Empty Job Market?
Graduates must try a different approach to find work in a difficult economy. PAGE 8
Is this the new Facebook? PAGE 22
the observer www.fordhamobserver.com
SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 Volume XXx, Issue 9
Quinn Library to Move to Law School By Sara azoulay Asst. News Editor & Photo Co-Editor
Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s Quinn Library will move from its current location in the Lowenstein building to where the Fordham Law School’s library is located. The plan is set tentatively for 2014 and Quinn Library is currently taking steps to transition their move to the law library. Some noticeable minor changes include the rearrangement of new and old bookcases and updated library software. Over the summer, bookcases were moved around and added, creating a new layout for the library. According to Linda LoSchiavo, director of Quinn Library, the Law Library is using Quinn’s new compact bookshelves as storage space for their books so the move is easier. The stacks of library cases now outline the back of the library while the front is more open for students to walk around. LoSchiavo said that the future plans for Quinn’s current space is still unknown. The Law Library will move to the new Law building currently under construction.
SALMA ELMEHDAWI/The Observer (LEFT)/Fatima Shabbir/the observer(Right)
Fashion Week at Lincoln Center: from bright and crazy designs to clean and defined looks, every style finds a voice at Fashion Week.
see Quinn library pg.3
Critics missed the point. u PAGE 6
The chance was gone. u PAGE 24
Will they be able to have a successful season? u PAGE 28
FCLC Starts LGBTQ-Catholic Dialogue in Conference By Faith Heaphy and Ray Walsh Editor-in-Chief & Contributing Writer
On Sept. 16, Fordham sponsored a conference about sexual diversity and the Catholic church, the first time the topic has been publicly addressed in a large public setting on campus. The event, called “Learning to Listen: the Voices of Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church,” was first in the “More Than A Monologue” series, which seeks to present new perspectives on issues of faith and sexual orientation. “The conversation has been happening, but it hasn’t happened
in a significant way publicly,” said Jeannine Fletcher, associate professor of theology and moderator of a session at the event. “Theologians and thinkers involved in Catholic tradition said, ‘You know what, no one’s really addressing this in a substantial and public way and we think it’s time.’” Christine Hinze, professor of theology and spokesperson for the conference, said the idea for this had been in the works for a few years, but came to fruition after a group of faculty members from the Union Theological Seminary, Yale Divinity School, Fairfield University and Fordham decided to seek resources to aid the conversation in
a large-scale way. The Arcus Foundation provided those resources, giving Fordham around $15,000, according to Hinze. Arcus is an organization that works specifically “to advance Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender equality,” according to their site. The other three universities involved in the discussion received funding as well as part of the series. “It’s an event that says we are Catholic theologians and we can see and hear what the church has said and we can see the ideas that are being presented there but how does it match with people’s experiences?” Fletcher said.
The Student Voice of Fordham College at Lincoln Center
Hinze said that in providing spaces for listening, the conferences will open a forum for the personal stories of people who are dealing with problems raised by their sexuality within a religious setting. “There’s so much back and forth in the public sphere—and the impression one can get even with the issue of civil marriage is that the Catholic church may be completely inhospitable to people caring about these issues,” Hinze said. “We’re trying to hit that bull’s-eye of those who love the church and experience the truth of their own love in a significant way, but it’s a hard thing to see Conference pg.4
September 22, 2011 The Observer
MTA Faced Flooding and Delays On Sept. 19, a water main broke before 11:30 a.m. at 106th Street and Central Park West disrupting subway service on the A, B, C and D lines. According to the MTA, workers responded very promptly. Reports indicated that a nearly 100-year-old 37-inch water main burst. There was eight to 10 feet of water between 103rd Street and 110th Street and four feet as far north as 125th Street. Regular subway service resumed the morning of Sept. 20.
Scaffolding Injures 17 in Harlem On Sept. 20, bricks fell onto a scaffold of a demolished building which collapsed onto a bus at West 125 Street and Frederick Douglass Boulevard in Harlem. According to the New York Times, eight of the injured victims were riding the bus and two were policemen. Firemen on the scene said the injuries were minor and not life threatening.
Human Remains Found Linked to 1996 Homicide On Sept. 20, police announced that of the 10 bodies found along eastern Long Island, N.Y. Two were related and one had DNA matched to a woman’s body parts found 15 years ago. The Huffington Post reported that no suspects have been found and the investigation continues. Police said that the bodies may have been dumped by several killers. NATIONAL
Contaminated Cantaloupes Kills Americans The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Sept. 19 that four people died and several are sick from eating Colorado cantaloupes contaminated with listeria. The Associated Press reported that the CDC confirmed 35 people in 10 states have become ill from the outbreak. The illness was traced to Jensen Farms in Holly, CO and they have since recalled its Rocky Fordbrand cantaloupes which were shipped July 29 through Sept. 10 to several states including New Jersey and New York.
Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Says Goodbye According to the New York Times, on Sept. 20, the 18 year old “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT)” policy officially ended on midnight. The policy demanded that members of the gay community not disclose their sexual orientation while serving in the U.S. armed forces. An official congressional bill to repeal DADT was legislated in December 2010.
Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer
These free water coolers were implemented by USG last year and now sit in the cafeteria of Lowenstein for students to refill water bottles.
USG Wants FCLC Identity and Eco-Friendly Campus By Anthony Gong Contributing Writer
Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s United Student Government (USG) conducted its first general meeting on Sept. 8, welcoming new and returning members to discuss issues that students want to develop on campus. The committee addressed various topics ranging from their plans for Fordham identity and an ecofriendly campus to overhauling its website. Last year, USG encouraged the Office of Enrollment and Financial Services to setup a glass encasement outside its office. They also raised money for the Japan relief after the earthquake, implemented free water in the cafeteria and replaced Freshens with Red Mango. This year, they have new ambitions. According to Rebecca Nicoletti, FCLC ’13, and member of USG, one of USG’s main focuses this year is
changing FCLC’s identity. She said that her biggest complaint is the lack of Fordham identification at Lincoln Center. “FCLC needs an actual identity. It’s just a building to me, not a real campus,” Nicoletti said. Her suggestion is to either put up more banners or utilize better color schemes. Ryan O’Toole, FCLC ’12 and president of USG, shares the same thoughts. He said that the empty concrete walls on campus need to change in order for Lincoln Center to feel more like a Fordham campus. “The campus should be alive, not empty,” he said. “Why not just put up some of the student’s artwork on it? We don’t want them to be blank empty walls.” According to O’Toole, USG works closely with the school’s administration to improve the quality of student life. Having a say in student affairs means USG deals with social events on campus like the Christmas tree lighting and the
annual Winter Ball in the spring semester. USG also provides students with discounts to local businesses around Lincoln Center such as Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, J. Crew’ and many more. Another improvement USG is working on is becoming more ecoconscious. O’Toole said that a concern of his “is achieving sustainability and being Eco-conscious; that means using trash cans whenever possible and not wasting energy.” In terms of sustainability, Ben Schaub, a member of the Environmental Club and sophomore senator of USG, said that he strives to educate others on conserving energy. He said that USG hopes to start an efficient take on waste management in the near future. “It’s tangible, but also experiential,” he said. “We need to make the system sustainable before we can do anything long term.” In addition, USG plans to establish trash receptacles
with better models, install new motion sensors in bathrooms, and administer bio-degradable take-away containers. Beyond these campus initiatives, USG is also working online to increase the traffic to their website. O’ Toole said that recent surveys concluded that its website was too mundane. In an effort to be tech savvy, USG is now making attempts to revamp its website in hopes of becoming resourceful and accessible to everyone. On Sept. 20, USG congratulated Louise Lingat, Paolo Perez and Sandy Yang, all FCLC ’15, as this year’s freshmen senators; Hannah Yoon, FCLC ’13, secretary; Matthew Ortiz, FCLC ’12, as vice president of student affairsand Caitlin Docherty and Cricket Beeson, both FCLC ’12, senior senators. Currently, a senior senator position is still open. USG holds weekly meetings every Thursday at 12:30 p.m. in room LL512.
Turkey Bombing On Sept. 20, a suspected bomb blast killed three people and wounded 15 others in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. According to BBC News, Interior Minister, Idris Sahin, said that it was very likely that this was a terror attack. The blast was large enough to destroy six cars.
Italy Rating Dropped By Standard and Poors According to the BBC News, Italy’s rating was cut from A+ to A by Standard and Poors. The agency said that Italy’s growth has been weak. Prime Minister of Italy, Silvio Berlusconi said the rating drop was due to “political considerations,” and was influenced by stories in the media rather than by the economy. Compiled by Laura Chang & Sara Azoulay
Have an Eye For Design? Join the Layout Staff at the Observer! Work with a New York Times designer and wow employers with your knowledge of all things Adobe InDesign!
NO previous experience necessary—
ALL MAJORS WELCOME!
The Observer September 22, 2011
Quinn Library Transformation
Quinn LIbrary From PAGE 1
“We don’t know what’s happening to this space except for the compact book shelving. The compact shelves are for the use of the law library but other than that, there are no plans for this space,” she said. The new design may be beneficial for the actual move-in day, but students have mixed comments about its new design. Renee White, FCLC ’13, said she is disappointed with the change. “I think it kind of looks like a mess, to be completely honest. I get their intention of space saving but it’s sort of disorganized and it’s not very appealing.” Another student had a similar opinion. Diane Betancur, FCLC ’13, said, “I figure they probably have a good reason for it. I’m not going to complain but I thought it was more homey before. I liked it better.” The design plans of the new FCLC library after it moves into the Law building is also still unknown, but Robert Allen, deputy director of the Quinn Library, mentioned the idea of having study group rooms for students. Allen said that he looks at this as an opportunity for the library “to evolve into the kind of library this campus deserves.” Allen hopes to have a voice in this transformation, even though other parties are involved. “We really do want this new facility to offer the students at FCLC the best a university library can offer.” In addition, LoSchiavo said she is excited to help with the redesigning of its setup. She explained that they plan to make the library more appealing to students at FCLC including having natural and better lighting to replace the current fluorescent lighting. “We are going to try and get the most up to date facility when we move to that new space,” LoSchiavo said, “At the forefront of our goals is giving students a very modern and well equipped library but also amenities and comfort.” The library administration also wants to hear suggestions from FCLC students. LoSchiavo said that she would like to speak with USG about meeting with a group of students. She said that the library has worked with students before. “Last year we had undergraduate students in the visual arts department make up architectural designs as
Calendar THUR., SEPT. 22
Club Day 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Indoor Plaza
College Council 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. South Lounge
MESA Dinner Outing 5:15 p.m. - 8 p.m. Ali Baba
CFM Game Night 5:15 p.m. - 7 p.m. Student Lounge FRI., SEPT. 23
APAC Dinner Outing 6 p.m. - 8 p.m. Ponsai Restaurant TUE., SEPT. 27
OSLCD Breakfast Break 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Indoor Plaza
CFM Karaoke Night 5:15 p.m. - 7:00 p.m. Student Lounge THUR., SEPT. 29
CFM & RHA Freshmen Olympics 11:15 a.m. - 2:45 p.m. Outdoor Plaza
CSA Pinkberry in the Park 12:30 p.m. - 2 p.m. Pinkberry & Central Park FRI., SEPT. 16
Paint Ball Outing 4:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. NYC Paintball Compiled by Laura Chang
Crime THUR., SEPT. 1
Before: Courtesy of linda loschiavo (TOP) /After: Fatima Shabbir/The Observer(Bottom)
Quinn Library before (top) and after (bottom) show its space now filled with compact bookshelves that make moving to the Law School easier.
their senior project.” LoShiavo and Allen said that the freshman class now will see a very different library by the time they graduate FCLC. Another change in Quinn Library is the update on computer software. The software, while ben-
eficial to students, doesn’t coincide with the movement of the library. LoSchiavo said the update was just to ensure that students would be able to effectve by conduct academic research. One of its features includes the ability to limit your search when
looking for information within the library. “It has many more features that allow you to be more specific like exclusion, inclusion, and limiters,” Loschiavo said. The update was to ensure students’ searching in the library was enhanced from last semester.
Ten minutes after midnight, criminal mischief was reported. A student ripped off a sign at the ID Duplication Center in the Lowenstein building. The student did not intend to damage the sign, but it ripped off the wall. The dean of students dealt with the situation. FRI., SEPT. 2 At approximately 7:25 p.m. in the Lowenstein building, graffiti was discovered on the first floor womens restroom. The custodian staff was contacted and the graffiti was removed. Wed., Sept. 7
Between 2 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. a commuter student discovered a blue mountain bike was removed by a person outside the Lowenstein building. The bike was outside and chained to a rack with a security lock. The student declined to notify the police. Around 2:30 p.m. in McMahon Hall, four students were stuck in the McMahon hall elevator for about 20 minutes. Elevator mechanics responded and got them out. Wed., Sept. 14
Visit www.fordhamobserver.com Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter
Twenty-five minutes after midnight, security was notified that a student was hanging on a door in McMahon Hall. The student was referred to the director of Residential Life. MON., Sept. 19 In McMahon Hall, criminal mischief was discovered when graffiti on the ninth floor was reported. A pen mark was drawn from apartment 9K to 9G. The building manager notified to have the graffiti removed.
Compiled by Sara Azoulay
September 22, 2011 The Observer
FCLC Hosts First Conference in Series Conference From PAGE 1
do.” The full day conference was held in Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s Pope Auditorium and featured a panel of speakers who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer, as well as others in the field of academics and the clergy. The conference was divided into three sessions, with time after each for audience members to email, tweet or hand in paper slips with specific questions directed toward the panelists. According to Benjamin Dunning, professor of theology and member of the conference’s planning committee, the goal in putting together the panel of speakers was to maximize diversity “in a number of different ways, to spread things out” in terms of the panelists’ relationships to the church. The first session of the conference, entitled “Identity and Practice in Everyday Life” sought to address the issues created by the intersection of sexual diversity and lived Catholic faith. Each panelist drew from personal experience to discuss their identities as Catholics navigating their faith in spite of the difficulties raised by the church’s stance— or, sometimes, lack thereof—toward sexual diversity. Panelist Hilary Howes, a transgender activist, recounted difficulties she faced within the Catholic church. “I am blessed by our creator with male genitalia and a female brain,” Hoews said. “This has been seen as a political act, weakness, perversion, even sin. In the Catholic church, I don’t exist officially. There is a rigid hierarchy ruled by one sex. The problem is that it empowers the church hierarchy to follow the most reactionary course.” The second session, “Work Lives, Work Places, Public Spaces,” addressed ways in which panelists from different sexual backgrounds were affected in their work and professional lives. Like the morn-
Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer
Deb Word, a panelist at the “More Than a Monologue” conference, spoke about her experience as a mother raising a gay son.
ing session, individuals spoke from experience, citing how overlaps between work, faith, and sexual orientation have served both to cause conflicts and to provide opportunities for conversation. Panelists in this session discussed the need for parishioners, especially the youth, to speak their minds to effect change. “It’s up to the people in the pews to get off their duffs and start speaking up,” said speaker Rev. John P. Duffell from the Church of Ascension. “All religion is local, and that’s where we have to bring out the change.” The evening forum took a more intellectual turn, bringing in re-
cent developments in sociology, philosophy and politics—while still including the personal experiences of the panelists. Speakers dealt with questions of how marginalized groups perceive themselves, how the Church’s language about marginalized groups informs those perceptions and how speaking out may have negative consequences. The panelists agreed on the need continue to create dialogue within the church, especially among young Catholics, as well as the need of young Catholics to use their numbers to effect change. “This is not a small group,” Jerome P. Baggett, professor of sociology at Santa Clara
University, said. “Younger Catholics are much more open to this than other generations.” While students in attendance saw the conference as a positive event overall, it did not go entirely uncriticized. Some, like Libby Gatti, FCRH ’12, were excited by the ideas expressed by the panel. “This is a part of the Catholic church standing up and saying not only that we love gays, but that many of us are gays,” Gatti said. Others, like Dorothy Goehring, FCLC ’13 felt differently. Although she expressed her support for the conference, Goehring offered some
criticism, saying, “I believe that it’s slightly biased towards LGBT groups, I have not heard anyone who is providing counter arguments towards anything but LGBT reform. In order for this to be a real dialogue, you need to have both sides, whether for right or for wrong.” Bob Najdek, FCLC ’12, agreed. “I was very glad that there was such a tolerant, understanding view of homosexuals in the church and their experience in the conference, Najdek said. “I would’ve liked a few more conservative voices, just to produce a more open debate. I think it would help move it along more.”
Fordham Continues to Climb in National Rankings By Kusum Dhansinghani Contributing Writer
Fordham ranked 37th in Washington Monthly’s annual national university ranking this year, but specifically ranked sixth for its participation in community service. In addition, Fordham ranked 53rd in U.S. News’ Report of 2012 Best Colleges. Washington Monthly ranks universities based on three categories: social mobility, research, and service. Social mobility includes the recruiting and graduating of low-income students. Research is the producing of cutting-edge scholarships and PhDs at the university and service is the encouragement of students to give something back to their country and community. The Rev. Robert R. Grimes, S.J., Dean of Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), said he believes rankings “take the humanity out of a college, precisely the quality by which one should be evaluating a college.” He was impressed with the 19 percent of Fordham students who receive the Pell grant, mentioned in the Washington Monthly. The number represented a higher percentage when compared to other private universities, such as Harvard and the University of Notre Dame. “It is a wonderful testament of Fordham being true to its mission,” Grimes said. According to Patricia Peek,
associate dean of Admission and director of Lincoln Center’s Enrollment Group, of the 19 percent referenced in the Washington Monthly ranking, 28 percent of Lincoln Center students were Pell eligible In addition, the Huffington Post included an online photo essay. Their “Top 10 Colleges that Give Back to Communities,” featured Fordham in sixth place. Community service based programs at FCLC can be exemplified through FCLC’s Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice and Global Outreach (GO). One student said that he first got involved with the Dorothy Day Center through Urban Plunge, a program that introduces students to center and the local community, days before his freshman year at FCLC. Jaime Rodriguez, FCLC ’14, worked with Meals on Wheels, a program where participants deliver meals to the elderly. “[The Dorothy Day Center] gives you a new light on the city. You hear different narratives about how New York City is a great, but for many people there is struggle to get by day to day and there are many issues of social injustices that are often forgotten.” Another opportunity for students to engage in community service is the GO program. They sends teams of approximately 10 students, led by one student leader and one chaperone, to live, work, and learn with partnering orga-
nizations throughout the United States and countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Theresa Murphy, Coordinator of GO at FCLC, said, “GO tries to create relationships of solidarity to understand the challenges and issues facing different cultures and bringing it back to our community. We always talk about being men and women for and with others. It’s about thinking globally and acting locally.” According to Murphy, GO trips take place during winter, spring, and summer breaks and are usually one or up to three weeks long. Some of the projects focus on service related experiences such as working with Habitat for Humanity while others are immersion experiences such as living with host families in different countries. Although being positively ranked is a proud moment for Fordham, Grimes said that he dislikes rankings because “you’re never quite sure what they’re basing their rankings on and whether the indicators they use are reliable.” However, Washington Monthly is one that he prefers the most because “they measure characteristics of an institution that are so close to the mission of a Jesuit school—accessibility to those of limited financial resources and a deep commitment to service.” Grimes said that community service “is worthwhile to take a look at opportunities to serve even after graduation.”
