MARCH 2014 VOL XIII ISSUE IV SYRACUSE NEW YORK your student fee
GET LUCKY WITH JERK.
CONTENTS MARCH 2014 7 8 9 10
FROM THE EDITOR FEEDBACK PEEPS JERK THIS
20 THE SEO NO-NO
What you should hit up and bitch about this month.
22 EAT YOUR WORDS
11 BACKDROP Strong Hearts on the Hill
12 CLICKBATE 13 TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL National Pi Day
14 SEX Birds and Bees
If Google’s going to play police, it needs a rule book.
Conversations are highlysaturated with negative food talk.
24 PLEADING THE FIRST Freedom of speech (that doesn’t make SU look bad).
SMUT FEATURES 26 IN THE SPIRIT
BITCH OPINIONS 16 ILOVE YOU Man and machine: A modern day love story?
18 A GRANDE PROBLEM Your morning cup of coffee is in danger.
Shamanism: Not a relic of the Far East
United against whaling.
Brewery Ommegang takes the Black Stout.
This spring, it’s all about pattern play.
48 CLOSET CASE A phone case for every personality.
49 STRIPPED Getting crafty.
Queen B brings an “Upgrade U” to the music industry.
54 BEWARE THE IDES OF MARCH Stories that'll make Caesar shudder.
60 REWIND Johnny Cash
61 ALTRUIST Doctor Who 62 AMPLIFIED John Wells
63 SYNAPSE 64 DISCOVERSYR Syracuse Soapworks
66 SPEAKEASY Anna Phillips
36 HOUSE OF BREWS
40 MIXED MEDIA
Cover by Ryan Brondolo
50 WATCH AND LEARN
30 CALL ON MY BROTHERS
19 THE PRICE OF BEAUTY The hotter the CEO, the hotter the stocks.
NOISE ARTS & MUSIC
67 OBITCHUARY Cursive
68 FORM AND FUNCTION Pre-Spring Break Gym Session
26 48 54
DID YOU KNOW...?
In Dante's Inferno, betrayers were relegated to the ninth circle of Hell.
Riyana Straetker EDITOR
Michelle van Dalen
EXECUTIVE EDITOR EDITORIAL
Diana Pearl Kerry Wolfe ARTS AND MUSIC EDITOR Eric Lyons ASST. ARTS AND MUSIC EDITOR Erin K. Kelly OPINIONS EDITOR Sarah Schuster ASST. OPINIONS EDITOR Eric King STYLE EDITOR Lauren Yobs ASST. STYLE EDITOR Lis Webber F.O.B. EDITOR Cassie-Lee Grimaldi RESEARCH EDITOR Kelley Rowland COPY EDITOR Gigi Antonelle COPY EDITOR Collin Gordinier FACT CHECKER Erika Zoffer FACT CHECKER Ryan Harper FRESHMAN INTERN Rachel Lockhart FEATURES EDITOR
ASST. FEATURES EDITOR
Maddie Kelly Andrea Bolf DESIGNERS Sylvia Boyd, Kristie Cordon, Maia Henderson, Kelsey Ohira, Miriam Taylor CREATIVE DIRECTOR DESIGN DIRECTOR
Hillary Cianciosi Sarah Kinslow STAFF PHOTOGRAPHERS Ilana Goldmeier, Penelope Vasquez, Shijing Wang ILLUSTRATORS Ryan Brondolo, Dylan Cownie, Adrian Hatch, Christina Mastrull ILLUSTRATION DIRECTOR
Bryan Chou Blue Bookhard, Jensen Cannon, Esther Chen, Aidan Meyer, Mariann Yip PR DESIGNER Meghan Burns COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR PR REPS
Teresa Nigolian WEB EDITOR Cori Rosen ASST. WEB EDITOR Haley Schluter COPY EDITOR Audrey Morgan FACT CHECKER Vanessa Salman WEB DESIGNER Hannah O'Connell
Nick Ferreiro ASST. MULTIMEDIA EDITOR Arden Phillips MULTIMEDIA STAFFERS Michael Moates, Jacob Pirogovsky PODCAST DIRECTOR Lakota Gambill PODCAST EDITOR Sawyer Rosenstein ASST. PODCAST AUDIO EDITOR Brianna Couture PODCAST CO-HOSTS Melissa Nawojski, Keely Sullivan, Malcolm Whitfield MULTIMEDIA EDITOR
Justin Dorsen Carrie Eager, Rachel Meyer AD DESIGNER Hannah Blauner PUBLISHER
Natsumi Ajisaka, Dan Blaushild, Brysan Brown, Allie Caren, AbbyLeigh Charbonneau, Monika Chojnowska, Mitali Das, Sara Freund, Alex Garofalo, Emma Gregg, Elizabeth Hynes, Bria Jones, Ross Lazerowitz, Punï Limpanudom, Jaime Manela, Alfred Ng, Katie Richards, Kristin Ross, Caleb Rudge, Lara Sorokanich, Lauren Teng, Lung Ung, Meg Zukin
Melissa Chessher ADVISER Through its content, Jerk is dedicated to enhancing insight through communication by providing an informal platform for the freedom of expression. The writing contained within this publication expresses the opinions of the individual writers. The ideas presented in this publication do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Jerk Editorial Board. Furthermore, Jerk will not be held responsible for the individual opinions expressed within. Submissions, suggestions, and opinions are welcomed and may be printed without contacting the writer. Jerk reserves the right to edit or refuse submissions at the discretion of its editors. Jerk Magazine is published monthly during the Syracuse University academic year. All contents of the publication are copyright 2014 by their respective creators. No content may be reproduced without the expressed written consent of the Jerk Editorial Board.
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Very Funny In many ways, I take after my father—sorry Mom. We read the same books, make the same “thisis-disgusting” face, and have the same negative reactions to overbearing social situations. Best— or maybe worst—of all, we have what I like to call our own “sense of humor.” Not many share my definition. This manifests itself in many ways, but most frequently in the form of dad jokes. You know the ones I mean. “Are you getting a haircut?” “No, I’m getting them all cut.” “You know what happens when you assume? You make an ass out of you and me.” “I’m so funny.” “Yeah—funnylooking!” And yes, in case you were wondering, these are all real conversations I’ve had. I’m a 50-year-old man in a 21-year-old girl’s body. The reactions I get range from mild annoyance to surprised chuckles to pointed glares. But no matter what, the joke always ends with me laughing uncontrollably by myself, while my friends all wonder why on God’s green earth they decided to hang out with me—again. And yet, none of them have stopped being friends with me—or even better, started throwing rotten vegetables. I guess that means I get the last laugh—in this case, quite literally. Or maybe they’re just too lazy to find new friends. In this issue of Jerk, we’re much more proactive about expressing the things we don’t—or do—like. Check out our exposé on life aboard the Whale Wars ship from some locals with firsthand experience (page 30). Or head to page 24 for our stance on Syracuse’s infamous “first in communications, last in free speech” tag. But if you’d rather rag on something, flip your way to page 49 for a takedown of your least favorite iPhone cases. Meanwhile, I’ll just keep making my dad’s jokes—you may even find some of them in this issue. Just for the halibut,
Riyana Straetker JERK
FEEDBACK It's been too long since we last spoke. We're glad you found the time to tweet at us in between Netflix binges and avoiding people you went to high school with. Newhouse Master's @newhousemasters #WhyNewhouse MNO: Write for award-winning student publications like @DailyOrange and @JerkMagazine. Jan. 27 Jaime Riccio @Slaymer Congrats to @NewhouseSU's @jerkmagazine for making the cut in @HuffingtonPost's "33 weird facts about 33 colleges"!! Dec. 23
SHOW US SOME LOVE Jerk Magazine 126 Schine Student Center Syracuse, NY 13244 @jerkmagazine firstname.lastname@example.org jerkmagazine.net Famous author John Green (The Fault in Our Stars) gave us a shout out on Mental Floss' YouTube Channel and an article on the Huffington Post.
Jonelle @JLAVII This blog post couldn't be further from the truth. It's bluntly funny. #SelfieSunday #fb Jan. 26 Stephen DeSalvo @scdesalvo Jen Ziobro: Saves Lives, You Can Too! | Jerk Magazine Dec. 11 The illustrator for December's Pop Art should read Ryan Brondolo. Jerk apologizes for this error.
FOLLOW, DONâ€™T LEAD
PUNI LIMPANUDOM Television, radio, and film major Puni Limpanudom‘s life is rife with first world problems. Her chewing is too loud when she tries to eat and watch TV simultaneously and her iPhone is what she calls “stylishly shattered.” Such sensibility gave her the credibility to write this month’s Stripped on iPhone cases (page 49).
KATIE RICHARDS Senior magazine journalism major Katie Richards feels red lipstick and a Beyoncé song are the perfect remedy for any situation. Luckily, both of these pack easily because she wants to travel the globe exploring new cultures. She got a glimpse of both an underexplored world and unconventional remedies through her research on the Syracuse Shaman community (page 26).
NATSUMI AJISAKA Music lover and Bergenfield, N.J. native, Natsumi Ajisaka remembers her first concert experience fondly: An especially passionate fan tried to steal of Claudio Sanchez’s signature curls at a Coheed and Cambria show. Luckily, it didn’t scare her away from talking to musician John Wells, the feature artist in this month’s Amplified (page 62).
ROSS LAZEROWITZ Ross Lazerowitz is the Batman. The evidence is stacked in his favor: His favorite gadget is his police radar detector and he has a passion for inventing. He helped found Obelisk Technologies, a data and information startup. Lazerowitz's fascination with all things tech motivated him to write his piece on the coding controversy between Google and Rap Genius (page 20).
JERK THIS International Championship of Collegiate A Cappella at Hendrick’s Chapel Because all-vocal Rihanna covers give us chills. March 1 The Oscars We’re pulling for you, Leo. March 2
Spring Break Forever. March 8—16
CNY Science and Engineering Fair at Onondaga Community College Doing things the Jerk staff could never dream of: math and science. March 30
Women’s History Month Screw patriarchy and brush up on your herstory. All of March
BITCH Lea Michele’s album Louder The last thing we want her to do is get louder. March 4
300: Rise of an Empire No one asked for this historically inaccurate train wreck of a movie. March 7
Save a Spider Day To hell with reincarnation— squish it. March 9
Daylight Savings Losing an hour of sleep is like getting slapped by Mother Nature. March 9
World Wedding Expo II at NYS Fairgrounds Because constant Facebook engagement posts aren’t enough. March 23
STRONG HEARTS ON THE HILL The vegan café makes its move near SU's campus.
A longtime off-campus favorite, Strong Hearts now has a smaller space on campus.
1. The café is famous for its fresh vegan smoothies and milkshakes. 2. An array of vegan offerings fill the bright menu board. 3. Sandwiches and salads feature ingredients such as tofu, quinoa, and tomatoes.
