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the newspaper

January 31 2008 Vol. XXX No. XVII

toronto’s student community paper

Information Overload Got You Down?

November 22 2007 Vol. XXX No. XI

Going... Going... Soon this piece of UofT history will have gone to the highest bidder

By Jocelyne Kilpatrick

See Kay cont. pg. 2

Photo by Evan Jordan

Hart House Debates room was a buzz last Monday night when Jonathan Kay, Managing Editor of the National Post, came to speak for CAFEX, a University of Toronto club that’s been hosting a series of lectures on happiness. This month’s lecture was about finding happiness in a digital world. Kay touched on some big technological-social issues such as Facebook, TV addicts, pornography, and Internet cliques. “Humans are happiest when they find themselves at the centre of a web of human connections” was Kay’s main message. The university campus is a simulation of the ‘small village’ where every day there is a high probability that you will bump into someone you know. Something like driving to work every day alone for an hour is, according to Kay, dehumanizing.

Photo by Catalina Gomez

By Sean Liliani

In October of 2007 Governing Council made the news with its decision to sell UofT owned David Dunlap Observatory (DDO) in Richmond Hill.

Jonathan Kay Spoke at Hart House on Monday January 28th

The property, donated in 1932, had become mostly unknown to UofT students and had ceased to serve as the world class facility that it once was. In October of 2007 the GC alleged that the “highly urbanized area… had diminished the use as an observatory”. This past week residents of Richmond Hill have catapulted the issue back into the radar of St. George campus with an aggressive appeal for UofT to reconsider its abrupt selling of

the property. While urban encroachment may have rendered the facility outdated, the maintenance of the David Dunlap property has served the inadvertent purpose of safeguarding a greenspace for the community. Under the ownership of UofT, this wildlife refuge has come to support a locally admired deer population and residents are concerned that the highest bidder for this piece of real estate will care nothing for ecological

value. “We more or less look at this as our High Park,” Joe Agg told the newspaper. Mr. Agg is a member of the Richmond Hill Naturalists and was just one of many who attended the Town Hall on Monday night. There’s a reason why the property is worth an estimated hundred million dollars and local residents are worried that selling this scarce commodity See Dunlap cont. pg. 4

2 the newspaper

31 January 2008

Ke nya n U nres t Canadian Students Forced To Call Off Expeditions to Kenya By Sean Liliani Things aren’t getting any better for the 300,000 displaced citizens of Kenya, and here in Canada student groups are having to face the fact that now might not be the best time to visit. Formerly one of East Africa’s most stable countries, many expected the political climate to cool down just as quickly as it erupted. But with the ethnic tensions fueling this political fire, riots have turned the country into hotbed of conflict. While the Global Youth Network has previously flown in Canadian students to volunteer at a rural orphanage in Kenya’s Rift Valley, this year they wait hoping that the riots in nearby Nakuru remain at bay. “We find we’ve been in these situations before,” says founding director Dave Skene. “The best place to get information is from the locals”. With the Foreign Affairs travel advisory currently encouraging Canadians to ‘avoid non-essential travel’ it is doubtful that any trips organized through UofT will proceed. “We haven’t reached the

deadline when we’re going to make the decision,” says program director Yvette Ali, of Woodsworth’s Summer Abroad program. “But things obviously aren’t looking good”. As university travel programs are electing to withdraw students trips to the tumultuous country, volunteer organizations such as Global Youth Network are also feeling the pressure to abstain; a decision that comes with great reluctance. “We’re not just sending teams to countries just because we can,” Skene told the newspaper. “We want to have a relationship with those countries and the NGOs there”. Since the newspaper spoke with Skene, members of the team have been informed that the trip has been relocated to Tanzania. It is unfortunate that charitable purposes have been trumped by such violence (although not nearly as unfortunate as it is for the people having to live through this ordeal) but it comes as a prudent decision not to send student volunteers into a situation they are not equipped to handle.