Sara Azoulay/The Observer
The Dorothy Day Center for Service and Justice recently posted a flyer about their community service program.
The Observer September 22, 2011
FCLC Welcomes New Tenure Staff By Esther Fernando Contributing Writer
Courtesy of Daniel Ott, Christiana Peppard, Steven Stoll, Aimee Meredith /The ObserveCr
From to left to right: Professor Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D., Professor Aimee Meredith Cox, Professor Steven Stoll and Professor Daniel Ott.
Name: Christiana Z. Peppard, Ph.D.
Name: Aimee Meredith Cox
Science, Department of Theology
and African and African American Studies
Title: Assistant Professor of Theology and Previous profession before entering Fordham: From 2009-2011, I
was a Cathedral Scholar in Residence at St. John the Divine (NYC) while I wrote my dissertation. In addition to my profession/vocation as a professor, I am also a parent of an energetic, fantastic, almost four-year-old. Observer: How do you feel about being a
permanent faculty member at Fordham College at Lincoln Center?(FCLC)? CP: I feel absolutely fantastic about being a
tenure-track faculty member at FCLC. It’s a dream job for me, and I am grateful and delighted to be here!
Observer: Are you working on anything
CP: I have several concurrent research projects
to complement my teaching role. One project explores the significance of fresh water in an era of economic globalization, particularly with regard to the vexatious question of fresh water’s value. I’m working on turning that research into a book. Another project looks at how the concept of “nature” functions in scientific, environmental, and ethical discourse. Hobbies: Well, my dream hobby is to play
the saxophone, but that hasn’t quite been realized yet! Other hobbies include hiking (I’m originally from Colorado and California), listening to live music and reading intellectual biographies.
Title: Assistant Professor of Performance Previous profession before entering Fordham: Assistant Professor in the
Name: Steven Stoll
Title: Associate Professor of History Previous profession before entering Fordham: I have taught at Fordham
for three years as a visiting professor. Before that, I taught at Yale University.
the African American and African Studies Department at Rutgers University, Newark.
Observer: How do you feel about being a
Observer: How do you feel about being a
Steven Stoll: Fordham is deeply
permanent faculty member at FCLC?
Aimee Meredith Cox: When I first read
the job description for this position I knew it was written for me. I am already rejuvenated by teaching the vibrant and exquisitely curious students at Fordham and love working with such supportive and brilliant colleagues in such a creative environment. Observer: Are you working on anything
AMC: In addition to teaching the follow-
ing courses: Black Feminism: Theory and Expression and In Living Color: African American Communities on Film and in Text - Reading Beyond Black and White, I am also working on completing my book, Shapeshifters: Black Girls and the Choreography of Citizenship as well as working to extend my arts activist program for young women called The BlackLight Project from Newark to New York City. Hobbies: Dancing
permanent faculty member at FCLC?
welcoming and committed to all the right things in higher education. I find the mission inspiring, the students energetic, and the faculty brilliant. I’m thrilled to be here. Observer: Are you working on anything
SS: I’m writing a book about people we
know as peasants, agrarians, plain folk, campesinos all words for country people who grow most of their own food and trade vigorously for what they do not make themselves. I want to know why and how the agrarian household has declined so rapidly in the last 300 years. The book is called “Outliers and Savages: The Ordeal of the Agrarian Household in the Atlantic World.” Hobbies: I have a big family and a big job
so I can’t say that I cultivate many hobbies. I like running, writing poetry, and flying different kinds of motorized airplanes with my sons. I love exploring New York City, as well.
Name: Daniel Ott
Title: Assistant Professor of Music Theory
and Composition, Department of Art History and Music Previous profession before entering Fordham: Composer and teacher, most
recently a faculty member of The Juilliard School.
Observer: How do you feel about being a
permanent faculty member at FCLC?
Daniel Ott: I am delighted to be joining
Fordham full time. I have been teaching part time at Fordham since 2005, and in that time I have come to know and love the school and its students. I am very much looking forward to continuing to grow our music department in the years ahead! Observer: Are you working on anything
DO: I usually have one or two composition
projects planned for the upcoming season. In late September I will be traveling to Portland, Ore. where the Oregon Symphony (OS) is presenting an evening of some of my chamber music, performed by the Arnica String Quartet, along with the music of 20th Cent. English composer Benjamin Britten. Part of my work there will include speaking to some young composers, as well as conducting a pre-concert interview with the OS’s Music Director, Carlos Kalmar. Hobbies: Not much free time these days! But
when I do have time I try to spend it with my wife and our two young children. This means I’ve logged a lot of hours at NYC’s parks and playgrounds over the past five years!
CHECK OUT VIDEOS AND EXCLUSIVE ONLINE CONTENT AT
September 22, 2011
dialogue joins faith and learning
n Friday, Sept. 16, Fordham held the event “Learning to Listen: Voices of Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church.” As noted in Faith Heaphy and Ray Walsh’s article on pg. 1, the event challenged traditional Catholic teachings in regards to sexual orientation, largely addressing sexuality in the church for the first time on campus. Seeking to reinterpret how the Church views those who identify as LGBT, Fordham theologians and individuals from a variety of backgrounds have been making new revelations that contradict the beliefs some religious organizations uphold as true and moral. As Fordham continues to distinguish itself as a university that places great emphasis on academics, evidenced by the recent ranking of our schools as 53rd in the nation by U.S. News and World report, we must determine how we will balance our intellectual pursuits with the principles of faith upon which we established our Jesuit school. Some feel the conversation of sexual diversity within the Catholic church is one
We must determine how we will balance our intellectual pursuits with the principles of faith upon which we established our Jesuit school.
that is long overdue, an issue addressed in the opinions piece “Does America Need Fatima?” on the opposite page. Ideals and standards within our society are changing and this topic demands attention in an open, academic setting. Others believe that such discussion undermines the authority of church leaders and denies Catholic teaching. Patrick J. Reilly, president of the Cardinal New Society, wrote the following in a September 8 letter to conference organizers: “[P]astoral care for homosexuals begins with a proper understanding and embrace of Church teaching outlined concretely in
the Catechism of the Catholic church, which clearly explains that homosexual acts are intrinsically disordered. That this Fordham University conference excludes Courage [an outreach group to homosexual Catholics] and advertises topics with no reverence for Church teaching implies strongly that this event is more intended to challenge the Magisterium than to support it.” As we move forward as a university, many of us ask if we should prioritize our commitment to religious values over our pursuit of learning. We should be careful to not secularize ourselves in the name of academics, yet we must not shy away from confronting controversies that devalue the life of an individual. This balance between a commitment to faith and to learning may soon become entirely isolated aspects of our university, or they may continue to co-exist in further dialogues, making us stand apart as a school. Regardless of our future identity, we hope that our university will carry on conversations that challenge and thus, strengthen our beliefs.
Misguided Criticism on Race Relations in “The Help” Upon Closer Look, the Controversy Surrounding “The Help” Amounted to Hyper-Sensitivity. Monique John Managing Editor
“I refuse to see ‘The Help,’” one of my co-workers vehemently told me. He continued, “It’s an insult to black people and it suggests that black stories are only valid when told by a white narrator!” Though startled by the fervor in his voice, I could empathize with his frustration. It’s no secret that blacks have struggled for accurate representation in film and television only to consistently be portrayed in stereotypical roles that are generally subordinate to white counterparts. With its frank title and the imagery of black maids Aibileen Clark (Viola Davis) and Minny Jackson (Octavia Spencer) doting on white Southern belles Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan (Emma Stone) and Hilly Holbrook (Bryce Dallas Howard), “The Help’s” ubiquitous movie poster captured the long-held notion of black inferiority. Sometimes I’d catch myself staring at it. The bold reflection of racial segregation suggested that I, as a black woman, should be offended, but I only became intrigued. Viewers across the country, white and black, raved about how inspiring the film is while toting around a copy of the book by Kathryn Stockett. A story of a white female writer who joins forces with black maids, “The Help” recently held the number one spot at the box office for a record of 25 days and surpassed the $100 million mark. Not surprisingly, while garnering such success, the film stirred up quite the controversy. Some black intellectuals were up at arms. Tariq Elite, author and radio personality, dubbed the film as “fake liberalism.” The Association of Black Women Historians (ABWH) issued a public letter saying, “Despite efforts to market the book and the film as a progressive story of
“Blacks have struggled for accurate representation in film and television only to consistently be portrayed in stereotypical roles that are generally subordinate to white counterparts.” triumph over racial injustice, ‘The Help’ distorts, ignores and trivializes the experiences of black domestic workers.” The letter goes on to argue that the southern dialects and poor vernacular of black characters in “The Help” were grossly exaggerated and that the issues of sexual harassment, the plight of civil rights activists and attacks from white supremacy groups like the Ku Klux Klan were glossed over. My question to these critics is, have you read the book? I ask because it appears that many of them have not. Many of their criticisms of “The Help” glossing over sexual harassment, violence against civil rights activists and hate crimes were addressed in the novel through various firsthand accounts of rape from black workers, the inclusion of civil rights activist Medgar Evers’ assassination within the plot and the murder of Aibileen’s son by white supremacists. Elite was completely right when he said, “This movie is about a white girl coming of age and the magic mammies who inspired her to do so.” After shortening the story to entertain a wide array of audiences, the film version of “The Help” lost the original plot’s sophistication. The result resembled your average
Courtesy of dreamworks
Although the film version of “The Help” may merit critics’ remarks, the original novel successfully addresses race in 1960’s Jackson, Miss.
feel-good movie consisting of banter, harmless pranks, and the occasional tear-jerking scene fluffed with vintage fashion and southern drawls. The relationships between the whites and blacks are rigidly constructed and many of the characters’ personal issues are either omitted or reduced
to trivial parts of the plot. All of the factors that gave the story its complexity are taken out, making “The Help” one of many films about white saviors and their grateful, helpless black dependents. Elite sums it up beautifully as “Disney bullshit.” However, had I not read the
book before seeing the film, I would have perceived Stockett’s story as ABWH and Elite had described it: a light-hearted film that demeans black oppression, pushing a white character of secondary importance to the forefront. I would not have understood that in the original book, the playing field between the white and black characters is leveled by each individual’s anxieties, imperfections and pressures to conform to society’s unwritten laws in race relations. Yes, the premise of the story is of an upper class white woman, Skeeter, writing about the lives of black domestic workers. But Stockett makes a point to tell the story from the perspectives of white and black characters, exposing problems faced by both races and debunking the concept of privilege. Furthermore, the ethical question of whether Skeeter has the right to tell these stories as a white narrator is frequently raised in the book. Also, the consequences of writing the book, specifically the threat of potential hate crimes, are shared between both races. While Skeeter is slowly shunned by her town for supporting the civil rights cause, she, Aibileen, Minny and other domestic workers live in fear of the violence that could ensue once their identities within the book are revealed to their white employers. Critics of “The Help” were so thrown off by its brazen statement on race that they missed the point of the story. “The Help” seeks to show women working together in spite of their fears and racial differences to celebrate the lives of an underappreciated class. The film struggles to do that, but the book succeeds. It’s not fair to attack Stockett for Tate Taylor’s poor film adaptation of her original work. Though flawed in historical accuracy, this book has generated a discussion on the oppression of black domestic workers that otherwise would not have happened. Critics, was there really anything to complain about?
The Observer September 22, 2011
the observer Fordham College at Lincoln Center 113 West 60th Street Room 408 New York, New York 10023 Tel: (212) 636-6015 Fax: (212) 636-7047
Editor-in-Chief Faith Heaphy Managing Editor Monique John News Editor Laura Chang Asst. News Editor Sara Azoulay Opinions Editor Colleen Thornhill Arts & Culture Co-Editors Mike Madden Katie Lockhart Asst. Arts & Culture Co-Editor Brian Bruegge Features Co-Editors Mario Weddell Darryl Yu Literary Editor Matt Petronzio Asst. Literary Editor Salma Elmehdawi Literary Staff Zoe Simpson Bianca Leggio Sports Co-Editors Randy Narine Max Wollner
Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer
The “Learning to Listen” dialogue allowed for a much-needed discussion of a sometimes taboo topic in Catholic teaching.
Does America Really Need Fatima? Fordham Event Dialogue Faces Discrimination Not Everything in the Bible Should be Taken Literally in Our Modern Society Josephine Trott
Copy Editor Matt Petronzio Asst. Copy Editor Anna Luciano Layout Editor Amanda Fimbers Photo Co-Editors Salma Elmehdawi Sara Azoulay Asst. Photo Editor Mario Weddell Online Co-Editors Beata Cherepakhina Ariella Mastroianni Business Manager Natalia Ramirez Faculty Advisor Prof. Gail Belsky Faculty Layout Advisor Kim Moy Faculty Photo Advisor Amelia Hennighausen
PUBLIC NOTICE No part of The Observer may be reprinted or reproduced without the expressed written consent of The Observer board. The Observer is published on alternate Thursdays during the academic year. Printed by Five Star Printing Flushing, N.Y
To reach an editor by e-mail, visit www.fordhamobserver.com
My first impression upon hearing about the “Learning to Listen: Voices of Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church” dialogue held on Sept. 16 at Fordham University was that the dialogue needed to happen. The America Needs Fatima group that protested the dialogue in their blog felt otherwise. Despite the need for civil discussions on the topic of sexual diversity in our times, the organization America Needs Fatima expressed shock that a Catholic university would even consider hosting such an event. According to their website, they feel that Fordham should be “promoting and accepting official Church teaching on homosexual sin.” But can we still afford to read blindly from the scriptures? Can we assume that a significant portion of the population, more specifically the Christian Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, can continue leading lives that go against their own natures? I think not. On the contrary, there is a great need for open dialogue so that modern Christians can discover modern interpretations of the laws written in the Old Testament. They forget that Fordham, as a
POLICIES AND PROCEDURES • Letters to the Editor should be typed and sent to The Observer, Fordham University, 113 West 60th Street, Room 408, New York, NY 10023, or e-mailed to fordhamobserver@ gmail.com. Length should not exceed 200 words. All letters must be signed and include contact information, official titles, and year of graduation (if applicable) for verification. • If submitters fail to include this information, the editorial board will do so at its own discretion. • The Observer has the right to withhold any submissions from publication
and will not consider more than two letters from the same individual on one topic. The Observer reserves the right to edit all letters and submissions for content, clarity and length. • Opinions articles and commentaries represent the view of their authors. These articles are in no way the views held by the editorial board of The Observer or Fordham University. • The Editorial is the opinion held by a majority of The Observer’s editorial board. The Editorial does not reflect the views held by Fordham University.
Jesuit institution, promotes “the study of the living tradition of Catholicism, and it provides a place where religious traditions may interact with each other and with contemporary cultures.” The “Sexual Diversity and the Catholic Church” dialogue fits into such an agenda. In this dialogue, respectful and open-minded discussion is the goal whether participants are “pro-homosexual” or “antihomosexual.” I’d like to talk a bit more about America Needs Fatima. As far as “anti-homosexual” is concerned, America Needs Fatima has a very … interesting blog devoted to posting entries that showcase their revulsion of people who are pro-homosexual or pro-choice and encourages anything that they deem acceptable. On Aug. 3, they posted a blog entry entitled, “Please protest a pro-homosexual event called ‘Learning to Listen’ at Jesuit Fordham University.” In the entry they requested that their supporters join their protest. They argued that the event hosted by Fordham is supporting those who go against God’s teachings. When people make references to this “teaching,” I assume that they are referring to the Old Testament laws of Leviticus. Since this issue concerns homosexuals, let’s take a look at the verse concerning homosexuals. According to Leviticus 18:13, “If a man lies with a male as with
“I’d like everyone to calm down, put bias away and listen to what people have to say.” a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon them.” Though, of course, when people allude to Leviticus in their arguments, it always brings me back to my first theology class, Faith and Critical Reason. For my final paper, I chose to write about how the Bible should be interpreted differently in modern times. After all, when you read the rest of Leviticus, not just the parts that are popularized, it’s clear that many of these laws cannot be upheld in present day Western society. For example, Leviticus 20:9 states that “For every one who curses his father or his mother shall be put to death; he has cursed his father or his mother, his blood is upon him.” Something tells me that if this was a law today, there wouldn’t be as many American teenagers in the world. Another one of my favorites is Leviticus 20:10, which says, “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall be put to death.” The only thought going through my mind
when reading this verse was that there also wouldn’t be as many politicians in the world—the tragedy of which is arguable. However, in all seriousness, when groups like America Needs Fatima imply that we must follow the laws in the Bible, I assume that they mean all of the laws. But to me, it makes no sense to completely focus on one law and forget the particulars of the rest. These are modern times and I don’t think that the Bible was meant to be read the same way now as it was thousands of years ago. So, instead of blindly latching onto the idea that homosexuality is a sin and protesting the very idea of discussing an issue that concerns the lives and happiness of a large group, I’d like everyone to calm down, put bias away and listen to what people have to say. America Needs Fatima is beyond annoying in their violation of this right to free speech. They claim that there is no “personal hatred” for those who support this dialogue, but this hatred isn’t the point. By protesting, this group isn’t even bothering to encourage people to listen to what others have to say and I doubt that anyone who follows them would have actually gone to the event. This inability to listen is a problem. We live in a society where everyone has a voice and the right to use it. Let’s try and act like it. Let’s hear what those different from us have to say.
