fordham universityâ€™s journal of news, analysis, comment, and review
september 23, 2009
vol. xxxviii issue vi
september 23, 2009
So glad to see Earwax is still around and the paper is online. I got my first taste of Gonzo Journalism in 1987. Does seem a bit too legit though; we used to steal ink from the Ram, send them false leads and smoke up in the Tennis House before climbing the back fence to the Jolly Tinker for the editor’s meeting at 2 AM on Saturday night when the rollers were still wet.
- a 1980s paper contributor rediscovers the publication
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our aim the paper is Fordham University’s student journal of news, analysis, comment, and review. Our aim is to give the Fordham community fresh insights on old issues, new thoughts on new issues, and information that other campus publications may not be able to report. We do not claim to be a newspaper of record – facts, figures, and dates. Instead, we focus on the Fordham student perspective, on thoughtful analysis, and on the comprehension of the full scope of events, rather than staggered and straight news coverage. In short, our emphasis is on the obvious and active role of the student writer in his or her work. We also aim to provide Fordham students a less fettered venue for expression, something they may not be able to find at other student publications. Basically, if we make you laugh, piss you off, or move you in some way, then we’re doing our job. If you don’t like it, shut your pie hole (or come write for us)!
Executive Editor Bobby “Freshmen” Cardos Assistant Executive Editor Chris “Pork Shoulder Butt” (we swear, it’s real) Sprindis News Editors Alex “Mincemeat” Orf Max “Hebrew National” Siegal Arts Editors Joe “Kielbasa Sausage” McCarthy Sam “Beer Battered Brat” Wadhams Features & List Editor Alexander “Human” Gibbons Earwax Editor Lenny “Caf Turkey Sausages” Raney Chief Copy Editor Rosalind “Rump Roast” Foltz Copy Staff Katie “Bacon” McShane DJ “Jack Daniels Burger from TGIFridays” Ryan Michael “Head Cheese” Cheng Mickie “Luncheables Ham” Meinhardt Sean “Turd Burgers” Kelly Sean “Filet Mignon” Bandfield Sarah “Veal Heart” Madges Kaitlin “Tripe” Campbell Elena “Gizzards” Lightbourn Marisa “Mystery Meat” Carroll John “Spam” O’Neill Contributors Charles Hailer, fake gas leaks, Will Yates, Nancy from the Caf, Chris Gramuglia, NOT punching, Mike Drucker, Jim Beam, Alex Kelso, Tiffany Potenciano, moths and podiatrists, Kaitlin Kominsky, Brigh Gibbons, JT Sweeney, the tea station, Eamon Stewart, Matt Galici
september 23, 2009
Budget Cuts Close Overnight Study Zone
When the Administration Makes Sacrifices, Who Gets Hurt? logical excellence explains to items that are time sensitive, a director in USG and a mem- setbacks in the midst of an eco-
by Alex Gibbons FEATURES EDITOR By now most Rose Hill students have noticed some recent budget cuts around campus. Every department on campus has suffered from these budget cuts, the result of an unhealthy economy, but a huge amount of attention has been paid to the cuts made by the Office of Academic Affairs, headed by Dr. Stephen Freedman. Most notably, the 24-hour library zone has disappeared as a result of these cuts, leaving students without study space on campus past midnight. A resounding sense of disappointment has spread across Rose Hill; students and faculty alike are aghast that a prestigious academic institution would make their library less accessible. Amidst budgetary chaos, while students jump at the occasion to point fingers at a faceless administration, a close observation reveals the business surrounding these budget cuts is very complicated. The administrative body at Fordham is a messy bureaucracy, and the specific branches responsible for the budget cuts are going to need to be addressed for any action to take place. Nobody doubts the existence of Fordham’s budgetary woes. Though the University’s main website claims Fordham raised a record $71.9 million in the last year, the bulk of that money was in gifts and pledges, money that Fordham has yet to see. It that sense, the bulk of Fordham’s wealth remains largely hypothetical. Some students complain that, while resources are cut, money continues to be spent on superficial frivolities. Fr. Joseph McShane’s need to present a visage of techno-
in this issue:
the presence of several dozen new plasma screen televisions across campus, but not McGinley’s garish silver paint-job that would repel even David Bowie. For that, students can blame an out of touch alumni population, who requested that their donations fund specific renovations on campus. However, attention is being called to the way in which the budget cuts were approached, and whether they could have been handled in a more responsible way that would be have been less harmful to the student body. The projected amount of money expected to be saved by closing down the overnight area in Walsh Library is $100,000 a year, money that would be saved by not paying a security guard to work overnight. This of course is a ridiculously small amount of cash for a University that charges almost $50,000 a year in tuition. The tuition of two students alone could keep the 24-hour zone open. At the very least, it wouldn’t be hard for Fordham’s undergrad population to raise $100k. Dr. Nicola Pitchford, Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs (and Associate Chief Academic Officer), and Ellen Fahey-Smith, Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, spoke regretfully about the recent cuts, stating that ultimately the decision came down to what could and couldn’t be restored easily in the future. “The 24-hour zone would be one of the areas that would be easier to reinstate,” says Fahey-Smith, “if we took other cuts within the library, they may have been a little more difficult to replace.” Ms. Fahey-Smith is referring
like subscriptions to journals and serials that would ultimately be missed if cut. “There was no painless area to cut within the library or anywhere within the academic affairs budget,” said Dr. Pitchford, “we tried to look at areas that could be temporarily cut without causing long term setbacks.” But this explanation isn’t enough for students, many of whom are confused over the fact that no official announcement was made to the student body, save for a small white piece of paper placed on the security desk at the Walsh library that announced the closing of the study zone (though 10+ emails were generated over the summer to inform students of power outages on campus, while the majority of those students were far, far away and couldn’t care less). Many students at Rose Hill feel that the issue was deliberately discussed behind closed doors, over the summer, to avoid student resistance. “I am a student leader and I am supposed to be apart of the community, and I feel when it comes to issues of money, I get pushed out, and I feel that other members of the community feel the same way,” says Maria Fitzsimmons, a senior at Rose Hill. “People should make conscious efforts to make those decisions during the academic years when students can be a part of them.” For commuters and athletes, students whose schedules sometimes make it necessary for work to be done before or after hours, the closing of the 24-hour library is a huge blow. Many of these students relied on the study zone to get the bulk of their work done, and some are now left with no reliable station to print out papers or access a computer. “When you start traveling and you get back on Sunday night and you need to go study and get stuff printed, if you don’t have the facilities available it becomes a real issue,” said John Korevec, a senior at Rose Hill who is both
Know Your Neighbors! p.11
Playing With Your Food p.15
ber of Fordham’s cross country nomic recession, especially in team. “To be able to get to an light of last year’s hard fought 8:30 class and print something battle to increase security workwhen you don’t have a facility ers’ wages and benefits? The to print, I think is not just a con- Ram reported last week that the cern for athletes but for general Department of Safety and Secustudents as well.” rity decided to close the Walsh At last Thursday’s USG gate for twelve hours a day, usmeeting, board members dis- ing the money saved to replace cussed how the overnight study a 17-year old radio system with zone could be reopened as a new, digital one. Perhaps this quickly as possible. One sug- is a fiscally sound decision, but gestion, made by USG Presi- in the opinion of this writer, it is dent John Tully Gordon, was to certainly not indicative of Jesuit have students take the place of ideals promoting social justice security guards during the day and solidarity. so that a security guard could The power for reform lies work throughout the night, al- ultimately in the hands of the lowing for students. the usage of The adminthe overnight istration may Friday, 9/25/09, 4:30 PM study area. have tempoThis specific Progressive Students for Justice rary barred suggestion, the use of is holding an Gordon says, the 24-hour OPEN MEETING would alstudy zone, to discuss this issue. low for full but it is stuutilization of dent apathy the federal Location to be announced via that will engovernment’s sure that the the Facebook group: allotted stu- “Reopening the Overnight Section zone stays dent work closed indefi of Walsh Library!” study funds nitely. Last for Fordham Thursday’s University. A security guard USG meeting showed some would be working the overnight concerned students voicing shift, and students would again their opinions, but a huge part have access to their 24-hour of the student body has ultistudy zone. mately remained inactive. A However, this particular Facebook group named “Resuggestion stills denies security opening the Overnight Section workers the hours they previ- of Walsh Library!” has over ously held. Last year, a security 980 members. But it is going guard was present at the library to take much more than a social 24 hours a day during the week. networking group to convey the Gordon’s proposal, however importance of this issue. Some beneficial it may be to the stu- students, when let down by the dent body, would only have a administration, seem to adapt security guard present for about an overwhelmingly lethargic half the day. “I don’t think we attitude. Maybe it is a feeling should let the worker issue fall of helplessness, derived from by the wayside,” says junior a seemingly constant wave of Dan LoPreto. “Many [security] disappointment generated by workers on campus are blue the Fordham Administration, collar, middle-class employees, but it is important for students and they shouldn’t be the ones to remain proactive. If there are having to bear the brunt of these any means by which the meager budget cuts.” LoPreto raises a fund of $100,000 is going to be valid point: how is it that a Jesu- scared up, student organization it University allows its blue-col- and demonstration are surely lar workers to suffer significant going to be the most effective.
Rodrigue’s Resurrection Circus p.20
Soccer Radio Talk Host Offends Fans p.24
september 23, 2009
The Politics of Ignorance
Addressing Racism and Denial in America by Lenny Raney EARWAX EDITOR “I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man, that he’s African American. I live in the South, and I’ve seen the South come a long way, and I’ve seen the rest of the country that shared the South’s attitude towards minority groups at that time, particularly African Americans. That racist inclination still exists, and I think that it has bubbled up to the surface because of a belief among many white people, not just in the South but all around the country, that African Americans are not qualified to lead this great country. It’s an abominable circumstance and grieves me and concerns me very deeply.” This is the infamous quote by former president Jimmy Carter during his recent interview with Brian Williams that has caused both network news and the blogosphere alike to catch on fire. The blaze has manifested itself mostly on the charge that the left has purposefully blurred the line between racism and val-
id criticisms of the president in order to defuse and illegitimize growing resentment towards his administration. That said, I offer the following: • Nearly a year ago, the statement “NIGGER PRESIDENT BULLSHIT” was found spray painted on the side of a building in Harris County, Texas. • During the 9/12 demonstrations in Washington, D.C., the makeup of which South Carolina Senator Jim DeMint said was “a cross section of the population,” there were protesters with Confederate flags. • Members of the Tea Party protests in April featured a sign that read “Obama, what you talkin’ bout Willis? Spend my money?” and another saying “Obama’s Plan: White Slavery.” It is abundantly clear that there is at least some truth to President Carter’s statements; to pretend otherwise is wholly naïve. There has been an unprecedented level of animosity towards the president in recent months. While the Joe Wilson debacle seems to have become the focal point of contention, this is much bigger than him or
his accusations. When President Obama was first elected, there was talk of America having become a “post-racial” society, using the logic whereby if a country could support the ascendancy of a minority candidate into office, surely that country would have embraced the pluralistic nature of its population. What has happened instead is something entirely different: the country has been forced to confront its latent issues with racism and identity within the context of American culture. Confronting social issues head on has never been America’s preferred method of progress. Historically we have always made concerted efforts to sweep things under the table until doing so is no longer an option—much like the current president is seemingly doing with gay rights, particularly regarding marriage and the military. We as a culture depend on the perceived notion of squeaky cleanness to ensure undisrupted productivity. Our leaders have figured out that the populace needs only the mere option to view the current state of affairs as savory and untainted to function properly. What Barack Obama’s election has done is
swept the rug of propriety out them” philosophy has driven from under the feet of this na- itself so deep within the coltion’s foundation and proven lective conscious that it is no how adverse we are to having longer enough to simply be an these contentious dialogues and American citizen to be conresolving the issues associated sidered American, you have to on a national think like, act like, level. and yes, look like Our counan “American” as try has always well. The gravest championed indictment of a the idea of “us politician in 2009 vs. them.” We is not that they have always are unintelligent, needed both corrupt, immoral, a well defined or ineffective, but identity and rather that they somebody to are un-American. oppose, and The dangers in often, ex- Calls it like he sees it. this kind of thinkclude. This ing lie in that we has served us well in some situ- are not exactly sure who deations. The swiftness and effi- fines what is actually designated ciency with which we were gal- “American” or “un-American.” vanized as a nation during the Is it the ruling or opposition Second World War certainly is party? Is it the men, women, an example. On the other side, and children who populate this why is it again that we hate the beautiful country? Is it the meFrench? Or what about the fact dia? Who knows? The only that in 2009, a full two decades thing I do know, in fact, is that after the felling of the Berlin these trying times are a critiWall, McCarthyism still has a cal period in our country’s hiscomfortable home in American tory that will surely affect our political discourse? political and social identity for What has happened since the foreseeable future; Jimmy Barack Obama’s ascendancy Carter would likely agree. is visible proof that the “us vs.
CRIME AND FUNISHMENT Fordham Administration Cracks Down on Off-Campus Drinking by Sam Wadhams ARTS CO-EDITOR There’s an ominous cloud on the horizon, threatening each and every one of Fordham’s lushes, drunks, party people and “I was just experimenting, Mom,” freshmen. It’s no secret that Fordham students are known, occasionally, to partake in a glass of fine wine, nip of aged scotch or thirty rack of Natty via funnel, but new community pressure may finally be chipping away at the edge of our neighborhood’s beloved Mad Max liquor laws. Growing pressure from the administration, police, and local community board (Fightin’ Board Six!) has caused a nearly unprecedented crackdown on the bars, off-campus parties and cheap bodegas that had hitherto defined many a Fordham student’s Friday and Saturday nights. “But scribe!” you may be saying, “from whence comes this demonry? What churlish gentleman endeavors to prevent me from imbibing spirits at the local public house?” Well, Olde Timey Student, that’s a complicated answer. I had the good fortune of speaking with occasional party-pooper and Dean of Students Christopher Rodgers, who claimed that the administration’s crackdown on
parties, from last year’s Spring Weekend to last week’s postGirl Talk party, were business as usual. “A serious and everpresent concern is underage and excessive drinking in the neighborhood, and we are taking the same measures we always take to try and make sure students are not harmed by the drinking that many colleges and universities struggle with just outside their gates,” says Rodgers. Part of the concern is that already at least 20 students have been hospitalized due to an over-zealous consumption of drink. Depending on when you count the school start date and this weekend’s numbers, that’s an average of between 1.5 and 2 students per day. Hospitalized for being too drunk. Classy. But Dean Rodgers isn’t the (only) churl you’re looking for. The NYPD is cracking down as well, a marked departure from their usual stance of ignoring all students not bleeding heavily or covered in flames. Police “raids” on Fordham bars are also increasingly dramatically,
with three of the four notable bars having already been hit this year. The NYPD has also been cracking down on house parties, and while numbers are unavailable, I personally witnessed the NYPD visit a house that contained no more Overkill. than twenty people. Much of the crackdown, however, is because of the students themselves. The NYPD and Deans have been cracking down really only on the more visible parties; in one case because someone had printed out the Facebook event page and spread them around campus, including at the security office. However, parties are commonly busted due to long lines of freshmen and people sitting on stoops with stacks of red cups and large rolls of money. Furthermore, the pressure from the community board stems from area residents complaining of students misbehaving, like puking and peeing on lawns and busting in car windows with pool cues. Classy. Similarly, greater administrative involvement is a result of student misbehavior on campus. When the
Deans have to sort through a phone book sized stack of the weekend’s write-ups, the behavior and self-control of drinking students moves to the forefront of their radar. Collegiate underage drinking is nothing new, nor is it particularly endemic to Fordham. The drinking crackdown and raids, however, certainly are. Over the past two years police raids on bars or Deans visiting parties were looked upon as akin to meteor strikes or cats and dogs living together in harmony. This year, however, parties are being busted up at a breakneck pace and cops are visiting neighborhood bars on consecutive evenings. The staff of these bars, obviously anonymous, seem to think that pressure is coming from both sides. One bouncer told me that the pressure is coming down heavily from both the administration and the community board/ police, but another bar manager had one word for me: “Rodgers.” Regardless of the University’s role, this wave of temperance is in full swing, and will either break and roll back or drown us all in a wholesome culture of whole grain breakfast cereals and community service. “But what am I to do, sir?” I’ve likely lead you to ask. “As a responsible University fellow
how can I enjoy a few drams or draughts in the company of my chummy chaps and damsels?” Well, Olde Timey Student, there you are shit out of luck. Though we are a bunch of rebellious whippersnappers, the paper still receives university funding, and as such could never advocate underage drinking in any way. But I can discourage idiocy. Idiocy tends to start at the bottom, with the freshmen. If you insist on violating important capitalized things like the Law and Official University Policy, don’t be an ass about it. I understand the television that raised you led you to believe that the measure of a person is the amount of alcohol he can put into his or her body, but once again the TV lied. The reason you can drink enough 151 or 99 Bananas or whatever is that your body hasn’t gotten around to telling you that it’s poison. You can slug that stuff down your throat like it’s water, but the first time you wake up covered in crusty, schnappzy throw-up, I dare you to even smell what you were drinking the night before. But every time you go out and end up in the hospital or get a ticket for peeing in public or puking all over the security desk in your dorm, you’re not only hurting yourself, you’re hurting everybody. Class it up.
september 23, 2009
A Constitution Day Symposium by Charles Hailer STAFF DEADITOR With the Great Unwashed gnashing their teeth and with the Radical Right screaming doom-laden obscenities at anyone who dares not to listen to their lunatic conspiracy theories, today’s most heated health care debate shows no signs of cooling down. The commotion over the seemingly humdrum issue of fixing the international embarrassment that is America’s health care system has seen dour predictions of an early end to the “Obama-era.” And, perhaps more importantly, this may have opened up a near endless cyclone of hatred and fear that is threatening to blow the roof off the United States, exposing our nation’s darkest, most atavistic nature. The high water mark thus far has been the infamous instance of a backwoods nobody of a congressman thankfully omitting “boy” from the end of a bizarre outburst at Obama’s joint session address. The event has now inspired Maureen Dowd, Jimmy Carter and a slew of other liberal, progressive minded commentators to open the floodgates of racial tension in an already tense debate, with the Right’s Matt Drudge, Limbaugh, Beck and the usual stooges bizarrely crying “the White Man is the victim!” in the wake. And while
it’s impossible to ignore the racial overtones of the debate, The New York Times’ token conservative, David Brooks, offered up a somewhat worthy rebuttal, bringing up the archaic historical roots to today’s Right Wing lunacy just in time for the Times’ Constitution Day issue. On that same day, September 17th, Fordham held a symposium on today’s most pressing and controversial issues, giving them a clear headed constitutional and historical perspective. The panel, made up of Saul Cornell and Elaine Crane of the History department and Nicholas Johnson representing Fordham Law offered up a warm, clear headed and academic counterpoint to the much publicized hurly burly of the summer’s Town Hall meetings. Given the fact that reasonable folks all across the nation have been laying the claim that “healthcare is a right,” or at least that it should be in a wealthy, industrialized nation, the panel gave a fascinating look into what the perspective of the Framers might have been on the issue. The panel pointed out how obvious that all of the rights actually guaranteed in the Bill of Rights are not positive rights, but negative rights. Obligatory health care would obviously be a positive right, given that it would mandate action on be-
half of the government and the ports) and gun control, they tend people of America to make sure to blindly lionize the Founding everyone has access to health Fathers and neglect to point out care. Whereas something like how damned old the Constituthe Second Amendment’s du- tion is, something this sympobious right to gun ownership sium didn’t hesitate to point out. guarantees that the government “Would you be comfortable goand the private sector cannot ing to an 18th Century dentist? take action that would restrict Then why would you want your that right, therefore making it a government dictated by an 18th negative Century docuright. As ment?” Saul the panCornell aptly el expointed out to plained, a smattering of the hisgiggles from torical the audience. deriWith that helpvation ful parallel, Mr. of this Cornell brought emphaup quite a point, Maybe it’s time? sis on while the Conkeeping stitution is a repowers in check comes from markable document for its time, a Whig-era fear of centralized why is it rarely brought up that or consolidated power; which it’s one of the oldest living Conwould at least partially help to stitutions in the world, one that explain Podunk America’s ac- was created without any modceptance of Glenn Beck’s psy- ernist philosophical perspecchotic conspiracy theory raves tive? The panel was quick to and the waves of Tenther and bring up (though loath to fully Birther paranoia that ceases to endorse) some radical leftist go away. writers who advocate for a “do However, the problem with over” on the document, starting reasonably respectable conser- from scratch with a post-Envative commentators like David lightenment perspective. Brooks and even Newt GinGiven the clear headed, and grich is that when they bring up often common sense approach similar historical perspectives to examining the very sour maron health care, gay marriage row of the clash over heath care, (which, admittedly, Brooks sup- I couldn’t help but think about
the actual flesh and blood of the debate (where the racism, hatred, and cold war paranoia can be found): the Obama as witch doctor signs, the exploitation of 9/11 sentiment, the geriatric barbarism of the summer’s Town Halls and the endless blunting of rhetoric on the Left to try to fit their piecemeal, band-aid fix-all to the problem into such an outmoded and outdated set of core ideals that have been hijacked by the wacky Right. The panel offered up a potent reminder that all might not be well with the world’s “greatest living document,” that when the rustic ideals of the self-determined American is applied to today’s corporatized, maximum exploitation global village, that noble philosophy leads to more guns, more corruption and more profiteering at the expense of everyday American benefit at home and abroad. Given that America’s all powerful Right do get off on the misguided notion that America was founded by infallible demigods blessed with supernatural powers of prognostication, it should come as no surprise that the “every man for himself” mentality of America’s nascent years has translated to things like our nation’s broken health care system, and now must answer for the self-centered savagery seen in the debate to fix it.