By Jaime Manela : Photos by Shira Stoll Sounds of slicing, dicing, and whizzing rival the chatter and gossip of the mid-day rush at Marshall Square Mall. Students crowd around the counter at Strong Hearts on the Hill, the sister restaurant of the all-vegan Strong Hearts Café, ordering milkshakes with eccentric names like the Harriet Tubman and West Memphis Three. Sandwich and salad options fill the meatless menu, scrawled on a chalkboard in bright, colorful writing. A whimsical array of lamps casts a spotlight on choices like the Portobello Melt and Tempeh Tantrum. Simply ordering something like the Sweet ‘n’ Sassy feels like it will bring a little zest to
a bitter, snowy day. “It’s very interesting, because up here, the healthy stuff is really popular,” says Nick Ryan, co-owner of Strong Hearts on the Hill. “We have always done pretty well with that stuff, but they have never been our best sellers.” Ryan loves putting healthy food on people’s plates and couldn’t be happier to see such positive reception to the café’s vegan cuisine. It is this mix of nutrition, indulgence, and geographical convenience that endears it to the Syracuse University community and sets it apart from its downtown Syracuse location. Ryan says, “We’re about eating healthy and treating yourself.” JM
STUFF MOM NEVER TOLD YOU
.net What's happening with Jerk on the web
Empowering, informing, and entertaining women about how adulthood really works, founders Cristen Conger and Caroline Ervin answer life’s mysteries like “How Much Do Boobs Sweat?” Contrary to what most high school jokes lead you to believe, there’s apparently a lot of stuff your mom hasn’t done—like tell you about the science of the bitchy resting face or a history of the manic pixie dream girl. The duo blogs and produces podcasts and videos. They describe themselves as a “hilarious girl-next-door guide to getting geeky about girlishness.” These comedians also use their growing popularity to inspire women toward futures your mom couldn’t even imagine—much less tell you about.
Jerk is at it again – catching you, dear readers, on the street, answering all manner of scandalous questions. Head to jerkmagazine.net to see the latest installment — "Would You Rather."
Syracuse U Fix It
Please help 1me Beyoncé
The man of your dreams is a catalog away. Blogger Liz Pride recreates fantasy conversations with the retailer’s rugged models. Looking for men who can make you swoon by a handmade open fire—all while wearing L.L. Bean’s Signature Cotton Cardigan? Strangely enough, you’re not alone.
Sometimes it’s not the content, but the source. When this SU organization’s not fixing locks or changing keys, they turn to Twitter to give us some heartfelt common sense advice, fixing your door and heart with daily motivational wisdom like, “Forgive. Yourself. Others #SUFIXIT.”
Forget Pandora. “Please Help Me Beyoncé” is taking over the Internet radio game. This music generator lets Queen B vocalize your mood based 1 off two questions: “How are you feeling?” and “What’s he done now?” Next time you’re feeling Sasha Fierce after landing your very own Jay-Z, blast that “Video Phone.”
PHOTO CRTkDITS: (From ltkft, clockwistk) coupdtkmain.com, Jotklltk Hyman, and Séamus Gallaghtkr
Your L.L. Bean Boyfriend
TOTALLY UNSCIENTIFIC POLL
WHAT’S YOUR NUMBER? Math is hard. In honor of Pi Day on March 14, Jerk polled 100 people in Bird Library to test their math knowledge. Don’t worry, we had to Google the answers too. BEST PI FACT?
HOW MANY DIGITS OF PI CAN YOU RECITE?
It goes past 3.14?
Until the 100th digit—I don’t have many friends.
3.14% of sailors are pirates.
3.14 backwards spells PIE (413). Apple, cherry, pumpkin, Boston crème, lemon meringue.
16% It’s completely irrational.
SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU LEARNED IN MATH CLASS?
If pizza’s depth is a and its radius is z then its volume is pi*z*z*a.
How to get out of student loan debt. 40% How to count cards. 26% How to get the kid next to me to date me. “Drew looks, at me.” 34% IF I WERE A MATH GENIUS I WOULD...
HEAD OVER TO TURNING STONE AND DOMINATE THE BLACKJACK TABLE.
QUICK: WHAT’S PI TIMES PI?
MOST USEFUL MATH SUBJECT?
WHAT’S THE USE OF PI? To give students another thing to memorize.
11% The ratio of a circle’s circumfrence to diameter, duh.
Fractions: Everyone will get an even slice of pizza. 38% Addition: For adding up my debt. 16% They were all pretty hard, but at least most of them ended in -try. 46%
To be in and around my mouth.
ING R P S AWAKEN I N G Learning about sex can be confusing, especially when it’s through animal metaphors. Mostly because it’s fun laughing at others' awkward moments, Jerk asked random students to fill us in on their sexual misconceptions.
START ‘EM YOUNG
TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM
“When I was in elementary school I thought 'jerking off' was just somebody who was being mean. So I proceeded to tell my classmates and friends they were jerking off, until one day I said it around my dad. He told me what it really meant. I stopped saying it.” “My mom told me about sex when I was really young. I got my first diary when I was five. The first sentence I ever wrote in it was ‘I am so excited to have sex.’ I remember being really glad the word ‘excited’ came before ‘sex’ because I had to ask my sister how to spell it.” “In seventh grade, I was one of those kids who actually believed when you had a question, you were obligated to ask because another student might have the same question. Thinking I was being brave, in health class I raised my hand and asked, ‘What’s an erection?’ Everyone laughed and no one else had the same question.” “When I was little I always thought boys only had one testicle called ‘the ballsack.’ Then I watched 50 First Dates with my sister, and they said ‘balls,’ plural, and I was like, ‘Ha-ha! They think there’s more than one.’ That’s when my sister informed me there are, in fact, two balls.” JM
PHOTO CRTkDITS: http://threadless.com
“I didn’t know that semen was a byproduct of a man’s orgasm until my senior year of high school when I raised my hand in front of everyone and asked, ‘But how do you know they’re finished?’ I was a late bloomer to say the least.”
Drop the Beat
Senior, illustration major “This piece was made as a birthday present for my older brother. It was sparked by our love for electronic music. I was influenced by the pop artist Roy Lichtenstein and wanted to apply his Ben-Day Dots and comic book references to my own graphic style and line work. Finding your own unique style of illustration is often a long and confusing journey, but having artists and illustrators that you admire and that influence you is important. My style is evolving, and trying these new techniques makes me more comfortable as an artist.”
Showcase your work in Framed. Email email@example.com. JERK
iLove You We fell in love with Her, but is it really possible to fall in love with software?
By Alex Garofalo : Illustration by Christina Mastrull In a world where humans rely on computers for everything from holiday shopping to turning off the TV, it’s not surprising we’ve turned to them to make love easier too. But in Spike Jonze’s new film, Her, this convenience is taken beyond online dating. Theodore Twombly, played by Joaquin Phoenix, falls in love with his computer operating system, Samantha, raising the question of whether it is actually possible to fall in love with your computer. In the subtle sci-fi of Her, Samantha is artificially conscious—as opposed to just intelligent—and capable of “growing from her experiences” and evolving like a person. While modern technology hasn’t quite reached consciousness, a December Popular Science article contends that designing software that humans could swoon over would be child’s play. According to them, a program designed to be intelligent and inquisitive—meaning it asks more questions than it attempts to answer—could seduce us humans, whom Popular Science suggests are more willing to be vulnerable in front of a computer screen than in front of a real person. The basic idea is the program could give a person the illusion of being understood, producing very real feelings of love, even if that understanding is just an illusion.
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And I mean, sure, why couldn’t you love your computer? In fact, it’s pretty common to hear people say that they “love” their Mac or iPhone with a sense of genuine affection they wouldn’t have for, say, their microwave. Anything that aggregates the components of your life—your interests, tastes, schedule, etc.—has the capacity to make you feel understood, connected, and even loved. But love does not equal a relationship. Although artificial consciousness might seem like a futuristic concept, computer scientists have been playing with the idea for decades. In the 1960s, a Massachusetts Institute of Technology computer scientist created a program named ELIZA, which simulated psychotherapy by probing users with openended questions. Joseph Weizenbaum, ELIZA’s creator, was surprised that humans opened up so intimately to the program as if they were talking to a real, breathing therapist. Situations where users perceive computer systems as having qualities and abilities that were technologically impossible became known as "the ELIZA effect." While a computer’s vague queries might make you feel understood, in reality the effect is no more than a heightened sense of personal intimacy. A computer will not reciprocate your actions and open up to you.
