hotel Casa Del Mar. On the shore of a polluted pond, created from the runoff of the Pico-Kenter outfall, Ogundipe stood among scraps of plastic, Styrofoam, cigarette butts, and paper. “I think people desperately need to be more aware of what’s going on with the Earth. People are more interested in Snooki and that kind of stuff than about the environment,” said Ogundipe. “Seeing stuff like this is depressing—this clutter and trash shouldn’t be here.” Sixty volunteers from Santa Monica College and the surrounding areas volunteered on April 22 to help clean a long stretch of beach in Santa Monica. Armed with latex gloves and trash bags, the volunteers broke off into groups of three and five to comb the stretch of shore for the detritus left behind by tourists and locals. Svetlana Pravina, 18, Treasurer of the Eco Action Club, helped to organize the day’s event with Heal The Bay, a non-profit environmental group that works to restore
the Santa Monica Bay. For most of the 60 volunteers, it would be their first time cleaning a beach; and for both first timers and hardened veterans of the cause, the yield
how most of the trash found on the beaches of Santa Monica is brought from people, rainstorms, and storm drains leading to the outfalls that regurgitate into the bay.
Sal Guerra Corsair Carlos Takeshita, 9-years-old, participates in cleaning the Santa Monica beach with Heal the Bay and SMC students on April 22. Some of the trash found on the beach included plastic, candy wraps, toy shovels, cigarette btts and lots of microtrash.
produced astonishing results. Sixty to 80 percent of marine debris is plastic, Tom Fleming, Web Producer for Heal The Bay, explained to the small phalanx of environmental activists. He explained
Addressing the crowd from a lifeguard hut, Fleming also explained how it is especially important to avoid the water from storm drains, especially if they are stagnant, “because they’re filled with all kinds of bad
stuff: enterococcus and coliform bacteria are tested in the outlet’s waters—you definitely don’t want to take a dip in that water,” said Fleming. Fanning out, the small teams busily probed the sand for micro trash—small scraps of refuse too small to normally notice. Data cards, or lists of common items found on the beach, were distributed to each team, so that they could meticulously register the contents within their trash bags. The majority of their findings were cigarette buts, small strips of plastic, glass, and paper. “I had no idea how much micro trash there was; literally tons of small bits of trash,” said Alden Anderson, a volunteer. “It feels good to help clean up.” “I hope people are surprise by the amount of garbage they see today,” said Justine Rembac, A.S. Director of Sustainability and a member of the Eco Action Club. Rembac, recalling the moment when she became inspired to take up environmental causes, spoke about an environmental political science class under Professor Amber Katherine. “It’s just one of those classes that truly motivated and inspired me to get involved.” “I can’t make anyone care,” said Rembac. “I can only give them the opportunity to.”
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
Californians squeeze hands for cash [Hands, from page 1] out there, along with Mitra Moassessi (Faculty Association President) and Nancy Greenstein (Member of Board of Trustees).” Barbara Ige, an Alumni Coordinator, led the effort to organize the event with student life on campus. “The match by the Osher Foundation was fantastic,” she said, referring to the Bernard Osher Foundation’s pledge to match all donations by 50 percent. Despite the event being considered by some a relative success, some considered the overall gathering to be paltry and insufficient. Making matters more complicated, the HAC website has been periodically inoperative, making it difficult for supporters to make direct donations to SMC. “To be honest, I was surprised,” said an organizer who requested
to be quoted anonymously. “There were a lot more people than I expected.” Speaking of the FCCC: “They didn’t give us a lot of lead time, or any instructions on how to approach this. “I was really frustrated by the final result,” they said. As of April 19, $32,638 has been raised towards benefiting the California community college system, with $736 raised to directly benefit SMC. Jill Scofield, Director of Public Relations for the FCCC, explained that the event was planned on a tight schedule which prevented the FCCC from being able to allocate a date which best served the entire California community college system. “The idea wasn’t even discussed until last fall, so we tried to do it on a relatively short
time frame,” said Scofield. “We thought the turnout overall was a powerful message that we hope will continue to reverberate.” Supporter turnouts varied greatly campus to campus. According to Sarah Goding, a Staff Writer from The Breeze, 100-150 supporters assembled outside of Chafey College. Codey Shore, Editor-in-Chief of Santa Barbara City College’s The Channels, counted 47 supporters. Figures provided by Ige tally 300-400 people who came out to support El Camino City College, and over 1,000 supporters for Victor Valley College. “I would say it has to do with how students feel they’ll be effected,” said Alex Emslie, Editor-in-Chief of San Francisco City College’s The Guardsman. “The majority of the students who came out to support this event were ESL students,
because they feel concerned that the budget cuts could directly effect their courses.” “The fact that people were willing to come out on a Sunday is promising,” said Reid Milburn, Campus and Community Relations Director for the FCCC and former Student Senate President of SMC. “Doing this on such short notice probably didn’t help us, but hopefully this will be the start of more activities.” “We were only lacking in reinforcements. You would think that with more than 30,000 students at SMC and hundreds of faculty members that more people would have come out, especially during these lean budget times. Supporters can donate to Hands Across California by visiting handsacrosscalifornia. org or by texting HANDS to 27722.
