Vanguard ••Tuesday, Thursday, THURSDAY, Jan. Nov. MAY 31, 9, 8, 2013 2012 2013• news • news
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“Faith is not a virtue”: a Q-and-A with Peter Boghossian The perfect gift for Mother’s Day: A Manual for Creating Atheists
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This Mother’s Day, Portland State philosophy professor Peter Boghossian will present a talk about his forthcoming book, A Manual for Creating Atheists, and answer audience questions. The Humanists of Greater Portland will host the talk at the Friendly House at Northwest 26th Avenue and Sherman Street on Sunday from 10–11:30 a.m. Tickets are free and seating is up for grabs. Faith and religion are typically sensitive topics in our society. It is easy to offend someone when they identify strongly with a belief, counting it as a part of who they are. But Boghossian does not shy away from sensitive subjects. Boghossian got into philosophy via a natural curiosity and desire to ask larger questions about knowledge, reality, existence and more. This led to his desire to teach and make philosophy more accessible and practical for students. Not only has Boghossian taught in academia, he has spent extensive time helping to rehabilitate prisoners by talking with them about their way of thinking and helping them change the flaws in their thought processes that led them into a life of crime. All of this relates to faith as Boghossian defines it: an epistemology (or system of knowledge) that is inherently flawed because it is unreliable, and it is unreliable because it does not rely on evidence to support its claims. The Vanguard sat down with Boghossian to discuss his upcoming book and how he hopes to give readers the tools necessary for intervening with the faithful. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Vanguard: You are giving a talk on Mother’s Day, May 12, on your upcoming book, titled A Manual for Creating Atheists. Can you tell me what it is you’ll be speaking about? Peter Boghossian: A Manual for Creating Atheists is the title of my book that’s coming out [from] Pitchstone Publishing. As for your question, there are entire organizations, a massive corpus of literature, about how to talk someone into a faith tradition. Catholics, Mormons, you name it. There’s nothing about how to talk someone out of a faith tradition and into reason and rationality. And that’s what the book is about. It’s about how to turn these engagements from pester into opportunity.
HE of little faith: Professor Peter Boghossian seeks to create a legion of reason leaders to help cure people of what he calls “the faith virus.”
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The book gives people specific tools to talk people out of their faith and into reason. VG: What is an atheist? PB: Here’s how I define an atheist: An atheist is a person who says, “There is insufficient evidence to warrant belief in God, but if I were given sufficient evidence I would believe in God.” That is the definition that I use, and that is what I would propose so we can move the conversation forward. Once you look at it that way, the atheist isn’t claiming to know anything. VG: What is important about creating an atheist? PB: There is nothing important about creating an atheist. What’s important is that we create people who lead thoughtful and examined lives. What’s important is that we create people that have reliable methods to discern makebelieve land from reality. VG: Are there benefits to being an atheist? PB: Are there any benefits to being an atheist? I’ve never actually thought about it that way. There are an infinite number of benefits from having a way to discern truth from falsity, a reliable epistemology. Atheism is just a consequence of having that epistemology. But are there any specific benefits that come from not pretending to know things you don’t know about how the universe was created? Well, let me think; I guess it’s a type of honesty with yourself, in a sense. I guess I just don’t conceptualize it that way. VG: What are some of the steps in “creating an atheist?” PB: Well, if you come to the talk, then you’ll know. (Laughs.) So you need to understand what faith means, what does God mean, what does atheism mean, and once we’re on the same field then we can actually have a conver-
sation about these things. The book draws from diverse peerreviewed literature in drug addiction and pedagogy and psychology and psychiatry and exiting cults, and it looks at what works in those interventions. It’s a roadmap, in a sense, to teach people how to reason; it’s a roadmap to help you help people to reason. Then you can start on these inoculations, these dialectical, these verbal inoculations. VG: What gives you the authority to write a manual like this? PB: I hope at some point it’s not an authority. Nothing would make me happier than if the next generation of atheists picks up the torch and develops more reliable ways to talk people out of faith and into reason. That would be fantastic. So, basically, I took what I knew plus 25 years of classroom teaching experience in the streets and the prisons, and then I took what works in the research literature, and I crystallized that down into a book that I hope is accessible and that [people] can read and immediately begin talking people out of their faith. I want to create a legion of people that go out and are empowered with these tools and talk people out of their faith. VG: You’ve referred to faith in the past as a “cognitive sickness” and a “delusion.” What would you say to those who feel you are attacking their beliefs? PB: They’re right. I’m undermining their beliefs by taking a look at how they claim to know what they know. So when somebody tells me that Jesus walked on water or that Muhammad flew to heaven on a winged horse, I want to know how they know that. And I think that’s an incredibly reasonable question. Specifically since they’ve gone out of their
way to influence public policy about issues that really matter, and those issues have been incredibly hurtful to people. So if somebody says, “You’re attacking my beliefs,” that’s somewhat true, but I’m really attacking the way they form beliefs. I really want to know how they know that, and I expect an answer. And if you can’t provide an answer, then back to the kids’ table you go. You should have no voice in public policy; maybe you should be a fiction writer. VG: Faith is often held to be a virtue, whether in politics or everyday life. How do you feel about that? PB: Faith is not a virtue; faith is an epistemology. Once we understand how faith is an epistemology, everything changes. Because then you’re talking about knowledge, then you’re talking about how people know something. People who make faith claims are making knowledge claims; they’re trusting, for example, in Jesus. “I trust that after I die, I’m going to heaven and be with all of my relatives and Jesus.” Once somebody makes that claim, that’s a knowledge claim. So when you understand that, you can target their epistemology and help them see that that’s just a delusion. Or not, maybe you don’t help them see that’s a delusion, and maybe they know something you don’t know. And if they know something you don’t know, well then, I want to know what it is, because I want to know it too. So if somebody has an epistemology that’s more predictive, more parsimonious, what have you, then I want to know what it is. But having a [good] way to come to knowledge doesn’t make you a good person; having a bad way to come to knowledge just makes you wrong.
VG: Do you believe faith has a place in public policy? PB: No. Well, does believing something on the basis of no evidence have any basis in public policy? No. You should formulate public policy on the best available evidence. And we should teach people to make better, more discerning judgments as a result of what evidence they have. There has to be some price to be paid, politically, for people who formulate their beliefs on the basis of no evidence or insufficient evidence. VG: Bringing it back to your book, what is your goal in writing this book? PB: My goal is literally to create a legion of people who go out wherever the faithful are found [and] in every interaction to help them come to reason and shed superstition, irrationality and faith. That’s my goal. Literally to create a legion of people that will stop the tide of irrationality. VG: Given that, what would a world in which everyone was an atheist look like? PB: The way I look at it is, what would the world look like if we helped people to have more reliable epistemologies? Well, people would formulate their beliefs on the basis of reason and evidence. They’d be willing to reconsider their beliefs. They’d formulate public policy on the basis of reason and evidence. I think the world would be more sane, less irrational, less subject to superstition. I think that our sciences would advance tremendously. We wouldn’t have to fight battles over intelligent design or creationism or Young Earthers. I think it would move us in the direction [of ] where we want to be as a society. Watch the Vanguard’s video exclusive at psuvanguard.com
NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS •• TUESDAY, TUESDAY, • THURSDAY, • TUESDAY, JANUARY JANUARY MAY MAY24, 17, 9,1, 2013 2012 • VANGUARD
Lecture examines ugly laws Speaker emphasizes problems with Portland’s Sidewalk Management Plan Turner Lobey Vanguard staff
What is an ugly law? Also known as “unsightly beggar ordinances,” ugly laws make it illegal for people deemed to have unsightly disabilities or disfigurements to appear in public. On Thursday, students, citizens, faculty members and local activists gathered to take part in a lecture presented by Susan Schweik, the associate dean of arts and humanities at the University of California, Berkeley, aimed at discussing these types of laws. The lecture, “Ugly Laws Then and Now,” examined developments in Portland’s legislation from it’s ugly law past to the present, and how the Americans with Disability Act has been manipulated into a struggle between disability rights and homeless rights. The City of Chicago Ordinance of 1911 states: “No person who is diseased, maimed, mutilated or in any way deformed so as to be an unsightly or disgusting object or improper person [is] to be allowed in or on the public ways or other public places of the city, or shall therein or thereon expose himself to public view.” Different cities have different versions, but the city of Chicago’s definition encompasses the overall aims of the ugly laws, Schweik said. The ugly law originated in San Francisco in 1867, right after the Civil War, Schweik said: “It swept the country in the 1880s and 1890s.” While these seem like lessons of the past, similar laws exist in different forms and have ramifications that are still relevant today. In 2010, the City of Portland announced its new Sidewalk Management Plan, which is reminiscent of the ugly laws, Schweik said. In a press release issued by the office of former Mayor Sam Adams, the city said, “Public sidewalks are a public service. This ordinance takes a holistic approach to managing the myriad of sidewalk uses by segregating the sidewalks into zones, which allows for more efficient use of the available space. It is
based on federal American with Disabilities Act (1990), Architectural Barriers Act (1968) and the Rehabilitation Act (1973), all of which include specific design guidelines that disabled citizens need for unobstructed passage on public sidewalks.” While this plan seems to be about providing aid to the disabled, this creates a host of problems for the city’s homeless, Schweik said. The impact of the plan has been the source of much debate and controversy in the Portland metropolitan area. Sisters of the Road, an organization aimed at alleviating and eradicating homelessness and poverty, shared criticism that encapsulates many people’s views on the subject. In a press release in response to the sidewalk plan’s announcement, Sisters of the Road said, “The concept of this Sidewalk Management Plan…seems unnecessary and suspiciously like recycled policy that is intended to keep Portland’s most impoverished citizens tightly monitored, controlled and pushed away to where they will not be seen. “It is not ethical to pit one set of differently-abled [sic] people against a group of medically vulnerable people, especially when additional special treatment is given to others who can pay to be in these common areas,” the release continued. “It acts as a 21st century vagrant and loitering plan,” Schweik said. “It’s the panhandlers and the homeless who are being targeted.” The plan doesn’t address Portland’s problems in the downtown area, and doesn’t resolve any problems of disability access, she said. “The ADA is being horribly twisted. It’s being used as a weak tool of the strong,” Schweik said. “The ADA should be used by city officials as a strong tool of the strong.” While the lecture has ended, the debate continues. Schweik recently released a book about the history of these ugly laws and the people they’ve affected, entitled The Ugly Laws: Disability in Public, available now.