A computer cannot empathize. It can aid you in connecting the dots of your own emotions, but so can your therapist. And you wouldn’t want to date your therapist. Like a dog that gives his irresistible puppy face when he wants food from the table, a computer can learn how to modify its behavior to achieve an emotional response. While a computer may be able to recognize, cater to, and perhaps—like the dog—even manipulate a person’s emotional needs, it cannot relate to them. In a true relationship, a couple grows through their shared experiences. They relate to each other through their strengths and even their imperfections. Oftentimes, it is in these imperfections where true love lies. A computer may have limitations, but no true imperfections. One of the more insightful
scenes in Her shows Theodore’s frustration with Samantha exhaling before speaking during a fight. She doesn’t need oxygen and this peek behind the curtain of this programmed "person" unsettles Theodore. It acts as a disturbing reminder that, while real emotions are at play, a real relationship is not. While human beings’ natural search to be understood could result in a program that does just that, it cannot replace the mutual understanding of another person. Even the fully conscious Samantha eventually moves on from Theodore. While they are both “growing,” they are incapable of growing together. Samantha may be a person but she cannot share in the human experience. In this way, while we may all fall in love with our laptops, they can never truly love us back. After all, to love is to be human. JM
With coffee farms shrinking, you have another reason to worry about climate change. By Caleb Rudge : Illustration by Hillary Cianciosi Coffee is ground into college culture. But for the second most traded commodity in the world after oil—and perhaps the only reason students make their 8 a.m.'s—the future looks grim. Researchers in Ethiopia have discovered that by 2080, 65 percent of coffee’s habitat will have disappeared. The worst case scenario is 98 percent. The culprit is climate change, and if we don't curb our emissions, the whole world is going to suffer, especially on early mornings. Although there are 25 varieties of coffee plants, all the coffee we drink comes from two species: Coffea canephorea and Coffea arabica, with 70 percent coming from the latter. Every coffee plant in the world is traced back to Ethiopia, so there’s less than one percent coffee genetic variation. This makes the coffee plant an easy target for health complications caused by change. Disturbance—whether it be caused by increased rainfall, higher temperatures, or changes in soil composition—has major effects on the productivity of the coffee plants. Coffee plants are only productive in climates with temperature variations of four to six degrees Celsius. With such a low variation in genetics, it may be impossible imminent changes that are coming in the
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when one falls, they all fall. Global climate change isn’t specifically targeting coffee. According to the International Panel on Climate Change, crop yields are predicted to decline two percent every 10 years. Scientists say land deemed infertile in the regions close to the poles may open up, but this won’t make up for the arable land lost due to heat waves, desertification, or increased storms in store for farmland closer to the equator. In a world that’s expected to carry two billion more people by 2050, this could have dire consequences for the already billions of hungry people. Every day college students take for granted their cups of coffee. It is the constant that keeps us alert, focused, and smiling. The coffee plant itself takes for granted its ecosystem, spending millions of years adapting to a specific niche. Let’s show the plant our appreciation by allowing it's continued survival in it's special ecosystem. In case global climate change hasn’t instigated any social distress yet, the caffeine buzz attained from that morning cup o’ joe should start stimulating public environmental concern. A world without polar bears sounds bad, but a world without coffee sounds downright depressing. JM
THE Price OF beauty
Attractive CEOs bring beauty, brains, and bolstered stocks By Allie Caren : Illustration by Dylan Cownie
First, it was all about the grades—get that GPA up and get into a good college. Then, it was all about experience—care less about the GPA and more about building your résumé. But now, the brutal reality: In the real world, if you’re not hot, it doesn’t matter. Not to say you’ll be a complete failure, but, statistically speaking, someone with shinier hair, straight teeth, and a killer bod will be more successful. According to a study by economists at the University of Wisconsin, attractive people are hired faster, promoted sooner, and paid more than their less-attractive competitors. In fact, upon accepting their positions, the hotties of the top-floor office—aka CEOs— help a company’s stock more and seal better deals in negotiations. This phenomenon is called “the pleasure of dealing with good-looking people,” says Dario Maestripieri, a professor at the University of Chicago, . In his Psychology Today article, Maestripieri says attractive people are seen as more valuable employees because they are likelier to bring in money for the company. “Good-looking people are more appealing
as potential sex partners,” Maestripieri told Business Insider, “and [so] other people choose to interact with them, to spend time near them, talk with them, buy insurance from them, and hire them as employees." It’s more than the sex appeal. According to Daniel Hamermesh, an economics professor at the University of Texas at Austin, attractive individuals have more desirable personality traits that add to their appeal to employers. So, what this means for people who don’t clock in as “perfect 10s”—meaning everyone—is that if you're going to be judged by your looks, just don’t let those judements define you and your work. Unfotunately, the obsession with standard beauty isn’t going anywhere. But if you want to be paid to work, not work out, then emulate the personality traits employers love in attractive people such as confidence, affability, and social tact. Revolt against the higher powers: Let your work kick ass even if your looks can’t. Whether you sort mail in the basement, fetch coffee for the self-entitled mid-level employees, or report to the head honcho himself: do it in stride. JM
THE SEO NO-NO When you don't play by Google's rules, it has no mercy. By Ross Lazerowitz : Illustration by Adrian Hatch On Dec. 31, lyric translation site RapGenius. com came out on the wrong side of the law. Google’s law. The crime: cheating Google’s search algorithms. The sentence: days banned from the front page of search results for their own name. Seems fair enough. But in reality, Google gave Rap Genius an overly harsh punishment for cheating in a game that doesn’t even have a rulebook. Rap Genius initiated a program that gave bloggers a snippet of code to put on their websites. In that code they put a tracklist for the new Justin Bieber album and the link to Rap Genius' pages for it. In exchange, Rap Genius promoted the blogs through its widely followed Twitter account. But
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Rap Genius didn't care about promoting blogs—what they really wanted to do was trick Google and by taking advantage of the nature of its algorithm. Way back when supergeeks and Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were Stanford Ph.D students, they figured out something special about the Internet— web pages link to other web pages. So, if a lot of web pages are linking to another web page with links titled “Justin Bieber lyrics,” it must be more relevant and thus more highly ranked in the search results for that topic. By visiting every website on the Internet, Google is able to create a giant map and use it to guide its search results. This is only part of
their algorithms, but it’s a central part. One that is apparently easy to take advantage of. Despite this loophole, there is no formal document explicitly stating what the consequences are for Dark SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices, and some bigger players are getting away with the same atrocity. Expedia.com does something similar, but Google looks the other way. It's probably not a coincidence they also spend millions of dollars on Google advertising. After Google bumped Rap Genius to the sixth page of its own search results, Rap Genius has been set free, but not without community service. With Google’s help,
Rap Genius was tasked with cleaning up the 177,781 web pages that had links to their website. But this still leaves us without a clear outline of what Dark SEO punishment will look like if this crime is committed in the future. As self-proclaimed ruler of the free Internet, Google has a moral obligation to provide fair search results for its users. Providing the world with a clearer picture of their governance and not being swayed by its ad dollars, is part of this duty. Explicit rules and set punishments will create a standard, and might discourage websites like Rap Genius from even thinking of dabbling in Dark SEO in the first place. JM
AT YOUR WORDS Our obsession with talking about weight damages our relationship with food.
By AbbyLeigh Charbonneau : Illustration by Christina Mastrull Upon returning to Syracuse sophomore year, I met up with a friend for Starbucks and bagels. We greeted each other with hugs and gushed about how good the other looked. “You’re sooo skinny. Oh my God, you look great!” she told me. “You look, like, anorexic!” The absurdity of "anorexic" being used as a compliment was not lost on me. There were more calories in my Java Chip Frappuccino than someone battling anorexia would be able to down in a day. But this sort of insensitive language is far too common—reinforcing skinny as the ideal beauty standard for women, glorifying disordered eating, and contributing to the misconceptions many people still have about eating disorders. Such compliments are not only common, but socially acceptable. “Skinny” and “thin” are used almost exclusively as compliments, and words like “thinspo” or “thinspiration” celebrate the body someone with an eating disorder inhabits. Any girl on this college campus could tell you what a “thigh gap” is, despite it being a relatively new, and dumb, concept.
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On the other hand, calling someone fat is innately offensive and insulting. According to Glenn Gaesser’s book Big Fat Lies: The Truth About Your Weight and Your Health, the majority of females between the ages of 18 and 25 would rather get run over by a truck than be fat; two-thirds surveyed would rather be mean or stupid than fat. We dodge around that three-letter word, creating a stigma of shame, and use less offensive words in its place—like “chub,” “fluff,” and “big-boned.” We have even created specific words and phrases exclusive to body-bashing, like “thunder-thighs,” “love handles,” and “muffin top.” Rachel Wiley’s viral slam poem, “10 Honest Thoughts On Being Loved By A Skinny Boy,” questions the mutual exclusivity of being overweight and attractive: “I say, ‘I am fat.’ He says, ‘No, you are beautiful.’ I wonder why I cannot be both.” Women talk about food as something associated with guilt, shame, and indulgence, and use excuses like “I’m treating myself” or “I’ve earned it” to justify eating anything that’s not raw and green. Companies try to replicate dessert
flavors like cheesecake and chocolate pie, advertised as “guilt-free” to ease the assumed inner turmoil of a woman who, God forbid, consumes more than 350 calories. It’s no wonder that the diet industry is a 50 billion dollar enterprise in the U.S. In fact, Time reports 80 percent of all children have been on a diet before they reach the fourth grade. The truth is, the majority of us do indulge in disordered eating, from binging to fasting to fad dieting. The most common eating disorder is EDNOS (eating disorder not otherwise specified) and is described as irregular eating habits and distorted ways of thinking about food. And, unlike other eating disorders, EDNOS is primarily caused by the culture surrounding food and body image. All these dieting behaviors and language reflect our distorted sociocultural beauty values and reinforce misconceptions about eating disorders. Eating disorders like anorexia nervosa and bulimia are not something you can turn on or off when
you need to regain that beach bod, nor are they an expression of control. They are not glamorous, safe, or a method of attentionseeking—they’re dangerous. Up to 20 percent of those with eating disorders die from heart failure, suicide, or other complications. It is the most life-threatening of all mental illnesses. Even more detrimental is the attitude society has toward body issues and how we perpetuate these misconceptions. We can’t change the beauty standard in a day. I doubt that the runways will be filled with 5-foot-3, 130-pound girls any time soon—not even 5-foot-8, 130-pound girls. We can, however, change the way we talk. So the next time you find yourself envying Leighton Meester’s photoshopped waist— which is approximately the width of your Jimmy John’s sandwich—bitching about your cellulite to your reflection, or telling a friend she looks oh-my-God-so-skinny, catch yourself, change your language, and don’t get caught eating your words. JM
PLEADING THE FIRST
Just because SU doesn’t have to enforce the First Amendment doesn’t mean it shouldn’t.