Intrigue in the Baltic
Pirates, Smugglers...Israelis? and a Whole Bunch of Confusion by Will Yates STAFF SIR F. DRAKE While most of the world’s knowledge and concern over piracy was concentrated on the East Coast of Africa, specifically the unstable region around Somalia, a quiet but dramatic event was taking place in the seas of Northern Europe that had effects across the globe. When it was over, eight Estonian men lay hooded, in chains, facedown on a Russian military plane, facing harsh piracy sentences, with Russian media filming the apparent victory in bringing these thugs to justice. It has become clear that these men were pawns in a vast game of espionage, coverups, and military secrets. It began in Jakostab, Finland, where the 4,000-ton Maltese ship Arctic Sea was purportedly loaded with $1.8 million worth of timber to be taken to Algeria. Two days later, on July 24, a small dinghy holding the hijackers off the coast of Sweden approached the ship and boarded it by saying they were anti-drug police. The waters are vigorously patrolled by the navies of England, Russia, and mainland Northern European nations, making crime there extremely difficult and piracy virtually unheard of.
It is unclear how the word first got out, but it seems that within 12 hours, having stolen a few items, the pirates left on their same inflatable boat and the Arctic Sea continued on its way. The crew, however, made no additional report of the crime and actually made no contact except to give its position to the Dover Coastguard in the English Channel on the 29th. This led some to believe that remaining hijackers were still on board and piloting the ship. After being seen off the coast of France,
the Arctic Sea dropped off radar and was lost for nearly three weeks, a period during which the entire Russian Navy was searching for it. This led some to believe that the ship was far more than it appeared. One of these speculators was Mikhail Voitenko, one of Russia’s premier maritime experts, who has since fled to Thailand, claiming threats on his life if he spoke more on his theories. During this time, rampant
to stop it. So, the Israelis set up a gang of Eastern European hijackers to pirate a ship for ransom and told Russia to “rescue” it. Now, many within the Russian military who are close to the investigation say this was a perfect way for Russia, with its history of poorly-managed weapon stockpiles, to stop the embarrassing arms deal and play hero against piracy. In the meantime, Israel successfully averted a potentially deadly shipment from reaching Iran, its worst regional e n e m y. Not the same thing. A r o u n d this time, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu disappeared and flown to Moscow. The for a half day, claiming he was controversy, though, had just visiting hidden bases within Israel. A new agency there begun. Sources within both the reported that he had flown Russian and Israeli military secretly to Russia to talk with have spoken anonymously about President Medvedev, possibly the truth behind the story. They about the Arctic Sea. Said a claim that Russian ex-military Russian military source, “Once officers sold several S-300 type the news of the hijack broke, anti-aircraft missiles to Iran, the game was up for the arms which was loaded aboard while dealers. The Russians had to the Arctic Sea stopped over in act. That’s why I don’t rule Russia. Mossad got wind of the out Mossad being behind illegal deal and was determined the hijacking. It stopped the speculation surrounded the ship, including rumors of mafia involvement or a commercial dispute. Reports came that the ship was attacked a second time near Portugal and that a ransom was sent to the Finnish police for the crew’s lives. These were never confirmed, but on August 17, a Russian antisubmarine ship found the Arctic Sea at last, 300 miles off the Cape Verde islands, over 1,500 miles off-course. The crew was secured and the pirates, still on board, were taken into custody
shipment and gave the Kremlin a way out so that it can now claim it mounted a brilliant rescue mission.” It does not seem fantastical that Israel, which carried out extra-jurisdictional maneuvers to catch ex-Nazis in South America and kill the terrorists responsible for the Munich Olympics killings, would stage a heist to protect its people. And these theorists are not alone; Maj. Gen. Tom Wilkinson of the US Naval Institute said, “Just because the ship doesn’t appear to have anything valuable doesn’t mean someone can’t place something on it that could be very valuable and very dangerous.” On August 1, the UK newspaper The Guardian officially ran with the story. As this theory becomes more and more plausible, and while Moscow continues to deny it, it is interesting to note how those involved are affected now. Russia imposed a media blackout on the crew for a week. Mikhail Voitenko is still in exile and may have been fired for his views. The hijackers are facing steep charges, and it seems they may be sacrificed for the sake of Israel’s protection. Perhaps it will soon be seen if this mysterious crime had the effects it intended in preventing arming Iran against a relentless Israel.
september 23, 2009
FAKER THAN TRUTH by Sam Wadhams, Sean Kelly, and Bobby Cardos STAFF LIARS BRONX, NY ~ Reports have come in to the security office of a mysterious cloaked figure patrolling the streets of the Bronx attempting to prevent crimes and protect students on late night White Castle and blunt runs. The figure, known for wearing a bright cape and afro clown wig adorned with a flashing neon cross, has sometimes been referred to as “Daddy Mac”. Reports have been coming in steadily since mid-August, but by reliable accounts he has prevented at least four muggings, one assault and rescued a kitten, Pebbles, from a tree on 188th street and Arthur Aveenue. Fordham Security, the NYPD and the Guardian Angels all denied responsibility for the prevented crimes, though one Fordham security official, speaking off the record, did intimate that the enigmatic “Daddy Mac” and noted theologian* and University President Joe McShane, S.J. had never been seen together. As of press time, “Daddy Mac” was seen silhouetted against the moon at the top of the Keating Tower, cross aglow, waiting for the cry for help he’ll have no choice but to answer. -S.W. BRONX, NY ~ Due to budget cuts and other pecuniary worries, Fordham University has announced that all residence halls on the Rose Hill campus will no longer be in service 24 hours a day. “We at Fordham must bear the burden of these difficult economic times together, as a community” said Father Joseph McShane, S.J. in a press release dated Monday, September 15th. “We encourage all students to complete their daily duties such as sleeping, schoolwork, and personal hygiene early in the day so as to facilitate this transition”. Sources at the University say that the newly renovated McGinley student center, full of state-of-the-art amenities such as silver lettering and plasma-screen TV’s, will remain open for students during the early morning hours once the winter months arrive. -S.K. BRONX, NY ~ This past Friday, it came to the attention of construction workers at work on the new dormitory, Campbell Hall, that the facility was being constructed on a sinkhole. The discovery caused construction to halt and meetings ensued early this week between construction manager Ivan Ilidedovich and Fordham administrators, including noted theologian Fr. Joseph McShane, S.J. himself. The conclusion was that construction would have to be halted and the building torn down, to prevent possible damage in the event of, as put by Ivan, “You know, a building sinking into the ground.” The problem with this is twofold: 1) The University loses student housing it had counted on for the 2010-2011 academic year, a huge issue with Fordham’s ever rising student population. 2) The view of Webster Avenue, described by administration officials who prefer to remain anonymous as “way depressing” and a “deal breaker for prospective students,” will remain present to the west side of campus. The second issue, however, has been solved. “What we are going to do,” says Fr. McShane, “is we are going erect a giant billboard just past the sinkhole, and commission a muralist to paint a facsimile of the northern view of the Botanical Gardens. It will be a visual reminder to our students and faculty—and of course, those who have yet to become part of our Fordham Family—of what is beautiful about Fordham, of what makes us Fordham, what makes us New York.” The mural will be constructed as the dorm is deconstructed, to ensure that Webster Avenue will never again plague the beauty of Fordham’s campus. -B.C.
Fordham Security Plays It Safe With Alerts Analysis on the Significance of Racial Awareness by Max Siegal NEWS CO-EDITOR In your Fordham inbox on Thursday, September 17, you received an email from Fordham Safety and Security about an off-campus incident, Alert #15009. It read that on Wednesday, September 16, at approximately 9:55 p.m., a Fordham student was assaulted on Lorillard Avenue by four individuals who attempted to steal his possessions. The student was able to escape with his possessions and without being harmed. With no disrespect intended to the student accosted, this security report was a standard alert, meant to inform Fordham students and staff about potential threats and incidents that happen off of campus. However, the description of the four perps reads as follows: “The student described his assailants as four males about 18 years of age with one of the four specifically described as being a male black, 5’8” in height, wearing a white tee shirt, blue jeans, and having a very athletic build.” Another email followed the next day, an incident at the same 2505 Lorillard Avenue, seemingly identical, with the description of the assailants reading as: “Four males with one specifically as male, black, 17-18 years, 5’8” with stocky muscular build.” Before making up my mind on the reasoning behind the absence of racial description of most security reports, I decided to sit down with John Carroll, Director of Fordham Security, to get an official explanation. He noted that Fordham Security will include race in the description of suspects only when a victim can properly identify their assailant and is strong in their conviction to be able to do so. Carroll noted the environmental difficulties of trying to identify a person outside of campus at night, such as dim street lighting, and the psychological considerations that a person undergoes when put into a situation of duress (in other words, the false testament of “eyewitness,” a prevalent phenomenon). Carroll continued to explain that he and Fordham Security do not want to play into racial stereotypes, a complaint that he asserted was something that Fordham students put forth in regards to racial descriptions that went out previously on security reports. He finished by noting there was “nothing to be gained” from including what he saw as imprecise and potentially offensive racial descriptions in
all security alerts unless a victim felt absolutely sure that he or she could identify their assailant. This issue is first one that brings to the forefront a racial discourse, which is often difficult and problematic, but which I also think is really important. We tend to brush off the consideration of race in our politically correct, safe-for-television America, when race is one of, if not the most important identifying and organizing factors in our society. It should always be discussed, revised, fussed with, and explained, so that we might, as different individuals, better understand not just one another, but ourselves as well. To that end, on principle alone, I disagree with Mr. Carroll’s assertion that there is “nothing to be gained.” Though he might be correct in ecumenical terms,
this campus (I’m Jewish), I can certainly sympathize and have sympathized in the past with other students in the past when the actions or words of others put someone down. However, this is not one of those cases, as I see it dealing with larger elements of racial structure at work. Whether we like it or not, as members of Fordham University, we are part of a monolith that imposes on this region of the Bronx, and by association, and even though we bring positive things to the neighborhood, we also impose on the residents that surround us. This plays in to strong emotions about things like race, class, and privilege. Students of color here at Fordham are not stereotyped by the actions of individuals who live outside these gates specifically because of that literal and figurative divide. This applies to commuting students, who very well may live in the surrounding area, because we are not just in Fordham, attending Fordham, we are of Fordham, a part of the collective. I also take issue with the supposed inability of Fordham students to correctly identify others when out in the Bronx. This too plays into the larger racial issues mentioned before. To be real, any person stumbling The spoon home from the bars alone is silver. at 3:30 a.m. under the inIt’s, like, a fluence of alcohol and/ metaphor. or other drugs is not in the best state to clearly identify his or her asthere is instead much to be lost sailant, but it does bring about by ignoring race. racial tensions. A young white This brings me on to the college student, say from an considerations dealing with upper-middle class Connecticut Fordham students. Firstly, the family, would surely not want issue of some members of the to accuse a black or Hispanic Fordham community feeling local individual of a criminal “stereotyped.” Though Carroll transgression within the shadow earnestly asserted that Security of a prominent private univeracted in response to complaints sity because that would be a from students, I am not sure I difficult thing to have to deal am entirely convinced, given with. By ignoring the considthat I am not privy to Carroll’s eration of race here, it sets us or any other administrator’s in- down the slippery “colorblind” teractions with other students. If slope, during which we eventuthere was indeed some student ally stop acknowledging race complaints, Fordham Security altogether, ignoring, as I said was then avoiding any further before, one of, if not the most conflict that might arise. A pre- important identifying considerventative action such as this ations in modern society. While one really leaves the impres- I did agree with Carroll when sion of ass-covering and face- he noted that there have been saving. Fordham Administra- several mistaken descriptions tion “doesn’t want to upset any given to Fordham Security and individuals or groups of the stu- the NYPD after incidents, it is dent body” when they really are a disservice to think that we can trying to keep the backlash at a simply overlook the considerminimum and not cause a scene. ation altogether when it seems In addition to this, I take is- politically smart to do so. sue with students if they do feel if they are being stereotyped through the medium of the security reports. As a minority on
september 23, 2009
Healthcare Reform Attitude Readjustment by Grace Loughney STAFF GINGER “I want to keep my health care.” This statement made by a professor of mine segued the class into a heated debate on a topic that has been beaten to death in the media as of late. My professor, a Republican who flaunts his bias in class, engaged us in an argument during which several students supported their opposing statements with statistics and facts. One student raised his hand and said, “50 million people in the United States do not have health insurance,” to which my all-knowing professor replied, “You’re wrong.” This response is an example of the ignorance and stubbornness that pervades the health care debate. Note that my professor did not offer any supporting evidence in opposition to my peer’s statement. Essentially he meant, “No, you’re wrong because you disagree with me.” Just for the record, the National Coalition on Health Care reports that as of 2007, nearly 46 million people under the age of 65 were uninsured, so my classmate wasn’t very far off. Later on in the class, my professor again told a student she was wrong when she said that his statement was purely speculation and that
by Bobby Cardos EXECUTIVE EDITOR
President Obama has not given being discussed and analyzed. the American public reason However, the fear-inducing to doubt his reliability. As I tactics employed by critics of sat listening to my professor the health care reform bill have forcibly silence my classmates, I turned what should be a serious was struck by how a formidable conversation about reform presence and a loud opinion was into a frenzied mess of deceit able to silence even the most and misrepresentation. Party outspoken student. Students in lines have been drawn, cleanly the classroom who knew little of the health care debate began to make arguments alongside the The Dr. professor. The classroom would be debate teetered like a happy to see-saw on the lines prescribe of fact and fiction, you some misinformation and Chronic. reality. Ironically, this classroom scene bears a strong resemblance to the public arena. When uninformed people are presented with exaggerated dividing America on an issue or incorrect information, it that requires national solidarity propagates the fear and hysteria for success. The most prominent currently surrounding the health voices are the most opinionated. care debate. Thousands of blogs are igniting Death panels, communism, fear and rage by posting and racism: just three of the information about health care fear-inspiring words permeating that is untrue. Does the health the health care dispute. It’s care bill encourage euthanasia? fascinating how a topic as No, but if you Google search seemingly dry as health care that question, you can find can be morphed into something four blogs just on the first page apocalyptic by the politicians of search results that tell you and the media. Not to say it’s otherwise. For Vice President not important; if anything, nominee, Sarah Palin is quoted health care is by far the most as saying, “The America I know relevant matter currently and love is not one in which my
parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society,’ whether they are worthy of health care.” And Palin has supporters that believe her every word. As a trusted public official, Palin should only be issuing statements rooted in truth. Unfortunately, “trusted public official” often translates as “conniving, greedy individual with the power to sway public opinion as he or she sees fit.” Just last week, South Carolina representative Joe Wilson caused an uproar when he shouted, “You lie!” during Obama’s speech when the President denied that the health care bill will allow for coverage for illegal immigrants. Wilson’s interruption of Obama’s speech, which made the point that Americans can “disagree without being disagreeable,” is another example of a public figure abusing his positions to spread smear and hinder legitimate conversation. Every day we’re bombarded with the most radical, loudest voices from both sides of the debate, yet we never hear from the millions of people
struggling because of a health care system that more often benefits private health insurance companies than them. If we can just look past the bullshit and focus primarily on the debilitating health care system, it is evident that it is in need of reform. Without reform, private health insurance companies will continue to discriminate against and take advantage of people when they are sick and at their most vulnerable. Those who claim to be unconcerned with these consequences should at least be troubled by the prospect of a growing national deficit as their tax dollars continue to be used to cover the health expenses of the uninsured. In his speech last week, Obama said, “Our health care problem is our deficit problem,” and this statement is true because skyrocketing medical care costs are placing an “unsustainable burden” on Medicaid and Medicare resulting in a need for more government spending. Are there risks associated with it? Could a massive growth in the public sector lead to an unsustainable deficit? Absolutely. Does that mean we shouldn’t try? Our President has a plan, so let’s remove the speculation and fear tactics and allow the conversation to begin anew from there.
Amazon.com: Destroying the World Less Than Wal-Mart
It never really occurred to me until I read it in The New York Times: you really can get just about anything on Amazon. com. This immediately strikes me as bizarre, even though, after further thought, the juxtaposition of jewelry and power tools and beds at, say, Sears, or Wal-Mart, or K-Mart, or Target is really no less discomforting to the pseudosocially conscious observer. But, as the Times article reports, not only are all (and more) of these things available through the web retailer, they are selling, and well. Already Amazon’s sales of media products (Books, CDs, DVDs—the sorts of things most people tend to think of when Amazon.com is mentioned) have been surpassed by the sales of non-media products (pretty much everything under the sun, as a cursory glance at the website will show) in North America. According to the current trajectory, this will become true worldwide by the end of the year, effectively making Amazon the general store of the web. The founders of the website have had this in mind since its inception in 1995: striving to offer “the biggest selection of
goods on earth.” Their efforts have been largely successful, such that they added specific website space for outdoor sporting goods and wireless plans, as well as bought out online shoe retailer Zappos. They also added business by allowing outside sellers to use their site space to sell independently (such as used media), from which they draw a cut from the seller’s profits. This is something that real world retailers like Sears and WalMart have started to adopt for their own websites. Conversely, Amazon has adopted practices like selling their own “store brand” products, including blank media (CD-rs and DVDrs), patio furniture, and power tools. Though the world’s largest online retailer, Amazon currently has surprisingly slim profit margins, grossing $645 million in 2008 (WalMart grossed $13.4 billion). However, this is a 36 percent increase from 2007, and market analysts are optimistic about the retailer because of its resilience during the .com burst and its efficient business model. Since Amazon is entirely online, it is able to analyze its consumer base as one large group, and thus effectively predict the sales trends of products. This means
that the products they order are often off the (warehouse) shelf within a couple of months, before they have to pay the companies for the products. This eliminates debt, and over the course of the past nine years Amazon has reduced its debt from $2 billion to $109 million. Since other major retailers have to stock individual stores, it is not as easy to gauge what will
This is a concession that vice president Jeff Wilke himself makes. But Amazon can still take–and has taken—business and profits away from smaller specialty stores and independent businesses. What is perhaps more insidious (if you can call a business insidious for doing what it is designed to do) about Amazon versus other evil corporate
There is no escape.
sell and therefore run more risk of overstocking products. There are, of course, faults to the Amazon model. One must wait for the product to ship; you can’t see the product physically until it arrives; and return procedures are longer and more of a hassle. And Amazon, like physical retail stores, will not be able fully to substitute for specialty stores.
giants like Wal-Mart is that they are omnipresent. Wal-Mart comes in, takes jobs, replaces them with sub-poverty level jobs, harms the environment, etc.—but they have to con people in to it first. Towns actually “fight” Wal-Mart to prevent them from opening up in the area. Few succeed, true, but the thing about Amazon is that it is just a website. It’s
there, and “there” in this case is pretty much everywhere. Amazon can’t be fought (excepting maybe some huge breach of net neutrality), only boycotted. And so its effects can be felt but not necessarily pinpointed. This is not to say that Amazon supplants jobs and businesses in the same way that Wal-Mart does. It doesn’t. They can’t replace things like grocers or auto repair shops (both things Wal-Mart and Sears have done), and when you need a wrench or nails to repair something, it is unlikely that you’re going to wait 3-5 business days to get the supplies you need. But in a world of commerce increasingly participated in via the internet, and through free shipping offers Amazon is able to provide, it is becoming much easier, cheaper—and ergo more likely—that people not in an immediate rush to have the products they need to ship them online from places like Amazon. This is conjecture, perhaps, and maybe Amazon won’t replace your neighborhood bike shop or hardware store, but it will, more likely than not, cut into its profit margins. From there, implications and consequences only get more ambiguous, but these market predictions for Amazon imply that there will be both.
september 23, 2009
Foreign Policy Change We Can Believe In Reversal of a Bush-Era Defense Strategy Causes Controversy by Alex Orf NEWS CO-EDITOR President Obama stirred up a whole mess of international controversy last Thursday, September 17 when he announced that he will scrap plans to install an antiballistic missile defense system in Eastern Europe in favor of several mobile systems that will provide “a stronger, smarter and swifter defense” for the US and its European allies. The original plan to place 10 large interceptor missiles in Poland and build a radar station in the Czech Republic was proposed by the Bush administration in 2006, and the agreement to proceed was signed in 2008. At the time, former President Bush claimed the system served to defend the US and its allies from a potential Iranian ballistic strike. However, as the Obama administration reviewed intelligence concerning Iran’s missile programs, they concluded that their current technology posed a threat only to the area immediately surrounding Iran—southeastern Europe, Turkey, and Israel, all of whom would not fall under the protection of the Bush plan. President Obama has
stressed that his decision is a has spawned more criticism purely tactical one, made with and claims of ineffective nethe country’s best interests in gotiation from Republicans. mind, but conservative critics Statements like the one made by see the move as compromising Russian President Dmitry Mednational security. House Repub- vedev, who said, “We apprecilican leader Rep. John Boehner ate the responsible approach of said of Getting buddy-buddy. the decision, “Scrapping the US missile defense system… does little more than empower Russia and Iran at the expense of our allies in the US president toward impleEurope.” Russia and its gov- menting our agreements,” have ernment’s misgivings about the given the impression to some original Bush plan lie at the cen- that Obama’s decision was “a ter of the controversy. This is concession to the Russians with understandable, as from a Rus- absolutely nothing in return,” sian point of view the United in the words of former UnderStates was setting up a powerful secretary of State John Bolton. missile defense system uncom- Obama continues to deny any fortably close to Russian bor- such motives, stating Sunday on ders. CBS’s “Face the Nation,” “The Reaction to the announce- Russians don’t make determiment from Russian officials nations about what our defense
posture is. If the by-product of it is that the Russians feel a little less paranoid…then that’s a bonus.” Though Republicans critical of the decision will continue to claim that Obama’s decision makes America look weak and willing to fold under pressure, in reality the choice to scrap the Bush-era plan shows the president making a sound strategic decision concerning our country’s defense that happens to have diplomatic benefits. The new plan will deploy existing SM-3 interceptor missiles using the sea-based Aegis system in 2011, with advanced versions of the defense system to come in 2018 and 2020. By contrast, the Bush administration wanted to use missile technology that would not have been ready for deployment until 2018, which, as anyone inclined to use Bush-era scare tactics would jump to point out, would
leave the United States and its allies defenseless from ballistic attacks for another nine years. As for diplomatic benefits, the announcement has already begun to improve U.S.-Russian relations, making headway on Obama’s foreign policy goal to “reset” the United States’ relationship with Russia. This perceived act of good faith may go a long way to win Russian support of stricter U.N. sanctions against Iran, a goal the U.S. has been pushing for but that has received opposition from Russia and China. From a long-term perspective, Obama’s reversal of this Bush strategy cancelled what amounted to an open act of hostility against Russia that extended an invitation to perpetuate arms stockpiling and restart the Cold War. Coming off of eight years of a cavalier, consequences-bedamned approach to American foreign policy, a well-reasoned, rational, and diplomatic decision like the one made by President Obama gives cause for tentative hope that the U.S. can improve its reputation around the world. Maybe now we will see some of the change we were promised.