Building bridges between Portland State and Vietnam Exchange program brings Vietnamese business professionals to PSU Ryan Voelker Vanguard staff
How far will Portland State reach to promote the value of diversity? PSU recently teamed up with the U.S. State Department to bring Vietnamese and American business professionals together. The two-year initiative, called the Professional Fellows Program, helps make the roughly 7,500 miles between Portland and Vietnam seem a little shorter. “The goal is to promote mutual understanding and beneficial partnerships here and in Vietnam,” said Shpresa Halimi, director of the exchange program, which is part of PSU’s Center for Public Service. “Participants come here to learn about economic empowerment in the context of business and government partnerships,” she added. What most people may not know is that PSU has a long history of doing work in Vietnam. Since about 2003, the CPS has been working with Vietnamese universities, government officials and community groups on topics such as leadership development and sustainability. “We see Vietnam [as] highly relevant to Oregon interest, where partnerships can be enhanced and developed through cross-cultural learning opportunities,” Halimi said. PSU is one of 16 organizations across the U.S. involved in the exchange program, working with midlevel professionals from different
countries around the world. PSU’s Vietnamese participants were selected in October through a competitive process, with help from Vietnam’s embassy. A $400,000 grant helps to fund the project. In total, 16 Vietnamese professionals (in two separate groups of eight) were chosen to spend four weeks gaining realworld experience in the Portland business community. The first group finished their fellowship on May 6, and the second is set to arrive in the fall. “This is not a typical inclassroom type of program, where they come here and just sit in classes,” Halimi said. “What’s unique about this program is we place the participants with host organizations in the Portland area to learn about economic empowerment.” Host organizations were selected based on participants’ needs and backgrounds, which Halimi referred to as “matchmaking.” For example, a participant who came from the Ho Chi Minh City Chamber of Commerce was placed with the Portland Business Alliance. Another, a tourism expert at a private university, was placed with the Oregon Tourism Commission. “When they’re finished, they do presentations to share insights of what they learned and how they will apply their experience to their jobs back home,” Halimi said. “Our hope is that this will help them contribute to the betterment of Vietnam.” Before going back to
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The J-Board “should not be doing elections work,” Justice Ryan Day said Proposed new constitution fails Smith expressed disappointment at the rejection of what he called “the students’ constitution. “There are so many institutional and bureaucratic problems within ASPSU, and no effort within student government to fix those problems,” he said. “That 97 percent of the student body chose not to vote says more about ASPSU than the constitution,” Smith continued. He also attributed the low voter turnout to students’ belief that ASPSU has no influence over the issues that are important to the student body. The judicial review board, which organized the elections for the first time this year, disagreed with Smith. Chief Justice Emily Kunkel cited drastic changes in election
organization that went into effect this year as the cause of the low voter turnout. “Everyone’s comparing voter turnout to last year. Last year the elections board was five people whose only job was elections,” she said. Voter turnout last year was 2,731 people, or 10.5 percent of the full-time equivalent enrollment at PSU. This year the work was given to the judicial board, which faced obstacles such as fluctuating membership, lack of participation from justices and tense relations with the senate and the executive branch. The fact that the JRB and the senate often have conflicting views made working together on elections difficult, Kunkel said. Justice Ryan Day said the work presented a conflict of interest: “The judicial board should not be doing elections work.”
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Shpresa Halimi is director of the exchange program.
Vietnam, participants will be in Washington, D.C., this week to attend a three-day convention called the Professional Fellows Congress. It is an opportunity for them to meet with others from similar exchange programs and interact, network and share lessons learned. Halimi explained that the program is a two-way exchange, providing Americans the opportunity to go to Vietnam in August. Priority will be given to interested parties from the aforementioned host organizations, but consideration for selection will also be open to other local business professionals who are interested in working in Vietnam. “This program aims to build long-term partnerships here and in Vietnam,” Halimi said. “The hope is to eventually do
exchange programs for faculty and students between PSU and universities in Vietnam.” According to Halimi, the goal is to not only continue the exchange program into the future but to expand it. She has submitted a proposal for exchange program partnerships with additional countries, such as Turkey, and expects to hear back from the State Department this summer. “The goal of these exchange programs is not to just visit and say bye-bye,” Halimi said. “These are opportunities for people to have transformative experiences, for the benefit of individuals and organizations.” More information about the exchange program and the participants can be found at pdx.edu/professional-fellows.
However, the JRB acknowledged that there were many reasons turnout was so poor. “All around, we just fell short,” Kunkel said. Tom Worth, ASPSU university affairs director and senate liaison to the JRB, called the low turnout “unfortunate.” It was a result of the “inherent difficulties in enacting a new constitution. All we can do is pick up and move on and do better next year,” Worth said. Worth hopes that many of these growing pains will be eased by the amendments that were passed, one of which will require the JRB to have an elections plan in place by the end of November. Worth was also pleased with the rejection of Smith’s constitution, saying it was better to amend the existing constitution than create a new one. “We don’t abandon our national constitution every time there’s something we don’t like. We offer up amendments,” he said. Eight students were elected to the student fee committee: Krystine McCants, Marlon Holmes, Soledad Hernandez,
Tia Gomez-Zeller, Melinda Guillen, Jonathan McEntee and Kismet Kilbourn. McCants and Guillen both have a goal to make sure students know where their funds are going. “As an SFC member, it’s my job to educate,” Guillen said. McCants hopes to increase students’ access to the internal workings of the SFC by creating an “institutional memory”—a record students can access to see a history of the programs the SFC has finded. The SFC chair will be chosen by the complete committee, likely at its first meeting, said ASPSU Communications Director Anthony Stine. The referendum asking students if they would like the senate to dedicate the student building fee to the renovation or reconstruction of Smith Memorial Student Union passed, with 58 percent of voters approving. All 15 candidates for senate were elected as there were 15 open spots. More detailed elections results can be found at the ASPSU website at aspsu.pdx.edu.
VANGUARD • THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013 • News
chiron from page 1
Proposal outlines a ‘sustainable funding model’ happening late in the game, but we understand she is busy…We understand these things take time.” In June 2012, outgoing Provost Roy Koch sent coordinators a memo indicating that funding for the program would be discontinued due to “financial constraints.” But Medina and others argue that the tuition generated by Chiron Studies vastly exceeds the program’s budgetary costs. “Our funding has never been reflective of the program’s success or the students’ level of interest,” Medina said. According to a cost and tuition revenue analysis provided by Medina, Chiron Studies classes generated $218,783 in tuition in the past two academic years while operating on a combined budget of $40,000—a 547 percent return on investment. “The only point that should not and cannot be overlooked is the point of bottom line— profit. Chiron brings money in to PSU. How this simple math is overlooked is beyond me,” said Jon Hurst, a senior majoring in community development who is teaching a Chiron Studies course this term. “I don’t know much about the details of the elusiveness, but nobody within the system seems to want to take responsibility for the decision to cut the funding,” Hurst said. “What is important now is that we have a new provost [whom] we hope will be supportive of this almost50-year-old student-centered program,” said David Osborn, a University Studies instructor who sits on the Chiron Studies Committee. In a proposal to the administration, Chiron Studies is requesting to offer an average of 60 credits per year on an annual budget of $75,000—one that will still return 166 percent on investment, according to projections presented in the proposal. The proposal outlines a “sustainable funding model” that will help develop program leadership while also launching an annual grant program of innovations in teaching and pedagogy for faculty members. “In the conversations I have had with colleagues, they have been very supportive of Chiron receiving additional funding, particularly when they learn of the small budget Chiron has had relative to the large amount of tuition that it generates,” Osborn said. Since the discontinuation of funding through the Office of Academic Affairs, Chiron Studies has been funded through the Associated Students of Portland State University’s student fee committee with student fees. “But we really feel we are an academic program,” Medina said. “[Faculty] participate in the intensive vetting process for Chiron courses, which is more rigorous than the vetting
of courses taught by faculty that I am familiar with in programs and departments at PSU,” Osborn said. “For me, Chiron Studies is one of the most exciting and important programs at Portland State,” Osborn continued. “It empowers students, allows them to direct the content and process of the educational experience and provides for curricular innovation in allowing students to identify what is not being taught at PSU and then fill that gap.” During the meeting, Medina hopes to discuss where Chiron Studies will be housed. “Hopefully this will be done with integrity and vision, a collaboration between us and Academic Affairs,” Medina said. Part of Medina’s vision for the Chiron Studies of the future is a leadership model that would bring in a full-time professional coordinator to help with advocacy while solidifying the program’s sense of legitimacy. Medina also wants to build a “reciprocal, empowering relationship” between faculty and students. Still, the program would retain its student-centered focus. “The students I talk to and serve on the Chiron Studies Committee with frequently cite taking or teaching Chiron classes as one of their most important experiences at PSU,” Osborn said. “I hope and expect the funding for Chiron Studies to be reinstated so that we can continue the work of this nearly 50-year-old program.” Since 1968, Chiron Studies has drawn on student engagement to build courses not offered by the university. “It was formed at the height of the civil rights movement and stands as a symbol for what organization among students can achieve,” Hurst said. “Chiron honors and supports the spirit of PSU,” Hurst continued. He is co-teaching a course called “Malamalama: Cultural Creativity and The Light of Knowledge.” Junior psychology major Adam Bird, who is taking Hurst’s course, concurred. “To have Chiron Studies lose funding would send a message to the students that their view about what should be taught is not important,” Bird said. “If [Chiron] is cut, PSU might as well be another run-of-the-mill campus.” “Despite our frustration, we are really optimistic,” Medina said. “In addition to all the bureaucracy, exciting things are happening.” From May 13–17, Chiron Studies will host “Teach Out in the Park Blocks,” a free public forum for discussions, performances and workshops on a variety of subjects. Many program leaders expect funding to be reinstated. “If funding isn’t granted— that’s an ‘if’—we would continue to lobby for renewed support,” Medina said.
Professor profile: Mellie Pullman Gwen Shaw Vanguard Staff
Associate professor Mellie Pullman is in the midst of making a change in what she teaches at Portland State. “Beer is replacing food in my life,” Pullman joked. Pullman is the professor of PSU’s new Business of Craft Brewing Online Certificate from the School of Business Administration, and she will teach online courses to students both for credit and not for credit. “The first set of the four classes sold out in two weeks. Now I have to do a whole other set of them,” Pullman said. “So what I used to teach is not what I’ll be teaching anymore.” In the past, Pullman has taught the food supply chain class, a required graduate business course in sustainable supply chains, and something called production planning, which is for people who are going to work at companies like Nike, Adidas or Intel. The class focuses on planning when products have to be made, and people from companies around the community also come to take this course. “I will still teach that in the future, and I will still teach the MBA course in the future. I’m
no longer going to teach food, I’m just going to teach beer,” Pullman said. Pullman also does a lot of research and little sideline projects dealing with different aspects of sustainable food. She has received two USDA grants recently, both to help study specific supply chains. One looked at organic wheat and tried to improve the supply chain. “There’s a lot of customer demand, but it’s very hard to have organic wheat in a supply chain that’s dominated by [genetically modified] commodity wheat,” Pullman said. She explained that there are a lot of challenges facing the people who supply the wheat, from the farmer all the way through. Her other grant focused more on sustainably raised protein groups, and ranching in particular. The grant was awarded to help a ranch family improve their supply chain for grass from feed. Some sideline projects she’s working on follow along the same lines but differ slightly. “We’re working on a wholesaler farmers market plan,” Pullman explained. “So instead of a consumer farmers market, like we have at PSU, it would be a farmers market where people are
© Peter simon
providing bigger volumes for restaurants and institutions.” She’s also interested in trying to reduce waste in food and in other things that go into landfills. She’s working on a textile recycling project that’s a little different from her usual food work, but she says it’s still kind of related. Pullman has always been involved in sustainability and the issues that go along with it. When she was in school, her undergraduate interest was in alternative energy, and she studied engineering. At the same time she was also working in restaurants and had a brewery. “I had one of the first breweries during the first ‘boom’ of breweries in the ’80s. So when Widmer [Brothers Brewing] started, our brewery started in Utah,” she said. While working in the
industry she decided she needed more business skills, so she got her master’s degree in business administration. During that process, she realized she wanted to be a professor instead of going into business. She taught at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, doing a lot of work with restaurants and hotels, until PSU had a job opening. “I really wanted to be in Portland, and I took all my own personal restaurant background and my teaching of restaurant and hotel stuff, and I came here and said, ‘OK, I’m just doing food,’” Pullman said. She took the opportunity to refocus on food sustainability when she started teaching the food class at PSU, and she took all her past experience with work and teaching and brought it to her students.