By Alfred Ng : Illustration by Ryan Brondolo
When Jerk first contacted me about writing this piece, I was worried about the repercussions I’d suffer if I did. That’s when I realized, that’s exactly why I had to write it. Syracuse University is a private school, which means it’s not legally required to enforce the First Amendment—but that doesn't mean it morally shouldn't. No SU student should have to live in fear of what they write in a campus publication, produce as satirical content, or post as a Facebook status. And yet, in 2005, 2010, and 2012, students at SU felt the wrath of what happens when SU deems a comment “just too offensive.” 2005: Then-Chancellor Nancy Cantor shuts down HillTV, a student-run television station, after the network airs a show named Over the Hill that made insensitive jokes about serious issues. 2010: A law school student faces expulsion for his blog, SUCOLitis, a satirical news website. 2012: The School of Education suspends one of its students after he posts an offensive message on Facebook. The school
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found hisfindscomments “unprofessional, offensive, and insensitive” and holds him responsible for poorly representing SU. If we’re suspending students for making SU look bad in public, there goes half of Euclid Avenue on a Friday night. What about Ryan Norton, the kicker on the SU football team, who was arrested for resisting arrest and underage possession of alcohol? Or Alpha Chi Rho, the entire fraternity that knowingly housed a drug dealer who stashed more than 5,000 dollars worth of cocaine in the house? None of these examples make the university look admirable. But of course, students on Euclid still drink, Norton still kicks, and Crow still stands. If SU really suspendspeople for poorly representing the school, it should start with the members of administration who decided to suspend and expel students as their initial reaction to “offensive” messages. What makes SU look bad is the Google search results for “Syracuse University free speech.” Half of the links on the first page speak to how shitty SU free speech policies are:
“Syracuse University among worst colleges for free speech for second straight year,” “Why does Syracuse University hate free speech?” “Syracuse University tops the list of worst schools for free speech.” On Dec. 9, a vandal literally wrote that SU was “last in free speech” on the walls of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. For years now, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) has listed SU as a red code violation. It’s mostly because of the school’s Internet usage policies, which prohibit “annoying, abusive, profane, threatening, defamatory, or offensive messages” online. If only it also banned vague language, because these are the murkiest rules I’ve ever read. Profanity also counts as a violation. How fucking shitty would it be if I got suspended for this sentence? Samantha Harris, FIRE’s director of policy research, says: “Offensive is a very broad term, and here it’s used subjectively, doesn’t say you have to be offensive to a reasonable person, it just says you can’t send an offensive message,” adding that it also restricts open debate. “How can you have a free and open debate about a sensitive topic, such as sexual abuse in the Catholic church, if you can be disciplined for sending a religiously offensive message?” But stupid, vague rules—is calling your rules vague and dumb offensive?—aside, SU is more of a free speech hater in practice than it is in policy. About 60 percent of colleges on FIRE’s list are red code violations, usually for the same policy issues. The difference is, not ever school suspends students when they post something offensive in public. Roy Gutterman, the director of the
"HOW CAN YOU HAVE A FREE AND OPEN DEBATE ABOUT A SENSITIVE TOPIC, SUCH AS SEXUAL ABUSE IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, IF YOU CAN BE DISCIPLINED FOR SENDING A RELIGIOUSLY OFFENSIVE MESSAGE?" –SAMANTHA HARRIS FIRE's Director of Policy Research
Tully Center for Free Speech, says the university needs to stop having a kneejerk reaction to punish people who voice their offensive opinions. “Our policies are probably pretty similar to other universities’ policies,” he says. “It’s how they enforce these policies.” SU's new chancellor Kent Syverud is the former dean of the law school at Washington University. He understands the constitution. From 1998 to 2002, he sat on the Freedom Forum First Amendment Center advisory board. With a man like Syverud in charge, SU has the opportunity to make this right. jm
In The SPirit Shamanism, practiced all over the world, works to heal souls. By Katie Richards : Photography by Lauren Teng At just 16 years old, Dorena Clifton experienced what it meant to lose someone she loved. She worked at a local grocery store and each day her boyfriend, a recent high school graduate, picked her up after her shift. But the day Clifton decided to spend the night at a friend’s house, things went terribly wrong. Her boyfriend, in a state of postgraduation depression, drove head-on into another car, his car exploding into flames. Bystanders said they heard the boy scream as flames enveloped him. His body suffered severe burns. The boy’s father could identify him only by the two wedding bands in his pocket—the wedding bands he planned to share with Clifton. Angry at herself for not being with her boyfriend the day of the accident and desperate to change the outcome, Clifton decided to travel to the “other side” and communicate with her late boyfriend to figure out what went wrong. The two met in “dreamtime” on a warm August night in 1974 at Clifton’s family home. He wore a light-colored shirt and camel slacks, his dark hair resting gently on his shoulders. The two walked side by side, from her home to his. As they walked together, Clifton observed her boyfriend age ever so slowly. Each time she glanced at him, she noticed his long hair grow shorter and whiter, his face more wrinkled. When they finally arrived at his home after
spending hours talking about their lives together and apart, he reverted to his earliest years as a baby. Clifton knocked on the front door, handing the small bundle over to his mother, who said nothing in response. She simply smiled. “I felt at peace,” Clifton says of completing her excursion in this dreamtime space. Clifton’s travels on the other side helped solidify her understanding of her true identity as a “medicine man,” or a Shaman. The specific origin of Shamanism is difficult to pinpoint. Most anthropologists and historians attribute the term to Siberian origins and the among Tungus people. Among the Hmong community, Shamans, more commonly known as Txiv Neeb, aid the injured and cure the sick. The Hmong believe one is born a Shaman. Ancestors, deities, or spirits identify a Shaman, giving him or her the responsibility to heal others by first subjecting the chosen person to an illness. The illness begins with a week of sweats and shakes. Then come vivid dreams, during which the chosen person may travel through time, across the globe, or to the recent past. When the dreams kick in, a family member may call upon a well-respected, practicing Shaman to rid the sufferer of illness and help that person discover his or her true calling as a healer. Many healers, similarly to Clifton, go on trips or journeys into the spiritual world— be it the overworld or the underworld—to
SMUT interact with a spirit or find answers to pressing questions. Upon entering the spirit world, the healer’s goals can include seeking out and bringing back knowledge to the realm he or she came from. The Shaman makes this information accessible to the community, brings back a healing power, or retrieves a lost soul. But first, a Hmong Shaman must diagnose the sickness by tossing bull’s horns across the room. Different patterns signify different ailments. Upon reading the signs, one of the Hmong Shaman’s souls may depart from his or her body and journey to another world. There, the Shaman will negotiate with the evil spirit holding the soul hostage, often sacrificing a goat or a pig to complete the exchange. However, Western interpretations of the soul retrieval and other common traditions differ greatly. Evidence of this discrepancy exists in Syracuse itself. In the quaint storefront of Healing-Inspirations in Liverpool, N.Y., the steady pounding of a drum echoes in the background as Deborah DeRusha, a Syracuse-based Shamanic healer and teacher, guides her client into a trance-like state, leading her through what she refers to as “journey work.” DeRusha shouts out what she sees and feels. The client, an aspiring teacher who wants help uncovering one of her totem animals, does the same while an outsider transcribes detailed notes. She studies constantly and actively searches for jobs in an almost stalking, cat-like manner, waiting for the opportune moment to pounce on the perfect opening.
DeRusha’s ritual calls forth the totem animal, a mountain lion or perhaps a panther— any animal that stalks its prey. This totem animal guides the teacher through life and helps her succeed in the future. Unlike Shaman practitioner Dorena Clifton, DeRusha did not journey to another world to uncover her healing roots. This high-energy mother of seven first discovered her bond to Shamanism while driving a friend of a friend home. The acquaintance sang her a traditional Native American song, causing DeRusha to break down in tears. Native American culture piqued her interest at a young age and she always felt a deep connection to their culture and to the Earth. DeRusha, better known to her clients as the Dreaming Gypsy, signed up to take courses at The Institute for Contemporary Shamanic Studies, a small Shaman school in Toronto. For three years, she explored her connection to “everything in the universe” by spending one weekend each month participating in intense study sessions of the self and of Shamanism at The Red Lodge Longhouse. There, she also discovered her identity as the Dreaming Gypsy. She originally pegged herself as the Dreaming Cougar Woman— “cougar” representing one of her totem animals and “dreaming” signifying her ability to read people’s true aspirations. But following undesired responses from young males online, DeRusha changed her title to capture her wanderlust, carefree attitude, and nurturing spirit. Once she finally reached an understanding of her higher self, DeRusha began her own healing sessions, charging
“SHAMANISM IN TRADITIONAL SOCIETIES IS MORE LIKE HARMONIZING WITH THE NATURAL WORLD.” –PHILIP ARNOLD Associate professor of religion at SU 28 03.14
$20 for classes on the medicine wheel, totem animals, or the magic of trees; $45 for aura cleansings; and $125 for one to two-hour soul retrieval sessions. Over time, various Western groups have adopted the term Shaman and applied it to their own practices, creating what some call “white Shamanism.” This phenomenon arose in the United States during the 60s, in areas like Northern California, Colorado, and the Southwest. DeRusha, for example, packages herself as an all-inclusive medium: Shamanic teacher, healer, and spiritual guide. But with this borrowing of certain indigenous traditions comes the potential for inauthenticity. “People think they can just take whatever it is they need to make themselves feel better,” says Philip Arnold, an associate professor of religion at Syracuse University and the founding director of Skānoñh-Great Law Peace Center. “Shamanism in traditional societies is more like harmonizing with the natural world, but you don’t really want to get involved in these Shamanistic ceremonies.”In reality, these highly traditional ceremonies last hours and
are more imperiled than the Western idea of a Shamanic vacation at the local Hilton hotel. Native American groups like the Onondaga have only opened their lives up to “white Shamans” in the past 10 years, allowing Westerners to understand more about their healing traditions. This sharing of their practice catapulted after the 1978 American Indian Religious Freedom Act, which allowed native people to practice their religions freely, causing the hybrid traditions of Shamanism to arise. These new rituals are not authentically native nor indigenous— instead, they come from a modern, Western society. But white Shaman Practitioners like Dorena Clifton and Deborah DeRusha respect these traditions. Clifton constantly keeps up with her studies of Shamanism and the Lakota Nation, reading books such as Amber Wolfe’s The Truth About Shamanism and Arnold Mindell’s The Shaman’s Body. She recently received a pipe and medicine bag from the Plains Indian tribe, a small token of appreciation for her work and understanding of their tradition. jm
Three Syracuse men take up the fight against whaling.
By Kerry Wolfe : Illustrations by Adrian Hatch A whale carcass floats through the Antarctic water, its young body no larger than two SUVs. Black birds speckle the corpse—little funeral directors for the dead at sea. The Sea Shepherd, an anti-whaling vessel fighting the Japanese whaling fleet off the coast of Antarctica, falls into an eerie quiet as it passes the ghostly white flesh protruding from the water. No more orders shouted over the crashing waves—just silence. Jeff Watkins, a deckhand on the ship, stares at the whale’s body. He sees a dead child, sentenced to death after a harpoon killed its mother. A dead child, on the exact expected due date of the baby he and his then-wife lost a few months earlier. Watkins should have been at home in Central New York, welcoming a newborn into the world. But instead, he and his two close friends Joel Capolongo and Justin Pellingra— the “J Crew,” as they were known on the ship—were out on the Sea Shepherd, chasing Japanese whaling ships across the southern sea under the guidance of Captain Paul Watson. They joined the organization’s 2005— 2006 campaign, working on the vessel long before it became famous on the Animal Planet show Whale Wars. The Sea Shepherd has since gained notoriety for its aggressive tactics. The organization has expanded, gaining a reputation for eco-terrorism by members of numerous world governments—including that of the United States. They stalk the Japanese whaling fleet in Antarctic waters, ruthlessly intervening in the name of animal rights. Japanese hunters have stalked whales for millennia, making the industry an integral part of their cultural history. As technology improved over time, their kill count increased.