Saving the Industrialized World...Sort of Group of 20 Meets in Pittsburgh to Schmooze, Talk Economy by Doug Sorek STAFF MALCONTENT On September 24-25 the leaders of the world’s top 20 economies will be meeting in a quiet river hamlet in southwestern Pennsylvania. The international body known as the Group of 20 Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors was founded in 1999 in an effort “to bring together major industrialized and developing economies to discuss key issues in the global economy,” according to their website. The Group of 20 accounts for 80% of world trade as well as two thirds of the world’s population. There are six points that will be the focus of the Pittsburgh summit with regard to the economic shitstorm of the past year: rebuilding jobs and growth, restoring previous levels of lending, rebuilding trust among financial institutions, reform of international financial institutions, and rejection of protectionism, all while striving to achieve an “inclusive, green, and sustainable recovery.” The Group of 20 is an undemocratic institution. Neither does it have a charter to guide it nor are the meetings open to the
public. It is like the popular table at high school. The Group of 20 is focused on protecting their investments and institutions. They do not care about advancing or protecting the poorest one third of the world. If they did, they would use the international channels already established to enact change. If they are the leaders of the leaders of the world, then it is their responsibility to lead the whole world, not two thirds of it. The Pittsburgh Summit is an excuse for Obama et al. to hobnob and mingle. The abstruse economic and banking reforms are meant to make the rich richer and keep the rest of the world under control. When there are 20 different nations with 20 different agendas, the Group is pulled in too many directions to make any sense. All the while, the UN’s most popular will be mugging for photos and issuing the gov-
ernmental doublespeak that we citizens have become so used to. There are expected to be significant protests during the week leading up to the summit. Keeping in mind that the Group of 20 has no charter and its meetings are not public, op-
sistance Project. They are planning a mass march on September 24 in an attempt to disrupt the proceedings. This march is an “unpermitted” event, meaning that the Pittsburgh City Council, which has been dragging its feet all month in regard to issuing permits, has not given official approval of the event. Not all demonstrations are being sponsored by misaligned malcontents Douchebags. however. Activist position from those who hold group Bread for the World is democracy dear should not be planning a procession on Sepunexpected. Opposition groups tember 23 of around 30 national , however, are maligned in the religious leaders through Pittsmedia because of the actions burgh, urging Group of 20 delof certain organizations on the egates to reduce world hunger. fringe. Such groups should be The Pittsburgh Darfur Emerexpected when a forum of this gency Coalition will be erectmagnitude meets in a free coun- ing over 600 signs containing try. the names of towns destroyed in The most well organized Sudan since 2004. protest group to have emerged is Two groups earned a viccalled the Pittsburgh G-20 Re- tory in a federal court case
decided September 17. U.S. District Judge Gary Lancaster ruled that two groups, CodePink Women for Peace and the Three Rivers Climate Convergence, will be allowed to gather at Point State Park, the focal point of the city, where the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers converge to form the Ohio River. There were concerns that groups associated with certain state politicians were receiving preferential treatment in terms of permit approval. In the same case, however, the Thomas Merton Center, which was planning a rally on the Andy Warhol Bridge, was denied permission due to safety concerns. Overall, the preparations by the city have not been overwhelmingly draconian, yet all sides are preparing with apprehension. Even if the delegates of the Group of 20 fail to make any recognizable progress, such a big event is useful in that it will help bring attention to issues that concern the welfare of our fellow human beings. Progress does not require the leaders of the world. Progress requires action by the people.
editorials Motorcycle and the American Dream by Sam Wadhams ARTS CO-EDITOR ew things evoke the reaction of a motorcycle. People, generally an ignorant and fearful population, will volunteer a wide range of opinions on motorcycles to complete strangers, without prompting. People will tell you about the bikes they’ve had, family members they’ve lost, and relatives who’ve patched up steak-sized holes on bikers in hospitals. Everyone will tell you everything about buying, owning, and riding a bike. But when you’re there, in the shop, surrounded by motorcycles, with your best friend next to you and the dealer in front of you, you’re all alone. There’s $500—a week’s pay— between you and buying a bike; but more than that, there’s the fear. The basest of human emotions conjures up every nightmare scenario of you turning to beef jerky on the pavement—a grindhouse cinema of your demise, and you’re in the front row. You’re not exempt from the fear. You’re not exempt because you play tough sports or drive real fast or drink on clifftops. None of these things take away from the fact that you’re staring at a machine where your next mistake might be serious, might be your last. Your next mistake might break the cliché and literally be the moment when soul leaves body, and whatever collection of meat and bones you are on the road separates from whatever mistakes you’ve made, because you won’t make any more. And you’re about to buy it. And the fear doesn’t leave when you take the bike home and the battery’s dead and you flood the engine trying to start it. The fear doesn’t leave when you change the air filters, spark plugs, oil, and fuses. When it takes you a week to work through every broken part, you’ll ask yourself if you’re building your own coffin, and part of you will be forced to answer yes. But the fear will be matched with frustration, and when you kick-start that bike so hard you rattle the frame and she suddenly sputters to life underneath you, the fear vanishes. The frustration exits so violently and forcefully that all it leaves is the trembling excitement, a new awe at the grumbling violence that exits the tailpipe when you so much as pet the throttle.
But the fear surges back. The minute you put your foot down into first gear, throttle it up, and ease the clutch, the fear comes back. You realize that the only reason you’re not falling over sideways is the fact that you’re moving forward; the only thing keeping you on the road is momentum. You realize that it’s ride or fall, and the fear jumps back through your nerves like an electric shock that glues you to the seat. So you ride. You ride through your neighborhood, figuring out the switches and how to turn and brake and where to put your feet, shifting gears as you go up and down the hill you used to skateboard as a kid. And you call your girlfriend and she laughs and tells you that you sound like you’re glowing, like you’ve just had sex, and you laugh and maybe agree and
tell her you’ll call her back and never do. You never do because you’re riding, out on the roads now, leaning into curves and figuring out how to shift and terrorizing your friend’s parents with your newfound sonic weapon, shattering their suburban tranquility. You ride and you get cocky, too dumb to know better, and start to open the throttle on straightaways, just to feel the pressure on your chest and eyes, your jacket rattling against your neck, just to feel what it feels like. And you return your borrowed truck and ride to work and away again, ride to your friend’s and away again, always knowing someone can hear you from a mile out. Every biker on the road will give you the wave, the universal biker extended hand below the clutch side of the handlebars, and you’ll give it back, because you both know something everyone else doesn’t. And you’ll let your friends ride your bike, and they’ll drop it and crash it and fuck it up, and you’ll have to fix it. But you’ll know how to fix it, so you patch it up, swap out the busted parts and Gorilla Glue the rest, and if she runs to get you home then no harm, no foul. They were cocky and too dumb to know better—you were
just better. Or lucky. And you’ll ride to the beach in a swimsuit and Converses, you’ll ride to work in the rain in a raincoat and blue jeans, you’ll ride just to ride with your headphones in, because you can’t hear anything over your engine anyway. And your bike will break down, leaving you late for work, sprinting in jeans and boots with a thumb out down the road. And you’ll push it to shops that won’t fix it, people whose problem it isn’t, and eventually you’ll sing and dance euphorically when you reach eureka. The next time you ride it you’ll be listening, waiting for the breakdown, and when it never comes you’ll know you learned something the hard way, by doing it. And soon it will become another thing, another means of motion, another variable in your morning commute, another hassle. And the money you’ve sank into it, the time, the clothes you’ve ruined with your blood and sweat and grease, you’ll doubt it. The fear will sink to the back of your head, another instruction you see fit to ignore, and you’ll leave it. But just before you polish it up, change out the oil and gas, and park it in your garage for the winter, you’ll take it out. You’ll spin it along the back roads and race it along turns and lean harder than you’ve ever leaned into it before. And you’ll put it in your garage, put the kickstand down, and take out the key and leave it on the seat, closing the door behind you. And it’s when you leave it you understand, even beyond the fear, the cautionary tales playing out in your head, a motorcycle is about ownership. Not because it’s the first thing you’ve ever owned, not because it’s the only thing you ever bought and registered and insured. You own it because you’ve taken it apart, painted it matte black and screwed it together again. You own it because most of its salient parts have left grease on your hand, but it hasn’t fallen to pieces between your legs when you rode it. That it’s only as dangerous as your own sloth and inattention. So you leave it at home, close the door behind it and head for school, knowing all the while the bike, the fear, the excitement are waiting for you.
september 23, 2009
the paper’s view september 23, 2009 paper to students re: admin “Give ‘em Hell!”
o you’re a freshman. You’re wide-eyed, cleanlunged, and undestroyed-livered. You’ve decided, for one reason or another, you are going to pour thousands upon thousands of dollars into this institution. You’re going to spend the next four years here, so it’s kind of in your interest to make sure this place, you know, doesn’t suck. For us upperclassman, through clouds of smoke and in between black outs, we’ve noticed some things this year seem a bit…off. It all started when we were begrudgingly walking toward campus (yeah, we live off campus, duh) and we realized the Walsh Gate was locked. After we got over the inconvenience of having to walk our lazy asses one block further to another entrance, we immediately knew what this was all about: $$$$. Then, a few days later, we heard rumblings that the library wasn’t going to have a 24-hour section anymore. But! According to The Ram Fordham had a “record year of fundraising!” Mo money, mo problems? Sad, confused, and lonely, we at the paper popped in our headphones and listened to “All About the Benjamins,” which hit just a little too close to home. Fordham needs to save money. We get it. It’s a recession. (Or so we’ve heard… The Natty is still flowing pretty freely around here). But we at the paper think this is terrible way of cutting costs. For starters, this is a University. Why the hell is the library the first place we’re cutting costs? We’re paying these people MILLIONS of dollars; we deserve some place to study after hours (and God knows we don’t have a legitimate student center). But beyond that— which is pretty self-explanatory—the people who will feel the reverberations of these cuts in a far more dire way are Fordham’s security workers. The hours that the library and Walsh gate are closed for are hours that have been cut for these workers. We at the paper hardly think it is the sometimes already struggling security workers who should have to pay the price for Fordham’s monetary woes. (Good thing we put a good chunk of change toward painting McGinley silver, though, right?) That’s where you come in,
freshmen. Maybe you didn’t catch on to some of this stuff right away. Maybe you just assumed that our gates had limited hours and the library always closed early. Honestly, dear freshmen, we know the proposition of having a paper due the next morning is frightening when the library’s closed, you have three people watching Sex & the City in your room, and there are two attic creatures touching each other in your floor’s common room. You literally have nowhere to go. Just remember: you’re paying these people thousands of dollars. The thing is, this kind of thing is disappointing and maddening, but we can’t say it’s altogether surprising. You see, like any bureaucracy, Fordham does stupid things all the time. In fact, as any frequent paper reader will know, we are quite convinced there is a Bad Decision Robot* in the basement of Keating that administration consults when making any and all decisions. The BDR is who we have to thank for our puritanical dormitory sign-in policies, our lack of contraception in the health center, the lack of a free speech space on campus, and yes, the limitations on the Walsh Gate’s hours and the closing of the 24-hour section of the library. BDR aside, it is our responsibility as students to bitch, moan, complain, whine, write letters, hold protests, and yes, write articles until we see the change we want to see. We at the paper don’t care how you do it, just do something, freshmen. It’s boring to be apathetic, spending four years stoned on a futon playing Grand Theft Auto, or four years fleeing our campus to spend time in other boroughs. You have four years to do something wonderful, to change this campus for the better. In the end, we all pay a disgusting amount of money to attend school here. So if it really is all about the Benjamins (and it’s certainly looking that way) then we hold the ultimate clout. Let’s start with the library (for what YOU can do, see page 3), move forth from there and turn the Bad Decision Robot into a Good Decision Robot. Freshmen, this is our rallying cry: come write for us. *As referenced in The Ram (9/9/09). (Thanks for not giving us credit, guys!)
September 23, 2009
Placating Primal Impulses: My Summer in the Corporate World by Findy Loltz STAFF SUED OH NYM Summer jobs were especially difficult to secure this year, so when I was offered a wholly nepotistic position in a Philadelphia company, shame was not an issue. Shame was a great temptation during my interview, as the boss, sporting a gleaming cue-ball head and a gold chain peaking out the top of his unbuttoned shirt, handed me a fat cigar sporting the company logo, explaining, “Give this to your father.” With this gentle recommendation, I plunged into the corporate world. The majority of my time at the company was spent on a folding chair at a card table in a windowless, linoleum-floored rectangle the temperature of a meat locker. One of the amenities of my workspace included motion-sensor fluorescent lights. As I sat hour upon hour, copying and pasting into thousands of spreadsheet cells and sending massive quantities of emails, the typing of my shivering fingers too deft, too subtle to qualify as motion, darkness would cut through the still, freezing air. I would rise from my chair in an attempt to enlighten the rectangle again, but I was never greeted with success. I found myself having to wave my limbs about and jump in the air to get the sensor’s attention, my Step Up-worthy maneuvers
fleetingly shattering the monotony of my workday and rendering the sensor, well, served. One of the perks of my summer employment was gaining mastery of a dumbfounding array of obscure office machinery, no doubt an invaluable and portable skill set. There were machines that can fold, machines that can stuff, machines that can seal. Machines that dissemble binders for you and then fill them up again. Machines that print and affix postage. Machines that make labels, machines that write on plastic. Governing such contraptions brought me a small measure of self-confidence, until the day I accidentally sealed 160 envelopes that were not supposed to be sealed. After staring, with ample tragedy, at the walls of my cubicle-of-the-time for three minutes or so, I got to work slicing the 160 envelopes open with the slicing machine before I restuffed them correctly. There is no machine for re-sealing envelopes sliced by the slicing machine, so I Scotch taped each one the old fashioned way. Out of all the days this summer, that was the day I came closest to
crying. Some of my work was more primal, i.e. destruction. Despite such undesirable byproducts as a foul and toxic-smelling smoke and a noise like lemurs in a wood-chipper, disc shredSheer Heaven
ding produces a most beautiful, glittering plastic confetti. Second only in charm were the soft clouds of shining black ribbon I ripped from the bowels of used VHS tapes. Most thrilling, though, was the day I was given a hammer, a pair of pliers, and a box of mini DV tapes, with instructions to annihilate. The broken nails and bloody scratches were a small price to pay for the satisfaction of a shoebox full of unidentifiable plastic shards that once was incriminating evidence. My mind unoccupied with anything substantial, the personal style of my coworkers was naturally of interest me, especially on causal Fridays. A
British hair-metal devotee I like to refer to as Craig accented his usual frosted tips with a puka shell choker, peace-sign earrings, and an olive t-shirt which frankly stated, “Beer.” His short sleeves teasingly revealed the beginnings of a stunning tattoo of a human heart pierced through with the neck of an electric guitar. The sales department offset Craig’s grit with their well-tanned skin and bright blonde hair, an inverse of the natural order of things commonly found in certain parts of New Jersey. Each workday I found sincere joy in taking my lunch break in Rittenhouse Square – the beautiful weather, the frequent street music. In addition, I, sociologically, enjoyed observing the various subgenres of humanity wandering the mealtime park, segregated like a high school cafeteria. Most interesting to me was the clique of the bicycle couriers, who convened at the entrance of the park, their bikes in tow, waiting for their walkies to crackle instructions for a job. Their uniform was that of rebellion and danger: helmet-less and sock-less, clad in fraying denim cutoffs and wee cycling caps, each orifice pierced and each inch of skin canvas for ink. They
were members of an elite underground network, which included mailroom workers. To observe a courier on the job, speeding 60 miles per hour through a red light, headphones blasting, eyes closed, sun-bleached hair floating in the wind, is to get a taste of the honor of death on the job. Providing a stark contrast, lunching within the park were all manner of business-dudes, sporting reflective sunglasses and even more reflective heads, courtesy, again of Bic razor. To and fro the office at lunch hour lurked the most annoying hazard of the day: the canvasser. Undeterred by invented or genuine expressions of grief and/or rage, cell phones, grave conversations, polarized sunglasses, conspicuous headphones, or sheer avoidance, these brighteyed, eager go-getters heeded no more to shame than did I. I wondered if they knew how much everyone hated them and their requests for money and support for a “cause.” My summer foray into the zany dystopia of temp work in the corporate world confirmed my hopeful suspicions that The Office really is that accurate. I was deeply thankful for the recession-time opportunity to get money, but I hope never to return to that piteous, albeit occasionally entertaining, purgatory.