BLOGS Keep an Eye out for The BLOG! News Entertainment Campus Internships To read these blogs and more, visit observatorylc.com
Septemeber 22, 2011 The Observer
Robert willett/raleigh news & observer/mct
The Confederate flag conjures up feelings of pride in some, while it still symbolizes hatred, racism and bigotry to others, depending on one’s upbringing and hometown.
Why the Confederate Flag Needs to Fly Solo HARRY HUGGINS Staff Writer
If you ever see the Confederate Flag in New York, it’s usually a hipster’s “ironic” tattoo or in reruns of the “Dukes of Hazard.” As Northerners, we joke that everyone South of the Mason-Dixon line still runs plantations, whistles Dixie and flies the Confederate flag above the Star-Spangled Banner. In reality, most of us probably believe that, at least publically, the South has walked away from its unfortunate spell as a separate nation. This is why the story of the debate surrounding a Virginia town’s decision to ban the Confederate flag from any city-owned poll comes as a “wait, really?” moment to us Northerners. The fact that Lexington, Va., has until now been flying the Confederate flag on city-owned polls is surprising enough, but when you hear the arguments people are making for keeping the flags up, you really start to lose hope in the South. First of all, those opposing the ban argue that it infringes on their rights of free expression, but that’s bunk as soon as you realize that it’s only city-polls that the ban effects. Stubborn Southerners are still free to fly whatever they want on their own property.
The surprise for me is that it took this long for a town in the United States to realize that it should probably stop using public property to support a shameful moment in American history. Another argument for keeping the flags on city-owned polls is that it serves as a memorial for those who died in the Civil War. You know what else serve as memorials for those who died in the Civil War? Memorials. Are you trying to tell me there are no memorials to Confederate soldiers in the South? The strongest opposition to the ban comes from a belief that the Confederate flag is a symbol of a time of greatness in the South, a time that they are without doubt still proud of. I say that’s good for them. If they want to show their support for a failed separatist nation that not only threatened to destroy America as a whole, but also relied entirely upon the enslavement of a group of people based on the color of their skin, that’s their choice. But it would be irresponsible for any government body to use tax-funded resources to represent such an embarrassing moment. Pride is an odd concept; depending on its source, it can be fuel for great achievements or great foolishness. In times of war, it helps citizens and soldiers deal with their hardships. But when the subject of a person’s pride is a horrendous moment in history, you begin to understand the phrase “foolish pride.”
The Confederate Flag Has Changed Meanings COLLEEN THORNHILL Opinions Editor
Born on Long Island but raised in Charleston, S.C., I would never consider myself a Southern belle. But I’d certainly never consider myself a Yankee. The fact that I still use the term Yankee is probably proof enough of that. So recently when I spotted an article about the Confederate flag being prohibited from Virginia city-owned polls, I took interest. While I agree the flag shouldn’t be flown on government-owned polls—it’s far too controversial to be paid for with tax dollars—I also don’t think the flag should be tucked away, forever hidden from U.S. culture never to be seen again. When some Northerners see the Confederate flag, they think that it’s a Southerner suggesting we’ve missed out on a time gone by, and we’d love to have it back. Actually, it just means we’re proud of our region and the ways it’s grown and overcome an egregious wrong. It’s a reminder that we once prided ourselves on unspeakable behavior. Over 150 years ago, that flag represented a set of states who had seceded from the Union. It represented a slave society: a society whose very economy and livelihood stemmed from the work of one group. And that group was left with no rights, no representation and certainly no voice.
It was wrong and an abomination. But almost two centuries later, the Confederate flag doesn’t symbolize that nation anymore. When I see the Confederate flag, I don’t think, “There’s a secessionist.” Honestly? I think, “There’s a good and true Southern boy.” He probably likes drinking beers on Fridays, hunting at dawn on Saturdays, and going to Church with his family on Sundays. He isn’t about to load up his shotgun and chant, ‘The South will rise again.’” The South isn’t going to try to break this country up anymore. Heck, the South isn’t even the South anymore. There are so many damn Yankees infiltrating the lowcountries that we could never have a fair fight against the North ever again. My Long Island family is proof enough of that. My best friend’s father is from New Jersey. My other best friend is from Chicago. And my other friend’s mother is from Pennsylvania. It’s not like the South is some ingrown breed of Dixieloving crazies, despite what many might like to believe. The Confederate flag has changed in meaning over the years and it simply represents the South of today. The display of the flag doesn’t mean a family has shotguns in their back shed, waiting to be loaded and given to a rebellious militia. It means pride in a part of the country that has realized where its loyalties should lie and a reminder to never go back to its old ways again. The South doesn’t need to rise again. It already knows it’s been changed for the better.
The Economy Adds Zero Jobs: College Students Must Defy the Odds DAVID HAGMANN Staff Writer
For some of us, this is the last year at Fordham. We’ve started to think about graduation and the hunt for jobs. This is a time when even those who are not interested in economics take a look at articles about unemployment. Since the beginning of the Great Recession, graduating college students have had difficulties finding jobs. Some have chosen to explore artistic experiences unrelated to their degree, thinking they could just wait out the economic crisis – The New York Times (NYT) dubbed them “Generation Limbo.” This belief greatly underestimates both the severity of the present economic situation as well as how easy it will be for someone to find a job in their original field after a few years of doing unrelated work. In order to make good decisions about our future, it is important to understand the extent of the problem and what, if anything, we can do to prepare ourselves. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the economy added zero jobs during the month of August. That’s a depressing statistic when, according to NYT, the U.S. economy needs to add 150,000 jobs per month just to keep up with population growth. Over the past three months
then, we ran a deficit of 345,000 jobs just because the economy didn’t keep up with new entrants into the labor market (high school and college graduates, primarily). It’s difficult to grasp just how long it will take, even if the economy fully recovered tomorrow, to make up for all these losses. In addition, the percentage of people over 55 who remain in the work force has been steadily increasing. Their retirement would help younger workers move up in their careers and recent graduates to find entry-level jobs. With such a bleak job situation, you’d think the government would be spending money to keep people employed, but it’s not. Local governments have shed over half a million jobs in the past three years. That leaves the federal government. Yet the government seems to do the opposite of what good sense (and Keynesian economics) suggests. Instead of cutting spending and firing people, the government should expand spending. There are plenty of infrastructures like road and bridges that need to be maintained, and major cities (including New York) could use subsidies that help pay for mass transit improvements. Most of the jobs will likely be in construction and manufacturing. However, as the economy improves, college-educated
Aielo/ The Observer
College students need to take their careers into their own hands if they expect to get jobs in today’s less-than-promising market.
workers will be more in demand again: investors will look for the next big thing, which requires innovative and versatile workers. It thus appears that there is little being done by the state, and employers have little reason to hire additional workers if there isn’t enough demand for their products as it is. Consequently, short of electing politicians with a basic grasp of economics next year, the only option available to you is to make yourself a very attractive employee. In order to be attractive, don’t
become part of “Generation Limbo.” Be active and network. A job is unlikely to find you on its own. Instead, use Fordham’s career fairs and hand your resume to prospective employers. Even if the job isn’t exactly what you want to do, it might provide you with a way into your desired industry. You also have time to do an internship or two before you graduate: a good way to form connections and gain some experience. Pay attention to detail. An employer might get a hundred applications for a single opening. At
that point, it’s all about finding reasons NOT to hire someone. Typographical errors, inconsistent formatting or verbosity can all be detrimental. Keep your resume to one page, get feedback on it from Career Services and friends, include your GPA if it is a 3.0 or higher and make sure the formatting is consistent. An employer might spend as little as 30 seconds reviewing a resume – is that enough to get the important facts about you? In this economy it’s up to you to stand out and show why you should be hired over all the others. If there is a glimmer of hope, then it surely is that even if the economy loses jobs, there are always people being hired. A negative number merely means that more people retired (or were laid off) than were hired nationally – something that is not necessarily indicative of the employment situation in New York, for example. Now’s the time to look for jobs aggressively and not to sit back and relax, thinking something will come along on its own. Employers can afford to be very picky about who they hire, therefore you cannot be picky about which job you apply for. In times like this, how you present yourself to employers becomes more important than ever. The job situation may be bleak, but your attitude doesn’t have to be.
The Observer September 22, 2011
Super Senior Week Ideas When it Comes to Giving Graduates What They Want, Who Cares if it’s Possible? HARRY HUGGINS Staff Writer
In my time at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), I’ve made a good amount of friends from this year’s graduating class. As sad as I’ll be to see them go, I’d like to send my senior colleagues off with a Senior Week to eclipse all previous Senior Weeks. Whether or not these events are actually doable with the Senior Week planning committee’s budget (or even FCLC rules), I, in my infinitely useful knowledge, propose the following as rewards for surviving four years of Fordham.
Grade Trade Night
For the start of the celebrations, let’s give seniors a final chance to improve their GPAs with some free market capitalism! The premise of this is simple: everyone interested brings a copy of their transcript and after a friendly dinner and (importantly) a few drinks, gets the opportunity to barter for each other’s grades. For example, that B+ you got in Intro to Graphic Design might mean nothing to you as an elective, but for the poor Visual Arts major who got a C in that but an A- in your Media Law class (who knows why the Visual Arts major was in that), it would be great trade bait. This has the potential to be as fun/competitive as fantasy football trading but with real life consequences.
Rave on the Rock
Imagine the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, closed off from the public, with all the lights turned off except for some strobe lights, incessant dub step and of course, crazy amounts of alcohol. Oh, and the protective
urban/wikicommons (left)/tfcforever/wikicommons (right)
A party atop Rockefeller Center or watching McShane box at MSG would make for a memorable senior week.
windows along the edges have been removed, because we’ll be offering free bungee jumping from the sides. This rave should be loud enough to be heard from Rose Hill and crazy enough to shut down 30 Rock for a week. Why all the unnecessary danger? Because there is no better way for seniors to release tension going into graduation than partying on the edge of certain death.
The best gift for any graduate starting their new life is obviously a living sign of their alma mater that eats everything and poops everywhere. Also, a ram and its menacing horns would make better protection than even a trained Doberman. Imagine coming home to your tiny apartment from a night of partying to find a hungry animal
with giant horns waiting to greet you. You’re welcome, Class of 2012.
forehand slaps only and no gloves.
Starting from deep inside Central Park, participating seniors are in a race to get out of Manhattan. The catch: underclassmen are out patrolling the city to stop them and claim their prize ($1,000 per senior bagged). The reward for escaping: automatic 4.0 and you get two slaps at Slap Fest.
To help graduates drink away in style the pain of not being able to find a job or a place to live. Finding comfort in a bottle is so below FCLC; we’re classier than that. Our style is more finding comfort in three Manhattans, two Long Island iced teas and five Tom Collins.
The idea: one night, every FCLC professor, one chance for each student to get revenge on whoever made his or her life miserable. Professors will think it’s a night of appreciation for their wisdom so that nobody can check Rate My Professors and figure out their odds of getting the most slaps. Students: open,
Escape From New York Night
Ram Smack Down: McShane v. Grimes
This is a mixed event for FCLC and Rose Hill seniors to watch Frs. McShane and Grimes in a boxing match in Madison Square Garden. Who wouldn’t want to watch the head of our university fight the head of our school? I think it would be a fairly equal match, too: Grimes
obviously has the power advantage and probably has a dirty right hook, but McShane looks like a scrappy fighter and probably isn’t above fighting dirty.
Waldorf Astoria Week
For the entirety of Senior Week, students used to sleeping in their too-short twin bed at home or the guestless prison that is McMahon Hall can stay at any of the Waldorf Astoria’s finest suites on Fordham’s dollar. How will FCLC afford this? I don’t know, cut the honors department or something. Nobody likes those privileged geniuses.
Seriously. The only thing that matters.
Star Wars Gets a Blu-Ray Makeover: The Force is Not with this Re-Release Why George Lucas Needs to Stop Ruining His Own Films and Leave Them As Is GIANMARCO FONGARO Contributing Writer
George Lucas, the deceiver, is evil incarnate. His villainy surpasses anything hitherto reckoned by man; his sick experiments make the work of Dr. Mengele, the Nazis’ favored physician, look like arts and crafts of the macaroni necklace and popsicle stick igloo variety. With each rerelease of his famed “Star Wars” trilogy, the director George Lucas further tacks on digital alterations to the film. The additions are almost always incongruous, creating dissonance in the harmony of the films’ narrative and imagery. “Star Wars” enjoys a singular ubiquity in the civilized world. To some it is the mythology of childhood, others a damn good science fiction film and to heathens a token of pop culture, something to be printed on T-shirts and sneakers. Since its release in theatres, George Lucas has taken to using digital sorcery to alter his original films. His malefic tinkering ranges in scope from the superficial to the diabolical, and it is with the latter that we must concern ourselves. His new ideas are clumsy, myopic in aim and detract from viewing pleasure. Due to the recent release of the “Star Wars” trilogy on Bluray video format and the new edits that accompany it, the method and madness of this raving lunatic warrant examination. In a scene from “A New Hope,” Luke Skywalker is incapacitated by a band of Tuskan Raiders, a tribal people indigenous to his home planet. Obi-Wan, entrusted with
his safekeeping, emulates the call of a Krayt Dragon to frighten off the raiders. Within the context of the “Star Wars” universe, this all makes sense. It is only natural to assume that the call of a Krayt Dragon, an imposing beast, would be sufficient to scare off any undesirable company. George Lucas defiled this scene by replacing the original dragon call with a shrill cry that can only be described as “wooo-ooooo.” I understand that cinema comes with a caveat, the suspension of disbelief, but I find it impossible to believe Obi-Wan’s new call could be effective in any setting except perhaps during drunken karaoke. Another mutilation occurs in the throne room scene of “Return of the Jedi,” the sight of a spiritual ménagea-trois between Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader and Emperor Palpatine, a doppelganger for Pope Benedict XVI. In his book “Voice and Vision,” Mick Hubris-Cherrierb provides an excellent summation on why the scene was effective in its original construction. He writes, “The immovable mask of Darth Vader is sufficiently neutral to take on a variety of emotions, depending on the visual context created through juxtaposition. In this scene from ‘Star Wars: Episode VIReturn of the Jedi’ (1983), we detect feelings of sympathy, concern and alarm that play across the ordinarily intimidating and evil mask of Dark Vader as he watches his son Luke Skywalker get electrocuted.” As edited by George Lucas, criminal-at-large, Darth Vader upheaves the emperor to save his son while singing out a “no” reminiscent of the operatic voice of the late Pavarotti in midseason form. If one
gerry melendez/the state/mct
Even Darth Vader disapproves of the changes George Lucas has made to his Blu-ray release of Star Wars.
considers the silent drama of the scene, the additional dialogue sounds silly, and this silliness is jarring with what was once the film’s solemn climax. Viewers were already privy to Darth Vader’s intentions due to the juxtaposition technique described by Hubris-Cherrierb, and despite Darth Vader’s stoic comportment, we could see his paternal indignation rising as Luke is tortured without the unnecessary dialogue Lucas has added. George Lucas’ updates are the equivalent of cinematic graffiti, offering nothing except heartache and grief. They are nonsensical
and at times make the films seem like a parody of what they once were. Perhaps he does this to bring attention to each new release of the “Star Wars” trilogy, and because he keeps releasing them, that may be a testament to the success of this marketing ploy. George Lucas should have nothing to do with “Star Wars.” In fact, George Lucas and “Star Wars” have the same apocalyptic connotations as Iran and nuclear armaments. Catholics are asked a particular set of questions whenever they choose to renew their baptismal vows. Among them are, as listed in
the Catholic Encyclopedia, “Do you reject sin, so as to live in the freedom of God’s children, do you reject the glamour of evil, and refuse to be mastered by sin, and do you reject Satan father of sin and prince of darkness?” If you replace Satan with George Lucas and evil and sin with “Star Wars” re-releases, the results chill the bones. What he has done to Star Wars is incest! He has taken the child of his genius, violated it and now passes off the smoldering wreck as art. Be vigilant! Avoid the Blu-ray release at all costs!
Septemeber 22, 2011 The Observer
My Dear Angie: Why Are You So Famous? A Look at How Angelina Jolie Has Stolen the Spotlight SARAH ALDER Contributing Writer
This month’s Vanity Fair is sure to stop passersby in their tracks; it sure stopped me. Actress Angelina Jolie fills the front page with her elegant, exotic visage. Yes, she is beautiful; yes, she is a humanitarian. But why is Angelina Jolie worth all the press that she gets? It does not take a rocket scientist (make that film expert) to see that Jolie is not the best actress. Her recent blockbuster films, “The Tourist,” “Salt” and “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” are elaborate showcases of everyone’s Angie spy fantasy. Put simply, Angelina Jolie is Hollywood junk food. Jolie’s recent movies have garnered terrible critical reviews, yet they are hugely successful at the box office. “The Tourist” grossed about $60 million profit, while “Girl, Interrupted,” the film that made Jolie an Academy Award-winning actress, made only about $30 million. What’s the catch? Are the critics getting worse at their job? No. Did we miss “The Tourist’s” mindblowing sub-plot that awakens our inner child? Definitely not. Jolie’s popularity results directly from her off-screen, onpaper intrigue. People are suckers for a good story. And reality has proven to work better than fiction for Angelina Jolie. She is a knife collector! She has a keen interest in mortuary science! She’s also the chick who wore a vile of Billy Bob Thornton’s blood around her neck during their marriage.