The International Whaling Commission imposed a whaling moratorium in 1982 in an effort to save the species from extinction. Most countries complied and put an end to their commercial whaling operations, but the Japanese still continue to hunt, killing the world’s largest animals under a guise of scientific research. At times, the only force stopping them are the Sea Shepherd vessels stationed across the oceans. Brian Race, a Syracuse native and good friend of the J Crew members, is currently out at sea, inspired by his friends’ experiences. Capolongo received an email from an old acquaintance, Allison Watson—then-wife of Captain Paul Watson—in the summer of 2005, inviting him to join the Sea Shepherd on its mission. He, Watkins, and Pellingra spent a few weeks reaching a decision, and ultimately, the trio said yes. The three of them had known one another for years, having staged animal rights protests across the country. Each man knew he could call on his brothers, a mantra they adopted as a symbol of their friendship. They began preparing for the trip, gathering their own equipment and scraping together money for airfare. “The last thing you want to do is find yourself on a boat in the bottom of the world wishing you’d brought gloves and ski goggles,” Watkins says. They boarded a plane on Thanksgiving Day in 2005, flying more than 24 hours from the U.S. to Melbourne, Australia. They arrived jet lagged and exhausted, with only one day to adjust to the searing Australian heat. “An Irish upstate N.Y. boy with my skin in Australia in the summertime—” Watkins says with a laugh, “I was red as a tomato within a day.” The Sea Shepherd crew—a total of 44 people—spent
about one month in Melbourne getting ready for their trip. Locals provided them with shipments of food and equipment. They then faced a daunting 45 days at sea, making a home out of the old, beat up shipping boat Captain Watson had gotten from a scrap heap. Life on the boat called for much acclimation. The ship rocked in the waves, its constant motion causing bouts of seasickness. And not the delicate seasickness depicted in popular culture—this left the crew convulsing, trapped in a maritime hell. They lived a regimented lifestyle, eating whatever vegan meal the cook, Laura, served. The workers could shower for three minutes every third day, washing themselves with a dish sprayer hanging in a closet. Soap wrappers and other peoples’ body hair stuck to their feet.The crew adjusted to a life at constant risk of flipping sideways. They strapped down everything on the ship—every dish, every glass—to keep it secure as they sliced through layers of solid ice. They worked in 24-hour daylight, maintaining the ship as they hunted the Japanese whaling fleet. Privacy on a small ship packed with 43 others came rarely. Dissention spread quickly. There was no room for gossip.The J Crew filled their free time with poker games, books, and boxed DVD sets, exposing their international comrades to American television shows like Nip/Tuck and Lost. They got to know the other workers and enjoyed their limited time together. Satellite reception and Internet were hard to come by.The Sea Shepherd had one phone, but it remained occupied by the captain. The crew stayed in contact with the world through printed emails—like the one Watkins received from his wife, telling him he would return to an empty home on Feb. 14. She was divorcing him. This news plummeted him into his own personal nightmare, trapping him in crippling emotional
torture. He leaned on his brothers for support, faced with the reality of returning to a drastically different life in America. Watkins sometimes questioned why he was out there. The answer came as he and Pellingra stood on the stern of the boat doing their laundry. They strung a rope through the arms and legs of their clothes before throwing the line overboard. They’d let the clothing drag in the water for a day or so before bringing it in to rinse away the salt. Frustrated by life on the vessel, Watkins turned to Pellingra. “I should have my head examined,” Watkins said. “What am I doing here?” As he vented, a pod of about a dozen orca whales surfaced no more than 30 feet from the Sea Shepherd. They swam in formation alongside the boat, their dorsal fins black as ink. As he stood on the back of the boat, doing his laundry in the bottom of the world, he realized why he was there. Out of all the crew members, the captain chose to deploy Capolongo and Watkins onto one of the zodiacs, a small inflatable ship they used in an attempt to disable the Japanese factory ship—a massive killing machine, the death star of the Japanese fleet. The two men would zip toward to Japan’s whaling ship, the Nisshin Maru, coming close enough to almost touch it. They threw buoys and ropes into the water, desperate to disable the vessel’s propeller and slow it down enough for the Sea Shepherd to catch up and ram it. The Japanese shot water cannons at the zodiac in an angered attempt to ward them off, but Capolongo and Watkins did not back down. Watkins hated that ship. It wounded him, representing everything he’s dedicated his life to fighting against. He wanted to punch it, to destroy it, to send it sinking to the bottom of the ocean where it
“IT'S AN AUSCHWITZ WITH A HULL” -JEFF WATKINS
“I LOVE YOU, MAN,” WATKINS REMEMBERS SAYING, CERTAIN THEY WOULD ALL DIE SOON.
belonged. “It’s an Auschwitz with a hull,” he says, his words tinged with anger. He still has the blueprint for the first propeller foul he and Capolongo designed. Their first clash with the Japanese happened on Christmas morning in 2005. The Nisshin Maru prepared to ram straight into the 25 drums of explosive aviation fuel the Sea Shepherd had stored in its midship. Five hundred gallons in each drum, all bound to explode from the impending boat-on-boat collision. Watkins turned to Capolongo as they deployed a mooring line on the ship’s aft deck. “I love you, man,” Watkins remembers saying, certain they would all die soon. Both ships tossed about in the sea, stuck in the middle of a force nine storm, surrounded by giant chunks of ice. Watkins remained calm. He saw his funeral, saw his mom upset. Yet he remained at peace. The Nisshin Maru gained ground, coming within about 20 yards of the Sea Shepherd before inexplicably missing its target. Against the odds, the ship survived. It was back to work for the shaken crew. Watkins vividly remembers New Year’s Day in 2006, exactly one week after their first harrowing clash with the Japanese whaling fleet. The Sea Shepherd stopped by a blue iceberg—Watkins estimates it was about the size of the ShoppingTown Mall. Watkins, Capolongo, and other daring crew members jumped into the frigid water. “They told us the
water kills you in three minutes,” Watkins says, “so we said, ‘Have us out in two!’” Two whales circled the boat. Not a wave rippled in the water. Penguins dove in, slicing through the glassy surface above. Watkins connected with the creatures he swam amongst. In that moment, they knew he existed. They shared the Antarctic Ocean with a Syracuse man crazy enough to brave the deathly cold water wearing nothing but gym shorts. In that moment, it was worth it. Coming home posed an entirely different challenge for the trio. The South African government detained them, prompted by pressure from Japan, after they coasted into Cape Town on fumes. They then faced further detention by the American government upon flying into New York. They came home to comments from locals calling them terrorists on par with Al-Qaeda. “You want to compare some whale-savers to that? You’re nuts,” Watkins says. Although Whale Wars had yet to premiere, the Sea Shepherd had already begun to gain notoriety for its aggressive tactics against the Japanese. His son’s first grade teachers asked him to present to the class, but he remained at a loss as to how to relay his experience without scarring the children—or worse, desensitizing them. He struggled to adjust to daily life as a single man. His luggage sat unpacked for a year. He couldn’t bring himself to watch Whale Wars
because it was too emotional, too jarring. Watkins DVR’d the series and watched portions of it for 10 minutes at a time before shutting off the memories. He doesn’t watch the current episodes, which feature his friends still out at sea.The Sea Shepherd continues to clash with the Japanese whalers, harassing its factory ship on and off camera—making headlines with its aggressive attacks. But Watkins avoids the show, even as the crew members maintain their fight against the whaling industry. But not all those memories bring pain. While recently preparing to move from Fayetteville to Westcott Street with his new fiancée, Watkins found a forgotten water bottle stashed in his old house. He had once filled it with water from a block of ice he plucked from the ocean near Antarctica. Relics like that bring him back, but in a good way. He still wears his Sea Shepherd crew jacket every winter, the bold white letters of the ship’s name standing in stark contrast against the black fabric. He swears it’s the warmest garment he owns. Watkins, Capolongo, and Pellingra still remain inseparable friends. Watkins named them the godfathers of his son and daughter, respectively. He now owns Cloud City Comics and Toys, a store that recently turned six years old. Capolongo co-owns Strong Hearts Café. Both business owners now, their lives
no longer afford them the opportunity to participate in any current Sea Shepherd missions. But that doesn’t stop them from looking back on the experience fondly. “I’m proud of what we’ve done. I’m proud of who we became,” Watkins says. “We were just a bunch of tattooed kids when we met.” Capolongo’s most recent tattoo pays tribute to their time at sea, the words “CALL ON MY BROTHERS” wrapped around a humpback whale. Watkins raises his own shirt, exposing a tattoo he got a few years ago—one of the many adorning his upper body. Among the mural of body art, “Jeff, Joel, Justin” stands out near a whale’s tail—an homage to his brothers, permanently etched into the skin on his arm. JM
HOUSE OF BREWS Nearby Cooperstown's Brewery Ommegang is up on its beer game. By Meg Zukin : Photos by Chris Janjic On the outside, the long, silver cylinders that house Brewery Ommegang’s brewsin-progress stand tall against a long, white building with a deep green roof. Beer drinkers enter through a wide, white doorway, eager to wrap their hands around a chilled glass emblazoned with a dragon— Ommegang’s logo—and guzzle down the brewery’s famous product. Beer lovers take note: Instead of throwing down for a 30-rack, drive 90 minutes on I-90 east to Cooperstown and pay a visit to Brewery Ommegang. Between the café, tours and tastings, special events, and concert series, about 60,000 visitors stop by every year. Brewery Ommegang’s secret to great beer: distilling with the cleanest water. Eight staffers prepare the brew 24 hours a day, 5 days a week. Allison Capozza, publicity manager, attributes the process to the company’s roots. “We’re a Belgian-style brewery,” Capozza says.“Refermenting in the bottle 36 03.14
is a Belgian technique that gives our beers nice carbonation.” The brewery pumps out one 50-barrel brew every four hours, making 26 batches a week for a grand total of 436,800 12-ounce bottles. In all, it takes about two weeks to get from the brew kettle to the bottle, where the beer sits for another two weeks in a warm cellar to referment before the brewery ships it out to accounts. The producers of Game of Thrones joined the fan club two years ago, when they contacted the brewery and asked if they could create beers that tied into themes of the show. Brewerey Ommegang released Iron Throne Blonde Ale last spring when the show’s third season premiered, with Take the Black Stout following suit last fall. Fire and Blood Red Ale is due out at the end of March for the fourth season’s premiere. These three are only the beginning— Capozza says they’ll release two beers a year in honor of each season of the show. JM
SMUT The tanks hold the beer while it ferments and lagers. Each one contains between 300 and 700 barrels of beer. Tour guide Jason talks to visitors about the brewing process. The brewery offers free tours every day of the year except for Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day. A big part of a brewer’s job is cleaning, including sanitizing the tri-clamps and other tools. Brewer Justin works in the lagering hall. Jason leads visitors through a tasting. Visitors of legal age can pay $3 to sample all six Ommegang ales and keep the tasting glass.
When it comes to mixing and matching patterns and textures this spring, there are no rules. By Lauren Yobs and Lis Webber Photos by Sarah Kinslow Models: Bria Jones, Emma Gregg, Monika Chojnowska
Bria: Top: Bounce, The Clas-sic Tee $34; Pants: Bounce, Dylan & Rose $98; Shorts: Ellie Mia, Mumu $106; Backpack: J Michael, The North Face $35; Scrunchie, Ellie Mia $6
Emma: Top: Ellie Mia, Jealous Tomato $42; Bathing suit top: Ellie Mia, Wildfox $77; Bralette: Model’s own; Jacket: J Michael, Free People $79; Shorts: Ellie Mia, BB Dakota $66; Backpack: J Michael, The North Face $35; • 03.14 JERK 41 Culture Roller Skates: Modern Pop
Bria: Top: Ellie Mia, Naven $78; Top Pants: Model’s own; Bottom Pants: Jet Black, Cynthia Vincent $298; Scrunchie: Ellie Mia $6; Shoes: Model’s own.
Monika: Top: Jet Black, Elizabeth and James $245; Pants: Model’s own; Clutch: Jet Black, Cynthia Vincent $78; Scrunchies: Ellie Mia $6; Watch: J Michael, Bora $20
Emma: Bathing suit top: Ellie Mia, Wildfox $73; Top: Ellie Mia, Parker $198; Shorts: Jet Black, Cut25 $495; Bag: J Michael, Sloane Ranger $30.
Monika: Bralette: Ellie Mia, One Teaspoon $69; Top: Jet Black, Elizabeth and James $245; Top Around Shoulders: Ellie Mia, Parker $198; Shorts: Ellie Mia, BB Dakota $66; Hat: J Michael, Vineyard Vines $28; Sunglasses: J Michael, TOMS $58; Belt: Model’s own; Sneaker: J Michael, Converse $55.
Bria: Blazer: Jet Black, Cynthia Vincent $345; Top: Ellie Mia, Mumu $88; Shorts: J Michael, Ya $26; Scrunchie: Ellie Mia $6; Glasses: Model’s own; Shoes: Model’s own.
Sweater: Ellie Mia, Finders Keepers $137; Sweater Around Shoulders: Model’s own; Skirt: Bounce, Ya $98; Scrunchie: Ellie Mia $6; Earmuffs: J Michael $12; Socks: Models own;
03.14Model’s 47 own.