Green week on campus Election flubbed
[Earth, from page 1]
are the ones who are going to inherit these problems,” said Bertone. “I heard once that as a generation, you don’t get to choose your cause,” said Bertone. In the 80s, the cause was HIV, in the 70s it was the Vietnam War, in the 60s it was the civil rights movement, she said. According to her, this generation’s cause is environmental issues. “The city of Santa Monica is one of the greenest cities in the nation,” said Bertone. She said as a community college that is located in a green city, it’s important that we respond to our community interests. Bertone said SMC has had Earth Day festivals for over 10 years; however,
the first time it was a full week event was in 2007, when the environmental audit was launched. She said that people in all constituencies on campus express an interest in helping the environment. “I mean, the environment is kind of like mom and apple pie, it’s really hard to be against it,” Bertone said Bertone. Lisa Burns, SMC’s Environmental Services Administrative Assistant, said she has always been aware of the environment and trying to do her part, which is why she applied to work for CEUS. “It wasn’t until I got a full time job here that I’ve just been ‘bitten by the bug,’ so to speak,” said Burns, “I’m just trying to change everything in my life to be a more sustainable person in
every way, shape, or form.” Burns said she jumped at the opportunity to be a part of Earth Week because she loves working with students. “I’m learning so much from them, they just really have opened my eyes to a lot of the things that I could be doing differently,” she said. She said Earth Week is an attempt at making people aware of everyday things they can do that can make a difference in the environment. “It’s about opening the eyes of people that are just not aware,” she said. “People just don’t understand the effects of throwing a plastic bottle in the trash versus recycle,” said Burns, “Just that one little change can make such a huge difference.”
[Election, from page 1]
privacy” by standing too close to students while voting, and pressuring students to vote for them during last year’s elections, Leung explained. Election results have yet to be privately determined as well. “We don’t want the results to influence the committee because if [the candidates] violated the code, they violated the code,” said Leung. As of 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 7, at least 3,500 student voters have been tallied. Compared to last year’s 2010 votes, this year’s A.S. election saw a 50% increase in voters, resulting in a new record for student voter turnout in an A.S. election.
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
LA cracks down on distracted driving
Fabian Cooke Corsair Santa Monica College Police have been cracking down on distracted drivers during April, issuing more tickets for texting and non-hands free cell phone use, due to Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
By Jennifer Ferrada Staff Writer We may be in the smart phone era, but according to the government, talking or texting on the phone while driving is not necessarily smart itself. Today’s world of advanced technology may bring us great conveniences, but when it poses a threat to the well being of people, the convenience factor becomes
insignificant. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, serving as a reminder for how deadly the consequences can be when driving without the full attention being placed on the road. Law enforcement statewide, including the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD), have expressed their support for launching a crackdown on the mass amounts of texting occurring
on the roads. The department believes that texting and driving is not much better than drinking and driving, considering how drivers who use phones while driving are still four times more likely to be in a car accident. Despite how many individuals may agree with the message being demonstrated, some are still hesitant to the idea of more police
involvement. “I don’t think you accomplish anything by fear or by scaring people,” SMC student Yonatan Mallinger stated. Mallinger stressed how important the use of education is and how much more it should be relied on. According to student and motorist Olga Shields, police enforcement by way of tickets is the correct disciplinary action for being caught texting while driving. Shields even believes that the rate for charging people should be higher. “There’s not always a way to make people realize the action is bad, sometimes the way is to just make them not want to get the ticket. Keep charging them, and maybe they’ll stop,” Shields said. “We have been enforcing the law against talking on cell phones while driving ever since it came out two years ago. It’s being spotlighted now because people keep continuing to just break the law by talking on a cell phone while they’re driving,” said Officer Aguayo of the LAPD who works with the investigation of accidents. When asked about the differences of using a Bluetooth, Aguayo expressed that he does feel they are better than breaking the
law and handling the phone with your hands. “But when you’re driving, you shouldn’t be distracted by any other stuff. And that includes having a plug on your ear. It’s still distracting you from focusing on your driving 100 percent,” Aguayo elaborated as he fully stressed the critical importance to stay away from distracted driving. Having investigated a lot of accidents, Aguayo has come across many cases of distracted drivers who were caught using their cell phones. “Sometimes not until you’ve hurt or killed someone, do you realize the dangers involved when you’re breaking the law in this manner,” he said. This unfortunate realization Aguayo has made about some drivers in his field of police work poses a challenge for drivers everywhere, which is to be proactive now and stop driving distracted. In a world where news travels at the speed of light, it may seem impossible to resist the urge to check your phone at every red light or while in traffic on the freeway. However, unless you are willing to receive a hefty fine for that little bit of gossip you can grab from your phone, it may be best to ignore the ring of your phone and keep your eyes on the road.