4 Train, Not the Bore Train by Sean Kelly STAFF PUBLIC TRANSIT ENTHUSIAST Personally, whenever returning from any other of New York’s four (real) boroughs late at night, I always travel back to campus on foot rather than call security to retrieve me. I have no objection to giving security a call (I’m sure that it would sometimes be a smart decision), nor do I consider walking back to campus at four am to be a pleasant venture. It just so happens that I tend to walk, regardless of the time of day (or night). It’s as simple as that. That, however, all changed a few weeks ago, when I lost my proverbial “security virginity” after a particularly late night outside of the Boogie-down Bronx. A series of bizarre events and a few encounters with some peculiar (frightening) individuals while underground induced a state of first-week freshmanlike fear in me and prompted me to call security in utter desperation and terror with one of the unsavory characters in question sitting right next to me. I suppose I should start from the most logical place; that is, the beginning. I attended a show at the Market Hotel in Bushwick, at which I lost nearly a tenth of my body weight in per-
spiration. After the show let out at approximately 2:30 am, I had a circuitous, convoluted, and, frankly, LONG subway ride to look forward to (M to MyrtleWyckoff, L to Union Square, and 4 to Fordham Road). The M train, being a little used line, was rather quiet in my short trip to Myrtle-Wyckoff to transfer to the L. However, once I arrived at the station to wait for the next Manhattan-bound train, things quickly degenerated. As I sat on the platform, apparently alone, I began to notice in my periphery a zigzagging middle-aged man who, as he came closer, emitted a strong odor that can be described only as a combination of vodka, menthol cigarettes, and sadness. Though there was a full bench available, he chose to plop his inebriated self directly next to me and, after a momentary silence, extend his hand to me and say in a thick EasternEuropean accent, “my brother!” I gave him a curt smile, shook his hand as politely as I could, and promptly affixed my gaze back to the screen of my iPod. This, however, failed to thwart him, and he began to talk at me with great vigor, entirely in Polish. I used the tiny, tiny smidgen of Polish that I know to inform him that I do not, in fact, speak Polish, but he seemed
undeterred. the trash can to teenage girls This continues for nigh on looking distraught after (I’m ten minutes on the platform un- conjecturing here) visiting a bar til the L train arrived, and my for the first time after getting a new friend talked in broken fake ID and watching all their English about everything from friends leave with Armani-Exhis stint in the Polish army, to change class Swedes twice their how he believed that the ran- age. Upon the arrival of the 4, I dom stranger who sat down sat myself next to a large sweaty behind us had schtupped his gentleman due to the dearth of beloved wife some years prior. seats and was filled with dread After an uncomfortable ride on the L with him, during which he fervently attempted to persuade me to get off at Bedford Avenue with him for a drink, things quieted down, and I thought of the uneventful and relaxing ride on the 4 that would undoubtedly ensue once I got to Union Square. Well, dear reader, That’s him! I could not have been more wrong about that. when a stench similar to that of I exited the L at Union my new Polish friend wafted Square, and walked over to the into my olfactory sensors. The 4 platform to wait for the final man, who I would later find out leg of my so far tedious journey called himself Junior, turned to back to the Bronx. At first, I me and, bleary eyed and three was astounded at just how many sheets to the wind, asked me if people were waiting for the I spoke Spanish. Foolishly, I resame train at 3:30 in the morn- sponded “yes,” and he began the ing—everyone from scruffy conversation by complimenting looking men picking through my skin, saying that it was “very
white and clean looking” while his was “dark and dirty, like a rock.” He continued by telling me that I was his type and that he “liked me.” When I asked in what way he liked me, his glass drunk eyes drifted across my face as he forcefully said “tu sabes” (“you know”). He proceeded to request (no, implore) that I take him home with me, and, although we were conversing in a common tongue, my repeated request for him to go away seemed to get lost in translation. Afraid of a possible stalker, I gave Fordham security a call as soon as the 4 train went above ground (though he would later get off at 176th street…not before grabbing my phone and putting his number in my contacts, though). At around 4:30, a lovely white safety bastion of an SUV was waiting for me at the subway stop. I entered, and when the friendly security officer driving the vehicle asked me how I was doing, I replied with a momentary silence, followed by the most earnest “I’m not sure” that I have ever spoken.
september 23, 2009
Fordham is our school. The Bronx may not be our campus by Kaitlin Campbell STAFF PUBLIC RELATIONS EXPERT A couple of weeks ago, I was standing outside of a roof party on Hoffman under a shower of broken bottles, watching a drunk kid pee on steps of the building that two girls were stumbling down from, one puking, the other falling to the ground shriek-laughing. Across the street a family sat on their stoop, watching. I overheard bits and pieces of their disgust and realized how little I think of the people who live around here and how little I know of what they think of Fordham. I started by asking local residents “How do you feel about Fordham students in your community?” and found layers of fellow residents’ opinions that perhaps fuel the “us and them” phenomenon that indefinitely exists in the Belmont community. Amidst the complicated array of opinions and beliefs, everyone I talked to immediately mentioned noise and drunkenness. “[The students] are not a problem themselves, it’s the way they carry themselves. They get too drunk, harass innocent bystanders, and make too much noise,” says Pablo Sanchez, who gets up at 4:30 every morning to get to his maintenance job in Midtown. Evelyn Hernandez, a resident at the same building, added, “They should have a curfew. Noise is the biggest problem.” She’s lived here for 38 years, and her 14-year-old daughter Cassandra agreed. “They crazy. They mad loud.” A woman (who wished to remain anonymous) told of girls waking up her grandson by “talking about orgasms” too loudly, and one of the DJs at Howl told of banging on his ceiling countless times and, of course, the unending stream of piss underneath his staircase. It’s easy to be oblivious of our own noise though. Matt, an undergrad who lives off campus, thinks we “don’t bring that much noise. We bring good things to the community. We also give muggers a lot of prey.” He adds, “People are getting shot around here. I don’t think we bring that much of a disturbance.” What ticks everyone the most about the noise? Fordham security’s send-the-kids-homesafe policy and the understood favoritism the NYPD shows toward Fordham students. “They get more drinks than anybody around here, and we’re the ones being questioned,” exclaims Pablo. A couple of weeks ago, NYPD answered a noise disturbance call and approached Pablo and his old friend German, a 78 year old retiree who’s lived
here his whole life, asking them what was in their cups. “They’re asking us what’s in our cups, hold up! The party is around the corner!” he continues, “The complaint wasn’t even about us – there are college kids drinking on the sidewalks and they still come to see our cups!” A mother of three who lives on East Fordham Rd and wishing to remain anonymous told of her son who, while walking a cop, stopped to give a ticket for parking as a group of Fordham students walked by with open bottles on the street. “This is why I know there is favoritism,” she concluded. “And, there are so many more cops here during school than in the summer.” Of course we understand why this is – it’s one of the main assurances we’re given on our campus tours and at freshman
Zs, while talking to Suits, we called over an officer who was chattin’ with students outside the bar. His take on whose getting cracked down on harder: “Locals. Its close, but its locals. No, I’d say it’s 50/50.” When I asked him if Fordham students are often arrested for things like drinking in public, he stared at me, said “I don’t know,” told me not to print anything, took my notebook, and watched me cross out everything I wrote down from what he said before he left. So, if we are favored, why? One of the security guards at Martyrs’ (who wishes to remain anonymous), explained, “The police stations around here work with Fordham. So they’ll say, ‘Those are Fordham kids’ and just tell them to go home and get safely to their dorms if they’re
orientation. “When I see a cop it makes me feel safe, instead of being scared. I’m more likely to get scared of the guy around the corner,” says undergrad Matt. And that’s how it’s supposed to be, right? The view that NYPD more easily overlooks Fordham kids peeing on buildings, breaking bottles, disturbing the peace, fighting, or stealing from bodegas was shared by almost everyone I talked to. Among those opposed is Suits, the most wellknown personality at MUGZ’s, who has lived here since 1998 and has served many drinks. “I feel like I see kids in trouble as much as locals,” he assures, “My friend got caught pissing and he got a ticket.” The DJ at Howl who I interviewed on the street outside his apartment agreed that yes, “the neighborhood is well guarded by the police for the Fordham students.” Yes, but do they favor the students? Since these are relatively matters of opinion and not fact, I wanted the opinion, maybe, of an NYPD cop. Outside MUG-
drinking on the street.” Security, as we’ve been told, is made up of a lot of retired NYPD cops, making the involvement between Fordham and the local police force natural. Local resident Pablo Sanchez feels that security’s policy is “Don’t tell them to stop anything, and that’s because it’s Mommy and Daddy paying their salaries.” Those who I’ve talked to generally agreed that the reasons behind these policies of both NYPD and Security have a lot to do with privilege. “Fordham is its own little world,” explains Martyrs security guard, “Even if they’re breaking the law, little happens. I feel like a lot of these kids act like they have a God-given right to be here. We get a lot of ‘my dad pays for it,’ but that doesn’t really matter. They don’t see it as a privilege to come here. They see it as ‘I can afford to go to Fordham.’” Privilege carries over into other areas too. When a security guard of age had his friends come to visit and they all want-
ed to go to Mugz’s, they could not get in without a Fordham ID. “We know there are kids in there who are 18 and drinking, and we couldn’t get in. It’s a public place. I think that’s segregation,” he says. Suits says this is because of “safety issues. We start letting locals in…ya know. We need to protect the students from people who don’t know how to behave in a bar. It’s like mixing oil and water.” And of course, MUGZ’s might lose business. “Since Fordham’s 95% of our income,” Suits explains, “we don’t wanna lose business, get students scared of people who look like gangsters, or [who] will freak the students out.” Mugz’s does let locals in though, during the day, after football games or an early dinner. But the policy now is, “If college kids are here, I don’t let locals in.” M a r tyrs security guard thinks it’s segregation; Suits thinks it’s security. Two Albanians on the street (who wish to remain anonymous) think it’s a good thing – “Those are student bars, their main concern should be don’t mix with strangers.” No, wait, five minutes later, “Their main concern should be to not give alcohol to minors.” “As long as people are white, they’re probably educated, you mix Latinos in there, and it will be trouble,” he explains to me. The DJ at Howl adds, “These students are going to be future lawyers, so that’s the reason why they can go into a bar, and have fun.” In addition to bars, local residents commented that students are often times served first at bodegas, especially University Grocery. “They move me to the side and tell me I’m not in a rush because I live here,” comments an East Fordham Road resident. The prejudiced policies of bars and bodegas are not our “fault,” no—but we can understand why this might irritate a lot of local residents. Adding to this is the perception that Fordham students are exclusive. Our Martyrs’ security guard is a lifelong resident of the neighborhood. Before he started working here, years later, he didn’t know one person from
Fordham, nor had he ever been on campus. “I love all the Fordham kids,” he says. “But they’ll be friendly to me on campus, and then I see them on the street and they act like they don’t know me.” Ashley, a 19-year old local resident explains, “If I say hi, they start whispering to each other and walk away.” A lot of this article seems to scream that locals hate Fordham students, but, as Martyrs’ security guard clarified, “It’s not that people don’t like Fordham students. My friends always ask me if we can hang out with the Fordham kids, and I have to tell them that it doesn’t work that way.” Everyone I spoke with agreed that Fordham students in the community are a good thing for the economy, diversity of the neighborhood and that they are not “against” Fordham students, or closed to interacting with us. “We are looking out for you! It’s our neighborhood. We go about our daily business, we’re discreet, but we know who you are. You don’t know who we are, but we look out for you,” Pablo repeatedly swore to me. And then had to add, “Just keep it down some! And don’t dirty your surroundings. You don’t eat what you shit!” I was grateful and overwhelmed by this perception that I gathered from the local community, even as inconclusive as it is. Students I talked to at the caf shared their opinions on the community, and while some students recognized the “us and them,” attitude, many of the students thought that “knowing how to live in this community” means knowing not to walk in the dark alone and “being comfortable” means knowing how to look where you’re going. When I asked for suggestions for “better relations,” one student suggested “donating food from the caf.” We have the privilege of moving in for nine months, leaving, and almost doing anything we want in between. The local residents don’t have that privilege. All Fordham students are not white, ignorant, anointed, drunk assholes – though that’s how many are perceived, I’ve found. At the same time, not all locals are going to mug us, though that’s how many are perceived. Age-old aphorism: everything is not black and white. That’s why this article is inconclusive, and if we recognize the mess of opinions shared by the community and recognize them as a complicated, diverse group of individuals, just as our student body is, maybe we can actively combat the negative relations that tinge this cultural dichotomy.
by Chris Gramuglia STAFF GOLFER’S ASSISTANT So here we are again, bracing our perpetually recovering livers for another year of antics and debauchery at Fordham. I’ll be honest with you all, after a somewhat disappointing summer I am positively elated to be back at school. I’ve been spending countless disappointing summer nights in the most boring suburb on earth with no form of excitement to stimulate me other than the occasional three hour video game session, (Infamous was fantastic by the way, I highly recommend it) and I have been simply yearning for one of those black-thefuck-out-and-laugh-about-it, classic Fordham nights. I plan on making this junior year one to remember, utilizing my living space in Arthur House as a makeshift gentleman’s club/ speakeasy. All are welcome, and there might even be some rock and roll if things get really crazy. I know, it’s the devil’s music, but even he likes to party. That being said, there was one part of my four long months off from school that I have to admit I will miss. For the last eight summers I’ve tried to make a dollar working as a caddie, or, as I like to call it, “golfer’s assistant,” at Leewood Country Club in Eastchester,
september 23, 2009
Life in the Sandtrap New York, and this, sadly, was eight years alongside the wisemy last summer. Leewood isn’t guys of Leewood was to carry the typical country club where their golf bags, search for golf the woman are all bleached balls in the woods, and follow blonde testaments to the latest them around obediently while advancements in plastic surgery I developed a distinct farmer’s and the men are all wealthy in- tan under the scorching summer vestors who simultaneously inherited their father’s fortunes making them, for lack of a better word, loadedas-fuck. Nah, the members at Leewood are more what I’d call wise-guys, a bunch of neighborhood boys from the streets of the Bronx who grew up eating spaghetti and meatballs and drinking wine out of those big glass jugs you can only get if you order them directly from Italy. For those of you who haven’t seen the movies Goodfellas or A Bronx Tale and have no idea what “We’re really gonna I mean by “wise-guy,” try miss you, Joey” and picture a middle-aged Italian guy with a pinky ring, no taller than five-eight, sun. I always made sure to introwho gratuitously uses the phrase duce myself as Chris before the “fugghedaboudit,” and asks if round started, but by the fourth you “capiche” when he tells hole, no matter which member you to be careful with his new I was caddying for, my name red, white, and green golf bag. I somehow always became Joey, might add that when these guys and on occasion, Frank. I rarely played golf, it was more about corrected the wise guys either, getting away from their wives simply nodding my head and so they could bullshit, smoke ci- assuming my default persona gars, drink, and talk “business” of “Joey da’ caddie.” When one than it was about actually shoot- of them would take five shots to ing a good score. make it out of a sand trap, I’d Anyway, my role for the last just listen to them curse in a
whirlwind of Italian mixed with English and try not to laugh as I raked away their footprints. If I saw someone cheating on the course, well, I kept my mouth shut and looked the other way. Why? ‘Cause fuck it, the other guy was probably cheating just as badly. My concept of time would disappear on the golf course, too. Some days would be over in three hours when the wise guys played; sometimes they’d be over in six. On those long, grueling six hour days, when the sun would fry my brain and my legs just didn’t want to take me up that steep hill on the thirteenth hole, autopilot took over. I would unknowingly enter a state of hysteria and mutter lines to myself from Happy Gilmore, much like one of our “eccentric” friends on Fordham Road who just can’t seem to remember where he parked his spaceship. “The price is wrong, bitch!” I would sneer at a tree that, in my fragile mental state, bore a striking resemblance to Bob Barker. Only would I snap out of it after being pelted in the back with a stray golf ball. I guess this all sounds sort of bleak to the everyday person who works in a grocery store or at a day camp, and for the past seven years, I’ll admit I felt the same way. Why would someone subject themself to the daily tor-
tures of carrying around someone else’s heavy shit in the hot sun for an indefinite amount of time at the possibility of losing their sanity? I know, it’s ridiculous, but the fact that I’ll be in some stuffy office somewhere next summer, making copies and sitting behind a desk, makes me wish that I could hang out with the wise guys for one more season. They taught me things you just can’t learn in an office or behind a computer. The majority of them were “self-made,” and every dollar they had, they earned one way or another; no one ever handed anything to them. It is sufficient to say that if I lost a ball or was being particularly lazy that day, they didn’t hesitate to tell me to wake the fuck up. Like them, I learned how to bust my ass when it was important and I’m thankful for that. The world we live in today is full of second chances and people telling you, “It‘s not your fault” when -- guess what? -- it probably is! The guys I caddied for aren’t a part of that ideology. To them if you messed up, it was on you and nobody else. I guess what I’m trying to say is that, despite the long days, grass stains, and hallucinations, in the end I’m glad I got something else out of the last eight summers besides an average tip, ruined shoes, and a sticky, sweaty polo.
To Lounge or Not to Lounge? Not Even a Question by Chris Nihil STAFF LETHARGY Introduction by Joseph V.m Debs It would be helpful, first of all, to offer a brief history of Lounging. The only practice from the outset of human consciousness and the present day that resembles what Mr. Christopher Nihil calls “Lounging” seems to be the early Chinese concept of “Do-Nothing.” Otherwise, what we have here is novelty abound. From a historical perspective there appears, sadly, to have been no progression in human history of a fuller understanding, or, better yet, a more practical application of Lounging since the dawn of man. Ape-Man, even the most well-endowed and cleverest Cro-Magnon, scarcely had time for Lounging—in fact, one can conjecture that the situation of Lounging in Man’s earliest days was just as futile as its utterly stifled state in the modern day. Us post-modern, capitalist, democratic, free and enlightened spawn, however, have no valid excuse. No doubt the ever-apparent void presented to modern man in the wake of Existentialism and the Absurd has provided the opportune moment for Loung-
ing. Mr. Sprindis, I feel, has given the most earnest and accurate account of this possibility. … I set out a year ago to try to live an extreme lifestyle. My tripartite existence was to consist of extreme homework, followed by extreme boozing, with a healthy dose of extreme lounging to settle things out. I quickly learned that extreme homework would only consist of occasionally doing some reading and little else, and that in the realm of boozing, the only acceptable way would be a complete demolishment of the brain a few times a week. The true surprise came in the form of lounging. I didn’t see it coming, but before I knew it, I realized that what I used to call lounging was merely relaxing, and that true lounging was something that took over. My roommate would walk on in me in the middle of floor, staring at the wall, lounging behind closed doors. Outside, while others did homework, I was lying on the ground displaying myself to the world, completely content. I was on to something, on to the true beauty
of lounging. To lounge is simply to be. Not to be happy, to be still, to be meditative, or to be calm; no, for those imply an absence from the world, a tuning-out of sorts. Lounging is a radical plunge inward, the self penetrating itself
deed, quite beneficial. Lounging offers the self a chance to go so far into itself that it seems to reappear in a new way into a new world, yet this world is simply some unexplored territory of the self. The self sees through itself so perfectly, so fundaYup, that’s pretty much it. mentally that the self’s Being slows so peacefully, not unlike the heartbeat of a hibernating animal, that the self is offered a to the most basic, fundamental glimpse beyond Being, a taste level of existence, one in com- of Nothingness. Only in loungplete accord the with world in ing can that impossible bridge which it dwells. The lounging be crossed between Being and self simply is. Nothingness and offer a return The stillness of Being inher- trip, an unlimited dispatch of ent in lounging is a wake-up sparks between two otherwise call, the lofty gust of welcome too distant wires. The lounging wind that blows away the heavy self in this world is able to see, fetid stench of everydayness finally and essentially, because and turns the self towards itself. of the consciousness awarded Lounging turns the self into by lounging, that as a self it is a mirror built only for itself, a an object in the world, indepentwo-way fluid portal in which dent of consciousness except the self can see itself as a self in lounging, for lounging is the without fear. Self-recognition in one instance that can cause the lounging is harmless, and, in- self to reflect back on itself by
way of this consciousness. Lounging is largely unintentional. I say largely because it is certainly possible to intentionally set out to relax, and have the activity of relaxing slip into a mode of lounging. Lounging itself is not an activity, it is a mode of Being that takes the appearance of and hides inside an activity. To simply throw one’s shirt off, lay prostrate in the grass and stare aimlessly is not necessary to lounge, although one who is lounging may very well take this appearance. Ultimately, lounging is that great flash of feeling, the calmly tepid existential wash of Being that transforms the relaxed self into the lounging self, an internal transformation and return to the most primordial of existences, a contentment with the reassuring hum of Being inherent in doing nothing. To lounge or not to lounge is simply not a question that can be asked, for lounging happens to someone without a choice. If everydayness were compared to sleep, lounging would be the sweat stained forceful start at the end of a long, dread-inducing nightmare, the opening of eyes to a world that had been there all along, at the forefront of every experience, yet completely invisible and unknown.