GAWK CLOSET CASE
A little ingenuity and elbow grease are all it takes to bring fashion to the real world. Photos by Ilana Goldmeier
WISDOM TOOTH RING
BROCADE SKATER SKIRT
“I created this bag with another in mind, an older Marc Jacobs design. I had never made anything like it, so I wanted to experiment with textures and techniques that were new to me.”
“They were taking them out of my head and I said, ‘Can I keep them?’ and then my mom shook her head and they said, ‘Yeah, have them back.’ I was taking a stone setting class and I thought, 'Why not?'”
“My grandfather owned a textile factory. His accomplishments inspired me to teach myself to sew. When I choose my fabrics I go by the phrase, ‘If you don’t love it in the store, you won’t wear it.'"
CLOSED You know what they say— an iPhone case is worth a thousand emojis.
By Puni Limpanudom : Illustration by Hillary Cianciosi Shortly after the sonic boom of smartphone popularity came the aftershock of smartphone cases as reflections of identity. iPhone cases in particular have become a wearable form of expression nestled somewhere on the spectrum of art between painted canvases and couture. An iPhone case says more than any art piece could. Phone cases have become fashion accessories in the most literal sense within the past decade. Respected and well-known designers like Diane Von Furstenberg and Dolce & Gabana design cases specifically for the newest iPhone models. High-end retailers such as C. Wonder and Jonathan Adler sell iPhone cases in every store location. So, why the craze over what is nothing more than a plastic shell? It's the opportunity for expression that drives this desire. Be it minimalistic or humorous, fashionable or functional, there is no doubt in the modern consumer’s mind there will be a case to fit any personality. The ability to choose multiple cases, to switch patterns as easily as moods, and to exhibit this decision without words, are characteristics that millennial consumers find appealing.
Whether a no-nonsense workaholic with a simple Speck case or an adventure seeker with an indestructible Otterbox, the user's lifestyle is evident. Trendsetters risk the burdens of studs, spikes, and other 3-D artifacts protruding from the backs of cases. The same goes for anyone sporting a fashionable, nonfunctional piece of protective hardware by brands like Free People or Steve Madden. Some popular styles turn iPhones into cartoon animals, with rubberized tails and ears making the functional communication tool into a plaything. Perhaps because of a passion for animals or an interest in animation, these cases are less of a protective covering and more of a cradle of comfort, transforming a daily routine into an amusing object. Generation Y judges and is judged based on iPhone cases. A decision that was nonexistent a mere decade ago is now the center of discussion in public arenas, classrooms, and even the Starbucks line. Make sure your choice in case says what you intend—otherwise you might be mistaken for a passionate lover of cartoon bunnies, when in reality you’re really more of a cheetah-print fan. JM JERK
AND LEARN Beyonce’s self-titled visual album not only surprised fans, and topped charts—but may have changed the way other stars release music.
By Dan Blaushild : Photos by Chistina Mastrull In December, Beyoncé—the first lady of pop—shocked and nearly shut down the Internet when she released her surprise album Beyoncé. The new visual album, featuring 17 videos and 14 songs, became the all-time fastest selling record on iTunes after its release. The simple san serif "BEYONCÉ" on a black background effectively slapped the godfather of album covers, Alex Steinweiss, who pioneered the inclusion of art on album covers, in the face. But whether or not that slap shoved album artwork back into the closet where it will hang out with the cassettes and gramophones is yet to be determined. According to the Nielsen Group, in 2012 physical album sales declined 12.8 percent 50 JERK
while digital downloads increased 9.1 percent. And with that, the canvas for album artists and designers has diminished—from the 12-inch LP to the five-inch CD case and to today’s one-inch icons on portable music players and laptops. In 2010, designer Michael Carney took a satirical approach to this idea by creating simple and unmemorable album artwork for the cover of the Black Keys’ Brothers. With a basic white and red font on a black background, the artwork just says, “This is an album by the Black Keys. The name of the album is Brothers.” Carney won a Grammy that year for the design. In this digital age, the infinite possibilities of animation and interaction with the Internet is more appealing to record companies than
stagnant, stationary images on CD covers that only a handful of dedicated fans will appreciate. “It engages more of your senses and adds to the experience in terms of the storytelling and entertainment,” says television, radio, and film graduate student Ian Ludd. The sales of CDs are in a permanent state of decline due to free content offered by Internet giants like SoundCloud, Spotify, and YouTube. To keep our fragile and attention deficitaddled brains focused, Beyoncé made the ingenious decision to accompany the traditional audio album with videos. In the intro to the album, she explains why she wanted to create a visual album. “I see music,” Beyoncé says. “It is more than
just what I hear. When I’m connected to something, I immediately see a visual or a series of images that are tied to a feeling or an emotion, a memory from my childhood, thoughts about life, my dreams or my fantasies, and they are all connected to the music. I wanted people to hear the song with the story that’s in my head cause it’s what makes it mine.” Before Queen B planned her completely visual experience, Arcade Fire paved the way for her success with an interactive video that utilized a webcam for its 2013 single “Reflektor,” also the title of the album. The juxtaposition of hip triangles, Haitian towns and people, and oversized paper maché heads became the visuals JERK
NOISE not the cover art featuring a statue sculpted by Rodin. In the 1930s and 40s—before the prevalence of high quality, mass-produced photography—Steinweiss and other artists took pride in the hand-illustrated beautiful full-color LP covers as seen in Steinweiss’s cover designs for jazz greats Bessie Smith and Cole Porter, and composer George Gershwin Porter. With the evolution of photographic technology, album artwork in the 60s boasted beautiful mixes of high quality photography and psychedelic drawings, exemplified in supergroup Cream’s iconic album Disraeli Gears designed by Martin Sharp. This imagery impacted record sales through the distinct character it established— similar to the Rolling Stones’ iconic Sticky Fingers or Dave Mason's Alone Together, which featured artwork on the actual vinyl. The Velvet Underground featuring Nico’s self-titled album was one of the most iconic albums of the 60s—a screen print of a banana painted by pop artist Andy Warhol. Since then, contemporary and historical art has been used on many notable album covers such as Blur’s Think Tank designed by Banksy and Metallica’s Load designed by Andres Serrano. But with the dawn of the 1980s, album artwork began to shrink—both in size and in importance. This decline birthed such examples as the (in)famous Kanye West, who produces terrible album artwork, yet memorable imagery. From caricatured teddy bears to the twisted dark horrible painting in My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy to his most recent release, the why-even-have-acase image of a CD, Yeezus has yet to create any truly memorable album artwork. That’s not to say that Kanye’s music lacks any visual association; it is quite the opposite. He’s the only artist who could get away with not only
taking a photo of a naked Kim and himself suggestively riding a motorcycle, but creating an even more suggestive video of them on a motorcycle as well. It would seem that Kanye, Beyoncé, and Arcade Fire pioneered the future of visual albums. And with Beyoncé making 8.3 million dollars off her eponymous visual masterpiece in the first three days of sales, it won’t be long before another artist tries to profit off the new medium. Perhaps the next thing to come out is a visual album personalized for each individual viewer and listener. While the near future might boast more memorable music videos than album artwork, that doesn't mean that album artwork is completely dead. Thank the vinyl toting, black-coffee-drinking hipster population for that. Whether simply to be retro and ironic, or if people actually enjoy the warmer tones and crackly nature of record players, album artists and designers’ canvases just quadrupled in size. For illustrators, creating a wrap-around LP cover is one of the largest modes of mass-producing their work. Unless an artist is designing for One Direction, which sold 240,000 copies of Take Me Home in one week, being sold at stores like Urban Outfitters or the Sound Garden signals the big leagues. So until cassette tapes become the new ironic way to listen to music—which some Brooklyners have already started to do—vinyl will be responsible for bringing classic album artwork back. Famous albums like the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ I’m With You and Lady Gaga’s Artpop feature work from artists like Damien Hirst and Jeff Koons, respectively, ushering in a renewed appreciation for innovative album artwork. Hiring some of the most famous artists in the world is not cheap, but
"ALBUM ARTWORK IS ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO PERSONALIZE THE LISTENERS' CONNECTION THE MUSIC— MAKING A SONG MEMORABLE FOR LONG THE NOTES FADE" 52AFTER JERK 03.14 •
proves some musicians have not completely disregarded the importance of an album’s visual presentation. Creating videos as visual accompaniment might utilize technology to its full potential in our increasingly digital world, but singular album artwork is still iconic and memorable. Musicians lose the simplest method of effective branding and promotion by leaving album artwork as an afterthought. Album artwork is another opportunity to personalize the listeners’ connection to the music—making a song memorable for long after the final notes fade. So maybe it wasn’t iTunes and Spotify that killed record sales. Maybe when album artwork becomes more interesting or relevant again, we will see a rise in record sales. Queen B, Mrs. Knowles-Carter, Beyoncé— whatever you want to call her—has indefinitely
changed the industry with the release of her visual album. When she sings, the world listens, and now when she makes videos, the world watches. But the power of Beyoncé is not enough to completely derail the obstinate power of album artwork. From the creation of the eight-track player—ask your parents— cassette, CD, and MP3, album artwork has been under siege for the last 40 years, and it’s yet to succumb. Whether it comes down to hipsters’ love of vinyl, your dad’s record collection in the basement, or popular musicians investment into popular artists, there will always be support for album artwork. So yes, Beyoncé slapped traditional album artwork in the face with her latest release, but maybe this slap is just the wake-up call the classic visual accompaniment needed. JM
DES MARCH of
Maybe youâ€™re not emperor of the Roman Empire or seriously concerned about getting stabbed in the back on the Senate floor, but the old adage "Keep your friends close and your enemies closerâ€? may still apply. Here are eight tales of backstabbing and betrayal that will leave you looking over your shoulder.
HOME INVASION I knew a girl for three years, and we were close. I knew lots of the intimate details about her life and she supported me through many struggles. There we were weeks before our junior year of college, and we had to start looking for our senior year house. My fellow house hunters and I searched and searched for the perfect place, and when we finally found it, we were ecstatic. We all gathered to see it and agreed, it was most definitely the one. We proceeded to talk lease agreements with the landlord and there seemed to be some financial struggles. One roommate came to the conclusion suddenly that she couldn't live there—it was expensive and we would need to find someone else. Needless to say, we lost the house and weren’t able to find anyone before some of the roommates went abroad. Months later the mishap was forgotten, new places had been found, and everyone was on relatively good terms. We came to find out the house had been snatched up by none other than the girl I once knew. The one who I shared my intimate details with, my freshman year laughs, and my heartbreaks. I thought we’d be college besties. –Anonymous
“Click, click, click.” For a sophomore in college she literally and figuratively sucked at kissing. I was afraid she was going to break one of my teeth but it didn’t really matter—my blood and better judgment had drowned in half of a handle of Grape Svedka and an unfathomed amount of Natty Ice—yeah, the good stuff—I drank earlier in the day. Between the light show, Kaskade’s melodic beats, and the remnants of drugs in my system, nothing mattered in the world. I was waiting for everything to go black. The only thing holding me up was the girl’s tight grasp on my pants and my fear of being trampled by the endless sea of sweating, intoxicated coeds. Drunk, not incarcerated, and getting dry humped by an attractive girl seemed like a halfway decent ending to my Mayfest. Did I forget to mention the girl was my best friend's girlfriend? They weren’t Facebook official or anything, but I knew they had been “seriously” texting. I generally consider myself a decent human being, but that is the lowest I ever slumped. What are you supposed to do when a girl grabs you and rape kisses you? You can’t push her away and if you run you’re a little bitch. –G.L.