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
Cathy Arias Corsair The sun sets over the playa at Coachella in Indo, Calif.
By Cathy Arias Staff Writer Masses of sunshine and sweat-drenched people assembled at the Empire Polo Club field grounds this past weekend for the Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival, devotedly withstanding the intense desert heat in hopes of realizing their Coachella fantasies. Coachella is most easily described as a playground for adults. The grounds boast colorful and conspicuous art pieces, some doubling as shade structures, seating, or interactive forms of entertainment, in case any of the 120 bands from the festival’s lineup do not provide enough of it. Sounds coming from any of the six stages filled the ears of the eclectic Coachella crowd, starting at noon on Friday and ending in the early hours of Monday. Lining the night skies above the 75,000 concert-goers are streaks of hundreds of balloons on a line, each individually lit by a single-colored LED light along with grand light beams coming from the perimeters of the event, creating an enclosed, tented feeling.
The celebrated event attracted celebrities such as Katy Perry, Leonardo DiCaprio, Kirsten Dunst, Rihanna, Paris Hilton and many more. This year’s most notable headliners included famous rapper Kanye West, Grammy award-winning band Arcade Fire, the UK’s Kings of Leon, and The Strokes. Friday afternoon, Dutch music producer and DJ Afrojack made fans dance despite the heat with his pulsing beats, but more so, surprised them with a guest DJ appearance from 2009 Coachella headliner, Sir Paul McCartney. Following Interpol, the two-man band The Black Keys soulfully rocked the main stage later in the night. Drummer of the Black Keys, Patrick Carney, returned to the stage as thousands sang “the birthday song” in celebration of his 31st birthday. Kings of Leon managed to satisfy those familiar with both their old and new records while delivering strong, sometimes sexual, musical vibes. Intense audiovisual stimulation delighted and overwhelmed those with enough energy to enjoy the Chemical Brothers epic ending to the first night of Coachella. Lesser-known indie bands such as The
Cathy Arias Corsair Coachella go-ers give their ears and legs a break while soaking up the sun, resting on the giant “reelMobile.”
Tallest Man on Earth and Here We Go Magic delivered melodic tunes midday Sunday, as well as up-and-coming band Cage the Elephant. Before performing their latest single, “Shake Me Down,” Cage the Elephant’s front man, Matthew Shultz, crowd surfed amongst the eager sea of sweaty rockers mirroring his strong energetic presence. As the hot day turned into night, a full moon shone brightly through the beams and past the brightly colored palm trees as indie-folk band Mumford and Sons took the main stage. Lead singer Marcus Mumford admitted that the band had never played in front of an audience as large as the one gathered in front of them. They began after he asked the enthralled audience, “shall we dance?” and concluded with their beloved hit singles, “Little Lion Man” and “The Cave.” The highly acclaimed Montrealbased band, Arcade Fire, met the high expectations of all their fans with an entertaining and engaging presentation of hits from their newest album, “The Suburbs,” but also tenacious anthems like “Rebellion (Lies)” and “Neighborhood #3 (Power Out).” Towards the end of their
Cathy Arias Corsair Kanye West performs “Power,” a track off of his newest album, as fireworks light up the night desert sky.
set, lit orbs fell down onto the audience, all simultaneously changing colors bouncing off of the allured crowd. On Sunday night, Kanye West’s performance wrapped up the weekend with an elevated platform allowing him to spew raps from above, fireworks, a guest appearance by musician Justin Vernon from Bon Iver, and a bold statement, “This is the most important show I’ve done since my mama passed away.” West’s theatrical set was well received by his fans. In comparison to last year’s Coachella, higher security measures allowed for a more open environment, far less unsettling than last year’s overcrowded vicinities. The festival, though a six-day record sell-out does not suggest a need for change, has evolved into a more organized event. Wristband issues, drug and alcohol related arrests, and a sometimes faulty main stage audio system were minor problems that did not interfere with the overall unforgettable experience Coachella is always able to provide its adoring fans. Surely there are thousands already counting down the days until the next time they can get together for a weekend in the makeshift musical utopia that is Coachella.