september 23, 2009
Cedar Downer by Maxine Cobblepot STAFF CAROUSEL GESTAPO This past summer, I lived and worked at a particularly famous amusement park in Ohio. It turned out to be the best, craziest summer I’ve ever had. If you saw Adventureland, it was a little like that, minus the 1980s and pot (we got drug tested): nonstop drama and a job in which we dealt with ridiculousness on a daily basis. Before this summer, I didn’t know that AFR was an acronym for “accidental fecal release” or that it was possible to get your elbow stuck in a turnstile. Oh, the joys of being a glorified carnie… I wish I could say I worked on one of the park’s 17 roller coasters. Instead, management decided to put me on the crew for that generic antique car ride present in most amusement parks—you know, the ones that riders aren’t supposed to bump, but everyone does it anyway. As a Cadillac Cars ride host, I mostly made kids cry all day by not letting them drive because they weren’t tall enough (some parents did not like this and communicated their feelings to me in a way that sometimes made me cry, too). My duties also included smelling like gasoline, being hit on by Detroit natives, and (when the mood struck) kicking people off for break-
ing the rules. However, working Cads did have its advantages. When things were slow, the crew could talk to one another, play Count the Mullets, or fuck around on the ride’s PA system. Since we didn’t have to stick to positions like those working the coasters, we didn’t have to work alone…except when it was our turn to run Cedar Downs. Essentially a carousel on crack, the thing rotated at a speed of 15 miles an hour. That’s twice as fast as the speed of your average carousel (in case you ever wanted to know). Anyways, Cedar Downs was also different in that it boasted the added excitement of simulating a horse race. I honestly think it could have been a fun ride to work, like, in the 1950s when people could basically do whatever the fuck they felt like on thrill rides, but a few kids must have fallen off and died back in the day, because we had a set of rules that seemed utterly absurd for a carousel. Our height requirement was the same as that of the sixth tallest roller coaster in the world and guests couldn’t carry absolutely anything onto the ride with them. Unfortunately, our jobs being at stake, we had to enforce these rules. Doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Well, imagine this: You’ve just arrived at Ce-
you point them towards a regular carousel that their screaming three-year-old will be allowed to ride. Having finished letting everyone in, you turn around and watch as guests mount their horses, only to realize that every single woman you just told to leave her bag in the bin has completely ignored you. You sure as hell aren’t gonna take that shit, so you grab the mic and let the world know that you cannot and will not start the ride
under the impression that civil disobedience works in amusement parks. She sits up straight in her seat holding her big fat contraband purse in her lap. At this point, you’re ready to let it go. You almost do…then you imagine the purse falling off, its contents spilling under the ride, and the ordeal that would follow. Wearily, you walk over to the bag lady and ask her to please leave her bag in the bin or exit the ride. Any combina-
by Mickie Meinhardt STAFF MOOCHMASTER There are few things as uplifting and pure as a farmer’s market; who doesn’t love some locally grown organic tomatoes or fine cheeses peddled by a straw-hatted Amish man? But where, may you ask, am I to find such a luscious slice of rural America in this most metropolitan city? Answer: Union Square. Yes! It’s true! The frequent recreational spot of both the homeless and NYU students alike is the site of one of the most fantastic outdoor markets ever sown in city concrete. My perennial and passionate love affair with the Greenmarket blossomed one still brutally cold day last spring. Wandering aimlessly up Broadway, I found that my favorite park was blanketed in white. Discovering white tents and not snow, I whirled around the circuit of food vendors in a grocery-induced stupor, punch-drunk from the plethora of fruits, vegetables, cheeses, meats, and baked goods. LOCAL! ORGANIC! $2 A POUND! I was higher from this abundance of produce than if I’d smoked an ounce of kind bud. With barely any money in my wallet, I purchased only a simple chocolate chip cookie. It would prove to be the single greatest confection ever to melt across my taste buds, my hyperdeveloped sweet tooth’s nirva-
na, and since that day I searched Artists, too, frequent the square long and hard for the resur- on almost every day of the week, gence of this mystical market – but on market days more profes“Where, oh where,” I lamented sional ones come to spread their to myself when caf cookies wares alongside the usual smallfailed to satisfy, “can that beau- er peddlers; among the goods teous place have gone?” for sale you’ll find photographs, Luckily, I’m a frequent visi- 3-for-$1 vintage comics, handtor to Union Square, and some- made accessories, and painttime before the end of spring ings. Since then, I have ventured semester my greengrocery lover down every Wednesday and and I were reunited. I immedi- Saturday possible, subsequently ately sought out the said orgas- gaining intimate knowledge of mic cookie and, while bliss- the market’s vendors and layfully consuming it, explored the out. It’s perfect for getting out market and gathered How do ya like them apples? information on this most heavenly of vending locations. I discovered that Union Square was the flagship location of the New York City Greenmarket; begun there in 1976 with a few local farmers, the market grew in size of the Bronx without spending to a city-spanning organization, a lot of money – should you so rotating days through various choose, you can wander around locations around the five bor- sampling produce for free and oughs. The Union Square Mar- not buy a single item (although ket operates year-round, weath- you’ll find it difficult). Underer permitting, every Wednesday standably, not everyone has the and Saturday from 8am to 6pm. same freakish love of this (or
any) farmers market that I do. Thus, I’ve compiled a thoroughly tasted list of the cream of the Greenmarket vendor crop for all market virgins. Breezy Hill Orchard My favorite stand is more dedicated to apples than Johnny Appleseed. They always have samples, and the workers are happy to tell you which variety is the best that week (last week’s fave: Honey Crisp). Their bottled cider is phenomenal, and the orchard is also the purveyor of The Greatest Chocolate Cookie Known to Man, which you are legitimately insane to pass up. Martin’s Handmade Pretzels Exactly what it sounds like, but better. A big bag of generously salted hard pretzels is about $5, which, though pricier, completely kicks Utz’s ass (they also give free samples of the broken ones). Our Daily Bread Fresh loaves of bread – do I need to say anything more? Free samples of granola too! Chateau Renaissance We are in college – ‘free
dar Downs to rotate your fellow crew member off the ride. After spieling away the ride’s policies over the PA, you let guests onto the ride, stopping too-short kids from going through and telling women with purses leave their bags in the bin. A few parents can’t comprehend the importance of safety requirements for “a fucking merry-go-round,” so
until every last rider is in compliance with the policy. You wait and watch as the culprits look around to see if you’ve noticed that they’ve got their purses with them, and they reluctantly obey as you stare them down. Breathing a sigh of relief, you begin checking the ride thinking you can finally start it until you notice this woman who must be
This is how I ride your mommy.
tion of these three things then occurs: A) Bag lady cusses you out, B) Bag lady points out that this is her purse, it has money in it, and anyone could steal it from the bin, or C) Bag lady tells her husband/kid to ride without her, shoots you a look of sheer contempt, and marches off the ride. The ordeal of simply loading Cedar Downs once, let alone running the ride and repeating the process all over again for an entire hour made working the ride a personal hell for everyone on our crew. Though, if anything, it did bring us closer to one another. Discussing bitchy, unusual, or unusually nice guests happened to be one of our favorite pastimes. I’ll always remember this one particular guest because he managed to put me in a unique state of horror, bewilderment, and amusement all at once. It was a typical day at Cedar Downs. A family of four sat on their horses waiting for the ride to start. I walked past their row to check the ride. Smiling and chuckling at his two nine-yearold daughters, I heard the father exclaim, “I ride your mommy all the time. She’s like a horse!” Well, isn’t that just terrific?
Love in Produce
alcohol’ is what our ears are tuned for. These guys are the real deal though – my request to sample the Merlot turned into a 20 minute conversation on over half their products (no, of course they don’t ID - they sell fine wines to appreciate over dinner, not Franzia to chug in your dorm). Try the Champagne Rogue - a delicious red champagne that’s a bubbly mix of their Pinot Noir and Cabernet. For peaches and tomatoes It’s tough to pin down a favorite vendor for these two most abundant of the market’s wares; the product varies too much from week to week. It’s safest to buy from places with samples (if you like them, that is). I’ve discovered those who let you try it usually have better produce than the stingier sellers. Best: the golden cherry tomatoes. There are far more vendors than I could possibly name, selling cheeses, fresh baked goods, poultry, beef, fish, and every imaginable fruit and vegetable. The Greenmarket is best in summer, but the fall is equally enjoyable, especially as the season’s change yields the tail end of the summer crop mixed with the new fall produce (coming soon: pumpkins and gourds!). So tell Sodexo to suck it, hop the D, and befriend your local city farmer – maybe you’ll find a deep welling of affection for a portable grocery store too.
september 23, 2009
Anna Karenina Wears Prada
by Joe McCarthy ARTS CO-EDITOR A young Russian woman stayed at my apartment last week for six days. Just before I hailed her a cab back to JFK outside Tiffany’s (she was dying to have breakfast), just after she asked me if I knew how many calories comprises a fingernail, she asked me if I’d write about the experience. “You will call it, ‘If you meet Russian on Greyhound prepare to die?’” I gingerly shook my head, no. She had sucked me dry, words, emotion, blood. “Then you will call it, ‘If you meet Russian on Greyhound it will be like live underneath volcano.’” To this I politely agreed. Goddamn Hesse. Damn him to hell. That’s how it started was, Hesse at the NY Penn Station Bus Terminal, slumped against my baggage by the 10 a.m. line for a two-and-a-half-day journey to Albuquerque, NM. At the outset of summer there was no work to be found in my hometown, my turtle was still manic depressive, and I had nothing of late to talk about with my mother, save for the fact that there wasn’t anything intrinsically meaningful about choosing either eggs or cereal for breakfast. Thus, two nights prior I had contacted an acre nursery in the middle of New Mexican desert asking for shelter in exchange for work. Unimaginably, my request was happily received. It is a fact that if you’re traveling by way of Greyhound Bus you’re either young, stupid, and vaguely adventurous like myself or the completely dejected and disreputable American dreamer. In the latter category you find the man traveling west to snatch life insurance money from his father’s death before his sister can, in order to start up a comedy club (this man was no joke); the retired elementary school music teacher who detests music but doesn’t have the courage to commit suicide and has settled everywhere but her dream town (Oklahoma City, since the
Salvation Army there has free food and nice beds) because her dream town is the alley of tornado alley (“Ah! Nothing else works, maybe getting killed by a tornado will finally put me out of my misery after all…but it’s so scary!”); the poor red-headed family man from Kentucky; the fired Louisville railroad man taking care of “this girl I’m with and her daughter”; and the alcoholic Welsh Hell’s Angel who needs to start at 9 a.m. just to finish his daily 19 pints (“fuckin’ wankers tell me I can’t drink in the terminal…Bah!”). In the category of college student Greyhound wayfarer there is nothing fantastic, nothing beautiful, only bare idleness lost in excited ig- Goddamn you, norance. Herman Hesse Unfortunately that is not to say you won’t find an occasional young Russian lunatic with positively Jovian baggage. Such was my first encounter of Kate—kiss me, Kate, kill me, Kate, cut me up and kiln my kidneys, Kate. Of course she studies linguistics in St. Petersburg, and of course she loves Herman Hesse, and of course I’m the only American young man she’s seen holding a copy of Siddhartha during her two days in the states, so of course she gawks and follows and sits next to me on a bus destined both for my desert and her work/travel home-stay in Missouri. The beginning was as innocent as taste-testing a nine-volt battery. She said: New York is the greatest city in the world.
I said: 8 million people within 300 square miles who don’t give a shit about you. Kate and I made great conversation. People thought we were siblings or engaged or at least famous old friends. We made everyone jealous when they found out we had just met. So for two days we together found ways to survive. It was only after a night’s
layover in Pittsburg that she began mulching to her bare naked scales. I remember standing in the rain in the most broken Pennsylvanian city park, two days deprived of sleep, clutching to any wisp of a reason I had for being there, she sitting next to a fountain seemingly constructed of garbage, waxing cheesy-romantic on irresolvable quasi-philosophical questions about happiness, about Love, about…marriage? Months later at my apartment in Bronx, NY she would ask me the same questions. The categorical difference was that I still had a soul in June. A young Russian woman stayed at my apartment last week for six days. All she want-
There he goes: the Bad Decision Robot. Is he on his way to OSL&CD to make club procedures more convoluted? Has he just locked up the Library for the night? We suppose not, since it’s obviously daylight .(Which means, of course, that he certainly did not enter campus through the Walsh gate) Where will he go next? No one can say. But it’s up to you, Fordham, to keep an eye on him. If you see something, say something. A Public Service Announcement brought to you by your friends at the paper.
ed was a nice marriage with a nice American boy. All she wanted was to live in the Sex and the City house in Manhattan and eat bracelets for breakfast. By and by she lost her baggage and cried me to wakeful misery for 40 hours and 40 nights, begging to know what insoluble bonds are more everlasting than the bond of two broke students riding a bus. I helped her find a ride from the bus station, filled out a form for her lost baggage, and peaced the fuck out. I get a call in August: “It’s still OK I stay with you a week before I go home?” I had told her to call me if she had a layover in New York or needed to stay a night— in a word, if she was in a bind. Great, I say, perfect. She came, she saw she misunderstood. The Bronx did a double take. Twice. I don’t know what I did to deserve this. First of all I was sick as a dog the day I had to pick her up from La Guardia airport, snorting Halls through my butt. There she was, made up like a life-size Barbie doll upon which a seven-year-old girl has practiced makeup application. Ignoring me, she stomps toward the baggage claim (everyone else has their luggage, everyone but me! OH! OH! there it is!) and promptly drops her body bag at my feet. I cough. I wheeze. I take her hot pink handbag, leave her luggage to wallow with her in disappointment and walk toward the exit. Be wary of “surprises” from
Russian girls. The first was a trophy she had bought for me advertising, “HOLLYWOOD BEST HUSBAND.” It sits on my desk, bewildered. The second was attempted sex. And the third. While on the subject of third, when she’d finally given up hope in procuring marital harmony in America, she would only demand “Where is 3rd Avenue?” Why? She wanted to walk to Manhattan. At 1 in the morning. She didn’t speak to my friends or to myself, only made strange, unintelligible facial gestures. She refused to eat, and when she saw some one she deemed skinnier than herself she unabashedly inquired, “How do you get so skinny? Do you not eat? I don’t eat.” She didn’t. On the morning of the last day she feels with her hand for my heart and nothing moves. Nothing stirs in my cold, dead shell. That very morning I get a ten-digit phone call. “Hello,” a sonorous, welcoming voice booms through an empty auditorium—God granting me pardon and peace? But it is her Russian mafia father. “I thank you for your hospitality…you’ve treated my daughter well…you should know I travel to New York often…the next step I feel is us meeting…face to face… I expect…I hope...you’ll treat her departure with just as much care…” That was it. In a trance I obeyed her strange requests, watched Paris with her, listened to shitty Russian pop music, played her demonic games, and brought her safely to Tiffany’s, where she proposed four options for her departure: Shooting me, dragging me along with the cab, walking to the airport, thereby missing her flight, and… She went with the fourth. There is no moral to this story. I await the dowry and subsequent death threats.
arts by Kate Murphy EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Pray the Devil Back to Hell begins by dropping the viewer into a chaotic world of gunfire and panic. Swarms of women and children urgently scramble, when a voiceover comes in to tell us about this “hell on earth”: civil war in Liberia. Liberia, a country on the west coast of Africa, was created as a colony for newly freed American slaves in the 1820s. Some twenty years after they settled there, the Republic of Liberia was founded. The division between indigenous people and the upper class former slaves would continue for generations, eventually erupting into civil war in the late 1980s. The violence continued with varying levels of intensity, leaving over 200,000 Liberians dead and one in three displaced. There was no end in sight, until, as the film states, “Ordinary women did the unimaginable.” Living in constant fear and amidst extreme poverty, the women of Liberia watched drug-addicted child soldiers kill their sons, rape their daughters,
By Sean Kelly STAFF OCARINA FRUIT As all of us tech-savvy college students know, YouTube can be a great source for entertainment, music, procrastination, or just a good chuckle. However, visiting this site drunk brings a whole new layer to the surface. While sober YouTube finds tend to be laughworthy, creepy, entrancing, or any combination thereof, a drunken crawl through the annals of video clips reveals treasures oft hidden, but almost always mind-blowing. This is especially true regarding a lovely YouTube session I engaged in over the summer, alone in my summer session housing assignment in Hughes Hall after what would be most aptly described as getting in a fight with a bottle of Scotch (I’d like to say that I won, but I suppose that depends on your definition of victory…). I decided to do the internet equivalent of a Rorschach ink blot test and search the first word that popped into my mind; which, in this case, happened to be “broccoli”. I didn’t expect to find much, but the second that I hit “search” my world was
and burn down their homes. The “devil” of the title is the man who was behind much of this bloodshed: Charles Taylor. He rose to power first as a warlord during civil war in early 90s and intimidated his way into winning a presidential election in the 1997. In 1999, a rebel group called Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), comprised of what the film calls “warlords denied a role in Taylor’s government,” began a move to overthrow him. Violence had somewhat subsided after Taylor’s election, but now civil war was back in full force. This is where the film picks up, telling the story of the women of Liberia who were both victims of the horrific civil war and active participants in its cessation. The story unfolds through archival footage and after-the-fact interviews with women who organized for peace as the Women’s Peace Building Network.
At the helm of the burgeoning peace movement was Leymah Gbowee, who explains that the idea to organize and demand a stop to the war came to her in a dream. She dreamt that she should unite the women of her church to pray for peace, and she did just that. Set in a small church, the archival foot-
September 23, 2009
age shows her original call to Christian women to unite for change. Soon enough Muslim women joined in the effort, as one woman wisely asks, “Can a bullet pick and choose? Does the bullet know Christian from Muslim?” Leymah Gbowee recounts meeting women who had
lost everything but decided to demand peace in hopes of having a brighter future, or any future, for their children. “I think that was where,” she explains, “I got baptized into the women’s movement.” From here an amazing and unbelievable story unfolds, detailing how the women of Liberia, through sit-ins and peaceful protests, pressured Charles Taylor and the rebel agitators to meet for peace talks. After weeks, when the peace talks predictably stalled, the women blockaded all exits so the men couldn’t leave until they had reached an agreement. “The peace hall has been seized by General Leymah and her troops,” an astonished journalist proclaimed at the sight of the women locked armin-arm. Ms. Gbowee and her “troops” issued their demands for forthcoming peace talks and warned that they could do
it again. Perhaps most unbelievable part of the story is that the women succeed: civil war ends, Charles Taylor goes into exile (he is now on trial for war crimes, including murder and sexual slavery), a transitional government enters Liberia with UN peacekeeping troops, and Liberians go on to elect Africa’s first-ever woman president, Ellen Sirleaf. The results of the women’s peace movement are aweinspiring, but it is the heroic process that brought this fragile peace that is the most spectacular. Pray the Devil Back to Hell is a modest account of the incredible power of nonviolence, cooperation, and empowered women. This summer I had the opportunity to meet the film’s director, Gini Reticker, and producer, Abigail Disney, through one of my internships, at the Women’s Media Center. When accepting an award, Reitcker explained how important it was that the role played by these women was not forgotten. “It was women,” she stressed, “who changed the country.”
forever changed. consisted of basically the same I stumbled upon a video few notes repeated over and screenshot of a Japanese again, which I assume was Wayman aheadover of his time... holding a large piece of broccoli, due to the limited pitch range of, accompanied by the title “Broccoli Ocarina”. Naturally, I clicked on it, and was treated to a rendition of the Christmas Classic “Angels We Have Heard on High” performed on a harpsichord and A PIECE OF FUCKING BROCCOLI. Though the video was in Japanese and lacked English subtitles, the musician (who’s name still remains unknown to me) held up the delectable fresh veggie to reveal that it had been hollowed out, plugged at the open end with a slice of carrot, and carefully poked through to form several holes. As the well… broccoli. title appropriately described, it Driven to a positively feline was, indeed, a broccoli ocarina. curiosity by this wonderful The song sounded surprisingly tidbit of the bizarre and absurd, good, though the ocarina line I clicked on the link to the
user name that had posted the video and essentially found the El Dorado of edible instrumentation. The man in the video, a 46 year-old chap from Setouchi, Japan (username “ h e i t a 3 ” ) apparently has made quite a name for himself in the diverse cultural landscape of the Inter-webs and has crafted a number of other instruments from fruits, vegetables, and even eggs. Digging a bit deeper revealed such beauties as a carrot pan-flute, radish slidewhistle, “tuttifrutti” apple ocarina, and an ostrich-egg ocarina in addition to that magical piece of broccoli that had won my heart a mere 10 minutes earlier. None of the aforementioned instruments quite measure up to the broccoli ocarina, which, in my expert opinion,
is the magnum opus of my new musical hero. However, the creativity, ingenuity and effort required to make such unusual flutes, ocarinas, and whistles garners my respect without question and will undoubtedly delight anyone else who wishes to venture into the depths of the world (or, perhaps more accurately, the island) of musical comestibles. I had known that Japanese culture tended to be resourceful, utilizing all natural goods to their fullest extent whether it meant eating every part of an animal or making paper and ink from rice and soy, respectively. However, I never truly realized how deep this mindset ran (at least for YouTube username heita3) until I discovered the manifold ways in which veggies could be used. So, next time you’re hitting the grocery store or casually perusing the selection at the Union Square farmer’s market, think about what kind of delicious music could be made from all these delicious foods. P.S. I am offering a cash prize of $250 to whoever can construct an Irish pennywhistle from an unusually large green bean. Let the competition begin.
September 23, 2009
“I could’ve been at a barbeque” Don’t let aliens spoil your fun. the paper’s
Events List What’s good, Fordham. Glad to have you back (I was stalking you all summer). Let’s take stock of the situation at hand: Celebrities are dropping like flies, the question of universal Health Care in America has officially reached civil cold war status, and I’ve been slowly developing an ulcer on account of Walsh gate being closed whenever I’m running late for class. I guess that whole library deal is pretty dumb too…not that I’m into gay shit like books. Or Art. Well anyway, here’s the list. I leave you with one proposition, arts-fans: Rambeau or Rambo? -JM What: Museum of the City of New York Exhibits Where: 5th Ave (btw. 103 and 104) When: tues-sun 10 a.m.-5 p.m. How Much: $5 (free sun 10-12) Why: The Museum of the City of New York is the feather on Museum Mile’s cap. What it lacks in size (not nearly as massive as the Met or the MoMA) it makes up for in novelty and quality, exhibiting only a few compelling showpieces at a time. Current exhibits at the Museum of the City of New York are “Amsterdam/ New Amsterdam: the Worlds of Henry Hudson,” Manhattan/Manhattan: a Natural History of New York,” and “The Edge of New York: Waterfront Photographs.”