WHAT GOES AROUND You may call it being your typical collegeage asshole or you might just call me a hypersensitive psychotic slut—but there I was, the final weekend before finals, hooking up with a guy who I’ve had my eye on all semester. It began with pure innocence, a little bit of wine, and your typical “first-time-meeting” conversation. Between him saying, “I wish we would’ve found each other earlier in the semester,” we found out that we shared many of the same common interests. It's not often that I find guys that I connect with, but this was different. I felt like I had some kind of future beyond hooking up with this guy. He shared a story of how he went on a date last year, which led to them hooking up with the intention of taking their relationship to a new level—but the next morning, his date left and never texted him back. I thought to myself, “Well, that was a
shit move, I’d at least text you and say ‘Hey, sorry, I’m not interested.’” We spent the night in each other’s arms and the next morning talking for hours on end. He went home and we agreed that we wanted to see each other again. To my surprise, I would see him later that night at a party that I pre-gamed way too hard for, and lasted about 20 minutes before vomiting all over myself. I knew we talked, but I had no idea what we talked about, so the next morning I texted him and apologized for my level of inebriation. No text back. I went a couple days before texting again. No response still. I decided to give it up and see what the next semester brought. Fast forward: I saw him for the first time— making out with another guy at a party. The fact that this boy did the same thing to me that another boy did to him before only adds insult to injury. – Anonymous
THE DEVIL INSIDE I want to start off by saying I’m really not an aggressive individual. I normally let things roll off my shoulders and grin and bear it. This summer, however, that nice side of me all but disappeared. I worked with this really uptight, overly peppy J. Crew model look-alike in the city. Her smile charmed everyone who walked through the door and I couldn't f*cking stand it. Especially when that’s all she ever really seemed to be good at. I ran errand after errand across NYC, analyzed a countless number of soul-sucking financial reports, and became the unofficial office
copy bitch, while she laughed along with all of our coworkers and took partial credit for projects she had no part of. One evening, after a long and agonizing day of work, she left her phone on the desk and curiosity got the better of me. Apparently, she was having flings with not only another intern but our boss’s assistant as well. I, being the good intern I am, immediately informed the boss and she was asked to leave. After she left I became the new favorite intern. Sucks to suck. – Anonymous
ALL IN THE FAMILY Nothing good ever comes from getting totally white girl wasted. It was my last night home for winter break and we were celebrating a friend’s birthday. Clearly, birthdays call for lots of shots and so that’s how the night went—shot after shot after shot. Practically everyone from my hometown was in the bar and it was all-around a great night. I was talking to my best friend and her brother and reminiscing about the past. I think it's key to mention here that I totally had a crush on him when I was in middle school. When you're in a bar, talking only leads to more shots. I remember my best friend’s brother coming over and talking to me (the subject of the conversation I couldn’t tell you if I tried). I do remember he was close to me. More shots and then the memories stop. I don’t remember leaving the bar, but I vaguely remember the feeling of his beard on my face as we kissed and saying out loud, “THIS IS SO
WEIRD.” I repeatedly said some variation of “You’re like **** with a penis.” I woke up next to my best friend's brother (fully dressed, thank God) and ran outside to throw up. I walked back to the bed and he not-so-kindly said, “I’m going to drive you home. My mom can’t see you.” My only concern was where my best friend was. (She wasn’t even home.) We got in the car and not a word was spoken between us. I got home at 6 a.m. and by some miracle my parents didn’t wake up. I got an angry series of texts from an exboyfriend whom I was apparently rude to at the bar and ignored. I guess I betrayed him too? A few hours later I woke up not only hungover as shit, but my lady business sore as fuck. The only part worse than having sex with your best friend's brother is not remembering a single second of it. – E.R.
BE-HEADED I just became the head of a student org after a close race. When I asked for people who wanted to join the leadership team, guess who was the first applicant— the guy I just beat. Yes, he was very experienced, had nice hair, and was well respected by most, but I wondered if he was still upset about losing. I had him come in for an interview. We talked for about half an hour and he said, " I support you completely. You are going to succeed no matter what and I want to be there to help you.” It came down to him and one of my friends who really supported me during my race, but my friend was really just a yes-man. Should I hire the person I know
supports me, but will just go with whatever I say, or do I hire the more experienced person who I know will critique all my actions? I unfortunately hired the guy I beat. I walked in the office a little after three weeks into my term and found his resignation letter shoved under the door. Not only did I not hire one of my friends but this guy left me hanging in the middle of the semester. As if it couldn’t get any worse, I started receiving texts from him and his friends insulting the organization—and me. I may have beat him in the election, but he had the last laugh in the end. – Anonymous
THE BRO CODE Here’s the scenario: We’re at a party at our friends and I invite a girl I’ve been talking to for quite some time now. I have a feeling that tonight might finally be the lucky night. My hair is looking great, I have on the freshest-of-fresh button downs, and my confidence is through the roof. The night starts to carry on and the girl still hasn’t made it to the party. While waiting, I play a few games of beer pong with the boys. Eventually she shows up, looking hot as hell. By this point, we’re several games of pong deep and pretty drunk. I go up to her, say what’s up, and immediately start spitting my game—but because of my drunken state, my game is terrible. I say stupid thing after stupid thing and it eventually gets to the point
where it’s pretty obvious that I won’t be scoring tonight. After accepting my defeat I walk into the kitchen, where I find one of my best bros. I tell him about my unfortunate situation and he sympathizes with me. He then asks one of the worst questions a bro can ask another bro. He wonders if he can swoop in and take a stab at hooking up with this girl. I say no and we have a back and forth about why it should or shouldn’t happen. The argument gets heated and a few pushes are exchanged. Which then turns into wrestling on the kitchen floor. The fight gets even more intense and my supposed bro grabs a steak knife and drives it into my back. – Anonymous
CAREER MADNESS As a Newhouse student, the internship pressure hit me February freshman year. I more or less freaked out— emailing upwards of 20 places with my shoddy cover letter and résumé. A small publication got back to me immediately and set up an interview for the following week. I met the two head editors over bubble tea (in hindsight, this should’ve been a warning sign. What top, professional editors want to meet over boba?). They offered me the internship on the spot and, of course, I accepted. Later that evening, I sent the obligatory “thank you for meeting with me” and “I am thrilled to have this opportunity” email. In our exchange we agreed upon a flexible mid-May start day.
Beginning of April—I emailed them with and got no response. Then mid and end of April. Still nothing. I emailed well into May and, finally, at the end of the month, they replied. It went something like this: “Due to never having receiving a confirmation email of your acceptance after your interview, we have given the internship to someone else. Professionalism dictates you must send a follow-up email.” If anything, freshman, overeager me was professional. I sent them screenshots of our February email exchanges and every other email I had sent after that. They never replied. Yeah, I don’t think I was the unprofessional one. –S.G.
Infamous Stabs From Romanculture to pop culture, the backstab is ubiquitous. We rounded up the most memorable betrayals of all time.
judas iscariot and jesus The biblical OG of betrayal. Judas traded in his Apostle title for cold, hard cash—a onetime payment of 30 silver pieces.
marcus brutus on julius caesar The reason for the season. Brutus’s epic betrayal that would inspire one of Shakespeare’s most acclaimed plays.
tupac and biggie
scar in the lion king
The world may never really know what happened to create the rift between Biggie and Pac that ever divided the coasts. Still a decade after the initial feud, the coastal rap war rages on, in the lyrics and disses of rappers everywhere.
The most infamous betrayal of our childhood. We’ll all forever be scarred—no pun intended of course—by the sight of a young Simba crying next to his dead father’s body.
lando calrissian in the empire strikes back
paris hilton, lindsay lohan, kim kardashian, and nicole richie...
To be fair, Darth Vader is one intimidating dude—The all-black get up and power of the force is the stuff of space nightmares. But there’s still no excuse for handing Han Solo over to be sealed in carbonite.
Paris Hilton, unintentional trailblazer for the celebrity sex tape industry. We could feel bad, but then again, where would our society be without the genius that is One Night in Paris?
JOHNNY CASH By Brysan Brown : Illustration by Ryan Brondolo
Love Letters (Mar. 10)
Underneath The Rainbow (Mar. 18) "Boys in the Woods"
Tokyo Police Club
Forcefield (Mar. 25)
life experiences inspired a surge of gritty American folk music with a young Bob Dylan at the helm. The Country Music Hall of Famer is also credited with helping to establish the genre itself. Artists like Jason Aldean, Dixie Chicks, and First Aid Kit pay homage to him in their songs. Social Distortion, Dave Matthews Band, and countless others covered his classics like “Ring of Fire” and “Long Black Veil.” The original bad boy of country has come and gone, maybe not in a ball of flames—but in a ring of fire. While Cash may not be able to revel in this newfound success, his legacy transcends the music industry, leaving a lasting impression. Last June, the Postal Service released a limited edition stamp in memory of Cash. Because nothing says ultimate stardom like immortalization on envelopes around the world. JM
"I'm Aquarius" "Hot Tonight"
PHOTO CREDITS: http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v85/dissris/risism/tlc23.jpg
Johnny Cash may have died over a decade ago, but he’s still walking that line—and apparently singing it, too. Legacy Records will release Cash’s third posthumous album of unreleased songs, Out Among the Stars, on March 25. The Folsom Prison Outlaw recorded the album in the early 80s and then buried it in his music vault, that is, until now. It seems the Man in Black—one of the many pet names Cash’s fans coined over the years—has reemerged as a cult hero. His albums are selling at all-time highs, partly because of the popularity of the 2005 blockbuster Walk the Line—and no, Joaquin Phoenix is not the real Johnny Cash. Upon their releases, American V (2006) and American VI (2010) peaked at numbers one and three on the Billboard Charts. Cash’s songs blurred the lines between storytelling and singing, and his grueling
WE HELP CRITIQUE POP CULTURE SO YOU DON'T HAVE TO.
DOCTOR WHO By Eric King
THE DEAL: Since its third revival in 2005, Doctor Who has attracted an international, quasireligious following. Last May, the BBC show’s seventh season came to a close and left fans everywhere in crippling Whovian withdrawal. Following the 2013 storm of speculation about Matt Smith’s replacement as the 12th Doctor, production for season eight began in early January with Peter Capaldi at the helm of the T.A.R.D.I.S.
THE ISSUE: Whovians rank as some of the most annoying fans online with their endless cyber-forest of Tumblr pages dedicated to emotionally charged rants about the latest episode. Even in the off-season, these posts saturate the Internet. And, you can’t forget about the cosplay. The intensity of Doctor Who's fandom can be overwhelming, to say the least.