Cathy Arias Corsair Adoring Arcade Fire fans become mesmerized by the massive amount of lit orbs that fall from the stage which end up as party favors.
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
Emeritus college launches new exhibit
Sammy Soliman Corsair Alex Vital and Cass Cassidy complimenting each others photos at the Emeritus college opening reception for the new photo exhibit Between Light and Shadow on Thursday April 7, 2011 in Santa Monica, Calif.
By Juan Lopez Staff Writer Families and administrators attended the opening night of the Santa Monica College student photography exhibit, Between Light and Shadow, on Thursday, April 7, at the Emeritus College Gallery. “Where would you find a plastic bee like that?” asked Lucille D’amico, commenting on the precision with which a bee’s image was taken. The photographer of “Pollen Picking Honeybee,” Alex Vidal, followed the bee from poppy to poppy until it was in just the right position to get the shot he wanted for his photo, which now hangs in the corner of the gallery. Charles Haskell, a retired doctor, has been taking photo classes at Emeritus for five years. One of his displayed works, “Droplet Landscape”, looks like a reflecting water droplet, but is in fact sap. Haskell said, “I was walking in Will Rogers State Park and I saw this little drop of sap on the
lower edge of a tree limb and took out my macro lens.” “That’s what I teach,” said their photography instructor Ken Buckner, “to see the shot.” Haskell’s other photograph on display, “Tennis Spectator,” is of a deer hiding on a hillside that Buckner happened to spot while he was attending a tennis match. Emeritus College has been providing free classes to older adults for 36 years, offering classes in health, business, computers, and the arts. Buckner says, “They’re here because they want to be here, they’re here because they’re learning and they’re having a thrill.” The gallery exhibit showcases work from older adult students who have had varying degrees of photography experience, but have all been learning more about composition and digital imaging. Haskell supports his hobby of photography by learning Photoshop, and began experimentation in the field starting with one camera. He now has four professional
level cameras and has done pro bono work for non-profit organizations such as the YMCA, Westside Shelter & Hunger Coalition, and the Santa Monica Library. Meeting old friends at the exhibit’s opening night, architect and Emeritus College student Doris Power says, “I built these two ladies’ houses.” Power provided the promotional image for the exhibit, of a reflecting pond of pyramids she took while in Mexico City admiring the architecture of Ricardo Legoretta. “I never knew how to do things with a digital camera,” Power said. For the piece entitled “Pyramid Pond,” she used paint daubs because she “liked the sense of it being more opaque.” Aside from mingling, the opening night exhibit also included the handing out of awards, with first place going to Cass Cassidy’s “Girl on a Train;” a sepia portrait of a young girl with wind playing in her hair. Her first reaction was, “I thought if I won, my ‘Egyptian Girl’ would win. I thought it was the best picture I’ve taken in my life.” Cassidy has been taking photos for years,
but started taking classes four years ago when she decided she needed to “fix” her photos up. She took her favorite photo, “Egyptian Girl,” a close up of a young girl, while at a McDonald’s. “I was having a sandwich and this little girl is sitting in front of me, it looked perfect.” “We have a great time playing with photography,” said Buckner. “My seniors give me 110 percent.” Former curator of the Emeritus Gallery, Lynn LaBate, described Emeritus College as a vibrant place with strong connections between the faculty and their students. Other winners of the night included Carol Kleinman, who works with single image reflections printed on canvas, giving the effect of one image being laid on top of the other, and Jim Gerstley, whose “Sognefjord Mountain and Clouds” gives stark contrasts between cliff sides, sun, and clouds. “Between Light and Shadow” is showing at the Emeritus College Gallery located at 1227 2nd Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. until Friday May 13.