To many, she is even a homewrecker. Combine her personality with captivating beauty and some lead roles, and we are left with Angelina Jolie: a positively bewitching, cult-worthy celebrity.
“Combine her personality with captivating beauty and some lead roles, and we are left with Angelina Jolie: a positively bewitching, cult-worthy celebrity.” As Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s theater crowd well knows, it takes more than talent to be successful. If you think you can get by on all those acting classes, you’re living in the past. Celebrities of today are no longer those whose movies “wow” audiences, like the ’60s films of Audrey Hepburn and John Wayne. In the 2000s, there’s a new role to play: reality star. Angelina Jolie plays this role well. Her personal life is in the press more than her professional one. Will she adopt more children? Will she and Brad divorce? Will she end her acting career to focus on humanitarian aid? Public interest in Jolie’s life exceeds the normal “What was she wearing today?” It is evident that Angelina’s life is her most prominent role and thus vital to her success. We support Angie
because we like Angie. Another star born of personality is Snooki from the MTV hit series “Jersey Shore.” Snooki has reached Jolie-level fame because of her personality. Riding that poof to the bank, she has become her own brand, much like Jolie. Snooki is known for saying cute things like, “I want two [meatballs] in my face!” and “My bronzer’s leaking off my face!” Just darling. Even if you think Snooki’s class factor and face are, eh, the “lowest common denominator,” there’s no question that she has star power. It is evidenced by Angie’s and Snooki’s careers that persona, not skill, sells. In fact, personality has virtually replaced skill in the entertainment industry. This may be disappointing to some, but it is oddly comforting to those who want to make it big just because they are very, very weird and entertaining. My advice to those who dream of bright lights, fast cars and shiny things: get to work on that persona. The hit role will come in time. Perhaps your inner-freak can hold a candle to Angie or a poof to Snooki. In all seriousness, when it comes to fame, the importance of your personality outweighs the relevance of your skill. Angelina Jolie may not be able to teach us how to get that perfect pout, or how to be a mother, an actor and a humanitarian simultaneously. But she is the very best example of modern fame that stems from the weird, the taboo and the nontraditional. She proves that the things we hide might very well be what we should wear on our sleeves.
Katherine Fotinos/The Observer
Angelina Jolie may be a glamorous movie star, but does she merit our attention or should she be cast aside as just another celebrity?
Down with the E-Reader, Not the Book Industry!
Mournful Observations on the Rapid Decline of Books and the Stores that Sell Them Alexa Pipia
If I were to compile a list of things I love, a good sale and a good book would probably rank high. But when I encountered a combination of these two things last week, my reaction was bittersweet. I was at a Borders closing sale—you know Borders, the second largest chain-bookstore company that was forced to close after filing bankruptcy at the beginning of the year? The shelves were practically bare, but I continued on with my normal bookstore routine, walking up and down the aisles glancing at every shelf to make sure I didn’t miss something worthwhile. This is usually how I like to experience bookstores; it’s almost a hobby. Sadly enough, it seems that this hobby of mine isn’t going to last much longer. It pains me to say this, but the book industry is rapidly declining. At first it was slow, but now it’s just spiraling down into a deep black hole of nonexistence. The book industry used to be about paperback and independent bookstores. According to The New York Times article, “The Dog-Eared Paperback, Newly Endangered in an E-Book Age,” their first competition was the fancy hardcover (which, I admit, I have no problem with), but with the introduction of these fancy hardcovers, meant the introduction of fancy bookstores such as Borders and Barnes & Noble (another thing I have no problem with). But that is only how the book industry’s decline slowly started. There
illustration by charlie puente/The Observer
The emergence of e-readers has led paperbacks and bookstores to their final resting places six feet under.
are two things I put to blame for the rapid decline: Amazon.com and the e-reader. In the beginning, I didn’t think Amazon was a threat. The goal was to only order from Amazon when I absolutely needed a book. If I could pick one word for Amazon, it would be convenient. This is where the problem starts. It seems that in our society, convenience is key. Everyone wants everything as fast as possible, even books. So, the ever so wonderful people at Amazon came up with the Kindle,
and then a parade of other e-readers followed. As a book lover, you would think I adored the idea of this sleek little contraption that could hold a librarysize collection of books all in one place. I didn’t. What I love about books is completely stripped away by the invention of this device. As I said earlier, going to the bookstore was like a hobby to me; to be able to discover new books on my own was like a game. With an e-reader, I can’t do that anymore. This gadget is
all about instant gratification. Given the option to get in a car and drive to the bookstore or to sit on the couch and order a book off an e-reader, I’m sure most people would pick the latter. But I refuse to. I despise e-readers. I literally have this feeling of disgust when I see one. You can call me an overexaggerating nerd, but I’ll just take it as a compliment. The only things that these contraptions have in common with books are the words. What about when you refer to a
book as a “page-turner?” You can’t do that with an e-reader, because it has no pages! What about those special edition copies of the classics? I adore my leather-bound copy of Pride and Prejudice. It feels sturdy and strong like it’s ready to be read a thousand times. Those e-readers are so tiny and wimpy. What if you break it? Your whole collection of “e-books” disappears. You bring a book to the beach and it gets a little wet, it can dry and the crinkled pages add to its appeal. Bring an e-reader to the beach and it gets wet, what do you do? Stick it in rice and hope for the best? It’s almost sad that something so minute could harm something as large as the book industry. Don’t get me wrong, I know that the e-reader has its advantages. The lower pricing of e-books is actually appealing to me. I can see why someone would rather buy two e-books for the price of one hardcover book. There’s no more scrounging for shelf space either. You can have a library’s worth of books fit into a device that can be held in one hand. My issue is that you have to shell out around $100 to get the e-reader and only then can you start buying the books. What’s worse is that, just like other electronic devices, there will always be new models with cool updates. So, you end up spending hundreds of more dollars just to keep up with the latest technology. I know it sounds silly to be unleashing all this hatred on an inanimate object, but if it weren’t doing so much damage, I wouldn’t have a problem with it. Who knows, at the rate that things are going, I might be forced to buy one in the near future. But for now, you can find me at Borders, still single-handedly trying to stop it from closing.
The Observer September 22, 2011
Cobra Starship Macy’s Herald Square Friday, September 23 at 4pm Juniors Department, Level 4 Get ready to rock! Grab your friends and catch a very special DJ performance by Cobra Starship at Macy’s! After the show, meet the band and shop the latest mstylelab looks for Fall. Be one of the first 300 customers to make a $35 purchase from the department and you’ll have a chance to chill with the band and get their autograph*! Be sure to “Like” our mstylelab Facebook page to unlock your free songs download and photos from the event!
FIND MACY'S EVERYWHERE! Shop, share and connect anytime. 32962_N1080787A.indd 1
Events subject to change or cancellation. *While time permits.
8/22/11 4:14 PM
Arts & Culture
September 22, 2011 The Observer
Courtesy of the metropolitan museum of art
(From left) Anonymous artist (French 19th century), James Gillray (British, 1756-1815).
The Met Exposes New York to a Different Sense of Humor By Katherine Fabian Contributing Writer
In today’s culture, it seems as though people just cannot get enough when it comes to exploiting and poking fun at the rich and famous. Whether it’s the latest Lady Gaga parody on YouTube or Tina Fey pretending to be Sarah Palin on “Saturday Night Live,” Americans, New Yorkers included, are always looking for someone to be the next object of ridicule. The idea of satirizing infamous cultural figures is nothing new. The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met)’s recent exhibit “Infinite Jest: Caricature and Satire from Leonardo to Levine” consists of a collection of drawings and cartoons that target political and social figures from today to as far back as the Italian Renaissance, bringing a new type of exhibit to the museum that is not only interesting but funny as well. “The idea behind this exhibit was to get people to realize that you can actually get something out to the Met that is non-intimidating,” said co-curator Nadine Orenstein. The exhibit challenges these preconceived notions of the Met
as being “stuffy” and “boring” by featuring a series of caricatures and drawings from different periods that are still entertaining for today’s viewers. According to Webster’s Dictionary the word caricature comes from the Italian words “carico” and “caricare,” meaning “to load” or “to exaggerate.” The pieces in this exhibit do just that by their portrayal of political and social figures in a mocking manner, but still within good taste. Despite the fact that many of the pieces have historical subjects, they are surprisingly just as relatable as the more contemporary ones. “This [exhibit] all started out when we were going through our collection of 18th and 19th century drawings that we realized we had never featured before,” Orenstein said. The title “Infinite Jest” comes from a quote from Shakespeare’s Hamlet: “I knew him, Horatio; a fellow of infinite jest ...” which was used in a Civil War print to mock President Lincoln. The mockery of American presidents was a commonly used subject for many of the artists, similar to the political cartoons we see today. In Hassan
Straightshanks’ “Grand Fantastical Parade,” President Andrew Jackson is portrayed as a clown leading a parade of carnival figures and fictional literary characters. The drawing was aimed to commentate on Jackson’s economic policy for which, those who remember their U.S. history know, his contemporaries mocked. There are a couple of cartoons that may hit close to home for both modern Democrats and Republicans. The more recent of which is Enrique Chagoya’s “The Headache,” a print inspired by the drawings of George Cruikshank, featuring President Obama surrounded by devil-like creatures hitting him over the head in his attempt to work out a national health care plan. Another more contemporary piece, Siegfieds Woldhek’s “Bush’s Voice,” is targeted toward President Bush and the Republicans. The drawing depicts Vice President Cheney as a dark and grotesque figure whispering behind a curtain into Bush’s ear. The piece is meant to poke fun at Bush and the fact that he was seen as a puppet to Cheney during his presidency. However, Orenstein insists that “nothing in
this exhibit is meant to be all that offensive.” In fact, the exhibit appears to be far from offensive as most of the visitors can be seen awkwardly chuckling to themselves as they peruse the exhibit, in an otherwise deftly silent museum. The exhibit also features pieces that target certain social classes throughout history. British pieces “The Bum Shop” and “Laceing Dandy” poke fun at the popular yet ridiculously unnatural style of dress for women during the 16th and 17th century. After recently experiencing the biannual circus that is Fashion Week in New York, many students and New Yorkers know what it is like to see victims of fashion attempting to run around in all-too-tight and just plain impractical clothing. Al Hirschfeld’s “Americans in Paris” also contains subject matter relatable to New Yorkers as it targets American tourists who come to Paris and act like locals. In New York, locals know what it is like to have their city invaded by clueless tourists, which is a similar attitude to the one Hirschfeld demonstrates in his drawing. Another Parisian piece that most New Yorkers
Music? Movies? Museums? Write about ’em. FORDHAMOBSERVER.COM
can relate to is “Entrance to the Museum” depicting members of the bourgeoisie trying to cram themselves into the Louvre, much like the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Friday nights and the recent Alexander McQueen exhibit that just closed at the Met. Although New York is the home to “Saturday Night Live,” “The Daily Show” and several other late-night comedy shows, it seems to be such a rare sight to see New Yorkers just let go and laugh in their everyday life. “Infinite Jest” has the potential to allow New Yorkers to enjoy an alternate sense of humor through history. “Infinite Jest” will be open until March 4, 2012. For more information about the exhibit and museum hours visit metmuseum. org.
IF YOU GO
“Infinite Jest” When: Now through March 4, 2012 Where: The Met Price: Suggested amount More Info: metmuseum.org
The Observer September 22, 2011
Arts & Culture
Stone Cold Fox Receives Warm Reception By Brian Bruegge Asst. Arts & Culture Editor
Chelsea’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater is well known as a performance space for some of the best comedy acts in the city; however, Stone Cold Fox tries hard to convince their audience that they are in no way a comedy act. In their new Friday night show, directed by Neil Casey, the cast explains that they are a group dedicated to art, and that comedy is not art. Although they may feign the attitude of an avant-garde theater group, the title of the show, “This is Not Art,” gives away the nature of their comedy act. Expectations aside, what Stone Cold Fox gives the audience is an hour of comedy sketches ranging from more of the dry irony implicit in the title to absurd scenarios of all sorts. While not every sketch is spot on, when they hit the mark they deliver laughs that hit hard. In some scenes the show takes the form of a performance from the fictional theater group Project Space, located in an old asbestos factory in Brooklyn. In order to fund their ambitious experiments in the realm of theater, Project Space needs money badly. Between their “Important Art Scenes,” (what you and I would recognize as a comedy sketch), the members of Project Space explain their project ideas and financial woes in an overly dramatic manner that takes away from the sketch. Some of the best moments from the show include a sketch about a son returning home after “being drafted by the New York Mets.” Were it not for the constant digs at the quality of the Mets’ baseball program, the scene could feasibly have been the story of a shellshocked Vietnam War veteran returning home. It is this absurd reworking of old clichés that give life to the best scenes. In another laugh-out-loud scene
Sara azoulay/The Observer
Upright Citizens Brigade presents Stone Cold Fox, a new improv show every Friday night.
from writers Leila Cohan-Miccio, Evan Greenspoon and Brandon Gulya, a group of girls decide to play truth or dare at their slumber party. The first girl nervously decides to pick truth for her turn. Eagerly, her friends ask, “Are humans inherently good?” After answering this question, the group of pre-teen girls discuss many other perennial questions of philosophy
in a manner not unlike a Platonic dialogue. Unfortunately, it is the recurring segment in which the cast is in character as the Project Space theater group, that the laughs are most sparse. Despite this, the weaker segments actually allow for smooth and interesting transitions between the stronger sketches, so that the show as a whole is not
brought down by them. Stone Cold Fox features an impressive group of cast members including D’Arcy Carden, Johnathan Fernandez and Fran Gillespie and other writers, many of whom have credentials from working on shows such as “The Colbert Report” and “30 Rock,” as well as sites such as Funny or Die and The Onion, just to name a few.
IF YOU GO
Stone Cold Fox When: Every Friday through Novem-
ber, with the exception of Sept. 23
Where: 307 W. 26th St. between 8th and 9th Ave. Price: $10 in advance and at the door More Info: http://newyork.ucb.com
A Festive Feast of Faith and Food By Shaun Chaudhry Contributing Writer
Is watching “Jersey Shore” the extent of your knowledge of Italian culture? Or do you just want to have a great time? If the answer to one or more of these questions is ‘yes,’ then the Feast of San Gennaro is just for you. The Feast of San Gennaro is a cultural festival held every year in Little Italy that goes from Sept. 16 to Sept. 25. This is its 85th anniversary, and consists of a week and a half of ceremonies, festivities and fun. This festival runs primarily north to south on Mulberry Street and east to west on Grand Street with an authentic Italian vibe. While walking down the street, one can see a number of places to eat, carnival stands and inflatable rides and vendors. Figli di San Gennaro (Children of San Gennaro) has sponsored the Feast since 1996. Over $1,600,000 of their earnings have gone to neighborhood schools, parishes and other charities. The festival itself has roots dating back to its founding in 1926. The ceremonies that go on throughout the week are sacred and held with upmost importance, the first of which being the “Blessing of the Stands.” In this ritual a parish priest from the Most Precious Blood Church walks down the streets blessing all of the stands and vendors in hopes for another successful feast. Following him is a mini brass band composed of six senior members of the Italian community. “I’ve been coming here ever since I was a kid,” one of the players of the band said. “The
sara azoulay/The Observer
he came here primarily to “meet some beautiful, young Italian girls.” However, it is the food that draws people here the most. There are dozens of different sit-in areas to dine in, all selling “authentic” and “original” Italian food. There are also dozens of stands selling piña coladas, gelato, cannoli, fried Oreos, sea food, pizza and all kinds of meats cooked in the traditional Italian style. Be ready to spend a few dollars though. The prices for just about anything are jacked up considerably. A plate of spaghetti costs $13 while a bottle of Coke is $3. A steak and cheese sandwich can be anywhere from $6 to $8, and cotton candy costs $4 a bag. Haggling doesn’t seem to work as well as at independent vendors across the city, but it can’t hurt. Just be friendly and act as if you were a true New Yorker (if you are not already, of course). Although it can get pricy, the food is totally worth it. The Feast of San Gennaro is a perfect place for anyone looking for a great time with great food. There are plenty of places to buy souvenirs and prizes, but more importantly, you won’t find a better Italian feast in the city.
The Feast of San Gennaro celebrates its 85th anniversary from Sept. 16 to Sept. 25.
feast is very important to me, as both an Italian and a Christian. I am honored every year to play the trumpet with my boys for the festival. It’s something that holds a special place in my heart.” San Gennaro is a fantastic festival for all ages, couples and
friends. The Italian vibe here is impressive and the people running the festival contribute greatly to its Italian authenticity. From the older Italians speaking the language with accompanying hand gestures to the younger generations talking with heavy accents and colorful swears,
walking down the streets of the festival makes one feel like they’re part of the culture. While the feast has been around for more than 80 years, there are still newcomers. A carnival game attendant said that this was only his “first year doin’ this” and that
IF YOU GO
Feast of San Gennaro When: Sept. 16 to Sept. 25 Where: Little Italy, Mulberry Street
and Grand Street
Arts & Culture
September 22, 2011 The Observer
From Busboy to Breakout Music Blogger
Monthly Music Review
September Release Party By Mike Madden Arts & Culture Co-Editor
maddy chambers/The Observer
Lincoln Center sophomore Evan Kaloudis acts as CEO, publisher and founder of music blog, One Thirty BPM. By Faith Heaphy Editor In Chief
Evan Kaloudis spent his summer clearing plates as a busboy on Long Island. Now he spends his time running one of the biggest up and coming music sites around. Kaloudis, a sophomore at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC ’14), is CEO, publisher and founder of music website One Thirty BPM. And while there are millions of wannabe music journalists and hopeful bloggers pining for the chance of musical recognition, Kaloudis isn’t one of them—he’s already got it. His site, whose goal is to introduce new music to the public and offer “critical analysis without the elitism that permeates many other sites,” gets an average of a half million hits per month. With over 50 contributing writers from across the country, including the U.K., New Zealand, Germany and Australia, it’s safe to say that One Thirty BPM is legit—legit enough to have offices in Los Angeles with employees working around the clock to keep the site running and growing with new content and fresh ideas. The concept started in high school with Kaloudis and online music writing buddy Philip Cosores. They felt there was good music and blogs out there, but nothing that showcased both mainstream and independent artists accurately and uniquely. “We weren’t crazy about blogs covering bands,” Kaloudis said. “We thought they were pretentious. We wanted to create a balance and started the site junior year of high school, in 2008.” Although Kaloudis played a little guitar and piano and wrote occasionally, he didn’t have the kind of experience most well-established music journalists and site founders had. He did, however, have the ability to network. By using Facebook and Twitter, he was able to generate readership and a following of fans, many who were enthusiastic about contributing to a site that offered honest album reviews, interviews, and well-written analyses. Colin Joyce, FCLC ’15, was one of them. “I’ve always been involved with reading music websites and so I emailed Evan in late 2009,” Joyce said. A year younger than Kaloudis, Joyce remembers hearing about Fordham in messages from Kaloudis and decided to apply to the university, too. Now he talks with Kaloudis about story ideas and remains active in contributing album reviews.