THE (LARGER) ISSUE: People perceive some TV shows, movies, and books that fall into the genre of sci-fi or fantasy as dense and inaccessible. The Lord of the Rings saga, Star Trek, and Doctor Who have all fallen victim to the stereotype. They survive in worlds with elves, tractor beams, and Daleks—worlds completely unlike our own. Their jumbled
plotlines and intricate backstories scare away anyone who isn’t fully committed to the make-believe world. And for people like that, it's easier to call these things “different” and “weird.” It is at this crossroads where nerd culture has survived for years.
THE DEFENSE: Gone is the negative stigma once surrounding the word “nerd.” Being a nerd is okay—maybe even cool. It’s quirky. It’s interesting. Collecting Star Wars lightsabers isn’t something to be ashamed of, it’s a badge of honor. Girls who read comic books are alternative, not bizarre. Because of works such as Doctor Who nerdiness is mainstream. As people become increasingly passionate about books, movies, and, yes, TV shows, they want to let their freak flag fly. So let 'em. You can’t knock Doctor Who fans for flooding the Internet with memes and mind-numbing debates because political junkies do the same. You can’t berate them for dressing like eclectic TV characters, because football fanatics do it every game. Everyone has a passion and for Whovians, it’s a humanoid alien who schleps around in a time-traveling police callbox. So let them cosplay. Let them argue about conspiracy theories and think bow ties are cool. Let them be nerds. JM
john wells Where he’s from: Boston, M.A. • Active since: Began as the Whiskey Bandit in 2012, but dropped the name since changing sounds in the summer of 2013. • Sounds like: Dylan-esque lyrics and melodies mixed with synth-heavy sounds.
By Natsumi Ajisaka : Photo by Drew Osumi
Why you should listen: His music retains a lot of what Whiskey Bandit fans love, yet melds classic folk with indie rock. Where you can listen: SoundCloud live mid-spring, or just YouTube one of his live performances. Best Song: “Branded.” It’s about coming of age, the pressures to fit in, and battling the temptation to get a corporate job. Drink of choice: Whiskey, but recently Shellback—a cheap rum that's good mixed with apple cider. Non-musical inspiration: He saw a documentary about homeless people under the subways called Dark Days. 62 JERK
The song called “Tommy Tracks” is based on one of the main characters. What he Jerks to: Discovery, Vampire Weekend, and The Knife. Or anything he can get his hands on online. Favorite processed food: Cinnamon rolls. What he'd put on a Mixtape for a girl: Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather,” Discovery’s “I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend,” and A$AP Rocky’s “Shabba." Weirdest gig: The Sidewalk Cafe on the Lower East Side. They encourage artists to drink before shows, "Which is really cool, too." JM
Mardi Gras Face it—you probably won’t be in New Orleans on March 4 to celebrate Fat Tuesday. For a great party without the hangover or binge-induced regret, check out our top culture picks.
PHOTO CREDITS: http://www.carolhighsmithamerica.com, http://cdn.clevver.com, http://hypebeast.com, http://www.lindsaylohan.com, http://4.bp.blogspot.com
FILM: The Grand Budapest Hotel
If you’re stuck at the Motel 6 on your trip to New
Let the Teflon Don Rick Ross put the fat—we
Orleans, bask in the glory of luxury with Wes
mean phat beats of course—back in Fat Tuesday
Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel, due
with the release of his new album Mastermind
in theaters March 7. It has all the deceit, betrayal,
on March 4. The big man in charge of the
and murder that comes with a seedy motel, but
Maybach Music Group collaborated with Sean
with stain-free sheets and snobby bellhops. The
Combs, Dr. Dre, Kanye West, Big Sean, and Lil
all-star cast of Jude Law, Edward Norton, and Bill
Wayne for his sixth studio album. No one can
Murray may wow audiences in Anderson’s eighth
hold the heavyweight back with the release of
feature-length film, but its quirky, deadpan
the single featuring Jay-Z, “The Devil is a Lie.”
comedy and parallel universe storyline is more
But let’s be honest—the only person Rick Ross
likely to just confuse them.
lies to is his personal trainer.
TELEVISION: Lindsay While Mardi Gras is one of the few days of the
BOOK: Ghost Train to New Orleans Take a trip to New Orleans with Mur Lafferty’s
year designated for normal folk to get completely
monster travel guide, Ghost Train to New Orleans
obliterated while wearing stupid costumes,
(The Shambling Guides) released on March 4.
Lindsay Lohan makes a full-time job of it—when
Zoe Norris, travel writer for the undead, tours the
she isn’t visiting a new rehab facility. Grab your
Big Easy when her boyfriend mysteriously starts
pen and prepare to take notes on how to be a
turning into a member of the walking dead.
little trashier from the former tween-idol turned
Mardi Gras partygoers may resemble something
softcore porn star. Lindsay’s first reality show,
out of a horror movie after a few straight days of
cleverly titled Lindsay, premieres March 9 on the
heavy drinking, but Ghost Train gives a new face
Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
to that post-party hangover.
Syracuse Soapworks Syracuse Soapworks is heaven scent. 1153 W. Fayette St., Syracuse, N.Y.
A sample of the soap found in Syracuse Soapworks.
By Mitali Das : Photos by Penelope Vasquez The aroma of eucalyptus, Castile lavender, and lemongrass ginger fills the air. Hand lotion towers, liquid soap exposés, and piles of sachets line the periwinkle walls of the quaint retail store. The quiet hum of production equipment echoes from the building’s posterior. Enter Syracuse Soapworks. In 2003, Rick Reina founded this family business based on his principle of using local, organically produced skincare products. Complete with a retail store and production center for cutting and curing the soap, Soapworks offers locals and online soap connoisseurs alike the opportunity to purchase an authentic item. “I think it’s important in this day and age to know exactly what you are putting on your skin,” Reina says. With a 100 percent natural and crueltyfree policy, Syracuse Soapworks’ line of 18 original fragrances is an alternative to mass-produced body products, which 64 JERK
often contain artificial colors and scents. “My favorite product of ours is the extra virgin olive oil soap, which not only gently cleans, but moisturizes skin,” Reina says. "It is ideal for our Syracuse winters.” The “multisensory experience” of Soapworks’ products—given their veganfriendly base of vegetable oils, botanicals, and pure essential oils—is a quality that commercial companies cannot reproduce. The uniqueness of Reina's product fuels his company. For him, the business’s true profit is the reliability of a locally made, tangible product. It's one of the unmatched benefits of local production. “If there is a problem with my product, you can come talk to me. When there is an issue with your Dove soap, I don’t think you’ll have that same opportunity,” Reina explains as he sits surrounded by dozens of collections of his original tea tree, rosemary, and cinnamon products. “I see value in that.” JM
Rick Reina displays a block of organically produced soap.
A sign greets visitors as they enter the store.
Soapworks cuts and cures its own soaps.
Reina gestures to the racks of soap products that fill the shop.
Funny Woman About Town This self-described insomniac DPS officer works day and night living a secret double life as a stand-up comedian. Recently, she brought her talents to The Funny Bone. Jerk sat down with Anna Phillips to learn about how she manages to stay awake through it all. By Kristin Ross How did you get started in stand-up? Talking to students all the time from all over. A lot of our employees are international students, and sometimes English is their second language. I would find ways to be able to say one thing so that everybody got it the first time, and I would do it with humor. People would say, “You should be a comedian.” I thought that was a horrible idea.
Where do you get your material? I use things from my life. Most of my material is basically true, but I have a dry sense of humor. Fat jokes are my specialty though because I’m fat. It’s my bread and butter—and I eat it. No, I’m just kidding. What's your spirit animal? Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh because he sounds monotone and depressed all the time. I’m constantly tired, so people probably mistake me as being depressed.
What’s your go-to way to get caffeine? Coffee—because it’s free at work. I actually think depriving yourself of caffeine is better because I’ve become desensitized. Energy drinks are pretty bad, but I like AMP—that’s mostly because I’m self-centered and my initials are AMP. And when do you eat?! I eat when it’s free. When I do comedy shows I get free food, so I try to book a lot of shows so I don’t pay for it because I’m really cheap. I loved being a college student because you can get free food anywhere. You just have to pretend like you’re a College Republican or College Democrat and go to their meetings, eat the pizza, and say, “Eh, you know what, I don’t think I should be here,” and just storm out—maybe even take a couple slices with you. JM
PHOTO FROM: http://bit.ly/1eH9XMn
So, why stand-up then? I felt like it would be funny to be humiliated in public. I know that sounds weird, but it’s the truth. But that didn’t really happen.
How do you stay awake? Sometimes I have shows right before I come into work and I feel like Eminem at the end of 8 Mile. I always feel like I just won a rap battle and I have to go back to the factory. The adrenaline will keep me up if I have a good show.
Killed by: Times New Roman 1495-2014 By Elizabeth Hynes The typography community comes together this week to mourn the loss of one of its oldest members: Cursive. Born to loving parents Cuneiform and Hieroglyphics around the 16th century, Cursive enjoyed a long, healthy life, riddled with both trials and tribulations. Like its parents, Cursive grew up to be an equally important part of handwriting history. Seen in many famed artifacts such as original Shakespearian texts, the Declaration of Independence, and Virginia Woolf’s suicide note, Cursive was once associated with erudition and class. However, its pristine reputation was later tarnished by another sort of class: English class. From the time our hands were hardly big enough to hold a pencil, teachers forced us to fit Cursive into rows upon rows of strategically dotted lines— an institutionalized form of torture. This American equivalent of sweatshop labor transformed Cursive from a treasured mark of esteem to a despised and cruel form of
written communication. Now, our Cursive-bred generation has broken free of its reigns and bludgeoned our penmanship slave owner to death in a Django-inspired bloodbath. As we grew lazier and more technologically savvy, we tossed aside those finely crafted curves for tiny little faces accessible by the touch of a button. Why waste time and precious wrist energy pouring over hand-written love letters when we can just text a winking smiley with its tongue out. Once the undisputed king of chirography, Cursive now exists only as an antiquated, rustic novelty on Zooey Deschanel’s Instagram and on Pinterest DIY recipe cards. Those closest to the deceased prefer a more optimistic view: That Cursive will live on as the Ozymandias of handwriting, a relic of an ancient past, forever visible in our grandmothers’ grocery lists and every Wes Anderson film. Cursive is survived by its offspring: Emojis and I’s dotted with hearts. JM
Lululemon Headband: An extra 30 dollars to better secure fly-aways.
How to Dress for Your Pre-Spring Break Gym Session.
Statement Jewelry: The more you wear, the more calories you burn.
iPhone: Because it didn't happen unless you Instagram it. Sorority Tanktop: Smell that? It's the stench of sisterhood.
Neon Sneakers: They were just a cute room decoration — until this morning.
Stylist: Lauren Yobs Photographer: Shijing Wang Model: Lara Sorokanich
Vita CoCo Coconut Water: Coconuts are made out of electrolytes, right?