Your Highness bows out gracefully
By Kevin Duncan Staff Writer Your Highness, directed by David Gordon Green (Pineapple Express), hit the silver screens this past Friday. This delightful yet dirty comedy is filled with obscene language and lewd jokes, as fantasy crosses over with comedy, a mix that usually does not come out successful. Danny McBride, James Franco, and Natalie Portman all do an excellent job in their adapted roles. McBride, who starred in hilarious comedies such as Tropic Thunder, Hot Rod, and Pineapple Express (alongside co-star James Franco), does a great job delivering humor and absurdity in this hysterical movie. With a budget of $5 million, filming for Your Highness took take place in Northern Ireland, which allowed for a truly breathtaking
setting for the movie. Green pastures and mountains dominated the screen at times, and divine waterfalls actually made Portman look more stunning than she already is. Thadeous (McBride) and Fabious (Franco) are the sons of King Tallious (Charles Dance). Both brothers are warriors, however, they are completely opposite of each other. Fabious is the younger, more exuberant, and valiant warrior, whereas Thadeous is the juvenile and lethargic one who has never set foot on a quest. The movie received an R-rating due to the fact that there was nudity and a lot of profanity. However, Your Highness’s use of profanity added more flavor to the scenes making the film hilarious. McBride adds great disdain and mockery throughout the entire movie, with very little seriousness, as is his character.
During the course of the movie McBride is rude and vulgar, an aspect the audience loves to see in a comedian. Franco is extremely likeable in his role and adapts well to comedy, his character in Pineapple Express was nothing short of hilarious and already proved that he gets the job done. Portman is always a pleasure to watch as she plays a tough yet tantalizing lone warrior. It’s a joy to see the Academy Award winner perform in a different type of movie and role from her previous works. Then of course there’s Justin Theroux as the evil wizard Leezar. He does a great job portraying the antagonist, adding humor to a role in which it is not always present. One will enjoy this movie filled with a star-studded cast, only if they like crude and obscene humor, with a fairly predictable, nevertheless well thought out, plot.
Courtesy of Universal
THIS WEEK AT SMC April 19-24 “KCRW Presents: The Merchants of Venice”
For ticketing information on events at the Broad Stage, visit thebroadstage.com
“Earth Week: “Earth Week: “Delivering “Earth Week: Organic Earth Day Disaster Relief in Screening of the Learning Garden Festival & Teach- Haiti: Myths and Garden” Groundbreaking” In” Realities”
The Broad Stage
Main Campus Quad
Time will vary depending on date.
“Earth Week: Beach Cleanup with Heal the Bay”
“Space Shuttle Swan Song”
“Fine Arts & Music Four”
Center for Environmental & Urban Studies
John Drescher Planetarium
10:30 a.m. -1:00 p.m.
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
Video Spark Notes: A no-brainer By Nick Lotz Staff Writer Spark Notes, the company famous for providing summaries of novels for students to use when they feel like blowing off required reading, has recently released Video Spark Notes, a YouTube channel that allows people to watch an eight-minute cartoon summarizing classic novels. So why not use Video Spark Notes? It isn’t cheating. Arguably, you’re only cheating yourself from the benefits of actually reading and understanding classic literature. But if you’re about to take a test on a book you’ve never cracked open, using Video Spark Notes would really just be smart. If Student A reads Hamlet and Student B watches a Video Spark Notes of Hamlet, and they both get the same grade on the test, isn’t student B being more efficient and time conscious? And isn’t that more valuable in today’s working world than a fully fleshed knowledge of the capture of Moby Dick? For all anyone knows, Student B could be developing a cure for cancer
in the time he saved using Video Spark Notes. In all likelihood, he’s doing something more akin to getting stoned and playing Halo, but still, he could be doing something useful. Plus, what about Student C, who used Video Spark Notes because she didn’t have time to read while watching her kid? So there we are: Video Spark Notes is a useful tool. They may mark the end of intellectualism as we know it, but they’re useful nonetheless. I mean, what’s wrong with a tool that’s going to boost a student’s GPA? Surviving in the “real” world without a bachelors degree nowadays is tough business, and without a high school diploma or GED, forget it, give up your aspirations of becoming an actor and apply at McDonalds, because that’s about as far as you’ll get. So in a world where GPA scores have become as competitive as the Super Bowl, what is one to do? Study. Use your brain the way students have been expected to do since the dawn of education. Video Spark Notes are nothing more than a mark of things gone wrong, a symbol of idiocy in a country who’s
become the best at not giving a damn. According to the California State University’s page on television and health, Americans watch 250 billion hours of television each year. That’s 250 billion hours that were spent partaking in an activity that has literally no positive benefit in one’s life whatsoever. It can’t help you find work, or a healthy relationship, and it doesn’t make you smarter. In fact, it might make you more stupid. A study from Princeton.edu entitled “Media and Attention, Cognition, and School Achievement,” found that television viewing was negatively linked with achievement. It also found that people with a lower IQ tended to watch more television. But then again, Video Spark Notes isn’t television; it’s a source for “educational videos” on the Internet. The computer is the greatest tool of our generation, and there has to be some positive benefit to its use. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in their 2010 American Time Use Survey that individuals aged 1519 spent five minutes daily reading compared to, on average, an hour using
a computer for leisure. That’s a ratio of 1:12, which means high school and college kids spend 15 times more time on the computer than they do reading. Which makes sense, when considering what reading is competing with. What brave soul would dare to venture into the heady and complicated works of authors such as James Joyce and David Foster Wallace when a new Call of Duty map pack is released? Reading takes time and patience, it requires one to sit still and remain silent for extended periods of time. And classic novels are no coffee table books either. Many of the lengthy passages require deciphering, which easily triples or doubles the reading time the first time around. So why would anyone raised to change the channel during a five minute commercial break waste their time reading a book? That time could be spent yelling racial slurs into x-box live headgear, or posting sexy-angle-pics on Facebook; valuable, worthwhile activities which enrich our lives in oh so many ways. I’m just having some trouble thinking of them at the moment.