‘Teach Out’ a mini Chiron experience Students and community members share knowledge Brandon Staley Vanguard staff
The Chiron Studies program will host an event called “Teach Out in the Park Blocks” across from Millar Library starting Monday, May 13, and ending Friday, May 17. Chiron Studies is a program that allows students to teach for-credit courses to fellow students. The teach out is a free, public event during which students and members
of the community will host discussions, workshops, performances and skill-shares. “We wanted to give people the opportunity to do what Chiron Studies does, which is offering people the opportunity to share their knowledge and enthusiasm and curiosity with others,” Chiron Studies Coordinator Rozzell Medina said. “We wanted to present a new way for people to be able to do that: a miniature version of the full-blown Chiron Studies experience of designing and teaching your own class.” Medina said “Teach Out” will also act as an opportunity to showcase what student
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Most student parents are in 18- to 25-year-old range pursue a degree at a nontraditional age. “Often the motivation is to pursue a different career path, but there are also people who say, ‘I just want my degree,’ and there are people who want a better job in their field,” Barham said. Advising and Career Services assists students with choosing degrees, creating resumes and finding jobs, but also helps them access internships, work-study positions and other work experiences relevant
to their long-term career goals. It is one of several resources on campus that is aimed wholly or in part at supporting nontraditional students. Lisa Wittorff is the coordinator of the Resource Center for Students with Children. “We try to gear our programs to children of all ages under the age of 18,” Wittorff said. Most student parents fall into the 18- to 25-year-old range, but not all. “Sometimes we have grandparents raising grandchildren,” she said.
instructors are currently working on and to raise awareness about the program. Several of the presentations will be given by current Chiron Studies instructors. The teach out will kick off with an opening conversation featuring members of the Chiron Studies Committee at 11 a.m. on Monday. Presentations slated for the teach out include “Guided Meditation for Expanding Consciousness,” “Superhero Justice: Imagining Nonviolence in Comic Books” and “Poetry, Uncertainty and New Media: The Hypertext Poem,” among others. Medina said the decision to
include not just student instructors but also members of the community was deliberate. “When Chiron Studies was founded, it was also a forum for students who wanted to nominate members of the community to come and teach classes at the university,” Medina said. The program is still accepting proposals for presentations and will do so until Friday. Proposals can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The center awards scholarships for child care to both on- and off-campus students, operates a Family Resource Room for student parents and has won approval to start providing drop-in child care on campus. PSU boasts the largest student veteran population in the Oregon University System, and the Student Veterans Association, better known as the Viking Vets, offers support for those attending Portland State following military service. The group’s website states, “The SVA has been involved in a number of projects since its inception. The first, and maybe most important, is
connecting veterans to each other and the community at PSU.” In addition, the association assists student veterans in accessing benefits and resources and advocates on policy issues affecting veterans and their families. Kathi Ketcheson, the director of Institutional Research and Planning, said there’s been a tradition of students, both graduate and undergraduate, returning to PSU after an absence. “It’s really a part of the culture here at PSU and is reflected in our scheduling, practices, degree programs and campus resources. It’s part of our past and our continuing culture.”
Additional information about submitting proposals and the event schedule can be found at the “Teach Out” website at bit.ly/10xVKvl.
NEWS NEWS NEWS NEWS •• TUESDAY, TUESDAY, • THURSDAY, • TUESDAY, JANUARY JANUARY MAY MAY24, 17, 9,1, 2013 2012 • VANGUARD
Outdoor industry New program to work alongside local companies specializing in athletic and outdoor activities Matthew Ellis Vanguard staff
Over the past few years, Portland State has looked to capitalize on its urban location and global roots by adding certificate programs in fields such as beer brewing and mobile app development. This fall, the university will introduce a new certificate program in the athletic and outdoor industry that will focus heavily on retail, marketing and sales. The program, which will be housed in PSU’s Center for Retail Leadership, will follow a 20-credit-hour map, giving students the opportunity to learn from leaders in local companies such as Nike, Columbia Sportswear and more. “One of the advantages we have here at Portland State is a well-established relationship with the business community,” said Lauren Beitelspacher, a PSU professor and the director of the program. “Students like hearing from those in the real world rather than being stuck in textbooks.”
Like similar programs recently introduced by the School of Business Administration at Portland State, the athletic and outdoor industry certificate was designed in part to adapt to growing changes in the Portland business economy. According to a study by the Portland Development Commission, more than 800 athletic and outdoor industry firms employ more than 14,000 workers throughout the state of Oregon, at an average annual salary of $80,000. In a press release, Tom Gillpatrick, the executive director of the Center for Retail Leadership at PSU, referred to this change in Oregon’s economy and what it means going forward. “We created this new certificate program because the athletic and outdoor sector is a key part of our regional economy. This whole sector is vibrant and growing; we see a great opportunity for industry careers for our students,” Gillpatrick said. While the program itself doesn’t officially roll out until fall 2013, the SBA previously opened a few classes in 2011 and 2012 in an attempt to gauge student reaction and to define the nature of the curriculum for the program. It proved to be a hit, and the success of these classes didn’t just speak to the health of the
program but also made a lasting impression on visiting professors and industry executives visiting to lecture. “The reaction seems pretty good,” Beitelspacher said. “Speakers…have been very impressed with our students so far.” The program will focus on manufacturing and marketing, including analyzing products and release strategies by realworld companies in an attempt to, as Beitelspacher put it, “understand how products go from ideas to finished products.” So while the SBA is eager to roll out the program, it seems clear that it is by no means a blanket program for the entire athletic industry. Initial projections aim to see 20 to 25 students enrolled in the program this fall, and the SBA hopes to see 100 program graduates within the next five years. “Obviously we expect to see business students, maybe some [postbaccalaureate students]. But what we would really like to see is hardworking, motivated students interested in the outdoor and athletic industry,” Beitelspacher said. Registration for the program will open in May, and interested students can visit the program’s website at pdx.edu/sba/athleticoutdoor or email Beitelspacher at email@example.com.
Every week, the Vanguard interviews members of the Portland State community in the Park Blocks and asks them a timely question. Austin Maggs Vanguard Staff
This week’s question:
“In light of the recently nice weather, what is your favorite outdoor activity that you have been waiting to do?” Mary Calcagno, 22, senior health science major, has been waiting to ride her bike and study in the Park Blocks. She enjoys seeing everyone outside during the summer. “Everyone’s so gloomy inside when it’s rainy, but they’re always happy outside and wearing summery clothes,” Calcagno said.
Ben Ferguson, 22, senior film major, enjoys riding his bike but is looking forward to playing tennis with his family at a tennis court in his neighborhood. “It’s been a while since I’ve actually gone outside and done something semi-athletic,” Ferguson said.
Matthew Dale, 35, public administration graduate student, enjoys hiking and fishing when nice weather permits him. “I typically catch salmon,” Dale said. “Hiking anywhere out in the Gorge is good, and Eagle Creek is my favorite spot.”
Suhail Al Ameri, 22, junior business accounting major, enjoys biking on the Waterfront and eating at outdoor restaurants. He also enjoys being able to do more in the nice weather as it reminds him of being home in Dubai. “When the weather’s good, you feel good. It’s usually raining here, and you just feel bad. When it’s sunny here, it feels like I’m back home,” Alameri said.
Talina Ibabao, 20, sophomore criminal justice major, enjoys going to the park with her brothers and sisters to play basketball and soccer. “It’s…physical activity and competitive, plus it’s a bonding experience to play with your family,” Ibabao said.
VANGUARD ••TThursday, THURSDAY, uesday, THURSDAY, TUESDAY, Jan. JANUARY OCTOBER Nov. MAY FEBRUARY JANUARY 31, 9, 8, 2013 2012 2013 10, 25, 26, •2, 2012 2011 ARTS •2012 ARTS ••&•OPINION OPINION CULTURE &ARTS CULTURE & CULTURE
ARTS & CULTURE This ain’t your mama’s Police
EDITOR: Louie Opatz ARTS@PSUVANGUARD.COM 503-725-5694
Noise Veterans: Hair police return with their first full-length in five years, the fantastic Mercurial Rites.
Hair Police have returned after half a decade Nicholas Kula Vanguard Staff
Our country’s noise scene is dying. And before you rush to your computer to email me about how you or your friend are currently in between two and seven noise projects, allow me to offer a preemptive shushing: I’m talking about noise acts that take their shows on the road, where they play for actual people who pay money to see them. That part of noise is dying—the traveling monuments to cacophony that blow through every major city across the globe. While the world’s hip elite are busy commodifying one genre after the next in search of a new sound or scene, a dedicated few remain loyal to their particular genre long after it falls out of favor. Every genre has a few, and noise isn’t without its stalwarts. One of them is Hair Police, and the band has put out its first record in five years, Mercurial Rites. Is it worth the five years’ drought? Is any noise record ever worth waiting five years for? Read on. While Hair Police has taken five years between full-lengths, the language there is important— five years between full-lengths. Prior to the gap between Mercurial Rites and the band’s last LP, Certainty of Swarms, there were many EPs peppering the Hair Police discography. In 2004, the band released (or was featured on) nine different albums. Hair Police has never been short on material—until the great dry spell that lasted five years and recently ended. And just how much variance can there be in the noise genre? Considering that noise is widely defined as “anti-music”—that is, a collection of sounds that defies any kind
of theory, tempo or timbre—it’s difficult to describe. If Newton’s third law holds, for every type of music there must be a type of anti-music. It covers many bases, and since Hair Police’s 2002 album, Blow Out Your Blood—which happens to be one of my favorite noise albums of all time—the band has covered many of those bases. Now that Hair Police has had five whole years to stew, what’s left? It wouldn’t be a stretch to call Mercurial Rites a sampler platter of past Hair Police works, and the term “greatest hits” shouldn’t apply to any noise act ever. However, the track selection begins as classic early aughts Hair Police and concludes with what could be called the band’s tribute to Michael Gordon’s score from Decasia. The seeds to the conclusion are planted early on. The first track, “We Prepare,” is experimental even by Hair Police standards. While it contains the requisite sprawls of feedback, the vocals are mixed shockingly high for a noise record; and because it exhibits an actual mastering job, the listener immediately gets the impression that he’s listening to “noise professionals,” as weird as that may sound. Adding to this professional vibe are lyrics that even contain the title of the song, raspy as they may be. One thing that hasn’t been diluted during the band’s sabbatical is Mike Connelley’s vocals— they’re just as disgusting and shrill as ever. Compared to Blow Out Your Blood, they’re even somehow harsher. Black metal caterwauls fill the cracks where Connelley’s calculated yet torpidly sleazy vocals once thrived, and everything else has been
© type vinyl
replaced with distorted yawns. From here, the record slowly evolves into an exercise in anti. Dislocated ambient grooves lock horns with classic Whitehouse-esque power electronics—it’s like what Brian Eno would make if he got really mad for five years. One thing that’s kept constant throughout the record’s duration is filth, and lots of it. The record drips with murky uneasiness; not once during the entire record is there a moment when the uneasiness fades away. That aforementioned uneasiness reaches its apex on “The Scent,” likely the pinnacle of what Mercurial Rites sets out to be: a noise record with actual dynamics. “The Scent” is one of the most unsettling tracks I’ve heard in years. Connelley’s vocals, an octave or two beneath his natural register, growl and hiss over a midrange drone while squelches of feedback leap from the speakers. While these points are all well and good, Connelley doesn’t grab the mic again until the last track, and by track seven, “Scythed Wide,” the sound collage thing begins to lose a little steam. While the sounds and textures are quite interesting, the listener knows that behind all this sits a vocalist on the verge of exploding. Parts of
the instrumentals surrounding “Scythed Wide” sound like late ’90s Photek, which is always a welcome addition to a sound collagist’s repertoire. The last track on the album—the title track— is a wonderful meshing of classic Hair Police and the new stuff. Connelley barks and whispers through some truly inspired anti-jazz. The record ends with a burst of ride cymbal, then nothing at all. The ride is over. Every city has a so-called noise scene where, sure, you can hear a bunch of dorks futz around with mixer feedback loops all day—but listening to stuff like this really shows why Hair Police are in a league of their own. As I said, there are just as many genres of non-music as there are regular music. While novice noise musicians have the harsh noise angle battened down, it truly takes a master of the craft to explore uncharted territory and create a dynamic collage out of new anti-matter.