“ We weren’t
crazy about blogs covering bands...We thought they were pretentious.” evan kaloudis, founder of one thirty bpm
Although the two music bloggers were able to meet in person, that can’t be said for most of the operation of the site. Kaloudis has yet to meet Rob Hakimian, his company’s editor-in-chief who’s manning their fort in LA. The team holds conference calls once a week but does most of their work through emails. Hakimian, a recent graduate of University College of London, saw a message on a music forum about contributing to the site and thought it would be fun. He stuck with it for three years and then moved to the United States after graduation last summer to become a full time employee of One Thirty BPM, taking care of things like story assignments, contacting labels and reading through reviews. He does the majority of the editorial work now so that Kaloudis can focus on getting a degree in computer science. In LA, Hakimian and managing editor Cosores earn a living by splitting money from online ads 50/50. One Thirty BPM’s sole revenue source is through establishing relationships with online advertisers who pay based on hits. Living off the musical inclinations of the public can at times be stressful. “Some days I wake up hating it and thinking this is going nowhere,” Hakimian said, “but then on days like today and yesterday when we double the amount of hits, I’m happy to do it.” Readers and avid music lovers are still coming back. The latest accomplishment for the organization was getting on the album-critiquing site Mega Critic in March 2011, giving them validity as a reputable site. The biggest challenge, according to Kaloudis, is to continually engage readers. They make it a point to distinguish themselves by keeping things personal. “There’s a ton of blogs out there that just put out a video or a link,” Kaloudis said. “A lot of people keep rehashing the same stuff. We like to try different approaches to content. In our critical analysis we have personality. People want to see what we have to say.”
NEON INDIAN/mom & Pop
“Father, Son, Holy Ghost” released Sept. 13
“The Whole Love” release date Sept. 27
“Era Extrana” released Sept. 13
With the early release of the single, “Vomit,” there was no question that San Francisco group Girls’ second studio album, “Father, Son, Holy Ghost,” would be one of the most anticipated albums of the year. Already coming off a highly acclaimed debut album that introduced listeners to the sunny, Bay Area coastal pop sound that would characterize the San Francisco scene, Girls is highly underestimated as one of the greatest modern examples of how to write the perfect pop song. Singer Christopher Owens’ voice is achingly fragile; perfect for songs that center on heartbreak, relationships, and everything else idol Buddy Holly shakily yelped over. “Father, Son, Holy Ghost” takes a step in a bigger direction than in their debut aptly titled, “Album.” The songs are longer, more elaborate and carefully thought out. One nice element of “Father, Son, Holy Ghost” is the addition of R&B back-up singers that gives the songs a well-rounded and supportive role in songs like “Love Life” and the Pink Floydstyle magnum opus, “Vomit.” There are some songs that should have had a little more added to them, whether it be instrumentation or melody. Yet, this is all made up for with “Die,” a Black Sabbath-esque jam that jumps out and beats the living hell out of you. The tone of the song is completely unexpected, especially after nearly 45 minutes of heartbreak-based pop songs. “Father, Son, Holy Ghost” is a solid piece of work through and through that stays true to who they are as a band regardless of how people may feel about them. Amen to that.
After the recent release of the less than satisfying “Wilco (TheAlbum),” Chicago’s favorite sons are back with their eighth studio album, “The Whole Love.” It is a warm, almost explorational composition of musical talent that recalls some of the best parts of their breakthrough album, “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,” complete with experimental but subdued sounds. “The Whole Love” allows the band to broaden their musical prowess even further without diverting from their countrytinged roots. “The Whole Love” is a shining example of Wilco’s talent at creating whole, encompassing albums—songs that remain enticing even after multiple listens; songs that complement one another in musicality and emotion from top to bottom. Wilco was never a band to single out one song on an album and expect it to get big or be a favorite. Wilco, in a way, are maternal when it comes to their material; each song is like a son or daughter, one never favored over the other in their family on their albums, especially “The Whole Love.” Each song gets the same meticulous, loving attention that it deserves. The band sounds incredibly comfortable on “The Whole Love.” Instrumentally, the group hasn’t changed a whole lot in recent years; the same beautiful pop songs still get churned out like it’s nobody’s business while also including the occasional raucous rocker where the old days of their youth come out. The elusive flourishes by guitarist Nels Cline are few on this album, which is not a bad thing by any means. Cline, like any veteran guitarist in music, knows when to turn it down and spice it up at a snap of singer Jeff Tweedy’s finger. Tweedy’s lyricism on “The Whole Love” is heartfelt and touching, sincere and apologetic—in other words, pure Tweedy. “Dawned on Me” is the song Wilco was made to write, a tale of epiphany-like love that makes you want to grow a pair and tell that secret crush exactly how you feel. “Whole Love” recalls the sweetness of The Byrds with a dizzying little riff that is not the centerpiece of the song, but proves to be a good candidate for it. There isn’t anything bad to say about “The Whole Love.” Wilco have been around for so long, that for them, writing songs as good as these are like breathing—you don’t wonder why, you just do.
Channel the sounds of your favorite Sega cartridge through a vintage Moog synthesizer and you get one of the many sounds of Neon Indian. Hailing from Denton, Texas, Neon Indian is comprised of Allan Palomino, a pioneer in the genre known to many as “chillwave.” While his breakthrough album “Psychic Chasms” made everybody want to dig out their old L.A. Lights, the surrounding sounds of Palomino’s synth work made the album a hit within the indie community with everybody wondering what the talented 20-something would come out with next. “Era Extrana” looks to capitalize where “Psychic Chasms” left off. You can tell that Palomino had wanted to do much more with “Psychic Chasms” which is played out in full with “Era Extrana.” While “Chasms’” sound was more like paint being splashed all over a wall, “Extrana” is a bit clouded and overcast. Songs such as “Fallout” and “Era Extrana” brood over and over, but go off course once and a while, which is interesting to hear. Influences such as Genesis and Joy Division shine through on more emotionally charged songs like “Halogen (I Could Be a Shadow)” and “Blindside Kiss” respectively. “Extrana” is a fun album to listen to. The element that it has going for it is nostalgia. The sounds take you back to times when channels like PBS and WLIW21 aired cheap educational programs intended for kids. Who knew “Reading Rainbow” could be so melodic.
The Observer September 22, 2011
Arts & Culture
“25th Hour” Still Shines, “Drive’s” Gosling Switches Gears By Katie Lockhart Arts & Culture Co-Editor
By Clint Holloway Contributing Writer
“25th Hour” Spike Lee’s post-9/11 film is a love letter to New York when the city needs it most. In the wake of the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, the film has seen restored interest with the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s decision to screen it on the anniversary of the attacks. The film focuses on Montgomery Brogan’s (Edward Norton) final day before he goes to jail for seven years after being busted for a kilo of heroin. He spends his final hours saying goodbye to his father, his dog and partying in a DUMBO warehouse with childhood friends Jacob Elinsky (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a teacher at their alma mater, Frank Slaughtery (Barry Pepper), a broker on Wall Street, and Brogan’s girlfriend Naturelle (Rosario Dawson). This film is haunting, depressing, breathtaking and funny all in one. Norton gives a stunning performance, as usual, and Hoffman and Pepper add much needed humor to an otherwise dark story. Although this film is not directly about Sept. 11, the tragedy and the mood of the city can be seen throughout. The most powerful and controversial scene that exemplifies this sentiment is when Brogan looks into a mirror with “fuck you” written at the bottom, which spurs a monologue of fuck you’s directed toward the people of New York from “the Sikhs and the Pakistanis bombing down the avenues in decrepit cabs” to “the Chelsea boys with their waxed chests and pumped up biceps.” This film hasn’t received as much
40 Acres & A Mule filmworks
notoriety or awards as some of Lee’s other productions, but it certainly should have. It’s a heartbreaking story with an unbelievable director and cast that gives New York and Sept. 11 a proper tribute. The film is available on DVD now.
“Shut Up, Little Man! An Audio Misadventure” This docudrama/comedy written and directed by Matthew Bate is a sad and extremely boring look into the life of two grumpy old men named Raymond and Peter. Why should you care about these two men or this movie? You shouldn’t. There is a little more to it than two depressing old men scream-
Closer productions Bold Films
ing, “Shut the fuck up little man.” It opens with the story of Mitch and Eddie, two college graduates who rent a grimy apartment in San Francisco next to Raymond and Peter, their loud neighbors. The fights that erupt during all hours of the night start to keep Eddie up so they decide to record them without Raymond and Peter’s consent and soon become obsessed with this hobby. They create hundreds of tapes and pass them around to friends who in turn pass them around to other friends and Ray and Pete soon become a sensation. There are comic books, CD’s, T-shirts, plays and a movie made about their sad arguments. Possibly the only in-
teresting fact about these two men is that they were a large part of the spread of cultural media before the invention of mass media like YouTube were created. Besides the small cultural effect and the question of personal privacy, the premise of the movie is that these two men’s fights are funny, but they actually aren’t. Their fights often become violent, they threaten to kill each other and the disturbing insults are endless. These two men should be on “Intervention” instead. It would probably be more interesting. “Shut Up, Little Man! An Audio Misadventure” opens at the IFC Center Sept. 16.
With the dismaying amount of sequels, prequels, remakes and reboots being unleashed into theaters, it’s refreshing when a movie takes what you have seen before and executes it with genuine panache. While it may appear to be your run-of-the-mill action film, “Drive” takes many overused cinematic clichés—fast cars, devious mobsters, a deal gone wrong—and uses them in a daring and original way. Ryan Gosling plays the film’s unnamed protagonist, a car mechanic/stunt man who secretly moonlights as a getaway driver for heists and robberies. He lives an isolated existence until meeting Irene, his disarmingly sweet neighbor. When Irene’s husband is released from prison, he is forced into doing a crime job to clear his name and guarantee his family’s safety. Gosling agrees to help him with the ordeal for Irene and her son’s sake. Needless to say, it all goes horribly wrong, leaving Gosling with a suitcase full of money and gangsters on his tail. Viewers going in to “Drive” expecting a routine action film or thriller will be sorely disappointed. The director, acclaimed Danish auteur Nicolas Winding Refn, makes the film as sumptuous and atmospheric as it is shockingly violent, in a way that a Hollywood hack never could. The film’s retro neon pink opening credits and moody electronic score further distance it from contemporary films, putting it more in line with flicks of the 1980s. It makes for a satisfyingly strange and exhilaratingly visceral ride.
Write for Arts & Culture! Check out the website for more information.
NOW OPEN! NYC-Upper West Side
2152 Broadway at 76th Street 212-873-4001 College Student Discount Must show valid college ID. Exclusions may apply; visit store for details.
NYC–SoHo Spring & Broadway, 530 Broadway 212-966-8730
7955_NYC NOW OPEN AD 5.76X7.75.indd 1
9/8/11 9:59 AM
Arts & Culture
September 22, 2011 The Observer
courtesy of big picture media
Anthony Polcino aka Soft Pipes creates hooky dream pop recorded right in the comfort of his LA apartment. His EP, “Stay Pretty,” will be released Sept. 27 .
Anthony Polcino Gets Heavenly with His New LA-Based Solo Project, Soft Pipes By Mike Madden Arts & Culture Co-Editor
Rolling Stone magazine once regarded Anthony Polcino’s ex-band, Low vs. Diamond, as one of six acts that were “redefining rock and pop in 2008.” However, things seemed to end quicker before they even began. “It started to become more of push and pull with who was going to get their say in things, what melodies were going to get chosen,” said Polcino, who is now paving a new path for himself with his solo project, Soft Pipes—a name inspired by Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” that evokes ethereal guitar songs in the tradition of the subgenres of dream-pop and shoegaze music. In 2005, Polcino moved out to Los Angeles (LA) from his home state of New Jersey, settling into the legendary music scene that has surrounded LA for decades. Since becoming a transplanted West Coaster and leaving Low vs. Diamond in early 2010, Polcino has been demoing on his own and with the help of close friends within the LA community to create his latest EP, “Stay Pretty,” which will be released Sept. to talk to Polcino about his songwriting process, what really happened with Low vs. Diamond, and why he doesn’t regard his music as “healing.” Observer: Hows the scene is
Anthony Polcino: It’s great.
There is a plethora of musicians. The scene I’m involved in is the East Side of Los Angeles which is the Downtown Silver Lake area. There is a lot of prominent local venues, great band. Every week there’s an awesome show going on at the local level and all the way to
the Hollywood Bowl. It’s definitely a heartbeat of the town. observer: Would you say that
there is a scene of dream pop specifically where you are?
Every little aspect of ‘doing it yourself’...I like to sort of be in control of.
A.P: No, I don’t think so. I think
that’s just kind of my thing at the moment. There are all different kinds of bands in this area, all the way from country-tinge to heavy rock to garage…there’s everything going on. observer: How would you
describe the genre of dream pop shoegaze? A.p: I feel like there’s a little bit
of resurgence of it in the last two years or so. Some of the bands that have come out like Beach House; bands that use a lot of reverb and vocal effects [and] dreamy guitars. I don’t really think I’m going to be a dream-pop artist. That’s just some way to describe your stuff to people who don’t know what it is. It just seems to be what I’m naturally drawn to. As far as influences go, I listen to soul, ’60s garage, hard rock stuff like the Stooges, Pixies…it just so happens that where I draw my sound from is the guitar realm which gravitates towards the ethereal. As a teenager growing up, I always liked bands like “My Bloody Valentine,” “Jesus & Mary Chain,” “Smashing Pumpkins” and ‘Siamese Dream.” observer: Do you like the
dream-pop moniker that goes with you? A.P: It’s totally fine. I don’t know
how prominent it is in today’s larger number of genres, but I think it’s appropriate with what I’ve initially said to people. They can get a visual of what it is by hearing it. Once they hear it they can say, “Oh yeah that was an ap-
propriate description,” so it’s not like I’m selling something inappropriately. It gives them a clearer of picture of what it is before they get into it. observer: You take the name
Soft Pipes from Kurt Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle.” What attracted you to Soft Pipes? A.P: When I read that book, I was
like, “Holy shit, how did I miss this?” When I read that chapter, it just seemed like an actual name. It sounded like a nickname, like how people call vocal chords ‘pipes.’ I was always kind of considered to have kind of a low, relaxed voice, so I always imagined someone saying it like (in a New York accent), “Soft Pipes! Have a beer!” I was demoing stuff at the time and needed something to call it. observer: You were the guitar-
ist in Low vs. Diamond, which was highlighted by Rolling Stone. What happened between you and the band? A.P: People just started to seem
very strange, like having to be together to write—I don’t think everyone was on the same page about it. Some people didn’t really want to be in the band anymore, some people were married and had lives that they wanted to follow. It just seemed to be falling apart and fizzling out. It started to become more of push and pull with who was going to get their say in things, what melodies were going
to get chosen…soon I realized it wasn’t going to continue. I had always been writing, doing demo stuff and singing. It was just kind of a small demo project. I always assumed after Low vs. Diamond’s success or whenever we had a break, I would make a record. It’s always a bummer lose the opportunity (like in Low vs. Diamond), but I was really happy to be doing my own stuff. Soft Pipes has been really fulfilling for me. observer: Do you find it easier
or harder to be a solo artist now? A.p: I find it way easier. I really
enjoy it; almost every aspect of it. The only drawback I would say is that it’s a little bit tougher to get the live shows going than when you have a band. When I play shows, I do play with a full backing band. They’re all friends around town who dig music and what I’m doing. But they are also in other bands that work all the time and are busy. But every little aspect of “doing it yourself,” I like to sort of be in control of. observer: What’s the songwrit-
ing and recording process like now as a solo artist? A.p: I have minimal gear, but I
have a home studio set up in my apartment. I’ll usually demo stuff to the point where it’s more a demo but less than a real recording, so kind of in the middle. I’ll bring some of those tracks into the studio and usually add whatever
I can on that day. I try to record everything along with way. It’s usually a mash up of recordings at my apartment and the studio. It’s cost effective. I would love to work with some producers out there who could do some amazing stuff with my sound. observer: Who are some of the
producers you have in mind? A.P: Chris Cody, who’s from
Brooklyn. He has done the Beach House records along with Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio, and Delorean—I like all the bands he works with. I hear all the sounds and nuances and I just hear it and it just sounds like all those decisions he would make I would be on board with. Also Dave Friedman, who has done modern day psychedelic sound like Tame Impala and the Flaming Lips. I’d like to see what he could do. observer: Do any of your songs
reflect personal experiences you’ve had? a.p: A lot of them. Sometimes
they’re not literal. I sort of indulge for the sake of the song. But whether there was an experience that happened in time or not, everything is sort of coming from my psyche and my little world. With Paul McCartney he writes about a lot of characters and stories. I like to write more on the introspective side. observer: On your MySpace
page, you describe your music as “healing.” A.P: Oh (laughs). That was sort
of a tongue-in-cheek joke. It was just me playing a joke on my own music. I made that a really long time ago. Maybe I should change that (laughs).