What: Haifa Zangana- “Dreaming of Baghdad” Where: 172 Allen Street btw Stanton and Rivington (1 block south of Houston and 1st Avenue) When: Wednesday, September 23rd, 7PM How Much: FREE Why: “Join the Feminist Press and Code Pink for an event featuring Iraqi writer Haifa Zangana discussing her memoir, “Dreaming of Baghdad,” in which she recounts her life as a political activist organizing against Saddam Hussein’s tyrannical regime. Subjected to torture, imprisonment, and eventually exile, Zangana pays tribute to friends, family and comrades lost in struggle.” Visit bluestockings.com for more information.
What: Nuyorican Poetry Slam Where: Nuyorican Poets Cafe, 236 East 3rd Street (btw Ave B & C) When: Wed, sept 23, 7:00 p.m. How Much: $7 Why: “The first 20 poets to sign up will slam & the winner of this night is eligible to perform in the Friday Night Poetry Slam.” Or just go and watch. Nuyorican Poets Cafe hosts events nightly-anything from slams and workshops to live music and visual arts exibits to theatrical productions. A cultural powerhouse only a ride on the 4 train away. What: Coffee & 30 Rock Where: Rodrigue’s (between Queens and South) When: Tues, Sept 29th, 8 p.m.-midnight How Much: FREE Why: Because Rodrigue’s is finally back. See the facebook event (“Coffee & 30 Rock”): “Do you love coffee AND 30Rock? Come to Rodrigue’s Coffee House on Tuesday, September 29th at 8:00pm for BOTH!! Watch a marathon of Seasons 1 and 2 and enter to win a copy of Season 3 on DVD!”
by Marisa Carroll STAFF GREENHORN Avoiding my First College Writing Assignment, I stumbled upon the following joke: “Why did the hipster cross the road?” (Hint: “Why?”) “Wait…you DON’T KNOW?! YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT THAT?!?!” I thought it was pretty funny. I am in no way ‘cool’ or ‘hip’ or ‘in the know,’ but I have always felt confident in my knowledge of my city. A lifelong Chicagoan, I can in one breath name where to see the best in-store performances (Permanent Records on Chicago Ave) and where to afterwards dig into the world’s best fried chicken (Harold’s on 119th and Western). Without fail, I know my way across the ROYGBIV of Chicago transit lines—well, maybe just the ROGBIV, as the Yellow Line goes to the suburb of Skokie which is definitely not Chicago. Basically, I am an unapologetic “DON’T YOU KNOW” hipster about my hometown. It has taken me little time to realize, however, that in my new locale of New York no one gives a shit. No one cares what I bought at Flosstradamus’s garage sale or that the wrong local garage-pop band is currently touring with Girls. In fact, at this point most of the paper’s readership has probably found a new article to read or fallen the fuck asleep. I guess this is all a bit of a relief. I am accepting that here, in New York, I don’t have to know anything. I can be—to allude to a memory from my embarrassing musical-theatre-saturated childhood—like South Pacific’s Nellie: A cockeyed optimist, immature and incurably green. This is the attitude I took to my first New York show last Saturday. Well, I also took one of my dearest Chicago friends, a young man by the name of Jesse who currently attends Columbia (you know, the one with all the smart people). Through the magic of the Internet, we discovered that a band we had seen and loved in the past, Grandchildren, was playing at the Market Hotel in Brooklyn. Our schedules otherwise empty—surprising, I know— the plan was a go. Grandchildren is a six-piece Philadelphia act that has been around for the past few years. On album they remind me of 2004 Animal Collective meets 2005 Grizzly Bear and live they remind me of Animal
Collective minus the light show and plus a truckload of obscure instruments. Also, last spring I drank a beer with saxophonist/ keyboardist/bassist/singer Tristan Palazzolo and he is at once a cool guy and a total dime. How could I turn down the opportunity to see them again? The venue made the promise of the evening even sweeter. On sites like Brooklyn Vegan I had read glowing reviews of Market Hotel, and I was ‘super excited’ to experience Brooklyn’s D.I.Y. scene in the flesh.
Before fun times could be had by all, there was the issue of getting from the Boogie Down Bronx to Broadway and Myrtle. Shit, I had never even been to Brooklyn after dark before. Jesse and I were able to navigate from the D to the 1 to the Q, only running into trouble when we couldn’t transfer to JMZ at Canal. We were upset for a couple minutes but our anger subsided when we realized that JMZ looked a lot like the word “Jams.” We then said the word “Jams” in funny voices for a couple minutes and felt better. Jesse and I took the M to Myrtle and stepped off the train “30 feet from the front door” according to the Market Hotel’s Myspace. This proximity did not prevent us from walking up and down Myrtle for 20 minutes, following whoever looked like they might be going to a Grandchildren show in Brooklyn. I feel confident that you can guess what indicators we might have used to make this judgment. Finally, a beautiful girl with a half-shaven head asked if we could find Market Hotel. “I’ve been here a million times,” she dreamily mumbled, “I just can’t find it tonight.” She explained that the venue was located above the market on Myrtle. I realized that we were standing directly next to the entrance. Strolling up the meagerly lit steps, I high-fived Jesse in a very cool, casual way that would not be embarrassing to admit to anyone. We handed over our IDs to the guy at the door and had very cool, casual red Xs drawn on our under-21 hands.
Smiling stupidly, my friend and I strolled into the Market Hotel’s main room. A dark space with the tight walls and looming ceilings, it reminded me of the Chicago lofts in which I have spent my past hundred weekends, down to the elevated trains rambling past the open windows. A band consisting of “some guys who just felt like playing together” jammed onstage. I began chain smoking as Jesse chain texted our best bros from back home. We continued smiling stupidly. To our surprise, we spent time between bands not chatting about college shit but instead chatting about music and New York with friendly Brooklyn residents. “Those red Xs on your hands,” a smallish bearded man wondered aloud, “Do you both work here?” That was neat in a “if you only knew” type of way, and he gave me the low down on a bunch of free and cheap shows in the upcoming weeks. Finally, Grandchildren came on. They were better than either of us had remembered. They closed with our favorite of their songs— the trance-y number “Saturn Returns”—and Jesse and I possibly exchanged another discreet high-five. We were nerding out way too hard to say anything to Tristan after the show, but we found out that Grandchildren is playing at the Knitting Factory on September 23, so maybe we’ll make tee shirts or get tattoos or some shit to wear to that. Next, we hopped around a little while a spazzy duo wearing HEALTH tees played one-minute songs about presidents. Then we left Market Hotel and got really expensively drunk with Pratt students, which was a really stupid ending to an otherwise magnificent Saturday night. I hate to speak in hyperbole, but I think checking out Market Hotel on Saturday was the best possible way I could have been introduced to Brooklyn. The comfort of seeing a dear friend and a familiar band was reinforced by the surprising support of the friendly folks I met along the way. I can also name-drop this show I saw at Market Hotel in casual conversation, and that bit of cultural currency seems to go pretty far with strangers. I can’t wait until I am a jaded asshole about Brooklyn and spend my time talking shit about the bands that shouldn’t be successful and the venues I wouldn’t dare visit. Until then, I guess I’ll just enjoy being green.
Photos at the Oil Refinery:
September 23, 2009
Mr. State Trooper, Please Don’t Stop Me by Rosalind Foltz CHIEF COPY-EDITOR One hot and irritable rush hour in June, my father, my brother, and I were returning home from a few days down the Jersey shore, a destination which these days evokes in me a complex emotional cocktail of affection, nostalgia, and horror. The congestion on I-76 thoroughly irritated my dad, who opted to escape onto the serpentine back roads through southwest Philly. As we crossed a four-lane b r i d g e over the Schuykill River, I looked out the passenger window to a gorgeous sight: an expansive tangle of glowing lights, steel pipes, and smokestacks from some sort of industrial plant. When I noticed the pedestrian walkway, I decided to return with my camera. A few weeks later, a friend returned home from a semester abroad, and we planned to meet up for an afternoon. Despite my general reticence to bore companions with adventures in photography, I thought Aimee would enjoy this odd mission. She agreed to join in. After poorly navigating a route to the bridge that took way longer than the 20 minutes it should have, we parked at a diner maybe a quarter of a mile away from the foot of the bridge, popped in for a quick lunch, and embarked on foot to our destination. This route, however, was not meant to be trod on foot. We zigzagged across the multilane interstate to find appropriate walking space, and, after failing to find the pedestrian walkway among the dirt paths winding around the base of the overpass, we eventually ended up darting into the traffic lanes of the bridge and jumping over a clump of foliage to bypass the actual entrance to the walkway, obstructed by overgrown bushes. Regardless, we made the exceptionally blustery and loud trek to the middle of the bridge single file. There, I started snapping pictures, and we moseyed back down the bridge. That is, until we were interrupted by flashes of blue and red light originating from the patrol car
we hadn’t heard pull up next to us over the roar of the traffic. Naturally, a police officer emerged. Somewhat surprised and disturbed, I summoned the words: “I’m sorry. Are we not supposed to be here?” There had been no “No Trespassing” sign or otherwise prohibitive measures, just an obviously untended and neglected walkway. Wordlessly, he took my camera from my weakened grip and grimly ordered, “Get in the car.” In the back of the car, Aimee began to laugh hysterically.
I did not protest, hoping for this interaction to pass as quickly as possible. After he recorded my information, I followed the officer over to the security vehicles, where I showed the supervisor my pictures, answered his questions about myself and my intentions, and deleted my memory card for him. Once the enforcers had determined that we were not, indeed, terrorists, the investigation began to wind down. The security supervisor returned from questioning Aimee by the patrol car to comment, in a confused tone, “All that beautiful steel, huh?” Following suit, the officer’s last gruff inquiry was, “I need you to explain to me why you felt the need to take pictures of the refinery. I mean, I’d understand if it was the skyline…” I felt totally un“...on fire...dancing in the prepared to explain dark...and I haven’t even my attraction to the gotten to the tresspassrefinery, an attracing...” tion certainly born at least in part by I, neurotic, tried to silence her my privilege: my upbringing in laughter, lest it be interpreted a comfortable suburb and my as a sign of insubordination to eventual distaste at the wasteour surly detainer. After the of- ful attempts to make everything ficer refused to answer any of look perfect, clean, new, coorour questions, I made pathetic dinated; perhaps even my exattempts at casual conversation, posure to the aesthetic of urban trying to rid myself of any no- decay and abandonment. “I … I tions I might have been harbor- … I just like the way it looks? I ing of the situation being prob- passed it in the car for the first lematic. time the other day … and … and I was expecting the officer … it’s just a hobby,” I stuttered. to bring us to a station, an unap“You can go,” the police pealing thought, until I heard a officer mumbled, motioning dispatcher’s voice crackle from towards the wildly unsafe inhis two-way radio, “You can tersection at which we were meet them on the foot of the stopped. Platt,” the name of the bridge in On our treacherous walk question. back to the diner parking lot, At the foot of the bridge, I was plagued by paranoid vion a very public island of land sions of my grime-smeared in the intersection of two busy self slumped against the wall roads, two large, white Sunoco of a Sunoco Refinery detention Refinery Security vans omi- center, held there indefinitely, nously awaited us, along with a periodically interrogated under harsh lights by brutish officers shining moment of realization. I should have known our with snarling dogs, my imprismission was going to conflict onment briefly and passionately with the law. Maybe somewhere protested by human rights activin my mind I did know, with na- ists but my existence eventually tional security measures being erased from the outside world. Looking back on it, I realize what they are. I’ve heard enough horror stories of photographers what an appropriate “Welcome or snap-shooters being fined Home to America” for my comor jailed, their cameras con- panion this experience was. I do fiscated, for shooting bridges, understand the caution but am train stations, and similar large disturbed by the fear and parapieces of infrastructure. But, if noia that prompts it. Evidently there is now a I had confronted this thought, I honestly don’t know if I would need to approach a camera more cautiously. I can only hope, have heeded it. When we were let out of the somewhat weakly, that such fubackseat, the officer demanded ture adventures will not land me ID, grabbed my backpack, and once again in the hands of the began roughly rifling through it. law.
Welcome Back, Errybody! Freshmen, welcome to college. You’re parents aren’t around, and you’re probably ludicrously misbehaving and introducing yourself to people based on their beer pong achievements. Upperclass, you’re probably dreading the encroaching real world. But whether you’re a wide eyed freshie who caught and sang the sun in flight and learned too late you grieved it on it’s way, or good senior, the last wave by, crying how bright your frail deeds might have danced in a green bay, you’re here. And while you’re here, at college, in New York City, getting all or some of your food, booze, and housing paid for, maybe get off your ass and go to a show. They’re a short subway ride away, and I keep my list cheap, so why not? -S.W. Who? Phoenix, Passion Pit When? Friday, September 25th @ 6:00 PM and Saturday, September 26th @ 6:00 pm Where? Central Park’s Rumsey Playfield How Much? $32 advance/ $37 day of Why? French alt-rockers Phoenix started as the backing band for Air and got serious when the lead singer broke up the band he formed with the two guys who would go on to form Daft Punk. That’s a pedigree. Their most recent album, Wolfgang Amadeus Phoenix, peaked at #37 on the Billboard chart -- not bad for a French alt-rock band, and Boston’s Passion Pit is no slouch of an opener -- “Little Secrets” was my summer jam. It’s pricey but should be worth it. Who? Yo La Tengo (performing with string quartet), The Black Lips, John Oliver (MC) When? Friday, September 25th @ 8:00 pm Where? Roseland Ballroom How Much? TBA Why? Everyone who listens to music loves Yo La Tengo, and Wikipedia wants you to know, “The Black Lips have a reputation for crazy live shows that have included vomiting, urination, nudity, band members kissing, electric mini-car races, fireworks, a chicken, and flaming guitars.” Factor in that Daily Show correspondent John Oliver is MC’ing the show, and it hits most of the notes for a can’t-miss. Who? Blink 1-motherfucking-82 When? Sunday, October 4th @ 7:00 pm Where? Madison Square Garden How Much? $12-30 Why? Blink-182 was pretty much my favorite band growing up, and I’m probably not alone. Though their last album was an abomination, a couple of their early albums were pretty epic and really resonated with me circa the age of 14. Even though epic shit-geese Fall Out Boy are opening, I still can’t resist the opportunity to go get hammered drunk and sing along to the songs that really meant something to me when I was too young to drive. I may be older and wiser now, my problems may be more complex, and I may have realized Blink-182 may not be the best band ever, but shit, I guess this is growing up.
September 23, 2009
anyway to imbibe pink champagne in tiny crystal glasses in the lavish Roaring-20s-themed store. At the center of this party were Hamish Bowles, Vogue’s European Editor at Large, and Lisa Kant, the model in Juicy’s perfume ads (with whom I pro-
by Mickie Meinhardt STAFF TRENDSPOTTER We have heard and seen (above McGinley) “New York is my Campus, Fordham is my School” enough times for it to permanently sear into our brains. As tired as this may sound, it is indisputably true. Case in point: On the eve of September 10th, Vogue magazine hosted a once-in-a-lifetime, citywide event called Fashion’s Night Out, a completely public night of celebration with models, designers, and editors sprinkled throughout retail locations across the five boroughs, (with free champagne). A percentage of the proceeds went to the National September 11th Memorial & Museum. Because the event was on my radar for months (thanks to a sickening dedication to fashion publications), come the 10th my roommate and I traipsed to Metro North, heels and spirits high for a night that promised to be extraordinarily atypical. The Midtown and Upper East Side areas hosted most locations in Manhattan, thus we centered our path for this fashion scavenger hunt on upper 5th and Madison Avenue. As we walked up 5th, our first encounter of the evening came blatantly glaring out of Sephora’s windows - live models whose only
“attire” was brightly colored, exquisite patterns of airbrushed makeup. Fashion’s Night Out was here, and it was awesome. Our first stop was Saks, decked with a red carpet entrance and teeming with hordes of people. Sadly, we missed meeting the uber-talented model Daria Werbowy by 5 minutes. Crushing, yes, but not as much as the crowds. We left for a more movable venue. Though not before a quick stroll around the women’s department, I quickly glimpsed the designer Ralph Rucci (of Chado Ralph Rucci). Next was Versace, which would prove to be one of the evening’s highlights. Notorious New York City trio the Misshapes were DJing. Those aware of the Misshapes (and their legendary, now-defunct ‘party’ that ran for 4 years downtown) understand my ecstasy for hearing them (Not aware? LOOK THEM UP). Versace also kindly quenched our thirst, serving cosmos and vodka martinis on silver platters (literally). Next door was the enormous Juicy Couture flagship. Though we were not of the velour-tracksuit variety, and we stopped in
by Kaitlin Kominsky STAFF FASHIONISTA
Fashion Week event since I was who had been my best friend little. He laughed, told me that since middle school, and my his girlfriend is a designer, and roommates, Mary and Rebekah. handed me an invite to her show Some overzealous FIT intern on Saturday. I glanced at the And...Boom goes the dynamite. card, which read “Leanne Marshall: Spring 2010”. Nathan had worked with me over three months now and never mentioned that he was dating only the most awesome contestant of Project Runway Season 5, no big deal or anything. I remember that finale like it was yesterday, sitting in the cesspool of germs that is Hughes Hall, linking pinkies with my roommates as the winner was announced, making imitations of contestant Kenley Collins’ nasally voice and fugly showed us to our seats, and headbands. Who didn’t love Greg and I had the privilege that season? Of course I would of sitting front row next to attend! Lyke, duh. Shaquille O’Neil’s wife. (She We arrived at the was wearing a Zac Posen dress Metropolitan Pavilion an from last season. I immediately hour early, thinking that was felt like a snot because I proper protocol (it wasn’t). recognized this.) Naturally, this Accompanying me was Greg, whole entry process only took
I am always in awe of how lucky I am. I’ve never gotten a parking ticket, I frequently manage to snag the last taco on Tuesdays, and I always find myself in the right place at the right time. I work at a gallery on the Lower East Side called Envoy Enterprises, which plays host to some prominent artists including creators of the provocative French photomag, Kaiserin. Last Tuesday I was working an event for Liam Alexander, a photographer who works with designers from Rag & Bone to Ruffian. Usually I’m responsible for collecting drink tickets and advertising artwork, but, as this event called for free flowing red wine and I was on pouring patrol. Apparently one cup at a time wasn’t enough for the fashion-forward crowd, which included some doublefisting NYC Prepsters, naturally making my job suddenly hectic. My coworker Nathan rushed to my assistance, and together we dished out a good 200+ Dixie cups of Two Buck Chuck before sitting down to relax. I explained to Nathan that despite having two parents who work in the industry, this was my first
Grace Coddington (a veritable fashion genius and one of my personal idols). For Fashion’s Night Out Coddington recreated this spread in the Prada store. I wound my way through numerous wolf mannequins to meet her, and she amiably gave me an autograph. On Mickie is Fashion. the way out, we spotted model Doutzen Kroes, whose 2007 Vogue cover was one of my all-time favorites (I promptly told her, she was delighted). We continued on to Tiffany’s (the evening’s best stop), where we sipped on fresh-squeezed lemonade, ate chocolate covered marshmallows, tiny cakes shaped like Tiffany boxes, and goody bags full of candy from a sugary buffet. It was ridiculously cured a picture). Other quick amazing chewing rock candy celebrity glimpses: crazy Jade made to look like the very diafrom America’s Next Top Model monds we were ogling at. There Cycle 6 and Ugly Betty’s Marc are few things that parallel a St. James. Leaving Juicy, we ran girl’s love for either jewels or across 5th Ave. to Prada, my candy – in the Mecca of all jew#1 planned destination for the elry stores, we had our cake and evening. As an avid Vogue ate it too. As it neared 9 p.m. reader I had already devoured we walked down to Nine West, the massive September Is- where Third Eye Blind was sue, which featured a “Little scheduled to play; but it proved Red Riding Hood” spread with too crowded to even get in the model Natalia Vodianova and door. The night was winding a well-suited wolf put together down for us (running in heels by Vogue’s Creative Director
about five minutes, which left us fifty-five with nothing to do. I had only seen one real fashion show in my life, and it was the Westfield High School Prom Fundraiser. Being from New Jersey, this was inherently a disastrous parade of unfortunate looking girls swimming in pools of chiffon. It was nerve-racking to be in an environment I could only dream of being in, surrounded by D-List Bravo-lebrities who I was secretly enamored with. I picked incessantly at the sequins on my dress while I occupied my time thinking about whether or not I should cross my legs or just put my knees together. Right across from me sat Kevin and Jack from Season 5 and two of their female protégés. After having their picture taken, they made their way to the promotional tables, snagged a handful of Perriers, and went to the bathroom to make a cocktail. I know this because I made Greg follow them into the bathroom. I also know that they have both had a lot of facial reconstruction since the show. What I don’t know is if I was more shocked that I was less than five feet away from people I had watched complain about lip
for nearly 4 hours with only liquor and candy in our stomachs is not exactly easy) as well as for the event. Though the stores promised to stay open until 11pm for people with enough money to actually buy something (hint- not us), most of the festivities were drawing to a close by 10. We took a stroll through Barney’s, just missed the Olsen twins but managed to procure some ham and plum bruschetta in the elevator. Walking around the women’s department we witnessed a huskyvoiced transvestite channeling Liza Minelli singing cabaret for a surprisingly large crowd and we decided to call it a night. Thoroughly but happily exhausted, we walked back to the Ram Van to count our blessings and our candy. Fashion’s Night Out was an unbelievable experience – the type of possibility that makes Fordham students unique. Though a smattering of students attended, many who heard of it allowed apathy to override and missed out on what I will forever remember as a truly unbelievable night. Though the banner above McGinley may seem irrelevant, on nights like this one it most definitely is not.
sores on nationwide television, or that they were pouring vodka in water bottles, an act I grew out of with the conclusion of Bar Mitzfah season. Strange. Finally, the lights dimmed and the music began. Leanne’s collection was impressive. It was comprised of about 24 looks, including a wedding dress, which received boisterous applause from the audience. Her silhouettes combined soft colors with hard angles and were made from completely eco-friendly materials. In true Project Runway fashion it will be sold on Bluefly, which apparently dicked her out of a lot of money following her Season 5 win, according to Nathan. Sucks. Following the show, the night was uneventful. I had a Luna Bar sample taken from me by Dwight from the Real Housewives of Atlanta, saw Jared Leto at a Chelsea Trattoria, and found a twenty dollar bill on the sidewalk outside of Howl. Once again, I’m lucky. It didn’t take twenty-four hours before Greg had Googled the show and tagged me in pictures featured on some fashion blog. If this concludes my fifteen minutes of fame I will be disappointed, but needless to say I was glad I decided to cross my legs.