Hair Police Mercurial Rites Type Records Out now
This is the sound of ‘Settling’ Oregon Jewish Museum opens immigration exhibit Tamara Alazri Vanguard Staff
Since the early ’90s, Oregon’s immigrant population has increased drastically: Today, about 28 percent of the state’s population is foreignborn. These immigrants from far-flung countries come to the Northwest to try and start new lives—to try and settle in. The Oregon Jewish Museum’s new exhibit, “Settling In,” celebrates the journeys of immigrants to Oregon and will give viewers a deeper understanding of immigration concerns in the U.S. The series opens today and runs until Sept. 29 and will feature many exhibits, including 14 immigrant women who have agreed to share their stories of struggle and survival with the public. One of several programs is the film 400 Miles to Freedom, which follows the life of former refugee Avishai Mekenon, who emigrated from Israel to the U.S. in search of a better life. The exhibit is sponsored by Portland’s Immigrant Refugee Community Organization, a nonprofit group that provides support for families of immigrants and refugees. Since 1973, IRCO has remained a driving force in leading refugee organizations in the Pacific Northwest. “The museum is dedicated to preserving and studying artifacts that are deeply rooted with immigration within Oregon,” said Sokhom
Tauch, IRCO’s executive director. “‘Settling In’ provides an important look at the immigrant and refugee experience through two interconnected viewpoints, revealing truths about our shared experiences and intercultural understanding.” The exhibition includes older stories of Russian and Jewish immigrants as well as those of contemporary immigrants from places like Cuba, Cambodia and Congo. “We wanted to compare and contrast these encounters with the much more complex experience of acculturation with the current immigrant populations,” said Judith Margles, executive director of the Oregon Jewish Museum. The museum serves as a place of cultural history that has long celebrated the importance of the immigrant population. “The exhibit focuses on extensive research we’ve conducted which trace[s] the experiences [of] cultural retention, assimilation and transmission faced by the Jewish community,” Margles said. IRCO also remains an active participant in education and crime prevention, according to its website. The event was initially put together by professor of public administration in the Mark O. Hatfield School of Government and former President of the Oregon Jewish Museum Craig Wollner. He also served as the associate
© Oregon Jewish Museum
Jewish immigrants to Oregon received services from “well-baby clinics,” one of which is pictured here with Ida Lovenberg and Dr. Moore in 1920. dean of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State. Wollner died before he had the opportunity to see the exhibit come together. “He should really be the one to thank here, because it was his idea…It’s too bad he is not here to see it,” Margles said. Wollner was a warm-hearted man who built a reputation as one of PSU’s most beloved professors. “This exhibit is dedicated in his memory,” Margles said. The IRCO has additional branches in Southeast and Northeast Portland, which provide
newly arrived foreigners a chance to adapt more easily into American society. “The purpose of this exhibition is to explore immigration on a deeper level by drawing on stories of Russian Jews of more than a century ago,” Margles said.
The Oregon Jewish Museum and IRCO presents Settling In Thursday, May 8, to Sunday, Sept. 29 1953 NW Kearney St. $6 general admission, $4 students, free for members
Arts Arts && Culture Culture• •T THURSDAY, uesday, Jan. MAY 31, 9, 2013 • VANGUARD
Horror in the heart of Portland Indie horror films debut at 18th annual Lovecraft Film Fest Ryan Clapper Vanguard Staff
A long line stretched out from the Hollywood Theatre beneath the slowly setting sun. Men and women stood outside, waiting for the doors to open. One man wore a woolen squid head hat, another had his face painted like Frankenstein’s monster. An event program in the form of a faux newspaper that was handed out to the anxious attendees included a headline for the festival’s premier event, a schedule on the back and a series of black comedy entries, such as a Peanuts-style comics section and an article about a star-eating deity that a cultist named after his girlfriend. The doors opened and the people rushed in. Inside, vendors on both floors were selling everything from old VHS tapes to T-shirts. Indie shorts about the end of the world played on all three of the theater’s screens, and a woman stood in line at one of the concessions windows asking if they served gluten-free pizza. That was the scene at this year’s Lovecraft Film Festival, an event that celebrates the works of 1920s pulp fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft and provides a venue for indie filmmakers inspired by his unique brand of weird horror. The event was begin in Portland 18 years ago by Andrew Migliore, who originally started the film festival as a small, day-and-a-half-long event that encouraged faithful adaptations of Lovecraft’s work (a feat that has often been tried with little success by major Hollywood studios). It has since grown to span three days and occupy every screen in the Hollywood Theatre. As of last year it has also spread to California, with an offshoot film festival held in Los Angeles. This year’s show was organized by Brian Callahan, who took over for Migliore. Callahan admitted that organizing the event was “a stressful undertaking” but took pride in his work.
kayla nguyen/VANGUARD STAFF
Lovearts and lovecrafts: Fans of H.P. Lovecraft gather annually in Portland to celebrate the cult author’s work. “Portland audiences are like no other audience,” Callahan said. “They’re interested, they’re engaged, and they’re intelligent…It’s the Portland audience that makes it so worthwhile.” Callahan also credited Portland’s unique counterculture with making the festival a success. “[Portland]’s dreary, it’s weird…and it’s a cool, casual city with strange tastes,” he said. Callahan also credits the festival’s success to the city’s large number of Lovecraft fans, filmgoers and writers. Callahan started out as a New Orleans resident with a Lovecraft interest, who first came to Portland to sell T-shirts at the festival. But he
came to love the city and moved here, where he now runs the show for the foreseeable future. For the uninitiated, Lovecraft was a writer of short horror fiction in the ’20s and ’30s who pioneered a new brand of gothic horror based on the ideas of occultism, otherworldly monsters, insanity and man’s insignificance compared to the cosmos. Lovecraft died relatively unknown and destitute but has enjoyed an upswing in popularity in recent decades: Artists like Stephen King and John Carpenter have cited his work as inspiration. Lovecraft’s works have also proven to be fertile inspiration for amateur filmmakers: This year’s festival featured more than 30 short films as well as nine full-length feature films. One full-length was a recut version of Clive Barker’s cult-horror magnum opus Nightbreed, which included lost footage that had been cut by the film’s producers in order to market the movie as a slasher film. This year’s event also tried to cater to area college students with an interest in filmmaking with its “Lovecraft Under the Gun” competition, which gave amateur film crews 72 hours to develop a horror film for the festival. The competition was advertised on PSU grounds with fliers posted in dorms, but no students applied. “We’re aiming for a college crowd,” Callahan said, “but we have trouble reaching it.” The festival offers more than just films. The event has proven to be a haven for all kinds of people and products, with a bent toward the weird and hard-to-define. Horror writers from across the country gathered and conducted a question-and-answer session about their craft and their inspiration on Sunday afternoon, and an art contest was held the day before. Another of the fest’s success stories apart from Callahan is Sean Branney of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society, a group that started as a bunch of friends playing a Lovecraft-themed tabletop game that now produces Lovecraft-themed media. Branney and his friends submitted a short film back in the early 2000s a spoof documentary that mixed horrific monsters with the musical
Fiddler on the Roof, and have since grown their society into a small media empire with short story adaptations of Lovecraft’s work in the style of 1920s War of the Worlds-esque radio dramas and two feature-length films. “The film festival is a huge part of our experience,” Branney said. “It’s a chance for us to come meet and hang out with people who share [the interest] in Lovecraft that we have, and we make movies, so it’s a great venue to share the works that we create and sell our weird products. So it’s a win-win kind of fit for us.” Late on Saturday night, Branney and other members of his group gave a live performance of one of their radio shows on the main stage of the Hollywood Theatre. Every seat in the auditorium was filled with fans intently watching the performance, and every one of them gave the society a standing ovation when the radio show concluded. The three-day-long event was completely crowd-funded through a Kickstarter campaign. Those who invested in the festival were rewarded with access to a pre-party on Thursday night and several after-parties. One donor was Steven Kick, a Portland resident who lives close to the theater. Kick donated $300 and was rewarded with a three-day pass to the event, a collection of books and posters on sale from vendors and an article in the festival’s faux-newspaper/program. “It was just one way to support the efforts here,” Kick said, “and then also have a one-of-a-kind souvenir from the event…it’s one of the best experiences [when] you can help and contribute at the same time.” Callahan and the other organizers are always looking to improve the Lovecraft Film Festival with an eye to next year. “I try to keep my nose to the grindstone…and keep trying to make [the event] as good as possible,” Callahan said. He also mentioned that he has been considering the idea of putting the film festival on the road and touring theaters across the nation, but no concrete plans have been made. “I take pride in my work,” Callahan said. “It can always be better, but I am happy that there is a place for Lovecraftian film and fiction.”
Defending an Egyption god Cal State professor discusses the Egyptian god Seth in upcoming lecture Mike Diallo Vanguard Staff
Next Monday, Portland will host a respected voice in the field of ancient Egyptian study: Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe, professor of global history and world civilizations at California State University, Monterey Bay, will come to campus to deliver his lecture, “Seth: Ancient Egypt’s Evil God of Power and Might.” Cruz-Uribe hopes to spark a discussion about a god who is mainly known for chaos. “I will also be revisiting several old ideas about the role of Seth as represented in the titulary of the kings of ancient Egypt,” Cruz-Uribe said, noting that many scholars don’t believe the god is represented in this manner. It’s just one of the things that sets CruzUribe’s thinking apart from the rest of the scholarship on Seth. Do a bit of research and you’ll find that Seth has a nasty reputation—namely for killing his brother, the king Osiris, by tricking him into getting into a wooden chest and then sending it down the Nile. Seth ended up fighting his nephew Horus for the throne, placing Seth next to Hamlet’s
Claudius and The Lion King’s Scar in terms of hate-ability, so it’s difficult to argue with those who label him an evil god. But Cruz-Uribe takes another approach to the tale. “In some ways I am hoping to show that he is not to be see as an ‘evil’ deity, but one who has many aspects,” Cruz-Uribe said. “Some think [the fact] that he killed his brother Osiris is a bad [or] evil thing, but if one takes it in the context of power struggles within the Egyptian court, it is a phenomenon that has occurred repeatedly throughout history.” While Seth’s actions are extreme, they are really more of a jumping-off point for exploring the question of leadership and who will gain that control. Rather than a dutiful vengeance, Cruz-Uribe argues that “the conflict of Horus and Seth is really to be seen as internal struggle for control of kingship and the right to rule.” It seems to be a case of our own perceptions getting in the way of seeing things from another point of view. Seth has been vilified to the point that the tale’s message took a backseat to a mistaken character interpretation. “What is important to note but is not always commented on is that Horus and Seth are reconciled,” Cruz-Uribe said. “Thus, while Horus is given the throne by the rest of the gods, Seth is retained as a vital member of the ‘court’ [read: pantheon of deities] and is not sent away.” Cruz-Uribe’s lecture is being presented by the American Research Center in Egypt and
PSU’s own Middle East Studies Center. Professor James Grehan, the director of the center, is confident that the event will draw a substantial crowd based on past lecture attendance and a growing interest in the region’s history. “I think there’s a lot of interest in the ancient Mediterranean and the ancient Middle East, and so these are opportunities to learn about the societies of the ancient world, and there’s a lot of fascinating work being done,” Grehan said. “So we get these people as they come through. It’s another resource, both for Portland State students and people in the Portland community.” There’s also an element of timeliness: While all parts of the world’s history should be studied, recent events in Egypt make the country particularly interesting. “[MESC is] looking at a part of the world [that] is constantly in the headlines and gets a lot of attention,” Grehan said. Looking at the region’s past may reveal answers for the future. “It’s a really different side of the Middle East that people tend to forget about or don’t really associate with the Middle East, but this ancient history of Egypt still really informs Egyptian identity today,” said Elisheva Cohen, the outreach coordinator for the center. One thing that’s very clear is the level of pride MESC has for their program and their ability to get professionals in the field to lecture for students. “This has been a historic strength at PSU, to have a vibrant Middle East studies program,” Grehan said.
The egyptian god seth is usually depicted as evil, a representation that Dr. Cruz-Urive contests.
PSU’s Middle East Studies Center presents Seth: Ancient Egypt’s Evil God of Power and Might A lecture by Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe Monday, May 13, 7:30 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, room 238 Free and open to the public
VANGUARD ••TThursday, THURSDAY, uesday, THURSDAY, TUESDAY, Jan. JANUARY OCTOBER Nov. MAY FEBRUARY JANUARY 31, 9, 8, 2013 2012 2013 10, 25, 26, •2, 2012 2011 ARTS •2012 ARTS ••&•OPINION OPINION CULTURE &ARTS CULTURE & CULTURE
Kingdom in the desert
We three kings: Ice Cube, Mark Wahlberg and George Clooney star in David O. Russell’s 1999 Gulf War film.