Corrections for Volume C, Issue 21: In last week’s issue, on the cover page, AS presidential candidate Harrison Wills’ name was incorrectly printed as Willis. In the article “Satos enter hall together”, retired SMC Professor Dr. Tommie Smith was attributed as a gold medal winning swimmer, when in fact it is Lenny Krayzelberg who is a gold medalist in swimming. Dr. Tommie Smith was also a gold medal winner, but for track and field. Additionally, all of the Satos began their athletic careers in Santa Monica, but not specifically at Santa Monica College. Lastly, Eric Sato attended SMC during 1984 and ‘85, rather than the stated 1985 and ‘86.
SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
Egyptian democracy under military’s boot By Nathan Gawronsky News Editor Back in February, while the protestors in Cairo’s Tahrir Square were reaching numbers in the hundreds of thousands, I interviewed Mark Wahba, an Egyptian student at Santa Monica College. Some of the questions I touched on had to deal with thoughts on the fate of Hosni Mubarak (Egypt’s recently deposed president of 30 years), the Egyptian people’s desire for freedom and respect, and the distinction between the police and military structures in Egypt. Aside from Wahba’s parents being Egyptian, there was very little of what Wahba said that could be taken as anything but pure conjecture. There was, however, one thing that stood out. On the subject of the military, Wahba had this to say: “The military is one with the people,” said Wahba. “They have the final say, and they have the happiness of the people at
heart.” That was two months ago, when the Egyptian people celebrated the Egyptian forces for taking their side and allowing them the forum to voice their collective frustrations and demands. Pictures streamed out from Cairo of people celebrating atop tanks and hugging soldiers. Their peaceful revolution seemed just within their grasp, and with the fall of Hosni Mubarak, it seemed anything was possible for the Arab Spring. Nonetheless, all of my feelings of trepidation, suspicion, and wariness at that time about the Egyptian military assuming control of the transition from autocracy to democracy have unfortunately been confirmed. My grounds for suspicion were based on the simple fact that the military is not some isolated structure within Egyptian society. In all seriousness, militaries answer to a higher command, and in the case of Egypt’s military, it doesn’t
take any stretch of the imagination to assume that Egypt’s generals answered to Mubarak and his ministries. Whether they were happy to answer to Mubarak is another story, but seeing how the army stood down, and deferred to the will of the people instead of to established order, speaks volumes on the opportunity the army saw to seize power. Egypt has a big problem on their hands. On April 11, an Egyptian blogger named Maikel Nabil, 26, was given three years in prison for “insulting the army after he publicized reports of abuses by the military,” according to the Associated Press. I make no claims to being a military or social/political analyst, but by simple virtue of common sense, this decision by the Egyptian army doesn’t seem to “have the happiness of the people at heart.” Rather, this seems to send a very clear message to the Egyptian people, and that message is this: If you try to practice your basic human right to free speech,
think again, because we’ll come over, kick down your door, and throw you in a cage. Armies should never be given the trust and the privilege to govern without a higher authority for a military to answer to. They are not only made effectively above the law, but in the case of Nabil, they are the law. Which magistrates or judges have the power to stand up to the militia? In the cold, methodical language of revolutions, the man with the biggest guns and fattest wallet is the man afforded all the power. Those couple of months ago, I was thrilled to see how adamantly devoted the Egyptian people were towards realizing their aspirations in a peaceful manner. Though many people died, Mubarak ceded power without the need of a war or military coup. Now with the military in control and indiscriminately violating human rights, I sincerely hope that the once peaceful revolution will not slip into civil war.