the newspaper Editor-in-Chief Sean Liliani

Managing Editor Joe Zabukovec

News Editor Steven Borowiec

Arts Editor Niya Bajaj

Ha r t Hous e D e b ate


Jonathan Kay Discusses Pros and Cons Of Facebook and Pornography

Kay cont. from pg. 1 So what about those telecommunications jobs where you get to work from home? Kay suggests it’s not as pleasant as it seems. Sure it may be comfortable, but consider spending 12 hours alone in your bedroom every day, with your only human contact being a person on the other end of the wire. Or consider the social aspect of the coffee shop phenomenon, which Kay aptly termed the “Cult of Starbucks”. Members of this superficial club fetishize their social experience in a coffee shop because they have no other social alternative, such as sports, to turn to. And really, if you’re a U of T student like me, then we really shouldn’t snigger. We have the reputation of being the largest anti-partying, anti-social, unfriendly school in Canada. Is Facebook our poison? Thankfully, our

a-social elitist position does not derive from this overwhelmingly popular addiction. Kay uses it, but just for 15-20 minutes a day. “It’s for second-order friends; I save email for my better friends.” According to Kay, those creepy close-knit Internet communities are not healthy. They encourage narrow-mindedness by allowing people to look at the world through a drinking straw, where everyone thinks and acts the same way as everyone else. In a broader sense, consider what newspaper you read. If you’re a right-wing activist most likely you read the right-wing newspaper, and if you’re a left-wing activist probably you read a left-wing paper. The social consequence is that it decreases dialogue between the two parties. CAFEX’s next event will be a Valentine Social at Hart House on February 11th.

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the newspaper 3

Handguns: When Is Enough, Enough? By Stephanie Busato

Canada has never been known as a hot spot for gun activity. The laws have been firm, and licenses are required for owning a gun. So why is it that in 1973, 10 million guns were registered in Canada, whereas in 2003, there were only 6.4 million? Did the guns just disappear? Perhaps it is not the guns that have disappeared, but rather the steps to registration and the responsibility that such entails. Our streets are becoming unsafe because of illegal handguns. Sadly this is not the only reason. In light of recent violence on the streets of Toronto, it has become quite clear that even legal owners of handguns are putting the public in danger. Not only do Canadians have to worry about illegal dangers, but now the legal ones as well. After putting in such hard work at creating a reputably safe Canada, the violence seems to have found us. Recently, Toronto was witness to two brutal crimes involving the use of handguns. The first involved the shooting death of John O’Keefe, 42. Toronto police claim that two men were kicked out of the Brass Rail strip club early on the morning of January 16.

They returned later to open fire on the bouncers who kicked them out, and hit O’Keefe, who happened to be walking by. The semi-automatic gun used to kill the downtown health store manager, and father of one, was registered and licensed by Edward Paredes, 22, who claims to have a "bad temper" and "reacts on impulse, due to an Attention Deficit Disorder". How was he was able to legally own a handgun? How is it that a person with a medical condition that causes impulsive behaviour can own a gun? The next tragedy occurred the very next day when another innocent bystander, working at a grocery store, was shot to death on a busy Riverdale street. Shoppers ducked for cover as bullets struck store windows and parked cars. Both gunmen fled the scene shortly afterward, but the damage had already been done. Toronto police chief Bill Blair claimed

that "It’s disgraceful," that so many people were put at risk. "I think the entire city is outraged, and I share the concerns of the citizens," he said after he surveyed the scene. How is it that handguns (even legally owned ones) can be put into the hands of dangerous individuals? Both incidences have escalated calls from Premier Dalton McGuinty for a Canada-wide ban on handguns. "There's something that's pretty simple and straightforward that we can and should do together. I think we should ban handguns. I think we have an opportunity now to distinguish ourselves from our American cousins, to establish a different kind of gun culture here north of the border," McGuinty said. Echoing Mayor David Miller, the premier implored Prime Minister Stephen Harper to prohibit the private ownership of handguns. Miller, McGuinty and Harper hopefully will decide that enough is enough it is time to make Canada safe again. As Attorney General, Chris Bentley said so eloquently, "if you’re going to get serious about gun crimes, you’ve got to get serious about guns."

Illustration by Yoojin Guak

31 January 2008

the jock talk

Guys Who Wear Under Armour I’m certainly not one to judge people by the clothes they wear, but I make exceptions from time to time. Guys who wear the “Under Armour” brand come in many varieties and based on my experience they are the worst kind of people. I never thought I would hear myself say this but these guys give going to the gym a bad name. You see these assholes everywhere. Here are the main reasons you should stay clear of them. 1. They wear Under Armour all the time.