Arts & Culture
September 22, 2011 The Observer
PHOTO FEATURE Fashion Week at Lincoln Center and Fashionâ€™s Night Out: Observer photographers capture the individualistic style and elaborate design on display.
Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer
Maddy Chambers/The Observer
Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer
Charles Puente/The Observer
Katherine Fotinos/ The Observer
The Observer September 22, 2011
Sara Azoulay/The Observer
Sara Azoulay/The Observer
Fatima Shabbir/The Observer
Maddy Chambers/The Observer
Charles Puente/The Observer
Aielo /The Observer
Arts & Culture
September 22, 2011
It Pays to Be Prepared! Take Precautions to Keep Safe During a Disaster It’s smart to have a kit ready for emergencies. You should have batteries, flashlights, candles, matches and a small radio.
By Jessica Senat Staff Writer
September is National Preparedness Month, and with the recent Hurricane Irene and minor earthquake, the necessity of being well equipped in case of an emergency is more important than it might have been a few months ago. It is becoming obvious that our climate is changing, making tropical storms and other natural disasters a frequent occurrence. The after effects of Hurricane Irene are still being felt in many regions. With varying degrees of damage throughout the East Coast, from wind damage to devastating floods and long periods of blackouts, we have seen how important it is to be ready and prepared for anything. Here is a list of ways you and your family stay safe during an emergency.
electricity, conserve the life of the battery by using it for emergency purposes only, such as calling family members or 911.
5) Have your gas tank filled Try to beat the crazy lines at the gas stations by filling up your car as soon as possible. Keeping it full will guarantee a quick evacuation (in case you may have to move in with a relative that lives far away).
1) Have a plan Before a storm comes, it is important to plan out where to be during the hurricane. If you are told to stay indoors, stay in the lowest level of your home, usually the basement, and keep away from windows. If you have to evacuate, you may go to your town’s emergency shelter or simply stay at a friend’s house that is safe from the oncoming weather. Be sure to bring enough clothes, personal items, food and water. Prepare yourself in case you have to stay longer than expectedyou never know how long the effects of the storm may last.
2) Get a safety kit While preparing for Hurricane Irene, I was constantly asking my dad if he had batteries and flashlights in case of a blackout. Each
6) Clean up the yard Next to flooding, winds are usually the most damaging factor during a hurricane. Make sure to put away anything that may fly away such as lawn chairs, garbage cans and any yard decorations. You can secure them in your basement or in your garage. Fatima Shabbir/The Observer
It’s important to have all the necessary survival equipment in the event of an emergency.
7) Learn your town’s emergency contact
time he would tell me the same thing: he has four flashlights, one for each of us with batteries ready to go. It’s smart to have a kit ready in case of emergencies. You should have batteries, flashlights, candles, matches and a small radio. We ended up losing our electricity, so the safety kit came in handy.
This is a great way to learn how your town prepares for an emergency. Learn who is the town’s emergency management director and where the operation office is. By learning this information, you can easily find updates on storm preparations, and where the nearest shelter is in case of an evactuation.
4) Keep your phone charged 3) Have non-perishable foods Along with the safety kit, you should stock up on snacks, canned foods and water. It’s necessary to have enough supplies to last you more than a week.
During the blackout, the most stressful thing I experienced was having my phone die. Being unable to charge it, I couldn’t check up on the people I cared about. This was extremely nerve-racking for me. Be sure to charge your cell phone and any other devices before the storm comes. If you are stuck with no
Professional Dancer Gives Up Ballet to Study Political Science By FAith Heaphy Editor-in-Chief
Many ballerinas attend our diverse campus to pursue a degree in dance. But some, like former professional dancer Amanda Goodwin, come to Fordham for an entirely different reason. The 24-year-old from Tampa, Fla., studied with the Miami City Ballet for seven years before she retired this past summer to focus on school— specifically studying political science at Fordham College at Lincoln Center. And while the majority of college students are at Fordham to get a head start on their first career, Goodwin is already looking toward her second: pursing public interest law in order to work with human trafficking victims and domestic violence cases.
Ballerina Beginnings I went to the school of American Ballet for summers and stayed there for a year-round program from [age] 15 to 16. I got into the Miami City Ballet when I was 17 and I danced professionally for them for seven years.
Early Promotion I spent a summer in the Miami City Ballet intensive program and they asked me halfway way through if I would join as an apprentice. I said yes. I was 17 and had just graduated from the Professional Children’s School in New York. At 22, I was a soloist.
“I wanted to be able to represent victims in court so they can get justice for what they’ve been through. I think law is one of the most dynamic ways to get involved.” Life on the Road We traveled domestically a lot— all around south Florida, California, New York, Texas. Last summer, as part of the retirement show, we went to Paris and performed at Theatre du Chatelet for three weeks solid.
Being a Part-Time Student All the while I was dancing I was taking classes at Miami Dade College. My whole experience of higher education was doing work after a show in my PJ’s. Now I’m not able to do my class work in splits on the floor, I have to sit in a classroom.
Championing a Cause I first heard about human trafficking at my church. The founders who started “Stop Child Trafficking Now” were talking about the problem and how rampant it is. Globally it’s like 28 million [victims]. This is 2011 and this is slavery.
The Dilemma It became difficult for me to do my job in the entertainment world where I’m constantly perfecting myself—staring in the mirror trying to create perfection and not focusing on these 28 million. I started dreaming about helping. I couldn’t escape it. I felt like my life was just too selfish when I was working on perfecting my own trait.
Seeking Justice for Victims I wanted to work with [those affected by] human trafficking. I wanted to be able to represent victims in court so they can get justice for what they’ve been through. I think law is one of most dynamic ways to get involved. Also, when you prosecute a pimp you free the potential girls who would have been trafficked.
Using Dance to Influence I really think the fact that I was able to fulfill my dream of dancing helped me realize that so many things are stolen from [victims]. So I got to a point where I accomplished what I was set out to do by God’s grace and realized that so many people are disadvantaged and don’t have that opportunity. Some are taken in at six [years old].
Remembering the Stage I don’t regret it and I don’t miss it. Every once in a while I’ll do a little dance around my studio apartment. I still appreciate ballet. To be a ballerina you have to give it everything. I left home at 12. It’s all or nothing for me.
Mario Weddell/The Observer
Amanda Goodwin looks to pursue a career in law after graduation.
September 22, 2011 The Observer
click and tell
A First Date With a High-Fiver Ends in a... Kiss? By Diana Kokoszka Contributing Writer
I’m 30 minutes late when I arrive at the unmarked door on a narrow street in Chinatown. I had scribbled down the address from the inbox on my computer screen to a piece of paper stuffed in my purse. I look up and meet the gaze of a large man in a bowtie. He is the gatekeeper, who introduces himself as “Jay, like Leno,” and pulls out a clipboard. I already hate this place. Reluctant to put my faith in the hands of a bouncer on a power trip, I consider leaving. At that moment my date, let’s call him Canada (a creative alias for, well, a Canadian), peeks his head out of the door and smiles at me. My arms go numb as my worst nightmare about this first date is realized: he’s totally hot. Despite being a pretty social person, I don’t date. I am not at all charming within the contrived setting of a first date. My crude humor doesn’t usually impress at a table with cloth napkins, and my nervous habits are only amplified by overpriced coffee sloshing out of my shaking cup. Acknowledging my ineptitude in finding a man, I joined a dating website. I am fully aware of the stigma of desperation associated with online dating, but you will soon be able to verify that I have little shame, so I signed myself up. I was surprised to encounter a lot of students and young entrepreneurs with hectic lifestyles, just looking to date new people in the city. Regardless of
how comfortable I became, chatting up guys with cheesy, yet descriptive usernames like “niceguyjoe” and “dentalstud,” I braced myself for the worst when it came down to meeting the first of my prospects. Canada, as I will refer to him in order to maintain the tiniest bit of discretion, is an acting student downtown. Great. If I ever had a type, theater guys would not fall into the category. His profile picture is a black and white headshot of a scruffy Hayden Christensen looka-like, which I attribute to strategic lighting and a talented Photoshop artist. We exchange several messages and I appreciate his sense of humor, so I suggest we meet for drinks. He is assertive and makes definite plans, insisting on a particular mixology bar in his neighborhood. His decisiveness is refreshing, but I curb my excitement; if he was a real catch he wouldn’t be on a dating site. So I’m standing there in shock as the hot Canadian recognizes me and tells Jay-like-Leno, “She’s with me.” I look around for Molly Ringwald, and wait for a Peter Gabriel power ballad to start playing, but the absence of the two affirms that this is actually real life. I walk in and leave every ounce of my composure on the pavement behind me. We enter the swanky little cocktail lounge and I fumble over my words, apologizing profusely for my lateness in a single breath. The drink menu includes bizarre cocktails with ingredients I either can’t pronounce or wouldn’t expect and he thwarts my attempt to pay for
my own drink. Ten points. He pulls out the cushy ottoman seat for me to sit on and it seems chivalry has been resurrected. Three hundred points for the Canadian in the black button-down! It quickly becomes apparent that we have a ridiculous amount in common. Among other things, we both share a hatred for vegetarianism and a love of obscure progressive rock bands; however the date does not continue as perfectly as it began. I am disappointed to report that Canada is a High-Fiver. Every single time we bonded over a restaurant or I unleashed one of my 5-star anecdotes he would let out a slow and dramatic, “Oh. My. God,” and put up his hand for a high-five. I might have actually cringed at the table, and I thank the dim, datenight lighting for the fact that it went unnoticed. Am I being friendzoned? A high-five on the first date is the most sterile form of physical contact I can think of and a total boner-kill all around. As night goes on, he slowly slips into the theater student stereotype I had feared all along. He animates his speech with exaggerated arm gestures and laughs so heartily that he actually startles a couple talking quietly beside us. I only decide that the date is over after sitting through a 10-minute play-by-play of his theater troupe’s remake of Macbeth. Check please. I try my own hand at acting, forcing a few yawns and the always-handy excuse, “I have to be up early tomorrow.” (I’d like to thank the academy.) He walks me
Photo Illustration By Sara Azoulay/The Observer
A high-five can suck the romance and excitement out of a first date.
to my subway, we say our goodbyes, and just as I make a mental note to delete his number from my phone, he grabs me for a kiss. Now I wouldn’t naturally divulge any details about this kiss, but I will suck it up in the name of journalism and tell you it was hot. So freaking hot. The kiss penetrated my face and chased out any thoughts of apathy
that had lingered since the high fives started rolling in. After he walked away, I just stood there, as panicked and confused as the moment my date began. End scene. Total points: 310. Come to your own conclusions. Should I go on the second date? Send all comments and suggestions to www.fordhamobserver.com.
Dot Com Dating
Datemyschool.com Offers a Fresh Platform for Those Looking to Connect your personal findings?
By Rebecca Gehman Contributing Writer
Ever wonder what the dating pool is like uptown at Columbia, downtown at New York University (NYU), or (God forbid) over the Cross Bronx Expressway at Fordham Rose Hill? When it comes to cross-campus, how do you make the connection? Founders of Datemyschool.com (DMS), Balazs Alexa and Jean Meyer posed a similar question—and solved it. As classmates at Columbia MBA, they overheard a female student from the Columbia nursing school gripe that her school was nearly 90 percent girls. Alexa and Meyer had similarly complained about the MBA program being pretty much 80 percent guys and they wondered: why can’t the nursing students seem to get in touch with the business students? The two decided to create a site that brought people together, people who may be on the same campus but just didn’t end up meeting because of forces of nature (schools, departments, what have you). Former freelancer for Time Out New York’s sex and dating column, Melanie W., NYU ’11, majored in “The Power of Sexuality from Motown to Millennium” at the Gallatin School, and currently does Public Relations for Datemyschool.com. Since I am also a single straight girl in New York City, we weren’t short of topics to kvetch about. I sat her down to set the record straight: is Datemyschool. com a part of fate, fad, or the future? Q: Match.com is for marriage-seek-
ers, OkCupid is for hookups, who is DMS for? A: DMS is for students- students are
busy: people who prioritize school, but still believe meeting people is important. Q: I’ve seen “serial” online daters
flock to sites like OkCupid.” My two friends were asked on a date by the same girl (on OKCupid) within a month, neither realize it until later.
A: My first date on DMS didn’t work
out in the romantic sense but he did help me strategize how to get a job with DMS. My friend was taking a class at NYU Stern and needed help for an exam. She found a Stern guy on the site who took the exact same class and helped her study. She swung an A. DMS isn’t just for relationships.
Q: Since DMS “isn’t just for relation-
ships” do you believe it may remove some of the taboo that surrounds online dating rituals? A:I think DMS is removing the
courtesy of datemyschool.com
Datemyschool.com is a relatively new dating site that helps college students make cyber connections.
Are there “serial” online daters on DMS?
Q: What attributes of DMS make it
A: Most of our members have never
A: Safety is our priority. Datemy-
used another dating site before DMS, so that means they aren’t necessarily “online daters.” We are a reversed social network: on another platform, like Facebook, you’re looking at people you already know and then connecting online. With DMS you meet online and then connect offline. Many of our users land a date in thirty minutes or less. We don’t consider ourselves an “online dating site.” Q: So DMS holds the potential to
circumvent factors of fate?
A: By being able to filter people, it
increases the success rate of a match. By the time you meet offline, there’s already commonality. The point of Datemyschool.com is to get you offline.
not an online dating site?
school.com is the safest online platform worldwide.
Q: What evidence gives you confi-
dence to say so?
When you sign up you get a welcome message from co-founder Jean. My one friend got the message and then tried to click on Jean’s profile but was blocked from seeing it! Jean is twenty-nine and she had already set in her preferences not to show her men over twenty-five!
A:Our privacy features are unsur-
passed—users will always remain anonymous and non-searchable on Google.
Q: The filters are the best part! I
you use other sites like OKCupid?!
set mine to show Columbia and Harvard, but blocked Fordham (naturally). The site is like a meat market heaven!
A: Users have complete control
Q: People can Google search you if
Q: I need to delete my account,
ASAP. I tried it for “research.”
A: We’re exclusive to college and
university students. That means one e-mail equals one real person, you need a “.edu” account to sign up. Our safety is so top of the line that it even blocks our own employees.
over who they view and who views them. You can block out something specific like a certain department or something general like men over thirty-five. Q: On the subject of my “research”
with OKCupid, have you ever “researched” with DMS? What were
stigma 100 percent. There is a taboo about online dating - it’s dirty and creepy. There’s the embarrassment factor: psychologically, people don’t feel safe, they feel like everyone is looking at them. DMS is completely safe, there’s no embarrassment factor. Plus people are finding dates, so there’s a sense of instant gratification. Q: On the note of instant gratifica-
tion, studies have shown that a popular college ritual is to consume fermented drinks at social gatherings and continue a special ritual called a “One Night Stand.” It seems to be a key process in the college rite…doesn’t DMS kind of defeat the whole point of being in college? A: I disagree—the point of college is
not to meet people drunk. Though people do, it’s only because we’re all searching for connection. There’s many approaches to getting that. DMS is a safe and easy one. You go to college to thrive academically; DateMySchool.com will take care of the social part. Q: How did you find out about Date-
A: My mother sent me the New
York Times article (“Serendipity Is No Algorithm on College Dating Site”) and said, “Melanie, go meet a straight guy and get a job.”
The Observer September 22, 2011
Avoid the Microwave and Learn to Experiment in Kitchen By David wall Contributing Writer
As college students we don’t want to always be splashing cash at restaurants and we certainly don’t want to eat microwavable food. In my opinion, the microwave should be used as a last resort or an instrument to reheat some cart food you couldn’t finish the night before. Needless to say, stay as far away from it as possible unless you really need to use it. As for me, I believe in good old fashioned cooking. After dorming in McMahon Hall for two years, I’ve learned to love our kitchen set up. Sure it’s fairly modest as far as kitchens go, but it’s certainly enough for a college undergrad who’s looking for something quick and tasty. I cook as much as I can, experimenting whenever possible. One day I was making some tomato sauce and I decided I wanted to diversify. I was tired of regular old tomato sauce for my pasta, so I wanted to try something new. Seeing as how I came to this conclusion halfway through the sauce-making process, I had to do something with the tomatoes, so I started thinking about what different kind of tomato sauces there were out there. Vodka sauce came to mind, and lucky enough I had some vodka in the freezer (I’m 21, so relax). I enjoy vodka sauce, and I was looking for some change from my ordinary tomato sauce, so I ran with it. I was really just playing it by ear—honestly I had no idea how to make vodka sauce other than the fact it had to be pinkish orange and it had vodka in it. I toyed around with some ingredients, and it came out great. Below are the steps and instructions on how to make this tasty sauce to flavor your pasta. Quick caveat: if you’re under 21 you probably won’t be able to get all the ingredients to make this sauce (vodka), but lucky for you if you just remove the vodka you get a pretty tasty cheese sauce instead.
Mario weddell/The Observer
It only takes a little creativity and experimentation to create something delicious in the kitchen, like this vodka sauce on pasta.
Homemade Vodka Sauce What you’ll need: 1-3 plum tomatoes 1/4 cup of olive oil 1 clove of garlic 1 shallot (or ¼ onion) 5 basil leaves 6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese ½ shot of vodka
1. First of all, you have to cut up the garlic, shallot, basil and tomatoes. I recommend you do the garlic and shallots first, because the tomatoes can get kind of messy. You may want to dice up the basil leaves into small pieces. This helps release the flavor and aroma. 2. Next put some olive oil in the pan and the burner on
medium if you live in McMahon Hall. The point is to lightly brown the garlic and shallots, not deep-fry them. 3. Next put in the garlic, shallots, and basil. Let this sit, stirring occasionally until the garlic and shallots turn brown (not black). 4. Once you have the garlic and shallots fried up, put in the tomatoes. Add a bit more olive oil once the tomatoes are in. (Be careful! The tomatoes will splash up some oil when they go in.) 5. Mix the tomatoes in with the rest of the ingredients, they will slowly liquefy. Once you’ve turned the tomatoes into liquid, add parmesan cheese to your liking. The cheese should turn the sauce from a dark red to a pinkish orange. 6. Add the vodka. Continue stirring it for a minute. 7. Once you’ve done all these steps, remove the pan from heat and pour your sauce over your pasta. 8. Enjoy!