David O. Russell’s Three Kings plays at 5th Avenue Cinema Breana Harris Vanguard staff
There’s a marked difference between films about the Gulf War and films about the Iraq War that is obvious and fascinating at the same time. The Gulf War was the first war in which the media were directly involved, and there’s a perception that the military presence was almost a performance. Kuwait was liberated in a neat and tidy fashion through a serious of remote air strikes, and many Gulf War veterans returned home having never seen combat and with none of the glamorous stories their fathers and grandfathers had of war. The aimless and confused sense of identity of the soldiers in that war was a major theme in Sam Mendes’ 2005 film, Jarhead, but it is also a focus of David O. Russell’s earlier and arguably superior film, 1999’s Three Kings. Three Kings, which is playing at 5th Avenue Cinema this weekend, stars George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg and Ice Cube as three soldiers stationed near Karbala directly after the Gulf War who plan to steal a shipment of Kuwaiti gold. Russell admitted to lifting the idea from a purchased script by former comedian John Ridley, who received a “story by” credit but was reportedly unhappy with the experience. It was just the first instance of controversy for the film, which helped give Russell, who went on to direct fine Oscar bait like The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook, an industry reputation as a tyrannical taskmaster.
To be fair, Warner Bros. put an enormous amount of pressure and strict limitations on the director. The story of this film’s conception is a unique look at just how badly the big studios don’t want to make cerebral auteur films, especially when the political ideas behind them are controversial. But Russell’s slashed budget and truncated shooting schedule may have in part led to the innovative style the film is famous for: The steadicam shots and one-camera explosions help give Three Kings a documentary feel. Most people are more familiar with Russell’s conflicts with Clooney on the set. The director badly wanted Clint Eastwood and then Nicolas Cage for the role, but Clooney, who was then untested as a leading man, fought hard to win it. Clooney considered Russell to be in over his head, and he would often defend extras and crew members from the director’s supposed fits of rage. The experience led Clooney to say that although Russell is a brilliant filmmaker, he’d never work with him again. The story behind the film can distract from the fact that Three Kings is first and foremost an excellent work. Returning to the difference between the Gulf War and the Iraq War in films, the former certainly lends itself to satire a lot more easily. Russell’s script is biting, intelligent and hilarious. The way Clooney’s Archie Gates, Wahlberg’s Troy Barlow and Cube’s Chief Eglin manage to represent American imperialism, capitalism and
© warner bros. entertainment
greed to the Iraqis they encounter is something everyone can laugh at, but only because the lines ring so true. Nora Dunn, who co-stars as a hard-hitting reporter, bursts into tears in front of oil-soaked pelicans and asks about the war, “What did it all mean?” Out of context, this could easily be a serious scene, but in Three Kings it’s not at all. Instead the scene mocks the rampant superficiality and obliviousness of the Americans who have come to loot and pillage for literal and metaphorical gold and put on a noble show for the cameras at the same time. The same is true of the scene in which Said Taghmaoui’s Iraqi interrogator asks Barlow why America made Michael Jackson cut off his face. Barlow insists he did it to himself, and the interrogator tells him that America made Jackson hate himself: “Michael Jackson is pop prince of a sick country.” In that scene, Russell is not afraid to go deep and illustrate the true lack of understanding and sympathy of Americans for Iraqi civilians, but its
jumping-off point is a place of ludicrousness. This film is often funny because the reality of our media-saturated, warped culture can be laughable. Maybe in a few years we will once again see a change in how Iraq is depicted in films. There’s nothing truly satirical about a film like The Hurt Locker, though luckily we’ve come to the point where it’s OK to be critical, even extremely critical, of the governmental forces behind these wars—especially because there’s nothing funny about so many people dying. And yet it’s rare for a film as witty, stylized and entertaining as Three Kings to have so much to say, and that might be an even better way to get people to listen.
5th Avenue Cinema presents Three Kings Friday, May 10, and Saturday, May 11, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at 3 p.m. $3 general admission, free for students
Koreana: the ideal image and its controversy Guest lecturer to speak on Korea’s media image and the tourism industry Elisha Feliciano Vanguard Staff
From 1910 to 1945, Japan ruled Korea, its colony. During this time Japan created an idealized outward image of Korea—known as Koreana— by using various mediums for promotion. Koreana refers to the ideal image of Korea—a mythological representation and fantasy version of Korea at odds with what the country is really like. Present-day Korea is gaining interest from surrounding areas and Korean cultural representations and arts have become huge in the popular culture of East Asia. We have even seen this popularity trickle into America. “How do they promote themselves, as a country, to their neighbors?” asked Katherine Morrow, the program administrator for the PSU Institute for Asian Studies. “It’s all about the media. Right now, especially in East Asia, there is a lot of interest in Korean popular culture; television, movies, music—and some of that’s trickled into America…So how can the tourism industry [in Korea] capitalize on this?” Professor Hyung-Il Pai proposes that there is renewed interest in Korea to recycle these images from the past into use today. These Koreana images will certainly do well to promote the country, but what about those who want to be identified by their own distinct culture rather than by images created during the years Korea was colonized by Japan? Pai will answer these questions and more during her lecture, titled “Staging ‘Koreana’ for the Tourist: Legacies of Native Types and
Must-See Destinations,” this evening at Portland State. The lecture is sponsored by the Institute for Asian Studies. Pai, who teaches at the University of California, Santa Barbara, will speak for about 45 minutes, and there will be time for a question-and-answer period following the lecture. Pai is the author of Constructing Korean Origins: A Critical Review of Archaeology, Historiography and Racial Myth in Korean State Formation Theories and co-editor of Nationalism and the Construction of Korean Identity. She has published in international journals on a wide range of topics related to the politics and history of East Asia in academic areas like archaeology, museum studies and heritage management. “Pai is a leading scholar in the area of heritage tourism, one the most exciting areas of historical research today,” said Ken Ruoff, a PSU professor and the director of the Center for Japanese Studies. “We live in a very mobile world and, increasingly, it is through visits to heritage sites that people’s understanding of the past is shaped. “Anyone who ever took a family trip or field trip to a heritage site had his or her view of the past shaped by the experience,” Ruoff continued, “but heritage sites tend to present the ‘official’ view of the past—in other words, a glorified account of the national past. “For this reason, it is important that scholars offer a correction to the narratives put forth at heritage sites,” Ruoff said. “Koreana often represents an idealized interpretation and packaging of the supposed identity of Korea, in the same way that official heritage sites in the United States offer an edifying account of our past.
“It is good, in a general sense, for students, staff, faculty and community members, by listening to lectures such as the one by Dr. Pai, to be inoculated against the messages put forth at heritage sites and to learn to ask questions such as, ‘What inconvenient details have been left out of the story presented here?’” he added. Ruoff’s most recent book, Imperial Japan at Its Zenith, winner of the 2012 Frances Fuller Victor Award for General Nonfiction, includes three chapters about heritage tourism, including one about Japanese tourism in colonial Korea. Pai’s lecture is included as part of their efforts to bring forth relevant information about what they are doing today as seen in a historical context. “I think the audience will find this talk interesting for several reasons,” said Sharon Carstens, the director of the Institute for Asian Studies. “First, we usually think of tourism in Asia as Western tourists visiting these ‘exotic’ destinations, but much of professor Pai’s work has focused on the development of Korean tourism in the early 20th century to cater to Japanese tourists who were encouraged to see historical links between these two cultures. “Second, following the Japanese occupation of Korea that ended with World War II, Korea has been very focused on reclaiming and saving its cultural heritage in very systematic ways, which then feeds into heritage tourism and the construction of Koreana both for Koreans themselves and for foreign tourists, many of whom are Asians who share some similar anxieties about the destruction of their distinctively Asian cultural heritage,” Carstens said. “So this gives us a different view of this issue through a unique lens that I believe students and others will find revealing and fascinating.”
The myths of koreana: Professor Hyung-il Pai will discuss culture representations of Korea in his lecture tonight. PSU’s Institute for Asian Studies presents Staging “Koreana” for the Tourist: The Visual Legacies of Native Tyes and Must-See Destinations A lecture by professor Hyung-il Pai Thursday, May 9, 6 p.m. 5th Avenue Cinema, room 92 510 SW Hall St. Free and open to public
VANGUARD •• THURSDAY, THURSDAY, MAY NOVEMBER 9, 201310, • OPINiON 2011 • SPORTS
EDITOR: Meredith Meier OPINION@PSUVANGUARD.COM 503-725-5692
Fetishizing stupidity Continually reinforcing the ‘stupid American’ stereotype is harming us more than we think Conversation Nation Megan Hall
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To the shareholders for which it stands Ideologically obsolete Pledge of Allegiance needs a makeover Deeply Thought Thoughts Ryan S. Cunningham
have many fond memories of my idyllic childhood in the rolling hills and flowing rills of the Ozark Mountains: tramping down muddy creek beds under the spreading green wild-fern canopy; indulging my prepubescent predilection for the congealed molasses sweetness of pecan pie; setting afire castoff Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle action figures for no reason. School was not one of these fond memories. Every day the sputtering yellow school bus would shuttle my drowsy body down 22 miles of potholed gravel roads to Jefferson County R-3 Elementary School. After disembarking I would somnambulate to my classroom, fall into my seat at my rickety wooden desk and lay my head down for 15 minutes of fitful sleep. Like most American schoolchildren, I was deep in the grasp of the original gateway drug: sugar. Mind and body alike were equally catatonic before I got my first Skittles fix. As a result I have virtually no memories of my childhood mornings, at least before 11 a.m. Except for the hoarse voice of Principal McDermott chiming over the school intercom at precisely 8:45, leading his weary charges in the Pledge of Allegiance of the United States of America. I and 500 other dozing schoolchildren would wearily take to our feet, place hands over hearts and trip over the polysyllabic monstrosity that is the word “indivisible.” To this day I have an unyielding hatred for the Pledge of Allegiance. That empty incantation did naught but interrupt my sweet somnolent oblivion and thrust me into the grinding
routine of multiplication tables and past perfect participles. So it raised my ire to learn that last month the Oregon House of Representatives approved a bill that would require all public and publicly funded charter schools to display the flag of the United States in classrooms and offer to lead students in reciting the pledge. Oregon schoolkids, until now spared this vacuous brainwashing, will henceforth be subjected to the same flagwaving inanity that has dogged Missouri youth for years. Supporters of the bill, which passed 42-16, said that the new requirement would promote students’ value of patriotism and national duty and pay tribute to veterans of foreign wars. Nowhere does the law stipulate that students would be required to recite the pledge. But there was significant dissent from some Democratic legislators during floor debate on the measure. Rep. Carolyn Tomei, D-Milwaukie, expressed concern that students who declined to participate would be unfairly singled out by their peers, while Rep. Lew Frederick, D-Portland, called the proceedings an empty piece of nationalist posturing. The Pledge of Allegiance was written in 1892 by Christian socialist minister Francis Bellamy and was introduced to American schools during Columbus Day celebrations that same year. The late 19th century was a time of waning nationalist sentiment in the U.S., and many worried that the rapid influx of immigrants from southern and eastern Europe was undermining American values. “Patriotic education,” Bellamy said, “should begin in the public schools.”