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by Alan Osadetz

For some reason they think it is appropriate to wear the brand in places other than the gym, like amusement parks, malls, nightclubs, beaches, funerals. It is as if they think that it’s stylish to take the gym with them everywhere they go. The typical look they go for is the black spandex top that’s a size too small, complete with gold sunglasses (which remain on indoors). Don’t forget the overconfident, puckered-lipped facial expression. 2. They talk about girls all the time, but never talk to girls. These guys have the charisma of Bob Dole and the self-esteem of an anorexic. Out at the bar you’ll see them standing in the middle of the dance floor, but not dancing or talking to anyone. They think their muscles

will make women magically approach them and go home with them. (Although muscularity is extremely important, it is only effective in conjunction with the other essential skills, such as a fake foreign accent or an elaborate make-believe occupation.) 3. They’re juiced up. 90% of these assholes look exactly the same. They shave their heads completely bald to conceal from everyone that they are actually balding from steroids. Don’t forget the stereotypical shitty goatee they sport to avoid looking like a cancer patient. This is why they almost always get in fights after striking out at the bar. If you do wear Under Armour, or have “gone over to the dark side” as I call it, it may not be too late for you to turn your life around. Although chances are very slim, if you read my column weekly and stick to my methods a full recovery is possible. Although a highly debated subject, wearing Under Armour has been added to the Canadian Mental Health Association’s official list of psychological/personality disorders, so I cannot overstress the severity of this situation. Likewise, if you have a friend who wears Under Armour they can get help, and it is your duty as a friend to hold an intervention.

4 the newspaper

31 January 2008

Trial By the newspaper $100M Could Have A Dispute But No Financial Means To Settle It? By Matthew Pope

Write in and Let Our Staff weight in on the Dispute. Plaintiff:

I’ve been cordially acquainted with the defendant for some time now and I am grateful that the change room at the gym provides me with an atmosphere to meet and converse with a diversity of people. However, I am very much against the fact that the defendant chooses to stand stark naked during the ten minutes that we talk about the Toronto Maple Leafs. I ask that you sentence him an outfit of two to five items of clothing.

Bring You Closer to the Stars...


I think a lot of these young fellas that are worried about the nakedness around the change-room are just concerned because they’re packages haven’t dropped yet. When you get to a certain age, a man has a second kind of puberty and their testicles drop, oh say, an additional three inches. This is what has all the young fellas’ panties in a knot.

The Verdict:

I am generally a staunch supporter of nudity in any form, especially in the locker room (how else are supposedly straight guys supposed to sneak a look at the competition?). The plaintiff’s story smacks of bro-bait. WILLING bro-bait. What the hell are you doing just standing around in the locker room? Either you’re not ‘looking’ so you’re getting ready, or you’re creating an excuse to survey the junk yard; perhaps you don’t like what your bro is packing. Which brings me to the defendant. Dear sir, you were no more than 8 words into your testimony when you lost this case. “young fellas”?! How much of an age difference are we talking about? You’re starting to remind me of that creepy uncle: the one who’s always just a little too interested in your personal life. I checked with some of our local sexperts about this ‘second puberty’ of yours, and it seems that you are a biological oddity in that department. Let me write you a reality check: when your balls have dropped another THREE inches, thats not another puberty, thats GRAVITY. Do you mean to tell me that as a woman’s breasts begin to sag to her waistline that she’s hitting her ‘second puberty’? Get real. You’re teabagging every time you shit, aren’t you? When you junk sags that bad, it’s time to strap it in. I rule in favour of the plaintiff. Pick your wrinkly old sack off the floor. Nobody wants to see that, not even your bro.