Kick Off Those Flip-Flops and Slip on Some Fall Footwear Check Out These Four Autumn Shoe Options That are Sure to Impress By Beata Cherepakhina Online Co-Editor
Throw those flip-flops to the back of the closet and get ready to step out in style with fall’s four must-have footwear fashions. Whether you dare to try snake print or stay classical with loafers, these picks will leave your feet looking stylish and add the perfect finishing touch to any outfit.
1. Snake Print
Say goodbye to leopard because fall 2011 is all about the snake. From Prada to Yves Saint Laurent, designers have fallen in love with this chic print. Add a bit of edge to any little black dress when you throw on these printed heels. Stay away from outrageous prices by opting for faux-snake print instead. Steal: Tahari Veronica Snake Flat
($59.95, dsw.com) Splurge: Pour la Victoire Haya Snake-Print Pump in Eggshell ($159, lastcall.com)
Chunky heels (left) and suede pumps (right) are two footwear options that will have you walking with confidence this fall.
2. Heeled Loafers
Steal: Lulu Townsend Ursula Pump
Changing up a classic doesn’t always yield great results but this combination really works. The traditional penny loafer has been updated with the addition of a heel resulting in a sophisticated and fun fall shoe. Wear the shoes with a pair of slacks to achieve a professional look, perfect for interviews.
NORDSTROM/MCT; KANSAS CITY/MCT
($59.95, dsw.com) Splurge: Marc by Marc Jacobs Stacked Leather Penny Loafer Pumps ($390,saksfifthavenue.com)
3. Chunky Heels
This is one trend your feet will be extremely grateful for. Chunky heels are way more comfortable than stilettos and they work with
just about any outfit. From boots to pumps, a chunky heel is the perfect fashion forward accessory. Bonus points if you can combine the chunky heel with another great trend, color blocking (combining two colors that complement each other). Steal: Suede Colorblock Heel($98,
Splurge: Stuart Weitzman Chunky
Heel Knee Boot ($695, neimanmarcus.com)
A pair of colorful suede pumps is a must have this fall. They won’t just leave your legs looking stunning, they’ll also add an elegant touch to any ensemble. Add a little flair and choose to go with a beau-
tiful bold color such as purple. But remember, suede and rain don’t get along, so hold on to these babies for a sunny day. Steal: Michael Antonio Loveme
Suede ($49, zappos.com) Splurge: B Brian Atwood ‘Bambola’ Pump, ($300, Nordstrom.com)
September 22, 2011 The Observer
Sometimes I Feel Like I’m Just Pissing Away My Money Mario weddell Features Co-Editor
Last Friday, I went to court because I received a summons for urinating in public. The night I received the summons, I was sober. I was just desperate and sweating, and I did not want to waste money on a Boston Kreme doughnut from Dunkin’ Donuts for the sole purpose of being granted access to a toilet. At the time, peeing in a dark corner behind a wall certainly felt less public than wetting my pants and walking around the city. Frustrations aside, my subsequent court experience was remarkable. I went down to the courtroom at 346 Broadway at 9 a.m. and was immediately surprised at how long the line was. It went down the block. I was glad that I had made sure to pee before I left my apartment. As I walked down the sidewalk to the end of the of line, I smiled. I couldn’t help but look at the 80-some-odd people standing there and picture each one of them trying to pee discreetly behind a tree. There were more people than trees on the block, which made my smile bigger. I could tell which people in line had been there too often; they were the ones wearing sweatpants and looking hung-over. By comparison, being a first-time offender, I was dressed like a young dad. I thought to myself, “You can pee a lot faster if you wear sweatpants.” Some people were there with groups of friends, as if they made plans to meet up at courtrooms regularly. It was surreal. Behind me in line, a man was telling his friends about the time he was cross-dressing for “funny pictures.” Unfortunately, it turned out that he was too high to remember to put the wig on, but damn if he didn’t look good in
At the time, peeing in a dark corner behind a wall certainly felt less public than wetting my pants and walking around the city.
makeup anyway. I wondered what overarching chain of life events had ultimately placed us in the same line this morning. Despite being so long, the line moved steadily. Justice is swift when people owe Justice money. A man kept trying to bump me and take my spot in line. I bumped him back. Maybe he needed to use the restroom. I bumped him anyway. Several bumps later, I finally got through the front door, where there was a security checkpoint, like an airport. We all emptied our pockets and took off our belts. After passing through the X-ray scanner, the man who had been trying to get in front of me didn’t take the time to put his belt back on, but instead sprinted ahead of me up the stairs. I saluted him in my mind. At the top of the stairs, there was another line. Again, I felt out of place amongst the veterans. An old man in front of me had three court summonses. One was for trespassing. Apparently he was frustrated, because he had had trouble reading the warning sign. Another summons was for an open container. I had a feeling his inability to read the sign had something to do with his inability to keep containers closed. After serving my time in this new line, I was assigned to “Courtroom 2,” where there was yet another line to keep me entertained. I witnessed
Mario Weddell/The Observer
346 Broadway’s courtroom entrance is less judicial behind scaffolding.
a police officer let his buddy cut the line and go straight into the courtroom. I considered notching marks on the wall while I waited. Finally, it was my turn to enter the room. When I entered, there was a judge at the far end, next to some clerks and an attorney. In the
benches opposite the judge, there were about 30 people waiting to be called up to receive their punishment, and listening to everyone else’s crimes as they were called out. Talk about being judged by your pee-ers. People were whispering while
they waited. The same police officer from earlier yelled, “Hey, no talking in the courtroom!” Then his phone started ringing. Appropriately, he added, “And turn your phones off!” The judge called my name, and I approached her. I had done my research beforehand. My summons was for violation 16-118 of the New York City Administrative Code, and I knew that if I pleaded “no contest,” I would probably receive a $50 fine, and have no criminal record. The judge confirmed my prediction. The attorney repeated what the judge said, in double confirmation. She asked me how I pleaded. At that moment, the words “no bathroom” popped into my head. I bit my tongue and said I would pay the fine. After waiting in another line down the hall, I reached the courtroom cashier window. I surrendered the $50. I wished that I had purchased a 50-cent doughnut instead, and used the Dunkin’ Donuts restroom that fateful night. The value of my urine was grossly overpriced in the courtroom. The thought about doughnuts reminded me that it was about noon, and I was very hungry. I left the courtroom, glad that the whole ordeal was finally over. I stretched in the sunlight and felt like a free man. I walked a few blocks to a deli. I bought a sandwich, sat down at the counter, and ate while staring at a wall. Halfway through my sandwich, there was a sudden commotion. A man ran into the deli, panting, straight to the door on my right. He turned the knob with his right hand, and wiped his brow with the left. As he opened the door, he turned, looked at me and said with a smile of relief, “Oh shoot! I made it! Pee, pee, pee, pee, pee…” and then disappeared into the restroom.
Is Google+ the New Hip Social Network or a Dud in the Making? By Tiffany Megnath Staff Writer
Google+, the latest brainchild of Google Inc., is a new social networking software that attempts to reflect the human experience of connecting with others, online. According to Vic Gundotra, senior vice president of engineering at Google, Google+ is “real-life sharing, rethought for the web.” One of the basic ideas behind this new social network is to recover the “subtlety and substance of real-world interactions” that are usually lost with other software, according to the Google blog. With these lofty goals, Google+ would seem to be the newer and more attractive social network to join, but at Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC), it has not gained that kind of popularity. Even though it is still in its experimental stages, Fordham students already have their opinions of it. Amal Abuhashish, FCLC ’14, does not think that Google+ is anything to look forward to. She said, “I’ve only heard of it a little, but it has not sparked my interest. It is not open to everyone, most of my friends don’t use it and I don’t need another social network right now. For me, there’s no point.” Google+ includes features such as “Circles,” which for the Facebook-fluent, are similar to “Friends Lists.” You can add people you know to different Circles like Friends, Co-Workers, or Family, and communicate or share status updates with your specific Circles. This is something that can be done, although not as simply, on
Because the features of Google+ are not entirely new, students have not been eager to try it.
courtesy of google+
Because Google+ is still in its infantile stages, users are required to have an invitation to test the site.
Facebook. Another feature of Google+, called “Hangouts,” is for video chatting and can be considered
the equivalent of applications like ooVoo or Skype. Although the Google blog boasts a few innovative settings in Hangouts, like the
ability to join a video chat that is already in session, it is not novel enough to attract the interest of users, who have already established
themselves on different platforms. Because the features of Google+ are not entirely new, students have not been eager to try it. Crystal Lewis, FCLC ’12, said “Since [Google+] is not doing anything new, I can’t imagine it being successful. I already use Facebook and Twitter and that’s enough for me. I don’t see anything in Google+ that I can’t already accomplish with other software.” Although it has its drawbacks, other students believe that Google+’s biggest problem is that no one is really using it. “Google+ is still in its beginning stages, so many people use Facebook [and other applications] that they are comfortable with. It needs to gain some momentum and loyal users to be popular. It is just like how Facebook took years to develop into what it is now” Alexandra Supel, FCLC ’14, said. Others, like Sathi Roy, FCLC ’13, believe that it is too early to tell the future of this new social networking website. “Facebook will lose its following, eventually. Do I think that Google+ will be its new replacement? Maybe, but it’s too early to tell.”
The Observer September 22, 2011
Word of Mouth
A Little Curiosity Leads to a Culinary Surprise By Darryl Yu Features Co-Editor
We all know that New York City is one of the greatest metropolises in the world. Filled with all sorts of fun activities and unique characters, there is always something to do in the city that never sleeps. However, for a college student living on a tight budget, trying everything that New York City has to offer can quickly burn a hole in your wallet. This goes the same when trying out food. As college students living on a tight budget we often restrict ourselves to eating out in the same places over and over again because it’s more convenient. But as easy as it is to get set in our ways, we always have to remember one thing: we’re living in one of the culinary capitals of the world! Filled with all sorts of foods from all over the world, finding a new and most importantly a cheap place in New York City comes down to one factor, being observant of your surroundings. Take last week for example. Looking for a place to get lunch between my two afternoon classes, I headed towards my usual “quick burger” place (Lucky’s Famous Burgers). As I walked down the block towards Lucky’s, I noticed a large number of people disappear underneath a brownstone building. Initially unfazed by the group’s disappearance, I suddenly saw more people rush towards the basement of the brownstone. Curious to see what was going on, I decided to check it out and see what all the commotion was all about. What I saw next surprised me! Right in front of me was a small but cozy, Japanese style ramen bar. Called “Totto Ramen”, it was nestled between two brownstone buildings; the small restaurant had an appealing mysterious quality to it despite its “sketchy” location. Intrigued by its unique location I decided to forgo my
Darryl Yu/The Observer
Although Totto Ramen has a secluded entrance, it still draws a steady crowd for lunch and dinner.
original burger meal and try out some ramen. Walking down the cold and foreign basement steps, I was suddenly met with a friendly face that greeted me with “irasshaimase” (the Japanese word for welcome). Stunned by the sudden greeting from the waitress, I was pelted by more greetings from all sorts of people as I made my way to the ramen bar. From the chefs at the bar to the trash boys at the back, the friendliness of the staff made me feel like I was part of the “ramen bar crew.” Finally seating myself down on
the bar overlooking the steaming pots and pans of the kitchen, I felt like I wasn’t in New York City anymore. Surrounded by a Japanese staff, I knew this place had to serve decent if not authentic Japanese food. Picking up the menu in front of me, I was met with a number of delicious ramen bowl choices. There was the Totto spicy ramen, filled with scallions, char siu pork, bean sprouts and nori. It claimed to add a refreshing spicy kick in their ramen with their spicy sesame oil. In addition, there was the vegetable ramen which offered health conscious eaters
a mixture of seaweed and shiitakemushroom-based soup. Despite all the choices, I decided to play it safe and order the Totto chicken paitan ramen. Topped off with homemade noodles, chicken and a premium soysauce-based soup it was a perfect bowl for people wanting to take their first crack at ramen. Emerging from the mist of the kitchen not long after I placed my order, the ramen bowl was a welcoming relief to my hungry stomach. Freshly transferred from the cooking pot to my bowl, it was everything I could have asked for in a quick lunch.
As I took my handy dandy chopsticks and spoon I started to indulge in my little Japanese treat. Slurping the freshly made noodles with delight, I was taken aback when I started eating the thinly sliced chicken. Just like butter, the extreme temperature of the ramen mixture had actually made the normally tough chicken meat soft and tender. Backed with a strong soysauce-based soup, the Totto chicken ramen dish had achieved perfect harmony between all different ingredients. Impressed by the dish, I had completely cleaned my bowl (including drinking the soup which, mind you, appeared to be free of MSG!). With my belly full I was ready to go on to my 6:30 Rose Hill class…ugh! Despite only accepting cash and being very stuffy inside (due to the steam from the kitchen), Totto Ramen was a very welcoming and exclusive place filled with a taste of life in Japan. Never forget to check out what’s around you while you are taking a stroll in the city. You never know what you can find around the corner in the Big Apple. If I hadn’t noticed those people going into the brownstone I would have never found Totto Ramen. Check out Totto Ramen if you have some time. It’s the perfect location for a quick lunch or a place for comfort food from the hectic world of a college student.
IF YOU GO
Totto R amen
$$ out of $$$$$ Where: 366 W. 52nd St. (between 8 th & 9 th Ave.) New York , NY 10019 Darryl’s Recommendation: Totto Chicken
An “Americanized” Hispanic Reconnects to Her Roots Being Hispanic means I get to take pride in the successes of those in the Hispanic community.
By Monica Tyson Contributing Writer
September is the end of summer, the beginning of fall, the start of a new school year and… National Hispanic Heritage Month? Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know that last one, because neither did I, and I’m Mexican. Many people have limited knowledge about Hispanics, other than the stereoptype that we have lots of cousins and eat rice and beans, or “arroz con frijoles.” Being of Mexican ethnicity myself, I’m surprisingly out of touch with my heritage. I’ve found myself dating a Colombian who is immersed in his culture daily. My boyfriend, Braulio, was born and raised in Jackson Heights, Queens, which is not only the most diverse community in the United States, but also home to one of the largest Hispanic communities. Braulio and I found our Hispanic upbringings exceedingly different. I was raised in Virginia Beach, Va. My heritage was not enforced and practiced as much as I would have liked. I’m a first-generation American, but prior to dating Braulio, I had no identification with the Hispanic community. My mother kept her Hispanic heritage from my brother and I as children because she wanted nothing to do with it. In her eyes she left Mexico and everything in it; why have a constant reminder of what she left? As a result, Taco Bell was the closest thing to Hispanic heritage I experienced as a Mexican living in Virginia. On the other hand, Braulio and his family brought their Colombian traditions to the United States
Sara Azoulay/The Observer
Despite growing up with few Hispanic traditions, Monica has learned a lot from her boyfriend, Braulio.
by speaking Spanish in their home, cooking traditional Colombian dishes, housing his grandmother (as many Hispanic families do) and using more than one last name! Being “Americanized,” I feel as if I’ve missed out on my Hispanic heritage. The only time I was taught Spanish was in school, the only traditional Mexican food I had was from El Tapatio, my mother’s fa-
vorite, and until recently I could not communicate with my grandparents because of the language barrier. Although my mother’s Mexican culture was absent from my life, I am happy I’ve been able to connect with it now, especially here in New York City. With strength in numbers, the Hispanic community in New York holds to its traditions and is welcoming in sharing them.
I’ve been able to connect with not only Mexican and Colombian Hispanics but also with Puerto Ricans, Ecuadorians, Dominicans and Peruvians to name a few. Going to college is a big deal for my family and Braulio’s, as we will be the first to graduate. Having the opportunity to succeed and obtain a college degree as a Hispanic demonstrates the successes of the
Hispanic community as a whole. It is important to let others know that Hispanics are more than their stereotypes of rice and bean eaters, construction men, house cleaners, busboys, nannies and mean salsa, meringue and bachata dancers! The Hispanic community is making strides because of people like Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Ulissis Peinado, responsible for some of the most innovative architecture in Miami, George and Jennifer Lopez, icons for the Hispanic community—the list goes on. Being Hispanic means I get to take pride in the successes of those in the Hispanic community. I’ve become part of a world that cherishes its own dances, cuisines, holidays and traditions. Although I was not raised celebrating these aspects of my culture, I’m more than ecstatic to absorb and pass these things on to my future children. Hispanic Americans find themselves, as many immigrants do, trying to balance two worlds: being American and maintaining their Hispanic roots. The process is not always easy, but should be considered necessary as a bridge to and from our American and Hispanic heritages…it must be built.
September 22, 2011
Penning The Present The literary section features a segment called “Penning the Present” in which a creative piece relates to current events. Below is this issue’s contest winner.
Did You Feel the Earth Move By Catherine Murphy Contributing Writer
Did you feel the earth shake? under the green sky I thought we were dolphins Did you feel the earth move? side to side, mile by mile, we gasped and held hands Did you feel the earth quake? speakers boomed, and our legs swam under the sheets
Still Picture Records LICON, Special Media Archives Services Division/WikiMediaCommons On Aug. 23, an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.8 hit Virginia, centered 40 miles north of Richmond, Va. It was the strongest to hit the East Coast in 67 years. Americans felt the tremors from South Carolina to Maine. Parts of the White House, Capitol and Pentagon were evacuated. Additionally, many New Yorkers feared that the shaking of high-rise buildings was a result of a terrorist attack. On Sept. 18, an earthquake with a magnitude of 6.9 hit the sparsely populated Indian state Sikkim, known for its Buddhist monasteries and trekking. The quake bucked roads and knocked down houses. As of when the Observer went to print, the death toll was at 80 throughout India, Nepal and the Chinese region of Tibet.