Clearly, the Pledge of Allegiance is a fine piece of nationalist pedagogical indoctrination. Exhorting young people to give themselves mind and body to the republic for which the Stars and Stripes stand, the recitation is the crucial cultural glue that binds men and women of diverse creeds and colors in common adoration of all things American. Like, say, the spirit of public service and national duty. And the cheeseburger. And neoimperialist Middle East military misadventures. But the Age of the Nation State will very soon be past, and the Pledge of Allegiance with it. A growing chorus of voices prophesize the rise of a future world in which all national distinctions will slowly fade to dust as information technology and cheap transportation make space, time and geography irrelevant. Soon our flag and its republic will be a rotting anachronism. What we need is a new social hymn—one more suited to the emerging socio-historical circumstances—to drill into our children’s brains. This columnist therefore proposes that the Oregon House of Representatives commission the creation of a new Pledge of Allegiance to our International Corporate Masters. For the currency of the future will be cold hard cash, not national brotherhood, and our children must learn to play the brutal game of survival lest they sink to the deepest depths of the clawing human mire. By extolling the virtue of total subservience to money’s mastery over all humans, we may assuredly assure our progeny’s success in the nasty, brutish and short times ahead. I for one do hereby pledge allegiance to the embossed business card logo of United States Incorporated.
he Onion headline “Study: Majority Of Americans Not Informed Enough To Stereotype Chechens,” popped up a few days after the Boston Marathon bombings and the same day the suspects had been identified as Chechen. I saw the article reposted and retweeted for days, and I noticed there was a seriousness behind the comments: Certainly, the headline was a joke, but it was also probably true. While news of the suspects’ Chechen origins spread, media outlets didn’t hesitate to show all the examples of the idiocy of those who confused or could not distinguish between Chechnya and the Czech Republic, to the point that the Czech Embassy issued a statement stating that they are, in fact, different. How widespread this “confusion” actually was is unknown, because so many instances were smeared across our computer screens, making it seem as if most Americans were incapable of understanding the difference. My guess would be that a lot of Americans had heard of Chechnya because it was in the news all the time in 1990s and into the 2000s, but not many logged on to Twitter to declare their hatred for the Czech Republic. What this
and so many other incidents like it show is that we are building and propagating a new Other: the quintessential stupid American. For years, former President George W. Bush provided the country with an endless stream of bloopers, but we seem now to have become transfixed on spotting and replaying mistakes regardless of who makes them. Between TLC and MTV, there’s an endless stream of shows that are adamantly anti-intellectual to the point of fetishizing the stupidity of their participants. It goes beyond reality TV, though, extending to politics and making the news. From Sarah Palin’s Alaska and Teen Mom to Here Comes Honey Boo Boo and Doomsday Preppers, we await with baited breath the slip-ups, blank stares and nonsensical answers. In turn, through this obsession with continually ogling what’s become the “stupid American,” we reinforce class divisions. If it is assumed, through watching the news and reality television, that a large portion of the population knows nothing about foreign policy and wants only to protect their gun rights, then what use is there in including them in the national conversation? Why should the American population even be included in
discussions about education and health care if they cannot even figure out what (let alone where) Chechnya is? This is plain wrong. The fetishization of stupidity in this country allows politicians and academics to simply not include vast swaths of the country in conversation. We’ve become complacent in our receipt of information: We read headlines and tweets but not the articles themselves. This lack of analysis of our current events makes it possible for The Onion to mock our lack of knowledge regarding history and geography. It also reinforces the idea that there is a (perhaps imaginary) majority of Americans that don’t know as much about the world as “we” do. I have no way of knowing if half of the U.S. knows less than I do about current events, but I hear it so often that I’ve come to accept it. This is just as bad as only reading the headline and not the article. Most Americans probably don’t have the time to read the newspaper everyday, or spend an hour perusing the news online or listening to NPR. But I don’t believe that those individuals who didn’t have the same educational opportunities as I did, or who must work significantly more than I do, should automatically become the target of bullying. Instead of assuming that half of Americans are stupid, wouldn’t it be more productive to assume that they aren’t?
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OPINiON • THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013 • VANGUARD
Higher up the ladder Who’s going to be in charge of higher education? One Step Off Emily Lakehomer
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Silly, silly people Portland is home to some bizarre habits Ms. Fudge’s Sweet Nothings Stephanie Fudge-Bernard
ost Portlanders would agree that our city is odder than most. We have strange habits and weird morals that, to the rest of the country, probably make us seem a bit off. Perhaps our eccentricities stem from how we slowly drown nine months out of the year. Whether it’s a sprinkling, a drizzle, a downpour or a torrential rain, our skies are constantly painted in shades of gray. Yet for a city that’s perpetually moist we tend to have very impractical routines for dealing with all that moisture. Outsiders are frequently the target of quiet snickers or mild distain as they walk around with their fancy little portable shelters (also known as umbrellas). Instead, we Portlanders use hoodies or a technique we like to call the hunching-over-andwalking-really-fast maneuver in order to hinder the rain a bit. We’re a city of perfectly content sodden idiots who find it absolutely normal to wear jeans that have somehow soaked up entire puddles. More common than not we see blue legs running around campus that suddenly get darker from the knee down from being completely drenched. Then, of course, after becoming thoroughly wet, it’s normal to simply go drip incessantly in a classroom or office for a few hours. On top of how unpractical our habits are toward our friendly downpours, we develop unruly hair that’s simultaneously flattened and somehow incredibly misshapen by the hoods of our sweaters that are constantly mashing it around. Perhaps this is why “bed hair” and
other forms of tousled tresses are so popular here. Even our footwear is a disaster. Sure, many adults have figured out that wearing boots or good sneakers works pretty well, but there are still plenty
Perhaps our eccentricities stem from how we slowly drown nine months out of the year. Whether it’s a sprinkling, a drizzle, a downpour or a torrential rain, our skies are constantly painted in shades of gray.
of us frolicking around in flats and sandals, stepping straight into gutters filled with miniature ponds and simply shaking it off as we go along. If nothing else, our outlook on rain should be enough to tell curious onlookers a whole lot about Portland, but we certainly have plenty of other customs that probably raise eyebrows and cause head-scratching. This is a city where, if you aren’t at least trying to eat fresh, local and organic foods from the nearest farmers market, the neighborhood New Seasons or that cute little coop down the road, you’re liable to get a good shaming.
Then, right after a scold and a long lecture about saving the planet and your body one-tomato-at-a-time, you’ll probably be encouraged to forget the whole conversation by consuming copious amounts of delicious local beer. Of course, it makes no difference that any credibility a person may have had when discussing nutrition gets tossed right out the window after her third pint of IPA. It’s Portland, damn it, and we’ll eat healthy and drink horribly if we want! Our morals in general seem to bounce all over the place and leave nonresidents bewildered. Portlanders tend to have no qualms whatsoever about nude dance clubs popping up all over the city, and many of us will drop in and out of a strip club like it’s an arcade. We’ll go in without blinking an eye—almost literally, we don’t want to miss anything good—but we will strut out of a titty bar and indignantly chastise any outsider who dares to put an empty Coke can in the garbage. Imagine such a scene, where a wholesome family man tries to be decent and not litter. Suddenly, as he passes by an unruly section of town, a gaggle of college students storm out of a torrid strip club and begin to berate him for his audacity in not throwing his plastic in the appropriate receptacle; the receptacle being, of course, that damn fine recycling bin just around the corner. These are Portlandian ethics, wherein treating the environment right comes before any sense of decorum or sexual modesty. We’re a people who scoff at strangers with their fancy umbrellas and poor eating habits. We’re a people of passionate opinions and wet pants, and we’re pretty proud of ourselves for being that way.
igher education is always a hot topic. Whether it’s funding, a cheating scandal, sports or some Greek-life stunt going viral, college-related things are constantly being talked about. Right now, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber is pushing to broaden the ever-lengthening conversation about who has control over public higher education. The governor is one of the figureheads of House Bill 3120, which would create the new Higher Education Coordinating Commission. If passed, this new board will replace the old State Board of Higher Education. While that’s all fine and dandy, will this name change do anything? And how will it differ from the old board? When Kitzhaber originally pitched the plan, he proposed one all-powerful board. This was predicated on the grounds that a single board would “look out for the interests of students and the state,” to “lead to better results at lower costs.” That was last fall, however. According to The Oregonian, this new plan would involve the HECC overseeing three already-existing agencies: The Department of Community Colleges and Workforce Development, the Oregon University System chancellor’s office and the Oregon Student
Access Commission, which helps Oregon students with planning and paying for higher education. Now the legislation is up for approval. If passed, lawmakers will no longer make decisions regarding how much money goes to universities, community colleges and financial aid. The Oregonian also reported that state legislature would “make one single allocation to higher education, and the HECC would decide how to divvy it up.” Along with this relatively large and significant change, the HECC would also appoint/ hire its own executive director, as well as officers to oversee preschool to college education. Ben Cannon, Kitzhaber’s education advisor, told The Oregonian that the move toward the HECC is necessary because it would help “make a lot more sense of this higher education soup [of multiple boards and commissions].” It does seem that if the HECC were approved there would be a lot less mess for government workers, but what about the people this will directly affect—the students? If the bill is passed, the OSAC will be disbanded. Every part of higher education would be covered under HECC, which would probably mean job cuts. What about the processes
by which money is doled out? If a person on the board (and I can’t imagine this board would be very large) had a lot of disdain for a particular university or community college, then personal opinion could affect how much funding that academic institution receives. That doesn’t seem quite right. Kitzhaber said that some 40 percent of Oregonians are currently in possession of college credits, but that statistic needs to double by 2015. Making a statement like that shows that Kitzhaber cares about higher education and knows that having a population with as many degrees as possible will help Oregon’s future. That’s cool, I guess. As students of a public Oregon university, this is something we need to be very, very aware of. Many Portland State students rely on financial aid to get through school, pay living expenses and plan for financial emergencies. Because PSU has more students than any other Oregon university, it would be logical to assume that it would get more funding. But that remains to be seen. In all honesty, this will probably turn out to be a positive thing for Oregon’s future in higher education. However, it’s also a sign that we should be very mindful of what’s going on in Salem. It’s great that the state’s Legislature is at least attempting to simplify higher education, and we can only hope that students will be the benefactors of these changes.
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VANGUARD • THURSDAY, MAY 9, 2013 • Opinion
Teaching about porn in high schools Good or bad idea? Everywhere and Here Eva-Jeanette Rawlins
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Common-sense gun control Does ‘reasonable’ gun reform reflect any real change in how we deal with firearms? A Critical Glance Adam E. Bushen
ecently, a new piece of legislation increasing gun control was unanimously approved by Multnomah Country commissioners, despite heavy opposition from gun enthusiasts. Since state law overrules local measures concerning gun control, only minor adjustments to the county law were actually made. The bill includes banning the firing of a weapon within the county and carrying a loaded firearm in public, and it makes failing to report the theft of a weapon a crime. The bill also sets a curfew for minors and a 7 p.m. curfew for juveniles who have been convicted of a gun-related crime. In addition, the bill makes it illegal for a child to handle a gun without the owner’s permission. Of course, there’s a caveat: the laundry list of groups to which these laws will not apply, including possessors of concealed handgun permits, hunters, people defending themselves and retired or offduty police officers. This fact, combined with the relatively tame changes made, marks an uneventful passing of legislation. Nothing significant has been accomplished. The “new” law simply reiterates common sense—those who should and can have a gun will have a gun. Apart from making it a crime to fail to report a stolen weapon, no one is made any safer by the bill. Laws that prevent carrying or shooting a gun where one isn’t supposed to is unnecessary when the
practice is already observed by responsible gun owners. Despite how watered-down and tame the bill is, there was still opposition. What? There’s nothing in this bill to object to. Should people without proper licenses be able to walk around downtown with a loaded weapon? Of course not. Should people without proper licenses be permitted to fire off rounds when not on their own property? Again, of course not. And while I don’t believe that pressure from the opposition is what caused the taming of the ordinance (unlike that in Washington, D.C.), its weakness seems borne of compromise. Whether the compromise is with state law or gun owners, it resulted in a bill that doesn’t put any new changes forward. It’s a shame that “reasonable” gun control translates to weak gun control. Since Newtown and the Clackamas Town Center shootings, there’s been a lot of talk about changing how we control the purchasing of guns and the caliber allowed for public use. Time and time again, significant changes have been blocked. Any serious changes have been met with cries of infringement on people’s Second Amendment rights. The National Rifle Association and gun enthusiasts have been kept happy while people concerned by the possibility of a repeat of the recent shootings are left unsatisfied. In this battle to keep two groups happy, why is one constantly winning out? Why is our government so afraid of the NRA?