Dunlap cont. from pg. 1 to the highest bidder will bereave the community of an invaluable asset. The seventy-seven hectare expanse has typically served to buffer the observatory from the nearby lights of the city. With the abandonment of the facility, developers will surely stake their claim on the urban encircled forest. Local residents are not only fearing the loss of this historical facility but are also feeling betrayed by the school’s decision. “Richmond Hill has bent over backwards to accommodate the university” says Agg. For decades local bylaws have catered to the observatory by preventing major commercial development in the surrounding area. The surreptitious sale of the DDO has left many in Richmond Hill feeling that UofT has reneged

on a once symbiotic relationship. The town hall meeting on Monday produced a plea for UofT to slow down with the sale and consider alternatives. However if all goes as planned, the university will be looking at bids in the coming month and end up selling the property soon thereafter. In the likely event that the land will be picked up by a developer, the town hopes to at least safeguard the observatory building from destruction. An appeal to have the seventy year old structure declared a heritage site is currently under way and this Friday elementary school students will band arms around the dome in a final attempt to save it from the bulldozers.

The Robbers – It is its own heaven, It is its own hell. By Emily Burke The University College Drama Program’s production of The Robbers was undeniably impressive. The talented, enthusiastic cast commanded the audience’s attention with their energized and borderline shocking performance. I must confess that more than once during the play, I feared my safety and well-being – one actor whipped a heavy, wooden chair around in circles not too far from my front-row seat. The playbill aptly prepares the audience for the unrestrained, passionate and violent tone of the play and the unsettling behaviour of the characters. Nevertheless, I couldn’t help wincing at some intentionally irritating dialogue, such as the screaming repetition of German political mantras. Nor could I keep from jumping out of my seat with the jarring ‘BANGS’ of desks and chairs slamming against the stage floor. This play made very clever use of sound, from engaging monologues, to singing solos, violin interludes and rhythmic stepping reminiscent of Broadway’s Stomp. The subject matter is difficult to articulate. The classroom setting of straight rows of desks filled with silent and solemn students quickly morphs into a chaotic struggle for power and loyalty in a teacherless classroom. This classroom microcosm of 18th centry Germany examines themes of power,

ethics, fraternity and freedom in a vulnerable environment in which faith is beginning to falter and a community gets ripped apart. The script struggles to communicate clearly and does not remotely attempt concision, but the actors certainly communi- (From Left to Right) Mina James, Hilary Connell, Luke LaRacque. cated one message from beginning to end: they are dedicated to the production. Despite my personal reservations about the dialogue, which is somewhat inaccessible to any audience member who is not enthusiastic about Romanticism and the Enlightenment, I will be the first to admit that the choreography of dance and diction were professionally and memorably executed. At the risk of offending certain young starlets, I would like to add that with all the twirling, squatting and leaping, it would have been my personal preference for you to wear shorts under your schoolgirl skirts, although I suspect some audience members maintain the opposite stance on this matter.

Photo by Yevgeniya Falkovich

the newspaper 5

31 January 2008

Where the Fuck is This?

Photo by... we can’t even tell you!

You’ve seen it before, but you just can’t put your finger on it... If you can, e-mail the newspaper at First correct answer gets a prize.

the science by Timothy Ryan Timothy Ryan Attempts to Predict the Major Global Science Stories For This Up Coming Year

The Chinese media will portray themselves as a technological giant, taking every opportunity to flex their scientific prowess. But with such stringent regulations on free press and journalistic content, there are a number of stories that will surely be missed. The Chinese media will tell you that in an effort to lower Beijing’s exceptionally high nitrogen dioxide levels, they will shut down factories and remove cars from the streets in the downtown core. You won’t hear that it will make no difference as 80% of the Beijing population lives outside of the downtown core. The media will tell you that the ‘formerly’ undrinkable Beijing tap water is now safe to drink. They won’t tell you that no one in their right mind will actually drink it as the pipes that carry the water heavily contaminate it just meters after leaving the treatment plant.