Turn your brains on, Three-ring budget circus
and your laptops off By Carla Wilson Staff Writer There was a story in the news two weeks ago about a Valdosta State University college professor who was fed up by a female student’s ceaseless fiddling on her computer during his lectures, so he ended the distraction by casually strolling up to her desk and slamming the laptop closed. The student, who was flabbergasted by the professor’s shocking mojo, filed assault charges, claiming her pinky finger was allegedly injured in the fray. The once popular professor was arrested, released on bail and later suspended from his job. I’m sure it wasn’t the professor’s intent to harm the student, but I can honestly understand his frustration regarding this particular student’s lack of passion for classroom etiquette. What bugs me about this story is the student’s sense of entitlement; her belief that she can simply ignore the professor and just bang away on her keyboard, not caring about anyone else or how her behavior negatively affects the energy in class. Why can’t some students understand that college is about more than just showing up? Why don’t you turn off your phones, close your laptops and have some respect for your peers who are in class to learn and not just to be seen? What’s up with this digitally influenced generation, where visceral experience has been replaced by an app on an
iPhone? Practically everywhere you turn on campus you see a student’s forehead permanently fixed downward, staring into some kind of gadget. So, they bring their gadgets to class and rather than be captivated by the professor’s keen insight on a subject, some students would rather make status updates on Facebook or send a text about some inane article they read on TMZ. I’m sure a lot of professors are fed up with this tripe. Not only do they have to be hyper vigilant about cheating, they are also forced to endure this kind of insufferable foolishness in the classroom. I often wonder why anyone would choose to deprive themselves of a quality education in order to obsessively rummage through cyberspace looking for that instant gratification of being “liked” on a website. With cuts in public education, it’s hard enough for dedicated students to pay for school, so if you are less than enthused to be present and participate, then maybe that financial aid you were awarded can be used by someone who actually cares about learning, growing and thriving in the real world. College professors and fellow students are our link to knowledge and experience. They deserve our consideration and respect, in and out of the classroom. So when you have the urge to text your girlfriend or watch that YouTube video in class, be wary, because next time you might get more than just a bruised pinky. You may end up with a bruised education.
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By Nathan Gawronsky News Editor Legislators in Washington, D.C. captured the attention of the nation last week with their heated bickering over the federal budget. For months, the ominous specter of a government shut down hung like a dark cloud over the Capitol, threatening the employment of hundreds and thousands of federal employees. However, at the eleventh hour, Republicans and Democrats came to an agreement, albeit reluctantly. Democrats praised President Obama for standing firm on preserving important domestic programs like Planned Parenthood, and Republicans praised House Speaker John A. Boehner for his notable skills with negotiating. The nation had a collective “whew!” moment. With $38 billion slashed from the federal deficit, people could finally rest assured that the government was working hard to enact real change. But the whole spectacle was nothing more than a grand three-ring circus act. With the federal deficit at an historic high of $1.4 trillion, the audacity of our elected officials to be bickering over billions, when they should be worrying about trillions, is preposterous. With every passing day, we are constantly inundated with the terms: millions, billions, and trillions. At a certain point, people become numb to these figures, and the lines that separate them become blurred; let’s take a look at the magnitude of these large numbers. If I were to start counting at a rate of one number per second for 16 hours a day (with eight hours for sleep), getting to one million would take a little over two
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weeks. To get to one billion would take a little less than 50 years, and to count to one trillion would take at least 50,000 years. So, as anyone can see, arguing over billions when the overwhelming issue is in the order of trillions is like bickering over a drop in the ocean. And what’s their solution to fix this mess? Democrats want to extend and raise taxes while cutting certain areas of discretionary spending, like the defense budget, for example. Republicans, on the other hand, want to extend the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans (they expire next year) while slashing domestic programs which help the most poor and vulnerable Americans. They would be perfectly content to cripple Medicaid and Medicare while preserving our nation’s defense budget. President Obama’s budget speech last week was commendable. The American people need a strong leader to stand up for them, and not for the top 1 percent who earn 80 percent of this country’s income, resulting in the most unequal distribution of wealth among developed, first world Western countries. Figuring out our finances shouldn’t be so difficult. Slashing domestic programs and tax extensions is like a putting a band-aid on a slashed carotid artery. What we need is a leader who will put an end to our endless and unneeded overspending on the defense budget and the most leniently taxed upper class of any developed country in the world. To ignore these problems is not only morally reprehensible, but recklessly irresponsible towards the future well being of our country, which is in dire need of help right now.
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SANTA MONICA COLLEGE
April 20, 2011
Improved defense not enough for SMC By Joan Walsh Staff Writer
Paul Alvarez Contributor Shyanne King completes a put out at first base during the Corsairs game against College of the Canyons Thursday, April 7, at Clover Park in Santa Monica, Calif.