September 23, 2009
by Alex Kelso STAFF 70’S SHOW There comes a time every year that warms the cockles of my heart. No, it’s not Christmas, it’s something far less disappointing. It’s the new fall line-up! It’s that one magical time of the year that hope and failure combine in a giant entertainment spectacle. The Fall Season brings back some old favorites, The Office, House, It’s Always Sunny, and new shows such as NBC’s Community and The Jay Leno Show. Here’s my breakdown of the upcoming months of mind-numbing goodness that is television. Let’s start off with my personal love, The Office. Steve Carell and the others are back to tickle our funny bones in the orgiastic genius of The Office. With the end of the last season came a lot of cliffhangers: Is Pam pregnant?; Are Andy and Dwight after the same girl again? I have been looking forward to the new season and the answers all summer. The Office has rarely disappointed
me in the past and I doubt they will this season. Speaking of NBC, I need to talk about the abomination that is the Jay Leno Show. Don’t get me wrong, I love Jay, I think he’s a funny guy, but he’s become the Brett Favre of
is everyone’s favorite maverick doctor, House M.D. I used to love House (emphasis on the “used to”). Now it’s become one in a long line of medical dramas going back to when E.R. was relevant. It used to portray House as a maverick,
devices like killing off Kutner and having entire episodes be hallucinations. The show has also become way too formulaic. I can guess exactly when they’ll get the correct diagnosis. It’s always with fifteen minutes left and something dramatic is about
Or just watch it next week on Hulu TV. He had an amazing run and made a lot a people happy, but he needs to know when to let go. I watched his show the other night. It was like they moved The Tonight Show down an hour. It’s the same show, nothing special. I say that NBC should respectfully let Leno go. Next on my chopping block
Sherlock-Holmes-esque doctor who cared about the thrill of diagnosing patients. And who happened to abuse Vicodin. Now it’s a constant sob-story about the team’s issues and personal relationships and House’s increasingly dangerous behavior. The show has also devolved into cheesy plot
to be done to the patient. This is after the team nearly killes the person at least twice. Also, it is never the big horrible disease everyone thought it was. I am begging FOX to let House M.D. die with what little creative dignity it has left. It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia is back and
hopefully better than ever. If you’ve yet to experience the distilled hilarity of It’s Always Sunny, I encourage you to watch it. Watch it now. Put down the paper and get on HULU or www.itsalwayssunnyepisodes. com. I’ll wait. Back? Good. I for one am excited to be back with everyone’s lovable group of misfits. The Paddy’s Gang is back and ready to engage in behavior that would make a nun go blind. A quick word about the trilogy of comedy that makes my Mondays special. I’m talking about CBS’s How I Met Your Mother, Two and A Half Men, and The Big Bang Theory. These three shows are great and I encourage everyone to check them out. Same goes for NCIS and NCIS: Miami. That’s about it. I’m looking forward to this season as of now. I’m happy for all the great shows coming back and wish good luck to the new ones that they survive the draconian system that is the Television industry.
Food Carts and Trucks Steer Us to Fuller Stomachs
by Tiffany Potenciano STAFF RICKSHAWROLL’D
Going to Lincoln Center has its perks. But with the sweet, there is always a sour. The Lincoln Center campus is the bane of my existence at Fordham University. I spent a good majority of my freshman year eating chicken fingers, bland pasta, and questionable meat products and now as a seasoned sophomore I have vowed against eating at the cafeteria as much as possible. But thankfully being in Manhattan, there is easy access to a large variety of cuisines. My most recent obsession has been to food served on stuff with wheels. Food carts and trucks line the city streets with halal, hot dogs, nuts and kebabs. But only for the paper, I have reviewed some of NYC’s finest and quirkiest meals on wheels. Rickshaw Dumpling Truck 57th St and 7th Ave: Wednesdays 11am-3pm Every Wednesday, the Rickshaw Dumpling Truck graces Columbus Circle, dishing out their most famous dumpling selections from the Rickshaw Dumpling Bar, located in the Flatiron district. At first glance, the selection of dumplings seems quite small. The Pork and Chive, Chicken and Thai Basil, and the veggie alternative filled with Edamame come in a six-dumpling serving, coming to a grand total of $6.
And no, I did not try the Compared to Chinatown, where one can get five dumplings for Vegetarian Edamame because $1, the $1/dumpling cost of to imagine myself as vegetarian Rickshaw’s dumplings already would be like trying to imagine seems a bit outrageous. There Eric Stoltz as Marty McFly. It is are also a variety of side dishes, practically sacrilege. cold noodles and salads, and Famous Chicken and Rice specialty drinks, but we’re here rd 53 St and 6th Ave: 7pm-4am to focus on the dumplings. Being a born and raised The Pork and Chive dumplings came with a nicely Californian, I have only acidic soy sesame dipping recently been introduced to the sauce. Unfortunately for these phenomenon that is chicken and dumplings, the We eat the dipping sauce was pig and then the most liked part together we about this dish. All burn, we burn! the dumplings are steamed, not pan fried, leaving a mushy texture that makes me prefer the Ling Ling Dumplings you can buy from Costco. The filling does not have much to be desired. Underseasoned and rice. And living in New York underwhelming, what would City, halal carts have begun to look to be my favorite dumpling outnumber hot dog stands on turned out to be my least street corners. The combination of chicken, rice, lettuce, white favorite. Thankfully, the Chicken and red sauce are made in and Thai Basil redeemed this hundreds of carts all over this dumpling cart with interesting city, but only one can bring the flavors and textures. At first, the lines like this cart can. The two notion of Thai basil made me a times I’ve been here it was the little worried because herb-wise dead middle of winter and in it tends to be a bit on the strong the early hours of the morning. side. However, the addition of Despite these less than desirable the Thai basil and lemongrass conditions, the line was 50 made the dish pop with a people deep and cars were delightfully light flavor and the parked all down the block. You spicy peanut sauce balanced it see all the walks of life there, businessmen, young students, out with a base note.
and taxi drivers hungering for this halal cart. And with the massive influx of people coming every night, these people mean business. When ordering, specify your order in the least number of words possible and always have your money in hand for maximum efficiency. Ask and you will receive. And what you receive is one of the most costefficient meals in NYC. $6 can buy you a plate the size of your face, chicken sans the meat fillers (onions, random veggies), and rice. The chicken is well seasoned and the rice is well done for a place that pushes out plates of rice like Kanye West on a douching spree. Bottles of white and red sauce are lined up along the side of the cart, along with a warning for the red sauce reading, “Caution: Hot.” Now, fellow Paper readers, heed this message: use the red sauce sparingly. To underestimate the hotness of this sauce could ruin your entire meal and possibly your gastric system. But thankfully, the white sauce can and should be used liberally because it is one of the best white sauces I’ve tasted from a halal cart. If you are ever in Midtown late at night, possibly partying
a little too hard in Koreatown, walk on by to the Famous Chicken and Rice cart on 53rd and 6th. You won’t regret it.
Dessert Truck Currently Closed :( Despite the recent closing of the Dessert Truck, it will still be considered one of the first and best food trucks in NYC. Dessert Truck, usually parked around NYU territory, dished out gourmet quality desserts out of motor vehicle. When it first appeared on the streets of New York, this concept seemed absolutely absurd. But now, one can get anything from waffles to dumplings. These guys know how to do desserts right, offering a variety of desserts like crème brulée, chocolate bread pudding, and olive oil molten chocolate cake. The high quality of the food is partially due to its co-owner being a former Le Cirque pastry chef. The desserts are doggedly consistent and reasonably priced for $5. The flavor combinations of these desserts may seem surprising to an inexperienced eater, but to a well-seasoned foodie these desserts are a great way of tasting gourmet treats without having to set foot in a four star restaurant. I just hope that the Dessert Truck will receive its permit soon or better yet, I hear that a real store may be in the works. And not if, but when it does reopen, I will be waiting in line for what they’re dishing out next.
september 23, 2009
odrigue’s Coffee house, possibly the best resource Fordham has to offer its students, is finally OPEN. YES! After two years of being closed to the student-body and what seemed to be a never-ending string of renovations, Alumni House, better known as Rodrigue’s, is once again open for you to “get down” as much as your little hearts desire. And what better way to celebrate this most splendiferous occasion than an all-out freak parade. Get on your boots, Fordham…this Saturday, September 26, Rodrigue’s will be hosting a onenight-only putrid sex sludge sounds extravaganza. Slap on your dancing shoes, Fordham, and get ready for a spectacle that will put Girl Talk to shame. Featuring the musical talents of Mr. Dirge, The Jesuses, and Hiroko Saki! THIS SHIT IS GOING TO BE INTESNNNNNNSE! This will be a beautiful day, my brothers and sisters. Let us celebrate with a resounding battle cry of fun and excellence.
Small building between Queens Court and Alumni Court South
september 23, 2009
the paper’s big list
Here is a list of things the paper would have cut instead of the goddamned library hours. by the paper STAFF OF MILLIONS SEVERAL We here at the paper consider ourselves to be pretty socially conscious individuals. So, when we heard about the recent budget-cuts, and the subsequent closing of the 24-hour library zone, we were quite upset. Where else are we supposed to feign productivity in the presence of our peers? Academic Affairs is expected to save 100,000 big ones by closing the library, a relatively small amount considering this is the goddamned library we’re talking about. So, in order to expedite the process of opening up the 24-hour study zone, the paper staff has put together a list of things we would have rather seen cut, instead of our fucking library hours. That Godforsaken Tree by the Library As an avid outdoorsman, I know that there are few things that can compare with the majestic beauty of the Earth. However, it seems that even Mother Nature can mess up a good thing. Give me a calm river, an open field, or a quiet forest any day… but DON’T give me that horrible, gag-inducing tree that grows on the path by Walsh Library. I’d be much more content with a nice water-boarding. For anyone who hasn’t yet experienced this abomination of the natural world, simply wait until mid autumn and follow your nose to the putrid tree whose scent falls somewhere between abandoned urinal and open grave. I was but a freshman when I unknowingly came upon this tree in prime season. I noticed that the cement beneath its canopy was littered with tiny shriveled fruits which, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t avoid stepping on and popping. It was then that I was overcome with the nauseating stench of vomit, prompting me to run for fresh air before I lost consciousness from the fumes. I named it The Vomit Tree, and made sure to give it at least a 100 foot berth. It was only recently that I discovered that this tree is actually a Ginkgo, and its “fruit” are the seed capsules that it sheds for reproduction. These seeds contain butyric acid, which provides the classic smell for rancid butter, feces, and, you guessed it, vomit. It turns out my foray into botanical nomenclature was more accurate than I had thought. It amazes me that Fordham would close the 24 hour wing of the library, but leave this evil
specimen standing. Just give me a chainsaw and a gas mask – problem solved. by Sean Banfield STAFF DENTROPHILIAC
many. People get skinnier, Global Warming farts away, Fordham gets cash. Do I hear $3.00 for the nice orange salad plate? Sold! 75 cents for the cereal bowl? We’ll take it! When the cash is flowing wider than the everglades we’ll have money enough to hire Ashton fucking Kutcher to guard the library in the wee hours of the morning. Last Lent I gave up utensils and I was fine. I was just
Grad Student Programs Too many grad students teach my classes. I am a senior taking a full course load of mostly upper level classes and I only have one actual professor. I understand that we are all students of life until the day we die and that teaching is an integral part of These trees smell like shit. learning, but enough is too much. I am not paying $35,000 to be taught by a 25 year old just 18 months on the other side of a Bachelor’s Degree. How much information could they possibly have to impart that I have not already learned? I have no qualms with the occasional grad student helping out with a 1000 level, but a 2800 or a 3600? Give me a break, Fordham. You now need a Master’s to teach in some high school programs. Sometimes I do not quite understand what I am paying all of this money for. fine. You get creative. You start I have had several great profes- using your bare fucking wits. sors as well as a few admittedly Hell, it’s contagious. I once ate cool grad student teachers, but soup with a widdled piece of the gap in the level of knowl- bark in the Smoky Mountains. What did Arnold do when edge, and more importantly, wisdom, I gained from each set California was recently strapped is readily apparent. One of the for cash? He had a goddamn selling points of this school has government tag sale. It’s not traditionally been the relation- that difficult. Cut the mullet, ship the student has with his Fordham. Sell the dinnerware. or her professor. Well, if being by Joe McCarthy fairly likely to find my teacher ARTS CO-EDITOR chatting up an underclassman from Iona at Tribar is Fordham’s Joey McShane’s K’NEX idea of a strong student-teacher Collection Every morning, after noted relationship, then bravo. theologian Fr. Joey McShane by Lenny Raney wakes up and eats his waffles EARWAX EDITOR shaped like the Shroud of Turin, and after he eats his oatmeal-raiCutlery and dinnerware We’ve already done away sin cookies that his Guatemalan with the trays so why not cut- servant Rafael serves him, and lery? Why not dinnerware? after he eats his second serving I’m talking about wheeling and of cookies, this time snickerdealing on eBay. First of all, it’s doodle and served by his Mexigreen as shit. We’d save swim- can servant Maria, he goes into ming pools of water, not to men- his playroom and plays with his tion tons of wasted food. Do huge K’NEX collection while you know how many D cokes watching Yu-Gi-Oh! He sits there, K’NEX in you can carry while clutchhand, and commences to build. ing your omelet with the bare hands? Zero to one. Do you He builds and builds, until what know how many caf burgers used to be a large mass of disyou can fit in your mouth with assembled K’NEX becomes a Nature’s Valley cereal cupped in bank for his K’NEX men to rob, your hands? Depends on how or a mall for his K’NEX women wide your mouth is, but still, not to look at clothing they can’t af-
ford. “Tee-Hee!” Says Joey McShane. “Tee-Hee! Tee-Hee!” Each morning, after he has tired of his K’NEX, he calls in his French-Canadian servant Marcel and asks him what he thinks. “I think it is nice.” Says Marcel, every day. “Take a closer look!” Says Joey McShane, gleefully. Marcel bends over to closely examine the disheveled woman standing outside of a K’NEX Gap, and Joey McShane lands a boot on his French-Canadian rump. “Sacrebleu!” screams Marcel as he goes crashing down upon the K’NEX mall. “Tee-Hee!” says Joey McShane. Afterwards, the K’NEX are disposed of, and a new lot is bought in time for Joey McShane’s playtime the next morning. Surely Fordham University can find some better use for the money being used to buy these K’NEX! Perhaps K’NEX will be purchased every other day instead of every day, which would save Fordham $2,000,000 a month. Economic disturbance touches everyone. No one can escape its touch. by Alexander Gibbons FEATURES EDITOR Grass Mowing and Animal Control While many prospective students are attracted to Fordham’s picturesque campus, there’s no denying that it takes an incredible amount of time and manpower to keep our lawns verdant, our flora lush. With Fordham tightening its belt, there’s no better way to cut expenses than to completely cease mowing the lawns, trimming the hedges and looking out for animals. The effects of this will be twofold—firstly the lawns will grow into tall fields, the trees run wild and the hedges become large and unruly, allowing us to imagine ourselves in a wonderful natural environment, a pre-city New York, like traveling back in time. Secondly, with the Bronx Zoo losing state funding, they will be forced to either relocate animals or simply turn them out onto the street, either way many will end up on our campus. Imagine traveling from
class to class through waist high grass, passing on your way all manner of beaver, bear and musk ox. Freshmen, notorious for traveling in packs, will now have a reason to do so, the loose lion (which students will nickname “Broadway”) will be notorious for picking off skinny little punk freshies while they walk home at night. But aside from that, Fordham’s brochurefriendly lawns will be replaced with a Jumanji/Jurassic Parkesque splendor that will cost nothing to maintain. Viva deevolution. by Sam Wadhams ARTS CO-EDITOR Money Furniture We could always cut the Eco-friendly Money Shredmaster-Incinerator Deluxe Maroon Edition (Go Rams!) from the budget, which, although it has been a great step forward in Fordham’s promise to “go green” (it runs on diesel and produces only “level orange” industrial refuse) and operates at a very low cost, its whole ontological existence, it has just been noticed (by the inquisitive custodian who was first assigned to shovel piles of cash and coins into its gaping, slavering, flame jet- and spinning blade- festooned maw at the commencement of the Excelsior campaign (Ever Upward!)) is wholly counterproductive to the university’s fiscal wellbeing. While some might view this as a cowardly step in the wrong direction (Georgetown’s and Notre Dame’s Money Destroyers have been churning and chugging and destroying fine, mint bills and effulgently shimmering coinage consistently over the past few years), others contest that, fuck, it might not be such a good idea to burn that shit afterall. Revered members of Fordham University’s meta-Administration suggest an alternative: that the money usually burned in the incinerator be instead used to fashion elaborate, Hogwart’s style furniture for the Queen’s Court Lounge. Under this plan, Fordham wouldn’t exactly save any money, but they’d get a bunch of sweet, sweet-tasty chairs instead. Imagine, you’re a freshman visiting the musty first floor lounge of Queen’s Court to get some studying done, and you’re met with a plethora of green-backed chairs. Money-chairs, moneychairs, as far as the eye can see! A fine example Fordham would set. Fine indeed. by Keeran Murphy STAFF SEOULPATCHRICKSTEWART
september 23, 2009 The sheer energy brought out in these songs may be offputting to some fans of the band, especially those that still see Deja Entendu as their best work. However, if you’re looking for Brand New to do what they do best, (that is, tear down whatever genre labels were placed on their previous releases and put out an absolutely kick ass collection of songs) then this record couldn’t be more up your alley. As difficult to digest as their previous works have proven to be, this one might take a few spins before you get the feel for it, but trust me, the experience is worth the effort.
Welcome to the new and improved (debatably) Earwax. While the paper’s editorships usually run a full calendar year, last semester’s ‘Wax editor, the incomparable Aaron Charles Peer, is à travers le monde studying abroad—no doubt soaking up some beautiful French sun, absorbing some beautiful French culture, and, knowing ACP, chatting up some beautiful French womenfolk. As a result, you are left with me, your humble servant, Lenny, and if you will give me the honor, we can navigate the aural landscape hand in hand, experiencing the blissful world of popular music together. We will laugh, we will cry, we will mosh, we will boogaloo, and we will stand awkwardly in the corner wishing we had enough nerve to ask the pretty girl who sits behind us in English if she would like to dance. But most importantly of all, we will put on our musicology hats and speak our minds about our favorite (and least favorite) bands. In the fall we will bring back the Ill-legal Downloads section, keeping you updated on the best new music from all around. In addition, we will be introducing some new online-only content, available exclusively on our fatherless stepchild of a website, the internet, found at http://fupaper.wordpress.com/ earwax. Check it out for music news, extra reviews, interviews, concert info, and articles on the Fordham music scene. In this issue, Radiohead’s second most popular tribute band, Muse; British garage rockers The Horrors; and Hoboken’s finest, Yo La Tengo, get the treatment. Also, as our main attraction, the title of King(s) of New York will be contested, with Long Island’s favorite sons Brand New going up against flat brim enthusiast and Brooklynborn rap legend/pensioner JayZ. Who will win? Keep reading to find out, but one thing is for sure, this competition is going to be a Daisy cutter, with both sides having already proven they have the The Blueprint for success.