There will be stories about the Chinese Olympic Committee’s crackdown on doping; they plan to double the number of tests taken by athletes. However, at Sydney in 2000, Chinese athletes led all nations with 27 athletes having withdrawn or disqualified for doping/refusal to test. The list goes on, so be wary of what the media forces down your throat. Mercury exploration Exploration of the closest planet to the Sun will heat up in the coming months. After a 3.5 year trip, NASA’s Messenger Aircraft will finally begin fly-bys of the small, yet dense planet. The plan is to have Messenger flyby Mercury three times before settling into its orbit for further data collection. There are many obstacles to overcome in order to be successful, such as careful trajectory planning and highlyefficient radiation and temperature shielding. If Messenger gets there, scientists may be able to unearth why Mercury is made up of the densest material in the solar system

and this could be the key to figuring out how our solar system formed and evolved. Acceleration in hybrid car technology With astronomical oil and gas prices kicking your wallet’s ass, there is more demand than ever for commercial hybrid cars. And don’t think car companies are fretting over a move into hybrids; it is essentially a technological race to see who can develop an efficient, easily produced, affordable model available to the masses. Whoever gets there first will be sitting on a gold mine.

Dearly Beloved Repo Repo Repo

By Joe Zabukovec A lot of people liked Dearly Beloved’s last album You Are The Jaguar. A lot of critics gave it favourable reviews talking about how tight the sound was, how great Rob Higgins sounded, and how much they liked Queen St. I thought it was okay. Repo Repo Repo is fucking wicked, and for real this time. I know, I know. I don’t live on Queen St., so I’m probably not allowed to talk about this album, but I don’t care. I’ll buy some really tight jeans tomorrow or something. While Dearly Beloved maintain their raw sound, Rob Higgins has really stepped up his songwriting skills and the results can be heard, track one to ten. He’s also added a slower, ballad-like song, ‘Unsee’, which was something the last album desperately lacked –dynamics. The first two tracks, ‘Candy

Coated’ and ‘Acceptance Corporation’ are immediate likeables and the rest of the album will grow on you after the first couple listens. Higgins asks the important questions too. Questions like “Are you some pretty cute crap shoot?” and “Are you some pretty plump dump truck”. Someone has to ask these questions, and I don’t see Sum 41 doing it. They’re too busy making money and doing Avril Lavigne in the back seat of a Hummer. After listening to You Are The Jaguar I wanted to see the band

live, because I felt that the album was lacking even though I knew the energy was there. With Repo I feel that Higgins and the other band members have produced a quality disc that encourages me to see them live just to verify that they are as good as they sound. It’s even worth purchasing, but not at some bigwig heartless franchise like HMV or Sunrise Records. Someplace more low-key, more on-Queen. St. –like Rotate This. That’s okay, right?

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31 January 2008

Adbusting Canada’s Media Giants By Nina Manasan The concentration of media ownership has become an increasingly recognized problem over the past few years and organizations like Adbusters are looking to find the solution. In the kingdom of Canadian media, CanWest Global, CTVGlobeMedia and Rogers Communications reign supreme. The media is a lot like the humanities: you can choose from a wide range of subjects and ideas, but at the end of the day it all leads to the same crappy degree. Whether you’re a radical listening to an alternativepunk radio station, or a wise investor checking up on your stocks in the business section, chances are that all your information is coming from the same source. The reality is that the media market is often dominated by only 2 or 3 major corporations, who own everything from newspapers to television stations. Adbusters, a magazine and media foundation born out of this lack of variety in the media, has taken the situation into their own hands by filing a lawsuit against Canada’s primary media moguls. The lawsuit comes as a result of years of being shut out from the public airwaves. Despite their efforts, Adbusters has repeatedly been blocked from airing their public-service TV spots on Canadian networks. Because of

the anti-consumerist nature of Adbusters’ ads, networks have been reluctant to air them fearing a loss of revenue from advertisers. On January 7th, 2008, British Columbia’s Supreme Court began hearing arguments from both parties to determine whether or not the lawsuit should proceed. For Adbusters’ founder and Editor-in-Chief, Kalle Lasn, the lawsuit goes beyond the unfair practices of media corporations. “This case goes right to the heart of Canadian democracy. Public airwaves are not private, they are not owned. Broadcasters have a responsibility to act in the public’s interest.” Although the foundation is based in Vancouver, Adbusters has had a similar experience with American networks like CBS, NBC, ABC and most recently, MTV. They have also been unable to air their TV spots in Australia and in a few countries in Europe. Lasn commented that the problem of commercial TV goes right across the planet. It is his hope that this Canadian case will inspire activists around the globe to challenge their own media corporations. “We live in an information age. Media is the issue of issues and if we don’t first have a free market of ideas, we cannot possibly win any other battles.”