Responsible individuals should be able to purchase and own weapons for recreational use. I have no problem with people hunting or going to a shooting range for target practice, but why is there so much resistance to requiring a bit more work in order to obtain a firearm? It won’t stop people who want a gun from getting one unless they’ve been deemed potentially dangerous or unstable. This doesn’t infringe on anyone’s rights. It’s time that we change how we collectively view gun ownership. Guns should be like religious beliefs: It’s fine if you have one, just leave it in your household or at a range, where gun owners can congregate for fun and fellowship. Glorifying firearms and gun ownership sends the wrong message. The world would not be safer if everyone had a gun. If you believe that, then why aren’t we arming every child when they go to school? There was a time when owning a gun served a real and practical function. Perhaps in 2013 there are some places where that’s still true, but, for the most part, guns are an unnecessary toy and nothing more. We need to stop protecting them like they are as important to us as our freedom of speech, because they aren’t. While it’s great to continue forward with gun control, this new bill doesn’t appear to affect anyone the previous laws didn’t already. These rules are common sense, yes, but they don’t truly change much. More work must still be done in order to truly effect change in terms of people obtaining firearms, as well as how we view gun ownership in general.
ornography might soon be taught in schools in England. According to the BBC, “The Sex Education Forum wants pornography taught ‘in terms of media literacy and representation, gender, sexual behavior and body image.’” They are pushing for it to be incorporated into the general sex education curriculums of high schools. Some parents are skeptical, and understandably so. There are few things I want to protect children from more than porn. They’re growing up with an unhealthy understanding of sexuality and body image as it is; they don’t need to encounter the mother load of warped imagery at a young age. Not only is porn a powerful tool of misogyny—taking women’s bodies and sexuality and offering their plastic representations as desirable toys to be used and then tossed— it’s equally harmful in its representation of men and their sexuality. It perpetuates the unhealthy ideology of male dominance, power and, often, violence— along with female submissiveness and powerlessness. It characterizes this as normal sexual behavior or, even worse, a fantasy. Problem is, it’s being acted out in millions of households and in millions of minds around the world. It’s dangerous. So why would I want to bring it into my kid’s classroom? For that very reason. When statistics show that on average kids encounter porn
by age 11, it’s scary to think about how they make sense of it in their young minds. As much as parents may want to be the ones explaining and talking their children through images they’re faced with, the chances that they’ve already found it are high—especially today, when you can’t Google the word “puppy” without seeing boobs. According to the American Psychological Association, studies of 13- to 18-year-olds revealed a correlation between boys viewing porn and seeing women as “playthings.” They were less prone to think that affection was necessary in a sexual relationship and were more likely to view it as a “purely physical function like eating or drinking.” Children developing ideas about sex outside of parental guidance is nothing new. In fact, when talking to my peers it was rare to find anyone who’d had a healthy conversation about it growing up. There were the usual stories of stumbling upon information through conversations with highly (un)knowledgeable friends or misplaced DVDs. It’s sad but true. As much as we glorify sex in this country, we have no clue how to talk about it. Would I want my kids to find out about porn from their teacher in school? No. But would I rather they do it on their own? Even less. The Sex Education Forum suggests that teachers broach the subject in the context of a broader discussion, one that considers the media’s power
to impact our thinking and worldview. They point kids to the skewed perceptions and commentaries that all media provides us and our need to critically analyze the images we consume. Those Brits are definitely onto something, but I can’t help but wonder if we’re coming at it from the wrong place. Why do we try to affirm healthy body images and sexual relationships in contrast to and by disaffirming bad ones? That’s just trying to prove a positive by a negative. We’re constantly telling our girls that super-skinny models aren’t the norm and that they don’t have to look like that to be beautiful, but if they rarely see anything else then why would they believe us? If we tell boys that their masculinity isn’t defined by their number of sexual partners and how many muscles pop out of their shirts, but we don’t show them other models, once again things won’t change. It’s the same with porn. We can highlight how it creates false expectations, but if we don’t begin by presenting children with real and healthy expectations before they’re faced with the other stuff, then we’re fighting an uphill battle. Yes, I think it’s critical that we provide children with a safe and shame-free context to dialogue about porn, but even more so a place where they can find beauty in the cellulite, the bad breath, the rolls, the awkward—and still find it sexy. Manu Sareen, the Danish minister for gender equality, put it perfectly: “We can put an abundance of filters on computers…but that won’t make a difference. The filters must be inside children’s and young people’s heads.”
ETC. • THURSDAY, Thursday, MAY Nov. 9, 8, 2013 2012 • VANGUARD EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Erick Bengel EDITOR@PSUVANGUARD.COM 503-725-5691
People of all belief systems are welcome to attend. FREE
Mother’s Day Brunch 10 a.m.–3 p.m. East Burn 1800 E Burnside St.
East Burn will be offering a special menu this Mother’s Day weekend so that you may bring whatever woman or women fit into that special role in your life and celebrate with breakfast. Reservations are a good idea; for more information on how to make some, visit theeastburn.com.
Monday, May 13
Seth: Ancient Egypt’s Evil God of Power and Might 7:30 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, room 238 1825 SW Broadway
Healthy skepticism: Join PSU philosophy professor Peter Boghossian for an honest talk about atheism and an abstract of his new book, A Manual for Creating Atheists. The lecture will be held at Friendly House (1737 NW 26th Ave.) on Mother’s Day.
Thursday, May 9
Saturday, May 11
Dr. Eugene Cruz-Uribe, professor of global history and world civilizations at California State University, Monterey Bay, and current editor of the Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, will provide lecture attendees with a talk on the ancient Egyptian god Seth, his origins and the misunderstandings associated with them that often lead to the label of “evil” being placed on his character. FREE
Spring All Majors Career Fair
2013 St. Johns Bizarre
11 a.m.–3 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union Ballroom 1825 SW Broadway
10 a.m.–7 p.m. St. Johns, between Philadelphia and Leavitt avenues
Advising and Career Services will host a career fair featuring more than 50 employers from various fields of work who are looking to connect with students at Portland FREE State.
The 7th annual St. Johns Bizarre offers visitors a variety of foods and more than 70 craft vendors, live local music of multiple styles and the finest locally made beer. This festival is a great way to kick off Mother’s Day weekend. FREE
Women, War and Human Rights: Lessons from Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine Noon Smith Memorial Student Union, room 294 1825 SW Broadway
Therese Saliba, faculty of the third world feminist studies program at Evergreen State College, Washington, and a former Fulbright scholar in Palestine, will be speaking about women’s rights and how they have been cited as a source to justify military intervention in parts of the FREE Middle East.
WhiskeyFest Northwest 11 a.m.–10 p.m. Portland Pearl District, lot 15 Northwest 11th Avenue and Northrup Street
More than 60 distillers offering more than 100 local, national and international types of whiskey will be present this year at WhiskeyFest Northwest, the Northwest’s largest event centered on whiskey. Tastings, themed lounges, good cigars and live music await those willing to pay the $25 entrance fee.
Urban Tellers Friday, May 10
Knowing and Not Knowing: Forms of Traumatic Memory 10 a.m. Neuberger Hall, room 407 724 SW Harrison St.
Join the Portland Center for Public Humanities for a talk by Dr. Dori Laub, a child survivor of a Nazi concentration camp and practicing psychoanalyst, on the various ways that traumatic memories can manifest in survivors without a psychiatFREE ric history.
Sharkbite Improv: Rise of the Machines 10 p.m. Lincoln Hall studio theatre 1620 SW Park Ave.
Sharkbite Improv is one of Portland’s finest short-form improve comedy groups, and they will be offering a free show in Lincoln Hall FREE this week.
8 p.m. Portland Story Theater 1847 E Burnside St.
Urban Tellers is a storytelling series that features people sharing tales of their fascinating experiences with life. This round boasts stories of secret siblings, band groupies, visits to hash dens and more. Light snacks will be served as a complimentary service during the event, and beers and wine will be on sale for those of age.
Sunday, May 12
A Manual for Creating Atheists 10–11:30 a.m. Friendly House 1737 NW 26th Ave.
Professor Peter Boghossian, noted lecturer and philosophy teacher at Portland State, will be talking about his new book, A Manual for Creating Atheists, and answering questions about the controversial content.
Bicycle Maintenance 101 Noon–1 p.m. PSU Bike Hub 1818 SW Sixth Ave.
If you are a bike owner or enthusiast, the Portland State Bike Hub offers you the chance to learn about the art of maintaining a bicycle. With subjects like proper methods of lubricating your drivetrain, adjusting your brakes
and properly maintaining your tires, the Bike Hub will make sure you know how to take care of your bike. Participants are free to bring their own bicycles to learn exactly how they FREE should be cared for.
Dads Group 4:30–5:30 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, room 462 1825 SW Broadway
If you are a father as well as a student at Portland State, the Resource Center for Students with Children welcomes you to Monday meetings where you have the chance to connect with others in your position and FREE enjoy some free snacks.
Tuesday, May 14
Lesbian Fiction as Historical Fiction: Gender, Nationalism and Sexual Politics in the South Asian Novel 4 p.m. Women’s Resource Center 1802 SW 10th Ave.
Noon–1 p.m. PSU Bike Hub 1818 SW Sixth Ave.
Bicycle touring can be a great way to get close to nature and improve your stamina at the same time. From overnight camping trips to crosscountry adventures, this workshop will help you learn how to prepare for a bicycle tour by teaching you about the gear you will need and showing you examples of a wellequipped tour bike. RSVP by emailFREE ing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Middle East Studies Center Film Series: Caramel 7 p.m. Smith Memorial Student Union, room 296 1825 SW Broadway
Caramel is a film, presented by the Middle East Studies Center, about the lives of six women in Lebanon who are seeking love and companionship. Each of their stories is unique, ranging from the inspiring to the heartbreaking, and all of them highlight the social and culture difficulties the characters must face. FREE
Drawing on her recent research, Dr. Sri Nair, assistant professor of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Portland State, will discuss two Indian novels about lesbian relationships and examine how these particular novels take a turn from sexual desire toward political history as the protagonists become involved in caste FREE systems and religion.
Wednesday, May 15
Introduction to Bicycle Touring
= on PSU campus FREE = free of charge FREE = open to the public 21+ = 21 and over
VANGUARD •• THURSDAY, TUESDAY, JANUARY MAY 9, 2013 10, 2012 • SPORTS • ETC.
SPORTS Major league disappointments EDITOR: MARCO ESPAñA SPORTS@PSUVANGUARD.COM 503-725-4538
Five biggest letdowns of the 2013 season Gino Cerruti Vanguard staff
We’re more than a month into the 2013 Major League Baseball season, and there are surprises popping up everywhere. The Toronto Blue Jays, a team many experts predicted would be sitting pretty at the top of the American League East standings, is wallowing at the very bottom. The Los Angeles Angels are employing their superstar roster to battle it out with the unsurprisingly terrible Houston Astros for last place in the American League West. And the Miami Marlins…well, they’ve been horrendous as expected. But the majority of these teams’ problems have come about because of players who have not been living up to the expectations created by stellar seasons last year. Here are the top five disappointments in baseball so far in 2013.
5. David Price, Tampa Bay Rays For the past few years, the Rays have been known for their pitching prowess: Matt Moore, Fernando Rodney and 2012’s American League Cy Young Award winner David Price. Last year Price posted the second-lowest ERA in the majors and was tied for second in wins with 20. If he wants to replicate
those stats this year, he’s going to have to switch gears fast. Price currently has the ninthhighest ERA in baseball and has managed only one win in seven games pitched.
4. R.A. Dickey, Toronto Blue Jays Like Price, Dickey had a breakout season last year, earning him a Cy Young Award in the National League. Striking out 230 batters in 233 innings with his unpredictable knuckleball, Dickey was a hot commodity at the end of the 2012 season—so much so that the New York Mets decided to trade him to the Blue Jays for a few top prospects and catcher John Buck. Mets fans were incensed at first, but have grown to accept it thanks to Dickey’s awful performance this season. With an ERA above five to go along with five losses to date, the Blue Jays may already be regretting the deal to acquire this knucklehead.