On a cold day at Clover Park, the Santa Monica Corsairs lost the second of two games against the College of the Canyons’ Cougars in five innings last Thursday. The Corsairs were off to a slow start while the Cougars offense got started early. The Cougars pitching was solid, with the Cougar’s starting pitcher able to paint the lower half of the strike zone for most of the first four innings. This became a problem for the Corsairs, as the only contact that was made resulted in weakly hit ground balls in the infield. The Corsairs showed improvement on the defensive side of the ball as the usual errors that plague the infield were not an issue. However, the Cougars were still able to reach base on a series of singles and weakly hit balls out of the infield. The Cougars were also aggressive on the bases, constantly stealing and eventually building up a ten run lead by the end of the third inning. A glimpse of the Corsairs potential appeared in the fourth inning when sophomore, Alyson Herman, took over as pitcher for the Corsairs, striking out several Canyon batters, and having a
solid overall outing. Herman, who is planning on transferring next year, pitched in the previous game and did not start for that reason. In the fifth and final inning, the Corsairs came out strong and got on the board. After doubles by Crystal Hernandez and Samantha Bozek, Katherine Aragon hit a single that scored both runners and dented Canyons’ confidence as a Canyons error led to two runs. “It felt amazing to get the hit that scored some runs,” said Aragon. Although the Corsairs showed promise in the later innings, it was too little too late, as Canyons added one more run before the game was called in the fifth inning due to the eightrun rule. Hernandez said that they’ve come a long way since last year, and she is positive for the team’s future. One of the main goals of the team in the off-season is to actively recruit from high schools for future teams. Coach Char Wilson says the year has looked up for SMC compared to previous years, and she’s pleased with the progress the team is making. “We have won some conference games where last year they were 0-18 and scored around 5 runs total for the season.”
Corsairs sail into playoffs with win By Wayne Neal Staff Writer To get back to the State Championship, the Santa Monica College Corsairs had to go on the road Thursday and defeat the previously unbeaten Saddleback Gauchos, the team that defeated them just a year ago in the state championships by an overall match score of 7-2,. ” We are peaking at the right time,” said Head Coach Richard Goldenson of his team that has steadily been improving throughout the season. This was a powerhouse
match-up as the Santa Monica Corsairs, who are 13-1 overall and 9-0 in conference play, faced off against the Saddleback Gauchos (13-0, 10-0). In their previous match-up, the Gauchos got the better end of the series as they defeated the Corsairs to win the 2010 State Championship. “We lost that match 7-6 and 6-2,” said Co-Captain Jutta Collett, who was looking to get a little vengeance that afternoon. Collett and Co-Captain Gwendolyn Kauffman were the only returning players from last season’s title loss
to Saddleback, and they remember the loss like it happened yesterday. “This will definitely be a
“We are at the base of the summit” -Richard Goldenson
confident booster if we get the win today,” said Kauffman, as she was focused especially for this match. Both Captains knew that
this match was not going to be an easy one, as mostly all of the individual matches went during a decisive third set. Kauffman rallied from a second set loss to cruise past her competition 6-2 in her third set. Collett, unfortunately, was at the losing end of her battle as she also split her sets and went to a third where she lost 3-6. “I was a little tired after the first two sets,” said Collett. “I tried my best.” The Corsairs were able to take four out of the six individual matches with wins coming from Katerina Mozolyuk, Criss Rodriguez, Krystal Hansward,
and Gwendolyn Kauffman. In the doubles sets, the Corsairs continued their winning ways, rallying to win two out of the three matches to take the match overall 6-3. With their victory over Saddleback, the Corsairs have secured home court advantage for their first three playoff matches. “We are at the base of the summit,” said Coach Goldenson, “we have just climbed 100 feet more.” The Corsairs ride their momentum into Ventura for the Western State Conference Championship for the individual matches which are from April 15 to 16.
SCORES & SCHEDULES MEN’S VOLLEYBALL
April 13 Santa Monica def. Santa Barbara 25-22, 18-25, 25-21, 25-22. April 15 El Camino def. Santa Monica 31-29, 25-20, 25-23.
SOFTBALL Upcoming: Thurs, April 21 @ Citrus - 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. Tues, April 26 @ L.A. Valley - 2:30 p.m.
TENNIS April 13 Santa Monica def. Ventura (10-0) (12-1). Santa Monica def. Saddleback (10-0) (13-1). Upcoming: Tues, April 26 Second Round Playoffs
The Corsair, week 9, Spring 2011