“It’s Like The Grand Canyon Becoming a Great Lake”

Up The Yangtze Directed by Yung Chang Produced by Germain Ying Gee Wong By Steven Borowiec Up the Yangtze takes the viewer on a solemn trip down China’s Yangtze River. The spectacularly scenic Three Gorges Valley area is scheduled to be flooded as part of the Three Gorges Dam project. Many observers see the dam as a full-scale eco-disaster. Economic growth still takes priority over people or the environment in China, so the dam project is going ahead and a tourism industry has sprouted up to show tourists the area before it’s submerged in water. The film is based around teenagers who are sent to work on one of

the luxury cruise boats that takes Western tourists on these kinds of ‘farewell tours’ up the river. Yu Shui, or “Cindy” as she is renamed by the boat’s management, is from a peasant family whose home on the banks of the Yangtze is soon to be swallowed up by the rising water level. Yu Shui’s family couldn’t afford to continue sending her to school, so at sixteen years of age she was sent to serve tourists on the boat. Her parents are farmers who don’t have the skills to succeed in the new economy. With the dam project taking away their farmland, the family needed Yu Shui to earn money for them to buy food. China’s progress has been fu-

eled by grand projects such as this and has created reams of displaced farmers like the families featured in the film. Maoist philosophy stresses the ability of people to determine or alter historical trends. Even though Mao’s lessons have long since been jettisoned, it’s still common for Chinese officials to manipulate the natural world without considering the effects on the environment. The film shows the human costs of China’s ambitious economic plans and its leadership’s decision to adopt a largely unregulated capitalist system. Director Yung Chang provides a sensitive and gripping look at those that have been left behind by China’s economic boom.

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8 the newspaper

31 January 2008

the sticky stuff

by Shannon Thorndyke

Sex, Love, and the Stuff that comes between… Dear Shannon, I am a chronic masturbator. Seriously. I thought it was a phase, but ever since I learned how to do it in grade 6 it’s been my hobby of choice. I’ve brought it up casually with friends, and it seems that to do it more than twice a day on a consistent basis is unusual. I know it’s a problem, because if I don’t use some form of lubrication it gets painful. I’m not even really a porn addict and half the time that I’m jacking off I don’t even watch porn –I have an amazing imagination. You would think that this would make for an awesome sex life, but I’m not a smoothtalker and never really have been. Having

a girlfriend isn’t really something I know much about. My question is: how much masturbation is too much? -Captain Planet

Dear Mr. Planet, One of my favorite movies, Whipped, starring Amanda Peet and a host of other no-names, has one character who is depicted as the overzealous masturbator. He has a medicine cabinet full of lo-

tions and creams he uses as aids and refers to as “the ladies”. He lovingingly names his activity “sturbing”. Whether it is to porn, the spank bank in your head or with a partner watching, sturbing in all of its forms is a healthy and normal thing to do, in my opinion. I applaud you for being in touch with yourself enough to be able to self-pleasure on a repeated and frequent basis. I think unless you are uncircumcised, unlubricated loving would be uncomfortable no matter how often you partake so I wouldn’t worry about that piece.

Being a smooth talker doesn’t really play into the equation. If you had a girlfriend would you stop the sturbing? Likely no, and honestly you know how to pleasure yourself better then anyone can so it could be a disappointment. Who knows… If you do get bored there are a couple of things you and your five buddies could do to spice things up: There is a product on the market called the Fleshlight. It comes in a variety of different models: the vagina, the mouth and the ass. It is marketed as fleshy soft plastic. I read that these toys are such a hot commodity at

the sex shop that they could be sold in a vending machine. I know that Come As You Are in Toronto carries the line. Another option, borrowed from my theatric reference is this: sit on your hand for a few minutes until it goes numb, then use that hand. Voila! It feels as though it is someone else doing the work. Hopefully the pins and needles don’t put you off. Until next time… Send your sex and relationship questions to

Last Weeks Solution

I’ll Sudoku YOU

the c o m i c s

This Weeks Problem

Toothpaste for Dinner

Bob the Angry Flower


By Stephen Notley

Issue 17 - January 31 2008