Have an interest in current events and a knack for creative writing? Enter the Observer’s
‘Penning the Present’ biweekly contest
Write a poem or prose piece directly related to a current event and enter for your chance to get published! All submissions should be sent to email@example.com
The Observer September 22, 2011
Hesitation By Taylor Vospert Contributing Writer
Absolutely enthralled with the idea of the world on hold, he moved slow, hands inching as she waited. He played with a thought, picked it up, turned it over like a heavy box of gold and watched the light hit different corners of the room, like a spinning coffin in a tomb, an idea wrapped and embalmed in the dark of his palms. A dead idea, he was taking too long and she noticed, and (we all know this) sometimes saying nothing is firmer than any sound, and hesitation is the gravitation keeping chances on the ground. His silence was an answer, and the world started to spin again without him, and he tried to catch the earth but it was cinnamon, blowing all over with each breath, and he coughed and she scoffed and moved on. The chance was gone, she kissed another.
Mario Weddell/The Observer
Years ago I knew a girl who made all the Right choices And her hair was braided in two Perfect plaits And she sang like an Angel By RAVEN DILTZ And looked like a dream Contributing Writer But her heart was Cold And she walked like A broken runway model Through old redwoods Without naming them So I met a boy Who made all the wrong choices And his eyes were Like fire And his hands Were harsh But he Touched me Like diamonds And he read me Like words And when I saw The messes he made I smiled at the way I fit inside them
Salma Elmehdawi/The Observer
September 22, 2011
laura chang/The Observer
Fordham dominated the homecoming game offensively, thanks in part to Sam Ajala (right), FCRH ’15, who caught a 60-yard pass for a touchdown.
Give Me Liberty: Fordham Takes Cup, Downs Columbia By Max Wollner Sports Co-Editor
Last Saturday the Rams had a homecoming to remember, as they defeated the Columbia Lions in their annual match-up for the Liberty Cup. This marks the second straight year that Fordham has won possession of the cup. The game showcased Fordham’s talent in all aspects of the game, with the team excelling on both offense and defense. Quarterback Peter Maetzold, Fordham College at Rose Hill (FCRH) ’15, completed 22 of his 30 passes for a total of 212 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions. The Ram’s passing success also opened up many opportunities for running back Darryl Whiting, FCRH ’12, who ran 100 yards in 18 attempts. There’s no question the team’s offense was strong enough to take down Columbia, but it was a tenacious defense that was the nail in the coffin for the Lions, as Fordham linebacker Nick Womack, FCRH ’12, matched an NCAA
record when he returned an interception 100 yards for a touchdown. It was the third 100-yard play in Fordham football history. The excellent defense did not stop there, as the Rams also had five sacks, six tackles for a loss of yards and two interceptions, while also holding Columbia’s running game to just 73 total yards. However, the key to victory was the shift in momentum created by the interception. The first quarter of the game was largely three-andouts for both teams, but Columbia had the edge first downs. Columbia carried that momentum into the second quarter, where they scored a touchdown within the first minute of play. Columbia threatened to score again, late in the first half, driving the ball into the Fordham’s red zone. But suddenly, the momentum of the game changed when Womack intercepted a pass from Columbia quarterback Sean Brackett and returned it for a touchdown to tie the game with three minutes
and 27 seconds left in the half. The interception was the catalyst Fordham needed to get going and they never looked back, scoring another unanswered touchdown in the third quarter. Kiersten Johnston, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’15 saw the gamechanging interception and said, “It was amazing. I’ve never seen a crowd react with such excitement. Every yard [Womack] ran, the crowd seemed to cheer louder and louder.” From then on, the Rams fed off the energy of the crowd and played some great football. They were unsuccessful on their first drive of the second half, but following a Columbia punt the Rams meant business. After two rushes for five yards by Whiting, Maetzold connected with wide receiver Sam Ajala, FCRH ’15 for a short pass that fooled the Columbia defense, and led to a 60-yard touchdown to put Fordham up 14-7 with less than six minutes to play in the third quarter.
Down a touchdown, the Lions had to find a way to break through the Fordham defense and they did it using an effective running game and short but direct passes from Columbia quarterback Sean Brackett. The Rams stopped the Lions on third down on Fordham’s 18-yard line, but the Lions were in field goal territory. However, the kick from Columbia’s Luke Eddy was unsuccessful and the score remained the same. The Rams got the ball back and moved down field with purpose, covering 80 yards in only five plays with the drive ending in a 16-yard touchdown pass from Maetzold to put the Rams up 21-7 with five minutes and 19 seconds left in the game. It would be the end of the scoring for the Rams, but that is all they would need for victory. The next Columbia drive resulted in a turnover on downs with Fordham’s defense making yet another big play. Fordham started from their own 47-yard line. The first play of the drive, a run by
Whiting, resulted in a fumble that was recovered by Columbia. Nine plays later, Columbia found Fordham’s end zone, cutting the lead to one touchdown with less than two minutes to play in the game. Attempting to end the game, the Rams took a knee three times to run the clock down, but there was still just enough time for Columbia to get the ball back for one more Hail Mary play. When Brackett’s long throw failed to connect with his receivers, the crowd erupted in cheers and screams as Fordham had beaten their Liberty Cup rivals. “The crowd was very enthusiastic no matter what happened to Fordham. I would love to go back and see those guys play. The excitement of the crowd, the thrill of a touchdown, the entire experience was something I would love to do again and again” Johnston said. Fordham, now 1-1 on the season, will play their next game this Saturday at the University of Rhode Island (0-2) at 1 p.m.
Sailing Team Looks to Build on Historic Season By Brian Mangan Contributing Writer
Last year marked the 60th anniversary of the founding of the sailing club, and the first time in team history that the women’s squad qualified for the ICSA Women’s National Dinghy Championship. Following last season’s success the club signed its first professional coach in Reed Johnson. Johnson has previously been an assistant with the University of Pennsylvania and Boston College (BC) teams, with much of his tenure as an assistant at BC spent leading the number one team in the country. According to the team’s website, the sailing club “was resurrected in 2000 by seven students who ‘dared to dream.’” The current team includes three students from Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC): co-captain Sarah McKay, FCLC ’12, co-captain Emma Pfohman, FCLC ’13, and Dan Canziani, FCLC ’14. Many Fordham students know little to nothing about one of the most successful teams on campus,
but might be interested in what exactly the sailing team does. The team practices three days a week at Morris Yacht & Beach Club on the tip of City Island. The location is about ten minutes away from the Rose Hill Campus. Canziani said, “Tuesdays and Thursdays are basically drill days. Wednesday is a mini regatta [race].” Drills include “tacking on the whistle,” which Canziani described as “when the coach blows the whistle, we switch sides on the boat, and turn it around.” It sounds simple, but nothing is that simple when trying to organize both wind and water. The team’s weekends are filled with competition. Regattas are almost every weekend from the beginning of the school year to mid-November, and they start up again in early January with a trip to the Rose Bowl Regatta in Southern California. Regattas aren’t light work by any means. “A typical regatta starts pretty early. I’d say like 9 a.m. And it finishes around 3 p.m. or a little earlier, but we have breaks in between,” Canziani said. A full day of sailing is followed
by repeating the entire endeavor on Sunday. “This weekend four members of team will go to Virginia, four to Ocean County College in New Jersey, four to Kings Point and me and three others go to New York Maritime. It’s mostly in the upper half of the East Coast. Places like Massachusetts, upstate New York, that kind of stuff.” The addition of hiring a professional coach has added a new dimension to the team. Coach Johnson is under contract for three years and replaces volunteer coach Joe Sullivan, who will stay on as director of sailing operations. Sullivan had served as volunteer coach ever since the team was resurrected in 2000. Sullivan said, “Due to Fordham’s location, the team’s track record and alumni support, the position has the opportunity to become one of the best college sailing coaching jobs in the country.” The team will co-host two regattas with Columbia this year. The Big Apple Classic/Jesuit Open is held on Oct. 1 and Oct. 2 and the MAISA Club Teams’ Championship is on Nov. 5 and Nov. 6.
courtesy of coach Joe Sullivan
Last year marked the first year in their history that the sailing team went to nationals.
The Observer September 22, 2011
Chris Ware/Lexington Herald-Leader/MCT
Every year at the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships, many phones lose their lives when they are vaulted distances of up to 80 yards.
Cell Phone Throwing Becoming a National Phenomenon By Justin Briner Contributing Writer
Over the last decade, Finland has enjoyed a stable cult following as the founders and hosts of the Mobile Phone Throwing World Championships. Yes, you read that right. Finnish athletes have embraced their ancestral roots and carried on their time-honored tradition of object-tossing. Since the championships began in Savonlinna, Finland in 2000, the art of willingly throwing one’s phone (likely perfected by angstridden teenagers who are quick to throw whatever is around them)
has been dutifully honored every year. The championships went national in 2004, inviting the entire world to come and compete in what is perhaps the most entrancing sport since the mystical art of curling. All jokes aside, the mobile phone throwing phenomenon is sponsored by several phone recycling organizations to promote environmentally sound disposal of electronics. The phone throwing championships are divided into different sections. The first and most prominent is the “traditional,” or the good old-fashioned phone throwing hootenanny we’ve come
to expect. The participants throw their phone three times and their score is the furthest distance that the phone lands. After the traditional match-ups comes the “freestyle” competition, which is akin to a freeform gymnastics session on a mat, but with phones. The freestyle competition is divided into a basic category where only basic phones are applicable and an advanced category for phones with sliding keyboards, touch screens and other such peripherals. However, the risks are far greater, and if someone flies too close to the sun with his or her lifechanging slidephone acrobatics act
and drops the phone, the competitor is instantly disqualified, and there’s no lifeline to phone a friend. These cell phone freestylers truly live life on the edge. The last competition is the junior “traditional” competition, for ages 12 and under. Children of that age definitely don’t need to have a cell phone in their lives. Despite this, the little league of the championships is a great place to scout young, up-and-comingtalent, starry-eyed and brimming with potential to be the new generation of athletes, who gather once a year to throw their phones for an environmentally friendly cause.
Nick Milanes, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’13, agrees that “it’s a fun and engaging way to keep people aware of recycling, a cause that most people seem to just roll their eyes at.” Even though it is easy to laugh at a championship series based around throwing communication devices, it is an accessible way to shift some focus onto environmental consciousness. Despite the ridiculousness of Europeans chucking their phones great distances, it’s a cause that I can get behind. So, in the end, yes, Finland... we can hear you now.
CONQUER THE CLASSROOM.
Learn and play with the latest technology powered by America’s Largest and Most Reliable High-Speed Wireless Network.
NEW! Samsung Galaxy Tab™ 10.1 • 1 GHz dual-core processor for maximum speed • Just .4" thin and only 1.23 pounds • Android™ 3.0 Honeycomb OS for tablets
DROID X2 by MOTOROLA • Superfast 1 GHz dual-core processor • Brilliant 4.3" hi-def display • 8 MP camera and 720p HD video capture
BUY ANY SMARTPHONE, GET $50 OFF ANY TABLET. Valid on 3G and 4G tablets only. 2-yr. agreement req’d on both smartphone and tablet.
Activation fee/line: $35. IMPORTANT CONSUMER INFORMATION: Subject to Cust. Agmt, Calling Plan, & credit approval. Up to $350 early termination fee/line & add’l charges for extra minutes, data sent/received & device capabilities. Offers & coverage, varying by svc, not available everywhere; see vzw.com. Limited-time offer. Restocking fee may apply. LTE is a trademark of ETSI. 4G LTE is available in 55 metros & 80 major airports in the U.S. DROID is a trademark of Lucasfilm Ltd. and its related companies. Used under license. © 2011 Verizon Wireless. E0154
September 22, 2011 The Observer
FCLC Soccer Aim To Shake Off Early Season Rust By Randy Narine Sports Co-Editor
Despite a much-improved performance in their second game of the season, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC)’s soccer club fell to 0-2 in the Metro Soccer League. The FCLC team lost to Brooklyn FC 2 by a score of 2-1. This outcome comes in sharp contrast to the team’s first game of the season, in which they were beaten soundly by FC United 5-2. The team showed plenty of rust in their first match of the year, missing open passes, committing numerous turnovers and never really seeming to be in sync with each other, leading to a 3-0 deficit at the end of the first half. However, the squad showed flashes of brilliance as they played a much more inspired second half. Fordham alum Steven Rey, FCLC ’11 opened the second half with a blast past a diving goalie. He would also tack on a second goal, another shot past a diving keeper, on a beautiful feed through defenders from team co-captain David Wall, FCLC ’12. The problem was the team meshed too little too late. The high tempo offense they played in the second half left their defense susceptible to many breakaways. Each goal Fordham scored was soon matched by an FC United goal. In their second game Fordham looked much more prepared. They jumped out to an early lead against Brooklyn FC 2 on a chip shot goal. The team’s rhythm was much better as they completed crisp passes, tackled well and got many shots on goal. However, the one goal was all Fordham would manage. Brooklyn FC 2 scored right before the half on a rebound after cocaptain Diana Kokoszka, FCLC ’12, made a great save. The second goal for Brooklyn FC 2 came early in the second half, as a scramble for the ball in front of Fordham’s net left an opening. Fordham could not recover and
would trail for the rest of the game, despite having numerous opportunities to rebound. Wall said of the team’s performance, “We had a lot of good chances and we played really well, we just couldn’t get the equalizer. Though, it’s definitely a big improvement from the first game. We’re going to just get stronger as the season goes on. As fitness goes up and as people get more comfortable playing with each other again we’ll be up and running. And we’ll be able to put up some challenges. Certainly if not this season then in the winter and spring seasons.” One of the biggest weaknesses of the team has been the lack of a truly experienced goalie. In the first game Fordham alum Misha Kollntai, FCLC ’11, who usually plays forward, started in goal and Kokoszka, usually a left back, started in goal in the second game. Fordham’s usual goalie, Hussein Sayed, FCLC ’12, has not been able to make the games, so the team has had to make due without him. This timing issue has been the cause of many of the problems in the first two games, as not everyone on the team has been able to make practices and games. Wall said, “It’s not that a person’s not committed; it means they have something else to do. The first two games obviously have been a disappointment but we really haven’t been able to do a lot of fitness training and actual training because of scheduling conflicts. I don’t think the results have been a reflection on how the team’s been playing but more a reflection on our fitness.” The 0-2 start has left FCLC in an almost insurmountable hole, as they would realistically have to win out to capture the league title. When asked about the team’s chances to win the fall league, Wall said, “I wouldn’t count on it for this fall season. It is kind of a transitional period [for the winter and spring] but that doesn’t mean we’re not going to try and win games. Hopefully we can turn it into a title challenge.”
Randy Narine/The Observer
As the season progresses, the FCLC soccer club is looking to become a stronger, more cohesive team.
New York Liberty Lose To Intense Fever in Playoffs By Randy Narine Sports Co-Editor
The New York Liberty’s hopes for their first WNBA Championship will have to wait yet another year, as they were eliminated by the Indiana Fever in the final game of their best-of-three series. This result comes as a reversal of fortune for the two teams from a season ago. In the conference semi-finals last season the Liberty eliminated the Fever by two games to one. The Liberty’s road to the playoffs did not come easy, as the team struggled to build any real momentum during the course of the season. They opened strong right out of the gate, winning their first two games against the Atlanta Dream, last season’s Eastern Conference Champion, and the Indiana Fever, this season’s Eastern Conference No. 1 seed. However, the team quickly followed this great start with a four-game losing streak, dropping them two games below .500. The Liberty responded to this adversity by playing their best basketball of the season. The team won six of its next seven games, culminating in a four-game winning streak. The problem, however, was this would be the Liberty’s last dominant stretch of the season. The team failed to string together any long winning streaks and could not rise in the Eastern Conference standings. They played almost .500 basketball for the remainder of the season, going 11-10. Their 19-15
record was good enough for the fourth and final seed in the Eastern Conference. Despite their record, the team had a few shining individual performances. Perennial All-Star guard Cappie Pondexter made her fourth WNBA All-Star team, leading the Liberty in scoring (17.4 ppg) and assists (4.7 apg). Her 17.4 points per game were good enough for sixth in the league in scoring. Alongside Pondexter was breakout star center Kia Vaughn. Vaughn posted career highs in points (10.1 ppg), rebounds (6.7 rpg), steals (1.2 spg) and assists (1.1 apg), while starting all 34 games. Vaughn’s efforts won her the Most Improved Player of the Year Award, making her the second straight Liberty player (Leilaini Mitchell, 2010) to win the award. While Pondexter led the team through the regular season, she was a non-factor in the post-season matchup with Indiana. Pondexter was thoroughly outplayed by Fever guard, Katie Douglas, shooting a mere 34 percent (15-for-44) from the field for the series. Forward Nicole Powell tried to make up for Pondexter’s subpar performances. Powell averaged 16.7 ppg after averaging just 9.7 for the regular season. The forward increased her production, while also increasing her efficiency. Powell shot an outstanding 50 percent from the field after shooting 41 percent for the season. Despite Powell’s valiant efforts, the Liberty’s mediocre season came back to haunt them, as they could not overcome the home-court ad-
Despite Powell’s efforts, the Liberty’s mediocre season came back to haunt them.
vantage of the Fever. The team dropped both games on the opposition’s court. Their best chance came in a 74-72 game one loss in which the team battled hard, but were stunned on Fever guard Erin Phillips’ game-winning turn around jump shot right before the buzzer. Game three was not as close, as the Liberty fought hard but could never make that final push for the lead. The Fever built an all but insurmountable 12-point lead with just over two minutes left in the final quarter that signaled the end for Liberty’s season. Though the Liberty had an exciting season, many Fordham students weren’t watching their games. The biggest reason seems to be students who are fans of the NBA believe it a very different game than that of the women’s sport. “The women’s game is just so much slower paced,” Hussein Sayed, Fordham College at Lincoln Center (FCLC) ’12. “It’s like watching baseball instead of basketball.” Umar Pasha, FCLC ’13, shared similar sentiments. “I feel men are physically stronger and better athletes than women. I don’t think the two games can really compare.”
Cappie Pondexter (23) and of the rest of the New York Liberty will have to wait until next season for another shot at the championship.