JAY-Z The Blueprint 3 by Brigh Gibbons Jay-Z’s The Blueprint 3 is the kind of album I’ve been waiting for since The Black Album came out in ’03. It’s an effort to bring about a change both in the music industry and in the direction hiphop is headed. Now, I’ll never knock anything Jay-Z puts outit’s above me and will always be fantastic. It’s not one of the Vol’s, but because of where Jay-Z is right now, (in the game) it shouldn’t be. He is still the same Jay-Z that deserves the title of “best rapper alive,” and thanks to work from producers like Kanye West, Timbaland, No I.D. (just to name a few) all the beats are tight, which is not at all surprising. “What We Talkin’ About” is a bold introduction that sets the stage for a sick album. It’s his reincarnation. With lyrics like “I’m talkin’ bout music/I ain’t talkin’ bout rap/You talkin’ bout who’s hot/I ain’t talkin’ bout that,” Jay-Z is showing the entire rap community just who knows what’s what. He’s asking people to be real, a motif carried on throughout the record. “D.O.A. (Death of Autotune),” the album’s first single has real guitars, real drum sets, and even real clarinets! It’s a raw track and probably the only song on the album on which Jay-Z gets a little intense. But he doesn’t try to be who he was fifteen years ago; he is sitting on his throne, dropping knowledge on the music industry. The best song on the record is “Empire State of Mind,” a self-glorifying chronicle of JayZ’s life in New York City. If there’s one thing Jay-Z’s good at, it is reminding everyone that he’s the best rapper alive, and he’s original about it (probably why The Black Album was so successful in the charts). Alicia Keys’ voice during the chorus
is superb, compensating for the semi-cliché lyrics. The album remains pretty relaxed overall, which some reviewers have called “a loss in his edge.” But they’re not examining who Jay-Z is: He’s HOV! The guy calls himself “god” of the music industry. He’s the best rapper in the game. That being said, he doesn’t have to keep up the figure of Reasonable Doubt if he isn’t living that life anymore. He says it himself in “Empire State of Mind”: “I’mma up at Brooklyn/now I’m down in Tribeca/right next to DeNiro/but I’ll be hood forever.” His life in New York City is what made him who he is, but he isn’t going to pretend to still be living in the past. After all, he’s a business, man! Jay-Z can’t put out a bad record, and The Blueprint 3 is no exception. While some might call it tame or a loss of HOV’s swagger, I call it maturity in a rap game that’s gone to shit.
BRAND NEW Daisy by JT Sweeney Daisy, what a precious, fragile flower. Imagine a field of daisies, swaying peacefully in a brisk breeze, maybe a sweet little deer taking a peaceful sip of water from a small brook. Now imagine the water has turned to gasoline and the field has been consumed by a blazing inferno and Bambi’s mom is trapped! Oh yeah, and Thumper’s in there, too. The new Brand New album is that inferno. Daisy is the fourth studio effort of Long Island’s own alt-
rockers, Brand New. Known for their constantly changing style and sound, Brand New does not disappoint on this record. The overall sound of their newest experiment, as far as influences are concerned, could be described as the resultant offspring of an artificial insemination of their last album, The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me, laced with Fugazi, Modest Mouse, and Nirvana DNA. To continue with my earlier, seemingly superfluous metaphor, the album’s opening track, “Vices,” is the lightning strike that sparks the wildfire. It starts off with a serene, old-timey clip that lulls you in to a false sense of serenity and then blasts your eardrums out with the band’s loudest and fiercest song to date. The aggression contained in this album is by far its most noticeable attribute. Along with the opening track, “Gasoline,” “Sink,” “Bought a Bride,” “In a Jar,” and “Noro” bring an intensity in both instrumentation and vocals not seen from the band since… ever. Let me just say, the album’s a bit terrifying. The fear this album evokes is only intensified by the only “interlude” on the album, “Be Gone.” The track is a twangy, uncomfortable minute and a half, dominated by chilling and distorted voice-box vocals delivering an indiscernible message. Unless you count dread mixed with panic as a message. The remaining tracks: “Bed,” “At the Bottom,” “You Stole,” and the title track “Daisy,” have a slower, eerier feel to them reminiscent of most of the tracks on TDAGARIM, with a little more grunge. Lyrics such as, “at the bottom you’ll find all my friends/they don’t swim cause they’re all dead” on “At the Bottom,” and “I’m a mouth that doesn’t smile” from the title track, and the reality-refuting lyrics to “In a Jar” highlight the eerie desperation felt throughout the entire album.
THE HORRORS Primary Colors by Will Yates When the Horrors came onto the British post punk/ garage rock scene two years ago, their debut album Strange House sounded like an angry rejection of British popular music standards. The album’s subtitle, “Psychotic Sounds for Freaks and Weirdos,” was chosen by two fans and though it might have been an ironic overstatement, it accurately sums up the sound, image, and message of the band. The members have given themselves dubious stage names like Coffin Joe and Spider Webb and look something like the 1965 Rolling Stones line-up might look after an allnight coke binge (plus eyeliner). Now, with Primary Colours, that image may be in question. Primary Colours comes along musically like a dense mystery, grinding and slouching around. They seamlessly morphed their novelty “dirty garage rock” band into a contemplative newwave one. On almost every track, what sounds to be an approaching crescendo of leatherclad freak outs along the lines of the Strange House’s lurching single “Sheena is a Parasite,” is really a backing wall of plinking synth and rumbling guitar, making for an indistinguishable haze of new-wave noise. Not to say, however, that the group seems to have let any energy dissipate, but rather it sounds more like they have focused it. The slow-building, grinding guitar riffs offer an anthemic quality to tracks like “Who Can Say,” undoubtedly the album’s best song. While Tomethy Furse plinks out Killers-esque synth melodies, lead singer Faris Badwan murmurs about jealousy
septemeber 23, 2009 and betrayal. It would be hard to describe Badwan’s voice without a mention of Ric Ocasek or The Cure—a deep, bored British moan that pleads and laments while occasionally building to emotional heights. While the album seems to lose some momentum halfway through, by settling on rhythm guitar and electronic sounds drowning in feedback, it all sounds surprisingly consistent throughout. It certainly picks up at the finale in the title track and seven-minute single, “Sea Within a Sea,” which features plinking meanderings and haunting echoes that could have been ripped from a Krautrock album. Dropped in near the end is “I Only Think of You,” a trippy, slow ballad with dramatically charged poetry: “As the flames wash around me/I only think of you/I only want to save you/but I don’t know what I can do.” All in all, Primary Colours is an album from a band that first gnashed its teeth at the world and then sat back to think about the consequences. They may have lost a good portion of loyal fans looking for an escapist goth-punk sound, (and it may be too early to predict their movements) but their new direction may just make them become one of the most talented, if not most original, acts from this generation’s pool of outcast freaks.
MUSE The Resistance by Eamon Stewart Building their reputation and fan base throughout Europe for most of the 2000’s, Muse spent most of their time as nothing more than a whisper on our side of the Atlantic. Although some forward-thinking publications began touting them as the next big thing in rock music, the reception they received both commercially and critically about 2006’s Black Holes and Revelations was still utterly staggering. Their far-flung influences (classical, electronica, and heavy metal) struck a chord with millions, and suddenly they became the new kind of rock in both America and Europe. So when the band headed back into the studio to record their followup, far more people were interested in what would be coming out now rather than before. The results, thankfully, are a little milder than what some of the rumors that were floating around during the recording process suggested. The
Resistance has not a single symphonic piece and there is not a fifteen minute guitar solo (what Matt Bellamy was threatening fans with earlier this year). But even with the absence of those things the album is not particularly great either. The first single, “Uprising,” further kicks off the album. While it does not have songwriting as impressive or singles as catchy as before, it works as a kind of pump-up anthem, with a chorus destined to be recited by multitudes of drunken sports fans in bars for years to come. It is fun on this level but does not work as anything beyond that, due to its baseness. And while this is not particularly thrilling, it still provides us with more than a lot of the rest of the album. There is a kind of mushy and frustrating familiarity that plagues the rest of the album. Muse has always borrowed heavily from their influences, but their ability to blend seemingly antithetical styles of music together is their primary success. This ability is largely absent on The Resistance, where they instead dive headfirst into specific genres. Their excessive interest in hook-laden chamber pop turns the arrangement and lyrics of “Undisclosed Desires” into a Rihanna song, and their taste for the bombastic and synthesizers makes “Guiding Light” sound like something U2 might have written if they were a hair metal band. And while they still mix and match musical styles on certain songs, the outcome just doesn’t seem right most of the time (the Eastern flourishes on “United States of Eurasia” are quite intriguing, but they are weighed down by the classical Eurocentric nature of the rest of the song). The band does regain some of their footing on the second half of the album. The rockers “Unnatural Selection” and “MK Ultra” come as breaths of fresh air because, although they retain the rest of the album’s taste for hyperbole, they work within the confines of somewhat traditional rock band. For most of the album, the band seems to have forgotten that above everything else they are a rock band and should write songs based somewhat in that short lived tradition. The album’s closing, the three-movement mini symphony, “Exogenesis,” intriguingly premise and starts out with some promise before turning into the kind of neo-classical meandering that has already been done better by Moby and Radiohead.
It is hard to imagine that The Resistance wouldn’t have disappointed in some way. It would be courageous if after producing such a massively popular album, Muse told everyone to piss off and took off in an entirely new direction. But instead of doing that, all Muse has done is pump up pre-existing elements in their music at the expense of the other, sometimes better, portions of their sound. What you get as result is something that sounds fresh and periodically exciting but too familiar and fairly uninteresting most of time. It’s nothing terrible, but far less than what you hoped for.
YO LA TENGO Popular Songs by Bobby Cardos EXECUTIVE EDITOR “There will be some happy endings/There’ll be dreams that don’t come true” starts the lead in track, “Here to Fall” on Yo La Tengo’s 12th studio album. This may be the best way to summarize the music of Hoboken’s Finest. Though the band has become basically canonical during their 25 year career, their popular success has been happenstance, following the trajectory of making music they enjoy. Thus, Popular Songs doesn’t find the trio showing off any new tricks—which, given their already full repertoire, is neither a surprise nor a disappointment. Everything one has come to expect from a Yo La Tengo album is present: their own personal treatment of a various pop genres, and longer, jammier songs to fill out a compact disc to its capacity. The album begins with the ominous, synth-laden “Here to Fall,” reminiscent of an aggressive And then nothing turned itself inside out. The album revisits the somber tones from the 2000 album several times, as in “By Two’s,” “I’m On My Way,” and “More Stars Than There Are in Heaven. Even some of the bouncier tunes, such as “All Your Secrets” and “Avalon or Someone Very Similar” use Ira’s unassuming vocals to saddening effect. The album is playful as well, best demonstrated by “Periodically Double or Triple,” a Mo-Town motivated song in which Ira manages to reference both Marcel Proust and Judge Judy. “If It’s True” uses those similar influences, with string supplement, to sing about a couple struggling to find answers both existential and domestic, acknowledging the
seriousness (“The coast is never clear/The answer’s always beyond out ear”) while still keeping in good humor (“Let’s make jam when life gives us a peach”), Ira and Georgia swapping lines and verses to keep the mood light. “Nothing to Hide” bucks the M.O. in it’s straight and overdriven style a la I Can Hear the Heart’s “Sugarcube.” Where Popular Songs shines, though, is in its longer pieces. The album is backloaded with them, offering three 9+ minute tracks as conclusion. Set up perfectly by “All Your Secrets,” “More Stars Than There Are In Heaven” builds on a two chord progression for 9 1/2 minutes, ever intensifying without overstating itself, without ever having to, continuously returning to the lines “We’ll walk hand in hand,” an anxious statement of commitment in an otherwise tenuous and frightening world. “Fireside” noodles with itself on an acoustic guitar with reverb and airy ambivalence,
matching its title. Popular Songs closes with “And the Glitter is Gone,” a jam antithetical to the rest of the album, the bass and guitars overdriven and, like most louder Yo La Tengo jams, unconcerned with moving to different places, happy in their own space. Popular Songs, like most YLT albums, is an enjoyable experience. It’s not entirely essential, and it’s not their best effort. But Yo La Tengo continue to present themselves as humble musicophiles, never assuming perfection and, consequently, never precluding themselves from another great album.
the paper’s ill-legal download list LITTLE DRAGON - FEATHER http://www.myspace.com/yourlittledragon With a population that is over 90% indigenous northern European, an isolated location, and a fairly insular culture, Sweden is better known as the land of tall blonde models, Vikings, and socialism than a hotbed of multicultural music. However, a quartet of starry eyed twentysomethings from Gothenburg are doing their best to shatter those preconceptions. Led by Swedish born Japanese-American Yukimi Nagano, Little Dragon weave together a bevvy of influences, ranging from Prince to Kraftwerk, to make genre-bending electro-infused soul. The lead single off of their sophomore album, Machine Dreams, entitled “Feather,” is an icy affair, with shimmering synths swimming around Nagano’s sultry nuanced croons. The space between is on full display here, with as much being said by what isn’t there as what is. Get on the bandwagon quick, these guys are going to blow up.
THE PAINS OF BEING PURE AT HEART HIGHER THAN THE STARS http://www.myspace.com/thepainsofbeingpureatheart “The Pains of being Pure at Heart” released their new single “Higher than the Stars” in early September, and I’ve been listening to it on a heavy rotation since then. The Pains’ new single retains the dreamy, blurred, yawn-like vocals of their Shoegaze roots while bringing a new, yet somehow perfectly natural energy to their music. Bright synthesizers and upbeat percussion mingle with the familiar laziness I thought I had grown tired of. “Higher than the Stars” comes off The Pains’ new EP of the same title. Give it a listen, or maybe several dozen; I’m willing to bet you’ll choose the latter.
WILDBIRDS & PEACEDRUMS – MY HEART http://www.myspace.com/wildbirdsandpeacedrums The first single from the Swedish husband/wife, percussion/voice duo’s new album, The Snake, is one of the few songs on the album with a melodic instrument other than Mariam Wallentin’s powerful voice. Granted, that instrument is a steel drum, but it offers a relative minor chord progression to ground the song. It’s an unlikely single, clocking in at seven and a half minutes and while more coherent than their other songs, doesn’t have any hook, per se. However, the song builds on itself, layering vocals and gaining intensity over its duration, adding sweeping background vocals and a harp strum in the song’s last minute, as Mariam beautifully and painfully repeats the line “You see I’m lost without your rhythm.”
by Matt Galici STAFF FALLEN AND CAN’T GET UP 2002 was a landmark year for soccer in the United States for more than the US Men’s National team’s run to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. Steven Cohen and partner Nick Geber began broadcasting their weekly radio show entitled World Soccer Weekly. Gradually, the show increased in popularity and became America’s first and only national daily radio show entitled World Soccer Daily. World Soccer Daily became the cornerstone program not only forAmerican soccer fans but for all soccer fans living in America. By early 2008, Steven Cohen and new co-host Kenny Not Fun. Hassan had built World Soccer Daily into a strong and successful brand that was at the forefront of soccer shows in North America and boasted one of the most downloaded podcasts on iTunes. Cohen, originally from London and a supporter of West London club Chelsea FC, was not far from controversy. At the center of the demise of his radio show were comments Cohen made about the cause of the Hillsborough Stadium Disaster in Sheffield where 96 Liverpool fans were crushed to death on April 15, 1989 because of overcrowding in the central pens at the Leppings Lane end of the stadium. This incident is the biggest and perhaps most controversial sporting disaster in the history of Great Britain. On the April 13, 2009 edition of World Soccer Daily, while discussing the recent stadium tragedy in the Ivory Coast, Steven Cohen gave his opinion on who was to blame for the deaths Hillsborough. According to Cohen, there was a “shared responsibility” between police incompetence and the Liverpool fans who tried to get into the stadium without tickets. One week later, the website epltalk.com posted an article stating titled “Steven
september 23, 2009
Cohen Blames Liverpool Fans for Hillsborough Disaster.” This article claims that Steven Cohen pointed the finger at said Liverpool fans who tried to get into the stadium without tickets as the root cause of the Hillsborough Disaster. During my interview of Steven Cohen, he claimed that these headlines and quotes were a “complete fabrication” and taken “entirely out of context.” These comments and past behaviors from Cohen ignited a campaign to get him and his show off the air. This campaign was headed by Conor Brennan of the Liverpool FC NY Supporters Club, who in an interview with me stated that their campaign’s original goal was
to get Steven Cohen to apologize. However, according to Conor Brennan, a deeper look into Cohen’s past comments led his group LFCNY to call for a boycott of World Soccer Daily with the goal of getting Cohen off the air. At this point, the campaign turns into a nasty episode of “he said-she said.” Brennan claims that the campaign simply informed the show’s sponsors (such as Heineken and FourFourTwo magazine) of Cohen’s comments regarding his the Hillsborough. Cohen, on the other hand, claims that this was a boycott in name only. He described the actions taken by the LFCNY group as a not as a boycott at all but as a “personal witch hunt vendetta” with the goal of not only getting Cohen off the air but also destroying his life. According to Cohen, members of the campaign against him not only e-mailed sponsors regarding his comments but also threatened sponsors. Cohen and
Brennan also both told me that throughout the campaign they received an extremely large amount of hate e-mails. As the campaign progressed over the summer months, more sponsors dropped World Soccer Daily. The disgraceful abuse of Cohen continued to the point where one of Cohen’s stepchildren was contacted via the internet. On August 20th, Cohen made the decision to cancel World Soccer Daily. Brennan’s campaign accomplished its goal to get the show off the air. However, there are critical consequences of this success. One of the undeniable results of this campaign was the effect on the growth of soccer in America. During our interview, Conor Brennan stated that this campaign showed that “soccer fans are a demographic that companies can no longer afford to ignore.” Even though this claim has truth behind it, the fact of the matter is the companies that sponsored World Soccer Daily were companies whose main customer base were soccer fans; therefore any large movement by American soccer fans would greatly affect them. I’m very skeptical as to whether a company whose main customer base wasn’t soccer fans would’ve been affected by the boycott in the same way. The fact that American soccer fans lost their only daily soccer show could never help the sport to grow. Soccer in America operates in the margins of the American sports media to begin with, thereby making every program that pays attention to soccer vital to the growth of the sport. Unlike losing an NFL or NBA program where a fan could simply find another by changing the channel or radio station, losing World Soccer Daily left a void for the soccer fan living in America. More important than the effect on the growth of soccer in America, however, is the alarming precedent this inci-
God I love this season. The first week of football, the end of the baseball, golf, and tennis seasons. These headlines write themselves. Role model of the week is no different. But who to choose? Shawne “Lights Out” Merriman, for beating Tila Tequila? Serena Williams for threatening a referee? Hall of Fame third baseman George Brett for shitting his pants? (Google it). No, all of these are amazing, shiny beacons of the consequences of fostering one’s ability to throw or hit or dodge a ball above any other personal development, but like the Highlander, there can be only one. So we come to Delonte West. The Cavaliers guard was arrested in Maryland on Friday for possession of two loaded handguns and a loaded shotgun in a guitar case. On his motorcycle. While speeding. Now, when a guy gets pulled over with weed or guns in his car, that’s one thing. Maybe it was a buddy’s, maybe it was forgotten there, whatever. But to have three loaded guns, including a shotgun strapped across your back, and have the balls to cut off a cop car on the highway. Delonte West, you’re my role model of the week. And personal life-hero. dent sets for free speech in the media. Nobody’s first amendment rights were explicitly violated during this campaign. The government did not tell Steven Cohen to stop expressing his opinions on air, nor did the government force Conor Brennan and the LFCNY group to stop their campaign. What this incident does prove, however, is that people who are in the media may not have carte blanche to say what they want and not have to deal with the consequences of their statements. This principle, in of itself, can have beneficial consequences. People on the air should know that if they make statements or give opinions that are likely to offend or upset people, they will face consequences. Listeners should always have the right to express their disagreement with people who make comments they don’t like. Audiences always have the power to change the channel or decide not to support the sponsors of the show. In this case, however, the protesting group took their actions to a new level by not just boycotting sponsors but also trying to, and ultimately succeeding in, getting sponsors to drop their support of the show. Not counting the
disgraceful threatening e-mails, the LFCNY group acted well within their rights and did not infringe on the rights of others in their actions. Unfortunately, the disgraceful and threatening e-mails did taint them as a group as well as the image of the club they support. Steven Cohen did not go away, however, and will launch his new show, World Football Daily, in October. According to Cohen, the new subscription based show will not rely solely on advertising as a source of revenue but will try to expand their revenue streams. Only time will tell if the precedent set here will have consequences in other parts of the soccer media. If we get to a point where anybody who disagrees with a radio show can get the show off the air, then we have to look back regretfully at this incident as the one that opened the proverbial “can of worms.” On the other hand, this incident may prove unique not to serve as a precedent for future controversies in sports media. Either way, we are at halftime, and only time will tell the full effect of what is, at the very least, one of the most unique events in the history of sports media, not only in America, but also in the world.