3. Josh Reddick, Oakland Athletics To be fair, no one could have predicted Reddick’s insane season last year. Although he posted a mediocre batting average, Reddick hit 32 home runs and was one of the driving forces behind the Athletics’ run to the American League
roy halladay has put together a Hall of Fame career but has struggled through the first month of the 2013 season and is currently sporting the second-highest ERA in the majors.
West crown. That mojo seems to have worn off, as Reddick has one of the five lowest averages in baseball with only one home run to his name this season. A word of wisdom, Josh: Lose the beard—it’s bad luck.
2. Josh Hamilton, Los Angeles Angels One of the biggest bombshells to hit the newswire
this past offseason was monster slugger Hamilton’s move from the Texas Rangers to the Angels. A career .300 hitter who tied for second in home runs last season, Hamilton was expected to be the key to the Angels’ dominance of the American League West in 2013. That plan is falling through at the moment, as Hamilton has just two home
runs and a batting average leveling off at .200 so far this year.
1. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies Truly the most depressing tale of MLB woe, this one comes to you straight from the City of Brotherly Love. Halladay has had an outstanding career—two Cy Young awards, a perfect game and
more than 2,000 strikeouts to his credit. He’s been a dependable part of the Phillies’ pitching staff for three years now, but the wheels seem to be coming off this season. Halladay presently boasts the second-highest ERA in baseball and has allowed 33 earned runs in the 34 innings he’s pitched. As of today, he’s on the disabled list with shoulder inflammation.
Wheeler ready to get back on the court Star outside hitter looks forward to return from last season’s injury Rosemary Hanson Vanguard staff
In their final game of the season last November, the Portland State volleyball team faced off against Idaho State University to decide the Big Sky regular-season title. The Vikings played their hearts out and beat the Bengals for the honor, but took a huge loss in the process as outside hitter Jaklyn Wheeler went down with an anterior cruciate ligament tear in her knee. Wheeler was forced to sit out the Vikings’ loss to the University of Northern Colorado in the Big Sky tournament, and has spent the last few months recovering. It’s been a slow road back, but the senior is nearly ready to return to the court with her teammates as they prepare for the upcoming season. Wheeler, who has been
playing volleyball since she was a kid, is looking to start training again by mid-June, and head coach Michael Seemann said the plan is to have her back in full health in time for the first fall practice. That time couldn’t come soon enough for the Red Bluff, Calif., native—she can’t really remember a time when she wasn’t on the court competing. “I got into it because of my mom,” Wheeler said. “She is the local high school volleyball coach. I basically grew up in the gym. I went to tournaments with her when my dad was out of town. I was surrounded [by volleyball] all my life and…fell in love with the sport.” Her experience certainly shows. After transferring from the University of Oregon last year, Wheeler became a key contributor on
the Viking squad, leading the team in kills and registering 17 double-doubles in her first season at PSU. She was honored as a member of the AllBig Sky first team and was named Big Sky Newcomer of the Year in 2012. Wheeler enjoys the competitive side of volleyball, but also the constant adjustment and improvisation required in the sport. “I love the immediate feedback you get,” she said. “Judging [by] what the ball does, you can tell if you did something correctly or incorrectly. If you did it incorrectly, you can tell what you did—it’s simple that way.” Wheeler said that with her current limited mobility she has been able to focus on some of the more technical aspects of her game, and is anxious to find out which elements she’ll be able to add to the arsenal in her final season as a Viking. “It will take some time for her to develop her game to a point where she was prior to injury,” Seemann said. “I have 100 percent faith in her [getting back] to that level.”
With so much of her focus on volleyball and her studies, Wheeler said she simply enjoys spending time with friends and family in her off time. She is working toward a degree in pre-physical therapy and wants to work in college athletics after graduation. For now, Wheeler is concentrating on being healthy. She said that her teammates’ goal is to make it to the NCAA tournament in 2013, hoping to improve upon their incredible run last year. When asked about her favorite part of the 2012 season, Wheeler’s response was somewhat unexpected but completely in keeping with her positive approach both on and off the court. “It kind of sounds bad, but in my perception it was the Idaho State game for the [Big Sky] title,” she said. “It’s obviously when I tore my ACL, but the fact that Cheyne Corrado stepped up and took my place—that was amazing. She did so well. The fact [that] the girls were able to pull through [and win] was great.”
karl kuchs/VANGUARD STAFf
Jaklyn wheeler gets set for her final year on the PSU volleyball squad.
VANGUARD •TTHURSDAY, uesday, Jan. MAY 31, 9, 2013 2013 • SPORTS • SPORTS
Basement Notes: Kentucky Derby Fortune and heartbreak in a day at the track Zach Bigalke Vanguard staff
The Kentucky Derby kicks off a five-week stretch of elation and enervation for everyone who loves horse racing. Ownership dynasties spend generations longing to see one of their stable’s steeds garlanded in roses in the winner’s circle. Thousands of trainers around the country wake up early day after day, year after year, dreaming of the moment they can finally watch a horse they’ve nurtured cross the line ahead of the field. Then there are the jockeys, who have spent decades breaking their bodies down on bone-jarring rides around small tracks in an unforgiving winnowing of the worthy from the wannabes. Everyone arrives at Churchill Downs in Louisville cautiously optimistic that this might be the time when their efforts are finally rewarded. And they are also well aware that all the skill in the world must wed itself with luck on that most hallowed day of the year at the track. Tens of thousands of fans attended the race in person on Saturday, and millions more tuned in to the televised broadcast. For those multitudes, many of whom plunked
down a few bucks in the hope that it might be converted into much, much more, the same principle holds true—for all the skill of the seasoned bettor, raw luck ultimately dictates who walks away with cashstuffed pockets. I made the trip out to Portland Meadows to celebrate Derby Day with 15 of my friends, mingling with the crowd gathered for an afternoon of mint juleps and thoroughly imprudent wagers. As we basked in the sunshine and cigar smoke curled around the flamboyant hats of the more audacious ladies in attendance, everyone sifted through the daily racing form and consulted their notes. Nearly all of them were confident that they had the winner among the thousands of tickets being printed out of machines throughout the grounds. My buddy Bob had been texting back and forth with his brothers in Illinois, debating combinations of horses for exacta and trifecta picks. Finally they decided on three thoroughbreds— Revolutionary, Verrazano and Orb. The horses were set to race out of gates three, 14 and 16 in the official program. But when Bob received the text message with the final selection, a “1” had gotten lost in translation. Walking up to a betting machine and inserting
Upcoming Thursday, May 9
Softball Big Sky Championship Pocatello, Idaho First Round
vs. Vikings vs. Southern Utah Miller Ranch Stadium Noon Forecast: high of 77 degrees, sunny
Friday, May 10
Track and Field © John gress/reuters
derby day marks the high point of the horse racing calendar as millions wager on the outcome of a 10-furlong sprint at Churchill Dawns.
a tenner and two singles, Bob pushed the three and the 16 for Revolutionary and Orb— and four, picking 36-1 long shot Golden Soul instead of Verrazano. Lady Luck planted a big wet kiss on the three brothers as the 19-horse field took to the sloppy track for the most exciting two minutes in sports. The starting pistol fired, the horses bolted out and Verrazano faded quickly from the pack for a 14th-place finish. Orb and Revolutionary got a shaky start but quickly moved up through the field —the morning favorites showing their propensity for late charges—and came in first and third, respectively. And then there was Golden Soul. As the lightly regarded great-grandson of 1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat fended off Revolutionary and
three-time Derby-winning jockey Calvin Borel, hundreds of people around Portland Meadows immediately started tearing up their tickets and tossing the losing confetti into the air. Shug McGaughey, the Hall of Fame trainer in charge of Orb, finally claimed a Kentucky Derby victory after three decades of waiting for the right horse. It was also validation for the hot start to the season by Orb’s jockey, Joel Rosario, with the Dominican native claiming his first-ever Triple Crown race just five weeks after taking the $10 million Dubai World Cup. After the bedlam died down, I looked over at the most serious gamblers in our group. One, Asa, had put down $120 on one of his bets, hoping to turn it into $50,000 by picking the first five finishers for the elusive superfecta.
He had spent days engrossed in bloodlines, race results, jockey records and trainer histories, mulling over his picks up until the final moments before post time in Kentucky. Now he stood in front of the screen staring straight ahead in a daze, clutching a ticket on which four of the five numbers matched—foiled by the long shot that had placed. Then I turned to look at Bob. He was thumbing feverishly through a stack of slips, trying to locate the mistake that had made him a winner that day. Eventually he found it and strode up to the window to cash in on Golden Soul’s unlikely run. Bob collected a $7,000 bundle for his blunder, stuffed it into his pocket and raced out to his car as quickly as he could before the gods realized what he had gotten away with.
Thorns break Washington’s Spirit NWSL leaders notch 2-1 victory on the road Matt Deems Vanguard staff
The Portland Thorns extended their unbeaten streak to four games as they handed the Washington Spirit their second defeat of the season last Saturday at the sold-out Maryland SoccerPlex. Portland maintained its hold on the top spot in the National Women’s Soccer League standings, improving to 3-0-1. The team remains the early favorite to finish the year in first place. The Thorns wasted no time establishing their presence against Washington. In the 12th minute, Alex Morgan found herself amid four Spirit defenders after corralling a deep pass from Nikki Marshall. Morgan moved to evade them and ended up getting entangled with the Washington’s Domenica Hodak, eliciting a penalty kick. Morgan lined up and ripped a low shot to the left corner as Spirit goalkeeper Ashlyn Harris
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Nikki Washington gave Portland an unassailable 2-0 advantage with a goal in the second half on Saturday. guessed wrong, putting Portland up 1-0. It was Morgan’s third straight game with at least one point. Morgan nearly struck again in the 18th minute as she stole the ball from a Spirit defender with an open goal in front of her, but her shot ricocheted off
the right post and bounced out of bounds. The Thorns were unrelenting in their attack in the first half, posting six shots while holding Washington to just two. Portland went into the locker room at halftime with the lead, but the Spirit had begun to ratchet up their defensive effort.
Washington took a more physical approach to dealing with Morgan after the goal, twice knocking her to the ground and earning fouls. Unwilling to be intimidated, the Thorns came out firing in the second half. In the 51st minute, Nikki Washington
intercepted a Spirit pass and booted a beautiful unassisted shot that curled around Harris and skated into the goal to give Portland a 2-0 lead. The Spirit did not give in, however, stepping up their offensive pressure considerably while the Thorns’ defense dropped off a bit. Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc shut down the late Washington run by coming through with six saves, five in the second half. Spirit midfielder Diana Matheson finally got Washington on the board in the 86th minute. Matheson drove into the box but got twisted up with Thorn defender Jazmyne Avant on the way, earning a penalty kick and a chance to cut the deficit in half. This time it was LeBlanc who guessed wrong as Matheson blasted a shot into the left side. Washington was unable to add to their total in the closing minutes, and the Thorns left town with the victory. Portland wraps up their road trip with a match against the Chicago Red Stars on May 12 at Benedictine University Sports Complex.
Big Sky Championships Forest Grove, Ore. 10:30 a.m. Forecast: high of 85 degrees, partly cloudy
WHl WHL Championship Game 5
@ Winterhawks vs. Edmonton Rose Garden Arena 7 p.m.
Saturday, May 11
track and field Big Sky Championships Forest Grove, Ore. 10:30 a.m. Forecast: high of 84 degrees, mostly cloudy
Sunday, May 12
WHl WHL Championship Game 6 (if necessary)
@ Winterhawks @ Edmonton Rexall Place 3 p.m.
vs. Timbers vs. Chivas USA Jeld-Wen Field 2 p.m.
@ Thorns @ Chicago Benedictine University Sports Complex 3 p.m. Forecast: high of 52 degrees, mostly sunny
@ Seattle vs. Oakland Safeco Field 1:10 p.m. Forecast: high of 65 degrees, showers